Monday, 25 February 2013

Dead Romantic by CJ Skuse

 Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 328
Publisher: The Chicken House
Released: 4th of February 2013

Camille wants to find the perfect boy, with an athlete's body and a poet's brain. But when she's mocked at a college party, she knows there isn't a boy alive who'll ever measure up. Enter Zoe, her brilliant but strange best friend, who takes biology homework to a whole new level. She can create Camille's dream boy, Frankenstein-style. But can she make him love her?

What I Have To Say

I love CJ Skuse's ideas. They are so quirky and out there. And this one, she has so beautifully updated the Frankenstein story. Making it unique and different at the same time. The way it starts out and you think you know where it's going but it takes so many twists and turns in getting there. Even having finished the book, there is doubts and room for theories about what's going to happen. There had better be a sequel, that's all I'm saying. 

I loved Pee Wee. He was so cute and not a completely stereotypical zombie dog, it could have been taken too far and just been a cliché, but the fact that most of the time he was just a normal dog and the flesh eating monster bit just cropped up occasionally made it really effective. 

I also love the way she wove the details into the story. So many things cropped up at the start that seemed completely inconsequential that come to be really significant later in the book. It was so skillfully done. 

So read this book for quirkiness and a fair bit of gore. 

Monday, 18 February 2013

Wood Angel by Erin Bow

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 288
Publisher: Chicken House
Released: 7th of March 2011

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver’s daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade”: a dangerous nickname in a country where witches are hunted and burned in the square. A mysterious fog ruins crops and spreads hunger and sickness. The townspeople blame Kate.

The stranger Linay will exchange her shadow for escape and her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes she can’t live shadowless forever — and that Linay’s anger and grief can "level a city"

What I Have to Say

I really loved the society in this book. It was really well made. I would have loved to see more about the Roamers, but at the same time, I would have loved to stay in the city and see more of the society there. It seemed like a really interesting world. I'd like to find out what country it was based on and explore more of it. I want to say Russia? 

It was a really good plot as well. Told in a way that made it seem like an old fairy tale. It really showed how devastating the paranoia about witchcraft can be, whether or not the person is actually a witch. Also, how easily it can be manipulated. 

Also I loved Taggle so much! He was just such a cute and accurate portrayal of what a cat would actually be like if it could talk. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

What's Up With Jody Barton?

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 249 
Published by: Macmillon
Released: 31st of May 2012

Me and my sister are twins. She's Jolene and I'm Jody. We've both got brown hair, we're both left-handed and we both have these weirdly long little toes which make us look like long-toed mutants. But apart from that, I'd say we're fairly different. Well, actually, we're a lot different . . . It's hard enough being one half of the world's least identical twins, without both of you falling for the same guy. Jolene's turned flirting into a fine art, but Jody? Not so much. And as if a twinny love triangle wasn't messy enough . . . there's something nobody knows about Jody Barton. Something BIG.

What I Have to Say

This is another of those books that is really, really hard to review. I really enjoyed it, but when it comes to saying why I really enjoyed it, I just can't for fear of spoiling the very thing that made me like it!

I put off reading this book for so long, just because it didn't really look like my sort of thing. And even when reading it, brilliant writing and humour aside, it didn't feel like my sort of thing. Until I reached that point. That one thing that changes everything in such an unexpected way.

And that's why I can't really say much about this book. I want you to read it. I want you to experience that moment and see what I mean. Because it was that very moment that turned this book from something that was good, to something that was great.

So just trust me and go read it.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 271
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Released: 25th of October 1978

A strange imprisonment

Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are the beautiful ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage.

When her father comes home with the tale of an enchanted castle in the forest and the terrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there, Beauty knows she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will. Her father protests that he will not let her go, but she answers, "Cannot a Beast be tamed?"

What I Have To Say

I've been wanting to read this book for a while. It was so good! McKinley has a really good way of being descriptive and evocative with such a talent. The way it was written as well made it feel exactly like it was an old fairy tale. I've read a lot of original fairy tales and it really did feel like one of them. 

Beauty and the Beast has never been my favourite fairy tale but this retelling of it was so beautiful. It felt really real as well, which is especially good because of how contrived fairy tales tend to be. 

My only real criticism of it was that there was a lot of time spent building up Beauty's family and not enough came of it. After she went away they were barely heard from again. I would have liked to see more of how they coped after Beauty let. 

All in all, I loved every word of this book, even if it ended a bit too quickly. I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in fairy tales.