Thursday, 6 March 2014
The pain in your past never goes.
It’s always there in the background,
like a lurking enemy, waiting to trip you up.
Or worse, waiting for you to trip yourself.
Eddie is seven when rescued from years of neglect. Hidden away, no one has seen him leave the flat for over three years. What sort of person hides their child away? What sort of person puts up with continual physical abuse from an alcoholic partner?
The answer is Eddie’s mother.
Finally he is given the chance of a real life. Taken into foster care and then adopted it is hoped that Eddie now known as Edward will be able to lead a normal life. But the years of emotional damage have taken their toll. He struggles to fit in, struggles to have a ‘normal’ life.
One day Edward sees a photograph of himself, horrified to see the monster Harris’s face. Does this mean that blood will always tell? That he too will turn into an abusive animal?
I don’t like happy ever after stories. I like darkness and sharpness….this book has it all. Fine does a great job of taking the reader to untangle Edward’s life. The change of point of view is an intriguing way of offering up information that the central character, Edward, has no way of knowing.
We see his life from his foster parent’s point of view, as well as his adoptive parents, but we also dip into that of his adopted sister, the nurse at the hospital, his school teacher, class mate, social worker, psychotherapist.
And finally we understand Edward’s struggle and hope he discovers that blood doesn’t always make family.
Vicki @ Pak
Friday, 28 February 2014
Monday, 24 February 2014
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
A Victorian scientist constructs a Time Machine. In which (I'm sure you'll be able to guess the next part) he travels 800,000 years into the future. He's astounded by the ruined state of the world around him. He encounters a slightly altered species of human, and another one - The Morlocks. These creatures live underground and only come out at night. They petrify everything and everyone.He stumbles across some obstacles on his way back to the present, which make this story unbelievably
hard to put down. The unknown just got the better of you, and you just HAD to know what happened next.
If you've by any chance seen the movie version, and assume this to be a replica of the film, then you may be disappointed.
Yes, it still has the main plots of the movie, but it just seems to lack detail.
I'm not usually one to 'judge a book by its movie', but I think that - even though it was still a captivating read, it could have used with more detail of the events that took place, and its duration possibly could have even extended a little more.
If you're into vintage, olden-day reads, then definitely have a crack at this one. But unless you're dedicated to science fiction and the idea of time travel, it's probably not the book for you.
Saturday, 22 February 2014
This book is one of those that keeps playing back in your mind. I really didn't know whether to review this book here, or even to recommend it, because on one level this book is terrible. It really upset me. But on another level it is absolutely brilliant, perhaps because it had the power to really upset me!
Thursday, 20 February 2014
Lydia takes us back in time to the year 1940.
Ordinary people's lives have been turned upside down and the world is in chaos as World War Two is in progress.
The setting for this novel is Romney Marsh, Great Britain. Germany is threatening to invade Great Britain and the inhabitants of Romney Marsh are attempting to live their lives amidst the ongoing terror of daily air strikes.
Guidelines and instructions are issued by authorities for the general public. For instance, 'Do not rush about spreading vague rumours', and 'Do not give any German anything. Do not tell him anything. Hide your food and your bicycles. Hide your maps.'
There are many strengths to this novel. One notable strength is the characterization within the novel - characters are well developed and totally believable. For instance, sixteen year old Peggy is growing into maturity and finds herself facing a huge moral dillemma when she befriends a Polish pilot whose plane crashes in the marsh. Does she hand him over to the authorities? What is right and wrong?
Her younger brother, Ernie, is perceived by others to be shy and under confident. He tries to do the right thing and agonises over the instructions he receives. He, too, discovers the Polish pilot and the danger for the pilot escalates.
Another strength in this novel is the strong sense of place and time. Lydia has obviously researched her subject well to include meticulous details and viewpoints that depict the era. To give you an example, Peggy and Ernie's father is a conscientious objector to the war and as such is scorned by some members of the family and community.
'That Burning Summer' is an outstanding novel that I would recommend to all teens, especially those who enjoy historical fiction.
Friday, 14 February 2014
Friday, 7 February 2014
Author Rebecca James
‘Truth or dare?’ She asks.
I hesitate. ‘Truth,’ I say finally. ‘I can imagine one of your dares, and I don’t fancy running down Oxford Street naked tonight.’
‘Truth,’ Alice says slowly, drawing out the vowel sound as if she’s savouring the word. ‘Are you sure? Are you sure you can be completely honest?’
‘I think so. Try me.’
‘Okay.’ And then she looks at me curiously. ‘So. Were you glad, deep down? Were you glad to be rid of her? Your perfect sister? Were you secretly glad when she was killed?’
Katherine has moved away from her shattered family to start afresh in Sydney. There she keeps her head down until she is befriended by the charismatic, party-loving Alice, who brings her out of her shell. But there is a dark side to Alice, something seductive yet threatening. And as Katherine learns the truth about Alice, their tangled destinies spiral to an explosive and devastating finale.
Firstly, I would like to say this Beautiful Malice is by far the best novel I have ever read.
I've read a lot of novels in my time, but this one takes the cake.
I'm not really into teen angst, lovey-dovey novels, which is what I thought this one was going to be. But boy was I wrong.
If you're into those types of books that leave you biting your nails down to the core, or falling off the edge of your seat, then this is the one read for you.
It was beautiful, scary, lovely and awful at the same time, all in a good way!
I've since recommended ALL of my friends to read this beautiful book. And so far, they have all returned to me baffled by how great it was.
If you've ever lost someone special in your life, or even had an enemy, than this book is as close as you get to re-living it all.