book review · Shar

American Panda// great focus on belonging to two cultures, not quite executed well

Note: This post written at midnight to the glorious sound of drunken parties, please excuse any incoherency.  Continue reading “American Panda// great focus on belonging to two cultures, not quite executed well”

books · lists · shanti

things I love about emma mills books

Hi Virtually Readers! In February, I reread all of Emma Mills oeuvre. She writes simply excellent contemporary novels (and I do go on a bit about her, but IT IS DESERVED okay?) and you should read all of them: First & Then, This Adventure Ends, and Foolish Hearts. So I thought I’d write a list of reasons why she should be one of the books you pick up next. And because I’m extra, all the reasons begin with ‘f’.


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book review · shanti

I have a foolish heart

Foolish Hearts is the first book I have ever read where I finished it and then immediately started reading it again. I do not regret doing so in the least, for Foolish Hearts is a wonderful novel, made all the better by the fact that it feature lots of Shakespeare. (I especially liked this because last week I watched a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and got all nerdy about Shakespeare again). I’ve liked all of Emma Mills novels, particularly This Adventure Ends (which I should probably reread because I barely remember anything…it was about Art, I think), but Foolish Hearts is better by far.
Foolish Hearts is highly reminiscent of Franscesca Zappia—set in the Midwest, nerdy, friendship focused, just a little bit weird. It’s also thoroughly its own thing though, and I could appreciate that.

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blogging · books · discussions · Shar

Discussion: Why blogging makes me read things I dislike, and not read what I do like

All the time in the book blogosphere I see people saying ‘I want to read this but I don’t have the time’, or ‘all these new releases are stressing me out’, ‘I want to read X backlist title but I’m trying to keep up with new releases’. This is a post in response to that. It’s not about how all new releases are terrible (because there are so! many! good! new! books!), but rather that not letting how popular a book is determine if you read it. Continue reading “Discussion: Why blogging makes me read things I dislike, and not read what I do like”

books · discussions · shanti · Shar

When I need books

Hi Virtually Readers! A few days ago, I finished reading Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills (I will post a review eventually, so you have that to look forward to). I immediately started reading it again, because it was just that good (to be clear, I was reading like three other books as well, because that’s how I roll. This meant that I could make a personal record and finish four books in one day). Anyway, I think part of the reason I liked Foolish Hearts so much is that I read it when I needed it. Many of the books I like most I appreciate because I read them when I needed them.

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books · features · shanti

Characters I love

Hi Virtually Readers! One of the top things that will make me love a book is when I feel like the characters are really well written. Characters are the heart of all novels. The setting and the plot is a way to showcase (usually human) beings who have to make complicated choices. In the choices and in the ambiguity, they’re more human; more like us. At their best, well written characters help me to know myself better. Today I thought I’d share a quick list of who some of my favourite characters are and why.

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blogging · book review · books · shanti

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Invictus is as glorious as it is shiny. Time travel novels always have the potential to fail because they are too confusing, and I’m not going to say that Graudin avoids this entirely; she does not. However, she succeeds on a higher level: her story, as well as being a hell of a lot of fun has really excellent Indian rep possibly the best I’ve ever seen or at the very least the one I most related too in YA and yes I have read When Dimple Met Rishi but more on that later juggles the anxiety and joy that even the mere concept of time travel, let alone it’s all-pervading role in a story, can evoke. Continue reading “Invictus by Ryan Graudin”

books · discussions · lists · Shar

YA books set after high school

YA books are generally said to be directed at teenagers. But when it comes down to it, there’s very few (YA, not NA) books set in the last 2/7ths of teenagedom, ie after teenagers typically finish school. Having entered this stage myself, I’m finding that these books increasingly appeal to me, and I know plenty of other bloggers in this same stage of life. This post is a list of a few books that do take place after school. Covers link to goodreads/our review if we have one. Also, this is more of a list that can be perused or skimmed through rather than a post, so feel free to just look for certain titles or whatever. 

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books · not books · Shar

Night of Cake and Puppets + Prague photos


I finally got around to finishing the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series last year, but then Night of Cake and Puppets came out as a published book and not just an enovella with GORGEOUS illustrations to boot, and I spotted it in a indie Gisborne bookshop and bought it for Shanti mainly because I wanted it myself. I have no regrets.
Continue reading “Night of Cake and Puppets + Prague photos”