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Book Haul: Lifeline Book Fair

Friday, June 26, 2015
Lifeline provides telephone crisis support and suicide prevention service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Each year, Lifeline holds popular bookfairs in the Sydney region. The bookfairs attract many book lovers and collectors and support Lifeline’s life-saving work. Books are donated throughout the year and are sorted, priced and categorised ready to be sold at our bookfairs.
The Lifeline Book Fair kicked off today at Ashfield and I was able to get my hands on some awesome books!! The money goes towards a good cause: funding a non-profit organisation and their valuable services in the community. There was such a large variety of books on sale from classics, to crime, gardening, travelling, young adult, children and loads of fiction books. The majority of books were priced $2 to $4. My sister and I left the fair with 8 books (two of them hardcover) for $25. Bargain!

Here are some pictures of the hardcover copy I purchased of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. So pretty and it was only $3!!!

We then headed to Kmart and in the book section I found a copy of this book on the shelf which scanned for $1!! (Usually when I find titles that only have one copy on the shelf or is a little worn, I scan the barcode at the price checker machine and if I'm lucky they can be either 50c or $1) I was so happy to find this title because it's quite recently published :D

Happy reading~!

Review: Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips

Thursday, June 25, 2015
Goodreads summary:
When Lexi Shaw seduced Oakfield High's resident bad boy Tyler Flynn at the beginning of senior year, he seemed perfectly okay with her rules:

1. Avoid her at school.
2. Keep his mouth shut about what they do together.
3. Never tease her about her friend (and unrequited crush) Ben.

Because with his integrity and values and golden boy looks, Ben can never find out about what she’s been doing behind closed doors with Tyler. Or that her mom’s too busy drinking and chasing losers to pay the bills. Or that Lexi’s dad hasn’t been a part of her life for the last thirteen years. But with Tyler suddenly breaking the rules, Ben asking her out, and her dad back in the picture, how long will she be able to go on faking perfect?

Note: I received a copy via NetGalley to review. This review is my honest opinion.

Lexi feels like she should hold up the image of a 'perfect' girl, to put up a front and hide the fact that her mother is an irresponsible alcoholic and that her drug addict father abandoned them when she was just a little girl. She has the school bad boy sneaking in through her bedroom window at night, has friends who judge and shun her childhood friend Nolan (the only one who knows everything about her) and she harbours an unrequited love on her picture-perfect friend Ben.

With a title and blurb like Faking Perfect, I expected there to be a lot of drama but the book ended up quite boring. We spend a lot of time with Lexi who has this view about what she's supposed to do in order to not be like her mother. No doubt her upbringing has affected many aspects and outlooks on her life! But she pretty much creates lost of unnecessary stress for herself. The character growth could have been great but Lexi pretty much stays in the same spot whilst everyone suddenly changes around her and by the end of the book, her situation is improved because of these changes by other people.

The romance was weak and there wasn't enough interaction between the couple to make me believe they understood and loved each other. Many characters still felt like strangers to me. Overall, the story was lacklustre and with the amount of good contemporary YA romances out there, Faking Perfect isn't one I would recommend.

Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Thursday, June 11, 2015
Goodreads summary:
Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

P.S. I Still Love You was my most anticipated release of the year as I loved To All The Boys I've Loved Before to bits. The cliffhanger at the end of that book left me feeling giddy. P.S. I Still Love You wasted no time continuing from that cliffhanger but the result was a little underwhelming and disappointing. Basically, there's another love triangle with a new corner. I liked the addition of this character and he did manage to steal the spotlight but the love triangle meant there were jealousy games and trust issues that go unresolved for a loooong time.

Lara Jean's voice started to become childish and whiny after a while and she kind of expects other people to solve the problems for her (Kitty definitely being her biggest supporter). I did like how there was a lot of focus on the Song sisters' bonds and the close relationship they had with each other and their dad. So heartwarming!

But the center of the plot is the romance and that storyline was so frustrating! I'm disappointed (and shocked!) that I was bored at times with this book. There are many parts where not much happens. Once again, just like the first book, the ending was not really happy but a hopeful one. I finished this book feeling a little unsatisfied.

Review: The Heir by Kiera Cass

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Goodreads summary:
Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.

***Note: Minor spoilers ahead***

Illea has undergone change after Maxon ascended the throne, with America by his side. Eighteen year old Eadlyn is the next in line to the throne and The Heir follows her love story, pretty much. Maxon got rid of the caste system but not everyone is happy. Disgruntled citizens still exist and cause trouble for the royal family. His proposed solution? Run a selection for Eadlyn to divert attention of the greater public away from the unhappy people. The tables have turned, with 35 male candidates randomly drawn by Eadlyn to compete for her affection.

Eadlyn was a self-centered brat to say the least. It was annoying how she'd boast or complain about her position in the royal family. She's the future queen but she doesn't really do much. She also expects it's a given that everyone in Illea loves her (For what? Being the beloved Maxon and America's daughter?!). She's sheltered and it has made her a brat! If the author was trying to elicit these ill feelings for Eadlyn, then she has done a very good job!

On to the characters I did like: the contenders in the Selection. Everyone's personalities and vibes were so different and it was interesting getting to know them. Kile a childhood friend living in the palace who Eadlyn starts to see as someone different, Henri a sweet foreigner who bakes, Erik Henri's translator (who wasn't Selected but might as well be!), Ean the mysterious confident guy and Hale, Mr. Gentleman.

I was excited to catch Maxon and America again but in this book they're weathered oldies which was a shame. I didn't get a glimpse of their personality traits at all, they were just portrayed as caring parents.

Just like the past 3 Selection books, there isn't much focus on the politics and world building outside of the palace. The focus is mostly on the romance so it was light reading. I quite enjoyed this The Bachelorette-esque book but I still have a way to go in warming up to Eadlyn!

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Friday, June 5, 2015
Goodreads summary:
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Note: I received a copy via NetGalley to review. This review is my honest opinion.

Madeline hasn't left her house for years because she's allergic to the outside. At home, the air is controlled and filtered and Madeline only communicates face-to-face with her nurse Carla and her mother. When Oliver and his family move in next door, Madeline becomes more curious about the outside and ponders about what she's missing in life. The story unfolds through many ways such as diagrams, drawings, diary entries, pieces of paper and email correspondence. I found this format very engaging.

Given that Madeline has a serious illness, she didn't really act responsible and wasn't really aware of the risks after becoming interested in the boy next door. Their initial meeting and how they got to know one another was cute though it did progress a bit too fast.

There was a bombshell towards the end which delivered a surprise but it wasn't delved into great detail and the book ended somewhat abruptly with lots of uncertainty about what the main character was going to do about her situation. This left me quite unsatisfied since Everything, Everything is a standalone read.