Reading is an important part of my life and because of this I can't help but want to share the love. 

Every once in a while I'm going to tell you about a book I heart. Who knows, you may end up wanting to read it yourself.

The Winter Isles by Antonia Senior

Don't judge a book by its cover. I was sent this novel to review a while back and the cover did not grab me. When I opened it, however, I was reminded of the magic spell some books can cast. I loved this book from the first page to the last. Read my review of it here.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

This book has won a slew of awards but that wasn't how I came to read it.

My sister discovered Vera first and then she introduced me to her.

Now, if I remember things correctly I fell in love with this book on about page 2. Vera and I clicked right away. She's clever and feisty and uneasy with herself all at once. She's the kind of book character I now know I gravitate to.

I just loved the quirky style of this novel. The little details, like chapter headings and diagrams, give it something extra special and personal.

The arc of the relationship between Vera and her battling single dad is totally endearing and perfect and Vera's gig as a pizza delivery driver feels like an extension of her character - it's a critical part of who she is at this point in her life.

I keep buying new copies of this book because I keep giving it away to people, always sure they will love it.

Here's a snapshot of the story:

Eighteen-year-old Vera's spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she's kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything. So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, or even the police. But will she emerge and clear his name? Does she even want to?
Don't ignore Vera, read this book. I'd love to know what you think.

Holier Than Thou by Laura Buzo (Aussie author alert. Yay!)

So I'm going to start by saying the best books are often the ones you don't expect. I grabbed this book off a shelf at my local library one morning while trying to keep one eye on the four children belonging to me who were roaming the aisles, pulling books from the returns cart onto the floor and playing in the space just in front of the automatic doors. In short, this was not a considered selection.

Consideration can be overrated. I loved this book. The story was contemporary, the characters clever and the writing really, really fresh. To me this book zinged (it also extracted some tears in spots).

Probably my favourite part was the rapport and dialogue between the main character, Holly and her social worker colleague Nick. Their conversations were both effortless and enthralling. They clicked in the way that perfectly paired characters do. You wish you knew these people so you could join in the conversation.

The other thing that really got to me about this book was its realism and relatability. The ending is somewhat subversive and initially I was like: what? no! but then I thought: wait, that's actually really REAL.

The story in brief:

Holly Yarkov has a boyfriend who is a gift from the universe. She has a job that fulfils her even as it wears her down. She has a dangerously appealing co-worker, who literally plays with fire. And she has a layer of steel around her heart that is beginning to tarnish. Just as she is reaching for a future she can't quite see, Holly finds her present invaded by the past, by memories of her father's death and of her once best friend, the boy-who-never-was.

Read my book reviews

I've been reviewing books on author Marianne de Pierres' various websites for a little while now. You might like to check them out. Here's a link to the reviews I post with them.

Sarah's Reviews