#WWW Wednesday – November 15, 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 followed up a good reading week with a not-so-good one, I’m afraid. It’s mostly my fault; I’ve spent an awful lot of tiee playing escape room apps on my tablet when I could have been reading. It’s been that kind of week. But now I’m annoyed at myself because I was hoping to get to 100 books read this year and it’s unlikely.

Anyway.

To answer the question, I finished Now That You’re Here by Amy K. Nichols.  I did enjoy this quite a lot, though the romance overpowerd the sci-fi a bit too much in the end. But I really liked the themes it raised. I wrote a review over here.

I also finished one of the written-for-audio Doctor Who stories, The Lost Magic by Cavan Scott. It was only an hour long and it occupied me while I went on a long walk on Monday but it was nothing to write home about.

What are you currently reading?

I’m about halfway through Nyxia by Scott Reintgen and really enjoying it. Though I am getting nit-picky about some of the science. Like, if all the characters speak their native languages and the Nyxian masks they wear translate everything, how come all the puns the non-English-speakers make work in English? (It just occured to me this could also be asked of Doctor Who. Oh, dear, now I’m  going to start nit-picking the science behind the TARDIS).

What do you think you’ll read next?

Not sure yet. I have Not Your Villain by C. B. Lee (which reminds me, I still need to  review Not Your Sidekick) and Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko from the library. Or I might start an ebook. I’m thinking about starting something else before finishing Nyxia. Who knows! Not me!

What are you reading this week? 🙂~ Emily

 

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Book Review: “Now That You’re Here” by Amy K. Nichols

Title: Now That You’re Here (Duplexity #1)
Author: Amy K. Nichols
Genre:
YA/sci-fi/romance
Date Read: 02/11/2017 – 09/11/2017
Rating: ★★★

Review:

I picked this book up on a whim at the library because I find parallel universes really interesting. I thought that the story started strong, though towards the end, the romance got a bit overpowering.

After an explosion, Danny wakes up in a different body in a different universe. He meets Eevee, a girl he had briefly met in his own world, but in this one, she is a science geek, not an artist, and along with her best friend, wants to help Danny get home. But as that possibility becomes surer and surer, Danny is not so sure he wants to leave, and Eevee realises she doesn’t want to lose him.

The world that Danny finds himself in is our own world, and I really liked the divergence between it and the one he came from. The major point of difference is the outcome of the Cold War; in Danny’s world, it never really ended, and the US is full of invasive surveillance and run by a totalitarian government.

Now, I’m not a science geek. I like my sci-fi to be “soft sci-fi”. I think this book does a good job of that. There are some moments where the science talk started going over my head, but for the most part, I didn’t feel too overwhelmed by it. It helped that Danny was there to go “Huh?” whenever the other characters started babbling at each other. I really appreciated that Eevee is a science geek without it being “quirky”, which is often the case with nerdy/geeky female characters. Though there were a couple of occasions early on in the book where she seemed to have a bit of an “I’m not like other girls” attitude, this didn’t play too much of a part, so I let it slide.

As I said, in the last third, the romance did start to play more of a part. It became one of those all-consuming teen romances, and look, I know that’s what it feels like when you’re a teenager, but as an older reader, it still makes me roll my eyes a bit. I understand Eevee rebelling against her parents’ strict regime (they’re the types of parents who have her life planned out for her), but I don’t like it when this rebellion strays past the realms of sensible.

The ending felt a bit rushed and inconclusive. The official attempts to send Danny back to his own world don’t work, but then just suddenly he gets sucked back there while they’re working on alternate theories. I know there’s a second book in the series where we get to see what our world’s Danny is doing in the parallel universe while his counterpart is here; I don’t know if there was supposed to be a third book where things got tied up? Still, this was an enjoyable read, and if this is your sort of genre, I recommend picking it up.


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#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

 

#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 #LoveOzYA “Everything connects, but not everyone hears those connections. ” // Review of “The Foretelling of Georgie Spider” by Ambelin Kwaymullina

Title: The Foretelling of Georgie Spider (The Tribe  #3)
Author: Ambelin Kwaymullina
Genre: YA/dystopian
Date Read: 08/10/2017 – 11/10/2017
Rating: ★★★

Review:

I really wish I could tell you why I wasn’t more into this series. It ticked all the right boxes. Interesting premise, well-developed characters and tight plot, and yet I was never invested. I actually probably found this to be the case with this third instalment most of all.

While Ashala was still a strong narrative voice, I didn’t really connect with Georgie Spider, which made it difficult reading her POV. I liked the theme of the series coming together, that there is one person to look to the past, one to be in the now and one to look to the future, but I found Georgie’s naivety a little too much at times.

The action scenes were really good in this book; as I said, it was tightly-plotted and I loved the way it was structured. That was the one point where I did think Georgie’s POV worked – when she was seeing futures that were only a minute or so ahead of her present and helped the Tribe to be in the right place at the right time to defeat them.

Also, just a ilttle thing, but I loved that this series uses terms like “Detention centre”, terms we’re all too familiar with here in Australia at the moment when it comes to asylum seekers and refugees.

As I said, I think this series suffered from a case of “It’s not you, it’s me” as I was reading it. I would definitely recommend other fans of dystopia checking it out, even if I didn’t have the best run of it.

Reviews to the previous books in this series:

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf

The Disappearance of Ember Crow


(This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016. Click here for more information).

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#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.

#WWW Wednesday – October 04, 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 post last week because at that point I hadn’t fininshed anything or posted any reviews since the previous week.

This week, though, I have finished A Dangerous Language by Sulari Gentill, which was the 8th book in the Rowland Sinclair historical mystery series. I posted my review here. Then I read Life is Like a Musical by Tim Federle, which is theatre-themed self-help book, which I loved. I reviewed it here.

I  also finished reading The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells via the Serial Reader app. As predicted, I did purchase the full version of the app, so I read it a bit quicker than the estimated 21 days. I felt this story was actually much more compelling than other Wells I have read, but nothing will ever quite beat Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds.

What are you currently reading?

I am about 35-odd% of the way through The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Morena-Garcia. There are aspects of it I really like, like the world-building, particularly the fact that what would in other books be “magic” has a scientific explanation. Or at least, science is interested in it and people are doing research and stuff. And I love Nina, but there are other characters I’m not into so much and it’s a bit slow-going. So we’ll have to see.

On audio, I am listening to The Asylum by Johan Theorin. This is a Swedish thriller and I’m listening to the English translation of course. The hero is a bit naive and has a ~past~ in which he did some things that make him an idiot (imho), and not especially sympathetic. But I’m still listening for now.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I still have The Foretelling of Georgie Spider 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 might actually pick it up before I finish The Beautiful Ones if I want something with a faster pace.

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.

“Life is like a musical: it’s here one moment and gone the next.” // Review of Life is Like a Musical by Tim Federle

Title: Life is Like a Musical: How to Live, Love, and Lead Like a Star
Author: Tim Federle
Genre: Non-fiction/memoir/self-help
Date Read: 28/09/2017 – 29/09/2017
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

Tim Federle is my people. If we’d been at school together, we would have been friends because then we would have each had someone to geek out with about musicals when no one else cared. While the advice in this book might be somewhat generic, I really enjoyed the theatre anecdotes that he used to back up his claims, a lot of the time because I could relate, having had a similar experience somewhere in my amateur theatre experiences.

This book is full of lessons Tim learned during his time on Broadway as a dancer, as well as later, writing theatrical material and novels. You can see some of them on the cover: “Let someone else take a bow”, “take the note” (i.e. accept constructive feedback without getting defensive”) and “Dance like everyone’s watching”. He applies these lessons to wider life, careers and relationships.

I really enjoyed some of the anecdotes about being backstage at a theatre. I’ve never performed on Broadway, just at a couple of local theatres in the towns where I’ve lived, but the experiences are much the same. I laughed out loud a lot. I also enjoyed the stories about the big names the Tim worked with on Broadway.

This book probably isn’t for everyone, and I think it probably will particularly appeal to those like me who have a theatre background (even if it’s not a very extensive one). But I laughed out loud several times and related to Tim’s stories so often, so I definitely recommend checking it out.


Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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