Bullet Catcher – Joaquin Lowe
23rd March 2016, 304 pages, 3/5
This book was strongly reminiscent of a Western – I don’t like Westerns very much…. Immi, an orphan working in a bar, dreams of being a bullet catcher. There is an air of mystery around the bullet catchers who can catch and deflect bullets, and who fight against the gunslingers (who were a bit like bounty hunters…). Lowe created really interesting and complex relationships, but I couldn’t connect with any of the characters very well. The world was a bit dystopian, but it wasn’t developed enough. I kept getting everything confused with Rebel of the Sands – they both have guns, and they’re both set in the desert. However, Bullet Catcher is a great subversion of the Western trope, with a female protagonist and some moral ambiguity – who really are the bad guys?
Thank you to Allen&Unwin for my review copy!
When We Collided – Emery Lord
23rd March 2016, 352 pages, 4/5
This book was adorable right from the beginning. Vivi and Jonah are two lost teenagers who meet and date over a summer. Vivi is like a whirlwind, racing from one project to the next, and Jonah is totally and completely responsible, helping his brother and sister care for their three younger siblings. The parents of both parties were a little bit annoying – how can adults (especially Vivi’s mum) be so STUPID?!?! Teenagers still need to be looked after!!!! Vivi is taking pills for her mental illness – while I guessed which, the book doesn’t mention it until the end, and it does demonstrate quite effectively the process of falling under an illness’ spell. The romance was a bit insta-love, but it was VEEERRRY sweet. Jonah’s little sister was their meet-cute! I will fiercely defend this book for its very open discussion of mental illness – Vivi takes pills! – and it highlights that you can always ask for help. Jonah’s family (SIX KIDS!) was great – it makes me wish I had more siblings! Ultimately, this book was just adorable!