Charity Reading Challenge

Hello again!! As 2016 draws to a close, I find myself thinking about what reading challenges I want to complete in 2017. I have already mentioned that I am completing the Australian Women Writers Challenge, and this post is to raise awareness of the Charity Reading Challenge that I am completing in 2017.

The charity/organisation I am supporting in this challenge is the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. For each book I read in 2017, including books that won’t be reviewed on this blog, I will be donating $1 to ILF. My goal is to read 100 books over the year, so I aim to raise $100.

If you would like to follow my progress and support me over the year, as well as support the ILF, please like my Facebook page, add me on Goodreads, and donate money through my fundraiser page. Just click on any of the links below!

Melly’s Charity Reading Challenge

My Goodreads profile

My fundraising page

Tell the truth, shame the devil – Melina Marchetta

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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 book is intense! Other books of Melina’s that I have read have basically been typical YA novels, but this book goes in a totally different direction. I was hooked from the first page. I devoured it in only 5 days! I really, highly recommend this novel, even if you’re not a fan of Melina’s other works. It keeps you gripped, and it’s well written.

5/5

My life as an alphabet – Barry Jonsberg

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This isn’t just about me. It’s also about the other people in my life – my mother, my father, my dead sister Sky, my penpal Denille, Rich Uncle Brian, Earth-Pig Fish and Douglas Benson From Another Dimension. These are people [with the exception of Earth-Pig Fish, who is a fish] who have shaped me, made me what I am. I cannot recount my life without recounting elements of theirs. This is a big task, but I am confident I am up to it.

Introducing Candice Phee: twelve years old, hilariously honest and a little … odd. But she has a big heart, the very best of intentions and an unwavering determination to ensure everyone is happy. So she sets about trying to ‘fix’ all the problems of all the people [and pets] in her life.

Candice is a great character! She’s so honest and open. I love this novel! I laughed reading it because it had some funny parts. The things that Candice does to try and bring her family back together and bring them happiness is amazing. A great read!

5/5

The Flywheel – Erin Gough

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Seventeen-year-old Del drops out of high school when her romance with another girl goes horribly wrong. Preferring chaos to bullying, Del makes it her mission to save her dad’s crumbling café, the Flywheel, while he ‘finds himself’ overseas.

Accompanied by her charming troublemaker best friend Charlie, Del sets out to save the cafe, keep Charlie out of prison, and maybe get a date with Rosa, the beautiful flamenco dancer from across the road. But when life is messy enough as it is, can girl-on-girl romance ever have a happy ending?

A rather enjoyable YA read. I really felt for Del as I read the story – being bullied at school by the girl she used to be with (and denies every moment), and falling for the girl across the street, as well as trying to run a café on her own, I sympathised with her and kept wishing for the best throughout the book. I highly recommend it!

5/5

Missing – Melanie Casey

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On any night, 1 person in 200 is homeless. Someone is targeting Adelaide’s homeless. Men are disappearing off the streets, and body parts are turning up in a local dump. Still haunted by her last run-in with a serial killer, Cass Lehman is trying hard to focus on the future. That’s not easy when she has the ‘gift’ of retrocognition the ability to spontaneously re-live the last minutes of a person’s life. Cass and Detective Ed Dyson are now trying to make a normal home together, but when she gets entangled in Ed’s latest case things are far from normal. A twisted tale of love, desperation and murder. When the psychic meets the psychotic, who will come out unscathed?

I didn’t enjoy this book to be honest. It didn’t grab me, and there was too much going on in the story. It probably doesn’t help that afterwards, I discovered that the book is the third in a series. I didn’t like the characters, and couldn’t put myself into the story.

2/5

On Brunswick Ground – Catherine de Saint Phalle

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In the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, a female narrator, who remains unnamed is trying to come to terms with the absence of Jack, the man she loves. In a bar she meets Bernice, a radio personality, in her late thirties and flirting with IVF. Finding a job as a gardener, she discovers that her co-worker, Mitali, has an unresolved mourning that attracts other deaths into its orbit. Later on, she befriends the resolutely mysterious bar owner, Sarah, and her daughter, Mary, who has, for potent (and as yet unrevealed) reasons, converted to Islam and donned a burqa.

The lives of these women are characterised by love and loss, and are woven together by their shared grieving at the senseless murder of Jill Meagher.

I found this book to be quite intense. It touched on a lot of relevant topics, especially the murder of Jill Meagher, which is a true event here in Melbourne (This is a novel though). It is confronting, but really interesting to read.

4/5

Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

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Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbours, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

This book was a bit of a letdown. I have read some of Liane’s other novels, and they have been great! But this one seemed to drag on for a long time, and I didn’t really enjoy it. The event that happened at the barbecue is sad, but I feel like the reactions weren’t realistic. I couldn’t connect with the story.

2/5