48 Shades of Brown by Nick Earl, Book Review

This book is not to be confused with any 50 shades of anything.  Nick Earls writes a great coming of age story about Dan.  

Dan's parents have taken an opportunity to work overseas during Dan's VCE year (year 12) and he is to stay with his aunty who is not much older than him.  He joins into this uni shared house with another uni girl Naomi who is only one year older than him.  

Unsure of how to relate with females and what may interest them, he finds himself researching a number of odd things to survive this adult world.  Nick Earl shows us the very insecure and sensitive side to a seventeen year old boy as Dan tries to settle in and falls in love.

It is a great story with themes of identity, relationships, coming of age and love. 

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo - Book Review

Well this was a bookclub book and it is a very confronting book.  Katherine Boo immerses herself in a slum in India and has produced this novel to show how world events can radically change people's lives - even the poorest people of the world.  She highlights the corruption, betrayal and devastation that exist in this world and the lack of hope, and ability to make decisions to change their lot that the poor have.

Having spent some time myself visiting slums in India with an aid organisation, I did find this quite a confronting book to read.  

There are some difficulties with this as a non-fiction book in that Boo takes us into the thoughts of the people who are living in the slums, leaving a seed of doubt as to how she could know the inner workings of their minds.  That being said, I think she has done a good job of highlighting the corruption that does exist in India (and probably many other third world countries)and the powerlessness of the world's poor.

A great insight to this desperate and hopeless world.

Writing Your Synopsis

So you think you have a great idea for a novel. 

You start writing and by chapter five you begin to wonder if you really have a story. Will you be able to keep it going and keep it be interesting for the length of a whole novel?  This was my case until I wrote my synopsis today.

There are so many ways to tackle this problem but one way is to write a synopsis. By doing a synopsis you will see very quickly whether or not there is enough interest in the story, whether the story is actually about something, a strong story line, strong and interesting characters and what point of view would be best.