Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (55)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Required Reading for High School


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Every week a new topic is chosen, and I love answering questions so I'm going to try and post regularly. :)


Monday, August 21, 2017

[Review] Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield

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Publication: 29/05/2017
Publisher: Text Publishing
Pages: 368
Source: Library
Genre: YA {Contemporary}

Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

Book Tunes

#LoveOzYA

My Rating
3/5
My thoughts

I read Vikki Wakefield's debut novel and really enjoyed it, and found myself connecting with the characters and story, it was lovely. This one? Not quite as much. In fact, I'm still so confused as to what actually happened that I fear my review will just be a completely incomprehensible mess. 

Ballad for a Mad Girl involves grief, death, fear, prank wars and rivalry between schools in a small Aussie town, a dog that won't go upstairs, pizza, friendship amongst misfits, and the voices and visions that may be all in Grace's head. Is she losing her mind or is there really a ghost, come with messages and secrets that can help solve a 20-year-old unsolved murder mystery?

Friday, August 18, 2017

[Review] Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index by Julie Israel

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Publication30/05/2017
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 308
Source: Giveaway
Genre: YA {Contemporary}

Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

Book Tunes

My Rating
3.5/5

My thoughts

US Cover
Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index came highly anticipated for me. I love books that explore the grieving process after someone has lost a loved one. I also saw the US cover appear everywhere around release day, which only boosted my excitement for it. I'm still not all that fond of the US cover, and while the UK cover gives nothing away I prefer it for the pretty colour palette used. :) This book is just gorgeous! Now enjoy my ramblings, because my feelings for this one are a tad mixed.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (54)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Recommendations for the Verse Novel-Averse


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Every week a new topic is chosen, and I love answering questions so I'm going to try and post regularly. :)


Monday, August 14, 2017

[Review] Laurinda by Alice Pung

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy)22/10/2014
Publisher: Black Inc. Books
Pages: 352
Source: Library
Genre: YA {Contemporary}

Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

#LoveOzYA

Book Tunes

My Rating
4/5

My thoughts

I understand now. I understand why Laurinda is so well-known in Aussie YA, why it has been mentioned time and again as one of the most prolific high school novels. After having read Alice Pung's short story In A Heartbeat in the #LoveOzYA anthology Begin, End, Begin, and revelling in the unique format in which it was written, I knew with absolute certainty that it was finally time for me to read this book. And I enjoyed liked it, but it was a bit tough at times to stomach.

Laurinda follows Lucy Lam, who has earned a scholarship to prestigious Laurinda, an elite private girl's high school in Melbourne, and all the struggles that come with adapting to a new school. Not only does she struggle with keeping on top of the more demanding workload - she is also subject and witness to bullying at the hands of the Cabinet, a powerful trio of girls who run the school.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

[Review] The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night

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Publication21/07/2017
Publisher: Stories Untold
Pages: 310 (ARC)
Source: For review

Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

Book Tunes

My Rating
3.5/5

My thoughts

I want to preface this by expressing deep gratitude to D.E. Night for kindly sending me a physical ARC, in a special box of Croswald-related goodies, all the way across the ocean for me to read and review. The experience was positively lovely, but I must admit that The Crowns of Croswald did have me scratching my head in confusion at times.

The Crowns of Croswald follows 16-year-old scaldrony maid, Ivy Lovely, who resides at the Plum Castle by the Slurry fields, her only friend a dwarf. After an unfortunate accident at the kitchen she is thrown out of the castle and stripped of her position, left to wander the fields aimlessly with only a rejected scaldron (dragon) as company . . . until she is discovered: she harnesses great magic within her and has been invited to study at the prestigious boarding school for Royals and Sqwinches--The Halls of Ivy! Swept away from the only 'home' she has ever known, she learns more and more about magic, the world of Croswald, why strange things seem to happen to her, and most importantly who she really is.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (53)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Monday, August 7, 2017

[Review] The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 18/07/2016
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 288
Source: Library
Genre: YA {Contemporary}


Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

Book Tunes

My Rating
4/5
My thoughts

AU edition
I love contemporary YA fiction that unrelentingly and unabashedly shouts. Reading should first and foremost be entertaining, but it should also enrich the mind and open you up: to more perspective, more knowledge, more understanding, less ignorance. You can't read The Lines We Cross/When Michael Met Mina and not feel a little bit shaken up - it is not everyday that we read fiction targeting relevant political issues surrounding refugees. Considering the tough subject content, I was glad that this book was packed with many light and happy moments to balance it all out.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Down the TBR Hole #8

Source: 


Down the TBR Hole is a meme/feature hosted by Lia (Lost in a Story). Hopefully this will remind me to read some of these long-lost, woeful books that have been sitting untouched, forgotten on these bookshelves of mine.


Rules
  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

* I'm not offering actively "giveaways" anymore - but if you're an Aussie resident and interested in any of the books I'm giving away, feel free to ask about them! I'm happy to give them away, just that there hasn't been that much reception in the past. Otherwise I'll be trying to sell the books through Carousell. ;)

Let's get started!

Current TBR count: 422

Thursday, August 3, 2017

[Review] Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 09/11/2009
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Pages: 291
Source: Library
Genre: YA {Contemporary}


Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

Book Tunes

My Rating
5/5
My thoughts

I always have the hardest time talking about books that I absolutely adore. Gabrielle Williams is quickly shaping up to be one of my favourite Aussie authors at this rate, after having relishing in her latest novel, My Life as a Hashtag. I was surprised when Beatle Meets Destiny managed to far surpass any prior expectations I may have had (yes, I would pick this book over Hashtag!), and it may yet have landed on my top 5 for the year! One thing that I feel gives this book the upper hand is the timeless feel to it - even though it was written back in 2009 I felt like my reading experience of it would have been exactly the same back then: no social media stuff or technology that could date it.


Beatle Meets Destiny is a delectable conglomeration of fate and happenstance, superstition, astrology, twins, friends, love, skateboarding, stalkers, Year 12 life, and perfectly captured Melbourne-ness! I am so glad that I am reading more Aussie books so that I can stumble upon masterpieces crafted by the likes of Gabrielle Williams. If you have not read anything by her yet, seriously I implore you to rectify that post-haste!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (52)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Monday, July 31, 2017

[Review] Love-shy by Lili Wilkinson

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 01/04/2012
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Pages: 309
Source: Publisher
Genre: YA {Contemporary}


Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

Book Tunes

My Rating
4/5
My thoughts

I am admittedly quite a shallow person and therefore tend to judge books based on their cover. I was given the impression that Love-shy would be a tweeny, very light-hearted book about romance, and to me that just didn't sound all that appealing. So I put it off. The only reason why I have finally picked it up is because there was a book event coming up which the author, Lili Wilkinson, was attending. I am honestly so glad that I did read this book because it was a fun and quick and really interesting read, and certainly not just for tweens at all.

Love-shy is part-mystery, part-romance, and a whole lot of other things in between. Penny Drummond, 16 years old, wants nothing more than to be a top-notch journalist in the future - the best of the best, re-shaping the very name and nature of journalism just like her role model and inspiration Nellie Bly. A model Year 10 student, her extra-curriculars include SRC, swim team (where she is the best swimmer), debate team (they always win because of her), writer at the school newspaper, The East Glendale Secondary College Gazette (her stories always make the front page) and First Oboist at the school orchestra. One day at the library, she discovers someone has visited a website for the Love-shy and just like that, she has her next big story.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Down the TBR Hole #7

Source: 


Down the TBR Hole is a meme/feature hosted by Lia (Lost in a Story). Hopefully this will remind me to read some of these long-lost, woeful books that have been sitting untouched, forgotten on these bookshelves of mine.


Rules
  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

* I'm not offering actively "giveaways" anymore - but if you're an Aussie resident and interested in any of the books I'm giving away, feel free to ask about them! I'm happy to give them away, just that there hasn't been that much reception in the past. Otherwise I'll be trying to sell the books through Carousell. ;)

Let's get started!

Current TBR count: 415

Thursday, July 27, 2017

[Review] The Ones That Disappeared by Zana Fraillon

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy)13/07/2017
Publisher: Hachette
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity


My Rating
4/5
My thoughts

The Ones That Disappeared is one of those books packed with the power to make a difference to the world. Fraillon has quickly been marked as an author to watch amongst readers when her debut novel The Bone Sparrow, a supposedly outstanding fictional account of young refugees, received much positive acclaim. I still have not read it, but it has been pushed to the top of my to-buy list if it's anything like The Ones That Disappeared! This time, Fraillon has placed a spotlight on human trafficking, and the very disturbing and realistic portrayal of its presence in our society spoke volumes to me and shook me to my core. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (51)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Monday, July 24, 2017

[Review] The Things We Promise by J.C. Burke

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy)22/02/2017
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Pages: 369
Source: Library
Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

Book Tunes
♪ Boy George - Il Adore ♪
♪ U2 - One ♪

My Rating
4/5
My thoughts


I'm at a loss for words. I have literally just been typing words and erasing them, scratching my head as to what the heck I'm actually going to write. I didn't quite know what I was getting myself into when I picked this book up - all I knew was that it was set in 1990 and that was pretty cool. As I delved deeper in the story I grew more and more invested in its characters, and while I do think that it was a bit slow-going at times and some readers may be offended by the language used, I have to applaud the author for taking all the risks that she did because this story was a difficult one to tell, and painfully accurate as far as I'm concerned. And for that reason alone I had to bump this book up to a respectable 4 stars.

The Things We Promise follows Gemma Longrigg, an ordinary teenage girl living in Sydney, Australia in 1990, whose biggest worries are what she's going to wear to the upcoming Year 11 formal, and whether her crush since Year 7, Ralph, would ever fall for her, too. Her brother, Billy, who lives in NYC with his partner Saul, has promised Gemma that he will do her hair and makeup for the formal, even though it's months and months away, and in that amount of time anything can happen. Especially in the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Down the TBR Hole #6

Source: 


Down the TBR Hole is a meme/feature hosted by Lia (Lost in a Story). Hopefully this will remind me to read some of these long-lost, woeful books that have been sitting untouched, forgotten on these bookshelves of mine.


Rules
  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

* I'm not offering actively "giveaways" anymore - but if you're an Aussie resident and interested in any of the books I'm giving away, feel free to ask about them! I'm happy to give them away, just that there hasn't been that much reception in the past. Otherwise I'll be trying to sell the books through Carousell. ;)

Let's get started!

Current TBR count: 417

Thursday, July 20, 2017

[Review] Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 16/05/2017
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 402
Source: Library
Genre: YA {Fantasy | HistoricalAsian}

Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

Book Tunes
♪ Sia - Alive ♪

My Rating
2.5/5
My thoughts


I really like strong female protagonists, and Mulan is my absolute favourite Disney movie of all time - Mulan manages to be a perfect balance of brave, strong and fierce, and vulnerable, and her gruelling journey into the Chinese army is both harrowing and inspiring. Any book that might bear any resemblance to Mulan unsurprisingly attracts me, so it probably goes without saying that I was highly anticipating Flame in the Mist, which had been heralded as a Mulan re-imagining of sorts, but set in Feudal Japan with fantasy elements. I did, however, go into this with many hesitations (see: mixed reviews). Unfortunately for me, this time I was right to be apprehensive about this book, it didn't sit right with me at all, and you have no idea how disappointing it is for me to have to say that. It's probably better to go in not expecting anything like Mulan.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (50)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Monday, July 17, 2017

[Review] Night Swimming by Steph Bowe

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy)03/04/2017
Publisher: Text Publishing
Pages: 311
Source: Library
Genre: YA {Contemporary | GLBT}


Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity


My Rating
4/5 stars
My thoughts

I've been wanting to read Steph Bowe since she first debuted in 2010 with Girl Saves Boy. Firstly, she got published at 16 years old, which I think we can all agree is a major feat. Clearly she must be doing something right to have her name out there at such a young age. Most 16 year olds are sleeping in, cruising through high school and working the stoves at Maccas - but not this Steph Bowe chick! That alone drew my curiosity... and then the other day I was positively moved by Mands' review [The Bookish Manicurist] for Night Swimming, and it became the only book I could imagine reading next. I had borrowed a copy from the library but I will most certainly be purchasing my own copy!

Night Swimming is a coming-of-age story that follows Kirby, one of the only two 17-year-olds still left in rural town Alberton, Australia. She enjoys her simple life and is content with a steady job as an apprentice carpenter. Her best friend Clancy, the other 17-year-old still left in rural town Alberton, Australia (and also the only Asian in town) is counting down the days before he can leave for the big smoke - Sydney.

But if Kirby also leaves, just as some others in her family have been known to do in the past, where will that leave her pet goat Stanley, or her rational-thinker mum, or old man Mr Pool who she works for? And when a new family floats into town, Kirby finds herself falling in love with the new girl, Iris . . . what now?

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