Hey there – I’m Alexandra, a twenty-something dreamer from Melbourne, Australia.
I’ve always held a certain fascination for make-believe worlds. But then again, growing up in the boonies will do that to you. When my head wasn’t stuck behind a book, I was exploring caves, climbing trails and swimming in rivers.
It didn’t come as a surprise when I started crafting my own story worlds.
Lou has spent her whole life running. Now, after a crushing blow from Morgane, the time has come to claim what is rightfully hers.
But this is no longer the Lou her friends know. No longer the Lou who captured a chasseur’s heart. A darkness has settled over her, and this time it will take more than love to drive it out.
While Lou battles her demons, and witches, Chasseurs, and the spirits of the land themselves rally for a final fight, Reid is faced with a terrible choice: a devastating sacrifice or the death of everyone he has come to hold dear.
The spellbinding conclusion to the New York Times and IndieBound bestselling trilogy Serpent & Dove. This stunning fantasy take on French witches and forbidden love is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas.
Hello from lockdown 6.0. I know – you honestly can’t make this stuff up. We’re going on 200 days [and counting] in hard lockdown. And this time the curfew’s back. Fun times.
Also, now I’m making memes because how else do you cope? Please send help.
Not two weeks out of lockdown 5.0 and we’re back, living under Australia’s toughest restrictions. Cases are surging as the delta variant continues to grow. At this stage, we’ll be spending Christmas home alone. Just you know, minus all the booby traps and Kevin McCallister.
BUT, refusing to let this lockdown get the better of me, I threw myself into some fun activities to keep up morale and keep myself sane. Here’s what I’ve been up to:
Hello! No, you don’t need to refresh your screen – it’s me, Alexandra.
Surprise! I’m back.
You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been basically MIA since May. Talk about a completely unplanned hiatus. But, over the course of the past two weeks, I’ve been ~tentatively~ posting reviews and I’ve realized just how much I’ve missed Reading By Starlight.
So today, I’m here to share where I’ve been, why I disappeared into internet obscurity and why I’m back.
Before we get started though, I just want to note that this post gets pretty long and VERY candid which might be triggering to some readers. I’ll be talking about lockdown, depression and mental health and I don’t hold much back. If you or a loved one is struggling, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. In Australia, you can call Life Line on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 to speak to a trained councilor.
Valora Luck has two things: a ticket for the biggest and most luxurious ocean liner in the world, and a dream of leaving England behind and making a life for herself as a circus performer in New York. Much to her surprise, though, she’s turned away at the gangway; apparently, Chinese people aren’t allowed into America.
But Val has to get on that ship. Her twin brother, Jamie, who has spent two long years at sea, is on board, as is an influential circus owner. Thankfully, there’s not much a trained acrobat like Val can’t overcome when she puts her mind to it.
As a stowaway, Val should keep her head down and stay out of sight. But the clock is ticking and she has just seven days as the ship makes its way across the Atlantic to find Jamie, audition for the circus owner, and convince him to help get them both into America.
Then one night, the unthinkable happens, and suddenly Val’s dreams of a new life are crushed under the weight of the only thing that matters: survival.
Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jump start her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth
Guess who’s back and super inspired to start writing again? This girl.
*Me walking back to my desk after being totally MIA all month*
Wow – what a month. Looking back post-vacation, I can’t believe just how much I managed to cram into thirty days.
The first thing I need to address is the fact that even before I left for the Whitsundays, I was super inactive. No, I wasn’t suffering through another reading slump. Actually, I was caught up in the drama of my own life. Spoiler alert: it didn’t end well. But, it was a wild ride and for one glorious month, I felt like the Main Character. [More on that later].
Break the curse. Save the kingdom. Reclaim her magic. The Queen must prevail.
Through blood and sacrifice, Amora Montara has conquered a rebellion and taken her rightful place as queen of Visidia. Now, with the islands in turmoil and the people questioning her authority, Amora cannot allow anyone to see her weaknesses.
No one can know about the curse in her bloodline. No one can know that she’s lost her magic. No one can know the truth about the boy who holds the missing half of her soul.
To save herself and Visidia, Amora embarks on a desperate quest for a mythical artifact that could fix everything―but it comes at a terrible cost. As she tries to balance her loyalty to her people, her crew, and the desires of her heart, Amora will soon discover that the power to rule might destroy her.
March. What a month. There were plenty of highs but the lows were seriously killer. Especially because the month started off on a bit of a sour note. And while I can’t really talk about said sour note [let’s just say it was a confronting work related incident of criminal nature], it inspired yet another setback in terms of my mental health.
BUT, that’s not what I’m choosing to focus on. So, ignoring work stress and without further ado, let’s spread some positive energy and get into the highlights:
Meet Nina Hill: a young woman supremely confident in her own… Shell.
The author of Other People’s Houses and The Garden of Small Beginnings delivers a quirky and charming novel chronicling the life of confirmed introvert Nina Hill as she does her best to fly under everyone’s radar.
The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all–or mostly all–excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?
Nina considers her options. 1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.) 2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee). 3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page
It’s been one year since Melbourne entered it’s first stage three lock down and let’s just say it’s been a wild time. Looking back, it’s unbelievable just how drastically our lives have all changed since March 2020. I mean, remember when we were all worried about the Australian bush fires? It almost seems like an entire lifetime has past since.
Anyway, because travel seems to be off the table for a while yet, I wanted to share some recommendations. I’ve personally curated a selection of hauntingly atmospheric books to take you on a sweeping fictional journey. These books blend genre and explore different cultures – perfect for any bookish vagabond to get lost in.