For Your Own Good Review

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the esteemed Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest. He says his wife couldn’t be more proud—though no one has seen her in a while. Teddy really can’t be bothered with the death of a school parent that’s looking more and more like murder or the student digging a little too deep into Teddy’s personal life. His main focus is on pushing these kids to their full academic potential. All he wants is for his colleagues—and the endlessly meddlesome parents—to stay out of his way. It’s really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost.

Teddy’s character was interesting for sure. It was kind of nice to get that insight into his brain and they way that he thinks. He is quite a petty person and he goes the extra mile for slights that any normal person would probably overlook. His aspiration to be the principal wasn’t really mentioned throughout the majority of the plotline so it was definitely a surprise to see that that was his end goal. I don’t quite understand why he didn’t mention to anyone that he was separated from his wife either. I think that is a very easy lie to uncover so what would be the point?

I didn’t develop any connection with Zach. Sure he added dimension to the storyline and was able to ultimately figure out what Teddy was up to even though he didn’t have any proof. I would of liked to get Courtney’s perspective though, her thoughts on her mother before she was killed and then whilst she was in jail. I feel like so much more happens to Courtney than Zach and I think if we could of had both point of views I would of been way more invested and interested!

Sonia bless her was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was over the top and was a little too invested in Belmont and the accolades being a part of the ‘family’ gave her but other than just getting on Teddy’s nerves she was harmless I feel. After his first failed attempt on her life I thought he would give up and she would be safe but the fact that she wasn’t overlooked in his plans really upped the stakes.

I really enjoyed the fact that Fallon makes an appearance and we find out more about what happened to her after Teddy receives her emails. I think what he did to her without any proof was horrible but after finding out what she did when she was at Belmont it made me feel less sorry for her. Which makes sense why she still isn’t over what happened and ends up back at Belmont hellbent on revenge.

Overall this was just ok for me. I appreciated the fact that no character was safe and we didn’t definitively know who was behind it until quite a fair way into the plot. I just wasn’t drawn in to the book as much as what I thought I would be. Even though it’s a relatively short novel it took me three days to finish it when I could of easily done it in one. This tells me I was able to put it down and the urge wasn’t there for me to pick it back up straight away and find out what happens. I think the ending was justified and I was ultimately satisfied!

⭐️3/5 stars Unlike anything I’ve ever read before!

The Dead and the Dark Review

*A few Spoilers below*

Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers seem to point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just returned to town. Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before, but the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more secrets buried here than they originally let on.

I definitely liked Logan’s character a lot more than the rest of the characters in this book. The only real issue I had was that she knew that her Dads had an explanation for what was going on in Snakebite and why they were there in the first place but she wouldn’t demand they tell her. Instead she was running around in circles with Ashley while more and more people were dying. If they would have just sat her down and explained and then her and Ashley could have worked together to find the dark and stop it.

I feel like Ashley is one of those girls who was always popular, had her whole life planned out for her and then Tristan’s disappearance just turned everything upside down. I really don’t like the way her and her friends treated Logan and her dads when they first got to town and even though she wasn’t as nasty as those around her she still condoned their behaviour. I appreciated the way Logan called her out for it, but I still feel like she didn’t really learn anything from it or called her friends out for their biases enough.

I really enjoyed the fact that we got more of an insight into Brandon’s life and an explanation as to why he was so distant with Logan. Throughout the course of the book I just didn’t really understand why he was so aloof and standoffish with her, like you chose to adopt her why would you treat her like that. Even though it made sense in the end, I just really feel like if they were honest with her it wouldn’t of escalated to the point it did and maybe some of those characters didn’t have to die.

The overall mystery surrounding what happened to Tristan and why it started when Brandon first came back to Snakebite was interesting and I was intrigued enough to finish the book pretty quickly but I just feel like the atmosphere wasn’t really there for me. Even though the stakes were pretty high there was just no sense of urgency for me.

⭐️3/5 stars wasn’t as gripping as what I was expecting!

A Song Below Water Review

Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Nevermind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.

I liked Tavia’s character. Having to constantly be on guard and quelling her powers so often would definitely have an effect on anyone and I thought she did a pretty good job of it for the majority of the storyline. I think having to overcome her father’s fears and constraints was her main obstacle throughout the course of the book. She is wanting to know more about her siren power’s and to connect with her grandmother but he is so against anything happening to her that she has to resort to sneaking and lying.

Effie’s storyline was definitely more intriguing. Originally thinking she wasn’t anything special and then to find out what happened in the park with the other kids and then eventually seeing her morph into who she truly is was quite a remarkable storyline. It’s frustrating knowing that the adults know what Effie is and just won’t tell her. Just locking her away without an explanation and being outed at the prom after being pushed to her limits.

However, I just feel like their whole magic system and the different beings in this world just wasn’t fleshed out enough for me. There was a lot of talk about myths and ethos but we really don’t get to dive right in and get a thorough explanation. I was left with more questions than answers and would of appreciated the book more had I maybe had more of a history of the siren’s and the network and how that was established.

This just isn’t my kind of fantasy I guess. I’m not even sure if this is labelled as a fantasy or whether it’s just a contemporary with some magical realism thrown in. I was just not all that invested and felt like the book dragged. The pacing might have been a little off for me and made the book seem longer than what it actually was.

⭐️2/5 stars Just wasn’t for me!

Big Little Lies Review

*A Bit Spoilery*

Big Little Lies is about a group of mums with kids starting kindergarten together and the dangerous little lies they tell themselves every day and what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.

I really enjoyed Madeline’s character probably the most out of all of them. She is just so relatable and is fiercely loyal to her friends and demonstrates that continually throughout the book. She knows she is rocking the boat most of the time and isn’t sticking to the status quo which makes her a very entertaining and unpredictable character. We get to know a lot about her relationship with her husband and kids and her ex-husband and his new family. I think she definitely had a right to her feelings and it was fun to see her get petty and hate on Bonny.

I knew that there was more to Jane’s story about Ziggy that we weren’t told, especially the reason behind the move to Perriwillee. She chose the town for a reason and that was always at the back of my mind when we are given more information about who the father of Ziggy is and what he did to her, I just didn’t quite connect the dots. I just wish we would of had a chance to delve more into the ramifications of what happened to her that night and how it has developed into her personality. Like Madeleine confides in her friends about what is happening with her and has her husband to vent to and Celeste goes to therapy but Jane gets a haircut and suddenly she’s fine??

I really feel for Celeste throughout the course of the book and what she has to endure. I can’t fathom how hard being in that kind of relationship would be and how she has to reason with herself as to why it’s happening and what she could of done to prevent it. I liked that she made the conscientious decision to go to therapy and try to gain that confidence to leave Perry and when it was revealed that it was affecting her kids she immediately made up her mind to go.

I really enjoyed the format of the book with the countdown to the trivia night. Knowing that one of these characters is now dead and trying to figure out who did it and who died really built up the anticipation. The mystery behind who was the school bully was intriguing and it was entertaining to see these mothers going around gossiping about their lives. This was definitely better than what I was expecting and it was nice to read a book with the setting here in Australia, I don’t get many of those.

⭐️4/5 stars Captivating and unexpected!

All the Tides of Fate Review

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Through blood and sacrifice, Amora Montara has conquered a rebellion and taken her rightful place as queen of Visidia. Now, with the islands in turmoil and the people questioning her authority, Amora cannot allow anyone to see her weaknesses. No one can know about the curse in her bloodline. No one can know that she’s lost her magic. No one can know the truth about the boy who holds the missing half of her soul.

I honestly didn’t think Amora really went through any growth from the first book to now. Sure she is now the Queen of Visidia but other than that title she now holds she is pretty much the same. She still comes across as unrelatable and naïve and won’t let anyone in her crew in on what’s going on with her and has way to many secrets. She will play the friendship card with them but as soon as they have an opinion or idea that contradicts with her plans she will order them to submit. She’s a tad too reckless and just overall not likeable to me.

Bastian remains one of my favourites out of all the characters. He will challenge Amara regularly and the banter between them is still so entertaining to read. I like that his communication with her is always open and honest and he will express how he is feeling to her consistently. Amara was blinded by what effects the curse had on him because she was so concerned about herself and he exposed that to her which I appreciated.

Ferrick was always a stable and consistent character throughout the course of the series. He was a great friend and advisor to Amara and would give her sound advice often that she continually chose to ignore. I didn’t appreciate how he ultimately chose Amara over himself and made that sacrifice. I think his character’s arc deserved a better ending, even just being remembered would be better than what we got. I liked the fact that Vataea stood up for herself and had that blow up with Amara. She didn’t just accept the apology and continued on being one of her crew mates. I didn’t think it was the right decision for Amara to keep that secret from Vataea and I felt justified when she left.

Overall this was a highly entertaining and thrilling read. There were several plot twists that kept me wanting to read more and had me guessing what was going to happen next. I like how Amara decided to end the reign of the Montara’s and allow everyone to learn soul magic. I think it was the right decision and gave her the freedom she was yearning for.

⭐️3/5 stars A few things I didn’t like, overall a good duology!!