The Aussie Book Tag

Hi everyone❤

Today I’m going to be doing The Aussie Book Tag after I saw @headinherbooks do this tag on her blog. This tag was created by  @PicnicReads and @HappyComes. This seemed like a really fun tag to do and who doesn’t love showing some pride for their country 🙂 Let’s get started:


K O A L A

{A character you want to cuddle ALL DAY LONG}

I just want cuddle Maxon from ‘The Selection Series’. I love that series so much and Maxon is my favourite character. He is just so precious and charming and adorable *swoon*tumblr_n4jthmRAHp1sfk4d5o1_500.gif

V E G E M I T E

{A book you love that everyone else hates}

Hmm, this is quite a hard question to answer because I usually dislike books that other people love. After scrolling through my Goodreads and watching too many booktube videos to count, I would have to say ‘The Maze Runner”. Now, while I didn’t LOVE this book, I did enjoy it and wanted to continue the series. When I read (and listened) to some of the reviews, I was quite surprised to see that not many loved the book.  (Fun Fact:I hate vegemite).

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S O C C E R O O S

 {Favourite fictional squad}

Okay, I’m going to go with the obvious of the Harry Potter squad. I loved reading Harry Potter when I was younger (still do) and I loved the friendship and dynamics between Harry, Ron and Hermione. It makes me nostalgic just thinking about it!

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S O U T H E R N   C R O S S

{Most recent 5-star read}

I don’t give many books 5 stars, so my most recent book would have to be One by Sarah Crossan. I gave this book 4.5 stars, which is close enough 🙂belle

P A T R I O T I S M

{Favourite book by an author from your country}

I loved the book My Sister Rosa by  Justine Larbalestier. This is a great book by a great Australian author. Comment if you would like a review on it!Australian_Flag_Flying_animated.gif

E C H I D N A

{A book you like to look at, but it physically hurts to read}

This was another hard question as the books I don’t like usually don’t have nice covers either but one that comes to mind is The Accident Season by  Moïra Fowley-Doyle. The cover is quite creative and appealed to me, but I hated the book 😦

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N E D  K E L L E Y

{A book that is really grim, but an iconic must-read}

I have 3 books for this question :Chinese CinderellaThe Diary of a Young Girl: Anne Frank and My Sister’s Keeper. All these books as so depressing but are absolute must-reads and I adored reading them (that sounds bad).

 

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P A V L O V A

{A light, and fluffy book that you can’t help but love}

I can think of SOOO many books, but the first one that popped into my head was To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I absolutely loved this book and I’m pretty sure I read it in one sitting. This is such an adorable and sweet book. GO READ IT!!!

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M I L O

{A genre/author you reach for to get you out of a reading slump}

Contemporary reads can always get me out of a slump. They are very light and easy reads that always make me feel happy afterwards 🙂


So that’s it for The Aussie Book Tag. I invite any of you to participate in this tag, whether you are Aussie or not!

I hope you enjoyed reading this tag as much as I’ve enjoyed doing it♡

Signing off, Ash xx

 

 

 

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July Book Haul

Hi everyone❤

Sorry I’m posting this haul so late,  I don’t know why I’ve taken so long. Last month, I accumulated a total of 5 books (which is a lot for me!) Here goes:

IMG_1228Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard- Isn’t the cover just gorgeous! I knew I had to get it when I saw it for only $10. I have been hearing great things about this book and the plot seems justIMG_1224 up my alley.Very excited to read it!

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass- I have already read this series and absolutely adored it. I think we can ALL agree when I say that this series has one of the most beautiful covers. Click to read my review on IMG_1229‘The One’ by Kiera Cass

Just a Few Inches by Tara St Pierre.- I received this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This book deals with the issues of body image and self-confidence and it’s a great read. Click here to read my review on this book.


Last Month, I read a total of 7 books:

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen (4/5)

George by Alex Gino (3.5/5) Click here to read my review on this book.

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher (3.5/5)

99 Days by Katie Cotugno (4/5)

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (3/4) Click here to read my review on this book.

The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail (3.5/5)

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (4.5/5)


Feel free to add me as a friends on Goodreads 🙂


Have you read any of these books? What books have you purchased this month? Let me know in the comments below❤

Signing off, Ash xx

 

Book Review of ‘Just a Few Inches’ + Author interview with Tara St Pierre

Hi everyone❤

Today’s post is a special one as I have both a book review and author interview with Tara St Pierre! The author of the book:‘Just a Few Inches’. This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion or review of the book. So let’s begin this post with the interview I had with the lovely Tara St Pierre:


Me: What were your ideas/ inspiration for writing Just a Few Inches?

Tara: I was standing in the checkout line at a drugstore or supermarket, casually glancing at the magazines. I was struck by how many of them featured headlines about ways to shed pounds and/or inches. This over-emphasis of how women “have to” appear was distressing. But it was one particular headline that utilized the word shrink that caught my attention, saying “shrink your waist” or something like that.

Being a fan of classic science fiction movies, my mind did some free-association and connected with the 50s film The Incredible Shrinking Man. I imagined a scenario where a teenage girl influenced by these magazine covers and television ads would unnecessarily want to be a little bit smaller, only to find that she was getting smaller in a very different way.

After that, I researched factors that may play a part in society’s perception of body image. Is it the media? I could explore this question by giving my protagonist Carrie have a career goal in journalism. Is it competition with each other? I could explore this question by giving her boyfriend an ex-girlfriend that may want him back. Is it fashion dolls girls play with? I could explore this question by shrinking Carrie down to that size. Once these questions—and ways to address them—were developed, I knew I had something.

Me: How long did it take for you to write your novel?

Tara: My inspiration for the novel came in the mid-90s, and back then, I wrote maybe the first six or seven chapters of the novel. I was much less experienced with plot outlining back then, and I was writing with very little idea of where the story was going to end, so I stalled. Over the years, I’d revisit what I had written, maybe make a few changes, but I was never able to move forward.

In early 2014, I was looking at the first chapter and I saw one of the things I was missing. Carrie needed a career goal, and it made perfect sense for her to want to go into journalism. Who better to comment on the media than someone who would have some understanding of it? Then I wrote the prologue (renamed as “Before”) and epilogue (“After”), and I had the bookends of the story.

Once that happened, I sat down with a calendar and planned the second half of Carrie’s senior year in high school—from the Valentine’s Dance, the Prom, all the way to Graduation and slightly beyond—matching her dwindling height to the various events. After that, it took about six months to write the first draft, and then I spent almost a year revising and tightening the story.

Me: Have you always wanted to be an author?

Tara: I’ve always had a vivid imagination, and I’ve always enjoyed creating stories. I’ve written lots of things, and they’re in various stages of completion. I write at whatever pace I like and whenever I have free time, so I don’t know if I could ever be a full-time author with deadlines to meet.

Friends of mine have enjoyed my stories, so when I learned about self-publishing options, I decided to research further. It seemed like a good fit for me because I don’t look at my writing as my primary career—I have one of those. I write because it’s part of who I am, and it’s exciting to share the stories and have people respond positively to them. Sure, it would be cool sell millions of copies, but until that happens I’m grateful for every sale I get.

Me: Are you currently writing/ planning on writing any upcoming novels?

Tara: Of course I am! I’ve got several other projects that I’ve worked on over the years that I hope to revisit and finish. Also, a new idea came into my head within the past month, and I can hear the protagonist’s voice screaming to get out. I have the ending of this idea—particularly the antagonist’s true motivations—all figured out, and I may start drafting the first chapter soon.

Me: What was your favourite part about writing your novel?

Tara: Doing all the math involved! I wanted Carrie’s shrinkage to follow a predictable pattern, so I had to create a mathematical equation for it. Because she gets smaller, everything appears larger to her. I needed to calculate how much larger so I could better describe it from her point of view.

Also, in order to capture what her world looked like to her, I explored my house from different perspectives. Sometimes, I’d walk around on my knees to see what I could reach. Sometime, I’d lie on the floor and look up at things. I’m sure I looked a little odd, but it was all to make the book feel that much more real.

Me: And finally, what is your favourite book of all time?

Tara: How do I pick just one? Obviously, the Harry Potter series is phenomenal, and I can’t wait to read Cursed Child. I’m also a big fan of Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, primarily for its structure. I love how he told two first-person stories in a seamless way.


 

 

25636813Title: Just a Few Inches

Author: Tara St Pierre

Genre: YA contemporary, Romance, Sci- Fi

Purchasing links:

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00XX8HGUS

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XX8HGUS

Synopsis: All Carrie Roberts wants is to be a little bit smaller.

To fit into the perfect dress for the Valentine’s Day Dance. To look beautiful for her boyfriend, the school’s star basketball player. To keep his jealous ex-girlfriend, a rival cheerleader, away from him. And to be noticed by her classmates.

Exercising and dieting don’t work, but an advertisement for weight loss pills promises a quicker solution to her problem. As time runs out, she takes more than the recommended dose until she’s just a few inches slimmer. Heads turn when she arrives at the dance, and the wonderful night with her boyfriend is beyond what she dreamed it would be.

Days later, Carrie discovers that her body is changing in ways that should be impossible. While her doctor searches for a cure, she desperately turns to her friends and family for support. Everyone is noticing her now whether she likes it or not, and even the media is intrigued by her incredible story. Getting everything she once wanted has created new problems—problems that are growing more terrifying every day.

Because Carrie Roberts is shrinking.

We all have the capacity for incredible achievements and incredible change, but those come from the inside, and none of it will happen while we’re obsessing about what’s on the outside.

– Just a Few Inches

My review: This book deals with the serious issues of body image and self-esteem in a great way. When Carrie sees a beautiful red dress while shopping with her friends, she knows she needs to wear it to the Valentine Dance. But the dress is a little too small for her, so she resorts to taking diet pills.She achieves her goal and fits perfectly in her dress on the night of the dance. Everybody is stunned at how beautiful she looks. But the diet pills don’t seem to be wearing off and she keeps on losing weight. Oh, and she also starts losing inches. Yes, you heard me right, she actually starts shrinking. Carrie can’t believe it and tries keeping it a secret. But then things start getting out of hand. Her shrinking is growing at a fast rate and there’s seems to be no end to it. How can Carrie stop shrinking?

This was a great book and I’m surprised at how much I liked it. The plot is unique and something that I haven’t ever read before. The book progressed quickly and I got hooked straight away. Carrie had a normal life. She was neither fat nor chubby in any means. She was an average height and lead an active lifestyle as a cheerleader. She had a loving family, boyfriend and group of friends. So why did Carrie decide to take diet pills INSECURITY is the answer. This book accurately deals with insecurity and why we succumb to it.

What I love most about this book is the vivid descriptions. Each chapter title had the progress of Carrie’s weight or height, which really added to the realism of the story. As Carrie keeps on shrinking, the story is shaped on how she views the world. It amazed me how much detail was put into the book for the readers to imagine how much Carrie was shrinking and how she viewed her surroundings. The comparisons in the book kept on making me imagine myself in her position *shudders*. This book was intense and gripping. I didn’t want to put it down, I HAD to know what would happen to Carrie.

This book is very realistic. I know, that sounds weird considering the book is about a girl shrinking. But it truly is. The characters were realistic and easy to relate to. The romance in the book was more of side issue, but it was still cute to read about. I enjoyed that it wasn’t too over the top. Carrie was a very strong character and it was actually really scary to imagine what she was going through.

I really enjoyed this book. It was very powerful, but in a subtle way. The way this book deals with body issues was very impressive and it was a very interesting read. I highly recommend reading this book, the story and message stays in your mind for a long time.

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My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4/5)


Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads


Let me know in the comments if you have read this book and what your thoughts on it are♡

Signing off, Ash xx

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child anticipation!

Hi everyone❤

This week, I’ve been running all over the place trying to find a (inexpensive) copy of Harry  Potter and the Cursed Child. On Thursday, I was finally lucky enough to find a copy at Target. I’m so excited to read this book and delve back into the magical world of Harry Potter. I still haven’t started it, since I’m currently already reading a book, but I’m planning to read some tonight!  I really hope my expectations aren’t too high, but this is J.K Rowling we’re talking about… what could go wrong?;)

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Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads

Let me know in the comments if you have read this book and what your thoughts on it are♡

Signing off, Ash xx

Hush, Hush (#1) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush,hushTitle: Hush, Hush (#1)

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Synopsis: Romance was not part of Nora Grey’s plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.

“Keep in mind that people change, but the past doesn’t.”                                                                                                                                                                      –Hush, Hush

My review: Wow, I really don’t know what to think about this book. A lot of mixed emotions were going through my head when I finished the book.

Did I like it? Yes
Did I love it? Definitely not

I was very hesitant to read this book in the first place surrounding all the negative reviews. But I decided to give it a try and make up my own mind. The book started a little slow for me, but I soon got addicted and finished it within the day.

Positives:
• The book was pretty damn interesting and it leaves you in suspense.
• It was fun trying to figure out who the true villain is in the story.
• Patch’s backstory is also very interesting to learn about, but there is so much missing information (I hope this is explained in the next books).

Negatives:
• I hated ALL the characters. I actually quite liked Vee at the beginning of the book, but her character soon became annoying and she was a pretty bad friend.
• Needs more information about the fallen angels and their world.
• I hated the romance. It was weird and was too forced.
• Ughh, I hated Nora so much. She was such a cliché character and I groaned at almost every decision she made.
• Wait, what even happened?

To sum it up, I definitely had my problems with the book, but that’s not going to stop me from reading the next installment!

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3/5)

Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads

Let me know in the comments if you have read this book and what your thoughts on it are♡

Signing off, Ash xx

Which Cover Wednesday #4

Hi everyone❤

Which Cover Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sue’s reading corner in which two different covers of the same book are compared to choose which one is better (in my opinion). Let’s begin:

  1. Room by Emma Donoghue

    I have read Room and own the cover on the right. I definitely prefer the colour and simplicity of the 1st (left) cover.

  2.  Stolen by Lucy Christopher

    I’m currently reading this book. Both of these covers don’t appeal to me very much, but I definitely prefer the font and design of the 1st (left) cover.

  3. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

    I just finished this book and I really enjoyed it! It’s such a beautiful and emotional read. This is a really hard choice, as I love both these covers. Initially, I really liked the 1st(right) cover, but now I’m leaning more towards the 2nd (left) cover. Okay, I call it a tie. I love both these covers equally.

That’s all for this week:) Have you read any of these books? Tell which book cover you prefer❤

Signing off, Ash xx

George by Alex Gino

Title: George25615902

Author: Alex Gino

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction

Synopsis: When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

“George stopped. It was such a short, little question, but she couldn’t make her mouth form the sounds.
Mom, what if I’m a girl?”                                                                                                                            – George

Spoiler Warning: This review contains mild spoilers about the novel.

My review: This book makes me feel warm inside. It’s a quick read, but it leaves a lasting impression. This book is about George. George is a girl who is biologically a boy. When the class announces that they are doing a play on the novel Charlotte’s Web, George really wants to play the role of Charlotte and show everyone who she truly is.

This book explores Georges’s own feelings about who she is and how people will react to her being a girl. She loves reading glossy magazines and imagining herself as the girls in them. She hates going to the boy’s bathroom and talking about what was in between her legs. George researches online about being transgender and wants to fully transition into a girl. But for that to happen, she needs her parents permission.

I love Kelly so much, she is an amazing best friend to George. She encourages George to be who she is and researches online about  being transgender. She even calls her ‘Melissa’, the name that George calls herself in private. Scott, George’s older brother, is also accepting of George, telling her that it makes sense that George is actually a girl. George’s mother has mixed emotions about the situation, but wants what’s best for George.

The thing that I like most about this book is the pronouns used. This book is told in 3rd person and George is always referred to as ‘she’. I feel like this makes the message of the book that much stronger.

This books is a very emotional and honest read. It’s a great book for younger readers (as well as older readers) to explore transgender issues and diversity. It’s about learning to accept yourself for who you truly are. This is a book that I would recommend to everyone.

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4/5)

Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads 🙂

Let me know in the comments if you have read this book and what your thoughts on it are♡

Signing off, Ash xx