Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The 2015 Catch Up - Part Two!

Last week I blogged about some of the books I'd read in 2015 and not yet reviewed.  Today I'm back for more of the same!  It's certainly taught me a lesson about keeping on top of reviews, that's for sure...

Backlash - Sarah Darer Littman
I read this book in one sitting on a plane journey and was immediately thrown into the worlds of the two pairs of siblings who told the story.  Lara and Syd and their neighbours Liam and Bree have  friends for most of their lives.  Even their parents are friends.  But when Lara starts messaging Christian, a gorgeous boy from a school a few towns away, everything spirals out of control.  At first she's flattered by the attention, but when Christian suddenly turns on her, telling her the world would be a better place without Lara in it, everything changes. This story explores how the behaviour of one family member can impact on others, the power of peer pressure and reminds the reader of the importance of being vigilant online.

This book had an immersive writing style which had me hooked from the off, and although I bought this on a whim, I'm so glad I did.  The four voices gave an insight into the story as a whole which took Backlash to another level, making me as a reader feel almost voyeuristic. 

A gripping YA read.

Favourite character - Liam

Goodbye Stranger - Rebecca Stead
Goodbye Stranger wasn't a book I'd heard of until YA author Keris Stainton posted a photo of its cover in her favourite books of 2015 photo on instagram.
I bought this book blindly, on that recommendation alone, and in doing so stumbled on a book which is difficult to categorise.  It's contemporary, set in New York and has multiple narrators - Bridge, who's life has been impacted by an accident, Sherm who's experiencing feelings of love for the first time and a mysterious high school student struggling with Valentine's Day.  Beyond that it's a lot about feeling and emotion, finding yourself and being who you were born to be.
Whilst I did enjoy Goodbye Stranger and thought it tackled relevant subjects such as sexting, divorce and identity, I'm unsure who the target readership is.  In fact, I noticed it was shelved in both MG and YA when I was in America (personally, I think some of the themes are too mature for many MG readers). 
It's a well written book, but it lacked something for me - I think I'd have preferred the story to have been told through the voices of Bridge and her immediate friendship group rather than the chosen narrators. 
Favourite character - Bridge


I'm going to have to do at least one more of these posts before I get back to normal reviews and start on my 2016 books - this is definitely the down side of going on holiday!!!

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