Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Death, Religion and, well, more death

Since Friday when I attempted to raid my libraries YA romance section and failed to find much that is strictly 'romance' I've read 3 books. Okay maybe not romance books but books with YA relationships which is what I wanted to focus on anyway. So here are my quick reviews of what I've read so far.

Numbers by Rachel Ward
I picked this up because Race had mentioned it at some point and I thought it sounded interesting. The story is about a girl called Jem who can look at a person and tell the date they are going to die. She gets into a couple of scrapes and ends up on the run with her friend Spider.
I found it hard to relate to the characters at first, yes I grew up in the rough part of town but I was to much of a geek to go hanging around street corners like Jem and Spider. They're what I would call 'urban' kids; they spend more time hanging around on the streets than they do inside any building, except perhaps the police station. Once you get into it though and learn more about Jem and her story it becomes easier to like her and to hope that, despite it all, she comes out all right.
One of the things that struck me was how her relationship with Spider develops. At the start she yells at him for complimenting her but as it goes on they become closer. They're relationship almost runs parallel to that of the reader and Jem, at first I thought she was very stand-offish and unlike-able but over the course of the first half I got to know her more and like her more.
There is a second book in this series and I'm hoping I'll be able to pick it up at some point to read because I really enjoyed this.

Bad Faith by Gillian Philip
I read this while staying with my fianc├ęs parents, his dad is a minister, it was maybe the wrong book to take.
It's set in a dystopian Scotland (though that took me most of the book to work out) where the One Church rules over all and it's militia keep the peace by killing of the infidels who speak out against the One Church or the 'Mother of the Nation' (Prime Minister) that it has put in place.
The MCs here is Cassandra, daughter of a One Church rector and her friend Ming (short for Menzies, pronounced Ming-us. Just be glad his second name isn't Smillie pronounced Smiley, he certainly is. Silly Scottish names) who are not dating, or at least, not supposed to be because it's very much against the rules. Especially since his parents are known infidels.
So the popular Bishop Todd goes missing and Cassandra and Ming find the body, Cassandra decides they have to hide it because she's sure that her dad has killed the Bishop and that's not going to have a happy outcome.
The relationship in this is just kind of 'there' and seems to be more part of the setting than part of the plot, though there is one bit near the end that had me near tears (and skipping ahead to see what happened) because of the devotion shown. Mainly it's just a book about a murder in a dystopian society. Though it does seem like every character you come across ends up dead, or having played a part in killing someone or having played a part in covering up the murder. That's fine though, it provides lots of interesting little sub-plots.

Never Bite a Boy on the First Date by Tamara Summers
I picked this up purely because of the description on the back cover. I was expecting some cheery mockery of Twilight, I was pleasantly surprised to find I was wrong.
Kira is a new vampire and shes made some mistakes in her past, okay, only one and his name is Zach and no one is ever going to let her live that down for the rest of her...um... unlife? There's been a vampire attack at her highschool and she is obviously the first to be blamed by her vampire family so she barters for a week to try and work out who was actually behind it because it wasn't her. Along the way she meets 3 cute but suspicious boys; Rowan, Daniel and Milo.
Okay so there's not so much relationship stuff going on in this, though she does date all 3 on the same weekend there's nothing deep and meaningful going on. But i did enjoy this book. It was light and funny and I totally loved Kira's voice. All the books I've been reading lately have been first person but this one really made you feel like you were inside the head of a 16 year old girl throughout the whole thing. It's definitely a book I would recommend if your looking for something cheery and different to your usual.

So there you go, 3 book reviews for your pleasure and all typed up before breakfast. I am being productive.

1 comment:

  1. Nice reviews! The last sounds like a decent change of pace for the oversaturated vamp genre.