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Christian College Geelong Senior Library: Lovers of literature

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.

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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

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

My journey by Jim Stynes

‘If you let go of fear you can do anything – you can chase the things you really want to do and live the life you were born to live.’

Jim Stynes never took the easy road, on or off the field. He loved a challenge. He pushed himself, and worked hard to help others realise their potential.

In June 2009, Jim was diagnosed with cancer and given nine months to live. The diagnosis caught him by surprise – he was 43, healthy and fit – and he didn’t have time for illness. He was a busy father, husband, brother, mentor, businessman and president of Melbourne Football Club.

Knowing his odds weren’t good, Jim gave his all to trying to beat the disease. He embraced life, and made his journey public. His ability to use mind over matter, to never give in, to overcome pain, to believe in himself and his will to succeed gave him two extra years on the prognosis. He defied expectations time and time again.

Unflinching in its honesty, this is an extraordinary insight into a man who lived fearlessly, with a vision for how to achieve the best life possible. Jim Stynes’ legacy is an inspiring story about getting the most out of every single day, whatever you do.

February 10, 2013 Posted by | Biographies | , | Leave a comment

Broken by Elizabeth Pulford

A novel that blends, mystery, family life and the subconcious into an interesting story

Critically injured in a motorbike accident, Zara Wilson lies in a coma. She is caught between the world of her hospital room and that of her memories and a dream-like fantasy where she searches for her elusive brother Jem. Zara’s adventures in her subconscious unlock dark secrets and she must face up to her past in order to accept her future. Broken has graphic novel elements in a hard-edged graphic style reminiscent of 1950s’ comic book.

This novel for high school students is best described as a psycho drama but it is a quite a lot more than that.

Zara is in hospital in a coma,  she can hear what those around her are saying, but cannot respond. She was riding on the back of a Triumph motorcycle, having the best time ever, when her brother Jem swerved to avoid a toddler, crashed and was killed outright.

Jem was into comics and Zara was into drawing and this becomes a great part of the narrative. While going from one medical crisis to another, in her sub-conscious mind Zara goes looking for Jem in his comic world. The font size for these episodes is different and comic book illustrations tell of Zara’s search for Jem.

Angus Gomes illustrations are right on the nail supporting the written text beautifully.

A third aspect of plot, also in different font, tells of an episode in Zara’s past when she was 7 years old. She was abducted by a stranger and Zara has never let anybody except Jem into what went on.

While in a coma this incident is worked through also in Zara’s sub conscious mind.

It sounds complicated but Elizabeth Pulford has told it well. Whether it is psychologically kosher I have no idea but it certainly seemed real to me.

For something different yet classy have a crack at this excellent novel. Review by Bob Docherty ‘Bobs Book Blog’
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July 19, 2012 Posted by | Graphic Novels | , | Leave a comment

Revived by Cat Patrick

When the stakes are life and death, someone’s going to get hurt! 

Revived

As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger—and more sinister—than she ever imagined.

For readers who enjoyed Kat Patrick’s first novel Forgotten and those who loved reading the intriguing  The Adoration of  Jenna Fox than Revive will be one for you.

May 21, 2012 Posted by | Mystery, Relationships, Science Fiction | | Leave a comment

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

 This has been described as not your typical teenager dying of cancer read….but instead it’swonderfully rude, filled with humor and really captures what teenager really feel.

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

May 17, 2012 Posted by | Family/Relationships, Humor | | Leave a comment

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

For those fans of Looking for Alaska, award winning author John Green is back with another brilliant but heatbreaking story!

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind

February 24, 2012 Posted by | Family/Relationships, Romance | , | Leave a comment

The dead I know by Scot Gardner

Aaron Rowe has dreams he can’t explain, and memories he can’t recover. But if he doesn’t discover the truth about his hidden past soon, he may fall asleep one night and never wake up. A potent, intense, psychodrama that will keep you gripped to the very last page.

You wake in the middle of the night, your arms and feet pinned by strong hands. As you thrash your way to consciousness, a calm voice says, ‘Steady. We’re here to help.’ Your mind registers a paramedic, a policeman, an ambulance. You are lying on the lookout at Keeper’s Point, the lookout Amanda Creen supposedly threw herself off. And you have absolutely no idea how you got there.
Aaron Rowe walks in his sleep. He has dreams he can’t explain, and memories he can’t recover. Death doesn’t scare him – his new job with a funeral director may even be his salvation. But if he doesn’t discover the truth about his hidden past soon, he may fall asleep one night and never wake up.
‘I have never read a book more gripping, nor a book more triumphantly alive. I love how it haunts me still. I swear, I will never forget The Dead I Know‘. – John Marsden

June 6, 2011 Posted by | Family/Relationships, Suspense | , , | Leave a comment

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

If you loved the book Lovely Bones or Before I Die then this might just have to be the next book you read.

On a rainy February night, eighteen year old Sam is killed in a horrific car crash. But then the impossible happens: she wake up in her own bed, on the morning of the day she died.

Forced to live over and over the last day of her life – the drive to school, skipping class, the fateful party- she desperately struggles to alter the outcome, but every morning she wakes up on the day of the crash.

This is the story of a girl who dies young, but in the process learns how to live. And who falls in love…..a little too late.

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May 30, 2010 Posted by | Bullying, Romance | , , | Leave a comment