Review: The Hit by Melvin Burgess

The Hit | Melvin Burgess | Chicken House Publishing Stand Alone | 2.5 Stars | 303 pages | Young Adult Dystopia
Release Date: April 4th, 2013
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

“A new drug is out. Everyone is talking about it. The Hit. Take it, and you have one amazing week to live. It’s the ultimate high. At the ultimate price.

Adam is tempted. Life is rubbish, his girlfriend’s over him, his brother’s gone. So what’s he got to lose? Everything, as it turns out. It’s up to his girlfriend, Lizzie, to show him…”

Review:

I am not a huge fan of kicking off reviews on a negative point, but the fact of the matter is that this books is probably my least favourite read of 2014. This is not saying too much considering that all of my books previous to this one are not below 4 stars, but still, I had a hollow feeling of regret upon finishing.

As always, negatives out of the way first. This novel was an endless string of disappointment and missed opportunities for me. The possibilities were endless when it came down to what this could be. This book is essentially about suicide. A drug that youth are taking that is killing them after a week of the ultimate high is becoming more and more used and to be honest, I never really found out why. I think world building was non-existent. A fabulous and intriguing concept with poor execution.

The book focused on the characters journey more than the actual society. This was a huge mistake for me.

I had a certain level of empathy when it came to the characters. Again, there was not much development on their part. I basically did not want them to die, which is always a tribute to the author.

One positive element I found were the twists in the novel. I genuinely wanted to see where it went and how it finished. Although this novel was flawed, there was never a point where I didn’t want to read it.

If you want a quick read for entertainment value, this is the book for you. It was fast paced and the pacing was on point. I have heard amazing things about the rest of his books so I will definitely be checking them out.

Goodreads Average: 2.98/5 (Out of 598 ratings)

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Quickie Review: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

17357217Stolen | Lucy Christopher | Chicken House Publishing | Stand Alone | Source: Bought | 301 pages | Young Adult | Contemporary 
Release Date: September 5th, 2013 (Originally Published May 4th, 2009)
ISBN13: 9781908435750
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

“IT HAPPENED LIKE THIS.
I was stolen from an airport. Kidnapped. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Imprisoned by sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.
This is my story. A letter to my captor.”

Review:

Stolen follows the story of Gemma, she is was kidnapped from airport in Bangkok and taken in to a hut in the desert. This is her story of survival, a letter to her captor.

This was a huge surprise for me. I never really had Lucy Christopher on my radar. I recognised her books by the fonts and cover style (good marketing technique, to be fair!) but I never really had any specific intention to read her books.

This is a very intense and real portrayal of a kidnapping. One thing I adored about this book was the writing style. I want to say that this was written in 2nd person. Everything is described in a way that “You did this”, “You did that” and “You stole me”. It made it incredibly personal while reading it.  I felt like I was in Gemma’s shoes the whole time.

Unlike the few other kidnapping books I have read before. We have a very dense and in depth profile of bother the abductor and the abducted. We have a huge back story on Ty his intentions, although incredibly distorted are plausible and Gemma’s Stockholm syndrome is very well done and again, is plausible.

Overall, I hugely recommend this. It is a well written contemporary and is definitely one of my favourite books of this year. I read it one sitting which is testament to how good it was. I will definitely check her other books out!

 Goodreads average: 3.94/5 (Out of 34,004)

ARC Review: The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Fred Venturini

20518854 The Heart Does Not Grow Back | Fred Venturini | Picador –  Macmillan | Stand Alone | Source: Review (Netgalley) | 320 pages | Adult | Sci-Fi 
Release Date: November 4th, 2014
ISBN13: 9781250052216
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

“EVERY SUPERHERO NEEDS TO START SOMEWHERE…

Dale Sampson is used to being a nonperson at his small-town Midwestern high school, picking up the scraps of his charismatic lothario of a best friend, Mack. He comforts himself with the certainty that his stellar academic record and brains will bring him the adulation that has evaded him in high school. But when an unthinkable catastrophe tears away the one girl he ever had a chance with, his life takes a bizarre turn as he discovers an inexplicable power: He can regenerate his organs and limbs.

When a chance encounter brings him face to face with a girl from his past, he decides that he must use his gift to save her from a violent husband and dismal future. His quest takes him to the glitz and greed of Hollywood, and into the crosshairs of shadowy forces bent on using and abusing his gift. Can Dale use his power to redeem himself and those he loves, or will the one thing that finally makes him special be his demise?The Heart Does Not Grow Back is a darkly comic, starkly original take on the superhero tale, introducing an exceptional new literary voice in Fred Venturini.”

Review:

To say I have been eagerly anticipating this books would be an understatement. As soon as I heard the title and the synopsis, I knew I wanted this book. I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of an E-ARC on Netgalley! I happy to report that even of hyping this up for so long, it definitely lived up to my expectations.

The Heart Does Not Grow Back follows the story of Dale Sampson, a young introvert who is trying to navigate the minefield of high school and life. One day a tragedy occurs and it becomes apparent that he has the ability regenerate limbs and organs.

I loved this novel from start to finish. It was a combination of all things from character development to the actual logistics behind Dale’s condition. The book is essentially asking what you would do. It is so interesting to see everyone’s reactions and moral compasses on the go. You definitely have a chance to see the darker side of human nature in this one, people’s justification for what their actions. You have a sudden realization that not everyone is as kind hearted as you think.

A small commentary on characters. Apart from Doc, I didn’t get along with any of them Doc is someone that you always feel for. He has a persistent need to seek redemption and sees Dale as his only chance. We have all had a friend like Mack. I personally thought he was a leech. I hated every other ounce of him. He is one of those friends that everyone has and no one will get rid of. At times he really was a good friend but at other times he truly was the worst thing for Dale.

Dale as a main character was quite complex. He did have a need to help people and even wanted to. His motivations were distorted and his chronic need for someone and crippling loneliness made his decisions for him. He is also turns out to be selfless when it comes down to it. All this added up to an amazing character to follow!

The ending to The Heart Does Not Grow Back is nothing I could have called and absolutely brilliant. What occurred was a true act of defiance and selflessness and I loved it.

Probably one of the vaguest reviews I have ever done but I would hate to spoil this for you. If you want a superhero novel with a difference, an intriguing set of characters and to questionable modern day motivation, this is the one for you!

Goodreads Average: 4.09/5 (out of 116 ratings)

Extras: 

There are so beautiful quotes in this one! Here are some I Instagrammed: