Let’s Talk: What’s so Good about Fanfiction?

fan fiction definition

Image result for fangirl rainbow rowellAs you may or may not have been aware of from either Goodreads or a sneaky glance at my blog home page, I recently (finally) got my butt into gear and read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. For those like me that are still massively behind on the YA contemporary trends, Fangirl’s central character, Cath, is a very popular fanfiction writer. She has thousands of readers and has even won awards for her stories. Basically, Cath lives and breathes fanfic. Her fandom of choice is a Rowell created series about a teen named Simon Snow which has some big similarities to something that rhymes with Gary Trotter. Just as you’d expect, reading this book got me thinking about fanfiction.

These days I feel like fanfiction gets a bit of a bad rap from the reading and broader community. People don’t seem to understand it and have a tendency to brush it off as being simplistic, weird, trashy, obsessive, even creepy. I’m in no way naïve enough to not be aware of the…darker and dodgier areas of the fanfiction webverse (come on, it is the internet), but at the same time, I also believe people discount the value of fanfic and the amount of work that goes into it. I’ll even willingly admit that during NaNoWriMo, I caught myself making a face at the idea that some people were spending their challenge working on fanfiction rather than original work (which is stupid considering I used to write it myself in my teen years – Twilight fics *shivers* dark days, guys, very dark days). Yet, now that I’ve sat down and thought about it (as well as chastised myself for being an idiot), while it may have it’s issues, fanfiction actually holds a lot of really great benefits.

Express Fandom Love & Meet Likeminded People

Pick any book, television show or movie in the world and I guarantee you that somewhere out there is a devoted group of fans who absolutely worship it beyond imagination. And the thing about fans is, once they get a taste of something, they just can’t get enough. Fanfiction is a fantastic way for people to not only constructively express their love of a particular fandom (okay, sometimes constructively), but also help them to connect with like-minded people. For the commonly found introvert (much like Cath in Fangirl), this is a good opportunity for socialisation and the ability to bond over a common interest. For people who have trouble socialising or difficulty finding others in the real world who share their interests, it’s a fantastic solution.

Writing Training Wheels

Writing is hard. Like, seriously hard. Plotting without epic holes, creating layered and interesting characters, world building that makes sense, and then there’s writing style (or in my case, trying to avoid saying ‘he said’, ‘she said’ fifty million times in one conversation. I panic, okay!). Fanfiction can be a great way for newbie writers to develop their skills. By already having a deep understanding of the characters, setting and rules, fanfic writers are able to focus on plot and the actual writing itself. I look back on my fanfiction entries from a decade ago (the horror) and can definitely see a big improvement in the way I write as I go along. It’s like writing with a support system in place until that person decides to try their hand at something original. They have the freedom to experiment and try new things in a safe space. The fact that people are then able to comment on their posts can also be a good way (well, not always) for those writers to get a sense of what they’re doing well and where they could improve.

Enjoyment & Entertainment

I don’t think it’s wrong to say that there are many people out there who enjoy certain fanfictions just as much, or perhaps even more, than some published books. Some fics build up enormous followings of people, thousands and thousands, who sit around excitedly waiting for a new chapter update and drop everything upon publication. In some instances this popularity factor is so big that it even drives fics toward publication as their own works, complete with a full set of name changes. I mean, just look at (I can’t believe I’m actually using this as an example) Fifty Shades of Grey. If you want to understand the power of people’s love for fanfiction, look no further than the money making force that is that trilogy. Sure, there are large percentages of fanfic that fall into the “trashy” category but hey, if it’s not damaging people with toxic ideas, what’s the harm in bringing people a bit of fun and enjoyment?

Continuations, Gap Filling & Spin Offs

One of the really fun parts of fanfiction is its ability to build on and expand canon stories in interesting ways. I can’t even count how many times I’ve come across a loose end I needed explained or a character that I wish I could have gotten to know better. Perhaps a sequence of events was mentioned during the narrative that would be cool to read about more directly or maybe the world has such a rich history ala A Song of Ice and Fire that’s it’s just bursting with stories? Well, fanfiction is the answer. There is a wealth of fics for every whim, interest, history, plot gap, romance, and side character. Fanfics can also be a great way to continue on with a beloved series or story even after it’s finished. While the published books may be over, the characters and their adventures can continue on through the writing of others.

Niches & Representation

I think it’s an understatement to say that there are some severe representation issues within mainstream books. We’ve made some great steps forward recently but there’s still a long way to go. A great characteristic of fanfiction is it’s diversity and inclusivity. No matter your interest, there’s fanfiction out there somwhere to float your particular boat (even if it happens to be…Drarry). Unlike published stories, online fanfiction isn’t bound by the rules of what publishers believe is “mainstream”/popular or will sell. Fanfiction can be written by absolutely anyone and its writers have the amazing freedom to take existing narratives & characters, and rework them to place a spotlight on the more marginalised and minority based groups. By giving these types of characters starring roles and more prominent stories within an already popular setting, they help those who enjoy, but often have difficulty seeing themselves in, the original works to find common ground and relatability.  Divider 3

Let’s Talk!

Are you someone who enjoys reading fan fiction? If so, from what kinds of fandoms? What’s your favourite website? Do you have a favourite fic?

Are you a fan fiction writer? If so, what about it appeals to you? What are your favourite types of fics to write?

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Upcoming Releases to Get Excited About | Part 3

As you can tell from the title of this post, I’m back with three more upcoming 2019 releases for you to potentially look forward to. Let’s cut right to it.


Enchantee – Gita Trelease | Feb 5th

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Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…


I love historical settings, especially France around the time of the revolution. It’s always been one of my favourite periods to study. It’s just such an interesting time with so much happening, so I’m super excited! Plus, the fact that Trelease has introduced magic into that setting, I’m like YES. Additionally, I never can resist a good, scrappy heroine stuck in a tight place. The early reviews for Enchantee seem to be good and the writing is reportedly beautiful. I should also point out there’s apparently a sweet love interest and he’s a balloonist. Sign me up.

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Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon | Feb 26th

29774026A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.


I’m super keen for this one. It’s an absolute monster and the size of an enormous brick but still. I really enjoy Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season series so I’m looking forward to seeing her try her hand at some epic fantasy. She sounds very passionate about this book and has been working on it for years. The cover is stunning and there’s dragons. Need I say more?

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Lady Smoke (Ash Princess 2#) – Laura Sebastian | Feb 5th

40702154The Kaiser murdered Theodosia’s mother, the Fire Queen, when Theo was only six. He took Theo’s country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess–a pet to toy with and humiliate for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenseless. He didn’t realize that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon.

Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage–Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser’s rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne.

To get them back, she will need an army. Only, securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done.

Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.


Ash Princess was a predictable, trope filled story which I went into with low expectations and ended up having a pretty enjoyable time reading. I’m looking forward to seeing Theo come into her own a bit more in the sequel (even though I’m a little worried about this whole take a husband thing), exploring the interesting magic system introduced in book one, and perhaps getting closer to seeing the Kaiser get his just desserts. I get the feeling we’ll see more of Cress in this book based on the title which I’m unsure about, but I guess I’ll just have to find out.

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In a Well-Ordered Universe: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

If there were a perfect way for me to explain the way I feel about Since You’ve Been Gone, it would be to say that it’s the same as listening to Taylor Swift’s song, Fearless. It’s sweet, innocent, reminds you of hot summer days, and makes you feel young and free. This book is summer in literary form and, in the best possible way, it’ll remind you of your best friends – the crazy things you’ve done together, the adventures you’ve had, and the intimate moments you’ve shared.

Who, What, Where?

Since You’ve Been Gone centres around the friendship between reserved Emily and wild child Sloan. Emily and Sloan do everything together and they’ve got plans for a fantastic summer. That is, until Sloan just up and disappears. The only clue Emily has is a list – thirteen tasks that Sloan has left for her which Em would never even think of doing alone. Some are easy – ride a horse, break something. Others, such as steal something and kiss a stranger, not so much. With the help of a few new friends, Emily sets out to complete the list in the hopes that somehow it’ll bring her best friend home to her.

Why You Should Read This Book

Emily’s Character Arc

I love character growth. It’s honestly my favourite thing in the world. Ignore the fact that I’ve probably said this about fifty-million other things already this year. Emily’s character arc is honestly one of the most wonderful parts of this book. She starts off the novel a bit of a wallflower, really awkward (as in, cannot hold a conversation past ‘Hello’) and lacking in self-confidence. Emily’s used to relying on Sloane to take the lead in interactions and encourage her to try new things, almost to the point of it being annoying when the book first starts. However, as she makes her way through Sloane’s list and the associated events, she slowly grows in confidence and gains a far better understanding of who she is. She starts to speak up for herself, take risks, and ends up forming several new and unexpected friendships. Watching young women come into their own is pretty much the best thing ever so you can see why I loved this one.

Friendship & Romance

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, there is not enough of a focus on amazing and well-developed friendships in YA. Romance is great, but fab friendships make my little book-loving heart sing. Sloane and Emily’s relationship is at the centre of the story and their friendship is developed quite well through the use of flashbacks. While I wish there would have been maybe one or two more, the novel still manages to show how close the girls are, the value each places on their bond with the other, and establishes Sloane’spersonality, too. The relationship isn’t perfect but the fact that it’s able to adjust to Emily’s changing sense of self is the true measure of its worth.

As Emily completes the list, she also makes several other friends – Dawn, Collins & Frank. Each character is decently fleshed out, very likeable, and feel distinct from the others. What’s also lovely is watching the four come together as a group, not only to help Emily in her quest to complete the list, but to just generally spend quality time together as well.

Before you ask, yes, there’s a romance plotline, too. And yes, I really liked it. Emily and Frank just mesh. They have this wonderfully subtle dynamic that’s slowly built up over the course of the book from acquaintances to friends to maybe something more. Frank is a love interest you can easily get behind – he’s kind, honest, supportive, and in the face of a moment where he could have acted like a complete dick, he aces the obstacle with flying colours. You go, Frank.

Completing the list

The concept for this book is cute – it’s pure YA contemporary adorableness and I unashamedly loved it. It’s fairly simple, complete the list of challenges, but Matson executes it very well. It’s just so much fun seeing what will come up next on Sloane’s list and how Emily will manage to tick it off, even though it’s something ridiculously out of her comfort zone. Some of the things on the list are a bit ambiguous and need Emily to interpret them so there’s also a degree of mystery. The reason it all works so well is that a lot of the challenges end up leading Emily to something unexpected and more significant than she originally expects – new friends, a summer job, quality time with her brother, party crashing, a run-in with an ex, and a whole host of other things. Yet, the real appeal is that completing the list is just so full of fun, weird, and crazy experiences that they can’t help but make you feel young and adventurous just reading about them.

Why You Might Want to Skip It

Fluffy, Summer Fun

If you go into this book looking for something super deep and heavy, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s just simply not this novel’s vibe. Does it deal with real emotions, of course, but this is a story about finding yourself and not letting fear stop you from living life to the fullest. If you’re looking for big life questions, move right along.

Cheating

A few people have commented on this so, heads up, there is a cheating incident at the end of the book. Some people are going to have a problem with it. Sure, the actual event of is sucky but I think the aftermath is handled very well by the character doing said cheating. No stuffing around and the situation is resolved quickly &maturely. Yet, at the same time, the book doesn’t skirt around it being cheating as shown by one character very clearly calling the other out for their actions so there’s that.

The Romantic Drama Complication/Ending

You’ll see the way the romantic storyline unfolds in this book from a valley, mountain and ocean away. Predictability is fine, but I do have to admit to slight feelings of frustration when I reached this part of the book. Why? Because it annoys me when conflict is created in books simply because characters won’t talk to each other or one won’t let another explain something when this would SO easily fix said conflict! That’s the case here, and I think it’s largely because resolving it would deprive us of a cute ‘skip into the sunset’moment right at the end. Those scenes are great, but I feel ending this earlier would have been a better choice. My reason for this is that it would have left the resolution to Sloane and Emily’s story as the last moments of the book, which fits the overall theme of the novel so much better. After all, this friendship is the driving force for the entire story.

Since You’ve Been Gone is easily one of my new favourite YA contemporary books and I can see myself going back to re-read this on holiday, lazing around during Summer, or even when just in the need for something light, fun and comforting. I’ll definitely be recommending this one to friends!

4.5 Stars

Let’s Talk: Aussie Book Blogger & Bookstagrammer Woes

Let’s be honest, the literary world does have a tendency to revolve around the US and UK. Big name authors are often from there, the large international publishing houses are located there, and things are released first there. I live in a little, island country known as Australia (you may have heard of it? I really hope sarcasm translates in written form) which happens to be positioned in the middle of absolute nowhere and, coincidentally, is located nowhere near either of these countries. For this reason, being a self-proclaimed book worm who likes to spend what little free time they have blogging about and taking photos of books comes with its own challenges and woes.

Let me just say in advance, this list is largely in fun and is me simply whining for the sake of whining about a lot of very trivial things. Enjoy my pettiness.

Later Release Dates

FOMO is the root of all evil and it rears its ugly head with this one. There’s nothing worse than finding out about an amazing book that everyone overseas is already loving only to realise you’ve got to wait another few weeks or even MONTHS (*rages*) to find the damn thing in Australia.

Impatient Come On GIF

In the meantime, you simply have to watch as others write about it, photograph it, and just generally dangle it in your internet face like a donkey with a carrot. Worse still, by the time you do get your hands on it, ready to write a review, the hype wave has already come and gone which is a major bummer. Sure, online shipping can be saving grace in some circumstances but there are exceptions, however, even then, sometimes you just really want it NOW.  I cannot even explain how annoying it was waiting months for both Scythe and, its sequel, Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman to finally show up on shelves.

Shipping Fees

As I’ve mentioned before, Australia = Narnia, or at least it might as well be because the damn SHIPPING RATES ARE THE SAME. This creates a number of woes.

Merch and Subscription Boxes

As much as I’d like to imagine so, money does not grow on trees. While I may want to get my hands on an amazeballs looking Victoria Schwab themed box which I can then unbox in all its glory on both my blog and insta, there’s simply no justifying buying a product where the shipping is the same or more than the actual box. Me upon seeing other people’s photos/posts about unboxing:

emma roberts crying GIF by ScreamQueens

I mean, yes, it is due in part to the weight of these boxes but then again, I’ve also wanted to buy $5 book marks from certain websites and almost choked upon seeing the $25 shipping fee. Damn you Australiaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

Competition Exclusions

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If there’s one thing being a university student taught me, it’s that there ain’t nothing better than free stuff. Mostly food but this defs applies to books too. Bloggers and bookstagrammers love a good giveaway (*cough* sneaky ploys to get more followers *cough*). The only problem is, because shipping can be super expensive, sometimes they have to limit their entries to the US or Europe only. I understand but, boy, does it break my little Australian book loving heart. We want free stuff too!

Repping

Because of the high shipping rates, some stores just aren’t open to/can’t afford having international reps for their products. This can be a bit disappointing, especially when it’s a brand you really love but it’s just something you have to accept.

Physical ARCs

Publishing in Australia is usually heavily linked to publishing in the UK. As you know, the two are nowhere near each other and for this reason publishers can often be a little reluctant to send out physical ARC copies of books to Aussie reviewers unless they’re extremely popular and likely to reach a big audience. Don’t get me wrong, even just getting an e-copy ARC is fantastic but having something physical that you can photograph to boost promotion of the book and accompany your review is a nice bonus. Plus, the formatting on these e-copies isn’t always the smoothest.

Scheduling Posts for Different Time Zones

The bane of my blogging/bookstagramming existence. Australia happens to be positioned in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s a magical place that exists in the future from many countries up north. Day is night and night is day. In other words, trying to time your posts so that people in other parts of the world aren’t (a) sleeping (b) working/at school or (c) out socialising (ha, kidding! Book worms don’t actually socialise) can be a mind-boggling equation.

maths GIF

There’s nothing more facepalm worthy than writing an amazing post or taking a fab photo that you’re super proud of only to post it and find out that, oh dear, it’s the wee hours of the morning overseas. *sigh* You’ve also got to consider the whole weekends vs weekdays thing. It may be Saturday morning in Aus, where everyone is chilling out and free from obligations, but overseas, it’s Friday night and people are out… well, doing whatever it is they do on a Friday night (I don’t know these things, Netflix is my bestie). The struggle is real, friends.

Expensive Hardbacks

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Hardbacks are pretty, okay. They’re have nice shiny jackets, embossed fronts, and they don’t seem to get as damaged in my handbag on the way to work as paperbacks. BUT, can I find things in hardback in Australia that don’t cost a kidney and my first born child? Um, nope. Fun fact: I recently saw the new Jodi Picoult book in hardback at the bookstore for, wait for it…$50. FIFTY. FOR ONE, THIN BOOK! What if you end up hating it? Then what? You’ve spent $50 on a book you don’t even like and it’s not even heavy enough to be considered a fancy paperweight. I get massively jealous of the US here – their hardbacks are the price of paperbacks and their paperbacks are the price of a McDonald’s meal. Now that is goals.

The main drawbacks with this are that hardbacks look super nice in Instagram photos – jackets on, jackets off, stacked in artful little columns, etc. and more importantly, some books aren’t originally released in paperback (e.g. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue) meaning we have to wait until they are to get our little hands on them (see point one above). No fair.

Less Author Events/Signings

It’s not only shipping that’s expensive and time consuming to Australia, but also flights. We’re a looooooong way away and for this reason we do tend to get far less author visits, events and signings. You may only see your favourite author once every few years at best and in some cases, if they’re not a massively popular one, not at all!

DArcy Carden Janet GIF - DArcyCarden Janet MannyJacinto GIFs

This is nothing new and, again, perfectly understandable but let’s just say, we Aussies are very envious of your huge book conventions and tours, especially when you post photos of your amazing meet and greets (one day I’ll make it to book con, one day!!). This also unfortunately limits the opportunities for author based content on blogs such as a post I did a while back from the Obsidio launch (woo, Aussie authors).

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What are your biggest book blogging/bookstagrammer woes?

Upcoming Releases to Get Excited About | Part 2

2018 is coming closer and closer to the end and here I am with another three 2019 releases to get excited about and or possibly bemoan the wait period for depending on whether you’re a glass half full or empty kinda person.

Image result for a curse so dark and lonelyA Curse so Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer | 29th Jan

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


Anyone who knows me well knows that I love Beauty and the Beast. LOVE. While there have been quite a lot of retellings of it over the years (some better than others), based on the blurb, this one sounds great. Also, a strong, modern heroine with a disability? Um, yes! I’ve seen a few really positive early reviews so I’m hoping this will end up being a winner. However, my one nagging feeling is that someone mentioned that if you liked A Court of Thorns and Roses, you’d enjoy this one. Even though I ended up really loving that series, the first book was a bit average for me. Guess we’ll see.

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36307634King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo | 29th Jan

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal. 


Another big name release that I couldn’t resist including. At the beginning of this month I re-read Shadow and Bone and then actually made it the rest of the way through The Grisha trilogy. Now, like everyone else, I’m so excited for this one. Pretty much everybody who reads the Grisha books falls in love with Nikolai and although he was different to what I expected (in a good way!), I did too. It’ll be great to see him take centre stage this time and find out how he handles Ravka after everything that happened with Alina and The Darkling. He’s also got some trauma of his own to process, too, so that’ll be interesting. Even better, both Zoya and, love of my life, the waffle queen herself, Nina Zenik, will be in this series. I’m sure there’ll be a love interest there somewhere. Unsure how I feel about it though. Regardless, hurry up January!

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Image result for even if i fallEven if I Fall – Abigail Johnson | 8th Jan

A year ago, Brooke Covington lost everything when her beloved older brother, Jason, confessed to the murder of his best friend, Calvin. Brooke and her family became social pariahs, broken and unable to console one another. Brooke’s only solace remains the ice-skating rink, where she works but no longer lets herself dream about a future skating professionally.

When Brooke encounters Calvin’s younger brother, Heath, on the side of the road and offers him a ride, everything changes. She needs someone to talk to…and so does Heath. No one else understands what it’s like. Her brother, alive but gone; his brother, dead but everywhere. Soon, they’re meeting in secret, despite knowing that both families would be horrified if they found out. In the place of his anger and her guilt, something frighteningly tender begins to develop, drawing them ever closer together.

But when a new secret comes out about the murder, Brooke has to choose whose pain she’s willing to live with—her family’s or Heath’s. Because she can’t heal one without hurting the other.


So, I’m pretty sure this book is going to cause some intense heart break. It’s got deep, emotional YA contemporary written all over it but at the same time there’s a bit of a mystery element which I’m really here for (please don’t be disappointing!!). I really like this idea of showcasing human connection and compassion with regards to such a super complicated relationship. I mean, if someone’s sibiling had murdered your brother, the last thing you’d want is to hang around with them as a constant reminder of that fact. At the same time though, it’s not their fault. Ah! This is going to be so messy.

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Are any of these on your 2019 TBR? Or if you’ve been lucky enough to get your hands on an ARC, how was it?

Top 10 Tuesday: Favourite Friendships in Books

This week’s TTT topic, thanks to host Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl, is platonic relationships in books. I’ve decided to go all basic and just do friendships because there are few things I love more than balanced, well developed and amazing friendships in the books I read. So here are ten of my favourites, of which there are TOO many (and yes, expect to see a lot of frequented choices, sorry not sorry).

Will Herondale & Jem Carstairs (The Infernal Devices Series – Cassandra Clare)

  • They’re so close, they’re basically brothers
  • Jem tells Will when he’s being ridiculous, risky and over the top (demon pox). Will encourages Jem to get out and have hope for the future even though he’s technically dying
  • Even though they’re in love with the same girl, they’re both willing to accept Tessa’s choice and just be happy for their friend because they honestly believe he deserves it *heart tingles*
  • Badass parabatai warriors

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Rose Hathaway & Lissa Dragomir (Vampire Academy series – Richelle Mead)

  • Rose dedicates her whole life to protecting Lissa and is willing to beat up anyone who hurts her (even emotionally)
  • Lissa brought both Rose’s boyfriend, Dimitri, AND Rose back from the dead at risk to her own sanity
  • Their skills and temperaments make up for what the other half lacks and when they work together, they kick ass
  • They have a magical bond that allows Rose to know what Lissa is thinking and feeling, meaning she always knows when her friend needs support

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The Inner Circle (A Court of Thorns and Roses Series – Sarah J Maas)

  • They’ve managed to be friends for god knows how many years and still aren’t sick of each other (well, mostly)
  • Snow ball fights and jokes about wingspans
  • They perfectly span the spectrum of very serious to massive shit stirrer which makes for fabulous dinner parties
  • Would die for each other
  • Basically family and in some instances, probs a better family than actual family

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Harry Potter, Ron Weasley & Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling)

  • All bring something different to the table – humour, intelligence and…err, sass and chosen one-ish-ness in order to save the day, repeatedly
  • Do not give two stuff about school rules
  • Stick by each other even when things look awful
  • Took down big evil wizard and saved the wizarding world together
  • Bicker in a way I find very amusing
  • Just generally give me life, okay

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Sevro Au Bacca & Darrow (Red Rising Series – Pierce Brown)

  • Sevro stops Darrow from getting a big head when things are going too well and Darrow stops Sevro from going on massive murder sprees except where it serves his agenda= goals
  • Fought side by side during epic space battles and have saved each other repeatedly
  • Trust each other so much they’re willing to follow the other person’s plans even when they’re absolutely insane and more likely to get them killed than succeed
  • That banter

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Nikolai Lantsov & Alina Starkov (The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo)

Choosing to ignore the whole potential romantic interest thing and focus on awesome friendship instead because it was honestly one of my fave parts of this series.

  • Can have serious heart to hearts but also two second later switch to Nikolai being a cocky bastard and Alina saying she doesn’t like him at all (LIES)
  • Just generally get each other
  • Alina not being freaked out by Nikolai even when he’s a flying, fangy, people eating darkness creature
  • Nikolai following Alina around while being said people eating creature and still recognising her

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The Losers club (IT – Stephen King)

  • Teaming up to throw rocks at asshole bullies
  • Brave enough to go into scary, dark, icky sewers looking for a child eating clown and to vow to come back and kill it if it ever returns
  • Put up with Richie being a little pain in the ass with terrible impressions (who’s still loveable somehow)
  • Help Bev clean her bloody bathroom after Pennywise badly redecorates

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Anne Shirley & Diana Barry (Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery)

  • Because they’re kindred spirits and bosom friends
  • Anne saves Diana’s little sister’s life when she gets super sick one night
  • Diana doesn’t get mad at Anne for accidentally getting her drunk off mulled wine when she thought it was raspberry cordial
  • Diana indulges Anne’s insane dramatics and fantasies
  • Anne encourages Diana to live a little and have fun, even though it may be bending the rules

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Eragon & Saphira (Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini)

  • Can read each other’s thoughts – so basically know all the good and bad parts of each other
  • Work in sync to be the dream team in big epic battles
  • Tell each other when they’re being stupid – mostly Saphira telling off Eragon because he does a lot of stupid things and gives her plenty of opportunities for snarky commentary
  • Just generally have a great dynamic

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Kell & Rhy Maresh (A Darker Shade of Magic Series – V. E. Schwab)

Pretty much brothers but great friends too.

  • Kell brought Rhy back from the dead by binding Rhy’s ife to his own. Now that’s friendship.
  • Rhy tricks Kell into going out to bars, drinking and socialising = basically the kind of friends my introverted, couch potato self needs
  • Kell is willing to threaten Rhy’s romantic interests with immense violence to make sure they don’t break his brother’s fragile little heart
  • Rhy encourages Kell to enter a magic competition to blow off some steam even though it is clearly a very bad idea

SPECIAL MENTIONS: Frodo Baggins & Samwise Gamgee (LotR), Mia Corvere & Mr Kindly (Nevernight – Jay Kristoff), Madeline, Celeste & Jane (Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty)


What are some of your favourite bookish friendships or other platonic relationships?

Book Tag: R.I.P it or Ship It

I recently stumbled across this fun, silly, little tag thanks to Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. After a little digging, it turns out we can attribute the original tag (it’s a little old now) to booktuber, Emma at Emmmabooks. The basic premise is simple: write down a bunch of character names on bits of paper, mix them up and then draw two at a time. You then have to decide whether the two characters you draw would work in a relationship or not. In other words, do you ship it or is this r/shp dead on arrival and should just R.I.P.? I’ve noticed that a few people, including Emma, separated their characters into male and female jars but in going for a more inclusive and diverse approach, I just threw all of mine in together and pretended everyone was bisexual. We’re also ignoring any potential character deaths here, too. Additionally, I did try to keep to popular characters that a lot of people would know.

Match Up 1: Percy Jackson (PJO) x Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy)

It sounds super weird but I feel like maybe these two could potentially have a thing. BUT that thing would clearly be super bad for the rest of the world. Both Rose and Percy have a habit of rushing into things without thinking and their canon partners are perfect because they ground them. If these two were together it’d be like, Person A: I have this idea (a terrible, crazy idea) Person B: That’s a GREAT idea, let’s do it! Sooo….they probably shouldn’t date because they’d get each other killed and probably a bunch of other people in the process.

Verdict: RIP – for the sake of them and the world

Match Up 2: Blue Sargent x Richard Gansey III (The Raven Cycle)

I swear I didn’t do this on purpose. 100% chance occurance.

Verdict: It’s canon – why fight the flow? Ship

Match Up 3: Inej Ghafa (Six of Crows) x Holland Vosijk (A Darker Shade of Magic)

This seemed like a really weird combo at first but then I started to think that it might actually work. Inej seems to have a thing for broken boys with troubled pasts and clever, plotty minds which actually does fit Holland pretty well. Inej would also probably be a good influence on Holland, and maybe help him see more of the bright side to life. They’ve both been through some crap times so perhaps they could help each other through it.

Verdict: Ship

Match Up 4: Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) x Nova Artino (Renegades)

Yeah, I don’t see this one working very well, mostly because they’re too similar in a lot of ways. Tough, troubled pasts, snarky, carry the weight of the world on their shoulders… However, I do think that after some headbutting they’d grow to really respect each other and might even become friends.

Verdict: RIP

Match Up 5: Maven Calore (Red Queen) x Amren (ACOTAR)

Oh. Good. Lord. What in the world? My sister thinks that Amren might actually be good for Maven but I have a sneaking suspicion that Amren would simply not be able to handle all of Maven’s drama. She’d be like: I am ancient and a badass, I will not put up with this bullshit. I mean, at least Maven would be able to keep Amren in pretty gems. Still, the idea of this is just hilarious.

Verdict: RIP

Match Up 6: Isabelle Lightwood (Shadowhunter Novels) x Peter Kavinsky (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before)

Isabelle is not at all like Lara Jean, Peter’s actual love interest, but at the same time I think Isabelle has a lot of the traits that attracted Peter to his ex, Gen, without all the bitchy parts. I think they’d have some nice deep and meaningful talks which both seems to need in their r/shps. On the flip side, Isabelle’s taste in Simon shows that she likes softer boys with sweet hearts and Peter can definitely be that guy for her, provided he can avoid being intimidated.

Verdict: Ship

Match Up 7: Nesta Archeron (ACOTAR) x Magnus Bane (Shadowhunter Novels)

BAHAHAHAHAHA. Could you even imagine? Someone turn this into a reality show, it’d be gold.

Verdict: If pigs flew and hell froze over.

Match Up 8: Harry Potter (HP) x Cress Darnel (The Lunar Chronicles)

This is a bit of an odd one. Harry’s another one of those rash heroes who jumps into things without thinking which is why he needs people around him, and a partner, who reign him in a little. I think Cress might remind Harry slightly of Luna which doesn’t really seem like his type. With Cress, on the other hand, Harry may not have Thorne’s sense of bravado but he does have a bit of sass and the hero thing down. He’s not bad looking either so maybe Cress will be into it? Overall, I think this one might be a friendship only.

Verdict: RIP

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And…I think that’s enough crazy-ness for now. It’s so weird trying to match up characters from other fandoms. I find that I’m constantly comparing them to the characters’ actual romantic interests and seeing if there’s an overlap but I guess it’s always hard to know. You just can’t account for chemistry.

Do you guys agree with me on these ships? And do you have any weird cross-fandom pairings that you secretly ship?