Melody’s Key by Dallas Coryell

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Helllllo readers, hope you’re well! Another day another review. I’ve been really enjoying this slightly more relaxed schedule. It’s felt a lot more helpful for encouraging creativity and I’ve adored reading lots more books from lots more genre’s and I have a lovely YA book for you today.

“His eyes settled on her…piercing green embers of flame that revealed the ferocity of his pain and passion, yet still shrouded him under veils of ever deepening mystery that made every ounce of her ache to unravel him.”

Tegan Lockwood’s dreams were dead, sacrificed on the noble altar of duty before they ever had a chance to live. Her entire existence was disappearing into the abyss of apathy as she labored her days away keeping her family’s struggling business alive. There would be no emotion, no color, no beauty in her life. That is, until a mysterious visitor begins to draw her out of the darkness of her past towards something that will challenge the boundaries of her world, and unlock the most deeply held secrets of her heart.

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The first thing to mention is I was sent this book really nicely by the author. The story follows the life of Tegan Lockwook who is a very talented and also beautiful young girl who helps with the family business – Lockwood Holiday. Tegan is not only a talented painter but she also loves to compose and write songs and due to this she is accepted into a college in New York. Through her families financial struggles Tegan must stay with them, and put her dreams on hold. However, one summer her life is about to change forever, when American pop star Mason Keane comes to the estate, everything might be turned entirely on its head.

This is a very fun summer romance and to be honest with you I really enjoyed it. It  has a romance, it has a number of really likable an well fleshed out characters and it doesn’t follow the typical girl changes bad boy. I loved the fact that Mason is really presented as a ‘good guy.’ Mason does have struggles, he’s not perfect but the author really makes this clear at the beginning. I also adored tha the author wrote all of the songs in the book – it’s a lovely addition.

Delving into a problem I do tend to have with YA fiction, the character development throughout the book was JUST FANTASTIC. Tegan and Mason are constantly changing as individuals from the very beginning to the very end, learning not only about each other but learning about their own personalities too and the relationship DOESN’T HAPPEN IN A HEARTBEAT. I adored the fact that they built a friendship which leads to love – I won’t spoil the plot because that’s unfair but I really thought that this was a beautifully built relationship.

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This is a really tough book to review because there’s so much going on and I don’t want to spoil any of the special bits – however I loved that the plot was full of surprises. Throughout the new story there are also glimpses into the older love story (#NOSPOILERS.) There are letters from a forbidden love that takes part during WW1 and they are mixed in with the romance of the modern world. I can’t like I wish there was more into  the past love story, but that could be the historical fiction lover in me.

I think the only thing that did kind of test me was the kind of languid quite overly done descriptions. Not only did they come across a little dramatic and full of teenage angst (which is okay in small doses,) but it did make the writing a little stodgy. Through the middle of the book it does slow the pace of the book down and it does become a little slow. There are also a long of cliche’s with I’m not a big fan of (piercing eyes etc,) but I think than Dallas has written this book for the lovey-dovey one’s of us. It does have some intense descriptions, and for some readers that’a a good thing – for me a little overwhelming especially towards the end.

So, what did I think in the end. I thought that the story was really special, I thought the characters were brilliantly written, the romance was built throughout and actually happened throughout the story rather than just smushed together. I did struggle a little with the overly cliched and heavy description of the love story – it just felt a little bit over done. But if you really love a romance, with a bit of mystery, pick up a copy today.

LINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNKS

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Gideon and the Crimson Samurai by Ricky Baxter

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Helllllllo readers – it’s Monday which is always a bit of a struggle but I have a really exciting and interesting book for you today. Many of you will know how much I adore reading books for the younger reader because 1) they tend to be quite exciting, and 2) they often have some wacky, crazy characters. Many of you will know my Mumma B works in a primary school and when I used to help out you would often find me poring over the books when I should be cleaning up glitter or photocopying music (oops.) Without further reminiscing onto le review.

Gideon Joust is your average twelve-year-old boy, with all the growing insecurities one would expect, following the mysterious disappearance of his father. On one fateful day, the boy’s world is turned upside down – leading to a chance encounter with a brash child warrior: Kibishi the Crimson Samurai.

Gideon and the Crimson Samurai is uniquely written in play format – suited for teens and adults alike.

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As the rather short blurb suggests the book follows the adventure of Gideon Joust who is, on the surface, a rather average twelve-year-old boy. However there has always been a question that has concerned him – what did happen to his father? Why and how did he disappear? Where is he now? As he begins his quest to find out what really happened he meets another young boy named Kinishi  who turns out not to be a regular boy as like Gideon, but instead a warrior. They go on their mission together – one that will change Gideon’s life forever.

Enough of the blurb, onto my thoughts on the book – the format is really interesting as it’s written in play format which I  was really surprised to see. I think the book is targeted at 14/15 year old’s and for me, although I found it a little difficult to get through (namely because I’m not used to seeing a children’s book in this format) I think would really work with the book’s target audience. It definitely allows you to get more into the action and get straight into the tale. The author additionally adds a lot of detail around the writing to help give more of a description and flavour to the book as a whole – for example.

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After many long hours of aimless searching and journeying though much greenery and fields, the young Gideon falls flat to the ground, devoid of strength and motivation.

Gideon: I give up – what was I thinking? How big is the outside world anyway? I really need to find that crazy samurai before he gets any further, but how am I supposed to find him when he is probably miles away by now? As Gideon lay on the ground, he smells a delicious and sweet scent that lasts for only a fragment of a second. The young boy leaps to his feet in excitement, as he smells the scent once again. Gideon races onward, following the direction of the scent – desperately traversing over many hills, gasping in awe at the lush scenery of the landscape, filled with rich grass and nearby wildlife under the bright and blue sky.

As you can see this helps to flesh out the book and make it more of a story than just a play script that I think will help to engage readers .

The characters are really well-developed throughout and the friendship that develops between the two is a lovely read. It does have suspense, action and a lot of adventure and I can imagine action loving readers getting incredibly excited about the plot and the quest stile plot. For me the writing was a little basic at times and there lacked a little pizzazz. It felt a little simple and I thought more strength could have been added to the spoken parts however I do understand the target age so it does fit. I also thought the cover worked incredibly well with the story inside and definitely would intrigue readers.

Overall a lovely little read – for me a little predictable in the plot-line and in the telling and I thought the spoken parts could have been stronger but definitely an interesting book. I have heard that this is going to be made into an audio book which I think will work much better in terms of the format! One to definitely get your YA reader getting stuck into an adventure.

Linnnnnks

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