Wednesday, 30 September 2015

September Wrap-Up and Autumn TBR Pile!

I know I say this every single month and I'll probably continue saying it in the years to come but HOW IS TIME GOING SO FAST?! I still think it's 2013 sometimes and now it's nearly 2016 - good heavens!

As you know, we moved to England in August and we've nearly been here two months which is crazy. I can't believe it's been so long since I saw my friends and my dogs. Yep, our dogs are still in South Africa because we CAN'T FIND A HOUSE THAT ALLOWS PETS! It's most frustrating! We've been staying in a guest house so long but it's pricey and I'm quite over living out of a suitcase. I try to think of it as an adventure, but I just really want a place to put up a bookshelf call home again, ya know?

I haven't read that much this month because I've started my home-schooling again and we're out quite a lot exploring but I'm hoping that once I'm back in a routine I'll be able to read more!

Here are the books I read in September! I actually read Demon Road in August but I forgot to include it in last month's wrap-up:

Demon Road (Demon Road, #1)I'll Give You the SunOver You A Monster CallsSnakehead (Alex Rider, #7)Crocodile Tears (Alex Rider, #8)Scorpia Rising (Alex Rider #9)


I also finished this book this month! I read it tonight in ONE SITTING, yes it was amazing! I feel so proud of myself that I've already read a book on my October TBR pile and it's not even October. HUZZAH!


THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD. It's currently available on Netgalley and I order recommend you to go request it now because THE FEELS.

I was going to do an October TBR pile but I want to focus on the books I want to read this Autumn because there's SO MANY and I know I won't be able to read them in just a month because I'm slow like that. ANYWAY, here is my physical TBR:

YES, I'm going to read classics. Look at me being all intellectual. Naww.

And because I also want to start reading/reviewing all those egalleys, here are the books I'm hoping to read that I've received from Netgalley/Edelweiss!:

UnderwaterThe Rain (The Rain, #1)Lost in RomeThese Shallow GravesWho I Kissed

I'm already reading one of these (Underwater). I'M GOING TO STICK TO THIS LIST OKAY.

What books did you read in September? What books are you planning to read this month? Have you read any of these, and if so, did you enjoy them? Also, are you also horrendous at sticking to TBR lists, like me?
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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Over You by Emma McLaughlin made me laugh and I found a new book boyfriend, but...I didn't LOVE it

Over You Title: Over You
Series: N/A
Author: Emma McLaughlin
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: August 21 2012, HarperTeen
Pages: 304, Kindle Edition
Source: Thank you to Edelweiss for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
After the grand explosion of her relationship, seventeen-year-old Max Scott developed what every girl in the history of the world has been waiting for: a way to get over being dumped. Now Max is the go-to guru for heartbroken high-school girls all over NYC. But when her ex unexpectedly shows up in her neighborhood, Max’s carefully controlled world starts to unravel. With her clients’ hearts hanging in the balance, Max will have to do the seemingly impossible: get over him once and for all.
Brilliant at bringing humor to the trials and tribulations of the lovestruck, #1 New York Times bestselling authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus have crafted a tale that will resonate with any girl who has ever been in love or had her heart broken. It brims with smart observations, features a pitch-perfect teen voice, and will attract fans of Jenny Han, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Barnholdt. Readers are sure to fall head-over-heels for this sharp spin on breaking up, making up, and getting even.

Can we just appreciate for a minute how well this cover coordinates with the colour of my blog?! PINK IS THE BEST.

Cover love aside, Over You is about seventeen year old Max who believes she has found the perfect cure to heartbreak. After a certain boy leaves Max in despair, sobbing on the floor, she decides it's about time that the world - who is so advanced in other areas - has a cure for something that everybody faces at some point in their lives. And so EX, Inc is born. Max has the perfect solution to remedy heartbreak and with her company's 100% success rate, she intends to make it global. However, Max's world is thrown off-kilter and her confidence fades when she spots her ex roaming around her city and discovers he'll be attending the same university as her next year. Suddenly, when the sight of him throws her head into a spin, Max realises that she's not 100% over him. Can she follow her own advice and get completely and truly over him?

I really liked Max, she was funny and snarky and I loved the fact that she took her terrible experiences and turned it into a learning experience, turned it into something positive to help others. But gosh, that doesn't mean that there weren't times I wanted to slap some sense into her because sometimes she could be really stupid. Maybe it was to send the message that even the seemingly most strongest and perfect of people can mess up but UGH, she risked her business and everything she stood for to go down a road that she knew would lead to nowhere and end very shortly - I yelled at her a lot. But she didn't listen. Typical.

Also, I didn't exactly sympathise with Max about her ex, Hugo, because he seemed to have NO admirable qualities. We also never actually saw what made Max fall in love with Hugo because there was no show and just tell, so I really feel like, to gauge more sympathy and understanding from readers, Max and Hugo's relationship should have been explored more in depth!

The supporting characters; Zach, Phoebe, Bridget and Taylor were okay. I don't really have any specific feelings towards them, they were just there...ya know? I like how they stuck by Max (mostly) even when her brain stopped functioning, but otherwise I don't have any strong feelings towards them, but I don't think we're really supposed to, SO TIS OKAY.

BEN!!! I love him. He was so charming, kind and polite, not to mention hardworking! I also like how although he's terrified of stepping out of his comfort zone and upsetting friends/family, he does what makes him happy and I was just like RESPECT. Also, the fact that he actually listens to Max after what she did to him was amazing. He totally deserves someone better. Like me *cough*.

I liked the romance and I shipped Ben and Max but I felt like there was an immediate switch from being acquaintances to being in a relationship. Not exactly insta-love but once they were friends of some sort, it was an abrupt transition.

I also found the writing style quite odd. Like, it was a really easy read but the way some sentences were structured just didn't flow smoothly at all and I often had to reread certain parts because of the way some things were phrased so that was blegh.

Another thing that didn't really resonate with me was how absent and indifferent Max's parents were. They let her drop out of school because she broke up with her boyfriend. Who she had only known for five months. WHO DOES THAT??! Like, loads of people go through breakups that doesn't mean you give up your education. If she was really so heartbroken, she could've at least done homeschooling but to just completely drop out of school, why?? Also, it's great that she started a business and all but her parents didn't even know about that. Like didn't they wonder what she was doing with her time? SHE COULD'VE BEEN DEALING DRUGS, for heavens sake, I mean she wasn't BUT STILL. She's seventeen. Oh, the incompetence!

Overall, Over You was a quick, lighthearted read that was laugh-out-loud funny (my parents now officially think I'm mad. Oops). I loved the concept of this book and had the romance been fleshed out further and the characters not as stupid as they were, I may have enjoyed this slightly more. This book is complete fluff, so if you're looking for a deep, insightful book then you're better off reading something else. But it's really funny. And Ben is adorable. So if you're looking for a sweet book to pass the time, then read this!

I give it: 3.5 CUPCAKES!

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Friday, 25 September 2015

I would give you the sun for I'll Give You the Sun.

I'll Give You the SunTitle: I'll Give You the Sun
Series: N/A
Author: Jandy Nelson
Publication: September 16th 2014, Walker Books
Pages: 429 Pages, Paperback
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 5/5. I would give it an infinity amount if I could!
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan for sending me this delightful gem.
From the author of The Sky Is Every­where, a radiant novel that will leave you laughing and crying - all at once. For fans of John Green, Gayle Forman and Lauren Oliver. Jude and her twin Noah were incredibly close - until a tragedy drove them apart, and now they are barely speaking. Then Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy as well as a captivating new mentor, both of whom may just need her as much as she needs them. What the twins don't realize is that each of them has only half the story and if they can just find their way back to one another, they have a chance to remake their world.  

I just finished this book and I am an explosion of feelings and colour and love and happiness and understanding right now.

Self-portrait: The Girl With Color Exploding Out Her Brain

DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?! DID YOU?! Well done. You deserve a gold star. If not, you clearly haven't read the book and I am ordering you to right this minute go and read it because it is sparkling, glittering perfection splashed with artistic metaphors and sensational realness and I just really wish I could find every mesmerizing word in the universe and string it together to write a review on this book that might give it justice but which never will because Jandy Nelson, I'm positive, is the angel of writing or something of that sort. Seriously. I've read both her books now and both have been works of art that have wrenched my heart out and thrust it back in and have had me crying and laughing and reeling from the literary delight I've experienced. Her books always end up being a favorite and...I can't believe I'm saying this and I'm quite terrified of saying this but...I think this could be my favorite book I've ever read. Or, at least, in the modern contemporary section. Tied with The Sky is Everywhere, of course, choosing between the two would be utter sacrilege.Yes, it was that good.

I'm also really really really happy that I read I'll Give You the Sun now because I've been in an art frenzy so I just felt like I could relate to Noah and Jude that much more! Like you know sometimes you get a feeling that NOW is just the right time to read the book, like at this moment you'll appreciate and relate to it the most (or is that just me?) and that's what happened now. Since painting my friend a university card last week, every single day I've been painting and coloring and sketching and pinning art photos on Pinterest and graphite, paint and ink have adorned my fingers 24/7. So I knew that now was the perfect time to read IGYTS. And gosh, after reading I'll Give You the Sun I just wanted to create more art. I wanted to feel how Garcia/Jude/Noah had felt creating, I wanted to paint in my head and "wish with my hands" and I wanted to draw and unleash all the feelings in my heart onto paper. I want to remake the world with my painting and my sketches, just like all the exquisite characters in this book wanted to as well.

It's hard to pinpoint what exactly I loved about this book because my feelings for it are basically indescribable, so this review will be all over the place (LIKE MY EMOTIONS, GOSH) and I probably won't make very much sense BUT I SHALL TRY.

Okay, so, the characters in this book are so freaking amazing. That's what I really love about Jandy's books is that the characters are SO REAL. Once you've read one of her books, it feels like you can just call the characters up and they'll be ready to have a conversation with you. They feel so incredibly real. Not only in the sense that I can picture them shopping for art supplies or visiting art galleries, but also in the sense that they're entirely genuine. They're fragments of what they once were, they've been broken down, they've made mistakes, they've faced jealousy, engaged in betrayal, they've lied and broken hearts, they've fallen in love and out of love and a plethora of situations that so many of us have found ourselves in, or have yet to find ourselves in. There's something to relate to with every single character and that's an exceptional quality for a novel to possess.

Let's start with Noah, MY PRECIOUS NOAH who I just wanted to hug. He's so adorable. Noah is an extraordinary, erratic nebula of colour, creativity and ethereal beauty. I loved reading from his POV so much. His creativity just imploded my brain and I LOVED IT! He's so sweet and sensitive and slightly awkward and has this bright but somehow tormented soul that was so misunderstood. I just wanted him to be accepted and for people to see his effulgent brilliance, talent and creativity but they wouldn't understand because he just saw the world so differently, as if it was shrouded in a cloak of magical qualities and thousands of possibilities. But it also broke my heart how he would doubt himself, like at times he thought he was good but there's a part in the book where he just loses all hope in himself and it BROKE MY HEART. I was like no no no no, you're incredible and so talented and please do not put down that paintbrush. I honestly just can't describe how spectacular Noah is. So beautifully inspirational, he is. I loved how he was always himself (well, mainly) and I loved how he didn't conform to society's rules (initially..the contrast between before and after the tragedy was utterly heartbreaking). But my oh my, the way he viewed the universe was entrancing. The brightness that the earth burned with through his eyes and the painting in his head and It was a spectacular display of artistic explosion.
“In one split second I saw everything I could be, everything I want to be. And all that I’m not.”
“It occurs to me that Jude does this too, changes who she is depending on who she’s with. They’re like toads changing their skin color. How come I’m always just me?” 
“(Self Portrait: Boy Remakes World Before World Remakes Boy)” 
Jude! If I'm being honest...I wasn't really keen on Jude in the beginning. She was portrayed as a popular/mean girl type figure in the 13-14 years but I ended up adoring her! I did find it quite sad how much she changed and it was almost as if the vibrancy from her spirit had been dislodged, however, her growth throughout the book was momentous. Seriously. She went from a slightly judgmental, popular, free-spirited girl to a quiet, despairing hypochondriac, subdued invisible figure who wasn't quite sure how to be a burst of motion and laughter again to a combustion of fiery light turned up to full brightness - a girl who lives freely and fiercely. Her character development was just...flawless. All the characters' development was perfection, to be honest.
I'm falling forward with the force of two years of buried grief, the sorrow of ten thousand oceans finally breaking inside me-
I let it. I let my heart break.” 
“They do make love stories for girls with black hearts after all. They go like this.”  
I also loved how independent Jude was, and not the type that kicks butt and is sarcastic and outgoing but the type that is ferociously determined to be her own person and to have her "own soul", as she puts it. It's almost as her soul, her persona, was too bright and too energetic to even consider the possibility of being anything but a singular thing. I loved Jude. It was such a heartwarming sight to see her go from lost, floundering and unsure to being a vibrant and passionate girl. I could physically feel the difference from when she was in her limbo mode to her activated mode again, to the point that the significance of her transformation left me with chills.
"But what if I don't need her permission, her approval, her praise to be who I want to be and do what I love? What if I'm in charge of my own damn light switch?” 
Then you have the side characters that you get to know just as well (this is another thing I love about Jandy Nelson's books, you get to know everybody SO WELL!). Who shall I talk about first, they're all so remarkable...Let's start with Oscar (my future husband). He was so remarkable and such an incredible sight (I can imagine), he was so funny and charming and sweet (the little notes that he wrote and the pictures he took of Jude?! SOMEONE HOLD ME.) but yet so broken and GAH, it killed me when he finally let someone in (which was Jude, by the way, I ship them so hard) and all the raw, gritty truth of his tortured background came pouring out and it was so, so sad but also so very inspiring to see how he rose like a phoenix from the ashes, from broken and battered to so powerful and full of life. I just love him so much, you literally have no idea. He's so funny. And kind. I just found him utterly captivating and can we just get married already?

Then there was Garcia, I LOVED HIM SO FREAKING MUCH!!! He's this giant, foreboding sculptor that everybody is terrified of and at first I was kind of wary of him but he grew to be one of my favorite characters. He has a solid rock for a heart but it's just an exterior to prevent him from being exposed to the malicious knifes of heartbreak, such as the ones he has faced in the past. He is actually such a passionate, caring, compassionate, funny person and the love for his work just shone through the pages and I could just feel the love and pain and anger and betrayal he sculpted his art with. It was so very enchanting.
“What is bad for the heart is good for art. The terrible irony of our lives as artists.” 
I watch him [Garcia] throw his head back in supreme happiness, like he's hearing that he gets to choose the colors for all the sunsets from now on.”  
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”  
“We wish with our hands, that’s what we do as artists.”  
And thennnn, there's Brian. The boy with the squinty eyes and the lightning struck hair and who carries the galaxy in a bag. He's the boy Noah falls in love with and he is just such a magnificent creature. I'd love to be a character in a Jandy Nelson book because they are all so insightful and creative and amazing and dammit, why can't I be like that?! What I absolutely LOVED about Brian was his fascination with outer space and how he would rattle on about stars and galaxies to Noah and how he would collect meteorites and that basically meant he held parts of the solar system between his fingertips. As you might, or might not know, I want to be an astrophysicist so I could relate with Brian because I'm also in love with learning about outer space and I'm also fascinated with it so THAT WAS AWESOME. He just had this mesmerizing quality about him because he was such a compelling character. He was also so funny and so kind and so good to Noah, when those two found each other I swear I died inside. It was honestly like he was some being from a different planet, not as in a weirdly bizarre way, but in a fascinating how-can-you-be-so-amazing way...I CAN'T DESCRIBE IT OKAY. Just read the book and you'll understand where I'm coming from. He's otherworldly - THAT'S THE WORD. He's mysterious and fascinating and so unlike everybody else it's so utterly magical. 
“He floated into the air high above the sleeping forest, his green hat spinning a few feet above his head. In his hand was the open suitcase and out of it spilled a whole sky of stars.” 
His soul might be a sun. I’ve never met anyone who had the sun for a soul.”  

Then there are the parents of Noah and Jude who I both loved so much as well. Their dad who was also misunderstood in his own way and who you could see just loved his family with his whole, big heart and the mom who, in a way, was like Jude with her free spirit and fierce way of living life. I loved how she encouraged the twins and took them on art trips and saw their potential and pushed them in that direction because so many people whose kids are interested in art are like "Well, you can't make a career out of it and it's a waste of time and blah blah blah", so I loved the belief and enthusiasm she infused into them to keep them inspired and motivated.

What I also loved was that each character was a frond of string and how at the end they all became interwoven, they had all somehow, in some miraculous way become intertwined with one another and each collided together to make them all whole. There was closure and understanding and the finding split-aparts and it was so completely beautiful how they had all come together like that.
“We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.” 

Another thing I loved about IGYTS was the family dynamics. It's so rare to find a book that aptly describes the tumultuous, chaotic, lively, loving nature of families but this book just did it perfectly. 

I loved how it described a mother/daughter relationship in the teens years and how it's constant warring with the other and both believing that they're right and how you think you know everything but then something changes and you realise that your mother is so much wiser than you give her credit for. It absolutely obliterated my feelings when Jude does something that she was way too young to do and she feels so dirty and ashamed with herself and she needs her mother so badly *spoiler*BUT THEN NO, her mom dies in a car crash. I cried okay, there were actual tears because she just needed her mom to talk to and tell her it was going to be okay and then her mom died. Then there was all the added guilt on both Noah and Jude's sides because they had spat awful words at her for different reasons the night before and I could just feel their guilt and sadness weighing me down. I felt so, so sorry for them.*spoiler* so basically my emotions were all over the place. 

Then the story focuses on a father/son relationship and good heavens, if that didn't slash my heart to pieces too. Noah and his father aren't on the best of terms because Noah's dad is like wrestling, muscles, no crying, be a man, surf and Noah would rather draw the colours of the sea then actually swim in it. I felt really sorry for Noah because you could see he was craving his dad's love and acceptance and it totally broke my heart that he didn't feel like he was receiving that. Like, you could see the dad loved him and everything but they were so different (or so I initially thought) that I think it was hard for them to really connect in the beginning. Their relationship was written in a sensitive manner and I loved how it was realistic and heart-warming and it also really developed throughout the novel so I was like YASSS! 

And then there was the twins' relationship. Gosh darn it, I want a twin. Really badly. It was so amazing, like they just knew how the other was feeling, the knew what the other needed, they were best friends and they could share parts of their souls with each other and reveal things about themselves that no one else would understand. It completely broke me when they started drifting apart. Like, you'd get fleeting moments when it was like before but then something would happen which would cause the rift to broaden even more and I would just be like NO YOU IDIOTS STAHHPP, just be how you used to again, just become close again but because they had changed so much and were unrecognizable to who they once were, they had no idea how to find the way back to each other and it just made me seriously ugly cry okay. But gosh, the ending was totally perfect. I just love their relationship so much and I love how honest they are with each other and how they will do anything and everything they can to protect one another. UGH EXCUSE ME WHILE I GO CRY.
“This is what I want: I want to grab my brother’s hand and run back through time, losing years like coats falling from our shoulders.” 

love animated GIF

IT WAS FRIKKIN' BEAUTIFUL, OKAY. It was calamitous, painful, honest, spellbinding and radiant. I just can't even begin to describe how much I loved it, so I'm just going to give up on trying to be eloquent and just activate full fangirl mode. I apologise in advance.

Let's start with Noah and Brian - OH MY FREAKING SOUL. I shipped them so much. They were so utterly perfect and EXCUSE MY TEARS. This is the first LGBT book I've ever read and I've always avoided them because (please don't be offended or hate on me) homosexuality is something that is kind of against my beliefs as a Christian and secondly, it makes me slightly uncomfortable. But because this is a Jandy Nelson book and everything she writes is golden, I decided to go ahead and read this and step out of my comfort zone. *applauds self* Yes, at times, I was a bit uncomfortable with the kissing but you know what, I had come to love these characters so much that I was just so ecstatic that Noah and Brian had found each other. That they completed each other. That they had both found someone who could understand and accept them. I loved how Brian could give Noah galaxies and stars and Noah could give Brian the colours of his soul, because that's what art is, isn't it? I loved how Noah had finally found someone to confide in, someone to love and it was so overwhelmingly magnificent. I loved their banter and how they would go hunting for meteorites and how Noah would paint and paint and paint Brian and how they would utter their secrets and I honestly can't describe how much I love those two. Their relationship truly was beautiful.

When Noah showed Brian a painting he did of him and Brian responded with.
"'I look like the freaking aurora borealis.' I don't know what that is, but I can tell from his voice it's a very cool thing."
I honestly could not even at that very moment. 

And I loved how Brian introduced to Noah to the splendors of outer space. 
"I go behind the telescope, peer into the eyepiece, and all the stars crash down on my head. It's like taking a shower in the cosmos. I gasp."
Then there was Oscar and Jude. Oscar was astonishing beautiful and him and Jude were so magical together. They were both so broken and so hurt and consumed by grief and guilt and it was the most spine-tingling sensation to see them unlock each others hearts and wash away all those awful emotions they had been experiencing. I loved how they saw each other as a work of art and a divine being, I loved how they would banter and then talk about things they'd never revealed to anybody else. I loved how in a way they saved each other and how you could see they were true soul mates, they were split-aparts and that their love would cause the stars to explode and the moon to crash down. They were so powerful together and it was utterly breathtaking.
“I gave up practically the whole world for you,” I tell him, walking through the front door of my own love story. “The sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything, I gave it all up for you.” 
“And I know [other] faces aren't this colorful, this vivid, this lived-in, this superbly off-site, this brimming with dark unpredictable music. 
Then there was the writing which was sublime. I can't really say anymore except that you need to read it to understand because each sentence in this book is a stroke of genius that will snatch your breath away and you'll love every second of it. Trust me.

I'll Give You the Sun was hands down the best book I've read this year and one of my all-time favorites. It captured the haunting feeling of loss and betrayal, as well as the heavenly sensations of first love. This book was art itself. It was an an inspirational masterpiece that left me at loss for words, it left me with an ache in my gut because I knew that I had just experienced a book that painted experiences before my eyes and so accurately captured the plethora of situations that we've gone through or have yet to go through. I honestly think that everybody should read this book, because it is in this very book where you might just find yourself. It was a captivating treasure that crushed my heart to smithereens, stitched it back together and gave it back to me with an imprint of itself so that I would never forget it, not that I ever could. The creativity in this book blew my mind, the characters tugged at my heartstrings and the romance made me believe, once again, that an earth-shattering love like the ones that featured in this story can be found. You have to read this book.

I give it: 5/5 cupcakes.

So! Tell me! Have you read this? (YOU HAVE TO) Have you read The Sky is Everywhere? (READ THAT ONE TOO) Do you sketch/paint/scuplt/do artsy things? What's your favourite book of 2015?

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Friday, 11 September 2015

The Process of Reading the Last Book in Your Favorite Series (The pain. The feels. THE TORTURE.)

We've all been there. We finally have all the books in a series, we're in the mood to read it and we begin The Marathon. We read and read and read and it's just SO GOOD and this series, this series right here is YOUR LIFE at the moment, you live and breathe it. You are constantly spewing your feelings to everyone and their mother about how much pain and torture you're enduring and how you're freaking LOVING IT.

And then one day, a tragic, tragic thing happens.

You see you only have one book left.

You ferociously glance around your room, around your house, around the garden, take a peak in the dog's basket (books have a mind of their own, I tell you) and you come to the conclusion that you have nearly finished the series. You have one book left. And you just can't even deal right now.

And so it begins.

1) Firstly, you're excited.
Another adventure with your favorite character.
Another opportunity to see the cruelty talent the author possesses.

2) Secondly, you're nervous.
Will there be death?! (Probably.) Will your babies be treated like royalty (Hahaha you wish.)
Will the author be considerate of your fragile mental well-being? (Nope, I can hear them cackling in the distance.)

Literally Derek Landy.

3) You put off reading it. You're not ready for this to end. 
I'm totally not doing this right now with the last Alex Rider book. And I totally didn't get inspiration for this post because I'm already crying that it's over and I haven't even finished it yet. Spoiler: Those were lies.

4) The denial phase.
You refuse, refuse to acknowledge that the series will soon be over. In fact, what am I talking about? It's completely, wholly far from over.


5) The Inner Struggle, 
to notify social media that you're about to finish the last book and update them on ALL THE FEELS and simultaneously wanting not to BECAUSE SPOILERS. Spoilers are the spawn of Satan.

6) Preparation.
After notifying everyone that your heart is about to be crushed, you begin to prepare yourself .
A tub of ice-cream and a jumbo box of tissues? YASSS.

7) After the preparation, you begin reading.
Yes, it's flawless as you knew it was going to be and yes, it's just as heartbreaking.

8) You realise you're already halfway through,
WHAT?! NO. Stop reading so fast, dammit. 

9)  You try to pace yourself.
I'll only read a couple of chapters a day. That'll help me prepare for the farewell. Yes, I SHALL DO THAT.

10) HAHAHA, good one.
Nope, you pick up that book and you devour it.

11) You only have a couple of pages left.
Read slower, read slower, read slower.


13) Annnd, you're on the last page.

Now your brain listens to you and you savor every. single. word. 

14) You finished it. You close the book and hug it.
You let the magic linger with you a moment longer.

15) You close the book.
Ahh, look how pretty it is. Ahh, the memories. Ahh, the pain.

16) Denial happens yet again.
Pfft, I'm sure there'll be more books. Spoiler: There won't.

17) Realisation rears its ugly head.
I FINISHED THE SERIES. NONONONONO this can't be happening. (The mental preparation never really helps, does it?)

18) Cue the tears.
By now the tears are flowing and you're water-logging your precious and ah, eat all  the ice cream and you can't even see the book anymore through your tear-filled eyes and all the tissues littering your bed.

19) Once you've *slightly* recovered (haha who are you kidding?!),
You rush to Goodreads and Twitter and let everyone know that a part of you has just been completely annihilated due to this stupid book series that isn't stupid at all and you just love it so, so much and there are LITERAL TEARS and you just CAN'T EVEN. You're just so done.

20) You allow yourself to be comforted.
Ahh, thank you my equally emotionally damaged bookish friends.

21) Acceptance (Caution: This phase might take awhile to be activated)
Eventually (I stress eventually, being emotionally attached to books ain't no walk in the park) you will accept this. You will think fondly of all your wonderful experiences with said series and just be thankful you could experience the laughter, the sadness, the joy and the pain. (You know you secretly love it ;)) 

Happiness then sadness, I did warn you it would take awhile.

22) Scroll through Goodreads for another series to become obsessed with.
You little masochist, you.

23) Two Nightmarish words: Book. Hangover.
It's inevitable. This series has been your LIFE the past few days/weeks/months/years. What are you supposed to do with your life now? NO BOOK WILL EVER BE GOOD ENOUGH.

Looking at your TBR pile like:

I feel you bruh, I feel you.

24) Then true acceptance will kick in and you shall commence to read ALL THE BOOKS. Until the last one of your new favorite series, then the process repeats itself. But you know you love it.
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Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Review - Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Series: N/A
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: December 2nd 2010, Dutton
Pages: 372 Pages, Paperback
Source: My own!
Rating: 5/5 CUPCAKES!
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?
* Another review I forgot to publish*

 I have heard endless good things about Anna and the French Kiss since I started my book blogging. It has been sitting on my shelf for a year now yet I've been hesitant to read it, due to all the hype surrounding it, I didn't want to read it and find myself disappointed. Yet, when one of my best friend's read it and completely fell in love with Anna and the French Kiss, I decided to read it this summer holiday. I started reading this book on Christmas day and I finished it when I went to bed that night. I fell in love with this book, just like my friend, and the rest of the bookish community, guaranteed I would.

Anna and the French Kiss is about 17 year old Anna, whose father, best-selling author of sappy romance books, sends her to a boarding school in Paris for the year. Anna is not happy at all, she has her best friend Bridgette and things with her crush are finally looking more serious, but when she meets Ètienne, she hopes that maybe she'll find romance in the City of Love, problem is...he's off-limits. But as they become best friends they both realise there's undeniable chemistry between them, but with lots of obstacles blocking their way, will Anna get that French kiss she has been waiting for?

Anna and the French Kiss is a magical read. The author perfectly describes the scenery of Paris. I've always wanted to travel to France and through reading Anna and the French Kiss, I was able to do just that. I loved navigating the cobble stone streets with Ètienne and Anna, eating the sophisticated Parisian cuisine and viewing the vintages movies at the authentic cinemas lined up along the street. I absolutely fell in love with Paris in this book, and I hope that one day I will be able to visit it myself.

I think I'll start this review by saying how I adore Stephanie Perkin's writing. She has such a magical way of writing, and her novel is just such fun to read. I also love that it's not this fluffy read, it has depth to it and deals with serious issues that makes you sympathise with the characters, experience turmoil and you really feel a connection to them and are just rooting for them the whole way through.

Like I said, Perkins is an utterly fantastic writer and I spent the whole day in bed, or on the couch, just constantly reading and devouring the stunning story that Perkins has weaved with her enchanted words, loveable characters and swoon-worthy romance. It is seldom that I find a book that I enjoy so much that I read it in one sitting. Anna and the French Kiss is one such novel.

To me, the most wonderful thing about this novel are the characters. They're so real and they all have such powerful voices and powerful words that resonates inside the readers. They're all so authentic, and there's this witty dialogue and heart-warming moments that will have you producing tears and sighs of contentment. It's all just so perfect! I can't describe the sweet, romantic and frustrating moments that take place in this need to experience it for yourself.

I absolutely love Anna! She's got such a honest voice and such a charming personality. I found that I could really relate to Anna, not in the way of being sent to live in Paris or such, but by the way she is a perfectionist, she is a natural worrier and freaks out about germs. There were times when I was reading that I was like "That's so me!" or "I do that!". Anna is also a great friend and she generally makes decisions based on how it will benefit her friends. I also love Anna and Ètienne's relationship, but I'll talk about that later. I just honestly love Anna as a narrator, she's just so cute. I love how she loves watching movies and has a website where she reviews movies, which I can relate to with my book blogging...knowing this also adds a more personal aspect to the novel.

Ètienne...Oh MY GOSH...I finally know what all the hype is about! I absolutely ADORE him! He's just so sweet and loving and perfect! My heart broke for him when he had family issues and I just wanted him to feel better again. I just love him so much!

I absolutely adore the relationship between Anna and Ètienne. It built up from this sweet, innocent friendship to this full on romantic relationship. I love how they're best friends and then they become more than that. Everything about the relationship is just so perfect! The way Ètienne slowly coaxes Anna out of her shell and shows her the ins and outs of Paris was beautiful to watch. I love how they built each other up and made each other more confident. Their romance was so extremely sweet and I love how they were best friends as well as being in love. It did infuriate me though when they kept denying their feelings for each other, as I just wanted them to officially get together. Perkins wrote their relationship wonderfully and she perfectly captured the roller-coaster of emotions of falling love in all it's bittersweet glory. The hope, the joy, the wondering....the heartbreak and devastation.

The secondary characters were written brilliantly as well. From Rashmi, Josh and Meredith, Ètienne and Anna's friends. I didn't really like Rashmi, I could never warm up to her. I didn't actually hear of Josh that much, but he seemed like a nice guy and an extremely talented sketchist. Meredith was sweet and I felt extremely sorry for her towards the end...especially seeing as she's in love with Ètienne too. There were also some jerks at Anna's school and I felt so sorry for her when false rumors started circulating around the school.

The story in itself was stunning. I loved how we got to familiarise ourselves with Anna and how her and Ètienne friendship slowly built up to something bigger. I loved exploring Paris with both of them, I loved the whole story.

I loved Anna and the French Kiss and I found it a charming, delightful read! You'll fall in love with the characters, especially with an English boy with a French name. The story is scrumptious and I completely devoured it. Anna and the French Kiss is definitely one of the best contemporaries I've read, with stunning, realistic characters, beautiful scenery, an exquisite story and a heart-warming romance, Anna and the French Kiss has everything (and more) that you'll be looking for in a contemporary.

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!

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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

June, July AND August Wrap Up, as well as September TBR Pile!

It's officially Autumn! Good grief, is it just me or does time fly faster and faster every. single. year.
It's quite freaky, isn't it?

I haven't done a monthly wrap-up since May, I know it's deplorable but now you can enjoy seeing all the marvelous books I've read the past 3 months. FUN!

Monument 14 (Monument 14, #1)Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4)Why We Broke UpEleanor & Park

I LOVE THE PUSHING THE LIMITS SERIES. The feels. Each book was just so amazing and asdfghjkl.

Why We Broke Up was a disappointment and I didn't really enjoy Eleanor & Park either?! UGH. I was so excited for them but they just fell flat for me. 

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4  (Adrian Mole, #1)Hard Luck (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #8)My Perfect LifeTo Kill a Mockingbird

Also: Adrian Mole is hilarious. Read it. Seriously.

The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (Adrian Mole #2)A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)Stormbreaker (Alex Rider, #1)Eagle Strike (Alex Rider, #4)Scorpia (Alex Rider, #5)Ark Angel (Alex Rider, #6)

Adrian Mole is hilarious, A Court of Thorns and Roses was magical and a new favorite and Alex Rider is bae. 

Aren't they pretty? #squadgoals 

Tell me! What are you planning on reading this month? What was your favorite book you read last month? TELL ME ALL.

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