Global Reads Q3

Check me out, being all caught up on Global Reads posts!! Next stop, FREAKING WEEKLY WRAP UPS OMG.

For anyone who doesn’t remember, Global Reads is the section of this here corner of the internet where I talk about the books I’ve read and would recommend that are set outside the US, the UK or fantasy/sci-fi worlds.

I read a lot of very mediocre books during July, August and September, so this list is perhaps shorter than normal. But let’s press on regardless!

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Setting: Sudan

This is a tiny little middle grade book – barely 100 pages – and yet it packs a massive punch. It’s partly the true story of Salva Dut, one of the lost boys of Sudan, as he flees in the early 1980s and eventually makes his way to the US, via the refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. The other half is a fictional story of a young girl who wants to go to school but can’t because she has to spend every day walking for hours to fetch water for her family. It was honestly amazing.

Band-Aid for a Broken Leg by Damien Brown

Small Spaces

Setting: Angola, South Sudan, Mozambique

This is a biography of a young doctor who’s unsatisfied with life at a big Australian hospital and who instead decides to work for Médecins Sans Frontières. In his head, he’s going to be saving lives every day and doing amazing work. Instead, he struggles with massive culture shock, an incredible lack of resources, and barely being able to communicate with his patients. It was heartbreaking and funny and eye-opening all at the same time.

All the Little Bones by Ellie Marney

Setting: Australia

Y’all should know by now that I am complete and utter trash for Ellie Marney, so this should come as no surprise. This is an upper YA romance/crime story about two teenage circus performers – a trapeze artist and a strongman-in-training who flee to a circus after some bad shit goes down at their home circus. I loved everything about this, from the characters to the circus stuff to the romance. It was freaking great.

Competence by Gail Carriger

Setting: Singapore, Peru

This is the third book in The Custard Protocol series, which I’ve been a little hit or miss about to be honest. But this one? This one was so stinking fun. Rue and her friends start out in Singapore before trekking across the Pacific to Peru in search of a mysterious new race of vampires. It was a hell of a lot of fun, and I actually really loved the new vampire series and the way the gang struggled to handle a more diplomatic approach.

After the Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson

Setting: Australia

This is a dystopian story about the daughter of a Doomsday prepper struggling to protect herself and her sisters in their small town after the power goes out everywhere. It’s tense and gripping and surprisingly full of diversity and I LOVED this story. Like, a LOT.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

Setting: Germany, North Africa

The sequel to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s perhaps a little less world travel-y than the first book, but I loved the writing and the characters and the story so much that I didn’t care that there was less piracy than the title promised because it was just so freaking FUN.

What have you read recently that’s been set elsewhere in the world?


The worst books I’ve ever read…

It’s been a while since I’ve had a good hate read. But prior to this year, I certainly seemed to do a hate read every month or so, whether or not it was planned.

Some of the books on this list started out as hate reads, others I honestly thought I was going to really enjoy and LOL NOPE. So. Let’s talk about the worst books I’ve ever read, shall we?

Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Okay, here’s the thing. I’ve actually read these books a bunch of times. The first time I read them, I was in Central America and the first two were the only books the airport bookstore had in English. And then I found myself in Las Vegas without a book to read, so it made sense to pick up Eclipse. And then I was like “Welp. I may as well just finish this…”. And then I threw Breaking Dawn across the room.

I’ve reread the series multiple times over the years, and the most recent time involved reading it a chapter at a time and recapping it. Our intentions were to recap a book a month. Instead, it took us two years. And lemme tell you, friends. Recapping this series a chapter at a time? WHOOOOOO BOY, what an absolute shit show. The writing is awful. Bella is literally a blank piece of paper. It’s riddled with racism and misogyny. And the whole imprinting thing is just…yeah, no. No thank you please.

The Mayan Priest by Sue Guillou
This is the first book that I can ever remember DNFing. It had nothing but five star reviews and it sounded like it was right up my alley. But it was riddled with typos and historical inaccuracies. It was like it was written without any research behind it at ALL, and it filled me with so much rage that I had to DNF it because I started taking notes a few pages in and by the time I gave up not even half way through, I had SIX A4 PAGES OF NOTES.

The King of Bourbon Street by Thea de Salle
This is one I read earlier this year, and I’d seen nothing but glowing reviews of it. Buuuuuut this was definitely not for me. If the words “hole” or “dripping” or “slit” were used one more time, I was going to throw my Kindle across the room. Add in the fact that these people have known each other for all of five minutes before they’re in a sub/dom relationship that involves unprotected sex and zero discussion of boundaries and I was solidly on the “please get this book away from me forever” train.

Himmler’s Cook by Franz-Olivier Giesbert
This is a book that’s supposed to be a black comedy about a woman who survived the Armenian genocide by being sold into sex slavery as a child and then survived World War II by cooking for Nazis. She’s raped multiple times. It humanises the highest echelons of the Nazi party. Find me the humour in it, please. Because I could NOT.

Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
Everyone but me loves this book. But this book disgusted me so much that during one particular scene, I literally had to stop reading and stare blankly at the wall for ten minutes until the urge to burn things to the ground had faded before I could keep reading. I just………no. Look, I love a good classics inspired fantasy as much as the next person. I love a good hate-to-love romance as much as the next person. But when it involves sex slavery and a culture where rape is entertainment? NO THANK YOU MAKE IT GO AWAY.

True, Sweet, Believe, and Shatter by Erin McCarthy
I bought this entire series for like $7 on a whim, and then felt obligated to get my money’s worth by reading them all even though I hated book 1. All the characters were terrible. The writing was…awful. And the second and third books in particular filled me with rage because there’s a whole plotline where one girl’s best friend is black out drunk and the girl’s boyfriend has sex with her and as a result the best friend loses basically everyone because they all think she’s to blame and there’s literally no recognition that SHE’S BEEN RAPED WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU ALL???? I live tweeted reading these back in 2014, and it was a wild ride, lemme tell you.

Under the Dome by Steven King
I DNFed this one about a quarter of the way in. Despite being published in like 2009, this whole thing feels like it was lifted straight out of the 1970s. The level of misogyny and slut shaming and violence towards women was just…awful. Add in the fact that this is literally a bajillion pages long and some unexpected necrophilia and gang rape and excuse me, I’m just going to nope my way to the door and never return.

So. There you have it, friends. The worst of the worst, as far as I can remember. (Well. Except for The Velveteen Rabbit, which I always HATED as a kid because it scared the shit out of me and made me so sad that it just came out as anger)

What are the worst books you’ve ever read?

Waiting on Wednesday #2

Another Wednesday, another book I desperately want to read!

This week’s pick is My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. To be honest, I was basically sold on the title alone. And then I saw the cover:

I MEAN……….

It’s apparently dark and satirical and when you add “serial killer” to the equation, that ticks many boxes for me. It’s due out in the US at the end of the month but I’ve just discovered that it doesn’t hit the Australian Kindle store until J.A.N.U.A.R.Y. which is decidedly not okay.

Here’s the full blurb:

Satire meets slasher in this short, darkly funny hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends.

“Femi makes three, you know. Three and they label you a serial killer.”

Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.

A kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where Korede works, is the bright spot in her life. She dreams of the day when he will realize they’re perfect for each other. But one day Ayoola shows up to the hospital uninvited and he takes notice. When he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and what she will do about it.

Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite has written a deliciously deadly debut that’s as fun as it is frightening.

What forthcoming releases are you waiting on?

Weekly Wrap Up #53

Another day, another step closer to actually being up to date…

Let’s talk about what I read between 14 and 20 October, shall we?

Books read: 9
Pages read: 3,081 pages

#1: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Audience: YA
Genre: Crime/Paranormal/Contemporary?

Plot summary: A ballerina and a teenage prisoner tell their stories about the girl that ties both of them together.

Thoughts: I literally only read this because it was my book club’s pick for October, and it was a pretty big disappointment, to be honest. I wanted it to be creepy and gripping and twisty, and it was none of those things. The ending was bonkers, I only liked one of the characters, and this just…wasn’t for me.

Rating: 3 stars

#2: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Audience: Adult

Plot summary: A woman on a luxury cruise is convinced that the passenger in the cabin next to hers has been lost at sea, except that there was never anyone in that cabin…

Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed my first foray into Ruth Ware – In a Dark Dark Wood – so when I saw this sitting on the shelf at my local library, I figured I’d give it a go. And for the most part, this was atmospheric and full of twists and turns and I liked the way the emails from Lo’s family and friends played into things.

Unfortunately, Lo annoyed the ever loving shit out of me and being in her head was definitely not my favourite thing in the world…

Rating: 3.75 stars

#3: Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen

Audience: YA
Genre: Historical fiction/Thriller

Plot summary: A Jewish girl is trained as a spy and sent undercover to a Nazi boarding school. Badness ensues.

Thoughts: It’s been weeks since I read this and I still can’t work out if I liked it or not. I can say that I sped through it. I can say that it was compelling. I can say that I liked the protagonist. But I don’t know if I liked the book, simply because it was SO FREAKING DARK. Do with that information what you will.

Rating: 3.5 stars

#4: Bones of the Sun God by Peter Vegas

Audience: Middle Grade
Genre: Adventure

Plot summary: A boy on the hunt for his missing parents travels to Belize and finds himself dealing with ancient booby traps.

Thoughts: I picked this up on a whim purely because it’s set in Belize and I need to tick off those yearly goals, yo. I didn’t read book 1 in the series, but it didn’t really matter – there was a sufficient amount of recap stuff to give me the gist of what I’d missed. This was fun and full of action, although I will say that the amount of stuff about people shivering in the cold water or when the temperature dropped definitely don’t fit with my experience of Belize (32-35 degrees every day, mid-20s every night)…

Rating: 3.5 stars

#5: The Bone Keeper by Luca Veste

Audience: Adult
Genre: Thriller

Plot summary: A detective investigates a string of brutal murders that may well tie into her past…

Thoughts: I have to say, I picked this up purely because the cover is spectacularly weird and creepy. I didn’t love the ending, but the story itself was often scary and full of twists. It definitely kept me guessing from start to finish. I liked the characters. The writing was solid. But the ending, y’all. The ending…

Rating: 3.5 stars

#6: The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud

Audience: YA/Middle Grade
Genre: Paranormal

Plot summary: The second book in the Lockwood & Co series features the shit hitting the fan when the gang are called to help out at a cemetery and one of the coffins turns out to contain a mysterious ghosty gadget.

Thoughts: It’s no secret that I adore the Lockwood & Co series. This one takes a little while to get going, but the story is an absolute delight from start to finish. This is where we start to get little hints that there’s more going on in this world than Lucy, Lockwood, and George know, hints that turn out to be hugely relevant in the remaining books in the series. Basically? It’s fun and spooky and funny and generally delightful.

Rating: 4 stars.

#7: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Audience: YA
Genre: Contemporary

Plot summary: Two gay teenage boys bump into each other in New York and must track each other down through Missed Connections.

Thoughts: I was suuuuuuuuuuuper hesitant about this one after Leah on the Offbeat was one of my biggest disappointments of the year, especially considering that I’m not a big fan of Adam Silvera’s books. But after a string of dark, creepy reads I decided it was the perfect time to pick up something light and fluffy. And it definitely was.

I can’t say I loved this the way I love Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda or The Upside of Unrequited. But it’s riddled with Harry Potter and Hamilton references and theatre jokes and I loved both of the protagonists. Sure, it’s a little angstier than I usually like my YA contemporaries. But it was such a breath of fresh air that I didn’t really care.

Rating: 4 stars

#8: Anna by Niccolo Ammaniti

Audience: Adult
Genre: Dystopian

Plot summary: In an Italy where anyone over the age of 14 has died of a mysterious plague, a 13 year old girl tries to protect her younger brother.

Thoughts: This book was just plain weird. Really weird. I mean, the concept was great. But for a book as short as this is, the plot meandered a hell of a lot, and there was a lot of……middle-aged-white-man-writes-young-teen-girl storytelling, which I was definitely not a fan of. I do wonder if something got lost in translation with this one, but it just didn’t QUITE sit right.

Rating: 2.5 stars

#9: Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf

Audience: Adult
Genre: Thriller

Plot summary: When Sarah’s husband’s aunt is hospitalised after an accident, she accompanies her husband back to his Iowa hometown, only to find there’s a lot more going on under the surface than she ever knew about.

Thoughts: Obviously I picked this up because it’s set in Iowa. I flew through it, which was pretty exciting after struggling through Anna, buuuuuuut I guessed the big plot twist REALLY early on in the piece. So that was…less than ideal.

Rating: 3 stars

What have you been reading recently?

September Book Haul

I’m actually pleasantly surprised by my book haul for September – I only bought 11 new books, and I’ve read seven of them wheeeeee.


A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole
I didn’t like this QUITE as much as A Princess in Theory, partly because the love interest turns out to be “the Duke of Edinburgh” and, like, if you’re going to have the love interest turn out to be a Duke, at least make it a title that ISN’T A MAJOR PART OF THE ROYAL FAMILY ALREADY???? But that aside, the romance was super cute and the whole thing was delightful. You know, if you ignore the constant mental image of Prince Philip…

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
This is definitely one of the creepier horror books I’ve read. The first three-quarters of it were really quite frightening at times – there were plenty of jump scares – and the story was incredibly compelling (if a little fucked up). But the last quarter? That was utterly bonkers. And it kind of impacted my entire reading experience.

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
This book was everything I needed at the point when I read it – cute, sweet, fast paced, and funny as hell. If I read it again, I think I’d probably give it a lower rating than I did. But whatever. At the time of reading, I absolutely loved it.

Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean
I’d heard fantastic things about this one, and it didn’t disappoint. It was fun and sweet and swoony and I can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out.

A Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it didn’t disappoint. It was basically everything I wanted and I loved every second of it.

Sadie by Courtney Summers
I read this one last week, so you’ll have to wait a little while to hear my full thoughts on it in a weekly wrap up, but this book was astonishing and you should all read it okay bye.


All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth
I know almost nothing about this one, except that the blurb sounded vaguely intriguing. Basically, I was lured into buying it because the pages are sprayed black on the outside edge and it says “I KNOW” in white down the middle of it. Uh, colour me instantly intrigued!

A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay
I was super excited about this when I bought it, and now I remember nothing about it other than the fact that it’s a psychological thriller.

Transcription by Kate Atkinson
I LOVE Kate Atkinson’s writing and her stories are always wonderful. This one, which deals with spy stuff in 1950s Britain, sounds FANTASTIC and honestly, I think the only reason I’ve been putting it off is because my brain isn’t in a place for anything even adjacent to literary fiction. Hopefully before the end of the year I’ll get to this…

Affinity by Sarah Waters
Lianne made me do it. But also, it’s Sarah Waters so I’ll more than likely love it because I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Sarah Waters so far.

The Youngest Doll by Rosario Ferre
This one is set in Puerto Rico AND it’s translated from Spanish, so I can guarantee I’ll be getting to this before the end of the year because it ticks a bunch of goal boxes for me tralalalala.

What books have you acquired recently?


Weekly Wrap Up #52

Slowly but surely, I. WILL. CATCH. UP.

Let’s discuss what I read between 7 and 13 October (although for the most part, I’d rather not because ratings-wise it was possibly one of my worst reading weeks of the year… Also everything I read this week was horror or thriller/crime. Which…is odd)

Books read: 8
Pages read: 2,482 pages

#1: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Audience: Adult
Genre: Short stories

Plot summary: A series of horror-esque short stories all about women’s bodies and the different ways they’re used and abused.

Thoughts: As is often the case with short stories, there were some here that I loved and some here that were more meh. Two in particular stand out a month or so later – the first story, which is a retelling of The Green Ribbon, and a story that’s effectively a retelling of Law & Order: SVU with a very…gothic Tumblr post…vibe to it. Both of these stories were absolutely phenomenal and I loved everything about them.

Rating: 4 stars

#2: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint

Audience: Adult

Plot summary: When a Singaporean citizen is arrested for murder in Malaysia, Inspector Singh of the Singapore Police is dispatched to Malaysia to investigate.

Thoughts: I love the idea of this series – each of the subsequent books takes place at a different location in South East Asia – but unfortunately this was just sort of…average. I mean, the story is decent and I quite liked the mystery side of things. But there was a LOT of stuff in here about the protagonist’s weight and it just got kind of exhausting to be honest…

Rating: 3 stars

#3: Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Audience: YA
Genre: Horror

Plot summary: A teenage boy attends a college prep training program only to discover that his dorm used to be an asylum for the criminally insane. Weird shit happens.

Thoughts: I was hoping this would be genuinely scary because it does the same thing as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and features a stack of creepy old photos throughout the story. And there were definitely occasional mildly scary moments. But for the most part, the fact that asylum was operational until the late 1960s (but the photos generally looked turn of the century) really hampered both the creep factor and my enjoyment of the story.

Rating: 3 stars

#4: The Owl Always Hunts at Night by Samuel Bjork

Audience: Adult
Genre: Thriller

Plot summary: When a teenager is found dead, apparently as part of a ritual, the Norwegian police investigate and find out a lot more than they’d anticipated.

Thoughts: This book was…peculiar. It’s the second book in a series, so it’s probably my own fault that there was a whole lot of stuff in it that I didn’t understand. The mystery was solid, with plenty of twists and turns. But there were so many segues and a million characters to keep track of and I just…yeah. It was a hard slog.

Rating: 3.5 stars

#5: The Dry by Jane Harper (Reread)

Audience: Adult
Genre: Crime/Thriller

Plot summary: A member of the fraud squad returns to his hometown when his childhood best friend is part of a murder-suicide. But the dead man’s parents aren’t convinced and want the prodigal policeman to investigate for them. Unofficially, of course.

Thoughts: I love this book a lot. Like, a LOT. It’s very evocative of time and place, and the drought almost feels like a character in its own right. Harper perfectly captures the nature of Australian small country towns, and it’s a story that definitely kept me guessing until the end the first time I read it, while on reread it’s really fun to see all the threads slowly being pulled together. The characters are great, the writing is great, and I love the two stories being told at once side of things. If you haven’t read this book? You really really need to. It’s fantastic.

Rating: 4.5 stars

#6: Circle of Bones by Christine Kling

Audience: Adult
Genre: Adventure

Plot summary: A woman finds herself helping a conspiracy-spouting archaeologist hunt for a sunken WWII submarine that’s apparently full of gold coins that a secret society is desperate to get their hands on.

Thoughts: I bought this for two reasons: 1. It’s set largely in the Caribbean and lets me tick those reading goal boxes, and 2. It was $1.49 on Kindle. It’s also like 500 pages long, which was about 300 too many in my opinion. I liked the parts of the story that were set during WWII on the submarine, but the stuff set in the present day was…kind of a shitshow and I hated the way the romance was written. Like, a LOT.

Rating: 2 stars.

#7: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Audience: Adult
Genre: Horror

Plot summary: A young woman lives with her uncle and sister in a creepy old house where they are shunned by the townspeople following the deaths of the rest of their family from poison, six years earlier.

Thoughts: I definitely liked this one better than The Haunting of Hill House, but I still can’t say I loved it. For a book as short as this was, it felt very repetitive and I was bored more than I would have liked. There were certainly a couple of creepy moments in here, but I think so much of the creepiness is atmospheric that it would be far more creepy on screen than on the page. (For someone who hates horror movies as much as I do, it sure does take a lot to creep me out on the page…)

Rating: 3 stars

#8: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Audience: Adult
Genre: Horror

Plot summary: When the man they got thrown in prison years earlier is released, a group of former teen sleuths and the descendant of their original dog team up once again to investigate.

Thoughts: This book was…yeah. No. The blurb sounded like it was going to be sort of a satirical Scooby Doo story, a fantastic blend of funny and horror-y and instead it was neither. I mean, some of the characters were great. But the story was such a hard slog and none of it played out in the depth I wanted it to. I have heard that the audiobook of this one is fantastic – everyone I know on Goodreads who’s read the audiobook has given it 4-5 stars while everyone reading the physical copy has given it 2-3 stars – so maybe check that out if this sounds up your alley…

Rating: 2.5 stars

What have you been reading recently?

Upcoming adaptations

It’s nearly a new year and that means a whole swag of new and exciting book-to-movie/TV adaptations! And there are a bunch that I’m super excited about.

The Hate U Give
I know, I know. This has been out everywhere else on earth for WEEKS now. But it doesn’t come out in Australia until JANUARY, which is a) the actual worst and b) making me increasingly sad because I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it.

Good Omens
This may be what gets me to fork out money for Prime because I love this book with every fibre of my being. And when you add David Tennant to the equation, it’s even higher up my Must Watch list than ever before. The trailer was fantastic, and basically? I’m super excited.

The Sun Is Also a Star
While I was kind of meh on Nicola Yoon’s debut novel, Everything Everything, I absolutely ADORED her second book, The Sun Is Also a Star. The story was incredibly compelling, the writing was great, and I really loved the random chapters from the perspectives of the various people they came into contact with throughout the day. There’s very little information about this one, considering it comes out in May, but I’m still really looking forward to it!

Chaos Walking
Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy is one of my favourite YA series, and I cannot WAIT to see this world come to life on the big screen. I’m ever so slightly apprehensive about it, purely because Todd is meant to be 13 and Viola is meant to be 14. And yet we have Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley as the leads… Like, even if they’ve aged them up a few years, they’re verging on too old to play teens anymore. But I’m still REEEEEEEEEEALLY looking forward to this. Like, a LOT.

This one comes out in a month or so, and I am SO EXCITED OMG. I loved this book (although I still need to read Puddin’) and I can’t wait to see how the story plays out on the screen.

Bird Box
This book was pretty terrifying, and the trailer makes me increasingly nervous about how much this movie will make me pee my pants in fear. I mean, I’m notoriously bad at horror movies, so… Still, the trailer – despite my nervousness – looks pretty stinking great. So.

Captain Marvel
Obviously, I’m super excited about this. Like…SUPER excited. The trailer is fantastic, and Carol is such a wonderful character. I can’t wait.

Ashes in the Snow
This is the movie version of Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, and it’s incredibly interesting that a young adult historical fiction book is being adapted for the big screen. Especially when it deals with the subject matter that this one does!

This one is a big ol’ question mark. A few things online say that it’s due out in 2019. But IMDB has literally nothing about this. There’s no cast, no director, no release date. So I’m not holding my breath. But also, WICKED MOVIE OMFG!!!!!

Les Miserables
A BBC miniseries adaptation of Les Mis written by Andrew Davies ARE YOU KIDDING ME GIVE IT TO ME NOOOOOOOOOOW.

What forthcoming adaptations are you most looking forward to?