Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Minnow

By: Diana Sweeney
Location: FIC SWE
Genre:Youth Fiction- Gothic- Life

This is a story that is different, it is set in Australia and the backdrop is against devastating floods that leaves 14 year old Holly without her family, they all drown- and she is left. She goes to live with her fathers friend Bill. Holly- now nick named Tom- becomes pregnant to this predator. Tom is never truly alone as long as she has the ghosts from the past to keep her company and they become very real to her and they transform often into an image from the sea- could the turtle be her sister Sarah that died in the flood?
Her Nan survive the floods and is an old folks home- she is Toms anchor in life.
In the mix is her mate- Jonah, a really caring guy who helps Tom with her journey. Jonah turns out to be gay and his friendship then it safe for Tom. The Minnow- is her baby, and Tom talks to The Minnow all through her pregnancy. This book is all about diversity- it ticks all the boxes- abuse, LGBTG, grief, teenage pregnancy, old age care,  and yet The Minnow is a beautiful, touching, and unusual book about growing up and coping with loss and life. 
Many reviewers call parts of it confusing but they also say it is beautifully written- whimisical even.
Let me know what you think?

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Boy on the Wooden Box

By: Leon Leyson
Location: NF 920 LEY
Genre: Holocaust Survivor thanks to Schindler

Schlinder's List is one of THOSE movies that I just find hard to watch. To be fair I have only seen it in bits as my kids have studied it. I have not watched Boy in Striped Pajamas, My Sister's Keeper, or Once we were Warriors. All for the same reason... to much pain!
And for what it is worth-  I have read the books and that was enough injustice, brutality, and heart wrenching pain for me not to revisit them in movie form and end up a slobbering mess all over again- or just wild with a stuffed up world. I wont watch any movie derived from this book either- the book is enough!
The letter from his son- at the end of the book it utterly touching- ending with
"I want to be as much like my Dad as I possibly can"- that says a lot.
Even in the darkest of times—especially in the darkest of times—there is room for strength and bravery. A remarkable memoir from Leon Leyson, one of the youngest children to survive the Holocaust on Oskar Schindler’s list. Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory—a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List.

This, the only memoir published by a former Schindler’s List child, perfectly captures the innocence of a small boy who goes through the unthinkable. Most notable is the lack of rancor, the lack of venom, and the abundance of dignity in Mr. Leyson’s telling. The Boy on the Wooden Box is a legacy of hope, a memoir unlike anything you’ve ever read.

Brilliantly written -- devastating, but remarkably understated in places. This is a wonderful addition to the legacy of Oskar Schindler.

Friday, August 22, 2014

I just have too!!!

I have been looking on YouTube and I found this and  I could not resist. Its Friday and we can have a bit of fun- right!!!

The Maze Runner - another Trailer!

This movie is going to be amazing.... I cant help but plug away at showing you guys these trailers cause I reckon it is going to be as big as Hunger Games... just saying!!!!

The Skinmap

By: Stephen Lawhead
Location: FIC LAW
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Bright Empires #1

My son loves Stephen Lawhead, he has read many of his books and this is a new series that I know Cam would love.

 It is the ultimate quest for the ultimate treasure. Chasing a map tattooed on human skin across an omniverse of intersecting realities. To unravel the future of the future.
One explorer knew more than most. Braving every danger, he toured time and space on voyages of heroic discovery. Ever on his guard, and fearful of becoming lost in the cosmos, he developed an intricate code-a roadmap of symbols-that he tattooed onto his own body. This Skin Map has since been lost in time. Now the race is on to recover all the pieces and discover its secrets.
This book is a unique blend of epic treasure hunt, ancient history, alternate realities, cutting-edge physics, philosophy, and mystery.
"i certainly didn’t expect a tale about time travel and multiple universes… and i honestly didn’t expect to be completely absorbed by the rich storytelling… the book weaves a handful of individual storylines that ultimately stretch across all dimensions to overlap in a wonderfully unique way…"
Brenton- Goodreads.com 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hollow World

By: Michael J Sullivan
Location: FIC SUL
Genre: Sci Fi and Time Travel with lots of social issues chucked in.

This is a wonderful book about Ellis Rogers, a man who designs a one-way time machine. He has a terminal disease, and intends to jump about 200 years into the future, perhaps to find a cure for his disease. However, a miscalculation sends him about 2000 years into the future, and finds a society that lives in a beautifully sculpted underground "Hollow World".

In this world there are no longer two sexes--just one, androgynous sex, all genetically identical. The "three [technological] miracles" ensure that there are no wars, little strife, and no fear or want for resources. In a world where everybody does things (tattoos, clothing, etc.) to make himself stand out from the crowd of look-alikes, Ellis is instantly recognized as someone uniquely different.

However, Ellis is followed by an old friend of his, Warren, who sees the Hollow World as an abomination. He sees a society where there is no individuality, no striving, and no belief in God. Embedded within the story is a murder mystery which Ellis tries to unravel. This mystery gives the novel an exciting aspect, but the most interesting part of the story is actually the philosophical arguments between Ellis and Warren, when they discuss the pros and cons for the Hollow World society. Is it worth it to have a society where there is no war or famine or hardship, in exchange for the lack of individuality and striving? Is Hollow World a utopia or a dystopia

Sullivan tackles big issues in this novel, with everything from religion, identity, homophobia, death, and love being explored as Ellis considers his place in this new world as well as the world he left behind for a chance at a new beginning.
Review from Goodreads.com 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


By: Clare Strahan
Location: FIC STR
Genre: Youth Fiction

When life feels like it's fracturing, how do you find a way to feel whole?
Clover has a weird Mum, loves street art, hooks up with a boy, is 15, is frightened by fracking, has no idea who her Dad is and gets into all sorts of trouble at school. She is an outsider.

Clover is finding the going tougher than she expected. Her life is close to being derailed on the rocky terrain of family, friendship, first love, acts of defiance and a planet on the brink of environmental disaster. So when Keek breaks his promise to her, and school sucks, and her mother is impossible, and her beloved old dog is dying, and her dad is in the wind, and the girls at school are awful and the footy-boys are bullies and she's arrested for vandalism - well, what else can she be but a little bit broken?  
“Make beauty from pain there’s a kind of joy in that; and maybe that’s what art is for?” 

Harry: A Biography

By: Marcia Moody
Location: NF 920 MOO
Genre: The Prince!!!

 This wee face is one everyone recognizes.  One of our teachers came into the library saw this book and said " hmmm I want him to be mine".
Who will ever forget that forlorn face, full of sadness, drudging behind his Mum's coffin,  or the drunk clown shaming himself at a party. But to me I see Harry as a bit of a hero, a young man despite his place in life ,being a very real man, leading men in war zones and passionately supporting  a variety of really good aid projects.His own charity "Walking with Wounded" is purely inspirational
I love his loyalty to his brother and the photos in this book make  you realize what a cool guy this person is. He is genuinely connected to all people, all races, all classes, there is no pretense or sham. Harry is what he is, and I like him.
This book is someones elses view of Harry's life and Harry's story, but if you want to know more about him and what makes him tick, this book is a good place to start. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Forgive me, Leonard Peacock.

By: Matthew Quick
Location: FIC QUI
Genre:Youth Fiction-Mental Illness. Male POV

Suicide is topical this week. Robin Williams has made it so. Interestingly I have seen a few posts on Facebook where Robin Williams death has triggered others to get help. We ignore youth mental health at our peril and it is our job- all of us to acknowledge its existence and be informed of  what it looks like. If you don't know- then read this book- you will never again be in doubt what it is like for a 18 year old young man who battles suicide and the issues that get him to that place- those issues are in my school on this day!
For our staff-  in this story is a teacher whose role is powerful and pivotal- never underestimate the power you have to impact a life!!
Herr Silverman can teach us that power!

Leonard Peacock is turning 18.
And he wants to say goodbye.

Not to his former best friend, whose torments have driven him to consider committing something tragic and horrific.

Nor to his mum who's moved out and left him to fend form himself. But to his four friends.
A Humphrey-Bogart-obsessed neighbour
A teenage violin virtuoso
A pastor's daughter
A teacher

Most of the time, Leonard believes he's weird and sad but these friends have made him think that maybe he's not.

He wants to thank them, and bid them farewell

Monday, August 18, 2014

The one and only Jack Chant

By: Rosie Borella
Location: FIC BOR
Genre: a Mysterious Romance

Amber passes her final assessment and job interview to be a carer in the tranquil Bank Nursing home. She needs to save money for Uni.
She gets to know the residents and their quirks (including her old maths teacher). When she sees a guy watching her in the rest home and then again camping on her farm, she demands to know who he is. He’s vague with his answers but the more she gets to know him, the more she likes. Is he a relative of one of the elderly? He is kind and patient with the residents but hard to pin down when asked about himself.
After more mystery, a tragedy and a trip to the circus for the residents, a terrible truth but final redemption is revealed. Although a little slow in places, this story is worth sticking with.
Romance, mystery, circus life and a ghost - or is he? 

Adele Broadbent- Goodreads.Com

The One and Only Jack Chant,” deals with a range of themes including the joys and sorrows of growing older, reconciling with ones’ past, the tragedy of loss, and the sweetness of first love.

Cat out of Hell

By: Lynne Truss
Location: FIC TRU
Genre: Cat- Horror, Humor, Fiction, Mystery??

Cats- I like them, my husband despises them.
But whatever you think about cats- you do get the impression they know stuff, that between those green eyes on that furry face is a mind that has a power..... a scary supernatural all knowing power.

This book has a few scary links - the cat is called Roger, so is my brother, there is a librarian in this story. Interesting.
Roger the cat was born in 1932, before the Mars bar was created, Roger can talk, read and is great at grammar, Roger is also the minion of the devil.

 A mesmerising tale of a cat with nine lives, and a relationship as ancient as time itself and just as powerful.

The scene: a cottage on the coast on a windy evening. Inside, a room with curtains drawn. Tea has just been made. A kettle still steams. Under a pool of yellow light, two figures face each other across a kitchen table. A man and a cat. The story about to be related is so unusual yet so terrifyingly plausible that it demands to be told in a single sitting. The man clears his throat, and leans forward, expectant.

'Shall we begin?' says the cat....

Friday, August 15, 2014

True Grit

By: Bear Grylls
Location: NF 920 
Genre: Real stories of real heroes.

Who are the people that inspired Bear Grylls to become one of the world's toughest adventurers?
19 of them. 
Ernest Shackleton
Joe Simpson
George Mallory
Nancy Wake
From famous explorers whose never-say-die attitude led them to achieve astonishing feats, to everyday people unexpectedly caught up in life-threatening situations, True Grit is a collection of some of the toughest feats of survival ever accomplished. Learn what it takes to make it through alive in some of the planet's most dangerous locations from these exciting tales of death-defying resilience.
 My son loved this book- the adult version, he is an outdoors instructor and Bear Grylls is one of his heroes, but what he loves is the stories of everyday people who bust there guts to either explore, survive, or go beyond mere mortal effort to make a difference.  We also admire the faith he holds that gives him the courage to be his own man in this world! This is Bear Grylls list of heroes and we reckon what is good for him is great for us!

Who are the people that inspired Bear Grylls to become one of the world's toughest adventurers?

From famous explorers whose never-say-die attitude led them to achieve astonishing feats, to everyday people unexpectedly caught up in life-threatening situations, True Grit is a collection of some of the toughest feats of survival ever accomplished. Learn what it takes to make it through alive in some of the planet's most dangerous locations from these exciting tales of death-defying resilience. - See more at: http://www.randomhouse.co.nz/books/bear-grylls/true-grit-junior-edition-9780552572620.aspx#sthash.vNf7WNaf.dpuf
The epic true stories of heroism and survival that have shaped Bear's life
- See more at: http://www.randomhouse.co.nz/books/bear-grylls/true-grit-junior-edition-9780552572620.aspx#sthash.vNf7WNaf.dpuf
The epic true stories of heroism and survival that have shaped Bear's life
- See more at: http://www.randomhouse.co.nz/books/bear-grylls/true-grit-junior-edition-9780552572620.aspx#sthash.vNf7WNaf.dpuf
The epic true stories of heroism and survival that have shaped Bear's life - See more at: http://www.randomhouse.co.nz/books/bear-grylls/true-grit-junior-edition-9780552572620.aspx#sthash.vNf7WNaf.dpuf
Who are the people that inspired Bear Grylls to become one of the world's toughest adventurers?

From famous explorers whose never-say-die attitude led them to achieve astonishing feats, to everyday people unexpectedly caught up in life-threatening situations, True Grit is a collection of some of the toughest feats of survival ever accomplished. Learn what it takes to make it through alive in some of the planet's most dangerous locations from these exciting tales of death-defying resilience. - See more at: http://www.randomhouse.co.nz/books/bear-grylls/true-grit-junior-edition-9780552572620.aspx#sthash.vNf7WNaf.dpuf
Who are the people that inspired Bear Grylls to become one of the world's toughest adventurers?

From famous explorers whose never-say-die attitude led them to achieve astonishing feats, to everyday people unexpectedly caught up in life-threatening situations, True Grit is a collection of some of the toughest feats of survival ever accomplished. Learn what it takes to make it through alive in some of the planet's most dangerous locations from these exciting tales of death-defying resilience. - See more at: http://www.randomhouse.co.nz/books/bear-grylls/true-grit-junior-edition-9780552572620.aspx#sthash.vNf7WNaf.dpuf

The Giver- Movie trailer

The Giver is a 1993 American children's novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a society which is at first presented as a utopian society and gradually appears more and more dystopian.
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea

By: Richard Phillips
Location: NF 920 PHI
Genre:  Pirates and Bravery

"I share the country's admiration for the bravery of Captain Phillips and his selfless concern for his crew. His courage is a model for all Americans."
--President Barack Obama 

My daughter wanted to be a pirate, I am pleased she did not become one -they are not nice people. My work mate watched the movie of this book- it freaked her out. This is a story of vile pirates and ridiculous bravery. Duty and bravery- do we know we have these qualities, or must we wait until we are forced to discover them. If we find them, we discover something else, we discover what a hero looks like.

8th April 2009 was just an ordinary day for 53 -year-old Richard Phillips, captain of the United States-registered cargo vessel, the Maersk Alabama, as it headed towards the port of Mombasa. Ordinary that is until, two hundred or so miles off the east coast of Africa, armed Somali pirates attacked and boarded the freighter. It was the first time an American cargo ship had been hijacked in over 200 years.
What the pirates didn't expect was that the crew would fight back, nor did they expect Captain Phillips to offer himself as a hostage in exchange for the safety of his crew - a courageous gesture that resulted in his being held captive on a tiny life-boat off the anarchic, gun-plagued coast of Somalia. And so began a tense five-day stand-off, which ended in a daring high-seas rescue by U.S. Navy SEALs.
In A Captain's Duty, Richard Phillips tells his own extraordinary story - that of an ordinary man who did what he saw as his duty and in so doing became a hero. It is a thrilling true tale of adventure and courage in the face of deprivation, death threats and mock executions and also a compulsively readable first-hand account of the terrors of high-seas hostage-taking.

Breaking Free

By: Abby Sher
Location: NF 364.15 SHE
Genre: Sex Trafficking

There are more people trafficked and held captive as slaves today than there were over the course of the transatlantic slave trade.

I am so weary of our world at the moment, I am sickened by what people do to each other, the pain that they inflict, the bigoted actions, the distorted world views that make people impose acts of unspeakable hatred. 
Why have we not learned. 100 years ago we tried to destroy each other with guns, today children are being beheaded because their parents hold to a faith. 
Our world is sick, and this book exposes another side to our illness- the sex slave trade.

This shocking, unflinching and very readable book tells of three women in particular as representative of all the young girls and women sold, beaten or forced into slavery and sexual abuse today.

We read of a girl in Cambodia who was sold over and over to pay other people's debts and who was bought by a Swiss aid worker who frequented her pimp's brothel.

 A girl in California was abused by her own parents, a seemingly respectable Vietnamese couple, who brought her to a brothel to earn for them every night throughout her school and university days.

A legal Mexican immigrant in America was kidnapped then enslaved as a house maid and sexually abused for six years, before her captor was killed by another member of the household who left the girl to take the blame. Jailed for twenty-five years, she was released after twenty.

These brave young women have gone on to campaign on behalf of girls like themselves - blogging, speaking at meetings or starting a sewing workshop, school and safe house - and have received international awards.

It sends the powerful message that, even in the most tragic circumstances, the unwavering hope and compassion of the human spirit can and will shine through.The book has already been hailed by activists and educators as a powerful tool for the classroom and beyond. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Falconer

By: Elizabeth May
Location: FIC MAY
Genre: a wonderful mix of faeries, faery lore, secrets, magic, romance, steampunk, and Victorian society. 
Series: The Falconer #1

'Elizabeth May's debut is a wicked cocktail of Jane Austen's high society and the Grimm' fairy tales'.
SciFi Now

It is Scotland and the year is 1844. A year has passed since Aileana Kameron was found standing over the dead body of her mother, covered in blood. Everyone thinks she has something to do with it, but Aileana knows the truth. It was a faery who killed her mother and ripped out her heart.

Now all Aileana wants is revenge. As a result, she lives a double life, pretending to be interested in frivolous things like dances and dresses when making her appearances in high society, but when the light fades she goes out hunting. Night after night, she tracks and kills Fae, using the skills learned from her mentor, Kiaran MacKay. Kiaran, who is a faery himself, has his own reasons for wanting to see his own kind dead, but Aileana doesn't care, not as long as their goals align...and as long as she doesn't get too close
She's a stunner.
She's a liar.
She's a murderer.
She's a Falconer.

Stay where you leave

By: John Boyne
Location: FIC BOY
Genre: WWI

Yes we are being drowned in 100 year commemoration books from WWI, but this one from John Boyne  is well.. John Boyne. I love his books, I love his parables- Noah and Barnaby, and I love how he can sit in history- even as a 5 year old boy and tell me about it. 
This book deals with a Mum trying to raise a boy in the war years, it deals with conchies, it deals with how foreigners were treated- once kind neighbours, now the enemy. It deals with shell shock, it deals with a boy, who just wants his Dad home from his "secret mission".
It is John Boyne all over WWI

The day the First World War broke out, Alfie Summerfield's father promised he wouldn't go away to fight - but he broke that promise the following day. Four years later, Alfie doesn't know where his father might be, other than that he's away on a special, secret mission.
Then, while shining shoes at King's Cross Station, Alfie unexpectedly sees his father's name - on a sheaf of papers belonging to a military doctor. Bewildered and confused, Alfie realises his father is in a hospital close by - a hospital treating soldiers with an unusual condition. Alfie is determined to rescue his father from this strange, unnerving place . .

"Leaves the reader with a greater sense of how war changes people and their communities, and reminds us that sometimes, the ordinary acts of courage that get a child and his family through each day are as valuable, rare and life-changing as any along the front. Alfie inspires us to be more courageous than we’re used to and to do right by others even when the world is tense around us" - Oprah Magazine

Monday, August 11, 2014

All the light we cannot see

By: Anthony Doerr
Location: FIO DOE

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

This book ten years to write! Ten years- the author poured his every ounce into this book.

I met a German man a few years back, in his home, in a nice German village in the middle of rolling green hills. He was in his 80's and he was made to fight with the Nazi's, he did not want to, neither did his twin, but it was join or be shot.   His fear was that he would be made to shot a man and he did not want to do that. He was the kindest man you could met and the voice of pain that retells this story tells you the utter helplessness he felt in being in a war he did not want, for him, for his country, for humanity.
This man had a meal a few years back, with another 80 year old man, a Kiwi, from a nice village with green rolling hills in New Zealand- Cambridge. He also had to go to war, he also did not want to, did not want to kill another man.
These two old men, both in their 80's, stuck in a war that demanded 18 year old lads to look through a sited gun and blow each other up- sat at the same table 60 years later, thanking God they could and remembered that war is not selective. They held hands and they shed tears.
I know them both!
War imposes on you stories, places, horrors, actions that violate your core beliefs, war steals your rights and your ability to hold fast to values that have built you to be the person you are. War rapes.
This story is like my two friends, two people that war has imposed and forced a story upon.

A beautifully written work of historical fiction with chapters alternating between Marie -Laure a young blind French girl who flees occupied Paris with her father , a key master of the Natural Museum of history, and Werner a German orphan whose interest inspired tinkering with an old radio lend him technical skills which plummet him headlong into a Hiltler Youth group, and lead him directly into the heart of the war. Although there is much more to the story (a true page turner) for me the underlying message was the innocence and humanity of these two young characters as their lives are sadly forced to take paths which will someday have them meet as enemies. Camie - Goodreads.com

Terms of Enlistment

By: Marko Kloos
Location: FIC KLO
Genre: Dystopia- Military Sci-Fi Cops!!
Series: Frontlines #1

The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you’re restricted to two thousand calories of badly flavored soy every day:

You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service.

With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. But as he starts a career of supposed privilege, he soon learns that the good food and decent health care come at a steep price…and that the settled galaxy holds far greater dangers than military bureaucrats or the gangs that rule the slums.

If you enjoy the subgenre of military SF in which a loser enlists and makes his way into a career, this one is for you. Engagingly written, super fast paced, sympathetic characters, and believable military,
This is the type of story that isn't about kick butt marines, balls out action, or being macho. It's about being lucky to survive, a feeling of futility but also hope, and living in a world on the brink of falling apart on many levels. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Buffalo Soldier

By: Tanya Landman
Location: FIC LAN
Genre: Historical Youth Fiction - American Slavery and Native Americans.

It starts by posing a question- what does it mean to be free?
It is a good question, does it mean that you are in a place where you are not judged or discriminated against? Does it mean you can live a life with no imposed boundaries, either legal or cultural?
Are any of us truly free or do the obligations we have as citizens incur the need for us to comply and therefore take from us the freedoms we may want for the sake of the greater good?
Buffalo Soldier explores the nature of freedom in a searingly poignant story told from the perspective of Charlotte, a young African-American slave from the deep south of America at the end of the Civil War. After witnessing the rape and lynching of her adoptive mother, Charlotte is pitched all alone into a world of war and terror. Officially emancipated from slavery, she is still trapped by the colour of her skin but also by her gender. Now that even her value as a slave has been stripped from her, in desperation she dons a dead man’s clothes and joins the US Army, becoming ‘Charley’, a ‘buffalo soldier’. She is finally shown the meaning of true freedom by an Apache with whom she is able to discover a viable identity for herself as a woman.

What kind of a girl steals the clothes from a dead man's back and runs off to join the army?

A desperate one, that's who.

World been turned on its head by that big old war, and the army seemed like the safest place to be, until we was sent off to fight them Indians. And then? Heck! When Death's so close you can smell his breath, ain't nothing makes you feel more aliv

A hard hitting book that pulls no punches but all in context which works brilliantly. I love books based on history and I feel I had my eyes opened to the brutal reality of American Indians. Elizabeth from Goodreads.com

The flight of Gemma Hardy

By: Margot Livesey
Location: FIC LIV
Genre: Jane Eyre Retold. ChicLit. Brit Lit

This book is set in Iceland, Scotland and believe it or not Orkney.
I had never heard of Orkney until I met Peter Bichan.
Bichan is an Orkney name and now I have it myself.  It is a small Island of the top coast of Scotland, they belong to the Scots but it is full of Viking blood. They have crooked fingers. I bought this book only because it was set in Orkney. Then I found out it was a goody!

Gemma Hardy is an orphan with a relatively stable life until her beloved uncle who is raising her dies when she is 10. Her stepmother hates her and soon puts her in a boarding school in Scotland. She is more a servant than a student but she is a tough young woman and holds her own. When the school is forced to close when Gemma  is 17 she goes to one of the Orkney Islands at the tip of Scotland as an aupair to care for young Nell.
The remote Blackbird Hall belongs to Mr. Sinclair, a London businessman; his eight-year-old niece is Gemma's charge. Even before their first meeting, Gemma is, like everyone on the island, intrigued by Mr. Sinclair. Rich (by Gemma's standards), single, flying in from London when he pleases, Hugh Sinclair fills the house with life. An unlikely couple, the two are drawn to each other, but Gemma's biggest trial is about to begin: a journey of passion and betrayal, redemption and discovery, that will lead her to a life of which she's never dreamed.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hate List

By: Jennifer Brown
Location: FIC BRO
Genre: Realistic Youth Fiction- School Shootings!

Would I love my son no matter what he did?  Yes I would!!

Of course Ma would have wanted Nick remembered as a "Beloved Son." Of course she'd do it in the most laid-back way possible - whispering it to him in tiny letters on his headstone. Just a whisper. You were beloved, son. You were my beloved. Even after all of this, I still remember the beloved you. I can't forget.

This Mother had to deal with a son who opened fire in a school cafeteria, killing those on the "Hate List". A hate list  constructed and written by the bullied  to the bullies.
Protagonist Valerie is suffering the loss of her boyfriend, Nick, a guy she's been with for three years. Nick shot himself after bringing a gun to school and shooting several people, and her (accidentally? no one will ever know), and then himself. Valerie had begun a "Hate List" in junior high, to vent her feelings about being bullied, and once she's with Nick, he works on it with her. They add names with each humiliation they suffer - whether real or imagined. You feel their pain and helplessness in the face of people who rule the social ladder, as well as their attachment to each other.. Schools can be such vicious painful experiences that demean and destroy you- unless you destroy them first.


By: Rachael Craw
Location: FIC CRA
Genre: Sci Fi DNA styles

"You think God has a loophole for people who don't have a choice?"
Jamie shrugs. 
" Hope so, otherwise we're screwed"

Evie doesn’t have a choice.

One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer.The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death.

And then there’s Jamie. Irresistible. off-limits

Spark features an interesting concept about genetic mutations in a select number of humans, that determine their role to play people based on their DNA - the Shield (protector), the Spark (igniter) and the Stray (the aggressor).

Evie is the Shield who has just been sparked by her best friend Kitty, and she finds herself developing great reflexes, enhanced senses, a healing ability, the ability to see people's memories, feel people's frequencies, and an unhealthy fixation on Kitty's safety. It turns out she's a Shield who has developed her powers, and her job is to protect Kitty from her Stray, who will hunt her down to spark their own powers.

"Captivated till that sucker-punch ending! Cannot WAIT for the next two books." Sofi

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Going Home

By: Cliff McNeish
Location: FIC MCN
Genre: Puppy Dog Fiction:)

This book has a Jack Russell on its cover- I had to get it. We had a Jack Russell Foxy cross, he was the REX! He had dreams, you could tell, he thought he was a rottweiler who could destroy 15 Rabbits with one bite. He dreamed he could howl "Bohemian Rhapsody" in  New Zealand's Got Talent and win. He dreamed that he would be the first ever dog to paddle a kayak over the Huka Falls- oh yes Mr Rex had dreams.
In this book the doggie dreams are more about survival, it is dog orphanage, who will get picked for a nice home and who will never get chosen because they are ugly, or don't like pats!

At the Happy Paws Rescue Centre, every pet dreams of one thing: going home. But Ralph, Mitch, Bessie and Fred are the no-hopers: dogs so difficult or troublesome they aren't expected to ever go home. Ralph's face is scarred. Bessie can't stand to be touched. Mitch can't stop chasing cats and Fred ...has just given up. Who'd want to adopt any of them instead of a cute little puppy? But when Happy Paws reviews its policy of never putting an unwanted pet down, time starts running out for the dogs. Can they prove that they're worth a second chance? Will there be hope for the no-hopers after all?


By: Justine Larbalestier
Location: FIC LAR
Genre: Historical youth fiction with gangs and ghosts.

OK sometimes I get books in here I would never read, this is one of them. The historical setting of Sydney is great, 1932,  harbour bridge opening, Sydney bursting into a metropolis, gangs and the world fear of communism. The Great Depression had left 30% of the population without work and so a big underbelly of criminals were controlling the populace. Bring it on...
Then we get the backround story of all handguns being banned  due to the fear of the communism threats, and so gangs arm themselves instead with razors- hence the title.
Now comes the weird bit with ghosts, murder, blood and prostitution. 
It follows the POV's of two girls - Kelpie and Dymphna. Kelpie is a a dirty, malnourished girl who lives on the streets, and can see ghosts. Dymphna is a gorgeous girl who lives a lavish life, and who can also see ghosts. They come together by fate, over a dead body, each already knowing who the other is, and starting on a whirlwind journey over a twenty-four hour period.

Its not for me- but some of you will love this story...
"Vivid and bloody and bold and fast- I feel like Razorhurst is in my bones now " Elizabet Gilbert