Genie's Weekly News (44)

Sunday, 27 September 2015

The last week has been basically me studying my brains out for the HSC, interspersed with reading and still managing to do some blog posts as well. While I'll be going on hiatus when my final exams start, by the start of November I'll be free and able to read all I want *YAY*.

*Reading Right Now*


Historical fiction, 1930's setting, mystery - I'm in!

*Previous Posts*

*Recommendation of the Week*

I've been looking back on books I love to re-read recently, and this series is definitely one worthy of that!

*From The Interwebs*


Thank  you to Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy!
Flirty Dancing and Love Bomb were both light, fun reads and this one looks like it's heading in a similar direction. I'm looking forward to reading it :)

*What I've Been Watching*

In my searching for a new historical drama to catch my eye (aside from re-watching Downton Abbey from the beginning again), I came across Restless. It's quite an interesting 2-part special which is set in the 1940's and 1970's respectively about a woman who was a spy working with British intelligence and still has some inkling that her occupation during the war is impacting her life in the present. It was first of all interesting to see Michelle Dockery in a very different role than playing Mary Crawley in Downton, and Hayley Atwell played the main role brilliantly. Though I wasn't quite satisfied with the ending, there was a lot of mystery to keep my entertained throughout, and the twist was well played. I'm definitely considering reading the book now to see how it compares. 

*Giveaway Reminder*

Just a quick reminder that my giveaway for 2 sets of the entire 'Tribe' trilogy by Australian author Ambelin Kwaymullina is still going! Closes 9th October and is open to Australian residents only. 
Click the image to go to the entry page!

Have you watched any good historical dramas recently or read any stand-out historical fiction?

{Blog Tour} The Tribe Series by Ambelin Kwaymullina - Review/Guest Post/Giveaway

Friday, 25 September 2015

Monday, 21st September The Loony Literate.
Tuesday, 22nd September Cassie the Weird
Wednesday, 23rd September Diva Book Nerd
Thursday, 24th September Inside My Worlds
Friday, 25th September Genie in a Book


Series Review

This is a series which takes the typical dystopian novel to a new level with an original slant. Ambelin Kwaymullina has not just written a trilogy which is refreshingly original, but also incorporates the unique elements of Aboriginal mythology in the Indigenous Futurisms genre. I would call these books 'speculative thrillers', as they're set a few hundred years into the future and provide a glimpse into how the world, and people within it who hold special abilities could be. As each book progresses and there is more information revealed, it all gets all the more intense and vividly told.

Admittedly, at the beginning of The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf I wasn't completely convinced that I would enjoy it. I felt thrown into this situation where there was a lot going on and obviously some big drama over her capture, but no idea how or why she got there. Though her narrative voice wasn't always fluent and the flashbacks could seem longwinded, I did appreciate the amount of worldbuilding and detail that went into creating this book. The descriptions of each of the young adults in detention and those who had rebelled, as well as how they connected to their animal abilities was fascinating to read about. I could see how the Dreamtime plays a big role in providing a rich symbolic backdrop to the action which takes place.

Following on, in The Disappearance of Ember Crow The Tribe is thrown into a whole new set of issues. The Reckoning may have had lasting effects before, and they still linger now. It was great to see more of Ashala's character development here, as well as the perspective of Ember which added extra depth. For Ashala especially it was lovely to see her act as a strong leader who yes, still had her faults but continued to be gallant and look out for her people. This is about restoring balance to the world, saving a friend, and even finding room for some romance on the side. Once again, like the first novel this is a gripping read with a creativity that is impossible to ignore.

And finally - The Foretelling of Georgie Spider. In this installment, Ashala, Ember and Georgie act as three equally valiant leads who are determined to set things right in their society and make a change. Ashala's voice still comes through as it has since the beginning of the trilogy, though Georgie's is also equally evocative. Building on the abilities of the Illegals and raising some harrowing questions about Australia's history is interestingly done, with a sensitive probing that leaves room for thought. There is enough danger, twists and turns in this book to keep fans of the series entertained, and everything comes together in a satisfying ending.


This is a series that gets better as it goes - each idea is developed and the world-building is ON POINT. It's so nice to see Australian YA making a hit with novels like this, especially ones that connect with Indigenous heritage as well. If you want a post-apocalyptic trilogy with a unique twist unlike anything else out there, then this is for you.

Guest Post by Ambelin Kwaymullina - Speculative Fiction and Indigenous Futurism

I am a writer of Indigenous Futurisms, which is to say, I am one of the many Indigenous peoples worldwide who use the speculative fiction genre to challenge colonialism and to imagine Indigenous futures. And in so doing I am conscious of both the failings and the promise of speculative fiction. 

Speculative fiction, like all Western literary genres, is guilty of the unthinking reproduction of colonial stereotypes. Indigenous peoples have appeared in spec fic narratives as the ‘primitives’ to be conquered; the spiritual but child-like natives who require a white savior to deliverm them from themselves; and the ‘savages’ who lurk beyond the boundaries of what is said to be ‘civilisation’. But if the failing of speculative fiction is continue colonial story-cycles, its promise is to overcome them. For in imagining new worlds it is possible to discard old ideas and to confront the evils of colonialism in new contexts, free of the preconceptions that hinder understanding.

My ancestors taught me to look to the future. They always spoke hopefully of a better world in the worst of times and circumstances, gazing through time to the point when the injustices that dominated so much of their existence were a thing of the past. We do not yet live in that world - as was reported by the UN’s State of the Worlds Indigenous Peoples report, Indigenous peoples across the globe continue to be subjected to discrimination and live in conditions of extreme disadvantage. But my ancestors never did lay down their hope; they passed it on to be carried by those of us who came after them.

I am a writer of Indigenous Futurisms, which is to say, I am one of the many Indigenous peoples worldwide who hopes for a just world.

Giveaway - 2 sets of the trilogy (AU only)

And now thanks to Walker Books Australia, I'm giving away two sets of the trilogy with all three books to a couple of lucky Australian winners!

Teaser Blast: Wicked Restless by Ginger Scott

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Wicked Restless by Ginger Scott
Very Mature YA Contemporary Romance
Releasing 20th October 2015

Andrew Harper grew up in a house marked by tragedy. His older brother Owen did his best to shelter him, but you can only be protected from life’s pain for so long. Eventually, you end up just feeling numb…and isolated.

Loneliness was the one constant in Andrew’s life. Until one girl, met by chance in a high school hallway, changed everything. Emma Burke was a mystery and all that was beautiful in this world, the only air Andrew ever wanted to breathe. She took the lonely away, and filled it with hope and color, and Andrew would do anything to keep her safe, happy and whole.

But sometimes, what feels good and right is what ends up hurting us the most. And when Andrew and Emma are faced with an impossible decision, Andrew is tested to see just how far he’s willing to go for the girl who owns his heart.

Cuts are deep.

Scars are left behind.

And revenge beckons.

When Andrew finally gets his chance, in college, five years after his first love broke him completely, he finds out old feelings don’t really disappear just because you say you hate someone. The more he tries to avenge all that he believes he lost, the more he uncovers the real story of what happened years before.

Love is wicked. But a restless heart is never satisfied beating on its own. Can Andrew and Emma make it right before it's too late, or will the ties that bind them now destroy their only chance at a future?
Aaand here's the teaser!

About the Author:
Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling author of eight young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, Wild Reckless and The Girl I Was Before. A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work,visit her website at

When she's not writing, the odds are high that she's somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils).

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @TheGingerScott

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Spring TBR

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. The flowers are out, there is more sunny weather ahead, and I have all these books to look forward to!

1. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 


OF COURSE this is at the top of my list! It has to be my most anticipated release of the year.

2. A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston


Though I've seen some mixed reviews of this one, I have an ARC and am looking forward to starting it soon.

3. Blood and Salt by Kim Ligget


A weird, creepy horror/romance? I'm definitely intrigued by this one.

4. Asking for It by Louise O'Neill


I've been wanting to read one of this author's books for a long time, and along with Only Ever Yours, I hope to read this soon as well. 

5.The White Rose by Amy Ewing 


I actually ended up enjoying The Jewel and can't wait to see what happens in this sequel!

6. Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray 


A Thousand Pieces of You was A-MAZING, so bring on the sequel I say! I'll be rewarding myself with this one after my final exams are over. 

7. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin


Confession: No I haven't read the original A Song of Ice and Fire series *yet* BUT since this is set beforehand it might be a good place to start?

8. The Next Together by Lauren James 


This one sounds like a romantic, captivating read - I'm looking forward to starting my ARC soon since I've heard good things already!

9. The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory

The Taming of the Queen

I've been in another historical mood reading-wise, so this looks quite interesting. 

10. Restless by William Boyd


I recently watched the TV adaptation of this book on Netflix which was quite good, but am curious as to how different it is from the book.

What books are you looking forward to this spring/fall? 

ARC Review: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Monday, 21 September 2015

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
Released: 15th September 2015
Published by: Penguin Teen Australia
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Publisher
Pages: 384
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Goodreads | Book Depository | Bookworld
Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin.

Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back. Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does.

Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.
Thank you to Penguin Teen Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Dumplin' is a story about being confident in your own skin, doing things outside your comfort zone, and breaking down the archetypal stereotypes which can tend to reemerge in YA. With a healthy dose of Southern charm, Julie Murphy has written a contemporary which holds a complex set of characters and heartening message. Though I didn't love it as much as Side Effects May Vary, I'd still say that this book is worth a read this year for people on the lookout for a story of romance, empowerment and friendship.

Willow wants to challenge what it means to enter a beauty pageant - why shouldn't it be open to the 'misfits' or people without that 'perfect' body? It was interesting to read about the relationship between herself and her mother who was one of the quintessential 'beauty queens'. Will never quite felt accepted by her mother for who she was, however still stood as a seemingly confident young woman ready to take on the world and smash the stereotypes which tried to label her as undesirable. The friendship with her bestie Ellen was also a good plot point, showing how there can be ups and downs in even the closest of pairings, and sometimes over the most trivial things. There were other friendships explored though which Will sought out - and she really got to see how the 'outcasts' of her school weren't necessarily the same as what people had perceived them to be. Everyone has a story and their own true identity on the inside.

One thing which felt a little rocky for me was the romance - it was good in the sense of portraying a situation which isn't stereotypical, but I just couldn't ship it as much as I would have liked. Bo and Willowdean were a nice couple, however I wish there was that extra little spark which was missing. There came a point where I wanted Willow to actually allow herself to be happy and not need to seek validation and acceptance since she was such a strong character before. There was a little bit of a love triangle as well and at times the romance was a little clunky. It was just missing that extra something for me and the more satisfying ending that I was looking forward to.


Dumplin' is ultimately a story about growing up, being open to change, maturing as a person and developing a positive self-image. While it's not my favourite YA contemporary, I'm still very much looking forward to reading more from Julie Murphy in future!

Genie's Weekly News (43)

Sunday, 20 September 2015

I missed last week's installment, so there are a lot of things happening in this one! With STRAY feels abound, as well as a whole heap of new books to add to my shelves, things have been quite busy over here. So without further ado...

*Reading Right Now*


The first book is slowly coming back to me while reading this, and I'm enjoying it.

*Previous Posts*

*Recommendation of the Week*


I read and LOVED Jackie French's interpretation of Ophelia, which is quite different from the one I read a few years ago in another novel by Lisa Klein. I'd still recommend trying them both out and seeing what you think - it's fascinating to read about other author's interpretations of such well-known characters.

*From The Interwebs*


Thank you to Allen and Unwin and Bloomsbury Australia for these review copies!

*Quote Graphics*

I finished reading Stray by Rachael Craw a while ago now, but only just got to making the rest of the quote graphics, so here they are! Feel free to use them on your own blogs/social media etc., or make your own even. 

*What I've Been Watching*


On Friday I went to go and see The Scorch Trials with my best friend since we watched The Maze Runner last year and enjoyed it. Though I haven't read the books, I still found this movie to be quite good. I couldn't help but notice a few GoT actors in there (random observation), and boy were there some jump scares. Seriously, even though you can *tell* something is going to come out of nowhere, I almost jumped out of my seat (LITERALLY) at one point. This is an edgy film which almost has a few ties with The Walking Dead, and heaps of action scenes when they count. The suspense is palpable, and now I'm looking forward to seeing how the next installment turns out. 

So - how has your week been?

Discussion: 5 Remedies for a Book Slump

Saturday, 19 September 2015

You know that feeling when *nothing* is really keeping your attention when you read? EVERYTHING you go to pick up just ends up being 'meh'. Books have lost their spark and reading just seems like something you don't enjoy anymore. Nothing new has come along yet to rescue you from this melancholy state of the same-old story with a DNF result.

I've certainly been there, and a lot of other bookworms out there have felt the same way too at one point or another. So today I'm here to share my tips on getting over that book slump and finding reading fun again!

1. Realise that denying you were in a book slump in the first place wasn't the best idea

Being in denial is not going to end well. Facing the fact that yes, you are in this sorry situation and then moving on with the following tips is the way to go. There is help out there, not all hope is lost! Rest assured, with so many new (and old) novel adventures awaiting you eventually there is bound to be something better on the horizon. 

2. Let go of those negative emotions, and have an open mind to find something new

These are common reactions to books of someone who is exhibiting the symptoms of a reading slumper:

Exhibit a) I JUST CAN'T DEAL WITH THIS STORY RIGHT NOW! (Either the characters are annoying, the plot seemingly nonexistent or everything is just not working)

Note: This can be totally normal on the ocassion that you just don't like *a* book. But if it happens more often and consecutively, there may be a book slump situation at hand. 

Exhibit b) I FEEL NOTHING. This is the result if you keep reading books and just cannot connect to the characters or feel sorry because the most horrible thing has happened/ a favourite has died. 

So what can you do?


That's right - vent if you need to, move on, clear your head and get ready for step 3.

3. Go on the hunt for new bookish victims to devour 

With the bookish community now bigger than ever, there are so many ways to get the goss on what's hot right now, and perhaps some lesser-known captivating page-turners.

  • Head to twitter/goodreads/instagram
Social media is a haven for enthusiastic bookworms who will push books at you like nobody's business. If you put a call out on one of these sites, there is sure to be someone willing to help and give some handy suggestions on what you might like. 

  • Try a bookstore
Looking at the shelves in a bookstore always gives me ideas and reminds me of the many reads I still need to get to. The bonus with this is, if you see something that really catches your eye, you can buy it then and there.

  • Borrow at the library
This no-risk method is perhaps a good one for those who have been deeply affected by their slump and lost confidence in books altogether. In borrowing a book, at least if you don't like it (again) then it can be returned, no fuss. 

4. Read a book, and eventually when you realise it's freakin' awesome - EMBRACE IT.

When you've gone through step 3 and have found something AMAZING once more, take a moment to reflect. Smell the pages (if that takes your fancy), write a rave review, make some fan art, or just bask in its glory. Then you are ready for the final step in this process:


Getting out of a book slump is something to celebrate! Blog about it, share it with your world of bookish friends and let people know you're back to being a functional bookworm again. It's a good feeling, and something exciting indeed. Connect with other readers of that TOTALLY EPIC book you just read, and share your experiences. Not only can you make some new friends. but now with a newfound vitality can go on to read many more books with a fresh perspective.

So what do you think of my tips? How do you get out of a book slump (if you've ever had one), or how would you react if you did?