Every Little Piece of my Heart
Sophie has been abandoned by her bestie, Freya. Sophie’s trying to deal with her chronic illness, having no friends at school and just generally feeling abandoned. When she receives a parcel with her name on it, she can’t wait to open it. But the parcel isn’t even for her, she needs to pass it on to someone she barely knows…
It’s nice to have a character with a chronic illness that makes it difficult for her to be a main character! It’s very unfair and biased that many heroes are strong or even just plain healthy when the reality is that many people live with unseen conditions. Spoons! So in a way that almost made this book redeemable, but not quite.
This book also suffered from multiple perspectives. I say suffered because I didn’t feel like it was done particularly well. Despite flipping through the four view points, each doesn’t add anything particularly new in my opinion. Ok ok, we see four different people but I don’t think that there’s enough depth that each seemed unique. Maybe it passes for teen fiction, but not YA fiction.
Average. So, so average. And the ending was terrible – was it left open for a sequel where there’s a big happy reunion? I mean, I finished it, but only because I was hopeful that the end would answer some big questions I had. It didn’t. If you love books with open endings, you’ll love this one. I’m giving it 3 stars, which is extremely generous of me.
There’s Been a Little Incident
Molly runs. Molly travels. Molly brings the life to the party. Molly is running away from death. She’s run off again – this time we aren’t sure where, but we will track her down!
This novel was.. average. I kept reading it because I expected something to happen. I was hopeful the ending might redeeem it, but I was disappointed. It potters along throwing out tidbits about Molly’s life, and the life of her siblings/aunts/uncles/cousins and poor ?brother? who is far away in Australia. Come on! It’s not forever away any more! And I don’t see why they need to track down Molly at all. I received no sense of closure when the book was finished.
I received this as an ARC so I already felt invested like I should enjoy it. Sadly, it let me down. I hate books with multiple perspectives, and I hate books with inserted text messages / poems / songs. This book had both and I don’t think either of them added anything! The multiple perspectives weren’t awful, but because I didn’t really care about whether they found the main character (Molly – she could be dead for all I cared), I didn’t care about each of their own minature stories.
There’s an attempt at a twist as a young nurse has gone missing, but it’s not really enough to catch anyone’s interest. It does eventually entwine with the rest of Molly’s family, but it doesn’t seem to have very much significance. If you asked me, they are all just running around crazily and could probably benefit from some paid psychological help.
Ugh. 2 stars because I finished it, but don’t waste your time. I’m really not sure who this novel would appeal to.
Head of Zeus | 1 November 2022 | AU$29.99 | paperback
Christophor is a witch-hunter at the end of his career. He’d like a nice quiet ending with no excitement. It’s not to be though, as he is sent out on the hunt again after a child has their eyes replaced with teeth. Alexander is just along for the ride, but he eventually gets pulled into helping Christophor with the hunt.
The concept of this novel was so cool! I loved the premise that each human body had two completely separate people in it. You go through the day as one person, and then your night-sister takes over while your mind sleeps. Thus your two halves never meet, and can live almost completely separate lives. It leads to crazy things – you might have an affair with one person, but then after you sleep your day-sister wakes up with someone else’s husband there!
Naturally, because Christophor is the night-brother we have the first perspective from, I felt way more invested in ‘him’ rather than Alexander (day-brother). I then thought that Alexander was a bit of a twit! Which is perhaps what the author wanted me to think. It was interesting to see the two perspectives, even if I didn’t really understand why Alexander put up with his night-brother.
I’d had a friend review it before me reading it, and they said the book was average. Why? The ending was poor. Very poor. It felt rushed and uninteresting. There wasn’t much in the way of an explanation for the magic system in the novel, and so the ending felt forced and too extravagant. Thus, I’m only giving this 2 stars even though I finished it.
Bloomsbury | 2 August 2022 | AU$29.99 | paperback
The Not So Chosen One
Lucy’s keeping her cool – she’s got homework, friends and needs to be at home on time. She just won’t think about the fact that she’s pregnant. To top it off, she’s suddenly been offered entry into the prestigious Drake’s College – but she doesn’t seem to have any magical abilities?
This book was fantastic… right until the last 10 pages or so. How can this book not have a sequel? Then I thought back along the book and went.. uh, enough plot holes, anyone? I received an ARC of this novel, but the ending made me so disappointed I couldn’t bring myself to review it. Maybe it was improved further before going to publication?
I liked Lucy, even if she was really quite an idiot at times. Seriously girl, get yo’sef together! She definitely could have done a better job at paying attention and putting clues together. Maybe she has baby brain? I could have done with a bit more in terms of context and some of the plot twists just seemed to be twists for the hell of it rather than actual useful storyline. That said, I was really realy invested in the ending!
I’m giving it 2 stars, although I considered giving it only 1 star. The ending is so terrible that you shouldn’t let yourself read this book unless a second is published. And I’d want that sequel to be published, not just ‘in writing’ before committing. I’m still sad about the ending…
Text Publishing | 5 July 2022 | AU$19.99 | paperback
Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
“You’re either a Purple Cow or you’re not. You’re either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice. What do Starbucks and JetBlue and KrispyKreme and Apple and DutchBoy and Kensington and Zespri and Hard Candy have that you don’t? How do they continue to confound critics and achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind former tried-and true brands to gasp their last? … In Purple Cow, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable. It’s a manifesto for marketers who want to help create products that are worth marketing in the first place.”
I can’t believe it has such good reviews and ratings on GoodReads! Honestly, it’s not that bad of a book – my issue with it is that it was written 20 years ago (first published in 2003). As such, it’s very outdated. The companies and examples it uses are very outdated and not relevant anymore. A lot of the companies I think must be in America only and are therefore not relatable to other people in the rest of the world. The style that it’s written in is also very Americanised.
There are some good things. The author has a short but sweet point, and sticks to this same topic throughout which is great. I hate it when an author is trying to say too much and everything gets lost in the end. It’s a nice quick short book and everything is related. It’s not really in chapters, just all mini case studies and topics about the same thing. I just felt a bit lost at some points and not interested and not wanting to keep reading.
I was really looking forward to reading this book, but it didn’t live up to expectations. I also expected the updated version to be a little more updated, but it was pretty much the same with some extra bonus bits at the end. A quick read, but I don’t feel like I came away from this book with anything new. Nonetheless, it’s still a good point to be reminded of, to be a Purple Cow! 2 stars.
Her Time to Shine
Erica is traumatised and ready for a change of scene. Little does she know that her new job in the funeral home is going to bring back other repressed memories – including her brother’s death. Intertwined with her varied grief, Erica must find her new place in the world.
The novel alludes to the financial ‘disaster’ that Stuart has left Erica in, but don’t really discuss it. I honestly couldn’t understand why she didn’t just sell the Adelaide house where she had been so traumatised. She wouldn’t even need to set foot in it again! That’s what real estate agents are for! There’s a lot of ‘woe is me’ and ‘belt-tightening’ which I didn’t understand. Get it together woman! You’re still well-off if you can survive picking up and going to a new place.
It was also unclear to me how the two girls had any income, and how they managed to not get a lodger if it was such a big deal that they were short on funds. Had they not heard of Gumtree? Or FB Marketplace? It’s not THAT hard to find a tenant if you genuinely need one. Or maybe it is in Adelaide? But of course they keep saying it’s such a tightknit community in SA that it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t already have a place?
It seems like half way through the novel, the author realised that there was such a thing as a rescue animal that also worked as a service animal. Let’s have a random dog that is magically able to cure everyone’s PTSD. I think it’s unfair and unclear what Bruce’s future is. A life as a star isn’t easy for anyone!
The dialogue was often cringe-worthy and didn’t flow well. I felt like the plot stuttered also, and made huge issues of minor things. It also seemed to try to fit too much in, and so then failed to grab my attention with any of the ‘problem’s the main characters faced. Honestly, Erica’s best friends sounded like they were going to get a spin-off novel for themselves in future – and they weren’t that unique.
This novel is likely not aimed at me – instead it’s a living vicariously novel that people with a mid-life crisis are going to enjoy. I did find it refreshing that menopause was openly talked about by all the characters (male and female) but that was about it. I was hoping for a few more career details about the funeral home, but I also missed out on that. If I had my reading time again I wouldn’t have bothered reading it. I know there’s an audience for this sort of novel, so I won’t demote it to 2 stars.
Harper Collins | 30 March 2022 | AU$32.99 | paperback
The New Strategic Thinking: Pure and Simple
“Management expert Michel Robert unveils his practical and proven methodology for you to plan and implement effective corporate strategies. Featuring a detailed explanation of how Robert used his approach to turn around Caterpillar as well as case studies of leading companies that utilize Robert’s method, The New Strategic Thinking shows you how to assemble a strategy team, identify your company’s driving force, determine the focus of the strategy (product, customer, or market), and launch initiatives company wide.”
This book was just average and just another strategy management book. The author says they are bringing something different to the business world but it still came across as the same as other similar books on the topic.
On the first page the author mentions the “Decision Processes International” which is from then on referred to as “the DPI process”. DPI is the company the author is from, but he doesn’t actually explain what this “DPI strategy process” is. I guess it’s a secret only for those hiring their company and not to be exploited in a book.
There is then a little more on little tips, but nothing substantial. For the whole second half of the book you get case studies of real examples. Now normally I like the case studies, but this was the worst part of the book. They all started with how they needed help, then they found the DPI company and used DPI strategy and then bam everything was great again. It was in depth in the before and after but only 1 line saying they used DPI strategy and then the switch to it that saved the business. There was no actual explanation of the DPI strategy, what it is, how etc.
There were some tips at the start that I remember thinking at the time were great and I should review them at a later stage, but by the end I couldn’t remember these at all. The book gets too caught up in how awesome the creator is, and forgets that not everyone has the time or inclination to hire DPI. Overall it felt like the author was just promoting their company and not actually having any knowledge explained. 2 stars.
A Solitary Walk on the Moon by Hilde Hinton
“Evelyn went to the third drawer down in her dresser. It was her drawer of things past … she had an item from each of her previous lives. Evelyn was good at reinventing herself, becoming who she was going to be next, but she still kept one thing from each life. Never two.”
I usually write my own little blurb about a novel, but this one was so bland and boring I struggled to review it. While I connected a little with the main character, ultimately I didn’t enjoy the book. I kept reading because I thought that things would get better! But they didn’t.
This is truly one of those novels that needs the label on the front cover that says “a novel” because that’s all it was. I never really understood Evelyn, or her impetuous need to do some things that were ‘wrong’. I couldn’t work out what was consistent in her life, apart from a drawer of objects we hardly learnt about. I never really understood her quirks so I was frustrated by this whole novel.
I think it’s cute that she set them up with the family but I don’t understand why she left. Does this not happen every time? She was disgustingly sneaky at times, and it’s a bit creepy the way she followed people home. The novel left me asking ‘why’ to anything and everything in it.
I finished this novel out of a sense of duty. I’m not even sure who the target market is. It’s not particularly offensive, but it’s not remarkable either. I finished it, but I much would have rather used my time on something more compelling and more educational.
Hachette | 30 March 2022 | AU$32.99 | paperback
Harri has dreamed of taking the helm of Panache and has hustled hard to get there. The problem is that she’s been passed over, and now is expected to run a new magazine that seems likely to fail. Imogen has finally moved from unpaid intern to writer thanks to her sexually explicit blog. But can the two women make it work? Or are things careering off the rails…
I like the play-on-words in the title, very smick! Unfortunately, that was where my enjoyment ended. I don’t understand this novel. It’s going to appeal to a super specific audience, one that feels like the fashion industry is where they should be. Specifically, the magazine/printed word fashion scene. If you enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada or Ugly Betty, it’s a fair bet (haha) you’ll enjoy this novel more than me.
The blurb made it seem like we were going to get equal knowledge about both women, and be able to draw parallels. Unfortunately, the only one I picked up (besides that they both had to work really hard for their jobs) as that they had sex with Sam Strong.
The text at times seems quite ‘dirty’ and sex-ridden. I didn’t actually see where it added anything to the plot. I felt like Imogen (apart from the walrus confrontation) was benefitting somewhat equally with the ‘relationship’ with Sam. Come on! She got food more regularly! But is it abuse? I’m not sure.
I really don’t consider this book is doing justice to “stage a rebellion the only way they know how”. I didn’t really see any rebellion – they just seem to keep going where they are. Also, even if they do exit the rest of the fashion rat race, do they know how many startups are doomed, and how few get through the first two years?
This gets two stars since I finished it, but it left me feeling wrung-out and not very satisfied by the characters or the plot. If you like fashion, give it a go. If you don’t, maybe give it a miss.
Hachette | 8th March 2022| AU$32.99 | paperback
League of Liars
Cayder Broduck’s goal is to punish illegal users of magic. Anyone using extradimensional magic (edem) for their own self-interest should be stuck in Vardean for life. Cayder is determined to ruin as many lives as he can in retribution for his mother’s death. Unfortunately, the three criminals he’s supposed to defend seem to be more important and more interconnected than he knows what to do with…
Another reviewer has put this really well – ‘all the characters are morons’! Oh! It’s so true! They could all go die, I couldn’t have cared less about the outcome.
League of Liars was a confusing novel because – of course – everyone is lying. However, the rate at which the lies are exposed is quite slow. Thus due to this slow pacing I could easily put this book down in the middle of reading it.
I wasn’t that invested in any of the characters – it’s not like any of them are actually actively dying. They just happened to get stuck in this prison together! Even what seems like a betrayal is pathetic and transparent. Perhaps it would have worked for me better if I hadn’t had all the different perspectives and I did only see things through the eyes of what I would consider the main character (Cayder).
Ok, now, the ending. It wasn’t really an ending. There’s got to be a second book for this because the ending, although it might clear up the current set of lies, doesn’t actually meet and complete most of the storyline criteria. I found it really quite disappointing and I’d only give it three stars. I was just so disappointed in the ending and novel in general. Even if there ends up being a sequel, I wouldn’t recommend it. Don’t waste your time.
Allen & Unwin | 1 March 2022 | AU$19.99 | paperback