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?

Wrap Up: September 2016

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Where did the time even go?  How is it even October already? This year has definitely flown by and so has the month of September. I had lots of reading plans in September. I got my wisdom teeth removed earlier this week and I thought I’d have a lot of reading time during my recovery. Turns out, it doesn’t really work that way and I spent most of my time just sleeping. But even though I haven’t made the most of my time off, I still managed to read quite a lot of books this month. Here’s my reading summary and full reviews are linked.

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1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – J.K. Rowling  4 stars

This was a really interesting guidebook to the different magical creatures in the Harry Potter world. It wasn’t the most entertaining book but it was super informative and made me feel like I was back in the world.

2. Empire of Storms – Sarah J. Maas  45 stars

I was super impressed by this fifth installment of the Throne of Glass series. It wasn’t as good as Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows in my opinion but it was a nice continuation to the series. The plot is really starting to come together and I’m really excited about the finale!

3. The Realm of Possibility – David Levithan  4 stars

I’ve had this book for a while and had never picked it up. I went to a few David Levithan events in recent weeks and hearing him talk about his work made me want to pick up some more of his books that I still have yet to read. This book is written in verse and was a really nice easy read about love and everything that comes with it.

4. Trial by Fire – Josephine Angelini  3 stars

This is the first book in the Worldwalker trilogy and I was a bit underwhelmed by it. I didn’t connect with any of the characters and I thought the plot was a bit clumsy and confused. This book just wasn’t for me.

5. PS. I Like You – Kasie West  4 stars

I love Kasie West because all of her books are so cute and fluffy. PS. I Like You was no exception. It was so full of sugary cuteness that I sped through it in one sitting. The book is about a girl who exchanges letters with a boy who sits at the same desk as her at school, and I just absolutely adored it.

6. It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover  35 stars

I’ve heard countless good things about this latest Colleen Hoover novel. Unfortunately I didn’t really connect with the story emotionally. I found it to be a bit dull and the characters also came across as a bit boring to me. I did like the issues that the book explored but I didn’t think the book was amazing by any means. (Trigger warning for domestic violence and abuse).

7. The Thousandth Floor – Katharine McGee  45 stars

I was completely unprepared for how much I loved this novel! It’s the first book in a new trilogy and I loved it so much that I couldn’t stop raving about it for days. It’s a futuristic Gossip Girl-like story set in a world where Manhattan is literally inside a 1000-storey tower. I loved the technology and the world of this book and also really liked the characters and their stories.

8. The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You – Lily Anderson  45 stars

This was another adorable contemporary story. It’s a retelling of Much Ado About Nothing and is set at a high school for geniuses. I loved the entire cast of characters in this book and I thought the main characters, Beatrice and Benedict, were absolutely fantastic and relatable. There are lots of nerdy references in the book and I highly enjoyed the plot.

9. Twenty Boy Summer – Sarah Ockler  35 stars

I love Sarah Ockler’s writing and stories and I also really enjoyed Twenty Boy Summer. However, I think you could really tell that this was her debut novel because it wasn’t as polished as her other novels. Despite that, I still really enjoyed it and I liked that it explored the theme of grief in an interesting and relatable way.

10. Between the Lives – Jessica Shirvington  45 stars

Jessica Shirvington hasn’t disappointed me yet. I loved her Disruption duology and this was just as good. The story follows our main character, Sabine, who lives two separate lives. Every 24 hours, she Shifts into her other life and lives that day over again. I loved the concept of this book and I loved Sabine as a character. I thought the plot of the story was spectacular and I can’t wait to read some more of Jessica Shirvington’s work.

11. Our Chemical Hearts – Krystal Sutherland  3 stars

This was a highly anticipated contemporary release for me and I was left extremely underwhelmed. Pretty much nothing happens for a good 80% of the book and I was just extremely bored. There are also some Manic Pixie Dream Girl elements and it took a lot of willpower for me to continue the novel. I considered DNFing at 100 pages and, in hindsight, I probably should have.

12. The Hating Game – Sally Thorne  5 stars

The Hating Game was a book that I didn’t know I needed. It’s one of the most adorable office romances that I’ve read and every single page of this book gave me intense contemporary romance feels. The main character, Lucy, is absolutely wonderful and I could read 100 more books about her.

13. Heartless – Marissa Meyer  35 stars

I’ve been highly anticipating this novel since Winter came out earlier this year. I loved The Lunar Chronicles and I really love Marissa Meyer’s writing. But I thought Heartless was just… okay. It took me a while to get through the book because I wasn’t really excited by the plot or the characters. I also thought that the romance lacked spark and I just wasn’t feeling it.

14. Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo  5 stars

Oh man… this is probably my favourite novel that I’ve read so far this year. There was literally nothing that I didn’t like about this sequel and it’s definitely on par with Six of Crows. The characters were perfect, the plot was perfect and the writing and pace were perfect. I’ve already read this book twice and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be rereading it again soon.

15. Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur  5 stars

I very rarely read poetry but I really, really enjoyed this collection from Rupi Kaur. There were a lot of free verse poems and that made the experience a little bit easier for me. What I really loved about it was that it was feminist and empowering and I think it’s an important read for all women.

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I only did two Top Ten Tuesday posts in September but I loved both of the topics!

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 XD

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Everyone Loves But I Just Don’t Get

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the team at The Broke and the Bookish. Today I’ll be featuring some well-loved characters that I just don’t really like, or don’t understand the obsession with. I’m sorry if any of my responses offend anyone. Just know that I’m not judging anybody for their love of a character.

1. The Darkling (The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo)

I don’t fully understand everyone’s obsession with the Darkling. I mean, I was intrigued by him in Shadow and Bone and was really excited to read more about him, but his character went downhill after that first book. There was hardly any character development and he went from being an interesting character to just being super evil and creepy. For me, his character was just a wasted opportunity.

2. Chaol Westfall (Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas)

I really like Chaol as a character but I was never Team Chaol. In Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, I was Team Dorian and now I’m firmly in Team Rowan. I like Chaol’s personality and what he stands for but I don’t really understand why everybody is in love with him. But that’s the thing with ships I guess… we can’t always agree.

3. Jacob Black (Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer)

I feel like this is one that a lot of readers will understand. What was even the point of Jacob Black in that whole series? His character was so unnecessary (New Moon as a book was basically unnecessary) and it would have been a much more enjoyable series if he wasn’t in it.

4. Ron Weasley (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

I’ve never really liked Ron… He’s kind of annoying and wimpy . He’s funny, I’ll give him that, but I would’ve enjoyed the series just as much if Ron wasn’t in it.

5. Mather Loren (Snow Like Ashes trilogy by Sara Raasch)

I’ve been Team Theron since the beginning of this trilogy, but even when Theron’s character went downhill, I wasn’t a big fan of Mather. I don’t really understand how people switched ships. I can understand people jumping off the Theron love boat but just because you no longer like one love interest as much, doesn’t mean that you need to fall in love with the other. It’s not a mutually exclusive thing for me. I dunno… someone please tell me what’s so great about Mather!

6. Charlotte Holmes (A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro)

A Study in Charlotte was a book that I was completely underwhelmed by and it was mostly due to the characters. Charlotte Holmes in this book is a carbon copy of Sherlock Holmes from the BBC tv show. There’s nothing original about her and she’s probably 3000x more annoying that a character should be. I was just completely unimpressed by her.

7. Safiya fon Hasstrel (Truthwitch by Susan Dennard)

This is one that I can kind of understand. I thought Safi was a really strong character but she was so super annoying for most of the book! I didn’t completely understand what was so special about her and she just came across as another badass female heroine.

8. Tarver Merendsen (These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner)

I just wasn’t a big fan of this book overall. I didn’t like either of the main characters and because the character development and romance was such a big part of the book, I ended up not really connecting with it. Tarver was a pretty boring character in my opinion. He was resourceful and strong but that’s all there was to him. I don’t really see what people are going on about when it comes to this book and the romance.

9. Adam Parrish (The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater)

I feel like there are so many people who are in love with Adam from The Raven Cycle and I don’t really see it. He was super annoying in The Raven Boys, and while his character does get a little bit better as the series goes on, I’m still not the biggest fan of him. I don’t really understand his actions or his thought processes and he kind of makes me uncomfortable…

10. Rhysand (A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas)

Okay, this is one that I’m still on the fence about. I can kind of see why people are interested in him and I can also see myself growing to like him as we get to see more of him… but based on his actions and what we did see of him in ACOTAR, I don’t really agree with everybody’s obsession with him. He’s a bit of a dick, if I’m honest.


Let me know if you agree with any of these!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Villains / Morally Ambiguous Characters

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Welcome back to another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie week, so I’ve chosen to feature some of my favourite villains and morally ambiguous characters. These are in no particular order.


1. Queen Levana (The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer)

The Lunar Chronicles is my favourite series and one of the reasons why I love it so much is because of the villain in the series. Queen Levana is so evil and complex and I just loved her and thought she was a great villain.

2. Mayor Prentiss (Chaos Walking – Patrick Ness)

Mayor Prentiss is terrifying! He was so evil in the first book of the series and I loved that about him. But then I read the second book, and his motives and intentions were so morally ambiguous that I had no idea what to think of him… which made him even more terrifying.

3. Manon Blackbeak (Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas)

I loved Manon from the first time I met her in Heir of Fire. She’s fierce, fearless and just cutthroat. But she also has a soft side and I can’t wait for Sarah to explore that side of her a little bit more in the remaining books.

4. King Angra (Snow Like Ashes – Sara Raasch)

This guy is just pure evil. Totally terrifying and I’m kinda scared for the last book of the trilogy, Frost Like Night.

5. Max (Max – Sarah Cohen-Scali)

Max is not a villain. But he’s a child born into the ‘Lebensborn’ program, groomed to become a Hitler youth and fight for Germany during WWII. This whole book was about Max’s childhood, from his birth in 1936 until he’s found by the UNRRA after Germany’s defeat.

6. Bellatrix Lestrange (Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling)

I love Bellatrix. She’s absolutely batshit crazy and scary. I especially love Helena Bonham-Carter as Bellatrix in the movies!

7. Arobynn (Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas)

Arobynn is just the biggest asshole and I still haven’t forgiven him for what happened in The Assassin’s Blade. But he’s such a confusing and complex character that I couldn’t help but be intrigued.

8. Aeduan (Truthwitch – Susan Dennard)

Aeduan is arguably my favourite character in Truthwitch. He’s so mysterious and interesting, and I can’t wait to find out more about him and his connection to some characters that are mentioned.

9. Mr Gray (The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater)

Mr Gray appeared to be the villain of The Dream Thieves but Maggie Stiefvater never ceases to surprise her readers with how complex her characters are. We not only got to see his villainous side, but also his fear and the more human side of him that just wants to belong. I loved his character.

10. Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling)

Draco is my favourite character of the series and I had to include him in this list.


I know, I know. I didn’t include The Darkling on this list… but that’s because I don’t really like him that much. Sorry! Who are your favourite villains?