Wrap Up: August 2015

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August was another great reading month for me. I read a total of 18 books, with a good mix of female and male authors (and a lot of David Levithan!). There was also a mix of books that I did and didn’t enjoy. I have written reviews of almost all of these books. Click on the links to read in-depth reviews of each book!

August15

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1. The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak – Brian Katcher  4 stars
A fun, nerdy and fast-paced contemporary about Ana and Zak who are searching for Ana’s brother at a sci-fi convention.

2. After Dark – Haruki Murakami  35 stars
A thought-provoking story following a couple of characters on their ‘adventures’ in the middle of the night. Slow-paced with a hint of magical realism.

3. Sunkissed – Jenny McLachlan  3 stars
A fun, summery, coming of age story set on a Swedish island.

4. The Shadowhunter’s Codex – Cassandra Clare & Joshua Lewis  3 stars
A guide to the Shadowhunter world, with illustrations and commentary from Clary, Jace and Simon.

5. Every Day – David Levithan  5 stars
A great diverse book about A, who wakes up in the body of a different person each day. He falls in love with the girlfriend of a boy whose body he inhabits and he has to find his way back to her each day.

6. Two Boys Kissing – David Levithan  45 stars
Another great LGBTQ+ book from David Levithan. This book is poignant and important. It explores different aspects of what it means to be gay, comparing previous generations to the current generation.

7. Sinner – Maggie Stiefvater  25 stars
A companion novel to The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. This could be read as a standalone but I would recommend reading the trilogy first.

8. Six Earlier Days – David Levithan  4 stars
Six short stories about six days in A’s life, before the events in Every Day. I’d highly recommend these if you enjoyed Every Day.

9. A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab  45 stars
Set in parallel London’s, this book follows Kell who is able to travel between the different Londons, and smuggles items from one to another.

10. Polarity in Motion – Brenda Vicars  35 stars
When a nude photo of Polarity emerges online, she has no recollection of how the photo was taken. She finds herself yanked from her family and entangled in a world she knows nothing about.

11. The Sleeper and the Spindle – Neil Gaiman  45 stars
A wonderful reimagining of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, with beautiful illustrations by Chris Riddell.

12. Snow Like Ashes – Sara Raasch  5 stars
A brilliant fantasy world, with some great characters and a fascinating magic system. This was a fantastic first book to a trilogy.

13. The Boy Most Likely To – Huntley Fitzpatrick  45 stars
Another great contemporary book from Huntley Fitzpatrick. This is a companion to My Life Next Door, and can be read as a standalone. I’d recommend reading MLND first though for all of the character building (and also because it’s a great book)!

14. Wonderland – Robert McKay  4 stars
A sci-fi retelling of Alice in Wonderland. This book was fun and crazy in the best ways.

15. One – Sarah Crossan  45 stars
A story, written in free verse, about conjoined twins and what it means to share a body and a soul with somebody else.

16. Risk – Fleur Ferris  2 stars
A serious and dark Aussie YA book about online safety and the dangers of meeting strangers online.

17. Finding Audrey – Sophie Kinsella  45 stars
This is Sophie Kinsella’s first YA novel and it was so great! It was a heartwarming and funny story about family and finding yourself again after adversity.

18. The Lover’s Dictionary – David Levithan  4 stars
Written as a series of dictionary entries, this is a story about love. It’s a non-linear story, written in second person, and explores the positive and negative aspects of love.

T10T

This month I did four Top Ten Tuesday posts. You can check out my posts by clicking the links below.


If you’ve done a wrap up for this month, I’d love to see what you’ve read.

Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

finding-audrey

Publisher: DoubleDay Childrens
Release date: June 9, 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0857534599
Pages: 288
Goodreads || Book Depository

Audrey can’t leave the house. she can’t even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

Then her brother’s friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again – well, Starbucks is a start.And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she’d thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you feel like you have lost yourself, love can still find you . . .

MY THOUGHTS

45 stars

Finding Audrey is such an adorable, funny and heartwarming story. I was hooked from the very first page and I couldn’t put it down. The opening of the book just captures your attention – it’s comedic and just perfect. I genuinely laughed out loud so many times while reading this book. I finished it in one sitting.

Audrey is a 14 year old girl who suffers from severe social anxiety and isn’t able to leave the house or make eye contact even with her own family. This book is about her recovery and finding herself again. What I loved most about this book is that it’s not only about Audrey getting better, but her whole family getting better together.

“So we’ll make it work,” I said, as robustly as I could. “Mum, there’s no point in me getting better if things don’t get better for all of us. I mean, we’ve all had a bad time, haven’t we?”

The family elements were my favourite part of the book. Audrey’s family is so supportive of her and they never pushed her or forced her to get better faster. Even her 15 year old brother is very caring and supportive of her, which I find a little bit rare in YA fiction. I loved reading about Audrey’s family and all of the dramas they go through. They have a great family dynamic and I could relate to so many of the things that they went through because my family went through those things too. Such as me sneaking out of bed to chat to my friends on MSN, and my parents threatening to throw out my brother’s computer because he was addicted to computer games 🙂 Audrey’s family was chaotic but so heartwarming to read about.

While the book is about anxiety and recovering from anxiety, I liked that it was still lighthearted and fun. I don’t feel like the book was too focused on the social anxiety – of course it’s still present throughout the novel because that’s what Audrey suffers from but it didn’t focus on the darker aspects of the disorder. There were times when I even forgot that Audrey had anxiety because I was enjoying the family drama so much (It also helped me forget everything I knew about anxiety and just enjoy the story). We also never fully learn about the events that happened to Audrey to trigger her anxiety, but I kind of liked it that way. The book was more about recovery and moving forward than it was about dwelling on the past, which was refreshing, and I didn’t think we needed to know about her past. There were a couple of instances where I thought the book made treatment of anxiety seem very easy, when in fact it isn’t. But at the same time I was really rooting for Audrey and I just wanted her to get better without relapsing.

I know a lot of people have concerns about Audrey recovering from anxiety because she found love (ie. love cures all)… but that was definitely not what happened in this book. She starts to come out of her shell because she is forced to talk to Linus who comes over to her house to game with her brother. They fall in love but it wasn’t the act of falling in love that treated her anxiety. It was the fact that Linus was supportive of her recovery process that pushed her to get better. I also don’t feel like the book was focused on the romance. For me, it was more about recovery and family.

But I have to say, the romance between Audrey and Linus was just the cutest. They are adorable together and Linus is so perfect. He sends her virtual kisses and gives her the nickname Rhubarb. Which brings me to an excerpt that I really want to share – this was probably my favourite scene in the whole book. It had me on the floor laughing. In this scene, Audrey and Linus are at Starbucks but she feels uncomfortable with her name being called across the coffee shop, so he tells her to give a fake name to the barista.

“Yes, that’s my name. Rhubarb.”

“You’re called Rhubarb?”

“Of course she’s called Rhubarb,’ chimes in Linus. “Hey Rhu, do you want anything to eat? You want a muffin, Rhu?”

“No, thanks.” I can’t help smiling.

“OK, Rhu. No problem.”

“Fine. Rhu-barb.” The girl writes it down with her Sharpie. “And you?”

“I would like a cappucino,” says Linus politely. “Thank you.”

“You’re name?”

“I’ll spell it for you,” he says. “Z-W-P-A-E-N-”

What?” She stares at him, Sharpie in hand.

“Wait. I haven’t finished. Double-F-hyphen-T-J-U-S. It’s an unusual name,” Linus adds gravely. “It’s Dutch.”

I’m shaking, trying not to laugh.

The Starbucks girl gives us both evil stares. “You’re John,” she says, and scrawls it on his cup.

I loved all of the characters in this book. Even though Audrey is 14, I found it so easy to relate to her. Her voice is very mature and I never saw her as juvenile or immature. I loved reading about her parents. Her mother is obsessed with the Daily Mail and her dad is just wants to keep the peace. Audrey’s 4 year old brother, Felix, is also hilarious and I loved every scene he was in.

I also really liked the formatting of this book. As part of her journey to recovery, Audrey’s psychologist gets her to film a documentary of her family and her life. Because of this, some of the chapters in the book were written as a transcript (kind of like in Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl). These chapters were a great change in pace and kept the book interesting.

Overall, I really loved Finding Audrey. I thought it was a very heartwarming story about family, love and finding yourself. It was a very hopeful book, with some really great characters that will stay with me for a while.

Review: Risk by Fleur Ferris

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Publisher: Random House Australia
Release date: June 30, 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN13: 9780857986474
Pages: 279
Goodreads || Amazon || Booktopia || Bookworld

Taylor and Sierra have been best friends for their whole lives. But Taylor’s fed up. Why does Sierra always get what – and who – she wants? From kissing Taylor’s crush to stealing the guy they both met online for herself, Sierra doesn’t seem to notice when she hurts her friends.

So when Sierra says Jacob Jones is the one and asks her friends to cover for her while she goes to meet him for the first time, Taylor rolls her eyes.

But Sierra doesn’t come back when she said she would.

One day. Two days. Three . . .

What if Taylor’s worrying for nothing? What if Sierra’s just being Sierra, forgetting about everyone else to spend time with her new guy?

When Taylor finally tells Sierra’s mum that her daughter is missing, Taylor and her friends are thrown into a dark world they never even knew existed.

Can Taylor find Sierra’s abductor in time?
Or should she be looking for a killer?

MY THOUGHTS

2 stars

Risk is the August pick for #bookclubaus, so I decided to pick it up so that I could join the twitter chat, which is taking place August 28 (tonight!) at 7:30pm AEST.

This is a novel that deals with a very important topic in society today, which is online safety. It raises awareness about the dangers of meeting people online because they may not be who you think they are. It also deals with grief and survivor’s guilt. I think online safety is definitely a topic or issue that teens should be made aware of, and I appreciate that the author tried to target this book to a younger audience who might be susceptible to the charms of online predators. However, I had quite a few issues with the book.

I had a very hard time connecting with the characters from the very first page. The characters are 15 year olds, but they felt very juvenile and immature in their behaviour and the way they spoke. They seemed to be falling in love with everyone they saw, and I didn’t enjoy that at all. Taylor goes from being completely uninterested in the guy they met online to imagining herself married to him within the span of just a couple of pages. It irked me because I think even 15 year olds have more sense than that. A lot of teenage drama did get left behind after Sierra went missing and the book turned more serious, but we still see glimpses of it throughout the book. Most of the side characters were underdeveloped. I wanted to know about their experiences and feelings on the situation, but I felt like their main role in the novel was to create conflict in Taylor’s life.

I was not a fan of Taylor or Sierra. Sierra was portrayed as someone who was very unlikeable, even to her friends, so it was a little bit difficult for me to even care about what happened to her. I liked Taylor a little bit more than Sierra, but her thoughts and feelings fluctuated a lot and it was just hard to be in her head. She seemed to disregard the feelings of those around her and justified all of her actions and decisions by saying that Sierra would have loved it/thought it was glamorous, or that Sierra would want her to be happy. I thought Taylor was a very frustrating protagonist and I didn’t feel like her character went through very much development. She compares herself to Sierra throughout the whole book and by the end of it, I wasn’t really sure how she had grown as a person.

I was also not very impressed with the plot. I had gone into the book knowing that it wasn’t going to be a thriller but the story fell short for me in terms of where it went. Most of it was very predictable and it didn’t feel like a very original story. I also didn’t like the romance that was in the book. I thought it was unnecessary and I would have much preferred it if the book had focused on friendship and supporting each other through grief.

The style of writing was also a little bit of an issue for me. The writing felt very basic and was composed of too many short sentences. I felt like it was too direct. Instead of discovering for myself what was happening, I was just being told the main messages of the book and what Taylor was thinking and feeling. I’m not opposed to simple writing if it’s used effectively, but I thought the writing in Risk was too assertive and was almost telling me what I should be thinking and feeling. I think it just goes back to the “show, don’t tell” rule that we learn in school.

I’m glad that this book is out there and I do think that teenagers should read it to learn more about internet safety because what happened to Sierra in the book could happen to anyone. But while I did like the message in this book and the awareness it raises, I thought it was a little bit of a missed opportunity.

Review: One by Sarah Crossan

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Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Release date: August 27, 2015
Format: eARC via NetGalley
ISBN: 9781408863114
Pages: 448
Goodreads || Book Depository || Booktopia (AUS)

Grace and Tippi are twins – conjoined twins.

And their lives are about to change.

No longer able to afford homeschooling, they must venture into the world – a world of stares, sneers and cruelty. Will they find more than that at school? Can they find real friends? And what about love?

But what neither Grace or Tippi realises is that a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead. A decision that could tear them apart. One that will change their lives even more than they ever imagined…

From Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this moving and beautifully crafted novel about identity, sisterhood and love ultimately asks one question: what does it mean to want and have a soulmate?

MY THOUGHTS

45 stars

I received an electronic copy of this book from Bloomsbury Publishing UK & ANZ via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a powerful book – heartwarming, heartbreaking and just incredibly poignant. Sarah Crossan has created such an important book about family, relationships and soul mates. This novel definitely made me think about things that I had never thought about before. It’s a little bit hard to put together all of my thoughts about this book, because I’m still processing it even now (and I probably will still be days from now). But hopefully this is a review that will make sense.

First, I need to comment on the writing in this book. This novel is written in free verse, which I had some qualms about initially. But after a couple of pages, I thought it was a fantastic and incredibly effective way of telling the story. It was fast-paced (despite being 400+ pages, I finished this book in about 2 hours) and it added more emotion to the story than if it had been written in prose. Each line was so well thought out and everything was there for a reason.

One is such a well researched book. It was extremely informative and I learnt so many things about conjoined twins and how they experience the world, which is actually not that different to how a singleton experiences the world. I think Crossan did a brilliant job at normalising the issue. The message that I took away from the book was that, there’s nothing freakish or tragic about them and there’s nothing particularly inspirational about them either. They’re just normal people who may go through some extra hardships because they share a part of themselves with their twin.

This book explores some of those hardships, such as expensive medical bills, lack of privacy and free will at times, and the difficulty of forming romantic relationships. But this book also has a heavy focus on the relationship and bond between conjoined twins and the fact that there is someone who you can be One with. It emphasises the idea that it isn’t always necessary for conjoined twins to have separation surgery and many never want to be parted. For me, the author did a great job of showing us how ordinary conjoined twins can be, while also highlighting that they don’t have it easy either.

It was difficult at times to read about the physical struggles that Grace and Tippi had to go through. They both needed to stay in bed even when only one of them had the flu, and the negative effects of drinking and smoking affects not only the person doing it but the other person too. It was tough but also heartwarming watching them trying to be seen by others as two individuals but going through the realisation that they were not only partners in life but also an integral part of each other.

She’s me entirely
and without her
there would be
a gaping space
in my chest,
an expanding black hole
that nothing
else could
fill.

There was some romance in the book but it wasn’t the main focus on the story, which I liked a lot. It was there to highlight the difficulties that conjoined twins experience with having romantic relationships, but it wasn’t a crucial aspect to the story. I appreciated that the book focused on the connection and love between twins and explored that in detail rather than throwing in a whole bunch of issues that could have been underdeveloped. The book could have easily gone in the direction of focusing on bullying and nonacceptance from peers, but I’m glad that it chose to emphasise the love between twins and the love between family members. And importantly, I could also feel all the love that Sarah Crossan put into writing this book. I can’t wait to pick up something else by her.

Review: Wonderland by Robert McKay

eBook WONDERLAND

Publisher: McKay Manor Publishing
Release date: August 20, 2015
Format: ebook
Pages: 187
Goodreads || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AUS

Teenage Alice didn’t mean to end up on Wonderland, but the living spaceship she commandeered had other plans, and he was very late.

Abandoned on an unfamiliar planet, Alice’s first day as a space pirate has fallen into madness. Caterpillars? Mad hatters? A Jabberwock? A queen known for chopping off heads? Alice must face all Wonderland can throw at her if she’s to take back possession of The White Rabbit and leave Wonderland in one piece.

MY THOUGHTS

4 stars

I received a copy of this ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first book in the Intergalactic Fairy Tales series and is a retelling of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. This book was adventurous and so epic! It’s set mostly on a strange planet called Wonderland that is ruled by a controlling and ruthless queen. Our heroine, Alice, has always wanted to be a pirate. When she is presented with the opportunity to go on an adventure, she leaps at the chance…but she gets a little more than what she had signed up for.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books On My YA Contemporary 101 Syllabus

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the team at The Broke and the Bookish. I’m really excited about this week’s theme, which is Ten Books On My xxx 101 syllabus. So I’ve chosen YA contemporary books, because it’s my favourite genre and I feel like I’d be able to recommend some really great books from the genre.

I’ve tried to include a variety of themes and contemporary styles, so without further ado… I present to you my YA contemporary syllabus!

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I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson:
This is one of my favourite books ever! It’s about twins Jude and Noah, who used to be very close but something has torn them apart in recent years. This book is very interesting in the way that it’s written. It’s written from two perspectives, but also from two different timelines. The story is beautiful, the writing is beautiful, and the characters are beautiful too. I’ll Give You The Sun has everything, from family to romance, and also has LGBTQ characters too.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick:
On the surface, this seems like a fluffy contemporary romance. But it’s actually a very complex and layered story, with very likeable and relatable characters. It’s a modern spin on Romeo and Juliet. Our main characters are neighbours but the families are completely different in their appearances and values. If you’re looking for a book with a fantastic romance, as well as an exploration of some deeper issues, this is the one for you. The writing flows so nicely and the pace of the book is just perfect. I have written a review of this book.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell:
This is another contemporary romance that explores family. Cath has always done everything with her twin, Wren. But as they start their freshman year of college, Wren decides that she wants to go off on her own. Fangirl is such a fun book, with some serious themes. There is also a great romance that develops in the book. Best of all, I feel like everyone can relate to Cath, who is a fangirl. This book definitely gave me the warm and fuzzy feels.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky:
This is a great coming of age book that is written in epistolary form. It follows Charlie through his freshman year of high school, as he makes new friends and discoveries about himself. The fact that the book is written as a series of letters to an anonymous recipient allows us to see Charlie’s most intimate thoughts and feelings. The book explores grief, loss and belonging, and it’s definitely one that hit me really hard. It also has a gay side character.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman:
This is an incredible book about finding love, losing love, and finding yourself and your own voice in the process. Allyson has always been the perfect girl who has done everything her parents have wanted. She meets a mysterious boy named Willem on her trip around Europe. They end up going on a one day trip to Paris but he randomly disappears the next day. Allyson then has to figure out what went wrong, and in the process, ends up discovering more about herself and the type of person she wants to be. This book was so moving and touched me in so many different ways. I was constantly rooting for the characters and those are the best books to me.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson:
This is fun, summery book about friendship and finding yourself. Emily has always kind of been in the shadows of her best friend, Sloane, who is spontaneous and interesting. But one day Sloane goes missing and leaves Emily with a list of things she should do for the summer. Emily starts doing the things on the list in the hopes of it being able to lead her back to Sloane. In the process, she forms new friendships and relationships, and learns about who she is independent of Sloane. This is a fast-paced book that also touches your heart.

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Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli:
This is an incredibly adorable book with a serious message. Simon has been emailing a mysterious boy called Blue, who goes to his school. Neither of them have come out as gay yet, but as they continue talking to each other, they gain the courage to come out to their family and friends. Throw in some subplots and some interesting characters we’ve got ourselves a fun and adorable story. If you’re looking for something that is light-hearted but still contains important messages, I think Simon is for you.

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan:
This is a much darker and serious LGBTQ book than Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Told from the perspective of a generation of gay men lost to AIDS, we follow 4 different pairs of gay boys, as they go through their ordinary lives. It explores homophobia and what it means to be gay. This book affected me so much and I think it’s definitely a must-read for all teens and young adults out there. And I have a review for this.

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The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith:
Hadley is travelling to London to attend her dad’s wedding to a woman she has never met. She meets a British boy, Oliver, at the airport and they spend the whole flight getting to know each other. They lose each other when they arrive in London, but you never know what can happen when you’re in love. This isn’t just a fluffy romance. It also has a family element to it. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming. Jennifer E. Smith is a master at conveying emotions – I felt everything that Hadley was feeling in the book. This book is very easy to read and definitely a page turner.

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins:
I love all of Stephanie Perkins’ books but Isla and the Happily Ever After is my favourite of the three. I love Isla and Josh. Josh is romantic and sweet, and who doesn’t love an artist who is able to draw you pretty, pretty things? This book is set not only in Paris, but also New York and Barcelona, and it takes you on a romantic adventure.


I wish I could’ve included more on this list because I have so many contemporary favourites! What are your top YA contemporaries?

The Reading Habits Tag

Reading-habits-tag

I was tagged by Alex at Silent Night Reviews to do this tag (thanks for tagging me)! Go and check out her blog if you haven’t – it’s incredibly pretty!!

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
It’s currently winter in Australia so I’ve been reading more and more in bed lately. But I also like reading on the couch when it’s less cold.

Bookmark or random piece of paper?
Definitely bookmark! I have a huge collection of the Book Depository bookmarks, as well as some other fancy ones that I’ve bought over the years. I use one that matches the theme of whatever book I’m reading. But if I’m really desperate and can’t find my bookmark, I will use anything!

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop at the end of a chapter/a certain amount of pages?
I prefer to stop at the end of a chapter but if I’m reading on the train or bus, then I’m forced to stop at whatever page I’m on. If I’m reading at home without a time limit, I like to stop after a 10th chapter (e.g. Chapter 10, 20, 30)… because I’m just strange like that.

Do you eat or drink while reading?
The only time I eat or drink while reading a book is if I’m reading an ebook. I like to keep my books in really really REALLY good condition, so no food allowed. The only exception that I make is if a drink is in a closed container that won’t spill (like a tumbler).

Multitasking: music or TV while reading?
I rarely do anything else while I’m reading. I don’t have the best attentional control so it’s really hard for me to concentrate on what’s going on in the book if I’m also trying to pay attention to something else. The only time I read while watching TV is during the commercial breaks. And I find music very distracting unless I’ve listened to it so many times that it blends into the background.

One book at a time or several at once?
I never read more than one book at a time. I much prefer to finish a book before moving on to the next one. The only time you’ll see two books on my Goodreads currently reading shelf is if I haven’t had the chance to write a review for one yet, or if I’m reading a book of short stories.

Reading at home or everywhere?
I prefer to read at home where it’s quieter but I’ve been trying to read while I’m out and about as well. I read on my commute to and from university and sometimes I read ebooks on my phone while I’m waiting in a queue for something.

Reading out loud or silently in your head?
I don’t think I’ve ever read out loud before, and definitely not a whole book.

Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
Okay, I am guilty of doing this. Sometimes when the suspense gets too much… I do a quick flick through the book. But I’ve been trying really hard not to do this lately, and I’ve been succeeding at it too.  And I always go back and read every page of the book. I never leave a single question unread.

Breaking the spine or keeping it new?
Keeping it new! I need my books to be in near perfect condition so broken spines are a no no for me. When I read paperbacks, I only open the book a little bit and I just read from the tiny gap like a crazy person.

Do you write in your books?
I have never written in a book, even required readings in English classes. Well… I have written my name on the title pages before, but that’s about it.

I tag:

I have no idea who to tag since this Reading Habits Tag has been going around for a while now… But I’ll tag my three most recent followers (thanks for following!):

Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

the-boy-most-likely-to

Publisher: Dial Books
Release date: August 18, 2015
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0803741421
Pages: 425
Goodreads || Book Depository

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To:

  • Find the liquor cabinet blindfolded
  • Need a liver transplant
  • Drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To:

  • Well, not date her little brother’s baggage burdened best friend, for starters

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if “smart” is always right. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to haunt him. He finds himself in a situation that he never could have predicted…but maybe should have. And Alice is caught in the middle.

Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this return to the setting of My Life Next Door is a love story about failing first, trying again, and having to decide whether to risk it all once more.

MY THOUGHTS

45 stars

Huntley Fitzpatrick still hasn’t disappointed me yet. This book was real and raw. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking in the best ways, and reminded me why I love the contemporary genre so much.

The Boy Most Likely To is a companion/sequel to My Life Next Door. I’d definitely recommend reading My Life Next Door first. The Boy Most Likely To contains some spoilers, which might ruin your reading experience of My Life Next Door if you decide to pick it up later. Because nearly all of the characters in The Boy Most Likely To have appeared previously in My Life Next Door, this book lacks a little bit of character building so you won’t get the back stories of each character unless you’ve read My Life Next Door. For those of you who have read My Life Next Door and wanted to see more of Jase and Sam, you’ll get that in this book. You see a lot of Sam and Jase separately but they do appear a couple of times together.

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Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

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Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: October 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0062286927
Pages: 416
Goodreads || Book Depository

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

my thoughts

5 stars

Woah. This book was amazing! I don’t really read very much SFF (I’m more of a contemporary reader), but I’ve been trying to read more widely this year and Snow Like Ashes is definitely somewhere at the top of my list of fantasy favourites. Snow Like Ashes is the first book in a trilogy by Sara Raasch, and also her debut novel.

This book is filled with action and adventure. It was so engrossing and exciting to read, and my excitement kept escalating as I progressed through the book. The last 100 pages (and especially the last 50) were so good! By the time I finished the book, I felt so exhilarated that I couldn’t sleep. But in addition to all the excitement I felt, the story also made me want to cry from sadness and hope. It definitely gave me all the feels. There were a couple of twists in the plot that were a little bit predictable to me. But the reveals were done so well that I didn’t mind that it was predictable.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Auto-buy Authors

top-autobuy-authors

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Bookish and the Broke, is on top auto-buy authors. So here are my top ten:

1. Anthony Doerr:
All the Light We Cannot See is my favourite book of all time. It’s got beautiful writing and the most precious story. I’d buy whatever Anthony Doerr releases next. Having said that, I haven’t read his previously released short story collections yet so I should pick them up soon…

2. Cassandra Clare:
I love all of Cassie Clare’s Shadowhunter books and even though she’s planning to write 9 more books in the same world, I’d still pick them all up in a heartbeat. I also got to meet her and Holly Black the other day, which was just amazing!

Cassie and Holly book signing

3. Marissa Meyer:
The Lunar Chronicles is probably my favourite series of all time. The characters are all so unique and funny. I cannot wait until the last book comes out in November. And of course, I would pick up anything she writes next.

4. Sarah J. Maas:
I was a bit hesitant about picking up the Throne of Glass series because of all the hype surrounding it. But when I finally read them last month, along with A Court of Thorns and Roses, I really connected with her writing and her characters. Now that she plans to release two books a year, I’m even more excited for her new releases.

5. Stephanie Perkins:
Her Anna, Lola and Isla books are some of the best YA fluffy contemporary novels that I’ve read. I also really love that she’s compiling a new anthology of summer short stories and I can’t wait to pick that up. I’m a bit unsure about her upcoming YA horror novel though…..

6. Becky Albertalli:
Even though she currently only has one release under her belt, I LOVED Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It has a proud place on my Goodreads Favourites shelf. Becky’s writing is so easy to read but gives me so many feels. She’s currently working on a loose companion novel to Simon vs, which I’m so excited for. Needless to say, I’ll be first in line to buy whatever she releases next. Plus Becky is super sweet in person!

7. Huntley Fitzpatrick:
I only read Huntley Fitzpatrick’s two novels just a couple of weeks ago but I’m so in love with the way she writes. I love the pace of her novels, and the amount of character development she manages to squeeze into her books. I preordered her third book (which actually comes out today!) and I’ll continue to pick up whatever she writes next.

8. Haruki Murakami:
I’m pretty much a collector of Murakami novels. Even though I’ve only read 3 of his works, I continue to pick up his books when they are released in English. I’m hoping to read all of the ones I own by the end of the year.

9. Sarra Manning:
I discovered Sarra Manning as a 13 year old. I was in love with her Diary of a Crush trilogy and reread them over and over again. (I recently did The Nostalgic Book Review Tag, created by Read Think Ponder, where I informally reviewed the first book of the trilogy). When Sarra started releasing adult books, I picked those up too. And I’ll continue to buy everything she releases.

10. Jenny Han:
So far, I’ve only read the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before duology, but I loved those books so much. They made me feel so happy and have such great family elements in them. I have the Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy on my shelf so hopefully I can get to those soon.