August Wrap Up | 2018

Wow, August went by fast. I’m not even sure why. I think it’s because I had to do so much for university as I tried to get ahead before I start work experience in September. I don’t think I’m going to get much reading done in September, yikes. I typically read over ten books so I’m a little nervous. But, that is not this month.

I didn’t do a lot throughout August. I did multiple university assignments, started walking my dog every day, my arthritis medication finally started to work. I didn’t do anything socially, so it was a tad bit of a boring month in terms of a social life.

My reading month was all over the place though. I read some books I loved and I read some books I hated. I had some of my most anticipated releases let me down and I had some shock books that I absolutely loved. I read way more books than I even thought I would this month as well.

Over August I read 26 books and 7,929 pages. I find the page count interesting, so I’m going to start adding it to my wrap-ups!

A lot of my reviews I have written for my August reads haven’t been published yet. I scheduled all my posts for September, which are mostly these reviews. I hope you all stick around to read them!

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Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J Maas | Review

Book Depository | Booktopia | Amazon |

Star-DividerRating: ★☆☆☆☆

Release Date: August 7th, 2018

Dates Read: August 8th, 2018 to August 9th, 2018

Buddy Read w/ The Bookish King aka my favourite person

Trigger Warnings: PTSD, war flashbacks, mentions of parental abuse, mentions of drugs, mentions of cystic fibrosis 

Pages: 304

Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia

Genre: young adult, fantasy, romance, superheroes 

Goodreads blurb:

When the Bat’s away, the Cat will play. It’s time to see how many lives this cat really has. . . .

Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking.

Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing’s undoing.

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May Wrap Up 2018

May. How are we out of May? The fifth month of the year? Just, wow. I am speechless. This month was a little out of the norm for me. I went away for five days to a friends house for her 21st. This meant going back to the town I actually spent five years of my life in. It actually went super wellI had such a good time and definitely made some amazing memories, so much so I actually want to go back soon. The biggest hindrance of this trip is that I have developed a cold, blah. Additionally, I also had no time to read. I was either chatting with friends or sleeping after staying up to 3am drinking (oops).

I still managed to read a pretty great amount of books this month. Twelve is definitely something I am personally happy with. I know I’ll have heaps of time to read next month because I’m going to be on uni break which will be 90% part-time job hunting.

Anyway, time to jump into what books I did read this month. I, unfortunately, didn’t read a bunch of books I loved this month but, oh well.

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Books I Didn’t Think I’d Like But Loved | Discussion

I know a lot of people have the ability to be able to tell what book they’ll like before they read it. I sometimes have this ability, but more times than not I don’t. I sometimes struggle to work out what I will like and what I won’t like. Typically I fall into reading what books are hyped, which leads to a lot of disappointment for me when they don’t live up to it.

It’s not all bad news though. Sometimes I pick up a book with a resigned sigh, not expecting much and discover a new favourite. Have you ever had this happen? If so let me know in the comments so I know I’m not strange.

Some of these books include:

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A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas | Review

Thank you so much to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a completed copy of A Court of Frost and Starlight in exchange for an honest review. I promise that receiving a copy has no way impacted my views and all thoughts are my own.

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Book Depository | Booktopia| Amazon |

Star-DividerRating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: May 1st, 2018

Trigger Warnings: alcohol dependency, excessive alcohol drinking, PTSD, depression, death, sex

Pages: 224

Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia

Genre: new adult, fantasy, magic 

Goodreads blurb:

The Winter Solstice. In a week. I was still new enough to being High Lady that I had no idea what my formal role was to be. If we’d have a High Priestess do some odious ceremony, as lanthe had done the year before. A year. Gods, nearly a year since Rhys had called in his bargain, desperate to get me away from the poison of the Spring Court to save me from my despair. Had he been only a minute later, the Mother knew what would have happened. Where I’d now be. Snow swirled and eddied in the garden, catching in the brown fibers of the burlap covering the shrubs My mate who had worked so hard and so selflessly, all without hope that I would ever be with him We had both fought for that love, bled for it. Rhys had died for it. 

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Top 17 Books of 2017

Wow, 2017, what a year. So much has happened in my life. There have been so many hardships throughout this year and sometimes it was a mess. Sometimes it left me having a relapse in my room at 3am and sometimes it ended with me on top of the moon being so glad of all the progress I made.

But, you’re not all here to read about my mental health and my hardships of this year. You’re all here to read about what are my top 17 books of 2018. This was strangely an easy list to format. I tried to keep it mainly to 2017 releases, but some are just books I read this year and I adored. So, let’s get stuck into it. This list is in no particular order, so don’t assume because a book is higher up or lower it has more value.


1. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas | Review

This is the one that will have people screaming at me the most I think. I know so many people despise Sarah and her books, but her representation of PTSD really helps me. So, having Chaol, the main character, suffering throughout the book was something that resonated with me and left my feelings all over the place. It was also interesting to learn about his recovery, my mum had been in a car accident and told she’d never walk again (she did and does) so it was interesting to read about something that upsets her too much to talk about.

2. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesa Zappia | Review

I think this hit a lot of people’s favourite books this year. The fandom representation and anxiety throughout hit the nail on the head. It was also interesting to see a character who wrote and fanfiction to be incorporated into a novel. I used to write fanfiction (cringe) so I sincerely enjoyed this dynamic because I met one of my closest friends from writing it.

3. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu | Review

Now, this had to be one of my top books of 2017. It was incredible. It was the book I needed when I was younger and not sure where I fit in the world. When I truly needed some girl power. Honestly, I’m still speechless about this book but I will continue to scream about it and shove it into anyone’s hands I can.

4. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare | Review

Okay, so obviously Lord of Shadows was my favourite book of the year. I’ve made it clear how much I adore Cassandra Clare’s books and The Dark Artifices series is no exception. Her writing has improved so much over 10 years so I’m even recommending this series who didn’t like The Mortal Instruments. I really am still speechless over this book. I will definitely be re-reading before Queen of Air and Darkness releases next year.

5. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty | Review

Now, The City of Brass is a shock favourite of the year honestly. It was such a magical read that really drew me in. The culture and just, overall, the story was so absolutely incredible. I am still unable to really grasp what happened in it and it’s another book I want to shove onto absolutely anyone who will listen.

6. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee | Review

Mackenzi Lee’s work is one book that has stuck with me since I read it months ago. It was so what I needed. A story about two young men and a girl causing mischief throughout Europe with a sense of adventure and serious tones throughout the novel. My favourite thing about this particular work was the inclusion of epilepsy. As someone who’s mum has epilepsy, it was incredible to see it represented in fiction with such a raw emotion. It truly is difficult to see someone you love suffer.

7. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco | Review

I absolutely loved the first book in this series and the second book was no exception. I loved it. Honestly. This book also had some PTSD representation throughout it, that in my opinion, was so well done. The storyline is just as incredible as the first, even if I guessed the killer in this one. Maniscalco is just an incredible writer who I sing the highest of praises to.

8. A List of Cages by Robin Roe | Review

I read this book before I had my blog and really had a chance to rave about it. There are a lot of triggers in this book I wasn’t aware of but I read it in one sitting and was awake until late in the night crying over what happened. I still think about this book. My best friend actually bought me a physical copy for my birthday and I’m just so in love. It was just such an emotional punch so be prepared for that.

9. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | Review

This is probably the most shocking book on my list. I put this book down after starting it and wasn’t expecting to ever go back. I had bought it because it was pretty and $11. One day though I picked it up on a whim and wow. This book. I am completely in love with Lazlo. Yet another book I am recommending endlessly to my friends and family. I really think this particular one is a good fit for anyone.

10. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera | Review

I just loved this book. There are no words for me to even describe how great it was. Read it. Now.

11. Everless by Sara Holland | Review

This is a debut I just loved. The concept is just so intricate and so elaborate. I was blown away by it, not at all expecting a favourite book to come out of reading it. Sure, it doesn’t come out until next year for the US but this book is just so incredible you need to preorder now. 

12. How To Make A Wish By Ashley Herring Blake | Review

Similar to They Both Die At The End I have no words to describe this book. I am trying to shove it on my sister quite aggressively (because it needs to be shared) but she refuses to read it and it frustrates me. So, to everyone reading this you need to pick up this book. Obviously you need to pick up every book on the list, but still.

13. Renegades by Marissa Meyer | Review

I knew I was going to love Renegades. So, I wasn’t shocked when I loved Renegades. Recently its been the target of some homophobic reviews which is really annoying because this book is incredible. I absolutely love the anti-hero concept so I sincerely loved reading about it in Marissa’s beautiful writing style.

14. Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan | Review

This one kind of speaks for itself. It’s the final book in a series and makes the list because Rick Riordan is an incredible writer. His inclusion of the mythologies in his worlds are so flawless and engaging that I can’t help but fall in love with absolutely everything.

15. The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones | Review

This was probably the biggest shock for my list. I picked it up on a whim because the ebook was on my phone was some reason. I thought it was a series as well, I’m not sure why? I fell in love completely. This book is so underhyped. Why haven’t more people read it? I don’t understand, honestly. It is truly a masterpiece. The writing, the storyline,  the romance. All. So. Incredible. Pick this up, please.

16. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed | Review

If you like Moxie, then you’ll love The Nowhere Girls. These two go right together with feminism movements. However, this one is a tad darker and intense. The girls fight back and a movement begins to protect others. It also made me realise some things about my own life I had to move through mentally. It was, however, such a powerful feminist read and I highly recommend it.

17. The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie | Review

Another unexpected favourite. This book got really popular on Goodreads for awhile and I decided to jump on the hype train. It’s such a beautiful f/f romance with pirates involved. Was not what I expected at all but I am glad to have it on this list!


So, there we have it! My top 17 reads of this year. Obviously, I recommend them all highly and sincerely suggest you give them as gifts to yourself (or others) this holiday season. All 17 books meant something important to me this year.

Have you read any of the books on this list? What are some of your favourite reads of 2017?

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas | Review

Thank-you to Bloomsbury Australia who sent me a copy to review. This in no way impacted my thoughts and all opinions remain my own

TRIGGER WARNINGS: PTSD & abuse.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: September 5th, 2017

Pages: 672

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads Synopsis:

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica-the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both-and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.


 R A M B L E

To be fair, I went into Tower of Dawn with some pretty low expectations. Sarah J Maas’ books are usually a hit or miss for me. I hated the first three books in the Throne of Glass series especially, I just really don’t like the main characters or storyline (apart from the dog). I’ve been very surprised with the three most recent books in the series though. Very surprised. I have enjoyed all of them. Tower of Dawn has to be my new favourite in the series as well.

I obviously can’t speak on the disability representation that is featured throughout this novel (but here are two reviews that do: one & two) it is said Maas used sensitivity reads and took great care with the representation, though. I can attest for the PTSD that is displayed throughout this novel. Mass has an excellent talent for being able to write characters from the worst back into recovery. It’s honestly incredible.

With a brand new cast, Maas has also included a largely diverse cast. Many POC feature in this book and are in prominent leading roles. It seems she has been listening to criticism and trying to rectify her mistakes. On top of that, everyone’s two favourite words to shit on Maas for (‘pur’ and ‘growl’) are in total only mentioned 20 times in a 600-page book. That’s not separately either, counting both words they are only featured 20 times on paper.

To point out as well, I hated Chaol before starting this book. I just didn’t like him or Dorian or Celeana from book one. Tower of Dawn changed all my opinions. I related to him on so many levels it was amazing. His character is one of strength and this story captures that in the way of showing his emotion and physical healing, as well as including important information to how the plot will move in the final Throne of Glass novel.

I highly recommend this book, especially to people who are caught up on the Throne of Glass series because this will change many of the opinions you have already formed and give you a greater insight of information.


P L O T

As I said in my ramble section of this review, this book is about healing. However, it is not just the healing of Chaol that is shown to us. The healing of a healer (what an ironic sentence) Yrene, who’s name I will never pronouce right, and Nesryn. All these characters have experienced something that has made them hate something so strongly. All these characters have experienced trauma.

The book is obviously mainly about the healing of Chaol. After the events of Queen of Shadows, he has been left confined to a wheelchair. However, he also has to go through all the mistakes he has made in his life before he is able to heal. He know’s he’s wrong and he know’s he’s been a dick. That’s honestly one of the most powerful things in the book.

It is so rare that we get characters who acknowledge their mistakes and what they have done wrong, so seeing Chaol do it was amazing. I give complete props to Maas for it. It was incredibly well done as well, in my opinion.

There is more to the plot, Nesryn is off doing her own thing and Yrene has to deal with Chaol and other struggles. There is also the threat of the war that the Vlag are waging that needs to be dealt with. So, in my opinion, this book is anything but boring.


C H A R A C T E R S

#C H A O L

As I said in previous sections of this review, I used to be on the team “I hate Chaol”. I was not excited to read this book. I was actually going to wait a bit and gauge the reactions before I decided to pick it up. However, I was sent a copy to review and I like to stay on top of my review copies so I picked it up. Boy, am I glad that I did pick it up. This book had me completely switch to the “protect Chaol Westfall” team.

I related to Chaol on many things. Decisions he had made had led to him being in the chair and he had to understand that. Decisions he had made had ended in hundreds of people dead. That is a big burden to shoulder. There are choices he made in his past, regarding his family that also impact him. It is insane how much this man has battled through to get to this point.

Again, as I said, Maas writes ‘broken’ characters exceptionally well. Feyre from A Court of Mist and Fury was the first time I had ever seen struggles I faced in a character and Chaol has continued that legacy. Something that is pretty important to me, especially with how many hard days my mental health has been facing of late.

#N E S R Y N

Nesryn was a character I did not enjoy in this story. This was at no fault of her, but I just could not get into her storyline. I didn’t like her from the book she was introduced. A friend of mine said that “we’re just expected to like her. She’s introduced to be with Chaol and that’s it.” I agree. However, I did begin to like her throughout this book I did lose interest in what she was doing around Part Two of the novel.

I do find Nesryn an incredibly strong character though. She has been through so much during her life and it is never going to get easier for her, especially with this war approaching. Her only thing she truly cares about is her family and every scene that featured her family gave me goosebumps. Hey, writing about her and her family is giving me goosebumps. Those scenes were so beautifully executed I couldn’t help but shed a tear because of how important my family is to me.

#Y R E N E

Yrene is definitely a new favourite character of mine. I couldn’t remember where she was from, but the friend I mentioned previously told me she featured in a novella in The Assassin’s Blade. I believe the story is “The Assassin and The Healer” – which would obviously make sense since Yrene is a healer. Yrene wants to help the world. She wants to spread her healing, as the Assassin told her to do. She has been following the words she was given for two years and holding a strong hatred for the King and all the people of Adarlan (is that the Kingdom? I have no idea).

She is the best healer though and the only one with the skill to help Chaol. It is her skill that will help him and for her to do that she must truly overcome the trauma that lives inside her. Hearing Yrene’s story was heartbreaking. I definitely shed a couple tears.

Watching her develop throughout the novel was amazing. She was not a soft healer, she was kickass and not afraid to defend herself. She was not the stereotypical character who needs someone to fight her battles or to protect her. Yrene could do that all herself and it was amazing.


O V E R A L L

Overall, this was an amazing novel. I am so glad I picked it up when I did. The twists and turns that Maas adds to the plot are overwhelming and incredibly. I could barely keep up while I read. Tower of Dawn is an incredible book and I definitely will be rereading it before the final Throne of Glass book is released.