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QBD Reviews: Below Deck by Sophie Hardcastle

Below Deck is the highly anticipated debut novel from author Sophie Hardcastle. A heartbreakingly poetic and haunting story about the vagaries of consent, about who has the space to speak and who is believed.


Wow. Sophie Hardcastle’s latest establishment rides the horizon separating captivating prose and political relevance. It is the written equivalent of a group hug with a united front of woman. This book is exactly what the world needs.

Twenty-one year old Oli, accompanied only by her colour synaesthesia and newly learned boating skills, journeys across oceans and platforms. Along the way she meets people who feel like home, and people who will oversee her nightmares for years to come.

Below Deck” is a love story between a woman and her surrounding world. Three parts, each jumping four years further into Oli’s adulthood, prove the stages that come with not only growing up, but growing into the power you have the potential for, despite the attempted drownings.
Because: we choose to breathe, don’t we?

Sophie’s writing is pure poetry, each word rich with layers of feeling. You either write what you know or what you love, and she does both. No wonder each lyric is laced with magic. Her talent is unmatched, and empowers. She will have you shouting, “Here I am! I am here!”

Below Deck” is the book of 2020. 5 stars.

Hannah, Kotara QBD

The List by Patricia Forde

Meet our March Children's Book of the Month, The List by Patricia Forde!

Get your copy HERE.

The city of Ark is the last safe place on Earth. To make sure humans avoid the mistakes of their past and are able to survive, everyone in Ark must speak List, a language of only 500 words. Everyone, that is, except Letta. As apprentice to the Wordsmith, Letta can read all the words that have ever existed. Words like freedom, music, and even pineapple tell her about a world she’s never known.

One day her master disappears and the leaders of Ark tell Letta she is the new Wordsmith and must shorten List to fewer and fewer words. When Letta meets a mysterious boy who somehow knows all the words that have been banned, she’s faced with a dangerous choice: sit idly by and watch language slowly slip away or follow a stranger on a path to freedom … or banishment.


What Our Readers Thought:

If you're looking for a unique read the search is over!
The List is a fascinating dystopian novel based in a eco-friendly city known as 'Ark'.
Ark is all that is left of the world, mankind is near extinction.
The cities leader and creator, Noa believes words are evil and controls the citizens with language but by keeping people wordless he also keeps them imprisoned.
Fans of The Giver, By Lois Lowry will enjoy this adventurous novel.

Amber, Colonnades QBD

A captivating YA novel reminiscent of Orwell's “1984”. In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic world. It is beautifully written.

Trish, Bondi QBD


Don't miss the sequel: The Last Word. Available now.

Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanaugh

'911 what's your emergency?'

'My dad's dead. My sister Sofia killed him. She's still in the house. Please send help.'

'My dad's dead. My sister Alexandra killed him. She's still in the house. Please send help.'

Two sisters on trial for murder. Both accuse each other. One of them is a liar and a killer. But which one?

Find out in Fifty-Fifty, our gripping March Book of the Month!

What Our Readers Thought:

Grab your blanket and your booklights thiller fans! "Fifty-Fifty" reads like a Netflix binge, always making you read "just one more chapter".

2 Sisters; one the perfect daughter, sucessful and proud, the other a dark stain on the family name. When their father is brutally murdered they are the only suspects. Both claim the other is the killer. Who do you believe? Trust me. You're wrong

Kale, Brisbane City QBD


This is a stunning legal thriller. A murder mystery with an incredible twist - two daughters, one killed their father and one is innocent. Both are put on trial and both are lying. The writing is dark and suspensful, with enough twists and turns to keep you entralled until the very end. Eddie Flynn is now my favourite Lawyer - fans of Grisham & Baldacci will eat this up!

Trish, Bondi QBD


Steve Cavanagh lays so many false trails and traps in this fast paced legal thriller that you soon lose all idea of who the killer could be. Then, the introduction of "She", a character that both sisters share eerily similar traits with, only furthers the misdirection, the misconceptions, and finally the mistake that you invariably make in determining the killer.

Nathan, Joondalup QBD

Guess How Much I Love You turns 25!

The story of how much Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare love each other turns 25 this month!

Sometimes, when you love someone very, very much, you want to find a way of describing how much you treasure them. Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare discover love is not always an easy thing to measure, but it is an easy thing to share.

This is a tale that will stay dear to your heart and to your children long after you first read. Filled with all the love and joy one could ever need, it is a joy to read this night after night.

Nathan, Whitfords QBD

The story of Little and Big Nutbrown Hares' efforts to express their love for each other has become a publishing phenomenon. Pick up a copy of Guess How Much I Love You in store or online today! 

QBD Reviews: Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

From Brandon Sanderson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Reckoners series, Words of Radiance, and the internationally bestselling Mistborn series, comes the first book in an epic new series about a girl who dreams of becoming a pilot in a dangerous world at war for humanity's future.

What Our Readers Thought:

Typically a fantasy author, Sanderson's first sci-fi novel proves his credentials in this genre. Using a combination of mystery, intrigue, action and adversity, Sanderson weaves an exciting and engaging story that will leave you eager for more.

Cameron, Chatswood QBD

Branderson's most ambitious foray into YA yet! This breathtaking sci-fi novel tells the story of the human race clinging desperately to life, featuring a smart-talking sentient spaceship and a whole lot of action, this will leave you desperate for the next intsallment!

Jenna, Plenty Valley QBD

Having already proved his worth as a fantasy author both for his own creations and finishing the Wheel of Time series, Sanderson now proves he can write scifi too. Skyward is a story of following your dreams, overcoming your biases, and stepping out from the shadow of what people expect of you. Combined with masterfully crafted dogfights and his trademark twists, this is a book you cannot miss.

Matthew, Carousel QBD