Saturday, April 30, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (92)

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

Bought:

When We Collided by Emery Lord
Half Lost by Sally Green
Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
The Witches by Roald Dahl

I still have to get Half Wild now to complete the trilogy. I haven't actually even read Half Bad yet, but when I saw Half Lost on sale I couldn't resist. I never can!

What books are new to your collection? Have you read any of these?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Feature & Follow Friday: Favourite Heroines

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 bloggers! Also, don't forget to pop back over in a couple of days to vote for next week's featured blogger.

Tell us who your 3 favourite heroines are, the books they're in, and why you'll always love them.


Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - Gotta love a fellow bookworm, am I right? I will forever love Hermione because Harry and the rest of the Wizarding world would have been lost without her.
Mary Quinn from The Agency series by Y.S. Lee - So strong-willed and clever, Mary is a survivor and a fighter. She fought to pave her own path and sticks to it.
Blue Sargent from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater - I love Blue's relationship with all the Raven Boys. She seems so 'meh' about her place among those around her and within all the magic they've discovered, but she's the heart, of both their group and her family of psychics.

Who are your favourite heroines? Do you love Hermione, Mary or Blue too?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Title: Truthwitch
Author: Susan Dennard
Series: The Witchlands, Book One
Publisher: Tor
Publication Date: 23 February 2016
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
(summary from Goodreads)


A story of friendship and magic, Truthwitch is a wild fantasy adventure.

I was a little worried when starting this book. I'd been seeing mixed reviews and it became obvious pretty quickly it's one of those kind of books that are really hit or miss. You're either going to love or hate Truthwitch it seems. My book club was split pretty evenly on the matter too. I'm very happy to report that I fell on the love side of the fence. Phew! I really enjoyed Truthwitch. Dennard has created an immersive world that is action-packed and intriguing. I thought Dennard's world building was spot on. From page one I was so hooked. Truthwitch is a learn as you go style of world building, and I can see how that doesn't work for everyone. Even I got impatient here and there. As readers we're thrown right in the thick of things, but ultimately, I found myself appreciating that. It kept the pace of the story from lagging, with no major info dumps; kept things mysterious, tense and heart-pounding. I was always wanting more and Dennard provided. I still want more and can't wait to continue this series. There's so much to Dennard's world. Royalty, politics, religion, warring nations, conspiracies, assassins and a hierarchy of magic. This magic appealed to me the most. So many variations. The idea that the characters have literal connections - threads - to each other was awesome. For me, it gave Truthwitch an added layer of wonder.

Truthwitch alternated between the points of view of both Safiya and Iseult, as well as Merik and Aeduan. I'm a big fan of all four. I was always eager for more of each of them. Safi is impetuous, which I admit was frustrating at times, but she was trying to follow her heart and do right by those she cares about, most especially Iseult, and she really grew on me for that. Iseult was often described as the complete opposite of Safi, and in many ways I agree. She's somewhat more objective and thoughtful than Safi, but at other times just as reckless. She was definitely just as willing to throw herself into any melee in defense of her threadsister. Iseult and Safi's friendship is the best relationship in Truthwitch. I loved the hints of romance Dennard favoured us with, but I'm 100% invested in Safi and Iseult. Their connection is sassy and heartfelt. Speaking of romance though, a big hello to Merik. Prince of a struggling nation, Merik wants nothing more than to do right by his people. He tries so hard to not be ruled by his emotions that guess what? Yep, he's ruled by them. I feel for Merik even when I kind of want to smack him. He's tough but fair, truly a good guy. Much like Safi and Iseult, Merik has an awesome relationship with his threadbrother. Truthwitch is most definitely all about the friendships. I really did like his sizzling and clashing relationship with Safi too. There's instantaneous chemistry, no doubt, but Dennard's quick to assure it's not automatically love. I'm expecting some great development here! Lastly, we have Aeduan. I am most intrigued by Aeduan's story. His morals are very grey so he's a character that could go either way. There's this depth to Aeduan though, a sort of code of loyalty and honour that he lives by that is surprising. What Dennard has done really well is offer brief looks into a much wider world and conspiracy that any of our four main characters are aware of and I'm desperate to learn more. They're on their own journeys but each as connected as ever and it's thrilling. Aside from our narrators Dennard also introduced a number of secondary characters - and I do mean a number. Safi's family, Iseult's clan, Merik's family, Aeduan's father, other heads of warring nations, Leopold and the Court, the Puppeteer, just to quickly mention a few. Each leaves a mark on the story and there's no doubt they have bigger parts to play as the series continues. Again, I can't wait.

Truthwitch is a complex fantasy, and if Dennard's series continues in this fashion it's sure to be deserving of the description "epic". 

Rating: 


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bout of Books 16 Read-A-Thon: Sign Up

Bout of Books

It's that time again. Yep! The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon is back and I'm joining in the fun again!

Here's what you need to know:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team.

Ah, another of week of reading and book related fun! Is there anything better? Unlike last time I'm free as a bird with no major obligations the whole week of Bout of Books 16, so here's hoping I get a good chunk of reading completed. I'll be aiming to read 2 books a day, I think, for a total of 14 books. Phew!

I'll post more about my reading goals and the list of books I'll be hoping to get through closer to the read-a-thon. In the meantime, if you're interested in taking part in Bout of Books 16 too, head on over here and sign up!

Waiting on Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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!

I'm intrigued by...

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 20 September 2016
Pre-Order: Amazon | The Book Depository

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.
(summary from Goodreads)


I read that and my immediate thought was "ooooh, yes, please!" Sounds dark and twisty! I loved Blake's Anna series but have yet to read her Goddess War trilogy. Should probably get on that!

Are you interested to read Three Dark Crowns? Have you read Blake's other books? What book has you counting down the days until its release?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Top Ten Bookworm Delights

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 Bookworm Delights


  • New books - Is there anything better than new books? That excitement of first hearing about a book you want to read, the anticipation (and yeah, impatience) of waiting for it to be published. And then release day and buying that brand new book! Woo!
  • Gorgeous covers - I think all bookworms are guilty of judging a book by its cover at some time or another. Sometimes it's right and sometimes it's not. But those covers that are just stunning and you want to pet them forever, how I love them! They make my shelves look all the better.
  • Author signings - I'm a big fan of conventions, of meeting celebrities, and authors are some of my fave. I love any opportunity to have my books signed and to chat with authors.
  • Reading that perfect quote - You know what I mean. That sentence or paragraph, that description or statement that forces you to just stop and appreciate it. Maybe it's beautiful or inspiring, maybe it's proof that someone else out there gets it.
  • Book clubs/Talking about books - I attend a monthly YA book club and it is one of the highlights of my month, I swear. Is there anything more fun that discussing books? Is there? This is why I blog, why I'm on Goodreads and in a number of online book clubs too - because I love gushing about books and meeting others who feel the same way.
  • Someone loving the book you recommended - For a long while there the only people who read the same books I do were online. Which is fine, I love when someone reads a review I've written and goes on to read the book. What an awesome feeling! But lately I've had friends join book club with me and start to read more YA, so I find myself making recommendations, even lending out my books (I know where they live) and when they love a book I've recommended it makes me so happy! It's not always the case, but even when they don't love it too, it's so great that they gave it a chance.
  • Seeing strangers reading your favourite book(s) - I know we all appreciate this. Anytime I see someone reading a book I love I can't help but hope we make eye contact so I can at least give them a bit of a smile and nod. Sometimes we may even chat about the books. There's a meme I see that says something along the lines of seeing someone reading a book you love is like a book recommending a person, and how true is that?
  • Book boyfriends/girlfriends - Falling in love with a fictional characters is definitely a thing...and I love it.
  • Bookish themed goodies - T-shirts, pillows, bags, phone cases, mugs, jewellery, art - you name it and it's out there. If I ever win the lottery, a good sum of money will be used to buy all the things covered in my favourite quotes or related to my fave books. My library won't just be full of books.
  • Movie/TV adaptations - Okay, okay, I know not everyone will agree with this. And I get it. Book to movie/TV adaptations are not always perfect, that's for sure. But I love TV and films as much as books and sometimes they're pretty good, so I do delight in seeing who's cast as which characters and seeing moments come to life on screen. It's fun. Plus, I think sometimes a film or television adaptation makes new fans of the books and that's certainly worth it. 

What do you think delights bookworms? Do you agree or disagree with any here? Please share your Top Ten posts with me so I can have a look at your lists!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Review: What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi

Title: What You Left Behind
Author: Jessica Verdi
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: 4 August 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

Jessica Verdi, the author of My Life After Now and The Summer I Wasn't Me, returns with a heartbreaking and poignant novel of grief and guilt that reads like Nicholas Sparks for teens.

It's all Ryden's fault. If he hadn't gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead he's failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it's not like he's had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She's fun and energetic-and doesn't know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg's journals only stirs up old emotions. Ryden's convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can't let go of the past?

"Ryden's story is a moving illustration of how sometimes you have to let go of the life you planned to embrace the life you've been given. A strong, character-driven story that teen readers will love."-Carrie Arcos, National Book Award Finalist for Out of Reach
(summary from Goodreads)


A raw and realistic story.

What You Left Behind is full of highs and lows, so much so I'm still in turmoil myself trying to write this review. Sometimes I think that I didn't like this one, but then I think about the emotion of the story and how it deserves a good review for getting me so riled up. It's just that the emotions I felt weren't always positive is all. I remember my anger over What You Left Behind the most, and that also clouds my judgement. But it is a good thing, really. It took me a while to get into this book, which also didn't help. I'm not sure what exactly, but something about Verdi's writing style was really off-putting. I put What You Left Behind down a number of times because of it and honestly, sometimes considered leaving it as a DNF. But I persevered because I wanted to know how Ryden and Hope end up, and soon enough I did get used to the writing and could get into the story. In saying that though, I then found it obvious what twist Verdi was veering towards and that too became off-putting because I just kept getting frustrated waiting for Ryder and Co to finally clue in. So yeah, What You Left Behind was at times a struggle. Plus, the twist really pissed me off. Not because it was bad story wise or anything, but emotionally it led to me getting very ranty! And that's the thing. I do like that I felt connected enough to Verdi's story, the very serious topics she tackles, and her characters, that I got emotionally invested. Even if most of those feelings were more on the negative end of the spectrum. What You Left Behind is certainly thought-provoking, and I appreciated all the ways Verdi had me questioning her characters and their situations, asking "What would I do?" in their place. I admit, I rolled my eyes some and felt frustrated at what I personally consider some seriously terrible and selfish choices, but I've done my best to not hold that against the book as a whole because I think Verdi did succeed in writing something real and honest.

So I'm just going to put it out there - I hated Meg. I kind of feel bad about that, as hating the girl who died of cancer having a baby at only 17 feels quite mean. But then any time I think of Meg I remember my anger and bye bye guilt. While philosophically I do understand Meg, I guess, I'm still all the 'nopes' in the world about her. Nope, nope, nope! No love for Meg here. I also seriously hated her parents. Argh, so much rage at these characters! Remind me they're fictional, yes? I can't say I was the biggest fan of Ryder either, but at least I grew to like him somewhat. I felt for what he was going through, even if I did want to shake him every other minute. It was a tough situation and his struggles and feelings, though they frustrated me, were still genuine and heart-wrenching. It was nice reading his growth as a person and a father. I did actually love some of Verdi's characters too. I adored Ryder's mother, Deanna. I always enjoy reading about parents that are present in YA, it seems to occur few and far between. Her support of Ryder, the way in which she was there but also how she stood back to ensure he found his own way was such a great portrayal. I loved Joni too. She was quirky and fun, knew herself, and I really liked how her acceptance and support came into play. There's no sugar coating the choice to be in a relationship with someone who has a child and Verdi illustrated that well. 

There's ups and downs and many mixed emotions to What You Left Behind. I think I liked it. I still say think! It's one you need to read and decide for yourself. 

Rating: 


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (91)

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

Not many new books added to the shelves over the last two weeks. I've been sick unfortunately, so along with not blogging I wasn't book shopping. Boo.

Bought:

Desolation by Derek Landy
The Haters by Jesse Andrews
Raelia by Lynette Noni

Right before I got sick two weeks ago I attended Supanova Pop Culture Expo where I met Maria V. Snyder. She was lovely and signed my copy of Poison Study. Lynette Noni was there too and so I also got Raelia signed.


It was an awesome event, as always. I also met Adrianne Palicki, Amy Acker, Burn Gorman, Eka Darville and Bonnie Wright, as well as added to my Funko Pop! Figurine collection. Good times!

What new things did you add to your shelves recently?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Feature & Follow Friday: Misbehaving Authors/Reviewers

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 bloggers! Also, don't forget to pop back over in a couple of days to vote for next week's featured blogger.

What's your criteria of a misbehaving author and/or reviewer?


Lack of respect and professionalism. That's the criteria for any sort of misbehaviour, right? It's such a public forum, and in terms of reviews especially, built on personal opinion, that we have to be fair and respectful in expressing ourselves, and in accepting the views of others. I think personal attacks are the worst of it. Reviews that are just plain mean and rude, full of put downs and insults, for example. Or authors that argue against or attack reviewers for writing a bad review. That sort of drama always disappoints me. We can't all share the same likes and dislikes so we have to be respectful of each other, always.

Thanks for following me, and if you share your own FF post in the comments, I'll be sure to follow back.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review: After the End by Amy Plum

Title: After the End
Author: Amy Plum
Series: After the End, Book One
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 6 May 2014
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

"I have no idea what is truth and what is fiction. I'm all I've got now. I can't trust anyone."

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past. (summary from Goodreads)

A little dystopian, a little fantasy, After the End stands out.

Plum's story is definitely something original. I really liked the world she created. The ideas of the Gaia Movement, the Yara, the fake WWIII to mislead Juneau's clan - it's unique and quite cool. Plum has made it believable, which is what I enjoyed the most. I never felt like I had to suspend my disbelief to go along with it all. I found it really interesting how Plum grounded her fictional world in reality. It's imaginative how she expanded on things that are well known to create something new and great. I'm most impressed by Juneau and her people's connection to what they call the Yara. It's something very magical and yet at the same time somewhat scientific. Questions about the Yara, the how and why of this power Juneau's clan taps into, drives the narrative of After the End. It keeps things captivating, and added to it Plum keeps the action high. Alternating between Juneau and Miles's points of view, After the End is incredibly fast paced. I was surprised just how quickly I finished this novel. It's not so much that you can't put it down though, but that it's finished before you know it. With a whopper of a cliffhanger, fair warning, you'll want to get your hands on it's sequel, Until the Beginning, as soon as possible.

Despite all of this though, I had one major problem with After the End. I had trouble connecting. I liked Plum's characters but I just didn't find myself as invested in them as I should have been. Juneau is quite kickass. I loved how when faced with the modern world, and though completely out of her element, Juneau's skills and strengths were more than enough. I'm much like Miles and in awe of all Juneau could accomplish, even without the benefit of the Yara. It's certainly an interesting and current commentary on society, one that is genuine and thoughtful without being preachy. Miles I had to warm up to, but I'm sure that's the point. Still, it was Miles I had the most problem connecting with. I enjoyed his point of view and I was glad he had his own narration but I just couldn't help feeling something was missing. It was the same with Juneau too. She's lost her clan, is on the run, but I wasn't always feeling it. As I said, After the End is seriously fast paced, and I wonder if it was too fast? With so much happening so quickly, maybe some emotional impact was rushed? I question rather than state that though, as honestly, I'm truly unsure exactly what it is that caused my lack of connection. I feel the same way about Plum's villains, Whit and Mr Blackwell. They definitely have that bad guy aura, slightly psychotic and creepy, yet still I was unmoved by them also. They kind of fell flat for me, to be honest. They felt generic despite the uniqueness of After the End's narrative.

After the End is something quite familiar and a little different all at once. A quick and enjoyable read.

Rating:


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Waiting on Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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!

I must have...

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 29 September 2016
Pre-Order: Amazon | The Book Depository

A breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men.
a mysterious city stripped of its name.
a mythic hero with blood on his hands.
a young librarian with a singular dream.
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled.
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.
(summary from Goodreads)


I don't doubt this one is a popular choice. And who can blame us, right? It sounds so intriguing, just that summary - but also check out the Prologue! I want, want, want! And it'll be released right in time for my birthday, so Happy Birthday to me this year, woo! Now to just wait almost 6 months...

What book are you so very eager to read? Are you looking forward to Strange the Dreamer too?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Top Ten Books A Magic Fan Might Like to Read

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 Books A Magic Fan Might Like to Read

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/72193.Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher_s_Stone https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17675462-the-raven-boys https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9361589-the-night-circus https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26196299-carry-on https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21393526-magonia
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/109059.Matilda https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25532530-uprooted https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18798983-the-wrath-the-dawn https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8715032-blood-magic https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20578940-the-iron-trial

Having just recently reread The Night Circus magic is on my mind, so this week's topic provided a good opportunity. Have you read any of these? Do you have any other suggestions of magical books I should read?

Please share your Top Ten post with me and I'll be sure to visit!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Title: Wonder
Author: R.J. Palacio
Publisher: Corgi Children's
Publication Date: 3 January 2013
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

You can't blend in when you were born to stand out.

My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside.

But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don't get stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, he's being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted - but can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all?

Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches forever, Wonder is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.
(summary from Goodreads)

Wonder is something truly special.

An inspiring story, Wonder is told through multiple points of view. Not only do we get to know Auggie as he sees the world, but we see him through the eyes of other children too - his older sister, Via; her oldest friend, Miranda; and her new boyfriend, Justin; and Auggie's new school friends, Jack and Summer. Palacio's characters each have very distinct voices and personalities - differentiated too through style choices, such as font, grammar, and so on - and I enjoyed each of them. I think what works so well is that it helps to have had those multiple sides of the same story. Palacio also cleverly reveals the full extent of Auggie's condition a little bit at a time this way. Some narrations were very minor compared to others but I found each had a necessary impact. Miranda shows us how family is more than blood, for example, and Justin's narration portrays the true scope of acceptance. Outside of Auggie's, Via's narration resonated the most with me. Via has her own struggles but feels they're not important in light of her brother's condition and I think readers are more likely to easily empathise with Via. Wonder details how everyone faces tough times, and Palacio's story is truly genuine in that way. It's so much more than just a story about a boy with facial deformities. It's a story about growing up, being true to yourself, and about how the people that surround us shape our identities. 

Wonder is a really lighthearted read, for the most part. I've read reviews where others expected a darker and more gritty read, but me, I love this book for being fun and light. Auggie and those around him face some tough issues, there's no denying that, but the fact is, having a disability or a serious condition as Auggie does does not automatically mean life is always hard and a constant struggle. Auggie's family is well off, supportive and caring as you'd expect, and Wonder reflects the reality of that. Other than how he looks Auggie is just your average 10 year old boy - which is the heart of Wonder. Where it counts he's no different than anyone else. Wonder is also a lesson in kindness. That's all it takes for us to see beyond our differences, as Palacio illustrates beautifully. This book runs the emotional gamut. Reading it you're sure to experience some extreme feelings - love, awe, disgust, fury, heartbreak, sadness, joy. It's all there and I outwardly portrayed all, laughing, growling and bawling my eyes out a number of times. I don't see how anyone could read Wonder and not feel it all or be forever touched. It's definitely one of those books.

Wonder is the kind of book that could spark a change if every single person in the world could read it. 

Rating:


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (90)

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

I spent that gift card from last week in one go, as I knew I would. There's no stopping me from wanting all the books!

Bought:

Special by Georgia Blain
The First Third by Wil Kostakis - autographed copy, yay!
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Book of Lies by Teri Terry
The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

Ebook Deals:

Alex Finch: Monster Hunter by Cate Dean
Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein 

Borrowed:

White Space by Ilsa J. Bick
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
He Forgot to Say Goodbye by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich - I'm positive I own this already, but do you think I can find it?! A sure sign I have too many books, when they start hiding!


Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James - lent to me by my friend, Candy. I've always been interested to read this.

Won:

The Road to Winter by Mark Smith - with thanks to Dymocks Brisbane and their awesome YA Book Club.

Phew, I have a lot of reading to get through this month. I'm so eager to read them all that I'm not sure where to start. Maybe Flawed as it's a book club pick. Or The Road to Winter as it's being pitched as a new Tomorrow, When the War Began and that definitely appeals to me! Have you read any of these? Any recommendations for what I should read first?

What new books have you added to your collection?

Friday, April 8, 2016

Feature & Follow Friday: 7 Word Plots

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 bloggers! Also, don't forget to pop back over in a couple of days to vote for next week's featured blogger.

Tell us the plots of your 10 favourite books in 7 words or less.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/72193.Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher_s_Stone https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17675462-the-raven-boys https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8490112-daughter-of-smoke-bone https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23215491-magonia https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19064.The_Book_Thief

  • Orphan boy trains as wizard, fights evil.
  • Five friends search for sleeping ancient King.
  • Warring demon and angel fall in love.
  • Girl struggling to breathe is part bird.
  • Girl watched by Death steals books.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13330943-the-night-circus https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25524728-illuminae https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7285601-the-hunger-games https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6786718-the-day-after-forever https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15931.The_Notebook

  • Magic showdown within wonderful nighttime circus.
  • Plague decimates spaceships controlled by psychotic AI.
  • One girl desperate to survive fuels revolution.
  • Four friends spend one last summer together.
  • Great love story, have tissues handy. 

That was fun - and not entirely accurate, but I gave it a good go! Share your mini-plots with me!