Thursday, November 29, 2018

Book Review #780 - The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White


Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can't trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can't even make a sound. And since he can't trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him.

Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena's affection -- he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

My Rating: 2/5

This is my third E.B. White children's book that I have read and definitely my least favourite of the three. The other two are obviously also more well known being Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little.

Firstly, this book was published in 1970 and has not aged as well as his other books. Whilst none of his stories told through animal protagonists are realistic in any way this book went way too far in making anything plausible. 

Louis as a protagonist was something I loved. He was always the underdog in every situation and you couldn't help but hope he achieved everything he wanted.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Book Review #779 - Wreck by Fleur Ferris


Tamara Bennett is going to be the first journalist to strictly report only good news. Finished with high school, Tamara is ready to say goodbye to her sleepy little town and part-time job at the local paper. O-weeks awaits, which means parties, cute boys and settling into student res with her best friend Relle. Things take an unexpected turn, however, when she arrives home to find her house ransacked and her life in danger. What is this mysterious note? And why does it mean so much to one of Australia's most powerful media moguls? Caught between a bitter rivalry and dangerous family secret, who can Tamara trust? Or should she trust herself?

My Rating: 4.5/5

This is my third Fleur Ferris book and each one of them have been equally unique and amazing.

This book is more like her previous novel Black than it is Risk in that it is a mystery thriller.

This book has split narration which is something that is new to Ferris' books and I found it worked especially considering that Tamara and William's voices sounded different from one another which is something that so many authors struggle to achieve.

I definitely preferred William's narration to Tamara's simply because I found his storyline was much more intriguing for me along with his whole family drama.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Book Review #778 - Grim Crims and Convicts 1788 -1820 (Fair Dinkum Histories #2) by Jackie French


I read this book for the 2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge to read a book relating to your ancestry. I'm an amateur genealogist and so far have discovered three convict ancestors.

I shamefully did not know that much about the settlement of New South Wales at all. I am from Western Australia and we have a strong convict history ourselves and so that is what I learnt in school.

I've said this many times before but I love history books aimed at children because they are packed full of information but at the same time are told in such a fun and entertaining way.

There was a small mention of the Launceston settlement which I loved because that was where 2 of my convict ancestors (my 3x great grandparents) were sent.

I would definitely recommend this book to Australians wanting to learn Australian history in an effortless way or any fans of Horrible Histories and this is most definitely the Aussie version of that.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Book Review #777 - To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1) by Jenny Han


Lara Jean's love life is about to go from imaginary to out of control.

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her - one for every boy she's ever loved. She can say anything she wants, because the letters are for her eyes only. Until the day they're sent out …

My Rating: 4.5/5

I went into this book with relatively high expectations especially through all the extra hype it has been receiving lately due to the Netflix movie.

I always thought the plot was a little juvenile which has been what has deterred me from picking it up earlier and whilst this was something that I did think whilst reading, I was easily able to overlook this.

My favourite aspect in this book was the family dynamics especially between Lara Jean and her sisters. I don't have any sisters but their relationship seemed real and was the soul of the story.

I was actually a little disappointed that Margot left for a majority of the novel as I just loved the Song sisters' chemistry with one another.

Kitty was a fun character to read. She made up for Lara Jean's somewhat boring personality and her book long quest to get a dog was very similar to my brothers years ago.

I never really connected to Lara Jean all that much. I found her rather boring and was overshadowed by the much more colourful supporting characters. Although I definitely related to her when it came to being an introvert and the abundance of Harry Potter references. 

I can potentially foresee this series developing a love triangle which I really do not want to see especially as I liked neither Peter nor Josh.

Peter was too arrogant and took a little too much joy in making Lara Jean uncomfortable. 

Josh on the other hand was too mopey and was always looking for attention and validation. 

Overall though I am really happy with how the book ended up and am hoping that Margot is more present in future books.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Book Review #776 - Hive (Hive #1) by A.J. Betts


All I can tell you is what I remember, in the words that I have.

Hayley tends to her bees and follows the rules in the only world she has ever known.

Until she witnesses the impossible: a drip from the ceiling.

A drip? It doesn't make sense.

Yet she hears it, catches it. Tastes it.

Curiosity is a hook.

What starts as a drip leads to a lie, a death, a boy, a beast, and too many awful questions.

My Rating: 2/5

I had to read this book for a book club and as an added bonus being a local author, A.J. Betts came and spoke to us about the book as well.

Firstly, the book pitched to me was not the book that I had expected to read. I was told it was a story about a girl living in an underwater city and not knowing that until she one day finds a leak.

Instead, the book was an underdeveloped utopian story that was more confusing than anything else.

I really would have liked more world building as I think what was delivered was interesting just massively underdeveloped.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Book Review #775 - The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton


How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed--again. She's been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden's only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle's murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend--but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

My Rating: 4/5

I am not the biggest crime fiction reader especially when it comes to adult crime fiction.

I saw this book in an airport bookstore and the title and synopsis intrigued me so I borrowed it from my local library when I returned home.

Firstly, this book is wholly unique. I can guarantee I have not read any book anything like it before and being written by a debut author makes this even more amazing.

The writing style was rather basic but considering the complexity of the plot as the book progresses this was most definitely a positive thing.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Book Review #775 - Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts


When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics.

So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can’t forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices.

My Rating: 3/5

This book was written by a local author and is actually also set in my home city which I had mixed feelings about.

On the one hand, I loved the fact that I knew all the places that were mentioned but on the other hand as I knew the settings really well I could tell when the story moved outside of Perth to regional Western Australia not much research was obviously done.

Plot wise on the surface this book seems like an Aussie version of The Fault in Our Stars but whilst the characters in TFIOS seem much older than their teenage years, Zac and Mia felt very much like the adolescents they are.

I really enjoyed this book and I finished it in one day and the only real negative thing I can think of is that I didn't like the open ended way the book finished.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Book Review #774 - Road to Riverdale Vol 3 (Road to Riverdale) by Mark Waid, Chip Zdarsky, Marguerite Bennett, Adam Hughes and Fiona Staples


In the past two years, the little town of Riverdale has changed in a number of amazing ways. The entire Archie universe has been given a fresh coat of paint and it's only getting bigger and better from here. Road to Riverdale presents to readers all of the third issues of each of our new series so far, including Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats, and Reggie & Me. This graphic novel features riveting stories and dazzling artwork from superstar writers and artists like Mark Waid, Adam Hughes, Marguerite Bennett, Fiona Staples, Chip Zdarsky and much more. You won't want to miss out on this one-of-a-kind collection that shines the spotlight on the New Riverdale, and serves as the ultimate guide for both new readers and long-time fans.

My Rating: 3/5

There is not much else I can say about this book that I haven't already said in my reviews of the first and second volumes in this series other than I hope they make more of these and in the meantime I might try and pick up some of the original Archie comics.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Book Review #773 - Black by Fleur Ferris


Ebony Marshall is in her final year of high school. Five months, two weeks and four days . . . She can't wait to leave the town where she's known only as ‘Black'. Because of her name, of course. But for another reason, too. 

Everyone says Black Marshall is cursed. 

Three of her best friends have died in tragic accidents. After Oscar, the whispers started. Now she's used to being on her own. It's easier that way. 

But when her date for the formal ends up in intensive care, something in quiet little Dainsfield starts to stir. Old secrets are revealed and terrifying new dangers emerge. 

If only Black could put all the pieces together, she could work out who her real enemies are. Should she run for her life, or stay and fight?

My Rating: 4.5/5

I read this book over a weekend and if you knew how amazing that is for me you would go and immediately pick this book up. I am a massive sports fan and so weekends are no time for me to pick up a book let alone read an entire one.

Given the author's background as a policewoman and paramedic I find her fascinating as an author especially given she writes about topics she obviously has experienced in some capacity in her careers.

Although her first book Risk was based upon real events more than this one.

This book follows teenage outcast Ebony who after the deaths of a few of her friends the town believe she is cursed and has the devil inside her.

There were times throughout where I wondered whether this book was going to take a supernatural twist but once again it proved that humans are scarier than any other monsters out there.

Ebony was really relatable as she felt very authentic and the way she dealt with her situation felt very believable and likely what I would have done in the same situation.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Book Review #772 - A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan


Visit from the Goon Squad captures the moment where lives interact, and where fortunes ebb and flow. Egan depicts with elegant prose and often heart-wrenching simplicity, the sad consequences for those who couldn't fake it during their wild youth - madness suicide or prison - in this captivating, wryly, humorous story of temptation and loss.

My Rating: 4/5

I read this book for my 1001 Book Challenge and it is also the third book I have read that has won the Pullitzer Prize.

This is the most unique styled book I have ever read. It is so unconventional but it has a really engaging story and realistic characters that make it work.

When I first picked this book up I was really confused and put it down after two chapters however when I picked it up and started from the beginning the very next day I flew through it.

The nonlinear style frustrated me whilst reading it but once I finished it all kind of clicked and I completely understood that it could not have been written any other way.

There aren't any main characters in this book. There is more an ensemble of amazing characters all of whom have such distinct, unique individual voices and I found it amazing that they were all written by the same author.

Music is one of the main themes of the book (time being the other major theme) and is the conduit used to show the passing of time or reversal of time in each story.

This is the first modern book I have read from the 1001 Books list and whilst I had to struggle through it at times I definitely do not regret finishing it.

One thing that I didn't like about this book was the fact that it jumped back and forwards in time with no warning or awareness of what direction it did. I would have liked chapter headings to stipulate this. I know the author used this to surprise the reader as to the passing of time but this would have eliminated the majority of my confusion and frustration whilst reading.

Just when I thought this book could not get any more unconventional, chapter 12 was told entirely in powerpoint and also told from the future both of which I liked and found an intriguing method for an otherwise contemporary book.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Book Review #771 - Dust and Decay (Rot and Ruin #2) by Jonathan Maberry


Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them. 

Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all… could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive? 

In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive. 

My Rating: 4/5

Just like book one in this series Rot and Ruin this book is action packed and moves at such a break neck speed that I was unwilling to ever put it down.

I loved that the rot and ruin was explored more deeply in this book with the majority of the book set there as it is such a mysterious yet interesting place.

The relationships between all the characters continued to develop and I love the banter and camaraderie between them all. 

The main cliff hanger from the first book was not resolved nor was it ever really addressed but considering how much other stuff was happening it didn't really bother me.

This is definitely my favourite zombie series and I can't believe how underrated it seems to be.

Benny evolved so much in this book in stepping out of his brother's shadow and especially the way the book ended I can already see his development is going to be massive in the next book.

The romance in this books is so subtle and rather juvenile considering the ages of the characters. It is very much toned down as well considering the amount of action happening which I really like that it is not trying to take the main focus.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Book Review #770 - Road to Riverdale Vol 2 (Road to Riverdale) by Mark Waid, Chip Zdarsky, Marguerite Bennett, Adam Hughes and Fiona Staples


In the past two years, the little town of Riverdale has changed in a number of amazing ways. The entire Archie universe has been given a fresh coat of paint and it's only getting bigger and better from here. Road to Riverdale presents to readers all of the second issues of each of our new series so far, including Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats and Reggie & Me, timed to the Season One Finale of the brand new CW series Riverdale. This volume also contains a new story based in the show's universe as a bonus for viewers!

This graphic novel features riveting stories and dazzling artwork from superstar writers and artists like Mark Waid, Adam Hughes, Marguerite Bennett, Fiona Staples, Chip Zdarsky and much more. You won't want to miss out on this collection that shines the spotlight on the New Riverdale, and serves as the ultimate guide for both new readers and long-time fans.

My Rating: 3/5

This is the second graphic novel I have read centered around the Riverdale gang.

I loved that this one had a lot more emphasis on Jughead as he is my favourite character but also showed a lot of the secondary characters as well in starring roles.

I really loved all the different stories following all the different characters throughout as well as all the different art styles as each story is written/illustrated by a different author.

As far as the story goes I liked that the plot of the TV show Riverdale was mentioned in one of these stories.

I also like the modern approach these books have as the original Archie comics were published so long ago and these versions contain so many pop culture references. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Book Review #769 - Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan


Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia's most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick's formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should--and should not--marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider's look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazilyrich.

My Rating: 3/5

I borrowed this book from the library because (a) I'd heard it was funny and I thought it would be a good break from the heavier books I have been reading recently; (b) because it has a movie adaptation released this year and (c) because it is set in Singapore and my mum lived there for a while as a teenager.

When I first opened the book and saw the family tree I wondered why it was there, but after meeting the endless amount of family members I quickly understood. Surprisingly, I never had to refer to it at all as all the characters were so unique that I never got any of them mixed up or confused.

The only issues I had with this book was that their 'problems' were very superficial or money based. An alternate title for this book could have been 'Rich People's Problems' because that is essentially what this book was all about.

I know that this book is only the first one in a series but I am unsure at this stage if I am going to carry on reading the rest. I am curious how Rachel goes surviving among that family but I am in no hurry to do so.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Book Review #768 - The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken


When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a government 'rehabilitation camp'. Ruby might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America's children, but she and the others had emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now on the run, she is desperate to find East River, the only safe haven left for kids like her, and she joins a group of other runaways who have escaped their own camps. Liam, their brave leader, is falling for Ruby, but she can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all Liam. But there are also other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice - and one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

My Rating: 4/5

This is a series that I have been meaning to read for years and with the film adaptation released this year I finally managed to read it.

I thought this book was going to be a dystopian so I was surprised to find it was more science fiction. This made it more unique than Divergent or The Hunger Games - books I had been expecting this book to be similar to.

I read Alexandra Bracken's other book Passenger and I found her writing style very hard to read but I found the complete opposite with this book.

I really enjoyed the world building and the fact that even though it took its time setting all this up, it never once felt slow paced or boring. 

I also loved the amount of music references that were slipped in there. There was surprisingly quite a lot.

There was so much action and plot development in the second half of the book that I found it hard to grasp that this is only the first book in the series.

As soon as I finished this book I immediately bought the boxset so look out for my reviews of the rest of this series.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Book Review #767 - Dumplin (Dumplin #1) by Julie Murphy


Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart. 

My Rating: 4.5/5

This is a book I have been hearing nothing but good things about for years so I have no idea why it has taken me this long to finally pick it up because I read it in one sitting and I absolutely loved it.

Willowdean was such a refreshing character and I loved her witty attitude and the fact that she accepted her weight and didn't let it hold her back.

This book had such strong positive messages that it was impossible not to feel some kind of inspiration from it.

I felt like I learnt a lot about Dolly Parton from reading this book as I previously knew next to nothing about her.

I found the relationship between Willowdean, her mother and her aunt really interesting and I would have liked this to have been explored even deeper than what it was. I feel like this had the potential to be a book on its own.

The beauty pageant aspect of the story was rather slowly paced and didn't actually occur until the end of the book. I found I didn't really care about this side of the story because the characters were enough for me.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Book Review #766 - P is for Pearl by Eliza Henry Jones


From the talented author of the celebrated novels In the Quiet and Ache comes a poignant and moving book that explores the stories we tell ourselves about our families, and what it means to belong.

Seventeen-year-old Gwendolyn P. Pearson has become very good at not thinking about the awful things that have happened to her family. She has also become used to people talking about her dead mum. Or not talking about her and just looking at Gwen sympathetically.

And it's easy not to think about awful things when there are wild beaches to run along, best friends Loretta and Gordon to hang out with - and a stepbrother to take revenge on.

But following a strange disturbance at the cafe where she works, Gwen is forced to confront what happened to her family all those years ago. And she slowly comes to realise that people aren't as they first appear and that like her, everyone has a story to tell.

My Rating: 3/5

I had to read this book for a book club and it is definitely not a book I likely would have read otherwise.

I wanted to like this book and I can definitely see why pretty much every other member of my book club did but for me personally it was too overly poetic and I found myself constantly waiting for something to happen.

The book follows Gwendolyn who is recovering from a traumatic event from her past. The only thing that kept me motivated to keep reading is I wanted to find out what happened as that was the closest it came to having a plot.

This book was definitely character driven and I did really like all the characters especially Gwendolyn's little sister who provided the majority of the lighter moments in what otherwise was quite a darker toned book.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Book Review #765 - Derby: WA Footy Fans on the Game's Greatest Rivalry by David Whish-Wilson

Derby: WA Footy Fans on the Game

'The State is divided. It's not life or death, it's more important.'So says a poster on Dennis Cometti's wall - and that's what David Whish-Wilson and Sean Gorman found when they interviewed 40 fans of the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers.The book features James Baker, Julie Bishop, Fedele Camarda, Maria Camporeale, Kevin Croon, Jesse Dart, Ron Elliott, Les Everett, Alison Fan, Glenis Freemantle, Maria Giglia, Mark Greenwood, Gaby Haddow, Julie Hoffman, Adrian Hoffman, Greig Johnston, Justin Langer, Deanne Lewis, Dennis Lillee, Lesley the Voodoo Lady, Luc Longley, Alsy Macdonald, Carla Mackesey, Ross McLean, Shaun McManus, Clive Mercer, Ian MacRae, Kia Mippy, Peter Mudie, Jeff Newman, Gillian O'Shaughnessy, Melissa Parke, Parsi, Janet Peters, John Prior, Matt Quinn aka Mr Q, Kim Scott, Glen Stasiuk, Bill Sutherland, Bevan Taylor, David Wirrpanda.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Being a Western Australian football fan who has attended more than half the Western Derbies I know first hand what this rivalry means to our state. 

Overall there were 40 stories told from 20 supporters/players from each team.

Being a Fremantle supporter myself I obviously liked the stories told from my fellow purple army supporters a lot more than the others but some of the other stories were not as bad as I had thought they would be.

I think all Western Australian footy fans would enjoy reading this book and non-WA fans should read it if they want an insight into our unique rivalry.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Book Review #764 - Road to Riverdale Vol 1 (Road to Riverdale) by Mark Waid, Chip Zdarsky, Adam Hughes, Marguerite Bennett and Fiona Staples


ROAD TO RIVERDALE is an entry-level collection featuring the first issues of all modern-day Archie relaunches. 

Featuring the top talents in comics, this graphic novel is perfect for those new fans of the CW's Riverdale TV series, debuting in January 2017. Timed alongside the first episode, it captures the New Riverdale that inspired the show and is a guide for new readers to explore the variety of Archie comics and graphic novels available.


In the past two years, the little town of Riverdale has changed in a number of amazing ways. The entire Archie universe has been given a fresh coat of paint and it's only getting bigger and better from here. Road to Riverdale presents to readers all of the first issues of each of our new series so far, including Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats, and Reggie & Me, timed to the release of the brand new CW series Riverdale. This graphic novel features riveting stories and dazzling artwork from superstar writers and artists like Mark Waid, Adam Hughes, Marguerite Bennett, Fiona Staples, Chip Zdarsky and much more. You won't want to miss out on this one-of-a-kind collection that shines the spotlight on the New Riverdale, and serves as the ultimate guide for both new readers and long-time fans.

My Rating: 2/5

I borrowed this book from my local library after I had been sick and spent a few days in bed binge watching Riverdale on Netflix.

There were quite a few different stories in this edition which was good because we got to see a variety of different characters but also bad because I would have preferred one continuing storyline.

Some of the characters were completely different to that portrayed in the TV show. This was not necessarily a negative thing but one in particular made me laugh. The teacher that Archie has the affair with in the show is portrayed as an elderly woman in this book.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Book Review #763 - Emma by Jane Austen


Clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work. 

My Rating: 3/5

I read this book as part of my quest to read all the books from the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list.

This is my second Jane Austen book (the first being Northanger Abbey) and I really don't like how dialogue heavy her books seem to be.

Emma was a very hard character to feel any kind of warmth towards as I found her manipulative and selfish. She was also really unreliable as a narrator as she was really naive and only saw things how they related to her.

The amount of characters and how they all constantly connected to one another was something that I struggled to keep a hold of.

I also kept mixing up the Knightley brothers. One was referred to as Mr Knightley and the other as John Knightley.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Book Review #762 - Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell


Midnights is the story of Noel and Mags, who meet at the same New Year's Eve party every year and fall a little more in love each time . . .

Kindred Spirits is about Elena, who decides to queue to see the new Star Wars movie and meets Gabe, a fellow fan.

Midnights was previously published as part of the My True Love Gave to Me anthology, edited by Stephanie Perkins and Kindred Spirits was previously published as a World Book Day title.

My Rating: 4/5

I picked this book on a whim at my local library when I took my nephew there for our weekly visit and I ended up finishing it that night.

Each story was super short yet I felt invested in both the world, the plot and the characters. The illustrations added so much to both stories as well.

I particularly liked the second one and even though I am not a Star Wars fan, I related to it on the fandom level. 

Reading this book has reminded me just how much I love Rainbow Rowell's writing so I really need to read her other works because I have only read a couple.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Book Review #761 - Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty


'I guess it started with the mothers.'

'It was all just a terrible misunderstanding.'

'I'll tell you exactly why it happened.'

Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. Was it murder, a tragic accident...or something else entirely?

Big Little Lies is a funny, heartbreaking, challenging story of ex-husbands and second wives, new friendships, old betrayals and schoolyard politics.

No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Liane Moriarty turns her unique gaze on the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves every day and what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.

Let me be clear. This is not a circus. This is a murder investigation.

My Rating: 4.5/5

I decided to buddy read this book with my mum as I had two copies of the book and thought we could watch the TV show adaptation afterwards.

I have heard so many good things about Liane Moriarty and especially with her being a fellow Aussie I thought it was about time I picked up one of her books.

Out of all of the characters I definitely liked Jane the most as she was the closest to my age and her son Ziggy was the same age as my nephew who I spend a lot of time with.

Ziggy actually reminded me so much of my nephew especially as my nephew just started kindergarten this year as well.

This book has the main mystery and then there is another one thrown in there that I never even realised was a mystery until it became the plot twist of all plot twists. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Book Review #760 - Mrs Rosie and the Priest (Little Black Classics #1) by Giovanni Boccaccio


Four hilarious and provocative stories from Boccaccio's Decameron, featuring cuckolded husbands, cross-dressing wives and very bad priests. 

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

My Rating: 3/5

This book is the first book in the Little Black Classics collection and contains four short stories taken from Giovanni Boccaccio's book The Decameron.

The first short story was entitled Andreuccio's da Perugia's Neapolitan Adventures follows a naive man named Andreuccio and his misfortunes in Naples where he gets scammed twice but recovers.

The second story is entitled Ricciardo da Chinzica Loses His Wife which follows a judge called Ricciardo whose wife leaves him when he doesn't pay her enough attention. Considering this book was written in the 14th century, I thought this story was rather modern.

The third story is entitled Mrs Rosie and the Priest and this is also the shortest story in the collection. This story follows a priest who acts nothing like how we expect a priest to act. I found this story rather crude and not at all what I had been expecting from a book from that time period.

The last story was entitled Patient Griselda and this story was one of the longer ones. This was a weird story about an old man who tests his much younger wife's patience in the most cruel and twisted ways.

I really enjoyed reading these short stories although not enough to pick up the entire book. It was enough to get a glimpse at 14th century Italian literature and life.