Our Campbelltown team have leaped into the Spotlight this week with their fabulous reading recommendations! There’s a book for everyone in this great list:
Mirror Sydney by Vanessa Berry:
The idea of an alternate city is an alluring one, explored by writers like China Mieville and Neil Gaiman in fiction, and you can step through the looking-glass for real in Sydney too, if you just look closely enough.
‘Mirror Sydney‘ takes us on a journey through a city of oddities and follies; ghost signs, murals, abandoned shops, subterranean spaces,derelict amusement parks, memories and lost places. It is another world of wonder and ordinary strangeness, in plain sight to thousands of people every day but barely noticed on our busy way to our destinations. Vanessa’s dedication to urban exploration is astonishing, and her keen eye and curiosity lead her to discover and share stories that not many of us know, which not only makes this a fascinating read but also an important document of small histories left behind in a rapidly changing city.
This is one of the best books I’ve read about Sydney, an alternative guidebook to the city and suburbs that shows a refreshingly different and infinitely more interesting place than that portrayed in glossy travel magazines. I love that it is written in a way that makes me feel as if I am right there exploring the city with the author, and the zine-style hand-drawn illustrations peppered throughout the book just add to the charm of it all. If you love people-watching and notice little quirky things and wonder why they are they way they are, then you will also love ‘Mirror Sydney‘.
QBD Bookalike: Delia Falconer’s ‘Sydney‘ is a memoir/history of the Emerald City in a similar vein, a bittersweet love-letter filled with nostalgia and exploration of Sydney’s darkness as well as its bright sheen. – Marica
Bloodline by Claudia Gray:
I’m a sucker for Star Wars so I had to get my hands on this book. Claudia Gray’s Bloodline tells the story of Princess Leia and her struggle to come to terms with the fact that she is Darth Vader’s daughter while juggling her marriage to the infamous Han Solo and her demanding position as senator in the galactic senate. I was always curious about how Leia must have felt having Darth Vader as her father and this book saved me the trouble. There are awesome new characters as well as our old favourites. New worlds are explored and many new dangers present themselves. Princess Leia is brave, independent and wiser than ever before and is pushed to the very limit – will she overcome? May the Force be with us because this book is out of this world – literally! A must read for any Star Wars fan. – Jade
There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins:
Stephanie Perkins definitely succeeded with writing a thrilling and gory novel inspired by 90s slasher teen movies. There’s Someone Inside Your House is filled with a cute romance that will make you have butterflies in your stomach whilst also making you want to vomit out those butterflies from the graphic depictions of mutilated and dismembered bodies as a result of murder. Overall, this novel will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions as you fangirl over the main couple and use your detective skills to uncover who the murderer is and when they will next strike. – Beth
Love Simon by Becky Albertalli:
‘Love Simon‘, originally known as ‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’, by Becky Albertalli, is a hilariously fun and infinitely adorable book that will make you laugh, cry and feel all tingly inside just because of how cute this book truly is. It’s a classic Young Adult high school love story but with a LGBTQIA+ spin to it, which is what makes this book so incredibly special and one of the first of its kind. Not only that, but it’s also the base material of the amazing new movie ‘Love Simon’, which has already made a huge impact worldwide for being one of the first ‘mainstream’ LGBTQIA+ movies.
‘Love Simon‘ tells the story of 16-year-old Simon who is gay, but hasn’t told anyone yet. He secretly emails with another guy whose pen name is Blue and they discuss everything from their feelings and thoughts about being gay to which flavour Oreo is the best. But when one of these emails is discovered by someone, Simon is blackmailed into doing something he doesn’t particularly want to do, otherwise his sexual identity will become known by anyone. This spurs a series of events that will keep you entertained from start to finish with relatable characters, awkward moments, and just a whole bunch of cute and fluffy feelings all rolled into one extraordinary book. – 5 Stars – Ella
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi:
For a debut novel, Tomi Adeyemi has done amazingly. There was so much hype surrounding this book and it lived up to all of it. A beautiful, vibrant and magical book about people rebelling against their oppressors. There are so many parts of the book that I love but the characters are my absolute favourite. They’re so well written with great back stories and even better character development. I could not recommend this book more than I already do. 5 Stars!! – Maria
Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski:
Sapkowski’s writing is a marvel to behold, his style is as unique as his characters. I found this book gripping in a way few other books have been for me and would recommend it to those getting into reading again or who are already established fans of fiction or fantasy. – Lachlan