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Category / Young Adult


Reviewsday: Impostors by Scott Westerfeld

Master storyteller Scott Westerfeld returns with a brilliant new series set in the world of his bestselling Uglies series.

The first thing that had me hooked with this novel was how refreshing it was to be back in Tally Youngblood’s universe. I somehow skipped over this little fact – which is handily supplied in the blurb, who knew? - due to my uncontainable excitement over the novel's existence. Diving headfirst back into it all these years later was like coming home.

As I’m sure we all know at this point Westerfeld writes some mind-blowing characters, but Frey has knocked everyone else off their pedestal and claimed her rightful place as my favourite. Despite basically being a walking, talking, ticking time bomb, she’s an insanely complex character with an unexpected vulnerability to her that had me firmly in her corner from the first chapter.

Westerfeld’s world building is superbly on point as always and the changes wrought by Tally’s hand in the Uglies series (which I wholeheartedly recommend reading if you haven’t already!) essentially lay the foundation for the plot of Impostors. I won’t say too much because untangling Westerfeld's intricate web is an experience not to be missed, but there are enough heavy smatterings of action, intrigue and good ole plot twists to keep you engrossed until the last page. With a cliff-hanger ending that is so deviously twisted I barely registered how shocked I was because I was so damn impressed, Impostors is not a novel to be missed.

~ Karen, Tweed Heads QBD

 

About the book: 

Frey was raised to take a bullet.

She's the body double for her twin sister Rafia - the precious heir of the first family of Shreve - and her existence is a closely guarded secret. So while Rafi was schooled in poise and diplomacy, Frey was drilled in weapons and combat. Her purpose: to protect her sister from their tyrannical father's many enemies.

When Frey is sent in Rafi's place as collateral in a precarious business deal, she becomes the perfect impostor - as elegant and charming as her sister. But Col Palafox, the son of a rival leader, is getting close enough to spot the killer inside her. As layers of deceit peel away, can Frey become her own person, and risk everything in a rebellion?

Books We Love: Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein

We don't pick and choose what to be afraid of. Our fears pick us.

Everyone knows that Tash Carmody has issues - she's claustrophobic and paranoid and once, she made up a lie to get attention, a lie that had long consequences for young Mallory Fisher.

Everyone in Port Bellamy has grown up now, and Tash is looking forward to going away to university and leaving the past behind her, but Mallory and her older brother Morgan are back in town and Tash feels the past coming back to haunt her.

What did she see that day at the carnival and why does no one believe her about her mysterious and mean imaginary friend? Why is Aunty Ally so desperate to get her to come back to the house that made her afraid? And who will believe her this time when she doesn't even believe herself?

A brilliant crime debut that teens and adults alike will love, Small Spaces will leave you unsettled within the first few pages, and make you claustrophobic way past the ending. It touches on contemporary Australian issues and the hardship of being a teen with mental health issues in a way that is both brutally honest and compassionate. Well worth a read!

~Shannon, QBD Mandurah

Interested? Get your copy in store or online here. 

Reviewsday: Whisper by Lynette Noni

One Word Can Change Your World...

Lynette Noni shines with the first book in a new Young Adult series that I just couldn't put down. I needed to read the whole thing, needed to finish it as quickly as possible. This was also the first book of hers that I have read and I loved it.

Jane has been in Lengard for two and a half years now. A secret government facility that have been testing on her-- the only problem is she won't speak a single word. They don't know her name and call her only Jane Doe and treated as just another inmate. But things aren't always as they seem.

With just one word-- the first she has spoken in almost three years-- Jane learns about just what she is and what she can do. They tell her that she is special and that they can help her to control her powers, but can these people really be trusted?

This book had me on the edge of my seat as I read through it, I needed to know and every twist and turn just kept me even more engaged. This book felt like a few smaller stories weaved into one and done well, so if you're like me and you enjoy a book that doesn't feel like it drags... this is the book for you.

Fall in love with the strong female characters in this book, from Camelot "Cami" Ward-- a girl who has been through so much and still maintains her heart of gold, to Keeda-- the tough girl who you can't help but smile at. To Jane herself as she learns that it's not the past that defines us, and powers aren't what make us strong-- but how we use them.

All in all if you're looking for a new series that will keep you engaged and leave you will all kinds of emotions at the end, Whisper is for you. The only issue... that book number two isn't out yet.

5 stars!

~ Jordanna, QBD Chadstone

Reviewsday: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I’ve only read a couple of Holly Black’s books before picking up The Cruel Prince and while I enjoy the books before, I adored The Cruel Prince. From the very first page, I was entranced with the Fae world that Holly created. Second, guessing everything and not knowing what was going to happen next.

The Cruel Prince follows protagonist Jude ten years after she and her sisters witness their parents murder, are kidnapped and taken to the Fae world. Now they live in the High Court of Faerie and in a world that doesn’t accept them. Jude doesn’t fit into the Fae world and the fey don’t let her forget it. With the current King ready to step down, things are about to get more dangerous in the world that Jude lives.

One of my favourite things about The Cruel Prince was Jude. While she isn’t the most likeable protagonist out there, her voice and perseverance – just made the book. Jude is such an interesting protagonist and like most characters in the book, you don’t know what to believe. She has gone through a lot. Her parents were murdered in front of her, she lives with the murdered and is taken to a foreign world.

Her strength was a really big theme of the whole book. I loved seeing Jude stand up and be strong, no matter what was throw at her. And gosh she was pushed hard. At times it was really hard to read some of the things that Jude went through. What got me through it was Jude herself. I loved seeing another strong female character not only be challenged physically but mentally.

Jude’s family. There isn’t much I can say here without spoiling anything. But what I hoped wouldn’t happen did and that broke my heart. You can see that Jude does care for her sisters and what went down was so damn hard. It’s also a really interesting concept of family. She has her sisters, yes. However, she also lives with the man that killed her parents. It was intriguing to see the dynamic of this.

The Cruel Prince is filled with unreliable characters and it was fantastic! Seriously, I didn’t know what was going to happen next, because I didn’t know who to trust. Holly Black made her characters do things that I thought she would never do. You think one character is your friend and then bam! It’s not something that you get in YA and it was different to see.

Another thing that I loved about The Cruel Prince was the world. It’s fantastic and pulls your right in. Holly Black created a lot of layers in this world, with the basics of fae laws. I really enjoy that as it’s a great way to compare and contrast to other fae worlds. While at the start of The Cruel Prince it took me a little to get into the world, it wasn’t long before I was in love.

As I’ve said before, I had no idea what was going to happen throughout The Cruel Prince. You think something is going to happen and then it doesn’t. Then you think ‘oh she won’t do this’ and it does. It takes you on a world wind of emotions.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Cruel Prince. It’s addicting, dark and messes with your emotions. It’s a world of court intrigue and the conflict between Fae and humans. It explores the notion of being human and the emotions that come with it. It’s fast-paced with many twists and turns that throw you off. The Cruel Prince has set up a fantastic new series for Holly Black.

~Angelique, QBD Chadstone

Book To Movie: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas' smash hit novel, The Hate U Give, is about to become a movie!

Starring Amandla Stenberg, the movie follows the story of Starr Carter, a sixteen-year-old who lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community.

It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, The Hate U Give is a powerful and gripping drama about one girl's struggle for justice.

 

What our QBD readers are saying: 

THUG is a phenomenal book that tackles the difficult topic of police brutality in America. Starr is stuck between two worlds; her private school in the suburbs where she is the only black girl, and her home in the rundown, all-black community which is stuggling with the death of Starr's friend who was brutally murdered by police. Heartbreakingly honest but hilarious and heartwarming. A MUST READ! - Eleanor, QBD Hornsby

Angie Thomas hits an absolute winner in her first piece of YA fiction. Our young narrator/protagonist, Starr, is an inquisitive, thoughtful black girl. Her life is in dichotomy, half spent in Garden Heights, home to crack dealers, drive by shootings and unfortunately, Starr. The other half is spent at Starr's swanky private school on the other side of town. At home she has to pretend to be 'more black' than she feels, and at school, much less. Starr manages to establish some form of equilibrium she is content with, until it happens. Thomas' characters are wonderfully complex, and meticulously crafted; every point is purposeful, every scene pivotal. This brand new author has produced something important and special, I have no reservations in recommending The Hate U Give. This book will teach you real meaning, as first shared by Tupac, of living a THUG LIFE. I wait in bated breath to read Thomas again in the very near future. - Joshua, QBD Eastland

This remarkable debut novel from Angie Thomas tackles the symbolic Black Lives Matter movement in all of its power and flurry. I read this book in one day – it's an absolute page-turner that will leave you with questions and answers you didn't have prior to reading it. If there's one book you choose to read right now, choose this one. - Holly, QBD Miranda