Sunday, 31 January 2016

Waiting On February

The Waiting List is a feature hosted by PrintedWordsAnd, where I list some upcoming releases for the month that I'm most excited about! 



1. He Will Be My Ruin by K.A Tucker
Thriller written by the author who actually made me enjoy New Adult? This must be good.
3. These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks #1) by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Vakas
4. Why We Came To The City by Kristopher Jansma
I wasn't particularly interested by the synopsis to this, but there's something that makes it seem like it'd be a great contemporary to read. 

5. The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1) by C.J. Redwine 
6. After The Woods by Kim Savage
7. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
Retelling of Aladdin, but with a very surprising twist!

What Books Are You Excited For?



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Friday, 29 January 2016

"The Duff" Cements That The Book Is Much Better Than The Movie




Title: The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend}
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publication Date:
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Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "the Duff", she throws her Coke in his face. But things aren't so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it.

Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him. Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Review


The striking difference between The Duff book versus The Duff movie, is the actual plot progression. Whilst one is solely focused on Bianca and Wesley's relationship development and her changing life going through high school, the other is more of a rom-com makeover story. It's safe to say I like the book more.

1. The character development is a lot better in the book.
I actually got to know Bianca, Wesley and many of the minor characters as the story unraveled. There was a bit more depth to the characters and I was inclined to feel more attached to them, as opposed to the movie. In the movie they're quirky and quite close to the book characters but I actually found them to be quite annoying. I found that I didn't like Bianca at all in the movie.

2. The storyline is more impactful in the book.
The Duff is very much a light, fluffy Young Adult read but the book delivered a message regarding self-esteem and body image. In the movie it sort of does that, but not until after Bianca seeks out Wesley to transform her into someone she's not. I don't particularly love this part of the plot - probably why I don't like the movie as much - because I don't agree with seeking approval from other people, especially a young boy who thinks he knows what's hot or not. Although, I do think that the book does portray Bianca and Wesley's type of relationship as very unrealistic, at least the ending is. It's also not the best relationship to ever get into but is portrayed in a sweet, romantic way.

3. The book is more memorable.
This probably links in with point number two, but the book just left a mark on me compared to the movie. If I was quite honest, the trailer for the movie does cover the entire story. It's something very easy to watch and enjoyable in the moment, but becomes something I wouldn't really watch again. I'm not too sure if I'd read the book again either, but it did give me the feels.

I don't think the movie is terrible, it was actually quite fun, but I'm glad I read the book as well.

Book Rating



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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Aussie Novels I Love (Happy Australia Day!)

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 Novels From Australia I Love!
This week's TTT is a freebie week and so, to celebrate it being Australia Day, I wanted to share with you guys some of the gems that came from the lovely Down Under. 
Let me know if you've read any of these!


1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Definitely not set in any part of Australia, but Zusak is Australian and I am so proud he wrote an amazing novel - and one of my favourites.
2. The Shifting Fog & The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
I couldn't decide between the two but Morton is my favourite author and her writing is so vivid and gripping, it's hard not to fall in love with her books.
3. The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham
Only garnering attention just recently, The Dressmaker was a stand out for me during high school for its eccentric and ironic nature. It's a bit shocking but I love it all the same.
4. Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
A little bit of Australian "history" within this mystery - if you want to take the story as truth. The rock itself is also really creepy, I climbed to the top and nearly got lost!
5. Scatterheart by Lili Wilkinson
An oldie but a goodie; it's a lot more juvenile but the story is touching and gives a small recount to the making of Australia.


6. Obernewtyn (Obernewtyn #1) by Isobelle Carmody
One of the few great fantasy series from Australia!
7. My Brother Jack by George Johnston
This is based in Melbourne - my own city - and there is a lot of historical elements that creates a striking image of the city back in the days.
8. Somebody's Crying by Maureen McCarthy
I remember reading this during year 8 and was left feeling disturbed and shocked.
9. Are We There Yet by Alison Lester
One of the ultimate children's novels that will end up being read to generations later - it's a great book to encapsulate Australia in it's whole at a basic level.
10. The Arrival by Shaun Tan
This is a beautiful graphic novel, that's haunting and raw.

(Photo Source: Goodreads)

What Was Your Top Ten This Week?



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Sunday, 24 January 2016

"Slated" Should've Been So Much More


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Kyla's memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She's been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla's mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth? (Source: Goodreads)


Review


The series Slated started off with a lot of promise. I found the concept to be very intriguing, considering it grappled with issues that not many YA novels I've encountered have covered. However, by the end of the series I really felt like there were so many missed opportunities and eventually once the series came to an end I was not really left satisfied.

Slated gave a thorough introduction into the world, the characters and the context of the plot. It made for a great start and I really liked the concept it played on. Fractured focused more on Kyla's identity and her role amongst the bigger issues. It wasn't as exciting as the first one, but it did have a lot more intriguing character and plot development. Shattered ended the series, not as great as I expected, but did tie all loose ends together.

I liked Slated the most, finding that I was pulled straight into the world and the issues that it tackled. It was fast paced and easy to read, and I enjoyed the constant action or intensity it contained. I would say that whilst I learnt about the characters well, I wasn't attached to them even by the end of the novel. Between Fractured and Shattered Kyla's character development progresses and adds depth. I was surprised by what was revealed but it created depth and complexity to the plot, which made it all that more intriguing. I didn't particularly love her by the end of the series, but at least I could learn so much more about her and share the emotions she felt during the story. I do think that the last two books were drawn out, which did bore me a little. Shattered definitely could've been condensed down to maybe 2/3 of the actual book, what with the little moments added that were longer than necessary. There wasn't all that much action, which was something I was looking forward to, especially during the finale. I expected a lot more by the time the end rolled around but frustratingly I wasn't really satisfied.

Overall though, the meaning behind the series did resonate well and I appreciated how power and control was portrayed in the plot. I also liked Terry's take on relationships, the development of it along with trust and loyalty between different people. What really stood out, besides the main issue, was questions of good and bad, and choices. There is a lot to mull over but was overshadowed by how I lost interest as the series progressed.

Slated is a good read, but because it showed so much promise I did expect a lot from it. I am slightly disappointed it didn't get there but you may find it to your liking!




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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Goodbye 2015. Hello 2016!


A Year In Books

Here is my recap of 2015 as a reading year! I am a little disappointment at my progress but do think I did managed to read a few great books, so that's a plus.


Total: 39
Average Rating: 4/5

I also added my top 5 as well as the biggest disappointment for the year in the video!

For a general update on my life in 2015 I've written a few "Talking Personal" posts that you guys can check out (here, here and here),  including a very recent one explaining why I constantly disappear from here.

A short recap though includes a few highlights such as my amazing trip to South Korea for exchange, being hired at an incredible company and meeting some fabulous people who I hope to be long life friends with. A milestone for me would be that I feel like I've grown as a person and have gained some level of independence.

Resolution Reflections

That sad moment when resolutions end up out of the door 3 months into the year. I did not hit any of my reading resolutions this year, but there's no harm in trying right? It just means I have to try again this year. Blogging wise I aimed to write at least twice a week. That worked out well for the last 4-5 months of the year so I'll take that as a win.

I did also set up some resolutions for life in general and I managed to complete one, which I'm happy about. I'm always a resolution setter but never a completer - kind of sad but I know how I am. However, in 2015 I wanted to be able to get out of my comfort zone and do things that would challenge me. I found that exchange gave me that chance and the biggest challenge was adapting to a new culture and making new friends, all in a foreign country. It was both nerve-wracking but also exhilarating! Other than that I also went bungee jumping, which really tested my physical limits. I still can't believe I did that.



This year I am not going to be overly ambitious, as I have been each year. Instead I have some basic goals/resolutions I wish to work towards and hopefully achieve.

Reading

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Tracey has read 3 books toward her goal of 50 books.
hide

I've set myself a goal of 50 books again this year, but I have a little more faith in myself for 2016. Fingers crossed!! I also still want to tackle my TBR pile of books on my shelf, so if I get through at least 1/4 of it I will be very satisfied.

Blogging

Yet again, at least twice a week is my benchmark, meaning I have to be on top of my scheduled posts and organisational skills. Eeepp, now that's a hard one!


General Resolutions

I think this year I just want to focus on myself and how I feel about life. I definitely want to work on how I see myself and how I view social issues etc etc. But also, my overview on life in general. Health is a big part for me this year and I want to be able to really appreciate my surroundings, not just be stuck in my room or on the web staring at nothing. Graduation is also on the horizon, which is a little terrifying but very much a relief as well.

What Are Your Goals For 2016?



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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Talking Personal: A Very Overdue Catch Up

I find that every single time I disappear from my blog, I tend to revive it by starting with a post on what I've been up to as a way to explain why I just up and leave every time.

My last "Talking Personal" was in September and now we're in January 2016!! Good gosh where does time go? I feel like the last half of 2015 was a whirlwind and I was sucked into a vortex of uni and then work as Christmas season picked up and hours increased. All I ever do these days is work and work and work - which I love, don't get me wrong. But then there's never enough time to do anything else for myself. I did not pick up a book to read until just recently and finally it feels like I'm settling back into my usual routing, which is a relief.


Between September and now there have been some major events. One of them being my very fabulous 21st birthday, and by fabulous I mean having a great night followed by some minor black out moments. I'm not sure I'm proud of everything that happened but I did have an enjoyable night. I also went on a little getaway with two beautiful girls, just to spend some time together and catch up. 


Christmas and New Years I spent differently than most years. My parents went away, leaving me to spend time with my friends. I love Christmas and everything that comes with it.

Currently I'm about to start my second season at the Australian Open, meaning I've had to taken leave from my other work for a little while. I think I'm excited for the change of scenery and to be able to meet new people so we'll see how that goes!


Summer is heating up and I've used those opportunities to head to the beach and consume some amazing little treats.

That's pretty much my life in a nutshell. I hope you guys had an amazing Christmas and New Year! I've got new posts lined up waiting for you guys to see and I'm so excited for 2016 and everything that it will bring.

What Was Your Favourite Moment in 2015?



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