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Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood, by Sarah J. Maas

Reviewed by Lilia, Paddington

Sarah J Maas drop your mic, pick it up and then drop it again! From an author loved by many for her young adult fiction, 'House of Earth and Blood' was an excellent entrance into a new market of readers. Don't let this book fool you either, its blurb may make it seem superfici... (continued)

Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi

Reviewed by Lilia & Rose, Berkelouw Paddington

This book is an epic! That word is seldom used in the book world and it is very fitting here.  Taking place in a fantasy world that is loosely based on Nigeria, Children of Blood and Bone follows Zelie on a journey to conquer an oppressive evil, gather strength and bring back magic whic... (continued)

Starfell, Willow Moss and the Lost Day, by Dominique Valente

Reviewed by Lilia, Berkelouw Paddington

Tuesday (the day itself) has gone missing and only Willow Moss, with the magical ability to find things, can discover what happened. Except that she can't remember anything about the day. Now you may be thinking, well can’t she use magic to get it back? But no! If Willow were to do t... (continued)

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, by Holly Ringland

Reviewed by Lilia, Berkelouw Paddington

I love this book from its first page to its final sentence. Ringland submerges readers into the Australian landscape and Alice Hart’s story from the very beginning. You feel the red earth beneath your feet, the sea breeze across your face and the soft petals of wildflowers between your f... (continued)

Nevermoor, by Jessica Townsend

Reviewed by Lilia, Berkelouw Paddington

This book is better than Harry Potter!  Now that I have your attention, if you pick one book today, make sure it's this one! Morrigan Crow was born on Eventide, the unluckiest day of the year, and is doomed to die on her twelfth birthday. Blamed for the misfortunes befallen o... (continued)

If Cats Disappeared from the World, by Genki Kawamura

Reviewed by Lilia, Berkelouw Paddington

Kawamura expertly captures the fragility of life and the significance of relationships with friends and family in this page turning read. As Kawamura's character questions what he truly values, you will be left asking yourself the same. It is a book that will leave you thinking long after ... (continued)

Little, by Edward Carey

Reviewed by Lilia, Berkelouw Paddington

I turned the final page of this novel and immediately wanted to begin it again. Carey immerses readers in 18th Century France with clarity and detail. With its obscure characters, organic illustrations and historical significance, Carey has created a novel that does justice to the life and sto... (continued)

Pages & Co. Tilly and the Bookwanderers, by Anna James

Reviewed by Lilia, Berkelouw Paddington

Imagine that you could walk into you favourite book, meet the characters and explore their world... What book would you choose to visit?   Living in with her grandparents who own a bookshop, Tilly Pages is stunned to find her favourite book characters wandering through the... (continued)

To Obama: With Love, Joy, Hate and Despair, by Jeanne Marie Laskas

Reviewed by Lilia, Berkelouw Paddington

With an overflowing amount of letters sent to the White House, each night Obama asked for 10 which he would read before bed. Each one would tell an entirely different story of American life, some would write to tell their families story, others just to say hello. The letter from a young boy wa... (continued)

Forests Of Silence. Deltora Quest Book 1

Reviewed by Tobias Age 8

Please enjoy this wonderful review by our youngest reviewer, Tobias Age 8   "Deltora Quest was written by the great author Emily Rodda, The first book in the series is The Forest of Silence. In the quest for the first jem, the Topaz which has the power to calm, show spiri... (continued)

Yes Please

Reviewed by Abby @ Paddington

Amy Poehler is a force to be reckoned with. From SNL  and Parks and Recreation fame and movies such as Baby Mama, Amy has established herself as a frontrunner in comedy - as well as balancing her life as a mother and screenwriter. Yes Please is a raw account of her life from a struggling ... (continued)

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Reviewed by Karen, Berkelouw Books, Paddington

At its heart, this wonderful book is about finding your place in the world. Ifemelu and Obinze were young lovers who drifted apart when Ifemelu went to America to study. There she found herself having to think about race which was not something that needed consideration at home in Nigeria.... (continued)

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Reviewed by Berkelouw Paddington

  It comes weighted with a decade’s worth of anticipation. Yet Jeffrey Eugenides’ third novel comes as light relief, compared to his two earlier works of fiction, ‘Middlesex’ and the ‘Virgin Suicides’. It’s the early 1980’s, and Amer... (continued)

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

Reviewed by George, Berkelouw Paddington

One of the better reviews I read about The Sisters Brothers (I think it was on the Guardian website) commented on the difficulty of making readers feel true empathy for the characters of a novel. And when your lead characters are two guns-for-hire - one a merciless psychopath, the other a temp... (continued)

How I Became a Famous Novelist

Reviewed by George, Berkelouw Paddington

"Rule 1: Abandon truth. Rule 2: Write a popular book. Do not waste energy making it a good book. ... Rule 6: Evoke confusing sadness at end. Rule 7: Prose should be 'lyrical'. ... Rule 15: Must have obscure exotic locations. Rule 16: Include plant names." Th... (continued)

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Reviewed by Berkelouw Paddington

Cormac McCarthy creates a startling vision of sombre clarity with his novel ‘The Road’. From the first chapter an almost tangible desperation emanates from the main characters and its contagiousness is unavoidable to the reader. A nameless horror has desecrated the Earth (undo... (continued)

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

Reviewed by Berkelouw Paddington

'Pale fire' is a 999 line poem presented in four cantos by American poet John Shade in which he reflects upon death, the afterlife and how the creative process can help us understand the universe... or is it? It could be about King Charles II, the deposed king of Zembla, and his d... (continued)

There but for the by Ali Smith

Reviewed by Berkelouw Paddington

It’s the story of a dinner guest who refuses to leave. In Ali Smith’s latest novel, this quirky premise develops into a satirical look on the way we live today. The story begins at a dinner party in Greenwich. Invited along by casual acquaintance Mark, Miles quietly slips upsta... (continued)

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

Reviewed by George, Berkelouw Paddington

As someone who studies psychology, I approached The Psychopath Test with a little apprehension. Not having read any of Jon Ronson's works (including Them: Adventures With Extremists, or the film-adapted The Men Who Stare At Goats), I was not sure whether to treat this as a serious attempt ... (continued)

East of the West by Miroslav Penkov

Reviewed by George, Berkelouw Paddington

On the inside of the dust jacket of this book is a quote from Penkov's writing: "We'd lost the war, of course, like all other recent wars, which was regrettable, since we never really lost our battles; we just picked the wrong allies." This seems like a curious - and unflattering - way to in... (continued)

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NSW 2021

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