Title: All The Invisible Things
Author: Orlagh Collins
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publication Details: by Bloomsbury Australia on 7th March, 2019
Word/Page Count: 320 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
A warm, witty, important story about being a young woman today, and what it’s like to find a real connection amid all the noise. Perfect for fans of Holly Bourne and Laura Steven’s The Exact Opposite of Okay.
Vetty’s family is moving back to London, and all she can think about is seeing Pez again. They were inseparable when they were small – roaming the city in the long summers, sharing everything. But everyone’s telling her it’ll be different now. After all, a boy and a girl can’t really be friends without feelings getting in the way, can they?
Vetty thinks differently … until Pez tells her she’s ‘not like other girls’. But what does that even mean? Is it a good thing or not? Suddenly she’s wondering whether she wants him to see her like the others – like the ultra-glamorous March, who’s worked some sort of spell on Pez, or the girls in the videos that Pez has hidden on his laptop.
How can she measure up to them? And who says that’s what a girl is supposed to be like anyway?
I really appreciate the themes running through this novel and I think it’s going to resonate with a lot of readers because of the focus on being true to oneself, finding out who you are to begin with, navigating the complex maze of teenage relationships as well as forging new friendships and trying to maintain old ones. These are universal experiences and Vetty’s journey is very relatable as a result, even if you haven’t faced exactly the same set of circumstances.
From the blurb, I made the assumption that the central romance would focus on Vetty and Pez, and I’m so glad that it wasn’t as cliche and obvious as that! Instead Vetty explores a relationship with one of Pez’s friends plus develops a crush on another girl in their group, which throws a spanner in the works! I feel like this is going to be such an important book for bisexual teens in real life because Vetty’s insecurity over her ‘greedy heart’, fretting over whether her peers can tell and agonizing over how to come out (including an aborted attempt with a well-meaning lesbian aunt who inadvertently stifles Vetty) will offer a lot of validation and comfort.
Title: Master of Sorrows
Author: Justin Call
Publication Details: by Hachette Australia on 26th February, 2019
Word/Page Count: 448 pages (paperback)
The Academy of Chaenbalu has stood against magic for centuries.
Hidden from the world, acting from the shadows, it trains its students to detect and retrieve magic artifacts, which it jealously guards from the misuse of others. Because magic is dangerous: something that heals can also harm, and a power that aids one person may destroy another.
Of the Academy’s many students, only the most skilled can become Avatars – warrior thieves, capable of infiltrating the most heavily guarded vaults – and only the most determined can be trusted to resist the lure of magic.
More than anything, Annev de Breth wants to become one of them.
Whatever you do, do not read the Goodreads blurb! It gives away a major plot point that isn’t even explored in this book, and is instead set up to be mined for dramatic potential in the sequel. I can see the reasoning in giving away a future plot twist because the subversion of the Chosen One trope is really compelling and what prompted me to request this from the publisher. However considering that the first book really only hints at this development, that’s a good way to get people excited and then let down at the end when it goes nowhere fast. But I’m still glad I received this book because it was an addictive and riveting read, so putting the blurb aside, let me judge this book on its own merits.
Title: Shadow Captain
Author: Alastair Reynolds
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Publication Details: by Hachette Australia on 8th January, 2019
Word/Page Count: 432 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
The gripping sequel to the Locus award winning science fiction adventure, Revenger, tells a story of obsession and betrayal as two sisters hunt for the greatest treasure in the universe.
Adrana and Fura Ness have finally been reunited, but both have changed beyond recognition. Once desperate for adventure, now Adrana is haunted by her enslavement on the feared pirate Bosa Sennen’s ship. And rumors of Bosa Sennen’s hidden cache of treasure have ensnared her sister, Fura, into single-minded obsession.
Neither is safe; because the galaxy wants Bosa Sennen dead and they don’t care if she’s already been killed. They’ll happily take whoever is flying her ship.
Shadow Captain is a desperate story of cursed ships, vengeful corporations, and alien artifacts, of daring escapes and wealth beyond imagining … and of betrayal.
Even though there was a lot left to explore in the Revenger universe and that book had an open ending, I still somehow didn’t expect a sequel as the main character’s arc seemed to have run its course. Well, I did comment in my review that: “I had no idea what to expect from one page to the next; there was no safety net, no predictability whatsoever!” so of course the author would surprise me with a sequel!
Title: A Danger To Herself And Others
Author: Alyssa Sheinmel
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health
Publication Details: by Hachette Australia on 12th February, 2019
Word/Page Count: 352 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Only when she’s locked away does the truth begin to escape…
Four walls. One window. No way to escape. Hannah knows there’s been a mistake. She didn’t need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at her summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctors and judge figure out that she isn’t a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. In the meantime, she is going to use her persuasive skills to get the staff on her side.
Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage. And she may be the only person who can get Hannah to confront the dangerous games and secrets that landed her in confinement in the first place.
Well, this didn’t last long on my February TBR, I ended up devouring this overnight in one sitting! I had a feeling from the blurb that this book would feature an unreliable narrator and it looked like a suspenseful read – boy, did it deliver! I found myself so engrossed in the drama and intrigue that I couldn’t put it down until I reached the end!