Month

July 2016

Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Alright, before I begin my review of this book I need to admit something. A secret shame. This is my very first Liane Moriarty book! Yes I know, I know! I can hear you SHARPLY GASP! Her books seem right up my alley, how could I have not read Big Little Lies, or The Husband’s Secret? “SHAME ON YOU MELISSA!” I hear you yell! “She is one of Australia’s most loved authors!!” I have heard such good things, but guiltily have never had the chance or inclination to read them before. However, this means that I came into reading Truly Madly Guilty with an unbiased perspective, and will hopefully give you a run down about what I liked and didn’t like about it as a Moriarty novice!

Something happened at the BBQ that day. Clementine didn’t even want to go, and a major life-changing event occurred. Something that will change all of their lives. This is the story of three marriages, friendship, and the fateful events of one seemingly ordinary afternoon that will become extraordinary in their memories.

Now, if you are after a light, feel good read then look elsewhere. This story is gritty, raw and deep.

Moriarty creates an amazingly charged atmosphere in the first half of the book without actually revealing what happened at the BBQ! I found this SO FRUSTRATING! But not in a bad way! I was DESPERATE to know what happened. So desperate that when it did happen I felt slightly let down, as it went in a different direction than I was expecting. But I assume that’s the point.

I enjoyed the way it switched back and forth in time and from each different characters perspective. It was an extremely character driven novel which I can only assume is a Moriarty trademark by reading reviews of her other work. It was done masterfully. Each character was so inherently unique and imperfect. I was quickly sucked into their lives and relationships.

It touched on SO MANY themes! Friendship, love, lust, family, parenting, childlessness, IVF, marriage, and mental illness just to name a few. However, with so much going on I found it dragged on a little bit for me. I was willing it at times to just get to the BBQ. However once it did get to the BBQ, I found the pace improved, even if it went in a direction I was not entirely anticipating. And there were a few excellent twists that I never saw coming, and that’s always a big plus for me!

Would I recommend Truly Madly Guilty?

Absolutely worth the read! I will be definitely checking out her other books! I can’t believe I have waited so long!

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for a pre release copy of Truly Madly Guilty in exchange for my honest review.

Truly Madly Guilty will be released on the 20th July.

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PURCHASE:

Pan Macmillan | AMAZON AU | AMAZON

It will also be available at all good bookstores.


If you enjoy Truly Madly Guilty, you may enjoy:

Running Against The Tide   Like I Can Love   Beside Myself

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See How They Run – Tom Bale

See How They Run – Tom Bale

See How They Run

4 Stars (4 / 5)

This fast-paced thriller was just what I was in the mood for! I have said it before and I will say it again, Bookouture are one of my FAVOURITE publishers! I have not read a book published by them that I haven’t enjoyed!

One fateful night new parents Harry and Alice are woken by armed masked intruders. They are after a man named Renshaw, who Alice and Harry have never heard of! They threaten the baby and promise that they will be back. Alice and Harry are left completely confused. Who is this “Renshaw”? How will they protect themselves and their baby daughter from these people if they don’t know who he is? This fateful night is the catalyst for the next series of events that will put all their lives in danger.

I’m just going to briefly mention that I did have a few issues with this novel. My issues mostly revolved around the start, and how on earth two intelligent people could NOT CALL THE POLICE! Their excuse why they didn’t was silly and just as unbelievable. Not just that, the fact that Harry WENT TO WORK the next day, was just so stupidly unbelievable to me. I actually had a lot of trouble moving along with the story after that.

However, thankfully the shaky start was soon forgotten, as I became immersed in the action and mystery. Bale created an extremely entertaining story, full of thrills and action.

As a mother, I can only imagine how I would feel if any of the things happened to my baby, like they did to Evie throughout the novel. I think Bale did a pretty good job of creating a mothers anguish in some of those difficult situations. The scenes with the baby were all done quite well. I enjoyed how the baby still did all the normal things, cried, fed, pooped etc, and that Alice still had to take care of all these basic tasks while she was trying to stay alive herself.

I liked how there wasn’t a parade of characters. Just three main ones with a few secondary characters thrown in. In the end the whole thing just worked.

Would I recommend See How They Run?

Absolutely! Any thriller fan should enjoy this one! Another hit by Bookouture!

Many thanks to author Tom Bale and publisher Bookouture via NetGalley for a copy of See How They Run in exchange for my honest review.

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If you enjoy See How They Run, you may enjoy:

Out of the Ice  Deadly Obsession The Comfort of Black - Carter Wilson

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Nexus – Ramez Naam

Nexus (Nexus #1) – Ramez Naam

Nexus

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I listened to the audio version of Nexus and let me tell you, it was 13 hours of nerdy-fun-brilliance!!!

It has an intricate plot, basically it is set in the not too distant future. Technology has surpassed what we could have ever imagined. The new nano drug Nexus works by linking minds together, it is also extremely feared and illegal. Young budding scientist Cade is caught improving it, and is made to work for the government as a spy, to bring down others who would use and distribute this technology. But not is all what it seems. Are the government the good guys? How can linking human beings together be a bad thing?

What a ride! It was exciting, thrilling, action packed and so darn interesting! The technology in this book is WOW, however still not incredibly far fetched. There is so much action in this book! It doesn’t really let up! The way that the characters all communicate in their heads and use their brains as an internet of sorts, allows the plot to develop in really unique ways. It was SO MUCH FUN!

The characters are all fantastically written! They have depth and all have other special qualities, whether it be physical upgrades, or if they have surpassed human intelligence all together. I thought Cade was a great character, however I felt he didn’t have quite the depth as some of the other characters. Sam was my favourite character, and we find out a lot about her and where she came from, and why she is the way she is. I enjoyed the way the story was written, with extracts, interviews and articles in between chapters to set the scene of the technologically advanced world and the challenges that it has encountered.

I thought the audio version narrated by Luke Daniels was FANTASTIC!! I loved the way he portrayed all the characters and at times it really felt like I was watching an action movie in my head because of his talented and gripping narration. If you are looking for a good audio book I would highly recommend you try this one!

Would I recommend Nexus?

YES! If you like sci-fi I am almost certain that you will enjoy this book! Loads of fun and there are two more! YAY!

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If you enjoy Nexus, you may enjoy:

Zero World   The Darwin Elevator   14

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The Muse – Jessie Burton

The Muse – Jessie Burton

image

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I must have been living under a rock for the last few years. I had never heard of Jessie Burton or her first, immensely popular novel “The Miniaturist”, before The Muse came into my radar.  I don’t tend to read much historical fiction, so perhaps that is why it was lost on me. There has been a lot of hype surrounding this book because of the former, and I got to ignore all of that and come at my review with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective.

The Muse is set in two time frames; In the 1960’s, Odelle moves from Trinidad to London to pursue her dream of being a writer. She gets a job typing at an art gallery, working for an eccentric woman known as Quick. When she meets a man who possesses an unusual and haunting painting, she delves into the mystery of where the painting came from, who the painter was, and what happened to him. Back in time to 1936, Olive and her parents move to Spain where she becomes enamoured with a local young man Issac, who is a revolutionary and an artist. He agrees to paint a portrait of Olive and her mother as a surprise for her father, and this gesture leads to a whole lot of catastrophic events, and melds both time frames together.

As soon as I started reading The Muse I was captured by the writing. Usually historical fiction and I don’t get on very well, but I breezed through this book as if I had read it before. I enjoyed the jumps back and forth in time, each jump giving away bit by bit of the storyline until the final climactic chapters.

I must admit, the key twists were not lost on me, I picked them up quite quickly. However there was always still some doubt if my suspicions were correct throughout.

I loved all the twists and turns, drama and intrigue. There were a few times, especially in the 1930’s Spain setting, that it got slightly slow for me, but I think again that is my usual indifference to historical fiction coming through, rather than any fault of the writer.

Overall I really enjoyed the atmosphere, both the settings and I found the characters to be well written and engaging.

Would I recommend The Muse?

Yes, historical fiction fans – I think you will really enjoy it!  Now I’m off to add The Miniaturist to my to-read pile!

Many thanks to author Jessie Burton via publisher Pan Macmillan for a copy of The Muse in exchange for my honest review.

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PAN MACMILLAN | AMAZON US | AMAZON AU


If you enjoy The Muse, you may enjoy:

Burial Rites   The Secret Years

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The Second Path – Virginia King

The Second Path (Selkie Moon Mystery #2) – Virginia King

The Second Path
4.25 Stars (4.25 / 5)

I really enjoyed the second instalment of the Selkie Moon series! I fell in love with ‘The First Lie’ and was so excited to see where Selkie’s adventures would take her next! I absolutely recommend reading The First Lie before this one. I feel you will lose the majority of the essence of the story and the characters if you do not.

After washing up naked on the beach a whole two weeks following her disappearance, and unable to remember anything from that time, Selkie feels like she is missing something. Her journey of self discovery takes her halfway across the world to France. Will she find her true home? What of her friends and her relationship with the elusive Alastair? And where on earth was she for two weeks?

There was just something so magical about The First Lie. Something about the writing and the atmosphere. It was truly something that I had never encountered before in a book. It was thoroughly captivating. The Second Path didn’t quite grab me like The First Lie did, however I think that is because I have started getting used to Selkie, and the unique writing of the series. By the time I got into this one, I was in the groove already.

However, even though it didn’t grab me exacltly like the first one did, I still loved it. Selkie is just the most amazing character. I loved how she was starting to get used to her intuition and the bizarre things that were happening to her and around her. I just adored all the other characters, especially the fleeting ones. I thought it was a fantastic plot idea to bring her and Genevieve into each others lives. There were many twists and turns and it took me to places I had no idea we were going!

Love the relationship between Selkie and Alastair! Man, the TENSION! Love it!

I am extremely interested and excited to see where the next book takes Selkie. I feel she still has a lot in store, and a lot to learn and accept.

Would I recommend The Second Path?

Absolutely! This series is so unique, I can’t even explain it! So very different to anything I have read before! Highly recommend that you give it a go!

So much thanks to author Virginia King for a copy of The Second Path in exchange for my honest review! I can’t wait to read the third one!

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PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VIRGINIA KING

When a voice wakes you up in the middle of the night and tells you to write a mystery series what’s a writer to do? That’s how Virginia King came Virginia King Portrait by Amanda Thorson 200 KBto create Selkie Moon, after a massage from a strange woman with gifted hands was followed by this nocturnal message. Virginia sat down at the keyboard until Selkie Moon turned up. All she had to do was jump, the first sentence said. Soon Virginia was hooked, exploring far-flung places full of secrets where Selkie delves into psychological clues tangled up in the local mythology.

Before Selkie Moon invaded her life, Virginia had been a teacher, an unemployed ex-teacher, the author of over 50 children’s books, an audio-book producer, a workshop presenter and a prize-winning publisher. These days she lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney with her husband, where she disappears each day into Selkie Moon’s latest mystery. Bliss.

 

Authors Website   Authors Twitter   Authors Goodreads   Authors Facebook

 


If you enjoy The Second Path, you may enjoy:

The First Lie

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The Family Man – Kelly Eadon – GIVEAWAY

The Family Man – Kelly Eadon

 The Family Man

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I really enjoyed this feel-good romance by the author of “The Wedding Date” Kelly Eadon. It is the second story of the lovely group of friends from the beach town of Belmont USA.

Beth is moving forward from some bad business mistakes and has found happiness selling a small amount of baked goods, teaching kids theatre, and fixing up the odd dress for a bit of money. She has been secretly crushing over Griffin, the owner of a coffee shop that she sells some of her muffins to twice a week. When it becomes clear that the crush isn’t exactly one sided, she soon discovers that Griffin has some baggage of his own. He has a 4 year old daughter and has had custody battles with the grandparents. He is trying to be a good dad to his daughter. Will he be able to let Beth into his heart too? Or will it all be too much for them both?

I thought this book was very sweet. It had some delightful moments and I really enjoyed their saga.

I thought the characters were well written, I enjoyed the continuation of the story of the group of friends from The Wedding Date. Although it focuses on the same group of friends, it doesn’t matter in which order you read them in. They are all individual stand-alone stories.

Loved the romance and there were some very cute and some very HOT moments! (Not for readers under 18!).

The characters frustrated me at times, with all the drama and indecision’s, and at times I just wanted to shake them both and say “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?”. But the journey was fun and the conclusion was ultimately satisfying. And I really want muffins now after reading it!

Would I recommend The Family Man?

Yes for any fans of cute romances, with a bit of tension and a lot of heat! A good way to spend a lazy reading afternoon!

Many thanks to author Kelly Eadon and NetGalley for an advanced copy of The Family Man in exchange for my honest review.

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PURCHASE:

AMAZON AU | AMAZON US | Book Depository

GIVEAWAY

Click HERE to enter The Family Man giveaway.


If you enjoy The Family Man, you may enjoy:

The Wedding Date   Going all the way   Welcome to Temptation   image

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Promise – Sarah Armstrong – Review and Q&A

Promise – Sarah Armstrong

Summary:

How farPromise would you go to protect a child in danger?

When a new family moves in next door, it takes Anna just two days to realise something is very wrong. She can hear their five-year-old daughter Charlie crying, then sees injuries on the little girl which cannot be ignored. Anna reports the family to the police and social services but when no one comes to Charlie’s aid, Anna understands that she is alone with her fears for the child’s life.

So when Charlie comes to her door asking for help, the only thing Anna can think to do is take the girl and run.

Raising delicate but deeply felt questions about our individual responsibility for the children around us, Promise is a novel that obliges the reader to ask: if Charlie were my neighbour, what would I do?


Promise is a new novel by journalist Sarah Armstrong. I must admit I was excited to read this book, but also apprehensive. Almost every day we hear terrible stories of children being treated badly, neglected, abused and even murdered. Every story upsets me, brings tears to my eyes for a short time, brings up anger, sadness and frustration. But then the news story changes. These children are soon forgotten, replaced with other stories.

I knew some of the emotions this book was going to bring up in me. I am a mother and a nurse. My first instinct is to care. I was apprehensive to get out of my comfort zone and voluntarily read about this subject matter, knowing that it will upset me.

But we NEED to be upset if anything is ever going to be done about this problem. Sarah has written an insightful, and at times disturbing portrayal of a child in danger and one woman’s frustration with the system as she takes matters into her own hands. While obviously kidnapping a child in danger is probably not the best idea to help the problem, Armstrong has brought us a good reminder that these things happen EVERY DAY! Perhaps even next door to YOU!

SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE!

 Q&A with Sarah Armstrong

Hi Sarah, thanks for joining me at Books Babies Being!

Were you reporting on family violence stories in your career as a journalist? Was this what inspired you to write Promise?

I didn’t report on family voilence when I was a journalist. That may partly be because it was less often in the news then. Societey wide – not just in the media – I think that family violence often – somehow – wasn’t regarded as real violence, or a real crime.

I was inspired to write Promise many years after leaving journalism and the ABC, after i’d moved to the north coast of NSW. It was one specific story that inspired me – one story in a long line of stories about children killed in their homes by a parent or step parent. A two-year-old boy died, and his mother was charged with his murder. In one of the television stories, neighbours said they’d been concerned about him and had reported him to community services. I put myself in the shoes of those neighbours; they’d done their best to get him to the attention of authorities, they’d called several times, and yet, the boy died. I wondered – if I were them – if I might have wished that I’d just picked him up one day and put him in my car and driven away. That thought became the premise of the novel.

I think one reason the story captured my attention is that since my daughter was born in 2010, I’ve been so much more aware of the vulnerability of children. Coming up with a character who takes decisive action was perhaps a way for me to have a conversation with myself (and then, once published, with others) about how far our individual responsibility for other children extends, and about whether there are ever occasions when it is right to break the law.

And I must say that even though this is a story with a difficult premise, it’s really a love story between a woman and a child. And an exploration of many aspects of motherhood: mothering a child not your own, being motherless, childlessness, and what makes a good mother.

The extremely heart-wrenching story of Rosie Batty in 2014 brought significant public attention in Australia to family violence. Did Rosie’s work change the way that the media reports on domestic violence? Did this event influence your book?

 Luke Batty’s murder and Rosie Batty’s response to his death and her subsequent campaigning seem – as far as i can tell – to have created a shift in the public conversation about family violence and in the media coverage of family violence. Rosie Batty spoke so calmly, with such clarity and dignity (but not without anger and outrage), that she seemed to tap into something in the community. I have the sense that change has been brewing for a while but she seemed to nudge the conversation forward. Luke’s sad death did not influence my writing of Promise, as I’d already started work on it. It’s more that as I was writing it, the public conversation about family violence happened to be gaining momentum.

How did writing Promise impact you as a mother?

I suspect that Promise affected me as a mother less than being a mother had an impact on how I wrote Promise. My partner Alan and I had our daughter Amelia in 2010, after trying for quite a while, and resorting to IVF. Having a newborn baby to look after, and realising all babies’ complete reliance on the adults around them, really brought home to me how vulnerable babies are. And I also felt incredibly vulnerable in the face of my love for my baby girl. It just made me think deeply about the profound responsibility of being a parent, about what makes a good parent, and what we can do as a society to support both parents who are struggling, and children who are at risk.

 What would you recommend people do if they are in a situation like Anna’s?

First I should say that I am no expert on child protection. But I do know that community services in each state have helplines you can call (anonymously if you wish) to report a child at risk. And I think it’s really important to call if you know a child is being abused; the child may have no other advocate. You might be it. Community services are so understaffed that just one report of a child being at risk is most unlikely to prompt a caseworker to visit a family, anyway. It usually takes several, if not many, notifications.

If the sitiation is immediately dangerous, then call the police. I remember watching a panel discussion on family violence on the ABC and a senior NSW police officer said that if we hear any family violence, then we should call the police. Just call the police. Violence is violence.

But in situations that are less acute – and unlikely to warrant intervention by community services – I think that offering support to the parents and support to the child(ren) is appropriate. Being a parent is hard, and harder still if you add exhaustion, financial pressures, ill health and stress to the picture. There are many instances where support for the parent and child may be what’s most helpful.

If I see a parent smacking and screaming at a child in a supermarket, I would hope that I’d offer the parent support and say something like, ‘Can I help? You look like you’re having a hard time’. Support for that struggling parent is support for the child.

I’m not actually advocating people abduct an abused child, like my character, Anna, does (although I understand why she did it, and have been grappling with the question of whether it’s sometimes appropriate to break the law).

What can we do to help, even if we are not exposed to family violence?

I’d like to see members of the community put pressure on State Governments to increase funding to combat and deal with family violence, including violence against children.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions Sarah.

My pleasure, Mel.

If you need assistance with family violence, NEVER ALONE has a comprehensive list of resources.

MY REVIEW OF PROMISE

I must admit I was expecting Promise to be a heavy read from the start. I was bracing myself for the emotion, and there indeed were a few disturbing gut-wrenching moments. However instead of being heavy and depressing like I was somewhat expecting, I found the book to be extremely readable. The emotive scenes were powerful, but also done with a respectful tactfulness that I found quite refreshing.

I found the characters to be quite well developed and well written. Anna had quite a lot of baggage that she didn’t realise was there, and it was satisfying to watch her move through some of her issues as everything was unfolding. I did have a bit of a problem relating to Anna though, as I found some of her decisions were just so far from my reality. I think I felt this way because thankfully I have never been in that sort of situation myself. I have no idea how I would react if I was witnessing what she did and the system wasn’t doing anything. Perhaps its not so far from reality after all.

There were a few parts of the book that moved a bit slower than others, but I enjoyed the overall pace. I liked the atmosphere of the novel and the city to rural backdrop. There was lots of tension with the threat of being discovered vs the pressure to turn herself in.

I enjoyed the ending, I don’t know why, but I was expecting something different.

Would I recommend Promise?

Absolutely! It was a great read that will no doubt bring some much needed attention to the problem of family violence in Australia.

Many thanks to author Sarah Armstrong via Pan Macmillan for a copy of Promise in exchange for my honest review, and for joining me for the Q&A!

4 Stars (4 / 5)

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Promise is published by Macmillan Australia and is now available at all good bookstores and online

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I grew up in a family with no television, which meant I was a voracious (if fairly indiscriminate) reader, and I was determined, from an early age, to be a writer. This led me to study journalism, and I joined ABC Radio Current Affairs where, in 1993, I won a Walkley Award for a story on diggers returning to Gallipoli. Later I became a researcher and field producer on ABC TV’s ‘Foreign Correspondent’ program.image

What most satisfied me as a journalist was meeting people and telling stories which explored the emotional and moral complexities of life, but what I really wanted to do was to use fiction to explore this messy and beautiful business of being human. In 1997 I resigned from the ABC and moved to the hills outside Byron Bay to devote myself to writing fiction.

The week I moved into a rustic cabin in the forested valley, it started raining and rained for three months. That rain found its way into my writing. My first novel Salt Rain was published (Allen & Unwin) in 2004. It was shortlisted for the 2005 Miles Franklin Award, the Queensland Premier’s Literary Prize and the Dobbie Literary Award. Salt Rain was published in the United States by MacAdam/Cage.

My second novel His Other House was published in March 2015 by Pan Macmillan and will be published in Germany in August 2015.

Promise was released on the 28th June, 2016 and is available now.

I live in sub-tropical northern New South Wales with the writer, Alan Close, and our young daughter.

Authors Website   Authors Goodreads   Authors Facebook


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Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart (Reckoners #1) – Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart

3 Stars (3 / 5)

I was expecting to enjoy this one more than I did. I felt quite underwhelmed unfortunately. It had an extremely promising start but for some reason it started to fall a bit flat for me. However, I still mostly enjoyed it, what nerd like me wouldn’t enjoy a story about super villans and super heroes?! Now I know a LOT of people adored this book, so please don’t hate me if you are one of them!

David was only 10 when the world changed. “Calamity” came, and the Epics arrived. Supervillians with terrible powers, all evil and murderous. Steelheart was the worst. He killed David’s father, and now David wants revenge. He has to somehow join the resistance known as the Reckoners to bring down the epics. And destroy Steelheart.

Points to the audio version narrator MacLeod Andrews. He was fantastic! I am glad I listened to the audio version for this one. I think he made it more enjoyable in my ears than I could have made it in my head!

This is the first Sanderson book that I have read and I didn’t realise that it was YA. Not that I would have had a problem with that, I love a good YA. However I think maybe I should have stuck with his more adult fantasy books.

I found the main character David to be exceedingly annoying. He was a pompous little upstart and I just couldn’t bring myself to like him. When he wasn’t doing stupid things, he was dreaming about a girl. Because that’s all YA characters can do you know… Its all superheroes and girls. The language that all the characters used was the most annoying part of the whole book for me. “Calamity” and “Sparks” are the new swear words, and they just made it sound so stupid. Whenever I would hear the narrator say “Calamity!” I would roll my eyes.

Sure, some of the epics were well plotted, however I was still a bit bored. There was just something missing for me. Perhaps it was the atmosphere. It didn’t feel like humanity were slaves to epics now and the whole world had changed. Maybe it needed more than the viewpoint from some annoying young character to give it a bit more depth for me. People died but the atmosphere didn’t really relay that. It felt like all the awful things that happened in the book were superficial. If that makes sense.

There were a few redeeming factors, besides the awesome narrator… It had a good twists at the end. I totally saw one of them coming but the other one blindsided me. Despite the “Calamity” and “Sparks”, it was fairly well written. It was easy to get into and had a great premise. The other characters were not quite as annoying as David, and I enjoyed the way the whole thing ended.

Would I recommend Steelheart?

Maybe… If you don’t mind the corny language and annoying main character you may enjoy it more than I.

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If you enjoy Steelheart, you may enjoy:

image    Poison    The First

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Maternity Leave – Julie Halpern

Maternity Leave – Julie Halpern

Maternity Leave

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I think any new mother would appreciate this entertaining, relatively accurate (in my experience anyway) portrayal of early motherhood.

This story commences when Annie is in labour. She has a little baby boy they call Sam, and thus begins her journey, day by day through the first few months of motherhood. The highs and lows, the grossness and the laughter..

I really enjoyed the format of this book. It is journal entries along with Facebook statuses and email correspondences between Anna and her family and friends. This made it extremely entertaining and easy to read. The chapters are set out in days, and they are quite short so its easy to put it down and pick it up again later (great for when you are busy with the kids!)

It had some extremely funny moments and I could really relate to most of it (except for the part where she gets her husband to squirt her bottom with water while she poops on the loo whilst breastfeeding her baby at the same time – I can’t say I could relate to that!). But it really had a lot of other moments where I would go “YES!!! THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IT WAS LIKE!”.

I related to Annie SO MUCH! I felt we would have been good friends! We had such similar experiences! I too have an older cat who has shared a big chunk of my life with me. I also love Buffy and Battlestar Galactica is my FAVOURITE SERIES! I am a complete nerd too!

I have read some reviews of this book describing how it doesn’t describe motherhood accurately, and portrays Annie as borderline depressed. I don’t necessarily agree with this. Annie’s experience was so similar to my own, and I would not have classed myself as depressed. It’s hard work suddenly having a tiny person to be totally and utterly responsible for. A total culture shock, and I was not one of these magical mothers who took to it straight away. It took me MONTHS before I had a bond with my son. It is not unusual to not have an instant connection the child you suddenly have in your arms and sucking on your boobs!

The first few months are HARD. They are filled with amazing highs but incredible lows, and sleep deprivation… I enjoyed that this book didn’t skirt around this issue like others do. And the humerous approach was really refreshing. I only wish I had read this 2.5 years ago, when I was up at 3am trying to get my screaming son to latch onto my boob whilst crying my eyes out, wondering if things ever get better.

Would I recommend Maternity Leave?

Yes, I would recommend it to any new mother, and any mother-to-be, who wants a pretty accurate portrayal of some of the difficulties of having a newborn. I would actually say its good for the new dads and dads-to-be to have a read through also, to gain some understanding of just how difficult it is to be a new mother when they go back to work. Overall an enjoyable and entertaining read!

Many thanks to Pan Macmillian and author Julie Halpern for a copy of Maternity Leave to read in exchange for my honest review.

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PURCHASE:

Pan Macmillan | AMAZON | AMAZON AU


If you enjoy Maternity Leave, you may enjoy:

 Mindfulness for Mothers

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