#WWW Wednesday – September 20, 2017

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?

Finished two books this week! The first was The Disappearance of Ember Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina. It was kind of text book definition of a 3-star read – there was absolutely nothing wrong with it and I enjoyed it but that was as strong as my reaction got.

I also finished  Frogkisser! by Garth Nix, which was cute and definitely picked up in the last quarter, but I think it is better suited to its middle-grade audience and doesn’t quite transcend that. At least in my opinion.

I also posted my review of  A Semi-Definitive List of Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland over here.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve just started an ARC of A Dangerous Language by Sulari Gentill. It’s actually the eighth book in the Rowland Sinclair mystery series, but I’m hoping they stand alone enough that I won’t have too much trouble following it. I haven’t read anything by this author before, but I did hear her speak at the Canberra Writer’s Festival, so when I saw this ARC available on Netgalley, I thought I would check it out. When I say I’ve just started, I mean I am literally about 2% in or something, so I’ll say more about this one next week.

I am also reading The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells via the Serial Reader app. The aim of this app is to deliver a bite-size portion of a classic book (10-20 minutes of reading) to your device each day. I’m hoping I might read a few classics this way. If I like it I will upgrade to the paid version, which lets you get more than one issue a day if you are keen. Also it has badges and achievements, which I am all about.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I still have The Foretelling of Georgie Spider, also by Ambelin Kwaymullina from the library, and I imagine it will be quite a quick read like the first two books in the series. I also have an ARC of Life is Like a Musical by Tim Federele, which seemed appropriate for a musical theatre nerd like me. That one releases on October 3, so I do need to read it fairly soon, too.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

 

#AWW2017 #LoveOzYA “What other beautiful things had fear been hiding from her? ” // Review of “A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares” by Krystal Sutherland

Title: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Genre: contemporary YA/Magical realism
Date Read: 07/09/2017 – 11/09/2017
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

I’m beginning to think that I’m actually a YA contemporary fan, even though I always tend to preface reviews with “I don’t read a lot of contemporary, but…” Some of my favourite reads this year have been YA contemporaries, and this one is added to that list. 

Esther Solar’s family has been cursed by Death, and each family member is going to die from their worst fear. Esther doesn’t know what hers is yet, but when she is reunited with childhood friend, Jonah, they resolve to face each item on her list and see if she can’t get through to the other side.

This book has such a bitteresweet tone, but don’t let the surface fluffiness fool you. This book gets deep. And dark. It does not treat mental illness lightly, but shows how it can tear a family apart. The characters are great, but rather heartbreaking. In addition to mental illness, the book also tackles domestic violence and also pulls no punches there.

I loved the magical realism aspect for the most part. I found Sutherland’s characterisation of Death really fascinating, and the idea of Death being able to fall in love, and die, and be taken by surprise sometimes, I thought was awesome. The fact that it was never clear whether he was really there or whether it was all in Esther’s head worked for the most part, though I might have liked the ending to be a little less ambiguous. There was also a reveal towards the end about Esther’s grandfather’s interactions with Death, which was a reveal to the reader, but not to Esther. Up until that point, though, Esther had been acting as  though she hadn’t been aware of the facts that came to light here, and I felt it was cheating a bit to have her act that way for the sake of narrative convenience.

Still, I found myself getting a little teary at the end and not wanting to let these characters go. They certainly got under my skin.

Trigger warnings: self-harm, suicide, domestic abuse.


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

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#WWW Wednesday – September 13, 2017

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 A Semi-Definitive List of Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland, and it was adorable, bittersweet and heartbreaking. Don’t let the frothy cover and quirky title fool you; this is a really great look at mental illness and how it can affect a family. My review will go up on Friday.

What are you currently reading?

My main read at the moment is The Disappearance of Ember Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina. I read the first book in this series, The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, last year and hadn’t really planned on continuing as I felt the first book wrapped up really nicely, but then this and the third book were sitting on the library shelves the other day when I was in there, so I thought why not?

I am also still reading  Frogkisser! by Garth Nix.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I will follow this up with The Foretelling of Georgie Spider, also by Ambelin Kwaymullina. Apparently there were originally going to be four books in the series, but the author realised when writing this one that it was the conclusion.

After that, I really need to get back to my ARC pile.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

 

#WWW Wednesday – September 06, 2017

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 finally finished Miss Muriel Matters by Robert Wainwright! And got the paper written on it, though I checked the course guide again after writing it and I’m not 100% sure I followed the instructions properly. But it’s fine! It’s done! It’s not that it was a terrible book, it’s just I’m not really into biographies. 

I know this will be a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I also DNFed An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir at about 35%. I actually think the narrators of the audio book are partly to blame for this, as they seemed to bring out the characters’ negative aspects more than the positive (Laia was whiny and useless and Elias came across as sleazy) and I just didn’t want to spend another 10 hours with these characters.

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Frogkisser! by Garth Nix. It is a cute, somewhat self-aware middle-grade about a Princess who has to go on a Quest. She has to find the ingredients to make a lip balm that she can use to transform her older sister’s ex-boyfriend from a frog back to human. The lip balm renders the true love requirement irrelevant. The writing style is clearly emulating the style of older fairytale books and writers such as Enid Blyton. Like I said, it’s cute at the moment, but has the potential to get annoying.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I posted my prospective until-the-end-of-the-year TBR yesterday. I think my next read will be A Semi-Definitive List of Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland. I attended an author talk about this one last weekend and it sounds really adorable, so I want to get on it stat!

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily