Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 End of Year Book Survey

Hey so how is it the last day of 2014 already? How has 2014 gone by so quickly? At times this year seemed to go on forever nek minnit it’s New Year’s Eve. How will you be celebrating? Me? With champagne, a book and watching Sydney’s NYE fireworks on TV :D

These past 365 days (I checked, it wasn’t a leap year) have been intense for me personally and eventful in terms of the book world! I somehow made it through my Honours thesis, finished my 4 years of uni and my blog managed to survive by a thread! There were soooo many amazing releases this year, most of which I got my hands on, the majority of which I didn’t get a chance to read *sadface* But let us not despair (well just me really) because I did read some fantastic books this year and I’ll be concentrating this post on books released this year (I’ll try my best anyway).

The End of Year Book Survey is hosted by Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner and if you haven't heard of her I don't know what you're doing with your life.

1. Best Book You Read In 2014? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2014 release vs. backlist)

It’s going to be a genre breakdown again!

ContemporaryJust One Night by Gayle Forman. I know it’s just a novella so… Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour. But JON was the much needed continuation of Just One Day and Just One Year!

ParanormalWhite Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout. JLA writes the hottest books srs.

Science Fiction/DystopianIgnite Me by Tahereh Mafi. Warnette :3 But This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner was a really, really close 2nd!

FantasyDreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. AKIVA AND KAROU and that world and Prague it's beautiful and heart wrenching!

AdultThe Tea Chest by Josephine Moon. One word: pretty. It's a really pretty book inside and out :D

And my ABSOLUTE favourite book of 2014 is obviously:


(Hey do you see a pattern here? 2013 was Crown of Midnight. I ain’t even mad.)

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. The hype around this one was phenomenal and that cover is gorg. Jaz gets tricked again by pretty covers. This one fell so flat for me.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2014?

Kiss the Sky by Krista and Becca Ritchie. It’s one of the rare “new adult” books that I picked up and ended up loving!

4. Book you read in 2014 that you recommended to people most in 2014?

Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas so Throne of Glass! I PUSH THIS SERIES SO MUCH.

5. Best series you discovered in 2014?

Derp it’s an old one but The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson was wao! I love me my high fantasy.

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2014?

Brandon Sanderson. Okay so he's not new but he's new to me! His high fantasy wao. I got totally sucked into the Mistborn trilogy.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Um so shhh but I decided to see what real BDSM is meant to be like (wao that sounds wrong but I mean in books… oh whatever) since I know 50shades does it all wrong so I picked up The Saint by Tiffany Reisz and fell in love with Nora and Soren *hides*

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2014?

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. That. Plot. Twist.

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Just One Night by Gayle Forman. My feels yo.

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2014?

I saw it and poof I was gone – needed that book in my life instantly.

11. Most memorable character in 2014?


12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. Ah her prose is just beautiful and makes me weep. Especially the blurb of Days of Blood and Starlight wao.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2014?

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. Pls.

And All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven which just snuck in last night!

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Omgomgomg GANSEY.

15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?

Longest: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (763 pages)

Shortest (not including novellas): A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (112 pages) it's an amazing and eye-opening book on feminism that everybody needs to get on - also it's one of the few non-fiction books I've ever read.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi chapter 55 followed closely by the We Were Liars ending

(Last year was Unravel Me chapter 62 LEL)

18. Favourite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2014 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Celaena and Rowan from Heir of Fire

19. Favourite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Disruption by Jessica Shirvington. Jess can really do no wrong.

20. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson recommended to me by too many people to mention.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2014?

Somehow it ended up being contemporary again. This must be remediated ASAP with high fantasy.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Jem Carstairs from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. His book Clockwork Prince is probably my fav in the series. I'm calling it his book because he's on the cover and he just dominates ok?

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley. It did not feel like a debut at all, extremely well written and executed.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2014?

Splintered by AG Howard. The colours were so vivid and the world was fantastic in this Alice in Wonderland retelling. Also, cover lust.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2014?

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes. Totes cute as.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

(All the books I read in 2014, including non-2014 releases)
  • The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
  • Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  • Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
  • Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
  • City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  • Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
  • Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

27. Book You Read in 2014 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Waowaowao my feels, the writing the characters. Much awesome.


And there we have it, my year in books!

Thoughts? What books topped the list/made an impact on you in 2014?

I shall see you all in 2015!

Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year c:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #11

My goodness I haven't done a Top Ten Tuesday in like 7 months but I thought I had to do this one as I might not be able to get my 2014 End of Year Book Survey in since I'll be going away.

This week's: Top Ten Books I Read In 2014! And I'm doing this by all the books I read in 2014 regardless of release date. This doesn't include all my 5 star reads because while some books were 5* quality, they weren't... Favourites per se - they weren't books I'd re-read. These are the books I adored, would re-read, endings that made me happy, gave me lots of feels and had really shippable couples!

This was really hard to choose D: like 10 just overall best books I read this year? ARGH here goes...

You knew it. I knew it. The whole world knew it. HOF is my fav by a landslide. It is THE book of the year for me.

CHAPTER 55. Sweet baby Jesus *fans self*


SO. MUCH. LOVE. FOR THIS SERIES. And JON was perfect. It's one of my favourite contemporaries ever. It's like... Melina Marchetta level favourite. That's right. You heard me.

It's Melina Marchetta come on. Saving Francesca 5 years later omgomg. All the Melina Marchetta <3

While I loved DoGaM too and that ending to the trilogy was fantastic, it was DoBaS that gave me so many bloody feels.

Aaslkdjslfsdghslhfsdfs no words JUST READ THIS IT'S BEAUTIFUL. The writing is stunning!

Assassin nuns? CHYEAH! Also, swoony guy. High fantasy wins!

I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender

I binge read this whole series and loved it but if I had to pick 1 book I loved out of the trilogy it'd be the last one. High fantasy always.

Absolutely blown away by the depth of the world building. It's a fantastic mix of so many genres and it just WORKS. Samantha Shannon is genius.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review: This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Firstly, thanks to Allen & Unwin Australia for this review copy <3

Date Read: November 30 - December 1 2014
Release Date: November 19th 2014
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Australia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Sci-fi
My rating: 

"Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

The stunning second novel in the Starbound trilogy is an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness in a world torn apart by war."


“A chance without wars and blood feuds and madness everywhere on this shattered world…”

I think Kaufman and Spooner have somehow worked out the formula for the perfect book because This Shattered World was the perfect companion continuation to the Starbound trilogy.

Move over Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen, Lee (Jubilee) Chase and Flynn Cormac are the new It couple! (JOKES I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU LILAC AND TARVER PLZ4GIB.) Lee is Stone-faced Chase, the famous take-no-shit Captain that’s posted on Avon to help try smother the local rebel movement known as the Fianna. A le Flynn the rebel who has the guts to sneak into the military base to try find out why his home planet is not terraforming as it should. And he chooses Stone-faced Chase to kidnap and question or hold hostage. Either or. You know, just casually.

BUT NAH UH. Stone-faced Chase ain’t having none o’ dat! Dis qurrlll so kick-butt she stabs him in da thigh wit dat plastic cocktail skewer thingy. No but seriously Jubilee Chase is a fighter. She doesn’t go down without a fight in any sort of situation and I just admired her resilience! Her character and mindset is written fantastically. She sees everything as an opportunity to escape, maim, kill or some way to exploit. I could clearly see her military training coming through first and foremost. She’s been hardened by her past and I loved the flashbacks into her past that gave even more substance to her persona. I liked that she was realistic, didn’t romanticise things and accepted that life on Avon and their universe is the way it is.

“Captain Chase is never afraid.”

Flynn on the other hand I found to be a bit more na├»ve. He’s the perfect balance to Lee’s pessimism ahem I mean realism. He’s got this fiery passion within him and I found him to be such a hopeful person. He yearns for peace and for more. More for his people, more for himself, more for the planet that he knows could flourish. Flynn is constantly conflicted, a bit of a sweetheart and a bit of a romantic. He makes me smile c:

“You know, most people find me charming.”

There was this moment early on in the book where my eyes bulged because for one heart shattering second I thought there was going to be insta-love. And then Jubilee Chase happens and I’m like LOL GO AMIE AND MEAGAN. It wasn’t a funny moment but I was just so relieved and I was chastising myself going “come on as if they would do insta-love”, so it was funny okay? Don’t judge me. The romance is another slow build-up which is perfect for me. To be honest it’s not so much romance as this… Tension between the two. Attraction and tension and too many things coming between Lee and Flynn for it to really be romance for the most part. Ah but there’s a spark. A flame if you must. But does it ignite? Well…

“Maybe we wouldn’t even like each other if we weren’t fighting for our lives every second of every day.”

“Maybe someday we’ll get the chance to find out.”

The plot of This Shattered Word is unique from These Broken Stars and yet it shares this integrity of the universe that manages to hold and shape the series, revealing more of the Starbound world that Kaufman and Spooner have created. As tensions between the military and Fianna rise, Flynn and a reluctant Lee realise there’s more to be worried about. There’s fighting and skirmishes and lots of sneaking around. But! There is so much more going on in Avon and everything is linked together and ARGH I just loved all the secrets and conspiracies! You guys there is SO MUCH you don’t know so you should just really read this. Serious business. Also cameos. I love cameos. Cameos are life.

“We thought that… well, we thought the story ended there.”

Prior to starting TSW I was genuinely worried. I thought I’d constantly be comparing Lee and Flynn to Lilac and Tarver. I didn’t want the two couples to be competing. Thankfully, there is no competition! Each couple is unique and they have different dynamics that make them shippable and equally lovable so it’s all good!

Overall, This Shattered World was all kinds of perfect. With their witty and charming writing, Kaufman and Spooner have filled these pages with two fantastic characters that bring an integral storyline into the Starbound universe. And they do it with a flair that only they possess.

“Clear skies.”


Ahem. My review of These Broken Stars was blurbed in the Australian edition of This Shattered World! I AM SO HAPPY. Blogging achievement unlocked. Sorry I had to!

Monday, December 8, 2014

November Wrap Up + Book Haul

I haven't done one of these in ages! During my months long hiatus I acquired way too many books as a result of retail therapy so I'm not going to talk about those. I will however, show you my gorgeous November book haul - I'd originally done a video but due to the sheer number of books I managed to haul, it's just way too long. HOWEVER, I did film my November wrap-up and December TBR and you can watch it below in case you missed my face... You know... just in case.

Andd the reason November was so massive was because it was my birthday so people bought me books and for the first time in my life, parents gave me money to buy books YEYEYEY. Their argument was that they thought I had enough books already... AND YET THEY SEE ME BUY BOOKS ALL THE TIME SO LOGIC?

Books for Review

I got 2 eGalleys from NetGalley and 3 review copies!

I AM SO EXCITED FOR BOTH OF THESE OMG. Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for The Mime Order and Simon & Schuster UK for I Was Here and also thanks S&S for the auto-approval (:

Thank you so much Allen & Unwin for these review copies! I GAVE THIS SHATTERED WORLD 4.5/5 IT WAS FANTABULOUS

Now onto the good shit stuff... Not that the previous books aren't good... They're amazing but yeah.

Birthday Gifts

My gorjuz frans got these for me as birthday gifts. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and On the Fence are both from Mel @ YA Midnight Reads <3 I adored On the Fence but never got myself a finished copy. My friend Katie got me Freedom which is fiction/satirical and she really enjoyed it. My friend Jenny went to the Melina Marchetta high tea which I couldn't go to because I had an exam the following Monday (sadface) and she got me a PERSONALISED SIGNED copy of Looking for Alibrandi. I already own this edition but it's Looking for Alibrandi <3


And with the money from parents I got...

Hercule Poirot Boxed Set by Agatha Christie:

Some non-YA as I'm branching out a bit. I heard Not that Kind of Girl is really funny and the hardback is so pretty. I love these anniversary editions of the F Scott Fitzgerald books so I'm collecting them. And yes I can't believe I still haven't read The Catcher in the Rye or Memoirs of a Geisha yet. I've always wanted to read Murder on the Orient Express and I saw this box set at Myer during their VIP shopping night, and it was 40% off! So that's where I nabbed Not That Kind of Girl too :D and omg I just realised the Hercule Poirot mysteries contains 39 books and they just randomly picked 7 for the box set ROFL

The darkest minds never fade IN THE AFTERLIGHT dundundun. I love the way Alex has made the titles come together. I'm not happy with how my book 1 doesn't match my 2 and 3 though :/ I might have to get hardbacks eventually. Very excited for Snow Like Ashes because YA high fantasy <3 A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU COVER LUST OMGGGGGGGGGG.

And then some presents for myself...

Because y'all know I'm a fantasy nut.

And my personal favourite...





The complete hardcover Harry Potter books in the new illustrated covers by Jonny Duddle! These are exclusive to Australia/UK. Also just FYI Americans, the proper title of book 1 is Harry Potter and the PHILOSOPHER'S Stone. Idk why you changed it but yeah.

Aiiighttssss I'm out.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Aussie YA Bloggers Secret Santa Blog Hop

Thank you to the lovely organisers of the Aussie YA Bloggers Secret Santa! You guys have put a lot of work into this and done a wonderful job (:

This blog hop is for the participants of the Aussie YA Bloggers Secret Santa list to help you find out more about your fellow santas and santees and hopefully find out who your santa is!

Questions - Have you been a good or naughty blogger this year?

1. How are you going with your Goodreads challenge?

2. How many times did you post per week on average? Do you think you’ll post more/less in the future?
Well I tried to post once a week but I had to go on hiatus because I've had thesis all throughout the year and these past few weeks with finals were hectic! I don't know why I started blogging last year when I KNEW life would only be hectic for the next 2 years - full time work + part time uni all of last year and then thesis + overloading this year HAHA. Now I'm finished with uni, definitely post more :D

3. What is your Netgalley ratio?
Oh god... Erm... 42.9% *extremely embarrassed* I WILL REMEDIATE THIS SOON PROMISE.

4. Have you been commenting on other blogs?
NO. REFER TO 2 OMG *sobs*

5. Did you read mostly review books or non-review books this year?
Um... Um... Definitely non-review *sighs*

6. What are your blogging goals for 2015?
At least 1 review a week + other posts D: ? And regular posting haha

7. What is your favourite blogging moment/achievement of 2014?
The Heir of Fire blog tour I helped organise as part of the Maas Thirteen <3

8. Based on your answers above, do you think you’ve been a good or naughty blogger this year?

Leave 3 clues to help your Santee guess who you are!

1. We've met before in real life!
2. Your gift was a November release
3. You expressed postman issues in one of your recent posts D;

Join the Australian YA Bloggers and Readers Goodreads Group today to join in the fun!

Follow the Aussie YA Bloggers Secret Santa blog hop below!