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by Beverly Cleary

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ah, this was sweet and charming, Cleary writing about a time of innocence that probably never really existed.

But Ms Cleary captures very well the insecurities of the young and the manoeuvring between parents’ wishes and Jane’s own desire to grow up.

Although Jane does have some career ambitions and is part of a successful babysitting partnership, they pale to her desire to be Stan’s girl. I like to think that modern teens think of more than this!

A quick, easy read and I loved spending time with people as nice as Jane & Stan.

Book Review: One of Us is Lying

One of Us Is Lying

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Frankly in Love came close, but this is a YA book that really lived up to all the hype.

The Breakfast Club was obviously the inspiration for this novel, but this book isn’t a straight copy of it. Sure the five main characters are American Teen Cliches, but they are strongly drawn identities. Others have said they managed to guess the twist easily – I’ve been sick (excuses, excuses!) but I didn’t see it coming and I didn’t guess the solution either. I could only put the book down when I needed a nap.

Also a great road map on the perils and benefits of social media. My only quibble would be that there are too many happy endings!…

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Frankly in Love

Frankly in Love

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


My first arc-read-before-the-book-is-published! I’m so excited! Thank you so much Penguin NZ for gifting me this & for being happy for me to share my opinion of the book.

I used to say about my parents, “I just can’t talk to Mum & Dad!” But American born Frank really couldn’t talk to his parents – their English was bad and his Korean was worse. A lifetime of misunderstanding come to a head in Frank’s final semester at high school. Frank is clear on two things – he doesn’t want to live by his parents racist beliefs. But he also doesn’t want to hurt them. These two goals look to be on a collision course.

I absolutely loved this book and it was a 5★ read for around the first 90%.Yoon’s words just flowed on the page and I found it very hard to put the book down.

I’m Canadian born. We moved to New Zealand when I was seven and I did spend the first half of my life feeling I didn’t really belong in either country, so I identified with some of Frank’s confusion.I just feel the last part of the book tried to pack too many events in, and while this may work in the future film, it is just too much on the page.

Still highly recommended!…

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The Ghost Bride

The Ghost Bride

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


“The problem with the dead was that they all wanted someone to listen to them.”

Now, I wouldn’t have thought this was my sort of read at all, but it shows how wrong you can be.

More than what I was expecting as I knew there would be the fantastic and paranormal,this was also a (somewhat tepid) romance and a murder mystery. Ms Choo’s use of evocative language is assured – quite amazing that this book was a debut. Ms Choo allows us to pick delicately through Li Lan’s complicated beliefs – every bit as complicated as life in nineteenth century Malaya would be. I just accepted everything I was shown.

Quite wonderful. I’m only knocking half a star off, because in the middle it dragged a bit & because I guessed the two twists quite easily.

Another quote from this very quotable book

“It was strange to think that power in this world belonged to old men and young women.”…

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