The following are the three winning reviews for January, along with an honourable mention.
The Story Of Danny Dunn by Bryce Courtenay (reviewed by TessLL)
Bryce Courtenay is back! In my opinion this is his best book since The Power Of One. It covers the years between 1920 – 1970 when Australia was facing very critical times. The War and the Depression.
It has historical significence – covering war, political and sporting events which occured during the 50 years the story spans. It covers the truama wounded and disfigured Australian soldiers faced returning to their loved ones. The power of political parties to sway safety in rental properties and to take none or very little responsibility if these properties burnt down and killed people in doing so. The sacrifices athletes make to become champions in their chosen fields to enter Olympic Games and the toll this has on spouses and siblings. The book paints a vivid picture of the lives of those living in Sydney during these years. The rich and the poor. The inspiring achievements of a poor family to make a better place for themselves by hard work and study. The enduring love of Danny’s mother and wife, each striving to achieve this goal in their own way. There is something for every one in this book. I could not put it down. 5 stars.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (reviewed by G_O_WC)
Katniss Everdeen is a 16-year-old, self-sufficient teenager who volunteers to replace her sister in the annual Hunger Games, a reality television programme which all citizens are required to watch as declared by the government. Based in a futuristic dystopian world, in which the United States of America has been destroyed by natural disasters and war to be replaced with Panem, the Hunger Games is a brutally fierce and dangerous competition in which 24 participants – two from each territory or ‘district’ – must battle for the winner’s position by using their own strength and intelligence to their advantage in order to execute all other 23 competitors.
The Hunger Games is a thought provoking and suspenseful read that held my full attention from beginning to end. I had this book highly recommended to me by a friend and I must say that I agree with her view that it is one of those rare books that fulfilled – even went beyond – my expectations. The book is well written and the characters are realistic, making their situation even the more terrifying.
Overall, I was thoroughly pleased with this book and would recommend it to those aged 12 and up as it does contain some violence (especially in the battle arena) and to anyone who enjoys a strong and independent female lead and an engrossing plot that is sure to leave you hooked. 5 stars.
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (reviewed by AikY)
Hush, Hush is a must read! I just love it! First of all, I have to say James Porto is a real artist! The cover design is gorgeous! It was the first thing that attracted me, though I know that a book can’t be judged by its cover. And, the concept of falling in love with the fallen really captivates me. Who cares about vampires and werewolves when there is a hot, mysterious fallen angel right in front of us?
The main characters of Hush, Hush are finely written, so you can get an exact idea of their personalities. Nora is a pretty, clever girl who is strong, in the sense that she is brave enough to fight her attacker. But at the same time, she is vulnerable, as she is anemic and, well, her self-defense skills don’t really work. As for Patch, he is the guy who will make any girl swoon with excitement – he’s handsome, tall, dark and alluring. He has a secret, a mysterious past which makes the whole story more interesting.
I would like to compliment Becca because she has done a great job to keep readers guessing what will happen next. I really didn’t see the bad guy coming. I kept guessing, but never got it right. And when the truth is revealed, I was like “What? He’s the one?”. It was so unexpected. The pages are haunting, dark, and mysterious, it succeeded to hold my attention from the beginning until the end. There were times when I feel like I was ‘inside’ the story, and I could see exactly what Nora saw. I kept feeling like something bad and dangerous is about to happen.
I’ve seen others comparing it to Twilight, and I do not deny that there are some similarities, such as the protagonists’ personalities (good girl versus bad boy), and having them sitting beside each other in Biology class. But that’s where it ends. Hush, Hush is NOT the same as Twilight. It is an entertaining story with a different theme, style, storyline and characters, packed with excitement and danger. It will draw you into the story completely, and leave you wanting for more at the end.
Hush, Hush is a fast-paced, exciting, well-written novel which has a thrilling plot that is definitely going to make you squeal with delight! So, please don’t wait any longer if you haven’t read this book, because it’s really good! (5 stars).
All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome by Kathy Hoopmann (review by FibyB)
Filled with beautiful photos of cats, this book provides an easy to read, basic description of what Asperger’s syndrome is, with out too many words. I bought this book for my son who has Asperger’s. Although he couldn’t see himself in the book (we could see some of the similarities) he still enjoyed the book. But remember, some children with Asperger’s can be very literal, and may feel this book isn’t accurate if it mentions some signs of Asperger’s that they don’t display- remembering that every one with Asperger’s is different.
Personally, I love this book! (5 stars).
A big thanks to the nearly 100 members who submitted reviews – keep entering for your chance to win! TessLL, G_O_WC and AikY have each won $50 to spend in Boomerang Bucks. 🙂