I've been working my way through a huge stack of books lately, in a bid to catch up with new releases and make my TBR pile a little more manageable. Over the next few weeks I'm going to be featuring groups of 100 word reviews of the books I've been reading. This post is concentrating on Graffiti Moon, Dads Geeks and Blue Haired Freaks and Life: An Exploded Diagram.
Graffiti Moon - Cath Crowley
Published: July 2012 by Hodder
100 word review: Graffiti Moon was such a lovely surprise! I’m a big fan of Aussie YA (more, please) but I wasn’t convinced by the premise of this one. Any worries I had, however, were dispelled as soon as I started reading and I truly fell in love with the characters, story and wonderful writing.
The last few chapters were absolutely perfect contemporary YA and this one gave me a major craving to rewatch Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – anybody else find them fairly similar in tone? The dialogue here is great, modern and fresh and so realistic. Ed is adorable and the triple narrative worked so well, with Ed, Poet and Lucy’s voices all standing out as their own.
Published: September 2012, Electric Monkey
100(ish) word review: ‘I was having a good hair day when this whole thing started.’ What a brilliant first line! From that line on I was absolutely sold on Sadie, our protagonist. As the story follows Sadie’s quest to track her biological father down on the Internet it’s really critical that readers bond with her and fast; luckily, Sadie is utterly charming and it’s impossible not to like her. She’s a great, unique character but hilarious and sweet rather than annoyingly quirky and I genuinely cared about her. The hairstyle updates at the beginning of some of the chapters were a really sweet touch.
The story is so intriguing and it was executed really well. I loved the varying tone of the book, with the more serious and intense search for Sadie’s father mixed in with the usual teenage boy dramas. The only slight issue I did have, though, was with the love story. It didn’t feel fully explored to me and Tony is a pretty bog standard love interest. That said, this is a really fun book that left me with a smile on my face.
Life: An Exploded Diagram – Mal Peet
Published: June 2011, Walker
100 word review: You might remember me banging on and on about the beautiful trailer that Walker released in the lead up to Life’s release date. It’s still one of my favourite book trailers so do head over to Youtube and check it out if you haven’t yet.
The trailer really does set the tone for the book perfectly, as it’s just as dreamy and nostalgic as I thought it would be. The writing is absolutely stunning from beginning to end and that’s absolutely the book’s strength. The story jumps from one time period to another and I did find myself enjoying Clem's teenage sections more than those of Clem’s family. The writing was still lovely but there was something lacking. I didn’t quite connect with the characters as much as I wanted to and I felt like there was a little bit too much info dumping. I was very aware of it, which did detract from my enjoyment somewhat.
However, the ending was amazing. It left me a bit speechless and it was brutal but, wow, what a brilliantly written ending!