What happened this week: stacking the shelves, TFIOS movie and school spirit week

Random updates for this week:

– I finally put the widget for my Facebook page on the sidebar. It’s on the right >>> you can go like it if you want. I mean, I’m not forcing you or anything. (but I DO post pretty pictures of my books. And possibly my cats).

– It was School spirit week at my school this week. There are themes every day – Monday was horror, Tuesday was dynamic duos, Wednesday and Thursday were the athletics carnival days, and Friday was thrift shop. I didn’t dress up for any, because I’m slack. Well, except for the athletics carnival – I just have to wear blue for my house. Also I lost my shoe in both the 200m race and the triple jump event. Because shoes don’t want to stay on my feet, apparently.

– I went to see THE FREAKING TFIOS MOVIE, YO. Which I blogged about. And fangirled about. And I can’t wait til you guys can see it so I can fangirl with all of you.

– I’m Stacking the Shelves finally – I haven’t done one of these for like THREE WEEKS. I even edited the photos using PicMonkey, because I’m just that dedicated (plus my camera’s a piece of crap). Here goes.

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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.

WON

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Because I found one of the elusive red Interns, I got a prize pack from HarperCollins! WOO! This included:

1) Venom by Fiona Paul

2) Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

3) How to Convince a Boy to Kiss you by Tara Eglington

4) Divergent by Veronica Roth

5) All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry

6) Some awesome cosmetics

The reason those last three aren’t in this photo? Well, the books I gave to my sister, since I already own them. So now they’re locked away in her room somewhere. And my mum and sister scored the cosmetics, because who needs make-up/jewellery when you can wear books? (I’m kidding. Please don’t wear books)

But yeah, this happened because of the AWESOME book The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer. My review of it is here. THANKS SO MUCH, HARPERCOLLINS, I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THESE.

BORROWED

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I borrowed “The Utsiders” apparently. Obviously this is The Outsiders by S E Hinton, a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while. The stamps on the back are from like 1990, which is so long – and it’s still in pretty good condition.

FOR REVIEW

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SUCH a cool cover. And it’s steampunk! Can’t wait to read this. Thanks, Thames and Hudson!

BOUGHT

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Okay, so I didn’t buy all of these. I just wanted to show off the complete book stack (isn’t it PRETTY?). Out of these I bought:

1) It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini (because I love it so much I had to OWN it)

2) Butter by Erin Lange (after loving Dead Ends I can’t wait to read this)

3) The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (when I read a review of this book on the blog Speculating on SpecFic, I knew I HAD to own it)

So yep, those are the beautiful books I’ve acquired recently. Later today I’ll probably borrow some more, but you can see those next time 🙂

Books read since last week

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Finding Jennier Jones was an alright read, but (I think) unnecessary given that not much progressed from the first book.

The Last Shot was a fantastic read. THAT ENDING. I’ll be reviewing it soon.

Currently reading

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Reading next

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GIF of the week

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Good old John Green.

Posts this week

Monday: I reviewed a book called Writing Clementine and then took it down once I realised, since it doesn’t come out until the end of June! I’ll be reposting it then 🙂

Tuesday: alllll the gorgeous book covers

Wednesday: fangirling over the TFIOS movie

Thursday: I reviewed the awesome Aussie apocalyptic bookThe Last Girl by Michael Adams

Friday: I reviewed a book that made me think, Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy

Saturday: I told you why doing the washing is good for ideas (no, really!)

How have you been this week? It’s getting colder where I live. Very difficult to get up in the mornings. Oh, and if you’ve done a Stacking the Shelves this week, LINK ME UP! It’s like my favourite meme of ever. 

Loony’s Musings: Watching the TFIOS Movie (!!!!)

Thanks to Bookworld Australia, I got the chance to attend an advance screening of The Fault in Our Stars. I even got to bring two other minions – my mum and my sister.

Okay. Okay. Just…let me get my thoughts in order. This is more difficult than it sounds, because right now my feels are exploding everywhere and writing a coherent sentence is quite a task.

So yeah. I loved the TFIOS movie. And below you’ll find my extremely biased review of why it’s awesome (no spoilers, promise). As well as lots of GIFs.

First, though (before I get to the GIFs), a video. Okay, so let me paint you a word picture: the cinema lights went down, and at once everyone was quiet. Then John Green’s face came up on the screen – you will not even believe the fangirling. There was screaming and squealing and laughing. I came with my sister and my mum, who had no idea why everyone was freaking out so much.

So anyway, below is the video that we watched before the movie started.

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So. Much. Fangirling. That’s what I took from this movie. Again to use the example of my sister and my mum, bless their souls, they were completely unprepared. We (the fangirls) laughed at everything – things that probably wouldn’t seem funny unless the book was important to you. We awwwed. We ooohed. We cried.

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That’s basically my summary of how passionate everyone was. I’ve never even been to a midnight premiere let alone a PRE-screening, so that part was definitely a highlight.

Also at the screening were Joy from Thoughts by J and Jaz from Fiction in Fiction in Fiction. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to meet up with them, but we were in the same room! Which is pretty cool.

Onto the movie. Obviously I’m not going to spoil anything, but a few things:

1) It was not nearly as cringe-y as the trailer made it out to be. You might not even have thought that the trailer was cringe-y – even better! But I did. Some of Augustus’ lines in the trailer were just so unrealistic. But I swear he does not come across like that in the movie.

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2) It was very faithful to the book. Not faithful in the sense that it followed the book from start to finish – that’s unrealistic and wouldn’t translate well on-screen. But it did keep the integrity of the book, and the tone, and the wittiness, and the themes that I was really worried would be coated in sentimentality and cheap ploys to make the audience cry.

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3) Ansel and Shailene are fantastic actors. As soon as Ansel appeared (lots of squealing at that), their chemistry was evident. I almost forgot they’d been brother and sister in another movie. I was a bit doubtful about Ansel but he did really, really well.

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4) Supporting characters really made the movie. Here I’m talking about Patrick (hilarious), Mr and Mrs Lancaster (so supportive), Isaac (hilarious), Van Houten (lots of depth) and Lidewij.

5) The music. Not to go into details but…I got chills, guys.

These gifs probably aren’t even making sense now.

But hopefully you can surmise that I loved it. I am so, so grateful that I got a chance to see this movie in a roomful of TFIOS fans, and it’s an experience I hope I can have again someday.

This was my entry to the competition, if you were wondering:

tfios bookworld entry

 

So are you going to go see the movie? Not going to? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Top Ten Tuesday: Gateway Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list. It’s a great way to find and connect with other awesome bloggers.

Two weeks ago, I was rebellious and switched Top Ten Tuesdays. So this week, I’m doing the one I missed. That is: top ten gateway books/authors in my reading journey. And I can think of quiiiite a few. Here goes.

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1) Harry Potter

Because apparently I can’t have a single Top Ten Tuesday without it.

2) Looking for Alaska

This was my first foray into contemporary YA.

3) My Sister’s Keeper

One of the first adult books I read. It was contemporary, just not YA, and it kind of led me to John Green.

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4) The Princess Diaries

One of the first YA books I read.

5) Trixie Belden

One of the first MG books I read (much better than Nancy Drew, btw)

6) Little Women

The first classic I read.

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7) The Northern Lights

Probably my first experience of a genre mash-up.

8) The City of Ember

My first dystopian (probably…I think…)

9) Artemis Fowl

The first MG book I read as a YA

Those are my nine gateway books in my reading journey! What are yours?

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.

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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):

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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? 

 

Loony’s Musings: What Fandoms Do You Belong To?

Before I talk about fandoms, I forgot to show you one of my awesome bookish things yesterday!!! One of my amazing friends got me some Spectrespecs for Christmas a couple years ago.

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Cool, right? Occasionally I wear them to school just to reinforce my nerdiness. Not that it comes as a shock to anyone.

Anyway, here are the fandoms that I’m part of:

The Harry Potter fandom: 

This one’s pretty obvious. I mean, I’ve loved Harry Potter since I was a kid – the first book came out about a week after I was born, so I have literally not known a life without Harry Potter. It’s such a large part of my identity that I’ve given up saying it changed me – I think it has actually shaped me.

The Nerdfighter fandom: 

Side note: IS THIS NOT THE CUTEST THING YOU’VE EVER SEEN I LOVE NERDFIGHTERS AND THESE TWO ARE JUST TOO ADORABLE.

The Sherlock fandom: 

Except not the books, the TV show with this handsome bastard. Which means I probably shouldn’t be talking about it on this blog but TOO BAD MY BLOG. I’m sorry. Ahem. Mr Handsomebatch makes me strange.

The book blogging fandom

(if you look closely, this is a GIF!)

I love book bloggers. The whole community of books and awesome series is one I genuinely believe has made me a better, more well-rounded person. *hugs you all*

Why I love fandoms

There are some people who hate fandoms (gasp! Can you believe??). I guess there might be something off-putting about people who constantly obsess over the same things. And in some cases I can observe this for myself. For instance I hated Frozen (another gasp!). Seeing people constantly talk about it does my head in, and if you hated Harry Potter, it would make you like it even less to hear about it 24/7.

But I love fandoms. I love the community aspect. I love the fact that geographical closeness doesn’t dictate how people interact – people from all over the world create things and fangirl over things and talk about things. I love the Nerdfighters for their commitment to decreasing worldsuck, and the Harry Potter fandom for creating things much larger than the books. I love the Sherlock fandom because…I don’t have a profound reason for this one, I just enjoy it.

And that’s cool too! I hate it when people condescend based on someone’s interests. Like, you’re laughing at them because they like One Direction, but guess what? They’re having fun and you’re being a jerk, so who’s the real loser?

I’m sorry. I have a lot of feelings about this.

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What fandoms are you part of? Favourite parts of them? Least favourites? I SO want to hear what you have to say!!!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: bookish things I own and would like to own

This week is Fangirl Frenzy Week, where I, The Loony Teen Writer (aka Emily or Em or Loony or Ugly if you happen to be my sister), talk about all things fangirl. Today I get to show you all the cool bookish things in my room, and all the things I’d like to own! YAY.

NOTE: this isn’t the actual topic of this week. The actual topic is Top Ten “Gateway” Books/Authors In My Reading Journey, but I’m a rebel, and it’s Fangirl Week, so I decided to mix it around a bit. Let’s go!

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1) Awesome cushions

My friend made me these for my birthday last year. The one on the left is Luna Lovegood (MY FAVOURITE CHARACTER OF EVER) and the one on the right is (obviously) The Fault in Our Stars. Perfect colours and everything. Andy, I know you don’t read my blog but thank you!

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2) Awesome Harry Potter stuff

On the left is a lion beanie, similar to the lion hat Luna Lovegood wears to a Gryffindor Quidditch match. Then there are my three Harry Potter wands – Hermione’s, Harry’s and Luna’s. On the right is my Ravenclaw scarf, because I’m a Ravenclaw. Well, a Ravenpuff. But mostly Ravenclaw. Since I’m a nerd.

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3) Awesome bookshelf

So this is my smallish bookshelf, right above my desk. Some of the books on the edges are cut out, but you get the idea (and YES, that is a Snitch on the bottom shelf).

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4) Awesome copies of The Fault in Our Stars

The hardback is signed. It was a special Aussie edition that I got a couple of months ago. Then there’s my paperback, which has things underlined in pencil, and is the copy I’ve read five times (yikes!).

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5) Awesome TFIOS poster

I got this from Project for Awesome last year. Sorry the photo’s so dark! It looks lovely in my room. It’s the only poster I actually have, so I’m pretty proud of it.

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6) These awesome versions of Harry Potter

I mean, aren’t the illustrations amazing? I so want to own these.

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7) This awesome hoodie

I mean, how cool is it???

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8) A massive bookshelf

Right now I have six shelves available to me, as well as floor space, bed space, desk space and anywhere-I-can-find space. I’d love to organise all my books in one massive bookshelf.

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9) All my favourite childhood books

I only own one of these books (Ruby Rosemount) and I’d love to own all the books I loved when I was younger – if not to read, just to look at.

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10) Isla and the Happily Ever After

Because really, what is even the point of life without this book?

Hope you enjoyed seeing all the bookish things I own and would like to own. Link me to your TTT in the comments (the proper one, hopefully, rather than my garbled version!) and I’ll check them out 😀

The Paper Towns Movie (read: FANGIRLING HARD)

PS this post will have lots of Nerdfighter gifs. If you’re unaware, this is Hank Green, John Green’s brother. Yeah, he’s dancing. Yeah, he’s awesome.

So it was announced that Paper Towns, my equal second-favourite book of John Green’s (equal with Looking for Alaska, second to The Fault in Our Stars) is going to be made into a movie. Nat Wolff, who plays Isaac in the TFiOS movie, is going to be Quentin! THAT’S SO COOL. I feel like I have to pinch myself to see if it’s real. Or slap myself, apparently.

I thought I’d give you a bit of history about my obsession with John Green. It was 2012. Which meant I was in year nine. At the beginning of the year, I was an admin of a Harry Potter Facebook page (cool, I know). One of my admin buddies told me to read John Green’s books. Around the same time, I discovered the Nerdfighters. Back then, I didn’t even know that the two things were related. The first John Green book I read was Looking for Alaska.

And. I. Loved. It. Really I see it as my first foray into YA fiction. Before then I’d written some of it, but for some reason it didn’t occur to me how FREAKING MANY awesome YA books there were. Then I started watching the Vlogbrothers videos. And saw awesome/weird things like this:

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And this:

And last one I promise (for now):

I watched all thousand (or something like that) videos in a very short amount of time. Then I read The Fault in Our Stars. Twice in two days.

I was in love. Back in ye old 2012, John Green wasn’t a familiar name with the people around me. The amount of times I lent my copy of TFiOS to others is astounding. It passed from hand to hand and we kept a tally of who cried and who didn’t. For two years I’ve followed them and though it doesn’t seem that long, it has had a huge influence on the books I read now, the books I write now, the opinions I hold, and the people I interact with online.

Hank and John Green are hugely influential people. And when the TFiOS movie was announced, it was almost too good to be true. I’ve followed the casting and the behind-the-scenes looks, and I watch Hank and John’s videos every time they’re uploaded. After a while it almost feels like John and Hank are FAMILIAR.

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I am a huge Nerdfighter. I wouldn’t have been one without being a Potterhead. So basically let’s all thank J K Rowling. It always leads back to her.

I am SO SO excited that John is having so much success, because he deserves all of it. While I’m wary that the tight-knit community might become lesser, I have confidence in Nerdfighters. Because we’re awesome.

Are you excited for the movie? Couldn’t care less? Read the book or not? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Top Ten Tuesday: All Time Favourite Contemporary YA Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see the future topics, click here!

My expertise in YA fiction is definitely contemporary – ever since John Green I’ve been hooked. For the sake of other authors, I’m only going to include one book from John Green, and all my other favourite contemporary authors. Here we go!

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1) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I don’t know why. I can’t tell you reasons this book affected me this much, but it did.

2) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This book is so cute and fluffy and funny and I just LOVE Stephanie Perkins. Also, RELEASE DATE FOR ISLA RELEASE DATE FOR ISLA I’M SO EXCITED.

3) Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

All sorts of awesome reside in this book. It’s unique, it has diverse characters, it makes hand-holding the most romantic thing in the universe.

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4) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Amazing book, amazing movie adaptation. This book makes me cry. And that poem is…wow. Read it if you haven’t.

5) It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

I was so devastated to hear of Ned Vizzini’s passing away. This book is so honest and real, and its cover is one of the best I’ve ever seen.

6) This Song Will Save Your Life

I read this only recently. It was a heartbreaking and then heart-gluing-back-together story.

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7) The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Again, this was a recent read. It’s such a great book! The main character Caymen is one of my favourites ever.

8) Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Aside from the fact that Maureen Johnson is amazing, this is my favourite of her books.

9) The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

This whole series is amazing, and I loved it even BEFORE I met John Green’s books, so it’s pretty special to me.

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10) The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer

Aussie author love! This is a recent release about a magazine internship: funny, hilarious and funny. It’s a great debut and I can’t wait to read more from Gabrielle Tozer!

So those are my top ten all time favourite contemporary YA books. There are many, many more that I love, and many I’ve probably forgotten. What are your favourite contemp books – any I REALLY REALLY REALLY should read but haven’t listed here?

Why I Love Re-Reading

(read: me and books I love)

Last year, I read 104 books. Of those books, 19 were re-reads (in fact I read The Fault in Our Stars twice last year).

Why do I do this? I have so many new books that I could be reading, so many more amazing books to fall in love with. But I will always return to the books I love: Harry Potter and The Fault in Our Stars and so many other books that I will always love.

Mostly to justify it to myself, here are the reasons I re-read books:

1)      I already know they’re good

This is probably just laziness on my part, because it means I don’t have to spend long amounts of time struggling on a book I hate. I already love these books (mostly), so I can just focus on enjoying them again.

(basically, my love for Harry Potter)

2)      They’re so popular I feel like I missed something the first time

For example, I didn’t really like The Perks of Being a Wallflower the first time I read it. But since it was so popular, I decided to give it another go, and loved it.

3)      I’ve forgotten most of what they’re about

I’ve read Harry Potter so many times I’ll never forget a single sub-plot, but for other books, like The Solitaire Mystery, I remember loving them but not much else. I don’t want to read too many of my childhood favourites for fear that I won’t like them anymore, but this one I really had to read again.

4)      I’m sad and I want something familiar

Reading always makes me happy. Reading Harry Potter makes me even more happy, because they are characters I’ve been around almost my whole life. The familiarity is so relaxing.

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5)      There’s a new book coming out in the series

I read Anna and the French Kiss again this year, because Isla is coming out this year. If I’m a big foggy on what’s happened so far in the series, I’ll read it again just to refresh.

I guess some people think it’s a waste of time to re-read books when there are so many NEW books being published (and believe me, I know. My physical TBR pile is about forty books, and that’s not including ones I want to add to it!). But I NEVER want reading to become a chore. I want it to be something I enjoy, something that doesn’t become work.

For all these reasons, then, I love re-reading books. What about you? Do you re-read books often? Why or why not?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Make You Swoon

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see the future topics, click here!

This week’s topic is Books That Will Make You Swoon. I’m a contemporary YA fan, which means I’ve got TONS of books I can share with you all! Here’s the list (you may recognise some of these from other posts – they’re just good for everything!).

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1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

You’re probably tired of hearing it by now, but Hazel + Augustus = favourite couple ever

2. Anna and the French Kiss

Oh, Etienne! *swoons* He’s cocky, sarcastic, French/British/American, and totally cute.

3. Lola and the Boy Next Door

Though I didn’t like it AS much as Anna, Lola and Cricket are a really sweet couple. Cricket’s kind of awkward – he’s an inventor and is much kinder than Etienne.

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4. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I don’t know how, but Rainbow Rowell makes me almost faint just by describing HAND-HOLDING. I mean, that’s a serious talent.

5. Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

Three Christmas romances! All awesome! Maureen Johnson’s is my favourite but they’re all REALLY funny and romantic.

6. Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil

This is a great Aussie read – Camilla and Sam are a really cute, nerdy couple.

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7. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I loved the relationship in These Broken Stars. Even though it wasn’t the main plot, the romance was really well-written and adorable!

8. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Um, Michael is just the best book boyfriend ever. It takes them a million books (well, ten) to get there, but in the end it’s SO worth it.

9. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

I love Gail Carson Levine. I wrote an essay about her in seventh grade, and Ella Enchanted is a great example of her cute, easily-read, happily-ever-after stories.

What are your favourite swoony books? Do you have any of the same ones I do? Let me know in comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts.