Merry Blogmas Giveaway! (And Wrap Up)

I cannot believe I actually made it to the end of Blogmas! Yet here we are! I actually managed to blog for 25 days in a row. I am seriously exhausted. And I have posts going up everyday from now until new year as well! (Luckily they’re only wrap ups and sign ups for Reading Challenges.) The whole experience has been pretty positive (apart from the exhaustion) and great writing practice.

Anyway… on to the important stuff!

It’s been a year since I seriously started blogging, and I’ve written over 200 posts and have almost 200 subscribers so I figured it was time I do a giveaway!

What do you win: A single book up to AUD$25 (about USD$20) from BookDepository.

How to enter: Leave a comment below with your first name and let me know what book you wish you got for Christmas (or your last birthday, or whatever gift giving celebration was most recent.) Then follow this link to Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. Be sure to use the same name as in the comments.

Who can enter: Anyone over 18 is eligible. Even if BookDepository does not ship to you, I am happy to work out how to make it happen.

How the is winner chosen: By random computer generation through Rafflecopter.

If you win: I will contact you via email on January 1st to organise prize delivery. If you don’t respond within 24 hours of the email I will choose another winner.

When the winner will be announced: I suppose it depends on where you live! The winner will be announced at 18:00 AEST on January 3rd 2020.

And in case you missed any of my posts during Blogmas, here are the links:

1st December TBR

2nd Blogmas Announcement

3rd November Bullet Journal Flip Through

4th November Wrap Up

5th i carry your heart by e.e. cummings

6th The Raven Boys|| Maggie Stiefvater

7th Bookish Christmas Gift Guide

8th 5 Star Predictions

9th Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag

10th Favourite Characters of 2019

11th The Candle and the Flame|| Nafiza Azad

12th Curating a Fantasy Book Box

13th The Downstairs Girl|| Stacey Lee

14th #StartOnYourShelfathon Sign Up + TBR

15th Favourite 2019 Book Covers

16th End of Year Book Tag

17th DNF Review: The Grace Year|| Kim Liggett

18th The Bear and the Nightingale|| Katherine Arden

19th Looking Up Endings to Books I DNFd

20th An Unkindness of Magicians|| Kat Howard

21st The Never Tilting World|| Rin Chupeco

22nd Most Disappointing Reads of 2019

23rd The Girl of Ink & Stars/ The Deathless Girls|| Kiran Millwood Hargrave

24th Best Books of 2019

Blogmas is here! || Blogmas Day 2

I’ve never participated in Blogmas before, so I’m both excited and nervous.

The goal is to post something everyday on your blog from December 1st until Christmas Day. I’ve got everything scheduled, now I just need to make sure I finish the posts before they get published (possibly not the best way to go about it, but oh well.)

I’m not going to focus too heavily on Christmas themes, but there will be a few posts along that line. Mostly it will be the same sort of posts I do throughout the year. I’m also going to catch up on a bunch of reviews I’ve been putting off.

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season (or December if you’re not Christian.)

Are you participating in Blogmas? Let me know in the comments below!


My Star Rating System In Brief

I’ve been planning a post explaining my star rating for eight months now. I added to it, and added to it. I’m still no where near finishing. So I thought I’d just write a brief post.

I generally work out my ratings based on the following criteria:

  • Writing (style, ease of reading, editing/grammar)
  • Plot (Engaging, surprising)
  • Characters (Internally consistent, complex)
  • Worldbuilding (Setting, backstory, mythology etc)
  • Personal Enjoyment (Emotional investment etc)

Each criteria gets up to one star. Occasionally I’ll make slight exceptions if I think one element outweighs another element. For example, if the plot is a bit lacking, but the characters and worldbuilding more than make up for it, I might still rate it slightly higher. This is usually only rounding it up by half a star at most. I don’t break down my star ratings in my posts, but I try to cover each element in my written review, so if one is worth a bit more than usual, it’s usually pretty clear.

I am trying to do half stars now, but for much of the year I did round up or down to the nearest star. I don’t think it has a great impact, but if you check out any old reviews, you may want to bear that in mind (This usually happens with 3.5 star books).

I’ve tried to make my system of rating as objective and as consistent as possible, but obviously there’s always going to be some subjectivity involved.

If you want to have an even more basic explanation, here it is:

0 stars – DNF

1 Star – I really hated it, but I finished it

2 Stars – I disliked it

3 Stars – It was a decent book

4 Stars – I really liked it

5 Stars – I absolutely loved it

Just to be clear: for me, a three star book can still be a good book, and often I still recommend them. Just because some parts of a book aren’t quite working for me, doesn’t mean they’re not going to work for someone else.

Let’s Chat!

How do you rate your books? Do you have a defined system, or do you rely more on instinct when you rate?

Year of the Asian Reading Challenge

I know this is a bit late in the year, but I thought I’d give this reading challenge a whirl. I’m already signed up for 2019 Retellings Reading Challenge, but I have quite a few Asian authored books on my TBR so it only made sense to give this one a go. It runs from 1 January to midnight on 31 December 2019, and the only requirement is to read books by Asian authors. The organisation and dedication the co-hosts have put into this are phenomenal, and I’d like to personally thank them all. You can find the original announcement and sign up post here, and you can follow them on Twitter here.


Overall Challenge

There are 6 levels, and I’m aiming to read 31-40 books, so my badge will be this cute-as Giant Panda!



My TBR for this is soooo long, so I’ll just include my top 10

  1. The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco 🇵🇭
  2. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao🇻🇳
  3. Want by Cindy Pon🇨🇳
  4. Descendant of the Crane by Joan He🇨🇳
  5. Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri🇮🇳
  6. Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra🇮🇳
  7. A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir🇵🇰
  8. The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang🇸🇬
  9. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang🇨🇳
  10. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Divakaruni🇮🇳


Progress Tracker

I’ll be posting a monthly on my blog to keep track of my progress. I’ll update this post, as well as doing a separate wrap up post, so be sure to check them out!

Let’s Chat!

Are you participating in any Reading Challenges this year? Do you enjoy year long challenges, or do you prefer shorter readathons? What are some of your favourite Asian authored books? Let me know in the comments below!


Progress so far (Yes it’s dismal)

  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi🇮🇳🇵🇭 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew 🇹🇭 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard🇻🇳 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco 🇵🇭⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco 🇵🇭⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee🇰🇷 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal 🇵🇰 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Want by Cindy Pon ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao 🇻🇳
  • The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad 🇫🇯

SALE! $5 or less on Kindle Australia

Hey all, so at the moment there seems to be a bit of a sale on some pretty popular YA books (and some adult ones too) on Kindle Australia, so I thought I’d provide some links if you’re interested. I have no idea how long they’ll be this cheap, so get them while they’re hot! (There are also a few new releases that seem to be cheaper as well, including The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi)

0- $1

The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories ed. Mahvesh Murad $0.99

A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan $0.99

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang $0.99

$1 – $2

The Jewel by Amy Ewing $1.67

Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones $1.99

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee $1.99

The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross $1.99

Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson $1.99

Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop $1.99

$2- $3

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken $2.99

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone $2.84

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa$2.99

Angelfall by Susan Ee $2.99

$3- $4

The City of Bones by Martha Wells $3.99

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas $3.25

Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew $3.71

The Queen of All That Dies by Laura Thalassa $3.99

Illuminae by Amy Kaufman & Jay Kristoff $3.99

Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb $3.99

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo $3.99

Sabriel by Garth Nix $3.99

Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell $3.79

$4 – $5

The Archived by V.E. Schwab $4.39

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas $4.99

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo $4.99

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab $4.39

Delirium by Lauren Oliver $4.99

This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab $4.39

Vicious by V.E. Schwab $4.39

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova $4.42

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carrier $4.99

$5 – $6

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon $5.41

The Mermaid by Christina Henry $5.83

Red Queen by Christina Henry $5.83

Alice by Christina Henry $5.61

Lost Boy by Christina Henry $5.83

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones $5.83




2019 Bookish Goals

Last year when I started doing book reviews I had lofty goals. I planned to do an in depth video and written review of every book I read. It was impossible. I have since given up filming for my BookTube channel, which has taken a significant weight off my shoulders and has allowed me to focus on my health.

Since it’s the beginning of the year (and everybody’s doing it) I thought I’d outline my bookish/writing goals for the year (which also seem quite lofty now that I’m thinking of it).

  1. Read 100 books for my Goodreads Challenge
  2. Read at least 20 non-fiction books this year
  3. Start a bullet reading journal
  4. Write 2 recommendation lists a month (except if they are over 20 books long)
  5. Write 4 in depth book reviews a month (one of which is a 2018 back-review)
  6. Write a discussion post a month
  7. Write a wrap up every month
  8. Post a book haul every month
  9. Participate in 6 readathons this year
  10. Personalise my site


As of 2019, I’ve settled on layouts for my posts. At the moment I’m still overwhelmed by the backlog of reviews I want to write, plus planning the coming year, so I’m utilising Goodreads for many of my synopses. Hopefully once I get into the swing of things I’ll start writing my own (yes, I’m lazy).


Discussions: Chatting about a topic/theme, examples with links to Goodreads

Hauls: Picture, Title, Author, Genre, Link to Goodreads synopsis

TBRs: Picture, Title, Author, Genre, Link to Goodreads synopsis

Recommendation Lists: Picture, Title, Author, Star rating, Major trigger warnings, Brief synopsis, What I liked, What I disliked, Upcoming releases

Wrap Ups: Picture, Title, Author, Genre, # in series, Star rating, Major trigger warnings, Link to Goodreads synopsis, Why I was interested, What I liked, What I disliked.

Full Reviews: Picture, Title, Author, Genre, # in series, Number of pages, Year published, Star rating, Major trigger warnings, Synopsis, Why I was interested, Plot, Characters, World building, Writing, Personal thoughts




About me and life update

First, a confession: I am disabled. I have a dozen chronic medical conditions that make it ridiculously difficult for me to function like a normal human being. These include, but are not limited to multiple sleep disorders, orthostatic hypotension, migraines, GI problems, depression, anxiety, exercise intolerance, and chronic fatigue syndrome/fibromyalgia.

A few weeks ago I started physical rehabilitation to help improve my fitness. This has been both amazing, and extremely exhausting. I’ve also recently made the difficult decision to leave Booktube in order to focus on my health, this blog, and my own writing. Since I have so much going on it’s going to take a while to catch up on the backlog of reviews and other content on this site, so watch this space. (Also, I apologise for being lazy in advance. I’m just going to borrow synopses from Goodreads and Amazon for a while. I promise to write my own once I’ve caught up with everything.)

I’ll keep posting short updates of my progress when possible. Thanks for your ongoing support!


Recommendation Lists

I’m really bad at comparing books. I’m not really able to say ‘if you liked this book, you’ll probably like this other book’.

So I thought I’d try to do a series of recommendation lists of similar books based on a particular theme, topic, setting or character type. For example, books that feature a witch as a main character, or books set at a magical school.

The plan is to include a minimum of five books that I have rated at least 3/5 stars (but probably 4 stars or above). I will try to include a mix of YA and adult fiction, but since I do tend to read a lot of YA fantasy, there will probably be a greater proportion of them than other genres.

My first list should be up next week, and it’s pretty dark, but it’s a topic I’m particularly interested in and passionate about, so I hope you’ll check it out.

If you have any ideas or requests, let me know in the comments below.