5 stars to Jacques Pouw and his shocking expose

The presidents keepers

Hard-hitting expose

First off, I need to disclose that I am a born and bred South African. I think this is important to mention because it means that I probably have some sort of bias already about the subject matter. Someone from another country might be able to read this book with cool detachment but let’s face it, it’s hard to remain unemotional when the money referred to comes from your own pocket and the flag is the one you proudly call your own.

From a writing perspective, Jacques Pouw has presented the facts in a neat, uncomplicated and practical manner. He is an award-winning journalist and it’s easy to see why. His research is thorough and his wording precise but fearless.

With regards to the subject matter, I have to say that this was probably one of the most depressing books I’ve ever read about South Africa. If even half of it is true, then the extent of the rot in our government is unprecedented and extremely frightening. The idea of my hard-earned tax money being wasted on drug-running, murdering, corrupt criminals while my fellow South African’s starve and live in tin shacks enrages me.

The knowledge that evidence exists, but has been buried beneath legal and political shenanigans depresses me hugely and I have to wonder – will these corrupt leaders ever pay for what they have done to my beloved country, or will I continue to have to fork out my hard-earned money while they play games with our economy and ultimately, our lives? Will my fellow South African’s see the light and use their vote in 2019 to make a positive difference? How long will it take to dig us out of this hole that appears to be much deeper and wider than the Presidency alone?

Jacques Pouw offers some optimism in the form of recent developments within our judiciary system and the pressure that civil society is putting on government to hold corrupt officials accountable, but it’s been over a decade and as a citizen, I have to ask – when is there going to be some action?

Good guy or bad boy, what makes a great book boyfriend?

Book boyfriend

Stefan vs Damon? Maxon vs Aspen? Blake vs Daemon? Jacob vs Edward? Kael vs Tristan?

We all have our favourites. Some of us choose the good guys and some of us prefer the bad boys but what makes for an utterly irresistible book boyfriend?


1. Hot

Let’s face it; in the world of fiction, average just doesn’t cut it. Whether it’s pretty or rugged, he’s got to stand out in a sexy way, and that includes his fashion sense and conscious or unconscious swagger.

2. Arrogant

That’s right, we may not be willing to admit it but nobody wants a yes-boy. Arrogance makes for good conflict and great chemistry.

3. Loyal

Whether he’s good or bad, he’s the one you want on your side. He’s willing to fight, willing to sacrifice and willing to die for his own and chances are he’ll get plenty of opportunities to show just how dedicated he is to his cause.

4. Mysterious

There’s nothing sexier than a man with secrets. They are the reason he is what he is and the harder he holds onto them, the more we want to unravel him.

5. Clever

The source could be tertiary education, experience or just plain common sense, but either way, he’s got to have a good head on his shoulders. He’s going to have to make some tough decisions and sometimes he’ll even make the wrong ones, but he’s no dumb blonde.


So whether he’s good or bad, these are the five traits a great book boyfriend must have and here are a few of my favourite books that have this ‘greatness’ in abundance:

The Vampire diaries by LJ Smith

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Five by Caroline Greyling

Adults browsing YA bookshelves?

Young adult vs old adult

Tweeters are twitting and authors are arguing again. It’s a topic that has been hashed and re-hashed since the dawn of ‘Twilight’. Should adults be reading young adult or new adult fiction?

The arguments for and against are numerous and bear resemblance to the age-old war of fiction versus non-fiction. I’m not going to re-play these philosophical points again. I think we’ve heard them all and as a young adult fiction author, it’s probably pretty obvious on which side of the battle-field I place my sword.


Instead, I’m going to tell you why I love to read and write young adult fiction.

  1. We don’t age.

Well, at least not on the inside anyway. How many times has your grand-mother told you: ‘I feel the same as I did when I was eighteen’? Whilst I may still have a long way to go to say that, I heartily agree. The heart does not age, so why should the books I read?

  1. Firsts are fun.

Remember how your heart pounded out of your chest at the mere thought of your first kiss? How excited you were to get your first cellular phone? How scared but exhilarating it was to sneak out of the house for your first night-club visit? Firsts are fun, no matter how you look at it and the teenage years are brimming with first opportunities. Seconds and thirds might also be great, but they don’t have that same shiny new penny feeling and repeat episodes eventually lose their appeal. Who doesn’t want to relive a fantastic first?

  1. Passionate, vibrant youth.

The young are passionate. Nothing is done half measure. Emotions are raw and untainted by experience; arguments are sometimes irrational but uninhibited. Nobody wants to live a dull life, and even less people want to read about one. Give me a passionate, vibrant, living novel any day!

  1. Dream and believe.

Before you enter the working world and learn words like ‘responsibility’ and ‘stability’, the teenage vocabulary is full of words like ‘me’, ‘want’, ‘believe’. No dream is unattainable. It’s the one lesson I wish we could all take with us into adulthood and I’ll take every chance to remind myself and others of it.


These are some of the most compelling reasons why I choose to read a young adult novel over an adult work of fiction (or non-fiction) most days. I guess the question you need to ask yourself, when you’re surfing the virtual book-shelves of Amazon is: why do I want to read, or better yet, why do I want to read today, because if you’re anything like me, your motives will change from day to day. If your answer includes any of the words above like: ‘dream’, ‘passion’, ‘vibrant’, ‘first’, ‘believe’ or ‘living’, then I suggest you head on over to the young adult section and browse alongside me.