I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister by Amélie Sarn

I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister

by Amélie Sarn translation by  Y. Maudet

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I Love I Hate I loved this book.
Set in the present with French sisters of Algerian Muslim descent. They choose different paths, one western and one traditional. Both paths have difficulty and hardship.
One sister gets left behind. She remembers how much she loved her sister even when she hated her. She would like another chance to protect her sister.
She must live with the consequences of both of their decisions. Her family has moved on but she can’t.
Realistically written. I have a much better understanding of current issues of muslim women living in the west. This fiction took the gloss and some of the mystery of another culture away for me.

Well written with a solid ending, a satisfying read.

Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera

Island of a Thousand Mirrors

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Set in Sri Lanka during the civil war. A story of love and loss. A story of culture and difference.
In the South two families of different backgrounds living in the same house. War separates them with one family immigrating to USA. Later their paths cross again in Sri Lanka when the sisters come back to work with refuge children. A lost love is found.
In the North one family living in hardship and fear of the day their children are taken for soldiers. At 13 you are old enough to serve. The parents can’t protect their children from the army or the enemy. One daughter is damaged and then taken by the Tamil Tigers for training. The ultimate soldier becomes a martyr.
A peek inside another world. A world of tragedy and tradition, of love and prejudice.  The story ends with hope and thoughts of the future in a country no longer at war with itself.

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

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You are dying at 16 and you hear about cryogenics freezing your head until they have the technology to attach it to another body sometime in the future. You have been sick for ages and there is no hope. You convince your parents that it would be a good idea to freeze your head. You expect not to come back to life but if you do it would be at least 100 years in the future. You say goodbye to your family, friends and your girlfriend.
Fast forward 5 years, you wake up. It seems to you that no time has passed. Once you adjust to your new body, which is much better than your old one and not sick, you expect to pick up where you left off. But your parents got rid of your stuff, your best friend is in Uni while you have to finish high school AND your girlfriend is engaged to a really nice guy and doesn’t want to see you.
Rather than a returning hero you have a whole new set of problems. You never liked high school and now you are a celebrity, only 2 of the 100 cryogenic recoveries has worked so you are a miracle. You don’t feel like a miracle or a celebrity, you feel sad. You miss your old life.
You go back to school and make a friend. You work towards taking your old life back. Along the road you make some sacrifices, learn some surprising things and find that you can have a new life with remnants of the old and that really is a miracle.

Schroder by Amity Gaige

Schroder by Amity Gaige

Hard to put down. A dad with a few problems and a daughter who loves him. Difficulty with custody arrangements. No work for a real estate agent during the financial downturn. A hidden past that seems to be lurking in the present.
Kennedy has had enough. All he wants is some time with his daughter. She arrives for her weekly visit. They head off for a picnic in the car and keep going. This isn’t kidnapping it is just a late return, or is it?
This book kept me going with it’s slow reveal of the past and the present.
A story we hear about from time to time, brought to life as they lurch from one place to another.
Sad, moving and fresh.

Blue by Brandy Wehinger

Blue by Brandy Wehinger

New Zealand Author alert!

5 stars for this teen zombie romance. Quite a different and a creative look at zombies. Good fast moving story line with characters you soon become attached to. Great twists and turns that keep the reader guessing.
Katie is a Blue, a different kind of zombie. She drives fast, has a great library of books and a cozy little home. Around the landscape are slow, awkward zombies as well as a fast more organised variation.
The humans have organised colonies that keep them safe. Knowledge of the technology has been lost through the generations, and now marriages are being arranged between the colonies. Rose has been sending letters by pigeon to Xavier her chosen partner.
The stage is set for their paths to collide, who will survive?
This book could go viral with readers 12+. I await the sequel of what I’ve heard will be a trilogy.

Wake by Elizabeth Knox

Wake by Elizabeth Knox

New Zealand author alert!

Like Elizabeth’s other books this is complex and unusual. Set in an isolated South Island town, something sinister has taken over the minds of the inhabitants and there is confusion everywhere. A few, who entered the town after the “wake” took hold, survey the carnage.

They are isolated from the rest of the world. They must clear the bodies and organise the food. Who is the man in black who helped put out the fires? Why won’t he join them in their struggle?

A very worthy read, but not pretty at times. A stunning bookcover, which I would love a print of- minus the funeral. I expect this will do well in the NZ 2014 book awards and I hope internationally as well.

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

This is a pretty intense book, once I started I couldn’t stop, I had to know what had happened.
Carey is living in a caravan deep in the woods caring for her little sister while her mother is away. Her mother, a meth addict with mental health issues, goes away often and this is the longest time she has been away. They are running out of food and have very little else other than books. Two strangers arrive to take them away but Carey is reluctant to go.
Carey doesn’t feel she deserves this new life and fears if the truth were told she could lose all she has gained. As the story unfolds and Carey learns to trust, you realise that Carey is a survivor in more ways than one, a young girl who has been abused.
Highly recommended to readers over 15.