More of Me – Kathryn Evans

Another young adult read! I heard about this book on twitter, it was recommended by an author I follow so bought it on my kindle for myself and my daughter to share. It has in interesting concept, Teva, ¬†an apparently normal 16 year old, is hiding a big secret, there are several other versions of her at home. Each year on her birthday a new version is borne out of herself and the old one remains frozen in time. This year as she approaches 17 she is determined to stop this happening so she can carry on living and not be destined to a live trapped in her house watching the next version of herself take over. Part science fiction, part teenage romance and friendship story this is a good read. You get caught up wanting to know how and why it happens and if she’ll be able to stop it. It’s well written with each version of Teva feeling quite unique yet also the same. Although it sounds quite incredulous it actually doesn’t feel like that to read which is due to the skill of the author at creating such a real feeling character despite the strange science. We both enjoyed it, neither of us were raving about it but it was worth a read.

Salt to the Sea – Ruta Sepetys

This was one of my teenage daughters holiday reads, I read it after strong recommendations from both her and my teenage son! It’s a fantastic read, it took me a couple of chapters to get into it but both of them assured me it was worth it and they were right! It follows four young people in Germany in 1945 as refugees flock to the coast in advance of a Soviet invasion. These four characters are all from different counties and backgrounds but each hunted by war. Their lives overlap as they make their way towards the boat they hope will take them to freedom, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Sadly the sinking of this ship is one of the lesser known tragedies of world war II resulting in the death of thousands of civilians. I loved this book, it opened my eyes to a side of the war I knew relatively little about but was also a compelling read with well written characters and storylines. I love when a book makes you want to go and find out more about something and this was definitely one of those books. A great read for teenagers and adults alike.

The Comet Seekers – Helen Sedgwick

Continuing with my holiday reads..not even halfway yet! This was a book I have had on my to read list since spotting it in the Edinburgh book festival brochure last year. I finally got it through the library before my holiday. Essentially telling the story of Roisin, a girl from rural Ireland with a passion for the skies, and Francois, a young French man brought up by his mother who is literally haunted by her past. The two meet in the present day at the beginning of the book in Antarctica under comet Giacobini. The book then travels back through their lives but only picking up when a comet is visible in the skies. In that way multiple stories are told covering many years and places and introducing many characters. There are stories of love and loss, hope and heartbreak. We can see how Roisin and Francois paths cross and they seem destined to be together. I really liked the concept of this book, it was really interesting learning about the different comets, many of which have happened in my lifetime yet only a few I had really been aware of. The individual ¬†stories were very good but also worked well as part of the overall story. It’s beautifully written conveying the sense of the vastness of our world and the ties that bind and the delicate path that is often trod between the two. The characters all felt real and significant even those that are not main characters. It’s a great read, something a bit different, original and definitely making my good reads list. I’ll be looking out for other books by this author.