18 February 2013
First Line: "Jimmy knew what was coming, but he was too late to dodge out of the way."
The Jimmy Coates series is a riveting, action packed series that gets better and better with each book. Not my normal pick of genre, it took me a few chapters to get into Killer but once I got going I couldn't put it down. Whilst I don't have any complaints about Jimmy himself, why I really enjoy this series is the brilliant selection of secondary characters who add the elements that make this series more than just chases and gadgets. Add in enough humour to not make it too dark and something under the surface to make you think and you have a series that more than capably stands up to the natural comparisons with Anthony Horowitz and Robert Muchamore.
Why I read them: Joe did a brilliant visit to my school in October and I read Killer just before his visit, and then the next two this month. Joe has just excitingly announced that the seventh, penultimate, book in the Jimmy Coates series will be published on June 6th. So I'm posting my review of the first three now and the next three nearer to the release of Jimmy Coates: Blackout.
Who I would recommend them to: If you like fast paced action and clever gadgetry on the surface but want it with appealing characters that grow across a series and something to think about as well.
12 February 2013
I really enjoyed this fast paced, unique story with an older, gutsy heroine and a surprisingly moving ending. I preferred this to Between Shades of Grey, I felt it was a more unusual story and setting and had wonderful, individual characters as well as an excellent, tense mystery with some really dramatic scenes but that doesn't overshadow the character development. I read this over a day because I was desperate to find out what happens and I felt that Sepetys' writing was more lyrical and moving that her debut. Also, bonus points for having Josie, our heroine, working in a bookshop.
First Line: "My mother's a prostitute."
Why I read it: I read Sepetys' debut, Between Shades of Grey, when it was shortlisted for the Carnegie award last year and found it very moving so was excited to get an ARC via NetGalley/Penguin for her new novel.
Who I would recommend it to: Fans of Theresa Breslin and character-driven historical fiction.
7 February 2013
I'm a big fan of Maggie O'Farrell, I would rank After You'd Gone as one of my all time favourites. So I was thrilled to hear a new book announced for March 2013 and nearly died of excitement when I was offered a proof copy on Twitter. Heatwave more than lived up to expectations and is up there with my favourite Maggie O'Farrells. The writing is just beautiful and the characters heartbreaking. Whilst there are plot twists and turns, it relies less on a big reveal than some of her previous stories and more on the intricate exploration of a broken, messy family.
First Line: "The heat, the heat."
Why I read it: I was beyond excited to get a proof copy of Maggie O'Farrell's new book from the wonderful Georgina at Headline Books.
Who I would recommend it to: First and foremost fans of her previous books, I would say this is most similar to The Hand That First Held Mine. If you like lyrical, melancholy books with broken but disconcertingly relatable characters. Fans of Kazuo Ishiguro.