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Keyword: ‘Speed Freak’

Speed Freak by Fleur Beale

September 3, 2013 Comments off

speed freakSpeed Freak by Fleur Beale. Pub.Random House, 2013.

I was glad when I saw this novel was for petrol heads and motor racing fans because for so often they struggle to find novels to read. This is Fleur Beale’s third novel about cars and racing after Slide the Corner and Dirt Bomb.

This novel is pitched at High school level as it is about 15 year old Archie Taylor and his pursuit of a Karting title and a sponsorship that will take him to the World Karting Champs in Portugal.

Archie has a good head on his shoulders and a determination to win but not at all costs. He is fair and knows he will struggle to win both Title and sponsorship because his rival Craig has money behind him and an ego to match. Archie has a new family situation to deal with as his father has set up a new relationship with doctor Erica and he shy son Felix.

Motor racing broke up his parents relationship and he fears history will repeat itself as Erica is dead against motor racing.

As the competition and drama hots up on and off the track and the wild girl driver Silver puts some menace on the track, Archie has to reassess his tactics and priorities.

Solid novel from Fleur Beale but then you expect that.

Speed of Light by Joy Cowley

July 4, 2014 Comments off

speed of lightSpeed of Light by Joy Cowley. Pub. Gecko Press, 2014.

Sometimes families need rescuing from themselves. This is true of teenager Jeff’s family.

Jeff’s father Winston is an obnoxious control freak who thinks he is born to rule. He lives in a mansion overlooking Wellington harbour,  and does things because he is wealthy so he can. He is off hand to his wife Helen, mistrustful and controlling of his daughter Andrea and Jeff and has disowned his eldest son Beck, who is in prison in Thailand for drugs.  Then he is wound in by an apparent gentleman who flatters him, then rips him off for $1.5 Million in a phoney property deal. He deserved it.

Before this all happens on a dark stormy night an old woman who calls herself Maisie is felled by a tree on Winston’s property. He is livid. Jeff his youngest son finds her alive and goes to visit her in hospital. Maisie tells Jeff that his family face misfortune because she is a Dreamkeeper – a sort of guardian who sees life as a dream. When the Dream becomes a nightmare she jumps in to assist them.

Then Andrea leaves school and moves in with a married man with children because she is in love. The property deal goes bottom up, Winston loses his cool, hits his wife she leaves home and wants a divorce and it is announced that Beck is being transferred back to a New Zealand prison.

You can read the rest to find out what happens as it is drama of the highest level but needless to say Jeff is to play a critical part.

The character of Jeff is mathematics mad. He believes in numerology and Joy Cowley begins each chapter with some astonishing mathematical facts which fascinate the reader as the family fall apart. Life ain’t all beer and skittles.

For Intermediate and high school students.