Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Guantanamo Boy

Khalid is a fifteen year old boy living in England. He is a typical teenager - generally bored with school, likes hanging out with his friends in the park, and is embarassed by his 'uncool' father.

Khalid's life turns upside down when he and his family travels to Karachi to visit their relations. Due to a terrible misunderstanding, Khalid is accused of being a terrorist. His life becomes a living hell.

Guantanamo Boy is a gripping first novel by Anna Perera.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Beauty by Robin McKinley

I am a big fan of Disney movies. There I've said it. Now that we have that cleared up, let me introduce you to Robin McKinley's Beauty: a retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast.

Being a huge fan of Robin McKinley's adult fiction, Sunshine, I was pretty excited when I came across her young adult novel Beauty.

Whether you openly admit that you still watch Disney movies or not, most of you know the story of Beauty and the Beast. However in McKinley's version, Beauty is the unfortunate nickname of young plain girl who lacks the beauty and grace that her older sisters' possess, but who has an amorous love for books and animals.

After Beauty's father's business in the city collapses, the family is forced to move away to a country town that borders an enchanted forest. One day, when Beauty's father goes back to the city to salvage what he can of his business, Beauty asks that he bring her back rose seeds. However when her father picks the rose from near the enchanted castle that the Beast living in the castle becomes outraged and gives the father an ultimatum: that he return to the castle within the month and be killed for his intrusion or that he send one of his daughters to live with the Beast forever.

The story is very well written with a good combination of humour, romance and fantasy. The characters are very realistic and it's a pleasure reading and watching how the relationship between Beauty and the Beast unfolds.

However, I was rather a little disappointed with one aspect of the story. While the storyline was good it didn't deviate much from the original story of Beauty and the Beast. And I think McKinley waffled on a bit too much and that it took too long for McKinley to get to the heart of the story. But it didn't put me off the book completely; it's still a worthy read.

If you've read the book let me know your thoughts,

Peace out,


Monday, 20 April 2009

Don't Judge a Book by its Cover!

By now you may all have seen the latest YouTube sensation from Britain's Got Talent. If you want to truly believe the saying "Don't judge a book by it's cover" check out the link below.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

A Rose for the Anzac Boys

'A Rose for the Anzac Boys' by Jackie French is a wonderful addition to Australian historical fiction. It is also one of the shortlisted books for the Australian Book Council of the Year awards.

The novel is set in the era of World War One. Sixteen year old Midge MacPherson is at school in London when war breaks out. She and her friends hear bits and pieces of news about the war, including sketchy details regarding a place called 'Gallipoli'.

Then, Midge's twin brother is listed as missing, presumed dead. Confusion reigns - is there a chance that he is still alive?

Midge travels to France with two school friends to help with the war effort, by giving sandwiches and cocoa to the soldiers as they return from the frontlines. Midge takes a more central role by driving an ambulance, and begins to understand the full horror of war.

Jackie French undertook meticulous research to write this novel, and she was often in tears reading about the lives of ordinary people caught up in the war. She also includes a detailed explanation of aspects of World War One, such as the forgotten army of women and a brief history of the war. This, too, is interesting reading.


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