The Book Ninja

Laughs -
Fun -
The Book Ninja is an ode to book-lovers everywhere
Ali Berg
Michelle Kalus
Simon & Schuster Australia
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2018
Number of Pages

book cover of The Book NinjaI’m a long-time book fiend. When I first came across The Book Ninja, I knew I would love it. A book that references other books? Sign me up! 

Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus have nailed this piece of up-lit (think upbeat ‘lit’). Their novel follows Frankie Rose in her quest for love. Frankie doesn’t follow the usual route, though – she and her best friend Cat devise a social experiment. Frankie writes her contact details in her favorite books and leaves them on trains, hoping that her prince charming will fall into her lap. But, as we know, the course of love doesn’t often run smooth.

In the midst of Frankie’s experiment, her very own Mr. Darcy breezes into her life, but there’s a big problem: HE LIKES YOUNG ADULT FICTION! Frankie, being a classical literature lover is horrified but soon comes to appreciate the things Young Adult books can teach us. 

I must admit The Book Ninja was more than I thought it would be – just a quirky treasure hunt for romance. While the main feature is Frankie’s search for love, I really appreciated how much it referenced great books. Every chapter opens with the title of the book Frankie is about to leave on the train. 

She also keeps a blog about her dates with those who have picked up the books, and it is incredibly entertaining! Frankie’s very funny and tells it like it is – and did I mention she uses book character pseudonyms to preserve people’s identities??? Frankie was a writer prior to her experiment, and the blog helps her get her groove back. Without the clever book references to give me reading inspiration, or the blog to give me belly laughs, this would have been just another sub-par, predictable romance. 

As a book lover with an unrealized dream to write, The Book Ninja may have just given me the inspiration I need to get my fingers tapping! As I imagine Frankie would say, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in possession of spare time must be in want of a good book! 

About the Contributor

Meet Lakin, a book hoarder and coffee addict. She has a penchant for crime and thriller novels, and her guilty pleasure is rom-coms (of the paperback variety). Her goal in life is to have a floor to ceiling library (ladder included) in her house. She lives in Dunedin, New Zealand.