Review: The Estate (The Industry #2) by Rose Foster - A #LoveOzYA thriller not to be missed

Monday, 30 January 2017

The Estate by Rose Foster
Series: The Industry #2
Released: 22nd July 2016
Genre: YA Thriller
Source: Publisher
Pages: 414
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kirra Hayward has many questions. What is the Estate? Will she be safe from Latham there? Will her code cracking skills be used for good or evil? Will she ever make it home? As she reluctantly joins the ranks of criminals, Kirra begins to realise the Estate isn't quite the place of refuge she hoped it would be.

There's a bully to avoid, rumours of a second code cracker on the run, and the feeling that someone at the Estate wants Kirra gone. For good.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

This review may contain spoilers for The Industry

Ever since I heard that Rose Foster's The Industry was sure to have a sequel, I just couldn't wait to read it. With anticipation high, so were my expectations for this novel - and it definitely did not disappoint. In The Estate Kirra Hayward is working within the Industry itself, having completely left her old life behind. As one of the only people who can crack the elusive Spencer coding, she's in a valuable, yet dangerous position. What this book does so well is execute the perfect combination of suspense, character development and action - what more could you ask for?

What I really appreciated about The Estate's storyline is the emphasis Foster places on developing all of her characters; broth primary and secondary. Each member of the Industry is given a unique personality and their own quirks, from the protective Desmond to the distant yet slightly maternal Aurelie who Kirra lives with. Flo, who Kirra is paired with as a 'Retreiver', is especially complex. Kirra's own conflicting emotions over whether she wanted to continue living this other life where secret documents are always circling, assassins are on the loose and people's lives are at risk, were also explored. Everything from the dialogue to the plot twists seemed fitting and flowed well, building greatly upon the foundations set in the first book of the series. 

Aside from the structure and characters, the action scenes are what really set this book apart and provided wow factor. There is an electric dynamic throughout the story, and being set in Vienna added an extra level of interest. It was good to see the camaraderie in Kirra's immediate peers, but also the thrill of characters' true colours being exposed. I really hope there will be a third book because I have to know what happens next!


WOW. This is a thriller that will keep you glued to its pages. Rose Foster has proven herself to be a masterful storyteller with great insight into her characters and how they will react in high-octane situations. With code-cracking, assassins, and plenty of action to spare, The Industry series is one you need to read. 

There's also this twitter giveaway ending 5th Feb for a chance to win both books - signed!

Cover Reveal: A Boy Like You by Ginger Scott

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Ginger Scott's novels are always more than just a romance - there's usually a sport theme, but above all are the family and deeper issues at play. I've always loved her books, and this one looks like it's going to be another emotional read!

NA Contemporary Romance-Stand Alone

They say everyone’s a superhero to someone. I’m not sure who I’m supposed to save, but I know who saved me. We were kids. His name was Christopher. And up until the day he pulled me from death’s grip, he was nothing more than a boy I felt sorry for. In a blink of an eye, he became the only person who made me feel safe. And then he disappeared.

Now I’m seventeen. I’m not a kid anymore. I haven’t been for years. While death didn’t take me that day, the things that happened left me with scars—the kind that robbed me of everything I once loved and drove me into darkness. But more than anything else, that day—and every day since—has taken away my desire to dream.

I wasn’t going to have hope. I wouldn’t let myself wish. Those things—they weren’t for girls like me. That’s what I believed…until the new boy.

He’s nothing like the old boy. He’s taller and older. His hair is longer, and his body is lean—strong and ready for anything. I don’t feel sorry for him. And sometimes, I hate him. He challenges me. From the moment I first saw him standing there on the baseball field, he pushed me—his eyes constantly questioning, doubting…daring. Still, something about him—it feels…familiar.

He says his name is Wes. But I can’t help but feel like he’s someone else. Someone from my past. Someone who’s come back to save me. This time, though, he’s too late. Josselyn Winters, the girl he once knew, is gone. I am the threat; I am my worst enemy. And he can’t save me from

Releasing 3rd March 2017

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several 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, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, and Hold My Breath.

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: FacebookPage | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube | Google | Goodreads | Website

Top Ten Tuesday: This one's for the 'girls'

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. With this week being free choice, I've decided to explore some of the titles in the trend of having 'girl' in the title which I haven't yet read. This article from the LA times which I saw shared on The Bookclub facebook page actually inspired this post, which mentions some of the patterns in books published in 2016, and why 2017 needs another big hit. Though I've already devoured Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, The Girls and Girls on Fire recently (and actually liked them all), I'm going back through my towering list of books that are yet to be experienced, and picked what seem to be the most memorable from the blurbs. 

1. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

This book definitely has some Gone Girl vibes going on with the premise of a woman with a facade of perfection and deeper secrets lurking beneath. This thriller looks like an intense read.

2. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

I've read Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica, but haven't yet read her debut. Okay, so it's another thriller compared to the era of Gone Girl (like many others). However, as another thriller drawing on the idea of nobody being as they seem, I think there's still scope for originality in exactly how situations play out. 

3. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

Another thriller...with a scifi twist! I've had this one on my TBR for soo long, but I know that it's gotten some raving reviews from bloggers so fingers crossed I'll actually pick it up soon. 

4. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

I discovered this book around the same time I bought The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. I don't typically read memoirs, but the psychological aspect of this one seems fascinating, especially considering the paradigms surrounding mental illness in the 1960's.

5. The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Art, history and romance appear to collide in this novel - which should make for a dramatic and enthralling combination. 

6. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

I've seen some mixed reviews for this one, but the idea of a subversion between the victim/villain scenario does intrigue does the promise of some time travel in this story. 

7. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

It has been a looong time since I've read a book with vampires in it, but since this one is by Holly Black I'm willing to give it a go. If it's more on the spooky and less on the sparkly side, I'll be all in.

8. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

This YA novel set in high school is the type of hard-hitting read tackling some very real issues which I think will be worth checking out. 

9. Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

This is one of the books on the 'own but haven't read pile' which when writing this post I recently rediscovered on my shelves. The sibling bonds and hint at the paranormal make this a story I'm drawn to already.

10. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Well, I had this one all planned to read as soon as it got released last year, but somehow that didn't happen. Hopefully by the time I publish this post I'll have started to read it!

Over to you - do you the word 'girl' in the title of a book has implications on how it is first perceived?

Waiting on Wednesday: All Our Wrong Todays

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where the participants tell their readers about an upcoming release they are waiting to read. This week I've picked All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai.

You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren's 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn't necessary. Except Tom just can't seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that's before his life gets turned upside down.

Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland. But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality?

Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.

I'm really curious to see how this time-travel/alternate depiction of our world as we know it actually comes to form. It certainly sounds like it has the potential to be a thought-provoking read, and I'm looking forward to seeing for myself just how clever it is. Time will tell!

Releasing 7th February 2017 from Penguin Random House

Top Ten Tuesday: Brilliant books you may not know about (but really should!)

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. We all seem to hear of the 'big releases' hitting the shelves, those books in the spotlight which get all the attention; glowing or otherwise. So this week I'm sharing my top ten underrated gems which you should definitely check out!

1. Flora Series by Jessica L. Brooks

The Flora series by Jessica L. Brooks is unlike any other I've read before. They're so uniquely enchanting with their own special charm - magical realism at its best. The contemporary elements are so well written too!

2. In The Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker

You can read my full review of this #LoveOzYA gem here, and wow was this book a complete surprise. It is both surreal and brutal, you never know what will be coming next. 

3. Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

This is another fascinating read, somewhere between the genres of historical fiction and some sort of dystopia. It wasn't something I'd normally pick up, but found it compelling and original. 

4. The Passion Flower Massacre by Nicola Morgan

It's been years since I first read this but I still remember how cleverly chilling it was. It plays so well on the idea that some things seem to good to be true...

5. India Dark by Kirsty Murray

This is a middle-grade novel, but nonetheless not one to be overlooked. Set in India in the early 1900's, this tale of a group of Australian performers which is based on a true story is mesmerising. 

6. Starters by Lissa Price 

This YA sci-fi novel which explores the extreme lengths the rich can go to in retaining their youth was a gripping read. 

7. Your Voice is All I Hear by Leah Scheier

This is an emotional YA read which deals with mental illness in an honest and provoking way. Caution: have tissues nearby - you'll probably need them. 

8. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

I have come to appreciate Moriarty's slightly satirical and witty writing style, which hopefully comes through in this book. 

9. The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

Full review here, but in short this book is a beautiful piece of YA historical fiction told through a maid's diary entries who wants to be something more. 

10. Liberty's Fire by Lydia Syson

Set in Paris in 1871, Liberty's Fire is a passionate story of revolution, and a group people caught in its tumultuous midst. Rich in historical detail, this is a YA novel you don't want to miss. 

What underrated books would you recommend?

Genie's Weekly News (55) - My 2017 goodreads challenge, reading Paris through pages and loving La La Land

Monday, 16 January 2017

Okay, so it's been...a few weeks since my last update, but I'm finally back with another recap! 

Currently Reading

Historical fiction set in Paris...I can't wait to see how this story unfolds. 

Recommendation of the Week

This is a novel I can certainly see fans of Liane Moriarty enjoying. Its sardonic tone and twisting plot which plays on all the stereotypes of 'good children' being the product of 'good parenting' is particularly interesting. A domestic drama not to be missed!

Previous Posts

From the Interwebs

Book Haul

What I've Been Watching

'La La Land' was a unique and nostalgic movie which has stood out from the crowd of other releases in recent years. I can definitely see why it won so many awards at the Golden Globes; the music and storyline were sweeping and bittersweet. Though I wish it could have ended differently, I think it's still worth the hype to go and see it.

Other Updates

Savouring the moment where I'm actually ahead of my reading schedule

I've repeated my goal of 50 books this year, which at the moment is going well as I'm reading whenever I can! I'm aiming to make a dent in the books that I own but haven't yet read, as well as finally finishing the couple that I started so long ago and am still "currently reading" *cough* How Proust Can Change Your Life / The Virgin Suicides *cough*. I'll get there eventually! 

How is your reading challenge going?

Review: The Ghost by the Billabong by Jackie French - A breathtaking novel which captures the Australian spirit

Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Ghost by the Billabong by Jackie French
Series: Matilda Saga #5
Released: 1st December 2015
Published by: HarperCollins Australia
Genre: YA/Adult Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher
Pages: 544
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Hippies wear beads, demonstrators march against the Vietnam War, and the world waits to see the first human steps on the moon's surface.

But at Gibbers Creek, Jed Kelly sees ghosts, from the past and future, at the Drinkwater billabong where long ago the swaggie leaped to his defiant death. But is seventeen-year-old Jed a con artist or a survivor? When she turns up at Drinkwater Station claiming to be the great-granddaughter of Matilda Thompson's dying husband, Jed clearly has secrets. As does a veteran called Nicholas, who was badly wounded in the Vietnam War and now must try to create a life he truly wants to live, despite the ghosts that haunt him too.

Set during the turbulence of the late 1960s, this was a time when brilliant and little-known endeavours saw Australia play a vital role in Neil Armstrong's 'one giant leap for mankind' on that first unforgettable moon walk.

The fifth title in the highly acclaimed Matilda Saga, The Ghost by the Billabong is a story of deep conflicts and enduring passions - for other people, for the land, and for the future of humanity.
Thank you to HarperCollins Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Reading a Jackie French novel always provides so much more than a few hours of contentment between the pages of a book. This novel, like all the others which came before it in the Matilda saga, is really something else, something special. Set against the backdrop of the late 1960's, The Ghost by the Billabong not only provides a snapshot of the major events and ideas prevalent at that time in Australian history, but a sincere narrative that I was immediately drawn into.

Men might step onto the moon today, but mankind had watched the moon and stars from this spot for tens of thousands of years. She felt the wind of time sweep about her.

Not only was this book a phenomenal read; it made me even more interested in delving further into the history of our nation. At a time when excitement surrounding the anticipated moon landing was at an all-time high, French offers a perspective which we may not have properly known of before. Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station which features in the story did actually exist and played a role in that momentous event. In today's age when technological advances are fast exceeding even our wildest expectations, the author has truly conveyed the wonder felt by the people at that time witnessing such a feat. For Matilda's ailing husband Tommy it offered a vision at what is beyond our homeland, and for Jed the hope that we can always be something more; that even the most troubled past does not need to obscure the hope for a better future.

He'd fought to save everyone's sisters and nieces back in the war. She supposed he'd done this for them too. That was the trouble with love and protectiveness. It kept on spreading, till you loved the world, and wanted to keep it safe.

As always the character development in this novel is masterfully crafted. Jackie French has been able to weave the stories of all the characters from the previous novels, creating a plot which explores the nuances of their life experiences while retaining a central focus on a new protagonist. I love how even after I finished the other four books in the series, the stories of the characters I came to resonate with did not end there. That in itself is just one thing which makes these books so enthralling. The multiple perspectives alongside Jed's enrich the story further, as we come to understand their innermost thoughts, longings and dreams as to what might be. Jed was a complex character whose life experiences and hardships had shaped her into a savvy young woman who although fiercely independent, did desperately want to be part of a family. Making overtures towards the time period in To Love a Sunburnt Country, Nicholas had scars from the Vietnam war, both seen with the loss of his legs, and those unseen which go so much deeper.

She had known hat her grip on happiness was too fragile, after those war years, to leave here. She was Nancy of the Overflow. Overflow was part of her, just as she was part of it. Travel too far from these plains, these hills, the river, and she would wither like an autumn leaf and blow away.

What links Jed, Nicholas and Nancy whose life also features heavily in the novel, is their resilience. It is the striking combination of the tangible aspects of these characters' lives, especially their connection to the land, and the intangible emotions which shape them, that gives this series its spark. The portrayal of kindness, and kin being bound by more than blood, makes for a heartwarming story I will never forget. Yes, I did shed a few tears, but when you come across a tale that is as beautifully written and emotional as this, you really can't help it. Ultimately this is a story of finding forgiveness, and the humanity in all of us; where time and space may change, but the land is a constant which holds communities and brings them together.

He knew he didn't have to say it to Jed, for she understood. Knew that Nancy's, Michael's, Matilda's love of this piece of land linked them slowly, inexorably, across New South Wales, to Australia, then across the oceans, to the entire planet. They did not need to see Earth from space to know that this one planet held them all.


In all, The Ghost by the Billabong is a breathtaking story which artfully incorporates the real and incorporeal. It offers the reminder that as humans the bonds between us in the present, can be created stronger than we could have ever imagined.

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 releases I meant to read...but didn't

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. It seems to be an almost inevitable reality that all the shiny new releases we plan to read every year don't all make the cut. That being said, I'm hoping that I'll be able to make room for these 2016 titles this year!

YA Novels

1. Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Given how much I loved Illuminae, I think I just wanted to save this one for a time when I know I'll need a book I can dive into and not be able to stop reading it. NOW is the time!

2. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heiling

Time travel and...what looks like pirate ships? I can't wait to eventually read this YA debut which seems like a real adventure.

3. Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Another book with a pirate theme happening - that could be promising.

4. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

There has been ALL THE HYPE for this book, and (Everything, Everything which I also need to read). Is it time to see what makes these books so noteworthy?

5. Replica by Lauren Oliver

There were some mixed reviews for this one, but I really enjoyed Lauren Oliver's Delirium series so would like to see whether Replica is as good. 

Adult Novels by Australian Authors

6. Goodwood by Holly Throsby

I've actually just started this and am liking it so far - big drama in a small Australian town, and the mystery is already beginning to unfold. 

7. An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire

This is also set in a small Australian community with a murder mystery rocking its core. This psychological thriller looks like it could really hit the mark for a riveting read. 

8. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

I have come to appreciate Moriarty's slightly satirical and witty writing style, which hopefully comes through in this book. 

9. Where the Trees Were by Inga Simpson

I love books which can capture a sense of place in a poignant way, and Where the Trees Were looks like a book which could do just that. 

10. The High Places by Fiona Mcfarlane

I've been getting more interested in reading short story collections lately, and this one described 'with a particular lens on human behaviour' is intriguing.

Have you read any of the books on this list?