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Blood Ties - Sophie McKenzie

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4 Reviews

Author: Sophie McKenzie / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 07 July 2008 / Genre: Children's General Fiction / Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd / Title: Blood Ties / ISBN 13: 9781847382757 / ISBN 10: 1847382757

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    4 Reviews
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      18.12.2010 17:30
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      I loved this book, I recommend it even if you are above the age category!

      This is a book which, in my opinion, is aimed at juniors and young teenagers. It has four hundred and forty eight pages. It has a wonderful plot and it has a twist so you wouldn't be able to guess the plot.

      This book is written is a style that focused on two fictional characters stories; Theo and Rachel. This book is about a typical young teenage boy named Theo who though he lost his father when he was a young baby but he finds out this is not true. Rachel is the second main character. She is always compared to her sister who died before she was born, her and Theo try to solve their problems together.

      I would have given this book five stars however, at some points in the book I wasn't too pleased. Sophie McKenzie could have made sure the parts with less action in could have been a little more hooking, instead of having up's and down's. The language isn't very 'advanced' but, this is because it is aimed at a younger audience.

      I read this book about two years ago but, I still remember the plot and language used which is why I am writing this review. It must have been good if I can't get it out of my head! I have recommended this book to other friends and they have loved it, Sophie McKenzie is an excellent author and I have also read her award winning book 'Girl Missing' which I highly recommend as well.

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        12.03.2010 20:24
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        Loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee this book.

        A boy grows up in the absence of his father. He has always been told that his father was a soldier who died in the war. but he wonders why he always has to have his bodyguard Roy around and cannot have any converstion. While researching about his supposed father James Lawson. He discovers something he did not expect and along with his new information and a girl whose family may be linked with the pase --> Racheal; he embarks on an adventure while u nderstanding everything about his past and what Roy is supposed to be protecting him from.
        When he finds out his father is alive,He can't understand while his father can afford to have a live in guard but not for a nice, bigger house. Racheal also finds something she didn't expect and finds she has a lot more in common with the boy--> Theo.
        A great book for any age.

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          10.11.2009 08:52
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          Good book

          Blood Ties proved to be an enjoyable read even though its target market was a bit younger than me I still found it to be interesting and entertaining. The story is told from the perspective of two characters, Rachel and Theo so you get to see what they are thinking and how they perceive the events unfolding in front of them.

          Theo is a cool lad, quite arrogant at times and the only thing missing in his life is his father who he believes to be dead. He is the popular lad at school that everyone want to be with and he even has his own bodyguard although the reason for this is not explanined at the start of the book. Rachel however is the complete opposite, she is over weight and lacks confidence, she is not attractive looking and painfully shy who lives in the shadow of her more successful sister and has an unhappy home life with domineering parents who put her down a lot. Part of the raeson she gets a hard time from her parents is that her sister dies when she was 16 and it seems that as part of their grief they criticise Rachel, almost resenting the fact that she lives and her sister does not.

          Despite these differennces the two come into contact and a story unfolds which is told from their own perspectives. The plot is clever and well crafted and while at tmes you can see what is comming I did wonder whether this would have applied if I was in the target market of young teens that the book is aimed at.

          I found the story to be wonderfully writen and it was not an easy book to put don. I liked the first person narrative style and it worked well. Definately a book I would recommend for young teens and adults will also get some enjoyment from it.

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          21.03.2009 09:39
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          Exciting, fast-paced and provoking

          From the opening sentences this is a very dramatic novel:

          'I could see him waiting for me outside the steel school gates.
          'Roy.'

          Theo Glassman has a bodyguard - though he has no idea why - who he constantly tries to outwit in order to live a 'normal' life. Operation "Liberate Theo" dominates chapter one, then, just as the reader gets involved in the story, chapter two opens on Rachel, adding up the fat, stupidity and ugliness related comments she has endured during the day. Rachel's life, though clearly sad, seems uninteresting in comparison to Theo's until she receives an unexpected text message that sets her heart thumping and closes the chapter, allowing us to get back to Theo...

          The switches between the two stories work well, especially when their lives begin to overlap, and the first person narratives allow McKenzie to create two believable but distinct characters. Theo is arrogant, impassioned and determined; Rachel is shy, bullied at school and undervalued at home. Although they might seem very disparate characters, they both have pain in common: Theo longs for the father he believes is dead; Rachel wishes she weren't overshadowed by her deceased sister.

          Very early on, the characters make some shocking discoveries about their fathers' pasts, but this is by no means the full story. The pair team up and begin to make even more worrying discoveries as they explore the connections between their families. After they are attacked by a militant group against genetic engineering (RAGE), the story kicks up another gear as they race for their lives, trying to find the truth. Early on, the reader guesses at least part of the truth, but the story is so well told that this never becomes a problem. Besides, guessing that your whole life has different roots than you've always known is not something that most people are likely to realise until they are shown the truth. (This is a bit like 'The Matrix'!)

          As the plot develops, the characters do, too. Rachel discovers her true strengths, gaining confidence along the way. Theo, by contrast, discovers the potential dangers of his personality and risks becoming someone he does not want to be. Their relationship also evolves, gradually, in time-honoured boy-meets-girl-and-they-team-up-to-fight-against-the-world-and-fall-in-love fashion. Once again, although this is highly predictable, it is enjoyable to read because the characters are believable and we are sympathetic towards their plight. The agony of misreading each others' feelings is emphasised by the dual narrative structure and the reader really wants them to be happy.

          There are several villains and heroes along the way, which could be seen as a slight criticism of McKenzie's writing. Rachel and Theo's parents seem reasonable enough, although they are not really in the novel enough to allow us to assess them objectively, but the other adults they come into contact with are either angelic (but in a bad position) or almost demonic in their rage and actions. Despite the simple caricatures of 'good-vs-evil', McKenzie does put across a believable moral message by ensuring that the evil characters are militants of some description: the good characters suggest a middle path is necessary. This links in to many modern debates, particularly in the evolving field of genetic research, and is a valuable message to all readers, but not one that is force fed to us.

          After setting an intense pace, the action seems to slow slightly when Rachel and Theo reach a key location, but this is really only slow in comparison to the rest of the novel, and is a good opportunity for reflection. The ending leaves open the possibility of a sequel without actively setting one up, and creates a certain sense of closure.

          Overall, this is an exciting, fast-paced and enjoyable read that should provoke some interesting debate.

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