Book Reviews Today

So today is where we tell you what we’ve been reading and you share with us what you’ve been reading.

Rowena Adventures of a Compulsive Traveller by Dominic Dunne
Short chapters on his travel experiences, which are wide and varied. Entertaining and great for dipping. 3 1/2 stars.

Alesha Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce
An enthralling YA fantasy novel in a series that gets better with each instalment. It follows the kind and strong Daine on her journey to understand her mysterious Wild Magic. 4.5 stars.

Bonnie The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
An engaging book which captures your heart and breaks it a few times. A book that tells a tale of war through generations and the effects it has on everything. A bitter sweet story throughout. 4 1/2 stars

Amanda Ed King by David Guterson
A bizarre sequence of events triggered by an affair between a man and his au pair. Great writing, but at times a bit implausible. 3.5 stars.

Tim Wild by Cheryl Strayed.
Story of a young woman whose mother dies, whose marriage disintegrates and who – for a short time – starts taking heroin. Then she hears about the Pacific Crest Trail, a walking track in the west of the United States. Totally unprepared, she decides to walk it in an attempt to leave all the sadness of her past behind her. If you like books about walking, but have had enough of all those books about the Santiago de Compostela trail in Spain, then this is the book for you. 3.5 stars.

Merle The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
This book with its stunning illustrations and beautiful poignant prose tells the story of Morris who loves words. After being caught up in a hurricane, he arrives in an old house full of books – books that are alive and welcome him into their world. Absolutely a must for all ages. Unforgettable. 5 stars.

Baxter Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion.
It’s about Harry, who’s a dog. He gets really dirty and no-one recognises him. Really sad bit. But then he gets clean and they do! Happy bit! 5 stars!

Your turn!

13 responses to “Book Reviews Today

  1. “Found Wanting” by Robert Goddard… a high-body-count murder/mystery based around the surviving Romanovs. The plot is so tangled it’s hard to keep track of unless you read it in one sitting. 3 stars

  2. Les Miserables. Sadly I only got to about page 60 before I had to admit defeat but can’t wait for the new movie. Loved the Kite Runner a devastating book which gives you an insight to what some refugees go through before coming to a foreign land. In light of the current political situation in Australia its a must read.

  3. The Great Deception by Joy Chambers
    The Great Deception opens in rural New South Wales in 1947 where Shelly and her new husband Cole live a seemingly idyllic life. All this changes with the arrival of Tudor, Cole’s wartime friend and colleague, who is out to seek revenge for what he believes is Cole’s betrayal. Cole flees to Europe both to escape and to find answers. He leaves Shelly a note with no explanation for his disappearance only stating that he will return no matter how long it takes.
    Worried and perplexed Shelly searches through Cole’s possessions and finds a box containing an SS ring, Nazi medals and a signed photo of a stunningly beautiful woman. Determined to solve the mystery of the woman and her husband’s disappearance Shelly too heads of to Europe.

    Nearly two thirds of the book is set in Nazi occupied Holland in 1942 where Cole is working undercover. This section is overly long and tedious. The inclusion of real historical characters and the end notes to explain who they are add nothing to the story. It seems to be just a vehicle for the author to show off her historical research. This part of the book is only broken up with three very short chapters about Shelly’s life in wartime Ipswich waiting for Cole’s return.

    The final 45 pages of the book bring all the major characters of the book together in the final denouement. It is overly sentimental and not entirely satisfying and the final paragraph of the book is really appalling.

    The Great Deception fails to deliver on its promise. It is badly structured and largely badly written. It is full of grammatical errors and the constant incorrect use of prior had me wincing. The dialogue is often stilted and detracts from the portrayal of the characters. I think the editor must have fallen asleep on the job when handling the manuscript of this book.

    Overall a disappointing read

  4. Ahhhh I can’t recommend Tamora Pierce enough. She’s amazing ❤ People should check out her Circle series, as well. They're for slightly younger kids, so not as much battle and so on, but the worldbuilding and the magic system are brilliant, even better than in her Tortall books IMHO.

  5. “Room” by Emma Donoghue. Narrated by a young boy who has spent his whole life in one room with his kidnapped mother. Real eye opener about how the world shapes our development. 4/5 stars

  6. A Story of Seven Summers by Hilary Burden. Great story of her transition from London journalist to rural life near Lilydale. Lots of local colour.

  7. ‘The Kingmaker’s Daughter’ by Philippa Gregory
    Richard III never looked so good as through the eyes of Anne Neville, his wife. An overall enjoyable read, despite becoming repetitive towards the end. 3.5/5 stars

  8. Rod – the autobiography.Rod Stewarts autobiography – the man can write! highly entertaining, and honest too – what a naughty naughty boy!Loved the chapter headings.4 stars

  9. The Painted Bridge by Wendy Wallace. I’ll be reading this one again, it’s so well written and absorbing. Anna is sent by her deceiving husband to a mental asylum in the 19th Century. Her determination to prove her sanity leads to unbelievable abuse, but she triumphs over the cruelty as a strong, determined person, among other women whose characters are vividly portrayed 5 stars.

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