Moonstruck by Nikki Rae Release Day

I have been a fan of Rae’s work since I was given the chance to review her series Sunshine back in 2014. Since then she has released a number of wonderful books, each as brilliant and captivating as the last. Her new books, Monstruck, brings us back to the Sunshine world with Myles and Sophie and this time we get to see Myles tell the story. I adore Myles, I loved his perspective we were given in Sun Damaged so to get a whole book is excellent and getting the chance to read more of the Sophie/Myles dynamic is a delight.

Synopsis:

Myles Lott left this town ten years ago. He never wanted to come back unless he had to. Now he has to. Sophie Jean, the girl he was supposed to protect from monsters of his world, has finally grown up. She’s familiar with monsters, just not vampires like him. Hers are harder to defeat; they’re in her own mind. Myles has returned to protect her and nothing more, but his feelings for Sophie develop quicker than he ever could have imagined. Torn between their worlds, Myles must fight for the girl he’s loved all along without causing any more damage. Unfortunately, a past enemy has other plans.

 

You can purchase Moonstruck via the following

Amazon | Amazon Aust

 

You can read my reviews of the series here

 

Nikki is offering a giveaway to go along with the release.

Enter to win the entire Nikki Rae e-book library and an Amazon giftcard!

Author Bio:

Nikki Rae is the head editor of Metamorphosis Editing Services and a writer who lives in New Jersey. She is an independent author and has appeared numerously on Amazon Best Seller lists. She is the author of The Sunshine Series and concentrates on making her imaginary characters as real as possible. She writes mainly dark, scary, romantic tales, but she’ll try anything once. When she is not writing, reading, or thinking, you can find her spending time with animals, drawing in a quiet corner, or studying people. Closely.

 

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She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton

Published: 30th May 2017Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Philomel Books
Illustrator: Alexandra Boiger
Pages: 32
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

Throughout American history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what’s right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In early 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s refusal to be silenced in the Senate inspired a spontaneous celebration of women who persevered in the face of adversity. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted.

She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small.

When I first heard of this book I knew I needed to read it. I will also happily admit that I started tearing up when I was reminded of these important American women. I knew some of their stories, but some I hadn’t heard of. Clinton has told the story of these women in simple but important terms and includes one of their famous quotes.

She Persisted is an important story because it points out how these women persisted through their struggles, often when men told them they couldn’t, or when society tried to stop them. Clinton had written this in a way that not only highlights the great work that these women did through history, but she points out that when they were blocked (typically by men let’s admit it) they kept going, despite the hardship. I think that is an important lesson too, not just that these women did these remarkable things, but they ignored those who told them no.

One of the best inclusions is Claudette Colvin, an African American who refused to get up for a white woman on the bus. Clinton mentions this inspires Rosa Parkes, a few months later, but recognises Colvin was the first. There are thirteen remarkable women in this book: Harriett Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief’s, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey and Sonia Sotomayor. All who changed the world by never giving up on their dreams and doing what they felt was the right thing.

These stories of important historical women cover all kinds of professions of trailblazers and women who wouldn’t let other people tell them what they could and could not do. They persisted, and Clinton has made this book an important resource in teaching girls (and everyone) that no matter what they want to do, they shouldn’t let anyone tell them they can’t.

You can purchase She Persisted via the following

Wordery | BookWorld

Dymocks | QBD

Book Depository | Booktopia

The Nile | Fishpond

The Saddler Boys by Fiona Palmer

Published:  23rd September 2015 (print)/11th August 2016 (audio) Goodreads badge
Publisher:
  Penguin Australia/Wavesound
Pages: 371/9 discs
Narrator: Danielle Baynes
Format: Audiobook
Genre: Rural Fiction
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

Schoolteacher Natalie has always been a city girl. She has a handsome boyfriend and a family who give her only the best. But she craves her own space, and her own classroom, before settling down into the life she is expected to lead.

 When Nat takes up a posting at a tiny school in remote Western Australia, it proves quite the culture shock, but she is soon welcomed by the swarm of inquisitive locals, particularly young student Billy and his intriguing single father, Drew. 

 As Nat’s school comes under threat of closure, and Billy’s estranged mother turns up out of the blue, Nat finds herself fighting for the township and battling with her heart. Torn between her life in Perth and the new community that needs her, Nat must risk losing it all to find out what she’s really made of – and where she truly belongs. 

A big reason why I had a hard time enjoying this was the narrator of the audiobook; she made Natalie sound like a constantly cheery childish girl which was annoying. I know she was meant to be 22, but it changed my perspective of her when she sounded so innocent and naive all the time even when she wasn’t meant to. I had read the first few chapters in a physical book and was really engaged, I think switching to audio changed my enjoyment in part.

There were good parts that I enjoyed, Palmer portrays the country lifestyle well and the characters were interesting. Some parts were predictable but I was surprised by other parts. It was a nice wholesome story that touched on some more serious topics. Even when it did that it didn’t feel as serious though, maybe that was because of how it was read too, I don’t know.

Palmer includes a few different dramas, a few I felt had to be there because it gave Natalie more justification for her decisions rather than a believable character choice. I think a different approach would have been better. But for the most part, I enjoyed the different dynamics, young single father, a child with a few special needs, interesting supporting characters. It worked well on that front.

I was surprised by the ending, I was waiting for a sudden change but Palmer followed through which was impressive. Overall it’s not the best rural story I have read, but it wasn’t too bad either. I’m almost tempted to reread it as a book just to see if I enjoy it more…almost.

You can purchase The Saddler Boys via the following

Dymocks | Booktopia

Book Depository | Fishpond

Amazon | Amazon Aust

BookWorldQBD

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Published:  10th September 2013 (print)/10th September 2013 (audio) Goodreads badge
Publisher:
  Little, Brown and Company/Bolinda Audio
Pages: 336/10 discs – 12hrs
Narrator: Morven Christie
Format: Audiobook
Genre: Historical Fiction
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution. Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard. 

I quite liked this book. It was slow but not unenjoyable. Kent uses her language with intent and there’s weight behind her choice of words making you feel everything she is telling you with importancemakes you feel the drawn out winters and longer periods of time. The house and the surrounding environment are described in vivid detail that make you understand the close knit quarters and the family dynamic. There is a great sense of heaviness as you read as well; the looming sentence and fear over Agnes’ head, the reluctance of the family, the ostracisation by them towards Agnes, not to mention the mystery over what actually happened.

I enjoyed the historical era that the story is set, the true history it is based on is fascinating as well. I enjoyed learning about the region and the farm as well as the culture and history. It was a lot better than other literature and acclaimed novels I’ve read. I can see how it won the awards, and I’m surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did. I wasn’t blown away, but it kept my attention and even surprised me at times.

You can purchase Burial Rites via the following

Dymocks | Booktopia

Book Depository | Fishpond

Amazon | Amazon Aust

BookWorldWordery

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The Elephant by Peter Carnavas

Published: 3rd July 2017Goodreads badge
Publisher:
University of Queensland Press
Pages: 180
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

Olive’s father has a sadness so big that she imagines it as an enormous elephant following him around. Every day Olive sees the elephant, and every day she wishes it would go.

With the help of Grandad and her best friend, Arthur, Olive sets out to chase the elephant away.

Just reading the blurb of this book made me instantly want to start reading it. It’s the story of a girl called Olive who lives with her dad and the elephant that follows him around. Olive is tired of seeing the looming elephant near her father, she is tired of seeing how it affects him and how it makes him forget about her.

I loved seeing how Carnavas explores Olive’s different relationships. I loved seeing her interact with her grandad, how he treats her and takes her on special adventures. I also actually really loved when Olive tries to be with her father. She’s always hopeful, always trying to get him to see her through the elephant.

There was one part that I thought really summed up the experience of depression and grief very well: “[Olive] longed to share it all…In the end, she said nothing because her father would never listen – really listen – with the elephant beside him.” I felt that this part portrayed the relationship Olive and her dad have. He doesn’t ignore her; he just can’t be there in his entirety for her because his sadness is too great, it overwhelms him.

This book is ideal for kids who need help understanding depression or how grief can affect the people around them. This isn’t a book that explains what depression or grief is or how it is treated, it doesn’t explicitly try to be either, but it is a story about a girl who lives with a dad who is sad all the time and can’t always be there for her.

There are some beautiful moments in this story and there’s a lot of wonderful surprises as well. I love Olive’s imagination and her creative mind, and I love Carnavas’ illustrations that fill this special book.

You can purchase The Elephant via the following

Dymocks | Booktopia | Publisher

Amazon | Fishpond

Book Depository | QBD | BookWorld

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