Sunday, 8 July 2012

Torn by Stephanie Guerra

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Genre: Young Adult
Pub Date: May 15, 2012
ISBN: 9780761462729
NetGalley Review Copy

Stella Chavez is your classic good girl: straight As, clean-cut boyfriends, and soccer trophies. You'd never guess that Stella's dad was a drug addict who walked out when she was a kid. Or that inside, Stella wishes for something more. New girl Ruby Caroline seems like Stella's polar opposite: cursing, smoking, and teetering in sky-high heels. But with Ruby, Stella gets a taste of another world a world in which parents act like roommates, college men are way more interesting than high school boys, and there is nothing that shouldn't be tried once. It's not long before Stella finds herself torn: between the best friend she's ever had and the friends she's known forever, between her family and her own independence, between who she was and who she wants to be. But Ruby has a darker side, a side she doesn't show anyone not even Stella. As Stella watches her friend slowly unravel, she will have to search deep inside herself for the strength to be a true friend, even if it means committing the ultimate betrayal.

Synopsis from Book Description on NetGalley.

**Firstly I would like to thank Marshall Cavendish for giving me the opportunity to review this book**

 WOW!!! What a book!!! I dont want to give away too many spoilers so I will limit myself in my description. Stella Chavez  is a very likeable girl, your average seventeen year old with great grades who is interested in high school boys and soccer. Enter the wild and fun-loving Ruby Caroline, Stella's complete opposite, who has a firm relationship with cigarettes and alcohol. Ruby is placed in Stella's AP English class and decides there and then that she wants to mark Stella as her own. The two girls quickly become inseperable and Ruby introduces Stella to a world she never knew including College boys and partying. We also find out about Stellas drug addict father and how she now feels responsible for the upbringing of her two siblings as her mother works every hour god sends to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. As the girls relationship blossoms, Stella begins to realise that Ruby is not all that she seems and she has a side that Stella is very uncomfortable with including a drug addiction and a very older boyfriend nicknamed 'Silver Fox'. In Stella's eagerness to help Ruby break free from the things dragging her down, Stella sacrifices her relationship with her college boyfriend and her friends from kindergarten as everyone has a gripe against Ruby's wildness and dont look at the person hiding behind the front she has put up.

This book for me was excellent, I found Stella to be an average teen who wears her heart on her sleeve and helps everyone around her. She was very easy to like as I was able to relate to her as she felt torn between her loyalty to her friend and to herself. Although Ruby has a wild side I found her very funny and energetic and I felt that she certainly brought stella out of her shell and allowed her to realise that breaking a few rules isnt all that bad. I loved the girls loyalty to each other and also how the girls both had a past that affected both their future and their friendship at times. The storyline was very believable and this certainly added to my enjoyment. I finished this book in less than two days. I would love for Stephanie Guerra to write a sequel to this, so that I could find out what happened next with the girls friendships and if Stella finally found the courage within herself to leave her small town and spread her wings.

This book had laugh-out-loud moments as well as bringing a tear to my eyes and that is what I look for in an amazing book.


Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Moonstone by Nikki Broadwell

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Airmid Publishing (4 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615534724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615534725
Finna’s mother is dead. So why is this woman standing on her stoop claiming to be just that? Catriona arrives bearing a gift—a luminous moonstone that holds the secrets to Finna’s heritage. What heritage? Catriona insists that the two of them must journey to the castle of the Celtic moon goddess, Arianrhod. Moon goddess? The story Catriona weaves is preposterous. A parallel reality, known as the ‘Otherworld’, exists next to this one. According to her, this place has no electricity, cars or any other modern conveniences. “The moonstone will show the way,” Catriona intones cryptically. Newly pregnant Finna is naturally skeptical. Where has this woman been for the past eighteen years? And why would her father lie about her mother’s death? All her instincts tell her to stay put during this critical time. But Catriona is uncannily persuasive, convincing her despite Finna’s misgivings. What a trip through this alternate reality really means, and the secrets Catriona reveals about their family and the baby Finna carries, have Finna questioning everything she has ever known. With her life and that of her unborn child in jeopardy, Finna must find a way to survive.

Synopsis from Amazon U.K

Having received this book for review I started to read it straight away. I was instantly transported to the 1980's and into the main character Finna's life. Having become pregnant after a terrible experience she receives a knock on the door from her 'deceased' mother and is given a family heirloom in the form of the Moonstone which is central to the sstory. We are then, through the Authors narrative taken on an amazing journey through the 'Otherworld' where we encounted all sorts of wonderfully magical beings and unexpected twists and turns. Being Scottish myself I found the dialect very easy to understand and I also thought this brought the character of Catriona to life and gave me a better understanding of the life she leads. I would have liked more mention of The Moonstone itself and I would also have liked to delve more into the history of some of the strange creatures encountered throughout the book, but this is more a personal prefrence than me complaining. I felt that Finna's thoughts and feelings were very well described and on more than one occassion I felt compelled to yell at the book for Finna to tell her mother Catriona how she was really feeling about all the bizarre going ons she was experiencin. The 'Otherworld' was described so well it actually felt to me like it was a real place I could go to, I was transported there everytime I lifted the book and I could really smell the herby concoctions Catriona was giving Finna to keep her well. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of book 2 in August.


*Originally Reviewed in March 2012, I updated this review as I had decided to start my blogging career*