7 books in seven days again! Woooooooo! My Absolute Darling and Murder on the Orient Express were favourites, plus I adored Heaven, which was a friend’s recommendation! I also thought Shannon Hale’s Real Friends was just lovely – so overall a very good reading week! 🙂
My Absolute Darling – Gabriel Tallent (4 stars)
This book has been described by Stephen King as a ‘masterpiece’. And it is definitely an incredible book. Hard to process at times and terrifying in its intensity, My Absolute Darling is a devastating story of surviving the toughest circumstances. Turtle is the main character – a fourteen year old girl who is a bit of a loner. Her father is a misogynist and a survivalist – it scared me how intelligent his voice was though. Every time his character spoke, I felt stupid for not believing the same things he did (despite him obviously being an arsehole). He belittles Turtle constantly, and at the same time tells her that she is the only thing that makes his life worth living. But then Turtle makes friends, and her life changes. She becomes more confident, and willing to face up to the wrongs occurring in her home.
Be warned that there is definitely some family abuse in this novel – of many different kinds. It is confronting, but powerful. Martin was the character I found most fascinating – probably because I can see traits of his in so many people I know. What really hides beneath the surface? This book is one that you sometimes have to walk away from, sometimes need to reread, sometimes need to sit intently until the horror is over. Everybody will find something to take away from this book.
Four Weeks, Five People – Jennifer Yu (3 stars) Read more
Seven books in seven days! I participated in the Booktubeathon 2017 challenge, where I had to read according to seven challenges. I chose books based on a combination of those I wanted to read RIGHT NOW and those that have been sitting in my TBR for WAAAAYYYY too long (looking at you Karen Memory)! Most of the books I read were pretty good, but nothing was a total standout!
Dear Martin – Nic Stone (4 stars) – Finish a book in one day.
Justyce is a good kid. He’s an honour student, destined for Yale. But then he tries to help his white (drunk) ex-girlfriend get home safely. But then he ends up in handcuffs. This moment in his life makes him reconsider his place in his mostly white school, and society in general. He begins to write to Martin Luther King Jr., asking questions about race relations in America. It is a powerful novel. There is a major turning point two-thirds of the way through that just broke my heart into a thousand tiny little pieces. Warning: I cried A LOT! A short book, but incredibly powerful. Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, and important for everyone to read.
Funny Kid for President – Matt Stanton (Australian author)(4 stars) – Finish a book completely outdoors. Read more
Seven books this week! Yay for being back to one per day! The overall favourite this week was City of Brass – it was incredible, with vivid world-building and amazing plot twists! No truly dreadful books this week – The Wrong Girl was a bit trashy, but we all need that sometimes!
All Our Wrong Todays – Elan Mastai (4 stars)
A time travel book! Tom Barren is from a present where humanity thrives in a technology utopia with flying cars, and instant food. Tom has never been able to find his place in this idealistic world, but then he accidentally changes the course of the future when he uses his genius father’s time machine. Suddenly, he is in our present, and his family believe he has had a nervous breakdown and hallucinated his ‘past’. But as his new life just gets better and better, he has a tough decision – does he fix the world for the rest of humanity, or keep it like this just for himself?
I loved the short chapters, especially that which has an entire page of ‘Fuck’, repeated over and over. It was a great time travel story, though the writing style was a bit incongruous – the themes were definitely adult, but the writing felt very immature for the content. I still loved it – it’s time travel; how could I not? The ending was a little strange… (Look away now if you don’t want to be spoiled a little bit!!!) A third present was introduced which was just a bit tooooooo weird for me. But overall, a fab book with fascinating characters and interesting twists and turns!
Moonrise – Sarah Crossan (3 stars) Read more
Only five books this week, and one of them was super small! Favourite was absolutely Nevermoor – AMAZING! I was also pleasantly surprised by Living on Hope Street and Poison City. 🙂
Unearthed – Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (3 stars)
Earth has intercepted a message from an alien race, and people are flocking to the ancient planet for various purposes. Mia is a scavenger, determined to find something worth enough money to buy her sister’s freedom back. Jules is an academic, whose purposes are slightly more noble – he wants to prove his genius mathematic father’s theories about the aliens right.
I struggled with Mia as a character – she was a bit of a bitch, but it was also understandable given her past circumstances. Jules, however, was a cute cinnamon roll and I loved him. The story itself was intriguing, though I’m not sure its pitch of Lara Croft x Indiana Jones was right. I also struggled with the writing a little bit – the pacing was a bit slow for an adventure story… But the ending was incredible and I need the next book ASAP. Being a Latin nerd, I was disappointed with the phrasing of a certain Latin phrase – I think it’s wrong. But if the authors have a Latin expert, I am happy to concede that my 10 years of study might not have been enough.
Living on Hope Street – Demet Divaroren (Australian author) (4 stars) Read more
Not a great reading week…. I was slumping BIG TIME. I did also do a bit of reading for work, which will have to extend into next week too. They are books that aren’t out for months and months yet, so they sadly don’t count for this purpose. Favourite this week was definitely the middle-grade The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Rome – SO GOOD!
Mask of Shadows – Linsey Miller (3 stars)
I had high hopes for this book! It involves an assassin competition (a trope I adore) and it has a gender-fluid protagonist. While I liked the characters (my favourite was Maud, the sarcastic maid) and the story, it still felt a little bit like I had seen it all before. The storyline itself lacked originality and it vacillated like made in its pacing. Sometimes I was bored witless with the lack of action, at other times it moved so quickly it went over my head. It was still a very interesting story, but it isn’t my favourite in the assassin sub-genre of YA fiction by a long shot.
Spindle Fire – Lexa Hillyer (4 stars) Read more
Definitely messed up my weekly count this month! Six books again this week! My favourites were This Mortal Coil, Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic and The Magic Misfits. My least favourite was A Shadow Bright and Burning – soooo slow! But there were way more wins than losses!
This Mortal Coil – Emily Suvada (Australian author) (4 stars)
The twists, the turns! Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She is skilled at hacking into the body tech every human wears to enhance their DNA. And her dad is the top geneticist in the world. This is SUPER interesting – I love anything to do with genetics. There is a killer disease which is literally causing people to EXPLODE, and infect everyone in the radius of the blast. The biggest corporation in the world decides to snatch Catarina’s dad, leaving her to fend for herself in the craziness of the world. But then a boy comes to find her, a super-soldier. He tells her that she is the key to unlocking a vaccine to this dreadful disease, and convinces her to join him. But who can she trust? And what has her father been keeping from her? This book gripped me completely, and I couldn’t predict any of the amazing twists and turns! YAY!
Whimsy & Woe – Rebecca McRitchie, illustrated by Sonia Kretschmar (Australian authors) (3 stars) Read more
I think I might have divided my weeks up a bit weirdly – June doesn’t have five weeks does it? Oh well! Hahaha – six books this week: staying on top of the TBR (JUST!). Favourites were Wild Beauty, Out of Heart and The Circle. I also really enjoyed All The Crooked Saints, but it took me a while to get used to Maggie Stiefvater’s writing – it was my first read by her!
The Pier Falls – Mark Haddon (3 stars)
I really like short story collections and this one was fabulous! I loved the title story, The Pier Falls and the final offering, The Weir – is it weird that my favourites focused so heavily on the idea of death? I also enjoyed The Woodpecker and the Wolf, about a failed expedition to Mars! Plus The Island, about Ariadne, who was abandoned by Theseus in Greek myth. But there were also some super strange ones, hence the three-star raring…
Out of Heart – Irfan Master (4 stars) Read more