Sunday, March 15, 2015

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer

This book is a winner for boys who like to read something which is a little different, which has a setting which takes you out of your comfort zone and transports you to another unexplored place.  It is a beautiful story of a young boy, orphaned by AIDS, trapped in a world where he is indebted to a money lender to pay back the debt of a hospital bill caused by his Mum dying of AIDS. A horrible situation, a terrible life, not enough to eat, fighting to survive and living in squalor with a bunch of other children in similar circumstances. Then an interesting man turns up, convinces him to head into the jungle to help him study chimpanzees. What follows is the most beautiful story of bonding with animals that I've read in years. Such a lot going on, the behaviour of the creatures, the relationship between the boy and the professor, intruders, hunters, predators and all manner of danger which definitely includes the chimpanzees. A gem of a book. If you are sick of dystopia try this one.

Inner Fire by R.L. Stedman

Inner Fire is a contemporary young adult novel with plenty of tension and a fantastic premise. Corinne Peterson, with a passion for fashion and desperate to do well in her fashion studies at school, has a genetic disorder, which means that she becomes full of raging heat and can, if sufficiently enraged or stressed, set things on fire!  This disorder has been passed down to her from her rather fabulous and bolshy grandmother.  She is basically a good kid but when a friend tries to drag her into being an accessory to a petty crime, all in aid of getting hold of the right fabric, it all goes horribly wrong.

The setting is London, where CCTV is all pervasive, where your every move is watched and where sometimes the people watching might not want the best for you.  Corrinne is spotted during an altercation in a shop and now it seems that she and her family are being spied upon by sinister men.  Corrinne is removed to her grandmothers house, something she is less than pleased about, but the situation is improved by the fact that the rather gorgeous Rowan is there.  Romance seems to be on the cards and this is new to Corrinne.  But of course it is complicated, tension rises and suspicions are ever present.  

I really enjoyed this book, read it in an afternoon and was fascinated by the disorder Malignant hyperpyrexia, and how difficult that would be to live with. Corrinne is an engaging character and Gran is someone I really wanted to meet.  

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