The Astrologer’s Daughter wrap

Hey Rosie,

In a radicyodaal break with tradition I’m blogging before you. Yes, I’m cutting you slack because you’re still not well ☹

I don’t know if you’ve finished The Astrologer’s Daughter but I figure it’s about time for a wrap (so apologies for spoilers).

This was yet another thriller-type story (how did we manage so many in our ‘random’ selection?) But what I really enjoyed was the local setting – lots of running around Chinatown, a creepy scene in the Chinese Museum and other Melbourne landmarks. Love reading stuff in familiar terrain. Chinese

I also liked the kooky astrology stuff and thought this gave the story an edge.

I must admit (this could just be me) but I found the plot a little tricky to follow. Basically, at the beginning of the novel, Avicenna’s Mum (the astrologer) has gone missing and even though Avicenna is 18 – it’s a shock to the system to suddenly be living solo and fending for herself. On top of this there is, of course, the grief aspect. There’s also a geeky, off-hand kind of guy from school who she has a love-hate thing happening with. So far so good.

But then Mum’s clients started coming out of the woodwork wanting their horary readings finished. This reading, according to astrology, gives you a rough outline of how the person’s life will go and (the kicker) how and when they’ll die. Against her better judgement, Avicenna does some of the readings and winds up being chased by shady dudes who may or may not have something to do with her Mum’s disappearance.

I was a little disappointed with the end of this book. Even though, Avicenna is growing up and has begun a relationship with aforementioned geek hottie – we never really find out what happened to her Mum. A bloodied shirt is found at the scene where she is last sighted (which I admit is not a very good sign) and that’s it.

So, just did what I usually do when I’m confused about a book or second-guessing my views and had a look at GoodReads. There’s actually a review from Rebecca Lim talking about her rationale for writing the book. It’s kind of a tribute to victims inspired by the horrible crimes against women that go unsolved and the families left behind. Hmm.

Anyway, onwards and upwards. Hope you start feeling better soon, Rose.


Love Mum xo



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An Asian Trixie Belden?

Hi Rose,

Just in from our great Easter egg hunt – where you and your sister stuffed alTBl the eggs into the daggy Easter bonnet and then – poof! – they disappeared. Sob! Anyway…

You may recall that we went to a session at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival last year where Rebecca Lim and Leanne Hall talked about diversity in YA. It was a great talk but I was fan-girling like crazy when Rebecca revealed her childhood passion for Trixie Belden.

As you know, I still own almost all of the 36 TB books and they grace our lounge room bookshelf. Rebecca did this cool thing where she rewrote the start of a Trixie novel (for those who don’t know Trixie was a gutsy teenage detective) making Trixie Asian. It was quite hilarious because in the books Trixie basically roams around having all these adventures and her parents are like – no worries, Trixie, just make sure you’ve done your chores. Rebecca’s Trixie had her Dad quizzing her on where she was going, who she was going with, when she’d be home, etc, etc – kind of your basic helicopter parent only Asian (possibly even more hands-on).


Rebecca Lim


Leanne Hall

So we bought Rebecca’s book The Astrologer’s Daughter and it’s many of the things I love – mystery, a little romance, fast-paced action. As you know, I’ve broken our blogging rules and I’ve drum roll – read ahead – in fact, I’ve finished it and in a double rule breaking phenomenon (hell, I’m a rebel!) I’ve started reading Cath Crowley’s Words in Deep Blue which is our June book – oh dear, can you forgive me? I needed some literary comfort food and I was pretty sure Cath’s book would fit the bill nicely and it soooo is!

But no spoilers honey! I’ll let you know what I thought about The Astrologer’s Daughter in a bit.


Mum x

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possum pee, a nanowrimo strategy

Before we get into my hopes, expectations and predictions for The Astrologers Daughter, I would like to share with you an excerpt from my latest writing project, my Camp NaNoWriMo ‘novel’. (Camp NaNo is basically NaNo, but not in November.)



‘About four forty, why?’

‘Cameron Lewis there’d better be a dang good reason for this phone call.’

‘A possum peed on my face.’


‘It found my bush, and was like that looks like a nice sleeping human, better pee on their face and then he let loose and I was like HOLY POTATOES WHAT IS HAPPENING. And then I found the only public toilet in the whole of the southern hemisphere that’s unlocked at four in the morning and cleaned myself up.’



‘The only reason you should ever call me at four forty in the morning, is to tell me about a possum peeing on your face.’


‘Brush tail or ring tail?’


‘The possum.’

‘Ring tail.’

‘So what are you doing now?’

‘Standing sockless in a disgusting public toilet,’ I said, glancing at the dimly lit walls covered graffiti and other, less appealing substances that I didn’t really want to think about.

‘Did Mr Ring Tail Possum steal your socks as well?’

‘It’s a long story.’

‘Are you gonna be at school tomorrow?’

‘Tomorrow’s Saturday.’

‘Sorry, I’m not used to being woken up at ungodly hours of the morning to be told hilarious anecdotes about bladderful rodents, it’s slightly disorientating. Are you gonna be at school today?’

‘No. I have to get revenge on the possum.’

‘Well, suit yourself. I’m going back to bed,’ yawned Taha.

‘Alright. Coincidently, I’m going back to bush, so I guess I’ll see you later.’

‘Later Cameron, lord of possum urine,’ and he hung up.

I wasn’t going back to bush. I don’t think I was ever going back to bush – I was understandably slightly emotionally scarred.

And that, ladies, gentlemen, and beyond, is what happens when I get stuck on whatever I’m writing during a NaNoWriMo event (because I’m now an expert at NaNoWriMo events, have completed one, and gotten five days into another). When faced with writer’s block I do several things;

  • Think about where the story is going, and how the scene is getting it there. This can give you some direction – if it doesn’t;
  • Make something weird or unexpected happen. I highly recommend having native Australian animals perform bodily functions on one of your main characters.
  • Stick with what you like writing – if you like writing fight scenes, have your MC provoke a space alien overlord. If you like writing descriptions, have your MC get on a plane and crash land on an excessively describable deserted island. If you like writing dialogue, have your MC call their friend in the middle of the night to tell them about an unfortunate event involving a possum that occurred a few minutes previously.

(Note: as a teenager who is doing NaNoWriMo for fun, I am completely unqualified to give writing advice. Don’t take what I say with a grain of salt – take what I say the with entire salt content of the pacific ocean.)

Okay let’s talk about books.

The Astrologer’s Daughter (I know I inconsistently italicise book titles – sorry. If you think I should italicise book titles, comment PANCAKES. If you think I shouldn’t italicise book titles, comment WAFFLES.) seems like the genre of book I read a lot of in grades 3-5, and don’t read so much anymore. Like fantasy/mystery?

It also seems like the sort of book that would be set in like Victorian England, but that seems likely to be an inaccurate prediction. I’m not really sure. Maybe there’s a reason people say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and I should just start it…

Okay, I’m gonna go either read or write. DFTBA.

❤ Rose


To avoid sprained ankles when engaging in spontaneous dance parties, keep an eye out for malicious carpet. It looks suspiciously like regular carpet, so be careful.tumblr_inline_mvfuym2A5D1qd9yoe


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