Though I read the first of these two titles earlier this month I haven’t had the space in which to review them so I thought I would showcase them both, plus some of the other YA fiction from Bloomsbury I have on my reading pile.
Anthem For Jackson Dawes by Celia Bryce is the story of two teenagers who meet for the first time in the oncology ward. Thirteen year old Megan Bright has been diagnosed with a brain tumour, trying to take refuge in denial, the children’s ward is the last place she wants to be while she endures chemo and waits for the surgery that will save her life. She can’t understand how fifteen year old Jackson Dawes, who has been in and out of the hospital for years can be so cheery. He has a smile for everyone, the younger children on the ward adore him and the nurses indulge his cheeky adventures. Slowly Jackson wears down Megan’s defenses until Jackson becomes the one things she lives for.
Inevitably comparisons will be made between this story and The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I thought Anthem for Jackson Dawes to be a more innocent and genuine story. Megan is angry, depressed and desperate for things to get back to normal as quick as possible. She isn’t the most endearing of characters to begin with as her fear and bitterness causes her to lash out but her behaviour is realistic given the circumstances. Jackson is adorable from the first. His positive attitude, mischievous bent and his tenderness towards the little ones on the ward, especially seven year old Kipper, is heartwarming. The relationship that develops between Megan and Jackson is sweet and becomes a poignant story of first love and loss.
Anthem for Jackson Dawes is a moving and bittersweet novel of friendship, love and grace.
Witch Fire is the second novel in Laura Powell’s Burn Mark series, the first of which I read and reviewed last year. This second installment picks soon nafter where Burn Mark left off with Glory and Lucas working for WICA (Witchkind Intelligence and Covert Affairs). The pair are tasked to investigate an exclusive boarding school in Switzerland where the WICA suspects Endor is recruiting the witchkind sons and daughters of high profile and wealthy citizens.
Witch Fire combines espionage, politics and adventure with the paranormal and moves between England, Switzerland and South America at a good pace. Powell’s world is detailed and interesting and she continues to build on it’s unique elements. Glory and Lucas are settling well into their partnership until secrets are revealed that threaten to pit them against one another.
Though skewed towards a young adult audience, Witch Fire will appeal to older fans of the genre. A solid, entertaining story , I think reading Burn Mark first will enhance the enjoyment of Witch Fire though it can be read as a stand alone.
Still on my reading pile are these June/July and August releases
“Kitty is living a happy, carefree life as a dairymaid in the countryside. The grand familyshe is employed by looks after her well, and she loves her trade, caring for the gentlecows and working in the cool, calm dairy. And then, of course, there is Will, the river man who she thinks is very fond of her, and indeed she is of him. Surely he will ask her to marry him soon? Then one day disaster strikes: Will disappears. Kitty is first worried and then furious. She fears that Will has only been leading her on all this time, and has now gone to London to make his fortune, forgetting about her completely. So when Kitty is asked to go to London to pick up a copy of Pride and Prejudice, the latest novel by the very fashionable Jane Austen, Kitty leaps at the chance to track down Will. But Kitty has no idea how vast London is, and how careful she must be. It is barely a moment before eagle-eyed pickpockets have spotted the country-born-and-bred Kitty and relieved her of her money and belongings. Dauntingly fast, she has lost her only means of returning home and must steal in order to survive – and face the terrifying Newgate Prison and the prospect of transportation to the distant colony of Australia . . .”
“What if your past became your future? The rules of time are no match for destiny . . .
Cole fears she’s losing her mind. Lately, everywhere she goes, everything she touches, triggers vivid scenes of a time she doesn’t know, in a place she’s never lived. Then she loses her heart too . . . When Griffon first sees Cole, he knows immediately that she is special, like him – that her visions are memories of past lives. And he is sure their paths were meant to cross in this life . . . With Griffon’s help, Cole pieces together clues from many lifetimes and discovers a secret that could ruin her only chance of a future with Griffon. But risking his love may be the only way to save them both.”
Due for release July 2013
“In a world in crisis, children are the future. Part of the cure. Not now. Children are deadly. Marked one to ten. Fiona is a TEN. She just doesn’t know it yet . . . She doesn’t know her true strength.
Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But she has woken to find her entire world has changed – her house is abandoned and broken, and her neighbourhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right wrist that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. And she’s right. When the honeybee population collapsed, a worldwide pandemic occurred and the government tried to bio-engineer a cure. But instead the vaccination turned people into ferocious, deadly beasts. They have been branded as a warning to unvaccinated survivors. Key people needed to rebuild society are protected inside a fortress-like wall. Fiona has awakened branded, alone and on the wrong side of the wall . ..”
Due for release July 2013
“Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn’t happened yet.
Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture – being kept apart, overhearing each other’s anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There’s no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It’s from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that’s about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future.”
Due for release July 2013
“Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.”
Due for release August 2013
Are any of these on your wishlist?