Our Return to Collins St – The Queen Of Shadows Event!

Hi all,

Welcome to the adrenaline written recount of the night I met Sarah J Maas. I apologise for any grammatical mistakes or clunky sentences, as I did in fact write this blog post tucked into bed, with dried tears stuck to my face merely hours after the event.

I hope you enjoy my book event shenanigans!

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On Tuesday 24th of November 2015, my Mum, my friend Sarah and I ventured back to Collins St, this time to meet Sarah J Maas at her Queen Of Shadows event.

After getting our names checked off the list of attendees, we were to IMG_0369choose a lolly as our signing token. These were to determine the groups in which we were to line up to get our books signed. We decided on Minties.

The event was held in the beautiful old Assembly Hall on Collins St, and
within the foyer the Dymocks staff had set up tables of pre-signed books that we could buy. So of course, Sarah and I bought a copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses, as it was the only book by Sarah J Maas we had yet to own.

We then headed upstairs to the top viewing area since the bottom floor was already full, and we began the wait for the event to start.
After waiting 15-20 minutes the event began, and Sarah J Maas came into the hall with the crowd cheering. Sarah J Maas was so down to earth, and she answered the P1020532Q&A questions so thoroughly.

The first question she was asked was “If you could go to lunch with any author, who would it be?” And her answer, like many other Harry Potter fans, was J.K Rowling. However, soon after telling us this, SJM realistically recounted how she imagined that meeting would go. Basically she imagined that she’d be so frozen in shock that she would start urinating on the spot. Being so extremely overwhelmed, she would just back away from the lunch table without saying a word. The fantasy got even crazier when she said that she’d probably be so out of it that she would walk out onto the road, and get hit by oncoming traffic. Throughout the rest of the Q&A, mixed with giggles, she brought up the idea of peeing in front of your favourite author.

One of the next questions she was asked was “Caelana has a stallion on her amulet, what animal would represent you?” The answer to this question was wild from start to finish. Firstly, she corrected the question by saying that the amulet actually depicts a stag, and she is basically 100% certain that hers would be a fiery velociraptor with a crown upon its head, as she loves Jurassic Park so much. She then continued by saying if she was apart of the Harry Potter world, her Patronas would also be a velociraptor. P1020527

SJM then began to talk about how she was wearing her Grandmother’s ring throughout the duration of the Australia/New Zealand tour, as her grandmother loves to travel and hasn’t yet been to these countries. SJM explained that this ring is incredibly important to her as it is her grandmother’s symbol of strength and empowerment. This really struck a chord with us, as Sarah’s (my friend) grandmother had passed away the week before, and she was also given a ring by her as a recent graduation present. This meant so much to us, and I’m so incredibly stunned by the coincidence.

A couple more questions were asked, some asking about time management and how she juggles writing multiple series at a time (The answer is one at a time, by the way). SJM also told a story about how in high school she was the president of the Lord of The Rings club and all she wanted to do was write fantasy. She spoken about the disbelief of peers, teachers and her parents about the reality of being a full time writer. In the end, she said “I know it’s cliche, but you have to follow your dreams and believe in yourself.”

And then, the Q&A was finished, and the signings began.

The three of us sat in our seats, nervously squishing up our minties just P1020539bwtalking and patiently waiting to be called up.

We decided after about half an hour that we should head to the downstairs seating now that some people had left, so we could take some photos of the beautiful architecture and
pose for photo with the Celeana Sardothian cardboard cutout.

We then proceeded to fill in our time by eating fantales (if you’ve never eaten fantales before, you are missing out) and quizzing each other on the Who Am I? questions on the wrapper.

As the other signing groups were getting called up, my Mum suggested that I go sit in the front row of the seating area and take stalker photos of Sarah J Maas. Of course, I didn’t object.

Last but not least, the Minties were finally called out and the three of us hopped onto the end of the curvy line. Just to paint a picture, there were P1020549probably 7 people behind us in the line out of 300 people. So we really were the last people in the building.

We waited and waited and waited, and I got increasingly more nervous and was running on pure adrenaline. As we approached the signing table, Sarah’s cousin and publisher struck up a conversation with us about how exhausted everyone was, and @minimaaaas thought it was awesome that my friend Sarah shared her cousin’s name. Half way through the conversation, they offered us some of the salted almonds that they were eating and handed out some left over book swag to the remaining fans in line. Both Sarah & myself got a really awesome poster of QOS, with ACOTAR on the flip side.

Finally, we reached Sarah. And we talked about everything.

P1020561When I first started speaking to her, I was so incredibly nervous & I told her so straight away. She responded by telling me that I should not be nervous at all, as she has basically humiliated herself during the Q&A with all of her weird and wonderful stories. I spoke to her about how her accent reminds me of my best friend who also has an American accent, and how I missed her so much because she moved back to the US last year. She started talking about how awesome the Australian accents are, and she always felt that her accent is quite nasally. She continued to go on about how awesome Australia is, and she loves the food and how laid back we are.

Sarah spoke to SJM about how incredible the coincidence was between their grandmothers’ rings and the symbolism behind them. And SJM shared her condolences. When my Mum joined the conversation, SJM thanked her for bringing the two of us, as she really really appreciates parents that do show so much support for the children’s love of reading. At this point, our time with SJM was running out, and we spend the rest of it thanking her for this wonderful event and for taking the time to speak to us. She was very touched when I said “these events are everything to me.”

We then said our goodbyes and we headed over to the table that had SJM’s personal copy of the original publication of Throne of Glass that she takes to all of her events, and she gets the fans to sign it. This book was so incredibly stunning, and I wrote on page 75 and Sarah wrote on 76. My P1020576message read “Emma Tonkin x This is everything. Thank you! 24/11/15”

After taking more photos of the books and the cardboard cutout, we sat back down in the seating section and tried to collect ourselves while looking at our signed books.

As we started to get ready to leave the building, we saw that SJM was posing for a photo with the last group of fans in the signing line. And of course, being the people that we are, Sarah and I freaked out, and not so subtly ask SJM if we could have a photo. And she was so incredibly kind and agreed straight away.

I was so overwhelmed and almost started crying.

After we had our photo taken, she said to me “Oh my gosh, you are shaking! That’s so cute.” And then she hugged us both. Best day ever.

P1020577aTo top it all off, Sarah & her friends left the beautiful building with us and we all had a moment staring up at the star filled sky. Then we walked down part of Collins St together & we said our goodbyes.

My day had been made so many times, but one of my favourite parts was when we witnessed the victory dance performed by SJM and her publisher that involved lots of squealing and jumping to celebrate the end of a long day.

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Until next time,

Emma x

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An Evening At Dymocks – The Illuminae Book Launch!

On Friday the 23rd of October, my friend Sarah, my Mum and I traveled into Melbourne’s CBD to the Dymocks bookstore on Collins St, for an event with the New York Times Bestselling authors Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff to celebrate the release of their highly anticipated novel Illuminae!2015-10-23-illuminae-launch-42 (1)

As this was the first book launch I had ever been to, you could imagine how excited and anxious I was to get there early or at least on time. And as if the world was against me, there was an accident on the freeway on the way into the city earlier in the afternoon. However, after spending about an hour and a half crawling into the city, we managed to park the car and walk to Dymocks with a few minutes to spare before the event begun at 6.30pm.

(picture credit: https://misterkristoff.wordpress.com/)

We headed down the escalator into the store, which is the whole bottom level of the shopping centre and just took a moment to take in the awe-inspiring view. Anyone who has been to a Dymocks can tell you how incredibly amazing these bookstores really are. After having a moment to collect ourselves, we followed to crowd to the cafe and bought ourselves a copy of the most beautiful (and THICK) book that I have ever set my eyes on.

IMG_1370So, we stood in the cafe area, eating finger food and drinking orange juice and champagne (for those who were of age) waiting for the event to begin. While we were milling around, Nicole Hayes (the wonderful author of ‘The Whole of My World’ and ‘One True Thing’) recognised me from a #LoveOzYa book event that I attended where she spoke on a panel with Amie Kaufman about Censorship in YA. At the event at Robinsons Bookshop in Frankston, I got to meet both Nicole and Amie, bought some of their books and got them signed. So it was incredibly overwhelming to see Nicole again at the launch, as at the time I had almost finished reading her novel ‘One True Thing’. This was an experience that I don’t even have the words to describe, getting to speak to an author while you are reading their book filled with words they wrote is more than anything I could have ever imagined.

At that point, I was thinking can this get any better? Eating lots of food, surrounded by hundreds of books and I was speaking to an author that I idolise. But of course, this night kept getting more amazing by the second. After fangirling to Nicole about my love for her book, she told me about how awesome it was that so many Aussie authors came out to this event. of course, I responded with something along the lines of “OHMYGOSHREALLY?” Which Nicole then said to me, IMG_1358“Yeah, of course! Have you heard of Ellie Marney?” and she stepped back and standing behind her was Ellie. So after hyperventilating for a moment, I basically word vomited about how much I love her books, Mycroft (SWOON) and basically Ellie herself, the awesome human being that she is.

Then, then moment everyone had been waiting for! Amie and Jay came up on stage and started the book launch-ing. They introduced Illuminae and spoke about how they came up with the idea for their novel. Amie laughed and said that she had a dream that she was writing a book with Jay and couldn’t for the life of her remember what it was about, she called it an anxiety dream. However, the thing that stuck out to her about this fantasy was that the novel was written entirely in emails. A highlight of their speech for me, was when they both apologised for the fact that they had added most of their family and friends to the casualty list within their new space adventure novel.

After the speeches, Amie said that they wanted to try something new that they had reIMG_1369cently created and had only ever been done at the Sydney launch a couple of nights prior. “The ILLUMINAE Book Wave” as the name suggests, is a variation of the Mexican Wave but done with the brick of a book, Illuminae. So basically, both authors stood on the spiralling staircase, with Amie doing a grease-lightning arm action and us book nerds waving our hands in the air with our copy of our recent purchase while Jay filmed it.Soon after, Amie and Jay started signing everyone’s books! As we got closer and closer to the signing table both Sarah and I got increasingly more excited. Then after probably 30 minutes of waiting in line, which was pretty quick considering how many people were waiting in Dymock’s small cafe, we got our copies of Illuminae signed.

Both Amie and Jay were incredibly lovely and were very humbled that so many people had come to the launch of their book. I was so extremely overwhelmed and nervous that I was basically speechless and forgot what I wanted to say. Sarah spoke to Jay about one of her favourite books that had features similar to the visuals in Illuminae and Amie exclaimed excitedly that she loved my Back To The Future shirt, which pretty much made my night. The message that they wrote in the dedication couldn’t be more amazing as “Fight Like A Girl” written with positive connotations has been a saying that I have never left stray too far from my mind.

After walking out of the cafe and back into the main bookstore full of bliss, the three of us had some more food and more orange juice. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Nicole and Ellie talking in a small group of people. In the spur of the moment, I decided to buy a copy of ‘Every Breath’ and shyly asked to get it signed by Ellie. I was so starstruck and Ellie was so kind and I had a wonderful time talking to her and Nicole.
So yes, that was probably one of the best nights of my life.


IMG_1435All of the authors that I got the opportunity to speak to at the Illuminae event were so friendly and I encourage everyone to read their masterpieces!

Until next time,
Emma x

Read the synopsis on Goodreads!
ILLUMINAE
– ONE TRUE THING
 EVERY BREATH 


Check out these incredible authors! 

Amie Kaufman
– Jay Kristoff
 Nicole Hayes
 Ellie Marney 

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Goodreads Milestone Celebration.

Hi all,
We have officially made it past the halfway point of this year! Which means we are also 50% of the way through our 2015 reading challenge. It seems that this year nearly everyone set a goal or made a resolution about their reading habits, whether they are participating in Project TBR or have just a certain number of books they want to read. Whatever it is, it’s time to check in and see how well we are all travelling. Although I have not set any specific goals myself, I thought I should reflect on the reading I have done this year so far.

As you may have guessed from the title of this blog post, I have reached some personal milestones on Goodreads!
So here it is, I have officially read 200 books in my lifetime and have shrunk my TBR pile to just 80 books. FullSizeRender (10)

I know that 200 books isn’t that big a deal, some people can do that in a year or two. However, to me, reading 200 books in my 15 years of living on this earth, is an achievement. An even larger achievement was shrinking my to-be-read pile. But really, who am I kidding? By next week it will probably be back up to more than 120 books. But I can dream right?

So there you go, a small victory for me. But I’m proud, and that’s at that matters.

How are you going in this year’s reading challenges?

Whether your are eliminating your reading pile to dust, participating in a million read-alongs or just reading what you want, when you want, I wish you the best with your ambitions for this year, whatever they may be.

Until next time,
Emma x

P.S If you would like to add me as a friend on Goodreads, please do!
ADD ME HERE. 

BOOK HAUL EXTRAVAGANZA

Greetings earthlings,
Today I am extremely excited to show you my BOOK HAUL EXTRAVAGANZA. As some of you may have noticed, I don’t blog about books I have accumulated nearly as much as the average book nerd, and the reason for this is fairly plain and simple. As a fifteen year old, I just don’t have the money to buy books. However, this month has exceeded my expectations greatly on the book front as I have gathered around about 20 books, which for some may be average, but for me is massive!

Most of these books were gifts from family and friends as it was my birthday early July, a few others were lucky finds at my local thrift store and the remaining books I splurged on at a book sale I just couldn’t resist!

I will stop rambling now, onto the books!


Birthday Books:

For my birthday I received books as gifts from my parents as well as my two best friends.

From my parents I was given:IMG_7082.jpg
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
Slammed by Colleen Hoover
Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover

From my wonderful best friend Dana I received:
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

And lastly my soul sister Hannah, who moved to America last Christmas posted a massive package full of birthday goodies all the way from America to Australia. And the books within the package were:
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
The Tales of Beetle The Bard by J.K Rowling (American Edition)

Second Hand Books:

The following books are ones I found on multiple trips to my local Savers (Australian Thrift Store). As many of the Australians out in the blogging community would know is that finding good quality books is very difficult. Let me paint a picture for you, most often than not I will spend at least 20 minutes intently reading the spine of every book on the shelves at the store to only come across at least 45667743424626 5 copies of Eat Pray Love and duplicates of nearly all of Jodi Picoult’s books. But this time, I struck gold. IMG_7083.jpg

This books I dearly passed out when I found were:
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Steven Chbosky
Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) by Richelle Mead
Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) by Richelle Mead
Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) by Richelle Mead

Other books:

These couple of books I bought a couple of days ago at an independent books store while I was on holiday in Canberra as they had an amazing sale. I freaked out when I saw the prices of these books, as the paperbacks were AUD $5 and the hardback was AUD $10. Believe me, new books at these prices in Australia are a gift from the Gods.  IMG_7084.jpg

The books I bought in Canberra were:
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (IN HARDCOVER OMG)
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

And finally, the last book in my stack, I received as a gift from Annette @ The Tome Travellers as she received it from the Sydney Writers Convention (I believe) because she already owned a copy, so she gave it to me!

This final book is:
The Flywheel by Erin Gough


So there you go, that’s all folks!

What books did you buy/receive this month? Have you read any of the books in my haul?

And now, the rearranging of the shelves begin.

Until next time,
Emma x

Popular Books I Haven’t Read

Greetings people of the internet,
One of the biggest problems I come across when it comes to reading, is the massive to-be-read pile we all have stashed away, whether they live on our shelves or on Goodreads. So, today I decided that I would like to make a list of Ten Popular Book I Haven’t Read in the hopes that this will push me to read them soon. This list contains both young adult and adult books of all types of genres. Some books I will probably read in the next few months, and others may take a year or two for me to finally get to them. My list goes in order of the books I will read the soonest, to the latest.


1. It’s Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

2. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

3. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

5. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

6. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

7. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

8. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

9. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

10. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee


So there we go, that’s my list.
Now the reading begins.

What books are you a little guilty to say you haven’t read yet?

Until next time,
Emma x

THE DISNEY BOOK TAG!

Hey everyone!
It’s time for another tag! I was tagged by the wonderful Alina! Thank you very much for tagging me, I would appreciate if everyone could go visit her fantastic blog and chuck her a follow!

Let’s get into it.



1. The Little Mermaid – A character that is out of their element, a “Fish out of  Water”.

For this question, I chose Sydney Sage from the Bloodlines series, as she is a very strong minded Alchemist, thrown into a situation full of vampires and other supernatural creatures. Sydney is definitely very overwhelmed as she is very far out of her comfort zone.

2. Cinderella – A character that goes through a major transformation.

Juliette Ferrars was the character that stood out to me as one who has undergone a major transformation. Throughout the Shatter Me trilogy, she develops from a timid young girl and becomes a force to be reckoned with. Good on you, Juliette!

 

3. Snow White – A book with an eclectic cast of characters.

I chose The Heroes of Olympus series as it has very varied and well developed characters. Despite the characterisation being amazing, the setting and story itself was very different from anything I have every read, it had everything! Demigods, humans, Greek Gods and Goddesses and more. The inclusion of the Greek myths was phenomenal. Props to you Rick Riordan!

P.S. I may or may not have had to look up what eclectic meant before answering the question. So fingers crossed I answered it somewhat correctly.

4. Sleeping Beauty – A book that put you to sleep.

Okay, this has been a long time coming, but I am glad I finally get to rant (well kind of) about the most boring book I have ever read. Now before I begin, please note that I did read this book (most of it anyway) a least a year or more ago, so yes, I was, and still am quite young. But the novel Wicked by Gregory Maguire was such a struggle to even try get through. I don’t think I will ever pick it up again, despite the fact that I may understand the amazing work of literature, or whatever, when I am older.

5. The Lion King – A character that had something traumatic happen to them in their childhood.

I’m going to go with an extremely obvious one here, Harry Potter! I think all of us Potterheads can agree that most of his childhood is, if anything, traumatic. I personally admire Harry as he managed to keep fighting the darkness within him, despite the pain and suffering he endured for most of his childhood and teen years.

6. Beauty and the Beast – A beast of a book (a big book) that you were intimidated by, but found the story to be beautiful.

I was very intimidated by the novel The Host by Stephanie Meyer, but holy guacamole I am glad I picked it up. Many people say that it is very hard to get into, and I cannot disagree, however, the end product is beautiful in every way. The writing, the story, the characters, just everything. If this book was I person, I would probably marry it. Is that weird??

7. Aladdin – A character that get’s their wish granted, for better or for worse.

For this one, I would like to say Tessa Grey from The Infernal Devices, as basically, for better or for worse she did manage to gain her heart’s deepest desires. Everyone who has read Clockwork Princess knows exactly what I am talking about, and I still can’t get over how utterly perfect that ending was.

8. Mulan – A character that pretends to be something or someone they are not.

This question was an easy one to answer, as maybe of my favourite characters fulfill the criteria, however I chose Allison from The Immortal Rules. Allison basically has to pretend to be a human in her society, after being bitten and turned into a vampire. Pretty self explanatory right?

9. Toy Story – A book with characters you wish would come to life.


I would give anything, and I mean anything, (probably even my first born child, well, maybe not) for Cath and Levi from Fangirl to exist in real life. They are both hilarious characters that I feel like I could get on very well with. (Yeah, I already know that everyone who has read that book has said the same thing, but still Levi.)

10. Disney Descendants – Your favourite villain or morally ambiguous character.

Okay, last but not least. My favourite villain would have to be Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events as he was so incredibly infuriating, but somehow it was part of him charm. I hated him for the entire series, however, at the conclusion of the series I did feel some positive feelings towards him. I don’t know, maybe I was just having a weak lapse of judgement for a moment. 


So there you have it, The Disney Book Tag!

I would like to tag:

Until next time,
Emma x

Problems Of A Teenage Fangirl!

Okay, so as some of you may have noticed, I have been M.I.A the last couple of weeks on my blog. During the time I have been absent, it has come to my attention the many problems in which a teenager reader, well any reader in fact, but teenagers in particular can come across, when reading, blogging and fangirling is involved. So instead of spreading endless apologies, I’ve decided to put together a list of things I have come across that hinders my reading and blogging efforts!!

1. One dreaded word. Homework.

This first point doesn’t really need any explanation, but yes, as a fifteen year old student the pressures and expectations that come with school and homework can be very back breaking, especially when it comes around to exam time. Homework is probably the main reason that I lack the time to read and blog, but what can you do??

Ill Have You Know Spongebob : I'll Have You Know That I Finished My Homework, And I Only Cried 37 Times - by JulieAnnHilaga

2. Lack of Understanding from Peers & Family.

This may or may not be the one that hits me hardest the most, but I always get downtrodden when I get called out by my family or so-called-friends about my complete and utter nerdiness strange obsession with reading and talking endlessly about books. This social difference is very difficult to overcome for me, as nearly everyone around doesn’t understand my abnormal habits which involve hibernating for hours, or days, at a time to finish a book or series and then spreading my opinions about them all over the internet.

3. Limited or No Motivation.

This one is a killer, and I’m sure many of us who have been chewed up and swallowed by one, two or maybe a thousand fandoms can understand the lack of motivation to post on our blogs. I think I speak for all of us, when sometimes we would rather just curl up in a ball, and read the next book on ourTBR pile, or binge watch 3 seasons of our favourite TV show. Right?

Am I Riiiiiight?!

4. Reading Slumps.

These two words are probably be the scariest words to set foot in the reading community. And despite the comforting taps on the shoulders that we receive from our internet friends, the suffering in the dark black hole of reading slumps is completely unavoidable. Again, this problem I come across often, as when we are completely uninterested in reading it really effects the quality and quantity of the contents of our blogs. So all we can do is wait it out, and sometimes that can take a couple of days, weeks, or in my case, centuries.

5. Self Doubt.

The final thing that I have found that has effected how often, and what I post on the internet is the doubt I have in the quality of my content. I’m quite certain I am not the only one who has come across this, but my self doubt can very often restrict me in what I post as I truly think that most of what I create is rubbish. This soul sucking monster grabs me in many aspects of my life, but it gets to me the most when it comes to my writing and my blogging.

So there you go, here is my long winded explanation as to why I have posted very little in the last couple of weeks! I hope you all are well, and please comment if you can relate as it would make me feel 1,000,000 times better! Also, I hope you liked what I did with the gifs, I have seen them used very often in blog posts and find them hilarious, so hopefully I managed to use them correctly!

Until next time,
Emma x

Emma’s Poetry Picks: ‘Pretty’ by Katie Makkai

Hi everyone,
Today I thought I would try something different! As I have mentioned on this blog in the past, I really enjoy listening, reading and watching spoken word or slam poetry. So I’ve decided that every-now-and-then I am going to post one of my favourite poems that fills me with so much emotion, in the hopes that it can inspire all of you too!
So introducing: Emma’s Poetry Picks!

‘Pretty’ by Katie Makkai

When I was a little girl, I asked my mother,
“What will I be? Will I be pretty? Will I be pretty? Will I be pretty?” 
What comes next? Oh right, “Will I be rich?”
Which is almost pretty depending on where you shop.
And the pretty question infects from conception, passing blood and breath into cells.
The word hangs from our mothers’ hearts in a shrill fluorescent floodlight of worry.

“Will I be wanted? Worthy? Pretty?”
But puberty left me this fun house mirror dryad-
Teeth set at science fiction angles, crooked nose,
Face donkey-long and pox-marked where the hormones went finger-painting.
My poor mother.

“How could this happen?
You’ll have porcelain skin as soon as we can see a dermatologist.
You sucked your thumb. That’s why your teeth look like that!
You were hit in the face with a Frisbee when you were 6.
Otherwise your nose would have been just fine!”

“Don’t worry. We’ll get it all fixed!” She would say, grasping my face,
Twisting it this way and that, as if it were a cabbage she might buy.

But this is not about her. Not her fault.
She, too, was raised to believe the greatest asset she could bestow upon her awkward little girl was a marketable facade.
By 16, I was pickled with ointments, medications, peroxides.
Teeth corralled into steel prongs.
Laying in a hospital bed, face packed with gauze, cushioning the brand new nose the surgeon had carved.

Belly gorged on 2 pints of my blood I had swallowed under anesthesia,
And every convulsive twist of my gut like my body screaming at me from the inside out,
“What did you let them do to you!”

All the while this never-ending chorus droning on and on, like the IV needle dripping liquid beauty into my blood.
“Will I be pretty? Will I be pretty? Like my mother, unwrapping the gift wrap to reveal the bouquet of daughter her $10,000 bought her?
Pretty? Pretty.”

And now, I have not seen my own face in 10 years.
I have not seen my own face in 10 years, but this is not about me.

This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in.
About women who will prowl 30 stores in 6 malls to find the right cocktail dress,
But haven’t a clue where to find fulfillment or how wear joy, wandering through life shackled to a shopping bag,
Beneath those 2 pretty syllables.

About men wallowing on bar stools, drearily practicing attraction and everyone who will drift home tonight,
Crest-fallen because not enough strangers found you suitably fuckable.

This, this is about my own some-day daughter.
When you approach me, already stung-stayed with insecurity, begging,
“Mom, will I be pretty? Will I be pretty?”
I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer,
“No! The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be, and no child of mine will be contained in five letters!”

“You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing!
But you, will never be merely ‘pretty’.”


This poem is performed with so much emotion, and I truly leaves me speechless every time I watch it, and believe me I watch it at least once nearly everyday and I still have tears in my eyes once it is over. This poem is perfection, and I hope you can take something away from Katie Makkai’s masterpiece.

Watch the performance: → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6wJl37N9C0

Let me know what you think!

Until next time,
Emma x

The Ultimate Book Tag!

I was tagged by the wonderful Becca and Books to do The Ultimate Book Tag! Thank you so much Becca! Let’s get into it.

1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

I used to as a child, but I am extremely happy to say that I have outgrown this, as I wouldn’t nearly get as much reading done if I wasn’t able to read during car trips!

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

I really enjoyed Lemony Snicket’s writing, in A Series of Unfortunate Events, as despite being filled with childish fun, it was also filled with lots of great metaphors. I loved how on the blurb of his books, instead of convincing you to read his novel, he was trying to talk you out of it. And lastly, my favourite part was, as the author, he wrote himself into the story as a character using the pen name Lemony Snicket.

3. Harry Potter Series or the Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

As much as I enjoyed reading Twilight, I would have to say Harry Potter.
– The characters are fantastic role models!
– The complexity to the storyline, which is so easily understood was highly detailed and very well thought-out. 
– Harry Potter was never about the romance or the love triangle, it is about the action and courage of the characters.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is in it (besides books)?

I rarely carry a book bag, as I don’t often go anywhere where I will have the opportunity to read in public. Usually if I can, I just carry the single book that I’m reading at one time.

5. Do you smell your books?

Of course. And I’m not ashamed. I often get weird looks from people at bookstores, as well as people that actually know me think I’m crazy too, but oh well.

6. Books with or without little illustrations.

I don’t mind either way, but I do enjoy them without, as I can use my imagination more to envision the story.

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?

Probably Twilight, as an 11 year old, I thought Twilight absolutely the best thing ever, as I hadn’t really read much else except Harry Potter. However, now that I have read many other series, I’ve come to realise that Twilight really wasn’t written that well. 

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

The only thing I can think of that is remotely funny, is when I was around 7 or 8, and I had just become very ambitious with my reading, and I begged my Mum to go to the local library. So when we got there, I marched straight over to the ‘Big Kid Books’ and picked out some short chapter books. The ones I chose were part of the My Story series, and were written a bit too old for me at the time. However, I checked out about 4 of these books, and had them in my library bag and started one as soon as I got home. But when I started reading, I just couldn’t get into the story as it was set in English in the 1800s. I kept trying to read it, but I couldn’t imagine the story as I didn’t understand it. I was so disappointed that I banished the books to my library bag, and didn’t take them out again until we had to return them.
That sounded so much more exciting in my head.

9. What is the tinniest book on your shelf?

The tinniest book on my shelf is the novel The Giver by Lois Lowry. This book is one of my favourites as it is really short, but the story within it is so rich and full of creativity, it doesn’t lack any important aspects despite its size.

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

The thickest book on my shelf is my bind up of all the novels in The Chronicles of Narnia. This book is so massive, that I struggled to read it as it was so heavy to hold.

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

I do enjoy writing, but I don’t write a lot of narrative because I often am disappointed with what I create, however, if I get over this aversion to my own writing, I would love to be an author.

12. When did you get into reading?

I have always been into reading, so I would say, sometime in Primary School. Around the age of 7 or 8.

13. What is your favourite classic book?

I have read very little classics at this point in time, I would like to read some in the future and I own quite a few of the childrens’ classics but I have yet to read them, as I’m a bit nervous that I won’t be able to get into the writing style.

14. In school what was your best subject? Language Arts/English?

Currently in school, my best subject is in fact English and I take two classes, Standard English and Enrichment English. 

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated, what would you do?

I would gratefully accept the present, but later on I would likely give it to someone else who would enjoy reading it or donate it to a library.

16. What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while blogging?

I have a bad habit of repeating myself, but also having long gaps of time in between my posts as I just procrastinate writing and posting them. Oops. 

17. What is your favorite word?

My favourite word is heebie-jeebies at the moment. It’s so funny to say!

18. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

I’d like to think I’m only a nerd, but if I’m being honest with myself, I’m all of the above, there is no denying it.

19. Vampires or Fairies? Why?

Vampires because immortality is so much better than being like 3 inches tall. I’m short enough as it is, thank you very much.

20. Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?

SHAPESHIFTERS, because of the marauders in Harry Potter!

21. Spirits or Werewolves? Why?

Werewolves, because spirits give me the heebie-jeebies.

22. Zombies or Vampires? Why?

Probably Vampires, because I would rather them suck my blood than eat my brains.

23. Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?

WHY NOT BOTH??

24. And FINALLY: Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Action packed novels, because Bad-Butt characters are so much more fun that character’s whose number 1 priority is love.


Jeez, that felt like it took 45 years to do! Just kidding!!

I tag:

Until next time,
Emma! x

Easter Weekend Reading ☺

Over the weekend of Easter, I managed to overcome my reading slump (YAY FINALLY) and I ended up finishing a bunch of books, so I thought I would share an overview of my thoughts on these four young adult novels!

1. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Rating: ★★★★☆ 4 out of 5 stars

Blurb:
The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them.  

This was a re-read for me, and I was really surprised with my change of view on it. The first time I attempted to read The Infernal Devices trilogy, I finished the first book Clockwork Angel, but only got partway through the second novel Clockwork Prince. I believe I put the second book down, if I remember correctly, was because House of Hades by Rick Riordan had just come out, and I couldn’t wait to read it. I really enjoyed this novel the second time round, more so than the first. I honestly believe it was more enjoyable for me as a re-read, because I knew what all the major plot twists were, so I could focus my reading on understanding the world itself, instead of trying to figure out the finer details. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend it anyone who enjoys a mix of fantasy and reality, even if you haven’t read The Mortal Instruments.

2. Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Rating: ★★★★☆ 4 out of 5 stars

Blurb:
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

I absolutely loved this prequel story for The Lunar Chronicles series written in Queen Levana’s perspective as it really highlights why she is the character she is. I really sympathised with her, because of her upbringing and her family, but I do still believe she is the villain in this series. This insight to her story was amazing, and it really pieced together the missing parts of the stories portrayed within the other novels. It helped me understand her motives, despite how crazy they once seemed. The writing is incredible and I cannot fault it in any way, Marissa Meyer’s characterisation is perfect, and each of her unique characters are very different, but realistic people. I am highly anticipating the release of Winter, and the only thing I would change about Fairest, is I would MAKE IT LONGER!

3. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Rating: ★★★★☆ 4 out of 5 stars

Blurb:
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

When this book came out, there was a massive hype surrounding it, however, I hadn’t read it until now. I didn’t want to go into this book with really high expectations because usually I come out of it disappointed, but not this book! I really enjoyed this story, and I really connected with Lara Jean, as she was portrayed as a really down-to-earth, realistic character. The love interests were perfect, and I still don’t know who I am really rooting for. I think what really made this story was the characters, and I just really understood the main protagonist on many levels. I’m really glad I waited to read this, as the sequel P.S I l Love You comes out next month, I believe. This is definitely a great contemporary that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside! I’m looking forward to reading more of Jenny Hans’ work.

4. The List by Siobian Vivian
Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3 out of 5 stars

Blurb:
An intense look at the rules of high school attraction — and the price that’s paid for them.
It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn’t matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.
This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, “pretty” and “ugly.” And it’s also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two. 

I picked this book up looking for a light and easy read, boy was I wrong. The message that runs through this novel is so very deep and important, and it was such a good surprise. I really enjoyed the concept of the novel, as well as the story line, however, it is written from eight different point of views, so it was fairly disorientating at times to figure out who was narrating at times. I really connected with about three or four of the female characters, but I just wasn’t feeling it from the others. I liked a lot of the decision made by the author in terms of the plot, however I didn’t really like the ending. I completely understood it, in relation to the story, but I really wanted to know what happened to the other characters, as the story just sort of ended without a resolution of some kind. Overall, it was a good read, and I recommend it highly to any of us female readers out there, as the message of the novel really hit me.

Happy Easter everyone!

Until next time,
Emma x