Wednesday, 26 September 2018

A Journey in an Infographic, Thanks to Visme


Speak Visually. Create an infographic with Visme


I had heaps of fun creating this graphic using Visme, it's super easy to use and I'd recommend it to all you bloggers that want the fancy graphics without all the hard work. NOW! Which books shaped your childhood? Are there any similarities to mine? Let me know!

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Thursday, 20 September 2018

Why I Won't Write Monthly Wrap-Ups Anymore... (At Least for Now)

My blogging has been sporadic lately. I'll consistently blog for a few weeks, and then I'll go off the grid for months at a time. I want to blog, but I'm always held back by one main thing... My monthly wrap-ups. I HATE writing them. But I also hate not having them. I don't think that even makes sense so I'm turning to lists to help me out.

Why Monthly Wrap-Ups Hold Me Back 

1. I can't move on without them


If it's the beginning of September and I still haven't written an August wrap-up then I just won't write a post for September (or any month after that) until I'm up to date with my wrap-ups. How silly is that?!

2. I don't actually like writing them so I put it off


The end of the month rolls around and I know that I have to write a wrap-up, so everything becomes a reason not to blog. I'm too busy, I'm too tired, I can't be bothered, "Oops, I feel down a scrolling hole on twitter/youtube/instagram". I just have zero motivation. I think the way that I set them out is just too repetative and boring? I dunno, it's just not fun.

3. It's tooooo much pressure on myself


I'm at university full time and I work everyday on top of that so I want blogging to be something fun that I do, not something that I put off because I don't enjoy it.

Overall

Don't get my wrong, I love reading them and I even like my own once I've written them, but I just enjoy writing them how they are at the moment. Maybe one day I'll come back with a new and revamped style, but for now... Goodbye!

Did I just write an entire post on how I'm not going to write a certain type of post anymore? Yes I did. I had to acknowledge it for myself. Is there any type of post that you don't enjoy writing? Why do you still write them? 

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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

I may not have been blogging, but I was reading

May, June and July were strange months for me. I had my final exams for my first semester of university (which overall went really well) in June and then in July I had a whole month of holidays and I did absolutely nothing. I had all these plans for things I wanted to do, including reading, writing, blogging, working etc. but I didn't really do anything except for read a little bit here and there. I didn't even work which at the time was a little bit annoying (I couldn't get anymore shifts at work), but I think in reality that break was exactly what I needed. Now I am back and refreshed, but I did want to catch you all up on what I read during that time!

May, 2018

May was the month of being VERY addicted to this game (I promise I'm over it now... kind of)
1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by J.K. Rowling - ★★

I was so conflicted about this book (or should I say screenplay script?). I wanted to love it because I (used to) love all things Harry Potter, but I just could not connect with it. I always understood that it would be a little bit different because it's about different characters and also it's going to read differently to the original series because it is just a script BUT it just felt like even the original characters were completely different people. I get that growing up changes people, but Harry was on a sugar free diet? Um what. Harry and Albus both completely irritated me.. The only two characters who were decent and actually seemed to stay true to themselves were Draco and Scorpius. 

Having said all that, there were certain aspects that I enjoyed like seeing the alternate realities of what could have happened if things had gone differently, but the majority of it just didn't seem right. Who knows, maybe it would have been a different story if I had seen the play rather than just reading the script... (petition to have the play come to New Zealand because even though I just wrote a semi-scathing review, I would still love to see it).

2. Fables, Volume Two: Animal Farm, by Bill Willingham - ★★★★★

A solid five stars to this one. Easily. I'm a huge fan of graphic novels (perfect for slumps, busy times and all occasions) and this is the latest graphic novel series I have discovered and plan on devouring. I love the stories, the artwork and all the different dynamics between characters. (It also helps that my library lets me borrow eBook copies of these so I don't even have to leave the house... I promise I do get out and socialise sometimes.)

June, 2018

(I was looking for photos from June of interesting things I did, but it turns out I just played a lot of games of monopoly with my friends so all I could find was videos of us arguing, which while it is funny, isn't really what I was going for with this post)

1. Act Like It, by Lucy Parker - ★★★★★

Lucy Parker. Read one of her books. If you can feel the onset of a slump and need something light and easy to pull you back out of it then her books are perfect... Actually they're perfect for anytime. It was light and funny, but the characters also had depth and the storyline was interesting. I have a pretty angsty relationship with romance books and we don’t always get on well, but Lucy Parker has changed my mind about the genre. Thank you to Shanti and Ella for (not-so-gently) pushing me to read this. You guys have the best recommendations!

2. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas - ★★★★★

Such an overwhelmingly important read that everybody needs to experience! I can't believe it took me joining a book club to actually read it (I'm a huge anti-hype person sometimes and I need to change that about myself because hype is not a bad thing). I wrote a full review on THUG here so pleeeease check that out and reeeeaaaaddd the book!!

3. Pretty Face, by Lucy Parker - ★★★★★

Aaaaaand another Lucy Parker book because her cute and fluffy romances are my latest obsession. I don't often binge series, but ohmygosh these books are too good. Now I just have to get hold of the rest of the series.

July, 2018

I joined the tramping club at uni and climbed a mountain
1. The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon - ★★★★★

Somewhere above I talked about how I tend to avoid books that are overhyped... This is another example of this... and yet again, I regret putting it off for as long as I did. What an amazing book. I can already feel that it's going to be one of my favourites of 2018. AAAAAAAHHHHH! I just want to flail and fangirl about it so if you've read it let me know! And if you haven't then close this post and go find a copy... somewhere... anywhere... You. Have. To. Read. It.

2. The Two Lolitas, by Michael Maar - ★★★

I read Lolita aaages ago and it was a strange read for sure, but I think I enjoyed it? Anyway! This a non-fic about whether or not Lolita was truly an original as there is evidence that a short story under the same name and with a VERY similar story line was published in a journal not long before Nabakov wrote his Lolita. The Two Lolita's wasn't exactly an easy read (it was super dense) which is why it took me soooo long to read, but it was also a really interesting concept and I don't really know what to think about Lolita's originality now. Would recommend to people who have already read Lolita and want to know more about the novels origin.

3. The Pale Dreamer, by Samantha Shannon - ★★★

Loved The Bone Season, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed by this. It felt like a lot of telling of things that I already knew (having read The Bone Season) and in comparison with The Bone Season, it just felt clunky and unnatural. Would still recommend it to those who have read The Bone Season as it is only a short read, but don't go into it with huge expectations like I did.

4. On the Merits of Unnaturalness, by Samantha Shannon - ★★★★

So it seems like this was the month of Samantha Shannon. This was a cute wee read that just informed the reader more on the different levels of 'unnaturalness' from The Bone Season. Nothing too fancy, but it was interesting enough and a nice small companion novel to sneak a couple of pages of when I was supposed to be studying.


What books have you read recently? Tell me you absolute favourite from the last few months! Have you read any of the books that I talked about here? And can someone pleeeeaaase talk to me about The Bone Season?!

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Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas || This Book Was Banned?!

The Hate U Give
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.


A couple of months ago, I joined The Banned Book Club, hosted by Shruti @ This is Lit and one of the first books we read as a group was The Hate U Give. Now, I've been a very slack blogger lately and this review is suuuuuper late, but better late than never! If you want to check out Shruti's review it's here.

Why/where was this book banned?

The Hate U Give wasn't a widely banned book, but it was banned by a school district in Texas for the drug use and explicit language in it.

Was the banning warranted?

In general I don't think books should be banned. Of course there are cases where the content may be so awful that younger readers should not be allowed to read it, but generally it seems that all banning does is encourage people to read a book*.

As for whether THUG should have been banned? It's a big no from me. I think that this is a book that people should be encouraged to read. It has so many important themes relating to discrimination and racism and it highlights things that are actually still happening in the world right now. If you're going to ban this book then you might as well ban the news too. The news has more horrific things happening everyday. And sure there's drug use, and some explicit language, but the drug use isn't romanticised or portrayed in any sort of positive light, it's just part of these teens lives. That's reality for them.

I just hope that the schools who banned this book found that it had the opposite effect and suddenly everyone wanted to read it.

*Sidenote: When I was in primary school, Twilight was banned and suddenly everyone wanted to read it. I don't think I've ever seen so many people interested in a book, even people that you would NEVER have seen reading before. We traded around copies like it was some sort of bookish black market and some people even went as far as to hide them in the jackets of other books... it was great!

My thoughts

This tweet basically sums up my thoughts for The Hate U Give:


I loved it and I think it is such an important story. I don't know what else to say other than READ THIS! (and if you already have then talk to me about it).


Have you read THUG? Did you love it as much as I did? Also, what do you think of banning books... Would it just make you more eager to read it?

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Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Some Bookish Things About Me

I haven't written a blog post in a while, but recently Ella (from Novelly Ella) wrote a post with 19 bookish facts about herself and suggested that I do the same, but I don't currently have the brain capacity to come up with 19 facts (uni takes most of my brain power) so ten will have to do! You can check out Ella's post here.


1. I'm a HUGE mood reader. If I'm not in the mood for a certain genre and I try to force my way through it then I promise you, I will fall into a slump. (I'm currently in the mood for intense fantasies so recommendations are welcome).

2. For some reason, lately I've been finding it so much easier to read books on my phone than anywhere else... I'm not sure what it is, it just feels like less effort than a physical book or an ebook on kindle. Please tell me I'm not the only one!

3. I wrote a novel for NaNoWriMo last year and actually finished it! But since then I've never looked at it again. It was a very messy first draft and I don't know if I can read it again without cringing.

4. Recently I've found that there is so much time in my day during which I can listen to audiobooks. Driving somewhere? Audiobook time. Going for a run? Audiobook time. On a break at work? Audiobook time. Can't sleep? Audiobook time. Sooooo many hidden minutes in the day.

5. The Harry Potter series will always be one of my favourite series of all time. I don't even know how many times I've read it, but I'm currently reading the fifth one again (definitely a fav).

6. I have this pirate story idea in my head that I really, really want to write, but for some reason I just don't know how to start it. I basically have a group of characters running around in my head and not a lot of storyline. I'll get there though!

7. I've been blogging on and off for a VERY long time. I think I first started when I was thirteen and had a blog called Tangled in Words and then I went from that to The Paperback Palace and then Word Elixirs and now here I am at Words With Lara. It has been a journey, but I'm glad I'm still here in this bookish community.

8. I will either sit down and read a book in one or two sittings... OR it will take me months to get through it. There is no in between.

9. I am a serial procrastinator when it comes to EVERYTHING (including reading, writing and blogging). Even if I have an idea for a post and I have the time to write and schedule it, I probably won't do it until the night before.

10. One day I hope to publish my own novel... I have so many ideas and so little time at the moment, but it's one of my biggest goals in life and I will do it! I will!!

Tell me an interesting fact about yourself! It doesn't have to be bookish. Or even just tell me if you can relate to any of my facts :)

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Sunday, 6 May 2018

NOPE. NOPE. NOPE.

Today I thought it would be fun to mix things up a little bit and do a tag! So thank you for tagging me in this one, Tiffany. You can check out her post here.


NOPE ENDING:
a book ending that made you go nope either in rage, or simply because it was crappy

The ending of There's Someone Inside Your House, by Stephanie Perkins was just so anti-climactic. There was such a huge lead up and then it went out with a fizzle instead of a bang and I was left HUGELY disappointed. I wrote rather a ranty review for that one if you feel like a lil' bit of funny negativity in your life.

NOPE PROTAGONIST:
a main character you dislike and drives you crazy

I didn't mind Bella in Twilight (I mean she definitely mildly irritated me, but I handled it), but in Life and Death, the Twilight story where the genders were reversed, her male version pissed me off BIG time! It kind of felt like Stephanie Meyer had never actually talked to a male, he was basically just Bella with a different name and some slightly different anatomy and that was ANNOYING.

NOPE PAIRING:
a "ship" you don't support

Katniss and Peeta in The Hunger Games... I don't know. I can't really explain this one because it's not even necessarily that I'd rather she'd be with Gale. Neither felt totally suited to her, but especially not Peeta. No thanks!

NOPE PLOT TWIST:
a twist you didn't see coming and didn't like

I can't think of any books where I didn't like the plot twist SO instead I'll just let you know that my favourite plot twists of all time are the ending of We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart and also Dangerous Girls, by Abigail Haas. So goos!

NOPE GENRE:
a genre you will never read

Even though I read mainly young adult, I like to think that I'll give anything a go (at least once) and so far I haven't come across a genre that I will never ever read again.

NOPE BOOK FORMAT:
a book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition

I am NOT a fan of mass market paperback editions. They're the awkwardly tiny books with even tinier writing that are a little cheaper, but to me it's just really not worth it because I feel like I need a magnifying glass to actually read them. I don't buy many books anyway so the few books that I do buy better be nice editions (so I don't think I own a single mass market paperback). Fussy, I know!

NOPE TROPE:
a trope that makes you go nope

Any book that romanticises a toxic relationship. Just no!

NOPE RECOMMENDATION:
a book recommendation that is constantly pushed at you, that you simply refuse to read

If I get recommended a book enough times I will usually eventually break and read it. However, I never read any of the Percy Jackson books, but at this point I feel like it's too late for me to jump on that bandwagon.

NOPE CLICHE:
a cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes

The new girl cliche. If you're new at a school you probably won't be noticed by every single other person who goes there. Sorry... And the male population of that school probably won't all want to date you. Realistically you'll make a couple of friends, but fly beneath the radar of everyone else. That's just life.

NOPE LOVE INTEREST:
the love interest that's not worthy of being one

Four from Divergent. I don't know why, but there was always something about him that rubbed me the wrong way. Sure, he was hot in the movies, but there was also always something off about him... Please tell me I'm not the only one who thought so!

NOPE BOOK: 
a book that shouldn't have existed

I can't think of a book that I've read which I think shouldn't exist... I've heard about books that sound a bit questionable, but I wouldn't want to make a judgement on those ones without having read them so I pass for this question.

NOPE VILLAIN:
a villain you would hate to cross

Queen Levana from The Lunar Chronicles. She seems evil as shit... I find her so fascinating, especially after reading Fairest, but I also would NOT want to cross her. EVER.

NOPE DEATH:
a character death that still haunts you

Every single death in Harry Potter... Not okay! But in particular... a certain house elf, a twin and a pair who had a child..... If you haven't read Harry Potter then you need to get on my level, but if you have then I'm sure you'll understand this!

NOPE AUTHOR:
an author you have had a bad reading experience with and have decided to quit

L.J. Smith. The author of The Vampire Diaries. I think they did such a good job with the TV show, especially after reading the book... It left a lot to be desired for me and I don't think I'll ever pick anything up by that author again unless it comes very highly recommended by someone I trust.

Do you agree with me on any of these? Or totally disagree? Let me know either way, I'd love to hear other peoples thoughts! I tag everyone so make sure to let me know if you complete this tag too!!!

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Monday, 30 April 2018

April, 2018 || A Month of Not A Lot

In April I had three weeks of holidays, but for some reason it did NOT feel like that. It went waayyyy too quickly and I did not get as much as I wanted to done. At all! I barely read, I barely blogged, and I did hardly any study (whoops!), but now I'm back at uni and busy with that again so I may have been a little bit slack with the blog for the last week or two (which is why this wrap-up is a week late).
IN THE BOOKS
(what did I read this month?)

Five books in April! Go me!! And I just noticed that they were all five star reads... I thought I didn't have the best reading month, but I actually did!!


Full Review Here



Full Review Here

THE HAUL
(what books have I added to my collection?)

FROM PUBLISHERS: A HUGE thank you to Harper Collins NZ for the copy of The Queen's Rising which I have already devoured and absolutely adored. YAYYY!!! 


ON THE BLOG
(what happened on the blog?)

Like I said, I was a little slack this month so there were only three posts...

  1. I talked about the highlight of my month which was going to see Love, Simon with other bookish people (it doesn't get much better than this).
  2. I finally wrote my review for Obsidio, the grand finale in the Illuminae Files.
  3. And I finished off the month with another review, this time of The Queen's Rising, which is definitely going on my 2018 favourites list.

IN REAL LIFE
(all about meeeeeeee)

So for three weeks off I really did not do a lot... I just worked a lot!

A couple of exciting things that did happen though... Me, Ella (from A Bookish Time), and Shanti and Shar (from Virtually Read) went and saw Love, Simon together which was super cute and fun!! And then at the end of the month we all caught up again (minus Shar) to sit in the gardens in our city and do some writing... We had a super cute wee picnic and I got a review written while the other two got a little more creative. We definitely plan on doing it again when we're back in town as well!

How was your April? Tell me your favourite and least favourite book of the month... Just to mix it up a little!

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Thursday, 26 April 2018

The Queen's Rising, by Rebecca Ross || Give. Me. More.

The Queen's Rising
When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?


It’s been a while since I’ve read a fantasy novel like this and I was definitely in the mood for one, so when HarperCollins asked if I’d like a copy, I said YES PLEASE! And I’m so glad I did because I LOVED it! At first I was worried that it was going to be a bit predictable, but it most definitely wasn’t. It had such a unique storyline and there was so much I loved about it so here are just a couple of those things

I loved the world and the conflicts within it

I feel like it’s not that often that I am so drawn into the world and the politics of the world in a fantasy novel because I’m just the sort of person that cares more about the characters and their relationships, but in The Queen’s Rising the world was so well built. It was believable and super interesting and I if I could I would definitely read a history book on their world.

The idea of the passions

In this novel, the main character Brienna went to a school for passions, a school where students went to learn and excel in a certain field (aka their passion). There were five passions (art, music, dramatics, wit and knowledge) and the students studied there for seven years before they mastered their passion. I just thought it was a really cool and unique idea and even though I did love the story, part of me wanted more stories about Brienna’s time at the school with her other passion sisters (maybe a collection of novellas idea?!)...

The relationships (mainly the friendships)

I’m talking about the friendships between the passion sisters especially. In fact, I have to admit I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more of this but maybe (fingers crossed here) there will be more of the passion sisters in book two!

I think I have to mention here as well that I did love the romance. I’ve read a couple of reviews from people that weren’t the biggest fans, but I thought it was hella cute and hella wholesome! (And not as predictable as what I initially thought.

The taste of magic

There wasn’t a lot of magic in this book BUT there were bits and pieces of it, including Brienna inheriting memories from an ancestor which I thought was such a cool wee detail and I cannot wait for all the magic in the rest of this series.

The ending

The ending of this book wrapped up so nicely that you could definitely read it as a standalone and be satisfied. However, I will 100% be reading the rest of the series because I need more of these characters and their world in my life. In fact, I can't believe that I'm going to wait another year for book two... life is so unfair for us bookworms!

What was the last fantasy novel you read and loved? Have you read this one? If you haven't, you definitely should! What should I read while I impatiently wait for book two?

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Sunday, 15 April 2018

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

Obsidio
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.

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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. 



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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).

IN THE BOOKS
(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

THE HAUL
(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). 


ON THE BLOG
(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).

IN REAL LIFE
(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???

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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?

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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!

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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!

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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!

IN THE BOOKS
(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!).



ON THE BLOG
(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.

IN REAL LIFE
(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?

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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...  

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