July 11

‘Starfish Sisters’ by J.C. Burke

Starfish sistersGeorgia, Ace, Micki and Kia are all passionate surfers and are good at what they do. Although have the same interests they are not particularly close to begin with. After being thrown together at surf camp, this group of girls deal with jealously, secrets and lies. Their lives are then filled with nothing more than drama. If you like juicy, action filled books, Starfish Sisters is the book for you!

Georgie loves surfing but over the past months she doesn’t have the same enthusiasm anymore. She’s a great surfer but over time the pressure of being great at something starts to get to her.

Ace is an excellent surfer and was thrilled to be selected into the elite surfing competition but that’s not what’s she focused on. Her main concern is her relationship with her boyfriend Tim. Kia is Georgie’s best friend and once the drama begins it hits her the hardest. These four girls are put together in a starfish cabin and form an uneasy friendship. This book is filled with drama and questions and is a great read. The main focus is about surfing but anyone could have easily connected with the book with any sport as it was written in a way that the targeted audience could relate to.

Chanelle G., Year 8

June 14

‘Wave Warrior’ by Lesley Choyce

wave warriorImagine face planting into the bottom of a wave with your mouth open, gargling in salt water. Common sense is to go back up to the surface; that isn’t a good idea, at least not in this case.

“I surfaced just in time to open my eyes and see my airborne surfboard eclipsing the morning sun. And aimed straight for my head. Wham.”

“This book is about a boy named Ben who is determined to learn how to surf. In the choppy North Atlantic beaches of America, only the best are able to surf the tough waves. Ben’s first attempt is a complete disaster. Then he meets an old, experienced surfer, Ray, a surfing veteran from the heart of California. Ray promises to teach Ben how to become a wave warrior and how to respect the mighty ocean. As Ben becomes more comfortable on his board, riding the waves, he learns to face his fears and prove that he has what it takes to become a Wave Warrior.”

Ben is one of those people who doesn’t give up; who faces every challenge that he is confronted with. Ray is an old-timer who has been surfing all his life since he was a little surf grom. Ray is funny man who knows a lot about the incredible sport of surfing.

I liked the book Wave Warrior because it was exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. The book made me want to read more. Wave Warrior is an adventure book with lots of tiny challenges throughout. I recommend the book Wave Warrior to the younger boy category around 12 years old. It is a good book for anyone who likes adventure books as well as kids who have a passion for the tough, exciting sport of surfing.

Hunter P., Year 8

June 23

‘Starfish sisters’ by J.C.Burke

Starfish sisters“I liked the pain, it got the bad thoughts away.”

Do you like true, heart-filled, drama stories? Well, this is the book for you because it is full of drama and heart-filled moments and there is a lot in this book that happens in real life.

Starfish Sisters is a book by J.C.Burke based on four girls: Georgie (15), Kia (15), Micki (12) and Ace (17) who are at a surf camp and are struggling to get along with each other. Their dreams are to be the greatest surfer ever and get into the the surf boot camp. Georgie is a really good surfer who is trying to decide if she wants to be a surfer or a soccer player because she is starting to think that surfing is getting way too competitive. Kia is best friends with Georgie but she is starting to feel like she is a misfit to everyone, including Georgie and decides to self harm and struggles to stop herself. Micki is the youngest at the camp and is the first to find Kia self-harming. She lost her mom when she was little and doesn’t want anyone to know how her death happened.

I really liked this book because it is based on things that happen in real life. Kia goes through a really tough time with self-harming because she thinks that no one wants to believe in her and give her credit for anything. It is also a book about friendship because although not everyone is going to be friends, you need to find a way to get along because otherwise it just makes things even more difficult. I also like this book because it is very heartwarming and brings a lot of emotion.

Charlotte F, Year 8


“How could she have done that? She knew nothing about me and my life. I hated her. Perhaps now I hated her more than she hated me.”

Do you like books filled with drama, complications and you can relate to? Then this book is the one for you. It will keep you up past your bedtime just to finish the next chapter or two.

There are four main characters: Micki, Ace, Kia and Georgie. Micki is 12, turning 13 at the camp. She’s the youngest at the surf camp. She is shy and has many family troubles but still manages to focus on her surfing. Ace is 17. She is sponsored by one of the major surf stores in Australia, Ocean Pearl. She enters the camp in a relationship with Tim Parker, a world famous surfer. Kia is 15 and struggles with her self esteem. She wants to impress her dad and doesn’t want to be compared to her best friend, Georgie, or family friend Micki. Georgie is 15 and her best friend is Kia. Together they created a surf wear brand, Bikinia. They go to the camp hoping to make some sales. Georgie isn’t very confident but always sees the best in people. She’s not sure if she still wants to continue her surfing career. But she still goes to the surf camp anyway.

The book starts with all four girls on their own journey each with different reasons to enter the surf camp. Every girl at this camp is fighting for one of the four spots to go to the next level. It’s going to be tough, as each girl has been specifically picked to go to this camp. With fierce competition it’s not going to be easy. Will friendships last, or will they go down in flames? Not everyone is going to be good enough to make it to the next level.

I could relate to this book on many ways, and levels, which just made it so much more enjoyable. Even though this book was published in 2007 it is still very relatable, even more so today than it would’ve been eight years ago. This book falls under three genres: true, edgy and heart-filled, which are three genres that make a fantastic teenage girl book.

Olivia H. Year 8.


“How could she have done that? She knew nothing about me and my life. I hated her. Perhaps now I hated her more than she hated me.”

Are books with friendship, a story you can relate to and filled with drama your kind of books? Then this is the book for you.

In Starfish are four main characters: Micki, Ace, Kia and Georgie. Micki is 12 and the youngest at surf camp. She is shy and not very wealthy, she has many family troubles but manages to focus on her surfing career. Ace is 17 years old. She is sponsored by one of the major surf stores in Australia, Ocean Pearl. She enters the camp in a relationship with the world’s most famous surfer, Tim Parker. Kia is 15 and struggles with her self esteem. She wants to impress her dad and doesn’t want to be compared to her best friend, Georgie. Georgie is 15 and her best friend is Kia. Together they created a surf wear brand. Georgie isn’t very confident but always sees the best in people. She is not sure if she wants to continue her surfing career.

The book starts as all the characters enter their dream surf camp very nervously. They get introduced to their roommates not having a clue that they would soon become best friends. It was time to have their first surf. Most of the girls were the most nervous they have ever been besides Ace. Ace has always known that she was the best surfer but participating in this camp may test her skills. Georgie has always struggled with her confidence so coming to the camp was a hard decision for her to make but knowing that only the best surfers in Australia get invited, gave her faith. Kia and Micki are having some troubles becoming friends but throughout the book they have a breakthrough.

Starfish Sisters is a great novel that is very easy to relate to for teenage girls. It has a fantastic storyline that has many complications to overcome which also creates drama. They were all thrown in together, and not being friends yet, there was jealousy, lies, secrets and insecurity to deal with. They then realise that they need to stick together as their friendship bring out the best in all of them.

Olivia L., Year 8


“For the first time, three people knew who I was. The real me. And the best bit about it was that they still wanted to be my friend.” This is the reality for Kia, Georgie, Micki and Ace who are thrown together for a whirlwind of a summer and a once in a lifetime experience.

Four girls are chosen to take part in the Australian Elite Young Surfers’ Camp and by chance are put into the same bungalow, the Starfish Bungalow. Ace, also known as Courtney McFarlane, is the star of the camp and is always the centre of attention, after all her boyfriend is the one and only famous surfer Tim Parker. Carefree and confident, she never worries about putting in any effort. Although she’s Ace’s biggest fan, Kia lacks in all these traits. She never feels good enough for her dad and can’t stop comparing herself to others. Self-doubt is something that is also common with her best friend, Georgie. Georgie struggles to cope with the piling amounts of pressure and can’t seem to grasp the enthusiasm she once had. Whenever faced with competition she fails to reach her full potential. Micki is the youngest but far from the least mature. She’s been exposed to more than you’d think for her age, and hides many secrets about her past. Winning a place at the camp gives her chance to finally get away from her terrible home life and to be able to focus on surfing.

Throughout the book, the girls have to compete with eight others for just four spots on the junior training team. Expecting a summer of competition and hard work, they end up learning more about themselves and each other than they ever could’ve imagined. Discovering that there is more to each other than they thought, the girls leave with a bond of sisterhood and lifelong lessons.

I really enjoyed the book, ‘Starfish Sisters’ because it shows four girls coming together and putting aside their differences to help one another. There are many unexpected twists and turns in the plot that make it hard to put down. J.C. Burke does a great job of showing there are more layers to people than what meets the eye. The story also moves along at a great pace and never fails to catch your attention.

I recommend this book to teenage girls who love heart-filled stories that are slightly edgy and packed with adventure. This book addresses serious issues with youth today and sheds light on normally unspoken topics. It truly is a captivating book and I rate it four out of five stars.

Charli B, Year 8

November 10

‘Dawn Patrol’ by Jeff Ross

0625Kevin is missing, his parents are dead and there is nothing left to help find him other than a cryptic note.  “Their journey takes them to the coast of Panama, where they must confront unfriendly locals, and a surfer who seems bent on destroying them…” Are Luca and Esme in way over their heads and diving towards the same fate as Kevin?

The novel “Dawn Patrol” by Jeff Ross is set in Panama and opens with the two main characters arriving in Bocas Del Mar, a small island off Panama.  Sounds like the perfect summer holiday after finishing high school?    Not quite.  Six months ago Esme’s boyfriend, Kevin lost both his parents in a tragic plane crash then Kevin disappeared.  Aware of Kevin’s love for surfing and obsession about chasing the next large wave, they figure he’ll show up in Bocas famous for its enormous waves.  From the moment Esme and Luca arrive in Bocas odd things begin to happen.  Luca and Esme start their search by asking fellow surfers if they have seen Kevin.  Luca notices a suspicious looking surfer named Jose, who bolts away as soon as he sees him.  Their next meeting finds Luca being forced onto deadly rocks.  Was this just an accident or something more sinister?

Luca befriends a female surfer, who he fancies.  Is she really friendly or does she have other motives for tagging alongside them in their search?  The plot continues with Esme and Luca piecing together the clues they find in an attempt to track down Kevin.  Danger lurks everywhere.

Jeff Ross is a keen surfer himself and this is obvious by the way he describes some of the action scenes throughout the book.  I found it difficult to engage with the characters because I am not a surfer nor do I find surfing all that interesting.  The novel would definitely appeal to readers who enjoy this sport or other extreme sports, as it is full of technical jargon which surfing enthusiasts would understand and appreciate.  “The water was choppy.  I struggled to hold on.  If I bailed, I was done for.  The coming wave would suck me in and spit me out the back after it had raked me across the reef”.  Due to these types of references, I tended to lose interest in the plot.

The storyline involves mystery and some drama but I felt that the outcome was predictable.  I found the characters to be shallow and most lacked ‘The X Factor’.  Esme was committed and determined to find Kevin but for some reason, I couldn’t relate to her.  I felt she was in some way a little self-centered and controlling.  Luca, even though at times he provided some comic relief, lacked credibility.

I would recommend this book to young adolescents aged between 12 and 15 who have an interest in the surfing culture or are sports enthusiasts.  However, if you are like me and are not into sport or surfing then you would agree with me that the novel seemed to drag and the end was obvious.  I would rate this novel “Dawn Patrol” 1 out of 5 stars.

Mackenzie, Year 9


“Guys I need to get out of here. Nothing is making sense at the moment. I don’t know if I’ll come back.”

This book called Dawn Patrol by Jeff Ross is about Kevin, Luca, Esme who love catching big waves and having a good time with each other. However halfway through surfing they can’t seem to find Kevin and they search around to try and find him.

The story is set in Panama Bocas Del Mar on the beach where all the big waves happen.  Kevin was a really good surfer. After his parents died in a plane crash, he used to catch really big waves.  At the beginning of novel, they were surfing together still thinking about where Kevin is and all he left behind was a note. I like this book a lot because I like surfing too and that it feels like a survival book.

Luca and Kevin have been best friends since they were young children. Luca is a loyal boy.  Esme and Luca meet a girl named Alana. They all get lost trying to find Kevin.

Why is Kevin avoiding his friends?

Where is he hiding?

There is a adult named Delgado who is half mean and good.

They find Kevin in an unfinished hotel and Alana gets kidnapped and the teens have to try and save her then they are all wondering if Kevin’s parents are alive or not. There also in danger because they catch huge waves that can come down and smash you and they could die. I would recommend this book to any age really it’s a book for adults and kids like telling kids what they do when surfing and it’s good for adult surfers.

Cameron, Year 9

June 14

‘Starfish Sisters’ by J.C. Burke

starfish“For the first time, three people knew who I was. The real me. And the best bit about it was that they still wanted to be my friend.” (front cover)

This is the start to a trip that bring ups and downs in the girls’ relationship. Can they keep it together? This is a story written by J.C Burke, an amazing writer.


This is a story about four different girls with different backgrounds: Georgie, Micki, Kia and Ace (Courtney). They all have a dream of surfing professionally and making it into the junior squad team. But along the way they come across some bumps and troubles. Will they make it through them?


Courtney (Ace) is a professional surfer and a model for a surfing club. She’s lots of fun to be around and everyone wants to be her. Then there’s Georgie. She is an amazing surfer but she cracks under pressure. Can she keep it together? Other than that she’s a friend of all. Micki is the youngest of all the girls and the happiest. She proves to them that being young doesn’t mean that you can’t be as good as the rest of them. Then there’s Kia. Although she doesn’t really like Micki, she tries to pull it together because her best friend Georgie is getting really close to her. She is having the feelings to do something bad but can’t seem to do it. What will she do?.


I really enjoyed this novel. It is very very interesting and some people could actually relate this to their real lives, so there are some lessons to learn. I would rate this novel 4 out of 5 because there are so many things to learn. I would recommend this story to teen girls because it probably wouldn’t interest boys unless they liked a bit of drama.

Skie M., Year 8

October 31

‘The Wave Rider’ by Graeme Lay

‘The Wave Rider’ by Graeme Lay is an interesting and enjoyable read. The best part about this book is that it is a realistic read; the events that occur during this book could happen to anyone. The story is set in the town of Kaimara, in New Zealand. The main character is Justine. The author has described Justine as a student disliking school and all its workload. She has to work a part time job at a pharmacy. Carl is a worldwide traveller, fulfilling his surfing needs, and has ended up in the town Kaimara.

The realism of Justine’s life is extraordinary. Anything that has happened to her could have actually happened to any ordinary person. Justine has ordinary teenage problems, such as romance, conflict with family member and close friends. I like this story so much because of its realistic ability to make you relate to the character.

Chelsea, Year 9


‘The Wave Rider’ by Graeme Lay is an enjoyable read. It is an interesting book that is aimed at teenagers aged 15. Boys and girls can both read this book but girls would find it more interesing. The main characters are Justine and Carl. Justine is a young woman who is a student who dislikes school and works in a local chemist store in Kaimara. Carl is a young adult who travels around the Coast finding the best surf points. He eventually ends up in Kaimara. Justine is a character of interest to both genders as she has romance and conflicts, which is a main factor in all teenagers’ life.

I liked this book as it caught my attention and interested me. I would recommend this book to the students of Aquinas College, as it would relate to many students’ lives.

Britta Year 9

November 14

‘The Wave Rider’ by Graeme Lay

The ‘Yankee kid’ was an American surfer boy who could ride the reef waves. He had moved to Kaimara and wasn’t planning on staying, and then he met Justine. From the first look of the cover of this book, the reader would assume it’s a surfing book, but it’s actually a teenage love story.

This book will have you hooked and you won’t be able to put it down! Each page has a new twist, which you won’t expect. Justine was planning on travelling around with Carl once she has finished school but everything changed. Why would Carl leave? What is she going to do with the baby? As you keep reading on you will keep thinking, what will happen next? This book is a mysterious love story and you won’t be able to put it down. Rachael, year 9.

October 20

‘Starfish Sisters’ by J.C.Burke

‘Starfish sisters’ is a book about four girls who get picked for a surfing camp that goes for three weeks. The four girls Kia, Micki, Ace (Courtney) and Georgie or the STARFISH SISTERS (named by Jake the surfing coach) are all in the same room and all have one thing in common: their love for surfing. Kia and Georgie are the only two that know each other from outside the camp. When Georgie get to the camp Kia tells her that Micki, who is only 12, is in their room. Kia was going on about how Micki won’t be able to handle being in a room with older girls and Kia was being mean about Micki behind her back. Georgie is sticking up for Micki saying she may be a really nice girl. Kia also tells Georgie that a Pro-surfer from Ocean Pearl is in their room called Courtney (known as Ace by her friends). Kia was going on about how Ace is the person to be with because she has a hot boyfriend called Tim Parker and she is a good surfer and model. Georgie was trying to tell Kia that Ace might be all stuck up and not be very nice. All the girls find out that it’s not easy making friends with each other. Kia doesn’t like Micki that much even though Kia and Micki’s parents are friends, Kia isn’t getting along with her best friend Georgie because she had a better day at surfing than Kia.

This book is full of surfing, fights and finding friends with in each other. When Micki who only owns one board breaks it in half, the three other starfish sisters decide to hold a fashion parade to raise money to get Micki a new board. When the four girls get picked, as a surfing team will their team win?  With the battle for friendship behind them will this bring them closer friends or enemies? Read STARFISH SISTERS to find out. Michaela, Year 9.


A group of four normal girls, Georgie, Kia, Micki and Ace are crazy for surfing. They love to surf and they have all been selected for an elite surfing selection camp. Georgie and Kia are best friends from outside the camp and have been placed in the starfish bungalow along with Micki and Ace, who they’ve never met. The camp will be their home for the next three weeks and will be a place where they will share lifelong memories and experiences.

Although Kia and Micki have never meet before, both their fathers are best friends and all Kia’s dad ever talks about is how great Micki is and how she’s an amazing surfer. So when Kia hears that she has to stay in the same bungalow as Micki she is overcome with jealousy and ignores Micki and treats her like she’s nothing. However Georgie was not to happy herself when she heard that Courtney Mcflarne would be in her bungalow. She thought Courtney would be some stuck up girl who’s perfect and pretty and skinny. As the girls get to know each other they realise people may not be as they seem and sometimes secrets are better shared with friends than bottled up inside. “Starfish Sisters” helps you learn about friendships and how to deal with secrets and serious problems. It’s a great book and I personally recommend that teens should read it as it contains good life lessons and has a good storyline.

Leah, Year 9

Three weeks at surfing camp are about to change the lives of four very different girls. The story is told by the four girls in alternating chapters, going from Georgie to Kia to Mikki to Ace, over and over. I think that was a genius move, as I really got to know each of them. Another thing I loved was that I got  the story even though I don’t know anything about surfing, because it was written in such a way that it could’ve been any sport. Georgie is a natural surfer who’s starting to feel the pressure of being great at something. Georgie’s best friend Kia goes on taking the bad things and lets it get to her. Mikki is another natural talent who can’t wait to see if she can get away from the things that are tying her down. And lastly, there is Ace, the girl who seems to have everything together but really doesn’t. The four of them are stuck together in the starfish cabin and form an uneasy friendship as they get to know each other and start to show the cracks in their lives. Shakira, Year 9

May 17

‘Starfish Sisters’ by J.C.Burke

starfish sistersStarfish sisters’ is about four girls called Georgie, Ace, Kia and Micki. They are four normal girls who just love to surf. When they meet each other at a surf camp, it becomes an adventure filled with the good and bad. ‘Starfish sisters’ is a fantastic book filled with adventure, so come on an adventure with Georgie, Ace, Kia and Micki.  There are fights, breakups, boys, beach, surfing and you can discover the true meaning of friendship.  ‘Starfish sisters’ begins with Georgie and her best friend Micki going to a surf camp. Georgie used to love surfing but ever since she started surfing in competitions she has started to feel the pressure and might be having second thoughts about surfing.  As you read on into the book, Kia and Micki get off to a bad start, and Kia has troubles with Georgie because Georgie had been surfing really well and Kia wasn’t happy because she had not and she feared that she won’t make it nationally. Ace is the oldest out of the three girls and she is a model. She comes to the surf camp because she loved surfing.  All four girls share the same cabin. Ace is the oldest, followed by Georgie and Kia and Micki is the youngest. Ace, Georgie and Kia are having a catwalk to raise money for a new surfboard for Micki and at first it didn’t seem like a good idea but the more the girls become friends the bigger and better it gets. What will happen? Will all the girls make surfing internationally and stick together, will they stay friends forever? You will have to find out for yourself… STARFISH SISTERS. Alysha, Year 8