Title: Little Fires Everywhere
Author: Celeste Ng
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Book Depository // Dymocks // Booktopia
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review
After reading Everything I Never Told You earlier in the year, Little Fires Everywhere instantaneously became one of my most anticipated releases for the second half of 2017. Little Fires Everywhere has all the elements that made Celeste Ng’s debut novel a triumph: an intimate examination of the relationships between family members, a nuanced portrayal of the various choices we make in life and where they lead us, and a riveting interplay between conformity and those who defies convention.
Little Fires Everywhere is set in Shaker’s Heights, an idyllic neighbourhood so distinctly confident with its orderly lifestyle that its motto is ‘Most communities just happen; the best are planned.’ Mrs Elena Richardson proudly lives by these words, and following rules have paid off in the form of a secure home in one of Shaker’s Heights more affluent neighbourhood – complete with a loving husband and four healthy teen children. The certainties in the Richardson’s lives are challenged when artist Mia Warren and her teen daughter, Pearl, moves into Shaker’s Heights. The dynamics between the two families create some tantalising conflicts which will unravel mysterious pasts and missed opportunities. Continue reading “Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere”
After a month of adventuring and reading, the first Reading Quest has come to an end! I’ve been so overwhelmed and humbled by the enthusiasm the community has had for the Quest. I hope you’ve all had fun reading books, conquering challenges, and leveling up your characters. Thank you to everyone who has participated and helped promote the reading challenge!
For those interested in entering to win the prizes, please comment below using the following format with your total number of HP and EXP earned during the challenge. I will pick ONE international and ONE AUS/NZ Champion! Result will be announced on Saturday 30th of September to give people time to write their wrap up post if they wish.
Name and Blog:
Character Class: If you completed multiple, please list them all in order of completion
Challenge Name/Book Title (e.g. First Book in a Series/This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab): Amount of EXP and HP earned . Please repeat this for all the challenges you completed.
– 10 EXP each books read OR 20 EXP for a book written by a marginalised author. Half points respectively for graphic novel/poetry format.
– Every 10 pages you read during the Quest will give you +1HP. The exception are graphic novels/manga, which will give you +1HP every 20 pages. Half points for graphic novel/poetry format.
Number of Character Quest Completed: +50 EXP for the first character quest completed. Every other character quest completed after that gives you +30EXP.
Social Media Interaction Bonus Points (max of 20HP).
Link to your Wrap Up Post: OPTIONAL
Please refer to the original post & FAQ if you have any questions regarding the points. How this plays out depends on everyone’s honesty, as I cannot physically monitor whether people have read all of the books they’ve listed – so play fair ;)!
For those who missed out on the first Reading Quest, never fear – I have plans to bring it back over the next holiday season! Stay tuned.
Title: Because You Love to Hate Me – 13 Tales of Villainy
Author: Various, all listed below. Edited by Ameriie.
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Book Depository // Booktopia // Dymocks
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Bloomsbury Australia in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve been very curious about this anthology ever since it was announced last year. Generally, the authors in the young adult community have a very strong social media presence, allowing them to interact with readers and bloggers on a daily basis. This collaboration between YA authors and some influential booktubers takes this relationship to a whole new level, and I was excited to see how this partnership would unfold. As with anthologies in general, I found this one a bit of a mixed bag – but it’s centred on villains, and I love to LOVE them. You can find short reviews of each individual story below.
The Blood of Imuriv by Renee Ahdieh, prompt by Christine Riccio
First Line: Everywhere Rhone walked, the nightmares followed.
I’m a fan of Renee Ahdieh’s descriptive writing style, but I felt this story lacked tension and was heavy on info-dump. The short story format does not lend itself well to adequate world-building, and although the story was set in space – the location and period could have changed and I would not have noticed any difference. I also found the story unfolded in a very clunky manner, with the villain’s internal monologue and motivation ringing false, perhaps this due to how restrictive and specific the prompt was. Continue reading “Book Review: Because You Love to Hate Me”
I’m actually leaving for a short vacation tonight, so I’m quickly scrambling to put together my #TheReadingQuest TBR. For more information on this challenge, you can read my sign-up post here! There’s still 2 days left if you want to sign up.
The beautiful and glorious CW of Read, Think, Ponder not only drew all the character art that went into the challenge, she also drew me my own character. She’s wearing black and gold with plenty of flowers to match my blog aesthetics, I am crying over how perfect she is!
My character, despite appearing different (because hey, being the creator of this reading challenge comes with some perks ;)), will be following the MAGE path. Here is my intended TBR.
Note: I’m just doing this for fun, as it’s my own challenge I won’t be entering to win any of the prizes 😀 Continue reading “#TheReadingQuest TBR”
Title: Daughter of the Burning City
Author: Amanda Foody
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Book Depository || Dymocks || Booktopia
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Daughter of the Burning City is an intoxicating murder mystery unfolding in the middle of a dark and mysterious magical circus. At the centre of this novel is Sorina, a girl with no eyes, yet graced with the ability to weave complex and realistic illusions – some of whom serve as her closest companions. Personally, I loved the evocative writing and discovering the dark corners of Gomorrah’s festival. However, the characterisation and plot were a little thin, and I found the book ultimately predictable.
Amanda Foody’s writing is immersive and incredibly visual, it’s hard to believe that this is her debut novel. From the very first scene, she captures the reader’s every sense with descriptions of the sights and sounds of the Gomorrah Festival’s Freak Show. The setting and characters were easy to visualise, and like Sorina’s audience, I was captivated. I also appreciated the attention to detail that went into the realisation of Gomorrah, even the taste of kettlecorn are described in a memorable manner. Continue reading “Book Review: Daughter of the Burning City”
Welcome to #TheReadingQuest! I invite you to join me on a reading adventure based entirely on a video-game quest. In this challenge, you’ll be embarking on a journey to conquer your TBR pile through a series of stages. You’ll read new stories, gain experience, and level up a character of your choosing.
The quest will take place between Sunday 13th August to Sunday 10th September, 2017. All adventurers are encouraged to register their interest in the sign up form below, which will be open from now until Sunday 13th August. SIGN UP IS NOW CLOSED. FEEL FREE TO READ ALONG FOR FUN, HOWEVER IF YOUR CORRECT LINK IS NOT IN THE INLINKZ LIST YOU WILL NOT BE ELIGIBILE FOR THE PRIZES. No exceptions.
I want to give a huge thank you to CW of Read, Think, Ponder. She is the amazing artist behind all of the character illustration you’ll see within this post. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter, and her stunning blog! Please go give her all your love, because I cannot think of anyone more deserving of unadulterated adoration! Continue reading “#TheReadingQuest Sign Up”
Note: I received a copy of Corpselight from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Angela Slatter’s works are a perfect fit for my reading tastes, she specialises in distinctive female characters and dark re-imaginings of familiar folklore and mythology. With the Verity Fassbinder duology, she breathes new life into the Urban Fantasy genre. If you enjoyed American Gods for reinterpreting numerous cultural mythologies and their place in America, you’ll love this Australian exploration of supernatural beings. If you loved the Dresden Files butthought there were not nearly enough females taking charge, Verity is the answer to all your woes.
Here’s a list of reasons why you should get into this series immediately:
- The Aussie Setting: There are countless of paranormal fantasy unfolding in the streets of New York or the underbelly of London, they have begun to blur together in my mind. Vigil and Corpselight are set in an alternate Brisbane, affectionately nicknamed Brisneyland. Within these books, I can delight in recognising landmarks such as the stunning Mount Coot-tha, yet still be enthralled by the presence of supernatural mysteries about winged-women and shapeshifters.
- The Dry and Sarcastic Humour: Verity is such an entertaining narrator, partly because she knows how to make me laugh (especially when it comes to the Fassbinder’s Law of Handbag, I can 110% relate). She’s witty and pragmatic, and I love her banter with all of the characters she comes across.
- Well-Balanced Romantic Relationship: While most of the books are concerned with supernatural investigations, there is a sweet love story developing in the background of both books. I find many of the alpha-male characters we often come across in the Urban Fantasy genre off-putting. Verity’s love interest, with his earnest and golden-hearted nature, is a welcomed change of pace. I love the reversal of gender roles in their relationship.
- The Distinctive Worldbuilding: Although there are plenty of books about the hidden supernatural world, Angela Slatter manages to create something unique with the Weyrd of Brisneyland. You won’t find just the regular vampires and werewolves amongst the denizens of Verity’s world. The creatures and beings within the Weyrd community are born of the belief of the multicultural mix within Australia. There are various mythologies from all around the world being used to create a complex and vivid urban fantasy landscape.
- The Intriguing Mysteries: Like the next reader, I adore a good whodunnit mystery – and these books combine the mystery elements deftly with the supernatural ones. If you’re a fan of paranormal investigators such as Harry Dresden, you’ll love the company of Verity Fassbinder and her team. There are twists and turns throughout the novels, and I was kept guessing until the very end with both books.
- A Heroine Who Defies Categorisation: Aside from the aforementioned sarcastic and witty sense of humour, I also love how complex Verity’s characterisation is. She is strong and independent, resourceful and clever, but she’s also riddled with insecurities and prone to rash impulses. She’s perceptive of human nature, yet she also judges people too quickly. In short, she’s flawed and lovable, and I adore how human she remains despite the constant fantastical happenings within her world.
Continue reading “Blog Tour: Corpselight by Angela Slatter”
I’m sure anyone with a passing knowledge of the online YA community would be familiar with the brilliant and hilarious @broodingYAhero! Broody is my favourite parody account on twitter, walking that perfect line between sass and social commentary. Seeing a tweet by Broody on my timeline never fails to cheer up my day.
As you may know, Broody is getting his own novel – Brooding YA Hero: Becoming A Main Character (Almost) As Awesome As Me. I have the gorgeous new cover for you all to see later on in the post. We have the marvellous Carrie DiRisio, mastermind behind the twitter account and the book, with us here today. Joining her is the extremely talented book illustrator, Linnea Gear! Thank you both for this opportunity!
You’ll find many things within this post, so stay tuned until the very end for the following:
- Interview with Carrie and Linnea
- New Cover Reveal
- International Giveaway for a Preorder of Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) As Awesome As Me.
Continue reading “Cover Reveal, Interview, and Giveaway: Brooding YA Hero”
Title: The Wall of Storms
Author: Ken Liu
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Series? Yes, 2 of 3.
Book Depository || Booktopia || Dymocks
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager Australia in exchange for an honest review.
NOTE: The following review will contain some spoilers for The Grace of Kings, the first novel within this series.
After reading The Grace of Kings, I knew that Ken Liu has changed the game for epic fantasy. With The Wall of Storms, he continues to push on the boundaries of expectations and raised the bar even higher.
The Dandelion Dynasty was established within the first novel, with the text raising some tough questions about the philosophy of governance in times of war. In The Wall of Storms, the book take these ideas one step further by discussing economic and infrastructural development in the time of peace. While that may all sound like cumbersome and tedious reading, The Wall of Storms manages to be a page-turner despite its hefty length and ambitious themes. It’s no secret that I adore Ken Liu’s writing, and The Wall of Storms has become my favourite of his published books. Continue reading “Book Review: The Wall of Storms”
2017 has been a decent reading year so far, but I felt that while I read a lot of good books – I haven’t read as many exceptional books this year. All of the books that ended up on this list are very special and memorable to me.
The list also came a bit later than usual because my reading life skyrocketed with a couple of excellent reads in June – so I had to wait until I finished them to complete the post. It’s still missing a couple of books I started in June, but completed in July – but you’ll find out all about them at the end of this year 😉
Hurricane Heels by Isabel Yap: I read this novella at the turning of the new year, and it touched me on such a personal level. Magical Girls is one of the tropes I grew up consuming and loving, and in Hurricane Heels it gets such a visceral and modern treatment. The book is filled with complicated friendships between girls trying to juggle their momentous destiny with daily life. Continue reading “Best of 2017 So Far”