Published by Ylva Publishing on June 16th 2016
In this young adult novel, best friends Kit and Liza have been looking forward to this trip forever.
Five girls, five tickets overseas. It’s exactly what they all need after the final slog of high school. But when Kit’s suddenly forced to drop out, Liza’s left with three girls she barely knows.
There’s Mai, committed only to partying. There’s Tam, who already has her doubts about leaving her sick father behind. And there’s Olivia, so miserable about screwing up exams she’s not even sure she wants to get out of bed, let alone on a plane. Meanwhile Kit’s stuck working double shifts to pay off a debt, wondering if she’ll ever get it together.
All Liza wants from this trip is to discover a new version of herself. She just hadn’t planned on doing it without Kit by her side.
And they’re all learning that travel isn’t just about the places you go, but who you’re with at the time.
I requested Points of Departure a few months ago when I was really digging travel stories, but for some reason never got around to it. I’m glad I kept a hold on this story, though, because I ended up really enjoying it. Our four (five) main characters are all very different girls with their own flaws and talents, but each likeable in their own way – they were also really diverse in terms of race and sexuality, so I really appreciated that.
Overall, this story was just really nice and pleasant to read. There wasn’t anything that really bugged me. Though because I requested it for the travelling, I would’ve liked the culture/drama ratio to be a bit more even – it sometimes felt like the country they were in didn’t really matter. Still, the events felt natural and not unnecessary. Sometimes you have drama just to have drama and this was not the case. I was genuinely rooting for these girls, and found the ending to be really satisfying, although a bit dragged out.
Thank you NetGalley / Ylva Publishing for providing me with a copy
Non-Heir by Rachel E. Carter
on October 18th 2016
This exclusive prequel novella is set before the events of The Black Mage series, available only through subscription to Rachel's newsletter, see author's profile (it will not be available anywhere for purchase).
Prince. Prodigy. Mage.
This novella follows Prince Darren as a child through his first run-in with Ryiah at the Academy of Magic. Readers discover the tragic backstory between the two princes and their father, as well as the ensuing events that shaped Darren into the Academy’s most illustrious mage.
Wow, that was brutal.
I’m not a big fan of novellas and short stories, but I really liked Non-Heir. The story is told from Darren’s point of view and starts from a very young age, when the heir and non-heir are just little boys. We finally get to see what events shaped Darren and Blayne, the monsters in their past, and for me that really solidified their dynamics. I also loved seeing more of Eve, as she’s one of my favourite characters. ♥
Really strong writing, badass heroes and heroines, set in a Jerar that’s become a really comfortable world to return to. I loved this prequel.
“One day we’ll be the best at everything, you’ll see.”
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8) by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany
on July 31st 2016
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
I didn’t think I would ever rate something that’s been written by J.K. two stars. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? It wasn’t written by her. It had a playwright, and that feels obvious from the very beginning. Characters don’t feel like their old selves (what the hell happened to Ron?), the dialogue is more than confusing at times, and it really didn’t feel like another Hogwarts story. A true, original Hogwarts story. Instead, it felt like fan-fiction. I believe a lot of people have said that, and it’s true.
In general, I quite liked the story – I’ve always been quite interested in the butterfly effect, so to find out what happens when one messes around with a Time-Turner was really fascinating. Even the smallest change can have huge repercussions on the future. The story in itself was very much the best part.
But then there are things that I simply cannot accept as canon: the fact that Albus is worthless at Quidditch, the Trolley Witch turning into Edward Scissorhands, Voldemort and Bellatrix HAVING SEX AND PRODUCING A CHILD (I guess I also never pictured Voldemort’s new body with the… *ahem* necessary parts), Cedric becoming a Death Eater because he was humiliated, and Hermione calling Voldemort “the Dark Lord” (only Death Eaters called him that – the magic lies in the details, folks) are only a few examples that come to mind. These things really bugged me.
I did quite enjoy the script-form, though – it made for an easy and quick read. I imagine it would be nice to see as a play and watch everything come to life again. Nevertheless, for me, it was “okay”.