Monthly Archives: September 2012

It’s holiday time!

Well, holidays are upon us again and I’m sure you’ll be doing some reading over the break – I know I will. Don’t forget to pop into the library to grab some holiday reading, we’ve got a range of new novels in that you’re sure to love.

For those writers among us, I thought I’d draw your attention to this article from The Age. It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still be an author. In fact, with the popularity of online publishing and ebooks, the game has changed – if you get your work out there, you never know what could happen!

Happy holidays girls!! 🙂

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Review: Liar & Spy

At first glance, Rebecca Stead’s book is a whimsical tale about two boys playing at spy games, but there is so much more to the novel than that.

After his father loses his job and his family are forced to move into a small apartment, Georges (the s is silent) is drawn into the spy antics of his neighbour, a boy called Safer, who watches the mysterious comings and goings of Mr X on the fourth floor.  Safer is unlike anyone Georges has ever met, and it’s nice to have a new friend – but what happens when your friend asks you to do something illegal in the name of seeking the truth? As it turns out, the truth is something that both Georges and Safer are hiding from.

This is an easy book to read and the story dances along so lightly that the revelations that occur at the end are both unexpected and thought provoking. There are some really interesting characters in this novel; Safer and his bohemian family are lots of fun, but Georges is just as interesting – the way he ends up dealing with bullies at school makes you want to barrack for him. I quite enjoyed reading this novel.

Liar & Spy is recommended for Year Seven and Eight students.

Happy Reading! 🙂

Review: Metro Winds by Isobelle Carmody

This review is not so much about the actual book but the style of book. You see, Metro Winds is a book of short stories – or in this case, a book of novellas or mini novels.  There are only five novellas in Metro Winds, and it’s a great way of reading. For those of you that find reading tiresome or who don’t have much time, let me urge you to get on the short story bandwagon.

Short stories are great! You can read them in any order, they don’t take long to get through and you can easily skip one if it doesn’t take your fancy without feeling like you’ve given up on the whole book. In fact, of the five novellas in this collection, I only read four.  Short stories are the ultimate quick read.

The stories in Metro Winds are really interesting.  Some have a fairy tale feel, some are more modern, some are more historical – but all of them include some sort of fantasy element. If you’re familiar with Isobelle Carmody’s work, you won’t be surprised by this. They’re not fully blown fantasy stories, but rather a type of magical realism. Basically, real stories with fantastical elements woven in.  I’ll admit, sometimes the stories got a little weird, so I’d recommend this collection to people who like fantasy and don’t mind reading stories that are quirky.

The Nicholas Library has a wide range of short story collections, so if you’d like some recommendations, come and see us!

Happy Reading! 🙂

Book Review: The Girl in the Clockwork Collar

I’ve reviewed sequels before and often I find them a little disappointing. Kady Cross’ ‘The Girl in the Clockwork Collar’ doesn’t quite have the edge that ‘The Girl in the Steel Corset’ had, but it was certainly far from disappointing.

The adventures of Finley Jayne and her misfyt friends continue – this time in 19th century New York – as they search for their friend Jasper Renn, who has be taken prisoner by the murderous Dalton and is wanted for a crime he didn’t commit. As Finley, Griffin, Emily and Sam traipse the gang-ridden streets of New York, they discover that Dalton is every bit as dangerous as he seems, and that Finley will need to go undercover and join his cutthroat gang in order to get Jasper back.  Jasper, refusing to leave his beloved Mei, is forced to take part in Dalton’s dealings, as he watches the clockwork collar around her neck tighten and tighten…

‘Steel Corset’ was mostly about developing Finley, and ‘Clockwork Collar’ branches out a little, giving us more of an insight into the character of Jasper, who turns out to be quite a lovely chap.  The romance between Finley and Griffin also develops and I like that there are still issues to be worked out between them – Kady Cross doesn’t give it all away too soon.  They are both very strong characters and there are obvious issues of class that come between them, and while Jack Dandy doesn’t make an appearance in this novel (much to my disappointment), you know he will potentially be yet another rift.  I felt that Mei, who is ultimately the titular character was an interesting development – I liked her as a strong foil to Finley.

If you haven’t yet gotten into this series, I highly recommend it!

Happy Reading! Ms White 🙂