Review: Footprints on the Moon by Lorraine Marwood

Footprints on the Moon is a stunning fictional work of effortless prose and lyrical stanzas that fill your heart. It is beautifully written and thoughtful, evoking a range of emotions from the reader.

The simplistic prose makes way for important and powerful notions to be spoken. It allows for the heaviness of Sharnie’s world to be explained and processed in such a lyrical, heartfelt way.

Sharnie’s innocence is refreshing and honest. It lends a unique viewpoint to the harshness of the Vietnam war and to seeing someone you love slowly fade into old age and beyond. It is Sharnie’s innocence that propels Footprints on the Moon forward, what gives it, it’s authenticity.

Sharnie’s grief is a vivid thing, I can relate to her loss, a grandmother is like a best friend to a young girl and losing one is devastating. It is heartbreaking to read about Sharnie’s loss, how she spirals down into herself and can’t see joy for her pain.
I love the way that friendship is shown within this book. How it vividly shows what friendship is like and feels like in the beginning of high school, how every little gesture can feel like the worst thing in the world. How teenagers can be horrible and hurtful without realising the lasting consequences. Sharnie finding Gail was a light in Sharnie’s grief and that friendship taught her a lot about who she is and who she wants to be.

We are gently shown the protests surrounding surrounding Vietnam War and reasons behind them, in a way that is easy for younger readers to digest. We are shown how the past generation and new generation butt heads when it comes to social norms and changes within society around what is expected of its people. I really enjoyed how it dabbled in what happened for returned soldiers too, how they were shown animosity upon their return home.

Footprints on the Moon is a sweet tale of friendship, family and growing up. It is eloquently written in prose that has you pausing to think about what has been said. This Middle Grade work is powerful and demands to be read.

Thank you to AusYaBloggers and UQP for including me in the blog tour for this title. All opinions and thoughts are my own.


Review: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Published January 2021 by Walker Books Australia

I’ll admit, I haven’t read The Hate U Give, but I have seen the movie, and I figured that was enough to go into Concrete Rose with some knowledge of the people I’d meet within the pages.

Concrete Rose is written with such grit and authenticity, its pages is filled with pain and the constant effort to get ahead.

I’ll admit, I set out reading this alongside another book. But after the first three chapters In was hooked. Thrown into the middle of Maverick’s imploding life. Maverick is one of those characters you can’t help but want the best for. He is seventeen and has gone through so much in his short life. The reader just wants him to be happy, to get ahead and be safe.

Concrete Rose, is powerful, gritty and raw. It tugs at your heart and provokes questions about your own life.
From start to finish, Concrete Rose is a powerful book with a powerful message. It shows you the strength of humanity, the power of perseverance and the gift that is children. This isn’t sn easy book to read, but it is an important one. The language and speedy pace, keeps pages turning until you are lost in Maverick’s world, fighting along side him for a better life.

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


Review: All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue

Publication February 2021

All Our Hidden Gifts, sparked my interest from the first page. Our protagonist is vibrant and her enthusiasm oozes from the pages. However I was surprised to learn that she is 16, she reads much younger than that, through her actions. That being said, she is growing as the book progresses, which gives it an overall, more authentic feel.

The magical element to this book is wonderful. Learning about Tarot, eradicating the cliche beliefs around them and showing them for the powerhouse celestial items that they are.

This book is so incredibly easy to read. The writing style is fluid allowing the reader to flow through the book easily.  It does feel quite simple though, it is easy to predict what is going to happen with the characters, even if the world they are in is mystically unpredictable.

Filled to the brim with diverse characters, from different backgrounds, religions and sexual orientation. All Our Hidden Gifts has something for everyone. It is confontational and creates conversations around sexuality and beliefs, both huge and important aspects.

The last 40 pages of this book are a whirlwind pf magic, friendship, acceptance and growth. Above all else, this book screams at the reader to be more accepting, be more aware that everyone has their own burdens, that life isn’t as simple as it appears.

Well written and easy to read, All Our Hidden Gifts was a lovely read. I may be a bit older than its intended audience, as I did find it quite simple and juvenile in places. But it was still enjoyable and I can definitely see it being a popular read upon its publication!

Thank you to Walker Books Australia for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.


Review & Ramblings: Mulan by Elizabeth Rudnick

Mulan by Elizabeth Rudnick. Published by Scholastic Australia 2020

From the first page, we are thrown into Mulans world, full speed ahead. The pacing starts off so quickly that pages are turning just as fast as Mulan is chasing that pesky chicken around her village.

Mulan, The Live-action Novelisation, is incredibly easy to read, this revamped tale has so many twists alongside the original plot, that it keeps you on the edge of your seat.

You don’t need to have any knowledge of the Mulan original story to enjoy this book. You don’t even need to have seen the Live Action adaptation. This book reads as a stand alone, more than a tie in novelisation. Meeting Mulan in this new way, brings life to her original tale and tells it in a new way for the younger generations.

Mulan: The Live-Action Novelisation, is easy to read, written in a way that honours the traditions of China yet isn’t written traditionally. This modern twist keeps pages turning and the plot evolving.

I loved watching Mulan evolve into the strong and brave woman we see at the end of this book. She wa always brave and courageous, but she wasn’t sure why or if what she dreamed was possible. Seeing her become someone that her father was proud of was wonderful.

This book is filled with non-stop action. Characters that make you smile and the courage and bravery of a young woman.
Mulan: The Live Action Novelization, is fast paced, easy to read and will sweep you up in the traditions of China.

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


Review & Ramblings: As Fast As I Can by Penny Tangey

Published April 2020 by UQP books

Vivian is a firecracker. From page one we are bowled over by her enthusiasm and energy. Her eagerness pushes the pacing of this book forward.

This book is oozing with innocence, friendship and growing up. We see Vivian striving to meet her goal of competing in the Olympics and finding herself along the way.

I love how this book deals with friendship issues, about teasing, bullying and how jokes can be hurtful. I think it is sending such a great message to the audience it is aimed at. Showing readers that winning isn’t everything and that words can hurt.

As Vivian finds her passion for cross country running she starts to run into friction with her friends. The internal conflict feels so real and relateable. Trying to choose between what you want and what will keep you sitting with friends at school.

As Fast As I Can is a heartwarming tale of finding yourself and overcoming hardships. Our protagonist Vivian is 10 years old, sport obsessed and incredibly smart for her age. Reading from her point of view was refreshing, it was honest and innocent.

Incredibly easy to read and with the pacing set by an energetic 10 year old’s perspective, this book flies. It is the perfect tale of resilience and learning to overcome difficulties by finding the good things in your life.

Thank you so much to AusYaBloggers and UQP for having me along on the blog tour for this book.