New To Cosy Books: On My Wishlist - A Weekly Meme

Carolyn at Book Chick City has passed over the reigns to weekly meme, On My Wishlist and I'll be hosting it right here at Cosy Books every Saturday!

This is a weekly event where we showcase the books that are top of our wishlists. Old, new or yet to be released titles are all welcome. And why keep it to books? Spot some awesome book accessory or related item that you can wait to own? Share that with us too. Feel free to take the meme button below for your post and don't forget to come back and add your post to the linky every Saturday so others can visit. 



I'll be taking over properly next week with my own post and a linky, but for anyone who finds their way here today via Book Chick City and would like to leave a link to their post in the comments please feel free! 

I look forward to seeing your posts next week! 

Book Review: Fateful by Claudia Gray


A tragic tale about falling in love on the world’s most infamous ill-fated sea voyage as heroine, Tess, discovers darker secrets that lie beneath the doomed crossing… and a hidden brotherhood that threaten to tear her lover from her forever. 


The RMS Titanic is the most luxurious ship ever built, but for eighteen-year-old Tess Davies it’s a prison. Travelling as a maid for the family she has served for years, Tess is trapped in their employ amid painful memories and family secrets. 


When she meets Alec, a handsome upper class passenger, Tess falls helplessly in love. But Alec has secrets of his own… and soon Tess is entangled in a dangerous game. A sinister brotherhood that will do anything to induct Alec into their mystical order has followed him onboard. And Tess is now their most powerful pawn. 


Tess and Alec fight the dark forces threatening to tear them apart, never realising that they will have to face an even greater peril before the journey is over… 


New York Times best-selling author Claudia Gray delivers adventure, dark paranormal suspense, alluring romance, and a truly surprise ending, set against the opulent backdrop of the Titanic's first — and last — voyage.(from Goodreads.com)

There's something hauntingly fascinating about the Titanic and her tragic maiden voyage. Even as the One Hundredth anniversary of its sinking approaches it still moves and shocks with its horrors and intrigues us with its passengers and their stories. When I first heard about Claudia Gray's Fateful last year I was both excited and dubious. Could she really pull off a story with a paranormal twist without being tasteless and disrespectful? I can understand why some people may feel not, although personally I thought she did a pretty good job on the whole and wasn't offended by it at all.

I haven't read Claudia Gray's previous Vampire themed series, so went into Fateful with no preconceptions at all. What did surprise me however was the historical detail. If I'm honest, I wasn't expecting too much but it actually became my favourite part of the story, to the point I wished the werewolves weren't included at all. She absolutely could have pulled this off without them I think and if Claudia ever decided to write a historical novel without mythical creatures, I'd absolutely be there to read it. I thought she brought the ship to life; the splendour, the class divide, the eclectic mix of passengers and the excitement and arrogance of it all. A few famous non-fictional passengers and other facts are littered throughout as background, giving the feel that Gray thoroughly researched and gave care to the story.

The plot of Fateful isn't altogether unlike the film Titanic and I did draw comparisons throughout. It's almost a reverse of Rose and Jack's story, instead it's main character Tess who is the poor steerage passenger and servant to a horrible, snobby aristocratic family disguising their many money issues. Suave and mysterious Alec is the first class gentleman who falls for the girl from 3rd class and instead of the Heart Of The Ocean Necklace, we have an ancient Initiation Knife. I read the most distressing part of the story at my daughters tennis lesson and was choking back sobs at the tragic romance and horror of that awful night. It got me thinking again who awful it must really have been- beyond imagination really. In that sense I thought Claudia Gray did justice to the story.

However, the Werewolves are a different matter. Like I said earlier, I could have done without them completely and at times they boarded on ridiculous. Especially the ending. This was almost like two books, where occasionally a werewolf would pop up and didn't really mesh with the rest at all. I'm not going to lie, I laughed a couple of times and cringed at others.

Luckily, the actual werewolf parts are surprisingly limited and for the most I really did enjoy the book. Claudia Gray's writing was involving and emotional enough, the romance was sweet and there was no hint of a love triangle anywhere (hurrah!) The characters were diverse and interesting as they should be and she brought to life a vivid image of the Titanic. Part brilliant and part plain silly, Fateful is a good read, if you can avoid looking too deeply into the ridiculousness of the werewolf story you'll probably enjoy it. I did.

Published by HarperCollins (UK) March 29th 2012
Thanks to the publishers for providing a copy for review.

Book Review: Mice by Gordon Reece

Shelley and her mom have been menaced long enough. Excused from high school where a trio of bullies nearly killed her, and still reeling from her parents' humiliating divorce, Shelley has retreated with her mother to the quiet of Honeysuckle Cottage in the countryside. Thinking their troubles are over, they revel in their cozy, secure life of gardening and books, hot chocolate and Brahms by the fire. But on the eve of Shelley's sixteenth birthday, an unwelcome guest disturbs their peace and something inside Shelley snaps. What happens next will shatter all their certainties-about their safety, their moral convictions, the limits of what they are willing to accept, and what they're capable of. 

Debut novelist Gordon Reece has written a taut tale of gripping suspense, packed with action both comic and terrifying. Shelley is a spellbinding narrator, and her delectable mix of wit, irony, and innocence transforms the major current issue of bullying into an edge- of-your-seat story of fear, violence, family loyalty, and the outer reaches of right and wrong. (From Goodreads.com) 



First of all can I start this review by mentioning how tactile and lovely the cover for this book is! The underground part is so velvety and smooth I couldn't stop stroking it as I was reading. There. Got that out the way...now on to the book.


In all honestly I wasn't sure that I was going to like this book when I first started it. It's told from fifteen year old Shelley's perspective but she doesn't read like a fifteen year old, or any that I've ever met. I found her a little patronising towards the reader and I struggled to feel much sympathy for a character who should absolutely be sympathised. Gordon Reece also uses the Mice comparison of Shelley and her Mother a bit too much, I got they were very shy, nervous people. I understood them. I didn't need it rammed down my throat. I found it a bit annoying for the first few chapters. 


However things move on quickly and all at once Mice becomes an unputdownable thriller and took turns I was not expecting at all. It takes quite a bit to surprise me, but this book certainly did. There is nothing predictable about it, that's for sure. Gordon Reece cleverly mixes the quaint and twee of it's characters and their home with shocking, violent and cold blooded murder and the comparison between the two creates a stunning tension that had me gripped.  


Mice is a tragic story of bullying and what can happen when people are pushed to their limit. It's not comfortable reading, and at times is very violent and gory. The character development of both Shelley and her mother is fantastic, despite the fact they grow more unrelatable and unlikable. This isn't a nice 'it all works out and things end happy ever after' story. However, I thought it was very well done, thought provoking and gripping and would recommend it! 


Published by Macmillan Children's books (UK) February 2012
Thanks to the publishers for sending a copy for review.

Book review: Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt

Ugly people don't have feelings. They're not like everyone else. They don't notice if you stare at them and turn away. And if they did notice, it wouldn't hurt them. They're not like real people. Or that's what I used to think. Before I learned... 


After the car crash that leaves her best friend dead, Jenna is permanently scarred. She struggles to rebuild her life, but every stare in the street, every time she looks in the mirror, makes her want to retreat further from the world. Until she meets Ryan. Ryan's a traveller. When he and his mother moor their narrow boat on the outskirts of a village, she tells him this time it will be different. He doesn't believe her; he can't imagine why this place shouldn't be as unwelcoming as the rest. Until he meets Jenna. But as Jenna and Ryan grow closer, repercussions from the crash continue to reverberate through the community. And then a body is found...(From Goodreads.com)

Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt is a sweet, thoughtful contemporary romance with a main character you can't help but fall head over heels for. After being injured in a horrific car accident which killed her best friend, fourteen year old Jenna is struggling to come to terms with the facial disfigurement she suffered when the car set on fire. Jarratt introduces Jenna at her lowest ebb and doesn't shirk from honestly showing us the bitterness and self consciousness she feels. I believed in Laura straight away.

The book is told in alternating chapters between Jenna and sixteen year old Ryan, who himself is an outcast in society due to his travelling background. I love this style, as I've said many times before, and Laura Jarratt perfectly captures both characters and allows us to get to know both. Ryan himself was for the most part charming. Intelligent and sensitive, he's the first person to see beyond Laura's scars due to his own experiences at being stereotyped. And there's a few shirt off moments to get reader's hearts beating. Especially when it's against the backdrop of a canal and narrow boat. This would have been my teen dream a few (ahem) years ago, I'm sure!

But I didn't always get on with Ryan as much as I wanted to. At times I found him a bit manipulative of Jenna and arrogant. I did like the fact her parents showed a great interest in this book and thought the relationship with both her mother and father were very well created and realistic, her dad being overbearingly protective and her Mum trying to keep the peace and understanding both sides. They could have been my own. I really enjoyed how Laura Jarratt  challenged stereotypes with Jenna and in particular Ryan and the message was clearly about looking deeper than the surface. I was a bit disappointed then that Ryan's Bi-polar suffering mother came across as a bit stereotyped, but that's perhaps due to her condition and character not being explored so very much. I would've liked to see and understand more of her and Ryan's relationship, especially as this is a determining factor to Ryan's personality.

With the alternating chapters and easy writing style I flew through Skin Deep in a couple of days. A little mystery also gave the book an edge and kept me turning pages. Laura Jarratt's debut is certain to wow fans of contemporary teen fiction and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

Published by Egmont (UK) March 2012
Thanks to the publishers for providing a copy for review

Skin Deep Blog Tour: How I Write My Characters by Laura Jarratt

Today as part of the UK Skin Deep blog tour I'm welcoming Laura Jarratt. Over to you Laura!

********

How I write my characters

There’s a lot of stuff in ‘How To’ books on writing about ways to make your characters vivid and real. You can carry out interviews with them, fill in questionnaires, write pen portraits, face match them to actors, create mood boards for them etc. I have to say I do none of those things. They would absolutely kill my writing stone dead.

Every main character for me starts with a line of dialogue and nothing else. The rest of who the character becomes springs from that and even I don’t know who they are until I start writing. All I have is that one line of their dialogue to go on. Sometimes they whisper their defining line in my ear before I put pen to paper; sometimes it doesn’t happen until my pen (yes, I still write longhand for first drafts) touches the paper and I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen…but then somehow that line is suddenly there and the character begins to weave him or herself.

With Jenna in Skin Deep, it was the line ‘Ugly people don’t have feelings.’ And that line of hers came first, defining the whole book. With Ryan, it was the line about his mother’s ex-boyfriend: ‘Chavez – sounded Mexican, actually from Bishop Stortford. He thought he was Che Guevara, if Che had spent his life permanently stoned and bumming around on a narrowboat.’ Ryan’s line was changed a little in a later edit so that now he says that in a conversation with Cole.

I had no idea Ryan’s mum even had a partner called Cole until I was scribbling Ryan’s opening chapter and this came out: ‘Mum’s a vegan. When people asked what a vegan is, Cole always said, “It’s someone who farts a lot.”’ Cole was a completely unplanned character, even in terms of his existence! I’ve glad Ryan invented him though as he was lots of fun to write.

You’ve probably worked out by now that I don’t plan my books in advance. I start writing and they happen. All the plot flows out of the characters – I only ever have the loosest structure in my head until at least a third of the book is written and I know them all really well. It takes me ages to get started on a new book because I have to mess around until I find the characters’ true voices so I do a lot of re-writing for the first ten thousand words until I’m happy they sound as they should. It’s too easy when you’re writing in first person to let your own voice intrude so I try to eliminate that as fast as possible.

So when you read that Ryan sneaks off behind his mum’s back to eat dead cow burgers with Cole, I didn’t know that either until just that point in the book. Or that Jenna and Lindsay both had ponies – I didn’t know that until Jenna took apples from the kitchen for them on her way to the canal before she meets Ryan for the first time. For me, something happens when the pen inks the paper – people are created and I don’t know how. To borrow a line from Shakespeare in Love: ‘It’s a mystery.’ But it’s the best part of writing and the biggest buzz J

 Skin Deep By Laura Jarratt Ugly people don't have feelings. They're not like everyone else. They don't notice if you stare at them and turn away. And if they did notice, it wouldn't hurt them. They're not like real people. Or that's what I used to think. Before I learned... 

After the car crash that leaves her best friend dead, Jenna is permanently scarred. She struggles to rebuild her life, but every stare in the street, every time she looks in the mirror, makes her want to retreat further from the world. Until she meets Ryan. Ryan's a traveller. When he and his mother moor their narrow boat on the outskirts of a village, she tells him this time it will be different. He doesn't believe her; he can't imagine why this place shouldn't be as unwelcoming as the rest. Until he meets Jenna. But as Jenna and Ryan grow closer, repercussions from the crash continue to reverberate through the community. And then a body is found..
. (from Goodreads.com)  Published March 5th  by Egmont UK








Waiting On Wednesday by Cat Patrick

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking The Spine and allows us to spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. 

Revived by Cat Patrick



As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life. 


A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger — and more sinister — than she ever imagined.  

Love, Love, LOVED Cat Patrick's debut last year, Forgotten, and really looking forward to this one. 

This is the US cover, published in May 2012, the UK doesn't get it until July and I can't find the cover art for it yet. I'm hoping it's better than this as I'm not all that keen. but it's what's inside that counts. Right?

Belated Blogoversary/Relaunch GIVEAWAY!

I missed my Blogoversary on 26th January this year...two whole years of blogging. Wow, I can't believe how it's flown. There's been a fair few changes over the last month or two...new name, new look. So to celebrate both and thank everyone who reads this blog I thought it was time for a giveaway.

There are two prizes up for grabs

Prize 1


Four proof copies of:
The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E Smith
The Catastrophic History Of You And Me by Jess Rothenberg
Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott
Hollow Pike by James Dawson
Plus Swag including: Alyson Noel's Immortals tote bag and t-shirt, Starcrossed mirror compact, Poison Diaries memory stick, nailfile, bookmarks, poppy seeds etc.

Prize 2



A (1) Book of your choice from The Book Depository up to a value of £10 (including pre orders)

*****

Both giveaways are open internationally (for Prize 2 please check that The Book Depository ships to your country HERE)
You can enter both or just one
You MUST be a follower of this blog to enter

Ways to follow:

Google Friend Connect (find it in the sidebar)
Email Subscription (find it in the sidebar)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/CosyBooks

Closes midnight 31st March and winners will be notified by email. 

Good luck! 








Book Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood



Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship--or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with six months to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate stars scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra. 

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood -- not even from each other. (from Goodreads.com) 

There's been very little chance of missing this book over the last few weeks, it's been everywhere around the blogosphere and receiving rave reviews. Intrigued by the historical setting and witchy theme it wasn't long before a copy made it's way to my own bookshelves.

Born Wicked is set in a late 19th century New England, but it's not a history you'll recognise. Jessica Spotswood's world is one where witches are still persecuted and society is ruled by the fearsome Brotherhood. Women are repressed, forbidden to educate themselves and forced into marriage or The Sisterhood at an early age. It's an alternative history and I soaked it up completely, finding the world intriguing, sinister and believable.

Cate Cahill and her sisters struggle in this world. Born witches and inherently intelligent, it isn't in their nature to act the way society expects. But Cate is determined they must try their best to fit in and keep safe.  With their mother dead and father travelling, a great deal of responsibility rests on her young shoulders. I really liked Cate, she's the type of heroine who doesn't particularly relish her role, but steps up to it with strength and determination.

Born Wicked started off really well, it was so easy to get involved in and the pages turned effortlessly. However around midway through I thought the story got a little bit flat. Don't get me wrong, the writing is great, it flows beautifully and the setting is described wonderfully. I just thought it lacked a little excitement to drive the plot. I also found the love triangle (yep...one of those) predictable and knew exactly where it would lead way before Cate even saw it coming. I can forgive a love triangle if I believe in it. This one I did not. But then about fifty pages towards the end the pace really picks up and I was back to loving this book. Jessica Spotswood has created an ending that ensures I'll be following this series as I have to know what happens next!

Overall I liked this book. It didn't blow me away and I feel a little disappointed about that because of the recent hype. However I really liked both the beginning and the end and see great promise for future books. It's a very easy read, just over 330 pages, and I read it in a day. Do I recommend it? Well if witches, history and love triangles are your thing then you'll probably enjoy this book. If the thought of yet another love triangle has you pulling out teeth, then best avoid.


Published by Putman (US) February 2012


Book Review: Bunheads by Sophie Flack

As a dancer with the Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward is living her childhood dream. She gets to be up on stage in front of adoring crowds every night. And while she might not be a prima ballerina yet, she's moving up the ranks and surely if she works hard enough she can make it happen. 


But devoting her whole life to ballet leaves very little time for anything else: friends, family, school have all fallen by the wayside. Hannah doesn't mind, until a chance encounter in a restaurant brings Jacob into her life. He's cute, he plays guitar and he's offering a whole future that Hannah never considered. And now she must choose between her lifelong dream or what could be the love of her life...(from Goodreads.com)

When Bunheads appeared on my reading radar there was very little doubt I was going to read it. I LOVE ballet stories, I have ever since I was a little girl. I took ballet lessons as a child, dreamt of being ballerina and even had a part as a mouse in a swish production of The Nutcracker aged 8 (I know! get me :D ). Sadly nature wasn't on my side and I definitely do not have a ballet dancers body! Or, to be fair, the dedication. But I do still like a good Ballet story.

And Bunheads IS a good Ballet story. Oh, how I was transported into the gruelling, competitive and slightly mystical world of The Manhattan Ballet company while reading this book. Sophie Flack vividly brings a world, in which very few have access, to spectacular life. I could almost feel the pain and adrenaline of each performance.

I really enjoyed Hannah as a character and her conflict between her dedication to the ballet and blossoming romance with Jacob. What surprised me was how mature this book actually was. Hannah is 19, and is written like a believable, if somewhat naive, 19 year old, and I think Bunheads would be enjoyed by people who don't usually consider books from the YA section as well as teens themselves. Hannah's naivety comes from her sheltered and reclusive life as part of the demanding ballet company and drives home the commitment these dancers make. I know it's not something I could ever do! Jacob is gorgeous romantic interest; sensitive, creative, patient and Hannah couldn't have wished for a better first love. I did wish she'd treat him kinder at times and got a little bit frustrated on his behalf when Ballet came before him time and time again, but then I'm not the most dedicated person, so understanding Hannah's focus was fascinating.

If like me you grew up dreaming of being a Ballerina, you'll love Bunheads. I'd say an interest in dance would make this book more enjoyable as it is a HUGE feature, but you can also appreciate it as a lovely romance and coming of age story too. Recommended.

Published by Atom (UK) March 2012
Thanks to the publishers for providing a copy for review.


Book Review: Hollow Pike by James Dawson

Something wicked this way comes... She thought she'd be safe in the country, but you can't escape your own nightmares, and Lis London dreams repeatedly that someone is trying to kill her. Lis thinks she's being paranoid - after all who would want to murder her? She doesn't believe in the local legends of witchcraft. She doesn't believe that anything bad will really happen to her. You never do, do you? Not until you're alone in the woods, after dark - and a twig snaps... Hollow Pike - where witchcraft never sleeps. (from Goodreads.com)

A book set in Northern England about witchcraft? Yes Please! was my response to this book. James Dawson's debut novel was one of my highly anticipated books this season and it didn't disappoint me.

Hollow Pike is like a book of two halves. The first introduces us to fifteen year old Lis, who has moved away from her mother in Wales to live with her older sister in Yorkshire to escape the bullies who have made her life a misery. But on the first day at her new school, Lis finds she's attracted the attention of the local mean girls and ringleader Laura, Queen bitch extraordinaire. At first she's welcomed into the fold, despite feeling uncomfortable with her new friends. But when she catches the eye of Danny, the boy Laura already has her sights set on, her school life is doomed. Now the butt of vicious rumours she turns to the gang of misfits, who besides Lis are the most hated kids in school.

So while there are whispers of witchcraft in this section, the focus is mainly on bullying. I don't think I've ever sympathised with a character in a book as much as I had Lis. Having gone through the same situation (changing school for a new start, finding yourself the victim again, being the target of ridiculous and spiteful rumours) I fully related to her, from the unease she feels when the gang first take a friendly interest, to the despair at being the target yet again and wondering why me? Lis is a strong character though and doesn't wallow too much in self pity or allow herself to become victimised. I really liked this about her and the positive message it sends out. Through the whole book I though James Dawson really grasped the essence of his characters, making them and the dynamic of the secondary school setting extremely believable.

Then the book takes a far more sinister turn and at this point  becomes unputdownable. It's eerie, atmospheric and edge of your seat creepy and I loved it. Usually I'm pretty good at spotting a twist, but in Hollow Pike I didn't have a clue. James Dawson leads readers on a merry dance where you don't know who to trust as much as Lis herself, and suspicion bounces from one character to another right up until the very moment the villain is revealed. It's clever, sophisticated storytelling and one of the best thrillers I've read in a long time.

Peppered with folklore, myth and witchcraft, this book blends together a mix of real teen issues, mystery and magic without ever feeling over the top or anything but real. There's a lot of references to The Crucible, tying in the similarities between the witchcraft trials of old and the persecution that still occurs everyday, in every school or workplace, against people who dare to be different. I was looking forward to this book so much, yet still there was so much more to it than I was expecting. Highly recommended!

Published by Indigo (UK) February 2012
Copy received for review from the Amazon Vine program

Gorgeous Covers ( Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne & The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry)

Yesterday I spotted two BEAUTIFUL covers  and wanted to share them with you. 

Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne 

They say I'm evil. The police. The newspapers. The girls from school who shake their heads on the six o’clock news and say they always knew there was something not quite right about me. And everyone believes it. Including you. But you don't know. You don't know who I used to be. 

Who I could have been. 

Awaiting trial at Archway Young Offenders Institution, Emily Koll is going to tell her side of the story for the first time. 

Heart-Shaped Bruise is a compulsive and moving novel about infamy, identity and how far a person might go to seek revenge. From Goodreads)

published May 2012 by Headline

I read an advance of this a few weeks ago and my review will be ready nearer release date but in the mean time if you like a tense psychological thriller then you'll enjoy this one!   I LOVE that cover and it gives a good feel of the book.

*******

The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry 

This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance.
On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena's father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears. (Goodreads.com)
Published by Abrams & Chronicle Books May 2012


This one sounds pretty awesome...and that cover..WOW! You can find more information on this book, and the chance to win a pre-publication copy by liking A&CKids Facebook page Here 

What do you think of these covers? 


Oldest Book On The Shelf Challenge: February Review-The Last Survivors (Books 2 & 3) by Susan Pfeffer


This month I decided I was going to finish a series I started way back in early 2010. I read Life as We Know It (Review Here) by Susan Beth Pfeffer after an incredibly enthusiastic review by Becky @ The Bookette ... and I thought it was excellent. So why it's taken me almost two years to read the other two books in the series I have no idea. Well it's done now, I can tick it off the list. But I'm sad to say I almost wished I hadn't...

The Dead and The Gone is the second book in The Last Survivors series, but rather than continue the story we get the same period from someone else's perspective. This time it's 17 year old New Yorker Alex.

Alex has big plans and a bright future ahead of him. Born into a poor Puerto Rican family he's won himself a scholarship at a prestigious boys school and is a star pupil. But the day an asteroid hits the moon and knocks it closer to work, Alex's plans are ruined. With both of his parents missing, presumed dead, he's left to care for his two younger sisters in a world where flooding, hunger and death are the new norm.

I enjoyed this book. Not as much as Life As We Know It, but enough to be gripped to the pages and invested in the story of the Morelas family.

This book was definitely darker than than previous, more gruesome, brutal and violent but surprisingly I found it less believable. This is New York right? One of the most highly populated cities in the world. So I found the three Morelas kids isolation in an apartment block a little odd. I saw Pfeffer's aim at showing how the rich and 'important' and the poor would be treat differently, but I didn't believe they'd be so immediately forgotten about.

I also struggled with the constant religion of this book. Particularly from Alex's sister Brianna. Her blind faith annoyed me, especially when it put herself and others in danger. Yet everyone in this book pampers her. Julie on the other hand is seen as an annoyance, a liability. Personally I'd prefer her resourcefulness and fighting spirit in the face of the Apocalypse..she was my favorite character.

I think the biggest issue was that there's no expansion on the first book here. We don't learn anything new, it's just another persons version of events. I sound like I actually hated it, I didn't. It's still a good read, and the idea behind it is awesome.

******

The final book in the trilogy, This World We Live In, follows on from both the previous two books and the two families are now fighting for survival together.

This book made me angry. Not in the 'isn't life unfair' way it should have but because after coming up with a brilliant idea and totally snaring me into this world Susan Pfeffer clearly couldn't be bothered with it any more. This very short book is a disappointing end to the trilogy and leaves more questions than answers.

Firstly, the characters and world never progress. By the end they're still helpless, at the mercy of the elements and hoping for canned food handouts. Now, I know this is an unusual and cruel world but at some point the surviving humans have to move on and plan for a brighter future surely? This just doesn't happen.

Secondly it's like it was skim written. There's absolutely no depth at all. And you thought you knew insta-love? You've seen nothing until you see Alex and Miranda's relationship. Seriously. Everything is just rushed. The ending left me convinced there'd be an eventual fourth book in the series, but after investigating I found an article on Susan Pfeffer's blog stating there wouldn't be. So now I'm also mad I won't ever get to see how this world will end up.

This series started off so well. I was blown away by the first book in the series. By the third book I was questioning whether it had actually been as good as I remembered after all. I had high hopes and felt bitterly let down, more so that I feel the series will be forever unfinished. I think I could've quite happily left after book two and would still recommend those books, but if you never get round to the third, then in all honesty you won't have missed much.

*****

So February wasn't a great month for oldest books on the shelf. Hopefully March will be better.

*If you want to share your Oldest Books On the Shelves reads, leave a link to your review here so I can check them out*
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Follow by Email