Hi mates, so this isn't so much a specific book post as an update on my life situation right now (sounds like srs business) and the lack of inactivity on the blog!
I started full-time work in mid-February. At the beginning it was alright and you were seeing me still do regular posts because I'd scheduled a heap of stuff beforehand. But as work wears on I'm becoming lazier and lazier as exhaustion kicks in from travelling to work each day.
I love the place where I work though, it was my employer of choice when I did my graduate applications last year and was so happy I nearly started crying when I got the offer last April. The community and network are amazing and they really love graduates here. If you're confused about what that means: a lot of large employers offer something called graduate programs - intended for those that have just graduated from uni (usually undergrad) and you get a really good support network (buddies and mentors). It's different from being a lateral hire because there's induction/orientations, training days, you do rotations in different business units and you're given a more sound understanding of what the company/business does, sort of like when you first started high school there were a few days of getting to know everyone and settling in, but this is for full-time work. And really anybody can apply for it because there are so many benefits to graduate programs! Not gonna lie, the application process can be long and intense with lots of competition but welcome to the real world.
Anyway, I've actually met quite a few people at work who love to read! I had a meeting with a manager quite high up yesterday and in talking about my work's LGBTI community I told him about the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign and he asked for a rec. No duh I said Ari & Dante and OMG HE'D HEARD OF IT! I told him he HAD to read it. And then we started talking books and he recommended me The Rosie Project haha which I told him is sitting on my bookshelf right next to the sequel. I'm now more motivated to read it. We then proceeded to email each other recs. TODAY I talked to another colleague who told me she loved The Book Thief (oh the shame I'm 150 pages into this and it's been sitting on my shelf for 4 years) but she was surprised it was YA. I then gave her a spiel on how YA is an age group, and there's fantastic books in it, how I can relate more to characters and life-choices and then she asked me for recommendations. I'm so pleased!
So I'm now trying to figure out my work-BLOG balance as work-life is pretty good. The challenge is ensuring I read a balance of both review and non-review books to get enough reviews for my blog to keep running, but also aim to keep at my blogging goals for 2015 like more features and blog commenting. It's really hard now but let's hope I find my feet soon. I get in before 9am everyday and make sure to leave at around 5. If I so deign I go shopping (perks of working in the city, not so great for my bank account) and on Friday nights us grads hop down to the bar downstairs for Friday night drinks then do dinner - so my social life is definitely in-tact!
I've actually been spending HEAPS of time shopping, now that I have a stable income again - those 3 months without an income and eating into my savings had me majorly worried, I'd never known the proper meaning of book buying ban until then - and I'm sadly moving towards the more luxurious end of the scale where brands are concerned. Oh the woes of being a girl right? I need clothes for work, makeup because despite what anybody says, first impressions do count and you get judged on your appearance in the business world, random pretty things (like candles what even) and then OF COURSE BOOKS. Always the books.
I've read quite a few books recently so let me give you the down low from mid-Feb - March if I didn't write a review on it:
- Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (3.5/5) which I really enjoyed. I absolutely ADORED Cinder in this. She's my favourite character thus far and Thorne is hilarious. I'm still finding the world-building to be lacking though. I'm definitely going to read Cress before Winter comes out. Also, WINTER IS 800 PAGES WHAT?
- Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott (3.5/5) was a great high fantasy with Japanese elements but for some reason I couldn't really connect to the way the MC was just able to be in touch with her power and harness it so well.
- A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (3.5/5) has the most gorgeous cover ever seriously and I'm so glad I liked this otherwise I'd be devastated because THAT COVER. I thought this was too romance heavy and lacked the action I expected from the blurb. I wanted more universe hopping, more world-building in some cases. I think I just kept comparing it to Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE which has the most complex storyline and intricate world-building. It's a fantastic story and manga and absolute mind-fuck (customary CLAMP). I can't wait for Ten Thousand Skies Above You though!
- Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally (3/5) was alright and I liked Parker as a character but I thought she didn't stand up for herself enough at times. She wasn't sure of herself and because of that would regret many decisions she made. It annoyed me that her friends also treated her like crap when she was always supporting them.
- The Archived by Victoria Schwab (4.5/5) was my first foray in Victoria's work and I was extremely impressed. I'd heard such amazing things about her writing I was genuinely worried I'd be the black sheep. Thank goodness I wasn't. The Archived had a gorgeous and original concept. It was haunting, slightly gothic and creeptastic in the best way. Even though I guessed the culprit I still liked the way the revelation happened.
- To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (3/5) left me with mixed feelings. I adored the Lara Jean's family, her sisters, their relationship with their father, the father himself was a wonderful dad. I had issues with Lara Jean. It annoyed me constantly that she never stood up for herself, cried whenever she... Just cried whenever. There was no character growth with her. I will read the sequel though. I like the fresh, summery vibe Jenny's books have. AND THE COVERS <3
- Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (4/5) was recommended to me extensively by Mel from YMR. Then Gina and I saw it at Dymocks and we were sold when we saw that SJM had blurbed it LOL. This kept calling to me from my bookshelf so I picked it up and couldn't put it down! It's Beauty and the Beast with a Greek mythology twist and it's done so well. My only issue was that the romance felt too quick to the point of NEARLY insta-love. But the world is amazing and very mind-blowing and gave the story this really epic, world-end kind of feel!
I'm currently reading Every Word by Ellie Marney and loving the grittiness. It's an Aussie Sherlock retelling which is fantastic and I recommend you get on the series :)
What have you guys been reading lately? Do you have a shopping problem like me? For those that work full-time especially in the corporate space - how do you balance work, life + blogging and reading?
Over and out.