FOUR GREAT READS (WITH FAMILIAR LOCATIONS) TO CHECK OUT THIS SPRING

I rarely need an excuse to curl up with a book. Granted, winter seems to be the best season for that, but I think the promise of spring offers something magical. With renewed energy and milder weather, we are heading out more often, making long reading sessions impossible. So, I read in fits and spurts, searching for books that can be resumed instantly.

Lately, I’ve found that many of my titles of choice are set in Australia, which adds a layer of enchantment to the experience. With locations and settings I recognise, somehow I feel more connected to the story.

I have stumbled upon a few great reads lately and couldn’t wait to share them with you. So, if you are looking for something easy to sink your teeth (eyes?) into this spring, look no further.

1. Six Minutes (Petronella McGovern)

I love discovering fantastic new Australian authors, particularly ones who write brilliant page-turners! With a premise that intrigues from the start – how can a little girl go missing from playgroup in just six minutes – you will want to find out what happens next.

McGovern nails every aspect of this gripping tale – from the depth of character for each playgroup mum, to the unfolding backstory of Lexie Parker. The story draws you in from the very first page and doesn’t let go until the end. Similar to Caroline Overington’s ‘The Ones You Trust’ and with the searing insight into human nature that Liane Moriarty offers, I definitely recommend this book.

2. Call Me Evie (J.P. Pomare)

This book kept cropping up on my radar and I was keen to check it out. From the first night when I mistakenly tried to start reading just before bed and then had creepy dreams, this book just takes a hold of you and doesn’t let go until you finish.

Pomare weaves a darkly complex tale of relationships, social media, isolation and identity. The story is told through the eyes of Australian teenager, Kate Bennet, a 17 year old girl who has a tangled past but can’t quite remember what happened or who can be trusted. When she finds herself in a log cabin in the isolated town of Maketu, New Zealand, with a strange man, Kate must put all the pieces together before it is too late.

Psychologically, Pomare nails this, with motivations and actions that make so much sense when the story concludes. If you like books that are ‘unputdownable’ this is one to add to your list.

3. The One (Kaneana May)

Moving away from the thriller titles for a moment, this is one for the romantics at heart.

If you are a fan of The Bachelor or even a little fascinated about what really happens behind the scenes, this is a great one to read. When Bonnie Yates finds herself on popular dating show, The One, she has to navigate her ideas of what love is and what it definitely isn’t.

Kaneana’s experience in the Australian television industry is superbly woven through this novel, which critically examines the idea of a happily ever after through the dating show format. A story of love, lust, rejection and heartache; The One is easy to read, light-hearted and enjoyable.

4. The Book Ninja (Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus)

This is a fun and easy read (another romance), and will be appreciated by Melbourne locals (and avid readers). Following on from their implementation of the ingenious ‘books on the rail‘ project (which involves the leaving of books on public transport so that commuters have something to read), these authors have conjured up a clever tale of love and hilarity with lots of twists and turns.

On the whole, I enjoyed the book and thought it would do well adapted for screen. The characters are quirky and likeable (with a few exceptions) and Frankie Rose is (mostly) endearing. Her blog posts (and the ensuing comments) are witty and clever and a welcome addition to the book.

There were a few plot points that I didn’t like as much, but, if you go in with good humour and a willingness to laugh, these (minor) faults can be overlooked. A fun read.

So, over to you now! What books have you loved that are easy to pick up and devour quickly? Being set in Australia is a bonus!

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