The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag…

Welcome one and all to another Wacky Wednesday post. Today I am partaking in The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag. I hope you all enjoy this quick little tag.

So without further ado, lets jump straight in:

POPULAR BOOKS OR SERIES I WASN’T FEELING

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Honorary mention:

The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith

BOOKS OR SERIES I ENJOYED MORE THAN THE MASSES

The Selection series by Kiera Cass

Honorary mention: 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

A FAILED LOVE TRIANGLE / AN OTP I DIDN’T LIKE

Bella, Edward and Jacob – Twilight series

Honorary mention: 

Lara Jean, Peter and Josh – To All The Boys series

POPULAR GENRES I RARELY READ

Hard Fantasy

Honorary mention: 

Sci-Fi

BELOVED CHARACTERS I DON’T LIKE

Edward and Bella – Twilight

Honorary mention: 

Jacob – Twilight

POPULAR AUTHORS I CAN’T GET INTO

Stephanie Meyer

Honorary mention: 

Marissa Meyer

OVERUSED TROPES I’M TIRED OF SEEING

Love Triangles

Honorary mention: 

Make Overs

POPULAR BOOKS OR SERIES I WON’T READ

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Honorary mention: 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

MOVIE ADAPTATIONS I PREFER TO THE BOOKS

Wonder

Honorary mention:

The Greatest Showman


Well that’s it for me. I hope you guys enjoyed this tag. As usual, hit me up with your answers in the comment section.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

 

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The Find-Outers: The Mystery Of The Burnt Cottage by Enid Blyton

‘Fatty, Larry, Daisy, Pep, Bets and Buster the dog turn detectives when a mysterious fire destroys a thatched cottage in Mr Hick’s garden in their village.

Calling themselves the ‘Five Find-Outers and Dog’ they set out to solve the mystery and discover the culprit. The final solution, however, surprises the Five Find-Outers almost as much as it surprises Mr Goon the village policeman.’

This book was wonderful.

I have been loving my re reads of Enid Blyton classic this year, so I was excited to read this one. After a few chapters I realised that I have never read this series before. I have no memory of this story or any of the characters. This made reading this book a wonderful experience.

Enid Blyton’s book are classics for a reason and this book really showed you why. The characters where amazing. I loved getting to see how they interacted with each other and seeing their individual personalities and strengths becoming important at different stages throughout the story.

The plot of this book was really fun. I love following the kids as they found clues and tried to identify suspects. It was fun to see how they went about their interactions with each suspect and the conclusions they made throughout their investigation.

As usual Enid Blyton’s writing was perfect. She captured each character and their personalities with such easy and normality. I loved the dialog between the children and how this dialog changed as the started investigating and communicating with adults.

I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this book. I am so glad that I have found a new Enid Blyton series to devour and I am looking forward to reading more about these wonderful characters and their adventures.

The Find-Outers: The Mystery Of The Burnt Cottage by Enid Blyton is a must have for all young readers.

The Classic Adventures of Paddington Bear by Michael Bond

‘Paddington Bear had travelled all the way from Darkest Peru when the Brown family first met him on Paddington station. Since then their lives have never been quite the same… for things just seem to happen to Paddington. Wherever there is excitement to be found, a flooded bathroom, menacing dumplings, or a bear overboard, Paddington is never far from the scene…’

This complete Collection includes all 15 of the wonderful Paddington Bear stories.

A Bear Called Paddington

More About Paddington

Paddington Helps Out

Paddington Abroad

Paddington at Large

Paddington Marches On

Paddington at Work

Paddington Goes to Town

Paddington Takes the Air

Paddington on Top

Paddington Takes the Test

Paddington Here and Now

Paddington Races Ahead

Love From Paddington

Paddington’s Finest Hour

I absolutely adored this collection.

I honestly didn’t realize that there were so many Paddington Bear books, but once I did I was very excited to get my hands on them.

I genuinely loved these books. Paddington is a fabulous character to read about and his adventures and misadventures are both funny and heartwarming.

I loved seeing the Brown’s and Mrs Bird and how their relationship with Paddington grows over the course of the series.

One of the best things about this series is that you really can read them in any order. They go together perfectly yet you can just pick one up and have a wonderful reading experience.

After completing this series I can see why these books are so loved around the world. Given how much I enjoyed them I can only imagine the joy they must bring to young readers and their families.

If you haven’t yet experienced the joy of Paddington Bear you should definitely get yourself one of these books now.

The Classic Adventures of Paddington Bear by Michael Bond is a much have collection for every book lover.

OMG That Song Book Tag…

Welcome one and all to another Wacky Wednesday post. Today I am partaking in the OMG That Song Book Tag.

The rules:

For each question I will give both song and book that go with the question. They don’t have to go together, but sometimes they might.

I hope you all enjoy this quick little tag.

So without further ado, lets jump straight in:

My Jam: A song you have to listen to no matter how many times you’ve heard it and a book that you’ll never get sick of…

Walking In Memphis by Marc Cohn and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Throwback: A song that reminds you of the cringeiest time in your life and a book you read that you would wouldn’t like if you read it now…

Right Thurr by Chingy and Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Replay: A recent song that you have on repeat and a recent favorite book…

ME by Taylor Swift and Mama’s Boy by Dustin Lance Black

Gets me: A song that is literally me and a book that is me in book form…

Penny & Me by Hanson and FanGirl by Rainbow Rowell

WUT: A weird song that you liked anyways and a unique book that stuck out to you for some reason…

Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65 and Illuminae by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

Let’s Go: Pick your best pump up song and a book that inspires you…

Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and After Bali by Jason McCartney

Chill: Your best chill or relaxing song and a book you’d curl up with on a rainy day…

The Greatest View by Silverchair and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Addicting: A guilty pleasure song and a light, trashy read you can’t help but love…

MmmBop by Hanson and The Selection by Kiera Cass

Nostalgia: A throwback song you look back on fondly and a book you read and loved when you were young…

Mama by The Spice Girls and A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett


Well that’s it for me. I hope you guys enjoyed this tag. As usual, hit me up with your answers in the comment section.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

 

 

 

Allegra In Three Parts by Suzanne Daniel

‘Eleven-year-old Allegra shuttles between her grandmothers who live next door to one another but couldn’t be more different. Matilde works all hours and instils discipline, duty and restraint. She insists that Allegra focus on her studies to become a doctor.

Meanwhile free-spirited Joy is full of colour, possibility and emotion, storing all her tears in little glass bottles. She is riding the second wave of the women’s movement in the company of her penny tortoise, Simone de Beauvoir, encouraging Ally to explore broad horizons and live her ‘true essence’.

And then there’s Rick who lives in a flat out the back and finds distraction in gambling and solace in surfing. He’s trying to be a good father to Al Pal, while grieving the woman who links them all but whose absence tears them apart.

Allegra is left to orbit these three worlds wishing they loved her a little less and liked each other a lot more. Until one day the unspoken tragedy that’s created this division explodes within the person they all cherish most.’

This book was wonderful.

I really loved this book. It was good from the first page and just got better as the story unfolded. I honestly didn’t want it to end.

The story itself was simple and relatable. The relationships were believable and the attitudes and experiences were authentic emotional.

The characters in this book were truly amazing. I feel in love with pretty much every character in this story and I wanted to know more about them and follow their journey’s. It’s not often that I love most of the characters. I was excited to see each of the characters change and develop as the story unfolded.

Suzanne Daniel did a fantastic job with this book. I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about it. The story was great, the setting was fantastic and the characters were amazing. I haven’t stopped talking about this book since I finished it and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon.

Allegra In Three Parts by Suzanne Daniel is a beautiful book that will give you a truly wonderful reading experience.

Q&A with Suzanne Daniel

Today I am lucky enough to be hosting a Q&A with Suzanne Daniel. This Q&A is part of a blog tour for Suzanne’s novel Allegra In Three Parts.

So without further ado, lets jump in…

Where and when can we buy your book?

‘Allegra In Three Parts’ is being launched by Pan Macmillan on May 28, 2019 and will be available in bookstores throughout Australia and New Zealand. It is also available as an Audiobook and EBook.

Knopf is publishing it as ‘A Girl In Three Parts’ in the US & Canada in April 2020.

Give us an insight into your main character?

Allegra is an eleven-year-old girl being raised by her two very different grandmothers, and her rather removed father, in North Bondi during the second wave of the women’s movement in the 1970s. Her mother is off the scene for reasons that are a mystery to Allegra. None of the adults in her family speak to the others, so she has become the quirky, lovable, sometimes wise, often naïve ‘go between’. She wishes they could all love her a little less and like each other a little more. Allegra sees herself as being made up of each one of her relatives so much so that her feelings are amped up by theirs, and she finds herself split by their contrasting ways of being in the world.

Allegra is clever and empathetic with a pulsing imagination and tendency towards self consciousness.

Was there a particular moment or smell that spark your idea for this book?

I came to be fascinated by what was happening for women during the second wave of the women’s movement. Not just the street marches and the mobilising actions of the ‘sisterhood’, but for women out in the suburbs, some staying in marriages they were disillusioned with, others leaving them to carve out a new identity. Many women ended up leading double lives: feminist uni student by day, then a second shift as homemaker, wife and mother. Conversations were starting to change among women and between women and men. Women were opening up to one another in a new way, starting to understand through sharing their private thoughts, responses and feelings, that it wasn’t ‘just me’ but that what they were experiencing was almost universal.

I wanted to honour those feminist women who went before me and encourage younger ones coming through.

I’m also interested in how a child carves out their identity when there are multiple options put before them by members of their own family. Family conflict can go straight to the heart of a child.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character/s from this book?

United Talent Agency is representing me with a view to my novel being made into a film or a TV series. I met with them earlier this year in LA. It was tremendously exciting to discuss the prospects and the actors who might play my characters but it would be premature for me to nominate anyone in particular. Stay tuned!

When did you decide to become a writer?

I always loved reading, listening to, watching and writing stories. I studied for a diploma in drama, a degree in communications and a masters in journalism and worked as a journo in newspapers, television and radio. I did short courses in creative writing, scriptwriting and playwriting which I squeeze in around work, family and life. I decided about eight years ago, when we had ‘half a gap year’ living in France, to finally try my hand at writing a novel.

Do you have a special time or place where you like to write?

I usually write in my study at home in Sydney overlooking the water, or at the dining room table at our little farm in Berry on the South Coast overlooking the mountain. Sometimes I write from my bed in both places, especially if I get started early in the morning or work late into the night.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

On my writing days I shoot for 600 words, banked. Of course I usually have to write a good deal more than that to reach that goal.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

While researching or interviewing people I take copious notes with a pen and paper. When I’m writing creatively, I use a computer. I’m in awe of people who write in longhand.

Where do your ideas come from?

Everywhere and sometimes out of nowhere. From deep within me and then from outside of me. On occasions they come through me!

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

A combination of both.

I tend to work with themes, big and small. For most of ‘Allegra In Three Parts’ I wrote chronologically because I like to build the story and have consequences flow from what has gone before. But three quarters of the way through the ending came to me, clearly, so I jumped ahead and got it down. It was then a matter of writing towards getting to that.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Sitting down for long periods

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Having a sense that leading a full and interesting life really helps your writing

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Sure, but mostly when I’m not working. Once I’m researching, interviewing or at my computer screen and writing, something comes to me

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

Make yourself sit down and push through. Finish the day’s writing at a point where you know how it will go on when you come back to it next

What book/s are you reading at present?

I usually have some fiction and non-fiction on the go all at once. Right now I’m reading ‘The Moment Of Lift’ by Melinda Gates, ‘Unfettered and Alive’ by Anne Summers and I’m finishing ‘Less’ by Andrew Sean Greer.

What’s your views on social media for marketing?

I’ve been a conscientious objector until recently. Now that I’m embracing it I understand the upside but am nervous about the downside, especially the time-sucking element

How do you relax?

Walking with family and friends, especially in the bush or by the sea. Spending time at our farm. Yoga, meditation, cooking, reading, film and theatre

What is your favourite book and why?

I don’t like to play favourites

Which writers inspire you?

Those that keep going in the face of rejections from agents and publishers

What advice would you give to your younger self?

There’s a huge amount of good life to be lived on the older side of your youth.

Accumulate experiences and wisdom rather than ‘things’ and regrets

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

Jesus Christ…just so I could know for sure

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

If you think you have a book in you, make it your job to get it out of you!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: Suzannedaniel.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SuzanneDanielAuthor

Linkedin: Suzanne Daniel

Instagram: suzannedaniel_


Well that’s it from me. I hope you guys enjoyed today’s Q&A. Don’t forget to check out Allegra In Three Parts by Suzanne Daniel.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

The Hormone Diaries by Hannah Witton

‘When Hannah Witton started documenting her journey coming off the pill and re-getting her period, she wasn’t anticipating the reaction, from people of all ages, that talking about it would bring. It exposed a glaring gap – the resources and the spaces to talk honestly about periods just aren’t there. And with more and more research showing that your period and your hormones can affect literally every area of your life, this is a problem.

Inspired by her YouTube series of the same name, The Hormone Diaries draws on Hannah’s own experiences and, through crowdsourcing on her social media platforms, those of her fans too. With her trademark honesty and humour, Hannah explores and demystifies topics surrounding periods, hormones and contraception, to offer readers support, information and advice.

The definitive period self-help book 50% of the world has been waiting for!’

This book is awesome.

I was very excited to get my hands on this book. After reading Doing It! by Hannah Witton I knew that this would be another book that I needed in my life.

Hannah Witton has done a fantastic job with this book. It was fun and educational. I was surprised by how much I learnt whilst reading this book. I guess that was her point though, we don’t talk about our periods so there is so much that we don’t know about them.

I love Hannah’s writing style so much. It makes you feel like you are having a conversation with a friend not reading a book. This made it really easy for me to both laugh and cry as I made my way through this book.

This book covered so many interesting subject around hormones and it also include some very moving, funny and a times heartbreaking letters from real people talking about their real life experiences.

I read this book in one sitting but I can guarantee I will be reading it again many times in the future.

The Hormone Diaries by Hannah Witton is a must read for everyone.

The Book Blogger Test Tag…

Welcome one and all to another Wacky Wednesday post. Today I am partaking in The Book Blogger Test Tag. I hope you all enjoy this quick little tag.

So without further ado, lets jump straight in:

What are your top three book pet hates?

Dog eared pages

Cover changes in the middle of a series

Size changes in the middle of a series

Describe your perfect reading spot

Curled up in bed with a blanket

Tell us three book confessions

I hate audio books

I don’t read ebooks

I don’t DNF books

When was the last time you cried at a book?

Reading Where Is Daniel by Bruce and Denise Morcombe a few years ago.

How many books are on your bedside table?

Two

What is your favorite snack whist you’re reading?

Chocolate and Pepsi Max or Hot Chocolate in Winter

Name three books you’d recommend to everyone

The Harry Potter series

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Write how much books mean to you in 3 words

They are everything

What’s your biggest reading secret?

Sometimes I skim the last few chapters to see what is going to happen before I actually read them.

Well that’s it for me. I hope you guys enjoyed this tag. As usual, hit me up with your answers in the comment section.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie

‘Tabby Brown is tired of trying to fit in with her classmates. She doesn’t want to go to parties at the weekend – in fact, she would much rather snuggle up on the sofa with her favourite book.

It’s like she hasn’t found her people …

That is until she moves to a new town where a book club, The Paper & Hearts Society, is recruiting. Tabby might just be in luck. Enough of her old “friends” who only talk to her when they need something. It’s time for Quidditch themed fancy dress parties, games like “shut up and Shakespeare” … and LOTS of chocolate.’

I adored this book.

As soon as I saw this book I knew I had to have it. I mean book lovers in a book club, discussing books, playing bookish games and going on a bookish road trip. What’s not to love.

I loved that I knew so many of the books that the characters were discussing in this book. They covered both classics and modern books which is unusual and I really loved it. As I was familiar with the books I felt like I was able to understand the characters and where they were coming from when discussing these books.

The characters in this book were amazing. They were different and diverse yet they found common ground in their love of books and developed wonderful friendship because of their common interests.

Lucy Powrie did a fantastic job with this story. It was fun and sweet while still covering some difficult topics. I though he did an amazing job in dealing with mental illness, grief and bullying. She didn’t gloss over the subjects and the characters dealt with these issues differently but in really normal ways.

The writing in this book was absolutely beautiful. It was perfectly paced and had an emotional cinematic quality about it. This made for a truly wonderful reading experience.

The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie is a must read for everyone.

The Benefits of Young Driver Restrictions!

Did you know that only 13% of all licensed drivers in New South Wales are young drivers; aged between 17 and 25. Yet these young drivers are involved in more than a quarter of all fatal accidents on New South Wales roads.

Almost 1 in 5 or 18% of all speeding drivers involved in fatal car accidents in New South Wales between 2005 and 2009 were aged between 17 and 20 years of age, and 19% were aged 21 to 25 years old. Those numbers combined show us that 37% of all fatal car accidents in New South Wales involving speed between 2005 and 2009 involved young drivers. That means 37% of fatal speed related accidents involved a group of drivers that only make up 13% of all licensed drivers in the state.

Young drivers are most at risk in the first six months after gaining their Provisional 1 or Red P licences as they are more commonly known.

With such astonishing numbers is it at all surprising that measures have been put into place to help lower these numbers. The following restrictions have been put into place to protect young drivers, their passengers and all other road users.

Restrictions such as a zero blood alcohol level for all Provisional drivers. A total ban on all mobile phone use by Provisional drivers. Provisional drivers must display their L and P plates on the outside of their vehicles at all times. As well as passenger laws such as Provisional 1 drivers under the age of 25 only being legally allowed to carry one passenger under the age of 21 between the hours of 11pm and 5 am.

These young driver restrictions have been implemented on top of all of the current road rules in place to protect drivers in New South Wales.

With this presentation I aim to show you the impact that these young driver restrictions have had on New South Wales road safety.

Comparing the statistics from the period of 2008-2010 with the most recent statistic from the period of 2014-2016.  This data shows that the number of fatalities of young drivers on New South Wales roads was 25% less in the years of 2014-2016 then in was in the years of 2008-2010. These numbers also show that all involvements of young drivers  in fatal car accidents on New South Wales roads was 23% less in 2014-2016 then they were in 2008-2010.

Comparing the data from 2008-10 with that of 2014-16 in relation to young male drivers in particular the numbers of young male drivers in fatal car accidents was reduced from 18% to 15%.

In the data collected from 2014-2016 the number of illegal blood alcohol concentration in young drivers (not including motorcycle riders) involved in fatal car accidents was 52% lower than the number from the 2008-2010 data.

A snap shot of these statistics shows that of the 82 young drink drivers involved in fatal car accidents in 2008-2010, 10 of the drivers were female, while in the 2014-16 data 5 of the 39 young drivers involved in fatal accidents were female.

While these statistic only represent the fatalities, the number of young drivers; 17 to 25 years old, with an illegal blood alcohol concentration involved in non fatal accidents decreased by 37% from the 2008-2010 data to the 2014-2016 data.

Another major cause of road accidents in Australia is speeding. Australian Provisional drivers are given their own maximum speed limits depending on their level of provision. With L Plater’s only allowed to drive the maximum speed of 80kms/ph, Provisional P1 or Red P Plate drivers only allowed to drive a maximum speed of 90kms/ph, and Provisional 2 or Green P Plate drivers only allowed to drive a maximum speed of 100kms/ph.

The current data shows that the number of young drivers involved in fatal car accidents in the 2014-2016 data was 34% less than the number of young drivers involved in fatal car accidents in the 2008-2010 data.

The 2008-10 data shows that 147 young drivers were involved in fatal accidents in that time, with 25 of these drivers being female that is 17% of the drivers. The number of young drivers involved in fatal accidents where speed was a factor decreased to 97 in the data from the 2014-2016. Whilst the number of young driver fatalities as a result of speed decreased from 147 in 2008-2010 to 97 in the 2014-2016 data, female drivers still represented 25 of those drivers or 26% in total.

While the number of fatalities on our roads is more known, not all high speed accidents are fatal. The number of serious injuries has also decreased. The data shows that the number of speeding 17 to 25 year old’s involved in serious yet non fatal car accidents decreased by 8% from the 2008-2010 data to the 2014-2016 data. The numbers also show a decrease when highlighting just the sexes.  In the 2008-10 data, 31% of the young speeding drivers involved in non fatal accidents were female while the number of female’s involved in non fatal car accidents in the 2014-16 data was down to 30%.

Fatigue and driver distraction also make up a large number of young driver fatalities on our roads. The total number of young drivers involved in fatal car accidents caused by fatigue or driver distraction actually increased by 6% from the 2008-2010 data to the 2014-2016 data.

In the 2008-2010 data, 6 of the 34 young fatigued or distracted drivers were female whilst in the 2014-2016; 3 of the 36 young fatigued or distracted drivers were female.

So while the number on a whole has increased by 6% the number of females in this statistic dropped from 33% to 32%.

With so many different facets to take into account when looking into fatigue and driver distractions it is almost impossible to determine why the number on a whole has increased. Young driver fatigue and distraction is something that still needs a lot of investigation into in order to better understand the individual statistical breakdowns.

If we want to see the number of young driver fatalities caused by fatigue or driver distraction decrease like we have seen with numbers of speeding and drink driving, we need to look into this element of young driver safety more comprehensively.

As the statistic into other facets of young driver safety has shown, young driver fatalities were 25% less across the board in the 2014-2016 data compared to the 2008-2010 data. With a 52% decrease in drink driving fatalities and a 34% decrease in speed related fatalities.

On the non fatal side of the coin the numbers show a 23% decrease across the board from the 2008-2010 data and the 2014-2016 data. With a decrease of 37% of young driver involvement in drink driving related non fatal accidents and an 8% decrease in young driver involvement in speed related non fatal car accidents.

As we know, young drivers are most at risk during their first six months of driving with inexperience, distracted driving, peer pressure and deliberate risk taking behaviours adding to the dangers they face on our roads.

With accident numbers reduced when a young driver has an adult in the car with them instead of a peer and with the data showing that we now have 25% less young driver fatalities and 23% less young drivers involved in fatal accidents, we are able to see the benefits of young driver restrictions on our road safety statistics in New South Wales.

While these restrictions may seem harsh; especially to the young drivers, the data clearly shows that they are working and isn’t that what we want. Safer roads, safer drivers and no more families torn apart by fatal car accidents, or lives forever changed by non fatal accidents.

Young Driver Restrictions may not be perfect, and we will probably never see a zero fatality road toll, but we have to do whatever we can to protect our young drivers. If one life is saved by these restrictions then I can’t see how they can be anything but a good thing.

If these restrictions mean one less cross on the side of the road or one less bunch of flowers tied to a telegraph poll then doesn’t that mean they are working?

All we can do is our best and the best we have right now is young driver restrictions and as you have seen today they are already reducing the number of young driver fatalities and that’s all we can hope for.

~>GEM<~