Ramblings of a Young Aussie Writer

A writer lost in her own imagination

And I’m Back…… — October 16, 2019

And I’m Back……

After a long absence, I’m back! In my time away, I’m suddenly a lot older, not much wiser, started a new career and now have a tiny human to keep alive. So needless to say not too much has changed. Couped up with a toddler, I’ve sorely missed blogging and the need to share my daily child wrangling fun, writing experiences and crazy thoughts. My is burning into my fingertips yearn to document the crazy thoughts in my head.

Motherhood has changed me more than I thought it could. I didn’t realise that small humans were THAT helpless for THAT long! Being a stay at home mum has been bittersweet. I love my small human, she’s fantastic but I miss being able to be something other than a mum. I’m thankful that I’m studying my degree to be a teacher and have to use my intellect for more than just outsmarting a toddler.

Writing has taken a backseat as I focus on my degree, being domestic and wrangling the small human, and I’m devastated about that. I’m currently on a break which has given me the opportunity to fire up my blog again – even if it’s only for my own sanity.

My strange musings will be posted on this blog and I’d love to make blogging friends. Now to fix up the look of this blog and get writing!

Family!
The First Chapter — February 17, 2017

The First Chapter

Kindle and Apple ibooks have free eBook samples of many books and personally, I think it’s a fantastic idea. From a reader’s perspective, this is a great way to see if a book appeals to your interest before buying it. From an author’s perspective, I’d say this would put a lot more pressure on them to write a first chapter that will ensnare the reader into the story you’ve created.

For those who have had books traditionally published, they’ve already had to impress the publishing company to get their book published. The problem with that, is impressing a few people is a whole world different to impressing millions of people worldwide.

Without these free first chapter samples, the most important part was writing a blurb that would entice people to buy your book, especially on the eBook front. With these free exerts, the first chapter needs to be almost as good as the blurb but no pressure or anything.

On a positive note for authors, at least if someone reads the sample and decides the book is unappealing to them, they won’t be leaving a one star review.

Naturally, a fantastic first chapter doesn’t ensure a great storyline but hey, at least the first chapter was great.

Of course when it comes to print books, well, if the cover is great then at the very worst it will look good on your bookshelf.

 

 

3.5* Book Review – Iniquity by Amy A Bartol (The Premonition Series) — June 26, 2016

3.5* Book Review – Iniquity by Amy A Bartol (The Premonition Series)

Iniquity – The Premonition Series (Book 5)

Amy A Bartol

3.5 Star Review

I’ve finally finished the series that I thought would never end. I feel like it has dragged on for way too long. It just felt like overkill. I understand that as a writer, sometimes you love writing about those characters and that world so much you never want it to end but there needs to be a conclusion. It might be a bit of a spoiler but there were loose ends at the end of the book. Clearly, Amy Bartol has left a few things open just in case she wants to add a sixth book. *Groan*

Positives The cover is just beautiful – lets take a moment to appreciate that. I really enjoy Amy Bartol’s style of writing, probably most of the reason I persevered with this series (and of because of Reed). The basic storyline was great but I’ve heard that she doesn’t always plan her storyline when starting and I think that showed. I love Reed. How can you not? The ending certainly does him justice. Russell is really well developed and I wished he had had a bigger role in this book. I actually ended up liking Brennus which is no easy feat as I’ve wanted him to die from book one. You were shown very different sides to quite a few characters in this book. I did end up crying at the end of the book but that’s not too uncommon. Evie was well, Evie. There were quite a few moments where she certainly didn’t try that hard to deter some of her many admirers.

NegativesHow many admirers can one person have? Like seriously? I swear the count got up to seven. Yes you read correctly. Evie had a minimum of seven males obsessing over her. There was a lot of build up to a climax that just didn’t live up to it. A few pages and the spectacular climax scene was basically over. It was certainly a letdown. Especially considering this is the final book, the final fight scene. Buns, Brownie and Zee seemed like awkward add-ons in this book which was a shame. A lot of things that needed to be finished properly were just skimmed over. I enjoy finishing a book and still thinking about it days/weeks later but with this one I mostly just keep thinking of things that still confuse me. Whether they were unexplained or left too open, I’m not sure.

Overall I did enjoy this book and was glad it was the final one in the series. Would I recommend it to someone? Maybe. The series as a whole, I loved but it was really long-winded, that was its downfall for me (and of course the fact that there were more than a few handfuls of past, present and future lovers). The best bit – Reed. Now let’s take a moment to once again swoon over Reed. Ahhhh Reed, you gorgeous, perfect angel.

*All my reviews are on Goodreads too*

Addicted To Reading — March 1, 2015

Addicted To Reading

I swear that people know when I stay up till the early hours of the morning reading because all of a sudden everyone needs me. If I went to bed at 8pm like a good girl I bet no-one would need me for days. Ughh, I’m so tired but I REGRET NOTHING haha. Now to go on autopilot until I can sleep again or read, most probably I’ll just read rather than sleep because heaven forbid I sleep when I haven’t finished my book yet!

Stayed up Reading

Many years after the hype I’ve actually decided to read the Twilight Saga and now I’m addicted. Totally worth the lack of sleep!

Does An Author’s Previous Success Influence Their New Book’s Success? — February 19, 2015

Does An Author’s Previous Success Influence Their New Book’s Success?

Quite a few of my favourite authors have recently released new books. Naturally I was excited to read these new books because of course I had high expectations of them. The most obvious is the Teardrop series by Lauren Kate. I loved her first series – Fallen so I was eager to read her newest series. I was very disappointed when I finished the book Teardrop. It rated very low for me (check out my review of it Here). I honestly believe though that if Lauren Kate hadn’t already made a name for herself the book Teardrop would’ve been an absolute disaster and there would be at least thousands of people who wouldn’t have bought and read it, myself included. The second book Waterfall was even worse than the first but once again I think people believe that maybe she could redeem herself with book two of the series. That was not the case and it was an even worse book than the first.

This got me thinking though – if a writer has already made a name for themselves are they more likely to rate higher than if they were previously unknown? I fully believe that is the case most of the time.

dignity popularity

After Life – Shelbi Wescott — February 10, 2015

After Life – Shelbi Wescott

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After Life – Shelbi Wescott

4 Star Review

I was lucky enough to receive this book as a giveaway from Goodreads. The cover looked great – very haunting but after reading the blurb I wasn’t sure that I’d enjoy this book. It ended up heading in a very different direction to what was expected.

Positives – After life is very intellectually written for the directed age group and I found that a big positive whilst reading. The storyline moves along at a steady pace and I for the most part didn’t find any part of it that I wanted to skim past. I was drawn into Mara’s character and absolutely rapt up in the storyline by the end of the second chapter. The story went along without any kind of thoughts of a romance within its page but without giving too much away I was glad there was some love tangled in all that anger and fear. Mara was a strange character who seemed to be a mixture of determination, stubbornness, strength yet she was also overdramatic, reckless and even bordering on cowardly sometimes so ultimately a walking contradiction. Despite all of that you couldn’t help but love her and her wild decisions. I loved the twists and turns the story took and was definitely surprised by a few revelations.

Negatives

I found the first chapter lacking and predictable. I knew this book was along the lines of a horror story but it seemed like it was trying too hard. Unexpectedly, the second chapter start to flow and entice me to read more. The first chapter felt disjointed from the rest of the book but once through that I was hooked. There were a few ‘groan-worthy’ moments (as I refer to them) but they were short and easily dismissed. Some of those were almost justifiable but I felt they could’ve been written a bit better. I was also annoyed at the behaviour of her friends multiple times and felt Mara was fairly gullible. I’m not a huge fan of over the top moments and there were some in this book. In saying that though, it certainly wasn’t enough for me to be put off finishing it.

Overall – I found this book a rollercoaster of twists and turns and was excited to finish it. The storyline was interesting and unexpected despite the feeling that it may be very predictable at the start. It’s great for not only horror lovers but anyone likes a bit of a mystery or something paranormal. I loved that this book really sparked intrigued about past lives and peaked my curiosity about the ‘After Life.” For me this book warranted a rating of 4 stars (or 3.75 but I’m rounding up).

Well Done Shelbi Wescott 4 Stars!

Getting Too Emotionally Involved With A Fictional Character — February 6, 2015

Getting Too Emotionally Involved With A Fictional Character

I recently finished a book (Dream Thief by Maggie Stiefvater – which I’ll review soon) and I’ve come to realise that maybe I get a tad too emotionally invested in books and their characters. It hasn’t only been with the two Raven Boys Series books but I have found a character in them that I loathe when I don’t think that’s what the author intended.

This character, Adam Parish is a rude, disrespectful character and I can’t seem to get past my feelings toward him in order to properly enjoy the story (although I’m not overly impressed by the books). I should probably wait to see how the series ends before I make a final judgement but it is the backbone of his personality that frustrates me and if he does change then I don’t think that would be believable.

Who else has a character that they hate when the book dictates that you shouldn’t?

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The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater 3.5 Star Review — February 2, 2015

The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater 3.5 Star Review

The Raven Boys

Maggie Stiefvater

3.5 Star Review

The Raven Boys Maggie Stiefvater

This book had some great reviews which was the main reason I picked it up. Not at all what I had expected and didn’t really meet my high expectations of it.

PositivesThe first thing that stuck out for me was Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style. I couldn’t believe it had gone through the editing process and had still come out like that. It was strange, disjointed, awkwardly put together yet I ended up enjoying it. The storyline was complicated and rather confusing. She has gone against the traditional male protagonist/lover and that made it interesting. Adam and Gansey both fit into that role but somehow didn’t. It seems to be a trend in the books I’ve read lately that rags to riches or the poor girl unexpectedly falls for the rich male, is a big drawcard. I must admit I do enjoy that sometimes. Of all the character’s Gansey was definitely my favourite, although I suspect that that’s what Maggie Stiefvater wanted.

NegativesI really felt stupid and confused during many scenes in this book. Was I not intelligent enough to understand the strange idea of Ley lines or Glendower? It took a long time to explain both things but I was still left scratching my head. I understand that in a series each book needs to end with a cliff-hanger but I feel like I don’t have any idea where she wanted to point the readers toward at the end. There was ample action and excitement but then the ending seemed to be squashed into a few short chapters. I felt cheated by the ending when the beginning held the promise of an interesting conundrum for Blue but it ended without any kind of hint of an answer. For a book that contained many, MANY unnecessary sentences and descriptions it just sort of flat lined at the end.

Overall For this book I’ll round up to a 4 stars out of 5 (probably because I just loved Gansey). The characters were great, I ended up enjoying the strange writing style and am actually interested to see where this story goes. Instead of gaining answers throughout the book though, it just snowballed into an endless amount of confusing questions. I’m hoping that book two (Dream Thieves) will accentuate the best parts of book one.

BLURB “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before

The One by Kiera Cass — January 30, 2015

The One by Kiera Cass

The One

Kiera Cass

The One Kiera Cass COver

5 Star Review

This book is just wow! Interrupting your reading of this book by ‘living your life’ is not an option. It’s one of those books that you clear your schedule, curl up and read it until you finish it. You’ll thank me for the warning once you’ve finished it.

PositivesThankfully this book was as fantastic as the first book if not better. From the action (which I felt the first two books were lacking a bit in that area) to the emotional turmoil and of course the love, this book was a perfect ending to the story. I enjoyed the action scenes and was on the edge of my seat so to speak most of the way through. The change of scenery for a large part of it was good to shake things up. There was a lot of sadness in this book and as with most endings there were deaths but the ending made it all worth the sadness. There were a lot of great unexpected twists and turns added in. This book brought out the best in all of the characters.

NegativesThroughout the series Americas brother Kota was briefly mentioned but unfortunately he didn’t seem well developed and his part in the story was flimsy. America’s indecisiveness and hesitation was irritating but not as bad as the second book. I was forced to stop reading about 20 pages from the end (silly life getting in the way of reading) and I was very annoyed. I couldn’t believe that Kiera Cass had written it like that. How could she? I was ready to throw my poor ipad in frustration and wanted to refuse to finish it but it ate away at me. I needed to know what those last 20 pages said. As soon as I could, I finished the book. I must’ve stopped reading at the worst possible time. Literally the next page it started to get better again and went on to end fantastically.

OverallI just loved this book. The annoying parts were few and far between. The ending is wow. I won’t give anything away but this is one series that everyone should read. 5 out of 5 Stars!

BLURBThe time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants. 

The Elite by Kiera Cass 4 Star Review — January 28, 2015

The Elite by Kiera Cass 4 Star Review

The Elite

Kiera Cass

4 Star Review

This book is a bit hard to review because as soon as I finished it (at 1am) I started the third book (The One). I needed to know how it all ended! It wasn’t as great as the first book but definitely worth reading.

 The_Elite_Cover

PositivesThis book wasn’t anywhere near up to the high standard of the first book. Of course there were some great parts but there were also some horrible parts; but on to the positives. Kiera Cass’s writing style is always a pleasure to read and she is very gifted. America is a great character although her motives and actions were questionable at times. How can you not love Maxon – most of the time and Aspen was just as wonderful. Marlee was a beautiful character but her part in this book didn’t really work well (for me anyway) and I thought her storyline should’ve been changed. It doesn’t change how much I loved Marlee though.

NegativesI loved this book but it annoyed me in many parts. It had the feel to it that it was the bridge between the first and third book. Necessary but not nearly as enjoyable. America acted very stupidly in some parts and it was pretty darn irritating. There is no way that someone could act like that in a palace and get away with it. The way the main characters acted in some spots was downright stupid and didn’t seem to make much sense in relation to their personality.

OverallI did enjoy this book for the most part and it’s a must read in order to finish the series (which you so have to!) but it was lacking and very annoying in some spots. Those parts almost made me give this book a 3.5 star rating but when there were good scenes – they were fantastic. I’m very glad I finished this book and had the third (The One) ready to start straight away.

BLURBThe Selection began with thirty-five girls.

Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon’s heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?

America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America’s chance to choose is about to slip away.