randall_dreams300Sixteen-year-old Kara Foster is an outsider in Japan, but is doing her best to fit at the private school where her father is teaching English for the year. Fortunately she’s befriended by Sakura, a fellow outsider struggling to make sense of her sister’s unsolved murder some months ago. No one seems to care about the beautiful girl who was so brutally murdered, and the other students go on as if nothing has happened. Unfortunately, the calm doesn’t last for long. Kara begins to have nightmares, and soon other students in the school turn up dead, viciously attacked by someone . . . or something. Is Sakura getting back at those she thinks are responsible for her sister’s death? Or has her dead sister come back to take revenge for herself?
Kara’s mother has just died and her father takes a post in Japan as an English teacher. She is fluent enough in Japanese, that the language is not much of a barrier, but the understandings of their local legends becomes one. Upon arriving to her new school Kara discovers a girl has been murdered, and nobody has been captured. She is referred to as “Bonsai‘- Loosely translated as being cut away and moved from her home, no roots to grow on.  She is not laving luck making a lot of new friends, but there are some that feel that she belongs and she begins to settle in. There is still some taunting and rudeness from the other kids, and then the bad dreams come. And she is not the only one experiencing them. Then students begin to die. Is there a killer loose at the Monju-no-chie School and will the nightmares stop?

Every time I had to set it down, I thought ‘What is going to happen next?’ I was very happy to find that there were no slow parts in the story. It moves along at a great pace and there are plenty of scary happenings. The dream scenes will give you goose bumps and make your heart beat a little faster. Kara is an intelligent character and does not back away from her other schoolmates when she needs to. She is also curious, which brings an element of detective work and problem solving.

The author spells out the Japanese words to help readers pronounce them. This book includes great supporting characters, but my favourite character is the main one, Kara. She is so down-to-earth and easy to relate to, but I also found Sakura very entertaining. Most of the kids at the school are having the same bad dreams, and seeing or hearing the same cat, and then the cherry blossom smell appears. These are awesome scene set-ups that make you ask, ‘Is it time for somebody else to die? Are these the signs of death?’

This story will keep you on the edge of your seat. I was ecstatic to see that there will be two more books for The Waking series. I loved this book. I recommend it to those who like the movie The Ring or The Grudge. It’s a fantastic read for when you want something creepy, as well as a new international setting.



Text prize logoThis is such a great opportunity for YA fiction writers in Australia and NZ!

The entry form for 2015 applications can be found at the Text Publishing website.

The prize is open to writers of all ages based in Australia and New Zealand; only hard copy submissions delivered by post are accepted. Further terms and conditions can be found on the entry form.

Previous winners of prize have gone on to become best-sellers, award-winners and international rights successes. This year Text will publish more YA/Children’s than ever before as we continue to grow this part of our publishing repertoire. The Text Prize is a headline act of that repertoire and we look forward to growing it further in 2015.

 



winnacker-DefectorImposter bk 1

Tessa can touch people and absorb their DNA, and then she can change her appearance to whoever she has just ‘downloaded’. She’s been in training for two years to become a part of the FEA (Forces with Extraordinary Abilities), a secret branch of the FBI…and she’s just been given her first mission.

Her moral compass is screaming out, trying to tell her that what she’s being asked to do is wrong. But this is what she’s been trained to do, and getting on with it throws Tessa in the deep end and reveals her personal hell to the reader.

 

winnacker-imposterDefector bk 2

After surviving her first mission, Tessa is selected to be flung back into the insanity that is the life of an FEA agent. The kicker is that her best friend has been abducted and getting her back isn’t going simple.

Skeletons are being discovered in closets and things that were mostly black and white have become a disastrous muddle of grey.

This series is extremely addictive and there is something in it for everyone: suspense, romance, betrayal, political intrigue and action, action and more action… oh, and explosions. Woohoo!

Susanne’s characters feel extremely real, even though they may come with fictional added extras. Many of them have tragic back-stories and you can forgive them for the most part because they’re just working for people who gave them a better life. I love the self-realisation that occurs over these two books. The character arcs allow questions to be asked and answers to not be pretty.

If I were put in the same position as Tessa, there is no question that I wouldn’t handle it as well as she does.

Marissa Meyer, author of Cinder, has given this book high praise. I agree that if fun and suspense is your thing, you should pick these books up and give them a go.

 

Imposter

Paperback, 320 pages

Published January 2nd 2014 by Hodder Children’s Books (first published May 28th 2013)

ISBN 1444916173 (ISBN13: 9781444916171)

 

Defector

Paperback, 312 pages

Published August 7th 2014 by Hodder Children’s Books (first published November 13th 2013)

ISBN 1444916181 (ISBN13: 9781444916188)



You can now purchase a virtual boxed set of the Night Creatures trilogy on Amazon UK for a reduced price: Burn  Bright, Angel Arias, and Shine Light all in one download.

NC_Burn Bright Boxed Set_600



Chris G_TNChris advises on classic styles that won’t break your budget.

 

 

ATTENTION ALL TEENAGE BOYS+GIRLS

A question I often get is… ‘What should I wear if I wanna look cool?’

Being a teenager, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with trends. Especially if you’re relying on holiday money, or part time job money. SO, I’ve been contemplating what kinds of things that you will be able to wear for an extended amount of time, and not look out-dated.

First, I think that a pair of light coloured jeans is a pretty cool, soft grunge and also versatile look. Also, rips are always a plus.

COC_grey jeans

 

COC_grey jeans girl

 

Next, I chose a black canvas backpack suitable for men and women. I thought this was work because it’s plain and neutral. It’s very easy to pull off, seems made well, and looks great.

COC-bag

The next thing that I feel is totally ageless is a pair of boat shoes.

COC_boat shoes

 

COC_boat shoes women

These aren’t gonna work in the colder seasons (unless you live somewhere warm, and in that case, good for you), but I think they’re the perfect summer-spring shoes.

I hope that this helped everyone who’s been in a struggle to look like you have some idea of what to wear. You guys can maybe go and purchase a few of these items! If you click any of the links included, you will be taken to ASOS where you can buy them without even leaving the house! (Killer deal right?)

If you enjoyed this post, and wanna learn more about fashion or other things, make sure to visit my personal blog, www.christophersfashion.com!

Till my next post,

Chris :)


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