Hello everyone! Today I’m here to share with you all the stand-alone novels that I read in 2016, as well as the stand-alone novels that I did not finish (i.e. ‘DNF’d’) in 2016. I didn’t read as many stand-alone novels as I would have liked to last year, so I’m hoping that in 2017 I can get the number up a little bit higher. Nevertheless, some of those that I read were absolute stand-outs, and I can’t wait to share them with you all.


Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden

Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Too Late by Colleen Hoover

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J.K. Rowling

Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

November Nine by Colleen Hoover

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (The Original Screenplay) by J.K. Rowling


Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen


The Staff of Serapis by Rick Riordan

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover


So there they are! The stand-alone novels that I read (and did not finish) in 2016. Let me know which you finished last year, and if any of them are the same as mine.

– x0


Most Anticipated Movie Releases | 2017

Hello everyone! Today I’m here to share with you all some of my most anticipated movie releases of 2017! There are 15 on the list today, but trust me there are so many more that I’m eager to see, some of which I’ve actually already seen in theatres (so don’t panic if a favourite of yours i.e. La La Land isn’t on here, I’ve already seen it and loved it). I’ve included the Australian release date for all of these movies, as well as the director and some featured actors and actresses.

So here’s my list:

Release Date (AUS): January 19
Directed By: Garth Davis
Starring: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara
Run Time: 118 minutes

Patriot’s Day
Release Date (AUS): February 2
Directed By: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, J.K. Simmons
Run Time: 133 minutes

YU-GI-OH!: The Dark Side of Dimensions
Release Date (AUS): February 2
Directed By: Satoshi Kuwabara
Starring: Shunsuke Kazaa, Kenjiro Tsuda, Runa Endo
Run Time: 130 minutes

Hidden Figures
Release Date (AUS): February 16
Directed By: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson
Run Time: 127 minutes

Jasper Jones
Release Date (AUS): March 2
Directed By: Rachel Perkins
Starring: Hugo Weaving, Toni Collette, Angourie Rice
Run Time: TBA

A Monster Calls
Release Date (AUS): March 9
Directed By: J.A. Bayona
Starring: Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones
Run Time: 108 minutes

Beauty and the Beast
Release Date (AUS): March 23
Directed By: Bill Condon
Starring: Emma Watson, Ewan McGregor, Dan Stevens
Run Time: TBA

A Dog’s Purpose
Release Date (AUS): April 6
Directed By: Lasse Hallstrom
Starring: Britt Robertson, Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid
Run Time: 120 minutes

Before I Fall
Release Date (AUS): April 13
Directed By: Ry Russo-Young
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Jennifer Beals, Elena Kampouris
Run Time: 99 minutes

Release Date (AUS): April 27
Directed By: Marc Webb
Starring: Jenny Slate, Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer
Run Time: TBA

Wonder Woman
Release Date (AUS): June 1
Directed By: Patty Jenkins
Starring: Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, Chris Pine
Run Time: TBA

Spiderman: Homecoming
Release Date (AUS): July 6
Directed By: Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Donald Glover, Roberty Downey Jr.
Run Time: TBA

Release Date (AUS): July 20
Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles
Run Time: TBA

Thor: Ragnarok
Release Date (AUS): November 3
Directed By: Taika Waititi
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch
Run Time: TBA

Star Wars: Episode VIII
Release Date (AUS): December 14
Directed By: Rian Johnson
Starring: Carrie Fisher, Tom Hardy, Daisy Ridley
Run Time: TBA


What movies are you most anticipating this year? I’d loved to know 🙂

– x0


Hello everyone! Today I’m here to share with you all my 2016 reading statistics! At the end of each year, Goodreads compiles all of the books marked as ‘read’ (in that same year) and comes up with a neat list of reading statistics. I think this is a really neat and fun way to reflect and look back on your year of reading, and to see which book(s) stood out the most.

A lot of people I know manage their own reading statistics and have a much more varied spreadsheet at the end of each year, but for me personally I’m happy enough to stick with what Goodreads gives me. So, here are my 2016 reading statistics:

Books Read (Total): 64

Pages Read (Total): 19, 488

Shortest Book: Pale Kings and Princes (Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy, #6) by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman

Longest Book: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) by J.K. Rowling

Average Length: 309 pages

Most Popular: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) by J.K. Rowling

Least Popular: A New Hope – The Princess, The Scoundrel and the Farm Boy (Star Wars Illustrated Novels, #1) by Alexandra Bracken

My Average Rating: 4.2 stars

Highest Rated on Goodreads: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling (Illustrated by Jim Kay) (4.89 average)


So those are my 2016 reading statistics! If you have a Goodreads account please feel free to leave a link to it down below, I’d love to check it out! How was your 2016 reading year?

– x0


Hello everyone! Today I’m here to share with you all some of my favourite looks from this year’s Golden Globe Awards. Now I know that the Golden Globes was more than a week ago, but to be honest I’m still reeling from such an eventful and exciting night. So many of my favourite actors and actresses were honoured and awarded for their work, and it was so nice to see all of them in the same room together. It was a night of celebration and of fashion of course, so here are some of my favourite dresses from the famous Golden Globes red carpet.

Lily Collins


Mandy Moore


Anna Kendrick

Sofia Vergara at The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards in LA

Jessica Biel


Sarah Hyland

The 2017 InStyle And Warner Bros. 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards Post-Party - Red Carpet

Emma Stone


Sophie Turner


Maisie Williams


Blake Lively


Hailee Steinfeld



Let me know down below in the comments who you think was immaculately dressed at this year’s Golden Globe Awards. There were so many lovely dresses as well as pant suits and tuxedos, but these 10 are definitely my ‘stand out’ looks of 2017.

– x0


Hello everyone! I’m here today to share another ‘Top 5 Wednesday’. This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is ‘2017 Debuts You Are Excited For’, which I’m actually super excited about. It’s no secret- and be honest- that a lot of them, we can fall into the trap of sticking to the same routine authors that we already know and love, and so we ignore new and upcoming authors and their work. Especially in YA, where there seems to be an endless number of trilogies and series (especially in the genre of Fantasy), this happens to me a lot, and in 2017 I’d really like to give some new authors a chance. The authors that I’ve chosen for this topic are in no particular order, as I obviously haven’t read from any of them before and so I feel it would be wrong to order them in any sort of way.

This topic is so important, and it gives us all the opportunity to discuss some upcoming authors and to also showcase their work. I’m an avid watcher of book-related videos on Youtube, and so I’ve heard about many 2017 debut authors, and the ones that I’ve chosen for this topic are only a small look into just how many there are.

I’ll leave a link to a Goodreads page down below where you can check out some more 2017 debut authors. There may be some hidden gems in there just waiting to be read! I’ll also have the link to the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads group down below, and thank you again to the creators and managers of Top 5 Wednesday.

Caraval (Caraval, #1) – Stephanie Garber
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Page No.: 416


From what I’ve heard about this book from trusted reviewers, Caraval has been advertised as The Night Circus meets Laini Taylor, and while I haven’t read The Night Circus or any of Laini Taylor’s work, the concept intrigues me so much. Essentially, Caraval follows the story of sisters Scarlett and Tella, who for their entire lives have dreamed of attending Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance that engages its audience and leaves its audience awestruck. However, when Scarlett’s long-dreamt invitation to Caraval finally arrives, she soon starts to question if the show is what she thought it would be. When the organiser of Caraval kidnaps Tella and announces that whoever finds her is the winner of the show, Scarlett truly begins to wonder whether everything about Caraval is really just a performance.

Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1) – Elly Blake
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Little Brown
Page No.: 384


I’ve been craving a Fantasy novel like Frostblood for a while now, and I’m so highly anticipated its release. Frostblood follows the life of 17-year-old Ruby, a fireblood who must hide her abilities from the ruling and cruel frostbloods, that threaten to destroy all that is left of the firebloods. However, when Ruby’s mother is killed, she agrees to help a rag-tag group of rebellious firebloods to kill the rampaging frostblood King. Frostblood tells the story of Ruby as she tries to understand and control her abilities as she becomes a more important player in the game to kill the King- a position that Ruby feels exceed her desire to avenger her mother’s murder. But these plans are quickly soiled when Ruby is instead captured by the King himself, and forced to compete in the King’s tournament that pits fireblood prisoners against well-trained and blood-thirsty frostblood champions.

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page No.: 464

The Hate U Give is one of the most important and relevant books I think I’ve ever heard of, and it hasn’t even been released yet. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, The Hate U Give follows the story of 16-year-old Starr who lives caught between two worlds: the poor neighbourhood in which she was born and raised, and the lavish high school that she attends in the suburbs. However, when Starr becomes the one and only witness to the fatal shooting of her best friend Khalil by a police officer, whatever Starr says (or chooses not to say) could destroy one or both of her worlds. This book has already been optioned for film, with the rights for it sold to Fox Studios, and is set to star Amanda Sternberg (most renowned for her role as Rue in the Hunger Games franchise).

The Edge of Everything – Jeff Giles
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Page No.: 368


Of all of the books I’ve listed here, this is the one I probably know the least about. However, I’ve heard wonderful things about this book and once I heard the premise of it I knew I had to read it. The Edge of Everything follows 17-year-old Zoe and X, a bounty hunter sent from a hell called the Lowlands to claim souls. When Zoe’s father suddenly dies in a caving accident, and her neighbours mysteriously disappear, her and her brother are attacked in the woods, and saved by none other than X, who’s forbidden to reveal who and what he is to anyone but his victims. However, X wants to cast this rule aside for Zoe, but the differences between them threaten to tear them apart.

A List of Cages – Robin Roe
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Page No.: 320


I’ve seen countless reviews about A List of Cages on YouTube and 100% of them have been incredibly positive, so much so that I’m forcing my brother to buy this book for me and bring it back to Australia when he travels to the US later this month. A List of Cages has been compared to and recommended for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and I absolutely adored that book and so this is definitely high on my radar. A List of Cages follows two lead male perspectives, Adam and Julian, who were once foster brothers but who haven’t seen each other in over five years. However, when Adam takes up an elective in his senior year of high school to serve as an aide to the school psychologist, he’s reunited with Julian and learns that his once foster brother has new secrets, and Adam becomes more determined than ever to help him- even if it might cost both of them their lives.


2017 Debuts (YA):


– x0

resolutions | 2017

Hello everyone! Today I thought I would share with you all some of my 2017 resolutions and goals. Now, unlike most people that I know 2016 actually wasn’t that much of a disaster for me personally. The world lost a lot of great people and a lot of other bad things happened environmentally, socially, politically etc., but I think I accomplished a lot of incredible things in 2016. However, that being said, from December last year I’ve had this weird feeling in my stomach that 2017 is going to be my year (excuse how disgustingly cliche that sounds). The end of last year bought with it the end of a lot of things in my life, most importantly the end of my undergraduate university degree, so 2017 will serve as the starting line for a lot of exciting and new things. I have a lot that I want to do in 2017, both academically and personally, so I thought I would share 5 of my resolutions and goals for this upcoming year. I hope that it’s a great one for all of us.

1. P O S T G R A D U A T E  S T U D Y

For those of you who don’t know, I graduated from university on 14 December 2016 with a Bachelor of Psychology and Criminology from RMIT University. Without a doubt that was one of the greatest and most satisfying accomplishments of my entire life. I graduated with distinction (or ‘honours’, depending on where you’re from), and that propelled me forward into being accepted into post-graduate study for 2017. I’ll be starting my post-graduate diploma in Psychology in March of 2017, and I know that the workload will be a lot more intense and research-focused than the entirety of my undergraduate degree, but I feel extremely ready and capable to tackle this challenge. I’ll be completing my studies at a different university than RMIT, and surprisingly this doesn’t scare me at all. If you’d asked 17-year-old Emily who was just about to enter into university for the first time, she’d be mortified at the idea of having to drive to a university that’s almost 40 minutes out of town, but almost 21-year-old Emily is ready for a change in scenery.

I know that I’ll get a lot out of this one year of an intense workload, and although I’m a little nervous about having completely new classmates, classes, tutors, lecturers, professors etc., I know that I need to put myself out there in order to get the most out of my time. I made so many wonderful friends throughout my undergraduate degree, and I know that I’ll be able to find some really great new friends this year too. Where my undergraduate degree consisted of more than 200 people, my post-graduate diploma has less than 100, and so being surrounded by a close-knit community of like-minded and motivated classmates will really help me both in my academic life, but also in my social life. 

2. I N T E R N S H I P

The day after I graduated from university I had an interview for one of the most exciting internship positions that I’ve come across. On 5 January 2017 I was officially offered a position with Headspace as a part of their Youth Mental Health Advocacy Group, which I will be starting in less than two weeks time. This position lasts the entire year, and I’m so excited to be starting this journey while also continuing on with my studies in psychology. The Youth Advocacy Group proposes, organises, manages and carries out a whole range of activities for the young people who attend Headspace, as well other side projects. Although I haven’t yet met the other members of the YAG, I know that they must be just as passionate and just as motivated about psychology and mental health as I am, and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together throughout 2017.

I’ve never been the best at time management, and so completing an internship alongside an intense post-graduate and research workload won’t be easy, but I’m going to have to teach myself how to manage my time more efficiently this year. I’m equally excited about my internship as I am for going back to university, and so I have to find that balance between the two of them to get the most out of both. I’ve never had an internship before and so I want to dedicate so much of myself to it this year. I’m so ready and willing to jump right into anything that the YAG proposes, and to hone the skills I’ve developed throughout my undergraduate degree. This field is one that I care so much about and have been affected by personally, and so my passion for mental health- particularly among young people- is so important to me, and a subject that I think deserves a lot more recognition and awareness. That’s what I hope to accomplish foremost at Headspace in 2017.

3. W R I T I N G

It’s no secret at all that I almost completely abandoned Little Talks in 2016 (and 2015 as well, let’s be honest here), and that makes me so sad. I’ve loved writing since I was 11 years old, and the fact that I have such a wonderful platform to express my opinions and display my writing and I’m not utilising it as much as I could be? That makes me even more sad. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I want to make this year the year that I really make the most of Little Talks. I want to review more books and more movies, show you what I’ve been loving and hating in recent months, what TV shows I’m currently obsessed with and which authors I’ve recently discovered. I want to use this platform for so much more, and to just use it so much more overall, and that’s not going to happen unless I knuckle down and just do it.

4. L E A R N  G R E E K

When I started kindergarten at the tender age of 3 I couldn’t speak English particularly well. My entire family is Greek- both of my parents, all four of my grandparents etc.- and so I was literally raised to speak Greek, but over the years (i.e. since I was 3 and now that I’m almost 21) I’ve retained next to nothing of the language. I can say the alphabet, can mostly understand my parents and grandparents when they speak Greek and can use the most basic phrases such as ‘yes’, ’no’, ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’, but other than that my knowledge of the language is dismal at best. So naturally I really want to start re-learning the language again in 2017, not just because it’s cool to speak more than one language and because it looks good on your CV, but because without it, I won’t be able to communicate with my grandparents as well as I’d like to. Of my four grandparents, only one can speak English to a decent extent, so I think it would be a lot easier for me to learn Greek rather than force them to speak English on my account.

I’d also love to travel to Greece at some point in my life, and although English is now widely spoken throughout Greece by most people, I’d still love to be able to travel over there and be able to communicate properly and in the traditional language. I have a lot of family that live in Greece, and it kind of scares me to think that if I ever see them while I’m over there, our time together would become awkward and full of basic hand gestures. So, I’m enlisting the help all of my relatives for this resolution in 2017.

5. M O R E  R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y

I want 2017 to be the year that I become a lot more responsible, financially, socially, around the house, and in every other way you can think. I like to think that I’m a pretty responsible person already, but there are a lot of adult purchases that I want to make during this upcoming year, and a few other adult things I’d like to save up for, including a holiday that I’d like to go on in 2018. In 2017 I’m going to have to be a lot more responsible with my time anyway, what with managing school, a social life, my internship, family time, reading, writing, exercising etc., so I think I should be able to fit in some other responsibilities too. In particular, I’d love to help my parents out some more around the house and my mum on days that she decides to work from home, and I’d also like to help my cousin out some more by babysitting her children. I think it would be nice to give her some time alone with her husband, or for her to have a day to herself even, so I’d definitely like to be around some more for my family in 2017.


So, there they are, my five (main) resolutions for 2017. I really hope that this year I’m able to really focus on all of these resolutions, and that at the end of the year I’m able to say that I accomplished each and every one of them.

Let me know what your 2017 resolutions are down below, and until next time …

– x0

TOP 15 TO READ IN 2017

Hello everyone! Today I’m here to share with you all my ‘Top 15 To Read in 2017’ list, which is basically all of the books that I want (i.e. need) to get to in 2017. There are two books on this list that will be re-reads for me- because I’m in desperate need for some Harry Potter and The Mortal Instruments nostalgia- but all of the others will be new-to-me books.

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1) – V.E. Schwab



City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1) – Cassandra Clare (re-read)



Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Illustrated by Jim Kay) – J.K Rowling (re-read)



Hopeless (Hopeless, #1) – Colleen Hoover



The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1) – Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)



Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2) – Claudia Gray



An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1) – Sabaa Tahir



The Marvels – Brian Selznick



Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) – Leigh Bardugo



Blue Lily Lily Blue + The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #3 and #4) – Maggie Steifvater

Goodreads (Blue Lily, Lily Blue):


Goodreads (The Raven King):


The Midnight Star (The Young Elites, #3) – Marie Lu



This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) – Victoria Schwab



Saint Anything – Sarah Dessen



Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult



Heartless – Marissa Meyer




So that’s my list! Let me know down in the comments below, what books you’re hoping to get to in 2017, and if any of them are on my list too.

– x0


Hello everyone, and Happy New Year! I hope that you all had a wonderful and safe New Year, and that your 2017 is already off to a great start.

Today I thought that I’d share with you all my most anticipated book releases of this year. Now, there are a lot more that I’m eager to get my hands on this year, but I had to do some serious culling to give you my top ten most anticipated. These are in chronological order of release, but those that don’t have an exact release date (as of the time I post this) will be listed toward the bottom under ‘TBA’.

So, here are most top ten most anticipated book releases of 2017:

January 17
Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1) – Veronica Roth

January 25
Dawn Study (Soulfinders, #3) – Maria V Snyder

April 11
The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli

May 2nd
A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3) – Sarah J. Maas

May 2nd
The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2) – Rick Riordan

May 23rd
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2) – Cassandra Clare

June 27th
Now I Rise (The Conquerer’s Saga, #2) – Kiersten White

July 11
Because You Love To Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy – Ameriie 

October 3rd
The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3) – Rick Riordan

The Lost Book of the White (The Eldest Curses, #1) – Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

TBA (Throne of Glass, #6) – Sarah J Maas

Batman – Marie Lu / Wonder Woman – Leigh Bardugo / Catwoman – Sarah J Maas

Warcross (Warcross, #1) –  Marie Lu

TBA (Illuminae, #3) – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Unearthed (Unearthed, #1)- Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner


So there we have it, the books that I’m most anticipating for 2017. Let me know some of the books that you’re looking most forward to this year, and if any of them are on my list too!

– x0

Most & Least Favourite Reads | 2016

M O S T  F A V O U R I T E

1. Vicious – V.E Schwab
After I read Vicious, it became very easy for me to say that Victoria/V.E Schwab is one of my all-time favourite authors, and also my favourite ‘new-to-me’ author in 2016. Vicious completely captured my attention and enthralled me, keeping me on the edge of my seat and on the edge of my bed. Whenever I wasn’t reading Vicious, I wanted to be reading it.

Vicious is a dual narrative novel that follows two storylines- one in the past and the other in the present- about our two main characters, Eli Ever and Victor Vale. In one storyline we follow Eli and Victor, best friends and roommates at University where together they’re attempting to complete their theses. In the other storyline we follow present day Eli and Victor, now sworn enemies that want the other dead. Vicious is so clever in the way that it establishes each storyline separately, yet manages to intertwine them at the most pivotal moments in the story. V.E Schwab discusses heroism and villainy equally from both perspectives, but is also careful to draw just as equal attention to the morally grey area in between. As I’ve said, she has definitely become an auto-buy author to me, and Vicious has secured a place on my all-time favourite list of books. I’ll be thinking about this story- and its potential for a sequel- for a long time.

2. A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J Maas
Oh. My. God.  It was such a close call between A Court of Mist and Fury and Vicious for my number one favourite book of 2016, but ultimately ACOMAF has come in a very, very, very, very, very close second place. In my opinion, ACOMAF easily overshadows the first book in the series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, so much so that it almost doesn’t feel like its sequel. Every single character that we know evolved (some even literally) and came into their own strong and unique personality, especially our leading lady Feyre. We were also introduced to an entirely new cast of characters, including Rhysand’s Inner Circle and the rest of the esteemed Night Court. We travelled a lot and met members of various other courts in the Fae realm, many of whom I’m hoping to meet again- and learn more about- in the future. Within moments of meeting these new characters I wanted to become their closest friend and ally, and within moments involving old characters, I was left either wanting to see them more or never again. I felt both of these within a matter of pages and chapters.

While I have noticed the heavy criticism that ACOMAF and the ACOTAR series has received for its lack of diversity- which I mostly agree with- that doesn’t necessarily subtract from my overall level of enjoyment while reading ACOMAF. I was instantly drawn back into this world and to the characters I’d come to love, and I was happy just to be reading about them again. I had so much fun reading ACOMAF, despite the intense and stressful moments. Most of the time these scenes were also coupled with heartbreak, elation and devastation all at once, so I applaud Sarah J. Maas for that. 

I’ve never actually experienced the feeling of wanting to immediately re-read a book the moment I finish reading it for the first time. ACOMAF almost- almost– made me do that. This 600+ page rollercoaster has left me eagerly and desperately awaiting the next book in this series, and hoping that the next one won’t be the last.

3. Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare
I waited more than two years for another Cassandra Clare Shadowhunters novel and 2016 did not disappoint. Lady Midnight is the first book in Cassandra Clare’s newest trilogy The Dark Artifices and is set five years following the dramatic events of City of Heavenly Fire, the epic conclusion to the Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight follows two main protagonists- Emma Carstairs, a now 17 year old girl hellbent on avenging the mysterious murder of her parents five years ago, and Julian Blackthorn, also an orphan and Emma’s parabatai, who has a number of secrets of his own. 

Lady Midnight is set in a brand new city that we’ve never visited before in any of the other Shadowhunter novels- Los Angeles. We’re also introduced to a rather large cast of new characters, including Julian’s eccentric bunch of siblings- Helen, Mark, Livia, Tiberius, Drusilla and Octavian. We also meet Malcolm Fade, Cristina Rosales and Kieran of the Wild Hunt, who brought so many moments of stress to this book. Along with their own secrets, these characters also brought their own distinct personality and voice and I’m so much looking forward to seeing where the events of Lady Midnight take us in its sequel, Lord of Shadows, which is set to be released on 23 May, 2017.

4. Gemina – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
OH MY GOD. I think this book actually (as in physically) blew my mind.

I was fortunate enough to attend the Melbourne book launch for Gemina, and to read it more than a day before the rest of the world. While I was somewhat dubious about how well I’d be able to connect to an entirely new cast of characters- although I seriously shouldn’t have been- Amie and Jay completely sold this book to every member of the audience at their launch.

Gemina begins almost immediately following the conclusion of the first book in this series, Illuminae, although its both a sequel and companion novel at the same time. Where Illuminae follows the story of Katy and Ezra Gemina follows Hanna and Nic, the beloved and spoiled daughter of a Captain, and the ragtag member of a family of criminals. We also see a lot of Nic’s cousin Ella, who is extremely similar to Katy in a number of important ways, and who also brings humour and light to an otherwise dark and pretty unpredictable book. As with Illuminae, Gemina is also full of multimedia formatting. This book recounts the survival stories of Nic and Hanna through instant messages, security camera footage, journal entries, illustrations and other ambiguous formats that add so much dimension to the novel overall. What makes this series so fantastic is how unique the method of storytelling is, and I don’t think it would be anywhere near as fantastic without it.

I really grew to love Nic, Hanna and Ella more than Katy and Ezra from Illuminae, and I can only imagine that whoever’s story we follow in the third and final book in this trilogy is sure to live up to the expectations now firmly set for them.

5. Attachments – Rainbow Rowell
This was such a delightful surprise, and it’s definitely my favourite book written by this author. Attachments is a dual perspective novel. We follow Lincoln’s storyline in standard prose, but follow Beth and Jennifer through their constant back-and-forth emailing. 

Lincoln is an almost 30-year-old, mostly night-shift IT worker at a newspaper company who has basically no idea what he’s doing with his life and where it’s headed until one night at work he comes across a number of emails between two women who work in different divisions at the newspaper company. Lincoln, whose job it is to manage the emailing system and the company’s entire security network, decides not to formally caution Beth and Jennifer for their non-professional use of their email accounts. Instead, Lincoln decides to continue to read these women’s emails and even begins to develop an attraction toward one of the women. Attachments is your stock-standard sweet romance novel with a format that really pushes the story along. I read Attachments in less than a day and even now- months later- the story has stuck with me and left me wondering where these characters are now and how their lives have turned out.

6. The Winner’s Kiss – Marie Rutkoski
The Winner’s Kiss is the final book in Marie Rutkoski’s Winner’s trilogy, and partially because it was released around my birthday in 2016, I absolutely adored it. 

I usually don’t enjoy the final book in a trilogy all that much, especially when compared to the earlier books, but The Winner’s Kiss literally had me on the edge of my seat and desperate to know where Kestrel and Arin’s stories ended. This entire trilogy follows a storyline that is so politically motivated, and is one of the most intricate and delicate that I’ve seen in young adult literature. For that reason alone I find that this trilogy is so unique and distinct from other work in the genre, and believe that it deserves a lot more attention than it’s currently getting. Our two main characters Kestrel and Arin have one of the most unique relationships, and are so life-like. Where Arin begins as a slave and a member of a repressed population, Kestrel is the talented, beautiful and darling daughter of a General in the war. Both Kestrel and Arin, who are strong not just physically but emotionally, are also capable and intelligent characters with very distinct personalities. Their friendship and relationship are both so unique and not as straightforward as you’d hope, and especially in The Winner’s Kiss, left me biting my nails out of pure nervousness.

A number of familial relationships are also emphasised throughout this series, in particular Kestrel’s relationship with her father and Arin with his cousin. However, a lot of other important things are emphasised that other books in the genre tend to ignore or overlook, such as race and religion. The Winner’s Kiss shows the audience how important these things are to entire populations of people, and sheds such positive light on both of them. Even more, the beautifully poetic nature of Marie Rutkoski’s writing style adds that little bit more vibrancy and essence to this series.

7. Empire of Storms – Sarah J Maas
Every September the world eagerly anticipates the release of the next book in Sarah J Maas’ Throne of Glass series, and Empire of Storms was no exception. The second to last book in the Throne of Glass series, Empire of Storms picks up right where we left off the year before. It was full off suspense, intense and highly emotional moments,  and devastation toward the end that we all should’ve seen coming. Although I didn’t feel nearly as emotionally attached to our main character Aelin as I did in Queen of Shadows, I found that I became so much more attached to other characters, mainly Manon, Elide and Lorcan. Of course, I was more than happy to see my darling Prince Dorian again, and I’m so excited (and extremely nervous) to see where the sixth and final book in this series takes us (and ultimately leaves us) in October 2017.

8. Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy – Cassandra Clare
Damn Cassandra Clare, back at it again with another incredible Shadowhunters novel.

After I read The Bane Chronicles– the bind-up series of novellas centred around another character in the Shadowhunter universe- I was left a little underwhelmed by the prospect of more Shadowhunter novellas. I didn’t love The Bane Chronicles, and truthfully I only really enjoyed maybe three of the novellas in the entire bind-up. However, The Mortal Instruments series and the Shadowhunter universe in general mean a great deal to me as a person and as a reader, so I obviously (and kind of inevitably) decided to give these brand new novellas a chance.

I read these novellas on my e-reader as soon as I could, and read all of them within one weekend. I was actually on holiday with my entire family, and it’s fair to say that I gave Simon and co. a lot more attention than my family that weekend. I adored reading almost solely from Simon’s perspective, where in The Mortal Instruments series we only get a brief insight into his perspective. I loved seeing where Simon was post-City of Heavenly Fire, and so many other familiar faces that I’d missed so much. This book gave me so many warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feelings and I’m so glad that I gave it, and Simon, a chance.

9. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
If there’s ever a book that’s left me with serious heartbreak, it has nothing on Me Before You. I so vividly remember being in the middle of the CBD the moment that I finished reading Me Before You, and I’ve never drawn so much attention to myself before. I was a crying, sobbing and blubbering mess, although I knew going into this book that I would be. Me Before You follows the story of recently unemployed Louisa Clark who accepts a position- in a moment of desperation- as caretaker to a young quadriplegic man. Louisa, who is completely inexperienced for the position, soon learns that there is a lot more to Will, and to the rest of his family, than she might have originally thought. Me Before You covers difficult topics, has some of the most difficult conversations that any family could ever have, and ultimately shows very real and very raw emotion.

While there has been some controversy about how ‘ableist’ this book comes across, I felt myself becoming attached to almost every single character, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been so invested in the lives of contemporary characters.

10. Maybe Someday – Colleen Hoover
I have a fairly strong love-hate relationship with Colleen Hoover, so naturally I was skeptical about the level of hype surrounding Maybe Someday. However, I found that I was pleasantly surprised by how much of an impact it had one me, and I think I can say that Maybe Someday is leagues ahead of her other work.

Maybe Someday follows the story of newly-turned 22 year old Sydney, who on her birthday learns that her boyfriend of two years- Hunter- has been cheating on her with her now ex- best friend and ex- roommate Tori. With only a suitcase in hand and caught in the pouring rain, Sydney accepts an offer from her mysterious neighbour Ridge to stay at his apartment while she deals with all of the drama in her life. Maybe Someday has a strong focus on friendship and on music, which is something that I didn’t think I would appreciate. I’m not a musically talented or musically inclined person at all, and I understand next-to-nothing about anything music-related, but I can definitely see how Maybe Someday would appeal a lot more to those who are better-versed in the language of music and musical composition. However, I still think that it holds some value and a lot of appeal to those of us who aren’t.

L E A S T  F A V O U R I T E  

1. November Nine – Colleen Hoover
In contrast to Maybe Someday, which made it onto my Top 10 of 2016 list, November Nine did not. It wasn’t even close to be quite honest. At the time that I read November Nine I thought that I was enjoying the story and the characters, but toward the end of the book I realised that I wasn’t enjoying anything about it at all. Honestly, November Nine is an incredibly harmful book, and a lot of the triggering and distasteful moments throughout it weren’t even brought to my attention until Whitney from WhittyNovels (Twitter: @whittynovels) read the book also and called it out online. In essence, November Nine romanticises emotional and physical abuse. The main male protagonist Ben is a controlling and manipulative “love” interest, and to me it seemed as though Colleen Hoover wrote the main female protagonist Fallon as though the entire substance of her character depended on Ben’s sexual attraction to her. 

I’m so disappointed, both in myself for not recognising and pinpointing these problematic moments, but also in author that I’ve previously proclaimed to love.

2. The Kill Order – James Dashner
I read and thoroughly enjoyed James Dashner’s original Maze Runner trilogy, and so I was excited when I heard that The Kill Order would follow the story of a new character in the same dystopian world. However, I found this book so incredibly draining and honestly such a struggle to get through. I didn’t connect with any of the characters, especially the main character Mark, and found the half-assed romance aspect the most difficult part. 

Most of the time I forgot that The Kill Order was supposed to be a prequel to the original Maze Runner trilogy, as it added next to nothing to the world that Dashner had already established. Overall, I was just so disappointed with this book, and I’m not sure if it’s left me with enough to energy to put into reading the next (and final) novel in the Maze Runner world, The Fever Code (although I have heard much better things about it).

3. Oblivion – Jennifer L Armentrout
No. Just no. This was one of the first books that I finished in 2016, and I think it left a really bitter taste in my mouth for anything else that I read last year. After struggling through Oblivion, I came to the conclusion that I’m never again going to read a book in a series that I’ve already read, that’s been retold from the perspective of the other love interest. I just find the entire concept so ridiculous and unnecessary, and nothing but a ploy from well-established authors to both make more money, and keep readers interested in a series that’s already been concluded. 

At times there were some humorous and enjoyable moments in Oblivion, but honestly not enough to warrant the need for an entire book. It was basically just a re-read of Obsidian, which wasn’t what I signed up for.

4. Too Late – C. Hoover
I had absolutely no idea that Colleen Hoover even wrote under the name ‘C. Hoover’, or that she had almost an entire novel published on Wattpad available to read for free. Naturally I was excited when I found out about this, but at 5% of the way through this book I realised that it wasn’t what I originally thought it would be. The writing style wasn’t that different from her other work, and Too Late is definitely a lot more adult and mature than any of her other work, but I still don’t think that I enjoy C. Hoover all that much. This is the first adult novel that I’ve read from this author, but it’s not the first book that I’ve read with mature content in it. However, the mature content in this book was so excessive and unnecessary. I think C. Hoover had a sex scene once every 3-4 pages at least. Toward the end I also feel like the writing became a lot more sloppy and lazy, and everything that happened was extremely convenient.

Basically, this book was just way too smutty. The erotica genre is one that I never really envision myself getting into, and although there were a few characters that I didn’t mind/tolerated reading about, I feel like my distaste for smutty writing and overly vivid sex scenes really overshadowed my interest for anything else in this book. So this one was quite the let down.

5. A New Hope- The Princess, The Scoundrel and The Farm Boy – Alexandra Bracken
This was a bit of a let down considering how invested I am in the Star Wars universe. As with Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy, I also read this book while on holiday with my family in January 2016. While this book was a fast read- technically it is a children’s book- I don’t remember anything that happened in it. I obviously enjoyed all of the characters because I’ve seen Leia, Han and Luke in all of the movies, but this book really didn’t add all that much else to the Star Wars universe. At the time it was fun and enjoyable, but for someone like me who already knows so much about the Star Wars universe and most of its characters, this book didn’t exactly provide what I wanted. 

However, I would definitely recommend this book for people who are wanting to get into Star Wars and are intimidated by the various number of movies, TV shows, novels, graphic novels, comics etc., that take place in a galaxy far, far away.


So there we have it, my most and least favourite reads of 2016. I hope you all had a wonderful and safe New Years celebration, and are just as excited as I am about the 2017 reading year to come!

Let me know your most and least favourite reads of 2016 down below.

– x0

Top 5 Wednesday (November 30, 2016)

Hello everyone! I know it’s been a (very) long time but I’m back and here today to share with you all another Top 5 Wednesday. This week, the topic for Top 5 Wednesday is:

F A V O U R I T E   V I L L A I N S 

Now, I have a lot of favourite villains, and not because I have a sick sense of loving characters that do terrible, terrible things, but because I find villains to be one of the most interesting- and sometimes even the best- parts of any novel. I’m not including Voldemort or Dolores Umbridge in this list because I’ve said in the past that these two are probably the most loathed characters in all of literature, and well because they’re two obvious spot fillers in any villain-related list. So, excluding those two, here’s the list of my top five favourite villains:

1. Victor Vale & Eli Evers – Vicious by V.E. Schwab
This is also known as the world’s most conflicting case of “who’s the actual villain in this story …”. Victoria Schwab is known for writing incredibly addicting and morally grey characters, who- at the best of times- show you that you can love someone, even when they do something bad.

2. Aidan – Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
aka I’ve never been more terrified of a computer and/or artificial intelligence before in my life. I don’t know how Amie and Jay did it, but they managed to create one of the most terrifying “villains” (I use the word loosely here. Can a computer really be considered a ‘villain’?) in young adult literature.

3. Sebastian Morgenstern – The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Sebastian Morgenstern himself defines “you’re beautiful, but you’re evil, but you’re beautiful”. What makes Sebastian so intriguing is his warped sense of dedication and loyalty, not only to the war he’s caused, but more eerily to the family he forces to be by his side. Sebastian forces love and forces family, and doesn’t understand that neither of those things can be pushed onto others.

4. Maeve/ Amarantha & Ianthe– Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
Any villainous female character that Sarah J Maas writes, I despise with every fibre of my being. Maeve is power-hungry, obsessional and too powerful for her own good, Amarantha is purely psychotic and Ianthe, my God, she just needs to get laid, but I won’t be happy until any and all of these women have been destroyed.

5. The Darkling – The Grisha Trilogy by Ruin and Rising
The Darkling is full of mystery and allure, so I understand completely why Alina felt attracted to him. The Darkling is that type of villain where you hear about him from other readers, and when you start reading the book you don’t understand why everyone else seems to hate this character, you actually kind of like him- really like him- maybe even love him, but then that one thing happens and you start to doubt everything you’ve ever thought, but that sense of attraction is still there somehow and lasts and lasts and lasts … You know how this one ends.

Thank you all for reading, and I’m hoping to see you all again soon!

– x0