Book Spotlight: JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta

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I usually keep a photo record of my 2015 reads on my Instagram account. Follow me if you’re interested to see what I’m currently reading (and what my past reads are). IG: @precylarkins

Taking a break from revising to do a few book spotlights because I love getting to recommend books to people. And this particular book is one of my all-time favorites!

About the Book: YA Contemporary

I’m dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.

Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs—the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor’s only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother—who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

The moving, joyous and brilliantly compelling new novel from the best-selling, multi-award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca. (blurb from Goodreads)

About the Author:

Melina Marchetta was born in Sydney Australia. Her first novel, Looking For Alibrandi was awarded the Children’s Book Council of Australia award in 1993 and her second novel, Saving Francesca won the same award in 2004. Looking For Alibrandi was made into a major film in 2000 and won the Australian Film Institute Award for best Film and best adapted screen play, also written by the author. On the Jellicoe Road was released in 2006 and won the WAYRBA voted by teenagers in Western Australia in 2008. It also won the US Printz Medal in 2009 for excellence in YA literature. This was followed up by Finnikin of the Rock in 2008 which won the Aurealis Award for YA fantasy, The Piper’s Son in 2010 which was shortlisted for the Qld Premier’s Lit Award, NSW Premier’s Lit Award, Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, CBC awards and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Her follow up to Finnikin, Froi of the Exiles will be released in Australia in October and the US in March 2012.

 

This book was AMAZING! So beautiful and heartfelt, so touching and poignant. I cried, I smiled, I cried some more while reading this. I envy those who haven’t read this yet because there is something magical about that first read, that first experience with JELLICOE ROAD. To be honest, at the beginning, I wasn’t immediately into it, just because I was reading 3 other books at around the same time. But then I got into it. Really got into it, and I couldn’t tear myself away from the pages–from the characters and their hopes desires dreams, from the past that even years later would encroach and entwine upon the present, from the relationships and friendships that are so flawed but oh so real and sometimes, heartbreaking.

Please, please, please add this to your TBR, or better yet, go pick it up now and read. You won’t regret it.

Cover Reveal: TALES FROM THE BULLY BOX Anthology

Hello, hello! I’m back from vacation, and just in time too! Today’s an exciting day. Today I get to reveal to you the fabulous cover of a Middle Grade anthology coming soon from Elephant’s Bookshelf Press, entitled TALES FROM THE BULLY BOX. As you can guess, this is a collection of short stories that explore the theme of bullying or anti-bullying. And lookee! I’m one of the contributors. 

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Check out our website (in-progress) and join us! Be BRAVE at http://thebullybox.com/

I hope that you will support the Bully Box Brigade and help us make a stand against bullying. Release date for the anthology has not been announced, but I will be sure to give you an update as soon as I find out. In  the meantime, please feel free to share the cover and website address, follow us, and be part of our BRAVE community. Stopping bullying is a community effort, and we would love to have your support. 

2K Twitter Follower Giveaway!!

I’ve reached 2,000 followers on Twitter, and as promised, I’m doing a giveaway to celebrate this milestone. What’s up for grabs?

(Click on title for book description. It’ll take you to the Goodreads site.)

HOUSE OF IVY AND SORROW by Natalie Whipple

HIGH AND DRY by Sarah Skilton

THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith

NOBODY by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

photo 1 (10)  photo 1 (12) photo 2 (10) photo 2 (11)

 And also swag!!

Signed postcards of WILL THE REAL PRINCE CHARMING PLEASE STAND UP? by Ella Martin

Bookmarks of NOT A DROP TO DRINK & IN A HANDFUL OF DUST by Mindy McGinnis

Signed bookmarks of Sarah Fine’s OF METAL AND WISHES

R.C. Lewis’ STITCHING SNOW bookmark

photo 1 (11) photo 2 (9) photo 3 (4) photo 3 (5)

Book prizes come with WILL THE REAL PRINCE CHARMING PLEASE STAND UP? postcards, and are US only (because shipping is costly, and I’m not JK Rowling with money to spare)

However, swag prizes are INTERNATIONAL!

There will be multiple winners! (because I want you guys to win something)

US only Giveaway (Books + postcards):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US & International Giveaway (Swag):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Goodluck!!

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Winter’s Regret, An Anthology published by Elephant’s Bookshelf Press

So this one is dear to my heart because…I have a short story included in this anthology!

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Blurb:

To be human is to have regrets, to question decisions, even to doubt our own abilities and capacities. Whether it’s because of a path not taken or a decision made for selfish or – perhaps worse – unselfish reasons, we all have had moments and decisions we regret. We might regret not recognizing an opportunity. In the end, the choices we make help shape our future.

The final anthology in Elephant’s Bookshelf Press’s “Seasons Series,” Winter’s Regret includes stories from P.S. Carrillo, Liz Coley, Sakura Q. Eries, Morgan George, Michelle Hauck, Kelly Heinen, Amanda Hill, Precy Larkins, Robert Wayne McCoy, Mindy McGinnis, A.T. O’Connor, Jeff O’Handley, Paul Parisi, Matt Sinclair, A.M. Supinger, Charlee Vale, and Cat Woods.

To learn more about Elephant’s Bookshelf Press, visit their website and blog.

My review:

There are 18 stories in this anthology, which means you get 18 chances to explore different voices, worlds, and characters. The common theme is regret, but each story showcases its own interpretation of regret, and it was fun to see how varied our perspectives can be. In Perfection by Mindy McGinnis, for instance, regret rears up its ugly head years later when the mother misses the time she could have spent with her children. In Do Dead Psychics Smoke Cigarettes by Robert McCoy, there’s a sci-fi-ish twist at the end that I wasn’t expecting, and the main character’s regret comes a day too late.

The starter story, Second-Chance Sunday by Liz Coley, explores the main character’s inner demons and the dark irony of second chances in life. When Stars Align by A.T. O’Connor is any young woman’s nightmare. Adrift by Matt Sinclair is about a couple’s marriage and the little things, little decisions, that make a difference in their relationship. One Way Out by M. Arthur Stone was deceptive–I had to read it twice to understand what was going on. It’s not what it seems at first glance, and it will leave your heart pounding.

Anguish by Kelly Heinen is something that parents fear. An Unexpected Reunion by Jeff O’Handley tells of a man carrying the burden of his past on his shoulders. The Rose by Amanda Hill is one teen boy’s bumbling mistake. A Life on Fire by Morgan George is of a man watching his life go up in flames, and the decision that he must make afterward. Navigator by Paul Parisi is of a careless act the main character would soon regret. Through the Fence by Cat Woods is a moment of bravery…or not. One Hundred Nights by Sakura Q. Eries is a story of What-If.

Los Sufridos by P.S. Carrillo opens up the possibility of a place where one can leave their regrets behind. Island of Blood and Horns by A.M. Supinger has unicorns! Though it is not of the fluffy-happy-rainbow-type variety. A Gift of Roses by Charlee Vale explores love and immortality. The Unfinished Task by Michelle Hauck is of a young woman’s sacrifice to save what she loves.

Rimorso is my brain-child. This story took shape while I was looking at pictures of Venice, Italy. I’ve always wanted to travel, and Italy is one of those places that has such an allure you can’t help but be drawn to it. In Rimorso, an unusual young woman wishes for love and finds it in an unusual way. But some wishes born of greed have deadly consequences. I love this story so much, and I truly enjoyed writing it. I hope you will enjoy it, too.

These are well-written stories. Some aim to entertain, while others seek to dig deeper into the human psyche and prompt the readers to ask questions. I’m honored to have my story be included in this anthology.

****

Winter’s Regret is available for purchase now:

Amazon Kindle and print format
Smashwords
Createspace

There’s also a Goodreads giveaway happening right now. Click here to enter!