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Reviewsday: The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey

Let me start by saying how much I enjoy reading local Australian content novels. There's nothing wrong with overseas titles but an Aussie title always draws me deeper in. It's not the sometimes over-the-top outback dramas I'm talking about (which I do love!) but the ordinary settings and situations. Things like the seasons being the right way around; the sounds; the localities and the references to society, events & culture. Even Australian crime seems a little bit more believable...

Gemma is a detective in the same regional town that she grew up in. Sometimes that can be beneficial to investigations but at others it can all get just a bit too close to home & personal. This is one such case. The victim is a teacher at the local high school, the same school Gemma attended ten years back- with Rose as one of her classmates. There was some type of connection between the two back then but Gemma swears that her personal feelings will not effect her impartiality to the investigation. Rose appears to have been well liked so who could be responsible for her death? Is it random or personal?

The investigation drags along like the long, hot days of pre-Christmas summer. For Gemma, the case opens up old wounds that she tries to keep hidden from her partners- work & life , but even here the lines are blurred. Gemma is a great detective but will this be the case that breaks her?

A solid debut from Sarah Bailey and one that I really liked.

~ Susan, Eastlands QBD

QBD Reviews: The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo

9781460752333

Words do not sum up the anticipation I felt, waiting for this book to be released. I was NOT disapointed, I finished reading it in 4 hours!

Every now and then a book comes along that speaks to you, to who you are, this for me, was one of those. This book is not a biography although Amy did say she will write one when she is 90 and “Memoir-worthy”. This book is a collection of short stories from her adventures so far. The book opens up with a rather charming apology to one of her more private body parts, (in a way only Amy can be), then goes into tales about what it has been like so far being Amy Schumer- a chaotic, flawed, adorable, hilarious, introverted, powerful woman.

I have admired Amy and her "bare all" style of comedy for years, but this book let me see a side of her I didn't know was there. A side that has made me relate to her as a 30 something woman rather than just the loveable stand up comedian. If you are 18-60, have a sense of humour and even just a streak of feminist in you, this book will be your new best friend.
- Chaille, QBD Highpoint

QBD Reviews: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

the-rosie-project

“I asked you here tonight because when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

Don Tillman is getting married, the only problem is he doesn’t know who to. After years of failed dates and romantic flops, Don (much more of a Sheldon then Mr Darcy) designs a questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman. She can’t be unpunctual, vegetarian, overweight, drink, smoke or have an STD. Does Don’s perfect woman exist?

This romantic comedy had me laughing out loud, crying and groaning at Don’s antics. I loved coming on this journey with Don and you will too. I was hooked from the beginning!

~ Grace, QBD Chermside

QBD Reviews: Blue is the Warmest Colour – Julie Maroh

9781551525143"Love catches fire, it trespasses, it breaks, we break, it comes back to life... We come back to life. Love may not be eternal but, it can make us eternal... Beyond death, the love that we shared continues to live."

Graphic novels and comics are no longer the realm of younger readers. Blue is the Warmest Colour is not only one of the best graphic novels I've read, it is one of the best stories I've read.

Suitable only for older readers, this is a dark, challenging coming of age story that follows Clementine as she goes on a journey of self-discovery and finds out that love comes in many forms. One of the rare instances that a book about teenage love can be truly digestible and accessible to all adult readers.

The unique aspect of this book is that it is an LGBTQ love story that speaks through the artwork. As Clementine falls more and more in love with Emma, whose blue hair is her defining feature, the artwork becomes more vivid. When they have problems or when Clementine is depressed, the colour slowly leeches from the artwork which becomes washed out and minimalist. Clementine deals with a lot of things throughout the story, bullying and being thrown out by her parents being the driving issues, but the most important message is that everyone deserves love and love is waiting for you.

I'd recommend this to any older readers who love beautiful artwork, enjoy stories with that little something special, people who read diversely and love a new twist on a timeless style of writing. This story is important and brilliant and to be savoured, studied, gushed about and shared. Tell everyone, this is amazing!

QBD Reviews: The Natural Way of Things

"Clouds collect and steepen, build then collapse,

silver empires rising and falling in the vast blue skies."

I really enjoyed this Stella award winning novel. I don't often read award winning novels because I often find the writing to be inaccessible, nonsensical and pretentious. The 2016 winner is very worthy of the prize.

A highly imaginative novel, it is about so many things, but chiefly modern misogyny and corporate control. Through the guise of slut-shaming and imprisonment Wood tells the story of Verla and Yolanda and their journey into sisterhood and self-worth.

At times disturbing, dark and visceral, this can also be a very beautifully written book. Don't let the flowers on the cover fool you, this is a powerful, empowering novel that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Well edited and flowing nicely, I endeavour to read more of Charlotte Wood's writing.

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