Today I'm happy to welcome Katie Dale, author of Someone Else's Life, for a stop on her blog tour!
Today Katie is going to tell us about her favorite contemporary reads!
For instance I couldn’t sleep after reading Savita Kalhan’s The Long Weekend, in which two young boys are kidnapped by a paedophile. Skilfully and tautly written, Kalhan’s story subtly implies terrifying and horrific scenes without once being graphic, and I made the mistake of reading it on the bus home one dark night and totally missed my stop and ended up in a part of town I wasn’t familiar with. It was the most terrifying walk home I’ve ever had – I was jumping at every shadow! – and I live in what is probably one of the safest suburbs in the country! It is also a masterclass in suspense – I could not put it down. With the end of each chapter I just had to know what was going to happen next, how the boys could possibly get out of each impossible situation they found themselves in – or whether they’d get out at all…
Looking For JJ by Anne Cassidy is another gripping read – but this time the “evil villain” is the book’s narrator, the eponymous JJ, newly released from prison after killing her friend when she was a young child. Cassidy effectively shows us that behind every villifying newspaper headline are real human beings with their own stories to tell, and I found it difficult not to sympathise with JJ, whilst being horrified by the events that led up to that one life-defining moment. It left me with a new perspective and plenty of food for thought long after I turned the last page.
While JJ is after a new life, what if you suddenly discovered you’re living the wrong life? This is exactly what happens in Sophie McKenzie’s gripping fast-paced Girl, Missing, when Lauren finds a photo of herself as a toddler on a missing children website. A hunt for the truth turns her life upside down – and Lauren finds herself in terrible danger…
Similarly, what would you do if you witnessed a terrible crime, and you had a choice to lie and betray an innocent victim, or tell the truth and run for your life? Ty in When I Was Joe (Keren David) finds himself in a terrifyingly realistic situation when he witnesses a knife crime that sends him and his mum into
hiding. He suddenly has to take on a whole new identity in a whole new town in order to hide from the gang who’ll do anything to stop him testifying. But Ty is hiding more than just his real identity…
Of course not all contemporary issues are so dramatic, and I equally love immersing myself in the worlds of first love, family conflict, self-discovery, and frenemies as deftly painted by authors such as Sarah Dessen, Judy Blume, Caroline B. Cooney, and Sharon Creech. Cooney and Blume between them effectively created an invaluable guidebook to my teenage years, describing problems and experiences I was going through and reassuring me that I was not alone, with novels such as Among Friends (Cooney) and Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret (Blume) and me and my friends used to pass them round our class until they fell to pieces! Nowadays, Sarah Dessen does the same thing – every time I pick up one of her novels I know I’m in for a treat, spending time with her well-drawn characters, families and relationships (especially in That Summer), while Sharon Creech connually surprises me with her clever twists and emotional depth, particularly in the wonderful unforgettable Walk Two Moons.
Whether I’m in the mood for romance, family drama, social politics, self-discovery, humour, excitement, or a thriller, contemporary fiction has it all.
The Long Weekend – Savita Kalhan
Looking For JJ – Anne Cassidy
Girl, Missing – Sophie McKenzie
When I Was Joe – Keren David
Among Friends – Caroline B. Cooney
Are You There God? It’s me, Maragert – Judy Blume
That Summer – Sarah Dessen
Walk Two Moons – Sharon Creech
Chosen by Katie Dale author of Someone Else’s Life
Published by Simon & Schuster February 2012.
Twitter: @katiedaleuk Website: http://katiedaleuk.blogspot.com/
Thanks so much Katie! I'm a massive fan of contemporary but there are a few on there that I haven't read that now have to go onto my own to read list!