05 May 2011

Thursday Tea: While I Live by John Marsden (Review)

The Book: Last week I listened to the first book in the sequel to John Marsden's Tomorrow series. While I Live starts the Ellie Chronicles trilogy. Although this quick review doesn't contain spoilers for the novel, it does assume you've read the previous books.

The story picks up a few months after the war ended, when Ellie and everyone else who survived are trying to adjust to the new normal. As I mentioned in my reviews of the other books about Ellie, Marsden's characterizations of teens are spot-on and are at the heart of why these books are among my all-time favorites.

In postwar Australia, some of Ellie's friends are doing well. Others, however, have moments of post-traumatic stress or miss the rush of living in danger. A few the gang have been reunited with their parents, but some were orphaned in the war and now live independently or with distant relatives.

Just about the time Ellie is letting herself relax, the enemy begins border raids, randomly killing, stealing, or generally wreaking havoc. When this violence hits close to home, Ellie is forced to decide just what kind of person she is: Should she join the rebels who continue to fight the enemy or should she concentrate on making the best life she can for herself and those she loves?

The Tea: Even though it's supposedly spring, all the rain we've had over the last month has made me reach for the tea kettle. I've just discovered Stash Tea's Chai White. I love their black chai, but the white is good competition. Here's how the company describes it: "a lighter version of the traditional Chai. By blending premium white tea with cinnamon, whole cloves, cardamom and ginger root, we created a flavorful and spicy tea that goes well with milk and sugar and may be enjoyed any time of the day." I drink my tea black, but the spicy aroma and warming flavors truly take the damp out of my bones.

The Assessment: Now that the war is over and the shops are opening again, Ellie's little town is getting its fair share of more upscale coffee and tea shops. She may very well be able to by white chai tea. But I'd bet her financial situation is such that she's buying standard grocery store tea. On the other hand, if she had a taste of this chai, she'd likely be hooked.

A Note on the Audio: While I Live (Bolinda; 9 hr, 29 min) is read by the great Suzi Dougherty. She is an amazing narrator for this series and portrays Ellie and and her friends just perfectly. Dougherty makes the books come alive.

What About You? Whether you're looking forward to warmer weather or preparing yourself for winter, what are you drinking this week? And what's on the top of your reading list?

While I Live at Powell's
While I Live at Book Depository
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Thursday Tea is the brainchild of Anastasia at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.

Published by Scholastic, 2008
YTD: 44
Source: Review (see review policy).
Rating: B+
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)
FTC: I buy all teas myself, I am not a tea reviewer.


Zibilee 5/5/11, 8:35 AM  

I also like chai tea, but sometimes it can be a little spicy for me. When I lived in Daytona, there was a great coffee shop called Connect Cafe where they served the best chai tea I had ever had. It was actually from a mix, and I loved it so much that I had the owner order me a huge bag to make at home. I was surprised to find out that it was a mix, and not a tea at all! The last few days I have been drinking English breakfast tea, with lots of sugar and creamer.

bermudaonion 5/5/11, 8:45 AM  

That sounds like an addicting series! I'm dull - just drinking water, but I might indulge in a margarita tonight since it's Cinco de Mayo.

Beth Hoffman 5/5/11, 8:57 AM  

This series sounds interesting. I just might have to add it to my list. Also, I'd very much like to hear Suzi Dougherty's narration.

TheBookGirl 5/5/11, 9:33 AM  

I've had white tea and chai tea, both green and black, but I don't think I've ever had white chai...

Right now I'm finishing up some loose Coconut Tea from Adiago Teas...I love this with milk :)
As the weather gets warmer, I break out the fruitier teas: apricot tea and grapefruit tea are two of my favorites.

Barbara 5/5/11, 9:33 AM  

I'm normally a coffee drinker (too much!) but lately I've been enjoying a cup of tea in the afternoon, while watching the rain through the window. :<( I have Constant Comment, an old favorite, but I've just been drinking plain old Lipton.

Martha@Hey, I want to read that 5/5/11, 11:29 AM  

I've never heard of this series before but your review has me curious. I go through tea binges and I'm not really on one right now. Since it was in the upper 80s and low 90s this week, hot tea hasn't seemed appealing.

Clare,  5/5/11, 12:13 PM  

I have to admit that I'm not a fan of tea :)

I'm currently reading A Thread of Sky though which would be a wonderful novel to read while drinking Chinese tea :)

I'm hosting a giveaway for the latest Diane Chamberlain novel if you fancy stopping by and leaving a comment.


Dorte H 5/5/11, 2:23 PM  

I thought I was reading "Coraline", but my daughter asked me if she could borrow my Kindle tonight so all of a sudden I have plenty of time for a blog round. There´s an e-reader disadvantage I hadn´t thought of beforehand.

Carrie K. 5/5/11, 7:27 PM  

I bought all three of the Ellie Chronicles at the end of last year and they are on my list for summer reading - can't wait! I miss those characters.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 5/5/11, 8:08 PM  

I always love learning more about great audio books/readers. This one sounds great; thanks so much

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) 5/6/11, 5:39 AM  

Hmmm, I'm reading backlist Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero, right now) and drinking water. Of course, that's soon to be a chai latte. Enjoy!

Sandy Nawrot 5/6/11, 7:22 AM  

Bring on the chai! What's not to love? And another series...the insanity of it all! I am a sucker for them though, even though I sort of resent them hijacking my life. I'm going to see if these are on audio at my library...

Meg @ A Bookish Affair 5/6/11, 10:20 AM  

I've found myself reaching for the tea kettle a lot this spring as well. I love chai but I have never tried white chai before.

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf 5/6/11, 1:55 PM  

Must admit, I like my Chai tea :)

Glad you're enjoying the Elie Chronicles, it'd didn't quite match the heights of the main series for me, but that just means it's only very good, instead of amazing! ;)

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