Thursday, 5 January 2012

Favourite books

Hey my lovelies.
I've decided to start a 'favourites' series. It'll include favourite healthy snacks, favourite magazines, favourite films, art etc. I hope you enjoy it!

So, I've always loved reading in my life. My mum taught me to read when I was a toddler, and I've been reading normal children's books since I was 5. I owe alot to her, as she really helped ignite my passion to read even though she hates reading herself and has only read around 6 books in her life.

The sky is everywhere - Jandy Nelson
Firstly, is a more teenage book called the sky is everywhere by Jandy Nelson. It's a really emotional book, in which a girl abruptly loses her sister and is heartbroken. As a way of dealing with her grief she starts having a passionate and oh so wrong relationship with her sister's boyfriend, but then meets an amazing new boy at her school. She's caught in between the two and it's a really emotional tale of how heartbreak can affect people differently. It's very sad and thought-provoking, but in the end it did make me smile. This is probably one of 2, of my favourite books ever and I've read it countless times. I'm hoping Jandy Nelson releases a new book, her writing style is just so beautiful.

Vampire Academy series - Richelle Mead
Next up, is the vampire academy series by Richelle Mead. I never wanted to be part of the overwhelming vampire reading community, but I got the first book free in a magazine. I set it down and never tried it for about a year, until I had run of out reading material and decided to give it a go. It tells the story of the world of vampires and ,albeit a little clich├ęd, a forbidden love story. There are 3 types of characters: Moroi (the full vampires ,who need to feed on blood, which are protected by guardians. They specialize is one of 4 things usually; fire, air, water and earth. However there are a few that specialize in spirit) ,Guardians (half human, half vampires who attend an academy to learn how to fight to protect the Moroi) and lastly Strigoi ( 'Un-dead' vampires, who have to kill a victim completely by drinking their blood. When you become a Strigoi you get heightened senses and power, but are almost completely abandoned by everyone and considered evil.)  The main character called Rose (who narrates the story), is 'bonded' to her best friend called Lissa. She can read Lissa's thoughts and look inside her head as if she was Lissa. It turns out that Lissa saved Rose long ago using her power of spirit, and it gave them the bond. The book starts with Lissa and Rose being captured by the school after running away for a few years. Rose has missed 2 years of her training, and so gets special help from a guardian considered god called Dimitri. However, their relationship quickly turns to more than a student-teacher one and the forbidden love element comes in. Along the way, alot of twists and turns happen that for me were completely unexpected and it really is a great read. I'm currently have read 5 of the 6 books, and they are really addictive.

Broken Soup - Jenny Valentine
Next is an all time favourite of mine again called Broken soup by Jenny Valentine. It's her second book after finding violet park, and it tells the story of a teenage girl called Rowan who's brother died (can you see the pattern here?) and her life just fell apart. Her dad left and sees them on the weekends, her mum has got depression and stays in bed and she is left to look after her kid sister called Stroma. The book starts with Rowan being given a negative picture which she doesn't own in a shop by a boy who thinks she dropped it. She thinks nothing more of it until a girl called Bee befriends her and asks her if she wants to develop it at her house. They develop it, and it turns out the photo is of Jack, Rowan's dead brother. A whole story unravels from this simple thing, and along the way Rowan meets some great people and finds out things about Jack which blow her mind. It's a really emotional book and one I hold close to my heart. I love the cover work too, it literally feels as if someone has wrote it with a biro.

Lucas - Kevin Brooks
This is probably the first book I read that really touched me, and if I had to read one book over and over, it'd be this. Before, I would just read pre-teen books which always had a happy ending and a dull middle. This however tells the story of how a teenage girl called Kaitlen meets a boy called Lucas who recently arrived in her town and sleeps rough. He has no past, and is often looked down upon because of the small town prejudice of how he's a 'gypsy.' This tells the story of their unlikely friendship and relationship. However, it is in no means your average love story. Lucas is accused of crimes he didn't commit, and a tense and upsetting show down between the towns 'big shots' and Lucas commences, with a tragic and tearful ending. This book really highlights all that is wrong with the human race at it's worst and the prejudice's we automatically assume. Kevin Brooks is definitely an author I would trust, and after reading this book he certainly hasn't disappointed.

Carbon Diaries 2015 -Saci Lloyd
The book is made from 100% recycles materials.
Now this is a more unusual choice for me, as I personally (please don't hate on me for this) do not think climate change is as big of an issue as made out and is just the natural fluctuation of the earth's temperature and sea levels. This book tells of, when the energy supply of the world really does run low as predicted, how carbon rationing is brought into play in England. We follow the story of an edgy girl called Laura, who's family soon fall into a bad state when the rationing is brought in. Her father loses his job as a travel and tourism teacher as no one can afford the points on their carbon card to travel any more, her sister buys points on the black market and parties away her days, her mum is becoming depressed because of her father's drinking and Laura falls in love with the boy next door she can never have. The book tells of terrifying powercuts, riots, floods and downright madness as the carbon rationing sets in. It sounds from reading this that this book would be very sad and depressing, but told through Laura's eyes it lightens the mood a little. It still is very thought provoking and upsetting, but in an 'ok I can continue reading this because it's amazing' and not 'I want to cry myself to sleep now.' I love this book and the harsh reality of the insanity that can set in really hits you. I think it's perfect in light of the recent riots across England. There is also a 'carbon diaries 2017' which I have yet to read.

Noughts and crosses - Malorie Blackman
Lastly, we have this famous series (4 books) by Malorie Blackman. It tells of how in a alternate apartheid, there are 'noughts' and 'crosses'. The noughts are considered nothing and are the white people in the world, and the crosses are the top dogs who are the black people. It is an interesting concept because when we talk of racism, it tends to be directed at mixed race people rather than white so it was really nice to see something a bit different. It follows the story of a cross, black girl called Sephy Hadley who is born into a rich, political family. As a young girl, her family has a nought, white cleaner and Sephy becomes friends with her son ,Callum McGregor. The first book tells of how Sephy and Callum struggle to cling onto their ever more difficult relationship in a strictly cross world. As the book progresses, we realise they're in love and trying desperately to pretend there aren't any real complications that are coming between them. Later in the book, Callum (being considered unusually bright for a nought) is accepted into the largely Cross local school that Sephy attends, and along with his very few nought peers is treated with highly prejudiced racism by the pupils and teachers alike. His relationship with Sephy becomes more and more strained, until finally she calls him a racist name in front of the whole school. She intended it to protect Callum partly, but deep inside she knows it's to protect herself. This turn of events causes Callum to join a terrorist gang which his brother Jude is in, and it all progresses from their. At the end of the book there is a tragic twist, and the next books follow this story. It touches alot of taboo subject in the book such as racism, mixed-race love, and terrorism. It is a highly compelling and realistic book, and a great read for any age from 12 upwards. I recommend you have a box of tissues nearby, as myself and many fellow readers have found a tear or two escaping at the finale of the first book.

Thankyou for reading and I hope you enjoyed this, if not somewhat long, more personal feeling post.
Please comment if you decide to, or have already read any of these books and what you think of them, or any recommendations for books you love.
See you soon and happy reading!

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