Book Review: Red Sister

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Title: Red Sister

Author: Mark Lawrence

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Series? Yes, 1 of 3

Goodreads

Amazon ||  Book Depository  ||  Dymocks  ||  Booktopia


Disclaimer: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the Harper Voyager Australia in exchange for an honest review.

 

From its very first lines, Red Sister had me hooked and wholly invested. It promised warrior nuns, political and religious intrigue, along with a cast filled to the brim with complex ladies. Red Sister delivered on all counts. I especially loved its exploration on relationships between females, from friendship, to mentorship, to rivalry.

RedSister

It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Sister Thorn of the Sweet Mercy Convent, Lano Tacsis brought two hundred men.

The first lines of Red Sister are some of the most captivating I’ve read in several years, and it sets the tone for the entire book. Mark Lawrence’s writing style is meticulous and vivid, his sentences pulse with life and intrigue. In particular, I love the way he writes action scenes – I’ve admitted several times in the past that I am not a particularly visual reader when it comes to fight scenes, but Lawrence’s writing are cinematic even to someone like myself. Read More »

Blog Tour: Heartless by Marissa Meyer Book Review

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4-star

Title: Heartless

Author: Marissa Meyer

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Series? No

Goodreads

Pan Macmillan Site

Book Depository // Booktopia


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Pan Macmillan Australia in exchange for an honest review.

SYNOPSIS:

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, the infamous Queen of Hearts, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favourite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness and monsters, fate has other plans.

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Marissa Meyer has the market cornered when it comes to reinventing pre-existing lores and tales. Her Lunar Chronicles series trailblazed the way for half a decade’s worth of YA fairy tale retelling, its presence is ubiquitous on any retelling list you dig up on the Internet. With Heartless, Meyer cements her status as an ingenious storyteller, breathing new life into iconic characters we thought we knew.Read More »

#CritYourFaves Master Post

Thank you so much to everyone who signed up to #CritYourFaves! The list of all the participating blogs and their respective discussion topics are included here. I will be updating this list all throughout October.CritYourFaves Masterpost.png

There are no set posting schedules, those participating can post at any time as long as it’s within October! Remember to use the #CritYourFaves hashtag when crossposting on social media so I can make sure to help you promote your post 🙂 If you can manage it, please also leave a link to your post in the comments below when you have published it!

Name Blog Name Topic
Regina The Bibliotheque Unhealthy Romance in Fiction/Cooleen Hoover’s Books
Daisy Feminists Read Love Tamora Pierce: From Childhood Fave to Problematic Fave
Jenna Reading With Jenna To Be Decided
Dev A Writer is a World Trapped in a Person Whitewashing in Book-to-Movie Adaptations
Kelly Diva Booknerd Toxic Romances
Helia Rose Quartz Read The Issue With Killing Off Minority Characters
Monica Tomes Project Lack of Diverse Representation in Harry Potter
Bianca The Ultimate Fangirl ABC’s of Contemporary Cliches or Fantasy VS. Contemporary Male Leads
Fadwa Word Wonders Lack of Diversity in the Harry Potter World
Laura Blue Eye Books The Young Elites Discussion
Kate Between the Sky and Me Discussion of Harmful Tropes
Grace Ashen Reads Lack of Representation in Cassandra Clare’s series
Monica She Might Be Monica Lack of diversity & toxic relationships in the Throne of Glass series
Liz Bitchy Fantasy The Taming of the Bad Boy (e.g. ACOMAF)
Natalia A Court of Tales Discussion of Throne of Glass and its problematic elements
Mishma Chasing Faerytales To Be Decided
Patricia Alferez Patti’s Book Blog Problematic Faves and How To Deal With It
Dani St Clair Romancing the Social Sciences Harmful tropes/Problematic faves/Representation of POC (Representation, the White Saviour and the Other in Meredith Duran’s The Duke of Shadows)
Zoe If The Book Will Be Too Difficult Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small quartet
Miriam Miriam Reads Books Obsidian Mountain Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey
Haley Been There, Read That Queerbaiting in Cursed Child
Puput Sparkling Letters Paper Princess: An Addictive Read Despite Its Problematic Tropes
Jess The Bookaholic Life Discuss a series you love and what issues you had with it
Nemo Young Adult at Heart The Romance That Is Not Romantic in Wuthering Heights
Anushka Going Through Books Discuss a series you love and what issues you had with it
Alin Ace Readss The Raven Cycle and the fear of the word bisexual
Guinevere Twinja Book Reviews Discussing the Percy Jackson books, where they fail in diversity/inclusivity despite being well written stories.
Aimal Bookshelves & Paperbacks Lack of Diversity/Post Series Additions in the Harry Potter Series & Supernatural
Booknuts101 21st Century Once Upon A Times Unhealthy romance in fiction
Victoria Addlepates and Book Nerds Is bad representation better than no representation?
Tessa Crazy for YA Looking back on my first favorite YA series
Wendy Falconer’s Library Ethnicity in Eleanor & Park. Responsibility as a white reader.
Jeann Happy Indulgence Why Throne of Glass is Problematic…But I Still Love It
Blika Armchair Adventures Sexuality, Gender & Diversity
Chris Lovely Black Ink Unhealthy romance in fiction
Lynette Charmingly Simple Harry Potter: Why Snape’s a Git and Dumbledore is an Asshole.
Morgane Bookworms Eat Brains Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

#ReadThemAllThon Hall Of Fame

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Three weeks just flew by and we are at the end of the #ReadThemAllThon! I am overwhelmed by the response, we ended up with more than 200 sign ups. Thank you so much to every single one of you who participated, it means the world to me ❤ Whether you managed to finish the challenge or not, I hope you had loads of fun.

But what I am truly looking for is who is our Pokemon Champion? Their prizes are:

FIRST PLACE WINNER:

  1. 2 Pokemon Wooden Bookmarks from Ink and Wonder!
  2. $15 AUD to spend on Book Depository or Wordery.
  3. Bragging rights, I’ll make you a banner proclaiming your win if you wish 😉

How do we decide who the winner is? To be in a chance to claim the prize, please collate your points and comment below. The comments will be open until Friday 9th September 12.00AM my time (AEST). The person with the higher number of points in the comment wins! I thought for a long time and given how many participants there are, this is the best way to keep track.

Please fill the form below using this format, time to crunch some numbers:

Name:
Blog:
Pokemon Used:
Pewter Badge:
CP Points (1 pt per 10 pages read) + 20CP* completion bonus
Cascade Badge: 
CP Points (1 pt per 10 pages read) + 20CP* completion bonus
Thunder Badge: 
CP Points (1 pt per 10 pages read) + 20CP* completion bonus
Rainbow Badge: 
CP Points (1 pt per 10 pages read) + 20CP* completion bonus
Marsh Badge: 
CP Points (1 pt per 10 pages read) + 20CP* completion bonus
Soul Badge: 
CP Points (1 pt per 10 pages read) + 20CP* completion bonus
Flame Badge: 
CP Points (1 pt per 10 pages read) + 20CP* completion bonus
Earth Badge: 
CP Points (1 pt per 10 pages read) + 20CP* completion bonus
Review Points:  
20 CP per review you wrote of only the books you read for the above challenge, posted between 14/8-4/9.
Social Media Points: Earned from tweeting/photos. Please be honest! I will be doing a check! Max points from tweeting is 200, max points from photo is 100
Evolution Bonus: +50 CP each time the Pokemon evolves, in Magikarp’s case, +120CP
Extra Books Read Bonus:  1 pt per 10 pages read for books you completed AFTER you finished the initial 8 challenges.
Total:

Note: please only add the extra 20 CP for the badges if you FINISHED the book you read.

This obviously all depends on everyone’s honesty, as I have no concrete way to verify whether you’ve read all the books or the will to shift through all your tweets to count up the points. I trust that all you lovely people will play fair ❤

Please let me know if any feedback regarding the event below as well. I will be hosting more readathons (not necessarily Pokemon themed, this depends on interest) in the future, so I hope to see you around!

Once again, thank you so much to everyone who participated. You’re all the very best in my heart ❤

Blog Tour: The Boundless Sublime

Thanks to Allen and Unwin for giving me an opportunity to participate in the blog tour for The Boundless Sublime by Lili Wilkinson! I have an interview to show you all today. Lili has been so gracious and informative in all of her answers, so I hope you’ll have fun reading it.

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The Boundless Sublime first appeared to be a typical cult story. However, the main characters manage to retain all of her thoughts and agency throughout the story, even when she was making poor decisions. It’s definitely a title to check out if you’ve enjoyed other recent releases like The Girls or Foxlowe.

INTERVIEW

1. Congratulations on the release of The Boundless Sublime! Could you tell us a little about the inspiration behind this book?

A few things, I guess. One is that my grandparents were Scientologists, and I’ve always been interested in belief, and the weird things people believed in. I read and loved Robin Klein’s People Might Hear You when I was a kid. And then I guess because of my grandparents I read Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear in 2014, and it sent me on a bit of a spiral of learning about new religious movements, which sort of naturally became the idea for The Boundless Sublime.Read More »

Blog Hop: All About Aussie YA

One of the things I love most about blogging is its ability to connect me to all the readers around Australia. Some of my most treasured memories as a blogger are moments where I got to meet my fellow Aussie bloggers, like the time Jeann and Jenna came to Melbourne, or when I went to Sydney for the Writer’s Festival back in May, and more recently the Nevernight Launch in Melbourne.

The Oz YA community has helped shaped me into the blogger that I am today, and I will forever be grateful to their collective passion, intelligence and wit.

Aussie YA Blog Hop

This blog hop is organised by Jeann at Happy Indulgence, along with the Aussie YA Blogger admin group. There will be a twitter chat
on 14th July so follow @AusYABloggers and #AusYABlogChat for more information!

What I Love About Aussie YA

I love the familiarity of the setting and the immediate relevance in the issues touched on in Oz YA books. Although I adore books for their ability to transport me into another country or another realm altogether – reading Australian fiction and their familiar surroundings help ground my emotions and make the characters come to life in a more profound way. We are also blessed with a host of amazing authors who regular engage with their readers and share their experiences.Read More »

Discussion: When Your Favourite Book Is Problematic

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If you’ve spent any amount of time reading about reading books on the Internet (as you do!), you’ll know exactly the feeling I’m talking about. That moment when blissful fangirl happiness curdles when someone, somewhere, points out that the book isn’t nearly as perfect as you believe. Even worse, it has problematic elements – whether it be social or cultural. How do you deal with this? Take a deep breath my friend, it’s OK – you’ll get through this, and you’ll still be able to love your book at the end of it.Read More »

6 Months Blogoversary & Giveaway

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I can hardly believe only six months have passed since I started Read At Midnight – to me, it feels longer! Hats off to all of you who have been able to maintain and engage with your blog for years and more! This blogoversary comes a little bit belated, due to my recent vacation and road trip – the official date is actually 13th December. Let’s not get that small technicality get in the way of the celebration!

I am hugely proud of what Read At Midnight has achieved over the past 6 months, thanks a million to everyone who have made these numbers possible:

WordPress and Email Followers: 606
Bloglovin Followers: 210
Twitter Followers: 1061
Instagram Followers: 300
Total Pageviews: 26960+
Unique Visitors: 9220+
Total Number of Comments: 4600+

Thank you so much to every one who has followed, commented, and viewed this blog! I can’t put into words how much I appreciate you guys.

The reason why I continue to push along with blogging – aside from my passion for books – is the wonderful community that I’ve befriended through the past six months. Now, I really dislike listing people individually because I’m a scatter brain who will inevitably miss someone I adore – but here are some of the people I really owe this past half a year to:

  • Thank you to Alyssa for being one of my first followers, and for all of your kindness and support! Your love and dedication to spreading knowledge about Chinese history and mythology makes me smile!
  • Thank you to Jenna for being one of my first and more firm friends in blogging. I can always count on you to goad me with pictures of watermelon cakes or push books I never knew I would love! So excited for us to meet in person in 2016.
  • Thank you to CW, my fellow kiwi and one of the most thought-provoking bloggers about. She also has wicked art skills!
  • Thank you to Jeann for firstly being blogging goals, then for being one of the best people ever! You’re the first blogger I met up with in real life, and our breakfast date was so much fun!
  • Thank you to Faye for being the first commenter on my blog – and thank you for embracing me into the Potato family!
  • Thank you to Rashika and Aimee for being awesome cobloggers, I can hardly believe I write blog posts along such smart and fierce women!
  • Thanks to Nick, always, for her sincerity, her authentic friendship, her steadfast honesty, her support!
  • Thanks to the ladies of Books with Chemistry: Vane, Evelyn, Tash – their sass is most impressive, and have been instrumental in weeding out the weak from my TBR pile.
  • Thanks to Joey, you and your posts never fail to make me laugh or think or both.
  • Thanks to Jesse for his uncanny ability to mirror my fangirly thoughts in every way.
  • Thanks to gorgeous Josie, who is beautiful inside and out, it’s been a privilege getting to know you!
  • Thanks to Summer for her warmth and comment-bombs!
  • Thanks to Kynndra for your warm heart, wit, and flawless taste in books! Your reviews have guided me to so many new worlds.
  • Thanks to Ashley and Lydia for always being ready to engage in any dialogue on the blog, I’ve learned so much from your discussions and your posts.
  • Thank you to the phenomenal Oz blogging community: Kelly, Emily, Cait, Eugenia, Chiara, Joy, Glaiza, Melanie, Gina, Brittany, Meleika, Jaz, KJ, Rebecca, Brett and countless others, for their friendliness, intelligence, and fierce devotion to home grown authors.
  • Thanks to all the teen bloggers for renewing my faith in the world’s future through their passion, their voices, their fierce intelligence. Aila, Rachel, Mishma, Alexandra, you absolutely own the YA community and you are so inspiring!
  • Thanks to every single blogger who has supported by Design Shop! Nick and Nereyda, Lisa and Becca, Kristen, Kristy, Jodie, Aila, Sajda. My book budget praises your light every day.

There are so many more people that has all my gratitude, but if I keep going on this post will never end. Please don’t take it personally if I didn’t name you, I love every single person that reads or comment on this blog!

As with all celebrations, I would like to host a small giveaway for a Book Depository order up to $30AUD in value!

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Cover Reveal: The Bureau Of Time by Brett Micheal Orr

THE BUREAU OF TIME is the debut YA SF/thriller novel from Brett Michael Orr, available early 2016 on all digital reading platforms, including Kindle, Kobo, iBookstore, and more. Stay up-to-date with The Bureau of Time by following @BrettMichaelOrr on Twitter!

I am sharing the cover and synopsis of The Bureau Of Time with the utmost excitement!

Brett is one of the first Aussie book bloggers I befriended on the blogosphere – he’s was so supportive in helping me become a part of the community.  Not only that, he’s an excellent writer – something you quickly realise upon reading his book reviews and short stories. This week, Brett’s debut novel is unveiled on Amazon Kindle. It sounds like an engaging and unique scifi, and I hope you’ll all join me in checking it out!

Brett is a fellow fangirl, I trust that his book will contain all the excitement, heart-pumping action and an OTP to rival the top YA books.

The Bureau of Time Official Blurb
You can not change fate.

Cassandra Wright is a Timewalker – a teenager with a genetic mutation that allows her to manipulate the flow of time. But her inexplicable powers have made her a target for Adjusters – monstrous assassins from a parallel universe.

Saved from almost certain death, Cassie is pulled into a secret agency sworn to defend our timeline against these threats: the Bureau of Temporal Integrity, Monitoring, and Execution. Cassie’s life soon becomes entwined with Shaun Briars – a reckless Timewalker with an alluring smile and dark suspicions about the Bureau itself.

When Cassie and Shaun cross into the parallel universe, they discover a world in the grips of nuclear winter, with a new war threatening to spill over into our universe. With time running out, they must learn the true history of Timewalkers, confront the unforgivable crimes of their future selves, and defy their own fate to save two worlds.

Join the Conversation: #TheBureauOfTime on twitter!

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Amazon US  //  Amazon UK  // Amazon Australia  // Amazon Canada

Also coming soon to iBook, Kobo and other leading digital platforms – keep your eyes out!

 

Book Review: The Rose Society

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4-starTitle: The Rose Society

Author: Marie Lu

Series? Yes, 2 of 3.

Rating: 4
out of 5 stars

Goodreads

Book Depository


 

“Someday, when I am nothing but dust and wind, what tale will they tell about me? Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.”

The Rose Society is one of those rare sequels that shine brighter than its predecessor. In The Young Elite, the foundation of Adelina’s tumultuous path towards villainy is laid down: with betrayal, with insecurities, with corruption. Her story takes a darker turn in this chapter. Supporting characters also get their stories fleshed out in this sequel, adding layers of increasingly compelling motives to the narrative.

The-Rose-Society

One of the things I enjoyed most from The Young Elite was the murky relationship between Adelina and her sister, Violetta. While Adelina is an agent of fury and madness, Violetta tempers her with compassion and steely resolve. While the girls are fiercely protective of one another, their relationship is also fraught with tension – Violetta does not agree with all of Adelina’s choices, Adelina is ever wary of Violetta’s gift to take her powers away. Added onto this is the weight of their shared history, in which Adelina was shunned while Violetta was adored by their father. Together, the pair creates a relationship more compelling than any romance the series could present.Read More »