Book Review – ‘A Deadly Education’ by Naomi Novik

TITLE: A Deadly Education
AUTHOR: Naomi Novik
GENRE: Fantasy
WORD/PAGE COUNT: 304 pages
PUBLICATION DETAILS: by Penguin Australia on September 29th, 2020
RRP:$27.99 AUD (paperback)

Lesson One of the Scholomance

Learning has never been this deadly

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students. 

This was my favorite read of the month, I urge you all to treat yourself to a copy of this fantastic book if you haven’t already. 

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Release Day Review – ‘Piranesi’ by Susanna Clarke

TITLE: Piranesi
AUTHOR: Susanna Clarke
GENRE: Fantasy
WORD/PAGE COUNT: 160 pages
PUBLICATION DETAILS: by Bloomsbury Australia on September 15th, 2020
RRP: $27.99 AUD (hardcover)

Blurb from Goodreads:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, an intoxicating, hypnotic new novel set in a dreamlike alternative reality.

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house-a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

For readers of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and fans of Madeline Miller’s CircePiranesi introduces an astonishing new world, an infinite labyrinth, full of startling images and surreal beauty, haunted by the tides and the clouds.

Piranesi is a stunning, dreamy tale that’s rich with atmosphere and mystery. The protagonist seems content living in solitude in a splendidly impossible House with an infinite number of rooms containing all kinds of strange and surreal sights, with tides moving through the lower Halls and clouds reigning in the upper Halls. He resides in the middle Halls and spends his time cataloguing what surrounds him, like the pattern of the tides or the position, size and subject of the multitudes of statues. 

While Piranesi is happy to devote his entire life to appreciating the beauty of the House, it’s clear to the reader that there is something dreadfully wrong. The mystery slowly unfolds from the off-hand observation that Piranesi isn’t his name (although he cannot remember what it used to be) to the missing pages in his otherwise meticulously maintained journals to the shifty manner of The Other, whose comments and possession of a ‘shiny device’ hints at greater knowledge of Piranesi’s plight than he’s letting on. Piranesi is so innocent and easily trusting that he believes in every word from The Other when we readers can see how suspicious his behavior is, creating a simmering tension and dread in the background.

To say that this book is magical would be an understatement. Reading this is like entering the wardrobe to Narnia or stepping through the barrier onto Platform Nine and Three Quarters. It transports you to another world of beauty and danger and stark isolation with an endearing sweet and simple protagonist whose entire existence is a mystery. Following him on the journey to self-realization as he unravels the clues to his past is rewarding, enchanting and a little heartbreaking. This is a uniquely creative, spell-binding story told with an effortless charm – if you’re looking to escape this mundane world, open up Piranesi and disappear into the endless Halls of this hypnotic, majestic House.

Disclaimer: Physical copy provided by publisher free for an unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review – ‘Love, Creekwood’ by Becky Albertalli

TITLE: Love, Creekwood
AUTHOR: Becky Albertalli
GENRE: YA Contemporary, LGBT+
WORD/PAGE COUNT: 128 pages
PUBLICATION DETAILS: by Penguin Books Australia on September 1st, 2020
RRP: $12.99 AUD (paperback)


Blurb from Goodreads:

Fall in love all over again with the characters from the bestselling Simonverse novels in this highly anticipated epilogue novella. Perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli, the movie Love, Simon, and the new Hulu series spin-off, Love, Victor!

It’s been more than a year since Simon and Blue turned their anonymous online flirtation into an IRL relationship, and just a few months since Abby and Leah’s unforgettable night at senior prom.

Now the Creekwood High crew are first years at different colleges, navigating friendship and romance the way their story began—on email.

I didn’t know how much I missed the Simonverse until I read 𝘓𝘰𝘷𝘦, 𝘊𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘬𝘸𝘰𝘰𝘥. ❤ Normally I don’t read novellas because I find them too much of a tease, but I’m so grateful to Becky Albertalli for giving us this follow-up so we could catch up with our favorite characters!⁣

𝘓𝘰𝘷𝘦, 𝘊𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘬𝘸𝘰𝘰𝘥 is told in the form of email exchanges between Simon, Blue, Abby, Leah and the rest of the gang. It’s set in their first year of college as we check in to see how Simon and Blue are doing with the long-distance relationship scenario as well as how Leah and Abby’s romance is faring in its honeymoon period. ⁣

A novella is the perfect treatment for this because it allows us time to flash in and out of the characters’ lives over the course of days, weeks and months in that tumultuous first year as adults living away from home without growing tired of the email format. I also loved the explanation for why these tech-savvy teens are emailing in this day and age – because Abby’s Android doesn’t want to play nice with everyone else’s iPhones, haha, so plausible!⁣

This is a brilliant feel-good read that had me bubbling over with joy and excitement as I read the fun banter between the loved-up couples and the long-time best friends. 😀 I loved all the nerdy references and cackled at the witty repartee, I had to stop and re-read some lines because it amused me so much. There were also unexpected moments of tender angst and well-meaning brutal honesty which led to character growth and a sweet conclusion. ⁣

If you’re a fan of the Simonverse, it’s a no-brainer must-read, you will love this!

Personal Rating: 5 out of 5 kitties recommend this book.






Disclaimer: Physical copy provided by publisher free for an unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.