Monthly Archives: May 2012

Gone by Michael Grant

Gone by Michael Grant

‘One minute the teacher was talking about Civil War.
And the next minute he was gone. 
There.
Gone.’

Suddenly all the adults and children over the age of 15 have disappeared; there one minute, gone the next, just vanished into thin air. Sam, Astrid and Quinn must try to work out how to survive in a world turned into chaos. Cut off completely from the outside world by a giant barrier, they’re trapped, and a new order is rising. Some of the survivors have power, a mutant power…

I LOVED this book. Yes, I needed to use capital letters to express my strong feelings. I’d been putting off reading the Gone series for quite a while, mainly because of all the comparisons to The Hunger Games. I felt the need to take a leisurely break from the world of dystopia (more reviews coming up about what I read in-between).
After reading Gone, I didn’t actually feel it was remotely similar to The Hunger Games – other than the idea of a dystopian future – and frankly, it deserves to stand on its own as a brilliant novel rather than riding on the back of all the HG success.

I really like Michael Grant’s writing style; there is no singular viewpoint, while there are a number of clear ‘main’ characters, there are in fact so many characters, that you become far more emotionally attached to them as a group. 

It’s so fast-paced and action packed that it felt like watching a film or a tv series, and would in fact, be an instant hit if made into one (should it stay loyal to the novels). The twists and turns, the mix of sci-fi with dystopia, well, it just makes for a highly entertaining and gripping story. I can say with great pleasure that I will be going out to buy the following four novels (Hunger, Lies, Plague and Fear), and continue to read them until the end of the series. In a way I’m glad I waited so long to read them; now I can take my time enjoying them while everyone else waits on the edge of their seat for the sixth (and final) book ‘Light’ to be released!

We’re sitting in the dark willing to sell our souls for another peppermint with enough uranium to give a terrorist a wet dream.’

If you like thrilling, gripping novels, or have a taste for the dystopian or exciting sci-fi, you will relish the Gone series. 

Contains a fair amount of violence and cruelty, so more suitable for age 14+

Love From,

Original Book Girl

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The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha

The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha

“There are certain things you should never have to see in life. A crying tree standing beside your son’s grave was one.
That was one.”

The Crying Tree is the tragic story of 15 year-old ‘Shep’, murdered in his family home in Oregon, and the events following his death. Nineteen years on, the superintendent of the state Penitentiary is preparing to execute Shep’s murderer. However, as his mother tries to come to terms with her grief, she finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of secrets, and begins to wonder how well she really knew Shep, her husband, or herself.

Initially I was put off by the front cover of this book; very reminiscent of a Jodi Picoult novel. Fortunately it goes a lot deeper than that. This is a compelling plot, especially considering the entire story takes place over the period of just one month.

It is a story about forgiveness, and the fallibility of the human condition. It wasn’t quite what I expected, and there was a twist about two-thirds of the way through which surprisingly caught me off guard (unusual for me). I liked the way Naseem dealt so carefully with the emotions of Irene; they felt alarmingly realistic and I found myself compelled to keep reading.
I’m not familiar with the community of either Illinois or Oregon, but I was quite surprised by the opinions raised later in the story, especially for something set as late as 2004. I can only assume that living in such a culturally sensitive environment as London, I am just unused to these sorts of reactions  – perhaps that was or is the norm for that generation in that particular part of America, and I applaud Naseem for attempting to tackle such a controversial subject. Not only is her writing beautiful, but I was pleased to note that the plot lines surrounding the US legal system and capital punishment went into so much detail, shedding light on the flaws and inconsistencies in that form of justice.

I highly recommend reading The Crying Tree; an eye-opening and brilliantly realistic story.

Love From,

Original Book Girl

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