Thursday, April 28, 2011

After January

title: After January
Author: Nick Earls
first published: 1996 University of Queensland Press

Meet Alex Delaney, awkward teenage boy of 17 waiting for the 20th of January, the day the university offers are printed in the appear. school is over, a far off memory, the future has to wait, and here is Alex stuck in the middle. he and his mum are at their beach house, expecting a normal summer, of early morning swims, reading, pool and poetry with Len next door and cricket. as long as Alex can remember this has been summer, slowly though people have stopped coming and development has changed the little town, this summer Alex meets a girl.

this is a fabulous summer romance told from the perspective of the guy, which I've never read before. it was charming, are very realistic, it was sweet in parts, but in a believable way. i think the thing that made it so true to life was the awkwardness. this was their first relationship, there were awkward moments, meeting parents, being given money for condoms because 'protection is important' or offering to fix a car when you have no clue about engines.

Alex is a quiet, deep thinking, poetry writer, and just gorgeous. he isn't characterture, or based on a stereotype of jerky jock or unbelievably sweet, but not cute guy, which are the typical boys in romance, he fits in the middle. he can't fix a car, but he makes a great loaf of bread. it's nice to get a story that's about average people, not broken souls, like in Sarah dessen (though i love her work) this is about talking to a girl because you have noting to lose, kissing on the beach and falling asleep holding hands. NO SEX! it's a sweet novel about a summer of growth. have i raved enough yet? all the characters are unique and hold their own. the relationships they all have with each other and Alex add to the story. Len and Alex are funny, talking cricket, poetry and pool each summer, and Fortuna's mother and father and so different, yet in love.

it's also has talk of parents lives, not as parents but as people, respecting the environment/anti-development talk and what you're offering the world, where you want to go. this makes it a deep novel and is well aimed for teenagers, though i found it a touch hard to read, but i think that was my mood. it isn't exactly a page turner or an all- time favourite, but it is probably my favourite teenage romance, it's what i want from my 1st boyfriend.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

competition time!

the lovely and talented Romi from where the writer comes to write has two copies of Chasing Odysseus S. D Gentill up for grabs, one to an international reader and one for an Aussie. to win you have to email the answer to these 4 questions:
-why do you love books?
-what do they mean in your life?
-why do you want to read Chasing Odysseus?
-a brief description of what your life would look like without books.

for more information and some interesting posts about the book and author click here

1 girl, 3 brothers... 4 daring young heroes...

Treachery, transformations and a deadly quest.

A thrilling adventure of ancient myth, monsters, gods, sorcerers, sirens, magic and many evils...the fall of Troy and a desperate chase across the seas in a magical ship...

Hero and her three brothers - Mac, Cad and Lycon go on this exciting and dangerous quest to prove their murdered father's honour, the betrayal by King Odysseus and the loyalty of their own people to the conquered city of Troy.

blurb from the publisher Pantera Press. the 1st chapter is available on their website.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pin-Up Post: Aussie books for ANZAC day

today is ANZAC day, so I'm posting fabulous war stories by Australian authors (of course). this is our first pin-up post. each Pin-Up post is a list of books fitting a theme, all as Australian as i can manage.

A rose for the ANZAC boys by Jackie French
The 'War to end all Wars', as seen through the eyes of three young women It is 1915. War is being fought on a horrific scale in the trenches of France, but it might as well be a world away from sixteen–year–old New Zealander Midge Macpherson, at school in England learning to be a young lady. But the war is coming closer: Midge's brothers are in the army, and her twin, Tim, is listed as 'missing' in the devastating defeat of the Anzac forces at Gallipoli . Desperate to do their bit – and avoid the boredom of school and the restrictions of Society – Midge and her friends Ethel and Anne start a canteen in France, caring for the endless flow of wounded soldiers returning from the front. Midge, recruited by the over–stretched ambulance service, is thrust into carnage and scenes of courage she could never have imagined. And when the war is over, all three girls – and their Anzac boys as well – discover that even going 'home' can be both strange and wonderful. <

Soldier Boy by Anthony Hill 28 June 1915, young James Martin sailed from Melbourne aboard the troopship Berrima – bound, ultimately, for Gallipoli. He was just fourteen years old.
Soldier Boy is Jim's extraordinary true story, the story of a young and enthusiastic school boy who became Australia's youngest known Anzac.
Four months after leaving his home country he would be numbered among the dead, just one of so many soldier boys who travelled halfway around the world for the chance of adventure.
This is, however, just as much the story of Jim's mother, Amelia Martin. It is the heartbreaking tale of the mother who had to let him go, of his family who lost a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend.
It is about Amelia's boy who, like so many others, just wanted to be in on the action.

Once by Morris Gleitzman
Once I escaped from an orphanage to find Mum and Dad.
Once I saved a girl called Zelda from a burning house.
Once I made a Nazi with toothache laugh.
My name is Felix.
This is my story.
Everybody deserves to have something good in their life.
At least once.
this is my favourite war story, the perfect balance between emotion, action and facts. the sense of understanding gained is incredible, and it's beautifully written.

Hitler's Daughter by Jackie French
Four kids tell a story at a bus stop in country Australia on a rainy Monday. But the story seems to have a life of it's own. It's the story of a girl in another time and another country. her name was Heide, and she was Hitler's daughter.
Could- just possibly- the story be true?
this was the 1st story i really read about war, i read it in year 6 for our reading groups, and though the protagonist doesn't have a clue what's going on it was an enlightening read, i loved it.

the blurbs to these are from the author's website or penguin, for more details check those websites or our reviews.
I'm planning to do more of these posts, they're quite fun :)
what do you guys think of the name Pin-up posts? like a list of books you plan to read. I'm still working on it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Soldier Boy

Happy Easter everyone. in australia tomorrow is ANZAC day,a very important day in australia, so i'm doing an ANZAC series on both my blogs. this is a mini-review i posted in 2009 of a book that i found incredibly interesting, that i thought i'd repost. enjoy!

Title: Soldier Boy: The True Story of Jim Martin, the Youngest Anzac
Author: Anthony Hill
first published: Penguin 2001

i thought Soldier Boy was a fabulous book, but most of my year hated it. It is the true story of Jim Martin the youngest ANZAC, written by Anthony Hill. This story is so thought-provoking in understanding peace and war that I was asking so many question to my parents. Jim Martin was 14 when he went to fight; this I think was the scariest part because I can't imagine people in year nine at my school going off to fight in Iraq.the realistic quality gained from being a true story makes Hill's book really effective at showing bravery and idiocy of war, which is quite an achievement. this is more of a book for a keen reader because it isn't an action book, it isn't like your average YA or kids novel. while most people found it boring i thought the ideas and the questions it made me ask were well worth the more factual writing style. i'd be REALLY interested in your opinions on this book.

Everyone should read this book. You understand so much more of what World War One was really like, why people lied about their age to go and get shot at, why they thought it would be fun and exciting. I have gained a new respect for all soldiers, ones from past wars, ones from the present, dead and alive. it gave me a new understanding of their stories and their importance.