Friday, June 30, 2017

June 2017 Wrap Up

Okay, the first half of the year is officially over. I've been so busy that it's flown by. It's so crazy. June has been pretty eventful for me, so let's just dive straight into what happened in June.

I read:
Begin, End, Begin: A LoveOzYA Anthology
The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
The Circus by Olivia Levez
Maus by Art Spiegelman
The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman and members of The Tectonic Theater Company
The Secret River (Script) by Andrew Bovell

Looking back, I read a lot more than I thought so I'm pretty impressed. That being said, three of them were for revision before the English exam I had on Wednesday. I loved the LoveOzYa Anthology, it was absolutely awesome and I think I've got the review scheduled in the next few weeks so, be on the look out. I also really loved The Names They Gave Us. When We Collided was one of my favourite books last year and my love for it inspired me to start blogging because wanted to talk about it a lot and that I did. So, Emery Lord is kind of an important author to me and I'm hoping to read more of her books in the near future. But, to get to my point, I was incredibly excited when Bloomsbury sent it to me and I loved it to bits and pieces. The Circus was meh, there were things I didn't really get and I didn't love it. The rest were rereads for school and I'll spare you my opinions since I've already done at least a hundred and one assignments on what I think of them plus an exam.

One the topic of exams, I've done three this week with two to go next week. June has been full and studying and stress. On Wednesday, I did English and biology. Today I did music theory which leaves maths and music prac to go. Yay. I'm really looking forward to it being over and to have some holidays.

On the third of the month I had my one year blogiversary which was pretty exciting. It was a pretty big thing for me because I didn't think I'd make it this long and honestly, I'm pretty impressed with how I've done. It was a good feeling and I'm looking forward to the next year of blogging and seeing how much further I can go.

I think that's about it so, as always, I hope you've had a great month and an even better one in July. I'd love to know what you've been up to in June!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The TBR Spot No.1

This is something I've been thinking about doing for a while now. My inspiration comes from Charlotte @ Bookmarks and Blogging who does a weekly TBR Feature and I love them, I think they are so fun to read and such a cute idea. I highly recommend visiting her and checking them out. I'm also very sure I've seen other similar posts such as TBR spotlight and what not. Anyway, my point is I love them and I really wanted to do my own. I won't be doing them weekly because I suck at keeping a schedule but I will spatter them every now and then.

The first book on The TBR Spot is Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han. I've read the first two books in this trilogy and have absolutely loved them. I adore Lara Jean, she is the adorably dorky character I have always wanted. She can be dramatic which is definitely frustrating sometimes but I know I am equally as dramatic so I love her. I absolutely love Peter, he is so charming and sweet and ugh. 

I really need to read this book because I care so deeply for Lara Jean and Peter. These books are awesomely fluffy and I could completely devour them. I've heard nothing but great things about Always and Forever, Lara Jean and I am really looking forward to it. I think it'll be the perfect conclusion to a perfect trilogy. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour

4 Stars

“Dignity is overrated. You know what trumps dignity? Kissing.”

Awh, I super loved this. It was super sweet and super cute and super fun. I really enjoyed it, and it was lovely and diverse, what a plus!

18667779I adored all the movie stuff. I've never been interested in working behind scenes nor do I have a knack for decorating. If you came into my room, the first things you'd see is the pile of clothes in the corner I've neglected to put away, the assortment of messily painted jars with an assortment of goods inside and my collection of skincare products that I can't be bothered finding a proper home for. I adore Emi's attention to detail and her passion. She was willing to try so hard to make sure the sets she made were perfect. I love to read about people who are passionate about the things they do. I absolutely love it. Also, this is never even something I'd given a thought to. I'd never even considered that real people were interested by all the behind the scenes things.

This was my first lesbian YA. Which is strange when you think about it. I've read a lot of YA and yet this is my first lesbian book. Anyway, the slow build between Emi and Ava was gorgeous. I loved the way Emi spoke about Ava. Ava was wonderful too, flirty and wonderful. It was very sweet.

I really loved Emi and Charlotte's friendship. So beautiful. Charlotte and Emi had something that seemed so natural. I loved Charlotte, I'd love to read a whole book about Charlotte. What about a book about Charlotte and Toby, just a thought. Anyway, I would have liked to know more about when Charlotte and Emi met and whatnot but I can go without.

The book was very focused on the present in the way that we don't find out a lot about Emi and her life. We find out a fair bit about Ava but not so much about Emi. For example, what exactly are her college plans? How did she know she was gay? When did she come out? How were her family with it? When did she meet Charlotte? All the things amongst other things that I'd like to know. But, it does give it a kind of unique touch. I haven't read many books that are so focussed in the present and that don't delve much into anything prior.

It was a such a sweet read. I quite love it. It'll surely become another go-to read when I'm looking for a good old contemporary. I can't find many faults within it, just a lovely and pure book.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

4 Stars

“You are full, Laia. Full of life and dark and strength and spirit. You are in our dreams. You will burn, for you are an ember in the ashes.”

27774758Wow, I really like this. I'm kind of surprised but also kind of not. It took me by surprise because it took me so long to get into, about 200 pages so, by that point I kind of just assumed I wasn't going to like it. But, as the optimist I am, I pushed on and found myself really enjoying it once I got past the hard parts. That's usually how I am with any sort of fantasy read, though.

I really actually liked Laia. She was determined and I love determination. Her narration wasn't as annoying as I find some can be. I liked that we got to see the progression on Laia's character really well. We got to watch her become and ember in the ashes.

I like that the romance side wasn't the focus (as much as I love romance), it focused a lot more on the other things but still romance was a feature. It was less a focus and more a feature. I think it was important, especially for the first book, to do some world building and set up the rest of the series before diving into the romances too heavy. And, trust me, Sabaa Tahir has set up a great ground for what I think will be a fantastic series.

I know I already touched on the world building but wow, it was freaking fantastic. It was unlike anything I've read. I can usually compare books in my head but I can't begin to think what book I'd place this next to. Not only the world building though, also the characters were really unique to each other. They weren't just different versions of the same character, they were different. It was really refreshing.

I'm really excited about this, I can't wait to get my hands on the next book. It's quite different from other series' I've read so I can't wait to see where it goes. I'm really pleased with how this turned out even when I wasn't sure to begin with.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

My Favourite OzYA Books

Recently, I started reading A #LoveOzYa Anthology and I'm loving it. I can't believe it took me so long to get it in my hands. It's reminded me about my deep love for OzYA and I just really wanted to make a list of my absolute favourites and I hope I can convince someone to pick one of them up.

The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub
This is just one of my favourite books all together. I loved it so much. It's a contemporary and the best way to describe it would be The Breakfast Club except better and so much more heartfelt. It is brilliant, I couldn't put it down from the minute I started reading. I will rave about The Yearbook Committee for the rest of my life, I swear. You will love it if you love contemporaries as much as I do.

Illuminae by Kay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman 
I feel like Illuminae is such an obvious choice but I had to put it in anyway. I really adored it. It was one of my first scifi books and it was epic. It was crazy unique and not at all what I'd expected. To be honest, I couldn't believe it wasn't written by international authors. I feel like it's a pretty big book in YA and it was just so epic. It broke a bit of a stigma I had in my own head about Aussie authors. If you haven't already picked this one up, what are you doing??

Nona and Me by Clare Atkins 
This one has a special place in my heart because it's the only book I've read with aboriginal characters. It's about a girl, Rosie who was childhood friends with Nona who comes from an aboriginal family. It's got a whole lot of culture which was great because a lot of it was new to me and it got me thinking about how I call myself Australian yet I knew next to nothing about the culture of indigenous Australians. It was such a gorgeous story of friendship and family.

My Best Friend Is  A Godess by Tara Eglington 
This was such a fun book. I thought it was really easy to relate to, it focused in on an insecurity I feel like a lot of girls have. I know I used to be incredibly insecure because my best friend was gorgeous and nice and funny and everyone really liked her and then I found out she felt the same about me. I think that comparison is something that everyone does so it was nice to have a book where I could recognise things I'd been through. I liked it a lot, it a great story of friendship.

Zac And Mia by AJ Betts
Another favourite of mine. It's about two sick kids who find a companionship. I loved it because it wasn't sugar coated and they didn't fall in love and it just was so very not The Fault In Our Stars but of course I'n not knocking TFIOS. It was just raw and real and different and I really loved it a lot. It was just such a heartfelt story and is absolutely worth the read.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

5 Stars

“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That's the part of the risk. I don't want to be scared anymore.”  

Oh my (I really want to use a swear word here but for the sake of the classiness of my blog I won't) god. I love this. I need the next one immediately, I'm so stupid. Why did I not buy the next one? I don't know how long I can wait for the next one, honestly. This was pure beauty.
I adore Lara Jean. She is na├»ve and innocent and hopelessly romantic or dreamy eyed as they call it in the book. I can relate to her so much, she is like my personality carbon copy. She is so sweet, I love her. I want her to come to life and be my best friend but I don't think that would work because I also want Peter to come to life and be my boyfriend.

I love the assholey type guy and the nice, good girl trope. I live for it. I don't care how many times I read it, I will always love it. But it also combines another trope I love which I won't try to describe because I think that's too spoilery. It literally combines everything I love. It was sweet and wonderful and fluffy and I love it with my whole entire soul.

It was so addictive. If I'm going to be completely honest with you, I was supposed to spend today studying. To be fair, I spend a good half of it studying. It was just so addictive. I intended to stop, I swear, I only wanted to read a few chapters as a break up from my furious studying but I couldn't stop myself. It was so delicious.

Chris and Lara Jean's friendship reminds me of Carly and Sam from iCarly. I loved it, I loved Sam and Carly so much so when we were introduced to Chris I almost squealed from excitement. I immediately recognised it as being very similar to Sam and Carly. Chris is such a beautiful and caring friend even if she shows it in a slightly different way.

A gorgeous book to read if you're in the mood for some romance. Or if you're in any mood at all. Read it. I can't believe I've gone so long without this book in my life. Also, Lara Jean has a brilliant taste in clothes. Love it.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

4 Stars

“She wasn't interested in telling other people's futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.”

17675462I liked this. I have a friend who adores The Raven Cycle series and I trust her opinion very much so I decided I had to read it. I have a couple small problems with it but I tend to think they're more about personal preference than anything else.

I love Gansey, he is beautiful and charming and I just love him. I would eat him up easily. I love Noah too, he is such a gorgeous soul. I wouldn't have any problems with him either. I didn't like Adam and Ronan as much. Adam was probably my least favourite, I don't know why, he just annoyed me. Ronan had his good moments though and his not so good. I'd like to see more of him and his character. I have a feeling by the way it ended, we'll be seeing plenty more of him. Which I'm excited about, I think Ronan will grow on me.

I think there were a lot of things happening which could have been an issue if it didn't all tie in so well. I loved the way it just tied in and I kept having all these little revelations. It was great, it kept me on my toes. There is nothing I love more than when things just tie in together, it is so satisfying to realise all the little ways it was all connected.

The one thing I wasn't overly pleased with was how it was written in third person. I haven't read a lot of third person books but I'm kind of torn on this. I feel like it was a necessity so we could see what everyone was doing and I liked that but also it didn't give me a chance to connect with Blue, the main character which was disappointing. It felt too much like I was watching from a far rather than perhaps, living it. I think this is something I can get over though because I can see it's purpose and there are many more positives that outweigh this.

I can't wait to keep on reading the series, it was excellent. Magical. I can't wait to see more Gansey and I'm really rooting for Blue and Gansey action. I think this book has been a great stepping stone into an even better series. I think my friend was very right about this series.

Friday, June 02, 2017

My First Birthday

I've been really looking forward to this. It's my one year blogiversary! I hardly ever stick with hobbies so this is pretty impressive to me. I've had a really great year doing this and I'm hoping to keep on going for many more. Now, to be honest, I was really looking forward to this post but I had no idea what to do for it. I've had so many ideas that kind of fell flat when I tried writing them, this is a big milestone and I want to make it a special post. It's a lot of pressure. But, I decided just to keep it simple and chatty.

So, I'd really like to thank those people who've made me feel ever so welcome and supported by reading my posts and leaving comments. I appreciate the support and try to return it as much as I can. I'm really glad to have some lovely people in the community who are supporting my blog. I hate to be someone who relies on reads and comment but it's really, really nice and reassuring to see reads and comments. So, thank you very much!

I started this blog during a tough time. I was struggling a lot in a difficult friendship situation and just felt down a lot. I wanted to have a bit of an outlet where I could talk about the things I liked because I didn't feel like I had a space to do that. I think it's been really great for me to have something that was completely and utterly mine. it gave me a sense of control and it was something my friends at the time couldn't touch. So, it truly does mean a lot to me. Even now that I'm in a better place, I'm still feeling the effects of a crappy friendship and this is a place for me to go. I'm very grateful for this space.

I think I've come a pretty long way from where I was. I've got my blog looking how I want it to look (somewhat, at least). I've found my voice. I'm racked up a pretty impressive archive. I've got a review archive that I'm obsessed with looking at. I've got so many more posts I'm looking forward to writing.

I'm just really thrilled with how it's going and I love that it's completely my own space. I can't wait until this time next year to reflect on how far I've come again. Again, thank you to everyone who reads my posts and leaves comments. It's been a wonderful year, I've enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm really looking forward to another year of it. Thanks for sticking by!

Thursday, June 01, 2017

May 2017 Wrap Up

It's that time again. I can't believe it's already June and winter, my favourite season of all. So, let's get down to it.
This month I read:
- 180 Seconds by Jessica Park
- The Secret River (Screenplay) by Andrew Bovell
- One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- Living On Hope Street by Demet Divaroren

I didn't do as much reading as I might of liked, I think my standards were set pretty high from previous months. Still, I've been quite busy studying for my mid years which are creeping up far too soon. Any time I'm not studying I just feel like doing something completely mindless like scrolling through Twitter or Facebook. I think June will be a lot of the same with mid years right at the end of the month. But, despite not reading too much I did enjoy most of what I did read. The Secret River I read for school so I enjoyed it about as much as you can a school text but still, fairly interesting and it talks directly of the parts of Australian history we are only now beginning to discuss. I really liked 180 Seconds, it was super cute. One Of Us Is Lying was fantastic and everything I didn't know I wanted. Living On Hope Street was really eye opening and real.

May has been a bit of a meh month for me just because I haven't been doing all that much, just the usual. I'm both looking forward to and dreading June because of exams, I'm looking forward to getting them over and done with but I'm not looking forward to the actual exam period. I'm looking forward to some of the reads I have planned out though.

There were so many exciting releases in May that I still haven't read because I'm on a book buying ban and my library kind of sucks in the YA section. My heart yearns for them but maybe the wait will make it even better when I actually do get around to reading them. I know that there are some equally excited releases coming out in June so I quite look forward to that even if I can't buy any of them yet.

Anyway, I don't have much else to say about May so I think I'll leave it there. I hope you've had a bit more of an exciting month than I have, if you have I'd love to hear about it. I hope you have a great month in June and maybe you won't have to deal with exams.