Tag Archives: winter

The Winter TBR pile

IMG_2184

The last months of the year are my favourite: Halloween, Christmas, great opportunities to get pretty pictures… And the perfect weather to curl up on the sofa with a blanket, tea, and a book! (:

A couple of weeks ago I sorted out some books I want to get around to reading the soonest, and books I think will be the best to curl up with leading up to Christmas. Some are by favourite authors, and some are books I’ve heard great things about and really want to try out. I’ve picked nine (One is split into three volumes), which may be a little over-ambitious as I have lots of ARCs too, and homework… But I’m very excited about reading them all, if I can manage to!

IMG_2395

IMG_2397I’ve owned all of the books I’ve picked for quite a while but haven’t gotten around to them, mainly because the majority are hardbacks or very big books that I can’t carry to school and back. I can’t wait to curl up with these, though! Most of what I’ve picked are fantasies and adventure novels, for the pure escapism. I’m probably the most excited for Fahrenheit 451 at the moment, as it’s a classic I’ve been meaning to read for ages – and my copy is a really gorgeous Folio Society edition.

What do you recommend I read first? What books will you be curling up with over the last weeks of the year? (:

REVOLVER

By Marcus Sedgwick, published by Orion Books.

RevolverGoodreads synopsis: 1910. A cabin north of the Arctic Circle. Fifteen-year-old Sig Andersson is alone. Alone, except for the corpse of his father, who died earlier that day after falling through a weak spot on the ice-covered lake. His sister, Anna, and step-mother, Nadya, have gone to the local town for help. Then comes a knock at the door. It’s a man, the flash of a revolver’s butt at his hip, and a mean glare in his eyes. Sig has never seen him before but Wolff claims to have unfinished business with his father. As Sig gradually learns the awful truth about Wolff’s connection to his father, Sig finds his thoughts drawn to a certain box hidden on a shelf in the storeroom, in which lies his father’s prized possession – a revolver. When Anna returns alone, and Wolff begins to close in, Sigs choice is pulled into sharp focus. Should he use the gun, or not?

My review: REVOLVER was such a breath-taking read! At only about 200 pages, I devoured the whole thing in a day, and really couldn’t get enough of the suspenseful story. It wasn’t exactly ghostly, or spooky, like Marcus Sedgwick’s other titles that I’ve read so it was like a fresh new read in a very different genre from one of my favourite authors. The story began with Sig, a boy living in an Arctic wasteland who has just discovered the frozen dead body of his father who recently fell into a lake and froze to death. He brings the body inside and leaves it to thaw on the table, obviously not so sure what to do with it. A bit grim, but that was to my liking.

The first 75 or so pages were a little confusing for me, as the chapters kept switching back and forth to Sig’s father’s life when Sig was a child this past story leading up to how this mysterious man has turned up at Sig’s door, which happens near the end. That got a bit confusing, as I was reading this book on and off (in between school lessons!) all day, and it was hard to get used to the constantly switching times in the chapters. About halfway through, I finally grasped the concept properly which was a very good thing, as the flashbacks in the last half of the book were crucial to the current plot! I loved how the plot was centered around this one gun, that could change anything at any moment. It added a lot of suspense and climatic scenes to the book. Although fast paced, it was very enjoyable.

In 200 pages, I would have expected the character to have been pretty basic, with not much background or personality. However, Marcus Sedgwick just seems to have this way with fleshing-out characters and making them so real, in short stories. Sig had a great background, because his childhood and upbringing was cleverly revealed in the flashback-like chapters. His personality shone through in the darkest points of the book- especially when he was forced to make a decision involving the mysterious man and the Revolver at the ending. I really grew to like him, and supported him throughout.

Overall, REVOLVER was a heart-stopping, climatic adventure from beginning to end. It had a brilliant focus on how guns can change a family around, and was told very cleverly through two separate time periods in alternating chapters. I really loved the characters, both of Sig and his father, and would really recommend the book to those looking for a psychological thriller  to curl up with right now as the weather is slowly getting a lot colder here in the UK and starting to resemble the arctic wasteland (at least it is in London :)).

My Rating:

ratingsystem1ratingsystem1ratingsystem1ratingsystemhalf

I borrowed a copy of REVOLVER from my local library.

One Crow Alone

By S. D. Crockett, published by Macmillan.

One Crow Alone (After the Snow, Book #2)

“A winter’s day has become a winter’s nightmare…”

Teenage Magda Krol is living in her quiet, Polish village until strange men arrive. She hides in her cellar, and upon emerging realises that they were not thieves, but people evacuating the village because of the harsh weather! She ventures across the frozen wasteland to the next village, in the hope of getting on the next evacuation truck, when she encounters Ukrainian boy Ivan. Together they smuggle themselves onto a truck bound for London, where they will search for Magda’s only remaining relative; her mother. But London is a whole lot worse than Poland…

*REVIEW MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS :)*

I really loved S. D. Crockett’s first book, After The Snow, and I loved this one just as much. Although I expected the sequel (Well… technically this is a Prequel) to be about the further adventures of Willo and Mary- but it wasn’t. In fact, they only had three short chapters in total. The whole of the book was about a minor character, Magda (Willo’s step-mum), from ATS. It was unexpected, but great to delve into a story of a different character. It’s was really great to see how she accidentally fell into Willo’s future.

The character of Madga was great; she made for a really adventurous, determined protagonist! She was really love-able, and I was rooting for her, hoping that she would find her mother, all the way through the book. I also really liked Ivan, the love interest- although when he decided to run off and leave Magda alone my mind really changed about him. He was portrayed as quite caring, and always stuck by Magda’s side- so it kind of confused me as to why he left for no given reason. The way all of Willo’s family fell into the story at the end was absolutely brilliant, and quite unexpected, too!

As for the plot, it was great, and I really enjoyed the adventure and action. It was dark and scary, and all about hope, survival, and loss. There was even an essence of romance in there too! I was also given a much better insight into S. D. Crockett’s dystopic world, actually giving us the date in which it’s set (late 2030’s and onward!). Overall it’s a really great, thrilling read from an author I love. Highly recommended!