Sunday, 26 June 2016

Let's Talk: How Do I Fit Reading Time In?

It's kind of bizarre how I've found myself reading at every waking moment, to actually having to squeeze reading time in or even scheduling an appropriate time for it! It's made me thought about how much time I dedicate to my favourite hobby, but also what tips I can give you guys who may be struggling in the time department but really still want to read. 

Let's break down a single week I usually experience and where reading falls into place:
I typically work 5-6 days a week, volunteer once and may have social outings scattered over some days or nights. Other things I tend to do will be working on this blog here, editing and filming videos, and running errands that seem to pile up every week. 

Well, where does that leave room for reading?

Tip 1: Recognising that reading is a choice not a chore
I don't know if it's just me, but once I was so busy, I felt so guilty that I wasn't reading as often. Maybe it was the pressure of my reading goal or that I wasn't producing content on my blog but if I tried to pick up a book, after an exhausting day, it felt like such a chore. No wonder I fell into so many slumps - it just wasn't enjoyable anymore. Once I realised that I could read at my own pace, I felt so much more relieved. Reading is something I do because I love it, not because it's a joyless job that I have to do.

Tip 2: Break down your reading time
I find my reading time can be done in chunks throughout the day, which has massively helped balance my everyday life and reading. Now, I'll read during times where I'm not required to be doing something whether it be first in the morning - before my day starts - or right before bedtime as a way to unwind from a busy day. Even during my breaks at work is great because I'll focus on myself for a bit before I go back out and serve customers. Having a long trip on public transport is a rare but very valuable occasion because it feels like I have all the time in the world to read!

Tip 3: Find what works for you best
The two tips above are what I think should be considered if you feel like you don't have any time to read, but it's all about trial and error. What works for me may not be the best for you, but that's not to say you can't incorporate some of it and change it up so that it'll work for you. Our reading habits will vary and it'll be something for you to discover about yourself. It's taken me a fair bit to get to where I am, so don't be too hard on yourself.

I don't have the leisure of reading at any time I want, but I'm glad it hasn't stopped me from doing what I've enjoy most.


When Do You Guys Find Time To Read? What Tips Do You Have?

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Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Lake House by Kate Morton


Title: The Lake House Author: Kate Morton
Publication Date: October 20th, 2015
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In 1933, the Edevane family home, Loeanneth, hosts a grand party. Sixteen year old Alice Edevane is especially excited because she's about to share her great writing idea to a person she shouldn't have fallen in love with. By midnight, the family are torn apart and Loeanneth is abandoned forever.

Seventy years later, Sadie Sparrow is sent to her grandfather's for some time off from the Police force. She accidentally comes upon Loeanneth and the events of the night of the party unravel as Sadie begins to delve into the family history. In doing so, Sadie reaches out to Alice who has now become a famous detective novelist. Suddenly, Alice is thrusted back into her past but she's not sure she's ready to revisit it.



Review


Kate Morton seems to write according to a formula revolving around family mysteries that are resolved in the present time but always end up leaving me shocked and in awe at how well she writes.

Morton excels in writing vivid, descriptive imagery including the setting, character and context. It's very easy for me to visualise how a character looks like and the actual scenery. In The Lake House the  family's estate is grand and beautiful, and it's so easy to envision it because Morton is skilled in showing not telling. Even in its decaying nature, there is still a sense of the summery days where the story re-visits to recount the past. There's a nostalgic feeling as I read, and it's a common perception when reading any Morton novel.

I love that I got both the present and past, interweaved into each other so that I was literally on the same page as Sadie as she slowly inched to the truth. The more that was revealed, the more surprised but also saddened I was. Morton explores family ties, loyalty and trust, but also writes a great recount of PSTD that allowed me to further understand the tragedy of such a condition. 

Each of Morton's characters all leave a distinctive impression, whether it be a relatable aspect - most often a flaw - or because I've become so involved in their life to let go. Sadie is definitely a vehicle to drive the story, but that doesn't deter from me admiring how hard-working and smart she is. Alice was the more intriguing character because I got to witness her both when she was young until old age, and how the events of the past had defined and changed her. I remember a lot about their lives and their history because of how involved I was in their story arc and how it progressed.

I liked the unraveling of the mystery, paced well enough, although I'm not going to lie there were parts I did gloss over. The ending was heartwarming, albeit a little too convenient but does play on the idea of fate a lot. I think what keeps me on edge all the time is how Morton will allude to a certain ending, but is so much further from the actual events that happen, which leads to a great surprise. A pleasant read, although not the best from Morton.

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Waiting On July: Sci-Fi, Thriller and New HP Book? Yes Please!

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

July Releases


1. Learning to Swear In America by Katie Kennedy
Sci-fi setting romance, and whilst I've never been a huge sci-fi reader, I've started to enjoy them a lot more now. Not going to lie though, it was the title that got me.

2. The Creeper Man by Dawn Kurtagich
The cover of the book already alludes to what the story is about. Anything psychological thriller has me invested, and if this book does it right then I will be all the more excited!

3. A World Without You by Beth Revis
This is a very intriguing and somewhat bizarre plot line. I'm really curious because it's a different take to Mental Health and raising awareness.

4. P.S I Like You by Kasie West
I haven't read contemporary in so long, but this sounds like a sweet and light hearted romantic read. Definitely a great summer read (even though we're in winter right now).

5. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by J.K Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
I don't even have to explain this. Anything Harry Potter is a must buy. Must buy!!

What Release Are You Excited About?

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Sunday, 19 June 2016

Let's Talk: The Ultimate Authors To Check Out

This week I discuss my favourite authors and, surprisingly, none of them are Young Adult authors! Ooooooo. The four authors I talk about though are authors that I definitely think needs to be discovered - authors who I end up wanting to buy every single book that they have and devour them all!!I explain why I love them as well down below. 

If you're after YA authors, don't worry, I do have you covered. Special mentions to four YA authors who are quickly climbing the ranks into my favourite authors list.




Who Are Your Favourite Authors?

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

Get Ready To Have Fun With "Ready Player One"


Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Publication Date:
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

Review


Ready Player One is a genius and creative read, that had me on edge and completely obsessed. I loved Oasis - that was the best part of the book for me. The world was created in such a thorough way, with so many dynamics and was brimming with potential opportunities that I wanted to part of the world and the Egg Hunt. In short, Oasis is a place - much like Hogwarts or Narnia - where, as a reader, you feel the desire to want to be there to experience everything. That's how realistic and well-written the world is. I really could go on and on about it, but it's something you have to experience yourself whilst you're reading, because it is seriously worth it.

I also thought it was ingenious to include popular pop culture reference so that, whilst the novel is set in a futuristic world, the references still has a relatable aspect for readers to not feel so lost while reading. Granted, 80's references might be a little too old for today's readers, but I really enjoyed them, and thought it was a great way to introduce today's generation to what the world loved in the past. 

Cline also excelled in portraying the importance of friendship, and the development of the different relationships were really heartwarming and very relatable. The romance built on realistic grounds and actually relayed how physical appearance is not as important in the end, compared to how well two people actually connect emotionally. Loyalty, understanding, communication and sacrifice - all aspects of friendships - were greatly emphasised and I appreciated that. 

Sci-fi novels aren't my favourite to read, but Ready Player One really blew my mind with its creativeness and just the pure fun I had out of reading it. I finished it in a day and am really excited to see it translated on screen. (If I'm not mistaken there is a movie in the works). It was so good!! 

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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Upcoming Anticipated Releases


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 Most Anticipated Releases I'm Dying To Read (2016)



1. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by J.K Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
Release Date: July 31st 2016
I am so excited for this! There are no words that can really explain how exciting it is to revisit my favourite fictional world - probably the most anticipated read I have for this year.

2. Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secret Illustrated Version by J.K Rowling and Jim Kay
Release Date: October 4th 2016
I have the first illustrated book and the drawings are so beautiful, I need to get my hands on the second one.

3. Empire of Storm (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: September 6th 2016
Finally. Finally the next part is out and whilst I'm excited I'm also super nervous because I don't know where Sarah J. Maas is going to take the series next.

4. Strange The Dreamer (Strange The Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor
Release Date: September 27th 2016
Taylor wrote one of my favourite series and when I saw the release of her new series, I couldn't help but squeal. I'm hoping that this will be as great as Daughter of Smoke and Bone!

5. Gemina (Illuminae #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Release Date: October 18th 2016
Yes, yes, yes! I read Illuminae recently and fell in love with it and I'm so glad that Gemina is on the horizon.


6. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: August 30th 2016
Furthermore is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, but Mafi changes it up by introducing a new world I'm so happy to read about. What if it's a world that I'll grow to love and want to live in?! Yay!

7. The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor #1) by Katherine McGee
Release Date: August 30th 2016
Set during the year 2118, this is very similar to Gossip Girl - just 100 years later and a lot more complex - at least I hope so.

8. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Release Date: September 20th 2016
Three sisters. Three heirs. Three different powers. This is going to be one intense match.

9. Night Speed by Chris Howard
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
When a girl infiltrates a group of young teenagers who are addicted to a dangerous drug, she has to take on their habits and make them trust her. This underground story is going to be one epic adventure.

10. Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Release Date: September 6th 2016
I feel like I can never explain this so definitely go and read the synopsis. It just feels like an influential novel to be.


What Are You Most Excited For?

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Monday, 13 June 2016

Talking Personal: Living It Low Key

It's been two months since I've checked in with you guys, but since then I've actually had very low-key moments. It's now Winter here and it's super cold so I'm hoping the next there months goes by fast!

I've fully immersed myself back into AFL - or Australian Football League, for those who don't live in Australia. I am a huge footy fanatic, but after my time away from it I couldn't get back into it until now. Since April, I've attended 4 matches, 3 of which were wins and made me super happy.


Other than that, I'm now 2 months into a volunteering position I started this year. I've been volunteering for QEC, a baby health centre that aims to help parents develop skills and better their relationships with their children. I'm working more on the administration side, dealing with records and datas, which is a lot different to what I've ever done but I am learning loads and really appreciating the work the centre is doing.


In big news though, I finally finished my last semester of university, which means I've officially completed my bachelor degree!! My graduation is scheduled for next month and whilst I'm happy it's finally happening, I'm also kind of freak out because now I have to actually be an adult and figure out my life. Fingers crossed I have some sort of epiphany or something.

That's been my very mild adventures in life, only because I was focused on finishing uni and working. We've hit the mid year mark though and I'm excited to see what else 2016 will bring for me.

How Has Your Life Been?


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Friday, 10 June 2016

Let's Talk: I Admit, Writing Reviews Are Hard


I'm a self-proclaimed book blogger. I don't have the credentials or education for it, and yet here I am rating books on a scale and discussing plot development, character arcs and writing style, like I'm some kind of pro.

To be frank, I find writing reviews difficult. I love it - I definitely do, but because there's no handbook or manual guide, a lot of it I just had to figure out for myself. Sometimes it's so easy. I love or hate a book and it fills me with so many emotions and intensity, that I practically word vomit on the screen before I realise I'm about to write an essay. Other times, which is quite frequent actually, I sit and mull, scratch my head and yawn, before I can decide on how I want to put what I'm thinking into words. 

The biggest struggles I find are:

1. Trying to articulate thoughts
I struggle to coherently communicate what I've thought about the book, that it becomes super frustrating. I want the review to be succinct yet, encompass everything I need to say and most of the time it never turns out that way. It's a balance I'm working on though, so fingers crossed!

2. Self-doubt
I know this sounds ridiculous but once I finish a review I start to question whether it makes sense and if what I'm saying about the book will be considered legitimate, or at the least, an opinion to trust. I write reviews as a way to discuss my feelings for a book. However, it's also so that I can provide another perspective, which might influence readers on it. I'd like to know that what I'm saying is reaching even one person out there. 

3. Time
Time is always of the essence. Sometimes because I struggle so hard to write words down, I drag on a review that should've been up ages ago. Or sometimes I hit a bump in the road and then I let go of my blog forever and it takes awhile to get back into the spin of things. Again, something I need to find the balance for, but definitely worth it. 

Writing reviews, overall, is something I enjoy immensely. It gives me a voice to the world but is also an outlet to really allow me to convey how I feel about certain books. I hope that I'm enlightening someone whilst writing review, but at the same time know that I can use this as a means of creating impact in both the young and the old to pock up a book and read it!

Check out any of my reviews here!

What Do You Like/Dislike About Writing Reviews?

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Thursday, 9 June 2016

"The Dressmaker" Is One To Enjoy In Text Or On Screen

Title: The Dressmaker 
Author: Rosalie Ham
Publication Date:
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository
After twenty years spent mastering the art of dressmaking at couture houses in Paris, Tilly Dunnage returns to the small Australian town she was banished from as a child. She plans only to check on her ailing mother and leave. But Tilly decides to stay, and though she is still an outcast, her lush, exquisite dresses prove irresistible to the prim women of Dungatar. Through her fashion business, her friendship with Sergeant Farrat—the town’s only policeman, who harbors an unusual passion for fabrics—and a budding romance with Teddy, the local football star whose family is almost as reviled as hers, she finds a measure of grudging acceptance.

But as her dresses begin to arouse competition and envy in town, causing old resentments to surface, it becomes clear that Tilly’s mind is set on a darker design: exacting revenge on those who wronged her, in the most spectacular fashion.

Review


The Dressmaker will always be one of those novels that will stay with me, not only for its fascinating and hilarious plot but because all the eccentric and gothic feel to it. This made the novel so much more unique and very memorable. 

Watch to see more of what I thought!




Verdict: 
The Dressmaker excels as a book, but translates hilariously well on screen

Book Rating:

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Thursday, 2 June 2016

May Flies To An End | Monthly Wrap Up

We've finally come to the end of May and I'm getting back into stride guys - I'm so excited!

On The Blog


Top Ten Tuesday

June releases to get excited about!

Reviews
Me, Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski


Posts For Thoughts



Reading Time

I read four books, three of which I really enjoyed!

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson | 4/5
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline | 5/5 
The Lake House by Kate Morton | 4/5
A Court of Thorn and Roses (A Court of Thorn and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas | 3/5

Watch my thoughts on them below:


How Was May For You?

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