Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January: My Month in Books

image source: we ♥ it

So I thought I'd share what I've been reading this month. My reading-to-blogging ratio is pretty unbalanaced (I think I worked out I'll review 2 books for every 10 I read) and as you may have noticed, it's been a bit quiet around here. I promise I'm still reading! Here's a little wrap-up of what I read this month and what I'm planning for February.

Total books read: 10
Divergent – Veronica Roth
Legend – Marie Lu
Horns – Joe Hill
Black Painted Fingernails – Steven Herrick
Don’t Breathe a Word – Holly Cupola
The Future of Us – Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Abandon – Meg Cabot
Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson
Wintergirls – Laurie Halse Anderson
The Purity Myth – Jessica Valenti

I had a pretty varied (and slow for me) month of reading. I have to tell you though - when reading Divergent, I was so enthralled that I ended up getting on the wrong train and not realising until I was on the other side of town! I enjoyed Horns a lot (but preferred Heart Shaped Box, which gave me full-on chills) and found Wintergirls to be really scary in another way.

Books I attempted (but didn't finish): 2
Skinny Bitch - Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin (I actually wrote a seperate post about my feelings towards this book and then deleted it  - just writing it was therapeutic enough and I decided I didn't really want to rant about it here).
A Game of Thrones - George R.R King - I really want to read this. I'm not much of a fantasy reader but I think I'll give it another attempt when I'm less distracted.

Books I'm currently reading: 2
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green - I know, I'm a bit slack. I raced out and got a copy the day it was released here and expected to devour it in a few hours. Instead I've decided to savour the experience and I'm only reading two chapters a night. It's actually really nice and I've found myself reflecting more on what I'm reading than just trying to get to the end.

Everything's Eventual - Stephen King.

Trying something new for 30 days
So in my last Mixed Bag post, I shared this video and I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I feel like I'm in a bit of a blogging rut lately (hence lack of action around here) and I've thinking about how a project like this could be beneficial in a number of ways (both in a blogging and personal sense). 30 days is a good amount of time to committ to breaking an old habit, or trying something different like Matt Cutts suggests in the video.

I'd like to try something new (for me) for the next 30 days. In February, I want to take a photo every day, and share them on here. Hopefully this will be a fun way to share a little glimpse of my day or my life with you all. If I can successfully stick to this, I'd like to try test-driving a new habit (or breaking an old one) and share my results on here.

What books did you read in January? What were your favourites?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Aussie YA Week at BTL

Are you guys all reading between the lines? If not, you should be! This week they are celebrating all things Aussie YA (as for those of you who are not Australian, January 26 is Australia Day).

source: we ♥ it

Today they take us on a little trip down memory lane, with a reading flashback to Melina Marchetta's Looking for Alibrandi. I first read this book in 2000 and it was then a set text for my year 9 English class and it couldn't have been more perfect for that time in my life. Every time I re-read Alibrandi (which is probably once a year), I think about that year (2002) - my school, my friends at the time, that English class and how that English teacher really made me love reading during a time when a lot of other things in my life were not going so well. Oops - sorry for the little waddle down memory lane.

Now seriously, go bask in the Aussie goodness!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

Is anyone else as excited as I am about the Moonrise Kingdom trailer?


I can't wait to see this. Also, I would love Suzy's entire wardrobe - actually I would just like to live in a Wes Anderson film.

What 2012 releases are you most looking forward to?

I'm also really excited for The Hunger Games, Dark Shadows, Frankenweenie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Magic Mike (seriously) and Warm Bodies.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy Dance!!! TFioS

Even though I pre-ordered a copy of The Fault in Our Stars online about four months ago, I still raced out to get a copy locally (the book is published in paperback by Penguin in Australia) to keep me going until my hardback arrives!

It's really hard, but I'm saving it to read tonight, uninterupted. Feel free to share your thoughts about the book or all thing John Green in the comments (and I'll read them when I've finished, as I've managed to keep spoiler-free so far!).

Seriously though, I am so excited to read this!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Dead, Actually

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine to "spotlight upcoming releases".

One of the books I've been looking forward to for some time now is this fabulous new Australian title:

Dead, Actually - Kaz Delaney
Publisher - Allen & Unwin
Date of Publication - March 2012

From A&U: Willow's having a bad week. A dead body, a funeral and now she's being haunted by the star of it all, the dead queen of Ruth Throsby High herself, JoJo Grayson. Being dead hasn't made JoJo any nicer. She's still venomous and vacuous and, unfortunately, determined to stick around unless Willow finds out what happened. But the mysteries keep multiplying. There's a missing phone. An anonymous blackmailer. Dirty secrets that won't stay buried. And the blame is being cleverly pointed right at Willow.

I have to admit that I've had a teensy sneaky peek at this one and it is well worth the wait!
Dead, Actually manages to combine elements of paranormal YA with a contemporary setting, a fast-paced mystery and fresh characters. If you're a fan of the Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl or Private series, make sure you add Dead, Actually to your calendars!

What upcoming releases are you eagerly anticipating?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mixed Bag #43

Good morning friends! Here is my first Mixed Bag post for 2012, featuring some of my favourite things online. I hope you enjoy them.

source: we ♥ it

♥ I am pretty much in love with this 2011 post from the lovely Steph Bowe: Luck versus Hard Work and Recognising Your Awesome.
♥ The Ryan Gosling Young Adult tumblr
♥ The lovely Danielle at Alpha Reader is hosting an amazing giveaway to kick off 2012,  featuring Australian Women Writers. If you're an Australian resident, go enter!
♥ Look guys, Shirley Marr has announced the title of her upcoming novel and given us a little teaser (cannot wait til April - add this to your calendars!!)
♥ I found this video on Stephanie Perkins' blog about trying something new for 30 days. I'm sure you've all heard of this before, but I think it's a great idea and I'd love to try it (and hopefully share the results on here!). If you're also a fan of this concept, check out Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days series.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Girl Friday gets a Makeover

image source: we ♥ it

I decided that My Girl Friday was way, way overdue for a new look (I have had the previous blue design since September 2010). I wanted a clean design, that felt fresh and feminine and so I purchased this lovely template from Yellow & Savvy on etsy, and would highly recommend Steph-Anne's service for Blogger and self-hosted Wordpress templates.

Hopefully this new design is showing correctly on your internet browser, but please let me know if you're having issues and I'll do my best to resolve these (I have noticed a few teeny things in Internet Explorer, which I hope to get ironed out asap).

I've also made a few admin changes around here, which I hope you'll find useful!
Review Archive - instead of having to try and find my reviews from my old Books Read lists, I know have all of my reviews in one handy-dandy location. I also have a seperate review list for Australian YA titles.
Review Policy - I have updated my review policy to reflect the future direction of the blog.
Blogroll - I've updated and tidied my blogroll on the right, under What She's Reading with a list of Australian YA bloggers.

I hope you like my new look, and I'm really looking forward to sharing lots of Aussie YA goodness with you this year!