Friday, November 2, 2012

Book Review--The Big Smoke by Cally Jackson

From Goodreads:
Ceara’s desperate for love; Seb’s desperate to get laid. Ceara adores reading novels; Seb hasn’t finished a book in years. Two strangers, both moving from small country towns to Brisbane – the big smoke. As they prepare to attend the same university, their paths seem set to collide, but they keep missing each other. Maybe fate is keeping them apart, or maybe it’s just chance.

When the semester starts, things get complicated. Ceara’s best friend withdraws from her, Seb’s closest mate turns into a sleazebag, and the relentless demands of university make their stress levels soar. Before their first semester is over, both Seb and Ceara will be forced to question who they are and what they want from their lives. Will they have the courage to find the answers, or will they crumble under the pressure? And when they finally meet, will it be love at first sight or a collision of headstrong personalities?

My Take:
I'm going to be honest here and say that originally I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this. I wasn't sure it was going to be "my thing" by the blurb. For that reason, it means a lot more when I say I REALLY enjoyed this. Once you read you'll realize how brilliant the cover is and why the characters are sketched in.

This is a story about two people who want something very much, but it's the wrong thing. How many times have we been in the same place in our lives? The Big Smoke is a coming of age story about all the crap these two people have to go through in order to learn what's really important. And only then do they find what they wanted.

This story made me cry! I mean really hurt for these characters. A best friend, a dog, the "could have beens", and the letting go of guilt really hit home. Cally did a wonderful job digging into some deep emotional topics in a realistic and believable way.

I give The Big Smoke by Cally Jackson at 4.5 for a great two POV story with characters you will already know because they are so REAL.

1-5 scale and what it means:1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3:  I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure 


  1. She will be thrilled with that review!

  2. Alex is right - love the review, as you know! Thanks again for reviewing The Big Smoke. :-)

  3. I'm seeing The Big Smoke all over the blogoverse. Great review, Charity. And big congratulations to Cally!


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