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?

 

Wrap Up: September 2015

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I read quite a lot of books in September but I kind of got stuck in a bit of a slump towards the middle of the month. A Little Life was so good that I had a bit of a book hangover, and it also didn’t help that I read a string of books that were quite average after it. But let’s get into what I read because I still managed to complete my 150 book challenge on Goodreads (which I’ve now increased to 200 books).

I am currently reading Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Stay tuned for a review on that!

September15

Reading summary header

As always, these books are listed in the order that I read them during the month, and my reviews are linked.

1. Queen of Shadows – Sarah J. Maas 5 stars
This is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series and it was so good! A really great continuation to the series and it ended so epically as well. Looking forward to Book 5!

2. Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between – Jennifer E. Smith 4 stars
This new contemporary release from Jennifer E. Smith did not disappoint. This book is about two high school graduates and their last night together as they try to figure out whether to break up or go long distance.

3. Everything Everything – Nicola Yoon 45 stars
A fast-paced and cute contemporary about a girl with SCID. This book has received so much hype and it’s all well deserved.

4. A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara 5 stars
This was by far the best read of September for me. It took me 2 weeks to read but it was so worth it! Check out my review for in depth thoughts because this book is not for everyone.

5. Supermutant Magic Academy – Jillian Tamaki 3 stars
This was my first graphic novel in a while and it was just okay for me. I didn’t find it to be as funny as some other reviewers found it. It’s a very slice-of-life kind of book.

6. Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe – Milly Johnson 4 stars
This was a really fun book about female friendships and getting revenge on the men who have wronged you.

7. Fans of the Impossible Life – Kate Scelsa 1 star
A book about friendship and mental illness… I had many, many problems with not only the messages but also the writing style. Wasn’t really worth my time.

8. Dumplin’ – Julie Murphy 35 stars
A book with a great message about body weight and confidence. I loved the messages in this book but there were some things that I wish had been better executed.

9. Mosquitoland – David Arnold 35 stars
A really enjoyable book about a crazy road trip and friendship. There was a lot that I enjoyed about it but it was a bit too purple prose-y for me to fully enjoy.

10. The Replacement Wife – Rowena Wiseman 1 star
This is my least favourite read of the month, and probably one of my least favourite reads ever. I requested this on NetGalley because the author is Australian and it was a short book. Worst. Decision. Ever. It was a book full of terrible decisions and terrible writing.

11. The Substitute Bride – Kathleen O’Brien 4 stars
I just realised that this book has pretty much the same title as the previous one, but this was a much better read. I saw this in the free books section on iBooks so I downloaded it to give it a go. It was a really charming and enjoyable book.

12. The Rest Of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness 4 stars
My first Patrick Ness book did not disappoint. It had a great premise and was executed really well. This is a book about all the other kids in the world and what happens to them when the chosen ones are off saving the world.

13. The Heart Goes Last – Margaret Atwood 3 stars
A married couple living in a chaotic and anarchic world sign up to live in a utopia forever. They soon realise that this utopia is definitely more of a dystopia. A bit of a weird read for me. I still don’t really know how I feel about it.

14. Tonight The Streets Are Ours – Leila Sales 45 stars
This is a love story, but it’s not about romance. It’s a book about loving yourself and putting yourself first. This was definitely the surprise of the month!

15. The Landing – Susan Johnson 35 stars
Set in a small coastal town in Australia, an exploration of the joys and disappointments of love and humanity.

16. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll 35 stars
I don’t think this needs any introduction. I’ve read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland before but this was my first time reading Through the Looking Glass. It was wonderful in parts but a bit draggy in others.

T10T

I did five Top Ten Tuesday posts this month:


I also did a giveaway this month to celebrate my birthday. And the winner of that giveaway was Kelly @ Dancing Through The Pages!

If you’ve done a September wrap up, leave me a link in the comments! I would love to check out what you’ve read!

Review: Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

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Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Release date: September 15, 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1447284143
Pages: 342
Goodreads || Book Depository

There must be more to love, more than this.

When Arden stumbles upon the online musings of Peter, a young new York City writer, it feels to her that she’s finally found a kindred spirit. His blog gives voice to feelings that Arden has never known to express and she’s convinced that, if they met, he would understand her in a way that no one else does.

So she sets out on a road trip to find him.

During one crazy night in New York – the type of night when anything can happen and nearly everything does – Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was either.

MY THOUGHTS

45 stars

This book starts off with:

Like all stories, the one you are about to read is a love story.

If it wasn’t, what would be the point?

I’ve been feeling a little bit slumpy lately. I’ve read a string of average books and I just wasn’t excited to read, so I thought what better way to get me out of this hole of blahness than to pick up a cute contemporary? As promised, Tonight The Streets Are Ours is a love story, but it wasn’t the love story that I had expected. It’s a novel about loving yourself, first and foremost, and loving others in a way that brings out the best in them and the best in yourself.

Despite what the blurb of the book says, the road trip and the crazy night in New York City takes up only a small part of the book. For the first 200 pages, we get to see glimpses of Arden’s present and stories about her past. We see the relationships she has forged and the person she is. Arden is the person who is there for everyone. When others need her help, she is there for them. When her best friend, Lindsey, gets into trouble, Arden is there to get her out of the mess even if it means that she is the receiver of all of the negative consequences.

Lindsey would need, and Arden would deliver.

But Arden comes to realise that perhaps the people in her life don’t love her as much as she loves them. That maybe they wouldn’t do for her what she does for them. And worst of all, that maybe they don’t appreciate what she does for them. She turns to the internet to find the answers and stumbles upon Peter’s blog. She connects deeply with his story and becomes obsessed with reading his blog. One day, she throws caution to the wind and decides to take a road trip to NYC to find Peter… only to realise that people aren’t always who they seem to be and that everyone has their own story, including herself.

Just like Arden was obsessed with Peter’s story, I was invested in Arden’s. I loved learning about her past and hearing all her little anecdotes. She became a very important person to me and I wanted to know what happened to her next. The story jumps back and forth in time and I loved that we were able to see how the events in her past have shaped her into the person she is now. Even though the plot doesn’t really start rolling until about 200 pages in, I was never bored and I just wanted to keep reading.

The novel is quite fast-paced despite the fact that nothing much happens until the last third of the book. There are a lot of blog entries, where we get to know more about Peter and his story, and this kept the book interesting for me. I also really loved the chapter titles. They were almost like one-line summaries of the chapter, e.g. ‘Everything Falls Apart’, ‘Arden Gets More Than She Bargained For’, etc. They really kept me hooked and I just could not stop reading because I was so curious about what would happen next. Because I was so invested in Arden’s story, I also loved that this book was completely resolved and does not have an open ending.

The characters are very complex and multi-faceted. Nobody is exactly like who you’d expect them to be and I think this is an important message. What people show you is only a fraction of who they are, and you are more than just one attribute. Arden learns that there’s more to her than kindness and loyalty and that she doesn’t have to be defined by those qualities. She can still be loyal and kind to her friends and family but she doesn’t have to give all of herself to do that.

“Other people matter hugely. But you have to matter to yourself too.”

I didn’t love all of the characters in this book. Some were very dislikable but I think that’s part of why I loved this book. There isn’t just one side to anybody. People can be horrible but they have redeeming qualities too, and I thought Leila Sales did a great job at developing all these characters. Having said that, I really liked Arden and I really connected with her. She’s a romantic at heart and she just wants the best for everyone, and who doesn’t love a character like that?

Even though I had expected and wanted a light, fluffy contemporary romance, I fell in love with this book. It has a great message about doing good things for people but not sacrificing yourself for them. It was a refreshing love story, one not about romance but about taking care of yourself and loving yourself. I highly, highly, highly recommend Tonight The Streets Are Ours!

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 – Margaret 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?