Sunday, 30 October 2011

My so-called Phantom Lovelife - Tamsyn Murray

My so-called phantom lovelife is a wonderful read for anyone who loves paranormal young adult fiction!

It is the fascinating tale of a girl called Skye, who was born with a fantastic psychic ability. Skye uses her skills for good by working at the 'Dearly Departed' spiritualist church, here she helps spirits pass over to the astral plane. She sees ghosts everywhere she goes and when a ghost called Owen alerts Skye to her drowning friend in the lake, they hit it off straight away. She begins to get to know Owen, he is a beautiful teenage boy with a noticeable scar on his face. Skye is curious because she knows that ghosts only stay on this earth if they have unfinished business or died tragically. Owen soon reveals that he had fallen through the ice, which he stepped on for a dare, during the snow . He has a mourning sister who visits the scene of the accident regularly, but Owen can't do anything to comfort her. Skye teaches Owen how to move away from the lake by carrying a pebble with him. But when Skye gets closer to Owen than her professional capacity allows she tries to encourage Owen to let go of this world and move onto the astral plane. Owen refuses point blanc and no amount of Skye talking to him will change his mind. In despair she resorts to getting back together with her ex, Nico. Nico is a member of the evil cult 'The Solomanarii' which promise ghosts a way to stay on this earth by enslaving them to the cult. This is Owen's dream ticket... can Skye stop him in time?

Tantalizingly twisting this book is very addictive. It is infact the third book in the series which includes (My so-called afterlife and My so-called haunting). I haven't read either of the previous books but I came against no problems in slipping straight into this one. I would read the others in the series because I enjoyed this book a lot.  There were certain characters which I would have liked to see have a bigger role in the plot: like Mary. Mary is an ancient ghost of a witch, I think she could have been used a lot more for comedy purposes rather than just appearing occasionally to remind the reader that it is actually different to any other teen novel. About half way through the plot you stop thinking of Owen as a real ghost but as just a normal boy, this was quite misleading sometimes. Also the scene where she gets back together with Nico is slightly unrealistic considering she knows he is part of an evil cult? I wouldn't take someone back who was in that kind of group, no matter how 'normal' he makes it sound! I give this book a fantastic four stars!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Truth about Celia Frost - Paula Rawsthorne

The Truth about Celia Frost is utterly captivating, It traps you within its pages and won't let you go until you have read it cover-to-cover. It is the story of a girl named Celia, she lives with her Mum Janice. Celia is sick, she has a rare blood disorder which means if she has the tiniest cut: the cut will never close, and she could bleed to death. She is also sick of the solitude her disorder brings her. She endures terrible bullying at school: universally known as 'Freak'. Meanwhile, Janice is living in constant panic about Celia and worries intensely. But when Celia is involved in a stab attack at school, something strange happens and it puts light on a whole new scenario. It's a secret so terrible that Celia can barely believe it, but is it true...?

...The wounds sealed by themselves...

On the other side of the city, A women who is code-named 'Nemo' instructs private investigator Frankie to find the mother and daughter. She strings him along with the promise of a heavy pay check, but will she push him too far? The character of Frankie is very mysterious, he became a private investigator after being chucked out of the police force for corrupt practice. He is being instructed to find and follow Celia and Janice, but is there more to him? Or is he just the 'baddie'?

This book had me absolutely drawn in from the ominous title, to the very last paragraph. Paula Rawsthorne leads you to several different conclusions during the plot, and you are wrong every time until the very end! I must have thought up at least seven different theories about Celia until I found out the truth!

Celia meets the mysterious boy Sol through a near death experience, yet another wake up call. He becomes the perfect excuse to get out more. It's the perfect match and they spend afternoons by the lake as he teaches Celia how to swim and become more of a teenager. Sol tries to shed light on Celia's mother's strange ways, but is he right? Celia begins to play mind games with Janice and forces her into letting her go out, blinded by rage and unaware of the hurt she is causing. Or the danger she is putting them both in.

A must read... five stars!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Meeting Matt Haigh

In my town every year there is a literature festival, and it is usually a community 'cup of tea and scone' affair. This year me and my friend went to see Matt Haigh (author of 'The Radleys').

I have read the book, it is about a family of vampires trying to be normal while their mad uncle is the typical Dracula type. They hide the fact that they're vampires from their kids so they develop terrible rashes. It is a book that I would rate 3 stars- it wasn't great, could of been better.

But I went to meet Matt, hoping that what he'd say would compel me to flick through again! Or that there was another aspect to the book I missed completely. So (tea in hand) myself and a friend went to listen to what had to be said! Matt was unlucky, he started Writing the book before the Twilight phenomenon started, and finished and published it during the twilight boom. This must have been hard, to have your unique and wonderful idea of vampires demonified by an aisle of books with bite! The name 'Radleys' came from 'to kill a mocking bird''s Boo Radley who was a mysterious, shady character and a definite outsider. Matt spoke about the link between these characteristics and the way his vampire clan feel. Later, he described the places where he had set the book (a mixture of local villages near us). He then read a chapter and submitted himself into book signing.

It was a good night, but I don't think I'll re-read The Radleys, it just doesn't appeal to me. It was really interesting hearing about how the book came to be published and how the idea came to him.