January Wrap-Up & The Month Ahead

 

February is here and Summer is almost over and I couldn’t be happier. Seriously, I’d like to see you live through an Australian Summer and not have a single complaint to make. Just ask my main man Sam. He knows what’s up, dontcha Sammy?

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But I know you’re not here to listen to me complaining about the seasons, so let’s get right into the book stuff then, shall we?Read More »

The ‘I Dare You’ Book Tag

A couple of days ago, the lovely Jess of An Australian Fangirl’s Diary tagged me to participate in the I Dare You book tag! I have a severe lack of tags posted on my blog, and so today I am going to fix that!

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  • You must be honest
  • You must answer all questions
  • You have to tag at least four people

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1. What book has been on your shelves the longest?

I’m not one hundred percent certain, but if we’re talking about unread books, it’ll probably be either The Coming of Dragons by A.J. Lake, or Warriors: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter. I remember my mum giving me The Coming of Dragons one day saying that she’d seen it in a shop and thought I might enjoy it, and she also purchase Warriors for me after I asked for it. This was probably at least seven years ago.

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JANUARY UNBOXING: Be Bookish

Towards the end of last year, I received a very exciting message on instagram informing me of a new Young Adult subscription box service. The service – Be Bookish – is based in Queensland, Australia, and is run by a small group of friends and family with a passion for reading. Each month, a box is released containing one new release Young Adult novel, as well as bookmark, a letter, and a handful of bookish goodies all centered around the theme of that month’s box.

The Be Bookish team were very kind, and offered to send me one of their January boxes. Being a Queensland girl myself, I couldn’t possibly say no! So without further ado, let me introduce you to their very first box!

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Witch’s Pyre by Josephine Angelini: What even happened?

Please Note: This review may contain spoilers for the Worldwalker trilogy. If you wish to read an earlier review, you can view it here. I received a free copy of Witch’s Pyre from it’s publisher Pan Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way, and all thoughts expressed are solely my own.

witchs-pyreWitch’s Pyre (Worldwalker #3) by Josephine Angelini
Published
 August 25, 2016 by Pan Macmillan
ISBN13 9781447260882
RRP: $16.99
Young Adult Fiction
Source: Pan Macmillan Australia
Rating: ★★★

Lily Proctor has come a long way from the weak, sickly girl she used to be. She has gained power as a witch and a leader, found her way home, chosen to face battle again, and (after losing her first love and being betrayed by her new love) she has learned more about loss and grief than she ever wanted to know.

Thrust once again into a society different from anything they have ever seen, Lily and her coven are determined to find answers―to find a new path to victory, a way to defeat the monstrous Woven without resorting to nuclear weapons or becoming a tyrannical mass murderer like her alternate self, Lillian. But sometimes winning requires sacrifices . . . and when the only clear path to victory lies at Lillian’s side, what price will Lily be willing to pay?

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I’ve been putting off writing this review for quite a while now, and my only reason is that I don’t really have a whole lot to say. As a result, I apologise in advance that this review is pretty half-hearted, and definitely not my best work. But hey, there’s not a whole lot more I can do.

This whole series has been a bit of a weird one for me. The first installment felt rather lacking to me in character department, thus affecting the overall story for me, whilst the second book picked up the slack and really made up for the problems that I had to start with. And then, well, the third and final book just seemed to lose momentum and ended up being really forgettable to me. And I guess that’s how the whole I-don’t-have-a-lot-to-say thing comes into it.Read More »

Replica by Lauren Oliver: So is it dystopian or contemporary?

Please Note: I received a free copy of Replica from it’s publisher Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way, and all thoughts expressed are solely my own.

“They would face it together, as they were then: turned human by joy, by a belonging that felt just like freedom.”


replica.jpgReplica 
by Lauren Oliver
Published
 October 11, 2016 by Hodder & Stoughton
Originally Published October 4, 2016
ISBN13 9781473614963
Young Adult
Source: Hachette Australia (publisher)
Rating: ★★★

Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects – Lyra, aka number 24, and the boy known only as 72 – manage to escape.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven Institute. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.

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Replica was a really strange book for me, because as much as I enjoyed it, I was just as equally disappointed by it. The hype around this novel was pretty intense, so in the end I think I was expecting something.. more. 

The thing that intrigued me most about this novel is the way it’s written. Replica is basically two books in one, with both stories printed on opposite sides of the book, so you can flip the book around to read it either one story followed by the other, or alternating chapters between the two characters. Personally, I’d recommend alternating chapters starting with Lyra, which is what I did, because I feel that if you go any other way about it, you won’t get the full effect of the story.

Lyra is a replica and is no stranger to death. Tucked away on an island isolated from the rest of the world, her days at the Haven Institute are filled with endless medical tests and examinations. She’s witnessed a vast number of her fellow peers grow sick and die, but that’s all she’s ever known. When one of the male replicas – 72 – goes missing, Lyra’s whole world gets turned upside down.Read More »

2017 Reading Resolutions + January TBR

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I love how the start of a new year always holds such great promise. It’s a wonderful feeling, isn’t it? 2017 is going to be a massive year for me, and I can’t wait for the adventures that it holds! One of my personal goals for this year is to start getting out and doing more things. Even if it’s just venturing to the city and wandering around the city parklands for a few hours. I just don’t want to spend all of my free time locked up at home. I’m heading over to the US later in the year for a family holiday, and I feel that’s a big reason I want to start going on more adventures. But enough of the personal stuff – let’s talk books.Read More »

i will return // a hiatus

At the moment, I simply have no time to post. It’s really no more complicated than that. See, working in retail during the Christmas period really does take a toll on both your body and your time. My shifts are all over the place at the moment, so it’s really messing with my routine, because some mornings I start work at 6am, and other days I start later and finish at 8pm.

As you can imagine, it’s really hard to fit a designated time on any given day to sit down and write reviews, or even just any other post. As a result, I’ve decided that I’ll be taking a break from blogging until the New Year. Don’t fret though, because I will certainly return! I’ve recently been accepted to review for two of Australia’s major publishing houses which is super exciting! So I’ll definitely be back!

Until then, I’d rather give myself a chance to relax when I’m not working and read at my own leisure. If I do end up writing any reviews between now and the New Year, I’ll simply schedule them for post in January. I just don’t want reading to become a stressful activity at an already stressful time of year.

Until then, I’m just going to enjoy spending time doing my own thing with my family, and I hope you do too. You deserve to give yourself a break.

Until next time,

krist

Firewalker: Things are Starting to Look Up.

Please Note: This review may contain spoilers for Worldwalker #1: Trial by Fire. If you wish to read that review instead, you can view it here. I received a free copy of Firewalker from it’s publisher Pan Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way, and all thoughts expressed are solely my own.

“Haven’t you learned yet? Someone has to be the villain so everyone else can stay alive.”

firewalkerFirewalker (Worldwalker #2) by Josephine Angelini
Published
 August 27, 2015 by Pan Macmillan
ISBN13 9781447260851
RRP: $16.99
Young Adult Fiction
Source: Pan Macmillan Australia
Rating: ★★★

Lily Proctor has made it back to her own universe, and it’s finally time for her and Rowan to be happy and relax. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape, and they must hide her new magic for the safety of the world, but compared to fighting the monstrous Woven and leading armies in the alternate Salem, life is looking good.

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. Lily is the closest version of herself she’s ever seen in all her worldwalking, and Lillian’s running out of time. If she can’t persuade Lily and Rowan to return to her world, she’ll have to find a way to make them come back.filigree-divider_16_lg.gifwhat i thought.png

So you might already know that I was pretty severely disappointed by Trial by Fire. The story itself lacked that oomph that makes a great story , and the characters never clicked with me. Whilst I knew that the rest of the story held great potential, I didn’t have very high hopes for Firewalker. So imagine my surprise when I found myself actually enjoying it.

Directly following the epic battle between Lily and the evil version of herself – Lillian – Lily finds herself back in her own world, and she’s brought Rowan with her. But being home again doesn’t bring an end to her problems. Before she can deal with the repercussions of her three-month-long disappearance, she must first heal from the burns she sustained on the pyre that almost cost her her life.

Whilst Lily is in an unconscious state as she recovers, her other self shares memories with her to try to explain and justify the decisions that she has made, and why she doesn’t want to use technology stolen from other worlds to destroy the Woven that plague her own world. As Lily slowly discovers the truth, she must decide whether or not to leave the safety of her own world, and return to Lillian’s Salem to prevent it’s imminent destruction.Read More »

Dragon Speaker: maybe high-fantasy isn’t my thing.

Please Note: I received a free copy of  Dragon Speaker from the author Elana A. Mugdan in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way, and all thoughts expressed are solely my own.

dragon speaker.jpgDragon Speaker (The Shadow War Saga #1) by Elana A. Mugdan
Published
 July 15, 2016 by Pen Works Media
ISBN13 9781908730183
Young Adult
Source: Author
Rating: ★★★

Born into a world of magic wielders without any powers of her own, Keriya Nameless isn’t exactly hero material, yet the goddess Shivnath chooses her to save the world’s last living dragon. She doesn’t know why it happened, and frankly she doesn’t care—this is her chance to prove her worth.

Unfortunately for Keriya, countless others are determined to get their hands on that dragon—everyone from smugglers to kings, from the Empress of Allentria to the most powerful warlord who ever lived.

It would be a perilous task for even the bravest of heroes, let alone a naïve 14-year-old-girl, and as Shivnath’s chosen dragon speaker, Keriya quickly learns that she’s at the centre of an age-old war . . . a war that will decide the fate of everything.

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It’s been a long time since I’ve read a high-fantasy novel. And when I say a long time, I mean a looooong time. I’m pretty sure the last one I read was Eragon, and, well, that was the book that started my love of reading. So yeah, it’s been a while.

Let me just start by saying that I am in absolute awe of the world that Elana has built here. I applaud the amount of work and imagination that has gone into bringing the whole story to life. It’s very obvious that both the world and the story have been born from something that the author is very passionate about. It’s hard not to fall in love, because there is just so much depth and complexity to it. But it’s that complexity that took away from the novel. Well, at least for me, anyway.

Keriya Nameless was born into a world filled with magic wielders with no magic of her own. Coupled with her otherworldly appearance, she has always been labeled as unworthy of a place within her village. On the day that the children set out to become a part of their society, she sets out to prove them wrong. All she wants is to prove that she belongs, but little does she know that her world is about to change in more ways than she could possibly imagine.

After a run-in with the goddess Shivnath, Keriya is chosen by the mighty being to find and protect the world’s last living dragon. It is up to her to keep the dragon from the hands of the countless others who want to use the dragon’s power for their own. With two reluctant sidekicks by her side, Keriya is forced to leave her home, and set out on a quest that will throw her right into the middle of an age-old war.Read More »

Trial by Fire: AU’s and Mary Sues

Please Note: I received a free copy of Trial by Fire from it’s publisher Pan Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way, and all thoughts expressed are solely my own.

“If there were an infinite number of universes, did that mean that one of them had to be perfect? And if one of the was paradise, did that me that another one had to be hell?”


trial-by-fireTrial by Fire (Worldwalker #1)
 
by Josephine Angelini
Published
 November 10, 2015 by Pan Macmillan
Originally Published August 28, 2014
ISBN13 9781509809875
Young Adult
Source: Pan Macmillan (publisher)
Rating: ★★★

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

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Lily Proctor has suffered a lot in her short life. Not only has her mum gone insane, and her father abandoned the family, but she’s spent most of her childhood in and out of hospital due to the near never-ending list of life-threatening allergies that she suffers from, which only just seem to be getting worse as she gets older. And tbh, I don’t care.

Despite the dangers, Lily stupidly wants to attend her first (and probably only) high school party. She can barely even breathe clean air without breaking out in hives, but still she wants to go someplace that will be polluted with cigarette smoke and alcohol. And all this to just impress the boy she likes – her best friend and long-time crush, Tristan. The pair have only just become a thing, though their relationship has yet to progress any further than a couple of kisses and some hand holding.

It turns out that attending the party was a terrible idea (who’d have thunk it?). Not only is Lily’s drink spiked with alcohol, which causes a reaction that sets off a seizure, but she also discovers Tristan in the bathroom with another girl (what can i say? he’s a womaniser. she should’ve seen that one coming.) right before the fit. And all of this happens in front of half her grade. Unable to bear the hurt and humiliation of the events at the party, Lily wishes that she would just disappear, and that’s exactly what happens. She disappears.Read More »