Wednesday, November 11, 2009

so, to sum up...

wonderland, joanna nadin

(hey)jude(the obscure) was a lovely character: i felt her pain at being trodden on, ostracised and humiliated. i felt like cheering when she had her punk-chick makeover and made all the boys eyes bug out of their heads. i felt i could have been in her village, doing handstands in the dunes. nadin captured the small-town vibe really well and all her characters were well-voiced and believable.

however - the "twist" revealed towards the end was pretty obvious from the very start. this was very disappointing and the end seemed to fizzle a little, in spite of the potentially very exciting denouement. this could have been a brilliant book, but as it is, wonderland is very enjoyable and solidly good.

ember fury, cathy brett
ember is a teenage recovering pyromaniac (!) who has come from england to LA to stay with her famous muso dad. (her famous artist mum died) instead she finds herself in the company of her nice, but over-eager stepmother and her dad is hardly ever there. at a fancy-pants birthday party thrown in her honour, ember meets the gorgeous hunk finn and things seem to be looking up. then there's her invisible friend ned (imaginary or ghost?! love it!) who is always looking out for her, and her mates from the treatment facility in england keeping in touch via the internet.

there's timeslip, which i loved and that didn't seem out of place at all. it's exciting and ridiculous without ever being glib. the way brett has played with text and image is fantastic. ember fury is hip and fun. read it!

surf ache, gerry bobsien

ella's family have just moved from melbourne to newcastle. she's had to leave behind her awesome boyfriend, her best friend and her ballet school. her little sister creaky finds her groove instantly (as is her wont) but reserved ella just doesn't know what to do. then she meets katie, an excellent surfer, who puts ella on a board and - just like that - missing ballet, boyfriend and melbourne doesn't weigh on her so much. but there's still the question of why her mum, a former pro surfer, won't get in the water. can she support ella's new passion?
this is a good, solid book. fun characters it reminded me a little of margaret clark's books - families, boys, surf.


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