How to Make a Book Launch EPIC

I’ve been to a lot of book launches in the last few years, and from those, I think I’ve picked up on what makes a launch particularly great. One of the things I love most about book launches is feeling completely immersed in the bookish community. I enjoy being present online and talking to authors and other bloggers and readers on Twitter and Instagram, and even here on my blog, but there’s nothing quite like seeing all these people in real life and telling someone how much you adore their novel or their blog in person. I’ve met so many amazing people since I started attending book launches and other bookish events, and I’m so thankful for this welcoming, supportive community.

BOOK NERDS UNITE!

Having been to more book launches than I can count, including two in the past two days, I have some tips and suggestions I’d like to share, as well as things I love about them that can never be changed because I’m allergic to mixing things up. It’d be like releasing the second book in a series before the first. #NotHappening.Read More »

Reading What You Enjoy

‘Read what you enjoy.’ It’s a phrase that we’ve all probably heard before in our lives, and have maybe even said to some people. You might tell someone who has different tastes in books to you to just ‘read what you enjoy’, end of conversation. If someone isn’t feeling the particular book they’re attempting to read, you might suggest putting it down in favour of reading something ‘you enjoy’. But sometimes the most important books are the ones that not everyone will ‘enjoy’. In the typical sense of the word, I ‘enjoy’ books that are easy to read and are a bit exciting and adventurous, but that I can read to escape reality and experience new worlds. Should that mean that I shouldn’t read the more confronting, powerful novels just because they won’t be easy reads or something merely created for entertainment value?

One of the most important questions readers have to ask themselves is this: What is the purpose of reading? Why do you read? Is it to escape your own reality, or to pass the time? Is it to experience things that might not be possible in your own life? Do you like to learn about people who are different to you in a multitude of ways? Or do you read to educate yourself?Read More »

Asexuality & TASH HEARTS TOLSTOY

For the amount of books I’ve read with queer protagonists, Tash Hearts Tolstoy was the first one I’ve read that features a main character on the asexual spectrum, with Tash being romantic asexual. Although there was a demisexual character in Alice Oseman’s Radio Silence and an asexual character in The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, these people weren’t the lead protagonists. And so when I heard about Tash Hearts Tolstoy, I immediately added it to my list. I need to seek out more YA novels featuring characters who don’t just fall into the first three letters of the LGBTQIA+ acronym, as I’m sure most of us feel the need to do, and so in this post I want to discuss the importance of representing teens of every sexuality in YA fiction.

It’s undeniable that teenagers and young people need to feel represented in what they read or watch and the art they consume, and thus it’s unquestionable that writers have the responsibility to write in a way reflects the diversity of the world we live in. It’s more important now than ever to show that people who aren’t straight but who may not identify as gay or bi or are transgender that they’re still a part of the LGBTQIA+ community and that their identity is valid.

We live in a world where people on the asexual / aromantic spectrum are sorely underrepresented, so much so that many people even believe that the ‘A’ in LGBTQIA+ stands for ‘ally’, which, whether intentionally or otherwise, erases the people who identify in this manner. Additionally, while I’m a big supporter of the #LoveisLove campaign and the gradual ‘normalisation’ of seeing same-sex couples or couples that are not made up of one cis male and one cis female in the film and TV and the novels we read, it’s important to acknowledge that who you ‘love’ is not the defining factor for being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. And the inclusion of characters within the LGBTQIA+ community in movies or books shouldn’t just be seen as the ‘token diverse character’. We’re people, not brownie points.Read More »

Domestic Violence in YA Fiction | Feat. THE BUILD-UP SEASON

34854006Seventeen-year-old Iliad Piper – Ily for short – is named after war and angry at the world. Growing up with a violent father and abused mother, she doesn’t know how to do relationships, family or friends. Her love-hate friendship with Max turns into a prank war and she nearly destroys her first true friendship with misfit Mia. She takes off her armour for nobody, until she meets Jared, a local actor and someone who’s as complicated as she is.

From the author of Yellow comes a powerful exploration of family and identity set against the humid build-up to the wet season in Darwin.

 

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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 »