Excuse-to-read Readathon

Monday, 27 July 2015


Basically the #Excusetoread readathon is a week of reading just for the sake of it - no pressure, just making time to read and getting that TBR pile down! Thanks so much to authors Jessica L. Brooks and Cheyanne Young for setting it up :)

Personally, I'm not going to be all too ambitious since as of today my exam block has started...but here are a few I hope to read from now until 4th August:


Look out for updates on my progress here, on twitter or instagram!

Genie's Weekly News (40)

Sunday, 26 July 2015


It has been a while since I've blogged (blame my exams coming up *sigh*). Holidays are a distant memory and now it's right back into the frenzy of study notes and trying to not stress out too much about what's coming up. I might not be as active on the blog for these next two weeks as well, but after that I should have more reviews and discussions happening.

*Reading Right Now*


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I'm trying to read this before I see the movie - but 20% in and I'm hoping it gets better.


*Recommendation of the Week*

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Such a strange book, but a beautiful one.

*From The Interwebs*

*Haul*

I'm especially excited for Stray by Rachael Craw - since I haven't been able to get to it this weekend, it's going to be my big reward to look forward to after exams!

*Bookish News*

Author Jessica L. Brooks is looking for expressions of interest for her new 'early reader program' looking at distributing physical ARC's for her upcoming releases - it's generally much easier to read on paper, and this is a wonderful opportunity to do that.



Though the timing is in the middle of exams, I'm still going to endeavour to participate in the 'Excuse to Read' readathon hosted by Jessica L. Brooks and Cheyanne Young, to get a few books knocked off my TBR. Look out for another post on that tomorrow :)



*What I've Been Watching*

Gossip Girl season 5 has been pretty hectic so far - OH THE DRAMA (well, more than usual anyway). Aside from that though, I've been delving back into historical drama:

Sense and Sensibility



I loved this three-part series! Great acting, and of course a wonderful stoyline (who doesn't want a happily ever after?).

The Paradise



I've only seen the first two episodes so far, and while I have a pretty good idea of the 'twists' which may be coming, it's still a pretty good show. It's interesting to think of how far department stores have come!

*GIVEAWAY*

Just a reminder, I have a giveaway for a YA book of choice up to $10AU from The Book Depository running at the moment!



How has your week been?


Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Saturday, 25 July 2015

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Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
Released: 28th June 2015
Published by: HarperCollins
Genre: YA Fantasy/Speculative
Source: Publisher
Pages: 320
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads | Bookworld | Book Depository
Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia. Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was.

In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?
Thank you to HarperCollins Publishers Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Magonia is the 'weird and wonderful' book of the year which is definitely a captivating page-turner. There's good reason for the hype it has received since its release, and is quite unlike anything I've come across. A mix of contemporary, fantasy and sci-fi, Aza Ray's storyline is a whimsical one which ends up more edgy than you might expect. Is it worth a read? Heck yes. 



A girl with a breathing problem. Ships in the sky. Bird-people. 
Those three things don't sound like they would usually work together in a story, but in this case - they really do. These creative elements of the story all work in harmony with some pretty bizarre explanations. What pulls it all in is Headley's writing style, which is simply magical. Aza has such a strong narrative voice right from the start, and I loved her 'no BS' sassy attitude. She's not your timid sickly heroine, but one who still has a voice and wants to use it. We also get Jason's side of the story which alternates throughout, and he's such a sweetie. The friendship between those two and how they deal with some of the massive twists and turns in their respective situations makes the chapters whiz by. I can't say too much here without revealing massive spoilers, so it will have to be a case of 'read and you shall find'. Aside from the narrative voices, there are some nice quirks in how the text is structured. With some eccentric punctuation here and there to express some things which just can't be said in words, and word-shapes as well, this just added another sense of wonder to the plot.



Aboard the Amina Pennarum the story becomes that much more ethereal. While we do get a sure glimpse at the Magonians and how things work in the skies, I would have liked to have had some further insight into some of the characters. No doubt this will be explored further in the next book however, so I'll definitely be looking forward to that! There's also some lovely messages coming through about finding independence after your true identity is revealed, and dealing with such big changes when they simply don't feel real.

FINAL THOUGHTS

In all, Magonia does a fantastic job of blending fantasy with reality, by exploring a whole new fictional world above us. It's an equally emotional and unpredictable tale that may just take your breath away.


Bookstagram Celebration Giveaway! (INT)

Saturday, 18 July 2015


As you may or may not know, I finally took the plunge and got Instagram!


 It's amazing how many bookish people are out there using it already, and now I'm happy to be part of it. If you wan to follow me on there, my username is the same as my twitter genie_inabook. I've already done one tag, and am looking forward to doing more in the future (it really is quite fun lining up books for a photo shoot - they're probably the best behaved models out there).


To celebrate the occasion, here's a giveaway - open INTERNATIONALLY!

Genie's Weekly News (39)

Sunday, 12 July 2015


Hi everyone and welcome to my weekly blog feature to recap the week with bookish news and what to expect coming up! So without further ado...

*Reading Right Now*



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Not loving it as much as Every Day, but I'll just have to see how it goes.

*Previous Posts*


*Recommendation of the Week*


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Historical fiction, Paris, passion - what's not to love?

*From The Interwebs*


*Haul*

Thank you to Walker Books Australia for the review copy!

I haven't ever read a graphic memoir before so this should be interesting! I've already had a quick flick-through and it looks pretty good already.
*Bookish News*

The always lovely and amazing Rachael Craw has been doing #bloggerlove facebook shout-outs recently, and I was included!



Also, HarperCollins YA tweeted a pic of an ad they ran in Girlfriend magazine for The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly (which is an AMAZING BOOK) and me, along with other YA bloggers were quoted! Very exciting indeed.



And to top things off, Penguin Teen Australia released their news about their awesomeness coming up next year with some of their fabulous YA authors!


Also, I signed up for the 'Excuse to Read' readathon which is being hosted by authors Cheyanne Young and Jessica L. Brooks - it's definitely time to set some reading goals to get through my TBR with dedication!


*Instagram!*

I took the plunge and got Instagram this week! I haven't done that many posts yet, but am looking forward to doing more bookish tags. There are soooo many pretty pictures of books on there (they do make the best models). If you have an Instagram account, let me know in the comments and I'll check it out :)


How has your week been?


Review: Liberty's Fire by Lydia Syson

Friday, 10 July 2015

23524565Liberty's Fire by Lydia Syson
Released: 7th May 2015
Published by: Hot Key Books
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher
Pages: 348
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads | Bookworld | Booktopia
Paris, 1871. Four young people will rewrite their destinies. Paris is in revolt. After months of siege at the hands of the Prussians, a wind of change is blowing through the city, bringing with it murmurs of a new revolution.

Alone and poverty-stricken, sixteen-year-old Zephyrine is quickly lured in by the ideals of the city's radical new government, and she finds herself swept away by its promises of freedom, hope, equality and rights for women. But she is about to fall in love for a second time, following a fateful encounter with a young violinist.

Anatole's passion for his music is soon swiftly matched only by his passion for this fierce and magnificent girl. He comes to believe in Zephyrine's new politics - but his friends are not so sure. Opera-singer Marie and photographer Jules have desires of their own, and the harsh reality of life under the Commune is not quite as enticing for them as it seems to be for Anatole and Zephyrine. And when the violent reality of revolution comes crashing down at all their feet, can they face the danger together - or will they be forced to choose where their hearts really lie?
Thank you to the Five Mile Press for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


This is the story of  a revolution, and a city that rose to claim its rights.

The aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war left Paris in an extremely volatile state, and the formation of The Paris Commune was the result. Liberty's Fire is the story of two revolutionaries falling in love against a backdrop of chaotic yet empowering nationalism. Told through the eyes of four characters who each have their own troubles to bear in this tumultuous time, I found this book to be a captivating historical read.


After the death of her grandmother, Zephyrine was left desperate, and searching for hope. On the cusp of her life taking another bad turn, she meets Anatole - a violinist who is passionate both about his music and a vision for a new society where equality reigns once more and France's dignity is restored. There's no case of insta-love here, but instead an instance of two people who have the same ideals, forming a tentative bond at first before becoming something more. Marie, the talented singer who performs with Anatole, and his photographer friend Jules each have their own roles to play in this story and their perspectives were diverse and unique. There is even the slightest hinting at a possible love triangle, however it is not one you would expect and instead highlights the banes of unrequited love. Though in some parts of the story the pacing lagged, in others the interaction between these four and mounting tensions over the precariousness of the city was truly gripping. Even though the novel is written in third person, each character's own thoughts and opinions on the revolution and those they seek to protect are given clarity and distinction.

Citizens! Citoyens and citoyennes! It is up to us, the workers, to declare ourselves free of the old ways at last! It is up to me, and it is up to you! We must be ready to take this opportunity for self-determination. We must seize the future in both hands!

What stood out to me from the very few pages in this book was the historical detail. I could really appreciate how much research Lydia Syson must have done to write a novel like this. Though the first French Revolution from 1789-1799 is indeed fascinating, this short four-month civil war is equal in intensity, and still holds examples of brutality also. I could really sympathise with the characters and what they were going through - some seeking self-protection, while others were more than willing to take up arms for the cause. Paris was captured in all its vividness at this time, where anticipation was crackling in the air and a storm was brewing which would change these people's lives forever.

There could be little debate now. One by one, the hostile newspapers were suppressed. It had happened before, less than a hundred years earlier. Paris remembered the Reign of Terror after the first revolution, and shuddered.


There's no doubt that this book is an emotional one, conveying that uprisings don't always make the difference their fighters had hoped for. There are some intriguing plot twists which come to pass, though by the end I had hoped for a little more closure on a couple of fronts. However, the epilogue did in some ways feel fitting - a glimpse at hope to come for those who had been through so much in such a short span of time.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Liberty's Fire is a poignant novel centred around a passion for country, and for those people love. Rich with historical detail that truly takes you back to that time, it's a story which is as evocative as it is inspiring.



Top Ten Tuesday: Hyped Books I've Never Read

Tuesday, 7 July 2015



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by bloggers at The Broke and the BookishThis week I've  picked the top ten books with all the hype which I just haven't read yet. 


1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas


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I know, I know - how can this be!? BUT now that I have bought myself a copy I'm keen to start it.

2. On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta


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I have read Looking for Alibrandi, but this is a Marchetta novel I know I have to read.

3. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell


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Anything by Rainbow Rowell seems to get lots of hype, and yet even after I liked Fangirl I still haven't gotten to this one.

4. The Selection by Kiera Cass


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Though the pretty dresses make for a nice cover, the main character having the name 'America Singer' could make it difficult to take her seriously. HOWEVER, my sister is reading and absolutely loving the series right now so maybe I will too.

5.The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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I have heard so many good things about this series in general, so I must read it soon, yes?

6. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead


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I did try to read this once but I just couldn't get into it. Hence, it remains unread.

7. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

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I haven't read this, or anything by Kasie West by that matter - but I know her contemporary YA is popular and it sounds promising. 

8. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz 


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This has been on my shelf for sooo long, and I've only heard so much praise for it - I guess I'm saving it for when I need something I'm almost 100% sure I'll like.

9. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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This book has gotten a lot of hype as a thriller this year - I do want to know what all the fuss it about.

10. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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SHOCKER I KNOW. Thing is, after it got spoiled for me and I've heard that it isn't that great compared to the rest of the series, I simply haven't been motivated to pick it up. I will definitely read it before the movie comes out though since I want to compare it.

What's the book with the most hype you haven't read yet?

Review: How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle & Sarah Mlynowski

Monday, 6 July 2015

24917575How to be Bad by E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski
Released: 4th June 2015
Published by: Hot Key Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Publisher
Pages: 288
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Goodreads | Bookworld | Book Depository
When you're tired of being good, sometimes you gotta be a little bad ...

Jesse, Vicks and Mel couldn't be more different. Jesse, a righteous Southern gal who's as thoughtful as she is uptight, is keeping a secret that she knows will change her life forever. Vicks is a wild child: seemingly cool, calm and collected on the outside, but inside she's furious at herself for being so anxious about her neglectful boyfriend. And Mel is the new girl in town. She's already been dismissed as just another rich kid, but all she wants is to get over some of her fears and find some true friends.

But for all their differences, the girls discover they've got one thing in common - they're desperate to escape. Desperate to get the heck out of Niceville and discover their true 'badass' selves! Even if it's just for the weekend ...

One 'borrowed' car later, it's time to hit the road and head for Miami. Hearts will be broken, friendships will be tested, and a ridiculously hot stranger could change the course of everything.
Thank you to the Five Mile Press for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

How to be Bad is a fun and enjoyable contemporary YA read with a road-trip, three very different workmates from The Waffle House and slightly eccentric storyline. I was really looking forward to this book from the outset, and what I hoped would be a fulfilling story of friendship, quirky moments and some truly funny pieces of dialogue was exactly what I got.


Having the three alternating perspectives written by each of the authors was a really great way to distinguish each narrative voice. In this book we have:

Jesse:



Don't even think about calling her 'Jess' (she hates it), along with anything 'sinful'. She'll refer to her mother as Mama and grandmother as Meemaw, censor words to come out with things like 'tightbottom' and can be self-righteous at times  most of the time. Despite this, she does genuinely care about Vicks, and her prejudices over Mel at the start perhaps aren't there forever. It's definitely good to see character development in a contemporary novel, and in this case each of the three girls took their own journeys travelling to the same destination.

Vicks:


Vicks is sassy, strong, and almost the complete opposite to Jesse. Her boyfriend woes are part of the reason why the trio are going on the roadtrip in the first place, and she too is more complex than what may first appear. Chances are, people with that carefree, tough outer shell are really the most sensitive of all.

Well. We are alive, we are here.
We are badass.
We have a duckling.

Mel:


She's the Canadian outsider looking in, who has the money but lacking the friends she really wants. She's quiet and doesn't have a lot of self-confidence at first, but perhaps someone else (a love interest perhaps? *hint hint*) can change that. She was a really sweet character, the mediator and the one who you really want to be happy.


We have left our families and their diseases and their worry and expectations. We left our school friends and out work friends and our jobs and our lives. We shook them all off to be here, speeding down the highway singing 'Suddenly I See' in the dark. 

Talk about mangoes, donuts, pirate hotels, flatulence and even Old Joe the alligator make this a novel with so many eccentricities which just work. The story progresses at a steady pace throughout, and what follows with the blow-ups, hurricanes and make-ups along the way makes this a compelling read. It's a book that will make you giggle, smile and swoon, with an ending which feels fitting. Another special feature is the extras at the back - including a list of songs to listen to which go with the book, a quiz, and background information on how the three authors came up with the idea to write this together; plus a reveal on who wrote what.

FINAL THOUGHTS

With an interesting set of characters and different take on the road-trip concept, How to be Bad kept me engaged from start to finish. The character development is well-executed and each author brings their own unique voice to the table which makes for a dynamic read. This book will take you on a fun ride from Niceville to Miami, hitting all the eventful pit-stops in between.


Genie's Weekly News (38)

Sunday, 5 July 2015


Hi everyone and welcome to my weekly blog feature to recap the week with bookish news and what to expect coming up! So without further ado...

*Reading Right Now*


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Historical fiction in the French Revolution? Love.

*Previous Posts*


*Recommendation of the Week*

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In my opinion - the hype was well worth it!


*From The Interwebs*


*Haul*

Thank you to Text Publishing Australia for the review copy!

Adrift by Paul Griffin - Five friends lost at sea? Now this could get interesting...

Throne of Glass/Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas - FINALLY I have bought at least a couple of the books in this series, and I'm looking to get the rest soon so I can read the whole series so far before Queen of Shadows comes out.

End of Days by Susan Ee - I still haven't read the second book in the series even though I own it, but I saw this and wanted to complete the set. Now at least when I do read World After I can get to this one straight after.

*Other News*

HOW IS THERE ONLY ONE WEEK OF HOLIDAYS LEFT?



Okay, so admittedly that *is* a little melodramatic - but seriously, I don't know where the time has gone.


*Movie Reactions*

I went to the movies twice this week actually - to see two very different films, but both which I really enjoyed:

1. Inside Out


This movie was as I had hoped - really good! Not only was it cute and funny in all the right places, but showed in a realistic way how different emotions and experiences can shape who we are. Definitely recommend for kids and adults alike!

2. Terminator Genysis


Wow - talk about action-packed! Good ol' Arnie came back in this film looking a little older, but 'old, not obsolete'. This mind-bending movie had time travel, a fantastic cast with Aussie actors Jai Courtney and Jason Clarke and awesome special effects. Emilia Clarke also played perfectly as a strong female lead, and there was never a dull moment! This is a blockbuster that will keep moviegoers coming back to the franchise.

Over to you - what do you think of my book and movie roundup this week?