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How I live Now (Rosoff, Meg)

3/10

How I Live Now

 

Synopsis

Imagine the perfect summer. Imagine blossom everywhere. The grass so green you can taste it. The sun on your skin. The rich sweet smell of honeysuckle. A hand touching your leg. Falling for someone you shouldn’t. Imagine the world exploding. A perfect summer blown apart.

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

I have very mixed views and feelings about this book. Content wise (i.e. plot wise) it was faultless up to part two. It had just the right mixture of desire, longing and adventure in it to grab my attention. The problem I had with the book is Rosoff’s style of writing. For a start, part one of the book, which is the majority, contained absolutely no speech marks, sentences that were ridiculously long to read and get your head around and capital letters that had no place being capitalised. This made ‘How I live now’ a very tiring and difficult book to read despite its short length. I also didn’t understand why the first part seemed almost punctuation-less in comparison to part two which contained the right punctuation. It could be that Rosoff is trying to show the passage of time between the first part and the second part, however the main language used by Daisy still stays relatively the same, it’s just the use of punctuation that noticeably changes.

I also thought that the jump between part one and part two was unnecessary and confusing. I had no idea what happened in the six years between when Daisy answers the phone to Daisy returning to New York besides the very brief explanation that was given in part two. This left me feeling underwhelmed and disappointed in the story.

If this review hasn’t entirely put you off, it is still worth a read just to see how another author describes a fictional third world war.

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Dead Man’s Cove – St John, Lauren

9/10

Dead Man's Cove

 

Synopsis

Orphaned Laura is sent to live with her Uncle in Cornwall, convinced that a life of adventure is hers at last. But everywhere she turns she’s confronted with mysteries. Is Tariq, the shopkeeper’s silent son, a friend or an enemy? Why does her Uncle seem intent on erasing his own past? And why is everyone so afraid of Dead Man’s Cove?

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

This is a definite must read for readers who enjoy Enid Blyton’s adventure-packed Famous Five and Secret Seven books! It was packed with action and mystery which kept me hooked for more. I love the main character, Laura. She is a brave and strong-headed girl who isn’t afraid to ask questions or express her feelings. She is a role model for a lot of female readers, and males can also admire her feistiness and bravery.

I really enjoyed Lauren St John’s White Giraffe series, so I was excited to start reading this one and it didn’t disappoint! I found I actually preferred this book because of the adventure and mystery that surrounded Dead Man’s Cove. I would definitely recommend this book to Junior Fiction readers but enjoyment can also be found by Young Adult readers who are looking for a lighter read.

Buy this book on Amazon: 01 Dead Man’s Cove (Laura Marlin Mysteries)

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Lone Wolf (Muchamore, Robert)

7/10

Lone-Wolf

 

Synopsis

Fay has spent eighteen months locked up in a Secure Training Centre. Drug deals and rip-offs are the only things this teenager knows. Now she’s back on the street, looking to settle old scores. Cherub agents Ryan and Ning need Fay’s knowledge to unearth a major drug importer. They’re trained professionals with one essential advantage: even experienced criminals never suspect that children are spying on them. But Fay’s made a lot of enemies and she’s running out of time.

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

I have read all of the other books in both series 1 and series 2 of Cherub plus the Henderson Boys series which is a prequel to the Cherub series, so I knew what sort of action this book was going to hold before I had even begun to read it. This last book in series 2 was the most action packed and thrilling book of any of Muchamore’s books. It was packed with adventure, drugs, scandals and explosions and Ryan and Ning, two Cherub agents, try and harvest knowledge about a leading drug dealer. With the help of Fay, a thirteen year-old with a fiery temper and extensive drug-knowledge who wants to get back at the drug dealer for ultimately killing her mum and aunt, Ryan and Ning find the information that they need.

I would definitely recommend this book to teens as it has a lot of violence but is a worth-while read.

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Haddon, Mark

7/10

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

 

Synopsis

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger’s Syndrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

This book follows the story of Christopher; he is not your average teenager. He has Asperger’s Syndrome which means that his take on the world is different to everyone else’s. Loud noises upset him, lying causes his brain to overload and he appears to be a mini maths genius, using counting to calm himself down in certain situations.

The chapter numbers of this book are prime numbers, increasing like 2, 3, 5, 7 etc. This automatically caught my attention and Christopher soon went on to explain that he likes prime numbers.

This book gives a real insight into the mind of someone with Asperger’s Syndrome which could help many readers understand the condition a lot more and be more supportive to those with the illness.

I really like this book. I thought it was very original and quirky. Christopher, as the narrator, makes the story much more enjoyable than if someone else was just commenting on Christopher’s, somewhat absurd, behaviour. As the narrator is Christopher, his actions, feelings and thoughts are better explained.

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Mind Games – Teri, Terry

10/10

Mind Games

 

Synopsis

Luna has a secret. She is different, but no one must find out. Because in this world you must play their game, or it could cost you your life. Will Luna discover her true destiny in time to save the ones she loves?

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

This book was fantastic from beginning to end! It had me hooked from page one. It was a constant page-turner and I found that I couldn’t stop reading once I’d started. The chapters are relatively short in comparison to a lot of novels that I have read which suits the fast-pace of the book and keeps you reading.

This novel is set in the future where the majority of the citizens have implants which allows them to ‘live’ in virtual worlds. In a world where technology is becoming more and more dominant in our everyday lives, the futuristic setting of ‘Mind Games’ is entirely believable and realistic. It makes you think about whether virtual reality will be implemented into our lives in decades to come. Technology is ever evolving at a great speed which means that this book could be an accurate representation of what life will be like soon, or in ten, twenty or even thirty years’ time.

The only fault that I have with the book is that I found the ending very abrupt and I still had unanswered questions once I’d finished reading it. If you’ve read my review of The Death Cure by James Dashner then you will know how I hate ‘unfinished’ endings. However, this novel had so many merits, I didn’t let the ending ruin my judgement and rating of this book.

I would definitely recommend this book to older readers in the ‘Young Adult’ bracket, however I think younger teens would also find this novel an interesting read. It is an addictive book but the ending is emotional.

Amazon: Mind Games

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Treasure Island (Stevenson, Robert Louis)

6/10

Treasure Island

Synopsis

Treasure Island is an exciting tale of pirates, buried treasure and danger. It tells the story of young Jim Hawkins and his adventures in the search for the buried treasure of the evil Captain Flint.

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

I had to read this book for an English assignment and at first I was unsure as to whether I would like it or not because as a general rule, I don’t read many classics. However, I was soon hooked on the story line and found myself following eagerly the adventures of Jim Hawkins as he sets out on an adventure to find the treasure of Captain Flint. This book had just the right amount of adventure and it was action packed right from the very beginning.

This book was a pleasant surprise for me and I found myself enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. I would definitely recommend this book to younger readers as it is not a heavy book, but is definitely a classic that people should read before they reach their teenager years.

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The Fall of the Hotel Dumort – The Bane Chronicles, Book #7 (Clare, Cassandra)

6/10

The Fall of the Hotel Dumort

 

Synopsis

Her silver-blond hair was long and down, looking wild. She patted the end of the bed. This was not the greeting he’d been expecting. This was not the Camille he remembered, or even the one had seen in passing.

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

The seventh story in the Bane Chronicles. This story shows how drugs can even negatively affect Vampires who aren’t supposed to become ‘ill’.

The sixth book in the series is here.

The eighth book in the series is here.

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The London Eye Mystery – Dowd, Siobhan

6/10

The London Eye Mystery

Synopsis

Monday 24 May, 11.32 a.m. Ted and Kat watch their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye. The pod rises from the ground. Monday 24 May, 12.02 p.m. The pod lands and the doors open. People exit – but where is Salim? When Aunty Gloria’s son, Salim, mysteriously disappears from a sealed pod on the London Eye, everyone is frantic. Has he spontaneously combusted? [Ted’s theory.] Has he been kidnapped? [Aunt Gloria’s theory.] Is he even still alive? [The family’s unspoken fear.] Even the police are baffled. Ted, whose brain runs on its own unique operating system, and his older sister, Kat, overcome their prickly relationship to become sleuthing partners. They follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin, while time ticks dangerously by…

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

This book was okay. It offered readers an enjoyable reading experience following Ted, who has Asperger Syndrome, his older sister Kat, who was named after Hurricane Katrina, and Salim, their cousin who is moving to New York.

When they are offered a ticket to the London Eye by a stranger, Ted and Kat allow Salim to go up on his own whilst they wait for him to return. Ted watches the pod rise and fall again on its cycle, making a note of the town he went up and the time his pod came down. His pod came down but missing Salim. They know begin their search for their missing cousin, travelling all over London to try and find him. They all have their own theories as to what could have happened to Salim but no one knows for certain.

I would recommend this book to pre-teens as the language used is not difficult to understand or hard-going to read. Although this book feels like it is aimed at younger readers, I think all ages would enjoy this book but appreciate it in different ways. Younger readers are more likely to appreciate the story line as a whole, whilst slightly older readers are likely to appreciate the quirkiness of the characters and the panic of the situation.

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Messenger of Fear, Messenger of Fear Series, Book 1

10/10

 Messenger of Fear

Synopsis

He is the messenger. He offers you a game. Play or Pay. “Who are you?” That was the first question I asked the boy in front of me. The pale, solemn young man in the black coat with small silver skulls for buttons. But he didn’t answer it. Instead he answered the question I never asked, but which was nevertheless what I really wanted to know. Am I dead? No. Not dead, he told me. But surely not quite alive, either. How could I be? I remembered my name – Mara. But, standing in that ghostly place, still shuddering at the memory of the creeping yellow mist that had awoken me in that strange silent land, I could recall nothing else about myself. And then the games began.

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

When Mara wakes up in a land that seems to be full of a yellow mist, she doesn’t know where she is, who she is, even what her name is. Her memories appear to have vanished and she knows nothing of who she was before she awoke in the mist. Then she meets the ‘Messenger of Fear’ who slowly begins to tell her who she is and why she is there.

This book was absolutely amazing! I was hooked from the first page and couldn’t stop reading until I finished it a day after starting it! I loved Michael Grant’s ‘Gone’ series, so I had high hopes for this book. I have to say, this book outshone the entire of the ‘Gone’ series. It was full of messages about anti-bullying and making the right decisions in life and the punishments that are given out by the Messenger of Fear are a metaphor for the consequences that can happen as a result of the bad choices that you make.

It was an incredibly thought provoking book with well-developed characters and a rounded plot. This could have worked as a singular novel, but I’m pleased to discover that there are more to the Messenger of Fear series, as I loved it that much!

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The Land of Stories Book #1 – The Wishing Spell (Colfer, Chris)

10/10

The Wishing Spell

 

Synopsis

Alex and Conner tossed and turned with thoughts of the Wishing Spell all night, but there was no decision to make. If the journal offered a possible way home, they would have to do anything and everything it instructed them to. They had no choice. They were about to embark on the greatest scavenger hunt of their lives.

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

When Alex and Conner Bailey are given a fairy tale book called ‘The Land of Stories’ by their grandmother, they find out that the stories they were told when they were younger still live on in another dimension. When they go into the Land of Stories, they meet some of their heroes like Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk. In a race against time to collect the Wishing Spell items before Snow White’s evil stepmother, they meet the legendary fairy tale characters whose stories, they believed, had ended.

This book was perfectly paced from beginning right until the end; there were some slow bits but the correct amount of fast paced, action packed events to counter-balance the slower bits. Whilst reading this book, you will feel all sorts of emotions: dread, fear, elation and sorrow as Colfer’s writing makes the reader feel as though they are actually living the events. I loved this book and although the characters are much younger than me, and this book is likely to be aimed at a younger age, I enjoyed every moment, as I too, met some of my favourite fairy tale characters. Chris Colfer manages to make you feel as though you are meeting the characters in person, which not many authors are able to do and this is partly what makes this book so special, is that from the moment you start reading it, you become oblivious to the actual world around you, until you finish the book.

I would highly recommend this book to people of all ages. It holds appeal for a wide variety of ages. For those who are slightly older, it is an opportunity to relive some of your childhood stories in another dimension, where all the characters live in the same world together and their stories continue and for those who are within the age group that it is aimed at, it is a truly unique twist on traditional fairy tales which will leave you feeling stunned and excited, eager to find out what is going to happen next.

Buy on Amazon: Land of Stories: 01: The Wishing Spell

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