Friday, 4 April 2014

Book Challenge...Books 7 & 8

The Fault in our Stars by John Green 
Cross my Heart by Carmen Reid

Apologies for the delay on the reviews for books 7 & 8 of the challenge - coursework had taken over! Anyhow here we go....

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Review by Laura

Book purchased from Amazon

The Fault In Our Stars is the beautiful and tragic love story of Hazel and Augustus. Hazel and Augustus meet at a counselling group for teenagers who have or have had cancer. They fall in love and spend their days questioning life, death, and love. Along the way they are surrounded by their parents and their mutual friend Isaac.

I really enjoyed this book, though I was a blubbering mess by the end of it! I thought Green did an excellent job at making sure the focus of the story was the individual characters involved rather than their cancers. Before starting this book I thought that this would turn out to be another heroic cancer story, while these are excellent in their own right, this book feels a lot more honest and realistic when telling the story of a teenager living with a terminal disease.

The characters of Hazel, Augustus and their friend Isaac seem strangely authentic to me and while they are seemingly too intelligent and emotionally grown up for teenagers, it isn’t far from what you would imagine a teenager, who has spent most of their life living with cancer, would be like. They react emotionally in ways that remind me of my teenage years – falling desperately in love in such a short time and becoming obsessed with anything that they identify with. Yet in other ways they are so adult, they handle their illnesses with a strength that you would not imagine in a teenager, but then anybody who has spent time with a teenager with a serious illness could probably see a similar spirit in these characters as they would in real life.

The love story between Hazel and Augustus is excellently written, a whirlwind romance that provides them with a world away from teenage angst, overbearing parents and cancer.

The Fault In Our Stars is a touching story of love, loss and, more importantly, living.

I give this book 10/10, A Novel Cafe Cupcake – I would highly recommend to anybody but make sure you have the tissues ready!

Brussels, 1940. Fifteen-year-old Nicole watches as the Nazis invade Belgium. Determined not to stand by as her country is brought to its knees, Nicole vows to fight back and joins the Belgian Resistance. Under her new alias - Coco - Nicole embarks on a dangerous new life as a spy, where the only question is not if you'll be caught, but when...

Review by Nicole (or lack of!)

Book received from publisher - Thank You

Unfortunately I don't have a review for this book. I started reading it but it really isn't my cup of tea so im ashamed to admit I gave up so it would not be fair for me to write a review. The story follows a young girl called Nicole (ironic!) and her life during the war. Im sure anybody who likes historical stories would very much enjoy it - I know all of Carmen Reid's other books I have - this one was just not for me.

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