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Book-A-Like: The Fault In Our Stars & Zac & Mia

Funny, heart-breaking, young adult love stories feature in today's QBD #bookalike.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green:

Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Zac & Mia by A. J. Betts:

The last person Zac expects in the room next door is a girl like Mia, angry and feisty with questionable taste in music. In the real world, he wouldn't—couldn't—be friends with her.

In hospital different rules apply, and what begins as a knock on the wall leads to a note—then a friendship neither of them sees coming.

You need courage to be in hospital; different courage to be back in the real world. In one of these worlds Zac needs Mia. And in the other Mia needs Zac. Or maybe they both need each other, always.

Book-A-Like: Chasing The Scream & Ice Age

Confronting and illuminating, the war on drugs is highlighted in all it's ugly glory in today's QBD Book-A-Like.

True and shocking stories of people across the world whose lives have been affected by drugs feature in both of these absorbing books. 

Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari:

It is now 100 years since drugs were first banned. On the eve of this centenary, journalist Johann Hari set off on an epic three- year, 30,000-mile journey into the war on drugs to uncover its secrets - and he found that there is a startling gap between what we have been told and what is really going on. As strange as it may seem at first, drugs are not what we have been told they are; addiction is not what we think it is; and the drug war has very different motives to the ones we have seen on our TV screens.

In Chasing the Scream, Hari reveals his startling discoveries entirely through the true and shocking stories of people across the world whose lives have been transformed by this war. They range from a transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn searching for her mother, to a teenage hit-man in Mexico searching for a way out. It begins with Hari's discovery that at the birth of the drug war, Billie Holiday was stalked and killed by the man who launched this crusade - while it ends with the story of a brave doctor who has led his country to decriminalize every drug, from cannabis to crack, with remarkable results.

Chasing the Scream lays bare what we really have been chasing in our century of drug war - in our hunger for drugs, and in our attempt to destroy them. This book will challenge and change how you think about the most controversial - and consequential - question of our time.

Ice Age by Luke Williams:

A topical, insightful investigation into a drug that has taken a ferocious grip on societies around the world — told by a man intimately acquainted with it.

Luke Williams was a freelance journalist researching addiction to crystallised methamphetamine (commonly known as crystal meth or ice) when the worst possible thing happened — he became addicted himself. Over the next three months, he was seduced by the drug and descended into psychosis.

This confronting and illuminating story charts Luke's recovery from the drug, and his investigation into its usage and prevalence in Australia and the Western world. In examining what led to his addiction, Luke also explores the social problems that surround ice, scrutinising whether its abuse is in fact an epidemic, with what we're experiencing now merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg, or yet another moral panic about the underclass. Luke traces the history of methamphetamine from its legal usage in the early 20th century to its contemporary relevance as one of the most foreboding and talked-about illicit drugs in the world, and his search for answers sees him visiting meth labs, interviewing addicts and law-enforcement officials, and witnessing firsthand the effects of the drug on individuals, families, and the healthcare system.

Combining memoir with reportage, The Ice Age is a vital, compelling first-person account, and an investigation into a drug that is fast becoming the subject of national discussion throughout the Western world.

Book-A-Like: The Poet & Mr Mercedes

Gritty crime thrillers are the order of the day in today's QBD Book-a-like!

The Poet by Michael Connelly:

Denver crime-beat reporter Jack McEvoy specializes in violent death. So when his homicide detective brother kills himself, McEvoy copes in the only way he knows how--he decides to write the story. But his research leads him to suspect a serial killer is at work--a devious murderer who's killing cops and leaving a trail of poetic clues. It's the news story of a lifetime, if he can get the story without losing his life.

This is a great old-style detective thriller. The plot is intricate but flows along at a great rate - I couldn't put it down! Connelly has created a fantastically flawed character in Jack McEvoy, and you find yourself questioning his motives the whole way through. Read this if you enjoy Robert Galbraith and Lee Child!- Tina, Chatswood QBD

Mr Mercedes by Stephen King:

A cat-and-mouse suspense thriller featuring Bill Hodges, a retired cop who is tormented by 'the Mercedes massacre', a case he never solved.
Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of that notorious crime, has sent Hodges a taunting letter. Now he's preparing to kill again.
Each starts to close in on the other in a mega-stakes race against time!

Book-A-Like: If I Stay & Before I Fall


Heart-rending stories about life and the choices we make feature in today's QBD Book-a-like.

 

If I Stay by Gayle Forman:

Just listen,' Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel. I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen.‘Stay,' he says.

Everybody has to make choices.Some might break you.For seventeen-year-old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend decisions might seem tough, but they're all about a future full of music and love, a future that's brimming with hope. But life can change in an instant. A cold February morning . . . a snowy road . . . and suddenly all of Mia's choices are gone. Except one.
As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all.

Gripping, heartrending and ultimately life-affirming, If I Stay will make you appreciate all that you have, all that you've lost - and all that might be.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver:

They say 'live every day as if it's your last' - but you never actually think it's going to be. At least I didn't.
The thing is, you don't get to know when it happens. You don't remember to tell your family that you love them or - in my case - remember to say goodbye to them at all.
But what if, like me, you could live your last day over and over again? Could you make it perfect? If your whole life flashed before your eyes, would you have no regrets? Or are there some things you'd want to change...?

Book-A-Like: All The Light We Cannot See & The Book Thief

If you like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, you’ll love All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr! Both novels are stunningly poetic creations by authors who approach the concept of war in similar (yet uniquely striking) ways. Both Zusak and Doerr have managed to expertly weave the dualities of war in a heart-wrenching exploration of innocence, grief, hatred, hope, passion, fear and courage. I can guarantee that both of these books will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

- Jess, Strathpine QBD

 

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr:

When Marie Laure goes blind, aged six, her father builds her a model of their Paris neighborhood, so she can memorize it with her fingers and then navigate the real streets. But when the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, is enchanted by a crude radio. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent ultimately makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak:

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times.

When Liesel's foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down. The Book Thief is a story about the power of words to make worlds.