Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard | Review

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Thank you to MacMillian Australia for sending me an ARC in exchange for honest review. 

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Release Date: February 8th, 2018

Trigger Warnings: abuse, neglect, parental abuse (off page but implied), dead parents

Pages: 384

Publisher: Macmillian Children’s Books

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

When I was wild, you were steady . . . 
Now you are wild – what am I? 

Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with the boyfriend Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. Especially when the police arrive on her doorstep and Eden finds out that the boyfriend is actually their music teacher, Mr Cohn.

Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts.

As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.

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City of Bones by Cassandra Clare | Review

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Rating: ★★★★★

Release Date: March 27th, 2007

Pages: 485

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.


R E V I E W

I think I’ve made it pretty clear in my reading career that I am trash for the Shadowhunter Chronicles. This doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge the fact they are trash. However, the nostalgia is so raw that I can’t help but feel like I’m coming home when I pick up this book. I get taken back to when I felt uncomfortable picking it up in the library as a 13-year-old because of the half-naked guy on the front. Now, here I am holding the 10th-anniversary edition which is stunning.

My point is, I know City of Bones is highkey a bad book. Trust me, it became so clear in this re-read that I was cringing at every other interaction and how much I hated Clary. But, I can’t help but be sucked into the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders. It’s a problem. Cassandra Clare’s writing has improved so much, though, so I feel no shame for this being one of my favourite series ever.

City of Bones begins with Clary Fray. A firey red-headed artist (basically her description, oh the cliche) who is simply trying to get through high school with her best friend, Simon, and stop fighting with her mum. Her mum has hidden a whole world from her though, a world that Clary is born to be a part of. Strange, right? I’m pretty sure she’s sixteen too? I’m not even sure, honestly. Anyway, this all changes after she is an underage club one night with Simon and sees something that no one else can see. She’s thrown into a world where she discovers the lies her mothers told to protect her and who she is. Also along the way, she makes some new enemies and even finds out who her father is, which is something I would rather die than do.

Clary Fray may possibly be one of the most annoying female leads. She seems to forget her mum is missing and remember at times convenient to her. She’s much happier to fantasise over the male love interest, Jace Wayland. Who is annoyingly arrogant. I keep picturing him as the actor from the film City of Bones and it has ruined my 12-year-old picture of him, honestly. I’m not a fan of the actor. Nor am I a fan of Dom Sherwood. That’s neither here nor now though. Clary is happy to live her normal mundane life until she discovers the Shadow World. The only problem is she isn’t content to just take herself down. She drags her completely human best friend with her.

I hated Simon when I first read these. I was a big Jace fan and Simon came in as a love interest and I gagged. However, during every re-read, I love Simon more. He is an adorable nerd who is simply just in love with his best friend. It’s kind of tragic and definitely cliche, but the growth of his character over the series is one of my favourites. Alongside Isabelle. That is in the other books though, not City of Bones.

There is some hardcore girl competition too. Neither Isabelle or Clary like each other in this book and it makes me sad since I am such an advocate for girl friendships in books. It gets better later, but I feel if Cassie Clare had had the friendship grow from the book once it would have been a lot better.

This book is also pretty messy. The writing style is all over the place and my friend who’s studying nursing says all of the medical terminologies throughout this series is wrong. Which, are only little things but they amuse me so I feel you should be aware. I do love the humour throughout City of Bones but I’ve heard it’s been ripped off from Buffy The Vampire Slayer? I’m not sure, just covering my bases so no one yells at me for being naive.

The plot line and plot twist in this book make me gag though, every time. I feel like everyone knows what the twist is but if not skip this part because of spoilers. The fact that Jace and Clary are portrayed as siblings (which gets proven wrong in book three) but remain romantically involved or have been romantically involved makes me want to throw up. Honestly, what the heck was Cassie thinking? Possibly the most disturbing storyline ever, especially for me considering I had step-brothers when I read this book and thought of them as bio brothers and could never imagine what Jace and Clary do.

I also just want to say I hate Magnus. I’m not sure what it is but I’ve never meshed well with his character. This is an irrelevant part of my review but I do like his growth with Alec and I felt I should mention this, if not briefly.

Ultimately, is City of Bones a good book? No. Will I still give it five stars for nostalgia? Yes. This is definitely a great series to use to transition into the fantasy world when you just start reading. It’s what I used it as. It is also just a great series for me when I don’t look in analytically. It’s like a big warm hug and coming home.


Happy reading everyone!

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How Did I Start Reading?

This is a bit of a funny story, actually. My reading career began at the age of four when I started primary school. Something that, originally, I had been excited for until the first day. The first day I managed to rip a clump out of my hair and rip my school uniform off about six times before my mum even got me in the car. I was a mess. A few weeks after that disaster I took my uniform to my mum with my shoes and told her “I’m done now, I’ve learnt to read.”

I wanted to read because of my mum as well. She read so much before her epilepsy diagnosis. She always had a book in hand and I wanted to be just like my mum. She would sit with me for hours listening to me sound out words and read. She made sure to support every little thing. Most Friday’s I’d come home and she’d have bought me a book for the weekend. My mum was who started my passion and supported that, from day one. I will forever adore and love her for that.

So, I’ve been reading for sixteen years, basically. It wasn’t a gradual thing. I fell in love with it completely and truly haven’t stopped reading since then. I’ve gone through phases where I’ve stopped reading due to friends bullying me for it, but the passion is always sparked again.

The first time I stopped reading was when my mum met a man who had three sons. The three sons used to rip the back pages out of books and then give them to me to read. So, I eventually gave up because I was sick of being teased. That was until Twilight came into the world. I went on the hold list at my library and waited for the book to come in, hoping I would be able to join that trend. Boy, did I jump on that hype train. Twilight became my life. When I got some money from doing chores I went and bought all four books (they were $9 each at my local store). I was so happy and read them all so quickly. My love for reading had returned and I was at the library every week lugging my grocery bag the 10-minute walk.

A year after my love for the library began we moved far out of town. So far that there was no library near us! My mum worked every day and wasn’t able to take me since I was too young to be in town every day (I was 12 at this stage). So, I spent an entire summer holidays (6 weeks) reading the Twilight series cover to cover. I eventually hit high school and discovered books that are my favourites today, Vampire Academy and The Mortal Instruments.

However, I changed high schools after a year and a half and made friends who told me “reading is, like, totally not cool”. So, I was embarrassed and stopped. Whenever I brought up reading they’d roll their eyes or tell me to get “a real hobby”. A year later a new friend I made loaned me her copies of The Hunger Games. I fell in love, much like I did with Twilight. I read those books cover to cover around 20 times, discovering everything that was within those pages.

My passion for reading was back, I was so happy! It was during this spark I discovered another favourite series of mine, Percy Jackson and The Olympians. I was ecstatic!

Then we moved again. It was a trip to a store that I learnt The Mortal Instruments was more than three books! WHAT?! 15 year old me was in shock. I quickly started back up with the passion I had when I was 10, reading books at an alarming speed and going to the library regularly.

I made a stupid decision after this. Some things happened in my life, bad things. I ended up in a relationship and he told me that reading was the dumbest thing i could possibly do. He basically told me because it kept me from replying to him quickly so I should just stop. So, I did. He wouldn’t message me for hours and I would sit around bored because I didn’t want him to be mad. I was stupid, I know.

It was after we broke up (and boy, was that a great day) that I came back to reading. I had an urge to re-read Percy Jackson and The Lightning Theif and what a great decision that was. That was three years ago. For three years I have been completely passionate about reading and unable to stock. People get shocked by how much I read, but everyone I have in my life is super supportive. My friends love hearing about my relationships with publishers that I’m growing and the blurb of whatever book I’m reading. My mum always asks what I’m reading, and I’m so grateful for her pushing her love of reading on me.

Reading was the escape I needed during so many bad times in my life. Reading has been the friend I’ve needed when I cried myself to sleep. Reading has been my home when my family was sitting on the threat of homelessness. Reading has always been there for me, reading always will, and I am a reader to the core.