Saturday, 8 December 2018

Winter Wonderland BOOK TAG

Since it's getting close to Christmas and winter is fully upon us, I thought I'd do a wintery tag to get myself in the festive mood. I found this tag over at The Perks of Being a Book Freak and I'll link that post here if you want to check it out.
On with the tag!

1. What book is so happy and so sweet that it just warms your heart?
To All the Boys I've Loved Before- Jenny Han
I think we can all safely say that this book can be summed up in one word: adorable. For me, it probably isn't a winter read because it's so summery and happy and sweet, but it'll definitely warm you up with how lovely it is.

2. What's your favourite book with a white cover?
Lovely, Dark and Deep- Amy Mcnamara 
If this isn't the ultimate wintery cover, I don't know what is. I read this book so long ago that I can't remember a single thing of what actually happened but I can still admire a stunning book cover.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Writing Diary #18- A Successful Babywrimo?

So, last month, I tried to do my own little version of Nanowrimo to get myself into writing consistently again. It was an easier version of the writing challenge- a baby challenge, shall we say- and, mostly, I'll say I was successful.
My goal was essentially to write every single day of the month no matter what just to get writing into my daily routine once more and, on the whole, I achieved that. I've written more in last month than I had in the previous three before that so I'm very happy with the progress I made.
Unfortunately, I didn't end up writing every single day in November but I only missed a day or two due to unforeseeable events that just meant writing was impossible to manage in those days. But that happens! And I'm not going to take it too much to heart because I'm otherwise super happy with how much I've done.
From here, I'm hoping to keep up the momentum and just keep writing!

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

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Kingdom of Ash- Sarah J. Maas MONSTER BOOK TALK (Part 1)

*  *  *  *  *
Here we are. I'm going to keep this non-spoiler section nice and short because this review is giant! 
Kingdom of Ash is the seventh book in the series and is the best finale in existence! If you've ever struggled to get through the previous books in the series, I can say, without a doubt, that this book is completely worth it. I was laughing, I was crying, I was hysterical and I wouldn't change a single word in this masterpiece!
Book Talks:
Throne of Glass  |  Crown of Midnight  |  Heir of Fire |  Queen of Shadows  |  Empire of StormsTower of Dawn

I'm overwhelmed as to how I'm even going to structure this book review so I'm going to try and go through it both chronologically and character-wise. Chronologically, I'll go through the book with every 100 or so pages and break those 100 page sections into the different characters. There's just so much going on in this book, so many characters crossing paths at so many different times, I think this will be the best way to break it all down. Hopefully, this review won't just be a jumbled mess.
So, without further adieu...

Saturday, 1 December 2018

December Releases and TBR 2018

Queen of Air and Darkness (the Dark Artifices #3)- Casandra Clare
My Favorite Half-Night Stand- Christina Lauren 
Evermore (Everless #2)- Sara Holland
Verity- Colleen Hoover
Fire and Heist- Sarah Beth Durst
29 Dates- Melissa de la Cruz

Mary Poppins Returns 

December is always a re-readery month for me (you know... because I never re-read book during the rest of the year). There are a few books that I want to re-read but I'll try to read one or two new books as well. But, honestly, after finishing Kingdom of Ash last month, re-reads may be all I can manage in my delicate state of book-hangover.

the witch doesn't burn in this one- Amanda Lovelace (Book of the Month)
I've decided I want a poetry book as December's book of the month because they're quick and easy and lovely to read. Amanda Lovelace is one of my favourite poets so I can't wait to jump into this book.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

November Wrap Up 2018

Where is the year going?!?! I can't believe it's nearly December!!
This month has been a huge reading month for me but not so successful in the TV and movies but... I don't even care because I've completed some monsters of books.

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)- Sarah J. Maas (Re-read)
* * * * *
I finished off Queen of Shadows this month and it was so much better than I ever remembered!! This used to be my least favourite in the series but, damn, I need to rethink a few things. I think I enjoyed it more because I knew what was going to happen and, since the first read, have come to terms and accepted a few things that annoyed me last time. These books are absolutely stunning and they only get better and better with every book. (And I can totally say that because I'm currently reading Kingdom of Ash and having the time of my life!).
Queen of Shadows Review

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)- Sarah J. Maas (Re-read)
* * * * *
I then went straight onto Empire of Storms which, so far, is my favourite of the entire series (though, as I'm currently reading Kingdom of Ash, I know it won't stay in that top spot for long). Empire of Storms is so epically action packed and I love all the characters so much. I will also warn you that there's a killer cliffhanger and it tears you up inside, so prepare to be emotionally traumatised.
Empire of Storms Review

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

November Book Haul 2018

Not many books this month because Christmas is coming up and my bank account is pleading with me to let it breathe so... let's begin this short and sweet post.

Tied Up In You- Erin Fletcher (Kindle Ebook)
This was an ultimate impulse buy because this is the sequel to the book, All Laced Up, which I received as an arc last year and loved!! I had no idea there was a sequel following other characters so I immediately downloaded it onto my kindle.
All Laced Up Review

The Darkest Star- Jennifer L. Armentrout 
I actually ordered this book last month but it just came this week and I'm so excited! I've actually already read an arc of this book a couple of months ago but I definitely want to give it a re-read soon! JLA is one of my all-time favourite authors and this book is a spectacular start to the Origin series- a spin off to the Lux series. This book is just so beautiful, inside and out, and fits in perfectly with my JLA collection.
The Darkest Star Non-spoiler Review
The Darkest Star Spoiler Review

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Tower of Dawn- Sarah J. Maas BOOK TALK

*  *  *  *  *
(Irrelevant sidenote: I'm so happy this post is my 500th post on my blog!)
This book surprised me so much! I was very sceptical going in because Empire of Storms is so action packed and epic and the thought of switching to a story line of plain politics and negotiations was just far from appealing. But I'm very sorry to have doubted you, Sarah, because I absolutely loved this book!
I've always been a massive fan of Chaol and I really liked reading his redemption arc through this book. He grows so much as a person and I love that Chaol gets a good spotlight when he's received so much hate from the fandom over previous books. He had such great character development and it's made me love Chaol even more than I ever did.
The focus on disability throughout the book was so incredibly well-written and I can't ever thank Sarah enough for it. Instead of a journey of physical progress, Chaol struggled through the emotional traumas of such physical limitations and the message that being in a wheelchair doesn't make you any less of a person was so important. Having a strong character in a wheelchair in a fantasy story is so unheard of and I think Sarah has to be truly commended for how well she portrayed these particular struggles.
The other characters introduced were also super interesting and learning about the completely different culture of the Southern Continent was fascinating.
So, while I had many doubts going into this book, I can now happily say that it's my second favourite book of the entire series so far, after Empire of Storms, of course.
And I also have to stress that you need to read this book before Kingdom of Ash! Just because this is a little side book following Chaol, it is still vital to the plot and you'll be so lost in Kingdom of Ash if you skip it! There are crucial plot twists that will effect the finale so please don't disregard this book and think it's not necessary to read!


We'll start with Nesryn and Sartaq because, frankly, I didn't really care about them so we might as well get them over and done with so we can then get into the juicy stuff.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Game of Thrones 5x09 'The Dance of Dragons' TV TALK

Everyone who watches GOT knows that the ninth episode in every season is the best, the one where everything goes down and there's usually at least one death.... and this one didn't disappoint!!! 
Season 5 has to be my favourite season yet and I haven't even finished it yet! This show still somehow continues to exceed all expectations.

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
Season 4:  4x01  |  4x02  |  4x03  |  4x04  |  4x05  |  4x06  |  4x07  |  4x08  |  4x09  |  4x10
Season 5:  5x01  |  5x02  |  5x03  |  5x04  |  5x05  |  5x06  |  5x07  |  5x08
North to south, we'll start with Jon Snow. At the wall, the wildlings have arrived and a tension has fallen over Castle Black. I don't know why so many of the Night's Watch are against the wildling peace.... there's an army of the dead headed your way. Who wouldn't want a little extra men to help fight? Who needs that explained to them?
Then we have Stannis. *overwhelming feels* I have major feelings over what happened concerning Stannis in this episode...

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Throne of Glass BOOK TAG

I found this tag on the Book Addicts Guide blog and I'll link it if you want to go over and check out that post!
Honestly, I'm stunned as to why I haven't done this before. I've loved this series for years and it's just occurred to me that I've never done a tag for it! Better late than never, I suppose.

This is a great tag but I will briefly question why the hell characters like Kaltain, Asterin and Fleetfoot (even swords like Damaris!) made it as questions while Dorian and Aedion didn't...

Lysandra- A book with a cover change you loved
Shatter Me- Tahereh Mafi
I think anyone will say that this cover changed for the better. The original is so cheesy and tacky and I don't like it at all. But the newer editions are gorgeous. Sure, the relevance to the plot itself is a little sketchy but all of those doubts are forgotten when you see how beautiful these covers are!
Shatter Me Book Review

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Queen of Shadows- Sarah J. Maas BOOK TALK

* * * * *
I remember reading Queen of Shadows when it first came out a few years back and it took me a long time to read because certain character dynamics, frankly, quite depressed me. But this most recent re-read was the best thing ever as I understand each side so much more and, knowing what happens helped me appreciate the growth with these characters.
Queen of Shadows is the 4th book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I can't really say much without spoiling it but, if by some reason you haven't read it, I would definitely recommend it.
Before going into this, I'm going to warn you that this is a mammoth of a review- I had so many things to talk about!!!!
Book Talks:
Throne of Glass | Crown of Midnight | Heir of Fire | Empire of Storms

I couldn't be bothered to re-write another review with my updated thoughts because they've mainly stayed the same since my first read so, here's an updated version of an old review with added images and better proofreading (hopefully)!
(Re-post of original review- posted in June 2016)
By the effing Wyrd! I don't even know where to start with this book!
This story made me laugh, cry and squeal in joy at the pure beauty of it.
Instead of organising my thoughts on each character, I'm going to chronologically talk about each event. (I'll try).

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Game of Thrones 5x08 'Hardhome' TV TALK

We're so close to the best episode in every series- episode nine! This episode was very well done and the last section of it felt like a episode nine fight sequence. This episode was fast paced and has built
our problems for an epic ending of the series.

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
Season 4:  4x01  |  4x02  |  4x03  |  4x04  |  4x05  |  4x06  |  4x07  |  4x08  |  4x09  |  4x10
Season 5:  5x01  |  5x02  |  5x03  |  5x04  |  5x05  |  5x06  |  5x07

In Braavos, we had Arya take on her new alter-ego, Lanna. For whatever reason, Jaqen wants her to spy on the Braavosi people which is fun and all but.... there's far more interesting plot lines in this show.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Heir of Fire- Sarah J. Maas BOOK TALK

* * * * *
When I first this book, I was frankly disappointed. It was slow, sluggish and I just wasn't interested. But this re-read has changed everything for me. Having known what was going to happen in both this book and the two books ahead, it made me so much more invested in the characters because I knew where their journey took them and how much they've grown. It was so fun to see where they started off and compare to how they are in Empire of Storms.
I made sure to take in all the details because this series can get really complex and confusing at times. But, with this re-read, I took in everything and I'm having the time of my life.
As always, I preferred some plot lines over others but, generally, I was so much more invested and excited than I ever have over this series which makes me even more pumped to re-read Queen of Shadows and Empire of Storms before reading the final two books for the first time! I'm equal amounts excited and terrified!

-This review contains Queen of Shadows and Empire of Storms as well-
I've decided to write up this review in order of my favourite story lines so, unsurprisingly, Aelin and Rowan go first.
I love the whole development of their relationship. They go from hating each other completely to growing closer and becoming carranam which was so fun to read about. And, honestly, the whole platonic side to their relationship and 'never thinking of each other that way' is kind of funny when you've read Empire of Storms and know exactly where they end up.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Killing Eve Season 1 TV TALK

* * * * *
I would give this show a million stars if I could. Honestly, it's one of the best shows I've seen this year. It reminds me why I love psychological thrillers/dramas so much and that I need to get into more shows like this because they are everything!
Killing Eve had everything I could possibly want; female assassins, humour, thrills... it's just too good. It's essentially about a female assassin, Villanelle, who is getting investigated by professional, Eve. They grow a sort of fascination and obsession with each other and, as Eve tries to track down Villanelle, it becomes a sort of cat-and-mouse game. The series is full of gripping sequences, brilliant humour and a subtle sexual tension that creates such an epic season. I'm already counting down the days to season 2!
Please, just watch the trailer at least, and you'll be convinced that you need this show in your life!

Instantly, I was struck by how funny this show was. You don't expect so much humour in a psychological thriller/drama show but it added such a brilliant element that made each episode more and more addictive. Particularly, Villanlle was absolutely hilarious. And I think that's what makes this show so fresh and gripping. It's not often that audiences can fall in love with a psychopathic assassin but, with Villanelle's striking humour, it was all too easy.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Writing Diary #17- Nano-for-the-love-of-gods-just-write

This is a new, personal twist on the Nanowrimo craze, brought by yours truly.
Now I participated and completed Nanowrimo last year and it was a lot of work, a lot of stress and a lot of fun. But because this year I'm not actually working on the first draft of anything and don't want to start anything new. I'm not going to be doing the traditional Nanowrimo but my own, warped version. Just so I can be doing something.
I finished editing my first draft in September, creating a lovely (and I'm very loose on that word), second draft that I've since been reading through and taking notes on. But, other than that, I've been doing absolutely nothing and it's so creatively frustrating! It doesn't help that my timetable is crazy busy this year and will no doubt get even busier which leaves me little time to write but, alas, I can't keep using that as an excuse comfort blanket.
So, I'm going to use November and Nanowrimo to get me back into writing because, dammit, I'm not gonna sit and later regret all the time wasted. And I also thought it'd be good to post my progress on the internet for everyone to see as a bit of extra incentive (because if internet shaming won't do it, nothing can).

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Crown of Midnight- Sarah J. Maas BOOK TALK

* * * *
This used to be one of my favourites of the series and, while I still enjoyed it, I can't say that it still holds the top position. When first reading this book, it was easy to fall into how amazing it is because we hadn't yet met the awesome characters that appear in Heir of Fire onwards- we didn't know what we were missing. But now that I know Rowan and Aedion and Lysandra and Manon are just around the corner, Crown of Midnight felt a little lacklustre to me. Sorry, but the original trio just don't cut it anymore.
Nevertheless, I did still enjoy this book (because of a certain ship...) but the second half did seem to drag. This series has such complex story lines all interlinked so beautifully and, knowing the epic adventures and excitement to come, I couldn't skip through this book quick enough.

I like to think of this as the Chaolaena book and that may be the only huge factor as to why I actually enjoy this book. I've always been a Chaolaena shipper and I love reading the growth of their relationship in this book. They've had such a journey from hating each other, becoming reluctant allies, close friends and eventually lovers. The whole thing just feels so rewarding and it's lovely to read.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

November Releases and TBR 2018

Archenemies- Marissa Meyer
Four Three Two One- Courtney Stevens
Girls of Paper and Fire- Natasha Ngan 
Skyward- Brandon Sanderson 

The Crimes of Grindelwald (Fantastic Beasts #2)
Bohemian Rhapsody 
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7)- Sarah J. Maas (Book of the Month)
Since Throne of Glass was last months Book of the Month, I had to make Kingdom of Ash November's book. I've managed to speed through the series pretty quickly and, while I'm only on Empire of Storms, I'll definitely be starting Kingdom of Ash this month if not finishing it. I've almost been spoiled on so many occasions so I'm eager to read it for myself and reduce that risk.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

The Darkest Star- Jennifer L. Armentrout BOOK TALK

I received a digital ARC of this this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 
*  *  *  *  *
I was sent this book a month or so before the actual release and, still to this day, it's been the highlight of my freaking year (though, I don't know what that says about the rest of my year). If you've been on my blog for any amount of time, it doesn't take long to realise that JLA is my favourite author of all time and that I can spend hours and hours singing her praises (but I'll restrain myself so you don't all get bored).
The Darkest Star is the first book in a spin-off series following on from the Lux series which also happens to be one of my all time favourites… what a surprise, there. Like the Lux series, this book is full of sassiness, romance, epic action and a humour that JLA can so effortlessly pour into ever word.
From the very first page, this book had reduced me to excited squeals and hand-flapping and it was everything I ever needed. I was pleasantly surprised with all the mystery and plot twists weaved into a story where I thought I'd already learnt everything about the world. It was fresh, interesting and every bit as brilliant as I'd been expecting.
I also have a Non-spoiler Book Talk if you haven't yet read this book but want more of my thoughts and, I'll give you a warning, it's basically just me professing my undying love for Jennifer L. Armentrout. Which I have no shame for.
The Darkest Star Non-Spoiler Book Talk

It only took about two pages for me to love this book with all my soul and be giggling like an idiot.
Whenever Daemon or Katy or anyone was mentioned, I started squealing and flapping my arms and creating a lovely image of myself as a seal. (A past life, maybe). Seeing old and new faces made my heart so happy and I could live off the energy these books give me. Reading JLA books for the first time is the best experience ever! Honestly, I'd marry the woman if I could. Yes, I'm officially professing my undying love.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

October Wrap Up 2018

Before I Wake (Soul Screamers #6)- Rachel Vincent (Re-read)
With All My Soul (Soul Screamers #7)- Rachel Vincent (Re-read)
* * * * *
I started the month finishing off a re-read of the Soul Screamers series. This is one of my ultimate favourite series and re-reading it brought the lovely wave of nostalgia that I always live for. This is a series about banshees and grim reapers and hellions and it's just so good!! I love these books with all my soul (do you see what I did there? I'll see myself out...)

Second Draft- Me
I figured I'd add this because... why not? It still counts as a book. I gave my entire second draft a re-read and took notes on any changes that I need to work through. Overall, I'm generally happy with it so far but I think the second half is maybe a bit simplistic and boring. But I'm waiting for a second opinion.
Going into the third draft, I'm going re-write the entire book with a real focus on the prose this time because... the writing's a little lackluster. Which I don't mind because, originally, I just wanted to get the whole story down and didn't care if the writing itself was a little crappy. But now, I really need to knuckle down and fix everything.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

October Book Haul 2018

October was the month of poetry and new releases for me. As always, I start to buy less and less books on the lead up to Christmas (understandably) but I still did pretty well this month.

To Make Monsters Out of Girls- Amanda Lovelace
This was an impulse buy. I just saw the beautiful hardcover and saw that it was written by my favourite author and naturally gravitated towards it. Amanda Lovelace is an amazing poet and this is the first book in her new poetry series. I've been bogged down by a lot of work and stress recently so reading a quick and easy poetry book is the most appealing thing in the world to me right now.

The Witch Doesn't Burn in this One- Amanda Lovelace
And as I was getting one poetry book, I thought 'what the hell?' and just got another to complete my Amanda Lovelace collection. This is the sequel to The Princess Saves Herself In This One which I absolutely loved so I have high hopes for this one too.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

I saw Heathers at the West End!!!

This was a super quick decision. With Hamilton, we bought the tickets fifteen months before seeing it. With Heathers... it was more like a month. Heathers is currently playing at the Royal Haymarket Theatre in the West End but it's only showing for a really short run (September-November). So, there was no time like the present and, as I became obsessed with this musical over the summer, it was now or never.
I was particularly excited to see this version of Heathers because Carrie Hope Fletcher is playing the lead and I'm a huge fan of her YouTube channel. She posts tonnes of vlogs of her and the cast backstage and behind the scenes which meant I was a fan of all of the cast before even seeing them live.
I will be doing a completely separate review of the West End Heathers similar to what I did with both my Hamilton 'Vlog' and Review, so stay tuned for that (because I have a lot of opinions on some of the songs they added and some of the songs they cut).
It's also been announced that there's going to be a Heathers West End Soundtrack which is awesome because then I'll have a CD will all the cast I got to see live which will be such a special thing to keep and remember this performance by.