Interview with Jaime Questell

An Interview with Jaime Questell, author of By a Charm and a Curse

Jaime Questell is a writer and graphic designer from Houston, Texas. She has also been a bookseller, a professional knitter, a semi-professional baker, and an administrative assistant. None of these jobs involved wrangling corgis, which is quite sad. She lives in the ‘burbs with her husband, children, and pets.

I’m not going to be reviewing your newest novel, but from your other published novels, is there one that is your own personal favourite?

By a Charm and a Curse is my first published novel, but of my other manuscripts, the one I’m currently working on might be my favorite. It has witches and a good dose of the Mexican culture I grew up with. It’s set in a fictional Texas town that’s buried in secrets, and it’s been so much fun coming up with all the components.

Everyone has a ‘first novel’, even if many of them are a rough draft relegated to the bottom and back of your desk drawer (or your external harddrive!). Have you been able to reshape yours, or have you abandoned it for good?

OMG, that first novel! It is so, so rough. It’s definitely been gathering some cobwebs, but I don’t want to write it off forever. I’m thinking it could be reshaped one day, or potentially be harvested for dialogue (because there’s some funny stuff in there, if I’m remembering correctly).

 

Some authors are able to pump out a novel a year and still be filled with inspiration. Is this the case for you, or do you like to let an idea percolate for a couple of years in order to get a beautiful novel?

I am so awed by the people who have an unending supply of ideas, but I definitely like to let things percolate. I like to make hidden Pinterest boards where I can post images that relate to the idea I have, so I can remember them later, but for the most part I just let the idea simmer in the back of my mind while I work on other things.

have heard of writers that could only write in one place – then that cafe closed down and they could no longer write! Where do you find yourself writing most often, and on what medium (pen/paper or digital)?

Writing time is limited and precious, so I’ll write anywhere: at home, at Starbucks, while on my lunch hour, waiting for an oil change. And I prefer my laptop to write, but again, because I need to write whenever and wherever I can, I’ll write on my phone or in one of the bazillion notebooks I usually have on me. That said though, I do find that if I’m stuck, writing by hand usually works to get me unstuck.

Before going on to hire an editor, most authors use beta-readers. How do you recruit your beta-readers, and choose an editor? Are you lucky enough to have loving family members who can read and comment on your novel?

I am incredibly lucky to have four critique partners who go over my work before I send it to my agent. I’ve worked with them for years, and their commentary is always on point and insightful. And I don’t work with an editor until my work is sold, but my agent is very editorial, which is fantastic. She really knows her stuff, and makes my writing better.

I walk past bookshops and am drawn in by the smell of the books – ebooks simply don’t have the same attraction for me. Does this happen to you, and do you have a favourite bookshop? Or perhaps you are an e-reader fan… where do you source most of your material from?

Everywhere! My favorite indie bookshop is Murder by the Book in Houston. They have a great selection and a knowledgeable staff, and I love shopping there. But I also like to utilize the library. I recently discovered Overdrive, and it’s made my audiobook habit much easier to feed.

I used to find myself buying books in only one genre (fantasy) before I started writing this blog. What is your favourite genre, and do you have a favourite author who sticks in your mind from:
1. childhood? When I was a kid, I could not get enough of The Baby-Sitter’s Club. Every birthday, every bit of money I was able to save went toward those books. And then, when I was a little older, it turned into a Sweet Valley High obsession. Those felt so taboo after the BSC, I mean, there was kissing.
2. adolescence? The movie version of Jurassic Park (and let’s be honest, Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park) got me hooked on Michael Chrichton, which led to me reading everything I could get my hands on. Around this same time I became obsessed with the classics, but, of course, never the classics assigned to me in class. I loved Alexandre Dumas, and read The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers over and over.
3. young adult? I was working in a bookstore at this time, and that was pure temptation. I read everything and anything, but Sophie Kinsella and Louise Rennison were favorites at the time.
4. adult? I love to read across genres now. Some of my current favorites are Leigh Bardugo, Holly Black, Kelley Armstrong, Heidi Heilig, and Victoria Schwab. Basically, I’ll read anything that sounds good.

Social media is a big thing, much to my disgust! I never have enough time myself to do what I feel is a good job. You manage your own profile, please tell me as much as you are comfortable with in regards to your preferred platform and an estimate of time you spend doing it [and whether you like doing it!].

I’m too much of a control freak to relegate to anyone else. But I agree that social media is so overwhelming! It can be hard, feeling like you have to do everything. I think it’s better to choose one or two platforms and do them well. So I choose to focus on Twitter and Instagram. Every now and then I start to think that I should have a Facebook author page, but then I remember how much it would stress me out and that the page would suffer. I’m going to quote Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec here and say, “Never half-ass two things. Whole ass one thing.”

About By a Charm and a Curse:

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

 

Buylinks: https://entangledpublishing.com/by-a-charm-and-a-curse.html

Author Links:
Author Website: jaimequestell.com
Author Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jaimequestell
Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaimequestell/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15396319.Jaime_Questell
Author Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/jaime_q/
Newsletter: http://jaimequestell.com/events/

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Review: Sara Bernard – Goodbye, Perfect

Goodbye, Perfect
Sara Bernard

Eden can depend on Bonnie for being there and holding her up. But now Bonnie has run away with her boyfriend, and Eden doesn’t know which secrets she should be keeping. As Bonnie gets further and further away from Eden, Eden is forced further into her lies. Can Eden bring Bonnie home without betraying her trust?

I’m not sure how convinced by this novel I was. I wanted to get more of a sense about Eden’s background, but I appreciated that the author didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, because the whole novel was really about how far you would go to keep a secret. There were touches of romance between Eden and Connor, and attempts to explore the sometimes complicated nature of families, but most of the novel was focussed on Eden’s stubbornness. I never felt a real breakthrough in her personality, despite the softening she displayed later.

There could have been more action to keep my attention in the first part of the novel. I never felt like Eden was going to tell, so I didn’t feel much of a problem as Bonnie got further and further away from her home. I got to page 36 and commented to my partner that nothing seemed to have happened yet.

Something that you are told about frequently in foster care training, or as a psychiatric patient, is that you have to warn people that you can’t actually keep things a secret – if keeping the secret will harm them, or others, you are required to tell someone who can act to keep the person in question safe. Teenagers find this hard to understand, probably due to peer pressure & influence.

I felt pretty betrayed at the end honestly. I don’t know how I felt about the whole Jack-Bonnie situation either. I agree that he was in a position of power, and that he shouldn’t have abused that power. How could Bonnie be so naive? She seemed to have plenty of book-smarts, but no common sense. Not to mention the lack of responsibility of the school. Oh! And I wasn’t convinced that Jack was ‘grooming’ Bonnie. I agree that he probably didn’t feel the same star-struck love for her, but he might not have been a paedophile. Consent is a tricky thing – make sure you are both consenting ADULTS before doing anything…dodgy.

I’m giving this 4 stars.

Pan Macmillan | 13th February 2018 | AU$16.99 | paperback

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Review: Short Stories, Because You Love to Hate Me (ed. Ameriie)

Because You Love to Hate Me
Editor: Ameriie

Leave it to the heroes to save the world—villains just want to rule the world. In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

I confess, I read the first two short stories and almost gave up on the whole anthology. Neither were in a style I enjoyed. A book of short stories was never going to be my favourite read. You will remember from the time that I was more enamored with Mercedes Lackey that I read a lot of short stories. I usually like to use them to pick out some new authors to test out, but honestly at the moment I still have novels left over from last year to review and it’s just not going to happen.

I recognised two of the authors here – Adam Silvera (They Both Die in the End) and Nichola Yoon. I wouldn’t say that any short stories really shone out as amazing, but my pick would be Julian Breaks Every Rule by Andrew Smith. Let’s just say it has a lot in common with Breaking Butterflies. I wouldn’t want to ruin the underlying theme of it.

Honestly, I’m actually really envious that these vloggers got to request specific topics for their short story. Maybe I should start vlogging about my books? But I’m more of a writer of reviews. If you asked me to do this, I think I’d choose a reimagining of a dragon fairytale, clearly. Maybe the dragon from The Hobbit?

Let’s give this 4 stars, which is pretty generous from me for a book of short stories. Worth reading if you love fairytales, don’t mind short stories and are looking for some new authors to read.

Bloomsbury | 1st September 2017 | AU$14.99 | paperback

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Review: Megan Frazer Blakemore – The Firefly Code

The Firefly Code
Megan Frazer Blakemore

Old Harmonie is a utopian community where almost all diseases have been cured, and children at the age of 13 are granted access to their special talent. But is everything as good as the children have been taught?

I didn’t always understand Mori’s motivations. I actually wondered at the beginning if her own parents or Ilana had somehow coerced her into taking Ilana into her secret place. Or can it be excused by the power of ‘beautiful people’ to get what they want? I find it so funny how Mori can think that Ilana must be a ‘natural’ because she looks perfect. Dude! Everyone knows that natural genetics for humans doesn’t always turn out well. If someone is a ‘natural’, it’s likely that they don’t look perfect – they will resemble their parents more than Ilana does hers. Also, she should also totally blame her parents for her eyeball problems.

Looking for a YA version of this novel? Read Breaking and Burning by Danielle Rollings. Or perhaps Because you’ll never meet me. Playing around with genetics is so dangerous. We don’t even always get it right with mice – and it’s scary to think that scientists in poorly regulated countries such as China are already performing human cloning and no doubt some serious genetic engineering. It’s the ethics that always makes things complicated. How far is too far?

This novel has real potential for introducing younger readers to important genetic concepts. I’d set it at maybe age 10 up, just because the ideas behind changing people’s very genetic makeup is a hard one to grasp. They may also struggle with the idea that adults don’t always tell the truth, and that adults don’t always know everything. Being able to read the words and being able to understand the concepts are two different things.

Oh dear. This novel has made me want to read Sapient or The Ego Cluster again (PS: I did just reread Sapient – so good!). If only I had a printed copy of The Ego Cluster! I’ve just gotten a fancy copy of my PhD bound, so maybe I could do the same for it… Better ask the author (and see if he has written any more fantastic novels yet). I’m giving this 4 stars. It gets off to a really slow start, but certainly ‘heats up’ towards the end. And it has a sequel coming. Sigh. Why always with sequels? At least it mostly concluded properly.

Bloomsbury | 1st December 2017 | AU$14.99 | paperback

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Review: Angelo Surmelis – the dangerous art of blending in

the dangerous art of blending in
Angelo Surmelis

Evan has been trying to fit into society and his family his whole life. But with violence at home, and the knowledge that he kissed a boy in summer at Bible camp, Evan is probably never going to manage it. As his life goes from barely tolerable to horrific, Evan has to decide how he is going to shape his life from here.

I didn’t understand the obsession with money, except as a way of having more control over Evan. Evan’s father seemed like a sensible enough man, even if he was trapped by what the Greek community told him was normal.

Oh Gods. This novel ripped me apart. While reading it, I felt like my heart was going to break, and when I finished it, I felt like I needed a cuddle from my own partner to remind me that not all of the world is filled with idiots.

This novel powerfully tackles domestic abuse (from a female perpetrator, no less) and coming out as gay in a community that doesn’t understand it. It brought back memories of my own high school years, and the experiences I have heard from many other Queer people. I loved the authenticity of this novel, which came from it being written based on the experiences of the author. That a person had to go through that as a child, well, it brings me to tears.

How much actually happens in this novel? I spent a lot of the novel anticipating what Evan’s mother was going to do to him next, and not as much paying attention to the action. That anticipation and climax is what lets me give this novel 5 stars.

Penguin Random House | 12th February 2018 | AU$19.99 | paperback

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Review: Kathleen Barber – Are You Sleeping

Are You Sleeping
Kathleen Barber

Josie’s mother has just died, setting off a chain of events that she never could have predicted. Josie is expected to attend the funeral – the only problem is that she already told her boyfriend that her mother had died years ago. Finally, a social media reporter has just taken up the closed case of Josie’s father’s murder – and the whole world is baying for righteous blood.

This novel is an emotional roller-coaster ride, rather than a thriller. Josie has kept everything suppressed for so long (dude, you seriously needed counselling, not random sex in overseas bars), that it spurts out in unexpected bursts of trauma. Sometimes I felt that if she was just a little bit less irrational she would be fine!

Some of the character dynamics made no sense to me. However, I think that the author went to a great lengths to include a wide range of relationships. Take for example the ?20? years of difference between Josie’s cousin Linda and her husband. Or the weird dynamics of Lanie and Adam. Adam should pay…

I did not feel satisfied with the ending. What penalty will Poppy pay for basically causing the death of Josie’s mother? Shouldn’t she pay for withholding evidence that could have exonerated some suspects before so much damage was done? Or for interfering with a person’s final belongings?

I think I will actually give this 4 stars, although I would have liked more hints so that I could work out the solution for myself.

Pan Macmillan | 8th August 2017 | AU$29.99 | paperback

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Interview with Erica Cameron

Interview with Erica Cameron, Author of Sea of Strangers

I’m not going to be reviewing your newest novel, but from your other published novels, is there one that is your own personal favourite?

It’s so hard to pick because every book I’ve written has some special element that means a lot to me, but there is something incredibly wonderful about The Ryogan Chronicles. I love the world, the characters, and the story told there. I also love that I finally got to populate a world that I initially created back in college. That means more than I know how to explain.

Everyone has a ‘first novel’, even if many of them are a rough draft relegated to the bottom and back of your desk drawer (or your external harddrive!). Have you been able to reshape yours, or have you abandoned it for good?

In 2007-2008, I wrote my first ever original novel. It took the concept of angels and gave them a new origin story and whole new mythology. There was a lot I loved about that concept and the story itself, but it was my first novel and I made a lot of plotting mistakes I didn’t know how to fix. Although I did steal certain concepts and systems from that novel, it won’t ever be published.

Some authors are able to pump out a novel a year and still be filled with inspiration. Is this the case for you, or do you like to let an idea percolate for a couple of years in order to get a beautiful novel?

Sea of Strangers is my third release in 2017, so I have to go with the option one! I am always working on something, and often have a few projects waiting in the wings. It’s hard to find the time and mental energy to work on all of them at once, but I am lucky enough to have a very wonderful editorial team at Entangled who make sure my books go out into the world as polished and pretty as they possibly can be.

I have heard of writers that could only write in one place – then that cafe closed down and they could no longer write! Where do you find yourself writing most often, and on what medium (pen/paper or digital)?

Thankfully, I’m not nearly so particular! I do almost all my writing in Word on a laptop, but I can write by hand if needed. Sometimes the change of method helps, actually. I have written in bed, at my desk, on a couch, an airplane, a car, on my phone on break at work—pretty much anywhere. I do enjoy writing at coffee shops, though! So long as I can get a comfortable seat somewhere, that is.

Before going on to hire an editor, most authors use beta-readers. How do you recruit your beta-readers, and choose an editor? Are you lucky enough to have loving family members who can read and comment on your novel?

I have had numerous beta readers over the years, and they have all helped me develop my work in wonderful ways. I especially like an early reader who asks questions. Sometimes they notice patterns or missing information that I never saw, and them asking questions about those things helps me even out the rough edges of the story. My family is incredibly supportive, but they tend to read the final versions rather than the early ones. As for editors, I’ve never actually paid for editorial services. When deciding to work with an editor at a publishing house, though, I need to know what they see in the story and what they’re hoping I can change in it. If their vision doesn’t match mine, the partnership won’t work. Everyone working on a novel needs to be heading toward the same end goal or the whole project will turn into a mess.

I walk past bookshops and am drawn in by the smell of the books – ebooks simply don’t have the same attraction for me. Does this happen to you, and do you have a favourite bookshop? Or perhaps you are an e-reader fan… where do you source most of your material from?

There is a dearth of good independent bookstores in my area! The best one is about an hour away—Books & Books in Coral Gables. There are several Barnes & Nobles, though, and I even work at one close to home! It’s a brilliant job, but also difficult. I want to bring home so many books I don’t have the time to read or the space to keep! I do read electronically a lot, and I don’t mind that format. However, seeing my bookshelves full to the point of groaning under the weight of my library is something I won’t easily give up.

I used to find myself buying books in only one genre (fantasy) before I started writing this blog. What is your favourite genre, and do you have a favourite author who sticks in your mind from:

  1. childhood?Once I got to the point of picking my own books and authors, I fell in love with fantasy! Tamora Pierce was my first ever favorite author.
  2. adolescence?I stuck to the sci-fi/fantasy realm for a long time, but I also tended to read mysteries my dad left around the house. He was going through a James Patterson phase at that point. Those were also the years I introduced myself to Anne McCaffrey’s Pern world.
  3. young adult? College interrupted my reading years (it’s hard to read anything you’re not assigned!), but once I graduated I also branched out. Romance. Classic literature. I discovered authors like Georgette Heyer, Jasper Fforde, Jim Butcher, Jacqueline Carey, Brandon Sanderson, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and more. So many more. It helped, of course, that I worked at Borders Bookstore for a couple years after college. It’s also what brought me back to the world of young adult, a section that didn’t really exist when I actually was a young adult. [Rose: A woman after my own heart!]
  4. adult? These days I read mostly young adult, middle grade, and adult (though mainly sci-fi/fantasy). Most recently, I read and loved Fish in a Treeby Lynda Mullaly Hunt, This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp, and The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher.

Social media is a big thing, much to my disgust! I never have enough time myself to do what I feel is a good job. Do you manage your own profiles or did you choose someone else to?

I’m on several social media sites and it’s all my own posts and comments! Which is probably why my Facebook and Tumblr pages are all but ignored. Social media is time consuming, and I only have so many hours in the day. I used to be way more involved online and would post several times a day on my various accounts, but I’ve been forced by necessity to pare it back until I mainly check notifications, answer direct messages and comments, and then log off again. I like being able to talk to friends across the country (and the world), however, if I have to choose between social media and either writing time or sleep, social media usually loses.

About Sea of Strangers (The Ryogan Chronicles, #2):

Know your enemy if you want to survive…

The only way for Khya to get her brother back alive is to kill Varan—the immortal ruler who can’t be killed. But not even Varan knew what he was doing when he perverted magic and humanity to become immortal.

Khya’s leading her group of friends and rebels into the mountains that hold Varan’s secrets, but if risking all their lives is going to be worth it, she has to give up everything else—breaking the spell that holds her brother captive and jeopardizing her deepening relationship with Tessen, the boy who has been by turns her rival and refuge since her brother disappeared. Immortality itself might be her only answer, but if that’s where Khya has to go, she can’t ask Tessen or her friends to follow.

About Erica Cameron:

Erica Cameron is the author of books for young adults including the Ryogan Chronicles, the Assassins duology, and The Dream War Saga. She also co-authored the Laguna Tides novels with Lani Woodland. An advocate for asexuality and emotional abuse awareness, Erica has also worked with teens at a residential rehabilitation facility in her hometown of Fort Lauderdale.

Website: ByEricaCameron.com

Blog: ByEricaCameron.com/wp/blog/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ByEricaCameron

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ByEricaCameron

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ericacameron

Newsletter: http://byericacameron.com/wp/newsletter/

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Interview with Amber Hart

An Interview with Amber Hart, author of Wicked Charm

I’m not going to be reviewing your newest novel, but from your other published novels, is there one that is your own personal favourite?

I think whatever book I’ve written last—in this case, Wicked Charm—is always my favorite. It’s fresh on my mind, and exciting, and I adore being able to share it with readers.

Everyone has a ‘first novel’, even if many of them are a rough draft relegated to the bottom and back of your desk drawer (or your external harddrive!). Have you been able to reshape yours, or have you abandoned it for good?

 

My first stories were written with crayon. They have somehow been lost over the years, which is probably, mercifully, a good thing.

Some authors are able to pump out a novel a year and still be filled with inspiration. Is this the case for you, or do you like to let an idea percolate for a couple of years in order to get a beautiful novel?

Inspiration is around me daily. I would love to aim for a novel a year, but it does seem to be more around the two year mark. I definitely get many, many more ideas than I’m able to write. I listen to the ones that are the loudest.

I have heard of writers that could only write in one place – then that cafe closed down and they could no longer write! Where do you find yourself writing most often, and on what medium (pen/paper or digital)?

Pen and paper feels the most organic to me, but a laptop is more feasible, so I work on that. I prefer to work at home, with a cup of tea, silence, surrounded my novels, and my cat curled up at my feet.

Before going on to hire an editor, most authors use beta-readers. How do you recruit your beta-readers, and choose an editor? Are you lucky enough to have loving family members who can read and comment on your novel?

When I first started, I had beta readers, but now my agent reads the manuscripts first. Occasionally I hand it over to a trusted friend or fellow author, when they have time to read, and I always appreciate their feedback. I leave the editor decision to my agent and publisher, because they know what’s best for my stories. Thankfully.

I walk past bookshops and am drawn in by the smell of the books – ebooks simply don’t have the same attraction for me. Does this happen to you, and do you have a favourite bookshop? Or perhaps you are an e-reader fan… where do you source most of your material from?

I see the need for paper books and ebooks. I love both. I support both. Paper books have the allure of touching a physical copy and giving it a home on your shelf, along with the smell of parchment and ink. Ebooks have the allure of fitting into tighter places and containing many stories all in one device, of being practical for travel, and of being incredible space savers.

I used to find myself buying books in only one genre (fantasy) before I started writing this blog. What is your favourite genre, and do you have a favourite author who sticks in your mind from:

  1. childhood?  Thriller. Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine
  2. adolescence? Fearless series by Francine Pascal and Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  3. young adult? I love all genres, but suppose I lean a little more towards fantasy
  4. adult? Contemporary or fun/flirty romance. I love stories with happy endings.

Social media is a big thing, much to my disgust! I never have enough time myself to do what I feel is a good job. Where can my readers find you?

I’m on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon, and Goodreads. They all help draw readers to novels!

Amber: Thanks for the interview! I hope readers enjoy Wicked Charm.

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Review: Shivaun Plozza – Tin Heart

Tin Heart
Shivaun Plozza

Marlowe has been lucky enough to get the new heart she needed, but blending in with a campaigning vegan mother and a costume wearing little brother is almost impossible. Not to mention having a little crush and ongoing feud with the boy next door… it’s a pity he’s a butcher! Who is she now that she has someone else’s heart?

Plozza’s debut novel, Frankie, was excellent, so I was looking forward to another novel from her. I was not disappointed by this one! Marlowe isn’t what you expect out of a YA/teenage protagonist, and that refreshed what could have otherwise been ‘just another teenage romance’. Marlowe is struggling with real issues, just like Frankie, and Plozza’s dialogue and scene setting lights the way for an engrossing story.

I always wonder if authors feel like writing a parallel/sequel hybrid novel of the supporting characters. I’m sure that there could have been a lot more explored following this novel with Zan/Kari as a protagonist. Then again, I think I’d just like to see more unlikely protagonists. I’d be interested to see this author’s take on a same-sex relationship.

Another novel I recently read,also concerns a heart transplant person (funnily enough). In Out of Heart, the heart recipient comes and sits in the lounge room of the donor family. The heart is known by science to carry memories and inclinations with it, and it of course holds a lot of sentimental value for organ donors.

Anything that promotes organ donation is a positive for me. Funnily enough, my partner’s boss at work needed a lung transplant, and his gift of life happened during an unexpected rain storm too. There were two false alarms (the lungs died in transport) before he finally got his lungs. A warning to all – be careful driving during unexpected weather, else you may give up your life by accident, although you might save other people by doing so.

Get your hands on this novel for yourself or your YA reader. 5 stars from me, it’s going straight to my re-read list. Now, if only I had time…

Penguin Random House | March 2018 | paperback

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Review: Gregg Hurwitz – Last Chance

Last Chance
Gregg Hurwitz

Chance Rain has made it through the last gasp of their plan to kill the Queen and free their home town. Too bad that the aliens can simply replace her with another. With the impregnated kids ready to hatch the next generation of invaders, Chance might be able to stop it – but it will cost him his life.

I received this, and then I literally gobbled it up for 3-4 hours. I knew that it would be good, having loved The Rains so much. I love the amount of thought that has gone into this novel. The stages of the invasion, the stages of the invaders themselves. The action happened so fast sometimes that I couldn’t breathe.

Alex, you two-timing teenager. I know there is an actual phenomenon of there being more marriage proposals after major catastrophes, due to emotions running high. But at the same time, Alex, didn’t anyone teach you about the rules of dating? You don’t shag two people at the same time, let alone two brothers.  

I hate to think of what happens next though. A population filled with kids no older than 18? All over the world? I mean, a lot have died off, but even the smart ones haven’t necessarily survived. Not to mention – how are all the countries to be saved, when originally the spread was via lots of meteors landing? So many skills would be lost.

I actually had this discussion with a Professor last night. Despite what the media says, many countries are now having negative population growth. This, combined with an aging population that needs more care, means that despite robots potentially taking over the world there will be plenty of jobs left. Humans have creativity, which might be our savior.

Go get your hands on this novel. I think I would even reread it, that’s how attached I got to the characters. 5 stars.

Penguin Random House | 2nd January 2018 | AU$19.99 | paperback

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