Sunday, 15 April 2018

Obsidio, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff || The Grand Finale *SPOILER FREE*

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha's past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

It's so weird to finish a series... I don't know why! I've been reading The Illuminae Files since they came out and to finally read the third and final book was actually kinda scary. I don't want this story to be over!? I think maybe that's why I have a problem of starting series and not finishing them, I don't want them to be over. But I did it! I finished The Illuminae Files and I couldn't have asked for a better finale! So without further ado, here's some unspoilerish thoughts on why you should read (and finish) this series too!

Reason #1 - The formatting

This was one of the main things that pulled me into the illumine files to begin with. I love books that are formatted differently to "the norm". I've read quite a few books that have collections of letters and emails and texts, but the Illuminae Files took this to a whole new level. It's a collection of files that consists of pictures, message conversations, emails, transcribed surveillance footage and the 'thoughts' (??) of an AI called AIDAN. The only thing I've read that is kind of similar to this would probably be 172 Hours on the Moon by John Harstad (which I would also highly recommend). Not everyone likes this sort of style, but I am a HUGE fan of it.

Reason #2 - The characters (including AIDAN)

I feel like AIDAN the AI sort of deserves a category of his own because of his insane character (?) development throughout the series. Definitely raised some interesting questions about the future of AI. As for the other characters I loved them all! There was such a huge range of people in different situations. Sometimes when there's a huge cast, I feel like I don't connect with them all because there are just too many people to connect with, but somehow Amie and Jay pulled this off! I'm definitely sad to be leaving all these characters behind.

Reason #3 - It's a SCIFI set in space! And I liked it?!

I feel like science fiction novels are hard to pull off. Don't ask me why, but for some reason I just don't usually enjoy the ones I read... They can be confusing and there's just too much happening. (Maybe it's because I've never been on a space mission so I can't relate to it). However, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have changed space novels for me.. I'm now actively searching them out, but I have yet to find something that compares! The temptation to reread is so real!

Reason #4 - There are so many little Easter eggs

Throughout the entire series there are so many references to other authors and books which I think is such a fun wee detail! (I'm pretty sure that Leigh Bardugo is on multiple civilian death lists throughout the series). I posted about it on Twitter a couple of times, but mind the crappy photos... It was late at night and lighting was not on my side.

Reason #5 - In the end it all connects

Illuminae and Gemina could almost (but not quite) be read as standalone novels because they're about different characters and the storylines seem to only vaguely follow on from each other, but Obsidio brings everything together. It answers all the questions I had and wraps it all up perfectly!

Overall Thoughts

Don't put this book off! I'm the sort of person that puts series finales off and I'm so glad I didn't with Obsidio. And if you haven't read The Illumine Files then I would totally recommend sitting down and binging them all at once! They look like huge books, but a lot of that is just the formatting.. you actually finish them WAY too quickly!

Have you read any of the books in this series? Have you read them all and if you haven't do you plan on reading them? What's a book that you read that had interesting formatting? I need more books like this in my life.


Sunday, 8 April 2018

I Saw Love, Simon With My Bookish Friends

Last week I went and saw Love, Simon with Ella (from A Bookish Time), and Shanti and Shar (from Virtually Read). First of all, it was so nice to see a bookish movie adaptation with three other fangirls who had read and loved the book as much as I did! There were definitely little squeals from all of us throughout the movie as we got to see this book come to life.

I want to preface this review by saying that it has been a VERY long time since I read the book, so I couldn't really remember much of the book. I couldn't even remember who Blue was which I think made it even more enjoyable for me. (Also I definitely suffer from serious book amnesia so even if I had read it recently, I probably wouldn't have remembered much... why am I like this?). Anyway, with that in mind, here are a couple of thoughts I did have.

I LOVED the witty/dry humour

Love, Simon made me laugh. I don't really remember a heap of humour in the book, but it didn't seem forced or anything in the movie. They did it well and it was an aspect that I wasn't particularly expecting (I don't know why because really this movie is a rom-com).

Writing the emails

What I remember about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was that there was a lot of back and forth of emails and I was so afraid that they'd portray that badly in the movies. It could have been boring and repetitive, but I really liked how you saw Blue writing the emails throughout the movie, but it changed depending on who Simon thought it was. It really allowed the audience to connect more with Simon because we were just as clueless as he was about the identity of Blue. (Unless you'd read the book and actually remembered it... unlike me).

Simon was privileged

I'm not saying that Simon had the perfect life, but he and his family were definitely privileged. I think that's one of the first things that we all talked about when we got out of the cinemas. How Simon was from a rich (mainly white) neighbourhood and how he had a big room in a huge house and his own car from his parents and all the latest and greatest phones/laptops. And it wasn't just him, it was his friends as well. It's something I definitely don't remember from the book.

The cast

I thought they did an amazing job with the casting of Love, Simon. I loved Nick Robinson as Simon and I though the whole group of friends were perfect as well. I'm so stoked that the movie was cast well because that's one of my biggest fears with book to movie adaptations... that they'll cast people who just don't seem right.

The book to movie aspect

I know they changed little things here and there, but overall I think this movie stayed pretty true to the book. The biggest thing I remember about the book was the cute feels it gave me and the movie definitely did the same. (You should have heard us all squealing over all the cuteness... I think we made the most noise in that theatre). 

Overall Thoughts

Love, Simon was a super cute movie on so many levels. They definitely did the book justice, but you don't have to have read the book to enjoy it. Would recommend to everyone! (Also now I understand why people say they could watch it again and again).

Have you seen Love, Simon? What did you think of it? Also, what's you're favourite book to movie adaptation of all time? This one is definitely up there for me. 


Saturday, 31 March 2018

March, 2018 || I'M ON HOLIDAY!!!!

So March.... What happened in March? March felt like it really flew by. Probably because life was busy, but I'm not officially on holiday from university for the next three weeks so if this wrap-up is a little boring then hopefully Aprils wrap-up will be jam-packed full of all the fun holiday things I did (probably just reading and sleeping, but we'll see).

(what did I read this month?)

March was a month of graphic novels and starting books without actually finishing them. Once again I'm "currently reading" five books... But the way I look at it that just means I will finish heaps of books in April because I'm already at least half way through all of them.

Review Here

(what books have I added to my collection?)

FROM PUBLISHERS: Thank you so much(!!) to Allen and Unwin NZ for sending me a copy of Obsidio. I love the Illumiae Files and cannot wait to see how the series ends. (this is one of the books that I'm currently reading so expect a review soon. AND IT LOOKS GORGEOUS!

Although the cover is irritatingly impossible to take photos of...
FROM ME (so much for a book buying ban): I went to a second hand book sale with Ella, and ended up with four books (I'm just relieved it was only four), but what a funny wee selection I got; two books I'd already read and two non-fiction books. (I can highly recommend We Were Liars and Dangerous Girls and I want them on my shelf. And the other two just looked funny). 

(what happened on the blog?)

I'm back up to one post per week! Wahoo! Go meeeee!

  1. I reviewed Because You Love to Hate Me, which is a collection of villainous short stories that I absolutely adored!
  2. I discussed where I find the time to read while also studying, working and having (ahem, trying to have) a social life.
  3. Finally I can now say I've read Alice in Wonderland (and here's my review to prove it).

(all about meeeeeeee)

I feel like I reeeallly don't have anything super interesting to report for this month. Uni took up most of my time and I'm currently working two jobs so life is busy busy! I did manage to sneak some time off and go to a book sale with Ella (from A Bookish Time) and I'm really enjoying all the random wee bookish things we do together. Next month we're planning on going to see Love, Simon(!!!) and the excitement for that is so real!

What was your favourite March read and what are you looking forward to the most in April? Is anyone else on holiday at the moment? What are your plans???


Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass, by Lewis Carroll

Alice's Adventures
Weary of her storybook, one "without pictures or conversations," the young and imaginative Alice follows a hasty hare underground--to come face-to-face with some of the strangest adventures and most fantastic characters in all of literature.

The Ugly Duchess, the Mad Hatter, the weeping Mock Turtle, the diabolical Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat--each more eccentric than the last--could only have come from that master of sublime nonsense, Lewis Carroll.

In penning this brilliant burlesque of children's literature, Carroll has written a farcical satire of rigid Victorian society, an arresting parody of the fears, anxieties, and complexities of growing up.

Carroll was one of the few adult writers to successfully enter the children's world of make-believe: where the impossible becomes possible, the unreal--real, and where the height of adventure is limited only by the depths of imagination.

What a delightfully strange read!

I know the story of Alice in Wonderland. I heard about it as a child and I've seen the movies, but it's taken until now for me to actually read the book. (It's amazing what procrastination will do to you, I was supposed to be studying so I decided to read this instead). I didn't know quite what to expect, but I loved it!

The illustrations were quite something which was an aspect of Alice that I'd never seen before, I never knew that it was full of such weird and wonderful pictures (and am I the only one that desperately wants to print them out and colour them in?). My favourite part though was definitely the nonsensical style. I don't know how something can make so little sense, yet so much sense at the same time... Does that even make sense? I don't know.
And the poetry! The poetry was so much fun. I'd already had a taste of it because I'd seen the movies, but being able to read it all was everything. It was funny and insane, and if there was anyone else around me when I came across a poem then there was no way I wasn't going to read it out to them. (sorry guys!)

So the allusions to drugs throughout this entire book.... I've heard a lot of bits and pieces here and there about Lewis Carroll being in some sort of drug haze while he wrote about Alice and I don't know if it's true or not, but it wouldn't surprise me at all. Never mind that everything was already so strange and disjointed, there were a lot of allusions to drugs. From the caterpillar smoking a hookah pipe to eating a mushroom and drinking potions that alter who you are... I just think it's a funny theory especially since it's concerning a children's book.

Also, I will always be obsessed with the Cheshire Cat.

Do you know the story of Alice? Have you read the book? It's probably one of the strangest things I've ever read... What do you think was the weirdest part?


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Where Do I Find the Time to Read?

Last year I took a gap year between school and study, and was working full time, but I had plenty of time to read. I thought when I started university it would be similar, but I was so wrong. My first month here I got barely any reading done because I just didn't know where to fit it in, my whole routine had changed. I'm getting there though and at the rate I'm going, I should be back up to reading at least four books a month.

So what changed? I found the time to read. In-between working, studying, blogging and having a social life I managed to sneak a few books in here and there. It's definitely not as much as I used to read, but it's something. And I'm here to impart some of my wisdom on anyone else who is struggling to find the time to read (also please tell me your secrets too, I need to know where everyone else finds the time to read).

Moments in the day when you can sneak a page (or two) in

1. When you're travelling (car, bus, boat, plane, train, bike... etc)

This is when I get the majority of reading done - when I'm travelling. I'm only a two minute work from university so that doesn't really work, but I work in the weekends and it's a half hour bus ride during which I can get plenty of reading done. If you drive or bike, then don't read a physical book (that's unsafe), get an audiobook! Audiobooks are awesome, there are so many more opportunities to read if you're listening to an audiobook.

2. At the gym (as if I go anymore, but it's still a good idea)

When I first moved out I started going to the gym and I would listen to an audiobook while I was there. The motivation to go to the gym is totally gone now and I hardly ever go (I'd rather just sit on the couch and watch crap TV), but if (and this is a very big if) I started going again, I would definitely get the audiobooks out.

3. In the evenings.... (or not)

I went into university thinking that this would be the time to read, but no. I live in a flat with five other girls. If we're not going out, we're studying or watching TV or doing nothing. Most nights we don't get into bed before midnight and by that time I just want to hit the pillow and sleep. Sorry books!

4. During the ad breaks

Our flat religiously watches Married at First Sight most nights so I've started whipping out a book in the ad breaks (at first I found the ads kind of riveting because I haven't watched actual TV in so long, but the novelty of that wore off pretty quickly).

5. When you're supposed to be studying for an important test

I find that this is when the motivation to read an entire book really hits me... I'm not sure why and I'm not sure if I should be indulging myself in a book when I should be studying, but a chapter or two can't hurt. Right? Just one more chapter and then I'll go back to studying.... 

6. In the toilet

Yes, this is why I'm in the bathroom for so long. Sorry to my other flatmates who need to use it.

Where do you find the time to read? Let me know your secrets because I'm keen to sneak a few more chapters into everyday!


Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy || OBSESSED!

Because You Love to Hate Me
Leave it to the heroes to save the world--villains just want to rule the world.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains' points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like "Medusa," Sherlock Holmes, and "Jack and the Beanstalk" provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains' acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage--and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

I'm pretty hard to please when it comes to short story collections. I usually love a couple, hate a couple and feel pretty meh about the rest of them so I was pleasantly surprised when I LOVED (or at least enjoyed) pretty much all the stories in this collection. I think what often bothers me about short stories is that they lack some of the world building and depth of full length novels (obviously because they are short stories), but because a lot of these were based around fairytales or stories I already knew, it didn't feel like they lacked that world building.

The Best of the Best

1. Beautiful Venom, by Cindy Pon

Beautiful Venom is a gorgeous twist on the original Greek Medusa. It's about a girl who is seduced by a man and is then punished by the god of purity as though it were completely her fault, and thus she become Mei Du, a girl with snakes for hair who just wants revenge. It was not only an interesting cultural twist, but it also reminded me a lot of everything that has happened in the world recently with all the sexual harassment allegations and the times that it has been blamed on the victim and they have been punished for it. For a short story there were really so many levels to this and it really made me think.

2. Death Knell, by Victoria Schwab

I've always liked stories where death is personified (I think that might be why I liked The Book Thief so much), so this story was no exception. Death was a boy who would take people by the hand when it was their turn to die, but this story in particular was about a girl whose time it was to go, but wasn't ready. I just thought that for a story about death it was also a really sweet read in a way... does that even make sense?

3. Julian Breaks Every Rule, by Andrew Smith

I'm slightly obsessed with stories about sociopaths. Sociopaths are people who blend into everyday life, but they're actually capable of some really messed up stuff... Your neighbour, the check-out girl at the supermarket, your teacher, the kid you sit next to in statistics... You don't know what's going on in their head. They seem normal, but maybe they're plotting your demise. Who knows? That's what's so scary about sociopaths. 

If you're a fan of Gone Girl, or Dangerous Girls, or any book with some seriously deranged characters then you will love this short story!

Plus 10 More Short Stories

(But this post would be far too long if I talked about every single short story so I guess you have to go read it yourself.)

About Villains

I love reading stories about villains because when it comes down to it and you hear about their background you always start questioning whether they really are a villain after all. Maybe they're just a misunderstood soul who bad things has happened to. It really makes you question your own morals and makes you think. Also there's just something really interesting about reading from the point of view of someone who is just really and truly messed up and just completely psychotic. It can be a nice break from the usual heroes and heroines in YA.

That Little Bit Extra

What made this collection of short stories stand out far more than any of the other ones I've ever read was the fact that each short story was accompanied by a short commentary from a booktuber. How cool is that?! To read a commentary written by people like us who sit at home in front of a camera or in front of their computer to share their love for all things bookish. It was such an amazing idea to include this booktuber commentary and hooooopefully one day, us bookish bloggers will get to be involved in something like that too.

Have you read any short story collections that you enjoyed recently? What's your take on villain stories... love 'em or hate 'em? And if you love them, please recommend me more!


Wednesday, 28 February 2018

February, 2018 || Where Have I Been??

February has been a quiet month in the blogging and bookish world for me... The quietest since I've restarted my blog I think. BUT that doesn't mean that I haven't been busy as a bee (more about that later) and more importantly, it doesn't mean that I haven't been blogging. I'm back on top of things and I have some posts that (I think) are pretty exciting scheduled for next month AND I also have some ah-mazing books lined up to read. February has been hectic AF but I am ready for March!

(what did I read this month?)

Reading slowed down this month... Considerably. But I still read two books and I am still ahead of my Goodreads reading challenge (so go me!).

(what happened on the blog?)

Last month was seven books read and seven posts on the blog. Now we're down to two books read and two blog posts... Maybe this is a pattern? So if I up my reading in March, my blog posts will probably go up as well.... Yes? I think so.

  1. I reviewed Wild Beauty. Basically it was just beautifully distracting.... Does that even make sense? I still don't know.
  2. I realised that I've been 'currently reading' Empire of Storms for two years now and I think that's because of how intense all the feels are. Sooo of course I wrote a post about when a book is just too much.

(all about meeeeeeee)

I thought that January was busy, but February was even more hectic! I'm trying to think about everything that happened this month, but it's all a pretty huge blur... I (finally) started university so it's taken me a bit of time to figure out how that all works and the best way to keep up with everything (which is also why I took a bit of a step back from blogging), but I'm a few weeks in now and definitely starting to make sense of everything. I've made some amazing new friends and am thoroughly enjoying my courses so YAY!

Speaking of new friends, I met up with some fellow bookish people(!)... twice(!!). When I started blogging I never thought I'd be able to meet up with my online friends in real life, but this month it actually happened. New Zealand is so small and us kiwi bloggers are definitely a rarer breed, but somehow Ella (from A Bookish Time), Shanti and Shar (from Virtually Read) and I managed to make it happen. It was definitely a highlight of this month having coffee with these girls and just talking books. That definitely won't be the last I see of them!

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month for you? Did you read/blog more or less than last month? What's on your TBR for March?


Monday, 12 February 2018

When A Book Is Just Too Much

I have a confession.... It's taken me two years to read Empire of Storms and I'm still not finished. It's not that I don't like it; I'm loving it. It's just too much. There's so much happening and it's too intense and I have to keep taking breaks. Sarah J. Maas is one of those authors who I can't just sit down and read in one go because I would most likely be destroyed with feels. I just can't handle all the emotion that her books cause. So what do you do when a book is just too much....?

1. Take plenty of breaks

I've taken so many breaks while reading Empire of Storms. Those breaks range from ten minutes to a year and a half (I know, I have a problem), but without those breaks I think my head might have actually exploded.

2. Talk to people

The bookish community is here for you. I am here for you. I've talked to so many people while reading Empire of Storms. So many people have fangirled/ranted/cried with me and I've realised that everyone on Twitter is down for a chat about books!

3. Collapse in a puddle of emotions

This will probably happen multiple times. It's okay. Just accept it.

4. Scream into the void

Not advisable if you live with other people.

5. Or just read something else

I like to read short story collections or poetry collections in-between chapters of Empire of Storms. (This is basically proof that there can be too much of a good thing because I love EoS but I need breaks). I will keep going back to Empire of Storms and I promise I will finish it, but for now I'm stuck at halfway...

Have you ever read a book that is just too much? Which one?? Also someone talk to me about EoS and how intense it is...  


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Wild Beauty, by Anna-Marie McLemore || Just Wildly Beautiful

Wild Beauty
For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They've also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he's even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

I have never read a book that so perfectly matched it's cover. I could stare at this cover all day and kudos to whoever it was who designed it because they did an absolutely amazing job of capturing the story. Sorry, I could fully spend this whole review just talking about covers.

Onto the actual book! I have to start by saying that the writing, was absolutely beautiful. It's been so long since I've read a book with such stunning prose that the writing itself actually distracted me a bit from the story... You know how the cover is distracting? You just want to sit there and stare at it, right? The writing is like that too. Am I even making sense right now...? And the more I think about it the more I'm unsure what to even rate this book.

To me, the actual plot of the story dragged a bit in the middle (although it definitely got more interesting towards the end) and it was generally a pretty slow read because more time was taken for the flowery descriptions than any actual moving forward of the plot. So if you're looking for something fast paced, maybe look elsewhere. It's been a couple of weeks since I've read this now and I'm actually struggling to remember a lot of what happened, all I remember is the beautiful writing.. okay I'll shut-up about that now 

In amongst the almost lyrical writing, the author touched on some important topics. And also, I loved the diversity and the LGBTQ+ rep in this book.

"Hearts that loved boys and girls were no more reckless or easily won than any other heart. They loved who they loved. They broke how they broke. And the way it happened depended less on what was under their lovers’ clothes and more on what was wrapped inside their spirits."

Read this for the beautifully distracting writing and the beautifully distracting cover.

Have you ever read a book in which the writing was so beautiful that it was distracting? If you've read Wild Beauty let me know what you thought! I'd love to know.  


Wednesday, 31 January 2018

January, 2018 || New Year, New Me! (Yeah Right)

New year, new me. So I'm going to start doing monthly wrap-ups! I always like reading monthly wrap-ups soooo here's everything that happened this month (and it's been a pretty busy month).

(what did I read this month?)

I've kick-started the year by reading seven(?!) books. Just for reference I read 25 books in total last year so I am definitely on track to beat that! You can click the title for full bookish reviews on the blog.

(full review here)
(full review here)
(full review here)
(full review here)
(full review here)

(what happened on the blog?)

Seven books and seven posts! Not bad!!

  1. I talked about my reading statistics in 2017 and included lots of pretty graphs. Graphs are fun to look at because it's like reading without reading... Yay! 
  2. I reviewed Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green (spoiler: I got it for Christmas and I LOVED it). So much love for John Green). Always? Always! Kidding... that's Harry Potter. Okay? Okay. There we go...
  3. My five most popular posts of 2017! Because more stats are fun. And also lists. Lists are fun too.
  4. Another review! This one for my first read if the year, Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index.
  5. I talk about my holiday aaaaand all the books I read while I was on holiday (four books in four days). Wahooo! Go me!! There are lots of photos and this is definitely my favourite post this month. SO CHECK IT OUT!
  6. And because I was feeling warm and fluffy I shared my favourite things about the blogging community and what I love about blogging (everything). I loved the feedback I got for this post! So many lovely people commenting!!
  7. This is the seventh post... so I won't link to it.... LOL

(all about meeeeeeee)

So much happened this month! But at the same time it was also pretty mundane.... I work full time so a lot of time was taken up with that, but I've also (finally) finished up my university application and I got in! I start next month!! And I moved out of home... for the first time ever... scary stuff! I'm still living in the same city so it's not a HUUUUUGE deal. But it's still a pretty big deal. So far so good!

After a long time I've also built up the courage to start reaching out to publishers and request review copies from them (mainly since I will soon be a broke uni student). I've been speaking to a lovely lady from Harper Collins and soon I should be receiving some bookish mail so there will be more reviews and maaaaaybe some hauls! (also does anyone want a post on how to reach out to publishers?).

What else??? I've been talking to so many more bookish people thanks to Twitter so if you ever want to buddy read something or just talk books then hit me up!

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month for you? Do you like reading wrap-ups? Is there anything I missed?


Sunday, 28 January 2018

Why I Love Blogging (and you should too)

I've been blogging on and off for over five years now, but I always come back (mainly for the same three reasons). There is so much I love about having a blog and being part of this community and at this point I think it would just be weird if this wasn't a part of my life. So without further ado... here's what I love about blogging!

1. The Community

Can we all get a big selfie together! Imagine that...
My favourite thing about blogging is how there is a huge community of people from all over the world who bond over a love for books. I love how I can pick up a conversation with anyone in this community and we can just chat for hours about anything (not just books, although it usually starts there). I love how the community pulls together to help each other. And I just love that I have a random group of friends who I trust that I've never actually met.. (so much for stranger danger)

2. The Opportunities

Blogging opens so many doors!
Having a blog opens up so many opportunities for you. It's not just something to stick on your CV (although that is pretty awesome too), it's a way to form all sorts of connections with publishing companies and authors and other amazing bookish people. I know bloggers who have had some amazing opportunities like talking to authors and being involved in publishing deals etc. and I really hope that one day I can use my blog platform to springboard my way into other bookish worlds.. (does that make sense??).

3. AAAAALLLLL the Books

(also I really like cats)
I can't have a blog post with all my favourite things about blogging without mentioning books, and I'm not just talking about the ARCs and review copies. I'm talking about all the books I would never have picked up if I wasn't a book blogger. I've had so many fabulous recommendations from fellow bookish people and I am so thankful that my reading horizons have been broadened because of this world!

Why do you blog? Tell me your favourite thing about blogging... the thing that makes you keep blogging! There's so much that I love but these are the three first things that came to mind!


Saturday, 20 January 2018

Finally A Holiday || Many Mini Reviews and (maybe) A Holiday Pic

At the moment I'm working full time so it's surprisingly hard to find the time to read so when I took a couple of days off last week I told myself that I would read eight books in four days (ha!). I bit off way more than I could chew, especially because day four was spent driving home (a seven hour drive), butttt I did still manage to read four (and a bit) books while I was away! So here are the mini reviews....

Day Zero

On the long drive to where I was staying I took to twitter to see if they thought I could manage eight books in my four day holiday. (My thoughts were two books a day is reasonable so I don't plan on doing anything else and that totally worked for a few days, but it wasn't sustainable.. at all.)

Day One

On day one it rained. And rained. And rained. We managed to get out in the morning and go for a walk (in the rain) and a swim (also in the rain), but the rest of the day was spent inside with a book (or two) trying to warm up again.

The first book I read was Gemina, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (the sequel to Illuminae). I "buddy read" this one with Dina, but to be honest it was less of a buddy read and more of a check in at the end because we both flew through it so quickly. (Sidenote: We're also in different time zones so that made it difficult as well, but I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Dina when we both finished it!). I love the style of the Illuminae series and it makes it so easy to read! Gemina didn't really involve the characters who were in Illuminae which I was initially a bit disappointed about, but I ended up loving it anyway and I can't wait to read Obsidio (book three) where I'm hoping all the characters from book one and two come together!! 4.5 Stars for this one (the only reason it's not getting five stars is because I didn't love it quite as much as Illuminae).

I didn't stop when I finished Gemina! It was still cold and rainy outside so I moved onto book two; So Much I Want to Tell You: Letters to My Little Sister, by Anna Akana. For those of you who don't know; Anna Akana is a youtuber who makes funny, but also informative and eye-opening videos about all sorts of things that happen in life (I don't know how to explain it so I'll just include one of my favourites below). Anyway! I love her videos and I've been religiously watching them for a while, so when I learnt that she was writing a book I was pretty curious... This book is dedicated and written for her sister Kristina who committed suicide in 2007 and it's a book of (sort of) life lessons and stories that Anna would pass onto her little sister if she was still alive. It's also about the grief that Anna and her family faced after Kristina's death and what it's like to be a survivor of suicide. It was written in a series of anecdotal stories, some of which I felt like were about me. In the end I did sort of have mixed feelings about this book.. I did enjoy it, but I think I was sort of expecting it to be something it wasn't (but that's my fault, not the books'), I felt like some sections just dragged a little. It's a short read though so definitely worth it! 3 Stars for my second read on holiday!

Day Two

Day two was another hectic reading day! I did get out of the house (the rain had stopped so we went for a short walk in the morning), but I did spend most of the rest of the day reading.

The first book of the day was Eliza and Her Monsters, by Francesca Zappia which is definitely going to be one of my favourite reads of 2017!! 5 Stars aaaaallll the way! I can't believe I didn't read this any sooner.... I loved everything about this book. It's about a girl who writes a webcomic (which I wish was real because I want to read it) and she meets a boy who writes fanfic of her webcomic, but at first they don't know who each other are because she's just not really used to talking to people and having other people who understand her and he's got his problems too, but they help each other out and it's not perfect, but it is real. Wow. I need to take a breath. Lately I've been loving YA contemporary that has good mental health rep so if you're interested in something like that then READ THIS!

Up next was Wires and Nerve, by Marissa Meyer. Now, I did not know this was a thing. I thought that after the novellas that would be the end of The Lunar Chronicles and the crew that was in them, but no it was not! Wires and Nerves is a graphic novel about Iko(!!!) and I loved it. It has all the old crew from the original series, but it's told from the point of view of Iko which is just as great as you imagine it would be. What better protagonist than a sassy android? I don't know how I missed the release of this graphic novel, but part of me is glad that I did because now I only have to wait a couple of months for book two!! This was such an easy 5 Stars to give... I didn't realise how much I actually missed this series and the characters until I picked this graphic novel up.

Day Three 

On day three we went exploring and that was the end of my bookish streak. We did find a nice wee beach though!

Even though I didn't finish a book on day three, I did "start" one. Empire of Storms, by Sarah J. Maas has been sitting on my currently reading list on Goodreads since it came out in 2016... I know.. That's a long time! When I started it waaayyy back in 2016 I only got a couple of chapters in before life got in the way and I fell into a huge reading slump that lasted all the way through until almost the end of 2017. Sarah J. Maas has always been a favourite author of mine (I say that so casually like I'm not a crazy fan, but I definitely am) so I didn't want to ruin her books by forcing myself to read them at the wrong time. I'm happy to say that on day three I got about a third of the way through Empire of Storms and I am loving it so much..... I don't know how Sarah does it, but I know that this book is going to make me feel so much.. I already can't handle it! Now that I'm fully invested into Empire of Storms I will definitely finish it within the next week and then I'll be onto Tower of Dawn! Exciting stuff!!

Day Four

Day four was the long drive home. No reading was done. I managed to sneak a couple of chapters of Empire of Storms in when I got home, but for some reason I can't read Sarah J Maas books very fast... It's just too intense! I'll keep chugging along though... I am LOVING it!

Does your book intake increase while you're on holiday? Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Also have I talked you into adding anything to your TBR?? (sorry not sorry)