Dumbledore’s Army Readathon TBR Pile

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Aentee @ Read at Midnight is hosting the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon in January. It’s a two-week readathon that is dedicated to reading diverse books. Each challenge is inspired by a Harry Potter spell and it looks like a lot of fun! There is also a points system and a house challenge. I will be playing for Ravenclaw, which is my Hogwarts house. For all of the readathon details, including the rules for calculating points and some FAQs, see Aentee’s sign up post!

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There are seven prompts for this readathon. All of the graphics in this post were made my Aentee.

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For this prompt, I am reading Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. I’ve heard some good things about this one and it features a Chinese-American family that I could probably relate to. I enjoy reading family sagas so I’m hoping that this one is a great read.

304 pages, potential +30 points

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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is set in and features characters from Nigeria. This is definitely a group that I have read very little about. In fact, the only book that comes to mind when I think about Africa or African characters is The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr. I’m very excited to check this one out because I’ve heard endless amazing things about it.

477 pages, potential +47 points

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I had an endless number of options for this one so I decided to choose a book that I recently bought. I’ll be reading We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson.

455 pages, potential +45 points

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I’ve had Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill on my shelf for probably close to two years and I am so glad this prompt will finally push me to pick it up. It’s a book about feminism and hopefully one that is inclusive and empowers all women.

392 pages, potential +39 points

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It wouldn’t be a readathon for me if I didn’t read a book about mental illness. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone has been on my TBR for ages and it’s a book about OCD.

368 pages, potential +36 points

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Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates has received a lot of hype and, from what I’ve heard, it’s all well-deserved. I’ve been meaning to read this for a while and I picked it up intending to read it straight away. But, as with a lot of non-fiction books, they tend to be forgotten in my stack of unread books. I will be endeavouring to finally read this one for the readathon.

152 pages, potential +15 points

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Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim is one that Jeann @ Happy Indulgence has been raving about since she read it a few months ago. It’s a little embarrassing that I haven’t picked it up yet since Wai is a Sydney-based author and is extremely supportive of us bloggers! But it will be devoured in January!

272 pages, potential +27 points


There is a 5 point bonus for each prompt that you complete so if I finish all 7 books, my total will be 274 points! There are also bonus points for reviewing each of the 7 books. Go forth and share your thoughts and opinions on these diverse books!

I also have a stack of other diverse books that I want to read when I finish these 7 prompts and you’ll get to see what they are in my wrap up!

Will you be joining Dumbledore’s Army too?

#ReadThemAllThon Wrap Up

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#ReadThemAllThon was a Pokemon Go inspired readathon that ran from August 14 to September 4. It was hosted by Aentee @ Read at Midnight, who also made the beautiful header in this post. There were 8 challenges in this readathon as well as a fun points system to go with it. For a full explanation of points, check out Aentee’s original sign up post and my readathon TBR post.

I had a really really great time with the readathon. It made me super productive and conscientious with posting reviews (I still haven’t replied to a lot of the comments though. I’M SORRY!!! I’ll get to them soon!). I did slack off during the last week of the readathon though because of bookish events and a family emergency but I don’t regret anything because those things come first. I’m proud of how I did regardless.

I ended up sticking to my planned TBR and read a couple of extra books too. Let’s get into my breakdown that I’ll put into chronological order.

Challenges

vicious Thunder Badge: Read a book with thunderous hype

Vicious by V.E. Schwab (read: August 14)

320 pages + completion 20 CP
Review posted: 20 CP
= 72 CP


all-the-birds-in-the-sky Marsh Badge: Read a book with fantasy or supernatural elements

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (read: August 15)

430 pages + completion 20 CP
Review posted: 20 CP
= 83 CP


salt-to-the-sea Cascade Badge: Read a book that might make you cry

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (read: August 16)

393 pages + completion 20 CP
Review posted: 20 CP
= 79 CP


the-great-american-whatever Rainbow Badge: Read a book featuring diversity

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle (read: August 17)

288 pages + completion 20 CP
Review posted: 20 CP
= 68 CP


a-gathering-of-shadows Flame Badge: Read a book with a red cover

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (read: August 20)

508 pages + completion 20 CP
Review posted: 20 CP
= 90 CP


eleanor-and-park Soul Badge: Read a book with an epic romance

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (read: August 21)

325 pages + completion 20 CP
Review posted: 20 CP
= 72 CP


the-hunger-games Earth Badge: Read a book with a post-apocalyptic setting

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (read: August 23)

454 pages + completion 20 CP
Review posted: 20 CP
= 85 CP


the-final-empire Boulder Badge: Read the first book in a series

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (read: August 25)

647 pages + completion 20 CP
Review posted: 20 CP
= 104 CP


Extra Books

Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (read: August 26)
160 pages = 8 CP

Saving Jazz by Kate McCaffrey (read: August 27)
297 pages = 29 CP

How They Met, and Other Stories by David Levithan (read: August 29)
256 pages = 25 CP

Monstress Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda (read: August 29)
192 pages = 9.5 CP

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (read: August 30)
352 pages = 35 CP

One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn (read: August 31)
305 pages = 30 CP

Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 9 (Volumes 25-28) by Nobuhiro Watsuki (partially read: August 31)
Reread volumes 26, 27, 28 and extras: 581 pages of 776 = 29 CP

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling (read: September 3)
123 pages = 12 CP

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (read: September 4)
704 pages = 70 CP

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan (partially read: September 4)
70 pages of 210 = 7 CP


Reading + reviewing total: 907.5 CP

Evolution bonus: 120 CP

Social media bonus: 162 CP (46 tweets + 14 photos)

TOTAL:  1189.5 + original 10 CP = 1199.5 CP (which I’m going to sneakily round up to 1200 because it looks nicer)

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Aussie YA Blog Hop

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This week the Aussie (and NZ) YA Bloggers group is doing a blog hop to highlight some awesome #LoveOzYA books and why we love Aussie YA! The moderators of the group are hosting this fun blog hop and I’m so excited to be joining in. The blog hop runs from August 8 – 14 and there will also be a Twitter chat on Sunday 14th at 6pm AEST.

1. What you love about Aussie YA

My favourite thing about Aussie YA is the relatability aspect. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a story set in my home city of Sydney, and being able to recognise the places that are talked about. There’s a feeling of familiarity and It makes it easier to connect with the story and the characters. I also feel like Aussie YA novels are much more honest. They’re often grittier and darker and explore issues that matter, including diverse issues.

2. Favourite Aussie YA authors

I’ve always loved The Book Thief and Markus Zusak has always been one of my favourite authors. But there have been some wonderful authors that I’ve discovered in the past 12 months. I love Jaclyn Moriarty and her storytelling ability and her characters. I think her books are absolutely wonderful. I also really love Jessica Shirvington (despite having only read her Disruption duology).

3. The Aussie YA book that you grew up with

The two Aussie YA books that I distinctly remember reading when I was a younger reader were Melina Marchetta’s Saving Francesca and of course, Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief.

4. Favourite Aussie YA book released in 2016

Wow. It’s so hard for me to narrow down my Aussie YA favourites! I have so many that I’ve loved from this year! I’ll try to narrow it down to 3 books. I absolutely loved The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard, A Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty and Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.

5. Aussie YA debut you are looking forward to

I’m really, really excited about Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland. Not only does it have a beautiful cover, it also has a synopsis that sounds right up my alley. It’s been touted as a John Green meets Rainbow Rowell story so I’m definitely going to be picking it up when it’s released.

6. Favourite Aussie YA series

I don’t typically read a lot of series because contemporary is my favourite genre, so I mostly read standalones. But there are two Aussie YA series that I’m absolutely in love with. The Colours of Madeleine trilogy by Jaclyn Moriarty is one of my all-time favourites because of its creativity and magical plot. The third and final book, A Tangle of Gold, is one of my favourite books of 2016 so far. I also really love the Disruption duology by Jessica Shirvington, which I’ve already mentioned above!

7. Unexpected Aussie YA surprise

I’m not really sure if I’d call this one a surprise because it’s a contemporary and had a plot which didn’t include any tropes that I hate. I knew going into Frankie by Shivaun Plozza that I would like it but I was completely unprepared for how much I would love it! It was absolutely amazing and I enjoyed all of the characters and their relationships.

8. Aussie YA book you always recommend to others

One novel that I’ve been recommending to others since I read it back in early 2015 is The Flywheel by Erin Gough. It’s a beautiful LGBTQIA+ book that features very relatable characters and a realistic lesbian romance. It’s set in the inner west of Sydney and I loved the setting so much.

9. An Aussie YA book on your TBR

I have so many Aussie YA novels on my shelf right now but one that I think I’ll be reading relatively soon is One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn. Claire is going to be a guest at the #YABookmeet, hosted by Dymocks Sydney in early September so I’ll be picking it up soon. I also hope to read Ellie Marney’s Every trilogy in upcoming weeks because I now finally own all three books and can binge this trilogy of Sherlock retellings.

10. Recommend your favourite Aussie YA bloggers

How do I even choose?!! There are so many Aussie bloggers that I’ve gotten to know and I don’t want to leave anybody out T_T. Let’s get the obvious ones out of the way. I love Jeann @ Happy Indulgence, because she’s amazing (and I also co-blog there HAHA). I love Aentee @ Read at Midnight, who is my blog twin and food partner in crime. I also love my NZ blogger friend CW @ Read Think Ponder, who is back from her hiatus! I also love Cait @ Paper Fury, Chiara @ Delicate Eternity, Emily @ Loony Literate.

Click here to Follow the blog hop and check out the other posts through the linky on Happy Indulgence!

#ReadThemAllThon TBR Pile

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I’m so excited to be participating in the #ReadThemAllThon, created and hosted by the brilliant Aentee @ Read at Midnight. This readathon celebrates our love of books and our newfound obsession with Pokemon Go! To find out more about the challenges and rules, check out Aentee’s sign up post and her TBR pile!

All graphics in this post were made by Aentee except the trainer card that I made below.

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I’m a pretty fast reader so I think I can handle having Magikarp as my chosen Pokemon. Even though it’s kind of useless, it evolves into the fiercest and most wonderful Pokemon there is, Gyarados. In this readathon, Magikarp doesn’t evolve until it reaches 450CP, so I have lots of work and reading ahead of me!


TBR Pile

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So my TBR for this readathon is actually made up of books that I’ve been meaning to read for a very long time. They’re all super popular and I’m finally getting to them now. To break things up, I’ve included one new release but I’m hoping to use these three weeks to finally catch up on some books that I should have read ages ago.
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It’s been a long time coming but I’m hoping to finally read The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. The Mistborn series has been sitting on my shelf for far too long and I’m finally going to conquer it next month!

647 pages, potential +64CP

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I’m not sure if Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys will make me cry, but I’ve read so many rave reviews that have said that it’s emotional and heartbreaking. I’m a book cryer… I cry super easily so I’m sure this one will fit the category.

400 pages, potential +40CP

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For this one, I’ve gone with Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I’ve heard countless good things about it and everyone says it’s their favourite Schwab book so I’m going to trust the hype and dive in.

340 pages, potential +34CP

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The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle is the only newish release in my TBR stack but I’ve been dying to read this book! In fact I want to read it right now but I have too many other books that I need to read first T_T. This will probably be the first book I’m going to pick up for the readathon.

288 pages, potential +28CP

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I’m going to be meeting Rainbow Rowell at the end of August and early September so I’m going to finally read Eleanor & Park this month. It was the first Rainbow Rowell book I ever bought and I actually started it as soon as I bought it… but somehow it remains the only book of hers I haven’t completed. I’ve heard that Eleanor and Park are great together in this book so I’m looking forward to what the romance has to offer 🙂

325 pages, potential +32CP

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For this challenge, I’ll be reading one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I’ve had All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders for months but still haven’t found the time to pick it up. This one has a really interesting synopsis with lots of cool fantasy elements. I’m excited!

432 pages, potential +43CP

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I had a hard time choosing a book for this. I couldn’t really find an unread book on my shelf that had a cover that was entirely red. Until I remembered that I still haven’t read A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. The UK cover for this book is red!

508 pages, potential +50CP

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Everyone’s going to yell at me in the comments about this one… but I’ve never read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Yup. But I do plan on reading at least the first book for this readathon.

374 pages, potential +37CP


There is a +20CP bonus for each gym badge/book I complete, so if I finish all 8 books, my potential total is 488CP!

And since my Magikarp can evolve into Gyarados (+120CP) when it reaches 450CP, I should have a grand total of 608CP before Twitter and review bonuses. BRING IT ON!

Potterhead July: Dramione and how it’s shaped my reading preferences

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I’ve been a long time fan and shipper of Dramione so I’m so excited to be talking about it today in my Potterhead July post. Potterhead July is a month-long celebration of Harry Potter, hosted by Aentee @ Read at Midnight.

Draco Malfoy is my favourite character in the Harry Potter series, and of course Hermione was my childhood heroine. Naturally my teenage self shipped the two of them and I spent most of my high school years reading Dramione fanfiction on harrypotterfanfiction.com. I remember going to the school library early in the morning and printing off one-shots or chapters of longer stories so I could read them during class. I remember doing particularly badly in science one year because I sat in the back corner of the room and read about Draco and Hermione instead. It’s a bit of a wonder that my career is in scientific research to be honest…

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There are certain tropes that appear in Dramione fanfiction over and over again. And these are tropes that I continue to love to this day. In fact, a lot of these tropes I will actively look for in books that I’m reading regardless of whether it’s fantasy or contemporary. Unfortunately, a lot of the fanfics that I read in the past are now unavailable and I haven’t been keeping up to date with new fics so I can’t really give many recommendations 😦

FROM HATE TO LOVE

I absolutely love the enemies to lovers trope. This was probably my favourite kind of plotline when I was reading Dramione fanfic as a teen. I think the reason for this is because a hate to love kind of story allows for lots of great development (if done well), and in some cases, lots of great banter between the characters. Any story where Draco and Hermione go from hating each other, to becoming friends and realising that they’re made for each other is a win in my book. And to be honest, it’s a fool-proof method. I mean, look at Pride and Prejudice and how well-loved it is.

Some of my favourite books right now have a hate to love romance, like What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, and Blue and Gansey from The Raven Cycle.

FORBIDDEN LOVE

Obviously Draco and Hermione are from rival houses, which makes any relationship they have kind of forbidden. And I love the forbidden relationship or star-crossed lovers storyline. It’s secretive, passionate and sometimes angsty, which I’m a huge fan of 😀 If there’s a story where Draco and Hermione have to keep their relationship secret from Harry and Ron or the Malfoys, I’m there!

I have so many forbidden romance favourites but two of my absolutely favourites are The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore and My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. And of course, this explains why I love Cassandra Clare’s books so much! Ooh and The Winner’s Trilogy!

SECOND CHANCES

I love Dramione fanfics that take place after Hogwarts and after the war. And this is because I love a good redemption arc or a second chance story. I feel like there isn’t as much angst in these stories and they’re more just feel-good stories about someone who’s done some bad things and wanting to make up for it. Also I love reading about an older Draco who isn’t as bratty as the school-kid Draco. An additional bonus to post-Hogwarts second chance stories is that usually Draco and Hermione have the support and approval of their friends and family, which allows for a greater focus on the romance itself and not on the little things going on in the background. But of course, I love second chance romances set in Hogwarts too because second chances are just the best! If you’re looking for great post-war Dramione fanfiction, Anne M. Oliver on FF.net has some great ones.

Of course, I love Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson and the romance in Illuminae.

ARRANGED MARRIAGES

And finally, arranged marriages. In Dramione fanfiction, I love reading stories where a new marriage law requires purebloods to marry muggle-borns. Inheritance requirements have the same idea too I guess. This is a little bit similar to the hate to love trope but I like the idea of putting them in the same room and getting them to just deal with it. Or you know, just make out HAHA. I remember reading and loving one years ago called A Dowry of a Single Galleon. I’d like to reread it one day because I’m pretty sure I’ll still love it now.

The first favourite novels that come to mind with the arranged marriage or forced marriage trope is The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh and A Court of Thorns and Roses (which I actually liked before ACOMAF ruined the whole series for me).


But even though I love these tropes, I’ll pretty much read anything where Draco treats Hermione like a princess. Cos I can replace her with myself in my mind HAHAHA 😄

Check out the Potterhead July schedule here! You don’t want to be missing out on other great Harry Potter-themed posts.