Thursday, April 15, 2010

Snack Size Issue 1

Woah! A new entry? Shocking I know. I'm still trying to get into a blog routine and sort out the things that I actually want to write about. I've been doing some thinking (possibly dangerous) about what and how much I read, and not to brag, but it's a reasonable amount. I also thought about the selection process in terms of which books I wanted to feature. By reading, I come across stories that I enjoy but don't know if I necessarily want to write a whole post on them (not that they aren't good, but I mightn't feel I have enough to say about them). I want to write about stories I am passionate about, and keep examining the relationship between YA and film/TV.

Now, I still want to include all the other things I read in some way, so I'm trying a new mini-review method. Each week, I'll write a snack-sized review of a book, no longer than 100 words. In my experience I work out pretty early on from a summary or review if I actually want to read something, and maybe others do too. Hopefully this will help me get more creative and succinct with my writing. Think of them as tasty, bite-sized bookish treats!

Being Bindy - Alyssa Brugman
Published by Allen & Unwin, 2004
204 pages

Uh-oh! Bindy’s best friend has transformed into a fully fledged Mean Girl, having discovered boys, make-up and joined the popular clique, leaving Bindy far behind. She’s also forced to stick-out unpleasant ‘bonding’ weekends with her divorced mother. Brugman is excellent at capturing the confusion and changing emotions of being a teenager. This is an easily accessible book for early teens – dealing with popularity, peer pressure and parents. I especially liked that that the story features such an awesome, positive father figure and that Bindy’s mother is the weekend parent who has trouble relating to her child.

All We Know of Love - Nora Raleigh Baskin
Published by Walker Books, 2009
208 pages

Fifteen year-old Natalie’s life has been permanently shaped by the fact that her mother abandoned her over milk and cookies five years ago. The story follows Natalie on a cross-country bus ride in search of her absent mother, for closure and for the end of a comment she made in the midst of walking out. It’s a novel of secrets and small stories from strangers, which slowly unravel as Natalie makes her way in search of answers. I felt more was revealed in the short vignettes from the people she encounters, than of Natalie herself, but still an enjoyable read.

Death By Bikini - Linda Gerber
Published by Puffin, 2008
240 pages

Aphra is outwardly living the dream life at an idyllic island retreat owned by her father. In reality, she misses the normality of her old life in South Carolina and her absent mother, who left her family years earlier. However, a murder at the resort and the arrival of a mysterious family (and their teenage son) spells trouble in tropical paradise. A murder mystery which combines romance, espionage and mother issues. Veered to the implausible end of the spectrum for me, but the sequel may clarify things. A light holiday read, perfect for the poolside (preferably with a cocktail – or mocktail – in hand).

Funny how these things work out - upon compiling this review for a seemingly random mix from my reading list, I realised all three books had the reoccuring theme of the absent mother and examined the role this played in the life of the female protagonist.


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