Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories | Blog Tour

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Title: Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories
Author: Edited by Michael Earp & stories by Jax Jacki Brown, Claire G Coleman, Michael Earp, Alison Evans, Erin Gough, Benjamin Law, Omar Sakr, Christos Tsiolkas, Ellen Van Neerven, Marlee Jane Ward, Jen Wilde & Nevo Zisin
Genre: YA Anthology
Publication Date: June 1st, 2019
Pages: 283 (Paperback)
Publishers: Walker Books Australia and New Zealand
Rating: See below individual stories for ratings

Synopsis

What does it mean to be queer? What does it mean to be human? In this powerful #LoveOzYA collection, twelve of Australia’s finest writers from the LGBTQ+ community explore the stories of family, friends, lovers and strangers – the connections that form us.

This inclusive and intersectional #OwnVoices anthology for teen readers features work from writers of diverse genders, sexualities and identities, including writers who identify as First Nations, people of colour or disabled. With short stories by bestsellers, award winners and newcomers to young adult fiction including Jax Jacki Brown, Claire G Coleman, Michael Earp, Alison Evans, Erin Gough, Benjamin Law, Omar Sakr, Christos Tsiolkas, Ellen van Neerven, Marlee Jane Ward, Jen Wilde and Nevo Zisin.

Rats by Marlee Jane Ward

This story wasn’t my favourite out of the book. It took me until about half way through the story to realise that this is set in either the future or an alternate Australia. There was some mention of robots and things, so that’s what gave it away eventually. My favourite part of this story was Maita! She was an interesting and fun character and I enjoyed her part of the story. The world & concept of the Rats was really interesting as well, once I figured out what was going on, and I would have liked to learn more about it but alas, the down fall of short stories, can’t be helped. The least interesting thing for me was the MC, whose name is I think Michelle. She was a bit flat for me and her attraction felt a bit forced.

In Case of Emergency, Break Glass by Erin Gough

I actually enjoyed this one a fair bit! It was kinda odd, a little confusing and super interesting. I won’t give a way anything as I feel like you need to just go in and be confused like the rest of us. But I enjoyed our MC, Amy, there was some conflicting emotions & thoughts going on which I think was done well. Then there was a super odd and fun twist which I enjoyed too. This is one that I 100% would have kept reading if there was more too it! It left on a bit of a cliffhanger, I guess you could call it, with Boz and I am curious!

Bitter Draught by Michael Earp

This one had a fantasy element, which I loved! Ya’ll know, Fantasy is my stomping ground! My negative thing with this one is that is 100% felt like the first chapter of a book rather than a short story. Maybe that was intention, I don’t know but it just felt incomplete to me & wasn’t well rounded at all. The MC, Simeon felt very one dimensional. There wasn’t much too him besides being a tad annoying. I did enjoy Wyll though, I found him interesting & I loved that he choose to live & do what he wants rather than settling because that is what others want. Wren I am super curious about. We got barely any time with them but they interested me from the start. Would like to know more about them & the background of the magically side of the world.

I Like Your Rotation by Jax Jacki Brown

First off, love all the rep in this one! Two Queer Wheelchair bound disabled females? Hell yeah! I really liked Drew in this story and I definitely preferred her to Jem. She is a very out going, accepting, open & free person which I really enjoyed. Jem was very much the other end of the spectrum, she was anxious, quiet, questioned her every action and was not the most confident when it came to being a disabled or queer person. I did enjoy the rep but Jem did irritate me a little and thats why I didn’t like her as much as Drew. The other character we meet is Jem’s dad who I actually really liked. Even if he didn’t fully understand he tried to help in his own way and it was always super sweet. This was a very character based story, so basically no world building.

Sweet by Claire G Coleman

Wow, just wow. This is my favourite story so far! This is set in a future alternate Australia and the concept of this world was so interesting! We got enough background to understand what was going on and the importance of the big reveal. There wasn’t much plot as this stories’ focus is definitely the characters and this world and I loved that! It was so unique and I would 100% read a full story by this author set in this world! Super vague, I know but you just need to read & experience this one for yourself!

Light Bulb by Nevo Zisin

Okay, straight up, I don’t get this one. I’m guessing that the darkness mentioned in this story is meant to represent depression but besides that I have no idea what happened in the story, I don’t get it and I don’t really see the point behind. If you do understand it then that is awesome, but I have no idea.

Waiting by Jen Wilde

Argh this was soo good! Jen Wilde has become and auto buy author for me after this! I’ve read Queens of Geek and loved it and now reading this, I loved it too! I want this story as a full novel so bad! Josie is freaking awesome and I love her! Audrey is amazing too and so strong for realising the bullshit and removing her self from it in a badass way! Vanessa I hated from the first sentence & Sully is just a dick. Everything about this story is well done, well written and just amazing! And SOO much Pride!! I really need to get my hands on a copy of The Brightsiders (i think it is) by Jen Wilde! LOVE IT!

Laura Nyro at the Weeding by Christos Tsiolkas

I didn’t love or dislike this one. I enjoyed that it is was from the view point of a seasoned queer couple (I guess you could call it), rather than new romance & a developing romance, unlike the other stories & really most of the LGBT+ books I have read. I also liked the other themes the story features but I just felt a little underwhelmed by this one. It was good, just didn’t wow me.
And on an unrelated note, I don’t see why this is in a YA anthology when the characters are much older than typical YA. It said in one part that the MC’s partner was 10 when their family moved 25 years ago, so that makes him 35? So unless the MC is with a much older person, then I don’t really think this is YA. There was a couple short sections set in the past when the MC was a kid & teen, but for the most part, not really YA.

Each City by Ellen Van Neerven

This is another confusing & underwhelming one. I get the general idea of the story but the writing was very bland & also very choppy. It felt like a long story with pieces removed to make it shorter. It was just kinda meh and I didn’t really care for it at all & still don’t really see any point or plot to it really.

An Arab Werewolf in Liverpool by Omar Sakr

I really didn’t care for this writing of this one. Did we really need to know about you washing your hairy armpits or your Aunties Tits shaking?!?! Nope, not at all. Story would of gone just the same without knowing the finer details thanks. I didn’t even finish this one, the writing was just annoying me too much.

Stormlines by Alison Evans

This was a decent story. It wasn’t amazing but it was interesting & enjoyable. The world was very interesting and I enjoyed learning about it. There isn’t really a plot to this one, it’s more about the characters & the world. Which I didn’t hate. We were learning about the characters & world enough that I didn’t feel like I was missing out on the plot. I would probably continue reading this is there was more to it, mainly as I’m curious.

Questions to Ask Straight Relatives by Benjamin Law

I really enjoyed this one. It was short and didn’t really have a plot, nor a real focus on characters specifically. It was more just kinda in the head of this one character. It makes you think & question things that you mat see as just ‘normal’ & I really liked that about it.

Overall

Overall, there was good & bad in this book! I never go into anthologies expecting to love every story, it’s just not realistic. But overall, there were enough good stories to out way the average & bad ones. So I’m happy!

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Angus & Robertson

Booktopia

Amazon Australia

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Book Depository

Make sure you head on over to my Instagram as I will be holding a Giveaway where you could win a copy of Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories! Aus & NZ only giveaway, sorry guys!

Have you read Kindred? Or are you keen to?!

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Aussie? Want quick shipping? Awesome prices? Want to be able to utilise AfterPay? Then try BOOKTOPIA or even ANGUS & ROBERTSON!

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Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Hero at the Fall
Author: 
Alwyn Hamilton
Series Name: Rebel of the Sands
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Feb 1st, 2018
Pages: 506 (Paperback)
Publishers: Faber & Faber
Rating:
5 star

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Once, in the desert country of Miraji, there was a Sultan without an heir.

The heir had been killed by his own brother, the treacherous Rebel Prince, who was consumed by jealousy and sought the throne for himself.

Or so it was said by some. There were others who said that the Rebel Prince was not a traitor but a hero…

In the final battle for the throne, Amani must fight for everything she believes in, but with the rebellion in pieces, and the Sultan’s armies advancing across the desert plains, who will lead, who will triumph, who will live and who will die?

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You can find my spoiler free review of Rebel of the Sands HERE! Don’t judge it too hard, it was my first ever review. You can also find the review for Traitor to the Throne HERE!

Warning there may be spoilers for Rebel of the Sands & Traitor to the Throne but there will be no spoilers for Hero at the Fall!

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I adore these books! They are absolutely gorgeous, especially the physical copies. The photos just don’t do it justice! I also love the image in the middle of the cover. They always show something within the story which I love!

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I absolutely love the writing in these books! They are action packed, unpredictable & amazing! I also really enjoyed the additions of the short stories/tales in this one. That just added a little extra to the book that was really well done. I also really enjoy the POV in this book. It is all told by Amani, however, some of the book was told in the first person POV and other parts were third person POV, this was mostly when the tales were being told, but also right out at the end when it was tale and reality coming together.

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As I said the book was action packed! Which made for a plot with tonnes of twists and turns. It kept me on the edge the entire time and I absolutely loved it! As this is the end of the trilogy there were no cliffhangers like in the other books that left me needing to read the next book straight away! Even though the end of the book was heartbreaking to some degree I absolutely wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was a very satisfying ending for the most part.

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Amani is one of my favourite female characters ever! She is a badass sharpshooter with awesome powers. She is quick thinking and determined. She is also loving and caring and would do anything for the people that she considered family. She was real though too. She struggled with what was right and wrong. Always trying to do right but still being tempted by what her heart wanted rather than what she knew she had to do.
Jin was another awesome character! He was strong, but didn’t want power or to be in the middle of everything. He just wanted to help however he can.
Shazad is another favourite! Her friendship with Amani is amazing! She is also just a badass character alone too. She is strong, an amazing fighter and extremely tactical! She always has a plan and can think up a plan on the spot when needed!
Izz & Maz are sarcastic an awesome characters. I love that we finally got to see some more of them in this book! They were always there when the other characters needed them.
I also liked Sam a lot more in this book than I did in Traitor to the Throne. He is funny and sarcastic which was a good break from all the seriousness. He was also strong and even though he was technically from the enemy side, he still helped the people he cared for the most.

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I love everything about this series! The writing is amazing and I loved the new tales in this one! The plot was so well done. The characters are also amazing. I loved basically all of them. Even the bad guys are done so well! I still hate them but I can appreciate how well they were written! This is one of my favourite series I have ever read! I can’t wait to see what Alwyn Hamilton does next! We already have an ‘Untitled YA Fantasy’ planned according to Goodreads and I can’t wait!

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

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The Mage Heir by Kathryn Sommerlot – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Mage Heir
Author: 
Kathryn Sommerlot
Series Name: The Life Siphon
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: March 15th, 2018
Pages: 367 (eBook)
Publishers: Not sure as Goodreads doesn’t say and Kathryn doesn’t mention it in her email.
Rating:
3 star

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Traitor: that’s what Tatsu is now. On the run from both Runon and Chayd, Tatsu and Yudai’s only hope for survival is to disappear into the wilds. However, when the siphon’s deadly curse returns, they have no choice but to travel into the desert kingdom of Joesar in search of a cure.

Battling the unforgiving elements of the sands, Tatsu starts to realize that the path towards destroying the siphon may claim Yudai’s life. Time is running out as Nota’s fury—and the siphon’s hunger—begin to spiral wildly beyond their control.

As their options slowly fall away, the only thing Tatsu and Yudai can count on is each other.

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You can find my spoiler free review of The Life Siphon (Book 1) HERE!

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I really enjoy the covers of these books. They are simple but also beautiful. I love the colour scheme of both and I bet they would look awesome together on a shelf (I have no idea if there even is physical copies though). I also like how they subtly reference the book with the design on the cover.

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One of my main complaints from book 1 was that it was predictable but I don’t think that was the case with this one. I did not directly predict any of the plot twists in this one I don’t think.

My main complaint about this book is I feel like it was a bit slow and uneventful at the beginning. It has been a while since I read The Life Siphon and I did have a bit of a struggle getting into this one.  It definitely picked up in the last 30% of the book. But the rest I was kinda struggling.  I honestly felt like DNFing for a little bit there, but I stuck through and I don’t regret it as it was enjoyable in the end.

The world building is still lacking! I mentioned this in my review for The Life Siphon too. There needs to be more explanation, more description and more depth to the world.

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As I said above, it was slow in the beginning but the plot at the end of the book was alright. It felt slightly rushed and I feel like that is because everything at the start is dragged out and then in the last 20% everything is rushed through and then the book is over. The start of the book could have been condensed a bit and then the actual major parts could have been fleshed out a little more.

I do have another problem but it’s hard to describe. I kinda feel like everything worked out in the end. Which is great if you love the characters and want them to all be happy but it kinda made it predictable in the fact that when there is a twist you guess that it is going to work out well in the end because everything seems to work out well in the end. Like there is no real devastation or sadness to keep your emotions on the edge. I hope that makes sense as I have no other way to describe it.

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Firstly my favourite thing about the book is the diversity! There are gay (or maybe bisexual) characters in this book. I loved that in this world that felt completely fine. Their friends were just like cool, he is your boyfriend. There was no coming out, no questioning and no issues. It was just normal and I loved that.

Tatsu was enjoyable most of the time. He was a bit moody, but not everyone is perfect. He was caring and loyal to his friend, so that was good. Yudai was all over the place for most of this book. Sometimes he was enjoyable and other times I just didn’t care at all. I don’t know what exactly it was, but just sometimes how he acted annoyed me.

Alesh was kinda bossy but I do love how protective she is with Ral. Ral I still don’t understand. The ability type thing that she has was not explained in the slightest! Jotin was kinda meh to me. He didn’t feel fleshed out at all. I need more from him, he just kinda felt like a robot with no real emotion or life.

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I feel like this book was a little underwhelming. The world building could have been a lot better and the character development was lacking. The book was also slow for most of it which was disappointing. The first book was definitely better,  more entertaining and gripping for me.

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I was sent a copy of this book from Kathryn Sommerlot! So thanks so much to her for sending the eARC my way and giving me this opportunity!

The books are available on Kindle Unlimited but are also really cheap on Amazon! You can find The Life Siphon HERE & The Mage Heir HERE! The links will be for the Australian Amazon Site.

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

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The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Hazel Wood
Author: 
Melissa Albert
Series Name: The Hazel Wood
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Feb 8th, 2018
Pages: 355 (Paperback)
Publishers: Penguin
Rating:
3 and a half star

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Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate – the Hazel Wood – Alice learns how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen away – by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD. 

To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began . . .

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I actually love this cover! It looks a lot better in person than in the image above. As they used a combination of matte & shiny coating on the cover. The shiny parts are all the creases and details in the leaves. It makes it really pretty but also still creepy as hell.

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I enjoyed the writing of this book but it wasn’t anything overly special. It was creepy but also kinda slow until the last 30%. However, it did keep me hooked! I had trouble putting it down.

This is kinda random but I strongly disliked the last couple chapters of this book. After everything happens and Alice is back in the real world she becomes so dull. I don’t like her anyway (see the characters section) but it went from a fleshed out character in most of the book to this meh character with no motivation, thoughts, cares or absolutely anything. It was like reading from the POV of a stick. I know that it says that afterwards she may not be the same, but if the whole next book is written like those last chapters, I will be DNFing it real quick. I had such a struggle getting through those last pages of this book.

This book suffered from the ‘absent parents’ trope which is seriously overdone. Alice’s mother was kidnapped, so yeah that one I didn’t mind but the only other person from the human world had parents that apparently didn’t give a damn at all. They didn’t even try and get the police to search for him when he ‘went missing/ran away’.

I really enjoyed the fairytales in this book! Even though we didn’t really get them in full they were interesting. I discovered after reading that she is going to come out with a book of fairytales (same idea as The Tales of Beedle the Bard from J.K. Rowling & Tales of the Peculiar from Ransom Riggs). I’m more excited for the ‘Tales from the Hinterland’ to come out than I am about the second book in this series honestly.

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The plot was, for the most part, interesting. However, there were some predictable parts and most of the time the things I predicted were the big plot twists. So that was a little annoying. Also, the middle of the book was a tad slow. Things happened, but they happened within one page and the rest of the chapter was just meh.

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The main character irritated the shit out of me. I don’t know if she was meant to be an ‘unlikable main character’ but holy crap I didn’t like her. She was selfish as hell and didn’t really give a damn about anything but herself and her mother (and another character later on).
She was annoyingly stubborn and would snap at Finch for basically no reason. She would also think about hurting or killing people all the time when they were doing perfectly normal things that she didn’t happen to like. Then there was the time that she ran them off the road and nearly ploughed into the trees because she was pissed at herself. There was also the times when she was extremely judgemental! It was mentioned many times that the people in The Hazel Wood and The Halfway Wood may have mental problems due to what they went through in The Hazel Wood & The Half Way Wood. So it’s not like she didn’t know but good damn was she judging those people so hard because they may not have been up to her standard! Basically, if someone didn’t act the same as she did then they weren’t good enough for her.  I know her anger played a part in the story later on but it annoyed me a tonne! Like, stop being a bitch!
It also annoyed me that she barely ever called her mother ‘Mum’… It was always ‘Ella’. I would understand if she and her mother weren’t close but Alice basically didn’t know how to survive without Ella, so there really wasn’t any reason not to call her ‘Mum’.
*My above statement does alter later in the story after a plot twist, but for the most part it is true!*

Finch was also a character I didn’t love. A lot of his actions annoyed me, but even more, I was annoyed at how Alice reacts to the things that he did. Also there not even a relationship thing that they had was just weird. At the start he was made out to be this kinda creepy, won’t leave me alone type guy and the next thing she is confused about what they were and whether she thought of him as a friend. Then he is risking his life to help her and she is still being a bitch to him and on multiple occasions wants to leave him behind but ‘he is all I have’… So he stays.
He was also a very undeveloped character we know nothing about him except he is rich, black and has parents that don’t care at all.. But knowing that Alice never seemed to give a damn about actually getting to know him, so that is why the reader didn’t get to know him either.
Also another thing with Finch, apparently he is a POC. This is never stated in the many times that Alice describes him, but he is. There is only one point when this is even vaguely mentioned (that I could find) and that is when they run into a cop that Alice has a go at and he makes a comment along the lines of ‘do you think I would get away with talking to a cop like that’.. So yeah, apparently he is POC. But if you missed it in that scene you would have no idea.

Most of the other characters were just meh or didn’t have enough page time for me to really care about and form an opinion of them. Except for Janet, she was actually my favourite character! She had common sense, she was kind and tried to help out other people. Oh, and she is either bisexual or lesbian or something in the LGBTQIAP+ realm. It’s never stated but she has a girlfriend and talks about her love for another woman in her past.

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I enjoyed the writing and the plot of this book but the characters were a real let down. I only liked one character out of the many that were in this book.. The fairytales were creepy and interesting and were probably my favourite part. Other than that, I enjoyed myself reading it but I had a few issues with this one.

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

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The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Belles
Author: 
Dhonielle Clayton
Series Name: The Belles #1
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Feb 6th, 2018
Pages: 317 (Hardback)
Publishers: Hachette Australia
Rating:
4 star

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Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

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Okay, so I don’t like the cover. I know everyone is complimenting it because it shows a POC on the cover. Which sure, is great. But I hate covers with people on them at all! So no, I don’t like it.. Even though the cover displays Camellia I still don’t even picture her like that anyway..

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Firstly, I want to say that there should be a trigger warning for Sexual Assault.

Well, the writing was pretty good. The descriptions were a little over the top at times, especially when describing characters appearances. Which I get is a main part of the book but it did get a little monotonous.  I also found the middle of the book was a little slow at times. The start was good as it had world building and getting to know the characters but then it got slow and then sped up heaps in the last 25%.

Besides that, the world building was really damn good! So that made up for it.

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As I said above the middle of the book was pretty slow and there were a few things that happened but nothing anything really major. As for the last 25%? Holy damn. So much went on and a majority of it I did not expect.

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Camellia is our main character and I really enjoyed her! She was curious, stubborn, strong and defiant. She liked doing things that others wouldn’t. There was one thing that happened in the book that I was not impressed with. Especially that neither of the characters that did it (one being Camellia) had any real reaction or regret for what they did. The other character more than Camellia, but still.

Bree is another favourite and I’m a little annoyed we don’t find out what happens to her in the end and there was basically no talk about it from the main character after a couple pages after it happened. Not going into spoilers, so that may sound really vague and confusing, but you will understand if you read it. Anyway, Bree is loyal and kind.

Amber is one of my least favourite non-villain characters. She is uptight and will always do what she is told and never really thinks for herself. Towards the end, though she is a bit different to that in the fact that she cant accept that she didn’t win and when she was given the option to redeem herself she went too far trying to win and it resulted in people getting hurt..

Edel was funny, rebellious and didn’t care what people thought. She wasn’t present for a lot of the book but I am guessing that we might see more of her in book 2!

Remy was a little hard to deal with at times. He was all about following orders, even when he could have relaxed. He took everything so seriously and that annoyed me. But he did redeem himself in the end! Also, I am calling it now! He is going to be the love interest in book 2, I’m guessing it now. Obviously, I don’t know if it’s true, but I’m predicting it.

Sophia was obsessive and cruel. That basically sums her up. I don’t think I need to say anything more.

I am not even going to talk about the romance! It was instalove and it wasn’t necessary at all.

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My favourite part of the book would have to be the world building! The ending was insane but the middle of the story was a little underwhelming. The characters were good and bad. Hopefully, we see more of Edel & Bree in book 2 as they are my favourites. I didn’t mark it higher than 4 stars because of the slow middle of the book, I didn’t like the romance at all & some of the writing didn’t wow me.

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I was provided with an eGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much to Hachette Australia NetGalley for this opportunity.

You can Pre-Order this book from any of the below links.

Hachette Australia
Paperback  /  eBook

Book Depository
Hardback  /  Paperback

Amazon (Aus)
eBook  /  Hardback  /  Paperback  /  Audiobook

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

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Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Down Among the Sticks and Bones
Author: 
Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children #1
Genre: 
YA Diverse Fantasy Horror
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Pages: 189 (Hardback)
Publishers: Tor
Rating:
4 star

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Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

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*Exactly the same as in Every Heart a Doorway review*

I really like the cover of this book. It is simple, but catches your eye and also betrays the story well. I really enjoy how all the covers in this series just have a landscape background with a single item in the middle standing out.

I like how much darker and creepier than the first book!

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The writing is still beautiful in this book but again, a lot darker, even than Every Heart a Doorway! These books have amazing world building fitted into such small books. I liked that this book dealt with some issues in this book such as parental influence and it’s effect on children & Identity issues. I can’t speak personally but I think these issues were shown well. The initial beginning of the parently influence part felt a little excessive but it could realistic, but I have no experience, so I’m not sure.

I really enjoyed the drawings that pop up in this book too! It was an awesome addition to the story.

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As for the plot, I kinda feel like the plot was a little in the background. There was a plot, but it wasn’t really the main focus. The focus was on the characters and their development.

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Again we have some diversity! So that’s always good!

Jack is definitely my favourite character from the book. She is smart, determined to learn, brave and super funny.

Jill is naive and easily persuaded into things. She is also jealous and ridiculously cruel! What happened in Every Heart a Doorway makes so much more sense now after learning more about her.

Master is explored as much but he mainly just feels possessive.

Dr Bleak was a patient teacher/guardian but still stern! He was also really understanding. He was an enjoyable character compared to Jill & Master.

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 I didn’t enjoy this book as much as Every Heart a Doorway. This book does have better character development as it’s concentrating on two specific characters rather than a tonne! So that was good but as it was concentrating on the characters more I feel like the plot was lacking compared to Every Heart a Doorway. Those are the main reasons I gave this 4 stars compared to the 4.5 stars I gave Every Heart a Doorway.

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

Lizaxx1

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2017 YA Reading Challenge Wrap Up

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So 2017 is over and it’s time to wrap up the 2017 YA Reading Challenge! I don’t know if this is happening again in 2018 as when I clicked the link to the host’s blog, the link no longer works!



1. Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch
2. Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch
3. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
5. Firstlife by Gena Showalter
6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
7. Lifeblood by Gena Showalter
8. Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
9. Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden
10. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
11. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
12. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
13. Flame in the Mist Renee Ahdieh
14. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
15. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
16. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
17. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
18. Geekerella by Ashley Poston
19. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
20. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
21. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
22. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
23. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
24. The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil
25. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
26. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
27. Akarnae by Lynette Noni
28. Raelia by Lynette Noni
29. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
30. Draekora by Lynette Noni
31. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
32. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
33. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
34. The Life Siphon by Kathryn Sommerlot
35. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
36. Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins
37. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
38. Furthermore by Taherah Mafi
39. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
40. The Lightning Thief by Percy Jackson
41. Half Bad by Sally Green
42. The Wicked + The Divine: Vol 1 by Kieron Gillen
43. Roar by Cora Carmack
44. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
45. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
46. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
47. Song of the Curren by Sarah Tolcser
48. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
49. The Wicked + The Divine: Vol 2 by Kieron Gillen
50. The Wicked + The Divine: Vol 3 by Kieron Gillen
51. Because You Love To Hate Me
52. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
53. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
54. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
55. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
56. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
57. The Wicked + The Divine: Vol 4 by Kieron Gillen
58. The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black
59. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
60. Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
61. Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
62. Half Wild by Sally Green
63. The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
64. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
65. Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers
66. Thief’s Cunning by Sarah Ahiers
67. A Monster’s Call by Patrick Ness
68. The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
69. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
70. The Dead of the Night by John Marsden
71. Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang
72. Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, Part 2 by Gene Luen Yang
73. Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, Part 3 by Gene Luen Yang
74. The Copper Gauntlet by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black
75. Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast
76. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
77. Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows
78. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
79. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken
80. In Time by Alexandra Bracken
81. Paper Girls: Vol 1 by Brian K. Vaugan
82. Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
83. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
84. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
85. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
86. One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus
87. Beastly by Alex Flinn
88. Prodigy Prince by Natasha Sapienza
89. Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
90. Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi
91. Warcross by Marie Lu
92. Gemian by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
93. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
94. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
95. Half Lost by Sally Green
96. Runebinder by Alex R. Kahler
97. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
98. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
99. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
100. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
101. Everless by Sara Holland
102. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
103. The Third Day, The Frost by John Marsden
104. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
105. Dreadnought by April Daniels



Well that is all the YA books I read this year! I read a total of 152 books so it’s awesome to feel that a fair chunk of them was Middle Grade or Adult seen as I feel like I’m always reading YA!

Lizaxx1

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