Review: Sleeping Dogs


Sleeping Dogs by Sonya Hartnett

3 stars

Read on 9th June, 2020

Synopsis: When a stranger enters a family’s midst and insists on discovering all of their darkest secrets, the family begins a slow and painful descent into decay and madness. By the author of Wilful Blue.

Bookish Things: 144 pages. The cover is a bit obscure, but I do like it. It’s not the most eye catching cover though.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $9.99 and paperback for $14.63.

My Review:

that was sooo horrible

I am at a loss for words.

This was a gritty and brutal look into a damaged family. Both mentally and physically damaged, the Willow’s are at the same time inexplicably close and immensely lonely beings. The glimpse into their lives is tragic and taboo, covering a raft of events that all lead to a horrific conclusion.

I shudder to think that there are families like this out there, but know, sadly, that there are.

This book, which is deliciously written, will leave you feeling dirty for having read its pages. I am thankful in one breath that it only has just over 100 pages, but at the same time wishing for many more chapters of the artistry of Hartnett’s words.

Absolutely not a HEA (Happily Ever After), and very little in the way of happy moments explored within the pages, I wouldn’t read this one if you’re having a bad day or week. But if you’re in the mood for deliciously devious and stunning writing, then pick up this book and give it a try.

This is marked as YA, but I would be hesitant to give it to a young person. The themes and topics covered are quite adult in nature even though they’re not explicitly discussed or described. Definitely one for the adults to read first to gauge if appropriate for your young person.

Review: Welcome to Orphancorp


Welcome to Orphancorp by Marlee Jane Ward

five-stars 5 stars

Read from 14 – 15 June, 2017

Synopsis: Winner of the 2015 Seizure Viva La Novella Prize

‘Takes all of your dystopian nightmares and connects them to a mother lode of pure emotional intensity. There’s so much keen detail here about the cruel logic of oppressive institutions, you’ll feel Mirii’s yearning for freedom in your bones – and you’ll rejoice at every tiny moment of escape that she achieves. Welcome to Orphancorp is harrowing, scarily real, and ultimately super moving.’ – Charlie Jane Anders (i09)

‘Punchy, crunchy, sexy and smart, Welcome to Orphancorp is a short, sharp shock of a story with bruised-but-not-broken characters and a bonsai dystopia you can actually believe in. Marlee Jane Ward is a writer of heart and passion, muscle and slow-burning anger.’ – Ian McDonald

Welcome to Orphancorp is an intimate, heartfelt story set in the darkest of places. I can’t stop thinking about these characters.’ – Kij Johnson

‘An object lesson in how to dehumanise young people by locking them up and depriving them of all warmth and care – has never been more timely. This gritty, greasy story is peppered with violence and lit with the slenderest shafts of affection and hope. It will make your jaw clench with fear for the indomitable Mirii Mahoney, and your fist punch the air at her every tiny victory.’ – Margo Lanagan Continue reading

Review: Heart of the Country


Heart of the Country by Tricia Stringer

five-stars 5 stars

Read from 23-24 April, 2017

Synopsis: Heart of the Country is the first book in an epic historical saga of three Australian families. Spanning several generations, this epic tells the story of the Baker, Smith and Wiltshire families forging their paths in a land both beautiful and unforgiving.

Lives are intertwined by love and community then ripped apart by hate and greed but remain always bound to the land they love…

1846. Newly arrived from England, Thomas Baker is young, penniless and alone. Eager to make his mark on this strange new place called South Australia, he accepts work as an overseer on a distant sheep property, believing this will be the opportunity he seeks. But when Thomas’s path crosses that of ex-convict, Septimus Wiltshire — a grasping con man hell bent on making a new life for himself and his family at any price — trouble is on the horizon.

But Thomas is made of stern stuff and his fortunes take a turn for the better when he meets spirited farmer’s daughter Lizzie Smith, and soon he envisages their future together.

But this land is like no other he has encountered: both harsh and lovely, it breaks all but the strongest. When his nemesis intervenes once more and drought comes, Thomas finds himself tested almost beyond endurance with the risk of losing everything he and Lizzie have worked for… even their lives. Continue reading

AWW Review: Leap of Faith


LeapOfFaith

2 stars

 

Read from January 29th – February 2nd, 2017. Recommended for: Horsey people

Synopsis: The highly anticipated new novel from beloved Australian writer Fiona McCallum.

Jessica Harrington is a promising horse-rider who dreams of representing her country. But the recent death of her father – her coach and mentor – has left her doubting her ability to continue in the sport. When she fails at the Adelaide International Horse Trials her fears are confirmed – and her world begins to fall apart.

Unable to bear seeing her well-bred, highly trained horses languishing in the paddock, she makes the snap decision to sell. She’s broken her own heart, but can’t see any other way – now she will just have to focus on a life without them. Her husband Steve and best friend Tiffany, however, can see through her bravado.

Jessica is dismayed when Steve brings home a horse from a clearing sale, a horse so skinny and forlorn he just couldn’t leave it behind. Unwilling to be drawn back into the world of horses, she’s reluctant to get involved. But when a summer thunderstorm brings on a life-or-death emergency, she finds she underestimated the heart of one little horse. Can Jessica put her trust in Faith? Continue reading

2016 Reviews completed!


excitedbaby

I’m finally caught up to 2017 reviews… and it’s only July!

In 2016, I read 50 books.

2016books

Of those 50, I only rated two books 5 stars. Happily they were both Australian women writers! Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat and The Orchid Nursery by Louise Katz.

The rest of the break down went like this:

  • I rated 16 of the books 4/5.
  • 23 of them 3/5.
  • 7 books got 2/5 stars.
  • I rated one book 1/5.
  • I couldn’t finish one book.

How did you go in 2016? Are you trying to challenge yourself with a reading challenge this year?

Stay tuned for my 2017 reviews coming soon.

AWW2017 Review: A Piece of Time


APieceofTime

ReviewStars-4

Synopsis: A fabulously spooky ghost story from Traci Harding.

Bookish Things: 21 pages. The cover is simple, but keeps in line with Traci’s other short story covers.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $3.02.

My Review: 

This!

This is how a short story should be done. The story felt whole, the characters real and the conclusion satisfactory yet still ambiguous enough to leave questions.

Tani, our protagonist, made logical choices and decisions, even while dealing with the paranormal phenomenon in the story. It was so nice to see that logical thought pattern.

That the piece also focused on a pocket watch and tied it in so nicely, was an added bonus.

I saw no errors in this piece. An enjoyable read with a great cast of characters.