I wanted to do another week of all-Aussies, but I failed on one count – a book I had to read and review for work… I read eight books this week, and loved most of them!
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf – Ambelin Kwaymullina (Australian author) (5 stars)
I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book – it was INCREDIBLE! But also terrible for my book-buying ban because now I want the rest of the series! Ashala Wolf has been captured and interred in a detention centre. She is an Illegal, meaning that she has a supernatural ability. Together with her Tribe, she is trying to overthrow the government. The pacing was perfect, and the twists and turns were wonderful. I WANT MORE!
Adam Spencer’s Big Book of Numbers – Adam Spencer (Australian author) (2 stars)
I expected this book to be more accessible than it is. I am not a numbers person, no matter how hard I try. While I loved the numbers facts scattered throughout this book, there were too many long-winded equations for the average person to get a handle on. I know a lot of parents who bought this book for their children, and I feel like a right royal idiot because I barely understood a word of the actual mathematics….
Loathing Lola – William Kostakis (Australian author) (3.5 stars)
William Kostakis was 19 when he wrote this novel! I won’t lie – he has definitely improved; Loathing Lola has nothing on The Sidekicks. But, it is hysterical, and it was a lot of fun to be able to trace his evolution as an author. There is one particularly inappropriate joke which made me laugh (and still makes Will himself giggle). The story is about Courtney Marlow, a real teen featuring in a reality TV show. She has to contend with conniving friends, grief, and an overbearing stepmother, Lola. Not what I expected, but still a very good laugh. The book is sadly out of print, but apparently you can find it regularly in second-hand bookstores in Sydney!
Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty (Australian author) (2 stars)
I loved, loved, loved Big Little Lies. I was interested in Truly Madly Guilty but hadn’t heard amazing things. And it’s true – I was bored. The story flicked back and forth between the present and the day of a barbeque where everything went wrong. It really annoyed me not knowing the what, and when it was finally revealed it felt like a massive anti-climax. It wasn’t bad, just boring…
Everything is Changed – Nova Weetman (Australian author) (3 stars)
This was a really cool book in that it is written backwards; it starts with the aftermath of an event and each chapter moves back in time until we reach the action which caused all the ripples. Two boys are in court, they are cut up with guilt – but what have they done? Unlike Liane Moriarty’s Truly Madly Guilty, this book maintained the mystery without annoying me. The voices of Jake and Alex, as well as their friend/girlfriend, Ellie, were really intriguing.
Freeks – Amanda Hocking (4 stars)
I’m never quite sure what to expect with an Amanda Hocking book, and I was very wary going into Freeks. But I really enjoyed it. A travelling circus is a haven for people with supernatural powers. It’s set in the 80s – there was a relaxed, small-town vibe, though I really didn’t get the music references. The circus makes a stop in a small town, but then the workers start getting hurt, badly hurt. They can’t leave until they are paid, even though the danger is at its height. Mara, the main character, meets a boy, Gabe, and it’s a pretty nice little romance. But Gabe is very obviously hiding secrets of his own…
Stormdancer – Jay Kristoff (Australian author) (4 stars)
I love Jay Kristoff’s work, from my experiences with Nevernight and Illuminae. But I really didn’t know much about this series at all. As it turns out, it is Japanese steampunk. AND IT IS SO COOL. Yukiko is the daughter of the Shogun’s Huntmaster, and he has been commanded to find a griffin. She accompanies her father on the journey through lands ravaged by the production of lotus, the lifeblood of the economy but the downfall of the land and people. There is too much to explain in such a small space, but I really loved this book, and its take on Japanese myth.
The Memory Code – Lynne Kelly (Australian author) (4 stars)
This was a really fantastic audio book – I loved the narrator; she was super engaging. (Louise Siverson, if you’re interested!) It is a fascinating non-fiction about memory and the way in which non-literate cultures use places and objects to encode vast quantities of information. Some incredibly interesting ideas, and some useful tips for improving memory in real life. So intriguing.
What did you read this week?