The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

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An amazing 4.5 – 5 star read!!

New York City as you’ve never seen it before. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough. Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.

The Thousandth Floor is a futuristic sci-fi story told from five different characters point of view (POV). In my opinion multiple POV novels can be hit or miss. The Thousandth Floor successfully delivers the story through the five different voices. While I didn’t like some of the characters I was equally invested in all of their stories and couldn’t wait to read what happened next to each character. This is a rare thing in multiple POV novels as I am usually waiting for my favourite character to have their turn telling the story. The Thousandth Floor has the perfect balance of science-fiction, mystery, romance, drama and suspense. I really enjoyed discovering how the different stories fit together, resulting in a climatic ending. This novel had me racing to finish. At the ending I was shocked and filled with a desperate need to know what happens next. A captivating read that has me eagerly anticipating the sequel. If anyone can time travel and is willing to bring me back a copy of the sequel let me know!
-Amanda

Wow!! Well.. this was interesting!! Particularly the multi-perspective structure the author used to tell this story in third person.. It was like watching a soap opera drama that was set in the future. In an era where everyone lives in a tower and the Thousandth Floor is off limits unless you’re part of the elite yet it’s a floor that holds many secrets. A story of twists, turns, mystery, betrayal set among people who claim to be your friend but no sooner stab your back or hire tech savvy people to stalk you as it’s all too easy in this world.. I have so many unanswered questions, I need to read the second book now!!!
-Annie

Dramatic, glamorous and mysterious.. After reading this book, I have to say I really like the world setting in 2118. I wish we have hover covers instead of umbrellas, contacts lens that works like computers, silencing cloak for private discussions, hover crafts, dresses that changes colour, and incandescent flowers that reflects its surroundings. The world building is very imaginative and creative. The plot was also interesting because I was constantly wondering who fell in the end! I liked how it all ties up in the end. This book is like Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars meets iRobot. Recommended for anyone who likes lots of twists and turns, different character perspectives, drama mixed in with romance, mystery and creative world building!
-NJ

Many thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for sending us Advanced Review Copies in exchange for our honest review

When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

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Read3rz Re-Vu Blog

The next “Looking for Alibrandi” – will become a Modern Australian Classic – A book EVERY Australian MUST read!!
Amazing – Mind Blowing – 5 STAR READ!!!

This book is YA Contemporary Fiction from the brilliant, Randa Abdel-Fattah – an author of whom I have the greatest respect – she is such an inspiration to me and I love that she’s written this book. This book explores important issues that a lot of young Australians are facing in today. I can see this book becoming classroom reads for English HSC students. I had the pleasure of doing a read along for this book with another author, friend Shivaun Plozza (author of Frankie)

“When Michael Met Mina” is so relevant to today’s current climate, not only does this book explore immigration and refugees, it also explores Islamaphobia that unfortunately exists in today’s society. By following 2 teens: Michael and Mina, it drives a…

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When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

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The next “Looking for Alibrandi” – will become a Modern Australian Classic – A book EVERY Australian MUST read!!
Amazing – Mind Blowing – 5 STAR READ!!!

This book is YA Contemporary Fiction from the brilliant, Randa Abdel-Fattah – an author of whom I have the greatest respect – she is such an inspiration to me and I love that she’s written this book. This book explores important issues that a lot of young Australians are facing in today. I can see this book becoming classroom reads for English HSC students. I had the pleasure of doing a read along for this book with another author, friend Shivaun Plozza (author of Frankie)

“When Michael Met Mina” is so relevant to today’s current climate, not only does this book explore immigration and refugees, it also explores Islamaphobia that unfortunately exists in today’s society. By following 2 teens: Michael and Mina, it drives a powerful message that a lot of the fear we see stems either from ignorance or is fuelled by media propaganda but it only takes one to listen openly, one to dig a little bit deeper and do their own research to reach mutual respect and understanding. It also demonstrates that not everyone is tainted with the same brush – a minority do not represent the majority.

Randa did so well with the duel perspective as both voices in the book are very clear, she also did extremely well in showing both sides of the debate which opened my eyes to a few things I never thought of before. The story follows 2 teenagers who come from completely different walks of life: Mina came to Australia as a refugee from Afghanistan and years later wins a scholarship to a prestigious school in the north shore. Mina has grown up in Australia and her parents are small business owners – as a family they love and embrace Australia and try to give back to the land that gave them protection however her initial refugee status is a stigma and she is also subject to Islamaphobia. Mina deals with her move to a new place as well as her identity as she tries to settles into her new school. Mina spends a lot of her school days with her new friend Paula however she meets another student, Michael and everything changes. Michael: a boy born and raised in Australia and is from a family who heads up a campaign called “Aussie Values” which preaches against the incoming of migrants, refugees and Islam.. However, It’s not until Michael meets Mina at school when he begins to question what he’s always known..

I found this to be such a gripping and important coming of age story, thankyou Randa Abdel-Fattah for writing this and thankyou Shivaun Plozza for the twitter updates during our fun read along!!!
-Annie

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

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4.5 stars – A riveting and imaginative story of enchantments, love and death duel.
Special Blog Trio: NJ, Annie and Amanda

Just finished this book, my first thoughts were: it’s so imaginative and I wish magic actually exists in our world. When I picked up this book, I was pondering what could be more badass than an enchanter and an enchantress battling an ancient magical duel (to the death) for the position of Imperial Enchanter? It did not disappoint. With a heart pounding love story thrown in, it was the perfect concoction and intoxicating mix of magic, illusions, passion, betrayals and enchantments. Let’s face it, the battle is not simply one of magic, but of each characters’ internal battle for what they meant to do versus what is right for them. I loved all the creative elements, the otherworldliness of alternate Russia. I also liked Vika, Nicholas and Pasha’s internal conflict and choices. The story has just enough foreshadowing for it make sense and stay unpredictable, setting up for the next book. The ending was unexpected but kept me at the edge of my seat. It’s an unputdownable, enchanting read.
– NJ

This book was amazing from start to finish I really could not put this book down!!! Such a magical read and very well written, this book is set in alternate Russia where there is only room for one enchanter, as such, The Crown’s Game was founded in order for eligible enchanters to engage in a magical duel to the death where only one enchanter remains and victorious, becomes the Crown’s magical advisor. However, it wasn’t all about casting spells to kill the other, I loved how enchantments could be cast to develop an island and give the opponent illusions you wouldn’t think possible. Yes, there was a bit of romance thrown in there however it was so cleverly weaved into the story line that didn’t have me rolling my eyes.. This book was bombshells galore, just when you thought you were onto something – bam – something else is thrown at you.. This had me on the edge of my seat – a real page turner – by the end it was all “the feels”… I still have unanswered questions and I look forward to the next instalment!!! 5 stars.. 10/10.. such a GREAT read!!!
-Annie

The Crown’s Game is a magical duel between two enchanters set in an alternate historical Russia. The magic and the premise of the duel and the premise of the duel had me intrigued from the beginning. Waiting to see how the enchanters would one-up each other by displaying their magical skill was the highlight for me. I also really enjoyed the two main characters: Vika and Nikolai. I found they were both interesting and I wasn’t sure who I want to win the duel. I didn’t really enjoy the romantic storylines in this novel though as I am not a fan of insta-love – where characters fall in love too soon and you don’t buy it because there wasn’t enough development. I found all of the romantic relationships in this story were insta-love – some like insta-love, some like me aren’t big fans of it. However, overall, I highly recommend this story due to the intriguing magical duel. The alternate Russia created was a really fun world to escape into.
-Amanda

Special thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for sending us an Advance Review Copy in exchange for our honest review

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

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An elegant story I rate 4 stars

The year is 1241, set in a place, Provensa, which is now known as Provence, France – a place recovering from bloody crusades between the Catholic Church and northern French armies and a time where women are expected to be compliant and quiet. An interesting approach, this story follows a young lady by the name of Dolssa whose unusual gift of having a special connection with a biblical prophet sees her try to remain righteous and carry out her work to bring people to ‘believe’. Her work however, is seen as challenging status quo, as such, she is on the run from an obsessed friar who is determined to burn her as a heretic for the passion she refuses let go.

A very well written and witty story, the story starts off with careful and intricate world building then continues to the main plot. Quite interesting and thrilling as you follow the ‘chase’ that winds up in a village full of murderers.

Special thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for sending me an advance review copy in exchange for my review.

-Annie

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

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Blog Duet by Annie and Amanda – rating this book 4 stars

This story will take you back to the enchanting place of Wonderland long before Alice fell down the rabbit hole. This story follows Princess Dinah, the heiress to the throne – the future Queen of Hearts – in a place that is ruled under an iron fist by her father, the king. Characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance in this fantasy/twisted fairy tale that sets a whole new light on a place we all thought we once knew.

Amanda:
This Alice in Wonderland prequel of sorts was a quick read. There were interesting aspects to this novel, especially seeing how the known characters from the Alice in Wonderland universe fit into this story. Although I enjoyed this story, I couldn’t exactly find a main plot line – it was like reading about the world building of Wonderland, meanwhile there was a dark story lurking within this world. Some parts of this story remain a mystery to me – some I managed to predict – but it has kept me hanging for part 2 where I am hoping my questions will be answered. I see potential with this series so I am interested to read the next one. The read along was fun – Annie and I were texting each other over a few days updating each other on which parts we were up to – we both agree, we absolutely hate the King!!! and we both have theories as to some of the characters which we won’t share here to avoid spoilers.

Annie:
Well I had the pleasure of doing a read along for this book with Amanda and it was quite fun texting with page and chapter number updates – a lot of which included emoticons expressing my shock or anger at particular parts of the story. I have to say, it’s not a bad prequel to Alice in Wonderland and it certainly explains a lot about the Queen of Hearts and how she become what we know her to be in future stories. Although this was a dark retelling/prequel to the story we all know, I felt it was quite creative how the author intricately rebuilt the world of Wonderland. It was also quite funny to see how a deck of cards have such involvement in the ruling of Wonderland – hearts were royal.. clubs were dark military etc. I found this to be a fast paced read, very easy to follow and even with a story full of mystery, twists and turns, there were moments we would “call it” and other times that slapped us in the face. Like Amanda, I see potential for this series so I am looking forward to the subsequent book/s.

Special thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for sending us an Advance Review Copy in exchange for our honest review

Gumnut Babies: 100 years by May Gibbs

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An amazing piece of memorabilia that I rate 5 stars
I will treasure for this rest of my life!!

Marking the centenary publication of May Gibbs’ first book “Gumnut Babies”, this amazing piece of memorabilia will be available for all Aussies who remember the great stories of the Gumnut Babies!!! Divided into sections: Gumnut Babies, Gum-Blossom Babies, Flannel Flowers and Other Bush Babies, Boronia Babies, Wattle Babies, Nuttybub and Nittersing and Chucklebud and Wunkydoo, it makes the perfect companion to The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

Such an elegantly illustrated book with amazing stories suitable for young and old alike, this storybook will sure bring families together for a cosy read along. Every Australian who grew up with the stories of the Gumnut Babies needs to have this as a collectors item. Indeed this is one I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Special thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for sending me this amazing advanced copy in exchange for my honest review
Annie