I’ve Been Gone A Long Time

In fact, my last draft post was a wrap up for March and April…

Just this last week, we had our final staff meeting for the year. In this meeting, our director asked each staff member to write down a word or small sentence that describes their personal or work-related success for these past 12 months. On my card, I wrote one word; survival. 

In fact, I wrote it like; SURVIVAL!!! in bright blue pen.

When it was my turn to explain my choice, I said “As of this month, I’ve survived my first year of teaching, somehow!” Everyone had their own personal victories; better work-life balance, improved interactions with staff and families, citizenship, etc… But simply surviving was mine. I was sick for about 99% of winter, colds, flu, tonsilitis, you name it. I’ve been put under stress, experienced conflict, breakdowns and seriously questioned my choices on more than one occasion. On top of this, I went through my own breakups, moved house, started a new relationship, and travelled across the country to do volunteer work– to live my ‘double life’ as my work colleague puts it.


But the above graphic is so accurate it hurts. I knew what I was getting myself into, but at the same time I couldn’t possibly. I forged new friendships, cried on the shoulder of colleagues I didn’t think I could get along with, and found new understandings in the children who taught me more than I feel I’ve taught them. I’ve learned so much, I’m stronger, and a totally different person to the me of 12 months ago.

So although this post seems like it’d be better suited to a New Years resolution or follow up… I just felt that now was the time to put my feelings into words. I’ve been slowly fitting my hobbies back into my life, and working out where my balance is right now.

That being said, I won’t post-spam anytime soon, but will definitely try to share content and reviews sporadically if possible.



Book Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder



I have been meaning to read this series forever and a half! I was so excited to buy the first novel and begin reading, especially after working at Maria’s author panels throughout one particular convention last year.


Poison Study is the story of a girl who is sentenced to death after murdering the son of a Military Official, but is then offered another chance at life — if she becomes the new food tester.

[What I liked…]

  • Characters
    -I liked the initial set up of characters; a girl who tastes food for poison, guards, castle staff, and an ex-assassin
  • Pace/Flow
    -I felt that the pace was consistent all the way through the story, and as such it was easy to pick up and read quickly
  • The World
    -The world in which this series is set began to give off a very classic-fantasy-YA vibe that felt comfortingly familiar at times

[What I didn’t like…]

  • Writing style
    -Right from page one I noticed that the writing  style was giving me issues. For my personal taste I felt that immersing myself in the story was quite difficult to begin with initially, purely due to the fact that descriptions of environments were just so drawn out. Everything felt over-described, and I just wanted the story to move forward without having to read about the full workings of one particular room that the plot might not even be plot-essential.
  • Character Development
    -Another biggie for me. Character relationships felt forced and the only growth that I as the reader could pinpoint was that which the characters proclaimed to have experienced themselves.
    -Bad guys were just that– bad guys, for the sake of being bad/evil. I guess what I’m trying to convey is that the antagonists felt two dimensional, and when their plots played out (for this novel at least), I felt that crucial elements fell flat or weren’t really elaborated on.
    -I guess this also carries across to the “romance” element. I honestly didn’t observe ANY chemistry happening, and then suddenly it would just get THROWN IN THERE. I couldn’t even tell you what the love interest looked like, so little time was spent by the protagonist actually looking at him. And yet there was a moment where the characters are professing their love madly as though it all just happened. Just. Well. Call me a cynic but that insta-love stuff could really be handled better in a series that I can see has many instalments ahead of me.

[In Conclusion]

I know that soooo many people recommend this book (and this series) very highly, but I guess this is one of those times where I’m just the odd one out. It just didn’t click with my reading brain.

Poison Study intrigued me, enough so that I stuck with it and explored the world a little bit deeper. However, what I really needed to keep me there was some good ole character development and to form emotional attachments with the protagonist. I didn’t really feel that any of the characters warranted that though. Interesting premise, but it’s just not enough for me.

{Final Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars}



February Wrap Up 2017

  Wow where even did February go? The last week of Summer has just passed for us here in Australia, which is literally my favourite time of year, so I’m a little sad (boo). I’m also combating this with new book purchases though….(emotional spending). I’m starting to find this year that I’ve branched out a […]

January Wrap Up 2017

Happy New Year readers! It’s already February and I’m having such a hard time finding…well, time! Now that I’m working full time, things seem crazy and I’m still adjusting to new routines and ways of doing and being myself. I’m still reading, of course (hooray!) but I’m sure all these things will modify how I […]

Wrap Up – December 2016

As I write this post on the last day of 2016, I can actually look back and say wow. What an insane year. The things I’ve achieved and places I’ve been, I could not have imagined for myself. I have dear friends, colleagues, and a great deal of luck to thank for that. This is my final wrap up for the year, and I’m just glad I managed to finish up all the books I was currently reading, so that I can start clean and fresh in the new year.

{Books Read in December}

For the month of November, I managed to complete a total ofbooks!

  • Their Fractured Light (Starbound #3) – Amie Kaufman & Meghan Spooner
    Comments: I liked this novel a great deal more than the previous instalment, and as a conclusion I thought that it did tie things together neatly. I think that the best element of Their Fractured Light was the relationship between Sofia and Gideon- how it is balanced, how issues are dealt with and how it progressed over time.
  • The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories – Ken Liu
    Comments: I bought this after reading the sample of The Paper Menagerie that was available on Goodreads. I fell in love with Liu’s speculative fiction style of writing and the bittersweetness of the stories he writes. Good Hunting, The Perfect Match and State Change were some definite stand outs for me.
  • Harry Potter e La Pietra Filosofale – J.K. Rowling
    Comments: This is the first time I’ve read a book in another language which I had already read previously in english. It was a great experience for me as I initially bought this edition in order to practice my Italian somewhat, and maybe expand my vocabulary. I didn’t expect to find as much joy in the translation nuances as I found out the new names for various characters or story elements. 

Total books read in 2016: 68 books. 
Goodreads Challenge Progress : 68 out of 50 books pledged.



Wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year, I hope that 2017 truly brings great joy and successes. 2016 was a truly tough year for many, many people, and I’d well deserved.

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TBR – December 2016

The final month and my final TBR for 2016 are finally here! This year has been an intense ride of highs and lows like nothing I’ve experienced before, and I can only hope I’ve come out stronger for it. I’m proud that I’ve stuck with my reading challenge, as once again it’s motivated me to […]

Wrap Up – November 2016

Hullo lovely blog, I’ve not abandoned you yet! Whilst I didn’t read a huge number of books this month, I completed some fairly large ones (see below :P) and am fairly chuffed about it. December is upon us now, and I’m going to endeavour to set myself a strict TBR list for the final month […]

Book Surprises 2016

And with the end of the year fast approaching, now is the time for wrap-ups to begin and new plans to be made! I thought I’d start out this year with my the books that surprised me the most throughout 2016- the good, the not-so-good, and the in-between. These were the books that were not […]

Life Updates

My general activity around this blog has really been in flux this year, especially once my studies got intense in the last two months of my course. The silver lining of the situation there however, is that I was still able to keep on reading and whittling away at my TBR pile, which I’m still super proud of.

Okay, firstly I’m not blonde anymore :/

Anyway, whilst I’ve still been able to share my reading progress, I haven’t really had the time to sit down and take stock of anything else, much less write it out. Thus, I’m going to make a start with that right here, with just a few little life updates and intentions for the future of this site.

Revamping the blog

First off, I very much intend to spend some time revamping the structure of my little blog here. A new set of graphics and banners for the new year, and probably a new layout for the recurring posts. The overall aesthetic will still remain the same, but I’d like to keep things feeling fresh and sparkly for myself, as the individual that writes and reads all this stuff I babble about :P. I haven’t done a lot of illustration (at all) this year, so it’s actually kind of nice to get back into the process; sketching, modifying, inking etc. Also! Book reviews with certainly make a return in the new year, as I definitely missed doing them!


As I’ve already mentioned here and there, I finally, finally, after 4 years as an undergraduate and then a year as a postgraduate, will be putting student life behind me. I’ve already completed everything for my course, submitted every assessment and sat my exams. Right now I’m just waiting for the official graduation date to pass, and for my teaching accreditation to come through….AND THEN JUST LIKE THAT, I’M A TEACHER *woo*. This pretty much accounts for the extra freedom I’m going to find myself with for the next little while. I’ve spent a good portion of this year sick, with chest infections and colds and all that jazz, so I’m very much looking forward to some recuperation (especially in the sunshine that has FINALLY come to Melbourne).

Moving house

This isn’t actually an immediate thing, but it’s still a very large part of my life right now. I’m going to be moving house again, and this time I’ll be moving with a lifelong friend of mine. In the next six months, most likely, but I’ve got a lot to get sorted in that time frame. So expect that to come up again randomly in a few months, when I can’t stop talking about it all.

Upcoming Updates

Last year I did some wrap-up posts leading up to the end of the year, concerning my favourite books, series and quotes amongst other things, and I definitely plan to have that happening this year too! It’s going to be a great way to get back into blogging regularly and also looking back on this crazy, hectic year. Look forward to it :D
avatar   -Datsu, xox