Welcome to my Best of Feb! This month was all about fresh starts and growth for me. I started a new job and left my previous place of employment for over 4+ years. It truly was the best decision and I’m so proud of myself for nurturing my soul and moving away from something that no longer served me. I also read a lot of books (see list at the end), worked on my third novel Aligning the Signs and spent 3 glorious days in sunny Adelaide by the beach. Let’s get into it!
THE BEST OF FEBRUARY:
1.) Accessories – Magnetic Bookmarks by HelloPaperCat
A lover of books is not complete without her/his own set of bookmarks. I discovered HelloPaperCat through another YouTuber and fell in love with their products whilst browsing the website. The artist Seriya, creates cute magnetic bookmarks, stickers, planner dividers, bags and planner dashboards. The bookmarks themselves were only $2 each so I couldn’t resist nabbing a few of my favourite designs. I chose Sailor Neptune from Sailor Moon, Luna from Sailor Moon, the Star-Locket from Sailor Moon, Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas and the adorable pink alpaca from the Alpacasso range. For a bit of fun, I also ordered the random grab bag and was sent the You Had Me At Pizza heart, Usagi from Sailor Moon dressed as a bear, an ice-cream and a cute flight attendant. As nerdy as it sounds, I love matching my bookmark to my book and it’s been so fun seeing these cute faces peeking out over the top of the pages. I would recommend checking out Seriya’s website and supporting her amazing talent. Take a look at her adorable business card below!
2.) Theatre Production – Kinky Books the Musical
In early February, my mum paid for her, myself and my sister to see Kinky Boots the Musical at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne. I had zero expectations regarding this show and no idea what the plot entailed beforehand but…I LOVED IT!! I was absolutely blown away by the story, the acting, the singing, the dancing and theatrics. It was phenomenal. Set in Northampton, England, the tale revolves around Charlie Price whose father owns Price & Son, a shoe-making factory. When Charlie’s father passes away, he is forced to take over and save the company from falling under. Enter Lola, a sassy transvestite that sings and dances at a nightclub in London. When the pair meet unexpectedly, Lola provides Charlie with a ground-breaking idea that will change the fate of Price & Son forever. Not only are the songs extremely catchy, the themes and morals woven within the story of acceptance and identity will melt your heart. If you ever get a chance to see the live stage production, I highly recommend it. Otherwise, rent the movie. This is a show I would see again – 5/5 stars!
3.) Books- The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
I am so glad I started reading this series. It’s truly gripping and fast-paced with each novel outdoing the last. Let me summarise as best as possible (without spoilers) what these books are about. Set in a fictional world, Adarlan’s infamous assassin Celaena Sardothien has spent a year as a slave in the salt mines of Endovier. One day she is visited by Prince Dorian and Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall with an offer. She is to compete against a band of thieves and cutthroat criminals within the royal castle in a series of trials. If she loses, she is sent back to Endovier. If she wins, she can become the King’s Champion and serve as his personal assassin for 4 years after which she will be granted eternal freedom. Before even picking up Throne of Glass, I would strongly recommend reading The Assassin’s Blade prequel first. Not only does it introduce the fantastical realms mentioned within the book but you learn all about how and why Celaena became a slave in Endovier to begin with. Throne of Glass also references the prequel quite regularly so it helps to have that background knowledge. I love the world-building in this series and Celaena’s clearly flawed and arrogant nature. Also who doesn’t like a good love triangle? The books just get better and you won’t see the twists coming! Pick them up and start the epic journey.
4.) YouTuber – LittleBookOwl
Catriona or ‘Caz’ as she calls herself, is a BookTuber from Sydney, Australia. Her videos revolve around book reviews, book hauls, bookish unboxings, TBR (To Be Read) goals and more. I’ve watched a lot of BookTuber’s in the past and never connected with any of them as much as Caz. She is really funny, sweet and so well-spoken. All of her reviews are clear, concise and objective. It was her review on Throne of Glass that made me want to start the series and as you can see, I am now loving it! Caz also partakes in lots of readathons and provides her viewers with all of those details so you can join in with her. I binge-watched her channel in February and by the end, I had an incredibly long list of books I had to read! Check her out. You’ll envy her gorgeous rainbow bookshelves.
5.) T.V Show – Vikings
Francis and I finally started watching Vikings (despite it airing in 2013) and we were instantly captivated to continue. I love historical movies and television series, particularly those that feature ancient gods. The show follows the tales of Viking Ragnar Lothbrok who pioneers the first raids to England with his crew, brother Rollo and wife Lagertha. I went into this show expecting brutal violence, raping and plundering but it is significantly deeper than that. There is a visible power-struggle between Ragnar and Earl Haraldson as well as a constant battle between rooting for the Vikings and despising them. I really love how females are represented in the show. In particular, Ragnar’s wife Lagertha, is a strong shield-maiden capable of defending herself and not allowing men to overpower her. If you haven’t already, I recommend checking it out. It has a very Game of Thrones type feel to it.
6.) Quote – John Green
“WHAT A TREACHEROUS THING TO BELIEVE THAT A PERSON IS MORE THAN A PERSON”
Last month, I had the pleasure of listening to Paper Towns by John Green on Audio Book. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did and I may offend a lot of fans by saying this but it is my favourite John Green book thus far. The magnificent, poignant quote above is spoken by protagonist Quentin Jacobson in relation to his unrequited love, Margo Roth Spiegelman. I love how deeply layered this sentiment is. It’s about the dangers of idolising another person when they are simply flawed human beings like the rest of us. When we place others on a pedestal, we run the risk of bitter disappointment when they don’t meet our initial expectations. I have made this error in the past and despite the pain, it taught me to become more compassionate and accepting of other people. Read Paper Towns for more context and a heartwarming story.
7.) Movie – La La Land
Sigh. This movie was perfectly lovely. I can see why it has won so many awards already. Set in Hollywood, Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress who serves coffee to movie stars in between auditions. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a passionate jazz musician with a dream for more. Through several twists of fate, they meet and fall in love whilst pursuing their heart’s desires. When they are finally both presented with opportunities, their relationship is tested and the ultimate question leaves you asking: what is worth fighting for? The colours, the music, the costumes, the dancing and the acting will leave you smiling from start to finish. I highly recommend seeing this movie if you haven’t already.
8.) Memory – Best Moment of February 2017
As mentioned, in February I started a new job at Melbourne University and in my second week there, I was flown with all of the staff to Adelaide for a 3 day conference/workshop by Glenelg Beach. I visited Glenelg in 2013 with Francis for a mini getaway and loved it so it was great to return in the summer once again. We stayed at the stunning Stamford Hotel by the ocean and I had the wonderful opportunity of bonding with all of the students/staff. In the evenings, I walked along the shore enjoying the warm night air and during my breaks, I read in the luxury of my own room. It was so much fun and I’m very thankful that I started a fantastic new job at the exact right time.
TOTAL BOOKS I READ IN FEBRUARY 2017: 8
– Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – 4/5 STARS
– Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman – 5/5 STARS (10 million really!)
– Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice – 2/5 (not her best sadly!)
– Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas – 4/5 STARS
– Paper Towns by John Green – 5/5 STARS
– Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman – 5/5 STARS (10 billion really!)
– Weather by Julie Capaldo – 3/5 STARS
Thank you so much for reading my February favourites. Let me know what some of yours were and which books you read this month. The two things I’m looking forward to most in March are: 1.) The release of the live-action movie Beauty and the Beast and 2.) The Adventure Time LIVE Show!
Peace & Love xoxo
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