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Mini Reviews #5: Some 2016 UKYA Releases

Posted January 2, 2017 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Mini Reviews #5: Some 2016 UKYA ReleasesTitle: Cell 7
Author: Kerry Drewery
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: September 22nd 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Humorous Stories, Survival Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 384

Should she live or die? You decide
An adored celebrity has been killed. Sixteen-year-old Martha Honeydew was found holding a gun, standing over the body.
Now Justice must prevail.
The general public will decide whether Martha is innocent or guilty by viewing daily episodes of the hugely popular TV show Death is Justice, the only TV show that gives the power of life and death decisions - all for the price of a phone call.
Martha has admitted to the crime. But is she guilty? Or is reality sometimes more complicated than the images we are shown on TV?

Review: Cell 7 has a brilliant concept and I was drawn in the moment I read the summary. In some ways the summary reminded me a little of When She Woke by Hilary Jordan in terms of someone being in a  televised cell after a crime but Cell 7 stands on its own and is a compelling look at media, reality and crime. I hadn’t read any of Drewery’s books before but knew her from twitter and UKYA Extravaganza as a strong voice in the UKYA world.

Cell 7 begins after a celebrity is murdered and the teenager accused of his murder is processed on Death Is Justice, the TV show that over a week the public watch to vote on whether someone is innocent or guilty with death as the punishment for guilt. In itself, this is a fascinating concept, especially when you consider how prevalent reality TV is now and how TV audiences decide and judge guilt even without voting or causing direct consequence as in Cell 7.

Martha, the main character was well written and a strong narrator. I wanted to find out why she had been found holding a gun over the body.

The reality TV structure worked well and showed how editing and behind the scenes agendas can dictate how a story is told. That said, the ending felt a little weak to me and I think the format would potentially feel a little overdone if continued ad nauseam in the sequel.

While aspects were predictable, overall this was a compulsive page-turner and a terrifying plausible world.

Mini Reviews #5: Some 2016 UKYA ReleasesTitle: The Monstrous Child
Author: Francesca Simon
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Survival Stories, Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Humorous Stories
Pages: 320

A stunning, operatic, epic drama, like no other. Meet Hel, an ordinary teenager - and goddess of the Underworld. Why is life so unfair? Hel tries to make the bets of it, creating gleaming halls in her dark kingdom and welcoming the dead who she is forced to host for eternity. Until eternity itself is threatened.
Francesca's first and wonderful foray into teen.

Review: I heard about the Monstrous Child at a Faber event at the start of 2016 (which now feels much further away than it actually was) and knew I had to read it. All about mythology? Grumpy teenage narrator? Grumpy teenage narrator who runs Hell? Yes, please! Atmospheric, very well crafted and utterly compelling, this is a brilliantly darkly fun and clever read.

Francesca Simon is most popularly know for her Horrid Henry books but according to Goodreads the Monstrous Child is third in her Mortal Gods series; that said the book description says it’s Simon’s first foray in YA so I I hadn’t read this series at all and yet it stood perfectly on its own for me and in fact I’m tempted to say from reading the descriptions on Goodreads it doesn’t really belong in a series.

Hel is exactly as she was pitched to me; an upset, irritable young woman who has not been dealt the easiest hand in life and now is going to make it work for her. The use of mythology works really well and Simon doesn’t avoid some of the more strange or grisly tales from mythology.

If you’re in the mood for a well written novel using Norse Mythology with an utterly flawed and teenage narrator then definitely check out the Monstrous Child.

Mini Reviews #5: Some 2016 UKYA ReleasesTitle: The Deviants
Author: C.J. Skuse
Publisher: Mira Ink
Publication Date: September 22nd 2016
Pages: 320
three-half-stars

When you set out for revenge, dig two graves
Growing up in the sleepy English seaside town of Brynston, the fearless five – Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane – were always inseparable. Living up to their nickname, they were the adventurous, rowdy kids who lived for ghost stories and exploring the nearby islands off the coast. But when Max’s beloved older sister Jessica is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.
Now years later, only Max and Ella are in touch; still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. Their lives are so intertwined Max’s dad even sponsors Ella’s training for the Commonwealth Games. But Ella is hiding things. Like why she hates going to Max’s house for Sunday dinner, and flinches whenever his family are near. Or the real reason she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level.
When underdog Corey is bullied, the fearless five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them. But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves?

Review: I’ve enjoyed several of C J Skuse’s YA novels so was pleased to see she had a new book coming out. The Deviants feels a little different to her previous books in my opinion, however at it’s roots is clearly CJ Skuse.

The Deviants looks at several big issues; teenage pregnancy, intimacy and several others View Spoiler » without getting preachy or didactic. There is, as you would expect with CJ, a creepy and yet realistic atmosphere to the novel with an increasingly sinister atmosphere

Overall, I enjoyed Deviants and felt the darker atmosphere worked very well. While at the start it felt a little less pacy, it developed quickly and I read the book in a couple of sittings at the most. Ella definitely felt the strongest of the characters and her journey was very interesting as her fears with taking her relationship with Max further were something not really explored in YA and yet something very real.

Dark, twisting and tense, CJ Skuse fans and YA suspense lovers should find a lot to enjoy in The Deviants.

 

Review: Cuckoo by Keren David

Review: Cuckoo by Keren David

Review: Cuckoo drew me in from the concept and I had a strong feeling this would be a great read for me.  Karen David tells the story of Jake,  a teenage actor who used to be on a popular soap, until it got cancelled.  Now he’s setting the story straight over events before the cancellation via a vlog. I liked the format of the novel being told through vlog transcripts and comments.  Keren David utilises a quite restrictive narrative device to great effect. Even in the comments there are small subplots and stories that really add to the book. I devoured Cuckoo and didn’t want to put it down. Jake really came off the page and I felt for his problems. I hadn’t personally seen explored in YA before in this way but Karen David looks at teenage homelessness without judgement. On the surface, Jake is not a character […]

Posted August 24, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Review: I adored Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door, and while I liked What I Thought Was True it didn’t quite grab me in the same way, so I was really looking forward to the chance to return to the Garrett family and Tim. My Life Next Door did a wonderful job in introducing a wide range of characters I felt deeply invested in. I really cared about the Garrett family, who felt realistic to me, I rooted for Sam and loved her development throughout the book. There were subplots and characters I cared about, like Nan and Tim. The Boy Most Likely To is definitely not My Life Next Door. It’s a little darker and moodier, not a ‘typical’ contemporary romance novel and this worked for me and felt right for her characters.. For me, The Boy Most Like To was more ‘Tim’s’ […]

Posted June 8, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 1 Comment
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Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Review: These Shallow Graves was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015. From the moment I read about it in the Bookseller, to hearing the enthusiasm from Hot Key Books at their 2015 blogger brunch, I knew this would be a book I couldn’t wait for. It has taken me a little time to review it however do not think this is because it’s not met my expectations or I didn’t enjoy it. I did. Jo Montford wants to be a writer, however that isn’t what her family or society expect from her. Everything changes when her father is found dead after supposedly accidentally shooting himself. However, Jo knows her father wouldn’t clean a loaded gun so tries to uncover the truth behind his death and is later joined by keen reporter, Eddie. These Shallow Graves is a brilliant historical […]

Posted March 30, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter

Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter

Review: I heard about the Serpent King on twitter (from the lovely Carly at Writing from the Tub whose review is here) and it sounded completely up my street so I was really pleased when I was able to obtain a review copy on Netgalley. I love books set in the Southern US states, there’s something about them and the Southern Gothic movement I find completely fascinating and the summary seemed to suggest a True Detective style atmosphere. The Serpent King is beautifully written and the small Tennessee town Dill, Lydia and Travis live in is bought off the page and feels so real. Dill, Travis and Lydia are defined, compelling and well-drawn out characters each of whom has their own story and arc within the book. Dill in particular really stands out as the main character who loves Lydia but knows […]

Posted March 28, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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January Wrap-Up

I can’t believe it’s February already, once again time just seems to be passing me by so quickly. This year I’m hoping to post monthly wrap-ups and keep to them, I have some short codes and ways that should hopefully make these a lot simpler to write. Reviewed in January Non-review posts in January What I’ve Read This month I managed to read 15 books and make some progress on my reading challenges. 1. Yes Please – Amy Poehler 2. Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill 3. All Fall Down – Ally Carter 4. Us – David Nicholls 5. The Murdstone Trilogy – Mal Peet 6. Don’t Ever Change – M. Beth Bloom 7. Frozen Charlotte – Alex Bell 8. The Minaturist – Jessie Burton 9. Simon vs the Homo Sapien Agenda -Becky Albertalli 10. Mind Games – Teri Terry […]

Posted February 4, 2015 by chooseyabooks in monthly wrap-up, Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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Very important notice for current wordpress/ email subscribers

This post is just for those of you who subscribe to my blog via email, specifically through wordpress, feedburner is unaffected by this as far I as am aware. I’ve recently started using the UBB plug in which I love and I’ve noticed that Jetpack doesn’t let me keep the short codes in my emails so you guys just get the review body of text. As I’m not happy with this, I have removed Jetpack email subscriptions from the sidebar and replaced with a different email subscriber widget.  I would ask any current subscribers getting email subscriptions from wordpress please transfer to feedburner as I am deactivating Jetpack subscriptions as of now (Friday 16th January 2015) TLDR: If you subscribe to ChooseYA via email/via wordpress and wish to continue this you WILL need to resubscribe via feedburner using the widget in the side […]

Posted January 16, 2015 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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2015 Blogging Survey

Hi everyone, I mentioned at the end of last year I wanted to conduct a survey this month to find out about how to improve ChooseYA this year. I’d also like to start a newsletter and want to gauge if people would actually read and subscribe to this. I would so appreciate you spending five minutes or so filling out this brief survey (multiple choice). If there is anything you think you would like to see more of, or would like to see on the blog and it’s not in the survey please leave me a comment or email me. The survey will be live for the next 1-2 weeks. Loading…

Posted January 13, 2015 by chooseyabooks in discussion, Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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2015 Goals and Reading Challenges

This year I want to take part (and actually remember to link up the reviews) in a few challenges as well as setting some blogging and reading goals of my own. I’m also starting a survey which should be up soon so I can have a look at how to make chooseya even better and if some features I’m toying with, like a newsletter, would be wanted so please take part if you can. 1. Maintain a regular posting schedule on the blog. Ideally 5 days a week, but three would be acceptable too. 2. Explore plug-ins and ways of enhancing the blogging experience both for myself and viewers. On that note, what are your must have plug-ins for wordpress? 3. Get more involved in things like bookstagram and maybe, just maybe one day book tube- that said, because I like […]

Posted December 30, 2014 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 1 Comment
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Mini Reviews #2

Mini Reviews #2

Title: The 100 Society Author: Carla Spradberry Publication Date:  September 4th 2014 Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books Source: Review copy from publisher via Netgalley Summary: For sixth-form student Grace Becker, The 100 Society is more than just a game; it’s an obsession. Having convinced her five friends at Clifton Academy to see it through to the end, Grace will stop at nothing to carry out the rules of the game: tagging 100 locations around the city. With each step closer to the 100-mark they get, the higher the stakes become. But when the group catches the attention of a menacing stalker – the Reaper – he seems intent on exposing their illegal game, tormenting Grace with anonymous threats and branding their dormitory doors with his ominous tag. As the once tight-knit group slowly unravels, torn apart by doubt and the death of a student, they no […]

Posted November 3, 2014 by chooseyabooks in reviews, Uncategorized / 1 Comment
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