The Young Adult books I am reviewing here are both from BorrowBox. On Midnight Beach will also appeal to older readers.
The Bookweaver’s Daughter by Malavika Kannan is a very exciting book. It has many elements expected of the genre – conflict between groups of people, adventure, fighting with weapons and with magic while a main protagonist discovers her identity. Additionally it is set in ancient Indian Kingdom of Kasmiri. Perhaps it was the result of magic that some of the scenes seemed to begin in new places with no explanation of how the people had arrived there. I enjoyed the book and was surprised to learn how young Malavika Kannan was when she wrote it. A friendship and the opening location in this book reminded me of The Red Ribbon.
On Midnight Beach is set in Ireland in the hot summer of 1976. There is a sense of impending disaster from the very beginning. This is reinforced by the mention of The Lord of the Flies, a book I had to read at school and disliked intensely. However I found this story fascinating, if haunting. It is about teenagers rather than younger children. Relationships between teenagers and within their families are explored. The culture of the time is reflected in the well-crafted story, which ends with (at least to my mind) a ray of hope.