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?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

[Tag] Who I Am: Get to know the blogger! ☺

Photo taken in Victoria, Australia 
Hey guys! I thought for once I'd get a little bit personal and do a tag that shares something about myself. I don't know where this tag originated from, but I saw this over at Howling Libraries and liked the simplicity of it.

Q: What is the meaning behind your name?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

[Review] The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy)05/01/2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury UK
Pages: 240
Source: Library
Genre: YA {Contemporary | Verse}

Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

Book Tunes

My Rating
3.5/5 stars

My thoughts

I adore Sarah Crossan and I think she is an amazing person. Meeting her last month at Sydney Writer's Fest reminded me that I needed to read her older books, namely The Weight of Water which she mentioned she drew slightly subconscious inspiration from her own childhood and upbringing. She had imagined this shabby one-room apartment in which her protagonist would live in this story, vivid as if she had lived there herself - until she realised that in fact, she had (but she had blocked out the memories)! And I think that's really amazing! Writing really is the truest, purest form of therapy and self-realisation.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Down the TBR Hole #5

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 13, 2017

[Review] The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy)01/11/2016
Publisher: Penguin Corgi
Pages: 348
Source: Library
Genre: YA {Contemporary}

Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity
*one fight, some kissing, talk of sex


My Rating
4/5 stars
My thoughts

I adore Nicola Yoon. I haven't seen her speak, haven't read or heard any interviews that might shed more light on who she is. But her books speak to me. I think she has a knack for tapping into the core of humanity and writing characters that are easily accessible to readers, dealing with topics that feel real and important. I loved Everything, Everything, even if the disease (SCID) was misrepresented. I think her writing has this unique magic of pulling you in, and so it was the same with The Sun is Also a Star.

The Sun is Also a Star follows two teens who meet on a busy street in New York City, and the one day that they spend together. Daniel is a dreamer, Natasha prefers science. Daniel is determined that fate brought the two together, and that he can make her fall in love with him. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (49)

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

Monday, July 10, 2017

[Review] Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy)01/11/2016
Publisher: Penguin Corgi
Pages: 310
Source: Library *I have since bought a copy*
Genre: YA {Contemporary}

Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

Book Tunes

My Rating
4.5/5 stars

My thoughts

I read Everything, Everything back in February 2017. I remember summer. I miss summer. But anyway, reading this book was such a blur for me, it was so fast-paced and lovely and I just devoured it, and it already seems like this review is going to be a messy and disorganised one, so I shall apologise in advance!

Everything, Everything is about 17-year-old girl Maddy who has never left her home, ever since she was diagnosed with SCID (Severe Combined Immune Deficiency) as a baby. According to the experts, she is essentially allergic to the world. Destined to only see life flicker past in the safety of her bedroom as she looks out the window, Maddy tries to make the most of her situation. Until the cute boy next door starts to notice her, and she realises that the thing she wants the most - love - might very well be the thing that kills her.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

[Book Tag] Harry Potter Spells Book Tag

Image source:


It's time for another book tag! Guys, there's just something about book tags that set the fire burning inside my heart. I love choosing books that correlate with each category and being reminded of how they have affected me. :)

The Harry Potter Spells Tag was created by TurtleSympathy on Youtube (since de-activated, it seems?), which has been picked up by jessethereader and co. I'll be tagging 5 people at the end, but if you want to do this one too, then do it! And let me know so I can come visit!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

[Review] Frogkisser by Garth Nix

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy)28/02/2017
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Pages: 336
Source: Bought
Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

*Tangled credits song! Most Disney songs work here!

My Rating
3.5/5 stars
My thoughts

This is actually the first Garth Nix I've ever read and it is sure to be but only the first of many. Of course I had heard a lot about this prolific Aussie author in the past, most specifically in relation to his highly-esteemed fantasy series Abhorsen, starting with Sabriel. I actually went to a book event last year where I met the man himself, bought all the books in the series and henceforth got those books signed (along with my close friends), and listened to a delectable snippet of this adorable book, Frogkisser. From that point on, I knew that I would read it - as soon as it hit release date I frequented my local booksellers and grabbed my own beautiful yellow-paged copy.

This book has been compared to The Princess Bride, and I can understand where these comparisons have stemmed from. They are both fairytale-esque, and Nix's writing edges on a fine line between whimsical and ridiculous, which is exactly the kind of humour that runs deep in the aforementioned much-acclaimed novel and its film adaptation. It is quite magical and fun, and there were many moments that left me with a smile on my face. Yes, reading Frogkisser was definitely enjoyable!


Friday, July 7, 2017

Down the TBR Hole #4

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 6, 2017

[Review] My Life as a Hashtag by Gabrielle Williams

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy)24/05/2017
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Pages: 288
Source: Library
Genre: YA {Contemporary}


Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

Book Tunes
♪ The Veronicas - This Is How It Feels ♪
Stephanie McIntosh - Mistake ♪
*I wanted to choose fun songs from my high school days :)

My Rating
5/5 stars
My thoughts

So you're feeling shitty: one of your friends deliberately didn't invite you to the biggest party of the year because she called dibs on this cute guy at school and you hooked up with him, but, I mean, you know he wasn't into her.

You realise that everyone has someone else: dad has a new girlfriend, mum is on a hot date, your friends are at said party, the cute guy won't call you back and even grandpa has a social life! You're sitting alone in your room, having just smashed out a lonely dinner-for-one. What do you do? If you're MC, you get MAD AS HELL.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (48)

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

Monday, July 3, 2017

[Review] The Special Ones by Em Bailey

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 01/06/2016
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont
Pages: 319
Source: For review
Genre: YA {Contemporary}


Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

Book Tunes

My Rating
5/5 stars
My thoughts
Dear A @ Hardie Grant Egmont (and everyone else),
I suck.
Sincerely, Cass
This book, guys! This book... *looks away and hides in the corner, curled up in foetal position*

Preface time! I actually requested this book for review, over a year ago before its publication, which the guys over at Hardie Grant Egmont graciously accepted and so I had a beautiful finished copy of my own to drool over! I don't receive any review copies anymore (which is good for my nerves), but even at that time I was barely communicating with publicists. It was only because an email had come in with a list of upcoming titles that I took the plunge and requested this book because I had previously read Em Bailey's Shift {my review} and wanted to try another book by her before casting her away entirely. And I'm so glad that I gave her another shot, but that's not the point here. The point is, I'm a terrible book blogger and I don't deserve new review copies until I've cleared out my to-be-reviewed and to-be-read (TBR 2x)! Please, all of you, just stay away for now. .__. I don't need you added more books to the madness that has consumed my room!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

[Review] Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy)14/12/2009
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 412
Source: Library
Genre: YA {ContemporaryVerse}

Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity
Warning: suicide, death

Book Tunes
Come on, Cass, really? You really don't even try to find creative songs anymore, do you?

My Rating
4.5/5 stars
My thoughts

*Sorry, this review is going to be all over the place! I really don't know why..can my being sick serve as an excuse? I seem to have lost the ability to speak coherently, succinctly and in an organised manner.*

When I pick up a verse book written by Lisa Schroeder I know that I'm going to read an emotionally turbulent and transcending book about grief, love and loss. Reading Chasing Brooklyn was no different - it was a quick read, full of beautifully written accounts of what grief feels like. I love Schroeder's written expression, and I think her poetry just flows so well! Chasing Brooklyn is beautiful and heart-achey and lovely, the carefully selected words tumbling down the pages.

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