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You won’t be able to put these books down!

 

Great literature you can't put down, as reviewed by our Tweed Heads Team!

 

Two Brothers by Ben Elton:

Historical fiction doesn't get better than this! Two Brothers is a fascinating blend of the horrors of war and the infallible strength of family ties. Following the story of two young boys, brothers in all but blood, navigating their way through life in Nazi Germany, this novel is packed with many twists and turns but no mystery is as prominent as the question that hangs over you the entire novel – which brother has survived the war to tell their tale? Perfect for fans of The Book Thief, Two Brothers is a rich, immersive read that will linger in your mind long after you finish it – Karen, Store Manager

The One Who Got Away by Caroline Overington:

A psychological thriller with unsettling twists and turns throughout. A page turner leaving you questioning many aspects of the characters. Caroline Overington has brought her characters to life highlighting peoples' hidden agendas and motivations for the things they say and do. What lengths would you go to to have the life that you have always dreamt of? The author has managed to create diverse characters evoking emotion from the reader, however, as readers, are we gunning for the right person? Which characters do you or should you believe, who can you trust and who is really to blame? Lies, deceipt and betrayal....but who is really the villain in manipulating the situation for their own gain? I did not anticipate the ending and you are left asking so many questions! - Sheridan

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne:

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a novel that provides the reader with an exclusive outlook on how ignorance and violence affect innocent people. Bruno an eight year old boy, the son of a Nazi commandant of world war II, is forced to move to a new home with his family on a property only miles away from a Jewish concentration camp. Bruno is limited to exploration at his new home and is forbidden to leave the grounds of the front court yard. He disobeys his parents and decides to explore the new place he calls home and comes across a barbed wire fence, where he meets a young boy Shmuel. Shmuel; captive to Bruno's father's inhuman acts; loses his father inside the camp and becomes worried he will never see him again. Bruno feels for Shmuel and decides he will crawl under the wire to help him find his father. Through the eyes of an eight-year-old boy readers observe a forbidden friendship. Bruno and Shmuel shed light on the brutality, senselessness and devastating consequences of war from an unusual point of view. Together their tragic journey helps recall the millions of innocent victims of the Holocaust. - Ashley

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch:

I have been reading Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch, and I was captivated from the first page. By skilfully combining the real and fantastical worlds, Aaronovitch has created a unique sector of the London police force that is the vehicle for Peter Grant's strange, quirky, and often times dangerous adventures as a rookie policeman. Rivers of London is only the first book in Peter Grant series, and it is a great book for those who enjoy crime and fantasy. I personally can't wait to dive further into the world Aaronovitch has created - Bridie

The Dry by Jane Harper:

Australian Journalist Jane Harper's crime novel The Dry could be set in any drought stricken, small rural town in Australia. A tragic accident sees protagonist Federal Agent Ryan Faulk reluctantly returning to his childhood home town after a long absence. Are things what they seem? Will he stay to find out? Cleverly narrated, exploring the complex relationships within a small fractured community the plot unfolds painting a picture of a town and its inhabitants as desolate as the unchanging landscape. Keeping you turning the pages until the last and satisfying conclusion. - Raychel

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee:

To Kill a Mockingbird is a beautifully written novel told from the perspective of Scout, the young daughter of lawyer Atticus Finch. Set during the Great Depression in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, Scout and her older brother Jem are quickly pushed into the public spotlight when their farther is given a morally challenging court case. In charge of representing a black man for the alleged rape of a white girl Atticus has no choice but to expose his children to the racism and prejudice that thickly veil the town, topics they themselves don't fully understand - Emma

Each week our QBD Spotlight falls on a different store.
Keep your eyes open for your local QBD team!

Spotlight on QBD Tweed Heads

Our QBD Spotlight visited our diverse readers at Tweed Heads this week!

From Biographies to Young Adult fiction, they have a great selection of reading suggestions- just for you.

9781743310298Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic:
Nick was born in Melbourne in 1982 without arms and legs. I love inspirational biographies and this book is one of my favourites. Nick takes you on an emotional rollercoaster as he tells of his triumphs and struggles in life. From heartbreaking suicide contemplation to uplifting humour, Nick is an inspiration to everyone. Suffering depression and loneliness and questioning his faith, Nick constantly searched for purpose in his life. Nick has found his purpose in life and through his faith and support from his family and friends he now travels the world as a motivational speaker and Christian Evangelist. Nick’s books that follow are now high on my must read list. – Helen (Store Manager)

9781447265443Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett:
This novel is set in 12th century England and centres around the building of a Gothic cathedral. Against this backdrop we enter the intertwined lives of Philip, the devout prior of Kingsbridge, Tom, the stone mason, and the beautiful Lady Aliena. For those that enjoy historical fiction, life in England in the Middle Ages is vividly recreated. This is a story of betrayal, revenge and love and although it is over 1000 pages long, I did not want it to end. – Karen L (2IC)

9780733623202Blood Ties by Pamela Freeman:
This was the first fantasy novel I read when I was younger and it’s remained one of my firm favourites ever since. The story revolves around Bramble, Ash and Saker, three descendants of the Travellers, the Eleven Domains indigenous race. Despised for their heritage, each find their destinies nudged along by death; Bramble is branded a criminal after an accidental death is placed on her head, Ash is being trained as a killer for hire and Saker has nefarious plans to avenge his slain ancestors. One of the standout features of this novel for me were the short chapters sprinkled in amongst the main story that explored the lives of even the most minor of characters that the main heroes interact with throughout the story. Added to the sheer humanity that leaps off the pages and draws you in is the rich, sprawling history of the Eleven Domains that serves as a focal point for the story. Classic fantasy novels do not get any better than this! – Karen C

9781863956598Game, Set, Cash by Brad Hutchins:
An extraordinary account of one man’s journey across the globe to discover the unknown world of tennis trading. Mr. Hutchins retells the tales of the late night to early morning shenanigans he embarked on with his buddies, in more countries than one can dream of. He allows his audience to gain a visual aspect of the destinations he finds himself in and gives insight on some of the most recognized sportsmen in history. Whether or not you are a fan of tennis, I assure you that you will enjoy this insightful, often hilarious memoir of this cheeky, mischievous man’s journey. It will leave you wanting to find that dream job that will provide you with the opportunity to jet set across this planet we call home to unravel the many diverse ways of living. – Ashley

9780099273967The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway:
The Old Man and the Sea is a short novel that follows Santiago’s quest for self-preservation and his battle both with himself and the sea. It is an engaging novel that keeps you guessing as to what is going to happen next. I both laughed and felt sad as I journeyed with Santiago. The Old Man and the Sea is a pleasure to read and leaves a smile on your face. - Chris

 

9781476791456Confess by Colleen Hoover:
Confess was a novel that I didn’t get into so much in the beginning; however, it got much better as I read along and ultimately I came to love the story that unfolded. The story line is really gripping, with themes such as injustice and sacrifice for love. The characters, Auburn and Owen are just like us and therefore they’re easy characters to connect to. I was on the edge of my seat until the very last page. This is the first book of Colleen Hoover’s that I’ve read but it will definitely not be the last! - Wonda

 

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Spotlight on QBD Tweed Heads

Our Tweed Heads team have hit the spotlight this week, and they have a plethora of awesome reading suggestions for you!

9780143301646Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin: Living in a poor village in China, Li was the 6th of seven sons and his family were no strangers to sacrifice and struggle. At 11 years old, Li was selected for Madam Mao’s Dance Academy in Beijing to study ballet. He knew if he could excel it would be a chance for his family to be free of the poverty they had endured. Separation from his family to move to Beijing at such a young age was just the beginning of the hardships Li had to overcome. His discipline, determination and willingness to make sacrifices for the good of his family is truly inspirational. Loved this book from beginning to end! – Helen (Store Manager)

Still Alice by Lisa Genova: Still Alice is about a fifty year old psychology professor who is beginning to forget things but the diagnosis for why she is losing parts of herself is far from what Alice and her family are expecting – early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Alice’s story is told from her point of view and having a family member with Alzheimer’s made this book particularly poignant for me but there were plenty of moments that made me want to laugh as well as cry. I am sure it will capture the heart of anyone who reads it – Karen L

9781742613598The Messenger by Markus Zusak: Ed Kennedy is your average, everyday citizen. He works as a taxi driver in his sleepy little hometown and lives alone with his charming canine companion, the Doorman – but one day he accidentally prevents a bank robbery and that’s where all the fun begins. Part thriller, part mystery, part drama and part romance, the Messenger is one of my all-time favourite books. It’s a perfect portrait of the many faces of humanity that will make you laugh, cry and ultimately feel a little warm and fuzzy inside – Karen C

1788 by David Hill: A very well researched and documented history of the First Fleet and its trials and tribulations. This book was an interesting insight into the colonisation of Australia, one every history buff should read. David Hill doesn’t waste his words in this amazing story; you will be intrigued by the brutal truth of how our nation came to be and from the first page to the last, he lays bare what life was really like for those on the First Fleet – Ashley

9781743565087Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter: Alice in Zombieland is the type of book you will not be able to put down. It leaves you hanging, needing to know what happens next and is a perfect mixture of actions and romance. From zombie slaying to loves in the ranks, what more could you ask for? With an amazingly original plot and characters that you’ll fall in love with, by the time you turn the last page you’ll be begging for more. Trust me when I say don’t just buy the first book… buy all three! – Chris

Afterlife by Barry Eaton: This book is about the different concepts regarding life after death and is something that could be a comforting read for anyone who has lost a loved one. I loved that it was clear, simple and easy to read and understand - Wonda

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Spark by Rachel Craw

Having recently lost her mother, all Evie wants is some time and space to grieve – but that’s not what she gets.

9781922179623Instead she has a bizarre pins and needles sensation that won’t go away. She’s breaking objects all around the house, her strength quadrupled overnight. She has little appetite but is experiencing some weird sort of growth spurt. Her photographer Aunt, who comes home from one night from a job bleeding profusely, is definitely lying to her about something and to top it all off, she can’t shake the feeling that someone she loves is in danger.

Rachel Craw’s debut novel “Spark” will have you curious from the get go. Evie, her best friend Kitty and her fabulous, drool-worthy love interest Jamie (who also happens to be Kitty’s brother) form a slightly chaotic trio that dedicate their time to staying one step ahead of the mysterious killer that’s hunting Kitty. If Evie wasn’t a genetically altered super soldier, her mission would be impossible. It’s okay though because Jamie shares her talents and teaming up with him seems like a sure fire way to keep his sister safe. As we all know, delicious teenage hormones just love to rear their head at critical times like these and training with Jamie really just leads to more of a distraction for Evie than anything else.

Between the ever increasing danger, the crazy action-packed skills Evie is expected to hone to perfection and her ever fatal attraction to Jamie getting in the way of the job that needs to be done, you would think there wouldn’t be room for any more drama or chaos. But every author loves a few good surprises here and there and Craw definitely throws out some shockers. Spark is without a doubt a unique novel that throws you headfirst into a whirlwind of genres which blend so harmonically that you’ll be craving more the second you finish that last chapter! With no news of the sequel on the horizon, buckle up for a long ride of withdrawal symptoms.

Spark by Rachel Craw: A Recipe
* Start with one cup of sci-fi, sifted.
* Mix in liberal amounts of thriller with a dash of crime for good measure
* Let the mixture sit for a while before seasoning well with romance
* Add a couple of pinches of good quality plot twist and stir vigorously.
* Serve with a nice cup of tea or coffee and enjoy!

~Karen C. @ Tweed Heads QBD