5 Things I Learned During #NaNoWriMo

So… I participated in #NaNoWriMo this month! If you don’t know what that weird mash of letters means, it stands for National Novel Writing Month – a month where writers across the globe get together (well, online, but the feeling of unity is real) and aim to write 50k during the month! It’s fun and hectic and we all need approximately 328 gallons of coffee to make it to December alive, but it’s totally worth it.

While I didn’t get to the full 50k this month (why do they plan this during the busiest month of the year, I demand to speak to the manager), I did make a really good start on a new WIP and I had a lot of fun doing so! I’ve been working on a crime / sci-fi YA novel for the past month, and yes, it’s as weird as that mashup of genres sounds. It has sociopaths and vigilantes and monsters and stabbing and scones! What more could anyone want in a novel?!

This is the third time I’ve participated in #NaNoWriMo, and still I learned new things from taking part again. So whether or not you were involved this year, I think these tips are applicable to all writing experiences. I hope you can take something away from this post!

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8 of the Best Queer YA Novels of 2018

2018 has been an incredible year in terms of new releases featuring queer characters! I say this every year, but I honestly think there have been more new books featuring LGBTQIAP+ characters during 2018 than any year previously. It’s amazing! More queer novels, please!

I’m just so happy that this year, the majority of the books I’ve read have included explicitly queer characters, if these characters aren’t the protagonist. Five years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined being able to pick off more than a handful of these books off the shelves at stores – and look where we are now! My glittery rainbow soul is singing.

I’m already looking forward to all the glorious queer releases of 2019, but before then, I’d like to share my top 8 queer reads of 2018! I utterly adored all of these and I could have put 100 more on this list, but I had to narrow it down to my absolute favourites. I hope you loved these ones too!

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5 Books I’m Currently #Obsessed With

It’s a known fact that October is the best time of the year for book lovers… or the worst, if we’re thinking about our bank accounts and looming TBRs. Yes, it’s release season! The time where new books are flying at us from left, right, and centre, and we’re left desperately trying to keep up. And even though it can be stressful trying to juggle all these amazing releases, it’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting times of the year.

With the start of the spooky season comes all the exciting books that we’re all desperate to get our hands on! It’s like it’s the last rush for publishers to get all there exciting releases out into the world before Christmas, and even though October is a month that breaks my bank, I’m happy to drink terrible instant coffee instead of extravagant Starbucks frappuccinos if it means getting my hands on an anticipated release.

So today I want to fangirl about some of the most excellent books I’ve read recently! I’m still getting through my TBR pile and I’m sure there will be a whole lot more that I want to scream about, but in the meantime, here’s five of them that deserve to be on your shelves too.

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YA Books for People Who Love These 9 Musicals

Something I don’t get to talk enough about on my blog is just how much I adore musicals! I’ve been a fan of them ever since my mum used to take me to them when I was a kid, my first memorable experience being seeing The Lion King. From there, I craved all that I could get. I saw Wicked and Hairspray and Matilda, and most recently, The Book of Mormon. But alas, because most of the well-known musicals haven’t crossed the ocean to Australia yet, I have to settle for listening to the soundtracks and dreaming about the day I get to see them live.

So today I thought I’d blend my love of musicals and books and recommend some YA books for fans of these particular musicals! If you need a little nudge to listen to some of these and enjoyed the books I’ve paired with them, I definitely recommend going and finding a soundtrack – or even seeing it live if you can! Let’s flail about all the best musicals together.

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Top 8 Underrated Books of 2018

It’s hard to believe we’re already 3/4 through 2018 already! I’ve read so many spectacular new releases this year, including some really hyped ones, but it’s time to spread the love for some of the lesser well known novels I’ve adored this year so far.

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Reign of Mist

When I read Heart of Mist last year, I honestly didn’t know how Helen Scheuerer was going to one-up herself. But like Heart of Mist happily surprised me by how much I adored it, Reign of Mist was just as incredible. This series is such a fast-paced, action-packed fantasy that will captivate you from the very first page and won’t let you close the book until you’ve finished and craving more. Reign of Mist picks up right where Heart of Mist left us, again taking us on a journey filled with magic and secrets and intrigue. If you’re a fan of fantasy, this is definitely a series that should be on your radar.


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Heretics Anonymous

I was desperate to get my hands on Heretics Anonymous ever since I heard about it, and this was definitely a book that didn’t disappoint. It talks about religion and friendship and hypocritical beliefs. Not only does it introduce us to a diverse cast of characters who I loved getting to know, but it also has an adorable romance that I desperate wish we could get another book about. Heretics Anonymous is such an exceptionally-written YA contemporary, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.Read More »

Why I’m Obsessed with Trashy Novels

A lot of the time, fluffy YA novels that contain fun storylines where the reader doesn’t have to think too much are labelled as ‘trashy’. Like these books are lesser than everything else that’s being published because they’re being consumed for sheer entertainment value. But I don’t think these books should be looked down upon in the way they have in recent years. Of course there’s no disputing that it’s necessary to have YA novels that make people think and allow people to become aware of issues they might not experience in their own insular lives, but that doesn’t make ‘trashy’ novels any less valid.

Looking back on the first few books that got me into YA, most of them would be considered ‘trashy’. There’s not much serious content in books like Hush, Hush or Twilight or Anna and the French Kiss, but that doesn’t make them bad novels. So how come these are the types of books that are so obviously ridiculed by adult fiction readers who sneer at anyone reading anything that’s targeted at a young adult audience? It’s almost as if they’d rather everyone be condemned to reading nothing but Hamlet and The Great Gatsby and Heart of Darkness, the likes of which have been shown to turn young people off reading over and over again if they’re forced to read books they’re not interested in.

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Why Anthologies are Awesome

There’s something I underappreciated for years and seriously regret overlooking for so long now — anthologies. I mean, they’re basically a book full of epic short stories by authors you already know and love, authors who are rumoured to actually be gods, and authors who you haven’t heard of but quickly become people you want to read more from. Anthologies are perfect in so many ways, and so this is just a little appreciation post for the books I so naively neglected for the majority of my life. Anthologies are awesome, y’all!

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Anthologies introduce you to new authors.

Without question, all the anthologies I’ve read so far have introduced me to new authors — authors who I’m now desperate to read more from. And that’s probably my favourite thing about anthologies. We all have our favourite authors and our auto-buy authors, but anthologies are often the things that give me the extra nudge to give another author the go and seek out their previous work. I just have so much love for anthologies.Read More »

#LoveOzYA I’ve Read Recently

I’ve read some #LoveOzYA books recently – what a surprise! I’ve been so pleased with the amount of YA that’s been published by local Aussie authors this year and how many I’ve been able to get through so far this year. Not only have I read the most recent releases from some of my favourite #LoveOzYA authors, but I’ve also read some really unique ones and will definitely be picking up more books by these authors in future.

As usual, click on the book title for the Goodreads synopsis and to add it to your Want-To-Read list! And without further ado, let’s get into my thoughts on the six #LoveOzYA books I’ve read recently…

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Memorable Reads Around the World

“I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.” — Emily Dickinson

I didn’t realise it at first, but the title for one of the #LoveOzYA books I read recently—I Am Out With Lanterns—is in fact an Emily Dickinson quote which sums up the story (and teenage life) pretty accurately. I Am Out With Lanterns is a beautifully-written, honest portrayal of teenage life and the struggles and the triumphs of high schoolers. Being a teen is a time where so many of us are searching for who we really are and what meaning our lives hold. And so many of us are still out there with a lantern, looking for ourselves. Maybe that’s a lifelong process.

So in celebration of the release of I Am Out With Lanterns and the conversations about searching for yourself that have arisen, I thought I’d share five novels I’ve read that have tied me to different places and different times in my life. I think there’s something so magical about reading a book and having those feelings and the atmosphere in which you read the book stay with you long after you’ve read the final page. Here are my most memorable ones…

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