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 & Ramblings: Who I Am by Anita Heiss

Published May, 2020 by Scholastic Australia

Synopsis:

Mary lives with the Burkes, but they’re not her real family. She hasn’t seen her real mum and dad since she was taken away from them five years ago. Everyone tells her to forget about them, but she can’t. She wants to find out why she was taken, and where she really belongs.

Review:

Before I turn the first page, I know this book is going to be heart-wrenching. But that is what makes it important. Mary’s story is just one that makes up the history of Australia’s Stolen Generation and learning about it, one story at a time, gives me hope that nothing like that will ever happen again.

Written in the form of a diary, Who Am I, is a memior of sorts. We get to see what life is like in a Home for Aboriginal Children. It is written softly, perfect for younger readers to be able to absorb and process.

Who Am I, is easy to read, broken into easy to process sections and feels so authentic and real. Heiss uses language that brings an authenticity to Mary as well as introducing words from the Aboriginal language.

Mary is a wonderful character. Her innocence and inquiring nature shine through making her so easy to like. It is heart breaking to see Mary getting told to forget her life before the Burkes. To stop going in the sun because it will make her skin darker, to stop speaking to other Aborinal people. They were trying to make her someone she wasn’t.

I devoured this book in one sitting. The pages flew through my fingers. It was such an honest book about a controversial and discriminatory part of Australia’s history.

Thank you so much to Scholastic Australia for sending me a review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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.