22 Jun 2012


A contemporary young-adult retelling inspired by the classic 1938 romantic suspense bestseller Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault. Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back

I cannot tell you how much this book annoyed me. Not the best start to a review I'll admit. I'm going to try my best to not compare this to Rebecca, because I have to admit that it makes me cringe to think this could stand up to it. Rebecca is a modern Gothic classic whereas this, well, isn't.

It is split, on the whole, between 'New Girl's and Becca's narrative, in first and third person respectively. This is probably the best format for this type of novel as it allows the reader to see just why EVERYONE had come to love Becca and miss her so much.

It started well for me. The build up to the 'New Girl's arrival at Manderley is ok, ignoring the fact her parents are a little flat and one dimensional. It establishes her character well, her love of the Florida weather and its style. She's timid and comfortable in the life she has and does not initially want to leave to go to this new school just for a couple of years.

Manderley itself has no real presence and I feel Harbison has missed a trick by not using it more. The people there, however, are far from what you would expect from private school pupils. The girls are unbelievably shallow. Every couple of pages talk about sex or boys or 'who fancies who'. Yes, this happens with teenagers but no where near to the extend of this. It's so repetitive. And if this didn't annoy me enough they are always drinking or drunk or talking about how drinking is the answer to everything.


15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it's cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it's pretty obvious to Julie there's a supernatural connection. 

In fact, there's a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie's high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it's a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won't just lose her mother's soul, she'll lose her mother's life.

Poltergeeks is a novel that moves at absolute break-neck speed. I honestly don't think I have read a novel so fast paced! I loved this about it. It never stops. There's a few pages for the reader to lean on their knees and take a few wheezing, out-of-shape breaths and then you're off again. This might not work for everyone, and a couple of times I did have to back-track and re-read action scenes because sometimes I was trying to follow things faster than my brain would allow. There is always something happening and this is becoming rare in teenage books that drag on with endless pages of descriptions. It seems no matter where Julie is something happens to her. The whole book is set over 2/3 days, I think, and I have no idea how Julie wasn't as exhausted as I was in the end.

In terms of narration the story is told by Julie, who I absolutely loved. She's not your average female narrater. At times I had a little difficulty in believing that she was only 15, but her early teenage attitude did a little to make up for that. I thought she was really funny, she's not perfect (as she will well admit) and she doesn't hold back at being a bitch. She's not evil, but Cummings does her door-slamming teenage attitude really well. 

I don't actually have a massive amount to say about this book other than I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters are few but well rounded and perfectly formed. It's light-hearted and a brilliantly fun read. It fell just short of a 5th star from me just because it's not much of a social commentary, which most of my favourite books are - this is just a personal point. 

Add it to your wish lists, its really good fun.

4 Jun 2012


Thrilling ghost-hunting teen mystery as modern-day London is plagued by a sudden outbreak of brutal murders that mimic the horrific crimes of Jack the Ripper. Sixteen-year-old American girl Rory has just arrived at boarding school in London when a Jack the Ripper copycat-killer begins terrorising the city. All the hallmarks of his infamous murders are frighteningly present, but there are few clues to the killer's identity. "Rippermania" grabs hold of modern-day London, and the police are stumped with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. In an unknown city with few friends to turn to, Rory makes a chilling discovery! Could the copycat murderer really be Jack the Ripper back from the grave?

The Name of the Star follows the life of Rory, a teenager from the Louisiana swamps who moves to a boarding school in London. Whilst there she discovers that she has the power to see dead people thanks to a near death experience.

I have to admit that I didn't like this book at first. I could understand the hype and that the majority of people would love it, but for me it felt a little...false? This might be because I am English, and the book is written from the point of view of an American experiencing British life for the first time. It's a petty complaint, but I felt that I spent a lot of time being introduced to a culture I obviously know inside out. I know that if it were the other way round, an English girl moving to live in America, I probably wouldn't have been so annoyed, but I couldn't help it.

Like I said, I didn't like this book, at first. I did warm to it about halfway in. It's a slow burner, and when it gets going it's not exactly a firecracker but it was okay. The character's get better. Jazza, Rory's roommate is pretty cool. I like that she isn't supposed to be a spoilt rich girl, she's a normal teen who is fortunate enough to be able to go to a boarding school. I also liked the male characters, but if you're looking for a deep down burning teenage love-fest this isn't your book, although I think this will be elaborated on it the next book.

3 Jun 2012

Showcase Sunday - 03/06/12

Showcase Sunday is a weekly Meme designed to show what bloggers have received and bought through the week. I wasn't sure whether to go with this or Letterbox Love, another UK based Meme, but I don't suppose it matters as they are essentially the same thing.

Anyway, Showcase Sunday is hosted by Vicky over at Books, Biscuits and Tea.

I've had a pretty awesome week and I'm very grateful for it! I have a lot to read but there are some fantastic titles here and I'm really looking forward to them. I've just finished Name of the Star so I'm about to start on Poltergeeks!

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