REVIVED by Cat Patrick

After dying five times- Daisy is getting pretty tired of it. She has to relocate each time, with a new name, school, everything- a new life. It’s an intriguing plot that’s quick paced, an easy read, and it’s one that you can get lost in quickly. Revive is the drug that brings people back to life, and Daisy is part of that program.

Daisy.

Daisy, Daisy, Daisy.

She is a typical teenage girl- immature, silly, obsessed with popularity, you get the point. Which is fine for the immature, silly, popularity-obsessed teenage girls who read it; but I’d have liked the main character to be a little bit more mature. I find it a little bit silly that she died 5 times in 11 years purely by accident. As time went on, though, she began to grow on me a little bit- and by the end, I was just as broken as she was when the (surprisingly sad) ending came along.

Back to Revive! The creator has been given the name “God” due to his ability to bring people back to life. Those who work in the program are called his “disciples”.

The plot had a lot of promise! It was so, so interesting. The beginning was so easy to get lost in. This didn’t live up to Forgotten, which is incredible. Daisy’s relationship was quite predictable. But I’d have loved for more to be spent on the program- especially because the entire plot went so much deeper that there was a lot more that could have come out of this.

I loved her relationship with Mason, her “parental figure” for this book. They had such a believable father/daughter relationship. I loved Megan and Audrey. Matt…he’s a slightly different story- his character wasn’t as fleshed out as I would have preferred. I say that about a lot of characters, but it’s true!

No matter how much I’ve pointed out the low points- there are also a lot of highs, and I’d definitely recommend this. Age- early teen, I guess! 12-14, because it’s easiest to relate to Daisy. But you can read it whenever.

I’ll just finish with a quote: “Anger is manageable. Sadness is heartbreaking.”

Not sure why I love that so much, but I do.

 

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AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES by John Green

 

So, imagine this: this guy’s a childhood prodigy, good at school, that kind of thing. He is something special. Nerdy, obsessed with anagramming, but special all the same. (And no, he doesn’t sparkle. Or have magic powers. Or have any weird scars.) He meets a girlAn Abundance of Katherines by John Green named Katherine and they start dating.

 

He’s dumped.

 

Then 18 more Katherines dump him. Not Catherines, or Cathys, or Kates, or Kittys- Katherines. Just Katherines. I’m guessing you’re having some inkling about why the book’s called what it is?

 

It’s quirky and nerdy and generally fun for a light read. It’s not quite as “deep” as his other books though, for want of a better word. It’s not “laugh out loud” funny… it’s more sniggering-in-mild-amusement.

 

The thing that carries you through the book is his insistence that he can create a theorem about dumpers/dumpees and finally stop being a dumpee. It’s kind of stupid- in the funny way.

 

I’ve read so many negative reviews on this book. I found it slightly surprising, but then I noticed that everyone compared it to Will Grayson, Will Grayson (which I am currently in the middle of) and The Fault in our Stars– which, by the way, are fantastic- but the whole idea of those two is much more serious, and I don’t think it’s a fair comparison.

 

I mean, they all use the same John Green element, but An Abundance of Katherines is a road trip book. Literally, and figuratively. He goes on a road trip and finds what he’s been looking for. And I get why people get bored…it’s just, I think you’d have to have a relatively short attention span to get bored as early as some people did. If you do, I’m guessing this is not the book for you! It’s that kind of book that’s only suited to some people- not like some of John Green’s others, which are suited to almost every teenager I know, book-loving or not. It’s for ages 12-14-ish, I’d say, but then your preferences for the type of book you read come in. If you’re like me- reading anything you get your hands on- or if you like funny-ish kind of books, then read it. If you like John Green, read it. If you’re not any of those things- read it anyway!

 

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EAST by Edith Pattou

Also called North Child

“ROSE HAS ALWAYS BEEN DIFFERENT.

Since the day she was born, it was clear she had a special fate. Her superstitious mother keeps the unusual circumstances of Rose’s birth a secret, hoping to prevent her adventurous daughter from leaving home…but she can’t suppress Rose’s true nature forever.

EAST by Edith PattouSo when an enormous white bear shows up one cold autumn evening and asks teenage Rose to come away with it- in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family- she readily agrees.

Rose travels on this bear’s broad back to a distant and empty castle, where she is nightly joined by a mysterious stranger. In discovering his identity, she loses her heart- and finds her purpose- and realizes her journey has only just begun.”

This is a book I’ve reread countless times. I read it first when I was about nine, and I read it again last night, and I saw the recommended age was twelve and above! It isn’t as well known as it deserves to be. It’s a retelling of the Norwegian folk tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon.

There’s a quote in the front that I think sums up my thoughts pretty well:

“Pattou has brought the tale of an enchantment, a Troll Queen, a talking polar bear, and a fabulous ice castle so completely to life that it hardly seems like fantasy.”

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It’s incredibly real. It’s not comically ‘talking polar bear’ and not Disney-movie-style ‘ice palace’ and ‘enchantment’. It’s not hilariously ugly ‘Troll Queen’. It’s very, very real because it’s all so very different. It’s told in different point of views, but mainly from the point of view of Rose, who is the main character of this story. You follow her from a really young age, where a lot of the talking is done by her family, and then it moves to mainly her, with bursts of the Troll Queen and, of course, our White Bear (the talking polar bear), who is the second biggest character- not speaking role wise, but plot wise. The book is quite thick, 507 pages, but please don’t let that put you off! It’s incredible. It’s got quite a heavy element of superstition- it’s her mother’s fault a lot of this happens, all because her mother is so superstitious.

Age? Well, as I said earlier- I read it when I was nine years old and I was fine (but I’m an incredibly obsessive reader)- but the recommended age is 12 and I think that’s good. This is one of those timeless reads that you can read whenever, though!

 

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BURNING BRIGHT by Sophie McKenzie

“In this second book in the series, following on from Falling Fast, four months have passed and River and Flynn’s romance is still going strong. River thinks Flynn has his anger under control, but when she discovers he has been getting into fights and is facing a terrible accusation at school, she starts to question Flynn’s honesty. Things come to a head at a family get together when River sees Flynn fly into one unprovoked rage too many. The consequences for both of them are devastating and threaten to tear them apart forever.”

This is, as mentioned in the book’s blurb above, the sequel to Falling Fast. I read both books in one day- they were short and relatively easy reads- because I have been literally book starved as of late and I was desperate to read something new! I guessdisappointed is too strong a word, because- as I mentioned in my review of Falling Fast– this kind of book might be right up some people’s street. It’s romantic, simple, and short, and it’s very normal. It’s about a teenager who falls in love with a violent guy. I mean, Flynn’s not violent toward River herself, but he’s violent to everyone else. So this follows on from Falling Fast, and Flynn’s been getting into fights and being accused of stealing iPads and all sorts of things. So during this big drama over who “stole” the iPad, River starts doubting Flynn, and then Flynn beats up his dad- who is the definition of the “evil parent”, so I get why he did it even though it was a bit extreme- and he and River are torn apart by his having to move away.

One character I like is River’s dad. He’s laid back. But even he disapproves of Flynn, understandably, and this is where River turns into a bit too much of a “typical” teenager for my liking. Overall- I preferred this book to the previous, because there was a little bit more to the plot, but really not my kind of series. Genre- romance. Age, like the previous one, around 13-14.

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FALLING FAST by Sophie McKenzie

“When River’s all-girls’ school joins up with the local boys’ school for a performance of Romeo and Juliet, River auditions for a part and finds herself smitten by Flynn, the boy playing Romeo. River believes in romantic love, and she can’t wait to experience it, but there’s something about Flynn River can’t quite work out, and as they spend more time together, she finds she’s still a long way from understanding – or trusting – him. A roller-coaster story of first love and all the ups and downs that entails.”

This was a bit of a chick flick, if I’m honest. There’s really no other way to say that. It was girly and romantic and not at all my kind of thing, but I’m going to try not to be biased! It was, in my opinion, not one of Sophie McKenzie’s better books. You read the blurb and you’re not really surprised when you read the book itself…there’s not really a massive plot twist that really grips you. There’s River, and her two friends Emmi and Grace, and they audition for Romeo and Juliet- the girl parts, of course. Grace is shy-and-pretty, Emmi is bold-and-gorgeous, and River is River- which is to say, I-don’t-think-I’m-pretty-but-the-boy-I-like-finds-me-gorgeous. Flynn has not so much of a “secret” as a different lifestyle to the rest. There is one thing about Flynn, though, and that’s his personality. He’s moody and strange and yet she falls for him anyway.

It’s a story I’m not massively fond of, mainly because it’s not my type of genre. But it’s worth a read if you enjoy romance. It’s quite short and I have to say this for it- it’s quite ‘different’. Age, I’d say around 13-14.

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