What I've been reading: Rebecca Lim, Rebecca Starford, Martin McKenzie-Muarray, Sophie Masson
I discovered Rebecca Lim's Mercy when reading about anitheroes and immediately added it to my to be read pile-where it's been waiting for a few weeks while I cleared my mountain of work.
Today I finally launched into the story of Mercy, an angel who has been exiled from heaven and is doomed to live in other girl's bodies.
It starts with her waking on a bus in the body of Carmen, a young girl who is on her way to a singing camp. She meets Ryan who is convinced that his missing sister is still alive and Mercy is the only one who believes him.
I loved this book and read it in one setting. My only regret is that I didn't immediately have the second and third book available in the series-but I will remedy that tomorrow.
Rebecca Starford's Bad Behaviour is a memoir about her year in an exclusive boarding school. It's about what happens when young girls are forced to share space at a time of their lives when they are vulnerable and struggling with their own identity.
I found this a hard book to read at times because I could relate so much to Starford's confusion as an adolescence. This desire of wanting to please others and fit in and losing yourself in the process.
It was also interesting reading it from the perspective of a teacher. I felt such pangs at the cruel behaviour the teachers also perpetuated against Starford and her fellow boarders and yet I felt strangely protective of the teachers in knowing that this was retaliation for the taunts and barbs they were subjected to. This was a great memoir told with honesty and heart.
Most true crime books are about the murder of an innocent and the plot is concerned with the motive. The victim acts as a plot device, but in his memoir A Murder Without Motive Martin McKenzie-Murray does something different.
The focus of his book is not on the why, because that is never clear, but on the how. How does a family deal with the aftermath of the brutal murder of their daughter, 50 metres from their doorstep and by someone in their community?
This was a beautifully written memoir that pays homage to Rebecca Ryle's life and that portrays the reality of living after being victims of a violent crime. It really highlighted the fact that our obsession with crime and especially true crime is voyeuristic and can dehumanize us in the process. This is a book that deserves wide recognition and I hope it is recognised on many award lists.
In the Crystal Heart Sophie Masson re imagines Rapunzel's fairy tale in a fantasy setting where feys and humans share a world.
Kasper is the guard protecting his realm from what he has been told is a powerful witch. When he finds out that the girl in the tower is actually Izolda, the daughter of the country's enemy, and that her life is in danger he puts everything on the line to save her. Now he has to find out who is truly telling the truth and where his loyalties lie.
This is a story of adventure, romance and magic. It was a great read and I adore the cover.
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Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
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