2016… that’s a wrap!!!

Read3r’z Re-Vu: what an epic 2016 season!!!

This was the year Read3r’z Re-Vu celebrated their 7th successful year!! In reflecting and celebrating the network’s achievements, Read3r’z Re-Vu hosted their Black and White party in April with special guest authors: Will Kostakis (author of The First Third and The Sidekicks) and Queenie Chan (author of Fabled Kingdom). An epic night of reminiscence and new memories. The sessions got better and better as we had even more authors join our sessions as special guests this season – special thanks to authors Maria Lewis (author of Who’s Afraid?), Mitchell Hogan (author of Crucible of the Souls), Melina Marchetta (author of Looking for Alibrandi, Saving Francesca, Finnikin of the Rock and On the Jelicoe Road), Shivaun Plozza (author of Frankie), Helen Thurloe (author of Promising Azra), Tamar Chnorkian (author of The Diet Starts on Monday), Tara Eglington (author of How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You, How to Convince a Boy to Kiss You and My Bestfriend is a Goddess) and Kirsty Eagar (author of Summer Skin). Your time in joining us and sharing your experience with us is greatly appreciated and we cherish the friendships we formed and hope to keep in touch with you.

When Read3r’z Re-Vu were not hosting sessions, the network was busy leaving their mark on the history books from attending enlightening Publisher events that get us photographed on their publications to attending exclusive blogger night and book launch events. We also had the pleasure of hosting high tea with some great authors – international author Maria V. Snyder (author of the Poison Study series) who, while touring Australia from The U.S, spent exclusive time with us and Australian Authors Fiona Wood (author of Cloudwish and Wildlife) and Alison Goodman (author of Eon, Eona and Lady Helen and The Dark Days Club). It was such an amazing and unique experience for Read3r’z Re-Vu to have this quality time with our favourite authors.

October was yet another memorable month – having hosted our very first, impromptu Read3r’z Re-Vu Mini Conference in the Sydney CBD. In light of the sudden cancellation of the Book Expo, The Read3r’z Re-Vu Committee reached out to bloggers, readers and authors from far and wide who travelled in for the Expo to come together for a Conference. It was a day of epic proportions. Many thanks to Pantera Press Publishers who brought Wanda Wiltshire (author of the Betrothed Series) and Baz Michael Radburn (author of Blackwater Moon and Taylor Bridges Series) to join us as special guests for our panel. Also special thanks to Queenie Chan (author of Fabled Kingdom) and Cathy A. Wilson and Cathy T. Wilson (authors of the Lions and Lilies Series) who also joined us as special guests. We also held a segment about Bloggers VS Vloggers which was enlightening and played some fun games for light entertainment. In light of this mini conference’s success, Read3r’z Re-Vu are planning to host a conference towards the end of 2017. The conference was followed by an epic Q&A with panel of talented authors from Cohesion Press at Galaxy Bookshop.

Having launched our blog in February, followed by growing social media platforms, the network reached out to many readers, bloggers and publishing houses across Australia and around the world – making new friendships that no doubt will last a lifetime. With it, the network also continued their selfless charity work by sending donations to troubled areas around the world to assist with immediate relief as well as donating gifts to the K-Mart wishing tree for disadvantaged children. The network continues to grow and the committee continue to work together to bring members exciting sessions and events that keeps everyone passionate about reading. 2017 proves to be an epic year ahead with epic themes and special guest authors lined up for the sessions as well as book publisher show cases, book launches and bookstore crawls planned for the first 2 months of the year!!! community charity work projects are also on the cards and the committee are working on potentially hosting a conference towards the end of the year.

With all the fun events Read3r’z Re-Vu took part in, there was always time to pick up a great book to read.. here are some of the titles that really made it to our favourites this year!!! (in no order of preference)

Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

The Things I Didn’t Say by Kylie Fornasier

Illuminae/Gemina by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers

Who’s Afraid by Maria Lewis

The Fall of Butterflies by Andrea Portes

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

The Crowns Game by Evelyn Skye

Pig the Elf by Aaron Blabey

Small Things by Meg Treggonning

Mechanica: A beginners Guide by Lance Balchin

Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Yukarism (Manga) by China Shiomi

Fire Boy by Sami Shah

Nona and Me by Clare Atkins

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Unrivaled by Alyson Noel

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

When Michael met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub

Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar

Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz

Valentine by Jodi McAlister

Black Jade by Kylie Chan

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by JK Rowling (screenplay)

From a fantastic year of 2016 to an even bigger year of 2017, Read3r’z Re-Vu would love to thank all members and followers for a great season and we wish you all the best for the new year ahead!!! May it be a great one filled with awesome new reads, happiness and accomplishments.. make it count and make it yours…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The illusion of power is just as great as power

Advanced Review Copy – 5 Star Rating
Book due for release: December 2016
This has been voted as one of my favourite reads for the year!!!

Synopsis
In a world with elements of Indian culture that relies on horoscopes to dictate fate, Maya is deemed to be cursed with a horoscope that promises marriage of death and destruction. She is feared by those among her in her father’s kingdom however her father – the Raja – arranges her marriage to retain political and diplomatic ties to diffuse the rebellion happening in the outskirts of the kingdom. Although Maya wishes to live a life that is hers, she agrees to this arrangement and prepares herself for a life of a submissive and obedient wife. However, on the day of the “selection” she meets Amar – a candidate promising her a life of equality – a life of her own and takes her to a place called Akaran. Captivated by the promise of an equal partnership with her new husband, Maya embarks on her new journey to Akaran only to find that Akaran has its own secrets— locked doors, gardens of glass, a tree that bears memories instead of fruit and an ancient mystery. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger and questions the trust she put into her new husband…

My thoughts:
This was an amazing read!!! I found it to be so elegantly written and I also found this unique story took me into a world you where at first I thought it was an Arabian Nights theme – then thought it’s an old Indian tale as the author draws on saris, the Night Bazaar and Indian culture however it transported me into a whole new realm I never thought possible! I was engrossed in this book from page 1 and what I liked so much about this book was how unpredictable it was. At one stage I thought I had a handle on the concept only to be turned to a whole different direction. With such intricate world/realm building and plot development, I strongly advise the reader to not be subject to any distraction while reading this as the mystery, twists and turns can get a little mind boggling and you may need to re-read the last paragraph or two to get your head around what just happened. I highly recommend this book to all YA fantasy fiction fans looking for a unique story/concept with elements of cultural representation and an ancient mystery that keeps you guessing and hanging for an answer… You won’t regret reading this!!

Many thanks to Harlequin Teen Publishers for sending me and Advanced Review Copy in exchange for my honest review

-Annie

Rebel of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Collective Blog from some avid readers in Read3r’z Re-Vu who engaged in an epic “whattsapp read along” What is a whattsapp read along you ask? it’s a tech savvy way to enjoy a read long with friends in a group chat on the app “Whattsapp”.. Ground rules: updates are spoiler free – use emoticons when can – updates are feels + page or chapter number – engage in full discussion upon everyone’s completion of the book… Here are the reviews…

Rebel of the Sands (synopsis found on Goodreads.com)
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands. Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from. Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him… or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

Magic, Adventure, Myth and Legends – 4.5 stars!
After reading The Wrath and The Dawn, I wanted to read another middle-eastern fairy tale inspired story containing heroic characters, adventure and plot twists; Rebel of the Sands did not disappoint. It’s action-packed, easy to read, contains witty characters that make you want to read on,  plot twists that I did not see coming and mystical beasts which made the world sensational. Highly recommended for YA fantasy  readers that like a plot-driven story, adventure quests, strong characters and magical powers. The cover is also gorgeous, I loved the texture, it really enhanced the reading experience!
– NJ

Another epic read to add to a list of 2016 favourites.. Although I was the last to finish, I enjoyed the read along I did with members of Read3r’z Re-Vu! For this book, you can judge a book by the beautiful cover!!! From page 1, the story really pulls you into a world where you’re thinking Arabian nights meets quick draw at a Texan saloon.. Where you meet a girl who dresses up as a boy and enters shooting games to simply to get away from a life that is dictated to her and win enough money to escape.. A tale that keeps you on the edge of your seat , turning the page and even hating some characters!!! I highly recommend this story to YA fans, particularly fans of fantasy fiction and those who have yet to tap into the Arabian nights theme.. I am yearning for the sequel now!! A 5 Star Read!!!
-Annie

I bought a copy of this book because of its sunning cover and I was not disappointed!! The story is a cross between an Arabian nights adventure and a Western with a tough heroine and some (but not a lot) of romance to boot. What it also has is gunslinging, good pacing and plenty of twists and turns plus a healthy dose of Middle Eastern Folklore and magical creatures! If that sounds right up your alley, pick this up because I sure can’t wait for book 2!!!
-Queenie

OK.. WOW!!! I am speechless… Rebel of the Sands draws you in and doesn’t let you go. I loved this book, I was the last to start and one of the first to finish this read along.. I found this to be a YA about coming of age story as the character was figuring out who she is.. A classic mix of Arabian nights and fantasy fiction, waiting for the sequel now..
-Meredith

This fantasy-western I rate 4 stars pulls you in rom the first few pages and doesn’t let go. Amani is trying to write her own story within her misogynistic world. This action packed novel had me turning the pages, eager to find out what was going to happen next. I really enjoyed this story. The only thing that stopped it being a 5 star rating was at times, I felt the pacing was a bit off. However, Amani’s story had my full attention and I have high hopes for the next book in the series!!!
-Amanda

I guess my tastes are different as I couldn’t really get into this book – the world didn’t seem real to me and the characters seemed a bit out of place. For a country which was at the heart of industrialisation, it didn’t seem like it. The American wild west + magic with Arabian names didn’t exactly grab me either. I would say this more suited to YA fans who enjoy fantasy fiction – it was worth reading though, I gave it at least a 3 star rating..
-Vaughan

The Crown by Keira Cass

The 5th and final instalment of The Selection Series – ends with 4.5 stars!!!

From the first book of the series “The Selection”, I always described this series as The Bachelor meets Cinderella in a Dystopian Setting… As the story continues, The country of Illea still uphold their tradition of ‘The Selection’ when their heiress is born – Eadlyn Schreave. When Eadlyn became the first princess and was to hold her own Selection, she felt rather rebellious and was certain she would not give her heart to any of the 35 suitors and was doing all she can to send them all home however as different incidents transpire at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the public spotlight, she realizes that she may just have to embrace The Selection and to choose a suitor for a husband after all…

All I can say is finally I have closure to a pretty awesome series I have read for awhile, I would like to rate this one 4.5 stars… There were major twists I didn’t see coming towards the end however during the previous book, I did have a theory but then felt it was too far fetched only to realise, I really should have put money on it!!! A fast paced and very enjoyable read.. An ending to a series you would not believe..

Many thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for sending me a copy for a review!!
-Annie

The Siren by Kiera Cass

4 star read…

The Siren was an enticing read. I fell in love with the cover, I mean who wouldn’t? At times The Siren felt slow paced but was melodic in its delivery. The story was somewhat morbid because the Ocean was frighteningly complex, Her ubiquitous presence felt sinisterly intriguing, and Her love all encompassing yet demented. I thoroughly enjoyed the touching love story of Akinli and Kahlen, as well as Kahlen’s relationship with her sisters. The Siren is a morbidly enchanting tale of love, loss and friendship. A great read for a rainy day.

Here’s a quote that I liked:

“Maybe I had to exist in constant sadness. She told me to live…I didn’t know how to tell Her that simply being alive was not enough to be called living.”

The Siren Video
Click on the picture to watch The Siren book trailer. I absolutely adore the haunting music lyrics written by Kiera Cass!
Click here to read the book blurb on Goodreads.

-NJ