Monday, 19 June 2017

Last Week's Shenanigans (12th June - 18th June)...

This week started off like any other week. A little boring and work-filled, with the only 'social' event being a trip to the cinema with Mat to watch Wonder Woman. That is an excellent film by the way, which is good because I was really starting to give up on the DC film franchise. While it's clear they are trying to be as successful as Marvel, they really weren't succeeding up until this point. But Wonder Woman actually made me want to wipe the past away and give them a fresh chance, I was that impressed. The idea that Wonder Woman has never had a proper film made revolving around her character before is very telling, I bet it's a big regret for Hollywood now!

The end of the week I'm not going to talk too much about. Because it was the start of a special weekend for me and I want to make a special post about it. But it was wonderful. And that's all I'm going to say.

I Read...

I Received...

- 'Ink' by Alice Broadway: Bought on Amazon (16/06/17)
- 'The Hunter's Kind' by Rebecca Levene: Bought On Amazon (16/06/17)

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Book Review: Green Rider; Kristen Britain.

While I enjoyed this book, I have to say that I struggled with this one. At 500+ pages, it was a lot longer than the reads I've been used to and when you're not falling head over heels in love with what you're reading, it can be difficult to get through.

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: Green Rider
AUTHOR: Kristen Britain
PAGES: 560
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars

Karigan G'ladheon, running away from school, is travelling through a deep forest when a galloping horse pounds up to her, its rider impaled by two black-shafted arrows. With his dying breath, he tells her he is a Green Rider, one of the magical messengers of the King. Before he dies, he makes Karigan swear to deliver the message he's carrying, and gives her his green coat, with the symbolic brooch of his office. 

Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only her horse seems to know, Karigan becomes a legendary Green Rider for when given to the right person, a Rider's brooch awakens the magic inside.

What I Liked:
  • There was a really good attempt made at world-building, and I definitely appreciate that in Fantasy literature above all things because I want to be able to envision the world I'm reading about. It did remind me if a lot of other Fantasy worlds I've delved into, which in some ways was a good thing because I have fond memories of those books, but it also did highlight that so far, there wasn't anything hugely special about this world. It seemed to draw upon a lot of specific elements from other Fantasy series, which has been picked up on by other reviewers of this book) or vague elements from a general Fantasy 'feeling'.
  • I did like the characters a lot, especially the feisty MC Karigan. She was everything I wanted in a feisty heroine, stubborn and bad-ass but emotional and with the capacity to develop. I liked the occasional jump to other POVs too, particularly Karigan's Father who was a good, solid character. I really think a book series like this would benefit from more of a variety in POV though I'm more on board with sticking with Karigan than I was to begin with.
What I Disliked:
  • Like I said, some of the content felt a little, dare I say, copied? 'The North' and a great big wall to keep out ancient evil were just two of the many things that made me think of the ASOI&F series, and then so many other elements that I felt like I'd read before. Now we must consider that this book was published a long time ago and so more modern books that share similarities will not have been taken from. However, sad to say the lack of something truly unique to this story made me a little sad.
  • While I liked the characters, some of the conversations in this book and the way they interact with each other is excruciating. My main example of this was during Karigan's conversations with the Berry sisters. My goodness. Britain should have named those chapters 'info dumping' because that is what it was. The sisters spent an unnecessarily long time explaining magic, it's uses in the wider world, spirits, lore, propriety, and all sorts of things that could definitely have been spread out. They were the most boring chapters of the book by far because of this.
Overall Conclusion:
This was not a bad book. I liked a lot of it, and never found myself totally becoming disconnected from the plot other than that weird blip with the Berry sisters. Britain kept the plot interesting throughout and made sure that her characters developed well. I liked Karigan sticking to her guns, and even after adventures not deciding that she's ready to be a hero. Yes, there were some wholly unoriginal elements - that can be expected from most Fantasy. I would have liked to see something a bit different, though perhaps those individual details will show better in later books This was certainly a good attempt at building a world!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Last Week's Shenanigans (5th June - 11th June)...

Another week bites the dust! It's been a good one, if a little uneventful, and my only disappointment is that I didn't manage to finish 'Green Rider', the book I'm currently reading. It's taking me quite a while to get through which is a shame, as I have so many great planned reads for June! But on Monday, I did go to watch the new Pirates Of The Caribbean film despite my initial reluctance due to the amount of drama going on in Johnny Depp's life as of late. The film itself was really good, and actually took me back to the original first couple of films that made me fall in love with the film series. Curse Of The Black Pearl and Dead Man's Chest will always be my favourites, and I felt it started to lose things in At World's End and especially with On Stranger Tides. But Salazar's Revenge was right up there with the great Pirates Of The Caribbean films and I loved it!

I've been watching a lot of TV this week, mostly Game Of Thrones with Mat (we are re-watching them all ready for the new season happening in July). I finished Emerald City, a remake of 'The Wizard Of Oz' that despite feeling very mediocre had me intrigued enough to be disappointed that it got cancelled in the end. I've also been watching American Gods based on Neil Gaiman's acclaimed novel that I have yet to read and despite it's very bizarre nature...I love it! I'm so hooked! Even now all I want to do is watch another episode! Having fully caught up with RuPaul's Drag Race too and watching the US version of The Office with Mat as well, I think we can all safely say that TV won this week!

I Read...


I Received...

- 'Nasty Women' by 404 Ink: Approved by Netgalley (07/06/17)

Monday, 5 June 2017

Last Week's Shenanigans (29th May - 4th June)...

This week has been a wonderful end to the month of May. The main highlight of it was on Monday when Mat's family came down for the day. We had a lovely time, starting with a picnic at the Olympic Park in Stratford. The rain threatened to make it a bit rubbish, but luckily it stayed at a light drizzle. Afterwards, we went shopping in Westfield and I finally got myself some new sandals! Hooray! It was a really great day and I enjoyed spending time with them all.

The rest of the week was pretty much filled with work but I had some great days off on Friday and Sunday where I got to relax and work on this blog. My Illumicrate came this week too which was really exciting. It was like another birthday present!

I Read...

I Received...

- 'Truth Or Dare' by Non Pratt: Received from Illumicrate (31/05/17)
- 'The Waking Land' by Callie Bates: Received from Illumicrate (31/05/17)
- 'The Taste Of Blue Light' by Lydia Ruffles: Approved by Netgalley (04/06/17)


Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Reads For The Rest Of 2017

I Posted...

Illumicrate Unboxing (Box 7)
May Wrap-Up
Planned Reads For June
Bookish Bingo (Jun - Aug) Sign-Up Post

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Book Review: A List Of Cages; Robin Roe.

I have to say, while I didn't hate this read I feel a bit underwhelmed. So many people gave it great reviews and so I really had high hopes for it! After reading it, I only found it okay. Not bad, but not good enough to warrant an amazing review from me.

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: A List Of Cages
AUTHOR: Robin Roe
PUBLISHER: Disney Hyperion
PAGES: 320
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars

When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he's got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn't easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can't complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian--the foster brother he hasn't seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He's still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realises that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what's really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.

What I Liked:
  • Adam's POV chapters were really great! I really liked him a lot, and thought that Roe did a fantastic job with portraying a character with ADHD without making it the focus of the story. I've never actually read a book with an MC with ADHD before. I thought that was really cool! I really liked Adam's friends too, I actually felt like I was reading a book about a relateable group of friends that didn't fall into stereotypes too much!
  • This book gave great 'The Perks Of Being A Wallflower' vibes which worked in it's favour, especially as it didn't put so much emphasis on the romance and instead looked at friendship. I liked the positive outlook on therapy, I liked that every character had their own story going on even if it didn't directly affect the main plot line. There were so many great, intricate things about this book. Details are important, and Roe made sure they were there.
What I Disliked:
  • This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion but I really wasn't a fan of Julian. I didn't hate him of course and his situation broke my heart. I cared about him. But I also found him so boring. A complete pushover, a bit of a Mary Sue and while I wanted to find him adorable, I...didn't. That meant that half the book was a bit 'meh' for me, so that makes me sad.
  • Russell was a good villain but I really think that Roe should have looked into his backstory and motivation a little more. How on Earth did he become so obviously mentally unstable without anyone noticing? How did he get custody of Julian? He never even pretends to be a nice guy! Honestly, I'm struggling to believe it. It made me feel that the abuse was more of a plot device than anything, which is not cool.
Overall Conclusion:
My thoughts were mixed on this one. Julian didn't really appeal to me as a character though of course I felt really sorry for him. Russell as a villain didn't have me totally convinced either, and dark story-lines for the sake of it I find very uncomfortable. That paired with the slow start really had me thinking this wasn't going to be a good read. The second half of the book was much better pacing-wise and I did adore Adam's chapters all the way through. Despite some issues, this book gave me good vibes too and I'm glad I finished it. I just wish I'd loved it as much as others did.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Bookish Bingo (June 2017 - August 2017) Sign-Up Post

I love these challenges, they help me focus my reading a lot. On my last card I managed two bingos but came so close to more, and I put it down to the reading slump I had. Anyone who likes a bit of fun while reading, should definitely take part in this challenge hosted by Bekka at Pretty Deadly Blog.

What a gorgeous card Bekka has made for this trimester! I love the Unicorn, and there's some great categories too! I can't wait to sort my reading for the next few months and try to get as many Bingos as possible!

Planned Reads For June.

Gosh, are we really on the sixth month of 2017? I can't believe how quickly time has flown! I've been reading a lot better recently and fully believe I'm well on my way out of that horrible reading slump! I've got some great reads lined up this month too!

  1. 'A List Of Cages' by Robin Roe. My current read and one I've been anticipating all May, I'm glad it's going to be the first thing I finish this month! I am enjoying it at the moment, though I wasn't sure to begin with, and I'm hoping for a really great middle and end to start the month off well!
  2. 'Green Rider' by Kristen Britain. This book has been in my collection for ages and every time I see that awesome cover I feel my fingers itching to pick it up. I'm definitely going to get round to it this month and I'm really looking forward to it because I actually feel guilty about leaving this series for so long!

  1. 'One Of Us Is Lying' by Karen M. McManus. 'Pretty Little Liars' is one of those series that has fascinated yet evaded me, and I'm hearing that this teenage high-school thriller shares some similarities. I've always been fascinated by just how deeply American students fall int stereotypes such as Geeks, Jocks etc. and I think this book will be interesting because of that. Also, who doesn't like a good mystery from time to time.
  2. 'The Sleeping Prince' by Melinda Salisbury. Much of the blogosphere loved the first book in this series, 'The Sin Eater's Daughter', while I only thought it was okay. They main ship, Lief (the most arrogant, annoying love interest I've ever had the displeasure of meeting) and Twylla (a naive Mary-Sue who frankly bored me) was most of the problem. This book follows Lief's sister however, and promises to be a better read. I'm hoping Errin will be more badass than Twylla and any love interest she meets along the way won't be so awful.
  3. 'Release' by Patrick Ness. AHHHHH! I can't believe I got a copy of this! I'm so excited! Seriously, Patrick Ness is a great writer and I'm so hyped about the release of this book. I can't wait to read it! The cover is gorgeous, the synopsis is promising, and I am so not ready for what is coming. I have no doubt that it will live up to my high expectations!
  4. 'Good Bones' by Margaret Atwood. This collection of short stories, essays and musings also has me very intrigued. Margaret Atwood is a name that I have known for a while and has really caught my attention because she's a feminist (as am I) and I hear that her prose is very I'm excited to finally read something of hers. This books comes highly recommended too!
  5. 'Things I Should Have Known' by Claire LeBeznik. I'm very intrigued by this story for a number of reasons, but mostly because I hear It portrays a very accurate depiction of Autism. The synopsis is curious to say the least, and I really want to see how LeBeznik approaches the idea of romance, the spectrum, mental health generally and family conflict. I haven't read many books with Autistic characters, so it should be a good experience!
  6. 'The One Memory Of Flora Banks' by Emily Barr. I'm a little nervous about this read because it has received such mixed reviews. Some people loved it, others claimed it was awful and I'm not quite sure who to believe. I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt however, though I'm hoping it turns out to be more than a cheesy romance because I really don't tend to enjoy those.