Welcome to Shyness, where the sun never rises and the darkness hides the dregs of humanity. It’s in this strange place, in a bar called the Diabetic Hotel, that Wildgirl meets Wolfboy and they step out into a night that they’ll never forget. Both Wildgirl and Wolfboy are hiding from a past they are desperate to forget, but as the story progresses we find out who they truly are.
This is Shyness, by the winner of the 2009 Text Prize, Leanne Hall is one of the most unique Young Adult books that I’ve read in a long time. Leanne has created truly memorable characters that have so much depth. You get drawn into both of their stories and can’t help but care about them. The narrative alternates between the two characters so you see events from different perspectives and know how they feel about each other.
I also loved Leanne’s other creations, including the Kidds (dangerous children high on sugar and willing to mug anybody for a sugar fix), the Dreamers (teenagers who take drugs so that they can sleep and dream for longer), and the menacing Doctor Gregory.
The world of Shyness is terrifically weird but truly unique and once you get a taste of it, you’ll never want to leave.
Contact jumps straight back into the story of Jordan, Luke and Peter, three of the inhabitants (or prisoners) of the town of Phoenix. It starts off right where the first book, Arrival ended with Luke, Peter and Jordan hearing the ring of a phone and running off to find out who the phone belongs to. You learn in the first book that the phones and internet don’t work in Phoenix so it’s strange to hear a phone ringing. This mysterious phone sets off a string of events that Luke, Peter and Jordan get caught up in. The people who are in charge of Phoenix discover that the three of them are snooping around, so their principal gives them tasks to keep them busy. This doesn’t stop them investigating the plans of the Shackleton Cooperative to bring about the end of the world, and as they uncover more secrets they find themselves fighting to save themselves and the ones they love.
Contact is fast-paced and so suspenseful that I found I was racing to finish the book. Luke, Peter and Jordan get themselves into some really tight situations in this book and you wonder if they are going to get out of them alive. The part when they are in Ketterley’s office really had me on the edge of my seat, hoping that they didn’t get caught. One of the things I liked best about Contact is that Chris Morphew told the story from a different character’s perspective. We see things from Peter’s point of view, which is quite different from Luke’s in the first book. Hopefully the third book, Mutation will be told from Jordan’s perspective. I’m going to get started on Mutation straight away because I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Recommended for 12+. 10 out of 10
Meet Sophie, the one girl who will save the world. Sophie is different from the other girls in her class at school who like to play games about fairies or giggle about girls. Her favourite things are action films, taekwondo, sports, adventures, bikes, and skateboards, and when she grows up she wants to be a stuntwoman.
Sophie has just turned 10 and her taekwondo skills are going to come in very handy, because she has become the new Guardian of a magic gateway in the mysterious Shadow Woods. Her mission is to stop the mischievous creatures that live there, including trolls, goblins, and gnomes entering our world. The only problem is that Sophie has lost the key to the Shadow Realm and if the goblins get their hands on one of the shadow gems, Sophie’s world will be in danger. Will Sophie be able to find the gem first and defeat the goblins? Find out in the first book of the series, The Goblin King.
Sophie and the Shadow Woods is a cool new series by Linda Chapman and Lee Weatherly. Sophie is an adventurous girl who kicks butt and she isn’t afraid to stand up to a goblin. If you’re a girl who would rather read a Beast Quest book than a Rainbow Magic Fairies book, then this series is perfect for you. We have the first two books, The Goblin King and The Swamp Boggles, in the library now and there are more to come soon. Recommended for 7+ 8 out of 10
First there was Eragon, then Eldest, Brisingr, and now the series comes to an end with Inheritance. It’s released in New Zealand on 9 November 2011.