Double Review | Withering-By-Sea & Wormwood Mire by Judith Rossell

Withering-y-Sea Paige's PagesAUTHOR: Judith Rossell
SERIES: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue
PUBLISHER: ABC Books
RELEASE DATE
: November, 2014 & October, 2016
GENRE
: Middle-Grade Historical Fiction; Victorian Mystery; Fantasy
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Orphan and adventurer-at-heart, Stella is tragically misunderstood by her three horrible aunts. When a mysterious villain brings death and destruction to the Hotel Majestic, Stella is flung headfirst into a perilous adventure that makes her question everything she thought she knew about magic and her past.

Wormwood Mire Book Review Paige's Pages

I believe this series gets stronger as it progresses! From the first pages of Withering-By-Sea, I surrendered to the heady atmosphere of the Victorian era. I love that there is a fantasy element, but it’s subtle enough that the historical setting is the shining feature. All the fantasy touches are so creative and original, which I appreciated since so many books simply reimagine the same old tropes over and over. As I await the third and final installation of the series, I have so many questions I need answered.

Two things got on my nerves, however. Firstly, I noticed that Judith Rossell repeatedly uses short sentences without much variation. This made both books feel like they had a young reading age, that contradicted the vocabulary she uses. Secondly, we get very little insight into what goes through Stella’s mind. Even after reading two books, I feel like I hardly know what makes her point of view unique. That said, the series so far is entertaining and fascinating.

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My 2018 Top Winter Reads

When I think of winter reading, I picture snuggling up with a cup of tea and a cosy book. But this is not a cosy book reading list! Some of my favourite winter reads are books that are best enjoyed with the weather outside is grizzly and inhospitable. Sure, some of them are snuggly books, but others aren’t so friendly. What are your favourite books to read in winter?

My 2018 Top Winter Reads

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Book Review | Hold Still by Nina LaCour

Hold Still Book Review Paige's PaigesAUTHOR: Nina LaCour
PUBLISHER: Dutton Books for Young Readers
RELEASE DATE
: October 20, 2009
GENRE
: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
PAGE COUNT
: 230
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Nina LaCour has become one of my favourite authors because I feel like I can count on her to deliver great character development and themes. I love her way of unravelling themes cyclically, returning again and again to whimsical and nostalgic images that grow to carry strong meaning for the characters. 

At the heart of Hold Still is loss and loneliness.  When the story begins, Caitlin is feeling  lost at sea after her best friend, Ingrid, commits suicide. The first half of the book is heavy with Caitlin’s grief and her seemingly futile search for meaning and belonging. Continue reading

3 Mini Reviews of Recent YA Reads

I’ve read a lot of thought-provoking books recently, so I decided to sum up my thoughts quickly for you! If you’ve read any of these titles I would love to hear your opinion in the comments. 

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Take Three Girls

Take Three Girls Review Paige's PagesAUTHORS: Cath Crowley, Fiona Wood, Simmone Howell
PUBLISHER: Pan Australia
RELEASE DATE
: August 29, 2017
GENRE
: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
PAGE COUNT
: 439
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Told from the alternating points of view of three Melbourne private school girls – each written by a different author – this book looks at the impacts of cyber bullying and the true meaning of friendship. Although cyber bullying is a dark topic, the overall vibe of this book is shiningly positive. I love how each of our narrators, Clem, Ady, and Kate, has a distinct voice and their own emotional journey. Continue reading

2018 YA & Junior Releases I Can’t Wait For

When I was a teenager and read a lot of classics, I never knew the agony/joy of anticipating a new release because all my favourite authors lived decades or centuries ago. But since falling in love with YA and junior fiction and becoming a fangirl of a handful of contemporary authors, all that has changed. I restricted myself to listing only 2018 releases. Here are my highest anticipated releases in chronological order!

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