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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MISSING, ME by Sophie McKenzie

Missing, Me by Sophie McKenzieThird in the Girl, Missing series by Sophie McKenzie.

Madison and Lauren are finally safe, but now Madison wants to know who her real dad is. She sets off to try and track him down alone, but when she finds him it pulls her into a crazy world she never expected.

With her real dad, she goes to stunning Esme Baxter’s birthday party, and Madison, Esme and Esme’s friend Wolf soon become good friends. When Madi sneaks into Declan Baxter’s office, she discovers the Miriam Project, an illegal project Baxter is carrying out.

Amidst all the chaos, when Baxter sees Madi helping Miriam 21 escape, Lauren vanishes, leaving only an apple and a cross as clues to where she has gone. Jam thinks she’s gone on holiday, but when Madi digs deeper, she finds out what’s really going on…

What is the Miriam Project? What’s Declan Baxter doing to Lauren? And can Madi trust Wolf?

This was really amazing. When I first found out about it, I wasn’t crazy about the plot, but after the first page, I was hooked- read it cover to cover in an hour. It’s amazing!!!! Ages 11-13.


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Sister, MISSING by Sophie McKenzie

Sister, Missing by Sophie McKenzie
Second in the GIRL, MISSING series by Sophie McKenzie.

Lauren Purditt is living normally again, or not… she’s shuttling between her two families: one real, one adoptive. Right now, she’s staying with her real family, the Purditts, and is taking her sister, Madison, to the beach. It’s the same beach where Lauren went missing all those years ago. Madison goes to buy ice cream for herself while Lauren finds a spot, but Madison doesn’t come back.

Lauren searches for her frantically, but Madison is nowhere to be seen. Annie is no help, so Lauren, Shelby and Jam are the only ones who can look. Along the way, Lauren discovers a huge secret… how many fathers did she have? And who is behind this? Is it Sonia Holtwood again? And can Lauren finally sort things out with Shelby?

This book was great, and definitely didn’t disappoint. Good for ages 11-13-ish… next in this series is Missing, Me.


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GIRL, MISSING by Sophie McKenzie

Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenZieFirst of a series by Sophie McKenzie.

Written in the POV of sixteen-year-old girl Lauren, who lives with an adopted family. Lauren is leading a perfectly normal life, with her best friend Jam, but what happens when she wants to know more about her real family?

With Jam, Lauren escapes to America, because on a MISSING PERSONS site she saw an old photo of herself, and the family’s address was in America.  They escape from the airport, where Lauren, Jam and Lauren’s family were meant to be going on a holiday. When they reach America, Lauren and Jam head to the adoption agency which handled Lauren, but they prove to be of little help. Lauren guesses that she was kidnapped.

But what happens when Lauren’s kidnapper picks up Jam and Lauren? And what does she have in mind for them?

This book was amazing. I loved it, and it’s great for ages 11-13-ish… It’s awesome and the next in the series is Sister, Missing


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BLOOD RANSOM by Sophie McKenzie

Sequel to Blood Ties by Sophie Mckenzie.

Blood Ransom by Sophie Mckenzie

In Blood Ransom, Rachel and Theo have both been relocated to different places so RAGE (Righteous Army against Genetic Engineering) can’t find and kill them. However, to keep in touch, Rachel and Theo meet once a week in different chat rooms. When Rachel misses her weekly chat, Theo is worried, and when researching, he comes across an article saying Rachel killed herself.

He travels to Scotland immediately, certain she has been kidnapped. Meanwhile, Rachel is still alive, and is on a near suicidal mission to save Daniel, another young clone of Elijah who Rachel thinks is about to be killed. A clue leads Theo to Elijah’s hideout, where Rachel is being held and the sinister Aphrodite experiment is being carried out. Theo is also captured and he and Rachel have no idea where they are, or what the Aphrodite experiment is. But when Rachel stumbles across the lab where Elijah has been disappearing to every day, she realizes that the stakes are higher than ever…

What is the Aphrodite Experiment? Where are Rachel and Theo being held? And where has Daniel gone?

This book was better than the first in some ways, but it was also flawed- I think Rachel changed way too much in the second book- Rachel used to be a really shy, quiet girl, and now she’s much more girly, and her personality has completely changed. There isn’t much flow between the two books. However, the books are still quite good.

Good for ages 11-14.


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BLOOD TIES by Sophie McKenzie

First of a two-book series by Sophie Mckenzie.Blood Ties by Sophie McKanzie

Blood ties is about Rachel and Theo, two 15/16 year old teenagers who have never heard of each other. However, that all changes when Theo begins asking his mother questions about his father, who he believes was a genetic scientist who is now in hiding in Germany.

Rachel knows nothing about this; she is just a girl who is bullied at school. But one night she gets a text from her dad saying, “goddess still safe in heaven”. This confuses her, but when she questions her father about the text he tells her it was a mistake and that Rachel should forget about it. He avoids answering who the text was intended for, making Rachel suspicious.

Meanwhile, Theo has learnt that Rachel’s father worked with his own father, and starts to try to find Rachel. He finds her and asks her for a meeting with her dad. Rachel tentatively agrees to take him to her house until Rachel’s father comes home.

When Rachel’s dad does reach home, he says they can discuss the matter over dinner. Theo is feeling really awkward there, and as Rachel’s dad isn’t telling him anything of use, he leaves soon.

Theo enlists Rachel’s help to get him to his dad, but as he has a bodyguard, Roy, he is finding this hard. Rachel comes up with the idea to escape from he school’s disco because it will be crowded there. Theo agrees.

Theo believes his dad is James Lawson. But when Theo and Rachel are taken by a man called Lewis, they start asking questions.

Who is James Lawson? How are Theo and Rachel connected? How are they different from others? And how does Elijah fit into the story?

This book is amazing. It’s good for 11-14, though you can read it if you’re slightly younger too.


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