Review: I’m Australian Too by Mem Fox

34396859I’m Australian! How about you? Many people from many places have come across the seas, to make Australia their home. How Australian is that?

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 2017 by Scholastic Australia.

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Mem Fox my dear, I didn’t think it was possible to love you anymore than I did after Possum Magic and Time for Bed, but now I do!

I was so excited when I saw this beautiful book by Mem Fox and illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh. It celebrates Australia’s multiculturalism, promotes racial equality and shines a spotlight on refugees. All this is wrapped up as a fun and colourful sing-song story to be adored and absorbed by the minds of our young children. Mem Fox you are a wonderful, wonderful woman. I will be repeatedly reading this to my boys.

I’m writing this review after just reading I’m Australian Too for the first time with my 3.5-year-old son. He was fresh out of the bath and about to get into bed, perfect mummy and son book reading time.

This book is absolutely beautiful.  On our first read through when I got to the page that starts with “Sadly, I’m a refugee – I’m not Australian yet.” My spine tingled and a wicked smile crept on my face. I was thinking: You go Mem Fox! Stick it to the haters.

By the end of the second read through I had tears in my eyes and was getting choked up trying to finish the last page. My heart is humming and I need to tell the world about this book. READ IT TO YOUR KIDS. Refugees are mentioned. Aboriginals, Italians, Greeks, Somalians – the list goes on and on – are mentioned. It is truly beautiful.

The last page ends with the line “Together now, we live in peace, beneath the Southern Star.” Oh Mem, how I wish that was so and I hope for a tomorrow when it is!I’m Australian! How about you?

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

IMG_3817IMG_3876IMG_3823IMG_3822IMG_3816How to Train Your Dragon (How to Train Your Dragon #1) by Cressida Cowell

Hiccup Haddock Horrendous III was a truly extraordinary Viking hero.

The warrior chieftain and awesome sword fighter was known as ‘the Dragon Whisperer’, on account of his power over these terrifying beasts.

But it wasn’t always like that, and this is the story of his rise to fame, in his own words.

* ~ * My Thoughts * ~ *  

Book Toothless and Movie Toothless are very different creatures. The only book characters who remotely resemble themselves in the movie are Hiccup and Gobber. And the way the young Vikings come to have their dragons is completely different.

Hiccup is still the Outsider wanting to fit in, the unlikely hero, the underdog etc. Astrid and Ruffnut are no where to be seen, no girls are – I love Astrid and Ruffnut so that was a little disappointing.

All that said this book was adorable! The book series is listed for ages 6 to 10 – I would have devoured this series at around eight years old.

We follow hiccup as an initiate competing for the right to become a full member of his father’s tribe or be banished from the isle of Berk forever. We see hiccup along with all the other boys go off to catch a dragon that they must then train and use to compete. Obviously Toothless does not cooperate in this matter and what follows is humorous tale of mishaps and triumphs.

There is still a enormous dragon showdown with Hiccup and Toothless still getting to be the heroes of the story.

After I had bought the paperback I found out that David Tennent voices the audio books. If I had to pick one thing that would have made me enjoy this book more, it would be having David Tennent read it to me! As is i’m going to give it Four Stars.

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If you want to know more: Cressida’s Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

I hope all the photos I took hid the fact my brain is mush at the moment and I couldn’t write a decent review 😐 Did it work? LOL.

 

Bookish Babble: Y15.W13

babble3The “I solemnly swear I am up to no good, ALWAYS” Edition:

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Hear Hear!!

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R.I.P. Dobby

I pray for world peace, the safety of kittens and that Rowling's new 'Adult Book' is secretly about "Harry Potter: the Grown-Up Years.":

Yeah that’d be nice or even better some Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs.

Yo, Siri. Expecto Patronapp:

Hehehehehehe.

what if harry potter is really a biography, sold to us muggles as fiction! lol:

Hahahahaha we can dream. I’ll believe it when my son gets his letter!

this way to the ministry of magic:

YES YES YES! There are some listings for this on Etsy.US – More research required.

* * * mischief managed * * * for now…

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

23395680Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.

Paperback, 599 pages
Published October 2015 in Aus by Allen & Unwin.
 * * *  Synopsis  * * *

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

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* *  * *  * *  * *  * *  My Thoughts  * *  * *  * *  * *  * *

I can’t figure out how to review this book without sounding like a gushing thirteen year old who’s just won tickets to One Direction. It was beautiful, quirky, funny, action packed, exciting, thrilling, twisting, turning, loving, murdering, madness.

I loved the layout idea! The story is told through memos and messages, transcribed footage and images. The textual images are stunning. At one point you have to turn the book 360 to read the spirally writing. You feel like your falling into the void. All the little notes made it feel as if you were really reading a report of actual events. The writing was brilliant I felt as if I was watching the transcribed video footage.

The story line is just my kind of thing; super computers, deadly viruses, young lovers separated and unlikely heroes – I can’t say too much as it’ll give away all the fabulous twists and turns. Just went you think you know whats going to happen, the whole thing switches up. HELL YES, Five Stars, bring on book two and three. Best book I’ve read this year.

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LINKS: Illuminae on Goodreads | Kristoff’s Website | Kristoff’s Twitter | Kaufman Website | Kaufman Twitter

Buy Illuminae: Booktopia | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Book Depository

Anything That Isn’t This by Chris Priestly

25951432Anything That Isn’t This by Chris Priestley

Published October 1st 2015 by Hot Key Books and distributed by The Five Mile Press in Aus.

Thank You to Hot Key, Five Mile and Mr Priestley for my review copy.

A KAFKA-ESQUE NIGHTMARE OF A STORY… ABOUT LOVE

Seventeen-year-old Frank Palp lives in a grim little apartment, in a grim little building, in an exceedingly grim (and rather large) city. Cobbled streets and near-destroyed bridges lead one through Old Town and Old New Town, and war-damaged houses stand alongside post-war characterless, concrete hutches. Most people walk hunched over, a habit from avoiding snipers, but others are proud to stand tall and make the world take notice . . . This is a city full of contradictions, and Frank is no exception.

He mostly hates his life, he definitely hates the ludicrous city he is forced to live in and he absolutely with complete certainty hates the idiots he’s surrounded by . . . and yet he is in love. A love so pure and sparkling and colourful, Frank feels sure it is ‘meant to be’. His love is a reward for all the terrible grey that he is surrounded by – which would be great, if the girl in question knew he existed. And then one day, the perfect sign lands in his lap. A message, in a bottle. A wish, for ‘anything that isn’t this’. The girl who wrote this is surely his soulmate – and now he just needs to find her.

A striking, compelling thriller combined with a tender, moving love story from the award-winning and critically-acclaimed author of UNCLE MONTAGUE’S TALES OF TERROR.

* * * *    ****    My Thoughts    ****    * * * *

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The first quarter of the book I was thinking; hmmmm I’m not feeling this. At page 110 it finally looked like things might be starting to become more engaging and interesting. If I had been reading this as a book I borrowed from the library, I would have given up five, maybe seven chapters in. But as I was given this book to review I pushed through. I’m glad I did, obviously, hello my three star rating. But damn. The whole book is 468 pages. The last 50% is what I really liked. I think if the first 50% was condensed, say cut down by a hundred pages, it would make it spectacular, maybe even a five-star standout.

The Good: We see Frank, the POV character, grow from a self-absorbed teenager to a caring young man. In the end we get some hope and love come shining through the story (for frank and his girl at least).

The Bad: The book is rather depressing and It is really SLOW to take off. Nobody other than Frank and his love interest get to go anywhere. His sister’s life will be better thanks to Franks actions, but she’s still stuck in shit town, along with all the other oppressed people.

The book is listed as for 12 and up. Frank starts the story as a 17-year-old leaving school, fighting with his inner demons, not wanting to turn into his father, not wanting his soul to be taken away by the nine to five drawl, not wanting to become an adult. A 12-year-old would not get any of this. Give this to kids in their final year at high school, that’s who will click with it. Give it to the adults that can still remember how it felt to be those lost teenagers. I think this book could create a huge following, if put in front of the right audience.

About the Author:

Chris Priestly lives in Cambridge with his wife and son where he writes, draws, paints, dreams and doodles (not necessarily in that order). Chris worked as an illustrator and cartoonist for twenty years, working mainly for magazines & newspapers (these include The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Economist and the Wall Street Journal) before becoming a writer.

Chris has been a published author since 2000. He has written several books for children & young-adults, both fiction and non-fiction, and has been nominated for many awards including the Edgar Awards, the UKLA Children’s Book Award and the Carnegie Medal. In recent years he has predominantly been writing horror.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Blog

Amazon US | Amazon AU | Book Depository | BookTopia

Two Year Blogiversary / My Life In Books TAG

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As of today I’ve been blogging on The Adventures of SacaKat for two years and it seemed fitting that today I part take in the My Life in Books TAG today.

I came across this TAG thanks to >> Stephanie’s Book Reviews <<

Click on the covers to link to their Goodreads pages 🙂

 

Find A Book For Each Of Your Initials:2569752925834374

Count Your Age Along Your Book Shelf: What Book Is It? 288624318Damn is there a deeper meaning here. This cracked me up, so I took a few fun photos.OfLoveCollage

Pick a book that represents a destination you would like to travel to?19501

After reading this book I had a strong desire to go to an ashram in India and lose/find myself, but I had a baby and found book blogging instead, which worked lol. One day once Riley is an adult, it’s still something i’d still like to do. As a child I always dreamed of going to live in Italy. I intend on visiting there one day, after I’ve seen all that Australia has to offer.

Pick A Book That Is Your Favourite Colour:A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)

All the pretty colors. I want them all. The whole spectrum of pinks and purples.

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But if you’d asked me as a little kid I would have yelled GREEN like the leaves on the trees, then as a turd (oops I mean teenager) I would have said Torques and Aqua.

I like all the colors, don’t make me choose. lots of color everywhere.

Which book do you have the fondest memory of? 17347383

The warm and fuzzy feeling of hope that Harry would finally have a home! R.I.P. Padfoot. (I struggled to decided between this and Anne of green gables. But I’ve never gotten over Mathew Cuthbert dying, so Harry and Sirius uniting won.)

Which book did you have the most difficulty reading? 17319691“A darkly funny novel of romantic love and cultural warfare from one of Australia’s most admired Indigenous voices” – I expected to love this book. I expected to connect with it, but I didn’t. I gave up. I intend to go back and try to read it from the start again in a few years.

Which book in your TBR pile will you give you the biggest sense of achievement?

199009It’s 700+ pages people “Here is a treasure-house of over seven centuries of English poetry, chosen and introduced by Christopher Ricks. The Oxford Book of English Verse, created in 1900 by Arthur Quiller-Couch and selected anew in 1972 by Helen Gardner, has established itself as the foremost anthology of English poetry.” AHHHHHH.

If you’re reading this and think you want to give it a go, TAG YOUR IT!

Pledged by Louise G. White

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Hi Res Pledged

Pledged (Gateway #3) by Louise G. White

Published: October 22nd 2015

A big thank you to Louise for giving me a copy to read and review.

 View on Goodreads 

Synopsis mk3The deal was simple: Carolyn and her friends could return home after 21 days. What could happen in 3 short weeks?

Rather a lot: Carolyn’s mother is livid about her “rescue” and Edward is being groomed for a chiefdom he doesn’t want. The Agency’s “elixir of life” has been perfected, and O.W.E. permits mean that certain humans have been authorised to work in the demon realms.

The destroyer is about to face her greatest fear, and it has nothing to do with killing demons: She must decide what to do about Ethan and Note who risked everything for her and already accomplished the impossible in “Chasing the Demon”.
My Thoughts mk3

Oh my gosh where do I start. I have been hanging out for this book since I finished Chasing the Demon in July last year. I’ve now read it and Loved it, but am sitting here trying to figure out how to tell you about the story without spoiling it.

At the start of the book we get a wonderful summary of the story so far. I loved the idea of the refresher summary and I loved the execution – It was like a warm hug from a friend I hadn’t seen in ages.

Each book introduced new charters while keeping the old, so yes there were a lot of characters to keep track off by the end of it, but the writing is easy to read and keeping up with them all wasn’t a problem. I found that the jumping around between the thirteen different POV characters pushed the story along at a ferocious pace.

This book has; action, adventure, danger, magic, romance, and of course the destroyer.
I was enthralled with the world Louise created after only a few chapters of the first book and she’s kept me so the whole way through, but alas, now the trilogy is complete.
The only bad thing I can say about this, the third book, is that it isn’t long enough. I would have loved to have gotten to spend more time with all of the characters, well most of them anyways.

In the first two books I was rooting for the other guy to win in the love triangle, but the way Louise ended it felt exactly right.

“…they leaped together into the first adventure of the rest of their lives.

The end.”

I’m looking forward to reading whatever Louise White comes up with next.

star.5

Purchase Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | Apple | Barnes & Nobel

Louise has had a variety of jobs, including waitress, library assistant, nurse, and police officer. She holds a BSc in Health Studies, and a PG certificate in Primary Education. She lives in the scenic west coast of Scotland with her family.

Louise didn’t set out to write Fantasy, but when she sat with her laptop to begin The Calling, it became apparent that she still believed in Bogey Men, the Monster in the cupboard and of course, the Faeries at the bottom of the garden. Suddenly she found that she was writing a story of heroes who could be found both on our doorsteps and in the realms that lie beyond.

Author’s Links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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The Calling, Gateway #1 My Review | Goodreads

Chasing the Demon, Gateway #2 My Review | Goodreads