Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass

‘Meet Prince Maxon before he fell in love with America, and a girl named Amberly before she became queen. See the Selection through the eyes of a guard who watched his first love drift away and a girl who fell for a boy who wasn’t the prince. This must-have companion to the Selection series includes four novellas—two of which are only available in print in this collection—as well as exclusive bonus content.

Includes:

  • The Prince
  • The Guard
  • The Queen (in print only in this collection)
  • The Favorite (in print only in this collection)
  • Exclusive new scenes from The Selection, The Elite, and The One’

I really enjoyed this book.

As with many collections, some of the stories in this book were better than the others.

I really enjoyed getting to catch up with characters that I had grown to love in this original series and I loved getting to see important scenes shown through various characters eyes.

Kiera Cass did a fantastic job with this book. Especially the scenes and stories that involved minor characters from this original series. The back ground and insights she gave to these characters added an extra layer to their personalities and explained the decisions they made in the original books.

I loved that Kiera Cass introduced each of the stories. Her insights into the world and characters she created was a really wonderful addition to this book.

Not only was this book full of great stories and exclusive scenes, it was also illustrated. By far my favourite illustration was a beautiful map of Illéa. I loved the addition of the illustrations in this book. Even though there weren’t many of them they were place in the perfect positions to compliment each of the stories.

Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass is an absolute must have for all fans of the Selection series.

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Kiss, Marry, Kill…

Welcome one and all to another Wacky Wednesday post. Today I am going to do the Kiss, Marry, Kill post. Now, I have decided to Kiss, Marry, Kill a character from each of the following books. I put 25 book titles in a jar and I picked 10 out at random. I am just going to give my answers and not go into depth in order to keep this post relatively short.

So without further ado, lets jump right in:

Round 1: Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling.

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Kiss: Oliver Wood

Marry: Remus Lupin

Kill: Peter Pettigrew

Round 2: A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks.

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Kiss: Eddie Jones

Marry: Landon Carter

Kill: Eric Hunter

Round 3: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

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Kiss: Jacob Black

Marry: Jasper Hale

Kill: Edward Cullen

Round 4: Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead.

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Kiss: Adrian Ivaskov

Marry: Dimitri Belikov

Kill: Victor Daskov

Round 5: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris.

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Kiss: Jason Stackhouse

Marry: Eric Northman

Kill: Bill Compton

Round 6: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

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Kiss: Soda Pop Curtis

Marry: Darrell Curtis

Kill: Steve Randle

Round 7: The One by Kiera Cass.

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Kiss: Aspen Leger

Marry: Prince Maxon

Kill: King Clarkson

Round 8: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins.

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Kiss: Ollie Larsson

Marry: Chris Larsson

Kill: David Ware

Round 9: Secrets Between Friends by Fiona Palmer.

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Kiss: Alex

Marry: Peter

Kill: Jim

Round 10: Under The Dome by Stephen King.

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Kiss: Eric ‘Rusty’ Everett

Marry: Dale ‘Barbie’ Barbara

Kill: James ‘Big Jim’ Rennie

Well that’s it from me. I hope you guys enjoyed todays post, I had a lot of fun putting it together. As usual you can hit me up with your answers in the comment section.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

 

 

 

My Valentine’s Day!

With Valentine’s Day approaching I figured it was the perfect topic to cover today.

I am of course single, but I am not one of those singles that hates Valentine’s Day. I kinda like it, and there are some things about it that I absolutely love.

One of the things I love about Valentine’s Day is my mum. Every year for as long as I can remember she has always gotten my four sisters and I Valentine’s Day presents. This usually consists of chocolate and socks in a nice gift bag filled with Valentine’s Day confetti and rose petals and little love heart soaps, and of course a beautiful card.

Given that all of her daughters are adults and some of them have partners I think it is a really sweet thing for her to continue to do. Getting my Valentine’s Day gift from my mum is one of my favourite things about Valentine’s Day.

One of my Valentine’s Day traditions is reading a romantic book while eating more chocolates than I should. I usually close Valentine’s Day by watching a super sweet movie. I love having a day to just getting all goofy and loved up with my reading and movies.

I also love the day after Valentine’s Day. It is the best day of the year to get cheep chocolate. I am a massive chocolate lover so any excuse to get cheap chocolate is a win in my book.

I don’t ever remember feeling sad or lonely on Valentine’s Day and I think that is one of the reason’s why I love the day even though I am single.

I love the idea of a day to celebrate love. I think we should remember to show our love this Valentine’s Day to not only our partners but to everyone. Our family, friends and even stranger on the street. A smile can go a long way.

So in honor of Valentine’s Day…

I LOVE YOU ALL…

~>GEM<~

The Librarian Of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

“Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezin ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.
Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.

Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.”

This book was absolutely amazing.

I am a huge fan of historical fiction, so getting to read an historical fiction that was based on actual events made for a wonderful reading experience.

Given the subject matter it didn’t surprise me that this was a deeply moving book. I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. What surprised me about this book was that even through all of the horrors that the characters experienced this book still have genuine moments of hope and joy, I really didn’t expect this book to have such a warmth about it.

Another thing that surprised me was the addition of an epilogue. I am so glad there was an epilogue at the end of this book. I became so emotionally attached to these characters I don’t know how I would have coped if I didn’t get to find out what had happened to them. Good or bad, I’m glad I got to know.

I think the fact this this book follows a young girl gives this story an innocence that you don’t usually find in historical fiction. The joy and happiness that Dita and the other young charactrs got from books is something that I believe would have been lost if it was told from an adults point of view.

As a reader, I loved seeing the impact the books had on the characters. Seeing how these simple, damaged books changed both hearts and minds made me truly greatful for my love of books.

The Librarian Of Auschwitz by Antoni Iturbe, Translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites is a must read for everyone. This story will stay with you long after the final page.

Sequel Wish List…

Welcome back to another Wacky Wednesday. Todays topic is Sequel Wish List. This is a pretty simple topic, I want a sequel for the following books. Some of these books may be getting a sequel in the near future but if it isn’t out yet I have included it on this list. So without further ado, lets jump in…

FanGirl by Rainbow Rowell: I loved this book and I need more. I got excited when I saw Carry On get released but as it wasnt a sequel I was very disappointed. I didn’t want this story to end and would absolutely love to catch up with Cath and Levi again.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: This is an interesting one. I would love a sequel to this book but I want it set before the books epilogue. This is one of the best books I have every read and I would do anything for a sequel. Please Please Please give me a sequel.

The Girl In The Blue Coat by Monica Hesse: This historical fiction was so perfectly crafted, and delivered. Hanneke was such an amazing character, add that to the haunting setting of World War 2, this book just took my breath away. I would love to see what happens to Hanneke and Co at the conclusion of and after the War. There is so many places this book could go and I for one would love to se a sequel.

The Secret Recipe For Second Chances by J.D. Barrett: Aww Lucy and Frankie. I miss these characters so much, I feel like there is a hole in my life and I need a sequel to fill that hole. This amazing book was so well written. I laughed, I cried and now I want more. I don’t think I will ever get enough of Lucy and Frankie, I need them in my life.

The Song Of Us by J.D. Barrett: Zoe was such a fantastic character to journey with, her life, her music and her relationships were fantastically explored in this amazing book, so is it any wonder I want a sequel. Zoe as a character has so much more to give, and I for one would do anything to get to catch up with her again.

Secrets Between Friends by Fiona Palmer: This is an a strange request but I want a sequel that takes place before the epilogue and after. I guess I kind of want two sequels. I loved getting an epilogue in this book but I really want to know what happened in the missing time. I of course also want to know what happens after the epilogue. I can’t help it, I loved this book and I want more.

Leaving Ocean Road by Esther Campion: This book was an absolute roller coaster read. I loved getting to fall in love with Ellen and Gerry and I would absolutely love to see where their lives went after the conclusion of this book. With so many characters to get to develop and so many relationships to explore I think there is definitely room for a sequel with this story.

Nineteen Letters by Jodi Perry: This is one of my new favourite books. I absolutely fell in love with Braxton and I need more. The journey between Braxton and Jemma was so beautiful and made for a wonderful, emotional reading experience and I would love to see them again, either picking up from where we left off or maybe a few years in the future. I don’t really care as long as I get more Braxton and Jemma.

Well that’s it from me. Let me know if you agree with this list, or if you have any books you want to see a sequel for.

Untill next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Post Holiday Blues!

I hate normality.

After a wonderful Holiday with my family, it is back to reality.

No more beach, no more day trips and late night trips to the ice creamery. Now its grocery shopping and fast food drive thru ice cream.

I know a lot of people are ready to head back to normal life after holidays but I am not one of them. I am starting to feel like I need a holiday to deal with the sadness of my holiday ending.

I think the main reason for my post holiday blues is that I want to live on the coast. I love the vibe, the people and I love being out of the city.

I also love having my family around so much more, but I know that even if we were to move it wouldn’t be the same as it is on holidays. Work and school would once again become a reality.

Maybe its the way I live when im not on holidays that’s the problem. The stress that comes with life is non-existent on holidays. You don’t have to do anything or be anywhere. Everyday is free and unplanned. There isn’t any restrictions or expectations. Relaxing and having fun is the only goal.

Is it even possible to bring some holiday living back to your normal life? With so many other things needing attention on a daily basis, can I find the time to relax, appreciate what I have, spend time with my family, try not stress?

I honestly don’t know if it is possible but I am sure as hell going to try.

I am going to try to keep some of my holiday vibes going as I return to normal life. I guess the truth is I don’t really have anything to lose by trying. It either works and my life is better for it, or it doesn’t and I start counting down until my next holiday.

So here goes nothing. Time to start living everyday with a bit of holiday calm.

~>GEM<~

February TBR…

It’s that time again… TBR…

I had a good reading month in January, reading 8 books (4 books from my TBR). I am aiming smaller this month hoping to read 4 or 5 books in February. I am also hoping to read at least 1 Shakespeare Play, and 10 fairy-tales from The Brother’s Grimm.

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 my February TBR:

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein

Smoky The Brave by Damien Lewis

Siren’s Wave by J.A. Hazel

Grind by Edward Vukovic

Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

Stranger Than FanFiction by Chris Colfer

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Everless by Sara Holland

Clean by Juno Dawson

Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

I guess we will see how I did in my February 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 had a good reading month, finishing 8 books (4 books off my TBR). I also received 4 ARC’s this month, and I continued my new goal of reading 1 Shakespeare play, as well as 10 Brother’s Grimm fairy-tales.

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…

Harry Potter: Hogwarts A Movie Scrapbook by Jody Revenson: I loved this book. It was filled with awesome photographs and amazing behind the scenes information. Not to mention all of the removable treats that littered the pages of this book. This is a must have for all Harry Potter fans.

Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass: This book is a collection of novellas and bonus content that accompanies The Selection series. I really enjoyed this book. As with most collections some stories were better than others but overall I found myself really getting into these stories. I am thinking I may need to re read the entire Selection series now. If you love the Selection series this book is a must read.

The Book Of Daniel by Jeff Apter: This book was amazing. As a fan of Daniel Johns I knew I was going to love this book. I didn’t expect to be so moved by it. With amazing insights, interviews with Daniel and his friends and family, as well as great photographs, this book is a must have for all Daniel Johns fans and all music fans.

Saving You by Charlotte Nash: This book was absolutly beautiful. The story was compelling, the characters were real and flawed, and it had a genuine emotional kick. I didn’t want this story to end. I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this amazing book. If you are looking for a great Australian read, this is the book for you.

Boy Erased by Garrard Conley: This book was absolutely heartbreaking. This amazing memoir takes the reader on an emotional journey through conversion therapy and how this practice affected so many people’s lives. It was hard to read at times and even harder to come to terms with the fact that it is still happening today. This book was a real eye opener.

The Librarian Of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe: Based on the true story of Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus. Translated by Litit Zekulin Thwaites. This book was absolutely mesmerising. It was heartbreaking and compelling. I didn’t want to put it down. It was an emotional journey reading this book but it was so worth it in the end. A must read for everybody.

The House Of Second Chances by Esther Campion: I absolutely adored this book. The writing was beautiful, the story was compelling and the characters were real, flawed and relatable. You don’t have to have read Leaving Ocean Road in order to love this book but if you have there are plenty of Easter eggs for you to enjoy. I am sad that I have finished this book. I want more.

Landscape With Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson: This was a strange book for me. It was a bit choppy in its flow and there were a lot of stop start moments yet I really enjoy it. I couldn’t get over how beautiful the writing is. The writing has a real lyrical feel and the descriptions, especially those of the art were absolutely breathtaking. I will definitely be reading this book again.

Shakespeare: I read 1 Shakespeare play in January. I read the following Shakespeare Play This Month:

The Two Gentlemen Of Verona

Brother’s Grimm: I am happy to say that I completed my goals of reading 10 Brother Grimm Fairy Tales in January. I read the following Tales this month:

The Tailor In Heaven

The Peasant In Heaven

The Moon

Eve’s Various Children

The Poor Boy In The Grave

Clever Grethel

Our Lady’s Child

Gambling Hansel

Hansel And Gretel

Master Pfriem

Iron John

That’s it for my January Wrap Up. I hope you all had a great reading month. Let me know what you guys read this month in the comments section.

Until my February Wrap Up…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Annual Family Holidays!

I love my annual Family Holiday. I understand that many people no longer do this but I do.

My family has been going on the same holiday for 22 year. The same time, destination and people.

I will admit it has changed over the years; not everyone comes, some only come on weekends, others for a week here or there.

One of the greatest things about our family holiday is that it feels like coming home. We relax by the beach, catch up with our family, we see the same families and friends every year so we get to catch up and hang out with them.

The fact that we have been going to the same place for 22 years means we know the people who run it, we know the shop owners and we understand the way the town works.

Some of my greatest memories have come from these annual holidays. From fishing, discos, twilight movies and late nights laughing with my sisters.

I know that overseas holidays are the status quo these days but I honestly don’t think anything can replace an annual family holiday.

As I get older I know that these holidays aren’t going to last forever. Jobs, partners and life will get in the way. But for now I am going to enjoy every day with my friends and family and I hope that one day when I have my own family, I will continue the tradition of an annual family holiday.

~>GEM<~

Australian Reads…

Welcome one and all to another Wacky Wednesday post. With Australia Day coming up on Saturday, I thought Today I would go through my Favourite Australian Reads. All of these book are by Australian Authors, even though some of them aren’t actually set in Australia.

So without further ado, lets jump into my Australian Reads:

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.

Nevermore 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, Nevermore 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 Beekeeper’s 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 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. A must read series.

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 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.

Love Your Sister by Connie and Sam Johnson: This beautiful book is an open and honest  account of a families journey with cancer. This book was so well written and had me crying from both tears of joy and tears of sadness. This amazing book will touch your heart and stay with you long after the final page.

The Heart Of The City series by C.J. Duggan: I absolutely love this series. All the books are stand alone they just have to same theme. And I have loved each and every one of them. I get a thrill every time a new book comes out. These amazing books have great characters, awesome stories and breathtaking locations. I am so glad I decided to read these books, they are just a joy to read.

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.

A Letter From Italy by Pamela Hart: I absolutely loved love this book. A fictional story based on Australia’s first female war correspondent. This book had great characters, a 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 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 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 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.

Well that’s it from me. I hope you all enjoyed this list. Let me no in the comments if you have read any of these book, or if you have a recommendation for me.

Untill next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem