So, pour yourself another sherry, crack the seal on that tin of Roses and enjoy the second part of my Festive Fifteen favourite reads of 2010. (Part One can be viewed here, if you missed it.)
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff.
Daisy is sent from New York to England to spend a summer with cousins. She's never met anyone quite like them before and, as a dreamy English summer progresses, Daisy finds herself caught in a perfect timeless bubble. But their lives are about to explode. War breaks out – a war none of them understands, or really cares about, until it lands on their doorstep.
No Worries by Bill Condon.
Brian Talbot, seventeen, virgin, high school dropout, nightshift worker at the local dairy, in love. When life is kicking you down, you need to kick back, but when your old man lives in the shed in the backyard, and your mum has problems of her own, that's not always easy. Sometimes though, you just gotta hang in there – you never know what might happen.
That Eye, The Sky by Tim Winton.
When Ort's father is seriously injured in a car crash, his isolated outback world is thrown into disarray. As he, his sister, mother and grandmother are struggling to come to terms with what has happened, a stranger appears in their midst. Preaching God’s word, Henry Warburton’s unexpected arrival seems eerily prescient – and Henry quickly makes himself indispensable. But Ort is suspicious – who is Henry really and what does he want with them?
Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick.
It's 1910. In a cabin north of the Arctic Circle, in a place murderously cold and desolate, Sig Andersson is alone, except for the corpse of his father – and then there's a knock at the door.
As an extraordinary story of gold dust and gold lust unwinds, Sig's thoughts turn more and more to his father's Colt revolver, hidden in the storeroom – a revolver just waiting to be used.
Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks.
Late one night, two brothers learn that their sister has died in the worst way imaginable. She's found, strangled, in a desolate place hundreds of miles from their East London home. Ruben, though younger, is the smarter of the two, with a gift for getting into other people's hearts; Cole is a devil's angel who doesn't care if he lives or dies. Together, they retrace Rachel's final journey to an end neither of them anticipated.
Right … who's had the last Hazel Whirl then? Come on, it's no use hiding the wrapper …