Today, over on the #AusYaBloggers group site, I chat with the fantastic Brooklynne Michelle about the lack of good Transgirl fiction, some Trans fiction we are looking forward to reading and Queer books in general. As with the last Queer #AusYABloggers chat I took part in, we give some reading recommendations. You should definitely go check it out HERE.
Publication date: August 6th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
All Dean wants is to escape…
But he can’t leave his younger brother, Ty, in the care of their alcoholic mother. And when their abusive father shows up, Dean has to get Ty out. Which means joining Shri — his best and only friend — in taking a job out of state and breaking the law by stealing his brother away.
Cadi’s life is almost back together after Dean blew it into a million pieces. She’s come to terms with her life as a shape-shifter — well, almost. She’s still trying to wrap her head around the fact that a vicious enemy is out to destroy the remnants of her people.
As if Cadi doesn’t have enough to deal with, Dean’s about to land on her front doorstep, forcing her to decide whether to let him into her secret world or slam the door in his face.
The Chameleon Effect series, starring shape-shifter teens with extraordinary superpowers, is sure to appeal to Young Adult and New Adult readers who enjoy romance with a paranormal twist.
Today is my stop on the Xpresso Tours release celebrations for Perfect Pitch by Alex Hayes.
Perfect Pitch is the second book in the The Chameleon Effect series. I was lucky enough to be given a copy of both the first and second book to read as part of this tour.
Silken Scales and Perfect Pitch are described as NA/YA Paranormal Romance. It’s definitely a YA Romance, but it’s a Sci-Fi series, which suits me perfectly!
Book one, Silken Scales, has a strong and gripping epilogue. I was hooked pretty quick.
Chapter by chapter the story swaps between two POV leads, Idris & Cadi.
I really enjoyed getting to know them both and felt like I connected to both characters.
It’s revealed very early on that Cadi has telekinetic abilities. She of course gets caught using them and all hell breaks loose. The one positive that comes out of Cadi having to move on to a new town, a new school etc. is that she then meets Idris and the two story-lines converge.
After some twists, turns and an action packed finale, we’ve found out that Idris and Cadi are aliens. They are Livran’s originating from the planet Daizani. They were sent to earth when the were very young to keep them safe – and i’m sure you can appreciate there is so much more to it than that, but as to not spoil it for potential readers I’ll shhhhhh.
Book two alternates between Cadi and Dean (Dean an ex friend, almost boyfriend, who sort of betrayed her and kinda outed her abilities in the first book) and is set about six months after the end of the first.
Cadi actually got on my nerves a bit in this second book. But I loved getting to see inside Dean’s head and getting to meet his little brother TY.
In this book Cadi’s pasts collide. Her past past, cue evil alien’s out to get her and Idris. And her more recent past, cue awkward and jealous moments between Dean and Idris.
The last quarter of the book is an action whirlwind with Dean’s broken family life coming to the front of the story, then all the main characters coming together just in time to kick some bad guy alien butt.
The book’s are not all romance and alien slaying, there are some deeper things dealt with; mental health, alcoholism, and parental abuse come to mind.
The human characters had racial diversity (and of course there was the two different races of aliens), so a BIG YAY for that. But there was no room in the plot for sexual diversity.
All in all I liked both books and I am keen to read the next one to see how Idris and Cadi manage to find the other hiding Livran teens. And I want to see Ty thriving in his new home!
Alex Hayes wrote her first fiction story when she was twelve. Inspired by her mother’s storytelling, she began work on her first novel, Ice Cracks, at eighteen.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. In her twenties, she moved from Marin County, California to Boston, Massachusetts, where she built a career as an IT professional in database engineering. In 2004, she self-published Ice Cracks, which became a semi-finalist in the 2005 IPPY Awards.
Alex splits her time between Grand Junction, Colorado and Guanajuato, Mexico. When she isn’t writing, she’s helping her partner, Lee, renovate a 450 year old hacienda. She is mother to one beautiful daughter and many wonderful cats.
Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure by Dion Summergreene
Publication: April 12th 2019
Source: Review copy from Dion Summergreene in conjunction with the #AusYABloggers Tour – Thank You
Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵
Buckley, a young, enthusiastic detector dog, was about to clock off from his regular shift at the Brisbane International Airport when he uncovered a shipment of smuggled exotic animals. Discovering that all but one, a chameleon named Ciara, and two turtle eggs, had perished on the long journey, Buckley makes it his mission to track down who is behind the smuggling ring and ensure no more helpless and endangered animals are killed. A fire is ignited within Buckley and he is determined to return Ciara to her home and reunite her with her family. Breaking all of his obedience training whilst battling his usual insecurities and self-doubt, Buckley, Ciara and a charismatic Californian mouse named Bo, set out on an international adventure that propels them from a world of structure and safety into dangerous, risky situations.With fast-pace, witty humour and suspense, Dion Summergreene takes young readers on a crime-fighting adventure like no other to discover an exotic world through the eyes of man’s best friend.
In this new #LoveOzMG title, Buckley the detector dog discovers a crate of smuggled animals. He befriends the only surviving chameleon, this leads to a return smuggling plan of his own. Cue wacky hijinks, plane flights, run ins with other not so friendly animals, police chases, and unintentionally bringing down a major smuggling ring in a Bangkok shipping port.
Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure reads like a Pixar movie and I mean that as a compliment.
It’d make a hilarious movie. Think Zootopia, crossed with The Secret Life Of Pets, and Isle Of Dogs.
As an adult I can appreciate all the lessons Dion is trying to fit in about animal cruelty, illegal animal trade, animal facts and general life lessons as part of and in and around the plot. I do wonder if it will make the intended MG audience’s eyes glaze over. If it will be information overload or if they’ll be enthralled by it, soaking it all up with their wonderfully young sponge brains – I hope for the later. And never the less the action sequences are fantastically entertaining and humorous.
The ending is super cute and of course the good guys win and it’s a happily ever for Buckley and his friends.
To check out everyone else’s thoughts on Buckley and follow along on the tour click HERE.
Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure is available as an eBook or paperback HERE.
Dion Summergreene has worked as an art director and illustrator for the past 20 years, now making his writing debut with Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure being his first published book. Visit www.buckleysadventure.com to learn more.
Total books read in June/July: 14
Comics/ Graphic Novels = 6 | #LoveOzYA / #LoveNzYA = 6 | the remainder = 2
Comics: In the last two months I continued reading the Runaways and Heartstopper series and started reading the Lumberjanes series.
I’m still really enjoying the Runaways and Heartstopper series. I love that as the series goes on Runaways, has gotten queerer. Currently there is one Lesbian main character and another shapeshifting genderfluid one – awesomesause!
Heartstopper is the queerest, most heart-warming and adorable comic series I’ve ever read.
And out of the three collected Runaways editions I read, I especially loved Vol 6, as we spent most of the issue just hanging out with the youngest Runaway, 11-yr-old mutant girl Molly – she’s kick ass and adorable.
I found Lumberjanes to be whimsical and super cute. It follows a group of girls banding together to deal with magical and evil things that start happening at their camp.
Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOZYA Stories – anthology.
I loved the variety of own voices rep! The story highlights for me were Light Bulb and Questions to ask straight relatives. A breathtakingly beautiful, dark and deep story. And while not really “YA”, still a brilliant personal essay. I felt both deep down in my soul.
View my Full Review | View on Goodreads
Devil’s Ballast by Meg Caddy
Devil’s Ballast is a fictionalised historical YA tale based on the life of female pirate Anne Bonny and is set at the start of Bonny’s pirating career. The friendship between Bonny and Read was the shining highlight of the book for me and I would love to read a sequel that follows the two creating pirate-y mayhem together.
View my Full Review | View on Goodreads
Hive (Hive #1) & Rogue (Hive #2) by A.J. Betts
I finished the last page of Hive, made a fresh cup of tea and started reading Rogue, so for me it was one 618-page epic dystopian Australian story. The only thing that could have made it better would have been some queer characters – But they were two lovely and exciting books that focused mainly on friendship and exploring the world around the protagonist.
View my Full joint Review | Hive on Goodreads | Rogue on Goodreads
Meet Me at the Intersection #ownvoices – anthology
Necessary reading for all Aussie teens and adults alike. A brilliant inclusive anthology featuring #ownvoices authors from marginalised groups. This anthology shows how beautiful and diverse Australia can be, but also how we need to look after each other better.
Stars In Our Eyes, Sheer Fortune, DNA, The Other Son and The Last Stop were highlights for me.
View on Goodreads
It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood
It Sounded Better in My Head is a new #LoveOzYA Contemporary YA Romance that is adorable, entertaining, relatable and warmed my heart. And while it may be a romance, there is also a heavy focus on friendship – which is always a winner for me.
Full Review COMING SOON | View on Goodreads
Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure by Dion Summergreene
I’m part of the #AusYABloggers tour for this #LoveOzMG title, it kicks off on Monday the 5th with review posts my myself and Star. So come back (pretty please) on Monday and or follow along with the tour HERE.
Full Review COMING SOON | View on Goodreads
Conclusion: June was that crazy that I didn’t even get a bookish babble reading round up posted. July was a little better. I did a Q&A with author Helen Scheuerer HERE and a Queer Book Chat HERE (over on the #AusYABloggers site) with fellow queer book lover and out and proud lesbian, Star.
I also partook in a seven day, no descriptions, black and white photo challenge on Instagram, which was kinda fun and changed up my feed for a while.
Shane and I signed up for the Camp Quality FUNx4, you can read about that HERE.
This year my husband attended the 2019 Camp Quality FUNx4, which ran from the 1st – 6th July. As one of two mechanics on the event, tasked with ensuring all 13 cars made it through the event. My Uncle Gordon Trigg was the other mechanic on hand.
My family has been involved with Camp Quality for nearly thirty years. Firstly with my grandfather being a part of setting up the Newcastle Branch of Camp Quality, my grandfather and mother both attended camps in the early days as councilors. Later my Uncle entered the Camp Quality escapade in it’s second year as an entrant, then when back the next year with my grandfather as mechanical support and he has gone along every year since. Along side Ben Mildren, he now sets the courses for both the esCarpade and FUNx4 and attends both as the mechanical support.
In 2020, my husband Shane and I will be fundraising and attending as FUNx4 participants in Car 42.
The Camp Quality FUNx4 is a 4WD event is set to challenge experienced and amateur drivers alike tackling tricky terrain through some of Australia’s most spectacular 4WD playgrounds. All the while raising much needed funds for Aussie kids facing cancer.
FUNx4 is Camp Quality’s newest outback motoring fundraiser. Hailed as Australia’s happiest 6-day 4WD adventure, in 2020 the event will begin in Caboolture on Monday 1st June, will travel through the Glashouse Mountains, Kenilworth and LandCruiser Mountain Park before finishing with three days exploring Fraser Island on Saturday 6th June.
Camp Quality provides services and programs specifically made to support children 0-13 facing cancer, who are dealing with their own diagnosis, or the diagnosis of someone they love, like a brother, sister, mum or dad. It is an extremely worthy cause and every donation no matter how big or how small helps! For more information or to donate click HERE.
Tonight, over on the #AusYaBloggers group site, I chat with the lovely Star Robinson about things we noticed during Pride month, the importance of W/W in Queer books and being able to see yourself in characters. We also give some F/F reading recommendations. You should definitely go check it out HERE.