Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Mini Review- Tales of the Peculiar


Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of peculiars was written in the Tales. 

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. The origins of the first ymbryne. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—known to hide information about the peculiar world—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

Riggs now invites you to share his secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories, as collected and annotated by Millard Nullings, ward of Miss Peregrine and scholar of all things peculiar. 



Tales of the peculiar are short stories from the wonderful world created by Ransom Riggs. While I have been slack regarding reading Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children, I had no trouble diving into this. His previous books are not enforced pre-requisites for these spooky and sometimes haunting tales of peculiar myth and morals.

There are 10 stories all up and for me there were a few standouts. By far though the first story of the book, ‘The Splendid Cannibals’ was my favorite, with a good dose of creepiness and a great lesson to be considered about greed.

This is a great addition to the world created by Ransom Riggs, but you could easily get into this book with no prior knowledge of his series. The entire book reads like a compilation of fairytales, similar to something like the Grimm tales, but with a ‘peculiar’ twist to it. 

My Rating 4/5

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Fashion Report

So after recently finishing 'The Selection' series, I was inspired by their beautiful covers and decided to do a random one off feature. The feature itself is called the 'Fashion Report', after Illeas own televised show 'The Report' but with more fashion and less politics :P 

Each of the covers for 'The Selection' series have been given a contemporary make-over, with dresses and accessories from a more modern time. This was all just a bit of fun and games while I was feeling particularly artistic one evening, and I had a lot of fun mucking around and putting each of the outfits together. Hope you guys enjoy and let me know which one is your favorite!

Let me know down below in the comments, which one you like best :)

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Review- Not a Drop to Drink (Mindy McGinnis)

Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink, #1)


Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own. 



Not a drop to drink is one of the most realistic portrayals of a post-apocalyptic world that I have read. It differs from most YA in this category with its lack of zombies and other new world monsters, and sticks to the basics; water. If you were suddenly without it, no longer able to freely access it with the turn of a tap, what would you do?

Lynn and her mother live in an old farmstead. They have everything they need, shelter, a close water source, and a good vantage point for shooting anyone that comes near what is theirs. Not a Drop to Drink is a survival story about something that could easily occur in the not so distant future. The writing is terrific and the author doesn’t beat around the bush describing in depth the hard truths of a world scarce of such a basic necessity for life.

“Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.” 

- Mindy McGinnis (Not a Drop to Drink)

The book is told from Lynn’s perspective, describing the only life she has ever known, isolated, hard and wary of any strangers, all traits her mother has passed down to her. Along with the most important rule of all, protect what is yours at all costs.

After a series of events, Lynn is left to make a big choice. Does she open herself up to trusting others or does she keep herself shut off from the world continuing to live by her mother’s rules?

“Killing people was easier when the only face I ever saw was Mother’s back then, anyone else was the enemy and shooting at an outline in a scope wasn’t any different than taking down a deer, just in a different shape.”
- Mindy McGinnis (Not a Drop to Drink)

Wonderful, is the only way to describe this book. I devoured it every chance I got, getting ready in the morning, lunch break at work, or while cooking dinner. It was so difficult to put down because you were never really sure what was going to happen next. The authors writing was raw and gritty, with such a plausible backdrop that you could easily get lost into thinking it was a non-fiction account of real life events.

It was refreshing to have a YA book that was almost void of all romance (there was the smallest mention of some flirting and a crush, but it never came close to being a main part of the story).  Lynn’s background of hardship and devastation makes her a fascinatingly complex character who takes an emotional journey from beginning to end. Unlike many YA contemporary books, where we find angsty teens concerned with such trivial things. We get to follow a strong female lead, hardened by the world with a basic need to survive, slowly letting her guard down and allowing people in.

The ending was perfect if you wanted to read this as a standalone. But lucky for us there is a second book with which we can immerse ourselves (In a Handful of Dust- Review to come soon). I highly recommend you pick up Not a Drop to Drink, to think I waited this long to read it is a shame!

“There's a famous line from a poem about the ocean," Mother had finally said to end the discussion. "'Water water every where, but not a drop to drink.” 
- Mindy McGinnis (Not a Drop to Drink)

My Rating 5/5

Monday, 14 November 2016

Fall Activities Book Tag

So Dreaming Through Literature, has created this awesome book tag encompassing all the activities that make up the great season that is fall. While on the other side of the world here in little old New Zealand the weather is anything but fall like, I still wanted to participate in this cute tag, as Autumn is definitely my favorite season. With its beautiful colors, slightly cooler weather, which means sweaters, hot drinks and cozying up who couldn't love it.


Apple Picking

A book on your TBR that looks so delicious you can’t wait to take a bite out of it.

I absolutely love The Phantom of the Opera, and have seem it performed live and would love to do so again at some stage. I first saw the movie as a young adult and was taken by the unrequited love story and fantastic music. I am so excited for there to be a retelling of this story and I can't wait to get to it. 

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Corn Maze

A book that’s so much fun to get lost in.

 The Throne of Glass universe is so easy to get lost in. Sarah J. Maas weaves an amazing story and world that you are happy to get lost in and not found for hours. 
The Merciless

Haunted Houses

A book that scared you silly.

I often give scary books a wide berth, since I really don't like being scared. The Merciless didn't scare me silly, but it was definitively creepy and gave me some heeby jeebies while I was reading.  Full review HERE

The Unexpected Everything 

Pumpkin Patch

The latest book you picked up (purchased)

I was lucky enough on my recent book hunt to come across The Unexpected Everything in a bargain book and was super stoked. I read Since You've Been Gone at the start of the year and adored Morgan Matsons writing. Here's hoping this one is just as good. 

The Accident Season 

Scenic Drives

A book that is lyrically beautiful.

This book was strange but also refreshing. The author definitely has a way with words and I remember being taken by her beautiful prose and lyrically magical setting which crossed the boundaries of real and imaginary. Full review HERE

Kiss Crush Collide

Pumpkin Carving

A book you didn’t like and wouldn’t mind carving up.

I read this many moons ago and was so disappointed. To this day I still regret the time I wasted reading it. Full review HERE

Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink, #1) 


A book that was a highly enjoyable romp.

No words can describe how much I loved this book. There was adventure and mystery, and events that occurred that I never saw coming. I devoured and enjoyed every page of this book.

Drinking Apple Cider

A sweet book to curl up under the covers with.

The Improbable Theory of Ana and ZakThis book gives me all the feels. It's the perfect dose of sweetness to curl up with at the end of the day. 

Jumping In a Leaf Pile

A book that reminds you of your childhood.

So this probably an odd book to choose, but as a child I use to go to Sci-Fi and comic book conventions with my parents. Something that I regret not continuing with. While reading this book it brought back all those memories of crowded convention centres, with people dressed in costumes, and all sorts of fun to be had. 

A Monster Calls 

Scary Movie Night

Your favorite spooky read.

This book could have also appeared in the Scenic Drive category for its beautiful prose. While it's not what I would classify as spooky necessarily, it has a haunting quality to it that I think fits right in with fall. 

Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1) 

Bonus! Costume Party 

A book with an eclectic cast of characters.

There are so many wonderful books to choose from but I went with one of my all time favorite Urban fantasy series.  When your main hero is a succubus, who works for a demon,  is friends with vampires and an angel, and whose love interest is a nephilim; a lot of hilarity ensues. 

 If you plan on participating or already have, leave your link down below and I'll be sure to check them out.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Feature & Follow Friday

Here’s this week’s prompt: 

Bookstagram Challenge: Fall Colours Book Photo

Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community.

I'm just starting out with bookstagramming, so I really enjoyed this challenge (plus I adore fall colours). There are so many inspiring people out there creating beautiful bookish photography. Nothing like stunning art to motivate your creativeness!

Are you a Bookstagram Novice or Veteran...leave an Instagram plug if you want and I'll be sure to check out your page :)

Friday, 11 November 2016

A Series Review - The Selection (Kiera Cass)


For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


Series Review 

So since I magically actually finished a series for once (one of my many bad habits is half finishing a series) I’m going to take the liberty of reviewing the entire series as a whole. One of the reasons I was particularly drawn to these books (besides their incredibly beautiful covers), was the idea of a ‘The Bachelor’ type setting and atmosphere. I mean 35 girls in a roomful together all fighting over the same man, there is bound to be endless entertainment value in that.

23502345The Original Trilogy

My rating: 4/5

So the story begins with Prince Maxon, ultimately needing to find a partner. Which is done in the traditional way of ‘The Selection’ a competition for his heart, with 35 random girls from all over. While on the other side of the country America Singer, is being forced by her own mother to enter into the selection, something she rebels against, until her heart is broken and she gives into the idea… though be it very begrudgingly.

The first 3 books focus around Maxon and America’s budding friendship and ultimately their developing romance. Although it’s not all happiness and roses. A love from America’s past ends up stationed at the castle, bringing back her romantic feelings and confusing her emotions for Maxon. Overall, typical love triangle silliness and uncertainty ensues. While I wasn’t overly bothered by the love triangle, I also didn’t have a particular team I was on. Maxon and Aspen both seemed like good choices to me, and even in the later books where the focus is on a younger generation, I still like both the boys equally as much.

Romance, while the main focus of the story, wasn’t the only tale to be told. Politics played an interesting role in all 5 of the books, bringing into the series the dystopian element. The Caste system that was employed under the current regiment was fascinating in a way, and its effect on the characters’ lives and interactions with others were prompted by their class number. Essentially the higher the number the more upperclass you are, with One’s being the Royal family and Eight’s living in poverty.  

“Our caste was just three away from the bottom. We were artists. And artists and classical musicians were only three steps up from dirt. Literally. Our money was stretched as tight as a high wire, and our income was highly dependent on the changing seasons.” 

- Kiera Cass (The Selection

America being a Five was lower class and had greatly different ideas to many of the other candidates in her selection around politics, stemming from her background and upbringing. While America is often noted as being an annoying protagonist (and she is to a degree) I do respect her views on politics, her stubbornness and the way she stood up for what she believed in, even with a tyrannical King out to get her at every turn. 

“I should have known that if any girl was going to disobey an order, it would be you"
- Kiera Cass (The Selection)

Final Two Books

My rating: 3/5

Eadyln, our Princess in the final two books is almost, if not more annoying than America. However, their vastly different upbringings contribute to this. With America I became frustrated at her flip-flopping between boys, but she possessed admirable qualities in her fight against the class system. Eadyln, being brought up as a princess, living in a castle with people waiting on her hand and foot was infuriating because of her privileged outlook on life and tendency to only deem things important if and when they affected her. Lucky for the reader, she does grow up and shows some insightfulness into her countries hardships, aiming to make changes for the better of her people and not just herself. 

To be upfront, the final 2 books seemed somewhat unnecessary to me. While it was interesting to see the Selection from the other side with a Princess choosing from a handful of male suitors. Some of the charm was lost on me and I felt forced to read them out of necessity rather than enjoyment (not that they were completely terrible, just not as good as the original 3). I must say while they did not live up to their predecessors, I enjoyed immensely seeing the original cast back in action. All my favourites were still there, and made appearances throughout, Maxon, Marlee, Aspen, Lucy, Carter and of course America. 

Overall Feelings

All in all, ‘The Selection’ was an enjoyable series as a whole. They were a nice treat to come home and zone out to after work. I must say as someone who is pretty slack at finishing series, I sure zipped through this one. If you want fluffy romance out the wazoo, pick this series up. 

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Halloween Movie Marathon

It only makes sense to celebrate the spooky month with some good old fashioned 'scary' movies. Now being the scaredy cat I am, most of these movies are pretty tame. You won't find any IT or Nightmare on Elm Street here. No sirree. 

My weekend is pretty empty (after spending the last two weekends driving all over the country), so I plan to be a couch potato after a busy week at work and literally make a nest on the couch. All I need are some snacks, a toasty blankie and of course my animals by my side in case I get 'too scared'. So without further adieu below are the movies I would love to watch this Halloween weekend. 

Johnny Depp

Family Friendly

What movies do you plan on watching this Halloween?

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (29)

Nine Scary Books/Movies I Would Love To Read/Watch But Won't

(because I'm too chicken)

I am honestly the biggest sook when it comes to anything scary. I shy away from Horror movies at the slightest mention of gore and even attempt to hide behind my giant popcorn at the theater if there happens to be scary trailers prior to my intended movie. Below I've illlustrated a few of the reasons I will not be picking these up anytime soon.

House Of Leaves by  
While the premise is interesting, I know it will mess with my mind, and the mind is a delicate thing you know.

Haunted by  
 While I'm sure a great writer, Chuck manages to create things I wouldn't even dream could be written about (I read one of the shorts from 'Haunted' as a teen; 'Guts'. Typically it was one of those things that went around high-school and lets just say masturbation stories gone wrong aren't my jam)

The Omen by 
 I would like to have children one day and not be paranoid about them.

Pet Semetary/ Cujo/  in General
 I have animals and would like to not be paranoid about them. Also there are a few of his books I wouldn't mind reading but overall...NOPE.

Hannibal Series by  

Sunday, 7 August 2016

#ReadThemAllThon Sign-up and TBR


I am super excited for the Pokemon themed Read-a-thon hosted by Read At Midnight. For more info on the Pokemon Indigo League #ReadThemAllThon reading challenge, read the Info/Sign Up post here

TBR Pile

The Selection (The Selection, #1) 

The Selection

Keira Cass

Believe it or not, I still haven't read this series. The whole collection has been sitting unread on my shelf for a while now. 

Pages: 327
CP: 32

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)

Me Before You

Jojo Moyes

I have no doubt that this one will be a tear-jerker and once I've read this I can finally see the movie! 

Pages: 480
CP: 48


Rainbow Rowell

 This is one of my most shameful TBR's. When it first came out there was a lot of hype around it and 3 years later I'm finally getting around to reading it.

Pages: 445
CP: 44
If You Could Be Mine

If You Could Be Mine

Sara Farizan

This book features not only a LGBT relationship but adds an extra element of forbiddeness as its set in Iran with its strict laws around same sex relationships.

Pages: 247
CP: 24


The Raging Quiet

Sheryl Jordan

One of my all time favorite books and a re-read for me. I can't wait to experience this amazingly sweet romance again.

Pages: 318
CP: 31
A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Sarah J. Maas

I'm on a bit of a SJM bender at the moment after reading the Throne of Glass novellas. I can't wait to read this, I love her writing style and I have heard great things about this book..

Pages: 416
CP: 41
The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3)

The Winner's Kiss

Marie Rutkoski

 I am so ready for this finale of the series. Book two left on a bit of a cliffhanger and I've been dying to read the final installment to find out the fate of our beloved characters,

Pages: 484
CP: 48

Ready Player One

Ready Player One

Ernest Cline

Another book sitting on my shelf for far too long... enough said.

Pages: 372
CP: 37

Chosen Pokemon

So I hard a very hard time choosing a Pokemon, I literally spent days contemplating it (I obviously have WAY too much time on my hands this weekend). Points wise I was going to choose a 3 stage evolution Pokemon. But in reality it's unlikely I will get enough points to evolve twice, so I went with my favorite Pokemon which is Vulpix. Of course being the nerd I am I decided to go with the Alolan Vulpix, which has Ice ability instead of Fire. 

Image of Vulpix found at http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/
Image of Snowflakes found at https://openclipart.org

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