Sunday, 30 August 2015

Bout of Books 14: Wrap-Up (I forgot to post this and it finished a week ago. I'm a terrible person.)

Bout of Books

I forgot to post this and I feel really bad but I got so distracted by school and my pretty stationery and new BOOKS and forgive me! 

I'm really pleased with the amount of books I read! I read 4 books in total, which is double what I had intended to read. HUZZAH! Cake for me, I think yes.

Updates:
Day 1: 
Pages read today: 128
Books read today: 0
Total pages read: 128
Total books read: 0

Day 2:
Pages read today: 13 
Books read today: 0
Total pages read: 141
Total books read: 0

Day 3:
Pages read today:  130
Books read today: 1
Total pages read: 
Total books read: 0
---
I didn't record Thursday and Friday's page numbers! I honestly thought I did but I didn't! It was in the omnibus so I'll just state how many pages I read between Thursday and Friday because I can't remember each day's pages but at least we'll get a general idea. I'M SO DISORGANIZED, I'M SO SORRY.

Day 4 + 5:
Pages read these past two days: 170
Books read these past two days: 1
Total pages read: 441
Total books read: 2
---
Day 6:
Pages read today: 321
Books read today: 1
Total pages read: 762
Total books read: 3

Day 7:
Pages read today: 105
Books read today: 1
Total pages read: 867
Total books read: 4

The Books I Read:
Skeleton Key (Alex Rider, #3)Eagle Strike (Alex Rider, #4)
Scorpia (Alex Rider, #5)Ark Angel (Alex Rider, #6)

Ahh, look how pretty. They were so good! I'm off to read the next 3 books in the series now! :')
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Saturday, 29 August 2015

Stacking the Shelves #80 - ENGLAND EDITION!


As many of you know, I have moved to England. I'm in the land of Harry Potter, Sherlock and Doctor Who. It's quite exciting, if I must say so myself.
I'm loving it so far. Books here are cheap. There's charity stores, there's Amazon, there's Ebay and it is FABULOUS. Really. Once I get pocket money and hopefully a job, Ebay and I are going to be best friends. My bank account probably won't be happy but hashtag yolo, you know?


I haven't bought many books here because my parents refuse to buy me all the books and I spent all my money in South Africa because I'm a really mature, responsible person but my parents have gotten me a couple when I begged and pleaded and promised to be the best daughter in the entire universe (I mean, I am already but I suppose there is always room for improvement) so I have got a haul and I'm super excited to read them and YAY!

Books to Review: Thank you, Penguin Random House South Africa!
It was SO SAD saying goodbye to all the incredible publicists I've been working with since I was 13 and they were kind enough to send me this month's review books! 
Blog Tour Books: Thank you, Tammy!

Charity Store Finds!: Thanks, Mom and Dad!
I've been wanting these books literally forever.


I've already read all these as well as the next 2 books!

Bought: Thanks, Dad!
We both love Derek Landy's books. A lot.
This was literally the conversation we had, in the middle of Tesco, while I was squealing and flailing and obtaining worried stares from onlookers:
Me: OH MY GOSH YOU'RE BUYING IT FOR ME?! THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Dad: On one condition
Me: 0_0
Dad: I get to read it first
Me: >.<...ok-
Dad: Joking, but seriously, read it fast. I need to read it. 
*as we're walking to the till* Dad: Have you started it yet?
Like I said, we both love Derek Landy a lot.

ALL TOGETHER NOW!:

So beautiful. *wipes away tear*

SO! Have you read any of these? Do use Ebay/Amazon and DO YOU LOVE IT?! What books did you get this week? Which ones are you most excited for? Do you and your parents both have the same favorite author? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I rhymed. I'm so cool.

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Friday, 28 August 2015

Review - My Life Next Door - Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door (My Life Next Door, #1)Title: My Life Next Door
Series: My Life Next Door #1
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: June 14th 2012, Dial Books
Pages: 394 Pages, Paperback
Source: My Own
Rating: 4/5  CUPCAKES!
"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.
I didn't have anything to post, so I scrolled through my drafts and I saw quite a few reviews from 2013/2014 that I had forgotten about. Excuse the quality of this review. THANK GOODNESS MY WRITING HAS IMPROVED.

I finally read it. Since I first saw this book, I have been dying to read it. I love contemporaries, I love books that deal with big families and I especially adore books to do with falling in love with the boy next door. I absolutely adored this book and I'm so happy that I was finally able to read it!

My Life Next Door is about 17 year old Samantha Reed, daughter of the town's senator. Samantha is rich and beautiful, and viewed as the girl who has it all, yet her life isn't as perfect as it seems. She lives with her older, rebellious sister and her single mother who, at times, is more interested in politics than being involved in her daughters' lives. Then Samantha still has to deal with the emptiness that accompanies her father walked out on the family, although it was before she was born.

So Samantha spends her free time observing the Garret family that live next door. The family who moved in ten years ago, but whom Samantha still hasn't been able to talk to, due to her mom's disapproval of the Garret's raucous behavior. The Garret's are everything that the Reed family are not. They are loud, loving and chaotic and just managing to get by on the income from Mr. Garret's lumber/tool shop business, whereas the Reed's own a huge, impeccable house and have more money than they need.

However, when Samantha's world collides with Jase Garret's one night and they fall head-over-heels in love, Samantha soon becomes part of the Garret household. Yet when the unthinkable happens and tragedy strikes, Samantha will have to think hard between making the right decision, making the wrong one could ultimately destroy both the families that she loves.

This book was amazing and I absolutely adored it. A lot of contemporaries that I have read have been enjoyable but have lacked a certain depth...My Life Next Door is not one of those. I thought this was going to be a quick summer read yet I was nicely surprised with the depth this book contained. There were some heavy issues, such as substance addiction, jealousy, friendships unraveling, as well as the fine line between the right and wrong. I think that the author tackled these issues in a sensitive manner and dealt with them very well!

Our main character is Samantha, rich, beautiful, the good girl. I absolutely loved Samantha. Despite coming from a wealthy background, she was extremely down-to-earth and the complete opposite to her condescending mother. I actually forgot Samantha came from this wealthy background until it was mentioned again. She was also such sweet, gentle character that was focused on doing the right things and making the right choices.

Jase...*sigh* I think he's my new book boyfriend. He was just so sweet, loving and positive and so good to his family and Samantha. I love it when guys in books are genuinely nice and don't always have this "bad-boy" persona. However, I do think that the author could've written him as a more protective character. Jase has three sisters, one who is nearly my age, as well as one that is slightly older and one that is a baby. I have an older brother who is extremely protective and so are some of my friends' brothers concerning them. Especially as they are such a close family, I think it would've made it more realistic if Jase wasn't as nonchalant about what his sisters were doing etc.

Samantha and Jase make a perfect couple. I love how they complete each other and how alike and well-suited they are. There have been plenty of books that I have read where the characters lack chemistry, but you can feel the chemistry between them and it added even more enjoyment to the book!

Then there is Tim and Nan. Nan, over-achiever and best friend of Samantha with a dark secret involving her success in school work. Tim, Nan's troubled brother, a boy who was going places but is now in a constant state of being hungover and stoned. These characters added a lot to the story and they made it even more interesting at times.

I liked Nan at first and thought she was very sweet but I soon saw her true nature. I won't say anymore, as I don't want to spoil the story. But you will be shocked at this character - and not in a good way.

Then there is Tim, I loved Tim. It hurt me to see him go through these bad stages when he struggled with his drug and alcohol addiction and I was cheering him on as he slowly battled his addictions and became a better person. He goes through major character development and I was so proud of him! You could see that he saw that he was going down the wrong path and he knew that and wanted to improve his way of living. I was constantly cheering him on when he started breaking his bad habits. In the beginning I wasn't sure on Tim but towards the end I ended up loving his character.

Who I really want to talk about is the Garret family, who I completely fell in love with. Mr Garret, Mrs Garret, Joel, Alice, Jase, Andy (Andrea), Duff, Harry, George and Patsy. I love them all so much. When we were first introduced to them, I fell in love. It honestly felt like I, myself, were being welcomed into this large, loving family. I love reading about books with big families and the diverse personalities that each member of the family obtains.

Each member of the Garret family has their own personality and I was constantly amazed by how perfectly the author created this chaotic, yet loving family. From bad-boy Joel, to Alice who wears provocative clothing and has a different hair colour every few days, to Jase who loves fixing things and being involved in mechanics, to fourteen year old Andy, who we are shown is navigating the unknown territory of dating and first loves. Then there is Duff and Harry, the trouble-makers and George who is constantly worrying about things that are very unlikely to happen and little one-year old Patsy. I absolutely love George, four years old, who worries about everything (he's basically me), I just wanted to scoop him up and hug him.


You will fall in love with this family.

Samantha's mom and Clay, her boyfriend/assistant, were absolutely despicable. I hated how Grace, Samantha's mom, was constantly looking down on the Garret's, just because they were a big family. I couldn't believe the way the mom acted when a certain accident occurred, it made me feel sick, and to think Samantha has to live with that woman.

I think Samantha dealt with this certain situation amazingly well. You could see the inner battles and arguments she had with herself, knowing the consequences of each route she would take, might not end up so well, but she made a smart decision in the end and I was glad when her, Jase and the Garret family drew closer together again. I won't say too much, as it would spoil the story, but there is a plot twist at the end of this book, one that I was not expecting.

I do love the way Huntley Fitzpatrick writes. I couldn't stop reading My Life Next Door, I literally just sat the whole day and read and couldn't put it down. One thing that I was unsatisfied with, is the ending. There were a lot of issues that were left unresolved, and this book definitely needed an epilogue. I can't stand it when books don't have everything resolved at the end, so that was one flaw in MLND.


Despite that, My Life Next Door is a fantastic contemporary, that I will most likely re-read in the future. With three-dimensional characters with their own quirks, a sweet, gentle romance and a great story line with a shocking twist that causes the characters to really re-evaluate the choices they have made in their life. My Life Next Door isn't just a shallow contemporary, it has meaning and depth to it, as well real-life issues that the author handled sensitively. You will fall in love with Jase's family and feel like you're one of them. You won't be able to stop reading, I can guarantee you that! My Life Next Door is a fantastic read, although the ending could've been more resolved.

I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!

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Monday, 24 August 2015

I got Disqus but there are very frustrating issues with it e.g. it makes me look like I'm the only one who comments on my blog

I got Disqus again! They've finally made it work for Blogger after the two didn't cooperate anymore and it's SO GOOD having Disqus back. But I have a problem. On all my old posts it looks like I commented every single comment, which makes it look like I'm the only person commenting on my blog, which makes me look like a very pathetic and very confused blogger. Does anyone know how to fix this?! I've searched the Disqus forums for help and somebody had the same problem but didn't get any helpful replies. So if anyone of you knows how to fix this, please let me know and I will love you forever.
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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Bout of Books Update: Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6 (I'm bad at being organized, I know)

Bout of Books

I HAVEN'T BEEN UPDATING. I'M SO SORRY! I've been reading and seeing friends and exploring and the week ended up being a lot busier than I thought it would be!

I've managed to finish 3 books so far and I'm nearly done with the 4th book so yay! Go me!

Also, there was SUN in England yesterday! It was only the 2nd time I'd been here that there was sun for most of the day so I lay outside basically the whole day and it was glorious. This has nothing to do with Bout of Books, but I just thought you guys should know that there was actual sun and that makes me very happy! ;D

Here are my updates!

Updates:
Day 1: 
Pages read today: 128
Books read today: 0
Total pages read: 128
Total books read: 0

Day 2:
Pages read today: 13 
Books read today: 0
Total pages read: 141
Total books read: 0

Day 3:
Pages read today:  130
Books read today: 1
Total pages read: 
Total books read: 0
---
I didn't record Thursday and Friday's page numbers! I honestly thought I did but I didn't! It was in the omnibus so I'll just state how many pages I read between Thursday and Friday because I can't remember each day's pages but at least we'll get a general idea. I'M SO DISORGANIZED, I'M SO SORRY.

Day 4 + 5:
Pages read these past two days: 170
Books read these past two days: 1
Total pages read: 441
Total books read: 2
---
Day 6:
Pages read today: 321
Books read today: 1
Total pages read: 762
Total books read: 3

I'm really proud of the amount of pages I read yesterday (day 6), I had read 57 pages of Scorpia (the 5th Alex Rider book) and finished Eagle Strike on day 5, then yesterday I read the remaining 173 pages of Scorpia and read 148 pages of Ark Angel, totaling up to 321 pages! I'm quite a slow reader so I'm pretty chuffed with myself haha!


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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Review - A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publication: January 1st 2015, Bloomsbury Children's
Pages: 416 Pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you so much to Tammy for sending me this to review when I agreed to participate in the ACOTAR blog tour!
Rating: 5/5 Cupcakes!
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!
Displaying A Court of Thorns and Roses-banner.png 

When I got an email to participate in the blog tour for A Court of Thorns and Roses, I immediately jumped at the chance! Literally every person I speak to in the blogosphere praises Sarah J. Maas' writing and her rich, complex story lines and authentic characters. Despite being ecstatic to finally read one of Sarah's books, I was nervous too. All her books have been so hyped up, that I was afraid my sky-high expectations would come plummeting down - however, that was not the case. I can finally understand why people adore Sarah J. Maas' books so much and it is evident that she obtains a natural dexterity to weave intricate tales seamlessly together.

I absolutely adored A Court of Thorns and Roses and I can safely say it's one of my new favorites. A Court of Thorns and Roses features a nineteen year old huntress named Feyre. After killing a wolf in the forest, her front door is slammed down and a magnificent beast enters demanding to know who killed the faerie in the woods. After Feyre admits to killing the faerie (who she learns was the wolf she struck) the beast states that she broke the treaty and she'll now have to reside in the fae land of Prythian for eternity. Feyre is wracked with anxiety, worrying about her safety among the lethal faeries, the well-being of her family and the breaking of the promise to her deceased mother to ensure her family's safety and protection. However, she goes. To her surprise, she is treated as a guest, the Fae tolerate her and her captor, Tamlin, who transformed into a faerie from a beast, treats her with utmost respect and kindness. As Feyre begins to fall for Tamlin and forms a begrudging relationship of tolerance with Lucien, Tamlin's emissary, and becomes to feel some sort of acceptance and happiness, a darkness is seeping into the Spring Court and Tamlin's powers are fading, leaving him, Feyre and the rest of the fairy court naked to the malevolent powers surging in the horizon. Feyre's whole new life filled with happiness and love and dazzling opportunities is hanging by a thread and she might be the only one able to save herself, Tamlin and the whole of the Fae kingdom.

I really loved this book. The characters were beautifully broken, the story line was intriguing, the romance breathtaking and the writing mesmerizing. It had the kind of writing that makes you feel like you are being enveloped by a magical presence, because you not only feel like you are involved with the characters' lives and know them personally, you feel like you are there. Experiencing every heartbreak, every sickening twist, every act of heart-wrenching cruelty and betrayal, as well as the delectable taste of freedom and the spell-binding essences of love. Sarah's writing truly is incandescent, magical, so utterly ethereal that I wish I could submerge myself in it entirely.

The plot of this book was enthralling. I will admit that I found the beginning quite slow but once I had ventured deeper into the book I appreciated that Maas did that as it fully allowed me to understand Feyre's world before she's thrust into the treacherous land of Prythian and it allowed me to then fully emphasize in the huge shift from numb, cold-hearted huntress to the Feyre who allows herself to live and to dream, to appreciate the stark contrast between her previous life and her current life. However, once Feyre was whisked away to Prythian I drank up the words like a wanderer stumbling upon an oasis in the desert. The pages flickered by as I found myself sinking deeper and deeper into the luxuriously terrifying world that Maas had so magically crafted, the suspense grew with each passing chapter and my heart would clench in terror as I would read about the desolate trials that my heroic new fictional friends had to suffer through and then a couple of pages sing with joy at the dazzling love and kindness and wonderfulness that cascaded off the pages. I became mesmerized by this book and with each page I fell in love with it slightly more.

Then there are the characters. The fierce, brave, honest, authentic characters with their realistic flaws, their mind-numbing fears and the overwhelming desire to be loved and their abundant capacity to love. Characters who have endured torturous events and survived, rising stronger from the rubble, a phoenix emerging from the ashes. I loved how Maas allowed us to become fully acquainted with the characters; how she revealed enough of their inner essence to allow us to root for them or at the very least, to understand them. Even regarding the villains, she reveals enough about their tormented, blood covered pasts and the inner workings of their minds, to allow us the chance at understanding the motives behind their devastatingly cruel actions.

I loved how all the characters grew throughout the book, there was a distinguishable difference between who they were and who they are now. I really admired the characters. They had gone through so many trying times and as heart-breaking as it was to see each character that I cared about tormented and mentally demolished into fragments of who they once were, it was equally inspiring to see them collect together those remnants and piece them back together, constantly pursuing despite the vicious obstacles thrown their way. Lately my anxiety has been quite severe again and reading about Feyre, Tamlin and Lucien's struggles, it gave me hope. That no matter how difficult your current situation, if you keep on fighting and you keep on hoping, that things will get better. I really loved ACOTAR for that.

The characters themselves were so lovable. I adored Feyre. I admired how fiercely she tried to keep her vows, how dedicated she was to protecting her family and how determined she was to do the right thing. Feyre possessed traits that shouldn't have worked so smoothly in conjunction but which flawlessly did. She was thoughtful, caring, valiant and loyal, stubborn and determined. I just loved her character so much. She almost reminded me a bit of Katniss with how she wanted to protect her family and her bravery and that soft heart beneath the hardened exterior. Feyre is just such an amazing character and she's just so real. Like it feels almost like sacrilege to call them "characters" because to me they feel not like characters but people. I also like how Feyre can be really tough when she needs to be but also allows us to see her vulnerable, sensitive side. Like the part where she stays by a dying fae's side and holds their hand makes me want to ugly tears. It was such a beautiful moment and one that allowed us to see Feyre's fears and wishes and respect for others. She's definitely one of my new favorite heroines.

I LOVE TAMLIN. He's just...incredible. He's such a gentleman and he's so kind and caring and selfless and generous and I'm just completely in love with him. It was so painful to see him suffer through so many ordeals knowing how kindhearted. I really admired Tamlin for how he was determined to be a different kind of ruler, one that doesn't encourage the shedding of blood and the silencing of the helpless voices of slaves, but one that listens and cares and wants to make a difference. He's utterly amazing and definitely one of my new top book boyfriends!

I also adore Lucien! At first I wasn't really certain about him, but his snark and humor won me over. I love the banter between him and Feyre - it's flawless. I love how at first they can't stand each other, but by the end of the novel they have somewhat of a tolerance of each other, and despite getting annoyed with each other they will protect and stick by each other. I love Lucien though and his backstory is also SO SAD. Why must my babies be tortured so?!

The romance is perfection. It's one of those where the protagonist hates the love interest but slowly, steadily they begin to fall for each other. The raw beauty of the romance was flawlessly done. Feyre and Tamlin's love was a roaring, passionate one where their love was powerful enough to feel near to tangible. It brought tears to my eyes how much they cared for one another and the amount of sacrifices they went through in order to save the other. It was sizzling, it was real, it was breathtaking. Their love for each other radiated from the pages and it was pure and wonderful - a once in a lifetime kind of love. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses was a spectacular fantasy novel that stole my breath away, induced tears to run from my eyes and laughter to escape my lips. My heart ached at the tragedies that occurred and every betrayal, every hurt, every terror that the characters faced, I faced alongside them. Every radiant occurrence of love, acts of kindness or cheerful laughs made my heart soar. I felt everything in this book, and that is clear evidence that an author is truly capable of producing magic. The characters, the dialogue, the rich, complex plot, the sizzling romance and the magnificent fantasy world combined impeccably to create a novel that is magic itself. I loved this book and I can guarantee that you will too! A new favorite. 

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!





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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Bout of Books 14: Day 1 Update!

Bout of Books

The first day of Bout of Books is officially over! I'm pretty proud of the amount of pages I read today. I would've read more but I've been catching up with old friends so I couldn't read much, unfortunately! 

I'm currently reading the third Alex Rider book (Skeleton Key) which I'm extremely close to finishing, so I'll hopefully finish that tomorrow and then I'll start either I'll Give You the Sun or the fourth Alex Rider book, Eagle Strike. WE SHALL SEE. I'm going to be in the car for over 4 hours tomorrow because my mom is going to a doctor that is pretty far from us and I can't read long in the car otherwise I begin to feel sick. But hopefully I'll still get a chance to read!

Updates:
Day 1: 
Pages read today: 128
Books read today: 0
Total pages read: 128
Total books read: 0


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Sunday, 16 August 2015

Bout of Books 14 Sign Up: Goals and TBR Pile!

Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
IT'S BOUT OF BOOKS TIME!!! I didn't even know this until I went on Instagram and saw someone's Bout of Books TBR pile, I could nearly have missed my most favorite bookish/bloggyish thing in the world if I hadn't decided to indulge in wasting time on social media. That would've been tragic!

I'm so happy that Bout of Books is happening now as it generally happens when I'm up to my eyeballs in schoolwork but I'm on holiday this week SO YES THANK YOU HALLELUJAH. That was just so nice of them to organise it exactly at this time. Just for me. *cough*

Okay, anyway.

TBR Pile:
The books I'm hoping to read (but probably won't because I'm extremely bad at sticking to TBR lists spontaneous) are:
Skeleton Key (Alex Rider, #3)Eagle Strike (Alex Rider, #4)I'll Give You the SunPaper Towns

4 books in one week is very ambitious for me as I'm not a very fast reader. But because I am determined and courageous and overly optimistic, this is my non-official  official TBR pile.

Goals:
1. To read at the very least 2 books
2. To participate in at least 1 of the challenges
3. To try to read as much as I possibly can!

I'm not going to have very specific goals as Bout of Books is purely fun and I don't want to to create hundreds (slight exaggeration) of goals and then feel guilty for not sticking to them! But if I read at least two books, I'll be very happy indeed! :)

Have you read any of these? What did you think? If you've done a TBR pile post for BoB - link me up!

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Monday, 10 August 2015

Personal Post: I'VE MOVED TO ENGLAND!


GUYS I'M IN ENGLAND.

I SURVIVED THE 11+ HOUR FLIGHT.

I ENDURED TURBULENCE AND ANXIETY ATTACKS.

HERE I AM!

It feels totally surreal to be back and I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it! I was extremely excited but I'm so ferociously homesick right now that I don't think I can muster much enthusiasm present as I'm missing my house, dogs and friends so much! 

My anxiety has also been awful due to all the changes and I felt so ill with it on the plane that I sincerely had no idea how I was going to stay calm on the flight and make a new life here in England and leaving all my "security blankets" behind. I had this overwhelming desire to just go back to my former life where I felt safe with what I knew and didn't have to move outside of my comfort bubble but I realise that if I want to get anywhere in life I'll have to push myself to do things that make me uncomfortable, things that terrify me to the point that I'm frozen in fear, knowing that I'll come out of it as a stronger person.

I really didn't enjoy the aeroplane ride at all. I generally enjoy flying once my anxiety has settled down (generally 30 minutes or so after take off) but the flight was horrible. It was extremely hot, it was incredibly noisy, I couldn't sleep comfortably  (I probably only slept 30 minutes the whole flight) and the turbulence was so bad that the plane dipped at one point and everyone's food trays went flying which was utterly terrifying. When we were about to land the pressure was also very bad and it was just a horrible flight, unfortunately! I'm so glad it's over!

However, I'm trying to have a positive outlook and have faith in God but it is difficult, especially with my bad panic attacks and my mom's poor health and the fact that I really didn't enjoy England the first time I lived here. However, like I said, I'm trying to focus on the positives. We're living in an absolutely gorgeous guest house on a farm and it's so wonderful and peaceful. I'm also hoping to go to several charity stores (CHEAP BOOKS!!!), libraries and the village where the farm resides! 

I'll keep you all updated on how I find England! <3



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Monday, 3 August 2015

Personal Post: Moving to England, living on a farm, packing more books than clothes and the Bath Kids Literary Festival!


I'm flying to England this Sunday and I'm so excited!


I actually lived there before for nearly 3 years but I didn't really enjoy it. The weather got to me and all I wanted was to come back to South Africa and we did and it was so good being home. But now that I'm older I realise that there's so many more opportunities for me there, so many things I can do there related to books/blogging/science. South Africa also seems to be declining, load-shedding is occurring more frequently, there may be water shortages and there's a lot of drama happening at the universities and I realise now that it's probably best to be in England at this age, so that I can study there and get the best education possible! 


I'm extremely nervous to go back in case I really don't enjoy it, but I'm trying to have a positive outlook. I'm trying to focus on seeing my friends again, of exploring the little villages, of the bookstores and Amazon's great-priced books and the literary festivals and being so near to other countries that I've been dying to go to!

I'm going to miss my beautiful home so much but there will always be holidays and I'm pretty sure that, if things don't decline further, I will return back home to stay.

But anyway, I'm super excited for what lies ahead! Our furniture is leaving tomorrow and then on Wednesday we'll be living in a guest house RIGHT ON THE BEACH for 3 days (until we leave) and then once we arrive in England we'll be living on a gorgeous farm for 2 weeks (like something out of a book - squeee!) and I'll be seeing my friends and going to the library and exploring, which is super exciting! I also found this list on Buzzfeed of cute second-hand bookstores that are dotted around the UK and I want to visit as many of them as I can!

I'm incredibly nervous for the flight though because, as I've said before, I get severe panic attacks and although I enjoy flying, I don't enjoy the fact that if I have a very bad panic attack there's no where to go to get away from all the people and the suffocating claustrophobia you feel when you're in a small space and you can't breathe. So I'm not looking forward to the flight. Especially with planes disappearing and being shot down and whatnot. I WANT TO LIVE OKAY.

Besides that, I'm SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER excited because I'll be attending the Bath Kids Literary Event! I'm hoping to see Patrick Ness, Derek Landy (MY FREAKING FAVORITE AUTHOR EVER I LOVE HIM SO MUCH), Jennifer Donnelly, Sarah Crossan, Holly Smale (ALSO ONE OF MY FAVORITE AUTHORS EVER), Virginia Bergin and Robin Stevens (ANOTHER FAVORITE AUTHOR) - I'M SO FRIKKIN EXCITED.


It was quite tricky though, as I'd packed all my books away and sealed the boxes and I had SO MANY BOOKS of the authors who I'd be seeing and I really really really wanted them signed but I packed them away, but being the courageous, noble book warrior I am, I decided to rip open all the boxes I'd so carefully sealed and rescue my beloveds. It would've been fine if my books were coming on the boat, but my parents are keeping our stuff in storage until we've bought our own house as it's quite tedious (apparently) dragging around 11 boxes of books each time you rent a place. So I'll only be reunited with my babies much later on. It's painful and I've cried many a tears but my parents insist that there's libraries and Ebay and


Amazon BUT STILL. Anyway, I needed those books. So now I have like, 10 books in my suitcase and several on my carry-on luggage BUT IT'S WORTH IT. No mom, I don't care if I can only fit a couple of outfits in there as long as I have my books. I'll walk around in plastic bag if need be.

Because you guys obviously want to see which books I'm taking *cough*, here is a picture of my travelling preciousssss:


The side pockets were big enough to fit paperbacks in. YAS!


City of Heavenly Fire is extremely big.


Books on my carry-on luggage! Yes, each book accompanying me on my journey is wrapped. In plastic pockets. Improvisation, my friends, improvisation.


Books I'm taking to get signed at the Bath Festival! 

Squeeee- SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!


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