August Wrap Up and September TBR

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August was awesome! I turned 26, my Grandma came to visit from Australia and we had an awesome getaway in The Lake District and I read a total of 7 books, which is the most I’ve read in one month in quite awhile! 😀

 

The Books I Read 

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I wasn’t blown away by this book, and there were parts that made no sense (i.e The Talent Show), but it was a cute story and Dimple and Rishi were likeable characters and I enjoyed the diversity, as I always do in YA :).

 

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I’ve actually read an abridged version of Falling Leaves a long time ago when I was in Primary School called Chinese Cinderella. They’re similar, but CC focuses more on Adeline’s childhood rather than her family history. Falling Leaves was very interesting in terms of both the family history and the history of China. It’s a very sad story, but one that is also hopeful. A great book to read before my venture to China in a few months!

 

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How have I not read this book until now!? It’s been on my radar for ages because I just saw it EVERYWHERE, but damn it took me awhile to read. I really, really enjoyed this book. It’s beautifully written, it’s diverse, it has these awesome little chapters in between the main story that show different perspectives of the minor characters (so cool!), and the two leads are really great characters. There’s only one thing I didn’t quite like; the book went a little too close to “insta-love” storyline for me. But, aside from that, I thought it was an inventive and insightful book about science, love, family and culture. One of my favourite books I’ve read this year!

 

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This is another of Zafon’s YA mysteries and I enjoyed it a lot. It was a quick and easy read, but it also had enough plot and story to keep me on the edge of my seat.

 

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If you’re looking for something both diverse and LGBT this is it! It’s so different to other LGBT books I’ve read, and that’s because there’s simply nothing like it out there! Pen is such a brilliant character. Her fight with her Portuguese culture and her sexuality/masculine persona is so interesting to read. She’s just so epic, you will love her as much as I do! There are loads of fantastic characters in this book, as well as super annoying parents and one particular friend of Pen’s that is probably the worst character I’ve come across lately. This is a thought-provoking, honest and kick-ass read you should definitely have read like yesterday! To quote Blake, it wins at everything.

 

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I LOVED THIS BOOK. This is a pretty new release and I didn’t know much about it, but just decided to buy it on the off-chance it might be good. And oh wow, it was. I couldn’t put it down. It’s one of those books that’s filled with so much happiness and angst, it’s difficult to know what to feel. It has a wonderful balance of both, really. I loved the characters (Levi in particular), I loved the whole Colour Project concept, I loved the representation of a great female friendship in Bee and Gretchen, I loved the inclusion of music (especially Bon Iver), I loved Bee’s family. This book frustrated me, it made me smile, it made me swoon, it made me cry (just a little). I thought it was pretty wonderful, really.

 

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Read my little review on this AMAZING book here.  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Meant To Read

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Once again, I never got around to reading this!!! I will do next month though!! As you’ll see below in my September TBR with the alternative cover art 😀

 

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September 

I have so many books I want to read, so this list for September is quite long. But hopefully I get through most of them, it’s only 1 more than I read in August after all!

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Inspire Me To Write

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

This Week’s Topic: FREEBIE! that super specific list you want to make?? All yours to tackle this week!

I have been super slack with my blog this year so far and think this week’s TTT Freebie is a great comeback, hopefully I’ll be posting regularly again!

I chose Top Ten Books That Inspire Me To Write because, even though it’s been a year since I actually wrote anything as I’ve been so busy with the everything else in my life, these books are so important to me and always make me wish I could write novels that are just as amazing/make me wish I’d written them! So here are those precious gems (all of which I have mentioned on my blog before, a common occurance, and some of which are quite obvious ones!)

1)

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson 

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2)

The Dark Tower by Stephen King 

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3)

Harry Potter by J.K Rowling 

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4)

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien 

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5)

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon 

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6)

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

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7)

The Road by Cormac McCarthy 

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8)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 

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9)

Dreams of Speaking by Gail Jones

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10)

Watership Down by Richard Adams 

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November Wrap Up, Mini Reviews and December TBR

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November

November has gone by so fast! It’s been a great month though, and certainly not a bad one for reading at all. I pretty much read all the books I planned to and really enjoyed them as well. I also finished watching Sons of Anarchy (WATCH!), started watching Westworld (omg) and binge watched the two seasons of Lovesick over a weekend (where season 3 please!) I also went to see a play called Blood Brothers and went out to the cinema to see Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (MAGICAL) with my boyfriend. So, overall it’s been a great month for entertainment :P.

 

Books I Read

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

I didn’t love this book as much as I hoped to. Which is a massive shame because the plot/topic is so important, needs to be recognised as such and I am really interested in Transgender stories/culture and learning more about that kind of life. However, as much as I admire Russo and everything about her confidence to write this novel and be who she is, just like I admire anyone who is brave enough to be who they are, this novel just didn’t connect with me. It didn’t feel like a new story to me, it felt like the same story thats been told about so many LGBT people in YA novels. It didn’t surprise me enough and I felt that the plot was unbalanced. There were certainly good things about it, like Amanda/Andrew was well portrayed and her struggles felt real and true, but the other characters were just pale in comparison, and some I even downright hated (namely her Dad and the love interest…). For many reasons, this novel just didn’t sit right for me, but it’s still worth reading if you haven’t already read quite a lot of YA LGBT themed novels.

My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels 1) by Elena Ferrante

This was given to me for my birthday by my boyfriend’s mum and I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did, I think largely because I judged it too much on its cover. It is actually a fascinating and hilarious and clever and sad first instalment about a friendship between the narrator Elena, a girl who is trying to find her self, and the mysterious and strange Lila.  It’s a book about belonging and growing up in a poor village in Naples, where everyone is searching for happiness and security, and is so easily jealous of or manipulated by those who hold shiny jewels. Can’t wait to read the next one!

  

The Library of Shadows by Mikkel Birkegaard

What I liked most of all about this book was the whole concept of the plot, being magical reading powers, something I can’t really explain properly in a mini review like this. I found it incredibly interesting and original and suggest you read it just to delve into this world where transmitters and receivers delve into the magical world of storytelling. However, the good versus evil kind of plot was fairly predictable and it wasn’t the best translation from a LOTE into English that I’ve ever read. But, still, those are minor problems with this rather entertaining and worthwhile read.

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs 

I finally decided to join the craze train and got a hold of a copy of the first of the Miss Peregrine books and I’m really glad I did. I enjoyed this book quite a lot, actually. It has twists I didn’t expect, humour, an interesting plot and a group of fascinating, (and peculiar) characters. I loved the photographs and how they added to the narrative throughout the story and just generally enjoyed the time I spent reading this. Definitely keen to see what happens next to Jacob and his friends! 🙂

Meant To Read/Still Reading

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This is just getting funny now… I haven’t even looked at this book this month. I’ve been reading it since September…who knows when I’ll actually finish it! I just have other books I want to read more than this one atm…So ON HAITUS with this book 😛

 

Currently Reading

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My boyfriend finally talked me into reading Stephen King’s The Stand and I started it a week ago. He was so excited to see me start it, adorkable! It’s such a massive book (1300 PAGES!) so I’m a bit daunted, but I am enjoying it a lot so far!!

 

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December 

These are the books I’m hoping to read before 2017 begins. There are so many books I want to read though….it was difficult to decide on reading these ones! I have no idea if I’ll get through them, especially since The Stand basically counts as three books!! But I think at least two of them should be easy binge-worthy reads so hopefully I’ll manage it!

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What do you think of my TBR? What’s on yours?

Hope you all had a great November! Happy December 🙂

Dear Trump Supporters

Dear Trump Supporters

The truth!

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You did this.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully forced this country to take a giant step backward.

You’ve handed one of the most powerful countries in the world over to a man with 0 political experience.

You’ve just elected a president that ran their entire campaign on hatred and insulted millions of people along the way.

Many of the the people that I trusted the most and looked up to in college identified as gay, bisexual, or gender non conforming. Your vote for Trump told the LGBTQIAP+ community that you don’t believe that they should have basic human rights, like marrying the person they love or having protection from discrimination. Is that how you make America “great” again?

One of my best friends from high school is Muslim. Your vote for Trump told Muslims that instead of seeing what the majority of people who follow Islam believe, you will continue to falsely…

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My Week in Barcelona: Cemetery of Forgotten Books Locations (plus some gushing over tapas).

I’ve just returned from an amazing week holiday in Barcelona with my love. While we weren’t completely taken by the city, we enjoyed it there a lot and found that parts of Barcelona definitely have a special charm.

While we were there we visited a few different locations that feature in Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind and the other Cemetery of Forgotten Books novels.

 

Locations

Here are a few of the snaps we took of such places :).

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Las Rambles is a very famous street and it’s mentioned a lot in each of the Cemetery novels. While it was a little too touristy for me, it was still cool to think about the characters in the novels walking down it.

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Placa Reial is featured a number of times in the novels – for instance, it’s where Daniel first meets Fermin :).

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Placa de l’Angel is mentioned a lot in the novels and this particular spot (though edited and moved around) is used on the front over (see below) of The Prisoner of Heaven, which my love and I read while we were in Barcelona.

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Placa De Sant Felip Neri was definitely my favourite location we visited from the novels. It was a quiet little square and just so lovely there. This is meant to be where Nuria lives.

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While not a specific location in the books as far as I know, this gothic bridge at Calle del Bisbe is featured on one of the front covers of The Shadow of the Wind. See below:

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Els Quatre Gats is a very famous little restaurant in Barcelona, not just because of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s books. We had a very nice little visit there for a drink and reading break :).

 

My partner and I saw a number of other locations featured in the novels that aren’t as important to the story, such as Casa Batlo, La Pedrera, La Palau de la Musica Catalana and La Catedral and they were beautiful, too, but I will let you see those for yourselves should you ever go to Barcelona.  I now want to move on to gush about TAPAS!

 

TAPAS TAPAS TAPAS!

Go to Barcelona just to eat Tapas and you will not be disappointed! Patatas Bravas and the Croquettes are to die for!! Here are a few snaps alongside few key Tapas places we went to that we loved and highly recommend! 🙂

 

Amelie, Placa de la Villa de Gracia

(our favourite location for food! Patatas Amelie is the best.)

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Cerverseria Catalana 

(delicious food, service not super)

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La Bodegueta Provenca 

(Quiet spot, probably the best patatas bravas).

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Tapeo 

(very busy and cramped, but tapas so worth it! Best Croquettes and delicious ribs.)

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If that doesn’t have you salivating, I don’t know what will! 🙂

And lastly, here’s a creepy photo of the gothic quarter at night that I think just ties everything up about Barcelona and the Cemetery novels nicely 🙂

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Book Traveling Thursday: Smiles All Around

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Book Traveling Thursday is an awesome weekly event held by Danielle and Catia over on Goodreads. There’s a new topic every week and the deal is to share why you chose the book and four different covers of the book: The Original Cover, Your Countries Cover, Your Least Favourite and Your Favourite:).

The topic this week: Tomorrow is World Smile Day! Choose a book that made you smile recently.

It was pretty easy to chose the book that most recently made me smile. You wouldn’t think from the title that it would be a book that would make anyone smile! But, trust me, this book will put a smile on your face a number of times. (Of course, it’ll also put a frown on your face or maybe tears in your eyes…maybe). I enjoyed this book much more than I expected to and I definitely recommend it as a nice little Contemporary YA to read over a weekend. It was quite an easy one to do for this week, too, because it’s such a new book and doesn’t have many different covers 😛

 

The Museum of Heartbreak (2016) by Meg Leder

 

Original and Favourite Cover:

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This is the original hardcover Simon Pulse edition. I really like this cover, it’s definitely one of my favourites (and probably my most favourite tbh). I just think it’s really cool because it links in so much with the content and plot of the book. Plus, it’s pretty unique and there’s a dinosaur! So who wouldn’t love it? 🙂

Australian/Uk Cover:

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As always, there’s no Australian edition of this book (they are very hard to find) but this is the Uk Scholastic version, so close enough! I don’t like it all that much, mainly because of the giant broken heart in the middle, but it’s not bad.

Least Favourite Cover:

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This is the German publication. It’s just too girly for me. I’m not a massive girly girl and I don’t think Pen, the main character, is either. So this cover simply doesn’t work for me or match the book right in my opinion.

Other Favourite Cover:

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This is the upcoming new cover publication by Simon Pulse.  Even though the broken hearts are kind of generic, I do like how they’re made of paper and just think the colours are really pretty, especially the blues and purples at the bottom. It makes a nice effect :).

 

Well, that’s it! What do you think of the different covers, do you have a favourite?

Friday Finds

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Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by A Daily Rhythm in which we share books we’ve recently added to our tbr:).

I’m doing this week’s Friday Finds early as I’ll be away tomorrow and over the weekend. A little weekend away with my boyfriend, should be lovely 🙂

So, Here are four books I’ve added to my tbr lately!!

 

1)

Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall

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Summary:

Gideon always has a plan. His plans include running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. They do NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend and next door neighbour, Kyle. It’s a distraction. It’s pointless, as Kyle is already dating the gorgeous and popular head cheerleader, Ruby. And Gideon doesn’t know what to do.

Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. Then, both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, and Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong…

Why I want to read it:

I simply enjoy these kinds of in-love-with-oblivious-best-friend-who-dates-girls-and-therefore-is-probably-not-interested-even-if-they-weren’t-oblivious books, especially when there’s always the possibility of a WELL, NO, THEY SECRETLY LIKE BOYS, TOO storyline developing. I like LGBT themes and I like romance, even of the unrequited kind. Gideon sounds like a cool character to follow around for the length of a book :). Plus, the blurb mentions Lord of the Rings, so it can’t be a terrible book, right?

2)

Anything That Isn’t This by Chris Priestly 

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Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Frank Palp lives in a grim little apartment, in a grim little building, in an exceedingly grim (and rather large) city. Cobbled streets and near-destroyed bridges lead one through Old Town and Old New Town, and war-damaged houses stand alongside post-war characterless, concrete hutches. Most people walk hunched over, a habit from avoiding snipers, but others are proud to stand tall and make the world take notice . . . This is a city full of contradictions, and Frank is no exception.

He mostly hates his life, he definitely hates the ludicrous city he is forced to live in and he absolutely with complete certainty hates the idiots he’s surrounded by . . . and yet he is in love. A love so pure and sparkling and colourful, Frank feels sure it is ‘meant to be’. His love is a reward for all the terrible grey that he is surrounded by – which would be great, if the girl in question knew he existed. And then one day, the perfect sign lands in his lap. A message, in a bottle. A wish, for ‘anything that isn’t this’. The girl who wrote this is surely his soulmate – and now he just needs to find her.

Why I want to read it:

This book sounds so good! I just can’t help it, I love books about lost teens trying to find their way in the world, and I love it when their way involves their soulmate, etc, etc. I think this book will be a great read. It looks like it has a lot of depth, more than the blurb lets on, and that it’d probably also be quite funny. Definitely intrigued by this one!

3)

Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence 

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Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Marlon has promised his widowed mum that he’ll be good, and nothing like his gang-leader brother Andre. It’s easy when you keep yourself to yourself, listening to your dead dad’s Earth, Wind and Fire albums and watching sci-fi. But everything changes when Marlon’s first date with the beautiful Sonya ends in tragedy; he becomes a hunted man and he has no idea why. With his dad dead and his brother helpless, Marlon has little choice but to enter Andre’s old world of guns, knives and drug runs in order to uncover the truth and protect those close to him. It’s time to fight to be the last man standing. 

Why I want to read it:

It sounds a bit like a modern version of A Clockwork Orange (and not just because of the title). I love the look and sound of this book. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how everything pans out for Marlon in the land of violence, drugs and tragedy. Sounds pretty tragic!!

4)

Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn 

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Summary:

When nearly killing a classmate gets seventeen-year-old Sadie Su kicked out of her third boarding school in four years, she returns to her family’s California vineyard estate. Here, she’s meant to stay out of trouble. Here, she’s meant to do a lot of things. But it’s hard. She’s bored. And when Sadie’s bored, the only thing she likes is trouble.

Emerson Tate’s a poor boy living in a rich town, with his widowed mother and strange, haunted little brother. All he wants his senior year is to play basketball and make something happen with the girl of his dreams. That’s why Emerson’s not happy Sadie’s back. An old childhood friend, she knows his worst secrets. The things he longs to forget. The things she won’t ever let him.

Haunted is a good word for fifteen-year-old Miles Tate. Miles can see the future, after all. And he knows his vision of tragic violence at his school will come true, because his visions always do. That’s what he tells the new girl in town. The one who listens to him. The one who recognizes the darkness in his past.

But can Miles stop the violence? Or has the future already been written? Maybe tragedy is his destiny. Maybe it’s all of theirs.

Why I want to read it:

This book looks fascinating with a really interesting little group of characters at it’s core. I’ve read a few conflicting reviews on this book already, so I’m very interested to find out how I feel about it when I read it! Plus, the cover is so beautiful!!!

Well, that’s it from me this week. What have you added to your tbr? Have you now added any of these? 🙂