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Archive for May, 2011


By: Cat Patrick

London Lane may look like your normal messed up teenager but she hides a bigger secret than most. She can see her future but has no memory of the past. She leaves herself notes for what she needs to wear and things she needs to know or remember for the coming day. Every night her mind resets and what she has just lived through vanishes. She has learnt to cope, with the help of her Mother and her best friend is the only other person who knows about it. Then a boy comes into the picture. He is someone she doesn’t remember from her past or see in her future. Something makes him different, does their relationship stand a chance when London is hiding so much. Then again she isn’t the only one with secrets, there are things her Mother is keeping from her and what is the meaning of the dark dream that keeps recurring?

Cat Patrick has masterfully woven a story that could so easily have become very confusing but it doesn’t. Hope and frustration seep from the pages. Luke is a great balance and anchor for London, her story is made possible by his presence. The characters are real and flawed, while moving through those rough edges and uncertainties you find yourself drawn to them and their story. The supporting characters and bit players help create a real environment in which to encase the difficulty that London finds herself dealing with. This is an engaging read with the ability to pull you into the story and into the realm of ‘what if?’

Publisher: Hardie Grant Books

Published: 01 June 2011

Format: Paperback

Categories: General

ISBN 13: 9781921690624

Purchase: here or click on logo at side of the page for Booktopia


By: Meg Cabot

Pierce Oliviera is a troubled girl. Things haven’t been the same for her since the day she died. She didn’t stay dead though and during the time she was she sees a strange world with two lines and two boats. She also meets a mysterious boy, who takes her away from the lines to somewhere warm. He bestows the gift of a magnificent gem on her and she runs. Then strange things stat to happen to Pierce and her mother takes her to Isla Huesos to make a new start.

The new start gets complicated when the mysterious boy turns up. His name, it seems, is John Hayden and he is very much tied to the island and her in a way Pierce has yet to understand. Despite everything that is going on,and her fear that he will take her away from all she knows and loves Pierce finds herself drawn to him.

Cabot has woven together an intriguing story where both the past and present events in Pierce’s life are opened up to us piece by piece. Both timelines are necessary to the story and the way they are worked together is clever and keeps you hooked. There was a moment when I threw the book down and said ‘if I turn that page and Pierce reacts a certain way I’m done’, thankfully she didn’t. For me this book was a nice change of pace if you fit it into the paranormal genre, though I’m not convinced it sits there very well as there are no werewolves, vampires or angels. It even had a moment I didn’t see coming which is a pleasant surprise when you read as much as I do. This is an interesting concept spun in to an enjoyable read by a deft hand.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Published: 26 April 2011

Format: Paperback 304 pages

Categories: Fantasy Romance School Stories

ISBN 13: 9780330453851 or 9780330453868 (Australia)

Purchase: here or use the logo on the side to go to Booktopia

Disclaimer – I received this book from Pan Macmillan to review.

Son of Neptune – Sneak Peak

Okay so I will freely admit that I am a fan of Rick Riordan. I love the Percy Jackson books and the Kane Chronicles, feel free to check out the reviews on this site. With the second of the Kane Chronicles having only recently been released I was thinking I’d have to wait a while before my next Riordan fix, only to find tonight that the cover art has just been revealed and chapter one of the second Heroes of Olympus books Son of Neptune is available as a sneak peak here. So fellow fans make sure you check it out. Of course this suggestion comes with a warning, it may make you impatient for the rest of the book.

Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2011 – Short List

Today saw the announcement of the short list for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2011. Firstly a big congrats to all listed authors across the categories.

The two categories that are of particular interest to TheKylieVerse are: Children’s Fiction and Young Adult Fiction.

Children’s Fiction 

Why I Love Australia – Bronwyn Bancroft

Flyaway – Lucy Christopher

Now – Morris Gleitzman

April Underhill, Tooth Fairy – Bob Graham

Shake a Leg – Boori Monty Pryor and Jan Ormerod

Young Adult 

Good Oil – Laura Buzo

Graffiti Moon – Cath Crowley

The Three Loves of Persimmon – Cassandra Golds

About a Girl – Joanne Horniman

The Piper’s Son – Melina Marchetta

The complete list can be found here.

Mall Madness

By: Carolyn Keene

Illustrated By: Macky Pamintuan

Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew series bk 15

It is time to go shopping for new school supplies so the Clue Crew is heading to the mall. George is super excited about the new computer displays and runs off while Nancy is shopping for shoes. The Pencil Box is one of their favourite shops but before the girls can choose even one notebook it looks as though they have another mystery to solve. Nancy’s neighbour, Rodger, is working his first day at the Pencil Box and it’s not going so well. There is money missing from the register and all evidence seems to point to Rodger, who was in charge of the register. Nancy doesn’t believe Rodger is the thief but she needs to follow the clues and check out all the suspects.

The original Nancy Drew books were a childhood favourite of mine, I still have my copies (in a box somewhere as a result of our last house move). The Clue Crew books have the same three girls; Nancy, George and Bess though much younger, solving mysteries. The mysteries are age appropriate and the style of writing is great for early chapter book readers. The girls already have very distinctive personalities and if you’ve read the other books these will be familiar. A solid alternative to the many fairy books, definitely worth looking at if you have a reader interested in something other than dancers, fairies and animals.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Published: 22 August 2008

Format: Paperback 96 pages

Categories: General Crime

ISBN 13: 9781416959007

Purchase: here

Mr Badger and the Difficult Duchess

By: Leigh Hobbs

Mr Badger is the Special Events Manager at the Boubles Grand Hotel, he is also the Manager of Special Guests. He is very used to dealing with guests both good and bad. One day when he is very busy organising the Philatelic Society Annual Dinner, a very strange and difficult guest arrives. She is rude, demanding and very tall and for some reason she looks kind of familiar. Mr Badger has his work cut out managing both the dinner and the troublesome guest.

Another fun outing with the unflappable Mr Badger, who does his best for those around him even when faced with unexpected circumstances. Paired with Hobb’s simple yet fun illustrations these books are sure to be enjoyed by readers who are only just getting into chapter books.

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Published: 01 March 2011

Format: Paperback 80 pages

Categories: General

ISBN 13: 9781742374192

Purchase: here or use the link on the side of the page to visit Booktopia

Mungo and the Picture Book Pirates

By: Timothy Knapman and Adam Stower

Every night Mungo gets his mum to read his favourite book two or even five times. It’s called ‘The Seafaring Adventures of Captain Horatio Fleet’. It’s a swashbuckling tale of bad shanty singing pirates, adventure and a fearless hero. One night though an exhausted Captain Fleet cannot be found and it is up to Mungo to rescue Admiral Mainbrace and plucky cabin girl Nora.

This is a ripping yarn with just what you look for in pirate books – bad pirates, daring rescues and plenty of treasure. The text is fun in both context and display and the illustrations wonderfully capture the feel of a little boys bedtime adventure. A funny and delightful read.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

Published: 07 September 2006

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Storybooks

ISBN 13: 9780140569742

Purchase: here or use logo on side of the page to link to Booktopia

Pop Star

An advance copy of this book was sent to me by Simon & Schuster Australia and is available in stores in June 2011

By: Rachel Renee Russell

Dork Diaries bk 3

School has it’s ups and downs but Nikki has found her place even though she still doesn’t have her much sought after iphone. Now the school is holding a talent competition and Nikki is excited about working on an act with her BFF’s Chloe and Zoey, and hopefully impressing Brandon in the process. But Mackenzie wants to win and is prepared to play dirty to do so, there is a reason she is Nikki’s arch-nemeis.

While trying to give her friends a chance to dance with the guys of their dreams and not be found out as the daughter of the school exterminator, Nikki makes a desperate decision that could cost her the scholarship. Now she has to enter the competition and hurt her friends feelings if she stands a chance at staying at school. Mackenzie is there at every turn trying to mess it all up for Nikki. Will Nikki make up with Chloe and Zoey? Will she get to stay at school? And the biggest question of all, can Nikki take on the always horribly popular Mackenzie and win?

The third book in the Dork Diaries and I have to say I still like these characters, maybe even a little more than before. I find the style a joy to read and the illustrations only enhance the story making me smile. The only thing I wish is that Nikki would start to trust her friends a little more. Having said that though, these books remain great fun and while the inner dork in me cringes at some of the situations Nikki finds herself in (both self-imposed and Mackenzie inflicted), my spirits are buoyed by her victories big and small. I really like these books and think tween readers will devour them. They are a quirky telling of the not so easy life of mone of the dorkiest kids in school, something I can certainly relate to. Bring on more Nikki Maxwell stories.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd

Published: 9th June 2011

Format: Paperback 320 pages

Categories: General

ISBN-13: 9780857071187

Purchase: here or use link on side of page to go to Booktopia

Party Time

By: Rachel Renee Russell

Dork Diaries bk 2

Nikki Maxwell is adjusting to her new school. She has two BFF’s Zoey and Chloe and a major crush on the guy in her biology class – Brandon. The crush has taken a step forward because Brandon has asked her to be his science partner – awesome news. It also looks like he wants to ask her something else but never gets to it, or Nikki does something to mess up the mood.

The next big event in the school social calendar is the Halloween dance. Nikki figures Brandon will never ask her and when her arch-nemesis, Mackenzie, announces that she is going with Brandon Nikki is guttered and agrees to help out at her sister’s ballet party. Then somehow Nikki finds herself chairperson of the Halloween dance, which will take a miracle to get back on track. Now she has to figure out how to keep her commitments, keep her friends happy and maybe just maybe have her dream of going to the party with Brandon come true.

This is the second of the Dork Diaries and I’ve got to say I’m a bit of a fan. The writing style is fun and current. The illustrations are quirky and add a nice dimension to these books. Nikki struggles like any dork does with the mire that is negotiating relationships and not just romantic ones. A funny yet sometimes cringe inducing look at the life of a not so popular girl.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd

Published: 05 August 2010

Format: Paperback 288 pages

Categories: General

ISBN 13: 9781847387424

Purchase: here or use link to Booktopia on side of the page

Dork Diaries

By: Rachel Renee Russell

Dork Diaries bk 1

Nikki Maxwell’s dad is an exterminator and through work he got her a scholarship to Westchester Country Day Middle School. Nikki isn’t popular, in fact she is a total dork, but a new school means she might be able to change that. It is a chance to make friends with the Cute, Cool and Popular (CCP) girls. The first hurdle is to convince her mother that she needs a new iphone.

Once school starts it becomes clear that the dork isn’t so easy to get rid of. The girl with the locker next to Nikki, Mackenzie, quickly becomes her arch-nemesis, she is everything Nikki hoped to be. Things aren’t all bad though, as she finds friends in the least likely place, the library. She also has biology class with the very cute Brandon. Then there is the Avant Garde Art Competition, it’s Nikki’s chance to prove she’s good at something, but Mackenzie thinks that prize should be hers. Will Nikki find a way to fit in?

A thoroughly fun read. As a self-confessed dork it bought back some memories and some things just haven’t changed. It very much fits into the tween age category, it’s format and illustrations will bring inevitable comparisons with Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It is a formula that works (less text and fun illustrations) and it is a good way to hook in the more reluctant readers. I have to say I enjoyed my visit through Nikki’s diary.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd

Published: 04 February 2010

Format: Paperback 288 pages

Categories: General

ISBN 13: 9781847387417

Purchase: here or using the Booktopia link on the side of the page

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