Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Know Me Better (7)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Know Me Better is a weekly Meme by Inspired Kathy
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

This weeks questions are...

Top 5 songs on your playlist?
At the moment, I'm listening to: Drinking from the Bottle by Calvin Harris, Troublemaker by Olly Murs, Thrift Shop by Macklemore, I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift and Wings by Little Mix. 

How much time do you spend reading it week?

It fluctuates a lot. Usually I try to read for at least 30 mins - 1 hour per day, sometimes more if I'm not busy or the book is really interesting. 

What was the last thing you Googled?
I just searched for information about Pride and Prejudice  - I'm obsessed with the Lizzie Bennet Diaries webseries on YouTube, and I just wanted some extra information.  

Favourite places to travel?

I don't really travel, so pretty much anywhere is good.

What is your favourite way to spend a rainy day?
Wearing something comfy at home while reading and watching TV.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book Review: Carrier of the Mark (Carrier Trilogy #1) by Leigh Fallon

Carrier of the Mark (Carrier Trilogy #1) by Leigh Fallon
Release Date: 4th October 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 342
Rating: 3.0/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 OTS and 2013 ODY 

Summary from Amazon:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
"Their love was meant to be.

When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRĂ­s.

But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction."

Oh god this book. I really wish I hadn't wasted my time on this, because it really wasn't good. Granted, it did pick up towards the end, but I can tell you now I won't be continuing on with this trilogy. 

This just. wasn't. good. At the beginning it was just weird. A guy and a girl can't stop staring at each other. Then, they decide to get together. Then comes an onslaught of new information, which took me a while to digest. All during this stage, the book isn't any good. The story doesn't make any logical sense - at all. Then, eventually, the story picks up. I would say around about the moment when they travel abroad (I can't even remember which city they travelled to), that's when things picked up a little in terms of the fantasy storyline. The romance - not so much. 

Then, the end was all very dramatic, and it was over. To be honest, reading this book just felt like I was going through the motions. I wasn't paying too much attention to the story, but just trying to get through it. I took this book to work the other day, when there was a lot of downtime, which was how I managed to finish this book without stopping midway - I read this book to avoid boredom, not really because I wanted to. 

Some people will love this story, but I just didn't. The fantasy aspect interested me, and this element of the story did go places, which is why I gave this book a rating of 3 instead of 2/5. But overall - I wouldn't bother if I was you. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Know Me Better (6)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Know Me Better is a weekly Meme by Inspired Kathy
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

This weeks questions are...

10 words that describe yourself?
Shy, Smart, Kind, Organized, Lazy, Witty, Reliable, Honest, Bookaholic, TV-aholic,  

Favourite TV shows?

Oh there's quite a few:
Pretty Little Liars, Vampire Diaries, Once Upon a Time, Scandal, Castle, Grimm, Criminal Minds, Offspring, Puberty Blues, Smash...that's all I can think of at the moment. 

If you could take over the world, what would you do?
I think I'd be too lazy to be bothered, to be honest.  

Who was the first boy you kissed?

Lets not go there...

How to do unwind?
Reading and TV.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Musing Mondays (14)

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Musing Mondays is a weekly Meme by Mizb @ Should Be Reading

This weeks musing asks...Tell us what you're reading right now - what you think of it so far; why you chose it; what you are (or aren't) enjoying about it. 
I'm currently reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, and oh my lord it is good. I'm reading it as part of the Off the Shelf Challenge, and I can't believe I left this goody sitting on my shelf for a good 6 months or so. I'm really enjoying that this book is able to surprise me - I find a lot now-a-days that stories can be too predictable for me, but this one definitely isn't.

What about you? What are you currently reading?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book Review: Ingenue (The Flappers #2) by Jillian Larkin

Ingenue (The Flappers #2) by Jillian Larkin
Release Date: 12th June 2012
Publisher: The Inkhouse
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 351
Rating: 4.0/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 OTS, 2013 ODY and 2013 BSR 

Summary from Amazon:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
"In the city that never sleeps, Lorraine Dyer is wide awake. Ever since she exposed Clara Knowles for the tramp she was—and lost her closest confidante in the process—Lorraine has spent every second scheming to make her selfish, lovesick ex-best friend pay for what she did. No one crosses Lorraine. Not even Gloria.  

True love conquers everything—or so Gloria Carmody crazily believed. She and Jerome Johnson can barely scrape together cash for their rent, let alone have a moment to whisper sweet nothings in the dark. And if they thought escaping Chicago meant they'd get away with murder . . . they were dead wrong.

Clara was sure that once handsome, charming Marcus Eastman discovered her shameful secret, he'd drop her like a bad habit. Instead, he swept her off her feet and whisked her away to New York. Being with Marcus is a breath of fresh air—and a chance for Clara to leave her wild flapper ways firmly in the past. Except the dazzling parties and bright lights won't stop whispering her name. . . ."

I really enjoyed this second instalment in Jillian Larkin's 'The Flappers' series, but to be honest, writing this review about a week after finishing the book, I'm finding it to be a bit forgettable. When I was reading the story itself, I was enthralled with it. I enjoyed reading each girl's story, just as I had the first time, but I found this time around, their stories followed a much more predictable path. Lorraine tries to scheme again, but of course it all comes crashing down around her, Gloria continues on her tumultuous relationship with Jerome, and Clara is back on the wagon (sort of). Whilst I enjoyed reading each girl's story, it was pretty predictable. However, there was a little twist in there regarding Lorraine and a love interest, so there are still surprises to be had. 

What I did enjoy immensely was the setting. Historical fiction has to be one of my favourite genres, and this novel vividly depicts the 'Roaring 20s', both the good and the bad. The underground culture of speakeasies during the prohibition, the racial tension between black and white, the life of the high society - I can't really flaw on its portrayal of this era. Overall, Ingenue is a fitting second novel in this trilogy, and I'm interested to see where the third and final novel takes each girl's stories (especially Gloria's). 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book Review: The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
Release Date: 10th April 1925
Publisher: Scribner
Format: eBook
Pages: 144
Rating: 3.5/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 OTS, 2013 ODY, 2013 EBC and 2013 GVR

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning--" Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.
It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem."

This took me longer than I thought it would to get through it. Probably because I didn't enjoy it all that much. Which I find strange, considering this novel is one of the great American classics. I really, really thought that I would like this book more. 

My problem was with the characters and the plot. The characters themselves, were not all that likeable. I hear that that's the point, but still - I tend to need characters I like, or maybe love to hate, in order to enjoy a book. These characters - I didn't love to hate them, I just disliked them. On top of that, I had some issues with the plot. Now, there were some twists and turns in there that I wasn't expecting - those parts of the novel I enjoyed. But that ending. I just didn't feel like anything had been resolved. We basically ended up back where we started from, and where we started wasn't that great to begin with. 

I am, however, looking forward to seeing this on film. I think this book could be adapted really well to film - with the added bonus of being able to see scenes not involving our narrator Nick. Overall, the novel was interesting. Read it if these sorts of novels interest you, but if you're like me who felt the need to read the book before you saw the movie, then you can probably give this novel a miss. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Know Me Better (5)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Know Me Better is a weekly Meme by Inspired Kathy
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

This weeks questions are...

Where if your favourite spot to read?
Probably my bed. 

Are you a fast or slow reader? (you can test your reading speed here)

According to the test, I'm above average, but I think it depends on the book. I can fly through a good book quite quickly, whereas others may take me a little longer to read.

Fanfiction - love it or hate it? Have you ever read/written it?
I tend to stay away from fanfiction. I did read some a couple of years ago, but only because a friend sent it to me and wanted my opinion on it.  

Summer or Winter?

Truth or Dare?
Truth. I don't think I've ever picked dare in a game of Truth or Dare.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book Review: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare
Release Date: 19th February 2008
Publisher: Simon and Schuster 
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 485
Rating: 4.5/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 OTS, 2013 ODY, 2013 BSR and 2013 GVR

Summary from Amazon:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
"When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . ."

I'm not feeling over the moon about this book. Which is a shame, because I thought I would. But, from what I've heard, this book provides solid set up for the rest of the series, so I'll probably check out the second novel to see if it picks up.

I'm not entirely sure why I'm not in love with this book. I've tried thinking about different aspects of the book, but I can't pinpoint one thing that could have caused this. The plot was solid, the characters were likeable and the whole world of shadow hunters and demons was well set up. I just, I wasn't over the moon, and for that reason, I can't give it 5/5, which I was expecting to when I began with this book. Coming off from reading The Evolution of Mara Dyer probably doesn't help, because I loved that book so much. 

What I did like was that twist at the end (which I had in the back of my mind since about mid way through the novel, but it took me a while to actually put it all together). It changes your opinions about certain relationships. Well, at least, I hope it changes your mind about certain relationships, because if it doesn't, then I would be a bit worried. Overall, it is a good read, and I would recommend it. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Know Me Better (4)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Know Me Better is a weekly Meme by Inspired Kathy
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

This weeks questions are...

What's your favourite word?
Plethora. I just love it.

What words or expressions do you overuse?

Most recently, it's BRB. I don't know why I don't just say be right back, I just say BRB instead. I spend too much time on my computer...

If you were on death row what would your last meal be?
Ooooohh maybe I'd go with some Thai Green Curry. Love that stuff. 

One Jack Russel Terrier named Sam. 

Facebook or Twitter?
Both! I tend to only use my Twitter for my blog, whereas Facebook is for keeping in touch with friends and family.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Musing Mondays (13)

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Musing Mondays is a weekly Meme by Mizb @ Should Be Reading

This weeks musing asks...Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s). 
For Christmas, my mum bought me The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, because she didn't know what to get me and I told her to get me this. So, technically I didn't buy it myself, but I got someone else to buy it for me, so that still counts..right?

What about you? What books have you gotten recently?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Book Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin
Release Date: 23rd October 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster 
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 527
Rating: 5.0/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 OTS, 2013 ODY and 2013 BSR

Summary from Amazon:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.
She can’t.
She used to think her problems were all in her head.
They aren’t.
She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.
She’s wrong."

OH. MY GOD. These books. I just. I can't. Words cannot explain how awesome this series is. And, astoundingly, Michelle Hodkin has managed to write a sequel that is better than the first instalment. And for anyone who has read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, you'll know that that is a BIG statement. 

Okay, so if you've read the first book (which you really should if you haven't), you know that it ends with a massive cliffhanger. Book 2 takes this cliffhanger and runs with the idea whole heartedly. Everything in this novel centres around this cliffhanger. All your questions about this won't be answered (some will, but more questions arise), and that just adds to the intensity of this novel.

Along with the intensity (which really, never stops), we get a lot of character development. We learn that Mara, our unreliable narrator, is not as crazy as we might have thought (she's still a bit crazy though, don't make the mistake of assuming that she's completely normal; she isn't), we get a bit of insight into Noah and his history (the story of how he discovered his power is just heartbreaking stuff), and Jamie is back! Honestly, he was one of my favourite characters in the first novel, and I was worried we wouldn't see much more of him. But, oh, I couldn't have been more wrong. Along with this, we get some new and interesting characters who (I assume) are going to play a big role in the 3rd instalment. And Phoebe. One of my favourite characters just because she is so damn creepy. 

And then that ending. If you thought the cliffhanger in the 1st novel was big, wait until you read the final chapters of this novel. Just as you thought it couldn't get any more crazy and twisted, it does. I honestly can't recommend this series enough. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bringing YA to YOU!

Do you live in America/Canada? Have you always wished that a big YA book tour would make a stop in your home town? Well, here's your chance to make this wish come true! YA2U is a program that features five award-winning and best-selling authors who are holding a contest to see what city they should visit in an exclusive tour stop. 

Votes are being collected from January 1 to February 15, and any US or Canadian city that has an international airport can win a visit from all five authors, including an author panel and book signing! So what are you waiting for? Entering is easy, and if you help spread the word about the contest, you can also enter to win a signed copy of all their books (thats TEN in total!) - and this competition is open INTERNATIONALLY!

The authors in the program are: 

Head on over to the website to find out more about campaigning for your hometown. Since I'm an Aussie, I'll just be entering the awesome international giveaway. Use the widget below, and be sure to mention my name under Referral Points - it will get both you and me extra entries! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mara Dyer: A True Story?

I don't know how I haven't heard about this before. Since I'm currently reading the second instalment in the Mara Dyer series, and it's freaking amazing (no joke), I stopped over at Michelle Hodkin's website (www.michellehodkin.com) to take a look around. And while I was there, I somehow got redirected to this website: http://books.simonandschuster.ca/Unbecoming-of-Mara-Dyer/Michelle-Hodkin/9781442421769/behind_the_book

WOAH. WOAH. WOAH. Back it up. Are you telling me that the plot of this trilogy is based on a true story? A TRUE STORY? Mind = blown. 

Now for anyone who's read the novels, you'll know that this is a big, BIG thing. The events in these novels are so strange and downright creepy that they couldn't possibly be based on fact. And yet, Hodkin suggests that it is. What is based on fact she doesn't specify. It could just be that she met a girl who had been in an accident, and then thought up the rest. But, that article suggests that it is much more than that. And that just blows my mind.

So, fans of the series, or anyone really, what is your take on this? Could it be that Mara Dyer is based on fact, or is it all publicity?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Book Review: Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth
Release Date: 1st April 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins 
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 487
Rating: 5.0/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 OTS, 2013 ODY, 2013 GVR and 2013 BSR

Summary from Amazon:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her."

I am honestly finding it so hard to write this review right now, simply because I can't think how to put into words how awesome this book was. I can't believe that I let this sit on my shelf for so long.

Just everything about this book was amazing. This dystopian future world that you are fully immersed in from the beginning, is just so interesting to read about. The idea of society being split into different factions, and the thought that you have to conform wholly to one faction  - it's really interesting to think about. Especially when your choices are Abnegation (selflessness), Dauntless (bravery), Erudite (knowledge), Candor (honesty) and Amity (peace). I don't know about you, but the thought of having to live in just one of these factions for my entire life (or at least one for the first 16 years of my life, and then another for the rest), just messes with my mind. I can't fathom living in Candor and having to tell the truth all the time, or Dauntless, where I literally wouldn't survive a day. This whole world that Roth has set up is so different and distinctive and so interesting to read about. 

And the characters. Oh my god. I loved our narrator Tris and I loved Four and l loved the two of them together. I loved Christina, Will and Uriah, I thought they were great friends for Tris. I liked Caleb, and then I didn't like him, but then I liked him again. Went through the same thing with Tris' parents. I loved to hate Peter, Molly and Drew. I also loved to hate Eric and Jeanine. For me, all of the characters were just perfect.

There were some things that annoyed me in this book, the main thing involved Tris and Will. I can't say what it is because it would be a spoiler, but I just logically thought that it could have played out in a different way. I thought Tris had other options, besides the option that she took (which I really wish she hadn't). I can tell that this going to annoy me for some time.

Overall, this book is a must read. It's sold as a book that fans of the Hunger Games will enjoy, and whilst they definitely will, I wouldn't get confused with thinking that Divergent is similar to the Hunger Games. Yes, they are both set is dystopian futures where shit goes down, but, Divergent is a completely different storyline. Same themes, same moral messages, yes indeed, but completely different. Please just go and read this book, I can't stress enough how amazing it was. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY! Is it just me, or did 2012 just fly by? So what's happened in the past year?

- I turned 19 (I feel so old)
- I finished my first year of university
- I've made a tonne of new friends that I couldn't imagine life without
- I've been blogging now for over a year

A WHOLE YEAR! Granted, at the time of my actual one year blogoversary, I didn't feel like celebrating it since I let this blog fall to the wayside for a couple of months there. But for 2013, I'm going to make sure this doesn't happen again (hopefully)! My new years resolution for this blog is simple: keep on posting. The past couple of weeks, as I've launched myself back into blogging, I've rediscovered why I created this blog in the first place. I liked being able to share my opinions, I like reading about the opinions of others (and discovering new and exciting books in the process) and I like book challenges that get me reading books that I otherwise might not read. Sure, sometimes I might want to write a post but I'm not entirely sure what to write, but I don't want to feel like this for 3 months straight (as I did last year). 

So, here's the short version, I'm going to read more, post more, and enjoy this blog more in 2013. I'm usually not good at keeping new years resolutions, but I really do hope that this one sticks.


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