Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Brownlow 2015: The Night of Nights To Shine

Every year when the Brownlow rolls around I get super excited to see the WAGs hit the red carpet. I'm not a huge fashionista myself, but I do love admiring these gorgeous girls shine - at least for the the night.

It amazes me how much effort goes into one night, and how often these girls nail their look year after year. No Brownlow night would be the same without the appearances of Rebecca Judd and Nadia Bartel. These two are pretty much known as queens of the carpet, although this year they both strayed from their usual style.


Judd's Egyptian inspired dress was made 24 hours prior to the event, with beads swinging below her knees. Rarely do I see her in anything but classic and sophisticated, so this surprised me. I'm not entirely sold on the dress but I do like that she went for something interesting on what is supposedly her last Brownlow ever.

I loved how Bartel glowed in her pale pink number, perfectly fitted for her pregnant body whilst retaining elegance. The intricate detail on the sleeve and train keeps the dress from being boring.


Recently engaged Jessie Habermann wore perhaps the most extravagant gown on the night. Whilst I love the back, I'm not particularly fond of the front or the feathering hem. I still think she looks stunning though and the ring shone throughout the night. I can definitely see her as being the next big name for the red carpet in years to come.

My personal favourites though come down to Keely Meehan and Clementine McVeigh. Some people would disagree, but the lace detailing on Meehan's shoulder is something that drew me to the dress.


McVeigh was by far the best dressed of the night. Her turquoise gown had a deep neckline that hugged her bodily perfectly before flaring out at the bottom. It was classy and elegant, and the colour was different to many other dresses. I also loved that she kept her accessories minimal, and her hairstyle emphasised her sophistication.

Still, no one could go past Nat Fyfe and his cane. He looked absolutely dapper and I just thought he deserved a shoutout - also the fact that he won the actual aware of the night says a lot.


(Photo Source: AFL)

Who Was Your Favourite?

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Thursday, 24 September 2015

Risk & The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks || Great Concepts, Not So Great Execution

Title: Risk
Author: Fleur Ferris
Publication Date: July 1st, 2015
Add to Goodreads | Buy From The Book Depository
Taylor and Sierra are childhood best friends, but now that they're in Middle School Taylor is tired of living in Sierra's shadow. Sierra gets everything, including what Taylor wants. One day Taylor meets a charming boy online but before she can tell Sierra all about him, she finds out Sierra is about to meet him in real life.

Sierra asks Taylor to cover for her, but after days of not coming back. Taylor begins to get worried. When she decides to tell Sierra's family, Taylor is exposed to a darker world online and the dangers that are lurking behind a screen.



Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Publication Date: March 25th, 2008
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository
Frankie Landau-Banks is exposed to the privilege society of her prestigious college after dating gorgeous senior Matthew. She's denied access to this secret society, but Frankie doesn't take 'no' for an answer anymore. She's ready to prove them that she's smarter than them, especially when it comes to the pranks that are about to happen.

Frankie could be a criminal mastermind. And she could get away with it as well. 



Review

I have a double review for you guys! Just some quick thoughts on two books that had good intentions, but not the best ways of relaying the messages. If you've read them let me know what you thought!


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Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR List

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. Check out future topics here.

Top Ten Books On My Fall Spring TBR
Living in Australia means our seasons are a little different to the States, but nonetheless I've got a list for the books I really want to get through this Spring! I'm determined to bring down the number of books I haven't read on my shelves, so these were the choices. 


1. The Diviners Series by Libba Bray
2. Night Film by Merisha Pessl
3. Splintered by A.G Howard
4. Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes
5. The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Curse #1) by Marie Rutkoski


6. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
7. Fractured by Teri Terry
8. The Year of The Rat by Clare Furniss
9. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
10. Chasing The Ace by Nicholas J. Johnson

What Are You Planning To Read This Season?

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Saturday, 19 September 2015

Talking Personal: Life Back At Home

Hi guys!

So it's been almost three months since I came home and a lot has been happening. Most of them very exciting!

I managed to find a fantastic job and I've fallen in love with it. It's definitely not anything in my area of expertise but all the same, I love the company and the brand so I just enjoy going to work.mOther than that, I've also started University again. I did a Winter class followed by my last semester, and it just made me feel so much productive than when I was in Korea.

Last year of University also meant it was the right time to finally attend a uni ball. I haven't dressed up and attended anything formal in a long time, so it was nice to have a night out with the girls. Seeing my family and friends was probably the best highlight since coming home.


I definitely also enjoyed all the food I missed whilst away, including my mum's food!


Last night I went to see "The Lion King" Musical and it was amazing. The stage set, costumes and music were all brilliant. It was so creative to watch and my favourite scenes were the opening and Mufasa's death. My favourite songs were the "Circle of Life" and "They Live In You." Stand out performances were by Rafiki and Scar. If you haven't watched it there are still tickets available!


 What Have You Done This Month?

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Thursday, 17 September 2015

Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas Shines With Fierceness And Intensity

Title: Queen of Shadows
Series: Throne of Glass #4
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Review


Queen of Shadows was an intense but extremely satisfying read. Everything about this was the perfect instalment that I had been waiting for. The story predominately focuses on its characters and their development. There is a lot of character progression, which is so good because it creates another dimension and makes them so much more believable and relatable. Celaena's story arc just keeps getting better and better. It's still possible to see her old self, but her new maturity and resilience really strengthens her character. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of exploration of Dorian and Chaol's character, although Maas does set up for possible development in the next part. Plotwise, events are clarified to fully understand the direction of the rest of the series. There were also hints of what could potentially happen, which I'm excited for!

Much like the previous books, Maas writing excels, being able to draw me in and keep me engrossed in the world. I do have some trouble concentrating during the first 100 pages or so, but that's probably because it was awhile since I read Heir Of Fire. There's so much creativity, it just breathes magic. 

If you have not read Queen of Shadow or even the series get on it! This is an amazing series that has an epic storyline and badass characters. Trust me, you won't regret it. 

Discussion

(Warning: Spoilers)

Characters


It's amazing to witness Celaena the Assassin (both in Throne of Glass and The Assassin's Blade) transform into the mature and passionate Aelin, Queen of Terrasen. I love that she's found her true identity without losing her confidence and sassiness. I cannot wait to see her claim her own throne back and rule with her new found strength and maturity. I'm so proud of her!
“She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph.” 
I don't particularly like how Chaol's character arc was dealt with though, even if he isn't a favourite of mine. He's sort of diminished entirely from the brave captain to someone filled with doubt and hopelessness. In the scheme of things, it does make sense. You have someone who's blindly followed an evil tyrant and was unwilling to accept anything different. Once the world he knew crumbled he was pretty much at lost. Still, I would like to see some of the old Chaol come back in the next part.

Rowan is fast becoming a swoon worthy character. His physical appearance and personality is pretty much perfection. I don't particularly see his current purpose besides protecting Aelin, but there's this bond between them that does make their relationship development almost believable. Almost. 

Manon annoyed me so much until the last third of the novel. I like that Maas is using her character to explore the issues of morality and values versus obedience and pride. I'm super excited to see what her role will be considering she's now found some humanity and compassion.
“You and I are nothing but wild beasts wearing human skins.” 
Surprisingly, Lyssandra has now taken a place in my heart. She is wickedly awesome and her friendship with Celaena is so fun to read. I like that they can both rely on each other now after being manipulated against their each other all their lives. Very heartwarming.

Plot


The world has expanded significantly and will continue to do so. This gives the plot so much more potential and I'm loving the setting of each area. I'm curious as to see how big Terrasen will be and it's actual environment. 

Finally figuring out who the Duke really is and his and the King's actual purpose in breeding the Wyverns and relying on the witches help was actually fascinating. It really broadened the potential of the plot, and how much can take place in the future. I wasn't particularly interested in Elide's storyline   just because I didn't see a purpose. It's still early days for her though. 

The romance element is something I like only because it's the most realistic account of dating between characters. Well, "dating." She's able to date who she wants and see the relationship development before deciding if her partner is compatible and what she really wants out of a relationship. There's no instal-love that has stretched across the four books, thank gosh. I want to see her relationship with Rowan as stemming from their lengthy time with each other but also a pull from their fae heritage.

Something that didn't sit well with me though, was how Chaol and Aelin treated each other with hostility after their history. It was a little extreme even if their relationship ended badly. Still, I loved almost every part of Queen of Shadows. The wait was worthwhile and I cannot wait for the next part. I want it already *cries quietly.*
“They joined hands. So the world ended.
And the next one began.” 

Who Is Your Favourite Character?

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Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Non-Bookish Things I Love

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. Check out future topics here.

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie topic so I decided to shake things up a bit and do something not book related! Besides letting you guys know a bit more about me, it's just nice to talk about some of my other interests because yes, I do have other interests.

Pho Restaurant | Hardware Societe | Cacao Green | Mocha Jo

1. Food
It's kind of insane how much I love food and eating. I live to eat and my favourite meal would have to be breakfast/brunch, along with Vietnamese and Korean cuisine being my top picks! Food really is a daily enjoyment.

2. Music
Music is a huge, huuuuuuge part of my life. Favourite genres are dependant on the phase I'm going through, which right now is a toss up between Hip Hop and RnB. Others include the usual Pop, K-Pop, V-Pop, 70s-90s and recently Trap. Share me some recommendations!

3. TV Shows/Movies
Pretty much a no brainer considering this is a popular interest for everyone else. I'm usually either on Netflix or playing some movie, mostly in the background whilst I'm studying or blogging. Check out the Top 5 Shows I'm loving right now! Although Totally Spies isn't on that list, which I've been binge watching.

4. Swimming 
I didn't start swimming until mid primary school years, but after that there was no going back. I trained hard until I quit, and to this day I really wish I hadn't. I still swim on and off, when I have the time and weirdly enough, it makes me feel relaxed.

Singapore | Korea | Thailand 
5. Travelling 
Travelling is probably a universal interest for everyone. For me it's intensified after coming back home from Exchange. I've realised there is so much more the world has to offer - so many opportunities and experiences.

6. Driving
Driving anywhere and everywhere is something I really enjoy. I do prefer driving alone with just my music. It's great me time.

7. Planner Organisation 
This is a weird one but I've been sucked into decorating my planner after constantly watching YouTube videos about it. I've always used a planner, ever since High School, and I've been pretty loyal to Kikki.K leather bound ones - gorgeous! Planning my week on a Sunday night is very therapeutic.

8. Summer
I bask in warm weather and just love everything that comes with Summer. From beach days to ice cream, Summer is my absolute favourite. I don't think you've experienced Summer until you've lived in Australia though. 

Local Beach | MCG & Etihad AFL Games | Nha Trang, Vietnam Beach 

9. Australian Football League (AFL) 
If I have to be honest, I love watching all sports - even Cricket - but AFL just takes the cake. I grew up with footy and it became my bonding time with Dad. We both follow the same time - Carlton - as well.

10. Crime Cases
This pretty much ties into my major, and I know it involves reading but I can sit and read different court cases or watch real criminal cases being solved for hours. In fact that's what I did during my last year of High School - oops. I was obsessed with 48 Hours, the show, and reading Australian cases off Austlii.

What Did You Guys Write About This Week?

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Saturday, 12 September 2015

Peek Inside My Book Collection || YA Edition


Ever since starting this blog and my booktube channel, my collection of books has grown immensely. It's been just past 3 years and I now have two shelves full and piles of books with not enough space left to shelve. 

My last bookshelf tour was actually the first video on my channel, so here's an update on the YA novels I've now collected. Enjoy! 


How Does Your Bookshelf Look Like?

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Thursday, 10 September 2015

The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold | As Realistic As It Gets


Title: The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Publication Date: July 3rd, 2002
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository

Susie Salmon is ambushed after school one day. Suddenly, Susie finds herself looking down her neighbourhood below.

So Susie continues to observe from her Heaven as her family and friends continue on with their lives, constantly wondering if her killer will ever be caught.


Review


"Because horror on Earth is real and it is every day. It is like a flower or like the sun; it cannot be contained."

The Lovely Bones is realistic. It's uncomfortable and raw, every bit memorable. I don't like it because it promises sunshines and rainbows at the end of a crap storm, but that it portrays the pain and grief that occurs from traumatising events. It also addresses issues that are usually ignored or forgotten, despite being glaringly obvious. I found that it threw these matters into my face and forced me to realise that maybe I'm suppose to face them and try to reconcile or resolve them. 

Susie's family is the main focus in the story, and their methods in dealing with Susie's death varies. I liked that they each had their own coping mechanism, and it was so easy to feel their attempts in trying to start living again. There was a whole ton of emotion weighing them down - especially Susie's sister, who I really sympathised with. Susie's mum, on the other hand, was the character I disliked the most, right after the rapist. I can understand her portrayal in the novel, but I don't condone or justify her actions. Yet, it's the way she's represented so realistically that makes her memorable, and perhaps most relatable. 

Using a dead person's voice as the narrator was also something that really interested me. Susie doesn't age in her heaven per se, but as she witnesses her former life grow, so to does her mind. Her narration is heavy with maturity and life lessons, and it's really sad to see her trying to help her family but cannot actually do anything. 

I am so glad I got around to reading this, finding it emotional and thought-provoking. There was a lot to process by the end of it. I don't love the entirety of it - right before the end something really weird happened and I'm not sure worked best for the actual story. What doesn't sit too well with me is maybe the justification of the rapist's actions through a brief background story. The experience as a whole though, really struck me. I loved that Sebold stripped everything back to reveal something so raw and gripping. It does become a little graphic, especially during the actual violent act, so just a warning. 

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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Completed Series I Haven't Finished

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. Check out future topics here

Top Ten Completed Series I Have Yet To Finish

Hourglass - Myra McEntire
Slated 
Study 
Obernewtyn 
To All The Boys I've Loved Before
Bad Kitty 
Code Name Verity 
Wicked Lovely
Daughter of Smoke & Bone 
Penryn & The End of Days  

Which Series Do You Want To Finish?

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Saturday, 5 September 2015

Print to Film: Coraline


Coraline moves into a new apartment where she finds a locked door in the wall. Behind it she discovers a brick wall, but the second time she tries a passageway appears. She is surprised to find a flat identical to hers and her parents in it, although they call themselves the "Other" parents and have buttons for eyes. Coraline is fascinated, but when she realises that the "Others" are trying to keep her in the alternative world she is determined to escape. 

The Book 


 Coraline was a short but entertaining read. It was creepy and thrilling enough to keep me reading. I love how vivid the story was, so that I could easily picture the setting and characters. The fantasy elements really enhanced the read. Despite that, I still found really meaningful messages about family, love and understanding.

 It was easy to dive into and enjoy, and very suitable for all ages. Personally, my favourite character would be the cat  - which says a lot because I usually dislike cats. 


 The Movie 


 Visually, the animation in the movie was creative and suited the context. It was done really well so that whilst the creepiness was retained, it wasn't overdone to the point where it would scare off children watching it. I particularly loved the garden in the Other World - it was vibrant and stunning - pretty much my favourite scene. There were also some moments that were grotesque, but a particular scene really surprised me. A dance scene, which was in the book, but had really suggestive elements in the movie. It was a little uncomfortable to watch considering this is a children's movie.

 Much like any other movie adaptation though, there were a few changes made, although some of which I wasn't too sure why.

 Wybie, a boy in the neighbourhood, was added as a companion to Coraline. It wouldn't have bothered me too much if his character didn't alter the storyline or Coraline's role, but it did. Still, it also conveyed the importance of friendships, loyalty and trust. The objects Coraline must find to escape was different as well. It's nothing major, but it still confuses me as to why it was changed. Perhaps to make the movie more simple to understanding, it was done that way?

 Coraline's trips to the Other World happens more frequently than in the book, although that's probably to fill in time and also give a better understanding of the alternate universe. I liked that there was a clear difference in terms of colour and set up between the two worlds. 

 The biggest difference though, which might me based on my personal perception, was Coraline. From what I gathered, in the book she's a child who's neglected by her parents, but she's not snarky or rude to them. In the movie she has an attitude that surprised me. I found Coraline annoying for the first half, being absolutely rude and stubborn. However, she did redeem herself in the end. 

 In saying that though, I did find the movie enjoyable and it was great to see the setting come to life. I felt that they nailed that in the movie.

 Verdict


 As much as the movie was visually stimulating and pretty impressive to watch, I like the book that much more. There's something that irks me when a movie changes a bit too much or adds in things that wasn't in the original. 

Read it if you have time. Or grab some snacks and settle down for some pretty cool animations.

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Thursday, 3 September 2015

August Wrap Up

On The Blog
Can I get a hi-five for being consistent in blogging this month? Blogging game on fleek tbh! Check out what I posted in August.
"Top Ten Tuesday"

Hear all about my trip to South Korea. I know I should shut up about it now

"Discussion Posts" 

September New Releases


Posts For Thoughts

Book Haul


Reading Time

Ok, I know I shouldn't brag but I am super proud of myself!! See what I've read for this month.


Favourites


Reviews

               

How Did Your Month Go?

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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Didn't Click With

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. Check out future topics here

Top Ten Characters I Didn't Click With


1. Alice from Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
I feel so mean writing this but Alice was not a character I could sympathise with, even though she was suffering from cancer. She was vindictive and manipulative, and I couldn't justify her actions.

2. Joe Goldberg from You by Caroline Kepnes
I didn't like Joe and I didn't like the book either. It's pretty hard to "click" with a psychopathic stalker.

3. Cath Avery from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Cath is such a controversial character to add to this list, but I just found her character to be irritating. Her stubbornness was probably one reason why.

4. Margaret Beaufort from The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
Nope to this overly ambitious lady who lived in her delusional world.

5. Frankie Landau-Banks from The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart  
I have a review for this book coming up soon, which will definitely outline why I dislike Frankie. Keep an eye out for that.


6. Catelyn Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R. R Martin
I didn't like Catelyn right from the get go. Her attitude to certain people around her and actions that may or may not lead to other events in the novel really annoyed me.

7. Chloe from Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas
Chloe is an interesting character because she was written very realistically but her actions didn't sit well with me.

8. Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare
Tessa was an okay character to me. Nothing exciting - I felt like she added nothing to the story.

9. Tucker from Unearthly Series by Cynthia Hand
There's something about Tucker that, despite his rough yet sweet nature, I just can't seem to fall for. On the contrary I was all for Team Christian.

10. Dimitri Belikov from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead 
I'm not sure if Dimitri really belongs under this topic, but I loved his character right up until Blood Promise. From then on I just could not deal with him.

Who's On Your List?

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