Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne | I get by with a little help from my friends

Release Date: 31st March 2021

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I’m returning to book blogging for this book and I’m not ashamed to say it because it’s a damn solid book. Massive thanks to Hachette Australia for sending a copy through Netgalley!

After the greatness that was The Hating Game and the far inferior 99% Mine, I wasn’t too sure what to expect with Second First Impression. From the blurb, it sounded like an enemies turned lovers book much like The Hating Game but what we actually got was almost completely different.

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Precious Stone trilogy by Kerstin Gier| Interesting concept but had so much untapped potential

Image result for precious stone trilogy kerstin gier

Warning: Swearing and spoilers ahead. Some ranting too.

  • Not gonna lie, I did read the whole series in 3 days because it’s pretty addictive but like so is sugar and that shit’s bad for you.
  • Cool descriptions. I thought the Dragon Hall sounded really grand and the appearance of the chromograph sounded amaaazing. All the time travelling settings seemed really authentic too. The author can write some pretty creative worlds, I’ll give her that.
  • The plot was So. Damn. Slow. The first half of Ruby Red was just basically Gwen going to school. I swear nothing happened in each book but somehow we got to the end (thank god). Everything that happened in the whole series could’ve actually just been one book. That’s how slow it was.
  • Gwen had no character development. As the main character we expect her to develop a lot. At the start, she’s a normal girl who’s just like you! She likes chick flicks, romantic movies and isn’t the brightest bulb in the box. At the end, she’s a time travelling girl who likes chick flicks, romantic movies and still isn’t the brightest bulb in the box. The amount of time she spends thinking about Gideon… I guess it’s meant to build the romance but it really just makes her seem super airheaded and really annoying. And what was the point of her seeing ghosts? There was literally no point in her special power because it contributes shit all to the plot.
  • (Except Xemerius. He can stay because his sarcasm is what I live for)
  • The side characters are literally just there to be there. Gideon has no personality – not even joking, his character is just good looks and arrogance. Lesley is just there to provide random information and Charlotte is that one bitchy girl.
  • The Count is such an ineffective antagonist – who really cares if he gets immortality or not, he has no evil plots after it so whatever.
  • HAHAHAHHA THE ROMANCE IS SO SHIT. In Ruby Red or maybe it was Sapphire Blue (they kinda just blend together), they literally admit their love for each other in like 3 days of meeting like WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS THIS. Also every time Gideon does something assholey she’s just like “OMG but he’s sooooo cute!!!!! That’s alright then!!!!”. Refer to above “airhead”
  • The most frustrating part of the whole series is that it had so much potential. The concept of time travelling and a whole organisation dedicated to it could’ve been so interesting and we see that in the big mystery that shrouds the whole thing. We could’ve gotten a romance between two people torn between their duty and their feelings. But instead of that, we get whiny, annoying romance that never really feels real and a mystery that really didn’t have any stakes. Nothing is really explained properly and nothing was really a surprise
  • Is Gwen related to Mr Bernard and does he know this? Do the other time travellers also have powers like Gwen and the Count?? See this is what I mean NOTHING IS ANSWERED IN THIS SERIES

Read this if:

you’re looking for a quick read – but maybe try find other books first so you don’t have to read through boring, frustrating dialogue and plot.

Is Nevermoor the new Harry Potter? | REVIEW

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

I’m late to the party but happy new year! Here’s to great one 😀 Speaking of which, new year means new Goodreads Reading Challenge and after my dismal failure of last year I decided to keep it low for 2019 – hopefully I’ll get to read 20 books this year! What about you?

Anyways to start this year off, I decided to finally start Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend. It’s been sitting on my bedside table for half a year and I’ve read the first chapter probably 3 times by now. New year meant getting through all the books I got last year that I still haven’t read so I read Nevermoor in one night and I’m so happy to say that it’s really good.

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Dumplin’ | why the book is better (but it’s a close call!)

Dumplin'I watched the movie first and I know that’s usually not what people do but it was right there on Netflix when I was looking for something to watch. I tried to read the book first – got through halfway before Willowdean got too annoying for me and decided to watch the movie instead.

The movie was amazing.

Great actors, great story and a whole lot of fun! The drag queens were so good in the movie and Jennifer Aniston was hilarious as Will’s beauty queen mum. Since I loved the movie so much I thought I’d give the book a try.

The book was even more amazing.

I was really annoyed by Willowdean because of the whole Mitch thing. It seemed unfair to be stringing such a nice guy along. But I kept reading and what I got was a story filled with heart. It doesn’t have the same glamour the movie has – less drag queens – but I think I like it more that way. The movie has a fantasy sheen to it which makes it work well as a film. Visually, it’s spectacular but I can’t help but wish they had a but more characterisation and plot to it. That’s where the book completely outdoes the movie. I totally understand that some plots don’t always make it to the film adaptation for different reasons but having the extra scenes between Will and her mum and also building Bo’s character as more than that hunky guy from work gives Will’s story more depth.

Ultimately I think both the book and movie have their strengths and weaknesses but they both deliver on what they promise us – they give us a great story of a girl who’s striving to love herself. It’s heartwarming, inspiring and a ton of fun in both forms so you can’t help but love it.

To Future Me: Don’t forget why you loved Anna and the French Kiss

Hi! It’s me, or I guess you in the past. Just wanted to start off by saying, hope you’re well – happy, healthy and all that. I hope you’re doing well in uni and gotten to experience more life in the meantime. Lastly, but maybe most importantly, I hope you’re reading more. Right now… I’m not reading much but I’m trying. I’ve become really tired of the YA contemporary/ romance plots so I’ve tried going back to fantasy and paranormal but nothing’s really working out. But yesterday, I picked up Anna and the French Kiss – you know, our all time favourite book – and I realised I haven’t read it fully since the first time. Shocking, right?? We’ve read bits of scenes here and there but never the whole book. Well, I read the book cover to cover yesterday and it brought me back to the first time we read it.

Remember when you were scrolling on Goodreads looking for a book that was different from the others (as we were prone to do as a 13 year old who was starting to get tired of all the fantasy tropes)? And then Anna and the French Kiss came up. You had read other YA contemporaries before this so it wasn’t totally new to you. But this one was different – it was set in Paris.  Didn’t have expectations about it – just decided at 12am to get a ebook of it and try to read a chapter. It seemed kind of cheesy but you gave it a chance anyways. A chapter turned into two and two turned into three and suddenly it was 3am and you had finished the whole book, lying in your bed with a stupid smile that you couldn’t get rid off. You had never read something so extremely cute. It was basically a rom com in book form – it was perfect.

After that you read a lot of YA contemporaries, trying to chase that same thrill you had reading about Anna and Etienne. It got to the point where all you read were contemporaries and everything just became tropes, contrived romances and unrealistic stories. You didn’t read anymore because it was more of the same and it felt like you were wasting time. You spent hours on Goodreads looking for an interesting book and usually finding nothing good. There’s no point even trying to top this masterpiece you had already read. So you just stopped reading because even the books that had similar plots and vibes couldn’t live up to it.

There have been others like Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman – super cute friends to lovers romance – and Geekerella by Ashley Poston – a super cute story about fandom with a touch of romance – but nothing will be as amazing as Anna and the French Kiss. And that’s the thing I didn’t realise… nothing is going to top it because of my own expectations. After re-reading it, I realised that I loved it so much because I didn’t care if it was going to be good or bad or worrying about making an interesting review of it. Because, Future Me, reading is fun when there’s no expectations (aaand I guess that’s why I also hated English in school!).

So whatever you’re doing then (or I guess now?), Future Me, go into the book with an open and patient mind, not caring about what you have to do after reading the book. Read even if you don’t think you’ll like it, because that’s where the gems are.

See you on the upside!