Snow Like Ashes

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Rating: 4 crickets

Title: Snow Like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
Illustrator: Erin Fitzsimmons and Jeff Huang
Publisher: Balzer + Bray – an imprint of HarperCollins
Published: 14th October 2014

Blurb
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been searching for the chance to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior – and desperately in love with her best friend and future king, Mather – she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again. So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it, only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

This is a really good book, with an interesting story line. I found the book a little hard to get into at first, but once I got into it I was really into it and it didn’t take long to read at all (422 pages).

One of the cool things about this book is that it is one of the ones that has a map at the front, which was really helpful to refer to while reading, as the characters seem to just about explore the entire land.

Another is the different groups of people, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring of the four Season kingdoms and Cordell, Ventralli, Yakim and Paisly of the four Rhythm kingdoms. It was interesting seeing how each had their own unique appearance and culture, and how it affected how the people interacted. I, myself, have always loved the cold and detested the heat, so I love the thought of being able to be a Winterian and live in the Winter Kingdom – well, when it’s not being overtaken and enslaved that is.
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Every Exquisite Thing

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Rating: 5 Crickets

Title: Every Exquisite Thing
Author: Matthew Quick
Illustrator: Unknown
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Published: 10th May 2016

Blurb
Eighteen-year-old Nanette O’Hare has played the role of dutiful daughter, hard-working student and loyal friend for as long as she can remember.
Then she reads a worn copy of out-of-print cult classic The Bubblegum Reaper – and a spirit of rebellion awakens.
Yet as Nanette befriends the book’s reclusive author, falls in love with a troubled poet and attempts to assert herself with wild abandon, she realises there can be nothing so devastating as loneliness.
But in this world of endless potential and beauty, there is a place for each and every one of us. All we have to do is find it.

 

I wanted to read this book because it was about an 18yr old girl who had always played the ‘good girl’ role, doing what everyone expected of her, and about what happened when she started to do things for herself. To rebel. I thought it would really relate to me, that I would connect to the book and the characters and find a piece of myself within the pages – and at the time I felt like I was alone in the world, so I really wanted to find a book I could really relate to.

Once I started to read it, I got 20 odd pages in before I realised that it didn’t really relate to me at all. The main character was not like me, in fact she was very different. It was disappointing to come to this realisation and I struggled to pick the book up again. But after a week or so I did pick up the book and I continued reading, and I kept reading it till I finished the entire book. The girl was not me. It was wrong of me to think that she would be. Her, like everyone else in this world, was unique and had their own set of problems. However, in the end, it did relate to me, in a way. She was different from everyone else, she never fit it, not really. She did what was expected of her, to make others happy. And while the situations she faced were quite different to mine, there was also a similarity to them. And I could relate to that, and I could relate to her uniqueness even though it was different from my own. In the same way I think a lot of people will be able to relate to this book in some way.

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The Moonlight Dreamers

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Rating: 3 Crickets

Author: Siobhan Curham
Illustrator: Kate Forrestor
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Published: 1st July 2016

Blurb:
Amber, Maali, Sky and Rose may be very different, but they all have one thing in common: they’re fed up with being told how to look, what to think and how to act.
They’re not like everyone else and they don’t want to be.
Becoming friends gives them the courage to be themselves.

I got this book as a gift for a friend who had moved away – I bought us both a copy so that we could read it together and discuss it later. I chose this particular book because it is one about friendship and I share my first name with the Author, so it was a slightly cheesy gift.

This book was different to how I imagined it to be, but regardless it was an enjoyable read. It is a relatively quick and easy read (347 pages), but it still manages to cover a range of topics, ranging from broken families, homosexuality, racial issues and the difficulties of fitting into society when all you seem to do is stand out. It was interesting to see how all these topics were tired into one story and that it didn’t clash together.

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