Archive for the ‘NZ lit reviews’ Category


a dash of frightening, a dollop of blood-curdling and a spritz of spine-chilling.

In Book Reviews,CannonballreadIX 2017,Fiction,NZ lit reviews on March 25, 2017 by mrsdillemma

“A blind teenager receives a corneal donation and begins to see and feel memories from their previous owner, a homicide detective, his father.  As Joshua navigates a world of sight he gets glimpses of what these eyes might have witnessed in their previous life. What was his dad up to?”

Paul Cleave is an author with the ability to write a thriller where the characters are totally and utterly believable – Joshua reminds me so much of a kid who lives at the end of my street, his writing is outstanding, its riveting, dark, intense and deliciously twisted. Cleave writes of hidden secrets in everyday scenarios and unspeakable horrors just next door – this is his 11th thriller/horror and if you haven’t read him before, catch up on his entire back catalogue.

Ok, confession time. A Killer Harvest isn’t due for publication until August 1st, 2017 – I live in Christchurch, New Zealand where Paul is from, I hosted his very first book launch & I know his dad – he’s where I borrowed a copy of A Killer Harvest. I am one very lucky broad, but I am genuinely addicted to his work and have gone out and bought a copy of each and every one of his books.



Do not push – Kyle Mewburn

In Book Reviews,Childrens Chapter books,NZ lit reviews on December 11, 2011 by mrsdillemma

Mewburn, K. (2011). Do not push. Auckland, New Zealand: Scholastic New Zealand.

[humour / contemporary realistic chapter book]

In Do not push Kyle Mewburn puts our hero, Cam, in an impossible situation.

In an uninhabited forest that’s just over the back fence, down a gully he’s never seen before and standing in front of a large red button labelled do not push….

Cam pushes the button and things change, he returns to a world without rules, without consequences, without repercussions. Mum and Dad behave differently, the entire neighbourhood appears to have gone round the bend…. and now if you need to know how Cam survives and fixes the world then this is one book you need to read.

Mewburn has hit the nail on the head with his short punchy chapters and clipped dialogue; the format is perfectly suited to that group of kids just coming to grips with chapter books, whether they are 6 or 16 and Sarah Anderson’s illustrations add a quirky, yet thoroughly entertaining dimension to this book.

What would you do if there was a big red button with a do not push sign attached? You’d push it, right? I know I would!


Quaky Cat

In Book Reviews,Childrens Picture Books,NZ lit reviews on December 11, 2011 by mrsdillemma

Noonan, D. (2010). Quaky Cat. Auckland, New Zealand: Scholastic New Zealand.

[Picture Storybook]

In the aftermath of the Christchurch’s September earthquake, Diana Noonan decided to do her part to help quake victims the only way she could – by writing a story for children about what happened that morning from the perspective of a bright orange cat called Tiger.

Tiger wakes, it is 4:35am and its pitch black, the earthquake strikes and he bolts out of the house. Tiger looks for safety as the town quakes, shakes, rolls and rumbles all around him. Scared, lost and alone, he scours the neighbourhood for his owner Emma in the ensuing chaos.

A thoroughly delightful story, Quaky Cat acknowledges the terrifying and sad experiences children went through during and after the earthquake but also ends with a hopeful and reassuring message for those children and their families left homeless by the quake – Love and hugs are what make a family, not its house.

Quaky Cat is one of this year’s standout picture books. It is perfect as a bedtime story and ideal to be used in a story reading session for little ones and with 50% of the proceeds donated to Christchurch charities, if you don’t already own it – Go out and buy one!