This story contains everything I expect from a Nora Roberts – romance and mystery. The beginning of the story was great and grabbed my attention from the first page. But then, as the story continued there were places where the it all seemed a bit unbelievable. Overall it was a great story to read with a good cast of characters.
I was on the verge of abandoning this book, it really didn’t hold me, but I kept going just in case. After beginning in India, it is set in Victorian England where Gemma Doyle has been sent to a stuffy finishing school after her mother’s mysterious death. Gemma and her friends discover a way into a different realm and struggle with that power, and the evil that awaits. It wasn’t quite convincingly Victorian, or English, enough for me; the girls were too modern, but the real problem was that I didn’t find the plot that exciting. Plenty of nasty girls and angst plus a little bit of mystery, magic and steamy dreaming. I’ll give the rest a miss.
A debut novel for Leah Thomas this story is a very unusual exploration of a friendship between two teens who will never meet. Contact with electricity sends Ollie into debilitating seizures, while Moritz has no eyes, a heart defect and is kept alive by an electronic pacemaker. Written as series of letters, the story plays with the emotional connection between the two boys as they try to deal with adolescence and the revelation of their shared past, a past filled with experimentation at THE LAB. This book, although contemporary in nature, has elements of evolving supernatural powers, so you do need to sacrifice logic. If you like this you might like quirky literary quality of Mosquitoland by David Arnold and Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Students might also like to consider this book for their HSC AOS –Discovery.
What a powerful story! There was tension, sadness, violence, hopes and dreams. Add in a massive hurricane, and it all adds up to a story that I had to keep reading. Amongst so much destruction we are left with glimmer of survival and hope.
This is a powerful book; not an easy subject, though beautifully written and compelling. It is a memoir of a southern, Black woman, who lost five men in her life. They died because of drugs, accidents and suicide, but their deaths were about more than that; the extraordinary disadvantage of their heritage in Mississippi. Ward’s grief is raw and harsh, not lessening as the years go past, and the questions raised are worth raising, and worth deliberating on, particularly given what has been happening. This is an American story, but black lives matter everywhere.
Lauren masterfully blends two storylines together – as Clementine finds out about her family history we are transported into the past. Both storylines work well together and allowed me to discover the family story along with Clementine. There are a few twists in the story that kept me interested and I found the ending satisfying.
A story of contrasts from the viewpoint of a politician’s teen whose life seems to be public property. I felt Frankie’s distress as the power of the media tried to pull a happy family apart. Events escalate, depriving Frankie of her music, her friends and her boyfriend. I was torn for Frankie once she discovered her mother’s secret. She equally admired the love and commitment of her parents and fumed at their inaction. I won’t tell you the secret because it is the basis for the story. Just know that the secret is not what the media has made it out to be and when it is revealed you will find yourself taking sides. Continue reading
Nominated for a 2016 Children’s Book Council Award – The White Mouse : The Story of Nancy Wake by Peter Gouldthorpe. This looks like a picture book, but it is pretty dense with information so it’s definitely for older kids. The story of Nancy Wake, the Allies’ most decorated woman in WWII, is packed full of danger and excitement and it is well illustrated with big, realistic drawings. Every child should know about the amazing life of Nancy Wake!
What a beautiful, sad, and thoughtful book. Henry and Charlotte live in Cambridge in the early sixties, just pregnant with their second child. They are both feeling lost, longing for things to be as they were, and Henry takes them to Perth for a new life. Beautifully written, The Other Side of the World is almost dreamlike, exploring the meaning of home, marriage, motherhood and belonging. Melancholic, but beautiful.
This Novel is a contemporary fairy-tale for grownups. For those who need a genre box it’s “Magic Realism”. If you have a hard time suspending your disbelief, engaging with the fantastical or embracing the transcendent this book is NOT for you; if the reverse, then it’s quite possibly perfect.
A recipe for reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane
1. Box of tissues – you’re going to be doing some crying
2. A dash of time- you’ll be doing quite a lot of reflecting
3. Liberal seasoning of imagination
4. A set of socks- because the pair you’re in will be knocked off!
5. A decent sprinkling of inner child
6. A splash of wonder
Mix thoroughly and enjoy anytime!