Top Ten Tuesday: best books of 2014

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

Each week there’s a different Top Ten list. It’s a great way to find and connect with other awesome bloggers.

Today I’ll be talking about my top 10 favourite books of 2014 (so far!). I’ve read SO many amazing books, so this was a hard list to come up with. And by the way, I’m not counting re-reads, otherwise The Fault in Our Stars would count for about 17.

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1) Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

This book is simply amazing. Beautiful writing, beautiful dialogue, beautiful friendship. Seriously, read it.

2) Dead Ends by Erin Lange

I still haven’t read her book Butter, but it’s very high on my TBR. This was such a good book!

3) These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I finished this on the 1st January this year, so technically it counts as a 2014 read. CAN’T WAIT for This Shattered World.

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4) Lola and the Booy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

I’d already read Anna and the French Kiss before this year, but not Lola. Stephanie Perkins is such an amazing writing.

5) The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer

Hilarious and with an endearing protagonist, this is a fantastic Aussie contemporary.

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6) Splintered by A G Howard

Alice in Wonderland retelling, yes please! You knew it was going to make it onto this list, surely?

7) Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Basically the whole series. I am so pumped for Winter.

8) Bird by Crystal Chan

This is one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. And it’s MG, which is awesome.

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9) The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Apparently 2014 is “The year of discovering awesome contemporary writers.” Kasie West’s books are AMAZING.

10) Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

I’ve so far read three of Anderson’s books this year, and have loved them all. Wintergirls affected my the most out of those three.

So there you have it! My favourite reads so far in 2014. There are SO SO many more that I could have included (I’ve read a bit over 70 books this year) but I kept it to ten. Look at that restraint. Well done, Emily. What about you guys? What have been your favourite books so far this year?

Top Ten Tuesday: books for your beach bag

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

Each week there’s a different Top Ten list. It’s a great way to find and connect with other awesome bloggers.

A quick note: here in The Land Down Under (aka Australia) we’ve traded a pretty warm-ish autumn for winter. It is getting COLD.

The books I’m going to recommend will hopefully warm you up a bit. I wasn’t quite sure of the kind of books I should include, so I’ve gone with light, fluffy and adorable.

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1) How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You by Tara Eglington

The title says it all. This is a super-cute, adorable read.

2) The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Or anything else by Sarah Dessen. She writes FANTASTIC contemporary YA and I need to re-read some.

3) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

You don’t have to read this at summer. If you haven’t read it, just read it any time, anywhere. If you have, RE-read it any time, anywhere.

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4) On the Fence by Kasie West

I love this book so much. Read it.

5) My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

This one as well! It’s so adorable and has some great twists.

6) 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Or anything by Maureen Johnson. This is a really interesting travel read.

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7) The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

One of my favourite contemporary YA series of all time (and the first one I read!)

8) The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer

Hilarious, and written by an Aussie. You should definitely read it.

9) Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

This is also hilarious. You might have seen the movie (the book’s better).

So there you have it! Those are my top nine beachy reads. Which is a synonym for “cute, funny and/or fluffy. Probably all of the above.” And, you know, I have awesome taste, so you should check them all out. Link me to your TTT in comments! I’d love to know which awesome beachy reads I’m missing out on.

Top Ten Tuesday: books I alllllllmost put down (but didn’t)

00dc8-toptentuesday

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

Each week there’s a different Top Ten list. It’s a great way to find and connect with other awesome bloggers.

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1) Eragon by Christopher Paolini

This is a pretty dense read to start with – loooots of description. But I’m so glad I ended up reading it!

2) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I hated Charlie at the beginning – and even when I’d finished it after the first time. After a second reading, I absolutely adored it (and still do).

3) The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

I’m not good at reading classics. They bore me. But I’m really glad I can say I’ve read The Hobbit. 

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4) Allegiant by Veronica Roth

These three books are ones I wish I had stopped reading. Allegiant was just…it made me angry. But I had to finish it just so I could be done with the series.

5) The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

This is an unpopular opinion, I know, but I hated this book. The main character just seemed so stupid it irked me.

6) The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares

Yeah…I wasn’t feeling this one, either, but for some reason I went ahead and finished it.

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7) The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Again, not that fond of classics. But I’m glad I finished this one, because I think it’s really important.

8) Shift by Em Bailey

VERY glad I stuck around for the end of this one. The beginning was slow, but the twists and turns made it worth the ride.

9) The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E Lockhart

Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy this one. I was only finishing it to find out the big secret, only to be let down by it. Oh well, I’d still read other books by her.

So those are the books that – for better or worse – I nearly stopped reading but didn’t. What about you?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Covers I’d Frame as Art

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

Each week there’s a different Top Ten list. It’s a great way to find and connect with other awesome bloggers.
COVERS. I was excited as soon as I saw the topic for this week. I love book covers! I just love looking at them. Stroking them. Whispering to them. What?
Okay. So these are some of my FAVOURITEST book covers, that I’d totally frame as artworks in my non-existent house full of only bookish things (it’s going to happen one day, I can feel it).
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1) Splintered by A G Howard
I’m sure you’ve heard how much I love this book. The fact that it has such a beautiful cover is just a bonus.
2) What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the design of this book. It’s something I could totally see as a piece of art.
3) Cinder by Marissa Meyer
It’s such a striking image. So artistic – I’d love this on my wall somewhere!
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4) These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
I fell in love with this book as soon as I saw the cover. Yes, INSTA-LOVE, a pet peeve of mine. Don’t judge me.
5) It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
This cover wins ALL the awards for 1) being a beautiful piece of artwork and 2) being such a good link to the book (read it already).
6) Wonder by R J Palacio
Beautiful book, beautiful cover. Nuff said.
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7) Bird by Crystal Chan
Like What’s Left of Me, I really love how these kinds of designs use the negative space. Beautiful.
8) The Children and the Wolves by Adam Rapp
I haven’t read this book. But it sounds awesome, and this really creepy cover is something I’d love to see on a wall somewhere.
9) Asylum by Madeleine Roux
I haven’t heard anything about this book, but I LOVE the cover.
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10) Ink by Amanda Sun
I haven’t read this one yet either, but I REALLY want to, and the paint-style cover of this is gorgeous.
I hope you like the book cover porn on display today for The Loony Teen Writer. I may have to go on a book-buying spree to obtain all these beautiful beautiful covers. Legit. Just for the covers. What about you? Link me to your TTT – I love covers and I can’t wait to see the ones you pick!

Top Ten Tuesday: books if you liked Merlin

Merlin is one of my favourite shows of all time. Very sad that it’s finished 😦 but here are some books you might like it you enjoyed Merlin.

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1) The Magician’s Daughter by Justyn Walker

Why? It’s another underrated book. It’s MG, and based on the Arthurian legend (VERY loosely). It’s got adventure and it’s really sweet and I loved it in primary school.

2) Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Why? It’s set in the same time period as Merlin (ish), and it has dragons!

3) The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Why? One of my favourite things in Merlin is the banter between Arthur and Merlin. The Princess Bride is also tremendously funny.

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4) Shalott by Felicity Pulman

Why? I can’t remember much about this book (I read it a few years back) but if you loved the setting of Merlin, you might enjoy this. It’s about some teens who go back in time to King Arthur’s Court after playing with some sort of computer game.

5) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Why? What, you say? This is contemporary! But if you loved the relationship between Arthur and Merlin (that is, freaking hilarious like I said before) you might like this.

6) Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

Why? I love Gail Carson Levine. If you liked the whole magic and medieval thing of Merlin, you’ll probably enjoy this. And the rest of Gail Carson Levine’s books, come to think of it.

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7) A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin

Why? I haven’t actually read these. But from what I gather they’re medieval. I think? Correct me if I’m wrong. If you liked that about Merlin I suppose you could like this.

8) The Fellowship of the Ring by J R R Tolkien

Why? Okay, first of all, why have both these authors got two “R”s in their pen name? That’s just weird. Anyway, if you loved the adventure and magic and setting in Merlin, definitely read these. I mean, you should read them anyway.

9) The Holy Grail (Monty Python

Why? This is cheating because it’s a movie. BUT GUYS, YOU HAVE TO WATCH IT IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY. It is so funny, like Merlin, and it’s got some of the Arthurian legend and it’s just brilliant, okay?

Thus concludes my book recs. Wow, that was difficult. I don’t read that much fantasy and I had to go right back to books I read ages ago. I hope some of these are helpful, O Merlin Lovers. Or even if you don’t watch Merlin, some of these might appeal to you. They are all Loony Approved 🙂

I’ll leave you with a parting GIF of Arthur and Merlin ACTUALLY HUGGING. My feels…

 

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?

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Unique Books I’ve Read

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.
I can already tell this post is going to take me a while. I mean, I’ve read a lot of books over the years. And some of them are really unique, so I enlisted the help of Goodreads to remember all the awesome. I’ve come up with a list of books that were really unique.
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1) The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
I first read this book in year 5. I think. Anyway, it’s MG and it’s about philosophy, goldfish, playing cards, sticky buns, magnifiying glasses and dwarves. SO DIFFERENT AND AWESOME. Read it.
2) Splintered by A G Howard
There are things wrong with this book, but that doesn’t stop it from being absolutely incredible in terms of world-building and imagination. Rivals Tim Burton in creepiness.
3) Bird by Crystal Chan
I was in no way disappointed by this book when I read it this year. So completely beautiful and unique.
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4) Jamintha by Jennifer Wilde
Filed under “books nobody has ever heard of.” I don’t even remember where I got it from, but I remember that it’s really creepy, the plot twists are AMAZING, and it’s stayed with me for years. I still own it so I might reread it soon.
5) Butter by Erin Lange
Okay, so I haven’t actually read this. But the premise is SO different!
6) His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
The world created in these books is on the same scale as Harry Potter, and I don’t say that lightly. It really is a masterpiece.
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7) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I mean, how do you even classify this book? It’s such a different take on World War II, and I love it to pieces.
8) The Fire Within by Chris D’Lacey
Yeah, so, the last few books in this series were awful, but they’re still really unique. Clay dragons? That’s cool, okay?
9) Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
I mean, it’s not like I can have Splintered on here and leave out Alice in Wonderland. That would be blasphemy.
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10) Holes by Louis Sachar
Another awesome MG. How did Louis Sachar even come up with this? It’s awesome! I also read this one in year 5 – we took turns reading it aloud, which I loved, and now it sits proudly on my bookshelf.
Do you share any with me? Any other books I should check out because HOW HAVE I NOT READ THEM BEFORE? Let me know in comments and link me to your TTT! Because I definitely need more books on my TBR. Okay, no, I don’t need them, but I’m always looking for great recs!

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 😀

Top Ten Tuesday: things on my bookish bucket list

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.
There are so many things I want to accomplish as a blogger or a reader. Today I’m going to share ten of those things, even though there are many, many more!
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1. Meet this guy
So John Green is like my favourite author. And not just in terms of his ASKFLSKDJFLSDK books but also because he’s thoughtful, knowledgeable, incredibly funny and witty, and a great online role model. Meeting him would be incredible.
2. Make my blog into a .com site
Except I’m poor. And I don’t know much about how to do it. But one day, I am determined to make my WordPress blog into a PROPER REAL ONE. With a PROPER REAL DESIGN and stuff. At the moment, I’m happy with my blog 🙂
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3. Attend Book Expo Australia
This is a new thing this year, and it would be so exciting to go!
4. Host a giveaway
And I mean my OWN giveaway. I’ve done them before for critiques and such, but I’d love to do a blogaversery giveaway towards the end of this year.
5. Meet some of my blogging friends IRL
Except I’d probably be all awkward. But yeah, I’d love to do this sometime!
6. Attend a book launch
It sounds as though this would be super fun.
7. Be someone’s favourite blog
How amazing would this be? I’d love to be someone’s favourite blog.
8. Work in publishing
Okay, so I’m only 16 and this is a huge goal, but I’ve got a lifetime, right? Sometime in my life, I want to work in publishing.
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9. Read a book more awesome than Harry Potter
I mean, that will be almost impossible, considering the whole part about growing up with Harry Potter. But this would be awesome. I’d love to experience that excitement all over again.
10. Never stop being excited about reading. 
I love reading. I don’t ever want to lose my excitement for reading.
So those are the things on my bookish bucket list! What things do you want to accomplish as a reader or blogger?

Top Ten Tuesday: books on my autumn TBR list

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.
Happy Tuesday, blogglings! Don’t expect a stellar post today, because at time of scheduling, I’m sick. Damn. But I’ll try my best!
Oh and also, this is supposed to be a SPRING TBR list, but since I’m Australian and therefore upside-down, I’m going to talk about my autumn TBR. Autumn is the best season. Just saying.
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1) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This has been on my TBR for such a long time now. I really need to read it (Eleanor and Park was AWESOME)
2) Unhinged by A G Howard
Because Splintered was awesome. Nuff said. Hope this one doesn’t disappoint!
3) How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You by Tara Eglington
This book looks reallllly cute, and I can’t wait to read it!
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4) Where She Went by Gayle Forman
I mean I wasn’t TOO impressed by the first book, but I’m still really excited to read this.
5) This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith
COVER LOVE. I bought this a while back and it’s still glaring at me.
6) Almost Dead by Kaz Delaney
Awesome Aussies need some love. I won both of the books in this series, and the author is LOVELY.
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7) The Last Girl by Michael Adams
Yay, Aussie writers again! I won the second book recently in a giveaway, so can’t wait to read these two 🙂
8) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Yeah, I’m sliiiiightly obsessed with Alice in Wonderland. I’ve read this a couple times as a kid, but I want to read it again 🙂
9) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Normally I would never pick up a book like this. But Twitter is powerful, people. And hypnotising. I don’t think I can last much longer without reading it.
And now, the words on my laptop screen are starting to get hazy, so it’s back to tea and blankets for me. Link me to your TTT’s in comments, I’d love to see the books everyone’s anticipating 🙂