Archive for the ‘Walker’ Category

Review: Unlocked – Ryan G. Van Cleave

Cover of Unlocked by Ryan G. Van Cleave

Title: Unlocked
Author: Ryan G. Van Cleave
Publication date: July 1st, 2011
Publisher: Walker & Company
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-8027-2355-0
Length: 170 pages
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Age group: Young Adult
Source: Gift
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository

Andy didn’t know Blake before he heard the rumour about the gun. As the janitor’s son, Andy has his own problems with nasty rumour—a commonality that paves the way for a real friendship. But when Blake starts acting strangely, Andy wonders if the gun has unlocked emotions in Blake that are more than either of them can handle. Suspecting that Blake might have a deadly plan in mind, can Andy accept that some secrets shouldn’t be kept?

If I had to sum this book up, I’d say it’s something I’ve never read before.  When I first saw Unlocked, I had no idea that it was written in verse. So imagine my surprise when I got the book the other day, flipped through it and saw that it is. Then I became sceptical. You see, I’m not a poetry fan (I’ve never been), therefore I haven’t even thought about reading a book that looked like a poem before. Right until now.

All I can say to anyone who -like me- doesn’t like poetry: this is entirely different. Initially, my biggest concern was that how can you express yourself in just about 170 pages (which, considering the fact that it’s written in verse, can be read in a few hours)? How can you describe the characters and make us feel sorry for them, love them, hate them, you name it? Well, Ryan G. Van Cleave managed to do that. I did feel sorry for Andy. He was bullied throughout his high school years, was ignored on a daily basis, came from a poor background and well… he made mistakes. But didn’t we all? I just loved Andy. He reminded me a little bit of myself when I was younger so I could definitely associate with him.

Unlocked is a short but very effective and emotional story about choosing between friendship and what is right. Fans of young adult novels will no doubt enjoy this, even if you haven’t read anything like this before. Ryan G. Van Cleave manages to describe the characters in so much detail and in such few words that it will definitely make you go ‘wow’. Brilliant! I can’t recommend it enough.

*Thank you to Faye from A Daydreamer’s Thoughts for sending me a copy of this book*

Review: Fracture – Megan Miranda

Title: Fracture
Author: Megan Miranda
Publication date: January 17th 2012
Publisher: Walker Books
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781408817391
Length: 268 pages
Genre: YA fiction / paranormal

Order from Amazon US  | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

By the time Delaney Maxwell was pulled from a Maine lake’s icy waters by her best friend, Decker Phillips, her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead.

But somehow Delaney survived—despite the brain scans that show irreparable damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be fine, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney now finds herself drawn to the dying, and when she meets Troy Varga, a boy who recently emerged from a coma with the same abilities, she is relieved to share this strange new existence. Unsure if her altered brain is predicting death or causing it, Delaney must figure out if their gift is a miracle, a freak of nature—or something else much more frightening….

Fracture, Megan Miranda’s debut novel, simply took my breath away. As a combination of amazing writing style, intriguing plot and easily relatable characters, it has all the ingredients of a perfect book. Miranda manages to grab your attention on the very first page and make you keep on reading until the very end. Fracture is a real page-turner from a highly talented debut author – a definite must have for the fans of YA fiction.

If I had to choose one thing about this book I loved the most, I’d be at a loss. The story is very intriguing and fast paced – it grabs you at the very beginning and doesn’t let you put the book down right until the end. It has everything an excellent story should have: a little bit of mystery, hidden secrets, and romance as well. I’m always a little bit scared when it comes to YA romance because sometimes it comes off a bit cheesy, but Fracture is everything but cheesy. Miranda’s writing style is just brilliant. She describes everything in such a way, in such details that it’s almost as if you watched a film instead of reading the book. It’s as if you were there with the characters and experienced everything they were going through.

In addition to a marvellous plot and writing style, Miranda’s characters are easily relatable and quite likeable. Delaney and Decker are a fantastic duo and they make the book even better. There’s something about him, something I can’t quite put my finger on that makes you love him even if he’s being rude or annoying. I found Delaney’s relationship with her mother how she was turning into her own mother quite interesting as well. Coming from a family where her father abused her and her mother didn’t care about her at all, Delaney’s mum does everything she can to get rid of her past and forget her painful memories. I found it interesting how she was always scrubbing the kitchen counter even if it was immaculately clean, almost as if she wanted to erase something from her life and how Delaney started doing the same thing towards the end of the book.

With a gripping storyline comes a surprising and thrilling ending – I seriously couldn’t have predicted what was about to happen and the author had me on the edge of my seat all along. I’m not lying when I say I loved everything about this book. Every single detail was perfectly written and I literally devoured it within 24 hours. A fantastic debut from a brilliant author whose work has completely taken me by surprise – I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.