November Wrap-Up Giveaway

This month, I'm hosting the giveaway for Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction's wrap-up round-up! If you haven't participated before, this giveaway is a scavenger hunt, where you have to visit the wrap-ups and answer some questions based on those posts. You can also enter by leaving comments on the posts.

This giveaway is open internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to you. Winner can pick any book up to $15 from TBD.

The Link-Up

Check out the November wrap-up posts below!


To enter, simply follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Aussie YA Bloggers Secret Santa Blog Hop 2016

This year, I'm taking part in the Aussie YA Bloggers' Secret Santa! It's my first time participating, so I'm excited to join on all the fun. 😁 This post is part of the blog hop. 

19 Thoughts Had While Reading Emma by Jane Austen

You guys, I finished reading a Jane Austen book! 🎉🎉

Why is this such an achievement, you ask? Well, though I've watched Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and a number of their reincarnations on screen, my previous experience with them in print was one of confusion and a lot of effort. At fifteen, the language barrier seemed insurmountable. Now, ten years later, not only did I finish Emma, I understood it. It was still not effortless reading for me, but some parts made me laugh, others made me cringe, and I got it.

Anyway, the point of that intro is this: because I understand the book, I can actually share my thoughts on it with you! This is more a list of random comments than a proper review, but hopefully they're still coherent. 😄 Possible spoilers ahead!

[Rewind] November 2016

We're almost at the end of the year, guys! I'm excited for Christmas, if nothing else, for the music and the atmosphere. I considered putting my Christmas playlist on to write this post, but it still feels too early. Anyway, this is about the past month.

[Review] The Sunshine Time 1 by Sonal Panse

"The times are turbulent, and so are the romantic tangles. 

On the long train journey from Samanbar to her new home in Alsalem, Lea Chantry is intrigued by a handsome and taciturn Mitrione officer, quite enough to disregard the deep-rooted familial hatred of the dreaded paramilitary force and make a nuisance of herself."

Title: The Sunshine Time - Season 1 Episode 1
Author: Sonal Panse
Publisher: Maysun In C
Source: Electronic copy provided by the author
Release Date: 16 October 2016


The first installment to The Sunshine Time has an endearing leading lady in no-filter, irreverent Lea Chantry. The story's most entertaining moments come from whenever she opens her mouth, and I found the dynamics of her family fascinating. I found it difficult to grasp the context this story exists in, however. 

[Book Talk] Pop Culture References: Alienating or Illuminating?

Once upon a time, before I had access to cable television and internet connection, I was a fairly sheltered kid with limited knowledge of Western pop culture. These days, it's easy to Google something, but back then, if I didn't understand a reference in a novel, I pretty much guessed from context. So when I started reading The Princess Diaries, there was a lot of guessing going on. I figured Lifetime had a lot of weird, cheesy movies. The Blair Witch Project was probably a horror movie. I never watched Party of Five or Pretty in Pink, but they sounded like cute movies. (Mind you, I was also around eleven years old at this time.) 

Even now that I have more exposure to Hollywood and such, there are still references I stumble over. When a character talks a lot about bands I never listen to, for example, or movies that are a classic but I've never seen (for instance: The Rocky Horror Picture Show references in Perks of Being a Wallflower). I generally don't mind guessing (or Googling), but there are times when having to do that stops me from relating to the character's passion or understanding what they're talking about.

On the other hand, it can be argued that having to Google those references can be educational. Though I still have never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I know who Frank-N-Furter is now. My friend, an avid reader of The Princess Diaries, told me that she looked up the books and movies mentioned in the series - which she otherwise wouldn't have heard of - then proceeded to read/watch  (and sometimes enjoy) them.

References to popular culture in books are unavoidable, considering that some pieces of it can be a kind of shorthand that everyone gets. I don't mind those shorthands sprinkled across a story, because then I can either move past it or learn something new. But when the story is drowning in them and I don't get them, they would likely put me right off reading it.

What do you think?  
Have you ever been put off a book because of its large dose of pop culture references?
Or have you ever learned something new from such a book?

[The List #2] Something Old, Something Borrowed

I started this feature to hold myself accountable regarding my TBR, as I have a tendency to pick up a new book despite a pile of unread books. Given I read 3 out of the 4 books I listed, I'd say it worked! So here we go again.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

The Story: Destined to destroy empires Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death. Six years later, the child raised in the shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything. But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. (Goodreads)

Why I Want to Read It: Because I still haven't! 😢This is the book from my previous list that I didn't get around to. I actually started reading the first five pages, but found that I wasn't in the right mood to engage with the story. 

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

The Story: On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather, a 'literary apothecary', for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers. The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He had nursed a broken heart ever since the night, twenty-one years ago, when the love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter he has never dared to read. His memories and his love have been gathering dust - until now. 

Why I Want to Read It: I, naturally, love bookshops, so the idea of a bookseller who knows exactly what book you need is fascinating. I'm hoping it will be a sweet story that's as good for the soul as the books its main characters hand out to his customers.

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

The Story: It has been a year since Gemma Doyle first arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy and much has changed. Having bound the wild, dark magic of the realms to her, Gemma has forged unlikely and unsuspected friendships with Ann and Felicity, and Kartik, the exotic young man whose companionship is forbidden. She has also come to an uneasy, tenuous truce with the fearsome creatures of the realms.

But now the time has come to test the strength of those bonds. As her friendship with Felicity and Ann faces its gravest trial and with the Order grappling for control of the realms, Gemma is compelled to decide once and for all which path she is meant to take. Her destiny threatens to set chaos loose, not only in the realms, but also upon the rigid Victorian society whose rules Gemma has both defied and followed. Where does Gemma really belong? And will she, can she, survive?

Why I Want to Read It: Five years after I bought the series, I'm nearly finished with it! 🎉 I'm excited to see how the series will be wrapped up, and where Gemma, Ann, and Felicity ends up.

What's on your TBR right now?