I’ve been catching up on a bit of Children’s and Young Adult reading recently. It’s a good idea to keep up with the genre in which you write and since I’m writing thrillers for a younger audience this is what I’ve been reading:
I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Teenager John moves from town to town, always on the run, always desperate to fit in. But he has a secret. Once there were nine, three are dead and he is next – he is number four.
Blood Ties by Sophie McKenzie
Theo and Rachel think they know who they are, but when Theo finds out that the father he thought was dead is in fact still alive they discover a truth about their identities that will change everything for ever.
Ice Shock by MG Harris
The second instalment in The Joshua Files - Josh’s search for the truth about his father’s death leads back to Mexico and to the discovery of a shocking secret.
So what did I think of them?
First of all I’d like to say that I enjoyed all three of these in different ways. They were all very readable, but not always that satisfying.
I am Number Four has had a huge amount of hype and yet I found it something of a disappointment. It was all just a bit too predictable, and too obviously setting up the rest of the series. Even so it hooked me in and kept me reading. Yes I enjoyed it but no, I won’t be rushing out to buy the next one.
Blood Ties and Ice shock on the other hand are a far more satisfying read. Both have sound central concepts, engaging characters and quality plotting.
Blood Ties reads very much as a stand alone, although I do see there is a sequel. I particularly like the way the author developed her characters, and how they overcame their respective vulnerabilities. It’s a cracking story that kept me on the edge of my seat.
Ice Shock is the second in a five book series and as a result the series arc is more developed. However this in no way detracts from the story at hand. I read the first book, Invisible City, a while ago, but I think this one is much better. The author left me satisfied and yet wanting more. Now there’s a skill I hope I manage to master one day. I’m pleased to see that books 3 and 4 are already out and the final one will come out next year. Off to the bookshop for me.
Does anyone have any other recommendations in this genre?