Posts Tagged With: friendship

Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

Title: Cold Light
Author: Jenn Ashworth
ISBN: 978-1444721447
Publisher: Sceptre
First Published: April 2011
No. of pages: 352

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis (from Amazon):
This is the tale of three fourteen-year-old girls and a volatile combination of lies, jealousy and perversion that ends in tragedy. Except the tragedy is even darker and more tangled than their tight-knit community has been persuaded to believe.

Blackly funny and with a surreal edge to its portrait of a northern English town, Jenn Ashworth’s gripping novel captures the intensity of girls’ friendships and the dangers they face in a predatory adult world they think they can handle. And it shows just how far that world is willing to let sentiment get in the way of the truth.

Review:
There’s something quite addictively compelling about this coming-of-age story focusing on the friendship (and sometime enmity) of three girls on the cusp of adulthood in the mid-to-late 90s. While reading it, I felt like there were constant warning signals flashing on and off as my adult mind could see the danger in the situations these girls got themselves into, but they couldn’t seem to see it themselves.

The jumping back and forth between the teenage years and ten years later sometimes jolted a little, but things quickly got back on track each time, however it was occasionally a little disruptive to the narrative.

The plot itself featured a mystery that seemed quite evident to me. There were pointers along the way that made the conclusion a bit of a let-down as elements of it were quite obvious, but there were other, more subtle moments along the way that meant it wasn’t completely disappointing.

It’s not a fast-paced novel, but it doesn’t drag; I was quickly drawn into the proceedings and felt I recognized the people, places and situations. It’s not the best novel I’ve read of this type, but it’s certainly not the worst, and it makes a refreshing change for the main characters to be quite dull, not particularly attractive or popular girls – it makes the whole thing seem more plausible than if they had been bubbly, bright young things from the posh end of town.

Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Crepe Makers’ Bond by Julie Crabtree

Addition: Review e-book

Genre: Young adult

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Ariel is the head chef in her family kitchen. Cucumber salads, fettuccine carbonara, fish tacos, and peanut butter pie are just a few of the dishes she crafts when she’s feeling frustrated by the world. And it’s turning into a frustrating year. Ariel, Nicki, and Mattie have been inseparable friends since they were little kids, but now Mattie’s mom has decided to move away. It’s the girls’ last year in middle school, and they can’t fathom being separated. The friends concoct a plan that will keep Mattie in the Bay area she’ll move in with Ariel and her family. But before you can say “bff,” the party is over. Everything Mattie does gets on Ariel’s nerves, and it’s not long before the girls are avoiding each other. This was supposed to be their best year ever, but some painful lessons are threatening to tear their friendship apart. Can the girls scramble to make things right before the bond crumbles?

I received this book from netGallery to review – thank you.

This is a story of friendship and food. Ariel has two best friends: Mattie and Nicki. It has become a strange year. Nicki is creeping around and keeping secrets, but worse, Mattie’s Mum has a new job and they have to leave town. To keep Mattie around Ariel proposes that she lives with her and her family. Being a welcoming home, Ariel’s parents allow this. Mattie moves in, but soon she is getting on Ariel’s nerves. Mattie sees herself as just trying to fit in, and Ariel finds herself getting jealous. Their friendship is in trouble, and what is going on with Nicki? This story looks at the joy of food, how to fix a friendship and the truth about keeping secrets.

Firstly, I was drawn by the simplicity of the cover – just a few aprons hanging up. I also liked how the book contained the recipes mentioned as part of the story. They are unique and different. Not what I would eat or cook but it makes the book stand out.

The girls seemed realistic – just typical American high school teenagers. They were not the most popular girls, they were just nice, hard working and friendly. The book is about their friendship, and actually it is nice to read. The bond and the tension is well written and I liked them all. I felt sorry for Mattie, who was living away from her Mum and sorry for Ariel, who felt that Mattie was taking her place in the family. Of course, I did also think that they should have expressed their feelings instead of keeping it in and almost losing the friendship. I liked Nicki as well, but she wasn’t the main character. She was the third wheel in the group – joining late and keeping secrets, and I felt she was written just as an extra.

This is a girly story. The main characters are girls and the book is about friendship. The story line isn’t particularly original – I feel having the recipes in the book special, not the story line as such. It is an easy read and a young adult book. I enjoyed it. I did find myself getting exasperated with the girls at times; I felt they just needed to talk to each other and Mattie’s actions at the end didn’t impress me. Overall, this is a quick and easy read if you like female fiction and young adult books.

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.