The Wave in the Mind: Talks & Essays on the Writer, the Reader & the Imagination by Ursula K. Le Guin

 5 stars!  A book that changes the way you think.

“We will not know our own injustice if we cannot imagine justice. We will not be free if we do not imagine freedom. We cannot demand that anyone try to attain justice and freedom who has not had a chance to imagine them as attainable.” – Le Guin

Thoughtful, profound and inspiring. I found Le Guin’s voice to be refreshing, present and ever so relevant in today’s society for authors and readers alike. Topics explored include (but not limited to): imagination, family life, beauty, society, oppression, feminism, reading and writing. Le Guin’s progressive and well thought-out perspectives and critiques are insightful, honest, delightful and empowering to read. I absolutely loved “Being taken for granite”, “Unquestioned assumptions”, “The question I get asked most often”, “My libraries” and “All happy families.” Highly recommended if you’re after an interesting, inspiring and provocative read.

Another interesting quote:

“…And why? In order to imply that happiness is easy, shallow, ordinary; a common thing not worth writing a novel about? Whereas unhappiness is complex, deep, difficult to attain, usual; unique indeed; and so a worthy subject for a great, a unique novelist? Surely that’s a silly idea. But silly or not, it has been imposingly influential among novelists and critics for decades.” – Le Guin

Click here for the book blurb on Goodreads.

– NJ

 

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A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

JUST BRILLIANT!! one of my favourites.. 5 STARS!!!

I was engrossed in this from beginning to end. I particularly liked the elements of physics that was used to set the foundation of the plot which led to the focus of the story – an inter-dimensional time travel, sci-fi thriller that tells Marguerite Caine’s story.. A story of betrayal.. intrigue.. mystery.. humour.. forbidden romance.. this book had it all..

This is the first book of the Firebird series, I have found in the past that ‘pilot books’ or a series’ first instalment is normally quite slow given careful world building and detailed explanations however this one captivated me from page 1!!!

As I don’t want to spoil it for the reader, best to hit this link to Goodreads.com for the synopsis..

sequel
Book 2 is available now in all leading book retailers, Book 3 scheduled for release November 2016

-Annie

 

Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

17204984Fantastic 5 star rating….

Between the lives is indeed a page turner and something I have never read before. It’s very well written and the plot is very creative.. At first when I started reading this, I was trying to decide whether this was paranormal or sci-fi.. It’s in fact set in the real world!!!! While reading it, I was questioning whether or not the character has multiple personality disorder or if she really is switching between the lives. There is a twist towards the end of the story that actually gave me goosebumps!!!

For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives and at the stroke of midnight, she suddenly transitions to her ′other life’. A life where she is the same person however everything else around her is different.. her family, friends, social expectations – it’s like 2 completely different worlds she has to keep up with for each transition. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day, she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other. So with this new discovery, she starts to perform some experiments to determine whether she can get closer to the life she actually wants…

I recommend this to YA fans.. It’s such a unique story, so clever, so well written and one you will not forget in a hurry!!!

-Annie

Amid Wind and Stone by Nicole Luiken

Otherselves #2 – to be published on 7 March
4 stars!

“I think that the only thing that makes war inevitable is both sides’ belief that peace is impossible.” – Audrey

Why have I not discovered this series before? The dual storylines of Dorotea and Audrey kept me reading…up to 2am. A highly imaginative and clever take on paranormal romance filled with non-stop action, character struggles and adventure. The story runs through two parallel time lines/alternate universes of Audrey and Dorotea who are each other’s “Otherselves” in their mirror worlds. Audrey’s story is set in the steampunk Air world with flying airships, funky gadgets, a class system reminiscent of a bygone era, and wind spirits. Dorotea, however lives in an underground primitive Stone world segregated by the Skilled and Unskilled, with strained relationships between the humans and the gargoyles (due to an unforgivable betrayal). Could Dorotea put behind her prejudice for love?

The world building is highly ambitious because the Air and Stone worlds are only two of the four “mirrored” worlds that must battle against an evil sorceress from the True world. A pivotal theme explored in this novel is humanity’s struggle to balance their need for dominance, control and survival with nature. Read this series if you like creative world building, spirited and capable characters, loveable phantom, gargoyles and elementals. It’s a delightful read that set my imagination on fire.

Other quotes that I liked:

“Being a monster has nothing to do with having fangs and claws. Monsters are those who behave in monstrous ways.” – Dorotea

“Strength shouldn’t mean being unfeeling.” – Audrey

Click here to read the book blurb on Goodreads.

Funny interview with the characters!
Book 1 – Through Fire and Sea 

– NJ 

Jet Black and the Ninja Wind by Lisa Lowitz and Shogo Oketani

***Kick Ass Read of 5 stars!!!***

OK..

So imagine this……

You’re born into the Western world with an Asian (in this case, Japanese) heritage.. You think you’re living a regular life with school and friends accept for the fact that your Mum is forcing some crazy martial arts training on you everyday after school to protect you from enemies.. All the while you think your Mum has lost the plot.. what enemies!? Until one night, a life changing incident occurs to which you discover that growing up, all was not as it seems and you learn all the training was to prep you to become a NINJA!!! A life you never thought to be yours.. You are then forced to learn, accept and understand your family’s secretive history and then you are thrown into a quest with limited guidence to save your family’s secret and sacred land..

To be honest, if I could give this book 6 stars, I would!! A unique and fast paced read that integrates contemporary young adult with ninja action and historical reference.. I recommend it to all YA fans..

-Annie

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher

One very cool and geeky read.. 5 Stars!!!

I was first told about this book at a YA book seminar and given my love for the Supanova Convention and books alike, I thought I would appreciate this one… and I did!!! This was such a fun read!! I really enjoyed it..

Ana: uptight, intelligent, from a family who have set high expectations of her is captain of the quiz bowl tournament, involved in archery – engages in extra curricular activities to ensure her place in a top notch college..

Zak: laid back, funny geeky boy into comic conventions and dungeons and dragons, although intelligent, he doesn’t have much focus and is forced into the quiz bowl tournament to graduate high school..

This unlikely pair first meet in the school library then end up on the same team for the quiz bowl tournament that’s on the same weekend as Zak’s favourite annual event- comic convention: WashingCon.. In order to graduate high school, Zak is forced to participate in the quiz bowl tournament which  means – giving up his favourite Con.. However.. One fateful night, both Ana and Zak are forced to go to the convention together!!! and the adventure begins..

I understood the referencing to the comic conventions which I guess is what made it really funny.. such a cool read I found myself giggling to myself when on a public commute.. This would have to be one of my favourites..

-Annie

The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer

What I liked to call “The Aussie Devil Wears Prada..” I rated this debut novel: 5 Stars!!!

I was going through a bit of a rough patch so I picked up this book for a light hearted, humorous read… It really helped me escape reality and brought me a lot of giggles!!!

If you liked “Devil Wears Prada” or if you remember being a fresh uni graduate on the fast track of your career, this read is for you!!! Cheeky.. Smart.. Funny.. this story has the underlying message: “all that glitters is not gold” and “if at first you don’t succeed.. dust yourself off and try again” like all newbies in the real world trying to make it, you get knocked around a bit but perseverance will achieve your goal..

A fast paced story, I remember it only took me about 2 days to read this and it really lifted my spirits.. I also had the pleasure of meeting the author, Gabby as she joined our Read3r’z Re-Vu session not long after I’d read the book, it was very interesting to hear about her journey in writing her debut novel..

Recommended to all fans of YA or those who really need to smile..

For book blurb details, log on to: The Intern on Goodreads.com

 

faking it
Keep an eye out for this 5 star sequel!!!

-Annie