Saturday, July 22, 2017

Under The Lights by Abbi Glines

2 Stars

“I want more than that. I want you. I want to be able to kiss you anytime I want. I want to hold your hand in the halls. Hell, I want to be made fun of by the guys for wanting to be near you all the time.” 

Where do I even begin with this? This is one of the first books I can remember blatantly disliking. I'm not overly picky as you can probably tell but this just brushed me the wrong way and looking quickly through goodreads ratings. I can see a lot of people did like it, later I'll probably go through and find out why exactly. I can't see the appeal. 

So, I only just realised this is the second book in a series. I don't think you need to have read the first book, Until Friday Night to read this because I got on fine without it. But, a quick bit of research tells me that there's a side character in this books who I actually wanted to learn more about was the main character of Until Friday Night. One of my initial issues with the books was the Riley had a really intriguing backstory and I wanted to learn more but no one really talked about it like  thought they would so I thought it was random to have that in there but now I know why it wasn't exactly explained. I'm kind of curious so I might end up reading it one day.

My first thought was that this was very dramatic and read like the kind of fanfic I wrote when I was about 12 years old. I was incredibly dramatic and I don't mean for that to sound rude, what I mean is it seems like the author is trying to fit as much scandal and drama into every page as she can and it just to me doesn't seem like mature writing. It was a lot going on, a lot of secrets, a lot of angst. I just thought it was so much going on and I don't really know how I felt about that much going on. 

I didn't like this whole love triangle thing. The thing is, I don't mind a love triangle when it's done well but this one wasn't it. It felt rushed and I thought it was hard to believe. Really, three guys are all into the one girl? Don't know. It felt unnecessary, it didn't add much to the story and it was hard to believe. 

It didn't feel like there was much of a climax or build up. It felt like a very solid read, you know what I mean? There wasn't much of a high point where everything comes together, it was like it was all coming together through out the whole book. There wasn't a lot to be excited for. 

It was also very 'omg, the girl from our childhood is so hot now' which made me wonder how much depth there was to the attraction. It was very blunt and whilst, I know boys can be like that, it's not very appealing. They talked about all girls like objects. They referred to Willa's 'bubble butt' and Serenas's huge boobs and 'hoover mouth'. It made it a bit uncomfortable to read. Butts and boobs I can get over but referring to someone as a 'hoover' definitely rubbed me the wrong way. Especially when it was the reason Gunner was taking her to homecoming. The lack of respect these boys had was a definite turn off for me. 

I'm not a fan, I don't know if I'll read anything else from this author. Honestly, probably not. I'm not sure if I'm the only one who had issues with this book. It's definitely not soft and pretty like the things I usually tend to read. I'd love to know if anyone else has read it and what they think of it because I'm just not thrilled at all. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Top Quotes From Harry Potter

There are many fantastic quotes from Harry Potter so I've complied some of my favourites. And I also decked it out with some of my favourite screencaps from the films. 

Image result for harry potter screencaps1. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

2. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”  

3.  “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”

4. “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.”  
Image result for harry potter screencaps

5. “Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”  

6. “Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”

7. “Death's got an Invisibility Cloak?" Harry interrupted again.
"So he can sneak up on people," said Ron. "Sometimes he gets bored of running at them, flapping his arms and shrieking...”  
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8.  “Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.”

9. “Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here!”

10. “But Dumbledore says he doesn't care what they do as long as they don't take him off the Chocolate Frog cards.” 
Image result for harry potter screencaps

11. “We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.”

12. “Just then Neville caused a slight diversion by turning into a large canary.”

13. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her. After several long moments, or it might have been half an hour-or possibly several sunlit days- they broke apart.”
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14. “It was not, after all, so easy to die.”

15. “What do I care how 'e looks? I am good-looking enough for both of us, I theenk! All these scars show is zat my husband is brave!” 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

5 Stars

“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”
I loved this so very much. I powered through it in a day. I thought it was going to take me much longer than that. It was brilliant and one of the few books I've read that I felt actually really lived up to the hype.

It captivated me immediately. Which is tricky sometimes and it's rare that I find a book that reels me in immediately. So I was thrilled with that and was desperately hoping it wouldn't let me down from there. It didn't. Caraval set itself up for a really interesting story. In the first few chapters we learnt about the characters but nothing was an info dump. It was a fantastic start.

I really liked Julian, he's my favourite character by now. I wasn't a huge fan of Scarlett but she wasn't annoying and she didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book. I appreciate the bond Scarlett and Tella had. It was really beautiful. I'm a sucker for good sibling relationships. I thought all of the Caraval players and performers were so interesting.

I thought the whole plot was so interesting. I love these sorts of books. It reminded me a lot of The Night Circus which I loved. This was just as dazzling and unique. I couldn't put it down because there was always something interesting happening. It was just so interesting and different. There was definitely something about it. It almost had an Alice in Wonderland vibe to it.

I really loved it. It was captivating and interesting. It was different. There were just so many good points. I think it's definitely something you'll have to read for yourself. It was like an experience just reading it. I really look forward to reading more books from the author. A very strange but gorgeous book.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Best Parents in YA

I've been wanting to write this post for a while because I love seeing awesome parents in YA. I can already guarantee I will forget at least one book with some brilliant parents but, here we go.

Lara Jean's Dad in To All The Boys I've Loved Before
How awesome in Lara Jean's dad? He is the best. He loves all his daughters with all his heart and it really shows. He is so supportive of them and takes such good care of them I think it's fantastic. Its awesome to see some good representation of a good single dad.

Tris' Mum in Divergent
I'm not the biggest fan of the Divergent trilogy but I love Tris' mum. She is so great and I love that she was willingly to fight alongside her daughter and for her daughter. It was great, she's a kick ass kind of mum and I appreciate that a lot.

Molly and Cassie's mums in The Upside of Unrequited
The girls' mums are so lovely. They are so supportive and patient and I love them a lot. I also think it was really important that they were such good mums because it doesn't matter if it's a mum and a dad or only a mum or only a dad or two dads or two mums, a good parent is a good parent.

Cath and Wren's Dad in Fangirl
Another single dad and I don't think he's the last on this list either. I think I have a soft spot for good dads in YA because media is so populated with stories of crappy dads. You can tell that Wren and Cath's dad love them so much and they are such a big part of his world, just like Lara Jean's dad. He's a sweetheart.

Mr and Mrs Weasley from Harry Potter
Could this be a best parents post without the Weasleys? They are both so pure and wonderful. They took Harry in and treated him as their own without a second thought. They have so much love in their hearts for their kids and they are so phenomenal.

Mia's Parents in If I Stay
Mia's parents were so cool. I totally loved them and they may have been my favourite part of book. I loved that they cared so much for Mia and Teddy and spending time with them was such a big priority. Musician parents are also just cool to have.

Those are all the parents I could think of right off the top of my head but I can assure you, there are plenty more. If you can think of any more, I'd love to know.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

5 Stars

“I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone's hand.” 
Woah. I knew I would love this. I've had so many people tell me I would love this. I've been dying to read it since I joined to bookish community. Now, I've finally read it and it was everything.

I wasn't what I expected but it still exceeded my expectations. I think I was anticipating something a bit more sickly sweet. I got something so much more than that. It almost reminded me of I'll Give You The Sun a bit at the start. The Noah parts though. But, then it just came into it's own. 

From the minute we were introduced to Dante, I loved him. He is so sweet and I want to protect him at all costs. The way he was written I think it would have been completely impossible to not love Dante. I loved him even more when he said his favourite song was The Long and Winding Road because that's mine. Ari was such a great character too. His character had a great complexity but when it came down to it he was so sweet as well. And witty. 

Ari and Dante's connection was everything. It was magical and gorgeous and everything I could have asked for. Ari is so brooding and Dante is so sweet and delicate. It's perfect. I love it. It was so well written and made me so happy. It was a beautiful thing.

 Oh, and their parents?!?!? AMAZING. Their parents were so good and pure and lovely. I loved the way they supported their boys and their relationship. I think they are definitely some of my favourite bookish parents. I just really liked them. Dante's parents reminded me of my own but so did Ari's parents and I love that. They are just so supportive and full of love. 

I loved seeing them grow into men. At the beginning of the book they were just boys and we got to see them change and grow into beautiful young men. That was actually really well written, they matured but they were also the same and I'm pleased. 

I feel like everyone has raved about this book but it was seriously so good. It also reminded me a bit of The Perks Of Being A Wallflower which is one of my favourites. So that's great. It was beautiful and I cried a lot. It was so good but it made me so sad too. Not like bad sad though, if you get me. It was really unique. Definitely one of my favourites so far. 

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

A June Book Haul

If you follow me on twitter, you've probably seen my various tweets complaining about my book buying ban. I'm trying to save up for a new trumpet right now so at the beginning of the year I told myself  'no more books'. And I've stuck to it pretty well. I've accumulated a small collection of books over the past couple of days so I wanted to show it to you just to do something a bit different. P.S, I was going to take my own artsy pictures of these but I waited too long and now it's dark so Goodreads will be my lifesaver once again.

Image resultBegin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology
I kind of love anthologies and when I saw this in store, I knew I had to buy. I'm definitely a bit late but better late than never. I've already read this one and I loved it so much. It's got me adding so many new books to my TBR. It is absolutely gorgeous and looks beautiful on my shelves. It was definitely worth it.

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone 20th anniversary edition
My mum is currently away for work. She is staying somewhere with a Dymocks and where we live, there is not one. In fact, I think we have about three book stores in total and they're all independently owned so they don't have a huge stock. So, my absolute angel of a mother asked me if there was anything I wanted and I said no because I always feel guilty about my mum spending money on me. She knew I really wanted this though and when she came back for the weekend and showed me I was ecstatic. It's beautiful. I got the Ravenclaw one because I am a Ravenclaw and mum knew I wasn't a huge fan of the paperbacks so she got me the hardcover. It is gorgeous and I am so in love.

The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil
28052476Another Dymocks buy from my beautiful mother. I was really excited about this because I read the OzYA Anthology and I loved Melissa Keil's story. I hasn't read any of her books but after reading her short story, I really wanted to. I'm so excited, mum got the last signed copy! I knew Dymocks did signed copies but it didn't even occur to me that there would be any there. I love it so much and I'm so excited to read it.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Okay, so the next couple of books I bought at a used book fair where I live. I didn't realise it was on until my parents told me and they knew I'd want to check it out. I didn't think I'd find anything. A lot of it was chick lit and other books with spines so cracked I could hardly make out a title. I found Gone Girl though and it was one of those books that I kind of wanted to read but didn't want to commit to buying so this was really convenient for me. The three books I bought cost $6.30 at 90c per cm of spine. So it was an absolute bargain and they were all in pretty good condition.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Yet another buy that I didn't want to commit to full price for. I'm just interested in this, I've heard a lot of things and I kind of think it would be fun to pull apart, I know it's studied a lot in schools. So anyway, I just saw it there and thought it looked like it was in good condition and I wouldn't mind giving it a go.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han

5 Stars

20698530“People come in and out of your life. For a time they are your world; they are everything. And then one day they’re not. There’s no telling how long you will have them near.”

Ughhhh. This was unbelievably good. It really just did things to my heart and I haven't read a book like it in a while. 

I really adore Lara Jean. She reminds me so much of myself which might be why I love To All The Boys so much.  I love that she's still figuring out the ropes and she doesn't just naturally know everything about relationships. I love that she has such a big heart. I love that she can hold her own. She's just great and I really like her. I still love Peter even though his relationship with Gen irritates the hell out of me. I appreciate his loyalty to her. I love how well he treats the girls in his life. 

I really liked that this book dealt with the ins and outs of a relationship. Usually, you get all the build up but you never get to see what happens afterwards. I liked the way the book dealt with it. I liked how Lara Jean talked about how she had to put in work too and how it's sometimes the smallest thing that will make your significant other happy. I just really liked that whole part of it. 

Again, I love the family dynamic of this book. The Song girls all have a brilliant relationship with each other and their father. It's just really lovely to see such a gorgeous family in YA. It absolutely warms my heart and makes me want to give my parents a hug. 

This book made me really emotional. It felt so real as I was reading it. You know? I read it all in one sitting because I was just completely engrossed. I couldn't put it down. My heart hurt with Lara Jean and I grinned like crazy with Lara Jean. It really pulled me in and kept me in and I love books like this. My favourite genre is contemporary because they just have such an ability to make it feel so real. I don't know if anyone else gets that.

I knew I had to read this book after To All The Boys and I was even more determined when Forever and Always, Lara Jean was announced. I"m glad because I absolutely loved it and I have such a craving for Jenny Han books now. I can not wait for Always and Forever, Lara Jean (knowing me, it'll already be out by the time this review is up) and in fact I'll probably go preorder it as soon as I'm done here (Brooklyn's bank account cries). I love it and it's one of my favourite contemporaries ever. Go read it. Also, I am the biggest Lara Jean and Peter shipper ever. 

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.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

P.S I Like You by Kasie West

5 Stars

“You’re my favorite way to pass the time. But time stands still when you’re on my mind.”  

25486998Oh my gosh. This is my first Kasie West novel (I know, shock horror), surely as a contemporary lover I should have at least read one Kasie West novel before. Nope, you thought wrong. The important this is, I may or may not be on my way to buy the rest of them.

This was fluffy and light and gorgeous. And I totally called the ending *insert insanely smug smile here*. I am a huge lover of fluff so this book of course satisfied everyone of my fluffy needs and it was just what I needed too.

I loved Lily, she is such a relatable character. She's so awkward and lovable. I love me some awkwardly relatable characters. I also love how thoughtful she is, some main characters can just be completely off in their own world completely ignoring everyone else but I don't think Lily is like that or at least not as much. That's one of my pet peeves, actually.

I loved Lily and Isabel's friendship. They really stuck by each other and I think Isabel is a beautiful soul. I love to see good friendships represented in books.

I loved the anticipation of trying to figure out who it was writing these letters and what was going to happen next. It made me turn pages like a madman honestly, I'm such a sucker for these kinds of books.

I loved it all. It was absolutely gorgeous. So fluffy and wonderful, it's one of the fluffiest books I've read in a while. It's really witty as well, I am also a sucker for wit. I love everything about it and I can't wait to get on to some of Kasie West's other books, I'm sure they're just as wonderfully delightful.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

3 Stars

“Don’t you want to be alive before you die?”

18143977I feel bad for rating this only three stars I'll explain that more in depth later on, I feel bad though because it's an excellent book as far as quality goes. This is going to be a hard review for me to write, I think purely based on the fact I have a lot to say but I'm not sure I have all the right words.

I desperately wanted to connect with this book. Desperately. I've seen so many rave reviews and it's a Pulitzer Prize winner so I was so excited about it. I just couldn't connect with it and this makes me so disappointed, I don't know that it is the books fault that I didn't connect but I just didn't this time around. I have decided I want to give it a go because I can see so much potential in this book and I just so badly want to connect with it, so hopefully that will happen sometime soon.

The writing was poetic and beautiful, I loved it. I love the writing style which makes it such a shame that I couldn't connect with it. Anthony Doerr has gorgeous story telling skills and this is why I'm giving this book another chance because I know it's absolutely stunning and something you see so rarely.

I struggled to follow the story and I'm hoping that the second time this will be easier. I followed Marie-Laure with ease but the rest of the stories I was only half following, I think I could be at fault for this. I liked Marie-Laure and she almost reminded me of Liesel from The Book Thief which might be why I found her easier to follow.

I'm going to read this again when I get the time and I'll hopefully write another review of it, this time a better one. I'm really disappointed I didn't have the reading experience I would have like to have had. I really think this book is worth the second chance and I'd be willing to give it a third if my next go doesn't work out because it's so beautifully written, I can't stand to miss out.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Inside and Out Book Tag

I'm back with another tag! I think they're so fun and just a bit of something different. I was tagged to do the Inside and Out Book Tag by the lovely Erica @ Erica Robyn Reads

1. Inside flap/back of the book summaries: Too much info or not enough?
I think some of them do give a little too much away. It's kind of a tricky balance of saying enough to entice readers but also not saying too much. I'm the kind of person who doesn't pay that much attention to it though, I'll read a blurb and immediately it's gone from my memory. So, blurbs aren't a huge thing for me. I'm more of a title and cover person.

2. New book: What form do you want it in?
Hardcover for sure. My shelves are 90% paperbacks because they are way easier to find where I live and cheaper but I do love hardcovers. They're so sturdy and beautiful. 

3. Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, take notes, make comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean?
Sometimes, if something has really stuck out to me and I want to mention it in a review then I'll write a note in my phone but I don't typically do any of that. I used to use sticky notes but then I started thinking too much about the sticky notes and less about what I was actually reading. 

4. Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?
Not at all, I barely pay attention to authors unless it's someone I know of. Gender doesn't really matter to me and I don't think it's going to effect the quality of the book because you identify as this or that.

5. Ever read ahead? Have you ever read the last page way before you got there?

I used to do it all the time because I was impatient. I've recently stopped because I enjoy the book so much more when I get to be all nervous about the ending because I haven't read ahead. Although, I will say I definitely read ahead recently when I was reading P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han. I just needed to know that my ship would be okay. But, it was a really bad habit of mine and I'm glad I don't do it as frequently.
6. Organised bookshelves, or outrageous bookshelves?
Honestly, at the moment my shelves are very outrageous. At my house, we've been doing a lot of painting so things have been moved around a lot. I also just can't find a method to the madness really. I organise them by size, if I try to get any fancier I can't get them all to fit.

7. Have you ever purchases a book based on the cover alone?
Definitely, as I said, I am a huge cover person. I think a good cover sells the books. I am a very visual person and I have no shame in saying I have most definitely bought a few books based purely on cover.

8. Take it outside to read, or stay in?

I like to read inside. Too many bugs outside. I love to snuggle up inside with my book. It's also usually quite windy where I live which is not ideal and I burn ridiculously easy so I avoid the sun where possible.

All right, well that's that. Today, I'm just going to tag any of you who want to do this tag because I'm incredibly lazy. (Whoops). So, I'd love to see your answers and I hope you liked mine. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

180 Seconds by Jessica Park

4 Stars

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

32487648I actually really quite liked this. It was a really sweet book about coming out of your shell. It was a bit sad but a lot happy and cute. So, the perfect contemporary for me.

I will start with one thing that bothered me quickly just to get it out of the way. Manic pixie dream girl, or should I say manic pixie dream boy. I kind of got a jist of that with Esben. It wasn't a huge deal but it seemed a bit like he was created only to bring Allison out of her shell and he was a bit too perfect for me and it just rang manic pixie dream person at me. He was a really pure and genuine person who really unconditionally loved Allison. Like, he took everything with her so well and it all seemed weird to me. He didn't get frustrated or anything, I don't know it was just strange. I think there were about two occasions in the whole book where we saw that side of him.

I really liked Allison because I saw a lot of myself in her. At the beginning we see her as quite introverted and she likes to keep to herself. We learn that it's a trust issue because of her past in foster care. I can totally get that, I've always been a little introverted and sometimes simple things can set me back, similarly to how we see Allison go a bit back and forth in the book. I think she had an awesome character development and I loved seeing her open up and 'be brave'. I really loved the phrase 'be brave' throughout the book, it kind of reminded me of a similar thing in The One Memory of Flora Banks. I really loved how Allison took that on.

I adored the relationship between Allison and Simon. I always love a good family in YA. I think it's so important. I really liked that she had a really strong father figure, even if he did come later rather than sooner. I really enjoyed seeing their relationship blossom as Allison learnt to open up. I think strong father figures are really important in YA. Simon reminded me so much of my own dad and I really liked him and the role he played in the story.

I liked the modern kind of take on things. YA is getting more and more modern and I think it's kind of cool. It's cool to read about social networking and internet personalities. This book has a lot of that so if you think that's as cool as I do, I think you're going to like this one. Also, it has social experiments and I love social experiments so that's something to look forward to.

180 Seconds was a really lovely book. I really liked the meaning behind the title. I grinned almost the whole way through because it really was too cute. Watching Allison bloom was really lovely and kind of inspiring for me, I think I'm going to try to 'be brave' now. Relating to Allison so much was a really strong point for me. I liked all the characters a lot, I think Esben could've used a bit more personality but otherwise, I liked him. It was pretty heart warming and I think it would be worth a try for any contemporary fans. Also, look at that cover. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

4 Stars

“Just because something isn't practical doesn't mean it's not worth creating. Sometimes beauty and real-life magic are enough.”

23533128I feel kind of sad now that I've officially finish the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy. I loved this one though. It definitely belongs and I love that it intertwines with the other characters too. I was worried it wouldn't when I realised it wasn't set in France but it intertwined beautifully.

I love Lola, she is so unique and confident. I think it's wonderful, I knew she'd be a fun character to read when I read about her crazy outfit in the ending of Isla And and that she was. You can really tell that Lola is happy being herself and she knows herself, too. Although, I know if I dressed like she does I'd get bullied mercilessly and I'm sure she does. She'd have to have a lot of guts to deal with that so I really admire her as a character. She actually reminds me of Lola from Hannah Montana now, I was always a fan of Lola's wigs.

I love that we get to see much more of the internal struggle Lola faces because it's very similar to St Clair's problems from Anna And but we didn't get to see anything from his side of the equation and now we do except it's not St Clair, it's Lola. It's not something I can relate to which is almost why I enjoy that dilemma so much in books. I love that we get experience how blinded Lola is by her love for Max yet she still wants that boy next door and we get to be with her as she tries to minimalize the damage.

It really isn't just a book about falling in love, it's about realising that there isn't always a perfect solution and then trying to decide what the best solution is from there out. I think we really got to see Lola sort out her priorities and grow up. I think it also had a lot to teach in the way of family, I loved Lola's family.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, I think it's slots in very nicely. I'm endlessly disappointed that there is no more of this beautiful fluff for me to read.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Countless by Karen Gregory

3 Stars

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

34299826Firstly, this book tackles topics such as anorexia and teen pregnancy. I will be discussing those topics in the review. If you aren't comfortable with those topics than I'd suggest finding something else to read.

I thought this book was really interesting. It didn't have heavy romance which I was actually really pleased with. I didn't want it to turn into a 'love will cure you' type story. It kind of did go into that direction but not romantically. Being a contemporary, I was sure that was where it was headed.

I can't speak much for the representation of eating disorders in Countless but I do think it was well handled. I did find it interesting how anorexia was characterised similar to Room Empty by Sarah Mussi. I don't know if that's a common thing but it was a good metaphor for people like me who don't know a lot about eating disorders.

I loved Hedda's character development. It was great to see her changing for her baby and I think that was a lot more accurate than a romantic interest would've been. I know teen mums and I've seen the way their priorities just shift completely for their baby. I really loved seeing Hedda grow as a person and realise a lot of things about herself along the way. I haven't read many books about teen pregnancy but I think the representation in this book was pretty good.

I liked seeing the family relationships build towards the end. I'm a sucker for that. I loved that everyone was getting a much better understanding of each other why they were the way they were. Even though it wasn't completely perfect, it was still  nice to see that development.

I think it was a good book. Again, perhaps confronting and triggering to certain people. I really liked Hedda and I really liked watching her grow as a person. I think it was a really interesting book about something that I hadn't even really given much thought to before. It was not what I expected but I'm actually pleased about that.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Winter Reads

In Australia it's cooling down quite a bit. Winter is my favourite season and my favourite time to read. So, what better than to compile a list of my favourite winter reads. Which was actually a hard list to make since looking at my shelf, I've realised so many of my favourite are so summery.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl always makes me feel cosy, it absolutely warms my heart up. If I'm not mistaken, I'm pretty sure it's also set in winter time approximately. Whenever I think of Fangirl, I just think of snuggling up in bed with a hot chocolate. It is so sweet and light and perfect for a chilly night in.

Harry Potter
Harry Potter is brilliant anytime but gets me so good in the winter. Hogwarts has such winter wonderland vibes. The absolute best time to read Harry Potter is during winter. I guarantee it. Trust me, it'll warm you up.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I love this book and again, the best time to read it it in winter. It's set in winter so it just has all those winter vibes. It is such a good book and it's something that'll definitely keep you busy on a rainy day.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I really think anytime is a good time to read this but I just think it's something that definitely feels like such a good book to read on a cold, lazy day. I think the setting is so dreary and grey that it feels so much like a winter book.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
This is a funny kind of pick because a lot of the book is set in summer but when I was reading this I got such winter vibes from it. It just feels like something you should read while you're snuggled up inside.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer
All the baking in this book just makes me feel very cosy. I think it would be quite a good winter read. Romance and baking, what more would you want to warm you up?

And, that's all I've got for you. I picked the most wintery books on my shelves and tried to avoid books that only feel wintery because I read them in winter. I hope you have a great winter if you're in winter and if not, have a great time wishing it were winter because it's obviously the superior season.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Room Empty by Sarah Mussi

2 Stars

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

First of all, this book definitely needs a set of trigger warnings. It deals with a lot of heavy stuff such as addiction, anorexia, self harm, suicide, abuse. If anyone is triggered by any of that then I definitely would recommend not reading this book.

I'm not someone who has experience with any of that so I'm not the most suitable person to make comments on the representation of these issues. I do, however, think the representation was a bit poor.  Some things seemed a bit off to me but again, I'm not exactly the right person to determine that.

My biggest turn off with this book was the 'love can cure all' notion. That's definitely not how these things work and I wish it would stop being such a common theme amongst young adult books. Love is not the answer to everything. It just annoys me because it's not really the appropriate message to be sending out to young people.

Another turn off, Fletcher kept trying to guilt and bribe Dani into eating. Which was very off to me. That's not really the appropriate message to be sending out either. It suggests that Dani is now going to over come this huge, long battle with food because she's in love with Fletcher and Fletcher wants her too. I don't have a lot of experience here but I know that eating disorders are more complex than that.

One thing I did like though, was the characterisation of Dani's illness as an Alien. I thought that was interesting and a good way to make it easier to understand. It took me a while to realise what exactly the alien was representing but once I got it, I thought it was pretty clever.

I don't really understand what the point of the book was. There was a bit of a mystery in there that didn't make a lot of sense to me. It just didn't seem to fit. It was very jumpy. It wasn't exactly my kind of thing. I don't really know that I'd recommend it to anyone, I struggled to get through it a bit since the issues are so rough. I didn't really like it.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

5 Stars

Spoiler alert: Love is worth everything. Everything.”  

18692431There are so many incredible quotes from this, I think I'll have to make up a post of all my favourites but for now, just the one will have to suffice. I loved this, I can sense that this will be the book I read over and over just like Maddy with The Little Prince and every time it'll mean something different. It was amazing, incredible, spectacular. Every good word you could think of, is what I feel that this book is.

This book makes me want to go out and do some goddamn living but it also makes me want to pick it back up and start fresh from the beginning. I think only truly fantastic books make me want to do those things. I'm in absolute awe of all the things it's made me feel, it's indescribable. I think I've just fallen in love with this book.

I've never reads another book like it. I love the way it's set out, it makes it fly by though. Within about an hour I'd already devoured about half the book and I was left wondering where the hell it went and where I could possibly get more from. I can assure you that it isn't like other contemporaries, or at least none that I've read.

This is a short review but it's so much harder to write a review for an amazing book than it is for an okay one. This will probably absolutely be a contender for my best reads of 2016 (yes, I'm aware it's currently May 2017, my post schedule is messed up, alright?). I think you really have to read it to understand why people rave about it. It was so much more than I'd expected.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

My Favourite Movies

I don't actually watch a lot of movies but I do have a select few that I just watch over and over. Once I decide I like a movie it basically just gets added to my rotation of movies. Which is almost the exact opposite of how I am with books. So, I thought I'd share with you just a few of my favourite movies. In no particular order:

Image result for pretty in pink
1. Pretty In Pink
I love John Hughes movies and I just love 80's movies in general. If I listed all my favourite 80's movies I wouldn't be able to list any of my other favourite movies so I picked my favourite out of those. Which is obviously Pretty In Pink, I adore Molly Ringwald. I love Duckie, and Blaine makes my little heart melt. I know a lot of people (95% of the population) ship Duckie and Andie but I'm obsessed with Blaine. Anyway, it's a super fun movie and I just really love it.

2. A Hard Days Night
Again, I made myself pick a Beatles movie to be my favourite. I love, love, love A Hard Days Night. When I first discovered it in October, I watched in four times in a matter of about a month. It was ridiculous and I was totally obsessed. It really added fuel to the fire except beforehand the fire was like a little match and now it's a bushfire in Australian summer. I just think their personalities really shine through. Also, a fun fact, the train carriages for the Hogwarts Express were inspired by the train carriages in A Hard Days Night.

Image result for sharknado3. Sharknado
Sharknado, to date, is the most ridiculous movie I've ever watched and yet I have all four on DVD. It is hysterical and it always makes me laugh. I have a Sharknado funko in my room. It's crazy. It started out as a joke when it was on the scifi channel and I was like 'lol mum lets watch it'. I loved it though. It even has Ian Ziering from Beverly Hills 90210 which is one of my favourite TV shows. I just absolutely love it, it always cheers me up and makes me laugh.

4. Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging
Image result for angus thongs and perfect snoggingGod, I haven't watched this in forever but I love it. I remember watching this for the first time years ago at a friends tenth birthday party and I didn't really understand it but I was totally in love with Robbie. I watched it again a little while back, being older I understood more of what was going on and I just fell even more in love with it. I remember after watching it the first time I said snogging rather than kissing for a whole year even though I actually hated the word. So awkwardly adorable and the soundtrack is one of my favourite things ever.

5. Grease
I think everyone loves Grease. It's so much fun to watch and I love to sing along. Although, something that always gets me is the ending. It made no sense. Why did they just fly off? What is that about? That has just always annoyed me but otherwise I really love it. I think it's a classic and something we can all agree on.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

5 Stars

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

31447601I am so in love with this book. I'm literally bursting with love for Noteworthy. Incredible, amazing, everything I wanted and more.

I'm going to dive straight into it. One of my favourite things was that it touched on bisexuality and general confusion over it. I loved this because for a while I was sort of struggling to figure out if I was actually attracted to girls or if I just appreciated them. I really liked the way Jordan worded it and it just made me feel a lot more comfortable for having that confusion. I just could really empathise with Jordan as she was going through that. It made me happy because I know that if I struggled to differentiate then there must be thousands of other people trying to figure out what they feel. I think it's great to see that touched upon and I really liked how she mentioned she felt as though she was faking it because she hadn't known her whole life.

I really loved the a Capella aspect of it. I am a nut for music. I loved all the references to music theory because as a concert band player, I am pretty good at music theory. I really like a Capella and if I could sing I'd join a group in a second. It's awesome and I'm so excited I finally found a book about it. It was so good and there were so many things I could relate back to band. Like the team work and the relationships and even the rivalry. It's so nerdy and I loved it so much.

The characters were gorgeous and so diverse. I loved the relationships between all the Sharpshooters. I thought they were written really well and all so differently. I thought it was wonderful how dedicated they were to a Capella. I really loved Issac, I have a thing for cocky, arrogant boys. Jon and Mama's relationship was so funny. I really loved them. Nihal was so precious. They were all just brilliant and they earned a special place in my heart.

I love Jordan, she is so determined and a perfect narrator. She wasn't annoying. I really liked her commentary actually. I think she was really funny and funny characters make the best narrators. She is really thoughtful and not at all ignorant like I feared she'd be. I love how much she cares for the Sharpshooters. I think she has a really big heart and I just really love her.

I've been really dying for a good book like this. It's everything I could have asked it to be. This has to be one of my favourite contemporaries I've read this year so far. I can not wait to buy my own copy when it's released because I absolutely will be. I would recommend it to anyone who is a contemporary nut like myself. It was absolutely brilliant.

Monday, May 01, 2017

April 2017 Wrap Up

Can't believe it's that time again. This year is well and truly going too fast. I've had a lot of great times in April and I can't wait to talk about it. It's been fun and productive which is the best kind of month.

I read:
Laramie: Ten Years Later
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Stargazing for Beginners by Jenny McLachlan
Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Room Empty by Sarah Mussi
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han
John Lennon's Letter's
Countless by Karen Gregory

I read a lot. I've been on holidays so that's why. My first term of college is over so I've been on term one holidays. I tend to binge read during the holidays because I struggle to read during the school week. It was actually a really great reading month, I read so many things that I absolutely adored. My favourites have to be Noteworthy, Aristotle and Dante, and P.S I Still Love You. Although, I'm an absolute contemporary nut so I'm sure you could've predicted that much. I didn't buy any books this month on my book buying ban. I'm saving up to buy a new trumpet so I'm actually really pleased with my self control. I was gifted three which is probably the only reason I've had the self control to not buy anymore. I'm hoping to go until at least July without buying any books.

Early in the month, my mum and I won tickets to go see a Beatles tribute band and it was so fun. I really loved it. It kind of daggy but I was grinning the whole night. I hardly ever win things so it was a huge surprise. I was thrilled because I so desperately wanted to go. I had a brilliant night and my mum loved it too. It was a nice girls night out.

Also, a couple of weeks ago my band competitions were on. This is the first time I've done a national competition. The last time my band went into national comps was back in 2010 and I was only in my second year back then. So, we did it. I remember back in 2014, we were told that is what we were working towards and I remember thinking about 2017 and how far away it was. Back then, we were only really talking about the experience and less about winning but last year after state comps, we started to realise we were actually in with a chance of winning. We worked so hard with two rehearsals a week for the whole year. We were one of the few bands entering in two sections so we had twice the amount of work to do. We worked our asses off. Annndddd, we came out on top of both sections. It was so worth it and I'd do it all again, and in fact, we are doing it again next year since we absolutely smashed it out. We'll be going higher sections though and I'm really looking forward to it.

There's a handful other other things that happened in April, but I'll spare you. I've had a really good month and I'm hoping it's only up and up from here out. I hope you've all had a brilliant April and I hope you have an even better May!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Champion by Marie Lu

5 Stars

"until the day we meet again I will hold you in my heart and protect you there, grieving what we never had, cherishing what we did"

Holy shit, that ending has left me with a hole the size of the Republic. Here's a gif to accurately describe my current emotions.
I love this trilogy so much and I love Day and June. I ship them so, so hard. I'm sat here just stroking my book because I loved it so much and I'm so sad that I finished it. It's been a long process for me, I first read Legend back in February of last year and I really loved it. I saw a lot of potential for a really good series there. I didn't get Prodigy until that Christmas but I didn't want to read it until I got Champion so I didn't have to wait like I did so much after Legend. So a couple weeks back when I finally ordered Champion, I decided I'd finally read Prodigy and a few days later Champion arrived and I needed it so badly. Marie Lu knows how to leave you wanting more, that's for sure. After each of the books, I've been hungry for more and now I'm afraid I'm going to starve.

It's crazy to see how much the series has improved from the beginning, I still thought Legend was fantastic but Prodigy got better and Champion was even better. Marie Lu took my expectations and exceeded them, for gods sake. I love it when an author can do that, Legend set up such a perfect ground for something really fantastic and she managed it. I've seen a lot of authors set up a really promising story and then just not pull through and it's so disappointing, that's how I felt with the Divergent trilogy. I am so glad the Marie Lu fulfilled my expectations and beyond.

 I think my favourite thing about this was, it didn't let all the lovey dovey romancey stuff get in the way of all the action and war and fun stuff. Don't get me wrong, I obviously adore Day and June but Marie Lu has found that perfect balance between work and play, I guess. I appreciate that Day and June both had their priorities straight, they're narration wasn't constantly thoughts of the other, if you get what I mean. It's just a really good balance.

I loved the point system thing Antarctica had going on. Give me a whole book on that, someone, please. That is completely irrelevant to my review but I loved the idea so much and I wanted to mention it, I wish we got to see a little bit more of it.

Now, I need the perfect way to conclude a review for the perfect (heartbreaking) conclusion to the Legend series. I absolutely loved it and I'm so sad that it's over and now, I'll probably clutch my book to my chest and contemplate all of my existence now without it. I can't wait to read the Young Elites series now and experience more of Marie Lu.