Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

29486766The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Laini’s Goodreads | Website | Twitter 

 Amazon US | Amazon AU | Booktopia | Bookdepository

Thank You Hachette Australia and Netgalley for allowing me a copy to read and review.I don’t think I’ve ever been more full of wonder when reading a book then during Strange the Dreamer. I finished it over a week ago and I am still just contemplating. THAT ENDING! I wanted to cry. I wanted to break something. I needed a hug. Love, love, loved it! You’re a brilliant woman Laini Taylor and your imagination is phenomenal, but damn you, that epic cliff hanger has caused me one of the biggest book hangovers I’ve had in years.

At the start of the story we meet Lazlo, dubbed Strange the Dreamer, as a small energetic orphan boy with a vivid imagination and love of stories. We get to see him grow and find himself a safe haven with a job as a junior librarian, where his love of stories and desire to learn all he can of the lost city of Weep flourishes. Lazlo becomes a mild mannered, intelligent and kind hearted young man. A twist of fate sees Lazlo going on the adventure of a life time, taking his lifelong dream by the reins and traveling to find the answers his heart truly desires.

Straight from the start I felt a strong connection to Lazlo and Sarai (The Muse of Nightmares) and I grew to love many more characters along the way. The Characters were deeply developed, most likeable, some lovable, some scorn worthy and with one to be feared.Laini’s writing is beautiful, her world building is intricately beautiful, the underlying plot is beautiful, the whole gosh darn book right down to the cover, is beautiful. Actually beautiful really isn’t even a good enough word. This story has it all; mystery, adventure, magic, romance, forgiveness and revenge.

I was in Weep. I ran with Lazlo straight towards danger. I felt my hands pass into the Mesarthium. Strange the Dreamer is an enthralling story, cover to cover you can’t step away. I give it Five “just go and read it” Stars.

Review: Clancy of the Undertow by Christopher Currie

26802671We’re sitting there with matching milkshakes, Sasha and me, and somehow, things aren’t going like I always thought they would. We’re face to face under 24-hour fluorescents with the thoroughly unromantic buzz of aircon in our ears and endless flabby wedges of seated trucker’s arsecrack as our only visual stimulus.

In a dead-end town like Barwen a girl has only got to be a little different to feel like a freak. And Clancy, a typical sixteen-year-old misfit with a moderately dysfunctional family, a genuine interest in Nature Club and a major crush on the local hot girl, is packing a capital F.

As the summer begins, Clancy’s dad is involved in a road smash that kills two local teenagers. While the family is dealing with the reaction of a hostile town, Clancy meets someone who could possibly—at last—become a friend. Not only that, the unattainable Sasha starts to show what may be a romantic interest.

In short, this is the summer when Clancy has to figure out who the hell she is.

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fullsizerenderMy Thoughts: Where do I start with Clancy? The only negative thing I can say about this book is that it ended! I would have happily kept on reading and reading.

I loved following Clancy discover who she is and how she fits into the world. I loved the supporting characters of Nancy, Reeves and Angus. Actually all the characters, I saw bits of people I know in all of them. It was a believable and beautiful coming of age while coming out story.

I love that Clancy’s dad named her after Banjo Paterson’s Clancy of the Overflow. Banjo’s Clancy is one of my all-time favourite characters and I quite often find myself quoting lines of the poem in my head, like while writing this review – In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy, Gone a-droving ‘down the Cooper’ where the Western drovers go – Banjo’s 1889 Drover and Christopher Currie’s 2015 lovable self-loathing teen have nothing in common, other than my eternal love and a semi-unusual name.

I highly commend Mr Currie for managing to capture the pure hell and internal conflict of being a teen. The abusive conversations Clancy has with herself were so familiar – as in I had them with myself repeatedly when I was Clancy’s age. I don’t think there is anyone that hasn’t at some stage felt about themselves the way Clancy feels. She is relate-able, even if you don’t identify as homosexual or even admit to ever having desires for the same sex, we’ve all been teens AND being a teenager sucks. Teenage-suck-ism transcends generational and racial gaps. I think Clancy of the Undertow will go down in history as a teen classic along with the time capsule likes of Puberty Blues and The Outsiders.

FIVE another brilliant #LoveOzYA story STARS.
Five Stars

Mini Reviews: Akarnae + Simon + Zim

23569787Akarnae (The Medoran Chronicles #1) by Lynette Noni

With just one step, sixteen-year-old Alexandra Jennings’s world changes—literally.

Dreading her first day at a new school, Alex is stunned when she walks through a doorway and finds herself stranded in Medora, a fantasy world full of impossibilities. Desperate to return home, she learns that only a man named Professor Marselle can help her… but he’s missing.

While waiting for him to reappear, Alex attends Akarnae Academy, Medora’s boarding school for teenagers with extraordinary gifts. She soon starts to enjoy her bizarre new world and the friends who embrace her as one of their own, but strange things are happening at Akarnae, and Alex can’t ignore her fear that something unexpected… something sinister… is looming.

An unwilling pawn in a deadly game, Alex’s shoulders bear the crushing weight of an entire race’s survival. Only she can save the Medorans, but what if doing so prevents her from ever returning home?

Will Alex risk her entire world—and maybe even her life—to save Medora? Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: What a fast and fun read this book was! A really strong start to what I’m sure will be a entertaining and captivating series. I’ve already got book number two lined up ready to read :-). The main characters we easily likable and I fell for them immediately. The story was easy to read and flowed really well. FIVE “I loved it and would happily re-read it” STARS.

19547856Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: IMG_6732I had the biggest smile on my face when I finished this book. I had flip flopped over reading it because I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype. Believe the hype! Seriously it has topped my favorite reads of the year so far. I got lost in Simon’s world and would happily go back and get lost again. Simon is freaking adorable and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him struggle, fumble and come out on top. FIVE STARS for this must read adorable feel good story. Headless Simon even made it onto my Instagram >>

30860827Invader Zim #11 by Sarah Andersen

“A special one-shot written and illustrated by Sarah Andersen (Sarah’s Scribbles)! When GIR brings home a flea-ridden stray cat, ZIM is furious—until he finds out what the cat does to Dib. Dib’s sneezing and covered in hives—could the magical powers of this “”cat”” be harnessed and turned against all of mankind? Could the earth FINALLY be ZIM’s?” Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: Invader Zim, the Invader Zim from my childhood in a comic written by Sarah Anderson. How could I not read this! I love Sarah’s Scribbles.

The comic was a quick and fun read. I think Sarah’s humor came shining through in Zim’s use of kitty cats and puppy dogs to turn his arch nemesis Dib into an allergy ridden puss ball. THREE ‘I liked it’ STARS.

Starfire #1 by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti

25697529Starfire 2015 #1

By (Authors) Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and (Illustrator) Emanuela Lupacchino.

27 full colour pages, Published June 2015 by DC Comics

Synopsis mk3

SHE’S AN ALIEN WARRIOR TRYING TO FIND PEACE…

AND WILL FIGHT ANYONE OR ANYTHING TO GE IT!

ARE YOU READY?

My Thoughts mk3

The first though I had when I finished this was “That was adorable. I want more.”

So Starfire aka Kori was a princes on her own planet, but was outlawed when some nasties took it over and entrapped her sister – I’m sure this will all come back to haunt Kori later in the series. For now Kori is struggling to fit in on earth, cue taking a shower naked out in the open and misunderstanding men’s meanings about giving her a place to stay for the night, but luckily she has the help of a cop named Stella.

Starfire is funny, sexy and a treat for the eyes. The pages are in full colour and those colours are bright and beautiful.

This feels like it’s going to be a super quirky, full on girl power, bad guy busting series of awesomeness. It’s from the writers of HARLEY QUINN so all of the above is to be expected. I’m ready, bring on more Starfire. Five Stars.

5s

image

What DC says about Starfire:

A princess who became a slave. A slave who became a warrior. A warrior who became one of the world’s greatest super heroes.

Betrayed by her own sister and forced into slavery, Princess Koriand’r of Tamaran experienced torture, exploitation and experimentation at the hands of others—but instead of it breaking her, it only made her stronger. Breaking free and fleeing to Earth, she discovered a world filled with heroes, people who fought for the oppressed, who used their powers and abilities to save those in need. And it was then that Koriand’r made a decision that changed her place in life forever. She decided to become the super hero known as Starfire.

Like all Tamaraneans, Starfire’s alien physiology allows her to absorb ultraviolet radiation and convert it to energy in order to fly. However, due to the experiments conducted on her during her imprisonment, she can also channel and project that same energy as destructive blasts.

Despite the hardships she experienced early in her life, Starfire remains a courageous and dedicated hero, who despises seeing anyone else experience the pain she went through herself. She is incredibly loyal and optimistic and lives to see and experience everything the universe has to offer.

+Goodreads button

  • Now I didn’t see it as Kori’s sister betraying her, I saw it as she didn’t have a choice. But as I said I’m sure that’ll all come up again later in the series and there is probably more to it then we got in this first issue.

Author’s Links mk3

Amanda Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/54926.Amanda_Conner

Jimmy Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/54927.Jimmy_Palmiotti

Jimmy Twitter – https://twitter.com/jpalmiotti

DC Starfire – http://www.dccomics.com/comics/starfire-2015

#1 available NOW.      #2 available 8th July.

#3 available 12th August.      #4 available 9th September.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

8909152Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Published April 14th 2011 by Dutton Adult

Synopsis mk3

“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . “

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

+Goodreads buttonMy Thoughts mk3 I am seriously fan girl-ing right now, I just went and followed all Rowell’s social medias so I could stalk her, umm I mean see what book she has coming out next.

I was in love with this book by the first few pages. I think this is the fastest I’ve ever devoured a book. I got the book that morning and read it all that day. That’s a new record for me. (i’m writing this review two days later). I came up for air, once, to put up a Goodreads update – Page 48: Loving this book and thinking “why have I not read any Rainbow Rowell until now”.

I finished the book late-ish Friday night – Page 322: Love Love Loved this book. I’m jumping up and down and smiling, LOVED IT – review to come 🙂. I only open it it intending to have a look and reading it later when I was on holidays. Just the first few pages had me hooked and I didn’t go to bed until I’d finished it. I loved Rowell’s writing, her humour, snappy dialogue and devour-able prose.

The Main Characters: Lincoln O’Neill, Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder; I love them all and they are now my imaginary best friends 😛 what I wouldn’t give to have a working friendship like Beth and Jennifer’s. The characters are all 28 (my age) and it’s nice to see other people not having there s**t together. It’s a funny, heart-warming story that feels real. My favorite books usually involve magic, mythological or paranormal creatures, but Rowell’s left me feeling happier than any book has in a long time. I was smiling like I’d just won the lotto when I finished the last page.

The story swaps between Lincoln “page shots” of Beth and Jennifer’s emails and Lincoln in the 3rd person. The story is set back in 1999/2000, the whole point being that people didn’t have iPhones etc. back then so we see the two female leads converse using inter office email. Then there is the poor smuck Lincoln that has to monitor those inter office emails. At this time 1999/2000 I was in high school and they did monitor your computer use, I know this because I got in trouble off the librarian once for some “inappropriate” story I was writing.

The girls are immediately like-able. But for me Lincoln became the star of the show. He was lonely and stuck in a rut. He hated his dead end job that made him feel like a perverse nut job. Now I can see why some people mightn’t like this, they might write Lincoln off as a creepy loser. But I love how we get to watch him grow, watch him try to be a better person and succeed. He gets out of his rut, he gets his s**t together and he gets the girl, the right girl! Go Lincoln Go!

I love Lincoln, yeah so what if he fell for Beth while reading her emails –Ah hello, he gave Jennifer his MacDonald’s while he changed her flat tyre in a storm, super hero! – Beth did some Lincoln stalking as well, so meh, all’s fair in love and war. I did some house drive by stalking when I was younger LOL and he married me, my husband the silly man.

So Five Stars. I’m going to leave it at that because if I try to tell you anymore about the story I’ll give it all away.

5sAuthor’s Links mk3 Rainbow Rowell writes books.

Sometimes she writes about adults (Attachments and Landline).

Sometimes she writes about teenagers (Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On.).

But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

Website – http://www.rainbowrowell.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/rainbowrowell

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/rainbow.rowell.author

Instagram – https://instagram.com/rainbowrowellbooks/

Tumblr – http://rainbowrowell.tumblr.com/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4208569.Rainbow_Rowell