Saturday, June 18, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (98)

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

I haven't added much to my shelves over the last two weeks. I've been doing my best to resist buying every new book I see until I've read more from my TBR.

Bought:

Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
The Book of Pearl by Timothee de Fombelle

I've already read and really liked Witch Hunter as an ARC so I finally bought a copy, and I've been hearing a lot of great things about the others that I can't wait to discover for myself.

Have you read any of these? What bookish goodies have you added to your shelves recently?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Feature & Follow Friday: Most Lurked Websites

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.

5 Websites That You Love to Lurk Around That Are Not Shopping Sites


  • Facebook - I do love Facebook and spend way too much time lurking on it. I like that I can see what my friends share, but also that I can like all sorts of pages and keep up to date on anything from gossip, movies, books, news, bloggers, actors, hobbies, so on and so on. Facebook keeps me in the know!
  • Goodreads - I mean, of course, right? I go here for everything book related, pretty much. Plus I participate in reading challenges. Goodreads is a must!
  • Netflix - I love TV and movies as much as I do books and Netflix is a little slice of heaven. And hell, I suppose. Binging on season after season of shows is definitely a bit of both, right? 
  • Archive of Our Own - This is my favourite fanfiction website. I read a little fanfic every day, I just adore it. 
  • Tumblr - This one is something of a guilty pleasure, because when I feel like procrastinating I can waste hours browsing fandom gifs and artwork on Tumblr. It's where I go when I'm feeling a little obsessed with something and can't resist the pretties. 

Do you lurk at any of these websites? Which sites made your list? Recommend a new place for me to lurk!! I like that word. Lurk. It's a little creepy and funny all in one!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review: The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub

Title: The Yearbook Committee
Author: Sarah Ayoub
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Publication Date: 1 March 2016
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

Five teenagers. Five lives. One final year.

The school captain: Ryan has it all … or at least he did, until an accident snatched his dreams away. How will he rebuild his life and what does the future hold for him now?

The newcomer: Charlie’s just moved interstate and she’s determined not to fit in. She’s just biding her time until Year 12 is over and she can head back to her real life and her real friends …

The loner: At school, nobody really notices Matty. But at home, Matty is everything. He’s been single-handedly holding things together since his mum’s breakdown, and he’s never felt so alone.

The popular girl: Well, the popular girl’s best friend … cool by association. Tammi’s always bowed to peer pressure, but when the expectations become too much to handle, will she finally stand up for herself?

The politician’s daughter: Gillian’s dad is one of the most recognisable people in the state and she’s learning the hard way that life in the spotlight comes at a very heavy price.

Five unlikely teammates thrust together against their will. Can they find a way to make their final year a memorable one or will their differences tear their world apart?
(summary from Goodreads)


The Yearbook Committee strives to be deep and meaningful but is little more than hollow stereotype.

I was really disappointed with this book. I liked the concept, it had a sort of The Breakfast Club vibe to it that appealed to me, but ultimately it simply doesn't deliver. Ayoub has obviously tried hard, filling her story with varied characters and topics, but at best it's cliched and at worst, simply meaningless. For me it really seems a case of trying too hard. Ayoub has tried to cover as much as possible, over a 9 month period, as quickly as she could and it reads that way. Too much and too rushed. There are a number of great and interesting topics touched upon, from bullying, depression, friendship, drugs, self-esteem, abortion, disability, media, family, and so on, but that's part of the problem - they're only touched upon. Ayoub mentions them, tries to have them a major part of the story, but none are truly delved into in any real depth. The Yearbook Committee frustrated me because all the ways it could have been amazing were right there! I could see what was meant to have an emotional impact but it all just fizzled. Believe me, I should have been crying but instead I was annoyed. The Yearbook Committee rang hollow unfortunately.

As did all of Ayoub's characters. Though alternating between the point of views of five main characters, I feel like we never really got to know any of them. They're very stereotypical, which isn't so bad to begin with if they develop into more as we get to know them, but here, that just isn't the case. Each character is and remains very two dimensional, and as I didn't connect with the story, I really, really didn't connect with Ayoub's characters. Again it was frustrating as there was such potential. There was just so much missing, the development, the build up. These characters pretty much hate each other, then from one moment to the next they're practically the best of friends - how?! Reading how this happens is why I was reading The Yearbook Committee and it just wasn't there! The same for the romantic relationship between Charlie and Ryan. One moment they're insulting each other, the next they're kissing. Um? I want to have experienced these developments! This is where the emotion should've hit. For me, the worst thing that really cemented my unhappiness with The Yearbook Committee is a certain characters death. Now that's not a spoiler! Right from the beginning we're aware one of these characters is going to die, the question is who. I found myself quite disgusted with how this characters death was handled. It was very blase and it infuriated me that their death was so meaningless. Emotion! But the wrong kind. There's this whole scene where this characters death was revealed and I hated it. HATED IT! I don't think Ayoub could have forced me to care any less. Honestly, I just do not get the point of The Yearbook Committee. This book is full of these cringeworthy, ultimately ridiculous moments that should be thought-provoking, heartfelt, and emotional, but all the heart and realness necessary to make it so are missing. I was so dissatisfied with The Yearbook Committee because it didn't feel like there was any true closure. 

The Yearbook Committee aims high but it's missing heart.

Rating:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Waiting on Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

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 definitely interested to read...

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 22 November 2016
Pre-Order: Amazon | The Book Depository

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.
(summary from Goodreads)


A new fantasy, one with warring kingdoms and magic, a new pair of star crossed lovers, and they're both female! It just sounds better and better! Of Fire and Stars has to be added to my TBR, no doubt about it. 

What book enticed you this week? Are you interested to read Of Fire and Stars

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of the Year

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 Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of the Year

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29056083-harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24909346-gemina https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28512547-aerie https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28145767-strange-the-dreamer https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26114463-nevernight
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22299763-crooked-kingdom https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28448287-replica https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22466429-kids-of-appetite https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23207027-three-dark-crowns https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25164304-of-fire-and-stars

Can you believe we're almost half way through 2016 already? Where did that time go? Though on the other hand, we're that much closer to all these books we're eagerly waiting for, so yay! Are you looking forward to any of these releases? What others are you waiting for?

There's been no blogging going on around here the last week. Unfortunately I'm in a bit of a slump again. Gotta find that inspiration and motivation once more! In the meantime, apologies for the silence. What helps you when you get in a slump?

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Waiting on Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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...

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: 10 January 2017
Pre-Order: Amazon | The Book Depository

Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.
(summary from Goodreads)


I definitely like the sound of this one. It has a The Night Circus feel to it, but darker. And I really like that cover.  It's pretty with that galaxy like background. 

What book snagged your attention this week? Is Caraval on your TBR?

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (97)

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

Bought:

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn
The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
Whisper to Me by Nick Lane
Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Antsey
The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Gifted:

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

Have you read any of these? What books have you added to your shelves?

Friday, June 3, 2016

Feature & Follow Friday: Bookish Moments

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.

What is your most interesting bookish memory or experience?


I think that is still my being forced to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Yep, forced. When I was in my first year of Uni many, many, many years ago, Goblet of Fire had been released and everyone was going on and on about this series. I refused to read it because it was a "kid's book". Yeah, I was a snob. So a friend of mine decided to be underhanded and bought the first book for me as a present for my 18th birthday that year. I promised I'd at least give it a go. And so I did, figuring I'd read just a few chapters and that there'd be no chance I'd like it. Ha. I couldn't put it down. I went right out to the nearest bookstore after finishing it to purchase the next three books in the series and proceeded to read them one after another. I was so hooked on those books I handed in assignments late. I was taking the books to class with me to try and sneak a chapter here and there! My friend, evil person that she is, had me attend a class with her when I was near the end of Goblet of Fire because, though I didn't know this at the time, she wanted to see my reaction to it all. When Cedric Diggory was killed I shouted "No!" and had every single person in the room staring at me. My friend thought it was hilarious. I just apologised and went back to reading. I clearly remember having to go to one of my own classes not long after, still having not finished it, and being so desperate for the lecture to be over. I was a diehard fan within days. And I've never looked back. I've lined up for ages to be one of the first to get the new books when they were unboxed, I've dressed up I can't tell you how many times for parties and movie openings, I have shelves dedicated to Harry Potter, I've crushed on Percy Weasley, Oliver Wood and Draco Malfoy, I've vehemently defended Snape after Half Blood Prince when my family were so sure he'd murdered Dumbledore, I've tattooed my love of the series on my body - and plan to do so again. Harry Potter is my most favourite thing in this world. I've just realised, but my birthday this year will mark 15 years of loving the series. I feel old, but also so thankful. Just don't tell my friend that. It's a running joke that she doesn't get appreciation but blame for the obsession she caused.

Other bookish experiences that stand out are meeting favourite authors like Maggie Stiefvater and John Marsden. Like J.K. Rowling, their works affected me and it's so great to be able to chat to them and let them know this. One day I really, really, really hope I'll meet Rowling too. That'll be a dream come true! Also Sarah Dessen. I'm so excited because David Levithan will be visiting Australia in September, so yay for another fave author meet and greet! I can't wait.

What is your most interesting bookish memory or experience? Have you met any of your fave authors? Do you love Harry Potter? Tell me all! Thanks for stopping by and following my blog.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Reading Challenge Wrap Up: May

So you might not have noticed, but I didn't complete any reading towards my challenges during April. I didn't have a great month, health wise, and barely read. It was a sad month. But I've done some pretty major catching up during May and hopefully I stay on track from here on out.


TBR Pile Reading Challenge

I definitely have to put more effort into reading more books from my TBR pile. I keep reading the new books I buy and meanwhile there's a major pile of older purchases still waiting.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

That Artsy Reader Girl

2016 Debut Author Challenge

I still have some catching up to do to meet my goal but I read more debuts this month than I first thought I had.

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern (Review)
Underwater by Marisa Reichardt
After the Woods by Kim Savage

http://www.readsleeprepeat.org/2015/12/announcing-the-diverse-reads-2016-book-challenge/

2016 Diverse Reads Book Challenge

Wow, I actually read a heap for this challenge. Mostly the books have POC characters or LBGTQ characters. This month I'd like to read more books portraying disabilities or mental illness.

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern (Review)
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
He Forgot to Say Goodbye by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub
Half Bad by Sally Green
Half Wild by Sally Green
Half Lost by Sally Green
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood

http://www.loveatfirstpage.org/2015/12/05/sign-up-2016-a-series-a-month-reading-challenge/

2016 A Series A Month Challenge

I had hoped to read at least 2 series' this month but alas, it didn't happen. This month, if all goes well. The series I did read, I loved. Definitely one of my favourites now!

Half Bad by Sally Green
Half Wild by Sally Green
Half Lost by Sally Green

That's it for my reading challenges during May. I'm pretty happy with my progress, especially after April. Here's to June being even more more stellar!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Waiting on Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

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!

A yes please to...

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: 7 February 2017
Pre-Order: Amazon | The Book Depository

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.
(summary from Goodreads)


Why hello there, Labyrinth retelling! Yes, yes, yes! Labyrinth is one of my most favourite movies so I'm definitely interested to read Wintersong

How about you? Would you consider reading Wintersong? What book caught your fancy this week?