Half year round up

Wow, 6 months has gone by in a bit of a flash, I’ve fallen down a bit in my reviewing, but I’m hoping I can get back on track from now on. I have read some great books this year so far and thought I’d share 6 of my favourite, one for each month, a hard thing to do.

I’ve read 147 books out of 150 for my Goodreads challenge, these consist of physical books, ebooks and audiobooks, I think I’ll make it don’t you.

And according to my kindle I have read far more than that in ebooks alone. I’ve also read for 153 weeks in a row and 297 days in a row, so that’s pretty cool.

Future Girl

So my first book I’m picking is Future Girl by Asphyxia I didn’t get around to writing my thoughts on this yet, but it was a great #ownvoices YA read by an Australian author who is deaf. Her character is deaf and I learnt a lot about the deaf community and Auslan. She also is a big advocate of being self sufficient and the book is full of ideas on growing your own veggies and composting etc. Set in the near future in Australia, it seems very real possible furture in some ways. I read this back in January, so the fact it has stayed with me all that time says a lot. I actually got the library to buy this in for me, it is written in the form of an art journal and I felt a physical copy was necessary to get the full experience.

The Boy from the Mish

Next is another I haven’t written my thoughts on, another library book, aren’t librarys wonderful, was The Boy From the Mish by Garry Lonesborough another #ownvoices YA novel, a coming of age book about an indigenous boy struggling with his sexuality in an outback community. A powerful read full of emotions.

Raft of Stars

Next is Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff I did actually write a small review for this one: What an emotional story on so many levels. I was taken for a ride right along with these boys who are running from their actions and the adults who are running to save them. The descriptive writing was wonderful and I was completely swept up in this story, swept along that river with its many faces, not quite sure until right at the end what the outcome was going to be. A story of friendship, consequences, actions, and reactions, love and grief; the outcome of the boys’ actions will have consequences for everyone involved.

A Home Like Ours

A Home Like Ours by Fiona Lowe was a fabulous read, see my review here. A novel which covers a lot of important topics such as racism, homelessness, refugees, single mothers and domestic abuse.

The Things We See in the Light

Next is The Things We See in the Light by Amal Awad an #ownvoices novel that had me gripped from the start. This novel grabbed hold of me, pulled me in and refused to let me go until I’d finished. I was immediately drawn to Sahar and the story of her past journey in Jordan, married to a man she barely knew, as it is slowly revealed to us, as well as her present journey discovering who she is now she has taken control of her life.

I loved that Sahar was in her 40s and still discovering who she was, there’s hope for me still.

The cast of characters surrounding Sahar were so wonderfully varied, all with quirks and their own issues. My favourite was Luke, I enjoyed watching him open up and in turn cause Sahar to open up to new possibilities also.

I loved this story, it spoke to me in many ways, a story of friendship, love, of journeys with plenty of lessons to learn along the way, I enjoyed every minute of it.

Father of the Lost Boys

And lastly, ahhh this was hard to pick one last book, but I’ve gone with a non-fiction read, a memoir by a South Sudanese man who now calls Perth his home. Father of the Lost Boys by Yuot Alaak this was a powerful read and showed just what people are capable of, both the good and the bad. See my review here.

IMG_20210630_183741.jpg

I’m currently reading The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock, I’m nearly half way through and I think this will be going on one of my top reads for 2021.

If you’re interested in checking out any of the 147 books I’ve read so far, the link to my reader challenge is here.

I’d love to know your thoughts on any of these books if you’ve read them or are wanting to read them. And I’d love to know what your favourite books of 2021 are so far.

New Release Book Review: Waking Romeo by Kathryn Barker

I saw this cover (fabulous) and read a review on this novel a while ago and I was intrigued enough to want to read it and I’m so glad I did. This was a fabulous read, something so different to anything else I’ve read, time-travel, dystopian fiction, romance, built on a classic novel, so many different aspects that made up this unique novel. The world has essentially ended, humans have destroyed the earth and resources are limited, but with the invention of pods, people can travel forwards only, into the future, hopeful of a better life.

When the book starts it is 2083 and Juliet (Jules) is not in a good place, the love of her life, Romeo is in a coma after a tragic accident 2 years beforehand that left Jules with a dead arm and feeling even more on the outer than she did before. The actual events of that night and those leading up to them are uncovered slowly as the story progresses, but all is not as it would appear and Jules will face a lot of truths, ones she has deluded herself into believing, ones she has written into a story The Love Story of Juliet and Romeo, written in the style of Shakespeare, and ones that she has been told are the truth but aren’t.

Ellis, a deadender, a traveller from the future, but also from the past, is charged with the mission to wake Romeo and is transported back to 2083 where he encounters Jules and together they work to do just that. Jules was under the impression you could only travel forwards in time and needed a pod to do so, but Ellis throws this and many other of her beliefs into disarray.

There is a lot to get your head around in this novel, especially the jumping back and forwards in time, the different timelines and how they play out, the memories and Jules’ story, but if you go in with an open mind then you’ll be in for one hell of a ride. This would have been a five star read if it hadn’t been for the final couple of chapters where for the first time I did struggle to get my head around the time travel/ consequences aspect, but I will get this out of the library again and reread those chapters, and hopefully, it will all become clear.

I loved the way the author has played with Shakespears story, but not only Shakespear but another classic author, Emily Bronte for who Ellis was the inspiration of her classic story.

An ingenious novel.

AWW 2021

New Release Book Review: Feral Fate by Kendall Talbot

Feral FateThis was such a great follow up to First Fate.

After the epic disasters of First Fate, the survivors of the cruise ship were hoping for rescue when they sighted land, alas, that is definitely not what they found when they landed on the tiny island in the middle of nowhere.

It is a fight for survival, and a fight to find out what each individual can endure and who can step up and lead when it is needed. With less than 100 people having survived from the original 1100, the terror and trials they’ve all been through are far from over and not all those who made it will survive.

The dynamics of this group become even more interesting and it was also interesting to see who stepped up and who fell apart. I’m pretty positive after reading this that I am definitely not cut out to be stranded on an island with little chance of survival. Shelter, food, and hope are all things that are desperately needed for these survivors.

Just as the first book ended on a cliffhanger, so does Feral Fate, I can’t wait to see what happens in the final instalment, Final Fate out in March.

AWW 2021

 

New Release Book Review: The Ghost Squad by Sophie Masson

IMG_20210203_085432.jpg

This was a really great read, I’ve been reading a lot more speculative fiction so far this year, a genre I used to read a lot of, but one I seem to have neglected over the last couple of years.

This is the first book I’ve read by Sophie Masson who has a large number of books to her name.

The Ghost Squad was a really novel idea, one I found very interesting. What if you had the opportunity to find out what was really on the other side when you die? Due to a Pulse that wipes out all electronics, there is an unexpected side effect, one that has been kept from the general public, people who one group call the ‘gulls’, a secret that could change everything.  There are two organisations, The Ghost Squad and the Base, both who have their own agendas and both believe they are the right ones. Three different groups of people are discovered after the Pulse, this is the secret that is being kept, (I don’t want to give too much away). Of the three groups of people who come out of the Pulse, I’m not too sure which one I would want to be in, and whether I would want to know if I was aware of them. 

Some of the terminology was confusing at the beginning and I wish I’d realised there was a glossary at the back because I probably would have read this first so I didn’t feel so confused, but everything became clear as the story unfolded.

The three main characters Swan, Polly and Kel all come from differing backgrounds. Kel knows all about the secret, he has one of the unexpected side effects to come out of the Pulse. Polly is part of the general public, going about her own business, completely unaware of what is being kept from society, Swan works with the Base, but after meeting Polly and Kel, his beliefs and loyalty are tested. I liked these characters a lot, especially Kel, I had a soft spot for him.

This book was full of twists and turns, conspiracies, relationships, secrets, danger and action. I really couldn’t foretell anything that was going to happen and it wasn’t always clear who to trust or who to believe. There were plenty of people and factions to be wary of along the way and there were some unexpected allies too.

I recommend this if you are looking for something engaging and different. I feel there should be a sequel because I think there is so much more to uncover and fight for, but I’ve been told there is nothing planned at this point. It does end in a way that is satisfactory, I just want more.

Thanks to Midnight Sun Publishing for providing me with a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

AWW 2021

 

New Release Book Review: Unseen by Cassie Laelyn

This was book 3 in the Fallen Guardians series and while it was clear that I was missing out on a lot of background information during the first chapter, I was easily able to catch up with the story after that initial chapter and now I can’t wait for the next book to be released.

I loved tortured EJ, the guardian who gets visions of events he can’t change, things that torture him because of this. When he starts getting visions of Hailee, he’s in complete denial for a time about what it could mean.

Hailee was a good character, I thought she took everything in her stride, way better than I’d have taken things if I’d found out I was immortal and someone was trying to kill me.

The relationship between Hailee and EJ was sweet and sexy and I enjoyed getting to know them.

Good verse evil is a major theme in this story, as well as trust, in self and others.

I can’t wait to see how the war between the Fallen and the guardians plays out, and what Fate has in store for everyone.

Thanks to the author for a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.