5 BOOKS IVE CHANGED MY MIND ON!

HEY GUYS,

SO TODAY’S POST IS A POST I KINDA THOUGH OF WHILE I WAS WATCHING MAKEUP VIDEOS ON ‘PRODUCTS IVE CHANGED MY MIND ON’ AND I THOUGHT IT WORKED PERFECTLY FOR BOOKS AS WELL SO I DECIDED TODAY TO EXPLAIN HOW I HAVE CHANGED MY MIND ON SOME BOOKS AFTER SOME TIME POST READING – SOME FOR THE BETTER SOME FOR THE WORST

BOOK #1 – CARAVAL BY STEPHANIE GARBER:
This book when I first read it I liked it for the most part, but then as it came out and then my friends began to read it and they began to find some problems with it, my thoughts and feelings were changed and instead of the original 4 star rating I gave it, I would now give it about a 2 star rating. I didn’t really like the characters and the more I ranted about them with people the more I hated them and there were other aspects that i hated but I shall save your time reading my ranting and end it here.

BOOK #2 – A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES:
The first time I read this book, I did adore it but I also wasn’t in love with it and after not liking Throne of Glass, I just kind of shoved it into that category and you’ll never believe that I was never going to continue the series. However I read it with my book club that I had at the time and when it came the time to chat about the book, I soon realised that it really wasn’t like Throne of Glass after all and I really fell in love with the world and from that day on I couldn’t get Rhysand out of my head and wanted to learn more about the different courts.

BOOK #3 – THE FAULT IN OUR STARS:
This book at the time was something that everyone was reading back when it first came out and in that time I really did love it and had read nothing alike it and it was one of the first Young Adult books that I had read. But as the time passed and the movie came around and I decided to re read it beforehand and in that time I found that I just didn’t like it as much as I did that first time and I found that in that time I had read so much more and had so much more that it just wasn’t up there as a favourite this time around.

BOOK #4 – TO ALL THE BOYS IVE LOVED BEFORE:
At first, I didn’t LOVE this book but I also didn’t HATE it, I think I gave it a 3 star rating originally. After reading and when I was writing a review I had so much to talk about and had so many points that I loved about it and I also found that I really loved the culture of the book and I soon found myself bumping up my review to a 4.5 rating in the end because it really didn’t deserve my 3 star rating.

BOOK #5 – DIVERGENT:
This book series was ruined for me in so many many ways, two of the main reasons being one: the movies – I reallyyyy did not like Shailene as Tris and that really put me off (I could rant about the movies in a huge blog post but I’ll save your time today). reason two being: Allegiant the final book of the series just being complete utter meh and it just ruined the semi good build up from the first two books. Because of these two reasons, I now hate this book series with a passion and I can not watch past the first movie.

AND THATS A WRAP!

HOPEFULLY YOU ENJOYED THIS POST! COMMENT BELOW A BOOK YOU HAVE CHANGED YOUR MIND ON!!

ALWAYS AND FOREVER: SHOULD HAVE BEEN A DUOLOGY

DISCLAIMER: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR FOREVER AND ALWAYS LARA JEAN, THESE OPINIONS ARE MY OWN AND IF YOU STILL LIKED THIS BOOK THEN I’M HAPPY FOR YOU, BUT UNFORTUNATELY I DID NOT AND THESE ARE JUST MY OWN THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS I JUST HAVE TO LET THEM OUT SORRY

OKAY SO,

I just finished Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han yesterday and have some very strong feelings about this book, I will just say before I get into my thoughts that I do love book one and two and still do prior to reading book three, so I’m not saying I hate the whole series, just had some problems with book three.

Okay so to begin, I always found Lara Jean to be very indecisive in the first two books but it just hit another level of it in this book. Yes I know we are all a little lost after high school, but I found a major case of Lara Jean making her decisions around Peter ALL THE TIME. Like she knew exactly what she wanted to do in collage and the place she went to I feel was all dependant on where Peter would go which really really annoyed me because she was major holding herself back just because she didn’t want to be apart from Peter.

Another problem found was that the book was heaps shorter than I thought it would be, it was very noticeably shorter than the first two which kinda scared me and after reading I did find that I wanted a few more details on more things such as more of Lara Jean’s father’s wedding, I feel as though Lara Jean spent most of this book planning out this wedding only for us to get a page and bit worth of the whole thing. I also wanted to see more of graduation because it also felt a little rushed and I feel like it was more touched on than it was explained in detail and especially since it was meant to be this big moment for Peter because his father didn’t turn up, I feel as though it was again just brushed upon and then the story moved on.

I also felt that we could have got a better ending for John, since the whole second book was about Lara Jean choosing between him and Peter, he didn’t even really make an entrance into the book until the 200 page mark and even when he was it wasn’t as big of a reunion as I imagined, I kind of felt that his story had so much more to it and I personally would liked to have heard more about how he was doing and I expected Lara Jean to want to know more but again I felt as though she was in her Peter bubble and every other guy to her doesn’t really matter – even if they are just friends. And if Stormy had not passed, would John have even come back into the story?

And the last thing I didn’t like was that the ending of the book felt exactly the same as book two which made me think that book three really wasn’t needed? At least for me it wasn’t, I was content with the ending of P.S I Still Love You and kinda wished that I just left it at that. As they all say, once the characters of a book or tv show get to the collage stage they all seem to get that little bit boring and I guess thats just what this was for me?

Anyway, to keep this not all negative I will mention that I did like the extra Peter and Lara Jean scenes that we did get in this book and I guess we really got to see them develop from the new relationship they started in book two to now a year later. I also liked seeing Peter and Kitty scenes because they never fail to make me smile like come on? And of course who can say no to another pretty cover to add to their shelves ESPECIALLY the gorgeous hardback edition with the pretty purple underneath?

ANYWAYYYY HOPE I DIDN’T ANGER YALL TOO MUCH, I GAVE THIS BOOK 3 STARS, COMMENT DOWN BELOW YOUR THOUGHTS IF YOU HAVE READ THIS BOOK OR EVEN THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IM INTERESTED IN YOUR THOUGHTS!!

10 SEQUELS/NEW BOOKS I NEED TO READ ASAP!

Today’s post is about books that I really want to get my hands on now, most of these are either sequels to some of my favourite books, new books by some of my fave authors, or just books that sound interesting to me that I really want to read! Note: this list is in no order 

1 – When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
This book looks so cute and so up my alley and its also diverse which makes it double the more cool, can’t wait to get my hands on this one and devour it in one sitting.

SYNOPSIS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28458598-when-dimple-met-rishi?ac=1&from_search=true

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2 – The Build-Up Season by Megan Jacobson
I don’t exactly know the exact plot of what this is about, other than the fact that is by one of my friends Megan whose debut novel Yellow I absolutely adored! I can’t wait to dive into more of Meg’s writing, it is also #LoveOzYA

SYNOPSIS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34854006-the-build-up-season

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3 – Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
I loved the first book Nevernight (Nevernight has been called out for problematic rep, if this is something you would like to look into there are many own voices reviews found on goodreads) by Jay and can’t wait to get into the next book and learn more about the world and to see where Mia goes next. This is also another #LoveOzYA book.

SYNOPSIS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23264671-godsgrave?ac=1&from_search=true

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4 – The Semi Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland
This book again I don’t know too much about but its by my friend Krystal and it has a cat on the cover therefore I am sold on whatever idea that Krystal has come up with. This is also another #LoveOzYA title.

SYNOPSIS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32969999-a-semi-definitive-list-of-worst-nightmares?ac=1&from_search=true

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5 – Warcross by Marie Lu
This book is by Marie Lu so of course this has to be on my list, I’m not one for sci fi but I’m willing to give it a go because it does sound rather kick ass and will have diverse aspects which is always a mega plus.

SYNOPSIS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29385546-warcross?ac=1&from_search=true

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6 – Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
This book is about Wonder Woman and is written by the queen of lush bath bombs herself, so therefore it is an automatic MUST READ when I get it because no one can pass up a Leigh Bardugo book about a kick ass female superhero??

SYNOPSIS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29749085-wonder-woman

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7 – They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
I adore anything by Adam, lets be real this one will have me sobbing at the end of it but it will all be worth it in the end because I can’t help but love to hurt myself with Adam Silvera books.

SYNOPSIS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33385229-they-both-die-at-the-end

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8 – Telophy by Wanda Wiltshire
I am super keen to finally be able to read book 4 in this series, it just keeps on getting better each book and I’m excited to keep on going with the series. It is also another #LoveOzYA release too!

SYNOPSIS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30299503-telophy?ac=1&from_search=true

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9 – Renegades by Marissa Meyer
This one seems like a rather cool plot and I have a hit or miss attitude with Meyer’s books but this one seems like a rather intriguing one and I’m very excited to give it a go.

SYNOPSIS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28421168-renegades

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10 – The Dream Walker by Victoria Carless
This book sounds SO COOL, and its set in Queensland Australia which means I will be able to relate to it so much more, plus Danielle Binks read and loved so what more could you ask for than a trustworthy friend loving it??? Also #LoveOzYA too!!

SYNOPSIS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34610673-the-dream-walker

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THATS A WRAP! LET ME KNOW WHAT BOOKS YOU ARE ANTICIPATING LATER THIS YEAR IN THE COMMENTS!

CHARACTER OR WORLD LEAD PLOTS? -DISCUSSION

Hey Guys!

So decided to bring up this topic because I was talking to some friends about it and it really occurred to me that a lot of books either have a strong character plot where the characters are the main plot in the story and then there is obviously the world plots where the the building of the world and the setting of the book is the main plot of the story.

For character plots, I feel as though this is more of a contemporary genre thing because in contemporary the characters life is the centre of the story because there isn’t really a whole new fictional world that needs to be built, it’s mainly just about the characters life and everything that happens in the book really revolves around the characters actions and doings. This is personally one of my favourite types of plots to read about because I really prefer to read about characters and real life occurrences (I do have my weeks where I am crazy for world built plots too don’t worry).

World Built plots I always find have so much build up and are mainly found in the genres of Fantasy, Sci Fi, Dystopian etc, as they aren’t really set in just your standard earth/typical every day setting. I always find these types of books harder to get into when the world is being built up and you are also a little confused about the world sometimes but once the build up is over I always find them to be very very good from then onwards. I also find that sometimes (please note the sometimes) world built plots lack in the character explanation department and it can be hard sometimes to really connect with characters of the books because you know so much about the characters world but then you don’t really get that big understanding of the characters traits and lifestyle.

Overall, I find that a lot of books are either driven by the world building or the characters of the stories and sometimes this leads to us all interpreting the story differently because sometimes when a book has a bit of both some people take note to the world and some just take not to the characters. I also find that as a person that reads a lot of character driven contemporary books, I sometimes go into fantasy and get disappointed by the lack of character plot but then have to remind myself that it isn’t driven by the characters life for a while because I need to understand their world before I can focus on the character themselves and get to know them more.

Anyway! These are just some thoughts I had, let me know down in the comments if this is something you find as well and let me know if you prefer one of the two below!!

WINDFALL REVIEW WITH WRITTEN WORD WORLDS

 

Hey Guys! So, today’s post is a special one because it is a team book review of both mine and my friend Sarah from WrittenWordWorlds and we today bring you our very long and very detailed review of Windfall by Jennifer E Smith, read below for our thoughts and please follow Sarah cause she’s an absolute gem and a sweetheart (also note the bold text is Sarah, and the normal one is me)

S: Let’s firstly talk about luck! We’ve read up to part 2 already, and we can see that luck plays a big part in regards to the lottery ticket. Personally, I don’t believe in a luck that ‘controls’ us or acts like fate – I think that we make our own luck through the decisions that we make and the way we choose to live. Do you believe in luck?

M: I think that there isn’t such a thing as luck personally, because we can usually choose our own path in our decisions and we can usually change and pick most of the things we choose and at the end of the day they affect the ‘luck’ we have I guess.

S: I completely agree! And I loved the whole idea with the lottery ticket. I feel like it’s something a lot of us fantasise about – winning millions of dollars and never having to work again – but surprisingly I’ve never read about it happening in a YA book before! If you were to win a million dollars, what would you do with it?

M: This is a tricky one! Obviously half of me would want to donate a fair bit to charity just because I feel like I could for one not even spend that much in the first place on myself, I would probably also probably buy something for my mum and dad cause just to be cheesy and let’s be real a lot of books would probably be bought, what about you, what would you do with a million dollars?

S: I love all your ideas! It’s so sweet that you’d buy something for your parents. I’d definitely want to donate some to charity, possibly animal shelters or to support mental health organisations. And then I’d like to buy a place to live in – not too fancy, but comfortable. And then, of course, I’d need some books for my new house! Oh, and a personal library. You know, all the essentials! So how are you finding Windfall overall at the moment? I know we’ve only read about 70 pages, but do you feel connected to the characters so far?

M: I love all your ideas too! I really do like it so far, I really like Alice as a main character and really feel for her as a character and I also particularly like Leo as a character and also the fact that he is LGBTQIAP+ but I so far just love the whole plot centring around luck and the lottery and can’t wait to see where it goes! How are you finding it? Do you like where the story has started off and the characters so far?

S: Is it strange that I always seem to take a while to feel connected with the characters and really get to know them? For me, the plot is the main thing I focus on in the beginning. I want to really understand what’s happening, where the story is set and where it’s going. Up until the half-way mark, the characters are always reasonably forgettable to me! But Alice is cool enough so far. And because of that, I didn’t even know Leo is a part of the LGBTQIAP+ community! I’m excited to read more about him now.

M: That’s such a cool concept to go into books with wow, to me I always have to look at the characters at least a little first to see if I’m going to like them because if I don’t I tend to not be as invested in the story and them as much.

S: No way! It sounds like we’re complete opposites! So where do you think the story will go now? I know that, of course, nothing’s going to be a walk in the park. All the talk we’ve had so far of them fearing losing the ticket is already stressing me out! If they lose the ticket, I swear to god…

M: I feel like things are about to change between Teddy and the others pretty dramatically once he has all that money especially for Alice who is still trying to capture his attention and I feel like a lot of twists and turns and hard times are to come!

S: I think so too! I really like the prospect of Alice’s and Teddy’s relationship changing, and I hope things work out between them. And I mean, they say that money can’t buy you happiness, but maybe it could buy them love?

M: I can only hope! I really hope that Teddy will see that Alice is there and always has been and doesn’t fall for all of the ‘fake’ relationships that I’m sure will come with his newfound fortune.

S: I hope so too. I guess we’ll just have to keep reading! Let’s read up to Chapter 22, which is roughly halfway through the novel, and chat again! Sound good?

M: Sounds awesome!

 

S: Hello again, Mollie! For those of you reading this, we chatted last night about what we read up to Part Two, and now we’ll be discussing everything that’s happened up to Part Four! Spoiler-free, of course. No naming-and-shaming. Let’s start by talking a little about our emotions in regards to what we’ve just read. I’m feeling a bit angry, but also frustrated because of the way that Teddy’s been acting in regards to him becoming a multi-millionaire overnight. How are you feeling about that?

M: I think the main emotion that I’m feeling would have to be frustration for how Teddy is acting, as well as sympathetic for Alice as a few different and new things were revealed about Alice in the parts we read today about her past that really helps us to understand more about her actions and just her as a character!

S: I completely agree! I think the main thing I was surprised to find was that there’s a bit of a love triangle going on. If you know me at all, you’ll know that 9 times out of 10, I hate love triangles! The obvious excuses are, of course, with Will and Jem in The Infernal Devices and the classic Edward and Jacob. What are your thoughts on the love triangle we’re seeing forming?

M: To me, the love triangle seems to be a little one sided so far and I’m not sure how long the other side will last and I’m still not 100% how I feel about that but the main thing that I feel about it is that I like that it isn’t sort of the main aspect like it doesn’t take away from the story as of yet at least and as long as our main character is happy in the end with the one she chooses I guess that is the main thing! What about you Sarah?

S: Very true! I always hate it when the love triangle seems to be the main focus of a narrative. I do hope she’ll end up with Teddy, but at the moment, I’m feeling quite unsure about him. Some of his recent actions have been really questionable and I’m not liking the way he’s handling some situations. Do you think his change in behaviour and attitudes were warranted from him winning the lottery?

M: I think a lot of his actions made in the current parts we recently read were for sure from his lottery win, I think that after not having so much money and then all of a sudden having so much that he is kind of just trying to get used to the fact that this is his life and to be a winner at such a young age too probably makes it a lot more harder to act normal about it too, I think he has made a lot of bad decisions but at the end of the day I really hope that he does some massive redeeming to all those that he has done wrong too. How do you feel about it?

S: I really hope he redeems himself to. I mean, it’s scary, right? He’s the same age as us and he’s making such massive decisions and using his position in the media in a way that could trail him for the rest of his life. I’d like to hope that I’d act more responsibly in his situation, but you can’t really know how you’d act unless you were in his shoes. It would be hard not to let that fame and attention get to you, wouldn’t it? *thinking* Hmm ask me a good question! I can’t think right now *cries*

M: It would be hard to not let the fame get to your head I guess! How are you feeling about the trio’s friendship in the last 2 parts that we have read? Do you think it is a healthy relationship at the moment or are you also beginning to see the cracks begin.

S: Their friendship dynamics have definitely shifted – understandably, too. I feel like they have some tough times ahead and the only way they’re going to get through them and remain friends is by communicating with each other truthfully, and I feel like that’s not happening enough at this point. If you could say one thing to Alice, Leo, and Teddy, right now, what would you say?

M: To Alice, I would probably assure her that change is good and she can’t keep going on forever the same and I think she would find that if she just let some more people in she would find herself a lot happier. To Leo, I would probably remind him that there are ups and downs in life but not to worry about being ‘cursed’ or ‘the universe’ making up what happens because in the end what happens is mostly our own choices and decisions in the end. And to dear Teddy, probably just let him know a lot of things but mostly to just open his eyes to the amazing friends he has by his side and that he is loved and doesn’t need to feel like he doesn’t belong. What about you?

S: I love your answers. I think that instead of telling them each one thing, I’d grab Alice and Teddy and shove them together, refusing to let them out of the room until they talk to one another and stop hiding how they’re really feeling. It just frustrates me so much! So I guess what I’d say is: “You’re not leaving this bunker until you communicate with one another. I will be right here, eating pizza, and you can’t have any until you’ve worked through your differences and become a cute couple like I want you to be.” Haha!

M: Haha! Couldn’t agree more! How do you feel about the upcoming battles that are probably going to come up in the next few chapters? Do you feel as though it’s going to bring Teddy and Alice closer or further apart?

S: As much as I don’t want to admit it, I think that Teddy and Alice have a hard time ahead of them both, especially in regards to their relationship. I feel as though, in order to make their friendship work and for it to transform into something more, they have to work through the hard stuff first. And it’s undeniable that these kind of situations make for unputdownable reads! Do you like reading books with this kind of tension? Do you get as frustrated as I do?

M: I love them but I also get so super frustrated that I can’t stop reading if that even makes any sense haha!

S: I feel exactly the same! Last question for tonight – At the moment, what other books would you recommend for people who are enjoying Windfall like we are? Have you read any of Jennifer’s other novels?

M: I don’t think I’ve read anything like it in the sense of the lottery plot, but I have read This Is What Happy Looks Like and I really enjoyed it and I think that this book definitely has a lot more meaning and values to it than that book, at the moment I would probably say people would probably like Jenny Han’s books if they liked Windfall, what about you? Have you read anything like Windfall before?

S: I’ve actually had three of Jennifer’s novels sitting on my shelves for the past three years! I’m terrible! But because I’m enjoying Windfall so much, I’m definitely thinking I’ll have to get onto her other novels ASAP. While I haven’t read anything similar in regards to the lottery element, her writing style does remind me of Morgan Matson. I adore her books, and Second Chance Summer particularly comes to mind when thinking of books for fans of Windfall!

M: Good answer! I love Morgan Matson too! Also totally recommend getting around to reading those other Jennifer books afterwards!

S: Will do! It was great to chat tonight. Let’s talk again when we get to Part Five! I’m going to go and binge-read this now – it’s brilliant!

M: Hello again Sarah! Now that we have both read up to part five, how are you feeling about the direction that the plot is going? Can you see a happy ending for anyone coming?

S: Hey Mollie! The last part we read was definitely intense – I’m not sure if we have enough pages left to resolve anything! What happened has left things in quite a mess and while it did provide for the opportunity to see some things start to look better, for everything that looked like it was going up, there were three things that could potentially end in a wreckage! I just hope my OTPs get together by the end. That’s all I want at this point! What about you? Is there one thing in particular you’re scared of happening (without spoilers, of course!)?

M: I agree! This last part we read was stressing me out ah! I feel like a lot of paths were opened and also a few endings to paths were closed and I’m honestly just hoping that my OTP ends up together and everyone is essentially happy in the end! I’m just scared that some characters aren’t going to get the happy ending they deserve honestly is my biggest thing I’m scared of!

S: That’s a reasonable fear to have at this point in time! I think the most dramatic thing to happen in the last part we just read was the emergence of a parental figure in the story. While the parents of our protagonists have been relatively absent for the entirety of the novel, one person in particular seemed to be thrust into the spotlight. How do you feel about them showing up? Did you have bad feelings all along, and do you think we need to see more of everyone else’s family?

M: I definitely had bad feelings with a certain parental figure that turned up in this part, all along I felt not very good vibes to them and just didn’t really want to believe that anything good could come of them sadly. I feel as though I would really love to see more of Aunt Sophia (?) especially because she hasn’t been as evident in the story as I would like and I feel like they are very important to Alice’s life and would really like to see more on her and hear more of her thoughts and moments with her and Alice. What were your thoughts on this mysterious parental figure that was in the spotlight of this part?

S: I had hoped that they were genuine, but it was hard to ignore that feeling that they were up to something. Sadly, this was quite a heartbreaking part of the book, but I’m satisfied with the way one particular protagonist handled the situation. I’ve got one particular scene in mind that was especially heart-wrenching, and I couldn’t help but hold my breath for the poor characters. Thankfully, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Soon after, there was a part that made me feel as though this character was showing the potential to redeem themselves and it definitely made me look at them in a different light. How did you feel about that particular scene, and has your opinion on this character changed from the beginning of the novel?

M: In reference to that scene, I think it showed a different side to the character involved and it was a side that I myself was waiting to come and I was thankful for it being the way it was that’s for sure! Also in this part, we find characters making decisions on things like universities to go to, do you think they have so far made good choices on them or do you feel as though changes could be quickly made?

S: I do think that a lot of the decisions made throughout the narrative have been rushed or not thought out completely, but maybe that’s just the side of me that likes to plan to perfection talking. I mean, I probably wouldn’t make a list of pros and cons for every dollar I spent if I won millions of dollars in the lottery. However, I’m liking how the characters seem to be thinking more rationally at the end of the part we just read and I have high hopes that this will continue into the penultimate chapters. In relation to one particular breakup, how do you feel about this and what are your hopes for this character? Were you as heartbroken for them as I was?

M: I wasn’t so much heartbroken because I feel as though they may come together in the end but that may just be me being the stubborn person I am and I go into denial when some of my faves breakup, I just really hope things will be sorted soon so my heart can be a happy sunshine again. I just feel as though there is still a lot of love there and that the breakup was again a rushed decision and let’s just hope for the best I guess! That now concludes our chat for tonight, thanks Sarah for your great answers, now we will read until the end of the book and then come back again for a final wrap up of our thoughts!

S: Thanks for chatting again with me, Mollie! Fingers crossed everything works out in the ways that we hope for. Talk when we reach the end!

M: Hey Sarah! Welcome back, now that we have both finished Windfall, how are you feeling? Were you satisfied with the ending?

S: Hi again, Mollie! Wow, those last few chapters were a roller coaster! I’m really happy with the way things ended up, but you know me, I will never be satisfied. If I love a book, no amount of pages will ever be enough! And I would have loved to know more about what will happen next and to get some confirmation on where things are headed, but sometimes those semi-open endings are the best ones. They’re so accurate, right? Did you feel as though there was too much left up in the air? Or just the right amount?

M: I feel like I was a little unsatisfied, but that is mainly for the fact that I will forever be wondering what happened next and it kills me that I will never actually know for sure, which shamefully happens a lot for me and I get a little frustrated over it but overall it wasn’t a bad ending at all and I guess that I was for the most part fairly satisfied with it.

S: I completely understand that feeling. Without giving too much away, do you think you were happy with where our protagonists ended up? For me, seeing their growth was really moving and I loved going on this journey with them. We laughed together, cried together, and I definitely won’t be forgetting about these two normal teenagers who had their lives turned upside down because of a string of numbers. How did you feel about their overall development?

M: I really loved watching the development of the characters, I think it was really realistic and I felt as though I could feel the emotions of the characters myself which is always a sign that I am loving and connecting to a set of characters. I also found a good contrast of sad and really significant scenes and also just sarcastic scenes to be a real roller coaster of emotions and it was just all round such a good plot that had some really different and quirky characters. What is message that you found important in Windfall, and what does it mean to you?

S: Ooh, I love that question! I think the main thing that I gained from Windfall was the message to always be myself, even when it’s hard. There’ll be times in life when the wind tries to push us one direction and, sure, we’re allowed to change, but we can’t be forced into being something we’re not because of our circumstances. Change doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but I think it’s always important to remember the person you used to be and the person you want to be. Don’t let others change you into someone you can’t recognise. What did you take from Windfall?

M: I completely agree to your answer! I found that the main message was about change too, that change can’t be just thrown upon a person and also that it is okay to change and we can be our own people and we don’t have to live in the shadows of who people want us to be. I think the lottery was a very good way to approach this topic too because it is going to inflict change upon a winner it’s just up to the winner to decide which path of change they wish to take. Who was your favourite character to follow in Windfall and why?

S: I really loved Teddy, but not for all the obvious reasons. Sure, he was a pretty adorable love interest at times, but at other times, he was really infuriating. I always knew that he had a heart of gold and it pained me to see him act rashly sometimes and do things that would make me want to shout at him through the pages, but ultimately, I knew he was a good person. But watching him grow into a great person was honestly one of the most rewarding parts of reading Windfall. The generosity that had been in his heart the whole time, but may have gotten buried along the way, eventually rose to the surface and allowed Teddy to redeem himself for every stupid thing he did. He was frustrating and annoying and made mistakes, but I loved him because of that. No one’s perfect – he’s far from it. But even in the end we see all his potential and we’re left with the feeling that he will go on and do amazing things. (Which makes me wish there was a sequel!) Who do you think you saw yourself in most?

M: Love your answer there, completely agree! For me, I think I saw myself the most in Alice, because I do love to help people and if I won that money I feel like the most of it would go to helping those in need of it most, I also found that I agreed with a lot of her actions and in that sense I guess we relate too. I would also say I relate to Leo in the dog/animal loving department because as we all know I love animals and am obsessed haha, what about you?

S: Honestly, those two are the people I saw myself the most in too! They’re both people I found really easy to connect to because I could see a part of myself in them, which always helps when trying to write relatable characters. The characters were definitely my favourite aspect of this novel and I loved being taken on this journey with them. Okay, last question! If you had to describe this book in three words, what would they be?

M: Ooh this is a hard one! Probably, meaningful, bittersweet and addicting. This book was for sure one full of ups and downs but also had moments where you couldn’t help but be left in awe. I also found it be a big page turner and just wanted to keep on going. How would you describe Windfall in three words?

S: Those three words are perfect! I’d have to go with “hopeful”, “heart-warming” and “poignant”. After reading Windfall, all I want to do is binge-read the author’s other novels!

M: I totally recommend you do that! Though I did find Windfall to be fairly different in the way that it had more meaning and a very different sort of spin to it I do recommend you go check them out! Thank you for reading along with me Sarah! It was an absolute pleasure!!

S: I definitely will! And thank you! It was so fun to be able to chat with you (mostly fangirl, let’s be honest) and I hope we can do this again soon!

THE END

BIG THANKS TO PAN MAC AUSTRALIA FOR SENDING ME AN ARC OF WINDFALL FOR REVIEW!

STAR RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS

BUY HERE: https://www.bookdepository.com/Windfall-Jennifer-E-Smith/9781524764715?ref=grid-view&qid=1493712584527&sr=1-7

GIVING AWAY A COPY ON MY TWITTER, ENDS MAY 6TH ENTER HERE: https://twitter.com/aloha_mollie/status/857848437504589825

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ROMANCE DOES NOT CURE MENTAL ILLNESS!!!!

Worked on this post with Tash from ConfessionsFromRomaholics we both had a big deep and meaningful chat on this topic and decided to do our own posts on this with our own personal experiences read Tash’s post here

Lately I’ve found a massive trend that has started in the book world where books that have such a meaningful message of mental illness in there, where the cure of the main characters illness seems to be to have a lover and find love. While love itself can be very life changing, can it actually cure mental illness?

I myself have suffered pretty severe anxiety and let me tell you that finding romance and love for someone has not cured me. Many books never seem to focus on the factors that do actually help a lot of mental illness suffers such as medication to ease the illness, seeing councillors to talk about thoughts and feelings and the constant battle of self doubt that takes time to get rid of.

Instead of reading a book that is about loving another person to make a mental illness to go away, I would love to read more where the main protagonist begins to find love for themselves as that is another key thing that isn’t seen a lot in books about mental illness and it isn’t an easy thing to achieve.

In saying all this, I am not in any way trying to say that people with mental illness don’t deserve love, I’m just trying to get say that books that have the trope of love ‘curing’ mental illness is unrealistic in my opinion and there are many other things that people with mental illness go through as well as just find love = being cured and free of mental illness.

Despite loving books that do have this trope, I would in the future love to see some change and hopefully more books that show the character going through their illness without having a life changing romance that cures them, I would love to see more stories where the main characters don’t rely on love, and begin to love themselves. I want to see more stories that I can relate to because as a person that suffers from mental illness, I find that it can be very unrealistic to see characters just falling in love and not looking back at ever having an illness because they are ‘cured’.

BOOKS I FOUND WITH LOVE BEING ‘THE CURE’/BOOKS THAT ROMANTICISE ILLNESS:

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES BY JENNIFER NIVEN

THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS

MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES

MADE YOU UP

WHEN WE COLLIDED

A BOOK THAT I HAVE FOUND HAS NOT MADE LOVE ‘THE CURE’:

GIRL IN PIECES

Comment down below your thoughts and feelings on this trope below, I’m interested to know all your thoughts and feels on this too! (Also don’t feel bad if you loved some of these books that have this trope, it is completely fine we all have different opinions and connect to things differently)

5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD READ GIRL IN PIECES

DISCLAIMER: IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE TO THE TOPIC OF SELF HARM AND DEPRESSION I WOULD GO INTO THIS BOOK VERY CAREFULLY AS IT IS A VERY RAW AND DEEP ONE AND IF YOU ARE EASILY TRIGGERED BY THIS I MAY EVEN AVOID, THESE OPINIONS ARE MY OWN IF YOU SEE YOURSELF FIT TO READ THIS BOOK I DO HIGHLY RECOMMEND IF MY REASONS SOUND VALID ENOUGH

REASON #1: CHARACTERS
The characters of this novel are not your average ones in a sense that it was so raw and you really get a sense that they were real humans instead of fiction because everything about them just felt so real unlike some characters you get in novels where they really just stand out as fiction because you cant really relate to the characters to real life. I also loved the character of Charlotte or as she is known in the novel as ‘Charlie’ I found her development throughout the novel to be so inspiring and something that I’m sure a lot of people that have been through self harm or depression would relate to, also all the ups and downs that she faced throughout the journey really was a great thing to see as well because the road to new beginnings is not always perfect as some books make them out to be.

REASON #2: THE MESSAGE
There were a few amazing messages that this book brought out to me and each of them are things that I too strongly believe in, the first being that just because you are ‘toxic’ or ‘broken’ it does not mean that you cant be unbroken and fixed and you can be okay in the long run, it just takes a little bit of self care and time and eventually one can become a better version of themselves. Another one is that, it is okay to be you, no matter what you have been through or done no one is going to care about the past and if you just be yourself then thats what people are going to love and if they don’t, thats their own problem and they are missing out on something wonderful.

REASON #3: AUTHOR
This book would you believe is actually a debut author and also the author has been through a hell of a lot throughout her time writing this novel and honestly she is one of the people I admire most because I can tell you it is evident in the writing of this book that the author is filled with so much passion and love for this book and the characters and you can almost sense that she herself has been through something similar to some of the characters which makes the book just so raw and emotional and just so breathtaking that a book could be so close to this authors heart and I just want to hug Kathleen and tell her how much this book truly means for me although I don’t think that there are enough words to even begin to explain it.

REASON #4: NO ROMANCE
One of the big things that I find these days is that a lot of books that have mental illness in them, seem to have the romance as the key sort of ‘cure’ to the illness and that the character then lives happily ever after essentially with their lover without another worry in the world about their illness. I love how in this book their really isn’t a romance that cures Charlie. I love that you see the realness of Charlie’s recovery and how she simply doesn’t need a romance like many other books it seems to cure herself from her suffering and for that I truly admire, its hard to read a book now days if the ‘cure’ of an illness is made out to be love when they just ignore all of the deeper things that actually help the characters like medication, therapy, self help.

REASON #5: WRITING STYLE
The way that this book is written is truly unique and unlike anything I have ever read especially on the topic of depression and self harm. The story was written in a very raw but also very poetic way that just flowed so beautifully and made it such a realistic and relatable story that I believe a lot of people could relate to. The book almost felt as though Charlie was a real person and you were reading her biography. The development of the characters throughout the book were all so inspiring and some even saddening, this book really made me laugh, cry and sob all in one and for that I’m very grateful because it really does as I wrote earlier show the true ups and downs of mental illness and shows that there are good days and that one day you can be healed and unbroken.

OVERALL:
I think this is a must read for anyone that wants to read something either really relatable or something inspiring, heartbreaking and beautiful all in one. This book is one that I still can’t stop thinking about even months after I finished it and a book that I will always treasure and hopefully some day soon re read. However if you are a little sensitive with the topic of depression and in particular self harm I think this book probably isn’t for you as it is very raw and emotional however I can tell you it is very amazing if you think you can read it. I’m so beyond excited to read more of Kathleen’s work and she will for sure be an auto buy author that I will continue to support throughout her author career.

YOU CAN READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE: https://wordpress.com/stats/day/molliethereader.wordpress.com?startDate=2017-03-15

MY INTERVIEW WITH KATHLEEN HERE: https://molliethereader.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/interview-with-kathleen-glasgow/

BUY THE PRETTY HARDBACK EDITION HERE: https://www.bookdepository.com/Girl-in-Pieces-Kathleen-Glasgow/9781101934715?ref=grid-view

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