Posts Tagged ‘mandy hager’

Singing Home the Whale

City boy Will Jackson is hiding out in a small South Island fishing community while he recovers from a humiliating incident that was filmed and has gone viral. When he discovers an abandoned baby Orca, his life becomes more chaotic as he calls for help to protect it from hostile locals. The orca and Will develop a unique bond through his love of singing, as well as Will finding friends that help him recover.

Each chapter is told from a different perspective, Will’s or the orca’s, and gives the heartbreaking back story to the baby whale. The plot moves quickly and is full of drama, tension, and romance, with the characters real and well-rounded. The story explores many environmental issues and shows how important it is to be involved.

This book made me laugh, made me cry, made me think. I recommend it for adults and teens alike, and anyone with the faintest interest in marine life will love it.


Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

dear vincentTara has a tough life; her father is sick and needs round the clock care, her family is struggling financially and swallows the money she earns as an aide at a nursing home, and her sister is dead.  The only things that keep her sane are a passion for art and the work of Vincent Van Gogh.  She’s creating her versions of his paintings for her art portfolio and feels he understands her from reading his letters to his brother Theo.

Professor Max Stockhamer is a temporary resident at the nursing home who shares her passion for Van Gogh.  A philosopher and Jewish refugee, he offers support and understanding when she needs it most, after finding out her sisters accidental death was a lie.  His grandson Johannes also grows close to Tara, helping hr figure out what she wants.

This is a brilliant read, with a tightly woven plot and characters that are strong and feel alive.  I was completely captivated from the start with Tara, admiring how in control she was under trying circumstances before seeing her pain.  Learning of the true facts of her sister’s death, I saw how much the news hurt her.

This is a book about suicide.  It shows the devastation left behind by those committing the act, and describes the feelings leading to it.  This book is powerful, a must read for any teen.

Random House New Zealand

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan