Loony’s Musings: when you don’t have time to read

This is only going to be a short post, because I am ridiculously overwhelmed with schoolwork at the moment – hence the title of this post. What happens when you don’t have time to read?

My TBR is growing at an alarming rate. There are library books that are almost due back (I haven’t read any of them), books I bought a year ago that I’d love to read, and books for review that look AMAZING.

The only problem? I’ve been too busy lately to enjoy them all.

(This GIF perfectly sums up my emotions)

For example, yesterday I was at school from 8:30 in the morning to 7:30 at night. Which is like 11 hours (way too long to be at school, if you ask me). I don’t begrudge that time, really, because a lot of it was spent on drama, my absolute favourite subject.

But it does cut into my reading time, which I cherish. I cherish it because it’s one of my only breaks from schoolwork, which can be really overwhelming at times. For a little while, when I’m reading, I can forget about all that. So when I don’t have the time to read, that stress and overwhelmed feeling just gets worse.

Catch-22, yes?

I know that most book bloggers don’t have unlimited amounts of time. We find time to read where we can – on public transport, or before bed, or in brief snatches. During school holidays, I can read for large stretches without feeling guilty because I’m not doing homework – just another reason to love school holidays!

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, except to say that occasionally it won’t be possible to read every single book in the universe, or even many of the ones you want to. But now that I’ve discovered this little community, there’s no way I would ever give it up.


Hugs to all my book bloggers and readers and writers out there (and anyone else, although I’m not sure why you’d be reading this if you’re not one of those).

I promise I will get around to commenting on your blogs very soon! I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had much of a chance!

Are there times when you feel you don’t have any time to read, or are overwhelmed by the amount of books you feel you have to read? How do you deal with it?

When Books Are More Than Books: The Fault in Our Stars

ImageThis week has been Fangirl Frenzy Week, so it’s only fitting that I talk about The Fault in Our Stars. I first read it in 2012, the year it came out – can’t believe it’s been so long! Back then none of my friends had heard of it. My copy is now well-worn from bent lent out to everyone, and I couldn’t be happier that it’s so popular.

Sometimes, books don’t just feel like books. They feel like so much more. That’s what The Fault in Our Stars was like for me. Back in the hazy 2012, I tried to write a review of it:

 There seem to be mixed reviews about tfios. On the one hand there are those comparing how many buckets of tears they cried, and on the other hand there’s those remarking that it’s “just another cancer book.”

I disagree on both counts. Yes, it was sad. Yes, it contained cancer. But it was so much more than that. His other books had the same feel to them, and the same sort of characters, but I think tfios is different. John Green doesn’t try to make out that everyone with cancer is this amazing person because of it; he writes these incredible truths that coincide with incredible hilarity. It’s not a depressing story, it’s an inspiring one.

What makes it so good? I don’t know. But the fact that I can’t point out exactly what it is…well, that’s what makes it so amazing. I had a similar reaction to this book that I think Hazel had to An Imperial Affliction.

On commercialism: I disagree that it was the point of tfios. Cancer books are different. They’re about suffering and tears and dramatic deaths. Tfios isn’t. It’s about existential jokes, misuses of literality and overall the fact that having cancer doesn’t automatically make you a good person. It’s profound in a different sort of way, in that it makes you happy rather than sad.


(tears of nostalgia for that review)

But I don’t think that review sums up all of my emotions. This was a book I cried in, when I don’t cry, like, ever. It was a book that affected me so much I read it again the next day. I’ve literally never done that before. It’s a book that I wish I hadn’t read just so I could experience it all over again.

It’s a book that makes me feel all the feels, without fail, every single time I read it.


I love you, Colin Morgan.

I think this is for a few reasons (the amazingness of TFIOS not why I love Colin Morgan):

1)      It’s amazing

Goes without saying. It’s quite literary in some of its thoughts, and it doesn’t condescend to teenagers, and it’s just a rollercoaster ride of amazing characters, unrealistic characters but beautifully so, in a way that us teenagers would like to be. It’s sad in the most uplifting way possible.

2)      It’s familiar

This week I’ve been doing exams, and I’ve been so freaked out that I just needed something familiar to get me through it. Cue this sneaky picture from one of my friends (I was reading under a table, yes. It was The Fault in Our Stars, yes. It’s totally fine):


3) The community

I mean, I talked about fandoms yesterday, but I cannot stress the importance of communities around awesome things. If I was on a desert island and The Fault in Our Stars happened to…be there already (just…go with it), and I read it, YEAH, it’d be awesome, but I wouldn’t like it half as much. Because there would be nobody to fangirl with and that’d be boring.

Tomorrow I’m talking about another book that’s more than a book (well, a series): Harry Potter. Yay! What are some of your favourite books-more-than-books? 


Mini Reviews: Spellcaster and Steadfast by Claudia Gray


Title: Spellcaster

Author: Claudia Gray

Genre: YA fantasy

Length: 389 pages

Published by: HarperTeen

Source: borrowed from local library


When Nadia’s family moves to Captive’s Sound, she instantly realizes there’s more to it than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia senses a dark and powerful magic at work in her new town. Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, trying to dodge the local legend that his family is cursed – and that curse will cause him to believe he’s seeing the future … until it drives him mad. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl—Nadia—from a car accident come true, he knows he’s doomed.

Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his family’s terrible curse, and to prevent a disaster that threatens the lives of everyone around them.

I went into this book with low expectations. Some of these were because of my sister. But I’m learning not to listen to my sister (she has red hair. Obviously she can’t be trusted). She’s probably reading this, actually.


ANYWAY. Mostly I’m not a fan of one-word titles. They don’t tell you much about the book, you know? I like the title of the second book (Steadfast) since it relates hugely, but without context I wouldn’t have known that. I mean, how many books do you think there are with spellcasters? Probably at least a million and three.

ANYWAY. Goodness, I seem to be getting off track quite a bit. I liked Spellcaster a lot. It’s dark, and mysterious, and foreboding, and powerful, and the villain is FANTASTIC. It’s a new take on magic that I’ve never seen before. The three main characters all have their issues and there was a nice dynamic there. The family stuff was in the background but provided a nice layering to the whole thing. Also it had some nice little PC stuff, like, “I wouldn’t treat someone else’s race as a costume.” I liked that.

I had a problem with the villain’s motives, and why she did what she did at the end, but my suspension of disbelief didn’t suffer too dreadfully.

Rating: 3.5/5 Wonderkitties


ImageTitle: Steadfast

Author: Claudia Gray

Genre: YA fantasy

Length: 384 pages

Published by: HarperTeen


Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine have saved Captive’s Sound from the dark Sorceress Elizabeth…or so they thought. Despite their best efforts, a crack opened and a new, greater evil seeped through. With Mateo as her Steadfast, Nadia’s magic is magnified and she is more powerful than ever. But there is still so much she doesn’t know about the craft, leaving her open and vulnerable to a darker magic…which has begun to call Nadia’s name

I didn’t like Steadfast as much as Spellcaster. The middle was a bit muddy, and I would have liked a LOT more explanation – it’s like there was a promise from the last book to explain things and they were STILL left open-ended. And it’s the kind of cliff-hanger ending where I probably wouldn’t mind not reading the next one…you know, it’s not that BURNING DESIRE to read on, if you know what I mean.

That said, I liked it enough to say good things about it. For a start, Asa was a great character and I would have liked to see more of him (although less of his relationship with a certain character, because that was weird and came out of nowhere). Like this quote from him:

“Just dropped by, figured we could bitch about Elizabeth, do each other’s nails, make cookies—wait. No. That’s girl bonding, isn’t it? Sometimes I get it mixed up. No gender roles in hell, torment and anguish being more or less universal. So what do we do to be manly and brutish? Smash beer cans against our foreheads? What NASCAR? Crochet? What?”

I more than giggled at this quote. In fact I’m pretty sure I almost GUFFAWED (which is also a great word, incidentally).

I would have liked to see more of Verlaine. She seems like she would be a great character if we saw her more often – she’s also really funny.

Unfortunately, though, overall I think Steadfast juuuuust hit the mark from me. It has a lot of potential, and I recommend the first book definitely. And hey, obviously my judgement isn’t the be all and end all. If you want to read about a really unique version of magic, this is the book for you.

Rating: 3/5 Wonderkitties


Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E Lockhart


Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Author: E Lockhart

Genre: YA contemporary

Length: 345 pages

Published by: Disney-Hyperion

Source: borrowed from the library



Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:

Debate Club.
Her father’s “bunny rabbit.”
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
A knockout figure.
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Laundau-Banks.
No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer.
Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society.
Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew’s lying to her.
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
Possibly a criminal mastermind.

This is the story of how she got that way.

I was excited about this book because people have said good things about it. I got it from my local library in large print (it’s massive print, actually) and…woah, the title is a mouthful, right? Let’s talk about it in terms of Frankie. Actually, if I said that to Frankie she’d probably be like:

Except, replace “Nymphadora” with “Frankie.” Basically, the premise of this novel is that Frankie doesn’t like being the “Fluffy Bunny.” She wants people to think she’s…I don’t know, fierce or something? She infiltrates some stupid boy club and gets them to do pranks. She’s a feminist, which I liked, and calls everyone out on their sexist stuff, but she does it in a really annoying way. I mean, I’m a feminist as well, but I don’t yell and scream at people for saying things they don’t know are wrong.

I also had a problem with Frankie’s boyfriend; namely, it seems like she hates him and loves him at the same time. They had no chemistry whatsoever. He’s constantly dismissive of her, and she’s always internally monologue-ing about how he doesn’t see the real her.

The things I liked were few and far in between. I liked the descriptions of the pranks. I liked the beginning. That’s about it.

I did not like the style of narration: it was third person omniscient and broke one of the biggest “rules” of writing: it told instead of showed, like the whole thing was just narration. What’s more, it was really pretentious narration. Why does it need that?

Literally, it was like the writer saying, “look at me, I use fancy words and I’m clever.” Because the writing is clever, I can’t deny that. But it really annoyed me that the author had to be so obvious about it.

So really, I didn’t like most of the characters. I didn’t like the narration. The ending was a let-down and an anti-climax. The secret boys’ society was stupid (I mean, Frankie could have just started a girls’ club – what’s wrong with that?).

I really wanted to like this but I just couldn’t.

Rating: 2/5 Wonderkitties


What Happened This Week: Stacking the Shelves (3) and Rainbow Books

This week was a pretty big bookish week for me, which is why I’m incorporating a Stacking the Shelves into it. Let’s start with that.


Stacking the Shelves is a book meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. 

For Review: 


* On the Fence by Kasie West

* Splintered by A G Howard

* Unhinged by A G Howard

I’m so excited about all three of these!!!! I’ve recently discovered Kasie West, and the other two…well, I just love Alice in Wonderland.

From the Library


This photo’s a little unclear, sorry, but the books are:

* Cinder by Marissa Meyer

* Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

* The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

* Where she Went by Gayle Forman

* Spellcaster by Claudia Gray

My school library actually has WAY better books than my local city library. Which is awesome. I did get Spellcaster from the local library rather than school, because they have all Claudia Gray’s books.

That’s it for Stacking the Shelves! Now onto what I’m reading right now. 


I got the second book in this series for review from HarperCollins – I hadn’t read the first yet so I borrowed it. And it is actually SO GOOD. Creepy and dark and mysterious. I love it way more than I thought I would.

Oh, and I FINALLY READ CINDER. And loved it. Of course. That review will be up soon!

GIF of the week: 

(this sums my worries up so well)

What I’ve posted this week: 

Monday was the day I reviewed The Distance Between Us, which is amazing.

On Tuesday I talked about the top ten popular authors I’ve never read (I can now cross Marissa Meyer off the list!)

Wednesday was all about how long it takes me to read a book – what about you?

Thursday was a review day, and I talked about the really sweet The One and Only Jack Chant by Rosie Borella

Friday was also a review day, this time about Bird by Crystal Chan (READ IT READ IT READ IT)

And on Saturday we discussed whether you write in different genres.

Other occurrences this week: 

I rainbow-ordered one of my TBR piles! Sorry the photo’s so dark, but my room has awful lighting.

rainbow books

Also, I made a Facebook page for this blog! I’d love it if you could like the page 🙂 I’ll be posting heaps of awesome photos of my books! Click on the blog button to get to the page.

Blog Button!!!

And that’s it for this week!

Now it’s your turn…

Review: Bird by Crystal Chan

ImageTitle: Bird

Author: Crystal Chan

Genre: MG Contemporary

Length: 295 pages

Published by: Text Publishing Australia

Source: won in a giveaway (thanks, Text!)


Nothing matters. Only Bird matters. And he flew away.

Jewel never knew her brother Bird, but all her life she has lived in his shadow. Her parents blame Grandpa for the tragedy of their family’s past; they say that Grandpa attracted a malevolent spirit—a duppy—into their home. Grandpa hasn’t spoken a word since. Now Jewel is twelve, and she lives in a house full of secrets.

Jewel is sure that no one will ever love her like they loved Bird, until the night that she meets a mysterious boy in a tree.

Grandpa is convinced that the boy is a duppy, but Jewel knows that he is something more. And that maybe the time has come to break through the stagnant silence of the past.

Entrenched secrets, mysterious spirits, and an astonishing friendship weave together in this extraordinary and haunting debut. 

First of all:

This is Ron’s high/dreamy/in love face!

This gif encapsulates all that I feel about Bird. It’s such a lovely, unique, diverse book, and I’m so glad I own it so it can stay on my bookshelf forever.

How am I supposed to review this? Okay. Right. I’ve got this.

First of all, Jewel is a really great character. She’s open-minded; she’s courageous; she’s a really well-rounded, different character. John, her friend, is also well-written. I totally understand why he did what he did, even if Jewel’s anger towards him was understandable.

Then the family! All the arguments made sense: there’s the Dad, clinging to Jamaican legends which to the Mum’s mind are stupid. He believes in duppies and evil spirits, and I’ve never read anything like this culture. But more on that in a minute! I felt sorry for Jewel during their arguments, and just wanted to hug her. Actually, I seem to want to hug lots of people in books.

YES, MARGE. I WANT TO HUG JEWEL BUT I CAN’T. *hugs books instead*

Also – Grandpa! He doesn’t speak but his relationship with Jewel is just…amazing. It doesn’t start off well but I love the development. And I love the cassette tapes.

Then there’s the culture, which I touched on before. It’s a mix of Jamaican and Mexican culture, and I really liked Jewel and John’s relationship to the environment. I loved how she buried rocks and how she believed in duppies, and the Event Horizon (you’ll know what it is if you’ve read the book).

And also, Jewel and John know so many more things than me. I enjoyed reading all about geology and a bit of cosmology (black holes are cool, okay?).

All in all, a wonderful, different, beautiful book.

Rating: 5/5 Wonderkitties


Interview: Stacey Nash, Author of Forget Me Not


Title: Forget Me Not

Author: Stacey Nash

Length: 285 pages

Genre: YA speculative fiction

Published by: Entranced Publishing


Since her mother vanished nine years ago, Anamae and her father have shared a quiet life. But when Anamae discovers a brooch identical to her mother’s favorite pendant, she unknowingly invites a slew of trouble into their world. When the brooch and the pendant are worn together they’re no longer pretty pieces of jewelry — they’re part of a highly developed technology capable of cloaking the human form. Triggering the jewelry’s power attracts the attention of a secret society determined to confiscate the device — and silence everyone who is aware of its existence. Anamae knows too much, and now she’s Enemy Number One. 

She’s forced to leave her father behind when she’s taken in by a group determined to keep her safe. Here Anamae searches for answers about this hidden world. With her father kidnapped and her own life on the line, Anamae must decide if saving her dad is worth risking her new friends’ lives. No matter what she does, somebody is going to get hurt.

Fiction is Fact. Know the Truth.

Buy it here!

You can also find Stacey at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

I’m so excited to be posting this today! Stacey Nash is a good friend from Aussie Owned and Read, and though there was a slight delay with her release date, Forget Me Not is doing wonderfully. There’s also a huge giveaway going on – you can find it at the end of this post. On with the interview!

What’s your favourite conspiracy theory?

Gosh, there are so many good ones; the moon landing was fake, Area 51 is where all the aliens are hidden, the plans for the electric car were brought by the oil companies then suppressed. Wait, that one might actually be true. My favourite though, is the New World Order theory. In part it is a lot like the Collective who feature in Forget Me Not. The theory is that NWO are an elite group who manipulate the government, media, and industry worldwide. They are in affect a shadow government and their goal; to create a single government with no national ties that bends to their agenda > WORLD DOMINATION.

 Why do you write YA? Will that ever change?

I write YA because I love to read it. I feel like emotion is stronger in YA; feelings are more immediate, and mostly YA has a much faster pace. All of these things are what I LOVE to feel when I read, so naturally it’s what I love to write. I can’t see that changing in the near future, but I won’t say it will never change. I never know which direction my muse will guide me in next.

 What’s your writing schedule like? Do you write every day?

I write every single day for a minimum of six hours. My philosophy is if I want to build a career as I writer then I should treat my writing as a job. I’m very lucky to have that amount of time to devote to it, I know many writers don’t. The hours aren’t always spent on actual writing though, some time goes to marketing, social media, blogging, and helping fellow writers. I actually spend a lot of time working with my critique partners. 

Do you listen to music while you write?

No. Weird, hey? I have three very noisy children, so I need a break from all the sound. Since I mostly write when my kids aren’t around, it’s a great time to enjoy the silence. I do have playlists for all of my stories though and I listen to those when I’m not writing. It helps the ideas flow. 

Books that are similar to Forget Me Not?

Assassin’s Creed by Oliver Bowden

Movies that are similar; The Matrix sequels, Fringe.  

Best and worst things about being a writer?

The best thing; it’s social acceptable to have imaginary friend and fantasy world if you’re a writer. 😉 

The worst thing is not being able to turn my mind off when I’m in drafting mode. I could be walking down the street, in the middle of a conversation, or trying to sleep when I find myself daydreaming about the plot.

 Who inspired you to be a writer?

My husband encouraged me, my mother gave me the tools through nurturing a love of reading, but it was probably a combination of my favourite authors who inspired me. Suzanne Collins made me feel that it was okay to write in the voice that came naturally to me; first person present tense. People like John Marsden and Cassandra Clare were inspiring for many years.

Thanks for joining me here, Stacey! 

Oh, and to the rest of you – DON’T FORGET to enter this awesome giveaway! Just click the link here: 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales



Title: This Song Will Save Your Life

Author: Leila Sales

Genre: contemporary YA

Length: 288 pages

Source: bought


Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

Let me just say this: Twitter, I never should have doubted you.


Twitter recommended this book to me at the end of 2013, and I didn’t pay attention until about a month ago. That was when I visited the Dymocks bookstore in Sydney. I’m going to refrain from using another gif, but seriously, I love that Dymocks so much. It has, like, an entire floor dedicated to YA books, and every time I go there I end up spending a gazillion dollars.


But anyway, that’s when I bought This Song Will Save Your Life, until it filtered down my TBR list, replaced by other Shiny New Books. After you, blogglings, voted for me to read it, I did. I didn’t expect to be impressed. After all, the book is about music and I’m not big into music.

But I loved it! Right from the start I identified with Elise, and almost cried for her during those first awful moments. I have never been bullied. I go to an academic high school and people are too worried about their chemistry exams to bully me. I am not an outsider among nerds. However, I have no doubt whatsoever that if I were to go to another school, this exact thing would happen to me. I just really want to give Elise a MASSIVE HUG.

Elise is a loser, basically. She tries so hard to fit in and when it doesn’t work, she turns to drastic measures. But then she finds Start, a warehouse nightclub, and the way she fits in there is beautiful to see. I didn’t really like Char, the guy she meets there, but you don’t really have to.

I also loved the part her family had to play in this story. At one point, her dad is really hurt when she doesn’t want to stay at his house Fridays anymore, and I could SO relate to that. Elise does something awful towards the end of the book, and that was the only time I didn’t like her as a character, but the way her family dealt with it was awesome.

The only thing I didn’t like was how quickly Elise became amazing at DJing. The author didn’t show me that, and it seems really unlikely that she’d be better than Char, who’s been DJing for years, in a few short weeks. But that’s a small complaint.

Loved it. Glad I bought it so I can read it again!

4.5/5 Wonderkitties.


The Fault in Our Stars Trailer: My Reaction, Minions and GIFs

Stoked Lately I’ve used a lot of animated GIFs to express my thoughts. I’m going to continue the trend with minions, who seem to be a lot like me in that a) they’re amused by small things, b) they are ridiculously attractive and c) they are always EXCITED.

And I am EXCITED about the TFIOS trailer. And I am a mess. And I will not survive this movie without approximately 453453 buckets to put my tears in.

If you haven’t done so already (HOW?), you can watch it here:

Things that are awesome about the trailer:

1) Hazel is wearing her cannula the whole time (diversity FTW)

2) They are ADORABLE. (“The beautiful couple is beautiful”)

3) We got to see the Lonely, Vaguely Paedophilic Swing Set

4) We got to see Isaac for a little bit, and the awesome car-bombing scene

5) I recognised HEAPS of quotes from the book

A little bit of a disappointment:

1) I recognised HEAPS of quotes from the book

And yes, you did just read that again. I mean, I love the quotes. I just feel like some of them don’t work as speech??? Like they sound awkward or something???? But it might just be like that because there’s no context. I will reserve my judgement for the actual movie.

But yeah, um. I loved it. I teared up when Hazel says she’s a grenade, because the music stops and it’s this awful heart-wrenching moment, and for some reason it makes you think about your own family, and your own imperfect world, and how there is so much fault in our stars that sometimes it’s difficult to breathe…even for people without a cannula.

The beauty of The Fault in Our Stars is that everyone who values it does so in a different way. I can’t say why I love it so much – it’s just one of those things. I can review books I hate, and books where I can point out good writing, but books like Harry Potter and The Fault in Our Stars? Impossible. I just hope the movie will be the same.

hluvsg123:</p> <p>“But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”<br /> hluvsg123:</p> <p>“But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”<br /> hluvsg123:</p> <p>“But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”<br /> hluvsg123:</p> <p>“But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”<br /> hluvsg123:</p> <p>“But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”<br />

So here are my final reactions, in GIF form:

What about you guys? Did you like the trailer? Hate it? Share your thoughts below!