#WWW Wednesday – 12 December 2018

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 Olmec Obituary by L.  J. M. Owen. While it was amusing seeing all the references to the National Library (that’s where I work, and the main character’s workplace is based on it), I felt there was a bit much going on for one book and that it suffered for it. My review will be up on Friday.

I posted my review of The Midnight Watch by David Dyer and some thoughts about Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson (I realised I’d left it too long and couldn’t remember enough for a proper review, so that link just goes to my GoodReads review).

What are you currently reading?

Sixty Seconds by Jesse Blackadder is an exploration of a family’s grief after the youngest son drowns in the backyard pool. It also deals with social media and shady journalism in the light of such a tragedy. I’m really enjoying this… actually, “enjoy” probably isn’t the right word but it’s very gripping.

I’m also listening to Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson. This is about a Wiccan teenager who accidentally brings not only her best friend but two of the most popular students in her school back to life in an attempt to find out who killed them. I was expecting it to be a bit silly but it’s actually dealing with the main character’s grief in quite a realistic way. It does still have a sense of humour, though.

What do you think you will read next?

I’m not completely sure that it will be my thing, or that I’m in a fantasy mood right now, but since I have it from the library, I will pick up City of Lies by Sam Hawke. It’s due back on the 19th, so hopefully it will be gripping and I tear through it and don’t end up with any fines.

What are you reading this week?

#WWW Wednesday – 05 December 2018

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 Truly , Devious by Maureen Johnson on Thursday. This took a little while to get into – not much happens for the first half – but I ended up interested in the mystery.

I also finished The Midnight Watch by David Dyer and I’m really glad I stuck it out. I actually ended up going and reading everything on David Dyer’s website and then watching simulations of the Titanic’s sinking on YouTube. It really is bizarre that the SS Californian saw all 8 distress rockets fired by the Titanic and yet did nothing to help.

haven’t had a chance to write reviews for either of these as I was busy with uni work all weekend, so they’ll be up this coming week.

What are you currently reading?

I have started Olmec Obituary by L.  J. M. Owen this week. It’s always a bit strange reading books set in Canberra. This one is even stranger as the Mahony Griffin Library, where the main character works, is based on the National Library, which is where I work. I kept giggling at things that weren’t remotely funny simply because I got the reference.

For the third week in a row, still going with Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend but this is mostly because I haven’t actually been reading it at all, not because it’s terrible or anything. I’m re-gifting this to my niece for Christmas, so I’m not carrying it around in my work bag, where it’s likely to get damaged. I need a book sleeve.

What do you think you will read next?

I’ve got to be honest: even though I’ve got the two books that follow Olmec Obituary out from the library, I don’t think I’m going to be interested enough to follow on with them. Not back-to-back anyway.

I’m probably going to read Sixty Seconds by Jesse Blackadder, a drama about the aftermath of a small boy drowning in a backyard pool. I have read one of this author’s children’s books before this is my first adult read by her.

What are you reading this week?

#WWW Wednesday – 28 November 2018

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?

Only one book finished  this week: Girl Reporter by Tansy Rayner Roberts. This is a superhero series and this book is from the perspective of a YouTuber/journalist, Friday Valentina, whoses mother broke the first story of superheroes in Australia back in the 80s. It was cute but I think I liked this author’s other stories more. Here’s my review.

I also reviewed All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. Click here to read that one.

I ended up DNFing Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi. The anachronisms were bothering me and I hadn’t connected to the characters after about 30% of the book, so I decided it was time.

What are you currently reading?

I started Truly , Devious by Maureen Johnson a couple of days ago. This is a YA murder mystery with parallel storylines in the present day and the 1930s. So far it’s just fine. I’ll get through it pretty quickly but I am not expecting to be wowed by it.

Still going with Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend and I hate to say it, but I think it’s going on a bit too long! I’m over 250 pages in and still have 200 pages to go and not much has really happened! But I still love the world of Nevermoor and a lot of the characters. I wish Jupiter was around a bit more, though.

I’m also still listening to The Midnight Watch by David Dyer. I was considering DNFing this one today, though I decided against it in the end. I am not a fan of one of the POV characters, and the pacing is very slow. I won’t DNF but I am thinking I might put it on hold for a while and listen to something else. 

What do you think you will read next?

This hasn’t changed from last week. I’m still planning to pick up Olmec Obituary by L.  J. M. Owen next. Cozy historical mystery!

What are you reading this week?

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday

Edit: I totally forgot to include this in the post when I was writing it last night, but if anyone would be interested in taking part in my cover reveal for A More Complicated Fairytale, or helping out with any other promo, please send me an email at fuzzyagent999[@]yahoo[dot]com[dot]au. I’m hoping to do the reveal and some promo throughout March, with a release some time in early April. I’ll get in touch with people over the weekend to work out specifics. Now on with the show!


It’s Wednesday! And I have good news on the writing front! Last week I was bemoaning having really had no drive to write for a quite a while. I think part of that was because I was trying to write in order, from beginning to end. And when I got stuck, I didn’t know how to deal with that. Writing linearly has never worked for me, so I don’t know why I was trying this time. So I’ve been writing a bit every week day. And I think I might be getting a bit too attached to some side characters. Usually when this happens, it’s with characters who are supposed to die, so then I get all guilty. At least that isn’t a problem this time. So I’m back to sharing from Worlds Apart.

This week I have six sentences for you. After Princess Adelyn came to see him, Jasper Cortain sent her off with his daughter, Carrie, as a guide, to find a magician who can help her get back the memories that have been wiped. Of course, it’s been noticed that the Princess is missing, and people have bewednesdaybanneren searching. Jasper’s just coming home from work now.

Jasper was fairly sure the figure was a member of the Royal Guard. He wasn’t surprised to see them outside his house. It had been nearly twenty-four hours since he had sent Carrie off with the princess, and they would have been searching for the Princess ever since. Someone would have said they saw her leaving, or perhaps Mary herself had told them she had brought the princess there to protect herself. Either way, there was no point in running. Better they capture Jasper and waste time interrogating him

If you’re unfamiliar with WIPpet Wednesday and are curious, it’s a blog hop we writer types do each week, in which we share snippets from our WIP that somehow relate to the date. I shared six sentences by adding the two and the four of 24 together. You can find our linky by clicking the blue link to the right. If this scene has confused and/or intrigued you, you can click on my Worlds Apart category to read previous snippets that I shared.

Next up is WWW Wednesday, a blog hop in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. This is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in by commenting on today’s post over on her blog.

  • What are you currently reading?

wwwwednesdayMadly reading Unwind by Neal Schusterman before it’s due back to the library tomorrow. I had it on hold at the library for months, and it finally came in, but I was not paying attention to the fact that it’s a high demand book, therefore I only get it for two weeks, not four. I’m enjoying it in spite of some implausibility, but I have a freakish talent for hand-waving implausibility in YA dystopians. I should finish this tonight or tomorrow morning.

I’m also in the middle of The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson, the third in the Shades of London series. I’ve read book reviews before where reviewers have referred to the heroine as TSTL (too stupid to live), and in those cases, I’ve always thought, “Oh, come on now, was she really that bad?” But Rory’s making some decisions in this book which have had me using the term, so… yeah. You’re on the run from everyone, but you’re going to go out by yourself, to a place you’re unfamiliar with, to try to contact a ghost you’ve never spoken to before, without telling anyone and leaving your phone in the safe house where you’ve been left because it’s freaking safe… yeah, I have no sympathy for you when bad things happen.

  • What have you recently finished reading?

Nothing this week. 😦 My weekend reading time was compromised by having my mum visit.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is my next library read (my mum read the first few chapters before bed on the weekend, and was impressed, which is saying something because YA fantasy is way down the list of genres she enjoys, so I’m hoping that’s a good sign), and I also need to get back into Cogling, since that’s a Netgalley copy and I should probably read it soon.

That’s it from me for this week. My partner is hassling me to hurry up so we can go get some take-away for dinner. I’ll catch up with you all soon!

~ Emily

Book Review: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Genre: YA/urban fantasy
Date Read:
15/02/2016 – 16/02/2016
Rating: ★★★

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After finishing The Name of the Star, the first book in the Shades of London series, I immediately went to the library to pick up the next book. While this one certainly isn’t as strong as the first, I still found it a really enjoyable read.

After dealing with a direct attack on her life, Rory is in therapy and her parents are incredibly protective, but she wants to go back to Wexford. She can’t talk to anyone about her experiences, and would rather just get on with things. Eventually she gets her way, but she’s falling behind at work, not really sure how much she actually likes her boyfriend, and really wishes she could figure out what to do with her new-found ghost-extermination ability.

Maureen Johnson has a really engaging writing style, which is probably lucky, because it meant that it took me 150 pages to realise that nothing really happens in this book, and even then, I still wanted to keep reading it. It was more like a whole book of world-building, I guess, with only some slight character development for the already existing characters and the introduction of some new ones.

Usually when I write reviews I do a paragraph on the world-building and a paragraph on characters, but there’s really not much to say here that I didn’t already say in my review of The Name of the Star on Friday. We really get little else about Rory or the other central characters, and the final chunk really seemed to be just setting up for the third book. Rory makes some really poor choices at times, though I can see why a person in her position may think they seemed like good ideas at the time. I really disagreed with a choice she made right at the end, though that choice in particular leads to events that are going to be important in the third book.

Having said that, these are fun characters to be around, and enough did happen to make a book (though only just). I’m now onto the third one, and I’m hoping it will pick up again.

Book Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Genre: YA/urban fantasy
Date Read:
10/02/2016 – 12/02/2016
Rating: ★★★★

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After following Maureen Johnson on Twitter for something like three years, one of her books seemed the obvious choice for the “a book by an author you feel you should have read by now” item on my 2016 Reading Challenge. While this book wasn’t entirely what I expected, I did end up enjoying it and went straight to the library to pick up the second one afterward.

Born and raised in New Orleans, Rory Deveaux moves to England with her parents, and starts attending boarding school in London while her parents lecture at Bristol University. The same day as she arrives, the population of London is equally horrified and fascinated by a murder that mimics very closely the first murder of Jack the Ripper back in 1888. After several more murders and the city being on lock-down, Rory sees a man at the murder-site that no one else can. And that’s when things begin to get really weird.

I really enjoyed the combination of Rory adjusting to a new school combined with the reaction to the Rippermania. Johnson depicts the public’s macabre fascination with these types of events really well. While Rory is somewhere in the middle, her friends range from those who love the facts about the original case and are using it predict what will happen this time around, to others who find the whole thing sickening.

While it is fairly clear from the blurb that the story would involve ghosts, I was a little bit surprised about where it went with this plot. I don’t want to give away anything, but I will say I was a bit disappointed when the Jack the Ripper murders ended up being more of a means to the killer’s end rather than especially relevant.

Overall, a fun, quick read with some scary moments that made me get up and pull the blinds closed. Recommended for urban fantasy fans.

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 17 February, 2016

Happy Wednesday everyone! Hope you’re feeling a bit better than I am; I have taken today off work because my nose is all stuffed up and also I haven’t been sleeping well. Needless to say, I wouldn’t have been the most productive employee if I showed up to the office today.

 

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If I were an elf, this might be me lately.

I’m going to talk about writing first today. If you’re just here for WWW Wednesday, feel free to scroll about halfway down. Those who don’t follow my Facebook page (link to the right if you’d like to) would have missed the post where I announced that my proof of A More Complicated Fairytale arrived yesterday. And that is honestly very exciting. But at the same time, it’s a little overshadowed by the fact that lately, I’ve been finding it really hard to write. I mean really hard. I’m lacking in both inspiration and motivation, and allowing everything to distract me. Reading is much easier, so I’ve been spending all my time enjoying other people’s writing instead of working on my own. Of course, there’s nothing exactly wrong with that, but I know that if I’m serious about my writing, I can’t just ignore it full-time. I’ve identified some of the triggers that are making me feel this way in general (because it’s not just the writing, but the writing is suffering from it), and I’m working on addressing them, but until then, everything feels a bit sucky.

 

/moaning.

All that said, I have written a little more on the story I shared from last week, and I’ll share it now for WIPpet Wednesday. For those unfamiliar, WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop in which several writers come together to share excerpts from their WIPs that somehow relate to the date. You can click the little blue guy in the top right to join in. For my maths today, I’ve subtracted the 16 from 17 and have one paragraph for you. Amy’s trying to work out if she could get away with not telling her parents that she won’t be graduating this semester (for those who missed last week, she failed one of her subjects in what was supposed to be her final semester).

Maybe they didn’t have to know. They lived several hours away. Maybe she could pretend to have graduated successfully, get a job here in the city and re-take her final class over the next semester while she supported herself like a grownup.

wwwwednesdayNext up is WWW Wednesday, where we answer three questions about our reading over the past week. This is hosted by Sam over A World of Words. You can link up on today’s post on Sam’s blog to join in.

  • What are you currently reading?

I have just started Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek. I’m writing this post a little bit in advance and at time of writing, I am literally only halfway through Chapter One, so very little to say on that for now, but I hope I enjoy it! The ratings on GoodReads are very high.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I finished The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson and then went straight onto The Madness Underneath, which I finished in a day. The plot was definitely a lot stronger in the first book than the second, but MJ has a really accessible and easy-to-read writing style, so it took me about 150 pages of Madness Underneath to realise that nothing was really happening!

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I mentioned Dawn French and Gillian Flynn in this question last week, but since I own those two books, they’re on hold for the moment because the library decided to have all my holds come in at once. I had Unwind by Neal Shusterman on hold for literally six months and it is finally here. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman also came in (dragons! yay! I love dragons), and The Shadow Cabinet, also by Maureen Johnson and the third book in the series, is showing up as “in transit” on my record, so I should be able to pick it up tomorrow.

That’s it from me this week. I’ll try to get around to as many blogs as possible over the coming days!

~ Emily