Sunday 30 November 2014

November Wrap-Up Post.

So November turned out to be a pretty busy month for me, and therefore, I read even less than in October. I actually managed only three books this month, as no matter how hard I tried, I could not get through 'A Clash Of Kings' in time. It's a long book. Luckily, I still completed all of my challenges this month because one of my reads counted for two categories.

Physical Books:
  1. 'The Miniaturist'; Jessie Burton. Only one physical read again this month. It was a cracker though! By far my favourite read of the month! It had a good cast of characters, fantastic plot, actual twists that took me by surprise and a well researched setting. As well as that, Burton has a gorgeous writing style. 5/5 stars.
Kindle Reads:
  1. 'Soulwoven'; Jeff Seymour. This was my first read of the month, and a Netgalley read. There were some good points to this book. It contained a good few of my favourite Fantasy tropes, had a good cast of interesting characters and certainly ran out of action. Unfortunately, the constant danger-filled, fast-paced action got irritating and confusing after a while. I wish it had given itself time to slow down every so often. 2.5/5 stars.
  2. 'Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea'; April Genevieve Tucholke. I had heard a few mixed reviews on this book but I actually really enjoyed it. Tucholke's descriptive writing was a dream to read and I really liked the characters and story-line. The only disappointment was the villain of the story, as I didn't think we got to know him well enough. 4/5 stars.

Horror: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane; Neil Gaiman.
Creature On Cover: Soulwoven; Jeff Seymour.
Freebie: Under Fishbone Clouds; Sam Meekings.
Serial Killers: Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea; April Genevieve Tucholke.
Mystery: The Miniaturist; Jessie Burton.
Set In Space: Red Rising; Pierce Brown.
Witches: The Witch Of Salt & Storm; Kendall Kulper.

Thursday 27 November 2014

Life Of A Blogger: 'Thanksgiving Traditions'.

Well this is going to end up being a short post because the truth is, I don't have any Thanksgiving Traditions! I'm British! For most people living in the United Kingdom, Thanksgiving is not really a special time for us. However, my lovely boyfriend and flatmates have some American friends, and so last year did actually have a big Thanksgiving Dinner! We hope to recreate something similar this year, so I'm excited for that!

All that's really left to say is:

Tuesday 25 November 2014

The Blogger Tag!

Bev from My Senses Come To Life tagged me in this ages ago and as I'm off dong not a lot today, I thought I'd give it a go!

1) What is your favourite Beauty Product?

I'm not really a Beauty Product fan (I don't wear much make-up) but it has to be L'Oreal True Match Foundation in Rose Ivory because it actually matches my skin tone. I've just realised that in writing that, I've written exactly the same answer as my sister...bizarre! I'm also a big fan of Make-Up Academy's Eyeshadow palettes. They have such great pigments and are super easy to blend!

2) If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I have a burning desire to visit Japan. I think the country is beautiful, the culture so interesting and there are so many things to do. As well as that, I've always dreamed of touring America (and while I'm at it, seeing Canada too. Some of those views are stunning).

3) What is your all time favourite brand?

Brand of what? I have tons of brands I like for a variety of different things. I'll say Galaxy though because Cookie Crumble chocolate is delicious!

4) Do you collect anything? If so, what?

It has to be Theatre Programmes/Brochures. I always buy one whenever I go and I try to keep the tickets too. I love the Theatre!

5) Early Bird or Night Owl?

I used to say I was a bit of an Early Bird, but nowadays I definitely stay up later and sleep in more, so I'll say Night Owl! No worm catching for me!

6) Tea or Coffee?

Uhh tea. Duh! I am hooked on the stuff. It helps me relax and keeps me wam when I'm cold. Not to mention that even the smell of coffee makes me feel sick. Sorry coffee lovers!

7) What is your favourite TV Show?

Game Of Thrones without a doubt, though right now I'm a big fan of Once Upon A Time, Gotham, Supernatural and The Big Bang Theory too! All great shows, for different reasons.

8) If you could travel to any era, which would it be?

Maybe the late 40s/early 50s? I know that it's post-war time but I have always been a big fan of the fashion and the music from that time. I'd also love to see the 20s to attend a Gatsby-esque party, the 70s to watch David Bowie live in his prime, and Elizabethan times to meet Shakespeare. Phew!

Wow, some awesome questions! Thanks for the tag Bev!

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books On My Winter TBR List'.

Oh this is a great topics, I love trying to plan ahead and pick future reads (though I nearly always fail to read the ones I picked). Having looked at my Autumn TBR however, I managed four of my chosen ten! That isn't too bad, right? There might be a couple of repeats but I'll try and go for some new ones too. As it stands, I'm not entirely sure because I plan to participate in some 2015 challenges and they might get in the way! Also for the record, this is the perfect time to put this topic in because in my opinion, Winter covers December, January and February!

1) 'Dreams Of Gods And Monsters'; Laini Taylor.
Okay, so I know you are all glaring at me and shaking your head because I promised I would read this a while back and I just haven't! But listen, I'm making it one of my challenge reads in December, so I have to read it! I hope it's good. I hope the ending doesn't make me cry. I think I've been scared to read this book because of what could happen, but it's time to face my fears!
2) 'Catching Fire'; Suzanne Collins.
It is pretty terrible that I am watching the films ahead of reading these books. 'Mockingjay' (the film) is out now and I simply have to read 'Catching Fire' and try to catch up because when I read the first book, I did enjoy it a lot! A lot of fellow bloggers have told me this is the best book of the series too. I hope they are right!
3) 'The Moment Collector'; Jodi Lynn Anderson.
I got this one so long ago on Netgalley! Some of you may also know it as 'The Vanishing Season' (I must say, I really prefer that cover) and I think this book looks really good! I ought really to have read it by now, and so in an attempt to catch up on Netgalley reads, I'm putting this one down on the list.
4) 'The Sea Of Tranquility'; Katja Millay.
This is not my usual style of book, but one of my challenges requires I read a New Adult book in December. New Adult is not my usual favourite thing to read as well (in fact, it's one of my least favourite genres). I've read the synopsis and reviews for this one however and it looks like it has quite a lot to it, rather than just being predictable and boring.
5) 'Scarlet'; Marissa Meyer.
I should (hopefully) get to start this one at the end of the month, though don't hold your breath because my current read is 873 pages long. Gulp. Still, it's definitely on the list for December and I'm excited about it! I always feel like Winter is a good time for Fairy-Tales Retellings too. Don't ask me why, I just do.
6) 'A Song For Ella Grey'; David Almond.
I've written a 'I will read this' paragraph on this book a few times, but it really does look so good! It has a very wintery, very beautiful cover too and is based on Greek Myth. Anyone who knows me, knows I love Myths so much! Count me in!
7) 'Winterspell'; Claire Legrand.
I spy a Cinderella retelling? Sort of? Maybe? This one is set during Christmas time so would make a perfect December read! The cover is gorgeous and the synopsis sounds great! A lot of fellow bloggers have read and loved it, and I think it's time I joined the bandwagon.
8) 'Dot'; Araminta Hall.
I got this book a very long time ago on Edelweiss and never actually read it (nor did I end up going on Edelweiss ever again, I guess I just prefer Netgalley). However, the book itself looks pretty good! It's a ghost story, set over a series of generations (I am rather fond of those types of books) and I am intrigued by the plot concept. The cover is pretty wintery too!
9) 'The Painted Man'; Peter V. Brett.
This book looks like it's set in the middle of the desert rather than a cold winter's night, but I want to read it anyway! It's a Fantasy (my favourite kind) and a good friend of mine bought it for me a very long time ago. She keeps telling me that she's ashamed I haven't picked it up yet, so I figured that this might be a good Christmas present to her!
10) 'The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales'; Kate Mosse.
I bought this book really rather recently, while getting a few bits and bobs or other people (it was part of a deal, I had to). It's been a long time since I have read any kind of Ghost story, especially in short story form. It looks like a nice little read and a good way to introduce myself to Kate Mosse as an author! I can't wait!

Monday 24 November 2014

Last Week's Shenanigans (17th November - 23rd November)...

Once again, no holiday for me at work. I did end up having quite an interesting week though! We've been watching Supernatural in the flat (by Saturday Night, we had finished Season 1). Why have I never watched this TV series before? It's so good! If you've watched it before you're probably on the floor in shock that I haven't, but if you haven't watched it then I highly recommend it as a show! It's truly fantastic! On Monday, before work, I went to Westfield Shopping Centre and made a pretty decent start on my Christmas Shopping! Hooray!

The other strange thing is that currently, I am writing from the computer at my Parent's house in Ashford. Why? Because on Sunday afternoon, I came back to stay for a few days, as on Tuesday 25th it's my Sister's birthday! I had a lovely catch up with my family and we played a few games, which was lots of fun. All in all, a lovely week!

I Reviewed:

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I Can't Wait To Get
Life Of A Blogger: Ten Things I'll Never Do

Sunday 23 November 2014

Book Review: Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea; April Genevieve Tucholke.

It is irritating me so much that I'm taking so long to get through books, but nevertheless, I've completed another one! I came into it a little unsure, but ended up really enjoying it! Before I dive into my review, I'll be entering it into the Key Words Challenge this month, because the word 'Blue' is in the title.

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea
AUTHOR: April Genevieve Tucholke
SERIES: Between (#1)
PAGES: 368
GENRE: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult

RATING: 4/5 Stars

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery...who makes you want to kiss back.

Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

What I Liked:
  • I loved the fact that Tucholke wrote so well! I'm a big fan of authors that use clever imagery, and Tucholke's was irresistible! It managed to get certain scents and sights so on point that I could actually picture everything so much more clearly. It made me think of a Baz Luhrmann film, and that made me very happy.
  • The characters, despite their rather unusual names, were very interesting. Another smallish cast in this one, but I got a pretty in-depth look at them all and each one oozed personality. Violet was a strong and likeable lead, not too gullible or boring as so many Paranormal Romance heroines are. River West had more to him than just being a mysterious bad boy too, and I very much appreciated that.
  • The plot was pretty different to what I expected. It was actually much more original than I first thought it would be, with it's own tropes, interesting mysteries and plenty of twists to keep me enthralled. I've seen this book compared to Twilight and I would have to politely disagree that they are the same. There are vague similarities, and maybe Twilight readers would enjoy this, but I felt like they were still very different.
What I Disliked:
  • Unfortunately it didn't hit the 5 Star mark because for me, the villain just didn't live up to expectations. There was no build-up, he just popped into existence as if he'd only been put there so the book had an ending. Sure he was a total psychopath (which was quite interesting to read) but I would have liked this a lot more if we had been introduced to him more often, maybe even spoke to him before the big finale. It felt a little anti-climactic.
Overall Conclusion:
There were so many good things to this book, despite some negative reviews I've read. The imagery was gorgeous (I mean it, so quotable and unique), the cast was pretty good and I thought the story was actually very good and not so predictable that I was bored. The main couple were a good match and I'd like to see more of them in the next book. I was a little annoyed that the Villain fell flat, this book would have definitely been 5 stars if I hadn't been so disappointed with him. Still, there's a chance for that to be rectified in Book 2, which I am very much looking forward to reading.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Life Of A Blogger: 'Ten Things I'll Never Do'.

This was actually a pretty difficult to list to come up with as there are so many things that despite the fact that I will probably never do them, there's still a chance I will.
  1. Leave Mat. This may well seem to be a bit of an obvious one, and slightly cheesy, but I will never leave him. What can I say? He's the love of my life and I can't imagine life without him.
  2. Take drugs. This one was a bit of a no-brainer for me. I can never imagine getting myself into a situation where I would do this. 
  3. Smoke. My thoughts on this are pretty much the same. I don't understand why anyone would want to fill their lungs with the awful things found in cigarettes.
  4. Completely read my TBR pile. We all know I love reading. We all know I will never stop. However, every time I finish one book, another six appear on my list of books need to read. 
  5. Stop trying to be a better person. I know I have a lot of flaws, and I am always trying to improve upon myself and become a nicer, better person to be around. I will never stop trying to be there.
  6. Learn to swim. If you read my post on phobias, you'll know I am terrified of water and so learning to swim is a definite no go activity for me. I know it will never happen too. Many a swim instructor, family member and friend have tried. All have failed.
  7. Have a pet spider. I am very scared of spiders. Even if you paid me £1,000,000 I would not be in the same room as a spider, if I can possibly help it. Sorry.
  8. Give up on my dreams of writing a book. I don't get a lot of time to myself these days, but I absolutely haven't stopped thinking about this, and wanting to do it. 
  9. Stop listening to music. Music makes me feel very happy. I always manage to find a track that suits my mood and if I'm sad or angry, it has the power to make me feel better.
  10. This list. I seriously couldn't think of something to put for number ten. However, by choosing this option I actually wrote ten things, thus rendering this list paradoxical and enter a theoretical state whereby no task is entered into this realm of impossibility. For want of a better phrase: never say never. Man, I sound like Doctor Who.

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Get'.

For some reason I thought this topic would be quite difficult for me, but in actual fact it wasn't! It has made me really needy for more books in my life (and I already have far too many).

1) 'Magic Study' by Maria V. Snyder.

I seriously loved 'Poison Study' so much, it had so much going for it! Awesome characters, a great setting, and a gripping plot. The second book looks like it will be even better. Not to mention, the prospect of reading more Yelena and Valek makes me very happy.

2) 'Golden Son' by Pierce Brown.

I read 'Red Rising' pretty recently and really enjoyed it! I've not read much in the way of Sci-Fi, but the beginning of this series was amazing and I'm very excited to read more! It ended on a bit of a cliffhanger too so I really want to see what happens next!

3) 'Stealing Phoenix' by Joss Stirling.

I actually have this book in my shelf, but I haven't got round to reading it yet! I really liked the first book, 'Finding Sky' a lot. While there were some tropes that are found in a fair few books, I really liked the way they were handled in this one and I love the idea of following the stories of some of the other Benedict brothers.

4) 'Valiant' by Holly Black.

I read 'Tithe' some time ago and rather enjoyed it. This series has such an awesome idea behind it and I can't wait to get into it properly. I would be interested to see where it goes! The world-building in 'Tithe' was so, so good! 

5) 'Under The Light' by Laura Whitcomb.

'A Certain Slant Of Light' had such a different take on the whole Paranormal Romance genre. How can I not give it's sequel a go? I would be really intrigued to see what more can be added to this story, as it felt very much concluded in the first one.

6) 'Catching Fire' by Suzanne Collins.

We all know I should have read this one by now. In fact, I should have read the entire series by now! The second film was very good, I can't wait to see how the book compares. I did love the first book, so hopefully the rest of the series is equally as good.

7) 'Rogue Wave' by Jennifer Donnelly.

When I first read 'Deep Blue', despite some mixed reviews, I really enjoyed it! I managed to get hold of an ARC for this one on Netgalley so hopefully I'll get round to reading it soon and having a review for you guys. It looks so good!

8) 'Siege And Storm' by Leigh Bardugo.

Oh my goodness, why have I not read this one yet?! I keep meaning to but just don't seem to get round to it. 'Shadow And Bone' was a really good first book in the series, and I strongly believe it can only get better.

9) 'Hidden Huntress' by Danielle Jensen.

I adored 'Stolen Songbird', and am hopping up and down with excitement at the prospect of a second book even existing! Please may 2015 come around a little quicker so I can read it sooner? Pretty please?

10) 'Scarlet' by Marissa Meyer.

'Cinder' was just a phenomenal book to read and I thoroughly look forward to the second in the series. All I can say is that it's on the list for the forseeable future and I simply need to get round to it soon!

Monday 17 November 2014

Last Week's Shenanigans (November 10th - November 16th)...

So this week I had no holiday, so I worked for most of the week. It was a little different though, in that Mat went home for a couple of days and I was alone for a night! I was amazed at how weird that was for me actually! Not to mention that the one night he went away, the spiders of the building rebelled against hiding and came to pay me a visit. Not. Fun. Other than that, not a whole lot happened! I read 'The Miniaturist' which I loved, but actually ended up neglecting this blog quite a bit. Sorry guys!

I Reviewed:


Life Of A Blogger: Unpopular Opinions

Sunday 16 November 2014

Book Review: The Miniaturist; Jessie Burton.

So I know I have been a little neglectful of this blog, but I come bearing a book review! And it's a good one too! Before I start, I'm entering this into the 2014 'Monthly Motif' challenge as it is set pre-2000. I'm also entering it into this month's 'Jumble Your Genres' challenge, being Historical Fiction.

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Hardback

TITLE: The Miniaturist
AUTHOR: Jessie Burton
PAGES: 435
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Adult

RATING: 5/5 Stars

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella's world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways...

Johannes' gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand-and fear-the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation...or the architect of their destruction?

What I Liked:
  • Okay there are so many things I can put here for this bit, but I'll start with my favourite. Jessie Burton's writing. I completely fell in love with it the moment that I started reading. Many of you will know that feeling you get when you read good writing and it was the best I've read in a while. Whether the moment that she wrote about was a twist that left me gaping, or a quieter moment for reflection, Burton's writing was on point and I want so badly for her to write more books for me to read.
  • The plot twists in this were really good. They weren't predictable or unbelievable, and they certainly weren't boring. I actually didn't expect many of the directions that this book took me down and I'm so glad that I finally got to read a Mystery book that mystified me!
  • The characters were interesting. They had distinct personalities and I always managed to keep track of who was who and my thoughts on them. There was a fairly small cast in this book, but a fascinating one! Burton kept me distant though, and didn't allow me to get too attached to anyone. In any other book I could mark this as a bad thing, but for this one it felt right. It made me empathise with Nella's situation even more than I would have done in other cases, not knowing who to trust and being out of control.
What I Disliked:
  • I suppose my only real niggle was that the main, over-riding plot arc of the book was not properly resolved. This was a purposeful move for a good reason, but that doesn't mean I have to like it! It left me with unanswered questions that I know will never be answered and that's just upsetting!
Overall Conclusion:
There were so many amazing things about this book and it's the best I have read in a while! I loved the quirky characters, interesting setting (and may I say, much research went into this book) and fantastic plot. Burton's writing was nothing short of incredible and I am anxious to read more of her work. I don't even care that the ending didn't answer all my questions (at least, that's what I'm telling myself) because this book was too good to be ignored.

Thursday 13 November 2014

Life Of A Blogger: 'Unpopular Opinions'.

Okay so one instantly sprang to mind here the moment that I read this, though it's probably not actually that big a deal. I actually cannot stand Pizza! Every person that I have encountered has treated me like I'm some sort of alien from another planet the moment that I mention this, so I thought it was worth a mention on here. The smell of it makes me feel a bit ill and I've always found it too cheesy. I normally find this opinion coming out when all of my friends inevitably suggest Pizza Hut to eat at and I have to politely decline.

Another unpopular opinion of mine is to do with my Film choices. I am not a RomCom kind of girl. Films like '50 First Dates', 'Friends With Benefits', 'There's Something About Mary' and 'How To Lose A Girl In 10 Days' just don't interest me. At all! When people suggest watching them at the cinema/at a sleepover I can't help but groan with a complete lack of enthusiasm, even though it makes me feel like a terrible person. My lack of interest in Romance extends to books too, as you may have noticed in some of my previous posts. I mean obviously there are exceptions in both cases but for the most part, I get a lot of "I can't believe you haven't watched that!" lectures.

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Characters That I Want To Have Their Own Book' (The Harry Potter Edition).

This is such an interesting topic, I always look forward to doing these every week. I find myself wishing so often for certain characters to get their own book or series and now I finally have the opportunity to let everyone know which ones!

1) Neville Longbottom.

When you think about it, Neville has actually had a really interesting life. In fact, in a way, it's similar to Harry's in terms of tragedy, isolation and the continuous fear of death. I feel like Neville's potential part in the prophecy was a little overlooked and I think he would have a pretty fascinating childhood story, as well as his life as a Hogwart's student.

2) Professor McGonagall.

To be honest, I would love to view life from any Hogwarts Professor's POV, but I think McGonagall is awesome! Can you imagine the Hogwarts Staff Room conversations? Her thoughts as she has to give Harry detention (again)? and I bet that she transformed into a cat to listen in on private conversations all the time

3) Scabbers/Peter Pettigrew.

Okay just think about this one. The entire first three books from Peter Pettigrew's viewpoint. He would hear everything the trio said and not be able to do a single thing about it! Perhaps, while everyone was sleeping, he just transformed back into a human and went for a walk. I'll bet there are a ton of hilarious 'being chased by Crookshanks' stories too!

4) Lily Potter.

This is a pretty obvious one really. I would just love to get her view on Hogwarts life, meet some new professors and watch her fall in love with James. I'll bet her childhood friendship with Snape would be the most heart-breaking, emotional thing to read too! 

5) Bellatrix Lestrange.

I never really felt like Bellatrix Lestrange, as a character, was given any real back-story or motivation. She was literally just a psychopath. Why did she join Voldemort? Were they ever romantically involved? Does she have a tragic story that turned her into the craziest woman alive, or was she always like that?

6) Draco Malfoy.

Okay so this story would probably involve an awful lot of whining and moaning about Potter, but there would probably be some pretty cool bits where he tries to understand jut what his Father is up to and his own feelings on that. Not to mention, I am desperate to know exactly what Draco did in his school Summer holidays...

7) Luna Lovegood.

This would literally be the Harry Potter story with added Nargles. No, seriously, I want to read some cute Lovegood moments and maybe find out a bit about Luna's Mother. The Lovegood back-story has always intrigued me! Also, how did she cope with being captured and taken to Malfoy Manor?

8) Rubeus Hagrid.

I would love to read a bit of Hagrid at school, wouldn't you? I bet he was the most enthusiastic pupil of the lot and was absolutely heartbroken when he lost his wand. It would just be interesting to find out about some of his early Gamekeeper years, and interactions with other Hogwarts Students, pre-Harry.

9) Arthur Weasley.

Does anyone else want a 'Mr Weasley's Guide to Muggle Inventions', and then just page after page of various Muggle things and how they work (except they don't work like that at all)? Well I do. I would love to find out more about the inner workings of the Ministry Of Magic and he would seem to be the man to ask.

10) Gilderoy Lockhart.

Who on earth doesn't want to actually read Gilderoy Lockhart's books? They sound like such fun reads! It would be really cool to try and figure out at which point Gilderoy pulled out his wand on the real Wizard who braved all these foul beasts, and wiped their memory. 

Monday 10 November 2014

Last Week's Shenanigans (November 3rd - November 9th)...

Okay so you all know that the Flat got a Wii U last week, so I'll start with that. Two words. Mario Kart! We need to buy some controllers so that more people can play, but it is seriously so much fun! Definitely, in my opinion, worth the buy. Other games that we have got hold of and played this week include Viva Pinata (fantastic game) and continuing on with the terrifying The Evil Within (also great). We've actually ended up doing a lot of game playing because it was Mat's University Reading Week!

On Wednesday, I had a day off from work to spend time with him and we had a really nice day out in London. Our first destination was to view the magnificent Poppies currently at the Tower Of London. My Grandparents are a big supporter of the Royal British Legion and it's a Charity pretty close to our family's heart. I was so glad when she got to go in September, and even happier that I finally got to see it for myself. It was a very sad sight, but it made me happy that so many crowds were there to view it and remember, as we all should. We then went to Leicester Square/Covent Garden and had a little adventure around M&M World, and some shops, before heading off to eat at Bella Italia. I was absolutely thrilled to finally see the Piccadilly Waterstones, which has four or five (I can't remember) floors! We didn't stick around, but they were getting ready for two seperate Author events when we left: Marian Keyes and Jodi Picoult! Exciting stuff!

I Reviewed:

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want To Reread
Life Of A Blogger: Concerts

Sunday 9 November 2014

Book Review: Soulwoven; Jeff Seymour.

I have had a very small amount of time to read this book, and didn't get to properly sit down and read this to completion until today. I have a lot of mixed thoughts, and can't wait to share!

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Soulwoven
AUTHOR: Jeff Seymour
SERIES: Soulwoven (#1)
PUBLISHER: Jeff Seymour
PAGES: 446
GENRE: Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure

RATING: 2.5/5 Stars

Litnig Jin has spent his life yearning for the power to weave the souls of the dead into magic. His brother Cole has spent his believing in nothing bigger than his own two hands. 

When a dragon sinks its claws into their nightmares, their lives will change forever. 

A dream of moving statues, shattered chains, and seething clouds of darkness sets the brothers on a journey into the unknown. A prince asks for their help. A necromancer hunts them. The bloom of first love gives Cole something to believe in. 

As the brothers travel the world of Guedin seeking to prevent the hatred of a god from coming to life, Litnig discovers he has more power than he ever thought possible. But learning why may cost him his brother, his best friend, and everything he is. 

What I Liked:
  • The plot was very action-filled. A lot of things happened in  this book and I never found myself thinking that it was dull at any point. There were dramatic twists and turns on every page and it certainly kept my attention. I thought that Seymour was a pretty good writer too, there were some very quotable moments and I loved his descriptive writing too!
  • The main group of characters were very memorable and well-written. In fact, one of my favourite things about this book is that Seymour actually developed each and every one of his characters, rather than letting any of them become unimportant. They each had a story-line, a past, and a reason to change as the plot progressed. There was a great group dynamic too, and watching the characters slowly lose and gain faith in each other was interesting to read.
What I Disliked:
  • I felt like the pace was just too fast throughout with no real pause for breath. The characters were constantly in danger, and almost died in pretty much every chapter. This resulted in a lot of confusion on my part. I felt like I was missing key events and revelations, and it being written from multiple viewpoints, it was difficult to tell who knew what and when/how they found out. At points it became repetitive too: if I have to read the phrase 'something felt/was wrong' one more time I might have a tantrum.
  • Despite the great character development, I just felt distanced from the ongoing action and the characters. I didn't really find myself convinced by the 'power couple' of the story, and the love triangle annoyed me. I never really got attached to anyone in particular and as a result, didn't ever feel truly panicked or disturbed when their lives were in danger (which was pretty frequently).
Overall Conclusion:
At the start of this book I felt like I was really going to enjoy it. And there were things in this story that I haven't seen in other books for a while, such as great character development and wonderful description. But as time went on I began to feel like I was becoming a little aloof from the action, the characters and the whole 'life constantly in danger' thing got a bit old. It was a decent Fantasy with many of the favourite tropes, and worth a read if you're a big fan of the genre.

Thursday 6 November 2014

Life Of A Blogger: 'Concerts'.

I can't say that I've been to an awful lot of Concerts. I never really have the time in all honesty, and for quite a while, I couldn't afford it! However I've been to a few. Firstly, Mumford & Sons came to play at Folkestone so I went to watch them with Mat and my Sister. I love that band, so I was mega excited to get to see them live! They played so many of my favourites, including 'Thistle & Weeds'! They were supported by Slow Club and Pete Roe, who were also amazing.

My next big Concert that I went to was to see McBusted at the O2 Arena with Mat! I was ridiculously excited when they announced their tour and snatched some tickets up as soon as I could. They played all of my childhood favourites, both Busted and McFly hits! I seriously love the idea of these guys as a single band, yet love them on their own too. They were funny too! During the Summer, I went to BST: Hyde Park and saw them again! Other acts that I saw their included Diversity, Scouting For Girls, The Vamps and The Backstreet Boys. They were all pretty amazing and I'm so glad I went, I had a ton of fun!

Over the years I've gone to a few 'Create' Festivals that have been held in my hometown of Ashford, Kent. They too were really good and a fair few talented bands played there! 

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books I Want To Reread'.

So this week's topic is rereads! Now, I don't really do an awful lot of rereading books,but there are a few that I would if I had the time!

1) The Book Thief; Markus Zusak.

This is my favourite book of all time. Of course it was going to be on the list! Seriously, it has everything I could ever love in a good book and if I had the chance, I would read it over and over again. It's a beautiful story that broke my heart to read and stuck with me for a very long time afterwards.

2) The Harry Potter Series; J.K. Rowling.

I suspect this series will be on many a list this week. If only I had the time on my hands to reread this gorgeous set of books! They were my favourite set of stories to read growing up, and I loved the way that it felt like they grew up with me. Rowling writes so well in these books and to this day, I'm still waiting for my Hogwarts letter!

3) The Black Magician Trilogy; Trudi Canavan.

I don't think that I ever really mention this series in my lists, but it is such a good one! One of my good, book-loving friends lent it to me when I was at school and I was hooked from Book one! It had amazing characters, a great story-line and a very well-built world. It's finale will haunt me for the rest of my days too. 

4) The Inheritance Cycle; Christopher Paolini.

Okay, so I haven't technically finished this series. But that is exactly why I have to reread it! I want to make sure I remember every detail that I need to in preparation for the final book. So yes, in an ideal world I would definitely reread this amazing series. And I just hope the last book is worth it!

5) The Name Of The Wind; Patrick Rothfuss.

For exactly the same reason as above, I need to reread 'The Name Of The Wind'. Rothfuss has such an amazing writing style, and I was impressed with that novel from start to finish. I just wish that I had got round to reading 'The Wise Man's Fear' when it came out. Now that 'The Slow Regard Of Silent Things' is on it's way, I'm feeling very behind.

6) Pride & Prejudice; Jane Austen.

This is one of my all time favourite classics that I read in Year 9 at school. I've read it a few times and never stopped enjoying it, but it has been quite a while since the last time that I read it. If I could, I would love to reread it!

7) All books set in Tortall; Tamora Pierce.

Perhaps I talk about Tamora Pierce's books too much but seriously I love this woman and her books! The series that I am referring to are of course: 'The Song Of The Lioness' Quartet, 'The Immortals' Quartet, The 'Protector Of The Small' Quartet, and the 'Daughter Of The Lioness' series. I also began but never finished the 'Beka Cooper' series and thought it was pretty good too! Though I'm writing specifically about books set in Tortall here, I did also enjoy the 'Circle Of Magic' series set in Emelan. 

8) The Tale Of Raw Head & Bloody Bones; Jack Wolf.

This was the very first book I reviewed on this blog and I thought it was great! I felt so conflicted while reading, not sure whether to root for the'hero' or be disgusted by him, whether anything he was saying was true or in his head. The romance sub-plot was such a power couple for me, even though the relationship that they had was a little twisted. Gah! I couldn't make head nor tale about my thoughts on this book and yet, I loved it. 

9) The Demonata Series; Darren Shan.

I have read his other series, 'The Saga Of Darren Shan' and really loved it. However, the series I really would like to reread is this one. I just remember the artwork on the cover was so pretty (in a gruesome way), the characters were pretty memorable and the Demons very imaginative. I feel like I lost it about two thirds of the way through and want to reread to try and understand it better!

10) The Snow Child; Eowyn Ivey.

This was a pretty recent read from this year, but I adored this book and would jump at the chance to reread. It is my favourite Fairy Tale retelling of all time! It is a take on a not very well known Russian folk tale, The Snow Child. This book was both beautiful and heartbreaking, and I did have a little cry at the end. Read it, if you get the chance!