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.” 

Loved!

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.