Genie's Weekly News (51)

Sunday, 31 July 2016


It's the last day of the uni holidays, and I write this after coming home from a very busy day at work - no surprise since it's 'Harry Potter release day'! It of course doesn't have quite the hype of another book being released, but I'll be happy to see how it compares anyway.

*Reading Right Now*

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I've just started this second book in The Industry series by Rose Foster and can't wait to see where it goes.

*Previous Posts*
*Recommendation of the Week*

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I really enjoyed reading about all the delicious recipes in this one (and you know, the story is pretty good too).

*From The Interwebs*

*Haul*

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What a day to be a bookseller! Being one of the first people to open those boxes at 9:01am for Harry Potter and The Cursed Child is definitely a highlight. We sold out pretty quickly, as I'm sure many other places did as well - no surprises there considering the hype! I'll get to reading this one ASAP - I need to know how it compares to the rest of the series. 

*#LoveOzYA Blog Hop*

Aussie YA Blog Hop Banner

Myself and the other moderators of the Australian YA Bloggers and Readers group are hosting a blog hop for Australian and New Zealand YA! You can sign up and find more information at the original post by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence here.

*What I've Been Watching*


Since Versailles hasn't aired yet, I've gone the complete opposite into scifi/speculative TV shows and films. Black Mirror is disconcerting and unpredictable, and Ex Machina although definitely interesting (and perhaps more than a little creepy) left me wanting more from the ending. I'd give both of these 4/5 stars. Quick question - would you guys be interested in TV/film reviews on the blog as well?


What are some of your favourite TV series?


Waiting on Wednesday: The Thousandth Floor

Wednesday, 27 July 2016


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where the participants tell their readers about an upcoming release they are waiting to read. This week I've picked The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee.



Welcome to Manhattan, 2118. A thousand-storey tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible – if you want it enough. A hundred years in the future, New York's elite of the super-tower lie, backstab and betray each other to find their place at the top of the world. Everyone wants something… and everyone has something to lose.As the privileged inhabitants of the upper floors recklessly navigate the successes and pitfalls of the luxury life, forbidden desires are indulged and carefree lives teeter on the brink of catastrophe. Whilst lower-floor workers are tempted by a world – and unexpected romance – dangling just out of reach. And on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all – yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.So when a young woman falls from the top of the supertower, her death is the culmination of a scandal that has ensnared the top-floor elite and bottom-floor. But who plummeted from the roof? And what dark secrets led to her fall?Friends will be betrayed and enemies forged as promises are broken. When you're this high up, there's nowhere to go but down…

Now this sounds like the type of book I love - futuristic and with an edgy twist, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what mystery this book holds.

Releasing 31st August 2016

Mini Reviews: The Dry Husband's Secrets with My Sister Rosa and The Couple Next Door

Monday, 25 July 2016


26465507My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
Released: 27th January 2016
Published by: Allen and Unwin
Genre: YA Contemporary/Thriller
Source: Publisher
Pages: 448
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
RRP: $19.99
Goodreads | QBD | Booktopia
What if the most terrifying person you'd ever met was your ten-year old sister? A spine-chilling psychological thriller from one of Australia's finest YA authors.

 'I promise,' said Rosa. 'I won't kill and I won't make anyone else kill.' I can't see the loophole. Since the guinea pig there's been nothing. Months now without Rosa killing as much as a mosquito. As far as I know.

 Che Taylor has four items on his list: 1. He wants to spar, not just train in the boxing gym. 2. He wants a girlfriend. 3. He wants to go home. 4. He wants to keep Rosa under control. Che's little sister Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and so good at deception that Che's convinced she must be a psychopath. She hasn't hurt anyone yet, but he's certain it's just a matter of time. And when their parents move them to New York City, Che longs to return to Sydney and his three best friends.

But his first duty is to his sister Rosa, who is playing increasingly complex and disturbing games. Can he protect Rosa from the world - and the world from Rosa? My Sister Rosa will have you on the edge of your seat from the very first page to the last.
Thank you to Allen and Unwin for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


This book just goes to show that nobody is as they seem - even a seemingly harmless and adorable ten year old girl. I have to say, My Sister Rosa is a #LoveOzYA novel that ticks a lot of boxes - it has a diverse set of characters, unique premise and enough twists to keep you guessing. Though I didn't find this novel quite as enthralling as Larbelestier's previous release Razorhurst, it certainly packed a punch in its own way. Rosa is just plain creepy - hiding her extremely manipulative nature under the guise of a cloying sweetness which melts almost everyone's heart, she's definitely a force to be reckoned with which Che can only hope to control before it's too late. With parents who don't want to accept the truth of what she's capable of, it's definitely a tough road. There's more to this story than that though - it's also about a budding romance, new friends who may just bring Che out of his comfort zone, and uncovering the truth behind a twisted mastermind in ways you won't see coming.

FINAL THOUGHTS


Siblings, psychopaths and disturbing revelations - this is a concoction that works in My Sister Rosa.


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The Dry by Jane Harper
Released: 31st May 2016
Published by: Pan Macmillan Australia
Genre: Adult Crime
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 352
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Goodreads | QBD | Booktopia
Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well... When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret... A secret Falk thought long-buried... A secret which Luke's death starts to bring to the surface...
Jane Harpers debut novel 'The Dry' epitomises Australian crime fiction at its finest. Expertly crafted, this book set in a baking rural town reeling from an unthinkable tragedy is both gritty and effortlessly compelling. Featuring a cast of characters who seem so real, you'll become even more enthralled by this novel the further you read, as bursts of nostalgia and dark secrets come to light. This is a story of a town on the precipice of boiling over with rumours, and the many well-known faces embroiled in both current scandal and from years gone by. Glimpses into the past histories of the characters, with their relationships and tribulations, were tantalisingly woven into the fabric of the present - deepening the mystery further.

Anybody can lie.
Everybody has secrets.
No alibi guarantees innocence.

FINAL THOUGHTS



Read this and be hooked - trust me, it's worth the hype.



17317855The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
Released: 1st April 2013
Published by: Pan Macmillan
Genre: Adult Mystery
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 406
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads | QBD | Booktopia
At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died... Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.
This is the first novel I've read by renowned Australian author Liane Moriarty, and I can now see why her books have been bestsellers. With a knack for taking the mediocrity of domestic life and injecting it with suspenseful family drama, this book really is a true page-turner. Told through different perspectives and with glimpses into those fateful events of the past, Moriarty has woven a captivating tale exploring the strains of relationships, quests for retribution and ongoing consequences of decisions made long ago. Read this and be drawn in by the quick chapters with mini-cliffhangers that keep your heart racing, shocked by the twists along the way, and satisfied by an ending which you can take a lesson or two away from.

FINAL THOUGHTS

In this story, nobody knows what alternate paths their lives may have taken had other choices been made...but at least for you, deciding to read this book is almost certain to be a chance you won't regret taking.



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The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Released: 14th July 2016
Published by: Bantam Press
Genre: Adult Thriller
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 304
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Goodreads | QBD | Booktopia
Fast-paced and addictive, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR announces a major new talent in thriller writing. You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall. Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour. Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone. You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?
This is a thriller which is methodical in approach and quite tightly woven to create a glimpse into a situation where one couple's mistake in leaving their baby daughter unattended changes the course of an entire family. The writing style itself is very 'to the point' without any pomp or flowery prose, which may not be to everyone's liking, however it is undeniable that this is a read which you can get through quickly and with relative ease. How well do you really know the people who raised you, or your partner, or - the couple next door? What secrets could they be hiding? What lengths will someone go to in covering their tracks? These are the questions which this book raises well and will keep you turning the pages in the process. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I'd definitely recommend this for fans of Mary Kubica and 'Pretty Baby'.


Over to you - What thrillers have you read recently?

Genie's Weekly News (50)

Sunday, 24 July 2016


First of all, I can't believe that this time next week Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be released! I know all of us booksellers are excited, and it seems that the hype will only get bigger as the release date looms closer...here's to hoping it lives up.

*Reading Right Now*

Caramel Hearts

A book filled with delicious recipes alongside a heartfelt story which tackles some real issues - I'm liking this one!

*Previous Posts*

*Recommendation of the Week*

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I finally read another Ginger Scott novel that's been on my TBR for a few months! Up next I'm hoping to get to The Hard Count. 

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Aussie author Liane Moriarty definitely impressed me with this book - something I wouldn't normally pick up but I am so glad I did! It's not a quintessential chick-lit but a story much deeper, and very well crafted. No wonder why her novels are so popular (I think I've just become a fan).


*From The Interwebs*

*Haul*

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Thank you to Tara Eglington for the copy!

Tara Eglington is a fantastic #LoveOzYA author who knows how to write cute, heartwarming contemporaries that will make you swoon. I'm definitely looking forward to this one coming in November!

*#BooksfortradeAU Reminder*

I've posted about this on the Aussie YA Bloggers and Readers Group via Facebook and Goodreads, but in case you missed it - #booksfortradeAU is officially back on in 2016! Thanks to everyone who participated this year, it'll be great to see even more getting involved this time around :)

If you'll be participating, feel free to use this blog Button:

Basically, twitter will still be used, but we'll also be incorporating discussions on the goodreads group. Full information in my original post can be found here.


How has your week been?




Discussion: Bookish Betrayal or Branching Out?

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Let me start off by saying that YA will always be close to my bookish heart, and it's something which I can still see myself reading a lot of in the future. 


However...

It's no longer my ONLY "absolute-supreme-one-and-only-group-of-beloved-books-I-will-want-to-rush-to-and-read"


Last year, aside from the books I read as 'prescribed texts' for study, I didn't tend to read much outside of young-adult, which was fine - but now that school's over and I started working in a bookstore I've found that I want to be more diverse in my reading by looking at more adult literary fiction and scifi/fantasy as well. 



Have my reading tastes totally changed? I probably wouldn't go that far, but I can tell that they've evolved somewhat. YES, YA will always be special to me and I still love books from it - but I want to experience more. There's so much out there, so many classics to read, so many more authors whose work is just waiting to be discovered. 

For a few examples, here are some books in other genres I've loved this year and would recommend: 

Adult Fiction Recommendations






















The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Girls by Emma Cline
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The One Who Got Away by Caroline Overington
The Dry by Jane Harper
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

And some that are still on my list to read...



Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Six Bedrooms by Tegan Bennett Daylight
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
Hot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

So this is not goodbye to young-adult, and certainly not a break-up of any sort. It's just the story of 
one reader's journey as she tries new things. Isn't that the beauty of reading itself?

There's no doubt that YA is and continues to be such a broad category of books where truly great works have emerged which have moved me and changed my outlook on life. There are some pompous readers who may see it as 'substandard' or not as 'highbrow' as other books that are written in different styles, targeted at other audiences, and tackle a myriad of other topics. Whilst everyone is entitled to their own literary opinions, I don't want to be one of those people. 

Just because I may be wanting a greater variety of books to read doesn't mean I'm going to disregard those that I've loved, or not be willing to try other YA that comes my way. I still get excited when an adult comes into the store and comes in for YA recommendations, and vice versa when teens are looking for something outside of their comfort zone. This diversity in tastes and the crossover between what adults and teens are reading is a nascent trend I think will become increasingly common, and one that should be embraced. 


Here on the blog, I will continue to champion YA, and strive to get those authors the recognition they deserve for the books they create which touch the lives of many; providing times for laughter, tears, and overall appreciation for writing that page-turner we've been waiting for. In the mix now and then, you just might see a review for a few titles in different genres, and that should be okay too. Genie In A Book is bound to transform and grow as I do, to reflect my passion for books and reading that has been there from the start, even if it now will manifest itself in a variety of forms - be it through YA or otherwise.

In any case, a book is a book, and reading in any form should be encouraged. I believe we should all have the choice to read widely, traverse the territory of genres not yet fully indulged in, and come back to old favourites when we want to. After all, no matter what genre you read from or prefer, there's always going to be something undeniably magical about being transported from our own lives into another realm entirely. 


Have you noticed your reading preferences changing/expanding over time? If so, what do you think was the cause?

Cover Reveal: The Estate (The Industry #2) - A long awaited #LoveOzYA sequel!

Friday, 8 July 2016

Do you ever get that super excited feeling when a book that you LOVED (and ended on a cliffhanger) finally has it's sequel coming out soon?


Well this is what's happened to me - and the fact that it's a #LoveOzYA title makes it even better.

Australian author Rose Foster's first novel The Industry definitely hit all the right notes for me when I first read it back in 2013 - punchy, gritty and with huge twists that keep you hooked from beginning to end, it really did impress. Though it has been a long wait for the sequel due to the author's completely understandable personal circumstances, I have no doubt that The Estate will be sure to impress if it's anything like its fantastic predecessor. So, without further ado, here's the cover!



Releasing as an ebook on 22nd July 2016

In case you haven't read The Industry yet, here's a little more about it...think computer-hacking-teen-techno-thriller-with-all-the-amazingness. (or, to put it more eloquently, here's the blurb):

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Kirra Hayward is an ordinary sixteen year old - smarter than most, but otherwise completely anonymous. When she stumbles across an unusual puzzle on the internet and manages to solve it, she has no idea of what she's letting herself in for. 

Kidnapped by a shadowy organisation known only as The Industry, Kirra soon discovers how valuable her code-breaking skills are. And when she stubbornly refuses to help them, they decide to break her ... by any means at their disposal.

 Kirra knows that to protect herself, she must trust no one, not even her fellow prisoner, Milo. But as time goes by she realises he might be the only person she can rely on ... 


What are some of your favourite #LoveOzYA thrillers?

{Blog Tour} Review & Author Interview: The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander

Thursday, 7 July 2016

The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander
Released: 1st April 2016
Published by: Usborne Publishing
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Publisher
Pages: 382
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads | QBD | Book Depository
One minute Eddie was there. And the next he was gone.

Five years on, and it’s Elsie who’s lost. All she knows is the pain she feels. Pain that her twin Eddie’s body has never been found after that day on the beach. Then she meets Tay; confident, cool and addicted to free-diving.

He says it’s too dangerous for her to join; it’s too dark, too scary, too deep. But what does he know? He doesn’t know that being underwater is the only time Elsie doesn’t ache for her brother. That diving gives her flashbacks. And that uncovering the secrets of that day is the only way for Elsie to start breathing again.
Thank you to HarperCollins Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


Sometimes I feel invisible, like a wisp of air that tickles the back of someone's neck before they close the window to block the draught.

The pain of losing a twin and the repercussions of a tragedy on the family is central to this broody and emotive story of one girl's quest to seek some sort of closure and retribution for what happened on the water those five years ago. With a series of twists that unfurl gradually in the murky depths of this family's past, The Art of Not Breathing is a novel which is both moving and memorable.

I tell myself that one day I'll have a new boat and I'll be off exploring. I don't yet know where I want to explore but maybe there are some undiscovered islands in the North Sea. maybe I'll find another place like the black isle, with beaches, otters and a boathouse. the difference will be that no one will know who I am.

The intricacies of the family dynamics in this story are what create the majority of the drama in the story, and definitely piqued my curiosity. After all, there must be some dark secrets at play when the details of Eddie's drowning still lie somewhere at the bottom of the ocean. There can be a trend in YA where the parents are mostly absent in the plotline, so it was good to see in this novel that they were actually present - although of course, not the image of 'perfect'. The loss of a child had clearly affected them in different ways, and the same for Elsie's older brother Dillon as well who is struggling with his own wellbeing. So many of the characters are intertwined in complex ways, from the immediate family, to others like Tay and the people he's associated with. They all have their own links to this tragic event - and unraveling just what those are is what kept me turning the pages.

These last few weeks I've imagined that Eddie might have been at peace in his last moments; the bright colours, the sense of freedom, the lightness. But the water here is cold, dark and creepy. He would have been terrified...For the first time, Eddie's death is starting to feel real to me. 

Two other aspects which made this book stand out to me are definitely the setting and unique focus on freediving. I haven't read many books set in Scotland (outside of Outlander that is), and so to have The Art of Not Breathing do this made for an extra intriguing angle. Looking more into freediving and how it helped Elsie come to remember more about that fateful day certainly worked as a narrative device, plus you could tell that the author had definitely done her research into the area. The cold water, and the stillness of being submerged in a totally different world set the tone perfectly for the mystery to play out. The best thing was seeing how Elsie developed as a character to hopefully reach the catharsis she was looking for.


I am turning into water, fluid and ever-changing. I am not a visitor to the ocean, I am part of it.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Through the cold, murky depths of its setting to the clarity of its end, I can certainly say that The Art of Not Breathing is a page-turner you won't want to miss.



Author Interview with Sarah Alexander

1. The idea of that special bond between twins is explored really interestingly in this novel. How did you come to the idea of looking into these family dynamics for Elsie especially dealing with a loss?

I’ve always been interested in twin and sibling relationships, but I find the differences between twins, and siblings in general, even more fascinating than the similarities. Originally, Elsie and Dillon were twins but as the story developed this changed naturally. I wanted to explore the long term effects of a tragedy on all the family relationships, and look at the different ways in which they cope.

2. The Scottish setting seemed to bring the whole story together really well and add an extra level of atmosphere. What were some of the reasons for setting it there?

I have family in Scotland so I’ve spent a lot of time there and I love the ruggedness and beauty of the landscape. I visited the Black Isle one summer and fell in love with everything about it – the long, atmospheric twilights, the dolphins, the beautiful harbour and the lighthouse.

3. Did you have a favourite character who originally inspired the story?

Elsie and her mum came to me first. They arrived together and I knew as soon as I met them that they's suffered a devastating loss – one that brought them together but also tore them apart. When I think about the book, it’s these two characters I picture first. I was desperate for them to be OK.

4. The focus on freediving was a fascinating one, and I love how the water and forces of nature played a role in the book. When did you decide that it would be featured in the novel?

It happened quite organically. Water was always going to be a major part of the book but I had imagined it as the setting rather than where the action took place, and then as I started writing I couldn’t keep my characters away from it. Every time I started a new scene, my characters wandered off the page down to the beach. The breath- holding and the depth worked perfectly with all the main themes in the novel, so I just went with it.

5. What are the most important things you want readers to take away from 'The Art of Not Breathing'?

1. Not all the answers are at the bottom of the sea (some of them are).
2. Your past shapes you but doesn’t have to define you.
3. Letting go doesn’t mean forgetting.
4. It’s OK to be different. You will still be loved and liked.

6. Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors out there?

It’s a good idea to make a timeline so you don’t get lost. Although, sometimes you discover the best things when you're lost.

7. After an impressive first novel, could you give us a hint at what to expect from you next?

Ah thanks! I’m working on another standalone YA novel that deals with fear and anxiety. I'm working on a few ideas, actually, so watch this space!