#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?

Advertisements

#AWW2018 // Book Review: “Girl Reporter” by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Title: Girl Reporter
Author:
 Tansy Rayner Roberts
Genre: Sci-fi (superheroes)
Intended audience: New adult
Date Read: 22/11/18 – 25/11/18
Rating:
★★

Review:

I was really torn about what to rate this. There are some really well done sections, but I was kind of put off by a main character who didn’t take anything seriously, so it made it hard to feel like the stakes were ever very high. This was the same issue I had with The Martian: he’s stuck on a different planet and may well never get home and he’s making jokes about Aquaman and disco music.

This book did have some really good conversations about representation in media and whose voices should be privileged when it comes to particular stories. It handles racial tensions, sexuality crises and disability awareness really well.

I didn’t mind Friday’s quirkiness at first, in fact, I quoted a few lines in my GoodReads status updates that amused me a lot. But when it kept up, it got a bit old. There was also no build-up to the romance – literally the superhero she has been crushing on says “Hey, we’re going to be here a while, wanna make out?” and then they did. And then they were a couple. I need a bit of build-up!

The plot is a bit of a satire of the superhero genre, but I think the fact that I am not that into superhero books to begin with (I know, I know, I should just stop reading them if that is the case. I know, and yet I keep doing it!) made it all feel a little bit too OTT.

All in all, while this was… fine, I guess, I much prefer Roberts’ Fake Geek Girl series. The characters and world-building in that series just worked better for me.


This review is part of my 2018 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Click here for more information.

Find me on:
GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

#WWW Wednesday – November 08, 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 didn’t get anywhere near the amount of reading done on my holiday as I intended! 😒 But I have finished two books in the last week.

I started I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll while I was waiting to pick up a friend, andI ended up finishing it the next day, despite the fact that I was supposed to be finished a final paper (the paper, while not my best work, got handed in on time, so it’s all good). i had a couple of issues with this, but it was a very engaging thriller. One of the better ones I’ve read lately.

And then I read book 11 of the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, which was The Grim Grotto. I know I read this one back in the day because I remembered wasabi having significance somewheere in the series, but I feel certain that this was the last one I read, so the last two will be new territory. I liked a lot of the themes in this one, but I felt it was a bit long.

And I have literally just decided while writing this post that it’s time to call  Blood Guilt by Lindy Cameron a DNF. It is just too slow for me. Clearly my love for TV police procedurals does not extend to the written word. I think I’ll stick to thrillers for my mystery fix.

Reviews of The Bromancers by Tansey Rayner Roberts and I Am Watching You went up this past week. Click the titles to go read them.

What are you currently reading?

I started another library book, Now That You’re Here by Amy K. Nichols. I would probably say it is mostly a romance, but the twist is that one of the characters has been tossed into our world from his parallel universe and is trying to get home. It’s striking a good balance between the sci-fi and the romance and I’m enjoying it, despite a few quibbles.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Since I started Now That You’re Here rather than  Nyxia by Scott Reintgen, which had been my original plan, that will be next. I’ve also got the last two Series of Unfortunate Events books on hand.

The paper I mentioned earlier was my last one for the year, so I should have a lot more time for reading now. Here’s to some good reading weeks between now and the end of the year!

What are you reading this week? 🙂~ Emily

 

#aww2017 Book Review: The Bromancers by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Title: The Bromancers (Belladonna University #3)
Author: Tansy Rayner Roberts
Genre: Urban fantasy
Date Read: 27/10/17 – 29/10/17
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

This series continues to be a huge amount of fun! This instalment sees Hebe Hallow trying to manage the members of Fake Geek Girl at a music festival, only to have her plans messed up the arrival of various signifiant others, including her own, and a body swap spell that sees two of the band members out for the count.

I really enjoyed seeing the world expanded beyond the university campus. Roberts managed to convey the crowded, messy, but buzzing atmosphere of a music festival, and added a magical twist.

Roberts still maintains distinct voices for each of her characters. I especially loved that Juniper got to play a bigger role in this one. She’s so delightful. I’m hoping that there might be future stories about these characters in which she might get to do something about her massive crush on Holly.

The Belladonna U stories are short and a lot of fun, particularly if you come from a geek culture background and get a lot of the references. Definitely recommended!


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

Find me on:
GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

#WWW Wednesday – November 01, 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?

Despite being busy getting the final papers for the semester written, I have managed to read three books this week!

First was Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology. I really enjoyed a number of these, and I definitely need to check out some of the featured authors.

Next I read The Bromancers by Tansy Rayner Roberts, which is the third book in the Belladonna University series, and sees the characters dealing with the unexpected appearances of significant others and body-swap hexes at a music festival.

Finally, I read Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee, which I saw on a list of books with good queer representation and then spotted at the library that same day. It’s full of diverse characters (there are diverse races, sexualities and gender identities), though the writing style did leave a bit to be desired. I’m still going to read the sequel, though.

Click the titles for reviews of See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt and Rise of the Sparrows by Sarina Langer, which went up this week.

What are you currently reading?

I only finished Not Your Sidekick this morning and I haven’t started anything new yet. I’m still in the middle of Blood Guilt by Lindy Cameron but didn’t read any of it this week. It’s going to be my plane reading on Friday.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I plan to start Nyxia by Scott Reintgen next. I’m not the biggest fan of outer space books but I have seen some good reviews for this since it was released a few months ago. I saw it just sitting there on the shelf at the library, so I decided to check it out.

I also posted my October Reading Wrap-Up and November Reading List yesterday for anyone who might be interested.

What are you reading this week? 🙂~ Emily

 

#WWW Wednesday – October 25, 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 breezed through Rise of the Sparrows by Sarina Langer, due to having some car trouble and having nothing to do but sit in the car and read for a couple of hours while I waited for roadside assistance. So that was pretty great. I will have a review of this up this week. I enjoyed it a lot!

I also finished the ebook See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt. This is a fictional of the Borden murders and Lizzie Borden’s trial. This was a hugely anticipated read for me but in the end it didn’t really work for me. I read a review that said it didn’t really add anything new to all the theories and stories surrounding the Borden murders and that was exactly how I ended up feeling.

I also DNFed The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones, which I was listening to. It couldn’t seem to decide what tone it wanted to take. Sometimes it was quite funny (a bit of a Discworld vibe), then suddenly it’d be really violent and someone would be nearly dying, or a group of side characters would be leery and gross towards a female character.

I’m a bit behind on my reviews at the moment. Only one posted this week, for The Asylum by Johan Theorin. Click here to read it.

What are you currently reading?

I am over halfway through Blood Guilt by Lindy Cameron. This is a slow read, but I am going to renew it from the library and take it on holidays with me in a couple of weeks, where I can knuckle down and enjoy it. Because I am enjoying it, it’s just taking a while to get through.

I’ve also started reading Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology. I don’t read a lot of anthologies but I am definitely enjoying the writing in this one. It features a lot of new-to-me authors whom I will definitely be looking into further, along with authors I’ve known of and loved for a long time. The LoveOzYA movement is about foregrounding Australian YA authors, and I’m all down for that. I saw three of the authors speak at the Canberra Writers Festival and it was very inspiring.

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

I don’t really know at the moment! I’m not feeling drawn towards much at all on my official TBR. I might not have much time for reading in the near future as I have two 3000-word papers due at the end of next week. Then I’m going on holidays for five days, and I want to take the last three Series of Unfortunate Events books with me. So that’s really the only plan I have for now.

What are you reading this week? 🙂~ Emily

 

 

 

#WWW Wednesday – October 18, 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?

In print, I finished The Foretelling of Georgie Spider by Ambelin Kwaymullina, which means I have actually completed reading a series. It didn’t quite work for me (all three books got 3 stars in the end) but I still recommend it as a very good example of YA dystopian fiction.

I also completed The Asylum by Johan Theorin on audio. I have a review scheduled for this one but in short, the plot required a bit too much suspension of disbelief for me to really enjoy it. I also think the translation from Swedish was a bit clunky?

Reviews of Fake Geek Girl by Tansy Rayner Roberts and  Georgie Spider are posted here and here respectively.

What are you currently reading?

I am about a quarter of the way through Blood Guilt by Lindy Cameron. I’m usually more into thrillers than straight crime fiction but I am enjoying this one. PI Kit O’Malley is a good lead character.

‘I have also started Rise of the Sparrows by Sarina Langer, because the crime fiction is pretty straightforward and while I am enjoying it, I need something to get a bit more invested in. But at time of writing, I have literally read half the prologue, so it’s far too early to make any comments.

On audio I am listening to The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones. I’ve always found DWJ’s books a bit of a mixed bag:  I loved Howl’s Moving Castle but A Tale of Time City and Hexwood didn’t work for me. This one is leaning more towards the latter two, but I’m moving through it pretty quickly so we’ll see how it turns out.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I am feeling drawn to See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt next. This is a fictional of the Borden murders and Lizzie Borden’s trial. I’ve had this on my radar nearly all year, but I wanted to read it even more after seeing Sarah Schmidt talk at the Canberra Writer’s Festival. Though that was back in August and it’s still taken me this long to get to it. Though when I went to the GR page to get the link, I see the reviews are very mixed. I really want to love this one, though!

What are you reading this week? 🙂~ Emily

 

 

 

#aww2017 Book Review: Fake Geek Girl by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Title: Fake Geek Girl (Belladonna University #1)
Author: Tansy Rayner Roberts
Genre: Urban fantasy
Date Read: 08/10/17
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

This review will be fairly short, as the book in focus is quite short (I’m not even sure it would constitute novella length).

The story focuses on the inhabitants of the Manic Pixie Dream House, a share house for about six students from Belladonna Unversity, which has campuses for Real (magic) and Unreal (tech). The titular Fake Geek Girl is Holly Hadlow, who heads up a band of the same name and sings songs inspired by her twin sister’s nerdy pursuits. Drummer Sage is concerned Holly plans to go solo; meanwhile Hebe Hallow is working out her feelings for a boy from an elite magical family who appears to have lost his magical ability.

The characterisation in this story is very well done. Given the length of the book and the number of characters, this was no mean feat, but they are all easily identifiable. The references to nerd and geek culture also felt natural. Too often, I find authors try to make their character nerdy in an attempt to make them quirky and it comes off sounding inauthentic.

I also really liked the ultimate message of the book, that while Holly doesn’t understand the passion of Hebe and her friends for their various fandoms, she cares about it because they care.

It did take me a minute to realise that the POV character changed with each chapter; make sure you read the chapter titles to figure out who’s talking to you.

This is definitely a  fun start to a unique series. I’ve already read the second one, so watch out for that review, too.


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

Find me on:
GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

#WWW Wednesday – October 11, 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?

pretty good reading week this week! I finished The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Morena-Garcia. This was nearly a four-star read but became a 3.5 in the last quarter. It was really moving along and I was really involved and then it just sort of slowed down. Review here.

Then I read Fake Geek Girl and Unmagical Boy Story by Tansy Rayner Roberts, which are part of the Belladonna University series. It’s basically about a bunch of Australian university students who are also nerdy and into fandom and that sort of thing but also have certain magic abilities. The university is divided into Real (magical) and Unreal (non-magical) campuses. These are really short (like, short novella length) and really enjoyable. The third is coming out soon and I’m pretty sure I will read it. I’ll probably review these two together since they were so short.

I also posted my review of Garth Nix’s Frogkisser! this week. It is posted here.

What are you currently reading?

At the time of writing this post (Tuesday evening), I am about 150 pages from the end of  The Foretelling of Georgie Spider by Ambelin Kwaymullina. I thought the first two books in this series were fine (3 stars) but this one hasn’t grabbed me. Still, it will be nice to have completed a series.

Still going with The Asylum by Johan Theorin on audio. This is one of those thrillers were things are revealed to the reader gradually, but in order to keep the reader in the dark, the characters act like they didn’t already know about certain things. Which makes no sense. But I’m about 65% of the way through and I have some driving to do over the next few nights so I should get a decent amount listened to.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I thought I would try to read Blood Guilt by Lindy Cameron next. This will be my second LGBTI* read for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge and will mean I will have finished the diversity challenge I set for myself within the regular challenge this year. And it also gives me enough time that if I don’t like it, I can find a different title (which is where I failed last year by leaving my second LGBTI* read until the week after Christmas, and then not being into it).

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

 

 

P.S. If you feel so inclined, head on over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, where I’ve shared an excerpt from my current WIP today.