A beautiful summer of books…

I have read so many books since I last posted… especially over the last month or so while I have been on ‘summer holidays’.

I do not have the time, or the phenomenal amount of energy necessary to review all of the books in detail – so I’ll list most of them, review some and only go into detail about a few! Here goes:

  • Misfit by Jon Skovron
Jael has never fit in – but then she has never stayed in one place long enough to make a serious attempt. Her father is an ex-priest with trust issues. Her mother died when she was very young. This time things are different though – perhaps she will be able to stay here for longer than a year! As her 16th birthday arrives, Jael must face up to her destiny and come to terms with her new and potentially devastating powers… with the help of her uncle (a five thousand year old demon) and the cute skater boy who wants to date her…
Really enjoyed this one! Maybe I spent too many years at Catholic School – but I found the characters likeable and enjoyed the action sequences!
  • The Lunar Chronicles : Cinder by Marissa Meyer
At first I thought this would be a Steam Punk novel based on the Cinderella fairytale. It isn’t. It is a science fiction novel based on Cinderella with some very interesting twists. Set in the future, after World War IV has totally rearranged the world and the moon, Cinder is a cyborg (mostly human but part machine) who earns her way by working as a mechanic and giving all the proceeds to her mean and nasty (but not necessarily wicked) stepmother. The empire, based in New Beijing, is being devastated by the Letumosis Plague. As the old Emperor dies of the plague, after years of frantic research fails to find a cure, his son, Prince Kai finds himself desperately holding of the political machinations of Queen Lavana, the ruler of Lunar. As Kai and Cinder’s stories collide and entwine through their personal experiences with the plague, the plot thickens as the plague originates from Lunar and Queen Levana uses her personal magic (bioelectricity) to enthrall the people as she attempts to take over the Empire and eventually, the world!!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book – loved the idea (I have a soft spot for re-told fairytales), and the characters who though not perfect, show strength and humour as they battle their personal demons and try to do what is right for the greater good!
  • Legend by Marie Lu
I actually read this one to review it for Penguin, my review will hopefully be included on their blog in January/February! I’ll twitter the link if they do!
  • Daughters of Saraqael : Becoming by Raine Thomas
  • Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Red Handed by Gena Sholwater
  • 13 to Life by Shannon Delany
  • Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith
  • Diabolical by Cynthia Leitich Smith
  • Hereafter by Tara Hudson
  • Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne
  • My Sould to Take by Rachel Vincent
  •  The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Not the series recommended to me by one of my students, (Isabel recommended the Darkest Powers series by the same author), but I thoroughly enjoyed this shape shifting / Native American Indian fantasy for young adults! The second book in the series, The Calling is due out in the USA in April.
  • Darke Academy : Secret Lives by Gabrielle Poole
Not a bad take on the Boarding School / scholarship kid who doesn’t belong / some supernatural evil and general teenage drama…
  • Swoon by Nina Malkin
Ghost bad boy set on revenge… misfit adolescent girl with some witchy abilities thrown in…
  • Through her eyes by Jennifer Archer
More ghosts, but really enjoyable ideas for this one – big city girl, out of place in a small Texan town, taking photos to stay sane. She is being haunted by a ghost that at first she can only see through the lens of her camera, but he is becoming more and more real!
  • Emily the Strange : the Lost Days by Rob Reger and Buzz Parker
I have a many requests for this recently at work – thought I better read it before putting it in the Library… thoroughly enjoyed this, but not for younger students and the writing can be left of centre.
  • Demon Trappers Daughter by Jana Oliver
Demons are not easy, Demon trapping is even more so when your father gets killed and the demons are out to get you!
  • The Mortal Instruments : City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  • The Mortal Instruments : City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Demon Hunters, Vampires, Werewolves, magic and mayhem… What’s not to love about this Urban Fantasy?!
  • The Walker Papers : Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy
Native American Indian shamanism meets Celtic legend in the form of the Wild Hunt!
  • Don’t kill the messenger by Eileen Rendahl
Feisty protagonist – vampires – werewolves… someone has to be the messenger!
  • Room by Emma Donoghue
Not for the faint hearted – I read this one for Book Club… the story of a kidnap and rape victim who is kept in a small shed in the back garden, told from the point of view of her 5 year old son, also held captive in the shed…
  • Dark Secrets 3 : The Back Door of Midnight by Elizabeth Chandler
I tend to enjoy Elizabeth Chandler’s ghost stories with a supernatural twit – and this one was no exception!
  • The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Caught up in the Jack the Ripper returns frenzy when she attends her new boarding school in London, Rory Deveaux from the bayous of Louisiana is way out of her depth, when she can see the ghost who is impersonating the Ripper…
  • The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
Another American attending school in London, this time set in the 50s with Janie stumbling into the intrigue surrounding the disappearance of her new friend Benjamin’s father – the Apothecary! Magic and mystery surround his activities as the Russians and German spies chase Janie and Benjamin across London and even over the sea to Greenland!
If you are interested in any of the books I haven’t commented on or reviewed – please feel free to post a comment or ask a question!!!

The Glass Demon by Helen Grant

The Glass Demon by Helen Grant

The Glass Demon by Helen Grant

Lin Fox has a very unusual home life. Her father is a University Professor, her relationship with her mother is not really explored until the last pages of the book, her sister is either anorexic or bolemic and her baby brother gets looked after largely by his oldest sister.

Dr Oliver Fox is a charasmatic Professor of Medieval Studies, who drags his family off to Germany for a year in search of the Allerheiligen Glass, even though Lin is the only one in the family with even a smattering of German, and she is abou tot start her O levels. On the way to their new home, they discover and fail to report a body and things go seriously downhill from there as a series of deaths and attacks occur, each marked by shards of broken glass.

The Allerheiligen Glass are rumoured to be haunted by a demon and given the bizarre events of the book, I could almost believe it was true!

The main character, Lin is reasonably likeable, but tends to be very self absorbed (even for a teenager), headstrong and sarcastic. There are several possible bad guys, lots of drama and histrionics and not a lot of sensible parenting! Reasonably enjoyable… but not as gripping as I had hoped!