Fox on Books

Book reviews, opinions, musings and ramblings. General bookish excitement!

Archive for the category “OH MY GOODNESS AMAZING”

Short Stories, or, Review-Palooza!

It’s become clear that I read a lot of books. This year, I’m averaging one book every three days, across all sorts of formats, including manuscript, eBook, audio book and, of course, my true love, the paper book.

In order to keep them fresh in my mind, and to deliver opinions about them in a somewhat timely manner, I’m going to do bite-sized reviews of a recent selection.

Dear reader, dive in:

What Came Before – by Anna George

whatcamebeforeOof. This was a hard read. Following the spiral of a gradually abusive relationship, What Came Before challenges us to look at what we expect – and what we’ll accept – from those we love. Ambitious and confronting, it’s not for everyone, but is a particularly powerful novel.

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Looking for Alaska – by John Green
lookingforalaskaUK.indd
John Green’s first novel has all the hallmarks of his later work. Teens who act like teens (bright, loyal, apathetic and often a wee bit pretentious), a simple narrative that allows the beauty and poignancy of his prose to shine, and a quietly wrenching third act make this a must read for older teens and fans of this brand of honest, contemporary YA. (Also, have you read The Fault in Our Stars yet? If not, what are you even doing with your life??)

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Words of Radiance – by Brandon Sanderson

wordsofradianceThe Way of Kings (Parts One and Two) and their sequel The Words of Radiance are perfect examples of high fantasy with truly epic scope and huge payoffs. If you’re a fantasy reader, you’d be foolish to go past Brandon Sanderson. He and Patrick Rothfuss are the best current fantasy writers around. I’m repeating myself and I don’t care: Brandon Sanderson is the real deal. He is astonishing, and if you haven’t read him, you’re missing out.

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Wool and Dust – both by Hugh Howey

dusthoweywoolhowey

I’m a little late on this bandwagon but Wool and its sequel Dust are something you definitely want to experience. Howey’s exploration of a possible future after the world has been destroyed by nuclear warfare is sophisticated, claustrophobic and nail-bitingly tense. It’s the kind of sci-fi you’ll rant excitedly about in turn. I listened to these as audio books, and the SECOND I finished Wool I had to find out what happened next. four fox

Have you read any of these? I’ve covered a range of genres – what’s your pick of the above?

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The Fault in Our Stars – Movie React/Review

Guys. Guys! YOU GUYS! I’VE SEEN THE FAULT IN OUR STARS!

In the coolest job perk EVER, about two weeks ago I got to go to an advance screening of the Movie Most Likely to Make Grown Humans Ugly Cry in Public.

Edit: BE PREPARED. I’m not kidding. I brought these with me:TFiOSTiss

There is next to zero chance you haven’t already noticed me obsessing about this book, and about the upcoming movie. And I’m SO GLAD I DID, because I freaking well adored it!

It’s pretty rare for a movie adaptation of a book you adored beyond all reason, I mean that you enjoyed, to not suck, and I am so thrilled to be able to opine that the TFiOS movie absolutely did NOT suck. It was everything I wanted it to be. And that’s saying A LOT.

I mean, this guy:

 

And this lady:

 

And, just, YOU GUYS. THEY WERE WONDERFUL. EVERYTHING WAS WONDERFUL AND NOTHING EVERYTHING HURT.

I’m not going to lie, there were feels and they were intense.

From about halfway through – you can surely guess where – I cried pretty steadily ’til the end. And I didn’t cry nearly as hard as others.

(Quick aside: Supernatural really has a gif for everything.)

I will say, however, that it was that necessary, cathartic, releasing kind of crying, when you’re going through something you wouldn’t miss out on for the world and your tear ducts just have to bear the brunt of it.

Seeing this with a cinema full of my colleagues was… a unique experience, making it both better and worse. I’ll let you know if it’s any different when I see it for a second time.

What? You didn’t think I’d be content with one screening, did you?!

Read the book. Watch the trailer. See the movie – out in Australia on June 5th!

Okay? Okay.

Sensational Quote Sunday

Some books change your life. They change the way you see the world. They do this not only with the story as a whole, but sometimes with an idea, a beautiful phrase, or even a word, that resonates with you the way nothing has before.

Sensational Quote Sunday is my way of paying homage to those books that remind me every day why I love reading.

Today, I have two words for you.

“Okay?” “Okay.”

Yep, that’s it. And you know what they are, right? Great!

As a bonus, have a trailer that I’ve seen more often than is healthy this week. I am going to ugly cry in public this June. There’s just no way around it.

Still okay? (I’m not sure if I am!!)

Fangirl – by Rainbow Rowell

ArthurRainbow Rowell’s in the midst of a surge to fame, taking the YA genre by storm. The effects ripple out further than YA, too, with John Green publicly commenting on how much he loved Eleanor & Park. Needless to say, I’ve been meaning to read her work for a while now. I started with Fangirl because even the name is something I identify with!

Cath’s always been the quiet one, overshadowed by her twin sister, Wren. Online, though, it’s a completely different story. Cath’s in love with the world of Simon Snow, a wildly successful series of books and movies about a teen wizard (yes, the echoes of Harry Potter are there for a reason). Like a lot of fans, Cath’s not satisfied with the limited look into Simon’s world she gets in the canon. Writing fanfiction about Simon Snow is a way to stay connected, and Cath and Wren are widely reputed as the best writing duo around.

When the twins go to college, Wren’s looking to break out of the virtual world and experience the ‘real world’; something Cath just can’t understand. Their writing is just as real and just as important as anything happening out there. She keeps posting updates to her fic, feeling more and more involved with her online fans (who number in the thousands), and less connected with Wren than ever. This whole college thing is certainly life changing. But no one mentioned that it can be a change for the worse. Engorgio! (Or, embiggen, more this way):

The Circle- by Dave Eggers

CircleMy first Dave Eggers! And what an introduction. Here’s what I thought of The Circle:

Mae Holland has just landed her dream job! She’s going to be part of the Circle, the most powerful internet company in history: the first company to let you control social media, banking, emails and anything else you can do online in one place. Their Californian campus is sprawling and decadent, with everything you could ever need available free to employees. Why would they ever want to work anywhere else? In fact, why would they want to leave the campus?

Mae soon realises that there’s more to the Circle than work. They want to know what you do on days off, where you go, what hobbies you have, what movies you watch, which doctors you see, what your friends are like, what they watch, where they go, and so on. It’s all about inclusion, openness, everyone being a part of something bigger. Mae sees nothing wrong with that. We could all stand to be a little more open, a little more transparent, right? We Can Run, We Can Hide, We Can Show Off Our Guns and Put on A Fight:

Steelheart – by Brandon Sanderson

SteelheartIn a world where people with extraordinary powers exist, what happens when the superheroes are the bad guys?

David knows. He’s seen first hand what having that kind of power has done to the Epics. David was only eight when his father was killed by one of them, a particularly strong Epic called Steelheart. David’s the only person who survived the Epic’s attack on the bank that day. He’s the only living person who has ever seen Steelheart bleed. Ten years later, David hasn’t forgotten the vow he made that day: he will see Steelheart bleed again.

Okay guys. I LOVE Brandon Sanderson’s work. It’s inventive, detailed and consistently brilliant. This means two things:

1) I’m probably predisposed to like any Brandon Sanderson book by now, but also
2) I have incredibly high expectations for his work.

Each new book makes me both gleeful and wary, because I look forward to them SO MUCH that they have the potential to be a huge let down.

Thankfully, Steelheart was not a let down at all! In fact, it might be my favourite Sanderson novel since the Mistborn series. And that, dear reader, is no mean feat. Walk In Like a Fistful of Bottle Rockets:

The Fiery Heart – by Richelle Mead

FieryOh yes, the fourth book in Mead’s fantastic Bloodlines spinoff series is finally here! I went in to this book with high expectations, since I really enjoy Mead’s work in general (for example, Gameboard of the Gods, and The Indigo Spell). I’m really invested in Sydney and Adrian’s story now – as are we all – and I was counting on Mead to deliver a cracker of an installment. Here’s how I thought she did:

Sydney and Adrian have come a long way since they were first forced to work together. No longer is Sydney the standoffish, distrustful Alchemist, and no longer is Adrian the dissolute, oft-drunk mess he once was. Well, mostly, anyway. Truth be told, they’re been more than tolerating each other for a long time, now.

Oh, Sydrian. I love ’em. And they’re finally getting it right.  Which is a good thing – because they’re facing a whole lot of problems that they can’t fix alone. In fact, they might not even be able to fix them together. I Fell Into A Burning Ring of Fire

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – by Douglas Adams

hitchhikerI’ve never read Hitchhiker’s before. (Believe me, I’m just as disappointed as you are in me.) But I rectified that on a plane from London to LA, last week. Here’s what I thought of Adams’ classic sci-fi screwball comedy:

Arthur Dent is having an odd day. (He never could get the hang of Thursdays.) First, his house was demolished. Then, the entire Earth was bulldozed to make way for a new, intergalactic highway. Now Arthur’s one of two humans left, scrambling around the universe with a Betelgeuse alien called Ford Prefect for a best friend and a towel for everything else. Is There Any Tea On This Spaceship?:

The Lies of Locke Lamora – by Scott Lynch

imageHello there! It’s been too long – because I’m on holidays! I’m blogging from Stratford Upon Avon right now, which seemed appropriate. For the past month I’ve been gallivanting throughout Europe, and there’s a post full of bookish goodness on the way about that. But first and foremost, a review!
The Lies of Locke Lamora was recommended to me by a bookseller in London, after we’d been chatting about The Name of the Wind and the Mistborn trilogy. It’s a debut fantasy novel that’s been getting some interesting buzz, so I was excited to try it. Here’s what I thought:
Locke Lamora has an interesting problem: he thinks too big. While this may be an admirable trait, as a thief in Camorr it’s a liability. The Gentlemen Bastards, Locke’s gang, are successful because they make sure they aren’t noticed. Little thefts, little rewards. But that’s not enough for Locke – he’s in it for the challenge, and for the win. Before long, he’s accidentally infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and attracting notice from all the wrong people.

The Fault in Our Stars

Wow.

Have you guys seen this?

A 17-year old up and coming actor from Australia, Troye Sivan, has recorded a song inspired by John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.

Not only is the song gorgeous, Troye filmed the video in the Princess Margaret Hospital’s oncology ward, spending a day with some kids who really understand.

There are options to buy the song, and 100% of the proceeds are going directly to the Princess Margaret oncology ward.

Have a look – this guy is amazing.

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