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

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Thousand Pieces of You: Book Review by Melanie

A Thousand Pieces of You - Claudia Gray 

Sitting on a near empty train, travelling through the Bavarian Alps, Germany and reading Claudia Gray's A Thousand Pieces of You, I truly was transported to another dimension. Immersed in the notion of alternate universes and feeling as though I were living in one, provided an amazing symmetry between my own life and Gray's story world. 

When we travel, we have the opportunity to explore a side of ourselves that is not always present when we are living our daily lives. I for one struggle to exercise spontaneity and am often pulled back by my inhibitions. Not when I travel though. When I travel solo, I get to see a different side of myself and it is for this reason that A Thousand Pieces of You and the main character, Marguerite, resonated with me so fully. The exploration of different selves and questioning self identity is ever present in the inner musings of Marguerite. 

Who could I have been? Was there a different way my life could have played out? What if I had gone right instead of left, where would I be now?  These are all questions we are plagued with when reading Gray's novel, where inner reflection is unavoidable. As we follow Marguerite, we watch as she is given the opportunity to play out these different lives. The story is centered around Marguerite's quest to catch her Father's killer, by travelling from dimension to dimension with the aid of her parent's ingenious invention the 'Firebird'. A device that allows a person to explore different universes. 

I loved the concept of being able to explore a different version of myself, but will we always like what we see? A certain level of balance must be at play when negotiating these different universes and it would be understandable that if different versions of ourselves exist, we may not always be happy with the person we see in each reality. 

Sometimes these conceptual novels can struggle to keep the reader engrossed in the reality of the story, but Gray kept me captivated and guessing (in a good way!) from beginning to end. Gray has perfectly encapsulated the curiosity of humanity and our propensity for continual self reflection in this dimension-bending novel. I definitely encourage you to grab yourself a copy from one of the Camden Libraries today! 

Melanie, 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

Talon: Book Review by Sabrina

Talon by Julie Kagawa is based on the life of a 16 year old less than normal girl, Ember. Ember and her brother Dante are dragons (I know! *gasp*), able to change from a fiery, red, scaled, fire-breathing lizard into regular teens, blending into human society. Previously Ember and Dante had lived and grown up in a secret facility hidden in the desert. At the age of 16, the world-wide-dragon organization Talon sends the pair to infiltrate human teen groups in preparation for their future work as part of Talon. This is where the story really heats up!

Just as you’re trying to wrap your head around the idea of hidden dragons in the world, the perspective changes and we are introduced to life on the other side of the dragons. Garret, a regular human, is a specially trained agent part of the secret military of St George. As you can probably tell from the name, the order of St George trains humans in the ways to fight and kill dragons; their mortal enemies. Raised to believe all dragons are evil soulless lizards Garret has no problem in being sent undercover to find evidence of the sleeper dragons, Ember and Dante, and kill them. What he didn’t count on was that despite all clues seemingly pointing to Ember as the sleeper dragon, Garret has difficulty labelling this fiery, beautiful, joyful girl as a soulless dragon. The confusion, questions, anger, joys and loves of the characters makes you thirst for more. Talon makes you turn the pages with barely concealed excitement as you hungrily devour the pages as views and perspectives change and morph, leaving you to question whose side you are on.  Secrets kept, secrets revealed and a forbidden romance, Julie Kagawa makes sure there is never a dull moment. By the end of the book you’ll be frantic for the sequel!

Drop into Camden Libraries to borrow a copy of Talon and explore the rest of the series today.

Sabrina 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices) - Book Review

If you haven't already acquainted yourself with the captivating work of Cassandra Clare, then consider this your official introduction to her fantastical world of shadowhunters, where demons, fairies, vampires, wolves and other mythical monsters of the like run rampant. While most attention is given to her Mortal Instruments series, following the tumultuous lives of Clary Fray and her colorful friends, it is Clare's sequential series The Dark Artifices that has left me despairing as I eagerly await the next book. Having already fallen in love with Clare's fictional world, I waited on bated breath for the first book in the series, Lady Midnight, to see where she would go next.

We are given the opportunity to meet the main protagonists of this new series in the Mortal Instruments books, where Clare gave us a peek into their own world of hardship, loyalty and love and the importance of family and friends. Enter Emma Carstairs, of which the series primarily revolves around, a fierce, talented, young Shadowhunter, desperately searching for answers in a world that isn't willing to give them. Finding herself an orphan after the mysterious death of her parents, Emma is sent to live with the Blackthorns, a family that is no stranger to pain and loss. The story inevitably revolves around Emma and the Blackthorn children and their often dangerous escapades, as they work to solve the mysteries that plague their world. 

But what would a young adult, paranormal, fictional series be without a little angst and whole lot of forbidden love? The Dark Artifices doesn't disappoint. There is no Emma without Julian Blackthorn. Completely inseparable from the moment they met, Emma and Julian's sweet bond takes center stage in this series. But their bond as parabatai (a term for an almost unbreakable, platonic bond, between two shadowhunter warriors) interferes with the budding feelings developing between the pair. A romantic relationship between a pair of parabatai is strictly prohibited, according to shadowhunter law, but the laws of attraction have other plans. It's hard enough to traverse the steep and rocky terrain of relationships in the real world, but throw in the mix being a shadowhunter, governed by a strict set of laws, it seems entirely impossible. But hey, it makes for a great story! 

If you love a fictional world with plenty of rebellion, a whole lot of sword fighting, a good dose of mystery solving and a tonne of romantic suspense, then Cassandra Clare has just the world for you. If you're already familiar with her Mortal Instruments series, then definitely check The Dark Artifices out. However, if you want to jump straight into this mystical world, then go right ahead, this series needs no introduction. Check these titles out at one of your Camden Libraries now and immerse yourself into a series that will always leave you wanting more. 

Melanie 2016

Complete our survey to have your say! As part of our preparation for Camden Councils Youth Week 2017 at the Camden Libraries, we have put together a survey for you to voice your opinion. If you are between the ages of 12-24 we would love to hear from you! Click on the link below to get started:

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

National Novel Writing Month - NaNoWriMo @ Camden Libraries

Have you ever wanted to write your own novel? Create a world that others can get lost in? Now's your chance! November is National Novel Writing Month known as 'NaNoWriMo', a month where you challenge yourself to write 50, 000 words. Wow! Seems tough, I know, but the Camden Libraries are here to help. This Saturday 12th November, Narellan Library is hosting a NaNoWriMo 'write-in'. Whether you're just starting out, or you've already begun, this write-in is a great opportunity to workshop your ideas, get feedback from other writers and work towards that 50, 000 word goal!
It's never too late to start, you have until November 30th to create your own fictional world. So why not start this Saturday?
Drop in and explore your creative genius with us!

When: Saturday 12th November 
Time: 9:00 am - 2:30 pm
Where: Narellan Library 
Who: 13 years and up!

If you're interested in giving this challenge a go and want to know exactly how it works, head over to:
Complete our survey to have your say! As part of our preparation for Camden Councils Youth Week 2017 at the Camden Libraries, we have put together a survey for you to voice your opinion. If you are between the ages of 12-24 we would love to hear from you! Click on the link below to get started: