Monday, 28 April 2014

Heart Beat...

What do you do when the person you love the most is dead,
How do you cope when they’re still around
How do you love when everything you once believed is gone
Life, Death, Love…they change everything

Emma is lost in a sea of grieve, her mother is dead but not, being kept alive by machines that beat her heart to save the baby she carries. Emma resents her step-father for the choices he’s made, resents herself for the choices she makes and is drowning in sorrow and despair. What can Emma do when everything that once mattered the most never really mattered at all? Enter Caleb Harrison, the old Emma would not have spared this car stealing, reformed drug addict a second thought but new Emma, the one who is slowly dying, can only find relief in Caleb, a kindred spirit drowning in his own sea of grieve and despair. Death is hard but living is harder, together Emma and Caleb will find that life with another, life with love is always better. Emma is on the hard road learning that life doesn’t always  let us make our own fates, that sometimes life is bigger than one person’s plans, but there’s always a silver lining, a beauty to life that can be difficult to see in the mists of despair. Sometimes just living, loving and being happy can be the hardest choice of all. And it’s the choice Emma must make? Love or Hate? Life or Death? Happiness or Sorrow. No one ever said life was easy…and for Emma it sure isn’t

Scott is known for the romantic writings, the star-crossed, forbidden romances of the teen years but in Heartbeat she goes one further exploring all the other loves that define a teen; the love shared between a mother and her daughter, the love of a parent and a child, a brother and a sister, a girl and her best friend. It’s a coming of age tale told in the most complex of situations and while I time I found myself frustrated by the characters, especially Emma, her step-father and her best friend, the plot made for some dramatic and life-affirming moments. The one thing I do feel is missing from this story is Caleb’s voice because Caleb intrigued me; while he’s story is told through Emma’s I would have loved to have heard from him, to experience what his pain is like from his perspective, to see how he pulled himself together alone. Emma is a typical broken protagonist blaming the rest of the world when she is mad at herself, Caleb is not so much a bad boy as a broken one as are other characters including Emma’s mum and step-father. I do have to say that I absolutely loved Olivia, the best friend, for her aversion to technology. How interesting to see the complex of technology addiction reflected in adults rather than the teen.  Overall I really enjoyed this novel, which unlike Scott’s other works was less about young love and more about living life and making every second count. A wonderful all-compassing love story about growing up and finding out what truly matters; the one we love and who love us back.

Courtney :)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


HANG IN THERE BOZO : the Ruby Redfort emergency survival guide for some tricky predicaments by Lauren Child.

A follow on from the Ruby Redfort adventures, this pocket size guide has it all. Everything from finding your way without the aide of a compass, how to survive a bear attack, lighting a fire without matches to deciding whether an alien is friend or foe. Do love the handy at-a-glance ID chart…how else would I have discovered the difference between the Queen of England and a stick of dynamite?

A sometimes humorous, sometimes deadly serious look at survival. Must admit the section on dealing with individuals who you know are dangerously dull is vital reading!

·      Stop.
·      Think.
·      Decide to be calm.
·      Focus on that glass of ice-cold lemonade.

Good read – Vicki @ Pakenham

Thursday, 10 April 2014

LGBTQ YA fiction

Ask the passengers- A.S. King

Courtney :)

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Why we took the car

I always keep my eyes and ears out for translated junior and young adult fiction as I know they will be top class reads!

'Why we took the car' by Wolfgang Herrndorf won the German Youth Literature prize, and has been translated into English by Tim Mohr.
Mike Klingenberg is an awkward teenager with delusions of grandeur who somehow befriends Andrej Tshichatschow (known as Tschick). Tschick has recently arrived in Germany from Russia, and is quite an enigma with his cool attitude and alcoholic breath.
Mike's adventures begin with Tschick arrives at his house in a beaten up Russian car (a Lada). Tschick is an under-age driver and the car has been 'borrowed.'
Neither boy has been invited to the popular girl Tatiana's party and they are both p....ed off and ready for action.
Off on a road trip they go to Wallachia - a German euphemism for the 'middle of nowhere' and also a region of Romania. They meet some crazy, fascinating people along the way.
As you can imagine, the teenagers get into all sorts of trouble.
Tatiana is never far from Mike's thoughts and Tschick gives Mike an insight into why his peers aren't particularly friendly towards him. Things are not always what they seem and maybe Mike is not as boring as he thought he was.
Each chapter begins with a picture of the Lada - the car's headlights shining on the chapter number. This adds to the overall quirkiness of the book. I loved this clever, very appealing novel and I recommend it to Quicksand readers.

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