Nullaboo Hullabaloo by Fleur Ferris

In faraway Nullaboo, Gemma Hart’s day isn’t going well. Her family might be evicted from their farm, and her science competition topic is march flies. How can she possibly win against perfect Nina, who gets to study butterflies?

But wait, that’s not a feather in Gemma’s special bug catcher… it’s a fairy!

Janomi the fairy isn’t supposed to talk to humans, but desperately needs help. Her grandfather has been captured by the silver spiders. Gemma agrees to help Janomi, and to keep the fairies’ existence a secret. But her bug catcher has recorded their conversation – and Nina finds it.

With a media frenzy taking over Nullaboo, a secret government agency barges in to take control, and suddenly the fairy colony is under an even bigger threat. Gemma and her kooky family, school and resourceful neighbours must take matters into their own hands in an against-all-odds bid to save the last fairy colony on Earth.

A huge contrast from the first for Young Adult books I have read by Fleur, this book is an amazing magical escapism that is set in an Aussie country town and a book that can be enjoyed by readers as young as 9 years old!! The story was so engaging, the characters were adorable and the adventure was just so much fun. It’s lovely to see magical fairy stores set on farms in Australia and to see rural Australia represented here. So cleverly written. Highly recommended to young readers from 9-12 years old.

With special thanks to Penguin Random House Australia publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Annie

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A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

“Existence is the gift. Life is a choice.”

Lyrical writing, incredible characters, intricate world-building and diverse themes!

As NJ and Annie embark on international travels, they embraced an international read along – special thanks to Netgalley for approving our Advanced Reader Copy request. This was one interesting read along from different parts of the world!!!

“The Lord of Wealth and Treasures Cordially Invites you to The Tournament of Wishes”… reading this novel is like being invited to a fairyland; it guarantees to be a magical, magnificent and awe-inspiring experience with lyrical writing that sparks your imagination. A Crown of Wishes follows the adventures of warrior princess Gauri and the cunning fox prince Vikram in the Tournament of Wishes to win their deepest hearts’ desires. This story is about so many things from self-discovery to the pursuit of power; vengeance and fear; choices and identity, desires and control, as well as love and sacrifice.  It’s an exciting premise for a YA fantasy novel and pays tributes to Chokshi’s previous novel The Star-Touched Queen. This book can be read as a stand-alone irrespective of whether you have or have not read The Star-Touched Queen. A Crown of Wishes has an otherworldliness feel to it and almost anything can happen in the magical, intriguing world of Alaka – at times, the story can be a little disorientating because of all the intricate stories interwoven into the larger story. The magical world of Alaka also follows a different set of rules than traditional fantasy worlds but adds new dimensions to the story. There’s just so much going on and so much to discover! In terms of characters, I enjoyed the hilarious banter between Gauri and Vikram, and Aasha’s story, they’re all characters that you can fall in love with. Overall it’s a great story worth reading.  I recommend this book for readers who loves books like Daughter of Smoke and Bones, Caraval and The Crown’s Game.

Other interesting quotes:

“Here’s how you kill: You stay silent, you make bargains that peel the layers off your soul one by one, you build a scaffolding of flimsy excuses and live your life on them. I may have killed to save, but I killed all the same.” – Roshani Chokshi, A Crown of Wishes

“The quest for power and treasure is a solitary one. Who else is the true enemy in such a quest but ourselves?” – Roshani Chokshi, A Crown of Wishes

“Humanity has nothing to do with what runs withough your veins or shows up on your skin.” – Roshani Chokshi, A Crown of Wishes

– NJ

NJ really sums this up nicely, to be honest I am not a fan of iBooks however I enjoyed this story during my plane ride and during extensive road travels. “A Crown of Wishes” is an intricately written, magnificent story that follows the journey of the heroine, Gauri who is in a world full of magical wonders and creatures of the deep. Lush world building and very imaginative, I was excited to read this after reading this author’s debut novel “The Star Touched Queen”. I found you can still read this as a stand alone regardless of some of the referencing to the first book. This book takes you into a whole new world with a very unique story line.. This is a really enjoyable and intriguing read that I recommend to all fans of YA Fantasy Fiction.

-Annie