I've decided to start Two Minute Reviews as a way to feature books I either read months ago and never got to review or books I feel could be reviewed together! For instance, take these two really cool books written by Australian authors that are both simple, sweet and awesometastically awesome. They are both also very coming-of-age and I highly recommend reading them! It fills you with this warmth that some books just don't achieve in spite of doing everything right.
I'm talking about Good Oil by Laura Buzo and The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay by Rebecca Sparrow!
Good Oil by Laura Buzo
'Miss Amelia Hayes, welcome to The Land of Dreams. I am the staff trainer. I will call you grasshopper and you will call me sensei and I will give you the good oil. Right? And just so you know, I'm open to all kinds of bribery.'
From the moment 15-year-old Amelia begins work on the checkout at Woolworths she is sunk, gone, lost...head-over-heels in love with Chris. Chris is the funny, charming, man-about-Woolies, but he's 21, and the 6-year difference in their ages may as well be 100. Chris and Amelia talk about everything from Second Wave Feminism to Great Expectations and Alien but will he ever look at her in the way she wants him to? And if he does, will it be everything she hopes?
Amelia is worth more than she thinks she is. At fifteen, she experiences a plethora of firsts- including hopelessly crushing on Chris, her co-employee at Woolies who is much older than she is. It is easy to see how any fifteen year old would fall for Chris! He seems like The Guy Who Knows Everyone and is funny and even appears to be wise. While I thought the book was mainly going to be about Amelia, I was surprised to find out that it was also about Chris! The story is told in both Amelia and Chris's perspectives- voices that feel so different as they both have different obstacles to overcome. Obstacles that come with being fifteen and twenty one respectively!
My thoughts? It's such a gorgeous book. I loved how, despite being nineteen, which is neither fifteen nor twenty one years old, I got lost in both Amelia's and Chris's worlds and could relate to both of them. Amelia's story made me feel nostalgic while Chris's problems were something I could anticipate. I'm thankful for the way the book ended. I honestly can't see it ending any other way.
Publication date: August, 2010
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay by Rebecca Sparrow
from goodreadsSeventeen-year-old Rachel Hill is the girl most likely to succeed. And the girl most likely to have everything under control . . . that is, until her dad invites Nick McGowan, the cutest boy at school, to live with them. Rachel worries that this could only be a recipe for disaster, but her best friend Zoe thinks it’s the perfect opportunity for lurve. Sparks start to fly for all the wrong reasons. Nick finds Rachel spoiled and uptight and Rachel dismisses Nick as lazy and directionless. But a secret from Nick’s past draws them together and makes the year Nick McGowan came to stay one that Rachel will never forget.
The cover is adorable! The Prologue was cute. The Epilogue wraps things up neatly. The middle is light, quirky and engaging all at once! I had so much fun reading this book! The writing was good but more than that, I fell in love with the quirky characters! Nick was awesome but he was kind of overshadowed by goody-goody yet amusing Rachel Hill! I liked how worked up Rachel got when she realised the school's hottie, Nick McGowan, was coming to live with her family. I liked how she took down her posters and made every effort to look cool- as embarrassed as she was by her efforts. (And as annoyed as she was that Nick was coming in the first place). I would've done the same thing at her age!
And Zoe, Rachel's best friend had me snorting every few minutes! I adore her! Most of the time, she stole the show! Rachel and Nick were amusing and by the time we got to know all there was to know about Nick McGowan, I adored them both! Please go read this book now! I loved that it was set in the late 80s (go cordless phones!) and the overall warm-fuzzies this book gave me!
Publication date: 8th April, 2008
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars