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  • Writer's pictureJulianne Negri

October Reading Roundup

Updated: Jan 16, 2020

I was still writing more than reading in October but managed to get through this lot!

Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen

Day of the Triffids for kids, this is a wonderfully strange book! Ade lives in a high rise flat with his mother who is agoraphobic after a trauma. When a strange plant starts infecting the city causing buildings to collapse, most people escape. But Ade can't leave his bedridden mother. The story is told from a child's POV with such authenticity it makes you alternatively gasp and nod in realization of the truths. It has wonderful suspense in the plot structure, a terrific cast of characters and pitch perfect child's voice. Loved it!

Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo

This is the third in the series of books about the three friends we met in Raymie Nightingale (the second book being Louisiana's Way Home). Beverly was perhaps the least lovable of the three characters, tough wise cracking and closed to emotion. However here we see Beverly years later, fourteen, a run away searching for who she is without letting anyone in to hurt her. Kate DiCamillo always throws together a cast of characters that are at once quirky and real, diverse in age and gender and tells stories that are about small town minds that create a whole world and does so again here. I found it difficult to jump forward to a teenage Beverly and felt the story was sketchy, skimming over the surface like a well thrown stone, admittedly one that was enjoyable to watch and at times awakening a sense of wonder.

What a rollicking ride it is to be with Hayley as she attempts to make a movie in 12 days of the summer holidays in honour of her late grandmother! The Whelan family are a delight and the dynamics and moments written so well that you just can't get enough. The friendships in the book both young and old hold the reader spellbound to the end. The book is jam-packed with gorgeous characters it's hard to have a favourite (but Jennifer is my favourite)and is remarkably original in how it deals with old age and death. This is a brilliant debut Australian book that will have you laughing, crying and wanting to have a series of family movie nights to prolong the joy of reading the book!

The Girl Who Fell by Violet Grace

A fantasy book like this is not what I would usually read - and I was reading it for a book group. The book about Chess, orphan, hacker and, so it turns out, faerie queen. The book is rich in world building ( I particularly enjoyed the MI6 style organisation for dealing with faeries) with many a thrill and spill. The book shows a main teen character with agency and strong mind while still being a romance fantasy. There's a sequel. I have many questions.

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