By: Michelle Hodkin
Mara is the only survivor of a strange accident that killed two of her friends and her boyfriend, but she can’t remember any of it. On the advice of doctors Mara and her family start over in a new city in the hope her memories will eventually come back. If only things worked out that way. Mara starts seeing the faces of her dead friends and then she starts seeing other people’s deaths before they happen. This isn’t a way to try and remember or keep a hold on the remaining shreds of her sanity.
Noah Shaw is great looking, and Mara has enough trouble in her life without adding a cute boy to the mix. Noah doesn’t seem to get the hint though because he won’t leave her alone. There is something about Noah that is a little strange though, is there something he wants from Mara, or is it just romance?
A twisty and at times tense read. Mara is an interesting character her confusion and frustration is palpable, seeping through the pages. Noah is intriguing, he has his own issues to match with Mara’s, there is much about him we don’t know by the end of this volume. Mara’s family provide the story with a solid grounding, they keep things in the present and balance all the uncertainty with tangible concerns of a family struggling to help a possibly broken family member.
If you like your romance with gothic overtones and tense twists then this is definitely worth a look.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Books
Published: 01 March 2012
Format: Paperback 464 pages
Categories: Romance, Gothic, Mystery
ISBN 13: 9780857073631
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page
This was sent to me by the publisher as a review copy.By: Alison Croggon
Red House isn’t a bad place to live but it is a tainted one. Lina is a child with royal blood in her veins, blood that has saved her from having a very shortened life, for Lina is a witch. She can be endearing but is incredibly wilful. She grows up privileged, spoilt. her childhood companion Damek is as devoted to her as she is to him. Life is on the brink of change though, for the village is about to get swept into a Vendetta. Tragedy will strike close to home and things will never be the same.
Croggon has bought us a world that sweeps you up into it’s tragic tones. Lina isn’t a pleasant character, she has very harsh edges and her selfishness comes through in nearly everything she does, especially the way she treats other people. Damek is dark, driven and ultimately quite a despicable man,
The story is told through the eyes of Anna – a woman who grew up with Lina as a servant and friend when they were young. This tempers the view we get of Lina with Anna’s compassion, something that makes the story interesting and the characters of Lina and Damek more palatable.
A darkly engaging story. Well worth a read if you like to sink into something with a bit of a gothic feel to it.
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Published: 01 October 2012
ISBN 13: 9781921977480
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.
Martha Grimstone wants to be Lady Martha the Magnificcent. She hasn’t yet found her special talent that will make her magnificent but she hasn’t given up. She hopes that her Grandpa will let her study to be an apothecary like him, even though his skills haven’t helped her Mama who cries and cries all the time. Then this one time Martha sneaks into the apothecary and works her very own spell, it’s only a little one and the result is quite surprising.
A gothic tale about a young girl who writes her secrets down whilst inventing things and looking for her special talent. Not very dark in its tone this quirky story is about a slightly strange family and a girl who wants family to feel like family. Martha is a creative and determined girl who won’t give up. The accompanying pictures, including a lot of photos of puppets as the characters, adds to the quirky tone. Give this a look if you are looking for something different.
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Published: 01 February 2012
Format: Paperback 128 pages
Categories: Family, Gothic Fiction
ISBN 13: 9781742376882
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Here is the book trailer for the intriguing new book from Marcus Sedgwick.
This book was provided by the publisher.
By: Marcus Sedgwick
It is 2073 and journalist, Eric Seven, is visiting the remote and secretive island known as Blessed. Little is known about the island except a few rumours: no-one aging, no children being born and a very rare flower with unusual properties. Here Eric finds things not as they seem and he is inexplicably drawn to a young local woman, Merle. Things spin out of control as they rush to a chilling conclusion, one that echoes a moment 10 centuries earlier when a King and his Queen are torn tragically apart. Through the centuries their souls search for each other, reuniting in various guises – mother and son, artist and child, lovers, and victims. Is there a way for them to be together once and for all.
This is a YA book with a difference. It is like a series of short stories linked together by the thread of Eric and Merle searching for each other. Midwinterblood is a clever story that contains elements of so many things – a little gothic and gruesome, a touch of thriller and a dash of friendship and family. The relationships explored through each of the time frames are unique, no two are the same. Sedgwick has crafted a fascinating tale that goes back through the generations. It draws you in, you want to know, even though knowing takes you to dark places. There is a thread of inevitability and hope through each of the stories. It draws you to an end that is at once sad and hopeful. A different and interesting read.
Publisher: Indigo (an imprint of Orion Children’s)
Published: 06 October 2011
Format: Paperback 272 pages
ISBN 13: 9781780621234
Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page.