January 2018 Wrap Up

Is doing a monthly wrap up a week after the month has gone acceptable? Is this the same as leaving Christmas decorations up till mid January? The month has just gone by so fast! I haven’t done much this month other than read a couple of books and watching a TON of Netflix, getting every dollar’s worth from the monthly fee (I’m not addicted, I’m just being cost efficient cough cough). Currently in month 3 of my 4 month post high school holiday and I’m seriously considering extending this holiday into the rest of my life… I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK TO STUDYING 😦

Reading Log

I actually read quite a lot compared to the tragic year of reading that was 2017… buuuut I didn’t write that many reviews. I read 6 books but only wrote 1 review. I have no idea how people can write more than like 3 reviews in a month, just writing one takes me a whole week! Serious question though, are you guys actually aliens who can speed read and speed review?

Along for the RideThe Chaos of Standing StillBegin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA AnthologyLove Between Enemies (Grad Night, #2)The Loneliest Girl in the UniverseDefy the Stars (Constellation, #1)

Standouts of January:
  • The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody | Just so many feels. Also the airport conspiracy theories are amazing. Check out my review for it by clicking here
  • #LoveOzYA Anthology | A lot of anthologies don’t work but this one is some quality stuff! All the stories are unique and interesting in their own ways. I love how the authors weave in diversity throughout all their stories. Can honestly say I am proud to be an Aussie because this book exists 😀
  • The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James | This books is freaking creepy and suspenseful as hell. I couldn’t sleep after I read it. That’s how I knew it was good.
  • Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray | I feel like Claudia Gray gets better with every new series she releases. Her Evernight series was average at best. The Firebird series was good and Defy the Stars is an excellent book. The romance was what drew me in but the book delivered it in a surprisingly poignant way that I can’t wait to read more about in the next book!

Netflix Log

It only seems appropriate to dedicate a part of this monthly wrap up post to my new found obsession with all things Netflix.

I got back into Doctor Who thanks to Netflix! I’ve seen all of Ninth Doctor episodes before and really enjoyed them so now I’ve been (slowly) watching the Tenth Doctor episodes. So far, my favourite has to be The Girl in the Fireplace. THE ENDING THOUGH 😦

This month has also been a lot of me watching some trashy shows/guilty pleasures. For some people, it’s reality shows but for me it’s teenage drama shows. I watched most of Backstage season 1 and finished Free Rein (you can see my rant on it here). I’m still not over how

I also watched some Japanese dramas. Mischievious Kiss was honestly just me cringing the whole way though but My Little Lover was surprisingly good! I know the title sounds super lame but it kind of works?

And right before January finished, I started Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and I’m hooked. It’s hilarious and everyone is weird which makes it even better!

Image result for unbreakable kimmy schmidt gifs

Instagram Log

Protip: taking photos in daylight is ALWAYS better than artificial light. Also paper stars are excellent filler. So happy with how these photos turned out!

Anyways, that’s my January in one post. Here’s to a great February (or what’s left of it by the time I post this lol)

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Top Ten Tuesdays | TBR books that I’ve had since dinosaurs roamed the earth

It’s Tuesday and you all know what that means! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s TTT is the books that have been on your TBR lists forever but you still haven’t gotten around to them. top ten tues books

  • The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar | Fluffly high school romance and teenage genies? Sign me up! Why haven’t I read this yet??
  • Storm by Amanda Sun | The second book wasn’t that good so I could pass on this one. Plus that cover just doesn’t match the other two at all so… NOPE YOU’RE NOT GOING ON MY SHELF
  • Rebel by Amy Tintera | All the feels from Reboot just came back into my head omg
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness | A few years ago, I read one chapter and was turned off by the writing style. Now it’s just sitting in my TBR (possibly forever)
  • Wings by Elizabeth Richards | Maybe I just have something against third books?

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  • Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson | I have no excuse. The cover is gorgeous, the blurb is mysterious and the author is amazing.
  • The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan | Heroes of Olympus was pretty bad but Magnus Chase was surprisingly good so I might pick this up? I just have to accept that no character will ever be as great as Percy first…
  • The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi | The blurb sounds really interesting and it’s does some cool mythology fusion. I don’t know, what do you guys think of it?
  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab | Or any book by V.E. Schwab for that matter because apparently all her books are amazing.
  • The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | And to finish off another Morgan Matson book. I’ve read so many good reviews on it so I’m definitely picking it up soon!

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What was on your list this week? Am I crazy for not reading these books yet?

 

Once Upon a Binge | Free Rein

free rein

There are 2 things that I can’t resist:

  1. Ice cream
  2. Dramas recommended for ages 5 and up

So yesterday while I satisfied my need for the first, I decided to watch Free Rein on Netflix. It was recommended to me by Netflix because I’m in the middle of Backstage (which I’ll talk about once I’ve finished the first season!) and I totally get why: both are really teenage-y in the best possible way.

In Free Rein, Zoey, an American girl, has gone to an island off the coast of Britain (I think?) to visit her grandfather with her mum and little sister, Rosie. During her stay on the island, Zoey runs across a horse and she forms a deep bond with it. I know, I know, sounds really cheesy but trust me it kind of works!

First Impressions:

Because it was a recommendation from watching Backstage, I kind of knew what kind of show it would be: a feel good show with teen angst over friends and boys. Knowing my trash tastes and since I was really bored, I decided to click it.

The first thing I saw about this show was this picture:

Does this not scream The Vampire Diaries: The Country Edition?? The pale faces, the stern-ish poses… I laughed at this photo for at least 30 seconds. It’s got the typical teen drama poster design right to the slighly bent knees.

After the Binge:

I’m still laughing at the photo but I’m also kind of obsessed.

Let me just start off by saying that yes, it is cliched. The best way to describe it is that it’s Wild Child with horses. Just look at the characters! There’s Zoey who finds her special “thing” in riding, just like Poppy does in lacrosse. We get Rosie, the LA girl forced to live in countryside Britain, a fish out of water, just like Poppy. There’s the mean girl/bully/head of the yard Mia who’s Free Rein’s Harriet and of course, we have the perfect, unattainable boy who’s into the main girl because she’s “different” and not like the other swooning girls. Yes, the show is filled with tropes but to the actors’ and scriptwriters’ credit, I still feel like the show is fresh and new.

The show’s plot is probably what brings it down the most for me. The first season revolves around a plot about horse thieves but it places a strong focus on the relationships between the characters. By focusing so much on emotions and relationships, Free Rein really needs its actors to be good. Even though they handle the tropes well, in the plot the characters are annoying or just don’t make any sense in some scenes. Acting wise, the show is great when it’s all fun and loud but there are some moments where the emotions really don’t hit. The quiet, meaningful moments often just feel rushed. This has more to do with the writing and it’s especially apparent in the ending of Pony Prom. That scene in the rain is great but then it’s totally contradicted in the finale.

Even though the whole show is really predictable (except for that final reveal), I strangely enjoyed it. There’s something about the fish out of water who finds their place that really hooked me into Free Rein. I got really into the yard politics and the quirky friendships. I even kind of enjoyed the “special bond” aspect of the show which is saying something because it’s a stretch from reality.

Fangirl Sidenotes:

  • A+ cinematography and location IT’S SO DAMN PRETTY!
  • To anyone else who’s seen it, where do you stand on the love triangle? I kind of thought there wasn’t really one until the last episode and then WTF WHY WOULD SHE CHOOSE HIM? Literally it was the biggest plot twist.
  • Rosie is the most precious little girl. I love when they have kids acting like divas. 10/10

All in all, Free Rein isn’t a terrible show. I mean, while I did start watching it ironically I did end up grudgingly liking it.

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Have you seen Free Rein? What are your thoughts on it?

 

Top Ten Tuesdays | My memory is really, really bad

top ten tuesdays

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl

Confession: I have a terrible memory. Often it’s because I’m way too distracted and not paying attention to details. Most of the time its because my everyday life just isn’t that exciting (watching Netflix in the morning is exciting for me ok!) But when it comes to books, movies and songs, I pride myself in remembering little details. I’m that one friend who knows all the lyrics to that pop song from 5 years ago. I’m also the person who knows actors’ names and what their last 3 movies were. For books, I know the month they’re published in, usually the year too…. but I’m really bad at remembering plotlines and characters. So let’s delve into the extent of my forgetfulness by playing a word association game where I say the first thing that pops into my head when I see the cover.

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top ten tues books

  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | AI TAKING OVER THE WORLD!!!
  • Starflight by Marissa Meyer | Cassia and Kane. I know they’re not the main characters but I literally can’t think of their names right now so side characters it is!
  • A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray | That Russia world ❤
  • Crossing the Ice by Jennifer Comeaux | Was this the one with the romance between pair skaters? Honestly, I just keep remembering The Cutting Edge with this cover.
  • Don’t Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray | Is it bad that I literally read this a few months ago but have no idea what the plot was or who any of the characters are?

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  • Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake | A ghost and a guy called Jace who’s not the Jace from the Mortal Instruments.
  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner | Titanic but in SPAAAACE! Kind of like that Doctor Who episode I watched recently.
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart | Ok, I’m pretty sure it had a guy who wrote something on his hand like everyday? Also like a rich family.
  • Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley | Bad. Ass. Girlpower.
  • City of Glass by Cassandra Clare | Idris and demons? Ok, to be fair this series kind of peaked for me in City of Bones so my mind just blocked out the long, long drawn out plot.

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So what was on your list this week? Is your memory as bad as mine or are you a memory genius? Let me know down in the comments!

 

 

Finding Where to Find Books 101

finding books

As most of you know, Goodreads puts together a personalised year in review at the end of each year. I was flicking through my 2017 one when I realised something: I have a contemporary YA addiction. I should join a Contemporary Anonymous group or something because out of the 19 books I read last year, 13 of those were, you guessed it, contemporaries. But Prima, maybe it was a fluke (or maybe it’s just because of the small sample size, my more scientific side says)? But go back to 2016, contemporary still wins out with 34 out of 54 books. WHAT’S GOING ON?

I have nothing against other YA genres. In fact, I used to be so into YA fantasy when I was younger. Escaping into these fantasy worlds was an adventure. But as I grew older, I was more drawn to emotions and relationships in the books I read. I just found fantasy to be too cookie cutter most of the time. But I want to diversify my reading list this year and that means finding out where to find books. I know it’s kind of like making a plan C before plan B, but that’s how serious I am. There’s only so many cutesy but cliche rom com like books that I can read before actually turning crazy 😁

Finding Where to Find Books 101

Book blogs/ your friends (or maybe your friend who’s a book blogger)

Book blogs are great for finding those hidden gems. With tons of bloggers with different book preferences, you’re guaranteed to find a good read. Plus people can personally vouch for the book (you can thank/fangirl with them later 😉) Same goes for friends. I actually started Percy Jackson because my friend gave me the first book as a birthday present. I was kind of reluctant to start it because the cover (she got me the movie tie in version) was so weird and seemed like a boy book… keep in mind I was like 11 ok! 6 years on and PJO is still one of my favourite series.

ARCs will save you (and your money)

Funnily enough, when I was thinking of the ways blogging has made me read more I thought of the eARCs that I got approved for. I’ll be honest, I’m not that particular about what I request. If someone gives me free reads, I’ll take it! This really exposed me to a greater variety of genres and styles, kind of like buying a book at random. I did this a lot in 2016 so I ended up reading books I would normally never pick up

Buying/borrowing books at random

I still love going to the shops and staring at their book offerings. There’s just something about seeing all the book spines lined up that makes it so easy to pick a book at random and go for it. The books with pretty spines always win this way (yes Mortal Instruments, I’m looking at you. Why do you make me second guess whether I need double copies of the same book???)

Goodreads???

The multiple question marks are there because I don’t feel like Goodreads is necessarily the best tool for finding books. I know it’s great for socialising with other book nerds but they don’t really do much to help you find books. Also their recommendations are pretty bad, let’s be real.

What is the weirdest way you’ve found a favourite book? I’d love to hear your stories!