September 2015 Book Reviews


Lucy Inglis

Present day: Hope visits Montana with her mum, Meredith, who is an environmental scientist. Hope and Meredith stay with the Crow family. While research keeps Meredith busy, Hope helps Cal Crow with chores, like caring for the animals. 1867: Emily is rescued by horse-trader, Nate, who takes her to a remote cabin where she recovers. While Emily is stuck at the cabin until Nate can return her to town, she helps with chores, meets his family, and is drawn into his way of life. The journey for both couples interlinks and I found it so interesting and enjoyable to flip between the two. 

At first I didn’t care much for Hope, though I quite liked Cal. I absolutely loved Emily and Nate the whole way through, and I looked forward to their chapters. As I neared the end of the book, Hope and Cal did manage to win me over. And it turned out to be pretty spectacular. When I started reading, I didn’t think it would get me like it did. But emotional doesn’t even cover it. It was a beautiful book, and so cleverly done. I thought it was extraordinary.


Anna-Marie McLemore

Two proud families with strong values and individual travelling shows have a long history of rivalry. The sequinned Palomas swim wearing mermaid tails and the winged Corbeaus walk along the branches of the tallest trees. Both families shield their secrets and project their hostility and, as time passes, rivals become enemies, and the feuding families spiral down a path of fistfights, sabotage, and superstition. When a life-threatening accident brings Lace Paloma and Cluck Corbeau together, the only life they’ve known is about to fall apart.

With a Romeo and Juliet vibe, competing circuses, and a contemporary setting laced with quiet magic, this is one of the most gorgeous books I’ve ever read. The writing was breath-taking at times, carrying rich description and characters to fall in and out of love with. An achingly beautiful story of forbidden love, the dangers of falling, and the beauty of breaking the surface.


Alex Gino

The school play is coming up and George wants to play Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web. George’s teacher says she can’t play Charlotte because she is a boy, but George knows she’s a girl. There’s a real mixture of attitude toward George from the characters in the book, but what I loved most is that George knows who she is. I loved her best friend, Kelly, too. She’s fun and playful, but she accepts George and helps her be who she’s meant to be. Their friendship is true. The writing was so clear, allowing an instant connection to George’s emotions. The information weaved seamlessly into the story was great to see. There’s a lot of heart in this book. Its pages encourage love and understanding, and the message couldn’t be clearer: be who you are!


Laura Wood

When Poppy’s circus family decide she needs an education that is more than they can offer, they send her to boarding school. Poppy’s worried about making friends, having lived her whole life at the circus eating candy floss for breakfast, petting lions, and surrounded by a lively bunch of performers. But her fear soon passes when she meets Ingrid and Kip, who love to hear about the circus, and the three become best friends. When an Egyptian exhibition is being held at the school, with stories of a cursed ruby followed by a string of unexplained events, the trio launch into detective mode to get to the bottom of the curse that’s taken the school and who or what is behind it. This was a really fun read! Lots of energy in the writing, a twisty mystery to follow, a brilliant mix of characters, and great humour. Perfect for fans of Circus Mirandus and Murder Most Unladylike.


Sarah J Schmitt

A Christmas Carol style read with a Mean Girls twist? Yes please! This ended up being so much more than I expected, though. It delivered on the humour and fun, but also had some really heartwarming and thoughtful moments. The story is told with a lightness that doesn’t detract from its subject matter. Memorable and clever, with a clear message at its core.


Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover (audiobook)

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

That Time I Joined the Circus by JJ Howard