Category Archives: Review by Georgia

Constable & Toop

By Gareth P. Jones, published by Hot Key Books

Sam Toop works with his father and his father’s partner Mr Constable at a funeral parlour. Not only does Sam have to endure looking at dead people, but he can see ghosts too. Sam’s uncle Jack Toop is a murderer and when he comes to stay everything seems to be turned upside down… Jack finds himself working for ghosts and Sam is in the middle of a similar sticky situation… The Black Rot. Nobody knows what it is yet except for that it’s covering the houses of London… can Sam help defeat an Exorcist, and save the ghosts?

I thought this book was great! Another of the new Hot Key Books releases, and I really enjoyed it. Constable and Toop makes a comedic twist on the world of horror. It contains murderous acts, exorcism, ghosts, haunting and more… but the author has made it really come alive with funny bits. It scared me a little, and made me laugh too!

 It’s very well written; with each chapter switching from Sam’s Dilemmas, and to the Ghost’s dilemmas. I loved the way the events develop, and all of the characters such as Sam, Clara, and Lapsewood all come together at the end!

Try this book out, it’s really good! Also, this book has won the Blue Peter Book Award, which is an amazing achievement!

Ketchup Clouds

By Annabel Pitcher, published by Indigo (Orion)

I’ve done something wrong. Not even a little bit wrong or even quite a bit wrong. What I’ve done is awful. And do you want to know the worst thing?

I’ve got away with it.

Zoe is fifteen. She’s an average girl, but one thing is eating at her from the inside and she needs to tell somebody. She can’t confess it to anyone. It would be too hard. But when she finds a site where you can become pen pals with people on Death Row in America, Zoe sees criminal Stuart Harris and begins to write him her shocking story. She locks herself in her shed with a jam sandwich, and a pen and paper, and writes a series of letters, containing everything from love and lies, hope and fear, to humour and heartbreak.

 

This story, just like Annabel’s debut novel, is everything I hoped for. The characters are perfect: They’re three-dimensional and make strong emotional bonds with the reader, especially the unique character of Zoe, whose life story is mostly heart-wrenchingly sad!

Annabel Pitcher, as all of you who have read her debut novel ‘my sister lives on the mantelpiece’ will know, has an extremely brilliant talent at creating realistic, unforgettable storylines and plots, and this has really shown through yet again in her long-awaited-for new novel! The book is expertly told from the perspective of a fifteen year old girl, and even though there is so much packed into it: The romance, the heartache, the murder, this story is so believable!

Overall I really loved it. The murder mystery with an essence of romance in a unique, one-sided letter conversation is very appealing to me and I’m sure that it will be enjoyed by crime lovers, as well as Romance fans.

 This story is a special one, from an author who I can tell has an extremely bright future ahead of her. Keep writing Annabel! I can’t wait for more amazing books to come from you!

Shrunk!

By F.R Hitchcock, published by Hot Key Books.

Have you ever made a wish on a shooting star? Tom has, but his wish has gone terribly wrong!

Tom is your average, nearly 11 year old boy. He has just moved in with his parents and grandmother at ‘by-water-by-sea’ and hasn’t exactly settled in at his school or home. He is called names like ‘model village’ because of the house that he lives in. All around it is a miniature replica of the town, as his grandma owns it!

It is at the model village when Tom makes his wish on the shooting star. But it doesn’t come true. Instead, something incredible yet dangerous has happened… Tom now has the supernatural power to shrink things!

By Accident, he shrinks Jupiter. But now, with no Jupiter in the solar system, the magnetic pull of everything has messed up… and Earth is set on track to hit the Sun! While meteors are crashing all over the place and Tom is trying to hide his shrinking powers, can he and his new accomplices save the day by getting Jupiter back to its normal spot?

 

This is another one of Hot Key Book’s awesome reads! It’s probably the only book with an age range of under-teens, (The rest is all a teen range, check them out too!), but lives up to the same expectations I had of all of the other seven releases. It’s a great read for around age eight, but I have to say, I enjoyed it as much as eight year olds probably would. The book, Shrunk, is an epic, one of a kind sci-fi adventure with a funny twist. It’s actually really sad, but has such a lovely ending, with lots of unexpected humour!

All in all, I would really recommend it; to little people and the teens- it’s an awesome, small novel. But there’s a catch… once you’ve read this, you’ll really want to have Shrinking powers! I know I do! (But obviously I wouldn’t use them to shrink a planet, I now know the consequences!).

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!