Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Mini Review Madness: The Donut Diaries, Heist Society, About a Girl, Sugarcoated, An Act of Love

Happy hump day all! For today's Mini Review Madness post I'm going to be looking at the following books:

The Donut Diaries - Dermot Milligan
Heist Society - Ally Carter
About a Girl - Joanne Horniman
Sugarcoated - Catherine Forde
An Act of Love - Alan Gibbons

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The Donut Diaries - Dermot Milligan

Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Summary (from back cover of the book): Today's donut count is four. I have to keep count because my mum is threatening to send me to Camp Fatso if I don't shape up. And she's making me go to a demon nutritionist to sort out my diet. So this is my donut diary, where I write down what I've eaten and my feelings - aaarrgggh yuck!

As if I don't have enough to deal with, what with starting Big School next week. (Note to self: Don't call it Big School!)

Mini review: The obvious comparison to The Donut Diaries is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series so fans of Jeff Kinney's books will love this one - I'd recommend it particularly for younger boy readers, who are about to make the transition to senior school.

The Donut Diaries is funny and sweet in equal measure and I thoroughly enjoyed it - though it did fill me with the urge to nip down to my local Krispy Kreme and chow down on an Original Glazed!

Heist Society - Ally Carter

Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads): When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

Mini review: This is the first one of Ally Carter's books I've read and I enjoyed it - it was a quick, fun read and I'll definitely be looking into more of her books in the future. Kat is such a likeable character that I couldn't help but side with her, whether her actions were questionable are not.

Heist Society is a very strong start to this new series and I'm excited to read the rest of the series when I get my hands on the books.

About a Girl - Joanne Horniman

Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads): A spellbinding, dreamy love story between two young women that unfolds like a series of paintings.

'I remember when we lay together for the first time and I closed my eyes and felt the crackle of her dark hair between my fingers. She was all warmth and sparking light. When I was with her, my skin sighed that the center of the world was precisely here.'

Anna is afraid she must be unlovable—until she meets Flynn. Together, the girls swim, eat banana cake, laugh, and love. Some days Flynn is unreachable; other days she's at Anna's door—but when Anna discovers Flynn's secret, she wonders if she knows her at all. This beautifully crafted novel explores the tension between the tender moments that pull people together and the secrets that push them apart.

Mini review: I absolutely loved About a Girl and highly recommend it to any of you who love your YA beautifully written and touching. Flynn and Anna were both such well written characters, with flaws and weaknesses that made them so human, which is always the key, I think, when it comes to creating realistic characters.

About a Girl is subtle and moving and absolutely addictive - I flew through it in a single afternoon. Sinply gorgeous!

Sugarcoated - Catherine Forde

Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads): Cloddy is stuck in her dad’s optician’s shop working for little to nothing every Saturday, bored out of her brain in the middle of Greenwood Shopping Center—or Deadsville as she prefers to call it. One Saturday she closes the shop to get some peace and quiet to eat her lunch, but as she’s picking at her food, a trio of youths skulk out of Gluehead Alley down the side of her dad’s shop.

Out of nowhere a massive hand gushing blood is splayed across the window of the shop. And then a head is thumped against the window. Neither the victim nor attackers see Cloddy, but she sees everything. Afraid for her life, she decides not to tell anyone what she’s seen.

Who wants to think about such things anyway when there’s gorgeous Stefan to think about? Stefan who is cool and charming and has plenty of cash. Stefan who has come out of nowhere and sweeps her off her feet. Stefan who wouldn’t normally look at a girl like Cloddy, let alone make her his girlfriend. At her most vulnerable time he’ll look after her—or will he?

Mini review: Oh, I was so disappointed with Sugarcoated. I had such high hopes for it but it just didn't deliver. The writing was no way near as tight as I expected, Cloddy was a little bit drippy for my liking and the whole story was just a tad lacklustre. Very surprising but, unfortunately, not in a good way.

An Act of Love - Alan Gibbons

Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads): Childhood friends Chris and Imran celebrate the Millenium as inseparable blood brothers, they are both seven years old. But by 2011 their lives have taken very different paths. One has joined the Army and served in Afghanistan, the other is a potential jihad recruit. They are no longer friends, and there are bitter wounds between them which remain unhealed.

Will their childhood bond be strong enough to overcome an extremist plot? In a highly-charged, honest and life affirming story, told in flashback from both Chris and Imran's viewpoint, Alan Gibbon's cleverly explores the very real issue of terrorism that affects everyone today.

Mini review: Alan Gibbons has done it again - but then, is it any surprise? He's back with another stellar offering, which tackles controversial subject matter (as always) but is sensitively handled and puts a fresh spin on things.

The narrative style in An Act of Love is what makes it such a compelling novel. I loved seeing things from both Chris and Imran's viewpoints and I think Gibbons did a great job making each voice unique and realistic. Bravo - another belter!

2 comments:

  1. Great reviews again, I liked the sound of sugar coated but I doubt I'll rush out for it now I've seen your thoughts, about a girl looks and sounds awesome, I need to read that one.!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So many mini reviews! I'm kind of curious about Heist Society, might give that one a try. LOVED An Act of Love, I thought that was brilliantly done. Had not heard of About A Girl until now, that one sounds good...

    ReplyDelete

Thank you kindly for the comment, you sweet thing.