Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Reading Rush 2019 TBR

The Reading Rush (previously called Book-Tube-A-Thon) is a week long read-a-thon from 22 July to 28 July 2019.

As I set a goal for myself at the start of the year to participate in more read-a-thons, I thought this would be ideal for me.

My TBR for it is pictured below.

The book that fits each challenge is as follows:

1. Read a book with purple on the cover

For this I chose Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien. I had to read this book for school when I was 8 and as that was a year of my life that I spent a lot of time in hospital, I have no idea if I ever even finished it.

2. Read a book sitting in the same spot

For this I chose You're The One That I Want by Cecily von Ziegesar. This is the next book in the Gossip Girl series. I am starting to regret that I set myself the goal of completing this series in 2019 but nonetheless, it is perfect for this challenge as I read them very quickly.

3. Read a book you meant to read last year

For this I chose Fahrenheit 451 as I actually started it last year and got around 20 pages in before I had to put it down for Victober and never got around to continuing it.

4. Read an Author's first work

For this I chose The Break Up Artist by Philip Siegel. As far as I can tell from a little research, this is the author's first published work. I won this book in a giveaway from the publisher years ago so it's probably for the best that I am finally getting to it.

5. Read a book with a non-human character

For this I chose White Fang by Jack London. This is the book that I am most nervous about reading from this list. I read The Call of the Wild earlier this year and was appalled at the amount of animal violence and cruelty was included. Hopefully this book will be different.

6. Read a book with 5 or more words in the title

For this I chose The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Albom. I am looking forward to this book because I really enjoyed Albom's other book Tuesday's with Morrie. 

7. Read a book and watch its adaptation

For this I'm going to re-read Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding. I absolutely hated this book when I read it nearly a decade ago and so I hope now that I am older, and closer to Bridget's age that I can relate to it more and have a better reading experience with it. Plus I can't recall ever even watching the movie so that will be a new experience. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Book Review #800 - Beauty Queens by Libba Bray


The 50 contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras.

But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What’s a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness.

My Rating: 2/5

I went into this book having read back to back 5 star reads in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and The Light Between Oceans and so this could be a reason why I did not like this book.

The book started off really well and I was enjoying the story and of course the satirical humour but it just got to the point where this became too much. When I reached that point I wasn't even half way through and so in my opinion the book was way too long to sustain just a story and style of humour.

Comparing this book to The Lord of the Flies is interesting because in that book the characters lose their humanity over time whereas in this book I felt like the girls became more human the longer they were removed from their toxic lives.

One of the issues I had with this book was distinguishing the characters because sometimes they were mentioned by name and sometimes by the state they were representing.

There was a lot of representation in this book with there being a lesbian, a transgender and a girl with a hearing impairment. The only issue with this was the transgender was bullied when found to be transgender and this behaviour was never really challenged.

Overall, I really wanted to enjoy this book as I usually love survival stories but this one was just too weird for me. I should have realised that when the pirates were introduced.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Book Review #799 - The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

A captivating, beautiful, and stunningly accomplished debut novel that opens in 1918 Australia - the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one devastating choice that forever changes two worlds. 

Australia, 1926. After four harrowing years fighting on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns home to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day's journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby's cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. 

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom's judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them. 

My Rating: 5/5

This book has been on my radar ever since the film adaptation was created but I didn't think it was my kind of book as I only read Young Adult exclusively back then.

It wasn't until recently when I learnt that the book was set in my home state of Western Australia that I saw it as a book that I wanted to read.

I loved the setting. It was very Australian and the fact that I have visited the lighthouse (pictured above) that was the inspiration for the one in the book made the setting so rich and vivid in my mind.

I absolutely loved the genuine Aussie feel the book from settings to characters. I found it very immersive and hard to believe it is the author's first book she has written.

The characters all felt so real and set against the backdrop of post World War I it was all very page turning.

The book was told in three parts. The third and final part was by far my least favourite as I didn't like leaving the setting of Janus Island (much like Lucy) but I was so deeply invested in the story at this stage that it wasn't that much of a problem.

Having read this book straight after The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo I had high expectations for another 5 star read and amazingly those expectations were met.