I only really need 3 words to describe this teen sci-fi space odyssey – Thrilling, fascinating and absolutely terrifying!!
Set in the not so distant future of 2018, NASA’s failing popularity (sound familiar?) has driven them to concoct the marketing plan of a lifetime - NASA is going back to the Moon, and they are taking 3 teens with them! The winners of an epic international lottery, enter Mia of Stravanger – Norway, Midori of Yokahoma – Japan and Antoine from Paris – France, each of whom feel a trip to the moon is well timed to either escape their lives or make it big when they return famous (no real ‘moon love’ seems to be required…) amidst the internal plotting and secrets of NASA Mia, Midori and Antoine are walking into the unknown, and the dark side of the Moon.
Translated from its original Norwegian, Johan portrays a believable and interesting view on the inner mechanisations of the American space organisation, in fact the plot reads like a solid conspiracy theory and for all of our sakes I pray this remains a work of fiction!
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece – Annabel Pitcher
Hachette – Available NOW
Never before has the title of a novel been more evocative of the story for Jamie’s sister Rose truly ‘Lives’ on the mantelpiece, at least in the mind of his father.
After Rose’s tragic death during a London Terrorist bombing his father retreats into a world of his own grief fuelled by alcohol, his constant despair and blaming push their mother away who feels the best way to move on is to abandon her family for a life with their therapist!
The story beautifully delves into the dynamics of the family members left behind – Jamie and Jasmine (twin sister to Rose). As their relationship with their father dwindles the two children become stronger together, caring and protecting each other from the harsh realities that surround them.
Many little moments make this book into something quite special, covering a multitude of issues and ideals that I cant even begin to describe, I will tell you though that when I finished I was so close to Jas and Jamie and so proud of them that I didn’t want to let them go – A truly wonderful little story.
The best description I can think of for this debut teen thriller is a blend of the movies Mean Girls and The Craft – but missing most of the ‘craft’ element….
There’s the towns mysterious witchcraft laden history that creates Hollow Pike’s very own brand of ghost stories (mostly used to scare children out of going into the forest or ‘pike’) but it doesn’t really amalgamate into magic wielding teens as I thought it inevitably would. Instead the focus is more on the age old topis of bullying and the ‘mean girls’ taking over the school and a strong theme of embracing your individuality and not judging people by the way they look or dress or whether they are part of the ‘in crowd’ because as long as your happy with the choices you make and the people you call friends then that’s all that matters.
The drama, characters and romance are all fantastically solid but a little more ‘parra’ and a little less ‘normal’ would have been welcome especially with such a striking witchy jacket!