Tag Archives: media

Book Review: If You Were Me by Sam Hepburn

Published 2nd April 2015 by Chicken House.

22892748Goodreads Synopsis: From the author of CHASING THE DARK comes a thrilling young teen crime mystery, guaranteed to keep you guessing until the very end.

Not long after Aliya’s family escapes Afghanistan for Britain, her brother is accused of a bomb attack. Aliya is sure of his innocence, but when plumber’s son Dan finds a gun in their bathroom, what’s she to think?
Dan has his own reasons for staying silent: he’s worried the gun might have something to do with his dad. Thrown together by chance, they set out to uncover a tangled and twisted truth.

My Review: Recently, I’ve read quite a few books based around religion, intolerance and terrorism – so I was very excited about getting to Sam Hepburn’s latest title, which is along the same lines. I really enjoyed it!

Aliya is an instantly loveable character; from the moments we see her forced to leave her home, to the closing pages. Her chemistry with Dan was great. I was a bit nervous watching them develop as I was certain it would end up in a love story, but I’m really glad it didn’t. The story is focused on finding the truth about Aliya’s brother – and told through Aliya and Dan’s switching perspectives, which were really insightful.

I am so glad that so many books are being written on similar themes lately (see also: You’re Not Proper and One Of Us) as terrorism and victimisation are things happening every single day. If You Were Me tackles stereotypes and the way the media portrays events expertly and brutally honestly – within a tense and gripping plot.

The plot was incredibly well paced and engrossing. Solving the mystery was such a thrill ride – I guessed some elements, but there were a lot of surprises. I think the only problem I had was that I lost track of characters at points: There’s an intricate web of antagonists and allies in If You Were Me and I got a little mixed up sometimes (partially blaming that on reading distractions though…:P).

Overall, If You Were Me was a lot more than I’d expected. It’s a totally gripping read with some unbelievable twists and turns that kept me hooked. With prominent themes of media portrayal, and terrorist attacks, I hope this gets a lot of attention as it’s a very relevant book. Definitely recommended if you’re looking for a nail-biting thriller, or something that’s very relatable.

My Rating:

four

 

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

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Book Review: Stitch Up by Sophie Hamilton

Published 1st May 2014 by Templar books.

20434644Goodreads Synopsis: Information is power, but image is everything…

Dasha Gold enjoys a life of indulgence, made possible by her powerful and wealthy parents. But this privilege comes at a price – extreme image control, including cosmetic surgery to transform her into a living logo for their brand.

Presented with a way out, Dasha embarks on a hunt for the truth that takes her across a divided and CCTV-dominated city, in the company of maverick Londoner Latif.

But money talks and the Golds own the media. Who can Dasha really trust?

My Review: When I started Stitch Up, I knew I was in for an action packed, thrilling read- but I think I underestimated just how action packed and thrilling it would be! Stitch Up had me completely hooked, right from the beginning.

The world building was so amazing. Stitch Up really stood out as a dystopia novel; Sophie Hamilton’s vision of a near-future London was so memorable. It’s controlled by media giants, visibly divided between the rich and the poor and is pretty much on the brink of a big-brother style society, with CCTV around every corner. In a lot of aspects, it is actually very similar to London right now, which gave it a really scary edge!

I really grew to like all of the characters- especially Latif, who’s the supporting character and the teenage, ‘rebel’ boy who saves Dasha from a dangerous London street just after she’s run away. I really did like Dasha; she’s in a really complex decision at the beginning of the book (should she run away, and be free but have to live as lower class and in the shadows, or should she stay with the Gold family, live a life of luxury… but have major plastic surgery to become a living logo?) and she felt very realistic, making really harsh decisions. She was quite relatable. One thing I didn’t really like about her though was the fact that she seemed snappy towards the people who help her, and cover up all of her traces.

The plot progressed in a way I wouldn’t have ever imagined! Every few chapters or so, just as the reader thinks they’ve got the resolution sussed out, there’s a shocking plot twist or event that changes the entire course of the story. It’s ridiculously clever, too. I loved the way everything came together towards the ending- all of the pretty complex drama fit together like a jigsaw and I was left gob-smacked, kicking myself for not sussing it out!

Overall, I really enjoyed Stitch Up. I began it hoping for a pretty fun read, and I got way more than what I expected. This is Sophie Hamilton’s début novel… And so I can’t wait to read more from her in the future (Especially the sequel to this book, Mob-Handed!). The characters are relatable, modern and generally just awesome. I found the plot scarily possible, and really interesting. I’ve never seen the topic of image, and media handled like this in a book before. I highly recommend Stitch Up if you’re looking for a new favourite thriller novel.

My Rating:

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