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New Fiction Term 2-2005

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book review

Bangkok 8
John Burdett

In surreal Bangkok, city of temples and brothels, where Buddhist monks in saffron robes walk the same streets as world-class gangsters, a US marine sergeant is killed inside a locked Mercedes by a maddened python and a swarm of cobras. Two policemen - the only two in the city not on the take - arrive too late.

Minutes later, only one is alive

The cop left standing, Sonchai Jitpleecheep, is a devout Buddhist and swears to avenge the death of his partner and soul brother. To do so he must use the forensic techniques of modern policing and his own profound understanding of the mystical workings of the spirit world. Both will be vital as he immerses himself in the moneyed underbelly of Bangkok - where desire rules and where he will eventually find the killer, a predator of an even more sinister variety....

book review The Earthsea Quartet
Ursula LeGuin

As a young dragonlord Ged, whose use-name is Sparrowhawk, is sent to the island of Roke to learn the true way of magic. A natural magician, Ged becomes an Archmage and helps the High Priestess Tenar escape from the labyrinth of darkness. But as the years pass, true magic and ancient ways are forced to submit to the powers of evil and death...

These four spellbinding works of imaginative genius offer a parable that is sometimes joyous, sometimes sobering, for readers of all ages.

book review

The singer of all songs
Kate Constable

Calwyn couldn't trust her eyes when she saw the unconscious stranger lying inside the great Wall of ice. Somehow he had defied the magical chantments. But was he a dangerous sorcerer, or just an injured man in need of healing?

Calwyn lives safely among the priestesses of Antaris, caring for her bees and dreaming of the mysterious world beyond the Wall. But then comes Darrow, who tells her of the fear and hatred that hold sway in the Outlands, where the magic arts of chantment are disappearing. Defying the Head Priestess, Calwyn follows Darrow on a dangerous journey that takes them the length and breadth of Tremaris, to places more strange and wondrous than she could ever have imagined, and to a final terrifying encounter with the evil sorcerer Samis who seeks to master all Nine Powers of chantment for himself.


book review

The Battle of Evernight
Cecilia Dart-Thornton

With vital fragments of her memory restored, Tahquil-Ashalind also regains the Langothe, a terrible longing for the world of the Faeran, for which there is no cure but to return there. She undertakes a journey to seek the the Bitterbynde Gate, the only remaining way into that world. But when Tahquil's companions are ruthlessly abducted, she abandons this purpose in spite of the dreadful yearning, and sets out to try to rescue them, venturing into the land of DArke, and the blackness of Evernight.

This is the final book in the Bitterbynde trilogy.


book review A Beggar at the Gate
Thalassa Ali


As Lahore's rose-scented air is rent by political feuding and tension, Mariana Givens must choose between her beloved little stepson and the life she has always known.

Two years earlier, in 1838, Mariana became the guardian of three-year-old Saboor. They now live in Calcutta with her aunt and uncle, but Mariana is ostracised by the British community for her impulsive marriage to Saboor's native father. Her relatives insist she return to Lahore, a journey of over a thousand miles by river and on horseback, to ask for a divorce. Once in Lahore, as violence swirls around her, she is drawn towards the spiritual culture of her husband's Muslim family, and begins to wonder if she can bear to be cut off from them for ever.

A story of love and understanding, of duty and honour, of spirituality and redemption, painted beautifully and vividly with deft soul-strokes.

book review


Black Juice
Margo Lanagan


Black Juice is a book of extraordinary stories.

Breathtakingly fierce and surprisingly tender, they explore the dark and the light, and pit the frailty of humans against implacable forces.

Every story is rich, strange, wonderful and compelling




book review

Blast from the Past
Ben Elton


It's 2.15 a.m. you're in bed alone and the phone rings.

Your eyes are wide and your body tense before it has completed so much as a single ring. And as you wake, in the tiny moment between sleep and consciousness, you know already that something is wrong.

Only someone bad would ring at such an hour. Or someone good with bad news, which would probably be worse.

You lie in the darkness and wait for the answer machine to kick in. Your own voice sounds strange as it tells you that nobody is there but that a mesage can be left.

You feel your heart beat. You listen. And then you hear the one voice in the world you least expect ... your own Blast from the Past.

book review


Blessed are the Cheesemakers
Sarah-Kate Lynch

Blessed are Corrie and Fee, for theirs is the kingdom of the world's tastiest farmhouse cheese. Tucked away in a corner of Ireland, the lifelong friends turn out batch after batch of perfect Coolarney Blues and Golds, thanks to co-operative cows, non-meating-eating fecund milkmaids, songs from The sound of Music and the wind blowing just so in the right direction across the green meadows of County Cook.

Add to this mixture Corrie's long lost granddaughter Abbey, fleeing from a remote but by no means backward Pacific island and an unfaithful husband. And stir in New Yorker Kit Stephens, heart broken and looking for a purpose to his wasted life.

The magic that Corrie and Fee weave in and out of the cheese vats is legendary, but can they use their powers to turn bitterness and betrayal into love or will the secret ingredient be lost forever?

book review Brief Candle
Kate Pennington


Winter is harsh for young Emily Bronte, her sisters Charlotte and Anne and their brother Branwell.

Cooped up inside the bleak parsonage, the only break from routine comes when they write adventures for the heroes of their secret worlds of Gondal and Angria - or when freedom loving Emily is able to escape onto the moor. Then one day, while out walking with her dog, Captain, Emily stumbles across the mysterious outcast, Heslington, whose story of lost love spellbinds her.

Emily resolves to help him out of his wretched situation... whatever the danger.



book review

A Desert in Bohemia
Jill Paton Walsh

1945. Somewhere in Central Europe, in the aftermath of violence and confusion, a bloodstained young women, Eliska emerges from the forest to take refuge in an apparently abandoned castle. Soon she is joined by others - the idealistic Jiri, the sinister Slavomir and his partisans, and Count Michael Blansky, the castle's ancestral owner.

But the war has changed things for ever, brushing aside the existing order and the aristocratic heritage of ten generations. For better or worse, communities are destroyed, families uprooted, and the ties of trust, friendship and duty which bind them together are implacably broken down. Count Michael must join the flood of refugees if he is to survive. But he leaves behind a legacy which will entangle those involved for the next forty years in more ways than they can possibly imagine...

book review Eagle Strike
Anthony Horowitz

Relaxing in the South of France with his friend Sabina Pleasure and her family, reluctant M16 agent Alex Rider is finally able to feel like any ordinary fourteen year old. Until a sudden, ruthless attack on his hosts plunges him back into a world of violence and mystery - and this time, M16 don't want to know. Especially when Alex tells them that Damian Cray - celebrity, human rights campaigner and the power behind Gameslayer, a new state of the art games console - could be involved.

Alex is determined to track down his friends' attackers, even if he must do it alone. But it's a path that leads to a long buried secret and a discovery more terrible than anything he could have imagined.


book review The Fifth Season
kerry B. Collison

A chilling story of survival - of three women fleeing the savagery of a post-Suharto regime, and an Indonesia floundering on the brink of social, political and economic collapse.

Fifth season is also an account of tens of thousands of innocents slaughtered throughout the archipelago as a result of ongoing sectarian and separatist upheaval.

book review The Fire Eaters
David Almond

Bobby Burns is a lucky lad, He lives by the sea in sleepy Keely Bay. He has a wonderful family. He has great friends: the tough guy, Joseph Connor, who's always looked out for him; Ailsa Spink, the seacoaler's daughter, who can heal injured fawns with her dreams.

But things are stating to fall apart. his Dad's mysteriously ill. His new school is cold and cruel place.

And now he's met McNulty, the fire-eater. What does McNulty want with Bobby Burns? Why does he come to Bobby's beach?

This is a story if two months in Bobby's life.

A time of trouble, a time of change, a time of miracles.


book review

Girl X Recreated
Hopes and dreams of young people

Hope and heartbreak, love and laughter, confusion, resentment, care and compassion... girl X recreated is a uniquely modern book with an eternal theme - through helping friends, we help ourselves.

Every young person who wants real life stories will emphathise with the characters and be encouraged and inspired by the contributors' unfurling wisdom.



book review

The Gospel according to Larry
Janet Tashjian

Josh Swensen is no average 17 year old. His IQ is sky high he owns only 75 possessions, he communicates with his dead mum at Bloomingdales' make up counter, he's completely besotted with his best friend Beth.

And he's now got an anti-consumerist alter ego called Larry who is worshipped by millions of teenagers...

book review

The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray
Chris Wooding

It happened after the Vernichtung - the war left the city damaged, bruised, battered, its people shattered and battle-scarred, and open to a terrifying retribution...

Foul things lurk within the labyrinth of the Old Quarter, and those who venture out at night are easy prey. Prey for the wolves and murderers that stalk the crooked streets, and for creatures far more deadly - the wych-kin. But evil disguised is deadliest of all.. And behind the facade of wealth and charity that surrounds the uppermost levels of society lies a terrifying pact with the wych-kin that threatens humankind's very existence. At its heart is the beautiful, vulnerable, enigmatic Alaizabel Cray - key to the ultimate evil.


book review

High Society
Ben Elton

The war on drugs has been lost. The simple fact is that the whole world is rapidly becoming one vast criminal network. From pop stars and royal princess to crack whores and street kids, from the Groucho Club toilets to the poppy fields of Afganistan, we are all partners in crime.

High Society is a story about Britain today, a criminal nation in which everybody is either breaking the law or knows people who do. It takes the reader on a hilarious, heartbreaking and terrifying journey through the kaleidoscope world that the law has created and from which the law offers no protection.

book review

The Homer Book

Homer Simpson is a man's man, an average Joe, a loving father and husband, and a devoted beer drinker. But do you know the "real" Homer?

Find out what's on Homer's mind, discover the mysteries of Homer's fridge, hang out in Homer's haunts; meet his friends and enemies; and spend a typical day with the lovable lout who will lift you out of your D'oh-Idrums

This and much, much more await you in .. The Homer Book

book review

How I Live now
Meg Rosoff

It would be much easier to tell this story if it were all about a chaste and perfect love at an Extreme Time in History. But let's face it...

Daisy is sent to England from New York to live with her cousins for a perfect summer,

There are four of them: Osbert, Isaac, Edmond and Piper.Three boys and a girl. And two dogs and a goat.

Daisy has never met anyone like them before. Especially Edmond.

This summer will change her life. It will change the world too.


book review

How the Light gets in
M.J. Hyland

Lou Connor, a gifted unhappy sixteen year old, is desperate to escape her life of poverty in Sydney. But when she travels to the United States as an exchange student, things go terribly wrong.

This is the story of Lou's struggle for survival in the rich home of her strange host family and every detail is observed with dark humour and a defiance that veils Lou's longing for acceptance.

book review

Italian Neighbours
Tim Parks

Gradually he comes to accept what the locals take for granted: everybody likes the Pope, racism thrives, the barber is a faith healer, the bank manager asks what interest rate you want to pay and the devoted church going pharmacist upholds Catholicism on a Sunday but shows commercial flair the rest of the week by selling cut-price condoms...

A rich treat from start to finsih

book review

Kerry B. Collison

Indonesia post-Soeharto: the new military government hits overdrive with ambitious plans to construct state of the art nuclear power stations in Java and Bali. But will it stop there or will Indonesia's burgeoning nuclear potential expose the unstable region to a terrifying arms race?

How will the powerful Lim family gain from the installation of the nuclear reactors, and what is the mysterious Bartlett's treacherous game? When events spin out of control, only Michael Bradshaw can prevent global disaster.

In Jakarta, which completes his popular Asian trilogy, Kerry Collison takes us into a dangerous and corrupt world of high finance and global politics.

book review

TheKing of Whatever
Kirsten Murphy

Joe King is in year twelve.

He is the younger brother of two overachieving siblings, has no idea of what he is going to do with his life and has just discovered that the girl he is in love with is going out with his best friend.

His ex-best friend.


book review

Kiss & Tell
Sam Hutton


Notorious crime lord, Mickey Stone, has escaped from prison - only to find his son, Eddie, is out to take over the business. This family feud could get dirty....

Maddie, Alex and Danny, PIC trainees, are hot on the gangsters' trial. But for Maddie this is more than just work - Mickey arranged the shooting that killed her mother, and Eddie tried to kill her. Can Maddie put her feelings aside and concentrate on this case, or will the past colour her judgement?

book review

The Lace Maker's Daughter
Gary Crew

I should tell you that I an psychometric. That is, I have the ability to obtain information about a person by touching an object related to that person. I have been aware of this gift since I was five years old...

So writes Tabby Bartlett - social exile, possible sociopath and would-be author. Most importantly, Tabby is a direct descendent of the infamous Adelaide Bartlett, the lace maker's daughter.

But just how much of Adelaide's deliciously dangerous blood did Tabby inherit?


book review

Colm Toibin


In January 1895 Henry James anticipates the opening of his first play, Guy Domville, in London. The production fails, and he returns, chastened and humiliated, to his writing desk. The result is a string of masterpieces, but they are produced at a high personal cost.

In The Master Colm Toibin captures the exquisite anguish of a man who circulated in the grand parlours and palazzos of Europe, who was astonishingly vibrant and alive in his art, and yet whose attempts at intimacy inevitably failed him and those he tried to love. It is a powerful account of the hazards of putting the life of the mind before affairs of the heart.

book review

Merdeka Square
Kerry B. Collison

Tense, intelligent and gripping, Merdeka Square presents a rich portrayal of the terrifying crisis which brought General Suharto to power, and the deadly aftermath which claimed more than one million lives throughout the Indonesian Archipelago.

Was 'the coup' the work of communists, President Sukarno's own sympathisers, the US backed Council of Generals, or simply a master-stroke by the ambitious General Suharto?

Mereka Square explores an exotic, shadowy world, mixing undoubted fact and exciting fiction in an intoxicating form that will fascinate both Asian and European readers.

book review

No Worries
Bill Condon

Brian Talbot: Seventeen, Virgin, High School Dropout, Nightshift Worker. In Love.

When life knocks you down you need to jump up again, real fast. But when your dad lives in a shed in the backyard, and your mum has problems of her own, that's not always easy.

Sometimes, though, you have to hang in there. You never know what might happen...

Both humerous and confronting, Bill Condon's No Worries is a gripping urban tale of life, death, love, joy and family. It reminds us all to hold on to the important things, however difficult that might be.

book review

The Other Wind
Ursula LeGuin

The Bestselling saga that started with "A Wizard of Earthsea" continues in this triumphant, potent and fantastical tale of magic, love and dragons.

Everynight the sorcerer Alder dreams of his wife, who died young and wants so much to return to him that she kissed him across the low stone wall that separates our world from the land of the dead. The dead pull Alder to them, seeking to free themselves through him and invade Earthsea.

In desperation, Alder turns to Sparrowhawk, the former Archmage, and is told to seek out Temar, Tehanu and the young King Lebannen. With these three and the amber eyed Irian, a dragon able to take the shape of a women, Alder journeys to the Immanent Grove on Roke. For the incursion of the dead is not the only danger threatening Earthsea: the dragons are back. And after centuries of peace, they come to claim what they believe is rightfully theirs.


book review

The Prince and the Pauper
Mark Twain

Set in sixteenth-century England, Mark Twain's classsic, features two identical looking boys - a prince and a pauper - who trade clothes and step into each other's lives. While the urchin, Tom Canty, discovers luxury and power, Prince Edward, dressed in rags, roams his kingdom and experiences the cruelties inflicted on the poor by the Tudor monarchy.

The Prince and the pauper is funny, adventurous, and exciting, yet chockfull of ... exquisitely reasoned harangues against society's ills.

book review


Raincheck on Timbuktu
Kirsten Murphy

Lucy has her life all planned out - perfect job at 21 -
engaged to ideal man at 26 - married at 27 and a half-
building ideal home at 28 (fully equipped with a stereo surround-sound wide screen TV and a comfortable, yet stylish couch) -
birth of perfect daughter at 30.

What does not neatly fit into her organised life is a mother with a bombshell, an ex-best friend with an unfortunate liking for low-life boyfriends, a series of badly dressed, metallic-eyeshadowed teachers and a very friendly boy next door.



book review

Brian Jacques

As Redwall Abbey's creatures bask in the glorious Summer of the Late Rose, all is quiet and peaceful.

But not for long. Cluny the Scourge is coming! And the evil one eyed rat warlord is prepared to do bloody battle to get exactly what he wants: Redwall

book review

Searching for Caleb
Anne Tyler

Ranging from the ragtime era to small town America in the seventies, Searching for Caleb is a moving quest for a family's deepest roots - and a haunting story of growing up and breaking away, acceptance and rebellion.

book review

Tales from Earthsea
Ursula LeGuin

book review
Here, collected together for the first time, are five magical tales of Earthsea, the fantastical realm created by a master storyteller that has held readers enthralled for more than three decades.

'The Finder', a novella set a few hundred years before 'A Wizard of Earthsea', when the Archipelago was dark and troubled, reveals how the famous school on Roke was started.

In 'The Bones of the Earth' the wizards who first taught Ged demonstrate how humility, if great enough, can rein in an earthquake. Sometimes wizards can pursue alternative careers - and 'Darkrose and Diamond' is also a delightful story of young courtship.

Return to the time when Ged was Archmage of Earthsea in 'On the High Marsh', a story about the love of power and tghe power of love. And 'Dragonfly', showing how a determined woman can break the glass ceiling of male magedom, provides a bridge - a dragon bridge - between Tehanu and The Other Wind.

book review

That Oceanic Feeling
Fiona Capp

For Fiona Capp, surfing had always been more than physical. It was a way of bringing together the life of the body and the life of the mind. But time took her in a different direction and she lost touch with the ocean. Approaching forty, she decided it was time to confront her fears and follow her dream of returning to the waves.

So begins a personal journey thattakes her from the wild, cold waters of Victoria, north to the tropics and then to Europe. As well as recovering a dormant part of herself, Capp discovers the spiritual hold the ocean has onher as an Australian and as a human being.

That Oceanic Feeling is about why we feel compelled to push ourselves out of our safety zones and venture into unknown waters.

book review

The Tenth Power
Kate Constable

A dark secret is tearing Tremaris apart. From the frozen Bay of Sardi to the endless winter of Antaris, sickness is spreading and even the seasons are slipping into chaos.

Calwyn has lost her powers of chantment and flees back to Antaris. But instead of sanctuary she finds the community ravaged by a mysterious snow-sickness and torn apart by tyranny,

When she learns that Darrow, too, has been infected, Calwyn begins a desperate race through the frozen forests. But will she find the answers in time to heal him? And will she have the courage to embrace the dark magic and save Tremaris?

book review

The Timor Man
Kerry B. Collison

Tension between Australia and Indonesia, the world's largest Moslem nation, brings the two countries to the brink of war. East Timor's sovereignty and the rich oil fields shared by the two neighbouring countries become key elements in one man's ambitions.

General Nathan Seda, a powerful Indonesian Army Officer has a dangerous plan in which he enmeshes Stephen Coleman, a career Intelligence Officer with the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.

book review

The Waterless Sea
Kate Constable

Calwyn held her breath. For a long moment there was no sound but the faint tinkling of an unseen fountain. The gentleman in the black robes held her gaze; there was infinite menace in that stare. Calwyn felt herself revealed and utterly vulnerable, as though his stare were a knife that gutted her like a fish.

Calwyn and her friends travel the vast, unforgiving deserts of Merithuros to search the Palace of Cobwebs for signs of chantment. There they discover the dreadful secret that binds the Empire. Calwyn, Mica and Halasaa must draw on their ingenuity and all of their magical resources if they are to escape alive.

Meanwhile, Darrow has formed a dubious alliance with the rebels and is marching on the sinister Black Palace of Hathara. Can Darrow be trusted now that he has the power of the Ring of Lyonssar?

book review

The Wind Singer
William Nicholson

In the walled city state of Aramanth, exams are everything. When Kestrel Hath dares to rebel, the Chief Examiner humiliates her father and sentences the whole family to the harshest punishment.

Desperate to save them, Kestrel learns the secret of the wind singer, and she and her twin brother, Bowman, set out on a terrifying journey to the true source of evil that grips Aramanth.

book review

Z for Zachariah
Robert C. O'Brien

Ann Burden, the lone survivor of a nuclear holocaust, is threatened by the arrival in her valley of an unknown intruder. She hides, he watches and they both wait. Might he be a friend and ally, this scientist in a radiation proof suit, or have the horrors he has witnessed turned him into something more sinister?

The answer unfolds in a battle of wills which ends in a chilling struggle for survival, between a girl and the last man on earth.

book review

Three Dollars
Eliot Perlman

Three Dollars is a brilliantly deft portrait of a man attempting to retain his sense of humour in grim and pitiless times. Times of downsizing, outsourching and privatising. It is about the legacy of economic rationalism and its effects on people and their relationships.

It is about us now.

book review

The Never Boys
Scott Monk

Dean Mason is a boy with many secrets. For starters, that's not his real name. On the run from the law, he hides in the Barassa Valley - famous for its vineyards and Mediterranean heat. But he's soon discovered...

...By a beautiful, fiery girl who's as wild as the flamenco music he tries to tame her with.

Together, they stir up trouble as each attempts to escape a world in which they feel trapped.

As Dean sson learns, the mistakes that you make when you're young haunt you for life.

And secrets never last.

book review

Hope Bay
Nicole Pluss

Every evening Possum waits with Olga in the calm water of Hope Bay for the dolphins to surge from the deep.

They only ever come for the old woman and no one knows why, though Possum is sure it is magic.

But there is more to Olga than just magic...there are secrets. secrets that drove Olga far away from her homeland to the precious, pristine wilderness of Hope Bay.

Secrets that she will never speak of, not even to Possum.

book review

Noughts & Crosses
Malorie Blackman

Callum is a nought - a second-class citizen in a world run by the ruling Crosses...

Sephy is a Cross, daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country.

In their world, noughts and Crosses simply don't mix. And as hostility turns to violence, can Callum and Sephy possibly find a way to be together? They are determined to try

And then the bomb explodes...

book review

Freaky Green Eyes
Joyce Carol Oates

Rich, famous father. Loving, artist mother.

Beautiful designer home. Surely Franky Pierson has the perfect life?But Freaky Green Eyes, Franky's inner self, knows something is seriously wrong. Freaky Green Eyes dares to speak the truth. But can Franky find the strength to listen - before something really terrible happens...?

book review

White Wolf
David Gemmell

Skilgannon the Damned had vanished from the pages of history. Taking his legendary Swords of Night and Day, he rode from the lands of Naashan. No-one knew where he had gone.

Three years later, as a mob intent on murder gathers outside a distant monastery, they are faced by a single unarmed priest. In a few terrifying seconds their world is changed forever, and word spreads across the lands of the East. Skilgannon is back.

Now he must travel across a perilous, demon-haunted realm seeking a mysterious temple, and the ageless goddess who rules it. With assassins on his trial, and an army of murderous foes ahead, the Damned sets off on a quest to bring the dead to life.

But he does not travel alone.

book review

Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe
Wayne Macauley

Bram has a reluctant story to tell.

Excavating common objects from the mullock heap of a failed housing estate, he records the lives of those who lived there. One-eyed Michael, fencing contractor and ideologue, his daughter Jodie, Slug the real estate agent, Layland from the Ministry and Tony the bricklayer-in-waiting: these are just some of the players in a laconic comedy of circumstances.


book review

Generals Die in Bed
Charles Yale Harrison

Drawing on his own experiences in the First World War, Charles Yale Harrison tells a stark and poignant story of a young man sent to fight on the Western Front. It is an unimaginably harrowing journey, especially for one not yet old enough to vote.

In sparse but gripping prose, Harrison conveys a sense of the horrors of life in the trenches. Here is where soldiers sight and die, entombed in mud, surrounded by rats and lice, forced to survive on insufficient rations.

Generals die in bed brings to life a period of history through the eyes of a twenty-year-old narrator, who reminds us that there is neither glamour not glory in war.

book review

The Femails
Margaret Clark

Surprise! It's me, Cath. This is my first ever email to anyone. I put the bit about private and confidential so no one else will read it.

Speaking of reading, we've just read a REALLY funny book at Book Club. It's called "The Femails" and it's about someone just like me! Woman of the sandwich generation (dependent daughters on one side + ageing parents on the other) learning to manage alone after loss of partner.

There's blended families, a greedy brother, friends in crisis... Can you believe it? You MUST read it too: great ending.

Love as ever, Cath xx

P.S. Thanks for the Eternal Life Anxiety Relief pills.

P.S.S. But what if they don't WORK?

book review

Chasing Charlie Duskin
Cath Crowley

Fleeing from failures and memories and friends who have given up on her. And she's not only running, she's chasing things - like a father who will talk to her, friends who don't think she's as invisible as a piece of cling wrap, and an experience with a boy in which she doesn't look like an idiot.

But Charlie Duskin is about to have the best summer of her life. She's about to meet a friend who'll change her forever.

She's about to fall in love.

She doesn't know it yet.

book review

South Beach
Aimee Friedmann

Hot sand. Hot clubs. Hot guys. What more could two girls want.

Try the same guy.

Holly: Dream date or bad fate? She wants true love - and a break from her strict parents. Perhaps a spring fling will do?

Alexa: Flirting with destiny or flirting with disaster? The guys of her dreams turns out to be the one boy she can't have. How far is she willing to go?

In a place where anything can happen - and does - two former friends are about to discover that a chance encounter can lead to the chance of a lifetime.

book review

Girls in Pants
Ann Brashares

The Pants came to us at the perfect moment - when we were heading our separate ways for the first time. It was two summers ago when they first worked their magic, and last summer when they shook up our lives once again. You see, we don't wear the Pants year-round. We let them rest so they are extra powerful when summer comes.

Now we're facing our last summer together. In September we go to college, And it's not like one of those TV shows where all of us magically turn up at the same college.

We're going to four different colleges in four different cities. So this is really, really big.Our shared childhood is ending. We're headed off to start our real lives. Tomorrow night we'll launch the Pants on their summer voyage. Tommorrow begins the time of our lives. It's when we'll need out Pants the most....

book review

City of Light, City of Dark

Carlos and Sarah don't know about the token's power when it falls into their hands. But soon their futures and the token's future are entirely interwined. If it isn't returned to a certain place by noon on December 21st, their city will freeze. So Carlos and Sarah must keep it at all cost - even as their enemies close in and some dark secrets from Sarah's history - also intertwined with the token - are revealed.

It's a race against darkness. It's a race against the lies of the past.

And, most of all, it's a race against time.

book review

Out on the Edge
Anna Mackenzie

Alison's life is totally together. There's not much that can faze her. Not until a guy she barely knows turns up in her backyard - his face looking like someone has been using it as a football.

What can she do but help?

As Garry struggles, not only with the consequences of his actions but with his darker side, Alsion is sure she's done the right thing. Until the authorities get involved, that is. And suddenly she discovers that her own complacent existence is not as rock as she'd thought.

book review

Always and Forever
Cathy Kelly

Once upon a time, in the beautiful town of Carrickwell, lived three women. Three women who thought they had life pretty much mapped out.

Ambitious Mel had a high-flying career, caring Daisy wanted a child with the boyfriend who was everything to her, and hot-headed Cleo was ready to step into the family business once she'd finished her hotel management degree.

Until the landscape shifted and it all came tumbling down.

Now Mel's job comes second to the gulit of being a working mum of two. What should be the most natural thing in the world for Daisy becomes the most tortutous. And Cleo has to watch the cherished family business crumble along with her relationship with her parents and siblings.

Suddenly everything the three women have always worked for, always desired, looks in jeopardy.

book review

The Wizard Behind Harry Potter
J.K. Rowling

The heartwarming story behind J.K. rowling's rise to Fame - and the answers to Harry Potter fan's most burning questions!

book review

Before the Frost
Henning Mankell

In woodland outside Ystad, the police make a horrific discovery: a servered head and hands locked together in an attitude of prayer. A Bible lies at the victim's side, the pages marked with scribbled annotations. A string of macabre incidents, including attacks on domestic animals, have been taking place, and inspector Wallander fears that these disturbances could be the prelude to attacks on humans on an even more alarming scale.

Linda Wallander, in preparation to join the police force, arrives at Ystad. Exhibiting some of the hallmarks of her father - the maverick approach, the flaring temper - she becomes entangled in a case involving a group of religious extremists who are bent on punishing the world's sinners.

Following on from the enormous success of the Kurt Wallander mysteries, Henning Mankell has began an outstanding new chapter in crime writing.

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The Swords of Night and Day
David Gemmell

Called back from the void to fulfil an ancient prophecy, Skilgannon the Damned has returned to help his people in their darkest hour.

But this Skilgannon - brought back to life by a mystic ritual - is a man out of time. Marooned in a strange world, he now finds, himself isolated from all he once knew and loved.

Or nearly all. A surly giant possessing astounding strength but no memories has also been given the gift of life. To some he is a dangerous failure. To Skilgannon, this giant represents their last hope.

As ageless evil, threatens to drown the Drenai lands in blood, two legendary heroes will once again lead the way to


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Winter Journey
Diane Armstrong

A mother's silence, a village with a terrible secret, and an Australian woman who travels to Poland to uncover the truth....

When forensic dentist Halina Shore arrives in Nowa Kalwaria to take part in a war crimes investigation, she finds herself at the centre of a bitter struggle in a community that has been divided by a grim legacy. What she does not realise is that she has also embarked on a confronting personal journey.

As her work proceeds, Halina comes face to face with intrigue, brutality and heroism, and discovers that the human spirit is more courageous, and more unfathomable, than she had ever imagined.

Inspired by a true incident that took place in Poland in 1941, Diane Armstong's powerful novel is part mystery, part forensic investigation, and a moving and confronting story of love, loss and sacrifice.

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The Wish List
Melanie La'Brooy

Scatty funny and smart, Lucy is a hopeless romantic, with an unshakeable faith in happy endings, she drives her friends Mag and Chloe crazy as she tries time and again to make her best friend Tom fall in love with her.

Then Lucy meets the man of her dreams - or so it seems. But when she's faced with a case of mistaken identity, a noble quest, a lovelorn serenade and a duel to the bitter end, Lucy must confront the eternal question: is true love fact, fiction, or something in between?

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The Red Tent
Anita Diamant

My name means nothing to you. My memory is dust. This is not your fault or mine. The claim connecting mother to daughter was broken and the word passed to the keeping of men, who had no way of knowing. That is why I became a footnote, my story a brief detour between the well known history of my father Jacob, and the celebrated chronicle of Joseph, my brother.

Lost to history by the chronicles of men, here at last is the dazzling story of Dinah, Jacob's only daughter in the Book of Genesis.

Moving panoramically from Mesopotamia to Canaan to Egypt, The Red Tent is robustly narrated by Dinah, from her upbringing by the four wives of Jacob, to her growth into one of the most influential women of her time. In seeking to preserve her own remarkable experiences, as well as those of a long ago era of womanhood, Dinah tells her story in this beautiful thought-provoking novel.

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The Closers
Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch felt a familiar power begin to take hold of him and move in his veins. Only an hour back on the job and he was already chasing a killer. It didn't matter how long ago the blood has fallen. There was a killer in the wind and Bosch was coming.

The Closers takes off like a speeding bullet and never lets up. Authentic, dark and complex.

book review

The Taking
Dean Koontz

Molly and Neil Sloan wake to find an eerily luminous downpour drenching their small Californian mountain town. As the rain continues to fall, TV pictures relay disturbing news of extreme weather phenomena across the globe.

With the evening comes a ghostly fog. Their sense of isolation is complete when first TV and radio, then the internet and phone lines go dead. Molly and Neil gather with neighbours, sensing an awful danger approaching with the night...It's like a scary movie made real. But what is really happening ? Is it science gone wrong or a technology beyond human understanding?

Or something deeper, more fundamental. Somthing to do with fate and purpose.

book review

Jacob's Ladder
Brian Keaney

There was nothing in his mind, absolutely nothing at all. He had opened the cupboard of his memory and found it entirely empty.

A boy wakes up in the middle of a field. He cannot remember how he came to be there or even who he truly is. All he knows for certain is his name, Jacob.

This is the story of a journey through fear towards hope, a choice between a past you cannot remember and a future you cannot predict.

book review

Snow, Fire, Sword
Sophie Masson

Dewi has never ventured beyond her village in the highlands of Jayangan, where she lives a comfortable life with her father, the respected village healer. But one day while working in the rice fields she stumbles across Adi. an apprentice sword-maker, alone and hiding from the bloodthirsty bandits who kidnapped his beloved master. Dewi learns of strange happenings in the world beyond her secluded village ; houses have been ransacked and buildings torched and many sacred places have been destroyed.

When Dewi's father also goes missing, she seeks the advice of the powerful tiger people who watch over her village, but even they can see only so far through the cloud of sorcery that hangs over the kingdom. They leave her a cryptic message; she and Adi must discover the true meaning of Snow, Fire and Sword before they can find her father and the other missing elders and reveal the truth about the danger that threatens Jayangan.

So Dewi sets off with Adi on an amazing, dangerous and terrifying journey. They will find signs to guide them, but also paths to mislead them. They will find friends to help them, but obstacles to hinder them. Ans all the while, a hidden, deadly enemy stalks them shadowing their every move...


book review

The Star Wars Trilogy
Episodes IV, V, VI

A long time ago in a galazy far, far away...

Follow the spectacular adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia as they battle the forces of evil in a desperate race to rid the spaceways of the shadow of Darth Vader..

Relieve the struggle of the Rebel Alliance - And may the Force be with you!

book review

The Curse of Zohreh
Sophie Masson

In the desert kingdom of Ameerat, the al-Farouk family lives in luxury in a beautiful palace. But their great wealth comes at a terrible price: the curse of Zohreh, laid on the family a hundred years earlier by a merchant who was cheated of her riches. Khaled al-Farouk, the family's eldest son, is desperate to make amends for the wrong that was done - but Zohreh's descendants are nowhere to be found.

Or so they think. For far away in Parsari, one of the younger members of Zohreh's clan has vowed to revenge her ancestor. Soheila leaves her home early one morning, dressed as a boy, and makes the long journey across land and sea to Ameerat. There she infiltrates the al-Farouk household and awaits her moment of retribution.

And so begins an amazing, exciting, moving, scary and humorous adventure that will take Khaled and Soheila right into the heart of the Arabian Nights; into the strange world of the jinns as well as human intrigues; to great danger, suspense and a stunning climax.

book review

The Well of Lost Plots
Jasper Fforde

Pursued by a sinister multinational corporation and an evil genius with a penchant for clothes shopping and memory modification, literary detective Thursday Next is on the run. Not an ideal situation considering she's pregnant by her husband who is presently suffering a non-existence problem.

Taking refuge in the Well of Lost Plots - the place where all fiction is created - Thursday ponders her next move from inside an unpublished novel of dubious merit entitled Caversham Heights. But in Thursday's world trouble is only ever a page away, and when a succession of Jurisfiction agents are killed, only one women is up to the job of unmasking the villain responsible.

Will Thursday ever be able to enjoy the quiet life again. or is she about to lose the plot completely?

book review

Maddigan's Fantasia
Margaret Mahy

I don't know if the world counts as the world any more, not since the wars of the Destruction... we're the leftover people going between the leftover places. I do know that nothing I write is certain. The words swim around the page like fish, and alter if someone changes the past.