Category Archives: Book reviews

What we’ve been reading

That’s why I WROTE THIS Song by Susanne Gervay reviewed by Jill Smith

This is a great book. Susanne wrote this book with massive input from her daughter Tory who wrote the songs. The cover is such a fresh faced girl with the band silhouette at the bottom, I loved this image as it encapsulates the story so well. It’s very thought provoking. How do families cope with […]

Butterflies by Susanne Gervay reviewed by Jill Smith

http://www.sgervay.com Katherine is nearly eighteen and just wants to be like everyone else. She was severely burnt at age 3 and has undergone many operations to get her to where she is. Will she ever be able to wear her hair up? Should she put her head in a bag as one boy said in […]

Destroying Avalon by Kate McCaffrey reviewed by Jill Smith

http://www.katemccaffrey.com This is a book that gets to the heart of cyber bullying. Like the screech of nails down a blackboard (an old school analogy I know) the feeling of alienation, abuse and anxiety Avalon felt was palpable. I was worried from the first sentence, and screamed early on, ‘tell someone’. Her parents are teachers, […]

Ocean Child by Tamara McKinley

Ocean Child is set in the 1920’s; its about Lulu Pearson, who, as a young girl, was taken from Tasmania back to England by her aging Aunt. However, there is a family secret – a scandal which is revealed through the current life of Lulu, and the reminiscences of her elderly Aunt Clarice. Lulu’s future […]

Gamers’ Quest Trilogy by George Ivanoff reviewed by Jill Smith

George clearly knows computer games and his target YA’s market. On his website he has some truly tempting book trailers for each book. Gamers’ Quest won a 2010 Chronos Award for speculative fiction, both Gamers’ Challenge and Gamers’ Rebellion are on the Victorian Premier’s and NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge booklists. Gamers’ Quest: Readers of this […]

Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel by Michael Gerard Bauer reviewed by Jill Smith

What a brilliant conclusion to Ishmael Leseur’s education. It starts with the ultimate let down, Kelly Faulkner saying farewell in an email, and the rest of the year looked like it would spiral down from there. Luckily for Ishmael he had his fab five friends to cheer him up. Razz was still the same madcap […]

Hello from the Gillespies by Monica McInerney

Each year, on December 1st, Angela Gillespie sends her end of year letter “Hello from the Gillespies” to family and friends around the world. For a tradition spanning over thirty years, Angela can now almost write it in her sleep … always keeping it cheerful and highlighting the many achievements involving her husband, herself, three […]

The Spires of Kurrong by Malcom Wells reviewed by Jill Smith

Book Review By Jill Smith©Feb15 Title: The Spires of Kurrong Author: Macolm Wells Publisher: Morris Publishing Australia   Markus and Filona are in love. The story opens with the young lovers looking out over a precipice where they intend to jump to their deaths. Their liaison is prohibited in the domes he is the son […]

Tell the truth by Katherine Howell

Sadly, this is possibly the last in the Ella Marconi series by Katherine Howell. Howell has style of writing that keeps me hooked, it is pacey with clever storylines, although possibly a little repetitive. Surely there can’t be that many questionable paramedics in Sydney. And maybe for this reason the series is coming to an […]

What’s your favourite Chinese novel?

The Gold Coast’s Chinatown has its launch tomorrow, so now’s the time to think “Hey..how much Chinese literature have I read?  What did I like? Why?” and then ask your friends the same questions. My answer is the Obvious Australian answer: The Journey to the West by Wu Cheng-en.  I have an abridged copy in […]

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