Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A wicked giveaway on The Book Slooth!

the always lovely Isme is hosting a great competition over on her blog The Book Slooth.
she is offering a copy of Mellisa Marr's book Wicked Lovely. it's open internationally and all you have to do is comment on this post.

it sounds like a brilliant book, sort of like Fairie Wars by Herbie Brennan, which i loved. this is the blurb Isme posted:
Aislinn has always seen faeries. She has always lived by the three rules:
RULE 3: Never stare at Invisible faeries.
RULE 2: Never speak to Invisible faeries.
RULE 1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But these rules alter dramatically when a faerie pursues Aislinn. Disguised as human and oddly trying to become part of her life, can Aislinn keep her secrets, fall in love and make the right choices?

to find out more about Wicked Lovely read the review

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Noah's Law

title: Noah's Law
Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah
First Published: 2011 by Pan Macmillan

Noah's Law is the most recent Randa Abdel-Fattah book. Noah is a prankster, his father is a high ranking barrister in Sydney. this combination can result in some disagreements. Noah's father decides he needs to learn responsibility and to fix his attitude, so he's sent to work at his aunt's law firm for his whole holidays. Noah is outraged to not be spending his holidays sleeping, watching DVDs, swimming at the beach and hanging with his mates. luckily for him he makes friends with a cute, smart girl called Jacinta and an interesting case, to say the least, turns up.

This book is not like Randa Abdel-Fattah's other books. Her other 3 books are on much more serious topics and you get a lot further inside the characters heads. Noah's Law is more of a light summer read than Does my Head look Big in This or Where the Streets Had a Name, which explore identity and religion. while the character's were realistic, i felt i didn't get to know them particularly well.

i also found it just a little far fetched. what is the chance of a 16 year old boy actually getting involved and basically solving a case that large and crazy? it wasn't unbelievable, but it didn't quite fit together perfectly.

Noah's Law also uses a lot of lawyer talk, i think you could easily understand what was going on even if you didn't understand the terms. i am one of those people who always has to ask questions and luckily my dad was a lawyer before he became an English professor, so all my questions were answered. if you aren't this lucky google should be able to help you out.

i thought Noah's Law was a good book, with interesting characters, great humour and a thrilling plot. the law vibe made it quite unique.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Getting the Girl

title: Getting the Girl
Author: Markus Zusak

Cameron Wolfe is a loser. his brother Steve is the local football star, his brother Ruben has a new girl every week, even his sister Sarah and his parents, in his eyes, are bloody amazing. All this changes though when Octavia comes on to the scene. she may be just another of Ruben's girlfriends, but Cameron is in love with her.

like The Messenger this is set in the poorer parts of the Sydney suburbs, with the same harsh way of talking to each other. similarly it's about someone who has been considered second best, not worth any body's time learning their worth. once Octavia shows up somehow Cam begins realise he is okay. he learns that he is as impressive as either of his brothers, just in his own way.

Cameron has a really awkward, but sincere and lovable voice. he has incredible insights into everything going on around him, which he writes down and calls 'his words'. these are like journaling/poems placed between the chapters. he's hidden away and in this book people finally realise that you just have to stop and look for awhile to see what Cameron is actually like. this is exactly what Octavia and his sister Sarah do.

with a quiet, reactive protagonist like we have in this book, you expect them to be rescued and then be shown about themselves. this is not what Zusak does. Cameron fights for himself this whole book, even before that with visiting his brother Steve, he's doing something not everyone could do. that in essence is what this book is about, knowing that you have something everyone around you doesn't.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Aussie YA Book Challenge 2011

Nic @ irresistible reads is hosting The Aussie YA Book Challenge 2011. isn't that just great?? thanks Nic. and thanks Nomes who's great blog let me know about it. let me explain the what's happening.

Australian participants - Read at least 12 young adult books by Australian authors from 1st January, 2011 to 31st December, 2011.

International participants - Read at least 6 young adult books by Australian authors from 1st January, 2011 to 31st December, 2011.

and NO RE-READS!!!!!!!

you sign up on Nic's blog, do a sign-up post and then post a review for each book.
check out irresistible reads for more details.


Bridge of clay by Markus Zusak

the book thief by Markus Zusak

Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty

saving Francesca by Marlina Marchetta

Triple Ripple by Brigid lowry

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Where the Streets Had a Name

Title: Where the Streets Had a Name
Aurthur: Randa Abdel-Fattah
First Published: 2008 by Pan Macmillan

Where the Streets Had a Name is about the journey that Hayaat and her best friend Samy take from their homes in Bethlehem to Hayaat's grandmother's, Sitti Zeynab, ancestral home in Jerusalem. Hayaat believes that she can save her sick grandmother if she gets soil from her homeland. luckily they have a curfew free day to go ahead with their adventure.

this book tells the story of 3 people's loss and how because of it they lost who they were. we also are shown how strong people find a way to move forward and keep living, even though it's a hard thing to do. those 3 stories are of 13 year old Hayaat, her father and her grandmother. it's written in first person from Hayaat's perspective, but we are learn of the others' through Hayaat and more importantly we can see the effect it has on everyone and how they feel.

i found the book a bit slow to begin with, but it wasn't long before i wanted to know all about what had happened to Hayaat. the story unfolded neatly and naturally, without leaving you in suspense for too long, but not just giving things away either. i think the reason it took me a while to get into was because i knew nothing of the politics relating to Israel/Palistine. i must also admit i was greatful for the glossary at the front of the book as well.

my favourite thing was being about to look at the loses of all the family members and parallel them.. i also LOVED how much Where the Streets Had a Name stresses that all people are people and deserve respect and that live is always worth living brilliantly.

i think everyone should read this book, just as a chance to see what racial conflict can do and how it makes the people feel. the characters are easy to get to know. if you don't know anything about politics in Israel/Palestine just get someone to explain the basics to you, it's well worth it.