Oct
24

Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: October, 2015 by Macmillan
Thanks: Pan Macmillan, AU
Pages: 528
My Rating: ★★★★★ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

Final Thoughts:
This was such a contemporary kind of fantasy. From someone that normally finds the prospect of dragons and mages a snore, I was so glad to find that this one focussed as heavily on the characters as it did. It takes you on such an emotional journey, getting to know each of them, while still keeping the plot moving on around them. The switching perspectives became a non-issue as each and every point of view was relevant, never dragging you away from where you wanted to be. It all just flowed, allowing you to connect to the story without feeling like things were all over the place. Full of romance and great characterisations, this is one book I am most certainly sad to leave behind. I want more, but still, I loved it the way it was.

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Dec
09

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: February, 2013 by Orion
Pages: 325
My Rating: ★★★★★ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried.

Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book – he thinks he’s made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor… never to Eleanor.

Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.

Final Thoughts:
I left this one until last, the first chapter not exactly drawing me in a few months ago compared to that of Attachments and Landline. Since finishing those, I’ve had my paperback staring at me, telling me to hurry up before Rainbow has another book squashed in on my wobbly shelves beside it. Now, after closing the last page on Eleanor & Park, I couldn’t see why I’d put this one off for so long. Even though I’ve thoroughly loved all of her books, something about this one just sparked something in me that made me want to read and read and read.

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Aug
05

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: July, 2014 by Orion
Pages: 310
My Rating: ★★★★★ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Final Thoughts:
I stopped mid-way through another book when this one arrived. It was calling to me. Rainbow Rowell and her magic phone…I couldn’t put it off. Her books warm me up in a way that not many others do. I just find myself immersed in the characters, really caring about their struggles, bursting out in fits of laughter at the wit, tearing up—all of it. The fact that the characters here were in their late thirties played no bearing on how well I could relate to them. No matter what age bracket, all of Rainbow’s characters have managed to strike a chord with me.

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Jun
09

Title: Attachments
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: April, 2011 by Orion
Pages: 357
My Rating: ★★★★½ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . ”

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now–reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers–not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for one of them, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

Final Thoughts:
Attachments has so much heart. I loved every minute I spent with this book. There were no chapters that felt like a chore to get through, rather, I found myself flying through it, struggling to put it down whenever I had to get back to other things…like work. Sure, starting out, I wasn’t sure whether I could get into Lincoln, the IT guy’s point of view, but with the way his character built and built and built, I couldn’t help but love his chapters just as much as the ones spent with the girls.

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May
24

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Titles link back to Goodreads
Pivot Point by Kasie West (purchased)
Split Second by Kasie West (purchased)
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (purchased)
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (purchased)
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (purchased)

My Book Depository order arrived (in five separate packages) this week. I’ve already dived in and finished Anna and the French Kiss in the past couple days. My review will be up Monday! As for the rest, I can’t decide on which to start next. I’ve got a few others I’ve been meaning to start, but Anna arrived and they got pushed back. I am looking forward to starting Pivot Point though, but I’m thinking staying on top of the library books I’ve got out is more pressing.

It’s my mum’s birthday this weekend, so I’m probably not going to get much reading done though. She’s coming to visit and hit the markets with me, so I’m busy doing some baking, baking…and more baking. A cream-cheese iced carrot cake is first on the agenda. It’s kind of a birthday tradition in my family. Anyway, I’d better get back to the kitchen!

Here are some of my latest posts if you want to check them out:
Carter, Ally Heist Society #2, Uncommon Criminals – Joey discovered his first case of Second-Book Syndrome.
Healey, Karen Guardian Of The Dead – I struggled a bit with this.

So, what books have you gotten lately? Which books would you recommend I read first? Let me know in the comments.

Apr
14

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: April, 2014 by Pan Macmillan, AU
Pages: 461
My Rating: ★★★★★ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair any more – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She’s horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life.

Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She’s got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realizing that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible…

Final Thoughts:
Honestly, I hadn’t even heard of this book before last week. I missed all of the hype, randomly picking up my copy of Fangirl while browsing my local bookstore. Finding out later that it was apparently the new bible of YA upped my expectations, but I can safely say that it delivered on them. I was left clutching the book for hours, never wanting it to end. With an abundance of disdain towards socialising and her passionate fanfic enthusiasm, Cath is one protagonist that you just can’t help but love. If I could live inside this book, I would.

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Apr
05

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Titles link back to Goodreads
Disruption by Jessica Shirvington (purchased)
The Cracks In The Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty (thanks to Pan Macmillan, AU)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (purchased)
Collision Course by Shannon Curtis (purchased)
Second Chances by Ros Baxter (purchased)
Forbidden Affair by Amy Andrews (purchased)
Stormswept by Shannon Curtis (purchased)

It’s been freaking ages since I’ve done one of these. About a year. I’ve bought books since then, but these are just the ones I’ve picked up in the last couple of weeks. Thanks to Pan Macmillan for surprisingly me with a copy of Jaclyn Moriarty’s new book. I had barely finished reading A Corner Of White when this one rocked up in my PO Box, taunting me, trying to jump ahead in my tbr list. The rest are all from my regular trips to my local Big W’s book section. They’re probably the only one of the three Australia discount department stores chains I’ve found that still stocks a semi-decent range of YA. At least where I live.

I’m hearing good things about Disruption, so I’d like to check it out before it becomes another one of the unread books collecting dust on my shelves. Fangirl, I haven’t heard much about, but I did a quick Goodreads check in-store on my phone and all looked good so I added it to my shopping pile. And yes, you are seeing right, I did buy all four of the Bold And The Beautiful tv-show tie-in romance novels. $6 each, and based on my favourite scheming, angst-riddled soap, there really was no other choice.

That’s it for this time. Hopefully, it isn’t another year before my next book haul.
So, what books have you gotten lately? Let me know in the comments.