Taliah gave up on her father long ago: he never responded to any of her letters, and he’s a rock star. But one day the famous Julian Oliver turns up on her doorstep to whisk her away, not only to get to know him but her whole family. With her mother ignorant and out of the country Taliah has only a three days to find out where she came from, and why she’s never known him before.
This book was great! Probably my favourite thing about it was that the whole story, a fairly short novel, took place over only three days. We journeyed with Taliah in (much closer to) realtime, with each encounter and moment, not missing a conversation or encounter. I don’t remember when I last read a book like that, and I really enjoyed it.
Alexandra Jennings is back for her second year at Akarnae Academy in the magical world of Medora that she stumbled into by mistake last year. The enemies are still out to get her, the professors to teach her lessons she never thought she’d need to learn, and her friends to support and surprise her along the way. We explore the world more, and understand a bit better what’s going on.
Here we jump straight back into the world and into adventure, with Alexandra once again in danger, in deep with her friends and fighting for what she believes is right. So much so that it hardly seemed like a separate book to the first one (and I’m having a little trouble separating them in my mind) and so, like the first, is basically just tremendous fun.
Caddy and Rosie have been best friends for, like, forever. But when the beautiful and mysterious Suzanne appears in Rosie’s world, Caddy is jealous at first. But when she gets to know Suzanne better she finds herself drawn into a new friendship unlike anything she has ever experienced, and finds herself doing things she had never done before…
When I came to read this book I didn’t expect to enjoy it. I can distinctly remember wondering why on earth I had ever requested it. It just didn’t seem to be the sort of thing I’d read. But… I really enjoyed it. It very clearly illustrated teenage girl friendship, with the intensity and the drama that it can bring. I found myself complete engrossed in the lives of Caddy, Rosie and Suzanne, and pulled into the teenage emotion that was so rich throughout. I think I cried.
After the gruelling and dramatic adventures escaping from Nazi Germany under her adopted uncle Hitler’s nose with her Jewish boyfriend Daniel in book one, Gretchen has been taken in by an English family and for the first time ever has a place she likes to call home. But Daniel isn’t so well placed – and when he hears his brother is ill he rushes back to Germany. Next thing Gretchen hears he’s accused of murder – and she makes the dangerous journey to Berlin in an attempt to clear his name, encountering gangs, the SS, secrets and old Nazi acquaintances galore as she tries to pull one over on Hitler yet again.
I was initially doubtful about how another book could come out of this. Gretchen escaped from terrible circumstances and crazy happenings – and now she’s going back! What! And once she was back in Germany, the drama came thick and fast. The coincidences were far too many, the story completely implausible – but terrific fun. It’s pushing beyond the limits of believability, but if you accept that, it’s gripping and exciting.