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Hurstville’s Hot Reads

Today our Hurstville team give us the low-down on their favourite and latest reads!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli:

If you're after a cute book that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy, then look no further! Simon, a teenage boy, is too afraid to come out to his friends and family, but this doesn't stop him having an anonymous pen pal - and it's someone who goes to his school. This pen pal knows everything about Simon, including, and especially, his sexuality. In an enthralling read, Simon has to deal with how to come out to friends and family, how to deal with his crush on the cute boy in his class, and trying to figure out who his pen pal is. It's adorable and it's just plain fun. With summer and the holidays coming up, it's the perfect book to have with you at the beach or by the pool. -Mersini

Looking for Alaska by John Green:

In honour of John Green’s first novel in 6 years, Turtles All the Way Down, being released today I have decided to review Looking for Alaska which is my all-time favourite book.
Looking for Alaska is about 3 friends whose lives are so transformed by a certain experience that they now only see time as ‘before’ and ‘after’ that event.
Before: Miles “Pudge” Halter is sick of his boring, predictable life so he attends Culver Creek boarding school in Alabama to seek his “Great Perhaps” and get more out of life. There he meets Alaska Young and Chip “The Colonel” Martin. Together they go on a whirlwind of adventures.
After: Nothing is ever the same.

This book is very memorable with a powerful impact. I read it many years ago and I’m still recommending it to a lot people. It’s the first book where the plot twist just completely shocked me. This fantastic coming of age novel that doesn’t have a predictable happily ever after ending is a must read! - Bel

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson:

I’ll Give You The Sun is a captivating story told from the alternating perspectives of twin siblings. This novel follows Noah and Jude as they take us through the tragedies that tore them apart and the complications of family and friendship. Filled with heartbreak, wisdom, and joy, this story is very hard to put down. While the writing style is different to the ‘norm’, I really think that this may be what makes the story so intriguing. Nelson has written an amazing story that is definitely worth a read! - Lara

Force of Nature by Jane Harper:

I thought Jane Harper's debut novel The Dry was fantastic but Force of Nature has definitely topped it!

What has happened to Alice Russell?
Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.
The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case. She knows all the secrets: about the company she works for and the people she works with.

Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers run far deeper than anyone knew.

Absolutely mind blowing unput-a-downable mystery thriller from one of our home grown authors,I highly recommend Force of Nature to anyone who listens! - Sal

Spotlight on QBD Hurstville 2016

 

Our enthusiastic readers at QBD Hurstville dazzle with their latest reads
as they steal this week's QBD Spotlight!

 

The Dry by Jane Harper:

9781743548059 A brutal crime rocks a town suffering the worst drought in a century. Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals and in doing so is forced to confront the people who rejected him 20 years earlier. Falk and childhood friend Luke shared a secret, one which Luke's death brings to the surface. Falk's investigative skills are called on and facts start to make him doubt the murder-suicide charge. As he probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones.....
Jane Harper's debut novel is addictive, taking me only a day to read it! - Sally (Store Manager)

Cell by Stephen King:

9781444707823 Cell offers a unique take on the overcrowded post apocalyptic zombie genre. The Pulse, a signal transmited through cellphones, turns everyone with a phone to their ear into zombie-like crazed brutes, attacking the infected and normal people alike.
Clay, the main character, is extremely relatable. He's not a soldier, nor does he have super-human like reflexes and strength. He's a normal guy, just trying to get back to his family. We can't help but feel his struggle as obstacles block his path.
Scary, intense, suspensful, but also full of action, Cell is a riveting book. With its ending being open to interpretation, it will leave you thinking about it for days to come. - Alex (Store 2IC)

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie:

9780007948697 Murder On The Orient Express follows Agatha Christie’s most recognised character, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. This crime thriller is centred around an intriguing murder on-board a train to Croatia. As the story unfolds we are invited to see the conscience of the main character as he struggles to accept that there is any justification for murder. I enjoyed the twist at the end, as the story breaks from tradition, endearing Poirot as a character with both honour and humanity.
Christie is a timeless author, whose works have appealed to audiences for almost 100 years. This classic story is a great read that I highly recommend to all lovers of the crime fiction genre. - Lara

The Martian by Andy Weir:

9780007948697 The Martian tells the story of Mark Watney, an astronaut on a NASA mission to Mars who is left stranded after being presumed dead by his team whilst fleeing a savage storm. Left with no communications, dwindling supplies and no rescue team, Watney has to find a way to survive.
It’s a fantastic, tension filled setup, but Weir also has a very modern, slick, scientific basis backing his narrative that lends a proper sense of realism to the plot. Put simply, The Martian is the nerdiest action survival story I’ve ever read. The research put into this book is extensive, with everything from orbital equations to the body’s energy requirements thrown into Watney’s struggle to survive. And it’s not just the science - in Watney, Weir has also created a very likeable protagonist, self-effacing but also heroic and intelligent. And funny, too – he manages to pull off the tricky feat of making prose funny for the most part, and it is Watney’s personality and narrative voice in telling the story that turns a book with for the most part only a single character into a page turner.
Andy Weir has come out of the publishing blocks on a superpowered rocket with his debut novel - The Martian will make you laugh, think, and most of all keep you reading up until the very last page. - Jamie

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater:

9780545424936 Richard Gansey III is looking for a king. As he searches for the mysterious Glendower, hoping that waking the long sleeping king will grant him a favour, he draws in the local inhabitants of Henrietta, including Ronan, Adam, and Noah. Meanwhile, Blue Sargent, resident of Henrietta's local house of clairvoyants, knows that her true love is fated to die if she kisses him.
Following a disastrous first meeting with Gansey and the rest of his Raven Boys, Blue is drawn into the quest for Glendower and finds a place for herself among the boys, each of whom is as much of an outcast as the other. As they continue down the path of discovery, they find that Henrietta, Virginia is not the quiet town they think it is, but is rife with a magic that lies beneath the surface, intertwining with their lives.
Stiefvater brings together this cast of misfit characters so well that readers feel like they've made friends in them. As a Virginian native, she recreates a fictional town with all the nuances of the place, then layers over them with elements of the fantastical, drawn from history and myth and fairy tales. Her stylistic prose is captivating and unlike that of most young adult novels. This is the perfect book for anyone searching for something with the darkness and mystery of the paranormal, while still being full of heart. - Mersini

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Alex & Jamie

Every week our QBD Spotlight travels to a different store.
Keep an eye out for your local QBD team!

Spotlight on QBD: Hurstville

It's Easter Saturday and the spotlight is on what every-bunny at QBD Hurstville is reading! Check out their great suggestions (and awesome Easter display)!

9781760111014Nanny Confidential by Philippa Christian: This is a deliciously gossipy novel written about the rich and famous by a real life nanny. Follow the ups and downs of Hollywood's much loved nanny. A fantastic holiday read! - Sally (Store Manager)

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz: It sent me on an emotional journey, which was both captivating and eye opening. It's about being an outsider, standing up for what you believe in and finding that one person you didn't know needed until you found them. A book that deals with identity, family and love. Overall, a beautiful piece of literature. - Jo

9780345477378Star Wars: Darth Bane: Path of Destruction1 by Drew Karpyshyn: Rarely do we get a glimpse into the personal life of the Sith, and Path of Destruction follows the journey of a labourer to his descent into darkness, in a rich, deep and dramatic telling of the rise of one of the most powerful Sith Lords known - Alex

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend: This is a wonderful piece of literature which proves that you are never too old to read a children's book. Often regarded as a younger and naive Holden Caulfield, Adrian Mole reminds us of what it means to be at the brink of adulthood, confused  and disillusioned by the realities of what lies ahead. This sweetly comic gem is an enjoyable and entertaining read for children and their parents alike. - Emma

9780575097360The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson: The first of a proposed ten book series, The Way of Kings throws the reader into a storm-lashed world where people, flora and fauna are forced to adapt to survive. Accompanied by artwork that gives the novel a depth other fantasy novels lack, this book a great introduction to Sanderson's works. - Mersini

The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins: This dystopian trilogy immerses you in the harrowing world of apocalyptic North America,now known as Panem, where a clearly uneven division of wealth and power have the people crying for rebellion. When Katniss Everdeen volunteers in place of her sister to compete in the 74th annual Hunger Games,her strong will & determination to expose the weaknesses within the all powerful capital begin to pave the road for an inevitable uprising. She soon becomes a national symbol of hope for those long oppressed by the capital & it's merciless ruler,President Snow. Every turn of the page will unfold more & more of Katniss' journey and gradually expose the dark world she is determined to transform. I highly recommend this read! - Jed

9780765342300Briar Rose by Jane Yolen: A wartime adaptation of a classic fairytale which focuses on the suffering of a young Jewish girl at the hands of the Nazis. Definitely worth a read! - Lara

My Big Birkett by Lias Shanahan: This is my absolute all time favourite book!! It's a funny,light-hearted read that follows Gemma through the dramas of teenage life ,with the cute boy at school & the crazy family at home. It's one of those books that makes you feel warm & fuzzy inside,but at the same time makes you want to cry. Just read it!!! - Katie

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