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Category: Subtext Review Page 1 of 2

Review of the week 2

Briar Rose
Jane Yolen

Does everyone knows the story of Sleeping Beauty? Of the forest of thorns? Of the handsome prince? Of the evil witch who eventually gets what’s coming to her? Well, forget that one! This one is the true version. Rebecca, known as Becca to her family, travels to Europe to find out about her grandmother’s missing past. All she has to go on is a couple of old pictures, the word ‘Kulmhof’ and a old fairy story Gemma would tell her grandchildren at bedtime.

This is a story of the Holocaust, a search through the past to find a princess, a castle, and the truth.

Okay, so this all sounds poetically gooey but it was a nice soppy tale. Beautifully written with descriptions of scrum-diddlily-umptious food. To put it mildly.

Definitely wait until you’re fifteen or older before reading this. It’s a gorgeously romantic story whioch probably won’t appeal to the male reader but what the heck! (And the introduction’s pretty good too!!!)

~ Rosemary (16)

Review of the week 1

Stop Pretending: What happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy
Sonya Sones

Inspired by events in the author’s life, Stop Pretending: What happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy is a touching compilation of poems. The poems are in chronological order, and the book is intended to be read cover to cover.

Although truthful and touching, the poems lack the obscure charm of individual pieces. That aside, Stop Pretending is brilliant, to the point, and it makes you think.

~ Mereana (14)

Review of the Week 3

The Kite Rider
Geraldine McCaughrean


I had never read a book like The Kite Rider before. The Kite Rider was about a boy called Haoyou, who lived in Ancient China, whose father had been killed testing the winds on a kite. His father was killed for a reason, though it does not seem like somebody planned his death. He is killed by his father’s workmate, Di Chou. Di Chou wanted to marry Haoyou’s mother, but Haoyou’s mother didn’t want to because Di Chou was a selfish monster who had no feelings! While Haoyou’s mother pondered the idea of getting married again, Haoyou started making kites, so he could sell them to support his family. But Di Chou burned Haoyou’s house down, in an attempt to ruin Haoyou’s business. This meant that Di Chou would have to marry Haoyou’s mother, so their family had some support.

One day, Haoyou flew a kite and rode it with his cousin Mipeng. He and Mipeng were discovered by Miao, a circus director, and Haoyou was paid brilliantly for riding kites at circus shows and Mipeng was paid well for telling the future. He had never seen so much money in his life, but working at the circus brings Haoyou lots of troubles!

Though you had to concentrate, and read everything carefully, so that you actually understood what was going on, The Kite Rider was a fabulous book of a young Chinese boy trying to do something with his life. I would recommend this to people who like kites, are daredevils, and are thinking about riding a kite, or people who like to accept life and seize opportunites.

~ Davina (15)

Review of the Week 2

Anywhere But Here
Ella West

Anywhere But Here was a really good book. But the end kinda made me mad because Paul, Tina, Shelly and Jake all get caught but Nicky has to spend the rest of the freedom she has hiding.

My favourite character was Nicky because of her bravery and her being stuck between one boy she has been with longer and another where she finds out her true feelings.

My favourite part was when Nicky realised that she, as well, loved Jake and Jake loved her even though he was dating Tina. The worst part for me was when Nicky told Paul about her and Jake and Paul completely flipped out. That part made me really angry. Paul had to go off with the guardian who was also his dad. I felt for Nicky as she was alone and scared.

~ Lunetta (13)

Review of the Week 1

book coverThe Three Musketeers
Alexandre Dumas, translated by Lord Sudley

Contrary to the title of this classic, the main character, d’Artagnan, is not a Musketeer himself. He goes to Paris to seek his fortune, where he befriends three musketeers, and begins a life of romance and adventure.

When Dumas wrote this in the 1800s (Lord Sudley notes in the introduction) he was using “modern language”, rather than that of the 1600s (the era in which the tale is set). Still, it’s sometimes hard to understand!

Although daring, The Three Musketeers is lacking in emotion. Still, the fact that it’s harder to relate to doesn’t make it any less appealing.

~ Mereana (13)

Reviews of the Week 4 & 5

Waiting for the Weekend : Vol 2
Various artists

Contains many cruisy songs that are great (as the cover suggests) for the weekend. Relaxing songs you can just shill out to as it contains a range of recent famous singers, usually played on the radio. Suprisingly I found, they were mainly male artists which was a shame because as a female, it’s nice to hear some female artists too. Didn’t know that many songs when I looked at the playlist at the back but it was ok.

~ Jessica (17)

Pegasus in Space, by Anne McCaffrey

This story was a really good read and I am giving it 5 stars. This story revolves arround Peter, a Kinetic who is also a Paraplegic. At the beginning of the book he moved his body with Kinesis and by the end he could walk normally thank to a Micro-Talent Amariayah. I recommend anyone to read this book.

~ Zach (15)

Review of the Week 3

This isn’t a review of a CD but it’s topical nonetheless!

Breaking Dawn, by Stephenie Meyer

This is an amazing author, she knows exactly what people want from a book and she gives it, and more! Her books are about romance. And not the kind of puppy love that you get in high school and can’t even remember the name of when you’re older. This is the kind of love that exists until the end of time, that renders both parties useless and unable to survive without the other. Everyone who I have talked to has read this book and absolutely loved it, because it’s not just about vampires that only fantasy lovers read. This is a book everyone loves because although it’s about the supernatural it’s so completely human that it makes you want to cry. This is a truly amazing end to a mystical, magical spell-binding series about true love that conquers everything.

~ Alex (15)

Review of the Week 2

Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!
The Mint Chicks

I liked the fact that the Mint Chicks are a New Zealand band. The titles of their songs were original e.g. ‘ She’s back on crack’. I liked their use of guitars. I think that you should listen to this CD in its entirety because then you really get the feel of the music. My favourite track was no. 10 – ‘Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!’ The message that the CD gives to me is that you’re unique & just because you’re crazy doesn’t mean you’re dumb. The cover artwork was unique because they had a guy on a green bull with red horns. The guy on the bull says the last word of the CD title, it’s in his speech bubble. They used all the colours of the rainbow, so the CD is really colourful. I’d recommend this CD because it’s a pretty good CD & you should support NZ music.

~ Anneke, 15

Review of the Week 1

It’s that time again… we got some interesting reviews again this week (keep sending them in). Here’s one that grabbed our attention:

Machina: the machines of God
The Smashing Pumpkins

Machina is a rock album with soul. The lyrics to all the songs are deep and meaningful, and the band experiments with a range of different instruments to support Billy Corgan’s signature (almost whiny) voice.

Without damaging the album’s flow, The Pumpkins explore various music genres. ‘The Everlasting Gaze’ has a relatively fast pace, and a hard edge to it, whereas ‘I of the Mourning’ (one of my favourite tracks) is slower and softer. Billy Corgan’s vocals range from heartless to heartbroken … he has complete control over the amount of emotion he expresses in his voice.

Overall, Machina is a brilliant album, but it just doesn’t compare to Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (another of The Smashing Pumpkins’ albums). Still, I would DEFINITELY recommend it.

~ Mereana, 13

Review of the Week IV

This is the fourth Review of the Week for this, er, week. There were other reviews that have been awarded a bonus draw for the final prize. The quality of all the reviews has been outstanding; thanks to all of you!

Coming Back, by David Hill

When Ryan’s car hits Tara and sends her flying, the world falls out from under both their feet. In the confusion that follows, both must find a way of coming back.

David Hill’s writing is honest, often blunt; the voice of an utterly convincing teen. He explores concepts such as guilt, love, and determination. I recommend that you read this book at least once – I’ve lost count of the times I have.

~ Mereana (13)

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