August Wrap Up…

Welcome to my August Wrap Up. I have had a fantastic reading month, finishing 18 books (5 books off my TBR). I’m exceptionally happy with my reading this month, I was expecting my TBR to change as I usually get lots of books for my birthday and this year was no exception.

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 August Wrap Up…

The Mother Goose Diaries by Chris Colfer: A companion novel to The Land Of Stories series. I loved this book. As a huge fan of The Land Of Stories series I had high expectations for this book. Thankfully it lived up to my expectations. I loved getting to read a book from Mother Goose’s point of view. This book is a must have for any fan of The Land Of Stories.

Queen Red Riding Hood’s Guide To Royalty by Chris Colfer: A companion novel to The Land Of Stories series. Another great read from Chris Colfer. Not a good as The Mother Goose Diaries, yet a great book none the less. A must have for any fan of The Land Of Stories series.

If Birds Fly Back by Carli Sorosiak: I didn’t love this book. I was good but it just didn’t blow me away. The idea was great and the characters were okay, but overall it was nothing spectacular. It had some great elements, the start of each chapter had either a quote about physics or a scene from a screenplay depending on who was talking. But other than these additions this book wasnt really memorable.

Waltzing Matilda by Banjo Paterson and Freya Blackwood: This much-loved Aussie song and poem is perfectly illustrated in this book. I adored this book and it will have a presence on my book shelf for years to come. This book should be a staple in every Australian home.

The Paris Wedding by Charlotte Nash: I loved this book. The Paris Wedding transported me from an Australian Farm to the city of love and back. This book had it all. Amazing story, great characters and breathtaking descriptions. This book is not to be missed.

The Bear That Went Boo by David Walliams: David Walliams has done it again. This beautiful book is perfect for young readers. The amazing illustrations by Tony Ross really  help to enhance this book.

Leaving Ocean Road by Esther Campion: This book was amazing. Esther Campion did a fantastic job with this book. I laughed and I cried and I laughed again. This book was so relatable and had such real characters, I couldn’t help but fall in love with this book.

Quidditch by Jody Revenson: An Incredibuilds book and model set. If you havent heard of Incredibuilds then listen up. These amazing sets come with a great book, filled with interesting information and a DIY model for you to build and decorate. This was the last one I needed to complete my Harry Potter collection.

By Your Side by Kasie West: This was my kind of book. Locked in a Library over the weekend with a hot guy, yes please. This was a great story, with funny moments and really interesting characters. I also loved that our lead character had mental illness and I love the way this affected her relationships. I will be reading this book many times in the future.

The World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams: David Walliams can do no wrong. The World’s Worst Children 2 had it all. This collection of great stories is filled with some truly awful children. Tony Ross’ amazing illustrations perfectly compliment David Walliams’ fantastic stories. This book is a must have for all young readers.

A You’re Adorable by Buddy Kaye, Fred Wise, Sidney Lippman: OMG OMG OMG. I grew up hearing this song, so I was over the moon when my mum found this book. The book is perfect, the illustraions are fantastic and it comes with a CD performed by the amazing Justine Clarke. OMG OMG OMG.

Marge And The Great Train Rescue by Isla Fisher: The third book in The Marge In Charge collection. This book is just perfect. Three amazing stories with great illustraions. These stories are perfect for young readers but will also entertain adult readers.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: Book two in the Illuminae files. This book, like its predecessor blew my mind. I was worried that this book wasnt going to be able to stand up against Illuminae, thankfully I was completely wrong. The only down side of reading this book is that I have to wait untill next year to get my hands on book three.

Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf: I don’t have the words to convey how wonderful this book is. I was so moved whilst reading this book. I laughed and cried in equal measure. This is a book everyone needs to read. Just make sure you have your tissues on hand.

The Inaugural Meeting Of The Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green: This book is a masterpiece. With so many interconnected stories and characters, this book just flowed. With truly heartwarming and heartbreaking moments, this book will stay with you long after the last page.

To Siri With Love by Judith Newman: A beautiful memoir that everyone should read. Following a year in the life of a 13-year-old with autism and the people around him. This beautifully written book will change the way you look at autism.

Now Let’s Dance by Karine Lambert: I didn’t love this book. The story was sweet but something was missing. I didn’t love switching between characters, I understand why we were doing it but it halted the flow of the story. I see that people will love this book but it just wasnt for me.

The Stinky Street Stories 2 Stinky by Alex Ratt and Jules Faber: I see this book being popular with young boys. I found it repetitive and a little boring after the first story. I understand that it’s a children’s book but I don’t really see it being a favorite amongst youngsters.

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

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

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Confessions Of A Book Blogger…

What’s one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you started?

Planning is your best friend. Dont just wing it.

How long did it take you to build up your book collection?

I have always had a pretty good book collection but over the last two years it has definitely exploded.

If you could be any animal in the world what would it be and why?

Umm I love Elephants so maybe an Elephant. Or a cat. I think I may have been a cat in a pervious life.

If you could meet one Author who would it be and why?

J.K. Rowling. I am a massive Harry Potter fan. The Harry Potter series is why I became a reader.

If you ever wrote a book what genre would it be?

I would love to write a middle grade book in either contemporary or fantasy.

If you could learn three languages what would you choose?

I would love the learn Sign language first and foremost, then maybe French and Irish Celtic.

If you could bring any character into the real world who would it be and why?

umm… Remus Lupin from the Harry Potter series. He is my favourite character and I just want to hug him and make him feel better about his life.

What Superpower would you want and why?

Teleportation. I would love to be able to travel all around the world without having to fly and deal with all those delays. and I wouldn’t have to spend money to travel.

If you could be the main character in a book what book would you choose?

I would love to be in Harry Potter but I don’t what to be Harry, he goes through far too much for my liking. I would just love to be one of his classmates.

Any advice for new book bloggers?

Enjoy it. If you’re not enjoying what you doing your content will suffer and your readers wont enjoy in.

To Siri With Love by Judith Newman

A Mother, her autistic Son, and the kindness of a machine.

This beautiful memoir chronicles one year in the life of Judith Newman’s Autistic 13-year-old son Gus and the people around him. With Judith and her husband keeping separate apartments and adolescent twin boys, Judith’s life is far from normal. At the heart of this story is Gus’ relationship with Siri. Unlike humans, Siri always has the right answer to Gus’ questions, she never runs out of patience and she even teaches him manners. This delightful memoir is both wonderful and unexpected.

UN-PUT-DOWN-ABLE.

As someone who has very little personal experience with autism, this book was such an eye-opening read. I found myself laughing and crying in equal measure.

A lot of what I have seen in regards to autism is on the extreme side; kids screaming because they don’t like to be touched or having meltdowns when things are out-of-order. I understand that these are extreme examples yet it is these images that come to mind when I hear about a child with autism.

After reading this book, new images will replace the old. I will see Gus waving at his much who is walking behind him on the way to School, I will see Gus the doorman and Gus the train conductor.

This heartwarming book will both entertain and enlighten a reader.

Judith Newman is a wonderful writer, her humour is perfect in this story, helping the reader navigate what can be an emotional roller coaster read.

With the number of people on the autism spectrum on the rise, this book is an amazing insight into the lives of people with autism and how we as a society are treating them. After reading this book I can see how our images of people with autism need to change.

I can say with 100% certainty that this book has changed me and the way I think about autism. Not many books have the ability to change how we see ourselves and the world around us, To Siri With Love is one of those books that does just that.

To Siri With Love by Judith Newman is an absolute must read.

 

The Inaugural Meeting Of The Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green

In 1978 in the Northern Territory, Sybil; the matriarch of the Fairvale Station decides to form a book club. Joining the book club is Kate; Sybil’s English daughter in law, Rita; Sybil’s oldest friend who lives in Alice Spring and works for the Royal Flying Doctors service, Sallyanne; a mother of three who dreams of leaving Kathrine and her unhappy marriage and Della; a Texan native working on a neighbouring Station. When these five women get together they are united by their need for companionship. As time passes their friendships are forged through tears, laughter, love and of course books.

I absolutely loved this book.

This beautiful story transports the reader to outback Australia with mesmerizing descriptions and believable characters. Sophie Green’s writing style was extremely cinematic whilst remaining emotive and tender. Her ability to transport a reader so completely yet still keep her characters consistent and present was a beautiful thing to experience.

I loved the collection of characters in this story. There were so different yet completely relatable. I was surprised by how much I saw myself and people I know in these amazing characters, given the time and place of this books setting.

The passion and humanity that these women display and the relationships that form between them throughout this book really draw you into this story.

I loved that we moved between the characters and their stories continuously. By doing this, Sophie Green kept each characters central to the story being told. While I usually dislike jumping between characters point of view, it works perfectly for this story.

I thought the addition of important events at the start of each new year was a fantastic idea. It helped to keep the reader reminded about what year we were in and why certain conversations and situations were arising.

I honestly loved this book and I think everyone should read it. The setting was amazing, the writing was beautiful and the characters were real and relatable. If you are looking for a book that will captivate you and transport you to another time and place, Fairvale Ladies Book Club is the book for you.

Filled with both heartwarming and heartbreaking situation and hauntingly beautiful descriptions, The Inaugural Meeting Of The Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green will stay with you long after the final page.

 

Illness Book Tag…

I Found this tag and thought I looked like fun. It is pretty easy to follow so I hope you guys enjoy it. Lets dive in…

1) Diabetes – a book too sweet, like really sweet.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han. I loved these books, they were so sweet and cute.

2) Chicken Pox – a book you’ve read once, and will never pick up again.

umm… I’m going to have to go with the Luna Chronicles. I didn’t even make it past the first book. It just wasnt for me.

3) Influenza – a contagious book that spreads like virus.

I’m going to go with 50 Shades of Grey. Because of all the controversy that book spread like the plague.

4) The Cycle – a book you read every month, year or often.

Well this is a toss-up between the Harry Potter series which I like to read at least once a year, and A Christmas Carol which I read every Christmas.

5) Insomnia – a book that kept you up all night.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. I stayed up all night so I could finish it.

6) Amnesia – a book that is forgotten and failed to leave a powerful impression in your memory.

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes. I just didn’t like this book. I’m not really sure why anymore, it was just forgettable for me.

7) Asthma – a book that took your breath away.

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. This book was so beautiful and heartbreaking, it definitely took my breath away.

8) Malnutrition – a book that lacked food for thought.

This is a hard one. I’m going to have to go with The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend. This book should have left me with plenty of food for thought instead it just left me bored and angry.

9) Travel Sickness – a book that took you on a journey through time and space.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This book was so mind-blowing.

Well that’s it from me. I hope you enjoyed this tag. Let me know your sickness books in the comments. Untill next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

The World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams 

If you thought you knew all of the world’s worst children; think again. The nasty boys and girls in this book are more horrible, rude and disgusting than you could ever imagine. The really are the worst children in the world.

David Walliams has done it again.

I have read all of David Walliams’ books, so I had high expectations for this book and as usual David Walliams didn’t disappoint.

The World’s Worst Children 2 is a collection of short stories about the naughtiest boys and the most awful girls in the world. This very addictive book is a wonderful read for children and adults alike.

The stories in this collection are so captivating. Filled with genuine laugh out loud moments and more than a few ‘yucky’ encounters. I started and finished this book with a smile on my face.

Each story is the perfect combination of funny and serious, making it the perfect book for young readers.

Tony Ross’ amazing illustrations perfectly compliment David Walliams’ wonderful stories. This amazing partnership really enhances the reading experience.

The World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams is a must have for all children.

I cant wait to get my hands on Volume 3.

Leaving Ocean Road by Esther Campion 

When Ellen O’Shea moved to Australia twenty years ago, she didn’t just leave her beloved Ireland, but Gerry Glancy, her first love. Two decades after arriving in Australia, Ellen now lives in a small coastal town in Port Lincoln. The last few months have seen her struggling to cope with the death of her husband Nick. Ellen’s world is turned upside down again with the unexpected arrival of Gerry Clancy. Gerry’s arrival may just be what Ellen needs to pull her out of her grief, but as Ellen and Gerry reconnect, long-buried secrets may be unearthed, triggering a whole new set of complications for Ellen and her loved ones.

I absolutely adored this book.

This beautiful story takes the reader on a fabulous journey, not just emotionally but geographically. Taking place in Australia, Greece and Ireland. Esther Campion takes the reader to these beautiful destinations with ease due to her cinematic writing style. Her descriptions of these destinations are truly breathtaking.

Esther Campion’s writing style had me captivated from the first paragraph. Her beautiful style was captivating and her ability to convey emotion is amazing. I found myself both laughing and crying whilst reading this book.

I loved every characters in this book. These characters were your friends, neighbours, maybe even yourself. I love reading stories where I can recognise everyday people in the characters. This relatability enhances the emotional connection you develop throughout the story.

I cannot speak highly enough of this book. It’s hard to find a book that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, but Esther Campion has delivered us that book.

This tender story of life, love and loss will have you reaching for the tissues for both happy and sad tears.

Leaving Ocean Road by Esther Campion is a must read that will leave you wanting more.

 

 

 

Ultimate Book Tag…

Welcome to the Ultimate Book Tag. I’m just going to jump right on in. Here goes nothing:
Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Yes. Although it doesn’t really matter because im usually the driver.

Harry Potter Series or the Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

Harry Potter all the way. It sparked my reading obsession, The whole is so well-rounded I never get bored reading it, It is a modern classic.

Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is it in (besides books…)?

Yes. Umm wallet, phone, keys, tissues, pen, paper, my bag is full of random things.

Do you smell your books?

Yes. I love the smell of books.

Books with or without little illustrations?

I used to say no illustrations but now I really enjoy them.

Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

This isn’t really a funny story but I was at a sleep over and I didn’t want to play dolls I wanted to read and so the girl whose house it was threw a book at my head in anger.

What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

Umm. My Mr Men books.

What is the thickest book on your shelf?

Les Miserable by Victor Hugo.

Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

I wish I was a writer, unfortunately I am just a reader.

When did you get into reading?

I have loved reading since childhood but it became an obsession when Harry Potter came into my life.

What is your favorite classic book?

Umm, Persuasion by Jane Austin.

In school was your best subject Language Arts/English?

No. History was my best subject in school.

If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated…what would you do?

Tell the person that I love the book but already have a copy and exchange it for a book I like the look of.

Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

Nerd.

Vampires or Fairies? 

I love fairies. I love the magic and beauty of fairies.

Shape-shifters or Angels? 

I havent really read anything with Angels so im going to go with Shape-Shifters on this one.

Spirits or Werewolves? 

I do love a werewolf story so this one wasnt that hard.

Zombies or Vampires?

Umm I havent read a lot of Zombie stories either so im going to have to go Vampire.

Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?

I love a Love triangle.

Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Today at least im feeling full on romance.

Well Thats it from me, i hope you guys enjoyed the Ultimate Book Tag…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

The Paris Wedding by Charlotte Nash

When Rachael West’s mother got sick, she decided to stay on the farm and care for her instead of moving to Sydney with Matthew, her high school sweetheart. Ten years later Rachael receives an invitation to Matthew’s wedding, an all expense paid trip to Paris. Rachael is unprepared for what this once in a lifetime trip will bring. In the city of love, Rachael finds herself asking ‘when is it right to follow your heart?’

I absolutely loved this book.

This is my first time reading anything by Charlotte Nash; I am now officially in love.

Nash’s writing style is extremely emotive and tender. I genuinely felt all the ups and downs that Rachael experience on her journey as if I was living them.

Rachael was an amazing character to read about, she has had real struggles in her life and was wise beyond her years. Giving the life she has lived Rachael was somewhat naive in matters of the heart. This was an interesting juxtaposition to get to explore.

This story has an amazing array of support characters to fall in love with. These characters are so diverse; representing different nationalities, economic backgrounds and different generations. Seeing these character interact with Rachael and each other made for some genuinely funny scenes.

Charlotte Nash has a fantastic cinematic quality to her writing. This made for an extremely enjoyable reading experience. Her descriptions really transported me to the farm or Paris and her ability to convey emotion really enhanced her ability to capture a scene.

I may be new to Charlotte Nash, but I am hooked now.

Paris Wedding is a roller coaster of emotions, that kept me turning the pages, and left me completely satisfied.

The Paris Wedding by Charlotte Nash is a beautifully written story, with amazing characters that will transport the reader to the city of love.

Dont miss out on this breathtakingly beautiful reading experience.

If Birds Fly Back by Carli Sorosiak 

Ever since Grace ran away in the middle of the night, her sister Linny has been researching famous disappearances. Sebastian is trying to figure out the identity of his birth father. When Linny and Sebastian’s worlds collide, they realise they have something in common; their obsession with famous writer Alvaro Herrara. Alvaro Herrera has just reappeared after being missing for three years. Now that he is back will Alvaro Herrera provide the answers that Linny and Sebastian are looking for?

A very cute read.

Told from both Linny and Sebastian’s point of view, this story draws you in almost immediately.

Linny’s chapter’s start with her journal entries about missing people and ends with a scene from the screen play she is writing.

Sebastian’s chapters start with quotes from ‘A Brief Compendium Of Astrophysical Curiosities.

I thought these additions to the story really enhanced this book, by including these excerpts we got to see another layer of our lead characters.

This book perfectly blended sweet moments and dialog with some truly heartbreaking scenes.

I loved the wide array of support characters in this book, they were so diverse and really added and extra dimension tot he story being told.

Carli Sorosiak did an amazing job with the book. The characters were solid and relatable, the story was beautifully written and Carli’s writing style was incredibly easy to read and get lost in.

If you are looking for a beautifully written story that will tug at your heartstrings, If Birds Fly Back by Carli Sorosiak is the book for you.