A round up of the books that I read this month:-
YA / Dystopia / Science Fiction: "The Gone series is centered on the fictional American town of Perdido Beach and its surrounding area, in which every human 15 years and older vanishes. The town and surrounding areas become encased within an impenetrable energy barrier, with many of its inhabitants developing supernatural powers." - It's so hard to write reviews without spoiling this series for those who haven't yet read it yet so these are rather brief!
Gone is set in a small American coastal town where suddenly everyone over the age of 15 disappears, creating an instant society of no adults. Whilst this may sound like paradise to some, the teenagers quickly realise that they're on their own and need to fend for themselves, which creates a lot of violence and anxiety. On top of this, some of the kids realise that they have superpowers, possibly relating to a nearby nuclear power station explosion that occurred some 15 years ago. Our protagonist Sam, and his friends, navigate their way through this new environment, coming up against rival school groups and bullies, to find out what's going on. It reminds me a lot of Lord Of The Flies mixed with Smallville; an entertaining, fast read for those who want to be absorbed into a different world for a couple of hours. I had to read the second book in this series straight away. [4/5]
Hunger follows on from Gone and is set 3 months after all of the adults disappeared. Most of the food has been used or wasted, and Sam and the FAYZ group now have to venture into the surrounding farmlands to find things to eat. It focuses more on the supernatural powers of the teenagers and the extent of radiation poisoning which has probably caused all of this to happen. Like Gone it's very fast-paced and quick to read as the plot thickens. [4/5]
Lies is the third book in the Gone series and the point where I started to lose a little interest in the story or maybe just tired myself out temporarily from reading them in such a quick succession. This one's set some 7 months after all of the adults disappeared and goes even further into the supernatural side of things than Hunger did. New characters are introduced and people start to come back from the dead; it's definitely more horror filled than the previous two books which gives it a different angle to work from but some of the new storylines are a little dull and not as engaging. I'll probably read the rest of the Gone series later this year as I feel like I need to take a mini break from it for now! [3/5]
(4) All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
Contemporary Literature / Western: " The tale of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen finds himself at the end of a long line of Texas ranchers, cut off from the only life he has ever imagined for himself. With two companions, he sets off for Mexico on a sometimes idyllic, sometimes comic journey to a place where dreams are paid for in blood."
I must admit that I'm not the biggest fan of westerns, but when I spotted this in a second hand bookshop last month, I was intrigued enough by the blurb to pick it up. All The Pretty Horses follows a young cowboy and his two friends who decide to travel to Mexico in search of work after his late grandfather's ranch is sold off. Filled with grief but with a naive sense of adventure that only the young possess, John Grady Cole the cowboy and his comrades find themselves in a very different country that's miles away from anything that they have known before.
I've been meaning to read something else by Cormac McCarthy since I loved The Road so much, but must warn that All The Pretty Horses is a very different kettle of fish. Elements of McCarthy's eloquent and descriptive prose are still prevalent of course, but it's lot more drawn out and despondent in places which can make it slow-going and difficult to read. That said, it's an interesting story if you're prepared to dedicate some time to it. [3/5]
What have you been reading lately?
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