Book Tag: The Flower Book Tag

Many of you will be aware of the fact that I live in Australia. This means that while all you Northern Hemisphere babies are currently enjoying my favourite season, Autumn/Fall (can you feel my jealously from here?), in the Southern Hemisphere we’re in the last month of Spring. Lately I’ve been feeling somewhat put out by all the Autumn themed tags that have been popping up on my feed so I decided, why not do something spring-y instead? And what screams spring more than FLOWERS?

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Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Anyway, this lovely tag is courtesy of Veronika & Sabrina over at Wordy and Whimsical. Let’s get to it.


ROSES: Traditionally Given as an Expression of Love

Favourite Romance In A Book

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Josh + Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating – Christina Lauren: Gosh, what is it about tags wanting me to pick favourites? Don’t you know that’s IMPOSSIBLE? How dare you! One of my favourites will just have to do and that’s Josh & Hazel. I love these two and all their opposites attract, friends to lovers wonderfulness. They just interact together so smoothly, flitting back and forth between funny and sweet with ease. Sure, I wish their ending had been a little different (and it’s the only reason this book didn’t get 5 stars), but I would gladly reread this over and over just to see them fall in love again.


Stargazer Lilies: Named for Their blooms that Face Skyward

Favourite Ambitious Character

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Stevie Bell (Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson): Again with the favourites. STOP. Because I seem to mention Mia, Spensa and Jude constantly, today we’re using Stevie Bell. Stevie’s dream is to become a famous detective just like Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot and she believes solving the decades old mystery of Ellingham Academy is what’s going to get her there. However, there’s also the recent death of one of her classmates to keep her busy. Stevie is enthusiastic, intelligent, determined, and willing to do whatever she has to to find answers (even if it means putting herself at risk or nosing into other people’s business). She’s quirky, but it only makes her more endearing.


Peace Lilies: Known as Being One of the Easier Houseplants to Care For

A Book You Think Anyone Could Love

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Simon v the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli: I really, really wish I had something under the radar to use for questions like this but I don’t and honestly, I can’t think of a better answer than Simon (well, provided you aren’t homophobic, of course). There’s so much to love about this book and considering how popular it was when it came out, a heap of people agree with me. It’s just so darn sweet and uplifting. It’s also diverse, funny, and romantic without being sappy. I challenge anyone to finish this without a big smile on their face. I’m thinking 2021 might be the year for a re-read…


Chrysanthemums: Given on Mother’s Day in Australia

Favourite Fictional Mother

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Miss Honey (Matilda – Roald Dahl): Okay, so Miss Honey isn’t Matilda’s biological mother but she certainly acts like an amazing mum long before the adoption makes it official. Despite growing up in an abusive home with her terrible aunt, Miss Honey is kind, caring, smart, and loves her students. Most importantly, she recognises just how special Matilda is and constantly encourages her education, even if she has to press Matilda’s parents to ensure she gets the opportunities she deserves. If only we all had parents and teachers as wonderful as Miss Honey.


Spider Plants: Easy to Propagate

A Hyped-Up Book You Love

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The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss: There are A LOT of options for this one because I am a massive sheep when it comes to my book choices. I’ll go with TNotW for this prompt because when I order my GR Read shelf by average rating, this one is pretty close to the top and I gave it 5 stars. The immense degree of hype surrounding this book had me super worried I would end up massively disappointed but as you can see, I wasn’t. It may be chunky, but it’s worth it. The journey! World building! Witty protagonist! Despite the couple of problems I had, there’s just something about it. Plus, there’s a magic academy so…sold.


Lily of the Valley: Pretty but Poisonous

A Book with a Beautiful Cover that was Disappointing

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Wilder Girls – Rory Power: The cover for Wilder Girls is gorgeous. I fell in love the first moment I saw it. Unfortunately, the book itself just didn’t reach the amazing highs I’d hoped for. See, this is the problem with having expectations! While 3.5 stars is not a bad rating, don’t get me wrong, I can’t deny that I was disappointed with several elements. I enjoyed the atmosphere, body horror and variations in writing style at certain points, but wasn’t so keen on the open ending, mass of questions I was left with, and underdevelopment of both the characters and romantic subplot. I still think I’d read another book from the author though.


Orchids: One of the Oldest Flower Types Known to Man

FavoUrite Classic Novel

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The Secret History – Donna Tartt: I don’t read many books classified as classics and of those I have, there are a limited number that I like. To avoid using Pride & Prejudice again, I’m going with a modern classic – The Secret History. I read this a few months back and was super surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The narrator is unreliable, the pacing is slow, none of the characters are particularly good people and there’s an air of pretentiousness about it all. And yet, I really liked it. In fact, I would probably reread it in a few years just to see if I can pick up more of the details and foreshadowing I missed the first time around.


Peonies: Require Lots of Care

A Bookish Friendship that was Caring and Supportive

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House of Earth and Blood – Sarah J. Maas: I love a book with a great friendship. As I only just read it in September, HoEaB is still fresh in my memory. I had some issues with this book but I really liked the friendship between Bryce and her werewolf bestie Danika. This relationship is the heart of the novel and the driving force for the story. While the nature of it is a little complicated as Danika is dead for most of the book, that doesn’t diminish the novel’s ability to showcase the strength of their connection and the immense, sisterly love they have for one another. I can’t say too much more without delving into spoiler territory but honestly, the loyalty, faith and trust between these two is unwavering and wonderful.


Hyacinths: Have a Sweet & Lingering Fragrance

The Sweetest Novel You’ve Read

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10 Blind Dates – Ashley Elston: I’ve read quite a few books that I’d say are sweet and heartwarming. Most of them are YA contemporaries. To avoid using the same picks again, I’m using 10 Blind Dates. This book is definitely sweet and fluffy, plus it’s set at Christmas time which gives it some extra sweet points. The book revolves around the MC, Sophie, being set up on a bunch of fun and interesting dates by her relatives to help get her over her breakup. It’s a pretty innocent and enjoyable premise but what I liked most about this one was the family dynamics. Sophie’s big, crazy, Sicilian family is just so warm, quirky and supportive that you can’t help but love them.


Tulips: Bright, Popular & Showy

FavoUrite Larger Than Life Character

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Sevro Au Barca (Red Rising Series – Pierce Brown): While he’s not exactly “bright”, Sevro is certainly larger than life with his own sense of…er, flair. He’s one of those extremely memorable fictional characters with a highly defined appearance, voice and personality which makes him so easy to visualise in your head. He’s cunning, scrappy, vulgar, quick witted and never fails to go against society’s expectations. Basically, you’ll be hard pressed to forget he’s present in any scene he happens to be in (in the best way). However, deep down he’s also extremely loyal and has a sensitive side.


Water Lilies: Can be Difficult to Eradicate

A Novel that has Stood the Test of Time & Remained Your Favorite Through the Years

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The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger: I can’t even remember how old I was when I first read The Time Traveler’s Wife. Twelve, maybe thirteen? It feels like such a long time ago now. The book was a gift from my mum who, based on a recommendation from someone at the bookstore, thought I’d enjoy it. I loved this novel and it’s one of the few that has ever made me cry. I’ve re-read it a few times over the years (not recently though) but it still gives me the same feelings every read through. I appreciate the characters and enjoy following them through their lives, adore the love story, and my heart breaks at the ending.


Lavender: Has Many Uses – Landscaping, Food, Cosmetics & Essential Oils

A Book You Love That Fits in More than One Genre

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This Savage Song – Victoria Schwab: I really enjoyed this duology. I’m also still majorly impressed by how good the concept is: Monsters which manifest as a result of humans’ dark deeds and a city split in half based on the different approaches to dealing with them. The plot moves along at a decent pace and there’s a few twists thrown in here and there. The main characters are likeable, too, and their friendship is very well done. It’s fantasy, horror, and dystopia all wrapped up in one great little package that very easily keeps you turning pages until the end.



What’s your favourite flower? Mine is sunflowers! They’re just so bright and happy. While I was travelling in Italy over ten years ago, we drove past an entire field of them and it was such a beautiful sight.

I hope you’re all staying well and that you’ve got some great books to keep you company.

Last Year I Was Reading… | 17.09.20

In a surprising turn of events, we’re doing something different this week (woo!) and engaging in a little Throwback Thursday fun times. Maria @ReadingMaria came up with the cute idea of ‘Last Year I Was Reading’ in which you compare your current read to the book you were reading at the exact same time last year. You consider how they differ/are alike, which one you like better and mention any specific facts you feel like mentioning.

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City 1#) – Sarah J. Maas

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Here it is, my current read, in all of its 803 page, door-stopping glory. After powering through six romance novels in the first week of this month, I couldn’t see why I shouldn’t spend the rest of it tackling one of the bigger books on my TBR. HoEaB is an adult urban fantasy book full of fae, vampires, angels, shapeshifters and a bunch of other magical beings. The story revolves around a half-fae party girl named Bryce teaming up with a disgraced angel, Hunt, to investigate the brutal murders of Bryce’s friends. There’s magic, family drama, characters with plenty of baggage, a bit of violence, and romance typical of a Maas book.

At this point, I’m about 600 pages in and so far so…relatively good. It’s definitely a bigger book than it needed to be, the writing is questionable at points, and I’m still confused about elements of the world building. Still, for the most part, I’m enjoying it. I’ve heard that the last 200 pages get pretty crazy so I’m looking forward to finding out what happens.


The Institute – Stephen King

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In September of 2019 I was making my way through Stephen King’s newest release, The Institute – a sci-fi, fantasy, thriller mix. It involves a group of kids being abducted for their telepathic and telekinetic abilities and taken to a secret facility in Maine (it’s always Maine). Here, they undergo testing to enhance their powers for some mysterious reason before being sent to another part of the complex after which they are never seen again. This was King’s first book in a long time focusing on child characters, which he still writes fantastically. It was very well received, even scoring a win for best horror novel in the 2019 Goodreads choice awards (I wouldn’t consider it much of a horror book though).

I enjoyed The Institute but not as much as I did IT. The characters were certainly likeable and the story did build up to an action packed (if somewhat rushed) climax. Yet, the pacing was a bit too slow in some sections and the neatly packaged ending was disappointing. There was also something missing from it that I still can’t quite put my finger on.


These are two very different books so comparing them is tricky. They both involve fantasy elements I suppose but that’s where the similarities end – vastly different settings, characters, lengths and moods yet still enjoyable. Of the two, I would say that House of Earth and Blood is my preferred read but only because my love for magical creatures comes out just ahead of my obsession with humans with superpowers. I will say though that these are two books that could have had smaller page counts and improved story momentum in spots.

What book were you reading this time last year? Was it more or less enjoyable than your current read?

The Netflix Book Tag

I love books. I love Netflix. This tag is thus a match made in heaven. Or is it (considering one usually distracts me from the other…)? I stumbled across this tag via Kristin at Kristin Kraves Books but it was originally created by A Darker Shade of Whitney over on booktube.

Recently Watched: The Last Book You Finished

Golden Son (Red Rising 2#) – Pierce Brown

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A Golden Son re-read wasn’t even listed on my TBR for March. And yet, here we are. I should have known this would happen. You can’t just read Red Rising and not keep going. Even now I’m so damn tempted to just pick up Morningstar and let the good times roll. I love this series. I really, really do. I gave this book five stars the first time around and I feel completely confident in my rating after the second time through. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll re-read these books again in the future. If that isn’t a glowing endorsement, I don’t know what is.


Top Picks: A Book That Has Been Recommended To You Based On What You’ve Previously Read

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz 

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I’ve had Ari & Dante mentioned to me quite a few times as something I’d probably enjoy and the consensus on it in general seems to be very, very good. I actually think this is something I’ll read eventually because I quite like the looks of the blurb. It feels like a really great character focused, coming of age story. It also happens to be a LGBTI book with two Mexican-American leads so yay for diversity. I’ve heard that the audiobook read by Lin Manuel Miranda is solid so maybe I’ll end up checking that out.


Recently Added: The Last Book You Purchased

Wolf by Wolf – Ryan Graudin

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I bought 3 books as my last purchase (blame book depository) and Wolf by Wolf is one of them. I stumbled across it watching one of Hayley in Bookland’s videos and thought it sounded really interesting, so why not give it a go? It’s an alternate history story in which the Nazis won WWII. Each year they hold a multi-continent motorcycle race to commemorate their victory, the winner of which gets to meet Hitler. Impersonating a previous winner, a former concentration camp prisoner, Yael, decides to enter the race to win and kill Hitler. The problem is that both the brother and former lover interest of the racer she’s pretending to be are also competing. The book has great reviews so I’m really excited to read it.


Popular On Netflix: Books That Everyone Knows (2 You’ve Read & 2 You Have No Interest In Reading)

Weird assortment of books, I know but this question was pretty broad.

  • Daisy Jones & the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid: Read it, liked it but didn’t love it like I did The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Kind of wish I’d listened to the audiobook but ah well.
  • All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven: Read. An okay YA contemporary but I wasn’t too keen on the ending and couldn’t help feeling like the story was a little emotionally manipulative.
  • The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins: The things I’ve heard about this one, particularly from my grandma, definitely make me not want to bother with it.
  • The Testaments – Margaret Atwood: I pretty much have zero interest in reading this one, mostly because it just seems unnecessary.

Comedies: A Funny Book

Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

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I had to pick this one. I haven’t properly laughed reading a book for good while and I did multiple times reading Red, White & Royal Blue. It’s so much fun. The texting and phone calls between Henry and Alex were fantastic. My favourite one, however, has to be in which Alex is stuck in his room with the turkeys set for presidential pardon the next day and calls Henry to complain. If I’m ever having a particularly tough week in the future, I know that re-reading this book would be a sure fire way to make me feel a lot better.


Dramas: A Character That Is A Drama Queen/King

Evie (The Diviners – Libba Bray)

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Having only recently finished this book, the characters are still fresh in my mind. Evie loves a bit of a drama and it certainly seems to follow her around, which makes for some fun situations. She does object readings at parties and reveals scandalising gossip, makes deals with the press on the sly to get her name in the papers, and will happily confront people for past slights in fiery fashion (despite saying she’ll leave it well enough alone). Things are never dull with Evie around. But hey, that’s the way she like it after all.


Animated: A Book With Cartoons On The Cover

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

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I am not so secretly a big fan of these cute animated styled covers. I’ve noticed that they’ve become super popular in recent years, especially when it comes to contemporary romance books. They’re just so sweet and fun looking. It automatically puts me in a rom-com mood. As far as the actual book goes, I really enjoyed Fangirl. It’s a great celebration of nerd & fan culture and has a super relatable protagonist for so many introverted people dealing with things like anxiety.


Watch It Again: A Book Or Series You Want To Reread

Arc of a Scythe Series – Neal Shusterman

I love the Arc of a Scythe series. It feels so different from other things I’ve read and the world building is fantastic. The last book in the series, The Toll, was released in 2019 and because it seems like ages since I read books 1 & 2, I really want to do a re-read before I tackle book 3. I’ve definitely become one of those people who needs to do re-reads to refresh themselves on the important details of previous books before tackling a series’ new release. I enjoy them so much more that way.


Documentaries: A Nonfiction Book You’d Recommend To Everyone

Eggshell Skull – Bri Lee

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I’ve started to read the odd non-fiction book now and again, and there are a few on my list to tackle in 2020. Eggshell Skull was one of my top 10 reads of 2019 and it’s one I’d easily recommend. It looks at how sexual assault is handled by the legal system in Queensland, Australia and I was engaged, horrified and saddened. The writing isn’t always perfect but it was very interesting to see the issue from the perspective of someone who has been on both sides – a judge’s associate in sexual assault trials and a complainant. It’s great at showcasing why women avoid reporting assault and the profound effects being a victim of assault can have on a person even years later.


Action & Adventure: An Action-Packed Book Or Series

Percy Jackson & the Olympians Series – Rick Riordan

As far as action and adventure go, Percy is always a suitable choice. Monsters, quests, sword fighting, the potential end of the world, vengeful Greek Gods – “action-packed” is one way to put it. It’s pretty much never a dull moment for Percy and his friends, but it certainly keeps things exciting…and well, dangerous.


New Releases: A Book That Just Came Out Or Will Be Coming Out Soon That You Can’t Wait To Read

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City 1#) – Sarah J. Maas

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In a choice that will come as a surprise to absolutely no one out there, I recently received my pre-order of Sarah J. Maas’s new book and I’m super keen to read it. My attitudes towards Sarah’s previous books vary a lot but I’m hoping that this one will be on the A Court of Mist and Fury end of my likeability scale. This is an adult book so I’m looking forward to seeing what SJM does with a bit more freedom (then again, her “YA” books have never truly been YA anyway due to their sexual content but eh). Angels, faeries, murder, romance, please let this be worth devoting 800 pages and my time to.


What are some of your favourite Netflix shows?