Friday, 29 November 2013
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
Monday, 25 November 2013
'New Guinea Moon' is the latest novel by Australian author, Kate Constable.
Kate grew up in Papua New Guinea and the observations she makes in this novel give the reader a brilliant insight into a country on the brink of independence, in 1975.
From the opening pages where teenage Julie arrives in Port Moresby to stay with the father she has never really known, the reader is immersed in a different world - a strange environment, intense humidity and a world where 'expats' (expatriates) band together and form a tightly knit group.
This largely white expat group consists of business people, those who wish to bring religion to the country, and those seeking to improve the lives of the indigenous people through health and education.
The often complex dillemmas that arise are conveyed to the reader. For instance, Julie asks her missionary neighbour if imposing Christianity on New Guinean people is leading to the annihilation of their culture. Her neighbour responds by saying that before they arrived tribal fighting, cannibalism and wife-beating were commonplace events.
There are two young men in Julie's life - she and Ryan drift into a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship though she is intrigued by another young man called Simon who is classed as 'mixed race' and whose father owns a coffee plantation.
Initially Julie allows herself to be led to some extent, though she then begins to make her own decisions and form her own opinions.
There is a tragedy in this story and there is also a mystery, which brings Julie's growing decision making to the fore.
I thoroughly enjoyed 'New Guinea Moon' and recommend this novel to teen readers.
Monday, 11 November 2013
An assassin's loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers...
Sunday, 3 November 2013
:The Beginner's Guide to Living by Lia Hills
The book centres around seventeen year old Will, whose life falls apart after the sudden death of his mother. His father copes as best he can with the grief by going back to work and drinking and his older brother Adam is distant and often absent. Will becomes increasingly isolated and angry as he struggles to find a purpose in his mother's death. He befriends a girl he saw at his mothers funeral and falls in love for the first time. Will must deal with the conflicting emotion of how he can feel so happy and sad at the same time. He begins to document his grief using his mothers camera and embarks on a spiritual journey to find an idea for which he can live and die for. As if this wasn't all enough, he has his final exams looming. It's a moving book about those moments in your life that change you forever.
Thursday, 31 October 2013
'Every Breath' is Ellie Marney's first novel for young adults.
Teenage Rachel and her family have moved to the city from rural Victoria.
It is a radical lifestyle change for the family and Rachel is finding the move very difficult.
Living in the same street as Rachel is James Mycroft - or simply 'Mycroft' as Rachel refers to him - a rebellious and enigmatic teenager who becomes Rachel's friend.
From the offset there is strong chemistry between the two and on virtually every page there is reference to the sizzling and ongoing tension and sense of anticipation between them.
Mycroft and Rachel's friends are believable and likeable personalities, and their family circumstances ring true to adolescents who are treading a balance between dependence and independence.
Mycroft and Rachel stumble on a murder scene and join forces to try and find out who was responsible.
With Mycroft and Rachel's investigative powers and interest in forensics they are soon hot on the trail of the murder investigation and find themselves in deep danger.
As for Mycroft and Rachel's 'will they won't they' relationship - well, you'll have to read the book to find out what happens.
My lips are sealed!
Recommended fiction for teens - part mystery, part family/friends/relationships.
I look forward to the next novel by Ellie Marney called 'Every Word' where we see the return of Rachel and Mycroft.
Wednesday, 23 October 2013
At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy's instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea's forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors from both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?
Check out this clip of the author Rick Riordan reading from the new book The House of Hades.