BookAdvisor: Rating Your Reading Locations

Do you ever find yourself reading in weird places? Are you someone who carefully decides where they like to read, or someone who will just read at every opportunity? Well, today I’m going to introduce you to BookAdvisor – a place where you can rate your reading locations and provide feedback for other book lovers!  How exciting! How revolutionary!

JUST KIDDING. This isn’t a real thing… yet. But I totally think it should be! Share your reading places. Rate your favourites. Leave comments and feedback to better the bookish community. Check it out!

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Bedroom

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“Highly overrated!”

I went to my bedroom to read a book I just bought and was shocked to find it wasn’t as pretty as Pinterest had led me to believe. Where were all the fairy lights? Where was a hot cup of tea waiting for me? I don’t know how I’m expected to curl up on my bed and read a book when my room is so MESSY. Pinterest is a LIAR, I tell you. ALL THE PROMISES OF PRETTY BEDROOMS ARE LIES. Read More »

Self-Care & Refuelling Creatively

It’s a well-known fact that I’m a chronic overachiever. I’m a collector of jobs and internships, as well as hobbies and passion projects. But between going from uni, to work, to book launches, all the while trying to squeeze in a few writing sessions a day and keep up with blogging, it’s easy to become creatively drained. We’re living in a world where there’s an expectation that we should be constantly creating. Creating content. Creating a brand. Creating a community. With all that pressure that’s placed on us (and that we place on ourselves), it’s easy to feel like we’re not doing enough with our lives.

I’ve definitely experienced periods when I’m creatively drained and unmotivated. When I’m feeling that way, I’m less inclined to create—but herein lies the dangerous cyclical nature of that. When I don’t create, I feel bad about not creating, so then I continue to wallow in that sadness of not creating, feeling even less motivated about writing that blog post or making that video or plotting that scene. But over the past couple of years, I’ve realised the importance of creator self-care and refuelling creatively.

Today I’d like to share five ways I try to make sure I don’t feel like I’m burning out or become disillusioned with what I’m trying to create. So if you’re feeling stressed or like you need to refuel your creative juices, I hope these tips and suggestions will help you a little!

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Would You Survive As Your Favourite Character?

Have you ever wished you could be a bit more like one of your favourite characters? Adopt their magical abilities, or their wit, or maybe just their look? Although I’ve always dreamt of being best friends with the characters I read about, I’ve never wished I could fully transform into them. I mean, being a character in one of your favourite novels is a big gig. Rarely are characters flawless and their lives easy—you’re either expected to fight off the evil powers of the world, sell your soul for humanity, or even have your best friends killed. I mean… I’d love to be a witch, but just how much am I willing to sacrifice to be Hermione?

Today I’m going to be sharing which characters I wouldn’t mind becoming, and what likelihood of survival percentage I think I’d have in their world and their assigned narrative. But in my rumination of this opportunity—the opportunity to become a character from a book I’ve read—I think I’ve realised my life isn’t that bad. Sure, I’m in dire need of a nap and my coffee addiction is almost debilitating, but I’d take that any day over fighting off demons. But then again, trying to function without my daily coffee feels as difficult as battling a Greater Demon.

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Books That Found Me

Have you ever felt like you were meant to read certain books at a particular point in your life? Like you found these books at just the right time to make an impact? Or do you even feel like sometimes, certain books find you?

For me, I’ve always been under the belief that certain things happen sometimes for a reason. I’m not sure if I believe in fate, or the powers of the universe or whatever, but sometimes things are too much of a coincidence to simply be left up to chance. Like how I could have picked up literally any other book at that time in my life, but for one reason or another, these particular titles jumped out at me, begging to be read. And I’ve been forever changed because of that.

So buckle in, because I’m going to get personal with you about five of the books that have changed my life. They all came to me in a time I really needed them, and for that reason, they’ll forever have a special place in my heart.

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Should Gifs Replace Star Ratings?

Due to an unknown error, I’ve had to repost this post! Apologies!

If you’re anything like me, choosing how to rate a book is almost as hard as overcoming the traumatic death of your favourite character. Okay, maybe it’s just a little easier than that. It can be so hard to decide how to rate a book. I mean, what if you loved it, but not as much as some of the other books you’ve rated five stars, but there wasn’t anything you could fault about it in order to rate it four stars? What if you found a book pretty meh, but you’re not sure whether three stars is too generous or two stars is too critical? What if you’d just rather curl up into the foetal position and try not to think about how tough your life is as a book lover?

But today, I think I’ve found the solution. Instead of using stars, I suggest that we all commit to using a gif to summarise our feelings. I mean, there are endless gifs—surely there’d be one to fit your every need. Gifs are a way of sharing our feelings in one succinct moving picture that can convey more than an entire paragraph of gushing or ranting. So here are the pros and cons of using a star rating, compared to a gif, to rate the books you read.Read More »

ARC = Actually Reviewers Crying

ARCs are often referred to as “unicorns” – a title which conjures up images of magical things that are capable of solving all the world’s problems (yes, the world would 100% be fixed by the existence of these mythical creatures). But as much as unicorns seem like glorious creatures that could do no evil, sometimes they just can’t help it. What’s that horn used for, if it’s not for stabbing its enemies – and our feels? I don’t know where exactly I’m going with this metaphor but the point is – ARCS AREN’T ALWAYS ALL RAINBOWS AND SUNSHINE.

Don’t even get me started on the way some people are willing to sell their souls for ARCs of particular books (Exhibit A: a strange girl from Melbourne that relies too heavily on coffee and bad jokes). I’ve “sold my soul” so many times I’m not sure how I’m still alive and functioning. Wait… emotions are actual THINGS? Things that I should have? OOPS. Guess those got taken away along with my soul sometime in the past ten years.

So today I’m going to share all the reasons why ARCs don’t really stand for “Advance Reading Copy” – instead, it stands for “Actually Reviewers Crying”. AND HERE’S WHY…

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What Do Your Bookshelves Say About You?

Have you ever wondered what your shelves say about you? What people looking at your bookstagram account would be able to tell about you, based on how you organise your books? Well, today I’m going to spill the tea on what your decisions to arrange your books actually mean. Are you a outgoing? Classy? Is your life kind of a mess? Find out here!

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Minimalist Chic

Images courtesy of @deckledpages.

You’re all about that #aesthetic lifestyle. White sheets and cute mugs are your best friends – and your most common bookstagram props. Your taste in style is sophisticated and chic, just like your shelves. You enjoy the finer things in life and like to treat yourself to lazy brunches and coffee with friends, and unlike what bookstagram newbies might think, your feed is far from simple. You have a nuanced sense of style that complements your vibrant personality. You should totally come and give my room a makeover.


Floral and Attention-Grabbing

Images courtesy of @paperfury.

You’re the epitome of Pinterest goals. Your shelves are colourful and full of flowers, making them just as gorgeous as you are. You lead a busy life, but you always take the time to smell the roses and enjoy your precious time off. When you’re not reading, you can be found browsing Goodreads, buying or making more props for your bookstagram, and fangirling over anything and everything. Your bookshelves match your vibrant personality, and you’re always someone who people go to for new recommendations!Read More »

#NowWeRise Book Tag

I can’t believe that one of my most anticipated fantasy books of 2018 is finally here! AND IT’S EVEN BETTER THAN WHAT I HAD HOPED IT WOULD BE. I’m always a little cautious going into fantasy books because 80% of what I read is contemporary, but I couldn’t help but fall in love with Children of Blood and Bone from the very first page.

So I thought I’d do the #NowWeRise Book Tag to celebrate! I saw this tag on Bec’s Books and I couldn’t not participate. If you’ve read Children of Blood and Bone and would like to do the book tag, I’m officially tagging YOU! You’re also welcome to use the graphics I’ve created.

#NowWeRise Book Tag

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What’s a trope you’d love to see die, and one you’d love to see live, or flourish more often?

LOVE CURING MENTAL ILLNESS CAN GO DIE IN A PIT, THANK YOU. Honestly, it’s 2018 — we don’t want stories that show how falling in love will cure all your problems. We need novels that have mentally ill characters who have good support systems, or go to therapy, or take medication. There’s nothing that angers me more than one character thinking they can ‘fix’ another’s mental illness by their love. Most of the time, this is just done in a completely unrealistic way, not to mention how harmful it can be for some readers.

A trope I’d love to see more often is the ‘friends to lovers’ trope. Ever since I read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, I’ve been desperate to get my hands on romances as adorable as this. MONTY… PERCY… THEY’RE JUST SO ADORABLE. There’s something so sweet about two people who go from being friends to being in a relationship, and it never fails to melt my heart. If you have any recommendations for more books with this trope, I’d love to know!Read More »

How to Read 200 Books a Year

Do you ever just look at how many books someone’s read this month, or what their Goodreads goal is, and just melt into a puddle of despair crying HOOOOW?! Same. I’m that puddle. But instead of wallowing in misery that it’s highly improbable we’ll ever get around to reading all the books on our shelves or finally conquer our TBR, I’m going to give some VERY HELPFUL TIPS about how you can read hundreds of books each year. It’s pretty much foolproof.

My reading habits have remained mysterious to this very day, but NO LONGER ARE THEY A SECRET. I’ve #exposed all those other readers out there who read 200+ books a year, purely for your benefit. Shh… don’t tell them I spilled the tea. So take a seat, grab a notepad, and get ready to learn all about the secret lives of these speed-readers.

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Read multiple books at once.

You might think I mean flicking between a few different books at once – perhaps one of them is an audiobook for your commutes. Perhaps one is a physical book you only choose to read before bed. But no, I’m talking about reading multiple books AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. How are you meant to read two or more books at once when you only have two eyes, you ask? GET SOME MORE EYES. I recommend at least eight. It’s the only way to ensure you will have maximum retention of the novels and be able to smash through your Goodreads goal.

What, like, growing more eyes is hard? AMATEURS. Read More »

Three #LoveOzYA Launches of This Year So Far

In the past three weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to attend three incredible #LoveOzYA book launches. I’ve eaten cake, caught up with some of the most passionate bookish Melbournians, and had the chance to get my books signed and chat with these amazing authors. So today I’d like to share some photos and videos from these launches, as well as mini reviews of the novels that were launched!

White Night

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White Night was one of my most anticipated #LoveOzYA reads of this year, and it certainly didn’t let me down. I mean… CULTS. HOW EXCITING! I’ve been DYING to pick up a book about cults for ages (and yes, I’ve had Lili Wilkinson’s The Boundless Sublime on my TBR for, like, two years) and so I was incredibly excited to see how White Night would play out. And I certainly wasn’t disappointed. White Night was an intriguing book that showed you the alluring side of cults and how and why these types of groups exist.

One of the things I was most surprised by was finding out that Ellie herself used to be in a cult. While this isn’t something I’ve experienced, I felt that the way in which she wrote about the cult was incredibly well done. But not just that — she explored the ways in which cults sell themselves and what makes people join them. The cult in this book wasn’t some group of people that did witchcraft or went on murder sprees. A lot of what they did made sense and sounded like something we could all be pulled into, and that’s what was scary about it. It was just so fascinating to see the realities of how cults recruit members, instead of the way in which the media portrays cults. Read More »