Belzhar is about a teenager named Jam (Jamaica) who has been sent to a boarding school for emotional fragile teenagers. On arriv...moreReview by Amy - Year 9
Belzhar is about a teenager named Jam (Jamaica) who has been sent to a boarding school for emotional fragile teenagers. On arrival she discovers that she has been chosen for Special Topic’s English which is supposedly is extremely hard to get in to and has left previous students with life changing experiences. However when she first enters, the five student classroom it does not seem like any normal lesson who teacher. Each student is emotionally or mentally traumatized in some way but when the teacher (who is mysterious and leaves you with vague hints of what’s to be expected) hands them a journal to write their thoughts and feeling into they discover that all is not normal and we slowly unravel each students story as they help each through this mystery and recovering and moving on in the present and we also go back to bits in jams past to the build-up of the loss of Reeve.
I enjoyed the book, the story started with an early cliff hanger that lead you slowly into unraveling the details behind it. Leaving you with new discovers that both enhanced curiosity while being equally heart wrenching. Information about Reeve was sporadic leaving the reader in the dark about key information. Making the reader work to peel back the layers of her character as well as the details of the plot.
Each student was very different, their problems unrelated but fundamentally rooted in the same place. Each character and problem helped the others to deal with their own issues, empathy and self-reflection key components within the healing process.
Belzhar would best suit older readers due to the content, and ability levels to understand the issues presented within the narrative. There are some very complex psychological issues presented within Belzhar enhancing empathy for people suffering from mental health issues. The message within the story shows how people can’t live in the present if there worrying about the past. It also takes you through Jam's journey witnessing her recovering and accepting her situation to enable her to move on with her life. The twist within the plot was an eye opener that tied all aspects of the narrative together beautifully.
While I enjoyed bits of this book, it does have a depressing edge being immersed within the grief and depression surrounding the characters. However, I have to say I absolutely, loved the ending and enjoyed unraveling the characters past while building the tools for them to proceed into their individual futures. (less)
stunning reimagining more than one classic referenced plus 2 of the best book boyfriends you can imagine
I cannot tell you how much this book ROCKS. Co...morestunning reimagining more than one classic referenced plus 2 of the best book boyfriends you can imagine
I cannot tell you how much this book ROCKS. Conspiracy theories, secret societies based around classic fiction crossing space, time and reality. OH MY. Plus you get two of the best book boyfriends you could ever dream of having. I dare you to choose just one, in fact I double dare you.
Told in first person narrative from Alice’s perspective, with a historical setting at the start of the book. We first encounter Alice in an asylum having returned months earlier from spending six years in Wonderland. this is most definitely an adult version of the tale with revelations that will shock you but will also make complete sense in the twisted tale that is Wonderland. I loved Alice from the very first sentence, she is such a pessimist on the surface, always internalizing her more dramatic tendencies for fear of madness. She is a wonderfully feisty character :)
Enter Abraham Van Brunt and with his presence the plot takes a time travel/science fiction twist alongside some magical realism just to add to the wonder. Stunning use of classic literature alongside one of the most fabulous descriptions of readers combine to ensure true bibliophiles will pay homage to Heather Lyons ingenious writing style. The intricate world building alongside the simultaneous introduction and development of the characters ensure the is never a dull moment in The Collectors Society.
I am certainly not going to go into details of the plot within this review as you have to discover each faucet of the story for yourselves. The Collectors Society is a wonderfully grown-up take on Wonderland which doesn’t disappoint.
I have to mention to more things before I send you scurrying off to read it for yourselves. Firstly, I am desperate to know more about the creeptastic librarian in the story. I am convinced there is so much more there than meets the eye. Secondly, don’t you agree it is a a fantastic thing when a story makes you investigate the details of another story (in this case it was Huckleberry Finn) just so that you can understand the plot and characters better for the story your reading :)
What I need to know is how soon can I have the sequel please Heather ;)(less)