Monday, January 16, 2017

The Vanishing Throne: Book Review by Nathalie

The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May, is about Aileana Kameron, a Falconer and the last of her kind. After escaping from her Fae captors she must chose her path; live on the run, hiding from the Fae (who destroyed her world) or chose the path of coming into her powers.

I love this book. Set in the 1800’s, it’s filled with magic, adventure, a bit of romance, and a heroine who not only can fight the villains, but has weaknesses as well. But what I love is that it doesn’t stop her from trying to fight for what she wants, what she believes in.

This book grabbed me from the start and I loved every minute of reading it. The only small thing I can pick at with this was that it was a little slow in some parts, which I thought could have had something happened, or maybe a bit more information revealed. Apart from that, everything else was great.

I definitely recommend this if you love a mix of high society and Fae magic thrown together with a bit of steampunk for good measure.

I have to give this one 4.5 stars
by Nathalie, 2017

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Summer Review Club

Review one of your Summer Reads this holiday to go in the draw to win. Prizes to be won are especially exciting for any gamers or movie lovers.
Grab your entry form when you borrow from either Camden or Narellan Libraries!

Reviews we love will be featured on our blog.

Monday, December 19, 2016

If I Stay: Film Review by Melanie

If I Stay: Film Review

If you were given the opportunity to live your life out, when those you love most are gone and everything you knew is turned upside down, what would you do? If you were able to make that choice between life and death when life without these people seems too hard, would you give up? If I Stay is a heartbreaking story about a young girl who is forced to make this painful decision, when her family is involved in a tragic car accident.

Caught in a vortex between life and death young Mia Hall, played by Chloe Grace Mortez, watches as the events following her family's accident unfold. Watches as the chaos unfolds, the tragedy, the heartbreak, the turmoil. As we watch Mia navigate this painful state in between life and death, we are also treated to flashbacks that give insight into the characters lives and who they each are. A close knit family, the flashbacks show how important Mia's family are to her. How they have shaped her, encouraged her, supported her and loved her, emphasising just how lost Mia will be without her family. Mortez does a wonderful job at portraying the distressing and panic stricken state that young Mia is in, watching as those she loves are ripped away, leaving her with little desire to continue fighting for her own life.

At the outset of the film, we are introduced to Mia's boyfriend Adam and just as the flashbacks give us insight into Mia's family, they also show how the teen's relationship unfolded. Although the flashbacks show their relationship at an impasse, we see the importance that Adam holds in Mia's life. So we watch as the tenuous threads holding Mia to this life are pulled and tested and strained. Is the love that is left enough to keep her here? Or is it just too much to ask of one person to carry on? As I often revisit this film, my favourite scene is the heartbreaking moment that Mia's grandfather tells her that it is okay to let go, that he knows how much pain she would be in if she chose to fight. For me, this scene is the epitome of love. Loving someone and knowing how much pain their loss would cause you, but allowing them the freedom to let go.

With my heart in my throat from the onset of this film, I felt the film was both a poignant reminder of the fragility of life and an acknowledgement of the relationships with our family and friends that bond and strengthen our hold on this world. I thought it was a story that was beautifully and delicately conveyed, mixing heartache with joy, tragedy with happiness. Films that are converted from books are not always able to capture the magic of the book or the essence of the author, but I felt that If I Stay was able to perfectly grasp the many elements of the story. Should you be more of a book enthusiast, you can check out the book version by Gayle Forman. Grab your copy of the book or the film at the Camden Libraries.

Melanie 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Book Review by Natalie

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

First off, let me just say that I absolutely love the Harry Potter franchise. They are such fantastic books to read and I go back to them every chance I get. That being said, let’s talk The Cursed Child.

The Cursed Child follows the story of Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy, who form what may be considered an unlikely friendship, due to their parents being enemies throughout their own school years at Hogwarts. As they made their way towards school on the Hogwarts Express, Albus learns his father has found a Time Turner. Knowing his father has already refused to help Amos Diggory – who only wants his son Cedric back from the dead – Albus convinces Scorpius to help him steal the Time Turner and go back to Harry, Ron and Hermione’s fourth year at Hogwarts. He is determined to save Cedric during the Triwizard Tournament. The adventure through begins.

The Cursed Child has a lot going for it. New and interesting characters, seeing what may have been, and of course let’s not forget revisiting Hogwarts and the Tournament. Only this time, we see it through the eyes of someone who doesn’t really want to be there. The characters are incredibly well written and go a long way towards carrying the plot through to the end. I especially love how Albus actually did end up in Slytherin.

It also has a few points which made me think twice about this book. For one thing, it was difficult to get into because it is in script form. The characters we know and love aren’t the same as when we left them at the end of Death Hallows. They’ve changed and although you expect them to change slightly because of the time difference in between books, the differences are a little too hard to ignore. The ‘scenes’ jump from time period to time period and the changes can be hard to follow when you try to read this like you would read a normal book. It’s also a little too obvious who the Cursed Child is and the unfolding story gets a little repetitive until it reaches Part 2. Or maybe that’s because I’m reading the script and not watching the play. I don’t know for sure but I am absolutely going to see this play if/when it comes to Sydney.

All being said, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a good book to read if you’re a true Harry Potter fan. And even if you aren’t, I’d say give it a go and see what you think. I’m giving this book 3 out of 5 stars because as much as I loved it and want to rate it higher, I can’t bring myself to do it. 

Natalie, 2016

Monday, December 05, 2016

The Girl on the Train: Book Review by Elodie

The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

“The Girl on the Train” - a book filled with mystery, emotion and twists, (almost guaranteed to keep you on your toes) tells the story of a young woman whose life is far from perfect. Each morning she travels on the same train to the same destination, each day with a different story to tell. Life seemed almost uniformed; catch the train to a job she didn’t have, spend the day walking until the train arrived to take her to her friend’s apartment where she lived. Nights would be spent drinking away her loneliness, only to find her sober self facing the same thoughts the next morning. The only thing that kept her from going over the edge was the couple who lived in the house her train stopped near. The house and the couple reminded her of how perfect her life was before her husband divorced her and before her life fell into ruins. Each day she’d fantasize about the adventures the young couple would have and about what kind of life they led. She liked this and she felt a sense of clarity dreaming about this… until it became real.

The Girl on the Train teaches many lessons and reveals ideas that are only found in the deepest crevices of our mind. This book makes us feel what she feels and see what she sees, making us view the world in an entirely different way. Hawkins shows us that there’s a story behind every face and every scene and that life is never what it seems. Do yourself a favor and reserve a copy at one of the Camden Libraries today.

Elodie, 2016