The Moonlight Library (Nemo)

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

DNF at 33%

Spark Rising (The Progenitor Saga) (Volume 1) - Kate Corcino

Unfortunately while the writing is technically competent and the world-building is phenomenal, I've been attempting to read this quite intense and heavy tome for over a month now and I have absolutely no desire to finish. I find myself dreading going back to this book.

While the concept is quite intriguing, I have absolutely zero connection to any character which makes it a chore to continue as I absolutely do not care one way or another what happens next or what the final outcome will be.

I think it's a case of "It's not you, it's me."




New reading project for 2015: Tomorrow When the War Began

Tomorrow, When the War Began - John Marsden

I originally read this series when I was in school. Nearly 20 years after it was first published there was a film version, which for the record, a lot of people hated.

Except me.

I freaking loved it.

Maybe because I was living overseas at the time and I was pretty excited about an Aussie action film based on one of my favourite childhood books.

wirrawee

Maybe because it was quite a good adaptation that identified and then improved upon the characteristics of the main characters. Maybe it was because there was less romance (and NO angsting over two guys at once!). Maybe it was because Robyn was cast as this tiny ultra-religious girl who ended up being a BAMF. Maybe it was because they changed the ending to include everyone, so the climax was spectacular. Maybe it was because a few of the interesting things that happen in the novel actually happen off-page, and in a film medium it’s easier to portray.

time to go to war

Maybe because it was a really good, faithful adaptation. I wouldn’t say the film was better than the book, but it’s just as good once you take into account that they’re different mediums and they work in different ways. Don’t be a hater.

ellie and lee

There’s so much to work with. The group of teenagers who go camping over the Australia Day long weekend (Commemoration Day, in this version, but it’s definitely Australia Day because it’s just after Christmas and before school goes back so like, yay summer and everything) return home to find their country has been invaded by an unidentified army who wants to partake in all of her natural resources and most importantly, room, and decide to start fighting back using guerrilla tactics mostly based off their bush skills.

camping

And it works, because most of the kids are rural and know how to drive, shoot, hunt, trap, repair, and basically survive in the bush. They’re almost adults, and being kids with big farming responsibilities already help them adjust quickly to no parental supervision.

initiative and independence

And yes, you might find some comparisons, whether fortunate or detrimental, to The Hunger Games because it’s a life-or-death situation and the main characters are teenagers who have to deal with killing other people to survive, but they’re vastly different novels. One’s about killing for entertainment and glory. The other is about actual survival in a war zone.

fi in the water

The descriptions of the Australian bush are really good. I mean, I read this during the summertime so I was keenly aware of how hot it can get and how lovely it can be in the shade or dipping your toes into a creek. But the descriptions are clearly a love letter to a beautiful country and it really helps the setting, which obviously plays a huge part in the story, to come to life.

walkingwalking 2

And the character growth in the novel is phenomenal, because gentle, sheltered Fi finds her courage, and the local teenage delinquent Homer actually shows he’s a natural leader in a crisis and big macho man Kevin displays horrible moments of panic and cowardice. But they’re all still kids, and they’re not trained for war, and they fuck up and learn from their mistakes.

smash a window

I would definitely recommend this to any Young Adult book reader. In fact, I’m having a giveaway right now to celebrate Australia Day and the anniversary of the fictional invasion. Why don’t you enter and take the chance to win this wonderful novel?




Giveaway ending soon!

Just another reminder that my giveaway to win Tomorrow When the War Began or any other book by an Australian author is ending in like 14 hours, so hurry up and enter!

 

Book reviewed here.




Giveaway - ends Tuesday!

"Hey everyone I'm having a quick giveaway on the blog - you could win Tomorrow When The War Began, ends Tuesday! 

 

Tomorrow, When the War Began (Tomorrow, #1)




33%

Spark Rising (The Progenitor Saga) (Volume 1) - Kate Corcino

I was really enjoying this, but it's so heavy that it needs to keep my interest by keeping up a fast pace. Unfortunately now the pace has really dropped and I'm rapidly losing interest.




ARC Book Review: Soulprint by Megan Miranda

Soulprint - Megan Miranda

I received this book for free from Bloomsbury Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

SUMMARY

Alina Chase has been contained her whole life on a private island – cared for, but not cared about. Because she has inherited the soul of a notorious teen criminal, June Calahan. And the world fears June has left instructions for Alina to continue what she started – throwing the world into chaos.

 

WORLDBUILDING

Wowser! The worldbuilding in this was so subtle and intense. Souls are an actual thing, and soulprints – like fingerprints – can be determined by testing the spinal fluid. Alina inherited the soul of someone the world was terrified of, someone the press believed had too much power and was blackmailing innocent people about who their past lives were. The whole idea was built on a study that claimed souls inherit evil, just like talent and left-and-right-handedness, but not memories. People started punishing others for what they did in a previous life. A soulprint is supposed to be secret – Alina is special: her soulprint was taken when she was a baby. Her soul is public knowledge, and she’s contained ‘for her own protection’ because of it.

 

CHARACTER

Alina was an amazing character. I really feel like I got to know her. She wanted to be different to June, so she forced herself to become left-handed, even though left-and-right-handedness is something a soul inherits. She shunned things June was good at – maths, coding – in favour of learning other skills. She hoped that if she showed she was different to June, the authorities might decide they’d made a mistake – despite being tested (and matched) for the soulprint three times. Alina was strong even when she was terrified, brave even when she was helpless, loyal and trusting but not in a dumb way – she wouldn’t be fooled by certain characters. She was smart enough to read people, and I loved watching her decipher every little movement, every word said, as she got to the truth.

 

RELATIONSHIPS

So there’s three major relationships in this book that I loved. The first was between Alina and the typical bad-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold Cameron. The second was between Cameron and his older sister, Casey. The third was between Casey and Alina. THE BEST KIND OF LOVE TRIANGLE. Cameron and Casey have their own reasons for helping Alina escape, but I loved watching the slow burn of her relationship with Cameron heat up until I was sure I was going to explode along with them. I loved Cameron and Casey’s bond, their own language and their comfort with each other. And I loved the complicated relationship with Casey that often teetered on the brink of falling apart because of Alina’s entanglement with Cameron.

My favourite line:

Cameron kills me with his honesty.

And I also need to add a spoiler because I got one-third of the way through this novel and went looking for the one spoiler nobody mentioned!

Yes, Dom is who you think he is. Clever you!

(show spoiler)

OVERALL

Soulprint is a ridiculously strong novel. The slower pace of the opening pages leaves plenty of room for world-and-character building until you feel like you know the characters inside out. The romance was a swoony slow burn. I don’t generally do book boyfriends but Cameron’s going on my shelf. It’s a psychological thriller with plenty of philosophical debate about the nature of the soul. The writing is beautiful and there are sentences to swoon over as well. It’s got everything a YA contemporary/hint of sci-fi lover could want. Just read it!




93%

Tomorrow, When the War Began - John Marsden

They're going to blow up the bridge with only 4 of them and Lee injured! In the film everyone was involved and Robyn was a BAMF.




42%

Tomorrow, When the War Began - John Marsden

I love how Homer's totally like this natural leader even though out of wartime he's a total delinquent. Love Kev's characterisation - macho boy, not as tough as he thinks. I'm totally missing Lee and Robyn though. I want them to come back :(




Brilliant opening

Tomorrow, When the War Began - John Marsden

I just love Ellie's voice so much. I've only spent half an hour reading and am 6% through already! So glad I picked this for my 2015 reading project. It's still relevant even though it's written in the 90s.

 

Biggest difference between this and modern-day YA?

 

THEY HAVE PARENTS THEY RESPECT AND NEED TO CONVINCE POLITELY THAT THEY ARE MATURE AND RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH TO GO ON A CAMPING TRIP.

 

Rules, motherfucker. DO YOU HAVE THEM?

 

That, and technology.

 

And Fi is so adorable and delicate. Gah, I love her.

 

Totally watching the film again once I've finished this.

 

Robyn's dad is an insurance salesman, not a pastor!




The Moonlight Library gets a makeover!

My blog got a pretty pretty new design courtesy of Laura Plus Designs. Check it out, let me know what you think!




How I Got Him To Marry Me (yes that actually is the title)

How I Got Him To Marry Me: 50 True Stories - Cherise Kelley

I originally read this in 2013, where my first review simply said,

Utter rubbish. One woman recommends getting hit by a car to make him propose.


To which the author of this book promptly responded in her own review that,

No one recommends getting hit by a car anywhere in this book. I'm not sure where that idea came from.


Well, ladies and gents, it's been bothering me that I never did, in fact, back up my claim, so over the 14/15 summer break I sat down with this book AGAIN so that I could tell you exactly where Ashlee tells us that getting hit by a car got James to propose:

#20 Ashlee and James

We were hit by another driver… causing us to drive off-course and into a ditch. I didn’t wake up until I was at the hospital. Location 1049

He smirked at me and kissed me.
“Ashlee, I love you. And I want you to marry me.”
– Location 1053


See that, ladies? Get into a car crash and he’ll pop the question.

Now, before you go off saying 'that's not a recommendation', allow me to also show you the part where the instructions in the preface explicitly tell us, the readers, to

‘read between the lines to figure out how to get him to marry you.’ – Location 160.


So ladies, getting hit by a car is indeed a recommendation.

And here are some of the ways these 50 real-life women ‘got their husbands to marry them.’ This book is meant to be part how-to guide, part confessional.

#3 Lizzie and Cordell

Now that I was more successful, I told Cordell I was going to leave if he didn’t marry me, but first, on a hunch, I used the 15K I had saved to pay off Cordell’s back child support. – Location 289


And then WHAM! Instant marriage. So, ladies, just clean up your future husband’s mess, and don’t forget to threaten him while you’re at it.

#6 Marie and Fred

But I wore him down – Location 390.


Ahhhh, that’s true romance, isn’t it?

#7 Michael and Shyan

I finally persuaded him to marry me – Location 418.


Sure, because marrying a commitment-phobe who doesn’t want to be married in the first place is guaranteed to make the marriage last.

#9 Trisha and David

I befriended his mother! – Location 527


At last! Some good advice!

#17 Kylie and Cole

My man was tired of hearing me complain about marriage, so when I gave up he got down on one knee. – Location 906


I don’t even know what to say about this one.


#27 Raya and Jose

That’s how I got him to marry me. I just stayed on his radar and made sure he had a good impression of me and showed him what life would be like with me as his wife. – Location 1361


Yep, that’s really ‘getting him to marry you.’ Seems that the poor guy, like most of the poor guys in this book, simply needed it to be made clear she wanted to be married and then wait for him to be ready to propose.

#32 Clare and Joey

I know; I know. It’s a low blow to use your dying mother, but I really did want her to see us get married, and I wasn’t getting any younger, either. – Location 1548


I just can’t with this one.

#34 Dan and Amanda

He never wanted to marry me, but I made him marry me. – Location 1623


Ahhh, romance! Isn’t love swell?!

#36 Jen and Mike

And that was the last word I said for the next 12 hours. The only way I would answer him was to moo like a cow. I think he got the memo. Location 1724


Well I sure didn’t. What the hell was the point of mooing at him?

#37 Valerie and Craig

I tried to use our son’s birth as a reason to get married. – Location 1752


Really? Just really?

#40 Kathi and Dan

He needed to see exactly what he was missing out on by not proposing marriage. – Location 1898


This is solid advice! A pity it gets lost among all the other stories.

#41 Cindy and Bob

He finally agrees just because he knew I was stubborn and not going to waiver. – Location 1929


Yep! That’s surely how I like my men to propose! Not because they want to, or anything.

Then there’s a bunch of stories about how the man actually does want to get married but he needs time to come around to the idea, or the woman makes it clear she wants to be married and then hey presto! Suddenly he’s down on one knee. Wanna know why? Because men aren’t subtle. Too many of these stories are actually the following formula: man is oblivious, woman hints that she wants to get married, woman gets upset because man doesn’t understand hinting, woman draws a line in the sand, man takes some time to come around to the idea and then proposes. It’s properly ‘getting him to marry me’ if you know what I mean – by which I mean it’s NOT.

But oooh boy, does the very last story take the cake. It’s all about getting him to marry you, getting him to propose, right? Well, the last story is so preachy, so over the top ‘this is how you do it’ and she’s the one that proposed to him! On top of that, the advice offered is to earn your own money so you can ‘help’ with the bills (because he’ll be paying the majority of them, amirite?), don’t be a fatty (BECAUSE FAT PEOPLE NEVER GET MARRIED), don’t meet people in bars or chat rooms (BECAUSE REASONS), and for god’s sake don’t get a degree in law, medicine or accounting or you’ll threaten his manliness!

Yep, ladies, definitely the best story is the last story, because not only does it tell you exactly what to do to be a gigantic judgemental bitch, but if you want him to marry you then YOU must propose and take the awful decision off him: he’s better off giving you a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, after all!

And remember ladies,

He won’t want to just live together if you are the best that you can be: sober, in shape, wearing something pretty, and living up to your potential. – Location 2340



What do you call an assassin that never assassinates?

The Assassin's Blade - Sarah J. Maas

Managed to read The Assassin and the Pirate Lord.

 

Lord, it was atrocious.

 

I WANT to love this series. Everyone raves about the sequels. I really, really want to love it. There is nothing I like better than a kick-ass girl in a fantasy novel.

 

But there’s some things I can’t get over:

 

  • Celaena’s entitlement. She’s a spoiled little bitch. And totally vain to boot. She thinks she’s better than everyone when there’s nothing to suggest that she’s any better than the spoiled brat she’s shown to be. Which brings me to my second point…
  • Celaena’s lack of killing anyone. She’d rather knock them out, for all her petty, bloodthirsty thoughts. How is that being the world’s best assassin? You can’t just TELL me she’s a kick-ass assassin, you have to SHOW me. Good lord, this is really bad.

So I gave The Assassin and the Healer a go, because my lovely friend Bekka told me she actually kills people in this one.

 

  • Except that most of the killing was off-page.
  • It wasn’t assassination, it was murdering people because she was irritable and itching for a fight.

Half the story was told from the healer’s point of view so we knew just how beautifully tragic and beautiful and tragic darling Celaena was. Mustn’t forget how truly amazing and dangerous she is.

 

Fuck this. DNF.




How this reader would wish for her review to be received by the author

It seems that on a practically daily basis, some author out there in cyberauthorland feels the need to instruct reviewers in the mechanics or ethics of reviewing. From well-known, best-selling authors to the most obscure self-published author who has published one 68 page novella on amazon, many authors seem to feel completely entitled to authorsplain the obligations of reviewing to the people who are doing the reviewing.

 

(And yes, there are two specific events that have precipitated this post. I don't want to start a war, so I'm not linking directly).

 

Stop it.

 

No, really, stop it. Just like the guy who recently tried to mansplain to me how grand juries work (I’m a prosecutor, I know how they work), you need to stop your bloody authorsplaining. Here is an only slightly irrational and/or exaggerated response to the most common demands:

 

1. If your review isn’t going to be 4 or 5 stars, contact me privately with your complaints:

 

I’m not your beta reader, your crit partner, or your mommy (unless you’re my child, in which case, we would have already had this conversation face-to-face). Hence, you can assume that I have two audiences in mind for my reviews: myself (to put my thoughts in order) and my readers (who are usually my friends). For that reason, I feel utterly uncompelled to directly address you, your typos, your homonym confusion, and/or your plot holes the size of a friggin’ wormhole. My review isn’t for you.

 

I will embroider this on a decorative pillow for you, if you like.

 

Review Pillow

 

Available in multiple colors. Not really, I actually just made it on picmonkey. But, you get the point.

 

2. Don’t review a book if you haven’t read it to the end. Preferably twice, so I know that you didn’t miss how I explained that plot hole that my beta readers warned me about in one sentence at the bottom of page 232.

 

Listen. I don’t need to consume an entire plate of feces to determine that it tastes like shit. In the same way, I don’t need to read your entire book to decide I don’t like it. And if I don’t like it, I can talk about the fact that I didn’t like it enough to finish it in public on the internet. The end.

 

3. Before you criticize my grammar and/or writing skills, make sure your review is perfectly written and formatted.

 

I’m writing for free, on the internet. You’re not. You don’t have to pay me if my grammar isn’t perfect. Isn’t that awesome? Of course, you don’t have to pay me even if my grammar is perfect, but in any case, only one of us thinks we should profit from the quality of our words. It’s not me. If my grammar is less than perfect, no one will expect a refund.

 

4. Don’t be mean – this book is my baby.

 

Think of me like your baby’s employer. She’s all grown up now, you see, and she’s graduated from high school (maybe even college) and you’ve sent her out into the world on her own, to make her fortune. Basically, I’m the person who signs her paycheck. It’s not my job to be nice to your baby. It’s my job to convey to her that she has skills worth paying for – otherwise, she should move back home. Because you sent her out into the world too early, and she isn't ready for a marketplace.

 

Thank you very much for leaving me alone. To read.

Reblogged from Moonlight Reader



Grabby hands

Six days after placing an order with Bookworld and it's still processing.

 

This is after paying a $5 shipping fee.

 

Also AFTER the Christmas rush.

 

From now on, I think I'll stick with The Book Depository.




Sex in YA

I don't normally link to my discussion posts but I thought maybe some people who only follow me here on BL might be interested in this one I wrote about my feelings on sex in YA fiction.




Starving Artists and Entitled Bullies: The Economics of Book Blogging

"We’re going to do something that’s considered impolite in many circles. We’re going to talk about money, specifically the cost of being an unpaid book blogger. The economics of this issue are so often misunderstood, wilfully or otherwise, so perhaps this will enlighten some individuals."

 

Reblogged from The Book Lantern



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