An exciting crime novel with a musical flavour

TITLE = KILL THE MUSIC

AUTHOR = NANSI KUNZE

GENRE = MYSTERY, THRILLER, FRIENDSHIP, FAMILY

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 8, 9

Lorna’s older brother, Flint, is not only her guardian he is also part of a super popular boy band. So Lorna has spent the last couple of years in the very unreal world of celebrities and rock stars. Taking a break from touring, the band has returned to Australia to work on their music so Lorna is excited about going to a normal school for a while and living a more normal life.

That is until she overhears someone threatening to kill her brother and his band. After seeking help from the police, Lorna is suddenly thrust into a world of detectives, crime and mysteries. Can she save the band and avoid being hurt herself? And is it possible amidst the rock band gigs and mystery-solving for Lorna to actually make some friends who aren’t just interested in her because she has a famous brother??

An entertaining and enjoyable mystery story set in a different (and almost credible) world of rock music celebrities.

Recommended (dma) ****    

An exciting mix of gaslamp romance and steampunk adventure

TITLE = SONG OF THE SLUMS

AUTHOR = RICHARD HARLAND

GENRE = GASLIGHT ROMANCE, STEAMPUNK

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 7-9

Astor Vance believes she is to marry Phillidas Swale, from the wealthy industrialist family of Swales. The marriage means she is to leave her mother and stepfather and move into the luxurious Swale residence but at least she has been able to bring along some of her favourite musical instruments. For Astor loves music, a love she shared with her beloved musician father, before he was killed by a bullet during street gang riots in London.

So imagine Astor’s surprise when she arrives at the Swale residence to find that her intended engagement is not entirely as expected. Alone in a new, enormous household, the only person she can turn to is the one servant her stepfather has left behind: the rather smug, Verrol, who she barely knows.

Astor is a strong young lady, determined to survive against whatever life throws at her, even if this means abandoning her beloved classical music for the newer style from the slums near her home: loud, brash and with an unmistakable beat, this music stirs the soul of all who hear it. Will Astor be won over to its rhythms and passion?? And will she find her feelings for Verrol go from friendship to something deeper…. despite his hidden past??

This is a thoroughly engaging story from Richard Harland; a gaslight romance that is full of action and adventure and set against a steampunk London in the mid 1850s. Readers will be eager to turn each page to follow Astor’s adventures as she battles the wealthy Swales, the streetgangs and her own heart!

Highly Recommended (dma) *****    

Music and madness

TITLE: AN EARFUL OF STATIC

AUTHOR: ARCHIMEDE FUSILLO

GENRE: IDENTITY, GROWING UP

Music is Troy’s passion, so playing his guitar and playing with his band provide the main focus of his life. Perhaps this is because at home, life is a bit confusing: Dad has left to “find” himself, Mum doesn’t dress and act like the other mums and is busy writing a book and he and his twin sister have a love-to-hate sibling relationship. But life in a fledgingling rock band (made up of his best mates) isn’t a bed of roses either, especially when your first paid gig is playing for kindy kids, your bass guitarist has just broken his hand and your drummer has walked out on you. How will Troy navigate his way through the trials of becoming a rockstar when he can’t even admit how he truly feels about the new girl in the band, let alone his own dad? There is plenty of fun in this entertaining, fast-paced novel written by one of Australia’s best young adult authors.

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

A passion for music

TITLE: SHE’S WITH THE BAND

AUTHOR: GEORGIA CLARK

GENRE: GIRL FICTION

Mia is passionate about music and loves playing the guitar. However, she has persuaded her dad, a famous artist, to move to Sydney from a small country town and the deal is, Mia will forget guitar & music and focus on serious art studies instead. But the move to Sydney isn’t as easy as Mia thought it would be. She struggles to find a place at her new school or make new friends, she falls in love with a hot rockstar, forms a rock band (behind her dad’s back) and soon music and the many complications of love (her own and her friends) are taking a front seat in her life. But has she fallen for the right guy?  Is her bandmate in love with her or do his interests lie in another direction? Is she trying to be something she isn’t? Will her band stop fighting long enough to actually win the competition? And will any of it matter when her dad discovers her lies and she looks like flunking out of Art school? This novel is an entertaining addition to the Girlfriend fiction series by a new author. Georgia Clark captures both the music scene and the confusing world of teenage love beautifully, with all its heartbreak and passion. A must read for fans of music and romance alike.

You might like to check out another review from the Girlfriend magazine.

Recommended (dma) ****

For the girls

That’s why I wrote this song by Susanne Gervay (GER)
Genre: Girls Fiction, Friendship, Family, Growing up
Interest level: Years 9/10

The author, Susanne Gervay, has written this story in conjunction with her daughter, who has provided music on the internet to go with the songs in the book. The main story involves Pip, a senior student who has three close girlfriends who make up her band. These music students are preparing material for their end of year performance. Whilst three of the girls have been close since kindergarten, the third (Irina) is newer. each of the girls has a different background which impacts on their personalities & behaviour. Pip’s parents are not happy & Dad is violent but she gets on well with older brother, is independent & lives for her music. Karen’s parents are divorced, Dad is violent and both parents have new partners so Karen feels there is no place for her; she flirts with lots of boys but is not really happy and verges on depression. Angie’s parents are well off & seem perfect whilst she is also attractive and “perfect” in appearance; her life seems too good to be true. Irina has Russian parents who don’t approve of her drumming and put a lot of pressure on her to do well at school. The story clearly shows the impact of crumbling marriages on the children but there is hope in the ending. The relationship between Pip, her brother and her Mum is delightfully portrayed. Popular culture and music is a strong flavour throughout the book and drives a lot of the action. This book should appeal to those who like music.

Recommended (dma). ****