“Thirteen Reasons Why” and “13 Reasons Why” discussion!

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**disclaimer; I watched this series and wrote the following review when the show was first released almost a month ago and before all the hype and controversy. I’ve also watched it a second time with my mum since. I believe that this is a touching and real story about the affects of not only suicide, but how we treat people. It has got a lot of people talking which I think is a good thing, but there’s also people saying that it has done more harm than good for people who are depressed or having suicidal thoughts. If you are triggered by these types of things, then I highly suggest you don’t watch the show as it can be quite raw and graphic. 

 

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Helloooo!

Today I’m doing something a little bit different because I just binge watched this Netflix show in three days and it’s given me all the feels and I just can’t move on until I let all my thoughts out. I’m going to quickly talk about my thoughts on the book Thirteen Reasons Why and then I’m going to go into a lot more detail on the TV show 13 Reasons Why and compare them a little bit too.

Please comment below if you’ve read or watched it because I would love to hear your thoughts!

I first discovered the book by Jay Asher when I was in high school (maybe 3-4 years ago) but I could never read it because it wasn’t stocked in any of my local book stores. The blurb sounded so intriguing to me and I wanted to read it so badly that I ended up reading a summary on the whole book and what/who the thirteen reasons were. Don’t freak out! Because by the time I got to the book, I couldn’t remember anything that I read about it… thankfully! I do with that I did read the book when I was in high school, or that the TV show was around then, because I feel like that was a time when I needed a story like this.

So last year I bought the book and ended up reading it in one day (I think I read it during a readathon) and this probably didn’t help my reading experience. I liked the book, don’t get me wrong, it just didn’t have as much of an impact on me as I hoped it would. I didn’t particularly like Hannah’s character (as terrible as that sounds) and I found the whole idea of the “reasons” tapes really awful and I couldn’t understand her aim in doing that.

And then the trailer for the Netflix show was released about a month before the actual episodes were being released (which made this whole process seem really quick) and I could tell just from the trailer that I was going to love it a lot more than the book. Just that once scene from the trailer where Clay slams his locker and screams, ‘BECAUSE EVERYONE IS SO NICE UNTIL THEY DRIVE A GIRL TO KILL HERSELF.’ I think that’s what got me hooked!

So I started the watching it on the Sunday and the first episode killed me. Even though I only read the book a year ago, I could only remember a few details of the story. That episode made me fall in love with Jackson – I mean, how cute was the scene where she hops of the bus and tells him she doesn’t catch the bus and then he’s just stuck there and he screams out the window ‘something something something, HANNAH BAKER!’ And then we’re faced with why he was on the tapes and I think he broke my heart a little bit.

Sunday and Monday I watched half the season, and then Tuesday I was sick in bed all afternoon so I watched the final six episodes back to front and I didn’t stop sobbing the whole time. How could you not?!

What I loved the most about the TV show was how real it was and how it didn’t sugar coat anything. However it could be triggering for a lot of people (there are trigger warnings before episodes with graphic scenes, but I HIGHLY recommend that if you are triggered by suicide/depression or anything along the lines, that you do not watch the show). Sometimes I think it’s really important for depression and suicide to be presented as accurately as possible, and I’m sure that it will get a lot of people talking! However, the word “depression” wasn’t mentioned at all, and it was obvious that Hannah was experiencing this throughout the course of the story. I feel like they definitely could’ve explored mental health a lot more throughout the show by mentioning the word “depression” and perhaps this will be something that they could explore with some of the characters if they do a season 2.

The main thing that made the TV show SOOOOOO much better than the book was that we got the perspective of all the characters from the tapes. It would’ve been pretty hard for a few hundred page book to do this, so I understand why Jay Asher wasn’t able to really explore this, but it definitely helped to understand their stories and grow connections to the other characters. Although they all did really shitty things, not only to Hannah, but we got to see that Hannah wasn’t the only one going through crap because each of these characters had their own story. And all these characters were so different and so diverse, as were there experiences; we had rape victims, people struggling with their sexuality, abusive and alcoholic parents, just to name a few! It was also really touching to see how they were coping with hearing their names on the tapes; for some of them, they were able to accept the fact and open up about their pasts, but for others, it only broke them.

As I mentioned before, I didn’t like Hannah’s character in the book, but the TV show was a completely different story. I don’t know if it was the actor who played her (she’s Australian by the way!) or if she was written just a bit differently, but I LOVED her! She was different, quirky, I admired her dry humour and she was a fun character to watch when I forgot about her story. She went through so much, as depicted on those tapes, and the sympathy I felt for her was inevitable.

And Clay was also portrayed amazingly! I felt sorry for him the most in the book, and that didn’t change much in the TV show. I understood why he took so long to listen to the tapes; he really was a lot different than the rest of those on the tapes and this really showed that. However, I don’t actually think that it took him as long to listen to the tapes as I originally thought. I think the events actually occurred over the course of just a few days (they kept saying the car accident with a particular character (no spoilers) happened a few weeks ago and that was before Hannah died), so my assumption is about a week.

This show broke me! I watched it right before I went to sleep, so I didn’t have much time to wrap my head around everything. But when I woke up the next morning, I was just so sad, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. I laughed, I cried, it made me think about a lot of things, it made me cry again, but most importantly I learnt a lot and it really made me think about how I treat people and that you never know what other people are going through.

Comment below if you’ve read the book or watched the Netflix show, and let me know your thoughts!

And if you’re going through a hard time at the moment, my Twitter DM’s are always open Xx

BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATIONS

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When books are adapted to the big screen, there is always a bit of controversy about it – some people love the idea whereas others hate it no matter what. Obviously, I am a massive book fan and I love reading, but what some of you may not know about me is that I am just as big a fan of movies and TV shows as I am of books. So whenever I find out that any book (especially my favourites) are being adapted into a movie, I get really excited because I love seeing how the picture I created in my head is being projected onto the big screen.

A few of my favourite book to movie adaptations include;

 

The DUFF – Kody Keplinger

Love, Rosie – Cecelia Ahern

Paper Towns – John Green

Carrie – Stephen King (the most recent adaptation)

Twilight – Stephanie Meyer

Looking For Alibrandi – Melina Marchetta

The Fault in our Stars – John Green

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

City of Bones – Cassandra Clare

The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

 

I think that there’s something so special when a book comes to life and I love seeing how actors portray the characters that are written on the page and the author created. I know that sometimes the movie isn’t accurate to the book, but I feel like it can still be a good movie individually. Take the Divergent movies, specifically Allegiant which is completely different to the book, and even though I would have loved it to relate to the ending of the book, I still didn’t mind the movie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book to movie adaptation that I’ve hated. I don’t know why, but I just love them.

I remember when I saw TFIOS movie for the first time. I went on the first day it was playing and I was both nervous and excited to see it because I had read the book at least five times by that point, and I had been waiting so long for the movie to be released. I remember walking out of the cinema and just being so happy with how everything turned out – it was exactly how I pictured it when reading it. Obviously there were a few things left out that I wished had been left in, but overall it was an accurate representation of the book, and both Shailene and Ansel did an incredible job at portraying Hazel and Augustus. I saw the movie three times in the cinemas, and I’ve watched it a million times since. It is probably my favourite book to movie adaptation.

There are quite a few books that are being made into movies this year with set release days. Here are some that I’m really looking forward to;

 

Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver

Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon

Let It Snow – John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle

A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness (I still haven’t seen it)

 

But what about all the amazing books that have so much potential to become movies? Sometimes I read a book and I can picture it as if it is a movie and I can feel the cinematic aspect to it. So I’m going to list a few books that I think would make incredible movies.

 

Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

The Sky is Everywhere – Jandy Nelson

Girl in Pieces – Kathleen Gasglow

Just One Day – Gayle Forman

The Sun is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon (I think the rights have been sold!)

The One Memory of Flora Banks – Emily Banks

 

Comment down below your thoughts on book to movie adaptations – do you love them? Hate them? Or do you judge after you’ve both seen and read the book? Also let me know what your favourite adaptation is!

 

 

NEW ADULT BOOKS… that middle age gap

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Young Adult is probably one of the most common and talked about age ranges here on the online book community, and a majority of the book that I read are classified as Young Adult. And as much as I love YA and reading about teenagers, I’m nearing the end of my teenage life (I’m nineteen) and I can feel myself not being able to connect to YA characters as much as I used to.

There is a very thin line between YA and NA, and after looking at my book shelves, there are a lot of books that could be either YA or NA, but that I never even thought about being NA before. Here are some New Adult books that I’ve read;

 

Maybe Someday – Colleen Hoover

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A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas

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Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

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I Was Here – Gayle Forman

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Just One Day / Just One Year – Gayle Forman

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Basically, while Young Adult books focus around teenagers who are usually in high school, New Adult books focus on those characters who are slightly older and are usually in college. This is me! I’m starting my second year of university this year and I want to read more books about kids who are experiencing similar things as I am.

I was looking at some New Adult reading lists on Goodreads, and to be honest there are a lot less than I thought there would be. A lot of people write coming of age books about kids in school (Young Adult), or they go on the complete other spectrum and write about adults getting married and having kids or experiencing mid-life crisis’ (Adult Fiction). So what about that middle age gap? I feel like I’m stuck in some kind of limbo we’re I’m too old to go under but too young to go over.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love Young Adult books and I probably always will, and I enjoy Adult fiction from time to time, but I think we need New Adult books. Leaving school and starting uni or college and venturing out into the real world for the first time is scary, and I think that if there were more fiction books that covered this to read about, then there would be a lot more comfort.

I’ve started many WIP’s and novel manuscripts before and I’ve always based the main character on my age at the time – the one’s I started in high school were of high school age, and the one’s I’ve written recently are of university age. I’ve recently gone back to writing a manuscript that I started when I was in year 12 about a girl who is in year 12, and even though it is easy for me to write it because I’ve experienced it before, it feels weird because I’m not that age before.

When I think about the books that I want to write and publish in the future, although I would love to write YA too, I definitely want to help broaden and expand the New Adult age category. I think that it’s a very important time in life, and we need everything we can to help up get through it. I want 18-20 something year old’s to read by books and feel like they can relate to it in that time of their life.

So comment below what you think about New Adult books, and which age category or genre you relate to the most. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Also comment some of your favourite NA books.

DIVERSITY IN AUSSIE YA

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One of my goals in 2017, and I think a lot of people would have a similar goal, is to read more diverse books and to be more aware of marginalised people in the books that I read. In addition to my reading goals this year, I also want to start reading more books by Australian authors and support OZ YA.

It would be cool if I could combine these two together, right? I could read diverse books by Aussie authors and I’d be able to smash two of my goals. When I think of the Australian YA books that I’ve read, a few of them stand out as being diverse. Just by looking at my book shelves, here’s what I can see;

 

When Michael Met Mina – Randa Abdel-Fattah (refugee from Afghanistan)

Our Chemical Hearts – Krystal Sutherland (grief/mental health)

Breathing Under Water – Sophie Hardcastle (grief/mental health)

Looking For Alibrandi – Melina Marchetta (Italian culture/ racism)

The Pause – John Larkin (mental health)

The Yearbook Committee – Sarah Ayoub (a wide range of diverse main characters)

Before You Forget – Julia Lawrinson (eating disorder)

 

So even though there is quite a few mentioned here, there are so many other marginalised people that are being under represented in Australian YA literature. How many books include LGBTQ+ main characters? How many are told from the perspective of Indigenous people, and specifically Indigenous Australian’s?

And then I thought, what if there are plenty of diverse OZ YA books, but I just haven’t read any of them, or heard of them? So I send out a tweet asking people to send me their diverse OZ YA recommendations and I did some further research myself. A lot of books that people mentioned I had already written down and read, so below are some that I haven’t read yet;

 

The Sidekicks – Will Kostakis (LGBT)

The Things I Didn’t Say – Kylie Fornasier (mental health)

Nona and Me – Clare Atkins (Aboriginal MC)

The Flywheel – Erin Gough (LGBT)

Hate is Such a Strong Word – Sarah Ayoub (Lebanese culture)

One Would Think Deep – Claire Zorn (grief)

Ida – Alison Evans (GLBT)

 

My favourite diverse Australian book is ‘Looking For Alibrandi’ by Melina Marchetta which I only read and watched the film at the end of last year. Yes, I loved it because there is drama, humour, emotion, and I bawled my eyes out. But, that’s not why it’s my favourite. It’s my favourite because I have never read a book that I have related to so much. Being an Italian-Australian myself, I could see myself in Josie and the culture that was portrayed in the book was so accurate to my own. Being a straight, white female, I can easily see myself represented in plenty of YA books, so that’s never a problem. But to see an Italian culture so real to my own made me feel something completely different.

And this made me think; if finally finding a book that represents my culture so well made me feel like this, imagine how marginalised people feel when they finally read a book that represents them? And that’s why diversity in all books, including Australian books and Young Adult books, is extremely important.

So basically, there are diverse Australian books, and there are actually more than I thought. But there is still not enough. Even when I googled “diverse Australian books”, a lot of discussion posts like this came up, but there weren’t a lot of recommendations – there isn’t even a Goodreads list!

I have so many diverse story ideas in mind that I would love to write about, and hopefully one day they will be published for people like me, and others, to find a real connection to. And as diversity is growing in Australian literature all across the world, I hope that it continues to develop here in The Land Down Under as well.

 

To DNF or Push Through

DNR or PUSH THROUGH-.pngHi guys! So today I thought that I’d do something different to the usual Tag Tuesday, Friday Favourite, or book review. Instead, we’re going to have a discussion of what we do when we’re reading a book but we’re not enjoying it.

Comment down below, so you;

a) push through and finish the book anyway

b) put the book down and maybe finish it later

c) DNF (do not finish) the book all together

d) something else?
As much as I would love to day that I don’t want to waste my time reading a book or watching a movie that I’m not enjoying, but it’s just not something that I usually do. I have been in the middle of reading a book multiple times that I find completely boring and have no interest in reading anymore, but I just physically can’t let myself put it down. Maybe I just don’t want to think that I’ve wasted my time reading what I’ve read of the book so far – but what about the time that I waste finishing the book just for the sake of being able to say “I finished it”?

So, have I ever DNF’d a book? From memory, the only two books I’ve put down and never picked up again is ‘Carry On’ by Rainbow Rowell and ‘The Rosie Effect’ by Graeme Simsion.

I so badly wanted to love ‘Carry On’ – Rainbow Rowell is such an amazing author and I loved ‘Fangirl’, ‘Landline’ and ‘Eleanor and Park’ (‘Attachments’ was a bit boring for me), plus everyone always raves about how much they love ‘Carry On’. Eventually, maybe half way through, I decided that I didn’t want to waste my time reading a book that I wasn’t enjoying. I was in the middle of reading the ‘Harry Potter’ series at the time which may have had something to do with it, or maybe there were so many other books on my TBR that I wanted to read and didn’t want to waste my time with one that I didn’t want to read. I would like to pick it up again one day and give it another try, but at that point I just wasn’t in the mood.

And with ‘TRE’ which is the sequel to ‘The Rosie Project’, I was younger when I read it and it’s an adult fiction. This is another popular book, yet I just couldn’t stand to read anymore. The characters annoyed me and the story was boring. I just had a lot of guts in me that day to force myself to put the book down and focus on things that bring enjoyment to me!

There are so many books that I’ve wanted to stop reading because they’re boring, but I’ve stuck through it either because I’ve had to write a review or simply because I can’t stand not knowing how something ends despite how much I don’t really care at the same time (does that make sense?). Some books include; The Dry, Falling, a lot of the classics that I read this year, Heir of Fire, Glass Sword, and I’m sure there are a lot more!

The inspiration of this blog post occurred to me last week. I was watching a movie that I found in our DVD cabinet – ‘No Stranger Than Love’. Sounds like a fun and cute rom-com, right? It isn’t a well known movie, but I usually like those kinds of works that really fly under the radar. I started off the movie and it was okay, but about a half an hour in I was bored and wanted to watch something else. But I couldn’t stand to not know how it ended. Basically, the story of the movie is a married man goes over to his coworkers house and they’re about to have an affair, before a massive hole opens in the middle of the woman’s living room. The man falls down the hole and there is no way to get him out and they don’t want to tell anyone because then they will suspect he is having an affair. I didn’t care for the story, but something inside me NEEDED to know how the man got out of the hole. In the end he got out with the help of their neighbours, the wife found out about he affair but forgave him anyway, and the woman whose house it is ended up getting with some other character who I never cared to learn who they were. The moral of my story is that I wanted to know how he got out the whole, but when I found out, it was just as much as a let down as the rest of the movie was.

I read a quote once that goes like this;

Don’t settle: don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it.

 – Chris Brogan


It’s true – life is short. So why waste time reading a book just for the sake of reading it? Something that I want to do in 2017 is to waste my time doing things or reading books, that I don’t enjoy. Don’t settle.

I want to know what you think! DNF books or push your way through them no matter what you think of the book. Let’s discuss!

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW + 2017 READING RESOLUTIONS

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So I’ve done a few posts talking about my 2016 reading year, but I thought that today I would go through some statistics from 2016 and goals for 2017. Comment below what your 2017 goals are.

 

‘MY 2016 IN BOOKS’ – GOODREADS

1 – books read: 153/150

2 – pages read: 59042

3 – shortest book: Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland by Lewis Carol (92 pages)

4 – longest book:  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (896 pages)

5 – average length of pages: 388 pages

6 – most popular book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (3m+ people read)

7 – least popular book: Girls Can Vlog: Amazing Abby by Emma Moss (18 people read)

8 – average star rating: 4.4

9 – highest rated book on Goodreads that I read: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

10 – published dates

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MY 2017 BOOK, WRITING AND BLOG GOALS

1 – read 100 books

2 – read more books focusing on mental illnesses

3 – read more diverse books (diversity bingo)

4 – read more autobiographies, memoirs and non-fiction books

5 – buy books that I haven’t heard about before. Go to the bookshop, scan the shelves and pick a book spontaneously

6 – buy less books and accept more review copies

7 – don’t read books just because I feel that I have to. (i.e. if I’m not in a fantasy mood, don’t force myself to read it just because it’s on the top of my TBR)

8 – post 2-3 blog posts a week. Try doing a Tag Tuesday, Friday Favourites, and Sunday review every week if I’m not busy

9 – put more effort into my blog posts, and connect with the blog community: make friends and read other book blogs

10 – finish a draft of a book that I’m happy with and want to keep working on. I have written a first draft for two different books but I never want to continue on with them because I’m not happy with it. I’m currently starting another one which I have high hopes for, so I want to keep working on it even after the first draft.

 

And I think that’s everything! I think my goals are pretty realistic and I’m excited to see what 2017 holds for me. I was actually studying Psychology at university last year, but I have transferred to study english and creative writing this year, so I cannot wait to be studying something that I really want to study and that I’m excited to learn about.

See you guys soon!