8th Blogiversary Celebrations + Int Giveaway!

Eight years today. Eight years! I will continue to be astounded by the passing of time every single year I celebrate my blogiversary because I am still mentally half back in that third year mark or somewhere even around the fifth where that was a mini milestone and seemed like a huge number. Now I’m at eight years and it’s closer to ten than not and that’s a whole thing in itself.

In eight years I know my writing has improved, I know I have read some amazing books, and shared some wonderful adventures but I also know I have been able to share all my thoughts and rambles and opinions with some great people in the book and blogging community. I would like to thank the wonderful people who have been following me from the very beginning, to those who found me along the way, and those who stuck around during those times when everything went a bit haywire over the years. I am incredibly grateful.

Last year was a year nobody was expecting so to come through the other side with people still wanting to read my reviews and my thoughts means the world.

I am excited about what this next year of blogging will bring, I have a few ideas up my sleeve for features which I am excited for and even though in person book events are on hold, there are always virtual events to look forward to.

Today though is all about celebrating and thanking you guys! I’m feeling super generous this year and I am giving THREE lucky people the chance to win ONE of the books from the selection below. Included is my Top Five reads from 2020 as well as a few other favourites I read this past year.

The Selection

I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman

Once & Future (#1) by A. R. Capetta

Heartstopper (#1) by Alice Oseman

The Adventure Zone: Petals the to Metal by Clint McElroy*

What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume

Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

The Lightning Thief (#1) by Rick Riordan

Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

 

*This item is a sequel that possibly won’t make any sense if you haven’t read the previous ones. Keep that in mind when picking your book.

 

To enter: For a chance to win one of the pictured books simply enter here and complete the Rafflecopter form.

Please note: This giveaway is international on the basis the Book Depository ships to your country. To see if you are eligible you can check their website.

Thank you for helping me celebrate and if you entered the draw I wish you the best of luck!

Giveaway runs until midnight AEDT on Saturday 20th February 2021

71 Sheep Try Soccer by Pablo Albo

Published: 1st October 2017Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Berbay Publishing
Illustrator: Raúl Nieto Guridi
Translator: Michael Sedunary
Pages: 36
Format: Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

Sheep aren’t exactly renowned for their organisation skills, so when 71 sheep arrange a game of soccer, things are always going to get interesting. When their ball gets stuck in a tree, how will all the sheep cooperate to retrieve it? And when an unexpected danger presents itself, how will the sheep organise themselves to stay safe—and finish their game of soccer?

I don’t know what kind of story I expect from this title but I loved what Albo has created. When 71 sheep decide they want to play soccer not much will stand in their way, and if there are interruptions, they will adapt and reconvene in the best ways. This is a translation from the original Spanish and the fact it is so funny and the humour remains is a testament to Sedunary’s skills.

There’re only a few words in this story but not much needs to be said to gather meaning and the illustrations add another layer of storytelling. Guridi has done a great job capturing the quirkiness and the humour of the book; the absurdity of the story is amazing and seeing it play out in pictures makes it that much more enjoyable. This is definitely a book where the illustrations are as important and as enjoyable as the words and the experience of them together only builds up your delight as you read, eager to find out whether the sheep will ever get to play their game.

One of the best things I did was pick up this book because it was absolutely fabulous to read. It is funny, clever, incredibly absurd but also entirely brilliant.

You can purchase 71 Sheep Try Soccer via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | Angus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust

Top Five of 2020

Even with 2020 being what it was, I still managed to read some truly remarkable books. I am so excited to share these ones because some of these are so fantastic I had gifted them five stars before I’d even finished. I’ve got two gender flipped classic retellings, a brilliant graphic novel and stories full of fun and diversity and representation. Even the picture books are full of delight, filled with humour, absurdness and incredibly sweet.

Once & Future (#1) by A. R. Capetta

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This story is phenomenal! It’s the King Arthur legend, set in the future, set in space, with a female Arthur and a fabulous, beautifully constructed time loop of curses and legends and a beautiful cast of diverse characters that you will fall in love with. Honestly the detail and world building Capetta has done is a constant delight every time something else pops up and the way the original characters and established mythology is woven into it is brilliant. It is the myth we all know but it also has a new story unfolding too which was amazing to read about.

 

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (#1) by Mackenzi Lee

This was such an interesting book because I got to watch my own opinions of these characters gradually change as the book progressed. Lee takes you on a journey as you go from hating some characters to loving them and it’s a growth for them as well which is even better. The story is wonderful, it’s creative, full of sarcasm, has fabulous sibling banter and while it’s not overly complicated it has enough daring and adventure to make it captivating.

 

 

What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume

What stood out for me with this book was how much it felt like a real teenage story. Guillaume has captured the voice so well that you felt like these characters were real life teenagers living their lives in front of you. The story is perfect in that it shows how families and life can be imperfect and that teenage years can be downright messy. I adored it from start to finish and it’s an added bonus that it’s an Aussie YA because I loved seeing my own experiences reflected in a story.

 

 

Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

Gender flipped Robin Hood? Yes please. I loved every minute of this book, the way the original myth is woven into this retelling is amazing. Spooner doesn’t bring it into modern times or change the era, instead she gives us a brilliant story about another origin for the Robin Hood myth and it is one I will eagerly get behind. There’re secrets and danger and it’s full of tension and suspense which is stressful but also quite exhilarating when you know anything could happen. This is a story full of adventure but also full of love and justice, secrets and surprises.

 

The Adventure Zone: Petals to the Metal (#3) by Clint McElroy

I will admit if these keep coming out once a year they will end up on this list every time. I love this story and this is my absolute favourite arc in the Balance storyline and to see it play out before me with the images I tried to conjure in my head is fantastic. Pietsch has done another stunning job on the illustrations and as the next book in the series it is a great addition to the ongoing storyline. It is just as funny and just as brilliant as the podcast with the little adjustments required for the format change which adds its own special something.

 

Honourable Mention

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

 

Top Five Picture Books

Stormy: A Story About Finding A Forever Home by Guojing

Truman by Jean Reidy

71 Sheep Try Soccer by Pablo Albo

The Good Egg by Jory John

The Duckling Gets a Cookie by Mo Willems

 

Book Bingo 2021

January is such a busy blogging time because it’s when I set up everything for the coming year and get all my challenges lined up. This time round it’s my Book Bingo. This year I have chosen a mix of old and new in my 25 categories. I have kept a lot from last year but I have also mixed up a few others.

I looked for inspiration at previous cards but I found that the ones I had on my 2017 and 2018 cards for example were things I were reading anyway. I no longer need Graphic Novel or Set in Australia as I tend to read them by default now. Having said that, I did revisit some old ones like Non-human MC to see what I could find to fit the box this time around. I also included some new ones like Anthology, Short Stories and two nonfiction options. I kept my favourites which are my Fairytale Retelling and the evergreen TBR and Reread because they are good broad options and because even though I will read them anyway, I love having it on my card.

So not a super change from last year really, I might try a trope one next year but I never know how that works so I might poke about and see if I get any idea through the year.

Do you use bingo cards to help with your reading? Do you like having broad categories or more specific tropes? As always feel free to download this card to use for your own bingo, or check out previous posts through the Book Bingo tag and see previous cards.

 

Download Bingo Card

AWW 2021 Challenge

The Australian Women Writers Challenge has been going for ten years this year which is absolutely incredible and it has been an amazing challenge to participate in as it has allowed me a chance to read and discover some wonderful authors.

Not only have I read some great adult fiction, it’s allowed me to read some great YA authors, discover many great picture book authors, and being able to pick up books on a whim because they meet the criteria that I’ve ended up falling in love with.

I am sticking with my goal from last year to read 40 and review 35. I read enough last time but my reviewing failed so I’m aiming to meet that goal this year before upping my limit if I can. This also includes uploading them to the AWW website because I don’t know if I uploaded any of my reviews that I did do on there.

There’s never a better time to jump in on this challenge than right at the start but you can sign up at any time through the year all the way until the end of November. There are a lot smaller goals for those wanting a less daunting number than I have chosen or you can set your own depending what you’re after. The Australian Women Writers website has a host of resources and ideas if you’re looking for titles to get you started and there are a range of groups you can join to become part of the community.

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