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Showing posts from September, 2013

YA book review: Divergent

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Ahh yes.  But of course. When in doubt with young adult fiction, write another dystopian book, preferably the first of three.

'Divergent' by Veronica Roth is good fun. More of the controlled, perfect world where people are assessed and placed into one of five groups according to personality type at the age of 16. Except that Beatrice (surprise, surprise) doesn't fit her family group (boring old 'Abegnation' - the selfless) and has the opportunity to choose between her family group or 'Dauntless', the group that protects the whole community. They're on the edge of society, keeping the bad guys out. So, let's see. Can you guess which group our friend Beatrice chooses?

Oh well, I don't want to spoil the fun for you, so you'll just have to read it to find out the answer. But all is not as it seems. Beatrice is actually a 'Divergent'. That is, her personality test shows that she doesn't quite fit in any group (but of course, dark se…

YA book review: The sky so heavy

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'The sky so heavy' by Claire Zorn has been my favourite read of the past term. It's aimed at young adults although I think if you can cope with a bit of swearing it would be OK for 12+.

'The sky so heavy' is set in the lower Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. The story starts off with a normal school day for Fin against the backdrop of looming tensions in an Asian country north of Australia. There is a major nuclear attack that destroys all of Asia leaving Australia devastated by the aftermath of a nuclear winter.

Of course, the parents are quickly dispensed with and the three teenagers, Fin, Lucy and Arnold, are left on their own to survive.

It is powerful reading a book that is set in such familiar places. The kids have to negotiate their way down the mountains into the edges of Western Sydney that has been barricaded to protect any outsiders coming in. It's the realism that makes it so rivetting. So much that is normal and familiar but in this horrendous and…

"I don't want to be a poor old person"

I said this recently in one of the talks I've done this term. I was speaking to a group of women who are married to guys training at a Bible college in Sydney. I was speaking about what it's like to be married to someone doing parachurch work (ie. full-time Christian work that isn't in a church context). My husband has worked in both a church role and now with uni students so it was interesting to reflect on the differences.

One of the big concerns for families going into parachurch jobs is that quite a number of them (including my husband's job) involve raising funds to support your role. It also means that you will get a lower income than if you had a church based job.

While I'd really hope that money wasn't a reason to deter people from considering this type of work, let's be honest, it can be. Especially when the money doesn't always come easily.

I always said that we'd never do a fundraising job, yet 8 years later, here we are. One of my f…

Why I should stick to writing

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I have been quite busy recently and my body has revolted. Not with a little tummy ache or a sore throat. No, with nasty cold sores that make me look like the living dead. The aftermath makes me look like I have a permanent nose bleed for a week or so.

Problem is the extra I've taken on is to give a talk or two (or three this term). I like doing the thinking. I like doing the talking. My body does not.

So I have to turn up to a lovely ladies' dinner looking feral because my face has let me down. Unreliable face. It can't be trusted (I had a cold sore on my wedding day - we have a lot of history, me and my face) Unfortunately people have to look at my face when I talk.

So I should stick to writing.