Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books From My Childhood/Teen Years I Want To Revisit

Hosted By: The Broke and The Bookish
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish, where we list our top ten according to a topic of the week. I'm actually not participating in this weekly, only because I know that for some of the topics I really can't come up with a list of ten. For future topics though, check them out here. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books From My Childhood/Teen Years I Want To Revist

Childhood



1. The Twelve Dancing Princesses 
I will forever be attached to this story, more so the version I read in primary school - although I cannot find traces of it anywhere anymore. It was such a magical world for 8 year old me.

2. The Babysitters' Club Series by Ann M. Martin
I really regret giving away my copies of these books despite not having them all. At first I was really hesitant to read these because they looked so old and gross but by god, this series was one of the most entertaining and refreshing reads. They were also the first actual "thick" books I read before entering high school.

3. Where's My Teddy by Jez Alborough
I completely forgot about this until I stumbled across it on Goodreads and realised I actually owned the book AND watched the TV series after school.


4. Berenstain Bears Series by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
One of the first series I ever tried to keep up to date with, and regularly borrowed from the library at school. I actually couldn't remember the title series, but a quick google search had me so excited. I loved this series and the simplicity about it.

5. Two of a Kind Diaries Series (Ashley and Mary Kate) by Megan Stine
These were the days when the twins reigned supreme and this series was my reward from my parents whenever I was a good kid. I literally died for these and found it so relevant!

6. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dicken
Ok, so maybe I didn't read the full version, but the illustrated version I got given was amazing. I would read it then watch the movie and just become obsessed about this idea of ghosts and atoning for your wrong doings. Even though ghosts freaked me out - and still do.

Teens



7. Skullduggery Pleasant Series by Derek Landy
I really enjoyed this series but I didn't get to finish it. I actually bought it for my brother before I left home, so I'm excited to come back and read it all. I mean a skeleton who kicks ass? What more do you want.

8. The Clique Series by Lisi Harrison
Likewise, this is a series I never got to finish. I've been meaning to try and find it but the cover change has really put me off buying it. It's more of a guilty pleasure read though.

9. Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
A beautiful yet, sad story that I'll always remember despite having to study it in Year 9. I didn't think I'd want to re-read it but I actually do want a copy for myself.

10. Dizzy by Cathy Cassidy
I pretty much want to read every Cathy Cassidy novel again. Let's be real here.

Which Books Made Your List?




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Saturday, 14 March 2015

Talking Personal

Hi guys! So it's definitely been awhile since I've actually updated you guys on what's going on with my life. It's been pretty obvious that I've clearly neglected this blog since the end of last year, and as much as it makes me upset, I've had so many more commitments piled up together I just couldn't manage everything.

So where do I start? I last wrote a Talking Personal post in November, right before my birthday! I turned 20 last year and I'm pretty sure I didn't do anything big because I hardly remember anything (awkward). I had a dinner with the girls one night and then dinner with my family another. I also got some books for my birthday but that's going to be revealed in a really delayed haul. Oops.

Once December hit I was flat out working two jobs. I usually always pick up another job around Christmas time because the money is good and that means I can afford to buy presents. I loved the new job I had - just a casual retail job - but I think I like working Christmas because there's actually people in the store. So December flew by in a blur. I celebrated Christmas briefly and my family and I opened presents in the morning, something we haven't done in years.


Then I had a good two weeks break before I started another job - working at the Australian Open. I was really excited but also nervous about this job because it required a lot of effort but the atmosphere would be worth it. I don't think I expected it to be so intense but it was. I worked two and half weeks, doing from 8-11 hours a day and I have to say lying in my bed after a days work had never felt better. It was a great experience though considering I got to meet some lovely people, both workmates and customers from all over the world, and I gained some pretty good skills. If you need someone to sell shirts I am the person!

Basically I worked my ass off between December to January before I could actually slow down and enjoy the last few weeks of my holidays. I managed to see my first soccer match with my friends. Melbourne hosted the AFC - Asian Football Cup (I'm pretty sure that's what it stands for). It was so much fun and I'm surprised that despite liking soccer I haven't actually been to any matches before that one.


One of the main reasons that I worked so much though is because I'm currently doing exchange in South Korea! I decided to do exchange mid last year but I couldn't really decide on which country. Even now I'm not sure South Korea was the best choice but it's definitely a challenge that I was hoping to seek for. I actually had to leave my work place but the girls were lovely and gave me a really sweet going away present. Before getting to Korea I also visited Vietnam for two days. I probably won't upload a lot of photos and stuff because I'm thinking of doing a separate post or video about it all.

So for the 3 months I was balancing work, social life and organising my entire trip, which meant that my blog was pushed back. I'm really hoping to pick up on my slack and get back into the mojo. It's definitely been hard to settle into a new environment and school but I'll get there.

I'll definitely update you guys with my travelling/school journey, but keep an eye out for some new content!

Bottomline: I'm a workaholic and my friends and family can vouch for that.

What Have You Guys Been Up To?




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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Related Problems


Hosted By: The Broke and The Bookish
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish, where we list our top ten according to a topic of the week. I'm actually not participating in this weekly, only because I know that for some of the topics I really can't come up with a list of ten. For future topics though, check them out here. 


Top Ten Tuesday: Book Related Problems I Have
This was so much fun! GIFs are pretty much life. 

1. Unending TBR pile
I swear I was making good progress, but why are there more books now?




2. Savings??
Oh, that's right. I just put in another 3000 orders on The Book Depository. 




3. Too Many Books, Too Little Time
It's ok! It's only 3AM, I can finish this. 




4. Another Book Shelf Please
I could make a bed out of my books tbh. 




5. That Damn Reading Slump 
I want to read, but I can't! The world is ending!! 




6. Book Lending? Biggest Mistake. 
What do you mean you don't know where it is? Why are there creases? 





7. Waiting. Waiting. Still Waiting. 
Deep breaths. There are only another oh 60 years until the next book comes out. 




8. Too many feels
No I'm not crying. Really, I'm not.




9. You Don't Read?!
Oh wow. I don't think we can be friends (jokes, I'm joking).



10. Disappointment, frustration, anger. WHY!
Well that was utter rubbish, why did I waste my time with this. 



What Other Book "Problems" Do You Have?




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Saturday, 14 February 2015

To All The Boys I've Loved Before (To All The Boys I've Loved Before #1) - Jenny Han

Title: To All The Boys I've Loved Before
Series: To All The Boys I've Loved Before #1
Author: Jenny Han
Publication Date: April 15th, 2014
Buy from The BookDepository | Add to Goodreads
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh.

As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all. (Source: Goodreads

Review


I was very much keen to read To All The Boys I've Loved Before, but I was surprised by how different the story played out compared to what I thought it'd be like.

Jenny Han drew me into the story easily considering I was in a massive reading slump before reading this. I flew through the book, immersed in how the plot unraveled as each boy received their letters. I could already guess how the letters were sent and I was proven right, although that's not really the point of the story.

It's pretty much a predictable love story but for all it's overused methods, I found myself smiling along with each cheesy line and cute moment. It was sweet, I'll admit, and I loved it! Other than that though, the story also introduced elements of family relationships and friendships. Han really explores the bond of sisters through Margot, Lara and Kitty. Their relationship is relatable but also teaches us something valuable that I should take on when dealing with my own siblings - oops.

The characters are likeable enough, delivering their own issues that I could connect with. Lara has to learn to cope with her own feelings and the responsibilities she finds herself taking on. It's not easy and I can really relate to that. Her love interests are both likeable as well, even if I was routing for one of them. They both had their own attractive side and it was hard not to swoon.

I had really hoped the story would end how I wanted it to, but seeing as how it's a series a new conflict had to arise. That's probably why I've deducted a star - because the ending did make me frustrated and a little disappointed. I'm really hoping the second book gives me more of what I want, and that the romance does work out.

To All The Boys I've Loved Before was a sweet and easy read, with enough depth that it drew me in emotionally. It is a romance no matter how you look at it, but not sickly loved up with other areas involved. If you're looking for something simple to read and enjoy, this is right up your alley.




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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

2015 Resolutions and Reading Challenges




It's almost the end of February and finally I've decided to focus on what I want to achieve for 2015. Better late than never right?

I did a little reflection on 2014 (post here), and I feel like I did achieve quite a bit last year in terms of reading and blogging. I took a big leap in expanding my blog and really taking control of it as opposed to having it sit on the net without much content. I don't think I did the best job though, which will be an area I'm going to concentrate on more this year. 

Bouncing off my achievements and disappoints from last year then, I want to be able to take a stab and hopefully succeed in doing some of these things!

Reading


My goal this year is to read 75 books. Last year I set out to read 50 and managed to finish with 103. That's just over double my figure and I was astounded with how much I had read. However, I don't want to aim so high this year and then fall flat. What I'm aiming for this year is fairly high, but an amount I think is achievable with my reading speed. 
I'm also still tacking the BBC 100's Books to Read Before You Die Challenge, which is proving to be as difficult as I thought it was. I want to read at least 1 book from the list each month, but they're all pretty hefty and definitely require some attention. Good luck to me. 

Read 75% of my owned TBR Books. I have this problem where I keep buying books and then never getting around to reading them - who else is guilty? So this year, I want to be able to at least get through half to 3/4 of those that just sit on my self waiting to be opened. This is also going to help my book buying problem.

Blogging


I don't want to be too overly ambitious just cause I didn't do that great last year. Posting at least twice a week is probably something I will be happy with, but at the moment I'm working on a schedule that will hopefully work out for both you and I. I'll update you guys really soon about it! 

Getting organised is always a major part. I really want to start lining posts the week before it's suppose to be up so there is content always and I'm not chasing up on posts the night before, or even an hour before like I am now! 

General Resolutions


These are all going to be pretty much repeats of last year, seeing as though I never seem to get them right. I'm pretty hopeless with resolutions to be quite honest. 

  • Don't complain about what I can change -- this is my major resolution this year because I feel like I spend too much time complaining and not enough time actually working to change what I'm complaining about. 
  • Finishing assignments a week before its due -- future Tracey will thank you. 
  • Avg 70%+ at Uni.
  • Workout 3 times a week. 
  • Start writing again. 
  • Create a vision board. 
  • Get out of my comfort zone -- do different things and explore new places. 
That is it for my goals and resolutions. I feel like I am aiming for a lot, but I'm hoping I can manage to juggle them all at once! 

What Are Your Goals for 2015?




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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Likes/Dislikes of Romance in Books

Hosted By: The Broke and The Bookish
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish, where we list our top ten according to a topic of the week. I'm actually not participating in this weekly, only because I know that for some of the topics I really can't come up with a list of ten. For future topics though, check them out here.

Likes

The Chase
Constantly eyeing each other, note passing and playful banter? Yes please! I think it's so sweet and I always end up giggling at the banter that goes on. 

Connecting
When characters connect, building their relationship over common interests and various dates, that shows how realistic their love for each other is. They can actually hold conversations about different things - that is the key. 

Dates
As much as I don't like cheesy, I do love a cute prom or first date scene. That whole panic over what to wear and fretting over what the other person will think of them. It's such a relatable aspect to everyone.

Friend's Brother/Sister
I don't know why I like seeing the character end up liking their friend's brother or sister, but it just makes their relationship all that much more worthwhile when they finally end up together. They have to overstep all these boundaries but the ending is worth it.


Intimacy
I love that authors aren't afraid to have their characters connect both intellectually but also physically. A good intimate scene raises the heat when I'm reading but also conveys how passionate the characters feel about each other.

Dislikes

Insta-love
I'm pretty sure this would top the list of dislikes for nearly every reader. You know that moment when you're like "what you guys are already in love? how, what when?". That moment is the worst to encounter when reading.

Bad Boy/Good Girl
This is such a classic move when it comes to romance in books. The boy is either a total badass who meets a nice girl and changes, or really screwed up inside and needs the right girl to fix him. There's a reason why it's popular, but it's overused and frustrating at times. 

Stupidity
The term "love is blind" is really stretched in most romances, where the character, especially the girl, acts in a way that really makes me question whether they have a brain or not. Like stop, please!

Cheating/Lying/Anything Wrong
I don't appreciate a couple who cheats, lies or tries to manipulate their partner. It doesn't who it is, but that destructive is appalling. Being under the influence isn't an excuse either. 

Too Romanced Focused
When the book takes a turn and loses its' initial focus to the romance, that's when I've had enough. Clearly I've picked up the book for other reasons - if I wanted to read about two people falling glove only then I would've gone for an actual Romance novel.

What do you Like or Dislike About Romances?


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Thursday, 5 February 2015

January Wrap Up

I definitely haven't been the best blogger these past few months, but I have managed to show you guys what January was like for me!

On The Blog

2014 was a whirlwind so to narrow it down I created a short snapshot of the year! 

"Top Ten Tuesday"
2014 New Release I Didn't Get To Read

Reading Time

Usually I do a wrap up video but if it hasn't been obvious, I've been absent from very corner of the book blog/booktube world since last year. Don't worry guys I will have an update post up soon explaining everything, but until then, this is a short recap of what I read! 


        

I was on a massive fantasy kick in January, and I enjoyed every one of these - especially Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I didn't read as much as I wanted to but I read books that were worth it, so I'm happy (sorta). 

Reviews





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