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Book Review: One Of Us by Jeannie Waudby

Published 5th February 2015 by Chicken House books.

24777962Goodreads Synopsis: When K narrowly survives a bomb attack, she agrees to go undercover to spy on the Brotherhood, the radical young group held responsible, and whom she’s determined to bring to justice. But whilst living among them, soon even enemies become real people. And when she falls in love, K discovers that some things are not black and white …
What’s right – and who’s wrong? Someone’s always to blame.
From debut author, Jeannie Waudby, comes a nail-biting contemporary drama set in a modern society divided by violence, prejudice and distrust. One of Us is a topical YA thriller about young love and religious intolerance – can one isolated girl learn to understand who she is and where she stands in such a world.

My Review: I was eagerly anticipating reading One Of Us, and I really enjoyed it, despite taking so long to finish it due to exam revision!

One Of Us is a gripping début. It’s the story of K Child, an orphaned teenager who is asked by an officer, who saves her from a bomb attack, to go undercover in a Brotherhood school to uncover a terrorist group. K’s city is divided between the citizens and the Brotherhood, who are a religious minority that aren’t tolerated because of past terrorist events.

One Of Us really hits home because of its concept, because it can easily be applied to the prejudice in today’s world, and how we treat people based on their backgrounds. The parallels between Jeannie Waudby’s fictional city and our real world were so strong, which made it feel so realistic – and slightly unnerving…

The plot swept me up from the first pages, where K is on the train to school when a bomb explodes and her life is turned upside down. I’ve had to spend a lot of time on school-work lately, but otherwise I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have put the book down at all! K develops a lot throughout the story and I grew to really like her, as she navigated a Brotherhood society and had to question everything she’d been told all her life. I’m not too sure on how I felt about the love story that grew in One Of Us, though I’m sure other readers will adore it.

I think the only thing I would’ve changed about the book was the ending. There’s a lot to take in, in the last fifty pages, and that plot twists was completely unexpected – but I wished the truth K uncovered was explained more. It was really shocking and I would have loved to read more about the story she finds.

Overall, One Of Us was a really riveting read; the kind of book you want to read in one go – I was drawn in from the first pages (and then reluctantly pulled away because revision meh). There were a few things I’m still mulling over, but I really recommend it if you’re a fan of hard-hitting, contemporary thrillers like Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses!

My Rating:

three and a half

I received a copy of One Of Us from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

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Book Review: Vendetta by Catherine Doyle

Published January 1st 2015 by Chicken House Books.

22317508Goodreads Synopsis: When it comes to revenge, love is a dangerous complication.With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell’s life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys’ dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties – the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.

My Review: I was so excited to read Doyle’s début, Vendetta, when it came through the letterbox! All of the online buzz described it as a tense and gripping retelling of Romeo and Juliet, in suburban Chicago, with a Mafia twist. And if that doesn’t sound like the most insanely awesome idea for a book, then you’re wrong. 😀

I loved the beginning chapters of the story. From the first sentence, there’s a strangely chilling mystery. I found myself completely sucked into the story; I started Vendetta on a train, and somehow got through sixty pages, then (reluctantly) put it away. It was difficult to stop reading!

During the first chapters I had grown to really like the main character, and really feel for her; the mysterious, vague foreshadowing about her father’s story kept me reading, as I was sure it was somehow linked to the new family that moves into the town.

Sophie felt realistic for a lot of the story… though, I did get really annoyed at a lot of parts, where the she is too busy swooning over the dudes even after she’s seen REALLY SCARY STUFF relating to them. Like… I would have run far away at some of the things that happen based around the new boys in town: Not gone running to them. Maybe that’s just me…? I just found her reactions so weird and at a couple of points I just wanted to yell, because seriously, stop swooning for a sec and look PROPERLY at these dudes.

Anyhow, minus some of Sophie’s actions which confused me: I did really enjoy the story. It had the perfect setting, and everything was revealed in really clever ways. There were lots of unpredictable moments and I was up all night finishing Vendetta. The story has that chilling, foreshadow-y feeling throughout and the story spiralled very quickly into a dark and violent crime story. The new family that move in, including the five mysterious new brothers, were so interesting to read about. The story made time to build a great back-story for each one of them, which was brilliant; while maintaining a good enough pace to keep me engrossed.

Overall, I am very mixed about some bits of the book, but in general it was an enjoyable book and an exceptional début. I finished it thinking, whoa. I adored Catherine Doyle’s writing, and I would love to read more by her in the future. Some things were left unsolved in Vendetta, which I know will be explored more in the next two books (Vendetta is the first in a trilogy). I think I will carry on with the trilogy, as I’m just very interested to see what direction Doyle will take her daring, action-packed story in.

My Rating:

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I received a copy of Vendetta from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.