Book Review: Laurinda by Alice Pung

 A refreshingly honest and insightful view of one girl’s experience at an exclusive girls’ high school. Laurinda_book cover

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Good for: People who like reading about clash of cultures.

Not good for: People who would rather not revisit the experiences of high school.

 Lucy Lam, a 15 year old girl of Chinese descent from the wrong side of town, is given the opportunity of a lifetime- a scholarship to an exclusive girls’ high school. An opportunity that her hard-working immigrant parents, are extremely proud of, and her old school friends are extremely jealous of. Being educated at the school increases Lucy’s chances of later attending university and getting a good job, lifting Lucy and her family out of their socio-economically deprived suburb. Lucy worries that she won’t be able to keep up academically at her new school, but she soon discovers that is the least of her worries. Plunged into a world of privilege, snobbery and inadvertent racism, Lucy is completely out of her depth. When she becomes friends with “The Cabinet”, a powerful trio of girls who rule the school in despicable ways, things become shaky and Lucy is in danger of leaving behind everything she has ever known and loved.

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The Rosie Project

20150501-232116-84076863.jpg A hilarious and charming tale of one quirky man looking for his Ms Right.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Good for: People wanting an entertaining romantic comedy to relax into.

Not good for: People wanting a serious novel.

Very Mild Spoiler Alert!

Don Tillman is not your average man. An intelligent professor of genetics, he excels at his work and means well, but is lacking in certain other aspects of his life, things like social skills and empathy. Essential skills if you want to find a wife- which is exactly what Don is hoping to do. He embarks on “The Wife Project”, a carefully designed project for Don to meet his Ms Right. Along the way he meets Rosie, who is sassy and fiercely independent, not quite the Ms Right that Don had in mind. So ensues an entertaining adventure as Don and Rosie get to know each other. They embark on a mission when Don helps Rosie find her biological father, with hilarious and touching consequences…….

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After Darkness

after darkness_cover

A beautiful but eerie book that teaches us all that our future does not always have to shaped by the mistakes of our past.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Good for: People happy to reflect on another’s old memories, whether they be good or bad.

Not Good for: People wanting a happy feel good read.

Author: Christine Piper

Dr Ibaraki is a Japanese doctor who finds himself in an internment camp in South Australia during WWII in the 1940s. As a Japanese citizen on Australian soil in WWII, he is considered an enemy of the state and is unceremoniously thrown into the camp. How he got there and why he is so far from his homeland is gradually revealed, by Piper, like the peeling back of layers of an onion. We learn about his former life as a promising researcher in Japan, his beautiful wife, his recent move to work in remote Australia and his life in the internment camp. But what set off this unusual chain of events that saw him leave his homeland for Australia remains mysterious right until the very end.

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The Casual Vacancy


Welcome to the very first book review on Monkey’s Books……Enjoy!

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Good for: Those wanting a good dose of reality. However gritty that may be.
Not good for: Harry Potter fans expecting magic and whimsy.

Author: JK Rowling

The Casual Vacancy is a long winded but interesting tale of the inhabitants of Pagford in the wake of the death of Barry Fairbrother, council member, general nice guy and friend to all. Barry’s death sets off a multitude of actions and reactions as the villagers struggle to deal with his death. Personal weaknesses are brought to light, long-standing tenuous relationships reach breaking point and old tensions threaten to erupt. The chaos that ensues is disastrous and destructive. The story is told from the perspective of several inter-related villagers. We are privy to their deepest secrets and desires, normally hidden behind their cheery and amiable facades. The threads of each individual story come together nicely and culminate in an explosive ending.

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Welcome to Monkey’s Books! So nice to have you here 🙂

Here you will find book reviews of mainly casual light reads and popular fiction. Books that help you to relax at the end of day and immerse you in someone else’s world. You may occasionally find the odd non-fiction book review here too.

So sit back, relax and let me help you find your next great read!!