Friday, 30 January 2015

Review: The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. We were perfect. They would have been disbelieving: nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega.

They were born together and they will die together.
One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death.
The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts.
The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they're free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts.
Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose.
The potential to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they're not careful both will die in the struggle for power.

My Review:
Not in a long long time has a book so completely consumed me. Haig has created an absolutely amazing debut and it will capture the hearts of many YA fans. 

Cass is an independent, ambitious, courageous young lady and has many admirable qualities that are important for generations to read bout. She doesn’t allow anybody to talk to or about her like trash and stands up for herself more times than I can count. Kip, where do I start with Kip? I could guess where the storyline was going with him at about page 100… I had this strange little thought that maybe, just maybe… but then again surely not?! Even the secondary characters like Piper and The Confessor I enjoyed immensely; I was thrown into their back stories and ended up caring about them. 

The plot was very juicy. It kept me up at all hours, frantically turning pages, abandoning all of my university work and friends. I was very intrigued all the way throughout the whole book by the world that Haig created, it felt scarily realistic and the morals of the implications involved really shone through. This book is magical, the descriptions and the general narrative are so amazing, and Haig really makes me look at things in a new way. 

Overall, an amazing book, with some very interesting twists and turns. There are a lot of ways in which this story could go and this excites me so much! Please don’t make me wait a year for the next one!

5 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, 26 January 2015

Review: It's Kind of a Funny Story

Goodreads: Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life - which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan's Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself. Craig's suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety. Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness

My Review:

‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ is a truly wonderful book. I’d been searching for it for a while and suddenly spotted it on a Waterstones buy one get one half price tables. Obviously, this was a sign that I should buy it. It tackles mental illness in such a relatable way that doesn’t feel patronizing or dramatic in any way, instead it feels real and you can feel Craig’s emotions spill through the page. It’s a beautiful book and I would definitely recommend people pick it up!

You can tell straight off the bat that there will be a downward spiral as Vizzini creates multiple problems for Craig that would pressure any teenager. His friends all had their faults and Craig is not in a good place when the book starts. This book made me laugh and cry, Vizzini captured the true feelings of a teenage boy struggling with depression and this made me care for Craig so much. There’s only one negative that I would say brought the book down, is that I don’t think there needed to be a love story involved. I would have been quite happy if it was just a journey of discovery and self-love. 
Overall, I do love this book. It kept me hooked and I felt like I understood Craig. I recently found out that there was a movie adaptation of it too, but I’m not sure if it’ll be worth watching as the book was so good. If any of you have seen it and would recommend it then let me know! 

4 out of 5 stars.
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