Monday, July 30, 2012

The End of Potterthon

I recently posted about how much i was loving celebrating the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter with like-minded people through Potterthon at Saz101. Well as tomorrow is the 31st of July, and Harry would be turning 32, Potterthon is ending.
Today they posted the most touching post to date. many people wrote in sharing their stories about their love of the series. Some of them are so touching, and all worth reading. I loved every single one.
So, anyone who is a potter fan should really check it out, to celebrate our Harry's birthday.

Thank you Sarah and Lauren for this month, it's definitely been s great way to celebrate the anniversary

Saturday, July 21, 2012


By now, you all know how much i love Harry Potter. From the basis of this blog you could correctly assume i love Aussie book bloggers, so you can imagine how delighted i was to discover Potterthon being run by two young Australian bloggers in honour of the 15th anniversary of the release of Philosopher's Stone.

Let me just tell you some of the awesome things they're doing:
  • firstly, a Read Along of Book 1
  • competitions 
giving away a preorder of Casual Vacancy, 2 snitch necklaces or boxset of classic books from the hogwarts library 

All this from Sarah from Saz 101 and Lauren from Lauren's Loquacious Literature

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Orchard Road

Title: On Orchard Road
Author: Elsbeth Edgar
Published: 2011 by Walker Books

Her baby sister has just been born, but Jane and her father are moving out of Sydney to a new town while her mother wait in the city with baby Sylvia in the hospital.
Jane's mother has consoled her 'that sometimes good things happening in the most unpromising situations', but she is convinced she will be miserable. Occasionally though, friendship can bloom in the most unexpected of places.

Quick Review
 Oh i just loved it! i picked it up thinking it would be a nice, easy holiday read, which is was, but enjoyed it so much more than i expected. The characters are sweet and well-rounded, especially Jane. The description is just spot on. The storyline is simple, but the book is gorgeous. This is perfect for people in the gap between kids and young adult books, or '12-yr-old' books as i call them, or for anyone who loves a sweet story about plants, friendship and books. 

 "It was the first time Jane had held Sylvia. Really held her on her own. She felt so light Jane thought a wisp of wind could have blown her away"

"First, she was told to sit in the only free seat, which happened to be next to a sullen boy (at least he was sullen as soon as he realised Jane was going to sit next to him) who gad been sprawled out comfortably across two desks" - Jane's first class at her new school  

Ramble Review
First off, the characters. Usually in books were the protagonist if forced to move against their will they're whiny, think  Have You Seen Ally Queen, but Jane is quite lovely. She whine's occasionally, snaps at her dad sometimes, but doesn't complain the Whole Time. Also, her parents were characters, even her friend Michael's mother was a character. Jane was genuinely concerned for how her parents were feeling! This is not only more realistic, but brilliant for the 12 year old readers as they're about to start the horror phase of being fourteen. All Jane's friends were unique and cute, i especially loved Miss Harrison and her magical garden...

This book is very simple, i sat down one afternoon and read for a couple of hours and found myself 2/3s of the way though before i knew it.This is indicative of how much of a joy and how easy it is to read. Even though I've labeled it perfect for 12-year-olds it would be great for anyone above 9 or 10. The language is crisp, the descriptions spot on.  I really hope this becomes one of those books like Harriet the Spy, or the Magic Faraway Tree, or Charmed life by Diana Wynne Jones which have lasted years.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Good Oil

Title: Good Oil 
Author Laura Buzo 
First Published: August 2010 by Allen & Unwin

Having loved Laura Buzo's new book Holier Than Thou I decided to read her other book Good Oil. I've always seen Good Oil in libraries and bookshop and the cover and title caught my eye, but i never liked the sound of the plot, i thought Amelia would be a silly, whiny, bimbo who has no thoughts except about some jerky guy. Well, i am pleased to say this is not the case.

Amelia is an angsty, clever 15 year old who's just got a part time job at her local Woolworths, which her charming 22-year-old co-worker calls the land of dreams. From her first shift with Chris she's sunk, can't get him out of her head. And how could she? he's clever, cute, he listens to her like she's an adult, they discuss everything from school, to parents, to feminism.
Chris is almost 22, single, still living at home and about to finish a degree in sociology with no job prospects other than the beloved Land of Dreams. His friends are buying houses, starting careers and getting engaged. He is searching for the perfect woman, and the perfect candidate has abandoned him and moved back to Perth.

Quick Review 
A lovely, realistic story more about friendship, family, and growing up than love. Don't worry, this is not the stereotypical story of a girl falling for an older boy and whinging about how she can't have him for 200 pages. it's a sweet, slightly quirky book which was actually very intelligent.
Oh, and you'll just love Amelia.

Favourite Quotes 
“She even takes the goings-on of fictitious characters personally.” 

Rambling Review 
My favourite thing about this book was Amelia. I just LOVED her, she was so frank and clever. In fact, she reminded me of myself a little, i think we'd get on well. She's constantly reading, thinking and turning things over in her mind. I never quite new what was going to come out of her mouth next. She was just such a gutsy character. I found it really true to life how she could be so clever and confident, and yet so self-doubting at the same time, sure in some areas, completely lost in others. 
I can also see why she liked Chris so much, he was positively charming, and Buzo captured him perfectly from both points of view. I know EXACTLY what was meant about his smile each time it was described. 

The story being told from both Amelia and Chris' point of view was a surprise, but it worked really well, it added the extra depth which really makes his novel shine. I liked how similar the characters seemed from both point of views, they saw their co-workers in a similar way. This also applies the the protagonists, I'd have hated if Chris or Amelia weren't as awesome from the other's point of view. once i realised it was multi-POV i had one major concern, and that was that Buzo would make Chris hate Amelia, it would be a completely one-sided relationship, all in Amelia's head. I was relieved to find he really liked her. it would have ruined the story if he found her a pain. Because it became a story about friendship, between the two of them, and other characters like Amelia and her mother, Amelia and Penny, and Chris and his sister.          

i also enjoyed all the literary allusions, especially when i had read the texts they were talking about, which wasn't too often. instead of seeming like the author or characters were showing off, they really added to the book. In fact, it's a great advertisement for teenagers to read classics, much better than adults going 'it's better than that junk you read'. BUT, would someone please explain to me why Amelia ans Chris said Gatsby killed himself? did i miss something when i was reading that chapter of Good Oil

The ending was realistic, and while not opened ended in the way Holier Than Thou is, still was left rather open. I was expecting a more dramatic ending, the book seemed to be building, but the ending did work well, and it has grown on me. I'm now glad Buzo ended it the way she did. 

All, in All a gorgeous book, rich with detail and typical Australian and teenagey things. i Loved reading it. 
in Nomes from Ink chrush's review she said 
"I think some of the best contemporary novels are the ones that don't strive to be LOUD and edgy and OMG all the time but that have the confidence to quietly bleed emotion and genuine characters on to the page."  
this is the Perfect summary. Like other Australian YA, Markus Zusak, Melina Marchetta, Randa Abdel-Fattah, Bill Condon etc, the book seems to bleed truth and emotion, but in this case in a quiet, gentle way.