While You Were Reading by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus Blog Tour

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Hello my lovelies! 🙂

Today is my blog tour stop for While You Were Reading by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus. Keep reading for all the details of this new piece of Aussie fiction as well as my review. Be sure to check out the other participants stops through to July 12th! And thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!  divider 1

44593964Title: While You Were Reading

Author: Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus.

Genre: Contemporary fiction

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia

Publication date: July 1st 2019

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Simon & Schuster Australia: 

Words are messy. Love is messier.

A hilarious, insightful new novel from the creators of Books on the Rail

Meet Beatrix Babbage – 29-year-old dog-earer of books and accidental destroyer of weddings.

After ruining her best friend’s nuptials, Bea relocates to the other side of the country in search of a fresh start, including meeting new people, living life to the fullest and finally pulling off balayage.

But after a few months, life is more stagnant than ever. Bea’s job is dead-end. Her romantic life? Non-existent. And her only friends are her books, her barista and her cleaning lady.

​Then Bea stumbles across a second-hand novel, inscribed with notes. Besotted with the poetic inscriptions, Bea is determined to find the author … and along the way, she finds herself entangled in one hell of a love quadrangle.

Funny, poignant and insightful, While You Were Reading reveals that there’s no such thing as perfection, the value of true friendship and, most importantly, the power of not living in fiction, but still reading it … Often.

A love story for book lovers that celebrates much more than romance.Review2

I was excited to receive this book and was expecting to really enjoy it, given that I have been really into romances lately and I knew it centred around a book and a love for reading and all things bookish. However, I am sad to say this was not completely the case for me.

This book actually took a fairly long time to really hook me. In fact, I was feeling a bit meh about the whole thing until about chapter 19. Really the only things that kept me going were some of the book references and the character Dino. Seriously Dino is the best character in this book hands down. Apart from that for the first 19 chapters I disliked many of the characters, they weren’t relatable or likeable or were just annoying. Even the main character Bea while having some traits and moments where I liked her and could relate to her, also annoyed the crap out of me and came across pretty childish half the time. I also felt that cramming so many bookish references and things such as bookstagram came across a little try hard to start with.

However, after those first 19 chapters things really got a lot more interesting. I started to like Bea a little more, I think she grew up a lot and had major character growth which allowed me to relate to her more. There was a bunch of plot developments and drama that changed the pace and drew me in. And the idea of the use of bookish references and bookstagram, writing, publishing etc. felt a lot less forced and actually really added to the story and had my bookish fan-girl squealing.

In conclusion I am rating While you were reading a solid three out of five stars. It really was half and half for me. The beginning was a struggle but by the end I rather enjoyed reading about these eccentric characters and enjoyed the journey they had been on.

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About the Authors:

author pic

Twitter: @thebookninjas

Instagram:@aliandmichelle

Facebook: @aliandmichelle

Website:www.aliandmichelle.com and www.booksontherail.com

Let's Chat!Have you read this one yet? What about The Book Ninja? Do you enjoy books where characters have the same hobbies as you? Let me know in the comments below! Until next time happy watching and reading!

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Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

9781760876029.jpgTitle: The Bride Test

Author: Helen Hoang

Genre: Romance

Publisher: Allen and Unwin

Publication date: 1 July 2019

Rating: 4/5

 

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.


*Thank you to the publisher Allen and Unwin for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*Review2

Hello friends! I know it’s been a while, but I am finally back with another book review! And it just so happens to be for a book I genuinely really enjoyed. This was the first book of Hoang’s that I have read as I am yet to read The Kiss Quotient. So I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but knew the hype about her books and writing was pretty big and I had only heard good things.

As you would have seen from my rating at the top of this post, the writing and book lived up to the hype for me. The first thing I loved about this book was the diversity and inclusivity. It was great getting to see an insight into another culture and the autism rep and the way Hoang portrayed living with autism exceeded my expectations. You see I was a tad worried about the autism rep to start with as I do have close family members who live with autism and so I wanted it to be done well and with heart. And I am pleased to see Hoang did exactly that!

This book managed to be both serious and funny. Because the story and the content seemed important but there was also humour mostly in the characters little personality quirks. I loved all of the characters in this book they each added something important to the story whether they were a lead or a side character. Each of them was easily disguisable from the other and I loved watching them develop and grow!

The only reason this wasn’t a five star read for me was because at times I found the pacing a little slow. Which with the amount of character growth that needed to happen and the journey the two main characters needed to go on isn’t all that surprising. Having said that the slower paced times still held a lot of emotion and importance to the story.

In conclusion, this story is one full of heart, humour, good representation and character growth. Hence my 4-star rating. With the last star not being given as I personally at the time of reading found some of the pacing slow which meant it took me longer to read. Let's Chat!

Have you read this one yet or The Kiss Quotient? what did you think? What other diverse books with good representation should I check out? Until next time happy watching and reading! Signature

ARC Review: The Best Years by Elena Monroe

44648637Title: The Best Years, The Amherst Sinners Series #1

Author: Elena Monroe

Genre: NA romance

Publisher: self published

Publication date: 21 May 2019

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

SAINT 
College. My one chance to escape. And I ran as far and fast as I could. 
Straight into the arms of something more dangerous.
Oliver. 
He thinks I’m a good girl. But he doesn’t know what I’m running from. 
He thinks I should stay away from him. But I can’t. 
I like his cruel words. And his intoxicating smile. 
He’s a temptation I can’t resist.
Am I a sinner or saint?

SINNER
College. Second year. 
There are bad decisions at every turn. 
Including the new freshman, Layla.
Temptations I can’t fight. Shackles I can’t escape. 
I’m only comfortable with the cruelty that slips from my lips.
Her innocent charm isn’t going to polish away my bad reputation.
This wasn’t going to end well. 

We all have secrets. What’s your sin?


*Thank you to the author Elena Monroe for sending me an ARC e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*Review2

Where do I even start with this review?! I really really enjoyed this read! I mean I devoured it in less than 24 hours! I just couldn’t put it down and now am completely invested in these characters lives and need the rest of the series to know what’s going to happen to these guys!

This book has so much going for it in my eyes. For one this book does have multiple POV which you guys know by now is often not my favourite, but it worked so well here and only added to the story. The POV didn’t change too often at all and there was not too many characters POV either which I think is why it worked well and was actually enjoyable. It really allowed you to see more into the story and get to know all the characters on a deeper level.

I loved that almost every character is not fully as they seem when they are first introduced. None of them are perfect they all have little surprising qualities. Without spoiling anything I can see that many of them are going to experience so much character growth throughout the series and some of them have already begun this growth. The dynamic between Oliver and Layla kept me on my toes the whole time wondering what would happen next! I loved the drama, the twists, the romance and the smut! Just an awesome dramatic AF steamy college romance book!

The only reason this book isn’t five stars for me is because I found the writing to not flow as nicely at the start of the book as it did throughout the rest of the story. My copy also had some missed editing issues such as typos/ double words etc. However, as the version I read was an ARC these issues may be resolved in the final published version. I feel I should also mention here this read contains possible trigger warnings of rape and substance addiction.

In conclusion, this book was exactly what I have been loving lately and had that special something that made me not want to put it down! Dramatic, steamy and unexpected this book well deserved its 4 stars from me! With that cliff-hanger of an ending though Elena I am glad to know you are well into working on book two! Let's Chat!Let me know if you read this one once it comes out! Do you have any good NA romance recommendations? They are my latest obsession! Any you want to see me review? Until next time happy watching and reading! 

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Review: The Dysasters By P. C. and Kristin Cast

42653040Title: The Dysasters

Author: P. C. & Kirstin Cast

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia

Publication date: 26 February 2019

Rating: DNF 1/5

Synopsis from Pan Macmillan Australia: 

P. C. and Kristin Cast, the #1 New York Times bestselling authors of the House of Night phenomenon, return to the scene with The Dysasters – the first action-packed novel in a new paranormal fantasy series.

Adoptive daughter of a gifted scientist, Foster Stewart doesn’t live a ‘normal’ life, (not that she’d want to). But controlling cloud formations and seeing airwaves aren’t things most eighteen-year-olds can do.

Small town star quarterback and quintessential dreamy boy next door, Tate “Nighthawk” Taylor has never thought about his “extra” abilities. Sure, his night vision comes in handy during games, but who wouldn’t want that extra edge?

From the moment Foster and Tate collide, their worlds spiral and a deadly tornado forces them to work together, fully awakening their not-so-natural ability – the power to control air.

As they each deal with the tragic loss of loved ones, they’re caught by another devastating discovery – they are the first in a group of teens genetically manipulated before birth to bond with the elements, and worse… they’re being hunted.

Now, Foster and Tate must fight to control their abilities as they learn of their past, how they came to be, who’s following them, and what tomorrow will bring…


*Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*Review2

Ok this review is going to be a little saltier than my regular ones. I just don’t even really know where to start. This book put me in a reading slump almost every time I picked it up! Hence why this review is so late and why I am now so behind on my review books and haven’t read a page of anything in over 2 weeks! I am just so disappointed. I went into this expecting to really enjoy it as I am 1. a sucker for YA fantasy and 2. a huge sucker for elemental magic! This book sounded like such a cool concept and idea but unfortunately, in my opinion, it just did not deliver.

Although this read was a DNF for me I am giving it 1 star still instead of zero because it did have a handful of likeable qualities for me. Firstly as I have already said the idea/concept was a good one, just poorly executed. I also really enjoyed the illustrations throughout the book, every few pages had a comic style insert. Which I thought was a cool and unique idea. I also like that the first main character was tough and didn’t take crap from anyone. But that is where the positives ended for me.

The two main issues for me with this book were the pacing and the character choices/development. The best way I can describe the pacing of this book is like it was the reverse of normal storytelling pacing. Less than 50 pages in there is a big event that results in the destruction of nearly an entire town yet then for the next 200 odd pages nearly nothing happens it feels slow and boring and a little anticlimactic after the dramatic start.

The other issue I have is something I tend to feel about a lot of Cast’s books is that many of the characters feel forced and like the authours are trying to hard to be diverse and put every possible character type/personality etc into the story. Now do not come for me, I am a huge advocate for diverse books and love reads that people can find a little of themselves in and relate to. But when this is done well! When the characters feel like real people and their race, gender and or sexuality feels genuine and real. If that makes any sense. Basically, I don’t think you need to have every type of person represented in your book in order for it to be diverse and when you do try to put that much in, it can feel forced. Which concerns me in terms of how the representation feels to those the characters are meant to be representing.

In conclusion, this book is the first book I have DNF in a very long time. I tried so hard, pushed through for months until finally with only about 70 pages left I just couldn’t waste any more of my time and energy on it. A cool concept that was poorly executed and weirdly paced. This read just was not for me! Let's Chat!

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? What element would you like to control if you could control one? Let me know in the comments below! Until next time happy watching and reading! 

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Review: The universe listens to brave by Rebecca Ray

Rebecca Ray: The Universe Listens To BraveTitle: The universe listens to brave

Author: Rebecca Ray

Genre: Self-help/ non-fiction

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia

Publication date: 26 March 2019

Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis for Pan Macmillan Australia: 

This book of wisdom has been written for you: the ones who seek to live with more courage.

Reach for it when you’re setting an intention, making a big decision, doing the work of healing, grieving, creating or learning to love yourself, and you need reminding to keep choosing brave.

This is your invitation to leap into your most expansive life.

Dr Rebecca Ray is a writer, speaker and clinical psychologist. She invites you to contemplate your true self, in its bravest form: the self that is still asking questions. The self that is seeking wisdom. And the self that’s determined to stay open to the possibilities of a life inspired.


*Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*Review2

Happy release day to this beautiful book. Some of you are probably thinking a self-help book? This isn’t her usual gig? And you would be right, I don’t read many self-help books as a lot of them don’t call to me and don’t seem like they are what I need. However as soon as read the title and synopsis of this book I knew I needed to give it a go! You see I have always been someone who overthinks and therefore struggles to do the brave things. I was also diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorder at the start of this year and this book sounded like it could help or at the very least provide some inspiring words.

This book did not disappoint me right from the get go the reading experience is made special just from the visual beauty of the book. The cover is stunning, and the inside is just as pretty with pink monochrome pages throughout. It would make a great gift for a mum or sister based on the visual appeal alone.

Just like the physical appearance of the book the words within are just as beautiful and just as inspiring as I thought. Rebecca relates to the reader by explaining her own experiences with anxiety and trying to live life bravely. And the large amounts of quotes, affirmations and mantras throughout made me feel inspired and like I am not alone in any of the things I am feeling.

In conclusion, this book is absolutely stunning inside and out. I recommend it to anyone who struggles with living bravely or anxiety or really anyone looking for a hit of inspiration.  The only reason this read is not 5 stars for me is because not every single mantra resonated with me. Which is fine! The words that did resonate with me have left a hopefully lasting impression. Which is why I am rating this read 4.5 out of 5 stars. Let's Chat!

Do you read much self-help? Any recommendations? Do you use mantras or affirmations? What are some of your favourites? Until next time happy watching and reading!

 

Review: Enchantée by Gita Trelease

41577908Title: Enchantée 

Author: Gita Trelease

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia

Publication date: 26 February 2019

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Pan Macmillan Australia:

Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries – and magicians . . .

When smallpox kills her parents, seventeen-year-old Camille is left to provide for her frail sister and her volatile brother. In desperation, she survives by using the petty magic she learnt from her mother. But when her brother disappears Camille decides to pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Using dark magic Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine‘ and presents herself at the court of Versaille, where she soon finds herself swept up in a dizzying life of riches, finery and suitors. But Camille’s resentment of the rich is at odds with the allure of their glamour and excess, and she soon discovers that she’s not the only one leading a double life . . .

Enchantée is a compelling historical fantasy and is Gita Trelease’s debut novel.


*Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*Review2

I don’t tend to read or enjoy historical fiction very often. This is normally because I find the plots tend to be very slow and a bit of historical information overload. And I also find that authours tend to focus a lot on the positives of a time period while glossing over or not mentioning the negatives of that time. Having said this I believe Trelease has managed to write a story with Enchantée that runs into none of these problems. Overall I really enjoyed this read. 

For me, the fact that this story is an historical fantasy and not just a historical read, allowed for a more multifaceted and fast-paced plot. The magic system is more subtle than many found in the YA fantasy genre. However, it seems to fit so perfectly with the setting and time era. And the way Trelease describes the use and weaving of the magic is just superb. Essentially the magic system is just the magic of illusions, making one thing appear as another or in another way. However, the idea that one needs sorrow to make this magic work, I found unique and allowed the book to have a slightly darker tone. As we all know magic always comes with a price! 

I also think Trelease did a fantastic job of describing the state of Paris in 1789. The way she described and brought Versailles alive made me wish to travel to Paris right away. She managed to give the palace such a whimsical quality while still mentioning the filth and not so royal behaviours. Trelease also did not shy away from describing the darker, negative events and aspects of Paris at this time. The poverty, the civil unrest, the class issues and the beginnings of the revolution. These were all things that made the story seem more real despite being a work of fiction. 

The highlight of this book for me though was the characters. Trelease brought each different character to life so well that despite having issues remembering all the French names and noble titles I could easily distinguish between their personalities and traits. I also love the variety of characters from heroes to villains, nobles to the poor. This book has it all with a strong female heroine, a passionate romance without excessive physical contact, female friendships, scheming villains and monstrous human beings. 

Despite enjoying almost everything about this book I did find the relationship between the main character and her sister to be underdeveloped and at times annoying. I also struggled with the bits of French included. There is a glossary in the back of the book. However, I did not realise this until I was about 3 quarters through. Meaning until then I had to guess at the meaning of what was being said in French. Therefore, I am giving this book a rating of 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend to any lover of YA, fantasy or historical fiction. Let's Chat!Do you read a lot of historical fiction? What is your favourite time period to read about? Do you like reading about magic systems alongside true historical events? Let’s chat in the comments below! Until next time happy watching and reading! 

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Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi Blog Tour

EmergencyContact Banner

Hey, Hi, Hello! 🙂

Welcome to my blog tour stop for the amazing Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi. Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia and AusYABloggers for allowing me to be a part of this tour and sending me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

If you would like to follow along with the rest of the tour stops, check out the other stops from today or yesterday’s stops, you can check out the tour schedule here. ❤divider 1

Emergency Contact Book CoverTitle: Emergency Contact

Author: Mary H. K. Choi

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia

Publication date: January 1st 2019

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Simon & Schuster Australia: 

From debut author Mary H.K. Choi comes a compulsively readable novel that shows young love in all its awkward glory—perfect for fans of Eleanor & Park and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him. 

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.Review2

First off can you just look at that cover! LOOK AT IT!!! It’s more beautiful than the crazies in Bird Box find the demons!!! Like the title is a rose gold foil in real life and it is so stunning! Not to mention the artist has done a fantastic job depicting Sam and Penny! I picture them almost exactly like this! Just look at the hair!!

This book has two point of views both Penny and Sam. Now books with multiple POV’s can be really hit or miss for me. Really, they are only a hit if I like all the characters who have a POV. Luckily in this case I loved both characters so actually really enjoyed the deeper insights I got into both of their lives. Trying to pick a favourite main character out of Penny and Sam is hard! I just kind of love them both! Although it was frustrating watching them both make some of the decisions they did!

I loved the writing style of this book. This is a fantastic Debut novel! Great writing!! I loved that the book had both “real life” scenes and text conversations. I also think Choi’s writing style was fresh and unique. The story, but more importantly the way it is written is reliable and emotive. This book made me laugh, made me sad, made me feel like I’m not alone and made me think! This book is not just a light fluffy read, although it definitely has those moments! It manages to also cover some heavier or more serious subject matter such as mental health, substance abuse and rape. So, if any of these things are triggers for you please consider before reading.

On top of great characters, uniqueness and great writing. I also loved this book because of how diverse it is and how much is represented in this book! Obviously, I can not comment on how well everything was represented as I don’t fit into all that was. However, I simply love that this book has such a diverse range of main and side characters from appearance, race, personality, mental health and even socioeconomic standing. As someone who does suffer from anxiety, I will say I thought this was well represented even if I do not share all of the symptoms as the characters, I found I could relate. And one of my favourite things is when I feel I can relate to a book especially in terms of my anxiety! Makes me feel less alone and like its ok.

In conclusion, I found this book to be all around awesome! I 100% do recommend! Congratulations on a fantastic debut Mary H. K. Choi I will 100% be reading any future work! The fantastic writing, characters and unique story line along with some awesome diverse representation convinced me to rate this read 5/5 stars! divider 1About the Author:

Mary_H.K._Choi__credit_Aaron_Richter_.0Mary H.K. Choi is a writer for The New York Times, GQ, Wired, and The Atlantic. She has written comics for Marvel and DC, as well as a collection of essays called Oh, Never Mind. She is the host of Hey, Cool Job!, a podcast about jobs, and is a culture correspondent for VICE News Tonight on HBO. Emergency Contact is her first novel. Mary grew up in Hong Kong and Texas and now lives in New York.

Image credit © Aaron Richter

Twitter: @ChoitotheWorld / Instagram: @ChoitotheWorld / Website: http://www.choitotheworld.com/Let's Chat!Have you read this book? Did you love it as much as I did? What are some other books you feel have good anxiety rep? As always happy watching and reading! 

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Review: Time Crawlers By Varun Sayal

40540847Title: Time Crawlers

Author: Varun Sayal

Genre: Sci-fi Short stories

Publisher: Independently published

Publication date: June 15th 2018

Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Alien Invasion, Dark Artificial Intelligence, Time-Travel, High-Tech Mythology, Djinn Folklore, Telekinetics, and life-consuming Cosmic Entities are some major themes in this book which has six tightly-knit, fast-paced Sci-Fi stories.

1. Nark-astra, The Hell Weapon
The weapons he possesses make him the destroyer of worlds, and he burns for revenge. A high-tech take on ancient Indian mythology.

2. Death by Crowd
The dark desires of the masses; darknet websites fueled by a crypto-currency. What lurks in the background – an advanced artificial intelligence?

3. Genie
He rubbed a lamp alright, but what he got was the shock of his life. An entirely sci-fi take on the djinn myth.

4. Time Crawlers
There are individuals who existing in multiple time periods at once, and there are those who know about them….

5. Eclipse
No attacks, no blood-shed, yet there was an invasion and a conquest. Who are these shapeshifter aliens being hounded by an eclipse?

6. The Cave
The fate of an advanced imperial race hangs in balance as a dark celestial entity meets a legendary protector.Review2

Thank you to the author Varun Sayal for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

As the synopsis depicts this is a collection of six sci-fi themed short stories. I generally am not a fan of short stories and short story collections. This is because I am a very character driven person and don’t feel short stories give me enough time to get to know and connect with the characters. This collection was no exception. Just as I started to learn the character names and get a feel for what their personality might be like BAM the story ended and it was time to move onto the next one!

Another thing that bothered me about this collection was the writing style itself. I tried not to think too critically about the writing style as I understand this is a debut collection and self-published, so may not have gone through as big of an editing process. With this being said however there were a number of grammatical errors/ misused words and or extra/ missing words. I also found it hard to determine what age group the author was writing these stories for. I actually personally felt that the writing style changed from story to story some seemed to be written in a middle grade type of way with basic description and wording where as others seemed to be adult fiction with more description, but more thinking required from the reader. For the most part though I felt the writing got better with each story.

As for the stories themselves they were a bit hit and miss for me. Some I found a little boring, confusing and not completely thought through. While others, especially the last few, I found the underling ideas, themes and concepts to be very interesting and unique. I liked how many of the stories had an underling theme of morals and the way they were written made me not only question the morals and actions of the characters but ask myself what I would do in these situations and what my own morals are like. A few of the stories also had some very effective plot twists that I did not always see coming and think could be used to an even bigger effect had the story been a full length novel.

In conclusion I enjoyed the premises of most of the stories and the underlying theme of humanity and morals. Many of the ideas, concepts and technologies had great potential and were unique. However, the inconsistency of the writing style throughout all the stories mixed with my dislike of short stories in general made this collection somewhat hard to read. Therefore, I have given this short story collection 2.5/5 stars. Let's Chat!Do you enjoy short stories? Or do you have similar issues with them like me? What are some of your favourite short story collections and or sci-fi reads? Until next time happy watching and reading! 

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Review: Lisette’s Paris Notebook by Catherine Bateson

31851963Title: Lisette’s Paris Notebook

Author: Catherine Bateson

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Allen & Unwin 

Publication date: January 2017

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

What do you wear to Paris? Ami and I discussed it for hours but I still couldn’t think of anything suitable. Ami said a trench coat with nothing underneath but your best underwear. That was only if some boy was meeting you at the airport, I said.

Eighteen-year-old Lisette has just arrived in Paris (France!) – the city of haute couture and all things stylish – to practise her French and see great works of art. Her clairvoyant landlady Madame Christophe forces her to attend language lessons with a bunch of international students but soon Lise discovers she’s more interested in studying boys than art or verbs …

When the undeniably hot Anders jogs into her life it feels too good to be true. Things get even more complicated when she is pursued by Hugo, a charming English antiques dealer.

Can she take a chance and follow her own dreams? How far into the future can Madame Christophe see? And could Lise really be falling in love – in Paris?Review2

So, as you may already be getting from the bio this book is a YA contemporary romance, coming of age, finding yourself story. The main narrator Lise is an 18 year old Australian girl taking a gap year trip in Paris. It is a very cute quick read. Not only is the main character Australian but the author Catherine Bateson is an Australian making this particular read a #loveozya book. Which I think is fantastic! I love reading and supporting Aussie authors and their books. It’s something I have been thinking I need to consciously make an effort to read more of so this book was the perfect opportunity to do so! 

Quick mention to the cover of this book. I think this book is so cute and all the little pictures really give me young holiday in Paris vibes! Can I pack my suitcase already?? 

The first half of this book is frustrating to read. Not because the story is bad. It isn’t. But because after arriving in Paris and first experiencing the magic of the city the MC quickly starts to make some what I would consider pretty stupid choices. So, this is frustrating to watch unfold as I just know it will end badly. I had to constantly remind myself that the MC was only 18 and that if she didn’t make these mistakes this story wouldn’t be one of self-growth and discovery. Another negative for me was that although this book had many cute and whimsical travel abroad vibes. There were also a number of parts I found particularly cringe worthy instead of cute. For example, there is a part where the MC and a love interest are discussing her previous intimate experience and as she is shy to talk about it, he uses a doll like a ventriloquist to make her comfortable enough to tell him. I see the cute moment the author was trying to go for here. But I was cringing the whole time. 

On a more positive note after the first 100 pages I started to find Lise a lot less annoying. Even though she still didn’t always make the right decisions I found most interactions less cringey. I enjoyed seeing her grow and become more comfortable in Paris and the relationships she was building were really pulling me in. I also enjoyed reading about all the different activities and places she visited in Paris. The way the author described them had a magical, whimsical quality that made me want to book a flight straight away. I also adored the main love interest and once he came into the picture found myself wanting to just keep reading and hoping like hell it would all work out for them both! 

In conclusion, this book didn’t make it to my top favourite reads. Because of the cringe factor and my frustration with some of the MC’s actions. However, I did overall really enjoy it. Because of the cute romance and the travel lust it inspired. I think it really achieved an appropriate self-growth, young adult coming of age story. Which is why I am rating this book 3.5 stars. Let's Chat!What is a place you want to visit most in the world? Does Paris make your list? What are some of your favourite #loveozya titles and authors? Chat with me in the comments below! Until next time Happy watching and reading! 

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November wrap up

Wrap up

Reading:

This month was a very slow reading month for me! I have been slumping hard and have been lacking the motivation to read, I hope it changes soon! 😦 As I read a dismal 1.5 books this month!

  • It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover. This is an adult contemporary  book. This book was very emotional and sparked my discussion about trigger warnings. My rating is 4/5.
  • Lisette’s pairs Notebook by Catherine Bateson. This is a YA contemporary, I am currently only about half way through. I actually won this book as a part of a prize pack from Allen and Unwin Australia. It is pretty cutesie so far about a 3/5.

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Watching:

So my reading may have been dismal this month but thanks to that I had a really good watching month. I managed to watch quite a few different things and I really enjoyed them all! 🙂

Movies:

  • The Christmas Chronicles. Yes I have started watching Christmas movies already. And you know what? I loved this one! A solid 5/5.

TV:

  • Charmed (original), most of season 1.
  • Riverdale, season 2 and season 3 so far.
  • The chilling adventures of Sabrina , some of season 1.
  • The Bold type, season 1 & 2.
  • The Last ship, season 1 and 2.

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Blog:

I am pretty pleased with what I managed to get out on the blog during November. Mostly because of my discussion post. I don’t know why but I don’t come up with discussion posts easily and sometimes when I do I think maybe no one else will find them interesting. But I was really happy with how this one turned out and the discussion it started!

Posts: 

Tag: The Mid Autumn festival tag

Review: It Ends With US by Colleen Hoover

Discussion: The importance of trigger warnings

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Life:

I am still busy planning my wedding! We are less than 3 months out now so everything is getting down to the fine details and I am very excited and anxious for everything to go right.  We finally sent out the invitations and now I am just stressfully running around trying to make sure I don’t forget anything!  Work has also been pretty stressful lately as we have been low on staff. But on the up side we will have new staff to help out in the new year and I got my first ever promotion!! Look at me being and adult and stuff! 🙂

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How did I go on my goals for November:

  • Read at least 4 books.  HAHA what a absolute fail! Fingers crossed for better luck in December!
  • Post on my blog at least 4-6 times. – So I might not have reached the amount of posts I wanted to but I am actually pretty proud of the content so I would call that a win!
  • Finalise all things wedding related. – Again not everything is done but we have been making heaps of progress lately so another win!
  • Reach out/ get involved with more publishers/ companies I love. (not sure how realistic or how I will go about this! But we shall see!) – I have recently been given some amazing advice and support from some amazing bookstagram friends in the whole working with publishers and putting yourself out there thing. So I am excited to try to put it into action and see where it goes!
  • Comment more on other blogs/ bookstagram & interact more in general. – I have definitely worked really hard on this one! So goal completed but it is something I intend to keep up!
  • Drink more water/ eat healthier!  – Like always I tried and failed haha there is always December right?
  • Try to stress less and relax more. – HAHA with the wedding and work I think not!

December Goals:

  • Read at least 4 books
  • Post at least 4 times on the blog. And start to make plans for the blog for next year!
  • Keep working on trying to make more bookish connections and putting myself out there.
  • Drink more water/ eat healthier!
  • Enjoy the holidays with my family and at least for those days try not to stress!

Let's Chat!

How did November treat you guys? Favourite book you read this month? Anything you are excited to read in December? Any goals for December? As always, happy reading and watching!

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