Book news, Book reviews

Haunting of Hill House ; Book Review

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After the huge success of the Netflix adaptation of this novel, it was inevitable that I had to read the book. Let’s get things straight, the show takes mere inspiration from the book and the two are completely different.  Bottom line, I prefer the show but this is about the novel.

Haunting of Hill House- the novel entails a sappy tale about a lonely thirty something female who has mommy issues and uses the horrors of Hill house as an escapade from her real problems. Now you can either choose to look at it that way or you can view the novel as a classic take on a haunted house.

It is obvious that the author never meant for the horrors of hill house such as the creepy shadows and the lingering touches of the dead to be the REAL horrors. No, you see, the actual horror is in the minds of the people inhabiting Hill house and the way they recklessly treat each other.

As the novel is written from Eleanor’s pov, she does quite a shallow job of painting the other characters. I mean, according to her they don’t have a past or warranted emotions aside from those that revolve around her. I would’ve preferred the novel to be from different points of views.

Don’t get me wrong, I had goose bumps multiple times reading the book but mostly it felt like i was waiting for something to happen but it never did. Even the ending felt a little anti-climatic.

I much prefer the depth that the show provides with its psychological traumas but if you’re looking for a classic haunted house read to give you a few chills- Hill House is the one folks.

Book reviews

Book Review | Esme’s Wish

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When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver sets out to search for her missing mother, Ariane, she is transported to the alternate realm of Aeolia: a world enchanted by the gods and steeped with myth and magic. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about her mother, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all. 


Having always been a fan of fantasy novels, I was excited to delve into this one. The book shows hints of Rick Riordan’s writing style with the world building techniques of George R R Martin

The word building would definitely have to be my favourite aspect. Everything from the beaches to the architecture is described in such precise detail.The author has blended real world locations such as Venice and Ireland and added fantastical elements to create this new world of Esperance. I find that with so many fantasy novels already out in the market it can be difficult to build a unique setting for your novel.

The plot was slow going at times but there was always an underlying mystery and intrigue that made you want to continue reading. It was set out in a logical sequence which meant that readers won’t get lost and won’t get too confused with the new vocabulary. I wouldn’t say the story line was predictable as you were discovering this new world with the protagonist so you had no idea what was coming next

In terms of the characters I found the character building to be quite interesting regarding the Gifts that each characters might possess and all the mythical creatures. I found it kind of a refresher that there was no direct romance in the novel as it becomes quite commonplace and cliche. The dialogue made sense. One thing that I really liked was how the author weaved the art form of painting into the novel, I don’t often read texts where there is such an appreciation of drawing and painting.

Overall, a very good read and I look forward to the upcoming novel Esme’s Gift in 2019!

Book reviews

Book Review ! Amelia Westlake

 

33296203Two very different girls, and one giant hoax that could change – or ruin – everything.

Harriet Price has the perfect life: she’s a prefect at Rosemead Grammar, she lives in a mansion, and her gorgeous girlfriend is a future prime minister. So when she risks it all by creating a hoax to expose the school’s many problems – with help from notorious bad-girl Will Everheart, no less – Harriet tells herself it’s because she’s seeking justice. And definitely not because she finds Will oddly fascinating. 

But as Will and Harriet’s campaign heats up, it gets harder for them to remain sworn enemies – and to avoid being caught. As tensions burn throughout the school, how far will they go to keep their mission – and their feelings for each other – a secret?


This is THE social justice book of the year

Amelia Wetslake had me in her grips from the first line of the book. It’s witty, it’s emotional but most of all it is relevant.

In an over-saturated market, it is often difficult to come across a book that has something to tell you, something to leave you with. I came out of this book feeling like I had learned a thing or two. It teaches you to stand up for what is not right and it teaches you to be courageous but most of all it teaches you to be kind

The setting of a high school is so cliche but this book puts a twist on this by adding a bit of sleuthing and a bit of romance. What I enjoyed the most was how you could sometimes feel like you were having a conversation with the author herself. The book does an amazing job of portraying how today’s youth actually have opinions about some of the most important topics.

In terms of character development, the book puts across the message that no one is ever how they seem as in there is always more to a human being than what meets the eye.

The stand out point of the novel is definitely the dialogue within the novel itself and the dialogue it encourages. Readers such as yours truly are left with an urge to sit people down and just talk about capitalism or male privilege

I cannot recommend this book enough

Amelia Westlake released on 1 April 2018 and can be found across the book world!

Book news, Book reviews

Book Review | The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

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Xiomara has always kept her words to herself. In her Harlem neighbourhood, her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But X has secrets. Her feelings for a boy in her bio class, the notebook full of poems that she keeps under her bed- and a slam poetry club that will pull those secrets into the spotlight. Because in spite of a world that might not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to stay silent. 

 


As soon as I heard that this book was written in all poetry format I wanted to get my hands on it.

The beginning of the novel absolutely grips you in, X has this prominent voice that travels beyond the pages and you’re immersed in this world where this girl is trying to find herself and break stereotypes and just be herself.

The author sets the scene beautifully by capturing the diversity of the neighbourhood, the history of X’s parents, her background and her standing on religion. This book is like a neat little package of diversity and I love it.  One of the things this book did really well is that it managed to put every character into the spotlight through X’s poems so no one felt like a sidekick

In terms of the writing itself, it is moving and creative and fresh. Yet, it’s still not the kind of book you wanna finish in one sitting because every page makes you think. X’s story makes readers reflect on their own experiences trying to find themselves and about how if you’re passionate about something you should just go for it.

The only criticism I have is that the plot could have been paced better. I mean there is the build up to the drama, then everything goes down and then bam everything is resolved. I would’ve loved if there was more focus on how relationships were reconciled because that’s often where readers find completion. Some issues were left unresolved, so I’m sensing a sequel?

The Poet X released on 6th March 2018. I would highly recommend grabbing a copy. Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont for providing me with one!

Book news, Book reviews

Book Review | Turtles All The Way Down

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I feel like John Green always delivers a unique addition to the coming of age genre. This wasn’t my favourite book ever or anything but like any other John Green book, it left its mark

The protagonist Aza is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Right from the beginning the reader can tell that a lot of research and meticulation went into creating this character with all these problems. She almost felt too flawed at times but maybe that was the point. This book allows you to get inside the head of someone who is literally struggling with their mental health on a cellular level. It’s not an easy task to put yourself in someone’s shoes so deeply and Green does that beautifully.

In terms of the plot itself, while the mysterious disappearance does attract you at the beginning, you soon realise that it is not the main attraction of this novel. I think the message Green was trying to send across by making the mystery secondary was that in real life mysteries aren’t all that grand. This isn’t a dramatic thriller novel after all. It does however, work as an element of intrigue throughout the whole novel.

In comparison to Aza the rest of the characters felt quite flat, like they were placeholders. I really didn’t feel the overwhelming romance shining through. I did however, enjoy the perspective that the novel gives you. I mean you’re always going from being close to Aza on a cellular level to zooming out and seeing the story as a whole.

 

Book reviews

Book Review | The Messenger

After reading the Book Thief and absolutely loving it, I knew I had to pick this one up.

Set in generic Australian town, the novel explores concepts of love, loss and identity through a very unique perspective and mechanism.

Ed is a messenger. This means he receives one card from a deck on which are instructions he has to follow in order to make people’s lives better. What I liked about this novel is that it tells you that doing even the smallest things for people can make their life better than you can imagine. The book teaches you how to treat people, especially the forgotten ones in our society.

Ed had a clear and distinct voice from the start and he was a realistic character. I mean as with any other 19 year old he was lost and confused and of course in love. I also like how he wasn’t superhuman, I mean for the most part he was an average aussie bloke. 19057

I absolutely powered through the book because of the fact that it was so gripping, I mean you’re constantly asking yourself what the next card will be. I like how in the end, the book comes full circle and Ed has to fix his own life. The ending was truly very inceptional. Some might call it a bizarre book to be honest but I just think it presented philosophical concepts in an interesting way.

Rating

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About the book  

Book reviews

Book Review | Another Day

So after I was completely blown away by Every Day, it was only natural that I read the companion novel.

One of my concerns was that Rhiannon’s perspective and voice would not be different from the protagonist’s in Every Day. I was so wrong. Rhainnon has such a quiet, complex perspective on the world. Levitahn does a brilliant job of creating three dimensional characters, you feel like you’re a part of their lives.

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This novel again made me think of how we end up living the same life every day and take so much for granted. But this novel also created a realistic setting where sometimes I felt frustrated with Rhiannon.

The novel so beautifully portrays teenage love and heartbreak and the need to hold onto something even if its damaging for you. It explores the fact that mental affects even the most ‘normal’ people

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It was good to see how Rhiannon perceived the protagonist changing bodies every day. This gave rise to her prejudices and her perceptions about race. Because the reality is that people are flawed and prejudice does play a role in it. It was also interesting to see how her perception on attraction changed day to day as well. 18459855

Rating

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About the book 

Book reviews

Book Review | Every Day by David Levithan

This book was unlike anything I’ve read before and I’ve read a lot of books.

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The idea of someone waking up in a different body every day was enough to get me hooked. But this someone happened to be a teenager who got to experience the life of a different teenager every day. This gave the novel the chance to explore legit every teenage issue from gender, identity, mental illness, body image. It is incredible how many ground this novel managed to cover.

Levithan has this amazing ability to give his protagonist such a distinct voice, despite being in a different body, the perspective is always the same. The character development was so complex. You understood the protagonist’s need for love and comfort and a chance at a normal teenage experience but there was always the fact that his body would change.

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What I love about this novel is that it really makes you think. It makes you think about how much the inside matters but also about how much the outside matters. It makes you think about the experiences we have living in the same body every day and how we take most of them for granted. How we forget that everyone is living in their own world. It makes you think of how ginormous the universe really is.

I must admit, at the beginning I thought this novel was going to be another sappy love story but I was hooked. I was hooked because I wanted to see who he would wake up as next. I was hooked because there’s this cult war going on in the novel. I was hooked because you could never tell how the novel was going to end. Related image

And I wanted more so I read the companion novel from the girl’s perspective.

About the book 

 

Book reviews

Book Review | Wayfarer

I haven’t done a book review in soo long,I’m not sure I remember how to write one. 20983366

So, I absolutely loved the first instalment in this series which was Passenger. Much of what I loved about Passenger was lacking in this novel. With Passenger I really felt like a traveller, it gave me the thrill of exploring new places and gave me ideas of what I’d like to see for myself in real life.

Wayfarer was SO focused on the Astrolobe and the plotline that it forgot to put the fun back in travelling. The essence of another time, another place wasn’t really captured because the characters were so busy jumping from one place to another. I really felt if the book had been broken into three parts rather than two, we would’ve got that slow build up.

I liked how the book challenged the philosophical aspects of travelling and asked questions about changing the course of history etc. The character build up was incredible, I mean everyone was discovering mysterious parts of themselves and grappling with their emotions.

For much of the novel, I felt there was a mellow sort of tone to it all. It was lacking that thrill. Although I did enjoy the quips and wit of some of the side characters.

In terms of the resolution, I think I’m okay with it.

Rating

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Book Details  

Book reviews

BOOK REVIEW | The Secret Science of Magic

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Title: The Secret Science of Magic

Author: Melissa Kiel

Genre: YA Contemporary

Synopsis:CLICK HERE 

Expected Publication Date: 1st April 2017

This book was unlike anything I have ever read before. Sure, I’ve read a lot of romances in my life and sure I’ve read the occasional Sci-Fi book and sure I’ve picked up my maths textbook every now and then. But this novel had it all.

To illustrate my opinion let’s divide the novel into two parts. The first half of the novel focuses on facts, which I found highly interesting and immersing by the way (give me an unsolved conjecture any time!). The beginning of each chapter drew me in by giving me bits about certain mathematicians or certain magicians. While I did find this captivating, I found myself getting to the middle of the chapter and needing a break.

The second half of the novel focused on the emotional aspects of our protagonist’s life. While this made sense in the context of the novel, I found that it lacked depth. I found it difficult to fully connect with the characters on a deeper level. In saying that I highly enjoyed the platonic and sibling relationships, more so than the romantic ones

Speaking of characters, it would have been better in my opinion to split the chapters evenly between Sophia and Joshua because at times it got difficult to distinguish whose chapter I was reading because their voices sounded so similar in my head.

Other than that, I like how the novel covers a range of contemporary YA topics such as diversity, mental illness and the stigma around mental illness but it also focuses on something that not many novels focus on. that is the fact that even the most genius minds have their limit. And of course how could I forget the magic!