August Wrap Up.

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I had a couple of reading slumps in August but still managed to read eleven books which I don’t think was that bad. So I’m just going to jump into the list and my ratings.

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The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye – ★★★★/5
The Student by Iain Ryan – ★★★/3
Darien: Empire of Salt by C.F. Iggulden – ★★★/5
I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson – ★★★★/5
The Cause of Death by Dr. Cynric Temple-Camp – ★★★★/5
A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena – ★★★★/5
Tell It to the Moon by Siobhan Curham – ★★★★/5
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling – ★★★★★/5 (re-read)
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer – ★★★★/5
And Fire Came Down by Emma Viskic – ★★★★/5
Moonrise by Sarah Crossan – ★★★★/5

I did participate in ARC August for the first two weeks in August but I think that’s what put me into my first reading slump – trying to finish all the ARCs on my list. I always try to stick to a TBR but it doesn’t always work. With me trying to force myself to read the five books I had on my ARC August TBR it just made me not want to read.

The second reading slump happened when I finished Tell It to the Moon and I have no idea why. So I ended up re-reading Fantastic Beasts and then finally picking up Stars Above, which has been on my shelves since it was released.

Anyway, I don’t think I did that badly. Hopefully September will be better but I’m not going to hold my breath.

How many books did you read in August and what was your favourite?

– Aimee.

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Review: The Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhan Curham.

Title – The Moonlight Dreamers
Series – The Moonlight Dreamers #1
Author – Siobhan Curham
How I Got It – From the publishers
Pages – 352 pages
Publication Date – July 7th 2016 by Walker Books
ISBN – 9781406365825
My Rating – ★★★★/5

“Amber, Maali, Sky and Rose may be very different, but they all have one thing in common – they’re fed up with being told how to look, what to think and how to act. 

They’re not like everyone else and they don’t want to be. Becoming friends gives them the courage to be themselves.”

I received a copy of The Moonlight Dreamers from Walker Books Australia to review. I DFIjpdmUMAAlNXEcannot believe how long it took me to pick this book up… I’ve had it for a long time now.

I loved this book! The story brings together four very different girls and they all need the Moonlight Dreamers for different reasons. And I think they bring out the best in each other too.

I didn’t really relate to what any of them were going through but I did like each of the girls. I don’t think I have a favourite.. I love them all. But I did think Maali was too young to want to meet her “soul mate” – I mean, had she even had a boyfriend yet? Live some more Maali before you start thinking about soul mates…

The Moonlight Dreamers is full of diversity and struggles that teenagers – or most people actually – go through, like bullying, parents dying, relationship problems, peer pressure, and I’m sure it was hinted that one character was struggling with their sexuality.. Although I might have just picked up on it because I thought it was obvious. And I felt like all of this was handled in a really honest way.

I also liked that Amber, Maali, Sky and Rose didn’t want to follow the crowd and do what others at school were doing. They were happy being different and being themselves. I think a lot of people would be happier if they stopped caring what others thought of them.

I have already read Tell It to the Moon and will be posting a review of that soon hopefully. I still need to write the review.

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

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday [August 23rd 2017] –

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at 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 you’ll read next?

Currently Reading – DH3c9MXUIAAC0BN
I started Stars Above yesterday. I’ve had this book since it came out but never picked it up to read until now. I’m pretty sure I’d already read Glitches as an e-novella before Stars Above came out.

I’ve been in another reading slump the last few days. I picked up the previous book hoping it would also get me out of my slump and it kind of did, but not really. So I took a break from review books and read two of my books hoping that would help.

Stars Above is full of novellas set in The Luna Chronicles universe. I think there was one story that didn’t involve the characters from The Luna Chronicles (much) but the rest have them in. I don’t know if I’ll be reviewing this or not yet.

Recently Finished – DHySvPOUQAAaxPX
So this is the first book I picked up hoping it would get me out of my reading slump because I knew it was a fast read. And I did enjoy reading it again (this is the second time I’ve read it) but I still didn’t feel like reading after I’d finished it.

I know most people just take a break from reading if they’re in a slump but even though I don’t feel like reading I am so bored when I’m at home and not reading. Because the only TV shows I watch are Game of Thrones and Teen Wolf. Anyway, I love the screenplay of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I’ve already reviewed this so I won’t be posting about it again. DHi274BUAAIOPUI

I finally read Tell It to the Moon. This is the sequel to The Moonlight Dreamers, which I read last month and really enjoyed. I was actually surprised by how much I liked both books. But I’ll talk about Tell It to the Moon more in my review. I’ll be posting that very soon because of the giveaway I keep talking about. But I still need to write it first.

The giveaway is for people in New Zealand and Australia. I’ll have more details in my review of Tell It to the Moon though so if you’re interested then keep an eye out for it.

I also finished A Stranger in the House. I think I had like 50 pages when I did my WWW Wednesday post last week so I didn’t have to read much to finish the book. I really DHEFO2EUAAE0b88enjoyed this. And surprisingly I have already written the review. Now I just have to post it. I want to start writing my reviews when I finish the book instead of leaving it too long and then I have no idea what to write… Which is my problem with more than one review.

Okay, so moving on… Like I said I really enjoyed A Stranger in the House. I think it’s a psychological thriller but I haven’t really looked into it. So if you like those kinds of books then I’d definitely recommend finding a copy of this.

Reading Next –
I think if I’m out of my reading slump when I finish Stars Above that I’m going to read And Fire Came Down. This is the sequel to Resurrection Bay. I read that a couple of 10months ago and really enjoyed it. I think these are crime books? But again, I haven’t looked up their genre.

I can’t remember what the synopsis said about this book but I know it has some of the same characters from the first book in it. And I’m assuming someone dies. Or maybe more than one person? I guess I’ll find out when I read the book.

What have you been reading recently?

– Aimee.

July Wrap Up.

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I’m going to be doing things a little differently with my wrap up this month. I normally add my TBR for the next month after I’ve given a list of what I read but as it’s still July I haven’t gotten much of a TBR yet, except for my ARC August TBR. So I’ll just mention that at the end for anyone who hasn’t read my ARC August TBR post.

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I read 10 books in July, two of them were re-reads. I had a bit of a reading slump and just couldn’t get out of it. Anyway, onto the ratings.

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead – ★★★/5
Begin, End, Begin – A #LoveOzYA Anthology by Danielle Binks – ★★★/5
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (re-read) – ★★★★★/5
Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (re-read) – ★★★★★/5
When Dimple met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – ★★★/5
The Huntress: Sea by Sarah Driver – ★★★/5
Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel – ★★★★/5
The Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhan Curham – ★★★★/5
Countless by Karen Gregory – ★★★★/5
The Leaving by Tara Altebrando – ★★★/5

Obviously I love Illuminae and Gemina and they were still good the second time. I also really enjoyed Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index, The Moonlight Dreamers and Countless. The rest were just okay. I loved some of the stories in the LoveOzYA Anthology but most of them were just okay so I couldn’t give that more than three stars.

So, now for my ARC August TBR. I have made a post about this so if you’ve already read that then you can skip this part.

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These are the five books I plan on reading for ARC August. Well they were when I made the TBR post. But I found another ARC that I should have already read by now that I’m going to read as well. That’s The Student by Iain Ryan. It’s set in Australia.

If you want to read the full ARC August TBR post then click the link 🙂

I’ll be posting my full August TBR soon. When I’ve figured out what else I want to read.

What books did you read in July?

Aimee.

Siobhan Curham – Q&A

 

Where did the inspiration for Moonlight Dreamers and Tell it to the Moon come from?
I feel really passionately about encouraging other people to dare to believe in themselves9781406365825 and their dreams – especially young people. I know all too well how hard it can be to pursue a dream and how easy it can be to give up. I gave up on my writing dream when I was twenty and dropped out of university. Coming from a poor background, I didn’t think I had what it took to make it in the middle class world of writing and publishing. I ended up in the worst job ever, working for the complaints department of a frozen food company – where all I got to write were grovelling letters of apology! Thankfully, I managed to overcome my self-doubt and fear and make it as a writer in the end. I wrote The Moonlight Dreamers and Tell it to the Moon to try and encourage the reader to chase their own dreams and not give up, like I did. It’s so lovely when I receive emails from readers telling me that it’s worked and reading about the Moonlight Dreamers and their adventures has given them the confidence to dare to dream.

Did you always dream of becoming a writer?
Pretty much – and it’s all down to my evil parents! When I was little my mum and dad had the crazy notion that TV was bad for a kid’s imagination so my siblings and I weren’t allowed to watch any TV – we didn’t even have a television in the house, and this was back in the day before the internet and mobile phones. So I had a choice – I could either learn to love to read, or die of boredom. So, I learned to love to read and out of that came a love for writing. I dreamed of one day having a shelf full of books that I had written. I’m grateful every day that that dream finally came true.

What were the first steps you took to pursue becoming a writer?
Well, first I went to university to study English Literature and Script-writing but sadly I dropped out after my second year. When I started pursuing my dream again a few years later, I decided to approach it like any other business and start small. So I started writing short stories and articles, which felt a lot less intimidating than writing an entire novel. Once I’d had a few of them published it gave me the confidence to go after the bigger dream of writing a book.

What was it like working with Zoe Sugg?
It was great. I love helping other people with their books – celebrities and non-celebrities.

How has working as a motivational speaker and life coach influenced your writing?
It’s influenced it greatly as pretty much every book I write has the same theme as the 9781406366150work I do as a speaker and coach ie; overcoming fear or adversity and creating a life based around the pursuit of your dreams. I feel very lucky to do this work as it’s so rewarding to help other people achieve their goals.

What do you think are the main challenges that teenage girls face?
Oh, where to begin? I think there are so many challenges facing teenage girls today, way more than when I was a teenager. I think a lot of this is down to the internet – there’s a pressure for teens to attain perfection, both in their lives and physically that’s far greater today. And I think this is combined with the current obsession with celebrity – and their perfectly edited lives. The saddest thing about it is that most of the time the ‘perfection’ teen girls are encouraged to achieve isn’t even possible. The images and celebrity lifestyles are all airbrushed, photo-shopped and highly edited, as are most people’s social media accounts. I think there’s way too much pressure at school too – a topic that I highlight in Tell it to the Moon and Sky’s poem Free to Be. Young adults just aren’t free to be their true selves and I think this is a tragedy.

How important are strong friendships in help over these issues?
I think strong friendships are very important as they can help to counteract the pressure. There’s nothing better than having a friend who loves and accepts you for who you are; someone you can be completely authentic with. This is what I try to celebrate in The Moonlight Dreamers and Tell it to the Moon – the empowering nature of female friendship and creating a sisterhood of your own.

Do you think social media is making things like bullying and body image issues worse?
Yes, most definitely, because there’s no escape from it. Bullying has always happened and people have always had body image issues but it’s magnified by social media and this can be so toxic. What is encouraging is that there seems to be a growing trend towards going on an internet detox – taking yourself offline for certain days of the week or hours of the day. I think this can really help, mental health wise. It’s so healthy to take a break from it all.

Did you have a friendship group like the Moonlight Dreamer when you were growing up?
I didn’t have such a close-knit group when I was growing up but I did have a very best friend, who I met when I was eight and we’re still best friends to this day. We’ve been through thick and thin together – growing up on a council estate, dating trials and tribulations, career hiccups, marriages, divorces and single-parenthood – and she’s like a sister to me. I’m lucky to have many very close female friends now. I call them my soul sisters, and they mean everything to me.

Tell us about your best friends.
My life-long best friend is called Tina. She’s the person I can tell anything to and she gives the best advice – even if I don’t always want to hear it! Another amazing friend of mine is called Sara – I also think of her as my writing guardian angel. She was my editor for my very first book deal and she’s been my main cheer-leader ever since. Writing can be a tough business with a lot of ups and downs and she’s always been there for me. My other best friend is my dad. He’s been my rock throughout my life, always encouraging me to chase my dreams and providing me with his own unique brand of gruff, Irish wisdom.

What is your favourite book?
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. She writes so beautifully. It’s like one long poem in novel form and the characters are so colourful and likeable too. She made me want to live in the world of the book.

What authors have influenced your writing?
When I was starting out, and basically teaching myself to write, I was inspired by a writer called Lisa Jewell. I loved the way she made her characters so real – and the settings for her books. They were so rich it was almost as if the location was a character in its own right. This is definitely something I’ve tried to emulate, especially with the settings for The Moonlight Dreamers and Tell it to the Moon. I really wanted the reader to feel as if they were in London or Paris.

Which Moonlight Dreamer is most similar to you?
I think I’m probably a mash-up of Sky and Maali. I’m a writer and a bit of a hippy like Sky, and a hopeless romantic just like Maali! Writing some of her tongue-tied scenes with Ash was like therapy!

Are any of your characters based on real people?
Not really. It’s more like I take interesting elements of real people and mix them up with some fictional traits to create a unique character.

Will there be more books in The Moonlight Dreamers series?
I hope so. I’d love to do one more. But before that, I have another book coming out with Walker next year called Friends Like Us, which tells the story of music-loving teenage carer, Grace, and talented footballer and Syrian refugee, Hafiz. The refugee crisis is something I feel passionately about, ditto the number of young people who are having to care for members of their family. It felt great writing a book which throws a spotlight on these issues – and celebrates the power of friendship, this time between a teen boy and girl.

If you haven’t read The Moonlight Dreamers and like books about friendship, going after your dreams and diverse families then I recommend picking up a copy.

I’ll be reading the sequel, Tell It to the Moon in August and will be holding a giveaway after I’ve read it. So if you live in New Zealand or Australia and are interested in reading these books then keep an eye out for my review of Tell It to the Moon! 🙂

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday [July 19th 2017] –

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at 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 you’ll read next?

Currently Reading –
DFdGElAXgAIw6N7I started Countless a couple of days ago and I’ve really enjoyed it. This wasn’t on my TBR for July but I didn’t really feel like reading the books I had left so I picked this up.

So the main character, Hedda, has an eating disorder that she calls Nia and finds out she’s pregnant. She plans her meals out for the pregnancy, she wants to put Nia on hold for a few months, have the baby and pick up where she left off…

I wasn’t sure if I’d like this but so far I’ve really enjoyed it. I think I’ll finish it today at some point. DFIjpdmUMAAlNXE

Recently Finished –
I recently read The Moonlight Dreamers. I’ve had a copy of this for a year and only now got around to reading this because the sequel was coming out.

This follows four girls as they set up a club, The Moonlight Dreamers, and go after their dreams. It’s diverse and full of friendship. I wasn’t sure I’d like it but I really did.

I’ll be holding a giveaway for a copy of both The Moonlight Dreamers and the sequel, Tell It to the Moon when I’ve read it. So if you live in New Zealand or Australia keep an eye out 🙂 DE-MiiVU0AA49f5

I also read Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index and I really enjoyed this. I think I mentioned what this was about in my last WWW Wednesday post so I don’t feel like repeating myself.

Anyway, I will be reviewing this soon. I didn’t post any reviews last week because I was having some health issues and decided to take a little break from my blog. I’m still behind on writing my reviews but I’m hoping to catch up over the weekend. DFJ6SYdUMAApaXr

Reading Next –
I went to the library last week and picked up these three books. I don’t know if I’ll be able to read them all as well as my review books but I am going to read The Leaving next. I wanted to read this when it first came out but never got around to getting a copy.

What have you read recently?

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday [July 19th 2017] –

download

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at 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 you’ll read next?

Currently Reading – 10I didn’t read much of this yesterday but I did like what I read. I just don’t think I was in the mood for reading.

Anyway, this follows Juniper as she tries to adjust to life without her sister. She’s been using her Happiness Index, a card system she uses to rate the day, to help. Then one of her cards goes missing, with a secret she doesn’t want anyone finding out.

She also finds a letter her sister, Camilla, wrote on the day of the accident. She never got to give it to the mysterious ‘You’ but Juniper is determined to find out who ‘You’ is and give them the letter.

I like what I’ve read so far. Hopefully I’ll be able to read more today.

Recently Finished – 5
I finished Sea yesterday. I liked it. I don’t really know what age group this is for though…

Anyway, Sea follows Mouse. Her father is missing, her brother is in danger and a mysterious and creepy cold is stealing across the world… Mouse is determined to save her brother and find her father.

This is the first book in The Huntress Trilogy. I think the next book is called Sky. I’m interested to see what’s next for Mouse in the next book. It also had some illustrations. 12

I finished When Dimple met Rishi and it was okay. It’s not the worst book I’ve ever read but I don’t understand all the hype. I found the ending very predictable.

I didn’t want to read it because it was so hyped up. I wanted to read it because it was diverse and own voices. And aside from fantasy books I don’t think I’ve read a contemporary with an arranged marriage.

I’ll be doing a review on this soon. I really wanted to like this so much more.

Reading Next –
I think I’ll be picking up The Moonlight Dreamers next. I’ve had a copy for so long and never got around to reading it. With the sequel coming out soon I really need to pick it up.

What have you read in the last week?

– Aimee.