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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Random Reading

I've been picking up books at random from my library library shelves lately and taking them home to read.

It's nice just picking up a book that I might never normally read - or, in some cases, never getting around to read - and taking it on the train with me.

One was ACID, a YA dystopian by British writer Emma Pass. I'm not hugely into dystopians, with a few exceptions, but this one was quite readable. In this novel, Britain has become literally a police state. ACID is an organisation that started life as the police force and took over after a global financial disaster known as the Crash, instead of the usual nuclear war. Different! In this country. - England only, it seems, not Europe or the rest of the world - you enter an arranged marriage(LifePartnering) at sixteen and go into an arranged job while you wait for permission to have a baby. The  heroine, Jenna Strong, is in an adult all-male prison for killing her parents, ACID agents. When a rebel organisation called FREE springs her from jail, she discovers her memories have been tampered with big-time. I enjoyed going along for the ride, despite some difficult-to-swallow premises and for an oldie like me there were hints of the 1980s British series Blake's Seven. No spaceships, of course.

I put that back and, yesterday, picked up a book by Heather Brewer, the beginning of the Slayer Chronicles. This one was American and featured something called the Slayer Society, built on the premise that vampire-slaying skills are genetic, running in families, and seen from the viewpoint of thirteen-year-old Joss, who has agreed to go into this because his little sister was murdered by a vamp. I couldn't help wondering whether the author gave the boy the same first name as the creator of Buffy The Vampire Slayer on purpose. Bet she did!

It didn't take long to finish this book, which is readable by a late primary/early secondary student reading at their right level. Today I finally borrowed Seraphina by Rachel Hartman,  which has had some good reviews and which I bought last year for a dragon-loving girl. It has dragons who can take human shape and a kingdom sort of like Renaissance Europe. The heroine is a part-dragon musician. So far, lovely, but I'm on page 47. It may take longer to read than the others, but never mind, there will be more random reading to come. Stand by for more reports!


4 comments:

Judy Edmonds said...

I don't know these books, but I have always rather enjoyed dystopian novels. I have got my son into them too - to the dismay of his teaching aides! They thought it was a sign of depression! He is now homeschooled so reading dystopian fiction counts as English lessons :) And I LOVE random reading, have done it on and off throughout my life and reaped huge rewards from it.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Most dystopians these days seem to be aimed at girls, have you noticed? Nice that you could get your son interested in a genre that gives you pleasure.

I hadn't heard of these books either before I bought them for the library - I let the students choose most of them. There are so many being published these days! I can't keep up with them, but the kids know what they like and it's up to me to keep up with them.

Tomorrow is my last bookshopping trip for the year and I have a shopping list of student requests

Pamela said...

Seraphina is one of my absolute favorite books! I hope you love it.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Yes, I was a fascinating read!