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The Clock Strikes Four

birthday-4Hello everyone!

Its that time of the year again where I reflect on how much this community means to me. Four years ago today I took the plunge and posted my very first post on this blog and my journey began.

Every year I am flawed by how much the blog has grown and how lovely you all are. While last year for the majority was a complete and utter flop of a year, I did accomplish setting up my own booktube The Written Word. While its still small with only 2 subscribers I want to work on it and grow it like this blog grew.

Despite my flop of a year 128 people decided that I was a worthy read and wanted to know when I actually do things and I thank you for it. And I thank the other 197 of you that have stuck it out with me for longer. If i could dedicate all my time to you guys and putting up things that you are interested in I would!

This community is like my family and I hope to embrace it more and to gain more and more members. We come for the books, and fall in love with the community <3

I hope you are all doing well, ad I hope to keep growing my platforms and getting to know you all so much more in the years to come.

 

 

Till Next Time…

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2016 Reading & Blogging Resolutions

P1030987-Recovered

Welcome everyone! I am so looking forward to the year to come so we might as well get started.

Reading

 

 

 

 

I think I am going to do my reading challenges a bit different this year. Less but more. I am going to do less challenges but I think they are going to be more challenging than the ones I have done in years past.

  • I will complete my Goodreads challenge of reading 90 books this year. I chose to keep the number the same because I want to try and not use single mangas towards it.
  • A-Z Challenge: Read 26 books that follow the alphabet.
  • Read at least 5 books that have been turned into movies/series, watch their movie/series counter parts, and review them both.
  • Read at least 10 books that have been on my TBR shelf for more than a year.
  • Debut Author Challenge: Reading at least 12 books by a debut author.
  • Reread at least 3 books.
  • DNF books you are not liking after 150 pages. This one I will ignore if I get told it gets better in the second half.

Blogging

 

 

 

 

  • Participate in more challenges/memes/tags.
  • Be more active in our book blogging/vlogging community.
  • From this day forth, I will put up a post every three days!
  • Take notes while reading for reviews.
  • Review every book I read, even if its just a partial review.
  • Schedule my posts and reviews in advance.
  • Update the blog in one way or another (looks, domain name, youtube)
  • Be more active on social media in relation to the blog.

 

I think I shall leave my resolutions at that for now. I am working very hard on trying to get into my desired work field right now and have huge assignments this year and I don’t want to over stretch.

 

Till Next Time…

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Updates, Updates and More Updates!

House

I am sorry for the lack of posts over the last couple of weeks guys. Lots a real life stuff has been happening which has left no time for read and the writing of blogs.

I got into a new Captive Animals course which takes up half my week. Both in the sense that it keeps me busy and during that half of the week I live in the land of no internet because I stay at my mothers and she doesn’t have it.

I have also been moving over the last week (see house above). While I got most my crap out of my old house in two days, I then had to go away for school and then there was still all the cleaning to be done. I think its all done now thank god. Cleaning walls is like the biggest bitch ever.

On another note today is my birthday so there will be no Top Ten Tuesday as I don’t really have time to write one with the going to work, cleaning my room from the move, and the going out to dinner. But here is the standard bunny birthday post:

crack_bunny_wishes_you_a_happy_birthday_by_sebreg-d4g66jx

Other than that I don’t think I have much to tell you guys. Hopefully posts will resume as normal next week. Have a great day guys!

 

Till Next Time…

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2015 Resolution Mid-Year Update

P1030987-Recovered

I think I need to do some things differently this year! So lets get this list of things I want to do started shall we?

Reading

 

 

 

 

  • I will complete my Goodreads challenge of reading 90 books this year.
  • Completely the reading goals I didn’t finish last year, then add more if I get more time.
  • Read at least 5 classics.
  • Read at least 5 different mangas/graphic novels.
  • Read at least 10 books that have been on my TBR shelf for more than a year.
  • Debut Author Challenge: Reading at least 6 books by a debut author.
  • Read things I feel I will enjoy rather than feel might be ok. Yeppers!
  • Only read one NetGalley book at a time. I haven’t read any books off of NetGalley because I am having issues getting through a book I got last year. I might have to give up.
  • Be better at reading the books which are apart of my bookclubs. Nope nope nope. None so far this year.

Blogging

 

 

 

 

  • Have the courage to finally start my booktube channel. I’m seriously freaking out about it! Not yet….
  • Participate in more challenges/memes/tags. Kinda..
  • Be more active in our book blogging/vlogging community. Kinda…
  • From this day forth, I will put up a post every three days! Yes! Mostly. 

Goodreads: 38/90 – According to goodreadsthis puts me 11 books behind schedule D: I need to hurry up.

Classics: 4/5 Woooo go me.

  1. The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  2. The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit
  3. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Manga/Graphic Novel: 4/5 I see a theme

  1. Blue Spring Ride by Io Sakisaka. Pretty much all of it.
  2. Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino. Vol 19
  3. The Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman.
  4. Pet Shop of Horrors by Matsuri Akino. Vol 1&2

TBR Shelf: 9/10 So I think the part that made this so hard last year was that I didn’t use anything twice, but I am going to let myself do that this year. Its a bonus if I kill two or more challenges with the one book. Go me for having things that fit.

  1. The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit.
  2. Vampire Knight: Ice Blue Sin by Ayuna Fujisaki.
  3. Pet Shop of Horrors by Matsuri Akino. Vol 1&2
  4. The Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman.
  5. The Quicksand Pony by Alison Lester.
  6. The Faerie Queen by Jeanie Lang.
  7. Losing You by Nicci French.
  8. Newes From The Dead by Mary Hooper.
  9. Midnight Embrace by Amanda Ashley.

Debut Author: FAIL 3/12 – I COMPLETELY forgot to even remotely think about this challenge…. Maybe I can do better next year.

  1. Dreamfire by Kit Alloway.
  2. Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

So I am pretty damn happy about what I have done so fare this year. All but one (not including goodreads) of my challenges I am just one off of each of them from completion! Yay me. So I am going to add back on one I completed last year but I think is still something I need to work on; Read 10 Adult novels.

Till Next Time…

 

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Book Review – Ashes of Life

ashes of life

Title: Ashes of Life

Author: Erica Lucke Dean & Laura M. Kolar

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 268

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Married for just three months, Alex Barrett is stunned when her husband, David, dies in a tragic accident. And the absolute last thing the pregnant young widow wants is to take on responsibility for his teenage daughter, Maddie. Reeling from loss, Alex struggles to deal with her grief and her troubled stepdaughter, but one question haunts her: why was David with his ex-wife when he died?

All Maddie Barrett wanted was for her parents to get back together, but an icy road took that dream away. Afterward, Maddie is riddled with guilt that she can’t share with anyone. Feeling angry and alone, she lays all the blame on Alex.

Alex and Maddie must find a way to move past their pain—shared, yet separate. Thrown together in an untenable arrangement, they fight through a frozen landscape of sorrow and redemption while redefining love, forgiveness, and family.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This blog is partly brought to you by the good folks over at Red Adept Publishing. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to take part in this wonderful blog tour!

When I went into this book I had literally no expectations. I was going through a slump and I really had zero interest in reading anything, but my day on the tour was not far away and I just had to get it over and done with. Wow. Just, awesome. While this book was not enough to completely shake the slump it was enough to actually make me angry that I am experiencing one. I flew through this book and didn’t want to put it down at any point.

The plot of the story itself was pretty simple, but I think that is just what I needed from a book. Something that wasn’t too complicated but something that many people can relate to. In this book we are taken on a journey of two women, one who has lost her new husband and now has to deal with raising his daughter, someone who has never given her a kind look let alone a kind word, and a teenager that has just lost both her parents and is forced to live with someone she blames for them not getting back together. The plot of loss is something that everyone can relate to and it is always in these times of loss that we seem to be faced with changes we never thought we would have to deal with. I really liked the writing style in the overall story. It was really engaging.

My favourite scenes in this book would have to be the moments, specially early on, where things seem to be going well for a change for our two main characters, one such example is when they are both going through David’s (husband and father) belongings. They finally seem to be connecting but then something simple breaks the reprieve and they are forced right back to the beginning. These little moments of moving on and actually happiness/acceptance are the parts I liked best.

Its the characters themselves are what really left this book at a four star rating for me. Yes I understand they are going through grief and I guess its completely realistic that they may do/act/say the way they do at points. But I still didn’t like those parts. I didn’t get this ‘guilt’ Maddie was feeling. She was just being an immature brat. I know most kids would probably want their parents back together, but divorce is a super common thing now-a-days and I think she could of handled it way better. I also thought that Alex made some SUPER bad choices. I wont go into one of them, but the other is that she moved on way too quickly. I know she thought her husband was going to leave her and go back to his ex but she got over that super quickly.

Other than that I really enjoyed this book and I am glad I get to be apart of its tour. I would suggest this book to anyone who is in the mood for a contemporary read. I would not suggest it to someone who has just gone through a loss recently or is not in a place where they are ok with it, because the subject matter might be a bit too close to home.

 

Till Next Time…

1

Versatile Blogger Award

versitle-blogger-bw

I was nominated for this award by Kerr and Rachel from Paein and Ms4Tune
Thank you guys!

 

Rules:

  1. Nominate 15 other bloggers relatively new to blogging.
  2. Let the bloggers know that you’ve nominated them.
  3. Share 10 random facts about yourself.
  4. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to you post.

Here is my list of bloggers I am nominating. Not all of them are new, but I went with newish (just over a year) or people with under 1000 subscribers. I couldn’t find 15 because I didn’t have time before I had to leave for work, but 14 is pretty good.

  1. inspiredbyabook
  2. Pages by Paige
  3. Love thy Shelf
  4. I Read It And Wept
  5. BookBug Wonders
  6. The Worn Bookmark
  7. Subdued Flamboyance
  8. booksfordaysonend
  9. Words We Heart
  10. Coffee n’ Notes
  11. the readingdesk reviews
  12. THESEPAPERWORDS
  13. The Happy Typewriter
  14. CK’s Reading Corner

Random Facts:

  1. I work in a butcher and I hate it.
  2. I am pigeon toed and I walked with my feet seriously pointing inwards for a very long time until I decided to fix it and forced myself walking with my feet pointing outward for a very long time, now my feet point naturally forward. They do sometimes like to go pigeon on my though and trip me.
  3. I have a cat called Rose who is a sneaky little munchkin that I spend half my time making sure she doesn’t kill herself with stupidity.
  4. I am really into animals and want to work in a zoo or wildlife sanctuary (see why I hate the butcher?)
  5. I have been dating my boyfriend for 5 years.
  6. I am a pagan.
  7. I like to cosplay.
  8. I still have soft toys on my bed.
  9. My room is pretty much always messy when I have a stable job.
  10. I hate living with people.

Thank you guys again at Paein and Ms4Tune

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Two Years Old + Giveaway

2nd_birthday_cake

 

Well guys, its that time of the year again. On this day two years ago I took the plunge and signed up for wordpress to start reviewing the many books I read.

I have loved every minute of it.

I know I said this last year but my feelings havent changed. I am so grateful to this community. You take in people without a thought, all because we all share this deep love and passion for books. I can honestly say that no one in my face to face life feels this way about them, but you guys do and that make you my book family. It means so much to me to have somewhere to go that everyone feels the same way I do and is completely understanding of me.

Since last year I have gained 138 new follows with a total of 197. That’s more than double the amount of follows I gained in my first year of this blog. I know I am still not a very big blog but each and everyone one of you mean so much to me. Everytime I gain someone new its an addition to my family. It lets me know that other people feel the same way as me and I am not just talking to myself out there. If it were not for you guys I would not be getting the books Penguin are always sending me now (which is just so exciting), and I would not have a place where I feel this at home.

From the bottom of my heart I wish to thank the entire blogging community, from my follows to those I haven’t even met yet. Thank you.

As a thank you to you all I would also like to host two giveaways! One for Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead and one for Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead. Originally these were going to be Australia only giveaways since it will cost me at least $20 to post things over seas, but since it looks like I will be getting a job at the end of next week and since you guys mean so much to me I have decided to make them world wide contests. They will run for one month, mostly because I need to make sure I have enough money to send them out even if I don’t end up getting a job.

Silver Shadows giveaway
Ruby Circle giveaway

 

Till Next Time…

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Job, Blog, and Moving

update

Bah! I feel like I have been neglecting my poor blog lately. I have been missing my reading companions greatly. I know I promised that my posts would resume as normal after I returned from my holiday, and while I have been getting some posts up that mostly consist of TTT’s, that hasn’t really been the case. This last month and the next two to come have been and are going to be full on and crazy busy.

Work has been super stressful and taxing because they changed the menu from an eight item thing to fifteen, so it was all consuming and when I get home I am either a zombie or pass out. It then took a turn for the different though. On Monday I found out that my workplace’s last day of business would be the Wednesday and on Thursday would be completely packed up and gone. Boy was this a shock! While I was planning on quitting soon anyway, the suddenness of this took me by surprise because I wanted another month of work. So on the Tuesday and Wednesday everything in the store was half price and gosh was I running around like a headless chicken. In a fourish hour period we served the same amount of people that we would normally serve in a ten hour day. It was insane. Then yesterday was an angry day of packing and being pissed off with the owners one last time as they were not there to help pack and we had no idea what to do with anything.

Waking up this morning was kind of surreal, I don’t know what to do with myself now really. Getting another job is an option but it seems a bit pointless.

Its pointless because I am actually planning on moving across country over the month of December. I plan on going to Brisbane early December, buying a car, finding a house, and then coming back to Melbourne after Christmas and renting a moving truck and driving our stuff back to Brisbane. So I have been busy trying to pack and work out if hiring a removalist would be a better idea (I don’t know if we will be over or under the legal weight limit to drive it ourselves).

I suppose with the loss of job a month earlier than I planned, I am a bit broker now, but I have time to pack and try and read and work on my blog more. I am thinking about redesigning it a little and possibly changing the name to The Written Word as I am starting a booktube by the same name next year when I get settled, so keep your eyes out for that. I am not going to promise many reviews because I really should be focusing on other things. I apologise in advance for any blog silence.

If you have any comments on any new designs you see or thoughts of the name change, if its a good or bad idea or what not, be sure to let me know. I really appreciate your opinions <3

 

Till Next Time…