New Release Book Review: Fish Out of Water by Kate Hendricks

Fish Out of Water

Wow, I needed to sit for a while after reading this YA novel. This certainly wasn’t the book I thought I was going to read when I picked it up. That’s not to say it wasn’t a good read, but it was a dark read, with dark subjects, subjects that aren’t spoken about enough, familial domestic abuse, domestic violence, gaslighting, verbal abuse. There was a dark foreboding as I read that had me unable to put the book down even as Finn’s life and what he thought he knew spiralled further out of control.

As he learns what gaslighting is and slowly starts to realise the way his father treated his mother and how he was copying that behaviour, I could feel the horror as he came to understand what had been going on in his family.

As the book goes on his life slowly starts to spiral out of control as things he’d forgotten purposely or subconsciously, come out into the light. It was like watching a car crash in slow motion, knowing that when everything stops, nothing is ever going to be the same again.

While dealing with this, Finn also has to deal with his feelings towards his new friend Loki, feelings that add to the stress he is already going through and which I felt were a big part of tipping his subconscious over the edge. While one of the tags for this book was LGBTQI, this was a very tiny part, it definitely played a role in his mental health, but wasn’t the focus of the story.

Secrets, lies, misunderstandings, denial, a dysfunctional family, there was a lot in this YA novel and everything that happened built to a climactic /explosive outcome.

This was a 5 star read for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Text Publishing for a digital copy in return for an honest review.

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.


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: Mountain Arrow by Rachel Hennessy


Mountain Arrow, book #2 of The Burning Days trilogy was hard to put down. Picking up from just after the end of River Stone, I was immediately taken straight back to the dystopian world of a time after The Burning, knowing now that creatures, feral or chimera exist, but not knowing how they came to be, only that they possibly pose a great danger to the people of the Mountain and River tribes.

Despite having read book #1 in May last year, I was easily able to remember the trials and the journey that Pan, Bayat and their friends had been on, and the outcomes of that journey.

Separated again, Pan back with the River people and Bayat back with the Mountain people, Pan is trying to make peace with what she knows and with having to once again live for the greater good.

Pan is faced with decisions, does she follow her own path, or live the one her people have laid out for her, (she was only slightly annoying once or twice in this book compared to my annoyance with her in book #1, her indecision between Bayat and Matthew, being my only bugbear).

When Bayat and his people show up asking for help, and then another group of survivors stumbles into their village, along with the issue of Emmaline, who was bitten in book one, turning into a creature, and secrets being unearthed, Pan and Bayat must once again go on a journey, this time to find answers and hopefully their friend Fatima who went missing in River Stone.

There are plenty of secrets unearthed in book #2 and plenty of danger coming from several directions. Mountain Arrow kept me interested the whole time.

I have no idea how the end is going to conclude, but I can’t wait to see if Pan and Bayat manage to achieve the goal they decide upon at the end of Mountain Arrow, I’m looking forward to the final book City Knife, next year.

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