Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Yearbook Committee

I recommend
"The Yearbook Committee" by Sarah Ayoub as a popular young adult book choice for 2016.

It is the final year of high school and five very different teens are thrown together to form a committee to produce a yearbook. Mayhem ensues as none of the teens get along.

Charlie has just arrived in Sydney from Melbourne, intending to complete her year's study, then move back to Melbourne as quickly as possible. Charlie is sharply intelligent, strong and cynical.

Ryan is the popular school captain whose friends are cool and attractive. From the offset there is friction between Ryan and Charlie and it is clear they are on a collision course. Or is it a case of opposites attracting?

Then there's Matty. The reader gains his/her first impression of Matty as he crawls through a hole in the school fence to escape. Unfortunately for Matty he gets caught half way through by a vigilant teacher. Sigh! But Matty has his reasons for wagging school and we soon find out what they are.

Tammi is co-erced into joining the committee by her best friend and school bully, Lauren. Tammi is also being pressured by her boyfriend. Will she be able to assert her independence?

Last but not least is Gillian, who has parents who are constantly in the public spotlight, and have little time to spend on their children.

Ryan expressed his despair of the whole committee-
'You know,' he says, 'I've debated the best teams in Sydney and won, I've captained our soccer team to three grand finals and won two of those, and I walked the Kokoda Track with my Dad when I was fifteen - and all of that was cake compared to this stupid project!'

Snappy dialogue, humourous and also sad and poignant.
Read on!  

-Ann

Monday, 11 April 2016

My Sister Rosa

My Sister Rosa by Justine  Larbalestier

Che Taylor has four items on his list: 1. He wants to spar, not just train in the boxing gym. 2. He wants a girlfriend. 3. He wants to go home. 4. He wants to keep Rosa under control...Che's little sister 
Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and so good at deception that Che's convinced she must be a psychopath. She hasn't hurt anyone yet, but he's certain it's just a matter of time. And when their parents move them to New York City, Che longs to return to Sydney and his three best friends. 
But his first duty is to his sister Rosa, who is playing increasingly complex and disturbing games. 
Can he protect Rosa from the world - and the world from Rosa?

I had just finished watching sixteen seasons of Law and Order SVU back to back with my daughter so I found this book really interesting.  As the blurb indicates Che is worried about his little sister Rosa, and as it turns out he should be, but we know that from the beginning.  Rosa's parents don't seem to think there is much to worry about, but that doesn't stop Che, in fact, worrying about Rosa takes over his life.  Che has an interesting and diverse group of friends and this is something the author Justine Larbalestier has done very well, weave people from different aspects of life together.  Che's parents are stupid in love with each other, to the point that Che feels like they don't love their children as much as they love each other.  There are twists in the book and, almost like that saying, you can't put the book down although you are slightly on edge about what is happening and how.
A great psychological thriller from Justine Larbalestier.  
PS I yawn when I see others yawn so I'm ok, are you??

Tracy @ Hampton Park



 
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