Saturday, 16 June 2018

The Never Dawn- R. E. Palmer BOOK TALK

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 
* * *
I was super impressed with this book! From the very first page, I was sucked into the story of intrigue and it kept me gripped until the very last page!
The Never Dawn follows Noah, a young man who works under the Earth, hoping to one day return to the surface and see the sky. But, after finding out a secret their leader has desperately tried to keep hidden, he decides to escape and find out what's really lurking on the surface. 
This book was full of great twists and turns and I'd definitely recommend it for any lovers of dystopian and sci-fi.

I'll start with the one main issue I had with this book before going into everything properly. And it wasn't ever a major issue- just something that grated on me a little. The irritating thing was just how naive everyone was. I understand to a certain extent that they've been brainwashed all their lives to believe in the Mother but Gods, how can anyone be that that ignorant?!? When Seth came along and  started asking all these (perfectly valid) questions, I was so relieved!! Here we have a 13 year old who's smarter than everyone else! It baffles me that no one else had thought to ask these questions.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom MOVIE TALK

* * * * *
I absolutely loved this movie. It exceeded my expectations by such a huge mile and I was transfixed through every single minute. 
The first movie is good, don't get me wrong, but I enjoyed this so much more! The characters were so much more fleshed out and interesting in this one and all the little annoyances I had with them had fizzled out. We were also introduced to a bunch of new characters and they were so much more entertaining than the ones in the first movie. 
The action sequences came hard and fast and they were all pretty damn epic. I lost count of the beautiful number of shots and the whole pace of the movie was fantastic. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and this is a perfect example of how sequels should be made. 

Let's start with characters because that's what I was impressed with most.
In the first movie, I liked Claire but I didn't love her- she was a little stuck-up, spoilt and too into the financial benefits of the park. I found her to be a little annoying. But this movie changed everything. From the very beginning, she was passionate and willing to fight for the dinosaurs and she had this determination that felt really empowering. I love how strong and independent she was through this film and her choice of shoes was infinitely better than the dreaded high heels from last time.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Westworld 2x07 'Les Écorchés' TV TALK

I know I sound like a broken record by now but this episode was so amazing and maybe my favourite so far! We got lots of explanations, reveals and reunions I hadn't seen coming! It was as fast-paced as always and gripping through every single second. But what I loved most about this episode, was the monologues. The writers of this show are so talented and we had multiple monologues from different characters that just had me captivated. There were so many amazing quotes in this episode (hence why I made double the amount of edits for this episode).

Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |  2x02  |  2x03  |  2x04  |  2x05  |  2x06


Present (Bernard/Charlotte/Strand)
The scenes with Bernard, Karl Strand and Charlotte nicely bookended this episode which I really liked. And yes, that's a weird thing to appreciate but, with Westworld, it's unusual to get such a neat episode when everything's usually all over the place.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

A Court of Frost and Starlight- Sarah J. Maas BOOK TALK

* * *
There has been major differences in opinions on this book and, honestly, I can totally understand that. ACOFAS is technically book #3.5 of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series and acts as a bridge novella between the original trilogy and the newer books set to release.
This book is great because we have all the characters we know and love but... nothing really happens. There's no plot to this novella and just seems like a series of scenes that we didn't need to see and had no relevance to anything. We didn't learn much of use and it seemed to be 200 pages of filler content. If I was being really cynical, I'd accuse it of simply being written to make money.
Despite all this, I did enjoy it but can't see myself reading it again and again to the extent I do the other books in the series. Having said that, I did read this book in one sitting because it's shockingly short for a Sarah J. Maas book.

I don't really know what to start with because nothing really happened.
I'm gonna go through the things I didn't particularly like and and then move onto the bits I loved. The positive of there being absolutely no plot to this book... I can talk about scenes in any order I want. Silver linings.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Westworld 2x06 'Phase Space' TV TALK

This episode was amazing! Westworld steps it up with each and every episode and this is maybe my favourite of the series so far. We got scenes and reunions we've been waiting for so long as well as, most importantly, returning characters!!! I'm so excited for what this means as we get to the final episodes of the series.
Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |  2x02  |  2x03  |  2x04  |  2x05


Dolores/ Bernard or Arnold
We start with our familiar conversation between Dolores and... I wanna say Bernard in this one- at least, Bernard's body. Hear me out.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

June Releases and TBR 2018

A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3)- Sabaa Tahir
Save the Date- Morgan Matson
Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist #2)- Renee Ahdieh
The Emerald Sea- Richelle Mead
A Thousand Perfect Notes- C. G. Drews

TV and Movies
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The Incredibles 2

A Thousand Perfect Notes- C. G. Drews (Book of the Month)
This month me and Kailtin (Liber Amoris) have decided to read a new release coming out in June. C.G Drews is the author of the blog Paper Fury which we both love so I have no doubt I'm going to love her book as well. I don't know much about it but am excited to just jump into it.

Watching You- Shannon Greenland (ARC)
Last month, I had the very exciting opportunity of being approached to receive, read and review an ARC of Shannon Greenland's upcoming release, Watching You. I am a massive fan of Shannon ever since I read an ARC of Shadow of a Girl last year and gave it 5 stars. I'm also super excited to reveal that I'm interviewing Shannon soon and posting it here on my blog- I'm super fangirling about it! Watching You doesn't officially come out until July but I'm perfectly unashamed to brag that I'm reading it at the moment and loving it! 
Shadow of a Girl- Shannon Greenland Book Talk

Thursday, 31 May 2018

May Wrap Up 2018

I did pretty well this month but I definitely watched more than I read because I'm lazy and just wanted to snuggle up and have things presented to me instead of reading and having to come up with all the imagery. But, still, I don't think I did too bad.

Six of Crows- Leigh Bardugo (April's Book of the Month) 
* * * *
Yes, Six of Crows was April's Book of the Month so I'm a little late but I started it in April and finished it in May so I didn't do too badly. I really liked Six of Crows. I struggled a bit at the beginning because it was this whole new world thrust in front of me with so many different characters and things going on but once you understand the basics, it's easier to sit back and enjoy. I will eventually pick up the sequel, Crooked Kingdom, but I'll leave it a while because a) I need a break from such dense writing and b) there's just so much more I need to read right now.

A Court of Mist and Fury- Sarah J. Maas (May's Book of the Month) 
* * * * *
And, then, I went to re-read my favourite book in the entire world! Because A Court of Frost and Starlight came out this month, I wanted to re-read the series before the new release to refresh all of the tiny details (though, to be fair, I have most of it memorised by now). And, when I say re-read the series... I mean re-read ACOMAF and ACOWAR because ACOTAR is just like a prequel and doesn't have nearly enough pages with my favourite character in. I love re-reading ACOMAF because it's so easy to fall into and these characters are my all-time favourites.
A Court of Mist and Fury Book Talk
A Court of Mist and Fury Re-read Book Talk

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Westworld 2x05 'Akane No Mai' TV TALK

This was the episode so many of us were waiting for and it was awesome to finally see the world that's been hinted for so long. And Shogun world is way more brutal than anything we've seen before... which was so entertaining! In my opinion, Shogun World makes Westworld look like Disneyland.
The episode's title, 'Akane No Mai', literally translates to 'Akane's Dance' which brilliantly sums up this episode, in my opinion, because that dance was vicious!

Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |  2x02  |  2x03  |  2x04


Karl Strand (Present Timeline)
We had a small scene at the beginning of the episode with Strand and the rest of his team back at the control room. They've finished getting all the host bodies out of the water but have found that 1/3 of their data is gone or had never even existed in the first place- meaning Delos has lost 1/3 of their IP.
Karl Strand also goes onto to say 'that's quite a story you gave them' and all through this little monologue, he's looking directly at Bernard. There's a huge question of whether they know if Bernard is a host or not and, at the moment, I'm gonna go with yes.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

May Book Haul 2018

I did pretty well this month. Lately, I haven't really bought many books but I got three this month which I'm super happy with.

A Court of Frost and Starlight (ACOTAR #3.5)- Sarah J. Maas
Unsurprisingly, I had this book pre-ordered the second it became available (if only to get the free Night Court pin that came along with it). This is maybe my favourite cover of the whole series because everything comes together beautifully: the image of Feyre, the Night Court tattoo and symbol, the quote, the background... it's a cover fit for a High Lady, that's for sure. The only downside to this book is... it's tiny! It's only around 200 pages which is definitely the smallest ever Sarah J. Maas book. Nevertheless, it's my most anticipated book of the year and I can't wait to read it.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Breakfast BOOK TAG

I saw this tag over on Clockwork Bibliotheca's blog and it looked super fun so I just had to do it!
I tried to pick lesser known books because I always seem to mention the same books over and over again (*cough* ACOMAF *cough*) so I'll try and include a bit more variation.
On with the tag!

1. Sunny Side Up- A book that just makes you happy every time you read it.
All Laced Up- Erin Fletcher
All Laced Up is a super quick and easy read that just makes you feel light and happy after reading it. From the very beginning, I knew I'd love it because it contains a nice collection of things I love: romance, ice hockey, Hamilton references!! It was like a one-way ticket to my heart. I go to simple and easy books like this when I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed or emotional because, books like these are the equivalent of a nice, warm hug.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Westworld 2x04 'The Riddle of the Sphinx' TV TALK

I loved this episode so much. We had a little hiatus from the girls' storylines but having a large focus on Young William, Bernard and the Man in Black was so much fun! There were so many big reveals in this episode that it felt more like a season finale than episode 4 of a series. Honestly, I think I'll be hyperventilating through the entirety of the season finale if the episodes keep getting better like this.

Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |  2x02  |  2x03

While I usually organise my thoughts through different timelines, I'm gonna stick with characters for this week's episode because we had a ridiculous amount of different timelines and jumping between them all would make this review way too jumbled and stuttered.

We didn't see anything from Dolores and Maeve's story lines but that was fine by me because, while Dolores is my favourite and I'd watch her for hours, it was nice to give the boys a spotlight for once when so often the girls steal the show.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Writing Diary #15- Finishing Another First Draft!!

Side note: All previous writing diaries are linked in my Personal Writing page which can be found on the bar at the top of this blog. 

It's always such an accomplishment to finally finish a first draft and I'm so happy for getting through it! In total, this is the third first draft I've ever completed (if you count my Nanowrimo Novel last year) and it's definitely the one I'm most proud of.
My first novel which I wrote back in 2016 was my first ever go at writing a novel... which explains why it was so terrible. That first project only took me around eight months to finish which was significantly quicker than the time it took me to write this one. However, this one is a lot better so I don't mind that it took me longer. My first novel came in at roughly 130,000 words so.... it was long even though it had no character development or interesting plot points whatsoever. Go figure.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Westworld 2x03 'Virtú e Fortuna' TV TALK

This episode is definitely my favourite episode so far (though, I know I'm going to say that every single episode).
We got to see new worlds, new characters and a whole lot of Dolores which made me very satisfied.
The title of the episode 'Virtú e Fortuna' references Machiavelli's philosophy of explaining human actions and human failure by exploring the relationship between virtú (talent, ability, drive), fortuna (fortune, luck) and free will. This alone just shows how intelligent the writers are and how every single detail is well thought out and so philosophical, I'm seconds away from melting into an existential crisis every time I watch the show.

Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |  2x02


Aftermath of Delos Massacre (2 Weeks Prior)
I have to immediately talk about the new world we were introduced to because it was the most exciting thing of the whole episode. We don't know for sure what it's called but Raj-world is just what I'll refer to it for the time being.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Riverdale BOOK TAG

Since watching the first season of Riverdale, I found this tag and really wanted to do it! I found this tag on the blog, Abby's Reading Corner, so I'll tag that in case you want to check it out!
On with the tag!

1. Archie- a book with great side characters
A Court of Mist and Fury- Sarah J. Maas 
I tried so hard to not mention Sarah J. Maas, okay? But this question is perfectly ACOMAF! Sarah manages to make every single character in her books as complex as each other- even tiny characters have complex backstories and that's what makes her stories so compelling and intricate- you know everyone's drives and what motivates them. Particularly in ACOMAF, there are so many amazing characters (specifically the inner circle) and they're all fleshed out so well- my all-time favourite cast of characters.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Hamilton West End REVIEW

I went to see Hamilton last month and it was one of the best experiences of my life! I've loved this musical for years and I just had to review the London cast and spend a whole blog post praising how phenomenal they all were.
When I went to see Hamilton, me and my mum were sat in the third row from the front and while there are some cons, I actually ended up loving it. It was a great experience to see all the facial expressions and details up close. I know you don't get the full effect of the choreography but I've seen a video of the full show on Youtube and got to see the choreography there so it was nice to have a different perspective for the live show. And it was great seeing the acting up close- the raw emotion on each of the performer's face was surreal.
My favourite cast and characters were Laurens, Mulligan, King George and, of course, Eliza. The whole cast was amazing but these people stood out to me.

Here's my blog post on the day with all the photos: I went to see Hamilton!

Out of the whole cast, I'll have to say that Laurens/Phillip was my favourite which is weird because he's far from my favourite character in the musical. But Cleve September is perfect for this role. His Laurens was funny and upbeat while his Phillip was adorable at nine years old and confident at nineteen. Best of the show.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

A Late Apology- Original Poetry

It's been a while since I posted a poem even though I've been writing a lot lately. I thought I'd share a poem I wrote back in November. Again, it's depressing because that's all I can seem to write but I hope you enjoy it!

A Late Apology

I'm sorry
for all those years
I saw you as a safety net
not on purpose
but a harness
allowing me to jump for newer
higher things
knowing that if I failed
you'd still be there

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Westworld 2x02 'Reunion' TV TALK

The best thing about Westworld is that each episode gets better and better so, while I preferred this episode to last week's, I know it's only going to improve.
We got to see old and loved (maybe hated) characters and this was the best thing!! This episode centred around all of my favourite characters and I was grinning helplessly through it all.

Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |


35 years prior
We started the episode with Arnold and Dolores talking. I love how all the episodes begin with them having philosophical conversation- it warms my heart. But, this time, they weren't in the usual Westworld complex but in the real world! As soon as this was established, I knew this episode was going to be amazing.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Thomas Sanders- Youtuber Recommendations

This is a little different to what I'd usually post but I've become obsessed with the Youtuber Thomas Sanders and need to let out my pent up fangirling and excitement.
Thomas does mainly comedy and music on his channel and it's awesome! He's such a great advocate for expressing your identity and diversity- whether it be differences in ethnicity, sexuality and genders.

And he is also the first person to make many many people utter the words "I love anxiety." Yes, I'm not even kidding.

Sanders Sides
My favourite videos that Thomas produces is his Sanders Side videos. Sanders Sides is similar to the concept of Inside Out where parts of his personality are personified and he has discussions with them over a variety of problems that arise in his life. These videos are absolutely hilarious but are also really uplifting and helpful. The dialogue is brillantly funny and also packs in a bunch of different fandom references throughout. It's also hard to believe that Thomas acts each and every character because they're so well acted that I forget that it's the same person.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

May Releases and TBR 2018

A Court of Frost and Starlight (ACOTAR #3.5)- Sarah J. Maas 
War Storm (Red Queen #4)- Victoria Aveyard 
Legendary (A Caraval Novel)- Stephanie Garber
Puddin'- Julie Murphy 
Listen to Your Heart- Kasie West 

Deadpool 2
Solo: A Star Wars story
I Feel Pretty 
On Chesil Beach

A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2)- Sarah J. Maas (Book of the Month)
Yes, I've already read this book (and made it abundantly clear that it's my favourite ever book on multiple occasions) but we've made it May's Book of the Month because Kaitlin (Liber Amoris) still hasn't read it (which is blasphemy) and also to honour the next book coming out. This is my favourite book ever because it has the best cast of characters, the most swoon-worthy romance as well as an intricate and unpredictable plot. I can't wait to re-read this one.
A Court of Mist and Fury Book Talk
A Court of Mist and Fury Re-read Book Talk

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Westworld 2x01 'Journey into Night' TV TALK

I'm so happy Westworld is back!! If you don't know, Westworld is maybe one of the best shows out there and you definitely need to start watching (and obsessing) over it. Westworld is a theme park full of androids that look and think they're human. Human guests can travel to Westworld and live out their wildest fantasies- banging and shooting hosts as they please. But the hosts begin to remember what keeps happening to them and they start to become self aware and sentient. And that causes a bunch of problems.
That's a really simple explanation because it gets much more complex and awesome than that but... spoilers.
I absolutely love show and thought this episode brilliantly hinted at all the amazing things we've got in store for this season.

Season 1: 1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10

I'm gonna go through this episode as systematically as I can because, as we all know, Westworld can get very confusing with all the different timelines. Each review will be my attempt at sifting through it all... wish me luck.

35 years prior
I love how the episode started with an interaction between Dolores and Arnold (or I assume it was Arnold... you can never be sure with this show). It had a reminiscent feel of season 1 which moved us lightly into this new season. The whole scene felt oddly foreboding as well so... I've spent a long time theorising over each and every line of dialogue.