Archive for March, 2012

The Harry Potter series is great because of the following reasons:

  • It shows you what real friends are like – Ron and Hermione could have just stayed at home but they put everything  into helping Harry destroy Voldemort and his cronies.
  • Even the most seemingly perfect genius has flaws and a past they are ashamed of – Dumbledore isn’t as black and white by Book 7 as you thought back in Book 1.
  • Voldemort is a perfect example of what a lack of trust, love, friendship and understanding can turn a person into.
  • Even those people who cause you harm deserve your compassion sometimes – Draco Malfoy was used by Voldemort to hurt people but Harry still saved his life (twice) in Book 7.
  • The person who no-one thought would amount to anything eventually becomes a hero in their own right – Neville Longbottom starts in Book 1 as a forgetful boy who keeps losing his toad and struggles with magic, but by Book 7 he has fought Death Eaters, mastered his magical skills, and kills Voldemort’s pet snake Nagini. And then becomes a Professor at Hogwarts in later life!
  • The love of your life can be right under your nose the whole time – Hermione and Ron: one of the greatest romance stories of all time?
  • Sometimes the most unpleasant character can be the hero of the story – Professor Snape: Not so evil and cowardly as we first thought!

  • It’s really not worth avoiding death by making Horcruxes, stealing the Philosopher’s Stone or drinking Unicorn blood!
  • “To the well-organised mind, Death is but the next great adventure” as Albus Dumbledore says.

I have just finished reading “Every Other Day” by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, a YA novel about a girl who becomes a supernatural hunter every other day. One day, Kali is a normal teenager, a weak human, then for 24 hours she becomes something decidedly less so, with the ability to heal fast, never gets tired, has poisonous blood, and all-consuming desire to hunt.

"Every Other Day" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (via Amazon)

This opens a new world to Kali, where supposedly extinct or mythical creatures live.  She makes new human friends who soon discover her alter-ego and try to help her when she is human at the wrong time when she decides to help a girl who is marked for death.

Kali is confused about her identity, unsure of who or what she is, and she is given little clues as she sets out to find who is responsible for making her what she is and for targeting her. This is another supernatural YA fiction novel where the hero has parental issues, one who is always there, and one who is no-where to be seen, until they swoop in out of the blue to cause more confusion.

She meets some interesting people: Skylar, the strange blonde girl who proclaims she is “psychic a lot”; Bethany, the popular girl at school who is not as perfect as she seems; and then there is the mysterious Zev, who seems like a friend but can Kali trust him?

Altogether a very gripping book, and i finished it in one sitting because i was hooked! The tension, the mystery, and the action all worked well to keep me reading to the end, determined to work out what was going on! If you like that merging of teenage issues and supernatural, i can safely recommend this novel. I’d say it is much better than Twilight, for one thing, its inherently more gory and bloodthirsty, and the characters are far more intriguing!

I give it an 8/10 for being a gripping read, which is a little horrific in places, but if you’re like me and love a bit of the paranormal, you will love this!

I’ve just finished reading “The Poison Tree” by Erin Kelly!

"The Posion Tree" by Erin Kelly (via Amazon)

It is a fascinating book, which sees the protagonist – a slightly naïve, academic young woman called Karen, who meets Biba, a bohemian actress who runs wild, and her brother Rex, the protective brother. During one summer, Karen’s life is turned upside down and changes forever.

Karen is from a decent background, and at the start of the novel is living with 3 clean-living girls in a proper house which they all take turns to cook and clean, and are seemingly inseparable. They feel to me a little too perfect, with their lives laid out in front of them with every step thought out and clear. Karen feels very different: even though she too is like them, she has that edge that hints at a need for a more unconventional attitude to life.

This is where she meets Biba by chance, and agrees to teach her German for a play. Karen is introduced into the bohemian lifestyle of Biba, Rex and their acquaintances, one where drugs and alcohol are normal. Biba is unpredictable and glamorous and Karen feels a huge draw towards her. Rex is as equally beautiful as Biba but is very overprotective of his sister and is the more sensible and responsible of the pair, acting almost like a father figure to Biba after their parents abandoned them.

The story flits between the summer when Karen meet the siblings, and to the present where Rex has just been released from prison for a crime committed during that fateful summer. Karen now has a young daughter, who she is determined to protect from the truth. Mysterious phonecalls are plaguing Karen and she tries to hide this from Rex and her daughter, but she is determined to keep her family together and carries her own secrets which she will do anything to keep hidden, as we find out later in the novel.

This novel makes you aware that someone is going to die at the beginning, but even i was surprised who actually died and who killed them. I was also surprised at how the secrets turn out to be deeper and more complicated than you first think.

I give this novel 7/10 because it is a gripping and fascinating thriller, but i feel it takes a long time to get to the bit you’re waiting for, the deaths the book’s blurb hints at. However, the plot is woven really well with great descriptions, characters and events, and the ending is really unexpected and ties up the loose ends quite neatly.