Friday, January 1, 2016

The best of 2015

Hello my poor neglected blog, I am sorry about last year but life just got crazy. In 2015 I entered my 3rd year of university, my 3rd year living at college, I got to see snow and have a snowball fight, I got an internship which has more than likely landed me a part-time job when I go back to uni in February, I did a course and became a level 1 coach in a particular sport, I was doing this internship on top of my uni workload which got intense in semester two so much so that majority of my degree year choose to do 3 units instead of 4 just so they would get good marks, I finished the uni year with my first ever HD, 2x D and 3x C ending my year with a credit almost distinction GPA, I went to my 2nd uni games and competed all week at the same time finishing off two major assignments and a little bit of partying (when on the Gold Coast), I went to Brisbane for the first time even if it was only for 3 hours I had a lot of fun and got to meet Brett (@BrettMichealOrr), I went to the Cassandra Clare and Holly Black signing in Sydney, went to the Hachette YA night where I got to see Holly Black again, I got to meet Sarah J Maas (aka one of the best things all year), I went to the Harper Collins BTCYA night, I saw Taylor Swift in concert and I got to Ed Sheeran in concert too. Along with all these amazing things I also got to see some pretty awesome sporting games from the Asian Cup to a Big Bash match.

This year is looking pretty great so far I finally get to go on placement for my degree, I'm going to SAE 2016 with Pavan, going on a long weekend holiday and see 5SOS as well in Brisbane in October, I'm going to Thailand some stage this year and I'm going to turn 21. I don't like the whole new year resolution thing but I am planning on doing some of the following things: start the HIIT program that I've had staring at me since before I got my wisdom teeth out when I wanted to start it but couldn't and try to post once a week on my blog since I have a backlog of review books to review and to read.

Some of the awesome books I read in 2015 were:

  • Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman 
  • Shadow Study by Maria V Synder
  • All Fall Down by Ally Carter
  • The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen 
  • Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally 
There was many more fantastic books but these are the ones that have stuck with me!

I hope you all have the 2016 you deserve!

Keely xx

Thursday, December 3, 2015

#AusYASecretSanta Blog Hop

I am so excited to this be participating in the #AusYASecretSanta blog hop! I love secret santa, my cousins and I participate every year because it is way too expensive to buy gifts for each other so secret santa is something that we do! I get a bit crazy with wrapping my secret santa's gift and sometimes lots of boxes, wrapping paper and tape are used, do not cross me!

1. What are your top 5 books this year?
Only 5 really! I'm going to cheat and use authors because many have multiple books I have loved this year.

  • Queen of Shados & A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Queen of the Tearling by Erkia Johansen
  • All Fall Down by Ally Carter
  • Shadow Study by Maria V. Synder
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

2. How did you go with you goodreads challenge?
So my goal of 150 books has been smashed despite the fact I have stopped telling goodreads when I have finished a book (it currently says 140 but it is closer to at least 250-300 books read).

3. How many times did you post a week on average? Do you think you’ll post more/less in the future?
I rarely posted (bad Keely!) but this year uni wise I has been crazy and it looks like it will keep on getting crazier, I hope to improve my posting in 2016.

4. What is your favourite blogging moment/achievement of 2015?
Meeting Sarah J Maas last week and also meeting Cassandra Clare & Holly Black earlier in the year.

5. Did you read mostly review or non-review books this year?
Non-review books, I still read to read most of my review books which I am hoping to do over the summer

6. What are your blogging goals for 2016?
To post more than this year and get back into the swing of things!

7. What books are you looking forward to in 2016?
  • Throne of Glass #5 & A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
  • See How They Run by Ally Carter
  • Night Study by Maria V Sydner
Based on the answers above, have you been a good or naughty blogger this year?
Naughty, I have been a bad blogger but a good reader! So that evens out right?

Leave 3 clues to help your santee guess who you are!
  • You are younger than me (I'm 20)
  • You live in a state that borders mine
  • Your goodreads picture is a picture of you!
#LoveOzYA? Join the Australian YA Bloggers on Goodreads and Facebook to join in the fun!
Follow the Aussie YA Bloggers Secret Santa blog hop to meet other Aussie bloggers!
Keely! xx

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Review Time #85

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

In times where social media basically rules the media, things don't stay secret anymore with people posting photos, tweets or status's anyone can see these things even if everyone else wasn't meant to see them. One night at a party Kate became way too intoxicated and doesn't remember what happened expect that she woke up in her own bed. That night however, while Kate got home safe and sound her classmate Stacey didn't and she was raped. 

This is unfortunately something that has been happening a lot in recent years more and more cases of rape are being reported, while unfortunately there are even more cases that are never reported. During my O-Week in 2013 when I moved into college at uni we had a seminar were spoken to about how to get out of situations like these and what to do if something like this was to ever happen. Earlier this year a friend of mine her drink was spiked while she was at the pub and thankfully everyone who was with her managed to get her back to college safely. 

The closer you look, the more you see.

The following Monday at school Kate sees the fallout of what happened at the party after she left, the students turned on Stacey who was unconscious when everything happened. Kate's friends show her everything that people where writing on twitter following the hashtags that were being used and on instagram. When the next day the students who were a part of what happened to Stacey where arrested for sexual assault and child pornography for filming the assault, Stacey is shamed and blamed for bringing it on the herself. This isn't right.

“Well, I just think it’s awful what that Stallard girl is doing to them. Dragging their good names through the mud."

Kate doesn't know what to believe or what happened because she wasn't there when it happened but it doesn't stop herself from trying to find out what happened that night. Ben has been Kate's friend since they were five and when she kicked him in the head during their first soccer match. While the main theme about this story is what happened to Stacey there still is some romance between Kate and Ben. After 12 years of friendship things change and that is what happened with these two however, Kate can't help but think Ben knows something that happened that night. 

"Kate, I know it's hard to talk about something like this. We don't have to continue if you don't want to."
"Yes... I have to."
"Why do you have to?"
"Because I don't want it to happen again."

What We Saw is based on a real event that happened in a high school in the US and something that should never happen. In writing about this topic Hartzler is allowing the world to see that there will always be someone who cares enough to help you if this ever happens to you and that someone will always believe you no matter what the rest of the student body or town thinks. While you know what happened throughout the entire novel, you keep reading because you want to know what the outcome is. Everyone should pick up this book so that they know this story and that you should always listen to everyone before jumping to a judgement.

Thank you to Harper Collins AU for sending me this ARC!

Rating: 5/5

Keely xx

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review Time #84

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

All I can say is wow. Yep that is basically what I thought of the book. I came home from uni to this book, I read this book instead of doing my lit review that was due in two days (still got a high D, so that turned out all right) and I read it in 24 hours (would of been less but I was too tired from driving home). I absolutely loved it and in typically me behaviour I am writing this review instead of doing my nutrition analysis! 

*Do not read past this book if you a) have never read Throne of Glass which you will now go and read this epic series and b) haven't read up until Heir of Fire which you should do right now and then come back as there may (correction there totally is) spoilers for Heir of Fire and the previous books in here*

This review will be split up into different parts because there are so many story lines going on in this series! Starting with Aelin, and holy hell did you kill some people/things/who-knows-what-that-was! As the cover says 'Her destiny awaits. But first vengeance...' you know right away that shit is going down and well it did. So many intricate plans were execuated during this book and well lets just say that no one put Aelin knew the full plan. So many decisions that Aelin had to make in this book, but you know what they say 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger'.

Rowen. Rowen. Rowen. You will know from my Heir of Fire review that I was shipping these two and well I still am. When he turned up in the book I was jumping up and down! And that is all I am saying, you can read it yourself to find out the rest. 

"You look like-"
"A queen?"
"The fire-breathing bitch-queen those bastards claim you are."

Dorian made me cry in chapter 1. Yep I was crying in chapter 1 and almost all of the chapters from his POV. You know the fall out  from the end of Heir of Fire, well that is why I was upset. And AHHHHHHH! Also the bromance between Choal and him is simply the greatest. Choal, I was hating on you at the start and then you were back in my heart after a while when you stopped being such an ass (which I understand why, but still no need to be an ass). Also I don't know how you were going along with Aelin's plans without actually knowing the full plan! Aedion, gah I felt so bad for you at certain points, but your fighting skills and getting over said problem made me like you even more than before.

Manon I really wasn't a fan of you in Heir of Fire but damn girl in Queen of Shadows I loved you! Manon has no allegiance expect to her 13 and that makes her even more dangerous as you don't know if she will end up fighting with Aelin in future books or against her.

"She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph."

One of many favourite moments of mine is when all the story lines intersect at a point and a few chapters I'm not sure if I was breathing, freaking out and going 'oh my fucking god' the entire time. And the ending, no cliffhanger! But I am still so desperate for the next book it makes no difference.

Sarah J Maas just has a way with words and how she has created the epic fantasy series makes you wish you had the entire series with you. Maas manages to keep you guessing throughout the entire book and makes you believe/think tings have happened which haven't actually happened. I cannot wait for the next book in this series!

Thank you very very very very much Bloomsbury Australia for sending me out a review copy of this book!

Rating: 10/5

Keely xx

Monday, August 31, 2015

August Wrap Up 2015!

Hey everyone, I'm back to blogging again! Wooo! I said earlier in one of my posts that my A Court of Thorns and Roses review was coming well that is still true but I really am struggling to write a review (I really loved it!), also my Queen of Shadows review will be coming out soon. This will probably happen when I am stressing out over my assignment that is due this Friday, my prac exam next Tuesday and also my online test next week. Woo uni...

So this month I got to meet Cassandra Clare and Holly Black which you can read about right here. I talked about my top Aussie TBR which you can find here and I even wrote a review about Trouble from the Start which is found here! This month I have a lot of uni work to do and I am going to uni games but I think I might manage to do a couple of reviews and posts because there are some good books sitting on my TBR!

Also I made an instagram account for my blog... basically so I can do book tags and not piss off all my friends it is @myspinonbooks 

Review books:

  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
  • Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer
  • In The Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker
Thank you very much Bloomsbury AU, Penguin Teen Au and Allen & Unwin!

Event books:
  • Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher
  • Running Like China by Sophie Hardcastle
  • This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
  • Pompidou Posse by Sarah Lotz
Thank you very much Hachette AU for the Date A Book YA night!

Swapped books:
  • Searching for Somebody by Jennifer Probst 
  • Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
  • Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton
Thank you very much to Jaz (@pixelski) and Jeann (@happyindulgence) for these books!

Bought books:
  • The Queen of the Tearling and The Invasion of the Tearling by Erkia Johansen
  • Mai Tai'd Up by Alice Clayton
  • Wildlife by Fiona Wood
  • Ophelia by Jackie French 
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
So that is it for my wrap up! Make sure you comment below with what you got this month/week so I can check it out!


Friday, August 28, 2015

Review Time #83

Trouble From The Start by Rachel Hawthorne

Avery knows better than to fall for Fletcher, the local bad boy who can’t seem to outrun his reputation. Fletcher knows he shouldn’t bother with college-bound, daughter-of-a-cop Avery. But when their paths cross, neither can deny the spark. Are they willing to go against everything and let their hearts lead the way? Or are they just flirting with disaster? 

Trouble from the Start releases simultaneously with companion novel The Boyfriend Project. These heartwarming paperback originals are the perfect summer reads, great for fans of Jennifer Echols, Lauren Barnholdt, and Susane Colasanti.

Trouble from the start,  is a companion novel to The boyfriend project (which I haven't read) and it follows Avery, the classic good girl, and Fletcher, the classic bad boy. 

Avery's father is a cop and every summer he fosters an at-risk kid or in this summers case; Fletcher. After a party the previous night where Avery drank a bit too much because she realised that all throughout high school she didn't really do what everyone else did, the occasional party and a boyfriend wasn't on her list of priorities. Getting a ride home on the back of Fletcher's bike wasn't something that she would normally do (also why let a drunk girl on the back of a bike?) and it may of totally ruined her reputation at school (honestly who cares about this you have a week of school left and will never see most of these people again!?!?!).

Turns out Fletcher isn't all that bad and makes sure everyone knows what really happened that night. After an incident which Avery handles (because she is kinda badass and her dad is also a cop) Fletcher (who was on his way to help out) kind of ends up hanging out with Avery, Kendall and Jeremy.

As summer goes on so does the flirting between Avery and Fletcher until they finally give in, it's cute. The relationship between these two is cute and fun just like a first love should be. I enjoyed that they were friends at first and there was no insta-love because 9/10 that doesn't happen!

The ending was a bit fast paced with a few loose ends coming together and working out what they each want to now that summer is over with colleges which is what every person who finishes high school is like! I really enjoyed the story while it was slightly predicable and eye-rolling at places it was an enjoyable contemporary novel and those who love Jennifer Echols and Kasie West like me will really enjoy it!

Thank you very much for Harper Collins for sending this copy my way!
You can buy Trouble from the start from bookworld, booktopia, dymocks, amazon!

Rating: 4/5


Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Top Aussie Books TBR

Hey everyone, with the recent #LoveOzYA movement on twitter I thought that I would share some Aussie books that are on my TBR since I have previously done this post about what Aussie books I recommend.

1. Ophelia by Jackie French
Okay I bought this in Sydney on the weekend and I cannot wait to start it! I loved Jackie French in high school and this book is an adaption of Shakespeare's Hamlet which I had to read for my HSC and I bloody loved (okay I really love Shakespeare, okay?) 

2. One True Thing by Nicole Hayes
I have started this one, but I got sick and then had to catch up on so much uni work that I haven't gotten back to it yet, but I will soon!

3. Cloudwish by Fiona Wood
I loved, loved, loved Wildlife by Fiona Wood and I cannot wait until September 1st when Cloudwish is published!

4. Risk by Fleur Ferris
This book is such an intriguing looking thriller, I am a sucker for a thriller book especially Aussie thrillers are reading Tara Moss's books.

5. Pretend... by Stacey Nash
I love Stacy Nash's Oxley College series (see Ssh! and Wait!) yes this could be because I live where this series is set but I also love Aussie NA and being able to relate to it so much makes me love it even more.

6. Every series by Ellie Marney
Sherlock Holmes. Enough said. Well Watts & Mycroft that is. 

7. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I love These Broken Stars and when I heard that Kaufman had a new series out with another Aussie author I got really excited! 

8. Running Like China by Sophie Hardcastle
Usually I am not one for memoirs but after hearing Sophie speak about her troubles with mental illness on Monday night I cannot help but look forward to reading about her story and struggles that she has had. 

So that is it for my Aussie TBR be sure to comment below some more fantastic Aussie books for me to read!!

Keely xx