July Wrap Up…

Welcome to my July Wrap Up. I had a terrible reading month, finishing just 2 books and 8 children’s books, (only 1 book from my TBR). I was in a little reading slump at the start of July and just as I started getting back into reading I got struck down with the flu and spent almost 2 weeks bed ridden. I have just started to feel better so I hope that I can make up for my dismal July reading in August.

I have reviews up or coming up for 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 July Wrap Up…

The Land Of Stories: Worlds Collide by Chris Colfer: I loved this book. I wasnt expecting this book, so I was over the moon when it arrived on my doorstep at the beginning of the month. I have adore the Land Of Stories series and this book was the perfect conclusion to an amazing series. All my favourite characters were back and Chris Colfer did a fantastic job and rounding this series out. If you havent yet read it, get your hands on it now.

The Dream Walker by Victoria Carless: I have mixed feelings about this book. I can see why people will love it, it just wasnt really for me. I think there was too much going on and I got frustrated with the pacing of this book. The writing was beautiful and I enjoyed parts of this book immensely but on a whole it just wasnt my type of book.

Little Mates A-Z Collection: Bounciest Bilby, Daredevil Dingo, Inquisitive Ibis, Jolliest Joey, Kindest Koala, Playful Platypus, Quietest Quokka and Ticklish Tasmanian Devil by Susannah McFarlane: I adore these books. I only have 8 of the 26 book collection but I will definitely be collecting the rest. These beautiful children’s books are both entertaining and educational. This collection is a must have for every Aussie Family.

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

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

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Little Mates by Susannah McFarlane

This review is a bit different than usual. I have recently acquired some of the Little Mates children’s books collection, so I have decided to review the books I currently own and talk about the collection in general.

The Little Mates A-Z Collection by Susannah McFarlane and Scholastic is a collection of 26 books that feature Aussie Animals. Each book features an animal relating to the letter the book is promoting.

These books are perfect for young children, they are engaging and really enhance the alphabet. The stories being told are both fun and educational.

With amazing illustrations by Lachlan Creagh, The Little Mates Collection is visually stunning.

I was fortunate enough to come across these books in my local supermarket and I couldn’t help myself, I had to buy them.

I love collecting books (especially children’s books) that are about Australia, and this collection is overflowing with Australian Animals.

Unfortunately I havent yet finished collecting this series, but now that I have started I have no intention of stopping until I own them all.

I currently own Bounciest Bilby, Daredevil Dingo, Inquisitive Ibis, Jolliest Joey, Kindest Koala, Playful Platypus, Quietest Quokka and Ticklish Tasmanian Devil.

If you havent heard of these books and you have young children I highly recommend you get your hands on these books, both you and your kinds will love this collection.

The Little Mates A-Z Collection is a must have for every Australian Family.

10 Books I Think Everyone Should Read In Their Lifetime…

Once again this is a pretty self-explanatory post. These are the 10 books I think everyone should read in their lifetime. It was a difficult list to compile, I had trouble cutting it down to ten, but after much internal debate I have final settled on the following ten books:

Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally: Just like its film adaptation Schindler’s List, this book is not to be missed. It is haunting, heartbreaking and honestly unforgettable. As hard as this book is to read, I truly believe it should be read by everyone.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: As much I as would love everyone to read this book in their lifetime, I would be happy if every female read it at least once. I wasnt expecting to love this book as much as I did. I remember having to read it in School and everyone was moaning about how boring required reading was, so I was over joyed when I fell in love with this book. I’m not sure if it is still require reading but if it isn’t, it really should be. This book will teach you something different every time you read it.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: This heartbreaking book is usually read by High School students, with good reason. Readers can connect with Anne and see a young girls take on a horrendous situation. I know that most teenagers read this at School, but I think adults should pick this book up again and experience this haunting book at different times in their lives.

Les Miserable by Victor Hugo: Taking on this book can be a daunting experience. Its sheer size will turn many people off it, but I believe this book should definatly be a book you read in your lifetime. Covering decades of people’s lives, life, death, socioeconomic problems, wealth disparity issues and the human experience. Set before and during the French Revolution, this amazing book is perfectly crafted and completely emotionally relevent to the world we live in, I honestly think it is a shame that more people havent read this book.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm: Well what can I say about Grimm’s fairy tales. I love fairy tales, I have since I was a child. A few years ago I picked up a complete collection of Grimm’s fairy tales and started to immerse myself in the magic. Reading these stories as an adult made me realise that every adult should read these tales. Filled with interesting anecdotes and extremely relevent morales these stories aren’t just for children.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: This amazing book is told through the eyes of Death and a Teenage Liesel, during World War Two. This hauntingly beautiful book will drag you over hot coal emotionally. I love seeing the War through Liesel and Death’s very different perspectives. This book can be read many times and each time you will take something different from it, yet it will still leave you emotionally wrecked.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: This book is a must read for me every year at Christmas. It gives me hope, empathy and compassion in a time of year when stress can leave us all a little on edge and selfish. I have yet to meet someone who didn’t feel just a little better and a little more compassionate after reading this book.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint- Exupery: I adore this book. I remember when I first decided to read it I wasnt sure I would like it, I am so glad I was wrong. This beautiful book always leaves me feeling inspired. I know some people can find this book hard to read, with its multi-layered storylines, but if you give it a chance I truly believe we can all take something away for this amazing book.

Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave: This heartbreaking memoire follows Tim and his partner of 15 Years John. From their meeting at Catholic school through to adulthood. Dealing with homophobia, sex, affairs and the AIDS crisis, this book is must read for everybody with a heart. A truly moving story that will stay with you long after the final page.

The Bible: I am not a religious person, I grew up going to Sunday School and as I got older I choose to go to Youth Group for a few years. I have read the Bible many times in my life and I think every adult should read the Bible at least once in their lives. Considering how much western society references the Bible in social debates I think it is a book that everyone should have a thorough understand of.

Well that’s it from me, I hope you enjoyed my list, let me no what books you think people should read in their lifetime. Untill next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Do Not Open This Book by Andy Lee

This guy will do anything to stop you from finishing this book. From threats, bribes and reverse psychology, you name it, you’ll find it in this book. With that in mind, Are you brave enough to open this book?

I loved this book.

Written by Andy Lee for his nephew’s first birthday, this book is both heartfelt and hilarious.

I found myself giggling along whilst reading this book. I can’t imagine any child not loving this book.

The amazing illustrations by Heath McKenzie are both bright and bold, and really enhance Andy lee’s story.

I have recommended this book to all the parents I know.

If you are looking for a fun, charming and hilarious book to share with your toddler or preschooler, Do Not Open This Book by Andy Lee is the book for you.

Kingdom Of Scars by Eoin Macken

Fifteen year old Sam Leahy is trying to navigate two social worlds. The bullies from his uptight all boys private school and the teenage gang in his neighbourhood. The neighbourhood gang spends their time drinking, smoking and fighting. Sam must adopt these behaviours to be accepted. Add the hormones of a 15-year-old boy to this mix and Sam is out of his depth.

I adored this book.

I read Kingdom Of Scars when it first came out and I remember raving about it to everyone who would listen. When I started my blog I put it straight on the read again list so I could review it and I am so glad I did. Re reading this book was really nostalgic for me. Not only did it take me back to my own teen years but it was like catching up with an old friend.

I was drawn into this book from the first page. I had planned to pace myself with this book but that all went out the window after the first chapter and I ended up finishing it in one sitting. It was genuinely un-put-down-able.

I felt deeply connected to Sam, I honestly can’t think of another character that I have related to in the same way I related to Sam. Eoin Macken did an outstanding job in creating this character. There were times when I wasnt experiencing things with Sam, I was Sam. I felt like I was watching scenes from my own teen years play out on the pages in front of me.

Macken’s writing , whilst grounded in reality, paints a beautiful picture through his descriptive, almost cinematic writing style. The cinematic quality of Macken’s writing is perfectly highlighted in the scenes involving violence and teenage power struggles. These testosterone fueled scenes were so perfectly written, you could feel the tension seeping off the pages.

I honestly can’t think of another book like Kingdom Of Scars and I can’t think of a bad word to say about it.

Kingdom Of Scars by Eoin Macken is a literary treasure that is not to be missed.

 

 

10 Favourite Book Covers…

This post is pretty self-explanatory. These are my favourite book covers. The covers I am talking about in this post are the covers I have included in the image/thumbnail. Some of these books I truly love for more than their covers, unfortunately some of them only have their covers going for them in my opinion. With that off my chest let’s get into it:

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: I didn’t like this book at all. The only reason I like the book is because of its cover. The cover I am talking about is the blue cover with the city along the bottom and the eyes and red lips highlighted. I really love this cover, it is so beautiful. It’s honestly one of my favourites (obviously). I just wished I liked the book as well as the cover.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: I love love love this cover. The white cover with the 3D rip in the middle that shows the Goldfinch underneath. I am so captivated by this cover. I think it’s the Finch that gets me but I can’t be sure. Unfortunately this book is still sitting on my TBR, so I can’t say if the book lives up to its cover.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I adore this book. It could be wrapped in newspaper and I would still love it. Luckily of us it has amazing covers aswell as a fantastic story. I love all of the different covers that this book has but my all-time favourite is the aged white cover that has Death dancing with Liesel. I absolutely adore this cover.

Caraval by Stephenie Garber: I loved Caraval. It definatly lived up to its awesome covers. I had been expecting the get the blue, red and black cover, which I loved, so I was happily surprised when I got the black and gold cover. Which I now adore. I wouldn’t have minded either cover, they are both truly beautiful.

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: Of course Harry Potter is on this list. These books are my happy place, covers and all. There have been so many fantastic covers for this series over the years but my heart will always belong to the original covers. The cartoon covers that depict a scene from the book in side. These are the covers that I first got and are still my favourite.

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery: I love this book. It is a frequently read book in my life and I adore the cover. My favourite is the blue cover. Apparently I have a thing for blue covers. This is the blue cover that has the little prince standing on the moon. I think this cover so perfectly compliments the story of this book and I honestly can’t get enough of it.

The Beekeepers Secret by Josephine Moon: This book was fantastic. I was genuinely surprised by how much I loved this book. An its cover is perfect. I’m not sure what it is about this cover but it gives me the warm and fuzzies. The colours, the honey stand, honestly the cover is just perfect. The cover perfectly reflects the story and I love them both equally.

The Stand by Stephen King: I am a huge King fan and my favourite cover is by far The Stand. The completely uncut edition’s cover with the dead bodies lying on the road completely freaks me out, and I love it. This book is so creepy, so to have a cover that is as creepy as the story being told is brilliant.

The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend: I loved this cover and I went into this book with high hopes, but I was thoroughly disappointed with it. I love the cover design, with faceless family members sitting on the couch. I though it was really intriguing given the synopsis of the book. As in turned out, at least in my opinion, the cover was the best part of this book.

The Song Of Us by J.D. Barrett: This cover is so simplistic yet completely beautiful. The full red cover with just the title and a few little illustrations; the hearts and musical notes. Given how amazing this book is, I think the cover is absolutely perfect. This book is one of the best books I have read all year and the cover perfectly compliments the story being told and well deserves a place on this list.

Well that’s it from me, let me know your favourite coves in the comments. Untill next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

The Dream Walker by Victoria Carless

Lucy Hart is counting down the days till Graduation, so she can escape her small Queensland fishing hamlet home; Digger’s Landing. As Graduation nears, Lucy’s plans begin to falter. Her best friend Polly is dropping out of school to help pay the bills, and Tom has been sent away to boarding school, and then there is the fact that Lucy has started dream walking.

I honestly don’t know how I feel about this book.

The writing was beautiful albeit a bit slow for my liking. The dream sequences were so beautifully written, they had an almost cinematic quality about them.

There was a nice array of diverse characters to get to know, with different yet similar mindsets and voices to experience.

The story itself was interesting, seeing Lucy become more open-minded and start to see things through more adult eyes was a lovely thing to read about.

With all off these great qualities im still perplexed as to why I didn’t love this book.

I had trouble connecting with Lucy, and I think that made it difficult to really care about what was going on. I was disappointed with the character of Tom also. ‘The Accident’ kept getting brought up but was never delved into and I felt his character had so many more layers to be explored, but was just rushed out of the story.

I think this book has a lot of great elements that readers will definitely fall in love with, but for me there were just too many little issues that turned me off.

Even though I didn’t love this book I genuine think it is worth the read.

The Dream Walker by Victoria Carless is a beautiful and sometimes dark coming off age story that will hook many readers.

 

The Land Of Stories: Worlds Collide by Chris Colfer

The final book in The Land Of Stories series.

When a bridge opens, connecting the fairytale world and the otherworld, twins Alex and Conner must find a way to restore order to both worlds. With both fairytale characters and literary characters causing havoc in New York, the heroes must defeat the villans once and for all.

A fantastic conclusion to a fantastic series.

Chris Colfer has created an unforgettable series. His characters are strong, funny and completely diverse. There is someone for everyone in The Land Of Stories. Chris’ ability to take characters we know and love and give them not only a new dimension but a new life is truly a gift.

The Land Of Stories was perfectly weaved together from start to finish. I am sad to be coming to the end of this series, but I couldn’t be more thrilled with the way it ended.

Worlds Collide continued on from its predecessors without missing a beat. Having human, fairytale and literary characters converge on New York, made for a brilliantly exciting, fast paced and heart stopping read.

Getting to catch up with Alex and Conner and all of the characters we have grown to love, was like returning home from a long trip.

Worlds Collide is Chris’ best yet. The writing was superb. My connection with these characters is so strong it wasnt hard to feel what they were feeling. Chris’s writing had these characters emotions completely radiating off the pages.

Filled with the perfect mix of action, humor and heartwarming moments, The Land Of Stories: Worlds Collide leaves no stone unturned in its desire to give readers a satisfying ending.

The Land Of Stories series by Chris Colfer will be a staple on my bookshelf for a long long time.

The Land Of Stories: Worlds Collide is a perfect conclusion to a perfect series.

 

 

How To Read 100 Books A Year…

Is It Possible To Read 100 Books When You’re Insanely Busy?

The answer is yes.

Everything is possible as long as you set your mind to it.
If you love reading books but you have hundred of things to do (and there’s that Netflix show that has been seducing you to forget your books), it may seem unachievable to read a hundred or even your newly bought books this year. 
But you don’t have to deprive yourself of anything just to read books. You can work around this. So go watch that Netflix show you’ve been dying to see and afterwards read your books.
The good thing about books is that they don’t need batteries. You can read anywhere and that’s your head start.

Actually, here’s one of my favorite infographics on books written and made by Darius Foroux and Visme that you may also find useful. Darius listed here the 5 ultimate hacks to reading 100 books this year. 

 

thumbnail_How To Read 100 Books A Year Infographic

It may be already July but it’s still possible to achieve this, right? 🙂

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan

Little Town native Charlie Law knows the rules of living in Little Town; no fighting, no stealing and no going out after dark. Charlie lives by these rules, your don’t want to get on the wrong side of the Rascals and Regime that run Little Town. When Pav Duda, an Old Country refugee moves onto Charlie’s block, the rules starts to get broken. Then the bombs fall, and Old Country soldiers appear, and Little Town is changed forever.

This book is a very interesting and very current read.

Brian Conaghan has done a fantastic job on this book. He perfectly captured the terror and fear of conflict through the eyes of a fourteen year old boy,

The relationship between Charlie and Pav is so beautifully written and strengthened throughout the story. I havent come across a really great, believable friendship between teenage boys in a very long time, and Charlie and Pav’s friendship was a joy to read.

I found this book a bit slow at the start but as I got more invested in this story and these characters I realised that it was necessary to have this slow build up so the reader could get to know all the players and get invested in the story before chaos reigned.

As the pace accelerated, the story raced to its exciting conclusion.

I loved the end of this book, the last few chapters of this book were so beautifully written, I was completely hooked.

Brian Conaghan’s ability to bring a smile to your face whilst reading a book about war and political upheaval is truly a gift.

The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan is a fantastic book for Young Adult readers and Adult readers alike.

Dont miss out on this wonderful reading experience.