Thursday, August 26, 2010

Snack Size Reviews #9

Another pocket-sized collection of reviewlettes for your reading pleasure!
This week they are all Australian YA titles:

Letters to Leonardo - Dee White
Publisher - Walker Books
Publication Date - July 2009

Instead of getting art lessons for his fifteenth birthday, Matt Hudson receives a card from the mother he thought to be dead. As he attempts to reconnect with his mother, work on his artwork and navigate through adolescence, Matt writes to Leonardo di Vinci and realises the two have a lot in common.
Dee White not only deals with mental illness with sensitivity and realism, but she also crafts a very authentic teen voice in Matt. Whilst confronting at times, Letters to Leonardo is an insightful coming-of-age story which was well-worth the ten years it took Dee to get it published!
Joel and Cat Set The Story Straight - Nick Earls and Rebecca Sparrow
Publisher - Penguin Australia
Publication Date - July 2007
Length - 240 pages

Arch enemies Joel and Cat are forced to work together for a tandem story project for their English class. Straight away, there’s a struggle for control - whilst Cat is penning Austen-esque romance, Joel is all about guns, explosions and revenge. To make matters worse, their single parents start dating, forcing Joel and Cat to work together for the greater good.
This is such a fun novel! I love dual-person narratives and Earls and Sparrow certainly don’t let the reader down and the novel is full of big belly laugh moments! After reading this, “box mechanic” is my new favourite expression.
Somebody's Crying - Maureen McCarthy
Publisher - Allen & Unwin
Publication Date - September 2008
Length - 371 pages

It’s been three years since the horrific event that devastated an entire community and changed the lives of Tom, Alice and Jonty. Each have tried to move on since the unsolved murder of Lillian Wishart, but this summer the three characters will reconnect, revisit their pasts and attempt to deal with chilling crime that tore them apart.
To be honest, I didn’t love Somebody’s Crying as much as Queen Kat, Carmen and St. Jude or Chain of Hearts, but this is still an intriguing story (I love a good mystery) and is surely to be devoured by diehard McCarthy fans.

2 comments:

Nomes said...

love these reviews. i recently read a review of letters to leonardo and added it to my wishlist.

i like maureen mccarthy but failed to engage in somebody's crying. weird, as i've read most her other books... i think i got about 80 pages in.

Girl Friday said...

Thanks Nomes!

I must admit, I didn't 'connect' with Somebody's Crying as much as I had her other work and really had to push to get through the first half - I love a good mystery though and was determined to finish it - even if only to find out who murdered Lillian haha

LOVED Joel and Cat though - your review was spot on :)

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