Four Dead Queens Melbourne Book Launch!

Heyo Bookaholics!

Not Just Another Melbourne Book Launch!

On Thursday (the 28th of March), Astrid Scholte’s first novel, Four Dead Queens, was officially launched at Readings Bookstore in Carlton. The event was hosted by the amazing Amie Kaufman.

A Queen addressing the crowd at the coronation of a fellow Queen (above)

The Interview

As an experienced book event host, Amie has a unique way in which she conducts interviews. She will do all the introductions, and tell the audience to think of questions to ask the author she’s interviewing. Then she does a round of normal questioning, a round of quick-fire questions, and finally allows the audience to ask their questions.

Astrid was asked to sum up the novel in a few words. She went off on a little tangent about the book which could be summed up in a few simple words:

A Slytherin dragging a Hufflepuff on an adventure to solve a murder.

In all, the book, as the title states is about four queens who each govern a single quadrant that have different values and ways of living. Almost like the factions in The Hunger Games novels. The queens die off one by one suddenly, and our main character, a common thief, takes it upon herself to try and solve their murders.

Based on the synopsis, one of the questions asked by the audience was:

“If you were the Queen of a fifth quadrant – which wouldn’t really be a quadrant them – what would that quadrant be themed?”

Of course, the Disney nerd in Astrid answered that her quadrant – which we determined was not called a quadrant – would be Disney Themed.

Two Queens in conversation (above)

Amie asked all the important questions. For instance, we found out what Hogwarts houses each main character is in.

Astrid sorted each of the four queens on the spot and to everyone’s shock, there was not a Gryffindor in sight! From memory, there are two Hufflepuffs, a Ravenclaw and a Slytherin. The queens were identified by the beautiful hand-painted Funko Pop characters on the shelf behind Astrid, which she created herself!

Captured in motion: Astrid telling her loyal readers that Tangled is the best Disney movie of all time (above)

The Competition

After the interview and all the thank yous, including a special announcement from Astrid. Her boyfriend proposed to her! She was hiding the engagement ring on the wrong finger because even her family didn’t know. She switched it over when she announced it and it was the funniest, cutest announcement ever.

I was blissfully ignorant of the competition that was to take place and I just assumed everyone came dressed like queens in crowns to support the launch of her book. There were six people who went up on stage to participate in the best-dressed competition, one of which was Astrid’s young niece. Everyone clapped for the winner and her niece won, like the little queen she is!

You can see this footage in my upcoming Four Dead Queens vlog!

The Signing

I had my copy of Four Dead Queens signed by Astrid, and I was able to sign her own copy of the book! Such a cute idea! She said she got the idea from a Sarah J. Mass book signing, where Sarah has her readers sign a copy of the book.

I hope you enjoyed this post! The lighting wasn’t great in the store, but I did my best with the photos. Keep your eyes peeled for my Four Dead Queens vlog, coming soon!

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Have you picked up your copy of FOUR DEAD QUEENS yet? xxx

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx

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Unearthed By Amie Kaufman & Megan Spooner | Spoilery Book Review

Heyo Bookaholics!

A Slow Burning Space Adventure!

The launch of this book was the best! I did make a blog post on it, which you can view by clicking this link, and see all the fun photos and hear about my first time meeting the wonderful Megan Spooner. Amie and Megan are such an iconic duo and I could not wait to dive into this novel (but I did…).

Blurb

When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying's advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study... as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don't loot everything first. Mia and Jules' different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.

In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race's secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race...'

Review!

Controversial opinion: I didn’t like the Starbound trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner. And by “didn’t like”, I mean that I couldn’t make it past the first chapter of the first book and didn’t read anymore. Hence why I was so hesitant to begin Unearthed, and why it dropped to all of my TBRs until now.

Disclaimer: I love and respect both Amie and Megan, and I don’t mean to drag them in any way, I just want to share my thoughts on the book and my experience as a reader.

I began this book with the hope that I’d like it far more than their previous collaboration, and oh my gosh I was! The book was pitched as ‘an Indiana Jones crossed with a Guardians Of The Galaxy’ and it totally lived up to the hype especially with the whole story being set on a planet in another galaxy – Gaia – with the protagonists chasing an Alien signal that leads them through a temple riddled with traps; and of course the government is involved.

This novel took me on a bumpy ride. It started off quite harmless, introducing the characters and letting us know who is who and the power differences between the two protagonists and narrowing the audience quite a bit with the use of dual perspective where the characters interchange at each chapter. I personally enjoy this style of writing, where others may not. I find that it really opens the reader up to knowing everything that goes on and creates just that bit more tension with the reader and the characters, especially when something is so obvious to the reader but not to the character.

The dual perspective really allowed me to understand the mission far more than if it was told from one perspective. I did feel as if Mia (or Emilia) really drove the whole novel, maybe because the book opened with her or just because she really was the typical protagonist type we see in every novel – and that is by no means a bad thing.

I loved how the state of earth was explained from both a rich/ upper-class perspective – Jules – and a poor/ lower-class perspective – Mia – from two sides of the globe, though both had to put their differences aside in order to survive on a barren undeveloped planet. Though both protagonists were teens of 16 and 17 years respectively, they spoke in the manner of people who were far older, and the incorporation of backstories assisted in the understanding of why they were like this.

As they interacted, their agendas became known; with one promising to assist the other for their own gain; whether it be survival or a way back home, and as the story progresses, the truth about what they were after slowly unveiled itself and so did their attraction towards each other.

At first, I wasn’t too sure about the love side of the story. I felt like it took away from the fact that they were just teenagers, but it also didn’t seem to add much too the storyline until I noticed that it was really the only connection between the characters. The only thing that kept one following the other was the deep mysterious love they felt towards each other. Though it worked quite well when they found themselves in do or die situations – much like the portal scene – and all it took was a single kiss to persuade Jules to follow Mia into the unknown dark object in front of them.

The plot twist ending was a shock and a half, full of deception and realisations of things that I couldn’t foresee. The duo had made new friends and enemies, but in their efforts not to destroy precious artefacts, or kill anyone; they departed the planet with an alien spaceship with multiple dead bodies on board; and the answers to all the questions.

The Undying are as they say.

The Undying never died, they slept lying in wake for humans to find them. Curious, gullible humans. The languages on the wall, the hidden message, the warning. I can only imagine more death and destruction can come upon the greedy race of human-kind as these aliens enter their planet.

★ Rating ★

I chose to give this book ★★★☆☆ (3/5 stars) because though I found it very enjoyable to read, it wasn’t my favourite, but I am keen on picking up the sequel because that ending has me wanting to know more about the Undying and their reasons for escape and deception.

The Sequal

Undying

Trapped aboard the Undying’s ancient spaceship and reeling from what they’ve learned there, scavenger Mia and academic Jules are plunged into a desperate race to warn their home planet of the danger humanity’s greed has unleashed. From the mountains of Spain to the streets of Prague, the sequel to Unearthed is a white-knuckle ride that will send readers hurtling back to earth, and leave them breathless until the last page. (Coming November 28th 2018)

The earth’s fate rests in Mia and Jules’s hands in the epic conclusion to New York Times best-selling authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s tomb-raiding sci-fi duology.

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What are your thoughts on Amie and Megan’s colaboration novels? As you can see I quite enjoyed this one and am excited for Undying to be released in November.

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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Thank You, With Love Bree xx

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Lili Wilkinson’s Guide To The Apocalypse!

Heyo Bookaholics!

Apology: First off I’d like to apologise if you received a notification via email or other means about a book review; that isn’t being posted this week sadly as I need time to actually write it and get over how amazing that book was!

Lili Wilkinson’s Guide to The Apocalypse!

  • Know how to grow a veggie garden.
  • Help thy neighbour.
  • Keep your chicken/s.
  • Look after each other.

Today well be discussing the wonderful woman that is Lili Wilkinson, and her amazing new novel; After The Lights Go Out! This book is being marketed as an Australian apocalypse novel with strong female characters and a great lack of the National Anthem.

I came to the event straight from work and was there one whole hour early! I was sure to immediately purchase a copy of the book and I drove the staff crazy trying to look for my favourite Lili Wilkinson book Joan of Arc: The Story of Jeanne D’Arc. Luckily we had the whole night to find it.

The Interview!

The beautiful thing about a book signing for a Melbourne author is that all the other Melbourne authors come down to support them. Lili Wilkinson is a big inspiration for all and has been around in the writing scene for many many years now; Joan of Arc one of her first books she wrote way back in 2006.

Present at the event were Australian/ Melbourne authors such as Jay Kristoff, Danielle Binks, Alison Evans, Amie Kaufman and many more inspirational adults whom I look up to as an inspiring writer.

Amie hosted the event and had prepared many questions for Lili about the book, many of which included things Lili learnt while writing the book – including how to make a radio from things lying around the home – and ways in which she would recommend that we survive in the case of an apocalypse.

Lili also divulged the secret to her research which you can witness in the video. She spoke about how doomsday preppers looooooovvvveeeee Pinterest (almost as much as fangirls), and how for the months while writing this book her Pinterest feed was full of knives, zombies, survival guides, and the occasional veggie garden posts.

The Signing!

OKay this was probably the most magical experience of my life to speak to Lili about her old novel about Joan of Arc that I became all stuttery (like usual), but I did manage to convey that by reading about Joan of Arc all those years ago, I learnt that women can be powerful and strong, despite men trying to bring them down.

Many thanks to my friend Cate who took these lovely photos for me xx

The Cake!

Of course, we cannot forget the amazing cake made by Jess (@CakeandMadness on Instagram and Twitter). It features two main symbols in the novel: Unicorns and Snowflakes.

Read The Book!

What happens when the lights go off after what might truly be an end-of-the-world event? How do you stay alive? Who do you trust? How much do you have to sacrifice?
'After the Lights Go Out is a terrifying yet hope-filled story of disaster, deceit, love, sacrifice and survival.' - Fleur Ferris

Seventeen-year-old Pru Palmer lives with her twin sisters, Grace and Blythe, and their father, Rick, on the outskirts of an isolated mining community. The Palmers are doomsday preppers. They have a bunker filled with non-perishable food and a year's worth of water. Each of the girls has a 'bug out bag', packed with water purification tablets, protein bars, paracord bracelets and EpiPens for Pru's anaphylaxis.

One day while Rick is at the mine, the power goes out. At the Palmers' house, and in the town. No one knows why. All communication is cut. It doesn't take long for everything to unravel. In town, supplies run out and people get desperate. The sisters decide to keep their bunker a secret. The world is different; the rules are different. Survival is everything, and family comes first.

You can also listen to Lili talk about the inspiration behind her book, what started it all and the premise of the book in a more interesting way than I can!

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What’s your favourite Lili Wilkinson book?

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Thank You, With Love Bree xx

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Obsidio by J. Kristoff & A. Kaufman | Very Spoilery Book Review

Heyo Bookaholics!

Oh my lord! This book review has to be one of the hardest to write as I was so full of emotions while reading this book. I initially didn’t want to read this book till next year or so because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to cope with the conclusion of this series (spoiler: I actually can’t), but I mustered up all my energy and let this book devour me whole.

It is absolutely impossible to write this review without spoilers; so proceed with caution. If you haven’t read the series and want a bit of background on it, please go and read my book review for the second book Gemina and my insight on Illuminae – since my blog was too new for a review – by clicking on the linked words.

Obsidio Book Cover

Blurb:

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

I went to the book signing for Obsidio a few months back which you can view by clicking on the link above! I love all of Jay and Amie’s signings these two humans are a true inspiration to me and such talented writers. Throughout this novel,I kept thinking how much planning and thought had to have gone into the writing and construction of a book like this.

REVIEW!

Here is a (very out of order) definitive list of key events in the book:

  • Christie and his love of cats
  • Identifying the innocent Bi-Tech people who died just because they were working for Bi-Tech. Why was this necessary???
  • Nik! Everything Nick Malikov, especially that damn parachute.
  • Finding out that Nik transcribed some of the footage
  • Ella & AIDAN
  • Rhys Lindstrom’s quiff!
  • Everyone admitting to fixing Nik’s transcriptions makes the descriptions funnier
  • Ezra not dying for the second time!
  • Nik NOT dying again.
  • AIDAN being a fkn immortal dumbass who really reminds me of Loki minus the thoughts of the Greater Good.
  • Asha and her little mouse.
  • WHY MUST THEY KILL THE CHILDREN?!
  • Oshiro mothering Rhys OMFG this was the best character development ever

I’ve added gifs to explain how much of a rollercoaster this book was as well as some further explanation into the above points.

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Sooooo the story picks up where Gemina left off and I opened the book literally hearing it say the words from the above gif. I fell right into the story again and it was wonderful to be surrounded by all of the characters, although I noticed especially about this book in the trilogy there are a lot more video transcripts mostly due to the fact that Jay and Amie have to tell a story and wrap up the series with this one novel.

Then, a change of ships occurs and Kady asks to plug AIDAN into the new ship and shit hits the fan. Long story short, AIDAN decides to play god on a ship of 5,000 people with minimal resources and murders 2,000 of them! Like WTF AIDAN!? In all honesty, I was not surprised that this happened because yeah it’s AIDAN and he was very unstable.

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^ Me when Ezra and Nik died FOR THE SECOND TIME!!!

Okay, let’s discuss Nik. Nik Malikov, a villainised man who became a hero and in this novel, my favourite character of the entire series. Of course, I love the girls and they’re wonderful main characters that I, a young woman can look up to, but Nik is just so sweet and no one has ever told him how much of a good person he actually is; not until Issac Grant.

Ella only had Nik left and Nik showed a deep love for Ella as if she was his sister, and though unable to match the level of love her father showed her, Nik tried his damn hardest. He even made friends with Ezra the only way he could; by teasing him and calling him babyface. Ezra saw him as a skilled man and not a mob member, trusting him to be his right-hand man in the war.

The cutest thing about Nik that really got to me in this book was his attachment to the damn parachute he kept on after he knew he would be fighting in a fighter-space-jet, and despite everyone teasing him for it – because who wears a parachute in outer space?? It was the thing that saves himself and Ezra’s lives after they go KABLAMO in space.

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^ Me when Nik used the parachute!!!

Kady and Hanna are two different people no doubt, but the things they’ve gone through and seen drew them together emotionally, especially since Hanna lost her father and Kady still has hers; the foster sister relationship bloomed and the girls looked out for each other when they could.

Hanna’s gift for Kady before they parted ways gave even me the strength to push on through the book. Even after things were going to shit, AIDAN was too weak to function, her boyfriend looked to be dead, and the shooting had turned against them; Hanna was forcing Kady to take her own advice and not give up, ensuring that she too lives a life worth dying for.

On the note of AIDAN, I think it’s safe to say that one can never truly kill a computer.
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AIDAN at the end of the novel.

The team dynamics, the death and destruction, and all the damn betrayal just showed how complex politics can be even in a small group of people; and how strong one AI can become when humans put their lives into the hands of computers.

I want to fit far more into this review (more like a gush, agh) but the novel was far too amazing and there were far too many complex elements to the story to go into analysing them all.

★ Rating ★

I rated Obsidio a predictable ★★★★★ (5/5 stars) because it was just that good. I will still say that Gemina is equal best with Illuminae and Obsidio is the book we all needed to conclude the series and I know I am so so happy with the happy ending, but I feel like if there was more death it would’ve been sadder and not better but more fitting into the series. Although I am so so glad it ended happily and nicely wrapped up.

Please if you ever get the chance, read all three books in this series. I swear you will not regret it and you will love them as much or even more than I do.

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Have you read Obsidio or any books in the Illuminae files series?? What were your thoughts?? I’d love to hear them down in the comments and share our experiences while reading this novel!

If you’d like me to make a video review on this book discussing it further let me know down in the comments or on my socials (linked below) xx

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
Instagram // Goodreads // Twitter // YouTube

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Thank You, With Love Bree xx

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LIFEL1K3 BOOK LAUNCH & I Have 10,000 Words on my Book!

Heyo Bookaholics!

You’ve all seen the title, so let’s begin with what you all came here for.

LIFEL1K3 BOOK LAUNCH!

LifeL1K3 by Jay Kristoff officially launched in Melbourne last night and it was amazing!

To celebrate the official Lifel1k3, Jay blessed us with AI facts from Google and Facebook, while MC Amie tried to reassure us that we are all safe, and won’t end us in the same situation as the characters in LifeL1k3 – and yes I’ll continue to spell LifeL1k3 like that.

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Continue reading “LIFEL1K3 BOOK LAUNCH & I Have 10,000 Words on my Book!”

Obsidio Book Launch Melbourne!

Heyo Bookaholics!

Last night I went to The State Library of Victoria to attend the book launch for Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman’s new book Obsidio, the third book in the Illuminae files trilogy!

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I dragged my friend Tatiana, and my Dad along to the event that was MC’d by the wonderful girls of TheYARoom Melbourne Book Club – Sarah and Alex (pictured above). Also if you follow @trufflebooks on Instagram, you’ll notice Tracy’s purple hair as she is seated a couple rows in front of me  Continue reading “Obsidio Book Launch Melbourne!”

Unearthed Book Launch & Signing!!

Hey Ho Bookaholics!

This event, hosted by Allen & Unwin at the Dymocks on Collins St. in Melbourne, brought us – and by ‘us’ I mean the bookworms of Australia – our beloved Amie Kaufman, and the very first international author I have met; Meagan Spooner.

After a big day at work (8:30 – 5), dressed in my Gemina inspired outfit consisting of a full black jumpsuit (definitely not Danae Matresco), and heeled peep-toe boots; I met my friend at Flinder’s Street Station in the CBD, and for those of you who have never experienced Melbourne city in peak hour, or at any time of the day; it was a mess of people, cigarettes and thankfully a healthy police presence.

Fast forward an hour… Continue reading “Unearthed Book Launch & Signing!!”

Gemina by J.Kristoff + A.Kaufman | Review

Hey Ho Bookaholics!

Who loved Illuminae? I certainly did! So when I heard about the book launch and signing from Bri (@paperbackbri), I immediatelly booked tickets then begged my dad to come with me. It was an amazing night and you can read all about it in the post titled “Gemina Book Launch and Signing”

I’ve been holding onto this book for a while now, just waiting for exams to be over to officially start it, kowing full well I would have to devote time and effort to this book, so I placed in on my November TBR and hoped for the best.

And here it is; my long-winded, passionate review of the flawless sequal to the mind bending thriller, Illuminae.

gemina-book-cover

Goodreads Review:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

Continue reading “Gemina by J.Kristoff + A.Kaufman | Review”

Gemina Book Launch and Signing

 Hey Ho Bookaholics!

Today the theme is blue, because I have some amazing Gemina news to share with you!

Last night I went to the Victorian State Library to attend the Book Launch for Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. I forced my dad to come along with me and he (surprisingly) enjoyed the event.

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Continue reading “Gemina Book Launch and Signing”