Friday, July 29, 2016

When We Collided by Emery Lord

"The point is I'm trying to create good things in the midst of the bad"

4 Stars

I want to begin at the end which was heart wrenching but I think it was important. It was final, it was hopeful and it needed to happen. I'm glad it ended the way it did because Vivi needed to take care of herself and not run away from her obvious issues. It was refreshing since when you're 17 and you fall in love, it won't be perfect and you probably won't marry and spend your lives together. The ending, while heart breaking, made me feel all fluffy and glowy still. I loved it.

I loved the way it portrayed Vivi's bipolar disorder, I've never read a book that focussed on it and I wasn't entirely sure how bipolar felt but the book left me understanding it a lot more and I always appreciate when a book can leave me with something like that. It was fascinating to read as Vivi got bad again because we got to meet her as such a positive and happy girl. She was radiating happiness and love but then we got to experience that wonderful and passionate girl falling into a dark hole again. It was really fascinating.

Vivi was such a captivating narrater and while I didn't enjoy Jonahs narrating as much I feel like it was important to see both sides. To read as Jonah tried to figure out what the hell was going on with Vivi, it was important. Vivi is just so much personality that nobody can outshine her so maybe that's why her chapters were more captivating.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and it would be the perfect summer read although I read it in winter. It's set in summer and is basically spewing summer vibes. It's cute but also tackles a serious subject, which is pretty damn good. I loved it, I read it in about a day and found it difficult to put down. I'll probably still be thinking about Vivi for the next week. If you are a fellow contemporary lover, you'll love this.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This is Where the World Ends and Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Hey! Today I thought it would be interesting to compare two novels by Amy Zhang, This is Where the World Ends and Falling into Place. So having read these both quite recently, there's a lot of similarities that I noticed and a few differences. Although you can tell Amy Zhang has quite a distinct writing style. If you don't want to be spoiled, I might warn you not to read this post quite yet since it may contain a good few spoilers.

First both Falling into Place and This is Where the World Ends both are written in split time. I really like this and it's still a bit different. In This is Where the World Ends the novel is divided into two split parts, Micah narrates the after and Janie narrates the before. Whereas in Falling into Place there's quite a few different time frames the story is told in. We don't know the narrator though it's the same one the whole way through, the time fluctuates between while she's actually driving, so right before the crash to before and after. There's quite a lot of different time frames before, such as while Liz is in middle school, while she's in high school. The focus in Falling into Place seems more to be on building the stories of Liz's life and how she came to be. Whereas in This is Where the World Ends it's more focused on the immediate events that causes Janie to do what she did.

Both books follow suicide as a main theme, one makes their attempt and one doesn't. Both go through the build up to why the characters thought suicide was their one option and also followed the aftermath and the grief of the people who love them. Falling into Place had a much bigger scheme of why Liz wanted to end it while Janie in This is Where the World Ends seemed to decide very rash and spur of the moment and it built very quickly. We immediately knew in Falling into Place into was a suicide but it was only unravelled towards the end of This is Where the World Ends that it was in fact a suicide.

Liz and Janie are both very destructive people. Janie was destructive in a less obvious way than Liz was, Liz also dragged a lot more people down than Janie initially did. I think Liz was also less obviously crazy, whereas Janie was kind of completely off the rails. Neither of them were in good mental spaces which showed in different ways. Liz acted out against her peers meanwhile Janie made her own world. They had different ways of coping and neither of them were really coping at all. I think Liz knew she was getting bad and she wanted help but I don't think Janie realised how far she was spiralling until something bad happened and even then I don't think she realised how bad she was, I'm not sure that makes sense or not but I hope you get what I mean.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Soundtracks: When We Collided

Today I thought it would be fun if I made up my very on soundtrack for When We Collided by Emery Lord. I thought it would be super fun and maybe I'll make some more posts like these.

When We Collided
  • She's Got You High by Mumm-ra
  • Baby, I'm Gettin' Better by Gyroscope
  • Something Great by One Direction
  • Introducing Me by Nick Jonas
  • Slice Of Heaven by Dave Dobbyn
  • I'm a Believer by The Monkees
  • Dancing In The Moonlight by Toploader
  • Carried Away by Passion Pit
  • Someone New Hozier
  • Lovely Cup by Grouplove
  • She's Like a Comet by Jebediah
  • Anything Could Happen by Ellie Goulding
  • What a Feeling by One Direction
  • End of the Day by One Direction
  • Summer Paradise by Simple Plan ft. Sean Paul
  • Long Way Down by Tom Odell
  • Drops of Jupiter by Train
  • You Found Me by The Fray
  • Shark Attack by Grouplove
  • Ways To Go by Grouplove
So, there you have. My When We Collided playlist, I wanted it to reflect the ups and downs of Vivi and Jonahs relationship but a lot of it ended up reflecting the Vivi we first met before everything went to hell. I added a couple of sadder sonds like Drops of Jupiter which I added because I feel like that's what would best reflect Jonahs feelings after Vivi leaves. I also added You Found Me because I think it reflects the state both Vivi and Jonah were in when they met (or rather, collided). I'll obviously spare you from reading me analysing all the songs I've chosen but I'll tell you about one more which is Shark Attack which I chose because I think it really reflected what Vivi felt of herself towards the end.

Anyway, I'd love to hear from you if you liked my picks and which songs you'd put in a When We Collided soundtrack or a soundtrack to any book you'd like.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Selection by Kiera Cass

3.5 stars

"I suppose is was impossible to ignore someone you've loved that much"

10507293I feel as though I'm a bit late on this book but better late than never, right? First off I must say, I really liked this book. I couldn't put it down and I'm itching to begin reading The Elite but I had to get this done while everything was still fresh in my head.

I was a little iffy about this one because after buying the boxset on impulse I read some iffy reviews about it but I liked it. I'm glad I bought it now and I am telling everyone, if you like young adult/romancy books chances are you'll like this but don't take my word for it.

Warning this book was super mushy but I love mush and if you love mush too, you'll probably enjoy it. It's got just the right amount of cutesy stuff along with the real stuff. You're either going to fall in love with Prince Maxon or Aspen but there's just enough of both to satisfy your needs. I personally love Prince Maxon.

I'm struggling to thing critically of this book (I've never been much of a critical reader) but one really nit picky type thing that irritates me is the name America Singer. Get it? She's a singer who lives in (previously called) America. Its so cheesy and it just gets me but I try to at least block out the surname because I don't mind America by it's self. Other than that, I can't think of anything else that really got me mad about this book.

I love America's stubborn nature, it makes the book amusing and relatable for me. I think her attitude is refreshing especially for someone who may well be a Princess. Although, stubbornness is a fairly common trait in most YA protagonists but I still like it. Although America can get frustrating at some points in the book, I kind of did want to scream at her sometimes.

I would definitely say its a cross between The Hunger Games and The Bachelor. Both of which I love (The Bachelor is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine), it's a bit of an odd combination but somehow it works. It's definitely more The Bachelor than The Hunger Games which I use loosely as a comparison, purely the whole lottery type aspect reminds me of the reaping and the castes remind my of the districts.

The Selection was a quick read which actually got me out of a mini reading slump. I enjoyed it a lot and I like the characters, it combines a lot of features I really like in books. Although, while this is right up my alley, you're probably either going to really like this or really not. I guess it depends on what you're into and this review is mostly about some of my favourite points. It's a fun read, a bit quirky, a bit of mush. I'm aware it's less informative and more just my little thoughts but regardless I think it's important to share thoughts.
Have you read the Selection? Leave me some of your thoughts, I love to hear them!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

My favourite bookish heroines

Heroines! They are so important and it's so hard to find a good one. Don't we all love independent, kick ass women? I know I do. Heroines are so important, especially in YA. Girls and women need heroines, we need to have these bookish role models. I love girls and I love girl power. We don't need men to save us all the time, we can do it ourselves. We can be independent and strong and these are the sorts of messages all of our lovely ladies need to hear. So today, this post is celebrating something I'm very passionate about which is heroines.

One of my favourite heroines is Tessa Gray from the Infernal Devices. I love her because I can relate to her, I admire her love of literature and I love her strength. She had Will and Jem chasing after her the whole series and while I know I'd probably lap that up, Tessa didn't depend on either of them to solve her problems. I loved that Tessa knew that the parabatai bond was more important than her relationship with either of them. I admire her for not putting up with Wills crap (even though I'd be swooning so hard). I also adore that she knew she wasn't a plaything, she knew how she should be treated and accepted no less than that. Tessa didn't lead a rebellion or end a major war but that doesn't matter because she was still such a good example to us ladies and I absolutely adore her. She is definitely a role model of mine. She is just a whirlpool of wisdom. “There are so many worse things than death. Not to be loved or not to be able to love: that is worse.”

Another favourite would have to be Katniss Everdeen, of course from the Hunger Games. Katniss led a goddamn rebellion for gods sake. She knew things weren't right and she did something about it and that's something I admire so much. Of course her situation was so much more extreme than any situation I've ever been it. Katniss put her family first and everything else second and I think that's important, she had her priorities right. Katniss did what she had to do to survive and yes, that involved lies and hurt but let's all face the facts, a lot of us would've done just as much in order to survive. Katniss is herself and I think that's the best thing she could be. I always admire the fact that she never sold herself over to the Capitol which I know I probably would've simply because it was easier. Katniss is truly fantastic. “For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first.”

One I completely forgot about is none other than Hermione Granger. Hermione is so, so, so important and I can't believe I forgot about her. She is everything I aspire to be. I love that Hermione is a lot like me, I can see so much of myself in her and her situation. She is a hard worker, which is always admirable and I just love people who can work hard for what they want. I also love her love for Ron, in the whole series I could see her affection towards Ron ran deeper than friendship, especially in the later books. She is strong but still gentle. She is determined and that's such an incredible quality, I find a lot of people lack determination these days. She knew what she stood for and stood for it which is very brave, for example SPEW. She was beyond supportive to Harry and Ron. She helped Harry and fought alongside him even though she didn't have to. She's got a huge heart and that is the most admirable trait of all. I absolutely love her. “Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Miss Granger?” asked Scrimgeour.
“No, I’m not,” retorted Hermione. “I’m hoping to do some good in the world!”

So, there's a quick look into my favourite heroines! I'd love to hear about your favourite bookish heroines so do leave me a comment. Have a good week!

Saturday, July 09, 2016

At the waters edge by Sara Gruen

232099273.5 stars

"There was not a soul on earth who could have comforted him, because he was worse than heartbroken"

I did not like this book just as much as I liked Water for Elephants. When I saw it at the shops a few weeks ago, I was so excited I had to buy it, plus my local newspaper had a review in it which also made me excited (I'm an impulse buyer). So I bought it and wanted to start reading it straight away so I started.

Firstly, I wanted to mention how much it just reminded me of Brooklyn by Colm Toibin (which I read purely because my name is Brooklyn). Maybe because it was set in the same time period and maybe because Elias and Maddie remind me so much of each other. So if you were a fan of Brooklyn, give this a go.

Now, lets really rip into it. Starting with the things I liked about the book. I loved the sense of community and the friendship between Anna, Meg and Maddie. It seemed like the three of them really, genuinely cared for each other and I love friendships that pure. It was just a simply gorgeous friendship. I also loved the historical side of it, I adore historical type novels because everything is so different from what it is now and we always want what we can't have.

I liked that it focused around domestic abuse and the different kinds of domestic abuse. There was the more mental kind of abuse on Maddie's side where Ellis was trying to undermine and mess with her head the entire time but there was also the more physical side shown in another characters relationship. I think it was a good topic to cover and it was similarly covered in Water for Elephants. This goes with saying, its mild and not too gory or too much a trigger (hopefully).

A few things I wasn't a fan of were the characters, they just weren't my kind of people. They were written beautifully but I couldn't be friends with them. There's a difference between characters being likable and characters being badly written, I don't think these characters were badly written at all. I also wasn't the biggest fan of how the plot seemed to go on forever, Maddie suspecting things of Ellis, Ellis and Hank being dodgy as all hell, Hank always being the better half. It just droned on.

But all in all, if you don't like romances then you won't like this, its as simple as that. I liked, there were bits and pieces where I really had to push myself to keep on reading but I raced through the end. Don't give up on it because it took me a while to get fully submerged into the book but also don't go into it with the high expectations you might have from reading Water for Elephants.

This was a difficult review to write since I don't have too many strong feelings about the book but I felt as though it was necessary.

Have you read At the Waters edge? Tell me what you thought!

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Brooklyns Bookish Thoughts

Today the Goodreads quote of the day was Listen, and you will realize that we are made not from cells or from atoms. We are made from stories.from Mia Couto. Now I have never in my life heard of Mia Couto but that quote spoke out to me on so many levels. So therefore, I decided I would find out who this person is.

I found out Mia Couto is an African writer whose works are published in Portuguese. His genres are Literature & Fiction and Poetry. He works as an Enviromental Biologist which sounds awesome.I haven't actually heard of any of his works before but now I going to make it a goal to have read one of them by the end of the year. I think he deserves that since his quote has intrigued me so much. I look forward to reading one of his works.

Anyway, now that we know a few snippets about the man behind the quote I wanted to talk about why it has me feeling so inspired. I think stories are incredibly important, almost everything is a story. When you walk up to your friend and say 'guess what happened last night' you are about to tell a story. When you get home and say to your mum 'Sarah told me...' you are telling a story. When your history teacher is telling you about The Treaty of Versailles they're telling a story. You are constantly telling stories and hearing stories, it's how we leave bits and pieces of ourselves every where.

I am made from the stories I tell, the stories I hear, the stories I read, the stories I see. Everything about me is a story, my whole life is a story and I can't wait to tell someone that huge story one day. You are made up of the stories you tell, the stories you hear, the stories you read, the stories you see. We all are, we are all made up of stories. Why do we tell stories? I think its so we can leave bits and pieces of ourselves everywhere, to keep ourselves alive even after we take our last breath, to share, to experience.

So, tell your stories. Tell who ever you can. Tell as many as you want. Don't be ashamed because we are stories just waiting to be told. I believe every story defines us so tell the whole damn world your story, let them hear it. Tell stories, write stories, read stories, make stories.

I think this is my story, a girl who is so passionate about stories that she shakes with anticipation to tell her friends stories. A girl who is so passionate about stories that she has a blog to discuss the stories she reads. A girl who is so passionate about stories she can not wait to tell this story one day.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

June wrap up!

Today, as the first Saturday of July, my very first June wrap up is due.

This month has been a good month for reading (aren't they all though). Winter in Australia has begun and therefore I have more excuse to sit around inside with a cuppa and a good book. There is no better time to read, in my opinion, than winter.

This month I have read:
At the Waters Edge by Sara Gruen 
Outsiders by Tammy Ferebee   *Review*
The Selection by Kiera Cass
The Elite by Kiera Cass
The One by Kiera Cass
When We Collided by Emery Lord
This is Where the Worlds Ends by Amy Zhang
Falling into Place by Amy Zhang (Reread)

Watch out for reviews, they'll be sure to come your way when I can get them in.

Also this month, I've begun watching Game of Thrones which I thought might finally encourage me to pick up the book that's been on my currently reading self for two years. I got through about 36 pages and gave up because I couldn't help but get distracted, the tv series is great though. I thoroughly love it and it's definitely giving me that extra push to pick up the book again. I'm only up to season 2 (I know, slack) so no spoilers please!

This month has been exceptionally busy for me and I can only see the year getting busier and busier. Although, today begins two weeks holidays so I'll try to make the most of that before diving right back into it. I can only hope to be able to hold up this blog for at least that long. I know I'm already exhausting my bookshelf looking for things to draft just to have things I can post if I can't get something done in time. I can only hope this is finished in time to be posted. I'm feeling very positive about June and even more positive about July.

I've really had a great month and I can't believe the year is already half gone! Such a big year for me and half of its already slipped out from beneath me.

Tell me what you've been reading in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!