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Annaleese Jochems Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Baby (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Annaleese Jochems is an award-winning novelist, bookseller, and writer hailing from Auckland, New Zealand. She is famous for writing fiction and thriller stories and has successfully published her debut book called Baby. Annaleese completed her MA in 2016 in creative writing. In the same year, she won the Adam Foundation Prize. A year later, Annaleese came up with her first book, which she published under the banner of Victoria University Press. Following the tremendous success of her book, she received an Acorn Fiction Award nomination and emerged the winner of the Hubert prize in 2018 at the Ockham NZ Book awards. Author Annaleese was born in 1994 in Whangarei. She was brought up in Northland on a farm located between Kaikohe and Kawakawa.

After finishing her high school studies, she relocated to Auckland for higher studies. Annaleese enrolled herself at the Manukau Technological Institute for a course in creative writing. During her time at the university, Annaleese was motivated to undertake risks and stimulated to widen her thinking. There was not a single day during the entire course, when she felt discouraged. In 2016, Annaleese continued her education by joining the Modern Letters’ International Institute and passed out with a Master of Arts degree. On the occasion of her book launch, Pip Adam gave a speech praising Annaleese’s work and labeled it as the most important novel since The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton. Pip Adam added by saying that the genius of Annaleese makes the readers become a part of the book’s reality TV right from the first page.

Annaleese’s Baby was further described as precocious and prodigious by Charlotte Graham-McLay in one of the articles she wrote in The Wireless. Charlotte liked the way Annaleese described the lead character, Cynthia, as a girl who steals the money of her father and runs away to the Bay of Island with her fitness instructor named Anahera. During her stay on the island, the spoiled princess from Auckland spends her time by floating on a boat named Baby, obsessing about Anahera and herself, and watching reality TV. The taut, sparse novel showcases the simmering cauldron of brutal tension, both violent and sexual, bubbling up with the threat of explosion.

As the morality of Cynthia gets questioned by readers, Annaleese defends her by saying that she possesses a moral compass, but likes to give out her empathy in different ways for different people. Annaleese also says that Cynthia has values, but she is very extreme in the ways in which she values some things over some others. And according to her, this is what makes Cynthia appear as a romantic figure. Whenever she feels that she needs to take extreme actions, she shows the willingness to do it and then simply enjoys doing it. In June 2018, Annaleese opened a bookshop of secondhand books in Newton and gave it the name, Book Hound. Prior to publishing her first book, she has a few of her works published in several literary magazines and journals, including Brief Magazine, Pantograph Punch, Sweet Mammalian, and Turbine.

Annaleese belongs to a close-knit family hailing from Pakaraka. Her dad is a Dutch immigrant and works as a beef farmer, while her mother works as a teacher and partner in the new venture of Annaleese. Just like her 2 younger brothers, Annaleese also grew up tall and beautiful. She did not have many friends and used to hang out mostly with her brothers. When she finished writing the first draft of Baby in college, she handed over a copy to her boyfriend named Nick and asked for his feedback. Later, when the book was finally published, Annaleese experienced the proudest moment of her life when her whole family, including her grandparents, who visited the Ockham Awards and cheered for her when she went on stage to collect the Acorn Prize. Annaleese has been enjoying her time as a successful author since then. She is now working on the manuscript of her next novel and is carrying out extensive research. The film rights of her debut novel have been bought by an American production company, which is expected to begin working on the script soon. Annaleese has high hopes with the film adaptation as well, as it will increase her popularity to a much greater extent and help in the promotion of her work all over the world.

The debut book written by author Annaleese Jochems is entitled ‘Baby’. It was released by the Victoria University Press publication in 2017. The central characters featured in this novel include Anahera and Cynthia. The novel opens by introducing Cynthia as a 21-year-old girl. She is bored with her life and wants something big to take place. With her lover and fitness instructor named Anahera, she plans to loot her father’s savings and run away to a remote island. After everything goes as planned, Cynthia buys an old boat called Baby and hopes to live in the arms of Anahera for as long as she can. But, strange events begin to take place on the empty island and shatter all the well-laid plans of Cynthia and Anahera. They are forced to rethink their decision of coming to the island.

The narrative of this book is given from the perspective of Cynthia. Neither she nor Anahera appears to be likable women, but their behavior is what makes them look interesting. The antics of the two women make the readers keep turning pages. The overall story offers a fascinating ride, showing the almost-normal turning into bizarre, and into chilling. The motivations of the characters seem completely opaque, while their dialogue makes them appear as robots. After the initial dull ride, the story takes an interesting turn with the introduction of Gordon’s character. He introduces himself as a German man. Many noted critics have labeled this novel as a truly modern-urban cautionary fable. Several others have called it worth every penny. Such positive reviews helped the book to become widely successful and increased its popularity to a large extent. It motivated author Annaleese to try her hand at writing more novels and achieve more success in the future. Many noteworthy publishers and reviewers have noticed her work and are of the opinion that she has the capability and the necessary skills to become a top-rated author of this generation.

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