Tuesday 19 December 2017

I Expected So Much More From Cooper Barthomolew Is Dead

Title: Cooper Barthomolew is Dead 
Author: Rebecca James 
Publication Date: October 1st, 2014
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Cooper Bartholomew's body is found at the foot of a cliff. 


That's the official finding, that's what everyone believes.

Cooper's girlfriend, Libby, has her doubts. They'd been happy, in love. Why would he take his own life?
As Libby searches for answers, and probes more deeply into what really happened the day Cooper died, she and her friends unravel a web of deception and betrayal. Are those friends – and enemies – what they seem? Who is hiding a dangerous secret? And will the truth set them all free?


Cooper Barthomolew Is Dead was one of those books that I was really anticipating, but ended up so different to my expectations. Not a terrible different per se, but lacked elements that I was after in a thriller. 

The biggest problem I had with CBID was the lack of intensity. There was the mystery, the build up, the plot twist and the reveal. However, there was no edge to any of it. I wasn’t holding my breath waiting to see what would happen next, nor was I surprised by a lot of it. The plot twist was interesting and introduced more depth to character development, but, much like a lot of the novel, there wasn’t much emphasis or focus on it. In fact, with the amount of issues that were included in CBID - LGBQT awareness, family ties, love and loyalty, substance abuse etc. - they were never explored thoroughly. That was another aspect of the plot that I thought could’ve been executed better. I feel like which such prominent issues, especially at the age of young adult readers, it would’ve been ideal to draw out these topics to learn from.

I did like though, how there were some real characters. Characters who were flawed and unlikable, but still had redeeming qualities so in the end I was still engaged emotionally with them. 

Cooper Barthomolew Is Dead was still an enjoyable read. I read it in a day and a half, and for being an easier read, I appreciated it for bringing me out of a really long readings slump. It’s somewhat hard to judge after having expectations that weren’t met, but I have seen some really positive reviews for this so it might be up your alley. 

Thursday 14 December 2017

A Guide To Buying Presents For Bookworms

Christmas is just 11 days away! When it comes to Christmas presents there are those who were finished in November (bless them, but seriously how?), those who are deep into their list and others like myself who have only just realised they now have 2 days left to online shop before shipping arrives after Christmas. 

I've put together a Gift Guide for your fellow bookworm in case you're out of ideas!

Host a Games Night

Take a night off from reading together and grab this board game (or any other literary related board game) for some laughs! It Was a Dark and Stormy Night challenges you to identify the novel and author just by listening to the first two lines of a book.

Book Recommendation Tote

Featured: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Version, Night Film, Illuminae and Fairytales for Wilde Girls

I personally tend to be one of those people who will buy you books that I’ve loved, so you have to read it as well. Pick reads you want to recommend to your fellow book lover and wrap them up in a tote - a book-related one would be perfect!

For The Tea/Coffee Lovers

Store: 'PaperFury' (Society 6)

Such a cliche, but still one of the best things to receive. Society6 is a great place to look at mugs with bookish designs or head to Etsy. They’re so adorable! You could even put together a hot chocolate pack with mini marshmallows for them to christen their mug!

'Perfect Night In' Hamper

Featured: Anne of Green Gables

Grab a basket or box and add in a novel and its movie adaptation that you think your friend/family member MUST read and see. Pop in some of their favourite snacks and you’re set for a night of entertainment.

Your Lifestyle Lovers

Guilty as charged! I’m a sucker for plastering my walls with posters and images. Fairly sure these posters are really well known, but I can’t get past how creative it is, and still has a personalised feel because you’re gifting them a part of their favourite read. Otherwise grab a throw pillow for their reading nook or bed!

Stocking Stuffers

Stores (Left to Right): Belle Regalia, Wonderflies, KitCronkStudio

We’re talking those super cute and creative items on Etsy. I absolutely love book-related pins, bookmarks and anything else that is a miniature reminder of the books I love! 

Recommend Me Other Gift Ideas!

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Why I Absolutely Loved The Trials of Morrigan Crow

Title: The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Series: Nevermoor #1
Author: Jessica Townsend
Publication Date: October 31st, 2017
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Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks--and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart--an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests--or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.


If you want to read any Middle Grade novel this year, (before the year comes to an end eeeppp), The Trials of Morrigan Crow is the one to dive into. 

1. The world is spectacular 

Any fantasy novel that draws me in, is one with a vivid and expansive world, that encompasses various elements to make it believable. I felt like I was transported into The Trials of Morrigan Crow with Morrigan and really, truly wanted to be there. There is a magic in it that escapes from the pages purely just by reading about Nevermoor and its history and the city’s make up. Townsend has created a intricate and exciting world that, much like Narnia and Hogwarts/Hogsmeade, you can’t help but want these places to exist so that you can be there as well. 

2. It's perfect for all ages

The Trials of Morrigan Crow carries the tone of a Middle Grade novel but has layers that have built a strong story line. It was straightforward enough to understand for any reader, but kept up the suspense and plot twists to keep me entertained and engaged. It was quite exciting really, between the trials and Morrigan’s integration into Nevermoor. I liked the pacing and am really glad that this is pretty much an all-age read.

3. Townsend was made to be a writer

This is Jessica Townsend’s debut novel and already her first piece has been such a strong and admirable read. Townsend’s writing delivers a strong world and solid plot that has me anticipating not only the sequel to Nevermoor, but her future works. She’s made me remember why I absolutely love reading Middle Grade to this day. There’s a kind of emotion attached to it, like I’m reliving my childhood, going through the kiddish excitement from reading about a magical adventure and experiencing the feeling of really being there. 

The Trials of Morrigan Crow is a win for all ages and I cannot wait to continue this adventure with Morrigan. 

Thursday 7 December 2017

Talking Personal: 'Tis The Season To Get Back Into Blogging

My last Talking Personal post was in May. That was a good 7 months ago. We have a lot of catching up to do! 

The last time I did one of these, I had just come back from traveling. Since then, I’ve started a new job in a new role. The place has an amazing team and the position I’m in has given me much more of a learning experience, which I’m grateful for! I also started my Masters in August, just completing my first semester and somehow, miraculously, passed all 3 subjects. I’m currently studying a Masters in Criminology, which I am loving and I’m really excited to see where it can take me! 

Besides working and studying, I actually got up to some really fun things, which has made the last half of 2017 really exciting! 

I went on a Snow Trip and learnt to ski for the first time! Truth be told, I hate the cold. But skiing was super fun, albeit really hard and exhausting. I want to try and make it an annual trip so I don’t forgot how to ski. 

I got the chance to see The Book of Mormon, which was hilarious! I didn’t expect to love it so much. The cast all had amazing singing skills. On top of seeing the musical were a number of different concerts. I’ve been to so many more concerts this year than I have in my life altogether. Kehlani was superb and so fun, being really intimate and just full of love. Ariana delivered a great show. Drake absolutely killed it, I would see him 1000 times alongside J.Cole, who is a fantastic artist and so grateful to his fans. He was engaging and humorous, and so passionate about his music.

My birthday came and went, and was actually less exciting than previous years. The older I get, I feel like the less I’m keen to celebrate my birthday. Still, it’s been fun seeing my friends and family, and eating to my heart’s content! I got to celebrate Halloween though, which was super fun. Everyone’s costumes were great. 

Whilst taking a break from blogging, I did manage to start up an Instagram page for my food adventures. I absolutely love food, reading comes second - I know, how can I say that. So if I couldn’t share my love for reading, I figured sharing my love for food was the next best thing. Take a look at it here to see which places I’ve loved both locally and internationally! 

I’m going to be seeing The Weeknd tomorrow, which I’m really excited about!! He’ll top off the crazy list of artists I’ve seen this year. The next time I’ll catch up with you guys will most likely be after New Years SO Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years guys! Hope the rest of the year is amazing for you all.

How Have You Guys Been? Let Me Know What You'll Be Doing For The Holiday Season

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Laini Taylor Delivers A Beautifully Gripping Read With Strange The Dreamer

Series: Strange The Dreamer #1
Author: Laini Taylor
Publication Date: March 28th, 2017
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The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around - and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries - including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?


(Nts: I finished this book months ago and found a half written review, which I tried really hard to complete, true to what I remembered about reading it)

Strange The Dreamer completely obliterated my expectations for it. I’m well aware of how well Laini Taylor excels in writing, with her series Daughter of Smoke and Bone being one of my favourite reads. I went into STD expecting it to be a great read, but finished it in awe and am so excited for the series to come. 

Taylor has a way with her words, which reflects in strong characters, world building and plot development. She writes in prose, painting a stunningly realistic world alongside creating a whirlwind of emotions that had me invested in the entire story from start to finish. What I really love, which Taylor did amazingly well, was give each character a voice of their own, no matter how major or minor their role was. They each had their own characteristics, and I found that I was invested in some, if not most, of the characters own progression. It was great to see that most of them had their own background story, to create depth to the story and make the characters come to life. It was easy to relate to them and attach myself emotionally. 

The world building in STD is absolutely genius! Taylor has created a rather expansive world with so much detail around each city including the people, their history and the culture within them - I could really envision each city and map them out to be part of an actual world. She built such a rich history around the world and the cities in it that it almost felt like I was reading about places that truly existed many years ago. This also reflected in the plot development, with Taylor producing such a complex but completely mind-blowing story. The novel is based around magic and mythical tales. Taylor’s whimsical and lyrical writing is the perfect accompaniment to make everything seem believable. Alongside that is her ability to explore worldly aspects including war, love, hate and discrimination to deliver powerful messages alongside her story. 

I haven’t finished a book within a day in awhile, but STD was so engaging and compelling, I had to keep reading. The one thing I would be a little nit picky about is that the ending focused a little too much on romance, which made the mystery and character developments take a back seat for a tiny bit. As a whole though, Strange The Dreamer delivered an excellent read - well thought out, with immense detail to visualise every moment of the novel, paced perfectly and delivering an ending that had me shocked. I cannot wait for the sequel!