Friday, February 25, 2011

Emma's baby, by Abbie Taylor

Young single mum Emma loves her little boy Ritchie, but life is so hard that sometimes she wishes he would disappear. Isolated, with no support and little money, she confesses to her GP that she wants to throw him under a train. So when Ritchie is kidnapped by a helpful stranger, the police are at first suspicious that Emma has harmed him and do little to help. The only person who seems to believe her is a stranger called Rafe, who promises to do everything he can to help Emma find her son. But will they find him?
First-time novelist Abbie Taylor has written a suspensful story with plenty of twists and lots of action. As a doctor, she has probably seen many patients just like Emma - and hopefully is better at dispensing sympathy and diagnosing post-natal depression than Emma's doctors are. She tells Emma's story with such empathy that I felt I was there with her, experiencing her loneliness and helplessness, her miserable surroundings her constant doubting of herself as a good mother and the small joys of her life. I'm looking forward to Taylor's next book.
Rating - I give this 4/5
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Reviewed by Jan @ Ballarat branch

Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion by Mo Willems

Trixie and her family are off on a fantastic trip to visit her grandparents—all the way in Holland! But does Knuffle Bunny have different travel plans? An emotional tour de force, Knuffle Bunny Free concludes one of the most beloved picture-book series in recent memory, with pitch-perfect text and art, photos from around the world, and a stunning foldout spread, culminating in a hilarious and moving surprise that no child or parent will be able to resist. Bestselling, award-winning author Mo Willems has created an epic love story as only he can, filled with the joys and sadness of growing up —and the unconditional love that binds a father, mother, daughter, and a stuffed bunny (from the publisher).
This is the third book of the Knuffle Bunny series, and I don't know how I have not come across it before. This one is my favourite of the series, but that does not mean the other two are any less well written and illustrated with life lessons thrown in as well.
Rating - I give this 5/5 GREAT!!
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Reviewed by Michelle @ admin

Friday, February 18, 2011

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Micah -- the unreliable narrator of this tale -- is a compulsive liar from a fraught background. Poor and biracial, she attends a posh New York alternative school through a scholarship. Her mother is a runaway, her father is from a reclusive back-woods family of illiterate survivalists, and so it's no surprise that Micah's identity is a little messed up. But Micah isn't just confused: she's deliberately confusing, a compulsive liar who fools everyone around her over and over (she is mistaken for a boy on her first day of school and so she undertakes to live as a boy, lasting days before she is found out) (from the publisher).
I don't know where to start with this one. Twist here, twist there, but what is the truth? And that is really left up to you as to what you believe in the story that Micah tells.
Rating - I give this 4/5 Not bad!
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Reviewed by Michelle @ admin

Friday, February 11, 2011

Toy Story 3 (DVD)

The creators of the beloved Toy Story films re-open the toy box and bring moviegoers back to the delightful world of Woody, Buzz and our favourite gang of toy characters in Toy Story 3. Woody and Buzz had accepted that their owner Andy would grow up someday, but what happens when that day arrives? In the third installment, Andy is preparing to depart for college, leaving his loyal toys troubled about their uncertain future. Lee Unkrich (co-director of Toy Story 2 and Finding Nemo) directs this highly anticipated film, and Michael Arndt, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Little Miss Sunshine, brings his unique talents and comedic sensibilities to the proceedings (from the producers).
It is a great feat to make a sequel that is better than its predecessors and Toy Story 3 does not disappoint. There are a lot of hilarious moments in this movie and finishes with an heartwarming conclusion for Andy's toys. Look out for Mr Potato Head as he uses a different disguise. Loved it!!
Rating - I give this 6/5GREAT!!
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Reviewed by Michelle @ admin

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Passage by Justin Cronin

'It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.' First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear - of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse. As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he's done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey - spanning miles and decades - towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun (from the publisher).
At last a scary Vampire book! Who is Amy and what is the epic journey she must face? I will definably read his other 2 books.

Rating - I give this 4/5 Not bad!
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Reviewed by Glenda @ Bacchus March

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In Her Defense by Stephen Horn

The narrator/hero of In Her Defense is Frank O'Connell, a once prominent Washington attorney who has fallen on hard times. A few years before the narrative begins, Frank appeared to have everything: a thriving marriage, a full partnership in his father-in-law's prestigious law firm, and virtually unlimited prospects. Responding to a combination of influences -- such as his innate love of risk and his growing sense that life had become too predictable, too comfortable -- he walked out on his affluent partnership and set up shop on his own, sacrificing his home and his marriage in the process (from the publisher).
Good page turner with interesting twists. Nice easy reading without demanding too much thinking. A good one if you want an easy read for a lazy day and enjoy crime and law genres.
Rating - I give this 3.5/5 Not bad!
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Reviewed by Terrie @ home