Blog Archives

Teenage territories, Barbara Else

Make a Hard Fist
Tina Shaw
One Tree House, $20.00,
ISBN 9780473421878

Ocean’s Kiss
Lani Wendt Young
One Tree House, $29.00,
ISBN 9780995106741

Legacy
Whiti Hereaka
Huia, $25.00,
ISBN 9781775503347

To state the obvious, one problem with writing young adult fiction, unless the author is a teenager, is that one no longer belongs to the demographic. The first YA novel, The Outsiders, was written by S E Hinton when she was only 16, observer and participant. It feels timeless, undated, as fresh and authentic now as when first published in 1967. It still illuminates the way teenagers must find their own way to adulthood across territory that is a combination of the world around them and their own explosive emotions.

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Literature, Review, Young adults

Haunted by the 1970s, Tina Shaw

The Predictions Bianca Zander Blackfriars, $30.00, ISBN 9780349134369 The Party Line Sue Orr Vintage, $38.00, ISBN 9781775537557   These two novels consider two very different communities back in the 1970s and 80s. Much of it will be familiar territory. They

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Boys’ own adventures, Tina Shaw

Singing Home the Whale
Mandy Hager
Random House, $20.00, ISBN 9781775536574

Magic and Makutu
David Hair
HarperCollins, $25.00, ISBN 9781869509330

If these two titles are anything to go by, New Zealand young adult fiction is in good shape. These are two very different novels, although both integrate Māori culture into the storyline, and both feature a boy as the main protagonist.

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Young adults

Dark places, Margie Michael

The Children’s Pond
Tina Shaw
Pointer Press, $30.00, ISBN 9780473274023

The Faceless
Vanda Symon
Penguin Books, $30.00, ISBN 9780143567202

I am Rebecca
Fleur Beale
Random House, $20.00, ISBN 9781775535492

These books form a disparate collection apparently linked only by the words “compelling” and “thriller” appearing on the dustjackets of each, words which mislead and possibly confuse rather than inform. All three do have an element of suspense, and so become thrillers in the broadest sense, but the real link is that they are totally compelling in very different ways. Jennifer Lawn has identified New Zealand’s burgeoning crime scene, noting that our crime writers use fully realised local settings with confidence and it is, in part, the development of the settings which unites these three books.

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Brave new worlds, Joan de Hamel

The Tomorrow Code Brian Falkner   Walker Books, $19.99, ISBN 781921150340 Juno of Taris Fleur Beale    Random House, $18.99, ISBN 781869419882 About Griffen’s Heart  Tina Shaw   Longacre Press, $19.99, ISBN 87746015 Chronicles of Stone: Scorched Bone Vincent Ford 

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Children, Literature, Review

Same notes, different tunes, Jenny DeBell

The Six Pack: Winning Writing from New Zealand Book Month 2006  John Campbell (introduction) New Zealand Book Month with Whitireia Publishing, $6.00, ISBN 1877192279 The Best New Zealand Fiction 3 Fiona Kidman (ed) Vintage, $34.99, ISBN 1869417976 Sunday 22: The

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories

Sounding real Tina Shaw

The Fountain of Tears Stephanie de Montalk Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864735316 Ocean Roads James George Huia, $34.99, ISBN 1869692373 At the Heart of Hiruharama Isabel Waiti-Mulholland Huia, $34.95, ISBN 1869692381 Following on from the biography of her cousin,

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Salt and vinegar, Penelope Todd

Humming  Rachel McAlpine Hazard Press, $29.99, ISBN 1877270970   The Black Madonna  Tina Shaw Penguin, $28.00, ISBN 0143019880 Two books by New Zealand women: one is a full-immersion Kiwi experience, the other set in Germany and America, and bears no

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Make-believe, John McCrystal

Paradise Tina Shaw Penguin, $27.95, ISBN 0143018272 Notions of paradise – nirvana, Shangri-la – are universal to human societies, because they are, of course, simply expressions of that most basic of human faculties, hope. Just as we live our lives

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Story time, Ian Richards

City of Reeds  Tina Shaw Penguin Books, $24.95, ISBN 014029791X City of Reeds, Tina Shaw’s third novel, is a large and accomplished work. It’s an example of a relatively new departure in New Zealand fiction: the story-telling novel. This sort

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review
Search by category
Recent issues: subscriber-only access

Subscribe to NZ Books to access the issues above