take back the skies || the savages || the girl who walked on air

08 June 2014

Title: Take Back the Skies
Author: Lucy Saxon
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: June 5th 2014
Source / Format: For Review, Finished Copy
Find: Amazon || Goodreads
Summary: Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official on the island of Anglya. She’s one of the privileged – she has luxurious clothes, plenty to eat, and is protected from the Collections which have ravaged families throughout the land. But Catherine longs to escape the confines of her life, before her dad can marry her off to a government brat and trap her forever.
So Catherine becomes Cat, pretends to be a kid escaping the Collections, and stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. As they leave Anglya behind and brave the storms that fill the skies around the islands of Tellus, Cat’s world becomes more turbulent than she could ever have imagined, and dangerous secrets unravel her old life once and for all.. -goodreads
Fox, is the word that fell from my lips as I finished the last page. What came next was a sigh, and then - Why? The 'epilogue' was a little confusing, knowing that there was a second book coming; and some of the things that happened to the main character seemed a little out of her age-range: I thought the author could have done with making her older, maybe sixteen or seventeen; but still. I loved the book. Take Back the Skies is a whirlwind of action and adventure, including some of my favourite plot twists in a novel: namely, a main character masquerading as a boy. Before I had read this book I'd seen some less than favorable reviews of it and was surprised to remember them after I'd read it myself; nothing really irked me other than the age problem and while I've also seen some reviews saying that the book wasn't good because the author was only a 'kid' when she wrote it - to that I say what? This is the kind of book I wish I had thought of and written; the plot was sound, the characters were relatable and the twists and turns were a breath of fresh air. ★ 
Title: The Savages
Author: Matt Whyman
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: June 6th 2013
Source / Format: For Review, Finished Copy
Find: Amazon || Goodreads
Summary: They'd love to have you for dinner . . .
Sasha Savage is in love with Jack - a handsome, charming ... vegetarian. Which wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that Sasha's family are very much 'carnivorous'. Behind the family facade all is not as it seems. Sasha's father rules his clan with an iron fist and her mother's culinary skills are getting more adventurous by the day. When a too-curious private detective starts to dig for truths, the tight-knit family starts to unravel - as does their sinister taste in human beings... -goodreads
I'd heard so much about this book before I finally picked The Savages up, so I was excited to see whether Matt Whyman would fulfill my expectations - he did. This book was shocking in the way it delivers dark comedy without qualms - but even more so because I was eating as I finished this book - and promptly had to stop. Not a good idea. Rule 101: when reading The Savages, do not eat...or drink for that matter. This book delves a lot deeper than the initial outlay of humour and satire, there's the underlying message of extremism, identity crises and financial dealings; and overall - made for a satisfactory novel that I can't wait to see how it develops in the next book: American Savage. ★ 
Title: The Girl Who Walked On Air
Author: Emma Carroll
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date: August 7th 2014
Source / Format: For Review, ARC
Find: Amazon || Goodreads
Summary: Abandoned as a baby at Chipchase's Travelling Circus, Louie dreams of becoming a 'Showstopper'. Yet Mr Chipchase only ever lets her sell tickets. No Death-Defying Stunts for her. So in secret, Louie practises her act- the tightrope- and dreams of being the Girl Who Walked on Air. All she needs is to be given the chance to shine.
One night a terrible accident occurs. Now the circus needs Louie's help, and with rival show Wellbeloved's stealing their crowds, Mr Chipchase needs a Showstopper- fast.
Against his better judgement, he lets Louie perform. She is a sensation and gets an offer from the sinister Mr Wellbeloved himself to perform in America. But nothing is quite as it seems and soon Louie's bravery is tested not just on the highwire but in confronting her past and the shady characters in the world of the circus . . .
Fans of Frost Hollow Hall will love this epic adventure, where courage takes many different forms. -goodreads
Fresh, fun, fantastic: The Girl Who Walked on Air is a book filled with hope and adventure - the characters are lovable and the plot is as wonderful as the beautiful cover it is protected in. All in all, I loved the book, the story line, and the message behind it. While this book is aimed at middle grade readers, I surprised myself by falling hook line and sinker for it, and reading it all straight after I received it, for beneath the outer 'shell' of determination and bravery so often emanated by the main character Louie, there is a soft, sweet tone to the story about finding yourself, blossoming into yourself, and understand that while you may feel forgotten and worthless - there is always somebody who cares; whether you may know it or not. 
Thanks so much to Bloomsbury, Hot Key Books and Faber & Faber for sending me these books free of charge in exchange for an honest review

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