Review: Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

Our Chemical HeartsOur Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Our Chemical Hearts’ is THE newest heart-throb of YA literature. And when I say heart-throb, I mean it will make you laugh, gasp, cry and wish that you’ve read-it-earlier/never-read-it-before simultaneously!
Picking up the book, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I remembered reading a couple of reviews about it earlier, and despite their generally high ratings, I held the belief that there was a negative attribute that each review gave the novel.
I really shouldn’t have worried so much.
This novel was spectacular.
I loved, loved, LOVED, the messed up characters! And they really were messed up! There is probably no other way to describe how deeply flawed and out of whack some of them were. But their imperfection gifted them with a very strong, tangible qualities that would sweep me off my feet and dump me head first into their shocking world and their most inner secrets, thoughts and emotions.
Henry Page was an awesome, awesome, AWESOME lead character. Vibrant, real, slightly crazy, true to who he is – these are just SOME of the qualities he possessed as a character. The fact that his perspective was the only one in the novel and that HE told it in first person, really allowed me to connect with who he was as a person. His actions touched my heart and made me weep alongside him. His thoughts and feelings turned to be my own. Henry really was a character that would connect with any person on the deepest level.
In case you haven’t heard it yet: BE PREPARED TO WEEP YOUR EYES OUT!
I also loved – very much – Krystal Sutherland’s writing style. So poignant and very well crafted. It conveyed the smallest of ideas and the tiniest of nuisances within her pages. It hooked and reeled.
I greatly admired the exploration of love and relationships within the novel. Love is something that is both hard and easy to do. It can heal and it can hurt. It can last a short time and it can last forever. Krystal Sutherland was able to communicate these ideas in such subtlety and empathy for her characters that it was a wonder I ever managed to tear my eyes from the pages of the book. She explored the different sides there is to love – and the science behind it. How if we understand the way it works, we can learn to conquer its effects over us. I quite liked it.
Another important idea that she brought forward: You can’t enter a relationship believing that you can fix the person who is your significant other. All you’ll be doing is leading both yourself and that person towards hurt and breakup. You can’t enter a relationship hoping that a person will change. All you’ll be doing is entering a relationship with an IDEA of that person. All you’ll end up doing is falling in love with an IDEA of that person. And once it all ends, it will hurt beyond your wildest imagination. That was the second idea that I’ve very much loved about ‘Our Chemical Hearts’.
Congratulations to Krystal Sutherland on publishing a heart-throb of a debut novel!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Elegy by Jane Abbott

ElegyElegy by Jane Abbott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Elegy’ – aka a complete let down in my opinion. There was honestly SOOOO much going for this novel, but it just didn’t seem to be able to give what it so wonderfully promised. It was agony for me. I was really, really, really charmed by the idea of a Romeo and Juliet story set in Australia.
What the novel promised:
1. If you have read the blurb, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
“In a small Australian town, the most epic love story in history is unfolding…again.”
Just that line alone had me on my knees and ready to weep my heart out. How could I resist? I have not yet come across such a romantic concept being set ‘down under’!
2. The cover held a certain darkness and sorrow to it with an elegant beauty and it just…no words. If I saw this novel on a bookshelf in a bookstore, I’d be running straight towards it. The GRAVITAS of the cover…Oh my goodness. See? It’s made me speechless yet again.
What the novel gave:
1. Excellent, beautiful, spectacular language and prose from Jane Abbott. I felt that this was an experienced and talented author who had given this novel a life beyond compare. I was enchanted from the very first page by the words the author had spun like a web around me.
2. Lots of drama and tension. It was palpable and had me on the tips of my toes throughout the entire book. The author masterfully wove this in a way that you wouldn’t suspect until the last moment.
3. Chemistry between characters was so hot it would blow your roof off. Literally. If you’re to pick up this novel, be prepared to read some serious sexy times in here. The chemistry between them was actually what kept the rating of the novel up. It also led to an Oscar worthy romance between the lead characters that I would applaud.
What the novel didn’t live up on:
1. Some of the characters would just become vastly irritating to me. Their personalities and attitudes were so stupid or ignorant that I would have to close the book at times and take a breather. Their plain idiocy was just too much at times.
2. The plot wasn’t the best. It was very obviously lacking as it would often repeat itself. This was a major let down to me as the idea/concept behind the plot was AMAZING.
3. The ending was wanting. I really didn’t like it and in no part did it satisfy me as a reader. There were times in the novel where I was bored to tears and would just be reading to finish the silly thing. I had literally followed the 300+ page story to reach something that was very distasteful to me. Why?!
Congratulations to Jane Abbott on publishing a YA novel with a spectacular idea! If only I could have like the plot more!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1) by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ is seriously overrated. I don’t know what all the fuss was about – have never known actually. There was just so much drama and enthusiasm with its publication and the subsequent instalments in the series! I really don’t see it! I believe the only great thing that will come out this novel is the movie. Because, have you readers SEEN who plays Jacob? ASA BUTTERFIELD, that’s who!
I had such great expectations for this novel. I literally was SO excited to read something that was different and unique compared to all the other novels out there. And ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ seemed to be just what I needed. Unfortunately, I got swept up with the hype. And I learned my lesson yet again: Don’t get too excited over books others are excited about. You’ll most likely not like them. Or take them with a grain of salt. Just in case.
One of my non-book-nerd friends (who and I kidding, all of them) actually said that this books was Tim Burton’s version of the X-men. And once you think about it, the novel does have some startling similarities. Like Miss Peregrine has a school for all the “peculiar” children out there. (Otherwise known as children who have special/supernatural abilities.) So does Charles Xavier who is the headmaster of his own school. Jacob is a unique character who has lived through some terrible experiences and brings a new perspective into the world of the “peculiar”. Surprise, surprise! So did Logan or the Wolverine in the X-men!
I really should have slapped some sense into myself a bit earlier on. How could I have not seen the similarities myself?! And, worst of all, why did I deny it and profusely defend this book amongst all my friends?!
What was interesting was that this novel wasn’t quite as frightening or horrific as I expected it to be. I believe that the only scary/night-marish aspect of this novel are:
• the very weird photos
• especially the photos that have a Santa Claus in them
Readers, BEWARE the Santa Claus’s in those photos! I was ready to have a night-mare about them as soon as I took one look at them. *shivers*
The writing wasn’t anything special. I felt as if there was just a lot of it. Ransom Riggs did have a certain style to his writing. The language was similar to something you’d find in older novels. More formal…sort of like your grandpa talking.
I really can’t say much about the plot because this is where the novel REALLY let itself down for me. I felt like it was a chore reading ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’! Everything was SOO boring and slow and with nothin that could make me feel even a little bit excited. It was just so full and average and with no excitement or epic DRAMA in it!
As for the characters, well, I felt like I barely knew them! And I spent a whole day READING about them! Jacob is just a posh/rich fifteen-year-old teenager who has the modesty not to run it into his readers faces. His dad is weird. Emma, Jacob’s love interest, was sweethearts with Jacob’s grandpa and then decides to make googly eyes at Jacob. (I know, this sounds weird but there is a time loop involved.)
When I finished the novel, I literally had two thoughts simultaneously pop into my head:
1. This whole entire story felt like it was randomly pieces together from some garbage/scary photos that the author bought or found at a garage sale.
2. I’m going to have to read more of this garbage if I’m to finish the series. And I always finish reading a series.
I really hope the rest of the series is better. I seriously believe the movie is going to be better. And THAT’S saying something!
Congratulations to Ransom Riggs on publishing the first instalment in the series! I can’t wait for the movie!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Breathing Under Water by Sophie Hardcastle

Breathing Under WaterBreathing Under Water by Sophie Hardcastle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Hachette Children’s Books in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Breathing Under Water’ is a moving tale of what happens when you lose your other half – your twin – and the depth of bond and grief that fills connects the most sacred of siblinghood relationships.
This novel has been amongst my favourite by far! It has managed to capture, in detail, the most unimaginable of events – when a twin loses his/her other half. I believe what left such a memorable and hard impact on me is the fact that I’m a twin myself. Losing my other half is probably my number one fear. Till this day, I wouldn’t know what I would do or how I would react to such a loss. It would be like losing a part of myself; losing a soulmate. To have read this novel was to experience the heat of that reality. To have loved it first hand; stepped inside another twin’s shoes and have taken agonising steps in them.
But, what marvelled me the most, was the smoothness and capability with which Sophie Hardcastle, the author, has written this beautiful and poignant tale. Every word to me felt real. Every time I picked up the novel I felt transported. Every time I put it down, I couldn’t wait to get back to it.
Sophie Hardcastle masterfully wove a story that gripped my heart and mind. She built tension, suspension, anticipation and a plot so intriguing that it was impossible for me to think of anything else. I literally found my mind wandering off, as I would go about life, and hoping and worrying for Ben and Grace.
I loved the romance and grief that the authoress managed to weave so compellingly. The novel wasn’t just one whole lump of sorrow and grief as depression. No. It painted life as it really is: full of surprises and hope and love and renewal.
What I quite liked is how Grace was introduced from the very beginning. Grace is painted as always second, always after, always not the best. Ben, on the other hand, is the golden boy, the first, the best. Their two differing characters and the way their family dynamics and friendships, created an interesting exploration into the often difficult and unsteady most twins share, no matter how glorified society makes twin-ship to be. I felt that Ben’s and Grace’s relationship was very true and honest: they had a close and loving relationship but it was often eclipsed by a sort of power struggle between the two.
The second most memorable aspect of the novel for me was the atmosphere. It was so deep and…intense…but enchanting and bewitching! That’s probably the best way to describe it! I felt like the setting of the novel also contributed a lot to the intensity of the atmosphere. The novel based a lot of itself near the sea. And the atmosphere so skilfully created seemed to be a representation of the sea. Beautiful and calming, but at other times uncertain and violent.
I loved the eloquence of the writing. And I loved how poetic it was. The plot was beautifully laid out and the end was one that left me gasping but begging for more.
Congratulations to Sophie Hardcastle on publishing a beautiful debut! I hoping to see more great novels!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: And I Darken (Conqueror’s Saga, #1) by Kiersten White

And I Darken (Conqueror's Saga, #1)And I Darken by Kiersten White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

I LOVED ‘And I Darken’!! Once I finished the novel, it was AGONY for me, realising how SILLY I was to have taken so long to get to it and how long the wait will be until the SECOND instalment comes out! (At least it appears that there are DEFINITELY books scheduled for the next two years! Yippee!)
So here’s what I loved about ‘And I Darken’:
1. THE TITLE: Isn’t it just gorgeous! I am in AWE of it! I mean, it’s so short but so unique! But there is so much depth to it! And I couldn’t help but wonder what it meant! I legitimately STARED at the title, after reading the blurb, trying to figure out what it all meant!
2. THE COVER: It fits the story so well. At first the thought the girl on the cover was a bit creepy, and I favoured the look of the alternate cover editions, with the purple petals and the shiny, majestic sword. But after getting to know the characters, I thought the aura the cover produced was well paralleled with the novel.
3. THE CHARACTERS: Were BEYOND spectacular! I was enchanted by how complex and how different these characters – that I’ve just only met – were to others in the YA historical/fantasy genre! Take Ladislav (or Lada) as an example. Man, the girl was feisty! She had guts and UMPH so strong that I was quite aghast but also proud of who she was! Lada showed strength and a weird sort of masculine femininity (if that makes any sense) in a world where women were only use as bargaining tools. As servants and wives. They were less than men. But throughout the novel, she met women who held a lot more power than she expected, and made her want to carve out her own power. It was interesting to get to know her through a third person narrative but also wonderfully intriguing. It meant that not everything was revealed instantly and I, as a reader, had this wide scope of the events that happened around her. Lada’s brother, Radu, was the second character who told the novel in his perspective. And let me tell you, he was VERY different to Lada.
4. THE WORLD BUILDING: Beyond compare. I loved everything that happened to create this vibrant and tangible world! All the different lands fit neatly into each other and created this GIGANTIC puzzle piece that I loved to connect together!
5. THE WRITING: Beautiful. Elegant. Powerful. Fulfilling. Captivating. Strong. Flowing. Rich. Archaic.
6. THE HISTORICAL SETTING: I love any novel that is set in a powerful empire. There is something uniquely thrilling about these books. It’s as if you’re traveling back in time. Kiersten White managed to capture the Ottoman Empire in startling clarity!
7. THE ROMANCE: There is definitely some strong romance here. And a weird sort of love triangle. Radu is in love with Mehmed, but Mehmed is in love with Lada, and Lada has protected her brother since he was born. Confused? So was I. But I got used to it. And let me tell you, it made for an awesome plot!
Congratulations to Kiersten White on publishing an awe-inspiring first instalment in ‘The Conquerors Saga’! (Give me book two, already!)

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Black by Fleur Ferris

BlackBlack by Fleur Ferris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Black’ ended up being A LOT better than I expected. I initially thought that this was going to be scary/mind-numbing/over-the-top/depressing/mind-boggling or anything else that can be associate with stereotypical horror novels. But this novel was everything that I thought it wouldn’t be. And I didn’t regret picking it up for one second!
What I enjoyed the most (and probably always will) was the ROMANCE! *swoons* Fleur Ferris masterfully weaved a love story into a high-action, and fast-paced plot. It was tense and cute and my emotions were all over the place TRYING to figure out what would happen next! And there was a love-triangle! In this case, it really pushed my opinion of the plot up. I really wouldn’t describe this novel as solely horror. ‘Black’ was more light-horror-and-more-romance. In other words: my favourite type of scary novels.
The writing was lovely. It wasn’t anything that I found unique, or different in anyway. To be frank, the style was a lot like all the other young-adult novels out there, but I found it flowing and easy to read.
This leads me to: ‘Black’ is the perfect novel to read when you want something a little frightening but nothing too hard on the mind. Something that gets you reading something new and exciting. I loved it because I zoomed through it without a break and I loved it because it was perfect with my currently, very busy, life.
I thought the characters were solidly developed. Ebony “Black” Marshal was a somewhat archetypical character, but she was also a breath of fresh air. She was strong, yet vulnerable; courageous, but also a bit of a coward; clever, but also silly; edgy, but a real person.
The plot was – I must say – very well laid out. After finishing the novel, I felt like it was very SOLID. There wasn’t a piece that I felt was left out or as if there was anything missing from the story. A great development of tension and anticipation by the author! I was always looking forward to picking the book back up, and would do so whenever I had a spare moment. I was always kept curious and hoping, always hoping! It evoked a great emotional response from me!
It was an awesome finale for ‘Black’! I felt that it was so true to the novel and also a great crowd pleaser!
Congratulations to Fleur Ferris on publishing her second YA novel! I’m definitely going to check out ‘Risk’!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Matilda by Roald Dahl

MatildaMatilda by Roald Dahl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl has touched my heart in all its deep dark corners and filled it with love, love, love! It has squeezed its way, yet again, onto my shelf of favourite novels and to-reread.
Roald Dahl’s writing can be easily compared and rivalled against Shakespeare’s. Ok. This may sound absurd to some of you. Or somewhat true for others. But Roald Dahl has brought and expressed his creative genius in a wonderfully poetic way that has filled – and continues to fill – the hearts of millions of children. Roald Dahl has managed to create worlds and stories that seem completely absurd and frightening but at the end of the day they are original and capture our world today with startling clarity.
‘Matilda’ is one of those novels about a very clever, a very gifted and very talented protagonists who often come to terms with a very unjust and cruel world around them. Yet with their wit and clever thinking they are able to outsmart their enemy – physical or metaphorical – and triumph in the end.
There was something – IS something – about Matilda herself that makes me love her and her story. Maybe it’s her clever thinking and the fact that she reads books by the pile. Maybe it’s her strong sense of justice and her lovely humbleness. Maybe it’s her loyalty to friends and ability to be extremely creative. Maybe it’s because she’s a child. But it’s definitely because Matilda is as real as the world around you and the ground you stand on. Matilda is as real as the trees, the sky, the ocean. And she’s a big breath of fresh air.
But it’s not just Matilda who’ve I’ve fallen in love with – or whom I’ve learned to absolutely dislike. All of Roald Dahl’s characters have evoked some sort of emotional response within me. He has managed to hook me in with the extravagance of some of his characters and the awfully accurate behaviour of adults in a humorous way.
I think what always surprises me about Roald Dahl, and specifically ‘Matilda’, is the proper English and grammar he uses. Whenever I pick up children’s novels, I always expect these really simple sentence structures and everyday words filling the pages. Most of the time that’s true. But with Roald Dahl…he doesn’t hold back. If he wants to say something and that includes a new and complex word which most young readers probably never even HEARD of, he will do it. And I love it. Reading his words allows you to learn something. Every book has a couple of new words that you’ve never come across before but which you look up in the dictionary, nevertheless.
This is a read that I recommend if you want something light-hearted and quick but also with a bit of meaning.
Oh, and I am SOOO in love with the new covers Dahl’s works have been given by Penguin Random House illustrators. Did you notice the little, yellow airplane on all of them?
Congratulations to Roald Dahl on his newly re-covered ‘Matilda’!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: The Shark Caller by Dianne Wolfer

The Shark CallerThe Shark Caller by Dianne Wolfer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘The Shark Caller’ left me sad and a little confused. Definitely a little shaken yet also connected and a bit horrified. This is one of those novels that literally transport you into a different world where you have such a surreal yet complete experience that it’s a bit hard coming back to reality. I’m honestly still not quite sure what to think of all this…
What enchanted me from the beginning was how well designed and aesthetically pleasing reading this novel was! I loved the colours used on the cover – which I have absolute cover-lust for – and the contents page! People, I have an absolute LOVE for novels that publish with a contents page! They make reading the novel so more…enriching and sophisticated! It’s like an old tradition has come back to life! And it had all these small illustrations on the inside! So cute!
I loved the fonts used throughout the book. There were these curlicued chapter titles and little quotes underneath that absolutely captured my heart. They were like little windows into the chapter’s content! And every now and then there were these poems that fit in so well with the world Dianne Wolfer created!
Seriously, everything about this novel was gorgeous!
But what left me slightly reeling and deeply touched was the fact that Izzy had a twin, Ray, who passed away.
As a twin, I know the bond that exists in such a close relationship. I understand the depth of emotion and connection that Izzy and Ray experienced on a daily basis and how unimaginable it would be to lose your other half would be. I for one would never wish it upon any twin and to read about such a loss was almost like experiencing the loss myself. This definitely ended up being a hard read for me emotionally – not just because of my understanding of such a relationship, but because of the beautiful and simple way Dianne Wolfer put those emotions down onto paper and managed to tattoo them onto the heart of her reader.
‘The Shark Caller’ also did not lack in world-building. This imaginary island that the author wrote of seemed to utterly real to me. I’ve never been outside of Australia or anywhere remotely close to Papua New Guinea, but I could imagine the forests and the underwater world which left Izzy so captivated.
I could understand her attachment to such a place, but what boggled my mind was how closely and believably fact and fantasy were woven together.
As I got deeper and deeper into the story, the more bizarre the events. Being able to talk underwater; webbed feet (alright I can understand this but still otherworldly to me); talking sharks; shapeshifting creatures; evil sea creatures! There was so much but so well done! This all seemed to stem naturally from the culture, traditions and beliefs of Izzy’s people! They left me astounded yet very much captivated.
A very flowing and poetic style to the writing! And I loved the new and unique language which Izzy’s people spoke in! It seemed hard to understand at first, but I got the hang of it and loved its sound on my tongue!
Congratulations to Dianne Wolfer on publishing a richly fantastical novel for young adults! I can’t wait for more!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: The Bad Decisions Playlist by Michael Rubens

The Bad Decisions PlaylistThe Bad Decisions Playlist by Michael Rubens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘The Bad Decisions Playlist’ was really NOT what I expected – and in a completely good way!
My first impression of this novel was that it was going to be about yet another boy-next-door with small life problems and the aspiration to become somebody famous (despite everything the blurb said). I thought the character was going to be surly and grumpy and hopeful and a little goody-two-shoes. In other words: average and boring as hell.
Austin was NOTHING like that!
And this novel taught me A LOT more than simply and absolutely nothing.
What surprised me the most and what I found that I loved a lot was the character of Austin whom Michael Rubens created. Austin Methune was a troubled, angsty, bad-boy teen who, like all other teenagers out there, experienced his bildungsroman. (Otherwise known as his coming of age.) Austin was incredibly SPECIAL at times, and I felt like I would have hated him if I had met him in real life if not for the fact that I was able to step into his mind and shoes and take a look at the world around him through his eyes. The novel is written solely from Austin’s point of view so traveling with him from this tormented and pointless world he made for himself to one with meaning and hardships and trials which he realised he could overcome was a small gift for me. He really was a misunderstood creature who had it coming for him.
I REALLY enjoyed how love and nurture were explored in ‘The Bad Decisions Playlist’.
Young/first love is probably one of humanity’s number one gifts and curses. A real life paradox. Austin learned a lot about this and it was a real terrifying ride for me following him along as he made mistakes and fixed them; stumbled and righted himself.
Leading on from this, Austin Methune was a person who came off as a very strong product of both his raising and parentage. Austin’s father was a real…bad person… He left without saying goodbye. He left Austin’s pregnant mother without any support. And he never once looked back or apologised for his mistakes. He used and manipulated people without any consideration of the consequences just to get what he wanted. Austin’s mother on the other hand had drug problems and addictions which really made a strong, negative impact on Austin’s already unstable family and his psyche. I really wasn’t very surprised that Austin turned out the way he did. He also reaffirmed the nature verses nature debate for me. People really are a product of both.
The novel definitely ended in a way that surprised me. To be honest I kept expecting less of it and it kept giving me more. The finale was really a very true and powerful way to wrap up the consequences and successes of Austin’s character and his actions. It definitely left me slightly reeling and unsure. But I loved it. It ended in a way that I felt deep sorrow for but in a way that was oddly satisfying.
A great and wonderful light read to leave you with a little something to think about.
Congratulations to Michael Rubens on publishing a compelling read which I have unhesitatingly put on my “re-read” list!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: The BFG by Roald Dahl

The BFGThe BFG by Roald Dahl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

I really should have read ‘The BFG’ earlier! I can’t believe this story flew right by me when I was younger! It’s was so so so so so GOOD! I’m rereading this if I get the chance!
What I found really interesting was my instant and happy return to Roald Dahl’s writing. It was so seamless and easy that I found myself a little surprised! Roald Dahl definitely has a unique style to his stories that once again captured my heart and mind. It was one I didn’t realise that I missed very much and Dahl’s distinct writing style has made reading and reviewing a children’s novel an absolute pleasure!
I am in absolute LURVE with these new covers that Penguin Random House has recently released and I even have the pleasure of having two of these newly covered novels on my shelf. I love how bright, eye- drawing and childish they are! They have captured the very essence of Roald Dahl’s stories and brought them back to life for the enjoyment of yet another generation!
What continues to appeal to me about Roald Dahl is his funny and imaginative takes of common thoughts, beliefs, actions, stories, and anything else you can possible think of! He is able to write in an easy language accessible to children yet one that follows grammar to a spot. (Unless there is a legitimate reason for diverting from that; such as the BFG’s speech pattern.) Roald Dahl continues to bring a smile to my face and laugh at the horrifying absurdity of some of the scrapes his characters get into. The evil in his stories seems to be an evil that most children are afraid of at some point and one that calls deep down to the child in all of us.
I can’t wait to see ‘The BFG’ brought to life in cinemas! And Steven Spielberg as director is bound to make the film a great adaptation and one that hopefully sticks close to the actual plot of the novel. Fingers crossed!
Congratulations to Roald Dahl, our beloved author, on ‘The BFG’s film adaptation!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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