Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Review: Resurgence

Resurgence Resurgence by Kerry Wilkinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Silver Blackthorne has to be one of my favourite YA heroines. She never wanted the life that's been thrust upon her. She doesn't want to be a hero, a figurehead, a call to arms. But her natural character, her deep care for those around her, her unerring moral compass, her inability to stand down against inequality all mean that she is the best person for the job.

The deep friendships are one of the things that struck me most in this series. There's a love triangle that annoyed me slightly because it seemed unnecessary, but by the end I realised that it was just Silver - what single guy can be around a girl like her and not become at least a little infatuated? But the friendships between the escapee offerings were what tied the whole story together.

The best thing about the long-awaited release of the end to this series? It meant I got to re-read the first two books. Wilkinson's dystopian world is a clever one, and one that I relished spending time in. His characters are the main draw though - from the fierce heroine to the evil Minister Prime, the whole cast of the trilogy are extremely well-developed and fall into their respective roles with consumate ease. And the plot is just crazy, in a good way. There are so many twists and turns that I never could have predicted, so much that needed to happen to make the brilliant ending work the way it needed to. Wilkinson is nothing short of a genius, and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

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Friday, 6 May 2016

Review: You Know Me Well: A Novel

You Know Me Well: A Novel You Know Me Well: A Novel by David Levithan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't normally go for 'friends' books - usually I'm all about the romance. And although I'm Bi, I don't read LGBT books that often. Something about You Know Me Well spoke to me though. I don't know why - I'm most definitely not a teen living in San Fransisco. I'm a late-thirties woman living in rural England. But it made me wish I was a teen living in SF. I grew up in a very straight town, at a very conservative school, with no queer friends. I can't even imagine how freeing it must be to grow up in a place like SF, to have openly out people around you, to have the option of friends who know exactly how you feel. So for me, You Know Me Well was like the ultimate fantasy. And because it's David Levithan, it was so enjoyable to read on so many levels.

There's a certain whimsy to it, in between the very real issues that are dealt with, a joyfulness and a definite journey that we're lead on. Everything happens in a very short space of time, but the events are so big, so definitive, that it's fuller than many stories that take place over a whole lifetime. There's also questioning - of life, of the future, of the present, of love. No matter what age you are, there's always questions to be found, but at the tender age of 18, about to launch yourself on the world, there's a whole lot more.

What I think I loved the most though, was the characters. They feel so, so real. The have real flaws, they talk like real people, they practically jumped out of the page and into my living room. The way they interconnected, the almost visible ropes running from one to another, everything about them ensured I just couldn't put this book down.

You know how sometimes you come across a book, and it just stands out. You can't necessarily put your finger on why, you just fall right into love with it, and it becomes something special to you. This is that book for me. I hope it can be that book for you too.

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