WWW Wednesday – 20 March 2019

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.

What have you recently finished reading?

I read An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson, which I found to be an enjoyable fantasy but forgettable. I reviewed it here.

Next I finished Bird Box by Josh Malerman. I didn’t love this. There’s a difference between being ambiguous and just creating a whole bunch of stuff that’s never explained. I found it a bit too unsatisfying. Here’s my review.

Next I read One Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston. I think I was lucky I was in the right mood for it or it might have easily been a DNF. Really beautiful writing and a good plot but I’m not sure I actually picked up on important aspects of the world-building, so some of the things that were happening made no sense to me.

I finally started on my challenge of reading the books on the 2019 CBCA Notables List and read Between Us by Clare Atkins, which is a story about the relationship that forms between an Iranian asylum seeker in detention and an Australian teenager at her school.  It was not an easy read but very powerful. Here’s my review.

Last but not least, I finished Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein, a YA psychological thriller. This had some genuinely creepy moments but ultimately was a bit too long and the ending fell a bit flat.

This list is nowhere near as impressive when you realise I haven’t done a WWW post in 2 weeks and I finished  the first two books listed the day after my last one.

What are you currently reading?

I have returned to The Dying Flame by R. L. Sanderson, after being a bit distracted by other things. The MC has just been rescued and whisked off to a strange place so I have a feeling things are about to really get going.

I’m also listening to Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina. I’m… really not loving the audio book narrator, but it’s really short and I’ve got less than 3 hours  to go, so I’m going to stick with it…

What do you think you will read next?

Depending how I feel about The Dying Flame, I might go on to its sequel, The Sharpened Blade. Or I’ve got Hive by A. J. Betts waiting for me at the library so I can continue with my challenge to read the 2019 Notables list for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Award.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

“In a world where you can’t open your eyes, isn’t a blindfold all you could ever hope for?” // Review of “Bird Box” by Josh Malerman

Title: Bird Box
Author: Josh Malerman
Audio book narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Genre:
Horror/dystopia
Intended audience: Adult
Date Read: 26/02/19 – 07/03/19
Rating: ★★

Review:

I didn’t really have any intention of reading  Bird Box, but there was a lot of hype about the Netflix movie starring Sandra Bullock, and since I don’t have Netflix, I thought by reading the  book I’d at least have some idea of what people were talking about. It sounds like there were some pretty big changes for the movie, but I’ve got the gist.

For those who missed the hype, Bird Box centres on a woman called Malorie and her children, known only as Boy and Girl. They live in a world where creatures can kill you with a glance, and thus they must wear blindfolds as they make a trip upriver to a safe haven. Meanwhile, we learn what happened to Malorie over the last four years that led to this point.

Malerman definitely created the atmosphere of staggering around sightless. I felt like I was doing the same, feeling around for the picture  frames that have been broken up and secured in the ground outside to lead to a well. Painting the windscreen black and trying to work out your stride length and calculating the number of steps to the street you need were all things that I never would have thought of but that Josh Malerman made sure to cover in his world-building.

My main issue was that I never really cared for Malorie. I recognise that she’s living through something that’s completely and utterly new, and that she’s a new mother surviving on her own with two children, but I couldn’t rid myself of the feeling that there had to be other  ways of training your children to survive than slapping them around and dehumanising them by only ever calling them “Girl” and “Boy”. I never really warmed to any other characters either.

I also found large portions of the book a bit boring. Most of the scenes on the lake weren’t really that exciting. I was expecting a lot more tension than I found. Everything that threatened them on their journey then just left… even the Creature, if indeed it was a Creature toying with Malorie’s blindfold. I think this was what made the book wholly unsatisfying, that the questions that did pop up were never really answered and every time something to be building up, it never ultimately came to anything.


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#WWW Wednesday – 06 March 2019

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.

What have you recently finished reading?

I kept DNFing things this week so nothing got finished! But I did post two reviews: The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor and Famous Last Words by Katie Alender.

(For those keeping score, the DNFs were Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe and Jasper Jones by Craig  Silvey. In  both cases, I think it was a case of “wrong book at the wrong time”.)

What are you currently reading?

I am reading An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson. If I’m honest, both the heroine and the plot only get about three stars each, but I really like the hero? Probably because he subverted my expectations of a vain and cruel fairy prince and is actually kind of sweet and awkward. I should finish this tonight provided I don’t spend all night on blogging.

I am a fair way through Bird Box by Josh Malerman now… To be perfectly honest, I’m not loving it. It’s actually really repetitive and while Malerman really convincingly conveys the realities of living life blindfolded, I’m just not interested in the characters and there’s actually very little tension.  There’s a particular bit I know about that may turn it around, but we’ll wait and see.

I am still going on The Dying Flame by R. L. Sanderson, but it’s on a bit of a hold while I read my library books!

What do you think you will read next?

I have One Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston from the library so I will try that. I thought I had it on my TBR but it wasn’t there when I checked and it’s possible I actually culled it… anyway, that will probably be next.

Also I set myself the challenge of reading all the books on the 2019 Notables list for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Award. The award is announced in August and I  doubt I’ll get through them all before then, but maybe I’ll just keep going through to the end of the year! I’ve got Between Us by Clare Atkins and Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein to get me started.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

#WWW Wednesday – 27 February 2019

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.

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor and can safely say that I was going through a weird bunch of chapters last week when I rambled about it for three paragraphs. XD I would love if Laini Taylor wrote more stories set in this universe – Lazlo and Sarai’s story is definitely completed but there’s lots of stuff in the epilogue that could be expanded upon… it even finished with “The end… or is it?” which makes me wonder if she’s seriously considering it.

also read Famous Last Words over the weekend. This was a random pick at the library which turned out to be really addictive and enjoyable! I enjoy contemporary ghost stories! I forgot. It was a bit predictable (I had the serial killer picked nearly from the get go) but it was also really addictive.

I have finally found my review groove again and am actually caught up! Everything I’ve read this year has a review either posted or scheduled. You can read my reviews of The  Zigzag Effect by Lili Wilkinson and Second Star by JM Sullivan by clicking their titles.

What are you currently reading?

I started the audio book of Bird Box by Josh Malerman today. I don’t have Netflix so since everybody was watching the movie, my obvious reaction was “I should read the book”. I have some questions about how they manage certain things with blindfolds, but so far, it has explained the things that have occurred to me. Can someone tell me if it’s ever explained why the children have no names? That part is bugging me.

I am also reading Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe, which was another library book. The voice is really interesting and quite distinctive. It has a magical realism vibe… With that cover and the description on the back, I actually didn’t realise it is set in the present day, so that was a bit jarring. But I’m still interested to see where it goes.

I am still going on The Dying Flame by R. L. Sanderson, but it’s on a bit of a hold while I read my library books!

There are a couple of other things I have just started, but I’m not quite committed enough to them to mention them here just yet. Maybe next week.

What do you think you will read next?

I’m thinking it’s time to read Romanov by Nadine Brandes. I could totally go some historical fantasy about the Russian royal family right now. I also maybe added a whole bunch of books about the Romanovs, both fiction  and non, to my TBR the other day so it’s highly possible I might proceed to fall down that rabbit hole.

What are you reading this week? 🙂