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  • Malorie Blackman

Chasing the stars-review

When I knew Malorie Blackman had another YA book after reading the noughts and crosses series, I had to read it! It was completely different from that series, but still written beautifully and still gripping.

It was a dystopian novel about life in AD 2164, where they live in space. It was a romance with lots of other little bits of different genres thrown in there. The two main characters were called Nathan and Olivia. Olivia lived on a ship with all her family and a whole crew, but since a huge virus, all the crew died except for her and her twin brother. Nathan is known as a 'drone' (which are not thought much of) and there worlds collied when Olivia risks her life when rescuing Nathan and all the other Drones from the dangers of a deadly group of beings, 'the masons.'

Before Olivia and her twin, Aidan, rescued the Drones form the attack of the Masons, they had lived alone on the ship for 3 years. IN result of this, they weren't used to human company and when people suddenly surrounded them, they were learning how to deal with people again, and it showed me the effect on loneliness.

Once Olivia rescued as many people as she could, Nathan and his extended family lived on Olivias and her brothers ship. Throughout the book, they are trying to risk as much danger as possible, while also falling in love and revealing truths.

The book is written using both Nathans and Olivias perspectives, which I really thought was effective. The reason for this is because you could understand the characters thoughts and learn about what they are lying about, and what they are being truthful about, and why. It made me as a reader get to know the characters more and make the book even more gripping and heart felt. I also thought this was good because you found yourself in both the characters shoes, and you related to them both which was really effective.

I have to say, at the beginning I was a little confused with the plot but soon I was engulfed by their universe and lifestyle and understood it. I think some things are not explained fully but in a way that gives a positive effect on the book because you feel like you are in that time with them which makes the book more realistic and clever.

The novel was not predictable, like I expected it to be. Half way though the book I wasn't sure what would happen for the next 250 pages, but I was very wrong. Each chapter was packed full of action, emotions and messages. Differences started to be outlined between Nathan and Olivia and you learnt how far a lie can go.

However, I was a little disappointed with the ending. I'm not sure if thats because I was expecting something different but I thought it was quite sad and although it gave a little hope, it made the whole plot feel a bit pointless. Having said that, the actual love between Nathan and Olivia was portrayed excentally and when you read about their thoughts about each other they were so passionate and it made the book so heartfelt, moving and important. Also, the unpredictable ending shocked me which was good as I wasn't expecting it, which made the book more exiting!

I thought the plot was clever as although it as in the future and a universe so different to what we live in today, it still contained the same things. The 'bad group': The Masons who wanted to attack and were searching for them constantly; the Drones: the people who were thought less off for no reason, they were frowned upon but no one realised how much they suffered, when they had done nothing wrong except be born a drone; and everyone else: people who were completely different from one and other but brought up with similar or different teachings. This was very clever as it portrayed live in the 21st centuary but looked at it in a very different way to other books.

If I had another negative point, I would say there were sometimes some unnecessary parts which I wasn't sure how they fit in to the book or what was the point of them. I think it could of been a little shorter which would of made it a little more gripping and fast paced. Having said that, most of the parts really fit together and you learnt more about all the characters and their past as the book went on.

Overall, it was a good novel (not as great as the noughts and crosses series!!) with romance but also action and a look into a fictional future. It is a YA book and I would recommend it to people age 13-17

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