Cover for Ironbark Hill

The First Ten Feedback for Ironbark Hill

Because Ironbark Hill was Book of the Day, some of our most trusted reviewers have carefully looked over the cover, the description, and other aspects of this book. The reviewers even read at least the first 10 pages of the book. They have each written a short review explaining why they plan to read the whole book or not based on the sample they read and other aspects of the book. Their feedback is displayed below. We call this awesome feature The First Ten.

IMPORTANT: Any score over 10% is considered very good. And any score above 0% is acceptable. This is because we only poll about 20 or so readers, and all readers have to say "no" to almost all books. Over a million books are published each year. Even a very active reader cannot come close to even reading 1% of books out there.

This is also why publishing books is such a tough industry.

RebeccasReading

This is a book I probably would have read based on the blurb. I'm a fan of books about strong women defeating the odds. However, the title is very clunky--I would recommend removing the entire subtitle. After reading the sample, I will not be finishing the book. The time frame and location is not established, so I was confused while I was reading. The strong slang used by the characters is very distracting (though it may be historically accurate). The book does seem professionally edited, though the font on the last page of Chapter 1 appears to be enlarged for one paragraph. Other than that, I did not notice any errors. The thing I did like about the sample was the description of sibling interactions. It was a very accurate representation of how young siblings behave towards each other. My recommendation for improvements would be to clearly establish the setting right away and to clean up some of the dialogue to make it easier to read.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 9:06 am by RebeccasReading.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

gali

I wouldn't have sampled the book on my own, as this is not my typical read. The cover is nice and the blurb concise and informative. The sample started off quite strong, with a chilling abuse episode, and then moved to the beginning of the year. The emotions leap off the pages and tug at your emotions. What I liked most about the book was the language. I am very impressed with the writing and the lack of noticeable errors. Despite that, and the excellent descriptions, the subject matter is not something I am interested in reading. I won't read the book, as abuse/infidelity tales are not my cup of tea. The OBC review didn't sway my decision either way.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 9:12 am by gali.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Snowflake

The title is good and the cover is ok. The drawing is excellent. The Amazon blurb is well done and gives a good idea of what the book is about. The OBC review was also very positive. I may have sampled this book without the first ten pages program. The sample was well written. I did not notice any obvious typos or grammar errors. The characters were clearly drawn as was their situation. It was easy to understand and imagine them. The text flowed well and was not awkward at all. The book seems very well done. This is just a storyline that I do not wish to read at this time. The meanness of the stepfather and one of the step-sisters, as well as a relationship between a young girl and a married man, are just not topics I want to read about at this time. I do not plan to purchase and read the rest of this book.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 9:28 am by Snowflake.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Dolor

Ironbark Hill by Jennie Linnane chronicles the struggles of Natalie Chapman - protecting her mother and her brother from her abusive stepdad, rising above poverty, and becoming an art teacher - with the dark twists of domestic violence and forbidden love.

"IRONBARK HILL: There lies ahead a long, rough road for a girl fighting discrimination, seeking revenge, and pursuing a career in landscape painting."

I was pulled by the book, so I'm gonna read it, with or without the First Ten program. I prefer the book cover design of Kindle Edition more, than its paperback. There is no Amazon review of this book yet. The OBC review with its perfect 4 out of 4 star rating adds to my willingness to buy and to read this book. I have not seen any error in the first ten pages. Though this book is self-published, I could say, it is professionally edited. I don't have any improvement suggestion for this book. I can't wait to read the whole story.

#Fiction #Revenge #Discrimination

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 12:51 pm by Dolor.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

BookishCreature

I would not have picked this book up at first glance. The cover isn't very appealing and the synopsis didn't catch my attention either. The OBC review was very positive, but that alone wasn't enough to make me want to buy this book. After reading the first ten pages, I found that the writing is very good - it's descriptive and it has a nice flow. It's obviously been professionally edited. However, the premise of the story still isn't enough to pique my interest, so I will not be finishing this book. A better cover and a more exciting synopsis would do this book wonders.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 1:23 pm by BookishCreature.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

ritah

Based on the cover and genre, I would have sampled the novel out of curiosity about its content. The official review made me want to sample the book even more. But what really sold me on the book was the sample; It was one of those books that grabs your attention from page one! I fell in love with how the author used description to embed images of the unfolding story in my mind. I also liked the plot and look forward to reading more from Natalie(our protagonist); which is why I will be reading the rest of the book. There were no errors in the pages I read, leading me to believe the book is professionally edited.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 2:14 pm by ritah.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

hsimone

Without this program, I would not have sampled this read. Even though the cover is beautifully sketched and the title seems clear enough, the blurb doesn't pique my interest. I don't like reading about abuse and spouses cheating on each other. Though there is a positive OBC review, it still doesn't convince me that this is read for me.

Based on what I read, the book does seem to be professionally edited. I really like the author's writing style, and the way she is able to describe the opening scenes. It was easy to picture what the child saw as she watch her father hit her mother. I also thought the transition to the first chapter was smoothly done. However, as I have said before, I don't enjoy reading about abusive relationships and infidelity. Though that beginning scene was fairly gripping, it made me feel too sad and uncomfortable. Therefore, I do not plan on buying and reading this book.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 2:30 pm by hsimone.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Yolimari

I would not have sampled this book without this program because I do not like reading about abuse. The OBC review about this novel was very positive but it did not convinced me to read the book. The theme of abuse and the fact that Natalie gets interested in a married man put me off. After reading the sample pages, I thought the book was professionally edited. The author has a detailed writing style that I liked. However, I did not like the scene in which Natalie saw her stepfather about to hit her mother again. I will not read this book because I do not like reading about abuse and relationships with married men.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 3:28 pm by Yolimari.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

CataclysmicKnight

From the cover and the title of this one I wouldn’t have checked it out if it wasn’t the book of the day; it isn’t among my typical genres at all. The Amazon description had me a bit worried too, it sounded like a book full of abuse, hardship and heartache. While it definitely seems like hardship is a big part of the book, it’s done in a relatable, well-written way - the historical fiction nails the “historical” part incredibly well. The relationship between the siblings is also a big positive, and while there’s little to dislike I really don’t see reading it solely because it’s a genre I’m not often a fan of and the plot hasn’t hooked me. Despite that, I already feel like I can recommend the book to fans of historical fiction novels that expertly captures their settings.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 4:09 pm by CataclysmicKnight.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

micoleon13

While the cover page is nice enough, it just doesn't have the spark to catch my attention. I wouldn't pick it up to find out more. The OnlineBookClub review was very complementary and outlined a storyline which I would be interested in. The character development of Natalie made me curious, as 16 is an age of development and change and it sounds like it's described well. The pages which I read were well written and edited. I liked the writing style and how Natalie found ways to stand up to her stepfather. I have no ideas for improvement and I would like to continue reading this book.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 5:26 pm by micoleon13.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

Momiji1987

The author’s writing style is interesting and descriptive. I like the Australian locations and dialect, though I’m not exactly sure what some of the slang words mean. That’s okay though, because I enjoy learning regional words. The author also uses words that aren’t commonly seen in books anymore. I liked that as well. The characters are good and well thought out, but I felt sad for the steer. The middle sister is a complete jerk and so is the step-dad, so the author did a good job of making me dislike them. I’m not sure if I want to keep reading because I’m not comfortable with a teen having feelings for a married man. The reviewer loved the story, but I think it’s just too sad and close to real life for me to want to continue. The author is talented though, and the book was mostly professionally edited. I noticed one snippet of dialogue needed a space between the words and the text was different sizes on some pages. This isn’t really my genre so I probably wouldn’t have sampled this book outside of this program. I do like the drawing on the cover though.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 6:23 pm by Momiji1987.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Shelle

This book reads like a memoir, but is actually fiction. The story opened with a a lot of arguing and violence and I couldn't tell if it was going to get better or not by reading the sample. The word choice and attempt at dialect seems amateur-ish, but I didn't find any glaring errors. It's only due to the BOTD program that I knew this book even existed. This book didn't really pull me in and I don't think I'll be reading more.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 6:46 pm by Shelle.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

BunnySTx

After reading a sample of, Ironbark Hill by Jennie Linnane, I have decided that I will not be purchasing this book. If I had not read a few pages, I would not have picked this book up. At first glance, the cover of this book does not pique my interest. The blurb for this book does not pique my interest either. Plus, the main character becomes involved with a married man quickly lessened my interest. I immediately shut down after reading that part of the blurb. As I read the story, I don't feel engaged with the main character. I just feel disinterested. The author doesn't pull me in and make me want to read along. I enjoy coming of age books, but I don't feel this book will be one I enjoy. This book does have an official OnlineBookClub review. The reviewer makes a few interesting points but does not change my decision concerning this book.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 7:34 pm by BunnySTx.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

CrescentMoon

After reading the blurb, I wouldn't pick this book up. I'm not interested in reading stories about young girls with older married men, the thought actually disturbs me so I don't think I could read this. After reading the first ten pages, I was really impressed with the writing. I thought the prologue was really well written. It really showcased the fear, horror, and abuse the main character experiences from her stepfather and just how tragic her home life is. I didn't see any spelling or grammar errors and it definitely seems professionally edited. However, this genre really isn't for me. I think people who enjoy reading coming of age stories would like this, but I'm not the target audience for this book.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 7:58 pm by CrescentMoon.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Scerakor

From the cover, blurb, and review of this book, I would not have given a chance. I'm not a fan of coming-of-age novels and this one didn't seem like it brought anything extra to the table. After reading the first 10 pages I didn't change my mind. The simple that I read was extremely will written, and I didn't see any mistakes, and the language used was more than eloquent. I didn't see anything specifically in the sample that I read that I would have wanted to change. The only thing that I have against this novel, is the type of book that it is. I will not be buying this book and reading the rest of it simply because I'm not interested in coming of age, domestic dispute, and family dramas. The official review did not affect my decision at all.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 10:00 pm by Scerakor.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

ladycraic

I would not have chosen to sample this book apart from First Ten. The cover doesn't indicate that I would find the book interesting. A pop of color in the cover would've drawn my eye more. Reading the official OBC review made me a bit skeptical about whether I would enjoy reading this book. There was mention of what seemed like the beginnings of an extramarital affair and I'm not down for that. The first ten pages were quite interesting and drew me in. I liked the setting of the story and most of the characters (Alex, of course, excluded). Shirley did freak me out in the beginning with her obsession with the steer's impending death, but I'm hoping she will outgrow such sinister thinking.

Due to the extramarital affair, I will not be finishing this book. From what I read so far, this book appeared to be professionally edited and I didn't notice any grammatical errors.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 10:07 pm by ladycraic.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

ZenaLei7

After reading the first ten pages, I decided not to finish reading the book. The sample wasn't interesting enough for me. I do like the book cover and title so if I were to sample the book based on just the cover and title, I probably would have chosen to sample it because they both look interesting. While reading the sample, I didn't notice any grammatical errors either. I also read the official OBC review for this book which was helpful in solidifying my decision on taking a pass on this book. There isn't anything I would change anything about this book.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 11:41 pm by ZenaLei7.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Izesicle

Had I not actually sampled the first ten pages as part of this program, I would not have chosen to read or sample this book based on the cover. It's not appealing and the sentence gives away the story instead of enticing the reader to read.
I am not going to buy and read the whole book because I'm not fond of the writing style.
Based on what I read, the book seems like it was not professionally edited. I noticed typo or grammar errors, such as, the first "lay" should have been in past tense and quite a few sentences more commas.
What I like the most in the bit I read is that the descriptions are vivid.
What could be improved is to reduce the use of the word "ever".
The book has an Official OnlineBookClub review that I saw.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 11:44 pm by Izesicle.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Afuglsan

I like that the author drew her own cover, but it doesn't really speak to me. The title, too, is dull. Fiction is always a hit or miss genre for me. I don't think, however, that this is a book for me based on what I read and the OBC review. I did enjoy the author's writing style. I thought it was flowy and descriptive. I also like her use of vocabulary. Overall, however, I thought the book was a bit boring. I did not see any editorial issues. I will not be reading the rest.

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 11:45 pm by Afuglsan.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Vermont Reviews

After reading the preview of today's book of the day Irishmen Hill by Jennie Linnane. I decided not to purchase the book. The reason for that is because I have too many books currently in my reading schedule. I did like the cover illustration drawn by the author. I found the story well written and it did appear to have been edited.

I did enjoy reading the preview.
Vermont Reviews

First Ten review added on February 7, 2018, at 11:59 pm by Vermont Reviews.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

MsTri

The cover for "Ironbark Hill" is interesting, so it peaked my curiosity right away, but the title didn't particularly pull at me. Upon reading the synopsis and review, I determined that I don't want to read this. First, I don't like coming-of-age tales and second, I don't like stories with domestic violence. I reluctantly read the sample and though it was okay, I really couldn't wait for it to be over. I wouldn't suggest changing anything insofar as content, it just isn't my kind of story. I also noticed a few grammatical errors - mostly missing commas - on the first two pages alone, so the author may want to have someone else look it over. What I did like was the speech. Characters often speak too properly and precise, so it was refreshing that Natalie and everyone was talking like people really talk.

First Ten review added on February 8, 2018, at 12:09 am by MsTri.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Scrawling Pen

I will not be finishing this book due to a lack of time, but I do think that it contained many good attributes. I loved the detailed scenes and the very realistic dialogue that the author creates. There is an obvious tension between the characters, and the reader can sense it building. I did see an online review for the story which peaked my interest. It sounds like this story and its characters could potentially be a bit more complicated than originally perceived. The cover image is not necessarily a very impactful or exciting image, but it portrays the theme well. The only grammatical error that I noticed was a missing space between two words, but otherwise it seemed very professional.

First Ten review added on February 8, 2018, at 12:12 am by Scrawling Pen.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

psychopathycathy

If I had not read the sample I would not have read the book as I do not think it is my genre and the cover is a little incohesive with the vibrant turquoise and black and white drawing. After reading the sample I have changed my mind. I really liked the intensity of the story, and the only complaint I have is that there is a missing punctuation here: "I NEED THE MONEY". In this paragraph, the font also got bigger, which I am not sure was intentional. Other than that, I really liked the story's writing style.

First Ten review added on February 8, 2018, at 1:38 am by psychopathycathy.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

va2016

The title conveys the place in which the story happens.
The cover graphic looks good. But I had to sample the
book to figure out what the book is about. I am not
going to buy and read the book in full, as during my
sampling of the first few pages, I found the story too
be too negative for my taste - very sad, painful, making
it uninteresting for me to move forward. Also, the narration
sounded raw (not polished). The book seems to be
professionally edited. I didn't find any mechanical errors.
I did find an OBC review for the book, but my decision to not
to read the book in full is based on my own sampling.

First Ten review added on February 8, 2018, at 2:11 am by va2016.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Vickie Noel

I'm not quite sure if I would or wouldn't have read this book without the program but the first ten pages were interesting to read. I initially thought I wouldn't care less for the story when I came across all that narration without dialogue but I changed my mind. I enjoyed the use of words and descriptive clauses shimmering all over. As for the language, I suppose it was designed that way because they aren't exactly straight English, more like a combination of the old and new. As a result, some words wrongly spelled or totally omitted may be attributed to the style. I don't have a problem with it though. Therefore, I suppose it was properly edited although I don't mind suggesting another clean sweep from an editor who knows the rules of the style just to be extra sure. Nothing else to be improved on. The OBC review was lovely and was my first point of contact with this book and the decision to read it.

First Ten review added on February 8, 2018, at 6:20 am by Vickie Noel.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

bookowlie

The cover of this book is attractive, but the words near the bottom are very small and hard to see. Based on the OBC review, I would have not sampled this book without First Ten since I don't care for books that include child abuse. The summary is free of errors, although the first sentence is very long-winded. I didn't care for the shocking way the story began, with the main character's memory of her drunken stepfather about to hit her mother. The sample pages are well written, but the writing style is a bit formal for my taste. Based on the subject matter and beginning pages, I don't think this book is my cup of tea.

First Ten review added on February 8, 2018, at 11:59 am by bookowlie.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

ButterscotchCherrie

I wouldn't have sampled this on the basis of the genre or description as I'm not prioritizing fiction of this type at the moment; the cover is beautiful, though. I won't buy and read the whole book on the basis of the first ten pages because I would not enjoy reading about an abusive, alcoholic father. The book seems professionally edited as I didn't notice any errors. What I liked best was the descriptive prose and the information that the narrator eventually becomes a successful artist. The characters were excellently drawn. Nothing needs to be improved as everything is appropriate to the style and genre. I did see an OnlineBookClub review, which was informative about the intriguing dilemma the narrator faces.

First Ten review added on February 8, 2018, at 12:50 pm by ButterscotchCherrie.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

IsabelMay

I thought this was going to be a non-fiction novel (based on the cover). The description cleared things up, but I have to admit I wouldn't have sampled the book without this program. There are no reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, I only found an official review by OBC, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I can't say I'm impressed with the sample, but the writing is solid. The book seems to be edited and the premise is a mix of originality and ideas that have already been used in many other books. The writing style is good, there's little to improve. The only ''flaw'' is unprofessional formatting, which is a shame because it interferes with the reading flow. Overall, this book has potential. Since I'm not a fan of romance novels, I won't be buying it, but I'd recommend it to anyone who would enjoy something similar.

First Ten review added on February 8, 2018, at 4:09 pm by IsabelMay.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

AA1495

Had I not sampled the book, I would not have read it. I usually read pure romance books. Having read the sample, I thought that the author described the events and the characters' thoughts well. I could imagine all the scenes being described. However, I thought that the vocabulary used was complex and I had to assume the meanings of a lot of words based on the context. The book seems professionally edited. Since I do not read this genre usually, I will not be purchasing this book today.

First Ten review added on February 8, 2018, at 8:04 pm by AA1495.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

SPasciuti

Initially I thought this book sounded really interesting. I was somewhat weary of the romance mentioned in the OnlineBookClub review, but the premise made it sound worth checking out. More in the interest of time, I don't think I will finish this book after reading the sample. I really liked the introduction and I felt emotionally close to the main character. Unfortunately, the book was heavy with exposition. There was so much that it felt overwhelming at times. The book is professionally edited. An improvement that could be made would be to include more dialogue. I liked the characterization, but I feel like the book's density is distracting.

First Ten review added on February 8, 2018, at 10:16 pm by SPasciuti.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

anneloretrujillo

I would not have sampled this book without this program. I sometimes enjoy the genre, but the review and blurb didn't draw me in. After reading the first ten pages, I won't be finishing this book. I didn't really like the style of writing. It just didn't flow to me the way I expected it to. I wouldn't suggest changing anything, it just wasn't for me. I did like the description used. However, this just isn't the book for me. It did seem to be professionally edited.

First Ten review added on February 9, 2018, at 12:36 am by anneloretrujillo.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Sarah_Khan

I would not have picked this book up because the plot does not interest me and the title and cover seem plain. I was impressed by the first ten pages. They were well-written and professionally edited. I found myself getting emotional and I was immediately invested in the main character's life. The OBC review was favorable and spoke highly of the writing, which I agree with. Unfortunately, I still do not find the overall plot very interesting. Therefore, I do not intend to read the rest.

First Ten review added on February 9, 2018, at 12:39 am by Sarah_Khan.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Joy2thenations

Unfortunately, in my opinion the book cover does not have much shelf appeal. It looks like a book cover from the 40s or 50s. Though the official online review was well done and was positive, it did not draw me in as this is really not my style of book. This was confirmed in reading the first several pages of the book. I also felt bogged down in the number of adjectives used to describe things. I like well described scenes, but this just seemed to be a little bit overboard, and the types of words used are not common in my vocabulary and therefore slowed me down in the reading. This is neither my style of writing nor is it my favorite genre. I will not be reading this book for those reasons. The book did seem professionally edited, I found no errors in my reading.

First Ten review added on February 9, 2018, at 3:45 am by Joy2thenations.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Gravy

This is not to my taste, so I would not have looked at it, and the sample didn't change my opinion of it. Needless to say, I won't be continuing, as it's just not for me. I noticed no errors, and I did enjoy some of the visuals created, but I just couldn't get into the sample.
I cannot say if there was an official review, but it wouldn't effect my opinion either way.

First Ten review added on February 9, 2018, at 5:36 am by Gravy.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

MarisaRose

When I first read the blurb for “Ironbark Hill” I was intrigued by the plot and the main character, but I wasn’t completely sold on this book. After reading the OBC review, I decided I would consider buying this book based on the reviewer’s positive comments about the writing style and characterization. After sampling the first ten pages, I was hooked on this book and excited to read more. The author does a great job setting a pogniant tone, and the writing is impeccable. I noticed no errors in the sample, and I found it hard to put the book down. I’m intrigued by Natalie and can’t wait to see what will happen to her as the story progresses. I look forward to reading more of this book!

First Ten review added on February 9, 2018, at 6:10 am by MarisaRose.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

jwalker73

I would have passed this book by based on the cover and title. The lack of colour resulted in it failing to catch my eye. The picture, while quaint, and the title looked more like a non-fiction book than a novel. The blurb and review still left me undecided, although I enjoy stories about overcoming adversity. The first ten pages were well written. The story was easy to follow and the writing style maintained my interest. I enjoyed the author's story-telling ability, particularly the description of the family dynamics. The sibling relationships were very realistic. The book appears professionally edited. Due to my enjoyment of the author's writing style I plan to read the rest of the book.

First Ten review added on February 9, 2018, at 6:35 am by jwalker73.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

cristinaro

The cover seems to reflect the storyline featuring a girl pursuing a career in landscape painting. The title is perhaps misleading, lacking any emotional impact although reading the novel may prove otherwise. The Amazon blurb is too short and plot focused. I would have preferred reading more things about the way the story evolves, the chosen narrative style or character development. Unfortunately, there are no editorial or customer reviews, but I hope that this will change after the book being selected Book of the Month by the OnlineBookClub community. I have read the short bio about the author and I agree with her maxim: "Every person has a story to tell." What I would add is that gifted writers have many stories to tell whether they collect or imagine them. The prologue throws the reader into a pool of emotions as it describes Natalie's mixed feelings when facing her stepfather's abusive behavior. Written in the first person, the story follows Natalie's struggle to overcome her fear and achieve her dreams. I could not help but feel touched by the first chapter suggestively entitled "Home and Family" and minutely portraying Natalie's life in the middle of a broken family. I particularly liked the author's narrative style with penetrating descriptions. For example, I loved her oxymoronic juxtaposition of the stinking smell of her handicapped brother's sandshoes and the spring fragrances at Ironbark Hill. I also noticed the writer's keen eye for detail. For instance, Natalie mentions her small acts of defiance against her stepfather. I was impressed by Natalie's hard life and her resilience not to give up. Although it is her sixteenth birthday, she starts her day by changing her 5-year-old sister's wet pyjamas, doing the laundry and setting the table. I felt touched by the way Natalie says she is longing for Mondays because she can go to work and escape the hostile family atmosphere. Instead of gifts and praise, she is verbally abused by her stepfather on her very birthday. In sheer contrast with her stepfather's image, Natalie holds dear her grandpa's memory. I enjoyed the tender portrait she draws in the second chapter. Moreover, I sympathized with Natalie's disappointment when nobody remembered her birthday. Instead, her alcoholic stepfather is slaughtering a steer with younger Shirley as an excited bystander. If it had not been for this program, I would never have heard of this book. I am glad I had the chance of discovering it especially since it is professionally edited too. I would like to read it and see if I share the OnlineBookClub reviewer's enthusiasm about it.

First Ten review added on April 1, 2018, at 4:50 pm by cristinaro.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

lavellan

I probably would not have read the sample for Ironbark Hill if it had not been a part of the First Ten program. While the Book of the Day review was positive, the cover is a bit boring. The book seemed like it was professionally edited, but I noticed one error while reading. While was used instead of when. I enjoyed the part where the protagonist stopped her stepfather from abusing her mother. However, the writing was a bit dry. As a result, I probably will not read the rest of the book.

First Ten review added on April 1, 2018, at 5:00 pm by lavellan.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

ccrews0408

Had I not read the first 10 pages, based on the title and cover, I wouldn't have read this book. After reading the review, I was very surprised about the content of the book. I think the author should have chosen a cover that would appeal to the audience because I feel many people will overlook a great book. Now that I have read the first 10 pages, I still don't plan to buy this book but for a different reason. I tend to stay away from books with dark and heavy content. I do, however, feel the author did a great job at drawing the reader in from the beginning. I didn't notice any typos or grammatical errors and there was an official OnlineBookClub review.

First Ten review added on April 1, 2018, at 5:25 pm by ccrews0408.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

melissy370

I would have never read this book based on the book cover or the blurb about it. Both seemed boring to me. Upon reading the sample my mind has changed. The writing is well written and engaging. When the author writes that integrity goes first in someone with alcoholism I quickly concur with examples from my own past. The setting and characters are realistically portrayed and that is what attracts me. Looking forward to finishing this book. I saw no errors.

First Ten review added on April 1, 2018, at 5:34 pm by melissy370.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

Mercy Bolo

This book's cover did little to influence my decision whether to read it or not but the well-written review had me eager to flip its pages. The sample, on the other hand, put me off with the use of multiple complex vocabularies. For this reason, I won't read the rest of the book. From what I read, there's nothing I would change about the book and I like that I noticed no grammatical errors.

First Ten review added on April 1, 2018, at 5:41 pm by Mercy Bolo.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

kfwilson6

Nothing about the title or cover of this book would have made me want to read it. It looks very plain and uninteresting. The summary of the book somewhat grabbed my interest but it isn't very well written and doesn't do much to grab an interested reader's attention. Without the onlinebookclub review, I would not have been interested in reading this book. The onlinebookclub reviewer did such a great job explaining what this story is about and made it sound like a great read. I wish there were some Amazon reviews but the onlinebookclub review alone would have been enough to convince me to read this book. The sample too made me want to read it. I found some of the dialogue a little difficult to understand but the narrative is well written and I already felt like there was so much depth in the story and characters. So much is introduced at the beginning that I want to keep reading to know more.

First Ten review added on April 1, 2018, at 6:10 pm by kfwilson6.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

Emmanae

I don't think I would have read this book without the first ten program. As it's not the most provoking cover, I didn't pay much attention to it. After reading the Official OBC Review, I'm going to get this book as I also had an abusive adult in my past. I'm curious to see how they flesh out this story in just 207 pages! I'm unsure whether or not this book was professionally edited, as they pluralized "Hail Mary's" as Hail Marys. I loved the main characters attitude and was thankful but concerned for her as she tried to defend her mom. I'm definitely going to finish this book soon!

First Ten review added on April 1, 2018, at 6:49 pm by Emmanae.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

Haute_Coffee

I I wasn’t drawn to the cover or title of this book and I assumed I would be taking a pass. However, the sample drew me right into Natalie’s world. Right from the beginning her character is vividly drawn. I had no trouble feeling her emotions. The prose is beautifully written with a wonderful sense of rhythm. It was cleanly edited. I really look forward to reading more about Natalie’s life.

First Ten review added on April 1, 2018, at 8:06 pm by Haute_Coffee.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

Tbunde5

I was not immediately drawn to read this book by the cover or title. The description given by Amazon was not very helpful either. The best description of the actual story was the OBC review, which gave more insight into the character of Natalie. After reading the sample, I was found myself falling into the story because of the author’s natural writing style and the narrative style of the story. The prologue caught my interest because of the descriptive way the author tells the story of Natalie. I wanted to find out how she was able to protect her siblings from their stepfather and whether she would be able to escape her situation. The book seems well-edited and professionally written.

First Ten review added on April 1, 2018, at 10:42 pm by Tbunde5.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

DancingLady

I was considering reading this book for the April book of the month until I read the official review and found out it contains abuse and an inappropriate attraction. After reading the sample I really felt the weight of negativity that comes from such horrible family situations. I like that Natalie is a strong girl, seemingly better equipped to survive than some, but I still do not like the feel of this book and will not be reading the rest. I did find one error. “I recognised the disturbing fact that integrity was an early causality of alcoholism, and felt the full force of the threat.” I believe it should say “casualty”

First Ten review added on April 2, 2018, at 1:21 am by DancingLady.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

VictoriaMcMillen

I read the first ten pages and was not interested, the title and cover weren't very interesting to me either. The book did seem professionally edited and well written, it is just not something that interested me enough to keep going. Sorry, this book just isn't for me, even after reading the review. I liked the background of the young girl experiencing domestic violence in her household, I did not like how the story went after that, too drawn out for me. However, I am sure others would appreciate the book.

First Ten review added on April 2, 2018, at 10:17 pm by VictoriaMcMillen.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Kathryn Price

I've actually read this sample before - I don't remember when. This seems like a book I would enjoy reading. I particularly like the author's flowery language and vivid descriptions, that contrast with the characters' rough and distinctive speech patterns and yet somehow fits together. This to me is the mark of a good author. Sometimes the language is a little too flowery, in my opinion, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I found no editing mistakes. Overall, I think this is a good book and I will put it in my reading list to read as soon as I get the chance, especially as it is April book of the month!

First Ten review added on April 2, 2018, at 11:40 pm by Kathryn Price.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

NL Hartje

The cover of this book immediately turns me off. This is, of course, a personal preference, but I am reminded of grade school readers and with this comes the connotation of "required reading." The book seems well edited and the reviews suggest a story with strong character development. Following a sixteen-year-old girl as she comes into her own and tries to protect her mother and siblings from an abusive step-father doesn't exactly scream "fun" and "lighthearted" reading. Since this is generally what I'm looking for, I don't see myself finding enjoyment in this book. The only thing that intrigues me is the promise of an extramarital affair later on and sadly, it's just too far off for me to want to read the rest to get there. I won't be reading this book.

First Ten review added on April 3, 2018, at 12:33 am by NL Hartje.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

N_R

This sounded like a very true, and sad portrayal of life in Australia within this era. While I really like the fact that a book with this content has been written, I am not going to buy and read the whole book. I have previously completed a degree where this history was covered and therefore I feel I have a good grounding in this. Also, with all the books I have to review and read, I am having to limit how many books I can take on to read. I did enjoy the sample, although it is quite an aggressive start to a novel. I did like the fact that this is a true story and that the events were inspired by real events. The reviews for this book were very positive and so I think that people who enjoy reading this genre are going to enjoy this book. There seems to be no issue with the grammar and formatting of this book.

First Ten review added on April 3, 2018, at 1:36 am by N_R.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Cjgarland89

At first glance this book doesn’t leap out at me, the cover makes it seem drab and unedifying. I wouldn’t have picked this up on my own. The OBC review was positive but wasn’t convincing enough to make me want to read the entire thing. It started pretty slow, and depressing. The author did great with the wording and making the reader feel emotions. I think a new cover could help this book a lot. I didn’t see any errors, therefore it’s professionally edited. I won’t be finishing this book.

First Ten review added on April 3, 2018, at 6:55 am by Cjgarland89.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

HRichards

I have been debating reading this book and probably will in the future, though I am reading too much right now to get it. It is a very well written account of a young girl with an abusive step-father in Australia in what seems to be the 1950s. Natalie is determined to protect her family from her step-father and the first ten pages set up her life on Ironbark Hill. I did not notice any typos in the first pages. It is a well written historical novel that I may read in the future. I have not read any other reviews.

First Ten review added on September 29, 2018, at 11:06 am by HRichards.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Camille Turner

Based on the cover and title alone, I wouldn't have sampled the book on my own (or probably gone as far as to read the blurb on Amazon) as it just doesn't pull me in. But, the blurb does make it sounds like a really interesting story, and the fact that it was the former book of the month on OnlineBookClub might have swayed me over to sampling the book even without this program. After reading the first ten pages, the book seems professionally edited, and I didn't note any grammatical errors. I really liked the descriptions the author included about the land in Australia where the family lives, and I also loved the way the siblings interact as it seems very natural (Robyn and Shirley fighting, Natalie being the motherly older sister, etc.). I'm actually really intrigued to see what happens next in this story after reading the first ten pages. I liked the first chapter and wouldn't change anything except maybe starting directly with it and skipping the prologue, which was less unique (the stepfather hitting Natalie's mom). I think my first impression versus my impression now is slightly different because the blurb highlights the big main events (wanting to avenge her father's death, falling in love, etc.) but the meat of the book must be the day to day details like in the first ten pages, and these details are super interesting and fun to read. I would like to read this book eventually, but I'm not going to buy it today (I'm on a budget and while this book seems good, I don't usually impulse buy unless something completely strikes me as incredible). Instead, I'll put it on my to-read list.

First Ten review added on September 29, 2018, at 11:23 am by Camille Turner.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Laura Bach

"Ironbark Hill" is the coming-of-age story of Natty, a sixteen years old with an alcoholic stepfather. The book starts with little Natty experiencing one of her stepfather's bursts. He was trying to hit her mother, so Natty stepped in, and his attitude changed. Our heroine is full of regret over her real father's death. I liked how fast the writing flowed. I already read a few pages before this program because I was curious. I liked the writing style, but I am not looking for a coming-of-age story involving alcoholic fathers. I won't continue reading the book. It just isn't for me. It was professionally edited.

First Ten review added on September 29, 2018, at 1:30 pm by Laura Bach.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Julie Green

I would not choose to read this book based on the title and cover; the long description on the front page is somewhat off-putting - it feels prosaic and removes any intrigue about what the book might have to offer. Having read the opening pages, I will not be reading the rest of the book.
After the initial scene where Natalie steps in to stop her step-father from abusing her mother, there is very little action. The most exciting moment is an argument over the sale of a cow. On the plus side, it does evoke sibling relationships well, as Natalie looks after her younger sister who wets the bed, and deals with her brother's stinking trainers. I am just not sufficiently engaged in the characters to want to read the rest of the book. I did not spot any grammatical errors.

First Ten review added on September 29, 2018, at 1:43 pm by Julie Green.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Kat Berg

The cover of this book would keep me from buying it or reading it. The main reason is that I see it and it looks like a photocopy of someone's art that is not quite a professional. I immediately think that if that is the quality of the cover, the inside is unlikely to be professionally edited and I do not read poorly edited books for fun. When I read the sample, it has an awkward turn of phrase throughout, "Glad was I," for example, instead of "I was glad." It doesn't impact the story, but I keep waiting for the poem to end, or wondering if perhaps the book was not written and edited by a native English speaker. It is probably a stylistic choice. Some of the metaphors are also confusing. Ex: "Picking up the carrion by the laces" when referring to her brother Joey's shoes. That sentence made me have to stop and re-read it as I wondered what I had missed. I like the spirit she shows when her stepfather is abusing her mom, but I do not think that I would want to plod through this book. I did not read the official OBC review. Other than the awkward sentence structure, I did not notice any errors.

First Ten review added on September 29, 2018, at 2:33 pm by Kat Berg.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

CinWin

"Ironbark Hill" by Jennie Linnane is a story about 16-year-old Natalie Chapman, an Australian growing up in poverty. The Chapmans are a family of seven, including an alcoholic father who is both abusive and violent. I enjoyed seeing Natalie stick up for her mother and stop the abuse for awhile. She is a very strong and motivated character. I would not have chosen this book by its cover and I am not planning on reading the rest of it. My genres are usually horror and mystery. I read the first 10 pages and enjoyed what I read. It is, however, very slow-paced. I am used to reading fast-paced books. I don't think I would have improved on anything in the first 10 pages. There were no typographical errors that I could see and there was an onlinebookclub review.

First Ten review added on September 29, 2018, at 2:51 pm by CinWin.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Tiny_Turtle

The title and cover picture were not an attention grabber. The tagline reflects a topic that I would not be interested in reading about. The synopsis revealed it to be a coming-of-age tale of a young girl dealing with an abusive step-father, discrimination, and revenging her father's death, while she strives to become an art teacher. Without the First 10 program, I would not be interested in sampling this book.

Reading the first ten pages did not change my mind. Although, I did enjoy the author's flair with descriptions. One particular part that stood out to me was how she described the way Natalie's grandfather ate his sausage; "There was the rapid mobility of chin and jaws as the old man chewed a piece of sausage with his gums – his teeth were still slumbering away on his bedside table."
(location 389). I also enjoyed Natalie's feisty character which showed itself on practically every page.

The book seemed professionally edited. I have no suggestions for improvements. There was an Official OnlineBookClub review. It did not influence my decision. I will not be reading this book, as I am not drawn to reading a coming-of-age story.

First Ten review added on September 29, 2018, at 3:13 pm by Tiny_Turtle.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Laura Del

The book's cover is what threw me off before I'd even opened up the sample. It's not particularly appealing or eye-catching. However, that is the least of this novels worries. The writing itself comes off as pretentious and a little boring. I found my eyes were beginning to close and I became unfocused on what the story was trying to portray. Unfortunately, due to all this, I will not be reading the rest of this book. It's a shame because the blurb had me thinking that I would like it. Good news is the book's professionally edited, so that's a plus. The only thing that I think could improve this is cutting back on the ten dollar words. Other than that, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

First Ten review added on September 29, 2018, at 5:36 pm by Laura Del.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

FictionLover

I would not have sampled this book on my own. I have seen it on the OBC and read the review, but coming of age stories are not on my 'to read' list, especially ones that deal with abusive parents. The OBC review was very favorable but the Amazon blurb and the long subtitle tells me this is not the story for me. . . . I thought the book was professionally edited. . . . I did enjoy some of the descriptive elements, like Natalie's description of looking out on Ironbark Hill from her porch. The verdant hills, the fragrance of Jasmine, the lavatory trellis were beautiful images, but I felt they they overpowered the narrative a bit. . . I don't know what could be improved.

First Ten review added on September 29, 2018, at 6:13 pm by FictionLover.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Kareka88

I read an excellent review of this book on OnlineBookClub, and I agree with the part about the flowery language. Using excess and expressive language makes the book challenging to read. Yes, I would recommend a dictionary by your side for anyone who wants to read it. Also, that this takes place in Australia, the reader is required to struggle with the Australian English word spellings (unless you’re Australian). Even after reading the review, I was still interested enough to look at the first ten pages. I will not be finishing the book because of the flowery language and the abuse. That Natalie has to endure all kinds of violence is not something I want to subject myself. I would rather read for pleasure, and this would make me angry. I liked that Natalie stood up to her step-father and he took notice. I found one error. In the eighth paragraph of the prologue, it states, “I determined that while ever my stepfather” should read, “I determined that whenever my stepfather.”

First Ten review added on September 29, 2018, at 9:49 pm by Kareka88.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

LV2R

The book cover and title did not interest me. It seemed to look like a girl from a poor background. The Amazon Blurb outlined Natalie’s goals to protect her mom and brother from Alex, her alcoholic stepfather’s abuse and to rise above her family’s poverty, to name two of them. This was not enough to decide about whether or not I wanted to read the book. I did not like reading the sample because it showed Natalie’s contempt and hate towards her alcoholic stepfather who beat her mother and ruled over the family with tyranny. It seemed to set the tone of Natalie’s dire situation at home. I liked best the description of spring in Ironbark Hill with the sights, sounds, and smells. This seemed to be in much contrast to Natalie’s family who lived within an old grey house. The OBC review mentioned Mrs. Glover, Natty’s employer who encouraged her to be a landscape painter. I liked that there was someone positive in Natty’s life. The book seemed to be well edited, as I did not notice any errors. I do not want to read this book now because it seems to describe a very difficult and dark life of Natty, who grew up with bullying, abuse, and discrimination. I want to read something lighter and more cheerful.

First Ten review added on September 29, 2018, at 9:59 pm by LV2R.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Allyseria

I don't particularly like the title or the cover. It sounds like it is a classic book. The blurb sounds a bit interesting, however, I wonder how she is going to avenge the death of her part-aboriginal father. It sounds a bit odd considering the plot. When I read the OnlineBookClub review, it mentioned that it was probably targeted at younger readers - therefore I don't think it is my type of read. I was also concern about the lacking consequences. I don't particularly like plots to have unrealistic consequences. I liked the opening of the book. It's engaging because it shows that Natty is a clever girl - she understands that when she is with her mother, her stepfather is less likely to assault her. However, I feel that too many characters are introduced too quickly. In the first ten pages, ten names were already introduced to us, not to mention the town names. Overall, I won't be reading the book because I am looking for a more lighter and easier read.

Note: The book had been professionally edited.

First Ten review added on September 29, 2018, at 10:27 pm by Allyseria.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

SABRADLEY

While reading the sample, I was drawn in by the author's realistic depiction of an Australian child's fright and pain during her step-father's drunken beating of her mother. Her bravery stopped him that day. I love the author's casual but piognant writing style. I found no errors and could think of no room for improvement, except for perhaps the cover art which looks like it was not done professionally. The Online Book Club review raved about the book and I also enjoyed it when I read it several months back. As I already read it, I will not be buying the book today.

First Ten review added on September 29, 2018, at 10:42 pm by SABRADLEY.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

ObsessedBookNerd

Had I not read the first ten pages of the book I would not have read this story based on the title, cover, blurb, and reviews. The title and cover make the book seem boring and doesn’t draw me into reading the story. The blurb and reviews completely turned me away because I don’t like to read books with the main topics of the story being depressing subjects. The book is mainly about the hardships of life and having to deal with racism, abuse and alcoholism so I will not be buying or reading the whole story. Reading the first ten pages of the book did not change my mind because I couldn’t get into the story. The prologue of the book you meet the main character, Natalie as a little girl who is awakened by banging and goes to investigate. She finds her mother being abused by her stepfather and threatens to kill him. I think it’s sort of unrealistic to me for a child to act that way especially because when he tells her to go back to her room she quickly obeys. The first chapter was also very hard for me to get through because the author spends a lot of time describing Joey’s odor while he is asleep and this made me want to stop reading. Then it goes on to read how bad the stepfather Alex is and his cruel/abusive personality. Natalie still has not given up on killing Alex even though she is now sixteen. At the end of chapter three the book ends with Alex killing a steer and the end of the sample of the book. Reading to the end of the sample made me realize that there was nothing I enjoyed about the story and that I greatly disliked the book. The book seemed professionally edited and I found no spelling or grammatical errors other then when the characters were talking but you could tell it was purposely done by the author.

First Ten review added on September 30, 2018, at 2:10 am by ObsessedBookNerd.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

truebookaddict

I probably would have chosen to read this book, even without reading the first ten pages, since it did sound like my type of read. I enjoyed this. The story is very engaging and I felt like I was right there, experiencing what Natalie was going through. The prose is very descriptive and the dialogue is very real and convincing. The editing is very good and I did not notice any grammatical errors or typos. Unfortunately, I will not read the whole book at this time because I will not be buying the book due to the price being above my eBook spending limit. However, I am adding it to my wishlist in case it goes on sale later.

First Ten review added on September 30, 2018, at 2:56 am by truebookaddict.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Sahani Nimandra

Ironbark Hill by Jennie Linnane is a fictional read about a bold girl who tries to stand-up to her father. The official OBC review was good. Natalie, a bold and young sixteen-year-old who stands-up to her stepfather is our protagonist in this read. The setting of this read takes us back to the harsh conditions of a poor family. Stuck between an abusive stepfather and a helpless mother, Natalie swore to come clean from their desperate situation in life. There weren't any hindrances while reading. It was too descriptive and the flow was at an easy-pace. It wasn't delightful as I wanted it to be but certainly a book that I won't regret.

First Ten review added on September 30, 2018, at 3:10 am by Sahani Nimandra.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

Cher432

If I had not sampled the first ten pages, I would not have read the book because the cover and the title were so dull. The official OnlineBookClub review made me want to read the book as it painted the picture of a resilient character. The opening of the book was really vivid and described the character witnessing her stepfather abusing her mother and the defining moment that was in her life. The book continued to be interesting, introducing the other siblings and her mother. It was an intriguing opening and I would definitely buy and read the book. I did not find any errors so I think it was professionally edited.

First Ten review added on September 30, 2018, at 3:37 am by Cher432.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

a9436

Whilst the cover was not to my liking, as it did not seem to convey the seriousness of the book, the OBC review intrigued me with its description of a young, strong, female protagonist. I expected to be able to relate to the character of Natty, and as I started to read, I found the character interesting, but in some ways too different and in other words too similar to me to inspire me to continue her story. The author painted a believable picture of life on Ironbark Hill, and aside from a few sentences beginning with, 'And,' and, 'But,' I did not find any errors in editing, but the descriptions of violence were just too close to home for me.

First Ten review added on September 30, 2018, at 5:31 am by a9436.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

mtsnel006

The cover of the book makes the book look like it is a children's book, and because I am not a big fan of such a genre, I would have chosen not to read the book. However, having read the review and the sample, I found the book to be a nice young adult read, and very interesting as well. Hence, I decided that I would read the whole book. The book is about a 16-year-old girl, Natalie, who grew up in an abusive environment as her stepfather was an alcoholic. As the eldest child, Natalie takes up a protective role towards her mother and is constantly there for her siblings. She gets an opportunity to work for the Glover family and becomes attracted to the father of the house - Bruce Glover. I did not notice any editorial errors with the book. Thanks.

First Ten review added on September 30, 2018, at 6:40 am by mtsnel006.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

liftedbooks

This a fictional story that deals with some serious issues, including abuse. After reading the official review of Iron Bark Hill, I was immediately interested in reading this book. The few pages I read of this book has piqued my interest even more. My main reason for wanting to read this book is the author's writing. It is so beautiful and descriptive, some might even say 'flowery'. I also appreciate the fact that it seems as though the book is professionally edited. In the pages that I read, there appear to be no errors. My favorite part that I read in the first few pages of this book is: 'In the kitchen, the clock struck six. The old house was quiet, and I could hear the mechanical struggle which preceded each strike. Still half-asleep, I threw back the bedclothes, stumbled across the creaking floorboards and pinched up the carrion by the laces. Holding my breath, I hurried them to the back veranda and with vengeful satisfaction flung them out to land beyond the clothesline.' The author beautifully dramatized throwing away a pair of stinky shoes. I am very interesting in reading the entire book.

First Ten review added on September 30, 2018, at 8:17 am by liftedbooks.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

Kendra M Parker

I know that this had been the book of the month a little while ago, and that it was well received, but I’m not a big fan of books dealing with difficult family situations. The official review certainly thought highly of the book, but it did not really change my opinion on it. As I read the first ten pages I did not find any errors. I appreciated the author’s use of imagery and the way she was able to create sights, sounds and smells to place me in the middle of the scene. The example with her brother’s shoes definitely made me understand that moment of waking up to that stench and her desire to throw away the shoes. Still, this excellent use of imagery does not change my opinion. The prologue and its contents with her step-father’s abusive nature and how that formed a desire and inclination for Natalie to protect her family clearly showed me that this is not the sort of book I really want to read.

First Ten review added on September 30, 2018, at 12:51 pm by Kendra M Parker.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

JuliaKay

I feel like the cover for this book is a little bit plain and boring, and it gives me the impression that the book will be the same. The title of the book also offers nothing to draw me in. The blurb and the reviews were pretty favorable, but they did not entice me to read the book. This isn't a genre that I would normally read as I don't enjoy coming of age stories for the most part. The book begins with a young girls stepfather beating her mother, which she says is her first taste of fear. The sight of her terror stopped her stepfather from continuing the beating. The rest of the story is about one particular year that stood out in the narrator's life. It begins with her sixteenth birthday. She lives in a place called Ironbark Hill. Natalie (the protagonist) has a few younger siblings that she seems to have a lot of responsibility for. Natalie was also employed by the Glovers in the town of Shannondale. Natalie describes some of her chores as well her disdain for her stepfather and his actions, such as when he informs her that he is going to sell her cow. Natalie vows that she will kill him someday. I felt that the first ten pages of the story were mildly interesting but not entertaining enough that I would want to continue with the book. I did not notice any technical errors, and it seems that this book has been professionally edited. Some of the dialogue was a bit confusing, but not due to errors. Phrases like "Ah shuddup, bugger ya! Bloody stuck up bit of a shiela..." can be confusing.

First Ten review added on September 30, 2018, at 3:10 pm by JuliaKay.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Sicily Joy

I didn't like the cover of Ironbark Hill because it looks like an amateur drawing and doesn't really show what the book is about. However, the reviews including the official review would have convinced me to sample the book. The official review was very positive and painted a story about overcoming oppression. After reading the first ten pages I decided I would eventually buy and read the book. I like the sympathetic characters such as Natty. I liked the scene when Natty tries to stand up to her abusive stepfather over him selling her cow yet tries to not push the situation too far to start a physical altercation. With that said, I don't think I will buy the book today. There was nothing I didn't like about the book, I am just saving money at the moment. I will likely buy or get a review copy in the future. I found no errors and the book seemed professionally edited.

First Ten review added on September 30, 2018, at 8:39 pm by Sicily Joy.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

KRay93

The design of the cover is somewhat rustic, but it is appropriate for the theme proposed by the blurb. The official review speaks of intricately written characters and highlights the author's control over the flow of history. The first ten pages open with a prologue where the protagonist tells the first episode of physical abuse by her father when she was a child, followed by the first chapter, which occurs during the morning of her sixteenth birthday. Here, she introduces her family environment, focusing on the figure of her brother and her mother. The prose is fluid and makes good use of the narrative in the first person, while the editing work looks acceptable. This type of coming-of-age stories with protagonists fascinated by the art world does not usually attract my attention, which is why I will not continue reading this book.

First Ten review added on September 30, 2018, at 10:31 pm by KRay93.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Fuzaila

The cover seemed unappealing to me but the description made me curious. I felt that the writing was a bit pretentious and lacked proper sentence structure. For example, "..I determined then that while ever my stepfather indulged in his drinking orgies and subsequent rages I would stay close to my mother..". The sentence is also missing a comma, which makes me conclude that the book might need another round of editing. I liked the storyline even though it was a bit too sensitive right from the beginning. There wasn't anything to dislike, but it would have been better if the sentences were simplified a little, since the narration is done by a child. I won't be reading this book since I'm not really interested in exploring broken families at the moment.

First Ten review added on September 30, 2018, at 11:05 pm by Fuzaila.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

jessinikkip

Had I not read the sample for this program, I would not have chosen to sample the book. The cover didn't draw me in and the blurb didn't sound like something I would typically enjoy. After reading the sample, I will not be continuing with the book. The writing style was very elegant and flowery, using bigger words like intonation, beseeching, tremulous and paroxysm. These were all words within the first few paragraphs. It felt like the author was using a thesaurus to fit in all the big words to make the story seem more geared for adults, but instead, it just turned me away from the book. This means that my original guess about whether I would like the book hasn't changed. This also makes it feel like it wasn't professionally edited because I feel like a professional editor would have steered the author into a different writing style, but there weren't specific typos or grammar errors.

First Ten review added on September 30, 2018, at 11:43 pm by jessinikkip.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

britt13

The official review was positive about this book but I already had preconceived feelings about it. I started this book to do a review. Unfortunately, I had to step out because the book just did not interest me. I wanted to review it at first because of the first ten pages. I thought the way that Linnane described the abuse from the stepfather was so wonderfully worded in a way that was very relatable. I also enjoyed the flow of the sentences and found no errors. So while I know I do not want to read this book personally, I think the first ten pages do a great job pulling the reader in.

First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 12:54 am by britt13.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Kitkat3

Without this program, I probably would not have sampled this book. The cover does not really draw my eye to it. The font and lack of color are not really eye catching, and I wasn't really interested in the story after reading the blurb. I will not read the book, because I think that the plot of this book sounds really sad and the first ten pages did not make me want to read further. I believe that it is a combination of the writing style and the fact that she has to deal with an abusive parent. It appears to be professionally edited as I did not notice any errors. The OnlineBookClub review was positive, but unfortunately it does not change my original assessment.

First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 2:05 am by Kitkat3.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Bianka Walter

This is not a book that I would have sampled without the first ten program. The themes of this book are not ones which I enjoy. With the book opening with a scene of domestic violence, I can only assume that that is one of the strong themes in this book. The OBC review confirmed that. Natalie seems to have a strong personality, and with everything around her being rather depressing, she seems to have a solid direction of where she wants to be. Knowing that a relationship develops with Natalie and a married man, I know that I won't be reading this book further. Extramarital affairs are not enjoyable for me to read about. The book seems well edited, and I found no errors. Because the sample of this book didn't draw me in enough to want to read further, and because I am not a huge fan of the subject matter, I won't be reading this book.

First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 4:05 am by Bianka Walter.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

briellejee

Based on the cover and title, I think I wouldn't have sample the book. It doesn't strike me as appealing enough. As for the first few pages, I liked the character of Natalie. She knows she is strong and doesn't give in to the state of her family and her home, especially to her drunkard stepfather. I also liked the author's style of writing. For example, my favorite lines that she wrote were: "My eyelids, lazy with the residue of sleep... " and "...the gates of heaven were to me as inaccessible as the moon". However, as much as I like the way she writes her phrases, I am not interested to finish the book. There is nothing, for me, to look forward to in the story except for Natalie's life to get better, which is the sole purpose of a coming-of-age book; and is also not my cup of tea. Though, I am curious as to what is the significance of the Ironbark Hill as a place in the story. Perhaps recommending this to someone else would be a great idea, especially when they like this genre. I really liked the writing though. I didn't find any noticeable errors and despite the official OBC review being good, I still would have passed this up as it is not my go-to genre.

First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 4:56 am by briellejee.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

desantismt_17

This book’s title and description didn’t hook my interest. Coming-of-age stories are hit-or-miss for me. Before sampling, I wasn’t thinking about reading. After sampling, I’ll pass. The book appears professionally edited. I noticed no errors. The writing itself, though, feels almost too flowery at some points. I had to read the following sentence several times to figure out exactly what it was saying: “Always in the wake of my stepfather’s fury, I sought comfort in a fantasy-return to the happy realm of my infancy of which I nurtured scant but gilt-hued memories where I was a laughing, chattering little girl secure in the love of my dark-skinned father, Johnny Chapman.” I don’t always mind this kind of writing, but this sentence, which clocks in at 47 words, felt a bit much. As I continued, I ran into more sentences on the longer and more confusing side. Perhaps the style works for the story, but in the opening pages, I didn’t find the writing to be a hook. I could clearly feel the main character’s fear and determination in the prologue, though. The image of her trembling with terror and rage when faced with her drunken, violent father is so strong. The OnlineBookClub.org review painted a lovely picture for this book. I just couldn’t get into the writing enough to finish reading.

First Ten review added 3 days ago by desantismt_17.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

inaramid

When it was the Book of the Month, I read nothing but positive reviews/comments of Jennie Linnane's Ironbark Hill. I wouldn't have guessed so based on the amateurish book cover, something that should definitely be changed to do the content justice. I wanted to read the book based on the positive feedback, but having read the sample, I felt disinclined to do so any longer. The OBC review underscored the themes explored in the story, and while these (along with a setting that I don't normally see in coming-of-age novels) made the book feel so relevant and interesting, the writing was much too ornate and flowery for my taste. On the plus side, the book did seem like it was professionally edited. I only noticed a handful of punctuation issues (the use of a semicolon when a comma would have been more appropriate) and some excess spaces between some paragraphs. Overall, I liked how grounded the characters seem to be and how clearly the author portrayed the dysfunctional dynamics within Natalie's family from the get-go. The writing style, however, is not for me.

First Ten review added 2 days ago by inaramid.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

OloladeO

From the cover and title, I would not have read the sample because I find the picture on the cover childish and amateur like. From the sample, Natalie was still a child when the bitter taste of fear and hatred first came to her. She woke up in the middle of the night to find her stepfather beating her mother. When he saw her, he stopped. From that night, she learned that her presence had a powerful influence to stop her stepfather from abusing her mother. Although a mere child, she is determined to remain close to her mother when her stepfather indulges in his drinking orgies and subsequent rages. The book seems professionally edited as I did not find any error in the bit that I read. The OBC reviewer gave it a perfect rating so I am sure it will be a good read for those that favor its genre. As for me, I don't think I will be able to stomach all that Natalie would have to go through. It sounds like a sad story and I need a happy book right now.

First Ten review added one day ago by OloladeO.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Total ~ 21%

Ironbark Hill earned a score of 21%.

In other words, out of the top-level reviewers who read at least the first 10 pages of this book, 21% plan to read the whole book.

IMPORTANT: Any score over 10% is considered very good. And any score above 0% is acceptable.

Over a million books are published each year. Any given person could not even read .0001% of the books out there. This means readers have to be very selective. Even taking the time to look over reviews and blurbs, let alone read samples, is more time than most readers can afford for most books. The First Ten is a powerful focus group that addresses those issues. It creates a helpful tool for authors, publishers, and other readers.

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