Monday, September 8, 2014

Books I Read In August

Hello everyone!

Here are the books that I read in the month of August, as like last month I didn't get as much reading done as I would have liked but I definitely need to pick up my game with the looming pile of un-read books that just seems to be getting bigger. Anyway, here is what I read;

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
I ended up enjoying this a lot more than I thought, it took me quite a while to get sucked into the whole adventure but once I was more than half way through the novel it just sped by. This was a sci-fi, young adult novel, with a heavy focus on romance and I definitely would recommend this book. I gave this a 4/5 stars.

The Realm Of Possibility by David Levithan
I only picked up this book on a whim whilst searching through stacks of books in a local book shop, I was not only enticed by the design of the cover but the blurb on the back. But this really did disappoint, this book is written entirely in prose which is something that I do quite like, but the fragmented stories with no real plot line was something that was hard to get into. This book is quite small but took me a long time to finish as I generally had no interest in it. I ended up giving this a 2.5/5 stars.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
As I saw the movie was coming out this month and the fact there was so much hype surrounding it, I decided to pick this book up, and I absolutely loved it. I read it all in one sitting absolutely devouring the way Gayle Forman so poetically told this tragic tale. A definite must read for everyone. A 5/5 star read.

Colourless Tsukuru Tzaki And His Years Of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami 
Honestly this was a big cover buy for me, I have heard all the praise for Murakami's novels, but seeing that gorgeous hardback really forced me to buy it. I was extremely surprised as to how entertaining this novel was, the simple concept evoked such emotion and pain and seeing the main character grow and develop was very refreshing. But what topped it off for me was Murakami's beautiful and raw writing style. I would recommend this book to anyone really as it might just surprise you. Another 5/5 read.

The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger
I finally managed to read this cult classic and it definitely was not what I expected it to be. To be honest I was quite disappointed when reading this as I thought there would be a little more substance and event to it but thats not to say I didn't not like it. It took me a little while to get through it as I wasn't the biggest fan of the main character but in some way identified with his experience of adolescence. Even though I finished this novel a while ago it is still making me think and I'm trying to make my mind up on how I feel about it, which really does say something in itself about Salinger's novel. I ended up giving this 3.5/5 stars.

Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O'Porter
This novel is a middle grade contemporary about schoolgirls in the mid 90's and the tests of friendships. I found this quite enjoyable and relatable as any girl who was once 13 years old would. Although it has comical elements it explores in the issues surrounding the time, family relationships and the difficulties and changes that friendships go through. My only problem would have to be at some times it can be written a little simplistically but I still would recommend it. A 4/5 star read.

Thats all I read last month, be sure to look out for reviews on some of the books mentioned and let me know in the comments if you've read any of these books.

Happy reading everyone!

Annelise xoxo

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Being Jade By Kate Belle Review

Hey everyone!

Today I will be reviewing Being Jade by Kate Belle. I recently received this adult contemporary novel from Simon & Schuester and I must say I absolutely loved it. It was my first time reading anything quite like this it was definitely not what I was expecting.

Usually I like to do quite a lot of research before picking up a book to decided whether or not I would enjoy it, yet for this I had no idea what it was about and this was definitely the best way to go into the book. Therefore I'm not going to give a detailed synopsis of this novel all that you should know is this book follows a couple and the adventure that is their life. Kate Belle uses mesmerising prose explore the complexities of love, intimacy and truth. The main character of whom the book is named after, Jade is a strong female character who is very true to her self and extremely empowered but ignorant to the consequences of her freedom which very much comes at a cost to the loved ones around her. Jade is very defiant and does the complete opposite of what is expected of her challenging the stereotypes of what we define as a normal relationship. Belle's powerful storytelling challenges unconditional love and the dynamics of family and marriage as we know it. I was very interested in the way the marriage between the two main characters was conveyed as the boundaries were indeed pushed and is definitely a unique situation to be in, as viewers in a some what normal society we could definitely perceive what happens as very wrong but as the story continues and secrets come out into the open our views can be swayed. Another thing I quite enjoyed was the amazing descriptive language painting pictures of the beautiful Australian surroundings in my mind, if really added another element to the story. This emotion rich read not only begins explore the acceptance and understanding but the grief that can be experienced as a consequence of true love and the complexities of relationships. Belle's novel will tug at your heart strings, display that clarity is also bought by grief and will give each reader an individual message to take away from it. If you are interested in contemporary stories I would highly recommend you pick this up and give it a chance. I gave this novel a 5/5 stars and will definitely be giving it a reread some time in the future, now one of my favourite books for this year.

Annelise xoxo

Monday, August 4, 2014

July Wrap-Up & August TBR

Hey everyone!

Today I'm here to let you guys know what I read in the month of July. Last month I read seven books which isn't as many as I had hoped but I will definitely try and catch up on my reading this month. So here is what I read;

The Year Of The Rat by Clare Furniss
I gave this book a 4/5 stars and already have a review for it so go check it out.

The People Look Like Flowers At Last by Charles Bukowski 
I absolutely love Bukowski's poetry and this compilation didn't disappoint at all. As always his raw and gutsy topics hit straight to the heart. A 5/5 read.

Saga Vol. 2 & 3 by Brian K. Vaughan 
As you all know I absolutely loved the first volume in this graphic novel series and the next two were just as great. I definitely can't wait for volume 4 to get released. Both of these I gave 5/5 stars.

Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
This is a must read for all creative types in need of some inspiration. This short book gives great advice for unlocking your creativity and becoming the best artist you can . Another 5/5 read.

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
This read was hilarious and witty and definitely lives up to the hype that surrounded this book. I absolutely flew through this fun book. I gave this a 4/5 stars.

Being Jade by Kate Belle
I absolutely loved this newly released Australian contemporary and will soon be doing a review on it, be sure to look out for it. Another 5/5 stars.

This month I plan to finish off all the books that I started over the past few months and have not yet finished, including:

  • The Catcher In The Rye by J.D Salinger
  • The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  • The Realm Of Possibility by David Levithan 

As for the rest of the month I have no idea what I will be reading but definitely will be trying to get down my unread books pile as its getting a little crazy.  Let me know what you guys read in the month of July!

Annelise xoxo

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Haul (II)

Hey everyone!

Its time for another book haul... So lately I have been spending quite a bit and over the past few months I have acquired 16 new books. Two of these I received from Simon & Schuester for review and the rest I bought from The Book Depository, Dymocks and Gleebooks. Some though you may have seen in my past reviews but without further ado these are the new books.

Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon

Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O'Porter

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

The Year Of The Rat by Clare Furniss

The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matsen

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

One Flew Over The Cukoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

Cherry Bomb by Jenny Valentish

Being Jade by Kate Belle

The Life And Opinions Of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne

Saga Vol.2 by Brian K. Vaughan

Saga Vol.3 by Brian K. Vaughan

I have quite a lot of reading to do and you will be seeing reviews of these coming up soon. Also let me know what books you have recently purchased.

Annelise xoxo

Thursday, July 3, 2014

June Wrap Up & July TBR

Hello everyone!

Yet another month of reading has passed, and I'm here to tell you what I read in the month of June. This month I finish a total of 7 books, which isn't quite as many as I had hoped to read. So without further ado here is what I read.

First I read The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesyle Walton, I gave this book a 4/5 stars and have already reviewed it so go check it out.

Next I read Impulse by Ellen Hopkins which I absolutely loved and flew through, all of her books are written in prose which was extremely interesting and something you should definitely check out. This I gave a 5/5 stars.

I then finally finished Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, which actually took me a while to read but in the end I did quite enjoy this tale of love and heart break. I gave this read a 4/5 stars.

This month I also read Alice's Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll which was definitely very interesting, unusual and seriously quirky, I gave this a 3/5 stars but any lover of Alice In Wonderland should definitely give the classic a go.

I then finished 'The Program' duology with the final book The Treatment by Suzanne Young, this was a perfect fast paced end to the series which I thoroughly enjoyed, giving this a 5/5 stars.

I also picked up To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han, this great contemporary read, was extremely cute and highly enjoyable, something I would definitely recommend. I also gave this a 5/5 stars.

And finally this month I read The Year Of The Rat by Clare Furniss. I gave this book a 4/5 stars and also did a review which you should go check out.

So for the month of July there are quite a few books I hope to read, including:

  • The Diviners by Libba Bray
  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
  • The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Being Jade by Kate Bell
  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
  • Just Kids by Patti Smith
  • Wake by Robert J. Sawyer
Hopefully I get around to all these books and I'll keep you posted on what I think of them. Also I have an upcoming book haul so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Annelise xoxo

The Year Of The Rat by Clare Furniss Review

Hey guys!

Recently Simon & Scheuster gave me access to one of their most recent releases The Year Of The Rat by Clare Furniss, this young adult contemporary was a fantastic read. I must say also this cover is gorgeous, this is the first purple book in my collection, which I absolutely love.

This book tells the story of Pearl dealing with the recent death of her mother and the birth of her new sister which she calls 'The Rat' whom she blames for killing her mother. We are dragged into Pearl's immense grief and go on her journey of acceptance and pain and towards moving on with her life in which she is now motherless.

This emotional read is terribly heart breaking but the family relationships and all issues surrounding are so realistic and relatable. It really stood out to me that families aren't perfect in this world, they are irregular and unusual but sticking with those who truly love you is the key to pulling through such a horrible situation, which is something that Furniss captured amazingly, adding to the depth of the novel. One thing I loved about this book Furniss' writing style and how beautifully written this novel was, it really added to the heavy emotion of the book and the flow of the story.

We watch as Pearl alienates herself and loses interest in what she once deemed enjoyable which does include relationships with both family and friends as she deals with such raw grief, and she no longer feels attached to the real world which is also seen with the conversations she has with her mother in which she realises she is no longer a fulfilment of there perfect mother that she thought she was, which helped in the long run with her accepting her new sister and being able to tell how the main character is truly feeling.

The one thing I absolutely loved about this novel was the fact there was no hiding from the pain and emotion, Pearl was angry and sad and full of resent, therefore I felt every single one of the emotions with just as much force as the character did. This emotional read shows how death changes each and every one of us and that these feelings are powerful but we musn't always disconnect from loved ones instead let this event bring you closer.

This story is told over the span of a year, with each chapter being a different month, which was another feature I quite enjoyed enabling us to get the entire journey the characters went on. But as with all similar situations, peace and an acceptance of what has happened must be found which is what made the last few pages so heart breaking, honest and thought provoking. If you are looking for a short poignant emotional read, dealing with real situations then this is the book for you. I gave this a solid 4/5 stars which I seriously enjoyed and absolutely flew through.

Annelise xoxo

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton Review

Hey everyone!

Today I will be reviewing The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, which I picked up at the beginning of this month and did quite enjoy. Before getting into what I thought, I just have to say how gorgeous this book is, a lot of detail and work has gone into the design and manufacture of this book by Candlewick Press. To be honest this novel was definitely not what I thought it was and the expectations I had for it were all wrong, although I was pleasantly surprised by how this story line was done. This book follows the journey of Ava Lavender a girl with wings, her family and the generations that came before her. This is a tale of love, loss and the extraordinary adventure of life. Walton uses magical realism so beautifully that the fantasy elements were very realistic yet is presented in a way that reminds me of a fairy tale in its purest form. I quite enjoyed how the stories the three generations of the Lavender family interwove through each other and allowed us to see the wonderful character development and helps us really get to know the characters and took us on the journey of feeling empathy for them and pretty much went through the same emotions whilst reading. These powerful female characters are very visceral, they love and they hurt and go through the pain of life just like we do. Wanton's writing flows and her beautiful prose is very thought provoking and extremely quotable. Although this book is quite magical and enchanting there are some very dark aspects and as the title implies sorrowful and sad, this is a read that definitely stirs emotions. Overall I really would suggest anyone to read this magical, unique and heartbreaking tale. When I read this I gave it a 4/5 stars, but this book and story it told has lingered with me and I seriously have not been able to stop thinking about it, my emotions provoked by this novel are still warring inside me, a seriously unusually fantastic book. If you've read it let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Annelise xoxo