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The Aus. Library presents: Top 5 Villains, the ones we love to hate.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Heroes always get to steal the flashlight. Yes, I thought that saying went like that. No, I am not good with sayings and apparently nor I am with English. That's something you didn't know about me, did you? *clears throat* Let's start again, shall we?

Heroes always get to steal the spotlight.  Heroes are heroes, and therefore, the ultimate protagonists. Nine out of ten times, they get their love interest, they probably get to complete the quest of saving the world and they are likely to find themselves heading toward the sunset in a flying car (please leave a comment if you get that last reference and I'll love you forever, for the curious: here). But do you know who gives the hero the quality of hero? A villain.

Yes, my bookworms or curious people that is simply passing by. The hero becomes a hero only when he is confronted with an antagonist. You might hate villains - or you might have a twisted and totally respectable taste (not really) - and love them. But without them, there's no hero and no story. Without a villain, the heroes are just sitting around and chilling  - maybe netflix and chilling, but that's a completely different discussion.

Villains make the story as much as heroes do. So, why don't we do a little homage? (click on images for source)

Top 5 literary villains. The ones I love to hate.

(or just hate with passion)

Aaron Warner, Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Yes, yes, yes. I know what you are all going to tell me. "He's not a villain!" "How dare you!" "He's perfection and my book husband!" Well, he is definitely a villain in book #1. And yes, I might have only read that book, and Warner's character might have peaked at my curiosity  - a lot. But he's the villain. Hot, but still the villain.

Amarantha, ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas

Well, I guess here there's nothing to discuss. We will all stand for what was done to our beautiful and precious Rhysand. Truth be told, I think Amarantha was a 5 stars character. She was despicable, ruthless and we all hated her with passion. That checks all boxes for a good villain.

Sebastian Morgenstern, TMI by Cassandra Clare

TMI is a widely known and loved series. And I am aware of Sebastian's fanbase. I kind of see his appeal though, after all we all feel the pull to tortured souls. He made it to my top because he had me fooled. TMI was a freaking roller coaster of emotions with plot twists waiting around the corner to give you a heart attack. So yes, Sebastian or Jonathan or the reason why we all thought we might have lost Jace for a moment, I love you because I really really hated you.

Astrid & Athos Dane, ADSOM by V.E. Schwab

Victoria Schwab knows her dark and twisted stuff, and the Dane twins are prove of it. To say I was spooked by them would be an understatement. Is there anything creppier and scarier than evil twins? I don't think so. Plus, I always pictured them like these beautiful, flawless and powerful creatures. Goosebumps, you guys. Also, no one touches my Kell and leaves the world without my hatred.

Cersei Lannister, GOT by George R. R. Martin

Another villain that I seriously seriously love because I hate with passion. But let's face it, how interesting would GOT be without this heartless bi... queen?

What do you think of my love/hate relationship with these villains? Are you there with me or do you hate me a little bit now? Comment away!

The Top 5 Wednesday meme was created by Lainey at GingerReadsLainey and hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes – If you want to join in and be apart of the #T5W … you can find all the details in the T5W Goodreads page.

Dear YA, Swear You'll Swear

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Swearing, what a wonderful thing. Yes I'm all up for it with friends. Swearing in different languages is preferable, because it's easier that way. You can't really say some words in English that express how you're feeling.

But what about swearing in books? Should it be allowed? Should we just ban all books that drop the f-bomb here and there? Why should we? So many questions and so little time. But I'll try to answer some of those questions here in today's Endless Discussion.

So swearing in Australia isn't really a big thing. Swearing is just normal. You can go about your daily lives and hear a fellow Australian swear at a vending machine for not giving them their Diet Coke or someone else trying to find their phone when they left it on the bus by accident, or when someone steps on gum and they swear to their friends next to them. Swearing is no big deal. Especially when you're a teenager. Teens just spew up every swear word in the book because why not? It expresses how we feel, so why not use swear words to exert that anger or happiness? Swearing is an outlet for most teenagers. In YA, I find it hilarious that some teenagers don't even say 'Damn' or 'Crap'. I side-eye teens like these in books. Like, JUST SWEAR ALREADY. LET THAT ANGER OR HAPPINESS OUT.

Swearing in books is one of my favourite things to see on the page of YA novels. It just makes sense. Teenagers swear, so make them swear in books. However, I totally understand that where these characters are from and how they've grown up essentially influences how they see swearing. It could be a bad thing to some teenagers and a normal thing for others. I mean even the 'harshness' of swear words is different all around the world. Here's a buzzfeed article of 100 swear words that some Australians use (if not all). Some people may say these swear words come off as harsh and others just shrug it off because it's normal. Teenagers have a invisible scale of how harsh swear words are and how they are interpreted. We know the difference between threat and just swearing because it feels right. I've yet to meet a teen who's never sworn in there life. So why make swear words foreign to teens in books?

There's also this 'Elephant in the room' where people question the intelligence of teenagers because they swear. Teenagers can swear and be intelligent. Swearing does not tarnish someone's intelligence. Smart people can swear, it doesn't make someone lose their knowledge. It's also as if it's taboo in some sense. Like swearing is so bad. I mean, it's weird hearing a stranger swear, but hearing friends swear is normal. So if we're suppose to relate to teenagers in books and suppose to become, or want to become friends with them, wouldn't it make sense to let them swear?

Swearing is such a great way for teenagers to build relationships. Teenagers can make friends by swearing. Swearing also adds, actually the better words is authenticates teenagers as growing people in books. We have no idea what's really right and really wrong yet. We haven't touched the surface of the 'real world' either. We don't know what in the world taxes are, how mortgages work, how to correctly write a resume and all that jazz about reverse parking. Some teenagers in reality are grasping these concepts while the majority are just living their lives, free, working on assignments, trying to obtain ace grades. This majority, a majority I must confess I'm apart of, are also swearing and cussing about how they shouldn't have started the assignment the night before or crammed study for their exam. We're swearing at the stupid things people do for love, during love and after love leaves. We're swearing about the people who push in line, who talk behind our backs, who think they're better than us, who say that to our faces and to those who need the proof that they are bloody incredible. We swear about that time we pretended we don't remember but really, we remember every single moment of that memory because it was so embarrassing. We swear about the times we made mistakes and repeat them or learn from them. We swear when our friends are struggling and they need a boost, so we become the funny swearing person that tries to mend their heart or thoughts. So be aware that we swear. Swearing makes your teenage protagonist feel real.

Before I finish up this article, we must also acknowledge that there are, I guess we can say 'appropriate' times to swear and other times it's well, weird to hear. But this all depends on dialect, social context, culture and so much more. No one should be policing when teenagers swear in books. Like yeah, some moments it's rude but they're teenagers, we don't know when we're going to swear most of the time. For example, we swear with friends and basically never in front of the elderly and children (well, this is an example from where I'm from. It doesn't apply to the whole world). But then there's times when we're clumsy, forgetful or feeling angry, happy, sad and fearful and the f-bomb feels like the appropriate word to use. I mean, if you follow me on twitter, you may have seen my anger about the president-elect and all the horrible things that have resulted from Trump being elected. The f word was basically my best friend.

Anyways, teenagers swear, some of us like to cuss in private and some just don't care and do it whenever, wherever. Sometimes swearing in books allows teenagers who aren't big on reading to actually read more, because "LOOK A TEENAGER WHO SWEARS AND ISN'T JUST BLAND & BORING" (these are similar words a friend who wasn't big on reading shared with me after a character swore in a book I recommended!). Swearing is a way we can shield ourselves. Swearing is a way to express ourselves. Swearing can occur anywhere and swearing is a way we're trying to say we care. If you care about teenagers relating to your protagonist, swear you'll swear.

Have some words to share about swearing in books? Despise it? Love it? Let me know below and tell me how you feel about it! Also let me know if you loved this discussion, I may have a part two.

I did the Heartless thing and Did not Finish

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Release Date: November 8 2016 
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Page Count: 464
Format: AUS Paperback ARC
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Review Copy from Pan Macmillan

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere.

A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship. Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

I'm not going to go into dislikes and likes because I DNFed the book. However, I don't think the reason why I DNFed the book was because it was poorly written or something not up my alley, I think it's just me. We've had a terrible week this week and I tried to pick the book up but it was just, not my thing... right now. I've read 100 pages and it was interesting. In the very first chapters we're quickly introduced to characters. However, as being someone who never really read Alice in Wonderland, just some snippets of it, I just wasn't immersed into the world Marissa had created. I was just, "eh".  Again, this is just me, not the book. The writing style and world building was amazing in all honestly (I want to say great, but that word is kind of dead to me right now, so I'm using it sparingly) and a great sample of Marissa Meyer's writing. I've never read Cinder (however I do own it and I intend to marathon the series closer to Christmas) and Heartless has me very, VERY excited to read it.

The food in the book also makes you very hungry. I will not lie, I wanted to go to my local bakery just to splurge on tarts, cakes and so many sweet things. I will probably pick up the book again, but most likely in its finished form. The cast of characters is most likely the only reason why I'll revisit the book. The ARC was an incredible read to the 100 pages I read, but at this moment, just not something I'm keen to consume. Hopefully I find someone with similar book tastes to convince me to read it.

Just on another note, I've been on this, I'm going to call it "Diversity High". I've recently devoured so many great books with Diverse characters and non-western worlds and languages that Heartless just didn't seem to feed this need.

Thank you Pan Macmillan for the review copy 

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Self Care & Things to Share

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

I have no words really. I mean, I do have words, but it took me awhile to write this very beginning. Like, where do I begin? How do I begin?

So let's start with just life in general. University. I'm currently in the exam period. I have two more to go, so wish me luck (and only between you and me, I really need it, so I'd appreciate it very much in forms of GIFs or cute anecdotes). I honestly don't know how I survived semester 1. This semester has been hectic, but I've loved the readings, especially in my Sociology class. However, I just don't feel like learning right now. Maybe it's a built up of things, like that encounter with racism in one of my classes that really threw me off from the whole course. Or maybe it's moving out of the nest and renting out a room in the city. I don't know what happened this semester. All I know is that it's been great, but not that great to the extent I'd want to brag about it. I'm just to inside my head I guess. Or maybe I'm not inside it at all? Who knows, I just don't feel like me this week. I've avoided Instagram like the plague, I've neglected my emails and responsibilities as if I have none and I've showed my beautiful voice a couple of times on twitter but I haven't been as active as I usually am. To top it all off, I haven't read a book this week either, something that comes easy to me like breathing.

Now, I'm in this place where, I'm not in constant panic persay, but paranoia. Or something similar to that. My english is terrible, so if you can understand where I'm coming from, cool, if not, I'm going into detail in a sec. *a sec*. Okay sweet. We all know about the election. The one that affects the whole world and right now we have a elect-president. The guy the same hue as the background colour of the blogger icon. The guy with the ratty hair that probably is just a knit collection of dog fur. The guy who thought it was hilarious to tell fellow 'oppressed' mediocre white men that you should "Grab her by the pussy". The guy who I will never call the President of the most influential country in the world because a man excuse of a man like him doesn't deserve a title like that. There's already so much hate towards minorities and him becoming the elect-president has just told those who quietly had the same beliefs as him, to shout them at the top of their lungs. To treat everyone who isn't white cis and hetero like they're not worthy of being treated as a fellow human being. As if we need a reason to live, exist.

The thought of him being the President eventually terrifies me. What does this say to people all around the world? That sexual offenders can get away with anything and become the most powerful person in the world? There's so many questions I'd like to ask but some of the answers terrify me. This whole election was exhausting and it was from there that I knew I needed to take care of myself.

Self-Care is so important, especially at this moment in time. We have racists seeking out targets. The KKK walking around. Kids being told to sit at the back of the bus like old times. 'Friends' playing 'jokes' and building a wall in their roomates room. People actively seeking out muslim girls wearing their Hijabs and ripping them off. Men, telling the internet, that they're going to seek out women to harass and this all happened on Day 1. I'm not American, but this president-elect has affected the whole world. So if you feel like this is too much, I got you. I've got you forever. You are not alone. If you ever feel like it's too much and you want the world to swallow you up, know this. You are important. You are loved. You are the stars in the sky, bright and burning. You are the moon, you guide the way in the dark with your light. You are a rose, rich in beauty and those who you do not tolerate get the thorns and even then, you are still beautiful and thriving. You are the seasons, each one I eagerly wait to hear, to feel, to know that we are still moving forward. You are the rain, soft and loud with joy. You are the lightening, a beam of strength, a thunderous soul that will never give up. You are a warrior, a dreamer, a doer and a person who deserves to live.

So here are a few self-care things I'd like to share: (these are only a handful and they may work for you or may not. We are all different and that is totally okay.)

I cling onto music like a raft. It anchors me, it frees me, it saves me. I don't have a specific taste in music. If I could describe it it'd be "world view" type of taste in music. I don't prefer one to another. I just love hearing music that sounds different, sounds unique and out of place in specific playlists. On that note, here are some playlists. I hope you like the music. I'd also love some recommendations of playlists if you already have some that you listen to.

UPDATE: So I'm just putting my playlist together on spotify and I just realised that I can't share some of the actual songs I listen too. So no Polynesian songs for the soul. So I have list of artists and songs I like. Brown Girl is my favourite song. I listen to it as much a possible. But going quickly off topic just listen to Isa Lei, it's a Fijian song. Honestly the best. Also click here for the best song that everyone I know would gladly jam to.

I honestly love this. I highly recommend finger painting. Also travelling on the bus and going to a cafe to draw and drink coffee is amazing. If you're a budding author, writing in quiet corners of a library is my favourite. You can do and be anything by painting, drawing and creating. It frees the soul from negativity in my opinion. It gives you that little peace of mind.

This is a must. Dance like no one's looking, dance like you must win at it, dance with people and dance till you laugh and cry with friends. Dance in private, to a playlist of your choosing in your bedroom, volume way up high or dance in public, headphones on, dance moves out becoming contagious to passer bys.

I know this is hard at the moment for the majority of us but asking people if they're okay or asking yourself, are you okay, really helps. Talking with friends and having each others backs is so very helpful. It takes your mind from that place it was in and sparks that energy you really needed. That light that never really faded.

In all the chaos inside my head, making lists and following through with them makes me happy. It makes my soul happy, the very building blocks of my whole being tingle with the sensation of joy. Even studying or learning something that I've never thought I wanted to learn. Plus it gives me solace knowing I have great stationary to make these lists and notes for studying.

The last self-care tip I'd like to share is, "Treat yo'self". This can be by pampering yourself, buying a book, buying a bath bomb and using it, colouring a colouring book and so much more. I highly recommend buying yourself a book (obviously, you're on The Aus. Library) and specifically a book that is diverse! Check out the #ownvoices hashtag on twitter to find yourself some great books or #diversitydecbingo where myself and a couple of friends are recommending books left, right and centre. I have recently treated myself with a copy of The Sun is Also a Star and can't wait to read it. I also scored an ARC of Our Chemical Hearts and it's my treat after exams.

So I hope this helps someone else. I hope it gives someone peace. But also, I hope it gives someone strength to fight, to never give up, because we need this, more than ever, the will to say this isn't good enough.

Eventually I'll go back into my usual blogging mode and be taking and posting photos on Instagram. But for now, I'm chilling. I'm taking care of myself and lending a helping hand to those who also need it. I don't need to apologise for taking time for myself, you don't have to too.

Aussie Bookish Secret Santa is back!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Aussie Bookish Secret Santa Gift Exchange is back! For the second year! How awesome is that! *throws confetti*. Last year was amazing, with participants sharing their gifts on Instagram and Twitter. This year it's bigger and better with new faces on the Moderator Team! We have Sally, Nikki and newbies, Jeann and Danielle. You should definitely check out their blogs and Intagrams!

This year we also have a giveaway for those who participate. You could win another book off your Wish List! So here's the link for sign ups! and then here's the next link about your contact info. You must enter your elfster email and name you used so we know who you are.

Here are some rules and need to know info for this years event:

Must spend at least $20 (including postage) for the Secret Santa gifts and must send all gifts on or before the 3rd of December. Provide your Secret Santa with a wishlist so they can choose what book they'd like to gift you with. Also state if second hand books are okay. At the end of #ABSSGE16 there will be a prize for those who share their gifts through the hashtag and will win another book off their wishlists.

Also provide a tracking number for your parcels or you can order off Booktopia who also provide tracking numbers so you can send them to your Secret Santa! Please send the tracking numbers and your partners name and your own to for the master spreadsheet. Then send your partner the same tracking number to keep them in the loop. Additionally for those who are still wondering, this is only open to Australian Residents. If you suddenly cannot participate or have issues with your Secret Santa, send an email about your concerns to . When you sign up, you give the host, being myself and the moderators, permission to share your details with your santee. No one else. You also give us permission to chase up on how you're doing with the gifts, if you've received them and other exchange related questions. If your santee wants to chase up the gift exchange themselves with you, we a obligated to share your number and additional information so the swap is successful. In signing up you agree to these terms and conditions.

Thanks so much for participating this year guys! Hope to see everyone's gifts !

Review: Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland. Not your fluffy and cute YA romance

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Teenager tv shows are not what they used to be. I grew up during the 90's and yes, leaving aside Baywatch and the slow-mo runs along the beach, the shows were pretty darn good. I just remember being a pre-teen watching shows like Dawson Creek and thinking "I want that. And I want to be an adult really bad". Those characters had great aspirations, dreams of making it to college, endless conversations about literature and culture. I would listen to the dialogs and just stare in awe. Those were characters that made me want to grow up to be smart and independent. There's obviously the drama and the relationships (that I would thoroughly enjoy), but still. Then, 2000 arrived with the glorious Gilmore Girls. And talking about smart and funny dialogs: I believe this is the way tv shows are supposed to be. Gilmore Girls reminds me of something else I had always loved: the pop culture references. I don't live in the US, you know, but basically all I watch and read comes from there. That's the way it is and I am not complaining, but I have always envied getting the references. The funny puns. The bits where some celebrity, famous writer, politician or band is mentioned to make a joke. Unfortunately, I would never get them and that was something that would bug me. It has now, to be honest. I will never get over it, really.

But does she has a point? Wasn't she going to review a book here? Yes, we are right there now, I just needed to put that out there for you.

My point is that this book has reminded me of all that. All those hours I spent in front of the tv wishing for a group of friends with smart but snarky banter that throw a hundred pop culture references that I get. And it was so not what I was expecting.

I expected a cute YA with a fluffy romance, and boy, Our Chemical Hearts had nothing to do with that. It's cute at times and it's about first love, but this book is about much more important things: loss and heart break. And ultimately overcoming that loss and that broken heart.

Genre: Young Adult, contemporary 

“Love doesn't need to last a lifetime for it to be real. You can't judge the quality of a love by the length of time it lasts. Everything dies, love included. Sometimes it dies with a person, sometimes it dies on its own. The greatest love story ever told doesn't have to be about two people who spent their whole lives together. It might be about a love that lasted two weeks or two months or two years, but burned brighter and hotter and more brilliantly than any other love before or after. Don't mourn a failed love; there is no such thing. All love is equal in the brain.”

Undeniably, it was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed this book, and even if it was unexpected I found myself a 100% invested in the story. Our Chemical Hearts was not perfect, but I certainly think it is a book worth reading. Despite its flaws, this book is thought provoking. The author tackles very different issues: first love and grieve. I will not give away many details, but I just want to highlight how different on so many levels those issues seem, but how common they really are. All teenagers experience first love, and this book puts it out there through Henry. Yes, this book is told from a male main character pov, which let me tell you, was refreshingly good for a change. Henry is obviously special, in many ways, but I loved the fact that he had no clue about love. Or life, really. He is just thrown into this mess that is falling in love for the first time without any experience. He is clueless and he basically has no idea how to deal with the situation. And that, my friends, it's refreshing and adorable.

Grace, on the other hand, is the mess herself. If Henry is clueless, Grace was hands down lost. For reasons I will not reveal to keep the review spoiler-free, she is the best and the worst thing that could happen to Henry. First love is hard itself, but Grace is troubled. She has a lot to overcome, and that only adds to the problem - please note, I am talking about love using the words problem and issue. How unromantic of me. So, all things considered, the relationship between Henry and Grace swings back and forth from very bad to very good in the spam of hours.

Now, going my back to the pop culture references and the smart dialogs: the banter between both main characters was the best. I love the job the author has done with the dialogs. These characters are smart and not ashamed of showing it. Being inside Henry's mind was delightful, a fest for my nostalgia, basically. Because it reminded me of everything I have missed in YA. In all seriousness, the book was still naturally funny and smart. And the pop culture references!! I GOT THEM ALL. It filled me with joy when movies like 10 Things I hate about you or Harry Potter were mentioned. And there were so many more: The Strokes, Pixar movies, the Kardashians, Titanic or a hipster beer festival. A hipster beer festival, you guys! I basically live in them. Anyway, all these pop culture references made me a very happy reader and I loved the fact that they were just there.

Moving to not so positive things, and reason number 1 why this book is not getting a perfect 5 stars rating: Grace. Ah... poor and broken Grace. Are you familiar with Manic Pixie Dream Girls or MPDG? Well, let's say Grace is one of them, but at the same time, she really isn't. Grace is like an anti-MPDG. As I previously said, I don't want to reveal too much, but even if I understood Grace, I didn't really like her. She had a lot to overcome, and trust me, when I say a lot I mean a lot. Too much for a teenager. However, I did not approve of the way he treated Henry. The way she uses him, even he allows her to do so. Even he actually wants to be used because he is in love with her. Nonetheless, this ended up giving the book a certain originality against the rest of YA love stories I have read. Some situations and scenes were rather too sad and kind of dark. Regardless, the intensity of what was happening was thought provoking, and I loved that.

All in all, yes, Our Chemical hearts is about first love, but not really. Not only that. It felt more transcendental.

Rating: 4/5

*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Friday Feature: Top 10 OZ YA Picks

Friday, 4 November 2016

Hi guys! My name is Mollie and I'm a blogger from I am also an Australian and I bookstagram on @molliethereader and I'm here for your Friday guest post! I'm a very strong supporter of OZ YA books so for today I decided to list my top 10 faves!


1. Akarnae by Lynette Noni:
Fast paced, magical & very addicting book that is about a main protagonist Alex getting put into an unknown world of Medora!

2. The Things I Never Said:
Follows main protagonist Piper who suffers with selective mutism, about her coping with her illness and also having to start at a new school

3. Yellow by Megan Jacobson:
Main protagonist Kirra has been talking to a teenage ghost through an old phone booth. Kirra and the ghost make a pact. This book was so awesome and unique I really loved it! 

4. Betrothed by Wanda Wiltshire:
Is a story of faeries, includes some very cute fictional guys and a stunning new world called Faera!

5. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff:
This book isn't out yet, but it is so worth pre ordering! Kick ass main character Mia is an awesome character to read from. Must read for those that love fantasy books and assassins!

6. What I Saw by Beck Nicholas:
A book of mystery, the schools popular girl witness's something big. Will she defend the right person? Read to find out!

7. Turning Pointes by Emma Freedman:
This book is more of a children's book than YA but it has such a powerful coming of age story that I think a lot of YA readers could relate! A must read for those that love to dance.

8. Our Chemical Hearts:
Also not out, this book is a MUST for all those that love John Green! Quirky characters filled with mystery and adventure this book was really awesome!

9. The Midnight Society by Rhonda Sermon:
Time travel book about a girl with rainbow hair named Cate, this book was really intriguing and fast paced!

10. Frankie by Shivaun Plozza:
Frankie is a sassy, sarcastic and angry character. This book was filled with an intriguing storyline that was very funny and also serious at the same time.

Thanks so much Mollie for featuring on the blog