Seven books this week – need to up my game a little bit to get to that Goodreads goal… Favourites were The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend and Drag Teen – I obviously needed some light, easy romance this week! Please check out Booktopia if you want to own any of these yourself!
Love From Boy: Roald Dahl’s Letters to His Mother – Edited by Donald Sturrock (3 stars)
Normally I’m a total sucker for anything about Roald Dahl, but this collection of letters wasn’t as interesting as I thought they would be. There weren’t as many as I expected. The editor’s notes were themselves poorly edited at times as well… But it was still interesting. I plan to read Donald Sturrock’s biography of Dahl early next year.
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend – Katerina Bivald (4 stars)
A bookish Swedish girl, Sara, goes to a small town in America to meet her pen-pal. Only, her pen-pal has recently died. Nevertheless, the town is determined to treat her as their collective guest. Sara opens a bookshop, and becomes an important part of the town, so much so, that they come up with an interesting plan to keep her in Broken Wheel when her visa runs out… I absolutely adored all of the bookish references in this story!! It was really sweet, and had crazy eclectic small-town characters. The ending was a bit predictable, but the rest of the book made up for that!!!
Landline – Rainbow Rowell (4 stars)
I think that this was the only Rainbow Rowell book I hadn’t read… I enjoyed it; it was the perfect read for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Georgie is a workaholic. She tells her husband, Neal, that she can’t go to his mother’s place for Christmas so he packs up their two daughters and goes alone. Georgie tries to call him, but he never answers. But then she discovers a phone which links to Neal in the past. It was an interesting take on a romance – Georgie’s marriage is in danger, and she has lessons to learn from her past.
Hate is Such a Strong Word – Sarah Ayoub (Australian author) (3 stars)
The main character, Sophie, is struggling to juggle her Lebanese culture with her Australian home. Her father imposes strict rules on her, while her younger brother can do what he likes, no questions asked. Then she starts falling for an Australian boy, the outcast at her Lebanese school. Racial tensions don’t make this kind of romance easy… This book was incredibly Australian, which was great, but it was definitely too romancey for me.
Drag Teen – Jeffrey Self (4 stars)
Super-cute. JT wants to go to college but he has run out of luck in his scholarship applications. His boyfriend convinces him to enter a drag teen competition which could earn him a free ride to college if he wins. JT loves drag, but his first attempt ended in disaster and his confidence is shattered. But he picks himself up and gives it his best shot. My favourite character was country music star Tina Travis, who is the sort of fairy godmother I would like! Overall, this was just a wonderful feel-good story about a teenager embracing themselves.
Jump – Sean Williams (Australian author) (3.5 stars)
TELEPORTATION! I love anything with time travel, teleportation, and alternate dimensions. So this book was right up my alley. Enjoyable overall, it followed Clair and Jesse as they tried to unmask a government conspiracy with the help of an adorable friend existing only as code. Really good story; I borrowed this book, so I’ll now have to try and source the other two!
Concentr8 – William Sutcliffe (3.5 stars)
A really fantastic commentary on medicating children for hyperactivity. A government policy means that parents are given extra benefits if they are willing for their children to be medicated – they’re the kids from the rough side of the tracks, the ones most likely to become criminals; the government wants to stop that from happening, and medication seems like a good option. Only the medication stops, and the kids begin to discover who they might be without the drugs. Five teenagers become involved in a kidnapping, and the story is told from multiple points of view – each of the teenagers, the hostage, the negotiator, the mayor, a journalist. A really intriguing story with the underlying current questioning whether it is right to medicate children for being children. I especially loved the quotes and tweets heading up each chapter, providing real-life perspectives on Ritalin use from scientists, parents, and sufferers.
What did you read this week?