May Wrap Up…

Welcome to my May Wrap Up. I had a great reading month, finishing 9 books (amazingly 6 from my TBR). I really enjoyed all the books I read this month, So im looking forward to talking about them in this wrap up.

I have reviews up or coming up for most of these books so as usual this is just going to be a brief run down on each book I read.

Without further ado, let’s get into my May Wrap Up…

Queen Of Hearts by Colleen Oakes: I really wanted to like this book, but I just didn’t. I have read a few retellings so that wasnt a problem for me. I just couldn’t get into it. I think it was just too political for my liking. I know it is part of a series but im really don’t think I will pick up the rest.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: This book was a cute, sweet read. I really liked Jenny Han’s writing style and the story was sweet. I didn’t completely love it, but I liked it enough to pick up the sequel.

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han: I like this one way more than the first one. Jenny Han’s did a wonderful job in developing the characters, making them more relatable and more appealing. I’m really glad I stuck with this series. I would have been sad if I missed this book.

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: This book grew on me, than punched me in the gut. It was a little slow at the beginning of this book but once it sped up and I knew who everyone was I really loved it. I was emotionally connected, and really drawn into the story that was being told. This is a must read.

FanGirl by Rainbow Rowell: I loved this book. I will admit it took me quiet a few chapter to get into it but once I did I was hooked. I was so sad to get to the end of this book. I wish there was a sequel. I wasnt ready to say goodbye to these amazing characters.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: This book just wasnt for me. After reading FanGirl I had high hopes for this book, it just didn’t live up to my expectations. I understand the premise of the book but I just couldn’t get into it.

Doing It by Hannah Witton: I loved this book. Filled with important information about sex and all things relating to sex. This book is honest, open and I believe, truly important. I would recommend this book to people of all ages.

Storm And Grace by Kathryn Heyman: I loved this book. An amazingly haunting story, by a fantastic author. I couldn’t put this book down, and I havent stopped talking about it since I finished it. This book is so relevent for the climate we live in, and I think everyone should read it.

Knock Knock Dinosaur by Caryl Hart: I loved this beautiful book. A great book for children, with amazing illustrations. I have already recommended it to every parent I know.

That’s it for my May Wrap Up. Let me know what you guys read this month. Until my June Wrap Up…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

 

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P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Lara Jean and Peter were just pretending to date, she never expected to actually fall for him. As her feelings for Peter continue to grown, Lara Jean is more confused than ever. When a boy from Lara Jean’s past comes back into her life, she finds herself developing feelings for him aswell. Can a girl love two people at the same time?

I really enjoyed this book.

After reading To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before I wasnt expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. P.S. I Still Love You really out did it predecessor.

The writing in this book was older and more solid, and the characters had matured and developed into really interesting characters.

I had issues with the use of ‘daddy’ in the first book and I was happy to see that it wasnt used as much in this book. I also didn’t enjoy Josh as a character in the first book so I was glad to see less of him in the second book.

Jenny Han has done a great job with P.S. I Still Love You. The characters are so much more three-dimensional, more human and relatable. I really enjoyed watching Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship develop. From ‘fake dating’ to actual dating was a funny situation to get to see play out. I had some genuine laugh out loud moments whilst reading this book.

I absolutely adores Kitty in this book, she reminded me so much of my little sister, I found myself smiling every time I saw her name on the page.

I am genuinely happy that I decided to pick up this book and I am actually excited to read the next book.

Lara Jean is such a lovely character to spend time with and with an amazing array of supporting characters, there is never a dull moment in this book.

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han is a beautifully sweet book that you wont regret reading.

 

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To get over a crush, Lara Jean writes a love letter and puts it in a hat box. These letters are for her eyes only and are her way of moving on. When Lara Jean writes these letters she pours her heart and soul onto the pages, writing things she would never say in real life. One day her life spins out of control when her secret letters are mailed to her past crushes, bringing her imaginary love life into the real world.

Jenny Han has created a great array of characters for the reader to fall in love with. Her ability to craft and nurture so many different characters is truly a gift. I love getting to see all of these characters grow and interact with each other.

I had a few issues with the writing in this book. I felt it was a little young for my liking, I found myself cringing over the way the Song girls called their father ‘daddy’. This is a personal dislike of mine, teenage or adult children calling their parents ‘mummy and daddy’.

The other problem I had with this book was Josh. I just didn’t like his character. He wasnt as solid as the other characters and came across really wishy-washy in his actions and feelings.

I really loved the relationship between the Song sisters. I am one of five girls and I loved how authentic their relationships were.

This book didn’t blow me away but it was sweet enough to spark an interest in me to continue on with this series.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han is a sweet book that will captivate many teen hearts.

 

Not A Newbie…

This post is similar to the introduction/newbie post that is mainly a feature on booktube. I have decided to do a not a newbie version for my blog. Hope you guys enjoy and learn something new.

How old is your blog?

gemsbooknook celebrated its first birthday on the 23 of April 2017.

What are your favourite posts to write? 

Whilst I love writing reviews I would have to say my favourite posts to write are actually Wrap Ups. I love looking back at what I read over the month, it makes me feel productive seeing all the books I’ve read.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to start a blog?

I actually have 2. Take the leap, it’s not a scary as it seems and remember to have fun. If you’re not enjoying yourself it just isn’t worth it and your content suffers because your readers can tell you’re not enjoying it.

Have you come across any unforeseen challenges?

Umm, Time would have to be my biggest challenge. Since I mainly post book reviews I have to make sure I give myself enough time to read the book, write the review, edit the review and find images or thumbnails. I just have to be diligent with my time management or I will lose my consistency in my uploads.

What your favourite book or series you have read because of your blog?

That’s actually an easy answer, Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I was hearing so much hype in the lead up to its release I had to read it. So glad I did it was absolute fantastic and if im honest im not sure if I would have found it without the blogging and booktube communities.

Favourite aspect of blogging?

I love being able to talk to other book lovers and get their opinions and recommendations while also sharing my love of reading.

Biggest upside to blogging?

The biggest upside has been the introduction to author’s and publisher’s. Making these contacts has given me the chance to receive pre released books and conduct author interviews. It has made a huge difference to my blog.

Biggest down side to blogging?

Umm, having to review books I didn’t like. I wont DNF a book if I have to write a review for it, this means that sometimes im stuck slogging through a book that im just not interested in.

Hope for your blogging future?

I hope to have gemsbooknook quoted on a cover on inside a book. I also hope that I will be able to eventually make gemsbooknook a job and earn an income from it.

Parting thoughts???

If you are thinking about becoming a blogger, do it. It has changed my life and I am thankful everyday that I took the leap and started my blog.

Happy Reading

❤ Gem

The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke

In this powerful memoir, Maxine Beneba Clarke chronicles her upbringing in Australia. Filled with familiar and funny tales about growing up in the 80’s and 90’s in Australia. And then there is the other side, The hatred, the racism and the heartbreaking stories of growing up ‘Brown’ in the 80’s and 90’s in Australian suburbia.

This captivating book will stay with you long after the final page.

As a white Australian, this book was deeply confronting and at times hard to read. I found myself wanting to yell at people in this book and to just reach out and hug Maxine.

The writing in this book isn’t perfect, the way the stories are woven together can sometimes be a little jarring. After the first few chapters you get use to it so it becomes less noticeable. As you get further into this book the writing doesn’t really matter because the story that is being told is a times deeply heartbreaking, you are so moved by the narrative you just don’t care about the actual writing.

I fortunately have never had to deal with this sort of hatred. I have unfortunately witnessed hatred and racism, I just didn’t realise the extent of the ‘accidental racism’ for lack of a better way to describe it.

I am not that much younger than Maxine and I found myself thinking back to my own childhood, wondering if I was guilty of saying or acting this way.

Maxine Beneba Clarke’s moving and truly eye-opening memoir should be read by all, especially in High Schools across Australia.

If you havent read this book, do it now. The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke is definatly going to stay with me and hopefully influence me in the future.

Butterfly, We’re Expecting For You by Libby Hathorn

What will you find when you explore your backyard? Will you see a butterfly, a frog, a bird or maybe even a dinosaur? Come and take a walk in the backyard, bath in the golden sunlight, feel the warm breeze on your face, but most importantly see what wonderful things you can find.

This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read.

Written by beloved author Libby Hathorn and illustrated by the acclaimed Lisa Stewart, this beautiful book takes children on a wonderful journey through the backyard. Seeing all the wonders that can be found there.

This amazingly simple book took my breath away. Whilst reading this book I wished I hade children to share it with.

Lisa Stewart’s breathtaking illustrations perfectly compliment Libby Hathorn’s amazing story. This book is so sweet it will make your teeth ache.

In a time of screens and gadgets this amazing story will remind children of the joys of being outside and the wonderful things that can be found outdoors.

This is a book that every child should have. I can’t say a bad word about it.

Butterfly, we’re expecting you! by Libby Hathorn, illustrated by Lisa Stewart is a wonder to behold and should be treasured by all.

 

My Collection of Signed Books…

This post is pretty self-explanatory. As I have a lot of books to cover this is just going to be a list of all the signed books I have acquired over the years. So without further ado lets jump in…

Tomorrow Never Knows: The Silverchair Story by Jeff Apter

The Turners by Mick Elliott

Difficult People Made Easy by Eleanor Shakiba

Riding This Road by Joy McKean

Cats, Scarves and Liars by Kathryn White

I, John by C.R. Taylor

Champions: At Fire’s End by Charlotte Jain

Charlie and the Creature by Kirstin Lenane

The Signing Bone by William E. Kennedy

Calvin’s Head by David Swatling

Tramp by Bill Kennedy

How Do I Keep My Employees Motivated by George Langelett

How To Be A Nanowrimo Winner by Em Lynley

Diamond Fields by Rendall Reneau

The Magic Hour by Regina Clarke

Revenants: The Odyssey Home by Scott Kauffman

The Ultimate Players Guide to Skylander Superchargers by Hayley Camille

Old Wounds To The Heart by Ken Oder

In The Heart Of Cairo by Mahi Wasfy

Murder In-Absentia by Assaph Mehr

Tequila And Candy Drops by Jean Oram

What Is Past Is Dead by Mohammed Massoud Morsi

Subject 37 by Nathalie. M.L. Romer

Beyond The Lens by Hannah Ellis

Grind by Edward Vukovic

Nine Tenths: The Slider by Alex Anstey

Consciousness Archaeology by Maximus Freeman

Spark by Casey Kiser and Wren Verlaine

An Anguished Cry Gor Our Endangered Planet by Gladwin Das

The Judge’s Cat by Jane Allen

Floating Upstream by Jo Vraca

Greymoon River Road by Ian Bradshaw

Tales of Mysdrym: Ancients Stir by Jennifer Lyn Lunney

Skin in the Game by Tomas Byrne

Truth Insurrected by Daniel P. Douglas

Burning Down Rome by Melodie Ramone

Jet Trails: Looking For Blue Skies by M.H. Sullivan

Slags and Embers by Brian Lindow

Dead On The Dock by Beth Everett

Two Decades Naked by Leigh Hopkinson

Insensible Loss by Paul Michael Peters

Maiden by Chris Sorensen

Star Weaver by Derek E. Pearson

Blood And Guts by Sam Vincent

Flare by Jonathan Maas

A Temptation by Mary Conway

Xamnesia by Lizzie Harwood

The UnKingdom of God by Mark Van Steenwyk

There’s No One Like Jesus by Blake Western

Emma’s Moments by Della Strickland

From This Day Forward by Elizabeth D. Gray

Matter, Qualia, Mind and Cosmos by Tony Brussat

Extremist by Qasim Rashid
Galaxy Of Empires by Bruce Marcom

Career Advice For The Lost Soul by Rebecca Hayman

The Archer’s Son by M.E. Hubbs

Stealing The Golden Dream by Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens

Gabriel’s Creek by Alan Livingston

Sojourn In Calidia by Niama Leslie Williams

Divided We Fall by Adam Bender

A Dragon’s Ransom by Mike Smart

Business Exit Companion by Koos Kruger

The Time Table by N.J. Rayner

Jung For Kittens by Glyn K. Green

Stella Makes Good by Lisa Heidke

Lyda by Robert E. Bonson

Dylan’s Nam by Tom Faustman

#PleaseRetweet by Emily Benet

Enlightened Pregnancy by Luisa Magarian

Approaching Twi-Night by M. Thomas Apple

Set: A Love Story by Karen Dodson

Terry: Adventures Of A Terek Sandpiper by Anne Hamilton

Okay that’s the lot. Well at least I think that’s it. For those of you playing at home the answer is 72. I have 72 signed books. If I get anymore signed books I will do a part 2 and let you all know. If you want any extra info about any of these books hit me up in the comments. Let me know what signed books you guys have or if you like or dislike this sort of post. Untill next Wacky Wednesday…

Happy Reading

❤ Gem

 

The Turners: Fully Doomed by Mick Elliott 

The third and final book in The Turners trilogy.

Leo Lennox and the Turners of the world are in big trouble. With the fate of all Turners at sake, Leo, Abbie, their Dad and their new ally Ernie must travel to different places around the world to stop a deranged scientist from exposing all Turners. If Leo and Co can’t stop this evil scheme from becoming a reality, the worlds Turners will be Fully Doomed.

I Love Love Loved this book.

Mick Elliott has done it again. Coming off the back of two fast paced, action packed adventures, The Turners: Fully Doomed not only completes its predecessors it blows them out of the water.

I was so excited to get my hands on this book and I am pleased to say it was worth the wait.

After getting to know Leo and Co in the first two Turner books, reading Fully Doomed was like catching up with an old friend. Mick Elliott’s amazing characters and descriptive, almost cinematic writing keeps the reader on the edge of their seat from start to finish.

The Turners: Fully Doomed flows seamlessly from The Turners: Camp Freakout, keeping up the high energy and emotion from the first page. This book does a great service to the Turners trilogy by wrapping up outstanding storylines and growing characters naturally whilst still keeping this epic and crazy story perfectly playing out.

I had plenty of genuine laugh out loud moments whilst reading this book. I honestly can’t say a bad word about The Turners: Fully Doomed. I loved getting to catch up with Leo and Co again, I loved getting to meet new characters and I loved getting to see this series so perfectly wrapped up.

The only thing I don’t love is that I have to say goodbye to the Turners now. I could read 100 more Turner books.

If you havent read The Turners series, do it now. You don’t want to miss out and be Fully Doomed for eternity.

 

One Thing by Lauren Child

When their mum takes Charlie and Lola to the shops and tells them they can get one thing for a treat, Charlie asks “one thing each?” This simple question leads to a great story about numbers and sharing.

This bright and engaging book is filled with numbers; from counting birds and stickers to telling the time, numbers are everywhere in this book.

With Maths and numbers being something we deal with on a daily basis, Lauren Child has done a great job in incorporating numbers into this lovely little story.

This book features Charlie and Lola. Unfortunately for me that really didn’t mean anything because I have no idea who Charlie and Lola are. Going into this book not knowing who Charlie and Lola are did worry me but it turned out it didn’t make a difference to the story. I’m assuming it will excite people who know who they are but if you don’t, don’t sweat it.

This books illustrations were absolutely fabulous. They were bright, bold and crazy. In a good way of corse.

One Thing by Lauren Child is a great book that is not only a delightful little read but a great learning tool for children.

The Girl In The Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

In Amsterdam, 1943, 18-year-old Hanneke spends her days finding and delivering sought after black market goods. While making a delivery to one of her regular clients Mrs Janssen, Hanneke is begged to find a missing Jewish teenager that Mrs Janssen had been hiding. After reluctantly taking on this massive task, Hanneke finds herself caught in a web of lies and mysteries which end up leading her to the Dutch resistance. This unexpected encounter opens Hanneke’s eyes to the true horror of the war and ultimatly leads her to take drastic action.

This powerful book took my breath away.

I knew nothing about this book when I picked it up and now I can’t stop talking about it. The Girl In The Coat is truly a masterpiece.

Heartbreakingly beautiful and expertly written, Monica Hesse take’s the reader on a haunting journey through Nazi occupied Amsterdam.

The characters Monica has created are so beautifully crafted that you cant help but feel for them.

With the Nazi occupation as the backdrop of this novel you can feel the fear and desperation radiating off the pages at all times.

Monica Hesse’s writing has such a cinematic quality to it, I feel like I was watching rather than reading this story.

Such a heartbreaking story being told through the eyes of a somewhat naive girl really draws the reader in and keeps you turning the pages.

Another great element of this book is the Author leads you down a road and just as you think you know where you are heading she changes direction. I really loved this aspect of the book, it kept me fully engaged in the story.

The one aspect I didn’t completely love was when we were shown things from the past, such as Hanneke’s first kiss, her best friend, etc. This tool was really well used at the start of the book but as the story became more desperate and fast paced I think it became unnecessary. Toward the end of the book I was already so invested in these characters I didn’t need the flashbacks to help me connect to them. That being said just because I didn’t need them doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy them.

I love books set during World War Two, and as such I have read quite a few. The Girl In The Blue Coat is definitely one of the best I have read. I have already passed it on and told everyone I know about it.

If you havent read this book, do it now. A book as beautiful as The Girl In The Blue Coat shouldnt be missed.