Tag Archives: Amie Kaufman

Begin, End, Begin edited by Danielle Binks

Overview
Image result for begin, end, begin book cover

Title: Begin, End, Begin
Author: Danielle Binks, Amie Kaufman, Will Kostakis, Alice Pung, Michael Pryor, Melissa Keil, Ellie Marney, Lili Wilkinson, Gabrielle Tozer & Jaclyn Moriarty
In: Begin, End, Begin (Danielle Binks)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Contemporary, Short story collections, Young adult
Dates read: 30th June – 26th November 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: I couldn’t imagine what they’d think of Diamond Rose Fashions.

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Synopsis

Bestsellers. Award-winners. Superstars. This anthology has them all.

With brilliantly entertaining short stories from beloved young adult authors Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Will Kostakis, Ellie Marney, Jaclyn Moriarty, Michael Pryor, Alice Pung, Gabrielle Tozer, Lili Wilkinson and Danielle Binks, this all-new collection will show the world eactly how much there is to love about Aussie YA.

Thoughts

This is a fantastic collection, one that I wish was around when I was finishing high school. It’s all about those moments on the cusp of adulthood when the world is stretched before you and you’re suddenly responsible for yourself. It’s kind of a huge, pivotal point in someone’s life, so a collection on this was completely fantastic. And although I’m not exactly that young anymore, this was still a great journey that reminded me of the decisions we make in life.

I love that #LoveOzYA has come up with a collection of Aussie YA authors. This, and Kindred have introduced me to so many new and wonderful authors to fill my shelves with. Something that I’m always looking for. And the fact that they’re homegrown and often write about the areas that I’m more familiar with? It’s very, very much appreciated. I hope that they come out with a new collection soon!

I didn’t know any of the authors in this collection, other than Melissa Keil when I bought it. Now I have a handful of amazing new Australian authors to add to my wish list. Some that will challenge me, some to enthral, and some just to leave a giant smile on my face.

<- Competition Entry #349One Small Step… –>

Image source: Harper Collins Australia

One Small Step… by Amie Kaufman

Overview
Image result for begin, end, begin book cover

Title: One Small Step…
Author: Amie Kaufman
In: Begin, End, Begin (Danielle Binks)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Aliens, Australian authors, LGBTQI, Science fiction, Young adult
Dates read: 30th June 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: Only a few people have ever returned from Mars to Earth, but it’s possible, just very expensive.

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Synopsis

She’s the first born Martian. And rightly famous for it. But what if what she wants isn’t the life that has been mapped out for her? How can she figure out how to take that first, small step into her own future?

Thoughts

This was such an amazingly cute, engaging and brilliant short story. It also perfectly encompassed the theme of “beginning” which is featured in the Begin, End, Begin collection. After all, it is about a girl on the precipice of adulthood, trying to decide what she wants to do with her life and her future. The fact that she was the first person born on Mars and is somewhat of a celebrity just helps to add to the potency of the storyline.

There are two coming-of-age battles that are fought and dwelt upon beautifully in this short story. The first is the decision about whether or not to go to college on earth. What one wants to actually do with their lives in the future. And, ultimately, how much of this decision is based upon your own needs, and how much is based upon the desires of those who love you. I know that it was a battle that I constantly had to fight when I was trying to make decisions about my future.

Secondly, there is the little fact that the lead narrator is actually LGBTQI+. Her constant battle with not knowing how to reveal this fact and desire to do so… it’s kind of precipice-feeling. And so, when she finally makes a decision about her life at the end, you are just so damn happy. It really made my heart swell two more sizes.

This is a fantastic, perfect coming-of-age story that takes you to that precipice of the future. That will either make you think of your own potential future, or those moments like this that feel so important and all powerful… just ready for you too to jump of that cliff and start your own reality.

<- Begin, End, BeginI Can See The Ending ->

Image source: Harper Collins Australia

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Overview
Image result for illuminae book cover

Title: Illuminae
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Science fiction, Young adult
Dates read: 15th July – 22nd September 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: What’s it like to be a hero?

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Synopsis

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations – are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to escape on the evacuating fleet.

But their troubles are just beginning. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Thoughts

This is one of the most unique, intense and fun books I’ve read in a long time. Actually, it’s the only book like this that I’ve ever read. Rather than being a traditional prose, it is full of snippets and dossiers, information that you have to put together yourself as the story unfolds in front of you. When I first opened the pages of this, I wasn’t really sure that I’d like this style of writing. After all, it is completely different to what I normally read. But I found that I actually loved it. The difference in flavour and taste of the story was a great departure from what I usually read.

Most stories I read with a little romance start with a couple meeting each other. Illuminae on the other hand starts with the main couple breaking up with each other. Arguing and yelling at one another as they air their differences. It was kind of fun to have a different start to what is considered a bit of a romance. The fact that Ezra and Kady are obviously going to realise that they still care about each other. That they are actually meant to be together. The arguing and questioning each other is exactly what a healthy relationship means to me… so it was nice to see a couple that constantly pushed at each other and challenged their preconceptions.

I’m not a huge conspiracy buff. Not someone who tends to get drawn into some of these discussions like many of my friends do. But this story, the way it was written and the structure of the tale made me completely believe that some of them may even be plausible. After all, this is a tale about a rival company literally destroying an entire world and killing everyone they possibly can just to wipe out the competition. It was written in a completely plausible manner, one that made me feel a little uncomfortable and concerned about what their modern day counterparts would do.

Illuminae is an amazing adventure. It makes you feel emotional, drives home the fact that life is fleeting and is also full of fun and sass. Kady is driven, intelligent and completely loyal. She’s the kind of heroine I love, and she has enough gumption and independence to leave me laughing out loud. Multiple times. Ah. The innocence of youth.

 <- Obsidio ReviewGemina Review ->
Image source: Amazon