Reviews by Cait

  • Brilliant As Always!

    by Cait on 13/10/2014

    I'm pretty sure Lemony Snicket can do no wrong. This is another work of brilliance, sarcasm, and delicious breakfasts.

    Oh and ATTENTION: WE FINALLY KNOW WHAT VFD STANDS FOR. Mr. Snicket actually says it. (Pfft, I'm not telling you WHAT IT IS, that's why you read the book.) But he could still be pulling my leg. But I want to believe this!! I DO. But...I'm still unsure.

    The writing is as hilarious and witty as usual. There's a very particular strain of humour in these books which never fails to crack me up. Lemony Snicket can handle himself amongst stupid adults. His got a very quick mind and isn't afraid to dryly sass.

    Since this is the 3rd book in the series, we start getting some questions answered. Of course all the wrong questions are still being asked. And Snicket gets quite a beating in this book by the nefarious and ugly bully. Several characters aren't who they seem (surprise surprise).

    I love this book a lot, and Snicket's genius and bravery and sarcasm are the best.

Format: Hardback

Publication Date: 30/09/2014

40%
OFF
RRP  $38.99 $23.29
  • Unique Dystopian

    by Cait on 13/02/2015

    This was a serious surprise! UNIQUENESS ALERT! YAY! I went into UNWANTED not knowing very much because the blurb is teeny tiny. It's basically a dystopic city where all the inhabitants are trained to kill the monsters (Erebii) outside the walls.

    It's a bit of dystopian, bit of apocalypse, and a squidge of magic.The world felt really dusty, a little ancient, and very desperate. They call their warriors Dreads (!! so cool !!) and as they move up the army ranks, they get covered in tattoos (called getting "inked"). And the tattoos move. It's creepy and yet cool and so well written.

    BUT, I didn't connect with ANY of the characters. Like, nope, nada. I felt the book was devoid of the emotion. Bea felt 12 instead of 18. There's no romantic hints until the very very end when Bea yells "I LOVE YOU" to one of her boys (yep, there's a cliche dystopian love-triangle) because (I quote) it's easier than saying goodbye. I admired Bea but she never did/thought/felt anything to make me care.

    I loved the world, didn't love the characters, and was seriously impressed with the ending.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 28/01/2015

20%
OFF
RRP  $19.99 $15.90
  • Emotional and Incredible

    by Cait on 19/04/2015

    The Remedy was wilting like a lettuce leaf in the 3-star range for me — and then HELLO TO THAT EPILOGUE. How can three final pages change everything so suddenly and horrendously?! Basically this book is incredible.

    This is a prequel to The Program, but you could read it as a standalone.

    The premise is quite odd, with a company that allows you to hire people who will go take the place of a dead-loved-one in your life and coach a family through the grief processes. It’s “therapy”. It’s designed so the family will be able to “say their goodbyes”. ISN’T THAT KINDA CREEPY?! And the book definitely acknowledges that feeling because Closers get abused a lot by people who think their job is sick. But, ultimately, they do help the families get closure and move on with their lives.

    There’s mystery and secrets because noooo one is telling the truth or giving all the details.

    It’s totally an emotional read, but not exactly satisfying. I still have a bucketload of questions about the world. I spent the whole book feeling hot and cold towards it. I LOVED it one minute, and then had too many questions the next. Ohhhh but the ENDING IS TERRIFIC.

Format: Hardback

Publication Date: 01/05/2016

  $23.99
  • Absolutely Brilliant!

    by Cait on 04/09/2014

    I literally have only good things to tell you about this book! Just drop everything and go read this now.

    It's basically a evilly delicious tale about magic, jumping-through-multiple-worlds, science, fire, and the occasional pickle. I'm not joking. Pickles feature. Mostly science and magic. I was impressed with the combo of sciencey magic, although (I have to admit) if you even say "biology" in my hearing, my eyes sort of glaze over and I think about pickles and sandwiches. I just don't get science. I do try, occasionally, but to no avail. So that was a bit of a downer for me, but the awesome twist on magic and witches made up for it. The book has it's own rules for magic and they're unique and amazing. I love it when books are original!

    Basically we get thrown into a completely different world.

    It can be challenging to keep up with. The book has a theory that there are millions of versions of our world. Our bonnie main character, Lily, gets tossed into an alternate universe. SO. You'd imagine everything would be different, right? It is. Completely. Which is awesome, but a bit overwhelming and there's lots of explaining.

    The dialogue is epic too! FINALLY. GOOD DIALOGUE. It's funny and deep and realistic. But you know me: laughing is important. Hang on a sec, just awarding the book extra shiny stickers.

    So the characters? You want to hear about them right? WELL. First off we have Lily, who bops into the alternate world where another version of her, Lilian, is an evil and very powerful witch.

    In the Alternate World, Lily joins up with three incredibly awesome dudes. The dynamics of the foursome reminded me of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Everyone was friends first and then the romances built off that. So awesome.

    And despite how much I enjoyed reading the book, it felt like it took forever to finish. I was constantly seeing how many pages I had left. I wasn't bored, per se, I was just a centimetre off being totally swallowed.

    Oh and THE ENDING IS AN AWFUL CLIFFHANGER. By "awful" I mean amazing.

    If you're looking for a fantasy that focus on a) the world building, b) awesome dialogue c) really well fleshed out characters, and d) pickles: THEN THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 28/08/2014

10%
OFF
RRP  $16.99 $15.24
  • Complex and Hardcore Sci-fi

    by Cait on 19/02/2015

    This book is simultaneously incredible and complex and basically out of my league. I drowned. I'm not good with hardcore sci-fi (this is purely just me) and this is way tougher than Red Rising.

    I didn't adore it but I still think it's genius.

    Absolute genius! It's so rich and complex! (I bow to Pierce Brown for sure.) Golden Son was stuffed with war, and betrayal, and political catastrophes. Everyone was an enemy (unless maybe they're not?!) and no one could be trusted (unless maybe you can?!) Basically it had EVERYTHING WORRYING YOU CAN THINK OF.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 13/01/2015

$29.99
  • Frighteningly Delicious Conclusion!

    by Cait on 12/11/2014

    I don't even know how to adequately sum up my feelings for this phenomenal book! It's brilliant. It's satisfying. It's just a little touch heartbreaking. (But all the best books are, right?) There are, though, a hunk of things I'm disappointed over. But in the scheme of 6 books I loved, and characters I adore, and a world I would like to subtly jump into and learn to be a kick-butt Shadowhunter? I DON'T CARE ABOUT ANY DISAPPOINTMENTS. I loved this book! I will party in this fandom to the moon and back! I wish to read anything and everything Cassandra Clare ever writes!

    Series conclusions have a lot of weight riding on them...and I think CoHF buckled just a little. I think book 5 was my favourite and maybe my expectations were just a little too high? Or maybe the stakes were too high for book 5 and so I didn't feel the vamped up enough in book 6?

    City of Heavenly Fire spent a lot of time introducing 12-year-old Emma and Julian (who are going to star in their own series! LOOK! The Dark Artifices!). They were cute and interesting but...I didn't care at this point. I've spent 5 books following Jace, Clary, Simon, Isabelle, Alec, and Magnus and I want THEM. Stop...stop distracting me from them.

    Also there were many meetings with the Clave that felt repetitious from last time. (I felt like I'd "been there, read that" in all the other books.) Plus Maia's werewolf story line did. not. interest. me. STILL. I said this for book 5 and I say it again.

    All in all, it was a frighteningly delicious book. I'm HAPPY with this as a conclusion. I don't think it's the strongest TMI book, but I think it's a satisfying one. I love this fandom! Humour! Danger! Fighting! Betrayal! Heartbreak! Myth! Lore! Dimensions! Angels! And a piano! I am so pleased.

Format:

Publication Date: 27/05/2014

$22.95
  • Intelligent Read

    by Cait on 22/10/2014

    This book was amazingly intelligent and deep...but I struggled to keep up. (My bad.) I appreciate the book to the thousand percent, but I just didn't get it. So much of it I was squinting and thinking, "Yeah, but huh!?" THIS IS JUST ME. I never presume it'd be everyone! I basically recommend you read it.

    It's split into 4 stories. There's an author's note at the front that says you can read the 4 stories in any order! I read them...in order. Because I'm hopelessly OCD like that.

    Story 1: This is my favourite of the 4. It's written in lyrical prose (the rest of the stories are normal prose though), so like reading a poem! Except it doesn't rhyme! (I'm told poetry doesn't have to rhyme anyway, but...eh.) I loved the style and how simple and powerful the words were. Just a few words and BOOM, beautiful picture was painted. It's kind of set in cave-man times.

    Story 2: This one is seriously depressing. It's set in a sort of Puritan era. A girl is accused of being a witch...as is a popular accusation in those days. (They didn't have internet! They had to call each other witches to pass the time.) The girl's brother has fits, so (naturally) the villagers think he's possessed. If you want anymore details, dwell on the title a moment.

    Story 3: THIS ONE IS SUPER WEIRD. It's set in (I suspect) somewhere around the 1900s, where medical research sucks at best. It sneaks into the ghosty side and it's set in an insane asylums. It's narrated in a diary by a dud who lives in the asylum that he works at. (Because that is a good life decision...NOT.) It's weeeeeird.

    Story 4: This one was, unfortunately, my least favourite. (Although, to be honest, I'd been liking them less and less.) It's set in space with people in frozen-sleep until they get to their destination. But the guy who wakes up to be a caretaker learns things aren't what they seem. Unfortunately, I don't know what the things actually were. BECAUSE I WAS CONFUSED. If you start throwing hardcore sci-fi lingo at me, I fold into a tiny ball and drown in a soup of my confused tears.

Format: Hardback

Publication Date: 14/10/2014

$22.99
  • Solid Book

    by Cait on 13/02/2015

    I really parts, but (overall) the book felt really really slooooow. I just wanted to move on! CUT TO THE CHASE. (HAR HAR! Yes, um, that is an incredible lame pun since the narrator’s name is Alina Chase, but there is nothing as beautiful as a lame pun, yes?)

    It’s a really fascinating premise…basically reincarnation with a sci-fi twist. No soul ever “dies”. You just get reborn into someone new…which means you have a string of lives. You can be blackmailed by your past life. Alina Chase has the soul of the notorious criminal, June Calahan. Which means ALINA COULD BE BAD RIGHT? LOCK HER UP! She’s spent 17 years locked up and (when the book starts) gets busted out by two siblings, Casey and Cameron. Why? Eh. Who knows, who cares, right?

    But no one had “motives” because it was all “secret”. I didn’t understand why anyone was doing ANYTHING until the end. I loved the dynamics (and uniqueness!) of having 2 siblings + possible-notorious-criminal! Cameron and Casey had a real awesome relationship.

    Solid book, but I felt uninvested.

Format: Epub (Adobe), Epub (Kobo)

Publication Date: 03/02/2015

  $10.39
  • Not very original

    by Cait on 14/11/2014

    I half loved it! And I half loathed it. It dabble deep into Harry Potter territory, but at the same time absolutely smashed stereotypes and cliches. Particularly at the end! Seriously, whatever you do, do NOT stop reading this book halfway. The fabulousness is at the ginormous reveal at the end.

    Call was a very unique narrator. He's 12. Angry. Bitter. Troublemaker. (He's like the magical equivalent of Ramona Quimby...trouble, but usually accidental.) Call also is crippled.

    THE ENDING. OH, PEOPLES, THE ENDING!! It was so unique and so utterly unprecedented and I...I'm still reeling. The ending blew my previous growling glances into oblivion. It knocked me down. IT MAKES ME WANT TO RECOMMEND THIS BOOK FROM THE ROOFTOPS.

    But there's a lot of subtle child abuse. It frustrates me because the "good guys" are the ones being cruel and downright wrong to children for the pure fact that...they're adults. They have power over children. I find this unacceptable and wrong. I don't think it's fair or okay to write books for 12-year-olds where the adult figures are doing WRONG things, but it's written in a "well that's just how it is". Kids do not deserve to be treated poorly.

    Call gets dragged away from his father, kicking and screaming, at the beginning of the book. He doesn't want to go to Magic School. His father doesn't want him to. Call is begging to stay. And worse still, they take him against his will to this school and then do not let him speak to his father. Not a phone call. Not a visit. THE KID IS 12 FREAKING YEARS OLD. Am I the only one disturbed?

    Quote from the book: "Master Rufus clearly wasn't going to let him [Call] communicate with Alistair until Call settled in as an apprentice." pg. 85

    There's a lot of Harry Potter similarities. Not limited to the trio of Call/Harry, Tamara/Hermione and Aaron/Ron (respectively Call is the troublemaker, Tamara is the studious uptight girl, and Aaron is...there.) They pick themselves up a Dobby like creature. Call has Hagrid tendencies with all the crazy creatures. There are ghosts flitting around. The "bully", Jasper, is Draco Malfoy.

    But I love both the authors and I'm so so excited they wrote together! I'm definitely reading the rest of the Magisterium books because DID I MENTION THE PLOT TWIST AT THE END IS FREAKING FANTASTIC??!!! IT IS! GO READ THIS BOOK! It sets up to be full of cliches and then smashes them at the end...but I wonder if it should've been more original all the way through?

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 09/09/2014

$22.99
  • Disturbing! Terrifying!

    by Cait on 29/10/2014

    So that was the most disturbing and creepy and brilliantly written book ever. Excuse me while I scream a little.

    MELISSA MARR IS A MASTER STORYTELLER.

    It's really hard to say "I love this book" when it's about a psychopathic killer. So...just understand that I love the writing, the characters, and the brilliant storytelling behind this...but the actual murders/psychopathic sickness terrifies me. Seriously. I'm so disturbed. This is PERFECT for fans of Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas.

    It's written by 3 points of view: Eva (the main character), Grace (her BFF), and "Judge", the mysterious killer. All we know is that Eva KNOWS the killer. He's one of the people she hangs around with, but we have no idea who. Which is absolutely terrifying. Like she could be talking to him at any moment! And you do find out about 80% in, which is so so soooo much worse. So we even KNOW who this killer/friend is and Eva doesn't and is still talking to him. Egad. This book made me so anxious!

    The writing is brilliance. I seriously couldn't put it down. It's a thriller and...yes, that would be my heart galloping across the floor to lock itself in the panic room.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 01/10/2014

34%
OFF
RRP  $14.99 $9.89
  • Unique Spin on Superheroes!

    by Cait on 26/10/2014

    I really loved this book and I have 2 very large opinions about it.

    Opinion #1: It balanced delicately on the verge of superhero stereotypes...but....
    Opinion #2: It had a GLORIOUS AND BRILLIANT plot twist that exploded my mind and made me tackle hug the entire 450-pages and promise to read all sequels forever and ever amen.

    It's basically a superhero story. I love superheroes! I do! Spark followed this concept of 3 types of people with modified DNA: type #1 wanted to kill people, type #2 needed protecting from the killers, and type #3 were the protectors. Awesome, right? I loved that.

    The characters were fabulous! It's narrated by Evie who has to protect her BFF, Kitty. Kitty has a twin brother called Jamie who is hot (of course). Evie and Jamie had a "thing" when they were younger, but it rekindles when the story takes off. I liked Evie and Jamie's relationship and the smushy scenes were balanced with the kick-your-butt-to-the-other-side-of-the-planet scenes. Although Kitty took a backseat the whole time. I'm sad. I like it when best-friends take the front row. And Evie sure fainted a lot. Regular wilting daisy.

    My only frustration came at the huge emphasis on physical beauty.

    When Evie gets her powers, she basically turns "beautiful" by shallow standards. She grows to supermodel height, grows massive boobs, and (with a few weeks training) turns athletically gorgeous. Um...okay then. This bothered me because it was really emphasised. All the people with powers were BEAUTIFUL. By these standards. I thought, in today's modern era, we'd be embracing different forms of beauty.

    But let's not forget the explosion of AWESOME at the end.

    I did not see that plot twist coming and it built into something that clearly will be explored in the sequel. I'm excited! Bring it onnnnnn.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 01/07/2014

15%
OFF
RRP  $19.99 $16.99
  • Cute But Unbelievable

    by Cait on 26/05/2015

    This was all kind of cute…but totally unbelievable. The writing was excellent, the premise was cute, the characters were adorable….but the plot?! The story takes place over a 24-hour period, which isn’t a lot of time to break up with a girlfriend, grieve a lost parent, make few friends, change your viewpoint on life, and, OF COURSE, fall in love.

    It’s dual narrated by Brighton and Jonah. Brighton is the sickeningly nice rich kid. Jonah is the bitter, poorer kid whose mother forced him to move in his senior year of high school and he hates everyone etc. etc. Obviously they hate each other. Obviously I shipped it.

    A lot of disbelief had to be suspended. Because mostly the entire plot hinged on this unlikely chain of events that threw Brighton and Jonah CONTINUALLY in each other’s presence.

    So it was cute and entertaining but…unbelievable. It reminded me of Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 22/04/2015

  $14.99
  • Recommended for fans of the Matched trilogy

    by Cait on 05/11/2014

    This did not go quite as I envisioned. The blurb doesn't specifically actually say what the book is about, so I thought it was a mermaid book! Hello?! Water on the cover! THERE WERE NO MERMAIDS. But it does have sirens.

    The problem is, I feel like I just reread Matched.

    Atlantia was very watery. And blue. And ethereal. I could basically feel the water sloshing around and that is fabulous. The descriptions of the world were perfection. Just think of The City of Ember but...underwater instead of underground. Then I got bored. The writing was beautiful and very plain (which I actually like) but it was very repetitious.

    And Rio felt so like Cassia from Matched. (Who I really didn't particularly like.) But she has a boy (cue romantic sighs) called True Beck. I LOVE THAT NAME! I loved True. He was really sweet and kind and useless and had no personality but oh so sweet.

    If you liked Matched, READ THIS BOOK. If you like dystopians with interesting settings, give it a go! I like the style, but I was bored to a watery grave.

    Just know, before you read it:
    - It's not a mermaid story. (I seriously thought it was)
    - But there are sirens. Just without fins.
    - It's got Ally Condie's very specific style.
    - True Beck is adorable.
    - Everything else is just there whatever. True Beck, I tell you.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 06/11/2014

20%
OFF
RRP  $19.99 $15.90
  • Welcome to Creepville

    by Cait on 17/10/2014

    Conjured is a wild ride to Creepville on Freaky Express with multiple stops by Confusing Station. It was too slow for me, but it did have great imagery.

    THINGS I LIKED
    1. I enjoy a good book of extraordinary imagination.
    2. The setting was partially a quiet Witness Protection town, partly a freaky carnival. You know the drill. Magician. Dolls. Puppets. Sawing people in half. Magical other-worlds. Storytellers. Knitting needles.
    2. The human boy: Zach. He works at the same library as our narrator (Eve). He's hilarious and talkative and bubbly.
    3. The plot was unique. (It reminded me of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.) It mixes magic into our world in this epic law-and-order case.

    THINGS I DISLIKED A LOT
    1. The writing style. Hey, but this is so subjective, so I honestly need to yell "READ IT" if you at all like the premise. But the style, to me, felt really thick. It was like eating insanely dense porridge. And the description? Eeeeverywhere. Literally everything was minutely described. I longed for plot and action and more characterisation. The description and slowness bored me half to death.
    2. Because our narrator kept losing her memories, it was freakishly hard to connect to ANYONE in the book. I'd flip to a new chapter and oops, oh no! Her brain is compromised again. I needed to care about her (and hopefully the supporting cast). But I just didn't. I didn't know them.

    3. The ending was a whirlwind of confusing weirdness. I'm not even sure who "won" this. I'm not even sure what the villain's issue was.

    All in all? Basically, this is a book about memory loss, magic, and freaky carnival descriptions. I recommend it if you love noir novels with a dash of superpowers and blood soaked visions. And don't mind them being extremely slow. Conjured was okay in my humble but fabulous opinion, but didn't impress me.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 24/09/2014

  $14.90
  • Hilarious!

    by Cait on 04/12/2014

    I had a hard time with this book. It was slow but I laughed SO much! The humour was glorious. Witty banter? Bring – it – oooon. It was all Baba Yaga. She was downright snippy and sarcastic.

    I appreciated the story! The setting! The gloriousness of Russian folklore and magic, faberge eggs, and tsars. But the writing felt really thick. It waffled off on tangents I didn’t care about. And it took a long time in setting up the story, which, actually wasn’t really unique. It had a Prince-And-the-Pauper vibe. Rich girl and peasant accidentally swap places? I have totally read this a million times. That kind of disappoints me. From such a famous author as Gregory Maguire, I expected a LOT of greatness. I got a rather tired and used story.

    I’m so glad I read this amazing book, but at the same time I’m glad it’s finished. A book usually takes me 24 hours to consume. I was reading this one for 4 days before I reached the end. That definitely says something. STILL. I would recommend it in a heartbeat. Original. Fabulous. And hilarious. Seriously, in the light of humour that makes you snort, all sins can be forgiven, right?!

Format: Hardback

Publication Date: 06/11/2014

17%
OFF
RRP  $24.99 $20.62
  • You'll Need Tissues

    by Cait on 05/09/2014

    Do you have tissues? Invest. GET yourself some tissues.

    It's a story about grief and bullying. Totally the most crushing combination ever. It reminded me a lot of The Year of the Rat (sans bullying) for style and brittle family anguish. This book is about Hannah who is horribly bullied and her sister is dead from a car accident.

    The story itself works backwards. You begin knowing her sister, Katie, is dead. That hurts. You see the pain, the tears, the family falling apart. BUT WHY?! WHAT HAPPENED? Answers beg to be found. I basically just read the whole thing in two sittings and I just absolutely ached for Hannah.

    Hannah is a really soft person. Quiet and nice. And people are so mean to her. Oh gosh. I was so angry. I was so FURIOUS. She's so soft and vulnerable and therefore an instant target. I absolutely ached for her. And all her highschool peers? They needed a hi-five in the face with a chair.

    Oh, except for Josh.

    Hannah meets Josh after the accident. She has zero friends, she's absolutely messed up, and it's all she can do to keep breathing (because there's a reason as well as just plain grief...something happened that I CANNOT TELL YOU ABOUT concerning the accident. It'll break your heart. Again). I loved Josh and Hannah's friendship. There are so many reasons it was awesome, like, a) the emphasis was on them being friends which is what Hannah needed, and b) Josh was a real caring softie, but the class clown, but kind of an idiot, and c) Josh talked a lot. And by "a lot" I mean he didn't shut up. It's awesome to read about a talkative guy for once while the girl says very little.

    It's really very Australian too, which is refreshing. Besides the Australian humour and dialogue was brilliant. Absolutely spot-on brilliant. I even smiled a bit. Come now! This is a book about a devastating death of a sister...and yet there were still moments of complete sarcasm that made me smile.

    Basically the whole book is freakishly fantastically written. You want to know why? Because I felt while I was reading it. I was sad and smiled and burned angry and then cried a bit. If an author can evoke emotion while writing a book, they're absolutely fantastically talented.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 23/07/2014

17%
OFF
RRP  $19.95 $16.46
  • Interesting

    by Cait on 13/09/2014

    This book is perfect for 10-12 year olds and is pretty educational about the Bosnia war in the 90s.

    I've read a LOT of Historical Fiction books aimed at this age category (I kind of grew up on them), so I wasn't opposed to reading a book that was seriously too young for me. It was written very clearly and easily. With a lot of explanations. If they even mention a word that's remotely different (like "sniper") they'll stop and explain it.

    My real problem was the narrator: Niko. The kid was 12, but he honestly felt 9 or 10 years old. What kind of 12 year old boy doesn't know what shrapnel or snipers are??! He seemed entirely clueless about everything. He was supposed to portray innocence, I get that, but I felt (for his age) he was too clueless.

    It's extremely interesting to learn about the Bosnia war. I researched afterwards (as you do) and apparently the war was a result of the breakup of Yugoslavia. It's also about immigration to Australia. It's about the terribleness of war (but definitely not graphic. Actually nothing remotely freaky happens, making it really aimed at the lower grades, I guess) and the strength of family. They went without. People were eating dogs. Everyone was starving. There was no water.

    Definitely a clearly written and non-graphic peek into a horrible war.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 01/09/2014

17%
OFF
RRP  $16.99 $14.01
  • Bittersweet Coming-Of-Age Story

    by Cait on 01/10/2014

    This is a seriously bittersweet and heartfelt story! It's about family and friends and wraps around a heart-tugging message about racism. The character development is good. If you actually want to know about Australia and the indigenous people and how STINKIN' HOT it is in the Northern Territory? Read this book.

    Our bonnie lass narrator, Rosie, isn't racist per se...but her boyfriend is and she's struggling with balancing the beliefs she's grown up with verses what she wants to think for herself. It's a story about growing up and using your brain for yourself.

    Buuut...I was there to see Nona and Rosie! And did I get them? Um. Well, the book is divided into chapters of back-flashing to Rosie's past with Nona as her BFF. But Nona is basically not in the "present" part of the story. I was a little disappointed at how slow it seemed at times.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 24/09/2014

16%
OFF
RRP  $19.99 $16.70
  • Villainously Fabulous Prequel!

    by Cait on 12/02/2015

    SO BASICALLY THIS WAS INCREDIBLE! I was so curious about this book because Queen Levana hadn’t had copious character-development so far.

    Fairest made me pity and loathe Levana all at once! Ohhhh, but the romance is CREEPY. It’s written so so well and you can nearly see both sides. But Levana is downright creepy. At 15 she becomes obsessed with a palace guard. He sees a miserable little girl (glamours hiding something horrible??) and he offers simple friendship…except she sees it as LOVE. It’s a miserable tale of brainwashing and manipulation and emotional torture. And since it’s from Levana’s point-of-view, I totally understood WHY she did it. But it was oh-so-wrong and clearly awful.

    It twisted me in a incredible knot of emotions and it’s only 222-pages. I was so sucked in. I read it in a few hours flat. And while I pity Levana, I still hate her. She is a gloriously wicked villain with a completely tragic backstory and warped intentions.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 01/02/2015

15%
OFF
RRP  $16.99 $14.44
  • Fabulous!

    by Cait on 18/09/2014

    This is the 9th book I've read by Michael Grant. Seriously, the dude is master of imagination. Creepy and weird and scary imagination.

    How to describe Messenger of Fear? Um...scary? Okay, I get it... You want more than that. It's phenomenal. Messenger of Fear gets contemporary and supernatural and horror and smushes them together and HUZZAH -- you have 300-pages of a mind twisty adventure.

    It starts off with mist and confusion and where-the-heck am I. We get to piece the story together as we go.

    Our narrator, a bonnie lass named Mara, meets this creepy ageless dude called Messenger. Of, you know, unfortunately he's a messenger of fear. He's a bit standoffish. But he's actually nice! Don't let the coat with skull buttons put you off! The dude is actually thoughtful and I quite liked his quiet mysteriousness.

    Mara is...memoryless. She's a steady, no-nonsense kind of character, pretty smart, Asian, and relatively calm. Until she realises that she's apprenticed to the Messenger and a) learns what terrible things he does, as well as b) discovers she's supernatural now. Walk through walls. Pop around time. All that funky stuff. When she figures out she's his apprentice? Well...then she busts out sobbing. I liked Mara, but I liked Messenger more.

    The writing is typical Grant style. It's a little heavier on the description than Gone, but if you want my private opinion? (Pfft, you're here. Of course you do.) I think the it's his best-written book yet! I couldn't put it down! Two sittings! That's all it took me to eat it up. Crisp and to-the-point and interesting.

    And it's not just supernaturally beings popping around dishing out judgment. It's specifically zooms in on bullied girl, Samantha, and a few other people and the Big Mistakes they make which brings Messenger popping into their lives. It's horrible, but I wouldn't say gruesome. And I can't really tell you what the Messenger does because, duh, SPOILERS. I went into this basically with no idea what it would be about. That was perfect.

    I love this book so much, okay?! It's small. (Love that.) The writing is crispy. (So much love.) It mixes a dash of horror with paranormal things.

Format:

Publication Date: 01/09/2014

17%
OFF
RRP  $22.99 $18.97
  • Solid Book

    by Cait on 23/03/2015

    I feel a little apathetic about this book. Which is not a good feeling! I like strong emotions about books. I like to be sure and confident about my opinion. But after I finished Juvie by Steve Watkins…I put it down and drew a blank. LET ME EXPLAIN.

    It’s definitely a good read, but it doesn’t have much plot. It’s a tortoise in a peanut butter jar, my friends. It bounces between past (the lead up to jail) and present (in jail). But we got all the facts up front. There were no “BUT WAIT. SOMETHING ELSE HAPPENED AND IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND.” No. From chapter one everything was laid on the table and the book just unravelled. I felt bored.

    The jist of the story is Sadie takes the fall for a crime she doesn’t commit to keep her (awful) sister out of jail. The sister, Carla, has a 3-year-old daughter and they don’t want to break up the family. (Although, to be honest, Sadie looked after the baby more than Carla.)

    It definitely describes life in Juvie! So if you were thinking of going (ha ha, I kid, I kid) just, um, just don’t. THE FOOD IS BAD. Although life in the detention centre was pretty mellow, actually. Sadie stayed in the background, didn’t choose sides, kept out of fights. She’s basically perfect, with her only “fault” being a mothering instinct. The prison guards are awful and the food sucks and the girls are nasty. Unfun.

    BUT WAIT! DON’T LEAVE YET! While I found the book a little mellow, it was still definitely interesting. Sadie is a sweet protagonist with a tough side (such a refreshing personality to read!) and she is adorable with her niece as well as rides a motorcycle and is all round tough. Also: SHE WENT TO PRISON FOR HER SISTER. Wow. That’s sisterly dedication and it’s admirable.

Format: Paperback / softback

Publication Date: 01/03/2015

11%
OFF
RRP  $16.99 $14.97