It’s been a busy week, but I have still managed to get through 10 books! My favourites were A Monster Calls, Everyone Brave is Forgiven and First & Then. Black and The Road to Winter were read in one sitting each – I couldn’t put them down once I’d started! I was a bit disappointed with One Would Think the Deep – too many references to music and surfing, neither of which I have the slightest interest in!
- The Shark Caller – Dianne Wolfer (4 stars) (Australian author)
This was a really sweet middle-grade story about coping with loss. There was a little bit of magic realism, but for the most part it was about the process of grieving and the importance of family. It was really intriguing to have a glimpse into life in Papua New Guinea, and some of their myths.
- A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness (5 stars)
I am hoping to review this wonderful book this week! (Though exams may delay that a little bit….) The illustrations – done by no less than Jim Kay, who also did the Illustrated Harry Potter – are BLOODY BRILLIANT! The story is simply wonderful too, emphasising the duplicity of human nature – we can be good people and still the wrong thing, and vice versa. I loved it; it just didn’t last for long enough!
- Wolf Hollow – Lauren Wolk (4 stars)
I saw Annabelle (the main character of Wolf Hollow) described as a new Scout Finch. That provides immense expectations for this tiny little book! Annabelle was a fantastic character, but for me she didn’t live up to the claims. She deals with the town bully, and she tries to protect a war veteran who is the town scapegoat when things start to go horribly wrong. It was an enjoyable story, and very suitable for a middle-grade audience.
- Nonsense – Edward Lear (3 stars) (Little Black Classic #100)
I grew up adoring The Owl and the Pussycat and was excited to see that it was included in this little collection! However, after reading all of the poems, I realised that Edward Lear isn’t quite my cup of tea! It truly is NONSENSE! At least he doesn’t make any other promises! 😛
- One Would Think the Deep – Claire Zorn (3 stars) (Australian author)
I really loved Claire Zorn’s last book The Protected – her characters were so on point! However, I didn’t like Sam, her main character here, all that much. Sam has just lost his mother, and with that his motivation. He moves in with his aunt in Wollongong, and he learns to surf from his cousin Minty. There are a ton of obstacles for everyone to overcome, but I just wasn’t that invested in the end…. (I also guessed the twist, which makes me a bit antsy!)
- First & Then – Emma Mills (4 stars)
I picked up this book after seeing a few pretty Instagram posts! And I am so glad I did – it is totally ADORABLE! It’s a really cute story, about football, family, high school and romance. I particularly loved seeing the relationship between Devon and her cousin (and foster brother) Foster develop. The book highlighted that you can’t judge people based on first impressions!
- Yong – Janeen Brian (3.5 stars) (Australian author)
A great middle-grade historical fiction. It’s about Yong, a young boy who is bought to Australia from China for the goldrush. With other members of his community, and his father, Yong is dropped off in South Australia. They must walk across the country to reach Ballarat. There are many hardships along the way, including the mistrust Australian towns had for Chinese migrants. Yong tells a pure story, about an often neglected element of Australian history.
- Everyone Brave is Forgiven – Chris Cleave (5 stars)
This book is about World War II, but it isn’t like any other historical fiction about the period I’ve ever read. Mary North is perfection as a character. She is totally upbeat, and it is her deterioration as the war progresses which affects the reader most strongly. The story occasionally skips to other third-person narrative accounts, but it is mainly Mary’s plot-line that we follow. It’s unique in its genre, and I loved it all!
- Black – Fleur Ferris (4 stars) (Australian author)
I raced through this story! Black Marshall is said to be cursed – three of her best friends have died, so she keeps to herself. When a boy she likes collapses on their first date, she starts to believe the rumours. I couldn’t put this book down. After Chapter 7 (and they’re short chapters!) the book gets incredibly intense. I didn’t guess any of the twists, and was pleasantly surprised by the ending! Great pacing!
- The Road to Winter – Mark Smith (4 stars) (Australian author)
This was recommended at TeenCon! It’s a dystopia – Finn lives by himself; everyone else from his town is dead from a virus, or the riots which arose in the panic. He stays out of the way of the Wilders – terrifying men who run rampant in the desolate world. And then Finn meets Rose – she has escaped the Wilders and needs help. But her sister is still out there. And so Finn’s isolation comes to an end, as he struggles to find his place in this awful new world. It wasn’t what I expected, but I still enjoyed it. The book was a short, easy read, and I managed it in one sitting. Some aspects were a little bit predictable, but it was still a good story, with excellent pacing.
I have just started reading All The Feels – it’s a book about fandom life; I’m loving it so far! I’ve also been getting through SPQR – it’s taking me a while, but it’s much too heavy to carry around with me!
What have you been reading this week? Do you like the sound of any of these?