My review: Media Queen, by Michelle Prak

About the book:

Jordyn Fairweather has worked hard to reach the top of the magazine world, but now she’s in trouble.

Younger media stars are scrambling to steal her crown, and companies are collapsing around her in the face of a new threat – the internet.

She’s come a long way from small town Beddo, where she obsessed over teen glossies until pushing her way into an internship with Sixteen magazine. But if Jordyn’s empire is going to survive, she needs to move fast and keep reinventing herself.

Spanning the late 90s and 2000s, Media Queen is a compulsive read with an outrageous main character. It comes with the essential ingredient that Jordyn demands of all her stories: juice!

Book No 2 in the #HollyAnna series – following Goodbye Newsroom – Media Queen can also be enjoyed as a standalone novel.

My review:

Forget Devil wears Prada. Meet Devil works in Media! – Media Queen

This fast-paced and twisty novel gives a fascinating insider’s look into the world of Australian media and how it progressed from print to online. The uniqueness of this book is that the main character isn’t perfect and traditional ‘good girl’ like it always happens to be in the novels and which is, to be honest, extremely annoying. It’s refreshing to see a protagonist like that. She has lots of negative traits but at the same time possesses admiring qualities like high motivation, desire to win, hawk eye for new trends, good business gut feeling. She is pure professional inspiration for many working in media or near it. Jordyn has a drive that stimulates competition and progress. People like her are very inspiring. She does lack some people’s skills but when she knows what she needs from them – she understands people really well.

I really enjoyed Michelle’s book, it was fast paced and had some twists that kept me glued to the pages. Fascinating flight of Jordyn’s career was quite inspirational and her hunger for fresh ideas was contagious. You can hate Jordyn, you can admire her, you can judge her, you can relate to her, you can despise her actions, you can do many other things but one is true 100% – she can’t make you feel indifference.

It is quite light reading, so if you are looking for something like that, it’s definitely recommended.

It’s not just a chick flick book, it’s like the Cosmo in a novel – there is everything – flirt, love, family, friendships, career, big city life, social media and more.

My review: Untamed by Glennon Doyle

About the book:

There is a voice of longing inside every woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good mothers, daughters, partners, employees, citizens, and friends. We believe all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives, relationships, and world, and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this?

Four years ago, Glennon Doyle, author, activist and humanitarian, wife and mother of three—was speaking at a conference when a woman entered the room. Glennon looked at her and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is. At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high. Soon she realized that they came to her from within.

Glennon was finally hearing her own voice—the voice that had been silenced by decades of cultural conditioning, numbing addictions, and institutional allegiances. She vowed to never again abandon herself. She decided to build a life of her own—one based on her individual desire, intuition, and imagination. She would reclaim her true, untamed self.

My review:

This book became some sort of revelation to me that some of the things I feel and think have their explanation and supported by Glennon and many others. As I am trying to learn how to be a good mother but most importantly to learn how to make my daughter happy in this world, I found some answers in the Untamed.

Coming from a very ‘traditional’, sexist society I now realise what always didn’t quite work for me all those years while I was growing up. ‘Taming’ girls and boys is so strong in our world culture and goes back in the past so far that now we face generations of unhappy people or people that are not quite sure what is wrong and what stops them from being themselves, from being human and not just culturally programmed citizens.

Some parts didn’t quite relate to me but it is alright as it is Glennon’s experience and life. I got many good ideas and thoughts out of this book that help me to sharpen my intention to stop contributing into our children’s unhappiness. My daughter is so untamed, bold, confident and knows what she wants. And she is not even two years old. I want her to keep these qualities as she is growing up.

Some parts of the book became quotes that I want to print out and frame as everyday reminders. Reminders to myself to stay myself, to listen to myself more and be confident in who I am.

I would recommend this book to everyone who keeps wondering and discovering things in life and how to approach and live your life.

My review: What lies between us, by John Marrs

About the book:

Nina can never forgive Maggie for what she did. And she can never let her leave.

They say every house has its secrets, and the house that Maggie and Nina have shared for so long is no different. Except that these secrets are not buried in the past.

Every other night, Maggie and Nina have dinner together. When they are finished, Nina helps Maggie back to her room in the attic, and into the heavy chain that keeps her there. Because Maggie has done things to Nina that can’t ever be forgiven, and now she is paying the price.

But there are many things about the past that Nina doesn’t know, and Maggie is going to keep it that way–even if it kills her.

Because in this house, the truth is more dangerous than lies.

My review:

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

Once again John delivered an absolutely chilling and full of suspense novel about crazy, crazy, crazy people and their relationship. I try not to give away any spoilers.

This book kept me attached to my Kindle during all train rides to work, made me think about its characters and made me stay up at night, just to finish the last chapters to find out the truth.

From the start of the book I felt sympathy towards one of the characters, felt so sorry for her and completely understood her behaviour and what was happening with her. But…(of course there should be but)….John demonstrated that not everything is as it seems. Nobody’s perfect and often people’s destructive actions directed by good intentions.

I liked absolutely everything about this book. The pace, the language, all the twists, characters that were realistic and natural. It was John Marrs at his best.

One of the best topics of the novel for me was parent – child relationship, and in particular, between mother and daughter. The questions like how to protect your little girl from all the dangers of the world, how to teach her what is right and what is wrong, how to make her listen and how to try not to strangle her with your motherly love, limiting her freedom. It was absolutely horrifying to read about things that were happening in the book, but at the same time made me think about the reality of raising a teenager which I will experience in 10-13 years.

I would recommend this novel to all readers of thrillers and suspense, twist lovers and John’s fans.

My review: The Passengers, by John Marrs


About the book:

Eight self-drive cars set on a collision course. Who lives, who dies? You decide.

When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course.

The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife – and parents of two – who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?

My review:

Another hit from one of my favourite authors. John Marrs never disappoints. I literally couldn’t put this book down. It just took me hostage and held me tight to the end. The number of twists and turns was purely mind-blowing. John Marrs takes us on an entertaining, chilling, fast-track and driver-less ride where technology betrays humans.

The plot and idea are super fresh and relevant. Driverless cars are not a new concept but the potential consequences of this were never explored in such way. After I finished the book, I came across driverless bus that was going through trial in one of the areas of the city. To be honest, I felt unease and it reminded me John’s book. I am sure it will take years or possibly decades for this to happen on a road and in suburbia, but the potential risks should be taken into account.

This book isn’t just about risks of new technologies; it’s about opportunities and potential actions that need to be considered to avoid any malice.

The characters are so different which makes the book a very exciting read. You start asking yourself a question from the book, “Who lives, who dies?”.

Without any spoilers, this book is fantastic and can’t recommend it enough. Loved it!