Schroder by Amity Gaige

Schroder by Amity Gaige

Hard to put down. A dad with a few problems and a daughter who loves him. Difficulty with custody arrangements. No work for a real estate agent during the financial downturn. A hidden past that seems to be lurking in the present.
Kennedy has had enough. All he wants is some time with his daughter. She arrives for her weekly visit. They head off for a picnic in the car and keep going. This isn’t kidnapping it is just a late return, or is it?
This book kept me going with it’s slow reveal of the past and the present.
A story we hear about from time to time, brought to life as they lurch from one place to another.
Sad, moving and fresh.

Blue by Brandy Wehinger

Blue by Brandy Wehinger

New Zealand Author alert!

5 stars for this teen zombie romance. Quite a different and a creative look at zombies. Good fast moving story line with characters you soon become attached to. Great twists and turns that keep the reader guessing.
Katie is a Blue, a different kind of zombie. She drives fast, has a great library of books and a cozy little home. Around the landscape are slow, awkward zombies as well as a fast more organised variation.
The humans have organised colonies that keep them safe. Knowledge of the technology has been lost through the generations, and now marriages are being arranged between the colonies. Rose has been sending letters by pigeon to Xavier her chosen partner.
The stage is set for their paths to collide, who will survive?
This book could go viral with readers 12+. I await the sequel of what I’ve heard will be a trilogy.

Wake by Elizabeth Knox

Wake by Elizabeth Knox

New Zealand author alert!

Like Elizabeth’s other books this is complex and unusual. Set in an isolated South Island town, something sinister has taken over the minds of the inhabitants and there is confusion everywhere. A few, who entered the town after the “wake” took hold, survey the carnage.

They are isolated from the rest of the world. They must clear the bodies and organise the food. Who is the man in black who helped put out the fires? Why won’t he join them in their struggle?

A very worthy read, but not pretty at times. A stunning bookcover, which I would love a print of- minus the funeral. I expect this will do well in the NZ 2014 book awards and I hope internationally as well.

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

This is a pretty intense book, once I started I couldn’t stop, I had to know what had happened.
Carey is living in a caravan deep in the woods caring for her little sister while her mother is away. Her mother, a meth addict with mental health issues, goes away often and this is the longest time she has been away. They are running out of food and have very little else other than books. Two strangers arrive to take them away but Carey is reluctant to go.
Carey doesn’t feel she deserves this new life and fears if the truth were told she could lose all she has gained. As the story unfolds and Carey learns to trust, you realise that Carey is a survivor in more ways than one, a young girl who has been abused.
Highly recommended to readers over 15.

Earwig and the Witch by Dianna Wynn Jones

 Earwig and the Witch by Dianna Wynn Jones

A cute story about a happy orphan who doesn’t want to be adopted, especially by the strange couple. It turns out the lady is a witch who wants Earwig to work for her. The man is only around at meals, which are mysteriously delivered from local eateries. With the help of the pet cat, Earwig works at turning things around.
I read this in one sitting and think readers 8+ will thoroughly enjoy.

The Story of a Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

The Story of a Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

Starting in the 1950’s in Pennsylvania, the girl is on the run with a man. They knock on the door of a widow who lets them in and realizing part of their predicament invites them in with dry clothes and a hot meal. Soon there is a knock on the door and the police are in the house taking the girl away. The man escapes. There is a baby left behind. The couple had escaped from a mental institute.
Over the next two decades they live separate lives. The man is mute, the girl back in the institute and the widow has to keep running so questions are never asked.
A story of redemption, love and sacrifice.

Dunger by Joy Cowley

Dunger by Joy Cowley

New Zealand author alert!

This is a gem, I think Joy Cowley nailed this one, five stars for sure.

The world financial crisis has reached Will and Mellisa’s house and the promised summer trip to Queenstown must be postponed. Instead the brother and sister accompany their elderly grandparents to the old family bach in the Marlborough Sounds. This seems like genuine hardship to the kids considering long drop toilets and zero cell phone coverage, but what happens makes them appreciate life more. Told alternatively by Will and Melissa, you see their confidence, character and relationship develop as they explore a very precious and beautiful part of New Zealand.
This is great for 9+ readers and will appeal to boys and girls.