Monday, 28 January 2013

My Sister Lives On The Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

Synopsis (From Goodreads

Pages: 221
Publisher: Indigo
Released: 1st of October 2011

Ten-year-old Jamie hasn't cried since it happened. He knows he should have - Jasmine cried, Mum cried, Dad still cries. Roger didn't, but then he is just a cat and didn't know Rose that well, really. Everyone kept saying it would get better with time, but that's just one of those lies that grown-ups tell in awkward situations. Five years on, it's worse than ever: Dad drinks, Mum's gone and Jamie's left with questions that he must answer for himself. This is his story, an unflinchingly real yet heart-warming account of a young boy's struggle to make sense of the loss that tore his family apart.

What I Have to Say

This book made me cry. Those of you who have been reading my reviews for a while, know that this is a good thing. If you don't like sad books, probably best to pick up something else. Though you can probably tell that just from the premise.

If you do like sad books, then seriously, read this one. The whole concept of it is really interesting, the lose of a child told from a younger siblings viewpoint. And it is written so well. At first the style felt a bit stilted, but it was actually quite easy to fall into after getting used to it.

I really liked Jamie as a character. He was a cute kid and his friendship with Sunya was great. I do think that Pitcher was wrong to make it love though. 10 is a little young to be thinking about love and even if it's not, there's not enough close friendships in books. Especially when it's a boy and a girl. Everything is about love. I'd like to see a book which isn't about love.

I think Jas was interesting too. I'd have loved to have seen more about her.

Anyway, read this book. So powerful.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Night School: Legacy by CJ Daugherty

Synopsis (From Goodreads

Pages: 385
Publisher: Atom
eleased: 17th of January 2013
Other books in the series: Night School 

In the last year, Allie's survived three arrests, two breakups and one family breakdown. The only bright point has been her new life at Cimmeria Academy. It's the one place she's felt she belongs. And the fact that it's brought the dreamy Carter West into her life hasn't hurt...But far from being a safe haven, the cloistered walls of Cimmeria are proving more dangerous than Allie could've imagined. The students, and faculty, are under threat and Allie's family - from her mysterious grandma to her runaway brother - are at the centre of the storm. Allie is going to have to choose between protecting her family and trusting her friends. But secrets have a way of ripping even the strongest relationships apart...

What I Have to Say

I loved the first book in this series, so I was really, really excited to read this one. It didn't disappoint. It was really easy to slip back into the feel of it and I enjoyed reading every second of it. I know it's a cliché to call a book an "old friend" but honestly? I can't think of a better way to explain how picking up this book felt! It's like starting a new term at school and slipping back into the routine of things easily, which is exactly what Allie is doing in the book. 

I love the humour of it. It's such a dark book, but the characters still find time to be joking and have fun. I would hate for it to get too dark and for this aspect of their friendship. It really adds something to the book and for the building of their characters. 

Speaking of characters, I love Zoe! She's great. I love how she's slotted in so easily and didn't feel like she changed the dynamic too much. She's also the perfect balance of social awkward and slightly violent. The character who I didn't like was Sylvain. After what he did to Allie in the last book, I don't think I can like him again. I know that he redeemed himself, but I can't help but hate that guy. 

I'm looking forward to the next book and seeing how it all develops, especially considering the events of the last few chapters. 

Monday, 14 January 2013

Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

Pages: 352
Publisher: Speak
Released: 2nd of October 2008

Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks.

What I Have to Say

I loved the fact that this was three different stories, from three different authors that fit so well together. The fact that all three stories were set in the same town, with three overlapping sets of characters worked really well for me.

They blended seamlessly too. It wasn't like it was three different authors. Even when they had characters that were crossing between stories, there was no moment when it felt like those characters were off or acting out of character.

Having read and reviewed a lot of Maureen Johnson and John Green, I won't repeat how awesome they are. They are amazing. I love them. That's all that needs to be said. So I'll focus on the third author, Lauren Myracle. Having never read anything by her before, I had no idea what to expect. But I actually think I liked her story best. It was interesting, had a good character and a cute pig.

So yes. I really loved this book! I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Zom-B by Darren Shan

Synopsis (From Goodreads

Pages: 217
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Released: 27th of September 2012

When news reports start appearing of a zombie outbreak in Ireland, B's racist father thinks it's a joke-- but even if it isn't, he figures, it's ok to lose a few Irish.

B doesn't fully buy into Dad's racism, but figures it's easier to go along with it than to risk the fights and abuse that will surely follow sticking up for Muslims, blacks, or immigrants. And when dodging his fists doesn't work, B doesn't hesitate to take the piss out of kids at school with a few slaps or cruel remarks. 

That is, until zombies attack the school. B is forced on a mad dash through the serpentine corridors of high school, making allegiances with anyone with enough gall to fight off their pursuers. 

 What I Have to Say

This was my first Darren Shan book and I really enjoyed it. It was well written, with interesting characters and a good plot. And I get what he was doing with the racism angle, I really do. The only thing is that for a zombie book, there really weren't enough zombies in it for me. 

That said. The main character, B, was really interesting. It was good to see a character who is actually the bully rather than the bullied. There's a lot of books about bullying, but they're all told from the victim's viewpoint. I think a lot of authors do forget that a lot of bullies are victims themselves and that their viewpoint is just as interesting as anyone else's. 

All in all, I loved this book. I really recommend it as a good read. But I do think that it needs to be stated that the zombies take a back seat, and the plot is mostly about racism and bullying. Which is no bad thing.