Monday, 25 February 2013

The Tiffin By Mahtab Narimhan

Author Mahtab Narsimhan
Pages: 192
Year Published 2011
Publisher: Dancing Cat Books

       In Bombay, a pregnant teenager is forced to rely on tiffins (Lunch boxes with warm food inside) and dabbawallas (The people that deliver the tiffins) to get a very important letter to her boyfriend. She trusts that the letter, tucked inside tiffin will reach him. After all, a tiffin rarely gets lost.
       The story centers around a twelve year old orphan boy named Kunal. He works as a slave for Mrs. Seth and Sethji. Each day one thing puts a smile on his face. Seeing an old dabbawalla named Vinayak.  Vinayak understands what Kunal is going through and offers Kunal a place to stay if things ever get too bad. Kunal quickly takes him up on his offer. Before leaving though, Mrs. Seth gives him one piece of information: His mother is alive and is living in Bombay. Now Kunal only has one thing on his mind. Finding his mother. First, he needs a job. Vinayak is trying his hardest to get Kunal a job as a dabbawalla but in the meantime he is stuck with a job at another restaurant. He soon figures out a plan. All he needs to do is send a note in every tiffin asking to meet his mother. Now all he has to do is get a job as a dabbawalla. Unfortunately, Vinayak is unable to get Kunal a job due to his family situation. Just as Kunal has lost all hope, the dabbawalla leaders agree that although they can't let Kunal become a dabbawalla, they can send some notes in the tiffins. A small glimmer of hope lives inside Kunal once again. But now the only thing he can do is hope for a reply.


       Kunal at some points was a little unrealistic about finding his mother. Luckily he has Vinayak to keep him from getting his hopes up too much. I have say that throughout the whole book, Vinayak was my favorite character. He cares about Kunal a lot more that Kunal actually realizes. Vinayak can seem kind of mean sometimes but everything he does is for Kunal's own good in the end.
       No love story involved in this book. And no past relationships with anybody mentioned.

       Overall, this book was alright. I probably won't pick up this book for a second read. I was able to stick with it to the end, but it just wasn't as promising as I thought it was going to be. Boys and girls could read this book, either gender could enjoy it


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Variant By Robison Wells

Author: Robison Wells
Pages: 373
Date Published: October 4 2011
Publisher: Harperteen


      Benson Fisher is wishing to get away from his life as a foster child. When he gets accepted to Maxfield  Academy he couldn't be more thrilled to finally have a chance to have friends and settle into a place for more than a few months at a time. Once arriving he finds out that the school is blocked by a wall, and separated by miles of forest from any sign of civilization. That's not all. No phones, Internet access, or adults. You get no contact with anybody outside of the school. Even though there are no adults, there are still rules and still punishments. The biggest rules are, no sex, no violent fights, No refusing punishments, and trying to escape.  if you break any of those four rules you end up in detention. Those who go to detention don't come back. After hearing all of this though, all that is on Benson's mind is escaping this weird school. No matter how many people try to convince Benson that it is was a lot worse before the students spit up into gangs. The society, the people that want to be follow the rules, Havoc, the people that want to cause trouble, and Variant or the V's. They are the people that hate the school and want to escape, but generally follow the rules. Benson joins the V's. He makes friends and fits in fine. He even grows close to a girl in his gang named Jane. he even finds himself having fun. Until, finding out a secret that the school had kept hidden since it was built. Now that he knows the secret he has no doubt in his mind that he has to get out of the school.

       The cover to variant is a boy and a girl walking in the woods. The boy has his back turned, but girl is looking backwards. Most of the cover is sort of blurred out. I liked this cover a lot because it the way the cover is blurred out is mysterious just like the story is.

       In the book you learn about many members of all the different gangs. Mainly the people in the V's. Benson himself is a little stubborn and rebellious at times. He was a pretty believable character. Two of my favorite characters in the book were Lily and Curtis. Lily has only been at the school for a few months and is also very content about leaving. She wasn't in the book a whole lot when she is it is mostly when they are  playing paintball. My other favorite character was Curtis. He always helped Benson and always forgave Benson when he had done something stupid to jeopardize the safety of the gang.

       As I said before Benson gets quite close to Jane and at one point takes her to a dance. The relationship didn't last long at all though. Other than Benson and Jane, Curtis and another girl in the V's named Carrie are also dating. You don't hear much about this couple but Benson always sees the holding hands and walking together

       Variant was an amazing book that kept me interested to the very last page. The characters were believable and very easy to connect to. I highly recommend this book.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Endure By Carrie Jones

Author: Carrie Jones
Pages: 262
Date Published: May 8 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury

       Nick isn't the same anymore. He can't get over the fact that Zara is now a pixie. Sadly, that's the least of Zara's problems. The end of the world is near, and Zara doesn't know how to prevent it. That is until being attacked by a women who in half rotting while on a patrol. She is the leader of Hel, a place for people that die from old age and sickness go. They suspect she knows how to stop the end from happening. After doing lots of online research they find out how to get to Hel, to talk to the half rotting lady who is also named Hel. They believe that the way to get to is in Iceland. It isn't that easy though. It leads them to a top of a volcano. Once they reach Hel, Zara is given a choice. She could see one person that she never thought she would ever get to see again, Or reveal how to stop the end from happening. For the final time the fate of the world rests in Zara's hands.


       The cover of the final book in the need series is a gold eye, with some swirly type designs in the background. It's pretty, but I don't think it's as pretty as the other ones were. maybe it's the fact that the face is sideways, or the designs in the background. I'm not entirely sure, I liked the other ones more.
       Devyn is not in the book very much since he stays in Bedford with his parents. Betty stays in Bedford as well, and prepares for the pixie's attack.       
       Nick is not the same as he was before. Nick and Zara have stopped dating. There was no official breakup but it is obvious that she and Nick are no longer a couple. It's kind of sad Zara does love Nick and it is hard for her to let go. She wishes for nothing more than for Nick to love her again. After all, it was one of her biggest fears when she went to get Nick back from Valhalla. 

       Endure was a fantastic book full of big decisions. Zara kept me entertained for the final time in the ending of the Need series.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Testify By Valerie Sherrard

Author: Valerie Sherrard
Pages: 144
Date Published: August 4 2011
Publisher: Dundurn

       Shana Temain and Carrie are best friends. So when Carrie comes to Shana saying that she is being molested by her stepfather, Shana knows that Carrie is telling the truth She will do whatever it takes to help her. Carrie convinces Shana to testify in court. Shana's testimony states that she saw Carrie's stepfather molest her. Which of course is a lie, but for a while Shana doesn't care about her lie. Especially after Carrie's stepfather ends up in jail. Now Shana just can't wait for everything to get back to normal with her group of friends. Unfortunately, that's not what happens. Carrie accuses Hayley, another one of Shana's friends of stealing. Everybody believes Carrie, but soon Carrie reveals some pretty nasty things that she claims Hayley said. Shana just wants to find out the truth, so she goes to talk to Hayley. As secrets become revealed, Shana begins to doubt how trustworthy Carrie really is.

       I liked the characters in this Testify, although, it didn't tell you a lot about any of the characters besides Carrie, Shana, and Haley.
       There was no love story involved in this book. It does tell you about a past relationship that Shana had and how they broke up though.

       The cover to this book is a girl looking down, hiding her face. The cover is plain ans simple but very pretty.

       The book didn't go into very much detail about anything, if I remember correctly, It didn't even give a description of what the characters looked like, If it did it was very small. Like what the general weight of what the characters were. I don't really know what the characters were supposed to look like, but in my mind, I pictured Carrie, with very short brown hair, and I pictured Shana, tall with black hair. 


       Overall, Testify was a good book. Boys could read this book, although it only really has a few male characters. Most boys can't get past that though.