December Wrap Up!

Hello friends.

I had an okay month of reading. I am really enjoying getting back into the swing of things with blogging, and booktube so far has been a real adventure, but I’m liking it!

I still haven’t really decided what kind of content or how regularly I want to post. I’ve decided that I don’t like most of the features I used to do, except for the music and quote related ones. But I’m excited for next year and what it will bring.

In the meantime, watch the video below to see what I read and my thoughts in the month of December.

Happy reading ❤

 

Infinite Sky; a romance among the corn crop

 

infintesky

Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood

Hardback

Published February 2013 by Simon & Schuster

When Iris’ mum leaves home, her brother, Sam, goes off the rails and her dad is left trying to hold it all together. So when a family of travellers sets up camp illegally in front of their farm, its the catalyst for a stand-off that can only end in disaster. But to Iris it’s an adventure. She secretly strikes up a friendship with the gypsy boy, Trick, and discovers home can be something as simple as a carved out circle in a field of corn…

Cute. Cute. Cute. Super cute. SAD. These were my emotions whilst reading Infinite Sky.

A first romance set amidst cornfields and bright skies in Britain (bright skies-Britain, is that right?) this first hit me with good feelings cause it was so damn cute. And then something bad happens. AND THEN IT ENDS.

Yup.

So this book essentially follows the series of events that lead to a tragedy. It tells the story in a very straight forward manner. You are expecting something bad to happen because of this line in the synopsis.

Is it possible to keep loving somebody when they kill someone you love?

Once I started the book I picked out two possible contenders for the grave which I was unable to guess until it actually happened. Claps for that, Flood!

However I think this book ends quite abruptly with not a lot of closure. I personally prefer deep exploration of themes in books and this is very much straight story telling.

I think the characters were quite simple, the only exception being Iris, the female MC. I think the author used a very young and naive voice for her brother who was an older teenager. I don’t understand the gypsies, they remain mysteries to me throughout the book and they do weird things I don’t get.

In saying this I can see how this book would appeal to people, especially to those where the events in this book could relate to their own personal experiences. I would recommend this to people who like straight forward contemporary’s, cute first love and feel like being sad. And don’t mind open endings.

I give it a 3 stars.

 

Drowned is drowning in uniqueness

Drowned

Drowned by Nicola Reily

I read a paperback copy

Published: June 2014 by Harlequin Teen

I bought this book myself

Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright spot in her harsh and difficult life is the strong, capable Tiam—but love has long ago been forgotten by her society. The only priority is survival.

Until the day their King falls ill, leaving no male heir to take his place. Unrest grows, and for reasons Coe cannot comprehend, she is invited into the privileged circle of royal aides. She soon learns that the dying royal is keeping a secret that will change their world forever.

Is there an escape from the horrific nightmare that their island home has become? Coe must race to find the answers and save the people she cares about, before their world and everything they know is lost to the waters.

What an amazing surprise this book was! I bought it on a whim whilst browsing at BIG W. Took me a year to pick it up but I’m so glad I did.

Drowned is set in a futuristic setting after the oceans has risen and humans have been living on a small island for a very, very, very long time. The sea level is so high that it covers the entire island at high tide every day.  Our MC, Coe, is a young girl on the island who is disliked by most and is doing her best to survive when she suddenly gets noticed and becomes the princess’s hand maiden.

In general I enjoyed the variety of characters is this book. Coe is a fantastic character and I grew to like her personally a lot. Despite her situation, she is very relatable and still retains normal, teenage feelings and emotions and it doesn’t feel weird.  She begins quite closed off and a bit numb, but then she just grows into herself and gains confidence and experience and it’s a fantastic, slow transition that I appreciate so much.

Love is an interesting point in Drowned. We see it from so many perspectives and what it means for different people. By no means is it the focus of the book but it is definitely an important aspect that I enjoyed.

Also, there is this fantastic twist at the end that people have been describing as fantasy, but I think it has more to do with evolution. Maybe not realistic evolution, but whatever. I still like it and I would like it more if that as the author’s intent. So that’s what I’m going to believe. 😛

All in all a fantastic book that I believe is immensely underrated. Great characters, plot arc, twists that I didn’t predict and has such an interesting setting that I haven’t seen before in YA. Highly recommend.

 

 

The BookTube Newbie Tag!

Hi Guys!

Now I know I’ve been very absent this last year but I’ve recently decided to join Booktube! I will continue blogging, but my content will be a little different from what I used to do. I will be posting full length reviews and uploading my videos here as well. From now on most of the features I do will be filmed.

Otherwise I’m very excited to be back! I missed out on so much!

Cover Reveal! The Book of Days by K.A. Barker

I’m very excited to be revealing the cover for debut author K.A. Barker! I got super excited when I was approached to do a cover reveal for this book. Debut, young adult, fantasy, and being published in Australia. Ticks all of my boxes!

It also sounds super exciting. I am keen to take a look at this beauty when it’s released!

– Giveaway is held by K.A. Barker. Details from her are below. (:

Plluuusss, John Marsden has said good things about it! (eek!)

bookofdayscover

Most people believe the best way to forget someone is to throw them down a well. Or lock them in a room with eight keys, or bury them at a crossroad in the thirteenth hour. But they’re wrong. The best way to forget someone is for them never to have existed in the first place.

When sixteen-year-old Tuesday wakes from sleep for the first time, she opens her eyes to a world filled with wonder – and peril. Left with only a letter from the person she once was, Tuesday sets out to discover her past with the help of her charming and self-serving guide, Quintalion.

Along the way she runs into one-legged mercenaries, flying cities, airships, and a blind librarian. But danger lurks amidst the steam. Tuesday will need all her wits to survive long enough to find out who she is and her connection with the mysterious Book of Days: a book that holds untold power …

 BUY LINKS: Amazon Aus ~ Amazon US ~

KBphotoAbout the author 

K. A. Barker is a twenty-something writer from Brisbane, Australia. She writes books about imaginary places and impossible deeds. Her first Young Adult novel, The Book of Days, is due out in September from Pan Macmillan Australia. She is fond of dirigibles, good books, shower singing, cheesy adventure movies, and time periods not her own.

 

Author links

Website:

Twitter: @k_a_barker

Facebook:

 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Give away details also posted on K.A. Barker’s website. 

To celebrate the cover reveal of The Book of Days, I’m giving you not one, not two, but three ways to win some awesome swag:

  1. Let me hear your dulcet chirps as you spread the news on twitter.  Talk about The Book of Days, its snazzy cover, the giveaway.  Heck, you can even mention that I’m the world’s worst shower singer for extra brownie points.  Make sure you include my handle in the tweet or I’m not going to be able to see your amazing 140 characters.

2. I’ve got eight lovely blogs covering my cover reveal (ew, bad pun).  Just so that I’m not making you see the same cover in eight different places, I’ve asked a different question on each of the blogs.  Once you’ve answered the questions, email me your answers at k.a.barkerwrites [at] gmail [dot] com for a chance to win a prize.

3. My blog is gathering tumbleweeds.  It’s making me cry harder than those creepy 1970s pictures of kids crying, but you can help me.  Check out my articles, leave a non-spammy comment, and you’ll enter into the draw to win a prize.  Bribery… what’s that?

And what’s the super awesome amazing no-holds-barred prize?

The lucky tweeter, question answerer, and commenter will each win:

  1. A signed copy of The Book of Days when it’s released in September.
  2. A $30 gift voucher to the bookstore of your choice so you can feed this strange reading addition.
  3. A hug if we ever happen to meet, to be delivered either a) bone-crunchingly hard, or b) awkward family reunion.

And your question is:

Out of these movies, which one is K.A. Barker most likely to enjoy?

a) Paint Drying: The Movie

b) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

c) Last Year at Marienbad

In Starlight by February Grace – Fairy Godparents, ROUND 2!

 

instarlight

In Starlight by February Grace 

Genre: Fantasy 

Published: April 2014 by Booktrope

Format: e-copy

Source: I was given a free copy of In Starlight to review. 

Their wish was sealed…was their fate? 

Young Fairy Godfather Gus Duncan is living his clan’s unfortunate family motto— Learn to Suffer — to a greater degree than he ever dreamed. The woman he loves is withering away beneath the burden of memory, of one perfect night with him she was supposed to forget. 

Facing a reality he never imagined, he must make the decision of his life: shatter the most sacred rule in the fairy code, or lose his beloved Till forever. 

Can true love save her when even magic fails?

Thank you to the author and publishing team for providing a copy of In Starlight to review!

When I was contacted to review In Starlight, I was beyond excited! Of Stardust is one of my favourite reads this year, and I could not wait to get my hot little hands on the sequel. Though I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first, it was still another enjoyable, sweet, fast read from February Grace!

In Starlight is the sequel to Of Stardust. A story of fairy godparents, love, magic and sacrifice, In Starlight changes the course of fairies forever. I really enjoyed this book, but I felt as though some things were amiss.

One of my favourite things about these books is the themes it brings forward. In Of Stardust, sacrifice was a major theme. In Starlight slightly contradicts Of Stardust by giving love a strong role to play. Though I loved this – I love the fact the love and bonding is important in fairy godparents life, I think it could have been delved into a lot more. So far, it was mostly focused on Gus and Till and what love could do for them, but I feel as though their charges were forgotten, especially towards the end.

I think the overall meaning/message could have been portrayed a little better by including the people Till and Gus look after. By demonstrating what the power of love can do not just for them, but for others, would have put the cherry on top and really brought the two books together in a lovely conclusion. I was still satisfied by the end, but I feel like there was some loose ties and not enough connection to the first book and its powerful message.

I liked the change of perspective in this book. It was refreshing to get the insider look into Gus (though I would have liked a little something from Till’s perspective, just to gauge how she was feeling). The one problem I had with Gus was the he was way to obsessed with Till. At least in Till’s perspective, we had the gradual break from drooling over his-Celtic-hotness Gus because she was preoccupied with life. With Gus, we barely go a page without fantasizing or worrying or just plain thinking about Till. It was just a little too much repeated heart brokenness for me.

The plot was fairly short and to the point, but I like that about these books. They are fast and packed with emotion! I have to add though, that there were some very “convenient” moments that were hard to justify and made the plot a little lack luster. The climax and ending were also very fast, repetitive and somewhat jumpy – like it was rushed.

In all, I had some issues with In Starlight. As with some plot issues and clouded over with obsession, the book didn’t hold the same magic and meaning for me. I still enjoyed it, though. I felt my heart un-break and was satisfied with Till and Gus’s end. It was a quick, enjoyable and easy read for me.

asoftbreeze

 

HELP! Thoughts on a bookish fundraiser for South East Asia!

Hey there guys! 

Alrighty, so I’m sure most of you are aware of my upcoming volunteer trip to Asia this year. I pretty much never stop talking about it. 

Last weekend, I had a training camp for it, and I got really inspired to do some fundraising. Not for myself to go over there (even though that’s super expensive – but it’s okay! I have two jobs!) but for me to make a real difference while I’m there. I realised that even though I’m volunteering, this experience is going to have a bigger impact on me than it will the communities I’m visiting. 

Which will be cute little rat bags like this. :3

borneoand this!

andthis

AND THIS! 😀

2 Orangutans

 

All photo’s from Antips Abroad.

So, I want to give back! But to do so, I need funds. Which I don’t really have because, you know, it’s kinda expensive to go there and I’m not made of cash.

So I was wondering what the bookish community would do, if I proposed a fundraising idea? 

For example: I was thinking of having a read-a-thon, where people can sponsor me for the amount of books I read: ie, donate a dollar to the cause for every book I manage to finish in a week. 

Okay, so I can see all sorts of holes and kinks in that. How do people know I’m being honest with the amount of books I’m reading? Do you trust that I’m going to use the money for a good cause, and not on myself and personal travel plans?

I mean, I would be sus. Especially an online thing.

BUT. If I set up an account, a separate travel account to donate money into, then that would help with keeping funds in track. Also, I will keep a list of everyone who sponsored/donated and their emails, so I can keep them updated on what their money is actually going towards.

Worried about the authenticity of my trip? I’m travelling with a reputable company called Antipodeans, and you are all welcome to visit their site, see my specific trip, ask questions and I can probably get a letter from them, which I can post to confirm my intentions.

What about honestly completing the read-a-thon? Well, the only thing I can think of it continuously updating my GR and social media feeds with photo’s and progress.

I would honestly love to hear everyone’s thoughts. If everything were safe and believable, would you donate/sponsor? Honestly, if it were only a week long read-a-thon, my aim would be 5-7 books. Though if lots of people donated just a $1 per book read, than that would make a massive difference in a 3rd world country.

So, do I have the support of the bookish community if I went ahead with this? Would people be willing to sponsor/spread the word and get this out there? Would people like to join in on the read-a-thon? Any suggestions to improve this rough idea is welcome! 

 

UPDATE

One brilliant blogger suggested that other people can join in on the read-a-thon, so more funds can be raised! I’m all for the idea, but wondering if people would be willing to read for money they won’t have control of/going elsewhere? Maybe I could just make it a fun thing, where people could join in on the read-a-thon?

ALSO: I had this great idea, where I make sure all the funds I earn from this would be used to encourage reading in 3rd world countries? A lot of them can’t read, but I will be teaching some English in schoosl while I’m there. I could totally donate books, lined pages, pens, pencils, school equipment, ect. Just to keep it more book related. (:

THOUGHTS PEOPLE, THOUGHTS?