Whichbook Blog

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This story about the ‘love’ between an under-aged girl and a much older man could have easily become exploitative or sensationalist. The sensitive writing, describing the main characters and their perceptions of events over time and using their own voices thankfully makes it into a believable, even human story. Although it remains one that will make you feel very uncomfortable.

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Ukulele Jam

Reading like a Nick Hornby novel, with numerous musical references, this is a coming of age tale for a Bosnian teen, with all the usual teenage problems but growing up in a refugee camp in Croatia during the war. Miki’s past experiences, and fears for his brother, colour everything that he is going through. The story has a youthful ease, slipping from humour to tragedy, moment to moment, with an engaging, moving style.

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Freedom Hospital

This is a graphic novel in more than one sense. It is not neutral about the Syrian war. It is impassioned and angry about what is happening there. It has nothing but contempt for the Assad regime, and the Islamic jihadists. It may be an accident that one jihadi is called Abu Qatada but that tells you all you everything, as do the drawings.

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An Almond for a Parrot

London in the 1700s - what a romping good time was had by many a male (providing you were rich of course). Money just didn't buy you power - it also bought you prostitutes and mistresses aplenty. This story is a veritable mixture of delights - sex, indecent liaisons, lust, magic, ghosts, really likeable characters all topped off with a smattering of feminism well before its time. Catherine Cookson this isn't - but a fabulous read it is.

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