Sunday, 26 April 2009

Numbers by Rachel Ward

Numbers by Rachel ward

Numbers is an amazingly creepy yet reassuring book: creepy, because it’s about how mortal and fragile we all are but reassuring because it explains that we must therefore treasure every moment that we do have. The book follows the adventure of social outcast Jem and her new found friend Spider, as they flee from the authorities after a tragic mix-up caused by Jem’s ability to see the numbers: the death dates of everyone she meets. During the time they spend running they learn more about themselves and the nature of humans than would usually be possible for anyone, whilst making new friends on the way, before finally, life achieves meaning and everything comes into perspective, with an interesting revelation at the end.

This book is a brilliant book as it is about two kids, from poor backgrounds, one of which is in care and their struggle against prejudices from higher class people and the belief from the all adults around them that they will never achieve anything worthwhile. To a lot of people this book would be easy to relate to, but unfortunately not enough people who come from that type of background read books at all.

This book is written in quite an informal tone, obviously so that it will be easy to read and so that it will appeal to us as young people, but there are a few typos in it which can’t just be passed off as being part of the style of writing which is a disappointment but mostly the writing style is okay.

In terms of language then there is a fair amount of heavy swearing but then again, I easily hear worse walking around my school. Any sex that there is fairly innocent, nothing too graphic but it gets the picture across to you. I’d say this book is pretty innocent compared to some that I’ve read, but if you are easily disturbed or you’re sensitive to these kinds of topics then you should probably give this book a miss.

The plot in this book is fairly simple and short, but well bulked out with a nice balance of descriptive scenes and dialogues, something an unfortunately large amount of books don’t manage to do. It moves quite quickly and doesn’t linger on any one event for too long.

Overall I’d say that this is a good book to read if you don’t read books too often and is still worth a look in from more passionate readers.


Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

I was worried when I first started reading this book that it was going to be a complete flop, due to the saturation of the teenage book market with vampire romances, as this is definitely keeping in that style. However this book proved me wrong.

The book is set in the town of Morganville, America where 16 year old braniac (or freak of nature as she is commonly called) Claire Danvers is going to college. However the town holds a giant secret: it’s run by vampires. Like most of the other books that are in the vampire-romance genre, this has its own twist on the vampire culture, simply that although they are the traditional blood sucking, burn in sunlight vampires, the human residents are all aware of what the vampires are, except for Claire. All the humans in this book are under the ‘Protection’ of different vampires, which unfortunately, Claire is not, causing many problems later on for her. It’s quite similar to the scenario of gangsters offering ‘Protection’ to people in exchange for not robbing them etc, but with the vampires the protection ensures they stay alive. Well, most of them anyway.

The humans also have to pay a monthly blood tax to the vampires, which I believe is one of the biggest holes in the book. Every human over the age of 18 is required to donate 2 pints of blood monthly at the town hospital, whereas the UK guidelines insist that a maximum of 1 pint is donated every three months, as that is the time it takes for the body to replace the lost blood. At the rate they’re donating blood, they would be dead within a matter of months, and seriously ill up to that point. Luckily this is the only flaw that jumped out at me immediately and author must be commended for restricting their mistakes to that one.

The language used in the book is nothing special although it is nice and straightforward, and is descriptive without being to tedious. The book only has a couple of uses of strong language and very little sex, and although there is a large amount of violence in the book, it isn’t too graphic and unlikely to distress many people.

The plot is well designed and as I said earlier, contains very few holes in it which are noticeable, though no doubt more would emerge under heavier scrutiny. The author makes sure there are a suitable amount of questions left unanswered in the book, which successfully entices the reader into wanting to read on, and as I write this I’m forming my own questions in my mind about the plot, which hopefully will be solved in the sequels.

This book is reasonably fast paced and action packed, but be warned: this book is likely to leave you a tad depressed and wondering how things can get any worse for Claire although, inevitably, they do.

Overall I think this provides a fine alternative to the current vampire bestsellers, and focuses more on the vamps than on the romance, which provides a nice change.


Thursday, 16 April 2009


As the name and description of the blog suggests, I'm going to be posting reviews on books that I read so that you can get some idea on books you may want to read. Obviously tastes in books vary wildly, so I'll try and vary my reading as much as possible. I'll also try and include plenty of books from less well known authors for you to read. I would also appreciate suggestions for books if any of you have any. Happy Reading!