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Mini Mondays – The Girl on the Train, We Were Liars, The Silver Linings Playbook

Title: The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 323

Rating: 4 Star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I feel bad that this review is ending up in Mini Mondays this week. It is in no way a reflection on how I felt about the book, I really enjoyed this book, but a reflection on my laziness and lack of a good memory. Always review your books straight after you read them kids!

I don’t know if I can say that I liked any of the characters, I don’t think you are supposed to like any of the characters, but I think they were really well written. At first I was a bit disgusted with Rachel, but as the story went on I felt more and more sorry for her. I wont go into why obviously but my god I would totally sort of loose my mind too and fall down some kind of emotional well also if I was in that situation.

Plot wise I wouldn’t say it was completely a surprise where the story went, but god I was taken on a ride with the story. I was surprised a lot, and I was still sitting on the edge of my seat even when it wasn’t. I was so eager to see what was going to happen next and constantly wondering how on Earth everything was going to work out for all those involved. It was creepy because I could really see something like this happening. Despite the fact I can’t remember enough for a full review, but I really enjoyed it and if you like thrillers or mysteries I would recommend this book to you. Not as crazy as Gone Girl but interesting in different ways.

Title: We Were Liars

Author: E. Lockhart

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult

Length: 225

Rating: 4 Star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.

Another book I really liked ending up in Mini Mondays but this one is not here because I don’t remember enough. Its here because If I really tell you anything about this book its going to ruin it and I don’t want to do that. Just like everyone before I am going to say that you should go into this book not knowing anything. Even me saying that is too much. The only people who can truly experience this book are those who have never heard of it and pick it up and read it. So don’t even read on really.

I really liked this book, but it annoyed me at the same time. I knew something was going to happen and I was just constantly waiting for something to happen. The writing really plays into this. It was very segmented and very dramatic and it took me a moment to get into the flow of the writing. It creates a lot of extra mystery and I was just sitting there going yes I know hurry up and tell me.

I didn’t see the ending coming at all. Up until this point I only sorta cared about the characters because they were getting on my nerves with their tight lipped ways. Then I cared a lot. The ending also made me so angry. I was furious at it, but I can’t say why. So anyone who has read the book please message me because god I want to rant and rant and rant. In saying all that though I liked the story and it was worth most the hype it was getting. If you think you can handle the both beautiful and irritating writing style then I think you will enjoy this book. Go forth and read.

Title: The Silver Linings Playbook

Author: Matthew Quick

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Length: 289

Rating: 3 Star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

So this Mini Mondays ended up having a theme of books I liked but didn’t have enough words for to write full reviews for.

This book isn’t something I am going to scream from the top of a hill for people to read. I found the writing style sort of flat, and despite it being a relatively short story it did drag at times for me. There was a lot of sport talk which really doesn’t interest me at all. The only part of the sporty scenes I liked was seeing how Pat reacted to different things or people or how it affected his frame of mind.

But it kept my interest because I found the idea of it really interesting. The thought these two very broken people coming together and basically just frustrating the other one until they sort of help each other out was a good idea. I didn’t really feel like I connected to them or feel as though they connected to each other as much as I think they were supposed to.

I found all parts relating to Pat’s interest in Nikki deeply unnerving. This kept me going, this sense of unease because I had to know where it was going, even if it didn’t really end up going anywhere. Pat is a really mentally sick human to obsess on Nikki the way he did, and I both feel sorry for him and want to keep him at a distance because it made me uncomfortable. In an interesting way.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Mini Mondays – Cruel Crown, Hush Hush, Zenith

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Title: Cruel Crown [Red Queen 0.5]

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Length: 208

Rating: 3 Star

Series Reviews: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I both liked and didn’t like the two separate stories in this book about things that happened before Red Queen. I liked learning about queen Coriane in Queen Song. It was really interesting learning about the events that set up the whole of the series. I did feel that we rushed through lots of it though. Yes it was a short story and it wasn’t supposed to be a full length book but I think it could have been longer than it was.

Now Farley’s story in Steel Scars was a bit less interesting. It really bored me up until Shade started appearing in the story. I liked hearing about how he was spending his time while Mare was off doing her thing. I didn’t get nearly enough of it because I would have really liked to know the moment he worked out he was different. I think that would have been great. In terms of parts I really didn’t like about this part of the book though would be the letters back and forth. I don’t know if it was because I was doing the audiobook I couldn’t really keep up with who was talking to who and I tended to zone out when they did it quite a bit.

Title: Hush, Hush [Hush Hush 1]

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick

Genre: Romance, Supernatural, Young Adult

Length: 391

Rating: 3 Star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

There were times in this book when I was into it. I liked some of the romance and the story was interesting enough at some parts. The thing that really killed this story for me was the writing in general.

I found myself getting really angry when the characters were speaking. The dialogue was so grating and forced and to me it was all very predictable. I was more into it at the end, but getting to the end was hard. I was posting in my bookish groups on facebook asking people what they had thought, if they had felt the same way as me, and if so is it worth continuing. Despite the fact that I was getting physically angry listening to the audiobook while driving because the writing and the dialogue, I got enough positive feedback to continue on. I did it, its done and I didn’t want to bash my brain in at the end, but right now I have no intention of ever doing the rest of the series and have infact unhauled my physical copies after listening to the first one.

Title: Zenith [The Androma Saga 1]

Author: Sasha Alsberg, Lindsay Cummings

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Length: 534

Rating: 3 Star

Series Reviews: 1, 2

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I really wanted to do a full review on this book as I received the ARC from the publishers for my honest review, but I just can’t do it. I don’t have enough words to do a full review and I think I would be doing more damage to my review and just the book in general if I tried to push myself to do the full one so I am just going to let it be in my Mini Mondays. Thank you Harlequin Teen.

I went into this book with very mixed emotions. I was so looking forward to reading this book that one of my favourite youtubers had been working on for so long, and that I had watched work on it for so long. But then the negative reviews started just gushing in. I don’t think anyone that I really follow in the bookish community gave it a good review, and most of them just didn’t review it at all so I don’t know if they actually read it or didn’t want to hurt their friends feelings. Either way though, to me it seemed like the community in general was not impressed with what was put out. My expectations had dropped to the point where I nearly just didn’t pick it up at all.

But I did. I am glad I had seen all the negative reviews before I entered because it probably saved what there was for me to enjoy in the book because I prepared for the bits that I was just not going to like. You can tell this is Sasha’s first book. She really could have spent a lot more time editing and doing more drafts as you can see just the inexperienceness she was bringing to the table. The dialogue was just so hard to listen to at times, and the plot was at time very predictable, and some of the characters characteristics and ‘roles’ in the story were very forced. There were parts of the plot I enjoyed or got swept up in, but for the most part the main thing I enjoyed were the characters and their relationship to each other. Not all the time mind you, but the majority of the time.

I am going to pick up the next one and I look forward to seeing where it goes and just how much they may or not progress in terms of just ‘quality.’ It was not the worst thing I have ever read, but it was far from being a breakthrough debut.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Dragonfly In Amber

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Title: Dragonfly In Amber [Outlander 2]

Author: Diana Gabaldon

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Length: 743

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9

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Description/Synopsis:

For nearly twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones… about a love that transcends the boundaries of time… and about Jamie Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his.

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart… in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising… and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

It took me forever to get through this book in audiobook form, and I enjoyed nearly every moment of it. However, if anyone is intending on doing it through audio book over a period of months, I suggest you take notes after each session because its length makes it really hard to remember many details. I apologise in advance if this review is lacking. It took me about 6 months to finish this book listening to a couple of hours a week! Also, this review is filled of spoilers. Don’t read on if you don’t want spoilers.

When it comes to writing style, there isn’t anything I can fault of Gabaldon’s writing style. I think she weaves an amazing story. All the settings are brought to life and all the characters are so detailed and have such depth.

But what the hell is with that opening.

Im not saying it was bad. It was brilliantly done. But going from one audio book to next audio book without the above synopsis I had no idea what was happening. Clair has a fully grown daughter and she has gone back to Frank to raise this daughter and Jamie is nowhere to be seen. I was so confused. I thought I had skipped a book so I stopped for ages because I could not understand what was happening. But no, it was the right book. And it took ages to go back and at least start finding anything out.

This whole book had me, because I knew something so so so sad was going to go down at the end because I knew we had to end back at the beginning. I both love and hate that. While is was not as strong for me in this book as it was in The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, I love this effect in books. When you know where you have to end, but each moment you are just dreading its approach and it doesn’t get boring.

While I did not mind the time that Clair and Jamie spent in Paris, it certainly had very interesting parts, I found this to be the part of the story that dragged the most for me. There were other parts in the rest of the book, but it is so worth getting through these dragging moments because Gabaldon just keeps throwing stuff at you left right and centre.

I adored the new character Fergus. I thought he was adorable and his relationship with both Jamie and Clair was just way too cute. They should really just adopt that kid.

But Clair and Jamie both did such stupid things in this book. I particularly wanted to murder Jamie. At the end out Outlander we find out that Clair is pregnant, and I don’t know about you but I also didn’t believe that Black Jack was dead. So when he came back I was not overly surprised. Clair makes Jamie promise not to kill him yet because she doesn’t want Frank to die and Jamie agrees. Clair also is having a difficult pregnancy and is pretty much on bed rest. But of course, Black Jack does something vile and then we find out that Jamie has run off to go kill him, despite promising Clair, basically declaring that his revenge means more to him than his family, and of course Clair has to chase after him to try and stop him. Then all hell breaks loose, and Clair looses the baby and nearly dies right along with her child.

So much of the pain in this book could have been avoided if Jamie had just used his brain. I pretty much hated him for the rest of the book. I hated Clair a bit too because she shouldn’t have gone after him, but mostly Jamie. After months and months they do end up making up, but I was so mad at Clair for forgiving him for ages. Then to top it all off she had to have sex with a disgusting man to get him out of jail for said duel with Black Jack. SO MUCH RAGE.

Fast forwarding to the end of the book, I did feel bad for Jamie when he has to kill his uncle for Clair and he gained a bit of my forgiveness back then. Then Jamie sends Clair back through the stone and we get their emotional parting, leaving us back at the start of the book. We are at the time with Geillis Duncan is in Clair’s current timeline and I thought she was going to help Clair and Jamie and somehow make it so they never have to separate and warn her so she doesn’t go off to her death but nope. They get there too late and the only thing they get out of her being in this story is that now Brianna believes her mum. I don’t know if I like Brianna or not yet, we shall see…

We go through this whole thing thinking that Jamie is dead but it turns out he isn’t. That is where it all ends. Damn cliffhangers!

Im going to leave this here. This is a very long review about my feelings regarding… mostly one thing that happened in this book, but hey, its the bits that got the most emotion from me and they cannot be expressed in little words!

 

Till Next Time…

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From Manga To Anime – Vampire Knight

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Title: Vampire Knight [Vampire Knight Season 1]

Genre: Supernatural, Romance, Anime

Rating: 5 Star

Anime Series Reviews: 1, 2

Manga Series Reviews: 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-19

Description/Synopsis:

Vampire Knight tells the story of Yuki Cross. The earliest thing she remembers is being attacked on a snowy night by a vampire, and being rescued by Kaname Kuran, who is also a vampire. The story takes place 10 years after that event, Yuki is now the adopted daughter of the Headmaster of Cross Academy. She and her longtime friend Zero Kiryu keep peace at the academy, making sure no problems arise between the Day Class (humans) and the Night Class (vampires). However, the peace they try to keep is fragile, and personal feelings begin to interrupt their duty. It’s based on the manga by Matsuri Hino, which is excellent. If VK is half as good as the manga, it’ll be a great anime. There is some action, but expect more romance from VK.

Anime Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Oh how I love it.

For the most part the anime follows really closely to how the manga was written and I love it even more for that. However, it does go off script and change a few things now and again. The third episode for example is pretty much their own creation. It shows things that never happened in the manga and moves around and hints at things that dont get mentioned till the end of volume five like Ichiru Zero’s brother. He gets mentioned a couple of times but he was not brought up in the manga for quite awhile. Yagari also gets introduced differently. He just shows up in the manga and he gets introduced in the anime.

Im a little sad to say that the anime is not as well drawn as the manga. I find the faces a bit… odd at times. That being said though it is still very pretty and they went to great lengths to make certain scenes stand out. Like when Yuki remembers things or is having inner turmoil they really play upon the ideas of how that would look visually from the manga. I think some of those sections are my favourite art wise.

The soundtrack for the anime (thus far) is very simple but very well chosen I feel. The music is very dark and it suits the overal mood of the anime very well. The opening and closing songs are also well done. The opening song for this season is Futatsu No Kodou To Akai Tsumi by ON/OFF, and though it kind of has an upbeat sound, I interpret it as more of a song that demonstrates all the struggles they are going through, its up and down and kind of has a just keep going feel to it. The beautifully drawn and Matsuri Hino inspired opening art also feels that way to me. The ending song is Still Doll by Kanon Wakeshima has a very different feel to it. The music is both creepy and dark. It has moments with it perks up with the creepy and then kind of goes down into despair. This combined again with the inspired darker Matsuri Hino VK drawings of Yuki sitting with a creepy bunny with red tear running down her face. This I think is great cause it kind of speaks to how Yuki always feels like no matter what she does someone she loves gets hurt. Still Doll and just Kanon Wakeshima in generally are some of my favourite music to date.

If I were to suggest which language you should watch it in, I would suggest Japanese with English subtitle. Now, I may be a bit bias here suggesting that. The first time I watched Vampire Knight it was with English subtitles and whichever way I see/do something first is generally the way I would prefer it from there on. However, if I try to ignore that fact I think I would suggest it anyway. I don’t think the English voice actors were very well chosen, they just don’t really suit their personalities. I could probably accept most peoples but Kaname’s is just awful. The English voices try to make everyone seem happier than they are and Kaname just doesn’t have that naturally happy upbeat. He should always sound mysterious! Not chipper…

But what really matters in anything you want to invest your time in be it book or series? Is it good. Oh god yes it is. Do you still love the characters in the anime? Yes when they were in Jap with Subs. The anime portrayed them very well and because they stuck pretty closely to manga it conveys the characters correctly. Is there still action and romance? Oh god yes, if there wasn’t then it wouldnt be the same story in the slightest. A romance story that has people struggling back and forth not knowing what do to with each other in amongst a world that is naturally bloody and violent.

I think I would recommend that people start with the anime if they want to do this series. The anime is a bit easier to follow because of how they introduce things and kind of simplify everything, however, if you even remotely like the anime I suggest you start reading the manga. It continues on way after the anime ends and it is just in general is much better.

On a side note, Vampire Knight is where I got my ending line for my blogs. At the end of each episode it says

I’ll also show you a sweet dream

————————————- next night

it stuck with me until I got what I use now. Now go watch the anime!

Till next time…

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Book Review – The Glittering Court

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Title: The Glittering Court [Glittering Court 1]

Author: Richelle Mead

Genre: Young Adult, Romance

Length: 400

Rating: 3 Star

Series: 1, 2, 3

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Description/Synopsis:

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I would like to thank Penguin Random House Australia for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review.

I was so excited when I heard this book was coming out. I loved the other books that I have read by Richelle Mead and when I saw that she was writing a new series I jumped at the opportunity to get my hands on this book.

Plot wise I had heard a lot of talk that it was like the Selection (which I have yet to read), and with that came a lot of negativity because of how people felt about those books. Because I have yet to read those and I had all faith in Mead’s writing I was not deterred despite the fact that the plot only had mild interest to me. I don’t watch tv shows of this nature and have not read any books that follow the same sort of idea, but I had such faith.

I am sad to say that my faith was holding this book up a bit too high. I am not saying that I didn’t like this book, it did have parts which I enjoyed and it was a very easy read to get through. However, the plot was not amazing. I enjoyed myself right at the beginning,  Adelaide’s transition from woman of high standing to trying to pretend to be a maid was amusing. However I grew tired of it because nothing was ever taken to the next step. Nothing really got my interest or got my heart pounding. Everything was very mellow, even the romance. More intense romance or twists and turns could very well have saved this book for me.

The writing was all very disorientating. Both the plot and the writing style in this book brought back all the bad memories I have of Ruby Circle. The writing was very messy. While I was reading this book I had no idea that each book in the series would be telling the story another girl’s point of view to the same events. I didn’t find this out until later, and it made reading the book very disorienting. One of the ‘main’ girls in this book, which I now know will get her own book, was barely in the story. We kept getting told that these two other girls were very important but then we wouldn’t get any actual story of them and they just pop in and out at random times. Before I knew the structure of the series, I had no idea why these important people had such little appearance in the story.

I would like to go more into characters, but I honestly cannot remember anything about them. It has been awhile since I read the book, but even then normally I remember things. Scandals, people I like, my ideas on whats to come regarding people… But I have nothing.

So with that I think I need to stop this review here. I had many issues with this book, but they mostly came into play after the girls are taken to the new land. Before then when the girls where in ‘training’ for their new life I rather enjoyed it. If you are looking for the quality or that Richelle Mead that you got from Vampire Academy, I would not pick up this book. If you liked the selection though and haven’t read Mead before then I think this would be a good book for you to pick up.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Soundless

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Title: Soundless

Author: Richelle Mead

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Length: 266

Rating: 3 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

In a village without sound…

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…

And unlocks a power that will save her people.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

First I would like to thank Penguin Australia for sending me a copy of this book for review and I am sorry it has taken me this long to post it despite the fact I read it ages ago.

This book… I so wanted to enjoy this book despite all the bad things I had hear about it. I was still hoping that people just didn’t like a story outside of Vampire Academy. But I was really rather disappointed. It had so much potential. I mean just think about a small isolated town that can’t hear a thing and take great pride in their visual works because its their only medium and suddenly someone wakes up and they can hear things! Sounds pretty damn good doesn’t it? So much potential. . .

I will say this positive for the book though. Its still Mead’s writing. She has a way of writing things in a very simple yet still interesting way and lets you fly through her books. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the sounds.

One of the main things that I agree with everyone else about is the world building. There could have been more world building and this probably would have made the story more interesting. However, if I had to pick between what we did get and fixing something else that deeply annoyed me in this book I would leave the world building as it was.

The art aspect of the story was also a bit ruined for me. In this town everyone is divided into three classes, Artists, Suppliers, and Miners. Artists are the highest ranking and Miners are the lowest and thusly in this land with limited food the Miners are given the least amount of food. I can see why they Artists rank the highest since they create and document their history in a visually appealing way, but I don’t get why the food isn’t given out evenly or you know based on each individual. Miners have the hardest job, and supply the Suppliers with the things they need to get them all food so wouldn’t you want to keep them in the best health possible? By like… giving them more food?

Then we have our characters, which I am not even going to go into individually because I don’t remember much about them by themselves. There were not really flushed out, even the main characters. I wasn’t too invested in them and I didn’t care too much about the love that was happening either. It was a bit forced.

Now for the bit that annoyed me the most. The ending, and really the only fantasy part in this whole book. Oh my gods I hated it. I won’t go into it encase there are still some who want to get into this book who hasn’t yet, but it was so random. We had basically no fantasy up until then and it was so disorientating to suddenly have have some. The book could probably have been better had it just accepted the fact that it wasn’t a fantasy rather than panicking about the lack of it at the end and throwing some in.

I think this is where I will leave this review for now. Guys, it sounds bad, and in the grand scheme of things it was, but I really did enjoy at least the first half of the book and it was after than point that it started to go downhill for me. There are others who have really enjoyed it, so if it sounds like you would like it pick it up for cheap and give it a go. Its short, its not like you will be wasting loads of your time. If it sounds a bit iffy for you though just stay away. You wont get anything from it.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review & Event – Our Chemical Hearts

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Title: Our Chemical Hearts

Author: Krystal Sutherland

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mental Health

Length: 313

Rating: 3.5 to 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change.

Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland’s brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Principal Valentine walked past at one point and spotted me, my forehead pressed flat against my desk, and said, “Page. Aren’t you supposed to be in class?”

To which I replied, without sitting up, “My teenage hormones have rendered me too emotionaly fragile to be in a learning environment right now.”

Valentine was silent for a few seconds, then she simply said, “Carry on.”

So I did.

I would say a big thank you to Penguin Random House Australia for sending me a copy of this book for review!

The way I came about getting this book was really… sort of like the universe telling me I had to read it. I was looking around at author events happening in Brisbane since I had such a pleasant time at BWF and I saw an event for Krystal Sutherland to talk about her debut book Our Chemical Hearts, a book I had yet to hear anything about at this point, at Riverbend Books and thought it sounded interesting so if I had the time then I would probably go. Then a couple of days later I received the Penguin email with the books available for review over the next couple of months and there it was! And its publicist just happened to be the very first publicist to give me a chance as a reviewer and send me a physical ARC. At this point the decision was pretty much made for me at this point so I sent off an email requesting the book and the Monday before the Friday event I had the book in my hands.

Now anyone who has sort of been on here for awhile that Mondays and Tuesdays are pretty much ride off days for since my schedule is filled the the brim so I was actually quite worried that I would get the to event and not have finished the book. But I managed to fly through this book in a two day stint. The writing style was very easy to read and it flowed. If I were to compare this book to other debut YA books by other authors I would not have guessed that this one was a debut.

I also thought the characters were nicely diverse and had depth to them. The only one that annoyed me (sometimes) was the only Aussie character Murray. Sometimes his slang was nauseating, but other than that everyone was fine. I think all the actions taken by each were things that people would have actually done, and none of dialogue felt forced or pointless at any point. Each character also enhanced the story or served a purpose and they didn’t feel like fillers.

I’d been truly drunk only once before, when I was sixteen. Murray had coerced me into drinking tequila with him, to test the legitimacy of the ‘one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor’ theorem. Over the course of the evening I discovered that ‘one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor’ is wildly inaccurate. It’s more like one tequila, two tequila, three tequila,vomit all over your clothes, cry while your father puts you in the shower, vomit some more, cry and ask your mother to cook you ‘salmon eggs,’ whatever that is, be put to bed by your mother, decide you’re going to escape your parents’ totalitarian regime, vomit in the garden while escaping, be put back to bed by your father, floor.

Now here comes my big issue. While I loved the plot and I thought it was really interesting to read about a story that was different from the other YA books I have read, I also didn’t like it because the entire time I was just screaming at Henry. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! IN WHAT WAY DO YOU THINK THIS WILL END?! THIS IS NOT A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! I loved the idea of becoming more beautiful after being broke, but that takes much time a and willingness to be fixed and Grace had no interest in any of that. I would like to take this moment to tell anyone is you are in a relationship in anyway similar to this one RUN FOR THE FUCKING HILLS.

The event was amazing and I am so glad I went. I love hearing authors talk about their books and lives or influences and Krystal had us all laughing at a few points. I of course got my book signed as well which is always a plus. Riverbend Books was also a very lovely bookstore that I has never visited before, and has inspired be to do a tour of Brisbane book stores at some point.

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The part I really enjoyed though was once the event was over. I got to finally meet the publicist (who I will leave unnamed just encase people try to hassle her) who gave me my first shot and sent me so many books since then, talk with the author, the bookstore owner/manager, as well as the moderator Rhianna Patrick. All of whom were lovely lady’s and were so enthusiastic about everything. Rhianna was very offended about my lack of twitter usage so now I shall have to try and become better at twitter haha. In all serious though is was amazing to be able to talk to these ladies for as long as I did :)

I think this is where I am going to leave this here. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes sad YA books, and I would recommend everyone to go to as many author events as possible!

 

Till Next Time…

1

Book Review – My Heart And Other Black Holes

my hearts and other black holes

Title: My Heart and Other Black Holes

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mental Health

Length: 302

Rating: 3 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.

Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I am going to put a warning here like I do at the start of any book I review that revolves around suicide. I have very strong, negative views on the matter. If you, or anyone you know, or even if its a topic you sympathise with, you may not want to read my review. I will do my best to not sound like a jerk, but I generally cannot understand and have little sympathy on the matter. I apologise in advance. If this sounds like something you will not handle reading about, give this review a miss.

But just because it’s cowardly doesn’t guarantee it’s going to be easy.

I like the plot of this book, despite the rant I just gave. I think it was an interesting way to have people meet each other and take their journey together. The ending for these kind of books is generally predictable and I knew at least part of the result even before I cracked open the book, but learning how they came to be where they were at the start of the book, and how they changed between then and the end is something that interests me. I read these kind of books to try and get a better understanding on why some people commit suicide, but sadly this book didn’t help change my opinion or enlighten me in anyway like All The Bright Places did. There were a number of things that annoyed me too much to really make me have a better understanding about what people with depression go through, and it was really very predictable.

In these moments, it always feels like my skin is too thin, like everyone can see right inside me, can see my empty and dark insides.

The writing style was probably my favourite part of the book. I am sure that you can see that by the number of quotes that I snuck into the review. I found many of the words to be very captivating and they were the things I connect to the most in terms of understanding. If the plot and the character development had of been more of to speed with the way things were explained or written, this book would have gotten a higher rating from me.

Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.

While I felt for Aysel and understood why she had the kind of feelings that she did, I didn’t connect with her like I did Roman. Roman to me, was genuinely suffering to the point where he was drowning, his issue was that he was unsure of how to swim in his emotions. Which ones to let go, which ones to hold on to, and whether or not he was allowed to feel any different. Aysel, while still having to deal with really traumatic things, I didn’t feel like they were things couldn’t let go of. That if she had just opened her mouth, things could have been better for her. There were things people go do and say to help her through what she was going through since a lot of her issues stemmed from other people, unlike with Roman where he had to come to those conclusions on his own because his issues where with himself.

Saying all that though, Roman made me far angrier than Aysel did at times. The way he acted because of his feelings, made him a manipulator, and just generally an complete selfish ass for the most part. He needed Aysel for his own reasons, and didn’t much care about hers for a long while. Confusing isn’t it? In terms of who I think I liked better as a person, it was probably Aysel, but in terms of actually understanding why they had come to the decision that they have to die, its Roman.

SPOILER – I didn’t like the way Aysel got over her issues really either. Yes, love can help you overcome many things and can help you get through dark times in your life. Did it have to be the romantic kind of love? It would have been much better story to me if it was just his friendship and his understanding that helped. If it lead to more later, that could have been cute, but it wasn’t gradual enough for me. – END SPOILER

I think I will end this review here before it gets much longer. I am not sure really who I would recommend this book to. If you want a romance book, this is not for you. If you want something that is a good representation of how depression actually is, I do’t think this book covers that really either. But I suppose that the book did raise some interesting ways to think about life and death. If these kinds of books interest you, I would read for the writing and the pictures it creates, just go into knowing that its probably not the best one out there.

 

Till Next Time…

 

0

Mini Mondays – Midnight Embrace, What She Left, Sprout of Deception

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midnight embraceTitle: Midnight Embrace

Author: Amanda Ashley

Genre: Romance, Supernatural, Adult

Length: 378

Rating: 2 Star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

When I thought back to the times I first read the Amanda Ashley books I have, this is the one I remembered liking the least. Now that I have read it again I can clearly see why. The characters were very simple and very cliché. The story repeated itself so often I started counting how many times things popped up. I hated how he was always going I wont leave you but then two seconds later he would say I’m a monster get away from me. She was such a weak characters because she was supposed to be ‘innocent,’ but she should have been stronger. Then to top it all off the ending was very rushed.

Also, only people who have read the book will understand this but what on Earth happened to the horse?!

The only reason why this book got a 2 star was because I liked some of the romance sections in it, and has a nice poem at the very start of the book. I would not recommend this book to anyone, there are far better Amanda Ashley books, or just romance books in general out there.

what she leftTitle: What She Left

Author: T.R. Richmond

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 380

Rating: DNF 25%

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Thank you Penguin for sending me this book for an honest review!

The first thing you will notice here is that I didn’t give this book a rating. This my first DNF (did not finish) review and I am feeling a bit iffy about it. I am sad I cannot say I got further than 1/4 of the way through the book, so I thought it would only be fair if I left the rating off these reviews because didn’t finish them.

One of the reasons I only got 1/4 of the way through is that I just couldn’t get into the format of the way it was written by using articles from the news, internet, peoples laptops, letters and what not. I found it really disorientating and the information these articles were giving us I just found really boring.

I did really like the idea of the plot and I really wanted to get into it. If anyone has finished this book, PLEASE tell me if you had these issues at the start and that I just need to push through. I feel bad about it too cause it was an ARC too D:

81NJh0tcJDL._SL1500_Title: Sprout of Deception [The Hangman’s Replacement 1]

Author: Taona Dunisani Chiveneko

Genre: Mystery, Cultural

Length: 492

Rating: DNF 30-50%

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I am pretty sure I got this book in a goodreads giveaway years ago, so I just want to say thank you to the author for giving me the book.

I tried. I really did. I picked this book up and put it back down so many times. It got to the point where my kindle couldn’t even remember where I was up to at times so that’s why I don’t know at exactly what point I was in the book before I stopped it all together.

The first character we are introduced to I didn’t mind. I was interested in getting to know him and what he was going to have to go through with his new life. The story just got so ridiculously boring and slow and I didn’t care about a single thing that was being said or was happening. I think I might have moved onto another guy, but he was only slightly more interesting.

This lack of interest in a character and what was happening, combined with the fact that I just generally didn’t ever understand what was happening with the plot made this book a no go for me. What does a carnivorous plant have to do with hiring a hangman? It made no sense and didn’t have a point to me.

 

Till Next Time…

29

Top Ten Tuesday – If You’re In The Mood For X

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at Broke and the Bookish where every Tuesday, Top Ten things of anything are listed. Todays Top Ten things are:

Top Ten Books To Read If You Are In the Mood To Swoon

I had a look at my past TTT’s and I haven’t done a romance list in a while so that is what you are getting today. If you want to see my last one check it out here. Remember though, those books made it for quality too, where I am more focusing on swooning now. May your hearts burst with the swooning <3

1. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. Their love and the way it is presented is probably one of the best things I have ever read.

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. P&P has been kicked off its number one spot but it cannot be kicked any lower than this.

3.  Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I cannot believe I nearly forgot about this book. I had to move a bunch of things around to stick it in! Kai and Cinder are just adorable.

4. The Host by Stephanie Meyer. I still swoon over Ian.

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5. Losing it by Cora Carmack. I associate funny and light books with swooning really.

6. Beautiful Mess by Lucy V. Morgan. So funny, the chemistry is great.

7. Blue Spring Ride by Io Sakisaka. Frustration. So much, but it still makes me swoon.

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8. Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori. The swooning only pops up every now and then in the first half of the series but becomes more and more apparent in the second half.

9. Cress by Marissa Meyer. This book, while so so so swoon worthy, is this far down the list because I didn’t want to put too books of the same series one after the other, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave it off the list altogether.

10. Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino. Kaname or Zero? I cannot choose!

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Be sure to share your lists!

If you want any of the books listed please click on the thingyami below.

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Till Next Time…