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Yodelling About YA

When Dimple Met Rishi.jpg
When Dimple Met Rishi.jpg

 

When Dimple Met Rishi

 

Indian-American Dimple is smart, sassy and fiercely independent, and resistant to her families traditional ideas on arranged marriages. Enter Rishi who is the complete opposite-yes he’s smart and funny, but he’s happy to follow his parents’ lead. What happens when the two are set up by their parents? I was utterly charmed by Dimple and Rishi. From the moment they meet (in a hilarious scene), I knew I was hooked! It was a book I didn’t want to put down and I didn’t want it to end. I laughed out loud, held my breath, hoped for certain outcomes and cheered at the ending. Dimple is a character I won’t forget in a hurry.


The Pearl Thief.png
The Pearl Thief.png
Truth or Dare.png
Truth or Dare.png

 

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein

 

 

I’ve been a huge fan of Elizabeth Wein’s books since Code Name Verity, and think she’s one of the most powerful storytellers writing these days. The Pearl Thief is a change of pace, in a way, from some of Wein’s other books: ostensibly a young adult mystery story featuring Lady Julia Beaufort-Stuart but a book which quickly reveals nuances and layers. Home from boarding school, Julie is returning to her ancestral home in Perthshire in Scotland for one last summer following the death of her grandfather. Far more than a mere mystery (Julie is knocked unconscious early on in the book, and the story of a missing scholar cataloguing the grandfather’s treasures), this is a pithy and sensitive exploration of an idealistic, impulsive and intelligent young woman catapulting into a world of danger, social prejudices and family expectations. Delightful, warm and vividly entertaining.

 

Truth or Dare by Non Pratt

 

 

Claire hates being the centre of attention, but when she catches Sef’s eye and learns that his older brother Kam has been paralyzed in an accident, she’s willing to face her fears to help them both. Claire and Sef begin a Youtube truth or dare game to raise money for Kam’s care. But as the dares escalate and Claire and Sef grow closer, things turn serious. And dangerous. Written from both characters point of view, I have never turned a book upside down and back to front so quickly (we get Claire’s POV before having to turn to the back to get Sef’s). Chock full of emotion, this tackles big themes like disability, race, sexual orientation, trust, friendship, love… But it never feels preachy.

I was immediately invested in the characters and genuinely concerned about the repercussions of their actions.

Another winner from Non Pratt.

nemesis.jpg
nemesis.jpg
Out of Heart.png
Out of Heart.png

 

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

 

As soon as I read the prologue to Nemesis, I knew I was going to love it. Min has been dying every 2 years, on her birthday, murdered by the same man, but inexplicably wakes up in the same place afterwards with not a mark on her. Why? How? Good questions that are eventually answered in this fast paced YA offering from the co-author of the Virals series. Nemesis reminded me of the Gone series by Michael Grant (which is no bad thing!) with trapped teens, power struggles, apocalyptic tones and enough twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes. Min is a tough female character with a good moral compass who is contrasted with Noah, our other narrator who is far less self-assured and doubts his own abilities. Together they attempt to find answers and save each other in a world where both the reader and characters have little information. The ending is left wide open so I shall look forward to the next instalment.

 

Out of Heart by Irfan Master

 

As soon as I started Out of Heart, I knew it was a book that would stay with me forever. I couldn’t bring myself to put it down and read it in a couple of hours. The characters jumped off the page and it is beautifully written. There’s a lot in there-loss, love, racism, domestic violence, friendship, poverty-all tackled with a deft hand. I think the physical book is a thing of beauty; the illustrations are wonderful and accompany the story perfectly. Just tremendous. Heart full, full heart, heart felt. 

 

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See You in the Cosmos.png
Flight of a Starling.png
Flight of a Starling.png

 

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

 

What a delightful book! Jack Cheng has created a vibrant, distinctive and charming voice with his character, 11 year Alex Petrowski. Obsessed with rockets, devoted to his dog Carl Sagan, named after his hero and suffering a somewhat dysfunctional family life, Alex decides to take his rocket to the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival. He records incidents from his life on a special golden iPod that he wants to send into space. However, life has other plans for Alex, Carl Sagan and the people they encounter on their journeys. A witty, wise and lively book.

 

Flight Of A Starling by Lisa Heathfield

 

I’d previously read Lisa Heathfield’s Paper Butterflies and found it a thought provoking but also disturbing read. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Flight of a Starling, but the blurb sounded right up my street - two sisters are best friends, performing together on trapezes and never staying long in one place as part of a tightly-knit circus community. Then Lo meets a boy, and everything changes...Like Paper Butterflies, this is beautifully written and Heathfield does a wonderful job portraying friendships and familial relationships. The ending broke my heart, but was also curiously optimistic. I found it interesting that I had very little sense of time and date in this book - the world of the circus seemed to almost exist in a space outside of the world - as the book progressed it did become clearer that it was a contemporary narrative and set in the UK, but it took a while before I felt like I’d got a grip on the setting. It was cleverly done.

 

Release by Patrick Ness

 

A new Patrick Ness book is always something to cheer about, and Release is no exception. Set over the course of one day, with echoes of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, it’s the story of Adam Thorn and a ghost rising from the lake across town. The tag line of "Sometimes the end of your world is the start of your life" sets the tone, as everything starts to come apart in Adam’s life. There’s so much crammed into 287 pages, boyfriend trouble, sibling rivalry, family dynamics, parental expectations, love, loss, harassment, friendship - this is an amazing book!

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release.jpg






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