blog tour, Reviews & Ramblings

Blog Tour: Indigo Owl by Charlie Archbold

Published 1st September 2020 by Wakefield Press

Indigo Owl captivated me from the first page. The idea of a new world being created and all who live in it need to contribute to keeping it alive feels both environmentally friendly but also incredibly dystopian.

From the mention of the different factions, I am getting some serious Divergent vibes, from the cadets being able to choose where they belong and from the parents hiding secrets and pushing their children to choose their factions. I’m not saying it is the same thing, but it feels similar.

Our protagonists are so intriguing, from the outset you can see that there is so much more to them than meets the eye, that they all have a talent for reading people. The way they connect in different ways makes for great reading.

There is never a dull moment in this book, the reader is always on the edge of their seat trying to connect the dots and understand motives. The technology is incredible, the way each cadet has their own interface and the inclusion of helpbots, Archbold has created a technologically advanced world.

Thank you so much to the team at AusYaBloggers for having me along for this tour. Indigo Owl was a great read.

blog tour

Blog Tour: The Theory of Hummingbirds by Michelle Kadarusman

Published by UQP Books Australia

Before I even open this book, I am charmed by its cover and the premise of what is inside. It sounds heartfelt and unique and I am more than ready to dive in.

From the first page we are given two amazing characters. Each with their own quirks but so lovely to read. Alba and Levi are a force to be reckoned with. They are both so smart and honest and brave.

I enjoyed how Kadarusman wrote a true friendship between Alba and Levi. Showed them fighting, struggling between who they wanted to be and who they thought they should be. But better yet, showed that friendship is long lasting and valuable. That friends make life easier.

Kadarusman writes her characters with such flair. I immediately wanted to be in the school library sorting books with Levi, to be in PE with Alba. Her writing style gives this book such a warm vibe.

Short but sweet, The Theory of Hummingbirds is the perfect tale of finding yourself and overcoming hardships. It is a heart warming tale of friendship, of change and of finding yourself along the way. It shows us adversity and overcoming your obstacles. But most of all, the power of friendship.

Thank you so much to AusYaBloggers for having me along for the blog tour and to UQP Books for sending me a review copy of this title!

blog tour, Reviews & Ramblings

Blog Tour: The Year The Maps Changed by Danielle Binks

Published by Hachette Australia. May 2020

The Year the Maps Changed is a wonderful tale of life as Winifred(Fred). A girl of 11, nearly 12, growing up in a blended family and trying to work out what that means. Fred is also trying to understand what it means to be a refugee, with a refugee camp having been opened in her town, she is quickly realising that the world isn’t what it seems.

It is a delight to read from Fred’s point of view, to get lost in her innocence and her intrigue. She is so smart and intuitive, she has been through so much heartache and change, but she can’t seem to grab a foothold in this new family dynamic that she is part of.

This book will make you contemplate life in a new way. Seeing the world from a 12 year olds perspective is amazing, we see Fred go through so much, we watch her grow up and interpret the world around her.

The Year The Maps Changed covers a lot of controversial and complex ground. From refugees and racism, to families, nursing homes and pregnancy. There is so much intertwined that makes this story so great.
So easy to read that the pages fly through your fingers, the writing style is perfect for an 11/12 year old narrator, yet she seems so wise for her 12 years.

Luca is an incredible character. He is the perfect example of a police officer. He is firm but fair, calm, loving, gentle and kind. He has peoples best interests at heart and he wants the best for his family. Luca’s relationship with Winnie is heart warming. His love for her oozes from the pages.

The Year the Maps Changed is a coming of age story that shows how important being yourself is. It shows the power of family, friendship, forgiveness and standing up for those who need it. Throughout, we see Fred turn into Winnie, a brave, bright and courageous young girl. We see her bloom in the face of loss and confusion. This book really tells us a story of wrong and right, a story of people and how they fit in the world.

Thank you so much to AusYaBloggers and Hachette Australia for having me join in on the blog tour for this amazing book.

blog tour, Reviews & Ramblings

Blog Tour: Taking Down Evelyn Tait by Poppy Nwosu

Taking Down Evelyn Tait. Set to publish, 1 April 2020

From the first page, this book is so easy to read. Nwosu’s use of modern language and its integration into characters with thoughts and emotions that we can all relate to, really make this book stand out.

30 pages in and the first plot twist hits, I definitely didn’t see it coming. But I love it. I am already Lottie’s biggest fan, she is hilarious, unapologetically herself and yet also, so vulnerable and angry and sad.
The more we get to learn about Evelyn is that she is just as vulnerable and angry as Lottie. Her life hasn’t been easy or in some cases, she hasn’t been given the life that she thought she would have. These girls are so similar and I think that is why they clash so much.

I love the Australian-ness of this book. It really gives it an added layer to relate to. We have all been to the local pub with our family, for dinner and a milkshake. It makes it easier to get lost in the story.

Watching Jude and Lottie’s relationship grow is so sweet to be part of. They complement each other, Jude shows restraint and thought where Lottie shows impulsivity and not thinking part the current moment. Jude centres Lottie and she makes him brave.

I can’t stress enough, how raw and honest this book is. The emotion that flows from the pages feels so real, it wraps you up in it. Poppy is a story teller of epic proportions. Not only has she written incredibly real and deep characters, she has also written them into a landscape and onto paths that are easy to relate to. That you have lived or seen friends and family live through. It is authentic and it is fantastic.

Jude breaks my heart, he is kind and gentle and soft, yet he lives in a world where he needs to be tough to survive. Then there is Lottie. A girl who has been so caught up in her own head and what image she wants to portray that she has lost sight of the people in front of her.

It has been a joy to watch Lottie’s charactet grow into someone that she is proud of. Into someone who is deep and seeks connection and understanding with the people in her life. What I love the most about Lottie is that she is real. I knew girls like Lottie growing up, a lot of us were girls like Lottie and that really makes this book something special.

The ending is perfect for this fast paced book. You know that everything isn’t resolved, but the ground work is being done to get those issues resolved. It is sweet and warm and the character growth is incredible.

Taking Down Evelyn Tait, is a book about finding yourself, about seeing more than what is immediately in front of you and adapting to the circumstances you find yourself in. It is about family and friendship and love.
Incredibly well written, with a writing style that makes the pages turn all on their own. Perfectly paced, to keep you on the edge of your seat, but also to give you time to slow down and really think about where Lottie and Evelyn are coming from and what they are dealing with personally. This is a book you do not want to miss out on.

Thank you so much to Aus Ya Bloggers, Poppy Nwosu and Wakefield Press, for having me on the blog tour for this amazing book!

blog tour

Blog Tour: Aim by P.R Castle

The Subjects: Aim by P. R. Castle

I am so greatful to Aus YA Bloggers for letting me join the blog tour for this book. I love any opportunity to read books by Aussie authors!

Review:

Aim is incredibly easy to read, from the first page you are thrown into this futuristic, whitewashed, technologically advanced, laboratory where you meet A and B.

To say this book is intense is an understatement, for the first half of the book, the twins are living in such a heightened state of awareness that it leaps from the page and drags you in to it too.

I did struggle with the amount of nothing that went on in the first half of the book. I understand it is important to build the plot and lay a foundation for the climax, but half the book is a little excessive. I am also struggling with the sisters as characters. I am finding them hard to relate to and quite empty. I realise they haven’t seen any other people or the real world before, and they havent had the opportunity to develop ‘real’ personalities, but they seem to be walking shells. One is Angry and the other is asleep or out to it in pain for the majority of the book.

Towards the end, I found the plot to be filled with cliches and highly predictable. I also found myself losing the ability to care for A and B. I think the problem is that there are so many scenes where nothing is happening, nothing is being added to the story, they are just sitting, stagnant, using dialogue to fill the gaps.

I will say, this book held my interest from the first page, It does have a unique spin on traditional YA Sci-fi. Filled with slight twists and turns that will force you to start connecting dots and an easy to read writing style.

Yes, Aim, is receiving mixed reviews, but if the blurb interests you, don’t let the reviews stop you from making up your own mind about A and B.

Thanks for reading!