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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fury by Shirley Marr

Title: Fury
Author: Shirley Marr

Release Date: 1st May 2010

My Rating: 4/5

Let me tell you my story.
Not just the facts I know you want to hear.
If I’m going to tell you my story,
I’m telling it my way.

Strap yourself in...

Eliza Boans has everything.

A big house.
A great education.
A bright future.

So why is she sitting in a police station confessing to murder?

I've never had so much trouble trying to find the right words to review something before! I will do my best not to spoil anything.

I really enjoyed Fury. I sat down to read it one night and ended up finishing it that same night. Shirley Marr has created fantastic suspense with Eliza telling her story and leading up to the expolsive conclusion as to why she is covered in blood. It is a story about violence, friendship, the cruelty of teenagers, pain and vengeance.

Eliza is a spoilt little rich girl who is strong, opinionated and stubborn. And she can be an absolute bitch. But when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, she loves her friends (although in real life I can't see why someone would be friends with her in the first place, the way she treats them sometimes). At the beginning of the story I found it very difficult to like her and I just wanted to slap her, but throughout the book you get to understand the reason she is how she is and understand her actions. By the end I wanted nothing bad to happen to her and for her and her friends to get on with their spoilt lives.

I like that Marr got the inspiration for her book from The Furies, the personification of vengeance in Greek mythology and it sums up the story perfectly. It is probably my favourite thing about the book. I also really enjoyed that it was from Eliza's perspective and that it went back and forth from present time back to the events leading up to Eliza sitting in the police station. It gave it depth and suspense.

The only thing that bugged me about Fury, and while this may seem insignificant to everyone else but bugs me in anything I read, is that al ot of the characters names were either taken from famous people (Paula Yates, Ronnie Wood, the english teacher was named Mr Trollop - as in famous author Anthony Trollop, history teacher Mr Tolstoy and Brian Fadden, - as in singer Brian McFadden?) or they were rather cliché (Jane Mutton and The Dashwoods, you will understand these when you read the book). If it had just been one character it wouldn't have bothered me but it was significant enough through the whole book for me to notice.

Fury is Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar crossed with Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson crossed with the attitude of Rose from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Authors: David Levithan and John Green

Release Date: 3rd May 2010 (Australia)

My Rating: 5/5

Will Grayson: What is your oldest, wildest, only best friend started writing a musical about your life...and it made you look like a joke? What if the girl you didn't think you were interested in started being interested in you? And who is this other guy called Will Grayson?

The other Will Grayson: What if you are technically depressed? What if you're in love with someone you've never met? And what's the story with the guy walking around with your name?

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens - both named Will Grayson - are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

I really can't put my finger on what it is that makes me love this book so much. I am a major fan of both David Levithan and John Green and was so excited when I heard they had done a book together. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is laugh-out-loud hilarious, heart-warming and at times heart-breaking, but also absolutely fabulous! I felt like I could really relate to Will Grayson, the first one, and I'm sure everyone will be able to relate to one of the amazing characters in this book in someway.

I have two favourite sentences, the first being in the very first paragraph of the book which I think sets the tone and the hilarity of the rest of the chapter and the book:

When I was little, my dad used to tell me. 'Will, you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose.'

My other favourite sentence, because I can relate to it all too much, is:

You like someone who can't like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once requited love cannot.

Do yourself a favour and read this book. It's fantastic.

Monday, March 22, 2010

When I Was Joe by Keren David

Title: When I Was Joe
Author: Keren David

Release Date: 1st March 2010

My Rating: 4/5

It's one thing watching someone get killed. It's quite another talking about it.

But Ty does talk about it. He names some ruthless people and a petrol-bomb attack forces him and his mum into hiding under police protection.

Shy loser Ty gets a new name, a new look and a cool new image. Life as Joe is good. But the gangsters will stop at nothing to silence him. And then he meets a girl with a dangerous secret of her own.

When I Was Joe is a very well written book about 14-year-old Ty, who witnesses a murder and then has to go into the Witness Protection Program. Ty becomes Joe. But things are never that easy.
This book deals with plenty of teenage issues from peer pressure, depression, self harm and bullying to friendship, relationships, fear, change, truth, lies and manipulation. And one hell of an emotional roller-coaster.
I am really, really looking forward to the sequel 'Almost True'.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

When Life Gets In The Way

It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted a review and I find that depressing. I have been trying to find the time to finish my current read 'When I Was Joe' by Keren David for the past two weeks and I find this disturbing (not the book but my lack of reading!). I'm someone who reads books in one sitting or if it's during the week and I'm working then 2 or 3 days max. It's not that the book is bad, it's not and I'm really enjoying it, it's just that life gets in the way sometimes.

In honour of my dry spell, I thought I would share with you some of the books sitting on my book shelf waiting to be read. It's only a selection, I actually have an entire bookcase full of books that are waiting to be read, I just have to find the time. If anyone would like one of these reviewed before another, let me know.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

Title: The Piper's Son
Author: Melina Marchetta

Release Date: 1st March 2010

My Rating: 4/5

In The Piper's Son, Melina Marchetta focuses on Thomas Mackee, one of the characters from Saving Francesca. Thomas's life sucks. His once happy and close family has been torn to shreds after his Uncle Joe was killed in the London bombings in 2005. Tom's dad is an alcoholic who has gone AWOL, his mother and sister have disappeared to Brisbane and his Aunt Georgie is pregnant but won't publicly acknowledge it. And Tom, well he's lost his job, his roommates have kicked him out, and he's beating himself up over losing one of his best friends after a one-and-a-half night stand 2 years ago.

As Tom pushes everyone away and spirals into a pit of depression we discover the strength, hope and love that family and friends are capable of as they attempt to get Tom's life slowly back on track. I also like that the story is told in third person, following both Tom and Georgie.

By the end you are left with a feeling of hope, and that family and true friends are always there for you, no matter how tough things get and how much you try to push them away.

Having not read Saving Francesca I was worried that The Piper's Son wouldn't make sense and that I wouldn't be able to follow the story, but that wasn't the case. While it does refer a lot to what happens in Saving Francesca, it in no way gave me any trouble. I would really like to read Saving Francesca now and while I don't feel the need to hear the story of Justine or Tara, I would really like to find out what has happened to Jimmy (the 5th member of their group), which Marchetta has given small clues to in The Piper's Son and I think has paved the way for another book focusing on him.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dark Days by Derek Landy

Title: Dark Days
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant Book 4
Author: Derek Landy

Release Date: 25th February 2010

My Rating: 4/5

Skulduggery Pleasant is gone, sucked into a parallel dimension. There is no official, Sanctuary-approved plan to save him. But Valkyrie's never had much time for plans...

For those of you not familiar with this series, Skulduggery Pleasant is a skeleton detective with a faithful sidekick by the name of Valkyrie Cain. They are urban fantasy detective stories and the pages are filled with adventure and intrigue, elements of magic and ghastly creatures.

While the books are written for children aged 9+, I find them absolute page turners and the sarcasm and witty banter is highly amusing. This is one of my favourite children's series and it is great to have all our favourite good guys back (Tanith, Ghastly, Fletcher and Kenspeckle, to name a few) plus the baddies and a host of newbies. My only grievance with the book is it is over too quickly, thankfully we don't have to wait a full year for the 5th book, with the release date brought forward to September 2010.

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