Ten Aussie YA Books I Love But Feel Like I Haven’t Talked About In A While

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is books we’ve loved but we haven’t talked about in a while. I’m choosing to focus on Aussie YA in my post because I recently read Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar and was blown away by how good it was – I’m not making any promises but I’ll try to review it soon. Anyway, that reading experience reminded me of how awesome Aussie YA is so I want to revisit some of the titles I fell in love with. If you haven’t given YA written by authors from down under, you should start with these books:

Contemporary:
Jellicoe Road Australian cover for The Piper's Son Raw Blue UK Graffiti Moon Wildlife - US cover All I Ever Wanted

Specfic:
Touchstone Trilogy Illuminae Sabriel

Historical fiction:
The Book Thief - UK

Have you read any Aussie YA books that you’d like to recommend? I really don’t know why I haven’t been reading more Aussie YA lately, when I’ve been hearing good things about a lot of them. I have a couple of books in my TBR pile and I should really try to bump them up:

LoveOzYA - March 22, 2016

Top Ten Couples from Non-Romance Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a Valentine’s Day freebie. I’m a huge fan of romance novels and tend to read a lot of contemporary romance, both YA and adult. But I also enjoy hopping from on genre to another and I’ve come across love stories that I’ve loved in non-romance books. The romance isn’t the focus in these books but they’re done so well and I loved reading about the couples getting together. Here are some of my favorite non-romance novels that feature fictional couples I love:

QueenOfAttolia Crown Duel2 Blue Sword Fire Howl's Moving Castle

Son of the Shadows Magic Bites new cover Archangel Touchstone Trilogy Scorpio Races UK

Most of these books aren’t recent reads for me but I wanted to highlight them for this topic. On Valentine’s Day itself, I will be posting my usual favorite literary couples from books I read within the past year. Do we share any favorite fictional couples? If not, would you care to share who are your favorites?

Top Ten Historical and Futuristic Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, we were given the option of choosing topics that feature historical or futuristic books. Since I can’t make up my mind, I’m doing halfsies. Also, I don’t think I have enough for each genre to make a full list.

Five books set in the past that I loved:
The Sunbird ebook Code Name Verity - UK2 The Book Thief - UK The Secret Countess Nine Coaches Waiting

Five books set in the future that I loved:
Touchstone Trilogy Illuminae Archivist Wasp Silent Blade 2 Ender's Game - movie cover

I’ve tried read-alikes of these titles but I didn’t enjoyed them as much as the ones I mentioned here. I would love to discover more books that I can add to this list. Have you read any of these? What are books set either in the past or in the future that you would recommend based on the titles I have here?

Top Ten Gateway Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie! So we get to choose a topic that we want to feature. I’m choosing gateway books because it’s something that I haven’t really talked about before. For me, gateway books are the ones that convinced me to try more from that particular category or genre. They don’t necessarily have to be the books that were my introduction to that space. In no particular order, here are my picks:

Adult urban fantasy: Magic Bites by Ilona AndrewsMagic Bites

Romantic science fiction: Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews
Silent Blade

Fairy tale retelling: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Goose Girl_Alison Jay

Magic realism: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Garden Spells

Graphic novel / comics: Trese by Budjette Tan and KaJo Baldisimo
Murder on Balete Drive

Historical fiction: A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson
A Countess Below Stairs

Aussie YA: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Jellicoe Road

Filipino romance: The Breakup Diaries by Maya O. Calica and Fairy Tale Fail by Mina V. Esguerra

The Breakup Diaries 2 Fairy Tale Fail

Adult contemporary romance: Something About You by Julie James
Something About You

New adult sports romance: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen (actually the whole Ivy Years series)
The Year We Fell Down
I feel like I could go on and on with this topic, I just have to go way back like starting from books that I read as a child. These were the ones that were from the past couple of years. What about you, what are some of your gateway books? 🙂

Ten 2015 Releases I Meant to Get to But Didn’t

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. While I try to keep up with new titles, I don’t always get to do so because I pick up books based on my mood. And sometimes, I just feel like reading older titles. Then real life gets in the way of reading time and some books just get pushed back. So there are quite a few 2015 releases that I wanted to read last year but wasn’t able to. Here are ten of them:

A Thousand Nights The Wrath and the Dawn Binti The Lie Tree Crimson Bound

Black Dove White Raven - UK Under a Painted Sky The Start of Me and You The Friend Zone The Royal We

Some of these authors are new-to-me (e.g. E.K. Johnston, Nnedi Okorafor) while some have written books that I’ve loved (e.g. Elizabeth Wein, Frances Hardinge). One thing they all have in common is that I’ve heard good things about these books, which was why I was curious about them to begin with. I already have copies of all of these either in my Kindle or on my bookshelf so I hope I’ll be able to read them in 2016. If you’ve read and loved any of these titles, feel free to comment and I’ll try my best to bump it up. What about you, what are 2015 releases that you meant to read last year but were not able to do so?

Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2016

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today is the first TTT of the year! I did this topic last year and will be adding on some of my resolutions from before because I want to keep doing them this year. In no particular order, here are my blogging and reading goals for 2016:

Keep blogging without pressure. In order to keep blogging fun, I need to blog without pressure. No pressure to write posts or review books if I don’t have the time or if I’d rather do something else (like read or rest).

If I can manage to do so, visit more book cafes or indie bookstores. Because exploring bookish locations is fun. I might even donate books to one or two of the book cafes I’ve visited in Manila, maybe on my next trip home.

Tweedle Book Cafe - shelf

Tweedle Book Cafe

Read more Filipino fiction. I think I read a decent number of books written by Filipino authors last year but I want to do more of that this year. Also review more of them.

Read more speculative fiction. I’ve noticed that I have a tendency to dive into contemporary fiction rather than sci fi or fantasy because I feel like the former is easier to get into. But I do love spec fic! I just need to remind myself to read more of it from time to time.

Read more books from my TBR pile. I have so many books that I still haven’t read and I need to make more of a conscious effort to prioritize them.

Read more graphic novels. I’ve enjoyed a few graphic novels in 2015 and would like to discover more titles this year. The ones that I already have copies of are Halina Filipina, Mythspace, Rat Queens, The Wicked + The Divine, Ms. Marvel, This One Summer, Anya’s Ghost and American Born Chinese. Feel free to make suggestions if you have any!

To avoid clutter (since I’m only renting in Singapore), buy ebook editions instead of physical copies. Except for graphic novels or illustrated books.

Pass on physical copies of books that I don’t plan to reread. Again, this is to avoid generating clutter since I can’t afford to collect books when I don’t have a permanent residence. I’ve been doing a bit of this last year, even passing on some of my books from my Manila bookshelf whenever I fly home.

Don’t hesitate to DNF books. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, life is too short to read books we don’t like. But even so, I have a hard time DNF-ing books. I’m more likely to skim until the end. But why should I do that when I could read something else that I would like more?

Buy more bookish clothes. Because it makes me happy to wear a bookish outfit, and I also get to blog about it whenever I do so.

Chachic - ootd - book skirt 2

What about you, what are some of your goals and resolutions for the year? 🙂

Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

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Hello from Manila! I’m here for the holiday season. It’s always good to be home but I haven’t had that much time to read or blog since I got here because I’ve been busy meeting up with friends and spending time with family. I’m glad I found some time to do this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post because I have some books on my wishlist that I would love to receive as presents. As always, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. All of the titles in my list today are graphic novels because I want to read more of those kinds of books. In no particular order:

Halina Filipina The Mythology Class Maktan 1521 Giant Days Seconds

Ms. Marvel Bombshells The Plain Janes Lazarus Loki Agent of Asgard

The first three are Filipino graphic novels and since I’m all for supporting the local writing community, maybe I should just buy them for myself. I suspect that is what will happen for most of these titles, I probably wouldn’t be able to resist buying them if I see them in bookstores. Also, books in Manila are more affordable than books in Singapore so I want to take advantage of that.

How about the rest of you, what books would you like Santa to leave under the tree for you? 🙂 Have you started receiving any books for Christmas? I usually don’t get books from friends but I’m luckier than usual this year and have already received a few.

Top New-To-Me Authors I Read For the First Time In 2015

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. I did this topic in 2013 and 2014 so of course, I wanted to do it again this year! I think it’s always fun to take a look at my shelves to see who have been my new discoveries over the past year. I’ve divided my list into genres and categories, and the book covers link to my review (if I’ve written one):

YA speculative fiction:
Bone Gap Archivist Wasp Illuminae Six of Crows
Laura Ruby
Nicole Kornher-Stace
Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff
Leigh Bardugo

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Graphic novels:
Nimona Rat Queens Vol 1 Sass and Sorcery
Noelle Stevenson
Kurtis J. Wiebe (author) and Roc Upchurch (illustrator)

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YA contemporary fiction:
I'll Meet You There
Heather Demetrios

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Filipino contemporary fiction:
Choco Chip Hips Loveless Childless Clueless
Agay Llanera
Miren B. Flores

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Kiddie board book – as a gift to my godsons!
All the World
Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee (illustrator)
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I’m definitely interested in reading more books from all of the authors in this list. I think my list has a pretty good mix of genres and categories. I’m glad I have more spec fic discoveries this year because that’s one genre I wanted to read more of. How about you, who are some of the awesome authors you’ve discovered this year? Would you have recommendations for me based on the authors on my list?

Ten Quotes I Liked from Books I Read in the Past Year

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. I like taking note of passages that I like (I highlight them when I’m reading on my Kindle) whenever I read books. So this was a fun topic for me to put together. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite quotes from books that I’ve read in 2015:

Learning to FallLearning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerra

In theory, blogging shouldn’t take a lot of time. Read a book, then write about it. Simple, right? Obligation fulfilled to the publisher or author who sent the book, to the readers who read the blog.

Not quite.

Blogging found me at a time when I needed people. I knew this, didn’t need a therapist to tell me. Moving to another state, starting college, figuring out how to be a fully functional adult and artist… there was so much comfort in being friends with people who liked the same things. Believe me, I tried being friends with real people, but the friendship offers stopped coming when I missed one too many dorm parties.

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Choco Chip HipsChoco Chip Hips by Agay Llanera

I looked at the mug of thick, hot chocolate, like I was seeing it for the first time. The sides of the cup were smudged with dark brown liquid, dotted with grains. To get this thick consistency, you had to melt the tablea in water with milk, stirring the pot tirelessly with a wooden molonillo. You whisked and whisked until your arms protested, until the ingredients melded in a rich and silky brown. It was a labor of love.

I pulled the mug closer, bowed my head, closed my eyes, and inhaled. It smelled – what was it, exactly? – full. It smelled so many things: dark, earthy, and fruity. I held the rim to my lips and took a long, thoughtful sip.

“It’s not as sweet as you’re used to,” Dad said apologetically.

It tasted a hint of the sweet, a hint of the bitter – the way life always had been.

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Loveless Childless CluelessLoveless. Childless. Clueless. by Miren B. Flores

The sea is for me. I make this declaration silently, standing chest-deep in the water, staring at that point where the horizon meets the sea. I close my eyes and revel in my favorite natural sound in the world – the waves. It’s a hypnotic rhythm, a soothing rhythm, the sweetest, I’m-so-glad-I’m-alive rhythm.

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I'll Meet You ThereI’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

In my essay for San Fran, I’d written about how I’d always felt like there was something magical about taking bits and pieces of the world around me and creating something whole. It gave me hope: if you could make a beautiful piece of art from discarded newspapers and old matchbooks, then it meant that everything had potential. And maybe people were like collages – no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered.

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Once Upon a RoseOnce Upon a Rose by Laura Florand

She took a deep breath, and that sense of nothing shimmered like a mirage before all the things that filled her lungs. An air rich with scents and with the vitality of the man beside her. Cliff-hills rose and narrowed around them as they headed into the pass that led out of the valley. All the rest of the world seemed so far away here. Songs lurked in the scents of rosemary and thyme and pine and roses in this car, teasing at her to hit the right note and distill their essence into words and melody. That would be fun, to capture a scent in song, and nobody else but her might ever even realize what perfume teased through the notes.

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A Wish Upon JasmineA Wish Upon Jasmine by Laura Florand

Sexy and sophisticated required so much work and attention to unimportant things, like how much you ate and how you fixed your hair. It was a particular skill, requiring a certain amount of luck in your genetics and then, exactly like most other accomplishments, at least seventy-five percent hard work, practice, and persistence.

And she’d chosen to practice something else, something that mattered to her more. Those models who looked so great as they marketed her perfumes to the public could no more have made a perfume than she could have looked that sleek and alluring. They worked in symbiosis, she and those models, but she was the secret element of that symbiosis, the elusive magic, and they were the glamorous show.

So naturally, it made sense to assume that the elegant Damien Rosier might prefer the glamor.

And yet… here they both were. Together.

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Bone GapBone Gap by Laura Ruby

She closed the book and smoothed the quilt on her bed. Unlike the girl in the novel, she hadn’t made it herself, knew little about quilting or sewing or craftiness. And unlike the girl in the novel, she understood heat and wind more than ice and snow, and had no intention of breaking anyone’s heart, except maybe her own. Even Get Real had said nothing about this, about sitting on your bed in your room, stomach and head buzzing, nerves thrumming, heart beating in your earlobes and your toes, hoping so hard that there was one boy out there who wanted you as much as you wanted him, because you wouldn’t know what you would do with yourself if this were not true.

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Archivist WaspArchivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace

Find the girl with the knife in her belt and the scars on her face, they told me. She’s different from the other girls who’d come before her, even though they’d carried the same knife, worn the same scars. She helps the dead, when she can, even when the living punish her for it. She probably will not want to be found. But she is worth finding.

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UprootedUprooted by Naomi Novik

He looked at me, baffled and for the first time uncertain, as though he had stumbled into something, unprepared. His long narrow hands were cradled around mine, both of us holding the rose together. Magic was singing in me, through me; I felt the murmur of his power singing back that same song. I was abruptly too hot, and strangely conscious of myself. I pulled my hands free.

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Girl Before a MirrorGirl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer

What do I want?

I want to be happy and not feel guilty about it. I want to be curious without being called indulgent. I want to be accepted regardless of what I look like, what I do for a living, my marital status, whether I have kids, or whether you think I’m nice enough, hospitable enough, or humble enough to measure up to your impossible standards. I want purpose. I want contentment. I want to be loved and give love unreservedly in return. I want to be seen, I want to matter. I want freedom.

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What about the rest of you, what are some of quotes you’ve liked from books that you’ve read this year?

Ten Book to Movie Adaptations I Still Need to Watch

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. I’m not very good at keeping up with movies, I think mostly because reading takes up most of my free time. So I’m usually not able to keep track of when movies are released unless I’m REALLY excited to watch them. So that’s why there are some movie adaptations that I still haven’t seen, even if I’ve already read the books they’re based on. Such as:

Looking for Alibrandi The Book Thief The Giver Coraline The Duff Vampire Academy Time Traveler's Wife

And then there a few movie adaptations that I haven’t watched because I haven’t read the books:

Paper Towns Me and Earl and the Dying Girl The Martian

If you’ve seen the movies for these books, let me know if they’re really good adaptations and whether I should prioritize them. What are book to movie adaptations that you have in your to-be-watched list?