After my binge on Cosy Mysteries last month, this month I indulged myself by reading two books I brought some time ago, and in the middle I was sidetracked by a series I picked up from a newsletter promo.
At first glance it looks as though it was all over the place with my reading, but there was a real theme running through my books – the leads were strong girls/women. That is not so say these books will only appeal to girls, because boys will enjoy them too, but I have to say it is refreshing to have females taking the lead for a change.
The Secret Runners of New York by Matthew Riley
Matthew Riley is known for his fast paced adventure novels, and The Secret Runners of New York is no exception. Although this book starts out as a typical teen novel about newbies fitting in, it quickly turns into something very different.
When Skye and her brother Red are sent to New York to live with their mother and her new, wealthy husband they are thrown into a world where Sky struggles to fit. Not only does she have to navigate her way through the social etiquette of a new school, but there is a doomsday prophecy saying the world will end, and her brother tells her of a secret tunnel he and his new friends have been visiting.
This book started slowly for me, but about a third of the way through I found it difficult to put down – I just had to know what happened. Although all the characters in this books are believable and compelling, it was Skye I was drawn to as she struggled between needing to be accepted and doing the right thing.
With dystopian fiction I normally recommend them only for people who enjoy that genre, but in this instance I think anyone that loves reading about teen relationships will also enjoy this novel. It goes straight onto my highly recommended list.
The Single Ladies of The Jacaranda Retirement Village by Joanna Nell
Many of you may be thinking this is an odd choice for a review dealing with books for children and young adults, but there is a method to my madness.
I think sometimes we pidgeon hole reading material, and leave things out people might really enjoy. The Single Ladies of the Jacaranda Retirement Village is one of those books, and I think there are many young adult readers that will love this book.
Joanna Nell’s heroine, Peggy is at the tail end of her life, but funnily enough she is facing some of the same issues teenagers face. After the death of her husband she is not sure how to go about gaining the attentions of the man who has caught her eye, nor is she quite sure where she fits in or how she fits in in her new home int he retirement village. Most of all though, she is not sure who Peggy Smart is without her role as wife and mother.
This funny, captivating story is full of brilliant characters, has some twists and turns in the plot that you just do not see, and reminds us that many of the problems we face as young adults stay with us throughout life. This is a book I am recommending to everyone I meet, no matter their age.
The Arc Series by Alexandra Moody
You will notice below I have a link to another promotion of Young Adult Books, and I have to admit I have been picking up a lot of my reading material from these of late. I guess it is a lazy way to find material I like reading because it is so convenient.
Once book I chose was Tainted by Alexandra Moody. Once again this book started slow for me, but half-way through I was completely hooked, and I then read the rest of the series one book after the other (gotta love e-readers).
Orphan Elle lives in the Arc, an underground facility where survivors of an asteroid hit live. While negotiating High School her biggest fear is she will loose her friends as a result of the annual tests. Fear of an infection running through the facility means anyone caught with the virus during their test is removed, never to be seen again. When one of her friends is taken, how far will she go to find out what is really going on?
The world Alexandra Moody has created is intricate, amazing and fresh. I loved her characters, and I loved Elle, who shows what and ordinary girl in an extreme situation is capable of. She is the hero inside of us all.
For dystopian readers, this series will be difficult to put down, I certainly think the story line and characters in Tainted make this book worth a read for those brave enough to try something new.