***The Tales Compendium blog is currently on hiatus. However you can still following along via the Instagram feed!***

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood :: Blog Tour Review and Giveaway

Title: Cloudwish
Author: Fiona Wood

Companion Novels: Six Impossible Things, Wildlife

Release Date: 1st September 2015

My Rating: 4/5


For Vân Uoc Phan, fantasies fall into two categories: nourishing, or pointless. Daydreaming about Billy Gardiner, for example? Pointless. It always left her feeling sick, as though she'd eaten too much sugar.

Vân Uoc doesn't believe in fairies, zombies, vampires, Father Christmas - or magic wishes. She believes in keeping a low profile: real life will start when school finishes. 

But when she attracts the attention of Billy Gardiner, she finds herself in an unwelcome spotlight. 

Not even Jane Eyre can help her now. 

Wishes were not a thing.

They were not.


Wishes were a thing.

Wishes that came true were sometimes a thing.

Wishes that came true because of magic were not a thing!

Were they?

In A Nutshell:
"Yay, new Fiona Wood!"... *calm down, take a deep breath* ... "Omigod, new Fiona Wood!"... *a stampede occurs to secure a copy*

My Review:
Fiona Wood’s latest novel, Cloudwish, picks up where her second book concluded. Now in Year 11 at Crowthorne Grammar, our favourite characters, Lou, Michael and Sibylla, take a step back and play supporting roles to the main character, Van Uoc, who had a minor appearance in Wildlife.

Van Uoc’s story begins when she inadvertently makes a wish when holding a glass vial marked ‘wish’, found in a visiting author’s creative writing ‘inspiration box’. Somehow, the vial mysteriously disappears and Van Uoc thinks nothing of it except for her distress that she can’t return the item to the author.

When Billy Gardiner, the subject of her wish, starts paying attention to her that very same day, Van Uoc initially thinks she is the butt of his latest joke, until no joke is made. Billy is constantly popping up and Van Uoc’s carefully strategized existence of staying under the high school radar is suddenly null and void. Suddenly, people are staring at her and the rumour mill lights up. Matters are only made worse when she incurs the wrath of super-bitch Holly, who makes it her mission to tear Van Uoc down.

Van Uoc is left wondering if her wish has actually come true, and if it has, how can she reverse it? Because no one wants to be with someone if the feelings aren’t real, do they?

Van Uoc’s parents sought asylum in Australia 30 years ago following the Vietnam War. This background provides a place for Wood to highlight some of the shameful behaviours displayed in Australia toward people seeking asylum, something that has been occurring for as long as I can remember.

Van Uoc’s frustrations at the way current asylum seekers are treated and viewed, as well as the first generation Vietnamese-Australian kids, is prominent throughout the book. This is such an important perspective to be shown, particularly given its constant debate in Australian politics, and it highlights the misconceptions associated with asylum seekers and refugees, and specifically how Van Uoc is perceived at school. As Holly likes to remind her, Van Uoc is seen by some of the students and their families as the ‘poor, Asian Scholarship Kid’. This class elitism and snobbery frustrates Van Uoc who has worked so hard for everything and she can’t understand why a person’s worth is decided by how much money they have.

It is so important to see a diverse range of characters in books, and in particular as the main character. This is not only so readers understand that there are many different ways of life, but also so that those who may not be part of the majority are able to see their life represented, reflected and validated.

Cloudwish is the third companion novel in Fiona Wood’s collection, following Six Impossible Things and Wildlife. Like the others, Cloudwish is filled with characters you (mostly) want to be friends with and consists of a story about family, friendship, standing up for others and believing in yourself.

Thank you to Macmillan for this review copy.


Thanks to the lovely people at Macmillan Australia, I have a copy of Cloudwish to give away to one lucky reader!
The giveaway is only open to Australian residents (Apologies to international readers!) and the winner will be contacted after 30th September 2015.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Tales Compendium is now on Instagram!

Hello lovely readers!

I just wanted to take moment to let you all know that The Tales Compendium now has an Instagram account!

I'd been thinking about making one for a while and finally decided to just go ahead and do it. I'm having so much fun creating posts and revisiting some of my favourite books. It also means I'm able to share things daily as opposed to the one review or less per week I've been managing on the blog of late. Don't worry, the blog is here to stay! The Instagram is just another way to share the love on a more regular basis.

So if you're interested, you can find me at 

And if you have your own bookstagram, please leave it in the comments below and I'll check it out!

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