Sunday, 18 December 2016

Kids Blurb Books - It Looks Like This




It Looks Like This by Rafi Mittlefehldt




J - age 9

I think this book is about someone who's always trying to show people things and they say, "It looks like this." It's a novel, and the person says, "It looks like this."

I - age 5

Like somebody who is like walking down the street and then like they go to school and there's loads of loads of floating candy in the air. They try to get it and the teacher says, "That's not how you try to get candy floating, it goes like this."

(There may be some wish fulfilment going on there)


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Kids Blurb Books - Someone I Wanted to Be


This is a new feature where kids tell me what they think a book is about, based on the cover.


Someone I Wanted to Be by Aurelia Wills




J - age 9

This book is about someone who wanted to be someone really famous and then, like, they had to teach them how to be it, and people are, like, "You can't be them, you have to be yourself," and the person they wanted to be taught them how to be that person and then when they left, the person who wanted to be them got used to being unique and started to be anyone they wanted to be.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Review - The Price of Magic by KJ Taylor

Title: The Price of Magic
Author: KJ Taylor
Publisher: Black Phoenix Publishing Collective
Date of Publication: December 3rd 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Summary:


“You are here because you were born different. Born with a gift ... and a curse.”

Heroes come in all shapes. Upright, manly, sword-wielding…. Or small and weedy with walking sticks. Unless you look hard enough, you might miss these ones. Pip’s on a journey to find out just what he can do—in magic and in life. Big things are expected of him. . And he’s about to be tested Can he deliver?

This new Young Adult work by acclaimed Australian author KJ Taylor is a stand-alone novella about confronting our challenges and celebrating our differences. Meet Pip and Seress, Ana and Clemence, Jinx and Hex, and follow their quest to find and stop the mad mage who is threatening magic's very existence. KJ Taylor asks us to think about the choices we make, and the price that we pay for them. For anyone who’s ever been intimidated by those around them, here's a heart-warming story of one boy who isn’t content to be defined by others.

Review:

Pip, short for Pipsqueak, has been small and weak his whole life, but in his world, a child born with a disability can be a source for celebration. Pip is a mage, and as with all mages, he has both a Gift, and a Price. When Pip leaves his small village and heads for the Mage's Institute at age 15, he is excited about the possibilities before him. When he and his Master are sent on a quest to bring in a rogue Mage, he faces the possibility of living without his Price, but without his disability, would he be himself at all?

This novella looks at disability in a completely different light. While it is undoubtedly a burden for those who are affected in Pip's world, it is simply the cost paid for power, and it is not possible to have magic without having a price. For some, like Pip, it's physical limitations, for some, mental illness or neurological disorders, for others, chronic and potentially terminal illness. But rather than focusing on characters' difficulties, it focuses on their strengths and the way they overcome their limitations to save the world.

I liked the magic system and the idea that power is not just granted on its own, but comes with a price. It makes it all the more valuable that it's not freely given.

This charming novella is worth reading and would perhaps appeal to a younger YA audience, but some readers may be offended by some of the terms used in the book (specific terms that I noticed - dwarf, cripple, nuts - your mileage may vary here).

And I totally want a furniture tree.


Monday, 5 December 2016

Kids Blurb Books - Phantom Limbs


This is a new feature where kids look at the covers of books and tell me what they think it's about.

Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner






J - age 9

It's about a person who has magical limbs and they take risks. They're very exquisite. In the story I think this person gets magical limbs, but only in her sleep, and everyone she's loved that doesn't love her anymore gets spooked by the limbs.

Guest Post - KJ Taylor - The Price of Magic

The Price of Magic is a special book. It's being published exclusively by students at the University of Southern Queensland. Written by KJ Taylor it explores the idea that magic comes at a cost. It was published on December 3rd, the International Day of Persons with a Disability.

Below is a guest post written by KJ Taylor on a topic that is very relevant to me personally. I hope you enjoy it. Check back later in the week for my review.



When we’re young, we want to believe that life is easy. We choose to believe that those around us are ‘normal’, and that we are too.

But eventually the day comes when we ourselves begin to realise that we are not normal. That we have problems. Some of us are born knowing it. Some of us don’t realise until we’re much older. An unfortunate few never realise it at all – unfortunate because a problem that goes unnoticed will never be dealt with as it should.

Some of us find ourselves confronted with the fact that we are ‘abnormal’, ‘weak’ or ‘broken’. But it is not until later that we realise that this is how everyone feels.

Some of us are depressed. Some of us are anxious. Some of us are mentally or physically handicapped. But just about everyone feels in some way inadequate, whether there’s a label for it or not.

When I was a child I believed I was stupid. This was something ground into me day after day. I couldn’t seem to understand other people properly. I said and did inappropriate things. I had no friends, and was bullied on a regular basis – on at least one occasion by a teacher who felt it was appropriate to publicly humiliate the ‘weird kid’. I hated myself.

Then, at the age of sixteen, I was finally diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Now it all made sense. Now I had a label.

Now I could find half of my personality traits listed in medical books under the heading ‘Symptoms’. It made me feel like less of a person.

As I entered adulthood I developed severe issues with anxiety, sometimes to the point where I was unable to function. I finally did the sensible thing and went to see a series of counsellors who I hoped could help me learn how to cope better with the life I’d found myself living.

While I was sitting in the waiting room, feeling absolutely miserable, I found myself wondering ‘why do I have to be so much of a screw-up? Why are so many creative people so damaged?’

The truth was that my Asperger’s had done me plenty of favours creatively. Having the ‘disorder’ gives me unusual levels of focus and concentration, and because I had to learn through trial and error how other people work I became pretty insightful about how people think (a friend in all seriousness told me she thought I wasn’t really an Aspie because ‘you write characters so well’. I laughed.).
But it also came with downsides, and I felt resentful not to have been given a choice in the matter. I was sick of being ‘abnormal’.

Right there, in the counsellor’s waiting room, The Price of Magic was born. I found myself picturing a world where illness, disability and mental disorders came with the gift of magic. The mages in this novel are, essentially, artists. Unable to function properly in the real world, they seclude themselves and create things for the benefit of others. To make the world a better place.

And the truth of it is, as I later learned, there is no such thing as ‘normal’. Normal is a construct which does nothing but make people feel abnormal. To blazes with ‘normal’. Everyone is weird in their own special way, and all of us have something to give. You are not a disability. You are not an illness. You are you. You are a person. Never be defined by what you cannot do, but instead embrace what you can do. And never, ever, give up on yourself.

Finally, as the character of Ingar is intended to be gender neutral, rather than use the clunky ‘they’, I refer to this character as ‘xe’, which is a gender neutral pronoun. Writing a character without specifically referring to their gender is a lot harder than it sounds, unfortunately.


The Price of Magic has been published by the Black Phoenix Publishing Collective and will be available this coming December. Follow the progress of this inspiring fantasy work on Facebook

Monday, 3 October 2016

The Easy Way Out by Steven Amsterdam

Title: The Easy Way Out
Author: Steven Amsterdam
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Date of Publication: August 30th, 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Summary:


A brand new novel everyone will be talking about from the award-winning author of THINGS WE DIDN'T SEE COMING and WHAT THE FAMILY NEEDED.

If you could help someone in pain, would you?

Evan is a nurse, a suicide assistant. His job is legal . . . just. He's the one at the hospital who hands out the last drink to those who ask for it. 

Evan's friends don't know what he does during the day. His mother, Viv, doesn't know what he's up to at night. And his supervisor suspects there may be trouble ahead.

As he helps one patient after another die, Evan pushes against legality, his own morality and the best intentions of those closest to him, discovering that his own path will be neither quick nor painless.

He knows what he has to do.

In this powerful novel, award-winning author Steven Amsterdam challenges readers to face the most taboo and heartbreaking of dilemmas. Would you help someone end their life? 


Review:

Euthanasia means a good death. It is a topic that has been the subject of debate for many years, with some countries introducing laws allowing active, voluntary euthanasia, others allowing passive euthanasia, or the law of double effect, and yet others banning the practice of helping anyone end their life in any way.

In The Easy Way Out, assisted suicide has been legalised in specific cases. Evan works in the unit of the hospital dealing with assisted suicide. The rules are clear. Everyone has to agree, including loved ones. The medical professional must stay neutral. They can pass the Nembutal, a fatal barbiturate, to the patient, but the patient must lift the cup to their own mouth without assistance. Before they are handed the cup, they must agree several times that they want to die and are ready to do so. Death is then swift, within an hour.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta

Title: Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil
Author: Melina Marchetta
Date of Publication: August 29th, 2016
Publisher: Viking/Penguin
Source: Review copy and purchased by reviewer

Summary:


Chief Inspector Bish Ortley of the London Met, divorced and still grieving the death of his son, has been drowning his anger in Scotch. Something has to give, and he’s no sooner suspended from the force than a busload of British students is subject to a deadly bomb attack across the Channel. Bish’s daughter is one of those on board.

Also on the bus is Violette LeBrac. Raised in Australia, Violette has a troubled background. Thirteen years ago her grandfather bombed a London supermarket, killing dozens of people. Her mother, Noor, is serving a life sentence in connection with the incident. But before Violette’s part in the French tragedy can be established, she disappears.

Bish, who was involved in Noor LeBrac’s arrest, is now compelled to question everything that happened back then. And the more he delves into the lives of the family he helped put away, the more he realises that truth wears many colours.

Review:


This is Marchetta's first book specifically aimed at adults, although her books have long had crossover appeal. Like all of her stories, this is primarily about family and what happens when families breakdown, or when someone in your family does something unthinkable.

Don't Forget Mr Rain - By J

My eldest daughter (aged 9) is not terribly fond of reading stories, but she is fond of writing them. She has been nagging me for two days to put this one on here, so if you like it, please leave a comment offering her some encouragement. She has done illustrations as well, but they don't translate as well, so it's offered here in text only.



Blurb:


Rain, thunder, storms. All your fault because you didn't bring him. The man cloud known as Mr Rain.

Inspired by Don't Open This Book by Andy Lee.


Don't forget Mr Rain by J

Hello, I am Sunny the Cloud. I am telling you whatever you do, don't forget Mr Rain.

If you have a party, invite Mr Rain. If you go to a party bring along Mr Rain. Because if you don't...


He will rain forever.

Never stop.

In some countries it's always raining because someone didn't invite Mr Rain. Some places never rain because Mr Rain was invited. In some countries it rains and then stops. That's because they forgot then remembered.

Mr Rain gets so angry sometimes he thunders and he - oh, whoops - I didn't want to mention this, but he also blows up, so I think I would always invite him.

I heard a boy's house blew up because he forgot to invite Mr Rain. Luckily he had a spare house.

Trust me. I am Sunny. Sunny is always right. By the way, my name is Sunny because I am always happy and the sun is always behind me.

The end. 

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Shield by Rachael Craw

Title: Shield
Author: Rachael Craw
Publisher: Walker Books
Date of Publication: 1st September 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Review of Spark
Review of Stray

Summary:


"This is the Affinity Project - where freewill is turned to ash." 
Evie is out of options. She must comply with the Affinity Project – obey their rules, play their deadly games, give up Jamie. And her losses keep growing...

When she decides to help a small group of Shields trying to affect change, Evie finds herself in the firing line. Counsellor Knox is intent on revealing her secrets and shackling her to the Affinity Project for life. To protect her family, Evie must betray those closest to her.

The odds of success – let alone survival – are slim.

The final thrilling conclusion to the Spark series.

Review:


I was very excited to receive this final instalment in the Spark series by Rachael Craw. I've been hooked on this series since the first book crossed my path. I'll try as far as possible to avoid spoilers for the first two books, but no guarantees!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Title: Words in Deep Blue
Author: Cath Crowley
Publisher: Pan MacMillan
Date of Publication: August 30th 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley

Summary:


This is a love story.
It's the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets.
It's the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea.
Now, she's back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal and looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind.


Review: 


This is a love story. It is an ode to books, and to reading, to book stores and to readers. It is about words and ideas and the power they have to make or break us. It is about love and loss and pain and longing. It is beautiful. And heartbreaking.

After three years of living by the sea, Rachel can no longer stand to be where she lost her brother, Cal and returns to the fictional Melbourne suburb of Gracetown, to live with her aunt. Unable to say the words, she hasn't told anyone about Cal's death. Instead she pretends he's alive and in Europe. Her friends can't understand why she has been so distant, and Rachel can't bring herself to explain. When her aunt has had enough of her moping, she arranges a job for Rachel at Henry's bookshop. Three years ago, Rachel and Henry were best friends. Rachel was in love with Henry and left him a letter telling him how she felt, but he never responded. Hurt and angry, even after all this time, the two must find a way to coexist in the bookshop, and just maybe fix all that is broken.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Bone Season #3 - The Song Rising - Prelude



I am very excited to have been chosen as an advocate for The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon.

Enter here to win a copy of The Bone Season with its stunning new cover.

I love this series set in an alternate version of London, where society never moved on from Victorian morals, and where voyants, those with special abilities, are hunted.

In The Bone Season we met Paige, known as The Pale Dreamer for her ability to access the dreamscape of others. She works for Jaxon, the leader of one of London's voyant sectors which make up the criminal underworld. We also met The Rephaim, sinister beings who need the voyants for reasons of their own.

In The Mime Order Paige takes on the criminal underworld and fights to begin a revolution. The final page blew me away.

The Song Rising is still a while away, due March 2017, but the lovely people at Bloomsbury have released a sneak peak - the Prelude to The Song Rising

WARNING - if you haven't read the first two books this will spoil them for you.

My thoughts: The end of The Mime Order dropped a major bomb, and The Song Rising starts the same way. I am going to need to reread the first two books ahead of the third, and I can't wait to find out what happens next.



The Prelude is after the jump.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Saving Jazz by Kate McCaffrey


Title: Saving Jazz
Author: Kate McCaffrey
Publisher: Freemantle Press
Date of Publication: August 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of publisher

Summary:


Jasmine Lovely has it all – the looks, the grades, the friends. But when a house party spins out of control, Jazz discovers what can happen when your mistakes go viral ...

We know our kids are at risk of becoming victims of cyberbullying. But do we know how at risk they are of becoming perpetrators? This controversial new novel tackles cyberbullying from a whole new perspective.
 




Review:


This book is told as a series of blog posts. Jasmine, or Jazz, is writing about events that happened a year ago. She opens by telling us she is a rapist, which is quite confronting, and then she goes on to explain her thinking. Jazz and her best friends, Annie and Jack, went to a party, got very, very drunk, and did things they never would have done otherwise. A girl is assaulted, photos and videos are shared around, and lives are ruined. 

This book deals with interesting, and pertinent, issues, such as sexual assault, under age drinking and rape culture. It also looks at emotionally abusive relationships and family breakdown. It follows Jazz from the events leading up to the party to university and beyond. It tracks her emotional journey, her guilt and ultimate redemption. 

Towards the end of the book Jazz becomes victim to sexual harrassment, which she doesn't recognise as such, and it moves on from the original issues to deal with this one. For me, this was an issue too far and I could no longer suspend my disbelief.

I really liked the relationship between Jazz and her aunt, but I didn't really connect with Jazz at all. I found her to be an unlikeable character, who wallows in her sense of guilt, but still gets everything she ever wanted. Jazz finds her redemption, but she is the only one of the key players to do so.

This is an interesting book which raises issues that should be discussed, and for that reason I would recommend it to older teen readers, but I didn't love it.

If I gave half scores, then this would be a 3.5



Friday, 12 August 2016

#AusYABloggers Blog Hop






The #AusYABloggers team are hosting a blog hop focusing on Aussie and NZ bloggers and the books we love. I have been sick with a rotten virus this week, so I have been trying to get this post done all week. It's not as pretty as I'd like, but it's as much as I can do in between coughing fits!


What you love about Aussie YA



I really love reading stories with a strong sense of vocie and identity and Aussie YA does this really well. I also love the community of readers, bloggers, booksellers, authors and publishers as well, who are very supportive and accessible. There's a great deal of enthusiasm for Aussie YA and it's contagious. Yes, I'm just a little bit outside the intended demographic, but I find YA books often address issues in a more honest and open way, with less pretention, than "grown up" books. There's also more diversity and they're often just more fun.


Favourite Aussie YA authors



Oh, there are too many and I love all of them and will feel bad when I don't mention someone. 

So, in no particular order and no doubt forgetting loads:

John Marsden, Ellie Marney, Ruth Park, Robin Klein, Kylie Fornasier, Shivaun Plozza, Will Kostakis, Isobelle Carmody, Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Vanessa Garden, Paula Weston, Gabrielle Tozer (and special mention to the lovely Kiwi, Rachael Craw).


The Aussie YA book you grew up with 



There wasn't really such a thing as YA when I was growing up. There were children's books for older readers.

My favourite was Playing Beatie Bow - historical/fantasy. A modern Sydney girl ends up a hundred years in the past. First published in 1980, I would have read it around 85 or 86. 





Favourite Aussie YA book released in 2016



My favourite book of the year so far has been My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier. It was compelling and disturbing and brilliantly executed and I loved it.







Aussie YA Debut you are looking forward to


I am a bad blogger and don't really know what debuts are scheduled for the coming months. I look forward to seeing what the other bloggers taking part have put for this one.

Favourite Aussie YA series



I recently read and loved the Rephaim series by Paula Weston, so that is my most recent favourite. I also love the Every series by Ellie Marney and the Tomorrow series by John Marsden.

Unexpected Aussie YA surprise





Clancy of the Undertow was a lovely surprise. Clancy as such a great voice, and she really is a quintessentially Australian character and I loved her story. I'll be revisiting it ahead of its US and UK release in December.








Aussie YA Book you always recommend to others




Again, there are loads of them, but I'm going with Illuminae. I have actually bought this for people and insisted they read it. If you didn't like it, then I don't think I can be friends with you.







An Aussie YA book on your TBR


There are lots, but the one at the top of the list at the moment is Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta.


Recommend your favourite Aussie YA Bloggers!


Can I say all of them? Special mentions to Diva Booknerd, Paper Fury, Angel Reads and all those who participate in #YATalk every other Wednesday.


Check out the other blogs who are participating











Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

Title: Curious Minds
Authors: Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton
Publisher: Headline Review
Date of Publication: 16th August 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Summary: 


CURIOUS MINDS by No. 1 bestselling author Janet Evanovich and screenwriter Phoef Sutton is a must-read thriller for fans of the Stephanie Plum mysteries including ONE FOR THE MONEY and TRICKY TWENTY-TWO.

They couldn't be less compatible, but they make a great team...

Emerson Knight is introverted, eccentric, and has little-to-no sense of social etiquette. Good thing he's also brilliant, rich and (some people might say) handsome.

Riley Moon has just graduated from Harvard. Her assertive (some people might say aggressive) spitfire attitude has helped land a dream job at Blane-Grunwald bank. At least, Riley Moon thinks it's her dream job until she is given her first assignment: babysitting Emerson Knight.

An inquiry about missing Knight money leads to a missing man, missing gold and a life-and-death race across the country. Through the streets of Washington D.C., and down into the underground vault of the Federal Reserve in New York City, an evil plan is exposed. A plan so sinister that only a megalomaniac could think it up, and only the unlikely duo of the irrepressibly charming Emerson Knight and the tenacious Riley Moon could hope to stop it...


Review:

I love the Stephanie Plum books. They're funny and clever and their formulaic nature doesn't really matter because you enjoy them anyway, and the formula becomes part of the joke.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Launch: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff



On Friday night I was fortunate enough to attend the Melbourne launch of Nevernight, the newest offering from Jay Kristoff.

I'll be posting a review on Reading Lark next week, so I won't go into details but briefly, this is the story of Mia Corvere, whose family was destroyed for political reasons, leading to her vowing revenge. Mia trains as an assassin at the Red Church, the fiercest killers in the world, in order to take down those who executed her father and imprisoned her mother. First, she just has to survive the training.

Let's start with the cover. This is a thing of beauty. Those three coloured circles are more than that, they're the three suns that circle Mia's world.

If you look closely, the crow is not just a crow, you can see a cat, a noose, a phial of poison, a barrel, a dagger and so many other elements of the story. It really is magnificently done and represents the story beautifully. Well done to the cover artist and designer.



The Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhan Curham

Title: The Moonlight Dreamers
Author: Siobhan Curham
Publisher: Walker Books
Date of Publication: July 7th 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Synopsis:


A inspirational, heart-warming book about four girls trying to find their place in the world. Siobhan Curham celebrates very different but like-minded friends in this captivating novel. 

Amber craves excitement and adventure. Instead, she’s being bullied at school for having two dads, and life at home isn’t much better. Inspired by Oscar Wilde, Amber realizes that among the millions of people in London, there must be others who feel the same as she does; other dreamers – moonlight dreamers. After chance encounters with Maali, Sky and Rose, Amber soon recruits the three girls to the Moonlight Dreamers. It’s high time they started pursuing their dreams, and how better than with the support of friends?


Review:

Four London girls come together at the invitation of Amber, who responds to her feelings of isolation by reaching out to others she thinks might be potential friends.

Monday, 18 July 2016

The Crown's Game

Title: The Crown's Game
Author: Evelyn Skye
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/Harper Teen
Date of Publication: May 17th 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Synopsis:

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.




Review:



My first thought was that this book is reminiscent of The Night Circus - two magicians raised to compete with each other, who find themselves developing feelings for their competitor.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Monthly Round-Up - June


June wasn't a great month on a personal level, so not much blogging got done, and I only read 10 books for the month. I did post some reviews and features over on Reading Lark, but this little blog got neglected, something I'm going to try and remedy this month.

Here are the books I've read this month with ratings and mini-reviews.


Books read (with mini-reviews):



AliveAlive by Vanessa Garden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this and reviewed it over on Reading Lark. I'm looking forward to the second book to see what happens next.






Breathing Under WaterBreathing Under Water by Sophie Hardcastle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So beautiful. An exploration of grief and loss, self destruction and finding a way to move on. Full review to follow closer to release.






Looking for AlibrandiLooking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This completely passed me by when it came out, which is a great shame. I was 17 when it was published and really could have done with reading it then.

Now, I've spent the last few chapters sobbing.

This book should be a rite of passage for Australian teenagers, no matter their cultural background. It is as applicable today as it was 20 years ago. My full review is here.



Take You ApartTake You Apart by T.J. Spade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a police procedural with a dash of the supernatural and a whole lot of romance. I found some of the violence a little much to deal with, but I really enjoyed the story and although it's the first of a series, the ending is wrapped up nicely and doesn't leave you hanging. The sequel is out now, keep an eye out for it.





The Blood in the Beginning (Ava Sykes, #1)The Blood in the Beginning by Kim Falconer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was really different. Ava Sykes is a bouncer living in post-earthquake LA. Much of the city as we know it is underwater, and those who survived are coping with a lack of resources and housing. Ava discovers that there is an underworld run by vampiric merpeople, and she's much more closely connected to them than she'd like. Trusting the wrong people could get her killed, and there's a serial killer on the loose who wants her to be his next target.




Saving FrancescaSaving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another wonderful book from Melina Marchetta, and another one I should have read years ago. Francesca is one of a group of girls who has started at a formerly all boys' school in Sydney. The girls' reception isn't as warm as they might like, and Francesca resents being separated from her friends, who have all gone to a different school. Her mother is suffering from depression, and how the family deals with this is a big part of the story. Francesca finds friends in unlikely places and learns to see herself without her friends acting as a mirror.



Ruined (Ruined, #1)Ruined by Amy Tintera
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed this. Em poses as Mary, bride to Casimir, in order to exact revenge for the destruction of her family and her kingdom. The full review is on Reading Lark.





Whisper to MeWhisper to Me by Nick Lake


I don't know what I feel about this book yet. I need to process it a bit. A full review will follow. I don't even know how many stars to give it yet.







You Know Me WellYou Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two people run into each other on the first night of Pride in San Francisco and become firm friends. The week that follows binds them together as best friends. This is a celebration of being young and free to love, and eventually marry, whoever you want.




Girl Out of WaterGirl Out of Water by Nat Luurtsema
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a delight. Funny and original. A full review will follow.







Non-Review Posts on Reading Lark:

The reviews are linked to above but there was also Waiting on Wednesday: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Book Events:

My 5 year old went to her very first book launch, attending the launch of the delightful series for emerging readers, Ginger Green, Playdate Queen by Kim Kane.

The Crazy Friend was her favourite.




Monday, 6 June 2016

Monthly Round Up: April and May



The last couple of months have been particularly hectic, and my real life has got in the way of my reading, and particularly my reviewing. I'm making a big effort to get back up to date this month, so hopefully my June round up will be full of links to lots of content.

In any case, here's what I got up to book-wise in April and May.

Books Read: