Posts Tagged ‘eileen merriman’

\Mystery and unsettling revelations keep up the suspense in this page-turning novel.

The last time I saw Sophie A, she was kissing James Bacon. She could have any guy she wanted, but she was kissing an English teacher who was eight years older than her.

Right back when Sophie MacKenzie started primary school, she was befriended by Sophie Twiggs and Sophie Abercrombie. Although they developed different interests, the threesome have stuck together through high school. But now Sophie Abercrombie is not just The prettiest Sophie, she is also The missing Sophie. As Sophie MacKenzie confides to her diary, Sophie A went missing sixty-four days ago and, despite police investigation, she has not been found.

The Trio of Sophies is no more.

A Trio Of Sophies

Eileen Merriman

Penguin NZ

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan Butterworth

The Sophies have always been friends.  All different – Sophie A is the pretty one, Sophie M is the brainy one, Sophie Twigg (Twiggy) is the sporty one – but they have a close friendship, bonded by having the same name in a Year 7 class.  Now in their final year of school, Sophie A has disappeared without a trace and the remaining Sophies bond is quickly unravelling.  The police can’t find her  and there’s just questions and anguish for everyone.

The story is told in by Sophie M diary form, starting from the 64th day that Sophie A has been missing and working backwards to the day she disappeared.  Then it chronicles day 65 and jumps forward to various dates from then on.  This was a new way of telling a story for me but it was so clever.  You quickly figure out the who, but the how and why are slowly revealed and as new details emerge, everything makes sense.  It’s only at the end that you realise how manipulative Sophie is and the very last page – wow!

This is a great story, full of tension and drama while featuring situations teens might face – abusive relationships being one.  The writing is just fantastic and draws you into the story.  I just couldn’t stop reading and devoured the book in a few hours.  Read from front to back, don’t give in top the temptation to skip ahead to day 0 or you’ll miss vital bits of the story.

I highly recommend this book to teens and anyone who wants  a great read that will keep you enthralled and on the edge of your seat.

I wish I wasn’t the weirdest sixteen-year-old guy in the universe.’

Felix would love to have been a number. Numbers have superpowers and they’re safe – any problem they might throw up can be solved.

‘If I were a five, I’d be shaped like a pentagon … there’d be magic in my walls, safety in my angles.’

People are so much harder to cope with. At least that’s how it seems until Bailey Hunter arrives at school. Bailey has a stutter, but he can make friends and he’s good at judo. And Bailey seems to have noticed Felix:

‘Felix keeps to himself mostly, but there’s something about him that keeps drawing me in.’

Both boys find they’re living in a world where they can’t trust anyone, but might they be able to trust each other, with their secrets, their differences, themselves?

Invisibly Breathing

Eileen Merriman

Penguin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Piper Mejia

Each generation grows up in a world that has changed since their parents were their age. When we are children we make a promise that we will be better parents than our own, a promise we forget as easily as we forget what it was like to be young. In this ‘coming of age’ novel, Eileen Merriman explores how much things have changed (what we will accept) and yet how much has stayed the same (people can be so cruel).

Invisibly Breathing is written from the point of view of a young boy, Felix, at a moment in time when figuring himself out includes figuring out love. For Felix, school and family mean dealing with the ripple effect of bullying and dangerous secrets before someone gets hurt.

Eileen Merriman has a whimsical style of writing, her characters are both quirky and familiar individuals; a snapshot of the youth of today’s society. This is a novel that will appeal to readers who enjoy the realism that a good ending doesn’t have to be happily ever after.

A moving novel about learning to find happiness in the face of uncertainty and discovering a love that transcends the boundary between life and death.

Seventeen-year-old Alex Byrd is about to have the worst day of her life, and the best. A routine blood test that will reveal her leukaemia has returned, but she also meets Jamie Orange.

Some people believe in love at first sight, and some don’t.
I believe in love in four days.
I believe in falling.
Both teenagers have big dreams, but also big obstacles to overcome.

‘Promise me you won’t try to die,’ I said. ‘Ever.’
‘Promise me you won’t either,’ he countered.
‘It’s not really something I can control.’

Catch me when you fall

Eileen Merriman

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Maree

Alex is 17, her leukaemia has returned, and she is falling in love with Jamie Orange. Set in Christchurch, this is a young adult novel of first love. cancer and bi polar disorder.

Yes Alex and Jamie fall in love fast, not only are they teenagers with a teen sense of living in the moment but they don’t have time for a long drawn out romance. Really they ….don’t.

Which makes this book all the more poignant. When you could be dead tomorrow, plus you are a teenager, plus you battle depression; all life becomes one explosive powder keg!

Such a moving story.  I emptied a box of tissues but am glad I read it.  It’s very well written and deals with mental illness sensitively and honestly.

Wise, tough, heart-breaking, funny, this compulsive love story is about facing your demons.

Fifteen-year-old Rebecca McQuilten moves with her parents to a new city. Lonely but trying to fit in, she goes to a party, but that’s when things really fall apart.

I couldn’t tell anyone what had happened. Especially since I was the new girl in town. Who would want to believe me?

Things look up when she meets gregarious sixteen-year-old Cory Marshall.

‘You’re funny, Becs,’ Cory said.
‘You have no idea,’ I said, and clearly he didn’t, but I was smiling anyway.
And after that, he was all I could think about.

Cory helps Rebecca believe in herself and piece her life back together; but that’s before he shatters it all over again . . .

*this book contains adult themes and is suitable for readers aged 16+*

Penguin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

Trying to fit in to a new town, Rebecca goes to a party, gets drunk and goes for a walk on the beach to clear her head, when she is raped.  She doesn’t tell anyone as she fears being labelled a slut.  Her new cute neighbour likes her but he is friends with her rapist.  He can’t understand why she doesn’t want to go to places with him where she might run into his friends and thinks it is him that is the problem.

This was a tough book to read but but very well written and not graphic.  It covers the hard-to-talk-about topics of rape, self harm, and suicide in a natural way.  The main character got on my nerves after a while with the way she constantly put herself down, she annoyed me and I didn’t really like her.  But then again I’m not this book’s target audience and can’t relate to a lot of the aspects (thankfully).  I really enjoyed the ending – it as a plot twist I didn’t see coming.  I love endings like that!

This is a beautifully written book that deals with some serious issues New Zealand doesn’t really talk about.  It is well worth reading and I’m recommending it to my cousin’s daughters.  The contact numbers at the back for agencies that offer support for the issues raised was a caring touch.