July reviews

risk  Risk by Fleur Ferris

This is a gripping story that captivates from the very first page. It focuses on the dangers of the cyber world and the events that occur are all too true. Friendships are tested and guilt is felt throughout this engaging and scary story.
Reviewed by Lara

frankie  Frankie & Joely by Nova Weetman

Frankie and Joely are best friends who go on holiday to a farm in the country. Tension starts rising when secrets are kept and Frankie deserts Joely on Multiple occasions to hang out with the town’s ‘bad boy’. The friendship is explored in clever ways by the author. Themes such as loneliness and loyalty are interwoven through the whole book. An entertaining read!
Reviewed by Erin

way-down-dark-by-jp-smythe  Way Down Dark by J P Smythe

Great sci-fi, fantasy book. Set on a spaceship with lots of history. People are fighting for their lives every day and not everything is what it seems.
Reviewed by Rory

stonerider  Stone Rider by David Hofmeyr

An exciting, fast-paced tale of love and revenge, bikes and the Race. Adam must race for his life in the Blackwater Trail, a perilous journey through the wastes of a future Earth. An enjoyable adventure that showcases Hofmeyr’s upcoming talent.
Reviewed by Max

gallivant  The Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters by M J Beaufrand

In Portland in 1983, girls are disappearing. Noah, a teen punk with a dark past, becomes obsessed with finding out where they’ve gone—and he’s convinced their disappearance has something to do with the creepy German owners of a local brewery, the PfefferBrau Haus. Noah worries about the missing girls as a way of avoiding the fact that something’s seriously wrong with his best friend, Evan.”
The Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters was a pretty good read, although it wasn’t what I was expecting. It’s told from the perspective of Noah, this story has a very bizarre but intriguing plot that took a little while for me to get used to. It’s also very dark and definitely meant for older readers as it deals with mental illness, physical illness, abuse and violence. Even so, there’s a lot of heart to this story.
The pacing of this novel was a bit slow to start off and a bit too fast towards the finish. There’s just enough mystery and unexplained weirdness to keep you wondering, especially in regards to Ziggy and the dark force called The Marr that continually haunts Noah.
I didn’t really like the ending for the reasons that it took the fantasy aspect out and explained what it symbolised. I think the book need an extra chapter or two between the end of the main story and the beginning of the future events (and even a few more on the end of that as well). Also I would have liked the investigation into the disappearing girls to go a little deeper and not just tell the reader what happened to them and how to fix it.
Otherwise it was very interesting if you’re into punk music (or books set back in time), and dark and intriguing novels then I would definitely recommend it.
Reviewed by Sophie