The set-up:

This is the third book in the Juno of Taris series and this time, Juno has to face old foes in order to get on with her new life in Aotearoa. She also has to deal with a new way of life and come to grips with the different culture of living in Aotearoa. There’s a dash of adventure as well as some heartbreak for Juno.

I’m liking:
I’m a new-comer to the Juno books and I really liked the way that the books didn’t labour over events from the previous books. You get a brief summary of each of the first two books at the beginning and the first chapter from each at the end of the book (read these before you start if you haven’t read the other books) and then it’s straight into the action.

I liked the premise of the book. The idea of ‘outsiders’ is very topical at the moment and I could definitely see this book as a way of entering into a discussion about immigrants and particularly refugees.

Juno is a believable teen- growing up but still needing guidance and this will work well with readers. She’s not too clever or too silly and in this, Beale shows real control over her character.

Things that made me go hmmmm:
I’d have to say that I often find Beale’s dialogue quite heavy-handed and the moral is a bit like a club at times. In particular, Juno’s experiences with boys seemed too contrived for my liking.

Extra for experts:
Beale has a talent for intriguing situations and like her earlier book, I am not Esther, the Juno series poses interesting situations and challenges the reader to consider how they would react.

I know that this is billed as a trilogy but I’m betting on another book… Beale has left the door wide open and given the trilogy’s success, it’d be no surprise to see another book.

The conclusion:
Heart of Danger will engage the 12-15 year old market- particularly girls. There’s nothing particularly challenging about the content so it would be fine for good readers of a slightly younger age.

Author

Rochelle is mum to three gorgeous daughters. She wishes she had more time to garden and read the newspaper in peace!

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