Breathe by Sarah Crossan

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A mediocre read, especially disappointing because dystopian fiction has been one of my favourite genres (and I fell in love with this beautiful cover) – Does this mean that I am over dystopia? I hope not.

I did like the use of the future oxygen deprived world, a world with enough realism to be believable. It was the characters that were poorly developed. I need to emotionally connect with characters to care about them, one way or another, and I didn’t feel much for them at all. Right now I have no plans to read the sequel.3 Star

Recommended age 12+

Breathe
Author: Sarah Crossan
Publication Date: 11 October 2012Breathe by Sarah Crossan
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Purchased


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The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

Alina has been stealing for a long time.  If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. 

Quinn should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. 

Bea wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.

As they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?  Extract from Goodreads.com

Resistance by Craig Simpson

Resistance by Craig Simpson

Resistance crop

Tyranny, courage, betrayal and espionage feature heavily in this action-packed adventure set in Occupied Norway during the Second World War. Fourteen-year-old Marek and his brother join forces with the Resistance and stage acts of sabotage and rescue while battling the harsh sub-arctic conditions. Great read for boys – but also popular with girls in our school library.4 Star

Recommended age 12+

Resistance
Author: Craig Simpson
Publication Date: 1 February 2007Resistance by Craig Simpson
Publisher: Transworld Publishers
Source: Purchased


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Norway, September 1943. For brothers Marek and Olaf, a hunting trip offers a brief chance to get away from the German occupying forces. But returning home they witness the horror of their father’s arrest by the Gestapo and the start of a brutal regime under the evil Lieutenant Wold. — Extract from Goodreads.com

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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Every once in a while, if you are lucky, you come across a book that changes your life. This book is one of them. Alternating between laughter and tears I read devoured this book. There is no way I can give it the review it deserves, so I am going to rely on my experiences with terminal illness – I trained as a nurse and midwife and have spent many years in hospitals and other such institutions where dying is exposed in all its undignified ugliness.

Dealing with teenagers dying is a tough subject to write about, not only is it a subject most of us either can’t or won’t face but it is difficult to keep the characters real and natural – our true fallible human personalities are only amplified by difficult times. John Green has not only created strong, believable characters whose circumstances ring true, but has interwoven the story with humour, hope and emotion. A must read.

My only concern is that the uninspiring cover will put off many potential readers.5 Star

Recommended age 13+

The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Publication Date: 10 January 2012The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books
Source: Purchased

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Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. – Extract from Goodreads.com

The movie version of this book is due for release on 6 June 2014.

The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony

The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony

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The Elephant Whisperer is a book close to my heart. Although I did not have the privilege of meeting Lawrence Anthony, whose courage and respect for nature is legendary, his game reserve is just a couple of hours drive away from my home.

The elephants, the heroes of this story, show remarkable intelligence, resilience and loyalty. They prove, yet again, that man is arrogant to believe he is superior to animals. Respect.

The Elephant Whisperer is one of those books that will remain in your heart forever.5 Star

The Elephant Whisperer
Author:
Lawrence Anthony
Co-Author: Graham Spence
Publication Date: 7 May 2010The Elephant Whisperer
First Published:  1 January 2009
Publisher: Pan Publishing
Source: Purchased


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When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of ‘rogue’ elephants on his reserve at Thula Thula, his commonsense told him to refuse. But he was the herd’s last chance of survival – notorious escape artists, they would all be killed if Lawrence wouldn’t take them. He agreed, but before arrangements for the move could be completed the animals broke out again and the matriarch and her baby were shot. The remaining elephants were traumatised and very angry. As soon as they arrived at Thula Thula they started planning their escape…

As Lawrence battled to create a bond with the elephants and save them from execution, he came to realise that they had a lot to teach him about love, loyalty and freedom.
— Extract from Goodreads.com

 

This article (link below), published this week in our local paper, tells of the elephants annual pilgrimage to Lawrence Anthony’s home to pay their respects on the anniversary of his untimely death two years ago.

Read article here:  Elephants commemorate late conservation hero

 

 

Dragon’s Curse by H.L. Burke: YA Book Review

For some reason I want to describe this book as charming, which it is, but this is not a word I normally use as it conjures up an image of an old lady commenting on the child, hasty scrubbed up and ushered forward to meet Great Aunt Maud! That aside, the book tells an underlying story of longing and hope in between the more dominant emotions of revenge, loyalty, betrayal and love.

Although the story line was, at times, predictable and parts felt a little too rough, as though written in haste, I found myself drawn into the story and wanting to know the outcome. The dragon’s character was my favourite and the most believable, while the other characters felt underdeveloped which contributed to the roughness of the story.

I have mixed feelings about this book, despite the shortfalls I felt emotionally connected to the characters which made it difficult to review and rate. I look forward to finding out what happens in the next book. 3 Star

Recommended age: 12+

Dragon’s Curse 
Series: The Dragon and the Scholar # 1
by  H. L. Burke
Publication Date: 2 January 2014Dragon curse
Publisher: H. L. Burke
Source: Free copy from author in exchange for honest review


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On her first assignment out of the Academy, young healer and scholar, Shannon Macaulay is summoned to the struggling kingdom of Regone to see to the wounds of a young but crippled king. When the unwanted attentions of an aggressive knight and the sudden appearance of a hated dragon turn her world upside down, she decides to take matters into her own hands even if doing so proves dangerous.

Finding herself strangely drawn to the company of the dragon, Gnaw, Shannon must force herself out of her safe world of books and botany to come to the aid of her unexpected ally in a strange kingdom, cursed by a fateful encounter with a dragon and the loss of a beloved prince. Can she learn to put aside her fears, and perhaps sacrifice her deepest desires, to help a friend and restore a family? –Extract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received this copy of this book from the author does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

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