Book Review: THE BOOK NINJA by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus



Ali Berg & Michelle Kalus

Sometimes love means having to broaden your literary horizons.

Frankie Rose is desperate for love. Or a relationship. Or just a date with a semi-normal person will do.

It’s not that she hasn’t tried. She’s the queen of online dating. But enough is enough. Inspired by her job at The Little Brunswick Street Bookshop, Frankie decides to take fate into her own hands and embarks on the ultimate love experiment.

Her plan? Plant her favourite books on trains inscribed with her contact details in a bid to lure the sophisticated, charming and well-read man of her dreams.

Enter Sunny, and one spontaneous kiss later, Frankie begins to fall for him. But there’s just one problem – Frankie is strictly a classics kind of gal, and Sunny is really into Young Adult. Like really.

A quirky and uplifting love letter to books, friendship and soulmates. 

*** **** ***


Ah, those crafty librarians! This book caught my eye on one of my library’s ever-changing book displays. The book and the authors are new to me, so I doubt I’d have come across it otherwise.

Set in modern day Melbourne, Australia, the story centres on Frankie Rose's search for love. Her lure? To catch a man by randomly depositing her favourite books on Melbourne's public transport and inserting a note towards the end of the book inviting the reader to contact her. Placing the note at the end is important – no one wants a person who can’t make it to the end of your favourite book, now do they?

There is a hiccup though. Even though Frankie is dating her book readers, she is strongly attracted to Sunny, a customer at the book shop Frankie works in but whose reading tastes leave much to be desired.

I found THE BOOK NINJA to be an overall fun read. The Frankie/Sunny romance runs the gamut of emotions which kept me invested. I loved the friendship between Frankie and her BFF, Cat. There are plenty of quirky characters and dialogue to match. It’s a delightful romp around Melbourne and it has loads of book references - so many that there's a collated list at the end ... all 3 pages of it! A great book to while away a lazy afternoon. 


Hi there! We're Ali and Michelle. Co-authors, founders of Books on theRail, professional Book Ninjas and best friends since primary school (you should see our awkward teenage photos)!

In 2017, we signed a two-book deal with Simon & Schuster. The Book Ninja was released in June 2018 and has already been sold to over 10 countries. Our second book will be published in June 2019. 

We're both Melbourne-based. Ali is the Creative Director and co-founder of Hedgehog Agency and Michelle is a primary school teacher at Camberwell Girls Grammar School.