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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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: 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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Review: It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

29626641Title: It Ends with Us

Author: Colleen Hoover

Genre: Adult Contemporary

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

Publication date: August 2016

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter..

Firstly, I want to mention the blurb of this book and give credit to Goodreads for their synopsis. My version of the book does not include the line “This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.”  And I think it very smart and considerate of Goodreads for including it now. Going into this read as my book didn’t mention this I was expecting a love triangle with a little drama and a lot of romance! 

Let me tell you this book was so much more and really does cover some pretty heavy and sensitive subject matter! Through the first few chapters I thought this book was exactly what I expected a grown-up romance, love triangle with a touch on the serious topic of homelessness and domestic violence via the main characters parents. I found myself getting emotionally invested, picking a “team” and hoping they would be OTP.  This book is so well written in the way that you feel without meaning to the main characters emotions completely. Being an empath and an emotional person, this was great at first. I mean it was hard to read about the struggle of the MC’s childhood, but I was so happy and excited and feeling the love with the romance developing. I was falling hard as she was. So, I was very emotionally invested when things took a much darker turn then I was expecting. 

The MC experiences domestic violence of her own. And it is not glossed over, and it is graphic and intense. Because of the way the book is written I was already invested in her life and in the relationship. So, as I wasn’t expecting this it hit me hard in the feels. And because of the empathetic emotional person I am this meant I was in this for the long haul. I stayed up until 2 am reading trying to work through these feelings with the MC, struggling as she was going through emotional turmoil, I laughed, I stressed and I bawled my god damned eyes out, but I had to see how this story ended. 

For days after I felt emotionally raw and I could not stop thinking about the story and it definitely made me think and question things I had never thought about before. On the one hand I think this means the book was incredibly written. Anything that can make you feel so much is not a badly written piece. So, I knew I would rate this book highly. But I also knew I couldn’t give this book a full 5 star review. And not just for the handful of grammatical errors/ typos. But because my version of the book had no content and or trigger warnings at all. And sure, maybe with them this book may not have caused me to feel so much emotion. But the fact that it doesn’t have any warning and me as a person who has been fortunate enough not to experience any of these issues in her own life was this emotionally wrecked by it. I can only imagine what it might emote in someone who has if they were to read this unsuspectingly. And I do not think that is fair at all. At the very least all versions of this book should have the warning the Goodreads synopsis does, but it’s clearly a little late for that now. Therefore, I gave this read 4 out of 5 stars. 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Do you think all books should have trigger and or content warnings? Until next time Happy watching and reading! 

Review: Sea Breeze Academy by Bryant A. Loney

thumbnail_Sea Breeze AcademyTitle: Sea Breeze Academy

Author: Bryant A. Loney

Genre: YA Contemporary/ mystery

Publisher: Verona Booksellers

Publication date: June 2018

Rating: 2/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

A group of boarding school teens in season five of a Cali-based sitcom begin to realize they are in a TV show.

A missing student, or maybe several.
Embedded marketing, sushi, token friends, and cacti.
The sound of the Pacific waves in the background.
Smothering darkness. The threat of Alaska.
Another perfect, perfect day.
Happiness lives here.

Brooklyn, Matthew, and the gang are ready to rock their last few weeks of junior year at their elite boarding school on the California coast. But something is amiss. In the fifth and potentially last season of this award-winning television series, the struggle between truth and network censorship just might destroy their bond once and for all. Can they survive another season of love, mystery, and adolescent angst on the sunny West Coast? Will life ever be normal again?

Experimental and subversive, Sea Breeze Academy is a smart love letter to the Nickelodeon and Disney Channel sitcoms you grew up with. Are you ready?

Thank you to Verona book sellers for providing me with an e-copy of this book along with promotional pictures in exchange for my honest review. Review2

I do not even know where to start with this review. I apologize in advance if this review does not flow or is confusing. But my brain is just a little confused by this book right now.

So, this book was pitched to me and is depicted in the synopsis has a love letter and or spoof of the teen TV shows we all know and probably loved at some point growing up. This and the stunning cover were enough to pique my interest! The first couple of chapters seemed to be exactly what I was expecting and reminded me of a mix of shows like Hanna Montanan and The OC. The book being written in mostly script format also helped set this feeling and scene up. E.g. I felt like I was reading the TV show instead of watching it. Even though the script format took a little getting used to, it also made it possible to read this book very quickly! Which was a great change for a usually slow reader like me. There was drama, romance, elite California school, fashion…all that juicy teen stuff. I was beginning to think this was going to be a light, cheesy read, making fun of the TV shows I grew up with.

thumbnail_Sea Breeze Kids

Boy was I wrong! After the first few chapters things took a really weird turn! At first, I thought it was just the “something is amiss” part of the synopsis starting to play out. And I guess in a way it was? However, it was done in such a way that for the majority of the book I was sat thinking to myself what is going on??!! So, instead of really enjoying the story I was stuck wondering what the premises of the story actually was. Was I not just reading a TV Show occurring? Was it more a Spoof of reality shows like The Hills and trying to hint they are scripted? Or was it supposed to be some hidden camera thing like Big Brother? Or were the characters of the TV show becoming self-aware? I really could not work it out and I am still not 100% sure! This made me struggle to get through most of the story and I was frustrated that I couldn’t work out what was going on.

Things also seemed to take on a much more serious note in the second half and end of the book. With loads of life lessons and messages being woven into the story. About the pressure of trying to be perfect and losing oneself in the attempt of trying to please everyone. Depression, anxiety and eating disorders are all mentioned. Media propagation, political correctness and in your face advertising are all part of the story as well. And While I know and understand that these lessons and topics etc are important and should be represent in YA fiction. I just thought it was too much all at once. And with the confusing nature of the trajectory of the plot line I just don’t think it had the desired effect.

The ending of the book was one of the most confusing aspects for me. I just feel like there was no real resolution. I have no clue what happened to one of the MC’s and what was going to happen to the others. Half of the character interactions just made no sense to me! I just was left feeling like “what? That is what all the strangeness was building to? I don’t get it!!”

In conclusion although I was hoping to really like this book in the end it just left me a confused mess. I love the cover and the uniqueness of the script format. I even really enjoyed the first few “chapters’. However, I thought majority of the story was simply confusing. Too many life lessons/ concepts were trying to be displayed and it all seemed to amount to nothing. Or at least I myself did not really feel that wow it all makes sense now moment. Therefore, I have given this book 2/5 stars. Let's Chat!Have you read this book? Have you ever read a book in script format and did you enjoy it? What was your favourite teen TV show? Chat with me in the comments below! As always happy watching and reading! 

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Review: One small thing by Erin Watt

39934900Title: One small thing

Author: Erin Watt

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: HQ young adult

Publication date: June 2018

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.Review2

This book was actually one of my most anticipated books of the year. What Tamika? A non-fantasy read was one of your most anticipated this year?! Yep that’s right. I absolutely loved When it’s real by Watt. It was such a cute, quick, fun read. So, I was hoping to get the same kind of feelings out of this read. As although I love fantasy reads I also love romances and reads that give me all the cute loved up feels. This book however was not like that. At least not in such a black and white way.

Although the synopsis hints at some traumatic past events I possibly naively thought that this would not have such a huge effect on the content and themes of the book. The first little part of this book looks like it is going to be a cute, awkward, teenage love. Party and mysterious guy included. However shortly after thing’s get much more complicated. Almost all of the relationships between the characters in this book are defined or effected by the death of the MC’s sister.

Because of this the story deals with some pretty heavy themes and ideas. Including, Death, the loss of a child, dealing with and or suppressing grief, abusive relationships and rape. So, if any of those are triggers in any way for you I would carefully consider whether or not to read this book. Death is a concept I often struggle with and is my biggest fear, so that issue was a little hard for me to read about. However, I really liked the way the book dealt with a lot of the issues. It forced me to consider my own beliefs and morals in terms of how the characters reacted and related to certain things. The romance side of things was not missing all together either and although it was done in a way that made me question if it was right, it was enough to keep me drawn in and feel more comfortable with the story.

Overall, I enjoyed this book for bringing to light certain things as well as the cute romantic moments. However, some of the themes were hard for me personally to read and process. I was also not overly satisfied with the ending of the book, it felt a bit rushed and lack lustre to me. Therefore, this book is a solid 3/5.

Let's Chat!Have you read this book? What were your opinions? Where you expecting something a little different? Do you like Erin Watt’s other books? Let me know in the comments below! Until next time happy watching and reading! 

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Review: Queens of Geek, by Jen Wilde

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Title: Queens of Geek
Author: Jen Wilde
Publication Date: 26/4/2017
Publisher: Swoon reads, Pan Macmillan Australia
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 5/5

So I will be breaking this review up into two sections the first half I endeavour to keep mostly spoiler free and the second half which is highly likely to contain spoilers while I fangirl hard about this book.

 

 
Queens of Geek is the debut novel of Australian Author Jen Wild. It is a young adult contemporary novel based in California USA about three Australian high school students. Much as the cover of the book entails this story is that of three friends who go on an adventure to a convention much like Comic Con and two romances that arise from this. This is a quick fun read which also manages to be emotional, relatable and broch many issues and topics. This book represents the LGBTIQ+ community with multiple characters of different sexual orientation being represented. Jen also broches the topic of mental illness in the form of sever anxiety as well as writing characters that are a part of the Autism spectrum which I myself have seen very little of.

 

 
Jen also manages to cover and display so many issues and topics in this one story that is only set over a couple of days. She covers as mentioned above an example of what it is like to live and deal with mental illness and overcoming some of your greatest struggles and fears. Bullying, body shaming, and poisonous relationships are all themes/ issues I picked up on being represented or is what I interpreted some of the events in the book to represent. This story also covers finding love and trying to navigate the world all while finding who you are. Last but not least this is a story that finally represents almost solely the Geeks/Fangirls/Fanboys/Nerds of the world and the truly amazing bond that is friendship.

 

 
Given the diversity in this book and the amount of people/issues/themes represented I really feel this is a book that almost everyone can find a little bit of themselves in and relate to. I know I sure did on multiple levels! This coupled with great writing and a storyline that still managed to be funny, romantic and moving is why I would recommend this book to anyone and have given it a 5/5 rating. Everyone do yourself a favour if you haven’t already, go and pick up this amazing fresh and diverse read and put it at the top of your TBR you won’t regret it.

 

 
End of Spoiler free review don’t continue if you haven’t read the book and don’t want to be spoiled!!! All others please venture forward and fangirl with me over this great read!

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