Sunday, November 29, 2015

November Wrap-Up

Hi guys I'm back after a hiatus sorry for disappearing! Things got insanely hectic at work with training days and side projects to the point where I got so exhausted each night/week all I had time to do was sleep - and that's all I wanted to do. I did learn a lot on training and got some really good take outs.

You may skip this section in italics:
I went on a 2 day course for Design Thinking which is a way of thinking from the customer's point of view and looking at a concept purely from a desirability perspective (because feasibility and viability are constraints that really limit possibilities). I loved the positivity to the course and the way all ideas were encouraged and nobody was shut down. If we could take this and apply it everywhere I think it would boost people speaking up (confidence) and generate even greater ideas.
Last week I was on a 3 day conference with guest speakers on leadership and development. The leadership speaker was really inspiring and I liked the themes she spoke of. I finally had a huge weight lifted off my chest when my group presented a 6 month compulsory side project we'd had to do on strategy. And then on Friday I got to visit a high school and mentor students on resume/interview skills. The students cooked us food which was reallly tasty and it was such a rewarding day with great performances. It felt so weird stepping back into high school!
But Friday marked the end of my first year of work (in a way) and that's all my side projects completed so I'm FREEEEEEEEEE *dances*.

What's next? Well I've got a few reviews and my Lyla Payne interview post coming up (finally) and I'm going to tell you all the fun things I did in November!

I'm sooooo excited for the festive season, I've been doing heaps of Christmas shopping. If you follow me on Instagram you'll see all my posts about Christmas trees (I LOVE decorations), and if you follow on Twitter then you'll have seen all my present wrapping spam tweets lel.

I quietly celebrated by 23rd birthday on the 10th (which funnily enough was the last post I did). It's the most low-key I've ever had for a birthday. Thank you so much to Mel @ YA Midnight Reads for the lovely present and my mum for giving me $200 to spend on books - and spend I did hehe.

Mockingjay Part II + Aqua S
Last Sunday I went to see the final Hunger Games movie with Jess @ My Reading Dress. Despite what a lot of people said I absolutely loved Mockingjay Part II. For me, the decider for a book > movie adaption is how well it follows the book and it did this perfectly. It was suspenseful, full of action and kept me at the edge of my seat. I loved the acting, especially Josh Hutcherson and Natalie Dormer. Also Haymitch and Effie whew. Afterwards I got Baileys flavoured ice cream from Aqua S which I must admit was delicious. Side note: Jess and I went to DJs and I picked up another Christmas tree but this one was one of those leafless birch trees with lights - something I've been coveting for years. Random I know.

Hard Rock Cafe
We celebrated a workmate/friend's birthday on Friday and went to Hard Rock Cafe. I ordered the Mushroom and Swiss Cheese burger which was REALLY good. I love mushrooms and I love Swiss cheese, add on meat and I'm set. I can't say I'd go back though. The burger was $20 and I'm pretty sure I could get the same thing for much cheaper elsewhere. The whole menu was very exxy and I didn't think it was worth it. Their service was splendid though, the waiters really funny and nice.

There's my blog woo!

Last Friday was BTCYA (Between the Covers YA - HarperCollins Australia's YA arm) Sydney and I had sooooo much fun. We got to hear about all the fantastic books that are currently out as well as upcoming releases. I'm so excited for all the wonderful books next years, especially The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye which is high fantasy, which y'all know is my favourite genre. I'm also extremely excited for Passenger by Alex Bracken AND I GOT AN ARC. The goodie bags came with ARCs of Passenger - a special Aussie ARC which I'm really pleased about as well as another book (I got Demon Road by Derek Landry) as well the beautiful Ten Thousand Skies Above You poster. It was such a great night with bookish peeps and Terry :D I'm so sad to see Manda (and Tim) go, they are the crux of BTCYA and they're leaving big shoes to fill! The guest author was Jamie Curry, a YouTuber who wrote a memoir. She was really funny and I recommended her a bunch of YA contemporaries. I might post a full breakdown of the night later this week.

Sarah J. Maas
HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLY GUACAMOLE. You guys know Sarah is my absolute favourite author and that the Throne of Glass series is basically my favourite series. Meeting Sarah has been my dream for the past 3 years so I can't believe my dream has come true. She is so funny and sweet and lovely, I just loved hearing her speak. Sarah is extremely humble and down to earth and when she signed my book she was like "omg so nice to finally meet you" wherein I died inside and went to heaven. I really hope Sarah comes back to Australia in the future and props to Sonia and the Bloomsbury Sydney team for making this possible.

Books Read
While I didn't read a lot of books in November, the ones I did read were quite massive and had quite a few pages.

  • Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer - I loved seeing all the other characters in this and the progression of Thorne's character
  • Elantris by Brandon Sanderson - definitely my favourite Sanderson book so far. Loved the magic system and all the characters.
  • Their Fractured Light (Starbound #3) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner - review to come
  • Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer - satisfying end to the series. The thing about Meyer's books is that her heroines don't show their true strength until the next book when we see them from another's perspective. In their own books they're like damsels in distress. Cinder and Kai though so much love for these two.

Book Haul
  • Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford - about time I started on this adult colouring thing. It's oddly therapeutic,
  • The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald - I'm collecting these gorgeous editions they're so pretty!
  • Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins - I can't remember where I heard about this but I love the concept of timeless romances and time travel. Also a standalone so yay!
  • Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - I got a review copy from Simon & Schuster AU when this came out but I've always wanted the hardback because the jacket is awesome - it opens up on the inside to a photograph of Emily and Sloane
  • The Devil You Know by Trish Doller - I LOVE Trish's books. Her debut Something Like Normal is one of the most fab contemporaries ever. Ok so what I don't understand about this is WHY this is a different size to her other 2 books which ARE the same size? It looks weird next to them...
  • The Peony Lantern by Frances Watts - I heard about this at BTCYA and I was so intrigued because it's Aussie YA and set in feudal Japan. I just had to get it at the event!
  • Firefight (Reckoners #2) by Brandon Sanderson - I'm reading Steelheart atm and I'm SO glad they had the smaller paperback out at the Dymocks sale
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon - I've heard great things about this so it's high time I got my hands on this. I've heard this is becoming a movie too?
  • Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry - it doesn't usually take me this long to get a Katie McGarry book but for some reason I just wasn't in a rush to get this because it wasn't in the PTL universe. I'm still excited to read this because I adore Katie's gritty and edgier YA style
  • Dead Ends by Erin Lange - I haven't heard of this but Mel (YA Midnight Reads) got this for me for my birthday thank you!
  • The Next Together by Lauren James - what was it I was saying about time travel and romance? Yeah. Thanks Mel for this!
  • Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2) by Claudia Gray - I don't care that I don't really love this series because these covers make me love them and I am so invested in these beautiful covers AHAHA
  • Their Fractured Light (Starbound #3) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner - yayyy the final Starbound book. Thanks to Allen & Unwin for sending me this review copy!
  • Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken - NO WORDS. NONE. ALSO THAT COVER WOW. Thank you, thank you BTCYA for this ARC.
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson - I've heard so much about this graphic novel (and was doubly convinced after BTCYA) I needed it in my life
  • The Red Queen (Obernewtyn Chronicles #7) by Isobelle Carmody - thanks Penguin Teen Australia for sending me this monster of a book. It is seriously massif. Like do you even lift?
  • Obernewtyn (Obernewtyn Chronicles #1) by Isobelle Carmody - I guess I have to start the series now aye? At least I don't have to wait 28 years O_O
  • The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater - you guys this whole hardback boxset was $20.99 on Booktopia and I had free shipping. Yes you heard right. I don't care that I already own Shiver in paperback and I never finished it, this was too good of a deal to pass up
  • Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer - THIS TOOK ME A WHOLE WEEK TO FIND HOLY MOLY. And I devoured it. It was soooo good.
Reading: Broken at Love (Whitman University #1) by Lyla Payne // Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderon
Listening To: What a Feeling by One Direction (THANKS JESS FOR GETTING ME OBSESSED)
Watching; Flesh and Bone - I found this on Stan, it's a new mini-series about ballet. It's dark and graphic but I'm loving it so far.

Ok well that's me. LOL that was long. Kbye.


  1. Congrats on finishing everything at work!! That must be a great feeling :D My sister went to the Sarah J Maas signing - I was at my schoolies thing but it sounds like it was a great time. And I missed BTCYA as well, dammit! Hopefully I'll be able to catch up with you next year :D

    1. From what I could tell you had a pretty good time as well getting drunk at schoolies ;) Congrats again on finishing the HSC you go girl!

  2. Welcome back! I miss seeing you around here. That is also a great haul that you have!

    1. Thanks so much Lyn! It's getting really hard to post regularly because life *sighs* and yes November was fabulous woo!