Bookish Babble: 2016 Reading Round Up

I know what you’re thinking; Woman what are you doing the year ain’t over yet. But come on! I’ve got a baby due and I’m still not ready for its arrival. If I do manage to do any reading from now until after new-years it will be a miracle.

Here is a few of my favourite reads of 2016:medoran-collageLynette Noni’s The Medoran Chronicles. I am super keen for the April 2017 release of the third book (3rd out of 5) Draekora. This series has it all; a fantastic parallel fantasy world, show downs between good and evil, tested friendships, a strong female lead, great supporting cast and MAGIC! It follows teen Alex as she discovers this parallel world and the strength to be the hero that it needs. Oh yeah and It’s written by an Aussie, #LoveOzYA what more could you want. Goodreads.saga-collage

Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’s SAGA. If you haven’t heard of SAGA you must have been living under a rock for the past three years. This epic sci-fi/fantasy (for mature readers) follows new parents Marko and Alana (narrated by Hazel, their daughter) as they dodge those who don’t approve of their inter species family and seek to destroy them. Marko and Alana strive to create a loving family and figure out how parenthood works all while avoiding the battles going on around the universe due to a long running galactic war between their peoples. Goodreads.19547856

Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. The Homo sapiens Agenda. I finished this book with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye. I actually just sat on the couch and hugged the book. Read it! It’s heartwarming and beautiful and you can’t help but fall in love with Simon as you experience him grow and learn to accept himself. Goodreads.

kostakis-collageWill Kostakis! Far out I love this fella’s writing. The Sidekicks & The First Third are two brilliant stand alone #LoveOzYA masterpieces. Both touch on family, friendship, sexually and growing up Aussie style – Ok, ok, Greek/Australian style when it comes to The First Third, but both are set in Sydney. Goodreads.

The Mother in me fell in love with Simon (Simon vs. The Homo sapiens Agenda) Bill (The First Third) and Thommo (The Sidekicks) I wanted hug them and make them feel better. Harley, bloody Harley (The Sidekicks) Harley is the boy I loved, the one that no matter how old I grow a part of me will always fall for. There of course were other wonderful characters in these books, but I am trying to keep this post brief LOL)

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Christopher Currie’s Clancy of the Undertow. I saw so much of my teenage self in Clancy. Clancy is a beautiful, truly connectable character. The story touches on family, friendship and sexually, as you get to experience Clancy grow and discover who she is meant to be. It is a powerful and heartwarming read. Beautiful #LoveOzYA all the way! Goodreads.

disruption-collageJessica Shirvington’s Disruption duology. This duology is brilliant. I read both books back to back in a few days. We get blackmail, bad guy bullshit and sassy bitch brilliance in 833 pages of utterly enthralling action. Lead character Maggie is a strong young woman that is not to be messed with and who you can’t help but fall for. #LoveOzYA Goodreads.

tribe-collageAmbelin Kwaymullina’s The Tribe series. I’ve still to read the last book in this series, I purchased it earlier in the year, but i’m too scared! I don’t want it to be over. This is a dystopian like no other I’ve read; for one thing it’s better then most other books I’ve read labeled dystopian. The series is fresh and exciting with strong leading female characters, a focus on friendship, connecting with the natural world around us, doing what you believe is right and protecting the ones you love. #LoveOzYA Goodreads.

grievers-mark-collageKatherine Hurley’s Griever’s Mark series. I’m not sure exactly what it is about the first two books in this series that captivated me so. I’m still to read the third, fear of endings and all. But from the moment I finished reading the first book I haven’t been able to get the two main characters Astarti and Logan out of my head. So that’s got to count for something. I also really loved the earth magic that Hurley created. Goodreads.

Bellow are some of books I had hoped to fit in before bub was born, but haven’t managed to and thus will be top of my to-read list next year!to-read-collage

I really should hurry up and read Georgie Spider and Unbound, as there are way too many fictional characters with unfinished story lines running around in my head at the moment.

Mini Reviews: Four free Doctors, Sean & SAGA-37

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Doctor Who: Free Comic Book Day 2016 by Robbie Morrison

Jump on board the TARDIS with FOUR all-new short tales of the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors! Whether you’re a whizz with a Sonic Screwdriver or completely new to Who, this is the perfect Free Comic Book Day adventure for Sci-Fi fans of all ages! Written and illustrated by the creative teams of the regular comics, this is the ideal place to start reading!

Published July 5th 2016 by Titan Comics. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: What is better then a free comic? A free comic that is awesome! And this was most definitely awesome. With new adventures from the Doctors 12, 11, 10 & 9, it was a super fun read. I am so chuffed I came across it on amazon, still free I might add. I can see myself reading it again when I need a quick pick me up. FIVE “I will always love you #10 / Keep on keeping on you scallywag #12” STARS.

22327251Sean (Stuff Happens) by Will Kostakis

Stuff happens sometimes.
Everyday stuff.
At school, at home, with sport, with mates.

For Sean it happened starting at a new school.

Published August 27th 2014 by Penguin Australia. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: Nawww adorable!! We follow fifth grader Sean as he tackles the terrifying task of starting at a new school and making new friends. Even though this book is aimed around 8-12 year-olds I still enjoyed it immensely. It was full of Kostakis’s entertaining and heart warming style that I know and love from his YA novels. FOUR “I really liked it” STARS.

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Saga #37 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples 

NEW STORY ARC! “THE WAR FOR PHANG,” PART ONE. SAGA is back with its most epic storyline yet, and to celebrate, FIONA STAPLES graces this issue with a gorgeous wraparound cover! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. This arc is a self-contained “event” we’ve been building to since our very first issue, so now is the perfect time for readers who love SAGA’s bestselling collections to join our monthly adventures! Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: 37 issues in and this comic is still brilliant! With over three years of awesomeness under It’s belt the saga that is SAGA just keeps on getting better and better. It is a visually splendid and extremely entertaining sci-fi comic series with some important cultural undertones.

I love the motley crew that makes up Hazels’s traveling family and I am looking forward to the adventures ahead of them in the new story arc that starts with this issue. Bring it on Vaughan & Staples. FIVE “I’m addicted and I love it” STARS.

Bookish Book Lover Tag

I came across the Bookish Book Lover Tag on Stephanie’s Book Reviews and thought it looked fun, thanks Stephanie 🙂 From what I can work out it was originally created by Shantelle @ A Writer’s Heart, so thank you Shantelle, and OOPS if I got that wrong.

The Rules: Use the Banner, Answer the Questions, Use Lots of Book Covers, Tag Your Bookish Friends.old-books-436498_19201) What Book Are You Currently Reading?6930002The Iron Witch (The Iron Witch #1) by Karen Mahoney.

2) What’s The Last Book You Finished? 
26156443Hero by Belinda Crawford Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi #LoveOzYA
3) Favorite Book You Read This Year?25574212

So far it’d have to say The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi #LoveOzYA or Chains of Water and Stone by Katherine Hurley.

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4) What Genre Have You Read Most This Year? Graphic Novels /Comic Books.
5) What Genre Have You Read Least This Year? Contemporary.
6) What Genre Do You Want To Read More Of? Contemporary YA. I always say I’m mainly a Sci-fi /fantasy reader, but the contemporary YA I’ve read this year has really impressed me and I’ve enjoyed them much more than I expected I would.
7) How Many Books Have You Read This Year, And What’s Your Goal? I’ve read 65 and am aiming for 125 or hopefully more!

8) What’s The Last Book You Bought? IMG_6455It was a four book haul; Three Jane Austen classics in pretty paperbacks and Black by Fleur Ferris Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi #LoveOzYA (is my Aussie Aussie chant getting annoying yet).

9) What Book Are You Saving Up To Buy Next? Whatever tickles my fancy when I see it on a shelf or read a review of it.
10) How Many Books Did You Check Out Last Library Visit? IMG_6454Two; The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.
11) What’s A Book You Can’t Wait To Read?15704307 I’m always hanging out for the next installment of SAGA by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples.
12) What’s A Series You’d Recommend to Everyone? 13552764I feel funny recommending books to strangers, because how the hell would I know what they like, friends and family are a different matter. BUT I have been raving about The Tribe Series by Ambelin Kwaymullina to anyone who will listen lately and I haven’t even read the third book yet. I’m dragging out reading the last book as I don’t want the story to be over!
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Here we go again!  Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi #LoveOzYA 18872201
13) Who’s An Author You’re Hoping Writes More? I’d love to read new YA series or standalone from Ambelin Kwaymullina (see above), J.K. Rowling (and/or I’d totally be happy with anything further in her wizarding world – I pre-ordered Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Stephenie Meyer (shut them haters up girl!) and Alisa Jeruconoka (I loved her Unparallel Worlds back in 2012 by a sequel hasn’t surfaced yet).

14) A Few Books Your Heart Adores? Albert of Adelaide by Howard L. Anderson, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and All the Harry Potter’s 😛 – I could keep going!!!!
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15) What Series’s Coming Conclusion Makes You Sad? The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy a Trilogy in Five parts by Douglas Adams, it’s conclusion plain upsetting. I just wanted Arthur Dent to live happily ever after with Fenchurch. Why Mr Adams, you murder, why!!!!6356002
16) What Books Are On Your Wish-List? All of them! All of them I tell you. I want them all MWAHAHAHAHAHA!
TAGGED: Anyone who wants to have a go :-).

Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

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Saga, Volume 1 (Saga: Collected Editions #1) by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist)

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

* * * * * *   My Thoughts   * * * * * * 

Saga debuted in 2012. This 160 page paperback ‘Saga Volume One’ collects the first 6 monthly issues.

In these first six issues we see Hazel’s birth, learn a back story for her parents romance and see her parent’s constantly fighting to keep her alive and free. We are introduced to some key players; Hazel and her parents Marko and Alana, Prince Robot IV, The Will and Lying Cat – all setting up for a truly epic long running comic series. I’M EXCITED. I only wished I hadn’t waited so long to get on board.

This comic series has action, humour, forbidden romance and a witty cross breed alien baby (Hazel) as the narrator. I would have to say it’s the best comic I have ever read – sorry Batman, sorry Batgirl, sorry Starfire, sorry Scooby Doo, sorry Xmen, sorry Green Arrow, sorry Outcast, sorry The Walking Dead. Ok so you really can’t compare most of those comics to one another, but you get my point.

This right here is an adult comic, and I’m not saying this because it’s got a few inter species sex scenes. Underneath the battle, the bloodshed and the humorous respite, this is a story of a mother and father battling the odds and the universe to give their little girl the best life possible.

I read Frank Miller’s Batman because I love bad boy heroes and vigilantes. I read Amanda Conner’s Starfire because she fricking adorable and orange. With Saga I had the action and fighting the good fight of Batman and Starfire, plus more. I connected with the characters. By the end I wasn’t just reading it for entertainment. I was reading it because I gave a shit about what happened to the world I had just entered.
I was enthralled from page one of issue one “Am I shitting? It feels like I’m shitting!” to the last page of issue six “And then my grandparents came to live with us”.

Not to mention the artwork is stunning!

I’m hooked, good thing I’ve already got the next four collections ready to go. Issue #32 is out today, but if you’re like me and prefer the compendiums over the single issues, it’ll be four more months before the ‘Saga Volume Six’ is available.

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Top ten books I’m determined to devour over spring

TTTm3This week’s Top Ten set by THE BROKE AND THE BOOKISH is Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR. The Broke and the Bookish are up there in the Northern Hemisphere having fall (aka autumn), but I’m down here in the Southern and spring be springing. So here is my top ten books I’m determined to devour over spring.

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Crystal Kingdom (Kanin Chronicles #3) by Amanda Hocking

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Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead

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Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle

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A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

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Paradise Road (Paradise #2) by C.J. Duggan

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Batgirl: Year One (Batgirl) by Scott Beatty, Chuck Dixon, Marcos Martin

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Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

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Saga, Volume 1 (Saga: Collected Editions #1) by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

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The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies #3) by Pittacus Lore

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Chains of Water and Stone (Griever’s Mark #2) by Katherine Hurley