Thursday 7 July 2011

Radiance by Alyson Noel

Name: Radiance
Author: Alyson Noel
Publisher: Panmacmillan

Summary: Riley Bloom crossed the bridge into the afterlife following a car crash- with her parents and her beloved dog, Buttercup. And it turns out that the afterlife is not just an eternity of leisure. Riley has been assigned a job as a Soul Catcher, with a weird but maybe cute boy as her guide. Her first assignment will take her back to earth, to everything she's left behind- where she must find the Radiant Boy, a long-lost spirit who doesn't want to move on...

I have loved Alyson Noel's 'Immortals' series and I will be truly devastated when I complete the final book of that extraordinary journey in 'Everlasting'.

When I found out that there would be a set of spin off novels focussing on Ever's kid sister Riley Bloom, I was over the moon.
I fell in love with Riley's character in reading the 'Immortals' series. She's a cheeky, sarcastic, fun and completely loveable character.

Although the Riley series is aimed at the younger generation, in reading it I think anyone with a vivid imagination can enjoy it. I certainly did.

There aren't many characters in this book.
There is obviously Riley who is mainly talking to us, the readers, about her afterlife experience.
Riley, Buttercup and her parents died in a tragic car accident.

Riley is the main vocal point of the novel which is predominantly in her our viewpoint. There is the occasion when Bodhi takes over and says his piece but the tone is generally very chatty and it could be said to be Riley's diary of her thoughts, experiences and emotions in her new life.

Along with Riley we have her loyal and loveable dog, Buttercup and her guide, the cute yet dorky Bodhi who you will love.

I cannot wait to see how the relationship between Riley and Bodhi pans out throughout the series. As they have fantastic banter and each of them gives the other as good as they get.
There a few extra additions, some of which I found weird but I shall let your imaginations make up your minds on them.

Alyson Noel's writing is amazing. Not only does she well and truly get the cocky, annoying slightly sarcastic, wannabe teen right in 12 year-old Riley, but she is a truly inspirational writer in the way she describes every encounter and emotion that Riley feels and goes through in her new life.
You feel like you are also experiencing what she is. At times I felt like I had jumped into the book and that I was Riley.

I love the reference to not judging people on appearance. As they say, don't judge a book by it's cover which, as this is aimed at younger readers, I think this is an important message to portray.

As a Londoner, I loved the references to London and just as I felt Riley's emotions I could also picture each part of London and how busy it was as if I was actually there.

My copy of 'Radiance' also featured a fantastic Q&A with Alyson Noel which was funny and also informative on the daily processes she goes through as a writer.
It was also nice to be able to read a short extract of the second in the Riley Bloom series 'Shimmer'. I must say from that extract I can safely say I look forward to the next adventure that Riley, Buttercup and Bodhi will undertake.



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