As mentioned in my last post, I’d already read three of the books in the Older Readers category of the CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist for 2015. So I decided to dive into the other three.
Firstly I read ‘Are You Seeing Me?’ by Darren Groth. As an aside, I think that while doing these mini-reviews, I need to get a thesaurus so I can find more words which mean ‘nice’. For those books which are perfectly okay, I’d recommend to others but I don’t really feel strongly about. This was a charming story, I enjoyed reading it and…um…nice. (3 stars)
Next was ‘Intruder’ by Christine Bongers. I found this book riveting from the start with a nice balance of tension. I was kind of expecting the ending to tie up a bit more cleverly than it did, particularly regarding who the intruder actually was but the final revelations were good enough to leave me happy. It made it a bit more real-life believable rather than gob-smacking. (4 stars)
Finally I picked up ‘The Minnow’ by Diana Sweeney. Now the following rant will contain some **spoilers** so if you plan to read this book, look away now. But I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone so take what you will from that. I actively disliked this book. I found it irritating and I dragged myself to my own disappointment at the end. My first thought, ten pages into the book, was that it wasn’t suitable for any but the oldest students at my Middle School. Icky sex scenes and the loss of her virginity to the shonky man “old enough to be her father” who seemed to be acting as her guardian left me feeling sad and angry. The detached way the main character described events was quite dream-like (one review I saw called the book ‘lyrical’…hmmmmm) and I became convinced halfway through the book that it would all turn out to be some kind of coma-dream. I desperately waited for some kind of twist which would explain why things didn’t make sense half the time but I was bitterly disappointed in this. This book just rubbed me the wrong way and I ended up regretting those hours of reading which I’d never get back. (1 star)