January Wrap Up…

Welcome to my January Wrap Up. I have had a great reading month, finishing 10 books (7 books off my TBR). I also received 7 ARC’S in January. I’m happy with my reading this month. I have been on Holidays so I got through quite a few books this month.

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 January Wrap Up…

Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys: I loved this book. This is the second book by Ruta Sepetys that I have read and I am in love with her writing. This book had amazing characters in a great setting and an unbelievable plot. I wish it hadn’t ended. I cant wait to read more books by Ruta Sepetys.

Quark’s Academy by Catherine Pelosi: This book was amazing. The concept of this book made for a really entertaining read. I loved the diverse yet relatable characters, and I though the science in this book was amazingly written. This book is perfect for young readers and their families.

Get Remarkably Organised by Lorraine Murphy: This great book is filled will tips and exercises to help you get organised and live your best life. Some of the tips in this book didn’t really relate to me, but I have taken note of the ones that I think will benefit my life. If you are struggling with staying on top of all the tasks you have to get accomplished or you want to be more productive then this is the book for you.

Hunting Prince Dracular by Kerri Maniscalco: This book was absolutely amazing. I was so excited to read this book after finishing Stalking Jack The Ripper, so I definitely had high hope heading into it. Thankfully it not only lived up to but exceeded my expectations. I am so excited that we are getting a third book, I cannot wait to delve into another mystery with Audrey Rose and Thomas.

The Selection by Kiera Cass: I didn’t know what to expect going into this book, I didn’t think i was going to like it. Luckily I was wrong; I loved it. It was fun, easy to read and thoroughly entertaining. I honestly can’t wait to dive into the rest of this series. So glad I picked this book up.

The Elite by Kiera Cass: This book was amazing. After loving The Selection so much I was both excited and apprehensive about this book. Thankful it not only lived up to its predecessor but exceeded it. I loved getting a deeper insight it this world and these amazing characters and I am so excited to dive into book three.

The One by Kiera Cass: They say ‘third times the charm’, in this case they are completely right. This book was amazing, I loved getting to learn more about the characters and palace life, and I really loved the darker and more emotional moments that were in this book. This series is fast becoming a favourite of mine and I can’t wait to read more.

The Heir by Kiera Cass: I really wanted to love this book like it did its predecessors but unfortunately I didn’t. I loved getting to see America and Maxon again, as well as the other characters I had grown to love in the first three books, but I just couldn’t warm to these new characters. I didn’t realise that America wasn’t the main character until I started this book, if I had I may have stopped this series after the original trilogy. Now that I have started with Eadlyn’s story I’m going to read the rest of the series, I’m just going to lower my expectations.

The Crown by Kiera Cass: I’m glad I decided to finish this series. Whilst I would have been more than happy for it to have been a trilogy, I did end up enjoying this book more than I thought I would. I don’t know if it is because we got to see more of the original characters or if it’s because Eadlyn’s was less annoying in this book. Whatever the reason I’m glad i didn’t give up on this series after the fourth book.

Queens Of Geek by Jen Wilde: Even though I ended up enjoying this book, I kind of wish it was two individuals books. I didn’t like switching between narrators and I felt that both of these characters and their stories were strong enough on their own. I would love to see more stories on both Taylor and Charlie, even if they are only novellas. Great characters like these young women deserve to shine.

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

Until my February Wrap Up…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

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Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them: Illustrated Edition 

‘This glorious new edition of Newt Scamander’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (considered a classic throughout the wizarding world) features an extraordinary array of magical creatures, from Acromantula to Yeti via ten different breeds of dragon. Famed Magizoologist Newt Scamander’s years of adventure and exploration have yielded a work of unparalleled importance, admired by scholars, devoured by young witches and wizards, and even made available to Muggles in the early years of this century. With this dazzling illustrated edition, readers can explore the magical fauna of five continents from the comfort of their own armchairs. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is essential reading at Hogwarts.

This new edition features the fully updated 2017 text – which includes new profiles of six magnificent beasts that inhabit North America.’

As you should already know, I love Harry Potter. I was so excited when I heard about this book coming out, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

Unfortunately I didn’t love it as much as I had of hoped. I went into this book with really high expectations and it just didn’t live up to them. I should also say, I just assumed before seeing it that it was going to be illustrated by Jim Kay; whose work I absolutely love, so I was disappointed when I saw that it was a new illustrator.

Whilst Olivia Lomenech Gill’s illustrations were beautiful and helped to bring these amazing creatures to life, I found them a little dark, and not at all what I had become accustomed to with the illustrated editions of Harry Potter.

I understand that I shouldnt compare these two talented illustrators, but unfortunately I can’t stop myself. I think if I had have known not to expect Jim Kay’s illustrations before I got this book I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

I will say that I absolutly loved the addition of the new Fantastic Beasts and the new introduction that this book contains. This extra content was a pleasant surprise and I was genuinely pleased to get more information and more Beasts.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them: Illustrated Edition is a must have for every Harry Potter Collection, just learn from my mistakes and go into this book with an open mind.

 

Aussie Jingle Bells by Colin Buchanan

“Dashing through the bush, in a rusty Holden ute, kicking up the dust, esky in the boot. Kelpie by my side, singing Christmas songs, it’s summertime and I am in my singlet, shorts and thongs.”

One of the world’s best-loved Christmas carols is given a hilarious Aussie twist.

I absolutely adored this book.

This amazing book brings to life the much-loved Australian Christmas carol and is perfect for both young and old.

With so few Christmas songs and stories set in Australia I was overjoyed to get my hands on this book, and let me tell you it didn’t disappoint.

Colin Buchanan has done a wonderful job in bringing this song to life, the layout of this book was truly brilliant.

This much-loved song was complimented perfectly by Nick Bland’s beautiful illustrations.

Nick Bland did an amazing job in capturing an Aussie Christmas, his illustrations were funny and quirky, just like my memories of Christmas.

I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this book.

Aussie Jingle Bells by Colin Buchanan is a must have for all Australian households, and will be a staple on my Christmas reading list from now on.

Charmed Book Tag…

Welcome to another Wacky Wednesday… Today I am going to be doing the Charmed Book Tag. Given that a lot of the answers are Harry Potter related I have decided to give two answers on the questions that have Harry Potter answers.

Now that we have that out-of-the-way, lets jump in…

In this night and in this hour, I call upon the ancient powers. Bring your power to we sisters three. We want the power. Give us the power. – A book or series that started you off on the magical journey of reading: Harry Potter. The Harry Potter sparked my interest in reading and I have never looked back. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton solidified my love of reading.

Halliwell Manor – a house/place/world you’d want to live in: Hogwarts or Wonderland.

Prue Halliwell – a kickass female lead: Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

Piper Halliwell – your bookish mum: Mrs Weasley has been my favourite literary mum since The Philosophers Stone, so picking a second bookish mum was hard. After much consideration I’m going to have to go with Sybil Baxter from the Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green.

Phoebe Halliwell – a character you wish you knew the future of, or a character you can’t wait to see the future of: I wish I knew what happens to Peter and Jess in The Secrets Between Friends by Fiona Palmer.

Paige Matthews – a series you were late to the party with: The Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs. I put off getting this series thinking I wouldn’t like it. How wrong was I, I  absolutely loved it.

Leo Wyatt – a book or series that you turn to for a pick me up: Harry Potter or the Land Of Stories series by Chris Colfer.

Demons – a book or series that has a big following, but you didn’t really like: The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith. I just couldn’t get into the series.

Forever Charmed – a book or series with the perfect ending: Harry Potter. After all the twists, turns and heartbreak, J.K. Rowling ended the series perfectly. Other than Harry Potter I would have to go with To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han.

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

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban: Illustrated Edition

‘The third book in the bestselling Harry Potter series, now illustrated in glorious full color by award-winning artist Jim Kay! For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter’s defeat of You-Know-Who was Black’s downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, “He’s at Hogwarts . . . he’s at Hogwarts.” Harry Potter isn’t safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.’

I absolutely adored this book.

I am so glad I have this amazing book in my possession. I have been waiting for this book ever since the illustrated edition of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone was released.

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban is my favourite book in the Harry Potter series, so getting to see it in its illustrated form is a dream come true.

I loved getting to see Jim Kay bring to life my favourite book and my favourite characters. His illustrations are absolutely beautiful and perfectly compliment this amazing story.

With so many amazing scenes to bring to life, Jim Kay has outdone himself with this book. The illustrations he has created are just breathtaking. From character portraits to the Marauder’s Map, all of J.K. Rowling’s amazing creations are brought to life by Jim Kay.

J.K. Rowling is truly a literary genius and Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban is a masterpiece. Adding Jim Kay’s masterful illustrations to J.K. Rowling’s genius is a partnership for the ages.

I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this book. I will treasure this book and re read it many many times in the future.

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban: Illustrated Edition is a must have for every Harry Potter collection.

Newt Scamander: A Movie Scrapbook

‘Learn all about Newt Scamander and the incredible film from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Peer inside Newt Scamander’s enchanted suitcase, encounter marvelous creatures, roam the streets of 1920s New York City, and meet Newt’s fascinating friends! This magical scrapbook takes readers on an interactive adventure through Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Filled with removable artifacts, such as wizarding newspapers, posters, and other fascinating finds, this book has something for everyone!’

I loved this book.

Another amazing book to add to my forever growing Harry Potter Collection.

This fantastic book is perfect for fans of all ages. With great insights and new information to read about, as well as fantastic photographs, sketches and diagrams, this book really has something for everyone.

I absolutely love the trinkets and pull outs in this book. With maps, pamphlets and newspapers to devour, this amazing book really is overflowing with amazingly creative elements.

I will admit im not as big a fan of The Fantastic Beasts movie as I was the Harry Potter series, but after reading this book and learning more about Newt and the world of magic in the 1920’s, I am far more interested in this time period then I was before reading this book.

If you havent yet got yourself a copy of this book, do it now.

Newt Scamander: A Movie Scrapbook is a must have for every Harry Potter fan, it truly is the perfect addition to every Harry Potter Collection.

Harry Potter Book Tag…

It’s that time again… Wacky Wednesday… Today I am going to be giving you guys the Harry Potter Book Tag. Given how much I love Harry Potter I am genuinely surprised by how long it has taken me to do a Harry Potter Tag. I’m so excited for this tag, so let’s jump right in…

Favorite book? Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban. This was the book that introduced Remus Lupin who I feel in literary love with.

Favorite movie? Harry Potter And The Philosophers Stone. No other movie has made me feel the way the first movie did.

Least favorite book? I love all the Harry Potter books. If I had to choose I would probably have to pick Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets.

Parts of the books/movies that made you cry? Spoilers!!! Like everyone else I cried over the deaths of much-loved characters. But it was the scene in Deathly Hallows when Harry uses the Resurrection Stone to talk to his parents, Sirius and Lupin that really broke me.

If you could hook up with any HP character who would it be? Remus Lupin. I love me some Lupin.

Favorite character? This is a toss-up between Dobby and Hagrid, I couldn’t possibly choose one over the other.

What would your Patronus be? My spirit animal. An Elephant.

If you could have the Resurrection Stone, Invisibility Cloak or the Elder Wand which one would you choose? I’m going to have to go with the Elder Wand. I don’t want to be invisible and the resurrection stone would just bring me sadness.

What House would you be in? Every test I have taken puts me in Gryffindor.

If you could meet any member of the cast who would it be? I would love to go back in time and meet Alan Rickman. Snape was one of the most important characters in the Harry Potter series and I absolutely adored Alan Rickman.

If you were on the Quidditch team which position would you play? I would love to say seeker but if I’m being honest I would have to say keeper.

Were you happy with the ending? Yes. By the time we got to the ending I had calmed down and was happy with the way it finished.

How much does Harry Potter mean to you? Harry Potter means the world to me. It sparked my love of reading and got me through some really hard times.

Well that’s it from me. I loved this tag so I hope you guys enjoyed it too. Let me know your answers in the comments.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Bad Dad by David Walliams

‘Dads come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

There are fat ones and thin ones, tall ones and short ones.
There are young ones and old ones, clever ones and stupid ones.
There are silly ones and serious ones, loud ones and quiet ones.
Of course, there are good dads, and bad dads . . .

A high-speed cops and robbers adventure with heart and soul about a father and son taking on the villainous Mr Big – and winning!

This riches-to-rags story will have you on the edge of your seat and howling with laughter!’

I absolutely adore David Walliams’ books…

David Walliams has done it again. I have read all of David Walliams books, so I had high hopes for Bad Dad and as usual David Walliams didn’t disappoint.

David has done a marvellous job of keeping this story light while touching on subjects like poverty and right vs wrong. With both loveable and hate-able characters, this book is un-put-down-able.

The relationship between Frank and his Dad is so beautiful to read about. I love the message that this book leaves you with, and I love that we get the chance to see a wide array of characters with different wants, needs and backgrounds.

This beautiful book is perfect for children and adults alike. I read this book in one sitting and couldn’t stop smiling. As an adult I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book so I can only imagine the joy it is going to bring to young readers.

Tony Ross’ amazing illustrations perfectly compliment David Walliams’ wonderful story. This is truly a match made in literary heaven. The amazing partnership between these two amazing artists makes for a truly wonderful reading experience.

I can’t see a day when I wont get excited about reading a David Walliams book, and I honestly don’t believe a day will come when one of his books wont touch my heart.

Bad Dad by David Walliams is an absolute must have for every young reader and their families.

Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave

‘When Timothy Conigrave falls in love with the captain of the football team, John Caleo, at their Catholic all-boys school in Melbourne, the two embark on a passionate journey of love, betrayal and forgiveness. This bestselling true story is at once sexy, romantic, funny and sad – a masterpiece of authentic emotion that you won’t forget.’

I absolutely adored this book.

I absolutely loved everything about this book. The story was so honest and raw, the way in which Timothy Conigrave didn’t shy away from the hard topics and the way in which he spilled his emotions onto the page made for a truly heartbreaking read.

I loved that we got to experience the relationship between Tim and John as they were growing up. Watching their relationship grow and mature from high school to adulthood was a fantastic thing to experience.

The fact that their relationship was far from perfect really hit home at how human this story truly is. No one is perfect and no relationship is perfect, and I think Timothy Conigrave did a fantastic job in showing that throughout this book.

One of the greatest things about this book was the relationships. Not just Tim and John’s, but the relationships between their friends and families. Getting to see how each of the boy’s families and friends reacted to them being gay made for a genuinely moving reading experience.

This book is one of the most beautiful novels that I have ever read, the fact that it is a true story makes it all the more heartbreaking. I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this book. I truly believe the world is a better place with this book in it.

Holding The Man by Timothy Conigrave is a must read book that will stay with you long after the final page.

Underrated Books…

Welcome to another Wacky Wednesday post. Today’s topic is underrated books. I loved these books. After reading them I was surprised by how little attention they were receiving. I have read a lot of books that were hyped up and many of them don’t hold a candle to these books. So I have decided to give these books some much deserved attention.

So without further ado, lets jump in…

Lost & Found by Brooke Davis: This book was so perfect. It follows three lost people. Seven year old Millie, Eighty-two year old Agatha and eighty-seven year old Karl as they find each other, find their purpose and find clarity. This book had me laughing and crying and left me with the warm and fuzzy’s. One of the best feel good books I have read in a long time. This book deserves far more attention.

Kingdom of Scars by Eoin. C. Macken: I adored this book. Following the teen years of a boy growing up in Ireland, this book was perfect. It was raw, sometimes hard to read, yet completely relatable. Seeing the struggles of teenage emotions, bullying and peer pressure play out so emotionally and honestly made for a truly wonderful reading experience.

The Beekeepers Secret by Josephine Moon: This beautiful book is set in modern times, with current events being intertwined into a beautiful plot. With family the core of this book, I just fell in love. With amazing characters and cinematic writing I felt like I was apart of this story. I can’t think of another book like this one. In my opinion its one of a kind.

The Secret Recipe for Second Chances by J.D. Barrett: Another awesome book by J.D. Barrett. This amazing book was funny yet completely heartwarming. Filled with mouth-watering recipes and witty dialog, this book was the perfect read. J.D. Barrett did an amazing job with this book and I for one would love to see it get more attention.

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 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 Joyce Girl by Annable Abbs: This book follows the fictionalised life of Lucia Joyce; daughter of James Joyce and girlfriend of Samuel Beckett. Following Lucia in 1928 Paris where she is an aspiring dancer with the whole world at her feet, through to 1934 and her down ward spiral. I absolutely loved this book. It was both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I am genuinely surprised by the lack of attention this book has received given how amazing it was. If you havent read it, do it now.

The Last Days of Ava Langdon by Mark O’Flynn: This beautiful book is inspired by the infamous novelist Eve Langley. Following eccentric Ava Langdon as she marches to the beat of her own drum, whilst living her last days. This book made me laugh and cry from start to finish. I truly believe this book should be read by all. It was so beautifully written and it deserves to be adored by many.

Available by Matteson Perry: It makes me sad how little attention this book received. I absolutely loved this book. It was funny and thoughtful, and showed a different side to modern dating that was really wonderful to see. I think this book should definatly get more attention and more publicity. If you havent read this book, do it now.

Simon vs The HomoSapian Agenda by Becky Abertalli: Now I no this book got some attention upon its release and it will probably receive much more when it is made into a movie, but I think it deserves far more attention right now. This book was amazing. Heartfelt, funny, sweet and completely necessary. I honest think this book is a book that will change lives. It deserves as much attention as it can get.

Mothers Grimm by Danielle Wood: This book contains four well-known fairy tales as you have never seen them before. This heartbreakingly honest book about modern mothering is not to be missed. This black comedy will have you captivated from the first page. I honest don’t understand how this book can be so little known. I couldn’t put it down and when I finally did, I couldn’t stop raving about it. If you are looking for a great book, get yourself a copy of Mothers Grimm now.

A Good Place To Hide by Peter Grose: This book tells the story of a small French village that help hide and smuggle Jewish children to safety during WW2. I had heard nothing about this book before I read it and have heard little about it since. To me that is unbelievable. This book was an absolute masterpiece and it really upsets me that more people aren’t hearing about it and reading it.

Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke: This book is a collection of short stories that will stay with you long after the last page. This book is so current and should be read by everyone. This book garnered attention in Australia but it hasn’t really got the sort of hype that it deserves.

The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke: After reading Foreign Soil, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. This book broke my heart. I was surprised that this book didn’t get the same attention as it predecessor. I person think this book was much stronger and moving then Foreign Soil and I hope that it gets more recognition soon.

Well that’s it from me. Let me no if you have read any of these book and what you though of them. If you have a book that you think is underrated then comment and give it a little attention.

Untill next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem