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The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

The Alex Crow by Andrew SmithThe Alex Crow by Andrew Smith
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 5th March 2015
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-half-stars

Once again blending multiple story strands that transcend time and place, Grasshopper Jungle author Andrew Smith tells the story of 15-year-old Ariel, a refugee from the Middle East who is the sole survivor of an attack on his small village. Now living with an adoptive family in Sunday, West Virginia, Ariel's story of his summer at a boys' camp for tech detox is juxtaposed against those of a schizophrenic bomber and the diaries of a failed arctic expedition from the late nineteenth century. Oh, and there’s also a depressed bionic reincarnated crow.

The Alex Crow is a fantastically weird and fun book that still managed to make me cry several times. I mean, that’s not hard to do considering I once cried at a Lloyds TSB advert but the point still stands; Andrew Smith is really good at making the reader cry even while laughing. Continue reading

Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein

Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth WeinBlack Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
Genre: Historical
Release Date: March 5, 2015
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

A story of survival, subterfuge, espionage and identity.

Rhoda and Delia are American stunt pilots who perform daring aerobatics to appreciative audiences. But while the sight of two girls wingwalking – one white, one black – is a welcome novelty in some parts of the USA, it’s an anathema in others. Rhoda and Delia dream of living in a world where neither gender nor ethnicity determines their life. When Delia is killed in a tragic accident, Rhoda is determined to make that dream come true. She moves to Ethiopia with her daughter, Em, and Delia’s son, Teo.

Em and Teo have adapted to scratching a living in a strange land, and feel at home here; but their parents’ legacy of flight and the ability to pilot a plane places them in an elite circle of people watched carefully by the Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie, who dreams of creating an air force for his fledgling nation. As Italy prepares for its invasion of Ethiopia, Em and Teo find themselves inextricably entangled in the crisis — and they are called on to help.

It seems like I say this with every book I read, but my review for Black Dove, White Raven was a difficult one to write. I had a lot of trouble separating my love for Wein’s previous books and my feelings for this one, so I think I have talked a load of nonsense. Anyway, read on.

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Marly’s Ghost by David Levithan

Marly’s Ghost by David LevithanMarly's Ghost by David Levithan
Release Date: 8th January 2015
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

A remix of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with a Valentine’s twist

When Ben’s girlfriend, Marly, dies, he feels his life is over and the prospect of Valentine’s day without her fills him with bitterness. But then Marly arrives – or at least, her ghost does – along with three other spirits. Now Ben must take a journey through Valentines past, present and future – and what he learns will change him forever.

 Marly’s Ghost, as it says in the blurb, is a modern retelling of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Except it’s not about Christmas but about Valentines Day because quirkiness, I guess?

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