get to know me

Unique Blogger Award

I was actually nominated for one of these things and I’m…shocked? I’m still a pretty new blog so I was definitely excited when I got the notification Solo had tagged me in this! I mean, I don’t really get the whole “blogger award” thing, but I am still excited to do this quick post for everyone.


| Rules |

1. Link to the blogger(s) who nominated you
2. Answer their questions
3. Nominate 8-13 people
4. Ask them 3 questions


1. If you could only buy paperbacks or hardcovers for the rest of your life, which one would you chose?

Hardbacks. I love paperbacks, but hardbacks are so aesthetically pleasing and are so much easier to hold, in my opinion. I also don’t have to worry about them getting damaged when I shove them in my bag with a water bottle or my laptop (especially if I take the dust jacket off).

2. Three of your favourite books are on fire and you can only save one, which one will it be?

This question is basically the question from hell. I guess, Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. I am such trash for that book and I think I could read it a hundred times and never get bored, or even notice ever piece of foreshadowing that Cassie Clare puts in!

3. If you could go on a lunch date with any author (deceased or living) who would it be?

I’m going to choose two Aussie authors here and say either Sally Thorne (author of The Hating Game) or Jay Kristoff (author of Nevernight). They both seem like they have fantastic personalities and I would love to be able to get in their head and ask their thoughts on topics in the media or even know what their favourite breed of dog is.


Tags |

Heres the thing, I don’t actually really know anyone in the blogging world yet. I’m just kind of here doing my thing, so I’m going to say you if you read this far. I challenge you to do the three questions I set out! Do it on your Instagram account or your blog doesn’t bother me. Just make sure you tag me, I’d love to see your answers!


My Questions |

  1. If you could burn every copy of one book, what would you choose?
  2. What is your most hated trope?
  3. If you could make one book into a movie (and have full control) what would you choose?

Okay, I guess that’s it! Have fun and happy reading everyone!

reviews

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie | Review

Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: February 8th, 2016

Pages: 273

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Cas has fought pirates her entire life. But can she survive living among them?

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.

There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.


 

R A M B L E

I went into The Abyss Surrounds Us with low expectations. It’s not a very popular book, but it had suddenly been making the rounds on my Goodreads account and I just had to know why no one had rated this book under four stars.

I now know.

The Abyss Surrounds Us is a tale unlike any other I have read. That may be because I’m not a fan of sea monsters or pirates usually, but this book does it so fantastically I simply enjoyed my precious opinions. The f/f romance in this was beautiful as well. I am now completely on board with the Cas and Swift OTP. Someone get me a ship and I’ll name it after them.

I just have a lot of feelings about this book and all are good. My only point of “eh, could have done without” was during the action scenes. I would get a tad confused in some parts.


P L O T

Going in, I knew nothing about the plot apart from there would be some lesbian pirates. When I read the first chapter a few months ago and put the book down, I thought Cas was the pirate and there was going to be some Kraken like creatures throughout.

I was very wrong it seems. That is not at all what the plot of this book was. And I was so happy. I was pleasantly surprised and definitely happy as we follow Cassandra who has trained Reckoners her whole life. I’m a bit unsure of what they look like still, at no fault of the author. I believe the ones in this book look like turtles? Could be completely wrong though.

The plot was packed with adventure and action, in a way that would leave you desperately wanting more. The romance does not take over the story in anyway but you are still left with giggly feelings when sparks fly between the main characters. The enemies to lovers trope is done so well, with flirting and banter that make you feel so warm inside.

I’m getting gushy, I know, but I just adore Swift and Cas. I can’t wait to see where their story goes!


C H A R A C T E R S

#C A S S A N D R A

You know how a while ago there were those things that were like “looks like a cinnamon roll but will kill you”? Well, Cassandra is a cinnamon role who will kill you. She comes across as kind-hearted and soft, but oh my God. That girl is kick ass.

The character development that the author uses for Cas is incredible. Following her particular growth is amazing. Honestly, I am speechless by how flawlessly the author achieves this. It is completely captivating in a way that you simply need to know what she does next.

Her decision at the end of the novel shocked me and the revelations that came out? Someone hand me the next book now. I seriously can’t wait to finish the four other books I need to so I can jump straight back into this world.

#S W I F T

So, if Cassandra is “looks like a cinnamon roll but will you kill you”, Swift is the exact opposite. Which I believe is “looks like they will kill you but is a cinnamon roll”? I clearly missed that trend. Swift was a character I was momentarily scared of. For some reason, she also reminded me of Theon Greyjoy’s sister on Game of Thrones. That could be because I’ve been binging Game of Thrones for two months now in order to catch up (two episodes left!).

Finding out Swift’s story broke my heart. It isn’t unusual for that to happen to me. My friends all say I’m really soft (I just have a lot of feelings, I’m sorry) but really, I loved Swift. She was overall a morally grey character that I was rooting for. Something that I don’t usually do.


O V E R A L L

Overall, this enemy to lovers story is great. I was so unable to put it down to even think of anything else. I am so glad this hidden gem was floating around Goodreads.

highly recommend.

On a note that isn’t this particular book related, I am having the best reading month.

reviews

The Bronze Key by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black | Review

Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: August 30th 2016

Pages: 256

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Magic can save you.
Magic can kill you.

Students at the Magisterium are supposed to be safe. Under the watchful eyes of the mages, they are taught to use magic to bring order to a chaotic world.

But now the chaos is fighting back. Call, Tamara, and Aaron should be worrying about things like pop quizzes and magic contests. Instead, after the shocking death of one of their classmates, they must track down a sinister killer… and risk their own lives in the process.

As Call, Tamara, and Aaron discover, magic can only be as good as the person who wields it. In evil hands, it has the capacity to do immeasurable harm, unless it is stopped in time.

In this striking third book of Magisterium, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare present us with a school where anything, good or evil, can happen, and the only way to unlock the truth is to risk everything to find it.


R A M B L E

This review will probably be short because I am screaming still from this book. The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare was dark. The previous two books seemed like child play when compared to this book and I am shocked. I am shocked that these two women are geniuses. I haven’t felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest by a book in a long time, but these two authors manage to do it within 200 pages.


 P L O T 

Following the same characters we now know and love, The Bronze Key is a story about friendship, crushes and murder.

Wait, one of those seem out of place. Definitely the crushes.

Definitely the crushes.

Romance hasn’t been a big thing in this series, but it slowly starts to be introduced to the series as the characters are now 14 and undergoing puberty, I presume it’s not in the text. It was a bit disorientating to read about Callum’s feelings and I got confused in some aspects, which was the only thing that brought this book down a star because it was a perfect five.

It seems these kids can’t get a break though because this particular year someone wants to murder Callum. I get he’s annoying, but I’m not sure he exactly screams “murder me”. Apparently, he does though. Along the way the trio makes many discoveries they may wish they didn’t and suffer losses that will break them.


C  H A R A C T E R S 

I haven’t got a lot to say about the characters throughout this book. At least, not enough to make individual parts in this review like I usually do. Callum, Tamara and Aaron go through some series hardships in their Bronze Year at the Magisterium. Hardships no fourteen years should have to face. It is distressing, in a way, at what they do experience and the lack of adults who are willing to help.

The trio takes care of Havoc, while also never letting Callum out of their sight in fear the murderer will strike when they do. The character growth throughout this book was beautiful, but also hilarious in some aspects. Mainly the introduction of romance that I mentioned previously.

I’m beyond excited to see how the trio grows in the future books. I can’t believe I waited so long to pick up this series.


O V E R A L L 

Overall, Cassandra Clare and Holly Black did it again. They managed to have me crying late in the night over their unexpected twists and unflinching way to execute a story. I am beyond excited for the release of the fourth book which comes out later in August.

I still highly recommend this series if you’re looking for a fast paces middle-grade series that is in no way similar to Percy Jackson or Harry Potter. Black and Clare completely make this world their own without cliches or themes from those series and it is amazing. 

reviews

The Genesi Code by Tristan Willis | Review

Booktopia | Book Depository| Amazon

Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: September 1st 2017

Pages: 226

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Luka was only eight years old when her father, Christopher Foster, was murdered.

Christopher had been working on a cure for the Genesi Code, which has plagued the human race since the government began experimenting on human DNA in an attempt to create a genetically-advanced army.

Luka has spent the last ten years training for the military’s elite taskforce, known as Delta Force, so she can uncover the truth surrounding her father’s murder. But along the way, she uncovers a truth about herself that she is not yet ready to face.

Could the truth surrounding Luka’s past be the key to curing the Genesi and ending the war? In the end, is revenge all that matters?


R A M B LE 

TRIGGER WARNINGS: parental abuse, murder, anxiety

I was sent a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and receiving the copy in no way impacted my thoughts towards this novel.

Buddy read with Caitlin.

I love the idea of supporting debut authors, especially Australian ones. That’s why when I saw I could apply to receive this book for review I jumped on it. Fast. Tristen Willis, the author, also owns an Etsy store called BurningPagesCandles so when I received this package I was so excited that some of her products were included.

The book itself reminded me of both The Maze Runner and Divergent. Obviously, it is not those two books but reading through The Genesi Code I couldn’t help but compare it to those two books. It could have just been the dystopian themes throughout, though.

I did have some problems with this book, but I tend to whenever I read and some are nitpicky things that probably only annoy me. These were that sometimes the plot moved too fast and I got lost, leaving me to flip back pages and scan over what I had missed. In the beginning, there was a lot of mundane activity described that left me confused how it added. By a lot, I mean it was listed for paragraphs. It also took me a bit to fall into the writing style, but once I did the previous problems weren’t as obvious to me.

At the end of the day, this is a fast paced debut novel that features a strong lead and delivers the plot in an interesting, but exciting, way.


P L O T 

What is the Genesi Code? Well, the Genesi Code was a strand of DNA that the government curated to create the ultimate army. Things didn’t go to plan, however, and the Genesi did turn on humans. Since they were superior in almost every way they succeeded in almost wiping out the human race.

Luka’s father had been working with the government to find a cure for the Genesi when he was murdered. This is something that haunts her as she was there when it happened and she can’t remember what happened. With her best friend Harvey, the pair train for ten years in the hopes of being accepted in the military when they graduate.

The plot in The Genesi Code moves fast. It has to considering the book is quite short. We follow Luka and Harvey at the training base as they make friends and enemies with their cohort. We don’t get a lot of the training, which I was a bit sad about since I love training montages but we do get to really see them build relationships with the people that surround them.

When the action starts it leaves you sitting on the edge of your seat. The author weaves a story that leaves you shocked at characters decisions and desperately needing the next book in the series.


C H A R A C T E R S

For this section, I’ll only be talking about the main character Luka, as I feel the book didn’t go into as much depth with the side characters. This is only book one, though.

#L U K A

Luka was a pretty kick-ass main character. She is strong and definitely ready to actually kick your ass. As she was one of the three girls present in this story (something that annoyed me a little, where are my kick-ass women?) she had to be strong. Especially since she is in the military. She is. She can outrun and outfight most of the other people in her cohort.

I would also say Luka had an almost clinical personality if that makes sense. I definitely enjoyed it since I get told I have that sort of personality. It was interesting to see another character portrayed in that way.

I’m very excited to see how Luka expands in the next books and what she decides to do.


O V E R A L L 

Overall, this was a stellar debut. I enjoyed every minute and was able to read the book in two sittings throughout the day (the only time I stopped was to play Cards Against Humanity with my family). It’s been a while since I finished a book in a day, so I think that sings high praises in itself for this book.

Definitely, pre-order yourself a copy if this sounds like something you’re interested in. If not, definitely head over to Tristen’s Etsy store (BurningPagesCandles) because her products are ones I rave about.

 

get to know me

Books I Read For The Hype

The hype. The thing that can either bring you to your favourite book in the world or leave you confused about why this book is popular. Books fall victim to it constantly, at least for me. I will see people talking about a book on all platforms and feel myself get excited, but once you build up expectations it will be the next best thing since sliced bread.

So, without any more babbling and rambling, here are a collection of books that I read for the hype, some have flopped and some became my favourites. This list could probably go on for pages, but I’ll try to keep it short. I also won’t include descriptions of plots or anything, but Goodreads pages will be linked if you are curious!

Have any books fallen victim to the hype for you?


Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

| Goodreads |

Was the hype right? No. 

This was actually my first buddy read ever. I read it with one of my closest in real life friends and she loved it, but for some reason, I couldn’t fully get into the story. I know now that this book also has some incredibly problematic themes, no doubt not intentionally done by the author.

Everything, Everything was definitely a hyped book because as I truly started to engage in Goodreads I couldn’t escape this book. Sadly, it was a flop.


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

| Goodreads |

Was the hype right? Yes. 

The Hate U Give was a complete success for me. I was shocked and on the edge of my seat. Starr was such a different character from me and I had never experienced any of the themes in this book, my heart just completely broke reading it. The need for justice in America became clearer than it had ever been before. I understand that highlights my own white privilege, but this book opened my eyes to a whole other world that I had never been able to understand before.


The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

| Goodreads |

Was the hype right? Yes. 

I think everyone and their mother knew about The Lunar Chronicles from BookTube. Boy, was this series hyped. It was actually one of the first series I decided to tackle, after becoming afraid of them, because thankfully when I started Winter was out. I actually vividly remember picking up this series, right before Lady Midnights release and just as I had started University and was travelling 6 hours for every lecture (I now study online).

This series quickly shot to my favourites, as well. With the only book stopping me from binging was lady Midnight.


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas.

| Goodreads |

Was the hype right? Yes. 

I think you either love or hate Sarah J Maas. I love her. I know her books are problematic and I understand there is content that is harmful towards others, but this series helped me get through a part of my life that was stuck in and stumbling over. So, sue me. I definitely buy into this hype, despite the fact book one wasn’t that great.

 

 

 


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

| Goodreads |

Was the hype right? Kind of?

I may get shot for this one, but I don’t think I liked Six of Crows as much as everyone else. I liked it, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t understand the hype elements everyone talked about. I also didn’t like Crooked Kingdom, so I’m not sure if I can say I bought into this hype?

 


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

| Goodreads |

Was the hype right? Yes. 

Being an Australian I am always excited to support Australian authors. However, I was nervous to start this. I don’t like sci-fi and I definitely wasn’t sure how I would like the format. I was scared that I would hate it, even though one of my closest friends highly recommended it.

I finally took the jump into this book when I had just moved into a new house and had no internet connection, and lets just say I’m the one who’s highly recommending this now. 


Paper Princess by Erin Watt

| Goodreads |

Was the hype right? No. 

If you have me on Goodreads you probably know how much I despise this series. I honestly thought it would be a Princess Diaries take with some new adult themes, boy was I wrong. This book is incredibly disgusting. So, I obviously hated myself enough to read books two and three as well.

I would like to burn every copy of this series in existence, terrible themes and terrible characters.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Was the hype right? Kind of?

| Goodreads |

The Raven Boys is another difficult one for me. I love the first three books. If you want to talk to me about the first three books, lets go. However, I hated The Raven King. I found it boring and the ending completely a waste of my time. All my own theories were much better and I was mad. It honestly changed my outlook on the entire series.

So, I guess the hype was kind of worth it if I forget The Raven King was ever a book.

 

reviews

The Copper Gauntlet By Cassandra Clare & Holly Black | Review

Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: September 1st 2015

Pages: 264

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Callum Hunt’s summer break isn’t like other kids’. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren’t heading back to the magical world of the Magisterium in the fall.

It’s not easy for Call . . . and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc.

Call escapes to the Magisterium — but things only intensify there. The Alkahest — a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic — has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends Aaron and Tamara awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes — and get closer to an even more dangerous truth.


R A M B L E 

Wow, what a book. I was sucked in almost instantly. The beginning for this was such a bigger bang than the first book (review here). There were flat parts, but since it is only an incredibly short novel I was completely enthralled and involved with the world.

The Copper Gauntlet definitely displays a different kind of story to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson (sorry for the comparison), it definitely strays completely away from the belief that this series is in any way similar to the others in any way. I mean, none of the series have a main character who has a wolf, so I know which one I prefer.

This book had adventure. This book had friendship. This book smashed middle grade and young adult stereotypes. I highly recommend this if you’re looking for a fast paced novel that features no romance and incredible friendships.


C H A R A C T E R S

#C A L L U M

Callum Hunt remains our main character. We see the whole story through his eyes and experience his reactions to what is happening. He is also pretty oblivious, which makes reading his perspective pretty frustrating at some times. Not only that but the fact he was so unwilling to communicate and share information with his friends. I wanted to shake him and scream he could trust them.

There are some incredible changes in his character, in my belief, the way he goes about magic and just how he holds himself is different from the first book. He is no longer scared of judgement from his peers and is truly more open.

#T A M A R A

Tamara is both my least favourite character and a girl I know I would be best friends with. She is comic relief, she is fearless and she is not about to take a single characters shit. Being Muslim of Iranian descent Tamara has a lot of pressures on her. She has to deal with a lot of complications, especially since her family is in the Assembly (kind of like court for Mages).

I just love her. She is not a perfect character. None of the characters in these novels are. She is flawed. She doesn’t always do the right thing and she does screw up. But, man, is she well written and kickass.

#A A R O N

Aaron doesn’t do too much this book. After the events of the last book he kind of becomes closed down and a tad hopeless, in my opinion. He also doesn’t do too much throughout this book. He appears, does some magic to save everyone, say something wise and then disappear into the background. I feel he’s hiding secrets that I am very interested in learning.

#J A S P E R

Jasper is rude and snarky. He hates showing emotions and is basically me in a fourteen-year-old boy. I was astounded by the character development that was shown throughout the book for Jasper. It was pretty surprising considering how terrible he had been in the previous book.

I hope we see more of Jasper in the third book.


P L O T 

The plot of this was intense. With Call’s father on the run from the Mages who want to kill him our main character feels he needs to save him. Aaron, Havoc and Tamara join him (followed by Callum’s mortal enemy Jasper) in order to stop events that are unfolding.

That didn’t make sense, did it? Just trust me on this, the plot is awesome. I was completely unable to put my phone down (I’m reading the ebooks). I’m nervous to see how the next book unfolds since there will be a wait for the fourth and fifth books.


O V E R A L L 

Overall, this book was amazing. It was better than the first, in my opinion. Cassandra Clare and Holly Black manage to create such a unique and original story, managing to push down stereotypes that find their way into most stories. The characters are flawed and the action is mindblowing. Definitely a recommended series.

reviews

The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare | Review

Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: September 9th 2014

Pages: 295

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .


R A M B L E

I want to preface my ramble with the fact that I know this is basically a mash up of Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan and Harry Potter by JK Rowling. The thing is, though, those are two of my favourite series that exist. Because of that, it doesn’t take a genius to work out why I loved this book.

The Iron Trial also isn’t the same recycled plot line we have seen with books trying to be the next Percy Jackson or Harry Potter. This book doesn’t include a special snowflake character and it really doesn’t include a character who is instantly popular because of his parentage.

In fact, the only thing this has in common with the other two series is a magic school of sorts and, well, magic. Holly Black and Cassandra Clare manage to create a world unlike any other, with a few stereotypical characters but twists everywhere. I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation.

My four-star rating instead of a five is simply because this book had a lot of information dropped on us. It is the first book in the series, after all. Not a lot happened because of this. We had to learn our characters and the world, so I can only imagine how much better the next books in the series will be.


C H A R A C T E R S

#C A L L U M

Callum Hunt is the main character of this story and he does not want to be at the Magisterium. His father has informed him its full of evil people and he will die. Which, if you ask me, is a lot to tell a twelve-year-old. So, when the trials come along to get into the Magisterium and learn how to be a mage, Callum tries his best to fail every test. Some are easier to fail, like the physical based exercises since all the bones in his leg were shattered when he was a baby, but some he does well at and manages to show that he deserves to be at the school.

I found Callum to be an interesting character. He goes through some major character development throughout the book, considering he went from having no friends bar his father to having two his age (lots of struggles arise with this, of course). He had been so manipulated into a belief by his father that it broke my heart, seeing how he believed everything so completely. It simply shows how trusting children are of their parents.

I definitely enjoyed Callum as the main character and am excited to read about him more.

# T A M A R A

You may look at Tamara and presume she is the classic Hermione or Annabeth of the group, simply as a comparison. Sure, Tamara is the most clued into the Magisterium world, but she is no Hermione or Annabeth. She is on a whole other level that made her kickass. Tamara has expectations to fill and her parents are in the clue on the magic world, definitely not your classic smart girl trope we have seen twice (I would say many times before, but I can’t really think of other times).

I found her refreshing around the boys, she was sarcastic, brilliant and knew what she was doing. A definite role model to young girls who may pick up this series.

#A A R O N

Aaron is the only character in The Iron Trial I’m unsure as to how to feel. I didn’t really connect to him on the same level I did Callum or Tamara, it may because he didn’t say much throughout this book. I’m certain he becomes a larger character as the series progresses, especially with the events that unfolded throughout this book. However, for now, I don’t have many thoughts on him.


P L O T 

Since this is a middle-grade book and the first book in a series there wasn’t too much in the way of plot. We are really getting a feel for the school and the characters, learning the world. There is some plot, don’t get me wrong, it really starts coming into play around 70% though. It is incredibly interesting, what we did learn. I was staring at my ebook with my eyes open and mouth dropped, not something very common in middle-grade novels.


O V E R A L L 

I loved this book. It’s what I needed after so many bad books in a row. I’m excited to pick up the next book in the series. The writing style is basically flawless (remembering it is for a younger audience), Cassandra Clare and Holly Black seamlessly write together and I couldn’t pick apart who had written what. I will definitely need to pick up more of Holly Black’s books once I’m all caught up on this.