The Book Ninja
Sometimes love means having to broaden your literary horizons.Frankie Rose is desperate for love. Or a relationship. Or just a date with a semi-normal person will do.It’s not that she hasn’t tried. She’s the queen of online dating. But enough is enough. Inspired by her job at The Little Brunswick Street Bookshop, Frankie decides to take fate into her own hands and embarks on the ultimate love experiment.Her plan? Plant her favourite books on trains inscribed with her contact details in a bid to lure the sophisticated, charming and well-read man of her dreams.Enter Sunny, and one spontaneous kiss later, Frankie begins to fall for him. But there’s just one problem – Frankie is strictly a classics kind of gal, and Sunny is really into Young Adult. Like really.A quirky and uplifting love letter to books, friendship and soulmates.

The Book Ninja Details

TitleThe Book Ninja
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 1st, 2018
PublisherSimon & Schuster Australia
Rating
GenreRomance, Fiction, Contemporary

The Book Ninja Review

  • Veronica ⭐️
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars Ali and Michelle are the co-founders of the famed Books on the Rail Australia and what better way to express their love for all things books and Melbourne than to write a book.Frankie works with best friend Cat at Little Brunswick Bookshop. She is a bit of a book snob, preferring classics to popular fiction and YA titles, she judges people by the books they buy at the shop.Left broken hearted by Adam and not having any success with romance she decides to leave her favourite books on Me 3.5 Stars Ali and Michelle are the co-founders of the famed Books on the Rail Australia and what better way to express their love for all things books and Melbourne than to write a book.Frankie works with best friend Cat at Little Brunswick Bookshop. She is a bit of a book snob, preferring classics to popular fiction and YA titles, she judges people by the books they buy at the shop.Left broken hearted by Adam and not having any success with romance she decides to leave her favourite books on Melbourne trains, with a note at the end of each book to contact her for a date, believing the best man for her would be someone who loves the same books as her.This Rom Com is filled with hilarious situations and plenty of hijinks. Frankie and cat were a couple of crazy best friends who told each other everything, well almost everything. There are a few surprises that will be revealed.An ex boyfriend, bad dates, a meddling mum and a crazy best friend; could anything get any more difficult? Apparently so, when Frankie becomes a recognisable face after an altercation with a beetroot latte and a pair of white pants goes viral on Instagram.The story is told through third person narration, blog posts, texts and emails placing it solidly in the modern era.With over 100 mentions of books throughout the story i can see The Book Ninja booklist being used for reading challenges in the foreseeable future.I think this book would be perfect made into a movie as the humour is more of a visual humour which would suit screen adaptation. An example is with Cat and the new baby (no spoilers) but this scene would have been better as a visual, the humour was lost on the page.Cat’s husband Claud’s character fell flat for me and I couldn’t quite get the reason for the inclusion of 17 year old Seb, a school boy who often visited the book shop.The Book Ninja was a fun, easy read. One for the under 40’s.In true book ninja style my copy was left on the train for the next person to enjoy.*I received my copy from the publisher
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    Written by Melbourne Book Ninjas Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus, this book is about Frankie, a book ninja who decides to find love by planting her favourite books on Melbourne's trams and trains. Those who read to the end of the book find a note from Frankie inviting them to contact her for a date. Although this sounds like a guaranteed way to find like minded souls, the people who contact Frankie don't always match her picture of the perfect man, as attested by her popular blog where she writes ab Written by Melbourne Book Ninjas Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus, this book is about Frankie, a book ninja who decides to find love by planting her favourite books on Melbourne's trams and trains. Those who read to the end of the book find a note from Frankie inviting them to contact her for a date. Although this sounds like a guaranteed way to find like minded souls, the people who contact Frankie don't always match her picture of the perfect man, as attested by her popular blog where she writes about her dates. Meanwhile, Frankie has met an attractive, intelligent man who seems to like her. The only problem is that he likes to read YA fiction so how could he possibly be Frankie's perfect match?This was a fun read about finding love in all the right and wrong places and being prepared to look beyond your horizons. Cat and Claud's bookshop where Frankie works sounds the perfect place to browse and I enjoyed Cat's ongoing baby saga. I also enjoyed all the mentions of books that I love and the quotes Cat and Frankie liberally sprinkle into their conversations. An enjoyable read for all lovers of books and quirky romances.With thanks to Netgalley and the publishers Simon & Schuster Australia for a digital ARC to read
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  • Figgy
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to come closer to release (June 1st).For now...Despite being populated with characters who at times feel like they're not so much characters as a group of over the top quirks whose sole purpose is to put Frankie in compromising positions, this is a lot of bookish fun.The story (mostly) alternates between Frankie's desperately single day to day life, and her new blog which ties in with her book ninja project. She's scattering all of her favourite books across various forms of Melbourn Full review to come closer to release (June 1st).For now...Despite being populated with characters who at times feel like they're not so much characters as a group of over the top quirks whose sole purpose is to put Frankie in compromising positions, this is a lot of bookish fun.The story (mostly) alternates between Frankie's desperately single day to day life, and her new blog which ties in with her book ninja project. She's scattering all of her favourite books across various forms of Melbourne public transport with her details on the seventh last page in the hopes of finding a bookish kindred spirit to date.At around the same time, she meets Sunny, a dreamboat who loves young adult books... and Frankie is a total book snob, so she keeps going on dates with the people who find her books because she's embarrassed by the very idea of young adult books. We all know how that's going to turn out, right?This would be a good read for fans of books like The Rosie Project, Happiness For Humans, and Whispers Through a Megaphone.I honestly couldn't put it down, and spent every spare moment devouring as much of it as possible before the real world got in the way again. It's also fun that the story ties in so well with the real world company Books on the Rail, who recruit Book Ninjas to sticker and drop books on Australian public transport in an effort to share a love of the written word.There were some things that rather annoyed me about the choices made by the characters within this story. But, to be honest, they're the kind of issues that would make for a MUCH shorter book had they not been present. Things like (view spoiler)[the fact that when she sees the image of Sunny with another woman on his phone screensaver after they've been seeing each other for a few weeks, Frankie assumes he is cheating on her (or using her to cheat) and freaks out. When the truth is revealed (that she is a deceased ex) and the two start seeing each other again, Frankie doesn't realise what a hypocrite she is when she continues to go on dates with other men as her relationship with Sunny progresses and becomes more serious.And then there's the best friend, Cat, who cheats on her husband, gets pregnant, and upon the birth of the baby (and revelation that his bio-dad is the man she had the affair with) GIVES THE BABY THE SAME NAME AS HIS BIO-DAD, while hoping her husband doesn't realise that this baby born to two white parents looks Korean AND has a Korean name? (hide spoiler)] They didn't get in the way of me enjoying the story, however, and that's always half the battle!---------------- - While Reading -----------------As this is a rather early proof copy, I'm going to record errors here rather than in updates, as I expect/hope they will be fixed for the final copy. I'm not going to bother with minor issues like missing or additional words.White it might seem like I'm nitpicking, I AM enjoying the book. As a matter of fact, despite some rather over the top of hard to believe moments, I can't put it down. I'm sure these errors will be absent from the final copy.Pg 12: He bought The Scorch Trials.Pg 19: When discussing the encounter with Cat, she says he bought City of Ashes.(I get the feeling there was another mention of City of Ashes... but I didn't tab it.)Pg 69: She opened her laptop and clicked on the YouTube clip waiting for her on the bathroom bench.WEIRD phrasing... Seems to be suggesting the LINK was waiting for her on the bench?Pg 73: She looked across the room at a woman standing at the bar, wearing an emerald gown with a low back, a peacock feather in her hair. A man dressed in a tuxedo crept up behind her, casually putting his hand on the small of her bare back. She turned around and kissed him.Again with the weird phrasing... rather ambiguous, and at first reads as though the she being approached by a man is the she in the first sentence, being Frankie herself... So... as she looks across the room, a man comes up behind her and she kisses him? Could definitely be cleaner.Pg 75: "Frankie took a long drink as she mumbled the word 'Frankston'. Is this physically possible? She could mumble it as she brought the glass to her lips, but not as she took a long drink, surely.Pg 70: As her buzzer sounded, Frankie ruffled her hair, loosening the curls so that they fell effortlessly across her shoulders and skidded towards the intercom, swiping her handbag on the way. 'I'll be right down,' she called.Pg 80: 'Oh, uh ... oh. Thanks. How did you know my apartment number?' Frankie quickly retied her hair into a ponytail while slowly dying inside.'Cat told me,' he said, resting his solid arm casually against her doorframe.Nope. Even though she didn't text him her apartment number in the first convo, he buzzed her when he was there to pick her up. So he should have either called her phone, or she's told him between the first conversation and the first date what apartment she was in. The question is rendered moot by this assumption and gives incorrect/irrelevant information.Pg 91: Frankie opens a new bag of cashews.Pg 92: Cat grabs the cashews, puts three in her mouth, speaks with her mouth full of nuts and then in the next paragraph is eating the "nutty dregs" at the bottom of the bag.Pg 107: 'He's probably not calling you because he knows I've seen the photo of him smooching another woman.'This is Frankie talking to Cat. Why would he be calling Cat? This should be "me" and not "you".Pg 187: 'There's no slowing Cat down is there?' Sunny said, following Frankie into her apartment. They were both soaking wet and out of breath, having sprinted home in the rain.'I can, she's such a party animal. When my first boyfriend broke up with me, she took me to a Salsa club and didn't let me stop dancing until the pain went away. I couldn't walk for two days.'So, she's saying she CAN slow Cat down, and then follows it up with an example that suggests the opposite.------------ - Pre-Read -------------This. Sounds. Amazing.But it's not out until June... I don't think I'll be able to concentrate on my April and May releases until I've read this one...I have got one or two I HAVE to clear off my list first, though... Yay for long weekends and time off for reading!
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  • Jo
    January 1, 1970
    This was so infuriating that I'm not even going to spend time reviewing it, because I refuse to give it any more of my minutes. Terrible people doing insanely dramatic things at each other and somehow still managing to be tedious. Awful.
  • Kathryn
    January 1, 1970
    Fucking hilarious.A longer review will appear on my blog, Kathryn's Inbox in late May 2018
  • Dale Harcombe
    January 1, 1970
    Three and a half starsWith her love life at an all-time low, Frankie Rose decides to try an experiment. Her plan is to leave some of her favourite books in trains with her name and phone number in the back. If, after reading the book, a man is interested in a date, he knows who to call. In this way she hopes to meet a man with whom she cane share books, life and laughter. But as always happens with a plan, Things don’t work out quite the way she expects. She meets a variety of people and then al Three and a half starsWith her love life at an all-time low, Frankie Rose decides to try an experiment. Her plan is to leave some of her favourite books in trains with her name and phone number in the back. If, after reading the book, a man is interested in a date, he knows who to call. In this way she hopes to meet a man with whom she cane share books, life and laughter. But as always happens with a plan, Things don’t work out quite the way she expects. She meets a variety of people and then along comes Sunny Day. Yes, that really is his name. He likes books but not the kind Frankie is into. He likes young adult fiction. Frankie, who works in the Little Brunswick Street Bookshop is appalled at his reading taste.As you would expect there is a lot of banter about books and references to various books and that makes for interesting reading. Especially interesting if you have read all of the books mentioned, I should imagine. I have to admit there were some I had not read while others were familiar friends. The book is amusing, even if some of the escapades verge on the ridiculous. And who knew there was such a thing as bananaphobia? Not me, till I read this book.While I enjoyed this read, I did find the characters and their mad cap flighty behaviour hard to relate to. Maybe those in their late twenties or thirties will relate to them better? But then I get the feeling we are not meant to take them or any of this book too seriously. For me the best part was all the book talk. There were some aspects of the story that annoyed me and I felt were unnecessary inclusions, e.g. Cat and her baby, for reasons which I won’t go into here, because I don’t like including spoilers. Frankie’s behaviour at times annoyed me too. Despite those quibbles this was an entertaining read, even if it does stretch credibility to the max at times. If you are looking for a fun read centred on books, this could be it. Thanks to Simon & Schuster for my advance reading copy which I won to read and review. I loved the ninja star bookmark which came with this book.
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  • Kirra
    January 1, 1970
    The Book Ninja is the brilliant and hilarious debut book from Aussie writing duo and creators of Books on the Rail, a travelling book service. I remember the first few posts they made on their Instagram account for Books on the Rail and the stickers that originally went out to go onto books to be left on trains. I thought it was such a great idea to have a floating collecting and share a love of books but I had no idea it would grow so successfully and thankfully, it inspired the two creators to The Book Ninja is the brilliant and hilarious debut book from Aussie writing duo and creators of Books on the Rail, a travelling book service. I remember the first few posts they made on their Instagram account for Books on the Rail and the stickers that originally went out to go onto books to be left on trains. I thought it was such a great idea to have a floating collecting and share a love of books but I had no idea it would grow so successfully and thankfully, it inspired the two creators to write this novel.Frankie is a character we all aspire to be, she's a lover of books, she works in a bookstore with her best friend and she's hilariously witty. Frankie is also unlucky in love and devises a plan to find a partner by dropping her favourite books on different trains with her contact information in the back. It sounds like a great way to meet people until she finds out there can be some pretty strange encounters but while she's conducting that experiment she happens to stumbles across a gorgeous guy that loves to read but seems to be all wrong for her because he only read Young Adult novels! As a strong lover of Young Adult, I was totally in love with Sunny from the start and I knew she would come around at the end of the book once she realised how diverse and creative they are.I basically breathed this book in because it was such a quick read and the characters were so outrageously wacky and loveable. Frankie had a real charm to her and she was constantly making me laugh, while Sunny made you swoon as a great guy and her best friend and other characters were always making my eyes widen with the crazy things they would say and do. This book is definitely a feel-good romcom right off the pages. Frankie's best friend Cat also had a pretty interesting and slightly scandalous storyline and I think they could easily write a whole novel about her character too with some appearances from Frankie and the gang after these vents. So, hopefully, this is just the beginning of this writing duo and their adventures.(Thank you to Simon & Schuster for a copy of this book for an honest review. The Book Ninja is out on June 1st in Australian bookstores and online!)
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  • Michaela
    January 1, 1970
    The Book Ninja is one of my favourite and definitely most fun reads of the year. Meet Frankie Rose. Frankie works in a bookshop spending her day with the men of her dreams: Mr Darcy, Mr Knightley and Mr Tilney just to name a few. She is sick of the disasters that is online dating and decides to take matters into her own hands to find her true literary love. Sending out her favourite novels on the public transport around Melbourne she hides her details at the ned of each book for those with the a The Book Ninja is one of my favourite and definitely most fun reads of the year. Meet Frankie Rose. Frankie works in a bookshop spending her day with the men of her dreams: Mr Darcy, Mr Knightley and Mr Tilney just to name a few. She is sick of the disasters that is online dating and decides to take matters into her own hands to find her true literary love. Sending out her favourite novels on the public transport around Melbourne she hides her details at the ned of each book for those with the attention span long her enough to read an entire novel. From there we see her dating escapades until she meets seemingly her perfect man except for one thing: he only reads young adult novels and well, Frankie is a classics lover. A contemporary romance for book lovers this is an adorable and hilarious read. You will fall in love with the relatable Frankie and her quirky friends and family as she embarks on her journey to find love, just as long as they can appreciate good literature. This novel is a love letter to literature and book lovers will delight in the many references scattered within from Austen to Zafon and honestly, will likely end up with many more books for their own TBR. Yes, this is a contemporary, so there are some situations that are tad cliche and predictable and the character are so vivid and unique that they aren't exactly realistic but it is so laugh out loud funny and charming I forgot all about this and just delighted in the story. I found myself devouring every page and wanting more. Hidden within are some great snapshots of society today, Ali and Michelle have a great eye for what it is to be a young women living and all her desires and aspirations.This was a fantastic five star read for me and a great breath of fresh air. Read it with a cheeky glass of wine and their share it with your bestie, from those who want to get into reading and don't know where to start (hello already generated reading list) to those who love lit just as much as you do. A laugh and a whole lot of fun. 
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  • Jen Brown
    January 1, 1970
    I was ready to give this book 5 stars after chapter 4! Wonderful, quirky and fun story. Characters that are vivacious and full of life. Easy to read and lots of laugh-out-loud scenes, yet still plenty of deep and meaningful moments. Lots of literary references to suit all book buffs and very connected to the location the story unfolds in - these places are very real (as I type this on my way to work on the Frankston train line!). A must read for all Melbournians, everyone who loves books, and th I was ready to give this book 5 stars after chapter 4! Wonderful, quirky and fun story. Characters that are vivacious and full of life. Easy to read and lots of laugh-out-loud scenes, yet still plenty of deep and meaningful moments. Lots of literary references to suit all book buffs and very connected to the location the story unfolds in - these places are very real (as I type this on my way to work on the Frankston train line!). A must read for all Melbournians, everyone who loves books, and those who believe in never giving up on love!
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  • Julie Elder
    January 1, 1970
    The literary value of a book doesn’t always determine how much you enjoy it. Let’s take The Book Ninja. Firstly it is written by two authors which pretty much tells us that it will not be nominated for a Booker Prize anytime soon. Although it does list, within its pages, a litany of literary gems that should be on everyone’s must read list. Secondly, lines like “Just like a good chocolate bar, she wasn’t sure whether she should indulge in its goodness right now, or savour it later” are not going The literary value of a book doesn’t always determine how much you enjoy it. Let’s take The Book Ninja. Firstly it is written by two authors which pretty much tells us that it will not be nominated for a Booker Prize anytime soon. Although it does list, within its pages, a litany of literary gems that should be on everyone’s must read list. Secondly, lines like “Just like a good chocolate bar, she wasn’t sure whether she should indulge in its goodness right now, or savour it later” are not going win any literary awards. Despite all this, I adored this book friendly love story. In the early chapters, I fell for unlucky in love Frankie, dance class fanatic and pregnant Cat, teen bookshop hanger on Seb and obsessive knitter and clueless Claude. Enter YA reader Sunny Day to turn Frankie Rose’s life upside down and broaden her literary horizons. Even when the book took the predictable twists and turns, I was still hooked. Told through a mixture of mediums including social media platforms, this quirky book is a feel good love story and an ode to books and the characters we have grown to love. I loved it!
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  • Melanie Schubert
    January 1, 1970
    No book is ever perfect... there is always something that niggles me--something a character says or does...or perhaps an unexpected quirk to the author's, "writer voice."But I have realised something, bit by bit, in books of every genre. With the great books...the ones you can't put down, it's not that those things aren't there, it's that you aren't bothered by them...OR. You EVEN find yourself coming to LOVE them! That is what a truly great, 5 star read is to me, and that is what truly great wr No book is ever perfect... there is always something that niggles me--something a character says or does...or perhaps an unexpected quirk to the author's, "writer voice."But I have realised something, bit by bit, in books of every genre. With the great books...the ones you can't put down, it's not that those things aren't there, it's that you aren't bothered by them...OR. You EVEN find yourself coming to LOVE them! That is what a truly great, 5 star read is to me, and that is what truly great writing does.Gets you so caught up in a story that everything else becomes irrelevant.And really, isn't that why we read?!I would recommend this charming book for any fans of Sex and the City... so yeah... everyone!
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  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    **Recommended for fans of The Rosie Project**It's wonderful to finally have a book to recommend for fans of The Rosie Project - it's a query I get all the time, & it's a hard one to answer.Also set in Melbourne, also laugh out loud hilarious (I was giggling especially hard on page 14ish!), & another quirky romance.I say it all the time but I love books set in Melbourne, & this is no different! The "Book Ninja" idea is brilliant, & ridiculous at the same time.Oh and I nearly forgo **Recommended for fans of The Rosie Project**It's wonderful to finally have a book to recommend for fans of The Rosie Project - it's a query I get all the time, & it's a hard one to answer.Also set in Melbourne, also laugh out loud hilarious (I was giggling especially hard on page 14ish!), & another quirky romance.I say it all the time but I love books set in Melbourne, & this is no different! The "Book Ninja" idea is brilliant, & ridiculous at the same time.Oh and I nearly forgot one of the best lessons in this book: Don't be a YA snob. There's some truly life changing young adult novels out there!
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  • Gil Glass
    January 1, 1970
    A quirky, feel-good tale, interwoven with literary delights. One moment the story tugs at the heart strings, the next, you're doubled over with laughter at the unexpected escapades of the characters! A book for all ages. Un-put-downable!!
  • Jody
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely LOVED this book! The perfect mix of romance, fun, friendship and books; what more could a person ask for. Oh and it’s written by two Australian writers, yeah! Love it when new Aussie authors appear on the shelves.Forget to add - because so many of my colleagues loved this book too; we decided to add it to our Library’s book kit collection.
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  • Vicki
    January 1, 1970
    A great read - made me laugh so much it hurt! If you need a book to help you wind down, you can't do better than this. So looking forward to their next book. What a team!
  • Nat
    January 1, 1970
    I've been lucky enough to be at the receiving end of one of Books on the rail books'.. So I was no stranger to the authors Ali and Michelle in that capacity.. To support them now with the debut was made very easy when I really enjoyed Frankie and her quest for love with books on the rail... it was the perfect companion for me after finishing a couple of topic heavy stories previously.. I have to admit I'm not normally a big fan of the romance or light chick lit type books, normally I'm stirred o I've been lucky enough to be at the receiving end of one of Books on the rail books'.. So I was no stranger to the authors Ali and Michelle in that capacity.. To support them now with the debut was made very easy when I really enjoyed Frankie and her quest for love with books on the rail... it was the perfect companion for me after finishing a couple of topic heavy stories previously.. I have to admit I'm not normally a big fan of the romance or light chick lit type books, normally I'm stirred on by fantasy, historical fiction and even to Frankie's horror young adult... so pleasantly pleased to really like this novel...Easy, light read, extremely engaging and for me loved the Melbourne references ... you'll find yourself wanting Frankie to succeed, you'll even at times wanting to scream at her for some of her decisions... Congratulations to Ali an Michelle for a great read, I definitely got to escape and thank you to Simon and Schuster for my free review copy..
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  • the.four.readers
    January 1, 1970
    Sure to make you smile. Brimming with bookish banter, hilarious hijinks, quirky characters and a rocking romance. I smiled, sighed and slapped my knee as dear Frankie Rose became ever more entangled in a muddle of her own making. Highly recommended for lovers of funny stories, fans of clever writing and book nerds who live for literary humour. Thank you @netgalley and @simonschusterau for treating me to an advance e-book copy. Release date: 1st June 2018
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come 😊
  • Amy Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Such a sweet little book! Loved the story, characters and the many references to other fantastic well known books throughout. I didn’t want to put it down!
  • Amanda Provan
    January 1, 1970
    Stop whatever you are doing right now and read this book! I absolutely LOVED everything about it.Cat and Frankie are two best friends who love reading and work in a bookstore together. Cat is pregnant with her first child and Frankie is struggling with her love life after breaking up with her long term boyfriend a few years ago. In a plot to get Frankie a boyfriend, Cat suggests that Frankie should use books as a way to find someone new with the same great taste in Classic Literature. So Frankie Stop whatever you are doing right now and read this book! I absolutely LOVED everything about it.Cat and Frankie are two best friends who love reading and work in a bookstore together. Cat is pregnant with her first child and Frankie is struggling with her love life after breaking up with her long term boyfriend a few years ago. In a plot to get Frankie a boyfriend, Cat suggests that Frankie should use books as a way to find someone new with the same great taste in Classic Literature. So Frankie starts leaving her favourite books on public transport and has written her contact details on the last pages asking the reader to get in touch to go on a date. Frankie ends up on some horrifically bad dates and starts a blog that talks about said terrible dates. However, the person she thought she was least likely to fall for was right in front of her all along and a great story is created.I honestly can't think of anything that I didn't like about this book. It had great, likeable characters, drama, humor, romance. The whole package. When Frankie was first introduced, within the first few pages we find out she loves pizza, reading and dogs. I mean, she's basically me. I connected with Frankie on a level that I haven't had with a character in a long time. Cat was a great character. Seb was funny. Frankie's parents were the right amount of crazy. And Sunny. Oh, swoon. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
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  • Angela Oliver
    January 1, 1970
    A fun read, with a few frustrating moments and a LOT of book name-dropping. Also, the main char, Frankie Rose, is a bit of a book elitist, judging people by the books that they read. Which means, when the rather handsome Sunny Day strolls into her life, and purchases "New Moon", she is devastated. How could such a good-looking fellow read YA?And thus starts her quest to find the perfect man - by releasing a selection of her favourite books on the Melbourne train circuit, and including contact de A fun read, with a few frustrating moments and a LOT of book name-dropping. Also, the main char, Frankie Rose, is a bit of a book elitist, judging people by the books that they read. Which means, when the rather handsome Sunny Day strolls into her life, and purchases "New Moon", she is devastated. How could such a good-looking fellow read YA?And thus starts her quest to find the perfect man - by releasing a selection of her favourite books on the Melbourne train circuit, and including contact details towards the end. The results are... entertaining - and her book blog is born.Whilst a fun read, with a cast of crazy and quirky characters, whose antics will make you roll your eyes at times, it also works as an extended advertisement for the Books on the Rail "reading group" project. It is at times irritating: there were a few "this is really dumb" moments, but overall, it was fun enough to keep me going, even if at times I wanted to slap Frankie (in the nicest possible way). Would I, in retrospect, have actually bought this book? No, I think it's more one to hire from the library - or pick up free from a train! In fact, when next I go to Melbourne, perhaps I shall release it there.
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  • Kathleen Maggs
    January 1, 1970
    As soon as I started reading this book I knew I’d love it. It has everything a good little love story needs. All the characters are likeable and enjoyable to read about. There’s loads of books mentioned and at the end a list of those books. If you like a fluffy love story give this one a crack. Is it a classic? No. But the 2 days I spent reading it were a good 2 days. 🤓🤙🏻P.S Got sucked in like I do when reruns of Gilmore Girls is on tellie!!!
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    Such a gorgeous and hilarious read!! Finding love by using your favourite books - what a unique and refreshing take on dating (especially in light of this Tinder era!). The references to books intertwined in the story is also brings such a special element to the story. I gobbled this book up in just a couple of days!
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  • Nyssa Sutherland
    January 1, 1970
    Melbourne living Frankie Rose was in a bit of a rut, both in love, and in writing after both a failed relationship and the release of a book to particularly poor reviews. But she has a plan, and with her helpful and sometimes sabotaging best friend, Cat, she's determined to find just the right kind of man; the sort that is as well-read as she is. And how is she going to achieve this? By leaving her favourite books out on train lines with a date offer for any who picked up and read through to the Melbourne living Frankie Rose was in a bit of a rut, both in love, and in writing after both a failed relationship and the release of a book to particularly poor reviews. But she has a plan, and with her helpful and sometimes sabotaging best friend, Cat, she's determined to find just the right kind of man; the sort that is as well-read as she is. And how is she going to achieve this? By leaving her favourite books out on train lines with a date offer for any who picked up and read through to the end. What could possibly go wrong?The Book Ninja was an absolutely delightful read, full of quirky bookish themes, sweet and yet flawed characters and, of course, liberal dose of humor that left me giggling throughout. This book warmed my heart, and left me feeling all kinds of warm and fuzzies after I finished it.I particularly loved all the bookish quotes scattered throughout the novel, everything from A.A Milne, to Christopher Paolini, John Green and, of course, Jane Austin. There was plenty of book culture, family drama, friend dynamics, hilarious mistakes, romance, and reminder about courage, and finding yourself. The fact that it was set in Australia, and featured plenty of public transport (which I am an avid user of myself), just was the icing on this bookish cake.I loved it, better than pizza and I look forward to seeing what Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus come up with next.5 out of 5 Stars.* This ebook ARC was provided by Simon & Schuster (Australia) through NetGalley for an honest review.
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  • Ruth
    January 1, 1970
    This charming read from the creator of the 'books on rails' campaign made me want to move to Melbourne just so I can find a book on a tram. It just gave me joy from start to finish. The perfect book to tackle a book-reading slump.
  • Amy Rudaizky
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully written, hilarious and creative read that you won’t be able to put down!
  • K.
    January 1, 1970
    Trigger warnings: cheating, death of a loved one (in the past), car accident (in the past). When I finished reading this last night, I gave it 4 stars. On reflection, I'm bumping it down to 3 because I've realised there are a lot of things about the story that made me uncomfortable or that weren't as well handled as they could have been. What I liked:- Books!! So many books.- Melbourne!! It's incredibly authentic, the public transport experiences ring true (although everything seems to run on ti Trigger warnings: cheating, death of a loved one (in the past), car accident (in the past). When I finished reading this last night, I gave it 4 stars. On reflection, I'm bumping it down to 3 because I've realised there are a lot of things about the story that made me uncomfortable or that weren't as well handled as they could have been. What I liked:- Books!! So many books.- Melbourne!! It's incredibly authentic, the public transport experiences ring true (although everything seems to run on time, which LOL NOPE), and it did not surprise me at all to discover that Frankie's parents are from Eltham. - I love the Books on the Rail project, so seeing the creators weave that into a romance novel was super fun.- It was funny as hell a lot of the time.- The meet cute is ridiculous and I kind of love it.What I didn't like:- I have literally spent the past 48 hours with the Sesame Street theme stuck in my head because the love interest is named Sunny Day. It serves a purpose in the story, but I call extreme bullshit on a grown man not having changed his name. (view spoiler)[Also, SUNBURY?? Of all the stations in Melbourne for him to be named after, you went with SUNBURY?! He could have been named Cam or Rich or Will and then revealed that he was named after Camberwell, Richmond or Willison. He could have been named Dennis or Mitcham or Preston or Macauley and still been named after a train station. It just...yeah. No. (hide spoiler)]- There's a lot of cheating in this story. Like, A LOT. I understand Frankie not telling Sunny about her blog when they first meet. But (view spoiler)[after FOUR MONTHS?? Girl. No. I also really hated the Cat and her cheating on her husband with her dance instructor plot line, particularly when she then has her baby, discovers that the Korean dance instructor is the father, decides she's going to keep it a secret despite the fact that her baby is obviously biracial and she and her husband are white, and then NAMES HER BABY AFTER THE KOREAN DANCE INSTRUCTOR????? All of this is terrible, please stop. (hide spoiler)]- Seb. Look, I liked him as a character. And I probably would have been on board with him if he'd worked weekends and after school in the bookshop. But DO NOT BEFRIEND TEENAGERS WHEN YOU'RE IN YOUR LATE 20S IT IS CREEPY AF. Sure, be friendly to them. But teenagers need VERY CLEAR BOUNDARIES, and referring to him as your second best friend is..........weird and disturbing and also kind of sad. - Speaking of Frankie, she's one hell of a book snob and it drove me up the wall. I had a hard time dealing with that, because I genuinely love a lot of the books that she put out on public transport. But she was SO judgemental of people reading on e-readers and of adults reading YA books. Multiple times - even at the end of the story after she's discovered she enjoys YA - she's like "It's disturbing that a 32 year old man has the bookish taste of a 12 year old girl". Okay, first of all? He doesn't have the bookish taste of a 12 year old girl. More like a 16 year old girl, but that's totally beside the point. She's more judgemental of adults reading YA than she is of people reading Fifty Shades of Grey, and that made me want to reach into the book and punch her. - I would have liked to see more Australian books represented in the story, especially from Sunny. The #LoveOzYA campaign could definitely have used a shout out or two! - Frankie needs to learn to use her damn words and not jump to conclusions, especially in regards to lock screen photos OMG. So yeah. It was well written and I loved the first half of the story. Unfortunately, the second half kind of tanked for me, and that turned it into one of those books where the more I think about it, the more I realise there were things I didn't enjoy. Sigh...
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  • Sally906
    January 1, 1970
    THE BOOK NINJA by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus is a fun Romance/Comedy and just great for sitting in waiting rooms in hospital while waiting for medical people to push and prod your bored husband. Said bored husband was not impressed with me cackling with laughter on the odd occasion when he felt he needed love and devotion – or at the very least a little sympathy.However, this personal insight does not tell you much about the book! Frankie has a life that many booklovers aspire to, she works in THE BOOK NINJA by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus is a fun Romance/Comedy and just great for sitting in waiting rooms in hospital while waiting for medical people to push and prod your bored husband. Said bored husband was not impressed with me cackling with laughter on the odd occasion when he felt he needed love and devotion – or at the very least a little sympathy.However, this personal insight does not tell you much about the book! Frankie has a life that many booklovers aspire to, she works in a bookstore – the Little Brunswick Street Bookshop. However, she is not just any old book lover – she is a classics booklover, to the point of being a book snob. The closest she would get to reading romance would be to read Pride and Prejudice. When Sunny, a gorgeous, intelligent man, came into the shop to buy a book she went weak at the knees – until he purchased a popular YA Science Fiction book. She felt his life was wasted and this misguided like of non-classic books was a flaw in an otherwise perfect persona. So dismissing Sunny – despite his keen interest in her, Frankie hatches a plan to find a man who would read classic novels – such an individual would be her perfect match surely? A fan of online dating Frankie decides to leave a letter and her email address on a slip of paper in some of her favourite books and leave a book on a train. The idea being the well-read person would contact her for a date and she could find her perfect match. Of course this wouldn’t be Chick lit if things went to plan – and she finds that just because maybe they read classics – they may not be normal. Frankie starts to blog her experiences and her followers urge her to reconsider YA lover – he may be worth a second look after all – I mean to say she can always train him to like the classics!THE BOOK NINJA is a quick and quirky read. All of the characters, well maybe Sunny was normal, were out of left-field crazy; but all delightful and I would love to catch up with them in real life if I could. Well actually, I probably wouldn’t – I think it would be exhausting to have these people for friends if they lived outside this book – they are all very out there. As you would expect from a book with a classic loving main character and set in a book shop there are a heap of literary references as books from all genre are discussed. Overall the story is all about looking for love in the wrong places. As well as Frankie’s search for love, there is a sub story of her best friend Cat who owns the bookstore along with her husband. Cat has her own problems, she is very pregnant and very much in a pickle. And then there is Frankie’s alternative lifestyle mother, Putu – who honestly would drive me batty – and a High Schooler, Seb, who is a regular in the book shop. Cat, Putu and Seb all offer Frankie advice – mostly unwanted advice, which adds to her perfect match hunting. …‘Seb just needs to add these herbs to his little potion and then rub it gently behind her ears without her knowing,’ Putu smiled knowingly. ‘Without her knowing? Mum, that’s terrible advice! If Seb starts rubbing oil behind somebody’s ears he’ll get is a restraining order,’ Frankie snapped…Authors Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus are the founders of ‘Books on the rail’ based on a British idea called ‘Books on the Underground.’ Michelle met the creator of Books on the Underground, which I have been following on twitter for a while, and when she returned to Australia she and Ali set up a version in Melbourne. I understand today its Melbourne and tomorrow the world, well the rest of Australia anyway. So it made sense to have Frankie use the trains of Melbourne to conduct her search for a life partner. 3 stars – Above average - was very readable and I really liked it, but was easily able to put it down and walk away for a while.With thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia and the authors via Netgalley for my copy to read and review.
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  • Malvina
    January 1, 1970
    This was so much fun for a booky person (like me) to read! It was pacy and entertaining, and had quite a few surprises. The exciting thing is that I've actually already been a 'Book Ninja' - another booky friend gave our entire book club some stickers from Books on the Rail, to leave two books on public transport for others to find. Sydney Rail got two great books from me, and I truly hope they found happy readers. The main character here, bookseller Frankie, is forlorn and loveless. Most of her This was so much fun for a booky person (like me) to read! It was pacy and entertaining, and had quite a few surprises. The exciting thing is that I've actually already been a 'Book Ninja' - another booky friend gave our entire book club some stickers from Books on the Rail, to leave two books on public transport for others to find. Sydney Rail got two great books from me, and I truly hope they found happy readers. The main character here, bookseller Frankie, is forlorn and loveless. Most of her romance comes from Jane Austen, and other classic romances. So she decides her love life needs a boost - as does her writing life - and she begins her secret book ninja activities. She drops books on trains and buses and trams around Melbourne, leaving a note on the 7th last page of each book, asking the readers to email her for a date. You never know, she might find the love of her life through mutual book love. When they do email her and a date happens, she blogs about it.The books she drops are fantastic, often fond favourites of mine. Please one day, let me find one!But love isn't that easy, even with fellow book lovers. Then she meets Sunny, who mainly reads - gasp! - young adult books. Yes, Frankie is a little bit of a book snob. But even so, Sunny has megawatt appeal. Actually, there is a passionate passage about how fabulous YA books are in 'The Book Ninja', which really resonated with me. Don't think I didn't notice, Ali Berg & Michelle Kalus.I loved Frankie's small circle of friends, particularly the crazy, pregnant Cat. I loved the different ways the book is presented, not just through 'normal' print but also through tweets, texts, Facebook comments (often Facebook stalking), emails, Frankie's blog, and funniest of all, the blog comments which also unfold as a little romance happens right there...Naturally everything goes pear-shaped in Frankie's life before it can get better. But along the way, right to the great ending, you get to enjoy a fresh, funny, booky book. What are you waiting for?Thanks very much to Beauty & Lace Bookclub, and Simon & Schuster Australia for the review copy.
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  • Mel (abookishmel)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThis was a lot of fun to read because it's so relatable and I loved the whole book aspect of it. Frankie has a genius plan to leave her favourite novels on public transport in Melbourne, Australia with little notes in the hope of finding a boyfriend. What she doesn't count on is Sunny.The book chronicles her disastrous dates and her stumbles through her new romance. While the romance itself is kind of predictable and I saw one of the big events coming, it was still a lot of fun. I loved 3.5 starsThis was a lot of fun to read because it's so relatable and I loved the whole book aspect of it. Frankie has a genius plan to leave her favourite novels on public transport in Melbourne, Australia with little notes in the hope of finding a boyfriend. What she doesn't count on is Sunny.The book chronicles her disastrous dates and her stumbles through her new romance. While the romance itself is kind of predictable and I saw one of the big events coming, it was still a lot of fun. I loved the book references and quotes and I loved how relatable and real Frankie was as a character.A friend traded me an ARC of this book, so hopefully this problem is fixed in the final copies, but I noticed a LOT of missing words and grammatical errors that sometimes took me out of the story and left me with a jarred reading experience. Most of the book was fine, but these mistakes really took away from the story for me.The writing was fun to read and I especially love that this book is set in Australia, where I live.If you're looking for a fun, popcorn worthy read that you can binge in one day, like I did (aside from 40 pages because I fell asleep -facepalm) then this is the perfect one for you!
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