Review – Orbiting Jupiter

30335557Title: Orbiting Jupiter
Author:
 Gary D. Schmidt
Published by: Andersen Press
Publication date: 2nd March 2017
Pages: 192, paperback
Genre: YA, contemporary

A heartbreaking story, narrated by twelve-year-old Jack, whose family is caring for fourteen-year-old Joseph. Joseph is misunderstood. He was incarcerated for trying to kill a teacher. Or so the rumours say. But Jack and his family see something others in town don’t want to.
What’s more, Joseph has a daughter he’s never seen. The two boys go on a journey through the bitter Maine winter to help Joseph find his baby – no matter the cost.
 

***

I was intrigued by this book as soon as I read the blurb for the first time, and I knew it would be quite different from the other books I read. Once I started, I was so absorbed in this book that I finished it in virtually one sitting; I could hardly turn the pages fast enough!

I adored the writing style in this book – I thought is was very engaging, and it really put across the voice of Jack, who is only twelve years old. It was also so interesting to follow the story, which was told from Jack’s perspective but really about Joseph; we get to see Joseph develop and grow with his new foster family, and Jack offers a very detailed view as to how he treated by the teachers and pupils once he started school.

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Review – Troublemakers

32310970Title: Troublemakers
Author:
Catherine Barter
Published by: Andersen Press
Publication date: 1st June 2017
Pages: 384, paperback
Genre: young adult, contemporary, political

‘In three years I will be able to vote and I will still have less power than I did at the moment that I saw that email, which was such a tiny thing but look what happened.’

Fifteen-year-old Alena never really knew her political activist mother, who died when she was a baby. She has grown up with her older half-brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick in the east end of London. Now the area is threatened by a bomber who has been leaving explosive devices in supermarkets. It is only a matter of time before a bomb goes off.
Against this increasingly fearful backdrop, Alena seeks to discover more about her past, while Danny takes a job working for a controversial politician. As her family life implodes, and the threat to Londoners mounts, Alena starts getting into trouble. Then she does something truly rebellious.

A searing, heartbreaking coming-of-age tale for fans of Lisa Williamson, Jenny Downham and Sarah Crossan.

***

Troublemakers is one of those books I have been hearing about for a long time, and looked forward to reading. I eventually managed to read it a few weeks ago, and I absolutely adored it – the writing, the characters, the plot. This book is totally FAB.

I thought that Alena was really well characterised – I was her age not too long ago, and I thought she was written in such a realistic way. She had just the right amount of angsty-teenager and annoying-younger-sister to make her seem like a real fifteen-year-old, but not so much that she became annoying. This was so lovely to read, as I think that often teenagers are portrayed as a little too mature in YA.

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A Very Big June Book Haul

junebookhaul

This month was a bit crazy in terms of books – I bought more than I usually do, and I was given a whole lot. So I have this beautiful pile of new books, some of which I have already read over the course of June!

First of all, my sister Jess and I were sent two books by our friend Grace (because she’s fab, OK?) which were The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín and The Loneliest Girl In The Universe by Lauren JamesThe Call is about a fantasy world where all teenagers are ‘Called’ at some point before they reach adulthood; when this happens, they are sent into the Grey Land, before returning to the normal world three minutes later. Most die, and in this story the main characters are fighting to protect themselves from both this fantastical enemy, and ones within their own school (I read this book this month and was absolutely hooked). The Loneliest Girl In The Universe is the story of a boy and a girl, alone on separate spaceships travelling to a new planet; the two communicate via email, and slowly fall in love. This sounds adorable, and I love Lauren James’ writing, so I am so excited to read this!

As some of you know, I did a week working at Gallic Books in London, and they were super lovely and gave me a number of their titles to read, such as Murder on the Eiffel Tower by Claude Izner, which is about a young bookseller who tries to solve the mystery of a woman who dropped dead on the Eiffel Tower; Hector and the Search For Happiness by Francois Lelord, the story of a psychiatrist who takes a trip around the world to discover true happiness. I was also given an ARC of Green Lion by Henrietta Rose-Innes, which is a story set in Cape Town about a man and the last black-maned lioness in the world. Next I was given a copy of The Suicide Shop by Jean Teulé; in this story, set in the future, many people have lost the will to live, and have turned to The Suicide Shop as the answer to their troubles (I think this sounds particularly interesting). The final two books I read during my time at Gallic Books: The Portrait by Antoine Laurain and The Threat Level Remains Severe by Rowena MacDonald, both of which I enjoyed immensely.

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