Harry Potter Spells Book Tag

Saturday, 15 July 2017

It's been ages since I've done a book tag post so I'm so glad to have the opportunity to do this one (*especially* since the prompts are Harry Potter themed!). Thanks to the lovely Cass @ Words on Paper for tagging me - I'll be passing it on to any other bloggers who want to participate.

1. Expecto Patronum
A childhood book connected to good memories

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
This was the first 'classic' book I read as a child, and watching the recent Netflix series 'Anne with an E' brought back all those fond memories. 

2. Expelliarmus
A book that took you by surprise

In The Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker

I still think that In the Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker is one of, if not the most original YA novel I've read. It completely surprised me and was nothing like what I had expected...but left me awestruck. 

3. Prior Incantato
The last book you read

A Shadow's Breath by Nicole Hayes
As I said in my review, this book took my breath away - it is split between the then and now surrounding a car accident, and delves deep into the relationships teens have with their families, survival and snatching at a faint glimmer of hope. 

4. Alohamora
A book that introduced you to a genre that you had not considered before

Formaldehyde by Jane Rawson

It's not exactly a genre, but I've been finding a new appreciation for novellas which pack a punch. I discovered Formaldehyde at the library - a tiny book wedged between a couple of bulky hardcovers, and thought I'd give it a chance. Sometimes it's the stories you don't have any expectations for which impress you the most. This clever gem is short and full of wit - don't let the creepy cover put you off!

5. Riddikulus
A funny book you've read

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

Any of the Chuck Palahniuk books I've read (Fight Club, Survivor, Pygmy) would fill this space, but I've decided to go with the one I was introduced to first. His work is bizarre, satirical, and darkly comedic. Half the time you might not know what to think, but I will admit that there are always some phrases thrown in you can't help but have a laugh at. 

6. Sonorus
A book you think everybody should know about

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of the most moving coming-of-age novels I've read. It's a modern classic for good reason, and I'm hoping to revisit it soon.

7. Obliviate
A book or spoiler you would like to forget having read

The Troop by Nick Cutter

Don't get me wrong - Nick Cutter can write...and I did find the last parts of this book very addictive. When it comes down to it though, The Troop was so disturbing it is not something I will every be re-reading again *shudders*. 

8. Imperio
A book you had to read for school

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

I ended up really enjoying most of the prescribed reading we had to do at school, and this was one of those. It definitely made me see the world in a different light, and for that I'l always remember it. 

9. Crucio
A book that was painful to read

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

I've got nothing against existentialism, but this absurdist play was one I just could not get into. I crawled through it, but it just wasn't for me. 

10. Avada Kedavra
A book that could kill

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The Outlander series is pretty hefty, weighing it at almost a thousand pages each...you definitely wouldn't die from boredom with them though. 

11. Accio
A book you'd always like to have with you

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling
Whenever you need some magic to make a dull day better, Harry Potter is always a perfect choice!

Over to you - what do you think of my picks? What books would you have chosen for the prompts?

I tag:

Bec/Alise @ Reader's Wonderland
Zoe @ Zoe Reads
Kelly @ Diva Booknerd

Waiting on Wednesday: Force of Nature

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where the participants tell their readers about an upcoming release they are waiting to read. This week I've picked Force of Nature by Jane Harper.

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side. The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case - and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.

Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.

The Dry was the thriller of the year in 2016, and I have to say - it lived up to the hype. The stakes are high for Jane Harper in this follow-up, but I have no doubt it's going to be on the bestseller lists as soon as it hits the shelves.

Releasing 26th September 2017 from Pan Macmillan

{Blog Tour} Mini Review: If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak

Thursday, 6 July 2017

If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak
Released: 1st July 2017
Published by: Macmillan Children's Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Publisher
Pages: 344
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Linny has been living life in black and white since her sister Grace ran away, and she's scared that Grace might never come back. When Linny witnesses the return to Miami of a cult movie star long presumed dead, she is certain it's a sign. Surely Álvaro Herrera, of all people, can tell her why people come back - and how to bring her sister home?

Sebastian has come to Miami seeking his father, a man whose name he's only just learned. An aspiring astrophysicist, he can tell Linny how many galaxies there are, how much plutonium weighs and how likely she is to be struck by a meteorite. But none of the theories he knows are enough to answer his own questions about why his father abandoned him, and why it left him in pieces.

 As Sebastian and Linny converge around the mystery of Álvaro's disappearance - and return - their planets start to collide. Linny's life is about to become technicolor, but finding the answers to her questions might mean losing everything that matters.
Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

If Birds Fly Back is a sweet and heartfelt YA contemporary romance where two teens who are missing important people in their lives find unexpected support in each other. While it did take a little while for me to warm up to the story and connect to the characters, once I did I could see why this book has been getting so much positive feedback - the characters are authentic and this blossoming summer romance is full of adorable moments. 

The title of this book and its meaning definitely comes into the spotlight within the plot, through continuing symbolism which borders on being poetic while retaining a playful voice through Linny and Sebastian's narration. The writing style reflects how these young people feel about their situations in terms of how they think and speak, but I also liked the inclusion of Linny's budding screenplay based on Grace's disappearance and Sebastian's quotations on 'A Brief Compendium of Astrophysical Curiosities'. It's these quirks and unique interests of the characters which made them seem more realistic. Their relationship as it developed may not have been on a total swoon-worthy level, but it was undeniably cute in the best possible nerdy way.  


In all, If Birds Fly Back is a cute, feel-good story about coming into your own place on life's stage and finding someone to share that with. While there may be some missing pieces in what was meant to be the script, this novel shows that with a fresh outlook and new experiences, there is always hope that the next page will bring better days. 

Waiting on Wednesday: The Grip of It

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where the participants tell their readers about an upcoming release they are waiting to read. This week I've picked The Grip of It by Jac Jemc.

A chilling literary horror novel about a young couple who purchase and live in a haunted house.

Jac Jemc’s The Grip of It tells the eerie story of a young couple haunted by their new home. Julie and James settle into a house in a small town outside the city where they met. The move—prompted by James’s penchant for gambling, his inability to keep his impulses in check—is quick and seamless; both Julie and James are happy to leave behind their usual haunts and start afresh. But this house, which sits between ocean and forest, has plans for the unsuspecting couple. As Julie and James try to settle into their home and their relationship, the house and its surrounding terrain become the locus of increasingly strange happenings.

The architecture—claustrophobic, riddled with hidden rooms within rooms—becomes unrecognizable, decaying before their eyes. Stains are animated on the wall—contracting, expanding—and map themselves onto Julie’s body in the form of bruises; mold spores taint the water that James pours from the sink.

Together the couple embark on a panicked search for the source of their mutual torment, a journey that mires them in the history of their peculiar neighbors and the mysterious residents who lived in the house before Julia and James. Written in creepy, potent prose, The Grip of It is an enthralling, psychologically intense novel that deals in questions of home: how we make it and how it in turn makes us, mapping itself onto bodies and the relationships we cherish.

A psychological novel with a haunted house - now that's a concept which sounds like it has the potential to make a really fascinating read. I stumbled across this book on goodreads when I was looking for short story collections and saw that Jac Jemc's A Different Bed Every Time had received positive reviews. I'm hoping I get to read both of these books soon!

Releasing 1st August 2017 from FSG Originals

#LoveOzYABloggers - High School

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

High School

Whether it was a time where you made your closest friends, became the teacher's favourite and got straight-A's, or floated through the years until you could finally escape and begin adulthood, high school is sure to be a memorable experience for most of us. These examples of Aussie YA present some varied perspectives of the school yard, and how teens have coped with its highs and lows. 

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

It's one of the most prominent and iconic coming-of-age novels on the Aussie YA scene, and for good reason. Looking for Alibrandi is not only a story which covers the ups and downs of high school life in the 'all-important' final year, but an insightful take on relationships and balancing the ideals of your cultural identity with your own values.

The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub

Sarah Ayoub's latest release (see also her first novel Hate is Such a Strong Word) is also set in the tumultuous time of year twelve, where five very different teens are forced to work together to create the yearbook. This book captures both the angst which comes with attempting to find your place in the world, and the unlikely friendships we make along the way.

My Best Friend is a Goddess by Tara Eglington

Tara Eglington always impresses with reads that are both light enough to put a smile on your face, and balanced by an exploration of the real experiences that many teenage girls can identify with. In My Best Friend is a Goddess, friendships are put to the test and social media creates the gossip which impacts the girls' self-esteem and status on the social ladder. Overall it's an adorable read with an important message. 

#LoveOzYABloggers is hosted by #LoveOzYA, a community led organisation dedicated to promoting Australian young adult literature. Keep up to date with all new Aussie YA releases with their monthly newsletter, or find out what’s happening with News and Events, or submit your own!