Writing

Noughts and Crosses Book Review

It seems kind of ironic how, after every person in my class has read it thrice, I finally decided to read Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses.

Well, Noughts and Crosses is a Romeo and Juliet type story, except for the fact that it’s nothing like it. It is set in a society where the black crosses rule over the white noughts and is about Callum, a nought, and Sephy, a cross. As you guesses by the Shakespeare reference, it is a tale of forbidden love and racism, and is really heart-wrenching.

The things I liked most about this book were that it kept you eager to read on, and the librarian was rather shocked when I returned it to her, finished, after hours of taking it out, and that at times I wanted to punch Malorie Blackman for making it soooooooo sad and other times I felt really happy or emotional. I really like how she uses plot twists throughout the story to really make the reader emotional, because that ability to actually make a reader happy, sad, or actually affected by your words is a talent only really good writers posses, and I can only dream of ever being able to do that.
In fact, the only bad thing about it was the foul mood the ending put me in. Nobody really took much notice of it, because at the (remarkably sad) ending of Oblivion (Anthony Horowitz) I cried for over two hours (in school at this point), and at the ending of Caught in the Crossfire (Alan Gibbons) I couldn’t speak for twenty minutes. So you can probably see why nobody thought it strange that I was in such a weird mood after this book.

To conclude, very few authors and very few books can actually touch your heart. I must say that Malorie Blackman and Noughts and Crosses are members of this elite group.

Nothing’s Perfect

Winter Sucks. I hate Winter.

Good Thing it’s summer then.

It’s a lovely morning. Believe me, that sunshine feels like the very light of heaven had somehow fought its way out, and had decided that it would give Earth a little slice of paradise. It feels perfect.

Nothing’s Perfect

As I walk into the park I clutch Joe’s birthday gift anxiously, hoping with all my heart that he won’t hate it. My eyes barely open in terror, I traipse over to him. My big brother’s eyes light up. Perfect.

Nothing’s Perfect

The night is alive with fireworks tonight- the clear summer air brushes over my face and I beam straight back , trying to let Mother Earth know I like it. Let there be light- and breeze and warmth. Could this get any more perfect?

Nothing’s Perfect

I’m home now. There’s a new chart show on on MTV- Miley Cyrus turned up dressed as a carrot- and it’s dark. I’m snuggled up, warm, safe, happy. This day has been perfect. I check my watch- fifteen minutes left- will something happen? Never. This day’s too perfect.

Nothing’s Perfect

Or is it? That little whisper in my mind is here. That whisper, everywhere and nowhere, constantly in the corner of my eye, constantly there, but I never noticed it.

It’s on my TV. Oh My God. It’s speaking now. Nothing’s Perfect. Nothing’s Perfect. NOTHING’S PERFECT!

Did you really think this would work, child? 

It’s a man’s voice, sounding a bit like Voldemort. Funny how, when I’m about to die, I think of Harry Potter. Then Lemony Snicket. Peter Rabbit will take care of me if I think of him- right? I’m going mad. I’m having a breakdown. I’m asleep, because my door should not have shut. My windows should not have exploded inwards. My left arm should not be oozing blood in the shape of letters.

Nothing’s Perfect

God Help me. I check my watch again. How can it possibly be that only three minutes have passed? I feel as though I’ve spent a thousand eternities in this blazing hell, this horrid torture. Help Me God. Please. I’m only 14. What did I do? I promise I’ll be good. Get me out. GET ME OUT!

Did You really think this was the perfect day?

That voice kills me slowly from inside. That merciless tone drapes me in a cloak of cold, of pain, of fear. Five to midnight. I wonder if it ends at midnight.I hope it does. Midnight.

Well Done, my girl. It does end at midnight. Too bad you wont be alive to see it.

Pain rips through me, breaking me up from inside, but I don’t care. I’m floating now, in the endless sea. The clock strikes midnight and I rock myself to sleep.

“Katie?”

Katie, it’s Joe.”

“Can you hear me?”

I can hear  him. I’m lying cold on the floor, but I can hear him. I have power now. And I know just how to use it.

Nothing’s Perfect.

Casting Shadows Sophie McKenzie Review

Casting Shadows is the third book in the Flynn Series by Sophie McKenzie, and boy is it amazing. The book is about Flynn and River, sixth formers and- yes this is a love story.

Well, kind of. Sophie McKenzie wrote Girl, Missing and the Blood Ties Serieseses so I guess she just couldn’t stop herself from putting something like this in the book. This is because Flynn has serious anger issues. He comes from a broken home and he had a drunk dad and two sisters and his mum lives in a small flat and-

Forget this. I’ll just start from the beginning.

In the first book, Falling Fast, Flynn and River meet on the set of their school production of Romeo and Juliet (I know what you’re thinking, but River is a nurse in this). This book shows that Flynn comes from a broken home, and can barely afford the books he has from school. It also points out his need for anger management classes.

River is a normal girl who has no problems whatsoever.

In this book, it shows River and Flynn in Sixth Form, and introduces a new character, Leo, who is a person of his own.

Alright, if I say anything more it will either be a spoiler or it will be as tongue tied and weird as before, so, read this book, its really nice and recommended for 11-16.

Eve and Adam Review

After reading Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate, I sat still for ten minutes taking in the book and it’s ending.
(Sorry for the grammar, the autocorrect is a bit off).

Sixteen year old Evening Spiker is injured in a car accident and her mum swiftly takes her out of the state hospital, but Eve guesses it is just because her mum, Terra Spiker, is a multi billionaire who owns practically the whole world’s medical service. The story follows how she is told to use a ‘virtual reality device’ to create a simulation of a perfect man (Adam). As you have probably guessed by the inverted commas, Adam is real. The story is from the point of view of Eve, Solo, her mother’s ward and Adam, but the majority of the story is based around Eve.

This book is known as one of the best young adult novels of 2013, and I can see why. Both Michael and Katherine’s writing styles are merged in this book, and the way it’s written is really good as it gets the story across really well, and I love how the end of the story is so different to what it would have stereotypically been. This book is recommended by me for ages 12-18 and is really a great book to get my 2014 reading list off to a good start.

Cool Booklist For 12-18

This is my self compiled Booklist 1, which took me five hours to do. I was ill, I was bored. Also, it proves I am not one of those fake geeks as a classmate of mine has once said.
Thank you, and enjoy the book.

1. Eve and Adam- MICHEL GRANT & KATHERINE APPLEGATE
2. Casting Shadows- SOPHIE McKENZIE
3. Witch Child- CELIA REES
4. The Originals- CAT PATRICK
5. Noughts and Crosses- MALORIE BLACKMAN
6. The Fault in Our Stars- JOHN GREEN
7. The Selection- KEIRA CASS
8. Uglies series- SCOTT WESTERFIELD
9. Blood Ties- SOPHIE McKENZIE
10. Looking for JJ- ANNE CASSIDY
11. Beautiful Creatures- KAMI GARCIA
12. Burning Bright- SOPHIE McKENZIE
13. Stargirl- JERRY SPINELLI
14. Wonder- R.J. PALACIO
15. Looking For Alaska- ALSO JOHN GREEN
16. Split Second- SOPHIE McKENZIE
17. Child 44- TOM ROB SMITH
18. Stardust- NEIL GAIMAN
19. Twilight Series- STEPHENIE MEYER
20. Code Name Verity-ELIZABETH WEIN
21. Before I Fall- LAUREN OLIVER
22. How I Live Now- MEG ROSOFF
23. Paper Towns- JOHN GREEN
24. An Abundance of Katherines- JOHN GREEN
25. When You Were Here- DAISY WHITNEY
26. Wintergirls- LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON
27. Treasure Island- ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
28. Second Chance Summer- MORGAN MATSON
29. Matched series- ALLY CONDIE
30. Chaos Walking- PATRICK NESS
31. Divergent Series- VERONICA ROTH
32. Flowers for Algernon- DANIEL KEYES
33. Delirium- LAUREN OLIVER
34. 13 Reasons Why- JAY ASHER
35. Girl of Nightmares- KENDARE BLAKE
36. My Sister’s Keeper- JODI PICOULT
37. Oliver Twist- CHARLES DICKENS
38. Hush Hush Saga- BECCA FITZPATRICK
39. Shatter Me- TAHEREH MAFI
40. Unwind- NEIL SHUSTERMAN
41. If I Stay- GAYLE FOREMAN
42. Shiver- MAGGIE STEIFVAITER
43. The Moon and More- SARAH DESSEN
44. The Host- STEPHENIE MEYER
45. Marley and Me- JOHN GROGAN
46. Prom- LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON
47. Pride and Prejudice- JANE AUSTEN
48. Sweet Sixteen- KATE BRIAN
49. Something, Maybe- ELIZABETH SCOTT
50. Airhead- MEG CABOT
51. The It Girl- CECILY VON ZIEGISAR
52. Two Way Street- LAUREN BARNHOLDT
53. Smart Girls Get What They Want- SARAH STROHMEYER
54. Queen of Babble- MEG CABOT
55. Eragon- CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI
56. Shut Out- KODY KEPLINGER
57. Huckleberry Finn- MARK TWAIN
58. Stealing Heaven- ELIZABETH SCOTT
59. Defy The Stars- SOPHIE McKENZIE
60. Never Have I Ever- SARA SHEPARD
61. Change of Heart- JODI PICOULT
62. The Reformed Vampire Support Group- KATHERINE JINKS
63. A Beautiful Dark- JOCELYN DAVIES
64. A Crooked Kind of Perfect- LINDA URBAN
65. Skin Deep- LAURA JARRAT
66. The Vincent Boys- ABBI GLINES
67. The Great Gatsby- F. SCOTT FITZGERALD
68. The Fallout From Finding Emily- RYLEIGH BERKENPAS
69. A Midsummer Night’s Dream- WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
70. Millennium series- STIEG LARSSON
71. P.S I Love You- CELIA AHERN
72. Fast Forward- JULIET MADISON
73. Small Steps- LOUIS SACHAR
74. Black Beauty- ANNA SEWELL
75. The Carbon Diaries 2015- SACHI LLOYD
76. Handle With Care- JODI PICOULT
77. Lock and Key- SARAH DESSEN
78. Madison Avery Trilogy- MEG CABOT
79. Prom Night From Hell- MEG CABOT
80. This Lullaby- SARAH DESSEN
81. Eleanor and Park- RAINBOW ROWELL
82. Fangirl- RAINBOW ROWELL
83. Gallagher Girls- ALLY CARTER
84. Just One Day- GAYLE FOREMAN
85. Game- BARRY LYGA
86. The Beginning of Everything- ROBYN SCHNEIDER
87. Golden- JESSI KIRBY
88. Tiger Eyes- JUDY BLUME
89. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children- RANSOM RIGGS
90. Unhooking The Moon- GREGORY HUGHES
91. Bridge to Terabithia- KATHERINE PATERSON
92. Inkheart- CORNELIA FUNKE
93. Redwall series- BRIAN JACQUES
94. A Child Called It- DAVE PELZER
95. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist- RACHEL COHN &DAVID LEVITHAN
96. The Iron King- Julie Kagaw
97. Someone Like You- SARAH DESSEN
98. The Bride’s Farewell- MEG ROSOFF
99. Something Borrowed- EMILY GIFFIN

Book Review #1- Geek Girl, Holly Smale

Geek girl is the best book I read in 2013. Holly Smale wrote this and I have a feeling that, maybe it’s the story of her life (maybe). Geek Girl is about fifteen year old Harriet Manners, the class geek (hence the title), who gets spotted as a model by weird and slightly eccentric stylist Wilbur (picture Gok Wan with blonde hair and a ŁÖT of leopard print on). She also has a chance meeting with supermodel Nick and Yuka Ito, a negative of Miss Havisham (in more ways than one). In fact, the only thing wrong about the book was the librarian’s eagerness to get me to review it. Long story short, if you’re over ten, read it. But not if you’re a boy though. My little brother read a page of it and he looked kind of like a puppy trying to read a book called ‘how to be a cool cat’. So, if you like reading books about ginger teens who think their hair is ‘strawberry blonde’ this is the one for you. Cheerio!

Chapter Two of Ice Story

On the corner of the road, a teenage boy stood, unaware of his surroundings. The wind leapt up at him like an angry dog, but he didn’t care. He liked it. He liked the way it blew his hair out of his face, he liked how the soft breeze filled his lungs and made him alive. Sitting right here, right now, unnoticed by the people of California, going about their lives, he felt normal. It almost made him forget why he was there.

Just as he began to retreat into the depths of his mind though, something caught his eye. He looked up, to see a man walking down the other side of the road. A man he knew.

            *************

She neared the bench, the dreaded bench, where only mourners sat. A little boy sat on that bench, hunched over, sobbing to himself. He was her little brother – Arthur. Slowly she walked over to him, keeping in her tears- If she cried, he would feel even worse. 

“Artie..” she spoke as softly as she could, wishing only that this was all a bad dream.

“Mum and Dad, Sarah, they’re dead!”

“I know. But I’ll be keeping you now, Art, we’ll be fine, I promise.” her voice was fading now, but she tried to sound lively. The little boy sensed her distress, and leant over to hug her, his only family in the world.”

               ************

Jake Evans. That’s who the man was. Arthur felt like running across the road and killing him himself, but he knew that in the end he would lose. How had he ended up here? He didn’t understand why; he would never understand why; but he knew that he had to do something.

There was another man there. He didn’t know this one.

“Must be another one of his stupid friends.” he thought aloud. It could actually have been anyone.

It could have been anyone. So why him?

           *************

“Artie! Help Me!”

“Sarah! Who’s in there?”

He ran through the door just in time to see three men look at him and jump through the window. They had left, but for how long?

“What happened? ” The urgency in his voice was unmistakeable.

“I don’t know. These men came in and then you came back. I think they may have gone to get reinforcements.”

Three men crashed back in, smashing the windows and everything in their way seemed to die. 

Arthur remembered, slowly and painfully how the next three seconds had slowed down.

The teenager was shot by a tranquilliser dart as the men  ran-or did they jump- away from him and made him watch. They made him watch as his sister was dragged out of the house, screaming his name. He watched as they took everything worth taking. He watched as the house became empty and the only thing left was a expired credit card.

The name on the card was Jake Evans.

           ***********

When Arthur finally came out of his dream, the men were pulling someone out of the car. Two minutes later, he had followed them around to an empty kebab shop.

The windows were boarded up with old newspapers, and the room was lit with only a single LED strip light, but Arthur didn’t care about that. He was focusing on the girl they had with them. At first he had hoped she was Sarah, but now it was obvious it wasn’t.

             *************

“This is your new home, Arthur.” said the woman from the children’s home. “I know it’s been hard for you, with the death of your sister, but we’ll try to help.”

“I’m alright miss,” he answered, “Because Sarah’s alive. I know it.”

             *************

This girl was around his age, a couple of inches shorter than him, with red curls and green eyes, that glared at Jake as though they were having a staring contest.

“If you think you’re gonna get away with this, you’re kidding yourself.”

“We’re not gonna get away with this, are we, Miss Morwenna, eh?” the sarcasm in his voice needed perfecting, as he actually sounded rather silly.

“Do you know who I am? My father is the mayor of Manhattan!”

“Dear,” Morwenna looked disgusted and uncomfortable as he edged towards her “That’s sort of why you’re here. See, your dad is going to pay us an awful lot for your safe return.”

         *************

“What are you doing, Arthur?” George, his roommate in the home, looked really worried “Miss Kerridge is going to freak!”

“Just tell her you didn’t see me go.” Arthur didn’t want to get George in trouble for his running away. He edged towards the window with his bag and the £600 he had stashed from his house. Just as he was about to jump though, a hand hit his shoulder.

“Get off!” Arthur felt so scared that he fell backwards off the windowsill.

“It’s only me, George.” Arthur relaxed.”At least tell me where you’re going!”

“George,” he turned,”I’m going to America.” 

        *************

Five hours later Arthur was behind them on a small road in southern Alaska. The girl was still banging on the windows, the men were still flashing lights ahead of them, and nothing had changed.

Until, of course, Arthur turned on the headlight  on the motorcycle he was riding and saw what Morwenna  had written in the mist on the window.

‘I KNOW WHERE SARAH IS’

Part of Stories-Chapter 1

“What? Not again, please, I’ll pay you back!”                                                                                                                                                                               The window slammed shut in Chloe’s face as she was forced to walk back up along the snow-ridden path. Freezing slush filled her boots through the holes that could not be darned shut and tears welled up in her eyes like a tap that was so frozen it could not turn. That was how she felt now. So cold her joints creaked as she pulled herself along to the next gas supplier, the final man on her list. She wanted to punch something so badly that she found herself grabbing air to let out her anger at the world in whole, at all the people that made her life a misery. Chloe’s hand moved up to knock at the window, but before she could, an elderly man with scraggly grey hair and a cigarette in his hand opened the hatch. “Sir, we just need one more canister of gas, we’ll make it last.” She wasn’t going to let it go this time. She had to get it now. Her eyes flashed like an angry lioness’, but the man seemed to not notice.                                                             “Sorry kid, no can do. I know you can’t pay us, and this is a business I am tryin’ to run.” His hand reached out to shut the hatch, but Chloe’s arm shot up to block it, stronger than ever before.                                                                         “Uncle Mark, believe me, some day I will give you your money back, all forty five dollars, just trust me. Mom and I will not survive this winter; you know what the weatherman said, snowstorms galore. Please…” The tears were back and it took every fiber of her being to stop them from flowing down her frozen cheeks.                                                   “Chloe, you’re a good kid, but you’re not even thirteen yet, you’re barely five foot four and I just can’t see you with forty five dollars any time soon. I know your Mom’s ill, but I can’t help you. I need to provide for my family too.” With that the door closed, and all prospects of living to see Christmas closed their doors with it.

* * * * * * * *

“Mom, I’m home!” she yelled up the stairs, partly to signify to her mother that she was there, partly to wake her if she had fallen asleep.                                                                                                                                                                 “Chloe, did you get gas?” she asked weakly.                                                                                                                      “No Mom, couldn’t pay, but that doesn’t matter, we’ll be able to find wood.” Chloe’s voice had reduced to a soft whisper, her dark eyes glinting in the cold light, her cheeks rosy but pale from the harsh wind outside. It had been more than a year since her mother had fallen ill and her father had left. Chloe had been only eleven then, and the weight of the family was thrust onto her shoulders, having to spend every ounce of her spare time trying to earn money for her mother’s medicine, food and heat. She pushed herself harder than ever at school, so as to be able to earn more for her mother, to prove her dad wrong, to show him he was not needed for them to thrive. Her every waking hour had been devoted to studying and working. She had even sold most of her knee length, dark hair to get enough money for her and her mother. After all of that, it hardly seemed fair that her life had come to he point when it seemed all hope was lost. But then, the doorbell rang.