The Peacock Detectives: #LoveOZMG Review

39092329. sy475 The Peacock Detectives by Carly Nugent
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, #LoveOzMG
Publication: 1st of June 2018
Publisher: Text Publishing
Source: Publisher – Thank You
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵✵✵✵

The last time William Shakespeare and Virginia went missing Cassie found them sitting on a coiled hose behind the fire station, and Dad called her ‘Cassie Andersen, Peacock Detective’. So this time she knows what to do—she’ll look for clues and track them down. But the clues lead her in an unexpected direction and Cassie finds herself investigating a confusing mystery about her family.


Enter the lovely Star who read and reviewed The Peacock Detectives on my behalf.

Cassie Anderson is a writer. She is also a Peacock Detective. The first time her neighbour’s peacocks went missing, she was the one to find them. So when they went missing again, naturally, her neighbours sought out her help to find them again.

While doing Very Important Detective Work, Cassie also is writing a story for her Dad, who is also a writer, and he teaches English Literature at the high school portion of their local school.

Because Cassie’s Dad is a writer, she knows lots of things about writing, words, how to tell stories, and just what is needed in them to make them interesting.

Throughout the book, there are descriptions and definitions of facts about stories, and writing, and what a good story needs. Though she still doesn’t know about Themes in books (and can’t seem to find them herself), Cassie writes an incredible story, to be gifted to her dad for Christmas.

Cassie has her Notebook for Noticing on her at all times, and she writes down everything she notices. She notices that her dad has been having more of Those Days – the days where he can’t do anything except stare at a blank wall. And she notices that her Mum is different to. From stopping working at the library, to moving out entirely, Cassie has to adjust to all of these rapid life changes.

Her sister, Diana, is also changing a lot. She’s fourteen going on fifteen, and doesn’t seem to have a lot of time for Cassie, and would much rather spend her time learning about Buddhism and meditating. Cassie makes it a goal to find out exactly what Buddhism is so she can understand it, and her sister better.

And then there is her beloved Grandpa, who is suddenly hospitalised and she isn’t allowed to see him Like That, but also she wants to do is make sure that he hasn’t changed into a monster, or vampire, or any other horrible thing that her brain has conjured up.

This book is rather sweet, but it definitely pulled on my heartstrings. I felt for Cassie, who is eleven going on twelve, being told that she’s too young to understand what is going on with the adults in her life, and why she is being kept in the dark.

Cassie notices a lot of things going on with a lot of people. Cassie’s plate is rather full with things – from her friend Jonas, to her enemy Rhea, and continually searching for the peacocks. She finds herself navigating life as an eleven year old kept in the dark from Adult Things, and just what it means to be a writer.

This story was poignant, and had me wishing I could reach into the book and give Cassie a massive hug and give her some much deserved love.

Because this is a middle grade story, I think those around the 10 and 11 year age mark will really benefit from it. There are lots of definitions for words in here, some that reminded me exactly what they were, too, and it will probably be very relatable to other children whose parents may have split up, or maybe have a grandparent who has needed to go into hospital for a long period of time.

Even if you are an adult, like me, I still recommend this completely heart-warming book.

You can find Star at her Book Blog, Twitter and Instagram.
Thanks for visiting sarahfairbairn.com 🙂
Until next time, enjoy your shelves 🙂

Small Spaces: #LoveOZYA Review

36242050. sy475 Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein
Genre: Thriller, #LoveOzYa
Publication: August 1st, 2019
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Source: Publisher – Thank You
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵✵✵✵✵

Tash Carmody has been traumatised since childhood, when she witnessed her gruesome imaginary friend Sparrow lure young Mallory Fisher away from a carnival. At the time nobody believed Tash, and she has since come to accept that Sparrow wasn’t real. Now fifteen and mute, Mallory’s never spoken about the week she went missing.

As disturbing memories resurface, Tash starts to see Sparrow again. And she realises Mallory is the key to unlocking the truth about a dark secret connecting them. Does Sparrow exist after all? Or is Tash more dangerous to others than she thinks?


Enter the lovely Star who read and reviewed Small Spaces on my behalf.

Small Spaces is a book that I found would stay with me for a long time after I finished reading it. If I had to do something, I found myself thinking about when I could pick it up again. I thought about it constantly, and wondered what was going to happen next in the story.

The book had me hooked from the start. I was intrigued about Sparrow and just exactly what was going on with them.

Tash Carmody, the main character, was an interesting character to read about. She has had obvious childhood trauma when she witnesses her friend Mallory Fisher be lured away by her imaginary friend, Sparrow. But surely that can’t be? An imaginary friend can’t actually lure away a little girl from a carnival. After the incident, and after Mallory is found, the Fishers move away to never be heard from again.

Tash spends years trying to get past the memory, but it all comes rushing back when the Fishers move back to town several years later.
At the same time, Tash starts seeing Sparrow again.

She’s understandably confused, and all of the old memories of Sparrow, and no one believing her that he was real, comes back to her. She has no idea what to do, or how to begin to process it, but one thing she does know is that Mallory, who is mute, is the key to finding out exactly what went on that night Mallory was abducted.

Small Spaces had me on the edge of my seat, and not only did I doubt Tash, but I doubted everyone around her.

This book was thrilling, a bit creepy, and explored having an imaginary friend in ways that I had never thought of, or experienced, before.

This was an absolutely enthralling read for me.

You can find Star at her Book Blog, Twitter and Instagram.
Thanks for visiting sarahfairbairn.com 🙂
Until next time, enjoy your shelves 🙂

Player’s Game: YA Review

37704117Player’s Game by Desirae Clark
Genre: YA Romance
Publication: December 25th 2017
Publisher: BLVNP Incorporated
Source: Review copy from Publisher – Thank You
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵

And when I turned around, I expected to see my annoying little sisters but was instead greeted by a familiar face. In the threshold stood Parker Brady with a devious smirk on his face and the looks of a god. 

Samantha Valentine’s life turns upside down when she finds out her family is returning to her old town, Scottsdale. It took her a while to make the city her home, and now all of that is for naught, as she has to learn to settle in a quiet town again.

Parker Brady is perfectly happy to make a mess of his life after his best friend, Samantha, left him. He felt betrayed by his most trusted friend, and now he doesn’t care about anyone anymore. The only thing that matters to him is getting girls.

The two are not so thrilled when they meet after years of being away. Old grudges resurface from the past.

Will Samantha and Parker restore their broken friendship? Or will something else rise from its ruins?

Player’s Game is a funny and heartwarming story about young adults learning to come into terms with their past. If you’re up for a light read that will leave you smiling, grab your copy now!


Player’s Game is a short and sweet read that I devoured in one sitting. It was a story on Wattpad before being published by BLVNP Inc. I think it’s pretty cool when books gain enough popularity to get picked up by a publisher. I’m sure it brings hope to all the other Wattpad (and other such sites) users who are actively trying to get published.

Samantha is a spunkie, no holds barred young woman, and she made for an easily likable protagonist. This light and fluffy romance follows her as she deals with moving back to a town she left as a child – this means facing her old best friend and all the heartache their friendship ending caused her.

There’s all the angst and drama you’d expect from a fluffy YA romance including; a mean girl, school yard drama, ex-boyfriend popping up and a school field trip. Ultimately Samantha doesnt have too much trouble transitioning to a new school, this is in part to Parker, the ex-bestie turn love interest, who’s friends take Samantha into their group immediately.

Even though the story was predictable – you knew going into it that they were going to end up together – it was still an enjoyable read and I would happily read more books by Desirae Clark.

LINKS: Twitter | Instagram | Amazon AU | Amazon US

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Emergency Contact: YA Review

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Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
Genre: Contemporary YA
Publication: January 1st, 2019
Publisher: Simon Schuster Australia
Source: Review copy from publisher – Thank You.
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵ ✵

From debut author Mary H.K. Choi comes a compulsively readable novel that shows young love in all its awkward glory—perfect for fans of Eleanor & Park and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

For Penny Lee, high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she’d somehow landed a boyfriend, they never managed to know much about each other. Now Penny is heading to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer. It’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to, you know, see each other.


The story took me a little while to get into, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down.

The chapters alternate from following newbie college student Penny and baker/barista Sam, as they trudge and fumble through life.

At first, I struggled to connect with the characters and ultimately, I found I connected more with Sam. There were times when Penny wasn’t all that likeable, the way she behaved towards her mother and female friends etc.

The heart-warming: two younglings feeling completely alone and overwhelmed with life manage to find each other and help each other get through their respective issues. A close, caring and comforting friendship develops between the two main characters. THEN THEY FALL FOR EACH OTHER. I’m a sucker for a friends to lovers story.

My favourite part of the story was the closeness between the characters that developed out of their text messages. It felt ‘very now’ what with how much of our lives are lived through our phones these days.

The heavy: casual racism, low socioeconomic America, rape (past), alcohol abuse and emotionally toxic relationships.

Conclusion: Emergency Contact is a YA contemporary featuring a strangers-to-friends-to-couple plot. It’s a slow starter, but once the main characters friendship starts to develop, you’ll be hooked. Some heavy issues are touched on during the story, but by the end your heart will be warm and full.


The #AusYABloggers in collaboration with Simon & Schuster Australia are running a blog tour for Emergency Contact from January 15th until January 19th, there will be giveaways, reviews and more. To follow along the tour click HERE.

Author & Book LINKS: Twitter | Instagram | Website |
Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

A backlog of beauties: Review Mash Up

I’ve been pretty out of it lately and have ended up behind on reading and reviews. You may or may not have noticed this, as I haven’t been posting as regularly. I think all the books below deserve a proper review post, but my mush brain is not cooperating and I still really wanted to share them with you. I will get it together. I promise. 


36986313The Extremely Weird Thing that Happened in Huggabie Falls by Adam Cece and Andrew Weldon #LoveOzMG

Published April 2nd 2018 by Text Publishing [Goodreads]

Winner of the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing

Kipp Kindle and his friends Tobias Treachery and Cymphany Chan live in Huggabie Falls, the weirdest town on Earth. Weird things happen all the time—that’s normal. But when an extremely weird thing happens Kipp and his friends know that something is wrong. They embark on a fast-paced, action-packed, hilarious adventure to find out what is making everything turn normal, and to return the weirdness to Huggabie Falls.

With an evil villain, Felonious Dark, a creepy scientist and a fierce wand-wielding teacher, who has turned Cymphany into a baby hippopotamus, to contend with, not to mention killer vampire bats, vegetarian piranhas and a Portuguese-speaking lab rat called Ralf, Kipp, Tobias and Cymphany have quite a task ahead of them.

The Extremely Weird Thing that Happened in Huggabie Falls is the first book in a trilogy of sublimely ridiculous laugh-out-loud adventure stories for middle-grade readers.

A trio of friends who live in the weirdest town on earth band together to solve a mystery, foil the bad guys and save their beloved town from normalcy. A humorous story involving friendship, family and acceptance. Definitely one for the younger MG range. I think any 7-10 yr-olds would find it a wacky and wonderful book.


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Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Published April 6th 2017 by Simon & Schuster [Goodreads]

From the bestselling author of Night Owls comes a story of summer, first love and hidden identities . . .

Bailey “Mink” Rydell has met the boy of her dreams. They share a love of films and talk all day – Alex is perfect. Well, apart from the fact that they’ve never actually met . . . and neither of them knows the other’s real name.

When Bailey moves to sunny California to live with her dad, who happens to live in the same town as Alex, she decides to track him down. But finding someone based on online conversations alone proves harder than Bailey thought, and with her irritating but charismatic (and potentially attractive?) colleague Porter Roth distracting her at every turn, will she ever get to meet the mysterious Alex?

SO DAMN ADORABLE. I smiled like an idiot when I finished reading this book. There is nothing like first love and friends helping each other work through their ‘ish. The 15-yr-old school girl that lives on in my soul was swooning something fierce for Porter Roth. I finished reading this not long before my last doctors appointment and I have decided that i’m blaming Jenn Bennett for the blood pressure meds my doctor has now put me on. Obviously the spike in my blood pressure, which has always been perfect,  came from me reading Starry Eyes and Alex Approximately back to back 😛 😛 AH so freaking ADORABLE! My heart exploded. Seriously, I still haven’t recovered – if you’re reading this, SEND HELP.


38207028Brontide by Sue McPherson #LoveOzYA

Published June 2018 by Magabala [Goodreads]

Brontide is a coming of age story about four boys and their lot in life. Recounted through storytelling sessions at their school over a period of five days, these boys chronicle their lives. They are at times demanding, occasionally rude, always funny and unexpectedly profound. The boys like to challenge themselves and the rules, and soon realise that not everything goes to plan…

I was captivated from the first page and I didn’t move or put this book down until I’d finished it.
Told through a series of interviews, it was fantastic getting different viewpoints on the same event. – Proving nothing is as it seems, one should never judge, you never know the full story etc etc and that teenagers boys aren’t all that bad.

I cried. I sat back and absorbed all the emotions I had experienced while reading. I immediately passed the book onto my mother and told her to read it.

I think this book is a really good tool for opening up the discussion with teenagers about peer pressure, racism, self-identity and friendships.
And is definitely a book I will sharing with my boys when they are older.

Summary: four teenage boys dealing with the pressures of wanting to be liked and wanting to fit in – with deadly consequences.


Draekora Graevale by Lynette Noni published by Pantera Press #LoveOzYA [Goodreads]

Graevale synopsis:

Now that Aven Dalmarta sits upon the throne of Meya, Alex must race against the clock to save the rest of Medora from the Rebel Prince’s wrath.

Haunted by an unspeakable vision of the future, Alex and her friends set out to warn the mortal races. But making allies out of ancient enemies proves difficult.

With her nights spent deep in the Library under the guidance of a mysterious new mentor, Alex is desperate to strengthen her gift and keep all those she loves safe. Because in a world where nothing is certain, she is sure of only one thing:

Aven is coming.

Lynette Noni’s The Medoran Chronicles are fantastic. If you are a fantasy fan of any age they are a MUST READ. I read Draekora and Graevale back to back (books 3 & 4). Devoured them, actually. I did the same thing with Akarnare and Raelia (books 1 & 2). 

I will always love you Niyx. Please come back Xiraxus. I want a dog just like Soraya – None of these things will make sense to you, until you read the books, AND READ THEM YOU SHOULD. These books are brilliant, like Harry Potter brilliant, but all the better ’cause Noni’s an Aussie, aye mate.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Starry Eyes: YA Review

From Jenn Bennett, author of Night Owls and Alex, Approximately comes a sizzling, starry romance, perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and John Green 

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Genre: Contemporary, YA Romance
Publication: June 1, 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Review copy from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best-friends-turned-worst-enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day version of the Montagues and Capulets. But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to try to make their way to safety. But as the two travel deeper into the rugged Californian countryside, secrets and hidden feelings surface. Soon it’s not simply a matter of enduring each other’s company, but taming their growing feelings for each other.

Wait, let me recover from the adorable overload that was Starry Eyes.

Jenn Bennett, I love you. You writer of beautiful feel good young adult romps you.

I cannot fault Starry Eyes. It had the right amount of drama, humour and heart to make me laugh out loud, swoon and feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

The two main characters of Zorie & Lennon are easily likeable. Childhood friends who through a series of miscommunications, and a selfishly meddling father, have a falling out and lose each other. But fate intervenes and thanks to a series of events (some rather amusing) they end up stranded together in the middle of nowhere. Cue high emotions, teenage awkwardness and wildlife galore – snakes and wildcats and bears, oh my.

This story gives us: a POV character that is a spunky young budding astrophysicist, some terrific supporting characters, friendships (the good and the bad), positive examples of same sex couples who rock at parenting and the practising of safe sex (not OTT or graphic). AND SUPER CUTE MAPS.

It deals with: parental infidelity, loss of a parent, hiking hijinks, forgiveness and LOVE (in multiple forms). – Yeah, it’s a lot, but it all comes together wonderfully thanks to Jenn Bennett’s skilled story telling.

Starry Eyes was an absolute joy to read and a book that I can see myself reading again when i’m in need of a mental hug.

 

Jenn Bennett is an award-winning author of young adult contemporary romance books, including: Alex, Approximately; Night Owls; and Starry Eyes. She also writes romance and urban fantasy for adults. Her books have garnered multiple starred reviews, won the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award, and been included on Publishers Weekly Best Books annual list.

Jenn Bennett’s – Twitter | Instagram | Website

Starry Eyes on Amazon | Booktopia | Dymocks | QBD | Readings | Kindle | iBooks

Check out the whole Blog Tour HERE 

If you want the chance to win a copy of Starry Eyes keep an eye on my twitter, HERE. I will be running a giveaway. All it takes is a Retweet (AU only, open until the 20th June). Good luck.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Ballad for a Mad Girl: #LoveOzYA Review

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Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield
Genre: YA, Mystery, Contemp/Paranormal
Publication: May 29th, 2017
Publisher: Text Publishing
Source: Review Copy
Thank you TEXT
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Everyone knows seventeen-year-old Grace Foley is a bit mad. She’s a prankster and a risk-taker, and she’s not afraid of anything—except losing. As part of the long-running feud between two local schools in Swanston, Grace accepts a challenge to walk the pipe.

That night she experiences something she can’t explain. The funny girl isn’t laughing anymore. She’s haunted by voices and visions—but nobody believes a girl who cries wolf.

As she’s drawn deeper into a twenty-year-old mystery surrounding missing girl Hannah Holt, the thin veil between this world and the next begins to slip. She can no longer tell what’s real or imagined—all she knows is the ghosts of Swanston, including that of her own mother, are restless. It seems one of them has granted her an extraordinary gift at a terrible price.

Everything about her is changing—her body, her thoughts, even her actions seem to belong to a stranger. Grace is losing herself, and her friends don’t understand. Is she moving closer to the truth? Or is she heading for madness?


Damn, what can I say to get you to read this book without giving it all way. – The only thing that disappoints me about this book is that I’ll never be able to read it again for the first time!

I felt a connection to the protagonist, Grace almost immediately. You only make it to the third page before she tells you of her mother’s death. Grace’s hides her grief and dark inner thoughts from everyone around her, behind the shield of being her school’s resident joker and daredevil.

An incident late one night, during one of her daredevil stunts, leaves Grace questioning her sanity. Grace struggles keep a grip on her normal day to day life resulting in her relationships with her friends and family becoming strained, this then pushes her to keep dangerous secrets and go off on her own. Grace is compelled, seemly to her by an outside force, to Investigate a twenty-year-old mystery. The disappearance of a local girl named Hannah. Investigating Hannah’s disappearance leads her to discover secrets about two other local’s deaths, one being her own mothers.

This is a brilliant bloody book. The tale Grace has to tell is deliciously dark and spine tingling. The story’s pace and flow are fantastic. A thrilling murder mystery with some seriously creepy scenes. The story explores grief, belief in the paranormal, family, friendship, mental illness and criminal redemption. 5/5 a #LoveOzYA must read.


Links: Vikki’s Website | Twitter | Instagram | Mad girl on Goodreads | Booktopia | Bookdepository | Amazon | Text Publishing

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Esme’s Wish: YA Review

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Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication: 30th October 2017
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Source: Review copy from Author
Thank you Elizabeth
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

“A fresh new fantasy of an enchanting world.” – Wendy Orr,author of Nim’s Island and Dragonfly Song.

When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother, Ariane – so why can’t she?

But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.

After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about her mother, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all.

Esme’s Wish is the first book in the Esme series.

Esme’s Links: Goodreads | Booktopia | Bookdepository | Amazon AU | Amazon US

Elizabeth’s Links: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Odyssey Books


My Review: The story starts off with a wedding, but unfortunately for Esme it is not a happy one. Esme lost her mother when she was only eight years old and has never been able to move on. Esme never truly believed her mother had disappeared at sea and spurred on by her father moving on, she decides the time has come to go off on her own and discover the truth. What she soon discovers is another world full of magic, myth and secrets.

Back home Esme and her mother were always considered outsiders and as a child Esme struggled to find real friendship. On her journey Esme meets Daniel and Lillian, both offering friendship and whatever help they can. At first she finds it hard to believe that anyone would want to help her, let alone be her friend. She learns to trust in Daniel and Lillian as they join and help her on her journey.

The writing followed well, was easy to read and the story was steadily paced for the most part, kicking up with a action packed fast paced last few chapters. I raced through the last few chapters desperate to know how the story ends – and if that isn’t a sign of a good story, then I don’t know what is. 

The bad ‘guy’ was deplorable and the good ‘guys’ easily likeable. The setting for the story, a mythological wonderland. There were Dragons – always a plus. And they rode them – even more of a plus!

The ending gives us just enough resolution for it to be satisfying, but also leaves enough unanswered that it makes you really want to read the next book.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Never Again: Paranormal Review

36543599Never Again by Lily Luchesi
Genre: blended fiction; paranormal-historical-horror (MA15+)
Publication: December 2nd 2017
Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing
Source: Review copy from Author
Thank You Lily
Add to Goodreads
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

In this standalone spin-off of the Paranormal Detectives Series, we discover the true horrors during Hitler’s reign.

In World War Two, not all monsters were human.

Male siren Sean Wireman was ostracized from his small village in Israel in the sixteenth century, forced to wander the world until he settled in America in the 1920’s. Since he doesn’t age like a normal person, he was fit to fight in World War Two, to defend the heritage he spent his whole life running from.

Seventy years later, after he has lived a whole other life since Hitler was defeated, from attending law school to becoming a bona fide rock star, the monsters the Nazis released upon the Jews in concentration camps have returned, and he is the only one who can destroy them.

But can he save his people once again, or will this fight take a deadly toll?


I finished reading Never Again and pondered the book producing powerhouse that is Lily Luchesi. I think Never Again is my favourite book of hers to date and i’ve read quite a few since coming across her looking for reviewers for Stake-Out (PDS#1) in a goodreads request group. It feels like forever but when I looked it up it was actually early 2015. Damn Girl, you have bled out a phenomenal amount of words in the last three years. I’ve enjoyed Lily’s writing from the beginning, but it feels as if she’s found her rhythm, her knack and she’s grown confident and is owning her style now.

Lily has really outdone herself this time with Never Again. The writing is strong and confident, the story compelling, a blend of paranormal and real world historical events.

There is swearing. There are some extremely deplorable and violent bad guys (obviously as a large chunk of the book features war). As well as post-traumatic stress disorder being explored in detail. But there is also love and hope to balance out the hate and despair.

The story’s sole protagonist is Sean, a 526-year-old male siren who originated in Israel. Thanks to his slowed siren aging process for the most part of the story he only looks like he’s aged between 20 to 40.

526 years – does he have a story to tell? You bet he does. His life story. 526 years, experiencing ancient Israel, the Ottoman Empire, the Tudors, the Nazis and modern rock and roll. Sean is, despite his species and the fact he regularly refers to himself as an asshole, a good guy and a war hero.

So yes this is a Paranormal Detectives Series Spin-off and if you’ve read any of the PSD books you’ll recognise a fair few characters and locations. But if you haven’t that’s okay, this this is a stand alone and a great way to get a feel for Lily’s writing style.

Lily’s Links: Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse: Children’s Picture Book Review

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The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse
Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Jon Klassen

Publication: November 1, 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
Thank You Walker

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

They may have been swallowed, but they have no intention of being eaten… A new comedy from the unparalleled team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.

Early one morning a mouse met a wolf and was quickly gobbled up…When a woeful mouse is swallowed up by a wolf, he quickly learns he is not alone: a duck has already set up digs and, boy, has that duck got it figured out! Turns out it’s pretty nice inside the belly of the beast – there’s delicious food, elegant table settings and, best of all, dancing. And there’s something more: no more fear of being eaten by a wolf! Life’s not so bad, considering the alternatives. That is, until a hunter shows up… With a nod to traditional fables and a wink to the reader, the award-winning Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, Extra Yarn and Triangle offer a tale of cooperation and creative cuisine that is sure to go down easy.


Early one morning, a mouse met a wolf, and he was quickly gobbled up.

The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse is a fantastical story of a Duck and a Mouse who refused to be eaten and a humorous lesson in why wolves howl.

“I may have been swallowed,” said the duck, “but I have no intention of being eaten.”

Quick plot rundown: A Mouse meets a Wolf. The Wolf eats the mouse. The Mouse meets a Duck inside the Wolf, they then proceeded to live happily partying it up. The Wolf gets sick from all the hubbub inside him. Now weak and sick the Wolf becomes the target of a hunter. The Duck and the Mouse knowing their new way of life is in danger jump out of the Wolf and scare off the Hunter. Then they all live happily ever after, sort of – The duck and the Mouse do, the Wolf, not so much – but you’ll have to read it to understand what I mean by that.

When I opened the box from walker I actually gasped out loud. The hardcover’s illustrated sleeve is a real treat for the eyes. The book is full of delightful and easily “readable” earthly toned illustrations – simply glorious!

The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse is an easy and well-paced read (text to picture ratio) and flows well off the tongue. I would recommend this book for ages four and up. I think children any younger wouldn’t be able to grasp the impossible and bizarreness of Duck and Mouse’s activities and the humour that makes this book a joy to read.

If you have any kiddlets in your life, The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse would make a captivating Christmas present.

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