Grace is a contemporary story of belief, faith and family. It’s about being true to yourself and your beliefs and standing up for your religious freedGrace is a contemporary story of belief, faith and family. It’s about being true to yourself and your beliefs and standing up for your religious freedom and right to think freely.
Grace and her family are part of a small religious community. Her Uncle has just been made an elder. A special role in their church and it is a time of celebration. But sadly for Grace, she seems to sin despite her good intentions. Her school project sparks outrage from their leader Mr Gosper. It sets in motion a chain of events that will shake the very foundations of Grace’s world.
As always, Morris Gleitzman delivers a powerhouse of a story in a beautiful simple way. The voice of the main character Grace leaps off the page and carries an important message without it ever feeling like a lecture or sermon.
At the heart of this story is a girl who believes in God. She is raised in a small religious community which is a branch of Christianity. Most likely a sect but the author never states the exact group. And in essence that is irrelevant because any system of belief can be corrupted and abused by man. I think I liked this book so much because it didn’t shy away from such a big topic. It explored it through the eyes of a bright, innocent, loving girl and made it easy for me (and young readers) to understand.
It was fun to read about a character who used words like “afflicted” and “wrath”. There aren’t many contexts where a Middle Grade character could use this dialogue and make it work but it really does here and it is rather endearing. There are also many references to bible stories which make this book really great for discussion and exploring Christian beliefs.
I admire Gleitzman for the risks he takes in this book. He puts Grace amidst extremely dangerous situations and deftly resolves them so satisfyingly.
Overall, Grace is a wonderful novel for readers 8+. Some children who have questions about faith will find this book comforting. Those who have no beliefs will understand those who do a little better. And those who love a great thrilling story, full of love, which undoubtedly enjoy this book. ...more
NYPD Red 2 is another fast-paced crime novel from the frighteningly prolific James Patterson. Think: cops, car chases, elite team, good guys, bad guysNYPD Red 2 is another fast-paced crime novel from the frighteningly prolific James Patterson. Think: cops, car chases, elite team, good guys, bad guys and city politics.
In this instalment top NYPD Red team Detectives Jordan and MacDonald are after a serial killer vigilant. This criminal mastermind has decided to become jury, judge and executioner. The media call him “The Hazmat Killer”. The case ends up with the Red team when a young rich socialite is found dead on a carousel wearing the calling-card Hazmat-esque suit. It’s a race against time to locate the bad guy and save the mayor’s political career.
Though I don’t normally read crime fiction because I’m a big wimp, for some reason the NYPD Red series is just not scary. It’s fast-paced and involves horrible torturing and murder but I guess it’s just a little too tongue in cheek to take seriously.
The voices of the main characters are so snarky and a little daft with their witticism that it makes the book more light-hearted entertainment than edge-of-your-seat thriller. And yet, I enjoyed it. The chapters are so short that you can speed through it.
If you’re looking for a quick, light read which is entertaining, then give it a go. If you love cop shows like me, but hate being scared, it’s just the thing. ...more
Attachments is a contemporary romantic comedy. It’s a cute funny read that’ll warm your heart.
Lincoln works at The Courier as an IT guy with a differeAttachments is a contemporary romantic comedy. It’s a cute funny read that’ll warm your heart.
Lincoln works at The Courier as an IT guy with a difference. His job is to check that the staff are not abusing the email system. They are not meant to send personal messages and he has to send them warnings when they do. It’s not a great job. He works the nightshift and he feels kind of weird snooping on other people. But it is a job. When he starts reading all the emails sent by Beth and Jennifer things get complicated. Reading about their lives touches something in him and soon he can’t stop. He’s falling for Beth and her witty charm. But now he’s been reading her emails, how could he ever ask her out? Oh, and she has a boyfriend too.
Oh, how sweet this book is! I loved it from the beginning and I read it so quickly. Time just seemed to disappear when I was reading it. Lincoln is an adorable character. Still healing from the broken heart he got in college, he can’t move on. He’s back living with his mum and letting her make him backed lunch. Beth is a funky girl with her movie reviewer job but she’s also a fun friend. Of course, you want them to be together. But soon you’re wondering how they’ll ever manage it. The book keeps you guessing and hoping for love.
Told through Lincoln’s narrative and the emails, the book has a lively style to match its quirky characters. Even the other characters like Doris are endearing to read about. This book charmed the socks off me. It's a story about embracing who are and letting go of the past. It's about just being yourself. If you love a good love story, then read this. Attachments will leave you with a big dorky grin on your face. ...more
The Execution of Noa P Singleton is a story about a woman on death row, her crime and her conviction.
Noa is awaiting her death date. She is one of thThe Execution of Noa P Singleton is a story about a woman on death row, her crime and her conviction.
Noa is awaiting her death date. She is one of the few people in this world that knows exactly when she will die and by what means. It will be lethal injection on November 7th. It is ten years since she committed her crime. Noa is resigned to her death but yet another young lawyer believes he can win an appeal or at the very least get her clemency. You see the deceased’s mother has decided that the death penalty is wrong. But the relationship between Noa and the deceased’s mother is not what it first appears.
I won’t go into the plot anymore because this really is a novel with twists and turns and you need to read it without expectation to be drawn into Noa’s small cell and her mind. But I will say I never felt all that much sympathy for her character. For her predicament, yes. I do not believe in the death penalty. We abolished that in the UK years ago. Now I reflect on this book, I actually don’t think any of the characters are very likeable but of course, you see them all through Noa’s eyes.
Overall, The Execution of Noa P Singleton is a good, thrilling read. It’s full of ways that situations, actions, words can be manipulated. I got a little bored in the middle. After all, this is an account in retrospect. The action has already taken place. It’s really interested in the how and the why. But I’m glad I read it. A book which makes you think about life and death, crime and punishment, justice and injustice is always worth reading.
Deep Blue is a mermaid adventure where a long forgotten evil begins to stir and a band of young woman must fulfil their destiny.
Seraphina is the heirDeep Blue is a mermaid adventure where a long forgotten evil begins to stir and a band of young woman must fulfil their destiny.
Seraphina is the heir to the throne of Miromara. At the beginning of the novel she is preparing for the ceremony which will declare her true of blood. And she will also be bethrothed to Madhi, heir to the kingdom of Matalis. As the ceremony approaches, Seraphina doubts her ability to live up to her mother’s expectations. But there are even greater trials ahead.
There were some things that I really enjoyed about this book. The dilemma of the duty one is born to fulfil and challenge of being a just leader were both interestingly explored. The love story between Seraphina and Madhi and the mystery of his strange change in character definitely captured my heart. And there were some elements of this book that reminded me of a Shakespeare play – Twelfth Night perhaps – the disguises, the secret longing, some of the character names, the courtly world of Miromara. These were all the things that I really enjoyed. Sometimes I found myself completely absorbed by the story.
But it was like I was reading two different books. Sometimes the dialogue of the mermaids was so contemporary and it seemed at odds with this magical watery setting. It just didn’t quite fit. The plot had several difficulties. Seraphina was never really leading the action. Events unfurled and she was subjected to action but never really took control which made the story less exciting.
There were also a few typos and that is a real shame in this book because it really looks like a work of art. The blue font is very attractive and so are the chapter headings and maps. I think this book wasn’t sure what it wanted to be. The plot seemed more of a middle grade read. The romance had the potential to make it fit the YA market and the complexity of the world building suggests it fits there too.
Overall, if I’m honest, I was a little disappointed in Deep Blue. I wanted to be swept away on a current into the realm of the mer and I think what I actually got was stuck like a beached whale on the shore. This was just not for me, you may find it reads swimmingly. Also if you love mermaid stories, then you definitely have to give it a go! ...more
The Outsiders is a timeless story of growing up, of boys becoming men, of social divide and the crossing of boundaries. It’s a short book but perhapsThe Outsiders is a timeless story of growing up, of boys becoming men, of social divide and the crossing of boundaries. It’s a short book but perhaps because of that every word has a purpose.
Ponyboy is a Greaser like his two brothers Soda and Darry. Ponyboy’s the youngest of the group and he loves the cinema and reading. He’s a little softer than the other Greasers but he’d never admit it to them. The Greasers are rivals with the Socs. The Greasers are working class. The Socs are middle class rich kids. The Socs drive by the Greasers and when they find one on their own they beat them up real good – like they did with Ponyboy’s friend Johnny. There is a dangerous current brewing between the Socs and the Greasers and it won’t end well.
This is a story about brotherhood and friendship. It’s about being part of a loyal band of young men and how for some this is the only family they have. It’s also about the choice between being a villain or a hero. We’re not talking capes here. We’re talking about how you treat others, how you sacrifice yourself for someone else.
I feel like I’m trying to explain this book too much. It really isn’t complicated. It’s a story of how circumstances can run away with you and how suddenly life can be extinguished. It’s sad but it is also glorious because to have the loyalty of a band of brothers can help make a boy become a man.
I enjoyed The Outsiders so much. It’s as relevant now as it was when it was first published. Read it....more