Phwoar! No Limits Cover Reveal!

No Limits
Written by Ellie Marney
Contemporary, Mature Young Adult, Much Hotness
Publishing August 14th 2017
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Boozer, brawler, ladies' man, nineteen year old Harris Derwent is not a good guy.

His one attempt to play the hero, helping out his old flame, Rachel Watts, has landed him in hospital. Now injured, broke, and unemployed, he’s stuck back in the country, at his father’s mercy. Harris needs to pay off his dad’s debts, and fast. But working as a runner for a drug cartel is a dangerous path, especially if Harris agrees to narc…

Eighteen year old Amita Blunt is the perfect police sergeant’s daughter, practical, trustworthy, and oh-so responsible. Getting involved in Harris’s case was never part of the plan. But working at the hospital, she’s invisible, which makes her the ideal contact for a boy feeding information back to the police...

Harris and Amie’s connection is sizzling hot, but if the cartel finds out about them, things could get downright explosive. Backed into a corner, with everything at stake, it’s time for Harris and Amie to find out if love really has no limits…
No Limits follows the narration of Harris Derwent. Readers of Ellie Marney's Every series will remember Harris from Every Move, Mike's best friend from Five Mile and local ladies man. No Limits can be read as a standalone novel but if you enjoy slow burning romance, steamy kisses and a captivating contemporary suspense, check out the Every series or click to read my review of Every Breath, Every Word and Every Move.

No Limits will be published on August 14th 2017. Preorder your copy on August 1st 2017.

About Ellie Marney

Ellie Marney was born in Brisbane, and has lived in Indonesia, Singapore and India. Now she writes, teaches, talks about kids' literature at libraries and schools, and gardens when she can, while living in a country idyll, actually a very messy wooden house on ten acres with a dog and lots of chickens, near Castlemaine in north central Victoria. Her partner and four sons still love her, even though she often forgets things and lets the housework go.

Ellie is an Ambassador for the Stella Prize Schools Program, and is a regular speaker at schools, events and festivals.

You can find Ellie via her Website  Twitter  Facebook Instagram sign up to her Newsletter  Goodreads or join her #LoveOzYA bookclub.

Milk and Honey

Milk and Honey contains sensitivities such as sexual assault

Milk and Honey
Written by Rupi Kaur
Poetry
196 Pages
Published December 2015
Thank you to Hardie Grant Books
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★★★★★
Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.

The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache.

Milk and Honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.
A compilation of prose, Milk and Honey is impassioned and inspiring.

From her first kiss and subsequent sexual abuse, The Hurting explores the objectification of the female physique and the the capacity in which our personal spaces are permeated by men. The parental relationship nurturing and an alcoholic parent devoid of maternal capacity.
when my mother opens her mouth
to have a conversation at dinner
my father shoves the word hush
between her lips and tells her to
never speak with her mouth full
this is how the women in my family
learned to live with their mouths closed

The Loving examines the facets of affection. Both parental and the all encompassing intensity of an intoxicating relationship.
he says
i am sorry i am not an easy person to want
i look at him surprised
who said i wanted easy
i don't crave easy
i crave goddamn difficult
you might not have been my first love
but you were the love that made
all the other loves
irrelevant

The despair of a relationship dissolving explored throughout The Breaking. Anguish, exasperation, resentment and nostalgia.
this is where you must
understand the difference
between want and need
you may want that boy
but you certainly
don't need him
the thing
worth holding on to
would not have let go

The Healing is an empowering discussion of courage and fortitude. To be content within yourself and solitude. To break free of the constraints we place upon ourselves and learn to appreciate femininity and the female perspective. 
i like the way the stretch marks
on my thighs look human and
that we're so soft yet
rough and jungle wild
when we need to be
i love that about us
how capable we are of feeling
how unafraid we are of breaking
and tend to our wounds with grace
just being a woman
calling myself
a woman
makes me utterly whole
and complete
losing you
was the becoming
of myself

The narration is segregated by four moments throughout Rupi Kaur's journey. Passionate and confronting. From the depths of despair, a physical exploitation stripping young women of their tenacity, courage germinates. Life flourishing in the most desolate of lands. Milk and Honey is an extraordinary compilation of anguish and empowerment, the fragility and fortitude of women. Remarkable.

ACOWAR: A Most Excellent Bogan Book Review

A Court of Wings and Ruin
A Court of Thorns and Roses Book Three
Written by Sarah J Maas
Fantasy, Romance, New Adult
720 Pages
Published 2nd May 2017
Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia
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★★★★
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit  and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
Our sheila Feyre is back and a bad arsed. She's finally gone and got herself a spine and has returned to Tamlin's shithole Spring Court, ballsy and ready to pull the wool over their eyes by leaving them up shit creek without a paddle. Mate, they've got Buckley's. Tamlin is still a wanker and beating his chest like it'll impress the sheila's and Feyre isn't having a bar of that. So once Feyre knows what that shifty prick is up to she's all hooroo dickheads, I'm going back to my hot man. Until Lucien pulls a swifty and says, I've got the hots for your sister, she's my mate and the two set off on a ripper of an adventure.

Shit's about to hit the fan. Rhysand is growling up a storm mate and the King is chucking a tanty. You see, this bloke is a bit ambitious and the greedy bastard wants to take over everything. Because the Night Court is a ripper, they're having none of that and plan on taking him on. Fistycuffs and all.

That Maas chick is shit hot right now, the sheila knows how to spin a tale and it's pretty fucking epic. Knocked my socks right off. Feyre is as cunning as a shithouse rat now, a sly sheila that's thinking bugger this shit and takes the bull by the horns. Of course it'll take a chick to get shit done. Fark oath mate.

Which brings me to why I'm speaking in bogan. For most Aussies, everyone is mate. See Dano over there? He's me mate. Robbo? Mate. Pulling at the pub on a Friday? That's not a mate, that's just pulling. I get it. Feyre and Rhysand are hot for each other and having a shag in the back paddock but fair go, when you're in the middle of epic fisticuffs with a deranged whacker, keep it in your pants son. There's a time and place to go hammer and tongs.

Translation

I really enjoyed it. Sarah J Maas is a wonderfully accomplished storyteller. Emotional and captivating.

A Shadow's Breath and Giveaway

A Shadow's Breath
Written by Nicole Hayes
Contemporary, Romance, Survival, #LoveOzYA
263 Pages
Published January 30th 2017
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★★★★
Then, things were looking up for Tessa. Her mum was finally getting her life back on track. Tessa had started seeing Nick. She was making new friends. She'd even begun to paint again.

Now, Tessa and Nick are trapped in the car after a corner taken too fast. Injured, stranded in the wilderness, at the mercy of the elements, the question becomes one of survival.

But Tessa isn't sure she wants to be found. Not after what she saw. Not after what she remembered.
Sixteen year old Tessa is conscious, her arm dislocated, bloodied and bruised as the car left the highway that promised a new direction. Nick rests behind the wheel and on a lonely, isolated road in country Victoria, the fragmented debris a contrast to the Australian landscape. 

After her father's passing, the darkness emerged. Her mother unable to care for her only child and used alcohol to paralyse her grief while her daughter felt isolated and alone. Alcoholism is an illness that in many cases also accompanies domestic violence, incidences which continue to haunt Tessa. During the depths of despair, the handsome and intelligent Nick reaches out to Tessa and offers her solace from the alcoholic fueled violence of home.

The narrative is profoundly resonating. Alcoholism and domestic violence are issues rarely encountered in young adult novels although predominant within our communities. Ellen is an alcoholic. Throughout the nonlinear narrative Ellen is determined to maintain her sobriety after the breakdown of her former relationship, her partner abusive and creating a toxic environment. The remnants of abuse and neglect weigh heavily upon the parental and daughter relationship and understandably, Tessa is reluctant to place her confidence in Ellen.
Family violence. No one had been brave enough to use that term, given there were no charges, no evidence.

Atmospheric and vibrant, the portrayal of our arid land was immaculate as the two adolescents attempt to survive. The arduous Australian climate scorching the barren Victorian landscape while on the horizon, fire approaches. It was captivating.

A Shadow's Breath is a compelling nonlinear narrative, breathtaking and atmospheric. Resonating and personal, a reminder of human fragility.
When Nicole Hayes isn't yelling at the Hawks on TV or sharing hosting duties on the all female AFL podcast The Outer Sanctum, she teaches writing and writes fiction, essays and scripts. Her debut novel, The Whole of My World was published in 2013 and was shortlisted for a Young Australians Best Book Award and longlisted for the Gold Inky Award. One True Thing, Nicole's second novel, won the Children's Peace Literature Award, is a CBCA Notable Book and was shortlisted for the WA Premier's Book Awards.

#ashadowsbreathcontest 

To celebrate our love for A Shadow's Breath, Nicole Hayes is giving away a choice of two of her titles and a $20.00AU gift voucher. To win, simply head over to Eugenia's Instagram page for more details.

Giveaway


The Names They Gave Us

The Names The Gave Us
Written by Emery Lord
Contemporary, Spirituality, Romance
400 Pages
Published June 1st 2017
Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia
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★★★★
Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom's cancer reappears, Lucy falters, in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend pauses their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp, one for troubled kids, Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle.

Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?
Lucy Hansson finds glory in the inspiration of Our Father, a passionate parishioner honouring thy father and thy mother. A wonderful community of support for the sixteen year old high achiever. Lucy's character is delightful. She's a wonderfully positive young woman with a tremendous sense of community for her fellow parishioners. Her strong Christian beliefs extend to her relationship with fellow Christian Lukas until Lucy challenges the boundaries of their physical relationship.

Daybreak is a summer program for children and teens enduring grief, displacement and despite Lucy's reluctance, she accepts the position of counselor to satisfy her mother. The Names They Gave Us explores adolescence grief and acceptance. Lucy's mother is breast cancer survivor although in the summer of Lucy's senior year, her mother is rediagnosed and scheduled for surgery.

Lucy begins to challenge her Christian ideology, an aspect of the narrative I found fascinating. Lucy is a compassionate humanitarian but her ideology often leads to the judgement of others, including a pregnant young lady seeking guidance. Lucy's character encounters a diverse and wonderful company of counselors who have all experienced trauma or loss throughout their young lives. In particular gentle Anna and the magnificent Henry. The delicate romance between Lucy and Henry was captivating. Daybreak is a positive and maternal environment and the counselors all share a wonderfully affirming perspective.

Although Christianity and illness are components of Lucy's narrative, The essence of The Names They Gave Us is compassion. Through her interactions with fellow councilors, Lucy experiences a sense of belonging and immeasurable admiration, now accepting of new experiences guided by the group of diverse, young individuals. African American adolescents, transgender, exploring sexuality, displacement, socioeconomics, race, religion, anxiety, grief, adoption and illness. Both children and councilors were wonderfully representative of our diverse communities.

Unfortunately it ended rather abruptly and I needed closure.

Emery Lord is a prolific contemporary author, creating socially conscious characters with compassion and consideration. The Names They Gave Us is marvelously delightful, beautifully written and enchanting.

Release

Release
Written by Patrick Ness
Contemporary, LGBT, Paranormal
288 Pages
Published May 4th 2017
Thank you to Walker Books Australia
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★★★
Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume's Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn It's a big day. Things go wrong. It's intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches...

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything.

It's a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won't come out of it unchanged.

And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.
Adam Thorn is sensitive, compassionate, beautiful, complicated. His grief is palpable, poignant and often confrontational. The Thorn family believe in the capacity of faith. To rehabilitate and to offer judgement especially concerning Adam's sexuality. Emotionally depleted after his relationship dissolved, Adam is navigating the parameters of a new relationship, desperate to find love once more.

Adam identifies as gay, his father using his faith to thinly veil his homophobic beliefs and whilst his sexuality isn't acknowledged categorically, he is often discussed as being dishonourable and needing to rediscover his own faith. Adam is nursing the heartbreak of first love while trying to commit to a new relationship. Adam's narration was wonderful, profound, often poignant and takes place over the span of a single day. Throughout his narration, Adam questions his own faith by being in a same sex relationship and when reaching out his evangelist father, he is ridiculed and dismissed.

Release touches on issues such as homophobia, substance abuse, manslaughter, sexual assault and the religion verses sexuality contention. Courageously and compassionately. The incorporation of sexual relationships was wonderful, a mature inclusion rarely seen in young adult novels accentuating same sex relationships.

The emphasis of Release is familiar relationships and in particular, the relationship Adam shares with his father. LGBTQIA teens and adult readers as an extension may find these particular passages confronting as it explores homophobia and erasure. Adam's family is homophobic, expressing the view that gay love is fraudulent.
It's not real love. Everybody's convinced themselves that it is, but it isn't. And it never will be.
Angela is a tremendous support to Adam, compassionate and maternal. Angela's adoptive family are wonderfully inclusive of her Korean ancestry, supporting Angela who identifies as bisexual and offering sanctuary to Adam.

The magical realism elements of Release were enchantingly lyrical, perplexing and synonymous within Patrick Ness narrations. A Queen infused with the spirit of a young women, dying from asphyxiation by her narcotic effected partner. Her companion is an anxious Faun. The two narratives converge and although peculiar and lyrically enchanting, the significance was nonsensical other than two characters seeking release


Patrick Ness is a magnificent author and Release is a tender and compassionate read, confronting and captivating until the final page.

Defy The Stars

Defy The Stars
Constellation Book One
Written by Claudia Gray
Science Fiction, Space Opera
432 Pages
Published April 2017
Thank you to Allen & Unwin and Hot Key
RRP $19.95
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★★★★☆
Noemi is a young and fearless soldier of Genesis, a colony planet of a dying Earth. But the citizens of Genesis are rising up, they know that Earth's settlers will only destroy this planet the way they destroyed their own. And so a terrible war has begun.

When Noemi meets Abel, one of Earth's robotic mech warriors, she realizes that Abel himself may provide the key to Genesis' salvation. Abel is bound by his programming to obey her, even though her plan could result in his destruction. But Abel is no ordinary mech. He's a unique prototype, one with greater intelligence, skill and strength than any other. More than that, he has begun to develop emotions, a personality and even dreams. Noemi begins to realise that if Abel is less than human, he is more than a machine. If she destroys him, is it murder? And can a cold blooded murder be redeemed by the protection of a world?

Stranded together in space, they go on a whirlwind adventure through Earth's various colony worlds, alongside the countless Vagabonds who have given up planetary life altogether and sail forever between the stars. Each step brings them closer, both to each other and to the terrible decision Noemi will have to make about her world's fate, and Abel's.
The Earth is dying. Countless generations of Earth residents have survived famine, contamination and the consumption of resources. Genesis is environmentally conscious and a sustainable civilisation, believed to be technologically inferior. The young inhabitants of Genesis have been conscripted for the Masada Run, a suicidal mission against the mechanised humanoid military technology, artificially intelligent beings sent to decimate Genesis assembly in order to recolonise the planet.

Noemi is a wonderful character, abrasive, determined and willing to self sacrifice for the preservation of Genesis. Seeking medical attention, Noemi embarks upon the Daedalus, the abandoned, aging and debilitated Earth spacecraft. Noemi is human, her Polynesian and Latin American ancestry the only remnants of her biological genealogy.

Abel has lived isolated on board the Daedalus for decades, his father and crew members having abandoned the vessel leaving Abel behind. Abel is a prototype of entrepreneur Burton Mansfield, creator of mechanised humanoid military technology. In isolation for thirty years has allowed Abel's technology to evolve, humanised emotions, to dream and through evolution, Noemi and Abel develop a tentative amnesty.

One aspect I really appreciated was the subtle discussion of religious spirituality and empirical science. Noemi follows the teachings of the Second Catholic Church of Genesis, her interactions with Abel were approached without intolerance. I enjoyed Noemi and Abel's comfortable companionship, a gentle progression as Abel discovers his own humanity. Delicate and captivating.

Greenhouse gas emissions, depletion of natural resources and increased population and pollution have led to the environmental decimation of Earth and Defy The Stars explores scientific, spiritualistic and environmental aspects of humanity. Defy The Stars is spectacularly atmospheric, captivating and breathtakingly celestial.
We are this world. Its next generation. If you’re not trying to save us, then what exactly are you trying to save?

This Side Of Home

This Side Of Home
Written by Renée Watson
Contemporary, Diverse, Realistic Fiction
352 Pages
Published April 1st 2017
Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia
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★★★★
Maya Younger and her identical twin sister, Nikki, have always agreed on the important things. Friends. Boys. School. They even plan to attend the same historically African American college. But nothing can always remain the same.

As their Portland neighborhood goes from rough-and-tumble to up and coming, Maya feels her connection to Nikki and their community slipping away. Nikki spends more time at trendy coffee shops than backyard barbecues, and their new high school principal is more committed to erasing the neighborhood's ghetto reputation than honoring its history.

Home doesn't feel like home anymore. As Maya struggles to hold on to her black heritage, she begins to wonder with whom, or where she belongs. Does growing up have to mean growing apart?
Senior Maya Younger is a remarkable young woman, articulate, intelligent and ambitious. Identical siblings Maya and Nikki aspire to attend Spelman College, a historically black liberal arts college for women. The Portland neighbourhood is evolving, a predominantly black community displaced by white residents and corporate franchise stores.
They've painted and planted and made beauty out of decaying dreams. Block after block, strangers kept coming to Jackson Avenue, kept coming and changing and remaking and adding on to and taking away from.
Best friend and neighbour Essence is forced from the rental property she shares with her alcohol dependant mother, the landlord an opportunistic man exploiting the real estate demand. Another white family are now residents within the Portland community while her suburban school begins to diversify.

Maya's frustration was palpable. Her community flourishing black family homes are being acquired and businesses financially constrained while residents acclimatise. Maya has inherited her parental legacy, her mother and father community activists while encouraging Maya to uphold her ideals. As Maya and Nikki form a tentative friendship with new neighbours, Nikki is thriving, exploring the contention of Caucasians encroaching on black communities.

As senior president, Maya will collaborate with the new principle who is determined to innovate and positively influence education for all students. As Richmond tradition, the school celebrates Black History Month but as the new diversification has been introduced, African American students will celebrate diversity. The principal seemed awfully misguided. While attempting to promote inclusion, he erased the cultural signification of black teens and as a black educator he was inconsiderate and dismissive.

Instinctive prejudice and stereotyping of the African American community is predominant within the Portland suburb and touches upon black residents campaigning for community safety, beautification and infrastructure. Landlords evicting tenants from debilitated homes, refurbishing to satisfy white families. The community seems reluctantly accepting of the suburb transformation, Nikki in particular and Maya begins to challenge her sister and her ideals, causing a fracture within their relationship.

A point of contention is the flourishing interracial relationship between Maya and new neighbour Tony, shortly after her dissolving relationship with Devin.
And women throughout our neighborhood pull me aside, saying things like, "I'm glad he's dating you and not one of them." And by them they either mean a white girl or hood girl.
Although Tony is attentive and considerate, Maya experiences a sense of expectations within the wider community. Her concern of being hypocritical, dating a Caucasian Tony in contrast to diversifying her Portland town with the influx of white families. While at Richmond, white and Hispanic students are instrumental in a new diversity inclusion policy, at the detriment of black students and Black History Month. It raises the discussion of marginalisation and the erasure of racial identities in favour of inclusion. Inclusion is paramount in creating safe spaces especially with adolescents but the cultural and historical significance of Black History Month in particular should be celebrated. Black teens should be celebrated. One month per year shouldn't be infringed upon.

This Side Of Home is an intelligent read, wonderfully diverse and encourages discussion about cultural significance and inclusion. Compelling, compassionate reading.
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