Monday, January 30, 2017

January 2017 Wrap Up

I can't believe the time has come to wrap up January. It's absolutely crazy, the month went far too fast. I say that because I've been on school holidays and I go back a week into February. And after this month, the year is very very full on as I realised while filling out my diary this morning. So, I'm glad I managed to read 19 books this month because otherwise I don't know how I'd achieve my goal of 100.

What I read:
-The Young Elites by Marie Lu
-The Memory Book by Lara Avery
-Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
-The Titans Curse by Rick Riordan
-The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern Review Here
-The Assassins Blade by Sarah J. Maas
-Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Screenplay by J.K Rowling
-The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon Review Here
-Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
-Heartless by Marissa Meyers
-Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake Review Here
-Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
-If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
-The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
- The Last Olympain by Rick Riordan
-The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
-John by Cynthia Lennon
-A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
-Maus by Art Spiegelman

This is actually really impressive and I honestly don't know how it happened. Looking back at my list I'm in awe of myself. I'm going to be honest, I did totally nothing all holidays pretty much so that's how it happened. I was really determined to get in front of my goal so I don't feel as stressed out over the year. I'm currently 11 books ahead of schedule so that makes me feel a lot better about how little reading time I'll have throughout the year.

The only negative is when I read so many books in a month it puts me even more behind in my reviews. I've only got three up from this months reads as you can tell but I've written reviews for all of them, I can assure you. I've currently got reviews still going up from September so I'm trying to post two a week instead of one but it might be a long time before I'm caught up. It's totally insane.

This month has been a pretty good month for blogging, I feel like I wrote less posts that aren't reviews but I was so focused on my reading this month. I think the blog has been going pretty steadily, I'm pretty pleased about that. I got approved for a review book this month so I look forward to getting that and hopefully doing many more. I also started a bookstagram this month, I'd been umming and ahhing over this for so long but I just bit the bullet and did it. My link is on the side, my username is @/brooklynsippingacupoftea. I'm completely obsessed with it and have so many ideas for book pics. I'm very excited about it.

I really don't have much else to say on January but it was a pretty lazy month for me. I was just enjoying the break from everything. I'm surprisingly excited to get back into everything but it does feel like holidays are getting shorter and shorter. I hope you've all had a brilliant start to the year, I know I have and I hope you continue to have a magnificent year! As always, I'd love to know that you read in January and what you did!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

4 stars

“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”  
Oh my, f---ing god. This makes me feel all the things at once. I forgot how good it was, I remember reading it all in one night all while my Dad cooked tea except by the time tea was up I was crying so not my wisest idea. Honestly, I am so pleased I reread this. It deserves to be ingested and I feel like rereading it was the only way I could do that thoroughly.

Books like this hit me close to home because I am so damn terrified of losing some one I love. Falling in love with a boy and then having them taken away like that is a pain I can't imagine. All The Bright Places is so heartbreaking, I think it's probably one of the most heart breaking of this kind I've read. The thing that gets me is the bipolar Finch clearly suffers, it makes me so scared. It is so intense and so much at once, I couldn't imagine it. It made me so nervous when Finch was going through his manic period, which I consider a good sign, it means I connected with the writing.

I remember this being a book that stayed with me for a while when I first read it. I think it shaped me a little, too. I can't explain how it shaped me but I know it did, by the connection I felt when I started reading it again. I love it so much that I just came up with a story idea inspired very loosely by All The Bright Places which, admittedly, I will probably drop in a couple of weeks. Though, it proves how much this book affects me.

I love dual perspectives, just like I mentioned in my review of When We Collided, I think it's important to gather the perspectives of not only the person suffering but their loved one as well because mental disorders don't only affect the one person, they affect everyone around them. Especially their loved ones.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

5 Word Reviews

So, I had a lot of fun doing my 7 Word Reviews blog post so I definitely wanted to do it again. Today, I felt a particular attraction to the number 5 so, I bring you 5 word reviews.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon


What We Left Behind by Robin Talley


The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub


P.S I Like You by Kasie West


The Lightning Thief by Rick Riodan


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern Full Review Here


Saturday, January 21, 2017

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

3 Stars

“I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”  

4374400Hmm, not sure about this. Really not sure, this is one that didn't give me any nostalgia to reread or anything. It didn't really make me feel a whole lot. I'm pretty sure this will be a fairly short review, not because I don't like If I Stay, I do. It just doesn't give me that many feelings.

The thing I love most about If I Stay, and the reason I reread it is Mia's passion for cello and music. It reminds me of myself even though I tend to have a love hate relationship with my trumpet sometimes. It always makes me want to try harder with my own music and in my own band. So, I like it for the fact that it inspires me to work harder. I also feel at one with her when she talks about the cello being a dorky instrument. A lot of people my age, in my music class play the guitar or the piano or whatnot. I can sympathise with her when she says she doesn't feel like she fits in with her family because she plays the cello and likes classical music.

I loved reading about her family and her relationship with her family reminds me a lot of mine. Thinking about it, Mia and I are very similar. I think her parents are just hilarious and very non conventional but still fantastic parents. Honestly, I could've done without Adam and just had the family. It's nice to read about such a good and in tact family. They're so supportive and wonderful, I love it.

I liked the idea of it, I tend to like to believe that it's your choice when you let go and not the choice of your vital organs but I'm a romantic that way. I wish we got to see a bit more internal struggle with that staying or going. I know if it were me, I would be having an absolute rollercoaster of feelings. Although, it's a nice and quick read. It has some really lovely moments but I'm not in love with it as much as I'd like to be.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Three Dark Crown by Kendare Blake

3 Stars

“I want revenge." She whispers, and her fingers trail bloody streaks down Natalia's arms.
"And then I want my crown.” 

28374007I've seen a lot of reviews of this and a lot of people didn't seem to like it. I actually quite liked it though, I didn't go in expecting too much because of all the reviews I've seen. So, I was pleasantly surprised by it. I had a few minor issues but there were quite a few positives too.

Starting with a couple of my issues with the book. I thought the pacing was slow and I don't think the world was explained very well. The whole book seemed to be a lead up to this 'explosion' style ending, which most books are but in this one, you could really feel it. It was dragging and felt like there was just things happening for the sake of filling in time. But, this could've been used to give readers a better grasp of the world and the plot and answer a few things. I found a lot of my basic questions I had upon beginning the book weren't answered. I just didn't completely understand which made it less enjoyable.

I did really like the idea. I think that's really cool, not going to lie, I did think this was a stand-alone so I did think we'd get to find out which queen wins. Alas, it has a sequel on it's way so we don't find out who wins yet although I have a theory that no one will. I really like the triplet queens and I like that Mirabella really had that sense of family still in her which complicates things a little. 

I like that not only are the triplets big players in the game, also Jules. Jules contributed to a lot of the story. It's almost like Jules and her relationship with Joseph sets the whole climax. Actually, there's no almost about it at all, it does set up the climax. I like that it revolves around the queens but it isn't all about the queens if that makes any sense to you at all. 

I love any books with royalty. It gives that really old timey vibe that I so like and it usually gives a high fantasy vibe too. I never even liked high fantasy before I started my blog. I'm just obsessed with that whole dark fantasy king and queen thing. I'm having a hard time trying to explain it so I'm just going to hope someone gets me. If you like royalty in books, you'll like this si what I think I'm trying to get to.

I really enjoyed it, not to mention that my copy is really gorgeous to look at. I'd recommend giving it a go yourself and seeing how you feel about it because as I said earlier, there has been some mixed feelings about and I almost didn't read it because of that. Hopefully you like it as much as I did. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I thought it would be interesting to start discussing tropes found in YA books on the blog. Some people love them and some people hate them. I want to know why and I want to tell you how I feel. Today, I thought we'd do insta-love because I know that gets a lot of people fired up. It gets me fired up, honestly.

So, if you're unfamiliar with insta-love, it is essentially instant love. Love at first sight. Whatever you want to call. Person meets person and falls in love, no buts about it. It's pretty unbelievable and I'm not totally convinced things like this actually happen in real life. In fact, I'm not convinced at all. I don't think it happens in real life because I don't think it's possible to actually love someone instantly. Be attracted to them? Of course, but not love.

This happens in several upon several YA books. To name a few:
-The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
-City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare
-Lets Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
-When We Collided by Emery Lord
-Carol by Patricia Highsmith
-Looking For Alaska by John Green
-Almost any book by Nicholas Sparks

Those are only a few that I could think of off the top of my head but I think they're all really good example and I'm sure most of you have read or heard of at least one of them. There is a lot of them if you look hard enough. I'm sure if I had a good look at my bookshelf I'd be able to name quite a few. It's crazy how often it happens and it gets me thinking, why? Is it because these authors are just hopeless romantics at heart? Or, are they too lazy to actually write their characters properly falling in love? The last one is aimed at myself, whoops. I mean, it's probably the author tapping into what they think their readers want. I don't mind it and I'm sure there's people out there who live for insta-love.

I'm very on the fence about insta-love. I loved it in The Sun Is Also A Star because it was so sweet, I hated it in Looking For Alaska because I almost thought it was creepy. Which is weird because they were very similar. Which I think comes down to the differences between Miles and Daniel. Miles tended to sexualise Alaska quite a lot and that's where it my mind it was creepy because he hardly knew her. Whereas Daniel hadn't sexualised Natasha quite as much, it still happened but Daniel was still very fixated on talking to Tash and learning about Tash and it was all just very sweet. Which has all to do with the authors. John Green is quite blunt in his books whereas when Nicola Yoon writes I think she has a tendency to romanticise things. So, for me it comes down to the author and how well they've managed it. I think it can be done well and it can be done not so well. Just like anything.

But, I'd like to hear what you think of insta-love. Love it? Hate it? What's a book you've read with insta-love recently? Did it bother you? Tell me everything.

Monday, January 16, 2017

7 Word Reviews

I mean, it's pretty self explanatory but I thought it would be fun (and challenging) to try out 7 words reviews. As for why 7, I felt drawn to it. So, I'll dive straight into it!

Carol by Patricia Highsmith


A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas Full Review Here


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart Full Review Here


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak   Full Review Here


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


The Bees by Laline Paull


The Selection by Kiera Cass Full Review Here


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Divergent by Veronica Roth

3 stars

“A brave man acknowledges the strength of others.”  

13335037I remember this was an early read of 2014, when I was about 13/14 (technically 13 because I read it near Easter time). My best friend was obsessed with the movie and took me with her for her second trip to the cinema to see Divergent (I went because it got me out of hanging out with this boy who was kind of accidentally my boyfriend). Anyway, I got pretty obsessed too so immediately I told my mum I wanted the book. Shortly after, being the absolute legend she is, I found it sitting out for me on the morning of Easter Sunday. I adored it.

The funny thing about Divergent is that while I love the first book, Divergent, the other two don't seem to take my fancy up at all. I read them shortly after the first one but they just didn't seem to compare for me. I really loved the way the factions worked in Divergent and I think I wanted to see more of that. I don't think it has that much to do with the writing or general quality of the other two books. It more or less has to do with the fact it wasn't what I wanted and I didn't tend to enjoy it.

I love the idea of Dauntless and I love reading about it. I could never be in dauntless but god, it is so fun to read about. I can see myself being in Amity even though I long for knowledge, I don't think I could possibly handle Erudite. It would be cool to read more about Candor though. I'm obsessed with the whole concept of these factions, although in theory, they're probably the worst idea ever. All the qualities are good qualities and I think it would be pretty impossible to determine only one out of all of them. These impracticalities are what makes it so fun to read about though, who reads to read about the world they're in. If I read of the world I'm in, I'd be reading about reading and school and band.

I honestly skimmed past the last about 80 pages because I'm not entirely about all that. I just really love all the faction and initiation stuff. Although, The Hunger Games are a bit the same for me. I could really give or take the whole uprising thing. The first time round it's interesting but for a reread, I'd rather just read what I loved and I loved everything else so much.

Although, I love Divergent, it didn't blow me away. Therefore, I am only rating it three stars and not four or five. I do this because my opinions on Divergent especially are personal preferences and very much my personal opinions. I don't have a lot to say on it, in terms of plot and characters and world building so I can't give much of an in depth review of this one.

Friday, January 13, 2017

2017 Goals

I'm a bit late on this but I'm just really in the mood for goal setting right now. I'm feeling super ambitious and determined today, no doubt it'll fade by tomorrow. So, I'll do it while I'm in the mood because I do love to read other peoples goals yet I haven't even done one myself yet. Here we go!

1. Smash Year 11

This year I begin Year 11 which is big and scary and it feels like yesterday that I was freaking out of year 7. It's always scary starting at a new school and going from 400 students to 1000 is going to be weird. It's not going to be like high school which despite not knowing it when I started, is a safe and happy place. Every time I remember I won't have any of the teachers I know and love teaching me I freak out a little because you really don't appreciate them until they're gone. It's a big step towards becoming an independent person. I've also taken on more than the average year 11 so I'm a big nervous that I won't be able to handle it after all. 

2. Grow My Blog
I'd love to grow my blog, obviously. I started about six months ago now and it's doing better than I thought it would but as humans, we're always going to want to better ourselves so it's natural that I want to do better and see how far I can take this. I don't want to put numbers on it because I don't really know how much to expect. It all depends on how much work I can put in I guess. I'm determined to make this blog work. I'm going to focus on graphics and learning to code and branding this year because I think a lot of it does come down to how easy the blog is on the eyes and I think I've finally worked out what I want for this blog. So, I'm excited.

3. Place In Nationals With My Band 
This is honestly one of the harder things because it's not just on me. It's on 20 or 30 people to work together and work hard. It's the first time my band has gone to a national competition. We do really well at the state competitions but we know those bands and we are probably working in lower grades than we should be at the moment but a couple years ago when we first learnt we were going to compete it was only as an experience thing just to participate and stuff, like our first ever competition but we've done a lot since then and now we're actual competitors, in it to win it because we're getting good. I'm really hoping we can pull it off because this could be the first and last national competition I compete in. The last one the bands competed in was 6 years ago and I don't know if 6 years in the future I'll still be with the band. 

4. Get My First Physical ARC
This almost falls in with growing my blog. I'd love to get a physical ARC this year but I think to do that I'm going to have to work so hard on my blog and really prove myself. I've done two E-ARCs that I learnt about from Goodreads. I did Defensive by B. Austin and Outsiders by Tammy Ferebee, I was only just getting into reviewing and blogging too when I did them so they aren't great reviews and I probably didn't give them a huge amount of cover but still, you've got to start somewhere. It might be a bit of a process but if I'm determined to do it, I think I can.

5. Start A Bookstagram
This one I haven't started because I'm crappy at taking pictures and don't know how to get good lighting. I'll learn though, surely. I think this will be good for the blog too, so I'm pretty excited to branch out. Plus, I love Instagram and I spend a lot of time browsing through all sorts of bookstagrams and I'd love to be apart of that. I'm sure it'll give me flashbacks to when I was 12 and I had a 5 Seconds Of Summer fanpage and I thought I was living some sort of double life. It was epic and the people loved me.

6. Don't Be Bothered By People Who Aren't Bothered By Me
In 2016, I spent way too much time obsessing over people who weren't worth my time. It brought a lot of negativity to my life and just wasn't nice and I wasted a lot of my time over it. I'm still a little bothered by them but I'm determined to get over it because I'm not sure that what they were doing was because they weren't bothered by me or because they were too bothered by me. This year I don't want any of that because I have too many awesome things to accomplish to worry about crappy friends.

7. Read A Lot (At Least Two Books A Week Please)
This year, I want to read 100 books. It's a feat I've never accomplished. I figure two books a week and I've done, right? Even that's more than enough. I've been getting as much in as I can in the holidays because I know I won't have as much time as I might've had last year to read. So, I'll get ahead of the game while I can to minimise the stress during the times I can't stress about my reading goal. I've read ten books already in two weeks of 2017 so I'm beautifully ahead of schedule. The productivity it's bursting from my pores.

8. Write A Lot 
I've only just gotten really into writing. But, I can never stick to one thing. I end up abandoning half of my story ideas in the very early stages of writing. I like to think I'll go back to them but I highly doubt it. I've been working on this one story since November though and that's got to be a record for me. I'm really happy with it and by the end of the year I'm hoping to get to the stage where I'm finished with it and can edit it. Or if not that story than another one. I want to at least finish one story.

9. Convince Parents To Get Dog
We haven't had a dog since our old dog passed away in 2012 which is so weird because we all love dogs.  We were going to get one once my old cat was settled in because he hadn't been great with our dog but then the cat passed away about a year after our dog then we got our new lovely, Louis so we've been waiting for him to settle. In April we'll have had him for three year and he has a different nature to our old cat and I think he would be okay if we got a puppy. It would definitely have to be a puppy though. My parents have been talking about it a lot though, it's a lot of talk of breeds. Our old dogs were Boston Terriers but they're almost $5000 now and even though we'd all love another one we'll have to settle on something a bit more in budget. I'd love a Golden Retriever unfortunately, our house is too small for such a big dog. I got massive dog envy at Christmas when both my aunties brought their dogs along. I'd love to end 2017 with a doggy. Although, it'll be a challenge to divide the attention between a puppy and Louis who is about as demanding as a new born baby.

10. Have A Happy And Productive Year!
This is the biggest one. As long as my year is happy and I've achieved something, I'll be a happy camper. I'm so excited for a fresh new year and I'm thrilled by all the possibilities. It's exciting, it's like having a blank canvas and getting to fill it all up with whatever you like although, I think a blank canvas would stress me out. I haven't got one creative or artistic bone in my body. So, this is much better in my opinion than a blank canvas.

Anyway, I wish you all a happy and productive year! I hope you achieve all the things you want to and I hope everyone treats you the way you deserve. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

5 Stars

“There’s a Japanese phrase that I like: koi no yokan. It doesn’t mean love at first sight. It’s closer to love at second sight. It’s the feeling when you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don’t love them right away, but it’s inevitable that you will.”

28763485Anyone who has ever read my blog will know, I am a down right sucker for contemporary. This was no exception to the rule. It was everything I could have wanted it to be and now my heart hurts.

I didn't think it could be as magical and beautiful as Everything, Everything but it absolutely was. Nicola Yoon writes gorgeous books, that is my conclusion. That is what I've drawn from this reading experience. It was wonderful, I could feel Natasha and Daniel in my soul as though they were both a part of me.

I like to say I don't like insta-love because I know a lot of people don't like insta-love and I sometimes seem to adapt other peoples opinions for no apparent reason. But, I'm going to go ahead and say it. I like insta-love. It's romantic. I'm a sucker for romance. This book was absolutely, no doubt about it insta-love. So, if that isn't your jam, this probably isn't the book for you. However, this is hella my jam so I loved it.

I love Daniel, he and I are both very much dreamers. I love his spirit and the way he thinks of things and the way he feels everything. I felt a strong connection with him as far as relatability goes. I also adored Natasha for her determination even when it seemed like the whole world was against her. I appreciate that she truly never accepted defeat until she really had to.

I love that the book didn't just focus on the day Natasha and Daniel had spent together, it also branched out to the people around them and it gave you a sense of the fact that literally everyone has something going on. I loved all the back stories and all the seemingly small people they encountered on the way that became bigger people. I adored the way it made a single day seem so big and full of life.

There were so many things I loved about this, practically too many to name. It's diverse, fluffy, heartfelt, beautifully written and the list goes on. She's done it again.

Monday, January 09, 2017

A letter to Eleanor *SPOILER ALERT*

Dear Eleanor,

15745753I hope you're doing well. I also hope your family are safe but you did the right thing, Eleanor. I hope life is treating you fairly now since you sincerely deserve it. I have a lot I want to know but I don't know if I'll get it all back and I don't want to bother you with your old life, I can imagine it would be a tough topic.

I wonder if you could tell me, what did you say to Park? What were those three words? Surely you can confide in me, we are friends. I hope you know he cares for you deeply, it breaks my heart to think of how deeply he cares for you. I would hate for you to think that he doesn't, you'll always be special to each other. Even when you're loving other people. I think the love you two share is extraordinary and I can only hope I can experience that kind of love in my life. You're lucky in that respect, Eleanor.

I wonder, do you ever miss Bobbi and DeNice? They were so lovely to you, you were lucky to have them too. I wonder if they think about you? I'm sure they do, I'm sure they wonder about how you are and where you are and if they'll ever see you again. They're lovely girls. I hope you have some good friends like them at your new school.

I hope you've spoken to your mum and your siblings and god, do I hope they're safe. I'm so sorry that the situation meant you had to leave them again. I know you wouldn't have gone if you didn't have to but you had to Eleanor, for your own safety. We both know what would have happened had you stayed. I wonder, do you contact them regularly if they are safe? Do you chat with the kids? I hope so. For you, I hope so.

Your story touches me, Eleanor. I hope you know that. You and Park have such an enduring love and I'm sure it'll last the while even if it doesn't. I'm so terribly sorry for all the wrong that's been done to you in your life, you at least deserved Park and I'm so sorry he got taken away from you so soon.

Please look after yourself, Eleanor.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

4 stars

“I love you,” I say to him, only it comes out, “Hey.”
20820994“So damn much,” he says back, only it comes out, “Dude.”
He still won’t meet my eyes.”  

Oh my god, I feel like I say this about literally every book I've read thus far but I love this so much. I forgot how much amazingness is out there. I'll Give You The Sun is such a quirky contemporary, my favourite kind. It makes me feel so much at once, which is absolutely incredible.

I adore NoahandJude. They make me want a twin. They make me want to give birth to twins. They make me want to go back in time and shove this book under both my Mum's nose and her twin brother's nose to somehow give them this incredible relationship. I love the idea of having that sort of built in best friend kind of thing but closer than best friends. I think their relationship is wonderfully written and I love that it's one of the main focuses. I've always loved twins, I've always desperately wanted to have twins (they say it skips a generation) so to have a whole book that pretty solely focuses on the relationship between them is like my dream.

I love that the stories intertwine so beautifully. I've always admired authors who can tie up loose ends like that. J.K Rowling is a prime example of tying up loose ends but Jandy Nelson did a suburb job of it too. When I read it for the first time, it was so satisfying to see every thing tie together. It was also cool because it was done in such a way that enough information was given so you could have a guess but not enough so it wouldn't be fun.

I loved that the book followed Noah and Jude at different ages. I thought it was pretty unique and really interesting. Also, it's crucial to the story that we have both of those perspectives.

It honestly blows my mind at how well put together this whole book is. I think it will always boggle me how some peoples minds can work like this. I just want everyone to read it and not even have to like the romance or the characters, just appreciate how incredibly well put together it is and how much work must go in to a book like this. I love this book and I want to shove it under every body's noses.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

4 Stars

9361589“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.”

This was absolutely enchanting. From the moment I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. It had a certain magic about it.

I wasn't expecting it at all. I was honestly expecting some sort of Water For Elephants cheesy type of romance and circus setting. Not that I don't love Water For Elephants, don't hurt me Sara Gruen. It wasn't anything like I'd expected, the circus setting was absolutely captivating. It had an air of magic and mystery and wonder. It was written in such a romantic style too, which enhanced all the wonderful things about this book.

Celia and Marco definitely reminded me of Jacob and Marlena from Water For Elephants. I'm not entirely sure I liked Marco but I could feel the way he felt for Celia through the pages and it was beautiful. The forbiddeness of it made it all the more passionate. I love the way their relationship tied in through the story.

I adore Bailey. You can really feel his passion and love for the circus pulsing from the pages. It is so genuine, you can tell he truly is dazzled by the circus. It was wonderful to read a character with such passion and enchantment. He such a pleasant character to read and through him you got to feel so many things.

Morgenstern wrote a circus I would adore. It was a really playful air about it. Everything tied in beautifully even when it felt like reading a billion different stories. The characters were beautifully written and the plot was clearly very carefully crafted. I love that I can feel the amount of work that's gone into writing this book. It's intense but still light and it truly is something.

Monday, January 02, 2017

December 2016 Wrap Up

Wow, wasn't that a year to remember? We've finally come to the end and it's definitely bittersweet. I feel like I've done so much in December, it's been highly eventful. So, let's dive in with the reading.

Somehow, despite having one of the busiest months of my life, I managed to read a lot. I don't know how I do it. I read:
  • You by Caroline Kepnes
  • Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  • Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riodan
  • Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray
  • The Crown by Kiera Cass
  • Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  • My Best Friend is a Goddess
And, it was a damn good reading month too. The only book I didn't like was The Crown which I go into much detail on in my review. To put it bluntly, the end really pissed me off. Otherwise I really liked all the books I read. There were some very good reads in the bunch and it was a great way to end the year. I hope 2017 is just as good.

Anyway diving into my personal life. I have a lot I want to talk about. You better get a cup of tea.

As of the other day, I've been driving for a month. Which is pretty excited and I don't know where all the time went. I'm way better than I ever thought I'd be at this point. Granted I'm learning in an automatic. I'm usually a pretty nervous person so I thought I'd be a really nervous and hesitant driver. That's not actualy the case. I really like driving, it's oddly calming for me. I think it's because I like having that control.

Also, even bigger than driving. I finished high school. Four years over like that. It was crazy. I won a scholarship and got treated like a princess. That last week was the best of my life. The scholarship put me on such a high I couldn't help but grin for the rest of the week. It was crazy unexpected. I remember telling my parents about it, saying I wouldn't get it, it would go to someone with better grades. When one of the teachers came up to me at the dinner and told me why I'd gotten it, I almost cried. It made me so proud. I also got the respectable student award. Which I was ridiculously proud of because I think that was one of the best rewards to get since it's more about reputation over what you've done. It was wonderful to know all the effort had come to something in the end. It felt great to be acknowledged, plus a fifty dollar prize doesn't hurt anyone.

The dinner was the best night of my life. We got to go home after being formally farewelled by the school, which was very sad. There were plenty of tears and plenty of hugs. Then once home, I had a while to relax before going to a hair and makeup appointment to get glammed up. I've never had my makeup done by someone else before and it was actually really nice. I had my hair curled and then we went back home to get dressed. I remember the moment of getting into the dress and looking at myself and it was just incredible. You really don't get to do this things often. I went with a group of two other girls and a boy and when he arrived he had three beautiful red roses and I could've cried. It was totally unexpected but it was so lovely. I'm so sad that mine is slowly dying. Everyone looked amazing and it was fantastic. We danced for three hours straight. It was insane and somehow I didn't have any blisters.

Finishing high school was so surreal. It still feels odd. I can't believe after four years it was over so quick. But, strangely enough, I feel perfectly ready to continue on to the next chapter of life. Four years was definitely enough. I can't wait for this year, I'm going to have so much freedom I won't know what to do with myself.

Of course, Christmas was fantastic. You can read about what I got here. I can't wait to read all my new books. I also had a lovely new years weekend with my parents. It was a very quiet holiday period at home.

I hope you've all had a fabulous December and an even better new year. I'd love for you to let me know what good things have happened to you this December and what you read.

When We Collided and All The Bright Places

When We Collided and All The Bright Places both follow characters suffering from bipolar disorder so I thought it could be quite interesting to compare the two of them because there are a lot of similar aspects and a lot of fairly different aspects. I do warn you, there will be spoilerish content so please don't read on if you don't want to be spoiled.

So to begin with, one similarity was that they both had love interests and the love interests were both grieving at the time they met Finch/Vivi. The books both seemed so have a focus on how both Vivi and Finch brightened and changed the lives of grieving Jonah and Violet. It was very fluffy and lovely until you noticed how odd Vivi and Finch were acting.

It wasn't revealed until the end of both books that the characters were suffering from bipolar. Although, in When We Collided, Vivi has been diagnosed prior and Finch had been professionally diagnosed yet. So this is an interesting point, Vivi and her mum had knowledge of what Vivi had and knew how to maintain it but Finch and his family didn't have a clue really.

Vivi and Finch both had very manic periods towards the middle/end of the books and they were both kind of very similar when that was happening. It was horrible to see them both deteriorate like that and yet, I couldn't stop reading because I was hoping so desperately that they'd both be okay. It was also, really interesting to read, if not painful.

A couple differences would have to be for one, the endings but that's a huge spoiler so we won't go into that. Also, Vivi's mum was a lot more involved whereas Finch's parents were very uninvolved which is why I assume, he never got professional help. Vivi was having a relapse due to not taking her medication whereas Finch wasn't on any medication to begin with seeing as he was never officially diagnosed although it's questionable to as wether this is the first time Finch had been manic like that. He suggests he went into a sleep quite often but I'm unclear on what that kind of means of the bipolar front.

So, that concludes my comparison. I think they're both very interesting and insightful books. I couldn't pick a favourite, they're too similar yet different at the same time.  If you're interested in reading more of my posts about When We Collided then you can check out my review or my soundtrack or even my letter to Vivi.