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Nefarious Tales: Why Everyone Needs a Villain in their Life!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Villains. What peculiar beings (I am so going to over use the word peculiar this week because I’m currently reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.) They’re fantastically evil. However, they’re very much dislikely to be, well, liked; For the pure reason of ripping our hearts out and stomping on them into mush and slime, maybe even eating them just out of plain curiosity. Villains don’t really scream “LIKE ME!” it’s more of an “I will bite you… and kill you with my pinky”… in a snape voice, kind of vibe. But, villains are ALWAYS underappreciated and they deserve love (to be clear, love as in loving the sinner not the sin… because I love people who don’t want to kill other human beings. J )

So here a just a few reasons why everyone needs a villain in their life.

  • The very obvious reason is because most villains are so damn fine. We have Mystique, Cat Woman (who kind of is an ‘gray’ villain), Rhysand (ACOTAR), Warner, The Darkling, Loki and SO MUCH MORE !
  • They remind us about how awesome we are. Like heck does anyone else just appreciate how human they are compared to villains or is it just me?
  • Villains a lowkey amazing at teaching kids values and morals. For example let’s say a Villain back chats a big green dude and basically taunts the dude and the dude decides to fights back. The Villain is teaching us that you shouldn’t back chat green dudes, like come on Loki, Hulk is Hulk, how could you not see that beat down coming? But in all seriousness (wait, I will never be serious), Villains show us the reactions to terrible, awful, putrid *adds all synonyms to horrific* actions making sure that none of us do them in reality.
  • Villains also sometimes turn out to be the good guys! Teaching us about forgiveness. In addition, even if they don’t turn out to be good guys, they have a moment of clarity, one moment to redeem themselves and this is so worth reading about. But also that when Villains turn out to be good they’re also 100x more sexy. ;)
  • They make great dart board pictures. Or just something to take your anger out on. This is why we all need Mrs Umbridge, because we all need someone we despise with all our heart to take out every ounce of anger onto. She was only created because of this imo.
  • The complex origin stories of Villains is AWLAYS something I consider to be worth a read. We get an insight of how their mind works and why they are the way they are.

These are only 6 reasons why we DEFINITELY need villains in our lives! Can you think of anymore? Comment below and tell me!

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This is Where the World Ends and how another was born !

Sunday, 10 April 2016

This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang

Publication Date: April 1st 
Source: Harper Collins
Genre: Contemporary

Review at a Glance
-   Heartbreaking
-   Tissues are needed
-   Dark and emotional rollercoaster
-   The writing is hypnotic:   I couldn't put it down


Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivien moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship—as long as no one finds out about it. But then Janie goes missing and everything Micah thought he knew about his best friend is colored with doubt.

Using a nonlinear writing style and dual narrators, Amy Zhang reveals the circumstances surrounding Janie’s disappearance in a second novel.

Have you ever had a book linger in your thoughts after finishing it? Or have it throw you around and upside down and make you feel things that you’ve never felt. Or had a book that just made you appreciate life more and make you want to take care of your friends and really, REALLY be there for them? Or just makes you feel like swearing at the world to pull itself together? “This is Where the World Ends” does exactly that. It was one of those books that was written beautifully and ‘lyrically’ that it just stuck with you after finishing it.

“This is Where the World Ends” is like Looking for Alaska, but bigger and better and way more interesting. I mean, I remember finishing Looking for Alaska and thinking “but what was the whole point? What was this book supposed to make me feel?”. But walking away from “This is Where the World Ends” I was left with heavy emotions that ate away at my heart, that hacked pieces of my exterior and made me feel vulnerable. That’s what Amy does, she makes you vulnerable and makes you feel emotions you’ve yet to experience in life.

The book was a light read, I devoured it in one day. It was dark as well and just terrifyingly realistic. We have teenagers swearing, drinking, crushing on people and so much more! It was such a fantastic read, I might re-read it as we speak because I don’t want to forget this wonderful story.

(Next paragraph is *kinda* spoilery)

The writing is just amazing with Amy exposing the lives of Janie and Micah. At one point of the book, Amy writes about a rape. It shouldn’t really be a spoiler because you have the phrase “Liar, Liar, Liar, you were asking for it” written on the cover. I knew it was coming. I knew it was implemented in the story line, yet, I didn’t see it coming. I thought Janie was safe and then, she wasn’t and that was messed up. I didn’t want to read further but I had to, for Janie, to understand Janie and when the moment came, I wanted to save her, protect her, do whatever I could to save that fire in her, the sunshine, that drive to be alive. The events afterward wear tear worthy, they wrecked me. I wanted to burn down her damn house too.

(End of spoiler)

Micah and Janie, Janie and Micah were meant to be, but they were inevitably different people. They were never together in public but in private their souls came together, like puzzle pieces. Micah was the ‘uncool’ kid. Janie, the exact opposite. They didn’t interact in public because of this and I kind of understand the logic. Janie didn’t want her rep being rendered by Micah. Janie was stubborn and ‘wild’. She was the heart of Micah and Micah balanced her. But overall, their friendship was everything anyone could ask for but at the same time toxic and just really complicated.

The plot was ‘problematic’ at times because I didn’t know what was going on. Then other times the flashbacks were confusing, but I soldiered on, because Amy’s writing is dazzling, hypnotic and just so worthy to be ink on paper.

The ending of the book was something I could just dwell on, something I could think about. I knew what was going to happen. But I didn’t prepare for it. I didn’t know it’d be so tragic and soul crushing. I loved the ending better than “Looking for Alaska”. I don’t mean to compare the two books together whilst I review, but it reminds me so much of “Looking for Alaska”. “This is where the World Ends” wraps up the story better the “Looking for Alaska” and it allows the reader to interpret and imagine Micah’s life onward.

The reactions to the ‘actions’/’events’ were predictable. But the story of the ‘actions’/’events’ and the reason why Janie did what she did was dark and terrifyingly real.  

I think the only thing we really didn’t get to explore is Penny. Her actions could had changed the whole storyline, could have changed everything. I wanted to know more about what happened the day after with her and how she really coped with it. Even having thoughts from her after the incident after the fire would have been great to read about.

Overall, I am a ball of feels. I am utterly memorised by Amy Zhang’s writing and I want more. She weaves her way into your heart and takes you apart piece by piece. Amy Zhang will forever push the boundaries of the classic YA contemporary novel. I think I also just LOVED this book because in some ways I could connect with the characters. Amy might have named the book "This is Where the World Ends" but she has created a new one for me ! 

I gave it 5 stars because it deserves 5 stars, nothing less nothing more. For Micah and Janie.

Thank you Harper Collins for the review copy !

They Let Me Write A Book and I'm glad they did Jamie !

They Let Me Write A Book by Jamie Curry

Publication Date: November 5th 2015
Source:Harper Collins
Genre:Memoir (quite hilarious!)

Review at a Glance

-   Hilarious
-   Unique
-   A lot of quotes
-   Includes mum and dad
-   Great read for a Sunday afternoon

“Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Jamie, I’m 19-years-old. I make videos on the Internet, and enough people watched them that they let me write a book. I know. What is life?”


Inside these pages is my life so far, and what I’ve learnt – or haven’t learnt – along the way. Read about my cowboy hat years, the year I dug a big hole, and the time I pulled down my pants at a badminton game.

I’ll tell you my top travel tips (drink water), how to have fun at a school ball (don’t go) and how to be an adult (eat an oyster). And I’ll talk about YouTube, because I suppose that’s what got us into this mess in the first place …

First of all, Jamie Curry is hilarious. She reminds me so much of my friends from New Zealand. I remember discovering her Facebook page when it had just over 3000 likes. I think the first photo I ever saw of her was the photo she re-enacted from a girl from WA called Tayla. It was about parents and sexual scenes in movies. Ever since then, I’ve seen Jamie grow, into a more entertaining and hysterical teen.

When I heard that she was releasing a book into the big wide world, I was curious and excited to find out how Jamie herself interprets how her life has changed. ‘They Let Me Write a Book’ was just a beautifully written insight into her life and world.

At the start, Jamie tells of her life before YouTube. I loved how she talked about her sporting life. It was fascinating to see the transition from sporting all-rounder to internet star. It was quiet interesting. I loved the snippets from her mum and dad, some were hilarious and some were just intriguing; giving us an insight on how extraordinary Jamie was as a child. I loved their inclusion in the book, it’s probably one of my favourite parts of the book. However, my least favourite additions in the book would have to be the quotes dedicated to one whole page from the passages in the book. They’re great, don’t get me wrong, it’s just, there were too many quotes and at some stage I avoided reading them all together. The trolls and haters part of the book shared her views on them and how she’s toughened up from online bullies. Jamie even shares how one person who’s hated her online is now like one her best friends. Pretty incredible. She has such a positive attitude which is just damn straight admirable.

There are some ‘serious’ chapters in here which I quite enjoyed. Especially when she talks about her OCD and how she ‘copes’ with it. She tells us all her crazy rituals and how she does things in a specific way. We also get to know how much she despises big crowds. As a YouTube star, she would get a load of fans wanting pictures and things signed and just her talking about uncomfortable that made her made me want to hug her.

‘They Let Me Write A Book’ also included wonderful photos of Jamie throughout her childhood and teenage years. I guess my favourite memory of hers was the hat she talks about at the very beginning of the book. It was basically with her everywhere she went. I applaud her commitment of never leaving it. Also I urge you guys to cook Jamie’s Neato Burrito from Cooking with Jamie (not Oliver; she has reassures us). It’s pleasantly simple and looks great on like the third of fourth try.

The layout of the book was very different compared to any other memoirs I’ve ever read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was like a scrapbook, but better. The graphics were superb and just great visuals.
To conclude my second memoir review, Jamie never let me down, being insanely hilariously both on video and paper. I loved her honesty throughout the whole book and from it, I’ve really learned why she’s such an awesome person and why she is the way she is.

I would definitely recommend this book for her fans because of the honest and hilarious insight to her life. She doesn’t hold anything back and just spills everything. It’s very enjoyable and just covered in details and facts you never really knew about her. 

Rebel of the Sands Review

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Publication Date: March 8th
Source: Allen & Unwin
Genre: Western Fantasy

Review at a Glance

- It was okay
- Could have been improved
- Kickass Protagonist
- Jaw Dropping Plot Twists


She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

The Rebel of The Sands, a book that was one of my most anticipated books for 2016 and boy was it great.

I loved the storyline and the layout of the book. At moments it was very unpredictable and had me on edge. The beginning was incredible! We get to peek into Amani’s world and oh my damn, was it a sexist and dehumanising place. I TOTALLY understood why Amani wanted to run. Hell, I would have ran.

In the book we are introduced to a whole different world of magic and Djinn (which is pronounced as jin). Jin’s are also known as Genie’s *flails around* *prances* *moon walks* *takes break and snacks on some pancakes…the changes mind and gets sushi* (don’t judge me). But yes the magic in this book is MIND BLOWING. I literally LOVED every minute of each magical scene. My FAVOURITE scene is hands down the horse scene where it flickers from dust to solid and the way Alwyn wrote this gave me goosebumps and I had to pick up my jaw from the floor after I finished it. This scene was just too amazing to put into words at the time and when I tried to explain it to friends I just squealed instead because it was that GOOD!

However, I did have some slight problems with the book. I am not a fan of time jumps/time gaps and this book had a lot of them, ranging from ‘a week later’ to ‘two days later’. I just didn’t like it because ultimately I wanted more detail on what was happening in the lost time. The time jumps weren't that bad, but they could have been improved and that is what I hope becomes better in the sequel. (What I mean when I say improved is that when we get the ‘recap’ of what happened in the lost time, it’s pretty vague. Nothing in detail, nothing really interesting. This needs to improve in the sequel if it happens again.)

The main character, Amani, was just my kind of girl. Bad ass and rebellious. She knows what to do and oh boy she’s good with guns! I love this female protagonist, I could read about her forever. Also when a bombshell is dropped about Amani I lost it. I WASN’T EXPECTING THAT PLOT TWIST!!

Now to continue let’s look at, Amani’s mysterious counterpart, Jin. I didn’t like Jin at first because… well, the world Amani lives in, you just can’t trust anyone. So he was immediately on my ‘bad side’. However finding out who he really was and what the compass was for redeemed him. His character was complex and sometimes just unpredictable and hard to ‘read’.

The romance in the book didn’t quite cut it for me. I didn’t totally buy it. I liked the romance sometimes and then I didn’t; it really was an on and off kind of thing. At times Alwyn would steer your heart into this OTP but on others times it was … “eh” and just “oh, okay”. I really hope we get to explore this relationship in depth in the sequel because I’m hanging in there to really be ‘sold’ on this OTP.

Lastly, there is a decision made by the main character which I think was something she would never really do, even in A THOUSAND YEARS; it seemed sooooo out of place. I stopped reading after that for a while to wrap my head around her decision. It didn’t really stay true to her character for me because the way she carries herself and the ‘morals’ she has in the book were just ignored for this ‘decision’. I’m trying my best to be vague with this ‘decision’ because it’s really spoilery, but once you read the book you’ll *probably* understand.

These were, for me, the only things that I was nit-picky about but overall the book was just an addiction that I need to cure ASAP by reading the sequel… which is coming out in another year *cries* So send me some book recommendations guys in the comments below and help another book worm cure her need for more bad ass protagonists and great magical worlds.

So, there you have it folks, my thoughts on one of the most amazing books for the year. I rated the book 3/5. The romance and the poorly made ‘decision’ really affected my rating.

Thanks Allen and Unwin for the review Copy !