Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Bone Season #3 - The Song Rising - Prelude



I am very excited to have been chosen as an advocate for The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon.

I love this series set in an alternate version of London, where society never moved on from Victorian morals, and where voyants, those with special abilities, are hunted.

In The Bone Season we met Paige, known as The Pale Dreamer for her ability to access the dreamscape of others. She works for Jaxon, the leader of one of London's voyant sectors which make up the criminal underworld. We also met The Rephaim, sinister beings who need the voyants for reasons of their own.

In The Mime Order Paige takes on the criminal underworld and fights to begin a revolution. The final page blew me away.

The Song Rising is still a while away, due March 2017, but the lovely people at Bloomsbury have released a sneak peak - the Prelude to The Song Rising

WARNING - if you haven't read the first two books this will spoil them for you.

My thoughts: The end of The Mime Order dropped a major bomb, and The Song Rising starts the same way. I am going to need to reread the first two books ahead of the third, and I can't wait to find out what happens next.



The Prelude is after the jump.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Saving Jazz by Kate McCaffrey


Title: Saving Jazz
Author: Kate McCaffrey
Publisher: Freemantle Press
Date of Publication: August 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of publisher

Summary:


Jasmine Lovely has it all – the looks, the grades, the friends. But when a house party spins out of control, Jazz discovers what can happen when your mistakes go viral ...

We know our kids are at risk of becoming victims of cyberbullying. But do we know how at risk they are of becoming perpetrators? This controversial new novel tackles cyberbullying from a whole new perspective.
 




Review:


This book is told as a series of blog posts. Jasmine, or Jazz, is writing about events that happened a year ago. She opens by telling us she is a rapist, which is quite confronting, and then she goes on to explain her thinking. Jazz and her best friends, Annie and Jack, went to a party, got very, very drunk, and did things they never would have done otherwise. A girl is assaulted, photos and videos are shared around, and lives are ruined. 

This book deals with interesting, and pertinent, issues, such as sexual assault, under age drinking and rape culture. It also looks at emotionally abusive relationships and family breakdown. It follows Jazz from the events leading up to the party to university and beyond. It tracks her emotional journey, her guilt and ultimate redemption. 

Towards the end of the book Jazz becomes victim to sexual harrassment, which she doesn't recognise as such, and it moves on from the original issues to deal with this one. For me, this was an issue too far and I could no longer suspend my disbelief.

I really liked the relationship between Jazz and her aunt, but I didn't really connect with Jazz at all. I found her to be an unlikeable character, who wallows in her sense of guilt, but still gets everything she ever wanted. Jazz finds her redemption, but she is the only one of the key players to do so.

This is an interesting book which raises issues that should be discussed, and for that reason I would recommend it to older teen readers, but I didn't love it.

If I gave half scores, then this would be a 3.5



Friday, 12 August 2016

#AusYABloggers Blog Hop






The #AusYABloggers team are hosting a blog hop focusing on Aussie and NZ bloggers and the books we love. I have been sick with a rotten virus this week, so I have been trying to get this post done all week. It's not as pretty as I'd like, but it's as much as I can do in between coughing fits!


What you love about Aussie YA



I really love reading stories with a strong sense of vocie and identity and Aussie YA does this really well. I also love the community of readers, bloggers, booksellers, authors and publishers as well, who are very supportive and accessible. There's a great deal of enthusiasm for Aussie YA and it's contagious. Yes, I'm just a little bit outside the intended demographic, but I find YA books often address issues in a more honest and open way, with less pretention, than "grown up" books. There's also more diversity and they're often just more fun.


Favourite Aussie YA authors



Oh, there are too many and I love all of them and will feel bad when I don't mention someone. 

So, in no particular order and no doubt forgetting loads:

John Marsden, Ellie Marney, Ruth Park, Robin Klein, Kylie Fornasier, Shivaun Plozza, Will Kostakis, Isobelle Carmody, Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Vanessa Garden, Paula Weston, Gabrielle Tozer (and special mention to the lovely Kiwi, Rachael Craw).


The Aussie YA book you grew up with 



There wasn't really such a thing as YA when I was growing up. There were children's books for older readers.

My favourite was Playing Beatie Bow - historical/fantasy. A modern Sydney girl ends up a hundred years in the past. First published in 1980, I would have read it around 85 or 86. 





Favourite Aussie YA book released in 2016



My favourite book of the year so far has been My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier. It was compelling and disturbing and brilliantly executed and I loved it.







Aussie YA Debut you are looking forward to


I am a bad blogger and don't really know what debuts are scheduled for the coming months. I look forward to seeing what the other bloggers taking part have put for this one.

Favourite Aussie YA series



I recently read and loved the Rephaim series by Paula Weston, so that is my most recent favourite. I also love the Every series by Ellie Marney and the Tomorrow series by John Marsden.

Unexpected Aussie YA surprise





Clancy of the Undertow was a lovely surprise. Clancy as such a great voice, and she really is a quintessentially Australian character and I loved her story. I'll be revisiting it ahead of its US and UK release in December.








Aussie YA Book you always recommend to others




Again, there are loads of them, but I'm going with Illuminae. I have actually bought this for people and insisted they read it. If you didn't like it, then I don't think I can be friends with you.







An Aussie YA book on your TBR


There are lots, but the one at the top of the list at the moment is Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta.


Recommend your favourite Aussie YA Bloggers!


Can I say all of them? Special mentions to Diva Booknerd, Paper Fury, Angel Reads and all those who participate in #YATalk every other Wednesday.


Check out the other blogs who are participating











Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

Title: Curious Minds
Authors: Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton
Publisher: Headline Review
Date of Publication: 16th August 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Summary: 


CURIOUS MINDS by No. 1 bestselling author Janet Evanovich and screenwriter Phoef Sutton is a must-read thriller for fans of the Stephanie Plum mysteries including ONE FOR THE MONEY and TRICKY TWENTY-TWO.

They couldn't be less compatible, but they make a great team...

Emerson Knight is introverted, eccentric, and has little-to-no sense of social etiquette. Good thing he's also brilliant, rich and (some people might say) handsome.

Riley Moon has just graduated from Harvard. Her assertive (some people might say aggressive) spitfire attitude has helped land a dream job at Blane-Grunwald bank. At least, Riley Moon thinks it's her dream job until she is given her first assignment: babysitting Emerson Knight.

An inquiry about missing Knight money leads to a missing man, missing gold and a life-and-death race across the country. Through the streets of Washington D.C., and down into the underground vault of the Federal Reserve in New York City, an evil plan is exposed. A plan so sinister that only a megalomaniac could think it up, and only the unlikely duo of the irrepressibly charming Emerson Knight and the tenacious Riley Moon could hope to stop it...


Review:

I love the Stephanie Plum books. They're funny and clever and their formulaic nature doesn't really matter because you enjoy them anyway, and the formula becomes part of the joke.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Launch: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff



On Friday night I was fortunate enough to attend the Melbourne launch of Nevernight, the newest offering from Jay Kristoff.

I'll be posting a review on Reading Lark next week, so I won't go into details but briefly, this is the story of Mia Corvere, whose family was destroyed for political reasons, leading to her vowing revenge. Mia trains as an assassin at the Red Church, the fiercest killers in the world, in order to take down those who executed her father and imprisoned her mother. First, she just has to survive the training.

Let's start with the cover. This is a thing of beauty. Those three coloured circles are more than that, they're the three suns that circle Mia's world.

If you look closely, the crow is not just a crow, you can see a cat, a noose, a phial of poison, a barrel, a dagger and so many other elements of the story. It really is magnificently done and represents the story beautifully. Well done to the cover artist and designer.