Thursday, 28 April 2016

Talking Personal: The Juggling Game

Hi all! 

I'm now two months into my final, final, semester (hopefully). Last time around I was talking about the end of summer and the summer holidays, which was super sad. Surprisingly though, I still managed to do so many exciting things despite trying to juggle university and work. Yes, it's been a lot of me trying to balance my two major priorities and still do the things I want to do. 


Started off March by seeing G-Eazy, which was amazing! Was a really intimate show and I went with the best people who appreciated him as much as I do. I also got around to seeing two plays, The Secret River and Matilda: The Musical. The Secret River was beautiful and eye opening - it is a book adaptation, but I haven't read it just yet. Matilda was absolutely fantastic! One of my favourite musicals now, and I definitely recommend you guys go watch it because it is so worth it. The setting was so creative and ingenious, and the cast made it so fun to watch. 


My friends and I celebrated one of our close friends' 21st at Nobu, a Japanese Michelin Star restaurant, and damn was it good. What I found fascinating was their taco sushi's, which are made up of sushi fillings inside miniature taco shells. Seriously so good! Also experienced teppanyaki for the first time, which was fun. 

Only recently, I went on a small trip to Sydney to see some family and friends. It was a nice getaway after constantly working and trying to study. Now all I want to do is travel more! 


How Was Your Month?

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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Waiting On May

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. The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan
Apollo gets his time to shine in this new series by Rick Riordan and I'm super excited because Riordan has an amazing way of portraying Greek mythology, that is both education and entertaining. 

2. The Way Back to You by Michelle Andreani and Mind Scott
I haven't read a lot of contemporary this year but this one sounds like it's going to be meaningful and memorable.

3. Everland by Wendy Spinale
Spin on Peter Pan and Im super excited because it's one of my favourite novels! Set in London amongst a disease that has taken over the city, Peter and Captain Hook's adventure is retold.

4. The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L Armentrout
I love Jennifer L Armentrout's writing and despite not being a huge romance reader, I still want to read this.

5. Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
Historical fiction? Female, asian protagonist? Okay you got me. I really want to see how this one unfolds.

What May Release Are You Excited For? 


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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Top Ten Delightful Bookish Moments

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 Bookish Moments That Make Me Warm and Fuzzy

1. Any five star read
Hands down if I end up finishing a mind-blowing, amazing book that I immediately rate five stars, it is the best feeling ever! I always pick up a book hoping that it'll be a great experience, but if it surpasses every single expectation I have then I become super excited about it.

2. Seeing someone read a book I love
My heart does a little a leap when I'm out in the public and see someone reading a book I love, and for the most part it's the Harry Potter series. The amount of people I've seen on the train reading it and I wanted to squeal and go home them - would probably land me in prison already actually.

3. Book Discussions!
When I can actually talk about the book I'm reading/have read to anyone I know, is the best thing ever. I love having book discussions with my friends, especially when we share our own opinions about the book and justify them with different analysis of the plot.


4. The book I recommend is loved
I feel so fuzzy inside when I recommend a book to someone and they come back raving about it. Makes me so happy that I'm not the only one to have fallen in love with it.

5. Pretty book covers
Not going to lie, I am guilty of book cover buys. So any book cover that I walk past and catches my eyes become a moment to treasure.

6. Satisfying endings
I don't even think I need to explain this one. Seriously, anything but a satisfying ending is not a delightful moment for a reader.

7. Hitting double digits in a month
10+ books read in a month is a huge accomplishment for me and something I find so satisfying.


8. New books
Nothing, and I mean nothing, is as exciting as receiving new books. Going into a bookstore and browsing all the shelves. Having mail land on your doorstep. You name it, I'll love it.

9. The wait for a sequel is over
BEST THING EVER! Because no more waiting!!

10. My bookshelves
The most fantastic thing is waking up to the beauty that is my bookshelves and all the books that are lined up in the way that I want it to be. Yes, I do like to sit here and admire them.

What Are Your Favourite Bookish Moments?

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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Laugh Out Loud Books (At Least To Me)


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 Seven Novels That Made Me Laugh

It's kind of sad when I can't actually think of at least ten novels that has made me laugh. Cleary I'm reading really sad books then. 


1. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 
Ezra: You're taping this, right?
Interviewer: Audio only. Camera is faulty.
Ezra: Okay, well for the benefit of the sight-impaired, I am now raising my ... oh, dear ... yes, it's my MIDDLE finger at Mr. Postgrad here. 
Interviewer: Mr. Mason ...
Ezra: Now I'm wiggling it. 
Interviewer: Terminating interview at 13"58 on 03/19/75. 
Ezra: Look at it wiggl-
- audio ends -
This is literally only a glimpse of the funniest things I've ever read. 

2. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Leviathan and John Green 
Jane and I each want one hot dog and a soda. Tiny orders four hot dogs with buns, three hot dogs without buns, a bowl of chili, and a Diet coke. 
" A Diet Coke?" asks the waiter. "You want four hot dogs with buns, three hot dogs without buns, a bowl of chili, and a Diet Coke?"
"That's correct," says Tiny, and then explains, "simple sugars don't really help me put on muscle mass." 
Tiny Cooper makes up for most of the hilarious moments in this book.

3. Bad Kitty (Bad Kitty #1) by Michele Jaffe
Little Life Lesson 2: A good way to ensure you will never have a boyfriend is to have a large armed man with an uncertain grasp of English heckle you in public. 
Little Life Lesson 3: If for some reason the guy might still be interested, following up by having your father rush over right afterwards screaming "Jasmine, you know you are not allowed to talk to strangers!" as though you were six will nip it in the bud. Oh, and it helps if your father is wearing a safari suit. With shorts. And knee socks. Because this is his idea of what you wear in the desert.
And many more life lessons that are very relatable and definitely will create many laughs. 

4. Skuldugery Pleasant by Derek Landy 
I just want to let you know that I love you all. Even those of you that I don't like; that's you Beryl.
This is literally something I would find myself saying. 

5. Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan
"Hey girl," he said, wiggling his eyebrows. "You must be the riptide, 'cause you sweep me off my feet." 
Percy Jackson's voice overall is witty and funny, but the fact that he recounts the history of Greek gods in a modernised way makes it so much better. 

6. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella 
When you can't find the quote you're looking for but do think there are hilarious moments. Trust me. 

7. The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham 
I think the events of the story aren't funny, it's actually quite sad, but the overall novel has a dark humour to it and the irony of the events made me chuckle. 

Share Your Recommendations!

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

"Illuminae" Puts A Creative Spin On Sci-Fi

Title: Illuminae
Series: The Illuminae Files
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publication Date: October 20th, 2015
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Review



Illuminae excels in all areas required to make a great book. I fell in love with it and flew through all 600 pages in a day. That's how good it is.

Loved:

1. Unique and Creative 
What was amazing about this book is the storytelling behind it. The set up of the narrative is  unique and incredibly creative, which creates an interest around the plot. The story is told through IM chats, interview transcripts and surveillance reports just to name a few. I found it so engaging, making it feel like the files was suppose to be for me and I was present whilst the events were happening. 

2. Superb Writing
The presentation of the book and the flow of the storyline would not have been successful without the incredible writing by Kaufman and Kristoff's. They created a fast paced and intense plot and I was hooked right until the very end. That says a lot considering I don't read a lot of sci-fi because it's not something I find interesting. But Kaufman and Kristoff's method of relaying information about the world, the technology and everything else that any sci-fi novel needs is very smart and doesn't feel like I'm being bombarded by stacks of information in order to understand it all.

Amongst the intensity, Kaufman and Kristoff also included very humorous moments that made me laugh out loud. Some of it was definitely a lot more inappropriate than what I expected so I do think this is suited for a more older age group within Young Adult readers.

3. Characterisation
I loved that there two very distinct voices despite the unconventional means to introduce and develop the characters. Both Kady and Ezra had great character progression and I was invested in their lives from the moment the book started. Kady is brave, intelligent, snarky and the attitude that she had won me over. Ezra is hilarious and the friendships he built felt genuine, which made me feel like I wanted to be friends with him as well.

Illuminae is truly a fantastic experience, combining great writing, strong plot and even explores issues of the greater good, humanity and loyalty as things to mull over whilst reading. I did find there were some moments I glossed over because I was a little lost with some of the layout of the story. Still, as a novel I would say it hit the mark and I was left with a massive book hangover. I implore you to definitely give this a try! 




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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books For Fairytale Lovers

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 Every Fairytale Lover Should Read

It took me forever to think of a topic to write about for this week because I only recently just wrote about ten books to read if you're in the mood for thriller. Instead, today I've tried to list books I think are suitable for fairytale lovers - whether they be fairytale retellings themselves or somehow fit the mould of fairytales. 


1. Fairytale for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near 
Looking at the title it's fairly self-explanatory but this modern day fairytale combines so many elements to produce a beautifully haunting tale. 

2. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making (Fairyland #1) by Catherynne M. Valente
One of my favourite modern day fairytales of all time and I love that its a series so I don't ever have to leave Fairyland. Also, Valente is one of the best fairytale writers of present day - there I called it.

I haven't read the entire series but I would say this carries the exact feel of any fairytale, with the mysterious world and the magical creatures. Narnia's always been one of my favourite fictional places.

4. A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
This novel carries so many different themes about diversity, discrimination and social hierarchy but bundled into a creative story that I absolutely loved!

5. Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente
If you're in the mood for more of an adult read, Deathless is actually a Russian folk tale retelling. It's written at a more advanced level but doesn't lose the magical element. 



6. Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
A middle grade retelling of the Snow Queen, I found Breadcrumbs to be a great story about friendship and adversity. 

7. Scatterheart by Lili Wilkinson
Scatterheart weaves in a fairytale/folktale to portray a love story that I read back in year 7 and still love to this day. 

8. Ever by Gail Carson Levine
This is pretty much a fairytale on its own and whilst I read it awhile ago I still think it was a great read!

Middle grade with twists and turns, I just snuck it in cause its one of my favourite MGs actually. 

10. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Coraline has the feel of a fairytale as well and watching the movie just emphasises that fact.

Recommend Me Your Favourite Fairytale Read


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Monday, 11 April 2016

"Zootopia" Bounces Into My List of Favourite Animations

Title: Zootopia
Produced By: Walt Disney Animated Classics
Release Date: March 4th, 2016
Rating: PG (Mild themes and threat, some scenes may scare young children)
 Zootopia Disney PageIMDB Page
The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together—a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything.

But when optimistic Officer Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery. 



Review


I rarely do movie reviews that aren't related to a book, but after seeing Zootopia I definitely wanted to share my thoughts about it to you guys!

Produced by Walt Disney's Animated Classics, Zootopia has fast become one of my favourite animated Disney films. What makes Zootopia so amazing is the cleverness of it. The design of the setting, the different nature of the animals, even the intricacy of the plot line meant that I was fully engaged in the story and gained so much from it.

The city of Zootopia is well thought out and creatively structured, featuring various climates to fit the range of animals' needs. It's actually a beautifully animated place and the details make it almost realistic. The animals themselves are hilariously portrayed, although most of them do play out a certain stereotype that does become challenged as the story progresses. It encompasses a fast paced action story with a strong moral behind the plot to produce an amazing movie that I really enjoyed. Also keep an eye out for the humour that I found so funny, especially when they refer to modern day TV shows, movies and even clothing stores.


The thing I loved most about Zootopia was its desire to generate change. Judy bounces into a world where she has to deal with all the prejudices that come with being a certain animal. This reflects the world we're living in and how, despite the many races, genders, sexuality, that can be found in society, there is always going to be some type of discrimination that will occur. Instead, in Zootopia Judy finds that she can be the voice to change. There are obvious obstacles but she manages to really unite all the animals in the city to really accept each other and the skills they have.

For a children's movie, Zootopia really tries to break the boundaries to convey the message of diversity, acceptance and perseverance. In reality, the change that Judy brought to Zootopia is more of an ideal that certainly won't be reflected in our society as fast as we would like for it to happen. But the movie does end with her talking about creating change, even if it's just one person, because that's one more person pushing for change to happen.

Even if you don't deep dive into the movie like I did, it is an amazing movie that is light enough to laugh at and enjoy whilst still carrying across messages that will make you think.



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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Don't Look Back by Jennifer L Armentrout


Title: Don't Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armetrout
Publication Date: April 15th, 2014
Add to Goodreads \\ Buy from The Book Depository
Samantha Franco has the perfect life. Until, that is, she and her best friend Cassie disappear and only Samantha resurfaces ... with no knowledge of what happened.

And Cassie stays missing. Gradually, Samantha begins to piece together her memories of that night. If she can do so, she may yet be able to save her friend. And, little by little, something begins to emerge ...

Then she gets the note: Don't Look Back. You Won't like What You Find.


Review


I'm a sucker for thrillers and am so glad I picked up Don't Look Back because it was absolutely thrilling!

Loved:

1. Strong Plot Twist 
Any thriller is a great thriller with a punch that really shocks the reader. Don't Look Back does exactly that, so that when the finale was revealed I was left surprised and satisfied. It made finishing the book worth it. I didn't expect at all and it was both exhilarating but also terrifying.

2. Suspenseful and Captivating
The writing was intense and fast-paced, which meant that I flew through it in one day. I was engrossed in finding out who the killer was and the build in suspense was done amazingly. Anything that keeps me on my seat really sparks my interest and keeps me attached to the story.


Not So Much:

1. Lack of Character Depth/Progression 
If you're looking for a book with great character progression though, Don't Look Back doesn't encompass that. The characters are very black vs. white, with each character either being good or bad. There isn't really an exploration for the grey area that is most realistic. Samantha did progress a little but overall, the book did lack any 2-dimensional characters.

2. Missing Plot Points
Whilst I was engrossed with the storyline of the book, the plot did a lot more feeling than showing in regards to Samantha's past life and what she was capable of. I know it's not suppose to be a huge factor to the plot but it was something I wanted to see instead of just hearing about it. A lot of the plot gaps were things characters told Samantha. If anything showing rather than telling would've been better.

I do think that the positives do outweigh the negatives as an overall reading experience. When I was reading the book, the things I found I didn't like so much weren't frustrating me or weighing on my mind up until I finished it. And even then it wasn't something that made me feel immensely dissatisfied with the read. Would definitely recommend if you love YA thriller!

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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookstagrammers To Satisfy Your Book Addiction

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created byThe Broke and The Bookish, where we list our top ten according to a topic of the week. Check out future topics here!

Originally I was actually going to write a whole post about Bookstagram and my recent obsession with it, but now that this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is pretty much a shoutout post to any bookish people I've decided it's the perfect chance to do it!

Instagram is a huge platform with so many niche markets that its easy to stumble across a corner perfect for your interests. Mine is definitely the book corner! And boy do the photos make for amazing eye candy *insert hearts as eyes emoji*

Top Ten "Bookstagrammers" You Need To Follow

@emdawgreads



@lottelikebooks



@lorenreads



@littlebookworld



@quirkybooks


@perpetualpages



@crimeofrhyme



@epicreads



@paperfury



@youngadultbookaddict


There are so many more accounts I follow that I could list, but seriously my instagram feed is really a feast for my eyes! Sneaky self-promo to myself as well. If you haven't seen my instagram page for books check it out! It's not on the same level as the ones I've linked up top but it is so much fun - when I'm on top of it. I have a feed at the bottom of my blog for recent uploads!

@printedwordsand 



Share Your Top Ten With Me!

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Monday, 4 April 2016

Marching On From March | Monthly Wrap Up

It's the end of March and I did a disappearing act. Again. Bits of posts here and there, but I'm planning and planning and planning! Lots to come, which hopefully means I'm around for longer (and consistently as well). The first month of semester is done and gone, which also means I need to start balancing work, uni and blogging - and as you guys know, that's always a struggle for me. So fingers crossed I somehow pick up my game and deliver!

Also keep an eye out for a "Talking Personal" post where I let you in on what's been happening in my life for the past month!


On The Blog


Top Ten Tuesday

Let's Talk: Discussion Posts


Collective Haul


Not a March "thing" but something I didn't add into last month's wrap up (oops). I collected a ton of books between the end of 2015 and start of 2016, so wanted to show you guys and get excited! Let me know if you've read any of them and if they're worth reading?




Reading Time


No recap video this month. I know, slack right? I did manage to have a decent month of reading though!


Brings that to a grand total of 6 books! I actually got back into the groove of things mid-March, which got me really excited. I picked up some great reads but after finishing Illuminae I ended up having a book hangover and found nothing else interested me. 


Favourites



     

Reviews 


          


How Was Your Month Like?




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