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2016 Rewind & Replay

Saturday, December 31, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments



I'm sure I'm not the only one who has mixed emotions about 2016. 2016 has been such a crazy, fast and busy year - it's so weird to think that we're coming to the end of it. 
But despite all the weird and crazy things that have happened this year, I'd like to celebrate this year coming to an end by reflecting on everything that has mattered to me this year!

Notable posts 

Review: The Sun Is Also A Star - the first review of a physical ARC! 
Conversations - The New Meme On The Block - Conversations is a meme I started this year - super proud of it, and I'm hoping to kickstart it again next year! 
Why I Rarely Participate in Top Ten Tuesday and Other Memes - I think this was my first original discussion post - I hadn't seen any posts about it prior to my writing and publishing the article! 

School 

BUSY BUSY BUSY. But I'm so proud of myself. My goal is to graduate my BSc by the end of next year, despite having only started uni this year. And I'm on track! I've been overloading on courses, and I was worried I wouldn't be able to make it, but hey, here I am, and I'm still sitting on a decent GPA! 
I've also been given the amazing opportunity to do some summer research! 

Life/Social 

My social life might have dwindled down a bit - I've stopped keeping track with a lot of my high school friends. But the ones I have kept up with, our friendships are still as strong as ever, which makes me happy! 
I've met some new friends this year, but probably no really close new friends :( Maybe next year? 
In general life, let's not forget the one time I was in a minor car accident early in the year...someone bumped into the back of my car, and my parents kind of didn't let me drive very much after that. 
AND LIBBY. No one can forget that 2016 is the year that my family finally got a dog, after years of waiting! Libby is the most adorable Irish Wolfhound x Rottweiler that you can get and I am so so happy that she is in my life! ((i would go so far to say that she is the one being i truly love, what an innocent pupper))

Work 

For someone who started her first job in February to ending the year as a duty manager, I'm pretty proud of where I'm at. I'm also pretty happy that I've made some work friends and gained more confidence in my abilities! From work, I've also become a much more open person, in the sense that I'm not as shy anymore, so I'm really happy! ^_^

TV Shows 

Honestly, TV shows are my favourite - I think I've spent at least 20 days worth of time on watching them. Granted, I was multitasking (eating, drawing, etc.) at the time, but STILL. Here are the TV shows I've watched this year!
  • The Office - OH MY LORD, this is the best TV show I have ever found. People may say that Friends is the best, but I've never been able to intentionally rewatch Friends - I just watch it whenever it's convenient and it comes on the TV. The Office...I've bought it and I honestly watch it whenever I can, because it is ICONIC. Favourite TV show this year, easily, if not favourite show of all time. 
  • Chicago Fire - started and caught up
  • The Mindy Project - started and caught up
  • Fresh Off The Boat - started and caught up 
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine - started and caught up
  • Suits - started and caught up 
  • New Girl 
  • Modern Family 
  • Fringe - started, will probably never finish 
  • Family Guy - just watching a couple of episodes here and there
  • Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life - no comment. 
  • House M.D. - rewatched a couple of episodes
  • Jane the Virgin - I JUST STARTED IT (and finished it - binge reading ftw). Thanks Cilla for pushing me to watch it! 
I've watched devastating amounts of TV, truth be told...

Songs 

Songs are such an important part of my life! I cannot go a day without listening to at least one song (because my commute is generally quite long and noisy), so here is a pick of my favourites! 
Released in 2016
  • Anything by The Chainsmokers in 2016 - damn I love this group so MUCH. I didn't love their song Closer at first, but it grew on me. That's their style - all of their songs eventually just grow on me. 
  • Starboy by The Weeknd and Daft Punk - this song is repeat material! 
  • Let Me Love You + Cold Water by Justin Bieber - these songs dominated the stores this year!
  • The Gun by Cash Cash ft. Trinidad James, Dev & Chrish - this song was constantly playing in my house for way too long. Mostly because the sisters hate EDM, but I love it, and this was the one EDM song they liked. >_< 
Associated with 2016
Some songs aren't published in this year, but I'm always gonna associate them with this year! 
  • Lush Life by Zara Larsson - this song was on repeat at the start of this year, because I was stuck with a horrible phone that had enough memory for like only five songs. So whenever I think of 2016, I think I'll only think of this song. 
  • Colours by Halsey - I hated this song at first, and thought that Halsey was really overrated, BUT OMG I LOVE IT NOW. 

Books 

I've read a stunning 85 books this year. So I probably can't list them all, but if you want to check them out, they're in my Goodreads challenge here. Some of my favourites are listed here though! 
  • The Problem With Forever by Jennifer E. Armentrout
  • Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley
  • When We Collided by Emery Lord
  • Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
THESE BOOKS ARE GOLD. Best books I've read this year, and some of them are the best books I've read, like, ever. 

What's your year been like? Link me to your recaps, and let me know in the comments below - let's celebrate the end of this year and look forward to a clean slate! ^_^ 

Keep reading and loving books!
Geraldine


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When We Collided by Emery Lord

Wednesday, December 28, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments



The Breakdown


General Info:
     Title: When We Collided
     Author: Emery Lord
     Genre: Contemporary
     Publisher: Bloomsbury
     Publishing Date: April 5th, 2016

Thoughts:
     Excellent:
          - Depiction of mental illness 
          - Characters - all multifaceted, and unique, with character development
          - Writing style - everything flowed very well, conveyed ideas excellently 
          -  Key messages - love doesn't cure all

    Things that could have been better:
         - Nothing, honestly. 

Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon |

Initial Thoughts

I actually picked up this book because I had heard many great reviews of it from other bloggers. Plus, that cover is gorgeous as well - very pretty! 

We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know… 

Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.
Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world. 


Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures. 


In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.

Thoughts

I loved the way that Lord depicted mental illness in When We Collided. It was really honest, it was emotional, it made me really understand what it might be like to be diagnosed with a mental illness. With standout writing, and honest words, Emery Lord touched upon something that can be very difficult to describe. 
"Depression, it settles like a shadow over your body while you sleep, and it mutes every frequency into blankness, into fog. Everyone thinks you can't laugh when you're depressed, but I couldn't cry either, because I couldn't feel." (pg88)
I never really understood some symptoms in mental illness, but reading Lord's words, some symptoms, some of the implications, made more sense to me, and I understood everything a lot more. 
The characters were such a charm too. With such developed characters, I could all but imagine an actual small town where these characters actually live. Although I didn't love all of them, I appreciated how multi-faceted they all were. From Jonah, the boy who is left to raise his younger siblings with some of his other siblings, to the tornado that is Vivi, we got a sense of who they were. At times I wanted to smack Vivi for how ridicuous she was being at times - but I got that this was how she was, this was what the mental illness was doing to her - my frustration just enhanced the reading experience for me, and made her more real and human for it. I loved watching the characters grow and develop, along with our understanding of who the characters are. 
The relationship between Jonah and Vivi was definitely very instalovey. But it was a good instalove. I could see a spark between them, with Vivi's unapologetic brightness and Jonah's quiet strength. Although some people would say that the romance depicted in here was just lust and that Lord tried to show that romance could cure all (which we all know, isn't the case), I thought it was the opposite - Lord made a great case for teenage romance, and she/he showed that romance was in fact, not a cure all, with the ending she/he constructed, where Jonah and Vivi break up. To me, this break up signified that love cannot cure all, that mental illness cannot be cured by love and romantic relationships only - which I thought was a very good message to perpetuate. 

Final Thoughts

If you're looking for a book that focuses on mental health, has real and emotion-charged characters, When We Collided is for you. I thought that no book could top Highly Illogical Behaviour, but When We Collided more than surpassed my expectations and has set a new bar for books that focus on mental health. I'm definitely buying my own copy of this book - I borrowed it out from the library, and I NEED my own copy. `


Rating

This is based off my Goodreads review, which ranks the book by its characters, plot, writing style and entertainment value. 



Thoughts in a Phrase 

Human and real. 

Keep reading and loving books!
Geraldine


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Aussie YA Bloggers' Secret Santa

Tuesday, December 06, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments


I'm so happy to have found some Australian book lovers through blogging this year! Thank you to the wonderful AusYA mods for hosting this event, and all other things you do - you guys are amazing and the hard work you do is greatly appreciated! <3 Without further ado, here is my post! 


1. What are your top 5 favourite books this year?



When We Collided by Emery Lord 
Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare 
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
With the first three, brownie points for how diverse they are - re. culture and/or mental health! 

2. What are your top 5 favourite Aussie YA books this year?


As I only read 5 Aussie YA books this year, they were...
Akarnae by Lynette Noni
When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah 
The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub
My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbeister 
Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club.by Alison Goodman

3. How did you go with your Goodreads challenge?

I finished it a week or two ago! 75 books done - but I'm still reading! I think I'm on 84 books right now? GONNA KEEP GOING ON STRONG! 

4. What is your favourite blogging moment of 2016?

I really liked meeting Brisbane bloggers at the Brisbane Writer's Festival! I didn't really do too much though - I'm definitely going to be making a huge event out of it next year! ^_^ 
I'm pretty proud of creating Conversations, a discussion meme. Although I've fallen off track with it - I'm planning on bringing it back next year :)
I also really enjoyed Love-A-Thon - it was definitely overwhelming, but I felt like I got about as much as I put into the event! 
Finally, participating in Twitter chats in general was SO MUCH FUN! 

5. What are your blogging goals for 2017?

Definitely meet more Aussie bloggers. I only really stumbled into this huge Aussie blogger community a few months ago, and I'd love to get to know everyone a little more personally. 
Apart from that, I'd like to actually post more consistently - maybe two or three times a week on this blog, and I'm aiming for once every day on my bookstagram. 

6. What books are you looking forward to in 2017?

I've been a bit out of the loop, but definitely Lord of Shadows and Draekona! I don't know many 2017 releases, to be honest - so let me know in the comments below what books you're anticipating as well! Particularly standalones - I can't spend my life continuing to read all series! 

7. What is your favourite thing about the Aussie YA community?  

Everyone is really friendly, and it's amazing what a little community we have here! I love that we have an active Facebook and Goodreads group, that we share deals with each other, and are just friendly in general :) 

Leave 3 clues for your santee below!

1. We live in the same state! :O 
2. We're the same age! 
3. I'm so jealous you got to meet Tom Hiddleston! 

Here's the link up for all the other posts! 


Keep reading and loving books!
Geraldine


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NOV2016 Rewind & Replay

Sunday, December 04, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments



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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