2014 End of Year Book Survey

Hello hello hello my lovelies! Well, here we are, at the end of another year of work, school, dramas, yummy food, friendships, laughs, tears, and lots and lots of reading! This year has been very hectic and stressful for me, what with school and a few dramas happening at home, but looking back I do feel as though I’ve grown and become a better person and more in tune with who I am. As a final look back at the year that has been, I’ve decided to partake in a survey hosted by Jamie over at Perpetual Page-Turner that will have me look back at my year of reading and blogging. I won’t be filling out the whole survey, as I don’t think blog stats are all that important to talk about, but if any of you also want to fill it out for yourself, the whole survey can be found here.

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

Oooh I read a lot of good books this year, but if I had to pick just one, I’d say it would be The Dying of the Light by Derek Landy. This is the last book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series-one of my most favourite series ever- and as a conclusion, it certainly did not disappoint. It was such an emotional rollercoaster, and I definitely recommend that everyone read the series; it’s absolutely spectacular.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I’d have to say The Stranger by Camilla Lackberg. I picked it up cheap at a newsagent’s (always the first sign), but I thought it would be a more exciting read than it was. I mean, it was an alright mystery for light reading, but I was expecting it to be more exciting than it turned out to be.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

I’m not sure if it counts as a book, but in English this year, we read the Shakespeare play Macbeth. Before now, I’d only read Romeo and Juliet, and the amount of analysis we did on that text made me rather sick of it by the end of the topic. With Macbeth however, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it and continued enjoying it, even with a whole term and a half studying it. There was always something new to discover and I ended up scoring an A on my English exam in which I wrote an essay on the text.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

I pushed a lot of my friends to read The Dying of the Light, and quite a few actually did. Mostly, I just wanted people to cry with me over the beauty that was that book. To put it in perspective, this was like the last Harry Potter book all over again for me, that’s how much I adored this series and how much it hurt me to finish it.

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

I haven’t read many series this year, but I was quite impressed by the series starter and debut novel Starters by Lissa Price. I haven’t read the second book in the series, Enders, yet, but I hope to sometime next year.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

John Green. I know I know, it’s a shocker that I hadn’t read any of his books until now, but he had me at Looking for Alaska.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I don’t typically read romance novels. I’m not really into reading mushy lovey-dovey books- Twilight ruined that for me- but some of the ones I’ve read this year, including Ava Dellaria’s Love Letters to the Dead and Michael Cunningham’s A Home at the End of the World have made me think that maybe it’s not so bad after all.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

It’s a draw between Derek Landy’s short story collection Armageddon Outta Here, and The Dying of the Light. Both were absolutely chock-full of fast-paced action, snappy humour and charming characters.

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I make a point of re-reading the Harry Potter and Skulduggery Pleasant series every year, and next year will be no different.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Valkyrie Cain- Skulduggery Pleasant series. She is just my favourite person ever.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

It’s a tie between Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson and A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham. Both books were just so beautiful to read.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

I’d say Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. It really brought to light a new perspective on anorexia and depression for me.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

John Green’s Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars. WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING WAITING SO LONG I AM AN IDIOT.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

“Yes, just for a moment he loved his crooked neighbors with his crooked heart” – Tim Winton, Eyrie.

Oh, and I have to include this one because it’s bloody hilarious. I was watching this TV show last night, one of my favourites, called Life on Mars and the two main characters, Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt, are always getting down each other’s throats. Every line that comes out of Hunt’s mouth is pure gold, but this line had me in tears I was laughing so hard:

“If I were as worried as you, I wouldn’t fart for fear of shitting myself”– Gene Hunt, Life on Mars.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest: The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau- 258 pages.
Longest: A Song of Ice and Fire- A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin- 852 pages including the appendix and acknowledgements.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace Lancaster- The Fault in Our Stars. I cry for 300 years.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Valkyrie Cain and Skulduggery Pleasant- Skulduggery Pleasant series. These two are my life.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Dying of the Light- Derek Landy. I’ve read the whole Skulduggery Pleasant series several times now since the release of the first book in 2007.

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Starters by Lissa Price. Thank you Katherine ❤ xx

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Augustus Waters. Always Augustus Waters.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

I haven’t read a 2014 debut book from an author, but Lissa Price’s 2012 debut Starters was the best. Eh, it’s close enough ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

George R.R. Martin’s A Feast for Crows. You really feel a part of the world of Westeros, and the different atmospheres of different regions were described exquisitely.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Derek Landy’ Armageddon Outta Here. Even that title man…

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and The Dying of the Light by Derek Landy. What an emotional ride.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Eyrie by Tim Winton. I’m so glad I read that.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

The Fault in Our Stars and The Dying of the Light.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

Starters by Lissa Price. That was pretty rad.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

The Dying of the Light by Derek Landy. stOP ToyING WIth MY EMoTionS GODdamMIT!!!!

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Also, a friend recommended Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas which I have yet to read, so I will hunt it down in the new year.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

I pray to my lucky stars that the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter, will be released.

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I don’t really know of any 2015 debut novels yet. We’ll just see what’s coming!

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

It’s already been released, but I’m going to read the sequel to Lissa Price’s StartersEnders, next year which I’m really looking forward to.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

It’s year 12 for me in 2015, so I’m not going to set myself too many goals. All I’m going to do is try my best to read every day and update my blog consistently. After next year, I can start focussing more on challenges and push myself to do more.

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

I haven’t read any yet, but if anyone else has any they’d like to recommend, I’d love to hear your suggestions!

 

2014 has been a big year and I thank you all so much for being a part of it. I still can’t quite believe that anyone actually reads and likes what I post on my blog, but to all of you who have stuck by me, I can’t tell you how grateful I am! Here’s to another year of wonderful madness!

-Christie 🙂 xx

Guess who’s back…

Hello hello hello! Dearie me, it’s been far too long. I looked back on the last time I posted before the two reviews I recently wrote and realised the last time I posted was the thIRD OF OCTOBER. How bloody embarrassing…

I hate making excuses, but school really took a lot out of me this year. I had lapsed into this near-robotic state of just constantly working and stressing and barely sleeping, and the only thing that kept me going was basically caffeine. Not exactly healthy, I know, but by the last few weeks, I was running on empty. The amount of work I had to do kept me away from reading and blogging, and even when I had a few spare minutes, I couldn’t find the energy to do either. I just wanted to curl up and sleep for 500 years. After exam week, I had Year 12 induction week, so I basically was given introduction lessons to all of my subjects plus my research project and I have six assignments to keep me occupied these holidays. I mean, not like I have anything better to do like, y’know, holidaying hahahahahahahahahahaha *eye twitch*.

But I made it. I’m not dead. I struggled on. I kept going even when my batteries reached 0%. I dragged myself across the finish line gasping for water, a cold flannel and a fan. I gave myself a week of not worrying about work or responsibilities and allowed myself time to sleep and read and be a useless member of society, and now I’m back and I’m gonna be blogging with a vengeance. I have an arsenal of story ideas and an armada of reviews and I’m going to be writing relentlessly. I feel obliged to make up for lost time and lost life and I promise I’ll be trying to redeem myself as best I can.

For those of you who have stuck with me, I thank you with all my heart. It means so much to me that there’s even a possibility that there are some people out there who read all of my rambling nonsense, and even the slightest chance that there are people who read my blog and actually like it is overwhelming. So thank you for your patience as I’ve battled through this storm of a year, fallen over quite a few times, and emerged, bruised and breathless on the other side where you wait with a shake of the head, a Band-Aid and a cup of tea.

You ain’t getting rid of me that easy.

– Christie 🙂 xx

Just an update

Hi guys, I thought I’d just post an update to tell you all that I’m still alive! (barely)

I know I haven’t blogged in forever, and I can’t begin to express how sorry I am about that. I hate having to give excuses, it’s just that I have had so much going on at school at the moment. My life has literally revolved around preparations for my school’s biannual musical (we performed The Wedding Singer and it was fantastic!) and the homework that I am slowly drowning in.

I do have a few reviews lined up, but as of yet, I haven’t been able to finish them, but hopefully I will find the time soon!

Again, I’m sorry I’ve been negligent to post, but to those who have stuck with me during my absence, thank you!

 

-Christie xx 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of art

Image

Hosted by The Daily Post.

The tall ship The One and All was open to the public today in the port, so I decided to have a look around it for a gold coin donation. The ship was beautifully crafted, the figurehead elegant, the wheel a gleaming light against grey skies. But what stood out for me most was this sculpture of a dolphin on the ship’s railing. It was such a beautiful detail that added a magical touch to the ship.

Save Indonesian woman from being caned

Hi guys, I know I haven’t posted in a while, school’s been so hectic for the past few weeks, but I promise I will restart as soon as I can.

Right now though, I’d just like to draw attention to an issue that was discussed in my Journalism class this week; one that myself and the rest of my class has been absolutely shocked and disgusted by.

An 25-year-old Indonesian woman faces up to nine lashes with a wooden cane for committing “adultery” after she was gang-raped by eight men. She was accused of having an affair with a married man, and her home was stormed by a group of men who tied up the man and beat him before repeatedly raping her.

The punishment is in complete violation of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, which the Indonesian government approved of in 1998, but the punishment is still going ahead.

Amnesty International has created a petition that it hopes will appeal to the Indonesian government in regards to the woman’s safety and the violation of this Convention. Their aim is to gain 20,000 signatures to stop this caning from going ahead, and to prevent any future beatings.

This punishment is almost medieval and is a complete violation of human rights. If you could spend just half a minute to submit your name for the petition, you could save this woman and many like her from the injustice that has been placed upon her. It doesn’t cost anything, it is simply to let them know you care.

Sign the petition to prevent this woman’s unjust punishment here: http://www.amnesty.org.au/action/action/34551/

Thank you guys, you are amazing!
-Christie xx 🙂

Top 10 Worst Book Covers

Okay, this is a bit of a procrastination post. I’m meant to be doing holiday homework (which should be illegal, by the way) and of course, I find myself looking up really bad book covers! Well, doesn’t everyone? No? Okay…

Anyway, I found myself thinking (whilst obviously doing Legal Studies homework) about all the different types of books that I have read in my sixteen-almost-seventeen years of life. All of them have had very attractive, well-made, and appealingly-titled covers. I know it’s said that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but come on, you can’t tell me it isn’t one of the first things that draws you in.
I thought it would be entertaining to compile a list of my personal favourite bad book covers and titles. These aren’t in order, nor have I read any of them, I just found their covers hilariously embarassing. Who knows? Maybe they’re really good books with inspiring stories!

But I doubt it…

 


I don’t know which title is better, She’ll Never Get Off the Ground, or The President’s Plane is Missing.

 

 

 


I don’t even have anything clever to say about this one. I just…

 

 


I’ve been staring at this for a whole minute and I still have no idea what is going on…

 

 

 


I’m still deciding whether this is the worst or the best cover ever.

 

 

 


This. THIS. I don’t even know where to begin. WHY IS TARZAN SO CLEAN-CUT WITH PERFECT TEETH AND A HAIRLESS BODY AND A PROFESSIONALLY CRAFTED BOW AND ARROW QUIVER. WHY. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

 

 

 


All I’m getting from this is “my preciousssssss”.

 

 

 


I feel like I need this.

 

 

 


Aaaand there goes my childhood.

 

 

 


Okay I definitely need this one.

 

 

 


Basically me.

 

 

Well, that’s all from me, hope these brighten your day! Got any of your own favourite bad book covers? Let me know in the comments! Have an amazing Easter! xxx 🙂

Writers on Writing

I was having a discussion with my friend the other day about writing. The conversation started with me asking her what she was doing at that point in time and she told me she was leisure writing. “That sounds nice”, I tell her, and she replies with “Not really. It’s so disappointing to read, the absence of my inner Shakespeare depresses me”. It saddened me to hear her speak of her writing that way, seeing as I know for a fact that she is an incredibly detailed and poetic writer. I suppose that I really can’t argue though, I sometimes get nice things said about my writing, but I hardly ever take them to heart because I feel that I am unworthy of them.

But it got me thinking; “surely we can’t be the only ones who think like this?” I feel as though every writer has thought about their writing as incompetent or unimaginitive at some point. I think the reason for this is because it’s our own work.

We have painted a picture in our minds of who is in our stories, where they are set, and how things turn out. We’ve read over them and re-written them so many times we can barely see straight anymore, and we can pick out the flaws and the faults and the things that could be better. It is difficult when you have an image in your head and what you create turns out drastically different, or does not have the flow or rhythm that you imagined it to have.

It can’t just be amateurs like us who become overpowered by the urge to flip a table because nothing’s working out, either. I can just imagine J.K Rowling sitting and staring at her computer screen and going, “this is not what I thought it would sound like at all”. We’re just critical of our own work is all, because we know it could always be better.

This being said though, the reader has a very different point of view. They read your creations, completely unaware of the tears, frustration, and hours of looking up cat videos on YouTube that went into the production. They can’t see into your mind, so they don’t know the difference between the finished product in front of them and your original idea. They see your writing in a new light, with new eyes and are swept away by the words you have spun.

To me, flexibility is key; you must be open-minded and willing to make changes where necessary, and maybe where unnecessary, depending on how your ideas change. For a writer working on a piece that they have created from the depths of their imagination, something that is significant and has meaning, change can be a nightmare. But once you see the bigger picture and the finished product, the changes could be the best decisions you’ve ever made.

Really what I’m trying to say is; If you love writing, do it. Write what you feel and edit it how you want. There are moments when you just want to give the whole damn thing up and go eat ice cream, but I’m telling you right now, don’t do that (well, the giving up part anyway. As for the ice cream, go right ahead!). Keep on at it and you might be surprised by how people respond to it!

Oh, why hello there…

Well, I’m rather new to this whole blogging thing, so I suppose I’d better tell you a little bit about me…

So, here you’ll mostly find me rambling on about a book I’ve read, or a show I’ve watched. I also love the Sherlock, Doctor Who, Supernatural and Harry Potter fandoms, so I’ll probably be blogging a bit about them too. I might also share some of my own creative writing pieces, poetry (maybe), and possibly fan art, so enjoy!

As for me, I’m a daydreaming, music-loving, tea-drinking, Scottish fangirl who dreams of becoming a writer (and meeting Benedict Cumberbatch, of course!)

Well, I think that’s pretty much it… bye for now!