Saturday, December 30, 2017

December 2017 Wrap Up

Hello everyone. It's actually New Years Eve here in Australia as I write this and I can't seem to comprehend that. I think this year has gone the fastest of all of them for me. I'm excited for 2018 but disappointed for the end of what has been a fantastic year.

So, what did I read?
- The Start of You and Me by Emery Lord (I think? I'm sorry, I forgot to write down a list)
- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
- Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
- It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

And I started Always and Forever, Lara Jean yesterday which I am LOVING. I'll probably have it done by the end of the day so maybe we'll have to edit this post a little later. Who knows. I didn't love The Start of You and Me which was disappointing and it seriously put me in a bit of a slump. I thought it was bland. I reread Anna and Lola because they're a couple of my favourites and I needed to get out of my slump. Good news, I still love them just as much as I did the first time. I adored It's Kind of  a Funny Story and I can't wait to write my review.

Blogging wise, it wasn't great even though I wanted to get back into it. I've had the weirdest month in terms of blogging. I've written so many posts that haven't gone up simply because I couldn't get them how I wanted them and it was incredibly frustrating. I think it's just a bit of a slump that I'll have to try and persevere through.

Anyway, I had a brilliant Christmas. I have so much chocolate, I swear I won't have to buy anymore until next Christmas. I got some books that I've been dying to read so I can't wait to get into those. It was a really lovely day and I hope everyone else had a day as lovely as I did. I treated myself to some more plants (someone remind me to do a plant post soon).

Oh! And I've been watching Stranger Things (finally) and oh my god, why did no one make me do this sooner. I have one more episode to go which I'll probably watch tonight. It's incredible, I'm obsessed. If you haven't already watched it, I would definitely recommend. I want to write a post dedicated to it if anyone would be interested in reading that. I can't wait to finish it tonight but I also feel very sad saying that and knowing I have to now wait until season 3.

Anyway, I think that's mostly everything I wanted to say about December. I'll see you guys in 2018 and I hope you've had not only a fantastic month but a fantastic year. I hope you all take the time to reflect on the year that has been and the year that is to come. Have a great New Years!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Romanticising in YA

This is something I've been wanting to talk about for the longest time but I've been struggling to find the words. So, basically what I'm going to be talking about today is romanticising things that shouldn't be romanticised, particularly in YA books.

I'm going to start by talking about John Green. We all know John Green, we were all a huge fan once upon a time. However, I've been thinking about him a lot with the publication of his newest book, Turtles All The Way Down which I haven't read, I'm definitely curious though but I don't think I'll go as far as to buy a copy. Because I have a lot of feelings about his books now. And, this isn't to be taken as me talking shit about John Green, I think he's an incredibly talented writer and he and his brother do fantastic crash course videos that have helped me in science on numerous occasions so I actually do owe my science related success to him. However, his books are the things I have issues with. A little over a year ago, I read The Fault in Our Stars for the second time and wrote a rave review of it. Well, that's all well and good but I think the bookish community has really helped me to see what is wrong with his books and made me think a bit more critically of everything. I think The Fault in Our Stars romanticises illnesses but I don't exactly think that is the intent there, I do think John Green purely intended for it to be a gorgeous love story between two sick kids but I think particularly the way it was advertised, just romanticises the whole thing.

But, TFIOS is not the book I have the biggest issue with, it's Looking for Alaska. Once upon a time I adored Looking for Alaska. I have a lovely 10th anniversary edition that I loved to pieces but anyone whose read it knows that Alaska is not exactly a stable person and the narrator just keeps on romanticising it, looking back it's actually gross. The obsession with Alaska is just very not healthy and not a great thing to be depicting to young people. John Green loves the manic pixie dream girl trope and he isn't the only one but it's damaging and not healthy. I remember reading Looking for Alaska when I was about 13 and something a bit scary happened, I wanted to be like Alaska so people would romanticise me and that boys would think about me because I'd be this unique individual who 'isn't like other girls' as though that's such a horrible thing to be. But, my issue with the manic pixie dream girl trope is a talk for another day.

I don't think unhealthy relationships, substance abuse, mental illnesses, the list goes on, should be romanticised. Do I think they should be written about? Absolutely, it's important to bring exposure to all of these kinds of things but it is so important to avoid romanticising it. YA readers can be young and impressionable and to be honest, I remember being that person a few years ago. Write about depression, write about drinking problem, write about illnesses, write about sad people, but don't make it out to seem like something beautiful and desirable.

So, basically, the point I'm wanting to get across is to stay aware. Keep talking but don't make it out to be something it's not. Educate. Education on these topics are so important but there is a right and wrong way to go about it. And, I think it's important, when you see a book or a film or whatever, romanticising something that should not be romanticised, speak up about it to keep yourself and others aware.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

5 Stars

“The beautiful thing about books was that anyone could open them.”

23299512This is a reread because once again, I couldn't manage to get really into it the first time I read it so I've read it again and I've actually fallen in love with it.

Okay so, the world building was fantastic. The atmosphere was perfect. Everything was great there. I've noticed from reading one of the authors other books that she has a fantastic writing style. It was really easy for me to get into the second time and I would've finished it within a couple of sittings if I'd had the time.

I adore the characters. August was so gorgeous and complex. I loved that. Kate is equally complex and I really love her as a character, I think she compliments the atmosphere perfectly. So, I was very pleased with that. They just really stood out to me. Leo and Isla were brilliantly written as well.

Also, as an irrelevant kind of side note, after about a week of staring at the cover, I've only just realised it's a violin. I have no idea why it took me this long to notice but it's made me fall even more in love with the cover and you know I made sure I didn't buy the Australian cover because it's not great.

Anyway, I could read about August forever. I really adore him. I love his love for music. It made me want to pick up my trumpet and play for the sake of it but it was also 11pm and I think my parents would possibly kill me if I did that. I love books that talk about music because it's something I can relate to. So I loved that and I loved how vividly it was described.

It was a fantastic book and I'm very excited to read Our Dark Duet which I'll actually probably get out of the library very soon so I'm looking forward to that. It was vividly written and something that definitely stands out from other fantasy novels. I liked it a lot and I'm glad I reread it.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Can You Outgrow Your Favourite Books?

This is something that's been in the back of my mind for a long time and I've only just thought to make a discussion post out of it. I'm 17, I've been reading YA heavily since I was about 13. When I was 13, the popular books were John Green and The Hunger Games and Divergent and whatnot. So, of course I read them and loved them. However, I reread most of these last year which was interesting and I discovered, I like them nowhere near as much which I struggled to admit due to all the nostalgia and feelings I associate with those books, it's almost like certain experiences I associate with what I was reading at the time.

John Green novels were filled with angst and special snowflakes and everything that made me feel special while reading. I had just turned 13 when I got into John Green books, I was in the early days of high school and I'd already had boy troubles, friendship troubles, you name it. I felt like I could relate to these books because I think everyone starts going through these kinds of things for the first time and you kind of feel like you're the only one. Which, is kind of the general theme of John Green novels. I'm not sure if this is making sense but I;m struggling to find the words to explain why I felt like I connected to John Green novels. But, when I reread them, it just wasn't the same experience for me and I almost felt like the story lines were forced to make these characters seem like the special snowflakes they are. A common trope is manic pixie dream girl which was another trope that I really loved when reading these for the first time. But, I still can't exactly let go of them because I associate so many experiences with them, basically the entire 13th year of my life, I just associate with John Green novels but I definitely feel like I've grown out of them. I'm not really in a stage of my life where these things are something I resonate with and to be completely honest, there are a lot of things in his novels I now disagree with.

What about The Hunger Games and Divergent? Well, I'm simply no longer really into dystopia as a genre where I used to adore it. I recently reread Divergent and I didn't like it at all. I didn't like the relationship between Tris and Tobias at all whereas I used to think it was absolutely gorgeous. And, it's kind of disappointing because I know how much I used to love it, so why don't I anymore? I will admit, I will always have such a soft spot for The Hunger Games since it really got me into reading and I think the movies are still great. But, I can't help but feeling like it just doesn't really fit for me anymore. I feel like I've grown past it. It's definitely a little sad.

However, there's also things like Harry Potter that I haven't grown out of and don't see myself growing out of anytime soon. I don't really know that this means that Harry Potter is the superior because it has stood the test of time for me. I think it probably comes down to a lot of factors, maybe the fact that it feels like everyone has grown up with Harry and we've watched him grow and maybe it's kind of like a community thing. Anyway, I think I might be getting off topic here. But, my point is, Harry Potter is one favourite that has stood the test of time for me.

So, I'd love to know what you think. I think it's absolutely possible and common to outgrow your favourite book. I'd love for you to tell me your thoughts and how many of your favourites have stood the test of time or which ones you've grown out of. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

November 2017 Wrap Up

I can't believe this is the second last wrap up of the year, it's incredible. This year has gone by offensively fast. November has been an interesting month for me. I did a lot, probably more than I've done all year. Despite the fact that I only actually finished one book, The Start of You and Me by Emery Lord, and I think I only made about three blog posts.

I had my birthday on the 2nd which was great, I already wrote a post about it. I got a new trumpet and cried about it because I told my parents they didn't have to get it, trumpets are kind of expensive and they've been wanting to renovate the house so I was saving up myself. They were ridiculously coy about the whole thing. The trumpet sounds fantastic, I got to use it for my exam which was great because it just sounds so much better than my old one and makes certain things easier.

So, I had my final exams. I have never been more stressed. I have never been more tired. I didn't feel like doing anything other than studying and any time I was doing anything that wasn't studying, I felt insanely guilty. It was intense. I had four written exams and my music practical exam. My written exams were all within the same week which was awful. But, alas, I somehow got through it. I'm not sure that I did quite as well on any of my exams that I hoped but I don't think any of them were particularly catastrophic. I'm just trying to comfort myself until the results come with the fact that I did everything I could. However, the whole exam experience did remind me how shitty the school system really is because particularly on my bio exam, they were able to catch me on some of the things I wasn't confident in when with everything I'm not comfortable with, there's quite a few things I am comfortable with so it just felt so unlucky that they caught me on the few things that I couldn't quite grasp. No one is going to understand every thing, everyone is going to have their weak spots and that's what bothers me. Most people had anywhere between 2-5 exams to study for and it's just not a great system. I don't really have any suggestions on how to improve it but I think it's important to remember that it's not exactly an ideal situation for anyone.

Anyway, after that exam rant I think I'm done. I had a bit of a blogging break this month to focus on my exams but I have some fun blog posts planned out that I'm really excited to write. I can not wait for December, I adore everything Christmas and I'm hoping to do a lot of Christmas themed posts this year since I'll be on holidays all month. So, look forward to a very active Brooklyn the next couple of months. I'm going to be on my blogging best again.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

See You In A Couple Of Weeks: A Teeny Tiny Break

You may notice, I've been not very active recently. I've been studying hard for my final exams. But, I just wanted to share a quick post to let you all officially know, I'll probably be a bit MIA the next couple of weeks during the exam period.

I had my very first exam today which was my music practical exam and I was shaking the entire time but it wasn't offensively bad. There were quite a few mistakes but sound and everything was perfect and I managed to catch myself on pretty much all my mistakes which is something that you've got to get good at when performing. So, anyway, I only have 4 written exams left and I'm done until next school year. I'm lighting my load next year because I went pretty heavy this year so next year will hopefully be a bit more about having some fun with my classes. Written exams officially start on Monday, I have my first one on Tuesday (I think? I should probably check on that) and then another one every couple of days. I'm feeling very thankful that I don't have two in one day though, this time around. However, I'm going to be very busily studying and trying to limit any outside distractions such as reading and blogging so I can do my absolute best because I'd really like to smash these exams.

I'm going to schedule a few reviews because, why not? I've got that many reviews stock piled that I may as well use a few of them while I have the chance. So, there'll be that. I should be back and running in just a couple short weeks and hopefully I'll have some really good posts and I'll have the time to get back into the swing of blogging. So, I hope everyone has the time of their lives while I'm out for a while and please keep me in your thoughts, I'll need it. I look forward to coming back!

Saturday, November 04, 2017

17 Thoughts for 17 Years

It was my 17th birthday the other day so, I'm writing a post in honour of it today. I had a great day, I didn't do much. I went to school, luckily, my birthday fell on a Thursday which is the day I only have a half day of classes. So, that was great. My parents got me the brand new trumpet I've been saving up for and talking about all year and I couldn't even begin to express how much I loved it. It's a Christmas/birthday present but they wanted to give it to me for my birthday before I have my music exam and before band breaks up for the holidays. Anyway, I should probably get into my post now. I'm writing 17 thoughts for 17 years.

1. If someone is a negative presence in your life then you need to do something about it.

2. If it makes you smile, then it's probably worth it.

3. It doesn't matter what you think of what someone is wearing, if they're wearing it, it probably makes them happy and that's what matters.

4. Sometimes it's good to get out of your comfort zone.

5. Tell people how you feel because soon enough it'll hardly matter if so and so didn't feel the same way or so and so didn't agree with this.

6. Take opportunities when they come to you, they may not come again.

7. You've got to learn to not let other's opinions of you affect you.

8. It's worth being kind to everyone you meet.

9. Sometimes the smallest things can be the loveliest.

10. Read what you want to read. It doesn't matter what others think. Same goes for music, clothes, anything. If you like it, then what on earth does it matter.

11. Putting effort into every thing can be exhausting but the results can be brilliant.

12. Flat stomachs aren't the world! People store fat in different ways.

13. You should embrace your little quirks. Own them and make them yours.

14. Failure is bound to happen sometimes and it's going to suck but you've got to suck it up and try again. You can't let yourself miss out on experiences because you're scared of failure or rejection or disappointment or whatnot.

15. One day, you're going to get your heart broken and maybe that won't be by a romantic partner but maybe a family member or a friend, maybe a beloved pet will pass away. It'll happen but it doesn't mean you shouldn't love anything.

16. Just because others have it worse doesn't make your problems invalid.

17. It's important to remember not to take the things you have for granted and to remind those around you that you appreciate them.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October 2017 Wrap Up

Happy November or if you're still in October, then happy almost November. I've had a fantastic month but I'm really looking forward to November. Mostly because it'll be my birthday tomorrow and my birthday is one of my favourite days of the year. I also finish school which is great and have a significantly longer holiday than I did in high school but I also have my exams, so it's all happening.

I did a lot of rereading in October because I just wasn't too keen on actually reading anything new. So, I read:
Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaria
The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

And that was it, I'm in a bit of a slump at the moment. I don't know if anyone else can relate but I find it really hard to focus on reading when there's too many exciting things going on in my life. I've been really out of my shell this month, I've finally been building friendships with people who I've been wanting to build friendships with this whole year. The only problem is we've only got a couple more weeks of the school year to go so I'm hoping I'll keep talking to these people even when school is over. I always get really excited about talking to new people, it really gets my adrenaline going. So, I'm struggling to read too much at the moment with so much going on, not to mention exam study, but I think this is a good reason to be in a slump.

I did receive The Start of You and Me by Emery Lord in the mail so I'm super excited about that, I'm already a couple chapters in but I was really excited to receive it since an Emery Lord book got me into blogging. So, shes an author dear to my heart and this is the second book of hers I've been sent. That's the only book I've gotten this month, I was planning on going to the library since I haven't been in a long time but I just haven't gotten the chance. Despite the fact it is literally a couple of blocks down from my campus.

I'm in a great mood today since I got one of my re-tests back for maths with an A which is two marks higher than my first test and on the hardest unit. It's my first A, I was painfully close on one of the other tests we've done but I finally got my first A and I'm just really pleased because I've been working so hard to do well in maths. It's definitely a bit of encouragement especially considering I was feeling pretty down about it on the day of. Hopefully I'll be able to smash out another one on the exam. I also did a practice music practical exam and I passed after struggling the entire year to pull together a suitable program and that's great news to me because the practice exam was a bit of a mess and I definitely think I could do a little better so with that in mind, I should be able to pass the real thing easy. I'm glad I'm going to be able to pass the course because it really was up in the air for a while and that sucked since my music theory is really my strong point. I've had a crappy past couple of weeks because I was stressed about school and I was trying so hard but I feel like I'm finally getting some results.

I'm hoping to treat myself to a couple new books for my birthday so I'll have to wait and see what tickles my fancy then. I'm also hoping to take a trip to the library finally and get some books out. I'd ideally like to finish the Lunar Chronicles and The Raven Cycle but I don't know if that'll happen. I'm also reading a Beatles biography at the moment so I'm hoping to finish that in November. But otherwise I guess we'll see what I feel like.

Anyway, I should probably leave my very chatty wrap up there for now. Expect a post in the next couple of days for my birthday. I'm also hoping to get back onto regular posting when school finishes so you can look forward to that if you'd like. I'd love to hear what everyone read this October and what they got up to so you can let me know in the comments.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub

4.5 Stars

26241526"And if we want to change this world for the better, then we must be the best possible version of ourselves, because who we are in each moment is a gift to the universe."

The Yearbook Committee has been one of my favourite contemporaries since I read it for the first time last year. Because it is one of my absolute favourites and I don't have a review of it, I decided I must reread it and review it because I love it way too much not to.  

Okay so, The Yearbook Committee is an Australian book and you know how much I love OzYA. This is my favourite OzYA. The Yearbook Committee is very much The Breakfast Clubesque which I love in any book. There's five kids who wouldn't usually hang out being forced to hang out thanks to the yearbook. So, five kids in year 12. Their last year of high school or as it's called where I come from, college. I finished high school in year 10. But nevertheless, it's really the same thing whether it's high school or college. And, it hit particularly close this year because this time next year I will be studying very hard for year 12 exams and trying to push my ATAR as high as I possibly can. Reading the characters studying definitely reminded me that I have my own exams in a months time to study for instead of reading. 

I love unlikely friendships and if you do too, you'll love this. It is very heavy on the unlikely friendships. I also love that the characters are each going through their own things. You've got Charlie who has just moved to Sydney from Melbourne but let me just talk about this for a moment. Sydney and Melbourne are certainly not the only cities in Australia so I don't know why authors, even Australian authors, act like they are. I've never even been to either. But, anyway, you've got Charlie whose struggling with the move and it determined to hate Sydney. Matty, whose mum is sick meaning he has to work two jobs in order to keep the two of them going. Ryan, who is school captain and has had an accident which means his dreams are no longer within sight. Gillian who is child of a politician and gets a lot of online bullying. Finally, you have Tammi who is struggling with the pressure's being put on her by those closest to her. 

I love the way this story is told from multiple perspectives. It means we really get to see inside everyone despite the stereotypes placed on them by the others. We get to know their struggles and hardships and their plans. This sort of story really does need to be told from multiple perspective. I think it's done really well.

I love that the book deals with the party culture kind of thing. I know that Australia is pretty heavy on party culture especially with things like schoolies and just general parties. I think it has a really important message. Without spoiling anything for you, it's hard to talk about what exactly I liked about how it dealt with party culture. But once again, it's a crazy important topic. Particularly with things like schoolies, for those unfamiliar, schoolies is something you can do once you've finished year 12, people even go to Bali and stuff for it. It's basically just one big week long party. There have been quite a few bad incidents on schoolies. 

I know some people have called this bland but I actually think it's very real. It's very real story, and I love that it doesn't try to be anything more. I think by adding anything else, the story could've potentially been cheapened and less maybe less relatable. It very much maintains through the story that these characters could be anyone. It really enforces the idea that everyone is going through their own things and that they aren't just a stereotype. Although, that being said, contemporary is my favourite genre and I know a lot of people find the entire genre to be bland. 

I really love this book. I think anyone who loves contemporary will love this and I really suggest reading it, not just because it's Australian. It's a gorgeous book that I wish I could talk more about with out spoiling it. I can hardly wait to get my hands on a copy of Sarah Ayoub's other book which is supposedly just as great. This has been a bit of lengthy review already so I'm just going to stop here and let you decide for yourself if this is something you want to read. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

3 Stars

10429045“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.”

I feel pretty meh about this one. I don't know that it had anything to really stand out to me. I hate writing reviews about books that I've felt meh about.

I really liked the concept of it. I thought it was a really awesome idea, I mean, how cool? Juliette can't touch anyone, that just sounds like the makings of a really cool book to me and it kind of is cool. It definitely is cool. I think that is the best idea. I really liked the prison setting, it almost reminded me of Entangled by Cat Clarke.

I didn't really love Juliette, she kind of annoyed me and she seemed a bit paper thin. Like there wasn't much complexity to her but I think if I dug a bit deeper I would find a bit more. She is really intense though, it was like she feels things more than the average person or shall I say the average YA character. Perhaps we'll get to experience more of the in the next book. Adam seemed typical YA boy and their relationship was a bit too insta love for me. Definitely keeps it interesting though.

I hate Warner. At the same time I'm kind of attracted to him. I'm not entirely sure how this works. He is such a bastard and is horrible to Juliette but I think I can feel something budding between them. He is also a creep. Reminds me of Sebastian from The Mortal Instruments. Less creepy though. Not sure how I feel on Adam, he's kind of too card board cut out for me at the moment. He lacks a bit of complexity that Warner makes up for. I'm just not entirely sure which side I'm on here but I have a suspicion that this might turn into some sort of ACOTAR situation?? We'll see.

The ending has me a bit excited for the next book, it has that rebellion vibe and I love me a good rebellion. I want to see how much of a role Warner will play in the rest of the series because I can tell he's going to be back. I have a feeling things aren't done between him and Juliette either?? Hmm. Nevertheless, I am actually excited and I think despite it's mediocre first impression on me, the series will actually be pretty good. I have faith in this.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

114086505 Stars

“Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real.” 


I wasn't sure about this. I just didn't have a great feeling about it despite the really intriguing blurb. I don't know, I just had a weird feeling about it. Immediately, though, I was pulled in and the short chapters made it less of a heavy read. I was able to finish it in lightning speed purely because it was such a page turner.

Noah is beautiful and I love him. He reminds me of Peter K from All The Boys and Cade from P.S I Like You which is probably because all three books include similar tropes. I absolutely adore him and I think he might be part of what made the books for me.

On the topic of Noah, this book had a very contemporary vibe although the further and further you read the more fantasy like it got. Which I knid of liked. It reminded me of Outsiders by Tammy Ferebee. It could've absolutely passed for your average contemporary.

It was strange and quite dark at some stages. It was really captivating though. The plot while it probably didn't have the climax and solution like most plots should have, it worked. I really liked the high school setting which made it seem a bit more realistic.

I really like the relationship between Daniel and Mara. It was gorgeous and lovely to see a brother looking out for his sister so much. I hope he's present in the next books as well, he is such a good brother and I'd really love to see more of him.

While we're on the topic, surely we have to see Jamie again. I loved him, he is so good to Mara. I need to see him and Noah get over their differences and become a trio.

I really loved this book. I think it's the start of a what looks like a fantastic trilogy. I loved the characters and the storyline. I am so excited to see what happens next.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

4 Stars

“I knew they would kill me when they found out, but…” He struggled for words, releasing a sharp breath. “I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.”

13206760The Lunar Chronicles, more like The Ship Chronicles.

First Prince Kai and Cinder and now Scarlet and Wolf. The ships are getting out of hand and I'm lead to believe they get even more insane. My little shipping heart can not wait. But, seriously, I love the tension and build up between these people. They are written really well. Reading so many books has desensitised me so when I feel my heart really pulling at these sorts of things, it's usually a great sign. It's all very lush and gorgeous.

I was addicted to Cinder and I was addicted to this. Wowzas trousers. I couldn't put it down. It took me a bit to get going but once I was going there was no bloody stopping me. I was going, going, gone. It is the most additive book series I've read in forever. I'm so in love with it. I love the feeling of being that immersed in a book. It's like I'm a junkie but a book junkie.

Scarlet's storyline added onto Cinder's added more depth to the story which I really enjoyed. I wasn't sure about it when I started because I loved Cinder so much I didn't want to read about anyone else. But, once I realised I was still reading about Cinder, just Scarlet as well, I was quite content. I loved the way the stories intertwined, it was done really well. It gave me another really orgasmic bookish feeling of realising how everything is relevant to everything else. Except this happens to me rarely because for some ungodly reason, I'm a completely oblivious reader. It sure did this time though and it gave me a real boost in self confidence.

I loved it. I don't know why I haven't given it 5 stars, it just doesn't feel right yet. I think I'm saving the 5 stars for the big guns. What if the next books are eons better and I have to rate them 5 because that's my highest rating? Horror story. But, it was the best sequel I could've asked for and I am so pumped for Cress. I'm usually exaggerating when I say things like that but this time, I'm for real. This is one of the best series' I've read in a while and definitely the best this year. (Haha *nudge, nudge* get it? Because I only read it on the fourth of Jan). I still have no doubts it'll make it to my 2017 favourites, that's right, I'm calling it. Risky move but just you wait and see. I really, really love it, okay?

Also, please note. I thought I already posted this but alas, I did not. I posted my Cress review instead. It was only when frantically searching for it I realised I never published this and now I feel like a bit of a ning nong so please excuse the fact that my reviews are slightly out of order.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

5 Stars

19547856“White shouldn't be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn't even be a default.”

Oh my gosh!!! I loved this. Simon is so relatable and I love him, so gorgeous. I loved everything about it, this review may be a lot of flailing.

IT IS SO DARN CUTE!!!! I haven't read a contemporary this cute in a while. Simon is quite possibly my favourite character ever. I love the way he narrates things omg. He is a beautiful human. His emails are also so full of personality which is a lot more than I can say for myself. He is just so full of personality. He is relatable without it seeming forced. Simon is so darn real.

I loved this whole mysterious pen pal kind of thing. It reminds me of P.S I Like You by Kasie West which was a similar concept. The emails were great too, through the emails we got to see a different side of Simon. A slightly more personal side of Simon and perhaps a bolder side. I found the whole thing ridiculously gorgeous.

Simon has such sweet friends, I particularly liked Abby but I really liked them all. They were so different and they were all so great when Simon came out to them. I really loved that about them. He is extremely lucky, he has a great dynamic with all of them.

It also had me hard core craving chocolate. When they were talking about Reece's, I just about imploded.Ugh, and all the Oreo talk too. It actually made me go out and buy cookies and cream ice cream because I couldn't stop craving it so I eventually gave in.

I can't get over how absolutely adorable this was. I love it so much. It is such a plus that it's diverse. That makes me so happy. I loved the way it ended. So freaking beautiful. I just think this book is a great thing, an absolutely great thing. I just think everyone should experience the cuteness.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

5 Stars

23437156“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you'll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won't matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.”

Okay, sit back, I'm going to tell you a bit of a story about me and this book. I bought a copy last year after hearing nothing bu soaring reviews, I was excited. My copy came with the dusk jacket all damaged which was disapPOINTING BOOK DEPOSITORY WHY YOU GOTTA DO ME LIKE THAT. Anyway, I was that excited to read it, hoping it's magical greatness would pull me out of my slump. Now, let me tell you, I'm not a huge fantasy girl and fantasy sure as heck will not get me out of a slump so what I was thinking, I don't know. I need a completely open mind to read fantasy because I have too little patience. So, I read Six of Crows and absorbed absolutely nothing. I didn't even know what to write in my review and somehow I failed to pick up an entire character. So, I reread it because this book is supposed to be mind blowingly good, so I wasn't going to give up that easy. To cut this short, I reread it, I loved it, I actually retained nothing from the first read and I still don't understand how that happened, I expected to recognise some things but alas. So, now I'm going to dive into this review.

I adore the representation in this book, let's get it out of the way, it was great. I know literally every other blogger has said the same thing but here I am, reiterating. Honestly, I think fantasy is perhaps the genre with the least amount of representation which is crazy because authors are literally making up this whole world that can have anything. So, I think this is beautiful and I hope other authors can soon follow in Leigh Bardugo's footsteps. 

The characters are fantastic. In Shadow and Bone, I didn't love the characters but in Six of Crows they were electric. They were basically pouring from the page. I've said it before but characters make a book for me, I could more or less care about what said character is doing but as long as they're a strong character, you can usually tell I'll like it. I particularly love Inej and Nina and Jesper. They were my favourites. They were funny and strong and great characters but they're all so good. They all have stories to tell and they're just so three dimensional. It takes a very good writer to write characters like that.

The world building was something else. It was so vivid and that's something I look for in a fantasy. The world you're writing should be vivid and wonderful and almost real feeling. So, I really appreciated that. The atmosphere was perfect. It was dark and blunt and just perfect. World building is a strong second next to characters for a book, in my own opinion. 

I am dying to read Crooked Kingdom, you wouldn't believe it. The end was epic, the whole book was epic. I highly recommend it, even for those who maybe aren't the biggest fantasy fans. I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said about this book. I'm sure you've all read the reviews. It's a great book and that's from someone whose genre isn't really fantasy. Do yourself a favour and read it if you haven't already.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Books I Swore I'd Read But Still Haven't

Today, I was thinking about all the books I swore I was going to read as soon as they were released but still haven't. There's a lot of them. It's hard for me to get to these new releases since I usually have to actually buy a copy since my library is so small and the YA section is only a couple of shelves big. But, these are all fantastic sounding books that I'm still trying to get to.

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This has been a read I've been anticipating ever since I first came across it on my twitter feed. I just think it is incredibly relevant at the moment and it's something I've been dying to read. It's about the police shootings and that's something that I can get incredibly passionate about. I'm hoping I'll get to read it soon, I can already tell I'm going to love it.

2. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
This sounds like such a cute and diverse read. I've been anticipating this for so long and now that it's out I still haven't gotten the chance to read it. It sounds like it's going to be pretty rich in culture which I'm looking forward to. I'm looking forward to reading about a culture that I haven't read about much about before.

3. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
I'm straight up mad at myself for this one. I love the All The Boys series so much and when I found out there was going to be a third and final book, I died inside a little. I've been looking forward to reading it so much. And, I still haven't. I can't believe myself. Everyone I know has completely fallen in love with the conclusion to the gorgeously fluffy series and I am dying to read it.

4.We Are Okay by Nina Lacour
I've been kicking myself about this one too. I adored Everything Leads To You by Nina Lacour so when I saw this was coming out, I was so excited. I've seen so many of my favourite blogs loving on this book. I'm really looking forward to it, it sounds like everything I love in a contemporary.

5. Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
I've heard everyone and their dog raving about this book and hyping about this book. I need to read it and I swore I would. I even got accepted for a copy on Netgalley but the next day it got archived before I got to download it. I was so disappointed. Maybe this is the universe giving me a sign that I should not read this book. But, nevertheless, I've heard nothing but fantastic things about it so I'm really hoping to get to read it sometime soon.

6. Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
I loved Illuminae a lot. So, I was super hyped about Gemina. But, it's feels like perhaps an entire eternity since Gemina was released and I still have not read it. I fell in love with the way Illuminae was written and finished it dying to read Gemina but I still haven't managed to read it.

7. Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins
I really liked My True Love Gave To Me and I really like these little anthologies. There are always some absolute gems and I always find a new author to fall in love with. I've been meaning to read this forever, it's got authors I already love and authors I haven't heard of. The cover is gorgeous. I need to read it.

8. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
I haven't read one of Adam Silvera's books before but this one was getting so much hype everywhere and I was so excited. I knew I needed to read it but I still haven't and I'm kicking myself for it. Although, I think I may have seen this one at my local library during my last visit so I may be able to get to this one a bit sooner than I'd thought.

Okay, those are all the ones I can think of off the top of my head but I can assure you, there are more. Why must authors put out so many books when there are so many books that I still need to read. I don't have enough time for all these books that I'm still dying to read. Maybe if I spent less time talking about my never ending TBR, I'd actually be able to read some more books from my TBR. Hopefully I'll get around to reading each of these gems soon enough.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

September 2017 Wrap Up

Guys, let me tell you. I feel like I blinked and September was over. It is so surreal. I can't believe how quickly the year is going and I am willing it with all my might to slow down.

This month I only read three books which is perhaps the smallest amount I've read in a long time. I read:
- Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I DNFed a book sometime between the two books because I wasn't into it at all which took up some of my precious reading time. Genuine Fraud was okay, definitely not anything I'd rave about but I didn't dislike it so there's that. Gone Girl was pretty good, I had minor issues but overall, really goo, I enjoyed it. Six of Crows was a reread because the first time I read it I was in such a bad slump and didn't actually absorb a single thing so I reread it because I really wanted to love it and I did this time around so you can look forward to that review.

September has been pretty stressful, not going lie. I usually pride myself on my ability to not let the stress get to me but college is so completely different to high school in the workload and expectations. But, not long to go now and it'll finished until next year when I get to do it all again but this time with even more stress and expectations. I'm really enthused, I don't know if you can tell. But, I'm hoping to write some stress related posts with all the new coping mechanisms I've become reliant on. So, you should look forward to that.

I'm looking forward to October, it's going to be absolutely jam packed with study. It's the last month before final exams so, it'll definitely be study, study, study. I probably won't get around to doing too much reading aside from the texts from my English text which I'll be going over so much in an attempt to soak in as much as possible from all four of the texts. But as for recreational reading, that may be hard to come by. But, I'll definitely try to get some in as a bit a relaxer between studying and practising and everything else I've got to be doing.

I think I'll leave it there for now. I hope you've all had a great and less stressful September than I did and I hope you got a bit more reading in than I did. I'd love to know what you read. I wish you all a happy and comfortable October.

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

4 Stars

17234659“Ten thousand skies, and a million worlds, and it still wouldn’t be enough for me to share with you. Nothing less than forever will do.”

I love this world. I love that we got to see a bit more of it in this second book and gain a bigger and better understanding of how it works.

This was a big and explosive sequel to A Thousand Pieces Of You which I also adored. It was literally filled of action. And so many different dimensions. It was wonderful. I was always so excited to see what dimension Marguerite was going to jump into next.

It focused heavily on the relationship between Paul and Marguerite. The dimensions making it even harder for Marguerite to decode all the feelings she has for Paul. It was quite interesting to see how it all unfolded between them even if Marguerite's Paul wasn't present through the large majority of the book.

My one flaw for this book would be, the way the author switches from present time to the past by the drop of a hat. Especially at the beginning. I understand the author is trying to get across as much information as she can but it's difficult to understand when she's jumping from present time to a past memory. The transition wasn't as smooth as it could've been. I think this could be a great info dumping tool if done well, unfortunately this wasn't done all that well.

Another small flaw that has nothing to do with the actual author themselves, I love Theo. I really, really want Theo to be with Marguerite in the end. Theo is absolutely gorgeous and Paul is just not my type at all. Obviously, Marguerite is but I am not. I want more Theo action.

But, asides from my massive love of Theo. I loved everything else about this book. I don't often read Science Fiction but this makes me want to read more of it. I love the idea of dimensions and I'm so excited to explore more of that in the next and final book. I think this was a brilliant and excited sequel and it left me hardly able to contain my excitement for A Million Worlds With You.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The TBR Spot No. 2

Okay, so this one is a little bit of a cheat since I started reading it about twenty minutes ago. But, I've been meaning to read Gone Girl ever since the trailer for the film was released. I got a copy back in June and it's just been sitting on my shelf waiting to be picked up. I'm really looking forward to it, I've been on a bit of a thriller kick ever since I read You by Caroline Kepnes. I've heard nothing but good things about Gone Girl and I've heard Gillian Flynn is a pretty great author.
 I think it would be really cool to watch the film after reading the book and do some comparison. The trailer looks pretty good and I still can't believe I've managed to hold out from watching it. But, I really wanted to read the book first.
I'm really excited and I'll hopefully really enjoy it because I'm already eyeing off Gillian Flynn's other books. But, I'm sure you'll find out if I love it or not very soon, probably in the form of a gushing review.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Cress by Marissa Meyer

4 Stars

"Bending his head, Kai presses his lips to her knuckles. The plating had no nerve endings, and yet the touch sent a tingle of electricity along her arm."
Cress is the third book in the Lunar Chronicles. The series takes fairy tale retellings and puts a scifi twist on them. Each book introduces a new character and follows the plot of a different fairy tale. Cress is the third of four books, following from Scarlet.

God, I loved this. This is quickly becoming one of my favourite series'. Cress might be my favourite one yet, it was really great.

Okay, I loved Cress. She reminds me of myself a bit. She is such a strong girl. She is so thoughtful and just wonderful. One of my favourite things about the Lunar Chronicles is the powerful women. I love that is really is about the girls and the guys are just along for the ride. It's very empowering. All the girls are so strong and independent. I love how Cinder takes control and Cress tries her hardest all the time. It's great. I love it.

 Cress was jam packed with action. But not an overwhelming amount of action. Just enough. I think Marissa Meyer does a great job of packing her books with action and just the right amount of romance on the side. That is one woman who knows what I'm about. I love the scifi factor. I didn't think I was a fan of scifi until I started this series. Turns out I love scifi. Cress has set up a fantastic start for Winter, the final book. I think it's really important for predecessors of the final book in a series to do that. They need to build up to an electric last book. They need to create excitement and drama. Cress has done that fantastically and I am thrilled about it.

Honestly, I don't have much else to say. I'm basically holding out from giving this a 5 star rating because I want to save it just in the case that the final book Winter blows me out of the water. And, I'm predicting it will. I'm excited. I absolutely love The Lunar Chronicles so far and hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on Winter soon. It keeps on getting better and it's shaping up to be one hell of a series.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

DNF-ing: A Discussion

It's been ages since I've done a discussion post and this has been on my min recently. I don't often DNF books. I just hate leaving them unfinished but, I've been doing it a lot more recently. If a book doesn't grab me in a reasonable amount of time, I just don't have patience for it anymore. I just DNFed a book today because I just wasn't feeling it. So, it's something I'm doing a lot more often.

I think I've started to just have less patience with books I don't like. I don't get a lot of time these days to read so when I do, it's like it's frustrating for me if I'm wasting my reading time on crappy books. Which is almost a theme with everything nowadays. With so little time in my days I don't like wasting my time doing things that aren't productive somewhat and for me, reading books I don't enjoy is counter productive. 

As I said, I don't really like to DNF books. It just feels every unsatisfactory. But, I'm trying to bring myself to be more comfortable with it so I don't end up forcing myself through books I don't want to read. And, I'm also a huge mood reader so I can get half way through books and just become uninterested because I suddenly want to read a high-action fantasy or something. So, why not just put it down and pick something else up. But, no, because my brain tells me I must finish every book I
pick up. 

DNF-ing for me, is really about quality and enjoyment. Which is something I struggle with especially with my blog because I want to read things to review for the blog or because everyone else in the blogosphere is reading it. Which sometimes takes enjoyment out of it so in my reading I'm trying to think a little less about the blog and letting myself DNF reads and not force myself through for the sake of a review. DNF-ing is all about being able to read the things you want and not waste time with crappy books. I want to read good books that I enjoy because I don't have a lot of time to read anymore so when I do read I want it to be good. 

So, I don't know. Maybe DNF-ing books is less of a big thing for everyone else. I'm trying to make it less of a thing for myself so I can get maximum enjoyment out of my life. I just don't really have time to be reading books that are unsatisfactory. So, I guess I want to know, what are your feelings on DNF-ing? Do you do it? Do you like doing it? 

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

3 Stars

Thank you to Allen & Unwin for sending me a copy. 
Genuine Fraud is a thriller from E. Lockhart, otherwise known as the author of immensely popular, We Were Liars. I've read a few of E. Lockhart's books at this point so I was intrigued. The title really stuck out to me, it's a bit of a paradox. The words genuine and fraud are two words that very much contradict each other. I like it. I thought it was cool. So, anyway, there were things I liked and things I didn't. I will explain that a bit now.

E. Lockhart has this incredibly haunting way of writing which makes her a great voice for thriller. I wouldn't really call the other books she has written, thrillers. This was quite dark in comparison. But, it worked quite well because E. Lockhart has such a distinctive style. She also tends to reveal little about characters and sort of just keeps questions swimming around in your head. This was definitely the case with Genuine Fraud. I had so many questions and every time something was resolved, another can of worms was opened with it. Which I can't work out if I liked not. I don't think enough questions were answered at the end for me to like it.

I loved the structure. It was really interesting. E. Lockhart usually has quite an interesting way of telling stories and this was another one. It was cool, it went backwards which was cool and I think sets it apart a bit. Just opening the book you're trying to figure out what's going on but the more you read and go back, the more you find out. It worked really well with the type of story this is. I definitely liked it.

It was really gripping. I didn't want to put it down because I was so eager to find out what was happening. It was eerie at times and there was definitely something a bit unsettling which is often the tell tale sign of a good thriller. I read it in essentially one sitting because I just wanted to understand what was happening. That's also one of the tricks of beginning at the end, it gets you wanting to know what happened to lead up to that moment.

The things I didn't necessarily like was the fact that the ending was a bit weird to me. I feel like there were a lot of things we didn't find out but it was still kind of final. I think this could've been fixed if the book was just a bit longer. I didn't feel like there was a huge amount of characterisation which was where a lot of my questions throughout came from. I'm not sure, it just didn't feel like the right way to end it.

I also think it was a bit predictable. To a certain point there was definitely this air of 'oooh what's happening? What's going on?' but after that certain point it got very predictable and I was immediately able to understand the direction it was heading into and to me that was a bit disappointing. Especially when you compare it to We Were Liars which had such a shocking and unexpected ending. So, perhaps I was looking for just a little more there. It fell just a little flat.

So, overall. Genuine Fraud was good. I wouldn't read it again. But, for a quick thriller, it was pretty good. I enjoyed it. It was dark and creepy. It had some really good aspects and fell flat on a few things but not bad.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

25 Facts About Me

1. I really love the colour pink

2. I also really love the colour yellow

3. I have a pet cat named Louis

4. I really love plants

5. I play the trumpet

6. I have a small addiction to coffee milk that grows by the day

7. I really badly want a golden retriever

8. I am an only child

9.  I will never have enough pairs of blue jeans

10. My favourite season is winter

11. I really love socks and have a drawer full of fluffy bed socks

12. I really love The Beatles and have a slowly growing collection of Beatles things

13. I will also never have enough cardigans (they're so comfy!)

14. I have a bit of a thing for 80's movies

15. My favourite season is winter

16. But, I get really excited about spring because of the plants (and I'm writing this on the very first day of spring, yay!)

17. I'm surprisingly good at sewing

18. I'm turning 17 in November

19. I love salt and vinegar chips with a passion

20. I have fear of flying

21. I hate horror movies

22. I really like makeup but have no idea how to use most of it

23. I have so many book ideas floating around my head but absolutely no desire to write them

24. My biggest guilty pleasure is McDonald's (I can not get enough of cheeseburgers)

25. I love baking (and then eating my delicious baked goods)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 2017 Wrap Up

I feel like it's been such a long time since I've actually had a sit down and written a post. I've been insanely busy and insanely stressed but that is something I think I might have a chat about in another post. Today, I'm doing one of my favourite kinds of posts, a wrap up. Yayy!

This month I read:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Cress by Marissa Meyer

Okay, so I will admit I read fair bit this month. I finished off my Harry Potter reread and I loved it. I am in the process of writing a lengthy, chatty post about it. So definitely stay tuned for that. I'm also trying to knock off a few more series' before the end of the year, hence Blue Lily, Lily Blue and Cress. Hopefully I can manage to bowl over The Raven Boys and The Lunar Chronicles pretty soon. I didn't read any contemporaries this month which might be why I had such a stressful and emotional month.

This month on the blog I've been a bit inactive. I've been mostly posting reviews because I'm just tired and I always have plenty of reviews. I've been terribly slack at visiting other blogs too. But, I'm hoping to manage my time a bit better in September. I also have a long weekend coming up that I'm hoping to do some blogging in. We'll see.

This month in life stuff has been hectic. I did my driving assessment yesterday, I failed because I turn corners too wide and didn't consistently check my blind spot. I could rant about it and trust me I already have, I'm not happy that the assessment was completely fair but  it happened and I'll have to get over it. It just got me down a bit because it's been one thing on top of the other recently. I've been crazy busy at school with revision, last minute assessments, retests. Just all that fun stuff. I've been practising my trumpet like crazy. Any spare minute I'm playing. So, it's been a bit. I've never really been stressed like this because in high school none of this really mattered but it does so much this year. But, I'm at least 93% sure I can get through it because I'm made of tough stuff. Or as I'd have myself believe.

So, good reading month. Read some really great books. Bad blogging month. Life is stressful and hard but worth it someday I'm sure but until then I will persist. I hope you've all had a fantastic August and I hope an even better September.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Agony of Bun O'Keefe by Heather Smith

4 Stars

33381295I received a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I actually really liked this!! At first, I kind of questioned whether I would like it but I read some reviews which sounded pretty good and decided to push on. It was worth it.

You will like this book if you like strong, quirky characters. This whole book was very focused on the characters which I didn't mind at all because I quickly learnt to love all of them. I think characters are the most important part of any book so The Agony of Bun O'Keefe certainly makes the cut.

Immediately, Bun is very naive and literal and says what she thinks. At first, I was kind of taken a back by a character like this but I quickly grew to love her. She's a very lovable character and a very strong character. I loved her and I loved seeing her grow and develop.

I loved the other characters too, and I loved the friendship that was made between them. I loved the way they took Bun in and took such good care of her. I got this huge sense of family from them and I loved that a lot. My favourite part was how accepting Bun was of everyone and their stories, Bun really didn't think anything of Chris and his sexuality or Busker Boy and his race. It was lovely to see that.

The plot was sad and almost had The Perks of Being a Wallflower vibes to it. Actually, the whole book held that vibe for me. Eclectic group of friends taking in a naive and troubled person and helping them come into themselves. My heart hurt for poor Bun who we'd come to love. It was just sad and that's all I really have to say about the plot.

I just really liked this. I loved the 80's setting. I love the Perks think going on. I loved the characters. It was just good and it's as simple as that. I think I'd read this one again.

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

“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.

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.

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

Caraval by Stephanie Garber Full Review

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater Full Review

Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs Full Review