Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Review: Girls by Jo Vraca

THE STORY:

Good girls and bad girls, they're everywhere.

Girls is a collection of short stories about young women in the city and the country, who are living with choices made by, and for, them. Dive into their lives.


MY THOUGHTS:

Girls is a collection of short stories that span a multitude of eras and continents. It was a quick but engaging read and fun to come across a character from Vraca’s other novel Floating Upstream which I really enjoyed. One great thing about reading books written by authors living near you is that you can identify with so many of the landmarks and culturally specific references. Even if you’re not Australia, Girls has a nostalgic quality to it that is very enjoyable. 

THE RATING:

5/5
 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Poison: Review Tour and Giveaway


With all of the excitement of the holiday season I had forgotten that I organised a book review tour a while back when I was immersed in marketing for my debut novel Poison. If you're interested in seeing the tour lineup you can do so here: Xpresso Book Tours

There's also a Rafflecopter Giveaway to go with the tour that you can enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaways


Here is where you will find information on any giveaways both past and present that I am running!


CURRENT:






PAST:

POISON Review Tour (Xpresso Reads)

Monday, 18 January 2016

Review: The Gathering by Isobelle Carmody





THE STORY:

When fifteen-year-old Nathanial moves to a sinister town that has been bruised by an ancient evil, he finds himself one of those Chosen to fight the cycle of darkness.

MY THOUGHTS:


The writing was clear and the premise was interesting. I would have liked to see a bit more world building as I found myself asking questions that were never resolved. I enjoyed the themes in this one even if at times I wanted the main characters to have a bit more agency.

This started out being a 5 star read because of the premise but the closer I got to the end of the novel the more some of the aspects began to bug me. One of my pet hates is the use of cryptic messages from a mysterious being attempting to guide a group into saving the world. I understand the need for tension but to have someone speaking in riddles when there is so much at stake is aggravating. Especially when there hasn’t been any established rules that prevent the person from speaking plainly.

I didn’t mind Nathaniel as a character but as the POV character I didn’t really believe in his portrayal as a “thinker.” So often secondary characters dropped clues that he didn’t pick up and it took him way too long  to come to a conclusion that was quite blatantly obvious. Nathaniel had almost no fight in him and when certain events happen I was disappointed in his tame reaction. I would have much preferred for Danny to be the POV character because he had spunk and was a man of action.

As with most YA I didn’t care for the attempted romance in this one. There just wasn’t any need for it as it neither seemed organic nor did it really advance the plot in any way. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if the love interest hadn’t been such an unpleasant person as well. 

THE RATING:

3.5/5


Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group: No Escape

Insecure Writer's Support Group is a blog hop hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh where totally insecure writers can get together and share the things that are making us go argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          I was going to do a 2016 goals post for my first IWSG but then I realised that I haven't written anything since the end of November 2015. Over the (Australian) summer break I've been watching quite a bit of Netflix and one of the documentaries called Cowspiracy has really had a profound effect one me. It never occurred to me just how environmentally damaging and unethical factory farming is. What makes it worse is that most people don't want to know about it and would prefer to turn a blind eye so that they can still buy convenient meat at the supermarket. What does this have to do with writing you ask?
         Well, writing is my way of escaping into a world where I have some control. Where I can disappear and forget about reality and the terrible things happening in the real world. Except this time I can't seem to forget. Maybe it's just that I'm getting older and more cynical and writing make believe just isn't enough to push the real world demons aside. I'm worried that writing  can't provide me with the escape that I need and therefore my motivation to write will just disappear. I'm hoping this is just a phase and maybe post holiday blues and that soon I'll be able to find the right balance of ethics/reality that I will be able to take it all in my stride. Here's hoping that next month I will have made some progress.

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