The theme for this fortnight is ‘Fantasy’.
Or if you want to check out my entry to the last prompt, High School, click HERE.
The theme for this fortnight is ‘Fantasy’.
Or if you want to check out my entry to the last prompt, High School, click HERE.
The theme for this fortnight is ‘High School’.
The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis
The Swimmer. The Rebel. The Nerd.
All Ryan, Harley and Miles had in common was Isaac. They lived different lives, had different interests and kept different secrets. But they shared the same best friend. They were sidekicks. And now that Isaac’s gone, what does that make them?
Will Kostakis, award-winning author of The First Third, perfectly depicts the pain and pleasure of this teenage world, piecing together three points of view with intricate splendour.
Slice by Steven Herrick
Published: June 1st 2010 [Goodreads]
A funny, refreshing look at the most awkward time in any young boy’s life from school, girls, and parties to parents, friends, and the dreaded “sex talk”.
Darcy Walker is a normal 16-year-old boy but he can handle that. He can even cope with parents, deal with parties, and soldier through the occasional fight. He’s certainly got his infatuation with the beautiful Audrey under control, is clearly the best at spending quality chess-time with his nerdy best friend, Noah, and doesn’t blink an eye at the misadventures that can occur when kayaking on a school excursion. He’s a teenage boy – he can handle anything. That is, if only he’d learn to keep his mouth closed first.
Green Valentine by Lili Wilkinson
Published August 1st 2015 [Goodreads]
When Astrid and Hiro meet they give each other superhero names. She’s Lobster Girl and he’s Shopping Trolley Boy. Not an auspicious beginning. But it gets better. Then it gets worse. Much worse. Classic romantic comedy: girl-meets-boy, love blossoms, and is derailed. Incredibly engaging, upbeat, funny and smart.
Astrid Katy Smythe is beautiful, smart and popular. She’s a straight-A student and a committed environmental activist. She’s basically perfect.
Hiro is the opposite of perfect. He’s slouchy, rude and resentful. Despite his brains, he doesn’t see the point of school.
But when Astrid meets Hiro at the shopping centre where he’s wrangling shopping trolleys, he doesn’t recognise her because she’s in disguise – as a lobster. And she doesn’t set him straight.
Astrid wants to change the world, Hiro wants to survive it. But ultimately both believe that the world needs to be saved from itself. Can they find enough in common to right all the wrongs between them?
A romantic comedy about life and love and trying to make the planet a better place, with a little heartbreak, and a whole lot of hilarity.
Steph Bowe is back. Night Swimming is a love story with a twist, and a whole lot of heart.
Imagine being the only two seventeen-year-olds in a small town. That’s life for Kirby Arrow—named after the most dissenting judge in Australia’s history—and her best friend Clancy Lee, would-be musical star.
Clancy wants nothing more than to leave town and head for the big smoke, but Kirby is worried: her family has a history of leaving. She hasn’t heard from her father since he left when she was a baby. Shouldn’t she stay to help her mother with the goat’s-milk soap-making business, look after her grandfather who suffers from dementia, be an apprentice carpenter to old Mr Pool? And how could she leave her pet goat, Stanley, her dog Maude, and her cat Marianne?
But two things happen that change everything for Kirby. She finds an article in the newspaper about her father, and Iris arrives in town. Iris is beautiful, wears crazy clothes, plays the mandolin, and seems perfect, really, thinks Kirby. Clancy has his heart set on winning over Iris. Trouble is Kirby is also falling in love with Iris…
“In real life, there’s no such thing as happily ever after, there’s just life passing day by day. After you ride off into the sunset, then you’re just in the middle of nowhere on a horse at night, aren’t you?” – Oh Kirby, Kirby, Kirby, how I adored your Internal monologue.
The story follows 17-year-old Kirby Arrow, her bestie Clancy Lee and her pet goat Stanley as they navigate day to day life in the small town of Alberton. I read this book in one day! and that’s not the norm for me. It was delightful and easy to read. An adorable feel good romp about growing up, finding your inner strength and place in the world.
Kirby wants to stay in Alberton, much to her mother’s dismay. She is determined that nothing in her life will change. Kirby’s mother wants her to go off and explore the world, as she never had the opportunity to do so. Clancy wants to leave Alberton to pursue musical theatre, while his parents want him to work in the family restaurant. The besties may seem to be on different paths at first, but they are both just trying to balance their dreams with family expectations.
The arrival of Iris and her family, rising flood waters and the inevitability of growing up, all threaten Kirby and Clancy’s friendship. I really enjoyed the whole Kirby+Clancy+Iris dynamic. You know someone is going to get hurt, you know the ball is going to drop sooner or later, that the goat poo is going to hit the fan etc. etc.
There are plenty of high jinks between these pages but ultimately this is a heartwarming story about first love, true friendship and finding the courage to move forward.
‘Night Swimming is a sweet story of coming of age, family and first requited love. There is a genuine-feeling desire in the story to see the good intentions in lightly sketched but complex characters, which gives the book a lot of heart. It will appeal to fans of realistic Australian YA and to readers searching for sweet and hopeful queer love stories.’ – Books + Publishing.
‘This bittersweet comedy of romantic misunderstanding, life management and family relations is poised at the emotional intersection between forgiveness and self-acceptance. Despite its whimsical tone, Night Swimming tackles serious themes of mental health, family upheaval and sexual coming-out with commendable delicacy and humanity.’ – Readings.
“The utterly charming story of two best friends, the small town they live in and the girl they both fall for. It is a tender and humorous tale of family ties, friendship and first love.” – Erin Gough.
“Night Swimming is a love-letter to outsiders, the kooky and complex – it’s an ode to first times and best friends…but above all else, it’s a reminder of how lucky we are to have a writer like Steph Bowe in our midst” – Danielle Binks, Alpha Reader.
I’m only setting myself a total goal of 60 books to be read for my Goodreads challenge in 2017, which will be half of what I’ve read this year, but with baby number two just arrived it is probably as much or more than I’ll be capable of.
The Australian Women Writers Challenge is all about promoting the wonderful works of our female Aussie authors.
I was going to set myself the goal of 12 AWW books for 2017, as that’s only one a month. But early in the year I think I might struggle to get even one book read a month. I really don’t know how I’m going to handle the two kiddlets and I’ll be returning to work earlier with Ethan than I did with Riley (we were renting the first time around, but we’re home ”owners” now and that costs quite a bit more per month – and there’ll be one more month to feed). So I decided to sign up to read 6 and any I read and review over that amount will be a bonus.
I have purchased a fair few #LoveOzYA books this year most of which are by lovely ladies I’ve seen speak, personally met or connected with online. #AWW2017 is an awesome reason to move them higher up my never-ending To Be Read list.
Teenagers on skateboards jumped off walkways, dropped a dozen floors and activated rockets to safely land walkways below.
Blake took a deep breath, inhaling something that smelt like a cross between burnt plastic and toffee apple.
Neo City, Blake thought. Home, sweet home.
NEO City, 2509.
After a series of operational bungles, as well as
the accidental death of his partner, special agent Blake Carter’s career at the Planetary Bureau of Investigation is in trouble.
To make matters worse, he’s just been assigned a new partner—and the beautiful and brilliant Nicki Steel happens to be a cyborg.
When universe-famous criminal Bartholomew Badde steals a weapon capable of destroying whole planets at a time, Blake and Nicki must work together to recover it—an investigation that takes them to all corners of the weird and wonderful galaxy.
But things get serious when Badde kidnaps Blake’s teenage daughter, Lisa. Can Blake prove he’s still a first-rate agent—not to mention father—and save Lisa in time?
Thank You Netgalley, Darrell Pitt and Text Publishing for allowing me a copy to read and review.
My Thoughts: So straight up the synopsis has offered up some high expectation for this book to meet and as an Adam’s fan I was like “Bring it on Pitt”. While I did grow to kinda like the lead character Blake Carter, he was in no way the adorable Arthur Dent – but that’s ok because he wasn’t supposed to be.
We follow Blake Carter a middle-aged agent with the Planetary Bureau of Investigation as he gets kicked off his current long running case, assigned a Cyborg as a new partner and having to deal with his ex-wife after their daughter is kidnapped. And of course, *spoiler alert* getting the bad guy – with a lot of help from the Cyborg, the ex-wife, some Elvis’s and an odd pirate-like space captain.
The “Zeeb Says” sections throughout the story while humorous at times and very ‘Hitchhikers’ in the style of narration, which I should have loved, I found a nuisance. I’d just be getting into the rhythm of the story and they’d distract me from it. Why was this so? I really don’t know! Did they feel like a poor Adam’s imitations? No that wasn’t it. Was it just because I was trying to hurry and finish the book because it wasn’t floating my boat and they were slowing me down? Yeah, I think that was more it.
I thought this book was going to be right up my ally; sci-fi with silly humour etc. But no, while I liked the book and can see its merits, unfortunately we didn’t click. I had to force myself to stay focused and read on. This book is listed as Middle Grade, so I’m not the target audience. But I can’t quite get my head around this book’s listing.
I’m trying to figure out who on earth would be the right audience for this book, because it is by no means a bad story. I think it’s a good story despite my personal enjoyment issues. If it was a Friday night telemovie I could totally see my father chuckling while watching it on the couch with a beer in his hand as he’s sprawled out with only his green and gold footy shorts on unwinding after another week of working hard in the Aussie heat.
I would say it’s definitely not for Teens, those self-absorbed self-torturing darlings wouldn’t give two hoots about this middle-aged law enforcement officer from the future. I’m thinking 8/12-year-olds who have a love of sci-fi for sci-fi sake and don’t care too much about who the hero is if there is lots of action and adventure – yeah, it’d suit them. MAYBE even a “daggy dad” type who wants to switch off his brain after a long day at work and read something that’s simple and amusing – I totally thought I fell into this category, but apparently not.
I do intend to check out Pitt’s The Firebird Mystery and Diary of a Teenage Superhero and see how I go with them, because I think Pitt’s a good writer, just that this book wasn’t for me. THREE ‘I Liked It’ STARS.
“You are here because you were born different. Born with a gift … and a curse.”
Big things are expected of Pip. Can he deliver? Magic is all around him and he is expected to be a great mage, but the path before Pip isn’t simple. Will he fulfill his parents’ expectations? Will he fulfill his own?
In Pip’s world, only those born with defects or deformities can wield magic. Struggling to find his place in an institute of talented mages, Pip sets out on a perilous quest to help his master face the suffocating cost of her gift. For every mage has a price; but in return for that price is power. Magic. The ability to shape the world and create wonders. But is it enough? Is the price of magic worth it?
K.J. Taylor published her first work, The Land of Bad Fantasy, when she was just 18 and went on to publish another six titles in quick succession. Published by the Black Phoenix Publishing Collective, The Price of Magic is a stand-alone fantasy novella encompassing the best of Taylor’s creative appeal.
To celebrate the release of The Price of Magic cover, the Black Phoenix Publishing Collective is running an eBook giveaway competition. Sign up to the Black Phoenix Publishing Collective mailing list, and WIN an eBook copy of The Price of Magic by KJ Taylor. Follow this link to be part of the conversation: http://www.blackphoenixpublishing.com/contact.php.
Competition is open to Australian residents only, and will run until 5PM 13 December 2016. The winner will be announced the very next day on the bPPc Facebook page!!
See the bPPc Facebook page for further details. Terms and conditions can be found here: http://www.blackphoenixpublishing.com/Terms-and-Conditions.php
This beautiful cover was designed and developed by Brisbane-based artist and graphic designer Sabrina Raven. You can view her portfolio HERE.
I came across this version of The Goodreads Book Tag over on The Reader Dragon and I thought I’d give it ago since it’s been quite a while since I did a book tag.
1. What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?Immortal Writers by Jill Bowers. I finished reading this Friday night and I still haven’t gotten my head around what i’m going to write in a review 😦 Why does it feel like it’s my fault when I don’t “Click” with a book. I had such high hopes for this one.
2. What book are you currently reading?Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I figured it was about time I got into another Rowell romp 🙂 and I am thoroughly enjoying it so far.
5. Do you use the star rating system?
At the moment not really, not other than adding books to my Goodreads To Read shelf. I want to spend the next 12 months reading the books I already own. Ha until that next super hyped LoveOzYA release comes along that is.
8. What book do you plan to buy next?
See above = “next super hyped LoveOzYA release”. Nar but seriously, whatever pretty little thing catches my eye when I next enter any shop that sells books or I mysteriously end up on Booktopia.com.au or Amazon.com.au. I have no self control when it comes to books. Collecting them has become an addiction in the last few years. I am trying to curb this though, as I’ve already got plenty of books to read. At least it’s better than the smoking habit I had in my late teens to early twenties. Luckily my parents did raise me to be responsible so I’ve never let my son/dogs/husband go unfed/unclothed etc. I’m finding the library is a good substitute when I need a fix – yep that’s what i’ll keep telling myself.
9. Who are your favourite authors?
That’s a hard one, so i’ll try to limit myself to five.
J.K. Rowling, because I will re-read the seven original Harry Potter books every now and then until the day I die.
Rick Riordan, because Percy Jackson, Leo Valdez and Magnus Chase are f’íng adorable and I can’t wait for my son to meet them (Harry and the Hogwarts gang as well).
Lucy Maud Montgomery, because Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe were my world as a child and they still are today.
C.S. Lewis, because I still want to find a wardrobe to take me to Narnia and if my husband had let me our son Riley’s name would have been Edmund!
Brian K. Vaughan, because SAGA. Seriously the comic book series SAGA is brilliant. I love this mans brain and the world he has created with artist Fiona Staples.
I foresee that if Lynette Noni’s Medoran Chronicles series keeps up the standard of the early books that it will end up like Harry and be on my periodical re-read list. #LoveOzYA
10. Do you have any favourite quotes? Would you like to share a few?
“Albert knew that one could never be sure about magic, but a lack of certainty is not a good reason to do nothing.” Howard L. Anderson,
“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Jane Austen,
Yep, even though I have been rather inactive in them over the past year, oops.
12. How many shelves do you have on Goodreads?
I nominate anyone who wants to give this tag a go.
Until next time 🙂 Enjoy your shelves :-).
We’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.
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.
A DEVASTATING SETBACK
Enemy tribesmen attacked during the Initiation. Dindi used the magic of the corn cob doll to protect herself and others but at a terrible price. Now her dreams are in shambles. In despair, she decides to step into the forbidden faery ring, and dance herself to death with the fae. Then she discovers another choice that saves her life…but breaks the ultimate taboo.
A DESPERATE OUTREACH
After being unfairly exiled from his own people, Kavio may have found a new home, but only if he can protect it from another attack by the enemy. He gathers a small group to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory in search of the ultimate prize…peace.
But by the harsh laws of their land, they cannot both break taboos and keep the peace. They will each have to choose, what, or whom, to betray. GOODREADS VIEW.
MY THOUGHTS: Considering it was two years ago that I read the first book, Initiate, I was quite pleased at how quickly the characters and the previous story lines came back to me. I actually think I enjoyed Taboo more than the first and I debated whether to give it a four or five star rating. While this book wasn’t mind blowing it was still immensely absorbing and I tore through it captivated. It was full of action and adventure, betrayal and revenge, with further back story and character development. I was tempted to go straight into reading the third book, Sacrifice. “FOUR oh so almost five STARS”.
Evie doesn’t have a choice.
One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer.
The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death.
And then there’s Jamie. irresistible. off-limits. GOODREADS VIEW.
MY THOUGHTS: So I’m a little late to the #SparkArmy as the final installment of this series has just come out, but better late then never hey :-). I loved the idea of the DNA modifications and the agency responsible for the experiment gone wrong. For some reason I didn’t connect much with some of the characters, but I’m sure I’ll grow to love them more as I read the next book and the connected short stories. “FOUR I really enjoyed it, but needed more time to grow to love some of the characters STARS”
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Lucy is in love with Shadow, a mysterious graffiti artist.
Ed thought he was in love with Lucy, until she broke his nose.
Dylan loves Daisy, but throwing eggs at her probably wasn’t the best way to show it.
Jazz and Leo are slowly encircling each other.
An intense and exhilarating 24 hours in the lives of four teenagers on the verge: of adulthood, of HSC, of finding out just who they are, and who they want to be.
A lyrical new YA novel from the award-winning author of Chasing Charlie Duskin and the Gracie Faltrain series. GOODREADS VIEW.
MY THOUGHTS: Why, oh why has it taken me so long to read something written by Cath Crowley, cause I’m an idiot that’s why. This was a super duper cute and fun read, ending with the two main characters finding solace in each other and their art. It is the sort of story I could see myself reading again when I need a mental hug. FOUR “awwwwww artistic young love” STARS.
Doctor Who: Choose the Future: Night of the Kraken by Jonathan Green
When one choice can lead to triumph or failure, life or death, glory or destruction . . . which will you choose? With Choose the Future, YOU decide how, when, where and with whom the Doctor will fight to save the world!
In this brand new adventure, Night of the Kraken, the Twelfth Doctor meets a roguish time-smuggler and faces a terrifying creature from the deep with a plan to destroy the Earth.
The fate of the Doctor and the universe he protects are in your hands… GOODREADS VIEW.
MY THOUGHTS: I read this through once than turned around and read it again picking different answers, took about an hour. Published this year and listed as a young reader choose your own adventure, it is a super quick yet enjoyable read. I don’t think I’d go out and buy the book, but If I come across more of the series at the library as they come out I will definitely borrow them. FOUR “a quick really enjoyable doctor who fix” STARS.
Oh f*** they’re all Four Stars. Oh dear. Hahaha I only just realised that. Oh well.
Under the Graffiti Moon during the Night of the Kraken a Spark broke the ultimate Taboo – see what I did there with all the titles, huh huh.
Until next time 🙂 enjoy your shelves :-).
Oh wow, where do I start. I finished the last page of Disruption, made myself a fresh cuppa tea then opened up Corruption and continued Maggie’s journey. It was 833 pages of utterly enthralling action. Let me calm down and try to break this down (without spoilers).
What if a microchip could identify your perfect match?
What if it could be used against you and the ones you love?
Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation’s M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it.
Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loves most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it.
Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer – heir to the M-Corp empire – has become key to Maggie’s plan. But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin’s involvement destroy everything she’s fought for?
In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.
Published April 1st 2014 by HarperCollins. Goodreads View.
My Thoughts: Disruption sucked me in hard and fast. I wanted Maggie to succeed in her mission, all the while wishing more for her and her family. This books gives us blackmail, bad guy bullshit and sassy bitch brilliance. Maggie is a strong young woman that is not to be messed with. Maggie has worked hard to build up the skills she needs to succeed and she radiates a powerful darkness, but as the reader we get to see past the mentally disconnecting and physical conditioning she has created as her Armor to the real Maggie underneath, the broken soul who just wants to put things right. This book delivers us all the big game players, even if it doesn’t reveal all their true field positions. There is a big plot twist late on and a cliff-hanger that will have you needing to get your hands on the next book.
How do you live with yourself when you’ve deceived the one you love?
How do you move on when the person you’ve been fighting to save betrays you?
Two years ago, Maggie Stevens began the hunt.
Four weeks ago, Maggie’s world fell apart, when she finally
found what she’d been looking for. And when Quentin,
who had blindly trusted her, unravelled her web of lies.
Now, Maggie lives in the dark. But she’s not about to stay there.
Not when she still has to bring M-Corp down.
Not when there is still a chance she could win him back.
In the exhilarating conclusion to Disruption, Maggie must do
whatever it takes to show the world the truth.
And the price for her quest?
Published November 1st 2014 by HarperCollins. Goodreads View.
My Thoughts: Corruption! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. We really get to know the characters and they feel real, well they did for me. Gus, Maggie, Quin, Travis, Morris and Liam – I loved them all! Actually the character Gus reminded me of a friend of mine. The scary thing with this dystopian is that it really isn’t that far-fetched. I’ve come to realise that the more, oh shit that could totally happen here in the next 10-20 years, a dystopian is the more I enjoy it. Hmmmm yet I love fantasy novels with dragons and trolls, yeah I have issues – ANYWAYS. This book has high stakes, high action, big plot twists, betrayal and forgiveness, world saving, love making (no sex scenes as such), corporate corruption and personal redemption. Maggie’s life tidy’s up nicely at the end, which is probably the most unrealistic part of the whole story, that and Quin’s ability to forgive. But I LOVE HAPPY ENDINGS so it’s all good. Well the ending is only as happy as it can be when a shit loads of innocent people have had to suffer and die along the way, but the bad guys get what’s coming to them, so that’s happy ever after enough for me.
The Disruption duology is going on my Recommend-to-everyone-list along with the The Tribe Series, The Medoran Chronicles, The Illuminae Files and anything by the fantastic Will Kotastis. #LoveOzYA people, love that OZ YA!