The Selection Kiera Cass

‘For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.’

I loved this book.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. I thought it may have been a bit to young for me, but boy was I wrong.

After a slowish start, which ended up being necessary in order to meet to large cast of characters, this book really hooked me. I was honestly surprised by how quickly this book got under my skin. I couldn’t put it down.

Kiera Cass’ writing was really emotive and inclusive, at times I forgot I was reading this story not actually living it. The world she created was so well thought out and it really made me think about the world we live in.

I loved the fact that the characters developed authentically after the first information dump. Once we knew who everyone was we got to see the grow naturally, with friendships and enemies being formed in a really organic way.

I had mixed feeling about America at the beginning for this book. I loved her compassion and strength but I found her a little annoying. Though once she entre the Selection she really grew on me. Her determination and courage blended perfectly with her fear and home-sickness to make her a really grounded and loveable character.

Given how much I enjoyed this book, and how fast I read it, I am so excited to read the next book in this series. Bring on The Elite.

The Selection by Kiera Cass is a wonderful, fulfilling read, that will leave you wanting more.


Get Remarkably Organised by Lorraine Murphy 

‘How to be organised in business and in life, by one of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs and founder of The Remarkables Group. Be so good they can’t ignore you. Is your life chaotic? Are you hungry for advice on how to live calmly, happily and productively? The cornerstone of success at work and at home is being organised and, with Lorraine’s help, you can achieve this by forming excellent habits – in a way that’s easy and fun, not stressful.’

I can definitely see this book helping a lot of people organise their lives and become more productive, unfortunately for me, I didn’t really find anything new to help improve my life.

Some of the chapters in this book didn’t really apply to me and the ones that did didn’t really help. I don’t no if it was the way I was raised but a lot of the tricks and tips in this book I found to just be common sense, nothing new.

I was really hoping to find some tips in this book, so I was disappointed with what I found. A lot of the things talked about in this book are true and I have found that they work but they aren’t anything that most people shouldnt already know how to do.

For the chapters that didn’t apply to me; like running a business and caring for children, I didn’t get the chance to try any of these tips but I can see the appeal and the way in which they could work.

I can see this book genuinely helping some people, but for me it was just reinforcing the things I already do and the rules and lessons that my parents instilled in me during my childhood.

Get Remarkably Organised by Lorraine Murphy could be what you are looking for to help you become your best self.

Book Courtship Tag…

Welcome once again to Wacky Wednesday. Today I am partaking in the Courtship Book Tag. This Tag explains itself as you go through it, so lets jump right in…

Phase 1 – Initial Attraction: A book that you bought because of the cover: This one is easy. My most recent cover buy was Queens Of Geek by Jen Wilde. The cover is pink, how could I not buy it.

Phase 2 – First Impressions: A book that you got because of the summary: Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys. I loved the concept of this book, it sounded fascinating. Turns out it was. I adored this book and have now gone and got Ruta Sepetys’ other works.

Phase 3 – Sweet Talk: A book with great writing: One of the best written books I have ever read is The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak. I absolutely love this book.

Phase 4 – First Date: A first book of a series which made you want to pursue the rest of the series: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I was unsure about this book going into it, but after finishing it I had to get my hands on the rest of the series.

Phase 5 – Late night phone calls: A book that kept you up all night long: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. I read this book in one sitting. After completing this book I watched the sun rise as I cried.

Phase 6 – Always on my mind: A book that you could not stop thinking about: Where Is Daniel? by Bruce and Denise Morcombe. This heartbreaking book has stayed with me, and spends a lot of time occupying my thoughts.

Phase 7 – Getting Physical: A book in which you love the way it feels: The Illuminae Files. Both books in this series just feel amazing. The plot, the writing and the artwork just make for a truly wonderful reading experience.

Phase 8 – Meeting the Parents: A book in which you would recommend to your friends and family: This is a hard one, I love recommending books. I’m going to have to go with my most recent favourite to recommend and that’s, Secrets Between Friends by Fiona Palmer.

Phase 9 – Thinking about the future: A book or series that you know you’ll re-read many times in the future: Well the easy answer would be the Harry Potter series so im going to mix it up and go with Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu.

Well that’s it from me. Let me know your courtship books in the comments.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

‘Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.’

Hunting Prince Dracula is the sequel to Stalking Jack The Ripper.

I absolutely loved this book.

After reading Stalking Jack The Ripper I was so excited to dive into this book, thankfully it not only lived up to but utterly surpassed my high expectations.

I loved getting to catch up with Audrey Rose and Thomas, seeing their relationship grow as they deal with the effects of The Ripper case whilst adjusting to their new surroundings and peers made for a fantastic reading experience.

This book had some amazing twists and turns that really kept me on the edge of my seat. Everytime I thought I knew who the killer was something happened to make me doubt my conclusion. When the killer was finally revealed I was genuinely surprised. I can usually tell who the bad guy is way before the ending of a book, so being surprised was wonderful for me.

Kerri Maniscalco’s writing is so inclusive and emotive, I often forgot I was reading and just got caught up in what was happening as if I was actually living it. Each revelation, and the highs and lows really touched me and made for a truly wonderful read.

Kerri Maniscalco is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and I cant wait to get my hands on her next book.

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco will take you on a dark and twisted journey that will leave you wanting more. This book is not to be missed.



Frankie Fish And The Sonic Suitcase by Peter Helliar

‘Twelve-year-old Frankie Fish hates visiting his grandparents. Grandad Fish is cranky, and yells a lot, and has a creepy hook for a hand – plus he NEVER lets Frankie go inside his shed. But after a teensy tiny prank goes wrong at school, Frankie is packed off to Old-People Jail for the whole holidays.

What Frankie doesn’t know is that Grandad has been building a home-made TIME MACHINE in the Forbidden Shed, and the old man has big plans to get his missing hand back. But when Grandad goes back in time, he changes history and accidentally wipes out Frankie’s entire family – Nanna, Mum, Dad, even his annoying sister Saint Lou. Somehow, everyone is gone but Frankie and Grandad! And it’s only a matter of time until Frankie disappears too…

As the last Fish men standing, Frankie and Granddad must race back in time to undo this terrible mistake. But can they stand each other long enough to put the past back together again? And even if they manage the impossible – will Grandad’s wonky time-machine ever get them home?’

I can definitely see this book being a favourite for many young readers and their families. I don’t think you could read this book and not enjoy it.

Peter Helliar has done a wonderful job with this book. This fast paced, funny book has some wonderful lessons threaded through the story. Lessons about knowing when pranks go too far, the importance of family, and knowing when to leave the past in the past and move forward.

Lesley Vamos has done a fantastic job with the illustrations in this book. Her illustrations perfectly compliment Peter Helliar’s amazing story and really add an extra layer to this wonderful book.

Frankie Fish And The Sonic Suitcase by Peter Helliar is a must have for all young readers. I cant wait to see what Frankie Fish gets up to the future.

Trust The Hype…

Welcome once again to Wacky Wednesday. Today’s topic is Trust The Hype, Popular books that I loved. These are some of my favourite popular books and I am excited to talk about them. So without further ado, lets jump in…

The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling: One of the most hyped series of all time, and it deserves all the praise it gets. My all time favourite series, Harry Potter sparked my love of reading and changed my life for the better. The Harry Potter series will go down in history as one of the greatest literary creations.

Caraval by Stephenie Garber: This book was absolutely fantastic. The dark, twisted Carnival feel was perfectly complimented by the sister’s relationship. This is a book that will truly take the reader on a journey and leave you wanting more. If you haven’t read Caraval yet, do it now.

The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak: This book is truly one of a kind. Following the effects of World War 2 on a preteen to teenage girl and ‘Death’. This book was so perfectly written and narrated. This book is one of the best books I have ever read and I truly believe it is a modern classic.

The Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs: I put off this series for a long time, unsure if I was going to like it. Turns out my fears were unfounded, this series was perfect. The plot,the characters and the awesome addition of the peculiar photographs make for a truly wonderful reading experience.

The Land Of Stories series by Chris Colfer: I adore this series. This series takes place after the ‘Happily Ever After’s’ of our favourite fairytale. Following twins Alex and Conner as they solve problems, discover hidden secrets and battle evil, all in the name of saving our beloved fairytale characters. This series is truly magical and deserves all the recognition it receives.

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend: I honestly don’t know if I have the words to describe how fantastic this book is. With mystery, magic and a murderous secret, this book will take the reader on a whimsical journey that will stay with you long after the final page. I am so glad this is just book 1 in a series because one book is just not enough.

The Turners series by Mick Elliott: I loved this series. This fantastic series follows Leo Lennox and Co. Leo is a newly discovered ‘turner’ who unintentionally finds himself caught up in a world-wide, murderous conspiracy. This series was action packed, fast paced and utterly brilliant. I can’t speak highly enough of this series.

The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: This series blew my mind. I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into this book. The answer, expect the unexpected. This entire series is mind-blowing. I couldn’t get over how creative and artistic this book was. On top of its unique layout, the story is absolutely fantastic. I cant wait to get my hands on book 3.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer: A prequel to Alice in Wonderland. This amazing book follows the Queen of Hearts before she becomes the Queen of Hearts. I have read a lot of prequels and retellings and I can honestly say that this is by far the greatest retelling I have ever read. Going into the story knowing the ultimate outcome had absolutely no impact on how engaging this story was. I was completely captivated and spent most of the book on the edge of my seat. This book is not to be missed.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han: This was such a beautiful series. I loved the story, the characters and the themes that were explored in this series. I was concerned when it got turned into a trilogy when it was originally at duology, but the third book was perfect, and really solidified the series. I can completely understand why this series is so popular. If you havent read it yet, go get yourself a copy now.

Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys: This book is a masterpiece. The story, the layout and the characters all complemented each other perfectly, making for a truly emotional reading experience. This book was equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking. Everyone should read this book. I honestly believe this book can change lives.

Well that’s it from me. Let me know if you agree with this list, or what books you would have included.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Harry Potter: A History Of Magic by The British Library 

‘Harry Potter: A History of Magic is the official book of the exhibition, a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between Bloomsbury, J.K. Rowling and the brilliant curators of the British Library. It promises to take readers on a fascinating journey through the subjects studied at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – from Alchemy and Potions classes through to Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures. Each chapter showcases a treasure trove of artefacts from the British Library and other collections around the world, beside exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive. There’s also a specially commissioned essay for each subject area by an expert, writer or cultural commentator, inspired by the contents of the exhibition – absorbing, insightful and unexpected contributions from Steve Backshall, the Reverend Richard Coles, Owen Davies, Julia Eccleshare, Roger Highfield, Steve Kloves, Lucy Mangan, Anna Pavord and Tim Peake, who offer a personal perspective on their magical theme. Readers will be able to pour over ancient spell books, amazing illuminated scrolls that reveal the secret of the Elixir of Life, vials of dragon’s blood, mandrake roots, painted centaurs and a genuine witch’s broomstick, in a book that shows J.K. Rowling’s magical inventions alongside their cultural and historical forebears. This is the ultimate gift for Harry Potter fans, curious minds, big imaginations, bibliophiles and readers around the world who missed out on the chance to see the exhibition in person.’

I adored this book.

As a Harry Potter fan, I am not surprised that I loved this book. I was surprised however by just how much I learnt whilst reading it.

I would have absolutly loved to have attended the Harry Potter Exhibition, I can only hope that it is brought to Australia in the future. Untill that happens, I am more than happy to have this amazing book to delve into.

One of the greatest things about this book is getting to see the real stories and historical items that led to the creation of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

I loved getting the great insights from the British Library’s Curators, and I absolutly adored all the extra, unseen sketches, maps and drawings by J.K. Rowling.

This fantastic book is jam-packed with truly interesting information that will not only entertain but also enrich the lives of the reader.

I will be reading this book many many times in the future.

A History Of Magic by The British Library is a treasure to behold and an absolute must have for every Harry Potter fan and collection.

A Journey Through A History Of Magic by The British Library 

‘An irresistible romp through the history of magic, from alchemy to unicorns, ancient witchcraft to Harry’s Hogwarts – packed with unseen sketches and manuscript pages from J.K. Rowling, magical illustrations from Jim Kay and weird, wonderful and inspiring artefacts that have been magically released from the archives at the British Library.’

I absolutely adored this book.

This book was amazing. Overflowing with great information, behind the scenes sketches and amazing illustrations by Jim Kay and J.K. Rowling, this book is perfect for Harry Potter fans of all ages.

I loved getting to see the real life historic stories and relics that helped J.K. Rowling in creating the Wizarding World that we all know and love.

Getting an insight into the History of Magic in the Muggle world, really added to my love and understanding of the Harry Potter stories. I feel like this book helped add even another layer to the Harry Potter series.

Having the Curators insights into these amazing Magical items was a fantastic addition to this book. The history, the magic and the joy that the British Library have brought together to create this exhibition and now this book makes for a truly magical reading experience.

A Journey Through A History Of Magic by The British Library is a must have for all Harry Potter fans and every Harry Potter Collection.

February TBR…

It’s that time again… TBR…

I had a great reading month in January, reading 10 books (7 books from my TBR). So I am aiming for at least 6 or 7 books in February. As usual this TBR is bound to change, so this is what my TBR looks like at the moment.

So without further ado here is February’s TBR:

Darker by E.L. James.

Year One by Nora Roberts.

The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown.

The Taste Of Blue Light by Lydia Ruffles.

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.

Stranger Than FanFiction by Chris Colfer.

Grind by Edward Vukovic.

Siren’s Wave by J.A. Hazel.

Ok that’s it I think. Wish me luck.

I guess we will see how I did in February’s Wrap up. I hope you all have a great reading month, As usual keep your eye out for reviews.

Untill next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

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