Monday, 27 June 2011

A Round up of Reviews

I’ve been catching up on a bit of Children’s and Young Adult reading recently. It’s a good idea to keep up with the genre in which you write and since I’m writing thrillers for a younger audience this is what I’ve been reading:

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Teenager John moves from town to town, always on the run, always desperate to fit in. But he has a secret. Once there were nine, three are dead and he is next – he is number four.

Blood Ties by Sophie McKenzie
Theo and Rachel think they know who they are, but when Theo finds out that the father he thought was dead is in fact still alive they discover a truth about their identities that will change everything for ever.

Ice Shock by MG Harris
The second instalment in The Joshua Files - Josh’s search for the truth about his father’s death leads back to Mexico and to the discovery of a shocking secret.

So what did I think of them?

First of all I’d like to say that I enjoyed all three of these in different ways. They were all very readable, but not always that satisfying.

I am Number Four has had a huge amount of hype and yet I found it something of a disappointment. It was all just a bit too predictable, and too obviously setting up the rest of the series. Even so it hooked me in and kept me reading. Yes I enjoyed it but no, I won’t be rushing out to buy the next one.

Blood Ties and Ice shock on the other hand are a far more satisfying read. Both have sound central concepts, engaging characters and quality plotting.

Blood Ties reads very much as a stand alone, although I do see there is a sequel. I particularly like the way the author developed her characters, and how they overcame their respective vulnerabilities. It’s a cracking story that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Ice Shock is the second in a five book series and as a result the series arc is more developed. However this in no way detracts from the story at hand. I read the first book, Invisible City, a while ago, but I think this one is much better. The author left me satisfied and yet wanting more. Now there’s a skill I hope I manage to master one day. I’m pleased to see that books 3 and 4 are already out and the final one will come out next year. Off to the bookshop for me.

Does anyone have any other recommendations in this genre?


  1. I've a huge backlog of YA books to catch up on, mainly as research, like your good self.

    One that I read a while back which has stuck in my mind is Revolver, by Marcus Sedgwick. Great central concept, and very tightly written. Not read anything else by him yet, but will do.

    And I must get round to reading Ice Shock, very slack...

  2. Hi Kate I read Blood Ties. She does have some great ideas for her novels, though I find her MC's to be very egotistical. However, I guess that's a reflection of youth?

    BTW Your burning question was answered over at mine ;O)

  3. Thanks for your honest reviews, Kate. As for YA recommendations, I recently finished The Mockingbirds, by Daisy Whitney and Across the Universe, by Beth Revis. And I really enjoyed the MG novel, Small Persons With Wings, by Ellen Booraem.

    I have a little something for you on my blog :)

  4. Thanks,John, for the recommendation. I'll chack that one out.

    And Madeline - just popped over there foir a look - come great advice :-)

    Suzy, thanks for the lovely award. And the recommendations too. I've not heard of those so I'll look them up.


  5. I'm a little late in commenting I know...

    I'm also going through a YA period and have just finished all four books in the "Gone" series by Michael Grant. The first one is described somewhere as "if Stephen King wrote The Lord of the Flies, this is what it would be like" I enjoyed all four, great writing, very simple yet compelling. You almost don't realise you've whizzed through a hundred pages.

    I've also jumped on the 'The Hunger Games" bandwagon. I'm currently halfway through the second book. Not bad either.

  6. I haven't read the Gone series yet, but they look really interesting. I'll add them to my list. Thanks :-)

  7. I haven't read any of these, so thanks for the reviews. I do love to read reviews! I would rec The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials by Dashner.

  8. Oooh, those sound interesting!

  9. I recently read the first book of the "Gone" series and loved the opening and the end but found the middle just didn't work for me.

    Michelle Harrison's "13 Treasures" (first in a series of 3) is definitely worth a read. The opening chapter is wonderful - everything a good opening should have.

    And let's not forget the inimitable "Holes" by Louis Sachar. Wonderful book that stays with you long after the last page.

  10. I read 13 Treasures with my daughter recently - she loved it!

    I'll check out Holes, thanks.


Please share you thoughts, I'd love to hear from you....