#aww2017 “Rack off, ya fishface moll!” // Review of “Puberty Blues” by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey

Title: Puberty Blues
Author: Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey
Genre: Contemporary YA
Audio book narrator: Rebecca McCauley
Date Read: 04/04/2017
Rating: ★★

Review:

I think I can see how this book ended up a cult classic. First published in 1979, it encapsulates the youth culture of 1970s Sydney. But. While the language is completely authentic, it lost me on the content.

Puberty Blues tells the story of of Debbie and Sue, two thirteen-year-olds desperate to make into one of the surfie gangs that hang around Cronulla Beach. As they try to make it to the top of the social heirarchy, they learn about sex, drugs, boys, and ultimately, themselves.

First things first, Rebecca McCauley narrated the book perfectly. She had the Western suburbs accent down pat and this added to the authenticity of the book. There were times when I felt like I was listening to a three-hour Kylie Mole sketch, but this book is exactly the type of suburban Sydney life that Kylie Mole was parodying.

When Puberty Blues was made into a TV show a few years ago, they upped the ages of the main characters to sixteen, and I can see why they did, even if it did cop criticism. There’s something very uncomfortable about listening to a thirteen-year-old character describe a seventeen-year-old boy trying to have sex with her, or casually describing the gang rape of other girls from her school (obviously, the ages don’t matter at all there), or the fact that they would all spend their weekend dealing weed.

There was also the issue that while the characters were very well drawn, there was very little plot. I do wonder if it’s because I didn’t read this as a teenager that I didn’t connect with it. While I wasn’t the sort of teenager depicted in the book, there were certain things that would have still resonated. As it was, I had little to identify with.


(This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017. Click here for more information).

Find me on:
GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 05 April, 2017

wednesdaybanner

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday! This is a weekly blog hop hosted by yours truly. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

I’m sharing from Memories and Magic again, and I have five paragraphs for you today. The last time I shared from this WIP was back in February; Clara was stalling for time so her friends could escape their enemies, by pretending she was giving herself up. What they don’t know is that she can transport herself places at will, as long as can visualise her destination. She had arranged to meet Max and Jana near a statue in a park that they were all familiar with.

Jana had been anxious from the moment Clara walked away with the other Mages, though Max had managed to calm her somewhat by explaining the plan Clara had outlined to him via her telepathy. They had taken seats at the picnic table near the sculpture in the park, and Jana drummed her fingers impatiently on the wood, her lips pressed grimly together.

The moment Clara appeared took them both by surprise, but Max all the more so, since she landed in his lap. He flailed slightly, nearly tipping off the back of the seat as his centre of gravity was displaced. Clara yelped as she realised what had happened, and grabbed the edge of the table with one hand and Max’s arm with the other, pulling him upright again.

Once there was no danger of anyone being injured, Clara scrambled from his lap as best she could in the cramped space between the bench and the table. She sat down next to Max with her hand over her mouth, but he could see the corners of her mouth quirking upwards on either side.

“I’m really sorry,” she said, lowering the hand slightly. One giggle burst out of her throat, which in turn made the same happen to Max. Before they knew it, they were in fits. Clara had her hand on his knee and he had his on her shoulder and they doubled over, until Jana noisily cleared her throat. Clara wiped her eyes and straightened up. Max forced his expression into something serious. Jana’s expression was kind but stern. 

“Don’t you think we should all be leaving?” she asked.

I had forgotten about this scene until I went hunting for something to share. I really love it. I think it’s a good demonstration of Max and Clara’s friendship. For a bit of context, Max and Clara are both in their early 20s. Jana is Max’s aunt, so obviously a bit older (it’s never specified, but I imagine her mid-50s).

And now it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly and it reminded me both how I really enjoy thrillers and how some aspects of the genre really annoy me. But the pages of this one did fly by. My review is here.

I also listened to the Australian cult classic Puberty Blues by Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette. I can certainly see why some aspects of this book have remained controversial since its publication in 1979. There is a lot of underage sex and really casual talk of gang rape and things like that, which were uncomfortable. However, the authors really captured the Australian vernacular, which I really enjoyed, particularly as the narrator also had the perfect accent for the time and place as well. Review goes up Friday.

I also reviewed A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab this week (unpopular opinion alert!). Click the title to read the review.

What are you currently reading?

I started Walpiri Women’s Voices: Our Lives, Our History (Oral history series) recently because I wanted to increase my reading of Indigenous Australian authors (even though this is an oral history so slightly different). I also started The Man From Snowy River by Elyne Mitchell on audio. Two Australian classics in a row! And here was me not signing up for the classics aspect of this year’s Australian Women Writers Challenge.

What do you think you’ll read next?

This is the third week in a row that Soulless by Gail Carriger is my answer to this. I’ll actually try to get to it this time. I may even start it tonight if I have time for some reading before bed. I also posted my April – June TBR the other day. We’ll see how that goes.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

Book Review: “He Said/She Said” by Erin Kelly

Title: He Said/She Said
Author: Erin Kelly
Genre:
  Crime/thriller
Date Read: 26/03/2017 – 31/03/2017
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

Ah yes. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a thriller and I had forgotten how much I enjoy them.

Kit and Laura witness a brutal attack during a solar eclipse. Fifteen years later, they are living in fear due to events in the aftermath of the case. As Kit travels away for another eclipse and Laura remains home, heavily pregnant with twins, the events of the past fifteen years start to come to a head.

One of the things about thrillers is that they do often require a certain amount of willing suspension of disbelief that I’m not always able to offer. Some of the extraordinary lengths gone to by some of the characters in this book just felt unreasonable, and made me lose any connection I had with the them up until that point. Having said that, it is a staple of the genre, which I can accept.

This book was well-plotted and gripping; there were two occasions were I took way too long on my lunch break at work because I was caught up reading. The pages flew by. The scenes depicting the rape trial were infuriatingly realistic. There is a reveal on the final page that I didn’t think had quite the impact the author was hoping for; given the circumstances, it didn’t actually make a lot of sense to me, but I could see what she was going for. The characters were not hugely likeable, but they did hold my interest and I did appreciate that there was a really solid, positive friendship between two women (particularly how it was shown at the end).

Overall, this is definitely recommended for thriller fans. I know it’s been quite popular recently and I can definitely see where the fuss is coming from.


(Thank you to the publishers and Goodreads Givewaways for providing me wth a copy of this book)

Find me on:
GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Sunday Summary – April 02, 2017

sundaybanner

 

This week in writing

writingthumb

I didn’t quite make my goal of reaching 50k on Memories and Magic (this did have a “with” on the beginning of the title, but I’ve decided it’s better without) by the end of March, but I did reach 49k today! I wrote a total of 3031 words this week, which is the best I’ve done for a while. I have no idea how long this draft is going to be! The villain is still decidedly not defeated! While I have no qualms about A More Complicated Fairytale being on the shorter end of the novel spectrum, I am pleased that this one will be closer to the standard. I’ll  keep working away at this one, and hopefully the end will be in sight, maybe by the end of this month!

this week in reading

readingthumb

I finally finished A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab. As I’ve already mentioned here, I think that will be my last Schwab book, as I’m just not that into her. I also finished He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly, which I won in a GoodReads giveaway. It reminded me both why I love the thriller genre and why it sometimes annoys me.

This week in blogging

blogginthumb

This is how a good blogger behaves! I replied to all the comments on my Wednesday post and visited both WWW participants and WIPpeteers by Thursday evening. I also got my Conjuring of Light review up on Friday, and have my he Said/She Said review scheduled for Monday. I’m on the ball!

THIS WEEK IN STUDY

I nearly didn’t hand in my assignment on time on Tuesday! but I realised with a couple of hours to spare, and got it submitted Tuesday morning. After that, I didn’t really do a whole lot of study, though I did do some reading yesterday and find a few resources for my next major assignment.

This week in health and fitness

fitnessthumb

I weighed myself yesterday for the first time in a few weeks and am pleased to report I have lost the weight that I had re-gained. I think (hope) that I have found my stride and I should be able to keep up that momentum. I have made myself another 5kg in 3 months goal, so hopefully this time, I will be successful!

That’s me for this week. How have you all been doing? ~ Emily

Save

Save


Find me on:
GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

April – June 2017 TBR


Last
month, I did reasonably well on my TBR, reading 4 out of 7 nominated books (plus getting totally distracted by a series not on the list at all). I’ve decided to try something a bit different now, though, and list about two months’ worth of books for a three month period. This way, I thought I might actually get through them by the time the nominated period comes to an end.

No, but seriously, I really need to read these Next

heartofbrasscoverI started Heart of Brass by Felicity Banks a while ago now, but it didn’t really grab me and I ended up setting it aside for some library books. My relationship with steampunk does tend to be quite hit or miss, so this is not a huge surprise, but I was hoping to enjoy this one as it was set in Australia. Still, I do want to finish it and review it for the Australian Women Writers Challenge.

I’devilsprayercoverve been saying this a lot but The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias is another one to get to soon. I read maybe the first 5% of it on my phone a while back and I think it will be a really gripping read. I just need to give it my full attention.

soulless
A
colleague has loaned me the first four books of Gail Carringer’s Parasol Protectorate. I’ve had them for weeks so I figure I should at least read Soulless and see what I think as soon as I can. If I end up getting into it, I will continue with the series. Well, at least the four books I have on hand.

Dammit, I thought I wasn’t requesting ARCs at the moment.

Actually, it’s fine. Not counting the Devil’s prayer above, I only have two that are released soon (both in April). But one of them’s a sequel.

The first is Asp of Ascension by B. R. Myers, a YA mystery involving ancient Egyptian curses. What more can you want?!

Well, maybe a fantasy dystopia with lady pirate captains and LGBT representation, which The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie promises? The sequel, The Edge of the Abyss, is the ARC, but I figured I should probably start from the beginning. I’ve been sort of hyping this one up in my head ever since finding out about it earlier in the week, so I hope it’s good!

THese are hanging around on my Kindle; I should read them

Beneath the Apple Blossom is by a blogging friend of mine, Kate Frost, and was released last year. I had it on pre-order and yet I haven’t read it yet, so it’s really about time! While this isn’t my usual genre,

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig is a really anticipated read for me, as I loved The Girl From Everywhere when I read it last year. I’m really glad this series is a duology; it will be good to see its conclusion.

Mystery at Maplemead Castle by Kitty French is something light and fun that I’m quite looking forward to. This is the second in the Chapelwick Mysteries series starring the Girls’ Ghostbusting Detective Agency.

The Bloodshade Encounters and The Songspinner are one volume in the Shadeborn series by K. C. Finn. This has been on my Kindle the longest of everything on this list. To be honest, I’d probably need to read the first book, The Book of Shade, again to refresh my memory. We’ll see how that goes.

Oh yeah, remember how I was trying to read books I own?

I picked up three of the books from the Study series by Maria. V. Snyder at a garage sale for $2.50 each a little while ago. They’re so shiny! The Australian covers are really quite stunning. Not to mention, I’ve seen really good things about this series so I’m quite keen to read it. I will have to get the second book from the library, but that’s okay.

Jaclyn Moriarty may have let me down with A Tangle of Gold, but I’m willing to put that behind me, and pick up The Beytral of Bindy Mackenzie, which I think I picked up at a work book swap. I also want to read Warlpiri Women’s Voices: Our Lives, Our History by Georgina Napangardi and Janet Nakamarra Long (they are possibly the editors, but I haven’t got the book on hand right now and I’m  going off what Amazon says), as I am trying to incorporate both more writing by Australian women and more work by Indigenous Australians into my reading.

That’s nearly 20 books if you count the sequels to the ones listed here as well, so given my total reading for the first three months of the year was 23, I think that will do! (So much for two months’ worth to aim for over three).

What will you be reading next? 🙂~ Emily

“Life isn’t made of choices, it’s made of trades. Some are good, some are bad, but they all have a cost.” // Review of A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

Title: A conjuring of Lights (Shades of Magic #2)
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: New Adult/Fantasy/Historical
Date Read: 17/03/2017 – 28/03/2017
Rating: ★★

Review:

That’s it. It’s time for me to admit that V. E. Schwab and I just aren’t meant to be. I’ve tried, I really have, but with the exception of A Darker Shade of Magic, none of her books have really worked for me. I’ll try to keep this brief, and not too ranty.

The thing is, she is a great writer. She has an amazing way with words. And I think she has great ideas. I think her plotting is where she falls down. In my review of This Savage Song, I noted several moments where I thought the plot or world-building were quite weak, and it was the same in this book. It was too long for a start, and there were so many sections from the points-of-view of characters we barely knew, because they had only ever been on the sidelines in the previous books, if that.

On top of that, this was one of those books where I never felt like the stakes were particularly high, even when I could objectively see that they probably were. The Big Bad is threatening, sure, but he never moves beyond that. He just sort of… hangs around and postures? I get that the idea was that he was robbed of his power source, but it just took the life out of him. And I found I had lost my love for the rest of the characters. I don’t know if that was because it had been so long since I read the previous books, because I was feeling slump-y while reading this, or because eventually the book got too long for me and I just wanted it to be done. But whichever it was, the fact was that I was no longer rooting for them. I’ve got to admit, I kind of ended up on the Holland bandwagon, just because he was more interesting (and I do like hardened characters who make bland comments at the others) though at the same time, I didn’t really see the flashbacks to his past as necessary.

Anyway. Obviously Schwab is a good writer and her books have rave reviews so don’t take my word for it. I honestly think it is a case of “it’s me, not you” and I feel like it is only fair to give an author a decent chance (especially when I did like the first of her books that I read). But now that I’ve concluded this series, it’s time to jump off that bandwagon.


Find me on:
GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Save

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday -29 March, 2017

wednesdaybanner

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday! This is a weekly blog hop hosted by yours truly. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

This will be my last week sharing from my Wizard of Oz retelling (for now). Last week, Dora and Julia were discussing the cheesy fantasy movie Dora was auditioning for. Today I’ve got 11 lilnes (2+9 for the 29th) from her audition.

“Are you ready?” asked the guy in glasses who had brought her into the room.

She nodded, trying not to lose focus.

“Princess Ruby, are you up there?” he called, only putting a small amount of expression into the line. He didn’t have a hero’s voice. It was sort of squeaky. Dora tried not to let it distract her too much.

“Yes, I’m up here!” she responded, fixing her eyes on a point on the wall about foot from the floor. She visualised the craggy rocks and the brambles that led up to the tower where the princess was being held, and imagined catching a glimpse of the hero as he fought his way past them towards her.

“Don’t move! I’m going to get you out of there!”

“Andre, watch out!” The script described a dragon appearing behind Andre, so Dora flung out one arm, pointing.

“That’s good,” said Oliver Zamik, breaking into the scene. Dora gave herself a shake to come back to herself, and then turned back to the panel. Only four lines? Was that all they needed?

Auditions are weird, y’all. I don’t know what’s weirder, that some people have to do them for a living, or that I put myself through them with no promise of a pay cheque later (I do community theatre, for those who might be new here).

I’m honestly not sure what will happen with this project. I would like to see it through, but I was having trouble even getting the scenes that were firm in my head down on paper, let alone the ones that needed teasing. I am back to working on Memories and Magic at the moment, but I will be finished the first draft of that soon, and I want to put it away for a while before I start editing (even though I am actually REALLY KEEN to start editing).

And now it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

A Conjuring Of Light by V. E. Schwab… in the end, I had mixed feelings about it. I think it’s time for me to stop reading V. E. Schwab books, even if I am intrigued by Vicious. I’ve read four of her books now and only liked one (ADSOM). I also DNFed one back before I really knew who she was. So. Yeah. Anyway, review up this Friday.

What are you currently reading?

I started He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly on the weekend, when I needed a physical book to read on my study breaks. It took me a while to get into, but it grabbed me properly on the way home on the bus this afternoon.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Soulless is still next on my radar. Though I have bought a few books lately. And got a couple more ARCs. I’m really sucking at sticking to my “read books I already own” goal for this year. But it’s fine, the year’s only a quarter gone. Still plenty of time to catch up, right?

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

Sunday Summary – March 26, 2017

sundaybanner

 

This week in writing

writingthumb

This week felt so much better after having a week’s rest. I’m back to working on With Memories and Magic, and I’m feeling it again! I did an extra writing session today, for a total weekly word count of 3227, which is my highest weekly total since mid-February. I’m hoping to reach 50k by the end of March!

this week in reading

readingthumb

I’m still going with  A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab. It’s enjoyable when I’m reading it, but I’m not itching to pick it up again whenever I’m not.  I’ve also started He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly, which I won in a GoodReads giveaway. I wanted to read something in hard copy during my study breaks today, as taking a break from the computer to read ACOL on the tablet seemed counter-productive. I’m not far enough into it yet to really have an opinion.

This week in blogging

blogginthumb

While I responded to comments on this blog, that’s about all I managed this week. I had study commitments taking up most of my time, meaning visitng other people’s  blogs barely even occurred to me. This coming week will have to be a “do better” week. Since I haven’t been finishing any books, any reviews are delayed, too. Boo.

THIS WEEK IN STUDY

Today I finished the Linguistics paper I have due on Tuesday. For a while I thought it was going to be an “Ahh, I don’t have enough to say!”- type paper, but then I ended up meeting the word limit without too much trouble. I need to start thinking about my two big assignments soon, as time will start getting away from me and I won’t have anything planned.

This week in health and fitness

fitnessthumb

This week has been “get my shit back together” week. For the most part, I ate better (there were a couple of not-so-great days) and on Thursday I started the Beginners calendar from a blog I just discovered, Blogilates, hosted by Cassey Ho. I’m going to try doing the four week program without any additional exercise and see how I look/feel at the end. I also plan on weighing in for the first time in a while on April 1, so stay tuned next week for that result.

Highlights this week

Despite neither of being huge fans of stand-up comedy, my partner and I decided to go along to a couple of Canberra Comedy Festival shows this weekend. The first one we saw was called Women Can’t Take a Joke, and it was an all-women lineup. There were some acts we liked better than others, but overall it was fun. Last night, we went along to the Clean Comedy Spectacular, which was actually more our thing, since things like dick jokes and swearing don’t really appeal.

That’s me for this week. How have you all been doing? ~ Emily

Save

Save


Find me on:
GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 22 March, 2017

wednesdaybanner

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday! This is a weekly blog hop hosted by yours truly. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

While I’m back to working on With Memories and Magic, I thought I would continue sharing from my Wizard of Oz retelling for the rest of March. In this scene, Dora is talking to Julia Lyons, a fellow actress, about auditions and particularly the one she has coming up. I’ve added 2+2+3 for seven paragraphs.

“That’s the spirit! Hey, maybe you could come along to this one I’m going for next week.”

“What is it?”

Dora fished in her handbag and pulled out a battered library book. It was called A Hero’s Mission and the cover showed a half-naked man wielding a sword.

Julia raised her eyebrows. “It’s looks terrible,” she said frankly.

“It’s… pretty terrible, yeah,” Dora agreed. “But there’s this princess that he rescues at the start, and that’s the role I’m going for. It’s being directed by Oliver Zamik -”

“Oliver Zamik who directed A Pirate Tale? Dora, this will be terrible!”

“I know! His movies are always awful. But think about it. A small role in a crap but popular fantasy movie could be my big break!”

And that’s why I’ll stick to community theatre and never bother trying it professionally. 😛

And now it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

Nothing finished this week, but I did DNF Adverbs by Daniel Handler. It’s not that it was bad, just one of those cases where I wasn’t really digging it and I had other books that I wanted to get to. In another time and place, I may well have read it right through.

My reviews of A Tangle of Gold (Colours of Madeleine #3) by Jaclyn Moriarty and  So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson went up this week. Click the titles to read them.

What are you currently reading?

Currently reading A Conjuring Of Light by V. E. Schwab. I think this is definitely back up to the standard of the first book (I found the second one incredibly dull and it took me forever to read). Having said that, I was thinking about this series as a whole yesterday and I don’t think I’ve loved it overall as much as others have, but I am glad that I’m seeing it through. It is nice to actually tick a complete series of my TBR.

What do you think you’ll read next?

A colleague leant me the first four books of the Parasol Protectorate series ages ago, so I want to start Soulless and finally see if I like it or not. I’m generally not the biggest fan of vampires, werewolves, etc, but I understand this is quite a witty series and I am a fan of that. So we’ll see.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

“The snowflake never needs to feel responsible for the avalanche” // Review of “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” by Jon Ronson

Title: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed
Author: Jon Ronson
Genre: Non-fiction
Audio book narrator: John Ronson
Date Read: 12/03/2017 – 16/03/2017
Rating: ★★★

Review:

Anyone who has spent more than five minutes on Twitter has probably witnessed a public shaming – when someone posts something poorly worded and the entire Internet sancitmoniously piles in on them. This is the behaviour Jon Ronson explores in this book, and the devastating effects the shaming can have on the person who is at the heart of the scandal.

Ronson focuses on four main case studies, three fo which I recognised, as well as presenting a more general history of public shaming as well as research about the psychology of the crowd mentality and how this pertained to other issues relating to shame as well.

While the content was interesting, I did feel it often went off-topic, and that it wasn’t structured in the best way. Sometimes I wondered exactly what the story Ronson was telling now had to do with the example he been talking about moment before. There were times when he would introduce one of the case studies he used, then go off talking about the Standford Prison Experiment.

Still, it definitely was interesting, and got me thinking. It also made me rather relieved that all I talk about on the Internet, really, is books, and that I usually delete any tweets I tend to start writing about “controversial” topics before I post them. I would recommend this one for anyone with an interest in psychology or sociology, as it is a good starting exploration of these issues unique to the Internet age.


Find me on:
GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram