Susan Paris and Kate De Goldi
Massey University Press
December 20, 2022
Skinny Dip is a poetry collection revolving around the theme of school. Edited by Susan Paris and Kate De Goldi, there are 36 poems in this collection from a diverse range of poets. The poems vary from the more popular free verse and acrostic poems to rarer forms such as cinquains and villanelles.
When I picked up this book, I was interested in seeing how these poets, who have finished their years of schooling, would interpret the theme of school. With the book being aimed at children and teenagers, a successful poem needed to be relatable and accessible to young readers. Read more
December 17, 2022
Dan Salmon’s first in this series, Neands, was awesome and I am sure that everyone who read it had high standards for the second. Salmon didn’t let us down at all, keeping us on our toes the whole time and immersing us in the events that he laid out on a silver platter for all readers.
Salmon does an excellent job at keeping us reading and interested in whatever occurrence happens next. From learning how to hotwire a car, to running from Neands, there’s always a new adventure. Read more
Tim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues
Hardie Grant Books
December 14, 2022
Tim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues is a magical, queer romance novel for YA readers set in the Fox Glacier High School for the Magically Adept. Written by H.S. Valley and published in 2021 by Hardie Grant Books, it follows year 13 student Tim Te Maro, who has recently been dumped. He must now juggle this heartache along with NCEA, learning magic and the recent abandonment of his father. As he figures out who he is independent of his father and his recently ex-girlfriend, he must also make sense of these surging feelings he hasn’t been able to quell. Read more
Katipo Joe: Wolf’s Lair
December 14, 2022
Wolf’s Lair is the third book in Brian Falkner’s Katipo Joe series. Following on from Joe’s mission of infiltrating Hitler’s inner circle, he is now tasked with travelling to Wolf’s Lair, Hitler’s eastern military headquarters. While he has gained the trust of Hitler, not everything is perfect, with Himmler and Roth starting to be suspicious of Joe. His bosses at M15 want Hitler assassinated, but to Joe, it is not that simple: he wants to find his father and doesn’t want his friends to get hurt by M15’s plans. Read more
1915 Wounds of War
December 13, 2022
1915 Wounds of War by Diana Menefy is an informative historical fiction novel based upon the trials of two young nurses, and their lives throughout the First World War.
This book was originally published in 2015 and is part of a series based on World War 1. Although it may sound interesting, the book did not live up to my expectations, as it was repetitive and the plot was difficult to follow.
The story is based around two cousins, Harriet and Mel. Their relationship is tested and focused on throughout and shows their complexity and round characteristics. Read more
December 13, 2022
‘Night was falling, dark and dank. The dog crouched beside the wreckage, gazing up at the sky. Slowly a large red moon rose over the mountain, flooding the snow in bloody light. She lifted her muzzle to the moon and howled, long and sad.’
In Ice by Susan Brocker, Zac thinks video games are where real adventures happen. Reality is boring, and he would rather spend time helping his hero battle monsters and brave epic quests. But he is about to be thrust into an epic quest of his own, one to rival his video games; the adventure of a lifetime…
Ice was all alone, sitting in the shelter, about to be put down when she catches Zac’s eye. Read more
The Uprising: the Mapmakers in Cruxia
December 13, 2022
Eirlys Hunter’s The Uprising: the Mapmakers in Cruxia started off a little bit slow, but as I got into it I found it very enjoyable and couldn’t put it down. The story starts with our heroes, Sal, Joe, Francie, Humphrey and their mother in a city called Porto Pearls looking for their father, a famous explorer that went missing on an expedition. They take a dirigible (airship) to Cruxia, where the story then unfolds.
A mass of events follow, including a near run-in with some old enemies from a previous adventure, The Mapmaker’s Race, the first book in the series, which is best read before this installment, and meeting some of the locals. Read more
Book 1 in The 716 series
November 29, 2022
I was instantly captivated by The 716 upon reading the blurb. It is the first book in S.J. Pratt’s new series, set in the promising and futuristic world of Meliora. In this society, men are second-class citizens and are only permitted to do jobs like being a waiter or house-husband. The women, on the other hand, can do anything they want. The two main characters, Andy and Olivia, both want to become something not considered acceptable. Andy would love to pursue his engineering dream, but cannot do this because he has a blue Identifeye light – the male symbol. Read more
Violet Black is a thrilling fast-paced story about a teen who has gained some new powers after surviving a deadly disease.
Set in the near future this book is about Violet, a 17-year-old girl who is one of the few survivors of a usually fatal disease M-fever. When she wakes up in the hospital, she finds she has a psychic connection with Ethan Wright, another 17-year-old survivor of M-Fever. Although they try to keep this a secret, someone finds out and Violet gets taken to a facility overseas where she meets other teens who have also survived. Read more
November 21, 2022
The Calling is a novel by New Zealand author Fleur Beale. Having read the I Am Not Esther series also by this author, The Calling attracted me as a reader. The book tells the story of young Molly searching for her calling. Will it be as easy as she expects?
The Calling takes place in late 19th century Aotearoa New Zealand, where 15-year-old Molly who struggles to find her life’s path after her dying mother wishes for her to become a nun. However, this is not the dream of her Methodist father, who wants her to marry, take care of her siblings and follow out household tasks. Read more