Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set Outside of the US

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the team over at The Broke and the Bookish. The theme for this week is books that are set outside of the US. The advantage of living outside of the US is that I have a lot of Aussie YA books (set in Australia) that I can use for this list. But I chose to go with a variety of different locations and settings for my TTT today. Be warned: I have a lot of WWII historical fiction novels on this list…

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Hehehe I’m so predictable. Of course, my favourite book of all time makes it on to this list. This WWII historical fiction masterpiece is set in France and Germany, as well as parts of Russia. READ IT!

2. Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Just One Year is the companion sequel to Just One Day. The reason why I’ve chosen to go with Just One Year is because it’s set completely outside of the US, whereas Just One Day was set partially in the US. In Just One Year, our protagonist, Willem, travels around Europe, India and Mexico and overall, it’s just a great time.

3. The Lake House by Kate Morton

This novel is set in Cornwall and was one of my favourite releases of 2015. It’s a historical fiction novel that’s set in the 1930s and has a great atmosphere and setting! The writing is absolutely beautiful too.

4. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Another WWII historical fiction novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North is set in Australia as well as Japanese POW camps in South East Asia. It was the Man Booker Prize winner of 2014.

5. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Wolf by Wolf is an alternate history WWII novel that’s set across multiple continents. The story begins in Germany (I believe?) and features a cross-continental motocross race. We follow the characters across the Middle East, through South East Asia and into Japan. It’s fast-paced and exciting and I can’t wait for the sequel!

6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This novel isn’t my favourite of Stephanie Perkins companion series (I love Isla and the Happily Ever After the most) but I’m pretty sure that this one is set entirely outside of the US? I think it’s set entirely in France and I really enjoyed it when I read it.

7. Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali

And yet another WWII historical fiction novel, Max follows the story of a baby who was born as part of the Lebensborn program. We follow his journey from before birth, up until the end of the war. It’s a super interesting and eye-opening story and I highly recommend it. This one is set in Germany.

8. The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis

The Sidekicks is an Aussie YA novel that’s set in Australia. It’s a really short read but gives you a good kick in the feels. It’s about friendship and grief and is so, so good!

9. Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

This is my last WWII novel, I promise! In this novel, we follow Anna and a mysterious man known as the Swallow Man as they wander around Poland for years during the war. It’s a bit of a confusing book but it’s definitely worth the read.

10. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

And finally, I had to include an urban fantasy novel and I’ve chosen The Infernal Devices. This trilogy is set in the London Institute during the 19th century and I love this series so much!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Character Voices

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This week is freebie week for Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week I’m going to feature some books with strong character voices that I really connected with.

1. Adam (The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten)

I read this novel very recently and Adam’s character and his voice really made this book for me. He’s probably one of my favourite protagonists of all time and I couldn’t stop rooting for him.

2. Simon (Carry On by Rainbow Rowell)

Another one of my favourite characters, I mostly love Simon because of his voice. He’s so incredibly funny and adorable, and I sped through this 500 page book because Simon’s voice was so great. I also really loved Baz’s voice too!

3. Todd (Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness)

The thing that you notice immediately when you read the Chaos Walking trilogy is Todd’s voice and the unique writing in the book. It’s very distinctive and really shows who Todd is as a character.

4. Max (Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali)

The thing that made Max such a wonderful book for me was the main character, Max’s, voice. He’s arrogant and vocal about his opinions but that’s kind of why I love him. His character and personality really come through his voice and it was just so interesting to read from the perspective of a fetus and really young child.

5. Solomon (Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley)

Solomon is an agoraphobic who hasn’t left his house in over three years. But that doesn’t make him a boring character. He was such a funny and interesting person and that really came through in his voice. I thought the writing in this book was super strong.

6. Simon (Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli)

Simon is hilarious. He’s somebody that you automatically connect with from the very first chapter. He has a great personality and his voice is extremely relatable.

7. Audrey (Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella)

Audrey is a 14 year old girl who suffers from severe anxiety and depression but she doesn’t come across that way in the book because her voice is so unique and interesting. You can feel her anxiety and shyness but at the same time, you also can feel that she’s a sarcastic and fun-loving character.

8. Frankie (Frankie by Shivaun Plozza)

If you’re looking for a spunky character with lots of sass and attitude, Frankie is the girl for you. Her voice is feisty and sassy and makes her a character who you can’t turn away from.

9. Allyson (Just One Day by Gayle Forman)

Allyson can seem like a little bit of a bland character to some, but to me, she’s so full of life and her voice was completely relatable. I really connected with her character and I thought her voice was really, really strong.

10. Alice (The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard)

In this novel, Alice has been through a traumatic incident and now has trouble expressing herself verbally. So she writes poetry to express herself. This book was super interesting and had a great mix of prose and poetry. Alice’s voice and personality was so unique and strong in this book, and is the main reason why I loved it so much!


What are some of your favourite character voices?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That I Love But Haven’t Talked About Enough

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a topic and bloggers create a list based on that topic. This week’s theme is books that I loved but haven’t talked about enough.

1. The Colours of Madeleine trilogy by Jaclyn Moriarty

This is an Australian YA fantasy trilogy and I absolutely loooove it. I’ve actually talked about this book quite a bit over on Happy Indulgence, where I reviewed all three of the books. But I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned how much I love the series, on this blog! The first two books were good but the final book, which came out in February, was AMAZING. This series is like a wonderful mix of contemporary and fantasy elements. It’s magical, colourful, funny and exciting, and I highly recommend it.

2. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

This is a book that I enjoyed so much that I was scared to review it. Which sucks, because you guys probably didn’t know that it’s currently one of my favourite books of the year so far. This is a Romeo and Juliet story about forbidden love. Cluck and Lace come from rival families and fall in love. Their romance was soooo great and is definitely one you can root for! There’s magical realism in this book, which just speaks to my soul.

3. Just One Day by Gayle Forman

I’ve recommended this one a few people individually but I thought I needed to profess my love for this book in this post. Just One Day is my favourite of all of Gayle Forman’s books. If you were disappointed with I Was Here (don’t worry, I was too) and you didn’t love If I Stay as much as you thought you would, I recommend her Just One Day duology! Both Just One Day and Just One Year are fantastic! The epilogue novella, Just One Night, was also absolutely amazing. If you want a great coming of age story with lots of travel, please check out this duology!

4. Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

I’ve given both of Robyn Schneider’s books 5 stars. Severed Heads, Broken Hearts (aka The Beginning of Everything) was amazing, but I enjoyed this one even more. It was bittersweet and fun, with lots of amazing characters. It had the fun, as well as the depth, and I thought it was a really well-balanced story.

5. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Saint Anything is the epitome of a great contemporary novel. It has intriguing and relatable characters, realistic friendships and romances and it actually explores the issues that it sets out to explore. On top of that, there’s a lot of mention of pizza in this book, which just warms my heart.

6. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Last year, I read a whole pile of books about teen suicide, all at the same time. My Heart and Other Black Holes was one of the standouts (along with The Last Time We Say Goodbye, which topped the list). Forget All the Bright Places. Forget I Was Here. My Heart and Other Black Holes is where it’s at! What I think it has that the ever popular All the Bright Places doesn’t, is an accurate representation of depression and suicide. All the Bright Places kind of shocked me into liking it with all of the emotions and feels (when honestly it wasn’t even that great). My Heart and Other Black Holes really sucked me in with the writing and the realism, and it received a 5 star rating from me because it was a great book, and not because it shocked me into loving it.

7. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

I don’t think I can explain why I loved Finding Audrey as much as I did. It was just a really adorable and funny book about anxiety that still managed to portray it well. The characters were hilarious and I loved the format of the book. I also liked that it wasn’t a ‘love cures all’ kind of book. It was just wonderful!

8. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I always seem to talk about My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick, but I love What I Thought Was True almost just as much. The characters are wonderful and the love interest is a super nice guy. What more could you ask for from a contemporary romance? It also has a lovely summer setting and you will just absolutely fall in love with. As with all of Huntley’s books, the writing is beautiful to read and your eyeballs will sign with happiness!

9. Every Day by David Levithan

This is one of my favourite LGBTQ+ books. There are so many diverse characters in Every Day and I appreciated all the representation that was in this novel. Every Day has a really intriguing premise and I enjoyed every single page of this book. I cannot wait for the sequel to come out!

10. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

This is one that everybody loves, so I probably don’t need to profess my love for it. But I’ve realised that I rarely talk about how much I loved it. It was a wonderfully conceptualised and crafted world that you can’t help but be sucked into. I loved most of the characters and were really intrigued by them. Most of all, I just really want Kell’s coat. I’ve been putting off reading AGOS because I really want to reread the last third of this book to refresh my memory first. But I hear people raving about AGOS left and right, so I might just jump straight into it.


Are any of these books on your favourites list? Which ones have I convinced you to pick up? XD

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Music

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the team at The Broke and the Bookish. The theme for this week is books and music, so I’ll be listing ten books that feature music.

Just a disclaimer… I haven’t read like half of these books. I’m not really into books that are specifically about music. I’m generally just not a fan of books with a male rocker love interest. But here we go:

1. Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Sinner is the companion novel to Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls (Shiver) trilogy. It focuses on Cole and Isabel’s story, and in this book Cole is a musician who’s trying to make it big in LA. I didn’t really enjoy this book very much… purely because I hated the ‘drugs, sex and rock n roll’ elements.

2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Mia and Adam from If I Stay are both musicians. Mia is a cellist, who’s aiming to become a professional. Adam is part of an up-and-coming rock band. I really enjoyed the relationship between Mia and Adam in this book and they music brought them together even though they were into different genres.

3. You’re the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by Daniel Herborn

This is an Australian YA debut novel, set in the inner west suburbs of Sydney. Both of the main characters are into their music and Tim is trying to make it as a musician. I wasn’t a huge fan of this book either. It just tried to be too hip and cool with all of these references to obscure bands.

4. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Etta, the protagonist of the book, is a violin virtuoso. She wants to debut as a professional but then finds out that she comes from a family of time travellers. What’s really cool about the time travel in this book, is that it incorporates music into it. Certain musical notes need to be played in order to open up the time travel passages.

5. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Music doesn’t play a huge part in this book but Jem Carstairs plays the violin and I just had to mention him because I love him so much ❤ That violin part in the epilogue KILLED me.

6. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

I read this book about 8 years ago so I don’t really remember how music was involved. I’m pretty sure the male love interest was in a band? Or the main character somehow goes through a healing process because of music?

7. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I started this book when it first came out but I had to put it down because life got really busy… and just never picked it back up. I remember music featuring pretty heavily in the first part of the book that I actually read. Also, they’re sharing earphones on the cover of the US edition, so I assume there’s a lot of music in this book.

8. The Chimes by Anna Smaill

Another book that I haven’t read. I’ve wanted to read this since I first heard about it mid last year. It’s set in a dystopian world where memories and writing don’t exist, and everybody has to rely on music? It sounds super intriguing and I know that the author is a violinist.

9. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

I haven’t read this book either but this whole book is about music. It features a girl who just can’t seem to fit in or make friends, but one day she stumbles upon party and discovers a love for DJing and some new friends who have a love for music.

10. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Haha another book I haven’t read. I know that this book has a lot of musical references and Nick is part of a band. Don’t actually know too much else.


Have you read any of these books and which do you recommend?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters Who Need to Join My Reverse Harem

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Because next week is Valentine’s Day, this week’s theme is Valentine’s Day. I’m going to be featuring ten characters who I adore and they totally all need to join my reverse harem right now. These are in my particular order but William Herondale is bae.


1. Will Herondale (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare)

What can I say about Will Herondale that hasn’t already been said? He’s smart, sexy, broody and is an amazing friend *heart eyes*. I just want him to read to me every night.

2. Jase Garrett (My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick)

I’ve said this many times before, but Jase is just the ultimate good guy. And we need more characters like him who are just super nice and caring, and have no unnecessary drama. Jase is amazing with his younger siblings and he can totally fix my car… when I buy one eventually.

3. Richard Gansey III (The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater)

Obviously I need an enigmatic rich boy in my reverse harem and Gansey is perfect for the role. He’s super smart and I love all of his little quirks. I just want to hug him all the time and protect him from all the bees.

4. Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

Kaz is cutthroat but is super sweet to the people he loves. And as much as I don’t want to split up Kaz and Inej… he really needs to join my harem. We could go sailing and then he can be all sweet and romantic with his “Stay in Ketterdam. Stay with me.” But I’m too much of a city girl…so I’ll probably end up ruining the moment by saying “Ketterdam sucks. Come to Australia.”

5. Rowan Whitethorn (Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas)

My sexy fae prince. I love Rowan’s determination and how he protects those he cares about. Also his possessiveness is just *squeeaaalls*

6. Prince Theron (Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch)

Theron was the character that I fell in love with straight away in Snow Like Ashes. He loves poetry and the arts, and he’s just really sweet and romantic. I don’t like Theron as much in Ice Like Fire but I’ll always be in love with first book Theron.

7. Captain Carswell Thorne (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)

I was tossing up between Prince Kai and Captain Thorne…but ultimately, I went with Thorne because he’s hilarious and will provide so much comic relief. All the other guys are pretty serious and intense, and Captain Thorne will bring all the fun! Plus he can drive a spaceship so… fun space adventures are in my future.

8. Cluck Corbeau (The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore)

I read The Weight of Feathers recently, and it’s become one of my favourite books. Cluck is just an amazing love interest. He’s another character that I want to hug and never let go of. He’s been through a lot but I’ll be sure to treat him well.

9. Jem Carstairs (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare)

I love Jem. Not as much as Will, but it’s pretty hard not to love Jem Carstairs. He’s so caring and loyal and unafraid to do what’s right. Even demonic cats love him. But mostly, he’s on this list because I just could not split up Will and Jem.

10. Willem De Ruiter (Just One Day by Gayle Forman)

Willem is another enigmatic character but I love that he’s a bit of a lost soul. He loves to travel, so we could travel around Europe together. He speaks French, Dutch and English… which I find extremely attractive. And he’s also super romantic… and I love romance.


So keeping in mind that all ten of these men belong to me (mwahahaha), who would you invite to join your harem?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books That I Read in 2015

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the group at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is top books of 2015, so I’ll be featuring my favourite books that I read this year. I’ll be posting my favourite YA releases of 2015 over at Happy Indulgence later this week and I’ll probably do a bookish awards post on this blog at the end of this month! Yep, you guessed it, this is just me cheating and not actually choosing favourites.

On to my favourite books I read this year… I’ve tried to put these into some sort of order, which was the toughest thing I’ve had to do this year… but I did it!

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Is anybody actually surprised by this one? This is my favourite book of all time! This novel follows Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a German Nazi youth, during WWII and what happens when their lives and stories converge. It has the most wonderful characters and plot, and the most beautiful writing I have ever read. PICK UP THIS BOOK!!! JUST DO IT!

(Btw, I have a 6-month blogoversary Twitter giveaway for this book here, ending on December 25 at 11:59pm ADST).

2. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

This book was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize earlier this year, which was what pushed me to pick it up. A Little LIfe follows four men from their teens until their 50s or 60s. We see their failures and their successes and their relationships. But mostly, this book is about Jude, who ties the four of them together, and his struggle to belong to the group and to the world. This book broke my heart into so many pieces that I’m still slowly putting it back together again. It was amazing and definitely worthy of being a Man Booker Finalist!

3. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

My favourite YA novel of all time, I’ll Give You the Sun is about two twins, Jude and Noah, who used to be close but have drifted apart after a family tragedy. They each hold secrets that have kept them apart for years but if they come together again, they can piece those secrets together to form a complete picture of what happened. This book explores so many different kids of relationships and it has beautiful writing that will have you feeling all the feels.

4. Winter by Marissa Meyer

This is the last book in The Lunar Chronicles and was my favourite sci-fi/fantasy read of the year. It was epic, intense and had everything I could’ve wanted. The ending was so satisfying and everything was resolved so neatly (perhaps too neatly, but I don’t care). I’m so sad that this is over and I highly recommend this series, if you haven’t read it. It’s my favourite series of all time!

5. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess is the last book in The Infernal Devices trilogy. I absolutely love the Shadowhunter books and this was an amazing trilogy. For me, this is so much better than The Mortal Instruments, and I’d recommend it even if you didn’t like TMI. Clockwork Princess was an absolutely heartwrenching finale. It had me in tears for most of the book and the bromance in this trilogy is just unbeatable. The best.

6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. I was a bit skeptical about Rainbow Rowell’s first fantasy novel, especially because I skimmed through a lot of the Simon Snow sections in Fangirl. But this book was a pleasant surprise and had me raving about it for weeks! Carry On is about Simon Snow, the most pathetic superhero of all time. He isn’t able to control his magic and half the time he ends up blowing up the place. But now he needs to figure out how to save the magical world before it’s destroyed by the villainous Humdrum! This book has my OTP of the year! SnowBaz was just adorable and I’ll go down with this ship!

7. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Set in the Grisha world from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, Six of Crows follows a group of six misfits as they travel across the Grishaverse to pull off an extraordinary heist. This book is epic, action-packed and exciting! It has the most wonderful ships that I’m totally on board with. The writing was fantastic and the whole book was just mindblowing!!

8. Just One Day by Gayle Forman

My very first Gayle Forman read has made it into my favourites of the year! Just One Day follows Allyson, a recent American high school graduate, who is on a student tour around Europe. On one of her last days in Europe, she meets a mysterious but attractive Dutch boy named Willem, who invites her on a day trip to Paris before she returns home. She accepts and they spend a romantic day in Paris but when she wakes up the next day, Willem has disappeared. The rest is a coming of age story as Allyson tries to fly away from her mother’s restrictive nest and find her way back to Europe and to Willem. This book had the most amazing coming of age story. The character development in Allyson was astounding and I also thoroughly enjoyed Gayle Forman’s writing!

9. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

A Romeo and Juliet reimagining, My Life Next Door blew my mind! Samantha Reed is the daughter of a senator and her mother has always hated the loud family next door who can’t stop adding kids to their already large family. Sam is forbidden from interacting with the Garretts next door but when she meets Jase Garrett, she can’t stay away. This book was a wonderful story about love, family and doing the right thing. It had the most amazing characters and I am in love with Jase, who I call ‘the ultimate good guy’.

10. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series and it was a fantastic continuation. It’s probably my favourite book of the series so far (though Heir of Fire comes a veeeerrrry close second. Or maybe they’re tied. I can’t decide!). This instalment had the most amazing climax and resolution and it had me bouncing in my seat and so excited for Book 5 to come out!


Are any of these books your favourite? Let me know what your top 3 books of the year are and I’ll be sure to check them out! Don’t forget to head over to Happy Indulgence on Sunday to see what my favourite 2015 releases are!

Pastry Book Tag

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I have the biggest sweet tooth, so when Jesse @ Books at Dawn tagged me to do the Pastry Book Tag, I just had to do it. I was so excited that I even modified my usual tag header into a pastry-themed one.


CROISSANT: NAME A POPULAR BOOK OR SERIES THAT EVERYONE (INCLUDING YOU) LOVES

clockworkangel clockworkprinceclockworkprincessIs there anybody out there who actually doesn’t like The Infernal Devices?! I love this series so, so much. Clockwork Princess is probably my favourite series finale ever!


MACARON: NAME A BOOK THAT WAS HARD TO GET THROUGH BUT WORTH IT AT THE END

alittlelife Man… this book.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara was amazing but my heart suffered such a beating. This novel gave me so many feels and I just felt emotionally drained after each chapter. It was also a 720 page book so it took me forever to get through it.

But it was completely worth it because A Little Life has become one of my favourite books of all time. It’s truly beautiful.


VOL-AU-VENT: NAME A BOOK THAT YOU THOUGHT WOULD BE AMAZING BUT FELL FLAT

i-was-here I was expecting a lot of great things from I Was Here by Gayle Forman but unfortunately, it fell a little bit short. Just One Day is one of my favourite YA books, and I also loved her If I Stay duology, so I thought I Was Here would blow my mind. It wasn’t a terrible book by any means – I still gave it 3 stars – but I was just expecting a lot more from it.

I just found the plot to be a little bit lacking and I don’t think the issue of teen suicide was dealt with well enough. I also wasn’t a fan of the romance.


PAIN AU CHOCOLAT: NAME A BOOK THAT YOU THOUGHT WOULD BE ONE THING BUT TURNED OUT TO BE SOMETHING ELSE

findingaudrey Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella was one that I was pleasantly surprised by. Going into the book, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to connect with the main character, who’s only 14 years old. But I ended up loving Audrey’s voice and really connected with her.

I was kind of worried that the anxiety aspects of the book wouldn’t be handled well but I was so wrong about that. I was also a bit wary of the book because I thought it would be a ‘love cures all’ kind of story but I didn’t find that to be the case at all.


PROFITEROLE: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT DOESN’T GET ENOUGH ATTENTION

missperegrines hollow-citylibrary-of-soulsI read the Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children series recently and my mind was blown by how great it was! I also have reviews for Hollow City and Library of Souls.


CROQUEMBOUCHE: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT’S EXTREMELY COMPLEX

snowlikeashes icelikefireSnow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch has such a grand and complex world. There are 8 kingdoms in this world – 4 are Season kingdoms that only experience one season all year round; the other 4 are Rhythm kingdoms that experience all four seasons. The magic system is also really complex and will be explored further in Ice Like Fire, I’m sure. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.


NAPOLEON: NAME A MOVIE OR TV SHOW BASED OFF A BOOK THAT YOU LIKED BETTER THAN THE BOOK ITSELF

gossip-girl This is an interesting one. I can’t think of a movie adaptation that I thought was better than the book. And I don’t really watch a lot of TV (I mainly watch Japanese dramas and variety shows). But one that sticks out in my mind is Gossip Girl.

I read the Gossip Girl books by Cecily von Zeigesar about a year or two before the TV show came out and my 14 year old self thought they were really good. But the TV show is sooo much better than the book series. I’m glad it deviated from the books.


EMPANADA: NAME A BOOK THAT WAS BITTERSWEET

morehappythannot I don’t have an image of empanadas being bittersweet. To me, they’re just awesome, but we’ll roll with it.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera was a book that I gave 4.5 stars to. But I thought the first third of the book was just boring. I didn’t like the characters and didn’t connect with any of them and I was really close to quitting the book. But it got exponentially better after the 100 page mark, and the end of the book gave me so many feels. I ugly cried for a really long time.


KOLOMPEH: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT TAKES PLACE SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN YOUR HOME COUNTRY

theminiaturist Pretty much every book is set in a country other than Australia so I had a lot of options for this one. I decided to go for something a little different and not choose something set in the US or the UK.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton is set in 17th century Amsterdam in the Netherlands. This is the only book that I’ve read that’s set in 17th century Amsterdam and I found the setting and the whole time period to be fascinating! I learnt so much about Dutch history from this book and I thought it was a wonderful read.


PATE A CHOUX: NAME A FOOD FROM A BOOK OR SERIES THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO TRY

toalltheboys ps-i-still-love-youI was not creative with this at all but I couldn’t think of anything.

Because this is a pastry/sweets challenge, I decided to go with all of the cookies and cakes that Lara-Jean from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and PS. I Still Love You. All the baked goods that were mentioned in this duology made me so hungry!


I TAG:


Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Author Duos I’ve Love To See Write A Book Together

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is author collaborations I’d love to see. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the team at The Broke and The Bookish. I feel like I chose a lot of authors who have similar writing styles to pair together, instead of being creative and choosing vastly different authors. But oh well. Why change things up when they work?


1. Jandy Nelson & Gayle Forman

jandynelson gayleformanCoincidentally this was the example that Jamie from The Broke and The Bookish gave for this week’s prompt. I agreed so much with it! I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson is my favourite YA book, and the Just One Day/Year duology by Gayle Forman is also one of my firm favourites. I would love to see a collaboration between them. It would have the most beautiful writing!


2. Tahereh Mafi & Ransom Riggs

taherehmafi ransomriggsThis is kind of cheating because I still haven’t read the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi… (I did recently read the Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children trilogy by Ransom Riggs though). I just had to put this down as a collaboration though because they’re a married couple. I think they’d work so well together and it would just be an awesome time!


3. Cassandra Clare & Rick Riordan

cassieclarerickriordanCheating again because I haven’t read anything by Uncle Rick yet. Sorry! I will get onto that mission soon. One day I will be caught up. One day.

A while ago when I was at a Cassie Clare event, she mentioned that she absolutely loves Rick Riordan. So for Cassie’s sake, I’d love to see them get together and write a fantasy series!


4. Jenny Han & Becky Albertalli

jenny han View More: http://thedecisivemoment.pass.us/becky-headshotsJenny Han and Becky Albertalli both write the sweetest books! I mean there are cookies and baked goods on almost every page of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and there are Oreos in Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Yup, I want this collaboration solely because of food. I have a sweet tooth okay?! Who can resist cookies?


5. Patrick Ness & Maggie Stiefvater

patrickness maggiestiefvaterI’ve only read one Patrick Ness book (as I’m writing this up I am reading my second, A Monster Calls), but I’ve been told by many that he’s a bit of a literary genius. Maggie Stiefvater is a jack of all trades and a genius herself.

What happens when two geniuses come together to write a book? Best. Book. Ever. Undoubtedly.


6. Sarah J. Maas & Sara Raasch

sjmaas sararaaschThe Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas and Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch are two of my favourites. They’ve both got AMAZING worlds and some fierce female protagonists. I’d love to see them come together and create another epic world and charming characters. Plus they’re both young and they could be besties (coz I’m totally in a position to decide this).


7. David Levithan & Patrick Ness

davidlevithan patricknessSo remember what I said about Patrick Ness being a literary genius? To me, David Levithan is a literary genius. I’ve loved every single one of his books that I’ve read. They’re both incredible writers and I think they could come together and write a fantastic diverse book. It would have great writing and can you imagine the feels you would get? (coz feels are totally additive like that)


8. Maggie Stiefvater & Holly Black

maggiestiefvater hollyblackMaggie Stiefvater is a really quirky writer and her books have a really great paranormal/creepy vibe (speaking from my experience with the Shiver trilogy and what I know about The Raven Cycle). When I read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, I kind of felt the same vibe. They both write paranormal books set in creepy small towns.


9. Ransom Riggs & Marissa Meyer

ransomriggs marissameyerI think this would be a really cool collaboration! I LOVE Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and I also love Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. I would love to see a sci-fi series (maybe another fairytale retelling?) featuring peculiar children with special abilities. Or maybe the peculiar children from Miss Peregrine’s can time travel to the future?! I want this!


10. Sarah J. Maas & Susan Dennard

sjmaas susandennardI think this collaboration is already happening actually. If you weren’t aware Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard are besties. It would be awesome to write with your best friend. I think they’d bring out the best in each other and they probably know each other so well that their book would be super seamless and cohesive. Plus the writing process would be so much fun!


Do you agree with any of these collaborations? Which authors would you like to see write a book together? And which released collaborations do you love and recommend?

My Life In Books Tag

my-life-in-books-tag

Hey all! I feel like I haven’t done a tag for a while so today I’ll be doing the My Life In Books Tag, which I thought was really interesting. I was tagged by Cristina @ My Tiny Obsessions. Go check out her post and her blog if you haven’t already!


1. FIND A BOOK FOR EACH OF YOUR INITIALS

justoneday landline zeroesJ: Just One Day
L: Landline
Z: Zeroes

I loved both Just One Day and Landline and hopefully I’ll love Zeroes just as much the others!


2. COUNT YOUR AGE ALONG YOUR BOOKSHELF – WHICH BOOK IS IT?

the-dream-thievesI have multiple shelves so I chose my hardcover YA shelf since it’s my favourite 🙂

The Dream Thieves is the second book in The Raven Cycle, which I have yet to read. But I own the three books that are currently out so I will be marathoning them in November, don’t you worry! I’ve heard amazing, amazing things about it, so I can’t wait to finally read them! And I’m weirdly excited for the last book to be released, even though I haven’t started the series yet…


3. PICK A BOOK SET IN YOUR CITY/STATE/COUNTRY.

theflywheel narrowroadThe Flywheel by Erin Gough is set in Sydney, which is where I was born and bred. I absolutely love this book!

My second pick is The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, which won the Man Booker Prize last year. It’s set partly in Australia and partly in Japanese Prisoner of War camps.


4. PICK A BOOK THAT REPRESENTS A DESTINATION YOU WOULD LOVE TO TRAVEL TO.

isla I could have chosen any of Stephanie Perkins’ books but I chose Isla and the Happily Ever After for this because this novel features so many different cities!

A lot of the book is set in Paris where Isla and Josh go to school but they’re also New Yorkers so parts of the book are set in New York City as well. I’ve been to New York before but I would totally love to go again! In the novel, Isla and Josh also take a trip to Barcelona (I think?) and that would be really awesome as well.


5. PICK A BOOK THAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR.

allthelight paperweightI don’t really have a favourite colour… but I love blues and greens. I particularly love forest green, mint, teal, aquamarine, navy (okay so any shade of blue or green).

I chose All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr because it’s got so many shades of blue. And I also really love the colour of Paperweight by Meg Haston!


6. WHICH BOOK DO YOU HAVE THE FONDEST MEMORIES OF?

harry-potter-and-the-prisoner-of-azkaban I had so many options for this question. My childhood was spent reading books by Enid Blyton – I loved the Adventures of the Wishing Chair and The Enchanted Forest. I also remember my Year 2 teacher reading Blinky Bill, and Snugglepot and Cuddlepie to us (I now own hardcover illustrated versions of those books).

But ultimately I have to go with a Harry Potter book because that series was my childhood. I chose my favourite, which is The Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s also my favourite of the movies!


7. WHICH BOOK DID YOU HAVE THE MOST DIFFICULTY READING?

ulysses This has to go to Ulysses by James Joyce. I read this back in June in celebration of Bloomsday (which is the day that Ulysses is set in – yes this massive book takes place within 24 hours).

This beast of a book took me 2 whole weeks to get through and I wanted to quit so many times during my reading of it. The writing was super hard to understand and my edition had almost 700 pages, even with the tiny text that it was printed in. The stream of consciousness sections just made me go “WTF?!” so many times!


8. WHICH BOOK IN YOUR TBR PILE WILL GIVE YOU THE BIGGEST SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT WHEN YOU FINISH IT?

the-complete-works-of-oscar-wilde I am a huge fan of Oscar Wilde. My favourite classic of all time is The Picture of Dorian Gray (though To Kill A Mockingbird is a very close second).

I’ve loved everything of his that I’ve ever read, especially his short stories for children. I ended up buying this Complete Works of Oscar Wilde in my last year of high school because I wanted to read some of his lesser known works. It’ll probably take me forever to get through but I’ll feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I do!


That is all for today! Can anyone guess my middle name? 😀

I’m going to tag a couple of people:

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

top-ten-books-so-far-2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie week so I’ve chosen to feature ten of my favourite titles that I’ve read so far in 2015. I believe this was a topic back in June but I missed out because I hadn’t started doing Top Ten Tuesday posts. I’ve read 144 books so far this year, so the 10 that I’ve chosen to feature are the creme de la creme of them all (in my opinion).

My Top Ten Tuesday lists are usually in no particular order, but today I’ve tried to put them into some sort of order for you, starting with the book in the 10th place position.


10. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin:

This is a book that I think all book lovers would enjoy. I definitely enjoyed it immensely when I read it in March. It centres on the life of A.J. Fikry, a grumpy bookstore owner who has had some terrible luck in the last 18 months. He feels like there’s nothing good in life, but one day he finds a package left in the children’s section of his bookstore – a baby. He then cares for this baby as if she’s his own and he is transformed in the process. This book contains so many kinds of love: familial love, romantic love and of course, love for books. It had so many heartwarming moments and also a lot of heartbreaking ones too.

9. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli:

I read this novel in April and it is one of my favourite diverse books that I’ve read this year. (For more diverse recommendations, check out my previous Top Ten Tuesday post on diverse characters. I also recommend David Levithan’s books.) This was a cute and light-hearted LGBTQIA+ book that also contained some serious messages. I think this book is masterful in the way that it was able to shine a light on the issues without being an angst-filled and heavy novel.

This novel follows Simon who is emailing another boy called Blue. They are both gay but have not come out yet. Somebody then stumbles across Simon’s emails to Blue and starts blackmailing Simon. Through the process, Simon and Blue are able to find the courage to embrace who they are and even fall in love.

8. SNOW LIKE ASHES – Sara Raasch:

Snow Like Ashes is the first book in a fantasy trilogy. I read this in August and I fell in love with the world and the characters. It is set in a fascinating world that is split into 8 unique kingdoms. The book was intense and action-packed and I need the next book, Ice Like Fire, RIGHT NOW.

7. MY LIFE NEXT DOOR – Huntley Fitzpatrick:

I only discovered Huntley Fitzpatrick this year when I read her books in July. My Life Next Door is the kind of contemporary novel I enjoy. The pace of it is just right and it contains some very sophisticated writing.

This book is inspired by Romeo and Juliet, and it follows Samantha and Jase who are next door neighbours. Sam’s mother is very put together and controlling, and she hates the Garretts who have moved next door. The Garretts are loud and there are 7 kids in the family. I loved the family elements that were explored in this book, and I really loved all of the characters in this book.

6. Just One Day – Gayle Forman:

This was the first Gayle Forman book I had ever read and it’s my favourite out of everything she’s written. I read this back in March and then marathoned Just One Year and Just One Night straight after. This book follows Allyson, who is a recent high school graduate. Her parents send her on a teenage tour around Europe. On her last day abroad, she meets a mysterious guy named Willem in London, and they decide to take an overnight trip to Paris. But when Allyson wakes up the next morning, Willem has disappeared. This is a book about self-discovery and Allyson is always the character that comes to mind first when I think about character development.

5. QUEEN OF SHADOWS – Sarah J. Maas:

This is the fourth instalment in the Throne of Glass series. This was released at the beginning of this month so it’s a very recent read for me. This is my favourite book in the series so far. It’s filled with so much drama, action and revenge! Plus the romance in the book… my ship is sailing!

4. Clockwork Princess – Cassandra Clare:

Clockwork Princess is the last book in The Infernal Devices trilogy. I read this in May. It was definitely the best series finale I’ve ever read. It made me love, it made me ugly-cry and it made me so happy too. This is my favourite book of Cassandra Clare’s.

3. I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson:

I read this book at the end of February and it is by far my favourite YA book I’ve read this year. It won the Printz Award 2015 and I think it was well deserved. I’ll Give You The Sun is heartwarming, funny, romantic and quirky. It follows Jude and Noah, twins, who used to be very close up until they turned 13. They’ve each kept secrets from the other and told lies but now, at 16, they need to come back to each other and ‘remake the world’. The novel is written from dual perspectives and dual timelines. We see Noah’s side of the story from when they’re 13 and Jude narrates their 16 year old lives.

Go read this book. You won’t regret it!

2. A LITTLE LIFE – Hanya Yanagihara:

A Little Life is a recent read for me, but it has become my second favourite book I’ve ever read. It’s been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year and I think it’s absolutely brilliant. The novel follows four men, who were college roommates, from their college years up until their 50s or 60s. It’s a real and haunting story about the ordinary and extraordinary moments in life. The story has really stuck with me and I still think about it even now.

If this sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to check out my review, as well as other reviews, because this book contains some very mature themes as well as some triggers.

1. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE – Anthony Doerr:

This should come as no surprise to anybody who has been following my blog for a while. This is my favourite book of all time. Ever since I read it back in February, I’ve been recommending it to everybody I see (including strangers at bookstores) and I’ve bought it for 3 of my friends for their birthdays this year. It is also the 2015 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

This is a World War II historical fiction novel about a blind French girl and an orphaned German Nazi youth, and how their stories eventually intertwine. This book has some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read and a story that has stuck with me for the last 6 months.


Honourable Mentions:


What are your favourite books you’ve read this year?