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Reviews & Ramblings

Review: The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

Published by Simon & Schuster Australia.

After reading the blurb of The Black Kids, I knew I had to read it. It feels so current, so powerful and important.

Hammonds Reed has a way with words. From the first page you are transported to 1992, to a group of friends who know that one of them is different and who aren’t afraid to make sure she knows her difference is what gets them in trouble. That her difference is a bad thing. But her difference is something that she is proud of, its her heritage and her culture. It’s her skin.

The overall feel of this book is intense, it has your heart racing and you sitting on the edge of your seat. This book will make you feel and make you think. It is written so eloquently, in such a clever way, that it shows you how in ways easy to process, how people of colour are treated as more dangerous, as lesser, as wrong.

The Black Kids, opened my eyes and it will open yours too. Filled with amazing characters, as well as some not so amazing ones, all of which feel so real and fleshed out.

The Black Kids ending feels so bitter-sweet. As though things are finally looking up for our group of characters, but at the same time they have had to deal with so much loss and violence. Their lives won’t ever be the same and they know that.

Poetically written and gritty as heck, The Black Kids is a must read for 2020.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for sending me out a review copy. All thoughts are my own.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review: Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer

Midnight Sun was the perfect hit of nostalgia that I needed and was hoping for, from Stephanie Meyer.

It was so easy to fall back into Forks, to remember Twilight and to see things from a new perspective.

The first half of the book did feel quite slow, the pacing was off and it made some scenes drag longer than they needed to. However the second half flew, taking a tale we already know and skewing it to be seen from a new perspective. It was great to see it from Edwards point of view. Even if his self depreciation got a little tedious.

I loved the tid bits that we got to learn about the Cullens, seeing Emmett in a way other than just the strong guy, getting a glimpse into Alice’s past. It was all a great addition to the story we know and love.

As always, Meyer has written something purely for her fans. Well written and engaging, Midnight Sun feels like coming home, feels like visting and old friend.

Thank you so much to Hachette Australia for sending me out a review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review: When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins

When I Was Ten, draws you in from the first page, from the get-go, it is filled with characters that you are unsure if you can trust, all with their own agenda and secrets.

Immediately, I am intrigued by Brinley and her story, how she fits and what her role is. She has such a strong personality, she is inquisitive and has a need to know everything, which is what makes her an amazing journalist, her role is fantastic.

Part 2 brings us a world of emotion, neglect, malnourishment and abuse. It is almost hard to read from the girls young points of view. It is so powerful, gritty and raw.

Twist after twist, this book will have you reeling. It is a roller-coaster of twists and turns that you won’t see coming, that will bring you to your knees. The fact that these girls were 12 and younger is chilling but also heartbreaking. Cummins writes them so well but also writes from their point of views perfectly. It is mesmerising to read.

The final twist is something so left of field, something I didn’t see coming and it shocked me so much that I had to put the book down for ten minutes to process it.
Cummins is a master suspense writer, this is the first of her novels I have read, but it certainty won’t be the last.

Well written from the first to the last, engaging, captivating, thrilling and packed full of suspense, When I Was Ten is a masterpiece. This leaves no room for doubt or wonder, is it fast paced, full of action and it is psychologically gripping. If crime fiction, thriller or psychological thrillers are your thing, then you need this book in your life.

Thank you so much to the team at Macmillan Australia for sending me a review copy of this title. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review: Riverdale: Death of a Cheerleader by Micol Ostow

Published May, 2020 by Scholastic Australia.

Returning to Micol Ostow’s Riverdale is always a joy. Back to this messed up band of friends and their crazy little town.

Ostow perfectly captures the overall vibe of Riverdale and its characters. Giving readers an additional slice of the proverbial pie.

Death of a Cheerleader follows events of season 4 of the Netflix series. As always Ostow effortlessly joins her novels to the show, allowing for readers to go from tv to book with no hassle at all. The characters read and feel the same as those we love from the show.

I love seeing all of the characters interracting and having their own lives, but part of me is sad that the gang wasn’t together for this book. But I was happy to see Cheryl Blossom in full flight. She may be one of those characters who you can’t believe actually talks like that, but she is so strong and brave and believes in herself and her own worth, she is a fantastic character.

Death of a cheerleader takes us inside the minds of our beloved characters in a new way, things are changing so much for them, they are splitting up, starting new chapters and that change is scary. Ostow perfectly encapsulates that feeling of change and being overwhelmed.

I loved the inclusion of JB (Jelly Bean) in this book, it really showed the reader lore of what Jughead’s home life is like and how much he loves and values his little sister. Not to mention how smart and savvy JB is!

This was a great addition to the Riverdale franchise, fast paced, mysterious and in true Riverdale form, never a dull moment.

Thank you to the team at Scholastic Australia for sending me out a review copy. All thoughts are my own.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review: The Sister’s Gift by Barbara Hannay

Published by Penguin Australia

From reading the prologue of this book, I knew I needed to put it down and seek out a box of tissues for what was sure to be an emotional read. The Sisters Gift starts in such a raw way, the emotion draws you in to the pages and the writing style is effortless.

The Sisters Gift is the sort of book that pulls you from inside yourself and makes you think. Its characters aren’t as black and white as they seem, its premise isn’t as straight forward as you may think and it it hits so close to home.

The Sisters Gift is a heartfelt tale of family, love and finding yourself. We follow the lives of Billie and Freya and how their paths intersect in ways deeper than we expected.

I love the strong female characters shown in this novel, how it shows them being happy to be on their own, happy to be finding themselves. Freya, Billie and Pearl are all so different but each is strong and resilient and gone through so much in their lives.

The setting of The Sisters Gift is magical and it is giving me the need to travel. Magnetic Island is such a fantastic and magical place and Hannay has captured it perfectly.

The Sisters Gift is heart-warming and filled with emotion. Easy to read and to get lost in, it shows the strength we all have inside, if we dare to look.

Thank you so much to Penguin Australia for sending me a review copy. All thoughts are my own.