30 May 2015

Authors On Youtube / Top 3

1. Jackson Pearce
Jackson doesn't post on her youtube channel anymore but back in the day, she was one of my favourite authors to watch. She is just fun and bubbly and her video content is always entertaining.
2. Kiera Cass
You might know Kiera as the author of The Selection but she has had her youtube channel since way before that!


3. You really thought I, Chami, could write a post without mentioning Tahereh Mafi? Well you thought wrong because this channel includes the wonderful Ranson Riggs, the author of Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children and Tahereh Mafi, author of the Shatter Me Series. Yes yes, author couple = life goals. They make hilarious videos that don't really focus too much on writing and books as the above authors do, but they are just as good!

The Classics Club TBR



So I’m finally doing it. I’m actually joining the Classics Club. I’ve actually made lists for this quite a few times in the past but then never posted them until today. For those of you who don’t know what the Classics Club is I’m going to link their Rules/FAQ page here for you to check out.

I’ve picked out 100 classic books to read, I started with the ones I owned and then added a few more that I just haven’t picked up yet. I’m setting my completion date to October 9th, 2016. I picked this date because it’s my birthday, more specifically it’ll be my 21st birthday and I think that it’s a good age to have read more classics. Without further ado, let’s start.
  1. Adams, Richard – Watership Down
  2. Alcott, Louisa May – Little Women
  3. Atwood, Margaret – A Handmaid’s Tale
  4. Atwood, Margaret – Blind Assassin
  5. Austen, Jane – Pride and Prejudice
  6. Braddon, Mary Elizabeth – Lady Audley’s Secret
  7. Bronte, Anne – Agnes Gray
  8. Bronte, Charlotte – Jane Eyre (reread)
  9. Bronte, Charlotte – Villette (reread)
  10. Bronte, Charlotte - Shirley
  11. Bronte, Emily – Wuthering Heights
  12. Burnett, Frances Hodgson – The Secret Garden
  13. Capote, Truman – In Cold Blood
  14. Chandler, Raymond – The Lady in the Lake
  15. Collins, Wilkie – The Woman in White
  16. Dickens, Charles – David Copperfield
  17. Dickens, Charles – The Pickwick Papers
  18. Dostoevsky, Fyodor - Notes from the Underground
  19. Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan – The Complete Sherlock Holmes
  20. Du Maurier, Daphne – Mary Anne
  21. Du Maurier, Daphne – Don’t Look Now and Other Stories
  22. Du Maurier, Daphne – I’ll Never Be Young Again
  23. Du Maurier, Daphne – Rebecca (reread)
  24. Eliot, George – Middlemarch
  25. Fitzgerald, F. Scott – Tender is the Night
  26. Fitzgerald, F. Scott – The Beautiful and Damned
  27. Fitzgerald, F. Scott – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  28. Foer, Jonathon Safran – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  29. Ford, Madox Ford – Parade’s End
  30. Frank, Anne – The Diary of a Young Girl (reread)
  31. Gaskell, Elizabeth – Cranford
  32. Gaskell, Elizabeth – The Life of Charlotte Bronte
  33. Gaskell, Elizabeth – Wives and Daughters
  34. Gibbons, Stella – My American
  35. Hardy, Thomas – Far From the Madding Crowd
  36. Hardy, Thomas – Tess of the D’Urbervilles
  37. Hartley, L.P. – The Go-Between
  38. Heller, Joseph – Catch-22
  39. Hemingway, Ernest – The Essential Hemingway
  40. Hugo, Victor – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  41. Huxley, Aldous – Antic Hay
  42. Huxley, Aldous – Crome Yellow
  43. Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World (reread)
  44. James, Henry – The Golden Bowl
  45. Joyce, James – The Dubliners
  46. Keats, John – The Complete Poems
  47. Kerouac, Jack – On the Road
  48. Lawrence, D.H. – Sons and Lovers
  49. Lee, Harper – To Kill a Mockingbird (reread)
  50. Llewellyn, Richard – How Green Was My Valley
  51. Malory, Sir Thomas – Le Morte d’Arthur
  52. Marshall, Alan – I Can Jump Puddles
  53. Mitchell, Margaret – Gone with the Wind
  54. Mitford, Nancy – The Pursuit of Love
  55. Mitford, Nancy – Love in a Cold Climate
  56. Mitford, Nancy – Madam de Pompadour
  57. Mitford, Jessica – Hons and Rebels
  58. Montgomery, L.M. – Anne of Green Gables
  59. Nabokov, Vladimir – Pale Fire
  60. Nesbit, E – The Railway Children (reread)
  61. Nesbit, E – Five Children and It
  62. Orczy, Baroness Emmuska – The Scarlet Pimpernell
  63. Orwell, George – 1984
  64. Orwell, George – The Road to Wigan Pier
  65. Orwell, George – Down and Out in Paris and London
  66. Plath, Sylvia – The Bell Jar (reread)
  67. Plath, Sylvia – The Journals of Sylvia Plath
  68. Rand, Ayn – Atlas Shrugged
  69. Salinger, J.D. – Franny and Zooey
  70. Shakespeare, William – Hamlet
  71. Shakespeare, William – The Tempest
  72. Shakespeare, William – A Midsummer’s Night Dream
  73. Shelley, Mary – Frankenstein (reread)
  74. Shelley, Mary – The Last Man
  75. Shelley, Mary – Mathilda
  76. Shelley, Mary – Transformation
  77. Shelley, Mary - Valperga: Or, the Life and Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca
  78. Shelley, Mary – The Journals of Mary Shelley
  79. Shelley, Percy – Collected Poems
  80. Smith, Betty – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  81. Smith, Dodie – I Capture the Castle
  82. Stienbeck, John – East of Eden
  83. Stoker, Bram – Dracula
  84. Strachey, Julia – Cheerful Weather for the Wedding
  85. Thomas, Dylan – Collected Works
  86. Tolkien, J.R.R. – The Lord of the Rings
  87. Tolstoy, Leo – Anna Karenina
  88. Tolstoy, Leo – War and Peace
  89. Turner, Ethel Sybil – Seven Little Australians
  90. White, T.H. – The Once and Future King
  91. Wollstonecraft, Mary – Maria, or the Wrongs of a Woman
  92. Woolf, Virginia – Orlando
  93. Woolf, Virginia – Mrs Dalloway
  94. Wyndham, John – The Day of the Triffids
  95. Yeats, W.B. – Collected Poems
  96. Yeats, W.B. – Irish Fairy Tales
  97. Zola, Emile – Germinal
  98. Zola, Emile – Nana
  99. Zola, Emile – The Dream
  100. Zola, Emile – Therese Raquin


So those are my 100 classics to read before my 21st birthday. This list isn’t set in stone, I’m sure I’ll add more to this list and there will be ones I take off in that time but these are the ones I’m currently thinking of. I’ll updating this list as I read the above books and I’ll be posting my thoughts on each book as I finish them.


Are any of you participating in Classics club?


29 May 2015

Writing Resources: The Introduction


I’m one of those writers who loves research, but I’m also a little bit hesitant about writing diversely. Then I realised that there are aspects of my person that are diverse. In some ways, I’m pretty average — I’m a 19 year old female, I’m half-Australian half-British, and a student. In other ways, I’m a little bit different — I have anxiety, I lost my mum to cancer, I’ve been a Type One Diabetic for almost six years and (something I’ve never mentioned here) I have a disability that affects my ability to walk. This isn’t a pity party though, I’m mentioning all this because I want to start sharing my experience of these things with other people, other writers specifically, in the hope that it’ll help somebody.

I know things like this exist on the internet already, but sometimes I think that the websites you find for research can be very informative, even clinical. Sure, that’s great sometimes but I personally think the best kind of writing resources come from real people. The resources I’m going to be writing are going to be that kind — the real kind. I’m not going to tell you the scientific reasons behind Diabetes (not that I even know them), but I’ll tell you how difficult injecting yourself four times a day can be, about Diabetes burnout and other general sucky things.


For the things I’m not confident in I’ll be sharing resources I’ve found on my many travels of the internet. If there’s something you’d like to write about whether you’d prefer to post on your own blog or guest post for us, just shoot me an email and we’ll work something out. Similarly, if there’s something in particular you’d like to see then leave a comment and I’ll do my best to find something to help you out.


28 May 2015

REVIEW: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë



Title: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Author: Anne Brontë
Genre: Classics, Romance.
Publication Date: June 28th 2012 (first published 1848)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 524
Rating: 5/5



'She looked so like herself that I knew not how to bear it'

In this sensational, hard-hitting and passionate tale of marital cruelty, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall sees a mysterious tenant, Helen Graham, unmasked not as a 'wicked woman' as the local gossips would have it, but as the estranged wife of a brutal alcoholic bully, desperate to protect her son.

Using her own experiences with her brother Branwell to depict the cruelty and debauchery from which Helen flees, Anne Bronte wrote her masterpiece to reflect the fragile position of women in society and her belief in universal redemption, but scandalized readers of the time.
 


After reading and absolutely adoring Jane Eyre last year, I made it my mission to read through absolutely everything the Brontë sisters ever wrote.


It took me a while, but I finally managed to tick another one off my list. I tried reading Wuthering Heights a few months ago and I didn’t love it (I still haven’t finished it) so when it came to this one, it really could have gone either way. Luckily, this turned out to be more like Jane Eyre for me.

Firstly, I feel like this one is seriously underrated. When people talk about the Brontë sisters, usually it’s all about Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. This one definitely deserves some more love, and not just from book bloggers or booktubers but I’ve already planned another post to talk about that in length.

I think what gets me the most about this one is that Anne Brontë based Helen Graham’s (our female lead, if you will) story on her own experiences with her brother Branwell. For those of who don’t know, and without spoiling too much, Branwell wasn’t exactly going for Man of the Year. As horrible as it is, it’s probably because of Branwell’s behaviour that this book is so beautiful. You can really feel the rawness in Anne’s writing and Helen’s hatred of her husband.  I don’t know how to put this other than ‘it gave me the feels’.

Let’s talk about another aspect of the writing for a moment. As a Literature student, this book felt like a dream. I absolutely love layered perspectives, stories within stories… however you want to put it. Again, I’ve got a post coming up about this. Anyway, within this we get to hear from both Helen and Gilbert Markham — Gilbert is telling a story (in letter form) to his friend Halford about Helen, and then within that Gilbert also reads a diary that Helen has written. It sounds confusing, but wow, it is well done. Originally, I had sort of wanted the whole novel to be from Helen’s point of view, because that’s just what I’m used to, but as the story went on I realised how terrible the story would have been, if it had been told like that. It would have been boring, there would have been no mysterious element to Helen at all — it would have been terrible, just take my word on this.

Just quickly, I want to talk about a couple of the characters. Warning: this is where I get a little sassy. So there’s a character named Millicent, and I honestly just imagined her as Millicent Nankivell the entire time — I’m not entirely sure this is a compliment, Sorry Millie! Also, there’s Annabella who is honestly the worst kind of person ever. Oh god, I lost count how many times I wanted to slap her. Helen, on the other hand, Head Bitch in Charge…seriously. I absolutely adore her, she’s such a strong character — her life honestly sucks and yeah, sometimes she’s a little naïve but wow. Can we be best friends? #Helly (I had to). I’m not 100% sure about this yet, but I think I might even like Helen more than I liked Jane.

So yes, this may have taken me eleven days to finish but it was totally worth it. If you haven’t already picked this up, especially if you’re a Bronte fan, you should definitely pick this up.


27 May 2015

KISS, MARRY & KILL with US!

Check out your lovely co-bloggers playing a game of Kiss, Marry & Kill!


26 May 2015

Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and you can find more about this meme here. This week, the topic is books I plan to have in my beach bag this summer. 

Firstly, can we talk about the fact that I didn't have to change the season in this topic for once? I will actually be in the same season!! What is this sorcery? But really, how 'summer' is summer in England.

Anyway, I've got quite a few reading plans for my trip so look out for those TBR's coming at you very, very soon and let's go on with this one!


1. The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot
I've never actually read any of these, but I absolutely adored the movies as a child/preteen so I feel like this is a good plan. I'm not sure I'll get through all of them, but I would at least like to read the first three.


2. Sarah Dessen
This might be cheating, but mainly I haven't made up my mind about this one yet. Basically, I want to eventually read every Sarah Dessen book and so far I've read four and my last one was a few years ago. At the moment, I'm tossing up between Lock and Key and Saint Anything being the next one.


3. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
I'll be travelling for the whole summer, which means a lot of...well, travelling. In fact, within the first three weeks — I'll be taking a seven hour train trip and then go camping with family. I feel like if there's ever a time I'm going to get through this, it's then.


4. Confess by Colleen Hoover
The goal is to read this before I leave, because have you seen that cover? (I want to be able to stare at it while I read it) but if that doesn't happen, well then I guess I'll have to read it in England somewhere, won't that be difficult?


5. The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen
I've owned the first book in this series for a good six or seven years now and I feel like it's probably time to read it. I haven't heard the greatest things about this series, so I might not even make it through the first book but if I do end up enjoying it, I'd like to finish the whole series.


6. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
I actually own this whole series and I have for about a year and a half now so I should read it, I think. I also have a few boy cousins under ten, maybe this would be a cool thing to read with/to them?


7. Middlemarch by George Eliot
See reasoning for LoTR. 


8. 99 Days by Katie Cotugno
I've been waiting this one ever since I read an excerpt of it back in like January or something. Besides, it's summer — there is no better time to read Contemporary YA.


9. Cress by Marissa Meyer
Nope, I haven't read this yet. *dodges bullets* I've been putting it off because Winter isn't out yet and I generally like to read books in series when I know the next one will be out within a month or two, but I feel like I've been putting this off for too long. It's time to man up, Ely.


10. Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blackman
YOU CAN BET YOUR SWEET ASS I'M GOING TO READ THIS. *cough* Sorry, I just really adored Prisoner of Night and Fog and I feel like I've been waiting a gazillion years to read this. I just want it my hands.

Remember to check back in a few days if you're interested in seeing the other books I plan on reading while in Europe!



25 May 2015

We Have Instagram!

So, incase you awesome lot did not know, we have instagram!

It would be A M A Z I N G if you could all check it out (and maybe follow if you feel like it ;))! Ely and I have been discussing being more active on different social media and of course, this includes the lovely Instagram!


Hopefully you will enjoy the lovely content that we post. You'll be updated on what we post on the blog, what we receive for review, what we are reading now and a whole lot more!

Click here to check it out.

23 May 2015

Writing Matters Event Meet Up| Reading Matters

This one is for you Australian-Victorian writing nuts out there!

If you didn't know, Writing Matters is happening in Melbourne on the 31 of May, Sunday (and Ely and I are hosting a meet up there!).

"Let your book nerd shine at the Reading Matters Public Day. Come and meet your favourite international and Australian authors, as well as other like-minded YA fans. Discover the writing process behind a range of genre fiction at our author sessions. Relax in the chill-out zone, express your inner geek in our activity space, and – of course – stock up on great books to read and fun merch to wear.

Sessions
11am: Science fiction with Amie Kaufman and Sean Williams
12pm: Pop culture with Clare Atkins and Will Kostakis
2pm: Contemporary fiction with Laurie Halse Anderson and Sara Farizan
3pm: Fantasy with Sally Gardner and Jaclyn Moriarty
All sessions run for 45 minutes. Author signings will take place after each session. Readings will be selling books throughout the event.


Ely and I thought it would be a fabulous idea to do a meet up with any of you who are going to the Reading Matters - (Writing Matters) event. It would be a great time to fangirl over writing and books, make new friends and get to know each other.
Here are the details for anyone who is interested. I hope you all consider it!

Title: Reading Matters: Writing Matters - Public Program
Date: Sunday, 31 May 2015
MeetupTime: 10:00am - 11:00am (Before the event starts)
Location: State Library Victoria (We will confirm a specific place closer to the date)
Web page (if you haven’t booked your tickets or just want to check out the info for this awesome event): http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/…/…/writing-matters-public-program

20 May 2015

A Writing Snippet

So in this post the other day I talked about my current WIPs, and then I was talking to the very lovely Val about my writing and she suggested I share some snippets of my writing here. I sent her this snippet and she liked it, so I thought I'd share it with all of you too.

I'm a little nervous because I've never really shared my writing on here before, and Val was the first person to read any of this novel and just... tell me what you think. I'm going to go hide under some blankets for a while.

It was cold the next time her eyes fluttered open. Colder than it had ever been in the sewers. 

Was she still in the sewers? Her eyes wouldn’t focus long enough for her to work out the answer. 

She couldn’t feel anything either, and there was no noise to signify where she might be. The only sense she had control of was her nose, and it smelt too earthy to the be the sewers. It smelt like dirt, and mud, and grass — not really a confidence inspiring scent.

Wherever she was at least felt better than a sewer, there was something soft underneath her that she appreciated a lot more after weeks of sleeping on concrete. 

Then it hit her. 

No. 

She wasn’t supposed to be here. She tried to move her arms but they were too heavy to lift, the jagged lines of her hand ached painfully. She tried her legs but something held them down. She couldn’t even lift her head to see. She needed to get out. Now, before they came back. 

She tried to turn onto her side, but that only hurt her more. Her ragged breathing wasn’t helping either. Deep down, she knew she needed to calm down — panicking like this wasn’t doing her any favours, but she couldn’t convince herself to stop. 

“What is she doing?” A faraway voice called. It sounded manly — Evan? No. Evan wouldn’t be there after he helped her escape, either he was hidden away himself or he was dead. Somehow the latter was more likely. 

“She’s going into shock,” Another voice replied, an unfamiliar voice. Whoever it was, they were muttering to themselves right by her ear, “Nellie, I need you to stay calm.” There was a flash of blonde hair above her.


“Madalina?” She whispered, though she knew her friend was well and truly dead. The stab of pain that caused her made her want to believe her friend was still alive, just for that element of hope. 


19 May 2015

DNF REVIEW: You're the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by Daniel Herborn


Title: You're the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About
Author: Daniel Herborn
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary.
Publication Date: May 1st 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Rating: 2/5


Tim’s a young singer-songwriter with a guitar case full of songs and dreams of finding an audience to embrace his tunes.  

Mandy’s obsessed with music and a compulsive dreamer. She’s longing for something more fulfilling than daytime TV and cups of tea with best friend Alice, something like the excitement and passion of rock ’n’ roll.

When their eyes meet at a gig, sparks fly across a crowded room and hope burns in their hearts.

But in a city of millions and a scene overrun with wannabes, can they ever get it together? Will Mandy’s nerves doom their romance before it even starts? And where does the darkness in Tim's songs come from?

This is a story of Sydney's Inner West, of first love, crush bands and mix tapes; of the thrill of the night and what happens when the music stops.


Set in the cafes pubs and dives of Sydney's Inner West YOU'RE THE KIND OF GIRL I WRITE SONGS ABOUT is a ballad to that time of your life when you are trying to work out who you are, what it is you want and what will it take to get you there.

You’re the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About was one of my most anticipated releases this year — so what went wrong?

I know the few people that have rated this on Goodreads have given it pretty high rating which is the only reason I made it to page 107 at all. I’m mentioning this book, like with every book, everyone is going to have a different opinion — this is mine. 

Music books are difficult to read in my opinion. Everyone listens to different bands, different albums, different genres and sometimes the music just don’t click for you. This was the case for me with this book. I hadn’t heard of a lot of the music, except for The Smiths (which felt a little too Perks for me) and the few lyrics that were in what I read weren’t my kind of thing at all. I’m not saying the music isn’t good, but I just found it hard to read about what I wasn’t into.

On that note about Perks, I felt like this was trying a little too hard to be like that. Not only with the music, but the writing and just the general feel of it too. It was trying very hard to be that sort of weird, depressing but beautiful thing that, if you ask me, only the Perks movie manages to pull off. I know the reviews I saw really liked the writing, but it just annoyed me. 

So yes, unfortunately this wasn’t my kind of thing.