Archive for the ‘Action/adventure’ Category

Review: Survive – Alex Morel

Cover of Survive by Alex Morel

Title: Survive
Author: Alex Morel
Publication date: August 2, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin Books)
Format: Ebook
ASIN: B006CU9XRI
Length: 273 pages
Genre: Adventure
Age group: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository

Synopsis

Jane is on a plane on her way home to Montclair, New Jersey, from a mental hospital. She is about to kill herself. Just before she can swallow a lethal dose of pills, the plane hits turbulence and everything goes black. Jane wakes up amidst piles of wreckage and charred bodies on a snowy mountaintop. There is only one other survivor: a boy named Paul, who inspires Jane to want to fight for her life for the first time.

Jane and Paul scale icy slopes and huddle together for warmth at night, forging an intense emotional bond. But the wilderness is a vast and lethal force, and only one of them will survive.

My thoughts

I don’t know what it is about plane crash/survival stories that fascinates me but I’ve always loved these types of books. Judging by the synopsis, Survive sounded just like my cup of tea but it turned out to be even better than what I expected. There are actually no words to describe how much I enjoyed reading this book, other than… oh my goodness.

In terms of the plot itself, it’s not the most mysterious story you’ll ever read. Basically, a girl called Jane Solis, who’s been living in a mental hospital for the past 12 months or so, is on her way back home for the Christmas holidays – the problem is, she doesn’t intend to leave the plane alive. She carefully planned her own death down to the tiniest details – but things don’t go her way. Just when she’s about to hit the switch and swallow a handful of pills, the  plane hits turbulence and crashes. They landed on a snowy mountaintop in the middle of nowhere and no one seems to be alive but her. Jane, who was about to take her own life a few hours ago. Then he finds a guy called Paul and as much as they irritate each other at first, they join forces and try to figure out how to stay alive and get out of there as soon as possible. Since most of these are given in the synopsis, things don’t take you by surprise – but still, there was something about this book that made me keep on reading. I’m quite a slow reader but I devoured the first half of the book in one sitting. I think that says it all.

One of the things I loved the most about Survive is how much Jane changed during those 6 or 7 days they’ve spent on the mountain. She’s definitely come a long way from being a suicide, someone who’s constantly angry, anxious and just bored with her own life. I also loved how her relationship with Paul has changed during their adventure and how they kept motivating each other to go on and fight. I pretty much sobbed my way through the last 40 or 50 pages – it was beautifully written.

(more…)

Review: Call Down Thunder – Daniel Finn

Cover of Call Down Thunder by Daniel Finn

Title: Call Down Thunder
Author: Daniel Finn
Publication date: July 5, 2012
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-230-73800-3
Length: 320 pages
Genre: Adventure
Age group: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository

Synopsis

From the author of the critically acclaimed Two Good Thieves comes another gripping, fast-paced and vividly rendered story of bravery, corruption and survival.

Reve and his sister Mi are alone in the world – their father is dead and their mother has abandoned them. Reve has to learn to be a man – to fight, to fish, to live. He must protect Mi from the rest of the world; she is special, hears voices, can see things. She can call down thunder. Travelling to the big city to search for their mother, Reve and Mi get sucked into the squalid underworld of the sprawling barrio, where danger lurks around every corner, and each day is a fight for survival.

My thoughts

I started Call Down Thunder expecting to read an action-filled mystery written for the young adult generation but about 40 pages in I realised this was going to be something entirely different. All in all, this book for me was like a roller coaster ride. My initial reaction was that this was not my cup of tea, after all. I found the way people talked irritating, and the story quite slow-paced and I was starting to feel discouraged. But since I’m patient and don’t like to quit, I kept on reading and how glad I am for that! Because once I got used to how people talk and got to know them a little bit better, I couldn’t put the book down.

As I mentioned, if you’re looking for a gut-wrenching action novel you’ll be just as surprised as I initially was. The first half of the story introduces us to Reve’s life and what he has to go through every single day to protect himself and Mi. We get to know Tomas, who looked after them after their father died and their mother left the village, and all their enemies. For Reve and Mi might be young, but regular fights and hostility are not unknown to them. I found this bit quite long-winded and slow but once the siblings leave the village in order to track down their mother, I started to really enjoy the story. Reve is a brilliant character who changes a lot by the end of the story. I love his courage, his loyalty and the fact that he’s always there to protect Mi or people who need help – and he’s only a kid. I love how he cling to his loved ones but eventually, he learns how to let go.

(more…)

Review: Torn – David Massey

Cover of Torn by David Massey

Title: Torn
Author: David Massey
Publication date: 2 August, 2012
Publisher: Chicken House
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-908435-1-70
Length: 259 pages
Genre: Action / Adventure
Age group: Young Adult
Source: For review
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository

Synopsis

Afghanistan. In the heat and dust, young British Army medic Elinor Nielson watches an Afghan girl walk into a hail of bullets. But when she runs to help, Ellie finds her gone. Who is she? And what’s happened to her? What Ellie discovers leads her to question everything she believes in – even her feelings for the American lieutenant who takes her side…

My thoughts

When I first saw David Massey’s Torn and what the story’s about, I knew I had to read it. Even though the synopsis doesn’t give too much away, I had a feeling I’d be in for an emotional ride. My only concern was that (and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way) I don’t normally read war books so I was hoping it wouldn’t be too… you know, war-like and all about politics. However, I shouldn’t have worried – for David Massey makes this difficult subject accessible for the young adult generation with such ease that you just won’t be able to put the book down.

Torn is narrated by a 19-year-old British medic called Ellie, who’s recently joined the troops in Afghanistan. Ellie is likeable and funny but very down-to-earth and ordinary as well – just like any of us. Massey’s aim by writing the story from a young girl’s perspective was to raise awareness to the fact that many young adults have died in the Afghan war, as well as adults. In fact, most of the characters in Torn are around Ellie’s age, and even younger. There are kids as young as 12 and soldiers around the age of 20-23.  Reading what these people have been through was definitely an eye-opener for me. Even though it’s not just about people dying but friendship, love, and forgiveness as well, you still can’t help thinking about troops who are fighting in these circumstances day by day.

(more…)