The Moonlight Library

My name is Nemo. This is me on Goodreads

By day I work in IT, by night I turn into a vigilante kitten snuggler.

Is there anything better than a lap filled with kittens and shelves filled with books? I think not.

 

"A good book resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper." - David Quammen

The End. For Now.

The Other Side of Dawn - John Marsden

The final book in the Tomorrow When the War Began series starts with a bang as the New Zealanders fly in a bomb expert to load up the kids and prepare them for D-Day. The kinds take out an enemy squadron that is moving way too close to Hell, then abandon their home in favour of the one final big push. Then Ellie is separated from her friends and lives out the last days of the war as a prisoner.

 

I really missed Homer, Fi, Kevin, Lee and Gavin in this final instalment. Pretty early on, Ellie is separated from the others when she uses a train to attempt to escape the enemy. After a long, exhausting battle and chase that really makes you feel all of her pain, Ellie is shot in the leg and caught, beaten, and then taken to a prisoner of war camp where her real identity – and the accolades that come from being one of the teen team who blew up Cobblers Bay and the airport, among others – is almost exposed to the enemy. Through the helpfulness of her own people, and her own resourcefulness, Ellie, believing her friends are dead, makes her way to her mother, at which time to war finally over as a peace treaty is agreed to.

 

Even though Ellie was surrounded by her own people in the war camp, I still felt alone with her. I really wanted her friends around. Instead, it’s almost as if Marsden, realising this was the last book (it would be some years before he returned to this world with the Ellie Chronicles) decided that this was the last chance to torture Ellie, and figured out what would be the worst thing in the world to happen. Step 1: Remove her friends. Step 2: She gets shot. Step 3: She’s captured and taken to a prison camp. Step 4: Her real identity is discovered. And so on. It just slowly got worse and worse.

 

But then, while Ellie was running around the countryside, the war was called to a halt. Peace was extended, although both sides had to confirm it at first, and then negotiations splitting up land and returning Australians to their homes began. Ellie’s farm was on the border of the new nation given to the invaders. While I have a hard time suspending my disbelief over this, I also had a hard time believing that New Zealand would be Australia’s saviours – until Japan got involved, at least. The tidying up of loose endings only goes to show how war really affects people, and how different Ellie had become to the girl who started the story.

 

I’m really looking forward to reading the continuing story of post-war Australia in The Ellie Chronicles, which I’ve not read before.




Artists Respond to Criticism

Y'all know I'm all for critics being able to say whatever they want so long as it doesn't get personal, but sometimes artists channel their anger into art rather than being whiny little brats crying 'bully'.

 

read more



#ShatteringStigmas: A Mental Health in YA Event

You are not alone.




Fancy playing a little game on my blog?

It's called the Zodiac Book Cover Game and you need to match 12 book covers to their corresponding zodiac sign.




Embrace The Possibilities

Reblogged from Yodamom Finds her Force



Northern Lights found in Lyra constellation

Northern Lights - Philip Pullman

An aurora has been spotted outside our Solar System for the first time, scientists report.

An international team detected the light display around a brown dwarf about 18 light years away in the Lyra constellation.

They say the luminous glow looks like the northern lights, but is up to a million times brighter and more red than green in colour.

 

NORTHERN LIGHTS FOUND IN THE LYRA CONSTELLATION

I think I just exploded from the sheer awesomeness.

 

Find out more here.




Last Chance!

Just in case there are any last minute entries, my 3 year blogiversary giveaway is ending in less than 24 hours.




Today is my three year blogging anniversary!

 

I've met some really great people during this time and I love you all. Thanks for your unwavering support and love across the internet.




On Reading

 

Consider the possibilities...

Reblogged from Derrolyn Anderson



DNF at 14%

The Witch Hunter - Virginia Boecker

I’ve lost all enthusiasm for this book at 14% through.

 

I don’t like how Elizabeth is painted to be with wonderful witch hunter because she just keeps screwing up. And I understand it’s not her fault, it’s the plot conspiring against her so we feel sympathy, but I really can’t suspend my disbelief enough to accept three things:

 

One, that the best witch hunter in the kingdom would visit a witch and obtain witch’s herbs, knowing it was illegal and she could be sentenced to death.

 

Two, that she would allow herself to get blindingly drunk while the herbs were still on her. Because remember, she’s the best witch hunter there is.

 

And three, that the herbs would fall out of said pocket and everyone, king and mentor included, instantly accuses her of being a witch. I understand that not everyone being burned is a witch but the whole ‘witch-hunter falsely/mistakenly accused of being a witch’ is not being pulled off as cleverly as it could be in the aims of making the audience sympathise early on with our spunky little heroine. It feels contrived.

 

Oh and four, that this heroine who can kill a man with her thumbs would allow herself to be taken prisoner and put in this situation to begin with.

 

Add this on to the influx of far less than enthusiastic reviews my peers have given this book, and I’m going to pass on this one.




Review: Naked by Stacey Trombley

Naked - Stacey Trombley

I received this book for free from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

SUMMARY

Anna has spent three years living in New York as an underage prostitute. When she’s sent back home, she hopes she can keep the secret of her old life as she tries to adjust to her new one.

WORLDBUILDING

Well, although I didn’t like Anna very much, I completely accept the worldbuilding. I know teenagers run away all the time, or are kidnapped, or otherwise forced into prostitution. It happens, and pretending it doesn’t isn’t helping anyone, least of all the children affected. So since this was a contemporary novel set in what I can only assume must be the ‘real world’, I accept the worldbuilding. No problems with that at all.

CHARACTER

Anna was a very difficult character for me to like and even understand, especially in the beginning of the novel. She carries around this ‘teenage prostitute’ thing like she’s the only girl who lost her virginity young, was raped, or had a bad home life. And I get that her neighbourhood and school are both meant to be ‘good’ – but with an abusive father and a next-door neighbour with deep troubles of his own, and not one but two girls at school being shamed and controlled for sex, you’d think she’s open her eyes are realise that she’s not the only victim, that her strict parents weren’t the end of the world, and that basically she brought all her troubles on herself by her bad behaviour. I know she tries to blame other people, and yes what happened to her is simply awful, but she’s so superior to all the other kids at school, she’s such a martyr, she’s convinced she’s the only broken kid in the high school. One in five teen girls are sexually abused and almost half of sexually active teen girls lose their virginity at age 13-14.

Anna did manage to redeem herself when she handled a difficult situation and didn’t let girl hate bring her down. I did end up liking her, even if she did continue to victim-blame herself. I enjoyed seeing her eyes open and come to the realisation that not everything was her fault and that horrible people took advantage of her, and I liked seeing her relationship with her mother slowly repair itself.

RELATIONSHIPS

Anna’s relationship with Jackson was so lukewarm I don’t even know where to begin. I appreciate Trombley writing a hot nerdy guy with thick glasses but I didn’t appreciate it when she referred to him as ‘too attractive for true geekiness’, as if there’s a) such a thing as fake geeks and b) the ‘true’ ones can’t be hot. Anna likes Jackson because he’s cute and doesn’t know her secret, but we have no idea why Jackson shows an interest in Anna. Their relationship fizzled under the radar and I’m pretty sure Jackson was only there so Anna could redeem herself, or maybe show that she wasn’t the disgusting whore she kept referring to herself as. If Jackson thought she was beautiful, maybe she really was.

Anna’s other friendships with Jen and Alex seemed similarly one dimensional and I didn’t feel any connecton.

Funnily enough, the one high school kid whose connection I did feel was Marissa. I love reformed bad guys, so I really liked it when Anna entered into an alliance with Marissa and became ‘frenemies’.

While I appreciated Anna coming to terms with the fact there were some adults she could trust, I would have liked to have seen what ended up happening to her father, seeing as how her mother was unemployed and they were supported by his paycheck.

THEME

The book is very anti-sex, not just for underage prostitutes but for any women who would dare degrade herself. Out of the two other sexually active girls in the novel, one had been raped and the other was being blackmailed by a video. Funnily enough, it wasn’t that Anna lost her virginity at age 12, it was that she’d slept with a large number of men, largely unwillingly that caused her the most shame. Jackson was held up as the epitome of sweet nice guys and he was a virgin.

Jackson thinks prostitution is worse even than rape or murder, which is an interesting thing for a cop’s kid to think. Most cops seem to understand that pimps take advantage of their hookers, although it’s the girls who usually take the fall. I also didn’t understand why immediately when Anna went back to school, all the ‘mean’ kids instantly assumed she was a slut. Maybe I’ve been reading too much Young Adult literature, but new kids don’t tend to get hated on the very first day, do they? It just seemed really weird – and I think it was an excuse for Anna not to realise who was putting notes in her locker. If everyone was calling her a whore and was a suspect, the real culprit wasn’t revealed until it was too late.

OVERALL

I really struggled with the first half of this novel. Despite its fantastic premise, it didn’t really deliver what I thought it would. It was too busy being anti-sex and having Anna’s special snowflake syndrome to enjoy much of the first half. When Anna finally pulled her head in and started growing up it was much more enjoyable and I liked watching her work together with a group of female friends to take down a male bully, and the courtroom scene was good, although somewhat anti-climactic. All the kids in the school were already convinced she was a whore, so when it was confirmed there wasn’t any kind of reaction. I don’t know if I would recommend this book to anyone based on my own frustrations with reading it.




To Hold The Bridge by Garth Nix

To Hold the Bridge - Garth Nix

I’ve been trying to figure out how to review this book for a while now. Do I talk about each short story separately, can I rate them individually? While it pleases my analytical mind to do so, I decided against doing that because this collection is offered in a bound book and therefore should be treated as such. But in doing so, because of the diversity in terms of narrative, stories and characters, I can’t do my normal in-depth review.

So instead I’ll talk about the collection as a whole.

Garth Nix has always had a special place in my heart. Not only is he an Australian author, but he’s also one of the few men who can write convincing teen girls. Although I haven’t read his other offerings, I have read the Abhorsen/Old Kingdom trilogy a few times, and have utterly adored it since my childhood.

Nix has a way of writing that is simple but at the same time magical. He draws you in and leaves you breathless with descriptions, voice, and characters. This collection proves that his expansive imagination is as vivid as it is broad. He mixes traditional story elements with original elements and brings a new back story that makes his world building utterly believable. He also has submitted several fanfic stories which at first I thought was a bit weird but he must have permission to do so, so who am I to complain? They only serve to highlight what this master storyteller is capable of doing.

The glimpses into some of his other works were also intriguing, although I’m still not sure if I want to read those books – purely because I’m a YA reader who prefers female leads and I know the others are middle grade and/or male leads. It’s just a personal taste thing.

Overall if you can get over the surprise of just how big this book is and realise it’s chock-full of familiar and unfamiliar elements, and if you can bring yourself to trust Nix to hold your hand throughout this collection (as I strongly recommend you do), you’re in for a treat.




Guilty When Reading

I posted this on my blog but I figured we might as well have a discussion here as well.

 

AM I SUFFERING FROM READER'S GUILT?

 

Even now, as an adult and having completed a literature degree, I feel guilty when I read.

It may be leftover guilt because I was raised Catholic, and apparently we feel guilty about everything, but I’m pretty sure it stems from something deeper.

 

When I was a child, I wasn’t allowed to read during the daytime.

 

Why not? You may ask. What kind of parent doesn’t let their child read during the day?

My mother is a ‘keeping up appearances’ kind of woman. She always wanted her house to look like a magazine, but never wanted to put the effort in herself.

(Which she achieved when her adult children left home. Not only did they leave home, but they moved overseas to get away from her. Now the house she lives in is cold and unwelcoming, and not like a ‘home’ at all, but more like a temporary living situation.)

If my mother caught me reading during the day she’d assign me an endless list of chores.

Which I’m not complaining about because gee, I know just how hard it is to maintain a house to look like a flawless magazine, but there’s a reason my brother nicknamed me ‘Cinderella’.

That’s why whenever I heard her stomping down the house towards my bedroom, I’d hide the book under my bed and start cleaning my room, pretending I’d been doing that all along. Because if there’s one thing my mother loved more than a clean, tidy, magazine-style house, it was children who cleaned without being asked.

But it was pretty ironic that my mother didn’t want me reading ‘too much’, because she’s a big reader herself.

Even now as a grown up, I need to do housework before I can read or I’ll feel this swirling guilt I attempt to push aside.

 

Can one really read too much?

 

  • When your house needs cleaning.
  • When it’s beautiful weather outside and you should be outside being outside because apparently outside is better for you than inside, despite the fact that I am pale and burn easily and make it my life’s mission to stay out of the sun.
  • When you should be socialising with friends.
  • When your husband wants to watch a film with you.
  • When your cats are demanding attention.

QoR8Bv1S2SEqH6UcSJCA_Tea

Basically I think the reason I read so little in comparison to most of my blogging friends – despite having a literature degree, despite being a bookworm, despite buying dozens of books a year – is that I still harbour some kind of guilt that reading is a luxury I need to earn by doing other non-solo things. That despite my immense enjoyment of reading, it’s a time suck. That sometimes, watching the film adaptation takes less commitment because it’ll all be over in two and a half hours.

Oh my god. Did I just blaspheme?

Does anyone else feel guilty when they read?

How can I overcome this reader’s guilt?




14%

The Witch Hunter - Virginia Boecker

I just don't know how I feel about the 'best' witch hunter fucking up so much in one day and now being accused of being a witch because she has some herbs witches use. This, combined with the low ratings from friends, makes me question whether I want to continue




Book slump

I just want to throw out all my books for review.

 

But I don't even want to read something I already own.

 

Or buy something new - except maybe a colouring book. Which isn't literature.

 

I don't want to read at all.

 

I want to go home, play Pokemon Rumble and watch Teen Wolf with my husband.




51%

Naked - Stacey Trombley

It's little things like 'I throw on my tennis shoes' and then a page later 'already my toes are going numb. Shoes would have been a good idea.' that really annoy me. I know this isn't the final version, but an editor should have caught that by now, and anyway in the first place the author should have had it in her head that her character was already wearing shoes.