Tag Archives: Romance

Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer

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letters

Allen & Unwin

ISBN:9781408883525

Publisher:

Bloomsbury UK

Imprint :Bloomsbury Child

March 2017

RRP $16.99

Juliet’s mother died in a terrible hit-and-run accident. On her way home from yet another international photography mission documenting the heartbreak of war zones and disasters, she returned early at Juliet’s request and on her way from the airport was suddenly and terribly gone forever. Like so many of us who have lost someone so dear, Juliet cannot let go, especially of rituals, like writing letters to her mother as she has done all her life. Only now she leaves them at the cemetery.

Declan Murphy is known by his ‘reputation’. He’s tough looking and constantly confrontational, he’s spent time in jail, he’s doing community service and he spends most of his time skulking around trying to be invisible. Nobody knows the truth behind his attitude, not even his best friend realises the full depths of Declan’s story.

When Declan, as part of his mowing community service at the cemetery, reads one of Juliet’s letters, he is so overcome with empathy that he responds with his own comment.  Outraged beyond belief at the invasion of her privacy, Juliet responds to him with undisguised contempt and rage. And thus a strange correspondence begins.

Along with that, a close and trusting relationship between two dreadfully despairing young people who do not know each other slowly builds. Or are they strangers?

Slowly but surely each is unravelling the real identity of the other and along with that an antipathy which belies the honesty and trust of their anonymous letter exchanges.

For both the healing process and the road to hope is their unfailing support for each other as their separate tragedies unfold and their defences are lowered.

The characterisation in this is excellent – even relatively minor characters bristle with life and emotion.  I particularly like the ‘voice’ of both Juliet and Declan – though Declan’s intellect has been shrouded by other details this as well as his inherent compassion shines through. There is, as one might expect, from seventeen year old protagonists some low level swearing but it is all totally in context and expressive in itself.

There is a real twist in the tale which avoids cliché or triteness and is exactly the kind of ‘messiness’ that might happen in families. All in all it’s a terrifically engaging read and the reader develops a real affection for these characters.

Highly recommended for readers from around 14 upwards.

 

 

Hello, Goodbye & Everything in Between – Jennifer E. Smith

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hellogoodbye

Hachette Australia


  • ISBN:
    9781472235565
  • Publication date:26 Apr 2016
  • Page count:256
  • Imprint:Headline

RRP $19.99

If, like me, you have often struggled to find a romance for tweens without graphic or inappropriate content, this is one to put on your list.

From the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First and The Geography of You and Me this is the thoroughly enjoyable story of Clare and Aidan – and a list.

These two seniors have been an item for the final years of high school and along with their best friends, Stella and Scotty, are about to embark on the thrilling but anxiety-making adventure of college.

The conflict lies in the fact that these two are bound for colleges on opposite sides of the country and their last night is one of very mixed emotions. Clare has made a list – that’s something she is very good at – and the pair re-visit their favourite haunts, the scenes of ‘firsts’, catch up with their friends and toss the problem of whether to break up or not back and forth. The very thought of being apart after their two years of being virtually inseparable is completely distressing for both and they postulate on whether it might be less painful to break up rather than let the relationship die away from long distance constraints.

Along with their own personal dilemma the night holds many other complications as tensions run high while they hang out with each other and others. Of all the events that impact on the pair probably the most confounding is that Stella and Scotty who have sniped at each other incessantly since kindergarten have suddenly become a couple. And it is this that influences their respective thoughts as much as anything else.

All in all this is a really engaging novel with very likeable characters for which the reader can really care. One cannot help but wish them the happiest of endings as they are such funny and endearing people.

Recommended for your romantically inclined readers from around 12 years up.