Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Weekly Lowdown #2

How has a week gone by so quickly? How is it nearly October? My gosh, we're already on the second edition of the Weekly Lowdown!

I didn't think I'd have anything worth writing about in the space of a week, but I managed.

In my everlasting love for Throne of Glass, I made a thing. There's an A4 print along with wallpapers for the iPhone. The one size is compatible for iPhone 5s//iPhone 6s (which I guess inadvertently means compatible with iPhone 5/iPhone 6 too?).


One of my favourite savoury foods is pasta, and working in the city I've been trying to find good pasta places. It's been sort of hard. One of my colleagues took us to Vapiano the other day and I loved it. It felt very authentic and you got to watch them make it in front of you as you ordered. I told someone else of this place and they said it was horrible LOL. Everybody has different tastes so yeh.

I went brunching at Orto Trading Co. yesterday and to be honest, wasn't that impressed. I liked the hipster vibe and the service was pretty decent but what I ordered didn't taste that great. It was called the Hash 2.0 and had potato, ham, rocket, avocado, asparagus and poached egg. There was WAY too much rocket and it overpowered the taste of the avocado... which can I add was presented like green poop. The asparagus would have tasted much better grilled as well. I'd give the dish a 2/5 if I had to rate. Without the hash and ham it would have been bland as well - everything was just raw veggies just chucked together.

The first Aussie YA book subscription box, the YA Chronicles, arrived and I was really happy but also slightly disappointed: I already own a copy of The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness and the necklace that came with it also had a broken chain. I do love the little superhero USB (I got Captain America) that came with it though, and bookmarks YAY! The badge is adorable and there was also a free download for an e-novella (Untouchable by SA Starcevic). I'm thinking I might sign up for the October subscription box but there's always the risk that I will already own the book - they don't ship out until the 20th of the month which means you're essentially getting the release at the end of the month as opposed to in the beginning.

What was in the box (theme: That Hero Nonsense):
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness with embossed The YA Chronicles stamp on the inside
  • The YA Chronicles card
  • The YA Chronicles bookmark designed for the month's theme
  • TROUJLH badge
  • A necklace with quote on pendant from Etsy
  • Untouchable by SA Starcevic e-novella free download + bookmark
  • Superhero USB 4GB
Overall, is it worth it? You're paying $40 ($29.99 + $9.99 postage) for a book, bookmark, and 2-3 extras. I would say yes if you don't go out to buy new releases immediately. but no if you tend to pre-order books and get them early in the mail/buy books as soon as they're out in the bookstore. The RRP of TROUJLH is $24.99 so you're paying $15 for everything else. I got TROUJLH for $19.99 so it felt like I paid $20 for a few extras which wasn't as worth it for me.If all the books are going to be hardcover then it's definitely more worth it because they go for $20+ here, usually $30. Paperbacks? Not so much. Paperbacks retail for $16.99 - $19.99 in bookstores and $12 in Aussie online bookstores.

I finished Uprooted by Naomi Novik and holy smokes you guys this was AMAZING. I don't usually give 5/5 but this one was standout. Some people said it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling but I likened it more to Howl's Moving Castle. It had notes of Polish folklore mixed in with lots of magic and had a high fantasy setting. I completely loved the protagonist Agnieszka. What was profound was the stunning and unbreakable, steadfast bond between Nieshka and her best friend Kasia. You don't read friendships like that in books often. The food and imagery were simply stunning and the Dragon was so enigmatic. I loved the story wao you should just go read it. Also, that cover is GORGEOUS.

I also got Erin Bowman's Vengeance Road in the mail and due to difficulty with my current read, I decided to start this. I am flying through it, the story just sucked me right in and I love the Wild West style language used which adds that extra touch to the story. It's a wild chase across Gold Rush America and our protagonist wants revenge. The cover is so beautiful and it actually matches the story so well.

That current read I'm struggling with? I'm extremely sad to say it's In the Afterlight. I've been reading this for ages and only just got past half way. I've always found this series to be a slow read but books 1 and 2 were so interesting. I'm finding In the Afterlight to REALLY drag on and it's just planning and running and more planning then more running. It's exhausting and getting boring and I just need everything to move on. If I wasn't so in love with the first 2 books and invested in the series I would probably DNF.

Dropping off The Here and Now this week as I've talked about my reads and I've had no new tunes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Spring Reads and Beauty

As we enter the heart of spring, it’s time to move the long sleeved shirts and fleece pyjamas to the back of the wardrobe, and bring forth the dresses and tees.

But it’s not only fashion that changes with the seasons; beauty and yes, reading, can change too. So let’s talk about some refreshing reads and beauty items that I think are great for spring.

While I read any genre of book all year round, I do tend to read more fresh contemporaries during spring and summer. Being Australian, this totally clashes with wintery Christmas reads in summer but whatever. Spring for me is all about the flowers (damn you hay fever), discovering new things, and coming out of the so-called cocoon from winter.

For me, it’s staying out later - balmy nights with a slight breeze, chilling outdoors on a Friday night with a glass (or two) of fruity Moscato. Spring also means November storms and rain – perfect for a night in and reading!

I feel that Golden is such a nature-style book as it’s infused with Robert Frost’s poetry throughout. We follow Parker as she goes through her senior year unravelling a mystery and ultimately, taking the road less travelled. I fell in love with Frost’s poetry all over again.

Starting out in the human realm in winter, ACOTAR is primarily set in the Spring Court amongst the fey. If this isn’t the epitome of spring I don’t know what is. It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling with faerie folklore and sweet baby Jesus, my fav retelling yet.

A coming of age story where our MC learns to accept herself, face her past and find purpose in her life through the Victorian language of flowers. I loved learning about the different meanings to flowers and how they can be used to convey messages.

What is it about faeries and spring? I think I just put them together because the Summer Court reminds me more of spring with all the flowers in bloom. This is one of my favourite series ever, about a human girl who finds out her father is faery king and journeys through the Nevernever. Nature, young love, Summer Court? Springggg. My ship my ship <3

Probably my favourite children’s classic of all time. We follow Mary Lennox as she’s transported to the cold England to live with her uncle in his imposing manor. But when she finds a locked garden, she makes it her mission to restore it to its former glory. I loved the themes of family and identity in this one.

Urban Decay Naked 3 palette; NARS Orgasm blush and Laguna bronzer; Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF 30; ChapStick Strawberry SPF 10; Pleasures Estee Lauder; Hourglass Ambient Lighting Wardrobe

I’m thinking soft tones. Subtle pinks and rose-golds for the eyes (the lighter shades on the Naked 3 palette are perfect for this - Limit, Buzz and Burnout are my favs) and natural lips. Slightly flushed cheeks for that sun-kissed look with a hint of bronzer and highlight for when the sun hits your face. With the sun’s rays intensifying, it’s also important to start wearing stuff with SPF! Top it off with a fresh, floral scent so that you bring spring wherever you go.

Spring Tunes

Wonderland by Taylor Swift // Sun Goes Down by Robin Schulz feat. Jasmine Thompson // Oh Sailor by Mr Little Jeans  // We Are Giants by Lindsey Stirling feat. Dia Frampton // Only Teardrops by Emmelie de Forest

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Weekly Lowdown

Ayeeee guys. Taking into account your feedback I'm going to do weekly wrap-ups of my life. Who knows these might be less frequent... Well to honest we both know this might happen. These wrap-ups will aim to have a bookish focus but also feature a bit of my personal life.

I'll do a monthly wrap-up with books I've read/reviewed, as well as other favourites I think but on a more higher level. These weekly posts will be where I get into some more detail - as I do best. Rambling ftw?

Since I didn't do a wrap-up for August I'll give a really brief rundown of what I did:

  • I went to the Hachette YA Bloggers night hosted at the Hachette Sydney office. Debut author Sophie Hardcastle told us about her book Running Like China, which is a memoir about mental illness. We all got a copy of the book and had it signed by Sophie. Hachette also told us about their new upcoming releases (SIX OF CROWS and GLASS SWORD <3333). Then we had guest author Holly Black come out and do a talk which as fabulous. We got our books signed by Holly yay! Thanks so much Hachette for the great night + awesome goody bags. Excuse my face sorry guys.
  • I finally had the time to update the walls in my room. I put up all the postcards my friends had sent me when they went on exchange or holidayed in Europe. Below these I put up a bunch of Polaroids of good times with friends. My wall is now a little less bare.
  • Joy invited me to watch the movie adaption of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl which I really enjoyed... but thought ended a bit abruptly? Still a great movie though. She also gave me a copy of The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex which she got from her goody bag <3 
Now for the week!

I've gotten so much Queen of Shadows stuff in the past week or so. My hardback of QOS arrived in the mail and then my badge for the Maas Thirteen also arrived. This was a great idea on Rachel's part. Each of the Thirteen has a blog badge that Rachel made for us last year, but she made these into actual badges which Alexa sent out and it looks GREAT. Thank you lovely ladies. Then I got my TOG badges which was part of the QOS pre-order offer from Bloomsbury. I heart these badges so hard, my favourites are obviously Team Celaena and Team Chaol!

Working in the city means that I get to experience great things - one of those being one of my greatest loves - FOOD. If you follow my Instagram (@pixelski, shameless self-promotion) you'll know that I love posting pics of food (especially ice cream) almost as much as books. 

Koko Black - the Strand Arcade
I've heard people talk about this chocolate cafe for ages, and my colleagues go on about how it's even better than Lindt Cafe! They took me there one afternoon and I ordered the chocolate ice cream which was amazinggggggg. It was 2 scoops of Belgian chocolate ice cream and they also gave me hot molten chocolate on the side to pour over it. I was extremely impressed. The ice cream tasted really fresh (sometimes you get ice cream and you see the ice frozen on it which isn't as appealing) and it was so smooth! The consistency was quite thick, thicker than gelato and also didn't melt as quickly. And dayum that chocolate taste. Full on. The biscuit/wafer thing they added on top also tasted great - like caramel melted into a wafer/biscuit. Not for those without a sweet tooth though.

Sokyo Ramen Pop-up - the Star
Sokyo is a 2 hat restaurant in the Star and for a limited time, they've introduced a pop-up that sells ramen. I caught up with my high school friend Sam, yesterday and we went to give it a shot. Despite the massive line, it moved quickly and I got to admit, the ramen was totally worth the $16. I got the spicy option which was a tantan ramen (pork mince, spicy pork soup, some vegetables and slightly runny egg). The soup was quite spicy but tasted great - not too salty - and the vegetables complemented the thicker soup and spice nicely.

Outlet sale - Sheraton on Park
A workmate kindly told me about a Michael Kors/Kate Spade (and Jimmy Choo/Victoria's Secret) outlet sale that ran for like 3 days. I went after work yesterday and zomg it was packed with people. Not a fan of crowds so I was in and out of there as soon as possible. The sale was insane and I got a new MK tote, and I got my mum an MK wallet. I was so sad that most of the Kate Spade stuff had sold out :(

Cool story bro - not really
I had a lunch dilemma on Thursday after coming back from a lunch time meeting. For the first time in my life I thought I'd get a salad for lunch and be healthy. Sumo Salad were advertising their chargrilled meat + 2 salads option for $13 and I thought hey protein let's do it. BIGGEST RAGRET OF MY LIFE. The portion was insanely tiny, there were like 5 strips of chargrilled chicken in total and I ate the whole thing in like 3 bites. For $13. My stomach was still grumbling after and I ended up going to Maccas and getting a McNugget meal anyway. So I spent $20 instead of what could've been an $8 lunch if I'd just gone to Maccas in the first place. If refunds were an option, I'd have demanded one as soon as they handed me the box.
Lesson learnt: don't eat salads for lunch. They are a rip-off, don't fill you up and it don't even taste that great.

I did a little bookshelf re-organisation so I could see my Sarah J. Maas books on their own shelf!
Since I got my bonus (and pay rise woo) this week I decided to ditch the budgeting plans and go splurge on some books.
The latest volumes of Barajou no Kiss by Aya Shouoto (Kiss of the Rose Princess) came out and I just had to get as I'm collecting the series. I actually read the whole thing online so I know how the story pans out. The art is like no other and probably my favourite style. This is actually why I'll never really love a graphic novel/comic - I'm too in love with manga art style and compare them all to Aya Shouoto or Arina Tanemura's art.
I ordered this insanely beautiful edition of Peter Pan from Myer which arrived and it is SO beautiful on the inside.
From Kino I got Lair of Dreams, the sequel to The Diviners by Libba Bray. I adored The Diviners and the lush world-building. The Roaring Twenties. The luxury of the Jazz Age with flappers, speakeasies and Prohibition, Bray captured it all. I also picked up Kate Forsyth's The Beast's Garden which is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast in WWII. I love Beauty and the Beast retellings so I had to pick this one up. I read Briar Rose in Year 8 which is a similar premise and really liked that so I'm hoping this will be better. The latest volume of Saga by Fiona Staples and Brian Vaughan (volume 5) also came out and of course I needed that. I also got some of the Penguin Little Black Classics - Samuel Taylor Coleridge (another fact about me: I love Romanticism poetry) and Hans Christian Andersen.
Which is a bit weird because when I went to Dymocks I picked up the Barnes & Noble edition of Hans Christian Andersen's Classic Fairy Tales (what the shit Dymocks? I got this for $49.99 but it's $18 on B&N site). This is a new edition with the same stories inside as the purple cover edition but I love this cover so much more. Dymocks also had The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness for only $19.99. I've been wanting to get this for AGES because it's hardcover and beautiful and blue stained pages but also I've heard it's amazing. I still have no idea what it's about though.

Currently Reading: In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3) by Alexandra Bracken
Recently Finished: After Daybreak (Darkness Before Dawn #3) by JA London
Listening To: Sun is Shining by Axwell & Ingrosso // Reality (and the Andromeda Remix) by Lost Frequencies feat. Janieck Devy
K-Pop: YeY by BEAST // and I've been listening to an old favourite, I Remember by Bang Yong Guk feat. Yoseob of BEAST

Friday, September 11, 2015

Post Ideas?

In which you tell me what you want to see on the blog...

Let's be honest guys, Fiction in Fiction in Fiction has been slow going for ages. If I want to be brutally honest, it's been a slow-going blog from the start. This isn't the first time that I've expressed my concern of not being able to churn out posts at a more frequent rate. I struggle with getting 1 post out a week these days. I used to manage 2 and even on my best weeks those were hard.

So I've looked at this long and hard, done a sort of root cause analysis and I've come to a conclusion:

  • It's a time thing - work has me absolutely drained, I won't go into the full detail that when I first started blogging I was already doing full time work + uni maintaining grades
  • But not just a time thing - for a while I just got demotivated from reading so many review copies that I took a break and tried to read more of my own books. In doing so that meant I didn't put as many reviews on the blog (as I only review books I request for reasons)
  • I know I don't have as much capacity to read now so I request less. I read less review copies I churn out less reviews on the blog. Endless cycle.
  • However, reviews only take up so much space on a blog. Just posting reviews isn't ideal for me, there should be other posts too
  • But I don't have any ideas of what these other posts could be
Thus, your help is required.

Tell me what kind of posts you'd like to see on my blog other than reviews.

Some fellow bloggers have suggested I post life updates (as random as they may be), book hauls + wrap ups (I used to do these but stopped), even makeup reviews (thanks Jeann lol).

Would you guys like to see any of these? I don't want to deviate too much from being a book blog, so any bookish post ideas you want my opinion on would also greatly be appreciated.

I'm reaching out to you because I blog not only for myself, but for you, my readers. I want to be creating content that interests you :D

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Queen of Shadows Blog Tour: Fan Cast + Giveaway

Hi everybody! For the second year now, I am absolutely thrilled to be a host on the QUEEN OF SHADOWS blog tour hosted by the Maas Thirteen. I can't believe it's been a year since Alexa, Rachel, Judith, Katie and I started the fan club out of our love for the series. I can't believe we've made it this far, and what makes me SO happy, is seeing the outreach of Throne of Glass. If you haven't already, you should check out my gushing (duh) review here.

Tour Schedule

September 7 – Judith (Paper Riot)
September 8 – Jaz (Fiction in Fiction in Fiction)
September 9 – Kelly (Belle of the Literati)
September 10 – Andi (Andi’s ABCs)
September 11 – Gillian (Writer of Wrongs)
September 14 – Kim & Wendy (The Midnight Garden)
September 15 – Mel (The Daily Prophecy)
September 16 – Gina (Behind the Pages)
September 17 – Nicole (The Quiet Concert)
September 18 – Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)
September 21 – Katie (Polished Page-Turners)
September 22 – Rachel (Hello, Chelly)
September 23 – Alexa (Alexa Loves Books)


Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Date Released: September 1, 2015
Pages: 656 pages
Genre: High fantasy

"Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world."

Australia: Bloomsbury | Booktopia | Bookworld
International: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository
E-book: Kobo | iBooks
Audiobook: Audible

About Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas is the author of the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling Throne of Glass series–Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire, and the series’ prequel, The Assassin’s Blade–as well as the New York Times and USA Today bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses. She wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just sixteen, and it has now sold in twenty-three languages. Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, will release worldwide on September 1st, 2015.

A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Religious Studies.

Find Sarah: Website | Blog | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram

Fan Cast

In continuing with tradition, I'm going to do what I do best... Ok well I'm going to stick to what I sort of know how to do - and that's fan cast. I did a fan cast of Heir of Fire last year, so I'm going to show you guys who I'd choose for some of the newer characters in Queen of Shadows AND I PROMISE NO SPOILERS.

Basically, I loved ALL the females in Queen of Shadows. If you haven't already heard me screaming it to the world, THE GIRL POWER IN THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. 

Anyway my fan cast isn't necessarily to the exact descriptions of the book but I wanted to add a diverse twist! I went through Sarah's TOG Pinterest quite thoroughly to ensure that who I was casting had some parallels to who she had in mind.

Chanel Iman as Nesryn Faliq

Nesryn is one of my favourite characters. I loved her calm demeanour and the way she and Celaena just had this understanding. I chose Chanel Iman because Nesryn is clearly not white. She's got tan skin, eyes that tilt up, and I got the impression she had like Asian/Middle-Eastern roots (if comparing to us Earthlings). Chanel is 1/4 Korean and 3/4 African American which I think sort of embodies that.
Images: Source 1 | Source 2 | Source 3

Ashley Greene as Asterin Blackbeak

Sweet baby Jesus, Asterin's story is one of the most phenomenal side stories EVER. I admired her resilience, strong morals and opinions and the way she stood by what she believed in. Her loyalty and strength literally made me cry. I really like Ashley Greene, especially after seeing her play Alice in Twilight - Alice was my fav character. Ashley can pass off the sweet but also fierce look.

Lee Pace as Lorcan

Lorcan is an extremely complex character and very chilling. But cool. He's so very cool and he certainly gave me some laughs. When I was reading I kept picturing Lorcan like Thranduil from LOTR... I haven't actually watched any of the LOTR movies beyond the first one but I've seen enough gifs on tumblr and everything on social media to know who Thranduil is LOL. I was like "OMG THAT'S HIM."

Crystal (Yifei) Liu as Lysandra

Another amazing young woman who shows astounding inner strength and resilience. After reading what she's been through I was like GURLLL CAN I PLEASE GIVE YOU A HUG. I know Lysandra isn't Asian (diverse casting here). She's so beautiful men aren't coherent upon seeing her. I'm not coherent when I see Crystal Liu. I think she's probably my favourite Asian actress. Crystal may seem delicate (Return of the Condor Heroes hnnnnng) but she's such a fantastic actress she can pull off anything.


Barbara Palvin as Aelin Galathynius

Did you really think I'd pass up the chance to cast Aelin? Really? Please. I was looking for photos to cast other characters and then I came across Barbara and I was like HOLY SMOKES THIS IS AELIN. She's soooo gorgeous. Do you see her eyes? DO YOU SEE HER ASHRYVER EYES? So she's a model and not an actress. I don't care. She can be my fire-breathing-bitch-queen any day. 

OK tell me what you thought of my casting? Who did you guys have in mind?


GIVEAWAY TIME YAYAYAYAY (I seem to do this a lot I don't know why. Giving you guys free stuff makes me so happy.)

In both cases of the giveaways you must be old enough to give us your address so we can mail you the goodies if you win!


Firstly, thanks to the Maas Thirteen, we're giving away TWO copies of QUEEN OF SHADOWS US hardback and they each come with a THRONE OF GLASS tote bag. Yisss you heard right. This is open internationally.


Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia I'm giving away TWO copies of QUEEN OF SHADOWS AU paperback and these HAVE SIGNED BOOKPLATES INSIDE. YESSSS YOU HEARD RIGHT. Australia only sorry international folks.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review: The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

Firstly, thanks to Hardie Grant Australia for this review copy <3


Date Read: August 21 - 29 2015
Date Released: May 2015
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Sci-fi
My Rating:

"Ariel, the sole survivor of an attack on his village in the Middle East is ‘rescued’ from  the horrific madness of war in his homeland by an American soldier and sent to live with a family in suburban Virginia. And yet, to Ariel, this new life with a genetic scientist father and resentful brother, Max, is as confusing and bizarre as the life he just left.

Things get even weirder when Ariel and Max are sent to an all-boys summer camp in the forest for tech detox. Intense, funny and fierce friendships are formed. And all the time the scientific tinkerings of the boys’ father into genetics and our very existence are creeping up on them in their wooden cabin, second by painful second . . ."


The only thought I had after finishing The Alex Crow was this: well thank God that’s over. I regret reading this book. It was honestly the biggest waste of my time. Two emotions dominated whilst reading: confusion and/or boredom.

The book is actually told from three perspectives – the majority of which by a boy named Ariel who is an orphan as a result of war in the Middle East and gets adopted by an American. The other perspectives are from an insane guy (the ‘melting man’), and the journal entries of a doctor on an expedition on a ship called the Alex Crow in the 1800s. I swear this was so confusing when I was reading from Ariel’s perspective and then suddenly it switches to some guy who is driving and thinks Joseph Stalin is talking to him, then switch again to some dude stuck on a ship in the 1800s. I. Just. Don’t. Care.

I felt that Ariel was more an impartial narrator telling someone else’s story than his own. He was so detached from everything I couldn’t relate to him. He actually went through some awful stuff but the way it was written (while eliciting disgust on my end) didn’t trigger any emotions from me. You could say maybe it was because he was numb to it all, but I say he was unrelatable. It was like he didn’t care… But he did. Ariel had all these repressed feelings that I thought could have been portrayed in a way that appealed to the reader but still be distant to his peers in the story. Sorry kiddo I feel nothing for you.

Anyway, he’s stuck in Camp Merrie-Seymour for Boys with his adopted brother and the camp is run by the company their dad works for. Their parents shoved them there because it’s free but it’s actually a camp for boys who are addicted to games/technology. So we’ve got Ariel, his brother Max, and this other boy named Cobie who are the only normal teenagers in this whole camp of boys who are so far gone they stick toilet paper in their ears to block out reality and pretend to have earbuds in. WTF? That’s the jist of it. I was dying of boredom. Sure there was some male bonding between these guys but I swear it was just a bunch of teenage boys swearing and obsessed with jerking off. Like every second sentence out of Max’s mouth was related to this. Out of all these 277 pages, the only interesting person was Cobie. I actually really liked this kid. He had substance with his humour and knowledge of the outdoors. But even Cobie couldn’t save this book from ultimately being doomed.

There’s sci-fi in this too. Weird, suicidal crows that were extinct but brought back to life, drones, and a research company obsessed with all of this and more. Are you weirded out yet? Because if you aren’t, maybe this book is for you!

My problem with this book was that it could have worked and that’s what is so disappointing. The way Smith set this up, it could have gone really well or really badly. For me, The Alex Crow just missed the mark. From the beginning, I was waiting for everything to come together (I mean, there HAD to be a point to three random perspectives right?) but at the rate it was all going I wasn’t sure it ever would. The pacing was unbearably slow so that when the light bulb did go off for me, it was too late. I’d already given up on the story, gotten bored and was just reading to get it over with. The problem was that the revelations came too late, the confusing bits too heavy from the beginning and not having enough time to properly work the clues in. It was 75% confusion and then 25% dump telling me how everything fit together.

Ohmygod what even is this review. It’s as confusing as the book itself. And no, your brain can’t possibly hurt as much as mine.