This week has resulted in some very, very intense reading… It’s exam time – can you tell? 11 books! And somehow I have squeezed a little bit study in too? Not sure how exactly… Check out Booktopia if you want to own any of these yourself!
Hexenhaus – Nikki McWatters (Australian author) (3 stars)
I wasn’t sure about this one – I’d heard very very mixed things. But I thought it was great. It followed three storylines: in Germany in 1628, Veronica and her brother flee into the woods after their father is burned at the stake for witchcraft; Katherine lives in eighteenth-century Scotland and is drawn towards political dissent, before becoming caught up in a witchcraft scandal; and then there’s Paisley who lives in present-day Bundanoon (a small town near my home!) who experiences the horrors of small-town gossip when her mother’s new age shop comes under scrutiny. The first two stories are based on true events, and all three have really wonderful parallelisms for society’s treatment of women who don’t fit in with expected norms.
Only Time Will Tell – Jeffrey Archer (3.5 stars)
I listened to this as an audio book. I really enjoyed the intensity and pace of the story, but I did have one major issue. The main characters’ relationship is thwarted by the possibility that they could be siblings – ewwww! And the reader knows for a lot longer than the players, which made it even more icky for me. But I do like Jeffrey Archer’s style – he is a master of suspense. And it made my work day go very quickly!
Corruption -Jessica Shirvington (Australian author) (4 stars)
This was the sequel to Disruption, and it was just as fast-paced and intense. When exams are over, and I finally have more time to devote to fun things, I will be writing a review of this fav duology!
The Flywheel – Erin Gough (Australian author) (4 stars)
My friends have been encouraging me to read this book for ages. AND I DEVOURED IT! It was absolutely lovely; I just want to be Del’s friend so badly! And where can I find me a Charlie? Del is struggling to keep her family restaurant afloat while her Dad travels around the world – he did actually leave it in the capable hands of a manager, who got deported in his first week away and Del didn’t want to let him know. And then there’s Rosa, who Del watches dancing every night – but can she ever approach another girl after the torture she’s had to face at school?
Queen of Hearts – Colleen Oakes (3 stars)
My second Queen of Hearts origin story in the past little while! This one was a bit annoying. Dinah, the main character, is a bit stupid – she can’t put anything together. Her father is a total angry, power-hungry madman, and her little brother is known as the Mad Hatter (that bit, I really liked). Her father’s bastard, Vittiore, is brought into the family and Dinah immediately hates her – mostly because Vittiore is perfect. And then there are all these threats to Dinah’s potential rule. This book tied up no loose ends and just created more. I’m not sure if I will read the sequel, Blood of Wonderland (out in February).
The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy – Sam Maggs (3.5 stars)
This book is absolutely adorably cute, with and without its dust jacket. As a non-fiction, it was fairly readable, and had fabulous tips for anybody who wants to get involved in fangirl life. It was a tiny little bit tedious at parts, but overwhelmingly I really liked it. Plus, it added a whole stack of new suggestions to my reading/watching list!
The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Brian Selznick (5 stars)
If you haven’t read this book, go and get it NOW! It is hefty, and huge, but half of the story is told through pictures. It is incredible, and so interesting. I learned a lot about the film world which I never would have imagined finding so interesting! I need to get Brian Selznick’s other books ASAP! (Well, after Christmas – I’ve already spent too much on books this year!)
The Sleeper and the Spindle – Nail Gaiman and Chris Riddell (illustrator) (5 stars)
This was a truly incredible take on the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. It mixes up and completely subverts fairytale tropes. If you haven’t read it, please do – not least because a queen kisses the princess awake! The edition I have is truly stunning – it’s a slipcase and it’s shiny, and IT’S JUST SO PRETTY!
On the Beach at Night Alone – Walt Whitman (2 stars)
I was not a fan of Whitman’s poetry at all. There was sadly nothing in it that spoke to me. (Admitting this is always hard for me; it makes me feel like a total idiot when I don’t enjoy the classics; hence, I generally avoid them.)
When the Lyrebird Calls – Kim Kane (Australian author) (3.5 stars)
I didn’t expect to like this as much as I did. It’s an Australian timeslip novel, which reminded me a bit of Playing Beatie Bow. Madeleine discovers herself transported back to the dawn of Federation, in a beautiful country house with four young girls. Hen Pen, the girl’s aunt, was my favourite character – she was a suffragette, and often tried to encourage the young girls to fight for their rights. It all ties together just a teensy bit too neatly for my liking, but it was still a fabulous book, and will be great for middle-grade readers.
What have you been reading this week? Do you agree/disagree with any of my ratings?