WHAT I’VE LEARNED AFTER 5 YEARS AND 20 BOOKS: 25 LESSONS

This article wasn’t written by me, it was written by Chuck Wendig but I really wanted to share it with all of you because most of you are writers, want to be writers or know writers. So I thought I would share this blog post with all of you to read, learn and enjoy:

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2017/04/18/what-ive-learned-after-5-years-and-20-books-25-lessons/

He has some pretty great points doesn’t he? He is spot on about a few other things too.

What did you think about the article? Do you agree with anything he has to say?

♥ GWAP

Book Review for ‘Run’ by Kody Keplinger

Run / Kody Keplinger / 2016 / Hodder Children’s Books / ISBN 9781444932706 / 326 Pages / Young Adult

Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and an alcoholic mum. Everyone in town knows the Dickinsons are a bad lot, but Bo doesn’t care what anyone things. Agnes Atwood has never stayed out past ten p.m., never gone on a date and never broken any of her parents’ overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally-blind daughter, but Agnes isn’t quite sure what they are protecting her from. Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. And it’s the sort of friendship that runs more deeply than anything else. But when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, police sirens wailing in the distance, Agnes is faced with the biggest choice she’s ever had to make. Run, or stay?

run

Review:

I am a huge fan of Kody Keplinger. I loved reading The Duff and Laughing Out Loud. She is a great writer and knows the young adult reading audience that her stories are so relevant and easy to swallow. So when I found out that she had another book coming out, I had to automatically buy it and read it. I read it in two days, and that is a record for myself.

The story follows a legally blind girl who befriends the town disappointment. After a rocky start, their friendship blossoms and things start to chance. Agnes, the legally blind teenage girl who has very over protective parents starts to come to her senses about her friends and the way her parents look after her, when Bo, the town disappointment starts helping her have fun. What follows is a trail of booze, boys and behaviour that is shocking for both Agnes and her parents. But then there is a twist, they go on the run and run they do. With a stolen car, unexpected information and dirty motel rooms, the girls find themselves at wits end, when they run out of food and lies for each other.

This story is an expected Thelma and Louise recreation. It tells of lies and truths and how much it can hurt someone. It tells of confidence and self-worth, but most importantly, the book talks about the importance of friendship.

If you like Kody Keplinger, adventure and escapades and just an overall great female friendship, than this is the book for you.

I give this book 4.0 out of 5 booky stars!

You can buy a copy of this book from:

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson Book World

The Co-Op Bookshop

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Book Review for ‘The Dress’ by Jane L. Rosen

The Dress / Jane L. Rosen / 2016 / Penguin Random House (Century) / ISBN 9781780895895 / 300 Pages / Fiction

Legend has it that every season there is one dress. The dress that can make your career, ignite a spark with that special someone, or utterly transform your life. For Felicia, who has been in love with her book for 20 years; for Natalie, who has sworn off men since her ex dumped her – for them and for others, life is about to change. And all because of their brush with the dress of the season, the perfect little black number that everyone wants to get their hands on…

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Review –

I love this book. It is a great romantic comedy that I couldn’t put down when I picked it up and started reading it. The story follows a handful of people, all of which you kind of lose track whilst your reading the book, because there are so many of them and because every chapter is from a different character’s perspective. But it is great. It’s about a dress, and not just any dress, but the dress of the season and somehow, every character in the book is bound to this new fantastic dress and their lives change because of it.

There is the man who designed the dress, the ladies selling the dress, the men buying the dress for their wives and girlfriends, the lucky few who get to wear the dress for a special night out and then have to return it and the doctor who makes his grandmother happen when he meets a girl because of the dress. A lot happens in this book but yet at the same time, you really want more to happen in the book because it doesn’t feel like you are getting enough of the one characters story because it is broken down into everyone else’s story.

I love the author’s writing. I love the unique voices she has given to all of the characters, and didn’t lose their unique voices when combining and interloping characters throughout the book. The titles of the chapters are fun, but kind of unnecessary. The ending is fantastic, but I wish there was more.

If you’re a fan of romantic comedy books and movies, like Bridget Jones Diary, or The Devil Wears Prada, than this is the book for you and all of your girlfriends too.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 booky stars!

You can buy a copy of this book from:

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson Book World

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Book Review for ‘Black Rock White City’ by A.S. Patric

Black Rock White City / A.S. Patric / 2015 / Transit Lounge Publishing / ISBN 9781921924835 / 248 Pages / Alternative Fiction

Black Rock White City is a novel about the damages of war, the limits of choice, and the hope of love. During a hot Melbourne summer Jovan’s cleaning work at a bayside hospital is disrupted by acts of graffiti and violence becoming increasingly malevolent. For Jovan the mysterious words that must be cleaned away dislodge the poetry of the past. He and his wife Suzana were forced to flee Sarajevo and the death of their children. Intensely human, yet majestic in its moral vision, Black Rock White City is an essential story of Australia’s suburbs now, of displacement and immediate threat, and the unexpected response of two refugees as they try to reclaim their dreams. It is a breathtaking roar of energy that explores the immigrant experience with ferocity, beauty and humour. xblack-rock-white-city-jpg-pagespeed-ic-8alvmq_-vr

Review:

There has been a lot said and write about this book since its publication last year and was skyrocketed to fame again when it won the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award. There are reviews for it everywhere, all of them pretty much saying the same thing: Patric is an impressive writer for a debut novelist and all stating that the story will carry on within them forever.

The story is about a migrant couple, Jovan and his wife Suzana who have fled their home town in Serbia, where they were both loved and accomplished academics, with children, whom they loved, to suburbia Melbourne. This story has a lot going on in it, but the overall balance that Patric shows within his writing is what makes it a winner. There is war, death, sex and depravity, all within the story, all of which that work off each other to feed and create a story that is relevant to our world today. A world filled with hurting and displaced humans, just trying to get on with their lives.

Filled with hurt and angst, poetry and lost memories of their children and the life they used to lead, Jovan and Suzana find themselves immerse within Australian culture as they start to work and live as Australians. The writing is unique with combinations of point of view changes to narration voice changes throughout the story too. A few scenes within the story ask fundamentally challenging questions for the reader and most of the story shows the bravery and strength of humans. Its world class, it’s different, it’s a hard story to swallow but it is a great book.

If you like books with an edge, books that make you think and feel for other people, than this is the book for you.

I give this book 4.0 out of 5 booky stars!

You can buy a copy of this book from:

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson Book World

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Book Review for ‘The Easy Way Out’ by Steven Amsterdam

The Easy Way Out / Steven Amsterdam / 2016 / Hachette Australia / ISBN 9780733636271/ 264 Pages / Fiction

Evan is a nurse, a dying assistant. His job is legal…just. He’s the one at the hospital who hands out the last drink to those who ask for it. Evan’s friends don’t know what he does during the day. His mother, Viv, doesn’t know what he’s up to at night. And his supervisor suspects there may be trouble ahead. As he helps one patient after another die, Evan pushes against legality, his own morality and the best intentions of those closest to him, discovering that his own path will be neither quick no painless. He knows what he has to do.

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Review:

This book is about a young man who has a lot of experience in nursing having worked all over the place in a lot of different situations. But that doesn’t help Evan, the nurse, when he finds himself working as a dying assistant. His jobs is to hand over the drug that the dying asks for and waits for them to pass away. The book also talks about Evan’s mother who is in denial about her own medical problems. As Evan’s mother gets sicker and his whole world changes because of one small action, Evan finds himself searching for answers about his childhood, his father’s mysterious death all whilst looking for his missing mother.

A lot happens in this book and a lot of emotions are played with when reading this book. At one moment I was scared for the dying patient, the next I was laughing at Evan and his friends and the next I was worried about his mother. The writing is great, it is very touching and light hearted even though the subject of the book is very heavy. As I read this book I wondered about dying people and what they go through and how instead of going when they are ready, they have to wait in pain because of laws that won’t be passed to help them. This books makes you ask a lot of questions, it also makes you think about yourself and your loved ones and what and how you would handle yourself in the position that Evan finds himself when trying to help his patients.

This isn’t an easy book to read if you know someone who has died or has committed suicide, but it is a book that should be read by everyone as it is eye opening and life perspective changing as the reader reads a number of situations that pulls on anyone’s heart strings. The writing is great, the content is heavy, and the ending of the story isn’t what I thought it would be, but a very pleasant surprise.

If you like a book with a difference, a book that makes you think and wonder and question the world we live in, than this is the book for you.

I give this book 3.4 out of 5 booky stars!

You can buy a copy of this book from:

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson Book World

The Co-Op Book Shop

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Book Review for ‘Words in Deep Blue’ by Cath Crowley

Title – Words in Deep Blue

Author – Cath Crowley

2016 / Pan Macmillan Australia / ISBN 9781743289570 / 349 Pages / Young Adult

This is a love story. It’s the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets. It’s the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea. Now she’s back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal. She’s looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind.

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Review –

I love this book. It is perhaps the best book I have read all year long. I picked it up because of the cover and because I had heard great things about it. I grabbed myself a copy and read it within a handful of days. I couldn’t put it down. Every word, every sentence, every scene pulled me in and kept me there, holding me hostage in the word of Henry and Rachel and I honestly didn’t want it to finish.

The story revolves around a girl who is grieving after the death of her brother, and her best friend who has no idea why she left town or what is eating at her. Focusing on the events happening at the bookshop owned by Henry’s parents where they live and work in, Henry is in a world of his own until Rachel comes back and stirs up feeling for both of them. Grief stricken and too scared to let anyone close to her, Rachel lies to everyone and is full of rage and hurt, not knowing how to live without her brother anymore. But it’s the care and love of her once best friend Henry and his bookshop that bring Rachel back to life.

This story needs to be read by everyone. Anyone who write, everyone who reads or appreciates the written language should read this book. It is simply a love letter to books and words. You’ll love it just as much as I did if you call yourself a book nerd, because quite simply, it’s a story we are dream to be part of.

There was only one this I didn’t like about this book and that is every time a new chapter started it changed character perspectives and recapped what just happened in the last page or two. I loved reading Henry side of the story and Rachel’s side of the story and I think without that, the book wouldn’t have worked as well.

If you like heart breaking drama, boundless romance, bookshops and the idea that words have power, than you are going to love this book.

I give this book 5 out of 5 booky stars!

You can buy a copy of this book from:

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson Book World

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TBR Pile for September/ October

In September I read 6 books.

You can see which books they were by scrolling down a little bit and finding my September 2016 Book Haul & Reading List Wrap Up post, just down there.

I read a lot of books this month, brought a lot, was given some and yet I didn’t end up taking anything off my TBR, which is still growing.

Here is my current and up to date TBR pile:

  • Yellow by Megan Jacobson
  • Frankie by Shivaun Plozza
  • Where Everything Feels Like the Movies by Raziel Reid*
  • The Enchanted Island by Ellie O’Neill*
  • I Sang For My Supper by Margaret Fulton*
  • Mia Culpa by Mia Freedman
  • The Chocolate Promise by Josephine Moon
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  • Wedding Night by Sophia Kinsella *
  • One Would Think The Deep By Claire Zorn *
  • The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee*
  • With Malice by Eileen Cook
  • The Perfectionist by Sara Shepard
  • V for Violet by Alison Rattle
  • Bullet Catcher by Joaquin Lowe
  • By Your Side by Jason Carrasco*

Note  –  a * means that I have already started the book but have yet to finish it.

I still also have the books I got from the 2016 Sydney Writer’s Festival. One day I will get to them:

  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nivan
  • Demon Road by Derek Landy
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Season
  • Lady Helen by Alison Goodman
  • Zeros by Scott Westfeld
  • Bro by Helen Chebatte

I set reading goals for September but that all changed when I got a job and started reading different books. I have however made a list of books coming out in October that I want to read and buy, but I think if I write them here it will kind of jinx them, so I won’t. You can find out what I am reading as I post them on here or on my Goodreads.

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September 2016 Book Haul & Reading List Wrap Up

September had been a great reading month for me. I have found some great book to buy and read and have loved all of them. I even reached and finished reading my 40th book for this year! YAY ME! At the beginning of September I took my sister along to the #YaFanFest which was being held by Allen & Unwin. It was a great night out and we got to hear from some great writers including Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. It also increased my TBR pile. I also went to the Sydney University Book Fair which was on a weekend and in the city with my mother and sister. There weren’t that many great books there, but I still managed to grab four books to add to my overgrown library. I also got my first paying job and am loving it.

So here is a list of books I brought, and read this month:

READ:

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley –

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http://www.booktopia.com.au/words-in-deep-blue-cath-crowley/prod9781742612386.html

I love this book so much. It is a poetic beauty that any book lover/ book nerd needs to read immediately. If you are a fan of second hand book shops, than you are going to love this book. It is a simple love letter to books and words all at the same time. My book review will be coming out shortly.

The Easy Way Out by Steven Amsterdam –

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http://www.booktopia.com.au/the-easy-way-out-steven-amsterdam/prod9780733636271.html

This was a hard book to read. It is about a nurse who helps the dying, die. It is easy to read but a hard book to swallow as it talks a lot about death and different perspectives and problems with it. If you like books that make you think, than you are going to love this book. My book review will be coming out in October.

Black Rock White City by A.S. Patric –

xblack-rock-white-city-jpg-pagespeed-ic-8alvmq_-vr
http://www.booktopia.com.au/black-rock-white-city-a-s-patric/prod9781921924835.html

This book won the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award. That is the main reason I picked up this book as I wanted to see why it was picked to win. You need to read it to understand. The writer’s knowledge of emotions and pain is extraordinary. If you like books that make you wonder about your life, than this is the book for you. My book review will be coming out in October.

The Dress by Jane L. Rosen –

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http://www.booktopia.com.au/the-dress-jane-l-rosen/prod9781780895895.html

I brought this book because I wanted something light and easy to read that wouldn’t make me question my own life. I am a huge fan of The Devil Wears Prada and even though this book is nothing like it, it resembles it, with its fashion talk. There is one dress, and I wish I could get one of them and it changes the lives of a handful of people in the book. It is funny, quirky and a great read if you like rom-coms. My book review will be coming out in October.

Run by Kody Keplinger –

run
http://www.booktopia.com.au/run-kody-keplinger/prod9781444932706.html

It’s no secret that Kody Keplinger is a great writer. If you have read The Duff than you are going to love this, and if you have seen the movie too. With a two characters change in point of views throughout the book, it feels like you are reading two books at once. If you like Thelma and Lousies kind of adventurous books, than you will like this one. My book review will be coming out in October.

The Secret Recipe for Second Chances by JD. Barrett –

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Who doesn’t love a book that makes you hungry? I know I do. An Aussie born and bred writer talking about suburbs I know and have been to is the best kind of book to read. It talks about food and there are even recipes within the chapters, there is a love story, and even a reoccurring ghost in there too. If you like Aussie books, than you are going to love this book too. My book review will be out in October.

BROUGHT:

By Your Side by Jason Carrasco –

by-your-side

I brought this book from the Sydney University Book Fair. I started reading it, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. I wasn’t in the mood to read about more death. I think I might go back to it one day though.

French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano –

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I also brought this book from the Sydney University Book Fair. I haven’t read it yet, and I don’t think I will until my TBR is finished. It is one of those books I have heard about when studying and I knew I wanted a copy of it for my collection.

Some of my best friends are writers, but I wouldn’t want my daughter to marry one by Robert Turner –

I loved the title of this book and couldn’t not buy it at the Sydney University Book Fair. It is in my collection now and maybe one day I will get to it.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue –

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I just brought this book to read after The Secret Recipe for Second Chances and I can’t wait to get stuck into it. I read Room earlier this year and I just loved it. I think Donoghue’s writing is amazing and she is definitely an automatic author buy from now on.

GIVEN:

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

the-thousandth-floor

Was given to me by its publisher Harper Collins. I started to read it, but then its text was too small for my eyes and I couldn’t keep going with it. It sounds like a great book and I am making my sister read it and hopefully we can review it together.

  • #YAFANFEST16 proof  by Allen & Unwin
  • With Malace by Elieen Cook
  • The Perfectionist by Sara Shepard
  • V for Violet by Alison Rattle
  • Bullet Catcher by Joaquin Lowe –

All of these 5 books are on my TBR to read when I can. My sister has been going through them though so I might see if I can get her to write some reviews for them.

I also won 4 books from Mills & Boon by watching an episode of The Bachelorette and on Twitter at the same time and entered a Dymocks Books Twitter competition. The book have the boys on the cover from the photoshoot they did in the episode. The books are pretty cool. (You can see a picture of them on my Instagram).

So as you can see I have had a pretty good reading month. Unlike last month, which was an awful reading month.

So the statistics for this month = brought 10 books, read 6 books, added 5 to my TBR and 3 to my book collection.

October is my birthday month, and I am hoping to get a few more because of that. I have already worked out which books I am going to buy and read for October. Look at me I am already organised for the next month.

Remember to follow me on here for more bookish updates, on my twitter for my thoughts and on Instagram to see what I am doing.

Stick around…

15 Insanely Useful Diagrams For Book Lovers

Buzzfeed, where would I be without you. They have such fun and quirky articles that I love and love sharing with you all. Here is another one, I thought you would all like to see.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/mallorymcinnis/charts-for-people-who-love-to-read?utm_term=.nw8KX8xnD&bffbbooks#.bqJymdBzv

Don’t tell me you don’t love it?

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Book Review for ‘The Boundless Sublime’ by Lili Wilkinson

The Boundless Sublime / Lili Wilkinson / 2016 / Allen & Unwin / ISBN 9781760113360 / 336 Pages / Young Adult

the-boundless-sublime

Ruby Jane Galbraith is empty. Her family has been torn apart and it’s all her fault. The only thing that makes sense to her is Fox – a gentle new friend who is wise, soulful and clever, yet oddly naïve about the ways of the world. He understands what she’s going through and he offers her a chance to find peace. Fox belongs to a group called the Institute of the Boundless Sublime – and spending time with Fox means spending more and more time with his ‘family’. Soon Ruby is drawn into what she discovers is a terrifying, secretive community that is far from the ideal world she expected. Can she find the courage to leave? Is there any way she can save Fox too? And is there ever an escape from the far-reaching influence of the Institute of the Boundless Sublime? Continue reading “Book Review for ‘The Boundless Sublime’ by Lili Wilkinson”

23 YA books that, without A doubt, you’ll want to read this fall

So earlier this week, a post from Buzzfeed made the rounds with a list of the top 23 Young Adult books to read this fall, or as I like to call it, Spring.

Some of you have already seen the list, some of you might not have, well I am going to post it here for you all to either look at it again, or see it for the first time. If you are a YA fanatic like myself, than you will probably look at this list a few times to get every book title written down, so you don’t miss out on any of them.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/farrahpenn/ya-books-that-without-a-doubt-you-should-read-this-fall?utm_term=.liOobl7x4#.po2OQydpb

I specifically can’t wait for Girls Like Me by Lola St. Vil, The Odds Of Lightning by Jocelyn Davis, Going Geek by Charlotte Huang, Something In Between by Melissa De La Cruz, The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon, The Graces Laure Eve.

What are you guys excited for?

Stick around…

Book Review for ‘The Diet Starts on Monday’ by Tamar Chnorhokain

Title – The Diet Starts On Monday

Author – Tamar Chnorhokian

2014 / Writing and Society Research Centre of UWS / 9780992488611 / 198 Pages / Young Adult

the-diet-starts-on-monday
http://www.booktopia.com.au/the-diet-starts-on-monday-tamar-chnorhokian/prod9780992488611.html

Zara Hagopian is size 22. She has a secret crush on the hottest boy in school, Pablo Fernandez, who has a skinny girlfriend named Holly. Zara hangs out with her best friends Carmelina and Max. They go window shopping in Parramatta and drink hot chocolate in Stockland Mall. Zara learns some of life’s hard lessons when she puts these friendships on the line and goes on a diet to win the boy of her dreams. Continue reading “Book Review for ‘The Diet Starts on Monday’ by Tamar Chnorhokain”

19 Secrets Librarians Will Never Tell You

Check out this great post from my favorite website Buzzfeed.

We have all gone to a library and we all have presumptions as to what Librarians do and thing. I think this post will make you see into their world and delve into their minds:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/farrahpenn/secrets?utm_term=.reLGAw8R0&bffbbooks#.oxXlqvGm3

Stick around…