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Tag Archives: Violence and Abuse


The stars at Oktober Bend – Glenda Millard

This is about fifteen-year-old Alice who has an acquired brain injury. She has difficulty voicing her thoughts but writes them beautifully in poems, which she leaves around her small Australian town for strangers to find. Manny finds them. He is a refugee, a child soldier who is trying to establish a new life in Australia.

The book is written entirely in lower case, as we see everything through Alice’s eyes, with small sections of the book in Manny’s voice.  The lower case writing draws us immediately into Alice’s way of seeing – might not be correct grammar but it expresses Alice’s voice authentically. A perfect pairing.

I enjoyed this book as Alice you see becoming her own person and she makes small careful steps towards being more independent.  It is a tender story well told
The Stars at Oktober Bend | FRONT COVER (20 October 2015)


I Let You Go – By Clare MacKintosh

I Let you Go is the powerful debut novel from Clare Mackintosh, a former police officer turned freelance writer.
The story is told from multiple viewpoints after a tragic accident results in the death of a young child. Jenna Gray’s world has fallen apart and she moves to an isolated cottage on the Welsh coast hoping to rebuild her life. I loved the way Mackintosh decided to join together two different types of crime writing in this novel as well as detailing the psychological impact of the crash on Jenna, Mackintosh also gives us the police procedural element as she follows the investigation carried out by DI Ray Stephens and DC Kate Evans and a glimpse into Ray’s home life. This makes the mystery all the more intriguing as despite giving the reader various pieces of the puzzle she doesn’t reveal everything. The writing is excellent and there is a killer twist which I promise you won’t see coming.
The story was inspired by a real life hit and run accident that Mackintosh was involved in investigating shortly after she joined the police force. This book is a engrossing, thrilling and at times almost heart stopping perfect for fans of Paula Daly, Sophie Hannah and Claire McGowan.

i let

Split – Swati Avasthi

Some things you can’t just walk away from

This is a heart wrenching book, real and scary about Jace who knocks on the door of his brother Christian’s apartment with a broken face and $3.84 plus a secret, after not having seen Christian for 6 years.

Their Dad is a serious abuser of their whole family including his mother, Christian got away all those years ago after he could not take it any longer

Jace then took a lot of beatings, he thought he had to stay to protect his mum and maybe take some of the abuse that she was getting but he finally cracks one day and has to leave.

He desperately want his mother to leave  or maybe he could go back and get her but in reality his mum is still trapped.

Christian has made a new life for himself and Jace must try to do the same thing.

Swati Avasthi gives a riveting portrait of what happens after. After you decide to leave, after you make the split – How do you make a life?

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Project Huia – Des Hunt

ImageDes Hunt writes almost exclusively for a young teen audience. He has a real formula – action, adventure with a NZ conservation and environmental flavour. Project Huia  is no different.

What if de-extinction was a real possibility? What if we could recreate the famed huia? What other possibilities could there be?

The story is one that most teens could relate to in some way, in a straightforward manner.The author creates an authentic view of small town NZ – of families struggling, of school-yard bullies who grown into bullying adults.

The story is written in a straightforward and engaging manner – most young teens would relate to and enjoy the story .