Saturday, 16 December 2017

The Joy of Christmas BOOK TAG

Yes, yes, I must be really struggling for content as I'm doing yet another tag. I just thought it'd be nice to do some more Xmas tags on the run up to Christmas and they allow me to mention books I may not usually praise as much.
Plus, I'm struggling for content....

1. Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release are you most anticipating?
A Court of Frost and Starlight- Sarah J. Maas
I don't think this is particularly a surprise. The ACOTAR series is my ultimate favourite and I cannot physically wait for the spin-off books to come out. This instalment is set a little while after ACOWAR and, while Sarah says it will be a novella, I'm betting it will end up as a full length novel (we all know what happened with Tower of Dawn). But no matter how long it is, I will treasure each and every page because these books have the best ever characters and plot points!

2. Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing it's praises?
The Morganville Vampires series- Rachel Caine
I don't feel like I talk about these books enough. Yes, it's a daunting series with 15 books and a novella but I can safely say it's worth it. The plot is so fun and the characters are hilarious and simply amazing. The good thing about having such a long series is that the relationships become so complex and intricate and the character development is so rewarding. It's not your typical cheesy-vampire books and I definitely need a re-read of this series.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Game of Thrones 4x01 'Two Swords' TV TALK

I'm so happy to be on season four!!! This show is seriously addictive and I know as I finish all the seasons, I'm going to dive straight into the books (I don't want to read them at the same time as watching the show because I don't want to get too confused).
This show is extremely popular and it deserves all the hype it gets because it's genius, the characters are great and the plot is one giant surprise.

Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |  2x02  |  2x03  |  2x04  |  2x05  |  2x06  |  2x07  |  2x08  |  2x09  |  2x10
Season 3:  3x01  |  3x02  |  3x03  |  3x04  |  3x05  |  3x06  |  3x07  |  3x08  |  3x09  |  3x10

Jon Snow has a hearing in this episode and he tells the commanders of the Night Watch about the wildling plans and they let him off with no punishment despite the crimes against the Night's Watch he'd committed.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Jurassic World MOVIE TALK

75% (movie rating)
It took me way too long to watch this movie, especially as it has Chris Pratt in it. And, honestly, I loved it. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting but in the best way possible. For some reason, I had odd low expectations and now I'm just so ready for the sequel to come out next year. 
The effects were amazing and watching the dinosaurs was just so satisfying and exciting. The acting was great and the plot progressed nicely with a satisfying end. It was a lovely twist on the original Jurassic Park and I would definitely recommend giving it a watch. 

I really loved the set up of this world. Seeing the amusement park in it's entirety was stunning and, if it was real, I would definitely end up visiting a theme park full of dinosaurs. We got to see some of the rides within the park and it looks so amazing. If our technology advanced enough, it would definitely happen in real life (despite the unnecessary extremes of health and safety nowadays).

Saturday, 9 December 2017

All I Want for Christmas BOOK TAG

We're nearing the festive season, I'm struggling for blog post idea so..... a tag!!! I saw this tag over at Stephanie's Book Reviews so I'll link that if you want to check it out.
And, we begin...

1. What fictional character do you want Santa to leave under your Christmas tree?
Katy Swartz (The Lux series- Jennifer L. Armentrout)
I feel like Katy being thrown into my life would be perfect. She's the ultimate bookish fangirl, even to the point of having her own blog, and she's funny, sassy and strong as well. I think we'd get along really well and it'd be nice to have her keep me company.

2. What character do you want to kiss under the mistletoe?
Rhysand (ACOTAR series- Sarah J. Maas)
It will always be Rhys. No question.

3. You write your Christmas list for Santa, what are the top 5 books on it?
Heartless- Marissa Meyer
Stalking Jack the Ripper-Kerri Maniscalo
Till Death- Jennifer L. Armentrout
Warcross- Marie Lu
Scythe- Neal Shusterman

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Westworld 1x06 'The Adversary' TV TALK

This show is getting better episode by episode. I was on the edge of my seat through the whole thing and may have been shouting at the TV screen- full fangirl style. This show is expanding so much and the characters are developing at an outstanding rate. It's so enthralling to watch and things are really beginning to build up for the end of the season.

Season 1: 1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05

Let's start with Maeve because she owned this episode! Her actions in this showed exactly why she's my favourite character.
She begins back at Westworld and consciously gets a newcomer to kill her so that she can wake herself up in the modern world. She resumes her conversation with Felix and gets him to show her around the tech complex. It was amazing to watch her discover everything about the hosts and to realise that everything she does is controlled.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Writing Diary #14 - Nanowrimo Winner!!!

I complete Nanowrimo!!! With my final word count coming to 50,524 words!!

The first half went really well but it got harder and harder from the half way point. Nevertheless, I managed to finish my novel and, as a whole, I'm really happy with it. Doing this prequel novella of my current work in progress has been so insightful as I've delved into a certain character's past and it's helping plan and plot for the future.

I'm really happy I participated in Nanowrimo even though it took a lot out of me. It got very draining and it got to a point where I'd dread writing every day. But it did push me to finish this novella and I'm pleased with how it's turned out. Currently, I don't think I'd do Nanowrimo again but... by next year I'll probably be raring to go at it again. Typical.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

December Releases and TBR 2017

Love, Life and the Lists- Katie West 
The Young Queens- Kendare Blake 
Instructions for a Secondhand Heart- Tamsyn Murray
Shadow Girl- Liana Liu 
Ever the Brave- Erin Summerill
Three Sides of a Heart Anthology- Renee Ahdieh, Sabaa Tahir, Veronica Roth and more!!!
Foolish Hearts- Emma Mills 

Secrets for the Mad- dodie (Book of the Month)
After buying this as soon as it came out last month, me and Kaitlin (Liber Amoris) have decided to make it our December Book of the Month!! I love Dodie Clark as a Youtuber and am really excited to start this book.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Game of Thrones 3x10 'Mhysa' TV TALK

This was an entertaining finale, bouncing into slightly happier terms from where the last episode tragically left off. Different threats are showing up and we had interesting characters meet in this episode. We didn't exactly have a cliff-hanger but the tone set up for a very dramatic season four to come.

Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |  2x02  |  2x03  |  2x04  |  2x05  |  2x06  |  2x07  |  2x08  |  2x09  |  2x10
Season 3:  3x01  |  3x02  |  3x03  |  3x04  |  3x05  |  3x06  |  3x07  |  3x08  |  3x09

We start the episode with Arya seeing Robb's body with Greywind's head which must have been a pleasant experience for her. That was way too soon! Obviously the Boltons had detached Robb's head and attached Greywind's to replace it but.... that was just a graphic image I did not need to see after such a painful death.
Arya goes on to kill a Frey for badmouthing Cat and Robb and.... you have to admire her loyalty and courage- Arya's such an amazing character.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

November Wrap Up 2017

Because of Nanowrimo this month, I didn't get too much reading done but I managed to flick through a couple of shorter, easier reads and, hopefully, I can get back into the swing of things by December.

The Sun and Her Flowers- Rupi Kaur
I started with a quick poetry book because I got this book last month and was really excited to read it. I love the poetry in here- it delves into deep and strong subjects and it was very relatable. I felt extremely empowered and would recommend Rupi Kaur if you'd like to get into poetry.

Whiskey Words and A Shovel Volume 1- R.H Sin
While I was in the mood, I went straight to another poetry book that I'd bought last month. Sin has a very similar style to Rupi Kaur which I enjoyed and the messages within were just as profound. It brought a nice, male insight on a lot of topics and it was stunning to read.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

November Book Haul 2017

I didn't get too many books this month but it is inching towards Christmas so my mind is too pre-occupied with buying presents for people. However, I did have a nice day out with Kaitlin from Liber Amoris and we may have indulged in a little book buying....

Poison Study series- Maria V. Snyder
I have always wanted to read this series but have only found two of them in a charity shop and I had no idea what order I had to read them. So, when I walked into a shop and saw the whole series in a cheap boxset.... my heart was too attached to walk by without taking them home. I have absolutely no space on my bookshelves for them but... that's a problem for another day.

Secrets for the Mad- dodie
Overall, I'm not a massive fan of Youtuber books just because of what they represent but... I've made an exception because Dodie Clark is my favourite ever Youtuber that isn't a Booktuber and I had to get this book. It's so beautiful and will likely make me cry but I'm totally okay with it. This also happens to me mine and Kaitlin's (Liber Amoris) Book of the Month for December!!!

That's all for this month but I'm pinning my hopes on December because it is Christmas... Hopefully my bookshelf will be able to take the weight.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment your thoughts. Stay amazing!

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Vicious- V. E. Schwab BOOK TALK

* * * *
There are no good men in this game.
This book was genius and almost five stars! I've heard endless hype about Victoria Schwab and after finally picking up a book of hers, I can safely say I'm obsessed.
The brilliance of this book was the complex and, more importantly, flawed characters we followed. It's a complete personal decision over who is the villain and who's the hero- if any of them can be considered a hero. I grew really attached to the characters (I was firmly on one team) and the events were exciting, unique and enthralling. I nearly had a heart-attack about thirty times through this book and I gasped so much, my family thought I was insane. Thanks, Victoria Schwab... I'll be entering an insane asylum any day now.

I was Team Victor through this whole book. I could relate a lot to Victor from the very beginning and Eli annoyed me straight away- he's very arrogant and has a very misplaced sense of self-worth. But what I loved about this book is that they can both be considered a hero and a villain depending on what angle they're portrayed. I loved how interchangeable their roles were.
When Eli got his powers I got really annoyed with him. Before he'd got his powers, he was fine for Victor to risk his life on the chance of becoming an EO but once Eli got powers.... you could see how hesitant he was for Victor to become an EO too. And I hated that! I would totally relate with Victor- hell no, I wouldn't want to be a sidekick. That's just a personality flaw that I happen to share with Victor- instantly making me warm to him.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Book Tattoos?

I've always wanted a tattoo when I'm older and, of course, it would be book related- a tribute, of sorts, to honour my favourite books and quotes. So, I thought it'd be interesting for me to share some designs that I really love and the reason behind me maybe someday wanting them permanently inked
on my skin.

I'll likely get a quote but the only problem is that I have a real struggle picking which one- I love so many! At the moment, my favourite is: she reads books as one would breathe air; to fill up and live. I adore this quote but maybe think it's too long? I want a small tattoo, not a giant one.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Westworld 1x05 'Contrapasso TV TALK

I loved this episode. With each episode, this story is getting better and better. Many questions are answered which raised many more questions but it's addictive- I just have to find out what happens! I was so satisfied with the character development in this episode and the women are becoming more and more bad-ass which is so empowering.
This is a quote I loved and I think it really encompasses the whole episode for me:

'You said people come here to change the story of their lives. I imagined a story where I didn't have to be the damsel.'- Dolores Abernathy

Season 1: 1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04

Starting with the Man in Black, he's on his mission to find the maze that keeps getting mentioned but we have no idea what it really means. He kills Lawrence in order to save Teddy and convinces Teddy to come along by lying and saying that Wyatt has Dolores- nice move. The interesting part, though, is when they go to a bar and are greeted with Ford. They have a little bit of conversation and it opens up so many new questions!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Writing Diary #13- Woooahh, We're Half Way There!!

It's all about the outline...
I thought I'd make a little update on my Nanowrimo progress because we're halfway there!!! My current word count is 26,535 which is a little ahead, thankfully. From the very beginning, I have been determined to win Nanowrimo because, even though it's my first try, I don't like failing. I will finish this novel my the end of November if it's the last thing I do.
It has been difficult but a manageable difficult. It gets harder as it goes along because you just lose steam with each day and.... I've still got 15 days to go... I write every single day anyway so it's just a matter of making sure I get the words down better than I normally do. I manage to average 1,000 words an hour so spend around 2 hours a day writing. Before Nano, my average was probably only around 500 words an hour so.... progress!!
I really think this challenge has helped me and will make me naturally write more and quicker in the future which will be great because my other book has taken me five months to get to 50,000 words and I'm halfway through....

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Optimists Die First- Susin Nielsen BOOK TALK

* * * *
This was so close to being a five star read- it's was exactly what I needed right now. I've previously read We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen and it definitely wasn't my favourite so I was dubious when going into this one but.... I didn't have to worry. It was amazing!
Our protagonist is a paranoid and pessimistic wreck which I loved in itself- it's so great to read about a character so like myself just.... a little more extreme.
This is a coming of age story featuring lies, betrayal and whole lot of pessimism.
(Did you know that, on average, optimists die ten years earlier than pessimists? I've never been so pleased at being constantly down about the world!)

So, obviously, I loved Petula as a protagonist. As an extremely paranoid person myself, it made me feel a little better that I'm not the only person thinking certain things... despite Petula being fictional. I also loved the facts she knew (this is where the Ravenclaw in me comes out). Some of her facts were really interesting and it was a great learning experienced mixed the book.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Make It Count- Tamar Sloan Non-spoiler BOOK TALK

I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

* * *
Make It Count is about a girl who, when touching someone, can see the number of days they have yet to live. Sort of like the series Numbers but with a bigger focus on romance. When Casey meets PJ, she can't stop herself from falling but, one look at his number, tells her she should've kept her distance.
This was a good story- it had a nice romance, good characters and an interesting plot. The love story was cute to follow and I had many theories of what would happen... all of them a lot more devastating and morbid than what actually happened which was maybe a little disappointing- happily ever afters can sometimes feel like a cheat.
I found that I couldn't read too much of this book at once- I had to read in short bursts and I'm not entirely sure why. I think it was because of the writing style and just because the story lacked any real depth for me personally- I quickly needed a break from the dry characters.
However, I did love the focus on family in this book- the protagonist's brothers were really fun to read about and I liked following their relationships.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Game of Thrones 3x09 'The Rains of Castamere' TV TALK

I've been building up to writing this review. Because I don't know what to say.
Game of Thrones seriously should come with free tissues!
This episode broke me and I was not expecting any of what happened. I was left in uncontrollable sobs and... still, the scene was a masterpiece. It was the most beautiful, painful and meaningful scene I've ever watched and the actors did phenomenally. This episode is likely to stay with me a very long time (and haunt my very nightmares).

Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |  2x02  |  2x03  |  2x04  |  2x05  |  2x06  |  2x07  |  2x08  |  2x09  |  2x10
Season 3:  3x01  |  3x02  |  3x03  |  3x04  |  3x05  |  3x06  |  3x07  |  3x08

I'm going to talk about everyone and everything I can before getting to the infamous scene in this episode... because I'm still not over it.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Gender Representation in BOOKS!!

I'm a Sociology, Media and English student which means analysing stereotypes and representation is like puppies and chocolate to me. On Christmas morning.

And I recently had a thought (shocking, I know). In terms of breaking gender stereotypes, society is improving. Heroines are just as common as heroes and therefore women are seen less as damsels in distress which is great but.... what about villains? Men are also stereotyped and when you think of a big baddie in fiction... we often picture men. And this then labels men as always being the cruel and evil ones... and I think this should change just as much as men always being the hero. Because if men aren't always the villain... it will naturally show that women aren't always the damsel too. And, it will also show that men don't have to always be the cruel ones.... they can express their feelings just as much as women.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

The Call- Peadar O'Guilin BOOK TALK

* * *
I was a bit underwhelmed with this book. I had high expectations and, while it was a generally entertaining read with some key moments of intrigue, it didn't grab me completely.
This story was very ambitious with the world that's been created but, at times, I felt a little confused and mixed up with the action and what was happening. It probably didn't help that I skim read parts but I couldn't visualise a lot of what was happening.
It couldn't read too much of it at a time. With many books, I find I can't physically put it down but I was perfectly happy to with The Call.
Having said that, there were sections of the book that had me completely gripped and on the edge of my seat. There were fleeting moments of heart-wrenching feels and there were characters that pulled me in. It was a unique and different read- perfect for this time of year.

I found the idea of the Call fascinating but every time we went into the Grey Land, my mind couldn't catch up with the descriptions. A lot was going on, there were a lot of Sidhes jumping around and I couldn't make sense of everything that was going on. However, it was a genius idea and there were moments that were really strong and fun to read.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Writing Diary #12- My First Nanowrimo

Let's be Nanowrimo buddies!!!

I'm doing Nanowrimo this year... I sure know how to make my life even busier.
In case you've never heard of Nanowrimo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. The challenge for this month is to start and complete an entire 50,000 word first draft within the month. That's nearly 2000 words every single day for an entire month. I do normally write every day but my average is usually between 500-1000 words so this task is really going to stretch me.

Also, it will give me time away and distance from the current novel I'm writing.... but not too much distance. The story I'm planning to write for Nanowrimo is going to be a prequel novella for one of my current character's backstories. It's what I originally wanted to base the book on and, when I completely changed the angle of the story, this plot got pushed to the side- it's just someone's backstory now. But that doesn't mean I don't want to write it!