Staff Reviews Debut

Queen of Hearts Catalogue link

Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

Reviewed by Jenny

Two doctors who have been best friends since early adulthood find their bond tested by the return of a former colleague who unearths a secret one of them has been harbouring for years.

I liked the two central characters in this book plus there is a wonderful depiction of a pre-schooler. It is told with shifting viewpoints and timeline which works well. The exploration of female friendship combined with medical drama make it a riveting read.

Star of the North catalogueStar of the North by David John

Reviewed by Jenny

More than two decades after her twin is kidnapped by North Korean operatives, CIA employee Jenna obtains information that her sister may still be alive and undertakes a daring mission into the heart of the regime.

This book combines spy and thriller genres but is made truly compelling by the rich detail provided about life in North Korea and the regime of Kim Jong-il.

Turtles All The Way Down catalogue

Turtles All The Way Down

Reviewed by Linda

John Green latest young adult fiction centres around the mysterious disappearance, and reward for finding, a fugitive billionaire. Central to the story is the angst and anxieties suffered by the main character. Aza is a teenager with diagnosed mental health issues and is learning to live with her lifelong anxieties and OCD. Living with mental health issues himself, the author has written a very sensitive and insightful account of the central character Aza, a teenager learning to live with lifelong diagnosed anxieties and OCD.

Check out John Green’s YouTube clip on the callout to collect NZ 5c coins (the billionaire leaves his fortune to a tuatara) – this will make you proud to be a New Zealander.

Crazy Rich Asians catalogue Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Reviewed by Hayley

What a wonderfully entertaining book. If you've been contemplating watching the movie - check out the book. It goes into greater detail and provides the full background and scope of the Singapore setting. The extended family is truly engaging, and the best friends add spectacularly to the various relationship dynamics. Part rom-com, part cultural exploration (and much more). 'Crazy Rich Asians' represents an original and groundbreaking novel for the Western world.

All the interwoven storylines add to the intrigue and appeal of this book, and I wholeheartedly recommend this to everyone.

Everything I Never Told You catalogueEverything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Reviewed by Hayley

A touching and tragic story about a family in the wake of the loss of a beloved family member. The exploration of the characters' relationships, their personal issues, the lead up to the event and the aftermath all contributed to a gripping and heartbreaking book.

A novel recommended for those that prefer character-based plots and the investigation of interpersonal relationships, especially amidst tragedy. Definitely on the sadder end of the spectrum, no rainbows or puppies to be found here - nevertheless a spectacular read and highly recommended.