Saturday, August 12, 2017

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

4 Stars

“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.”

11235712This was really cool. I really like the idea of retellings like this. It stayed on a similar kind of track but it also crazy different. I really liked it.

When I first started reading it, I was worried. It seemed very scifi-ish to me and scifi isn't always my favourite genre as you might already know if you've been keeping notes. So, I was slightly hesitant but I found myself really enjoying it. Purely because it's set in the future and Cinder is a cyborg and what not, I just wasn't sure I'd enjoy it. I chastise myself for it now.

I found it really easy to get into, the fact that it's based on Cinderella, a story I know like the back of my hand probably helped. I love books that I don't struggle to get into. I've read so many recently that I haven't immediately understood and it's always such a shame. This was wonderfully refreshing.

Despite the fact it's a retelling, it was still so different. Of course, there were so many things I can point out and say 'that's Cinderella' but there were so many factors that made it so unique and really made Cinder into it's own story. That's a certain skill I haven't yet acquired, accidental plagiarism seems to be my hidden talent. I haven't read many retellings despite how intrigued I am by them but this one makes me want to read even more.

I loved Prince Kai, I don't know how Cinder could resist him so well. I would have been jelly in his arms. He is so gorgeous and I really hope he continues to play a prominent role in the rest of the series. He almost reminds me of Prince Maxon from The Selection series but that might just be because they're both Princes.

I'm really excited to read the next book. I loved that the ending of this one wasn't so final and leaves you wanting more. I think this was good, very good. I really enjoyed it and it was nice and quick (possibly not as quick when you add the other books on top). I look forward to continuing the series.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

The Memory Book by Lara Avery

4 Stars
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“Life is not just a series of triumphs.” 

Oh wow. This book was quite a ride. And, here I was looking for a sweet contemporary to get me in a good mood.

When I first saw this, I immediately thought of Forgotten by Cat Patrick. There were a few similarities that were just uncanny but in the end, it wasn't a disease in Forgotten like it was in The Memory Book. Maybe, I'll read Forgotten again and do a comparison post, that might be interesting.

Anyway, I've never really heard of NPC but now that I have it makes me so sad. Like Sammie, I quite treasure my memory and have quite a lot of ambitions. My heart broke for Sammie because she's such an ambitious girl and she had goals and to me, it represents that this can happen to literally anyone. Even someone like Sammie.

I loved reading about all of Sammie's thoughts. You could really see how her sickness had put things into perspective. I like that it didn't romanticise NPC as much as I thought it would do. Sammie was a brat sometimes and sometimes she was really reduced to something she was clearly embarrassed of. She wasn't always optimistic and it just wasn't too much of a cheese fest.

It tore at my heart to see Sammie deteriorating. At the beginning you could feel her hope and determination. We really got to grasp how badly Sammie wanted to go to uni and keep living the way she always has. It was a great glimpse into the kind of person Sammie was. But, in the end we saw that Sammie had learnt how to appreciate small things like the support from family and friends.

It also held a lot of Me and Earl vibes. I think that might have been Coop. It's like a nicer and less blunt version of Me and Earl. Which is nice because I loved Me and Earl and I loved Forgotten and I love this book.

It made me so sad though, which put me in a weird mood for the rest of the night. It hit me pretty close to home but I think any contemporary lover will really love this. It was super lovely and I think it's up there with some of my favourite contemporaries.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

My Favourite Music

Today, I wanted to talk about music. I love music and I'm really in the mood to be talking about it. I think it's fun to do something a little different here on the blog. I think music is something absolutely anyone can enjoy. So, I wanted to talk about my favourite bands and solo artists and why I love them so much.


The Beatles
Image result for the beatlesI adore, adore, adore The Beatles as so many of you probably already know. I know really discovered them late 2015, early 2016. I mean, I knew who they were, obviously, but I didn't really listen to them. They have such a diverse range of music and it's all so incredible. My favourite album is A Hard Days Night because it's so fun to sing along to. My favourite song is The Long and Winding Road from Let It Be because it's one of the most beautiful songs ever and I can't help but thinking what a beautiful concert band arrangement it would make. I love all their music so much and I think they were such a revolutionary band.

Lorde
I love Lorde, she is so unique. I've loved her Pure Heroine album since it was released. I was only about 13 at the time and it just blew my mind. I listened to it while I read The Hunger Games and it is such a fitting album for The Hunger Games. Her lyrics are always so meaningful. I was so excited when she released her new stuff. Melodrama is so different to Pure Heroine but listening to the lyrics, I can totally tell it's Lorde. I know a lot of people are pissed that it's different but she released PH in 2013 when she was like 16 or 17 so of course she's grown and I love that her music has grown with her.

Red Hot Chili Peppers
I really like the Chili Peppers. I think they also have quite a unique sound and my parents love them so I've grown up listening to them. It's so rocky and makes me feel so angsty. It's awesome music to drive to, there's a few CDs in the car and I love singing along to it in the car. But, they are so cool and I wouldn't even be able to think of what my favourite song is. Maybe By The Way which is on their By The Way album. I just think they have such cool music.

Harry Styles
Image result for harry stylesI used to be a huge fan of One Direction but I kind of grew out of them by the end of 2013. I still listened to some of their music but I was growing out of the very pop sort of music. It just wasn't my jam anymore. I wasn't expecting much when it came to Harry's solo career but holy crap. It's fantastic. It's beautiful. He has such a raw voice and so much power. I love his music. I love the album and I can't wait to see what else he does.

Elton John
Elton John has been a huge guilty pleasure of mine for a while now but I've come to fully embrace it. I love his music. I think he has, again, a fairly diverse range of music. I love some of the more upbeat and bop kind of songs. But, he also has so gorgeous, slow songs. I can do a mean rendition of Don't Go Breaking My Heart and I adore Goodbye To Yellow Brick Road. I'm just really into that rock and roll sort of genre.

Queen
Image result for queenI love Queen. My mum loves Queen and eventually I started to love it too. Freddie Mercury has the most incredible vocal range. Their music is so unique and cool. I can never not sing to Bohemian Rhapsody. Don't Stop Me Now is my go to song for when I need to get hyped for something. It's so rocky and fun. I absolutely love their music.


So, there you have it. Some of my favourite musicians. I'm slowly delving deeper and deeper into classic rock bands and soloists. I'm loving Bowie at the moment but am still discovering his music. I'm also really into Billy Joel. There are quite a few others I'd like to give a go too so I'm sure an updated version will be needed in no time. But, in the mean time, I'd love to hear what kind of music you guys like and who you listen to the most.

Monday, July 31, 2017

July Wrap Up 2017

We're starting to get close to the end of the year now. I'm desperately hoping for time to slow up a little and give me a bit of a break. Anyway, I've had a relatively nice July so let's talk about it.

I read:
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
The Agony Of Bun O'Keefe by Heather T. Smith
The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil
On The Spectrum by Jennifer Gold
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I actually enjoyed all these reads. The Agony of Bun O'Keefe was one of my favourites. I think I'm posting my review in a few weeks so, look forward to that. I loved Lord of Shadows. It was brilliant, I can't believe it's such a long wait until the next book. It blew me away.  As you can tell, I'm rereading Harry Potter (again) at the moment. I just had no motivation to read anything but Harry Potter. I'm going to write a post about it once I'm done. I'm expecting to be finished in the next few weeks if I get a bit of a hustle on. So, you can look forward to that too.

At the beginning of the month I finished my exams and started some holidays. I went back to school this week which is full on. 13 weeks left until end of year exams and those determine your ATAR. I'm a little stressed and my life will probably be pure study for the next 13 weeks. I'm hoping if I can put in a lot of work early on that I can minimise the stress when the exams come around.

My holidays were nice. I had a few band rehearsals, as usual. I didn't do a lot else. I finally got my eyebrows done, I haven't had an appointment since December. Eyebrows are one of the things I indulge in because I love when you leave with nice, fresh brows. My dad started teaching me manual in our lovely little 2 year old car. I felt honoured that he let me drive his baby (he loves that car to death). I've been driving auto since I got my license but had planned on learning manual once I got comfortable. I've only stalled the car a hand full of times and I consider that an achievement. And, I watched a few episodes of Game of Thrones. I'm still only half way through season four because I'm completely useless when it comes to tv shows. But, I'm getting very excited. I also got a library card, finally, my library doesn't have a whole lot but I figured it was time to get one anyway. I borrowed a couple books I'm really looking forward too and spotted a few others I'd like read too.

I've got a few things planned for August. I'm doing my first practical driving assessment which I'm pretty nervous about. I'm at least 90% sure it'll be fine because I've been driving for 9 months now and usually this assessment is done after a few months. The weirdest thing will probably be taking a stranger in my parents car on my own. Other than that, it's mostly just a lot of study and practice. And hopefully a decent amount of reading.

As always, I'd love to know what you did in July and what your plans are for August.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

5 Stars

26156987“You can have anything,” she said, “once you admit you deserve it.”

Bloody hell. This was really something else and I'm so glad I read it. I knew when I saw if and heard how crazy diverse it is that it was definitely something I wanted to read and be a part of, I'm so pleased. 

I've only ever read one other book with a transgender main character and that was The Danish Girl and that's probably slightly different to If I Was Your Girl since it's based on a true story. And, I've read another book about gender which was What We Left Behind by Robin Talley but that was a lot more about the labels and terms and how you identify rather than life as someone who has actually transitioned. I really hope I'm phrasing it all right. As someone who is cisgendered, I am interested in learning a bit more and reading a bit more so I can understand. 

I really loved Amanda, she has a heart of pure gold. She is so great with her friends and I wish I could have a friend like Amanda. I hope I am a friend like Amanda. Not to mention that her friends are absolutely gorgeous people. I simply adored Anna especially towards the end when she said she wanted to learn despite what her religion says. It made my heart swell. I just love friendships like that in books because I think all to often friends get neglected for love interests. 

I think one of the reasons some people have issues with diverse books is because they don't think they'll be able to relate. But, we're all human and we all feel things and I think you can relate to a lot of things to some extent. Whilst this was all about Amanda and her transition it still had themes like relationships, secret keeping, family, acceptance, and I think to a certain extent we can all relate to some of the things Amanda goes through which is a beautiful thing. Obviously, we don't all relate in the same ways but I'm sure you can find something in the book you relate to. 

If I Was Your Girl has all the things I typically love in a good contemporary. Strong female friendships. Cute romancey stuff. Kissing. Likeable main character. Cool side characters. So, of course I adore it. It's one of the best contemporaries I've read in a while.

I really loved it. It was touching and thought provoking. It was so pure. I cried when I finished it because it just hit me somewhere and it made me so sad the way Amanda got treated by some people. I really hope everyone can read this and I really hope everyone loves it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

4 Word Reviews

I was searching through my posts and found a 5 Word Review post and I completely forgot I did them but I absolutely loved them and I think I only got around to doing two but today, I won't let *blank* Word Reviews go unforgotten because it's one of my favourite ideas I've had.

Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz Full Review
Angst//Gorgeous//Captivating//Thoughtful

Caraval by Stephanie Garber Full Review
Mystical//Unique//Interesting//Strange

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater Full Review
Sassy//Addictive//Fascinating//Noah-is-the-best

Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven
Sweet//Fluffy//Poignant//Charming

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Intriguing//Different//Imaginative//Suspenseful

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Dorky//Dogs//Adorable//Awhh

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
Heart-wrenching//Addictive//Intense//Kissing

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs Full Review
Creepy//Peculiar//Cool//Eerie


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Under The Lights by Abbi Glines

2 Stars

“I want more than that. I want you. I want to be able to kiss you anytime I want. I want to hold your hand in the halls. Hell, I want to be made fun of by the guys for wanting to be near you all the time.” 
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Where do I even begin with this? This is one of the first books I can remember blatantly disliking. I'm not overly picky as you can probably tell but this just brushed me the wrong way and looking quickly through goodreads ratings. I can see a lot of people did like it, later I'll probably go through and find out why exactly. I can't see the appeal. 

So, I only just realised this is the second book in a series. I don't think you need to have read the first book, Until Friday Night to read this because I got on fine without it. But, a quick bit of research tells me that there's a side character in this books who I actually wanted to learn more about was the main character of Until Friday Night. One of my initial issues with the books was the Riley had a really intriguing backstory and I wanted to learn more but no one really talked about it like  thought they would so I thought it was random to have that in there but now I know why it wasn't exactly explained. I'm kind of curious so I might end up reading it one day.

My first thought was that this was very dramatic and read like the kind of fanfic I wrote when I was about 12 years old. I was incredibly dramatic and I don't mean for that to sound rude, what I mean is it seems like the author is trying to fit as much scandal and drama into every page as she can and it just to me doesn't seem like mature writing. It was a lot going on, a lot of secrets, a lot of angst. I just thought it was so much going on and I don't really know how I felt about that much going on. 

I didn't like this whole love triangle thing. The thing is, I don't mind a love triangle when it's done well but this one wasn't it. It felt rushed and I thought it was hard to believe. Really, three guys are all into the one girl? Don't know. It felt unnecessary, it didn't add much to the story and it was hard to believe. 

It didn't feel like there was much of a climax or build up. It felt like a very solid read, you know what I mean? There wasn't much of a high point where everything comes together, it was like it was all coming together through out the whole book. There wasn't a lot to be excited for. 

It was also very 'omg, the girl from our childhood is so hot now' which made me wonder how much depth there was to the attraction. It was very blunt and whilst, I know boys can be like that, it's not very appealing. They talked about all girls like objects. They referred to Willa's 'bubble butt' and Serenas's huge boobs and 'hoover mouth'. It made it a bit uncomfortable to read. Butts and boobs I can get over but referring to someone as a 'hoover' definitely rubbed me the wrong way. Especially when it was the reason Gunner was taking her to homecoming. The lack of respect these boys had was a definite turn off for me. 

I'm not a fan, I don't know if I'll read anything else from this author. Honestly, probably not. I'm not sure if I'm the only one who had issues with this book. It's definitely not soft and pretty like the things I usually tend to read. I'd love to know if anyone else has read it and what they think of it because I'm just not thrilled at all.