B. R. Collins' second book is an unusual supernatural thriller that should sit well with fans of all things paranormal. It moved at a fast speed, andB. R. Collins' second book is an unusual supernatural thriller that should sit well with fans of all things paranormal. It moved at a fast speed, and kept me guessing until the end -- an end which was shocking yet inevitable.
The idea of a shadow detaching itself from the soul is a chilling thought, and is an entirely new concept to me. I don't know how Collins came up with that, but it succeeded in making the book creepy and chilling. The way the shadow almost haunted Zach was something I'd expect to see in a horror film, and I won't lie: I checked around my very dark room a few times to make sure nothing was lurking by the window.
Annis and Zach had a pretty rocky relationship with their parents, which included zero respect on their side of things. If there was anything I didn't like about the characters, it would definitely be their attitude towards their parents. I didn't think their mum and dad deserved it, and it often made Zach and Annis look like spoilt, ungrateful brats. For that reason, I didn't like Zach much, and I changed my mind about Annis as I got further into the book. They did redeem themselves at the end, but it was perhaps too late for me to change my opinion of them.
I enjoyed the unique story, the stylish writing and the use of Zach's notebook entries to tell his side of events. It was compelling and exciting, and is the kind of novel that would make a tense movie thriller. A detachment from the main characters was all that hampered my reading experience, though the fantastic plot more than made up for that.
Cathy Cassidy is yet another prolific UK children's author I'd never read until now. I'm not going to lie: I've always thought her books looked too yoCathy Cassidy is yet another prolific UK children's author I'd never read until now. I'm not going to lie: I've always thought her books looked too young, which is why I avoided them. Pretty bad, I know. I'm really surprised by how much I enjoyed Cherry Crush, as I had no idea it'd be so fun or addictive.
This is the first in a brand new 5-book series, which I believe is Cassidy's first, and came about due to fan demand. It's the story of Cherry Costello who, along with her father, moves from Glasgow to Somerset to be with his new girlfriend, Charlotte, and her large family. Charlotte has 4 daughters - Honey, Skye, Summer and Coco. They're all roughly around the same age as Cherry, and are like the sisters she never had. I liked all the sisters, though Honey left something to be desired. I know I'm supposed to sympathise with her situation, but I can't be doing with people who behave like that. She's the only aspect of the book I really didn't like, but I can see that her emotional journey was an important part of her family's lives.
Cherry Crush has a great sense of family values, which is what I loved most about it. I'm really close to my family, and seeing that portrayed in books always makes me smile. Family is the most important thing after all, and Cassidy effortlessly shows that with her story of change and self-discovery. Of course, Cherry Crush wouldn't be complete without a little romance, which comes in the form of Honey's boyfriend Shay. He's sweet, supportive and struggling with family problems of his own. He instantly connects with Cherry, and the way their friendship develops is subtle and unassuming.
Cassidy covers so many themes here that it's difficult to mention them all. Loss, truth and acceptance play a big part in Cherry's story, but there's so much more waiting for you within these pages. It's an absolute joy to read, and I think teenagers will love it - if I'd read it when I was 14, I'd have thought I'd won the book lottery. The next instalment, Vanilla Skye, is published in September 2011, and I can't wait. If I could read it now, I would!