A few books I’ve DNF’d lately

Fire round coming up … I’m going to give short statements as to why I DNF’d these books. I can say with absolute clarity and honestly that I will be going back to these books. They are not leaving my shelves. They have just been started, stopped and then removed from my bedside table (immediate book grabbing pile).

Twisted Love by Ana Huang

  • Writing was a big rough for what I was looking for at the time
  • Have been told by a beautiful customer that this was her least favourite in the series and also believes I will like further books in the series more
  • My mood for smutty reading slowed down

Five Bush Weddings by Clare Fletcher

Iris by Fiona Kelly McGregor

  • Written with no quotation marks – something that doesn’t resonate with my reading style
  • Dark Australian mafia read and comes across as a strong feminist read as well – love that
  • Gritty, well-written and researched
  • Based on fact and will need to be in the right mood to read of possible gruesome and graphic retellings

I am now currently onto The Night Travellers by Armando Lucas Correa and it is fantastic! What are you reading this week and how is it travelling?

A little refresh

Here she is, in all her BEAutiful glory ๐Ÿ˜

On melreviewsherbooks, we’ve had a branding and logo change. This idea and desire came from my longtime following of @holliestartup and seeing the wonderful, warm and personal illustrations she continuously creates. An idea formed of, “Why don’t I have something a little personal of my own?”.

Hollie is the most kind, intelligent and easy creative to converse with and she has honestly created the ideal image for me. I truely believe, and those who know me personally will agree, that this wraps up all that I am.

So here you have it. This is the true Mel; book reading; coffee drinking; muffin eating; overall wearing; Peachy cat mum; and overall cosy gal.

I’m planning on a few cool things happening around here this year, so keep your eyes peeled and your emails well checked ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ’ซ

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words ๐Ÿ“š It is a book tag to broaden the reading community and help connect avid readers!

All you have to do is answer the following three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think youโ€™ll read next?

CR: Ascension by Nicholas Binge is SO addictive! Imagine a mountain appears out of nowhere but it’s only brought to your attention because you are a physicist that is needed on the highly secretive mission to the top. Everyone who has come back from the top base camp (only 2 so far in its small history) has turned mad and been ‘changed’ from whatever they learnt/experiences/whatever happened up there. And one of those two is the main character’s ex-wife. The story is cleverly written from the past by letters the main character is holding onto for his niece. In the present time, the main character is found by his brother in a mental facility and he has also lost his mind. So we know what’s to come but how does it all play out. I cannot wait to finish this book!

RF: The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams was my recent fun and smutty read for my week off from bookselling. It was great and you can find my review here (click me romance go-er) ๐Ÿ’–

RN: Death of a Book Seller by Alice Slater is a book I know nearly nothing about but have every desire to read from its title! How capturing and well, frightening … This book involves a true crime bookseller buff, a new employee who is not as they seem and a deadly friendship. It’s had pretty high reviews so I am keen to give it a whirl.

What are you all reading this week? Leave a COMMENT below ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Purchase or download your books via this link: BOOKTOPIA

Sundays in bed with … The Daily Stoic

This blog tag was originally hosted byย Midnight Book Girlย and it aims to share how youโ€™re spending your Sunday readingย ๐Ÿค“

This Sunday I am waking up to read The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman ๐Ÿง 

Now I am new to these stoicism theories, texts and concepts. I’ve been mostly introduced to them by someone close in my life and The Daily Stoic is my first taster.

For me, I am really seeking this book out as something to read each morning, as it sets a precedent for each day of the year. For example, todays message is:

HOW TO HAVE A GOOD DAY: Here is how you guarantee to have a good day: do good things. Any other source of joy is outside of your control or is nonrenewable. But this one is all you, all the time, and unending. It is the ultimate form of self-reliance.

I don’t know about you but I really needed to hear this today. Somehow each passage daily, as humans, we can find some way of applying and resonating this with our lives and current lifestyle. I highly recommend giving this a try and maybe even keep a journal to write down your minds initial thoughts and feelings about each daily passage.

๐ŸŽง ‘Folklore’ by Taylor Swift – currently obsessed with this album, I think it is connected to the winter weather rolling in ๐ŸŒง

Purchase or download your copy via this link: The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman

๐Ÿ’ซ Mini Review ๐Ÿ’ซ

The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams is your new smutty book on the block โœ…

I can promise that in 48 hours, you will snavel this novel up and will be continuing on your book buying binge for ALL other Sarah Adams books. (click me and you can see them ๐Ÿ˜‰)

Bree and Nathan have been best friends since high school. Nathan dreamt of becoming an NFL superstar and Bree dreamt of becoming a professional ballet dancer. Sadly, only one of their dreams came true. After having a few years apart in collage, Nathan and Bree have reconnected and their friendship is stronger than ever. It is also particularly threatening to any of the women Nathan’s chooses to dates, mainly as all of these woman can see the unrequited love between the two of them that neither care to admit.

This friends to lovers trope takes a great turn when Nathan’s celebrity stardom approves of Bree as a potential cutesy girlfriend after yet another breakup goes wrong. Que, the two of them in a fake relationship and oh how this is entertaining to read!

Okay positives and contrary aspects:


  • Written as if the author is talking to you in conversation which makes the novel extremely easy to read
  • Friends to lovers trope
  • Characters are really warm and loveable
  • Dual perspective
  • Bree is so quirky and cute that she is what every girls dreams the main character is in these smutty novels (… or maybe that’s just what I enjoy reading!)
  • The whole premise of this book happens over quite a short period of time


  • Not a lot of depth to the environment or back story of each character. I wanted a little more historical detail surrounding Bree and Nathan’s teenage years and friendship bond back then
  • Wasn’t long enough … I was invested ๐Ÿค—
  • There wasn’t a big dramatic peak as there usually is in 80% of novels in this genre. I was kind of waiting for a big secret to be exposed or a disagreement to happen over something minuscule and then have the main characters make up … but it didn’t really happen. In a way this was kind of a positive as the character’s didn’t resent, argue or disagree with one another. The novel just ended in a peachy kind way which was warm and fuzzy.

All in all, this smutty read is perfect for a rainy day, with a nice hot cup of tea!

Purchase or download your copy via this link: The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams

Real Talk Thursday: That feeling of self-doubt

I find it challenging to convince my brain sometimes that I am the best person for the job. Self-doubt can weigh in on decision making in my life far too heavily at times.

Let’s talk an example; recently, I decided to expose myself to a new opportunity/challenge and perspective. At the time of this challenge taking place, my thought patterns when a little like this … “YES! I can do this.”, “I tick all the boxes.”, “I have the ability to make this fit in my life and thrive.”. All great and probably truthful things, correct?

However, a day or so after being in that positive frame of mind, performing at a happiness rate and with confidence that is a true part of myself, I began to doubt my ability. Thinking thoughts of; “Maybe I won’t be good enough”, “I probably wouldn’t be the right fit.”, “What if I can’t handle it?”, “Surely, there is someone better than me to do this”. These overpowering negative thoughts tend to hold more traction in the human brain than the positive thoughts. Why do you think that is?

For me, I think the negative thoughts can trigger that overthinking part of my brain where hypothetical downfall is more and more inevitable. The hardest part is challenging those thoughts and proving to yourself why they are not true.

Therefore, I am attempting to change:

“Maybe I won’t be good enough” INTO “I am good enough and capable as I have succeeded in this task or identical before in X,Y,Z.”

“I probably won’t be the right fit” INTO “Why should I try and fit when maybe what this experience is asking me to do is be myself and that in fact might be the perfect fit.”

“What if I can’t handle it?” INTO “This experience may be hard at first but if I am strong enough to ask for help when I need it, learn from those with more experience and take on valid feedback, I most likely will be able to handle it.”

“Surely, there is someone better than me to do this” INTO “I am capable and strong. I am intelligent and have an abundance of experience in preparation for this challenge. I could in fact BE the BEST person for this.”

I think a lot of these affirmations are in fact transferable to many experience and aspects of life. As I can only speak from my own experiences, I have learnt that self-doubt will stop my personal self growth if I do not challenge it and remove it from my thought patterns. Growing is part of life and changing paths is also part of life. I guess that is just some of life’s beauty, we manifest what we wish to get out of this life and self-doubt is not on my list people!

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words ๐Ÿ“š It is a book tag to broaden the reading community and help connect avid readers!

All you have to do is answer the following three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think youโ€™ll read next?

CR: Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin has me captivated and desperate to find out where these characters lives are at the end of the novel. I cannot wait to break down each character and my thoughts in a full review when I finish this. I have SO many thoughts on Sadie, Sam, Marx and Dov. Golly, if any of my previous encouragement has not gotten you over the line in reading this novel, this is your calling – DO IT!

RF: The Redgum River Retreat by Sandie Docker was an Australian fiction I recently finished and loved this month. As you longtime book blog followers will know, Sandie is not only one of my favourite authors but also one of my favourite people! Sandie was the first Australian author I interviewed on this blog and she was/is incredibly kind. I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to actually meet Sandie in a week as she visits my local bookstore. It was an absolute pleasure reading her latest novel (in 48hr as per usual – I ADORE them all) and to have organised a few events for her.

RN: How To Be Remembered by Michael Thompson is a perfectly modern and unique spin on The Time Traveller’s Wife and also a novel that I am half way through … meaning, I desperately need to finish it and write a review. Additionally, having the pleasure of meeting Michael recently upon my organisation of his visit to our local store, ensured my desire to finish Tommy Llewellyn’s story.

What are some novels on your TBR pile?

Sundays in bed with … Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin ๐ŸŽฎ

This blog tag was originally hosted by Midnight Book Girl and it aims to share how youโ€™re spending your Sunday reading ๐Ÿค“

This morning I’m waking up in bed with Gabrielle Zevin’s latest novel Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow. And wow, I cannot put this down ๐Ÿ‘€

I started to dabble in Zevin’s writing with one of her earlier novels, The Storied Life of A.J Fikery. Its story had a stand out storyline about a middle aged man who had lost his wife tragically, well before her time. They had discussed the potential of having children but never really came to an agreement of when that would be. Eventually coming to the conclusion that it may just not happen for them. Yet, after her passing, A.J Fikery finds a child left on the doorstep of his bookstore one night. No note. No explanation. She’s just there and she clearly needs a home.

I am experiencing the same empathetic feeling for Sam and Sadie in Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow. They’ve been brought together by challenging trauma’s they’re both going through at a young age and this bond comes through gaming in a hospital. Their connection dwindles as they grow and rocky friendship decisions take place, however they find themselves reconnecting in their early 20’s.

Over the course of their years apart, Sam and Sandie never lost their love of gaming, and now decide to create a blockbuster game. Just imagine, this is set in 1980ish, so gaming is incredibly different to what it is today but you become totally invested in those involved in its process, the ideas behind the game development and how the characters change along the way. This story so far follows a lot of unhealthy influences and what the tasting of fame, fortune and favour can do to a persons perception of their future and happiness. There are soft touches of love and romance but they each have their complexities.

Super excited to have this finished by Tuesday for my book club meeting!

๐ŸŽง PODCAST: read, eat, repeat by Alissa Warren & Sally Killaran

โ˜•๏ธ Almond Latte

What are you reading, listening too and drinking this weekend? ๐ŸŒธ

Sundays in bed with … a Fantasy & a Romance

Happy Easter Sunday book lovers ๐Ÿฐ

I thought this little upload could give you a giggle, while also giving you my reading update! This blog tag was originally hosted by Midnight Book Girl and it aims to share how you’re spending your Sunday reading ๐Ÿค“

I am to share what I’m reading, listening too and drinking ๐Ÿ“š๐ŸŽงโ˜•๏ธ

Currently, I am in-between two book! I know – how can I even be doing that AND just to create more chaos … I think I may start a third this afternoon! #whoops

I am still on my re-reading binge which means that as I track right now, I am more than halfway through A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. To tell you I am adoring this reread is an understatement. I forgot how action backed these books are, as well as how immersive and addictive they are for me. They are bringing me just the right amount of nostalgia.

I am also about 5 chapters into Duck a la’Orange for Breakfast by Karina May, which is a debut romance novel. This has been on my social media radar like crazy and I couldn’t resist the temptation to give it a try. Max is fresh from a break up and is looking to get back into the dating game … but not ideally wanting to commit to someone. She just wants a good time, some company and a person to fill that whole of communication. Que her best friend and roommate signing her up for a dating app. Before the breakup, Max’s ex mother in law gifted her their traditional family French recipe book and Max is now makeing it her mission to regain her independence by working through the cookbook and teaching herself how to cook. And it just happens to be a wonderful coincidence that one of the guys Max matches with online is a chef. This is making for a fun and bubbly read so far! For a debut novel, it’s going pretty well!

Now … onto the book I’m starting this evening… My Literature book club is reading Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin for the month of April, and I can tell you, I am EXCITED! This book has rave reviews and still to this day, I remember the story of Zevin’s novel The Storied Life of AJ Fikery so fondly. That novel almost brought me to tears. I felt such immense connection to the characters and its story flowed at just the right pace to keep you invested with no idea of what was coming next. Therefore, I am intrigued to read, absorb and *hopefully* devour another on her Zevin’s novel. Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow has been topping charts and already being named some people’s favourite read of 2023. We are following Sam, Sadie and Marx on their emotional rollercoasters in creating a gaming empire, falling in and out of love, coping with mental health and healing from trauma. I have no doubt interesting conversations will arise from this novel.

What have you been reading this Easter weekend? Drop a comment below ๐Ÿ’ฌ

๐ŸŽง Folklore album by Taylor Swift

โ˜•๏ธ Almond Latte

Real Talk Thursday: A lending hand

This past week I shared this beautiful illustration by @alevneto on my Instagram and the response was lovely ๐Ÿ’–

Somehow this image incorporated warmth, care and gentleness. To me, it represented exactly how I was feeling the previous fortnight. I felt like I could finally rest my brain and allow those close to me to hold me up.

REAL TALK: Moods change and that’s okay. Something I’ve learnt through time, experience, professionals and wonderful friends & family, is that it’s okay to feel down, but it is absolutely necessary to allow those same people to hold you and lift you back up again ๐Ÿ’ซ

Take care moving into the weekend book friends ๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿ“š