Saturday, September 24, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (108)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Share all of the bookish goodies you got during the week!

Two weeks worth of books. It's been a hectic few weeks and after attending Oz Comic Con last weekend it all caught up with me. I think my brain became mush for the last week. So tired and I couldn't get motivated to do much of anything but sleep and watch TV. Yay for returning and new shows though!

Bought:

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan (signed)
Run by Kody Keplinger
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan (signed)
Magrit by Lee Battersby (signed)
Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rossoff (signed)

I attended the Brisbane Writers Festival a couple of weeks ago and bought many of the above books to have them signed by their authors. Was a great weekend and I'm so glad to have met so many brilliant authors.


Borrowed: 

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Clancy of the Undertow by Christopher Currie
Half the Sky: How to Change the World by Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn
Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

I wish I could read more when I have weeks of brain mush. It would be such a good use of that time, but alas - mushy brain demands TV only, boo.

How has your week been? Any brain mush? What new goodies have been added to your shelves?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Waiting on Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. It spotlights soon to be released books that can't come quick enough!

Gimme pirates in...

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: 21 February 2017
Pre-Order: Amazon | The Book Depository

A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling YA adventure.

If you want something done right . . .

When the ruthless pirate king learns of a legendary treasure map hidden on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows there's only one pirate for the job—herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her passage on the ship, confident in her ability to overcome any obstacle. After all, who's going to suspect a seventeen-year-old girl locked in a cell? Then she meets the (surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive) first mate, Riden, who is charged with finding out all her secrets. Now it's down to a battle of wits and will . . . . Can Alosa find the map and escape before Riden figures out her plan?

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.
(summary from Goodreads)


I definitely need more pirates in my YA so I'm glad I've found this one. It's sounds fun! What do you think, will you add Daughter of the Pirate King to your TBR?

What else made your TBR list?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Top Ten All Time Favourite Fantasy

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme started over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they have a specific topic for a top ten list. Link up, visit some new blogs and add to your ever growing TBR list! This week's topic is:

Top Ten All Time Favourite Fantasy

https://www.goodreads.com/series/45175-harry-potter https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9361589-the-night-circus https://www.goodreads.com/series/73675-the-raven-cycle https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21393526-magonia https://www.goodreads.com/series/66175-the-lord-of-the-rings
https://www.goodreads.com/series/102109-the-half-bad-trilogy https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8490112-daughter-of-smoke-bone https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24706405-captive-prince https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28356624-carry-on https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8270119-the-time-traveler-s-wife

I'm sure I've forgotten many books. It's always hard trying to think of those 'all time favourites'. I find I just love too many!

What are your all time favourite fantasy books? Which genre did you choose for this week's Top Ten?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Review: The Reader by Traci Chee

Title: The Reader
Author: Traci Chee
Series: Sea of Ink & Gold, Book One
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: 13 September 2016
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

I received a copy of this book from Penguin for review.

Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible. (summary from Goodreads)

The Reader is an exciting book, giving you just enough to keep you wanting more!

The Reader is an interesting story that is so much more than I expected. There are pirates, people! Not to mention magic, shady assassins and their school, Readers who read more than words on a page, and a world where - wait for it! - books are forbidden! What blasphemy is this?! But my favourite thing is definitely the pirates. More on them later though. Chee has created something original and compelling. There's a lot going on in The Reader and I mean other than the characters and such I just mentioned. There's multiple point of views, multiple timelines, a book within a book - and the thing is, Chee doesn't differentiate between many of these, other than having decorated pages to look like an older book that illustrate that Sefia is reading from the Book. Reading back over that I'm not sure it makes much sense. And to start with, The Reader doesn't make a whole lot of coherent sense either. It's not obvious whether the chapter we're reading is set in the present, past or future, and the pirates appear as stories in the Book as well as characters in the present world, and I can admit I was thinking "What the heck is going on?!" All of it is just so good though, so fascinating, that it didn't matter - I wanted more, wanted that moment when it all came together, and I loved that. Chee builds the action, the magic, the tension, the intrigue, and the romance so that I was completely invested in The Reader

Sefia is also an interesting character. My feelings towards Sefi went up and down. Sometimes she was brilliant, sometimes she frustrated me. But that's a good thing. Sefi is flawed, she's afraid and emotional, and acts without thinking. She's floundering through a situation she has absolutely no clue about and Chee has portrayed that pretty realistically. Archer, Sefi's mute companion, is an intriguing character. There's so much still to learn about him, about his past and who exactly he is. The little tidbits we did get are not pretty. Mostly though I'm seriously intrigued by Archer's future. It's another layer that teases the terrifying unknown and I'm keen to keep reading this series for those answers. I think Chee really did well weaving the past, present and future throughout the narrative. The Reader also tells the story of Lon, a young man learning to Read at the Library. At first I wasn't as engaged by Lon's story. Mostly it felt like Lon was simply a contrast to Sefia, each of them learning the same sort of thing but in entirely different ways. Once it became clear exactly who Lon was though, it made the story even more compelling. The same can be said for Tanin, who for all intents and purposes is our villain. Her narration added to the chilling tone of The Reader, allowing glimpses of just how much Sefi doesn't know. My favourite character is definitely Reed, along with his crew. Pirates are just too cool. These pirates aren't so much the pillaging and plundering type, though there's a little of that. They're treasure hunters, chasing mysterious wonders in the hopes of having their stories told so they're remembered even after they're gone. Reed and company bring even more magic and mayhem to the story and I am so completely enchanted. For Captain Reed alone I will definitely continue reading this series.

The Reader reminds us of the power of books, of stories, in a new and magical way. It's quite the wonderful read.

Rating:


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (107)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Share all of the bookish goodies you got during the week!


Bought:

The Bronze Key by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
Wanderlost by Jen Malone
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
American Monsters by Derek Landy

Gifted:

In the Dark, in the Woods by Eliza Wass
Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

All titles I'm eager to read! Words in Deep Blue is one of our book club picks this month and it sounds lovely. It's about loss and letters left in a bookstore for strangers to read. Hoping to get it read asap!

This weekend I'm attending the Brisbane Writers Festival, where I'll be seeing David Levithan, Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman, Justine Larbalestier, Melina Marchetta, to name a few. I'm really looking forward to it and will share photos and such next week!

What bookish goodies found themselves in your possession this week?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Feature & Follow Friday: Books You Later Changed Your Mind About

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by Rachel over at Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. This is a chance to get to know fellow book bloggers and have them meet you. Be sure to pop over and meet this week's featured blogger! Also, don't forget to pop back over in a couple of days to vote for next week's featured blogger.

Have you ever disliked or felt "meh" about a book only to later change your mind and love it?


While reading, yes. But not after finishing it. If I disliked or thought a book was only so-so right up to the end, then that's pretty much what I still think later. But while reading there's been a few. Most recently was Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys. It took until after half way through for me to truly appreciate and love it. A third of the way through I really thought I wasn't going to like it and was so disappointed. I remember being really annoyed and thinking it was more romance focused than I liked. I'm really over love triangles, in a major way, see, and it was obvious in the summary alone that Blue and Gansey was end game, so the whole Adam and Blue stuff really bugged me. Plus, it took me three books to actually like Adam, so.

How about you? Any books you thought you disliked but later ended up loving?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review: You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Title: You Know Me Well
Authors: Nina LaCour & David Levithan
Publisher: Text Publishing
Publication Date: 13 June 2016
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.
(summary from Goodreads)


You Know Me Well is a wonderful story about the many facets of friendship. 

For a book that really only covers a week in the life, You Know Me Well hits hard and deep. There's a lot of emotion here, a lot of inspiration and lessons. LaCour and Levithan have done a great job of keeping their story and characters relatable. There are such universal themes here - first love, unrequited love, friendship, heartbreak, growing up, learning who you are and deciding who you want to be. You Know Me Well is why I love contemporary YA so much. It's a story you easily sink into, a one sitting read that you're eager to get through, wholly invested in, and it resonates because it doesn't matter how different you may be from the characters - those universal themes are all something we experience and know well. I've not read anything by LaCour before and Levithan is a favourite author of mine. Throughout You Know Me Well each had me thinking 'yes' or 'they get it'. It's a feel good book overall, one full of hope and that's how I felt finishing it - so hopeful and inspired.

The friendship between Kate and Mark is what I enjoyed best about You Know Me Well. Alternating between their point of views, You Know Me Well narrates their experience of the week prior to Pride Week in San Fransisco and the last week of school - simply for another year for Mark, but forever for Kate. It's a week of change for each of them. The premise of You Know Me Well is that Mark and Kate have sat next to each other during a math class all year without speaking, but one night they run into each other at a gay club and become fast friends. Best friends. I really loved that. The connection between them is immediate and I found it very genuine. Some people are meant to know each other, to have each other in their lives. That's true for Mark and Kate. I have many friends with whom I just clicked after only one conversation and became fast friends with, so it was somewhat giddy to read the same happening in You Know Me Well. I liked both Mark and Kate as characters and enjoyed each of their stories. I think emotionally Mark's story hits slightly harder - I suppose that's the case for heartbreak. It's rawer. I desperately wanted a happy ending for Mark and I like how LaCour and Levithan chose to leave his story. I wasn't a huge fan of Ryan to be honest. I sympathise for him, but I'm not sure I believe he can call himself Mark's best friend and be so cruelly oblivious. Everything to do with Ryan really riled me up. As for Kate, I was rooting for her to get the girl. I liked Kate and Violet's relationship. They compliment each other and it was sweet to read. Kate's story is also about her relationship with her best friend, Lehna. People and friendships change and that causes tension between the two. I had trouble liking Lehna, much like Ryan, but LaCour and Levithan have a way of portraying how there's always more than what we see through another character's eyes. The emotion of Kate's story isn't so much relationship related as it is her learning to be herself, to trust her choices and believe in herself. For me, Mark brings the hope while Kate the inspiration of You Know Me Well

You Know Me Well is an uplifting story, beautiful and real.

Rating:

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Waiting on Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. It spotlights soon to be released books that can't come quick enough!

Um, yes please I must have...

Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 14 March 2017
Pre-Order: Amazon | The Book Depository

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?
(summary from Goodreads)


All the yes's to a Beauty and the Beast retelling. It's my favourite and this retelling definitely has me hooked. Now to wait just over 6 months, urgh!! 

What book has you looking forward to its release?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Top Ten TV Themed Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme started over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they have a specific topic for a top ten list. Link up, visit some new blogs and add to your ever growing TBR list! This week's topic is:

TV Themed Freebie

Top 5 Favourite TV Shows

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2364582/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0303461/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118276/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0364845/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460681/

Top 5 Fall 2016 TV Shows I'm Interested to Watch

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5827228/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5396572/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5555260/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5592146/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5500906/

There's also Luke Cage and the Gilmore Girls revival...oooh, and Lethal Weapon and MacGyver. Though I'm pretty sure I'll be laughing at more than appreciating the latter two. Maybe kind of like Battleship or Snakes on a Plane, you know? They're quite terrible, really, but I still like them!

What TV shows are your favourite or are you looking forward to watching?

Monday, September 5, 2016

Review: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Title: Wildflower
Author: Drew Barrymore
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: 27 October 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

Award-winning actress Drew Barrymore shares funny, insightful, and profound stories from her past and present told from the place of happiness she's achieved today.

Wildflower is a portrait of Drew's life in stories as she looks back on the adventures, challenges, and incredible experiences of her earlier years. It includes tales of living on her own at 14 (and how laundry may have saved her life), getting stuck in a gas station overhang on a cross country road trip, saying goodbye to her father in a way only he could have understood, and many more adventures and lessons that have led her to the successful, happy, and healthy place she is today. It is the first book Drew has written about her life since the age of 14.
(summary from Goodreads)


Wildflower offers not only insight into Barrymore's life, but insight into life in general, into friendship, love and family.

I've always liked Drew Barrymore as an actor so I was eager to read Wildflower. I really enjoyed it. It reads like an anthology of short stories. That's how Barrymore promotes Wildflower - everyone has stories to tell, these are hers. They're not in chronological order or organised in any way that I can discern. They're simply stories of the moments or experiences that have impacted and even changed Barrymore's life. Some are lighthearted, others a little darker. Some are funny, others sad. The greatest thing about Wildflower is Barrymore's style of writing. Wildflower reads very much like you're simply listening to a friend tell stories. It helps that Barrymore has such a distinct voice - and I mean that literally. The way Barrymore speaks, her accent and such, is easily recognisable. So I found myself reading Wildflower entirely in her voice. It added a dynamic that I liked. The feel is that Barrymore is personally sharing pieces of herself with us. And some of those pieces must have been hard to share. Barrymore's focus throughout Wildflower is very much on the positive - even when she mentions the worst of times, there's a lesson or an effect that is positive. You can certainly see how Barrymore has grown. It's really quite inspirational to read. 

Wildflower bares a lot of Barrymore's heart. It's a profound, often hilarious, and very moving read. 

Rating: