I am must just say at the outset that I listened to this on audio read by Julian Maroun, who did a brilliant job. This is a gripping read. The tensionI am must just say at the outset that I listened to this on audio read by Julian Maroun, who did a brilliant job. This is a gripping read. The tension builds and builds. There are familiar young people in this story, and the stars of this show are the main characters - the Lebs of Christian Boys School. An exploration of identity, gangs, mob mentality, relationships, growth and change, the characters will move you. As an adult reader of many books for young people I can often see how the story will go, and I could see exactly how this would go, and it moved me all the same. Highly recommended....more
This is an excellent memoir: amusing, moving, well-written, engaging. It's an adult book, so be prepared for some earthy language and plain speaking.This is an excellent memoir: amusing, moving, well-written, engaging. It's an adult book, so be prepared for some earthy language and plain speaking. Magda's investigation of what it is that drives her, where she gets her funny streak from, and how her family and school life shaped her makes for interesting reading. A top book....more
3 1/2 stars I loved Beatle Meets Destiny, but The Guy, The Girl, The Artist and His Ex didn't resonate the same way with me. More of a farce than a real3 1/2 stars I loved Beatle Meets Destiny, but The Guy, The Girl, The Artist and His Ex didn't resonate the same way with me. More of a farce than a really humorous book, I felt that the story was walking a fine line between young adult and new adult - and kept sliding off. There are some really tense OMG moments, and the romance between the teens is well-handled. But the adults gave me the pip, and I felt they intruded on the 'real' story. Scheming, immoral and unsympathetic for the most part. The plot was tricky, with many threads to be collected together at the end, and perhaps this contributed to the lack of cohesion. My advice is to not take my word for it - read it yourself and see what you think....more
Alice has been twelve for a long time, ever since it happened. Alice lives with her younger/older brother, Joey, her dog, Bear, and Gram on the floodpAlice has been twelve for a long time, ever since it happened. Alice lives with her younger/older brother, Joey, her dog, Bear, and Gram on the floodplain at Bridgewater. Their lives are hard, the town thinks them to be poor and worthless, but Alice and Bear and Joey and Gram and Papa (who's in prison) are family. The family Nightingale. Alice can't go to school. Her words jumble between her head and her mouth, but they spill out on onto the page in short poems that express what Alice can't say out loud.
school is loud too many people joey brings me books teaches me things looks after me.
People think Alice is 'slow' but she is whip smart. She sees the town and the people. She knows how some of them are. What some of them are. When she sees Manny, with french-knots in his hair, Alice knows he is different. Special. But she also knows that no-one will ever notice her. No-one will ever really see her.
This is a quietly moving book, full of Millard trademark wordsmithery and thoughtful observations. Her descriptions of the world that Alice moves in are, quite literally, poetic.
i sank low on the pebbled riverbed and watched my words metamorphose into pure and perfect bubbles saw them rise and ride the current down-streaming, imagined them floating to the ocean to canada and april, didn't know or care if i was un-fifteen-like i was alice-like.
I've taken a star for the lack of capital letters. The number of times I had to re-read a sentence or paragraph because the cues, and consequently the meaning, were lost was frustrating. Understanding the motivation behind it (yes, I felt like Alice, yes, I understood her frustrations) didn't make it any more enjoyable to read. The beauty of the prose was lost in translation. It was not until about two-thirds of the way through that it started to become less noticeable, but by then I found that there were many things from the start of the story that had been obscured as a result of this design decision. This is still a recommended read for me. I was genuinely moved by all the people, from Alice and Manny, to Gram and Papa, and Joey and Tilda - and kind Louisa James is that sort of side character that reveals most about the heart of the story. Glenda Millard is the queen of this gentle, deep and thoughtful storytelling. Long may she write....more
There were elements of this book that were fantastic world building and characterisation, but these were overshadowed for me by the overt sexism of thThere were elements of this book that were fantastic world building and characterisation, but these were overshadowed for me by the overt sexism of the writing. Even though the main character is a young girl (Vin/ Valette), all the pronouns are 'he' and 'his', and we have 'mankind'. Frustrating. The story is involved and involving, but takes some time to get to the point. This is one of our most borrowed books, but I won't be listening to the sequels....more
Will Kostakis keeps getting better and better. His latest, The Sidekicks, subtly and carefully navigates the world of teenage boys on the cusp of adulWill Kostakis keeps getting better and better. His latest, The Sidekicks, subtly and carefully navigates the world of teenage boys on the cusp of adulthood. Ryan, Harley and Miles seemingly have only one thing in common - Isaac - and when he dies, their fragile relationships teeter on the edge of oblivion. Can a swimmer, a bad boy and a nerd really be friends? I love this quote from Will about The Sidekicks - "It’s mostly a book about the fear of closets, and why teenagers in real life have to stay in the closet." If you want to hear more about The Sidekicks from Will, check out this link, Will's Blog, and in the meantime, get yourself to a library or bookstore and buy this terrific book....more