The book with the most reviews this month is debut novel Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil. The story revolves around Sam Kinnison, his ragtag bunch of friends, and the new girl who might just be his dream girl, Camilla. It is one of my favourite books of 2013. Maggie from Young Adult Anonymous said “Melissa Keil writes with a deftness that shows why she won the Ampersand Project. She gets the right mix of heart and humor and uses little details, like the fact that Sam downloads a movie using torrents, to add to the authenticity of the story.” Bec of First Impressions wrote “There’s no sense of trying too hard, or pushing to fit into a particular mold, just good writing by someone who’s clearly having a great time doing it.”
Whisper by Chrissie Keighery is the story of a fourteen year old who goes deaf after contracting meningitis. Mel from Adventures of a Subversive Reader says “This is a beautiful snapshot of a story, one which highlights particular moments in a life, while showing you glimpses of what’s happened before and hints at what might happen into the future. Demi is a believable and interesting character, incredibly smart with high ambitions, but not sure what that will mean now that her world has changed so much.” This book has been on my to-read list for over a year now and this review has reminded me that I must read it soon.
Another book released this month is All This Could End, the second novel of Steph Bowe. This is the story of Nina, her bank-robbing family, and the boy she meets, Spencer. Michelle of Maree’s Musings writes “All This Could End was a book I responded to on an emotional level; it was a compelling, yet beautifully written novel with characters I completely fell in love with. It’s a story about two people, and their families, slowly falling apart and struggling to find their way. It’s also one of my favourite books of the year.”
The books reviewed for the AWW Challenge aren’t always recent releases. Rose by Any Other Name by Maureen McCarthy was first published in 2006 and tells the story of Rose, her family, and a road trip she takes to see her drying grandmother. It’s a book that features a girl that isn’t the most lovable but Kit of Bibliotekit explains the appeal despite this fact “At the same time, though, I think McCarthy has really nailed Rose as a character. She irritated me, but she was also believable. As the book goes on, it becomes clear that all this hard-as-nails, screw-the-world stuff is just a cover up for a lot of crappy things that she’s had to deal with, and by the end when she starts opening up a little bit, and starts to work things out with her mum and dad, it’s quite a relief.”
Historical fiction is something I have been seeking out more and more so I was pleased to see a title that fits this genre in the list of reviews. The Forgotten Pearl by Belinda Murrell is set in Darwin during the early 1940s and revolves around Japan’s attack on Australia and the lives affected by this event. Sally from Oz found it to be a very realistic and vivid story “History has come alive and it is very readable. I could see the planes flying in and dropping their deadly cargo, hear the sirens, the explosions and the screams, feel the very fear of the characters.”
And lastly, a review of the American version of an Aussie book, Love and Other Perishable Items (originally published Good Oil) by Laura Buzo. This is the story of Amelia who starts working at her local supermarket and falls for her older co-worker, Chris. Shannon at Giraffe Days says “An artfully constructed, engagingly realistic and always hopeful story about two people finding their way in life, about the best kind of friendship and the first blush of love. A growing-up story, a growing-pains story, a coming-of-age story for both Amelia and Chris, one that takes an adult reader back in time and will, no doubt, really click with an adolescent one.”
And that’s it for February!