‘MY LOVELY FRANKIE’ by Judith Clarke

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A masterful, moving story about a teenage boy caught between faith and love, by one of Australia’s finest YA writers.

‘Frankie believed in Heaven quite literally, as if it was another lovely world out past the stars. And when he spoke the word “love”, it seemed to spring free and fly into the air like a beautiful balloon you wanted to run after. But I couldn’t tell my parents about Frankie, not properly. I told them I’d made friends with the boy in the room next to mine, and how he’d come from this little town out west. I couldn’t tell them how he was becoming the best thing in my world. I couldn’t tell anyone, I hardly admitted it to myself.’

In the 1950s, ‘entering’ the seminary was for ever, and young boys were gathered into the priesthood before they were old enough to know what they would lose. Tom went to St Finbar’s because he was looking for something more than the ordinary happiness of his home and school.

But then he discovered that being able to love another person was the most important thing of all. For Tom, loving Frankie made him part of the world. Even when Frankie was gone…

Thanks to Allen & Unwin for sending me a copy of MY LOVELY FRANKIE for review.

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Although this book is classified as Young Adult, I don’t really this it would appeal much to the young adult audience who enjoys your “typical” YA stories about teenagers in contemporary life. MY LOVELY FRANKIE is the story of Tom recounting his teenage years in the seminary where he meets Frankie, the boy he once loved.

I went in to this book expecting it to be a romance between two boys in the seminary. However, I wouldn’t really call it a romance as such. Frankie and Tom grow a close relationship which I found quite beautiful, but I was expecting more. And I wanted more. The way older Tom described his thoughts of Frankie when he was younger was so beautiful to read and he really shined light on Frankie’s character. When Tom mentions that Frankie disappeared from the seminary and he never saw him again, he spent the rest of his life affected by this loss.

I really enjoyed Judith Clarke’s writing of the story and it was probably my favourite aspect of the novel. It was extremely captivating and beautiful and this added so much more depth to the story. Tom is reflecting on his teenage hood at the seminary, and this is obvious in the calmness of the writing. Also, it’s a really quick read, and who doesn’t love a quick and easy read?

The setting of the seminary was described with such raw detail that it really made me think about what it would’ve been like for them during this time period. Being a teenager and coming of age in these social circumstances would’ve been really difficult, and Clarke expressed that brilliantly through the differing characters of Tom and Frankie. Tom is an only child whose parents didn’t want this for their son, but he decided to do it anyway. He wanted life experience and to see the world, and I think he definitely got that. Frankie on the other hand, was sent there by his father who was abusive and a down right a$$. I found both of these characters great choices to read about and I think Clarke did an amazing job at developing them.

Although I didn’t love MY LOVELY FRANKIE, I still thought it was a beautiful and insightful historical read. The ending of the “mystery” was a bit of a let down for me, but I think the final few “goose bump” pages definitely made up for that.

If you’ve read MY LOVELY FRANKIE, comment below your thoughts because I would love to hear them!

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‘FINDING NEVO’ by Nevo Zisin

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Meet Nevo: girl, boy, he, she, him, her, they, them, daughter, son, teacher, student, friend, gay, bi, lesbian, trans, homo, Jew, dyke, masculine, feminine, androgynous, queer. Nevo was not born in the wrong body. Nevo just wants everyone to catch up with all that Nevo is. Personal, political and passionate, Finding Nevo is an autobiography about gender and everything that comes with it.

Thanks to Walker Books for sending me a copy of FINDING NEVO for review!

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FINDING NEVO is the touching and inspirational story of Nevo who follows the internal and external journey of discovering themselves. Nevo discusses what it is like to live their life as queer, transmasculine and non-binary. It’s an educational story that I believe should be mandatory reading in high schools, and probably for everyone.

I always find it difficult to review biographies and memoirs because it feels like I’m reviewing their life and who they are. So rather than this being a “review”, think of it as more of a discussion about how important Nevo’s story is.

Throughout the book, Nevo goes through a lot of changes and identities, including sexuality and gender identity, something that is often perceived as a fixed. However, Nevo discusses how both gender and sexuality can be fluid, and as we grow up and find out more about ourselves or experience new things, we discover this. The last section of the book (I think it was titled after word), definitely showed this in a touching and beautiful way. Nevo describes a scene where they walk in to a room and are faced with who they have identified themselves as throughout their lives; the baby girl that was born, the four year old where they identified as a boy, the teenagers where they identified as bisexual, lesbian, and a trans guy. And also polyamourous and non-binary. This scene left me with chills and I think it really captivated how beautiful Nevo’s writing style is throughout the entire book and the changes they went through throughout their life.

As I mentioned, Nevo’s writing style is beautiful and captivating and they described and explained things with such detail, which I find doesn’t often happen in biographies and memoirs. I know there’s so much more to the story than the writing style, but I really wanted to add how much easier captivating writing makes it to finish a biography when it isn’t just filled with facts. By the way, I finished this in a couple sittings over a day because I couldn’t put it down!

Nevo writes toward the end of the book that they don’t want people to read this book and say that it was an inspiring story, but then do nothing about it. Because I completely agree. Nevo’s story educated me, as a non queer person, on queer identities. But I’m sure it will also be helpful for queer people who are trying to find an identity for themselves. It showed me how hard it is when your family and loved ones can’t accept who you are and how draining this journey must be.

Everyone should read FINDING NEVO. Yes, everyone. It is a thoughtful and inspiring, yet incredibly raw and emotional recount on the life of Nevo and their discovery of who they are. I have definitely learnt a lot about gender, sexuality and queer identities throughout reading this book, and I plan on putting this to use in my everyday life.

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AUGUST 2017 BOOK HAUL

 

Moonrise - Sarah Crossan

‘They think I hurt someone.
But I didn’t. You hear?
Coz people are gonna be telling you
all kinds of lies.
I need you to know the truth.’
From one-time winner and two-time Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this poignant, stirring, huge-hearted novel asks big questions. What value do you place on life? What can you forgive? And just how do you say goodbye?

Moonrise

Surf Riders Club - Mary van Reyk

Meet five very different girls with one thing in common: they’ve caught the surfing bug!
Ava has grown up in a big city. But everything changes when her parents decide on a sea change – they’re moving to the small town of Beachcrest to open a cafe. Ava will be starting high school that year, and now she has to say goodbye to her life in the city. Her new school is very different and Ava misses her friends. When she hears that surfing is going to be offered as a sport for the first time, Ava uses her snowboard skills to give it a try. Not everyone thinks she can become a surfer but Ava is determined to prove them wrong, and she’s making new friends along the way!

Ava's Big Move (Surf Riders Club, #1)

The Princess Saves Herself in This One - Amanda Lovelace

A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.

The Princess Saves Herself in this One

Because You Love to Hate Me - edited by Ameriie 

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy

Breaking - Danielle Rollins

Charlotte doesn’t fit in with her two best friends, or with anyone else at The Underhill Preparatory Institute, her cut-throat school for the rich and gifted. But when those best friends die suddenly, Charlotte doesn’t know where to turn.
Were they keeping secrets? Could Charlotte be the reason they did it? Because Charlotte has a secret of her own, and now she must decide how much she will risk to discover the truth.

Breaking

On Writing - Stephen King

Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in the vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999 – and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery.

On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft

The Universe of Us - Lang Leav

Planets, stars, and constellations feature prominently in this beautiful, original poetry collection from Lang Leav.  Inspired by the wonders of the universe, the best-selling poetess writes about love and loss, hope and hurt, being lost and found.  Lang’s poetry encompasses the breadth of emotions we all experience and evokes universal feelings with her skillfully crafted words.

The Universe of Us (Lang Leav)

Slow - Brooke McAlary

Part memoir, part practical companion, Slow provides a fascinating insight into the benefits of slowing down and shows how the process isn’t nearly as straightforward as many people might think. Brooke uses the experience of her own breakdown and gradual recovery to gently outline the value of a simpler lifestyle. From decluttering to de-owning, messiness to mindfulness, from asking why, to asking where to now?

Slow

I Am, I Am, I Am - Maggie O'Farrell

A childhood illness she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. A terrifying encounter on a remote path. A mismanaged labour in an understaffed hospital. Shocking, electric, unforgettable, this is the extraordinary memoir from Costa Novel-Award winner and Sunday Times bestselling author Maggie O’Farrell. It is a book to make you question yourself. What would you do if your life was in danger, and what would you stand to lose?

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death

Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing - Daniel Tammet

In Every Word Is a Bird We Teach to Sing, Tammet goes back in time to London to explore the numeric language of his autistic childhood; in Iceland, he learns why the name Blær became a court case; in Canada, he meets one of the world’s most accomplished lip readers. He chats with chatbots; contrives an “e”-less essay on lipograms; studies the grammar of the telephone; contemplates the significance of disappearing dialects; and corresponds with native Esperanto speakers – in their mother tongue.

Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing

Love and Misadventure – Lang Leav

A Dog’s Purpose –

It’s All in Your Head –

 

‘TAKE THREE GIRLS’ blog tour & review

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Kate, a quiet boarder, making some risky choices to pursue the experimental music she loves.

Clem, shrugging off her old swim-team persona, exploring her first sexual relationship, and trying to keep her annoying twin, Iris, at arm’s length.

Ady, grappling with a chaotic family, and wondering who her real friends are; she’s not the confident A-lister she appears to be.

When St Hilda’s establishes a Year 10 Wellness Program in response to the era of cyber-bullying, the three girls are thrown together and an unlikely friendship is sparked. One thing they have in common: each is targeted by PSST, a site devoted to gossip and slander that must have a source within St Hilda’s.

Who can you trust when rumour is the new truth?

Thanks to Macmillan for sending me a copy of TAKE THREE GIRLS and letting me be part of the blog tour.

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I was really excited to pick up this book as soon as I got it in the mail in July. Yep… almost two months before I had to post my review. I was in a bit of a reading slump when I read this book so it took me longer to read than usual, but there were so many things that I loved about this book.

  • It’s written by three amazing female authors
  • It’s a Love Oz YA novel (keep ’em coming)
  • Three diverse female characters who are all incredible;
  • Kate is expanding on her music and taking risks
  • Clem is looking at other things in her life apart from swimming and explores her relationship with a guy and her sister
  • Ady is first viewed as the “it girl” but we discover that she is so much more than that
  • Hobbies! I never get enough of reading YA novels where the characters have hobbies and interests that are explored
  • Friendships, especially between the three girls who are all completely different
  • Relationships and romances, although it doesn’t overbear the main message of the story
  • Feminism… YAS!
  • Struggles and issues that a lot of teenagers experience and have to go through which made it really relatable
  • The format was also really awesome; it switched between the three girls’ perspective, their diaries, and the Wellness Program

 

I didn’t love the story line of the book as much as I thought I would’ve – maybe that was my own fault for over hyping it. Like I mentioned above, there are so many amazing aspects about this book and I’m sure a lot of people would love it. But unfortunately, for me, it just lacked a little something (this could also have something to do with that annoying little reading slump I had last month)

Comment below if you’ve read TAKE THREE GIRLS and let me know what you thought!

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AUGUST 2017 READING WRAP UP

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This has been my slowest and smallest reading month this whole year. I just wasn’t in a big reading mood and a lot of the books I read, I didn’t love which didn’t help. I ended up reading 8 books; 3 for class, 2 poetry books, 3 review books. Comment below what you’re favourite book you read this month was.

The Tempest - William Shakespeare

I had to read this for uni for my Landmarks in Literature class. Probably my least favourite Shakespeare play that I’ve read and I found it so confusing. I think I might watch the movie soon and hopefully that’ll make sense.
3 Stars

The Tempest (Arden Shakespeare)

Take Three Girls - Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell & Fiona Wood

This was a great story filled with a diverse task and stories that are bound to reach a wide audience. Although the story line wasn’t as great as I thought it was going to be, there were a lot of aspects I love. More thoughts in my review soon.
3.5 Stars
Review: September 8

Take Three Girls

The Princess Saves Herself in This One - Amanda Lovelace

I loved loved loved this collection so so so much! I tabbed the poems that connected to me most which ended up being a whole lot of it, and it just gave me all the feels. I need more poems from this beautiful woman and I need them now!
5 Stars

The Princess Saves Herself in this One

The Little Red Writing Book - Mark Tredinnick

I’ve been reading through this book on writing for the past few months. There are a lot of things that I learnt and took away from it that have to do not only with my creative writing, but critical writing for uni too.
4 Stars

The Little Red Writing Book

The Universe of Us - Lang Leav

So I was in such a poetry mood that I decided to spend more money (why are poetry collections so expensive) and buy a collection by an poet I had never heard of. It was a risk, but it was absolutely worth it. I’ll definitely be picking up her other collections soon.
5 Stars

The Universe of Us (Lang Leav)

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

I had to read this for a Uni class; Landmarks in Literature. I skim read this last year but couldn’t remember anything about it so decided to read it again. I enjoyed it, but I’m still not a massive classics fan.
3.5 stars

Pride and Prejudice

I Am, I Am, I Am - Maggie O'Farrell

This was actually a really interesting read. I preferred it in the beginning; maybe I just found those stories more interesting. There were some that I skim read, and some that I actually learnt a lot from. I was really in the mood for a good non-fiction mood so this book was perfect.
4 stars
review: coming soon

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death

Because You Love to Hate Me - edited by Ameriie

I was surprisingly underwhelmed by this book. I had high expectations because everyone was talking about it, but I ended up either skim reading the stories or skipping them all together. I actually preferred the booktuber sections than I did the actual author stories. I also don’t understand why the initial prompts weren’t put before the actual story; that would’ve made it a lot easier to understand.
3 stars
review coming soon

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy

‘IF THERE’S NO TOMORROW’ by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She’s ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications and to maybe let her childhood best friend, Sebastian, know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be one of opportunities and chances.

Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.

Now Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian could never forgive her for what happened.

For what she let happen.

With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?

Thanks to Harlequin Teen for sending me a copy of IF THERE’S NO TOMORROW for review.

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For some reason I thought this was going to be a light hearted mushy love story contemporary, so I didn’t really have high expectations going into this because I tent to go for the more “hard hitting” contemporaries these days. So not only was I surprised while reading this, but I was extremely happy (yes, emotional and deep stories make me happy). I’m not going to bother beating around the bush here; I FREAKIN’ LOVED THIS BOOK! I laughed, almost cried, and fell in love with the characters and the development and everything else. And there was a little bit of romance which was the cherry on top of the sundae.

I don’t even know how to organise my thoughts on how much I loved this book, so I’m going to try and list them below because it’ll make more sense that way. There may be some slight spoilers below (nothing specific, but if you like going in to a book not knowing too much then you might want to skip this) . You’ve been warned!

  • I went through a whole range of emotions while reading it, and books that can do that are always my favourite
  • The main character, Lena is just amazing in every way. She is complex, flawed, relatable and I just loved seeing how she develops throughout the story
  • Speaking of how relatable Lena is, she loves reading and food!
  • There are so many references throughout; Dance Mom’s, A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Walking Dead and probably more
  • The topic of grief and how everyone goes through it differently is a massive part of the story. Each of the teenagers handle the situation differently, and although it was tough, I think it’s an important topic to talk about
  • The issue with drink driving and underage drinking is also a major topic discussed; something that I don’t often see in YA
  • Sebastian. Just him in general. Where can I find myself a Sebastian?!
  • Friendships are tested. It’s intense and emotional, but when aren’t they?
  • The ending was so beautiful and it really captivates the truth of grief and working our way through it

There are so many more things that I love about this book – I could spend hours listing them. But something else that dragged me in to this story (and finishing it in a day) is Jennifer’s writing. It is just so beautiful and touching and really made me think about a lot. I tagged a few of my favourite quotes while reading which I’ll put below. Some of the things I just found extremely relatable, and other’s are just beautifully written;

  • “I swore half the money I made waitressing at Joanna’s went to buying books instead of filling my savings account, but I couldn’t help myself”
  • “It’s time for you to get a boyfriend. And a reall one, too. Not a book boyfriend.”
  • “What does waiting do? None of us are promised a tomorrow. We learned that, didn’t we? We don’t always get a later. I’m done living like we do.”
  • “Everything is going to be okay again. I know it doesn’t seem that way right now, but it will. It has to be… We can’t get (…) back – we’ll never get them back – but we’ll get ourselves back. I believe that. I really do.”
  • “We don’t always get tomorrow. Sometimes it’s not because of death. Sometimes it’s the decisions we make for ourselves.”

So if you can’t tell already, I loved this book and it gets 5 gazillion stars from me (definitely a new favourite). IF THERE’S NO TOMORROW comes out next week (September 5th) and I can’t recommend it enough. Go and pick it up! And if you have already read it, let me know below your thoughts.

Excuse me while I go cry now because I started this book and finished it seven hours later and I could’ve savoured it but now it’s over and I need to move on!!!!!

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‘TELL IT TO THE MOON’ – Siobhan Curham

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To make a dream come true, tell it to the moon! Tell It to the Moon continues the story of Moonlight Dreamers Amber, Maali, Sky and Rose, who are not like everyone else and don’t want to be: becoming friends gives them the courage to be themselves. After failing to find her surrogate mother, Amber is left unsure of who she is and what she wants to do; Maali’s spiritual faith is tested when her father becomes ill; Sky, previously home-schooled, struggles to adapt to the pressures of the school system; and after having found the courage to come out, Rose begins to pursue her dream of becoming a patissier. Once again the four girls band together to help one another overcome their individual challenges and fulfill their dreams in this fabulous and heart-warming celebration of friendship.

Thanks to Walker Books for sending me a copy of TELL IT TO THE MOON for review.

Check out the interview I did with Siobhan last year after the release of THE MOONLIGHT DREAMERS: https://alwaysandforeverreading.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/author-interview-siobhan-curham/

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I loved THE MOONLIGHT DREAMERS when I read it last year. It’s an adorable contemporary focusing on the friendships of four completely different and diverse teenage girls. And TELL IT TO THE MOON was no exception. It was great to see what the girls were up to in the sequel and follow more of their adventures.

Sky was my favourite in the last book and she held her place at the top of the ladder for me in TELL IT TO THE MOON. There’s just something about her personality and her character that I love. I loved how she continues perusing poetry, and there’s a gorgeous guy (Leon) who she meets along the way.

Maali is dealing with some family issues as her dad is in hospital. She is a sweet character and it was heartbreaking reading about her going through such a tough time. Luckily she had her Moonlight Dreamers to pick her up when she needed them.

Rose comes to terms with her sexuality and comes out to her dad and mum. This was a big thing for her and it was so great to see it handled so well. She also came out to the Moonlight Dreamers who were also really happy for her.

And Amber. I feel like Amber had the least going on throughout this book. She’s still working on her blog (which was a lot of fun to read about) but she has writers, or bloggers, block which was totally relateable.

As much as I liked TELL IT TO THE MOON, I feel like not too much happened throughout the plot. I don’t know if that was just me, but from memory it’s a lot less eventful than THE MOONLIGHT DREAMERS was. I think my reading taste has probably matured a lot in the last  year, so that could also affect the way I see the two books. I still liked this book, just probably not as much as the first one.

I do believe that younger readers would love these two books, and if you love books that focus on friendships and include diverse characters, then this series is for you!

Comment below if you’ve read THE MOONLIGHT DREAMERS and/or TELL IT TO THE MOON and let me know your thoughts!

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‘EXCHANGE OF HEART’ by Darren Groth

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Sometimes, Life takes on a life of its own…

Since the sudden death of his younger sister, Munro Maddux has been stuck. Flashbacks. Anger. Chest pains. And a voice – taunting, barking, biting – that his counsellor calls ‘the Coyote’. Munro knows a student exchange will not be the stuff of Disney movies. But in Australia he intends to move beyond his troubled past.

Forced by his new school to join a volunteer program, Munro discovers the Coyote is silenced in one place: Fair Go, an assisted living residence in Brisbane’s west, where Munro gets to know his team of residents: dogged designer Bernie; sleeping refugee Shah; would-be wedded couple Blake and Dale; comic creator Iggy; and self-defence tutor Florence. As this unlikely group shows Munro the sights, Munro’s notion of what it means to be a big brother begins to change.

But the burden Munro carries is not so easily cast aside, and unexpected developments at Fair Go prompt a devastating flashback that threatens to end the student exchange. Will the Coyote ultimately triumph? Or can Munro find the fortitude necessary to mend his heart?

Thanks to Penguin for sending me a copy of EXCHANGE OF HEART for review.

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After reading the blurb, I was intrigued to find out more about this book and the story inside. However, it didn’t end up being quite what I thought it was going to be.

What I liked;

  • It’s a quick read; I managed to finish it in a few hours
  • It’s readable; the writing is simple and kept me intrigued. Although I wasn’t entirely interested in the story, it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t finish the book
  • #LOVEOZYA with a Canadian MC
  • It was heartbreaking and emotional at times
  • The “Coyote” was interesting to read and added a lot to the story and the main character
  • It didn’t focus on romance

 

What I didn’t like;

  • I had no connection to the main character. This might have to to with the length of the book
  • Although the story was emotional at times, I found it a little bit boring. I skimmed most of it (which is probably my own fault)
  • I didn’t understand the ending
  • It just lacked SOMETHING for me

 

Overal, EXCHANGE OF HEART was a good book (I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads). I just personally didn’t love it. I think it had the potential to be a book that I loved, but it was just missing that little something that drew me in.

If you’ve read EXCHANGE OF HEART, comment below and let me know your thoughts.

‘THE DREAM WALKER’ by Victoria Carless

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The weight of a secret can drag you under . . .

Sixteen-year-old Lucy Hart has been counting the days till she can get the hell out of Digger’s Landing – a small Queensland fishing hamlet home to fifteen families, a posse of mongrel dogs, and Parkers Corner Store (no apostrophe and nowhere near a corner).

But just like the tides, Lucy’s luck is on the turn, and as graduation nears her escape plans begin to falter; her best friend, Polly, is dropping out of school to help pay the bills, and Tom has been shipped off to boarding school, away from the flotsam of this place. And then there’s Lucy’s nightlife, which is filled with dreams that just don’t seem to belong to her at all . . .

When the fish stop biting, like they did when her mum was still around, Lucy realises she isn’t the only one with a secret.

Thanks to Hachette Australia for sending me a copy of THE DREAM WALKER to review!

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I don’t really know how I feel about this novel. The blurb is really vague so I didn’t know what to expect. Originally, I thought it was a mystery novel with contemporary features, but after reading it I think it’s actually more magical realism, but I’m still not sure. It was one of those books that I finished in a day not because I couldn’t put it down, but because I just wanted to finish it and I didn’t want to dwell on it for too long.

I thought it was going to be touching and poignant with a deep meaning. But I didn’t really feel any of that. I’m not even too sure I understood the story. Lucy is a “dream walker” so she can walk in to other people’s dreams, but not everyone’s (I think). Her mum is dead and her dad is a bit scary, she has a friend (Polly) and there’s a guy (Tom) and there’s also a small town (just like every other Australian mystery novel). I couldn’t connect to any of these features of the novel. I had no attachment to Lucy or the story.

I don’t really know if it should even be considered as YA. It read more like an adult fiction or lit fiction. The writing style was very detailed and “literary” which I actually enjoyed. It might be what I liked the most about the novel. At times, the writing was even beautiful and captivating and it made up for the lack of connection I had to the characters and the story.

It’s not that I hated this book or that I wouldn’t recommend it. Personally, I just didn’t enjoy it and it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I think it had the potential to be beautiful story, but it just didn’t do it for me.

If you’ve read THE DREAM WALKER, let me know in the comments below. Usually when I feel this way (when I’m not really sure what to write) about a novel that I have to review, I read other people’s reviews, but there aren’t many on Goodreads. I would love to hear some other people’s thoughts on the novel.

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young adult thrillers – ft. ‘THE POSSIBLE’ by Tara Altebrando

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What if…no one knows the truth about you?

It’s been thirteen years since Kaylee’s infamous birth mother, Crystal, received a life sentence for killing Kaylee’s little brother in a fit of rage. Once the center of a cult-following for her apparent telekinetic powers, nowadays nobody’s heard of Crystal. Until now, when a reporter shows up at Kaylee’s house and turns her life upside down, offering Kaylee the chance to be part of a high-profile podcast investigating claims that Crystal truly did have supernatural mind powers. But these questions lead to disturbing answers as Kaylee is forced to examine her own increasingly strange life, and make sense of certain dark and troubling coincidences…

Unusual and gripping, The Possible will twist the reader round and round as it hurtles towards a sensational climax. For lovers of We Were Liars, Patrick Ness and Derren Brown.

Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a copy of THE POSSIBLE for review.

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I read Tara Altebrando’s THE LEAVING last year when it was first released, and although I found the idea of it really interesting and it had a lot of potential, I ended up being unsatisfied with the ending. So I picked up THE POSSIBLE with not very high expectations yet still hopeful that I would like it. And I did like it. But I was left with the same feeling I was left with after reading her last book. It just didn’t thrill me in the way that a thriller usually would. Or should.

I was intrigued by the idea and concept of the story. There’s a bit of mystery, a bit of romance, and of course talk about telekinetic powers. I got some Carrie and Matilda vibes and both texts were referenced throughout. I  also found Kaylee a likable character and I actually enjoyed reading her story. She had her issues and she went on a journey of discovering more about her, her mother, and her past. Her story was interesting for most of the way, I wasn’t bored or anything, but I wasn’t thrilled by it either.

I wasn’t too sure about the romance in the book and found it a bit necessary. Like, it could have not been there at all and it wouldn’t have made a difference. And who was the romance with? Because I actually liked the guy she had a crush on more than the best friend that she got with. However, neither of those characters were really developed and we didn’t get much of an insight into them.

*SPOILER PARAGRAPH*
Like I said before, I loved the idea of Kaylee going on this journey to discover if she was telekinetic and inherited it from her mother, or if it was all a hoax. So I was disappointed after I read the whole book to discover that there were no powers and it was all a lie (I think that’s what happened because I got a bit confused in the end). I finished it and I was just like; Wait, really? So I just read this whole book to discover that it was all a load of bull?! Anyway…

Comment below if you’ve read THE POSSIBLE or THE LEAVING and let me know your thoughts.

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So what I thought I would do is recommend a bunch of YA thrillers that I did love and that did thrill me. I’ve read a lot of well known adult thrillers, so I’m going to leave them out of this list (but Carrie and Gone Girl are probably my favourite!).

Black Ice – Becca Fitzpatrick

Britt Pheiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

Black Ice

Inherit Midnight – Kate Kae Myers

Seventeen-year-old Avery VanDemere’s ridiculously wealthy grandmother has decided to leave the family fortune to the relative who proves him or herself worthiest–by solving puzzles and riddles on a whirlwind race around the globe.

Inherit Midnight

The Devil You Know – Trish Doller

Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be.

The Devil You Know

Twenty Questions For Gloria – Martyn Bedford

Gloria is tired of her ordinary life. She barely recognizes the free-spirited girl she used to be. So when a mysterious boy bent on breaking the rules strolls into her classroom, Gloria is ready to fall under his spell. Uman is everything Gloria wishes to be. He can whisk her away from the life she loathes and show her a more daring, more exciting one. But Uman in not all he seems and by the time she learns the truth about him, she is a long way from home and everyone wants to know, Where’s Gloria?

Twenty Questions for Gloria

Close Your Eyes – Nicci Cloke

Southfield High School is oh so normal, with its good teachers, its bad, and its cliques. But despite the cliques, there’s a particular group of friends who have known each other forever and know that they can rely on each other for anything. But at the start of Year 11, when the group befriend the new boy, Elijah, things start to change. The group find themselves not as close as they used to be. Until one Tuesday, when the students are trapped inside the school building. And one of them has a gun.

Close Your Eyes