WWW Wednesday – 21 August 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.

Due to illness, other commitments and then a three-week overseas holiday, it’s been over a month since I last did a WWW post. July wasn’t much of a reading month but I’ve been making up for that in August so here is everything I’ve read since mid-July.

What have you recently finished reading?

Cupid’s Match by Lauren Palphreyman, which did take some rather large liberties with Greek and Roman mythology (what has Pandora got to do with the Seven Deadly Sins, a Christian construct, for example?) but it was kind of fun regardless.I gave it three stars and reviewed it here.

Mother Tongue by Julie Mayhew took me a while to get through. It’s written in a very disconnected style and it didn’t really go anywhere? Here’s my review.

I stood in a second-hand shop in New York City and read The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak. My partner had told me about it before so I was interested to finally see it. It was quite funny. I can imagine kids loving it.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden was next. It took me a while to get through. It’s a MG and I guess I wasn’t the target audience really. I was hoping I would find it creepier than I did. I did find the narrator’s voice a bit grating, which didn’t help.

I finished Cleaning House by Jeanne G’fellers the following day. I loved the basis in Appalachian folklore but I found the narrative itself a little too repetitive. But if you like quiet, character-driven folklore-y/witchy stories, then this is definitely for you. Here’s my review.

Next I read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and… wasn’t that impressed? I mean, I gave it three stars. But the way everyone talks about it, I was expecting to give it five. And I honestly thought at the start that I would, because the start is great. But then it got to dragging. Anyway, I have a full review scheduled, so keep an eye out for that.

For something completely different, I followed that with Women of Wasps and War by Madeleine D’Este, which was un-put-down-able gritty feminist fantasy and my favourite book so far this month.

Finally, I finished A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle, which was okay, but I was definitely skimming by the end. I know a lot of people love it but I think a lot of those same people read this as children, which I think would make the difference.

I also posted reviews of Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray and The Nowhere Emporium by Ross McKenzie since my last post.

What are you currently reading?

I only just finished A Wrinkle In Time this evening, so I haven’t started a new book yet.

What do you think you will read next?

I have The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis audio book  to put on my phone. And I really want to start Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Morena-Garcia. I’m getting behind on my Australian Women Writers Challenge, though, so that also needs to be a priority.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

 

 

 

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WWW Wednesday – 27 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 finished Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina. I’m not quite sure I “got” this. There is a magical realism component which I figured out fairly early on was an allegory, but there was a lot of telling, even with that… and the main character felt about twelve rather than fifteen…

I also finished Hive by A. J. Betts. This was one of those books that I wasn’t terribly into, but the ending was interesting enough that I still felt that I would continue with the series when the second book comes out.

I posted two reviews this week: Between Us by Clare Atkins and Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein. Click the titles to read them.

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 is about to meet the King, so I think things are going to really start rolling now.

I’m listening to A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. I really enjoy parallel universe stories though this one has a lot of flashbacks establishing life before Meg and Theo jumped dimensions. Still, I’m about a third of the way through and still enjoying it.

What do you think you will read next?

Everything I’ve been reading lately has been YA and it’s beginning to wear a bit. So I think I might read my ARC of Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine.  I have pretty high expectations of this after loving the first two books in the series so much. So I hope it lives up to them.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

#LoveOzYA #aww2019 “But it’s not like we pick and choose what to be afraid of. It’s like our fears pick us.” // Review of “Small Spaces” by Sarah Epstein

Title: Small Spaces
Author:
Sarah Epstein
Genre: Psychological thriller
Target audience: YA
Date Read: 17/03/19 – 19/03/19
Rating:
★★

Review:

I have to admit that I had hoped I would love this book more than I did. It definitely had its moments, but I ultimately felt a little bit unsatisfied. 

Tash Carmody is haunted by the memory of her imaginary friend Sparrow leading away family friend when they were both small. Mallory Fisher has never spoken about the abduction and Tash thinks that Sparrow is gone from her mind… until the Fishers move back to town and she starts seeing Sparrow out of the corner of her eye again… 

First of all, I have to admit that I was nerding out every time the setting of the book was mentioned, because I grew up in the same area. My parents were hoping I would stay at home after school and commute to Newcastle Uni (I moved five hours away instead). There was a mention of Gloucester Shire Council, members of whom my mum just recently had a meeting with. And my family used to go camping in Barrington National Park, which is where Mallory was found wandering a week after her abduction. So that was fun. 

The treatment of mental illness in this book was realistic but infuriating. Everyone just thought Tash was doing things for the attention. There was a particularly poignant moment where Tash asks “Why would I want this kind of attention?!” and I wish more people would think about that before hurling such accusations. It was really great to see her validated at the end. 

There were genuine creepy moments throughout. At one point, I was berating myself for reading just before bed, because I was too wired when I turned the lights off. I walked to the bathroom in dim light and kept my back to the wall just in case. 

I did feel that the book felt a bit long. While there were certain things that of course needed to be set up and established, I thought it could have been done a bit faster?! And to be honest, I’m not exactly sure why I felt underwhelmed by the ending. It was well plotted and lead up to a logical conclusion. But for all that, I just found myself thinking, “oh, is that what it was?” I feel like I’m being unfair on the book and the author here because I don’t know what I wanted or expected, but whatever it was, I just feel I didn’t quite get it. 


This review is part of my 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Click here for more information.

I am trying to read as many of the books as possible on the 2019 Children’s Book Council of Australia Notables List. Click here to see the titles.

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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? 🙂