Ali Harris handled the logistics of Written in The Stars so amazingly. It is a 'Sliding Doors' concept where we get to see two future timelines playedAli Harris handled the logistics of Written in The Stars so amazingly. It is a 'Sliding Doors' concept where we get to see two future timelines played out: one where she marries the guy, the other where she leaves him standing at the altar (and explores the possibility of love with an old flame). It was always clear to me which timeline I was following and I loved the creativity in the way the story lines crisscrossed, not just for our MC, but also for her family and friends (whose lives unfolded differently in each timeline). It could not have been easy to map out this concept yet Harris makes it an effortless read. It was also not predictable as to how it would all end (which was a huge drive for reading on).
Having said all that ~ I personally just didn't connect to the characters and the overall writing style. I love the idea of the chick lit genre* but am ridiculously bored or fickle with it, liking the beginning and then fizzing out part way through (not specifically talking about this book here as boring).
If the premise of Written in the Star intrigues you, and you love this genre, it's definitely a book you should scout out and see what you think (the ratings on GR are high, you guys)
* I gotta say, I don't even know if I am applying the classification chick-lit correctly half the time. Is that a thing? I am so clueless here....more
Did you read that blurb? lovelove. First the cover (and title) snatched me and then the blurb had me hooked. I love finding books that I've heard nothDid you read that blurb? lovelove. First the cover (and title) snatched me and then the blurb had me hooked. I love finding books that I've heard nothing about and taking them home with me along with the promise of finding something special.
This Irish chick-lit(ish) tale has small elements of magical realism and a fun vibe that's a smidgen reminiscent of Sophie Kinsella/Meg Cabot (that's the best I can think to describe the style, with it's humour and quirky protag and her family and friends, but it's still not quite the perfect descriptor as O'Neill has her own distinct flavour going on).
Reluctantly Charmed is whimsical with a plot that is wild in it's vision and escalating drama. I loved that about it (the unharnessed charm, marching along to it's own Irish beat). The setting is charming (Dublin! and then countryside Ireland!).
I loved the off-beat vibe that felt distinctly Irish (and otherworldly to this Aussie girl here) ~ from it's rowdy pubs to it's superstitious folklore of eras gone by. Who wouldn't want to be charmed by the possibility of fairies. But not all fairies are good, or are they even real? There's an element of the unknown with foreshadowing on certain characters and there's also manic momentum as each successive letter is published, bringing with them more bedlam, uncertainty and promise.
There is a hot Irish-charm-swoon guy (which I would have welcomed more pages devoted to him, haha). He's a little elusive but brings all that sexual tension and leaves it in his wake.
My one criticism, for me as a reader, is even though the plot was always moving forward and all elements/scenes felt essential, there was just so many threads going on that it really cluttered things up towards the end and seemed to make the ending drag out a little and events take forever to finally unfold. Although, this could have been reader's anxiety ~ desperate to power through and see how the climax explodes all over the place and how the resolution would tie up (you will not guess it, guys).
I love how unexpected the whole book is and it's effortless smiley, breezy style with a wholly original premise (although some elements touched on chick-lit tropes). And that wicked ending! Woah ~ beautiful mix of surreal and real, perfect and painful, sexy and surprising. One minute I was grinning away, smashing through the pages and the next I was startled and genuinely touched...
I liked it, truly, a lot. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about getting back to reading it. And when I was reading it, often post-midnight and drowsy in bed, I was forcing my eyelids open to keep going in true book-addict-just-one-more-page style. Pumped to see what Ellie O'Neill has next and so glad to have found a new fave author <3...more
Completely exhilarating and brilliant and breath-taking and funny and clever and unexpected. Also: so much fun and delight and some very smiley swoonyCompletely exhilarating and brilliant and breath-taking and funny and clever and unexpected. Also: so much fun and delight and some very smiley swoony moments. Jaclyn Moriarty is amazing and The Cracks in the Kingdom is on my all time ultimate faves list.
A Corner of White was just the beginning. I loved it whole-heartedly (my fave book of 2012) and The Cracks in the Kingdom has taken my love for this series to a whole new level (is that even possible?)
The plot cracks along splendidly. Whereas A Corner of White needed more time world building, TCitK takes off from the first chapter. I couldn't put it down, and trust me, I tried. I wanted to savour it and stretch it out and linger for a while but I was compelled to keep flying through, greedy for more, desperate to see where Moriarty would take me. And Moriarty delivers. For the mid series book, it really amps everything up -- and while it sets up the third book perfectly with some new complications, it still delivers with so many satisfying climaxes and resolutions to plot threads from the 1st book and 2nd. (no spoilers here but be excited, guys! So much goodness unfolds!)
The way Moriarty wields all her threads together, she builds them and builds them into this stunning and startling climax, revelations and twists and unexpected flips. I did not see so much of it coming and the way everything unfolded was pretty much perfect. Moriarty is daring and genius. I felt exhilarated when I finished, breathless and giddy and silly and satisfied (except for wanting book three, the finale for this trilogy. stat.)
TCitK is not just a fun, compelling and original, magical book. It's so much more than that. It has Moriarty's off kilter and gorgeous, grin worthy prose, but beyond that I feel like it's all real. I care so much for this Kingdom and the World. The characters have completely won me over and I have a deep and real affection for them.
I've always loved Elliot -- " the boy who knew exactly how to make a girl feel like some kind of carbonated sugar drink was running through her veins" (p.382). And Madeleine grew on me by the end of A Corner of White so that by the time I started The Cracks in the Kingdom she was firmly one of my fave literary heroines and I love spending time with her. I also love a new character in the series "a kid named Samuel from Olde Quaint who's a walking panic attack." (p.78). He is so endearing and earnest and I laughed out loud multiple times at his try-hard ways (laughing in a nice way ;))
Here are a few highlights from the book:
The letters are fantastic, charming and vibrant and a highlight (Moriarty is the queen of epistolary) The trip to the Lake of Spells (best camping trip ever!) The mystery of the 5 missing royals (so compelling and sad and suspenseful!) The whole mystery with Elliot's dad (some really awesome revelations and conclusions!) More science (so smart and interesting!) and more magic (of the quirky and funny and awesome kind) and more Colour attacks (love all the Colour scenes) Secret security and characters with hidden agendas (love Sergio!) The turquiose rain in Jagged Edge (another fave moment, so cool). Also, more travelling throughout the Kingdom of Cello (you se so much more of the strange and beautiful and unique world and it's inhabitants)
(I actually have a lot more highlights but they all crossover into spoilery territory...)
In conclusion: The Cracks in the Kingdom is one of the best books I have ever read, and The Colours of Madeleine is my favourite series of all time. The series is original and it shines so brightly with creativity and heart and humour and is everything I could ever ask for in the most ultimate reading experience. I so hope you give this series a go, and I hope it brings you just as much joy as it does to me....more
truly extraordinary, beautiful and quietly heartbreaking. What a stunning book with an ending that took my breath away. I will be thinking about thistruly extraordinary, beautiful and quietly heartbreaking. What a stunning book with an ending that took my breath away. I will be thinking about this book for a long time. So very highly recommended. Aussie YA does not get much better than this <3 ( full review to come)...more
Wow. Tim Sinclair's debut verse novel on parkour is really something else. For starters, it's everything I like my verse novels to be: that deliciousWow. Tim Sinclair's debut verse novel on parkour is really something else. For starters, it's everything I like my verse novels to be: that delicious exploration of words and rhythm (not rhyme) and experimentation in typography variation. It's a visual masterpiece with so many pages set out in a unique and arresting format. Truly stunning, the pages are an artwork. There's an energy to the writing that drives it forward, at the same time, the words are put together so carefully that you have to stop and let the moment linger, before pushing ahead for more.
I can honestly say I have never read a book like it: the subject (so much action and thrills and paranoia and also this whole underground world I had no idea about). It's exhilarating and vivid -- I found myself being tempted by parkour, (haha, I can't even walk down stairs without tripping over imaginary cracks). I loved the Sydney setting and the relationships and the adrenalin in this book.
Finely crafted, Sinclair breathes so much life into this book. I have seen not a lot about Run out there and I truly hope it gets the attention it deserves. ...more
I love the premise and inspiration for this novel:
Two years ago Liane Moriarty stumbled upon a fascinating article about real life deathbed confessio
I love the premise and inspiration for this novel:
Two years ago Liane Moriarty stumbled upon a fascinating article about real life deathbed confessions. She learned about Christian Spurling, who confessed on his deathbed to faking a notorious photo of the Loch Ness Monster. There was a famous songwriter who was dying of cancer and wrote a letter admitting, after years of adamant denials, that she had plagiarized a lullaby melody. Then there was the hapless man who, after suffering a stroke, confessed he’d killed his neighbour thirty years earlier. The only problem was that he didn’t end up dying. After he was released from hospital he went straight to jail.
This article helped inspire Sydney-based Liane to write her latest novel, The Husband's Secret which we are publishing in April.
Cecilia Fitzpatrick, Sydney wife, mother and P&C President, discovers her husband has a secret so dark it could destroy her blissfully ordinary suburban existence. We all have secrets. But not like this… The Husband’s Secret is a stunning, complex novel guaranteed to cause debate and controversy. This book will have everyone asking, “What would I do?” (taken from Pan Macmillan's press release)
Some of the best highlights of my reading life over the last 7 years (it was in 2005 that I stumbled upon Three Wishes, an all time fave) has been snapping open a new Liane Moriarty. My love for her prose and characters and unique stories brings with it high expectations. You guys, I am SO EXCITED to be sharing my review of this book with you as there has never been a better time to get with the program. The Husband's Secret was so divinely awesome, so surprising, so deliciously funny and genuinely heartfelt that it seriously blew me away, me - a devout fan with sky-high expectations.
So you think you know what this book could be about? Think again. It is so mysterious and even after the Big Reveal (ie the reading of the letter) it's even more unexpected and surprising. Even more addictive. How does she do it? Liane has a niche on the market for intelligent women's fiction ~ utterly original, superbly creative and just so good, so good.
This book had the magic combo for me: that feeling of wanting to rush ahead and devour it all, desperately hanging out for the reveal, and also wanting to slow down and savour all it's brilliance. (confession: I decided to savour this book. 24 hours after cracking open that first chapter I was done. I couldn't stop thinking about when I had to tear myself away, and I'm still thinking about it now.)
I love so much about Liane's books. But I often find myself in a scatterbrained mess trying to articulate just how brilliant they are. Here's a few points :)
1. The storytelling! Moriarty is a master storyteller weaving together three perspectives which eventually criss-cross each other paths. It has that gorgeous touch of whimsy, coincidence and fate. It's also insanely addictive storytelling - reveals in just the right places, humour sprinkled in perfectly alongside the heartbreak the tension building and the climax exploding.
2. The humour is so delightful, it's wicked and empathetic and intelligent and smiley and it just nails it, every time.
3. The characters. They come to life in such a way that they are lovable even in their unlovable moments. I truly was invested in them. I felt their sorrow and ached alongside them <3
4. Those swoony moments. With a few deft sentences, the romance in this book just had my heart, it also left me bereft (but hopeful) at times. Which is the perfect kind of love stories, all good and bad and swoony and unpredictable.
5. The Sydney (and Melbourne) setting. Just gorgeous. So spot on, I could feel myself walking along those streets and doing the school run.
6. The more I was drawn into the book, the more I got caught up in the shades of grey. And wondering just what was the right thing to do? How was Liane going to make this whole thing turn out? The answer is: in an unexpected and unforgettable way...
I recommend this book so much. I am excited for it to be out, excited for everyone to read it. And already hanging out for my next Liane Moriarty fix. ...more
I love Elizabeth Scott. She is one of my all time fave YA authors. I love the feeling of snuggling up with a new Scott book (she is, thankfully, a3.5
I love Elizabeth Scott. She is one of my all time fave YA authors. I love the feeling of snuggling up with a new Scott book (she is, thankfully, a prolific writer ;)). Heart Beat has a gut wrenching, painful premise that would make the book hard work to get through were it not for Scott's effortless prose. Scott has this way of writing sparsely, making the emotion more gut wrenching (as opposed to waxing poetic about all the feelings).
I liked Heart Beat a lot but it wasn't an easy read. Emma's emotions cloud everything and being in her head space made me feel like I needed a breath of fresh air. I hate confrontation and am a huge peacemaker and -- despite the emotional turmoil that consumes Emma -- I was so desperate for her to make peace with Dan, for the fog to lift, for some peace and resolution. At times the conflict felt repetitive, but that may have been me projecting where I wanted the story to go :) It was a really emotional read -- so much grief, and yet no room to grieve. It's a doozy of a premise and right up Scott's alley to explore.
Scott creates some of the best YA boys and Caleb ticks all the boxes (without feeling like he was created to tick boxes, haha). He's mysterious, seriously cute, and behind his bad boy image, he's got a genuinely heart-breaking story. This bad boy is not a typical YA "bad Boy" (i.e. some kind of swaggering, tough, womaniser style kid) -- Caleb has been in trouble with the law and his reputation is earnt, yet his personality is honest and intriguing and, surprisingly, sweet. Scott brings some iconic and swoony moments (rooftop meetings and more) and Emma's scenes with Caleb really lifted some of the heavier themes in the book (even while adding more emotional trauma -- of a different achey kind).
I also really liked the best friend relationship -- which was layered and unique and added more depth to themes being explored.
Scott has the perfect voice for teens. She writes with immeadiacy and her pacing is spot on. She gets right under her character's skins and writes with a lot of heart. She nails friendships and family and swoony boys -- I recommend all her work, all the time, and Heart Beat is no exception. If the premise interests you at all -- check this one out, it's perfect heart-wrenching contemporary YA fans. ...more
Pitched as The Passage meets Ender's Game, The 5th Wave is already creating a lot of hype. I am not a sucker for hype, guys, especially in a genre thaPitched as The Passage meets Ender's Game, The 5th Wave is already creating a lot of hype. I am not a sucker for hype, guys, especially in a genre that has, at times, been over-saturated. I didn't read much about The 5th Wave before beginning it, and I liked it that way.
The first thing that captured me about it was Cassie's authentic teen voice. Compelling, genuine and refreshing. More so the tone and opening chapters of the book reminded me of Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden (my fave YA series of all time, MY GOSH, I love it so). By chapter four I was seriously (suddenly) excited.
I love the feeling of realising you are reading (what is bound to be) a favourite new book. The premise sucked me in, the characters were relate-able and the plot moved along so expertly: revealing new information at crucial moments, bursts of action perfectly balanced with introspection and flashbacks and just when the book felt like it couldn't get more awesome BAM along came some swoon* (nicely done).
I charged through this book. It felt fully realised and intricately plotted. There's four POVs (although two of those are just a smidgen). What I really loved about this book (and look forward to exploring as the series continues) is all the shades of grey. Who can you really trust? Even when you decide who you are going to trust, have you made the right decision? Who is the enemy? What is the future?
I loved the creativity in this fallen earth. The waves and the terror and the survival of a remnant.
Also: the prose. I can't quote from the e-galley but I highlighted some lush and gorgeously worded lines. It helped seal the deal the for me.
Yes, I think this deserves the hype. So many people are going to love this book. I'm excited for such a high quality YA post-apocalyptic to recommend to fans of The Hunger Games and Tomorrow When the War Began.
*as for the swoon, MY GOSH. It's not all mushy and dramatic. It's more achey with it's quietness and the sense of whether or not they can trust one another. Still, he's a babe and the romantic tension is just fab and I can't wait for more. ...more
It has been a long time since I have fallen so hard for a contemporary YA novel. I have barely heard of any buzz surrounding Laura Nowlin's debut. I oIt has been a long time since I have fallen so hard for a contemporary YA novel. I have barely heard of any buzz surrounding Laura Nowlin's debut. I ordered it on a whim, not really sure what to expect. I liked the cover, the premise sounded like my kind of thing and I always like the chase of finding a YA book free of preconceived hopes and praise.
I was unprepared for just how good this book is, easily my favourite YA book of the year so far and it now sits on my favourites shelf.
Nowlin is a born storyteller. And this book differs from other YA books as it spans over three years of Autumn's life (told in the present, but it also encapsulated much more than that with memories and flashbacks). I love the time span of this novel, it stretched ahead of me and wrapped itself around me and I was entirely absorbed into Autumn's world.
This is a YA coming-of-age love story, but not in that swoony, predictable way. It hit me harder than a just the regular dreamy smile for the hot guy next door (and Finny is a hot boy living next door): I felt it right through to my stomach and to my chest constricting as I watched August and Finny together. The things left unsaid, the memories swirling around them, hope's dashed, future's uncertain.
Nowlin so perfectly captures that teen voice: the misunderstandings between teenagers, the things unsaid, the dreams, the doubts, the wildly good times and also snatches of depression. I love Autumn as she felt so real. no aspect of her was gimmicky. She was fully nuanced, so gorgeous and bold and different without ever falling into a YA cliché and I loved seeing the world from her eyes. She was the perfect blend of confident and unsure. Nothing was black and white: I loved all the shades of grey in her feelings and everything that was going on in her world. I loved her for her fairytale hopes all mashed up with trying to face reality. For her love of reading and her uncompromising stance on who she was, even as she was trying to figure out the very same thing.
And, oh, how I love the history of her relationship with Finny. There are a lot of flashbacks and memories and I never grew tired of it. I felt included in their lives. Finny himself is now one of my most favourite YA boys, not just as a gorgeous love interest, but for who he was.
If He Had Been With Me has it's own unique vibe. The prose sometimes has it's own jaunty little rhythm, other times passages are so so poignant and heartfelt that my chest constricted. The writing was deeply personal, holding nothing back.
With such a lush scope of three years plus, Nowlin explores so many experiences: friendships, cliques, first love, divorce, mental health, sex, all those gorgeous moments caught between the mystery and promise of adulthood looming ahead while thinking back on childhood.
The thing about this book is it just kept getting better and better. For me, it was like meeting a new friend, and liking them, and then getting to know them until they become one of those lifelong besties that you cannot imagine life without. I liked Autumn so much from the outset, but she grew on me, exponentially so, as did her friends, her mum (and aunty) and, of course, Finny and now I just have this love for them and I know I won't ever be forgetting this gorgeous, beautiful and achey story.
For discussion: I would have preferred the book without the prologue chapter. The writing itself pulled me into the story, that and the promise of what was to come - I did not need such a dramatic hook. I also am not a fan of the blurb that's on GR. I think it changes the reading experience (luckily, I did not read the blurb on that site - which is also used on most bloggers review posts, amazon, etc - and only read the back cover of the book). The ending felt rushed, then abrupt. I think I needed a tiny bit longer to linger in the story, to make sense of it all, but I understand what Nowlin was trying to do.
I can't stop thinking about this story. I am crazily excited to fall this hard for a debut author and cannot wait to read more of Nowlin's work (understatement). I have a new absolute favourite book, so much passages bookmarked. I have so much love for this book and hope it falls into many hands. I envy those readers their first time reading experience waiting before them. LOVE
(Confession: I stayed up until 4.30am to finish this one. My only regret is it's already over...)
Perfect theme song: the Special Two by the ever lush Missy Higgins
Some fact-ish stuff: All This could end is narrated by both Nina and Spencer, in alternating POVs. There is a love story. And bank robbery's. With gunsSome fact-ish stuff: All This could end is narrated by both Nina and Spencer, in alternating POVs. There is a love story. And bank robbery's. With guns and stuff. And intriguing family secrets, and sad family secrets, and secret secrets as well. It's about families and friendships and wanting and hoping and dreaming and growing up. And everythign complicated in between.
Steph Bowe's second novel is an absolute breath of fresh air. Despite the original and delicious premise (a family of bank robbers) All This Could End is much more of a character driven than plot driven novel, . And this is where Bowe shines. Her characters are brimming with life and insecurities and intelligence and hope and just the perfect amount of truth and charm.
The other thing I loved about this book is that it is this gorgeous blend of the real and the slightly surreal. This book is so grounded in real life, yet has the whimsiest* touches of creative licence. While reading I was reminded of a post Steph Bowe wrote where she talks about her 'love of the slightly ridiculous'.
"I don't think ridiculous and genuine have to be mutually exclusive, or that literary fiction has the monopoly on affecting and brilliant stories. I think as long as there are characters the reader can empathise with, a ridiculous plotline will work (and some degree of self-awareness and irony helps)."
This quote really stood out to me when I first read the post (as a reader, I completely concur), and afterwards while reading All This Could End. All This Could End isn't all that ridiculous, at all, it's completely genuine and the characters are grounded and perfectly relate-able and achey. But. There are these perfectly delightful little anecdotes, memories and idiosyncrasies that just make the reader smile. It lifts the story and gives it this charming and fun edge.
This is the kind of book you sink into and savour the vibe and small moments. It's narration is often full of internal dialogue. Fast-paced, it is not. I found it so easy to engage with both Nina and Spencer, but at times wished there was a bit more of a tug in the plot, that little bit of something that would keep me sitting a little bit tighter, keep me a little more glued to the pages.
Most of all, this book is just full of soul with the right dash of whimsy. It's also the teensiest bit surprising, teetering on the edge of certain heartbreak, the climax and resolution and little mysteries unknown and revealing themselves at just the right moments.
It has it's own utterly unique heartbeat. It's the kind of book that, when placed in the right set of hands, turns out to be a perfect kindred spirit kind of book.
I have mentioned before how I so love Text publishing and a lot of the books they are bringing to readers. All This Could End is another gem of theirs and I would be so pleased to see this book picked up by international publishing houses. For those in Australia, this is not to be missed out on.
Paper chains has so much cool going for it: Set in London! And Australia :) and other snippetty travel scenes and flashbacks.
Two mysterious girls (ladiPaper chains has so much cool going for it: Set in London! And Australia :) and other snippetty travel scenes and flashbacks.
Two mysterious girls (ladies) both holding secrets. What is going on?
Those gorgeous moments of serendipity that I adore.
Prose that you sink Ito, sentiments perfectly captured.
Most ever so importantly, characters to care about. To get under your skin. Two gorgeous girls, so different. And all their worlds (including their sexy, at times, estranged men) and family.
It also has bone crushing moments of absolute despair. At times, I felt it was hard to breathe, smothered with the weight of it. Paper Chains tackles some very real, and very depressing issues. But Moriarty would bring flashes of whimsy and the shyest of smiles to lighten the load.
There were moments of silliness and absolute charm. Flashbacks to the cutest and sexiest of meet-cutes (crazily love that Luna park scene). And then there was complete devastation and broken-heartedness of the kind that you are not sure anyone can ever really recover from.
There's a rare moment where I go from being cocooned in a fictional story and soaking it up, to suddenly realizing I have completely placed myself in the story and am crying right alongside the characters. This book didn't just include certain issues, it feels like the author poured her soul and ever fibre of her emotions into bringing Hannah's feelings to the page. It was, at times, unrelenting and eye opening. It kind of ripped me wide open.
Now for the cheesy confession: I don't like to wax poetic about reading being therapeutic or whatever. I honestly read because I happen to love reading, but Paper Chains went above and beyond and I felt so liberated, so affirmed after finishing. From things I didn't even realize I was holding onto. Failures or perceived failures. Secret thoughts and pressures. Doubts and expectations. I just felt like everything is okay, is going to be okay, and life is good. Those final chapters with Hannah were just perfect. And India, just LOVE.
I am sorry to be cryptic but I don't want to spoil anything in any way.
I so thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had the perfect little addictive pull that my favourite reading experiences require. It had so much emotion and heart and just the perfect amount of whimsy. It had characters I am still buzzing about and I will, for sure, be revisiting it again soon and passing my copy onto all my fave reading buddies, who I only pass the absolute best books on to :)
Paper Chains is on my favourites list for 2013 and my favourites list for always. ...more
I have been anticipating this book for a long time (Six Impossible Things being one of my favourite booI marked my fave passages -- here's just a few:
I have been anticipating this book for a long time (Six Impossible Things being one of my favourite books) but I did not anticipate how much this book would resound with me.I felt like Wood was peeking inside my soul, capturing feelings and thoughts, taking me right back to my teenage self. Taken those haphazard and chaotic feelings and brought them to life in such a poignant, heartfelt and smiley, achey way.
There is so much to love about Wildlife. I love the way Fiona Wood writes. She has taken her time with this. Words are carefully chosen, plots are weaved together, sentiments are nailed, dialogue is funny and sharp and pitch perfect.
I didn't realise Wildlife would incorporate two POVs. And I loved that about it. Lou's POV is shared through her diary entries, Sibylla's in present tense prose. I also loved the whole set-up. School camps were the best, and here we have a whole term school camp experience = winner for me.
A bit about Lou I ached for Lou the most, wished she did not have to endure through the grief, and at the same time, I loved how she endured. She became so fierce and true to herself. Even in her grief, she is sharp and so likeable: After Fred died I divided my time between blind disbelief, blank chaos and therapy. (p7 Lou). Also, she brings to the book one of the best 'I love you' moments EVER. It nearly broke me, the swoon and all that was and all that was lost.
And Michael, how I loved him Speaking of favourite characters, I loved Michael so much.
If I ever see Michael with a dreamyvague smile on his face and ask him what he's thinking about the answer is likely to be, prime numbers. (p 42 Sib on Michael) Michael really spoke to me. He was unique, just doing his own thing which was not like the crowd at all and teen years can be so hard for boys like him, but Wood really elevated him and he is such a stand-out and a new favourite literary character for me. I so like him, and I think he will resonate with many readers.
'Lou seems to have in common with Michael that thing of not caring at all about other people's approval. (p245 Sib) I wanted to go into the pages of this book and hang out with them, I wanted to go back to my teenage self and let Lou and Michael rub off on me and make me a better version of myself. 'The only person you should be is yourself. You can't control perception. All you can control is how you treat someone else.' (p 308. Lou to Sib. I love her.)
And, also, Sibylla... I loved Sib as well, her narration and heartache was charming and honest and she is so beautifully captured. What am I even doing here? Me, an inner city girl. Ninety per cent of my life happens on one highly resourced page of the street directory. (p92 sib LOL)
I'm too tired and too sad to write home just yet.I miss them, even Charlotte. Who'd thunk? I don't think I fully appreciated how relaxing it is having someone I can be really mean to. It's going to be so hard being nice all the time. (p 51 sib -- I know that feeling :))
I am really sick of the people who need to tell me I'm unattrative. Somehow they feel duty-bound to put me down because I've been in that stupid advertisement. Surely my neon self-esteem/appearance sign is still visibly flickering on 'below average'. Nothing has changed here. (p289 Sib. Capturing how we have all felt, despite her confidence and shining personality).
Here I could mention all the themes and goodness and beauty of this book, there is so much depth and richness to explore. However, in thinking about my review, I really want to say, despite the ache and grief and exploring sex and friendship and classic coming of age stuff, just how much FUN the whole book is
Favourite things about Wildlife that I loved: pranks ghosts (Maisy and the charcoal man), hikes camping elevensies clinkers 'we intend to deliver the joy of grammar to wanderers in the alpine region.' p212 apostrophes of possession graffiti. That whole scene = love so much redskins sex and STDs and Lou's mum -- many LOLs Looking for Alibrandi shout-out <3 snippets of awesome hanging out teen dialogue: What flavour would you say blue snakes are?' He asked (p 238 michael to Lou)
Also, finding out more about Dan and the gang from Six Impossible Things: I look forward to sitting with him when he gets back and I am released. We will sit and not have to talk. Or we may talk. If we do, it won't be to reassure someone who doesn't feel as bad as we feel that everything is okay. (p147 Lou, thinking about Dan)
While I was reading Wildlife I loved it. I loved the fresh and funny feel. Loved watching the character's interact. Loved the little anecdotes weaved into the narrative. After I finished Wildlife, I loved it even more. Once I saw the big picture I was in awe of how Wood did all that. How she crafted a story that was so much more than a linear storyline. Full of deep running themes (see Reynje's review for more theme discussion).
Wildlife is a beautifully written story that will stand the test of time and multiple rereads. A book for every teenager, and everyone who once was a teenager. A new absolute favourite for me....more
Quiet, unassuming and utterly compelling. This novel was, in parts, relentlessness and terrifying. Yet Scott balances it beautifully with hope and theQuiet, unassuming and utterly compelling. This novel was, in parts, relentlessness and terrifying. Yet Scott balances it beautifully with hope and the tiniest spark of life just in all the right places.
I love how Scott writes the bare bones. These succinct, achey sentences. Not quite telling the full story and yet creating a perfect whole, somehow. This style, written sparingly, brings so much depth.
The thing is: I read it whole one quiet afternoon. Found it utterly compelling and heartbreaking and a touch surreal.
And now, weeks later, I am still thinking about it.
I am not ashamed to say I cried in this book. Not just for Megan, but maybe in part for myself. Even though I have no cause to suffer from PTSD, I think all of us can relate to those feelings in some way.
This book felt like the real deal. Not another YA book with a gimmicky catchy hook. Not trying to please a crowd. But as if it was written from somewhere deep inside the character's soul. I don't know how Elizabeth Scott does it. But I hope she never stops.
I wasn't intending to review this due to time. But I just wanted to say something because this book has said something to me. I loved it. I recommend it. ...more
Cinder is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles quartet (the quartet will star Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White).
I have read a fCinder is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles quartet (the quartet will star Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White).
I have read a few fairytale retellings, but none so bold and dynamic as this futuristic retelling of Cinderella. There were so many elements to love:
humans and cyborgs and androids haviging out in a techno-gadget-y future (Cinder is a cyborg) a plague (I am a sucker for plague/virus stories) intergalactic political intrigue (with an evil queen living on the moon ~ and the mysterious death of an heir...) sci-fi elements and a dash of magic mashed-up creatively with the classic fairytale
There’s also a constant weaving in of (tragic) back story, shrouded in secrets. The story is mostly told from out heroine's perspective, but there are chapters from Prince Kai’s point of view (widening the scope of the narrative.)
Plot-wise ~ there’s a lot going on. The plot is constantly steaming ahead. As with most retellings, the characters have a defined role to play (as in: the role of the evil stepmother, the shallow sister, the arch nemesis, the charming prince). I loved watching out for plot elements that matched the classic Cinderella story and enjoyed the twists Meyer gives them (ie, instead of Cinder losing her shoe at the ball ~ she loses her (cyborg) foot. In some places, characters are little more than their role, but in others, Meyer succeeds in going further than the stereotypes and layering her characters, so you feel their unique hopes, dreams, aches, love and loss. I loved the relationship between Cinder and her (nice) step-sister, Peony, and Iko (Cinder’s android bestie). Prince Kai had his moments too, he was charming, sure, but it is not an overly romantic kind of book.
I am truly curious to see what sci-fi fans think of Cinder. I found it easy to imagine the futuristic world, even though I mostly have no idea about all the techno gadget stuff.
Perhaps the one thing that detracted from the experience for me, was there was just so much going on . All the plot threads pulled together in the end, but I wish I could’ve had more time with the characters and less of the constant action/political intrigue/plot twists* but that complaint is coming from a contemporary YA lover who loves getting under character’s skins.
overall Cinder is more of a wild ride than a lingering read. The thing that most impressed me about this story is it’s scope. It’s dynamic, imaginative and creative. It would play out brilliantly on the big screen. It would have sucked me in big time when I was a teenager.
*regarding the plot twists: I saw them all coming ~ but not in an unsatisfactory way, some had the kind of foreshadowing that heightened anticipation. Other twists were screamingly obvious to me even as the characters remained completely oblivious....more