2017 In Review…

Well as most of you know, 2017 was the second year of gemsbooknook… I set some goals for the year and I am so excited to say that I have reached them. I hoped to write 50 book reviews, get 100 followers and 1000 viewers. I have achieved these goals and more. I also reached my Goodreads goal of 100 books. So im pretty happy with how 2017 turned out.

I have kept up with my Facebook page, Twitter account and Instagram account to accompany my blog. I have been kept pretty busy with all of these accounts, but I have loved every second. I even participated in my second Bookmas, now that was awesome, hard work, but awesome.

Not only have you all helped me to achieve my blog goals of 2017 but your likes and comments have kept me motivated to do my best with every post or review.

I love being a member of Hachette Books Bloggers database and a contributor on My Trending Stories website. I was also fortunate enough to be added to Bloomsbury and Pan MacMillan Bloggers databases.

After years of floundering I feel like I have finally found something that makes me feel good about myself. That focuses me and helps me connect with others.

gemsbooknook wouldn’t be what it is without all of you. Thank you so much for your support in 2017, it really has meant the world to me. I look forward to bringing you more content in 2018.

Happy New Year.

❤ Gem

 

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December Wrap Up…

Welcome to my December Wrap Up. I have had a great reading month, finishing 12 books (unfortunately none off my TBR). I’m happy with my reading this month. I received 2 ARC’s this month and lots and lots of books for Christmas, so I didn’t get to any 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 December Wrap Up…

Rebel Voices by Eve Lloyd Knight and Louise Kay Stewart: This book was awesome. Covering the History of Women’s right to vote. This amazing book was filled with great information and over flowing with beautiful illustrations. I will be re reading this book many times in the future.

Bad Dad by David Walliams: How can you not love David Walliams. This book, like all the rest, was absolutely perfect. I loved the relationship between Frank and his Dad so much, it was a beautiful thing to read about. I honestly cant wait to see what David Walliams comes out with next.

The Christmas Thief by Mary and Carol Higgins Clark: I loved this book. A cozy mystery with a nice dose of Christmas. I was sure what to expect from this book, but I really enjoyed it. A great, quick read that is perfect for the holiday season.

Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark: This book was amazing. I went into this book with high hopes and thankfully it lived up to my expectations. I am really looking forward to getting my hands on some more books by Higgins Clark. Another perfect read for Christmas.

Dashing Through The Snow by Mary and Carol Higgins Clark: I think I have found my newest Christmas book obsession; Mary and Carol Higgins Clark. This book was the perfect read. A quick fun read, with great characters and plot and a sprinkling of Christmas. I will definitely be reading this book again in the future.

Aussie Jingle Bells by Colin Buchanan: This beautiful book is perfect for both young and old. Aussie Jingle Bells is a well know christmas song is Australia and it has been brought to life in this beautiful book. With amazing illustrations by Nick Bland, this book is a must have for all Aussie households.

Newt Scamander: A Movie Scrapbook: I loved this book. This book is the perfect mix of information, photo’s and trinkets. I loved getting to see what went into bringing Fantastic Beast And Where To Find Them to the big screen. With unseen art work and insights from the cast and crew, this book is not to be missed.

A Journey Through A History Of Magic by The British Library: This book was amazing. As a massive Harry Potter fan im not surprised I loved this book. It was fantastic getting to see historical elements that went into making the Harry Potter books. I love Harry Potter and this book just made me want to read the series once again. A must have for any Harry Potter fan.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them: Illustrated Edition: I didn’t love this book as much as I thought I was going to. I love the Illustrated Harry Potter books, so I had high hopes for this one but it just wasnt as good as the others. I think im just so use to seeing Jim Kay’s Illustrations that I couldn’t really warm to Olivia Lomenech Gill’s illustrations.

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban: Illustrated Edition: I adored this book. The Prisoner Of Azkaban is my favourite Harry Potter book so I was so excited to get the illustrated edition. I absolutely love Jim Kay’s illustrations, they are just beautiful. This is by far my favourite book in my Harry Potter collection.

Harry Potter: A History Of Magic by The British Library: This book is perfect for any Harry Potter fan, or anyone interested in Magical history. Filled with interesting fact, fantastic images and never before seen works by J.K. Rowling. This book is an absolutely must have for Harry Potter fans.

Frankie Fish And The Sonic Suitcase by Peter Helliar: This book is perfect for young readers and their families. With funny scenes involving time travel, this book will be a favourite for many young readers. With illustrations by Lesley Vamos that perfectly compliment Peter Helliar’s story, this book is well worth the read.

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

Until my January Wrap Up…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Rebel Voices by Louise Kay Stewart and Eve Lloyd Knight

‘The Rise Of Votes For Women. Rule Breakers. Risk Takers. Rebel Women. Law Makers. A celebration of women rallying around the globe to win the vote.

A beautifully illustrated celebration of the brave campaigners who fought for women’s right to vote. Discover that it was never illegal for women to vote in Ecuador, or how 40,000 Russian women marched through St Petersburg demanding their rights. Find out how one Canadian woman changed opinions with a play, and Kuwaiti women protested via text message. And learn that women climbed mountains, walked a lion through the streets of Paris, and starved themselves, all in the name of having a voice. Tracing its history from New Zealand at the end of the 19th century, follow this empowering movement as it spread from Oceania to Europe and the Americas, than Africa and Asia up to the present day. Meet the women who rioted, rallied and refused to give up.’

This book was fantastic.

I absolutely loved this book. The moment I got it in my hands I didn’t want to let it go. I read it in one sitting and have read it multiple times already.

The information in this book was perfectly laid out in chronological order. There is more than enough information in this book to and inform and spark an interest in this subject.

I loved reading about the individual woman who sparked the movements in various countries.

Louise Kay Stewart’s writing was clear and concise, with a real dose of passion radiating off the pages. I was genuinely excited turning every page, and disappointed when I came to the end of the book.

Not only was this book a great source of information, it was overflowing with amazing illustrations.

Eve Lloyd Knight’s breathtakingly beautiful illustrations perfectly complimented Louise Kay Stewart’s passionate writing. I was honestly overwhelmed by the artistically captivating illustrations on display in this book. So much so, that I spend an unusually long amount of time studying each pages illustrations.

I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this book. I am so glad that I read it, that I own it and that I can re-read it as many times as I want in the future.

Rebel Voices by Louise Kay Stewart and Eve Lloyd Knight is a truly wonderful book that every one should read. Young, Old, Male or Female, this book should be read by all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Book Haul 2017…

MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL.

I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas, filled with love, laughter and lots of presents. I usually do alright in the book department at Christmas, so I have decide to give you guys my Christmas Book Haul. My family always spoil me with books at Christmas and this year was no different.

So without further ado, lets jump in to my Christmas Book Haul…

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and Olivia Lomenech Gill.

A History Of Magic by The British Library.

A Journey Through A History Of Magic by The British Library.

Newt Scamander by Insight Editions.

Harry Potter Paper Flyers by Klutz.

Darker by E.L. James.

The Selection by Kiera Cass.

The Elite by Kiera Cass.

The One by Kiera Cass.

The Heir by Kiera Cass.

The Crown by Kiera Cass.

Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley.

Frankie Fish and the Sonic Suitcase by Peter Helliar.
There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins.
Wonder by Raquel J. Palacio.
Aussie Jingle Bells by Colin Buchanan.
Enchanted Forest Adult Colouring Book by Johanna Basford.
Fairies In Wonderland Adult Colouring Book by Marcos Chin.
The Selection Colouring Book by Sandra Suy.

Well that’s it from me. I am so excited by this years Haul and so thankful for my amazing family that spoil me. I hope you all get spoilt this Christmas…

Until next time…

Merry Christmas…

Happy Holidays…

And of course Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Dashing Through The Snow by Mary and Carol Higgins Clark

‘In the picturesque village of Branscombe, New Hampshire, the townsfolk are all pitching in to prepare for the first (and many hope annual) Festival of Joy. The night before the festival begins, a group of employees at the local market learn that they have won $180 million in the lottery. One of their co-workers, Duncan, decided at the last-minute, on the advice of a pair of crooks masquerading as financial advisers, not to play. Then he goes missing. A second winning lottery ticket was purchased in the next town, but the winner hasn’t come forward. Could Duncan have secretly bought it?’

I really enjoyed this book.

A cozy Christmas mystery, that was a short, cute, easy read. The action is fast-paced in this clever story, with enough twists to keep the reader interested.

With some genuinely funny situations, and great characters, this book will keep you entertained from start to finish.

The chapters are short so it is easy to read just one more chapter, then another and another. With easy to understand writing and an exciting plot, I finished this book in just over a day.

With lots of characters to journey with, there is never a dull moment in this book. Once I picked it up I honestly couldn’t put it down.

I loved the Christmas spirit on display in this book, it isn’t overflowing or cheesy, it’s just the perfect amount to get you in the festive mood.

This is the second holiday collaboration between the mother and daughter duo that I have read. I also recently read Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark, and I have loved all of these books. I am so glad I picked them up to read this Christmas season.

Dashing Through The Snow by Mary and Carol Higgins Clark is the perfect book to read at Christmas. I look forward to reading many more Christmas adventures by this amazing duo.

Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark

‘When Catherine Dornan’s husband, Tom, is diagnosed with leukemia, she and their two young sons travel with him to New York during the holiday season for a lifesaving operation. On Christmas Eve, hoping to lift the boys’ spirits, Catherine takes them to see Rockefeller Center’s famous Christmas tree; while there, seven-year-old Brian notices a woman taking his mother’s wallet. A St. Christopher medal tucked inside the wallet saved his grandfather’s life in World War II, and Brian believes with all his heart that it will protect his father now. Impulsively, Brian follows the thief into the subway, and the most dangerous adventure of his young life begins…’

I loved this book.

This short, quick read is overflowing with the magic of Christmas, it would be the perfect book to read on Christmas Eve.

I personally think this book is good enough to read every year, and share with friends and family around the holiday season.

Mary Higgins Clark is a really engaging storyteller, she has the ability to get you involved in the story and sympathize with the characters. This book will draw you in and leave you wanting more.

I love to read at least a few Christmas books each year in the lead up to Christmas, and I am so grateful that I picked this book up. While there is some mystery, suspense and thrill associated with the story, it still ends up being a nice warm Christmas
story of faith, family and hope.

Mary Higgins Clark has created some great characters that help to draw you into this wonderful story.  These characters really captivated me as a reader and I couldn’t wait to read more about them.

The story itself was really well written and really beautiful. It will tug at your heart-strings and make you believe in the magic of Christmas.

Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark is the perfect Christmas read, that will leave you with the warm and fuzzies.

 

Bookmas Day 12…

On the twelfth day of Bookmas gemsbooknook gave to you…

My Top 12 For 2017:

Now some of these books were included on other lists this Bookmas, but given that this is the Best of 2017 I couldn’t resist repeating some of these amazing books.

So without further ado lets jump in…

A Letter From Italy by Pamela Hart: I received an ARC of this book and im so glad I did. I absolutely loved it. Great characters, Fantastic story and an intriguing setting. I couldn’t put this book down, and I can’t stop raving about it. A must read.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Nineteen Letters by Jodi Perry: This book took my breath away. A truly beautiful, tender story with an amazing plot. This book was warm and intimate, whilst still containing funny scenes and witty banter. This book is one of my favourite reads of the year. If you havent read it yet, do it now.

Secrets Between Friends by Fiona Palmer: I loved this book. The story was amazing, the characters were relatable and well-defined and the writing was superb. This book is the perfect summer read. I honestly can’t stop raving about this book.

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend: If you’re looking for a wacky, magical story then this is the book for you. With amazing characters, and fantastic story and wonderful descriptions, Nevermoor will take you on a journey that you wont want to end. Thankfully this is the first book in a new series, so there will be plenty more awesomeness to come.

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.

The Song Of Us by J.D. Barrett: I absolutely adored this book. Zoe is a harpist who spends her days playing for the dying. After losing a client Zoe decides its time for her to start living. Filled with love, happiness and truly tender moments, This is definitely a book that I am going to read many many times in the future. I don’t have a bad word to say about J.D. Barrett’s The Song Of Us. This book is a must read, I promise It will stay with you long after the final page.

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu: I loved this book. A call the arms for teenage feminists, this book is both current and necessary. The story was fun and entertaining and the addition of the Moxie ‘zine’ was fantastic. A must read book for all Young Adults. MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK.

Well that’s it from me. Let me know your favourite books of 2017. I hope you enjoyed this years Bookmas posts, I definitely had fun creating them for you. I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas, filled with lots of books.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

MERRY CHRISTMAS…

❤ Gem

 

 

Bookmas Day 11…

On the eleventh day of Bookmas gemsbooknook gave to you…

2017’s 11 Quick Reads:

The Stinky Street Stories by Alex Ratt: A funny, smelly book, containing 3 truly stinky stories. I really enjoyed this book. The stories were fresh and fun, with each story new containing the same loveable characters. I will definitely be reading this book again in the future.

The Stinky Street Stories 2 Stinky by Alex Ratt: 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.

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.

Being 14 by Madonna King: This amazing book is an inside look at the strange creature that is the 14-year-old girl. Madonna King interviewed 200 14-year-old girls as well as parents, teachers, doctors and police and the results are on display in this amazing book. This book is a must read for all parents of young or teenage girls.

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.

Stargazing For Beginners by Jenny McLachlan: This book was a little slow at the start, but once it got going it was wonderful. I loved the character of Meg, I was really able to relate to her. Jenny McLachlan did a fantastic job with the support characters in this book they were so diverse and unique, they really added an extra dimension to this book. I loved Stargazing For Beginners and I think everyone should get their hands on a copy ASAP.

But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure: This book was beautiful. It gave me the feels big time. I loved the concept, the story and the characters. This book had some unexpected moments that really enhanced the story. But Then I Came Back is a definite keeper that I will be reading again in the future.

The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan: Wow. I didn’t know what to expect going into this book, it was fantastic. This book is so relevent and really struck a chord with me whilst reading it. Brian Conaghan did an amazing job with the book. The plot, Characters and the writing are all perfect. Everyone should read this book, it will stay with you long after the last page.

If Birds Fly Back by Carli Sorosiak: I didn’t love this book. It 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.

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.

The Christmas Spirit Is Born by J. Perry Johnson: This book was so beautiful. I loved every second of it. I got so enthralled in the story, it felt like I was only reading for a few minutes. I have re read this book many times this year and I will be picking it up again this Holiday Season.

Well that’s it from me. Let me know your quick reads for 2017 in the comment section.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

 

Bookmas Day 10…

On the tenth day of Bookmas gemsbooknook gave to you…

Top 10 Australian Books of 2017:

These are my favourite books by Aussie Authors for 2017.

Secrets Between Friends by Fiona Palmer: I loved this book. The story was amazing, the characters were relatable and well-defined and the writing was superb. This book is the perfect summer read. I honestly can’t stop raving about 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.

The Song Of Us by J.D. Barrett: I absolutely adored this book. Zoe is a harpist who spends her days playing for the dying. After losing a client Zoe decides its time for her to start living. Filled with love, happiness and truly tender moments, This is definitely a book that I am going to read many many times in the future. I don’t have a bad word to say about J.D. Barrett’s The Song Of Us. This book is a must read, I promise It will stay with you long after the final page.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Butterfly, We’re Expecting You by Libby Hathorn: I can’t even describe how wonderful this book is. An amazingly beautiful children’s book that takes a journey through a backyard discovering birds, bees and of course a butterfly. Reading this book made me wish I had children to share it will. If you have a child in your life, you absolutely have to get them this book.

Bouncing Bouncing Little Joey’s by Lesley Gibbes: This Aussie Christmas story is absolutely perfect. An amazing Aussie story with fantastic illustrations. I adored this book and I would recommend it to all parents this Christmas.

Rory The Dinosaur Needs A Christmas Tree by Liz Climo: I adored this beautiful book. I was one of the first Christmas book I read this year and it really put my in the festive mood. The story was sweet and the illustrations were fantastic. I was so happy to find out the author was Australian. This is one book that I will re read many times in the future.

Well that’s it for me. Let me know if you have read any of these books or if you read any Australian books this year.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

 

 

 

Bookmas Day 9…

On the ninth day of Bookmas gemsbooknook gave to you…

The 9 Best YA Books of 2017

Mirror Mirror by Cara Delevingne: A dark and twisted coming of age story. This book was filled with twists and turns that keep the reading turning the page. I loved the different family and friend dynamics that were explored in this book. This book will surprise and completely entertain readers.

Caraval By Stephanie Garber: I Was so excited to get my hands on this book and when I finally did, it didn’t disappoint. Filled with magic and mayhem, murder and mystery, I was hooked from start to finish. With the bond of sisterhood driving the plot I could completely relate to the journey Tella and Scarlet were on. I couldn’t put this book down. Will be reading this book many times in the future.

Hunted By Meagan Spooner: A Beauty and the Beast retelling that really blew me away. After a slowish start this book hooked me. I loved the fact that Beauty was a hunter and I really loved the strength and independence she possessed. A must read book.

Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer: I Love Love Loved this book. A beautiful story, with realistic characters that radiated emotion. I can’t speak highly enough of this book. Make sure you get yourself a copy when it is released next month. You wont regret reading this book.

The Upside Of Unrequited by Becki Albertalli: I went into this book with high hopes and I wasnt disappointed. I loved this book. Becki Albertalli’s writing style really agrees with me. This book was full of amazing characters and awkward, funny, heartwarming moments. I really loved the fact that Simon made an appearance in this book. if you havent yet read this book do it now, The Upside Of Unrequited is not to be missed.

Moxie By Jennifer Mathieu: I loved this book. A call the arms for teenage feminists, this book is both current and necessary. The story was fun and entertaining and the addition of the Moxie ‘zine’ was fantastic. A must read book for all Young Adults. MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK.

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.

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco: I loved this book. Audrey Rose was such a fantastic character to journey with. I love Jack The Ripper stories, I havent read any fictional stories only historical, but this book was so good at times I forgot it was fiction. I honestly can’t speak highly enough of this book.

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco: So glad we got to see more of Audrey Rose. I absolutely love this character and I was so excited to catch up with her again. I loved getting to journey through Romania this time around. As a fan of the Dracula story I was really pleased with the way this story was developed. Honestly this book was so good. If you havent yet read this book or its predecessor, do it now.

Well that’s it from me. Let me know your favourite YA books of 2017.

Untill Next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem