LIAR by Justine Larbalestier. Pub. Allen&Unwin, 2009.
Micah is by her own confession a liar. She says it runs in the family history, but it is not the only surprise that runs in the family. She is part American black, part white folk and is quite obsessed by this because of her condition. She is 17 and takes birth control pills to stop menstruating.
Micah goes to an alternative school and is reviled by the other students because she tells so many lies. But why the lies? Micah tells this story and she berates the reader for falling for all her lies. It is a brilliant technique.
Unbeknown to the other students, Micah has an after school relationship with Zach, one of the most popular boys, with whom she meets to go running in Central Park New York City. Zach dies in mysterious circumstances and Micah’s world and the world of the students at her school implodes.
How did he die? What is Micah’s condition? Why does she lie?
Told in three parts- part 1 Telling the truth, Part 2 Telling the true truth and Part 3 The Actual Real truth. Each part has three types of chapter, Firstly life Before the death of Zach, Life After the death and Thirdly Micah’s Family History.
This is an engrossing read which will thrill you till the end from a Five Star book. Get it and read it.
Great appeal to Secondary students and lovers of Stephenie Myer books who want something really meaty.
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Pub. Scholastic New York 2009.
At the age of 11, Grace was dragged off her swing by wolves while reading a book, and is saved from death by a wolf with distinctive yellow eyes. She is bitten and mauled by the wolves and this normally means that she will change into a werewolf. She doesn’t, but will she change in the future?
Sam was bitten as a child of 7 and has made the transition from human to wolf every year till his current age of about 17. Sam was the wolf that saved Grace from the wolves who attacked her when she was 7 and he has watched her from the forest ever since.
Unknown to Sam, Grace has watched him and photographed him and one day he lets her touch him. You can feel the sparks fly.
When Sam is shot as a wolf after an attack on humans by other wolves, he changes into Sam the human and is found by Grace. What follows is the growing romance between them.
Maggie Stiefvater starts every chapter with the outside temperture in degrees Farenheit . There is a reason for this that the reader needs to solve.
It is a long novel and at times dwells on the romance without much action. But there is action and tension among the wolves and amongst the humans, that will keep the reader hanging out for the ending.
This novel is not quite Mills & Boon with wolves but it is close, and this is not a criticism. Will appeal to teenagers.
I enjoyed it and I’m a big burly lad.
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. Pub. Corgi 1999.
It is the story of a settlement of werewolves living peacefully and secretly within the human population. They have curbed their desires for human blood and flesh but still run wild in the woods when the moon is high or when they feel like it. They have a code of behaviour like any society and severely punish any werewolf who breaks the code.
Competition for dominance amongst the young men within the werewolves unsettles things and when a human is mutilated in the forest, all hell breaks loose and the action is thrilling.
Into this scenario comes Vivian a sixteen year old who loves the change into a werewolf. In fact the first description of the change in the book is a superb piece of writing rivalling John Landis’s film of Michael Jackson turning into a werewolf in Thriller.
Vivian falls for a human boy and their romance is one of the big pluses in the novel, but it breaks the code and is strictly forbidden. This romance tangles up with the power struggle within the werewolves and the action is just brilliant.
If you think Twilight was just a little wet and want to read something with teeth, give this excellent novel a chance, you will not regret it.
Suitable for Intermediate, Secondary young Adult readers