Category Archives: Secrets

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The Giver, by Lois Lowry

the giverWhat would you do if you found out that the world you lived in was false? That in order to protect itself, your community controlled every little aspect of your life – your beliefs, your feelings, your body, what you see and don’t see. The past is hidden from you in order to ‘protect’ you. On the up side, there is no war, no hunger, no pain. There is also no colour. What you don’t know doesn’t hurt you, right? But, what happens if you see a bit of colour, if you feel joyt for an instan, if you start to understand love. This is the dilemma Jonas lives with when he is selected as the Reciever of Memory. Go on the journey with Jonas as he struggles with emotions and memories that are all new to him, as those around him continue to live in ignorance. An excellent book that will leave you wanting more.


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

SeraphinaThis fantasy novel – possibly the start of a trilogy – is a good read.  The story is set in the Kingdom of Goredd.  Dragons and humans live in an uneasy peace together with the dragons taking on the form of humans while in Goredd.  Many of the characters in the novel hide secrets, and tensions are building.  Seraphina is a talented musician in the royal court with her own secrets.  She investigates a murder trying to find out who is behind the killing – a dragon or a human. Great book from the INKYs list for 2014.  LD

Where she Went by Gayle Forman

Where she went by Gayle Forman on PhotoPeach

Where she went

By Gayle Forman


If you had a second chance at first love … would you take it?

Adam Wilde is a pop star at the peak of his career, but despite all the outward signs of success, Adam is on the edge of a breakdown.  He is taking anti-anxiety pills and he can barely talk to the rest of his band.  Three years ago, his girlfriend disappeared from his life with out any explanation.  Adam was hurt and confused and wrote the songs of the bands hit album based on his emotions. One night in New York Adam takes a solitary walk and he see the one person he thought he would never see again.

This is the follow up book of If I stay.  I enjoyed both of these books, I couldn’t wait to finish reading them especially Where she went.

Pig Boy by J.C. Burke

Woolshed pressOn Damon’s 18th birthday and just before his school exams, he is expelled from school. Damon is a loner; he has been teased, harassed and bullied all his life. He just keeps on feeling angry, but he has a plan – he has a list of names, and he’s going to get his gun license. But Damon’s life is about to change forever because when he storms out of the school and makes his way home through the bush track, he witnesses something he isn’t meant to see and worse than that, he takes something home that he shouldn’t have  and locks it in his cupboard. Damon decides he needs to get a job with the town’s professional hunter, a man simply known as the Pigman. Miro is a Bosnian -Serb who like Damon, can’t seem to fit in anywhere.

Damon’s life will never be the same again.

A waltz for Matilda by Jackie French

published by Angus & RobertsonThis story is set between 1894 and 1915 and Jackie French has incorporated many historical facts into this story.  Women’s rights and the federation of Australia are part of this story.

Matilda’s aunt and than her mother die so she leaves the city slums to find her unknown father and his farm.  Her search leads her to a community divided by the shearers’ strike and because of this and a very serious drought; her father has decided to turn swaggie.  Maltilda and her dad hit the road but are caught by the troopers and the local squatter, at a billabong.  They say that Matilda’s dad had stolen a sheep, so he tries to escape by jumping into the billabong but he is caught in the water weeds and drowns.  Matilda takes over the farm with the help of an aboriginal elder Auntie Love and some of her father’s friends.  During her journey through life, Matilda discovers that there are many kinds of love.

Great read.

What I saw and how I lied

ScholasticBy Judy Blundell

Evie Spooner is 15.  Her mother, stepfather and Evie go to Palm Springs for a holiday even though it’s the end of the holiday season and it is like a ghost town with hardly anyone there. But when a handsome 23-year-old man, Peter, shows up and claims to have been friends with Joe in the war, her life starts to take a turn. Peter, unlike anyone else, treats her like an adult and Evie starts to fall in love with him.  But her parents don’t want Evie hanging around with Peter.  Peter and her parents go out boating for the day when a hurricane hits. The results of this storm are devastating and Evie starts to realise everything she thought was the truth was really a lie and whatever she chooses she’ll be betraying someone.

8.5/10 JJ

When I was Joe

Published by Frances Lincoln Children's Booksby Keren David

How do you lie about everything?

When Ty witnesses a stabbing, his own life is in danger from the criminals he names. Ty and his mum have to go into police protection. Shy Ty gets a new name, a new look and a cool new image.  Life as Joe is good, especially when he gets spotted as a potential athletics star.  But his mum has trouble coping and the criminals will stop at nothing to flush them from hiding. Joe meets a girl who has a dangerous secret of her own.  Then everything goes wrong.

Great read 9/10


Go ask Alice by Anonymous

go ask aliceThis is undoubtedly a confronting book. It is said to be the diary of a teenage girl (Anonymous) and treks her hopes, dreams, and need for the next hit. It is a sad look at a life lost to drugs and how possible opportunities to help her get out of the drug scene slipped by. The main message I got from this book was how naïve the girl was about drugs. She had no idea what they could do to herself or her family. It was sad to see an innocent girl excited to be writing in her diary become so dependent on drugs and get caught up in a crowd that didn’t care about her. It is amazing to see how powerful the diary and writing is for Anonymous, as it becomes her only link to her self in some of her darkest hours.



Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

Walker BooksHmmmm. This is a confronting graphic novel. It is a look into the world of the main character Kimberly Keiko Cameron (a.k.a Skim) through entries in her diary. This world is quite dark and depressing, with characters from her school trying to bring in positive light, but in such a fake way it makes everything even more depressing. Skim is trying to find her way through emotional themes such as suicide, while attempting to hold onto and find suitable friends, as well as deal with the emotions of first love. The images of the weather in this novel seem to reflect the mood of the story. Do you agree?

5/10 – not really my cup-of-tea