Haven’t come back to this for awhile, so I’ve got a few to get through this time. Just short thoughts for most of them, so I can fit them all in.
The next cab off the rank was ‘The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl’ by Melissa Keil. I was initially attracted by the cover art of this book, which is great, but didn’t feel like the contents lived up to expectations. It was a nice book and I’d definitely recommend it to any teens who were into some light romance but for me, it felt like it tried a little too hard to be quirky. (3 stars)
On the other hand ‘Razorhurst’ by Justine Larbalestier hadn’t seemed like something that would interest me, when I had heard a description of it at the Clayton’s Night. 1930’s Sydney and mob wars fought with razors turned out to be a great setting for this story with likeable main characters, lots of action and even the ‘seeing ghosts’ element worked well. (4 stars)
‘The Astrologer’s Daughter’ by Rebecca Lim was a bit of a grower. I found some of the characters to be a bit clunky but the mystery slowly reeled me in so that I was left wanting more by the end. (4 stars)
‘Head of the River’ by Pip Harry was one of the few books from this list that I could comfortably recommend to one of the boys at my school. The two main characters are twins, a boy and a girl, who alternate between chapters, telling their sides of the story running up to the big race. I really enjoyed both their stories and even *almost* could understand why someone would want to take up rowing (except for the early mornings, hard work and crushing disappointments). (4 stars)
At this point in my reading challenge I was nearly at the end of the Inky Awards gold list. However I decided not to read ‘Clariel’ by Garth Nix. It’s actually the 4th book in a series and I didn’t think reading it out of context would do it justice but was not willing to read the other three first. So, let’s just say that I’d finished the gold list.
I then got distracted by the announcement of the CBCA’s announcement of its shortlist for 2015 Book of the Year. I’d already read 3 of the books in the Older Readers category (‘Nona and Me’, ‘The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl’ and ‘The Protected’). I decided to knock out the other three, and I’ll write about them next.