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This Raging Light Review

Thursday, 28 January 2016

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                Title: This Raging Light
                Author: Estelle Laure
                First Published: Jan 12th 2016
                Publisher: Hachette Children’s Books
                Source: Net Galley


Can the best thing happen at the worst time?

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she's about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend's brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure's soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page

My Thoughts

This Raging Light was a roller-coaster of mixed emotions. I found it interesting on how Lu, the protagonist, was trying to handle all of her problems. She basically had to support her younger sister and try to become a role model for her (which wasn’t going well in the second half of the book).

I don’t really know how to write this review in one whole go (as in paragraphs that flow) so here are my separate thoughts on the book.

The Romance – Was it really necessary? I mean it’s one of the major plot lines, but I didn’t like it at all. Digby is a great guy, but that chemistry that was introduced in the book between him and Lu was unenjoyable and just hard to swallow. The fact is, that I don’t understand the longing Digby has for Lu. They’re great friends, but the guy has a girlfriend. I was majorly confused. But this wasn’t the only plot line that kind of put me off.

Eden – I never understood why she stopped talking to Lucille. Like yeah, she went psycho one night, but Digby came back, why didn’t she? In general, her character was interesting. I didn’t love her but I didn’t hate her too. She was complex and I wish I could pick at her brain and see what her thoughts really were.

Wren – She was what saved the book for me. That little girl was my heart. It was unbearable to see her go through the things she did. I wanted to know so much about Wren, what she was thinking, why she was thinking that and what conclusions she had made. She was the soul of the book, she gave it life. Without Wren I don’t think I would have finished the book.

Lucille – Again a love hate relationship with the main character. I liked Lu, but once that urge for Digby was introduced, I couldn’t stand her. Her feelings toward him was never really explained it was just “she has a crush on Digby” and that’s it. Like the book was basically saying “Just embrace it and don’t ask why she liked him and when she liked him”. (There are some details about her feelings towards Digby but nothing really in detail and great enough to prove that this was ‘love’). I felt no real authentic chemistry between Digby and Lu until the very final pages. The rest of the time it just felt like they were lusting for each other.

The book had too many plot lines. I get this is the point of the book, that Lu’s life is messy, she has so many problems right now, hence the different plot lines, but it was just too much for me to try and concentrate on one plot line whilst another came out of nowhere. Like I had to go back and reread pages because sometimes it was just too confusing. Overall, the book was interesting, I really liked the first half of the book when we get to know Lu and Wren and see how their life is like. That was enjoyable. That was what I wanted to continue on reading about but then it kind of went downhill after that. The ending was quite good as I like endings that keep you guessing and is open to discussion (if it’s done well).

Writing this review is hard, because I really don’t know where I stand on the rating spectrum. I mean this book is definitely a 3 star book. But that, for me doesn’t really categorize the book properly. Even if I go higher or lower, to me those would be invalid ratings. But I’ll just stick to the 3 stars for now.

The Verdict


Undertow Review

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Title: Undertow
Author: Michael Buckly
First Published: May 5th 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: Secret Santa


Sixteen-year-old Lyric Walker’s life is forever changed when she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean-dwelling warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. The world’s initial wonder and awe over the Alpha quickly turns ugly and paranoid and violent, and Lyric’s small town transforms into a military zone with humans on one side and Alpha on the other. When Lyric is recruited to help the crown prince, a boy named Fathom, assimilate, she begins to fall for him. But their love is a dangerous one, and there are forces on both sides working to keep them apart. Only, what if the Alpha are not actually the enemy? What if they are in fact humanity’s only hope of survival? Because the real enemy is coming. And it’s more terrifying than anything the world has ever seen.

Action, suspense, and romance whirlpool dangerously in this cinematic saga, a blend of District 9 and The Outsiders.

My Thoughts

Trigger Warning: Domestic Violence

Undertow is hands down one of my all-time favourite books. The concept was refreshing and it was just fantastic to step into a different world that I’ve never read about before. I also love anything that is sea/ sea creature related because one of my current WIP’s is one and I’ve grown up loving the sea, sand and just the aesthetic of the beach. Undertow basically just screamed my name.

Undertow was beautifully written in an authentic voice which I could relate to. The protagonist, Lyric Walker, is such a fantastic character. Experiencing her journey in this book and unfolding secrets and plot twists were just, AMAZING. But my favourite character would be hands down Bex. She reminds me of myself personality wise and seeing what she was going through was heartbreaking and just… I wanted to be a fictional character for just a while so I could hop into that book give her a one second hug and give Russell (a character I will mention later on) some of his own medicine.

Seeing Bex’s world being shaken upside down was just tear-jerking and yes… I cried okay. Now another character who I adored was Tito aka Shadow. The guy was smooth and just had so much game on flirting with Bex and acting like he wasn’t interested. I loved the way he loved Bex. These two were the cutest, just the absolute best couple ever. Shadow was just there, always, caring and he will forever be one of my favourite male characters. His morals, personality; he is just a spectacular bloke, you’ll fall in love with the kid quick.

Lyric’s parents were realistic and just great additional characters. Michael Buckley’s side characters were so well done, I loved them all, because of how real they seemed. Like Russel, Bex’s Stepfather, was so well done. But I just hate the guy because in the book he’s a low life character.

Now the Alphas, aka Fish heads, were beautifully detailed both appearance and personality wise. I literally loved all the characters, (expect Surf, a huge Selkie, who’s just a big old bully).

Lyric’s love interest in the book, Fathom, was also an interesting character. At first, I didn’t like him because he literally meant bad news, but as I read further into the book I grew to love Fathom. I think Fathom’s and Lyric’s relationship wasn’t really insta lovey but was just really awkward, mainly because of how the Alpha pair up. Fathom was already promised to someone else, Arcade, and she reminds me of Lyric but just feisty and more intimidating.

The writing is done in first person, so you are Lyric Walker. It was effortless and as I mentioned before authentic in the sense that it sounds like a teenage girl. The final pages were a bit hard to swallow. I was confused on what was happening before and after the battle, but I quickly recovered.

I can’t wait for book two. I’ll be waiting (im)patiently. I highly recommend this book because of the refreshing new concept on fantasy, the loveable characters and just an awesome plot filled with plot twists.

The Verdict


Esther Dalseno's Gabriel and The Swallows Cover Reveal !

It is time to release the cover of the second novel of fellow Aussie, Esther Dalseno’s Gabriel and the Swallows. It’s beautiful and another timeless cover that will compliment her first book Drown (February’s Indie book of the month) on my shelf.


Here's a smaller version if the resolution is too big or too small.

ISN’T IT BEAUTIFUL ???? Gabriel and the Swallows is apart of the Volatile duology. Here’s a snippet of the synopsis from goodreads to get you extra excited to own this baby.

A lonely farm boy.
A girl with swallow’s wings.
An ancient city buried in a volcano.
A mystery old as blood and bone.

There is more to Gabriel than the life he’s ashamed of – the son of peasant winemakers, bullied relentlessly on account of his disabled mother. For Gabriel has a secret: the elaborate dream world he descends into at night – a grandiose, vivid existence – is becoming more real than his waking life.

Everything changes for Gabriel when he rescues a wounded creature – a miraculous girl with swallow’s wings – from the voracious pursuit of Alfio Gallo, a dangerous old enemy. Aided by the beautiful and mysterious Orlando Khan, Gabriel is conflicted by unanswered questions: who is the Dark One that dwells in the medieval tunnels beneath their city? Is he just a figment of Gabriel’s powerful imagination? And is the foundling really who she says she is?

Doesn't sound exciting ? Comment below with your thoughts of the cover and if this book just screams your name ! Thanks for stopping by,