Top 5 Wednesday (June 15, 2016)

Hello everyone! I’m back today with another ‘Top 5 Wednesday’ blog post. In case you didn’t know already, Top 5 Wednesday is a group created by the wonderful Lainey from ‘gingereadslainey’ on Youtube (Lainey), which is now hosted by the lovely Sam from ‘thoughtsontomes’ on Youtube (Sam). There’s also a Goodreads group for Top 5 Wednesday (T5W Goodreads).

So this week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is ‘Favourite Literary Fathers / Father Figures’, and surprisingly I kind of struggled with this one. There was a completely obvious choice here (which I think you may be able to guess already) but apart from that, I had to think a little extra hard this week (which on top of my exam study, wasn’t that much fun). These aren’t really in any particular order either (aside from my number one choice, which I’ll clearly state) but aside from that, let’s just jump straight into it shall we?


So first off, we have none other than Ibrahim ‘Abe’ Mazur from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. As soon as we meet Abe in this series, we learn that he’s an extremely powerful and wealthy Moroi, albeit an unlikely contestant for a Father of the Year award anytime soon. However, once Rose learns that Abe is actually her father, their entire dynamic changes and I really appreciate that Richelle Mead included moments in this series (mainly in books 5 and 6) where Abe expresses some fatherly tendencies. It’s clear in the end that Abe really does care for Rose, and at one point in his life really did care for Rose’s mother Janine. So, despite the nickname ‘Zmey’ (which in Russian translates to ‘snake’), I really do believe that in the end, Abe Mazur is a pretty cool dad.


Next, we have Richard Gansey II. Now, I’ve only read The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves in this series, so I can’t exactly base this man off very much content, but from the second book alone he really made an impact. Gansey is one of my favourite characters in this series (at least so far) and seeing his entire family and his family lifestyle in The Dream Thieves was so wonderful. It was a great insight into his childhood and upbringing, and the way that Gansey and his father interacted in that book alone really had me smiling and cherishing some of my own memories with my dad. I adored their bond, and can’t wait to see if we get any more of it in the following books in this series.


Oh Eddard. I miss you. Of all the characters in Game of Thrones, of all the evil and cunning and manipulative bastards there are, Ned was truly one of the good guys. Above everything and anything else, he was a loving father and husband. He set wonderful examples to all of his children, and helped shape them into the characters that they are now, either directly or indirectly. I especially loved the way that Ned approached Arya, his youngest daughter, and respected her decision to be a fighter instead of a ‘traditional woman’. I loved how he accepted Jon as a son, despite his surname, and how he raised him alongside his other children as an equal. Ned was loyal and kind, but stern when he needed to be. He fought for his children until his death, and I’m sure he would be fighting for them even beyond that if it were at all possible.


If you haven’t read this Shadowhunter novella, I would probably suggest skipping ahead of this one, just in case you don’t want to be spoiled about who I’m referring to exactly. So, that being said, I hope none of you are expecting me to name Valentine Morgenstern or Robert Lightwood here, because I’m not. No chance in hell. In fact, I don’t think there are any particularly pleasant fathers or father figures in this series (and by this I mean the Mortal Instruments series, there are many that I could name from the Infernal Devices trilogy) aside from the two that I’m actually referring to here. So, who else is there beside the ever so wonderful and glamorous Magnus Bane and Alexander Lightwood. Oh, these two. These two just absolutely melt my heart in all of their ‘new parent’ glory. I was genuinely surprised and shocked when I read this novella, I was not at all expecting this to happen anytime soon for Malec. But oh boy I’m so glad that it did. They’re one of my all time favourite fictional relationships, and seeing them starting to build their own little family just gives me everything I never knew that I needed and more.


Finally, my inadvertent number one choice for father/ father figure has to go to Arthur Weasley. How could this not be my number one choice for a category like this? Arthur Weasley is one of those characters that’s just so wonderfully innocent and pure. Amongst all of the mess that is the return of Lord Voldemort, Arthur (and Molly) never once turn Harry away from The Burrow or refuse him a place to stay. They offer Harry the love and protection of parents that was cruelly taken away from him as a child, and do their best to provide him with comfort and safety as much as they possibly can. Whether it’s a home-cooked meal or a visit to Diagon Alley, Arthur (and Molly) do what they can to make a home for Harry at The Burrow, and amongst the Weasley family. In effect, they’re the best sort of adoptive parents that Harry never thought that he would ever have.

So there we have it. Those are my top 5 favourite fictional father/ father figure characters. I really hope that you enjoyed my list, and I’ll hopefully be posting something new soon, so until then, goodbye!

– x0

Top 5 Wednesday (June 08, 2016)

Hello everybody, and welcome back to my blog. I know it’s been a while, but I thought that instead of giving you a detailed explanation as to why I’ve been away for so long (again, I know), I’d just jump right back into the game and upload something new. So, here’s my Top 5 Wednesday for June 08, 2016. This week’s topic is ‘Favourite Character Names’. 

5. Lilac LaRoux (These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner)


4. Kestrel (The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski)


3. Adelina Amouteru (The Young Elites by Marie Lu)


2. Rhysand (A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas)


1. Dorian Havilliard (Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas)


So this week was short but sweet. Next week I’ll have another Top 5 Wednesday post, and maybe something extra as well. So until then.

– x0


I read The Maze Runner in 2014, and followed up on the remainder of the trilogy by reading The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure towards the end of 2015. Then I learned that James Dashner had come out with the first in a new prequel trilogy to The Maze Runner, called The Kill Order. It’s a cool title right? Right. But it is definitely not a cool book. I had so many expectations, and if I’m honest not one of them was met.

My initial thought before reading up on what this book was actually about, I assumed that The Kill Order would detail life on the sun-destroyed Earth by specifically following Thomas, Theresa and the adults who command WICKED. Besides, we’d just followed these two through three other books, why stop now? I think I would’ve enjoyed this book sooooooo much more if it had been in Thomas’ perspective. The prologue of The Kill Order is in Theresa’s perspective, which was somewhat refreshing to see, but I was excited to hear about familiar characters again. Knowing their place in WICKED and how heavily they contributed to the construction of the Maze is so interesting! I couldn’t wait to read all about it. But that’s not what I got. After I read the blurb of The Kill Order, though I was sad that we wouldn’t be seeing Thomas (or any other character for that matter really), but I got over it because I trusted that James Dashner would be able to establish these new characters in a world we already know has turned to shit.

I was wrong again.

In the Maze Runner trilogy, we learn that Earth has turned to shit. The sun has almost entirely irradiated and eradicated the world. An unstoppable and highly infectious disease has taken what remained of the population. Except those that are immune. We know all of this. We know who WICKED are and what they do to control and manipulate the immune.

So why did we have to re-learn all of this in so much detail? I understand that our protagonist, Mark, is a young boy just trying to navigate himself and his little group through this new world to safety. He’s extremely similar to Thomas in a frightening amount of ways (which raises other questions in itself). There’s so much grey matter in this book about what’s happened to the world, and who’s left in charge now. And the only resource that Mark has to teach him everything he knows is a shell-shocked, aged war veteran named Alec who Mark constantly refers to as an ‘old bear’ or ‘soldier’. We get it Mark. I got it by page 45. Mark relies, dare I say it, too much on Alec. I know he’s scared, and lost and confused but holy Christ, Alec isn’t the world’s plethora of knowledge on natural disasters. If anything, Alec is more of an unreliable narrator than Mark.

Now the romance. This could’ve been pretty well done, but just as it was done in The Maze Runner series, it left me feeling dejected and underwhelmed. Trina herself was a little bit of a flat character. We really don’t know, or learn that much about her, just enough to tease us, and for us to know that Mark has basically loved her since they were children. Also, she played an incredibly insignificant role for such an apparently significant character.

The other characters, namely Deedee, Lana, The Toad and Misty were also pretty unforgettable. Not one of them really contributed anything to the storyline, and one character in particular had a pretty un-spectacular death. I didn’t care about anything that happened to any of the characters, and towards the end of the book I felt entirely disconnected from them and their respective storylines. Mark, being the protagonist, was the only character I felt slightly (and I mean slightly) toward, and man oh man can this boy sleep a lot.

The characters themselves were also pretty unrealistic, even for a dystopian story. Mark is almost 17 years old, and the end of the world suddenly makes him an expert karate, kung fu, jujitsu, judo (etc.) expert? Also, just the general amount of fight scenes that occurred in this book is unrealistic. There’s literally an epic battle happening on every other page, and I lost track of the amount of times that Mark gets strangled, choked or knocked on his ass unsuspectingly. I’m quite sure just how much of this book is made up of unnecessarily detailed fight scenes, but if I had to venture a guess it would be somewhere around 75%. On top of that, Mark’s internal dialogue has to be the most boring and cliche sentiment I’ve ever read. There’s not much that makes him stand out from the crowd, and to be quite frank, I’m not sure how he’s survived in this world for so long. In reality, he’d be long gone.

Overall, I’m just really disappointed. This book had so much potential and I feel like none of the hopes I had for it were met. The characters were one dimensional and dry, the plot line was confusing and clouded by the narration of an unreliable narrator, and the pacing was really disjointed. I’m not sure what length of time this book covers (maybe a week or two?) but the events that are currently occurring, tied in with countless flashback sequences and dream sequences, combined to create a really fragmented timeline. The worst part is, I’m not sure which I liked more: the events of the past, the entirely made up dreams, or the events happening in the present.

I didn’t want to hate this book, but I think I did. I haven’t said that in a long time.

This gets a 1.5 out of 5 stars from me.

– x0


I can fall asleep really quickly, and literally anywhere. In a car, on a plane, in a bed, on the couch, on a boat or ship, on the train, in public, at home, you name it. I can totally do it.

Shoes (running shoes, flat shoes, high-heeled shoes, formal boots, casual boots, heeled sandals, casual sandals, expensive and non-expensive etc.)

Clothes (shorts, t shirts, formal tops, formal dresses, casual dresses, summer dresses, formal shorts, casual shorts, formal shirts, jeans, leggings etc.)

Handbags (beach bags, expensive handbags, little bags, big bags, medium bags etc.)

Christmas decorations



Childhood books (e.g. Harry Potter)

Childhood photo albums

Primary school and high school year books

Primary school and high school photos

(I’m skipping this one, sorry.)

I confess that I don’t really know what I’m doing with my life. I’m living every day as it comes, and I’ve finally come to a point where I’m okay with that. I’m hopeful about the future, even though I have days where it scares the absolute life out of me.

1. To maintain a constant uploading schedule

2. To maintain the format and layout of my blog

3. To maintain the passion of writing

– x0


DAY 25: Your biggest regret

I don’t like the idea of living with regret, let alone more than one. But unfortunately none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes, even if they’re made in the height of our youth and when we think we entirely understand the world. At the time, we don’t even know that we’re making a mistake or that it will turn into a regret in the future when we look back at it. But sometimes we can’t help it, and we make those mistakes and have those regrets later in life and wish upon every star that we could go back in time and do it all over again. But at the same time, I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. I believe that human beings are capable of moving past mistakes and not letting them define who they are in the present. Now I don’t know if that’s my subconscious’ sick way of deceiving me into blissful ignorance of the world, but it works.

But what if we can’t move past some of the things we’ve done in our lives? Surely we all have something, no matter how big or small it is. I made a lot of mistakes during high school, but nothing drastic that I regret. No. What I regret is being weak, being quiet and not being myself. I let other people walk all over me, use me, bend me to their will and the worst part is… I didn’t even notice it was happening. Or at least I didn’t want to notice that it was happening. I don’t think I really wanted to realise it either. Who wants to admit to herself that she’s a pawn in somebody else’s game? Not this girl. No, I was completely adamant to live in that blissful ignorance that I mentioned earlier. And it was so wrong. But why did I think it was so right? Maybe it has to do with age, maybe it has to do with growing up, but it definitely isn’t okay.

But it is okay to admit that you’ve made these mistakes. It’s the first step in over coming them. I don’t want to share any of my regrets or mistakes because I’ve overcome them now. I’ll tell you that it was hard, and that it was a long process, but time turns these things into something different, and by the end of that’s what we have to live with. As long as you learn from what you’ve done and done something different in the future because of that, then that’s the real lesson.

– x0


DAY 23: If you won the lottery ….

Firstly, I just want to disclaim that if I ever was fortunate enough to actually win the lottery (of any sort of amount), I have no idea what I would do with myself. I have some ideas as to what I would do and what I would spend the money on, but who knows. I have a lot of dreams okay?

  1. I’d give half of it to my parents so they can finally settle down and retire
  2. I’d give some to my younger cousins for their future education
  3. I would go on a long-winded and much needed holiday around Europe and America
  4. I would buy my brother a new car
  5. I would go on the world’s biggest book shopping spree
  6. I would buy myself a nice apartment somewhere in the city
  7. I would spend my parents on a long-winded and much needed holiday to celebrate their marriage
  8. I would buy my boyfriend a PS4
  9. I’d obviously invest some for myself and my own future
  10. I would put some away for my future children’s future

– x0


DAY 22: Your worst habits 

  1. I bite my lip/the inside of my cheek when I’m nervous
  2. When I’m driving and I panic, I tend to accelerate instead of braking
  3. I’ll skip a meal (usually accidentally) then binge eat everything in the fridge
  4. This might be a little gross to admit, but whenever I have a sore or a scab etc., I have to obsessively pick at it
  5. I probably consume too much sugar
  6. I’m addicted to Coke Zero and I don’t care if it’s unhealthy
  7. I crack my knuckles
  8. I tap my pen when I’m writing something and have to take a break
  9. I’m extremely impatient
  10. I tap my foot when I’m nervous about something
  11. I mumble when I speak
  12. I ignore what I can’t control
  13. I cry when I’m extremely stressed out
  14. I play with my food
  15. I can be an extremely fussy eater

– x0


Oh Illuminae. Illuminae. Illuminae. Illuminae.


Where do I even begin with this book?

I was fortunate enough to attend the Melbourne release party of Illuminae in late October of 2015, where both Amie and Jay did an incredible job of introducing the audience to the world, and breathing in such a small space full of so many people. The night was so special. I met so many people I’d never met before who I bonded with over a big bundle of bound paper in my hands. I was early in line to meet Amie and Jay and have Illuminae signed, and even managed to take a photo with them (photo below). I couldn’t imagine a better way to send Illuminae out into the world, even if it’s a world that Illuminae doesn’t necessarily…. take place in. So how would I describe it?

An epic inter-galactic science-fiction book written by two incredibly talented authors? An entirely original and wonderfully chaotic collection of files, documents, e-mails, letters, surveillance footage reviews, warning posters, countdowns, and an all-consuming, mind-boggling artificially intelligent super computer that you simultaneously loath, sympathise and want to get a restraining order on?

When does the sequel come out again?

PLOT: ★★★★★
I thought I would be confused going into this book. I thought that the scientific aspects of it would completely overwhelm me and that I wouldn’t follow a single moment of the storyline. Granted however, I think that of every single science-fiction novel I read. BUT THIS BOOK. Holy wow. If I could describe the plot of this book in five words, they’d be: action-packed, fast-paced, (I think those two are cheating somewhat… hyphens don’t excuse everything these days), thrilling and inter-galactic cat-and-mouse. Okay I totally cheated, but I can’t restrict it to only five. You can’t make me. From page one until page 599 this book kept me on my toes, turning every page in eager anticipation of knowing what would happen next as soon as possible. There were so many points throughout the book where I thought I could guess what would happen, but I was actually glad to have been (almost) entirely wrong. Amie and Jay truly did a fantastic job of keeping the storyline compelling throughout the entirety of the book. The format of the book itself also made sure that my interest was constantly piqued, but not knowing whether or not the next installment would be an e-mail or a case file or an instant message or interstellar spaceship transmission gave me heart palpitations. I so badly wanted to know what was happening throughout each sub-plot that without even realising it, I’d read almost 50 pages in the blink of an eye and I had my answer. This book is so incredibly easy to read, I flew through it.

The characters were easily my favourite aspect of this book. Our two main characters, Ezra and Kady have a pre-page one love story (does this technically count if they sort of break up on page one?), and it makes the progression of their relationship throughout the book all the more stressful. You know they’re meant to be together, but seeing as how they literally can’t be (this takes long-distance relationships to a new level folks), it makes you want to tear your hair out, reach through the pages and just push them together so that they’re forced into each other’s company (whether they like it or not, but I think they would).

Kady was such a refreshing female protagonist. She’s not your typical ‘helpless and hopeless’ damsel. This girl knows how to take care of herself. Sure, at the beginning she’s a little shook up, but if your low-key home planet was invaded by unknown enemy fleets you’d be pretty unsure of yourself too. Kady was so kick-ass! She almost makes me want to dye my hair pink, learn how the hell computers work and join some underground elitist hackers club. On one page I could be cheering for this girl, and on the next I would be crying for her. But on all 599, I admired her. She was selfless and honest and brave. Kady did what had to be done regardless of the cost to herself. She knew who mattered most and fought for them the hardest. I can’t wait to see what she has planned, and what she doesn’t have planned for that matter, in the next book.

Oh Ezra. A true gentleman. The much-needed comedic relief. Whether he was making some sort of dirty joke, making a typo in his instant messages or just completely face-bashing his keyboard, Ezra was such a delight to read from. The boy has a way with words, even when he doesn’t use all that many (especially when he doesn’t and instead uses images, if you know what I mean). In the beginning, Ezra’s a broken-hearted teenage boy who’s still pining for his ex-ish girlfriend, and while his humour is his most obvious layer there are so many more layers to explore (that sounds kind of dirty, am I secretly Ezra Mason?) I love this guy. He needs his own TV show.

But with all the being said, there were so many other characters I adored in this book, some of whom I can’t even mention without spoiling anything. If we saw them for a larger section of the book or only for a few pages, somehow Amie and Jay made us feel all of the things for everyone in this book. How do they even do that??!!

How do you even create a world that’s constantly travelling through hyperspace and on the run from enemy spaceships? I haven’t got the slightest idea, but Amie and Jay nailed it (unsurprisingly). The first world that we’re introduced to in the book, Kerenza, is the home planet of our two protagonists. Although we don’t stay in Kerenza for very long, what we learn about it is that it’s also a victim of mega-corporative rivalry. Kady and Ezra essentially lose their home in the space of a few pages, and the repercussions of it is felt throughout the rest of the book. Even the way the two of them have to establish themselves, and settle themselves into new lives on the Alexandra and Hypatia is crafted so wonderfully.

The blue-prints of the ships that are incorporated throughout the book also help. It introduced a new dynamic to the settings we’re exposed to, especially in moments of danger. The gargantuan size of the Alexandra and the Hypatia aren’t realised until you’re actually, visualising it. It added such an atmosphere to the book, and constructed another layer of world-building within a world nowhere near our own.

WRITING: ★★★★.5
Do I even need to talk about this? I’ve read Amie’s co-authored Starbound trilogy (which is also incredible by the way, read that too) and as with Illuminae, the writing in those novels left me absolutely floored. It’s sad to admit that I’ve never read any of Jay’s currently published works, but trust me when I say that by the end of 2016 there won’t be a Jay Kristoff book that I haven’t read. The writing in Illuminae was phenomenal, and although I was somewhat hesitant about it (mostly because of the format of the book itself), I was ultimately stunned by it. The dialogue is so realistic and seamless, although I can’t exactly say I’ve been in any sort of similar situation to these characters. In particular, what really grabbed my attention and what really made me notice the writing as a character of it’s own was AIDAN. For an artificially intelligent super-computer, the thing completely creeps me out. I constantly have nightmares that revolve around one simple phrase: “Am I not merciful?” If you’ve read the book you know exactly what I mean when I say that, and I can imagine the chill that’s running down your spine because I’m feeling it too. The writing is so eerie and chilling, but on the next page it can be so light-hearted and humorous that it’s almost hard to believe that both pages are part of the same story. I have to give credit where it’s due, and Amie and Jay deserve a shit-tonne of it.

“Am I not merciful?” Okay I’ll stop, sorry.

I can’t say I’ve ever read a book that starts out with the two main characters breaking-up. It’s almost like the opposite of insta-love, and goodness knows we don’t need any more of that. How can two main characters, who have just broken up, break my heart as well? I know there’s an inter-galactic crisis occurring in this book, and that that should probably capture Kady and Ezra’s attention the most (and mine as well to be frank) but they’re teenagers. I’m a teenager (for three more months at least). I need a little romance, and I won’t apologise for being a little boy-crazy (or girl-crazy, if you’re Ezra and/or if you swing that way). I think that Amie and Jay blended the perfect amount of romance and heartbreak into an otherwise thrilling and action-packed storyline. The romance added just that little bit more tension that the characters needed in their otherwise entirely tension-free lives (….), and I was a complete sucker for it (oh my God I know I can’t spoil anything right now but I so want to, you don’t even understand). I still don’t know how these two authors managed to make me stop caring about a brewing war and potential death, to focus my attention on two teenagers who aren’t even together anymore, but they did it. They totally did it guys.

ENDING: ★★★★★
I need the sequel. I need Gemina right now. WHY DON’T I HAVE GEMINA RIGHT NOW?

I thoroughly enjoyed every single moment I spent reading this book. There was never a dull page, and whether it was the storyline that kept me turning the pages or the next style of story-telling to experience, I was captivated. Even though I read this during my exam period last year, and it made me want to neglect every single form of academic responsibility, I had to know what was going to happen next to my beloved characters. This book made me smile, it made me laugh, it almost made me go into cardiac arrest but I loved every single second of it. I have no idea what Gemina will do to me, but Illuminae definitely got the ball rolling for this epic series.

So basically, I adored this book. It was one of my most anticipated of 2015 and (as you have probably already guessed) the sequel, Gemina, is pretty high up there on my most anticipated of 2016. We know almost nothing about it as of right now, but you can bet that I’ll be putting it in my Countdown app as soon as I can. I couldn’t give this book anything less than a full 5 out of 5 star review, but if I could give it every star in the galaxy, I would.

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 5.13.02 PM

– x0


DAY 21: What makes you sad 

  • cold food
  • delayed trains
  • mean people
  • waiting for food to cook
  • the amount of calories in hot chips
  • cold showers in winter
  • arguments
  • wannabes
  • feeling alone
  • feeling like a failure
  • humid days
  • humid nights
  • lying
  • slow wi-fi
  • bad coffee
  • slow walkers
  • bad drivers
  • old dogs
  • bad writing
  • boring sport
  • flat soft drink
  • hot cars
  • tight bras
  • cliff-hangers
  • bad grammar
  • bad spelling
  • ugly book covers
  • cover changes in books

– x0