Dear Diary: Positive Thinking and Achievements

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Last week, I mentioned some of the positive things I achieved last year and some goals that I plan to set for this year. I’ve had enough of putting myself down and want to think positively – although I know it’s easier said than done. But writing this post has made me realise that, regardless of how I felt at any given time, 2017 was a positive year for me.

I touched upon some achievements in regards to what I had managed to get read and reviewed last year. I had to have a couple of breaks from blogging because other commitments were making it impossible to commit the time that I wanted. But stepping back reminded me how much I loved it and how much I was missing it. It gave me the drive to push myself in regards to content, hence doing the Twelve Days of Christmas.

But when I think back to last year, I managed to accomplish so much more than just being pleased with how the blog was going.

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Book Review: Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

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Synopsis: It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity.

 

 

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Happy New Year: Looking Back at 2017/Resolutions

Up and Coming

2017 has ended on a positive note for me. I’ve actually learnt to look back at what I’ve achieved and feel proud. For one thing: I now have a Masters!

How about resolutions for this year? Getting in shape and finding a job in my dream industry are two of them. They’re not the type that I feel I can blog about, however. I don’t want to spend my time writing about how I’m sending off applications, for starters!

My main aim, however, is blog related. I want to keep more up to date with reviews this year. My first target is to get to that golden 80% ratio on Netgalley (you may have noticed some extra reviews flying out over the last few weeks).

But I also want to get more books reviewed on time. I request them, then get caught up with blog tours and older books and miss the magic three-month time period where book publicity has the biggest impact. I review, not only because I love it, but because I want to help out the authors any way I can. A review is better than no review, but actually getting it out on time would be even better.

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Book Review: Dragon Legends by Ava Richardson

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Synopsis: Ever since scruffy Sebastian Smith and Lady Thea Flamma were paired as Dragon Riders, their lives have been forever changed. The unlikely duo forged an unbreakable bond, but now with dark stirrings in the south their bond will be put to the ultimate test. 

Seb discovers Lord Vincent has returned and he wants to unleash an ancient evil that will destroy the lives of everyone in the kingdom – The Darkening. In order to defend the realm against unspeakable foes, Seb, Thea, and their shared dragon, Kalax, set out on an arduous journey to find the sacred Dragon Stones – before their dark power ends up in the wrong hands.

But to conquer an old enemy, Thea must find a way to overcome her own inner demons, and Seb has to muster the courage to become the brave leader his kingdom needs . . . 

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Book Review: Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

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Synopsis: Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan.

Twelve years later, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window, but he’s getting older and this unlikely sighting is chalked up to senility. Flora, who has never believed her mother drowned, returns home to care for her father and to try to finally discover what happened to Ingrid. But what Flora doesn’t realize is that the answers to her questions are hidden in the books that surround her. Scandalous and whip-smart, Swimming Lessons holds the Coleman family up to the light, exposing the mysterious truths of a passionate and troubled marriage.

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Book Review: The Girl in the Garden by Melanie Wallace

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Synopsis: An unforgettable novel about a young woman and her infant son, abandoned at a seaside motel in New England, and the secrets of the townspeople who provide them with shelter.

When June arrives on the coast of New England, baby in arms, an untrustworthy man by her side, Mabel—who rents them a cabin—senses trouble. A few days later, the girl and her child are abandoned. June is soon placed with Mabel’s friend, Iris, in town, and her life becomes entwined with a number of locals who have known one another for decades: a wealthy recluse with a tragic past; a widow in mourning; a forsaken daughter returning for the first time in years, with a stranger in tow; a lawyer, whose longings he can never reveal; and a kindly World War II veteran who serves as the town’s sage. Surrounded by the personal histories and secrets of others, June finds the way forward for herself and her son amid revelations of the others’ pasts, including loves—and crimes—from years ago.

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