Monday, 28 July 2014

Bookspotting Returns!

It was waiting at Silverdale train station on Saturday evening to pick up my wife, when I got a text from her (actually a Whatsapp if I'm being pedantic). It said: Malorie Blackman, Noughts & Crosses, Girl, Maybe 20 21'. Isn't she good? It served as a gentle reminder that I hadn't done any Bookspotting for a while. I hadn't actually forgotten, I've just been quite busy and seem to have been rushing for trains a lot, or had my head buried in my own book, not spotting other peoples. I'm a bit less busy, so I'm going to pick it up again, albeit I'll aim for a modest once per week bookspotting post. There's lots of other stuff I want to blog about after all.

So the first book is 'Noughts & Crosses' by Malorie Blackman, spotted by my lovely wife, as her train wended its way through the beautiful North Lancashire countryside towards Silverdale. I've seen this book about before, but didn't know anything about it. It turns out it is a young adult science fiction novel, the first in a long series, set in an alternative world. In this different reality, humans evolved while Pangaea was still intact. Pangaea, as some may remember from high school Geography classes, was a single globe spanning supercontinent which existed before this singular land mass fragmented and drifted apart, creating the continents as they are today. In this alternate world, African people gained an evolutionary advantage, and European peoples were enslaved. At the start of the book, slavery had been outlawed but discrimination and segregation still exists. It's a really interesting way of exploring racism.

Malorie Blackman is the UK Children's Laureate at the moment, and has written many books, including several in the Noughts & Crosses series.

Today I spotted 'Changeling' by Steve Feasey being read my a teenage guy. It is a fantasy book about an orphan living in a children's home who gets a visit from a mysterious stranger, Lucien Charron. He soon discovers that vampires, demons and sorcerers exist, and he is the last hereditary werewolf. It is the first in a series of books for children/teenagers.

Also today I spotted 'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green. It is one of the most popular books of the year, and I covered this in Bookspotting Day 7.

Finally today, I spotted a middle aged woman reading 'Survivor' by Lesley Pearse. The tagline is 'Reckless, beautiful and a born survivor'. This is actually the third book in the 'Belle' series, but the first to feature main character Mariette (daughter of Belle, who was the heroine of the first two books in the series). Mariette is a not very likeable young woman who emigrates  from New Zealand to London in 1938, expecting the glitzy delights of London's West End, but instead having to live through the London Blitz. This experience changes her for the better...

I've never heard of Lesley Pearce before, but if you like historical family sagas, this should be worth checking out. It's reader rating on Amazon is amazing, average of 4.8 out of 5 with 358 reviews written.  310 people rated it 5 stars, 31 people 4 stars, and only 17 people rated it 1, 2 or 3 stars.

If you are someone that has to start at the beginning, you might want to check out 'Belle' and 'The Promise' first.

That's it for now, should give another bookspotting update at the end of the week.