Review: Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal

It had to happen eventually. What started as a soap-like series of paperbacks about a pair of sixteen year old high schoolers, genetically blessed Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, and their friends in 1983, soon became a massive franchise. By the time the series ended in 2003 there were books covering the lives of the twins and their friends from age seven (Sweet Valley Kids) all the way up to when they were on the cusp of their twenties (Elizabeth.)  From birthday parties that ended in tragedy to having their very old roller coaster installed in their backyard, to being seduced by vampires and solving mysteries whilst staring in Hollywood movies, there was very little that hadn't happened to Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield.  And then in 2011 Sweet Valley Confidential came along. It went where none of the other series had ever dared to. It featured Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield as adults. It's a great idea. However, what could have been a great nostalgia trip for old fans, o

Around Adelaide (Best of Kathryn's Instagram)

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Uncle Chip's Literary Quotes

  “Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness.” ~ Helen Keller, The Story of My Life

Review: Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

What do you get when you pick up a book and it's about a kid whose mum is away, his dad is in charge and the all too familiar scenario of the household running out of milk? A rollicking adventure featuring time travel, a hot air balloon piloted by a stegosaurus who also just happens to be a professor, some aliens, intergalactic police, vampires (or well, wumpires,) and some, uh ponies. Fortunately, the Milk is a fun and twisty novel for kids, written and illustrated by the same pair who were responsible for  Coraline and The Graveyard Book.  And, of course, Neil Gaiman has written extensively for adults, writing the Sandman comic, as well as novels like American Gods, Neverwhere, and co-authoring  Good Omens  with Terry Pratchett just to name a few. Anyway, enough of that... Fortunately, the Milk opens with the dad character being left in charge of his son and daughter while their mum (presumably, a scientist,) leaves for a few days because she has to go to a conference to prese

Aunt Cole's Believe it Or Get Bent

  Kate Kerrigan is a pseudonym of author and journalist Morgan Prunty.

Review: Fun Home A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Growing up is never easy, and for some people it can be tougher than others. In Fun Home author and artist Alison Bechdel tells her memoirs of growing up in a dysfunctional family. The graphic novel takes its name from the family business, a funeral home that the kids rename fun home, even though, well, there's not that much fun happening in it. At the heart of Bechdel's dysfunctional home is her father, a man that uses a carefully constructed image to hide his true self from his children and the rest of the town. He is a perfectionist, and beneath that he is angry and cruel. However, Alison does not get a true glimpse of who her father is, until she comes out to her parents. Her father dies two weeks later, in what she strongly suspects (but ultimately cannot prove,) is a suicide. It's mucky, depraved stuff. What Alison learns is that her father had gone down a dark path, having affairs with his male students and the family baby-sitter, all of them teenagers on the cusp o

Review: Bridgerton When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn

The sixth novel in the Bridgerton series turns its focus to Francesca, the sixth Bridgerton child and the third daughter. Until now, Francesca has been a very minor part of the series and something of an enigma. We know that she is about a year younger than Eloise and that at some point that she married an Earl and moved to Scotland. When He Was Wicked Tells her story, which is a little different to that of her siblings. Although Francesca's marriage is a happy one, it ends in tragedy when her beloved husband, John, passes away suddenly. A few weeks later, Francesca miscarries. Meanwhile, John's much-loved cousin, the wicked and rakish Michael, has inherited the title. Fortunately, he and Francesca get along well, and she considers him a good friend and confident. What she doesn't realise is that Michael has been in love with her since they first met--thirty-six hours before her wedding to John. The difficulty with this one was that it had an interesting premise, and a lot