Category Archives: Review by Georgia

Dark Parties

DARK PARTIES

By Sara Grant, published by Indigo (Orion)

 

Neva keeps a list of the missing- people like her Grandmother who have vanished. The people that everyone else pretends never existed.

In a world isolated by the protectosphere- a dome which protects, but also imprisons- Neva and her friends dream of freedom.

16 year old Neva and her friends -Sanna, Ethan, Nicoline, and a few others- are all trying to rebel against the government in small ways. They want to be free of the governments rules and the protectosphere- which isolates them from the unknown world beyond- and so they are doing small things to try and get their message across. They make a vow never to have kids, to rebel against their governments need for more citizens, and graffiti the city to try and get their views out. However, after a Dark Party, Neva finds herself falling fast for Sanna’s boyfriend, and drifting away from her boyfriend Ethan. Everything is falling apart and when Neva gets a job for the government, she begins investigating the truth about things for herself. She discovers the terrifying truth about what happens to the missing… can she save everyone?

 

What an awesome book! My favorite genre probably has to be dystopia, and this one is one of the best dystopian books i have read so far. Sara Grant, the author, has created such a flawless, suspenseful, world and developed amazing characters to go in it. I really loved Neva and her rebellious acts, and the story line is really unpredictable, and sad. It’s a pretty heartbreaking story, what with the death… the kidnapping… and the complicated love triangle Neva is caught up in.

Yet in the middle of this heartbreak and loss, Sara Grant has planted the seeds of love and friendship which grow throughout the book. I would really recommend it to teens and adults!

THEODORE BOONE: Kid Lawyer

By John Grisham, published by Hodder & Stoughton

Half the man, twice the lawyer…

Theodore Boone is a thirteen year old boy, and both of his parents are lawyers. Whenever he’s out of school, he’s hanging around the courtroom. He thinks he is a lawyer himself.

Suddenly, the court of the town is thrown into Chaos as a murder trial begins with a Mr Pete Duffy and the murder of his wife. Pete Duffy is believed to be the cold-blooded killer, but there was no witness to the murder so the story gets complicated… but suddenly, a potential witness turns up! The witness can’t come forward for secret reasons, but young Lawyer Theodore Boone is ready to get to the bottom of the case. But can he solve the murder case before the end of the trial?

This book came out a couple of years ago but unfortunately, I never got to read it. However, upon buying it in a bookshop a couple of weeks ago, I got totally hooked into the story! I really loved the Protagonist; Theodore. He is your classic Sherlock Holmes kind of Detective, in the body of a thirteen year old, which makes the story really fun for the reader because you want to find out how a thirteen year old goes about solving a murder.

The story has it’s sad parts- a focus on Homelessness as a couple of the characters are living in a shelter- and it’s great parts jam packed with suspense. I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on the second book, and the third too!

ZOM-B

By Darren Shan, published by Simon and Schuster.

The master of Horror is back, ditching the vampires for Zombies! (Or should I say Zom-B’s?)

B Smith is a slightly naughty, misbehaving teenager. B’s dad is a racist thug who takes pleasure in hitting his wife. But B Smith has never gone to anybody about it. B has enough to deal with; including nightmares of killer babies.

One day, the news broadcasts a scene from a small village in Ireland where people have turned into blood lusting zombies, craving for brains and massacring their friends and families. Convinced it’s some joke, B dismisses it, and carries on with life. But whilst watching a football match in the school Gym, a zombie comes in and starts cracking somebody’s head open and eating their braisn! Soon half of the Gym is infected and a killing game has begun. Desperate to get out, B Smith is the leader of the pack as they travel around the school, striving to find a way out. But can they all survive, or will some be devoured by the evil zombie-turned school students?

Wow. Just Wow. I’ve loved Darren Shan’s books for a long time; i read the first Cirque Du Freak book at what must have been around the age of nine! Since then I’ve loved the gritty Horror of Darren’s books and met him once at a signing. Now, he ditched the vampires for zombies! This book was purely awesome, but with a moral hidden between the lines, about Racism. I won’t spoil the story, but because of B’s Dad’s racist actions, B ends up doing something incredibly terrible… that really made an impact on me as the reader. 

The whole book, even though it wasn’t until kind of near the end when the zombies actually invaded the school, was fast-paced and packed with suspense. And, of course, being Darren Shan, the descriptions are bloody, and brilliant! 

The man pushes back his hood with his free hand. His skin is disfigured, some strips of flesh peeling from his cheek. Straggly grey hair. Pale yellow eyes. He’s missing some teeth and those still intact are black and cracked. He points at me and i note absentmindedly that he doesn’t have any fingernails, just filthy, bloodstained flaps of skin.  

What an awesome Gory description!! This is what i love about Darren Shan… I can’t wait for the next book in the series- ZOM-B UNDERGROUND!

Pretty Twisted

By Gina Blaxhill, published by Macmillan

As the train entered the tunnel, it struck me how bizarre this all was. It could be a chick-flick tag line: ‘girl likes boy but keeps it hidden as she helps boy search for the girl he loves’.

Two different stories. One missing girl. Who would you trust?

Ros met Jono on an online social networking site a while ago. As Ros is starting to fall in love with him, she finds out that Jono’s beautiful musical partner and girlfriend has disappeared without a trace or hint of evidence and as Ros finds out, somebody she knows is linked to the suggested kidnapping. Can she keep a secret from Jono if it could be the resolution to the crime?

This book was a BIG hit last year. And I absolutely can’t believe I never got round to reading it. It was awesome! It’s a gripping crime story with a disturbing truth, and a lot of plot twists. It hooks you into the story, and keeps you turning the pages. The story is packed with suspense and terror, and like Gina’s new novel, Forget Me Never, it keeps you guessing at who committed the crime. I really can’t believe it’s a debut novel, it’s that great. If you haven’t already got your hands on a copy… I suggest you do!

 

Forget Me Never

By Gina Blaxhill, published by Macmillan

 Minutes after Sophie visits her cousin Dani, Dani is dead. The police verdict? Suicide.

Sophie’s cousin Dani has always suffered from depression and mood swings, but she’d been getting better in the weeks leading up to her death. She’d got a new job. Settled down in a flat in Bournemouth. And then as soon as Sophie has left her flat, Dani had ‘jumped’ off of the balcony. The police dismissed it as suicide but Sophie doesn’t believe it for a single bit. Soon she finds a memory stick inside an old pair of jeans belonging to Danielle, which leads to Sophie and her friend Reece dig deeper into the conspiracy behind Dani. But as things become more dangerous and involve an illegal Pharmaceutical plot, can Sophie and Reece both solve it… and find their true feelings for each other?

I received this book and I couldn’t wait to read it! Recently I’ve been reading more teen crime books, like Harlan Coben’s ‘Mickey Bolitar’ series. This book really lived up to my expectations. Gina Blaxhill’s first book (Pretty Twisted- review up soon!) was a pretty big hit, and this, her second book, will be too! It’s brilliant and clever, with a gritty crime story sprinkled with a hint of teenage love and friendship put to the test. The storyline really kept me guessing at what was going to happen next, and I’d think I had it figured out when suddenly there would be a plot twist leading to a kidnapping!  A really brilliant fast paced read, great for teens: girls or boys. I suggest you get a copy, it’s awesome!

What’s Left of Me

By Kat Zhang, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books

This is a love story. But it is not a romance.

Imagine that you have two minds, sharing one body. You and your other self are closer than twins, better than friends. You have known each other forever. Then imagine that people like you are hated and feared. That the government want to hunt you down and tear out your second soul, separating you from the person you love most in the world. Now meet Eva and Addie. They don’t have to imagine.

The book is set in a future version of the Americas, where everybody is born with two souls living inside their bodies. Soon, between the age of five and ten, one soul will fade from existence, leaving the other one dominant. However, if the souls don’t ‘settle’, the government find out and track that ‘hybrid’ down and they are taken away; never to be seen again. When Eva and Addie, two souls who have been pretending to have been settling for three years now, find other hybrids like them, the result is trouble. Soon, Eva/Addie, Lissa/Hally and Ryan/Devon find themselves captured by the government and taken away to a Hospital where they are told they will be cured of being a hybrid. But as Eva and Addie investigate into this suspicious place, they uncover dark, dark secrets kept from the hybrid children and the whole of America… can they escape before either Eva or Addie is ripped out of their body?

 

Just from the Blurb, written above in italics, got me excited about this book. That and the cover looked seriously cool, so I started reading this, after receiving the proof in a goodie bag. And my guess was right, this book really was seriously cool! It’s so gripping and captivating, and a great story line. The characters were really well developed and like-able, and there were lots of narrative hooks that pulled me into the book and kept me reading. It reminded me very much of the HIS DARK MATERIALS series, what with the two souls in one body being similar to the people in Philip Pullmans’ books having a Dæmon like a second soul, and being taken away to the institution(his dark materials)/hospital(What’s left of Me), to be separated from their second soul, the person that they love more than anything in the world. 

It’s a brilliant book that will be enjoyed by Adult readers and YA readers alike, I really loved it and can’t wait for the next installment in the ‘Hybrid Series’!

M is for Magic

By Neil Gaiman, published by HarperCollins

Another book by the literary Genius, Neil Gaiman!

This, however, is a collection of short stories written by Gaiman over the years: Recent and old all together in a treasury of adventure. The short stories range from an encounter with a Troll under a bridge, to food fanatics tasting a phoenix, to a boy who runs away from home and meets a ghost.

All of the short stories and captivating… funny… and sometimes a little scary! I found each one unique and fun, and as Neil Gaiman said himself in the introduction, short stories can stay with you forever- you might forget what happened or things about the main characters but short stories can always stay with you. Well these all will! I’ll treasure my M is for Magic book- I really loved it!

The Graveyard Book

By Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean and published by Bloomsbury

The Graveyard Book - Hardcover

On Monday i will be seeing Neil Gaiman in conversation with Phillip Pullman- so what better to do until then than read some of his books?

Nobody Owens (or Bod, for short) survived a murder on his family by escaping from his cot when he was just  baby. He crawled into the graveyard up the road, and was found by the ghosts occupying it. He was renamed as Nobody and accepted into the graveyard. The story focuses on Bod as he grows up learning the tricks of the trades to being a ghost: learning their abilities yet being alive. Soon he ventures out of the graveyard in the search to buy a headstone for his dead friend… but soon, the man Jack who had murdered his family years ago has come back to finish Bod off! Where can Bod go for help? How can he escape Jack’s clutches again? Read this amazing novel to discover the truth!

I’ve had this book lying on my bookshelf for a while now, and found it again a few days ago when i was hunting for my Neil Gaiman books (M is for Magic&Coraline -reviews up soon) to re-read before i saw the author at the event on Monday. But why had i missed out this book? It was brilliant! As Garth Nix quoted on the back of my copy, it really is the kind of book you wish you had discovered earlier in your life so you can read it over and over again, and that you wish you had written yourself because of it being an unmistakable masterpiece.

I love how Neil Gaiman perfectly tells this story of horror, crime and fantasy as a book perfect for children to curl up with. It has it’s heart warming parts and it’s terrifyingly chilling parts. It covers the topics of Friendship and Hope, entwining them with a gripping and spooky story-line.

I I would definitely recommend this to children and young teens, but i’m sure adults would love this too!

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites

Here is a review posted before, but I am reposting it for my ‘scary Reads’ Halloween reviews!

Published by Dutton books

This book may be only 180 pages or so, but it is amazing!

Step into the world of teenager Vlad,a half vampire boy. His dad was a vampire, his mum a human, and they both perished in an unexplainable fire three years ago. Vlad now lives with his mum’s old friend Nelly, andtries to live a normal life with the help of his best mate Henry.

Soon, disaster strikes as a substitute teacher takes over the place of Vlad’s usual teacher who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The sub. seems to be catching on to Vlad’s secret, fast….can Vlad keep his identity hidden from the strange Mr. Otis? Simultaneously, Vlad uncovers secret of his parents, and vampires… can he solve this mystery too?

All in all, this book is a great teen read and I really enjoyed it. It’s fast-paced, exciting, and leaves you awake at night wanting to read more! I really loved it, and can’t wait to read about Vlad’s next adventures- out now…

Georgia

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy (and other stories)

By Tim Burton, published by Faber&Faber

Award winning Director of creepy, haunting, weird and wonderful movies… Tim Burton wrote a short, 90 page book of haunting short poems!

This book is crammed with creepy poems, about many different things… such as an Oyster Boy, Stain-boy the unfortunate superhero, a girl with many eyes and Jimmy the penguin boy!

I am quite a fan of Tim Burton and his awesome films. I was given this book quite a while back, but found it recently and thought it would be great for my ‘scary reads’ Halloween book challenge, even though it wasn’t on my to-do list a few blogs ago!

All stories, whether they are the three line long ones of the three page long ones, have Burton’s  trademark essence of dark humor. It could be read in about 20 minutes, but i really loved it all the same! With the poets illustrations accompanying each verse; the poems really spring to life. It’s a brilliant, funny, haunting read, check it out!