Review: The Radical Element by Jessica Spotswood.

Title – The Radical Element
Series – A Tyranny of Petticoats #2
Author – Jessica Spotswood
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 320 pages
Publication Date – March 13th 2018 by Candlewick Press
ISBN – 9780763694258
My Rating – ★★★★/5

“Twelve of the most talented writers working in YA literature today have created a century and a half of heroines on the margins and in the intersections, young women of all colours and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs. They are ignoring their mother’s well-meant advice and forging their own paths – whether secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston.”

I received a copy of The Radical Element from Walker Books Australia to review. This is the second book in a series I guess. I haven’t read the first book, A Tyranny of Petticoats but I don’t really think you need to as they’re both anthologies so it’s not like the stories continue from the first book to the second. I will read the first book eventually though.

I know I’ve said this before. Probably more than once actually. But I have had problems with anthologies before. I either don’t like any of the stories or only a handful at most. I did enjoy every story in this book though. Which hardly ever happens. IMG_20180404_105943_177

A friend of mine recommended the first book a few years ago and I did buy a copy but I still haven’t read it. I will hopefully pick it up soon. I really want to read it after how much I enjoyed this.

The Radical Element was full of strong and amazing young women and diversity too. I always love reading about different cultures and countries. I don’t think I’ve read a lot of books set during these times so I did find this really interesting.

A lot of the stories were based on the years they were set in but there were two, that I can remember off the top of my head, that had magic in them. I think they’re called magical realism? I’m not really sure. I can’t remember having ever read a magical realism story before but I think I have two sitting on my shelves.

Anyway, I do wish some of the stories were longer and I wanted to know what happened to the characters after their stories were over. But that’s always the problem with short stories if you like them. I’d definitely recommend this to people who love reading about strong, independent women who dare to follow their dreams and hearts!

*Thank you Walker Books Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.


November Book Haul.


I got way more books than I expected in November. There’s no way I’ll get this much in December. We have to move (but haven’t found a place to go yet) so I have to pack up all my books. Sigh. 1

Anyway, I’m just going to get into my book haul.

The first two books I got in November were sent to me from the people who have published The Estate, the sequel to The Industry. I think this series is now self published but I’m not sure. They contacted me a few months ago asking if I’d be interested in reviewing the first two books in the series.

I have The Industry on my TBR for December but with all the crap going on right now I don’t know how many books I’ll actually get to read.

I received the next three books from Walker Books Australia. I think a lot of people have 2heard of My Lady Jane by now. It was in one of the monthly book boxes a few months ago. This edition has a ridiculous cover though..

Barefoot on the Wind is a Beauty and the Beast retelling set in fairy-tale Japan. I love Beauty and the Beast so I cannot wait to read this.

The last book, Here I Stand, is a book of short stories, poems and even a comic of the freedoms we have today and those we still fight for. It’s endorsed by Amnesty International. I haven’t read a lot of books like this so I wanted to see what it was like.

None of these made it to my TBR but hopefully I can get to them all soon. 3

HarperCollins New Zealand sent me a copy of Dear Charlie to review. I’m pretty sure this book is also endorsed by Amnesty International too.

This follows a boy as he struggled to understand what his brother, Charlie, did. One day Charlie went to school and killed other kids and then himself. At least that’s what I think it’s about. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a look at the book.

I was hoping to squeeze this onto my December TBR but I just don’t know how much reading I’ll get done. Hopefully I’ll be able to find it after we move. I plan on separating my TBR from my other books.

I received a copy of Rise of the Erifs from the author to review. I’d seen her book on her 4Instagram a lot and then received an email one day.

I love reading books from authors and helping to get their book out there a little more. I don’t have a lot of followers but I hope I can help.

Rise of the Erifs is on my December TBR and I hope to read this soon. The day it came my mother read the synopsis and said she’s read it too. But she reads less than I do so I have no idea when she’ll pick it up.

If you’ve read my book haul posts before you’ll know I really suck at remembering what books I received the month before are about. This one sounded good when I read the synopsis but I cannot remember what it’s about. 5

The next three books were sent to me from Walker Books Australia.

I have Someone I Wanted to Be on my December TBR. It sounds pretty good. I don’t know where the story is going to go but I’m looking forward to reading it.

It Looks Like This and Phantom Limbs also sound really good. Phantom Limbs is about overcoming loss and moving on (I think) and It Looks Like This is about two boys and the struggle they go through with other people in their lives, making judgments.

All three books sound good and I am looking forward to reading them.

Hachette New Zealand sent me a copy of The Chemist to review. I’ve read The Twilight 6Saga and The Host so when I heard Stephenie was writing another book I knew I had to read it.

I’m pretty sure I read that The Chemist was inspired by Jason Bourne. I don’t know if it was the books or movies. I’ve only seen the movies but I love them.

That’s about all I know about The Chemist, other than that the main character is a woman and it’s kind of like Jason Bourne.

This is also on my December TBR. Hopefully I’ll be able to fit it in. It’s kind of a big book so I’m hoping it’s a fast read. 7

HarperCollins New Zealand were kind enough to send me a copy of the 20th Anniversary Edition of A Game of Thrones to review. This is also an illustrated edition.

I have read A Game of Thrones twice so when I do my review I probably won’t be talking about the story because I already know what’s going to happen. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still love to read it.

I’m actually reading this at the moment. I think I’ve read like 50 pages so far but I still love this series and the illustrations I’ve seen so far are amazing. This edition has over 800 pages so I’m aiming to read 100 pages a day.

Simon and Schuster Australia sent me a copy of Ink and Bone to review. I have no idea 8when I’ll get to this. I can’t even remember what it’s about.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book by Lisa Unger before so I am looking forward to reading this. I think it’s a crime type book but don’t hold me to that. I could be way off.

I love this cover though. The trees are creepy looking so maybe it’s a psychological thriller. I don’t know. Guess I’ll find out when I pick it up.

It’s not on my December TBR. I’ll be sharing that and my November wrap up tomorrow. It’s a little bit too much at the moment and I doubt I’ll read them all.9

I wasn’t expecting this but Allen and Unwin New Zealand sent me a copy of The Song from Somewhere Else to review. I have no idea if I requested this or not.

This is such a beautiful book. I haven’t read it yet but I flipped through it and there are some illustrations in it. And under the dust jacket there are leaves. I couldn’t get a good photo of them though.

I’m not sure if I put this on my TBR for December or not. It’s obviously not a very long book so it shouldn’t take me long to read whenever I get to it.

Allen and Unwin New Zealand also sent me the next two books but I was expecting these. I 10love Jodi Picoult’s books and cannot wait to read this one. I have most of her books. I don’t really like the ones she wrote with her daughter, they’re too cheesy for me. They are the only ones I don’t have. And I’ve read all of them except Leaving Time. I got a copy as soon as it came out but I never read it.

Small Great Things is on my TBR for this month. I usually love Jodi’s books so I’m pretty sure I’ll like this one too. Jodi usually write about controversial topics and this one is no different. I think this one follows a white family or just the father (I’m not sure) not wanting a black nurse to touch their child. But the baby is in trouble and (I think) dies. She’s the only nurse available so they blame her. I think that’s what the synopsis said. 11

The other book Allen and Unwin New Zealand sent me was The Graces. I’ve heard mixed reviews of this but I still wanted to give it a try. It sounds really good. I love this cover but the US edition is gorgeous!

I was hoping to read this in December but I don’t think I can. Who know? I might be able to fit it in. But I doubt it.

I think this is about witches but don’t hold me to that. I’m sure it says something about witches in the synopsis though.

The next two books were sent to me from Hachette New Zealand. These aren’t out till 12January here so I won’t be reading them any time soon.

I’d seen Frostblood on Twitter a lot earlier this year and thought it sounded good. This is an ARC and I love it. There’s also a fire one but I love winter and this cover is gorgeous.

Like I said, this is out January in New Zealand so I’m going to be reading it closer to the release date. If I like it I plan on getting a finished copy too because that cover is just as good as this one.

The other book Hachette New Zealand sent me is The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman. I think 13Hattie is killed at the start of the book, or even before the book starts, and then it’s about
finding her killer. I’m pretty sure she’s killed…

This is also an ARC. I don’t know if this is the final cover but it’s so pretty. I love the colours.

This books also isn’t out until January in New Zealand so I’ll be reading this closer to the release date too. Or hopefully before.

I’m so behind on my review books it’s not even funny. My reading slowed down a lot in the last six months and I have no idea why. But I am going to try to catch up over the next couple of months. It’s almost Christmas holidays and that means more reading time! Well, in between packing a house…

I saw A Tyranny of Petticoats on Book Depository for $9 and I just couldn’t resist. I’ve 14heard really good things about this and have wanted to read it for a while. Plus, a hardback for that price is amazing. They’re normally $25+ in NZD.

This is full of short stories about some badass young women by various authors. I think Marie Lu is one of them..

Anyway, because this is a book I actually bought myself I probably won’t read this any time soon. I have a problem with buying books and never reading them.

Penguin Random House New Zealand sent me a copy of The Fate of the Tearling to review. 15I loved The Queen of the Tearling. I haven’t read the second book yet but plan on reading the last two books together now that I have both.

I first heard of The Queen of the Tearling from my local librarian. She’d read it because she heard Emma Watson was going to be in the movie. No idea what’s happening with that though.

Anyway she recommended it to me and I loved it. I found a copy at a Red Cross book sale for $3 two years ago and have read it twice now. I can’t wait to continue with this series and find out what Kelsea does next.

Walker Books Australia sent me a copy of Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. I’ve 16read The Mortal Instruments series and even though Simon was my least favourite
character I am looking forward to reading this.

This is a bind up of short stories while Simon is learning to be a Shadowhunter. That’s basically all I know about this book. I am expecting to see familiar characters in it.

I haven’t read Lady Midnight yet. I don’t even know if I’m going to so hopefully those characters don’t make an appearance because I have no idea what’s going on in that series other than a complicated relationship between Emma and Julian (I think that’s his name) that I could see coming in City of Heavenly Fire.

The next two books were sent to me from Hachette New Zealand. This one, Runemarks, is 17about Norse mythology. I’ve been getting into the Norse myths a lot lately so when I saw this I knew I wanted to read it.

I also have The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris. I bought it in a clearance sale last year because Loki but I’ve never read it. I’m hoping it’s not linked to this but I’m not sure.

Anyway, I can’t wait to pick this up. I think it follows a girl as she finds out about the Norse gods but I’m not sure.

This cover is gorgeous and so is The Gospel of Loki. Hopefully I can read it sometime soon. 18

I am so excited to read the screenplay of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I’ve been told I should see the movie first so I will. I have tickets to see it so hopefully I can go this weekend and then I can re-live it when I read this.

I saw the behind the scenes special of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on the weekend and the movie looks amazing. Especially because this will all be new because there’s no books to compare it to. I mean, obviously the magic isn’t new but the characters, story and magical creatures will be. I cannot wait to see the Niffler! It’s adorable.

Simon and Schuster Australia sent me a copy of The Women in the Walls to review. It 19sounds like a ghost story with a character in the book saying she hears whispers in the walls..

I bought Daughters Unto Devils on a couple of weekends ago because I saw the reviews on the back of The Women in the Walls and it sounds good. Plus, it was only $5. I probably won’t be reading either of them this month but they aren’t very big books so they won’t take long to read whenever I get to them.

I can’t remember what Daughters Unto Devils is about. Something about killing people but again, I just can’t remember. I thought it sounded good when I bought it. 21

The last book I received in November was from Penguin Random House New Zealand. It was so pretty when it arrived, wrapped in the map from the book and it also came with a letter from the author.

This is by a New Zealand author. I’ve never read anything by him before but this sounds really good. I think this is a fantasy but it’s a standalone and isn’t very long. The Severed Land doesn’t come out here till January so I’ll also be reading this closer to the release day. I also love this cover!

So that’s my November book haul. I definitely won’t be getting that much in December. This in my biggest book haul in a while.

If you’ve read all of this then thank you for putting up with my rambling.

How many books did you get in November?

– Aimee.

Top Ten Tuesday (August 2nd): Ten Books You’d Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed You A Fully Loaded Gift Card.


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. You can check out the themes (if that’s what they’re called…) here. This week’s theme is going to be really easy. I’ll just go to my Book Depository wishlist and done. These aren’t going to be in order though because I cannot be bothered with that.

1. The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan.

2. Heartless by Marissa Meyer.

3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Illustrated Edition) by J.K. Rowling & Jim Kay.

4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll & Anna Bond.

5. Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton.

6. Frost like Night by Sara Raasch.

7. Replica by Lauren Oliver.

8. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare.

9. The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh.

10. A Tyranny of Petticoats by Jessica Spotswood. 

What are some of the books you’d buy if you had a fully loaded gift card?