Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Books I Read In October & November



Hey everyone!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while but finally everything is slowing down and I have more time for reading and writing. So here are all the books I read in the months of October and November.

The Diviners by Libba Bray
*5/5 stars
This book was definitely not what I expected and continued to surprise me the entire way through. This perfect spooky read set in the roaring 1920's of New York detailing the adventures of the supernatural, occult and the dark and evil. A fantastic Halloween read.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
*5/5
This was a fantastic conclusion to the If I Stay Trilogy, answering all unanswered questions with a  rekindled lost love. A must read for lovers of If I Stay.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
*5/5
This was a super fun read about a set of twins entering there first years of college highlighting the differences between them and the worries of stepping out of your comfort zone. This definitely has to be my favourite Rainbow Rowell book to date.

The Unknown Unknown by Mark Forsyth
*5/5
This short essay is a must read for book lovers alike all about how bookshops can give you something you never knew you needed.

The Sleeper In The Spindle by Neil Gaiman
*5/5
This newly published picture book is a gorgeous retelling of a combination of fairy tales with unique pictures and Gaiman's signature writing style. I must have for any book collector. Be sure to check out my full review of this book.

The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
*3.5/5
This first instalment of the Chaos Walking Trilogy took me a really long time to finish but after getting through the first half the pace picked up and the anticipation climbed helping me finish it off. It wasn't my favourite book but I will definitely be picking up the next one just to see how it ends.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
*4/5
This beautifully written historical fiction read based on a true story details the life of a women charged with murder and sent to a farm to wait out her days. I was definitely taken by surprise whilst reading but absolutely loved this haunting read.

Anna & The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
*5/5
I can't believe it took me so long to finally pick this up. I absolutely devoured and loved this book. A perfect light contemporary read about a boarding school in Paris. A must read for anyone looking for a cute romance.

Tinder by Sally Gardner
*3/5
This graphic novel retelling of The Tinderbox has stunning pictures but took me a really long time to finish as I really did not find the story intriguing or captivating and only really finished it to get it out of the way, I was really disappointed by this read.

Veronika Decides To Die by Paolo Coelho
*4/5
This was another quick read that was delightfully surprising. This novel details the journey of a woman who tries to kill herself yet wakes up but is told she only has a certain amount of time left. This emotional novel is definitely a must read and shows how second chances are sometimes a godsend.

Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham
*4/5
Lena Dunham's book of essays are hysterical, a light read detailing the life of a woman aspiring to be a writer and dealing with whatever life throws at you. A definite must read for any young woman.

Let me know what you guys read in the months of October and November or what you're planning to read this month.

Annelise xoxo

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer


Hey guys!

A couple of weeks ago I was sent Meg Wolitzer's new young adult novel 'Belzhar' by Simon & Schuster and recently I finally got around to reading it. I flew through this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. This novel tells the story of Jam who's dealing with the recent loss of her boyfriend. Unable to cope with his death she is sent a boarding school called The Wooden Barn for "emotionally fragile" students, whilst there she enrolled into a exclusive class 'Special Topics'. During the semester they study the works of Sylvia Plath and learn to deal with the emotional problems through the power of reading and writing.

This is a sensitive and thought provoking read which deals with the choice between reliving past memories forever and moving on. I definitely enjoyed the originality of the interesting ideas and premise Wolitzer has created. The characters develop through the growing friendships and connections they make, their back stories also creating another interesting element. I very much appreciated how she subtly approaches the topic of mental illness which adopts a different approach to 'dealing' with it. In an interesting twist there are elements of magical realism allowing for a different dimension to be added, although I do believe that it could have been further developed. I loved the poetic writing style of the author although there needed to be more showing rather than telling. I also thought the main character could be slightly immature and her emotional aspects could also be further developed. It was extremely interesting to see how Sylvia Plath's 'Bell Jar' was integrated within the story and allowed for emotional development of the characters. I gave this 3.5/5 stars.

Definitely an interesting and enjoyable read which I would recommend for lovers of young adult novels. Let me know your thoughts if you've also read this book as its now available in bookstores.

Annelise xoxo

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Sleeper & The Spindle by Neil Gaiman





Hello everyone!

Today in the post I received a lovely little surprise in the form of a package from the book depository with Neil Gaiman's latest work 'The Sleeper & The Spindle' which was illustrated by Chris Riddell. I devoured this short Sleeping Beauty and Snow White mashup fairy tale retelling instantly not only falling for this gorgeous edition but the magical words Gaiman so artistically strings together.

First of all what instantly hooked me was the way in which it was presented, the book itself is a white hardcover with the image of the sleeping girl on the cover, the best part though is the transparent matte dust jacket which is also gorgeously illustrated with vines and flowers. I absolutely love the simplistic way in which the words and images use the colour scheme of black, white and gold. The images within are stunning black and white line drawings yet insanely detailed. The illustrations have a very traditional and gothic feel whilst adding the creepiness that Gaiman's words describe. I am definitely a sucker for beautifully bounded books and this book has obviously had a lot of detail and effort put into the publishing.

I was quite surprised whilst reading to find out the different angle that Gaiman took whilst writing this retelling, it was different from any other fairy tale or retellings I've ever read. He crafts a beautifully written story in which Snow White is queen and about to be married yet is not to happy with prospects of marriage. Her dwarf friends enlighten her on the plague of sleep that is sweeping across the nation, so she sets off in to find out what is happening. There are many surprises and twists as we delve deeper into the story subtly subverting the normal expectations of a fairy tale. This ending is definitely one you won't see coming. I cannot fault the alluring script and imagery that is created. This is perfect for any lover of beautiful books and stunningly crafted fairy tales. A definite 5/5 read.

Let me know in the comments if anyone else has read this book or can suggest anymore of Neil Gaiman's work!

Annelise xoxo

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Books I Read In September



Hello everyone!

I know I've been absent for a quite a while, I finally graduated high school and have been studying hard for my end of school exams which has pretty much taken up all my time especially my reading and blogging time. But fear not I will be back to normal very soon. So last month I only read three books which has got to be my lowest of all time, and hopefully the next few months will be better and I can get some more reading done from that steadily growing pile of unread books. Here is what I read in September:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
4/5 stars
Most of you have probably heard of this book due to the recently released movie but I thought I better give it a read before I went and saw it. I thoroughly enjoyed this adult psychological thriller and found elements to be quite surprising with never a boring moment. The character development was really the key to this book and the author really nailed that, I especially loved how our perspectives on character could change instantly due to new facts and interesting twists. I'm eager to see how the movie will portray this read and have heard that the ending is quite different. I really would recommend this to anyone who's up for a bit of suspense.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
4/5 stars
This is also a well known and hyped book with a movie that was recently released. I loved this fast paced dystopian young adult novel and managed to fly through it. The initial concept is really quite interesting and there is enough mystery, suspense and action to make you not want to put this down. The descriptive imagery was perfect and always managed to paint a picture in my mind. I definitely recommend this book to anyone and can't wait to pick up the next one and continue on where the story last left us.

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
3.5/5 stars
I received an early copy from publishers Simon & Scheuster so you won't be able to get it until the 9th of October. This young adult magical realism was quite an easy read which I flew through. What I really loved about it though was the way the author subtly deals with the topic of mental illness and adopts a different approach of "dealing" with it. There were some areas where improvement could be made with developing the emotional aspects but overall was a really intriguing read.

I also have thrown in some of my favourite book marks for this month which are pictured above, all of these I picked up at Book Expo Australia. These gorgeous illustrations are perfect to mark your pages. As for what I'm planning to read this month I will just see how I'm feeling and pick up whatever intrigues me next.

Let me know what you guys read last month or what you're planning to read this month.

Annelise xoxo

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 to 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, it really added another element to the story. This emotion rich read not only begins to 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