Reviews & Ramblings

Review: Six Seconds by Alan Sunderland

Published March 2021 by Scholastic Australia

Six Seconds is fun and punchy, it is a Middle Grade work that is easy to get swept up in. Michael’s innocence gives the book an edge, giving the reader a different perspective on world events and the importance of sand sculptures.

The addition of newspaper articles and Michael’s drawings add to the feel of this book. It perfectly encompasses growing up in an Australian Summer.

I enjoyed how Six Seconds looks at anxiety and how children perceive worries. It shows that everyday things that adults brush off can stay with children and cumulate into anxieties. I liked how it was talked about and worked on within this book. It is so important to show younger readers that it is okay to feel worried, and it’s okay to talk to people about your worries.

The book may have centred around an earthquake, but it felt more than that. It shows the strength of character that Michael has as he helped all of his town folk, how he faced danger to help his nan and how he faced his own fears and overcome his anxieties.

Six Seconds is a fun, fast paced and easy to read. It is a Middle Grade work that has an important message, as well as having a wonderfully Australian vibe throughout.

Thank you to Scholastic Australia for sending me out a review copy of this title. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review: The Ever After by Amanda Hocking

Publishing January 2020

The Ever After is an action packed concluding book to the Omte Origins Trilogy.

The book picks up where book two ends. It is easy to get into after having a long gap between book 2 and 3, all the back story is provided early on and allows the reader to be enveloped in the story once again.

It feels like such a rich folklore and magic system within the Trylle world. Amanda Hocking has a way of describing elements and creating a magic system that is enchanting.

The short chapter length keeps the book feeling punchy and fast paced. There is so much happening that the faster pace is really keeping the ball rolling. This element is crucial for The Ever After, as there is so much travelling within the pages that if the chapters were longer or the pacing slower, it would detract from the overall feel of the book.

I love how Pan and Ulla have come together finally, their relationship is sweet and honest and they complement eachother so well. That being said, their intimate scene felt awkward and uncomfortable. I don’t think they needed to have a sex scene, It didn’t feel necessary to the plot or their relationship. It felt like an afterthought addition.

The multiple points of view towards the end of the book are fantastic. They come at the height of the adventure and battle and allow the reader to get a better idea of what is happening. As well as the different perspectives of key characters at this crucial and final time in the trilogy.

The Ever After wraps up in such a wonderful way. Yes there are some losses that are truly heartbreaking, but it is wonderful to see Ulla finally starting her own life.

Written eloquently, with characters that we have gotten to see grow throughout the trilogy, The Ever After is the perfect final book for the Omte Origins Trilogy.

Thankyou to PanMacmillan for sending me a review copyn of this title. All thoughts and opinions are my own

Reviews & Ramblings

Review: Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

Published November 2020

From the first page, Instant Karma is a joy. We are thrust into Prudence’s world, which just so happens to overlap with Quint’s.

Instant Karma is adorable, it is the perfect melding of slow burn romance and animal conservation. I love the spin on marine life that Meyer has included in this book. It is unique and really gets the reader involved and thinking about their impact on the world around them.

Prudence is a wonderful protagonist. She is awkward, smart, conscientious and blunt. She cares about her grades and her future and I love how Meyer has depicted her and how her peers treat her. How we get to see how it affects Prudence, the way that she is viewed verses who she really is. That element makes Instant Karma feel more authentic.

Watching Prudence and Quint develop their friendship was a joy. We got to see them, not only finding each other, but also themselves. Quint so perfectly complements Prudence, he gives her happiness and confidence, shows her the things that she is moving too fast to see.

Instant Karma is a sweet tale of finding yourself and your moral compass. It dives into complex issues of marine conservation and animal rights in ways that really make the reader think. This book gives you delicious slow burn romance and saving animals. What’s not to love?

Well written and oh so easy to read. Marissa Meyer has created a contemporary YA fiction that is un-put-down-able. Definitely worth a read!

Thank you to MacMillan Australia for sending me out a review copy. All thoughts are my own.

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.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review: The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

Published by Simon & Schuster Australia.

After reading the blurb of The Black Kids, I knew I had to read it. It feels so current, so powerful and important.

Hammonds Reed has a way with words. From the first page you are transported to 1992, to a group of friends who know that one of them is different and who aren’t afraid to make sure she knows her difference is what gets them in trouble. That her difference is a bad thing. But her difference is something that she is proud of, its her heritage and her culture. It’s her skin.

The overall feel of this book is intense, it has your heart racing and you sitting on the edge of your seat. This book will make you feel and make you think. It is written so eloquently, in such a clever way, that it shows you how in ways easy to process, how people of colour are treated as more dangerous, as lesser, as wrong.

The Black Kids, opened my eyes and it will open yours too. Filled with amazing characters, as well as some not so amazing ones, all of which feel so real and fleshed out.

The Black Kids ending feels so bitter-sweet. As though things are finally looking up for our group of characters, but at the same time they have had to deal with so much loss and violence. Their lives won’t ever be the same and they know that.

Poetically written and gritty as heck, The Black Kids is a must read for 2020.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for sending me out a review copy. All thoughts are my own.