A Monster Calls was amazing in the complexity it conveyed through a simple story. I really wasn’t expecting it to be so heart-wrenching, let alone a cathartic read. Aimed at a much younger reader than I am, I thought I’d walk away liking this book, at best. Middle Grade to Young Adult books for younger teens rarely hold my attention anymore the way they used to, so I tend to avoid them.
When i first requested The Yellow Room for review, I had rather vague expectations. I hadn’t heard or seen any of my friends mention it but it’s published under Hot Key Books, so I figured the intrigue must be justified. And indeed, it was! The keywords tagged to this book were “lies, truth, sanity and yellow”. What I didn’t know was coming was the sheer madness of the story!
The Square Root of Summer is such a quirky book. It contains little illustrations and while it starts off like a contemporary read, it plunges into science fiction through time travel. Time travel in this case doesn’t pertain to fantastical notions of visiting another era. Here things are grounded a bit more in physics, incorporating discussions of the space-time continuum, the speed of light and the effect of gravity on one’s ageing process. If there’s one thing to be said, the main character is exceedingly smart and prides herself in her intelligence.
Seven Ways We Lie was very ambitious. With seven main characters a lot could go wrong: unresolved plot lines, not enough depth, loss of focus and characters that might be too similar. I’m glad to say that Seven Ways We Lie didn’t suffer from any of these shortcomings. In fact, the choice to integrate so many characters’ perspectives worked!
If I had to sum up The Conspiracy of Us in two words, I’d say, fun mystery. That’s exactly what it is. It’s a crime mystery that takes you from Minnesota to Paris to Istanbul. It hits hard where it has to in terms of inevitable violence. I say inevitable because that’s what villains in crime novels do — they resort to violence. As much as it is a mystery book, it doesn’t stray too close to thriller territories, so if you’re the squeamish kind, you need not worry.