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QBD Reviews: The Shack

The Shack is a riveting novel that instills hope in its readers. WM. Paul Young tells the story of Mack, a man searching for meaning after losing all hope when his daughter is abducted.

As someone who does not necessarily identify as religious, I absolutely loved that WM. Paul Young challenges the traditional image of God. He shows readers that God can be whoever you want, need, and perceive He or She to be.

Young gives hope and meaning in a world that is so full of suffering. The Shack is thought-provoking and heart-wrenching and a definite must-read!

- Danielle, Robina QBD

Just What I Needed…Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

I finished this in a matter of hours, though I spread my reading out over a day and a bit.
Filled with illustrations and diagrams and IM logs, this was a good read that I absolutely powered through. It had a lot of positives but also a bunch of negatives.

PLUS:
* I felt like the development of Olly and Maddy's relationship was normal, and relatable considering their almost unrelatable situation.
* Maddy is a great bookish character and I feel like YA books need more bookish girls
* Maddy's nurse is AWESOME.

MINUS:
* Maddy says she isn't reckless: gets a credit card, buys 2 lots of flights, a hotel room and I assume a whole bunch of other practical stuff like food and taxi fare, as well as clothes and nearly $300 worth of clothes on her mother's credit card... not reckless?
* Olly seems to give up pretty easily
* The whole running off to Hawaii thing was a bit much for me.

I disliked Maddy's mum from the start, but I loved pretty much everyone else. Olly is a complex character and a great romantic interest.

Though this was an incredibly easy read, it has reignited my passion for reading. It wasn't a substantial book, but it definitely gave me those butterflies that a good YA romance does.

I am looking forward to reading Nicola Yoon's other book The Sun Is Also a Star as it sounds just as interesting and light as this one does. Normally, that would be something that I would put a book back on the shelf for, but I guess it was just what I needed right now.

~Sam

Runaway Bay’s Page turners!

Our Runaway Bay team have put together a fantastic list of reads that will keep you enthralled well into the early hours of the morning! 

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard:

“I am a red girl in a sea of silvers and I cannot afford to feel sorry for anyone, least of all the son of a snake.”

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is an electrifying novel that merges the boundaries between fantasy power, gripping action and forbidden love, taking the wonderful world of YA by storm. Red Queen takes place in a dystopian world divided by blood – red or silver. Victoria Aveyard writes to the beat of her own drum, every beat being a heart-stopping twist that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Red Queen will make hard-core fantasy addicts weep with triumph and delight.

This spectacular one of a kind novel will give you a rollercoaster of emotions that will leave you in a mess of tears or a heart attack of joy. In a wonderful world of betrayal against betrayal, Reds against Silvers, prince against prince and Mare’s heart against Mare’s head, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is a read everyone should have on their bookshelves. - Bronte

The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom:

17 year old Gwendolyn Bloom knows she's different from the other kids but never could she imagine becoming an assassin.
After her father gets kidnapped during a work trip overseas she finds out that everything she knows is a lie. Not willing to trust the people whom she once thought of as friends and colleagues of her fathers she decides to take matters into her own hands and embarks into a world of pure evil and cruelty.
Can she survive and become someone who can carry out such unimaginable horrors to save her father, and is he the innocent party she thinks he is?
This book has you travelling from USA to the underbelly of Europe. The graphic content of the story line makes sure you are kept engaged in this fast paced journey. - Karen

The Catcher In The Rye by J D Salinger:

The Catcher In The Rye written by J.D. Salinger, is a beautifully quaint tale of an ambitious and wonderfully critical youth named Holden. Making the initiative to leave the 'phonies' at his boarding school and his failing grades, by dropping out, he starts on the reluctant journey home to Manhattan to face his parents and see his beloved little sister, and along the way narrates his thoughts, ideas, critiques and observations. You'll love this book if you like classics, or cosy quaint stories with a lot of heart and thought (of mice and men, or the heart is a lonely hunter). - Merrilyn

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson:

I've actually finished the trilogy but the first book is an awe-inspiring introduction to the world of the Mistborn series.

A rag tag group of professional thieves and con artists decide to accomplish the most dangerous, ambitious and almost ridiculous job anyone could ever imagine, the biggest scam against the whole Empire: A Revolution to burn it all down!

A brilliant juggle of entertainment - action packed, heart wrenching, sophisticated superpowers, complex plots and fun in-between. I almost forgot to eat my dinner when I was near the end, so be warned - it is an unstoppable book that will grab your heart, soul and undivided attention. - Sheila

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken:

Passenger follows the story of violin prodigy Etta Spencer as her whole world turns upside down. One minute she is worrying about her upcoming shows and the next she is thrown back in time into a world she never new existed. She ends up immersed in 1776 with a mission, she must find the astrolabe or her world will be destroyed. She must embark on an epic journey with her one and only companion Nicholas in order to save time as we know it.

This action packed novel had me on the edge of me seat from page one. I felt as if I was being transported with Etta through the story, dying to know what would come next. This book had me jumping for joy on one page and sobbing on the next. It is truly an incredible story and an incredible world. - Imogene

Nightingale by Fiona McIntosh:

This novel begins in 1915 with Claire Nightingale volunteering to nurse soldiers in the war. Jamie is in the 9th regiment of the Australian Light Horse. It is a story of heroism, friendship, forgiveness, loss and love, with characters so real you feel like you would recognise them in the street.

I really loved this well researched book. It's an historical romance and compelling WW1 read. A great combination of both romance and the horrors of war. The descriptions of the conditions at Gallipoli seemed heartbreakingly real.

A wonderful story which allows the reader to experience the emotion of the times. - Jo

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QBD Reviews: A Discovery of Witches

“It begins with absence and desire, it begins with blood and fear, it begins with a discovery of witches”

Deborah Harkness’ debut novel ‘A Discovery of Witches’ is a wonderfully created blend of history meets the paranormal. Diana Bishop is a young scholar with an interest in alchemy and comes from a long line of powerful witches, though she herself has no interest in the sorcery and shuns anything to do with magic. During her endeavors at Oxford’s Bodleian Library she stumbles on a bewitched manuscript, wanting nothing to do with it she sends the manuscript back to the stacks, not realizing that she is the only person capable of breaking its spell. Her discovery turns the paranormal world on its head and causes all manner of vampires, daemons and even other witches to cross her path. A Discovery of Witches is a novel that has you asking yourself if these creatures really did exist what role could they have had on the history we know?

- Jess, Australia Fair

Book-A-Like: The Name Of The Wind & The Painted Man

"Both of these books actually use the often seen fantasy trope of young boy coming into adulthood, usually as a destined 'chosen one', in a world full of magic. However, efficient storytelling, likeable characters, breathtaking action and wonderfully realised magic systems help these two stand above a lot of the crowd. Really enjoyable reads."

- Jessalyn, West Lakes QBD

 

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss:

"I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep."

"My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me." So begins the tale of Kvothe - currently known as Kote, the unassuming innkeepter - from his childhood in a troupe of travelling players, through his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic.

The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett:

Sometimes there is very good reason to be afraid of the dark...

Eleven-year-old Arlen lives with his parents on their small farmstead, half a day's ride from the isolated hamlet of Tibbet's Brook.
As dusk falls upon Arlen's world, a strange mist rises from the ground; a mist that promises a violent death to any foolish enough to brave the coming darkness, for hungry corelings - demons that cannot be harmed by mortal weapons - materialize from the vapours to feed on the living. As the sun sets, people have no choice but to take shelter behind magical wards and pray that their protection holds until the creatures dissolve with the first signs of dawn.

When Arlen's life is shattered by the demon plague, he is forced to see that it is fear, rather than the demons, which truly cripples humanity. Believing that there is more to his world than to live in constant fear, he must risk leaving the safety of his wards to discover a different path.

In the small town of Cutter's Hollow, Leesha's perfect future is destroyed by betrayal and a simple lie. Publicly shamed, she is reduced to gathering herbs and tending an old woman more fearsome than the corelings. Yet in her disgrace, she becomes the guardian of dangerous ancient knowledge.

Orphaned and crippled in a demon attack, young Rojer takes solace in mastering the musical arts of a Jongleur, only to learn that his unique talent gives him unexpected power over the night.

Together, these three young people will offer humanity a last, fleeting chance of survival.