It ended in 2016: Half Bad (series review)

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HalfBadTrilogy

Author: Sally Green

First book published: 2014

Synopsis (book 1):

Wanted by no one.

Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

The Short Version

To sum up this book series in two gifs:

 Hades1

Hades2

But this series is still amazing, and you should ALL read it.

The long version may contain spoilers for the entire series. You have been warned.

The Long Version

There are no words to describe my love of this series.

But I’m going to try.

Book 1: Half Bad

When I first read this book, it completely blew me away.

Like, completely.

Whoa

The second person POV at the beginning was brilliant, and the story itself was wonderful…in a horrible way.

The highlight was definitely the characters. Nathan was just so broken and angry, and most of the other characters were just so awful. And it was all presented just so well.

Absolutely loved it.

Book 2: Half Wild

After reading Half Bad, I hadn’t thought the series could get better.

I was wrong. It did.

Half Wild picks up where Half Bad left off…Nathan alone and thinking Gabriel is probably dead.

Nathan is also having to adjust to the fact that every now and then he turns a somewhat vicious animal.

Just like the first book, the characters were brilliantly portrayed in this book.

AND I JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!

ouat-my-feels

Book 3: Half Lost

This book in one gif:

zevSZM

That is all.

Conclusion

An amazing series by amazing author.

Seriously, guys, you need this series in your life.

YA Squad Review: The Things I Didn’t Say

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Author: Kylie Fornasier

Series: None

Rating: 5 stars

Genre: Contemporary

Synopsis: I hate the label Selective Mutism – as if I choose not to speak, like a child who refuses to eat broccoli. I’ve used up every dandelion wish since I was ten wishing for the power to speak whenever I want to. I’m starting to wonder if there are enough dandelions.

After losing her best friend that night, Piper Rhodes changes schools, determined that her final year will be different. She will be different. Then she meets West: school captain, star soccer player, the boy everyone talks about. Despite her fear of losing everything all over again, Piper falls in love – and West with her – without Piper ever speaking one word to him. But will it last?

How I got this book: Bought

Release Date: May 2, 2016

The Short Version:

This was beautiful and amazing.

WHY is this author not more popular?

Continue reading

It ended in 2016: The Raven Boys (series review)

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TheRavenCycle

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

First book published: 2012

Synopsis (book 1): ‘There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,’ Neeve said. ‘Either you’re his true love…or you killed him.’

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them — not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all — family money, good looks, devoted friends — but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

The Short Version

WOW.

Just WOW.

The long version may contain spoilers for the entire series. You have been warned.

The Long Version

Everything about this series is just so amazing. Every time I read it, I love it more.

Seriously, there are no words.

Book 1: The Raven Boys

I remember first reading this book. Well, listening, since it was on audio (the audio books for this series are great, guys, I would definitely recommend them).

So, the story starts with Blue seeing the spirit of Gansey, which means that at some point in the book we are going to meet a person called Gansey and at some point in the series this person is going to die.

Which was fine…until Gansey actually showed up.

princess bride ultimate suffering gif

Book 2: The Dream Thieves

I have to admit, the first time I read this I wasn’t the biggest fan of this particular book in the series.

But as I said earlier, the more times I read these books the more I love them.

This book was mostly dramatic car racing and Adam being weird after the whole Cabeswater thing. And of course, ends with Maura disappearing.

Book 3: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

This book is probably my favourite of the series.

I don’t even know why, I JUST LOVE THESE BOOKS SO MUCH!

And the whole book I was just

DontKnow

Book 4: The Raven King

The build up to this book can be literally summed up in one tweet:

The Raven King was definitely the most intense of the four books. With book 1 being more of an exciting magical adventure, book 2 being all weird with car racing and dreaming, and book 3 was just full of shippy feels, but book 4 was INTENSE.

After waking the demon in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Piper Greenmantle is basically ruining everything, and people are dying and time is going wibbly and we know it’s only a matter of time before Gansey dies…

And then it was over.

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Conclusion

An amazing series by amazing author, I will throw this series at everyone I meet.

Potterhead July: Book Moments that Should Have Been in the Movies

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So, for Potterhead July, I (finally) decided on a topic: Harry Potter book moments that should have been in the movies.

Book 1: Peeves

I know this is supposed to be about book moments that should have been included in the movies, but the majority of book 1 actually did make it into the movie.

But Peeves, PEEVES, did not make it in…and every scene with him is just so great that I just really wish he’d been included.

HP1 Peeves

Book 2: Lockhart

In the movie, they just get the recipe for the Polyjuice Potion from a book in the library…in the book, they need a book from the restricted section.

And they need a teacher to sign the note.

HP2 Lockhart

Book 3: Sir Cadogan and McGonagall

Ok, the original plan was to just choose one moment from each book, but I needed to…

The movies included the Fat Lady being attacked by Sirius Black, but not the part where she got replaced by a crazy knight who changed the password at least twice a day.

HP3 Cadogan

And another thing they didn’t include was McGonagall’s reaction to Trelawney’s prediction of Harry’s death.

HP3 McGonagall

Book 4: Preparing for the Maze

This is where it starts to get tough, because there is SO MUCH that got left out: The Dursleys meeting the Weasleys, Percy’s cauldron bottom reports, Dennis Creevey…but the one I chose was where Ron and Hermione helped Harry practice for the third task; particularly his learning to use a stunning spell.

HP4 Maze

Book 5: St. Mungo’s Hospital

Again, lots of possibilities, but this choice was actually pretty easy. Every scene at St Mungo’s was completely cut out of the movie, which was such a shame since it featured various moments such as: Arthur getting stitches, Professor Lockhart, and Neville’s parents.

HP5 Stitches

HP5 Lockhart

Book 6: Dumbledore at the Dursleys

Another book with a lot of possibilities, but yet again an easy choice. Even though book 6 features such great moments, like: The Muggle Prime Minister talking with Fudge/Scrimgeour, Harry and Ginny (movie did NOT do that justice), and Scrimgeour visiting Harry at Christmas. Oh, and let’s not forget the reappearance of Fleur Delacour.

However, if I could have any one thing changed about the 6th movie, Dumbledore would have visited the Dursleys, because that was just gold.

HP6 Dumbledore1

HP6 Dumbledore2

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Book 7: Percy and the Evacuation of the Students

Again, two choices because how could I not.

Obviously, none of the previous movies had placed any emphasis on the estrangement of Percy from his family, so his return during the battle of Hogwarts was also subtle. In the books, however…

HP7 Percy1

HP7 Percy2

And then there’s the fact that they got the students out of harms way before the battle started. And the fact that Harry blatantly refused to hold the Slytherins hostage.

HP7 Evacuation

Review: And I Darken

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Author: Kiersten White

Series: Conqueror’s Saga (book 1)

Rating: 5 stars

Genre: Historical

Synopsis: No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.

Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.

Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.

The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she’ll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive.

How I got this book: Bought it

Release Date: June 28, 2016

The Short Version:

SO FREAKING GOOD!!

Like, seriously, SO GOOD!!!

WARNING: The long version may contain minor spoilers.

Continue reading

May and June Wrap Up

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Ok, so June went by so fast that it was over before I realised I hadn’t yet done my May wrap up…

So today we’re going to have two wrap ups in one!

General Happenings

So, I realised that half my books didn’t fit properly on my bookshelf…

BookshelfRearrange2016 (01)

So, I decided that a complete bookshelf rearrangement was in order.

And this was the result:

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BookshelfRearrange2016 (03)

I hit 300 Instagram Followers

300Followers

YAY!

There was a lot of rain in Sydney

FloodPicJune2016

This was our backyard at around 9pm. We had to spend about an hour getting the sheep out of the paddock and into the backyard (which is higher ground). Our house is at the top of a rather decent sized hill, so we were fine.

Bookish Info

Books Read:

BooksReadMayJune2016

The Hidden Oracle, by Rick Riordan
Atlantia, by Ally Condie
Half Bad, by Sally Green
Half Wild, by Sally Green
Half Lost, by Sally Green
This is Where the World Ends, by Amy Zhang
A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J Maas
And I Darken, by Kiersten White

Books Bought:

BooksBoughtMayJune2016

The Hidden Oracle, by Rick Riordan
A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J Maas
Let the Wind Rise, by Shannon Messenger
And I Darken, by Kiersten White
United as One, by Pittacus Lore

Books Received for Review:

ARCHaulJune2016

The Book of Pearl, by Timothée de Fombelle
Girl Out of Water, by Nat Luurtsema

(Both from Walker books Australia)

Books from TeenCon:

TeenConHaul2016

Inbetween Days, by Vikki Wakefield
The Next Together, by Lauren James
Since You’ve Been Gone, Morgan Matson
Confused, Wanda Wiltshire
Raelia, Lynette Noni
Zeroes, by Scott Westerfield, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti
The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon

TTT: Books I picked up on a whim

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TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a thing where we get given a topic, and we have to list our ‘top ten’ things for the topic. Pretty self-explanatory.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This Week’s Topic: Top Ten Six Books I Picked Up on a Whim

AllOurYesterdays1. All Our Yesterdays, by Cristin Terrill
Saw this in the bookstore, picked it up, began reading the first page to see if it was any good.
4 chapters and a massive headache because TIME TRAVEL later I found myself buying the book.

 2. Dangerous Girls, by Abigail Haas
A similar situation here to All Our Yesterdays. I began reading it in the bookstore and decided I needed it.

3. Storm, by Brigid KemmererStorm
The (Aus) cover was pretty. What was I supposed to do? Not buy it?

4. In The Skin of a Monster, by Kathryn Barker
I saw this in the bookstore and everything about it appealed to me…the cover, the title, the whole dreamscape concept. I regret nothing.

5. Half Bad, by Sally Green
Half BadThis one had a lot more deliberation attached to it. I almost bought it several times after reading the first chapter in the store…in the end, I got a free copy at PTALive.

6. Hex Hall, by Rachel Hawkins
My history with obtaining this book is a long and somewhat complicated one. I’ll tell you all about it some time.


 Which books made your list?

April Wrap Up: Being social, Allegiant movie and RAVEN KING

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WOW April was an exciting month.

First of all, I was so busy that I didn’t get around to posting my March wrap-up until the 18th. That was awkward.

So, of course, to ensure that didn’t happen again, I wrote this post two weeks ago, and then added to it as things happened.

Of course this post is STILL late…because I needed time to take pictures and upload them and that takes time that I do not have, but never mind.

April was the month of me being social apparently

There was a week in April when I hung out with people and didn’t get home until late three times. THREE. In ONE week.

But I got to hang out with people that I don’t get to see very often, so that was awesome.

I hung out with people I met at NextGen

As I mentioned in my January wrap up, I went to a Christian Leadership conference-thingy called NextGen, where they give us heaps of awesome advice on running a youth group.

Anyways, while there, I made friends! And we kept in touch, and decided we should organize meet-ups so that we can still see each other. It was awesome.

My friend got married

When I was in primary school (kindergarten – year 6, for those who are unfamiliar with the Aussie schooling system), I had two best friends. One of them moved away as we started high school.

Anyway, one of those friends got married last August, and the other one (the one who moved away so I rarely get to see anymore) FINALLY got married a few weeks ago (they’d been engaged for almost 3 years).

So that was exciting.

WE GOT A PUPPY

His name is Percy. He is adorable.

Percy Apr 16

I helped run a Circus-themed holiday club

Once a year, my church runs a holiday club for primary-school kids. Usually, this runs in the Easter holidays.

The plan is simple: we spend the Monday setting up, Tuesday-Thursday is the actual thing, and then Friday is packing up.

It. Is. Exhausting.

We had over 50 kids for all three days. I was in charge of teaching circus skills.

Basically, this means that I spent three days teaching kids in groups of 20 how to juggle. (We did other things, too: ‘tightrope’ walking, hula-hooping, limbo…but juggling was their favourite).

By the end of the week, I was literally fit for nothing but curling up in my bed and binging TV shows.

Speaking of which…

CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT HOW AMAZING THE ELEMENTARY TV SHOW IS?

Elementary is a Sherlock Holmes-inspired show in which Sherlock is a recovering drug-addict living in America. Joan Watson starts off as his Sober Companion, but stays on to learn about detective work.

Anyway, this show is approaching the end of season 4, and I swear IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER!

Like, seriously, I’m dying here. This show’s awesomeness has killed me.

I saw Allegiant

Thanks to Kinokuniya, I got to go see Allegiant two weeks before it came out.

You can read my thoughts about the movie here.

Basically, it was made more enjoyable by the people I was with.

THE RAVEN KING IS HERE! IT EXISTS!

I HAVE READ IT AND IT WAS PERFECTION! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CONTINUE WITH MY LIFE??

Also, my sister made me this AWESOME dress!

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It took me about 11 hours to read (it’s the sort of book I like to take my time reading) which means I finished it about 8:30am the morning after I got it.

And I would like to thank The Book Depository and the post office people for getting the book to me THE DAY it came out. If it had come any later, I would have had to wait another week to read it (I was determined to read it in one sitting).

Bookish Info

Books Bought:

Books Bought Apr 16b

This is Where the World Ends, by Amy Zhang
Half Lost, by Sally Green
Lady Renegades, by Rachel Hawkins
The Raven King, by Maggie Stiefvater

Books Read:

Books Read Apr 16

Falling Kingdoms, by Morgan Rhodes
Blue Lily, Lily Blue, by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven King, by Maggie Stiefvater

So, only three books this month, but I didn’t want to get into anything else before Raven King, and I’m still in post-Raven King book-hangover mode.


And that’s that. How was your April?

The Get To Know You Tag

I was tagged by Maddie from PasoMaddie for the Get to Know You tag. This should be fun.

Vital Stats

Name: Cassie the Weird
Nicknames: Cass, Mrs Fish, Miss Sparkles
Birthday: Feb 15
Star Sign: Aquarius
Occupation: Maths tutor, at uni to become a maths teacher

Appearance

Hair Colour: Red
Hair Length: Gloriously Long
Eye Colour: Last I checked? Blue
Best Feature: Have you seen my hair?
Braces: Once upon a time, yes. No longer.
Piercings: None
Tatoos: None
Righty or Lefty: Righty

Firsts

Best Friend: A girl who I met when I was 5 (we went to the same church)
Award: I do not know
Sport: Dancing, then Netball, then I realised that sport was not for me
Real Holiday:
Daydream Island (top of QLD) when I was…4. I don’t remember it. We went to America when I was 13. I do remember that.
Concert:
Anberlin’s farewell tour in Sydney. I only went because it was the farewell tour.

Favourites

Ok, here we go, I’m probably not going to actually answer these…

Film: Grr
TV Show: Changes week-to-week…at the moment, Elementary
Colour: Pink. Always pink. And purple.
Song: *rolls eyes*
Restaurant: Hogsbreath
Shop: Kinokuniya and Dymocks
Books: *glares*
Magazine: When I was younger I read Total Girl…I was into Doctor Who Magazine for a while…
Shoes: Boots or Flip-flops.

Currently

Feeling: Sad, because The Raven King is over.
Single or taken: Single, with many fictional boyfriends.
Eating: I dunno, this is a scheduled post…probably chips
Thinking about: Maths…probably
Watching: As I said, this is scheduled, but at the time of writing I was desperately awaiting the new episode of Elementary
Wearing: Probably pjs

Future

Want Children: Not fussed either way
Want to be married: If I ever meet someone worth marrying, sure
Careers in mind: Maths teacher
Where do you want to live: Don’t really care…I just know that I don’t want to live right in the city.

Do you believe in

God: Yes
Miracles: Yes
Love at first sight: Yes and no…it’s complicated
Ghosts: Never really thought about it
Aliens: Yes, but not the intelligent/humanoid beings from TV shows
Soul mates: Not really…
Heaven: Yes
Hell: Yes
Yourself: Yes


Ok, I’m not tagging anyone to do this, but if you want to do it, go ahead:)

Review: Something Strange and Deadly

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Author: Susan Dennard

Series: Something Strange and Deadly (book 1)

Rating: 3 stars

Genre: Steampunk with Zombies

Synopsis: There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia. . . .

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about.

Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper:

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor . . . from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

How I got this book: Borrowed from Library

Release Date: July 24, 2012

The Short Version:

Overall, it was a good book…I just didn’t like it all that much.

Continue reading

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