Top Ten Tuesday: All-Time Favourite Book Covers

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Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday post. This is a weekly feature that’s hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is actually ‘All-time favourite books from X genre’ and I was really excited to share my favourites but then I realised that I talk about my favourites all the time and you’re probably sick of hearing about the same books over and over again. I was fully intending to skip this week’s TTT but then inspiration struck when I couldn’t stop raving about how beautifully packaged The Thousandth Floor is. So my topic for today’s list is “all-time favourite book covers”. I also happen to really love all of these books on my list so take this as my list of recommendations!

1. The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

Since this whole list is inspired by this book, it had to be at the top of my list. I love everything about this cover and how this book is packaged. It has a beautiful smooth texture and a beautiful embossed title. The spine is also amazing and is probably my favourite part of this whole book. The endpapers are also stunning and finally, when you undress the book, the naked hardcover has the title on it in beautiful gold lettering.

2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This is my favourite book of all time and there really isn’t any part of it that I don’t absolutely love. The cover is stunning. I love the colours and that the cover is slightly shimmery. It’s so beautiful!!

3. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

This novel is one of my favourite reads of 2016 so far. I love the colours on the cover, as well as the feathers and the branches. I just think that it’s very beautifully simplistic.

4. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

This cover is just stunning. The illustration of the bird is so detailed and I could spend hours and hours just staring at it and trying to figure it out. I have the Australian paperback edition but I’ve seen the UK hardcover addition and omg it’s BEAUTIFUL.

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

The picture I’ve included doesn’t do this cover justice. It’s absolutely beautiful in real life and the debossed lines on the cover, as well as on the naked hardback is not only beautiful to the eyes but wonderful to touch. This is my favourite YA novel of all time and I’m so happy that it has an insanely pretty cover too.

6. Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

I love not only the illustrations on the cover, which are so stunning and detailed, but also the texture of the cover. I have the hardcover edition and it’s got a wonderful matte cover and I love touching it so much!

7. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I love the covers of all three books in this trilogy but I had to mention this one because it’s the first. I think the covers of Hollow City and Library of Souls are really mysterious and unique but this first book just has a really iconic cover. I love that it’s greyscale and that it’s just so peculiar!

8. The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

I mean, just look at this cover. Just look at it! The colours are so pretty and there’s nothing that I can say about it that you can’t already see.

9. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

What I love most about this book is the texture of it. The black hole on the cover is stitched and I love feeling the raised bits of thread. I don’t like that it’s not centred but other than that, it’s perfection. I also really love the debossed black hole on the naked hardcover.

10. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

I love the font and the embossed lettering of the title. When I first got this book, I couldn’t stop feeling it. I also really like the bottle and the ship. I just think that it’s a beautifully designed cover!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Books with School Settings

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It’s been weeks and weeks since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday. This is mainly because I haven’t really had the time to respond to comments and I always feel bad about leaving my Top Ten Tuesday comments unanswered for weeks. But I love the topic of this week, so I’m gonna go ahead and do it. Today, I’m featuring some of my favourite books that have school settings. I love pretty much all books that are set in school and I’m excited to share some of my favourites. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the team at The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Duh! How could I not include the Harry Potter series on this list?

2. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On is one of my favourite books of all time because it’s a wonderfully hilarious Chosen One story that’s set at a magic school. If you love Harry Potter, you will love this (as long as you don’t compare the two).

3. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Nevernight is a wonderful story about an assassin who goes to the Red Church, a school of assassins. The things that happen there are super brutal and intense but it was such a fantastic school setting. I loved it!

4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Not only is Fangirl one of my favourite books with school settings, it’s one of my favourite contemporary novels of all time. This book has a really great college setting and I loved the role that school played in Cath’s story.

5. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

And while I’m at it, let’s include a third Rainbow Rowell book on this list. I read Eleanor & Park recently and it was what really made me want to do this Top Ten Tuesday post. Eleanor and Park meet and interact mostly on the school bus and my heart was just so full of happiness at this. However, it’s not all just fun and games on the bus. Eleanor is bullied quite badly at school and I enjoyed how this was incorporated.

6. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After is my favourite of Stephanie Perkins’ companion trilogy. I loved that it was set not only at a boarding school in Paris, but also partly in New York and Barcelona. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the dorm room aspect of the book a lot.

7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

School probably isn’t the first thing that I think of when I think about this novel but I did really like the school setting in this book. It’s a central part of the book and I thought it was wonderful.

8. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

In this alternate history novel, where the Great Library of Alexandria was not destroyed, the characters in the book attend an academy of sorts to learn to become librarians. It’s a really interesting world and the training that these apprentices go through were really intense but intriguing.

9. Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

This book is about a student-teacher relationship and is written from the perspective of seven different high school students. It’s about the relationships between the characters and the things that they learn from each other. This is one of the most realistic high school settings that I’ve read about and I highly enjoyed it.

10. The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub

Similar to Seven Ways We Lie, this Aussie YA novel is written from the perspective of five high schoolers who are all working on the yearbook together. They’re vastly different people but the things that they learn from each other and the relationships between them are what make the book so special.


What are some of your favourite books with school settings? I’d love to add them to my list because I love school ūüėÄ

Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release date: July 25, 2016
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Pages: 496
Goodreads || Book Depository

Destined to destroy empires Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Six years later, the child raised in the shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows loves her. And they drink her fear.

MY THOUGHTS

45 stars

I attended the launch of Nevernight in Sydney last week, where we were able to get finished copies of the book two weeks before release and have them signed by Jay Kristoff himself. It was a super fun event and I had loads of fun with other Sydney bloggers and fans.

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Nevernight is a dark fantasy about an assassin who attends The Red Church, a school that breeds assassins, in order to become skilled enough to take down the men who ruined her family six years ago. Along the way, she meets friends and foes and the path to revenge isn’t as easy as Mia thought.

I absolutely loved this book and it exceeded all of my expectations! I had heard so much pre-release hype and I was a little wary going into it since I’m more of a contemporary fan but I adored it and devoured it in a few sittings. It was dark and gruesome but so completely engaging and exciting and I couldn’t put it down. I did have some problems getting into the book at the start. The narration took me a few chapters to get used to and I found myself constantly having to reread sentences in the first few chapters. But once I got used to it, it was wonderful. The narrator has a very distinct voice and really enjoyed reading from his perspective (I’m assuming it’s a ‘he’). The other thing that made it hard for me to get into the book were the footnotes. There were lots and lots of footnotes for the first quarter of the book and they really took me out of the story and I felt like there wasn’t much flow to the book because of that. I tried ignoring the footnotes and read the story as it was but the footnotes contained some crucial information that I didn’t feel comfortable missing. Thankfully, there were far fewer footnotes in the second half of the novel and I was really able to just enjoy the story and the characters.

I was a big fan of the world in this book. It had an Ancient Rome-inspired fantasy setting and I thought the world building was brilliantly done. My only negative is that some of the world building is achieved through the footnotes and, like I mentioned above, they didn’t really work for me. Having said that, I got a really good sense of the culture, customs and religions of the world and thought it was nicely conceptualised. I also loved The Red Church and thought it was such a fun (errrrr… well brutally fun?) and interesting place. It had a really magical feel to it and the library in the school was magnificent!

“Your mind will serve you better than any trinket under the suns,” she’d said. “It is a weapon, Mia. And like any weapon, you need to practice to be any good at wielding it.”

Mia is one of my new favourite YA characters. She’s not afraid to do what it takes to get what she wants but she also displays a softer and more sensitive side. Even though she’s ruthless and has murder on her mind, she cares deeply for those around her and has a good sense of morality. Her decisions and thought processes were logical and I never once felt that she was overly dramatic or did things that were unrealistic. I absolutely loved her and I really cannot wait to read more about her and see her grow further. I also highly enjoyed some of the side characters, particularly Tric, who becomes somewhat of a love interest. I fell in love with Tric from the very beginning and my love for him only grew as the book progressed *clutches chest*. There were also other great characters at The Red Church but I won’t mention them by name because this post would last forever if I did. Just know that all of the characters were complex and multifaceted and I didn’t find any of them to be boring.

Overall, I loved Nevernight and thought it was a wonderful start to a new trilogy. The book isn’t even technically out yet but I cannot wait to get my hands on book 2!!!

Wrap Up: October 2015

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Hello everybody. Wow, the month has flown by pretty quickly! Where did all the time go? Before we get into what I read in October, I should share my exciting news that I announced last week. I am now a co-blogger at Happy Indulgence! Head over there to see more from me! My first post (a review of The Next Together) is now up!

I had a fabulous reading month in October. I read some pretty high quality books and I’m now 30 books away from my 2015 reading goal of 200 books! I think 15 books in November and December sounds doable (I’ve already finished my first book of November, this morning at 2am!)

Let’s get started with what books I read this month. As always, these appear in the order that I read them throughout the month and my reviews are linked.

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Reading summary header

1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs¬† 45 stars

A wonderfully mysterious and creepy book about a cast of peculiar children with peculiar powers living in the 1940s. It contains some amazing black and white photographs and beautiful writing!

2. Hollow City РRansom Riggs  5 stars

The second book in the Miss Peregrine’s trilogy. This was my favourite book in the trilogy and definitely was not a ‘filler’ book in the series. It had me dying to read the next book.

3. Library of Souls РRansom Riggs  45 stars

The final book in the Miss Peregrine’s trilogy. This was action-packed and thrilling, and everything I wanted this last book to be. Has a completely resolved ending and I’m sad that the series is over.

4. Zeroes РScott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti  35 stars

The first book in a new series about a group of kids with special abilities. It was exciting and filled with action. I fell in love with some of the characters and cannot wait to read more about them in the next book.

5. A Monster Calls РPatrick Ness  5 stars

This was a really dark and emotional read for me. It had a wonderful story with beautiful writing.. and it gave me all the feels.

6. Chewy Noh and the Fall of the Mu-Dang РTim Learn  35 stars

The first book in a middle-grade series by an indie author. This book features a Korean main character with a unique superpower and how he deals with his bullies!

7. Chewy Noh and the Phantasm of Winter РTim Learn  4 stars

The second book in the Chewy Noh series. It did a great job of blending in Korean mythology and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Korean culture.

8. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up РMarie Kondo  4 stars

The first non-fiction book I’ve read in a while – this book had lots of great tips and tricks on storage and decluttering.

9. A Little Something Different РSandy Hall  15 stars

This was an extremely disappointing new adult contemporary. It was written from 14 different perspectives and was done quite unsuccessfully. I had many problems with the plot, characters and writing.

10. Outspoken РLora Richardson  4 stars

This is probably the best self-published novel I’ve ever written. It was an incredible YA contemporary debut about finding your own voice.

11. Ice Like Fire РSara Raasch  35 stars

The second book in the Snow Like Ashes trilogy, this book fell a little bit flat for me. There wasn’t very much that happened plotwise, and many of the characters went through some massive changes.

12. The Next Together РLauren James  4 stars

A unique blend of contemporary, sci-fi, mystery and historical fiction. This book follows two characters that are reborn over and over, but end up together each time. It was filled with little notes and email exchanges and I thought it was a great debut novel.

13. Illuminae РAmie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff  4 stars

The first book in a sci-fi trilogy, Illuminae is written completely as a collection of classified materials. The formatting and graphics in the book were amazing and it was a unique reading experience.

14. The Billionaire’s Forbidden Desire – Nadia Lee¬† 4 stars

It’s been a while since I’ve read an adult romance book and this one caught my eye as I was browsing through the iBooks new releases. It was good but had too many sex scenes for my liking.

15. The Lake House РKate Morton  5 stars

This was my favourite book of the month. It’s a fantastic mystery, with the most beautiful writing and very realistic characters. I also loved the historical elements of the book and really enjoyed the 1930s Cornwall setting.

16. Shadow and Bone РLeigh Bardugo  35 stars

The first book in the Grisha trilogy, Shadow and Bone didn’t really wow me. It has some interesting characters and a world that I enjoyed reading about, but I found it to be a little bit lacking. A full review will be up soon.

T10T

This month I did four Top Ten Tuesday posts:


Thanks for visiting. Did you read any of these books this month and what did you think of it? What was your favourite book of October?

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release date: October 20, 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1760113808
Pages: 608
Goodreads || Book Depository || Booktopia

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, exes Kady and Ezra – who are barely even talking to each other – are forced to fight their way onto the evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But the warship is the least of their problems. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results. The fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what the hell is going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth and the courage of everyday heroes.

MY THOUGHTS

4 stars

Illuminae is an imaginative, epic and intense first instalment to a new sci-fi trilogy by Aussie authors, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. #LoveOzYA. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the book launch in Sydney and have my copy signed and personalised by Amie and Jay! I’m so happy to have this beautiful book in my possession.

The formatting and graphics of the book were definitely the standout aspect of Illuminae. It’s very creative and is a feast for the eyes. This book is written completely as a series of classified materials, including email exchanges, dossiers, radio transcripts, ASCII art, and the inner thoughts of an artificial intelligence system. It’s an extremely unique book with lots to look at! I really appreciated how much thought and work went into creating graphics that made sense with what was happening in the story. I wish I could show you some of my favourite pages but copyright issues… You’ll just have to pick up your own copy ūüôā

Despite being very impressed with the visual aspect of the book from the very beginning, I was less impressed with the plot. I had a very hard time getting into the book. The first couple of scenes were a bit confusing because names were just being dropped everywhere and I had no idea what was going on. Luckily there were a few pages that summarised everything that happened in the opening scene and I was able to immerse myself into the action. The following 150 pages were quite slow with nothing much happening, and I just found it to be a bit boring and underwhelming. During these first 200 pages, the most interesting aspect, for me, was the romance. The book picked up for me at about the 200 page mark, and that was when I started seeing what the hype was about.

The last half of the book was definitely more impressive. There’s a lot more action and intensity, and it had my heart racing because I never knew what was going to happen next. It was so thrilling and action-packed, and the last 150 pages of the book had some of my favourite pages to look at. Having said that, I felt like the book was just a bit too long. The plot felt very drawn out and I think the book could have been 100 pages shorter. We were getting a play by play of everything that happened and I think some of it could have been cut out. As I was reading, I kept wondering how this was going to be a trilogy because there’s so much that happens in just this first book. But¬†the ending was tied up really neatly and there’s definitely potential for more books – I just have no idea what will happen next.

Despite being written in such a impersonal format, I had a really good sense of who the characters were. I felt a little bit disconnected from them at the beginning, but as we got to see more of them, I started to really like our two main characters, Kady and Ezra. Kady was a fighter and I loved her strength and determination. It was also apparent what a good person she is, and I felt the same way about Ezra. But while I liked them separately, I loved them together. The romance between the two of them was what got me through the first third of the book. I thought they were adorable together and the banter between the two characters was really fun to read.

I wonder if she is the kind to dream of happy endings and never risk tragedy. The kind to close her eyes and hope, rather than force them open and see the truth, wonderful and terrible as it is.

There are some pretty gruesome things that happen on the spaceships – the authors definitely don’t hold back. There’s lots of blood and guts, and headless dead bodies lying on the ground. There’s a lot of death, and a lot of the characters that we get to know, end up dying in pretty sad and grotesque ways. It was interesting and scary to see how people act in life or death situations.¬†There’s also an artificial intelligence system (AIDAN) that may or may not¬†be psycho and it¬†was actually kind of terrifying to be able to hear the inner thoughts of a machine – especially one who won’t stop introspecting about everything. At first I thought AIDAN was really weird, but he/it really grew on me and I ended up loving his sections the most. They were the most interesting to read and¬†I liked that the last third of the book was dominated by AIDAN passages.

The one aspect that I found lacking was the world building. Because Illuminae is set almost entirely on spaceships, there’s not much information given about the planet they came from, or any of their potential destinations. We get to see blueprints of these spaceships (which was really cool!), but we don’t know very much about the workings of these spaceships, or what’s out there in space. I guess this really allows the authors to do whatever they want with the next two books, and introduce things that weren’t mentioned in Illuminae, but I would have liked to have known more about the world and what the authors think space is like in 2575.

So just to recap, I loved the formatting and the design of Illuminae, and thought it was the most noteworthy aspect of the book. I enjoyed the characters and the relationships between them, but I thought the plot was a bit too slow and draggy in parts. The beginning of the book left me quite underwhelmed but the last 150 pages were really epic and fun to read.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR

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The theme for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is top ten books on my TBR for fall (which is really spring in Australia, so I’ve changed the title). Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the gang at The Broke and The Bookish.

This top ten list will include books that will be released from September to November, as well as other books I have on my TBR that I hope to get to ASAP! I haven’t included any September releases that I’ve already read. As always, this list is in no particular order.


1. Winter – Marissa Meyer
Winter is probably my most anticipated release of the year. I absolutely love The Lunar Chronicles – it’s one of my favourite series. Cress ended on such a high that I need to know what happens next! Winter will be released on November 10.

2. Ice Like Fire – Sara Raasch
Snow Like Ashes was one of the top ten books I’ve read so far this year (check out last week’s Top Ten Tuesday for my other favourite books of 2015) so I’m really excited to pick up the second book in the trilogy, Ice Like Fire. I can’t wait to see what happens next to Meira and Theron ‚̧ Ice Like Fire will be released on October 13.

3. Tonight The Streets Are Ours – Leila Sales
This was one of my Goodreads recommendations from a couple months back and it sounded like such a fun contemporary that I had to pre-order it. It seems like a fast-paced book and the main characters are bloggers! It was released on September 15, but my copy only just arrived today. Hopefully I can get to it sometime this week!

4. Illuminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
I’m sure this has been on everyone’s wishlist since people started getting beautiful hardcover ARCs a couple months ago. This is another one of my most anticipated reads of the year so I’m excited to get my hands on it. Illuminae will be released on October 20.

5. The Heart Goes Last РMargaret Atwood
I requested this book from the publisher and I received an ARC of it a couple weeks ago. I don’t usually like dystopians but the premise of this book sounded so interesting that I had to see what it was about. It doesn’t have very good ratings so far but hopefully I’ll enjoy it anyway. This book will be released on September 24 in the UK and Australia, and September 29 in the US.

6. Walk on Earth a Stranger – Rae Carson
This book is actually released today! I’ve heard so many good things about Walk on Earth a Stranger on the blogosphere and Booktube that I need to jump on the bandwagon too. I love books with historical elements so I think this will be right up my alley.

7. What We Saw – Aaron Hartzler
This seems like a YA novel with a really important message. I received an ARC of this book from HarperCollins Australia so keep your eyes out for a review! This book is released today in the US but won’t be out in Australia until November 23 (I think?). I’ll have a review up sometime in November!

8. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
I haven’t read the Grisha trilogy yet but I’ve heard only positive reviews for Six of Crows, which can be read even if you haven’t read the Grisha trilogy. If you’ve read the Grisha trilogy and Six of Crows, let me know if you think I should read the trilogy first! Six of Crows will be released on September 29.

9. The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater
I’ve had the Raven Cycle books on my shelf for almost a year now and I hope to marathon them some time this year so that I can join the rest of the world in reading the finale, The Raven King.

10. The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
It’s a little bit embarrassing that I haven’t read a Patrick Ness book yet so I’ve decided to start with The Rest of Us Just Like Here, his most recent release. This is actually my current read so hopefully I’ll be done with it¬†either today or tomorrow.


What are your most anticipated releases for the rest of the year? And what are you currently reading?