There’s something about historical fiction that seems to engage me. Here, we’re in 1577 with a political war upon us. Queen Elizabeth I is in power and Mary Queen of Scots is imprisoned. Witch Hunters exist, with women burned at the stake for their apparent witchcraft. England is in the middle of a battle between these rival queens, and in the midst of it is our protagonist: Alyce Greenliefe.
As I mentioned before, historical fiction intrigues me. Even though we know what has happened in history, reading someone’s creative take is always fascinating. In this, Bowling takes an interesting turn by focussing on the supernatural side. What if witches did exist? What if witches played a big part in the political war between Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots? Dark and fascinating, Witchborn gives us a different perspective on this time in history.
Stereotypically speaking, being a teenager can be rough. Hormones go crazy, emotions run wild, and everything can feel like the end of the world. Mix that in with a divorce, not speaking to a parent for a number of years, and a once-loved hobby turning into the most-hated task, then you have yourself a young adult ready to fight and rebel. This is exactly what you get at the beginning of this story, but behind the hard and rebellious mask is someone a little bit more complicated.
Nicholas Sparks is a loved author for a reason. Although the description above makes it sound like some stereotypical young adult story, it’s a very well-crafted book with a roller-coaster of emotions from beginning to end. We enter into the life of Ronnie, who is ‘forced’ to stay with her father over the summer break. Obviously, this is the worst thing since, like, ever. As we strap ourselves in, we realise just how complicated Ronnie is, and that we really can’t judge a book by its cover.
Having a family is not an uncommon dream. To have your own child in your arms and to grow as a small community with memories, stories and love is something to cherish. It’s not for everyone, so some people choose to not take that road. For some, it’s not a choice. For some, it’s an unfortunate situation of genetics, hormones and other biological factors that stops the dream from becoming a reality. Sing You Home takes us on a journey of pain, desire and unconditional love, with an unborn child stuck in the middle of the concept of a traditional family and a person’s lifelong dream.
This story is a rollercoaster. Right from the beginning, our hearts are broken just as Zoe’s, one of the main characters, is when she loses her unborn baby. Then, her marriage breaks down and emotions run high. Max, the ex-husband, goes back to drinking and nearly dies, finding Jesus in his near-death experience. And then there’s Vanessa, a school counsellor with her own interesting story, who provides Zoe with the comfort and love that she needs. You have these three complicated characters, so you better be ready for the emotions you’ll feel reading this book.
I received a free ARC (advanced reading copy) of this book from the writer in exchange for an honest review.
Fire, water, earth and air. Key elements that represent four schools in this interesting and intricately planned story. The first instalment in a series, The Legends of Eve: A Warrior’s Past brings us into the world of Gaia, where three schools—Groundstone, Fujita and Sereni—prosper and see students who master the elements of earth, air and water. Harahm’be—the school of fire, or the ‘forbidden school’—has existed with no new students roaming within its halls… until now.
This book is a combination of young adult and fantasy. It has depth in its lore and combines the conflict between war and teenage angst to build a fun and engaging story. There are two plot lines running in parallel, which allows there to be extra insight into what is happening and keeps the reader guessing. Before they know it, they are thrown into the face of an ongoing conflict, one that continues to repeat itself in the circle of time. Do generations repeat themselves? Is there anyway for these teenagers to change this circle of time? Who is this ‘boy who never lived’? There is only one way to find out, and that is to strap yourselves in for this story and get ready for what’s to come.
It’s definitely an interesting title. It gets straight to the point, which I like! This story is about a guy who suffers from a porn addiction. Yep, you might be sitting there reading this thinking ‘what? You can get addicted to porn?’ Guess what? You can get addicted to pretty much anything! No matter the addiction, it can have an impact on your life. So, to those out there who don’t think it’s possible, maybe you should pick this book up!
The author, Mr Socially Awkward, asked me to read this book. As I have said previously, I’ll give most books a try and provide an honest review on what I thought. Firstly, although this story is written to inform and help people in a similar situation, I’d recommend kids not reading this. Secondly, it is very short but it does get straight to the point, which I think is important for a book like this one. Thirdly, although the writing could be refined and tidied up, I must admit I did enjoy reading this story! It’s insightful, authentic and really provides an honest picture of the author.
Have you ever watched the Tour Down Under, the Tour de France, or any cycling race and thought what it would be like to be amongst them? To be riding side by side by other sweaty, gritted teeth riders pushing themselves to the absolute limit? You might even go a step further and want to know what the riders are thinking about or how they’re feeling. Either way, this might just be the book for you.
I suppose the same can be said for a lot of professional sports. I’m quite interested in most sports although I don’t play a lot myself. I enjoy them because of the intricate skills these people have that put them above others who play the same sport. What journey did they go on to get to where they are now? That might be the storyteller in me curious to know more about the people and their life story, but nonetheless it is something I think quite a few people might feel the same way about. The Rider by Tim Krabbé does exactly that—it puts you into the mind of a cyclist (Tim Krabbé himself) and answers the question about what it is that runs through their heads when they are riding.
We all dream about what it would be like if all the stars aligned and we were able to work and live doing the things we love. We may enjoy the job that we’re in or the life that we are living, but if we had to sit ourselves down and think about what it is we want the most, would it be what we have now? The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho really brings this into perspective by sitting us down and getting us to think ‘what is my Personal Legend?’.
I had never heard of this book until I heard it in a Macklemore song. Then, after hearing that, people around me were talking about this amazing little story that was inspiring them. Then, I was recommended to read it from someone at work. Now, here we are, and I am one of those people saying how inspiring it is. It is such a simple story. There are no extravagant passages of fancy descriptions. There are just simple, straight to the point paragraphs that tell an inspiring story about listening to our hearts and doing what we love.
A story of self-discovery and major characterisation, This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a rollercoaster ride of emotions written in beautiful, poetic language. It follows the protagonist, Amory Blaine, who is born into a wealthy family and goes through his life experiencing how unpredictable it really is. It’s not your average story. It almost seems like a character profile from beginning to end, where we learn about one person and how they become who they turn out to be, which I suppose we could say for a lot of creative works. However, this one is a little more prominent in that regards.
I’ll be honest, this isn’t a book you pick up and expect obvious twists, turns, rises and falls. If you do expect that then you might be a little disappointed. This book has its climax by evoking emotion and thought by delivering deep philosophy, intense heartbreak and interesting advice that we can all follow. Although it didn’t have the action or intense scenes as other books I have read recently, I was still drawn into the story by the beautiful and artistic words that painted such extraordinary images in my mind and had me thinking of how much I related to the story of Amory Blaine.
If you're looking for a long series that will take you on an emotional ride of a life time, then look no further. The Tomorrow series by John Marsden is a young adult series that hits home for anyone who reads it, kicking off in the first book Tomorrow, When the War Began. As you can guess by that title, it is a series about war. However, if you're not into reading about war, guns and action, you may still like this series due to the emotional depth it has.
Imagine you're in high school and you're just about to finish or about to head into your final year. You're full of excitement (I know I was) and all you want to do is celebrate with your friends and show off your new independence now that you're totally a fully-fledged adult at the age of 17 or 18. Maybe you go out to clubs and party more often, or maybe you catch up on weekends more to talk about future work or university. For Ellie and her friends, they go camping. Not just with the girls either. Yep, you heard right, they get to bring the boys along too. It becomes a fantastic getaway to hang out, relax and enjoy the Australian outback... until the planes come.
Since this is the final book of the series, this review may have some spoilers in it. If you don’t want to ruin the book and want to read it for yourself, I recommend not reading past this paragraph. If you’ve stumbled upon this review looking for something about the series, go check out the review for the first book Tomorrow, When the War Began.
Here we are at the end of a long series following the life of Ellie and her friends as they battle their way through this war. If you thought some of the previous books had some action, let me tell you it definitely gets more intense in this final instalment! Right from the beginning we're thrown into it, with New Zealand bringing in a helicopter and a captain to deliver some useful artillery for the teenagers. They had one request, which was for Ellie and co. to start bringing the fight back to the enemy. Nothing huge if they didn't feel up to it, but enough for the enemy to turn their focus away from the main front.
It's already sounding intense, right? I must admit, this book really does bring it home. There are some scenes that are pretty full on, particularly later in the story (I'll get into them in a moment!), but if you've been on this journey from the beginning, you're in for a wild ride to end it all!
Charlotte is a reading and writing lover who has completed a creative writing intensive course at the University of Oxford and is a current university student studying a double degree in journalism and creative writing. If you are curious to learn more, check out the 'About' page.