The Younger Man by Zoe Foster

Published: February 2012 (print)/1 February 2017 (audio) Goodreads badge
Publisher:
  Penguin Australia /Wavesound Audio
Pages: 304/8 Discs
Narrator: Helen Atkinson
Format: Audiobook
Genre: Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Abby runs her own agency, providing beautiful girls for promotional events. She needs a new website and when she calls in the web contractors, none other than the gorgeous, sexy, young Marcus turns up. Abby had met Marcus at a party a few weeks earlier and they had an amazing one-night stand. Abby is not unhappy to see him again. He is rather divine, after all. It’s just that she’s 33 and he’s 22, so how can she ever expect anything to come of this relationship. But Marcus is determined and sets out to prove to Abby that he is wise beyond his years and knows what he wants. Abby is not so sure and when she escapes to Italy and meets someone else, she must decide whether to follow her head or her heart.

I quite liked this book. I don’t think I liked it as much as I liked The Wrong Girl, but I did enjoy it. Helen Atkinson did a great job narrating the audiobook, she added emotions and emphasis to Foster’s words that add another level to each of the characters.

Abby is a woman in her mid-30s, accomplished, self-employed and not looking for a relationship. Naturally, this idea is challenged when she meets Marcus, a guy of 22 who was only meant to be a one night fling. I liked the dynamic between these two, Foster plays them off one another and as they clash and blend it’s a great read.

I liked that Marcus was mature and serious, but knew how to have fun as well. He reflected back against Abby’s insecurities and her constant doubts and it made the reader see Abby’s failings. The story wasn’t predictable to the point of fault; it was more like you knew where it was meant to go if only Abby could get her act together. She was the one that needed to learn and grow up ironically. But seeing her turmoil and the journey they go on is rewarding as well. The story isn’t will they/won’t they, it’s how long and what will we have to sit through before Abby gets herself together. Which was different, it didn’t have the usual climax and drama, I was almost starting to think it wasn’t going to have one to be honest.

Foster could have added more to the story but in a way I think it works, even with the abrupt ending she’s gone with. There could have been extra pages that wrap things up nicely, that give more details, hope, happy endings, but it works without it. Foster wraps things up in stages so there are a few mini conclusions before the book ends which until the end you don’t realise were mini conclusions. It was a surprise but when I thought it through it works quite well.

You can purchase The Younger Man via the following

Publisher | Amazon Aust

Booktopia | Book Depository

Fishpond | QBD | Audible

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AWW 2017 Final Update

As I was tallying up my reads/reviews I realised I am one review short of meeting the goal! I am so annoyed with myself, I should have paid more attention, I could have written a quick review if I noticed earlier, I could have won! But alas, twas not meant to be. I will try again for 2018. I would have loved to have read more Aussie women, I read less than I did last year which is also annoying. I read 142 books this year so surely I could muster up more than 25 but apparently not. Shame on me. Again, goal for next year. It was productive nevertheless, I finally got around to starting some books I’d had on my TBR list for a while, I also finally started reading Liane Moriarty and I’m working my way through her back catalogue, I’m also actively reading more books on my own bookshelves that are crying out to be read.

 

AWW17 BOOKS Sep-Dec

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend

The Saddler Boys by Fiona PalmerReview

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane MoriartyReview

Bro by Helen ChebatteReview

The Dry by Jane Harper

Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane MoriartyReview

Burial Rites by Hannah KentReview

Paycheque by Fiona Palmer

Peas and Quiet by Gabrielle Tozer

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017 Total

Read: 25/25

Reviewed: 14/15

The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer

Faking It by Gabrielle Tozer

Before You Forget by Julia Lawrinson – Review

The Wrong Girl by Zoe Foster

Good News, Bad News by Maggie GroffReview

The Shadow Thief by Alexandra AdornettoReview

The Lampo Circus by Alexandra AdornettoReview

The Golden Child by Wendy JamesReview

A Soldier, a Dog and a Boy by Libby Hathorn – Review

The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex by Gabrielle Williams

Lucy’s Book by Natalie Jane Prior

Little Humpty by Margaret Wild

Sam’s Sunday Dad by Margaret Wild

Fight Like A Girl by Clementine Ford – Review

What Alice Forgot by Liane MoriartyReview

Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology by Danielle Binks (ed.)

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood – Review

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend

The Saddler Boys by Fiona PalmerReview

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane MoriartyReview

Bro by Helen ChebatteReview

The Dry by Jane Harper

Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane MoriartyReview

Burial Rites by Hannah KentReview

Paycheque by Fiona Palmer

Peas and Quiet by Gabrielle Tozer

Bro by Helen Chebatte

Published: 1st February 2016 (print)/1st June 2016 (audio) Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Hardie Grant Egmont/ABC Audio
Pages: 240/MP3
Narrator: Julian Maroun
Format: Audiobook
Genre: Young Adult
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

What happens when you mix teenage boys, a fight club, and ethnic rivalries? 

You get war.

Romeo Makhlouf knows the rules.

Stick with your own kind. Don’t dob on your mates or even on your enemies. Respect the family.

But even unwritten rules are made for breaking.

I wasn’t sure I was going to like Bro but Chebatte definitely surprised me. It isn’t a long book but it one that is important as it talks about trying to fit in when people class you as different on both sides, and the pressure of being loyal to your family roots, all with a delightfully Australian feel.

This is Boys ‘R’ Us meets Hate is Such a Strong Word  in all the best ways. It is, I’ll admit, very Australian. One could say too Australian, but I have heard teenage boys speak to one another and aside from the lack of swearing, it sounds like this for the most part (so many bros!). It takes some getting used to but I quite liked the tone of voice Chebatte used, especially how Julian Maroun narrated, it felt very real; you really get the sense of these teenage boys who are trying to be cooler and tougher than they actually are and the tired effort the adults are going to to try and help them

Chebatte uses the male point of view quite well, demonstrating the conflicts between the races at school, girl trouble, and trying to find where you belong, something which reminded me of Ayoub’s Hate is Such a Strong Word for the female perspective. I liked Romeo as a narrator, I also liked that Chebatte balanced him but not too evenly. He has some sensibilities but he is still a young boy with wild ideas and a feeling of invincibility. You clearly understand his conflict about who he is and whether he is Lebanese or Australian, and how even though he was born here he still doesn’t feel like he belongs. This conflict drives his decisions and affects the decisions he makes, right or wrong they may be.

There are many aspects I recall from my own high school days in here, just the scenes Chebatte has set up about classes, canteen lines, and group dynamics, even though my experience wasn’t the same as Romeo’s school in a lot of ways, it still feels familiar. The plot can be criticised as childish and absurd, but in the way that most teenage conflicts are, they are petty and ridiculous and fought for nothing, and yet at the time, it’s the fight you are willing to stand for no matter the consequences.

I was apprehensive about this book, I genuinely thought I wouldn’t like it but I’m glad I read it. It tells the story of the danger of boys and their masculinity, peer pressure, “national pride”, racism, and trying to belong. It’s a book people should read about feeling different, and the consequences of male pride.

You can purchase Bro via the following

Dymocks | QBD

Booktopia | BookWorld

Amazon | Amazon Aust

aww2017-badge

Good News, Bad News (#2) by Maggie Groff

Published: 1st March 2013 (print)/1st March 2013 (audio) Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Pan Macmillan Australia/Bolinda Audio
Pages: 369 pages/7 discs
Narrator: Catherine Milte
Format: Audiobook
Genre: Mystery
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

Intrepid investigative journalist Scout Davis has given herself a holiday, but when Hermione Longfellow floats towards her in the supermarket, wanting to engage her services, she stops to listen.

Most people in Byron Bay are aware of the eccentric Anemone sisters. Always dressed in black, they rarely leave their home nestled in the hills – but Scout is sure that the drinking of chicken blood is just idle gossip. When Hermione asks Scout to track down sister Nemony’s AWOL husband, believed to have died at sea thirty years ago, but recently popped up again on the Great Barrier Reef, Scout, checking there is no eye of newt in Hermione’s shopping trolley, jumps at the chance.

Another source of intrigue falls close to home when Scout’s sister Harper despairs over her husband’s odd behaviour. And if that weren’t enough, Scout’s journalist boyfriend is finally coming home from Afghanistan. Trouble is, Scout thinks she may be falling in love with irresistible local cop Rafe – who coincidentally is also Toby’s best friend…

Catherine Milte was a much better narrator than Parker was in book one. Once you get past the vast difference – Scout becoming a very proper sounding woman with a tinge of British in her – you settle into the story and forget how she sounded originally. One of the challenges of audio books that reading doesn’t have I suppose but you get used to the narration fairly quickly.

I originally thought the case wasn’t going to be as interesting as the first one. How does one compete with a cult? But it actually was rather interesting. Scout investigates a man who was presumed dead over thirty years ago and seeks to prove he is alive and living up in Queensland. There are quirky new characters and the same familiar characters we grew fond of in book. Scout’s sister Harper adds her own drama and flair to the story once more, another reason why this was an interesting read.

There are quite a few surprises which I enjoyed. Groff drops them in all the right places to give a nice burst of unexpectedness as the story goes on. There are also many secrets to uncover; not only for the case but for her friends and family around her. The elusive and secretive GKI makes another appearance and fits a little better into the story, it feels a bit more natural that it is in there, less like it was tacked on as a side story.

One of the things I liked about this second book was that Groff doesn’t focus as much on Scout’s condition. Her diabetes takes a backseat as it should, and only is mentioned when it is actually necessary. I actually forgot she had the disease at times which was something I couldn’t do in book one. The lack of constant diabetes talk is swapped, however, with a description of what everyone is wearing. Again, whether the audio book made this stand more or if it’s just me I’m not sure, but it felt unnecessary a lot of the time or at least a tad clunky.

Scout’s relationship with Rafe continues and comes to a resolution of sorts. I can’t say I like them being together any more than I did the first time, but Groff provides a weak excuse and justification that almost works. I still think Scout is a bit selfish and feels almost guiltless about it.

Overall this series is fun and enjoyable with more things that I liked than didn’t. Scout is a great investigative journalist and her approach to her stories and her method of tracking information down is always delightful and filled with adventure.

aww2017-badgeYou can purchase Good News, Bad News via the following

Print

Pan Macmillan Aus | QBD

Angus & Robertson

Audio

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson

Australian Women’s Writing Challenge 2017

aww2017-badgeThis is my second year participating in the AWW and I am really looking forward to the challenge, much more than I was last time. Last year I didn’t have a lot of confidence and started hoping to read at least 6 books by Aussie women, and when I met that goal I bumped it up. By the end of the year I ended up reading nearly 30 books which I was quite proud of considering I had a lot going on. I discovered so many wonderful female Aussie authors and I fell in love with their books and their words. I am looking forward to adding to the list of awesome women and hope I can spread some of that love around at the same time.

I am starting this year at my final goal from last year of reading 25 and reviewing 15. I would love it if I could bump that up, I admire all those who have goal’s in the 40s or even the 80s! But for now we’ll stick with the 25. Let’s not run before we read, as it were. I will post updates of my progress through the year and will include the badge on my reviews.

To find out more about the challenge and see if it’s something you would like to participate in, check out the website. The challenge runs from 1st January to 31st December so there is plenty of time to complete your goal, and you can sign up at any time during the year until the end of November.

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017

Read 25 Review 50

Read: 0/25

Reviewed: 0/15

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