The Forest of Hands and teeth was my first zombie novel :) I was riveted. I felt like I was in Mary's world, and the literary writing added to the hau...moreThe Forest of Hands and teeth was my first zombie novel :) I was riveted. I felt like I was in Mary's world, and the literary writing added to the haunting images that Ryan paints. I love how she wasn't afraid to take it to darker places (compared to a happily-ever-after) but ultimately left me with a sense of hope.(less)
i think i liked the re-read even more. the first time through was a kinda frenzied page-flipping event. Savoured it this time (still in a day and a ha...morei think i liked the re-read even more. the first time through was a kinda frenzied page-flipping event. Savoured it this time (still in a day and a half though)(less)
This is the first book in the series that caused a borrowing frenzy in the school library. Seven teenagers camping in the bush. Australia gets invaded...moreThis is the first book in the series that caused a borrowing frenzy in the school library. Seven teenagers camping in the bush. Australia gets invaded. And the teens go militia :) First published in 1993, it's just as awesome today. And *drumroll* the movie is coming to the big screen this year! It's the biggest budgeted movie ever made in Australia. I hope it makes the whole world go crazy over these books!
This is my absolute favourite series ever and I cannot recommend it enough to adults and teens alike.
I've only ever heard good (and positively raving you-must-read-this-book) reports about Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It so I was pumped to fin...moreI've only ever heard good (and positively raving you-must-read-this-book) reports about Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It so I was pumped to finally have a copy to read. And you probably can't tell in the picture here, but the cover is textured, so you can feel the craters on the moon (like braille) -- so it feels cool too :)
The story of the-beginning-of-what-could-be-the-end-of-the-world is told by sixteen-year-old Miranda in diary format. Her voice is compelling in a way that makes you feel like you really are reading a teenage girls diary. It's a book you sink into - it doesn't open with a bang, and even when catastrophic events start occurring, it isn't overly dramatic. The story moves effortlessly from event to event - a snowball effect that seamlessly shows the deterioration of civilisation as we know it.
It's startlingly real and once I was into it, I didn't want to put it down.
I love all the characters - Miranda's family are all fully fleshed out and flawed in the best of ways. I love how Miranda and her mum fight a lot but also love each other fiercely. There's a chocolate chip scene with Miranda and her mum that I read wide-eyed, it really highlighted all the pressure that they were under.
The only part that niggled at me was the way Miranda's friend, Megan (a Christian), was portrayed. Megan and her minister were fanatical and extremist and made me cringe (and want to punch them in the head, in a friendly-Christian-kinda-way). I guess there's always going to be nutters out there... :)
Famine and earthquakes and tsunamis and floods and death and may sound like a depressing read, but ultimately, it really made me crazily grateful for the life I live now. It showed me the small things that we all take for granted. And how courageous humans can be when survival is constantly threatened.
I am a major fan of all things convenience and leisure :) - forever grateful to be born in Australia and not a developing nation. So, if a mega meteorite ever hits the moon in my lifetime, I hope I would be as awesome as Miranda. I'd kinda like to go wild chucking things with feverish abandon in my trolley at the supermarket*...but pretty much everything else would suck.
Life As We Knew It will definitely appeal to boys as well as girls and I give it a G rating for content (possibly PG for mature themes) - also suitable for Middle Grade readers, but adults will love it as well... like me :)
Oh, and they ate a lot of cans of tuna**. Not my idea of a good time.
*I guess there's nothing stopping me from indulging in a frenzied moment in the supermarket right now? **Was tuna even intended for human consumption?(less)
As I Wake is rather unlike any book I have ever read. The cover matches the contents brilliantly, it’s smokey and mysterious, gorgeous and a little bi...moreAs I Wake is rather unlike any book I have ever read. The cover matches the contents brilliantly, it’s smokey and mysterious, gorgeous and a little bit eerie and, like the girl on the front, I felt head-achey trying to get my mind around it.
I really do love Elizabeth Scott. Every book she writes, she surprises me: she does have a signature writing style but sometimes it is funny, cute or quirky, other times heartfelt and other times barren yet full of depth. As I Wake is written in a sparse style of prose, so the reader is instantly dropped into the plot with no preamble or reasoning.
It opens with a girl in a world she does not remember, having headaches and memories of another world, another life. Nothing makes sense to Ava, and Scott puts her readers firmly in Ava’s shoes: I felt like the plot was swirling around me and it was hard to grasp all the pieces ~ just like Ava was struggling to make sense of it. Plot-wise, you have to discover for yourself but it is a little bit The Adoration of Jenna Fox, parallel universe-y, dystopia, soft sci-fi elements, a dash of contemporary high school and there’s a love story in there too :)
The whole thing has an incredibly eerie undertone. At times I felt uneasy, hopeless. Yet there were brief moments of beauty and compassion among the sadness and confusion.
Like the writing, the world building is sparse. It is very much about one girl in this one crossroads moment of her life. The world(s) are not explained, details are sketchy ~ what it strong is the mystery, the emotions, the sensations of it all. It was hard for me to picture everything, but I still felt pulled into the story.
This book may frustrate many readers. But I am firmly an Elizabeth Scott fangirl. I just love her stuff. Anyone else may not have been able to pull this off in so few words, with only splashes of detail and barely-there explanations for plot twists and turns. But I thought it was gorgeous and compelling and I honestly felt swirly while reading it, and it has a strange lingering effect now. It is odd, that’s for sure, but it worked for me :)
Conclusion: this is rather like a book you read while having a dream, all swirly and out of reach. It was a dream-like reading experience. Regarding the love story, it is more surreal and fairytale-vibe than true, but I easily slipped into it, I think it matched the whole thing superbly (and I always fall for Scott's boys. She has a swoony gift).
I don’t know if this is the book for you *shrugs* but maybe my review has evoked a little of how this book felt for me. I am going with 3.5 stars and rounding up to 4 b/c it's Elizabeth Scott (and I can be biased like that) (less)
blurb: The City is divided. The bridges gated. In Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation, waiting for a chance to overr...more[image error]
blurb: The City is divided. The bridges gated. In Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation, waiting for a chance to overrun the residents of Cityside.
Nik is still in high school but destined for a great career with the Internal Security and Intelligence Services, the brains behind the war. But when ISIS comes recruiting, everyone is shocked when he isn’t chosen. There must be an explanation, but no one will talk about it. Then the school is bombed and the hostiles take the bridges. Buildings are burning, kids are dead, and the hostiles have kidnapped Sol. Now ISIS is hunting for Nik.
But Nik is on the run, with Sol’s sister Fyffe and ISIS hot on their trail. They cross the bridge in search of Sol, and Nik finds answers to questions he’d never dared to ask.
The Bridge is a gritty adventure set in a future world where fear of outsiders pervades everything. A heart-stopping novel about friendship, identity and courage from an exciting new voice in young-adult fiction. (from publishers site)
I was really excited for this Aussie dystopia. That cover (!) The comparison to John Marsden's 'Tomorrow Series' (My fave series of all time) (!) and...moreI was really excited for this Aussie dystopia. That cover (!) The comparison to John Marsden's 'Tomorrow Series' (My fave series of all time) (!) and just general Aussie YA coolness (!) ;)
Also, 'Days Like This' was a grand finalist in the Amazon breakthrough novel competition (a really tough competition) ~ so my congrats on that.
Unfortunately, this is not the book for me.
I'm abandoning it 100 pages in. I haven't read enough of the plot to say whether it gets really, suddenly good or not. (some reviews have mentioned the last third is great).
Basically, I haven't been able to connect to the characters enough to care about them or the situation they find themselves in. Ergo, I am disinterested.
The writing is strangely wooden and I feel distanced from the story ~ rather than feeling like I am alongside the characters experiencing it with them.
For me, the third person narration is lacking in personality ~(or at least it hasn't shown up yet).
I think it will appeal to readers who enjoy plot-driven stories. Maybe also fans of mystery. I also think, from what I have read, it is more on the MG side of YA.
*weirdly, I have felt very formal while writing this abandonment explanation. I even used the word 'ergo' (!) LOL. (less)
First and foremost: I had an awesome time reading Legend. Which is, after all, why I love to read (to bask in the awesomeness). It was unputdownable (...moreFirst and foremost: I had an awesome time reading Legend. Which is, after all, why I love to read (to bask in the awesomeness). It was unputdownable (I felt increasing anticipation throughout), immensely enjoyable, completely absorbing and just plain GOOD.
I loved the blend of action with the dystopian society. I appreciated how there were dark and sinister things being hinted at, yet it was never melodramatic or crazily climatic.
I did not anticipate how much I would care for the characters. The dual POV was perfectly balanced and I never confused the voices. While I can appreciate fab plots, tension and twists, it is the characters that always resonate beyond the book for me, and I fell in love with June and Day*. I liked them separately, and also loved watching the tension between them ~ and for those who like to swoon, there's some swooning as well <3
NOW FOR EVEN MORE AWESOME: Did you know that Legend is loosely based on Les Miserables? Like a post-apocalyptic YA version. You can find snatches of themes running through the novel, subtly done. Of course, Day is like the notorious criminal Jean Valjean, and June is a female version of Javert... (anyone here a fan of Les Mis? Such a brilliant story)
While the world building wasn't nonsensical/ridiculous (like some other YA dystopias I have attempted) I did feel rather vague on a lot of the political history, which was pertinent to the present plot. Yet that didn't detract from me having a fab time with this.
Also, some of the way in which clues/mysteries are revealed > LOL. Always in movies and books are answers so perfectly coded and easily deduced (if it was left to me, I never would have found and interpreted the obscure/absurd clues on which crucial plot points relied on).
I have already happily, enthusiastically been shoving my copy of Legend into the hands of family members (teens and adults) for a guaranteed good read. I am not sure my review is shining enough for this book, which I so loved and crazily, completely recommend for fans of YA fiction, especially for all the dystopian nuts out there.
* Day was my fave. The little Robin Hood ninja genius that he is. (less)
In a YA market fast becoming saturated in dystopia's BURN BRIGHT shines out in the crowd. It's a dystopian tale with splashes of sci-fi. It i...more4.5 stars
In a YA market fast becoming saturated in dystopia's BURN BRIGHT shines out in the crowd. It's a dystopian tale with splashes of sci-fi. It is, in fact, so vibrant and unique and convincing that it makes me feel embarrassed for other recent (often flailing romantic) YA dystopia's. It is fantastically original, creepy, riveting and atmospheric. I can honestly say BURN BRIGHT is unlike any book I have ever read = complete WOW experience.
de Pierres makes it easy to sink into a complex world: her prose is lush and rich, evoking vibrant imagery. She doesn't patronise her readers with an overabundance of explanations or bore us with oodles of backstory: she just throws us into the story along with Retra. Not everything instantly makes sense or is explained away and I think this is a strength ~ it truly made me feel as if I was submerged 100% into the story along with Retra.
I went into it not knowing much apart from the blurb and had no idea what to expect. It's hard to give you a feel of this evocative book in such a short review so rather than run down a synopsis I prefer just to share how brilliant I thought it was and give a little teaser:
There's pirates and gangs and secret passages and pills and dark creatures.
There's parties and a hot musician and mysterious creepy happenings.
There's a world bigger than Ixion, which skitters on the horizon, with even bigger dystopia themes.
It's ominous and daring and spectacular.
LOVED the climax where some of the islands secrets are revealed ~ while leaving me craving more.
I LOVED THIS: It's dark and wild, unpredictable and somehow enchanting. I found it unputdownable, sensory rich and utterly absorbing. It had been a while since I have been so pulled into someone else's story. I loved being in Retra's world and can't wait to return with the sequel.
Recommended: I very nearly missed out on reading this by thinking it wasn't a "me book." I thought it may be too paranormal-ish, too hedonistic (LOL) or too fantastical ~ GUYS ~ I know it may not be raved about by everyone but if you're in a reading slump or looking for a completely addictive absorbing experience I absolutely recommend Burn Bright. It's truly original and you can completely tell the author loves her world and characters. Brilliant stuff ~ it's in my top ten reads so far this year.
Listen well, baby bats. Burn bright, but do not stray from the paths. Remember, when you live in a place of darkness you also live with creatures of the dark.
Angel Arias starts right after where Burn Bright left off ~ and it begins with the same dynamic energy that Burn Bright burned with ;) But where Burn...moreAngel Arias starts right after where Burn Bright left off ~ and it begins with the same dynamic energy that Burn Bright burned with ;) But where Burn Bright was mysterious, the world and plot swirling around the reader, Angel Arias has a different tone. It has an urgency and plenty of action, but this time Naif (Retra) is much more sure of herself.
The plot in Angel Arias is ambitious, secrets are revealed, unveiling more mysteries which showcase extraordinary world building: the world Marianne has created is intricate yet accessible. It's a daring kind of read, and just as original in flavour as the first book in the series. The scope of the book is fantastic (from time with the pirates, and seeing more islands), and I think the plot is best explored with no idea where it is heading (no spoilers here).
Aussie author Marianne de Pierres has a talent for throwing her readers alongside her characters in such a way that you are kept on your toes: the action is blended beautifully with plot twists and developments, the reader discovers things alongside the protagonist. There is foreshadowing, creating tension and atmosphere, but not clue-ing the reader in enough to make the plot predictable. It was the opposite. I was constantly on edge, even questioning the loyalties of certain characters, friends who suddenly seem like foe and enemies who have shades of goodness shining through.
I loved the larger scope of the book and yet somehow I missed that gothick-y vibe of Ixion (I am nostalgic by nature, haha). I cannot compare reading the first book in the series to read Angel Arias. I think I was so startled in my love of Burn Bright , like the first taste of chocolate, it was addictive, startling and delectable. Angel Arias did not stun me in the same way despite still being driven by that intoxicating vibe that made it impossible to put down.
It is not the kind of book I am normally drawn to (action, worlds, secrets ~ I am more often drawn to books that are less plot-driven, more character-driven) so perhaps I did not enjoy this as much as I *should* have. I think my enjoyment is more indicative of my tastes as a reader than the quality of this book. This is a book to enthral and ignite imaginations. Despite my wishing for more depth in the characters (with personal motivations, relationships) it is obvious the author cares for her characters (yet also has no qualms about putting them in harms way).
A small teaser: I was (incredibly, delightfully) pleased when the story suddenly swivelled, giving readers a taste of Lenoir's POV! A real surprise, it widened the scope of the story, and also, Lenoir is one enigmatic guy, so it was enlightening being inside his head).(less)