Review: Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff

Picture Me Gone coverVerdict:
Title: Picture Me Gone
Author: Meg Rosoff
Publish Date: 5 September 2013
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 208
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mystery, Real Life
Source: Spinebreakers (finished copy)

Picture Me Gone is extremely original in one specific way: the writing style. I have never read a book by Meg Rosoff before (although, I am now dying to read 2004′s How I Live Now before it hits cinemas) so I am not sure if this is the usual method of writing which Rosoff deploys. Although I’m more or less 95% positive that it is unique compared to her other novels because it seems that protagonist Mila is a reincarnation of a dog. I have come to this conclusion because Mila tends to divert down subjects quickly, have an almost sixth sense to the emotions of others and the first sentence reads: “The first Mila was a dog,” suggesting she is said dog in question.

At first I was severely worried about this unique way of writing as it seemed the novel was for younger readers around the 12-14 age bracket. But as the story continued on, the language grew in poetic beauty and it dealt with teenage themes.

Mila raised ideas that I am sure most of us have pondered over in the past and it is good to witness these on the page as we feel comforted to know we are not the only ones who think up these insignificant details. For example, her father Gil works as a translator and one of his friends Nicholas grew up in a household where his parents spoke different languages. Mila explains: “When I ask him which language he thinks in, he says, Depends what I’m thinking about. The idea of having no native language worries me. Would you feel like a nomad inside your own head? I can’t imagine having no words that are home. A language orphan.”

It was these observations and clever imaginative phrasings like “A language orphan” which caused me to stop and re-read the paragraph. The uses of words, to put it bluntly, were exquisite.

Despite the plot lacking in an all going out adventure, the simplicity of the story was wiser than what I primarily expected. Mila and her father Gil travel to the USA to hunt down Gil’s friend Matthew who has vanished off the face of the Earth. Not a lot happens during their quest meaning that what is most thought provoking is how we delve into Mila’s mind and her perceptions on the missing Matthew.

Mila is an inquisitive child at a mere twelve years old who is the star of the book. Rosoff’s choice of not including quotation marks when characters speak means that everything said can’t be taken as reliable as they have been filtered through Mila’s head. At times she would conflict with her own opinions and wishes: “…perhaps, when I say I long to be a pane of glass, I am lying. I long for partial obscurity at the same time as I long for someone to know me.” Again, this highly intelligent crafted language shares with us that Mila is only human. She is unable to understand herself how she wants to be interpreted by other people.

The more I read Picture Me Gone, the more I was impressed with the novel. It is an ideal length at a short 195 pages so for a time you can escape into the world of Mel and learn more about yourself along the way. Although, I hope connecting with this book doesn’t mean you are a reincarnation of a hound.

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th waveVerdict:
Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Publish Date: 5 May 2013
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 480
Genre: YA, sci-fi, dystopia
Source: Spinebreakers (Penguin), finished copy

An apocalyptic thriller that genuinely makes you unable to put down the book. At first I was quite sceptic of The 5th Wave as I felt the writing style was pretty overdramatic (obviously it’s not going to be a bag of laughs when you think you are the last living person on the planet). But, what I mean to say is that what was annoying was how Zombie’s narrative voice primarily sounded the same as Cassie’s. That was pretty off-putting. Although eventually Rick Yancey found his voice for each individual narrative and The 5th Wave transformed into a very clever approach to a genre already established by many. Continue reading

Review: Nowhere by Jon Robinson

Nowhere imageVerdict:
Title: Nowhere
Author: Jon Robinson
Publish Date: 4 July 2013
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 256
Genre: drama, classic
Number in Series: #1
Source: Spinebreakers (Penguin), finished copy

One of the most anticipated movie releases of 2013 was The Great Gatsby. Being the imagination idealist that I am, I was determined to read the book before I watched the Leo DiCaprio starring adaptation on the big screen. I’m glad I stuck to my guns. Why? Because I am hoping that the movie will be better than the book. Continue reading

Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful CreaturesVerdict:
Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Publish Date: 3 January 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 576
Genre: YA, fantasy, paranormal, romance
Series Number: Caster Chronicles #1
Source: Spinebreakers (Penguin), finished copy

I had known of Beautiful Creatures for a long time before I read the book. Although, when I say I had known about the book, all I really mean is that I recognised the title and the book’s cover design. The novel had never interested me because by ‘creatures’ I thought they literally meant animals and so I had never gathered any motivation to read it. However, hearing that it was being adapted for the screen and learning a general sense of the plot, I must admit that my interest towards Beautiful Creatures did perk up a bit. Continue reading

Review: The Lunar Chronicles: Scarlet by Marrisa Meyer

Title: The Lunar Chronicles: Scarlet
Author: Marrisa Meyer
Publish Date: 7 February 2013
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 464
Genre: YA, Dystopia, fantasy, fairy-tale
Source: Spinebreakers (Penguin), finished copy

Scarlet is the second book in The Lunar Chronicles by newcomer Marissa Meyer. After finishing Cinder I was eagerly looking forward to reading Scarlet and I sure wasn’t disappointed. The funny thing is, before reading Cinder, I thought the Lunar stories were going to be completely separate from one another. Cinder would have her resolution in the first novel of the series, and then Little Red would come along with her own story. Gladly I was wrong about this! Continue reading