Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Book Review - Honeybee By Craig Silvey

 Honeybee

By Craig Silvey



My Review:

This story captured my interest from the beginning. A fourteen year old boy standing on the wrong side of the bridge ready to jump. An elderly man smoking a cigarette at the other end of the bridge with the same intentions. What could make a young man at the beginning of his life want to make such a decision? What lead an old man, already near the end of his life, make the same choice? Was it fate or coincidence that brought them together this night?

The story unfolds from Sam's point of view. A transgender teenager battling to find his place in the world. With no family support or friends, his world spirals out of control. Then one fateful night Sam meets Vic. An elderly man also battling to find his place in the world after the death of his wife. Two lost souls that without choosing to, begin to give purpose to each others lives. 

Silvey writes with a style that allows the story to play out in a way that is real, heartbreaking and uplifting all at once. A special mention to Aggie because I loved her character and the acceptance she offers to Sam. This is a raw novel, uncomfortable at times, that demands the reader reflect on their own place in the world and what that looks like. After all, everyone just wants acceptance.

Highly recommend this if you like a gritty, coming of age, story.



From the publisher ALLEN & UNWIN

Late in the night, fourteen-year-old Sam Watson steps onto a quiet overpass, climbs over the rail and looks down at the road far below.
At the other end of the same bridge, an old man, Vic, smokes his last cigarette.

The two see each other across the void. A fateful connection is made, and an unlikely friendship blooms. Slowly, we learn what led Sam and Vic to the bridge that night. Bonded by their suffering, each privately commits to the impossible task of saving the other.

Honeybee is a heartbreaking, life-affirming novel that throws us headlong into a world of petty thefts, extortion plots, botched bank robberies, daring dog rescues and one spectacular drag show.

At the heart of Honeybee is Sam: a solitary, resilient young person battling to navigate the world as their true self; ensnared by loyalty to a troubled mother, scarred by the volatility of a domineering stepfather, and confounded by the kindness of new alliances.





You can check out my other reviews at GOODREADS

HoneybeeHoneybee by Craig Silvey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story captured my interest from the beginning. A fourteen year old boy standing on the wrong side of the bridge ready to jump. An elderly man smoking a cigarette at the other end of the bridge with the same intentions. What could make a young man at the beginning of his life want to make such a decision? What lead an old man, already near the end of his life, make the same choice? Was it fate or coincidence that brought them together this night?

The story unfolds from Sam's point of view. A transgender teenager battling to find his place in the world. With no family support or friends, his world spirals out of control. Then one fateful night Sam meets Vic. An elderly man also battling to find his place in the world after the death of his wife. Two lost souls that without choosing to, begin to give purpose to each others lives.

Silvey writes with an style that allows the story to play out in a way that is real, heartbreaking and uplifting all at once. A special mention to Aggie because I loved her character and the acceptance she offers to Sam. This is a raw novel, uncomfortable at times, that demands the reader reflect on their own place in the world and what that looks like. After all, everyone just wants acceptance.

Highly recommend this if you like a gritty, coming of age, story.

View all my reviews

Friday, 15 January 2021

Summer Day Adventures

 The Magnificent Great Otway National Park


I recently spent a few days exploring this incredible part of Victoria. It was not my first time, but I am always amazed at the beauty found there. There is so much to see and do there I still didn't do everything I wanted to. I guess that gives me a good excuse to return again one day soon.

I hope you have managed to find some time to disconnect from the world, recharge and enjoy the moments that matter. 

I wonder where my next adventure will be?


The Old Beechy Rail Trail

 


 






Sunday, 10 January 2021

Messages of Support

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

As the new year of 2021 begins I look forward to taking each day as it comes and enjoying the moments that matter. 


It is such a thrill to get these messages from people reading The Ruby Locket, thank you! 


New stock arriving soon. Order directly through 


Or email me to order a signed copy. 
melissawray@hotmail.com.au




Tuesday, 29 December 2020

2020 - What a year!

"Things turn out the best for those who make the best of the way things turn out."

 
There have been many challenges during 2020 and in my small pocket of the world, going through two lock downs was one of them. Beginning a new year job seven weeks before the first lock down was another. Then launching a young adult novel all while wearing masks and social distancing was yet another! I can't express enough the love and gratitude I have for all the support given to me during this time. 

So, as we wrap up a year that we will never forget ... I want to say thank you to everybody who has taken the time to be interested in The Ruby Locket. It means so much. Xo











Monday, 21 December 2020

Book Review - The Erasure Initiative By Lili Wilkinson

The Erasure Initiative
By Lili Wilkinson



My Review:

This was my first Lili Wilkinson novel and it definitely won’t be the last. The storyline had me intrigued from the beginning. A group of strangers wake up on a bus with nobody driving and no memory of who they are. Instant curiosity! Where will this story go? Who are these people? Why are they on the bus with no memory? The reader learns about each character at the same time the characters do. This almost puts the reader on the bus which I love.

The story unfolds from Cecily's point of view. A smart, cautious and calculating character who helps the rest of the bus passengers put the pieces together. But Cecily is hiding secrets that even she doesn't know she has.

Wilkinson carefully drip feeds clues and information to the reader to help them attempt to piece the puzzle together. The stakes are raised at just the right moments and the problems became so much more than just missing memories. This is a suspenseful novel with strong, captivating characters that you want to learn more about.

Highly recommend this if you like suspense, deception and mystery.



From the publisher ALLEN & UNWIN

A girl wakes up on a self-driving bus. She has no memory of how she got there or who she is. Her name tag reads CECILY. The six other people on the bus are just like her: no memories, only name tags. There's a screen on each seat back that gives them instructions. A series of tests begin, with simulations projected onto the front window of the bus. The passengers must each choose an outcome; majority wins. But as the testing progresses, deadly secrets are revealed, and the stakes get higher and higher. Soon Cecily is no longer just fighting for her freedom - she's fighting for her life.




You can check out my other reviews at GOODREADS




The Erasure InitiativeThe Erasure Initiative by Lili Wilkinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my first Lili Wilkinson novel and it definitely won’t be the last. The story-line had me intrigued from the beginning. A group of strangers wake up on a bus with nobody driving and no memory of who they are. The reader learns about each character at the same time the characters do.

The story unfolds from Cecily's point of view. A smart, cautious and calculating character who helps the rest of the bus passengers put the pieces together. But Cecily is hiding secrets that even she doesn't know she has.

Wilkinson carefully drip feeds clues and information to the reader to help them attempt to piece the puzzle together. The stakes are raised at just the right moments and the problems became so much more than just missing memories. This is a suspenseful novel with strong, captivating characters that you want to learn more about.

Highly recommend this if you like suspense, deception and mystery.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Book Review - Beyond Belief By Dee White

 Beyond Belief

By Dee White


My Review:

I was so looking forward to reading this and the anticipation did not disappoint! After listening to the journey that Dee White went on to write this book (Portable Magic podcast by Sue Lawson), I was very interested to see how her research translated through the book. It was exciting when certain scenes played out to know the process White had gone through to create accuracy for the story.

The story is told through the eyes of Reuben, an 11 year-old Jewish boy forced to live within the safety of a mosque in Nazi occupied Paris. Whilst the story encapsulates Reuben's journey to try and remain hidden and safe, we meet many characters who will linger with the reader long after the last page has been read.

The extensive research conducted by White about the history of that time was woven into the the story with ease. It was easy to get swept away in the detailed description that allowed the reader to imagine the scenes and setting as it was read. However, it was not easy to forget that this story was based on a true story. That fact alone made it all the more harrowing to try and grasp that this unimaginable event actually happened. 


Highly recommend this if you love historical fiction and stories of hope.


From SCHOLASTIC



Inspired by the true story of Muslims who saved the lives of Jewish children in the Second World War. 

In 1942, in the Grand Mosque in Paris, 11-year-old Ruben is hiding from the Nazis. Already thousands of Jewish children have disappeared, and Ruben’s parents are desperately trying to find his sister. Ruben must learn how to pass himself off as a Muslim, while he waits for the infamous Fox to help him get to Spain to be reunited with his family. One hint of Ruben's true identity and he'll be killed. So will the people trying to save him. But when the mosque is raided and the Fox doesn't come, Ruben is forced to flee.

Finding himself in the south of France, he discovers that he must adjust to a new reality, and to the startling revelation of the Fox's true identity.




You can check out my other reviews at GOODREADS.


Beyond BeliefBeyond Belief by Dee White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was so looking forward to reading this and the anticipation did not disappoint! After listening to the journey that Dee White went on to write this book (Portable Magic podcast by Sue Lawson), I was very interested to see how her research translated through the book. It was exciting when certain scenes played out to know the process White had gone through to create accuracy for the story.
The story is told through the eyes of Reuben, an 11 year-old Jewish boy forced to live within the safety of a mosque is Nazi occupied Paris. Whilst the story encapsulates Reuben's journey to try and remain hidden and safe, we meet many characters who will linger with the reader long after the last page has been read.
It was easy to get swept away in the detailed description that allowed the reader to imagine the scenes and setting as it was read. However, it was not easy to forget that this story was based on a true story. That fact alone made it all the more harrowing to try and grasp that this unimaginable event actually happened. Highly recommend this for young and old!

View all my reviews

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Online Launch video of The Ruby Locket

 The Ruby Locket

By Melissa Wray

The Official Online Launch!


On November 18 an official online launch party was held for The Ruby Locket. It was nerve wracking, terrifying and exciting all at once! 

During the video, I chat about my writing process, building a dystopian world, and how The Ruby Locket became published.

In case you missed the online launch, here is the video from the evening. 



  



                 The Ruby Locket is available at 
                            Odyssey Books