The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue – book review

29283884Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

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Top 5 Sci-Fi Books

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I never really used to be much of a sci-fi person, at least not when it came to books. I’ve loved Doctor Who for as long as I can remember and I’m a massive Star Trek nerd, but somehow that love of sci-fi never infiltrated my reading habits. The few books that I attempted to pick up that were set in space always seemed to be lacking something, and it was only recently that I found a few sci-fi novels that I actually adore. There are some terrible YA books set in space out there, but there are also some brilliant ones. So today I’d like to share my top five sci-fi novels with you!

1. These Broken Stars

This trilogy was the first series that I actually liked that was set in space. Before that, all I tried to read were cliched novels about love being stronger than gravity or sexy aliens falling in love with humans. Even my younger teenage self — a smaller and more annoying version of my present self — couldn’t have been fooled into thinking that these novels were worthy of my time. But that all changed when I read These Broken Stars and found that there was actually some quality YA sci-fi novels out there. This series wasn’t just enjoyable — it was thrilling and fast-paced and blew me away with how phenomenally-written these different worlds were. I loved how each of the three books were centred around different protagonists and I adored them all equally. You really don’t have to be a sci-fi person to enjoy this series, but you’ll definitely be a sci-fi person afterwards. Read More »

The Reader’s Guide to Audiobooks & Audible

Something I’ve discovered recently is that I absolutely love audiobooks. I hadn’t really listened to them much before this year, but now I just seem to be consuming books whole. I’ve already listened to two complete audiobooks this week. I mainly just listened to podcasts before, and I was hesitant to launch into audiobooks because of a few reasons, but I’m so glad that I decided to sign up for Audible and begin my audio-loving adventure.

There are upsides and downsides to listening to audiobooks, and a few things I wish I knew before starting to listen to them, but today I’m going to share all my tips and tricks and what I love and hate about it!

Why Audiobooks are Amazing

They’re convenient! I can honestly listen to audiobooks during 70% of my ordinary daily life. Of course, I’m not able to listen while I’m in class or out with friends, but they’re perfect for my commute to uni and even to listen to while at work. I’m lucky enough to be assigned the very exciting task of making chocolate-coated ice creams at the cinema I work at, so that gives me five hours of solid listening time each shift. It’s such a great way to power through books! Plus, I also love to listen to an audiobook when I’m making food at home or just relaxing before bed. If you see me with earphones in, chances are I’m listening to an audiobook.

It’s relaxing. Even into my early teen years, I used to beg my parents to read a book to me, and they’d always tell me to read it to myself. I missed having someone read to me, so when I started listening to audiobooks, my whole world was changed. You know when you’re too tired to hold open a book at night, or even your eyes, and would love for someone else to read it to you? This is why audiobooks are perfect! It’s just so lovely to have someone read to me again.Read More »

If Books Were Food

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who like to snack on certain foods while reading, and people who don’t (AKA PEOPLE WITHOUT SOULS. Or maybe just without an appetite). Personally, I love to eat sweet food while reading, even though I consider myself as more of a savoury person. WHY AM I WEIRD? Well… there are a lot of reasons.

ANYWAY. For me, there’s nothing better than snuggling up with a book and a cup of chai with a block of chocolate. Not a piece – a block. That specificity is very important to acknowledge. I’m also partial to raspberries and underripe bananas. Just in case you ever wanted to surprise me with food. To be honest, I’d be happy with any kind of food you buy me. I’m not that fussy.

But as well as loving to eat while reading, I’ve found that certain books make me crave certain foods or drinks. We always talk about how reading fosters empathy, but you know what isn’t mentioned enough? THAT READING FOSTERS APPETITE. Uh huh. I’m not kidding. If a book has never made you hungry while reading it because of what the characters are eating, you’d have to be some kind of superhero. Honestly, I commend you.

So these are the books that you need to be wary of when picking up, because you’ll have to have the appropriate food / drinks on hand to fend off those annoying cravings that seem to keep poking at your stomach until you finally indulge in them. You’re welcome.

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Mini Reviews

Ta da! See, I told you I could do it! Step outside of my comfort zone and try to collate my thoughts about a particular book into less than 400 words. It was a challenge that mostly consisted of incoherent screaming, procrastination snacking, and lying on the ground in the foetal position wondering what the purpose of life is, but I DID IT!

While I love to write long and rambly reviews, they DO take a lot of time, and when I go to seek out reviews personally, I find that I prefer to read shorter ones if possible. I love a good rant, but sometimes all I want is 300 or 400 words telling me why I should pick up a book, or why I should avoid it like the plague.

THANKFULLY, most of the books I’ve read recently have been marvellous! So today, I’d like to share my thoughts on three of my recent reads, and hopefully convince you to pick a couple up and add them to your monstrous TBR. ENJOY!

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Writing Diversely

Today I want to talk about something that has been on my mind for a while now. If you’re a part of the bookish community online, specifically on Twitter, you’re bound to have seen the discussion surrounding diversity and #OwnVoices and making space for marginalised writers. I absolutely believe that we should be reading and promoting more books by marginalised writers, as well as seeking out #OwnVoices novels, but has this gone too far in some aspects?

We want to read books written by people about their own stories and identities, but at the same time, it’s important to recognise that that shouldn’t be the only experiences these authors are capable of writing about. If you’re a marginalised author, you shouldn’t be confined to writing about characters of your own specific identity, but at the same time, privileged writers shouldn’t only have to write about characters of their identity. It’s important to respect the spaces of marginalised writers and promote their own stories and books, but at the same time, we need to recognise that authors shouldn’t have to stay in their own lanes if that means not including characters who are of different cultural backgrounds or identities to themselves. And we also shouldn’t demand authors justify themselves and their right to write what they do – many authors may not feel comfortable disclosing such personal details about their lives and it’s not the reader’s place to pry. It’s simply disrespectful and invasive.Read More »

A MONSTER CALLS Q&A + GIVEAWAY

It’s finally here! After what feels like an eternity of waiting, A Monster Calls is being released in cinemas in Australia on July 27! I first read this beautiful and heartbreaking novel late last year, and since then, I’ve desperately been counting down the months until I’d be able to see it all play out on screen and crush my soul all over again.

A Monster Calls is a beautiful story of love and loss and learning to deal with grief, and it’s one that will bring a tear to the eyes of all readers. I’m absolutely sure the film will do the same, and the cinematography looks absolutely amazing. This isn’t a movie to miss.

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Top 10 YA Books About Grief

Recently, I’ve found that a lot of the books I’m reading are united by one common underlying theme — grief. There’s something so raw and powerful about these books that means I can’t help but fall in love with the characters and feel as though I’m experiencing every heartfelt moment right beside them. Grief is a strange thing. It can work its way into every facet of your life, paining each smile and making your heart clench, even when you least expect it. Grief isn’t a thing that can be dealt with lightly, whether it be the grief of losing a family member, or a friend, or someone that meant the world to you. It’s these novels that I find leave a mark on me and find a home inside my heart. They say that books have the power to change you, and the novels I’ve read about grief and loss definitely have.

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1) History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

I wasn’t expecting to be as moved by this book as I was. Told from alternating times — History, and Now — this novel revolves around the impact and the lead-up to the death of Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo. Griffin’s grief was so raw and so genuine, and it reduced me to nothing more than a sobbing mess at the end. The writing was exceptional, the characters were vibrant and real, and each sentence was filled with a heartfelt yearning to bring back what was lost.Read More »

The Color Project – book review

Color ProjectBernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn’t want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project.

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee’s summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

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