Fallen

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce – he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret…even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, FALLEN is a page-turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

When Luce gets sent to a reform school after a tragic accident she is hoping for a fresh start. No longer considered the most dangerous of her classmate she tries to forget what has happened in her past and although after a typical disastrous first day she does settle and make a couple of friends. However she also has a strange interaction with a rather good looking male at the school and she can’t help feeling there is more to it.

Over time Luce starts to feel a strong connection towards him and with her new friend Penn starts to try and find out more about him. However she is also becoming a bit more than friends with other classmate Sam and things between the two boys become heated on several occasions. However the boys and quite a few of the other members of the school have a secret and after some searching Luce comes to learn of the bizarre world she is destined to be a part of. She is partly relieved of this fact as is gives some explanation to the shadows that plague her life but it is also about to threaten her life and change it forever.

Although I enjoy this book it has a very similar development and idea to Stephanie Meyers Twilight. It is about a strange girl at a new school that has a strange infatuation to a good looking boy. They experience an accident together where he saves her life and then continues to try and convince her she he is bad for her. However she soon works out his secret and it ends with a battle. It was also pointed out to me that if you have any knowledge of angels you may work out his secret very early on from Daniel’s name. However despite these things I still enjoy this book. It is not a difficult read,the characters are easy to like and the writing carries you easily through the story.

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End of Book Feeling

shared by Teri Terry on Facebook from the Waterstones page.

I think this perfectly describes how I feel at the end of many books.When I’m reading a good book it is very easy to get emotionally invloved and feel all the feelings of the characters and their situation. When I put it down it is always strange to find I don’t actually feel that way and that everything has carried on in an almost parallel world type way.

Delirium

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love — the deliria — blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

I had been looking forward to reading this book as I liked the idea behind it and I am into dystopian at the moment but I can’t say I was impressed as I had been expecting.

17 year old Lena has never been a normal child. Her mother didn’t believe in the cure and as a child her happy memories are ones that she now realises are of breaking the law. Now living with her auntie and her family she is trying to live a law abiding life counting down the days till she can be cured. However her best friend Hana wants to enjoy the last summer together before they become proper and introduces Lena to a dangerous world. A world including Alex.

Lena thinks she is safe talking to him, she thinks he is cured. But Alex has a secret and Lena’s world is about to come tumbling down as she becomes very, very ill.

As with a few books of this genre the idea behind it is an interesting one. It is interesting how reading about love from another perspective can make you see it as an illness. However I was also disappointed. I felt that none of the characters in the books were particularly like-able and struggled to connect with the story. I did have some sympathy for the situation though and there were good parts, I liked the relationship Lena and Alex had and the world he is from and over all although I don’t love the book I didn’t dislike it either.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books for People Who Like Noughts & Crosses

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and The Bookish is the Top Ten Books for people who like X book. I have chosen Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman. The books I am recommending that you may like if you like this ones are not all one that I think are written similarly but other books that I think challenge the way we think about our society just as I think this book does.

Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.

Sephy is a Cross — a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought — a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum — a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?

In this gripping, stimulating and totally absorbing novel, black and white are right and wrong.

1. Oh My Goth by Gena Showalter

Jade Leigh is a nonconformist who values individuality above all else. She has a small group of like-minded Goth friends who wear black, dabble in the dark arts, and thrive outside the norm. They’re considered the “freaks” of their high school. But when Jade’s smart mouth lands her in trouble—again—her principal decides to teach her a lesson she’ll never forget.

Taken to a remote location where she is strapped down and sedated, Jade wakes up in an alternate universe where she rules the school. But her best friends won’t talk to her, and the people she used to hate are all Goth. Only Clarik, the mysterious new boy in town, operates outside all the cliques. And only Mercedes, the Barbie clone Jade loathes, believes that Jade’s stuck in a virtual reality game—because she’s stuck there, too, now living the life of a “freak.” Together, they realize they might never get back to reality… and that even if they do, things might never be the same

As with Noughts & Crosses this book will make you think about how we judge people on how they look. It is about how we choose to dress at high school though but I think although my of a action book still shows that we should learn about the person not what they look like.

2. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license — for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

Is also challenging our societies obsession with looks. It is a world were everyone becomes pretty at 16 so we are all the same. However I think it makes you realise how ubsurd it is that we value looks so much that we put our lives at risk.

3. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But… they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

Not about looks but still challenging society Forbidden is also a story about unconventional love. Written like Noughts & Crosses the chapters alternate between characters and provide a powerful love story with a strong message and emotional ending.

4. The Hunger Games Triology by Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love

Is a story about challenging the government, survival and love. Although in a dystopian society Katniss wants to change the way certain groups are treated just like the groups in Noughts & Crosses and it leads her into a dangerous life.

5. The Declaration by Gemma Malley

In the year 2140, it is illegal to be young.

Children are all but extinct.

The world is a better place.

Longevity drugs are a fountain of youth.

Sign the Declaration, agree not to have children and you too can live forever. Refuse, and you will live as an outcast. For the children born outside the law, it only gets worse – Surplus status.

Not everyone thinks Longevity is a good thing, but you better be clear what side you’re on. . . . Surplus Anna is about to find out what happens when you can’t decide if you should cheat the law or cheat death

Is about the consequences of discovering the secret to living forever. This is something that a lot of people want and we are already living for longer but this book shows what happens when there are too many people and it is children that are deemed the problem.

6. Bumped by Megan McCafferty

In 2036 New Jersey, when teens are expected to become fanatically religious wives and mothers or high-priced Surrogettes for couples made infertile by a widespread virus, 16-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony find in one another the courage to believe they have choices.

Will make you see teen pregnancy in a whole new light. In a society where adults pay teenagers to get pregnant for them love is compromised and the main characters are fighting to be able to be who they want to be not just a womb for rental.

 

7. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picout

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged…until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister — and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. 

Tells the story of a family when one daughter sues her parents to stop having to help her dying sister. Also written like Noughts & Crosses with alternating chapters it has a similar ability to capture your emotions and will also make you think about how we will do anything for our children.

8. Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow

Like Noughts & Crosses is about going against what is expected to be right and falling in love with someone you are not suppose to. When the government decides everything about your life including who you will spend the rest of your life with it your whole life can be turned upside down due to what appears to be a simple technical error that leads to real feelings.

9. Slated by Teri Terry

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

This book provides a dramatic solution to dealing with criminals in society. What at first might seem like an appealing solution to a problem we are having to deal with this book provides the dangers that could occur. It includes like Malorie Blackmans book a ‘terrorist’  group that disagree with how society if being disciplined and the impact that has on our main characters life could be just as dangerous as it was to Callum’s.

10. Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy

Three children walked away from the cottages on the edge of town toward Berwick Waters. Later that day, only two of them came back. Alice Tully knows exactly what happened that spring day six years ago, though it’s still hard for her to believe it. She’ll never be able to forget, even though she’s trying to lead a normal life—she has a job, friends, and a boyfriend whom she adores. But Alice’s past is dangerous, and violent, and sad… and it’s about to rip her new life apart.

Will make you think about how you would feel if you were in the position of having to start your life again as someone new. It will make you decide if you think people who commit very dangerous crimes should be given a second chance, particularly if they offended as children. It is again looking at dealing with crime in society but unlike Callum JJ has a chance to live and prove she can be a useful member of society again.

The Fault In Our Stars

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Hazel has a unique outlook on life. She wants to hurt as few people as possible when she comes to her inevitable end but her parents want her to get out and live. When she meets Augustus she begins to do just that. He too has his own philosophy on life too, he likes metaphors and he to start with isn’t quite as ill as Hazel. As the two become closer they try to for fill a dream to find out the end of what becomes both their favourite books and although Hazel wanted not to they fall in love. Of course it is also about dealing with a death they know is coming too soon and how in the end you can make your life worth something.

I think that this book is about life. About how we deal with what it gives us and what we really should be getting out of it. There are a lot of really good quotes throughout this book that make you think and question both how you feel and possibly how you think about seeing sick people. Although I think this is a really good book about life and dealing with illness and although I wouldn’t put it above similar stories such as ‘Before I Die by Jenny Downham’ it is of equal quality.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Kindle Freebies

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and The Bookish is anything you like so I have decided to go for Top Ten Kindle Freebies. I am always surprised by what you can get for the kindle so my list is made up of books I think were good for a free book or are a good bargain.

1. The Black Pear by Alan Porter

This was the New Beginning. Away from the memories, away from the past.

But sometimes the past comes back…

What is the secret of the old Black Pear tree that taps on Emily’s window when no one else is around?

And why did Alice, a long-forgotten resident of the house, leave a simple silver necklace twined among its branches?

Emily and her family moved to Orchard Grange to escape the memories of the past.

Unfortunately, Orchard Grange has some terrifying memories of its own…

2. William Shakespeare

There is a variety of Shakespeare’s plays available for free on the kindle. I think this is great because they are used in education a lot and it make its easy to get a hold of it.

3 & 4. Northanger Abbey and Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

A wonderfully entertaining coming-of-age story, Northanger Abbey is often referred to as Jane Austen’s “Gothic parody.” Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist.

The story’s unlikely heroine is Catherine Morland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art.

Vanity, not love, has been my folly

When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

5. The Puzzle Master by Heather Spiva

Twelve-year-old Marshall Thompson’s favorite place in the world is Luke’s Junk Store. With one last trip in before school begins, he’s intent on finding the perfect thing to take on the first day back. But his “great find” ends up being a girl — and a friendship begins that will change him forever.

Together, they share a love of puzzles and something else: sickness. With his asthma, and her in cancer recovery, they’re linked as kindred spirits. But when a life-changing event threatens their friendship, Marshall has to learn to pick up the pieces to his broken puzzle of life … and put them back together

6. Maybe, Maybe Not by Rae Hachton

David likes Lisa. Lisa likes Colton. Colton likes David. But what if David secretly likes Colton, too. How will they ever solve this love triangle?

7. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

In picturesque nineteenth-century New England, tomboyish Jo, beautiful Meg, fragile Beth, and romantic Amy come of age while their father is off to war.

8. 44 by Jools Sinclair

Last year after falling through the ice, seventeen-year-old Abby Craig woke up from death – but she woke into a world she barely recognizes. She can’t see colors, memories have been erased, and her friends all hate her. And then there’s Jesse, who she loves, but who refuses to forgive her the one mistake she made long ago.

Just when she thinks it can’t get any worse, the visions begin. In them, she sees a faceless serial killer roaming the streets. While the police believe that there have been a lot of accidents in town lately, Abby knows differently. And she soon realizes that it’s up to her to find him. But to stop him, she’ll have to confront more than just the killer. She’ll have to face something else that was lost in those dark waters: the truth

9. The Big Stinky City by Jason Deas

For as long as he can remember, eleven-year-old Mash has felt trapped in a city he despises. Mash feels like he is surrounded by a zillion people and noise at all times. The city is suffocating him.

Unfortunately, life at home with his mother is even less tranquil. She’s always drinking her “special drinks” and acting a fool, prompting Mash to escape further into his obsession with all things aeronautical. If only he could fly away from it all…but not before the upcoming air show—the air show that may change his life forever.

When Mash crosses paths with Juniper, an eccentric artist who once dumped 10,000 rubber duckies over Niagara Falls, Mash becomes an unwilling accomplice to the most spectacular art stunt Juniper has ever conceived. A project so cataclysmic and daring, it puts Mash’s entire life at risk.

As the opposite worlds of Mash and Juniper collide, the unlikely duo meets for an unexpected event and a surprise ending that will have you cheering for them both.

10. Life by Jack Gunthridge

Much more than simply a story of adolescence, Gunthridge writes in a voice reminiscent of J.D. Salinger. His accounts cross the generation line. If you have ever loved, you will be touched by this work. He crosses the act of love with the past, present and future bringing forth unexpected emotional involvement with his words, ideas and philosophies. He reminds readers why we love in the first place, why we consider the meaning of life, and later, why we examine the meaning of our own existence. For such powerfully touching words to come from such a young voice is extraordinary. This is not a simple memoir from a high school student, the mere fulfillment of an assignment, another reflection of teenage alienation and loss of innocence. This is a declaration of love for all time. His work is an opportunity to experience now what will later be considered a classic.

Slated

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

 

 

Slated is the debute novel by author Teri Tery and is up for the Anobii First Book Award.

Is is the story of 16 year old Kyla who is just leaving hospital to join her new family after having been slated. This is the process carried out on criminals to allow them to become useful members of society. However it can only be carried out on people under the age of 16. As Kyla settles into her new life she learns how to deal with her emotions, which are monitored by a bracelet that can knock her out, or even kill her if she gets to angry or upset. At first she finds drawing and stroking the cat to be useful but as she starts going to group and school she makes friends with a runner named Ben who gets her interested in running to.

Soon into her new life Kyla begins to realise that she isn’t a normal slated. She seems to have a better understanding than most and isn’t happy as expected. In fact she seems to be able to be angry without her levo (the name for her bracelet) realising. She is also more aware and curious about the things going on about her and they soon become very strange. Her doctor seems to be allowing her do things she shouldn’t be and she starts to wonder why things are the way they are and who she was.

Kyla’s world seems to become very dangerous and it is very interesting to read about. Set in the future, post 2020, it is easy to see how our society could have become how Teri has imagined it. The idea or wiping the minds of criminals is one that is interesting to think about and she has managed to challenge what may seem like a very good idea. The book was very easy to read and I felt taken in by the different parts of the plot. She has created a whole dystopian world to be interested in not just a good character and I can’t wait to read more in the next two books.

Teri Terry will also be at the Edinburgh International Book Festival for the first time this year. Talking with other authors about writing dystopian fiction and books for teenagers. I hope by next year however she may have her own talk about her series.

The Auschwitz Violin

I have been wanting to read this book for a while now and as I am going to visit the camp in a couple of weeks I thought now would be the perfect time. I had expected this story to be a sad one, due to it’s setting but it was actually more about hope and the power of music.

When playing in Poland in 1991 Regina meets a fellow musician who is interested in her beautiful violin. After the concert she meets with the man and tells him all about how the violin came to be and how she ended up with it.

Imprisoned in Auschwitz Daniel is dealing with a brutal and unpredictable life. However having told them he was a carpenter he feels fortunate to be able to work in the house of the sadist commandant and have a few extras. One evening after an incident with musicians playing for a party Daniel reveals that is in fact a violin maker. The commandant then gives him the task of making him a beautiful violin that should rival a Stradivarius and Daniel begins to have a little more hope. Working on the violin gives him something to carry on for and he take pleasure in his work and how it distract him for the cruel situation he is in. Later however he finds out that there is a bet going on between the commandant and the doctor over how long it will take him to finish for a case of Burgundy wine.

Back in 1991 we learn about what happens in the end and how Regina came to have the violin.

The book is very short and I can’t decide if it is missing something or not. The idea is a lovely one, that the task is what keeps him going in unimaginable circumstances but I felt like it could have been a bit more powerful. However there are some very beautiful sentences within the story and I think that I appreciate that it is not a story about how terrible the war was but it is about how humans can be saved by having passion for something.