Book Haul: September 2016

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I think I was much more restrained this month than in previous months when it comes to my book haul. Even though I acquired lots of books, I only bought 14 of them! Which is still a lot… but it was my birthday this month and I didn’t buy as much as I thought I did. Book haul justified.

BOOK DEPOSITORY

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I love how Crooked Kingdom and The Thousandth Floor have the same pretty black and gold colour scheme! It’s soooo pretty. Half of these purchases from Book Depository were preorders. I preordered Crooked Kingdom, The Thousandth Floor and Phantom Limbs. Milk and Honey was a book that I picked up on a bit of a whim but I’ve since read it and absolutely loved it. I purchased P.S. I Like You because I love Kasie West’s fluffy contemporary romances and this one was just as good as her other ones have been. Finally, I picked up The Encyclopedia of Early Earth (which I used to have a copy of but gave it away to a friend who I thought would also love it) and Isabel Greenberg’s new graphic novel, The One Hundred Nights of Hero. I can’t wait to read it!

KINOKUNIYA

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On the first day of September, I went to the #YAFanFest, hosted by Allen & Unwin, to preview some upcoming titles. There were also some amazing Aussie YA authors there and books for sale by Kinokuniya. I ended up picking up a copy of Swarm 4 weeks before release at the event and got it signed by Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti. I also bought a copy of Garth Nix’s Goldenhand before release at the event too, which I gave away to a friend. The following day, I went to a Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan event at Kinokuniya and I picked up two David Levithan books that I don’t already own, Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Are We There Yet? Finally, for my birthday, I bought myself Embrace by Jessica Shirvington because I’ve really enjoyed the three books of hers that I’ve read so far, Disruption duology and Between the Lives.

DYMOCKS

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I’ve been saving up my Dymocks credit points since July so that I can spoil myself on my birthday. However, when I went to the store, there weren’t actually that many books that I wanted to buy. I ended up picking up Graffiti Moon and a finished copy of Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley. I also bought Graeme Simsion’s new novel, The Best of Adam Sharp, which was signed. Funny story, after I bought this book from Dymocks, I went to Kinokuniya to browse, and 5 minutes after I left Kinokuniya, I checked my Instagram feed and saw a picture of Graeme Simsion signing copies of The Best of Adam Sharp at Kinokuniya, posted 15 minutes ago. Totally could have gotten my copy personalised if I was paying more attention!

RECEIVED

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At the #YAFanFest event that I went to, there were goodie bags for all the attendees. In my bag, I received The Diviners and London Belongs to Us. Because I’ve already read and reviewed London Belongs to Us, I ended up swapping with Emily @ The Loony Literate for Cooper Bartholomew is Dead. At the event, I also won an ARC of Garth Nix’s Frogkisser! in a lucky dip that he was running. It sounds hilarious and I’m so excited to read it. From publishers, I received Swarm from Allen & Unwin, Replica from Hachette Australia, Witch’s Pyre from Pan Macmillan Australia, and Empire of Storms from Bloomsbury Australia. Empire of Storms actually came last month but I didn’t include it in my book haul last month. My coblogger Jeann @ Happy Indulgence sent me Open Road Summer for my birthday and I’m so happy to now have it in my hands!!


Phew! All done! Which books did you purchase in September and what are you most excited to read?

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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Reading summary header

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!

Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

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Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Release date: September 6, 2016
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Pages: 704
Goodreads || Book Depository || Booktopia

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what – and who – to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

MY THOUGHTS

45 stars

Empire of Storms is the fifth book in the Throne of Glass series, which means that this review may contain spoilers for the first four books.

Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a review copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I loooooved this fifth installment of this series but I didn’t love it more than Queen of Shadows and Heir of Fire. While there were lots and lots of elements and plot points that I highly enjoyed, I had a few minor issues. But they were so minor that I could probably overlook them.

The plot of this book was great and I thought it followed on nicely from the ending of Queen of Shadows. However, at times, I felt that the plot lacked logical flow and transitions. There were things that kind of happened out of the blue and I think that’s a little bit inexcusable for a book that’s 700 pages. Having said that, while it did make me slightly confused at times, it didn’t really bother me and I loved where we went in this story and how the book ended as well. It fit in really well with the overarching story arc of the series and I’m super excited to see where the finale takes us and how it’ll end.

This book follows a couple of different perspectives and character journeys and I enjoyed all of them. We follow the stories of not only Aelin and her court but also Manon’s story, Elide’s journey to finding Aelin and Lorcan’s own personal quest to find the Wyrdkeys. I loved finding out more about Elide and Lorcan because they were intriguing characters that we didn’t really get to see a lot of in previous installments. Those two characters really, really grew on me throughout the novel and I love them so much! I also highly enjoyed Manon’s story arc. I loved her in previous books but now I think she might be my favourite character of the series. Her journey throughout the book was heartwrenching but worked so perfectly with plot of the series. What I think was slightly missing in this book was Chaol’s story. I’m not the biggest Chaol fan but he wasn’t in this novel at all and I did find myself wondering what he was up to. I can understand why his story wasn’t included in this book since it was already filled with lots of juicy action but I think fans of Chaol will really be disappointed by the lack of Chaol in Empire of Storms.

All of the characters were fantastic in this novel. I had problems with the characters in A Court of Mist and Fury but I was definitely not disappointed by Empire of Storms. I do have to say though that some of the side characters overtook Aelin as my favourite. I thought the complexity of Manon and Elide’s characters in this fifth book were much more appealing and interesting to me than Aelin. She just felt a little bit less feisty and funny than in previous books. We saw a much more serious and responsible side of her in this novel, which worked well with the plot and makes complete sense. I just found her to be slightly less interesting to me than some of the other females in this book. In terms of the other characters, I continued to love Rowan in this novel. But I felt that his character was also slightly different to who he had been in the past. He was also a bit more subdued and at times came across as a bit weak and needy, as opposed to the big, bad Fae warrior he was in Heir of Fire. These are all very minor criticisms though because I love the cast of characters in this series and the things they make me feel.

All you really need to know about Empire of Storms is that it is absolutely amazing. Fans of Chaol might have a bit of a problem with the lack of Chaol in the novel but you definitely cannot deny that this is a wonderful installment with a clear story arc. I can’t wait to find out how it all ends and I’m so sad that it’ll be another year before I find out.

Empire of Storms was published by Bloomsbury on September 6, 2016 and is now available at Australian retailers for $17.99.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2016

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week I’m featuring ten upcoming 2016 releases that I’m very highly anticipating. These will all be released in the second half of this year.

1. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

I absolutely loved Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. It was definitely a step up from her Grisha trilogy. The characters and the relationships between them were so good and I can’t wait to read more about them. I’m so sad that this is only a duology though. I’ve already preordered this one and it comes out on September 27 😀

2. Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Wolf by Wolf was another book that I really loved when I read it last year. It’s such an exciting and action-paced story and I love that it’s an alternate history novel. I also really enjoyed the prequel novella, Iron to Iron. Cannot wait to get my hands on this sequel. Again, I’m sad that it’s a duology and not a trilogy. November 1 could not come soon enough!

3. Heartless by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is probably my favourite series of all time. So I cannot wait to get my hands on this upcoming release, which is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. November 8 is the release date for this novel.

4. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

I recently read ACOMAF by Sarah J. Maas and didn’t enjoy it very much so my excitement for this fifth book of the Throne of Glass series has dampened a little bit. But I’ve been enjoying where the series has been going so I guess I’m still excited to see where this next book goes. This is out on September 6.

5. Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch

I’m highly anticipating this third and final book of the Snow Like Ashes trilogy. I absolutely loved Snow Like Ashes and it became one of my favourite novels of all time… but Ice Like Fire really disappointed me. I have a feeling that this finale is going to be epic though! It comes out on September 20.

6. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I really enjoyed Nicola Yoon’s debut novel, Everything Everything. It had really interesting formatting and lots of beautiful illustrations. I’m hoping that The Sun is Also a Star will have those elements too. The synopsis also sounds very intriguing and I love a female protagonist who loves science. This novel comes out on November 1.

7. Replica by Lauren Oliver

I haven’t read anything by Lauren Oliver yet but I’m drawn in by the gimmicky nature of this book. The book can be read four ways and I think it’d be great to experience it. Also, from what I’ve read of the synopsis, it sounds like an intriguing sci-fi read. This is out on October 4.

8. PS. I Like You by Kasie West

Who can resist a new Kasie West book? Her novels are so quick and easy to read and absolutely perfect for a reading slump. I’ve enjoyed all of her books so far and I’m keen to read more from her. Also, this one comes out on July 26, so not too long to go!

9. Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

This is the sequel to Ink and Bone, which I read earlier this year and absolutely fell in love with. It’s such a great alternate history story that’s all about books and the Great Library of Alexandria. I can’t wait to continue the series and see how it all plays out. This one also comes out really soon on July 5.

10. Cure For the Common Universe by Christian McKay Heidicker

I honestly don’t know too much about this book but it has a really fun cover and the main character is sent to video game rehab. If that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, I don’t know what does. And whoops, I thought this one was out in July but it’s actually out today! June 14.


Which one of these are you also highly anticipating? Also, if you haven’t already, check out my 1 year blogoversary giveaways.

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release date: May 3, 2016
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Pages: 624
Goodreads || Book Depository

A Court of Mist and Fury is the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses, which means that this review will contain some major spoilers. If you haven’t read ACOTAR, please leave and read my review for that book instead!

Also, there are spoilers for the romance/ship in this book, so if you haven’t been spoiled already, please continue no further.

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Autumn TBR

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You’ll probably have noticed that I don’t do TBR posts because what I read really depends on my mood. But the topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is books that are on my Spring TBR (which I’ve changed to Autumn TBR because southern hemisphere), so I thought I’d list a couple of books that I plan to read in the next two months. Most of these books I’ve either preordered, requested or already own copies of, but I’m super excited to get to all of these.

The Goodreads page for each book is linked!

1. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

I absolutely loved both The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime and I have to get my hands on this as soon as it’s released! Like, you don’t understand how much I need to know what happens next. I’m about to implode from the need.

2. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

This is another series finale that I’m super excited for. The Raven Cycle so far has been magnificent and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

3. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

I’m pretty sure ACOMAF is on everybody’s TBR and wishlists. I thought A Court of Thorns and Roses was really great and I’m so excited that ACOMAF is inspired by the Hades and Persephone story. I’m slightly iffy about it though because Rhysand is going to get a lot more page time and I don’t know how I feel about him.

4. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

I absolutely love Morgan Matson and everything she’s written. I’ve already heard really good things about The Unexpected Everything and I can’t wait to have it in my hands. It’s going to be fantastic!

5. The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn was another 2015 release that I really enjoyed and I have really high hopes for this sequel.

6. The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Out of all of Rick Riordan’s books, I’ve only read Percy Jackson and the Olympians but I want to eventually catch up and binge read everything else. Apollo is probably my favourite of the major gods and I’m so excited to read about him as a mortal.

7. The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

I’ve had the first four books of the Heroes of Olympus on my shelves for a few months now but I still haven’t read them because I want to marathon the whole series. I have the US paperbacks of the books and the last book, The Blood of Olympus, doesn’t come out in paperback until early April. So I’m holding off until I have all of the books in my possession. I’ve already preordered The Blood of Olympus, so hopefully it gets here soon.

8. Dreamology by Lucy Keating

I’ve had an eARC of Dreamology sitting in my Kindle app since last year. I was planning to review it for Happy Indulgence but the awesome Aila read and wrote up a review for it in like a day. So it’s kind of continued sitting in my Kindle app… It sounds fascinating and Aila really enjoyed it, so I’m really keen to see what I think of it.

9. This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang

This is one of my most anticipated contemporary releases of this year and I have an ARC of this one! I cannot wait to read this and will have a review up closer to release date, which is in April.

10. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

This sounds like a really cute contemporary and there’s been quite a bit of buzz about it around the community. But let’s be real, I’m excited about it because the author and I share the same name.


What books are you really keen to read in the next few months?!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2016

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Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday post. This is a weekly feature hosted by the group over at The Broke and the Bookish and this week I am featuring 10 of my most anticipated releases for the first half of 2016. I did a list of my most anticipated 2016 debut novels a couple weeks ago so I didn’t include any of them in this list. Click on the link to see what I included in that list!

I could have also included Truthwitch by Susan Dennard and Passenger by Alexandra Bracken on this list (those are out on January 5) but I’ve already pre-ordered those and the release date is so soon that I thought I’d look a little bit further into the future.

So here are ten of my most anticipated releases between February and June of 2016. Their Goodreads pages are linked.

1. Stars Above – Marissa Meyer

This is a collection of short stories featuring the world and the characters from The Lunar Chronicles. I believe this contains 9 short stories, 4 that have been previously released as ebooks and 5 never-before-seen stories. The Lunar Chronicles is my favourite series so I cannot wait to read more. Plus we’ve been promised the wedding of the century?

2. A Gathering of Shadows – V.E. Schwab

I really, really loved A Darker Shade of Magic so I’m highly anticipating this sequel! I read a little bit of an excerpt and I can tell that it’s going to be amazing!

3. Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare

Ever since I finished bingeing The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments, I’ve been looking forward to Cassie’s next release. I really love the Shadowhunter Chronicles and Cassie’s writing so Lady Midnight cannot come soon enough! I’m more excited for her next trilogy, The Last Hours (Book 1 out in 2017), than I am for Lady Midnight but I’ll take anything at this point.

4. This is Where the World Ends – Amy Zhang

Contemporary is my favourite genre and I particularly enjoy ones that will give me all the feels and make me ugly-cry until I cannot function the next day. And this one promises all of those things.

5. The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater

I marathoned the first three books of The Raven Cycle just last week and I cannot wait for The Raven King to be released! Not only is the cover absolutely gorgeous, but I have a feeling that The Raven King will be the best one of the series yet! It’s going to be so epic and I want to know if Gansey will actually die! (That is not a spoiler).

6. A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas

I enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses so much when I read it back in July so I’m really looking forward to the sequel. It’s going to be partly a Hades and Persephone retelling, which has me super intrigued! I just really want to know what’s going to go down in the Night Court! (I am Team Tamlin btw)

7. The Rose and the Dagger – Renee Ahdieh

This is another sequel that I’m highly anticipating. The first book in this duology, The Wrath and the Dawn, was so great and we got left at such a heartstopping spot that I need to know what happens!

8. The Unexpected Everything – Morgan Matson

This is one of my most highly anticipated contemporaries. I’ve still only read Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson but I enjoyed the coming-of-age story and the character development in that book so much that I need to read more of her writing.

9. You Know Me Well – David Levithan & Nina LaCour

I actually don’t know too much about this book but everything I’ve read by David Levithan has been amazing (review of Every Day) and he’s one of my favourite contemporary authors. This book promises to be an wonderfully diverse LGBTQ+ book so I need to have this in my possession!

10. Summer Days & Summer Nights – Stephanie Perkins

I thoroughly enjoyed Stephanie Perkins’ first short story collection, My True Love Gave To Me, when I read it last year so I’m super excited to pick up her next collection. This collection is written by a whole new group of contemporary and fantasy authors and I cannot wait to see what summery stories are in store for us.


Please share your most anticipated releases for the first half of 2016! I love adding new books to my watchlist and pre-ordering them so let me know!

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!

Wrap Up: November 2015

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Welcome to another monthly reading wrap up. I had a really great reading month and I read a lot of high quality books. I have so many new favourites! A lot of the books that I read this month were really chunky too (e.g. Winter, Carry On, Chaos Walking). I read a total of 6739 pages!

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The books appear in the order that I read them and my reviews are linked. I am a co-blogger at Happy Indulgence and I also post reviews there.

1. Siege and Storm – Leigh Bardugo  4 stars

The second book in the Grisha Trilogy. It was a step-up from Shadow and Bone but it lacked action and plot. While enjoyable, it was a filler book and we didn’t really learn anything new.

2. Ruin and Rising – Leigh Bardugo  45 stars

The final book in the Grisha trilogy, Ruin and Rising was by far the best book in the trilogy. It had more action and the pace of the book was more consistent. Also, the epilogue was amazing!

3. The Intern – Gabrielle Tozer  25 stars

An Australian YA novel about a shy and awkward girl who gets an internship at a popular fashion magazine. It was much too cliched and full of contemporary YA tropes for me to enjoy.

4. Faking It – Gabrielle Tozer  25 stars

The sequel/companion to The Intern. I felt exactly the same way about it as I did about The Intern. It was a novel that made me feel like I was too old for YA…

5. Carry On – Rainbow Rowell  5 stars

An amazing, amazing fantasy novel. It is Rainbow Rowell’s take on the Simon Snow series that was introduced in Fangirl. The characters, magic system and world were all phenomenal!

6. Love and Other Perishable Items – Laura Buzo  4 stars

Another Australian YA novel. This book is set in Sydney, Australia and explores self-discovery, growing up and first love. It is very realistic and relatable and I loved it!

7. Winter – Marissa Meyer  5 stars

The fourth and final book in the Lunar Chronicles series, which is my favourite series of all time. It was an epic, action-packed conclusion and I’m so sad that the series is over. I could read 10 more books set in this world, about these characters.

8. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo  5 stars

A new fantasy duology set in the Grishaverse. This is an epic and intense heist story that features a cast of complex and interesting characters! I absolutely loved all of the characters and the setting and world building in the book was amazing.

9. Denton Little’s Deathdate – Lance Rubin  4 stars

This is a contemporary novel with some sci-fi elements. This book is set in the near future, in a world where everybody knows their deathdate. The book takes place over 48 hours, starting on the day before Denton Little is scheduled to die.

10. What We Saw – Aaron Hartzler  45 stars

A deep and thought-provoking story about doing the right thing. I have written a review of this that will be going live on Wednesday.

11. Night Owls – Jenn Bennett  4 stars

A cute and sweet contemporary romance featuring two artists that fall in love through their art. It involves a realistic and honest relationship.

12. A Step Towards Falling – Cammie McGovern  35 stars

This book features characters that have developmental/learning disabilities. It also explores the idea of doing the right thing and not judging people by their appearances.

13. The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness  45 stars

The first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy, this book is fast-paced, unique and terrifying. It has some very realistic but strong individuals and the relationships and character interactions in this book will give you all the feels.

14. The Ask and the Answer – Patrick Ness  45 stars

Book 2 in the Chaos Walking trilogy. It was a fantastic sequel, full of action and politics.

15. Monsters of Men – Patrick Ness  5 stars

This is the final book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy and it was an amazing conclusion! For me, this was the best book of the trilogy, and if you haven’t read Chaos Walking yet, I highly recommend it! A review of Monsters of Men will be up on Sunday.

16. The Weight of Water – Sarah Crossan  45 stars

A novel that’s written in free-verse and extremely quick to read! This is an emotional coming-of-age story about a 12 year old Polish girl who moves to London with her mother in search for her father who has left them.

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I posted four Top Ten Tuesdays in November:

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BTCYA (HARPERCOLLINS YA EVENT)

HarperCollins Australia held a YA event in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney in November and I went to the Sydney event on November 20th. We looked at upcoming 2016 HarperCollins YA releases and also took home a VERY generous goodie bag! I have done a full event recap over at Happy Indulgence (along with Jeann, who went to the Brisbane event), with photos and all that good stuff.

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Photo credits: HarperCollinsAU

SARAH J. MAAS AT KINOKUNIYA, SYDNEY

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I went to the Sarah J. Maas event in Sydney last week on the 25th and got to meet her and have some of my books signed. It was an AMAZING day and she was so funny, bubbly and nice! I was also lucky enough to snag a front row seat!

Sadly, there was a 3-book signing limit and only one of them could be personalised so I got my copies of Throne of Glass, Queen of Shadows and A Court of Thorns and Roses signed. Initially, it was a 5-book limit, but they had to change it to 3 in order to keep it consistent across all of her Aus/NZ events 😦

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We weren’t allowed to film or take posed photos with her (they threatened to kick us out if we did – there were a billion other rules too) but I did manage to get a candid shot with her. When she was signing my books I asked her if there’s a character she’s ever regretted killing off (e.g. my beloved Sam). Her answer was no, because the character deaths had to happen in order for the story to progress. But she did say that when she was writing Queen of Shadows, she wished Sam was still alive and that she misses him.

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See you next month, and happy reading!

The Burrito Bowl Book Tag

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The Burrito Bowl Book Tag is the brain child of Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts and Cristina @ Girl in the Pages.  I was tagged by Summer @ Xingsings a couple of weeks ago, but I needed to stock up on chips, salsa and spicy guacamole before I could write up this post.

RULES TO DEVOUR THIS TAG:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you to make your own burrito bowl, linking back to their site
  2. Answer the tag questions
  3. Tag 5 others to create their own bowl
  4. Food coma

THE BURRITO BOWL BOOK TAG

RICE: THE FOUNDATION – “THE BOOK THAT GOT YOU INTO READING (OR BOOK BLOGGING)”

blinky-billthe-magic-faraway-treeBlinky Bill by Dorothy Wall and The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton were both books that were read to me when I was about 5 or 6 years old.

These books really made me interested in reading, and I think as soon as I could read for myself, I read nearly all of Enid Blyton’s books and I followed them up with lots of Roald Dahl as well.


BEANS: THE FILLER – “A BOOK WITH A WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING HAPPENING”

a-little-something-different A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall was a whole book of nothing.

It’s a story about two college students falling in love and their journey towards being together… Except they fall in love in the first 5 pages, and the rest of the book is just 200 pages of them staring at each other longingly across the room, talking about mundane things and eating at the same cafes and restaurants. It was actually the most boring romance ever. Definitely not worth your time.


PROTEIN: THE BUILDING BLOCK – “A BOOK QUOTE TO LIVE BY”

I had the hardest time choosing a quote for this question. There are a lot of quotes from books that I like, either because they’re funny or because they make me go all soft and squishy inside. But it was really hard to come up with a quote to live by… I ended up going with a Throne of Glass quote:

My name is Celaena Sardothien,” she whispers. “And I will not be afraid.
The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas


FAJITAS: THE CRUNCH OF TEXTURE – “A BOOK WITH IMMACULATE WORLD BUILDING”

harry-potter-and-the-philosophers-stone Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling was the obvious choice for this one. Although I was going to choose Six of Crows and the Grisha world by Leigh Bardugo, since I read that one recently.

The whole wizarding world in Harry Potter is so well thought out. I mean who doesn’t love Hogwarts, Hogsmeade and the rest of the world? The magic system is amazing… and OMG just everything about the Harry Potter world is perfect.


SALSA: THE DANCE OF FLAVOUR – “A BOOK THAT KEPT YOU ON YOUR TOES”

six-of-crows Okay Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo wins this one. It was super hard to choose between this one and Winter but the whole heist story in Six of Crows definitely kept me on my toes.

There’s so much that happens in this book and there are twists and turns everywhere. Even though the characters have a plan that they need to execute, there are so many surprises and unexpected turns of events that made the book unpredictable!


CORN: THE EXPLOSION OF SWEETNESS – “A MEMORABLE SCENE INVOLVING FRIENDSHIP/ROMANCE”

carry-on How could I choose anything but SnowBaz from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell?!

Every single scene with Simon and Baz are my favourites but I think the scene that made my heart melt the most was their first kiss. It was so heartwarming to see Simon be led by his feelings and nothing else. There was no hesitation on his part, and it was just the most unexpected but perfect scene ever.


CHEESE: THE BOND OF CALCIUM – “TWO CHARACTERS FROM DIFFERENT BOOKS YOU WISH COULD BE FRIENDS”

I have so many friendships that I want to see happen but I chose two characters that I’ve read about recently. Cress from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and Inej from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. They’re both kind of badass in their own ways, but they’re also both really quiet, sensitive and loyal to their friends. They’d be really great besties!


SOUR CREAM: THE TANGY TOPPER – “THE QUIRKIEST CHARACTER YOU’VE EVER READ (PROTAGONIST OR SUPPORTING)”

winter Yes, I chose Winter from Winter by Marissa Meyer (I actually cannot shut up about this book).

Winter’s not quirky as much as she is just plain crazy. She has some crazy hallucinations due to her not using her Lunar powers. She frequently sees blood on the castle walls and also sees herself freezing into a block of ice all the time. But she does some really strange things and also has some crazy one-liners. I love her.


GUACAMOLE: THE COST OF CREAMINESS – “A BOOK YOU PAID TOO MUCH FOR (BASED ON UTILITY EXPERIENCED)”

dream-cities The Dream Cities – Colouring for Mindfulness book was definitely a book that I’ve paid too much for.

I think I’ve coloured in about 20% of a page… and nothing else. I bought this one online and didn’t really like the illustrations in it. I much prefer the other two that I own: The Secret Garden by Johanna Basford and Tropical Wonderland by Millie Marotta. I’ve done a bit more of these ones.


LETTUCE: THE HANDFUL OF CRISPNESS – “A REFRESHING CONCEPT/THEME IN A BOOK”

the-rest-of-us-just-live-here The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

This was a fun and unique spin on the whole idea of the Chosen One in fantasy. It’s a satirical piece that makes fun of the concept of the special group of kids or “the indie kids” who seem to always be running into dangerous situations or saving the world. The Rest of Us Just Live Here focuses on the normal characters that are in the background while the indie kids are doing their thing.


CHIPS: LE PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE – “A MUST-READ RECOMMENDATION IF YOU LIKE [THIS BOOK/GENRE – YOU DECIDE!]”

the-lake-house The Lake House by Kate Morton is a book that I would recommend if you like historical fiction.

My go-to recommendation for historical fiction is always All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which is my favourite book of all time. But I thought I’d change it up this time. The Lake House is a wonderful historical fiction novel about the mysterious appearance of a baby in Cornwall in the 1930s and what really took place that evening.


TABASCO: THE KICK TO THE FACE – “YOUR FAVOURITE FIGHT/ACTION SEQUENCE”

queen-of-shadows I haven’t given enough love to Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas lately (btw I’m meeting her on Wednesday!!!)

I absolutely loved the last action scene of Queen of Shadows. It was such an epic climax and ending to the book! My favourite part of that scene was when you know who transforms into a ghost leopard and comes racing through the streets to save the day. That was so epic and it made me love that character even more!!!


I TAG:

I’m going to go back to my old method of sharing the love. Today I’m tagging 5 of my recent followers to make their own burrito bowl 🙂