Tag Archives: Adult

February Wrap-Up 2018


*Image not mine

February was a pretty great reading month for me with 12 graphic novels, 2 audio books and a novel.

The Books

All titles link to Goodreads

Batgirl: Son of Penguin (Batgirl Rebirth #2)

By Hope Larson & Co


5 Stars

This series just keeps getting better. The plot is interesting, the characters engaging and there are so many amazing women! Also some LGBT+ representation which is pretty awesome. I quite like Nightwing and Batgirl together and I loved the Supergirl arc! I can’t wait to read more about Batgirl.

Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy (Lumberjanes #1)

By Noelle Stevenson & Co


3.75 Stars

While it had its moments, I was generally underwhelmed by this graphic novel.

Two of the characters have a crush on each other, which was pretty cute, and some stereotypes were subverted, which was cool. The friendship element was also very good.

I found their near constant use of “what the junk?” slightly irritating and the use of badges from their field guides, while useful in breaking up the narrative, slightly tedious.

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl

By Melissa Keil


4.5 Stars

Funny, emotional and real, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl is a brilliant story with one of the best endings I’ve come across to date.

Though it took me a while to really get into it, once I passed the 150 page mark I laughed out loud, cried my eyes out and found myself incredibly invested in these characters and their lives.

Friendship, family, anxiety, uncertainty, angst, art, body confidence, food, frustration, self care, small town love and an impending apocalypse all feature in this remarkable Australian novel.

Batgirl: Batgirl of Burnside (Batgirl: The New 52 2.0 #1)

By Cameron Stewart & Co


4 Stars

A solid read. While not as good as the Rebirth titles, this was enjoyable and I’m really liking getting to know Batgirl. I love the friendships, the strong women and learning about Babs’ backstory. Frankie and Black Canary were particularly interesting characters. I can’t wait to read the rest of Batgirl’s New 52 arc.

Nightwing: Better Than Batman (Nightwing Rebirth #1)

By Tim Seeley & Co


4.5 Stars

An interesting read, that left me intrigued to see how Nightwing’s arc plays out.

Nightwing: Back to Blüdhaven (Nightwing Rebirth #2)

By Tim Seeley & Co


4.5 Stars

Another interesting read, though admittedly I didn’t quite get all the references – particularly to the alternate universe things. However, I appreciated the moral ambiguity and the relationship was very cute.

Nightwing: Nightwing Must Die! (Nightwing Rebirth #3)

By Tim Seeley & Co


5 Stars

My favourite volume so far, I loved this instalment of Nightwing’s story arc. I laughed, I cried, and I was deeply satisfied. I loved the cameos and the character development. Definitely recommend checking this series out.

Batgirl: The Darkest Reflection (Batgirl: The New 52 #1)

By Gail Simone & Co


4.5 Stars

I really enjoyed this look at Batgirl – her past, her present, her relationships, her suffering. She’s flawed, has panic attacks and was in a wheelchair for three years. She struggles and she suffers, but she gets through it. I particularly liked seeing the beginning of her relationship with Alysia, though I have no idea what to think of Barbara’s unexpected visitor.

Batgirl: Knightfall Descends (Batgirl: The New 52 #2)

By Gail Simone & Co


5 Stars

This was ridiculously good. Not only did we get Batgirl’s origin story, but Knightfall Descends features complex characters, an engaging plot, plot twists, character development and was just a brilliant time. The cameo from Dinah was also excellent.

Batgirl is my kind of hero – she became her own white knight and wins the day because she’s clever and determined.

Batgirl: Death of the Family (Batgirl: The New 52 #3)

By Gail Simone & Co


4.5 Stars

This was a pretty great volume. Everything with James… that was interesting, to say the least. The revelation about Alysia only made me me love her more. And the ending? Excellent.

However, I do have one main gripe: the issue with Batman and the Joker was extremely confusing in terms of timeline as well as what was actually going on.

Batgirl: Wanted (Batgirl: The New 52 #4)

By Gail Simone & Co


5 Stars

“Wait for a hero?

Barbara James Gordon– be your own damn hero.”

Probably the best volume of Batgirl’s New 52 run, Wanted was a great, engaging read that left me wanting more.

Batgirl: Deadline (Batgirl: The New 52 #5)

By Gail Simone & Co


3.5 Stars

Honestly? While the big team up was great, overall Deadline was a disappointment – particularly the ending. At times I also found it a bit confusing.

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Who is Oracle? (Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Rebirth #1)

By Julie Benson & Co


5 Stars

A fantastic, engaging read full of girl power and awesomeness.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)

By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


5 Stars

No matter how many times I read this story, I fall in love with it every time.

I’d forgotten how amazing Illuminae was, and the audio format made it even more so. With a full cast, sound effects and some excellent directing/production choices, the audio (and story) had me hooked.

Due to the format, the audiobook was unable to include the visual aspects of the original text. I do not believe this negatively affected the story.

The voices of the Illuminae Group and, later, the afflicted were downright eerie and creepy respectively, and the accents and inflections behind the entire cast’s performances were brilliant. Overall, the high production quality coupled with amazing source material made for an excellent reading experience.

Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2)

By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


5 Stars

Even better the second time around, Gemina is another brilliant instalment to The Illuminae Files. This time I listened to the audio book, which was a great decision. With excellent voice acting, sound effects, accents and production choices coupled with an already amazing story and authentic characters, the audio production of Gemina is one not to be missed.

Blog Posts

Other Notable Points

  • I saw the play of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time with a close friend of mine. The play was interesting and the experience was even better because I saw it with her.
  • Black Panther was released. As a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (particularly the Thor movies) I can safely say that Black Panther is my favourite so far. Not only is it incredibly enjoyable to watch but from a critical standpoint it is also brilliant. The themes, execution and characters were excellent. Furthermore, Black Panther is not only filled with strong, complicated black characters but amazing black women too.
  • I started my first year of University, which I’m equally excited and nervous about.

Let’s Discuss!

How was your February?

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? If so, what are your thoughts on them?

Did you discover any new favourites? Books, movies, TV shows…?

Please comment below and feel free to link me to your February Wrap-Up or latest post.


January Wrap-Up 2018


* Image not mine

This month I managed to read 18 books, which I’m rather proud of. Admittedly, it’s largely because most of them are graphic novels, but still.

The Books

All titles link to Goodreads

Phoebe and Her Unicorn (Phoebe and Her Unicorn #1)

By Dana Simpson


5 Stars

An absolutely adorable and hilarious read. The illustrations and story alike are beautiful, with the characters so vibrant and full of sass. 100% recommend for all ages.

Note: There are a few continuity errors but that is because it was originally published as a series of daily comics.

Unicorn on a Roll (Phoebe and Her Unicorn #2)

By Dana Simpson


5 Stars

Another brilliant and hilarious instalment to this series. I loved every minute of it, including times when I literally laughed out loud. Phoebe’s relationship with her parents is also fantastic and very real.

The introduction from Lauren Faust was excellent and hit on some great points.

Phoebe and her Unicorn is definitely a new favourite series of mine.

Unicorn vs. Goblins (Phoebe and Her Unicorn #3)

By Dana Simpson


5 Stars

Another fun and adorable adventure.

Fence Volume 1

By C. S. Pacat & Johanna the Mad (Artist)


3.5 Stars

A solid read, I feel like I’ll appreciate this a lot more once I’ve read the next instalments as this one was so short.

Star Wars: Legacy Volume 1

By John Ostrander & Co


5 Stars

Damn. Though not cannon, this is an epic story arc. Though part of the overall franchise, it definitely stands on it’s own.

A heck of a lot happens within this single compendium and I’m here for it. The characters are compelling, the plot intriguing and twists surprising. It also has some pretty awesome, complicated female characters which is great.

I’m so glad I picked it up and definitely recommend it to any Star Wars fan – even those with perhaps passing interests.

Note: The cover is irritatingly misleading as the characters depicted are very minor and hold little relevance for the story as a whole.

Razzle Dazzle Unicorn (Phoebe and Her Unicorn #4)

By Dana Simpson


5 Stars

Unicorn Crossing (Phoebe and Her Unicorn #5)

By Dana Simpson


5 Stars

The Magic Storm (Phoebe and Her Unicorn #6)

By Dana Simpson


5 Stars

Probably my favourite of the series so far, The Magic Storm is a fun read with great messages about family, friendships, platonic relationships and acceptance. It features real, relatable characters whom you can’t help but love and brings magic into everyday life. Additionally, the artwork is fantastic.

Winnie the Pooh (Winnie the Pooh #1)

By A. A. Milne & E. H. Shepard (Illustrator)


3 Stars

Very cute but a bit of a disappointment. This is likely because I grew up with the animated version which is slightly different (and better). Also, there’s no Tigger! Furthermore, I found some elements to be slightly problematic (see Rabbit, chapter seven).

Akarnae (The Medoran Chronicles #1)

By Lynette Noni


5 Stars

This was a re-read for me.

Marketed as Harry Potter cross Narnia, Akarnae is the first in an easy to read fantasy series by an Australian author.

Featuring a strong focus on friendship, great characters, a sentient library, a boarding school for the gifted in a parallel world, adventure and magic, Akarnae is a definite favourite of mine.

Raelia (The Medoran Chronicles #2)

By Lynette Noni


5 Stars

This was another re-read for me.

So many feelings… Raelia is even better than Akarnae, stepping things up to the next level on many accounts.

Everything was amazing, and I especially loved getting to know the new characters – particularly Kaiden and Declan – in addition to our favourites.

Suffice to say, I’m beyond glad that I am able to immediately pick up Draekora.

Draekora (The Medoran Chronicles #3)

By Lynette Noni


5 Stars

I am not okay. This book… this book. Draekora is everything I hoped for and far, far more. Everything is completely turned on it’s head and it is glorious. There’s one character who ripped my heart out (okay, three, but one’s a dragon so what can you expect?) and it was glorious. Also, did I mention dragons? Well, draekons. Lynette’s books just keep getting better, and I can’t wait for the next one to completely destroy me…


By Megan Jacobson


4 Stars

Though it took me a while to get into this book, Yellow was a very interesting read with flawed characters, real issues, overarching themes and an ability to draw tears from my eyes. At its heart, Yellow is about growing up, dealing with strife, friendship, identity and the unreliable nature of truth. There is also a lot of character development in multiple fronts, which is great.

I found it a really interesting look at small town life in Australia. It also does a really great job at paying homage to teachers and libraries.

I’d recommend going in knowing as little as you can and letting the story pan out with no particular expectations.

I will also note that the ending was excellent and really worked for the book – it’s definitely one of the best that I’ve read.

Trigger warnings for and mentions of alcoholism, bullying, parental separation, cheating, drug use, depression and suicide.

Graevale (The Medoran Chronicles #4)

By Lynette Noni


5 Stars

Another great instalment for The Medoran Chronicles, Graevale features great character development, swift plot movement and unexpected twists. It was engaging and I read it in a single sitting. These characters are amazing and I can’t wait for the rest of the series.

Batgirl: Beyond Burnside (Batgirl Rebirth #1)

By Hope Larson & Co


5 Stars

A fun read and a great introduction to Batgirl. I especially loved the last part with Poison Ivy and Frankie seems pretty awesome. I also loved how female-centric it was. I can’t wait to read the rest of these.

Ms Marvel: Damage Per Second (Ms Marvel #7)

By G. Willow Wilson & Co


5 Stars

After the events of Civil War II, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this instalment but it was absolutely fantastic.

Probably my favourite Ms. Marvel comic, Damage per Second is a celebration of friendship, humanity and nerdiness, while also acknowledging and dealing with feelings of loss, loneliness and bullying.

Ms Marvel: Mecca (Ms Marvel #8)

By G. Willow Wilson & Co


5 Stars

Another great read. I really enjoyed the positive religious overtones, the messages about family, the return of an old friend and the recognition of the need for self-care.


By Isabelle Carmody & Daniel Reed (Illustrator)


2 Stars

I was not a fan of this book; it just didn’t do it for me. The story and art was fine but I just didn’t care. Also, I felt the ending was unlikely and the romance lacking. It wasn’t great but I hope other people can enjoy it.

Other Notable Points

  • I was able to attend Penguin Teen Australia’s Showcase which was great, the highlight being an early screening of Love, Simon (adapted from Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) which was beyond amazing and ridiculously adorable. Love, Simon comes out in cinemas on March 29.
  • I was lucky enough to be invited to speak on a panel at The YA Room’s YA Day which was amazing and rather surreal. The entire day was a blast and I can’t wait for next year. #YADay was at the #1 trending spot on Twitter which was great, so feel free to check out the tag for live tweets.

Let’s Discuss

How has your January been? Did you read much? Were you at either event that I mentioned? Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

Please leave a comment down below and feel free to link me your January Wrap-Up or your latest post.

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2)

Just a side not before we get into the review: I am aware that I haven’t posted any of my thoughts on Mistborn, but this review has been sitting on the backburner for months and I figured I might as well post it. Just know that I really enjoyed Mistborn and would recommend it.

Also, I will be referring to the first book in this series as Mistborn rather than The Final Empire as that is the title on my copy but they are the same book.

This review may contain mild spoilers for book one.

Finished 10th May, 2016 

Author: Brandon Sanderson


4 Stars

The second instalment in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy, The Well of Ascension, is a young adult high fantasy with a strong political line, a fascinating magic system and brilliant characters. Following on from Mistborn, Kelsier’s crew are forced to deal with the aftermath of a millennial long empire as well as the intricacies and hardships that come with taking over a kingdom and caring for it – all while being threatened by several other outside forces. I found the characters and the magic system to be what really carried the story for me, as well as some really interesting plot revelations.

As much as I enjoyed this book, for whatever reason The Well of Ascension took me forever to read. As in, I have been “reading” this book since January – January! There are several possible reasons as to why I fell into this minor book slump, one of them being that I had hit a part in the book where I was frustrated with some of the characters and therefore wasn’t that motivated to pick it up and read it. Additionally, I do the majority of my reading in small bits and pieces at school whenever I can fit it in – which usually works really well but being a high fantasy and knowing my particular reading traits, I don’t believe that was the best was to go about this particular novel. To put it into perspective, I read Akarnae and Raelia by Lynette Noni (which are approximately 450 pages each) in less than four days during the period I was “reading” The Well of Ascension.

I do want to reiterate that, in spite of my slight reading slump, I did really enjoy this book. It seems to be that whenever anything is said about Brandon Sanderson the most prominent thing that is mentioned is his writing style. Both Mistborn and The Well of Ascension are testament to that. Brandon Sanderson is brilliant at putting in twists that seem completely out of the blue but, once revealed, the foreshadowing becomes obvious.

Another feature that I really like about The Well of Ascension is that we get to read from the perspectives of pretty much all of our core cast in addition to that of our antagonists and several random perspectives to give insight from outsiders. This change of pace is great for both the slower, more political scenes and the battle-heavy ones. These fluid shifts in points of view are one such example of Sanderson’s great style at work.

I’m not entirely sure what I think of Elend in this instalment. I mean, I still really like him and enjoy his character but he undergoes some changes which I personally feel take away from his character. Also, there is an implication that comes about near the conclusion of this novel that makes me slightly suspicious of him – but I’m not sure if it’s just an evolution of his character or something more sinister at work. There were moments in this book where I loved him intensely and others where I felt somewhat detached. Suffice to say, I have mixed feelings but am interested to see where his character is headed.

Vin is an absolutely fantastic character. She is totally kick-ass and her fighting skills are off the charts (I mean, talk about epic) but she is also a flawed, relatable character. She is honestly one of my favourite characters – period – and that includes those outside Sanderson’s universe. I love how she deals with the conflicts thrown her way and how facing them forces her to evaluate herself and, in turn, grow from those experiences. Vin’s character develops significantly within this instalment but the changes are even more prominent when we consider what she was like when we are first introduced to her in Mistborn. 

Occasionally I tend to find that female protagonists – and sometimes just female characters in general – tend to be somewhat awkward and unrelatable when written by male authors, but I did not find that to be the case with Vin (or any of Sanderson’s other cast) in the least.

The other crew members (read: Breeze, Sazed, Dockson, Spook, Clubs, Ham, OreSeur,etc.) are further developed in The Well of Ascension which is a fun time. I really enjoyed getting to acquaint myself with their distinct personalities and quirks, and they really came into their own in my mind. Sazed, Ham and OreSeur are my particular favourites, with Sazed and OreSeur’s complexities and Ham’s general persona. Both Sazed and OreSeur have some great revelations and are really interesting to hear from. Also, Sazed has an adorable relationship with a new character, who I didn’t initially like but ended up really growing on me (and shall remain unnamed due to possible spoilers). I feel that they have a great connection and their dynamic is fantastic. Sazed’s character arc is a particularly interesting one and I feel like he’s the one that experiences the most development within this instalment.

Aside from Vin, Zane is probably my favourite character in this story. Not only is he complex, experienced and fascinating, but he creates some brilliant tension and conflict within the story and poses an interesting dilemma for Vin. I love their dynamic and find his backstory to be very well-thought out and gripping. We are constantly learning new things about him, yet he remains such a mystery to us. Zane is just such a fun character to read and is a real wild card to add to the mix. The chapters that featured him were probably some of my favourite to read.

If I hadn’t dragged out my consumption of this story and had instead read it at my usual pace, I feel that I would have rated The Well of Ascension 5 Stars. As it stands, even though I really enjoyed it, I feel a slight sense of apathy towards it – induced by my reading experience and not the actual content, I’m sure.

I am going to take a temporary break from this series and pick it back up at a later date when I’m more in the mood to read it and am in the position to read it all at once – or at least in several large chunks. I’m interested to see what that will do to my overall reading and whether I’ll be able to get to all of the shiny new books I’m super excited for or if this reading slump will persevere.


Let’s Discuss!

Have you read the Mistborn series? If so, what are your thoughts?

Have you read the third book? How does it compare to the rest of the trilogy?

Have you read any of Brandon Sanderson’s other works? Which ones would you recommend me reading next?

Have you ever written a review for the second book in the series and not for the first? (This also happened to me with the 5th Harry Potter book)

Please leave a comment as I love talking to you guys 🙂


February Wrap-Up 2017


*Image not mine

Hey everyone! This month I managed to read a total of 15 books – mainly because I read a lot of graphic novels and audios, but I’m still pretty happy with it.

Once again, I have a lot of thoughts so this post is rather long.


The Books

All titles link to Goodreads

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7)

By J. K. Rowling


5 Stars

Definitely my favourite of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was a great read and a brilliant conclusion.

I found that this instalment was very much character driven. Alberforth, Luna, McGonagall, Dobby, Hermione and Neville were definitely my favourites. I liked Severus’ character and am very conflicted in my feelings for Dumbledore.

As this is a re-read for me, I wasn’t that emotional when it came to the deaths. That said, there were certain scenes that really resonated with me – I won’t list them due to spoilers but feel free to ask and I’ll gladly reminisce.

I’m rather dubious about some of the reasoning around Harry’s wand acting out and the whole thing with the elder wand, but that could be because I watch a whole lot of theory videos (SuperCarlinBrothers explain both of these instances much better in my opinion; here and here respectively).

I’m really glad I reread the series, I feel that it definitely enriched my appreciation for and understanding of the Harry Potter universe.


Saga Volume 4

By Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples


5 Stars

Another brilliant instalment the the series. As usual, it was a fast, easy read that took me under an hour. The characters are great and the plot is awesome. Definitely recommend.


Saga Volume 5

By Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples


4.75 Stars

Saga Volume 6

By Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples


5 Stars

I seriously love this series. It is so well written, the art is beautiful and it’s just addictive. The family aspect is great, it has a ton of diversity and strong characters. The plot is fantastic and I just can’t wait for the next volume to come out.


Ms Marvel: No Normal (Ms Marvel #2)

By G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona


5 Stars

An absolutely amazing instalment, Ms. Marvel: Generation Why had so much packed into it, plot-wise as well as character development.

All the characters are amazing and we got cameos from Wolverine (who was super sassy), Captain America and a few other superheroes. I’m not really a fan of dogs, but Lockjaw was pretty awesome. Bruno was epic as always (#FriendshipGoals) and the focus on family was fantastic. I also really liked Sheikh Adbullah – he was an unexpected delight.

Kamala is by far my favourite though. She is such a fangirl and a nerd, sassy and loyal. I feel she also has a lot of character development as she grows into herself and learns to accept help. She also has some very poignant things to say.

I really liked how the Inhuman plot line (I’m an avid fan of Agents of SHIELD so I know more than some) and I can’t wait to see how everything turns out.


Ms Marvel: Crushed (Ms Marvel #3)

By G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona


5 Stars

Okay, so this was actually the best. Not only did we get Loki in the actual comic and Kamala went through her first crush, an identity crisis and ensuing character growth, but at the end we got a mini comic that featured Jemma Simmons and Phil Coulson, who I absolutely love (as afore mentioned I’m a fan of Agents of SHIELD). Jemma in particular was an absolute gem and I absolute loved the interactions between her and Kamala.


Ms Marvel: Last Days (Ms Marvel #4)

By G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona


5 Stars

These comics just keep getting better and better!

The characters were the highlight for me. Aside from the AMAZING team-up with Captain Marvel, most of the characters from previous instalments reappeared and were super awesome, breaking stereotypes and coming into themselves.

The family aspect was especially strong in this one – there was one scene in particular that was so beautiful it had me tearing up.

Kamala with a broken heart made me so sad and I just wanted to hug her forever.

Bruno once again continued to be amazing and I really liked how certain things were addressed.

Everything was just super beautiful, fast paced and amazing. Kamala is definitely one of my all-time favourite characters – I love her so much.

Also, we had an awesome team-up with Spider-Man in an extra comic at the end (which I didn’t 100% understand but it was still great).


Ms Marvel: Super Famous (Ms Marvel #5)

By G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona


5 Stars

While not my favourite instalment, Ms Marvel: Super Famous was still pretty awesome.

I appreciate how we get to see Kamala stretching herself to the breaking point, but then acknowledging that she needed help and reprioritising her life.

Aamir and Tyesha are so adorable together and I love them. Iron Man was awesome, and his spat with Captain Marvel was hilarious. Mike is super cool – I wasn’t sure how I felt about her to begin with, but she’s really awesome and great for Bruno.


Ms Marvel: Civil War II (Ms Marvel #6)

By G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona


5 Stars

This issue has a larger focus on family, morals, loyalty and identity, which I really enjoyed. Justice was also a prominent theme.

I really liked how we got to see a lot of Kamala’s background and family history as it is a huge part of her identity. I also appreciated it’s cyclical nature in Kamala’s character arc.

Kamala is very much a flawed character and we definitely see that in this instalment. Overall I feel like these last few instalments have been necessary character growth for Kamala. Now, I feel like she’s in a good place with herself and hopefully that’ll show through her actions and relationships in the next issue.


The Princess Diarist 

By Carrie Fisher


4 Stars

The Princess Diarist was an easy read, providing insight into one most notably known as Princess Leia.

The book was divided into roughly three sections:

1) Life before Leia and Carrie’s affair with Harrison Ford

2) Carrie’s poetry and some diary entries from when she was filming the first Star Wars movie and had her affair

3) Life post-affair

My favourite part was definitely Carrie’s poetry. I hadn’t read much poetry, but from what I could tell it was quite good. However, I would have preferred to physically read it rather than listen to it.

I loved how the audiobook was narrated by Carrie. I also liked how they had a second narrator to come in and read the poems as it gave a youthful tone to it.

While not amazing, I would recommend The Princess Diarist to those who like Star Wars and are interested in Carrie’s life.


Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

By Mindy Kaling


3 Stars

Prior to reading this memoir, I essentially had no idea who Mindy Kaling was. It was this, perhaps, that made it an entertaining but overall forgettable read.

If I hadn’t listened to the audiobook I highly doubt I would have read this book at all.


Princess of Thorns

By Stacey Jay


5 Stars

My favourite read so far this year, I can’t believe I hadn’t picked it up earlier.

Princess of Thorns is one of my new all-time favourite books (and my favourite audiobook next to the Fairyland series).

Why I Loved it: (No particular order)

  • Sass
  • Banter
  • Girl cross-dressing a boy to hide identity
  • Warriors
  • Kick-ass female character
  • Headstrong but flawed and loveable characters
  • Hate to love relationship (and then back again? It’s complicated)
  • Relationship based on friendship
  • NOT instalove
  • Fantasy
  • Intelligent characters
  • Curses + obscure(ish) fairytale retelling(s)
  • Character development
  • Strong female character challenging society’s perception of females
  • Royals
  • Plot twists
  • Magic
  • Morally ambiguous villain
  • Great sibling relationships
  • Adventure
  • People actually being human and smelling during long journeys rather than attractively smelling like cinnamon with constantly fabulous hair.

These aren’t even all the reasons, but I hope they’ve convinced you. It truly is a spectacular novel.

A note on the audiobook. I absolutely love the audiobook for this and I would recommend listening to it if you can. The accents were probably the best part for me; Aurora was vaguely Irish and Nicklaus British – I think, I’m terrible with accents. Either way, it was amazing. I also just really liked the narrator.

Essentially, just everyone go read it now. Especially if you like fantasy or any of the points I’ve listed sound remotely interesting.


Caraval (Caraval #1)

By Stephanie Garber


3.75 Stars

Having heard really mixed reviews (mostly of the meh connotation) I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this one.

The writing was great, the world was interesting and overall it was fairly entertaining. I read it in one sitting.

That said, I did have some issues and I really wasn’t a fan of the characters.

You can find my full review here.


Fragmented Bliss

By B. J. Rosalind


4 Stars

A beautiful book, I read it in under an hour. While I don’t quite understand all the poems (who really can though?) there were quite a few that were especially amazing.

The writing itself was elegant and sophisticated, yet raw in some parts.

I would definitely recommend, especially if you’re in a poetry phrase like myself.



By George Bernard Shaw


4 Stars

One of the more accessible classics, Pygmalion is an enjoyable, comedic read with hidden depths.

The film counterpart, My Fair Lady is also rather entertaining and captures the spirit of the original text.

Would recommend.


Honorary mentions to my current reads, Cinder and Queens of Geek, as I read most of them in February.


Blog Posts


Other Notable Points

  • So far, I have read a total of 21 books this year.
  • I finally got my Learners so I can now drive.
  • I saw Live by Night and Hidden Figures, which are both amazing movies (Hidden Figures more so)
  • I  won an awesome giveaway which entitled me to 8 Audible credits! I got the email the day after I posted my January Wrap-Up, where I professed my love for audiobooks, which was rather amusing timing.
  • I attended the second YA Room book talk. This time it was for Caraval and it was held at Dymocks, which was amazing! It was great to see everyone again and meet a few new people. Also, I was once again in the group photo – an occurrence I’m hoping will hold (for those of you who don’t know, more often than not I seem to miss out on group photos). You can find the wrap-up here.


Let’s Discuss!

So, what have you been reading lately? Any exciting life occurrences? Any new years resolutions?

Have you read any of the books I listed? If so, what were your thoughts?  Do your opinions differ from mine?

Please leave a comment so that we can discuss!


January Wrap-Up 2017


*Image not mine

Hey everyone! Here is my rather belated January wrap-up. Unfortunately, I only read 6 books.

The Books

All titles link to Goodreads

Talking As Fast As I Can

By Lauren Graham


4.5 Stars

This book was fantastic and fun and I’m so glad I decided to listen to the audiobook. Lauren Graham is such a performer and she is just so wonderful to listen to.

A really easy read, I recommend it to all fans of Gilmore Girls.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5)

By J. K. Rowling


5 Stars

Many people say that this instalment is their least favourite of the series, but I didn’t find that at all – perhaps because I listened to the audiobook rather than reading a physical copy. At any rate, I loved this book.

Overall, it was a fantastic read with brilliant characters, mixing entertaining times with frustrating ones.

If you are struggling to get through, I do thoroughly recommend listening to the audiobook as I feel it would help out significantly. However, that is coming from someone who loves audiobooks and what works for me may not work for you.

You can find my full review here.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)

By J. K. Rowling


5 Stars

One of my favourites of the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was an easy and engaging read.

Ginny, Neville and Luna continued to be fantastic characters, coupled with the ever-brilliant Hermione and Professor McGonagall. Dumbledore was also most definitely a highlight. While I’m still up in the air about whether I actually like Snape, I did appreciate the foreshadowing where he was concerned.

I appreciate how the relationships between Harry and Ginny & Ron and Hermione were fleshed out, making me more on board with them than I was. However, I’m still not sure if I like Ron and Hermione together.

Ron under the love potion was probably my favourite part, but Luna’s quidditch commentary certainly comes a close second.


Hamilton: The Revolution

By Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter


5 Stars

I love this book and Hamilton with every fibre of my being. It was fantastic and amazing and brilliant. – I read it in three sittings.

Lin’s annotations were definitely my favourite part. I learnt so much and was throughly entertained and sometimes even got slightly emotional (I teared up near the end).

This book cements my love of Hamilton and I will forever love it and pet it (seriously, this book is gorgeous!)

I will forever stand by the fact the Lin is an absolute genius.



By Alison Evans


4 Stars

I was surprised at how much I ended up liking Ida – it took me a while to really get into the story.

An awesome thing about this book is the amount of representation it has, especially considering it’s not the main focus (which some books do). Here, it’s not really a big deal – which I like. There are characters who are bisexual, genderqueer and genderfluid.

Another pro is that the pronoun “they” was used in reference to the love interest, Daisy, which is something that took a little bit of getting used to but was rather cool.

Even though it’s not really highlighted, there are also some PoCs in here.

Frank was great – he was certainly a highlight and perhaps even my favourite character.

Damaris and Adrastos were quite interesting, if confusing – they were never quite explained.

The narrative style of third person present tense was something that I’m not usually a fan of but it did grow on me.

I’m glad I read Ida in one sitting, because it had the potential to be rather confusing. It also had a rather open ending with some things left unresolved. However, it was interesting and I did enjoy it.


No Sugar

By Jack Davis


3.5 Stars

This was a school text and while I did enjoy it to some extent, it wasn’t the best. It was better than I’d anticipated but I really had to push myself to read it.  That said, it is probably one of the more interesting books I had to read.

As it deals with the treatment of Aboriginal people in Australia during the Stolen Generation, it is not only diverse but #ownvoices too, which is cool.

Gran was pretty awesome, while Cissie and Sister Eileen were also interesting.

Blog Posts


Other Notable Points

  • I set my Goodreads goal to 70 books. I usually set it to around the hundred mark, but as I’m in year 12 this year I wasn’t sure if I could make it.
  • I had an awesome time at a bookish picnic hosted by the YA Room, a new Melbourne-based book club. I’m also actually in a group photo, which is a welcome change (even if I’m at an event, I always seem to miss the group photo. You can find the official wrap-up post here.
  • The YA Room’s first book of the month was Ida by Alison Evans. We had a discussion at the Alexandria Gardens where Alison graced us with their presence. It was another awesome time. The wrap-up post can be found here. I also managed to be in this group photo too, which was awesome.
  • School started back and with it, year 12 – a.k.a my final year, which is sure to be a lot of fun, but also a stress-fest. We’ll see how the procrastinator in me handles it.


Let’s Discuss!

So, what have you been reading lately? Any exciting life occurrences? Any new years resolutions?

Have you read any of the books I listed? If so, what were your thoughts?  Do your opinions differ from mine?

How were your holidays? (If you had any) Did you get up to much?

Are you back at school too?

Please leave a comment so that we can discuss!


October, November & December Wrap-Up 2016


*Image not mine

Hey everybody! It’s been ages but I’m finally back! She say the month before year 12.

Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to be doing a slight redesign as well as uploading new content – I have big plans and I’m really excited about them.

Over these past three months I read a total of 25 books.

Note: like my previous wrap-up this one is extremely long. You have been warned.


The Books

All titles link to Goodreads




Omari and the People

By Stephen Whitfield


3.5 Stars

A character-driven exodus of a people lead by hope and just looking to survive. While this story does have some elements of romance it is more a side element than anything.

You can find my full review here.


Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3)

By Leigh Bardugo


4 Stars

A great, satisfying read with beautiful writing.

I marathoned this trilogy earlier this year, with the exception of the last two or three chapters of this novel. I really wish I had kept on reading as there were a few things I was slightly confused about upon completion – definitely a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.”


Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2)

By Ransom Riggs


4.25 Stars

I liked this instalment a lot better than the first, which is a relief.

It was a lot more engaging, the characters more developed, the writing better (there were quite a few great quotes!) and the romance between Jacob and Emma a lot less creepy (I’m kind of behind it now, but we’ll see).

I especially liked how Jacob’s peculiarly was further developed and we get a hint at another unexpected aspect (but that could just be me overthinking).

Again, I really liked how the characters were explored. In Miss Peregrine’s I felt rather detached from the cast, but I came to care about them in Hollow City.

To be perfectly honest, I was unimpressed with the first book and had to push myself to read this one. However, I am extremely glad I did and am excited to see how this series ends.


These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)

By Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner


4 Stars

Although it took a bit to get into, I ended up really enjoying These Broken Stars.

The character development was definitely a highlight and is what stands out for me. The characters really came into their own and also came to fit with each other really well.

Recommend for people looking for a solid sci-fi survival romance. I’ve also heard it described as “the titanic in space”, though it was more focused on surviving the planet than the high society/world aboard the spaceship.


This Shattered World (Starbound #2)

By Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner


4.25 Stars

This Shattered World was easier to get into than These Broken Stars for me. I really enjoyed the characters (plus those epic action scenes) and the plot was more politics and conspiracy theories than survival, though they both share a strong military vibe.

I really appreciated the diversity in this book; Lee is half Chinese and Flynn is Irish, and there was a fair amount of culture surrounding that, which was really cool.

I will say that I was (and still am) confused about the dream passages that we get every few chapters. It made sense to include them but I’m still rather confused. I preferred the interview excerpts from These Broken Stars in that regard.

I would recommend reading this series back to back if possible, because there are a few subtle references and cameos that are easy to miss.

Tarver and Lilac have a cameo! Which was a lot of fun. I also really liked how there was an obscure mention of Lee in These Broken Stars, Sofia was a minor character in this book and Gideon was also mentioned (though more obscurely). Excitement levels = very high.

Overall, this series so far is an excellent sci-fi with great characters and an intriguing plot. I would recommend to those who enjoy YA books and may want to dabble in sci-fi.


Their Fractured Light (Starbound #3)

By Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner


4.75 Stars

I really loved this book, and reading it also made me appreciate the previous books more.

I was initially disappointed to find out that this finale was only in Sofia and Gideon’s POVs, but it worked out really well.

I loved all the connections between characters that have been woven in from the beginning. Seeing everyone interact and the threads finally coming together was absolutely fantastic and rather fulfilling. However, I must admit, my favourite parts were the excerpts from the whispers before each chapter. My heart soared, broke, and everything began falling into place.

I will say that the characters do feel older than teenagers – but then again, these characters have been forced to face a lot of challenging situations and grow up fast.

The plot took unexpected turns, often throwing me for a loop, which is always great.

An easy read and a solid finale, Their Fractured World is definitely worth the read. Again, I suggest marathoning this series if that is at all possible as there are subtle connections and foreshadowing threaded throughout all three books.

I’m also left wondering if Amie enjoys writing zombies as they have appeared in both her series to some degree…


Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2)

By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


5 Stars

While I didn’t like Gemina quite as much as Illuminae I still really enjoyed it. Despite it being over 600 pages, the format and the fast pace meant that I finished it in a single day (and a school day none the less).

I really enjoyed the new characters we were introduced to, though it took me a little longer than with Hannah and Ezra. Nick and Hannah were pretty great, though Ella was by far the standout. Ella was severely disabled but she didn’t let that stop her – she was sassy and amazing and an incredibly talented hacker.

In this instalment we also meet Isaac, Kady’s dad, which was great.

I will say, I went into Gemina expecting the surviving crew from Illuminae to come in around half way through, but it was more like two thirds.

I loved all the plot twists – which are essentially staples in both Amie and Jay’s writing. The character one was great, but at the end when we find out what “gemina” means? Genius. (And yes, I am being deliberately vague, thank you for noticing).

Suffice to say, I recommend this series to pretty much everyone and I can’t wait for the third one (in which my name will be included!)



By Roald Dahl


4 Stars

This was my first Roald Dahl book.

Matilda was a surprisingly good read with a humorous voice, an incredibly intelligent protagonist who loves to read, a horrid antagonist and some great friendships.

In terms of plot, I pretty much knew what was going to happen as I’d seen the movie as a child and saw the musical just before I picked up the book. It’s always really interesting to see different takes on a story and how it changes the meaning. Both adaptations are quite good but there is a definite innocence and charm about the original source material.

A recommended read to all ages, especially if you have seen or are going to see one of the adaptations. Dahl’s narrative voice is certainly one I will be exploring further.




Infinity (The Infinity Division #1)

By Jus Accardo


5 Stars

A surprisingly brilliant read, Infinity features fantastic characters, a great plot, and a focus on perspective.

You can find my full review here.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)

By J. K. Rowling


5 Stars

It’s been years since I first read the Harry Potter series, and I’ve been really enjoying listening to them on audio. It’s amazing the little details you forget even when you think you know the stories so well. Prisoner of Azkaban is perhaps my favourite so far.


Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them

By J. K. Rowling


3.75 Stars

Note: this is the textbook, not the screenplay.

I read this in anticipation of the movie. As expected, it was interesting but rather dry as it is, in fact, a textbook.


Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3)

By Ransom Riggs


4 Stars

Library of Souls was an average read for me, but it wrapped up the series well.

This series put me in a slight reading slump as I simply had no read desire to pick it up. I felt no connection to the characters, the plot was okay, the world was decent and it was overall just a “meh” book (and series) for me.

I feel that 4 stars is somewhat generous so that may be subject to change, but we’ll see.

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this series but that’s just my opinion – I know several people who love it. However, I feel like these books will ultimately prove forgettable and I’ll likely unhaul them.




Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1)

By Alison Goodman


4 Stars

A fun and historically accurate read, (well, excluding the whole demon hunting thing) Lady Helen has a strong, stubborn, intelligent protagonist, an alluring love interest and great female friendship.

I was hoping for more training on Helen’s end but I understand that this was very much an introductory novel where she was still working out where she stood. However, I sincerely hope that there will be more training in the second instalment.


Lusus Naturae: A Lord Carlston Story (Lady Helen #1.5)

By Alison Goodman


3 Stars

An okay read, this is just a short novella from Carlston’s point of view when he first meets Helen. It doesn’t tell us all that much that we didn’t already know, save for the fact that his wife did indeed go missing as her body was never found. Again, I hope that more will be revealed around this in the second book.


Saga Volume 1

By Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples


5 Stars

New to graphic novels though I am, I found Saga to be an absolutely fantastic read.

The art was beautiful, the characters great and the plot intriguing. However, my favourite part was definitely the fact that their daughter is the one narrating the story.

I absolutely flew through these first three instalments – I read them back to back and it took me less than an hour for each. I can’t wait to read the rest. (Shout out to my friend Tara who leant me her copies. You’re a gem.)

However, I will say that there is sex, nudity and violence in these comics. If you’re not comfortable with that, maybe give Saga a miss.


Saga Volume 2

By Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples


5 Stars


Saga Volume 3

By Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples


5 Stars


Ms Marvel: No Normal (Ms Marvel #1)

By G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona


4.5 Stars

A whole lot of fun, Ms Marvel was a great read. Kamala Khan is an adorable, nerdy teenager who is also a muslim – that alone had me sold. She writes fanfics too! So relatable and awesome. Her friends and family were also fantastic and I can’t wait to see where this story goes.


On the Fence

By Kasie West


4.5 Stars

A fun, light read, On the Fence was exactly what I needed to get me out of my slump – I breezed through it in a single sitting.

Reminiscent of Sarah Dessen (who got me into contemporary) it has great characters, an interesting story and deals with more serious issues of identity and family.


The Distance Between Us

By Kasie West


4.5 Stars

Another fun story to read in one sitting, The Distance Between Us is full of vibrant characters and dynamics, sarcasm, banter and wit. It has people being people, raw and unfiltered.

Kasie is fast becoming a favourite author if mine, and I’m amazed that I haven’t picked her up sooner – the Sarah Dessen vibes, the light, fluffy story, the rave reviews… I also really appreciate how her stories feature cameos from other stories – One the Fence briefly mentions this protagonist, and has more in-depth mentions from two others.

A great read, I can’t wait to read the rest of her collection.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4)

By J. K. Rowling


4.25 Stars

Another great instalment, The Goblet of Fire was fun.

The biggest thing rereading this series has done for me is making me appreciate Ron’s character – prior to the re-read, I simply thought he was an idiot. Now, even though I still sometimes think he’s an idiot, I really appreciate his friendship with Harry.

However, I am left with a question: why is it that Harry can’t see the thestrals at the end of Goblet of Fire but can in the beginning of Order of the Phoenix?


Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

By Becky Albertalli


5 Stars

This book is so completely adorable I think my heart has melted. (I mean, I was warned but…)

Everything is just so cute and fluffy and adorable and I love it so much! It does also deal with friendships and family which is cool, but I’m currently riding the high from this book.

I am extremely tempted to immediately reread so I can catch all the adorable moments irl with Blue now that I know who he is (and he’s perfect btw) – I can only remember a few.

Anyway, I love it, should have read it sooner and must now impasse upon you all the importance of reading this book ASAP.


Milk and Honey

By Rupi Kaur


4 Stars

A beautiful, moving, accessible collection of poems that anyone can read and understand.


The Fill-In Boyfriend

By Kasie West


4 Stars

While not my favourite work of hers, The Fill-In Boyfriend was still a great read.

Highlights include expansive character development, a focus on family and friendships, as well as encouraging us all to be better, more authentic and open people.

Kasie has definitely earned her place as one of my favourite contemporary authors and I look forward to reading more from her.


Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

By Leigh Bardugo


5 Stars

So, after much delay, I finally picked up Six of Crows and, as anticipated, absolutely loved it.

The plot twists were amazing and the heists excellent, but the characters are what really made it for me. – The wit, the chemistry, the genius… I loved it all (especially Kaz).

Though I’m still not 100% sure that it’s necessary to read the Grisha trilogy before Six of Crows, it definitely helps. I’m also glad that I listened to the audiobooks as it definitely helped my mental pronunciations of the various terms that otherwise I would have had no idea.

I will say, I kept getting distracted by the sheer beauty of the physical book. I managed to score the black stained hardback, and it is utterly gorgeous – the colours are so deep and (again) gorgeous.

I definitely recommend this book and can’t wait for the next one.


Blog Posts


Other Notable Points

  • The Gemina launch happened! I got to meet so many of my amazing twitter friends for the first time and/or again. It was amazing! Plus, I actually took photos this time.
  • I’m still obsessed with Hamilton. I really don’t think that’s going to stop any time soon.
  • I got my dream job at a bookstore.
  • The school year finished! Hooray for holidays but cue existential crisis about year twelve.
  • I marathoned all of the Gilmore Girls episodes ever and am now obsessed. However, I’m not really a fan of the revival – though there are parts that I like, not least that it’s existence pushed me to start watching the show in the fist place. Highlights of the revival include the introduction and Emily’s story arc.
  • I’ve been organising my life – to some extent. Let’s not talk about the homework that’s glowering at me ominously from the corner. I got rid of a lot of clothes, I unhealed a heap of book, I rearranged my bookshelves and I got a diary.
  • I made my first instagram post, which is cool. I’m @joysofbookworms if anyone cares. However, I doubt I’ll be posting much – twitter is where my heart is. Self-promo much?


Let’s Discuss!

So, what have you been reading lately? Any exciting life occurrences? Any new years resolutions?

Have we read any of the same books? Do your opinions differ from mine?

Please leave a comment so that we can discuss!



Omari and the People


Author: Stephen Whitfield

Narrator: Curt Simmons

3.5 Stars



Audible | Book Depository

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In a squalid ancient city on the edge of a desert (based in part on the African Sahara’s Empty Quarter) a weary, thrill-seeking thief named Omari sets his home afire to start anew and to cover his many crimes. When the entire city is unintentionally destroyed by the flames, the cornered thief tells the displaced people a lie about a better place which only he can lead them to, across the desert. With the help of an aged, mysterious woman who knows a better place actually does exist, they set out. The desperate people must come together to fight their way through bandits, storms, epidemics, and more. As a result of Omari’s involvement with Saba, a fiercely independent woman who is out to break him in the pay of a merchant whom he has offended, his ability  to lead – his very life – is jeopardized.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Note: I received this book from Jess at Audiobook Promotions in exchange for an honest review as a part of this tour. The tour is being sponsored by Stephen Whitfield and Curt Simmons. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Although not a story I would usually reach for, Omari and the People was a solid read.

First of all, the narration in this book was fantastic. Curt’s slight accent kept me captivated and coming back for more. With a relatively slow plot and overall story arc, that was important for me. It also serves to further highlight that this was not, indeed, a european setting. I’m not great with accents, but I believe his was possibly arabic.

Omari and the People is largely character driven, rather than plot heavy. The characters, while slightly hard to keep track of due to similar sounding names on audio, were interesting and developed throughout the story. Umal, an older lady, was my favourite character as she was the most intriguing – shrouded in mystery, constantly surprising everyone, incredibly wise, and perhaps even possessing paranormal abilities, Umal was always one to look forward to. Sofia, mother of two young sons, and Umbaric, former captain of the city guard, were also quite interesting.

On a quick side note, shout out to Dab of Darkness for including character names in her review, for otherwise I would have no idea what any of them were (save Omari and perhaps Saba).

The setting, according to Stephen, is loosely based off Africa, but to me – perhaps because of the accent Curt assumes – it appears to be more Middle Eastern, the characters Arabic. However, due to the nature of the descriptions, the desert could really be anywhere. The whole “exodus across the desert” is reminiscent of the story of Moses, but there are no real religious mentions – with the exception of a few characters having possibly supernatural gifts. So, again, the story is one that encourages readers to build the overall world and time for themselves.

A character-driven exodus of a people lead by hope and just looking to survive, this story does have some elements of romance but it is more a side element than anything. I recommend giving Omari and the People a read (or listen, as I would suggest) if you’re looking for something slightly different but enjoyable none the less.