Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Review- Holes (Louis Sachar)



Stanley Yelnats' family has a history of bad luck, so he isn't too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to a boys' juvenile detention centre. At Camp Green Lake the boys must dig a hole a day, five feet deep, five feet across, in the dried up lake bed. The Warden claims the labour is character building, but it is a lie. Stanley must dig up the truth.



I must admit this isn’t my first time re-reading Holes, in fact it’s not even my 2nd time. I’ve probably read this book a good half a dozen times at the least, and it never gets old. I first read this book when I was in middle school (I even stole unknowingly the copy from my school library), and ever since then I feel like I give it a reread every couple of years. There are very few books that I can do that with, besides maybe Harry Potter. 

The story starts with Stanley being sent to Camp Green Lake as the more favourable option rather than going to jail for a crime that he was wrongly accused of. But Camp Green Lake is anything but green; A barren wasteland where every boy is made to dig a hole a day to help ‘build character’. But what are they really digging for? And why is the warden so interested if they find anything of value?
Stanley is a great protagonist, he’s easily likable from the start and you want to empathise with him. There is an array of wacky and odd side characters who all play their roles perfectly.

There’s not much I can say about this book except that I adore it. It’s a quick read with adventure, suspense, and a great woven tale between the past and the present. I highly recommend for all age groups, you'll wizz through it in the blink of an eye and wonder why you didn't read it sooner. 

My Rating 5/5

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

April/ May Wrap-Up

Personal Updates 

This month I've been trying to get some wedding planning done, and it's exhausting... even the cats are exhausted. Honestly, my partner and I have been engaged since August 2016 and we've been so lazy about the wedding planning. (To be honest I'm the kind of girl who would be happy with a registry office wedding, but my future Mr. wants a proper wedding). We've looked at a few venues but nothing has really taken my fancy...especially for the prices they're asking. But *crosses fingers* we're going to look at another venue outside of our hometown this weekend so I'm hopeful.


Paper Princess (The Royals, #1)Broken Prince (The Royals, #2) Twisted Palace (The Royals, #3) 

 Tarnished Crown (The Royals, #3.5)The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology, #1)

As you can see I really only focused on 1 series for the last couple months. The Royals series is quite addictive...trashy and dramatic...but definitely addictive. The first 3 books follow Reed Royal and Ella, the orphan teen whose stripping to make ends meet who happens to be taken in by the Royal family. Obviously, Reed has a vendetta against Ella from the start, but sexual tensions lurk pretty close beneath the surface *wink*. While all the drama was entertaining I needed something a little bit more substantial to fill the gaps and started the Eurona duology by Wendy Higgins, which I hope to finish this month.  

Up Next In June

Cracked Kingdom (The Royals, #5)Fallen Heir (The Royals, #4)The Great Pursuit (Eurona Duology, #2)
None of the Regular Rules Cross Stitch (Outlander, #1)

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

February/March Wrap-Up

Personal Updates 

February and March were not great reading months for me, but I have a feeling April will be different. I put it down to watching way more TV in the last couple months. I've suddenly become addicted to Grey's Anatomy again after not watching for ages (I stopped watching after the season 6 finale- so it's been like 8 years!) 

I've also been watching the Simpsons here and there, while simultaneously being addicted to The Simpsons Tapped Out. Seriously this is probably the longest standing phone game that I've played. I remember 4 years ago being in University classes and playing. 

Easter weekend was amazing. Me and the fiance went to Tauranga for the long weekend to visit our close friends who we haven't seen since New Years. So I got some reading done on the road trip. I also got to soak up some sun on the beach and got introduced to the show Naked Attraction which is brilliant. (I highly recommend if you want something trashy and your Ok with some full frontal nudity.) Also did a little adventuring while we were down there and did a small hike to the gorgeous waterfall featured above.


Never Never (Never Never, #1)
Never Never: Part Two (Never Never, #2)Never Never: Part Three (Never Never, #3)

 The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)The Wind Singer (Wind on Fire trilogy, #1)

As I mentioned before February and March were not kind to me. Never Never was a great short little 3 part read. It had suspense and mystery that kept me turning the pages trying to figure out what the hell was going on. The Bone Witch was a little on the slow side. It was overly word heavy at times and seemed to draw the story out too much. Overall it was Ok, not sure if I want to pick up the next book but the cover is gorgeous. I remember reading The Wind Singer as a kid and absolutely loving it, and not much has changed. While it is a little on the juvenile side now, it still has the whimsical feeling it once had and the sense of childhood adventure. 

Up Next In April

Paper Princess (The Royals, #1) Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor, #1) Never Never 
None of the Regular Rules Poison Study (Study, #1)

Did you have a nice Easter? Tell me what you got up to in the comments below

Sunday, 4 February 2018

January Wrap-Up

Personal Updates 

I feel like January brought adventuring which was great- even if there have been 2 heatwaves this summer already!

Me and my partner went camping for New Years with some friends which was great. I'd never been before so it was definitely a new experience with the limited facilities and long drops.

I sang Karaoke for the first time which was thrilling. I was almost soiling my pants before I went up, but then I was on stage singing and it was exhilarating. For those of you who care, I sang "There are worse things I could do" from Grease (I'm big into musicals haha). 

There was a hens party and a wedding for an old friend. We went hiking in the Coromandel and got to visit the beautiful Cathedral Cove (featured), which was so gorgeous. 

A few other notable mentions include a drag show and a male strip show haha. Reading wise, January was a good month for me. I had a bit of time off here and there so I was able to get some reading done. I'm not as hopeful for February though.


Almost MidnightKiss Kill Vanish   The Woman Who Rides Like a ManAlways and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)
 Saga, Vol. 8 (Saga, #8)Alex + Ada: The Complete CollectionThey Both Die at the End
They Both Die at the End was my favorite of the month, just WOW! My review will be up soon, but  this book was so thought provoking and so well written.  Saga Volume 8 was of course just as good as its predecessors, there's not much I can say that I haven't already said before this series is so good. 

Alex + Ada was a nice surprise, but almost too short. I wanted more of it and I wish the story could have been extended out. At the same time the ending was fitting and wrapped up nicely. I was glad to be able to finish a series this month when I completed the final installment in the To All the Boys I've Loved Before Series, Always and Forever Lara Jean. While the book probably wasn't necessary, it was a nice 'ending' as Lara Jean goes off to college. 

Up Next In February

Going with the flow in January actually worked really well for me. I picked up books as I felt in the mood for them and I also DNF'd or put on hold books which I wasn't feeling (Which is one of my goals for this year). I'm going to go with the same concept in February and only have a few books that I really want to read and the rest is up to my mood. 

Lioness Rampant  Never Never (Never Never, #1)

Did you go on any adventures over the New Year period? What was your favorite memory of January?

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Top Ten Tuesday (31)

Bookish Resolutions and Goals

DNF Books If I’m Not Feeling Them

I always feel bad when I DNF a book, what if I’m missing out on some great stuff later in the book? what if the story picks up and gets exciting? Unfortunately, this means I almost always suffer through the book even if I’m not enjoying it. This year I resolve to be more ruthless if I’m reading a book that I’m just not feeling into, so I can put my time into books that I really want to read.

Read Quality over Quantity

In previous years I have had the habit of picking up smaller novels to read just to help me reach my Goodreads target or avoiding books longer than 500 pages, as they slow my reading down and when I think about it it’s absolutely ridiculous. Why avoid a good book just because it’s long and read shorter books that may bring me less enjoyment all because I need to reach a target!?

Read More Of My Backlog and Less New Releases

My, oh my. My TBR list is ever-growing and so many of the books have been on there for goodness knows how long. It’s hard when every year more and more beautiful new releases come out, but this year I’m going to try and read 75% backlog books and 25% new releases.

Finish Some Damn Series

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I am chronically guilty of not finishing series. I either start a series when it’s first released and then never get to the sequels because I’ve forgotten the detail by the time they’re released or I just ‘take a break’ from a series and then always plan to ‘get back to it’ but alas never do. This year I’ve joined up a challenge, where I hope to complete 5-8 series this year.

For Once Complete The Alphabet

Who knew the alphabet could be so damn hard haha. Every year I try and complete the A-Z or Alphabet challenge and not once have I reached it (the highest I've ever gotten is 18/26 and I've been trying since 2013!)... This year it changes!

Blog Consistently

So last year I started off strong but lost my way about April, and then completely dropped off the radar. I remember the days when I had a list of features for everyday of the week that I wanted to do, but in reality it just hasn’t worked for me. This year I have a very basic goal of 2-3 posts a month. A wrap-up, A review and a Top Ten Tuesday. 

Comment More

While I may not have much time to write and publish posts, it only takes a short time out of my day to go through and read others posts and write comments on them. Historically I haven’t been very good at this. Even when  I do often read peoples reviews and posts sometimes I don’t know what to comment about or feel awkward posting (my social anxiety strikes again). But I realized even a simple ‘Awesome review’ can make someones day, so I’m definitely going to work on this. 

Image result for beat the backlist 2018

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Review- Kiss Kill Vanish (Jessica Martinez)



Valentina Cruz no longer exists.

One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.
She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.
She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.



Valentina has run away from home and is holed up in a small decrepit apartment in Montreal after witnessing a horrible murder directed by her father and executed by her boyfriend (and also one of her fathers henchman), Emilio. A few months later, everything is going along smoothly (well as smoothly as one could hope living alone in a new city, on the run from your family and living a sudden life of scarcity after years of luxury, when Emilio pops back into her life after a chance meeting at an art gallery.

Emilio’s explanation of what happened ‘that night’ force Valentina to look at her life differently, but can she really trust him after what she saw him do?


I’ve noticed the rather mixed reviews regarding this book, some people with either really liked it, and others were left wanting more. I am the former. This book ticked all the boxes for me in regard to thrills, mystery and suspense.

So let’s talk about characters. Valentina is the epitome of a rich girl...

"He can't possibly know that the precious three hundred dollars in my wallet would have been a single shoe in my old life. Lunch on South Beach with my sisters. A trim and blow-dry at Petra's."
- Jessica Martinez (Kiss Kill Vanish)

... and yet she’s left everything behind to try and sort through the events of that night. I wouldn’t say she’s easily likeable but she’s not the worst character that I’ve encountered and there is personal growth and development.

Emilio kept me on my toes. Just like Valentina, I didn’t know what to think of him, was he lying to us? Or was he a poor misunderstood guy who got caught up with the wrong people. Yes, he did kill someone, but when he goes to explain why (basically Valentina’s dad is a big time crook, who will have his family slaughtered if he disobeys) you can’t help but feel that while he made some bad choices, he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place and he wants to get out. Valentina’s back and forth with Emilio while somewhat annoying at times is realistic. She doesn’t know if he’s telling the truth or if he’s lying to cover his own arse, that mixed with teenage love has got her all confused and turned upside down.

Marcel did not appeal to me in the beginning. He starts off as starts off a bit of a conceited jerk, but begins to mellow out after an event in his life forces him to sober up. His friendship with Valentina is vital as it comes at a time when both are at the peak of loneliness. The more time they spent together the more I liked him.

Ok so there’s a bit of a love triangle, but it’s not terrible. On one hand you have Emilio, there’s history there, but also betrayal and deceit. Marcel on the other hand, is a drug induced playboy, with daddy’s money to spend at his leisure, but who’s refreshingly honest and open with Valentina.

Regarding plot I really enjoyed the story. There were some slow bits her and there, but there was always enough mystery and unanswered questions keeping me going. There were some great twists that I did not see coming at all that only added to the suspense, and there were some characters I was never really convinced of their true intentions till the end.

Overall enjoyable and kept me guessing throughout, satisfying ending and a lot of personal growth in the characters. 

My Rating 4/5

Sunday, 7 January 2018

December Wrap Up


Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3) Asunder (Newsoul, #2) The Upside of Unrequited 
  Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness #1) In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2)

I finally finished Heir Of Fire after taking a break from it for a while (I just couldn't invest the time in it, and it's one of those books that once I start reading I can't stop). Each book in the Throne of Glass series just seems to get better and better. The Upside of Unrequited was one of my favorite books from December (and possibly the year). You can find my review HERE. But basically this book is about Molly and her many crushes. It touches on the insecurities of many teens and has some great diversity of characters. 

I'm not sure how to feel about Asunder. The first book was good, but this one fell a bit flat for me. I'm uncertain if I want to continue onto the last book, but then again I kind of want to see how the series ends. My main surprise of December was the Song of the Lioness quartet. HOW HAVE I NOT READ TAMORA PIERCE BEFORE THIS?! Wow, I am loving this series, it's probably aimed at a slightly younger age group than I'm use to (maybe somewhere between middle grade and YA) but it gives me the nostalgia of Harry Potter. Not to mention the plot is pretty fast paced. 

Up Next In January

For January I'm kind of just going with the flow a bit. I have about a million books out from the library (which I'll only find time to read half of). At the moment I'm just reading whatever grabs my attention and also trying to finish off any series/books I didn't get to in December. 


They Both Die at the End Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)

Other Updates 

Boo! I have to go back to work on Monday :( Which means no more lazy days in the sun reading. I am a little bit excited though, as much as I've enjoyed the last 3 weeks off I miss the social aspect of work and as much as I love him, my partner is starting to get on my nerves after 2 weeks together 24/7 haha.

Gaming wise I've been playing Rage, a post apocalyptic shooter. Graphics are good and so is the game-play (I'm getting better at shooter games!). I have been contemplating buying Sims 4 Cats and Dogs as well (I'm a huge Sims fan), but I think I'll save that for later in the year when I'm in a funk and need something fun to look forward to. 

As for TV, I am watching Hart of Dixie and also The Good Place (I love Kristin Bell). I've also started my new 2018 journal. This year I opted for a simple already made planner, and then a small moleskin for my fun list making stuff :)

Are any of you Gamers? What kind of games do you play/platform do you use?

Friday, 5 January 2018

Review- The Upside of Unrequited (Becky Albertalli)



Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back. 
There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?



Ever had a crush that was unrequited love… How about 26 crushes?

Molly is a serial crusher. There’s always a guy that she’s crushing on, but she’s always too scared to take it any further. Her anxiety and self-image, along with the fear of rejection are holding her back.  After her sister Cassie gets a serious girlfriend, Molly feels like she’s being left behind. Luckily for her, a cute boy (or 2) happen to pop into her universe, but will she strike up the courage to take it beyond just a crush?

I really liked Molly, she had a realistic voice that speaks for a lot of people, whether they are teenagers now going through the same worries and stress or like me, older and remember how hard navigating the ‘romances’ of teenage life were. I remember dealing with the same anxieties and issues with my body and confidence that she does and it held me back at times and not just in regards to romantic relationships.

This book oozes diversity, representing many facets of the LGBT community, and not just as a main characters but as everyday supporting roles aswell. Not only that, but we were given diversity in culture and religion as well, and not to mention a main character who doesn’t fit the ‘ideal stereotype’ of body image that the media likes to force upon us.

The relationship between Molly and her sister is strong, but you can see the cracks in their friendship as Cassie becomes more and more invested in her new girlfriend. As an only child I can’t relate much to this but I do understand that relationships are ever changing and that sometimes the tightness of those bonds break over years. Sometimes I thought Cassie was a bit of a B*tch to Molly. But I also kind of get it too. When she gets with her new girlfriend; Mina, everyone else ceases to exist. I know we all hate to be that person who as soon as we get in a relationship ignores everyone around us, but we can’t deny that most of us have been that person at one point or another. It’s the exciting part of the relationship where all you want to do is spend time with the other person. So I can’t begrudge her that.

Patty and Nadine, are pretty freaking cool parents. I love books that show the parent/teen relationship. There is nothing worse that absent parents in a YA novel, because we all know most parents are unbearably involved in your life at that age. They are both relaxed with Cassie and Molly, but aren’t afraid to lay down the law when it’s required.

Overall, a great summer read that I flew through easily. This was a great follow up from Miss Albertalli’s debut ‘Simon Vs. The Homosapien Agenda’. 

My Rating 5/5

Thursday, 4 January 2018

2018 Goals and Challenges

Image result for goodreads challenge 2018I love going through everyone’s pots about resolutions and goals at this time of the year, its neat to see what everyones up to and looking to the year ahead. So I’ve been inspired to make my own goals list.

I’m going to push myself a little bit further than last year and try for 58 books in the Goodreads challenge. Last year I managed 45 and just made it, but I felt that I spent a lot of time wasted doing unimportant things like surfing facebook.


I’m also keen to participate again in an A-Z challenge. This year I’ve chosen to do the challenge hosted by Ginger Mom and The Kindle Quest. Last year I managed 15 out of 26 (not my best haha) hopefully I can get all 26 this year

TBR Pile
I’m keen to tackle some of my ever-growing TBR pile, so I’ve joined the #Beatthebacklist challenge hosted by a Novelknight. My goal is to read 25 books on my TBR pile pre- 2018. 

Finishing Series

So one of my main faults as a reader is my complete inability to finish a series. I either take a break half way through and never go back or I get sick of waiting for the next instalment and by the time it’s released I’ve forgotten what had happened previously. So this year I’ve joined the 2018 Finishing the Series Reading Challenege hosted by Celebrity Readers. I’m hoping to finish between 5-8 series this year.

What are your reading goals this year?

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