There’s only one word that can really describe my reading experience with If You Find Me: Wow. Just wow. I can try to describe what I thought of thisThere’s only one word that can really describe my reading experience with If You Find Me: Wow. Just wow. I can try to describe what I thought of this book, but it is truly a breath-taking debut and I don’t think my words will do it justice.
Carey lives in the woods with her sister, Nessa, since their mom left to get supplies 5 weeks ago. Carey is starting to worry something happened, but they make do with what little they have in the old, crumpled trailer where they live. It is in a desolate place in the woods; nobody ever goes there. Until one day, a man shows up, claiming to be their father. With him is a woman, who explains they have gotten a letter from their mother that she is unable to care for them anymore. What follows is Carey and Nessa trying to fit into a normal life, with their father, stepmom and stepsister. It isn’t as simple as it sounds. Carey has a hard time adjusting and often longs to go back to the woods. But for Nessa, she will try.
Gritty. Heartfelt. Warming. Sad. Harsh. But most of all, the book feels real. When I read it, it was like I was there, holding Carey’s hand while she went on her journey to being a normal teenager. Or at least, trying to be. Because everything is new and different. Carey feels lonely, longs for the familiar feeling of the camper and the woods. But while she makes do in her new life, she sees the beauty in things. The simple things, like having a coat that doesn’t smell like pee, or having clean clothes to put on. Or having food that doesn’t consist at least partly of baked beans. It’s so heart-warming to read about, yet so incredibly heart-breaking at the same time.
While I was reading this, my heart ached. I felt for Carey. The things she has been through are more horrible than I could have ever imagined and the way the book was written made it feel like a true story. Because Carey’s story is so intense and gripping, so raw, that I wondered if she was okay when the book ended. I cried for her. I just wanted her to be okay.
Rarely have I read a book like this that really got to me. There are a few, but none deal with the issues Murdoch addresses. Which leads me to handing out more compliments; it’s brave to write a novel about so many issues, both with abuse and mental illness, bullying and trauma. But it was done right, and done so beautifully that I can truly say I loved this book.
Big thanks to Judith for recommending me this book. It’s the type of book that I wouldn’t even notice, one that would skip my radar altogether, but it really is some sort of hidden gem. Highly recommended.
Pivot Point is a perfect example of the kind of book that can get me out of any reading slump I might having. While we live in a woFinal rating: 4.5/5
Pivot Point is a perfect example of the kind of book that can get me out of any reading slump I might having. While we live in a world filled with ‘what-if’s’, Addie has the ability to Search a decision and choose the best one and actually see the what if of her decision. When her parents announce their divorce, Addie is forced to choose: live with her mum, who she doesn’t feel a particular bond with, in their home in The Compound, or move off The Compound with her dad, whom she loves dearly. So she does what everybody would do in her place. She does a Search.
Told in alternating point of views, Pivot Point shows what Addie’s life would be like when she makes either decision. I loved this Sliding Doors kind of concept, even though it’s based on making only one big decision instead of several smaller ones. It reminded me a bit of Before I Fall, another one of those books with a strong contemporary feel but with some paranormal/sci-fi elements to it. I absolutely adored Pivot Point in all its glory. West has cleverly woven the storylines together and it was interesting to see what would happen to the other characters when Addie would leave them for her decision.
If I wouldn’t have known this was a debut, I would never have guessed. The writing was fluent and addictive, keeping me captivated while I flipped the pages. The characters were well-developed, their little quirks taking them off the pages for me. This is one of those books where you just really see a film playing in your head while you read and I loved that.
And the best news: there will be a sequel! Yay! Pivot Point ends on somewhat of a cliff-hanger and I really really really need to know what happens next. I felt so sad when she made her decision in the end, even though there wasn’t really a question about it. It was heart-breaking and I really, really have high hopes that everything will work out in Split Second.
Massive thanks to Debby, without whom I probably wouldn’t even have picked up this book. I adored the cover, which is incredibly pretty, but I never would have guessed the magic between the pages. I will be eagerly awaiting West’s future books – with Split Second high on my most anticipated list for 2014.
Books like this show me that I need to read more contemporary. Great book.
Short version of this review:Pushing the Limitsis one of the best conteBooks like this show me that I need to read more contemporary. Great book.
Short version of this review: Pushing the Limits is one of the best contemporary novels I have ever had the pleasure to read.
As for the long version, I stick with what I said before. Pushing the Limits has everything I could ever ask for in a contemporary; great characters who have amazing chemistry, an intense storyline and a lot of tension. I devoured it.
Echo is troubled, yet determined to find out what happened to her in the night she got the horrible scars on her arms. Her memory is foggy, and she’s set on finding out what caused the scars and the memory loss. While she wasn’t as feisty as some of the other female main characters I’ve read about, she felt real. I could feel with her pain, and I understood why she had difficulty with some things like intimacy, even though I’ve never been through such a thing. McGarry really accomplished something there; because of the way it was written, I could identify with Echo even though she’s miles away from who I am as a person.
Noah had his own problems, being thrown from one foster family to another, and he has a mission of his own; get insight in where his brothers are. He’s the typical bad boy – dark, handsome, mysterious -, but he still managed to come across as vulnerable at times. I loved that underneath the hard shell, there was just a guy with his own insecurities. I loved his wit, his humour, his way of handling situations. Like Echo, he felt like a real person, very distinct and he really came alive off the pages.
This is McGarry’s debut novel, and boy did she come to the scene with a bang. The chemistry between Echo and Noah was off the charts and McGarry’s intense way of writing really sucked me into the story, unable to stop reading. If this is what her debut looks like, I cannot wait to see what she will bring on next.
As one of my most anticipated titles of 2012, Insignia had a lot of expectations to meet. But with a great male lead, a well developed world and an inAs one of my most anticipated titles of 2012, Insignia had a lot of expectations to meet. But with a great male lead, a well developed world and an intriguing plot, it did just that, and I was unable to put it down.
Where do I even start? Let me just say that I *really* enjoyed reading this book. I liked the world building, the characters, the plot, the way everything developed.. At some moments it didn't draw me in as much as at other times, but that is really my only complaint. Tom is a character who is easy to relate to and I liked following him around.
What really made the story for me was the whole world and the setup of this book. We're at a military academy where the students are quite literally war machines and I *loved* how everything was worked out, with the initiation and then the classes after that. I'm really tempted to point out specific points that I loved and enjoyed, but since it would spoil part of the plot.. I'm not going to. I do want to say that I loved the 'climax' and I can't wait to read more!
It was nice to follow a male lead around instead of the typical female main character. Tom wasn't overly confident, though he did get a little cocky at times, but I really liked following his thoughts and found myself chuckling with a certain scene (you'll know it when you read it).
Anyhoo, I'll round this review up before I keep going on and on about the same couple of things. If you like sci-fi, male leads and/or fast paced stories, you'll want to put this one on your wishlist. I'd definitely recommend it!
The synopsis intrigued me and I was very excited to be able to read it months before the release. Here Where The Sunbeams Are Green is a joyful, livelThe synopsis intrigued me and I was very excited to be able to read it months before the release. Here Where The Sunbeams Are Green is a joyful, lively tale of adventure and discovery. Rich with imagination, it’s sure to enthrall young readers and draw them into the place where the sunbeams are green.
Sisters Mad and Roo get on a plane with their mom to go and visit their father, who is studying a species of nearly extinct birds in the middle of a rain forest. Mad and Roo have a feeling that something more is going on since their father is acting Very Strange, writing Very Strange and Incredibly Creepy Letters and not sounding like himself at all. When they arrive at the island, everything slowly unfolds. The two sisters take on the task of unraveling what is going on and try to bring their family back together. Along the way they make some unexpected friends, see some unexpected creatures and plants and feel a bit bedazzled by the beauty and power of the rain forest. They are quickly drawn into the middle of the plot their father is in and have to find a way out..
This is one of those brilliantly built up tales that didn’t really work for me. While the writing was lovely, the storyline very imaginative and the feeling around the story great, it just didn’t connect with me the way I wanted it to. There were some moments that I absolutely adored, but there were also moments that I would want to skip over to get to the next part. I can’t really put my finger on it what that is exactly, but for me, it wasn’t the amazing tale I was hoping it to be.
Having said that, the whole ambiance in this story is brilliant. I loved the magical feel of the story, the way the Lava Bird Volcano was worked into the story and how everything worked together to create the plot. It’s a story of discovery, both for the girls themselves as for the discovery of what is going on and what is in this strange forest, and I’m sure this story will appeal to both boys and girls.
Before I start off by offering my thoughts on this book, I have to say that I'm having a really hard time writing this review. This book held so muchBefore I start off by offering my thoughts on this book, I have to say that I'm having a really hard time writing this review. This book held so much promise, with an intriguing synopsis and it being a debut for 2012, but for me it didn't work at all.
I've been trying to read some more books about witches for a while now, so I was really excited when I got this one in for review. The synopsis tells me that Hollow Pike is a small little town were witchcraft never sleeps. However, while I was reading it, I felt like all the witchcraft was in some sort of coma and didn't come out of it until I was getting towards the end of the book.
This may sound a bit harsh, but for a book about witchcraft, there was a remarkably low amount of this book dedicated to that subject. Sure, there was talk about how Hollow Pike was a place full of witches centuries ago, and how the copse was supposedly haunted, but other than that, there wasn't much. Instead, a lot of pages were spent talking about Lis' nightmares and how the birds seem to be watching her. It was mentioned so often that I got annoyed before I reached the 30 page mark: after mentioning it twice, I know it's somehow important for the plot. I get it. There's no need to mention it a dozen times. So I would have liked for the story to pick up, but it didn't. The story was slow and dragged on without anything happening.
The characters fell flat and were stereotypical in a way I hadn't experienced before. There was a snobby girl who thought she was queen of the school, two lesbian girls who were bullied and called witches, their sidekick was a boy who was a geeky guy who liked comics and the main character was constantly giving me the impression how she was not pretty, special, or whatever. The love interest was the most popular guy in school. They didn't have any depth and the characters who were important for the plot were completely invisible until the plot started to unravel near the end.
Honestly, there wasn't much I liked about the book. I liked the theme, and I liked the setting, but that was about it for me. Because of the reasons I gave before, it just didn't work for me. I was frustrated and annoyed and I just didn't enjoy reading this book. I wouldn't recommend picking it up.