The Isles of the Gods

The Isles of the Gods is the first book in a new YA series which is Amie Kaufman’s first solo novel. Thank you to Allen and Unwin for the review copy.


Selly, a girl raised on the seas, finds herself on an unexpected journey with Prince Leander of Alinor, a spoiled and entitled prince. She is sailing after her father; he needs to cross the Crescent Sea so he can complete a ritual on the sacred Isles of the Gods. But what starts as a leisure cruise will lead to acts of treason and sheer terror on the high seas, bringing two countries to the brink of war, two strangers closer than they ever thought possible and two dangerous gods stirring from centuries of slumber…


The Isles of the Gods is Amie Kaufman’s first YA solo fantasy book. She has written other trilogy and series that I’ve absolutely loved. 

We follow 5 different perspectives of Selly, Leander, Keegan, Jude and Laskia.  

Selly, who wants to be a sailor like her father, Leander, who carries the biggest burdens even though he seems just to party has a good, genuine heart, Keegan, who finds his reality by burying his head into book pages and researches, Laskia, who is focused on proving herself to her sister, and finally Jude, who is trapped to be part of a suicide mission when all he wants is to save the life of his mother. 

I absolutely loved switching perspectives and discovering their thoughts and views about what takes place and how their arcs changed and evolved over the course of the book. 

How these characters all interact especially Selly, Leander and Keegan is endearing and the cliffhanger has me wanting the next book. This was an amazing YA solo debut. 

5/5 stars


Ascension is written by Nicolas Binge. Thank you to Harper Collins Australia and Harper Voyager for the review copy.


A group of scientists, including renowned scientist Harry Tunmore, are sent to investigate a mysterious mountain that has appeared in the Pacific Ocean. As they ascend, they encounter strange occurrences such as time and space behaving differently, their memories fading, and the physical challenges of the mountain. They are driven by both scientific curiosity and personal motivations. The story raises questions about what they will discover about themselves and their world as they reach the summit and who or what they will find there.


This book was definitely different to my typical read and the main characters story was told through letters that was published in a book sharing the mysterious island.

It is a mixture of sci-fi, thriller and mystery that had me intrigued throughout the book.

Ascension is a must read if you want to step out of your comfort zone and explore sci-fi and fantasy.

4/5 stars

The Foxglove King

The Foxglove King is the first book in the Nightshade Crown series by Hannah Whitten.


Lore, who has been living a dangerous life working for a cartel and hiding her affinity for death magic, is captured by the King’s warrior-monks after a failed job. Instead of being executed, King August offers her a chance to use her magic to solve a mysterious problem of villages dying overnight. Lore must navigate a treacherous court, dealing with politics, religion, and forbidden romance, as she delves into a dangerous and twisted mystery that surpasses her imagination.


I absolutely loved the twist on magic and the concept of good and evil. I couldn’t help but love how Lore interacted with Bastian and Gabe. 

I couldn’t put the book down and was entranced the intrigue and forbidden romance that was occurring with the high fantasy aspect of Whitten’s magic system. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Nightshade Crown series. 

5/5 stars

The Magical Yet

The Magical Yet is written by Angela DiTerlizzi.


Each of us, from the day we’re born, is accompanied by a special companion—the Yet. Can’t tie your shoes? Yet! Can’t ride a bike? Yet! Can’t play the bassoon? Don’t worry, Yet is there to help you out.


The Magical Yet is one of my favourite picture books that I absolutely love sharing with my class. It teaches them to never give up and that practice makes you better!

In the Lives of Puppets

In the Lives of Puppets is written by TJ Klune. It is his latest fantasy novel.


In a secluded home in the trees, a family of robots and a human live together. The human, Victor Lawson, fixes an unfamiliar android named ‘HAP’ and discovers a dark shared past between HAP and Giovanni Lawson, the fatherly inventor android. When HAP inadvertently leads robots from Gio’s past to their location, Gio is captured and taken to the City of Electric Dreams. Vic and the rest of the family must embark on a dangerous journey to rescue Gio, while Vic grapples with conflicted emotions towards HAP. Along the way, Vic must decide if he can accept love with conditions.


TJ Klune has done it again with so many quirky characters I couldn’t help but fall in love with. I was chuckling at Rambo’s interactions with nurse ratched and Victor.

Hap’s change over the book and his complete faith and trust in Victor was lovely.

Klune’s world building and character creation was a perfect combination of Pinocchio meets Swiss Family Robinson. This story radiates love, family, humanity and the importance of choice being a freedom. Definitely a book I highly recommend.

Mim and the Anxious Artist Book Review

Mim and the Anxious Artist is the third book in the Travelling Bookshop series by Katrina Nannestad. I would like to thank Harper Collins Australia for the review copy.


Mim Cohen roams the world in a travelling bookshop, with her dad and brother and a horse called Flossy. Flossy leads them where she will, to the place where they’re needed most … the place where the perfect book will find its way home. 

Now Mim has arrived in elegant Paris where she meets Pierre, a talented but anxious artist who cannot bear to give up his paintings, even to sell them. He’s miserable and poor. His customers are cross. 

Mim knows they’re here to help Pierre. To calm him down. To turn him into a successful artist. To make him truly happy. 

If only Mim could find him the right book. If only Dad would stop getting muddled and giving everyone the wrong book.


It is also fun to rejoin the Cohen family on another adventure and this time it is in Paris. The characters are always loveable with Mim adding to her word collection, Nat obsessing with a new letter, S, and Dad still coming across as muddled to Mim. You also have Daisy and Flossy which feature in this adventure.

All the characters are relatable, especially the anxious artist Pierre, who is a fabulous artist but can’t bear to sell his artworks. We all have a Pierre within us who can’t bear to part with our creations as we have put our hearts and joy into it/

The book is medium paced and has strong messages of finding calm in unexpected places and keeping our minds open. Maybe a book that doesn’t seem right or suit, is the perfect fit that sparks an idea that helps you with a problem.

It is perfect for readers 7 years and older.

5/5 stars

Ming & Marie Spy for Freedom Book Review

Ming and Marie Spy for Freedom is the second book in the Girls who changed the World Series by Jackie French. Thank you to Harper Collins for the review copy.


Ming Qong is convinced that girls have changed the world throughout history.

So when Ming is thrust back in time to Belgium during WWI, only to be rescued from a burning cellar by Marie — an experienced spy at only twelve years of age — she finally has her proof. Marie is involved with a female secret resistance group who risk their lives to outwit the German troops.

But Ming now faces a tough choice: will she send coded messages and risk her own life in this war on which the future depends?

As Ming learns, change is never easy, so how can one girl change the world?


I absolutely loved Ming and Marie Spy for Freedom as we jump straight back into the action after the cliffhanger of book 1. Ming and her brother Tuan are thrown back in time to World War 1 in Ypres by Herstory.

Ming is shocked and horrified by she is seeing and experiencing being sent back in time as reading history is one thing, experiencing it is another thing entirely.

Ming wants to see world changers and over the course of the book through impactful events, she begins to see the impact of small decisions and choices can change the world.

“A tiny action, but with enormous consequences”

The book deals with important themes such as found families and time of crisis as well as reasons why people stand up and fight for their country. It is through bravery and love of country that gives everyday people the strength to stand up. I loved reading about the female resistance during the First World War as we typically see in media the male resistance such as Hogans Heroes.

“Grandmothers or many times great-grandmothers faced disaster with courage and determination. They might have been ignored in books about the last, but they weren’t helpless.”

The whole book is fast paced and a call to realisation that there are many stories of that have been lost and forgotten, especially as history -his story- typically focus on the men who succeed and not those who support as well as play an important part that is not told.

Hard hitting call to actions of all children and adults to be world changers. Follow in the footsteps of the stories untold of the past and those brave who are already fighting to change the world. 

“Today’s world faces the greatest challenges humanity has known: the survival of every species on a planet facing pandemics, vast pollution, storms, wildfires, floods, the vast deserts of accelerating climate change- not to mention the weapons that humans have made to kill each other and which might destroy all life on earth too.”

Jackie French emphasises that young people will one day change the world and we need to empower them to do so.

“Those who work together to change the world will never be bored. And they can win.”

I truely hope there are more books that call to action young people to help change our world for the better. I recommend this book for readers who are 10 years old and older.

5/5 stars

Gus and the Starlight Book Review

Gus and the Starlight is written by Victoria Carless. I would like to thank Harper Collins for a review copy.


Gus doesn’t want to make friends. She also doesn’t want to be intrigued by the cat-lady teacher at her new school, or the Riley’s Comet project that she and her seaweed-eating science partner are working on together.

And she definitely doesn’t want to fall in love with her job as the projectionist at the Starlight, a drive-in movie theatre that her family is reviving.

Because, knowing Gus’s luck, she and her family should be moving on in a day, or a week, or a month. When the ghosts that haunt Mum catch up with them. Or it the Starlight doesn’t succeed.

Then she’ll have to say goodbye. Again.

And saying goodbye is too hard.


I was surprised that I loved this book. It isn’t my typical read and not one I would’ve picked for myself but it is an unexpected gem. This book would be perfected for late primary (Year 5 and 6) and students in high school.

The main character Gus (Augusta) is lonely, brave, intelligent, responsible and thoroughly likeable. We gained insight into the family dynamic as well as ghosts appearing.

Definitely a read aloud for teachers.

4/5 stars

The Travelling Bookshop: Mim and the Baffling Bully Book Review

The Travelling Bookshop: Mim and the Baffling Bully is the first book in the Travelling Bookshop series by Katrina Nannestead.


The right book might just change your life …

Mim Cohen roams the world in a travelling bookshop, with her dad and brother and a horse called Flossy. Flossy leads them where she will, to the place where they’re needed most … the place where the perfect book will find its way home.

Now Mim has arrived in a pretty Dutch village where she meets Willemina, a kind and gentle child, who is being bullied by a girl named Gerda.

Mim knows they’re here to help Willemina. To change her life. To make her strong and brave and happy.

If only Dad would find her the right book. If only he would stop giving everyone else the wrong book!


I absolutely adored Mim and the Baffling Bully. Such a unique concept with a magical travelling bookshop that I haven’t read before. I truely see the truth that the right book might change your life and the perfect book will find its way home.

There was heartfelt messages throughout the book with friendship as a main theme of the book with charming characters you can’t help but love.

5/5 stars

The Book of Stolen Dreams Book Review

The Book of Stolen Dreams is the debut novel by David Farr.


Rachel and Robert live a grey, dreary life under the rule of cruel Charles Malstain. But when their librarian father enlists their help to steal a forbidden book, they are plunged into adventure. With their father captured, it is up to Rachel and Robert to uncover the secrets of the Book of Stolen Dreams and track down its mysteriously missing final page in order to save him.

What they are not expecting is to discover a family of ghosts, a door to the dead and that the Book grants the power of immortality. But they will do anything to stop it falling into Malstain’s hands – for if it does, he could rule for ever.

Step inside the pages of an immortal adventure and discover a truly unforgettable journey of wonder, courage and magic…


This is a fantastic adventure and fantasy middle grade book I’ve read. The book has two main characters, Rachel and Robert, who are brother and sister.

Throughout the book, you explore politics and geography of the world through mainly Rachel’s eyes. Rachel was relatable as she was feisty and brave as well as allowing herself to feel vulnerable, afraid and helpless. As she worked through her feelings, she became a perfect guide to the world. Robert had his own chapters as they were separate but his actions were just as important.

The magic within the book was interesting and I always enjoy a book with magic. It was slowly introduced but was perfectly weaved throughout the story.

I look forward to reading more books by David Farr.

4/5 stars