Wreck by Fleur Ferris

“Truth without fear”
“Truth is far more potent than lies. It’s as forceful, constant and as indomitable as gravity.. Truthful news may not always be good news, but it’s vital…”

Release Date: July 2017
Published By: Penguin Random House, Australia

Fast paced, action packed and suspenseful, this would have to be the YA thriller of 2017!!Once again, my friend Fleur Ferris is back with her third novel, “Wreck” and once again…
She does not disappoint!!!

This book was simply “unputdownable” and if I didn’t have to work full time I would have finished this book much sooner!! From page one this book really was a page turner, such a suspenseful story!!! “Wreck” is a fantastic story where 2 worlds collide over a 5 year old mystery and a battle for the truth to finally set one free begins. Written in 2 perspectives, Tamara and William, what I loved about this book (besides how well it’s written) was how both voices are very distinguished and each character’s story was set in a different time. One is told in the present and the other’s was set 5 years prior.

In the present day, Tamara is interning at the local paper and is supposed to be celebrating O-Week to start her first year in uni, yet she finds herself roped into a situation where her home was ransacked, her world has just been turned upside and her life is in danger. All this because Tamara randomly found a note – a note that somebody is desperately trying to hide and will kill for. Now on the run and not knowing who to trust (not even the police) Tamara is trying to piece together a jigsaw puzzle that seems to be getting bigger and bigger at every turn.

Even with both perspectives and backstory, the big mystery kept unravelling which raised more questions than answers and made me formulate theories as I went along, what a wild ride that was!! At some parts I was frustrated with the characters but then again, put yourself in their shoes – would we have reacted the same way or would we have known better?

Special thanks to Fleur Ferris for sending me an Advanced Review Copy, can’t believe this is the third novel I have read by Fleur and each time I am left stunned..
GREAT JOB!!

-Annie

Living on Hope Street by Demet Divaroren

A raw, confronting yet important story all Aussies should read…

Living on Hope Street is one confronting story that covers very intense issues that include alcohol fuelled domestic violence and hot topics like immigration and refugees and the hope that stems from breaking down barriers and stereotypes when people unite during challenging times.

We all love someone. We all fear something. Sometimes they live right next door – or even closer..

This story is written from various perspectives of different cultures and ages and each voice is distinguished. Kane will do everything he can to save his mother and little brother Sam from the violence of his father. Kane’s neighbour, Mrs Aslan will protect the boys no matter what – even though her own family is in pieces. Down the road, Ada wants a family she can count on, while she faces new questions about herself. Mr Bailey is afraid of the refugees next door and Gugulethu is just trying to make a life away from terror. This is a diverse neighhourhood where everyone comes from different cultures and different walks of live yet find peace, they need to discover what unites them.

Even with different characters, it was very easy to follow the story, it was quite the page turner.

I found this to be an important story that needed to be told because of the themes covered in this book. It was such a great insight into suburban life today even makes you realize everyone is fighting their own battle in some way. It’s very well written and I would recommend this to fans of Contemporary YA books.

Many thanks to Allen & Unwin Publishers for sending me an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for my honest review. Due for release: June 2017

-Annie

Exclusive Blog Interview with Australian Author: Tara Eglington

Best selling Australian Author, Tara Eglington is a dear friend of Read3r’z Re-Vu and the author of 3 amazing YA novels:
How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You, How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You and My Best Friend is a Goddess.

Here, is our exclusive blog interview with Tara!!!

Tara at Read3r’z Re-Vu as special guest

When did you first get inspiration to write?
It’s hard to actually remember when it officially started. I was obsessed with reading when I was a kid, and I remember writing my own little ‘spin-off’ stories that were inspired by my favourite characters. I know my teachers in high school always assumed that I would do something related to writing for a career, but it was only when I was around 20 that I became obsessed with building a story around a girl who didn’t want to be kissed! I played around with the idea in my mind for around six months, before I officially declared at 21 that I was going to write a book. I then sat down at the computer every day for about 10 months, until I had a finished manuscript. That was How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You, which was published by Harper Collins Australia seven years later.

What is the title of your debut novel and what inspired you to write this book?
My debut novel was “How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You”, which was followed by a sequel “How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You”. My third and most recent novel is “My Best Friend is a Goddess”. “My Best Friend is a Goddess” is the story of two best friends, Emily and Adriana, who in alternating chapters. I was inspired to write Goddess because I wanted to write about the ups and downs of female friendship, as well as touch upon some topics like envy, self-esteem, the pressure on women to be ‘pretty’, first love, and grief. It was also inspired by a painful falling out with a best friend in high school, at the end of Year 10.

Is there any particular reason you chose this genre?
I love writing Young Adult books – I read a crazy amount of YA when I was a teenager, and still read this genre. It’s a fascinating period to write about because the characters are in the process of discovering who they are in terms of their identity, their passions, hopes, and goals, and are experiencing so many things for the first time. I kept a diary from ages 12-22, and I have drawn upon some of these experiences (like the lost friendship) in my novels. I love re-reading these diaries as there are so many emotionally charged entries! The diary entry in Goddess where Emily talks about how frustrated she is because she feels like she’s always being judged by her appearance – ‘I want to believe that ‘Pretty’ isn’t everything’ – was inspired by a very similar diary entry I made at 15.

What’s the name of your favourite book?
“Anne of Green Gables.” I first read it at 14, and I still love it. Anne and Gilbert were one of the inspirations for the Aurora/Hayden dynamic in “How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You”. Another favourite is “I Capture the Castle” – it’s the story of a 17 year old girl, Cassandra, who lives with her artistic, eccentric family in a decaying English castle – the story is told through Cassandra’s diary entries, and it’s a coming-of-age story set in the 1930’s. There was a film a few years back, but the book is far, far superior.

What’s the first book you ever read?
The first book would have been a picture book, but I can’t recall what one! I do remember reading “Heidi” at age six, and I became obsessed with it. I desperately wanted to live in a cabin in the mountains of Switzerland!!!

Where is your favourite place to read?
In bed, on the weekend. When I’m not writing a new novel I really take the opportunity to indulge in reading. When I’m in writer mode, most of my weekend is spent at the computer, so I go through long periods where I don’t have time to pick up a book. When I’m on break, I start trying to make my way through the stacks of TBR’s that I’ve acquired from online buying sessions via Booktopia.

If you’re not reading or writing, what would you be doing?
Cooking! Or watching a cooking program – my favourite way to relax is to watch “Master Chef” or Netflix’s “Chef’s Table.” Some of the chefs are so incredibly clever and creative – if I wasn’t an author, I would love to do something with food.

If you had the chance to have a dinner date with any fictional literary character, who would it be, where would it be and why?
L M Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables) – she is my favourite writer, and there are so many questions I would like to ask her about her characters and her experience as a writer in another era, when being a female writer was incredibly unusual (she lived from 1874-1942). I’d love the dinner to be on Prince Edward Island, Canada, which is where Anne of Green Gables was set, as I have always dreamt of visiting!

What was the last book you read? (title/genre/author/rating out of 5 stars)
The Golden Child by Wendy James (Australian author). It was a real page turner – I’d rate it 4.5 stars!

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever received from a fan?
The coolest thing I ever had a reader do was when Amanda, The Bookish Manicurist created nails that were How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You themed! They were amazing and even featured little Aurora’s! Photo Courtesy: The Bookish Manicurist

If your life was turned into a movie, who would you like to play you?
Hmmmm. Tough one. I can’t think of an actress that looks similar to me….my husband suggested Blake Lively, which was unexpected and flattering, so I’ll go with that!

As an author, what was the best piece of advice you were ever given?
The advice that I would pass on to anyone else who wants to write, is to have confidence in yourself. Listen to constructive feedback from those within the industry, and work on becoming a better writer, but you also have to cultivate a fierce inner determination and optimism.

The other advice I would give is that writing requires sacrifice. Generally that sacrifice is time – and unfortunately, unless you write full time, you’ll have to carve out writing time from what remains after a full working week. Sadly, this is often time that you would spend relaxing, seeing friends or family. I try to juggle what I can, but some area always suffers, it’s unavoidable. You can’t manage everything. Each novel I write is two years of work, and I do have to say ‘no’ and even though I feel guilty about it, I make sacrifices in my personal life to make deadlines, and to achieve big goals. If your family and friends love you, and value what you are trying to achieve, then they will understand. I then try to give more to these areas when I’m on break between novels.

Hmmm. Rather than a particular statement or piece of advice, I think what helped me the most was the confidence that my English teachers in high school, instilled in me. One of my English teachers was formerly an editor at quite a few of the well-known Publishing houses in the UK and Australia, and when she learned through the grapevine that I hoped to be a novelist one day, she actually approached me after class and said seriously ‘I think you can achieve that goal.’ That was huge for me. After I wrote my first novel (which was at that point, un-signed) and other people would tell me that the odds of being published were close to impossible, I always still had that quiet confidence within me that said ‘No, I will be published.’

The Top 10: This or That

Ice cream or Ice Block?
Ice cream!

Library or Bookstore?
That’s like choosing your favourite child! Libraries I think, because they were my saving grace growing up in a small town – a portal to a myriad of different worlds!

Vegemite or Peanut Butter?
Vegemite! I wouldn’t cope without it! I feel like it’s one of those ‘cure all’s for any ailment 😉

Chicken or Beef?
I’m a vegetarian actually! ;-/

Winter or Summer?
Tough one. Used to be summer, but now that I ski, winter has become more of a favourite. I have to have mountains around – snow and mountains make winter magical!

Tea or Coffee?
Coffee by a mile! My husband is an amateur barista, so we drink a lot of it!

Favourite Chocolate:
Haighs

Favourite Colour:
Burgundy!

Ultimate Holiday Destination:
The Maldives! I’m obsessed…mostly because I love snorkelling and spying on fish “Under da sea, under da sea….”

When reading, I love to eat/drink:
Summer fruits – peaches, nectarines, apricots…

Famous last words:
“Imagine if” – that’s the writer-brain in action! 

Make sure you get a hold of Tara’s books.. they’re a lot of fun to read!!!
They are the pinnacle of contemporary YA reads!!!

  

Tara would love to hear from readers, so please feel free to say hello via:
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/taraeglington/
Instagram:  http://instagram.com/taraeglington
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/taraeglington

Special thanks to Tara Eglington for spending her time with Read3r’z Re-Vu, we hope to see you again and best wishes for your next project!!! Please keep in touch!!!

-Interview compiled by Annie

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde BLOG TOUR

TIME TO GET YOUR GEEK ON!!!

Three Friends – Two Love Stories – One Convention
-FUN FUN FUN!!!-

Wow, this book was a lot of fun to read! It was so entertaining from start to finish, I virtually smashed this book in about 2 days! I love reading stories that are set at what I call “geek conventions” as I am big fan of pop culture myself so I really get wrapped up in entertaining reads like this one that follows BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie who go to the SupaCon with expectations of an epic time but what they don’t expect is it will change their lives forever. I found it easy to place myself with the characters and following their journey in this book even though they switched from one character to another throughout the story. What I found unique and quite clever about this book was how the relationships between the characters were beautifully woven into the story and the strong representation of diversity within the characters. A fun, humorous story relating to strong friendships regardless of diversity and covers important themes through a positive story.


Here’s a quick Q&A with the talent behind “Queens of Geek” Jen Wilde!!

What kind of research was involved in writing Queens of Geek?
A lot! I spent hours and hours researching everything from lines at conventions to character stereotypes and tropes to avoid. I watched YouTube videos and read blogs and found twitter chats about writing different characters. I read up on autism and anxiety too, because even though I am autistic and anxious, my experiences are not the only experiences of it. I listened to what other writers and readers were saying about both harmful and positive representation and applied it to my work. There’s a wealth of knowledge out there for writers and I think I must have devoured it all, and still do. 

The book cover for Queens of Geek is GORGEOUS. How much of a say did you have in the final cover?Thank you! I’m obsessed with it! The designer came up with four amazing covers, and then Swoon Reads opened up voting so people could choose their favorite. This cover had my heart from the moment I saw it, so I was secretly hoping it would get the most votes, and it did!

Can you recommend a few LGBT YA novels you’re loving at the moment? 
Oh, it’s so hard to choose! I love Everything Leads to You, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, You Know Me Well, and Juliet Takes a Breath. I’ve also got When The Moon Was Ours, Tash Hearts Tolstoy, and Meg and Linus on my TBR.

Special thanks to Pan Macmillan Publishers for approaching me to be part of this Blog Tour and for sending me an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Annie

Girl in Between by Anna Daniels -BLOG TOUR-

Anna Daniel’s Debut Aussie YA Rom-Com!!

A funny and heart warming, coming of age story of a character who is in her early thirties going through a life transition and having to makelife decisions. This was a story I was able to connect to as I am in my early thirties and I was at a crossroads myself (thankfully this was only career wise for me). But it is true – when you hit a milestone age or when you are in your early thirties and life changing incidents hit, you stop and reflect on what you have done with your adult life over the last 10 years then realise it’s the dawn of a new era – time to make some decisions.. Although this was YA fiction – the author really hits the nail on the head as it has a touch of reality in it.

Girl in Between focuses on Lucy when her love life falls through, she ends up moving back with her parents which no doubt is not easy for someone who’s lived independently then moving back home with their parents. In addition – she’s stuck between dealing with a break up, chasing her dream and hearing the constant nagging from her parents about a reality check. What gets Lucy through is her out there bestie Rosie.

This book is well named!
She’s
stuck between relationships, career choices and family..
What choices does Lucy have to make to have her dream and
will Lucy work out what she really wants to do in life and who she wants to share it with?

A warm, upbeat and hilarious story featuring an interesting line up of characters you come to care about and like me, have giggle moments from start to finish.

BOOK CREDIT
Girl in Between by Anna Daniels is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99, available now.

BOOK TRAILER
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc6TIesdNuQ

SOCIAL MEDIA
Twitter: @annadtweets
Insta: @annamdaniels
Website: http://www.annamdaniels.com

E-STORE LINKS
Amazon
iBooks
Booktopia

Special thanks to Allen & Unwin Publishers for sending me an Advanced Review Copy and having me as part of their Blog Tour!!!
-Annie

Begin. End. Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology edited by Danielle Binks

Captivating, Diverse, Thoughtful and Witty!
This is the YA Event of 2017!!!

           Instagram: read3rz_revu

The authors who contributed to this great YA anthology:
Amie Kaufman, Will Kostakis, Alice Pung, Michael Pryor, Melissa Keil, Ellie Marney, Lili Wilkinson, Gabrielle Tozer, Danielle Binks and Jaclyn Moriarty.

My immediate thought after reading the anthology is that it’s possibly the most diverse anthology ever compiled. Well done Danielle Binks and the authors! This book is unmistakably Aussie, it contains captivating short stories that make your heart melt. This anthology does not shy away from real topics, it’s loads of fun to read and each story has a unique premise. Themes explored includes love, acceptance, family, politics and coming of age. This anthology covers all the glory of coming of age angst set in interesting settings like bus rides, space, Mars, time travel booths and even tunnels! I particularly enjoyed the relatable and concrete characters. You will find that some of the stories are written with the dry Aussie humour and wit, and some written with great thoughtfulness and consideration. I would love to see the stories become actual novels. This is a great read to get your hands on, it attests to why we love OZ YA novels! Each short story holds its own, with compelling writing and fantastic characters, it’s no doubt a great anthology.
– NJ

This YA Anthology is a brilliant compilation of short stories written by fantastic Aussie YA authors that make you laugh, cry, cringe even ponder on some of the issues that are raised each story. To be honest, it really is difficult to choose a favourite as every story was fantastic in its own way – from the writing style, witty dialogue to even the plot or diverse themes represented. As this was an anthology, I decided to be different and not read this in chronological order. I read each story randomly and “tabbed off” each story until I finished (pictured below). I really enjoyed it as I would reward myself each night with a short story after work. It was easy to immerse myself in each one and also got closure at the end of each short story. Some stories I refused to read at night time (lol) some I could related to the character either due to personality or cultural background. This YA Anthology was such a great idea!! I really did love how unique and diverse the stories are and I highly recommend this to all YA fans.
-Annie

   this is how I ‘tabbed off’ each story

Many thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for sending us a review copies in exchange for our honest reviews.

#LoveOzYA

Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim

“Maybe in the nightfall, we will find the true light.”

A heart-rending story set in real-life dystopian history of China’s cultural revolution. A story of friendship, hope, and freedom.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Freedom Swimmer, I was attracted to this book initially because there weren’t many books written in English on the cultural revolution in China. During the revolution period of 1962-1976 people living in China had to use ration tickets in exchange for food, clothing and furniture. This was a period where family members turned against each other, teachers and business owners publically whipped and shamed for being “exploitative”, and young students recruited to the Red Guard to spread the words of Mao Zedong (Chairman Mao). Mao Zedong’s words and ideology brainwashed and manipulated a generation of young men and women, putting them through unimaginable suffering, separating them from their families and “re-educating” their ideals; in short, robbing people of their freedom to choose and think for themselves.

Freedom Swimmer is the first Young Adult (YA) novel I have come across that explores such a complex period in China’s history through the eyes of two 17-year-old boys (Li and Ming). Ming and Li questioned the suffering that they were made to witness and endure, coming to terms with the impact of the cultural revolution and famine on their family and friends. For a better life, they’ve decided to swim for freedom through shark-infested waters to Hong Kong. Ming and Li’s story is written with so much heart and soul; at times it was gut-wrenching. There were some truly heartbreaking moments that you just have to read for yourself. The themes of friendship, coming-of-age, love and hope contrast wonderfully against this real-life dystopian backdrop which made the characters highly relatable despite the story setting in a different time and culture. Freedom Swimmer was also inspired by the author’s father’s experience and his real-life freedom swim from China to Hong Kong. This is truly a notable and unique read if you’re after a book with depth and insight, or is interested in reading about a real dystopian period in recent history.  This book is highly relevant today given the issues concerning the plight of refugees/asylum seekers, as Ming’s father said to him in Freedom Swimmer –“it doesn’t matter where they’re from, all desperate men are the same.” I highly recommend this read!

– NJ