Wednesday, October 31, 2018

VOX

Image result for 9781984802491By: Christina Dalcher
Location: FIC DAL
Genre:Dystopia, Feminism

Set in a United States in which half the population has been silenced, Vox is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than one hundred words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. This can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her. 

This is just the beginning...

Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words each day, but now women have only one hundred to make themselves heard.

...not the end. 


PRAISE FOR VOX 

"Christina Dalcher's debut novel, set in a recognizable near future and sure to beg comparisons to Margaret Atwood's dystopian The Handmaid's Tale, asks: if the number of words you could speak each day was suddenly and severely limited, what would you do to be heard? 
A novel ripe for the era of #MeToo, 
VOX (Berkley) presents an exaggerated scenario of women lacking a voice: in the United States, they are subject to a hundred-word limit per day (on average, a human utters about 16,000). Considering the threat of a society in which children like the protagonist's six-year-old daughter are deprived of language, VOX highlights the urgency of movements like #MeToo, but also of the basic importance of language."--Vanity Fair 
"VOX is intelligent, suspenseful, provocative, and intensely disturbing - everything a great novel should be."--Lee Child

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.
100 words a day. Just sit and think for a minute how that would impact your life.

A life where you walk around with a counter bracelet, ticking down every time you utter a word until you reach your daily limit. Where an electric shock awaits you if you dare speak one word more. You can’t, can you? And things for Jean and all the women in her country are far worse than that. No sign language, no writing notes, no reading. No passports, no jobs, no bank accounts and each and every decision is made by the men.

Men who may not all agree with what’s going on but for various reasons don’t stand up to make a change. Young boys who are growing up in this environment, almost brainwashed to the point where they think this treatment of women is perfectly acceptable. Little girls who aren’t allowed to learn how to read or write, who have never been read a bedtime story and for whom remaining silent all day suddenly seems like a fun competition. And people who don’t fit the mould or break the rules are sent to camps for the rest of their lives.

This incredibly frightening scenario sadly sounds all too believable in this day and age. It made me angry and it saddened me. The whole thing may seem far-fetched and yet, parts of it are extremely plausible. You may think, just like Jean, this will never come to pass but before she and other women realise, there they are. There’s a lesson here. Stand up and make your voice count. Not only vocally but by voting. As the characters in the novel say, the time to act is always now.

This is quite a hard one to review. It evokes a lot of emotions but it’s one of those books you need to read for yourself to get the full impact of immersing yourself into these women’s circumstances and hoping you’ll never find yourself in that position.

Vox is immensely powerful and thought-provoking, leaving me with a massive feeling of claustrophobia and sheer dread. It’s disturbing, more terrifying than any gruesome thriller I’ve ever read or nightmare I’ve ever had. It’ll make you think and get under your skin and like me, I doubt you’ll ever forget it. _ EVA Goodreads.com

Brother

By: David Chariandy
Location: FIC CHA
Image result for 9781408897263Genre: Coming of age, Immigrant

I wanted the best for these boys, I wanted their mothers dreams for them and all her hard work to matter, I wanted his intelligence to count, I wanted the romance to blossom, I wanted belonging to happen, I wanted them to get a break, I wanted them to be couragous for the right things....

Michael and Francis are the bright, ambitious sons of Trinidadian immigrants. Coming of age in the outskirts of a sprawling city, the brothers battle against careless prejudices and low expectations. While Francis aspires to a future in music, Michael dreams of Aisha, the smartest girl in their school, whose eyes are firmly set on a life elsewhere. But one sweltering summer night the hopes of all three are violently, irrevocably cut short. In this timely and essential novel, David Chariandy builds a quietly devastating story about the love between a mother and her sons, the impact of race, masculinity and the senseless loss of young lives


'A brilliant, powerful elegy from a living brother to a lost one, yet pulsing with rhythm, and beating with life' Marlon James, Winner of the Man Booker Prize


Chariandy paints his characters with such clarity and sensitivity, it is impossible not to feel every disappointment and frustration with them. This is an evocative study of brotherhood, belonging, masculinity and race, powerful and believable enough to provoke sorrow and anger. I can't wait to see what the young Chariandy does next” –  Best Upcoming Titles of 2018, Big Issue


Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Image result for 9781408889510By: Stuart Turton
Location: FIC TUR
Genre: Mystery


How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed--again. She's been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden's only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle's murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend--but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Aiden Bishop is destined to relive the same day over and over again, in eight different bodies, until he can solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. If he does not succeed at the end of that time, the loop restarts and he loses all of his memories of the previous loop, forcing him to start over from scratch with even the basics – who am I? What am I doing here? He realizes that he is both the hunted and the hunter, an innocent and a deceiver, in this highbrow whodunnit. 



The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a mind-bending mash-up of Agatha Christie, Quantum Leap and Groundhog Day. If it isn't made into a film in the very near future, I'll eat my deerstalker” –  Jake Kerridge, Sunday Express

The book is outstandingly enjoyable and addictive and, by the end, you may realise that you've been so preoccupied with Turton pulling your brain in all directions that you haven't noticed he's got your heart in an iron grip as well” –  Jake Kerridge, Sunday Express
“Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! It's a work of sheer genius. An amazing, unique book that blew my mind” –  Sarah J Harris

“An Agatha Christie yarn tumbling Through The Looking Glass … This utterly original thriller is brilliantly plotted and a real page-turner, with mind-bending twists and turns” –  Herald

The Summer Dragon

By: Todd Lockwood
Image result for 9780756408343
Location: FIC LOC
Genre: Fantasy, Dragons
Series: Evertide#1

"The master of dragon art brings the same skills to dragon storytelling. This is a compelling, fully realized story which is as detailed and exciting as anything since the Pern tales. A sure winner." --Terry Brooks

The debut novel from the acclaimed illustrator--a high fantasy adventure featuring dragons and deadly politics.

Maia and her family raise dragons for the political war machine. As she comes of age, she hopes for a dragon of her own to add to the stable of breeding parents. But the war goes badly, and the needs of the Dragonry dash her hopes. Her peaceful life is shattered when the Summer Dragon--one of the rare and mythical High Dragons--makes an appearance in her quiet valley. The Summer Dragon is an omen of change, but no one knows for certain what kind of change he augurs. Political factions vie to control the implied message, each to further their own agendas.

And so Maia is swept into an adventure that pits her against the deathless Horrors--thralls of the enemy--and a faceless creature drawn from her fears. In her fight to preserve everything she knows and loves, she uncovers secrets that challenge her understanding of her world and of herself.

The master of dragon art brings the same skills to dragon storytelling. This is a compelling, fantastically-wrought adventure story, and Maia, the brave, intelligent, but flawed heroine, someone you can really root for. And the dragons? Oh, the dragons!" --Lou Anders, author of Frostborn

Killer T

By: Robert Muchamore
Image result for 9781471407505Location: FIC MUC
Genre: Dystopia

THE writer of the Cherub series has a new book!!!

"Tis book was difficult to put down once I got into it. Muchamore poses an interesting question : "What would happen if gene editing technology became common place and could be undertaken anywhere by anyone?" The answer is frightening. Fast paced and well researched, I really enjoyed this book and I will be recommending it to all my students." Trish- a well respected school librarian!


Harry and Charlie are teenagers who meet at a time when gene-editing technology is starting to explode. Now, with a lab in the garage, anyone can beat cancer, enhance their brain to pass exams, or tweak a few genes for a year-round tan and perfect beach body.

But in the wrong hands gene-editing is the most deadly weapon in history. Killer T is a synthetic virus with a ninety per cent mortality rate, and the terrorists who created it want a billion dollars before they'll release an antidote.

"Excellent coming of age young adult novel. Killer T is set in a futuristic Las Vegas. Harry and Charlie are smart young teens growing up in a world where gene editing and man made viruses threaten life as we know it. A well realised version of the future forecasting the impact of the modern revolutions of infotech and biotech. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Four stars" Goodreads review

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Surface Breaks

By: Lousie O'Neill
Image result for 9781407188966Location: FIC ONE
Genre: Retelling Fantasy

We are women. And women are warriors, after all.”

“I'm beginning to wonder that if, when we call a woman crazy, we should take a look at the man by her side, and guess at what he has done to drive her to insanity.” 

“It is your father who has insisted on calling me a 'witch'. That's is simply a term that men give women who are not afraid of them, women who refuse to do as they are told”

Deep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice? What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice? Hans Christian Andersen's original fairy tale is reimagined through a searing feminist lens, with the stunning, scalpel-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans. A book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries: storytelling at its most spellbinding. 


"What O'Neill has done with The Surface Breaks is given the little mermaid both a name and a voice. Given a more authentic viewpoint of the story but still held true to that wonderfully dark fairytale sensibility of the original. She has crafted a beautiful reimagining of the story that feels more like a coming of age tale in this vein of bucking against a patriarchal society and it is a story of understanding who you are capable of becoming.' Emer

The 13 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear

Image result for 9781585678440
By: Walter Moers
Location: FIC MOE
Genre: Fantasy, Humour
Series: Zamonien #1

Captain Bluebear tells the story of his first 13-1/2 lives spent on the mysterious continent of Zamonia, where intelligence is an infectious disease, water flows uphill, and dangers lie in wait for him around every corner.

"A bluebear has twenty-seven lives. I shall recount thirteen and a half of them in this book but keep quiet about the rest," says the narrator of Walter Moers’s epic adventure. "What about the Minipirates? What about the Hobgoblins, the Spiderwitch, the Babbling Billows, the Troglotroll, the Mountain Maggot… Mine is a tale of mortal danger and eternal love, of hair’s breadth, last-minute escapes." Welcome to the fantastic world of Zamonia, populated by all manner of extraordinary characters. It’s a land of imaginative lunacy and supreme adventure, wicked satire and epic fantasy, all mixed together, turned on its head, and lavishly illustrated by the author.


I spent the first 300 or so pages of this book trying to figure out whether it was a children's book for very advanced children or an adult book for readers who hadn't lost their sense of play and wonder. It's whimsically illustrated, audaciously imaginative, and has a distinked [sic] fascination with body odor. But to get some of the jokes, you need to have a passing familiarity with quantum physics, string theory, and academic politics. Eventually I gave up trying to categorize it and just enjoyed the adventure.

As Captain Bluebear, the narrator, says in the opening chapters, this is the story of 13-1/2 of one bluebear's 27 lives. (The other 13-1/2? Well, a bluebear must have his secrets.) Captain Bluebear's adventures include: A childhood spent with the Mini Pirates, marauders who are always attacking ships, but, being so small, are never noticed. A partnership with Deux ex Machina, a pterodactyl who saves people from doom at the very last possible second. And schooling under the tutelage of a professor with seven brains.

I often found myself laughing aloud as I read, thinking first, "You can't do that!" Then feeling my imagination liberated because Moer had dared to do so.

A master storyteller and actor, Captain Bluebear is ever so slightly pompous, but in that adorable way of harmless, well-fed scholars whose generous hearts are more than large enough to contain their puffed up egos.

One of my favorite books in many years. I read it again before the year was out, even though I only rarely re-read books and this is a formidable 700+ pages. Highly recommended.- TOM Goodreads review

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Love and Gelato

Image result for 9781406372328By: Jenna Evans Welch
Location: FIC WEL
Genre: Young Adult, Romance

'Ice cream and Italy are the perfect summer partners in Love & Gelato' S magazine

New York Times bestseller
A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.
Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn't in the mood for Italy's famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She's only there because it was her mother's dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn't around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.
But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina's uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother's footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It's a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father--and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.


"Love & Gelato is the perfect summer read! The writing is smooth, using all five senses to draw you into a breathtaking world of heartache, new love and the magical country that is Italy.

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Girl in the Broken Mirror

Image result for The Girl in the broken mirrorBy: Savita Kalhan
Location: FIC KAL
Genre: Contemporary Fiction 

"Harrowing and Touching" Bali Rai

A powerful moving gripping story which explores themes of family, loyalty and culture clash but is ultimately about hope and understanding.


Jay’s creative writing exercise is to write a fairy tale, ending ‘and they lived happily ever after’.

But the way her life is panning out she’s not sure it will ever reach that stage. Jay is an only child whose father died some years earlier. Her father believed that well educated girls could make successful independent lives. Now she has to move with her mother to her Aunt and Uncle’s house where her cousins live. Her aunt is a particular kind of Indian woman with super strict rules for girls and boys. Jay will be expected to have only Indian friends, if she has any at all. How can she see her school friends, Chloe and Matt?

But being forced to conform to conservative Indian customs and traditions is only the beginning of a nightmare for Jay. When her life implodes, how can she hide the shame and how will she find a way to keep going?

A gripping, contemporary story with strong female characters that explores the trauma of familial violence which teenage girls may face every day, whether as victims or bystanders.

Both harrowing and touching. The honesty here was very refreshing, and very hard-hitting, which is much needed. For me, the most engaging aspect was the way Jay's painfully deconstructed sense of self is rebuilt, culminating with the final, life-affirming scene. It was a wonderful way to end the story, and made me smile.
                —Bali Rai

This is an unflinching, multi-layered exposition of male privilege, male abuses of women, and the clash of cultures. With hard-hitting clarity it also shows how girls are silenced, made to feel ashamed of their bodies, ashamed of wrongs done to them. Ultimately this is poignant personal story of a girl’s fight to rebuild and re-connect with herself and those who love her after a truly harrowing experience
​                --Joanne Owen, LoveReading4Kids

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The House on Half Moon Street

Image result for 9781408892701
By: Alex Reeve
Location: FIC REE
Genre: Historical Fiction, mystery transgender

Everyone has a secret... Only some lead to murder. Introducing Leo Stanhope: a Victorian transgender coroner's assistant who must uncover a killer without risking his own future Leo Stanhope. Avid chess player; assistant to a London coroner; in love with Maria; and hiding a very big secret. For Leo was born Charlotte, the daughter of a respectable reverend. But knowing he was meant to be a man - despite the evidence of his body - and unable to cope with living a lie any longer, he fled his family home at just fifteen and has been living as Leo: his secret known to only a few trusted people. But then Maria is found dead and Leo is accused of her murder. Desperate to find her killer and under suspicion from all those around him, he stands to lose not just the woman he loves, but his freedom and, ultimately, his life. A wonderfully atmospheric debut, rich in character and setting, in The House on Half Moon Street Alex Reeve has created a world that crime readers will want to return to again and again

"The House On Half Moon Street was an atmospheric and emotive read – which is all about, really, it’s central character Leo, transgender, living in a time where the only way to live the truth is by living a lie…

Alex Reeve captures the sense of a gritty, Victorian London with a real literary flair and Leo is highly engaging and deeply layered. Misogyny abounds, even within Leo himself, I was fascinated by his journey and seeing his internal thoughts and struggles really made this novel for me.

The mystery element is well plotted, if rather secondary to the character drama and scene setting – the author uses Leo to explore the realities and vagaries of this period of history – especially with relation to the place of women in society, their limitations and realities – it is all highly thought provoking and often very hard hitting. The writing is beautiful, harsh occasionally and not afraid to tackle controversy – it all made for an addictive and immersive read."- Goodreads review

LIFEL1K3

Image result for 9781760295691By: Jay Kristoff
Location: FIC KRI
Genre: Scifi/Dystopia
Series: Lifelike #1

You should read this if you like: Mad-Max Fury Road, post-apocalyptic worlds, badass heroines, strong female friendships, plot twists, insane action, dystopia, lifelike androids

From the co-author of the New York Times bestselling Illuminae Files comes the first book in a new series that's part Romeo and Juliet, part Terminator, and all adrenaline.
IT'S ROMEO AND JULIET MEETS MAD MAX MEETS X-MEN, WITH A LITTLE BIT OF BLADE RUNNER CHEERING FROM THE SIDELINES

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.


"Lifel1k3 was EPIC! Filled with chaos, badass female characters, crazy powerful people, bad corporate organisations, robots, robot wars, romance and epic car chases through the desert.
This book was ACTIONED PACKED! I was hooked from the very first page. Only Jay Kristoff could do and pull off what occurs in this book."- Sarah- Goodreads




Grace and Fury

Image result for 9781444941951
By: Tracy Banghart
Location: FIC BAN
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Grace and Fury #1

Kiera Cass fans- this is like the SELECTION series!!!!

Bold, brutal and beautiful, this is a must-read with the glitter and romance of The Selection and the thrilling action and intrigue of Red Queen.


“For every woman who has been told to sit down and be quiet... And who stood up anyway.”

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other on an island prison where women must fight to survive.

Serina has spent her whole life preparing to become a Grace - selected to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining example of the perfect woman.

But her headstrong and rebellious younger sister has a dangerous secret, and one wrong move could cost both sisters everything.

Can Serina fight? And will Nomi win?
 

"Conclusion 

I NEED THE SEQUEL!"- Faith


Bold, brutal, and beautiful--a must-read fantasy full of fierce sisterhood, action, and political intrigue for fans of The Selection series, Caraval, and The Handmaid's Tale.