Monday, 3 October 2016

The Easy Way Out by Steven Amsterdam

Title: The Easy Way Out
Author: Steven Amsterdam
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Date of Publication: August 30th, 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher


A brand new novel everyone will be talking about from the award-winning author of THINGS WE DIDN'T SEE COMING and WHAT THE FAMILY NEEDED.

If you could help someone in pain, would you?

Evan is a nurse, a suicide assistant. His job is legal . . . just. He's the one at the hospital who hands out the last drink to those who ask for it. 

Evan's friends don't know what he does during the day. His mother, Viv, doesn't know what he's up to at night. And his supervisor suspects there may be trouble ahead.

As he helps one patient after another die, Evan pushes against legality, his own morality and the best intentions of those closest to him, discovering that his own path will be neither quick nor painless.

He knows what he has to do.

In this powerful novel, award-winning author Steven Amsterdam challenges readers to face the most taboo and heartbreaking of dilemmas. Would you help someone end their life? 


Euthanasia means a good death. It is a topic that has been the subject of debate for many years, with some countries introducing laws allowing active, voluntary euthanasia, others allowing passive euthanasia, or the law of double effect, and yet others banning the practice of helping anyone end their life in any way.

In The Easy Way Out, assisted suicide has been legalised in specific cases. Evan works in the unit of the hospital dealing with assisted suicide. The rules are clear. Everyone has to agree, including loved ones. The medical professional must stay neutral. They can pass the Nembutal, a fatal barbiturate, to the patient, but the patient must lift the cup to their own mouth without assistance. Before they are handed the cup, they must agree several times that they want to die and are ready to do so. Death is then swift, within an hour.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta

Title: Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil
Author: Melina Marchetta
Date of Publication: August 29th, 2016
Publisher: Viking/Penguin
Source: Review copy and purchased by reviewer


Chief Inspector Bish Ortley of the London Met, divorced and still grieving the death of his son, has been drowning his anger in Scotch. Something has to give, and he’s no sooner suspended from the force than a busload of British students is subject to a deadly bomb attack across the Channel. Bish’s daughter is one of those on board.

Also on the bus is Violette LeBrac. Raised in Australia, Violette has a troubled background. Thirteen years ago her grandfather bombed a London supermarket, killing dozens of people. Her mother, Noor, is serving a life sentence in connection with the incident. But before Violette’s part in the French tragedy can be established, she disappears.

Bish, who was involved in Noor LeBrac’s arrest, is now compelled to question everything that happened back then. And the more he delves into the lives of the family he helped put away, the more he realises that truth wears many colours.


This is Marchetta's first book specifically aimed at adults, although her books have long had crossover appeal. Like all of her stories, this is primarily about family and what happens when families breakdown, or when someone in your family does something unthinkable.

Don't Forget Mr Rain - By J

My eldest daughter (aged 9) is not terribly fond of reading stories, but she is fond of writing them. She has been nagging me for two days to put this one on here, so if you like it, please leave a comment offering her some encouragement. She has done illustrations as well, but they don't translate as well, so it's offered here in text only.


Rain, thunder, storms. All your fault because you didn't bring him. The man cloud known as Mr Rain.

Inspired by Don't Open This Book by Andy Lee.

Don't forget Mr Rain by J

Hello, I am Sunny the Cloud. I am telling you whatever you do, don't forget Mr Rain.

If you have a party, invite Mr Rain. If you go to a party bring along Mr Rain. Because if you don't...

He will rain forever.

Never stop.

In some countries it's always raining because someone didn't invite Mr Rain. Some places never rain because Mr Rain was invited. In some countries it rains and then stops. That's because they forgot then remembered.

Mr Rain gets so angry sometimes he thunders and he - oh, whoops - I didn't want to mention this, but he also blows up, so I think I would always invite him.

I heard a boy's house blew up because he forgot to invite Mr Rain. Luckily he had a spare house.

Trust me. I am Sunny. Sunny is always right. By the way, my name is Sunny because I am always happy and the sun is always behind me.

The end. 

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Shield by Rachael Craw

Title: Shield
Author: Rachael Craw
Publisher: Walker Books
Date of Publication: 1st September 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Review of Spark
Review of Stray


"This is the Affinity Project - where freewill is turned to ash." 
Evie is out of options. She must comply with the Affinity Project – obey their rules, play their deadly games, give up Jamie. And her losses keep growing...

When she decides to help a small group of Shields trying to affect change, Evie finds herself in the firing line. Counsellor Knox is intent on revealing her secrets and shackling her to the Affinity Project for life. To protect her family, Evie must betray those closest to her.

The odds of success – let alone survival – are slim.

The final thrilling conclusion to the Spark series.


I was very excited to receive this final instalment in the Spark series by Rachael Craw. I've been hooked on this series since the first book crossed my path. I'll try as far as possible to avoid spoilers for the first two books, but no guarantees!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Title: Words in Deep Blue
Author: Cath Crowley
Publisher: Pan MacMillan
Date of Publication: August 30th 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley


This is a love story.
It's the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets.
It's the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea.
Now, she's back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal and looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind.


This is a love story. It is an ode to books, and to reading, to book stores and to readers. It is about words and ideas and the power they have to make or break us. It is about love and loss and pain and longing. It is beautiful. And heartbreaking.

After three years of living by the sea, Rachel can no longer stand to be where she lost her brother, Cal and returns to the fictional Melbourne suburb of Gracetown, to live with her aunt. Unable to say the words, she hasn't told anyone about Cal's death. Instead she pretends he's alive and in Europe. Her friends can't understand why she has been so distant, and Rachel can't bring herself to explain. When her aunt has had enough of her moping, she arranges a job for Rachel at Henry's bookshop. Three years ago, Rachel and Henry were best friends. Rachel was in love with Henry and left him a letter telling him how she felt, but he never responded. Hurt and angry, even after all this time, the two must find a way to coexist in the bookshop, and just maybe fix all that is broken.