Wonder has a snip on her nose, not a blaze! This cover is wrong. Minutely, but wrong. LOL!
I think I would have enjoyed this bIndulging my inner child.
Wonder has a snip on her nose, not a blaze! This cover is wrong. Minutely, but wrong. LOL!
I think I would have enjoyed this book a lot more when I was a child. Because, obviously, that's the age range it's appealing to. I was horse mad and devoured everything with a pony on the cover.
The best thing about this book is probably the wish fulfilment angle. I reckon a lot of young horse-crazy girls would love the idea of living in Ashleigh's shoes and raising their very own filly.
I love Wonder. I've always loved the way Joanna Campbell writes about horses. Sometimes it's not very realistic - the horses understand things way too much - but it's a nice story to read because you want to believe that horses are smarter than they really are. They're not anthropomorphised, but they're given way too much credit. It's a fantasy that I welcome.
Ashleigh's a realistic character as well. She's not perfect. She struggles to balance her school life with her horsey responsibilities. Her grades fall and her health suffers as she concentrated more on Wonder.
I'd almost go so far as to say that I wish this book was longer, but it's a children's book so I won't.
I want to track down all the books in the series up to number 23 (afterwards it's a whole cast change). Wish me luck!...more
This short comic is packed full of action and adventure as it continues on the tale of what happens directly after Aang defeats Fire Lord Ozai at theThis short comic is packed full of action and adventure as it continues on the tale of what happens directly after Aang defeats Fire Lord Ozai at the end of the animated series.
I found the dialogue kind of clunky and inorganic sometimes. It seemed to me more like fanfiction.
However the artwork was amazing, especially during the fight scenes. It was incredible to see fight scenes move to a flat page and work so well.
I think most of the reason I liked this so much is because I've always wanted to know what happened after - especially Aang and Katara's relationship. Their commitment to each other and their emotional connection is still strong and wonderful and beautiful to look at.
If you're a fan of the Avatar television show - not the film - then you should enjoy this little snippet of post-TV show adventures. I sure did, and I'd recommend it to any Avatar fan....more
I really wanted to like this book. A LOT. I wanted to like it so much that I got its two sequels, Lovesick and Homecoming out of the library at the saI really wanted to like this book. A LOT. I wanted to like it so much that I got its two sequels, Lovesick and Homecoming out of the library at the same time.
But I can’t even finish it. I put the book down at page 227.
The characters are boring and literally make no sense. The writing is worse than juvenile. And there are errors in it that just make me want to tear my hair out: at one point, a character called Scarlet turns up the volume on her iPod to maximum, then calmly has a conversation with another character – without taking her earphones out or turning the iPod off. I was reading their interaction as if music was still screaming in her ears. If that’s not bad enough, the section ends with Scarlet putting a CD into her “music player” and heading to class.
That’s the point where I gave up.
There were a “surprising” amount of “unnecessary” air quotes in the “text” as well – several on one page that were completely arbitrary. It did not endear to me. It wasn’t funny and it was completely superfluous, as well as serving no purpose.
The book tried too hard to be funny. The funniest thing was Charlotte’s death – choking to death on a gummy bear (which isn’t a spoiler, btw) – and even then it teetered between funny, sad, and downright morbid.
And I don’t know about anyone else, but it really annoys me when characters are having a calm conversation and then all of a sudden they scream.
I don’t even know what target audience this is aiming for. I’d hazard a guess at middle grade because of the juvenile writing, but there are mentions of erections, virginity, menstrual cycles, planned parenthood, casual sex and the occasional curse word. I haven’t read much middle grade stuff but I thought it was supposed to be safe and clean. My bad if it’s not.
I’m used to heroines getting unnatural obsessions, so the part where Charlotte never gave two seconds’ worth of thought to her parents didn’t actually bother me that much. What bothered me was that she decided to keep living her old life before she had any idea of how to do it. It was ungraceful and unflattering. Charlotte was also an unlikeable character. Not just because she’s written that way, but because there’s no explanation given as to why, if she’s so “invisible” (there I go with the quotes again) people like Petuna bullied her so harshly.
It’s a pity I put this book down because I was getting interested in Scarlet and the boy. Whatever his name was. I’ve literally just put the book down and I can’t remember – he’s that forgettable. He’s your typical YA hot guy, let’s suffice. But there’s absolutely no sense behind any of the character’s motivations. Petuna’s just a bitch. Scarlet’s just an outcast. Charlotte’s invisible. Heaven forbid if any of us ask why. Why are the cheerleaders so mean to Charlotte? Why does Prue hate her so much, seeing as how she’s supposed to be ‘invisible’? Why is that stupid house so important and why the crap do the ghost kids still go to the living school, side by side their fleshy counterparts?
Sorry. But even an awesome Ace of Cakes Ghostgirl cake couldn’t make me like this.
That’s right, biatches! I rated this book FOUR STARS!
Why? Because I really liked it. That’s all that’s required by Goodreads.
However, I am going to teThat’s right, biatches! I rated this book FOUR STARS!
Why? Because I really liked it. That’s all that’s required by Goodreads.
However, I am going to tell you WHY I liked it, and why it was such a dramatic improvement over the other previous novels.
~SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.~
Laurel doesn’t cry. Not once. WAY TO GO, LAUREL!
When the two boys involved in the love triangle keep fighting over her, Laurel DUMPS THEIR ASSES. WAY TO GO, LAUREL!
Although I have to admit, I’d either completely forgotten Tamani had a Scottish accent, or it wasn’t actually explained in the previous novels. Because I found it surprising. It was referred to a few times and I tried to remember if we’d been told earlier, but I couldn’t. When he returns ready to fight for Laurel, I inwardly groaned. Laurel has rejected him so many times, I think he’s pretty stupid for not getting the picture. I suppose he’s convinced he and Laurel are supposed to be together, which is why, for a long time, I liked Laurel and David.
Newcomer Yuki was a welcome breath of fresh air. Mostly because it really makes the audience aware of how much of a bitch Laurel is. She gets maddeningly jealous when Tamani has to pretend to be interested in Yuki. In fact, the love triangle between Laurel, David and Tamani takes centre stage in this novel. Not to say that it annoyed me: Laurel was awesomely cool and after she had a predictable conversation with her mother, where the older woman convinced her daughter that not all love is equal and that staying with someone from loyalty is not the same as love, Laurel dumps David’s ass. David is being a dick in this novel, anyway. I feel ambivalent about him, but I’m glad Laurel did what she did.
But even then, Tamani doesn’t ‘win’. Sure, he kind of ‘gets’ Laurel, but she won’t make it official. I don’t even really mind if Laurel is torn between the two boys, because at least if she’s not dating either of them she’s not being a total bitch by leading one on *cough*BELLA*cough* *cough*NORA*cough* *cough*LUCE*cough*
Pardon me while I go get a glass of water to combat this toad in my throat.
I suppose one thing I was disappointed about in this novel is that Laurel’s Avalon adventures aren’t chronicled. I can understand why Pike didn’t add it in: we got a glimpse of Avalon in Spells. But still, it was a little annoying that Laurel is suddenly a decent Mixer when in Spells she kind of sucked at it.
And I might be stupid, but why does Yuki have perfectly accented American English when she’s born and raised in Japan? Not even a trace of an accent? It’s her second language, surely.
And once again, Laurel doesn’t save the day. She stands aside and lets the boys do the work, conveniently fainting when fighting is required.
However, she gets so many bonus points for dumping the boys. It’s like… I can’t even… I NEED DESTINED LIKE NOW!...more
My name is Laurel and I’m the most perfect creature to ever walk the earth. That’s because I’m a faerie, and every autumn a beaut**spoiler alert** Hi.
My name is Laurel and I’m the most perfect creature to ever walk the earth. That’s because I’m a faerie, and every autumn a beautiful flower grows out of my back. That makes me special, because I’m not human. But when I go and live with the faeries, I’m not faerie either, because I was adopted by humans. So I can lord around the intricately built faerie culture and tell them how stupid their caste system is, and break all the rules with no repercussions. Because did I mention I’m special?
I also cry at everything. I cry when people are nice to me (because that NEVER happens), I cry when people are angry at me, I cry when I’m talking to someone and I cry when I can’t do something right. I’m a big fat crybaby. But it’s okay, because even though I’m a plant, I do still have tear ducts. But they probably don’t cry saltwater, because saltwater is icky on my plant pores and saps my strength.
Anyway, I’ve just spent my summer at the faerie Academy, where of course I couldn’t do anything right for no specified reason. It makes me cry! I’m probably too human, but that’s okay, because I’m really a faerie, remember. Faeries are totally awesome because despite being plants they are graceful and in school everyone pays attention all the time and no one gets laughed at when they fail. Did I mention faeries are totally superior to humans? Because they are.
Anyway I went to the Academy to learn how to protect my adopted family from the trolls that are bound to attack me because I’m just that special. But even though I learnt a lot and then some other irrelevant stuff happened, al that I really remember is dating two boys – one a human and the other the hottest fairy EVER OMG did I mention I have two boyfriends? I should cry about this.
In the end, I didn’t even manage to protect my loved ones and needed rescuing AGAIN! Sigh. What’s a perfect flower girl to do? Maybe I’ll go off and cry for a bit. ...more
This review contains photos of mentioned locations as a gift to international readers.
My review is split in to five sections: Writing, Plot, WorldbuilThis review contains photos of mentioned locations as a gift to international readers.
My review is split in to five sections: Writing, Plot, Worldbuilding, Characters, and X-Factor. Each section comprises of either half or one star, except X-Factor which can utilise two whole stars.
I’ve read some other reviews of this book, and like my friend Shirley Marr, I agree this book should probably be rated in two separate halves . The first half is pretty damned awesome: Tessa has amnesia, and the things she does remember suggests she’s from another time. The second half is much less awesome, where Tessa finally figures out what she is and embraces her true nature.
Writing 1 The writing in this is pretty good. It’s second person point of view, for the most part, although because it’s Tessa writing down her story the second often drifts away into first person. It’s not technically, purely second person because of this. It’s more like first person with references to a second person. I also really enjoyed Tessa’s ‘awakening’, I suppose. Her re-learning little things that she’s forgotten such as OMG WAFFLES ARE AMAZEBALLS. That was fun. Overall the writing was clean and elegant, with recurring motifs such as I am Tessa. I am brave. I do not cry. It’s a powerful message that recurs in the book as Tessa tries to gather her lost memories.
Editing errors: Call me pedantic, call me what you will, I really don’t give a flying. This is a book about my city with local characters written by a semi-local. I don’t know Gordon’s background, only that she grew up on the north-west coast and now lives on the east coast, but if she went to university she probably – like the majority of Tasmanians who stay in the state of a tertiary education – went to the south for her further education. There aren’t really many reasons why these errors should be in the book. The only reason I can think is that it was either changed to appeal to an American audience, or the editor made some changes that Gordon missed because I can’t imagine a local referring to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens as the ‘botanic gardens’.
See? It says it right there in the name, and I have never ever heard of them referred to as simply ‘botanic’. I may be obsessing over a tiny little ‘al’ but really, locals would never make that mistake.
The other error is one of the other students calling Scottsdale High School ‘Scottsdale Public’ like an American school. That’s not how we refer to our schools. This grated on me as well, as if it was trying to appeal to an American audience but the book’s not even for sale in America, so I couldn’t figure out WHY.
The final error is one of the students referring to her education achievement certificate as a ‘diploma’. In Tasmania, you don’t get diplomas at high school, you get them at University (they’re less intense than degrees). We get a Tasmanian Certificate of Education at the completion of college (two seniors years before university) and a Higher School Certificate at the completion of high school, which is four years previous to the college years. A diploma is a foreign concept. It shouldn’t be in this book.
The magical hat incident: Page 116:
“I pulled the hat out now and pushed it roughly on to my head, then strode towards the door.”
“I reached in my bag and pulled out Laurel’s woollen beanie, the beanie I never got to wear.”
I don’t even need to make a comment about that.
Plot .5 First half 1 Second half 0 The plot was decent and quite strong in the first half of the book. It followed the mystery of Tessa trying to figure out who she is and remember things after her ‘incident’ – her being found in the bush, unconscious, dirty, with hair in rat’s tails and mysterious stripey scars on her back.
In the second half, once Tessa figured out her secret (LONG after I had) I didn’t enjoy the story very much. Tessa turns into another character, not like the amnesia girl at all. She blurts her secret to her friend, whom she thinks might be an enemy, but does it anyway because she thinks her friend-maybe-enemy is ‘different’, like her. I didn’t like Tessa’s incessant need to eavesdrop info-dumping sessions and then not be able to put one and one together. I didn’t really like how her random memories would pop into her head and play back like a film, taking over her whole life at that point in time, because that’s not how memories actually work. Then the end was all kinds of cliffhangery which I didn’t like. I didn’t feel satisfied about the conclusion.
The blurb promised more of a mystery to do with Cat as well, which totally didn’t happen.
Worldbuilding 1 I loved the worldbuilding. It almost made perfect sense. Of course the Diemens would follow convict women halfway across the globe to a small town hardly anyone has heard of. The world was injected with enough real-life landmarks to make it almost believable. I didn’t like the idea of an all-girls’ school built next to the brewery, but I liked the idea of the school. I quite liked Tessa’s backstory, just not how it was revealed.
Characters .5 Overall, I generally liked Tessa, even when she exhibited very typical YA heroine empty-headed ‘sense’. She was curious, and although I think her actions pushed by patience I understand the need for her to react the way she did. The story needed conflict, and that was the best way to inject it. It doesn’t endear me to Tessa, but it does push the story along.
And also… Tessa does cry. On more than one occasion, tears come to her eyes. She just pushes it away. She’s not an unfeeling robot who never has tears come to her eyes. So the whole ‘I am Tessa, I am brave, I do not cry’ was weird. All the same, I liked the way Tessa was built and for the most part I enjoyed reading about her.
X Factor 0 This book should be getting at least one star for X Factor because it’s set in my home state with landmarks I totally squeed over. I dragged my photographer partner out to take photos for this review, to demonstrate some of the real landmarks mentioned:
Taroona High School
Yep, that’s ocean right outside the back door (well technically a river), and I fondly recall the time we convinced our maths teacher to let us go down to the beach to watch the dolphins and humpback whales swim up the river.
Mures Seafood Restaurant
Cascade Brewery, where the school is supposed to be built next to... but um… who would build a school next to a brewery?
The Female Factory
Also bonus! This is a quern-stone we found while exploring the Female Factory site. It’s used to grind grain. Isn’t that awesome?
Note – this photo was taken a few years ago when I lived at the base of the mountain, literally a two minute walk from the Female Factory. That’s snow, which is a rare occurrence in the city but quite common on the mountain from about May-September, although it has been known to snow in March (end of summer) and October (spring). I’m pretty sure it even freak snowed in December once.
This book didn’t have an X Factor for me. The emotional response was purely because I grew up in the same city as Tessa, and that’s extremely rare in not only YA literature but also literature of Australia. The second half of the book let me down too much for me to recall anything I may have been excited over in the first half.
Overall This is a strong paranormal novel consisting of several familiar tropes. Its strength is its location and the unique take on not only Australian wildlife but particularly those extinct or near extinct Tasmanian animals. Gordon is a clear and concise writer who utilises familiar themes and motifs to continue the narrative thread. The failure of the second half of this novel will not detract from readers who enjoy a good paranormal story utilising an amnesiac heroine.