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The Book Ninja

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,603 ratings  ·  560 reviews
Sometimes love means having to broaden your literary horizons.

Frankie Rose is desperate for love. Or a relationship. Or just a date with a semi-normal person will do.

It’s not that she hasn’t tried. She’s the queen of online dating. But enough is enough. Inspired by her job at The Little Brunswick Street Bookshop, Frankie decides to take fate into her own hands and embarks
Paperback, 337 pages
Published June 1st 2018 by Simon & Schuster Australia
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,603 ratings  ·  560 reviews

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Kylie D
What can I say about this book? It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me forget the world until I finished it!

Frankie is a twenty-something living in Melbourne, thinking that love has passed her by. She's in a dating slump, so with the help of her best friend Cat, she decides to do something about it. Their plan? To leave classic books on the seats of public transport, with messages in the back, so that after the "screening process" (The recipient/come reader must love to read the classics)
Veronica ⭐️
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

Ali and Michelle are the co-founders of the famed Books on the Rail Australia and what better way to express their love for all things books and Melbourne than to write a book.

Frankie works with best friend Cat at Little Brunswick Bookshop. She is a bit of a book snob, preferring classics to popular fiction and YA titles, she judges people by the books they buy at the shop.
Left broken hearted by Adam and not having any success with romance she decides to leave her favourite books on
Apr 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Firstly, I am loving the book spreading initiative these two authors, and best friends have developed. Here is a link for your reading pleasure:

It is a Melbourne based initiative where books can be left on public transport, for other to enjoy and to continue to share the love by placing it somewhere else. Some Australian publishers and authors have climbed on board. I think it's very cool!

This is an easy read, Frankie Rose (named after Frankston train station and
Frankie (named after the suburb of Melbourne called Frankston – because… well…) worked at The Little Brunswick Street Bookshop and loved the classics. Her best friend and owner of the bookshop, Cat, worked with her, and between them they decided to leave books on trains with Frankie’s phone number in the back so she could find a man with the same book tastes as her.

When Sunny entered the picture, Frankie was smitten – but his choice of reading was young adult. So of course that didn’t suit
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019
This is an interesting one to review. I am giving it four stars because it was a very good read despite the fact that there were a lot of things I didn't like about it!

* There were loads of references to books which is good but there ended up being too many and they were forced into the text.
* There was a lot of humour but sometimes it became too slapstick for me.
* The main characters were quirky and fun, but they were actually not nice people especially Cat who was just awful. With a best
Written by Melbourne Book Ninjas Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus, this book is about Frankie, a book ninja who decides to find love by planting her favourite books on Melbourne's trams and trains. Those who read to the end of the book find a note from Frankie inviting them to contact her for a date. Although this sounds like a guaranteed way to find like minded souls, the people who contact Frankie don't always match her picture of the perfect man, as attested by her popular blog where she writes ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was so infuriating that I'm not even going to spend time reviewing it, because I refuse to give it any more of my minutes. Terrible people doing insanely dramatic things at each other and somehow still managing to be tedious. Awful.
Bree T
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, australian
Sometimes a book sounds so perfect for you on paper that it’s almost inconceivable to realise that it isn’t. And for me, that was this book. Based on the blurb, I thought I would absolutely love this. I’d heard a lot of really positive things too and I’m a big fan of the Books On The Rail project, which the authors are involved in. But when I began this, I discovered that unfortunately for me, it was not to my liking at all.

And I have lots of reasons why – the first one was the main character’s
Trigger warnings: cheating, death of a loved one (in the past), car accident (in the past).

When I finished reading this last night, I gave it 4 stars. On reflection, I'm bumping it down to 3 because I've realised there are a lot of things about the story that made me uncomfortable or that weren't as well handled as they could have been.

What I liked:
- Books!! So many books.
- Melbourne!! It's incredibly authentic, the public transport experiences ring true (although everything seems to run on
Full review to come closer to release (June 1st).

For now...

Despite being populated with characters who at times feel like they're not so much characters as a group of over the top quirks whose sole purpose is to put Frankie in compromising positions, this is a lot of bookish fun.

The story (mostly) alternates between Frankie's desperately single day to day life, and her new blog which ties in with her book ninja project. She's scattering all of her favourite books across various forms of
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
It seemed Frankie Rose was looking for love in all the wrong places until she comes up with a novel idea. Frankie worked at The Little Brunswick Street Bookshop and it's here that Inspired her next idea in trying to find Mr Right.

Frankie's latest idea of placing her favourite books on trains and inside the books she would leave a note at the back of the book with her details hoping the man of her dreams who also had the same preferences in books might contact her. Would Frankie find true love
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fucking hilarious.

A longer review will appear on my blog, Kathryn's Inbox in late May 2018
Dale Harcombe
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Three and a half stars
With her love life at an all-time low, Frankie Rose decides to try an experiment. Her plan is to leave some of her favourite books in trains with her name and phone number in the back. If, after reading the book, a man is interested in a date, he knows who to call. In this way she hopes to meet a man with whom she cane share books, life and laughter. But as always happens with a plan, Things don’t work out quite the way she expects. She meets a variety of people and then
The Book Ninja is yet another book I’ve read of late which was written by two authors. This time by Aussie friends, Berg and Kalus. And unfortunately, like the other ones I’ve read, despite the title's hype, I thought it was an average read.

Frankie, our heroine, has been unlucky in love for some time and is on the lookout for Mr Right. One thing she is looking for in a man is the same taste in books. She meets Sunny Day (not the best romantic hero name I’ve ever come across) when he comes into
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Book Ninja is one of my favourite and definitely most fun reads of the year. Meet Frankie Rose. Frankie works in a bookshop spending her day with the men of her dreams: Mr Darcy, Mr Knightley and Mr Tilney just to name a few. She is sick of the disasters that is online dating and decides to take matters into her own hands to find her true literary love. Sending out her favourite novels on the public transport around Melbourne she hides her details at the ned of each book for those with the ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-for-review
The Book Ninja is the brilliant and hilarious debut book from Aussie writing duo and creators of Books on the Rail, a travelling book service. I remember the first few posts they made on their Instagram account for Books on the Rail and the stickers that originally went out to go onto books to be left on trains. I thought it was such a great idea to have a floating collecting and share a love of books but I had no idea it would grow so successfully and thankfully, it inspired the two creators to ...more
Rachel Gilbey
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely book for book lovers - if you are a book worm you will without a doubt love this book.

There are literary references all over, although Frankie is a bit of a book snob and will barely give Sunny a chance just because he likes YA books.

Easily my favourite storyline is Frankie being a book ninja and leaving books on trams all around Melbourne, with a note in them to try to get herself a date. As a result of these book drops she sets up a blog and its these blog posts that are posted
Jen Brown
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was ready to give this book 5 stars after chapter 4! Wonderful, quirky and fun story. Characters that are vivacious and full of life. Easy to read and lots of laugh-out-loud scenes, yet still plenty of deep and meaningful moments. Lots of literary references to suit all book buffs and very connected to the location the story unfolds in - these places are very real (as I type this on my way to work on the Frankston train line!). A must read for all Melbournians, everyone who loves books, and ...more
Jan 06, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was soooo disappointing. I hated the characters, and all that happened throughout this book was the main characters hating on YA and judging people who bought YA. And they’re bookshop workers, why not just be grateful that your bookshop is busy?!
The main character annoyed me the most out of everything, with her rude and judgy personality, and her conceited opinion of herself.
Major disappointment given the fun-sounding and cute blurb.
Julie Elder
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reading-in-2018
The literary value of a book doesn’t always determine how much you enjoy it. Let’s take The Book Ninja. Firstly it is written by two authors which pretty much tells us that it will not be nominated for a Booker Prize anytime soon. Although it does list, within its pages, a litany of literary gems that should be on everyone’s must read list. Secondly, lines like “Just like a good chocolate bar, she wasn’t sure whether she should indulge in its goodness right now, or savour it later” are not going ...more
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I've been lucky enough to be at the receiving end of one of Books on the rail books'.. So I was no stranger to the authors Ali and Michelle in that capacity..
To support them now with the debut was made very easy when I really enjoyed Frankie and her quest for love with books on the rail... it was the perfect companion for me after finishing a couple of topic heavy stories previously..

I have to admit I'm not normally a big fan of the romance or light chick lit type books, normally I'm stirred
Melanie Schubert
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
No book is ever perfect... there is always something that niggles me--something a character says or does...or perhaps an unexpected quirk to the author's, "writer voice."
But I have realised something, bit by bit, in books of every genre.
With the great books...the ones you can't put down, it's not that those things aren't there, it's that you aren't bothered by them...OR. You EVEN find yourself coming to LOVE them!
That is what a truly great, 5 star read is to me, and that is what truly great
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
**Recommended for fans of The Rosie Project**

It's wonderful to finally have a book to recommend for fans of The Rosie Project - it's a query I get all the time, & it's a hard one to answer.

Also set in Melbourne, also laugh out loud hilarious (I was giggling especially hard on page 14ish!), & another quirky romance.

I say it all the time but I love books set in Melbourne, & this is no different! The "Book Ninja" idea is brilliant, & ridiculous at the same time.

Oh and I nearly
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Frankie's life has turned flat. Yes, she has a job she loves at her best friend's bookstore. But her love life has never been the same ever since Ads left her almost three years ago, and she has stopped writing since her second book was rated horribly by critics. Just as she has started to feel like this will be her life from now on, a gorgeous man steps into the bookstore. But, ala! He goes for the YA novels : the one genre Frankie finds horrible. Among sweet coincidences and hilarious ...more
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
When a book takes me three months to read with a blurb like this, I know something had to have been wrong with it.

Let’s not go into too much detail about the fact that every time something was mentioned about Melbourne, I cringed because nothing worked. Throwing in stations and well-known streets, the Yarra River and trams does not inherently just make it “Melbourne” - it doesn’t bring the magic of Melbourne into the story at all, and really, this whole book could have been written in any city
Sue Gerhardt Griffiths
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Hahaha…The Book Ninja - what a cool and amusing title!

Frankie, and her mum and Cat were annoying at times yet, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story, after all there was a lot to enjoy in this quirky, adorable, fun and funny novel:

Books on the rail (fabulous concept!)

Sunny and his love for YA novels (yep, I’m not a YA snob either)

The blog entries and comments (so hilarious)

The awesome friendship between Frankie and Cat (crazy friends make the best friends)

And the mention of books books books
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, advance-copy
Sure to make you smile.
Brimming with bookish banter, hilarious hijinks, quirky characters and a rocking romance. I smiled, sighed and slapped my knee as dear Frankie Rose became ever more entangled in a muddle of her own making.
Highly recommended for lovers of funny stories, fans of clever writing and book nerds who live for literary humour.
Thank you @netgalley and @simonschusterau for treating me to an advance e-book copy. Release date: 1st June 2018
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I absolutely LOVED this book! The perfect mix of romance, fun, friendship and books; what more could a person ask for. Oh and it’s written by two Australian writers, yeah! Love it when new Aussie authors appear on the shelves.
Forget to add - because so many of my colleagues loved this book too; we decided to add it to our Library’s book kit collection.
Gil Glass
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A quirky, feel-good tale, interwoven with literary delights. One moment the story tugs at the heart strings, the next, you're doubled over with laughter at the unexpected escapades of the characters! A book for all ages. Un-put-downable!!
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canberra-library
A great read - made me laugh so much it hurt! If you need a book to help you wind down, you can't do better than this. So looking forward to their next book. What a team!
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Co-founder & Professional Aussie Book Ninja at Books on the Rail & Co-author of The Book Ninja and While You Were Reading (Simon & Schuster).
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