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NOV2016 Rewind & Replay



Can you believe it's the end of November? Only another month until the end of 2016! It's hard to think that I graduated high school a year ago...and that I'll be graduating from my bachelor's degree in a year's time! Time really does fly by! 

Books I’ve Read/Am Reading:

This month has been a really successful reading month for me - after exams ended, all I did was read, read and more reading! Plus I got myself a Kindle...and I haven't been able to stop using it! 
The Problem With Forever by Jennifer E. Armentrout


The Memory Book by Lara Avery 
Disruption by Jessica Shirvington
Corruption by Jessica Shirvington
A Thousand Pieces Of You by Claudia Gray
When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah
A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray
Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin
The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee
Spellcaster by Claudia Gray
I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray
The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye


Down With The Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

A History of Notable Shadowhunters and Denizens of Downworld by Cassandra Clare and Cassandra Jean
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater - currently reading 

Posts on Corralling Books This Month

On the blog front, it's been quite slow - I've had exams for uni, and I've just started my summer research project. Buuuut, I'm really going to make a lasting comeback soon - I'm in the middle of drafting up a bunch of posts! GET READY, DECEMBER!
But without further ado, here are some posts I've posted this month!
The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub 
The Thanks U Give - Being Thankful: Bookish Edition

Bookstagram Photos This Month

This month, I really made a more concerted effort to be more present on bookstagram! I've tried challenges - not really loving them, to be honest, just because I find it so hard to post on the same day! But I finally figured out my theme, and I'm really liking it! 





What I got up to this month:

School

This month of November, I didn't really have uni. It was only the start of the month that I had to stress about exams! My exams were smashed into one week - and I was taking five subjects! 
I got my marks back for all my subjects though - I did pretty well by maintaining my GPA of a 6 (Distinction) so I'm fairly happy. A bit upset in a couple of subjects, given that I thought they would be easy 7 subjects since I was doing so well in the earlier assessment pieces, but I bombed the final exams...oh well! 
I did also start my summer semester - I'm taking nutrition and statistics courses! 
I'm also doing a summer research project - as I'm really interested in going into neuroscience or psychiatry, I'm part of a summer scholar program that looks into 

Work

Retail - I don't know if it was in November or October anymore, but I got promoted to duty manager at my job! It's a small promotion, but it'll look good on my resume, so I'm very happy! It's been a bit stressful with the additional responsibilities, but hopefully I'll get used to everything soon! 
Tutoring - Most of my students have been graduating from Year 12, so I've wrapped up tutoring them now. 

Life/Social

HAH. I honestly haven't had much of a life in November. Mostly all studying, truth be told... And preparing for more studying. 
But I did manage to complete the Goodreads challenge - woo! That's about as social as I got.

TV shows/Movies I Watched

I started watching Family Guy. I know, it's really sad. But it's honestly so easy to just watch - absolutely no focus needed at all. It's really great for multitasking - I'm someone who hates to do things one at a time, so it's nice having it on in the background while I'm writing posts. 
I've caught up on some of my favourite TV shows - New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Modern Family, Fresh Off The Boat and The Mindy Project! 
Plus, I watched Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life with my sister - we had major problems with most of it, to be honest.
My sister and I are also watching a Singaporean drama - Honor and Passion! We used to watch a heap of Singaporean dramas when we were younger, so this was a nice throwback to those good old times! 


tl;dr 

Damn girl, how you so busy? 


How was your month? Let me know in the comments below, or link me to your recap! 

Keep reading and loving books!
Geraldine

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The Thanks U Give - Being Thankful: Bookish Edition


As we all know, Thanksgiving is coming up! Thank you to Hazel @ Stay Bookish and Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales for hosting this event! 
Even though I'm an Australian, and we don't really celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia, I believe it's super important to always be thankful for everything we have. I try to end everyday, thinking about at least one thing I'm thankful for, but Thanksgiving is a time for us to think even more about things we're grateful for. 
After being part of the bookish community for eleven months now, I have so much to be grateful for, so many people to be grateful for. I'd like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude! 

Book Bloggers 

Emily @ Paperback PrincessRanu @ The Araliya Bookshelf - You guys were my first friends in the bookish community, and you guys essentially showed me the ropes! 
Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books - We don't talk so often anymore, but you are so hardworking, and always made me feel valued in the bookish community! I loved our comment sprees, with how we would always have a conversation going! Plus, your supportiveness in DMs, etc. has always motivated me! <3 
Cilla @ Paved With Books - People always talk about their bookish friends, and honestly, I don't really keep in contact with many people. But Cilla, you are one of the few that I do regularly keep in contact with, and I love that. You reply so quickly to my messages, and I'm so grateful to have you in my life. 
Sophie @ Sailing Through Books, TT @ Intro to Blurb, Denise @ The BibliolaterLucie @ Tea, Books and Fun and Annika @ Hiding Books- I really am so thankful for all the conversations you've all had with me! You've made the bookish community a very friendly place for me! Particularly, Denise - thanks so much for showing me the ropes in bookstagram, and tagging me in some challenges! And Sophie for hosting WIFSY! 
Jeann @ Happy Indulgence, Maddie @ Paso Maddie and Brett @ Brett Michael Orr - I'm so grateful to have found you guys and finally met you guys! I never thought there would be Brisbane book bloggers, let alone really friendly, down-to-earth Brisbane book bloggers, so it was such a pleasure to meet you guys this year! 
There are honestly too many people to thank here - I could have a whole list of them! 


Other Bookish Things 

Brisbane City Council's Library service - BCC, your library service is spot on. I used to whine about how bad the book selection was, but after joining the bookish community, and seeing all the latest releases, and seeing how quickly you got those books, I'm just so grateful to have you around. Without the library service, I would never be able to read as many of the 2016 releases as I have, being a university student. 
Bookish Community - Although there have been a fair share of dramas, there's no doubting the way that the bookish community is generally here for everyone. I've found some great friends, and gotten some very awesome book recs *cough* A Darker Shade of Magic *cough*
Authors - THANK YOU SO MUCH. Without you guys, I would never feel ALL THE FEELS, and have been able to bond with so many cool people here on the blogosphere! Never feel like you are doing nothing, because the words you write have the power to change, have the power to make other people feel things. 

What's one thing you're grateful for this year? Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? 

Keep reading and loving books!
Geraldine


Enjoyed reading this? You should definitely follow me to get more updates! 

The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub



The Breakdown


General Info:
     Title: The Yearbook Committee
     Author: Sarah Ayoub
     Genre: Contemporary, YA
     Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
     Publishing Date: March 1st, 2016

Thoughts:
     Excellent:
          - Excellent characterisation and development
          - Plot twist was unexpected but expected at the same time - that beautiful combination was enticing! 

    Things that could have been better:
         - More pages could have been dedicated to the resolution of the climax

Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Amazon

Initial Thoughts

Honestly, I picked up this book, only because everyone had been talking about it for OzYA! As an Australian and an avid book lover, I felt duty-bound to read it ASAP, and when I found it in the library...well, one thing led to another. 

Five teenagers. Five lives. One final year.
The school captain: Ryan has it all … or at least he did, until an accident snatched his dreams away. How will he rebuild his life and what does the future hold for him now?
The newcomer: Charlie’s just moved interstate and she’s determined not to fit in. She’s just biding her time until Year 12 is over and she can head back to her real life and her real friends …
The loner: At school, nobody really notices Matty. But at home, Matty is everything. He’s been single-handedly holding things together since his mum’s breakdown, and he’s never felt so alone.
The popular girl: Well, the popular girl’s best friend … cool by association. Tammi’s always bowed to peer pressure, but when the expectations become too much to handle, will she finally stand up for herself?
The politician’s daughter: Gillian’s dad is one of the most recognisable people in the state and she’s learning the hard way that life in the spotlight comes at a very heavy price.
Five unlikely teammates thrust together against their will. Can they find a way to make their final year a memorable one or will their differences tear their world apart?

Characters

What I loved most about The Yearbook Committee was how well-developed the characters were. They each had their own stories, their own personalities, and they were so well fleshed out. Even though I didn't like Charlie, that was just because I just didn't like her, like I would dislike anyone in real life. In fact, that's the entire point - these characters were human. Ayoub got to the heart of what it means to be human, and that is what makes this book so spectacular.

Plot

I really enjoyed the fact that this book had a plot. In a lot of contemporaries, it feels more like a slice of life novel - no real plot, no climax, etc. But right from the start, we know that the goal is to create the yearbook. 
Then there is the ending. The dramatic plot twist was awesome to read - I never saw it coming, yet you could have totally predicted it, with the little tiny breadcrumbs that Ayoub throws our way. 
However, my only complaint would be that the aftermath of the plot twist wasn't dealt with properly. There were only a few pages after the climax, and after such a big plot twist, I thought there would be more pages dedicated to the characters' thoughts, etc. 

Writing Style

Ayoub writes in a clearly, and really articulately. I didn't have to reread anything - everything made sense the first time I read it, even though there were five (that's right, FIVE) viewpoints. I usually hate reading different points of views, because I ALWAYS forget what happened in x, y and z character's plot line...but I don't know, after the first few pages, I eventually got used to it, because of Ayoub's writing. 


Entertainment Value

I really enjoyed reading The Yearbook Committee. Even though it was difficult  for me to get used to the book at first, and I had to slog my way through it - after a couple of pages, I was hooked in, and I couldn't stop. Plus, I couldn't stop thinking about it after I finished reading it, even though a couple of days had passed - blame it on that plot twist and feelings of how unresolved it was! 

Final Thoughts

The Yearbook Committee is a wonderful YA book from Sarah Ayoub, which has a cast of a variety of characters, which are all so relatable and oh so human. Definitely an OzYA novel to read! 

Rating



Thoughts in a Phrase

OzYA Love! 

Keep reading and loving books!
Geraldine



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