Christian College Geelong Senior Library: Lovers of literature

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares


A beautifully written novel about love, class differences, and betrayal playing out over the course of a fractured American family’s Long Island summer from  #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares, author of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series.

“A gorgeously written novel on love, loss and family.” —NICOLA YOON, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything

Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.

Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.

The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control . . . or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.

Penguin Random House.


September 21, 2017 Posted by | Family/Relationships, Romance | , , | Leave a comment

To Love a Sunburnt Country by Jackie French

All you who have not loved her,

You will not understand……


The year is 1942 and the world is at war. Nancy Clancy is 16 and left school to spend a year droving, just like her grandfather Clancy of the Overflow was famed for. Now Nancy’s family has sent her to Malaya to bring home her sister0in-law Moira and baby Gavin. Moira is British and married to Nancy’s brother Ben, who is now a soldier. Malaya is under threat from the Japanese, but despite the warnings Moira has resisted leaving as she wants to stay near her husband.

When Malaya is invaded, Nancy, Moira and Gavin are fortunate to get out before Singapore falls. When their ship is bombed they end up stranded on an island where they, and some other colonial women, are captured. There begins the nightmare and horror of internment in a Japanese camp. Back home at Gibber’s Creek families are doing their bit for the war. They worry constantly about their men who are fighting – and now those who are missing after Singapore falls.

Powerful, compelling and confronting, this is a book that pulls no punches. Filled with emotional truth and heartfelt agony, this unforgettable fourth book in the The Matilda Saga continues the journey that started with A Waltz for Matilda.

Review: Good Reads, Retrieved 1st June 2015, http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23449436-to-love-a-sunburnt-country

June 1, 2015 Posted by | Family/Relationships, Uncategorized, War | | Leave a comment

There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake

People you love can lie to you for the very best of reasons.

Maybe they want to protect you.

Maybe they want to hide a terrible secret of their own.

Maybe the just love you much they’ll do anything, Anything for you.

Maybe they’re just liars.

This is a book full of twists and turns!


In four hours, Shelby Jane Cooper will be struck by a car. Shortly after, she and her mother will leave the hospital and set out on a winding journey toward the Grand Canyon.

All Shelby knows  is that they’re running from dangers only her mother understands. And the further they travel, the more Shelby questions everything about her past – and her current reality. Forced to take advantage of the kindness of unsuspecting travelers, Shelby grapples with what’s real, what isn’t, and who she can trust…..if anybody.

Award-winning author Nick Lake proves his skills as a master storyteller in this heart-pounding new novel. This emotionally charged thrill rides leads to a shocking ending that will have readers flipping back to the beginning

Good Reads


May 1, 2015 Posted by | Family/Relationships, Suspense | , | Leave a comment

2014 Book Of The Year Award Winner: Older Readers

And the winner is………Wildlife by Fiona Wood

Life? It’s simple: be true to yourself.
The tricky part is finding out exactly who you are…

In the holidays before the dreaded term at Crowthorne Grammar’s outdoor education camp two things out of the ordinary happened.
A picture of me was plastered all over a twenty-metre billboard. 
And I kissed Ben Capaldi.

Boarding for a term in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sibylla expects the gruesome outdoor education program – but friendship complications, and love that goes wrong? They’re extra-curricula.

Enter Lou from Six Impossible Things – the reluctant new girl for this term in the great outdoors. Fragile behind an implacable mask, she is grieving a death that occurred almost a year ago. Despite herself, Lou becomes intrigued by the unfolding drama between her housemates Sibylla and Holly, and has to decide whether to end her self-imposed detachment and join the fray. 

And as Sibylla confronts a tangle of betrayal, she needs to renegotiate everything she thought she knew about surviving in the wild.

This is excellent and entertaining story about first love, friendship and NOT fitting in.


August 15, 2014 Posted by | Family/Relationships, Relationships, Romance, Shortlisted Books | , | Leave a comment

Dead Dog In The Still Of The Night by Archimede Fusillo

Life is tough for Primo and is about to get even tougher. Crashing his father’s prized red Bambino Fiat 500 is just the first in a series of ill-fated events -events which are inexplicably entwined with a dead dog in the still of the night.

Primo is heading into the business end of his final year of school, when his already- challenging life begins a wild downward spiral into chaos. His dad’s not well, his mother doesn’t seem to get it. One brother has moved back home after marriage troubles, the other is old enough to be Primo’s father and in many ways is too much like their dad. An outing designed to impress his girlfriend goes disastrously wrong when he crashes his dad’s beloved Fiat Bambino. Wild schemes suddenly seem sensible, and many relationships are tested in an escalating race to fix the car before the damage is detected. Primo is making decisions on the fly and that’s never without consequences.

Dead Dog in the Still of the Night is a disturbingly real novel. It’s almost possible to smell the testosterone lifting off the pages as Primo, Tone, brothers and others bounce against and off each other with increasing intensity. The subtitle of this novel recalls the proverb about the two wolves that live inside all of us, one of which is evil. As the proverb reminds, the wolf that grows is the one that’s fed. Primo is a likeable protagonist and the friendship he has with Tone is strong. There are many relationships for Primo to navigate and define in this coming of age story. He has to decide whether he is in control of his own life or whether he is fated do as others have done, or would have him do. Themes include making choices, family, power, truth and responsibility. The dead dog of the title becomes pivotal in Primo’s transition from boy to young adult. Recommended for mature secondary readers.


May 26, 2014 Posted by | Family/Relationships | , , | Leave a comment

Tigerfish by David Metzenthen

From best-selling and award-winning author David Metzenthen comes a powerful new novel.

Better in here, they think. Safe and sound. No shocks and no surprises. Twenty-one degrees Celsius all year round.

But outside Sky Point Mall, no one is safe.

Ryan Lanyon lives in a tough suburb.  His brother’s a bouncer.  His best mate owns weapons.  Ariel works in a surf shop and has never seen the sea.  And the year that lies ahead is a minefield for them all.

A novel of confrontation, loyalty and love from David Metzenthen, the award-winning and bestselling author of Jarvis 24Boys of Blood and Bone and Black Water.

I fell in love with Metzenthen’s writing in Jarvis 24 but Tigerfish has tipped him into an auto-buy author for me. His spare and direct prose lifts this story and makes it something special. I find myself incredibly intrigued by his perspective and what matters as story for him – those that other writers might pass over, Metzenthen pulls them out and makes them count.

Set in the fictional suburb of Templeton, Tigerfish is a look into a world most people avoid driving through. Sky Point Mall is nicknamed Knife Point Mall and you don’t walk through the paddocks after dark. You need to know there’s been reports of a prowler sneaking around people’s yards, and some kid found rope near his fence, but you also need to keep living your life.

Each character in Tigerfish is fully realised. They all come with their own story but it’s Ryan’s Metzenthen chooses to tell. Ryan’s empathetic nature is a stark contrast to his surroundings. In a place where most people would just put their heads down and try to survive, Ryan looks up. He sees the girl that doesn’t quite fit, the girl living in the most rundown house in the rundown suburb. And he makes a point to be there for her. His caring also extends to his best friend, his brother and the little sister of the guy who wants to punch him.

I found Ariel’s story to be the most emotionally impacting. Recovering from the sudden loss of her father and the life she once had – just hanging on enough to look like she’s got it all together. That kind of loss digs right in my heart. Her relationship with Ryan is careful and perhaps my main criticism is that I wanted just a little bit more. Still, I was so thankful she had him.

Tigerfish is tightly written but not in a hurry to get anywhere. The pace might turn some readers off but I found it worked. There’s a sense of danger lurking in the background which builds slowly through the novel and makes the most simple scenes seem charged. I just wanted everyone to be okay.

Recommend if you’re after something tense but with a lot of heart.

Review by Trinity Good Reads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19542272-tigerfish

March 17, 2014 Posted by | Boys' read, Family/Relationships | Leave a comment

You Don’t Even Know by Sue Lawson

Sue Lawson has a real winner with her latest young adult novel, it was one I couldn’t put down and spent the whole day reading from start to finish. This book will appeal to all teenagers, girls and boys……  be warned it is very confronting and highly emotional but one that ends on a positive.


Alex Hudson is a good guy. He plays water polo. He has a part-time job. He’s doing okay at school.
Then the thing that anchors Alex is ripped away and his life seems pointless.
How can he make anyone else understand how he feels, when he doesn’t even know?

You Don’t Even Know is narrated by Alex as he lies in a hospital bed recovering from an accident he doesn’t remember. We feel for him, as in a series of flashbacks we glimpse a life with a domineering father and conceited older brother Ethan, and a terrible accident and death that has derailed him with both guilt and harrowing grief.

Alone and grieving, his only company is Mackie, a girl lying unconscious in the bed next to his. It is through her that he learns to see a way forward for himself.

This is a story about the pain of the terrible loss of a loved one, and of finding a way to be true to oneself. It is a confronting read and best suited to older readers. It should appeal to John Green fans and it won’t disappoint.
Review by  Marg, Good Reads

February 25, 2014 Posted by | Family/Relationships | , , | Leave a comment

Let it snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

Fans of John Green will love this joint novel in which three different stories  interconnect tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.

An ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve buries the residents of Gracetown under multiple feet of snow and causes quite a bit of chaos. One brave soul ventures out into the storm from her stranded train and sets off a chain of events that will change quite a few lives.

What do a Christmas Eve snowstorm, 14 perky cheerleaders, a Waffle House, and a guy covered in tin foil have in common? Answer: these romantic holiday stories. Through an interconnected cast of characters set in one small Southern town, each author reveals a serendipitous night in the life of a particular teen. In Johnson’s “Jubilee Express,” level-headed Jubilee experiences a traumatic day during which her parents get arrested, her train gets stuck in the snow, and she breaks up with her boyfriend, but in the end finds a new love. Green deftly portrays the teen male perspective with humor and wit in his “Cheertastic Christmas Miracle,” which starts with an urgent quest for cheerleaders and ends with an eye-opening experience of finding true love right before one’s eyes. In Myracle’s “Patron Saint of Pigs,” while agonizing over the pain of a recent breakup, Addie learns about herself and gains respect for relationships at the same time. Tender without being mushy, these carefully crafted stories of believable teen love will leave readers warm inside for the holidays.-Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library

February 17, 2014 Posted by | Family/Relationships, Romance | | Leave a comment

The Face on the Milk Cartoon by Caroline B Cooney

 THE FACE ON THE MILK CARTON is so emotionally riveting that you’ll have a hard time putting the book down. Once you have finished it you will want  to get the next one in the series, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO JANIE? 

No one ever really paid close attention to the faces of the missing children on the milk cartons. But as Janie Johnson glanced at the face of the ordinary little girl with her hair in tight pigtails, wearing a dress with a narrow white collar—a three-year-old who had been kidnapped twelve years before from a shopping mall in New Jersey—she felt overcome with shock. She recognized that little girl—it was she. How could it possibly be true?

Janie can’t believe that her loving parents kidnapped her, but as she begins to piece things together, nothing makes sense. Something is terribly wrong. Are Mr. and Mrs. Johnson really her parents? And if not, who is Janie Johnson, and what really happened?

Caroline Cooney masterfully portrays teenagers going about their normal lives, while skillfully building the suspense to the shocking surprise ending.

April 22, 2013 Posted by | Family/Relationships, Suspense | | Leave a comment

The Tower Mill by James Moloney

This  is James Moloney’s first adult novel which  examines an unusual family, their relationships and their history, against the backdrop of Queensland in the 1970s.

A gripping family drama that plays out against a turbulent and controversial political era, this book tells the tale of Susan Kinnane. She is the precocious daughter of conservative parents who spurns the attention of fellow university student Mike Riley in favor of a passionate romance with activist Terry Stoddard. When the South African Rugby team goes on the road, Terry, Susan, and Mike join the anti-apartheid demonstrations outside the Springbok’s hotel near the iconic Tower Mill. Late in the night, the riot police charge, and the terrified students are hunted into the darkened park below. What happens next changes each of their lives forever. Eight months later, Susan gives birth to a son, Tom, whose destiny is shaped by a man who is not his father, and by the events of that shocking night. As a lawyer working in London decades later, Tom must return to make peace with the past. This novel combines the youthful passion and enthusiastic activism of the 1970s with the racism of the apartheid era in a vibrant and tumultuous story that will enthrall readers to the final page.

February 28, 2013 Posted by | Family/Relationships | | Leave a comment