Lover Book Tag

Being a fan of books and Taylor Swift I knew when I saw this tag I wanted to give it a go. So I wasn’t actually tagged to do it, but that hasn’t stopped me before.

‘Staying Alive in Year 5’ by John Marsden was a book I remember absolutely loving when I was younger.

Recently I found a second hand copy at a book stall at school and picked it up however I actually cannot remember anything that happened!

I honestly don’t think I have a worst book I’ve read this summer, I really enjoyed all the books I’ve read.

I absolutely love Strange and Sarai even though their relationship is definitely complicated I think it is still perfect even though it is tinged with a little sadness.

I know that Celaena Sardothian from the Throne of Glass series is the go to answer to this question but when it comes to a fantasy character she is honestly the most badass of the lot. I also find Daisy Jones from Daisy Jones and The Six a pretty badass character especially in the context of a contemporary read.

Again I couldn’t just pick one so I went with a fantasy and a contemporary. Sophie and Keefee in ‘The Keeper of Lost Cities’ by Shannon Messenger have has some great character development from the first book to the fifth book and I am here for it.

I also recently read ‘The Seven Husbands of Everlyn Hugo’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I definitely found the Everlyn was presented at the beginning of the book was different to the one we ended with.

I feel like it always changes but currently it is Strange from Strange the Dreamer!

The one that comes to mind instantly is ‘The Woman in White’ by Wilkie Collins.

Honestly this book caused the most stress as a high school set book because our teacher was obsessed with it and we all just got super confused about it all.

I think I’d want to give it another chance now that I’m older.

I thought the ending of Prince Charming by Rachel Hawkins was a happy one.

just all the good vibe feels.

I’m sticking with the contemporary and fantasy options when answering these tag questions. I don’t think there will come a time where I don’t absolutely love Harry Potter and wish Hogwarts and Diagon Ally and Hogsmede and The Borrow were real. When it comes to places that are real I love Alaska. I don’t live anywhere near Alaska (I live in Australia) but I love Alaska so that is definitely a setting that I won’t even forget.

I read ‘Lodestar’ by Shannon Messenger the fifth book in the Keeper of Lost Cities series recently and to say I was a hot mess at the end is an absolute understatement!

I know I’ve already used ‘The Simple Wild’ by K.A. Tucker for an answer but in the story we follow Calla as she goes back to Alaska to spend time with her estranged father who is an Alaskan bush pilot. Honestly without the amazing setting this story would be completely different.

I could say so many books that I’ve already mentioned but I thought I’d answer this with a different book! As with Lodestar by Shannon Messenger, Neverseen by Shannon Messenger had be balling!

Can you tell I enjoyed this book? Can you also tell that I am new to the Adult Romance scene so haven’t read that many yet? Honestly I enjoyed how the sexy scenes were written and it didn’t over power the overall plot of the story.

Going with an absolute obvious answer for this question, Hearstoppers: Volume 2 by Alice Oseman.

I couldn’t really think of another book to choose for this one aside from ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Honestly I love so many books so picking an all time favourite is impossible, however the two that I reread the most are ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ by J.K. Rowling and ‘Yes Please’ by Amy Poehler.

I honestly drew a blank with this question and could only think of Harry and Ginny and Ron and Hermione from the Harry Potter series.

‘Nimona’ by Noelle Stevenson is definitely a story with a positive message about friendship and personal growth and belief.

I Tag everyone!

Sparks of Phoenix by Najwa Zebian

Sparks of Phoenix
by Najwa Zebian

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Date: 2019
Pages: 240
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Non Fiction
Genre:  Poetry
Days to Read: 1
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

In Sparks of Phoenix—Najwa Zebian’s third book of poetry—she takes her readers on a powerful journey of healing.

As the phoenix emerges from its ashes, Zebian emerges ablaze in these pages, not only as a survivor of abuse, but as a teacher and healer for all those who have struggled to understand, reclaim, and rise above a history of pain. The book is divided into six chapters, and six stages of healing: Falling, Burning to Ashes, Sparks of Phoenix, Rising, Soaring, and finally, A New Chapter, which demonstrates a healthy response to new love as the result of authentic healing. With her characteristic vulnerability, courage, and softness, Zebian seeks to empower those who have been made to feel ashamed, silenced, or afraid; she urges them, through gentle advice and personal revelation, to raise their voices, rise up, and soar.

Ok, so honestly if you have seen any of my other reviews on poetry, I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. On that, for this review I want to talk about some versus that really stuck with me.

Najwa’s piece on sensitivity is amazing. It really resonated with me, as a sensitive person it felt like someone got it. It begins with ‘Your sensitivity is not a sign of weakness.’ I felt like that opening really captured my attention to the piece.

Honestly the positivity I felt while reading the second half of this book of poetry was real. There were so many times where Najwa Zebian was talking about kindness and remembering to stay kind and being tired as well as the importance of continuing with your goals.

I really found something within the pages of Sparks of Phoenix and left my time with the book feeling positive and focused on my goals.

Ease of reading: 7/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Stars: 3.5/5

Review: ‘The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One’ By Amanda Lovelace

‘The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One’

By Amanda Lovelace

Book 3 in the Women are some kind of Magic Collection

Publisher:Andrews McMeel Publishing
Date: 2019
Pages: 191
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Non Fiction
Genre:  Poetry
Days to Read: 1
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks

Goodreads Choice Award-winning poet and USA TODAY bestselling author Amanda Lovelace presents the mermaid’s voice returns in this one — the third and final installment in her “women are some kind of magic” series, featuring a foreword from Lang Leav and 13 guest poems from leading voices in poetry such as Nikita Gill, KY Robinson, and Orion Carloto.

The mermaid is known for her siren song, luring bedroom-eyed sailors to their demise. However, beneath these misguided myths are tales of escapism and healing, which Lovelace weaves throughout this empowering collection of poetry, taking you on a journey from the sea to the stars. They tried to silence her once and for all, but the mermaid’s voice returns in this one.

After absolutely LOVING ‘The Princess Saves Herself in This One’ I knew I needed to pick up more of Amanda Lovelace’s writing. Now, I know what you are thinking, ‘why did you read the first in the collection and then the third? what about number 2?’ I’m going to be honest here, I did not realise that ‘The Mermaid’s Voice Returns In this One’ was the 3rd collection. But here we are…

I loved collection 3 just as much as the first collection. I was truly ready to dive headfirst into everything and just consume all of Lovelace’s writing. I started highlighting the things that really stuck with me in ‘The Princess Saves Herself in This One’ and I continued in ‘The Mermaid’s Voice Returns In This One’ and I highlighted even more, I felt like I could connect with so many moments throughout the collection.

There are references and Ode’s to many classic literature writers which I absolutely love. It had me rereading the poems in search of the connections.

‘The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One’ is a fantastic conclusion to some raw and deep poetry collections.

Ease of reading: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 10/10
Stars: 5/5

Review: ‘The Princess Saves Herself in This One’ By Amanda Lovelace

‘The Princess Saves Herself in This One’

By Amanda Lovelace

Publisher: CreateSpace
Date: 2016
Pages: 295
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Non Fiction
Genre:  Poetry
Days to Read: 1
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

“Ah, life- the thing that happens to us while we’re off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales.”

A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.

Like I said when I reviewed ‘Milk and Honey’ By Rupi Kaur, I am not pretending to be someone who ‘gets poetry’ or an authority on it. I just like to share what I enjoy and wow did I really get into ‘The Princess Saves Herself in This One’ By Amanda Loveloace.

I picked up this book after Britt from Brittney the Bibliophile spoke a about it in one of her vlogs. I don’t even thing she had read the book but everything that I read the Britt raves about I love, so why not give it a go. I am so glad I did.

Amanda Lovelace’s love of Harry Potter already had me before I’d even begun really experiencing her writing. Her dedication is to The Boy Who Lived and I was honestly close to tears at that point. Now I cannot pretend that I have had experiences similar to those that Lovelace speaks about in her poetry, especially the difficulties of her childhood, but her writing and use of the princess, the damsel and the queen was something that made her lines resonate with me.

Her specific poem that references Harry Potter is one that really hit home for me, I read that along with some of the others in ‘The Queen’ to my partner and I was almost crying reading them aloud. Something about experiencing them a second time, a loud, made them more real.

Throughout her poetry Lovelace also references her love of books and their help in letting her escape. This is really something that I personally connect with and “The pagebound girl” is a phrase that will resonate with me forever.

I would recommend ‘The Princess Saves Herself in This One’ is a collection I would recommend to anyone, however there are definitely trigger warnings, which Lovelace addresses before even beginning to tell her story.

Ease of reading: 10/10
Stars: 4/5

Audiobook Tag

I saw this Tag over on Jessica C Writes and as someone who loves an audiobook I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to answer these questions. Check out her responses as well!

Audiobooks have been something that has been in and out of my life. When I was young I was introduced to the Harry Potter books on audio on family trips where we would all sit in the car and enjoy the wonderful world of Harry Potter. I also had experiences with them during school when we would have ‘listening post’, I know I’ really showing my age!

It wasn’t until 3(ish) years ago that I got into listening to them on a more daily basis, although I have been re experiencing Harry Potter since that first day.

So I couldn’t just pick one.

I absolutely love the Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, listening to them on audio just gives them a whole other element! The Story is absolutely incredible and the cast does an amazing job!

‘Red Queen’ by Victoria Aveyard is one I picked up after finishing another book during my O.W.L.S readathon. I think the audio version really enhanced the book. I know I wouldn’t of been as engaged if I was physically reading this one.

‘The Mark of Athena’ by Rick Riordan is so far the only Rick Riordan book I have listened to and I really enjoyed the narrator. I really think I want to listen to the audiobooks when I get around to rereading this series.

Finally, this list would not be complete without ‘Harry Potter’. I absolutely love this series and Stephen Fry’s Narration of them are utterly incredible. I genuinely feel like I am transported whenever I listen to the series.

Everyone of these are my favourites!

That I can ‘t really take notes.

I’ve tried taking notes on my phone but its not the same, by the time you pause the book and then write the notes I’ve found that I’ve forgotten what I wanted to note down in the first place.

Also sometimes I just don’t vibe with the narrators and then I don’t enjoy listening to the story.

It depends on the book. I find books with a full cast can be more immersive than physically reading but then sometimes I feel as though you need to read a book to get the experience. But it depends on the book and the reader.

I listen at all different times. Most of the time it will be when I’m in transit, either in the car or on the train or walking to or from work.

I also listen when I am doing things around the house like cooking and cleaning. Most of the time I listen on headphones but when its a book I’m listening to with my partner we put it on the speaker to listen together.

I prefer full cast or narrated by the author. I mostly listen to fantasy, young adult and autobiographies, although contemporary is starting to play a bigger part in what I’m listening too.

Ok, so I know that’s a lot but, ‘The Illuminae Files’ has a full cast and is an absolutely amazing listen. I was genuinely crying while walking down the street when I was listening.

‘Yes Please’ By Amy Poehler is narrated by the author herself and is an intriguing glimpse into her life.

Norse Mythology’ By Neil Gaiman is another story narrated by the author and not only is Neil Gaiman an exceptional author but an amazing narrator.

The entire Harry Potter series narrated by Stephen Fry is utterly incredible. It an a completely immersive series that I revisit often.

‘Mythos’ By Stephen Fry is an exceptional examination of Greek Mythology that is made ever more interesting by his narration of it.

Lastly, ‘The Hobbit’ By J.R.R. Tolkien. What an immersive audiobook. It includes singing, has an incredible narrator and really takes the reader to Middle Earth.

What are some of your audiobook recommendations?

N.E.W.Ts readathon

I cannot believe that August is here and the N.E.W.Ts are upon us! I am so excited that Gee from Book Roast is hosting another year of the N.E.W.Ts and love all the things that she has created to make this readathon as immersive as possible (and I am living for it).

If you followed along with my participation in the O.W.L.S readathon you may remember that I passed:
* Potions
* Defence Against the Dark Arts
* Care of Magical Creatures
* Herbology
* Arithmancy
* History of Magic
* Charms
All in an endeavour to become a Care of Magical Creatures Professor.

This means that I can take any of these 7 subjects in my N.E.W.Ts

But what do I need to pass to achieve this goal?

Now this may be what’s needed and I appreciate the manageability of needing to complete 7 books to achieve my goals of becoming a Hogwarts professor, I as a typical Hufflepuff, want to achieve more.

For this reason I will be setting myself a somewhat more difficult goal.

So I really want to achieve Outstanding in all the subjects I decide to take. I also thought about what subjects you would need to be a good Care of Magical Creatures Professor and came to the conclusion that Care of Magical Creatures, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, Charms and Potions would all be vital magical skills to have.

Therefore my goal is to read 15 books during the N.E.W.T.S. Here is what I am planning on reading…

To gain an Acceptable in Care of Magical Creatures the prompt is to ‘read a books starting with A’ for this I decided to pick up ‘Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel’ by Mariah Mardsen.
To gain an Exceeds Expectations the prompt is to ‘read a book under 300 pages’ for which I am going to pick up ‘Wings of Olympus’ By Kallie George.
Finally, to gain an Outstanding the prompt is to ‘read a book with a bird on the cover’ and I went full Harry Potter with this and chose ‘Crown of Feathers’ By Nicki Pau-Preto, which has a phoenix on the cover.

For Defence Against the Dark Arts, to gain an Acceptable the prompt is to ‘read a book that is black under the dust jacket’, I found this prompt more difficult to find a book for however I finally succeeded and found ‘It Wasn’t Me’ By Dana Alison Levy.
To gain an Exceeds Expectations the prompt is to ‘read the first book that comes to mind’ however, when I think books my brain just repeats the word books ( i don’t get it) so I got my Fiance, George to pull a book title out of a jar I have on my bookshelf. For this he grabbed ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ By John Tiffany and Jack Thorn.
To gain an Outstanding the prompt is to ‘read a book set in England/with an English Author’ for this I went with ‘Heartstopper: Volume 2’ By Alice Oseman.

To gain an Acceptable in Herbology the prompt is to ‘listen to an audiobook’ for which I am going to use as an opportunity to listen to ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ By Taylor Jenkins Reid, for a second time.
To gain an Exceeds Expectations the prompt asks for ‘a book between 350-390 pages’ I decided not to go for something too hefty and went with ‘The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic’ By Cressida Cowell.
To gain an Outstanding the prompt is to read ‘a book with a flower on the cover’ for this I went with ‘Live Green’ By Jen Chillingsworth.

For Charms the prompt to gain an Acceptable the prompt is to ‘read a book with a gorgeous cover’ for this I chose to read ‘Warrior of the Wild’ By Tricia Levenseller
To gain an Exceeds Expectations the prompt asks ‘read a comic or graphic novel’ for which I chose ‘Ms. Marvel: No Normal’ By G. Willow Wilson & Adrien Alphona.
To gain an Outstanding the prompt asks to ‘read a paperback’ for this I am going to read ‘Maybe in Another Life’ By Taylor Jenkins Reid.

The final subject I will be taking is Potions. To gain an Acceptable in potions the prompt asks readers to choose a book ‘that is a friends favourites’ I decided to take Gee’s advice and watched a couple of my favourite BookTuber’s to try and find a favourite that I already own. For this I went with a favourite of Hailey in Bookland’s ‘The Raven Boys’ By Maggie Stiefvater.
To gain an Exceeds Expectations the prompt is to choose a ‘book with your Hogwarts house colour’ being in Hufflepuff I chose a book with yellow on the cover, ‘The Field Guide to the North American Teenager’ by Ben Philippe was perfect for this since the entire hardcover ovf the book is yellow!
To gain an Outstanding the prompt is to read a ‘book that starts with a prologue’. After searching my bookshelves I came across ‘The Library of Fates’ By Aditi Khorana.

…. and that’s it. Just a casual 15 books that I plan to read in one month. Wish me luck because I am certainly going to need it.

Review: ‘Milk and Honey’ By Rupi Kaur

Milk and Honey

Rupi Kaur

Publisher: Create Space
Date: 2014
Pages: 204
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Non Fiction
Genre:  Poetry
Days to Read: 1
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

Milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.

The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache.milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

‘Milk and Honey’ By Rupi Kaur is most first experience reading poetry that wasn’t for educational purposes at school. I’m not going to pretend to be someone well versed in poetry and what makes a good poet and compilation of experiences however I will say, I loved it.

The raw and real feeling reading poetry is something very different to what you get reading a fantasy book that transports you to a completely different world. With Rupi’s writing I felt as though I was seeing parts of the world and human nature that I am lucky to not have personally experienced.

Any person can gain something from Rupi Kaur’s words, whether it be understanding, comfort or empathy.

I would recommend this book to any reader. However I would say to be cautious, there is a definite trigger warning.

Ease of reading: 10/10
Quality of Writing: 9/10
Stars: 4/5

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

We are half way through another year and can I just say Umm… WHAT?! How is it already halfway through June! Being this time of the year again I figured I would just freak myself out a little more about all that I have to read this year!

I have to say that ‘Keeper of Lost Cities’ By Shannon Messenger has been my favourite read of the year so far. Its whimsical and engaging and really takes the reader on an adventure.

‘Crown of Midnight’ By Sarah J. Maas, the sequel to ‘Throne of Glass’ is one of the best sequels I’ve read so far this year. The story really began to take off into the direction the other 5 books were going to be taking and honestly it was so good!

I am so excited to read ‘Aurora Rising’ By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff! I absolutely loved the ‘Illuminae Files’ which was written my the same authors that I know I am going to love ‘Aurora Rising’. I just need to get to this.

I read ‘Roar’ By Cora Carmack two years ago and I have been anticipating this book ever since. I cannot wait to see where this series (I hope its a series) is going to go!

I recently read ‘Sky in the Deep’ By Adrienne Young. I definitely wasn’t bad, but I feel as though it could have been better. I was excited by the concept of vikings and battles and a badass female warrior but was definitely let down.

‘Fence: Volume 1’ By C.S. Pacat was one of my first explorations of graphic novels and I really enjoyed it. I’m now up to date on the volumes and cannot wait until the next is released!

Shannon Messenger 100%, I’ve read 3 book in the ‘Keeper of Lost Cities’ series and I am more than keen to continue!

I might be the only person but Chaol from the ‘Throne of Glass’ series is definitely my new fictional crush.

Celaena Sardothien is for sure one of the most badass characters I have read about so far and I absolutely love her perspective when reading the Throne of Glass series.

I don’t think I’ve actually read anything that has made me cry this year, but there is still time!

I genuinely laughed so much when I was reading ‘The Greatest Love Story Ever Told’ By Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally. It is such a funny read and made me feel very happy. Would highly recommend the Audiobook.

I want to say ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ By Kevin Kwan. I’m still in the process of reading the book but I watched this movie earlier in the year and really enjoyed it.

That is a genuinely tough question to answer, I love the covers of nearly all the books I’ve picked up this year but here is a few.