“Give your five favorite character’s best tips for surviving high school?”
• Everything is temporary! I have moved enough times, and changed enough schools to know that the things that seem to matter now might not matter later. You might be upset about losing that one friend or not getting on the swim team, but remember, a lot of it will not matter down the line.
• Find an outlet! High school is hard and we all need an outlet. Mine is art, yours can be art too, or theatre, or sport or anything you want it to be. I have a lot of friends that blog and make videos. We all need an outlet, find one that you enjoy and lose yourself in it.
• Forgive your parents for the little things; they are likely doing the best they can.
• Don’t obsess over your clothes. You’re going to regret all those hours you spent thinking what you should wear to school. No one remembers it anyway.
• Early bird gets the worm, literally. Show up to the cafeteria early and you’re likely to have the best (or at least the freshest) selection of food.
• Don’t read at lunch because you will look like a loner; download an audiobook and plug in those headphones- that way you will look like you’re listening to music, and we all know music is ‘cool.’
• The smart ones win out in the end. At least that’s what everyone keeps telling me, although I know a lot of stupid people who ‘have it all’ so the jury is still out on that theory. Fingers crossed though.
• VIDEO GAMES can brighten up even the worst day.
• If a video game can’t fix it try a book. A comic book. A really long comic book. Escapism is underrated.
• Get your driving license as early as possible. You need a car so that you can get away from this hell they call school.
• Learn your teacher’s weaknesses, they will come in handy later.
• Get friendly with the cleaning staff- they know everyone’s secrets and the easiest ways to get off campus without getting noticed.
• Keep everyone at arm’s length; people want what they can’t have and distance makes the heart grow fonder. Etc… etc… Cliché but very true.
• You know that whole standard advice: when you get to your new school, find the toughest kid around and knock him out? Or perhaps it’s advice for prison, either way you know what I mean. Well, that advice rubbish. Find the toughest bloke, trick him into being friends with you, that way if you’re ever in a tough situation you can call on the muscle for help.
• Keep chocolate on you at all times, it’s great for calming people down.
• Get the upperclassmen to give you their notes and exams from the previous year. Teachers can be lazy and are likely to use the same exams and questions year after year.
• Be yourself.
• Meditate for a few minutes every morning. Teens think meditation is for old people but actually we can benefit from daily meditation. Especially throughout high school which is a time of stress.
• It’s better to have a few friends that like you the way you are than many friends who don’t know the real you.
• Express yourself. High school is going to try and put you in a box. If you want pink hair, do it. If you want to tie-dye everything you own, do it. The time is now!
• Stand up for what you believe in. Get political. Stay interested. Some adults are going to try and make you feel like you are too young to know what’s what, but that not true. You are old enough to stand up for what you believe in.
What I Thought
For some strange reason I think I expected an x-men academy style story with super mutanty talented youngsters. Instead the talents are a little more highly gifted human but the story itself is creepy, teen angsty and thrilling. I found myself reading it in one sitting because I really wanted to know what happened.
I was very drawn to all of the characters and loved their individual personalities, even when I didn’t like them or their actions. For those that aren’t fond of love triangles be warned there is one here but it’s handled in a very unique way. After reading Holly Bourne’s recent book I’m finding myself being a little more critical of romance and there was the ‘he kisses me until I give into it’ aspect. I’m not sure I’m convinced by either of her choices but I’m really intrigued to see how it moves forward.
Towards the end this reminded me of Kat Zhang’s What’s Left of Me series (which I adored) and there’s a school nurse to rival Nurse Ratchett from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.
My main critique is that there was a little repetition in how the kids got out of sticky situations and that I found it went on slightly too long. I was a little confused by Nikka’s closing scene. But OMG the epilogue. I need more now.
All in all this was a fast paced with a gasp worthy nefarious plot that seems set to be wider that the school. During the tour the title of book 2 will be announced. I can’t wait.
Wunderkids is out now on Amazon (currently only 99p on kindle!) or you can buy a signed paperback from her website.
Jacqueline is answering 25 questions across 25 blogs so be sure to check out the rest of the spots on the tour – follow her on Twitter – @Jacky_Silvester - to get links to all the blogs taking part.
Please note I received a copy of the book from the author for the purposes of review but opinions are all mine.
Valor is under arrest for the attempted murder of the crown prince. Her parents are outcasts from the royal court, her sister is banished for theft of a national treasure, and now Valor has been sentenced to life imprisonment at Demidova, a prison built from stone and ice.
But that’s exactly where she wants to be. For her sister was sent there too, and Valor embarks on an epic plan to break her out from the inside.
No one has escaped from Demidova in over three hundred years, and if Valor is to succeed she will need all of her strength, courage and love. If the plan fails, she faces a chilling fate worse than any prison …
An unforgettable story of sisterhood, valour and rebellion, Prisoner of Ice and Snow will fire you up and melt your heart all at once. Perfect for fans of Katherine Rundell, Piers Torday and Cathryn Constable.
Ruth Lauren lives in the West Midlands in England with her family and a lot of cats. She likes chocolate, walking in the woods, cheese, orchids, going to the movies, and reading as many books as she can. She’s been a teacher and worked in lots of different offices, but she likes writing best. Prisoner of Ice and Snow is her debut novel.
Instagram: www .instagram.com/ruth_lauren
What I Thought
This was such a thrilling read with high stakes (both personal and societal) from the outset, and as a consequence had me zipping through to find out what happens.
Prisoner of Ice and Snow was like a cross between Prison Break, Six of Crows, Nevernight, and the first Throne of Glass, with a strong central sisterly relationship (a la Frozen), but perhaps aimed at a slightly younger audience.
Valor is such an awesome character. The book is told from her first person perspective. She’s a 13 year old willing to risk her own freedom for her twin but good enough to not walk over other people. I will admit to being a little ahead of her at times but I believe that was purposeful and for me doesn’t usually detract from enjoyment of a story.
I really liked that although the main action was the attempted escape from the prison Tyur’ma that there was intrigue outside of this. If Valor’s sister Sasha is innocent of the crime she was said to commit who did it and why?
The wider cast of characters were all interesting in their own right and I’m glad to hear a sequel is coming so hopefully we get to know even more about them and the world in which they live.
Prisoner of Ice and Snow is out tomorrow so you can read it really soon. Do make sure to check out the rest of the blog tour too. Thanks to Faye and Bloomsbury for my copy of the book for the purpose of this honest review.
Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy is a tightly paced thriller from Penguin Viking which is out now.
Set on a Christmas cruise in Central America it follows three families and their search for their missing children after a day trip goes very awry.
At the start, the book reads as a domestic drama, with two of the families being long term friends that clearly have more than their holiday packaging as baggage.
Clearly some inspiration has been taken from real cases, and where to place the blame when something like this happens, is explored.
We are not limited to the points of view of a few characters but instead hear from most of them over the course of the story, including the children and a few added extra characters who I thought perhaps muddied the waters slightly and complicated an already intricate plot. I think my usual Young Adult reading material means I get much more involved in a first person or limited third person narrative and is purely a personal preference. I enjoyed hearing from the children the most and have to admit that my lack of empathy with the parents did perhaps distance me from them.
This isn’t a classic light summer read and I can’t promise that you won’t become alarmed. I know there were a few incidences where I was more panicked than the characters.
Definitely worth your time and I can see this being filmed or made into a tense radio play.
Thanks to Josie at Penguin for the review copy. Opinions as ever are all mine.
Do check out what other bloggers thought at the other stops on the tour.