Astrid Kaniele

Last months reading update was a little insane compared to this months smaller update. In the last few weeks, we've paused our travels and found some work for the next three months, so I haven't been reading as much as I was in February. Hopefully, now that I've organized our room exactly how I want it, I'll be able to read a bit more in April. For now, though, here's what I read in March.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1) Noggin The Carrie Diaries (The Carrie Diaries, #1)
Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries, #2) My Life Next Door Mirror Mirror

Yeah, I'm real late to the party with this one. It's one I always meant to read and never got around to. Luckily, my guy remembered me mentioning the movie and pointed it out to me in an op shop. I really enjoyed it so much. Just... magical, other worlds where the children are all kinda like the lost boys? It was wonderful. The photos were seriously creepy though so once it got dark I had to put the book down for the night. Definitely keeping an eye out for the rest of the series now. 

I read this one in one sitting! It was really easy to read, the voice of the narrator and MC was so unique to this book and... it was just nice, okay? It explores a boy who has his head transplanted onto another body after five years of being cryogenically frozen and the emotional aftermath of all that. All in all, I think it handles it pretty well.

I actually really enjoyed the TV series of this and fondly recall working my way through my sisters Sex And The City box set, so of course I had to pick this up when  I saw it. I definitely prefer the show (sometimes you just need great outfits and drama, ya know?) and this was definitely different (I'm pretty sure the show combined two characters into one, for example, and changed the way she meets Samantha) but I wasn't expecting anything much. I just wanted an easy read. Box checked.

I actually read this one first and found the first one in an op shop literally a day later. Again, pretty much gonna say the same about this as the last one... It was a quick, easy read with nothing too shocking happening. Although, I definitely prefer this one in terms of seeing Carrie trying to do things to be a writer.

My boyfriend laughed at me for picking this one up and I had zero expectations for it but it was such a good book! So many big family feels, I loved Levi so much and a plot twist I didn't see coming at all. I could spend a lot more time with these characters and be happy, let me tell you.

As I write this up, I'm in the middle of this book and it's okay. I really enjoy the writing style, but it's not gripping me too much. Hopefully it'll pick up and get more tense soon. 

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So, the theme was pretty much YA this month... Once we were almost to Queensland, suddenly the op shops were full of newer YA titles that I've been wanting to read. I had to leave a few behind, sadly, but once you both have 10 books each piled up behind the car seat, you've gotta say no to getting anymore. Still, my current book pile is looking pretty good and I can't wait to get into it.

What books have you been reading lately? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


ASTRID


 Aussie hip hop group, Butterfingers, celebrate the 15th anniversary of their 2004 debut, Breakfast At Fatboys by hitting the road and bringing their undeniably catchy beats and lyrical genius through Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

The location for tonights show: the Miami Marketta. It's a cool venue that draws one hell of a crowd and if you're seeing a gig here, I'd recommend arriving early to sample the food stalls (I can tell you first hand that the squid rings are amazing). And cash. Bring cash, because a lot of these stalls don't take card payments.

The stage is tucked away behind hanging cloth and paintings, just by the gin bar and cafeteria space. We arrive at 6pm and we're the first ones in (and the AC was so incredible that this is the only time I've wished for a jacket)... an announcement went out last night saying that the acts were going on earlier than expected, so the jury is still out on why it was so dead when it hit 6:30pm and Kobrakai jumped on stage. Did they not get the memo or were they only coming for the main event?

Kobrakai were unphased by the lack of patrons, however, and went straight into their set with plenty of enthusiasm. Unlike the rest of the line up, there's a distinct lack of hip hop influence in their set. But given Butterfingers' frontman Eddies' 'Evil Eddie' and 'Spit Fire Liar' side projects, it's easy to see why they took the stage tonight.

As they worked through their set, I couldn't decide how I felt about them. Maybe they just aren't my cup of tea, but the potential that I heard at the start of most songs quickly fell away by the chorus. I haven't listened to any of their recordings, though, and it's possible that between the small crowd and a new drummer, that it's only the live show lacking. For now.

Next up was Fresh Violet. By now more people have arrived and she storms the stage with plenty of energy. She opens with a song about breakfast. Nothing could've been a better introduction to her personality. For the next 45 minutes, she has a smile on her face, dances non stop and gives out boxes of cereal to the most active members of the crowd. Her offer to get someone else up to rap, though, is met with silence. She laughs it off, dances and fades out the track to move on to the next.

While I wasn't a big fan of the music, I loved Fresh Violets' lyrics. Though they all had a similar theme (namely, 'you can't keep me down cos I'm better than that') they were catchy, clever and even now, I've still got them stuck in my head.

By the time Butterfingers took the stage, the room was heaving. A quick call and response ("Butterfingers, butter-butterfingers!") gets everyone riled up and they waste no time jumping into the setlist (which, Eddie says, is the entire album, "unless you have any better ideas"). Looking around, the age ranges of the crowd vary. There's an old guy with a hearing aid in and there's us, in our early twenties, having only heard of Butterfingers six months ago. Breakfast at Fatboys has transcended time with it's ever amusing, ever relatable (and hilariously crude) lyricism.

Fresh Violet comes out to offer her voice of Hook Up and Piss On Ya, a song that rarely gets played since there's no regular female emcee in the band. To open the sorely missed crowd favourite, Eddie calls her on. "What are we doing?" she asks, after explaining why it took so long for her to come on stage (she'd taken her shoes off). "I'm pissin' on ya," Eddie says. The comment draws an expression of horror from Violet and laughter from the crowd, before he continues with, "actually, I was pissed on quite recently. I was camping, if that makes it any better."

He promises to tell us the full story later in favour of returning to the music, but we're still wondering.

It's hard to pin a fan favourite down. Every track was accompanied by the crowds vocals and non-stop movement from the fans. In particular, "Yo Mama" stands out as Eddie holds the mic out to the front row, handing over the job of vocalist to whoever's closest. Other personal favourites include "Everytime" and "I Love Work".

Before long, it was over and the band disappeared... but only behind the curtain, because someone had accidentally locked the stage door. Still, they make a show of disappearing and returning for an encore, where they play "Get Up Outta The Dirt", "FIGJAM", and Evil Eddie track, "Queensland". Miami Marketta have a strict 10pm cut-off and they play right until the very end, much to everyones' delight.

Between the musical talents of Butterfingers and the live show they put on, it's impossible to be disappointed by their performance. They represent some of the best of the Australian hip hop scene and if they're ever in your area, I urge you to see them live.

My last reading update was just over a month ago and since I've been travelling since the beginning of February, I've been doing a lot more reading than I was while working in Dubbo. In fact, last week we spent three days camping out in Taylors Arm (opposite the famous Pub With No Beer which sadly has beer and is just named after a song), with no service and a pile of books to work out way through when we weren't playing pool (of which we played enough that I actually started getting good. I'm so proud of some of my shots and streaks). It was an excellent weekend and much needed relaxation after a morning of kayaking left us sore. Back to the real reason for this update, though... If you do follow me on Instagram, I regularly post what I'm reading to my stories, but for those who don't, here's what I've been reading lately.

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Willa & the Extraordinary Internship 📖  | ✓ A Quick Bite (Argeneau #1) Prisoner of Night (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #16.5) Emergency Contact The Romeo Catchers (The Casquette Girls #2) The Cities of Dead (The Casquette Girls #3) Raven Cycle: #1 Raven Boys Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3) The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2) The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4) The Descent The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Screw Loose Social Creature Prick with a Fork The Outsiders

Willa & The Extraordinary Internship by Lillie Vale (Wattpad)

This one was just a little short, fun read that I sped through in one sitting while I was off sick from work. I'm always wary of the 'MC wants to be a writer' kinda books, but this one worked pretty well and I partciularly enjoyed the ending.

A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands (Kindle)

This one was actually a reread, which I rarely do, but having failed to stay up to date on the latest from this series over the last few years, I've decided to reread the entire series before I get onto the newer releases. I'm trying to read in the chronological reading order rather than publication order, but it's going to be slow going as I don't want to purchase anymore Kindle books while I'm not working. (There's a few in this post, and they'll be one more in a future post that I'm going to read soon, but I got these all before I started travelling again and won't be getting any more for a while now). To actually review this book, I loved it so much. It's one of my favourites of the series and really made me remember why I love Lynsay Sands books.

Prisoner of Night by J.R. Ward (Kindle)

Another vampy read so soon, but I'll confess! J.R. Ward is an auto-buy author (as Lynsay Sands used to be) and working on a vampy novel with my bestie got me hankering for my fave vampires. This definitely isn't my favourite from J.R. Ward, but given how many books have been written in this universe - especially the vampire side of it - now, it's a refreshing change of pace from the usual themes found in the main series. I just like my favourite characters to feature more heavily. I miss the Brothers.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi (Kindle)

I bought this one as soon as Cait of Paperfury posted about it on her IG stories and let me tell you, I did not regret it at all. Such a wonderfully written book! Much heartbreak and drama and pain. The only complaint I have about this book is that it finished.

The Romeo Catchers by Alys Arden (Kindle)

With the release of The Cities of the Dead all over IG, I finally realised I'd failed to stay up to date with this series (after reading the first and being determined to buy the next as soon as it was released, lol) so I was so happy to return to New Orleans with it's magic and vampires and witches. My favourite things, to be honest. Not as good as The Casquette Girls, in my opinion, but I still enjoyed it none the less. I particularly love how detailed the writing on the areas are. It gives me new levels to aspire to with my writing (I just need to find a place that I love and know that well).

The Cities of the Dead by Alys Arden (Kindle)

I actually enjoyed this one more than The Romeo Catchers, although my heart was definitely broken multiple times throughout. I just loved the more in depth mythology with different Gods and the astral plane aspects and the like. It made me wanna crack open books on Wicca once again and buy myself a new pack of tarot cards. And, really, what else could you ask for from a series like this?

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Kindle)

Even though I loved The Wolves of Mercy Falls series, and by extension, fell hopelessly in love with Maggie Stiefvaters' writing, I'm so late on TRBs train. And oh my God, I'm so sad for all the years I missed out on knowing these boys because they're my absolute favourites. It's so hard to determine which book in the series is my favourite, but I'm going to hesitantly say this one is.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (Kindle)

Or maybe this one? It's so hard to say, but Ronan getting more air time was wonderful. I'll confess, he wasn't my favourite of The Raven Boys until I got a little more background on him, but now I'm definitely hyped for Call Down The Hawk.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (Kindle)

Probably my least favourite of the series, but by all means I still enjoyed it. I'm not sure why I can easily point this one out as not my favourite. It's still wonderfully written and everything, but something was amiss here for me.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (Kindle)

To be honest, I wasn't ready for this series to end. I'd be pretty happy to search for ley lines and magical places with The Raven Boys and Blue for 30 or more books. But I'm happy with the way it ended. I don't want to say anymore than that in case of spoilers but I was really worried about how it would be pulled off since... well, the first book. You'll get it if you've read it (or when you read it).

The Descent by Jeff Long (Secondhand)

I was so excited when I saw this because The Descent is one of my favourite horror films, but sadly I don't really think these too are completely connected. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of similarities, but it wasn't what I was expecting and the plot was... meandering with no real end, to say the least. There's more in the series but considering it took me a whole week to finish this book, I won't be reading the others. Luckily, the woman let me just exchange the books we'd donated for it so I didn't lose anything other than precious, precious time reading it.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon (Secondhand)

This is another book I've been meaning to read for ages and I think I read it in one sitting in the end. It's so simply written, but sad and funny at the same time. I would love a sequel to it, at some point, because I'd love to see how things are between Christopher and his parents a few years on from the events of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime.

Screw Loose by Chris Wheat (Secondhand)

Surprisingly hilarious and completely wacky. I bought this one of a whim because the cover was fun and had no idea what I was going into, but I really enjoyed it. Other than the fact that it was just funny, I loved the complete Aussie-ness of it. This is another one that I'd be interested in seeing where certain characters are in the future.

Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton (Secondhand)

Not the edition I read pictured, which is a shame as the one I have is beautiful, but Goodreads wouldn't load the picture for me... I really, REALLY liked this. It was kinda like You but with friendship instead of a romantic relationship and kinda gave me Don't Trust The B in Apartment 23 vibes but darker (slash Gossip Girl slash Sex in the City slash anything about living it up in NYC). Honestly, it's so GOOD. I can't even begin to explain. It's written like it's just a conversation between you and the author and it works so well in keeping you from hating characters you would if it was written any other way. I can't stop gushing about it. Just read it ASAP, is my recomendation).

Prick With A Fork by Larissa Dubecki (Secondhand)

Technically, I'm still reading this but only because me and my partner are reading it together since he ran out of reading material with still a day of our 3-day no service holiday. But it's hilarious. Having worked longer than I care too in the hospitality industry, it's just like bitching with a collegue about all the shit that goes down. And since boyfriend is a chef, he also recognises the universal experience of hospitality shit. Seriously. If I had a restaurant, I'd leave it on every seat for all customers to read. Maybe then they'd think twice before being monsters. (That's all I've learnt from working as a waitress (or any public serving job, to be honest. People. Are. Monsters. And they will keep surprising you with how much worse it can get). Spoiler alert, we're going to be reading Kitchen Confidential and He Died with a Falafel in his Hand as soon as we can find them in a secondhand shop.

The Outsiders by S.E Hinton (Secondhand)

Once again, here's a book I've been meaning to read for years. I read it in almost one sitting. I had to take a second book to the pub with me for dinner and live music because I was so close to the end when we went over. Though it's quite hard for me to picture characters out of my own time period, it truely is a timeless classic that I think everyone can understand and enjoy throughout the decades and centuries. Also, I really wanna get 'stay gold, Ponyboy' tattooed somewhere on me now. Thanks for that, S.E. Hinton.

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And that, my friends, is a wrap, finally. All in all, I've read some really great books over the last month and I'm really loving having so much time in the evenings to read. I haven't done this much reading since I was in school. Bless unemployment and generally bumming around living life easy like Luigi (kudos to anyone who knows where that line is from).

What books have you been reading lately? Tell me your favourites, so that if I see them in a secondhand shop I know they're worth picking up!

ASTRID






After growing my hair out for two and a half years, I was excited and apprehensive to dye my hair once again.

Apprehensive because I had to lighten it to get any colour to show up and didn’t want the same harsh, obvious re-growth that I’d just recently got rid of.

Excited because duh. I live for brightly coloured hair.

I didn’t want to do the bleaching myself, though, so I visited Studio 62 in Dubbo to get it professionally done for the first time in my life. They did it so that it would grow out a little more subtle, as you can see from the photos, and lifted it to a beautiful ashy blonde that I would love to have all over my head one day, when I could guarantee I’d get it professional done on a regular basis. The photos really don’t do the blonde colour justice.

Since I’d already bought the colour I was going to cover the blonde with (on the assumption the blonde would look terrible on me), I only waited a few days before dying it again, with the help of my boyfriend.

After washing and blow drying my hair, we lazily sectioned it into four at my insistence. If I’d had some clips at my disposal, I might have done smaller sections, but I couldn’t be bothered when I was using hairbands to keep it out of the way. Of course, I highly recommend doing so if you want an even coverage. There are parts of my hair where the blonde shows through and that looks more green than blue. I’m not particularly fussed by it, but might pick up some more dye to try and even it out a little more.

We used L’oreal Paris Colourista Washout in #AQUAHAIR. Each tube contains 80mls and we used three tubes. It was covered with two, but the third was to make sure my hair was thoroughly saturated.

One of my favourite things about dying my hair is that it always feels amazingly soft afterwards and this time it was no different. Until viewing the photos, I had no idea how damaged my hair looked after the bleaching. The dye didn’t call for any conditioner to be used afterwards since it contains it, so I wasn’t sure how it would feel in the end.

As you can tell from the photos, though, my hair was in much better condition afterwards. It was silky soft to the touch. Though my ends are probably still a little dry, my hair bounds back pretty fast from any damage done to it and I rarely blow dry and straighten my hair either, so until I dye it again that’s it for the damage I’ll purposely and knowingly inflict on it.

I left the dye on for 25 minutes because I wanted a vivid colour, but the shorter you leave it on the more pastel it’s supposed to appear. I’m pretty happy with the colour, although I think my dark roots make it not seem too bright, at least to me. I love seeing it in the sun, though. I’m hoping that the colour will last about a month between only washing it a few times a week and washing it in cold water. The only unknown factor is that I swim pretty regularly now, but it’s in a salt pool, not a chlorine one, so we’ll have to see how that affects the colour.

Assuming it lasts as well as I hope, I’ll be dying it again sometime in February. There are a few different colours I want to try from this brand so I’ll be able to give a few ago and eventually be able to comment on the brand and dye overall.

Let me know your favourite hair dye brands (mine is Schwarzkopf) in the comments. Heck, send me selfies of your brightly coloured manes. I wanna see!

ASTRID



New year, new Goodreads goal, am I right? Fun fact: I've failed to reach my Goodreads challenge goal every single year. I go through phases where I read lots and then months where I barely pick up a book at all. Consistency is an issue for me, in all areas of life. So far, though, 2019 has been off to a good start.

I've set my sights low this year. 52 books. But here's the thing - I'm reading a lot on Wattpad lately. While some of those books are available to check off on Goodreads, not many are. So I'm using IG stories to track the real amount, and just adding everything I possibly can to Goodreads. (It's a lot of effort though, so let's see how long it lasts before I forget to update everything).

Either way, I've really been enjoying some of the stories I've discovered so far and I'll definitely be making this recent reads a regular (not necessarily monthly) thing.

Eve Z-Minus Marine World Story Fix: Transform Your Novel from Broken to Brilliant fair/unfair THE ART OF BURNING 


It's no secret that I love zombie related literature and TV shows (still got my fingers crossed for a Walking Dead/Z Nation cross over one day) so when I saw this I had to read it. Eve is a vegan zombie with coherent thoughts and can actually talk, at least to other zombies. I love it someone takes such a unique perspective on zombies to give it a new lease of life. Not only was the concept of this book brilliant, but the execution was too. It was really funny and unexpected and I finish it in one sitting. 100% recommend you checking it out.


Another one for the Z pile. This one I read on Wattpad too, but I believe you can buy it on Amazon, probably, and it's definitely available to add to your shelf on Goodreads! Z-Minus is the first book in the series, so I'll definitely be looking to read the rest of the series sometime this year. An alcoholic dad doesn't realise it's the zombie apocalypse till he comes home (quite probably still drunk) and has a close encounter. Thinking he only has, like, eight hours or something to live, he figures he's gonna make the most of those eight hours. It does not go the way he planned. Again, the writing is really funny and I just really enjoyed the story. Definitely give it a read if zombie fiction is your kinda thing.


Unfortunately this story is still being published, so I haven't technically read the whole thing yet but what I have, I've loved. A twist on mermaids with theme parks and dark secrets, how could I resist? I rarely add any stories to my library to keep reading if they're not finished, but this one I have to know how it ends. I'm so excited to see where the rest of the story goes!


For non ficiton, I pretty much exclusively read books on writing and editing. Especially as my bestie and I have started publishing our book on Wattpad, and we're doing lots of editing for that, plus my own work, I'm finding that I love to learn more about fixing stories. Nothing is more satisfying to me than to see a sheet marked up with a red pen, so new ways to find things wrong with the manuscript? Sign me up. I'm still reading this one, taking it slow,  but it encourages you to constantly grade your manuscript and work on an element at a time. I have to say, if you're looking for ways to improve your writing, I'd definitely give this a shot. Larry keeps it real.


Another ongoing story, but again, one I felt worthy of adding to my library to keep track off. Featuring off the rails boys, public and boarding school libraries, pranks, the need for secretive relationships, etc... I couldn't not read it. Kinda reminds me of The Foxhole Court but without any exy and the Japanese mafia. It disappoints me to learn not EVERY book can have exy and the Japanese mafia featured in them. So, basically, this mini review is a two for one. Read Fair/Unfair and read The Foxhole Court. Both will ruin your life, probably.


This is actually a sequel to the incredble 'The Domino Effect' so I have to recommend you read that first. As soon as the author told me to expect a sequel (and sent me the last chapter for beta-ing, eep!) I was so excited to read this and I've finally, finally got around to it. The Domino Effect is definitely my favourite but I still enjoyed this one. I felt like the focus was slightly on some different characters which is maybe what made me enjoy it less. I just get really attatched to fictional people! None the less, worth the read, especially for dysotopian, time travel fans.

And that's it so far! I've told myself I'm not allowed to buy another book till I've finished Story Fix, despite one of my favourite authors releasing a new title on the 7th this month, but I may have to let it slide since I'm using Story Fix a lot while editing and don't want to rush through it. Let me know any books you've been loving lately, because my reading list is never long enough, and let's be friends on Goodreads.

ASTRID

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