The Boy Who Steals Houses by CG Drews | Review

Thank you so much to Hachette Australia Publishing for sending me a full copy of The Boy Who Steals Houses by CG Drews. Receiving a copy of the book did in no way impact any thoughts or feelings I had. All opinions are my own.

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Release Date: April 4th, 2019

Dates Read: March 7th, 2019

Trigger Warnings: grief, death of a parent abandonment of a parent, stealing, theft, serious bodily injury, emotional abuse, physical abuse, mentions to abuse, graphic violence, underage drinking, mentions of drugs, ableist comments, assault, ptsd, mentions of cancer

Pages: 300

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Genre: young adult, contemporary 

Goodreads blurb:

Can two broken boys find their perfect home?

Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he’s ever known. Now Sam’s trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he’s caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing – each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie. 

But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.

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YA is Maturing & It’s Good! | Discussion

 

I’ve read some posts lately that have made me a little angry. These posts are discussing how young adult books, also known as YA, shouldn’t depict teenagers in sexual relationships or showing them in ‘mature’ situations like drinking or even having them say the word fuck. Everyone is allowed their own opinions, obviously, but I feel that saying YA maturing over the last few years is a bad thing is wrong. The world is changing. This generation is different from the young adults who were reading young adult books in the early 2000’s. This generation is one of inclusivity and diversity. It’s important to remember this and how the times have changed. One can not stay stagnant and believe that young people who read YA shouldn’t see themselves represented through their experiences.

I will say that you may disagree with me completely and this post is kind of all over the place, but I understand. I just don’t want sex to be viewed as a bad thing throughout YA books because it’s not. To brief: I am not saying all books should include sex. That would be excluding asexual and aromantic people and I’m not here for that. I’m just saying that sex and these ‘mature’ themes should be explored much more in YA.

Just a FYI, I will be saying ‘mature’ in quotation marks because I do not believe these things fall under the mature category.

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Books I Didn’t Think I’d Like But Loved | Discussion

I know a lot of people have the ability to be able to tell what book they’ll like before they read it. I sometimes have this ability, but more times than not I don’t. I sometimes struggle to work out what I will like and what I won’t like. Typically I fall into reading what books are hyped, which leads to a lot of disappointment for me when they don’t live up to it.

It’s not all bad news though. Sometimes I pick up a book with a resigned sigh, not expecting much and discover a new favourite. Have you ever had this happen? If so let me know in the comments so I know I’m not strange.

Some of these books include:

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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw | Review

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Release Date: March 6th, 2018

Trigger Warnings: murder, death, the death of a parent, death of a sibling, grief, drowning

Pages: 320

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: urban fantasy, witches, young adult, paranormal, fantasy

Goodreads blurb:

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself. Read More »

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson | Review

Thank you so much Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a copy of The Wren’s Hunt in exchange for honest review. All thoughts on the book are my own and being sent a copy of the book did not impact how I felt about it.


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Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Release Date: February 8th, 2018

Trigger Warnings: alcoholism

Pages: 432

Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia 

Genre: urban fantasy, magic, young adult, romance, fantasy, mythology

Goodreads blurb:

Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated village by her family’s enemies—the Judges—and there’s nothing that she can do to stop it. Once her people, the Augurs, controlled a powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying her kind for good. 

In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment—as an intern to an influential Judge named Cassa Harkness. Cassa has spent her life researching a transformative spell, which could bring the war between the factions to its absolute end. Caught in a web of deceit, Wren must decide whether or not to gamble on the spell and seal the Augurs’ fate.

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Meet Cute by Various | Review

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

Pages: 320

Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers

Goodreads blurb:

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real. 


The Meet Cute anthology was an interesting one. There were so many authors and so many stories. Some I couldn’t wait to end and others I wanted to be extended to fill the pages of a novel. For this review, I’ve tried to review each story featured in this anthology. They’re quite short but I find it difficult to rate an anthology as a whole (3 is what I just figured was the average among these).

This collection definitely was super cute and I do love meet-cute stories. Some definitely stood out. I would recommend this collection though if you’re looking for a short read to fill a rainy day.


SEIGE ETIQUETTE BY KATIE COTUGNO

STORY ONE – 3 STARS

I’m not sure this was the best start to the novel. I feel there were so many other ‘meet cute’ stories throughout the novel which were better suited for the first story – ones that would have had a better impact. I enjoyed the writing style and I did gush, but there was cheating and abuse which wasn’t dealt with and only very briefly mentioned that made me feel slightly uncomfortable about the whole thing.

I also hate people who are self proclaimed popular so I had that issue with the main character, since she knows she’s popular. I feel like there were just little facts in the story that, ultimately, didn’t add to the overall story and actually took away from me being able to enjoy it. I felt for her backstory, but she really did ruin it by being a self righteous bitch.


PRINT SHOP BY NINA LACOUR

STORY TWO – 4 STARS

This was the first f/f romance in the book and I loved it. It wasn’t as if it was anything special but the writing itself and the characters the author created in those few short pages were incredible. It shows just how talented the author writing it was.

I was so engaged it the idea of the print shop (especially since it was a queer business). The author didn’t rush a single moment. It all felt super organic and very well written to me. I was completely involved with the main character as she did her best to help the client in need. Print Shop was just super feel good and fluffy, if the idea had been extended into a full novel I would be so happy!


HOURGLASS BY IBI ZOBOI

STORY THREE – 3 STARS

This was when the lack of conclusions in this anthology really started to get to me. I also had a problem with every character but the main one in this particular story.

Our POC MC just wants to escape her small town despite all the waitlists she’s been placed on, her best friend ended up backstabbing her and she’s 6’5 (a queen). Her meet cute doesn’t really start until the end. Quite literally the last two pages or so it happens. So, it felt like a lot of build up which ultimately had a good ending. I just wanted a bit more interaction so I could root for the two characters some more!


CLICK BY KATHERINE MCGEE

STORY FOUR – 4 STARS

Click was one of my favourites in the anthology. The author creates such authentic and deep characters so quickly that had my heart racing. I loved the concept of online dating – it’s hard to meet people and online dating shouldn’t be shamed. I absolutely adored the twist as well.

I’m not even sure what to say, I loved how the MC was a smart girl and the love interest was a good guy. It just made me feel happy and mushy and the overall message was super sweet.


THE INTERN BY SARA SHEPARD

STORY FIVE – 2 STARS

The Intern was flat as heck for me. There was no climax. There was no moment I rooted for the two characters. Nothing. I felt for the main characters as much I felt for the cast of the new Jumajii movie (nothing).

I’m not too interested in ‘celebrity falls for normal girl and she makes him remember his passion’ trope either, which this fell into it. It really did have that classic love cures all vibe too which I am not down for in the slightest. There was also just no connection between the characters, they didn’t know each other long enough for what concluded.


SOMEWHERE THAT’S GREEN BY MEREDITH RUSSO

STORY SIX – 3 STARS

This particular story featured a transgender (male to female) character. Nia is in quite an accepting environment, with her dad accepting her and her friends. The problem is the church and the schools won’t acknowledge her gender in order for her to use the correct bathrooms. A part of this reason is that a girl in her grade has spoken out against Nia on the news on behalf of her church.

To rectify her choices this girl decides to out herself to her peers, recording it so her conservative parents will 110% see it.

My problem with this particular meet-cute was the fact one girl had to out herself. I just didn’t think she was ready to do so from her inner monologue. Maybe I’m wrong, and I completely understand I may be, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.


THE WAY WE LOVE HERE BY DHONIELLE CLAYTON

STORY SEVEN – 4 STARS

Now, this was an interesting concept. I’m not even sure if I can really find the words to accurately describe this story or even give my views. This isn’t a contemporary story like the others, this one is straight up urban fantasy with the inclusion of a thing called a love bond. I’m not even sure if I truly understand the concept to explain it either.
The writing style, however, was beautiful. I loved the characters the author was able to create in the few available pages she had. The story was so engaging and one of the few in the anthology that I didn’t pause while reading. I was simply so involved in what was happening on the page. This was yet another concept I wanted to be extended into a novel so I could truly get a feel for it.


OOMPH BY EMERY LORD

STORY EIGHT – 4 STARS

This was one of my favourites in the anthology. It was another f/f romance that left me feeling mushy and wanting to scream. The girls pretend to be CIA and FBI agents in an airport while they wait to board their separate flights. It was honestly nothing too original or too out of the ordinary but the authors writing left me desperately grasping for more once I finished the story. It was such a romantic read that I was shocked it wasn’t extended into a full novel.


THE DICTIONARY OF YOU AND ME BY JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT

STORY NINE – 5 STARS

This particular story was my favourite. It featured a library-based romance that left my heart racing at the sheer adorableness of it all. I know this story had its flaws, obviously, but from the first page I was grinning ear-to-ear and desperately yearning for more. This was yet another story that could have been a novel, the idea definitely could have extended more than just a few pages and I would not be mad.


THE UNLIKELY LIKELIHOOD OF FALLING IN LOVE BY JOCELYN DAVIS

STORY TEN – 1 STAR

I don’t have much to say about this particular excerpt in the anthology apart from boring. The whole story was so analytical that I was left confused at all the jargon. I also just didn’t care as soon as math was mentioned. I am terrible at math and as soon as it’s mentioned in fiction or real life I instantly check out.

I also was not feeling the love connection either. This would have been to the quick changes of scenes. We’d get a few paragraphs about something and then a quick change. It made the whole story feel disconnected and the flow felt extremely off.


259 MILES BY KASS MORGAN

STORY ELEVEN – 3.5 STARS

I was so excited by this story, we were finally getting a male perspective after all this time. I’m not sure why but I expected more male perspectives. I absolutely loved the concept of having to go to Mars to create new life. However, the conclusion of this story left me feeling unhappy since it wasn’t a happy ending. Who allowed this? I was not okay.

Basically, fuck everyone. This story made me feel things and then ruined me.


SOMETHING REAL BY JULIE MURPHY

STORY TWELVE – 3 STARS

This did not go where I thought it was going. Honestly. A celebrity dating show where two girls compete in order to score a date with the celebrity on national TV. How nice. Sounds like my worst nightmare. The two girls competing couldn’t be more different on paper either. However, literally everything goes wrong and the end had me definitely like ‘what?’ It was cute though.


SAY EVERYTHING BY HUNTLEY FITZPATRICK

STORY THIRTEEN – 2 STARS

Now, this was the definition of mediocre for me. It read the exact same way as the author’s full-length novels and didn’t exactly vary from the plot line either. It was a very forbidden love like with the twist (if you can call it that) thrown in.

I don’t really have much to say. At one point I got some The Greatest Showman vibes but not really. It was just super mediocre and nothing to brag about.


DEPARTMENT OF DEAD LOVE BY NICOLA YOON

STORY FOURTEEN – 3 STARS

I think Nicola Yoon works much better for me in a short story format than her novels. I really do enjoy her short stories in the two anthologies I’ve read that feature her. It was super engaging, super messy and just overall reminded me of the concept of More Happy Than Not.

It was just a very interesting story and a pretty fun concept of meeting someone who realises you are over your previous partner.


Happy reading everyone!

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Wires & Nerve (Volume One) by Marissa Meyer | Review

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Rating: ★★★★★

Release Date: January 31st, 2017

Pages: 238

Publisher: Feiwel Friends

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the series. 


R E V I E W

I tried to read Wires & Nerve earlier this year when it first released. Unfortunately, it was difficult on my phone (I had an ebook) and I didn’t get to truly grasp the story. So, when unwrapping the presents my best friend Caitlin got me for Christmas I was so happy to see Wires & Nerve. Honestly, I struggled not to start it immediately. Though, when I did start it I finished it in an hour, so there’s that.

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series and I am not shy about screaming it from the rooftops. So, a companion novel is excellent. I’m not usually a big comic book reader either but for some reason, this was screaming at me to pick it up and read it. I’m so glad I did.

Literally, my only complaint about this graphic novel is the characters didn’t look like how I had imagined them so I kept getting caught up on panels and going ‘who?’ Honestly, that’s it. My own imagination.

I’m not even sure how to go about reviewing this? I guess dot points may be the best way because I can say what I want without expending too much (this review would be really short, I have no idea how to extend my thoughts) so let’s go!

  • Iko is a great lead – she didn’t have a major part in The Lunar Chronicles besides being Cinder’s sister like character, but she deserved more of a spotlight
  • The illustrations are gorgeous 
  • I loved seeing more of Cress and Throne + seeing there are consequences to her having lived most of her life in a satellite (her immune system sucks)
  • There wasn’t much Scarlet or Wolf which I loved because I didn’t really like them, honestly, they were so boring
  • Winter joking about how sickness now that she has an implant!!!
  • The fact someone doesn’t have to have read The Lunar Chronicles to read this. Obviously, its suggested but things are explained so if someone wanted to pick this up with no prior knowledge of the series, they could!
  • An amazingly engaging storyline! It is mainly just set up for the next book but it is so good! Marissa Meyer just has such an engaging writing style, even in comic form

I think that’s basically everything that can be said? Wires & Nerve is a great companion novel for the Lunar Chronicles world and I highly suggest it if you have read the series already. It is a quick read that sucks you in and keeps you wondering. I’m glad the sequel comes out next month and I don’t have to wait too long.


Happy reading everyone!

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If you use my Book Depository link I will receive a 5% commission from your order at no expense to you. I would sincerely be grateful if you chose to use it.

The same goes for my Booktopia link, which is a great service for Aus and NZ residents.