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18 Apr 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #6

Waiting on Wednesday spotlights upcoming releases to be excited about! (Created by Jill at Breaking the Spine)

Broken by Elizabeth Pulford (Illustrated by Angus Gomes)
Published June 1st 2012 by Walker Books Australia
(This is GoodReads:)

Critically injured in a motorbike accident, Zara Wilson lies in a coma. She is caught between the world of her hospital room and that of her memories and a dream-like fantasy where she searches for her elusive brother Jem. 

Zara's adventures in her subconscious unlock dark secrets and she must face up to her past in order to accept her future. 

Broken has graphic novel elements in a hard-edged graphic style reminiscent of a 1950s' comic book. 

(This is Alex:)

I'll admit that I've not heard much about this book so far - but what I have heard has made me very excited to get my hands on this little gem. Elizabeth is a Ukrainian born author who now resides in New Zealand - you can find the link to her website here. She's had a truly amazing life!

Broken gives me the feeling that it would be something like a combination of MirrorMask, Entangled and Hugo Cabret all in one. This is one I'll definitely be reviewing once it's out! 

5 Apr 2012

April New Releases

Hello folks! So today is April 5th - and a surprising amount of (in my opinion) awesome books are being released not only this month: but TODAY! Also - these are all second or third or fifth or SEVENTH in a series - like how'd that happen? I feel like there are fewer and fewer stand-alone titles coming out these days.

Anyways! Here are the goods:

Fire Ascending (The Last Dragon Chronicles #7) by Chris d'Lacey
Published by Orchard Books - April 5th 2012
Age: Older Fiction/Young Adult

What can I say? This has been an AMAZING journey - David and his dragons have been on such a saga of adventure and I've never had a dull moment through any of the books. This is a series that has evolved smartly and with continued interest and surprise.

You can find details for the first book: The Fire Within here.

Apocalypse Moon (Joshua Files #5) by M.G. Harris
Published by Scholastic - April 5th 2012
Age: Older Fiction/Young Adult

Another end of a saga - M.G. Harris' series has been so much FUN to read and every time I finish one of these books it makes me want to get on a plane to South America without another thought. I cannot wait to read this!

You can find details for the first book: Invisible City here.

Death Cure (Maze Runner #3) by James Dashner
Published by Chicken House - April 5th 2012
Age: Young Adult

The third and final part of this fantastic dystopian thriller. I can't wait to see how it ends! (Although have you noticed how every dystopian book that comes out now mentions Hunger Games? *laughs*)
This has already been released in the states late last year but I've been collecting these covers here.

You can find details for the first book: The Maze Runner here.

A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) by Beth Revis
Published by Puffin - April 5th 2012
Age: Young Adult

Aaaaaand last but not least - the next episode in the space/romance saga that is Across the Universe. I didn't love the first book, but it's made me intrigued enough to want to find out what happens next. I do wish there was more Science Fiction in the Teen/Young Adult market, and if they have to chuck a torrid love affair into the mix to make it work - then so be it.

You can find details for the first book: Across the Universe here.

23 Mar 2012

Book Review: Sorry by Zoran Drvenkar







"This is all about memory. It's about details. Details are important to you. You prize details." Pg 7.







Kris, Tamara, Wolf and Frauke. Four young friends with too much time on their hands and one big idea: an agency called Sorry. Unfair dismissals, the wrongly accused, jilted lovers: everyone has a price and the Sorry team will find out what that is. It's as simple as that. The idea catches on like wildfire and the quartet are soon raking in the cash, doing the emotional dirty work for fat cats, businessmen, and the romantically challenged.

But what they didn't count on is that their latest client would be a killer...

This is going to be another of those rare books that I review in which I must say from the beginning: If you are squeamish at all - Do not read this book. If you are under 16 - Do not read this book. No, seriously, I'm not kidding.

This is a crime novel, yes, but it also a brilliantly written journey into the psychotic mind. And I do love those. And so rarely do you find one not only so fantastically written - but one that can also hold up three different perspectives. Most notably - YOU are the killer. You know how he thinks and what he will do next.

Then you have the four 'heroes' of the story - brothers Kris and Wolf, and long-time friends Tamara and Frauke - who have unwillingly been thrown into this nightmare and each have different opinions and ways of dealing with it - some more fatal than others...

Interspersed are chapters with someone unknown. You know this person is watching both the friends and You, but who is this person and what is the connection? Only reading till the end will everything make sense.
Never have I encountered a novel crafted so masterfully. Set across an icy Berlin backdrop, this tale will seriously chill you to the bone.

Published: March 2012 by Harper Collins (First published in German 2009)

20 Feb 2012

Book Review: The Truth About Celia Frost by Paula Rawsthorne







"They mustn't know that they are being looked for. We can't afford for them to run away again." Pg 111







Celia Frost is a freak. At least, that's what everyone thinks. Her life is ruled by a rare disorder that means she could bleed to death from the slightest cut, confining her to a gloomy bubble of 'safety'. No friends. No fun. No life.

But when a knife attack on Celia has unexpected consequences, her mum acts strangely - and suddenly they're on the run. Why is her mum so scared? Someone out there knows. And when they find Celia, she's going to wish the truth was a lie.

A buried secret, a gripping manhunt, a dangerous deceit... What is the truth about Celia Frost?

I kind of feel like there should be a dramatic 'dun dun DUN!' after that last sentence. And really - this book is full of the drama. (Please read 'drama' as 'Drah-Mah' for added effect.) I spent the first part of this novel hoping that it wasn't going to be a supernatural thriller and the remainder of it wishing it was.

It's not that I didn't enjoy it - it is a very intriguing story with an intriguing premise. Celia is shunned from public interaction - isolated, meek; add to that standing out with insanely orange hair and being unnaturally tall and gangly - any teen would be moody.
But then she finds out that her mother has been lying to her her whole life - and suddenly Moody Celia turns into Rebel Celia, defying her mother at every opportunity. And it takes another painstaking quarter of the novel to find out WHY her mother lied.

An interesting idea, yes. But the characters were flat and unconvincing (can anyone explain what's with Frank and his hard-on-the-outside but soft-on-the-inside personality and how that is not predictable in any way?) and the story left me feeling as if I'd not learned anything from it - I won't be thinking about this one much at all once it's back on the shelf.

Published: August 2011 by Usborne Publishing

12 Jan 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #5

Waiting on Wednesday spotlights upcoming releases to be excited about! (Created by Jill at Breaking the Spine)

Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce
Published June 21st, 2012 by Gollancz 
(This is Goodreads:)

For twenty years after Tara Martin disappeared from her small English town, her parents and her brother, Peter, have lived in denial of the grim fact that she was gone for good. And then, suddenly, on Christmas Day, the doorbell rings at her parents' home and there, disheveled and slightly peculiar looking, Tara stands. It's a miracle, but alarm bells are ringing for Peter. Tara's story just does not add up. And, incredibly, she barely looks a day older than when she vanished. 

Award-winning author Graham Joyce is a master of exploring new realms of understanding that exist between dreams and reality, between the known and unknown. Some Kind of Fairy Tale is a unique journey every bit as magical as its title implies, and as real and unsentimental as the world around us. 

(This is Alex:)

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Graham Joyce. I've even reviewed a couple of his books on this blog. So understandably I am quite excited by his latest novel. The description here sounds rather whimsical; but knowing Mr Joyce and his themes, I reckon Some Kind of Fairy Tale will be taking on a slightly more sinister tone, a la Tooth Fairy. Yay!

23 Oct 2011

Book review: Things We Didn't See Coming by Steven Amsterdam







"This whole thing is symbolic, symbolic of a system that's hopelessly short-sighted." Pg 21







It's the anxious eve of the millennium. The car is packed to capacity, and as midnight approaches, a family flees the city in a fit of panic and paranoid, conflicting emotions.
The ensuing journey spans decades and offers a sharp-eyed perspective on a hardscrabble future, as a boy jettisons his family and all other ties in order to survive as a journeyman in an uncertain landscape. By turns led by love, larceny, and a new sexual order, he must avoid capture and imprisonment, starvation, pandemic, and some particularly bad weather.

In Things We Didn't See Coming, Steven Amsterdam links together nine luminous narratives through the mind of one peripatetic and resourceful wanderer who always has one eye on the exit door and the other on a future that shifts more drastically and more often than anyone would like to imagine.

It should be noted that I never intended to read this book. I'd not even heard of the name Steven Amsterdam before. So imagine my surprise as I'm attending a panel event for Dystopia Fiction at the Melbourne Writers Festival - Purely to see Max Barry in action - that I learn of this strange and wonderful book.

Based purely on his talk and the chapter he read on stage, I purchased said book (getting it signed as well, of course!) and got stuck right into it. And did I get stuck into it. A seemly short novel of just 174 pages, I quickly caught on that this wasn't a book to breeze through. It is written in such a way that you never hear the whole story that the narrator is telling you. There is confusion and chaos at the beginning of each chapter - which is the authors' intent, naturally.

I love dystopian fiction, I think that is clear throughout this blog, but Things We Didn't See Coming brings the genre to a whole other level. I'm not sure I could compare it to anything else that's out there. Truly an experience I'll never forget.

Published: March 2009 by Sleepers Publishing Inc.

15 Sep 2011

Book Trailer Spotlight #3

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente.
Published by Macmillan, May 2011.

This book is ridiculously gorgeous with it's illustrations. And the song is rather charming too!

(On a side note - I just want to apologise profusely for not updating at all recently! I'm moving interstate this weekend so life has been go go go for the past couple of weeks. But rest assured I will be back to my irregular posts in no time *grins*)