The Bogan Mondrian: #LoveOzYA Review

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The Bogan Mondrian by Steven Herrick 
Genre: Contemporary, #LoveOzYA
Publication: September 3rd 2018
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Source: Review copy from UQP – Thank You
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Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵ ✵

‘There are worse things than school.’

Luke sleepwalks through his days wagging school, swimming at the reservoir and eating takeaway pizza.

That is until Charlotte shows up.

Rumour is she got expelled from her city school and her family moved to the Blue Mountains for a fresh start.

But when Luke’s invited to her house, he discovers there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.


Woop woop! The Bogan Mondrian, another contemporary #LoveOZYA title from Steven Herrick. Whether he is writing a Prose or Verse Novel, he excels at both and is a brilliant storyteller. One of my favourites. SO, as you can imagine I was super excited when I heard he had a new release coming up, and I was over the moon when I got a copy for review from UQP.

I was heartbroken that I didn’t adore The Bogan Mondrian (prose novel) the way I adored The Simple Gift (verse novel) or Slice (prose novel), but I still really liked it and it is still a Herrick masterpiece.

Herrick’s stories always deal with heavy issues, but leave you with a feeling of hope. I think that’s why I didn’t love this one as much. It didn’t leave me as heart-warmed as all the others have. But within a story dealing with domestic violence, I guess that was always going to be the case. I wanted a more severe punishment for the perpetrator of the domestic violence (and animal murder). I felt he got off lightly. But that is the real world, and this is a contemporary novel. They don’t get locked up when they should. They continue to roam free.

Herrick writes his male leads with such heart and compassion. He writes his teenage boys behaving the way I want my boys to behave once they hit their teens, loving and respectful. Yeah most of them muck up at school, so what, they are always loving and respectful to the women in their lives and their elders. The world needs more men like Steven Herrick. The world needs more books like The Bogan Mondrian shining a light on the way boys/men should behave. And the best part is, the kids wouldn’t even realise that Herrick’s characters are teaching them good morals and values because his stories are so compelling and entertaining.

The Bogan Mondrian deals with friendship, grief and domestic violence. It follows 17-year-old Luke as he grieves the loss of his father to cancer and struggles to figure out how to help a friend in need. Luke is a fantastic character and I warmed to him immediately.

Thank you, Steven Herrick, please keep writing more books. You make the world a little bit better place each time.

Trigger warnings. Domestic Violence, Animal Abuse.

 

Herrick’s Links: Twitter | Goodreads | Website | Blog | Facebook | UQP
Amazon AU | Amazon US | Bookdepository | Booktopia

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Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

All Fall Down: #LoveOzYA Review

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All Fall Down (Circus Hearts #2)
by Ellie Marney
Genre: Contemporary, #LoveOZYA
Publication: October 1st 2018
Publisher: Bearded Lady Press
Source: Review copy from Author
Thank you Ellie
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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A ringmaster’s daughter and a bearded lady’s son join forces to stop a saboteur…

Nineteen-year-old Fleur Klatsch is loyal to her trapeze team and her ringmaster father, dedicated to the circus, and tough on everyone around her. After a series of accidents at Klatsch’s Karnival, Fleur is left holding the ball: she’s running the carnival, trying to stop a saboteur, and taking care of her dad. She doesn’t need anyone’s help, least of all Eugenia Deloren’s son, Marco, who’s been trying to break out of show life since the moment he was born into it. All Marco needs to do is get Klatsch’s back on its feet so he can leave. But after one fateful kiss with Fleur, will he really want to? And will Fleur and Marco figure out who’s trying to kill the show before someone kills them…

Dark YA romance with a criminal twist – Circus Hearts: Step. Right. Up.


I was captivated with book one, All the Little Bones, from the first sentence up until the last. I adored the protagonist, Sorsha, and didn’t want the story to end. So, obviously I was super excited when the opportunity to read and review book two came along and I jumped at it.

The first book is told from the POV of Sorsha and tracks her journey to the circus, her struggles to forget her past and fit in at the circus the second book is wholly set in. Fleur the POV in this, the second book, is a secondary character in the first one and I really didn’t like her…
My residual ill feelings towards Fleur made it hard for me to get into the story at first. But once I got to know Fleur, it was all good, GAME ON.

The second book has a thrilling Circus saboteur who-done-it feeling. With a friends to lovers type smouldering romance weaved through. And also a slight coming of age kind of vibe.

With Fleur’s father injured and in hospital thanks to the saboteur, Fleur must run the circus, figure out who the saboteur is and what on earth is going on between her and Marco. Thankfully she has some great side characters to help her along the way. Sorsha’s still there in the background with her muscle man, Colm and Genie and Mitch are wonderful. Oh, and I can’t forget Marco, glorious Marco. Marco lights up book two like petrol on bonfire.

Who would like this book: Fans of swoon worthy romance. #LoveOzYA aficionados. Anyone after a captivating and fast paced read.

I think All Fall Down could stand on its own. But then you would be depriving yourself of meeting Sorsha and Colm, and trust me, that’s not something you want to do.

Fast paced action. Hot romance. Circus life. What more could you want people. Do yourself a favour and check the series out.

Bring on book three and the POV of Ren!!!

Ellie’s Links: Amazon AU | Amazon US Goodreads | Twitter | Website 

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Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Quotes Collection Part Nine

You only have to have been following me for a minute, to know i’m a SAGA fan. I read issue #44 back in July 2017 and was immediately drawn to the above text. It struck a chord in me and made me sit back as go “Shit, that sounds about right”.

I sat back and thought about all the things I was passionate about, and all the times I’d done stupid don’t-do-it things, and came to the conclusion that Brian was 100% on the money.

I’m lucky that this fact doesn’t bother me. I like to think I have to pretty open minded and compassionate parents who taught me good values and morals – even if I didn’t always follow them.

I found it interesting to ponder and the more I thought on it, the more I could see how the lives my parents lived with their parents had shaped them to be who they are.

SAGA, always providing food for thought! Seriously, if you haven’t picked this series up yet you really should. Here is another SAGA tidbit from back in late 2015.

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Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Me, Myself and Thrive: Product Review

I’ve felt further and further under the weather for years now. You might remember when I was chasing down all my aches and pains and trying to self-manage with essential oils. A while back I finally broke down, gave up and went crying to my GP. My doctor then sent me for numerous tests and to multiple specialists. In the end I got a diagnosis of spondylo-arthritis, sleep apnoea and high blood pressure. Yay me! Not! But hey, it could be much worse. I’m on meds for the arthritis and blood pressure and have been seeing a Chiropractor and Remedial Massage Therapist regularly.

I’ve had all of the above compounding on me for years and the births of two children to add to it. But I’m not here to bitch and carry on about health issues. I’m here to talk about something proactive I’m doing to better my overall health.

I’ve got a friend who’s been harping-on, all over Facebook, about how she is now “Thriving”. She’s been doing this “Thriving” thing for quite a while now. Her name is Jody and I love her to pieces. So, SHOUT OUT TO JODY! Anyways, Jody sent me a ten-day sample of the health supplements she’d been using and being the super-special-critter I am, I wasn’t holding out much hope that I’d feel any different. I read a shit tonne of testimonies on the products and couldn’t see any reason not to give it a go.

What the heck is thrive you ask. Essentially you are taking a vitamin and mineral super bomb, with an appetite suppressant. So, think of it as going into the chemist and buying every Blackmores product there is and taking one of it each, every morning.

From day one I had more energy and my hunger was decreased. But from what I’ve read you are either a first day Thriver or don’t feel it kick in to around day ten.

This is a word for word message I sent to my friend Jody after a week Thriving.
“I got up at five this morning and did some light exercise before my shower/get dressed/get the kids up morning ritual. It’s the first time since having kids that I’ve managed to do this. I used to do yoga or go for a walk early in the mornings before I had the kids. So that feels like a step back in the right direction.”

I’ve been using it for over four months now and am still finding I’ve got more energy and am less hungry then I was pre-Thrive. I struggled to get out of bed pre-Thrive, constantly felt I was dragging myself through wet concreate, now I hop out and head off to do my stretches, computer work or catch up on some reading before the boys wake up. I hardly drink coffee anymore, only as a treat, not a way to survive. I don’t feel like I need it. And I was drinking two large cups just to get my brain functioning each morning pre-Thrive. There are still some days where I’ve had a bad night apnoea wise and all my efforts are destroyed for the day until I can get some rest. But that’s on a ratio of like, one to eight, so I can deal with that.

The biggest rule on Thrive is to make sure you drink heaps of water. At first your body is detoxing and will NEED plenty of water – that’s what I was told, and that’s how it felt. I was smashing down five plus litres of water a day during my first ten days, but that super thirst has calmed down now. Most days now I drink around four litres total.

Cost: It seems super expensive when you pay for a month’s supply but boils down to about $8.00 a day with the American dollar change over, once you add it into the auto-ship set up. It’s not financially sustainable for most people unless you’re flush with cash or have friends you can sign up with and share around the credits you receive. Yes, it is a business, so of course they offer you benefits for signing people up, it’s just like what I’ve encountered with doTerra and YLEO etc.

I’m not sure for how long I’ll keep the program up for, but even in the short term it has given me a well needed boost and got me living again.

The THRIVE 8-Week Experience is the fastest-growing health & wellness movement in the world. THREE premium nutritional based products have changed the world and created millions of success stories!
The THRIVE Experience is SIMPLE, FUN and it WORKS! Check it out…
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Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Amal Unbound: MG Review

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Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
Genre: Contemporary, Middle Grade
Publication: June 1st 2018
Publisher: Text Publishing
Source: Review copy from Text, Thank you.
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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal’s Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she’s busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when–as the eldest daughter–she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn’t lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens–after an accidental run-in with the son of her village’s corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family’s servant to pay off her own family’s debt.

Life at the opulent Khan estate is full of heartbreak and struggle for Amal–especially when she inadvertently makes an enemy of a girl named Nabila. Most troubling, though, is Amal’s growing awareness of the Khans’ nefarious dealings. When it becomes clear just how far they will go to protect their interests, Amal realizes she will have to find a way to work with others if they are ever to exact change in a cruel status quo, and if Amal is ever to achieve her dreams.


Amal Unbound is a Middle Grade novel, but I appreciated and enjoyed this story as an adult. I found it to be a captivating and delightful read, even though it dealt with some not so delightful things.

I am sure that the idea of village hierarchy, an all power landlord and forced servitude would shock a lot kids, which is why books like this are so important. It is a story that I feel will give it’s target audience, and any others who read it for that matter, a connection and compassion for a child in totally different circumstances then themselves. It’s one I’ll definitely be giving to my boys to read when they are a bit older.

Essentially, while 12 year old Amal is under the intense pressure of running her parents household, caring for four younger siblings as her mother suffers from post-natal-depression, she snaps and says the wrong thing to the wrong person. Amal then finds her life turned upside down as she is ripped from her home and forced into the servitude of the man whose ego she bruised.

Ultimately Amal Unbound It is a story of hope. A story of right and wrong. A story of Karma catching up with those that think they are untouchable. A story of a young girl fighting her her freedom, and winning.

Who would enjoy this book: anybody who craves knowledge (Amal dreams of knowing everything there is to know of the world), anybody in need of a feel good tale and being reminded that sometimes right does win out over wrong, anybody who loves an underdog, anybody with a passion for women’s rights.

Aisha Saeed is a New York Times bestselling author, a Pakistani-American writer, teacher and attorney. She has been featured on MTV, the Huffington Post, NBC and the BBC, and, as one of the founding members of the much talked about ‘We Need Diverse Books’ campaign, she is helping change the conversation about diverse books. Aisha lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and sons.

Aisha Saeed links: Goodreads | Text Publishing | Instagram | Website We Need Diverse Books

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Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).