November Wrap Up…

Welcome to my November Wrap Up. I have had an alright reading month, finishing 6 books (unfortunately none off my TBR). I’m happy with my reading this month. I received 9 ARC’s this month so I didn’t get to a lot of books off my TBR, but I’m fine with that.

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 November Wrap Up…

After The Fall by Dan Santat: This book was fantastic. I love the message of this book, get back up and follow your dreams. The illustrations in this book were beautiful and really added an extra dimension to the story. This book is a must have for all young readers.

Laugh Your Head Off Again And Again by Various Authors: I have mixed feeling about this book. I loved the concept and I enjoyed some of the stories but overall this book was a little disappointing. Some of the stories were boring and I just lost interest.

Language Of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo: I loved this book. I was worried going into it that I wouldn’t understand it because I hadn’t read any of Leigh Bardugo’s other works. Turns out I was worried about nothing. This book was fantastic. The stories we really well written and the growing illustrations really enhanced the stories being told.

Chuck D Presents This Day In Rap And Hip-Hop History: This book was awesome. A snapshot into the history of Rap and Hip-Hop, this book was overflowing with great information. I loved the layout, the illustrations and the insight into these amazing artists. This book is a must have for all music fans.

When In Rome by C.J. Duggan: The fourth book in ‘The Heart Of The City’ series. I absolutely loved this book. I love Sammi as a character and I love the relationship between Sammi and Marcello. Rome was an amazing setting for this book, the culture, the language and the love made for a wonderful reading experience.

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalso: This book was fantastic. I had heard great things going into it, and thankfully it lived up to the hype. I loved Audrey Rose, she was a great lead character, strong, smart and determined. This book was the perfect amount of science, gore, mystery and romance. After finishing this book,  I cant wait to get into Hunting Prince Dracula.

That’s it for my November Wrap Up. Let me know what you guys read this month.

Until My December Wrap Up…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

 

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Goodreads Book Tag…

Welcome to another Wacky Wednesday. Today I have decided to complete the Goodreads book tag.

So without further ado, lets jump in…

What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

Laugh Your Head Off Again And Again by Various Authors.

What are you currently reading?

Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys

What was the last book you marked as TBR?

The Complete works of William Shakespeare

What book do you plan to read next?

Language Of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Do you use the star rating system?

Yes

Are you doing a 2017 Reading Challenge?

I am. I have already completed this years reading challenge.

Do you have a wishlist?

No I don’t. I should probably start one.

What book do you plan to buy next?

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban Illustrated Edition.

Do you have any favorite quotes?

Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the lights – Albus Dumbledore

Who are your favorite authors?

J.K. Rowling, David Walliams, Stephen King and Stephen Ambrose.

Have you joined any groups?

Yeah I actually have. A couple of blogging groups and a classics reading group.

 

Well that’s it from me. I hope you guys enjoyed this tag. Hit me up with your answers in the comment section.

Untill next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

‘Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.’

I loved this book.

 I had heard such great things about this book, so I was excited about jumping into it. Thankfully it lived up to the hype.

This book showed a scientific approach to the unsolved murders of Jack the Ripper. Audrey Rose Was a strong female character who was completely dedication to her forensic studies, in a time when such activities were not what a proper lady participated in.

With photos scattered throughout the story, this addition really enhanced the reading experience. Having the photos in this book made me feel more included in the story being told, like I was participating instead of just reading about it.

I loved the forensic aspect of this story, the descriptions; while utterly disgusting, really drew you in and kept you completely engrossed in the story.

Audrey Rose’s determination and passion for education really appealed to me. She was in an era when these pursuits weren’t for women, yet she knew that knowledge is power and wasnt going to be deterred from following her passion.

The crux of the story was of course finding out the identity of Jack the Ripper and solving these horrendous crimes. I have read many books about Jack the Ripper so I was very intrigued with how this story was going to play out. So let me say I was extremely pleased with how this book handled this subject.

I am so glad I picked up this book, the story, the writing and the characters were perfect. This was one of my favourite YA reads of the year and I cant wait to jump into Hunting Prince Dracula.

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco is the perfect combination of murder mystery, romance and amazing story telling. If you havent yet read Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, do it now.

When In Rome by C.J. Duggan

The fourth standalone book in ‘The Heart Of The City’ series.

When Sammi Shorten’s gap year turns into three years on her parents couch, she knows she need to change. Determined to start living her life, Sammi spontaneously books a budget Bellissimo Tour to Rome. Her Roman getaway turn out to be the trip from hell when she is saddled with a crew of binge-drinking foreigners in a derelict, bed bug infested hostel. Her disastrous holiday leaves her with no other option; she must turn to gorgeous local tour guid Marcello Bambozzi for help. Can Marcello turn her Roman holiday around, or is Sammi in more trouble then she realises?

I absolutely adored this book.

C.J. Duggan is fast becoming one of my favourite Author’s. Her writing is beautiful and really transports the reader. I always find myself emotionally connecting to at least one of her characters.

C.J. Duggan’s ability to create such relatable characters really helps to enhance the romance and erotic elements of this book. The emotions that these characters display radiate off the pages, making for a really emotional and endearing reading experience.

I loved the relationship between Sammi and Marcello, the connection that was built and the banter they shared really helped to solidify the bond between these two characters. I also loved the fact that we got to catch up with Claire and Louis from ‘Paris Lights’. I really enjoyed the relationship between Sammi and Claire and I am so glad we got the chance to see how Claire and Louis relationship has progressed.

C.J. Duggan’s writing is always amazing and When In Rome is no different. The descriptive almost cinematic writing really captures the city of Rome. I loved seeing Rome from both a tourist’s and local’s perspectives, it was both exciting and overwhelming.

When In Rome by C.J. Duggan is a fantastic read that you will get lost in, trust me you wont want it to end.

Bring on the fifth installment of ‘The Heart In The City’ series.

Must Read Books For High School Students…

Welcome to today’s Wacky Wednesday post. Todays subject is must read books for High School students. Please keep in mind these are just my personal opinions. Now that we have gotten that put of the way, lets jump in…

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I love this book. An all time favourite of mine that change the way I look at the world. I have read many books about war and conflict but I never stopped to think about these situations through the eyes of a child. This book really opened my eyes to the children affected by war. This is something that I still think about today when reading about or seeing something about conflict.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton: I adore this book. This book was my first experience with social economic disconnect. I had never seen this sort of rift between rich and poor and the assumption of good and bad in my life. Unfortunately its all too common now, but at the time I first read this book it was a new concept to me. After reading this book I definitely try to remember that it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, all that matters is the person that you are.

Holding The Man by Timothy Conigrave: This is another book that strengthened my desire for equality. Seeing these men and women and the struggles they went through for love just broke my heart. The world needs more Love and it shouldnt matter who you love. I was truly moved by this book and I hope im a better person for reading it. At least I try to be.

Anna’s Story by Bronwyn Donaghy:  I read this book in high school and it really resonated with me. As a teenager, I found myself with the ‘it wont happen to me’ attitude. After reading this book I no longer thought that. Given that Anna was close to my age and in a situation that I could have easily been in, I started to think ‘it could have been me’. This book helped to open my eyes and made me think before I acted, because no one is untouchable.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee: This book is a must read for everyone. Dealing with issues of rape and racism in the American South, this book is truly a masterpiece. This is one of the few books I read as a teen that I can still feel the impact of  when I think about it.

Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally: The incredible book that lead to the making of the Oscar-winning movie Schindler’s List. This haunting book, tells the true story of Oscar Schindler’s efforts to save Jewish people during the Holocaust. This book is a book everyone should read at least once in their life.

Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank: With limited knowledge of World War 2, I was unprepared for what I was about to read when I picked up this book. This book ignited my desire to study the Holocaust. It also gave me the maturity to understand that people are a lot worse of then I am and to live every moment the best I can.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett: I had been fortunate to go to a school that had a great special need department but I had never had any experience with people with a physical disability only intellectual. Reading this book really opened my eyes to how people with a physical disability are treated and in small part how they feel. I have since read many book written by a person with a disability which I don’t think I would have done if I hadn’t read this book.

Anne Of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: This beautiful book is a must read for all teenagers. Dealing with issues of adoption, displacement and loss, all told through the eyes of 11-year-old Anne. This book perfectly follows Anne as she grows up and starts to see the world through less innocent eyes. I absolutely adore this book and I think the world is a better place because of it.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green: If you havent heard of this story, what have you been doing? This beautiful book follows teenage cancer patients as they deal with love, loss and living with cancer. This book changed the way I think about illness and in some ways opened my eyes to real struggles that are faced by far too many young people and their families. I honestly believe everyone would benefit from 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.

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne: This book will move you to tears. Following a young German boy who befriends a Jew boy living in a concentration camp during World War 2. This book is completely heartbreaking and gives a different perspective of WW2. This book is a must read for everyone but especially high school students.

Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi: This deeply personal memoir is a must read for everyone. Detailing Portia De Rossi’s battle with anorexia and her struggle with her self-worth. This book is heartbreaking yet completely necessary. Everyone should read this book, especially young women,

The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke: This deeply moving book is a snap shot of author of Maxine Clarke’s upbringing in Western Sydney. This book will definitely pull on you heartstrings and make you look at yourself in the mirror. This heartbreakingly beautiful memoir is not to be missed.

Well that’s it from me. Let me no if you have read any of these books or if you think I missed a book that should have been included on this list.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Chuck D Presents This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History

‘A comprehensive, chronological survey of rap and hip hop from 1973 to the present by Chuck D, arguably the most influential rapper in the world.

In the more than 40 years since the days of DJ Kool Herc and “Rapper’s Delight,” hip hop and rap have become a billion-dollar worldwide phenomenon. Yet there is no definitive history of the genre-until now.

Based on Chuck’s long-running show on Rapstation.com, this massive compendium details the most iconic moments and influential songs in the genre’s recorded history, from Kurtis Blow’s “Christmas Rappin'” to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill to Kendrick Lamar’s ground-breaking verse on “Control.” Also included are key events in hip hop history, from Grandmaster Flash’s first scratch through Tupac’s holographic appearance at Coachella.’

This book was awesome.

The layout of this book was absolutely perfect. Having these events chronologically placed means that you can pick an era and jump right it. I read this book from start to finish, but I will definitely be using this book as a reference book.

I loved the addition of Chuck D’s insights, it was great getting to read about his personal experiences with these artists. These scattered insights really added a personal layer to this book that I wasnt expecting.

This great book included some really beautiful illustrations. The illustrations were a real surprise to me and really added and extra layer to this already wonderful book.

I was honestly surprised by how much information this book contained. From singles, albums and videos to deaths, infighting and tours, this book really is a treasure trove of information.

Reading this book was a wonderful experience, it was like taking a walk down memory lane.

Chuck D Presents This Day In Rap And Hip-Hop History is the perfect book for any music lover, and an absolute must have for any Rap and Hip-Hop fan.

 

 

The Language Of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, the tales in The Language of Thorns will transport you to lands both familiar and strange―to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, each of them lavishly illustrated and culminating in stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.’

I absolutely loved this book.

I will admit, having never read anything by Leigh Bardugo, I was nervous going into this book, I was concerned that I wouldn’t understand everything that was going on. Thankfully my fears were unfounded. I’m guessing you may get more out of these stories if you are familiar with Leigh Bardugo’s work, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t, because these stories were perfect.

I loved that I had the option to put this book down after each story, or just pick a story at random and jump in. I didn’t end up doing that, I read it from start to finish, in one sitting, I honestly couldn’t put it down.

I actually had a lot of fun reading this book, trying to figure out what fairytale each story was referring too. These fresh yet familiar tales made for a truly wonderful reading experience.

Leigh Bardugo’s amazing stories were perfectly complimented by Sara Kipin’s beautiful illustrations. Sara Kipin’s illustrations really added an extra dimension to this book. I loved that they grew and built as the stories did, culminating in a complete illustration at the end of each story.

I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this book. If you havent yet read this book, do it now.

The Language Of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo is a must have for every reader.

 

Name Book Tag…

This is a fun little tag I came across and thought I would add it to my wacky Wednesday posts. Using each letter of my name I have matched a book title that starts with the same letter. I have decided to only include books that I own.

So without further ado, lets jump in…

 

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristof

East Of Eden by John Steinbeck

Riding This Road by Joy McKean

A Letter From Italy by Pamela Hart

Minefields by Hugh Riminton

IT by Stephen King

Eelectric by Adam Burnett

 

Kokoda Spirit by Patrick Lindsay

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

The Girl With The Lost Smile by Miranda Hart

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

 

Being 14 by Madonna King

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Rory The Dinosaur Needs A Christmas Tree by Liz Climo

Kokoda by Peter Fitzsimmons

Elements by Theodore Gray

Ratburger by David Walliams

 

Well that’s it from me. I hope you guys enjoyed todays post. Let me no if you have read any of these books or if you think there are any books that I havent included that I should read.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

 

Laugh Your Head Off Again And Again by Various Authors

‘9 authors
9 stories
to make you laugh your head off again and again!

A scary shower + three twisty little pigs + a choose your own adventure + a Halloween chicken + a demonic clown + an unexpected gift + terrible twins + a famous dancing dog + a running race like no other = one hilarious book.’

This book is a great book for young readers. Given that there are nine different stories, you can pick a story at will and read it. I loved this aspect of the book. I think young readers will love being able to pick any story that they want and jump in.

I have mixed feelings about the actual stories in this book. Some were funny and engaging, whilst others just didn’t capture my interest. The fact that these stories were short and easy to read was a blessing when it came to certain chapters.

As an adult reader, I had the ability to stick with the stories that weren’t very engaging but I’m unsure if young readers will be able to do the same. I can see some of these stories being read many times, whilst others get passed over.

I think the premise of this book is fantastic, but overall for me, it just missed the mark. I can still see it being popular with young readers and their families, but I feel it had so much more potential that just didn’t get met.

Laugh Your Head Off Again And Again by Various Authors is out now.

 

 

Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys

‘World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people—adults and children alike—aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.’

I absolutely adored this book.

As someone who loves History, I have read countless books about World War 2 and the tragedies that happened during the War. Given my love of the subject, I was astonished that I had never heard anything about the Wilhelm Gustloff.

I knew going into this book that it was a Historical Fiction, yet after completing it, I had to do some research to try to understand why I had never heard anything about this immense tragedy.

Ruta Sepetys did a marvelous job with this book. Having the story told through the eyes of four completely different characters, from different backgrounds but with one ultimate goal, made for an extremely emotional reading experience.

Ruta Sepetys ability to weave fact and fiction together is truly remarkable. The Wilhelm Gustloff tragedy is something that should be known by everyone, and Ruta’s characters give a face to the victims of this unbelievable disaster.

The story being told in this book is so incredibly heartbreaking and at times painful to read, yet even in the worst of times, Ruta shines a light on the strength and determination of these amazing characters.

This haunting book takes the reader on a truly eye-opening and heartbreaking journey through the horrors of war. Seeing these characters band together for survival, whilst trying to come to terms with their personal demons and trauma, highlights both the best and worst aspects of humanity.

Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys is a hauntingly beautiful Historical Fiction that with take your breath away and stay with you long after the final page. The world is a better place with this book in it.