Sunday, 28 July 2013

Pretty & Bookish #4

1. The Lovely Librarian Soap Collection was created by Barbara Georges for her bibliophile sister. The collection includes Kerouac's Ginger Carrot, Plath's Lavender Rose and Bukowski's Basil Mint. Such an awesome idea with beautiful packaging - plus it sounds like they would smell absolutely divine. 

2.  I love this illustration by Mab Graves. It's got a slightly gothic/creepy vibe going on which I really like. 

3. When I (eventually) move out of home, I'm so gonna go get me some of these hand painted porcelain bookish plates. *Sigh* 

4.  Custom designed Where the Wild Things Are Vans . Some people are so amazingly creative - I seriously have no words. 

5. Although, I've been doing more crocheting than knitting lately, I would still love a pair of these book lover's knitting needles. So gosh darn cute! 

What bookish things have you come across on the interwebs that you love? 


Monday, 22 July 2013

Mini Book Review: The Avery Shaw Experiment by Kelly Oram

Title: The Avery Shaw Experiment
Author: Kelly Oram
Publisher: Bluefields
Released: May 2013

Summary: The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart. 

 Avery finds the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and some serious extra credit.

The Avery Shaw Experiment is delightfully fun, romantic teen read. It features a: 

a) Cute nerdy science girl
b) Hot athletic guy
c) Science fair
d) Funny BFF with no filter and, 
e) heap of banter and innuendo 

It is a truly enjoyable read with cute characters and funny and swoony moments. It's a perfect pick-me-up read if you're feeling low. And just goes to show that not all books that feature cliches (e.g. nerdy girl and popular guy) have to be trite and stale. I really enjoyed the alternating POVs, in particular Grayson's bold and cheeky narrative voice. Avery's sweet and  naive personality is the perfect pairing to Grayson's outspokenness. I loved how Grayson bought Avery out of her shell and helped her not only overcome her heartache, but become a stronger person. The Avery Shaw Experiment is a perfect summer read: fun, funny and super sweet. 

Have you read The Avery Shaw Experiment? 
What's your favourite cliche?


Friday, 5 July 2013

Favourite Books About War (Feature & Follow Friday #10)

Feature and Follow Friday is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read

Q: Today’s is the US’ Independence Day. Share your favorite book with a war in it, or an overthrow of the government. 


1. Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden: Australian YA; A group of teenagers go on a camping trip and return to discover that their country has been invaded 2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: An unforgettable novel, set during World War II, by another great Australian author. 3. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons: One of the most romantic stories I had ever read, set during World War II in Russia. It has become one of my favourite books. 4. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: This classic novel which takes place during the American Civil War is a must read, or at the very least a must watch!

Be sure to leave a comment so I can stop by your blog :) 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

June Reading Recap

One word to sum up my June. Cold. And lovely (Sorry I just had to sneak another word in there). I've done quite a bit of reading this month, both YA and adult. Aside from reading This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith and Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti I managed to get through a few other,more adult, books this month. I also found myself cracking open my craft supplies and getting out the old knitting needles. I was surprised to find that I still remembered how to knit! Given that it has been over a year since I first learned. My next project is learning how to crochet :) Now if only I could actually finish one of my many started and then abandoned projects..... 

The Princess Bride by William Goldman 
 The Princess Bride movie has become a cult classic and while I don't love it with the same fervor as others, I still like it well enough. This is (probably) one of the only times when I will say that the movie is better than the book. Maybe it was just too clever (or meta) for me.

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz 
A collection of short stories that exposed me to a whole culture I had never encountered before. It's gritty and vulgar and has a main character who is a not so nice guy. While I never out right hated Yunior I also never really cared much for him, and what was to become of him in the end. The writing however is great.

A fascinating historical fiction/ fairy tale retelling that I highly recommend. This is not the Rapunzel you saw in Tangled. It is better, because it's dark and scary and has elements of mystery and romance and all that good stuff that is not for little eyes or ears. I also love that it taught me so much about French history. Learning new stuff is awesome!

 Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
A book about a bookstore! This book so had my name written all over it. And as an added bonus it's set in San Francisco, one of my favourite cities. I feel like this book had all the elements to make it amazing: musty old bookstore, creepy and mysterious shenanigans, cute google girl, amazing nerdy friends. But it just didn't quite hit the mark. Still an entertaining read that kept me guessing till the end.

Dare You To by Katie McGarry 
 So, although it may not seem like it from this post I do in fact read YA books. Dare You To was the first book by Katie McGarry that I have read. For reasons unknown to me, I wasn't able to bring myself to read Pushing the Limits. After reading Dare You To I'm extremely tempted to go back and give it another shot. It is such an awesome edgy read. And Beth and Ryan... *sigh*. Ah-mazing. 

What have you been reading in June? 
Do you solely read YA or do you like to mix it up a bit?


Saturday, 29 June 2013

Pretty & Bookish #3

The weekend has finally arrived! It's funny because it takes so long to get here and then its over in a flash. Oh well, that's life I guess.  I'm reviving this old (meme? feature?) whatever... of awesome pretty things that Bibliophiles, or any philes for that matter, can drool over.

1. These socks from ModCloth are one of the cutest things I've ever seen. Book-friendly fashion indeed! They would be so good to wear snuggled up in bed on a cold winters night.

2.  I stumbled upon this gorgeous print from Squeeky Chic. I love the hazy lighting and the books - of course the books!
3. How cool is this!  I love oversized jumpers/sweaters and I love HP. It's a match made in heaven. This would be the perfect addition to my winter wardrobe and will help keep me warm since we've been getting a barrage of 1 degree Celsius mornings lately.

4. Guys, I think I just found my craft project for this weekend. DesignMom has instructions on how to make the Perfect Yarn Ball bookmark. Aren't they the cutest? I've got plenty of yarn floating around the house so I'm definitely gonna give these a try.

What are you plans for the weekend? I love hearing about cool things other people are doing; I'm in need of a bit of weekend-spiration lately.


Sunday, 23 June 2013

Mini Book Review: Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Title: Keep Holding On
Author: Susane Colasanti
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Released: May 2012

Summary: A romantic and empowering book about bullying. 

Noelle's life is all about survival. Even her best friend doesn't know how much she gets bullied, or the ways her mom neglects her. Noelle's kept so much about her life a secret for so long that when her longtime crush Julian Porter starts paying attention to her, she's terrified. Surely it's safer to stay hidden than to risk the pain of a broken heart. But when the antagonism of her classmates takes a dramatic turn, Noelle realizes it's time to stand up for herself--and for the love that keeps her holding on.

Keep Holding On is primarily a book about bullying in high school and how one girl, Noelle, overcomes this and learns to be happy in her own skin. It is what I always imagined an after-school-special movie would look like (if we had those kind of things in Australia). Aimed at a younger audience (I would say 12-14 year olds) it is lacking a bit of sophistication and finesse of other books in this genre. Noelle is a fairly relatable character, and you can't help but feel sorry for her given her situation; a neglectful mother, and the constant bullying she endures as a poor girl in an upper class area. The cover of the book is somewhat misleading as the romance is very minimal, and there was hardly any build up between Noelle and her love interest Julian. Keep Holding On is a quick read that deals with a real and important issue that has touched most people at some stage in their lives. While this novel had the potential to be a great book it falls flat in the delivery and its lack of depth is disappointing

Recommended for people who like: novels set in high school,anti-bullying stories, inspirational messages.

Did you enjoy Keep Holding On? 
What's your favourite book that deals with bullying?


Saturday, 15 June 2013

Book Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: This is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy
Released:  April 2013

Summary: When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds. Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?    

The lives of Hollywood actors has always fascinated me the teensy tinsiest bit. We all know at the end of the day that they're just normal people like me and you. Well maybe not exactly like me and you, but they're human (although, the jury is still out on some of them). It's just that you have to wonder sometimes what it would be like living the way that they do.

In This is What Happy Looks Like we get to meet Graham Larkin, a somewhat reluctant teen heartthrob who much prefers spending time with his pet pig Wilbur than partying it up in LA. Does someone like Graham Larkin exist in Hollywood today? Probably not. I mean we can dream though. While Graham has more money than he could possibly ever need, and is famous throughout the world...he isn't happy. His distant relationship with his parents and the isolation he feels due to his fame are some of the elements that bring a bit of reality to this, overall, unrealistic and cliche ridden novel. 

The romance between Graham and Ellie is cute and nicey-nice. The email exchanges between them at the beginning of the novel were especially sweet and funny. And while they  are both decent human beings - Ellie is a down-to-earth, smart girl and Graham is a genuinely good  guy - there wasn't enough character wise and plot wise to really dig your teeth into. I felt as though this book had the makings of being great, but missed the mark along the way and ultimately fell flat. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy reading this book, because I did. The writing is good and I liked the romance between Ellie and Graham.  

This is What Happy Looks Like is a light read with a likable characters and a cute romance. While it lacks the spark and depth of other novels in this genre, and is not as compelling as Smith's 2012 novel The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, it is still sure to please those of us who are fascinated (okay, slightly obsessed) with Hollywood stars and the entertainment business. 

Recommended for people who like: Fluffy reads, lifestyles of the rich and famous, E! News.

What did you think about This is What Happy Looks Like? 


Saturday, 1 June 2013

Best of May 2013: Books, Beauty, Music, TV

Source: NatashaJadepe

Happy 1st of June! We survived another month :) I've settled in to the 9-5 daily grind after (finally) securing a full time job (and it only took 6+ months of visiting daily, hazzah!). It officially feels like Winter, something else to be happy about (if you're a freak like me and love the cold, that is). My new job has meant less blogging time but fortunately more reading time (the only thing my daily commute is good for). Such a catch-22, *sigh*. Anyway, here are some of the books, tv shows, music and beauty products that I've been loving this May. 

Arrow: DC Comic book hero, the Green Arrow, brought to TV land. This is SO not my usual kind of show, even with the over-the-top number of sweaty ab scenes. I'm sticking with this for one reason and one reason only: Felicity. Or better yet Ollicity. 

Arrested Development: Ever since this show was cancelled way back in 2006 I've been hoping, dreaming, wishing and praying for a renewal, a movie, a miniseries, a short film, ANYTHING. However, when you've wanted something so bad for so long it's often hard to live up to your expectations. I'm halfway through the recently released 4th season of Arrested Development and the laugh out loud moments are few and far between. However, I remain optimistic that the best is still yet to come! 

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons: I spent most of this month agonizing over the fate of Tatiana and Alexander, the two main characters in The Bronze Horseman trilogy. This historical romance set during World Word II in Russia is such a gripping tale and with characters that will stay with me for a long time to come. *I suppose I should note that this is not YA, in fact, it's far from it. Some of the scenes in here made me positively blush lol. 

The Body Shop Vanilla Body Mist: A warm vanillary fragrance that I love AND isn't overly sweet smelling. I've always aspired to smell like a freshly baked cookie. 

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream: I'm fighting dry winter hands with this hand cream. It moisturizes really well and you only need to use a little bit as it goes a long way. 

Indieshuffle: is a great music discovery website/app. I use it to find my new favourite artists and re-discover old hits. Songs are added daily so there is always something new to listen to and enjoy. 

What books/tv/music/movies are you currently loving? 


Saturday, 4 May 2013

Mini Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Released:  February 2013
"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says. 
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers. "I’m not kidding," he says. 
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen." "What about Romeo and Juliet?" 
"Shallow, confused, then dead." '
'I love you," Park says. 
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers. 
"I’m not kidding," he says. 
"You should be."
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.Goodreads    

Eleanor & Park is cute and sweet love story between two misfits set in the 80s. However it's not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows (despite the name of the author) for these two teens. The novel has quite dark overtones, and big dose of realism which of course I loved. From the the first couple of pages in I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, and my own personal reading of this book was clouded by a sense of dread and fear for the characters. Despite this, or maybe because of it, I enjoyed reading about Eleanor and Park as they were quite interesting characters. Eleanor's self-esteem issues and troubled home life made her a more relatable character, and Park's own identity issues, being half asian and slightly effeminate were refreshing to read about. I just wish Rowell had touched more on some of these issues and themes, especially Park's relationship with his father. I agree with a lot of other readers who felt that the ending falls flat, but nonetheless Eleanor & Park is a story that has enough grit, substance and sweet moments to make it a satisfying and thought-provoking read. 

Recommended for people who like: Freaks & Geeks, The Smiths, Pretty in Pink, comic books. 

What did you think about Eleanor & Park? 


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Waiting On Wednesday #10 : This Is What Happy Looks Like

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds. 

 Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs? -  

I love cute email exchanges, books about celebrities and Jennifer E. Smith's writing. You can read the first chapter of this book here. I did, and I'm hooked already!

What are you waiting on this week? 
Leave your links and I'll be sure to check them out. 


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Book Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: June 2012
Released: Dial Books 
Summary: A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another. One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.” The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?   Goodreads    

My Life Next Door is for the most part an eezy breezy summer love story, of similar ilk to the entire works of Sarah Dessen. However, as we Dessen fans well know, there is more going on under the surface. In My Life Next Door the tension and drama comes in the form of the protagonist's, Samantha Reed, mother; an upper class, soon-to-be Senator, with an unhealthy love for her vacuum cleaner, and a extreme distaste for the large, noisy, sprawling family next door. When boy-next-door Jase and Samantha embark on a summer of love, these very different families collide with shocking results. 

Fitzpatrick paints these two differing families with such detail and thought that it's easy to immerse yourself into their lives. The Garrets, you just can't but help love them. They're a huge family; totalling 8 kids and everyone of them as precious and funny and real as the next. From Patsy, the youngest, whose first word was boob, to George, who has an aversion to wearing pants and is a little encyclopedia. And of course the main love interest Jase. While it seems like bad guys are all the rage as of late, I really love a good guy. And that's exactly what Jase, and his family, are; good people. The well developed characters meant that each emotion was felt more vividly on the page, and when things take a turn for the worse I felt Samantha's pain deeply. Samantha, and the reader, are drawn to this vivacious family next door, who are a bright spot in Samantha's cold and sterile world. 

Fitzpatrick really pulls this story together in the last quarter of the novel, as we see Samantha have to make some hard choices and stand up for herself and her beliefs. My Life Next Door, is a can't-put-down book. Its complex characters and beautiful, realistic romance make it a must read, and put it up there with some of my favourite reads from 2012. 

Recommended for people who like: contemporary, Sarah Dessen, summer romance, star crossed lovers. 

Who was your favourite Garret? 
Do you think Samantha's mother is an irredeemable character? 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...