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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