Saturday, 17 February 2018

Prompt #38: A book with an ugly cover (2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge)

whiskey words & a shovel by r.h. Sin


I wanted to read a book on my TBR list. I looked at all of the books on my shelf and on my Goodreads TBR list, and this is the closest book I could find with an 'ugly' cover.

At first, I was a little confused at what the picture on the front cover was supposed to be. I soon figured out the picture is of a compass. I don't think the font is spaced out evenly.

I really wanted to read this book and this is the closest prompt I could find.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

whiskey words & a shovel by r.h. Sin (Book Review)

Rating: 3 stars

whiskey words & a shovel I by r.h. Sin is a collection of free verse poetry. 

It’s a revised edition of the original collection, which was published in 2015. This edition contains revised poems, an added foreword, and more poems. 

The poems centre on Sin’s past relationship troubles, and his present relationship with Samantha, his muse, who has helped him find happiness. 

The poems vary in length, some extremely short, and some a little longer. They’re straight to the point and written in a simple manner, easy to understand. 

Some of the poems are about the author’s heartache, which may finally bring peace to readers who have experienced similar suffering. Others are optimistic and inspiring, encouraging readers to love themselves.

This is the first book in his whiskey words & a shovel poetry trilogy.

I'm conflicted about my overall feelings of this book, since there were some really good poems, and there were some really cliche poems. 

I found some of the poems really relatable, and loved how they were expressed in a clear and honest manner. I liked how a number of inspirational poems were included among the heartache.

I didn’t like how some of the poems were a bit repetitive, and blatantly cliche. 

The poems were easy to read, since they were straight-to-the point and written in a simplistic manner.

Recommended for: anyone who's 14 years and older, and is a beginning poetry reader, or anyone who wants to read straightforward poetry. 

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Have Been on My TBR List The Longest

I'm participating in my first Top Ten Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. This week’s topic is Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read. 

  1. Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins 
I picked this book up at my school library a few years ago because it was a YA contemporary romance novel set in Paris (all things I love, especially Paris). I started reading it and I was really enjoying it. I got distracted and I had to return it to my school library. I've heard amazing things about this book (and the other books in the series) on Booktube. I don’t know why I haven’t picked it up again.

  1. Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver
This book is a really popular YA book so I added it to my TBR a few years ago. The release of the movie prompted me to pick it up. I started reading it, got distracted by uni work and then I had to return it to the library. I need to get around to reading it so I can watch the movie. 

  1. Room - Emma Donoghue 
I've heard good things about this book and I think it’s interesting how it’s told in the point of view of a five year old child. The movie was released not long ago so I thought it would prompt me to read it, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. 

  1. Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty 
I've heard really good things about this book, and I like how it’s set in Australia. I bought a copy and got it signed by Liane Moriarty at the Melbourne Writers Festival. I thought the recent release of the TV series would prompt me to read the book, but for some reason I still haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. 

  1. Dancing in the Dark - Robyn Bavati
I borrowed this book from my school library, I started reading it and was really enjoying it. I got distracted and I had to take it back to the library. I bought it at a secondhand bookshop, and I find ballet really interesting, so I don’t know why I haven’t picked it up again.


  1. Tiger Lily - Jodi Lynn Anderson
I found the concept of this book really interesting, it's a dark retelling of Peter Pan in Tiger Lily’s point of view. I borrowed it from the library, along with a heap of other books. I got distracted with school work and reading other books and I had to return it. I don’t know why I haven’t borrowed it again. 

  1. What Happens Next - Colleen Clayton
I saw this book on Goodreads ages ago and I was attracted to it because of its gorgeous cover. Then I read the plot and knew I had to add it to my TBR list. It's so far down on my list I'd forgotten about it until I made this post.
  1. The Shining Girls - Lauren Beukes
I started reading this book a few years ago, I think it was sometime in 2014. I read a fair chunk of it, but I got distracted and I haven’t gone back to it. It’s still listed as ‘Currently reading’ on Goodreads. I think I'm embarrassed to go back to it because it’s been so long. I listed it on my 2018 POPSUGAR reading challenge TBR, so this will be the year (hopefully)! 

  1. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern 
This is another book I’ve heard a lot of hype about on Booktube. The circus aspect sounds so interesting. I think I’m afraid of reading it and thinking it doesn’t live up to the hype.

  1. Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson 
I watched this movie numerous times as a child and I loved it. I don’t know why I never got around to reading it, especially when my sister owns the book. 


Wednesday, 31 January 2018

What Are You Reading Wednesday

Today I'm participating in my first blogging meme. It's called What Are You Reading Wednesday and it was created by Marissa, Rhianna and KendallI discovered it on Marissa's blog here

Book bloggers share the book/s they're currently reading and answer five questions about it. 

The book I've been reading over the past week is:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli


  1. Why did you decide to pick up this book - cover or content?
I picked this book up for its content. I watched the movie trailer a little while ago and I loved it. I love coming of age stories with teen angst. I knew I had to read the book before I saw the movie. Below is the movie trailer:

  1. Who is your favourite character so far, and why?
I really like Simon, the main character. His voice is the perfect combination of humour, angst, naivety and heartache. 

I also really like Simon’s family and his group of friends. 

  1. Will you finish this one?
Yes. I actually finished reading it today and I LOVED it. I’ll be posting a review within the next few weeks. 

  1. Finish the sentence: This book reminds me of … (other books, movies, TV shows…) 
The movie G.B.F. G.B.F is about a gay teenager who wants to out himself in order to become the new ‘gay best friend’ of the popular clique. However, his best friend is forced to come out of the closet, much to both of their disdain. Below is the trailer.

  1. What type of read is this one? (Slow but interesting, cannot put it down…)
I read it at a slow pace, because I kept getting inspired to go off and continue working on my novel. When I really like a book, I don’t want it to end because it’s such a good book. I finally got around to finishing it because I wanted to find out how it ended. 

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Prompt #20: A book by a local author (2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge)

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey


I started reading this book at the end of December last year, so technically it might not count. However, I finished reading it this year so I'm making it count.

I looked through the whole list trying to find a prompt the book would fit under. I researched Sarah Bailey and found out she lives in Melbourne, which is where I reside when I'm studying at uni.

I posted a book review of the book, which can be found here.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey (Book Review)

Rating: 4 stars

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey is a character driven crime thriller novel set in a rural Australian town. 

When the body of Rosalind Ryan, a beautiful young teacher at the local high school, is discovered in the local lake, it’s ruled as a homicide. 

Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock pushes to be one of the lead detectives on the case, as she has a strong connection to Rosalind. They used to be classmates in high school years ago. 

Rosalind was beautiful, popular and enigmatic in high school, and that’s how she remains today.

Set in the small country town of Smithson, NSW, during one summer. The thick harsh summer heat and Rosalind’s death has everyone on edge, making their secrets more vulnerable to being discovered.  

As Gemma digs deeper into Rosalind’s past, she finds that she has to resurface secrets from her own past. She has a hard time trying to keep her work and private life separate, but they slowly become more entwined, making her begin to unravel. 

Everyone may have admired Rosalind, but did anyone ever really know her?

The novel is told mostly in Gemma’s first person point of view, incorporating third person point of view of other characters.

I liked how the novel was character driven, and how all of the characters were well developed. 

I liked Gemma, and her obsession with the case. She was a complex character who was flawed and realistic. The novel alluded to a stronger connection between Gemma and Rosalind, so I would have liked to have seen that. 

The characters were all equally suspicious. Any one of them could have been the murderer. Near the second half of the novel, I thought I had figured out who murdered Rosalind, but I liked how Bailey managed to surprise me right at the end.

I thought the multiple points of view, mixed in with the flashbacks, worked well and were easy to follow.

I really liked the depiction of the hot Australian summer. I thought it was relatable and well written. Bailey is a superb writer for a debut novelist.

Recommended for anyone who’s 16 years and older, and wants to read a character driven crime thriller.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

The POPSUGAR reading challenge is all about broadening your reading horizons. It's made up of 40 book prompts and 10 advanced book prompts. The 2018 challenge can be found here.

I wanted to do the challenge last year, so I made a list of the books I could read for each prompt. However, uni work got in the way, and reading for enjoyment fell to the bottom of my priority list.

This year, I aim to do the challenge. I think it's an excellent way to tackle some of the books on my TBR, read books I own but I've never gotten around to reading, and to broaden my reading horizons. I aim to make reading for enjoyment a priority, and to document my progress on my blog.

Here's the list of the books I aim to read (but this might change slightly if I find other books I prefer instead):

  1. A book made into a movie you've already seen - Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
  2. True crime - Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
  3. The next book in a series you've started - Follow Me (The Amateurs #2) by Sara Shepard
  4. A book involving a heist - The Strange History of Bonnie and Clyde by John Treherne 
  5. Nordic noir - The Ice Princess (Fjallbacka #1) by Camilla Lackberg 
  6. A novel based on a real person - Still She Haunts Me by Katie Roiphe 
  7. A book set in a country that fascinates you - Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins 
  8. A book with a time of day in the title - The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 
  9. A book about a villain or antihero - Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
  10. A book about death or grief - The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold 
  11. A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym - The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith 
  12. A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist - Simon vs. the Homo sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  13. A book that is also a stage play or musical - The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike
  14. A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you - The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami 
  15. A book about feminism - #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso 
  16. A book about mental health - Made You Up by Francesa Zappia 
  17. A book you borrowed to that was given to you as a gift - The Amateurs by Sara Shepard
  18. A book by two authors - Halfway Perfect by Julie Cross and Mark Perini 
  19. A book about or involving a sport - Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
  20. A book by a local author - Cloudwish by Fiona Wood 
  21. A book with your favourite colour in the title - Cry Blue Murder by Kim Kane and Marion Roberts
  22. A book with alliteration in the title - Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
  23. A book about time travel - The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes 
  24. A book with a weather element in the title - Storm and Grace by Kathryn Heyman 
  25. A book set at sea - Coral and Bone by Tiffany Daune 
  26. A book with an animal in the title - Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  27. A book set on a different planet - These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner
  28. A book with song lyrics in the title - Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  29. A book about or set on Halloween - Hallowe'en Party (Hercule Poirot #39) by Agatha Christie 
  30. A book with characters who are twins - Ali's Pretty Little Lies (Pretty little Liars #0.5) by Sara Shepard 
  31. A book mentioned in another book - Ghost World by Daniel Clowes 
  32. A book from a celebrity book club - Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  33. A childhood classic you've never read - Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson 
  34. A book published in 2018 - Untitled (The Amateurs #3) by Sara Shepard
  35. A Goodreads Choice Awards winner - Room by Emma Donoghue 
  36. A book set in the decade you were born - Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell 
  37. A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn't get to - The Way Back by Kylie Ladd
  38. A book with an ugly cover - Whiskey Words and a Shovel Volume I by R.H. Sin
  39. A book that involves a bookstore or a library - By Your Side by Kasie West 
  40. Your favourite prompt from the 2015, 2016, or 2017 Reading Challenges - Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin (from the 2016 prompt - A book recommended by someone you just met)

  1. A bestseller from the year you graduated high school - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  2. A cyberpunk book - Moxyland by Lauren Beukes 
  3. A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place - Killing Monica by Candace Bushnell  
  4. A book tied to your ancestry - The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks 
  5. A book with a vegetable in the title - Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index - Julie Israel 
  6. An allegory - The Bees by Laline Paull
  7. A book by an author with the same first or last name as you - Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1) - Julie Cross 
  8. A microhistory - The Fall by Amy Dale 
  9. A book about a problem facing society today - The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood 
  10. A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge - The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel