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“My Own Mr. Darcy” by Karey White

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Books, Reviews | 4 comments

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“My Own Mr. Darcy”

by Karey White
Published July 2013 by Createspace
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After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough. Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

I’ve said on multiple occasions that I’m not a big fan of Pride & Prejudice/Austen related books, but after reading and enjoying “Dear Mr. Knightley” I’ve been giving more books a try. I had read a couple of positive reviews on this one, and when I saw a review copy available, I decided to give it a go.

You don’t have to really be a P&P snob like me to enjoy this book. It’s more based on the 2005 movie version with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen and how dreamy he is in that movie. You can easily still enjoy this book with the basic knowledge of “Pride & Prejudice” (But I must urge you to at least watch the movie!).

Lizzie’s obsession with only dating MacFadyen-esque Darcys, in both looks and personality, is a bit over the top. It’s probably my least favourite part of the book; her stubbornness with finding Darcy in Matt. But once you over look that, this book is a delightful little heart-warming book to cuddle up with.

I don’t think it was too obvious at first where the book was going to go. It’s always hard to tell in P&P adaptions if they’re going to make the “Darcy” character a true!Darcy or not!Darcy. I was quite pleased with the direction this one took.

Two thumbs up if you’re looking for a fun, fluffy romance book.

Shannon Hale’s “Austenland” is still my fav ;)

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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“The Vault of Dreamers” by Caragh M. O’Brien

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Books, Reviews | 3 comments

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“The Vault of Dreamers”

By Caragh M. O’Brien
Published September 2014 by Roaring Brook Press
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The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success: every moment of the students’ lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students’ schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What’s worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

I wanted to like this more than I did. I loved the concept of this book; a famous art school where the kids are all on camera 12 hours a day where people can watch a live feed and the more viewers they have, the higher their rank. But I feel that the “competition” of it was quickly lost. She makes it past the first round and that’s it. I kinda wanted another round of cuts or something to liven up the idea of the students competing and scheming for viewers.

It felt like this book started in one direction, and then went another. And I’m still a little confused by some of it. The synopsis makes it seam like this book is going to be filled with mind-turning dream sequences. Spoiler: there’s not.

I think that my biggest disappointment was what the big secret was. Or perhaps just how little of an impact it had on the book. It was so slowly revealed that there was really no shocking moments, or edge of your seat excitement.

The characters felt fairly lacking. I didn’t really have a love for Rosie, the main character, although she did have an interesting back story. I also didn’t particularly care for the love interest. It kind of just appeared and didn’t feel like it meant anything. The one character/relationship that really intrigued me was Burnham, but he was sadly underused. I think there is really great potential for his character in the next book based on how the first one ended. Which leads to…

I did really like the ending. I love it when books aren’t all neatly wrapped up, or someone becomes not dead. This book left so many good possibilities for the second book. It could perhaps be more like I expected this one to be.

Despite all the negative comments I’m throwing out there, this was still a good read. I wasn’t dragging my heals while reading, I was eager to keep going in the hopes of being wowed. I think I just over hyped this one in my mind a little too much, leaving me disappointed. That being said I will gladly pick up the sequel when it comes out.

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Guest Post: Kristen from See You In A Porridge

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Books, Guest Posts | 20 comments

Hello! I don’t want to brag, but when this post goes live I’ll be climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. No big deal. But I’m really excited to share this guest post from Kristen today. I was so excited when she found my blog a few months ago and then I discovered hers. Her blog is so much fun and we have so many things in common. Enjoy her guest post and be sure to check out her blog See You In A Porridge!!
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Hi everyone! My name is Kristen and I blog about a little bit of everything over at See You In A Porridge. From books or travel to attempting to be a fashion blogger or talking about my one true love, Pride & Prejudice, you can expect it all over there – and I’d love to have you! But first, let me say thank you to the wonderful Samantha for having me over at her place today while she is off gallivanting across the world. Samantha and I have tons in common – books, cats and of course, Australia. See, I grew up in Australia as well, except I stayed about 10 years longer than Samantha and ended up staying in the good ol USA when I met this cute guy. I hope she’s having a brilliant time, and having all the milkshakes and meat pies for me.

Because Samantha is in our beautiful country, it just made sense for me to talk about Australia. And since we both love books….. you guessed it…. Today I wanted to share my favourite Aussie authors & books. I hope you will find a new favourite!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. He’s an Aussie author but the book is set in Nazi Germany. If you haven’t read this book, I give you permission to stop reading this post and go and buy the book NOW. It is one of my all-time faves and it is beyond amazing. Zusak has other books that I haven’t read yet, I Am The Messenger looks interesting.

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Graeme Simsion is a ‘New Zealand born Australian Author’ according to Wikipedia, which as any good Aussie knows means he is a kiwi, not one of us. But since The Rosie Project is set in Australia, I’ll forgive. The book is actually very good and the sequel The Rosie Effect is coming out at the end of this year, and I am excited to read it.

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You have probably heard of Australian Liane Moriarty and her bestseller The Husband’s Secret, which is set in Australia. It was a different read for me, and I did enjoy it but it was quite strange. She has other books that are on my list (you know, the one that never ends) including What Alice Forgot and Big Little Lies.

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M.L. Stedman is the author of The Light Between Oceans, a book I really did enjoy. It’s a bit of a sad read – makes you think, tugs at your heartstrings… but a good read.

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If you have kids, might I recommend Possum Magic? It is my favourite book from when I was a kid, and I am zero ashamed to admit I bought it recently so I could have a piece of home with me. It is such a cute book. Mem Fox has a ton of children’s books and they are all good, but Possum Magic is definitely the best.

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Kate Morton is another Australian author you might have heard of – unfortunately I haven’t read any of her books – YET! – but I have heard great things. The Distant Hours, The Forgotten Garden, The House at Riverton and The Secret Keeper are all on my list. Funnily enough, the below cover for The Forgotten Garden has always been one of those books for me – you know, the ones you see in every book store and you are always drawn to it but you never buy it? Well I finally got it and can’t wait to read it.

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Lastly, we have John Marsden. I read the first few books in the Tomorrow Series when I was in high school which was quite a long time ago – I remember them being very good and I want to re-read them one day.
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Anyway – there are tons more Australian authors and books set in Australia than I could possibly go over – these are just the ones I have read or want to read. Have you read any of these books?

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Thanks again Kristen!! The Tomorrow Series is one of my all time favs ;) Again, be sure to check out her blog.

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October in Instagram

Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Photo Friday, Photography | 0 comments

October was a crazy but super fun month. As much as I hate the cold (and I really hate the cold), the end of the year is so fun with all the holidays. I may have over done things a little this month with two concerts and a party a week before we leave to go to the other side of the world. But totally worth it in the end. Life is about living, right?

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Cress!!! Loved this book!
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My busy but exciting month schedule
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My cats are always “helping”
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Googly eyes are hilarious
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It’s nice to be appreciated sometimes
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Cause cuteness, why else?
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My Saturday afternoon DIY session
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My sweetie Mary turned 21
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Was very excited to read this one
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I discovered bookoutlet.com
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Saw Disney on Ice with Mum and Katherine
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She has the coolest auntie ever
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I saw Bastille for the 3rd time
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We were big damn heroes at our party
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Cause I felt this month was lacking cats…
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Zack actually went with me to a concert
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Where we saw American Authors!
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Packing for our vacation!!

What exciting things did you get up to in October?

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10 Books I Would Re-Read

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Books, Lists | 9 comments

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I’m not a big re-reader cause there are so many books in the world and not enough time to read them all. That being said, there are a few books that I had read several times and would read again. There are also a few books that I loved enough to read again one day, most are series that I want to re-read so you’ve probably seen all of these on lists already on my blog.

This is the part where I realize I haven’t really given very many books a 5 star rating. Perhaps I’m a harsh reviewer?

Tomorrow150 PrideandPrejudice150 GooseGirl150
Cinder150 Edenbrooke150 Birthmarked150
HungerGames150 Austenland150 OldMansWar150
Obernewtyn150

“Tomorrow When the War Began” – John Marsden
“Pride & Prejudice” – Jane Austen
“The Goose Girl” – Shannon Hale
“Cinder” – Marissa Meyer
“Edenbrooke” – Julianne Donaldson
“Birthmarked” – Caragh M. O’Brien
“The Hunger Games” – Suzanne Collins
“Austenland” – Shannon Hale
“Old Man’s War” – John Scalzi
“Obernewtyn” – Isobelle Carmody

Are then any books you would re-read over and over again, or an old one you want to re-read?

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