AWW 2016 Final Update

AWW16Let’s take a moment to thank Past Amy for actually kind of keeping on top of this before her world crumbled and the big bad men stole her internet, her free time, and made her work all the time.

With that done, I am rather proud of myself for participating in this finally. I loved it. I made an effort to read more Aussie women books this year even without this challenge, and through chance and circumstance I discovered some great books by Aussies this year so it’s great this challenge was here to share them with you all. While I haven’t been able to review as many as I planned due to having no internet in the house for two months, and having a lot of personal and work commitments, I have read more. I will be getting reviews up for them though eventually I just have run out of time. I have included a complete list of all books read below, review links included and I am certainly looking forward to doing this again next year, with total success!

AWW BOOKS Sep-Dec

Black by Fleur Ferris – Review

Mad Men, Bad Girls, and the Guerilla Knitters Institute by Maggie Groff –  Review

 The Eye of the Sheep by Sophie Laguna

Hate is Such a Strong Word by Sarah Ayoub

Breathing Underwater by Sophie Hardcastle

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016 Total

Read: 28/25

Reviewed: 13/15

The Princess Companion by Melanie Cellier – Reviewed

Dead, Actually by Kaz Delaney – Reviewed

Almost Dead by Kaz Delaney – Reviewed

The Reluctant Jillaroo by Kaz Delaney – Reviewed

Yellow by Megan Jacobson – Reviewed

The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub – Reviewed

Frankie by Shivaunn Plozza – Reviewed

Risk by Fleur Ferris – Reviewed

Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle – Reviewed

Wish List by Belinda Williams – Reviewed

Darkest Place by Jaye Ford

The High Places by Fiona MacFarlane

The Stockmen by Rachael Treasure

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta – Reviewed

The Farmer’s Wife by Rachael Treasure – Reviewed

Jillaroo by Rachael Treasure

The Boundless Sublime by Lilli Wilkinson

The Girl and the Ghost Grey Mare by Rachael Treasure

Elliane by Judy Nunn

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

The Rouseabout by Rachael Treasure

The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham

The Princess Fugitive by Melanie Cellier

Black by Fleur Ferris – Reviewed

Mad Men, Bad Girls, and the Guerilla Knitters Institute by Maggie Groff – Reviewed

 The Eye of the Sheep by Sophie Laguna

Hate is Such a Strong Word by Sarah Ayoub

Breathing Underwater by Sophie Hardcastle

 

AWW 2016 Update

AWW 2016 Update 

AWW16My updates are few and far between this year, especially in the later half because of work and personal reasons but I’m slowly continuing my reading and my AWW challenge. With a few months to cover it looks like I have done quite well, reading a total of 11 books, upgrading my score to 23/20. I thought I may reach this mark, but with my blogging falling on the wayside (as expected looking at previous years) I was worried about making my target. Luckily those four months were rather productive and I can say I’ve read them at least. The next step is reviewing them.

AWW BOOKS May-Sep

The Stockmen by Rachael Treasure

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta

The Farmer’s Wife by Rachael Treasure

Jillaroo by Rachael Treasure

The Boundless Sublime by Lilli Wilkinson

The Girl and the Ghost Grey Mare by Rachael Treasure

Elliane by Judy Nunn

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

The Rouseabout by Rachael Treasure

The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham

The Princess Fugitive by Melanie Cellier

AWW2016 TOTAL

Having reached the 20 read goal I’m going to bump it up to 25. A small increase but with a lot to review I’m limiting my increment again to allow a catch up. That and I’m not reading much at the moment so I’m safe for a while.

Read: 23/25

Reviewed: 10/15

AWW 2016 Update

AWW16My first update covered three months, this time I’ve got two months to deal with and magically I have a few books to look at. I realised yesterday that I actually had read a few Aussie ladies and that another update was needed. I thought when I was doing this I’d post a reminder without being able to add anything new so I’m quite pleased. In future I am aiming for a monthly recap which means I’d best get my reading into gear and have something to update about. But for now I have a wonderful bunch of books to add to my list.

There is still plenty of time if you wish to join the challenge, you can sign up at any time during the year until the end of November. Visit the AWW website for more information.

 

AWW BOOKS Mar-Apr

The Reluctant Jillaroo by Kaz Delaney – Reviewed

Yellow by Megan Jacobson – Reviewed

The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub – Reviewed

Frankie by Shivaunn Plozza – Reviewed

Risk by Fleur Ferris – Reviewed

Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle – Reviewed

Wish List by Belinda Williams – Reviewed

Darkest Place by Jaye Ford

The High Places by Fiona MacFarlane

 

AWW2016 TOTAL

I’ve had to update my goal limit because I’m doing better than I thought I was going to. I’m bumping it up to read 20, review 16. Small increments for safety for now.

Read: 12/20

Reviewed: 10/16

The Princess Companion by Melanie Cellier

Published: 2nd January 2016Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Luminant Publications
Pages: 244
Format: ebook
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Fairy Tale
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

One dark and stormy night, lost and alone, Alyssa finds herself knocking on the door of a castle. 

After a lifetime spent in the deep forest, Alyssa has no idea what to expect on the other side. 

What she finds is two unruly young princesses and one very handsome prince. When Alyssa accepts the job of Princess Companion she knows her life will change. What she doesn’t know is that the royal family is about to be swept up in unexpected danger and intrigue and that she just might be the only thing standing between her kingdom and destruction. 

This retelling of the classic fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea, reimagines the risks and rewards that come when one royal family goes searching for a true princess. 

Danger and romance await a woodcutter’s daughter in a royal palace.

Note: I was provided with a copy of this book from the author for review.

Fairy tale retellings are some of my favourite books and fairy tales themselves are one of my favourite genres. I love everything about them, their universality, their ability to become any story possible while still being recognised at a level as being a fairy tale, and I love that there are one hundred ways to tell the exact same story and have it come out one hundred different ways.

Cellier’s story is exactly this. It is The Princess and the Pea story we all recognise, but told in a way that it becomes a whole new story on its own. There is still so much of a fairytale in this story: woodcutter’s daughter, godmothers, princes and kingdoms, but Cellier manages to create something more intricate and complex than the original tale. It is sweet, creative, incredibly clever, and even sneaks in another fairy tale reference and shows us what happens at the end of a happily ever after.

The writing feels really honest. Cellier easily could have fallen into the trap of having misunderstandings resulting in the stereotypical drama caused by miscommunication, but she doesn’t. Alyssa is upfront and honest about mistakes and even though it doesn’t always work it, she is never is dishonest or deceptive.

The narration stays with Alyssa for the majority of the book which is a wonderful move as we get to see the palace life and her experience through her eyes and thoughts. You really can’t ask for a better character than Alyssa. She is honest and intelligent, filled with wisdom but also delightfully innocent at the same time. Where readers can see the affection between Max and Alyssa, she always comes to the wrong conclusion. It’s so sweet, and it is a nice change than having her pine for a prince she can’t have.

Alyssa’s role as a Princess Companion brings about all sorts of adventure and danger, and seeing her develop and change, along with all the other characters, is quite rewarding. When the romance emerges it is beautifully told; Cellier doesn’t spring it on us, she weaves it through, misdirection and ignorance throughout. I can’t go on enough about how well this is written.

The original Princess and the Pea fairy tale is not an overly popular retelling compared to Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast, but Cellier has expanded on this incredibly short fairy tale phenomenally, giving depth and fullness to every character and creating a solid and emotionally stable story all within the beginning and end of the traditional fairy tale.

Reading this novel gives you the warm fuzzy feeling that a well-told story produces, and this simple fairy tale has been filled with so much, so many details and complexities, tiny moments that add so much meaning but seem so innocent. It’s fantastic. Cellier truly has written an enchanting, enthralling, and brilliant novel that still feels like you are reading a classic fairy tale.

You can purchase The Princess Companion via the following

Amazon

Amazon Aust

Book Bingo BookFT

AWW16

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016

AWW16It’s a new year and time for new challenges. This year I’ve signed up for the Australian Women Writers Challenge (AWW). This is something I have been meaning to do for a few years and finally going to commit to doing it. For those that are unaware, the AWW is a wonderful challenge that encourages people to read and review books by Australian women. This is a challenge that anyone can participate in, you don’t have to be a blogger, you can review on Goodreads, Facebook, or other social media!

I have chosen the Franklin level which  means I will be reading 10 books with an aim to review 6 of them. This seems manageable and I look forward to discovering some awesome Aussie women writers. There are various levels to aim for, or you can be brave and choose your own goal.

To find out more about the challenge and see if it’s something you would like to participate in, check out the website. The challenge runs from 1st January to 31st December so there is plenty of time to complete your goal, and you can sign up at any time during the year until the end of November.

 

 

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