Blog

Page: 1

Tag / Reviewsday


Reviewsday: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Long Days and Pleasant Nights Await in "The Gunslinger"!

The first book in King's seven-book 'The Dark Tower' series, 'The Gunslinger' will be nothing like anything you've read before. 'The Gunslinger' introduces us to Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger, on his quest to reach the mysterious Dark Tower. Western Gunslinger 'knights' meet interdimensional travel in an eery dreamlike narrative. You'll never be able to predict what turn the book takes next. Far from being disorganised chaos, you will need to pay particularly close attention when reading 'The Gunslinger' and the rest of The Dark Tower series to truly appreciated just how incredibly finely-woven this story is. Not a single detail is mentioned without reason - everything comes back to the Dark Tower in the end...

A seamless blend of fantasy and Western, it won't be long until you'll be back for the second book, 'The Drawing of the Three'.

- Caitlin, QBD West Lakes

Reviewsday: The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

The book world has been loving Heather Morris' The Tattooist of Auschwitz; based on the incredible true story of Ludwig & Gita Sokolov - the Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist and the woman he loved.

Lale Sokolov is well-dressed, a charmer, a ladies' man. He is also a Jew. On the first transport of men from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942, Lale immediately stands out to his fellow prisoners. In the camp, he is looked up to, looked out for, and put to work in the privileged position of Tetovierer - the tattooist - to mark his fellow prisoners, forever.

One of them is a young woman, Gita who steals his heart at first glance. His life given new purpose, Lale does his best through the struggle and suffering to use his position for good.

This story, full of beauty and hope, is based on years of interviews author Heather Morris conducted with real-life Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. It is heart-wrenching, illuminating, and unforgettable.

What our team members have been saying:

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a love story. A love story of insurmountable odds, set in a time and place where each day might be your last, and dreaming of the future frequently seemed futile.
But, for some, like our hero Lale, dreaming of a future with Gita is what keeps him determined to survive the horrors of Auschwitz.
We all know what went on in Auschwitz but this book doesn't dwell on those facts, instead, it's an uplifting tale of love and finding "the one".
Beautiful. - Susan, QBD Eastland

A true story recounting the heart-wrenching tale of love between Lale and Gita, two Slovakian Jews who have a chance meeting in the most unlikely and devastating circumstances; the process of number tattooing at the entrance to Auschwitz concentration camp. Set during the most harrowing years of the Holocaust and finally ending on the shores of Australia, the reader is swept into a compelling and beautifully-written story, where love and loss reach into the depths of human experience. A wonderful, heart-breaking debut novel from Morris that will stay with you long after the last line. - Hannah, QBD Wollongong

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is one of those books that stays with you, coming up from your memory in the small, dark hours and poking the parts of your mind that remind you that human beings can be capable of incredible cruelty and of enduring love. It's the story of Lale Sokolov, a 24-year-old Slovakian living the high life in the years before World War II. Lale has everything - the clothes, the charm and the women, - but it is all left behind when he is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Determined to survive, Lale takes a position as the Tetovierer, the man responsible for inking the numbers into the skin of new arrivals, and while doing so he meets Gita, a beautiful young Jewish woman Lale knows he is destined to be with.

The book is written simply, almost like a diary, which shields the reader from a certain amount of the horror Lale and Gita live through imprisoned in the work camp. Lale wheels and deals whenever he can, gaining extra food for Gita and his friends, but they are still all at the mercy of illness, malnutrition and the malevolence of the SS guards. The threat of the gas chambers and the giant crematoriums provide a dark background to the story. Based on a true story, the book is an accurate representation of life in the death camps under Hitler's regime, and a timely reminder of what happens when power is corrupted. I came away from this book with a sense of outrage and desolation, despite the happy ending - it's not a nice book, but it's written with grace and compassion and I can't recommend it highly enough. - Shannon, QBD Mandurah

This book is the incarnation of a single flower blooming in the dark. The ability for two souls to connect and find eternal love amidst the shattering reality of the cruellest acts against humanity will have your heart aching, not only for Lale and Gita but every holocaust victim and survivor. A truly passionate read that is escalated to the realm of brilliance because both fortunately, and unfortunately, it is all true. - Joanne, QBD Shellharbour

In one of the darkest parts of world history comes the touching love story of Lale and Gita, two Slovakian Jews, who fall in love in the most unlikely place, Auschwitz. He was the tattooist who used his position to help others and gave hope to so many when there was none. She was his love, his reason to survive through the most horrible times. This incredible story, left untold for so many years, is truly touching. I couldn't put it down. - Julie, QBD Woodgrove

Reviewsday: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I love contemporaries, and "Anna and the French Kiss" is up there with the best of them.

Fluffy, cute, beautiful, real, brilliant and imaginative; "Anna and the French Kiss" is an absolutely adorable read that will have you hooked and leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

I love how Anna and Étienne didn’t just have chemistry, but friendship too. They are absolutely adorable together and I just following their relationship – all the little things he would give her, the way they laughed together and confided in each other, the days out and movies – brought tears to my eyes. They were each other’s rock. If I had a relationship, I’d want it to be like theirs (minus the complications with Ellie).

I love how Stephanie made every character important. The “side” characters made you love them (or hate them, it depends) and were brilliantly well developed. They were deep – each with their own story to tell. The beauty of it is that they weren’t just there, a prop the author needed in order for the protagonist to do something or get somewhere, but they were important – they could tell their stories and they did. Not one character was overlooked.

I just – it was perfect. The scenery; the character development; the giggly, mushy feeling in your chest as you followed the story, and which you were left with; the overall ease of reading.

"Anna and the French Kiss" isn’t just about romance, but family, friendships and life – dealing with it, enjoying it, finding people who will stick by you no matter what and making mistakes along the way. It is about endings and beginnings, possibilities, the future, relationships and practicalities and forgiveness. "Anna and the French Kiss has lessons in it for us all.

- Melissa, QBD Plenty Valley

As an added bonus we have hunted down a deleted chapter from the book! Check it out on Stephanie Perkins' blog here

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

Reviewsday: Joelle Charbonneau’s Dividing Eden

Having read Joelle Charbonneau's Testing series (which has a Hunger Games-esque vibe to it for all of you dystopian novel lovers!), I think I can safely say I was jumping up and down out of excitement when Dividing Eden popped up on my radar.

Reminiscent of The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye, Dividing Eden tells the tale of twin royals, Carys and Andreus, pitted against each other in a battle for the crown after a disastrous accident leaves them with equal claim to the throne. Faced with a power hungry council watching their every move and faceless enemies stirring up trouble, the twins can only do what they've been doing their entire lives – stick together, watch each other's backs and, above all, protect the secret that's been haunting them since birth.

The novel was intriguing from the get go but I felt that Carys definitely emerges as the stronger lead throughout the book with Andreus' story taking a surprising turn that, whilst being beneficial to the plot line, was still a little tough to read through (if you find yourself shaking the book in frustration and wailing “Noooo!”, don't say I didn't warn you!). There a quite a few shady characters that appear in and around the castle which left me questioning almost everyone's motives. Even after finishing the book, I'm still suspicious as to who is really on which side.

Dividing Eden is truly an engrossing read – clear your calendar because you won't want to put it down until you've worked your way through all of the secrets, lies and manipulative madness that await you.