Our Shellharbour super-readers have reviewed a bunch of fabulous titles for us today as they shine under our QBD Spotlight!
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes:
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is a love story which explores the relationship between Louisa and Will. Thirty-five year old Will was once a high powered businessman who lived a life of action and adventure until he was victim of an accident that left him paralysed. Faced with the reality that he would never recover Will’s outlook on life changes and he longs for death – something which horrifies his family. In a desperate attempt to try and change his outlook on life Will’s family hire twenty-six year old Louisa as his personal carer. The relationship between these two characters does not start off smoothly, with Will making it very clear he wants no friendship from her. As time progresses you begin to see the shift between them as Louisa sets out to change his mind and give him a reason to look forward to each day. The story embeds many valuable life lessons, takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions (have the tissues ready!) and reminds you to cherish the things we so easily take for granted. – Adriana (Store Manager)
Risk by Fleur Ferris:
In an age dominated by social media communication and the world wide web, former police officer Fleur Ferris brings to light the inherent dangers facing society today in the thrilling young adult novel Risk. Taylor and Sierra are best friends, who like most of their friends, chat online to strangers with no care for the consequences nor ever facing any danger. This all changes however, when Sierra goes missing after meeting up with Jacob, a guy she has met online. As a former member of the child abuse squad Ferris creates a frighteningly realistic world where Taylor and Sierra could be your daughters, sisters, friends or neighbours and you are sucked into a thrilling mystery that holds you captive until the last sentence. – Maddi (Assistant Manager)
Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples:
Following on from his major success “Y: The Last Man”, Brian K. Vaughn has set his penmanship on a much loftier tale of star crossing lovers in “Saga”. Concerning the blossoming relationship of Alanna and Marko, a couple hailing from two sides of a centuries old war, who have just given birth to a cross breed child who is now the target of both sides. While it may sound like a story done half to death, Vaughn’s witty dialogue and imaginative world building (rendered stunningly by illustrator Fiona Staples) gives this series a huge edge over the majority of sci fi/fantasy comic books around today. – Tyler Heycott
Life or Death by Michael Robotham:
Life or Death is a crime fiction novel set predominately in Texas. The novel follows the story of Audie Palmer, a man who escapes from prison the day before he’s due to be released. A decade ago, seven million dollars went missing after the armed robbery which landed Audie in prison. Everybody wants answers, and only one man knows the truth. This book will have you captivated from page one as you attempt to discover the real reason Audie escaped. Robotham seamlessly switches from character to character, giving you an intimate portrayal of their thoughts and motivations throughout his writing.
The tenth novel from Michael Robotham is one you don’t want to miss! – Chloe
Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison:
As a fan of The Girls Next Door, I knew I had to read Holly Madison’s autobiography as soon as it came out. I simply could not believe that the images presented in the television series about the mansion and Hugh Hefner and the girls themselves were so heavily sugar-coated to the point that I should have received diabetes. Holly isn’t afraid to tell it as it was, with Heff’s behaviour off camera only being able to be described as that of a spoiled child and his treatment of the girls no different to the dirt beneath his feet. The courage that Holly has to come out and speak about her experience in one of the most well-known places in the world is nothing short of commendable as her book details the crazy world that is life with Hugh Hefner as part of the Playboy franchise. If you want to learn what lurks behind the velvet curtains and mansion walls, Holly’s book is your ticket to the true Playboy story. – Amanda
Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling:
Why Not Me, written by writer, actor and comedian Mindy Kaling captures her life and every aspect of it. From body image, dating, work, writing, friends and everything inbetween, the essence of Mindy found in her television shows jumps off the pages as you read. Down to earth, witty and sarcastic this autobiography is a book that will have you laughing and wanting to spend a day in the life of Mindy Kaling. – Cassarn
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood:
“You wanted a women’s culture. Well, now there is one. It isn’t what you wanted, but it exists.”
Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a cleverly crafted narrative set in the Republic of Gilead, a futuristic dystopia in which women are commoditised and valued by their fertility. Described as both a feat of science fiction and a foreboding moral message about femininity and the enduring power of the patriarchy, Atwood’s work focuses on the highest class of fertile females whose names such as Offred and Ofglen identify them as daughters of their fathers, rather than autonomous beings.
The story is a delightful contrast narrated by Offred, who recalls life before the totalitarian Republic of Gilead was established, and how being chosen as ‘birthgivers’ changed right before her the attitudes of many women she once knew. She lives in a home where she, among other young women living there, must be impregnated by the man of the house, and struggles with the reality that failing to become pregnant will result in her disposal and demotion of human worth. Written in first person, Offred speaks straight to the reader of her illegal affair, and outlawed pursuits in reading, writing, books and board games. For fans of other dystopian fiction such as George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Lois Lowry’s The Giver, The Handmaid’s Tale is excellent science fiction and a memorable segue into feminist prose. – Hannah
Basic Vision: An Introduction to Visual Perception by Robert Snowden, Peter Thompson and Tom Troscianko:
Basic Vision is an eye-opening look into how and why we see the world the way we do. It details the intracies of infantile brain and eye development involved in our visual perception and how individualised neural networks create a unique experience of the world for every one of us. Using optical illusions and magic tricks, it explains how what we physically ‘see’, is not necessarily what we ‘percieve’ in terms of size, colour, motion, and three-dimensional space. While this may sound rather dry, the authors are distinctly British in their writing and the book is very engaging and humourous. A must read for those who wish to have a deeper understanding of why we perceive what we think we see, and the influence this has on our lives. – Tyler James