Reviews & Ramblings

Review: The Bluffs by Kyle Perry

The Bluffs by Kyle Perry. Publishes 2 July, 2020.

I can’t express how excited I am for a book set in Tasmania, written by a Tasmanian author. The Bluffs is the book I have been waiting for. It perfectly encapsulates the Tasmanian wilderness, how it feels so empty and isolating yet filled with life.

Perry has taken the essence of small town life and amplified it, being a teen is never easy and it is even harder in a small town. Jasmine is such a captivating character. She feels rebellious, gritty and raw. Her friends on the other hand are a mixed bag of teenage angst, deceptions and the age old battle of doing what your friends expect of you and doing what’s right.

The Bluffs doesn’t feel like fiction. It reads like a true crime story, and the fact that I have been to and stayed in places that this book touches on, makes it feel even more real. Not to mention the characters could easily be based on people I have known over my lifetime. This feels so Tasmanian, the people, the setting, the humour. And I love it.

We are thrown into small town life where each moment is important. All the details are important, but it is so fast paced, blink and you will miss something. The detail that Perry has gone into for this book is immense, as is the research he must have done. The folklore, forensics, police work, physcology. And it all pays off. It gives The Bluffs dimension and depth.

Up until the last fifty pages, I had no idea who was behind what, or what was really happening to the girls. Perry has woven such an intricate string of confessions and falsehoods of red herrings and loose ends, that it is hard to work out who is behind it all.

The frienship between Murphy and Con is my favourite. I love their banter their differences and how they recognise themselves in eachother. They are exactly what the other needs, someone strong to take the brunt of what they are feeling off their shoulders. A mate. Someone they can count on. It lifts this book. Gives it heart, amidst all of the plotting and death.

The Bluffs is all action from the get go. It perfectly encapsulates small town living and the Tasmanian wilderness. Not only has Perry written a dramatic sense of untamed wilderness, he has done so in a way that shows the eerie quality of being in the bush, the smells, sounds and vibe. The Bluffs wouldn’t be as powerful without that element.

Complex characters overflow from the pages of this book, from your stereotypical small town drug dealers to the generation X, social media influencers and everything in between. The phrase, ‘everyone has a story to tell’ comes to mind when reading about Limestone Creek.

If you are looking for something eerie and atmospheric with a modern crime-fiction twist, then The Bluffs is for you. So easy to read, with a writing style that makes the pages practically turn themselves. Kyle Perry’s debut novel, The Bluffs, is the book not to be missed in 2020.

Thank you so much to the team at Penguin for sending me a review copy of this title.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review: Hold Back The Tide by Melinda Salisbury

Published by Scholastic Australia, March 2020

Hold Back The Tide is an atmospheric and eerie tale of a young girl in an incredibly small town. It has the classic feel of a Scottish community, with the feel of change blowing through.

Alva is smart, she knows how to tell what the loch needs, what different fish appearing means and how to survive living with her father. She is honest and gritty and brave, someone who is willing to sacrifice herself, her own wants and dreams for the greater good.

For the first half of the book, the pacing is quite slow, giving you time to immerse into the small town. Around the halfway mark, things start to pick up. Things get darker, creepier and stranger.

Hold Back The Tide is terrifying. At first its eeriness and creepiness were chilling yes, but as we learn of what lurks in the lochs surrounding Ormscaula, the terror is turned up. From the halfway point, this book is going to have your heart beating out of your chest. It is race after face, for survival.

I haven’t read a book like this before. So rich with folklore and tradition. Packed to the brim with complex characters and villains who aren’t what you expect. Hold Back The Tide is terrifying, it shows you the overwhelming horror of humanity and of what may be lurking underneath our world.

Thank you so much to the team at Scholastic Australia for sending me out a review copy. I truly appreciate it. Even if I’ll be sleeping with the light on tonight…

Reviews & Ramblings

Review Post: Path of Night by Sarah Rees Brennan

Published by Scholastic Australia, 2020

Each time I pick up a book by Sarah Rees Brennan, that returns me to Greendale, I am floored by her writing style and ability to perfectly create new scenarios for the characters we know and love.

Rees Brennan creates deep and complex tales, following the direction of the hit Netflix series, yet making it completely her own.

Ambrose and Prudence’s chapters are filled with so much action and light. They lift this book up with their ease, their flirtatiousness and their way of life. But you can feel their pain, through the lightness of their quest. It gives such depth to the book, overall.

Harvey is such a potato and I just want him to be happy. He is warm and kind and caring. He sees the best in everyone and everything. He is the light in Sabrina’s increasingly dark world.

Path of Night was a fantastic, action packed, dive into Sabrinas world. Of fighting inner demons, of learning who and how to trust. As always I loved the multiple points of view, each gives the book something different, humour, love, drama, action. They each play a part, just as the characters do.

Path of Night is fast paced and shows you what feels like behind the scenes, between Netflix seasons. It lets us understand what is happening in the characters minds. Well written and engaging this is a great read.

Thank you to the team at Scholastic Australia for sending me out a review copy of this title.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review & Ramblings: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Published by Scholastic Australia

Wow. I had high expectations coming in to this book, and I wasn’t dissappointed. Collins writes so well that Panem feels like home. I never expected to feel something other than hatred for Snow, but here I am, feeling sad for him. For his life.

This book is a stark reminder of what a dystopian society looks like. Of what a world looks like when people aren’t united or working for a better world for the goodness of the people. Some of it is hard to read, the brutality and the deaths. But it is impactful and I think that is the point.

I enjoyed every page of this view into Panem in its early stages. Of seeing how The Hunger Games progressed into what we have come to see in Collins later books. How technology and ideas of teenagers made it what we know. That doesn’t make it any less horrific.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was a fantastic prequel to The Hunger Games trilogy. It gave the reader some background to the games, the how and why. It showed us that the villain at its epicenter used to be a sweet, kind boy with huge ambitions. It shows what happens when you are surrounded by people with dark motives and you must do what you can to survive.

As always, Collins writing is amazing. She has a way of drawing you in, transporting you to the districts or Capitol. Her writing flows across the page, keeping the pages turning easily. A great read.

Thank you to the team at Scholastic Australia for sending me out a review copy of this title.

Release Days!, Reviews & Ramblings

Review & Ramblings: Again Again by e. lockhart

Published 2nd June, 2020. Allen & Unwin

Straight away I am reminded why I love books by e. lockhart. The way she pulls words together in an almost prose like style. How she fills them with so much emotion and power. Her style is unique and relevant and current.

Adelaide is such a complex character. And her complexity is written so authentically. She pushes out the vibe of someone gentle, of someone who is so used to experiencing pain and confusion that she thinks being someone happy is more important than being herself. Getting to know Adelaide is a joy.

I like how Jack complements Adelaide. How he calls her on her subtelties. How he sees her, not the persona she puts on. But the person she is inside. How he knows what she wants but he knows himself enough to not enter into something that he can’t handle. Jack is such an intriguing chatacter.

Again Again, is a book that talks about so many heavy subjects, from drug abuse to relationship breakups. And it tackles them so elegantly. We are shown love throughout this book. It feels as though it is the centre of Adelaides world. And why shouldn’t it be.

We see love as it appears to Adelaide. Messy and hard. Neat and organised. Fast and loud. With her whole heart, openly and also hidden deep within. Lockhart has written a book that shows us all aspects of a persons ability to love.

Again Again is a fascinating, coming of age tale, that shows us we aren’t alone when we are thinking of every possible way a conversation can happen, before it happens. It is honest and gritty and definitely a must read.

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