Review: The Wonderling by Mira Bartok.

Title โ€“ The Wonderling
Author โ€“ Mira Bartok
How I Got It โ€“ From the publisher
Pages โ€“ 464 pages
Publication Date โ€“ย September 28th 2017 by Walker Books
ISBN โ€“ 9781406370645
My Rating โ€“ โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5

“Welcome to the home ofย Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. Part animal and part human, the groundlings toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name – a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck – it is the only home he has ever known.

But unexpected courage leads him to acquire the loyalty of a young bird groundling named Trinket, who gives the Home’s loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name – Arthur, like the good king in the old stories – and a best friend. Using Trinket’s ingenious invention, the pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and ultimately down the path of sweet Arthur’s true destiny.”ย 

I received a copy of The Wonderling from Walker Books Australia to review. This isn’t the kind of book I usually read but I wanted to give it a chance because I’d heard good things DMDXCNCUMAAUIxSabout it.

I’m just going to come out and say it, I think this may have been a little too young for me. I don’t know if it was the reading slump I was in when I read this but I felt like the story dragged on a bit. I did like some of the characters and I kept reading because I wanted to know what happened to them.

I also liked the illustrations. They were adorable and my favourite part of the book. I’m sure younger readers will enjoy them too. And I liked that this was a story of acceptance and belonging. I think this will be a great book for kids.

I really wish I’d gotten into The Wonderling. It sounded good when I read the synopsis. I just can’t tell if it was me, the reading slump or it just wasn’t my kind of book.

*Thank you Walker Books Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

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Review: Invictus by Ryan Graudin.

Title โ€“ Invictus
Author โ€“ Ryan Graudin
How I Got It โ€“ From the publisher
Pages โ€“ 464 pages
Publication Date โ€“ย September 21st 2017 by Orion Children’s Books
ISBN โ€“ 9781510102866
My Rating โ€“ โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5

Farway McCarthy is a time traveller. He doesn’t have anywhere he calls home and not a lot to anchor him to the present. Far captains a crew on missions into the past.

On his recent trip, Far runs into Eliot – a mysterious girl and ends up following her in a race against time. They need to protect their present lives from disappearing forever.

I received a copy of Invictus from Hachette New Zealand to review. This is the fourth DLUqWnLUMAAk4ipbook of Ryan’s that I’ve read. I think my favourites are still her Wolf by Wolf duology.

I was in a reading slump when I read this so I’m not really sure if it was that of the fact that I couldn’t really connect to Far – who was the main character – and his massive ego that drove me nuts and put me off him and the book. I mean, it could have been both? I don’t think the book dragged but it did feel like it took a long time for the story to get interesting to me. I think because it took so long for the reason behind Eliot joining the crew of the Invictus to come out as well that I just got bored waiting. But when it all came out the story did seem to pick up and finally caught my interest. I can’t remember how far into the book I was when that happened though.

As you can probably tell I didn’t really like Far all that much. I did respect the choice he made at the end but by then I think it was just too late for me to actually like him as a character. I did like Imogen, Gram and Pryia though. I think Eliot was a little too much like Far for me to like. Maybe less arrogant but I can’t really remember. I think my favourite character in Invictus was Imogen, she was funny and a pet red panda!

Anyway, even though it took me a while to get into the story, I did like it. I do love stories about time travel. And the twist to this story was so good! Oh and I did like the ending, even though it was a little cheesy.

I think Invictus was a stand alone but if there ever was a sequel, and I don’t see why there would be, I’m not sure I’d read it. I liked the ending of Invictus and feel like a sequel could ruin it. But at the same time I could be interesting to see if Far had changed… Probably not though.

If you enjoy time travel and some pretty good twists then I recommend picking up a copy of Invictus.

*Thank you Hachette New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockkhart.

Title โ€“ย  Genuine Fraud
Author โ€“ E. Lockhart
How I Got It โ€“ From the publisher
Pages โ€“ 262 pages
Publication Date โ€“ย September 6th 2017 by Allen & Unwin
ISBN โ€“ 9781760295936
RRP – $22.99 NZD
My Rating โ€“ โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5

“Imogen is an heiress, a runaway and a cheat. Jule is a fighter, a chameleon and a liar.ย 

Imogen is done pretending to be perfect, and Jule refuses to go back to the person she once was. Somewhere between the mansions of Martha’s Vineyard and the shores of Cabo San Lucas, their intense friendship takes a dark turn.”

I received a copy of Genuine Fraud from Allen and Unwin New Zealand to review.ย DKrj__yUIAAh4f4

This is the second book I’ve read by Lockhart. The first one was We Were Liars. I did like Genuine Fraud more but it was still only three stars for me. I don’t think the reading slump I was in at the time helped but it was also the way the story was told that kind of put me off too. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book told this way, backwards, and from this one experience I don’t want to again. But I’m not going to say anything else because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

The main reason I didn’t put the book down was that I wanted to know what happened to Imogen and Jule. Not because I liked any of the characters because I didn’t but I just want to know what happened and how the book would end.

I will say that thereย  was a pretty good twist to the story and it came out right at the end of the book. I did click to it before it came out but only just. It wasn’t obvious from the start of the book. Well, for me anyway.

I don’t think Lockhart’s books are for me. Of the two I’ve read I didn’t like any of the characters. I did read We Were Liars a few years ago so I can’t really remember much other than I couldn’t stand Cadence. So I’m not sure I’ll be reading any more of her books. Unless the story really draws me in…

*Thank you Allen and Unwin New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Gift Ideas for Bookworms.

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I haven’t been posting for a while and I did look into doing Blogmas this year but I just can’t post on here everyday. So I decided to just do a post with some gift ideas for the bookworms in your life. I probably should have done this earlier – like last month maybe? But who doesn’t like last-minute Christmas shopping?

Anyway, I think I came up with five ideas. I wanted to do ten but my brain just wouldn’t work when I was writing all this down. So here’s what I came up with –

1. Your favourite book –ย 
I think this is a great way to get your bookworm to read your favourite book (if they haven’t already) and then you can talk about it after. You could even mark your favourite parts with post-it notes and make it more personal.

If you don’t read but someone in your life does then you could always see if a movie you love was based on a book and give them the book as a gift. Just check if they haven’t already read the book first. I try to read the book before I see the movie but it doesn’t always happen.ย 21980908_164475614133088_5213020618559062016_n

2. Bookish candles –ย 
There are some amazing stores on Etsy that have candles inspired by books. I’ve only bought candles from a few of them because shipping to New Zealand is crazy but I do love Faerie Tales Creations, Flickering Books and Wick and Fable. You can click the links to check them out.

This #CurrentlyReading candle is from Faerie Tales Candles and it smells amazing. There are also little wax melts on the top of the candles which are really cute. This one has little piles of books. They are located in New Zealand so shipping for me is really good. I’m not sure what it costs to other countries.ย 22280972_725992040929903_5233457172465057792_n

3. Bookmarks –ย 
Bookworms can never have enough bookmarks. Unless the fold down the corners of the pages… Which I never do.

There are some amazing stores out there that sell bookmarks but I think my favourite shop at the moment is Ink & Wonder. They sell more than just bookmarks too. You can click the link to have a look.

I only have one bookmark from them that came in an OwlCrate but I have my eye on a lot more. They’ll have to wait until after Christmas though. The bookmark in the photo is from Ink & Wonder and I love it! So much that I’ll probably never use it. And this candle Untitledis also from Faerie Tales Creation. It has a Targaryen house crest wax melt.

4. Book sleeves –ย 
I take a book everywhere with me and I don’t want them getting damaged in my bag. So I bought a book sleeve from Book Sac Boutique on Etsy and received one from Book Beau in an OwlCrate. I love my Alice and Wonderland book sac and use it all the time.

I recently bought one from Flickering Books. This one is a little different – instead of putting the book into the sleeve it goes around a hardback to protect the book while your reading. DPb7tBNV4AEJuKPI’m still in a reading slump so I haven’t used it yet but it does fit my copy of Tower of Dawn. I don’t think it fits bigger books like Queen of Shadows but I can’t remember if I’ve tried to put that in there yet.

5. Subscription box –ย 
I know these can get expensive depending on where you live with shipping costs and it’s probably too late to buy one now for Christmas anyway but there’s always next year I guess. I have bought a few OwlCrates but I doubt I’ll be getting any next year unless I really like the sound of the box. I’ve also bought one FairyLoot but that was crazy expensive and according to the tracking it hasn’t even left the country it came from so I won’t be getting another one.

If this option doesn’t work for you because of the cost then you can always create your own book box for your bookworm. This way it’s may work out cheaper depending on what you put in the box. And it will definitely be more personalised because you picked everything out yourself. Which I’m sure will mean more to the person you’re gifting it to because you’ll be putting more time and thought into it.

So there’s my five gift ideas for the bookworms in your life. There are also mugs, totes, phone cases etc on Society6. I have never bought anything from there so I didn’t think I should add it to the list. But I have seen some amazing mugs on there.

Happy reading,

– Aimee.

October Book Haul.

Watercolor flower wreath background for beautiful design

I didn’t post a book haul last month. I was in a reading and blogging slump and just couldn’t be bothered. But I am slowly getting back into things.

I’m just going to just right in. The first book I received last month was from Hachette 1New Zealand. Ringer is the sequel and conclusion to Replica. I haven’t read it yet but I can’t wait to pick it up. I loved Replica so I am looking forward to finding out how this story ends. I just need to figure out which chapter I read first…

When I read Replica I read a chapter of Gemma and then flipped the book to read a chapter of Lyra. I think I’m going to do that again this time I just don’t know which one to read first, Gemma or Lyra? I guess I’ll figure it out soon. If you want to read my review on Replica you can click the link here.

The second book was sent to me from a friend. There was a huge-ish book sale here for imported US editions of books and I managed to get a few. My local store didn’t have The 2

Passion of Dolssa so Chelsea offered to get me a copy. I have heard good things about this so hopefully I’ll like it whenever I actually pick it up.

I can’t remember what this is about but I figured for $7 if I don’t like it I can just pass it on. The sale had a lot of hardbacks which are usually really expensive in New Zealand so there was no way I was going to miss a chance of getting cheap hardback books. I think I got seven? I can’t remember. But the one I was really excited about was the hardback edition of Illuminae. I loved both Illiminae and Gemina and really wanted the hardback editions. Now I just need to get Gemina in hardback.ย 3

The next book was sent to me from Penguin Random House New Zealand. I loved The Martian by Andy Weir so when I heard Artemis was coming out I knew I had to read it. I haven’t picked it up yet but I’m hoping to get to it soon.

This is another sci-fi book. I can’t remember which planet it takes place on but I think it has something to do with a heist? But I’m not really sure. I just saw an Andy Weir book and wanted to read it. I didn’t really care what it was about. But I have heard that it’s good.

The next three books were sent to me from Walker Books Australia to review. The first 4one, The Other Way Around, I can’t really remember what it’s about. I remember now why I do book hauls throughout the month, so I know what the book is about… The cover makes me think road trip but I could be completely wrong.

So I just looked the book up on Goodreads. This is the synopsis on there – “Andrew has seen a flash of his future from his unfulfilled parents. Based on what he’s seen, he’s uninspired. After a particularly disastrous Thanksgiving, Andrew accidentally runs away and joins the circus. Kind of.” So not exactly what I was thinking but whatever.

The second book is Of Jenny and the Aliens. I think this one has an alien invasion and a5 guy crushing on a girl. And for some reason he asks this alien for advice with Jenny… I guess there’s more going on but that’s all I remember from when I read the synopsis when the book arrived.

I love the cover of this book. Especially the alien – he’s cute! Well I don’t even know if the alien is a he or not but whatever it is it’s cute.

I don’t know when I’ll be picking this up. I’m really behind with my review books so I have a few others I need to read before I can pick this up but I’m hoping to get to it soon. And I’m hoping that my reading slump just buggers off already!ย 6

The third book I received from Walker Books Australia was On the Free. This one takes place at a camp (I think) and something happens, people die I think? I’m assuming there’s some kind of animal attack because under the dust jacket there’s claw marks. Like from a bear or a huge cat.

I also love this cover! I don’t really know why but I think it’s so pretty. I’m also really looking forward to reading this one. I think out of these three I might pick this one up first. It just keeps standing out to me.

So the next five books were sent to me from Penguin Random House New Zealand for me to review. The first one was a graphic novel of Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. 7Northern Lights is the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy. I’ve actually read Northern Lights but not the next two books. So I thought this was a great way to get a fast re-fresher on the first book so that I can finally pick up The Subtle Knife.

Plus, I haven’t read a graphic novel in ages and I enjoyed Northern Lights so I wanted to see what the graphic novel is like. I’m actually planning to read this next.

The illustrations look really good too. I can’t wait to pick this one up. It will also help with my Goodreads challenge too.

The next book I received was Things a Bright Girl Can Do. I didn’t request this one but it8 does sound good. I think it takes place before or during the suffragette movement. I don’t know if the characters are based on real people or they’re just fiction. I haven’t looked into it at all.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book set during this time so it will mostly likely be a first for me. I also have no idea when I’ll pick this one up but I will one day soon-ish. Hopefully.

If you’ve read this book let me know what you thought of it? Because I don’t really know a lot about it or anyone that’s read it… That I know of anyway.

The next book I received was Expelled by James Patterson and Emily Raymond. This is about someone that’s 9expelled from school (I can’t remember why) but something happens and it might actually be the best thing that happened to him. If I’m remembering the synopsis right anyway. So, there’s like a 90% chance I’m completely wrong…

I thought this sounded kind of good when I first read the synopsis so I’m hoping I’ll like it. I don’t think I’ve ever read a James Patterson book before. This one is for YA, which I read more of than anything else but I don’t just read YA. I know people judge others for reading YA and I really don’t get it. There are some amazing books that are YA!

Anyway, the next book I received was This Mortal Coil and no, I can’t remember what 10this is about. I think it might be dystopian but I’m not 100%. I haven’t read a dystopian book in so long so if it is I cannot wait to read it. I do remember hearing good things about this ages ago though.

You can’t see in this photo but the edges of the book have the DNA (I’m not really into science so I’m just guessing) thing down it. It looks really cool though. I’ll try to get a photo of it for my review. Whenever I post that because I haven’t even read the book yet. I’m hoping to get to it this month but who knows if that will happen. I only read three books last month and I haven’t touched my current read in days… Seriously guys, how do I get out of a reading slump??12

Okay, so the last book I received from Penguin Random House New Zealand was Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. It also came with some kind of bracelet and a notebook.

I’ve only read three of John’s books – The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns. I loved TFIOS but the other two were just meh. I have three more of his books but haven’t picked them up. I hope I like TATWD more than I liked Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns. I didn’t hate them but they weren’t the best books I’ve ever read. TFIOS though was so good. I think I’ve read it three times? Anyway, I’m also hoping to read TATWD this month too.ย DMi97oKVAAADqwZ

I got the October Owlcrate which was “Find me in the Forest.” I have shared my unboxing on my Instagram. If you want to see it you can click the link. I loved this box and I especially love the Harry Potter mug!

I don’t know how many Owlcrate boxes I’ll be getting because it’s not exactly cheap for me with the exchange rate and international shipping but I am so glad I got this box just for the mug. I haven’t read the book yet. I don’t know when I’ll get to it. Maybe over the Christmas break? Who knows. November’s Owlcrate sounds good too. Somethings about castles and kingdoms.ย 13

 

The next two books were sent to me from Hachette New Zealand to review. The first one, Mirror, Mirror, sounds really good. Something about friends, lovers and betrayals.

I read the synopsis for this one months ago, way before the book was released so there’s no way I remember what the book is actually about. I haven’t made a TBR for November because I just don’t see a point with this stupid slump but if I can get to Mirror, Mirror this month then I definitely will.

I also received a copy of Stalking Jack the Ripper to review. I got a copy of Hunting Prince Dracula last month and cannot wait to read Stalking Jack the Ripper. I didn’t know until14 last night that it was about someone being in love with Jack the Ripper but okay. Sounds interesting…

I have heard really good things about this book though so I can’t wait to read it. I was planning on joining a read-along for it but then our stray cat had kittens and I just didn’t get a chance to pick it up. But I’m hoping to get to this one soon.

This is also another beautiful cover! I love the colours and the buildings at the bottom. Anyway, if this reading slump would just f off already I could actually finish Godsgrave and pick up another book.ย 15

I won a giveaway on Twitter for an ARC of The Last Namsara from Date a Book Australia. I also haven’t read this but it’s another book I can’t wait to read. I think this one is about hunting down and killing dragons (why????) and something to do with stories. I guess I’ll find out when I read the book but I’m not really in a rush because it’s not a review book.

I love dragons so I’m not sure I’ll enjoy the hunting them down and killing them part but whatever. It has dragons in it and I am looking forward to reading it.ย 16

I received a copy of Nexus from Allen and Unwin New Zealand to review. This is the last book in the Zeroes trilogy. I’ve read the first two books and I’ve actually enjoyed them more than I thought I would. You can click the links for my reviews of Zeroes and Swarm.

I am really looking forward to seeing how this trilogy ends. Some of the characters in the first two books really annoyed me. Well one that I can remember off the top of my head. But there was a great cliffhanger at the end of Swarm and I actually remember it for a change! If I had a TBR for November this would definitely be on it.ย 18

The next two books were sent to me from Bloomsbury Australia. These were both surprise book mail. I had no idea they were being sent. But I love surprise book mail. Anyway, the first book I have already read and reviewed. Not this edition. I got a different edition from Allen and Unwin New Zealand I can’t even remember when. But if you want to read my review of The Song from Somewhere Else you can click the link here.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with this copy but I love the cover of the paperback edition.ย 17

The other book Bloomsbury Australia sent me was The Start of Me and You. I have read two other books by Emery Lord and I think my favourite was The Names They Gave Us. I had heard of this one before but hadn’t gotten around to picking up a copy. But I’m glad I didn’t.

This book sounds kind of sad. Or like it could be sad. But it takes a lot to actually make me cry so we’ll see. I don’t know when I’ll be picking this one up. Probably when I’m in the mood for a contemporary so it might be a while. I so want to get over this slump soon. If you have advice please leave me a comment!19

The last two books I received in October were from Allen and Unwin New Zealand. The Nearest Far Away Place sounds like it could also be a sad read. It follows two brothers after the loss of their parents in a car crash. They go to live with relatives and that’s all I can remember. It says on the back it’s about brothers, loss and something else.

I can’t remember why I wanted to read this but I did because I remember requesting it. This isn’t a very long book so I’m hoping to pick this up soon too.20

The last book I received was The Red Ribbon. Again, I can’t remember why I wanted to read this but I know I requested it the same time as The Nearest Far Away Place so I must have thought it would be something I’d like.

Well it says on the cover something about a dress being the difference between life and death so that seems different. Guess I’ll find out when I pick the book up though.

Anyway, that’s my October book haul. What books did you get last month??

– Aimee.

October Wrap Up.

So I had a really bad reading month in October. I only managed to read three books. It was just one thing after another getting in the way of my reading. I had a reading slump, then my mother broke her ankle and wrist so she couldn’t really do a lot. And then at the end of the month out stray cat that turned up two months ago had three kittens. We didn’t even know she was pregnant. We had to figure out what to do, where to put her and then go and buy her kitten food. Things have settled down now so I hope I can get back into reading soon.

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Invictus by Ryan Graudin –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5
The Wonderling by Mira Bartok –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5
Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan –ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5

Not a lot of books and I gave them all three stars… I don’t know if it was me or the reading slump or the book. Or all three. I’ll be reviewing them all soon-ish.

What did you read in October?

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday โ€“ [November 1st 2017]

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This meme is hosted by Sam over atย Taking on a World of Words.ย All you have to do isย answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over atย Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think youโ€™ll read next?

Currently Reading โ€“ย DNVuHM4VwAA5F-5
I started Godsgrave a few of days ago. I haven’t managed to read much because a cat that sort of adopted us (for now anyway) had kittens two days ago so I’ve been a little distracted. But I’m hoping to get back into it now that she seems more settled and has a somewhere to sleep. So we now have four new additions to the family. Not sure how long the mother will stick around but we won’t be keeping any of the kittens once they’re old enough to be re-homed.

Anyway, I think I’vee read around 60+ pages so far and I am enjoying it. I missed this narrator though. I love their sarcasm.

Recently Finished โ€“ย ย 11 (4)
I didn’t post a WWW Wednesday last week because I hadn’t read much and I’d just be repeating myself. So I have finished The Wonderling by Mira Bartok. I think this book was a little too young for me. I do read middle grade sometimes but this was not the kind of book I usually read. It was a cute read and I loved the illustrations but I don’t think I’ll be reading it again.

I’ll talk about this more in my review though. I don’t know when I’ll be posting it because I am behind again.. The joys of adulting.

The other book I read recently-ish was Magus Chase and the Ship of the Dead. This is the third book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. I really enjoy Riordan’s DMydKunVQAEvpKObooks. I still prefer the Percy Jackson and The Heroes of Olympus series but I love the diversity in these books. Which I’ll go into more in my review. I have actually written this one already.

Again, I have no idea when I’ll be posting the review for Ship of the Dead but I’m hoping soon. If you love Riordan’s books and haven’t read this series then I recommend picking the first three books up. Annabeth and Percy make an appearance at the start of Ship of the Dead so that’s always a plus for me. I love both Annabeth and Percy. There was also a short story at the end of this edition but I haven’t read it.ย 7

Reading Nextย โ€“
I think I’ll be reading the Northern Lights graphic novel next. I’ve read the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy but I can’t remember what happened so this will better than re-reading Northern Lights.

What have you been reading?

– Aimee.