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Figgy O'Connell

Currently reading

See You in the Cosmos
Jack Cheng
Exploring Space: From Galileo to the Mars Rover and Beyond
Stephen Biesty, Martin Jenkins
The Terranauts: A Novel
T.C. Boyle
A Quiet Kind of Thunder
Sara Barnard
Gumnut Babies
May Gibbs
Progress: 42/264 pages
Highly Illogical Behaviour
John Corey Whaley
Progress: 82/249 pages
Alastair Reynolds
Progress: 75/425 pages
See What I Have Done
Sarah Schmidt
The Dog, Ray
Linda Coggin
Forgetting Foster
Dianne Touchell

No Virgin

No Virgin - Anne Cassidy TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE

One has to appreciate what Anne Cassidy was trying to do in writing this book, in which a seventeen-year-old girl battles with herself as she tries to decide if she can bring herself to report her rape.

It’s an important, powerful, necessary conversation to have, but the execution in this instance left a lot to be desired.

We join Stacey hiding in the bathroom after she’s been raped. She eventually gets up, grabs her things, and leaves, her rapist smiling at her all the while and giving her money to catch a cab home. She goes home and argues with her mum who wants to know where she was the past couple days, and argues with her best friend who gives her the silent treatment for not answering her messages or calls. Then she sits down to write about what happened, starting with the fight she had with her sister which drove her away from the house in the first place.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!

The Princess Diarist

The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher I can’t promise that this is going to be an objective review; I feel this needs to be made clear from the outset.

Five days ago, Carrie Fisher died, and in a year of deeply meaningful celebrity deaths from an era of entertainment so many of us look back on fondly, this felt like a final kick in the gut (followed a day later, of course, by her mother, Debbie Reynolds).
Who do I think I would’ve been if I hadn’t been Princess Leia? Am I Princess Leia, or is she me? Split the difference and you’d be closer to the truth. Star Wars was and is my job. It can’t fire me and I’ll never be able to quit, and why would I want to? (This is both a rhetorical and real question.)
Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia meant a lot to so many young girls and women who grew up watching these films. From her (them?) we learnt that a princess (or a girl, for that matter) doesn’t have to sit around waiting to be saved, and that we could be opinionated, strong, speak our minds, and have a sense of humour. Of course, many male fans of the show adored her just as much. This hurt is not to be felt by only the womenfolk.
There’s the girl with my signature tattooed to her ass, the couple that named their child Leia Carrie, the guy who had his name legally changed to Luke Skywalker. (Imagine the policeman’s face when he stops Luke Skywalker for speeding: “What happened, Obi-Wan wouldn’t let you use the X-wing fighter tonight?”) They have marriage ceremonies where, instead of the more traditional vows, one says, “I love you,” and the other says, “I know.” They come dressed in the outfits, and not only are the women in the metal bikini but some men are wearing it, too, and it looks fantastic.

Whoever you are, if you were and are a big fan on the movies (the original three; four five and six) you will have your own share of fond memories tied to the franchise.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!

- Pre-read -

I told myself when I went to bed that I was finally going to get around to posting some of my tabbed updates on this one today... And then news hit.

I can't promise this is going to be an unbiased review, and I didn't realise quite how much she meant to me until I heard the news and started crying.

"Drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra."

Vale, Carrie Fisher.

Haunt Me

Haunt Me - Liz Kessler When I was in school, my friends and I would write these role-playing stories, each taking turns to write what was going on for our characters, progressing the story, and throwing curve-balls at the others that they could respond to when their turn came.

There seemed to be this unspoken battle in which each of us wanted to have the most damaged and special snowflake of all the characters, and of course we wanted all the boys to be madly in love with our own characters, to love them despite the damage… to want to save them and make everything better.

We would take turns writing the boy characters, too, and their every thought was always on the female characters who were our own embodiment of super special.

That’s what this book felt like. Something my friends and I wrote as teenagers, which was total wish-fulfillment, but did not make any sense, and would have left readers undoubtedly frustrated at how “amazing” all of the characters were. The hopping of character points of view reinforced this feeling, with no chapter running for more than about five pages before it switched to the other, leaving nothing about their interactions unexplored from both points of view.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” became my mantra while reading this book, and was one of the main reasons I was able to push through.

This is a story of instalove, and of so much assumption and stupidity.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!

Doctor Who: A History of Humankind: The Doctor’s Official Guide

Doctor Who: A History of Humankind: The Doctor’s Official Guide - Unknown Review to come.

The Curious Guide to Things That Aren't: Things you can't always touch, see, or hear. Can you guess what they are?

The Curious Guide to Things That Aren't: Things you can't always touch, see, or hear. Can you guess what they are? - John Fixx, Abby Carter Review to come.

Pumpkin: The Raccoon Who Thought She Was a Dog

Pumpkin: The Raccoon Who Thought She Was a Dog - Laura Young Review to come.

Doctor Who: Dot-to-Doc

Doctor Who: Dot-to-Doc - BBC Review to come.

Romancing the Duke

Romancing the Duke - Tessa Dare Not my normal fare, but this seems to have overwhelmingly positive reviews from people I like, so... *shrug*

The Song From Somewhere Else

The Song From Somewhere Else - A.F. Harrold, Levi Pinfold Review to come!

Aliens, Ghosts and Vanishings

Aliens, Ghosts and Vanishings - Stella Tarakson Had this book existed twenty-years ago, it would have no doubt been one of my favourites. Just shy of thirty, I’m still a pretty big fan.

I’ve had a lifelong obsession with the bizarre and unexplained, as a child often commandeering my dad’s A4, hardcover books about mysteries and the unexplained.

This book has far fewer photographs than those others did, but it also has a couple of big points working in its favour.

This book is accessible and interesting for younger readers, and is a lot easier to carry around than those A4 hardcovers.
These are all Australian based mysteries, teaching everyone a little more about the goings-on in their own backyard.

Categories included in this book:
- Mythical Creatures
- Mysterious Locations
- Haunted Places
- UFO Sightings
- Bizarre Disappearances
- Strange Happenings (including Phar Lap, Spontaneous Human Combustion, and more)

The rest of this review can be found HERE!

History Is All You Left Me

History Is All You Left Me - Adam Silvera Huh. Strange coincidence; I used to have two (female) rats named Griffin and Theo...

A Collapse of Horses

A Collapse of Horses - Brian Evenson If [b:Children of the New World: Stories|29243630|Children of the New World Stories|Alexander Weinstein|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1459173391s/29243630.jpg|49487586] is reminiscent of Black Mirror, A Collapse of Horses is more of a slightly grown-up, less-resolved version of the Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark stories many of us enjoyed growing up.

There are few, if any, stories in here that would be unsuitable for teenage readers, and somehow we are offered a collection that is both predictable and confusing at the same time. These stories don’t have a solid resolution, leaving it up to the reader to decide, but often to a point where this reader was left wondering what the point of many of them even was.

In the end, after reading several of these stories back to back without much in the way of resolution, it became very hard to feel any kind of connection with the characters. It felt as though, in an attempt to be artsy and different, the author made a special effort to leave the reader feeling as though they were out of their depth. For a reader who is not often surprised or left in the dark, due to the sheer volume I read, this could be seen as a plus, but rather than a new take on things, this felt like a concerted effort to leave people confused.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!


-- Pre-review Breakdown --

Black Bark - No Rating
No rating. I'm not sure what happened here. Super confused.

A Report - 4/5
A "moment in time" kind of story. A lot of things happening out of view of the main character, and a lot of inner monologue. Interesting way to imprison and emotionally disturb said prisoners.

The Punish - 3.5/5
Once the reader has some idea of the character's past, this story is a teensy bit predictable, but well written and enjoyable.

A Collapse of Horses - 4/5
A nice little self-contained story. It doesn't spell things out for the reader, but it seems to reach some kind of conclusion while leaving the mind to wander a little once it's complete.

Three Indignities - 3/5
Some nice imagery, but it seems a half-explored idea. It's literally about three pages long, and is about a man who has various health issues and feels disconnected and wonders what is left of the him from before.

Cult - 4/5
A good little story with a fairly solid conclusion on the ways in which victims of abuse remain under the thumb of their attacker and make excuses for them, even when they have a clean out.

Seaside Town - 2.5/5
Seems to half-explore the story, with a suggestion about something that went on but with no proper conclusion.

The Dust -3/5
It is an interesting concept, and it wraps up nicely, but there was a serious disconnect between the story and this reader.
It could be that, in a collection of stories averaging 12.18 pages, a story that is 43 pages long seems drastically longer. But, having said that, I stopped part way through this story to read a novel of more than 400 pages and devoured it in two days.
So it comes back to the story not being as engaging as it could have.

BearHeartTM - 4/5
Good imagery, a little predictable, but still a fun (and creepy-ish) read.

Scour - 4/5
No resolution, but done that way on purpose.
GORGEOUS (and slightly disturbing) imagery.

Torpor - 2/5
I am left wondering what the whole point of that story...
The lengths people will go to for a good night's sleep?

Past Reno - 3/5
Disconcerting imagery, but it never quite got to where it was going. Unfinished and unexplained thoughts.

Any Corpse - 5/5
This one was a little confusing at times with some of the words used to describe things that aren't easy for a reader to put into physical terms, or at least the terms being used. But I really enjoyed this one. The imagery, the words, the circle.

The Moans - 3/5
Didn't really have any kind of conclusion.

The Window - 3/5
Interesting concept. Again, this didn't really have a conclusion. It was a moment in time, or an overheard conversation, in a world we're told nothing about.

Click - 4/5
Interesting concept, somewhat confusing.
Nice imagery and something of an "aha" moment.
Plays on repetition and confusion well, but not sure how it all comes together.

The Blood Drip - 3/5
Nice full-circle with the first story in the collection, but had very much given up on caring about anything by this point in the collection. Only a 12 page story, but so tempting to give call it quits on the book by this point.

A House at the Bottom of a Lake

A House at the Bottom of a Lake - Josh Malerman OMG OMG OMG. Need this. NOW!

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland - Ed Franck, Rébecca Dautremer Review to come.

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland - Alison Jay Review to come.

The Motherless Oven

The Motherless Oven - Rob Davis Review to come.

Not sure what I just read, but... I think I liked it?