You Against Me - Jenny Downham
When Mikey’s sister claims a boy assaulted her at a party, his world of work and girls begins to fall apart.
When Ellie’s brother is charged with the crime, but says he didn’t do it, her world of revision, exams and fitting in at a new school begins to unravel.
When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide. Brave and unflinching, this is a novel of extraordinary skillfulness and almost unbearable tension. It’s a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it’s a book about love - for one’s family and for another.
I bought this book because I’m currently doing exams, and where a lot of the time I like reading sci-fi and genres like that, I thought I would get a book I could just read without really thinking a lot, seeing as I’m doing enough of that as it is.
I’m glad this was the one I picked, as it was a really easy read, it made me want to read on, and it had an interesting story line. I liked the fact that the story was written both from what Mikey was doing and what Ellie was doing, so you found out what was going on from both sides, and I was happy you found out what had actually happened at the end, but it would have been nice to have known the result of the court case.
Before I Die - Jenny Downham | 11/06/2012 - 12/06/2012
“Sixteen year old Tessa is going to die. And she’s made a list of ten things she wants to do in the time she has left.
But getting what you want isn’t easy. And getting what you want doesn’t always give you what you need. And sometimes the most unexpected things become important.
Uplifting, life-affirming, joyous - this extraordinary novel celebrates what it is to be alive by confronting what it’s really like to die.”
I haven’t cried this much at a book in a long time. I knew it was going to be a sad, but imagining what it must be like for Tessa was really heartbreaking. It was beautifully written, interesting the whole way through, and I think reading it in two days proves it’s a book you can’t really put down.
I really enjoyed it, because it’s the kind of book I usually find quite predictable and uninteresting, but it was really gripping and real and beautiful. It really makes you realise that you only have one life and you really need to live it.
The Giver - Lois Lowry | 19/03/12 - 21/03/12
“Jonas inhabits a seemingly ideal world: a world without conflict, poverty, unemployment, divorce, injustice, or inequality. It is a time in which family values are paramount, teenage rebellion is unheard of, and even good manners are a way of life.
December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve year old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation.
But Jonas has been chosen for something special; when his selection of Receiver of the Memory leads him to an unnamed man - the man called only the Giver - he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.”
The Giver is one of those books that’s called a ‘modern classic’, and I can see why, because I think it was one of the first books which properly investigated the genre of dystopian. It’s one of my favourite genres really, so I was really intrigued to read it, even though it’s more of a childrens book.
It looked at a really interesting way of future community; the black and white world in which Jonas lived, where jobs, mates and children were chosen for a person by someone else. There was no love, no colour, no music, and no real strong feelings. When Jonas was chosen to be the Receiver, and all of these new feelings of everything were given to him, it must have been so hard for him to cope in his community where everyone was so naive.
I think the fact that it was a childrens book made it harder to explore some of the themes, and being used to the main protagonist being the staple age of sixteen as they are in most books, with Jonas being only 11 years old seemed very strange. Sometimes it was very obvious that it was a childrens book and not a young adult/adult book, because some of the themes seemed played down a lot which was a shame.
I think the idea was brilliant but like a lot of books read recently, it had the potential for a lot more. However, I think with this book, and with its short length too, it was much more about the idea and what it makes you think than the way in which it is written.
Overall, I feel that it was a really thought provoking read for what it was, and it really gives the reader a lot to think about.
Divergent - Veronica Roth | 24/2/2012 - 28/2/2012
“One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs and determines your loyalties…forever.
When sixteen-year-old Tris makes her choice, she cannot foresee how drastically her life will change. Or that the perfect society in which she lives is about to unfold into a dystopian world of electrifying decisions, stunning consequences, heartbreaking betrayals and unexpected romance.
One choice can transform you.”
I’m a super fan of dystopian novels, so be prewarned that I might be slightly biased towards this book. I thought it was really interesting how they had the factions - it also made me realise that a lot of good books give you something to pick, so you can relate to it, ask yourself the question ‘which one would I be in?’
I could really feel sorry for Tris when she had to make her decision of which faction to join; give up her family to have some thrill in her life, or live the same boring way for the rest of her life, with the safety of her family. I personally think she made the right decision, because deep down she didn’t perfectly fit any faction, but it was most useful to her being Dauntless. It gave her the strength she needed later on in the book, and the bravery she will need ultimately need in the next two books.
I’m so excited that Divergent is becoming a trilogy, because I’ll be really interested to see how Roth saves the city, what happens to the Abnegation and Dauntless now they have nowhere to go, and if all the Erudite are corrupted, or if it’s just within the government; whether some of them can redeem themselves.
The Host - Stephanie Meyer | 4/2/2012 - 5/2/2012
“Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.
Wanderer, the invading ‘soul’ who has been given Melanie’s body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she’s never met.
As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.”
First off, I would like to specify how this book is not Twilight. I think people have extreme reservations about Meyer, and rightly too, but this book, although possessing some similarities to Twilight in the love/happy ending side of things, overall it is actually a really interesting book.
I think one of the things I personally enjoy most about the book is that you can see the struggle Wanda is going for, but at the same time you feel so sympathetic for Melanie. By making Wanda the protagonist though, it makes the reader less likely to side completely with the humans, the way you might otherwise feel if you were reading from the point of view of one of the survivors already living with Uncle Jeb.
A reason I would criticise is mainly because of the ‘and they all lived happily ever after’ type ending that Meyer is known for, and although I’m not saying that I enjoying all my favourite characters being killed off, I think in some ways it’s only realistic for some main characters to die.
Overall I think the idea of the book is completely brilliant, and the storyline is quite gripping; I think it would have a lot more fans if it was written by another author. But I would definitely suggest you give it a chance.
The Fault In Our Stars | 14/1/2012 - 15/1/2012
Flawless. John Green is completely flawless. You know you read some books, are you go away thinking that it was a good book, and you enjoyed it, and you wouldn’t mind reading something like that again. Then there are the books, which after you finish reading them, you feel that your view on the world has shifted, just a little bit. Those are the books that John Green writes.
Seriously, after hearing him read the first chapter on the live youtube stream he did, I knew I had to read it, because it just sounded brilliant. And it was.
I think what I loved most about this book was that when I started reading it, I was so sure how it was going to end, and then what actually happened kind of hit me off guard and completely knocked me. I love books that surprise you, and this definitely did that. Oh, and of course there were tears. There were lots of tears.
Overall I think this might actually be my favourite John Green book so far, because while reading it I just felt so connected to Hazel, and I could see her pain and her getting annoyed, and she was just a completely brilliant person.
The Accidental Billionaires - Ben Mezrich | 23/12/2011 - 14/1/2012
If you are a fan of The Social Network, this is a must read. It shows you where the ideas for the film derived from, and it’s really interesting to see what they chose to keep in, what they chose to leave out, how they edited it and trying to figure out why.
It also gives a slightly less - if still not particularly - biased view on the whole Mark/Eduardo/Sean situation, because I know The Social Network definitely frames Sean and partly Mark as the bad guy, and Eduardo as ‘in the right’, but if you read this then you can see slightly more where Sean was coming from when he did what he did, and you can also see just how passionate Mark is about everything (if you weren’t 100% sure before).
Obviously a lot of the book is based on guesswork; ‘we can imagine’ and ‘this could have happened’ because of the main protagonists not wanting to get involved with the book, I presume, which does mean that maybe everything isn’t 100% factual, but a lot of sources were used, along with interviews, emails, texts and other documents.
All in all, I think as a fan of the film it was worth a read, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for everyone.
#the accidental billionaires #ben mezrich #facebook #the social network #review
Exodus - Julie Bertagna | 23/8/2011 - 7/9/2011
I loved this book - again, one of my favourite book genres, and a massive hype around the book so I was expecting it. It was a great mix of end of the world drama, new world gadgets and relationships between family, friends and loved ones.
I like the narrator, Mara, which made the book infinitely easier to read, because lately I’ve had a problem with disliking the protagonist in books I read, making me dislike the book generally more. Anyway, she’s a headstrong girl of 15, and she’s losing her home in the year 2100 due to global warming.
As the book goes on, you get to see how she handles relationships with others, you see her go through loss and a little gain, you see her lose old friendships and gain new ones, and it’s amazing to see her thought process through all of it, and what she makes of the netherworld and New Mungo and the noospace, seeing as she’s never stepped off her own island before.
One thing I would possibly say was that I would like to have seen more of New Mungo, purely because I love books like Uglies, stuff which creates a whole new futuristic world, and what there was of it was really interesting and drew me in.
I cannot wait to read the sequel, I’ve ordered it off Amazon already.
Life As We Knew It - Susan Pfeffer | 18/7/2011 - 27/7/2011
This is my kind of book, what with the dystopian theme and the blurb telling of ‘end of the world’ and ‘asteroids crashing into the moon’. As well as this, there was a massive hype around it and a load of people I spoke to said it was really good, so I was really excited to read it.
However, I really didn’t like the style it was written in. I’ve never really been one for enjoying books written in a diary style, and the protagonist I just found a little annoying, and she was supposed to be sixteen but to me she seemed a lot younger than that, so immediately that was a big put off for me.
I found that to start with I enjoyed the book less, but towards the end I found it better. I think because it became slightly more realistic at that point, that could have possibly been the reason. But another big fault I had with it, because I’m so into science, was what the implications would have actually been if something like that happened to the moon, I don’t think were actually portrayed in the book.
I think that maybe it should have had a lot more scientific research into it, because in my eyes it seemed a bit…off, with what was happening.
I think I would’ve liked to see the book written in Matt’s point of view possibly, because I really enjoyed him as a character and I think it could have been interesting to see things from his point of view.
Overall I was slightly disappointed with it, as I was expecting big things, because I think it was a really good idea for a book, but it wasn’t written as well as it could have been.