Saturday, February 16, 2019

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green - Book Review


Insta-fame. If you’ve ever had it, wanted it or been intrigued by the viral potential of the internet, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is an absolutely remarkable read.

This is a great little book written by Hank Green who is no stranger to Internet fame himself, with more than three million subscribers to the Vlogbrothers channel he created on YouTube with his brother John Green (author of A Fault In Our Stars and other young adult fiction).

The premise of this story is fantastical but enjoyable – imagine if the mysteries and riddles of the Da Vinci Code involved a giant Transformer named Carl and played out in front of the entire world.

At its heart, this is a story about humankind’s ability to use the Internet to unite or divide us. I understand a sequel is currently in the works.

Have you read An Absolutely Remarkable Thing? What did you think?

Synopsis from Hachette Australia: If you came across an absolutely remarkable thing at 3 a.m. in New York City, would you walk away . . . or do the one thing that would change your life forever?

The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship - like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armour - April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world, and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the centre of an intense international media spotlight.

Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

Happy reading! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Lost Man by Jane Harper - Book Review


My home town of Adelaide has been HOT these past few weeks, reaching as high as 46.6C (116F) to become Australia’s hottest capital city on record. 

So I’m thinking Jane Harper will feel right at home weather-wise when she visits in March for Adelaide Writers' Week (I’m hoping to take the morning off work – any other Adelaideans planning to attend too?) 

Harper’s latest book, The Lost Man, reaches similar temperatures set in the relentless heat of a remote station in the vast Australian outback. She writes with a vivid sense of place and her depiction of distance, space, heat, isolation and loneliness oozed into my pores as I read this book, adding to the mystery as it unfolded.

Synopsis from Pan MacMillan Australia: The man lay still in the centre of a dusty grave under a monstrous sky.

Two brothers meet at the border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of outback Queensland.

They are at the stockman's grave, a landmark so old, no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last chance for their middle brother, Cameron.
The Bright family's quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish. Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he lose hope and walk to his death? Because if he didn't, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects...
Happy reading!