Friday, 28 May 2010


Imagine being drugged and abducted. Imagine being taken away from all you know. Imagine being stolen.

Stolen by Lucy Christopher is a novel that is as scary as it is gripping. 16 year old Gemma is drugged and taken from her family, wakes to the heat and dust of nowhere. She soon discovers she is being held captive in Australia by Ty. He has claimed this land in the desert and built his home, the home he wants to share with Gemma.

This novel is written as a letter from Gemma to Ty. It tells her story from that first moment ‘You saw me before I saw you’, through the ordeals of her attempted escapes to the realization she is slowly learning to care for her damaged captor.

A wonderful read that I thoroughly recommend. Leaves me with a shudder and wondering what exactly is love all about.


Hi Vicki,

Lucy is visiting Australia next year so I'm hoping to book her for a talk at the Library. Check out the YouTube clip below. Author Andrew McDonald interviews Lucy.

Monday, 17 May 2010


'A small free kiss in the dark' by Glenda Millard has been shortlisted for the Australian Book of the Year Awards, 2010.

Glenda has always loved carousels, and a day with her ex-teacher who restores carousels gave Glenda the idea of using a funfair as a central location for much of the novel.

But don't expect a warm and fuzzy novel full of happy families and funfair entertainment here. One of the major themes within the story is homelessness; the other is war.

The main character, Skip, is a runaway teenager who has been abused. He teams up with others who are either homeless or separated from their families. Initially they shelter at the local library but this proves too dangerous(!), so they move to the coast, the funfair and 'no-man's land.'

For a time the funfair creates a safe though sad and eerie haven for them.

But this is wartime, and the trucks are closing in on them...

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Leviathan is the first in a new Steampunk series by Scott Westerfeld. If the name seems familiar he wrote the Uglies series, set in the future where our generation, the ‘Rusties’, have destroyed the world, and cosmetic surgery to make you ‘pretty’ is the norm.

Steampunk is a science fiction genre generally set in the Victorian age, which features steam powered inventions that go far beyond 1800’s technology. The movie Wild Wild West can be considered steampunk.

Set in an alternative past at the beginning of World War I. The world is divided between the Darwinists with their genetic engineered beasts and the Clankers with their steam-driven war machines.

Aleksander Ferdinand is on the run. His father, the Archduke, and mother have been assassinated, and now they want him dead. He flees, with a few trusted men, in a clumsy battle machine known as a Stormwalker.

In England, oblivious to what is happening in Austria, Deryn Sharp, is determined to become a British airman, a career choice only open to men, not young girls.

Needless to say, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross and intertwine as the plot unfolds.

I was slow to warm to the story, but now I’m waiting impatiently for the next book. Keith Thompson’s illustrations are a real delight.
The Leviathan of the title is a whale airship, think hydrogen Zeppelin but a living creature.


Monday, 3 May 2010


'Swerve' is the latest novel by Phillip Gwynne. I have long been a fan of Gwynne's novels. Who can forget the football coach, nicknamed 'Arks', in 'Deadly Unna'?

'If I've arksed youse boys once, I've arksed youse a thousand times...don't buggerize with the bloody ball on them flanks...'

'Swerve' takes the form of a road trip. At the centre of the action is Hugh, a privileged teenage nerd (though he considers himself more of a 'ner' or an 'erd' as he loves cars and car-racing).

Hugh has led a narrow and ordered existence, and is all set for an audition for a music scholarship at the Conservatorium. Then he is somehow co-erced into driving his grandfather to Uluru in a 1969 Holden HT Monaro.

Hugh's grandfather is unconventional and in many respects is the opposite of Hugh and his parents.

Colourful characters begin to enter their lives, such as Les the hitchhiker and his dog (also called Les).

And Bella, also hitchhiking, who said she was, like, seventeen, but to Hugh was more, like, fifteen.

They encounter their share of danger, too, when menacing figures cross their paths.

Read 'Swerve' for a thoroughly entertaining and bumpy ride through the Australian outback.


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