This is the first mini review-type round up that I've done. I've avoided them up until now because I'd rather just write a full review to do a book justice. However, over the summer, my reading habits became so erratic and disorganised that I'm left with no choice - if I don't write down something about these books now, then there will be no words written down about them at all, and that would be a shame. I don't post about every book I read, but I I do try to review the ones that I think I have an opinion on, good or bad, and these definitely come under that category. You might start seeing a few more of these posts from me in the future...
We Can Be Heroes - Catherine Bruton (Egmont UK, 2011)
I had a lot to say about this one, but it's been a while since I finished it and as time goes by, it becomes a bit more difficult to articulate all those feelings in blog form. But in short, I loved it. It's so refreshing when a book manages to explore 'issues' without making it obvious that it's exploring the 'issues' - when the story and the characters take precedence over the 'issues' but never belittling their importance in the process. This deals with the after-effects of 9/11 in a bittersweet way - an interesting take on grief and present-day attitudes to race and religion with a authentic and utterly convincing voice. My only criticism is that it was a bit too long, but other than that, highly recommended for slightly younger readers.
The 5th Estate - Rick Yancey (Penguin, 2013)
This is the problem with reading books that get a lot of great reviews - am I just setting myself up for disappointment? It's not that I didn't enjoy this one - it was an engrossing read, but I was expecting so much more. I don't read a lot of sci-fi, so in some ways, I don't think I'm the right person to judge, but some of the dialogue here was woeful. Think Starship Troopers, but with extra cheese. I liked the main character, Cassie and her story. That was, until a romantic element was introduced and just undermined the whole thing. He smelt of woodsmoke and chocolate. That says it all really. But my main problem was with the whole premise - as far as I could see, there was a far easier way to solve the whole 5th Wave thing than with the actual 5th Wave. I might continue with this series, I might not.
Hollow Pike - James Dawson (Indigo, 2012)
Really enjoyed this one. In theory, I love mysteries. I grew up reading them. But for some reason, I've always been a bit weary about YA mysteries or ghost stories. Perhaps because there's nothing worse than a disappointing ending. But this one was more than satisfactory. Much more, in fact. Great characters, although I would have loved a bit more of Kitty, Delilah and Jack and I didn't have a clue what was going to happen next. Had a real Scream feel to proceedings, which in no bad thing in my opinion.