Posts Tagged ‘Romance’

Black Spiral trilogy Bk2. Black Wolf by Eileen Merriman. Pub. Penguin, 2021.

October 29, 2021 Comments off

Second part of the series that began with Violet Black which is also reviewed elsewhere on this blog and it will excite you just as much as the first novel.

After the disastrous episode in Germany Violet and her associate Phoenix return to the Foundation complex in central Australia. Phoenix is being experimented on with an LSD substance and it has altered his mental powers so that he can bypass blocks in The Foundation staff and read their minds.

Phoenix age 18years, is not popular with Violet aged 18years and now wants to be known by his real name Johnno. Meanwhile Violet is being experimented on too but is still able to communicate by ESP with Phoenix and other members of VORTEX. She is dissatisfied and wants to escape.

She plots with Phoenix AKA Johnno AKA Black Wolf and the two manage to escape into the centre of the Australian desert and the two have a ball, find they like each other, romance blossoms and some exciting action takes place. The two have now perfected Dream-Flow by which they can escape their bodies ,turn into animals like birds and wolves and fly for miles.

This part two also develops the reasons why and how M Fever came about and returns the major characters to New Zealand where the action started. This sets up part three with the questionable actions of the Foundation now becoming exposed. But who is behind them?

Well written and believable. I can’t wait for the third part hopefully due early next year.


Frankly in Love by David Yoon.

November 19, 2019 Comments off

franklyFrankly in Love by David Yoon. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2019.

I first received this novel for review two months ago and somehow I have sat on it till now. I shouldn’t have. It is absolutely superb. It is about first love, it is about racism and it is about cultural difference in American culture, written in a way that will totally enthrall you.

Frank Li is 18 years old he is by his own words a Korean-American and proud of it. He speaks no Korean and has grown up as an American kid except that he is Asian. His parents are dyed in the wool Koreans who came to America in the 90’s. Their English is halting and they earn a living from a liquor store come grocery in California which they own. They have done very well but stick to their Korean friends and are totally racist in their views especially towards other Asian groups. Its about the human ties that matter.

Previously their only daughter and Frank Li’s sister Hannah, has been disowned by the family because she developed a relationship with a Black American while at college and has since married him. Frank Li is distressed about this as he loved his sister and his parents want him to marry a Korean daughter of one of their friends. Her name is Joy and she has a secret Chinese boyfriend without her parents knowledge. Joy is a joy to read about.

When Frank Li starts a relationship with European American girl, Brit Means that develops into love and hot love at that, Joy and Frank Li start a pretend relationship to hide their real relationships from their parents.

This is a dangerous game and soon it is going to go pear shaped. Find out how and why by reading this very readable novel for yourself. It is compelling reading, superbly told.

In a nut shell the parents have to let go of their racist views and the kids have to learn to be brave in a melting pot that is the American dream. An added bonus is that the multi cultural kids in this book are highly intelligent and the wit and interaction they have both in person and via technology is totally engrossing

Senior secondary and young adult but younger teen readers will thrive on it too. In my top 5 books of the year so far and I pick it will stay there.

Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix.

August 19, 2015 Comments off

Newt's emeraldNewt’s Emerald by Garth Nix. Pub. Allen & Unwin, 2015.

Eighteen year old Lady Truthful Newington is about to come out for her first season in London. She is a beautiful redhead who has had a rough and tumble childhood with her three male cousins who were older than her.

On the day of her birthday she is shown the Newington Emerald that she will inherit. It is a legendary stone that grants power over all four elements, earth air fire and water. The stone is stolen under their noses after a conjoured storm and the race is on to find it.

Lady Truthful goes to London to stay with her great Aunt Badgery and disguised as a man seeks evidence of the Emerald in the shifty side of London. She meets the dashing  Major Harnett as a man, and ends up tied back to back with him inside a large brandy barrel in a rollicking  adventure.

The villain is the magical Lady Plathenden who seeks the Emerald because of it’s magic powers. The adventure culminates at a masquerade party at Brighton by the sea.

A ripping magical yarn set in Regency England after Waterloo and the imprisonment of Napoleon under the Rock of Gibraltar. It is a romance and i will leave you with this thought from the novel. When a young woman hovers between “wanting to see a man again” and “never wanting to see him again” I know where my money is on.

Superbly written by Garth Nix, some magical creations of Regency parlour room escapades and riveting adventure plus the romance.

Secondary students but try keeping this away from intermediate girls.

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead.

July 30, 2015 Comments off

goodbye strangerGoodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead. Pub. Text Publishing, 2015.

Enjoyed reading this novel for Intermediate and High School students but have to concede that it is more likely to appeal to girls rather than boys. Having said that there is much to gain by boys in reading this novel because it is an insight into how female friendships work and how they regard boys.

The heart of the novel revolves around the friendship between Bridge, Tab and Em who have known each other for years but they are now in 7th grade and their lives are changing both in a physical sense and the way they view each other, their parents and of course the great mystery in their lives boys.

Bridge has recovered from a serious accident and has started a friendship with Sherm who is a great male character. Tab is drawn to the feminist way of thinking and Em has developing curves that the older boys are beginning to notice.

The drama surrounds a series of selfies sent by Em to a knockout boy Patrick who has requested a photo of her. She sends him a photo of her foot. Pics continue to change hands until Em sends one of herself in a bra. OMG! Read the rest and find out what happens as things get out of control very quickly.

Told in five parts with each girl and Sherm featured. But there is a mystery character  who writes in a series of chapters headed Valentines Day. Who is it? There are also some minor characters who have great appeal.

Well written with philosophies and metaphors that will turn your head and your mind. Very satisfying read.

The Girl Who Rode the Wind by Stacy Gregg.

July 23, 2015 Comments off

girl windThe Girl Who Rode the Wind by Stacy Gregg. Pub. HarperCollins, 2015. I wanted to read this new Stacy Gregg novel over 2/3 days but I couldn’t wait and read it in one day. It is another story of romance, of history of drama and of course it is about girls and horses. Formulaic the novels may seem but they all have their own individual flavour that says read me.

Lola is 12 years old and she lives near New York’s Aqueduct racetrack. All her family are involved in horse racing and she herself is a gutsy rider who loves horses. Lola goes back to Italy with her Nonna who fled Italy after World War 2 and has never been back. Nonna came from the beautiful city of Siena where every 16th August they run the Palio around the dirt cover cobblestones of the main piazza of Siena. It is the roughest horse race in the world competed for by the 17 Contrada or districts of Siena with names like Wolf, Porcupine and Giraffe. Winning is more important than life and death.

Lola meets a boy who works for a stable that trains the Palio horses and also meets Nico a wild powerful horse who she rides every day. But there is much history to get through before the Palio.

Nonna was known as Scavezzecolla when she was  a young girl because she was a fierce rider who had competed in the Palio. She has a story of murder and romance in Facist Italy to tell Lola that she told to no-one and needs to get out. Secrets are to be revealed.

Stunningly written by Stacy Gregg who continues to write horse stories that are thrilling but I have always been a succour for romance. Teenage and pre teen readers have much to enjoy in this novel.

I Am Juliet by Jackie French

July 2, 2014 Comments off

I Am Juliet by Jackie French. Pub. Angus & Robertson, 2014. 

JulietThis is the story of Juliet Capulet the young girl from Verona who had the great romance with Romeo only to have it shattered by family differences, unfortunate misunderstandings and tragedy.

This is Juliet’s story and faithful to Shakespeare’s play it is, even to the extent of quoting lines from it and from some of Shakespeare’s verse.

Jackie French emphasises the real tragedy of this love story in the Romeo and Juliet were so young even for Shakespeare’s Age, and were not in control of their own lives. Others made important decisions for them which heightens the tragedy in a way Shakespeare’s never pointed out.

Juliet was waited on hand and foot and had no concept of what real life was all about. At 13 going on 14 she knew nothing of sex only a fantasy version of what love entailed. When she met Romeo she was blown away by feelings she couldn’t contain.

It was an era when women had little power except between the sheets. A woman was was only remembered if she was a queen or a saint. The prevailing opinion was if you filled a ladies head with too much learning you would send her mad. It was a daughter’s duty to do what her family desired, they could hold no power or property and to marry well was essential.

The purity of the love between Romeo and Juliet is not tarnished. It is magic when they are together.

Juliet was groping in the dark. Read her story it is brilliant. For high school students really but I bet Intermediate school girls will seek after it to. Boys I hope but I doubt it.