Saturday, November 5, 2011

Recent Reads: A Monster Calls and Stolen

I have been giving everything five big shiny Goodreads stars lately, and it's not because I'm one of those authors who are terrified of getting up another author's nose with a crappy review. (OK maybe I am.) But it's really because everything I've been reading lately is so frakking AWESOME.

I have been known to bawl finishing books on occasion. I have never done it in public though. I timed finishing Patrick Ness's book so badly that I was on the bus on the way to work as I turned the last pages. First it was just swimmy eyes, then a trickle or two, and then there were tears pouring down my face. Am now "that girl who cries on the bus". This is a magnificent book, and was so worth the subsequent ostracisation. I couldn't say whether it's a book for children or a book about children for adults. I think it's probably the latter. Adults need reminding sometime about how children cope with stress and difficult situations, and A Monster Calls just felt so real, so terrifyingly accurate, in the way it depicts one boy's experience of his mother dying of cancer. Added bonus: the sinister illustrations throughout.

My next love after YA spec fic is crime, and I'm always thrilled to come across some YA with a crime bent. I went to the Inky awards about two weeks ago (congratulations James Moloney for winning the Gold Inky for Silvermay! Well deserved) and saw a dramatisation of the early scenes of last year's winner, Stolen by Lucy Christopher. It piqued my interest, and when I returned home I found I had purchased a copy several months ago and started it right away. AMAZING. It's the story of Gemma, who is drugged and stolen from Bangkok airport on her way to Vietnam with her family, and taken to outback Western Australia. (My old stomping grounds, and I loved the way the setting was described. Reminded me of "home".) The man who takes her is Ty, a 26-ish year old man who just on the potty side of screwy. It's remarkable how sane Christopher has portrayed him while at the same time making the story believable. He's not a rapist, he's not cruel, but he's volatile and oppressive. I love reading books that have me wondering how it will all end, and then getting to the end and thinking OF COURSE, that was the only possible ending it could have had. This was one of those books. Second favourite read this year.

(Ooh it's almost that time again, to put together lists of favourite thises and thatses for the year!)

The simple, fantastic blurb from Stolen:

It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him. This is my story. A letter from nowhere.

In other news, HAPPY CATURDAY! It's going to be 30 degrees in Melbourne and we're going to the beach. But now to try and write some words for a ghost anthology (more about that later) and maybe some Blood Queen. (I'm failing miserably at NaNo already *sobs*)

1 comment:

  1. I want to read A Monster's Call so bad, once im through with other books ill have a go with this one.