Saturday, 1 November 2014

October Wrap Up

On The Blog
This month was definitely a lot more productive in terms of posting! I managed to be somewhat consistent, so I'm pretty satisfied with my effort.

"Top Ten Tuesday"

In which I do some complaining (like usual), and recommend two new restaurants for all you food lovers. 

I listed the 2015 book to movie adaptations that I'm looking forward to the most, and was thoroughly surprised that there are so many coming out. 

November releases to keep an eye out for


Posts For Thought

There have been so many posts that I've loved this month, especially now that I've been a bit more involved within the community and really utilising Bloglovin (find me here). 
Wow. That is one long list. 
Reading Time

Moving on to my reading month, and October was actually very successful despite exams fast approaching. I read a total of 10 books, without even participating in any read-a-thons. They were all quite average, but check out my wrap up below!



Favourites

        

Reviews

  

  

How Was October For You?




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Friday, 31 October 2014

The Waiting List

November really isn't a spectacular month, but I've listed some of the books that I think I'm going to look out for. 


  1. The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #3) by Michelle Hodkin; Nov 4th
  2. A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Grey; Nov 4th 
  3. The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare; Nov 11th
  4. Girl Online by Zoe Sugg; Nov 25th
  5. The Last Changeling (Faerie Revolutions #1) by Chelsea Pitcher; Nov 8th
  6. Waistcoats & Weaponry (The Finishing School #3) by Gail Carriger; Nov 4th
I am so pumped for the release of The Retribution of Mara Dyer, especially after re-reading the series again and desperately wanting to know what's happening. It's one of the best on-going series at the moment, and whilst I'm sad it's about to end, I can't handle being kept in the dark. 

A Thousand Pieces of You has been going around the book community, from reviews on blogs to mentions on YouTube so I decided why not. Also because it has such a beautiful cover! 

I'm going to give Girl Online a girl despite knowing that Zoe only got the deal because of her popularity. She's an amazing girl, don't get me wrong - I love her - but I am apprehensive about her writing and the plot. Still, I wouldn't mind taking a peep. 

Let Me Know What You're Waiting For.




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Thursday, 30 October 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Connecting with Creativity

Source: Young Writers Program

When: November, 1st - 30th 
Username: PrintedWords
Check out FAQ for more information

Back when I was first exposed to the book blog/booktube community, I had no idea what NaNoWriMo was even though I kept hearing about. A year later and I am now taking part in this amazing event and am so pumped for it to begin. 

NaNoWriMo is an annual writing event where countless of aspiring writers come together during the 30 days of November to just write. The goal for the month is to write a 50,000 word novel (I know, insane), but you're not alone in the journey. In fact NaNoWriMo is very a collective effort from connecting with writing buddies to hearing feedback and just encouraging everybody to keep going. 

I am both a little daunted and excited to take part this year. I haven't actually written anything in the past 2 years, but creative writing was a very big part whilst I was in high school and the best outlet to channel my stress from school work. I think I've always dreamt of seeing my name on a published novel before, and I do remember writing short stories or starting different chapters on notebooks. Except when I started university, I took on a Creative Writing class and the fizzle just went out of me. I'm not sure if it was because writing is a hobby of mine, but having to do it under pressure and be assessed made writing lose it's magic. 

For the past year though, I've had so many ideas come and go, and I've discovered that I really do want to write a novel some day. I don't think NaNoWriMo will be the opportunity for me to be published, but I'm taking it as a writing exercise to jump start my creativity again. I'm going to be a little rusty, and definitely not the best, but I'm glad that I'm trying. 

I don't think I'll be able to write a full 50,000 word novel but I do have some goals: 
  • Write 4 times a week 
  • Write more than 15,000 words
  • Engage with other writers 
  • Be committed!! 
So that's my life story leading up to NaNoWriMo. I have some sort of idea of what story to write, but watch this space while I decide and fine tune the details. 

Come find me and be my writing buddy - PrintedWords - and if you haven't, sign up!

Get your write on. 




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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Trust In Me - Sophie McKenzie

Title: Trust In Me
Author: Sophie McKenzie
Publication Date: September 11th, 2014
Disclaimer: I was sent this as a recommendation from  Simon&Schuster
Livy and Julia have been best friends ever since the tragic death of Livy's younger sister, Kara. They treat each other like sisters so when Julia is found dead in her house, Livy is devastated and confused. Not willing to believe the report that Julia's death was a suicide, Livy begins to investigate on her own. 

Yet, what she finds out tears open a new hole that just might not be abled to fill. 

Review


I've had no luck with thrillers this month, and that includes Trust In Me. Again this might just be because it didn't suit my taste but I was detached from the start right to the end. 

I found this to be unmemorable because of the plot, characters and writing. McKenzie is a great writer, don't get me wrong, but she just couldn't maintain my interest. The plot was a standard murder mystery that needed to be solved. However, instead of officials/authoritative figures cracking the case, we have your average suburban mum with a intuition she's determined to follow. It didn't really flow properly and the suspense just wasn't there. Of course I wanted to know who the murderer was but it was more because I wanted to be done with the book. There are snippets of the criminals diary entries which were interesting at first, and quite creepy, but then I just got lost in his drawl and couldn't keep reading it. Maybe that's why I didn't really understand how the person who was revealed as the murderer came to be the killer in the first place. There was no motivation revealed, just that he was there and biding his time. 

I couldn't connect with Livy at all, and I thought it was pretty unrealistic for her to pull off a CSI project with just basic sleuthing and attempts at interrogation. She was a really annoying character for me, raising suspicion without any logic and being naive when she just needed to think. The relationship developments were also a headache, and I really questioned her priorities in trust. I understand Livy had reasons to be apprehensive but she constantly got upset when no one believed so it frustrated me when she couldn't trust the person she was suppose to trust the most.  However, I have heard that some people do relate to Livy so maybe it's just me and my age/experience. 

The other important character is Julia, but because she's dead before I even met her, I had to learn about her through other people. I would've thought that at the end I could've figured her out and  understand her motives etc. but I got three different perspectives of her it was difficult to really comprehend. The plot already portrayed her as a mysterious character no one really knew, so I wasn't sure who to trust when they relayed what they knew about her. Still, it did reflect the novel in that everyone puts up a front and it's hard to decipher what their true form is. Exactly how the criminal was as well. 

It was a decent read, but not spectacular. Instead, I actually forgot I read it and had to remind myself to start it just to review before realising I had read it. I'm interested to see what other crime/thriller lovers think about this though, and if I'm the only one who just couldn't connect. Let me know! 




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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Want To Dress Up As For Halloween

Hosted By: The Broke and The Bookish
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish, where we list our top ten according to a topic of the week. Check out future topics here.


Top Ten Characters I Want To Dress Up As For Halloween


1. Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
There are so many characters that I would've wanted to go as in Harry Potter but Luna Lovegood is just that bit more fun, and her quirky side is definitely something I can relate to.

2. Manon Blackbeak from Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
This cold-hearted witch is a fascinating character and definitely creepy enough to dress up as for Halloween. Her fangs are the distinctive part, along with her razor nails - I would get such a kick out of this.

3. Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instrument Series by Cassandra Clare
Glamorous and bad-ass at the same time? Well why the hell not. Just going to get my thigh high boots and whip ready.

4. Green Wind from Fairyland Series by Catherynne M. Valente
This is silly and yet, eccentric enough to pull off for Halloween. I love the Green Wind and it'd just be fun to paint myself green.

5. Daeneyrs Targaryen from A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R. R. Martin
She's a beautiful character, and I love her style. The long braid, somewhat rugged gowns and the dragons that she would carry around. I can carry dragons as well, they're definitely part of me. 



6. Creature/Monster from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Another one of those scary costumes, but I'd probably walk around with a goofy smile on my face because he really is a harmless creature. They just can't look past the scars.

7. Ents from The Lord of the Rings Series by J. R. R Tolkein
Now this would be a challenge, but certainly something I would look forward to. Ents are the tree-like creatures in the series, with more of an old man face. There's just a problem - I'm not tall enough.

8. Blair Warldof from Gossip Girl Series by Cecily von Zeigesar
Ok, this is definitely more just so I have an excuse to look a million bucks, like Blair always does. Always.

9. Scorpion Creatures from Angelfall Series by Susan Ee
Reading about this freaks me out so I think it'd be a perfect costume to really give people a fright. Half angel half scorpion, the thought is giving me shivers already.

10. Elizabeth Woodville from The Cousins War Series by Philippa Gregory
Lastly, the ever elegant Elizabeth Woodville who, in the series, has mystical powers. I've never dressed up as a princess/queen before but better late than never right?

Who Do You Plan To Dress Up As? 




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Friday, 24 October 2014

Minders - Michele Jaffe

Title: Minders
Author: Michele Jaffe
Publication Date:January, 30th 2014
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The BookDepository
Sadie's a straight A student, with a wealthy family. She strives to achieve her best, and being the best means entering the Mind Corps Fellowship Program. The Program is designed for interns to enter troubled teen's minds and Sadie is assigned Subject 9 - Ford Winter. Right from the start he fascinates her, and slowly she falls in love.

Sadie finds herself questioning whether she has to protect Ford, even if it means ignoring the fact he's committed a murder.


Review 


Minders started off by being straight to the point, which I loved. Jaffe introduced the characters and the world, whilst also outlining the central focus in the initial chapters. It meant that I wasn't given useless chunks of information that distracted from what I was suppose to concentrate on. It didn't mean though, that there was sparse development with the characters or the world. In fact, I found a lot of depth in the world building and everything I learnt was fascinating. The characters weren't all fully developed but at least there were some interesting aspects to them. 

I loved learning about Ford, and his mind. This was the strongest point of the novel - having Sadie in Ford's mind. Her observations were both intriguing and actually very realistic. I really liked that Jaffe aligned every emotion with a certain taste, and drew out an image of the mind creating dots of images for Sadie to see. She could also move around and enter different levels of his mind. It meant that I got to know a lot more about Ford in a first hand encounter, without it being really told through his perspective. However, that meant that I didn't get enough from Sadie. Instead, I felt like she was the typical perfect student/daughter but underneath had more of a wild side and playing by the rules wasn't always right. It felt like she was just a vehicle to drive the novel and I don't think I really cared about her. The other characters were stayed on the edges and whilst they had their roles, didn't really impact on my reading experience. 

The let down was that both the ending and the romance just came across really rushed. I couldn't believe the love Sadie started to feel for Rush, or at least the intensity that came from it. I mean it's possible that she liked him, but this was so much more. I didn't understand why Jaffe had to add a boyfriend to the story either. I mean he did nothing for the plot and Sadie didn't even think about him for most of the first half. He just made an appearance here and there without really explaining anything. The ending was crammed with so much information that was suppose to answer the major questions, but when I read the final page I immediately thought "is that it?" I was so confused. The conflict was so major and yet, the ending felt so lacklustre in comparison. The epilogue didn't do much good either. I think it's cause I waited so long for something to happen between Sadie and Rush but it felt like nothing did. Neither did I get a final answer for the other characters. 

This really frustrated me in the end, and that's why I couldn't bring myself to give it a higher rating. It was definitely a very enjoyable and fascinating read, but whilst it had so much potential, it wasn't exactly delivered quite right. I do think Jaffe has great writing skills though. She's written a number of novels in different genres and seems to have pulled them off. Minders is no exception with solid writing and fast paced plot - it just lacked a little here and there.





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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Most Anticipated: Book to Movie Adaptations

Last year I wrote a post on the upcoming book to movie adaptations I was most looking forward to, so I thought it was high time I'd do another one. I know this year has delivered some amazing blockbusters - think The Fault in Our Stars, If I Stay, The Giver etc - so I'm hoping 2015 won't disappoint either.

2014

Before the end of the year though, there are a couple that I'm looking forward to!

Date: AUS - 20/11; USA - 21/11
Author: Suzanne Collins

The long awaited finale to The Hunger Game franchise is about to land - in less than a month actually! It's time to see how far the rebellion will go, and I'm so glad that the same director for Catching Fire is doing this one. He really rescued the movie series after I found The Hunger Game to be lacklustre. 

So excited to see Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) kick ass. 


Date: AUS - 26/12; USA - 17/12
Author: J R. R Tolkein 

I only just got around to reading The Hobbit but this epic fantasy has full praise from fans for the past two movies. This is the third and last film for the series and with the success of the last two, I'm sure this will not disappoint. The release date is a little further away, which gives me some time to catch up on the already released movies.


2015

Moving on and to the new year - which comes into 2 month, WHAT?? - and these are the confirmed movies to be released.


Date: AUS -12/02; USA 13/02
Author: E.L James

Well isn't this a surprise. For a person who absolutely hated the novel, I'm actually shocked that I've given any attention to the movie. It's set to hit the screens during Valentines in order to um, set the mood for couples I guess? I'm not sure how successful that'll be but I do have to say the trailer has pleasantly surprised me. 
I probably won't watch it in the theatres but I do think it'll be something I want to check out.



4. The Duff
Date: USA - 19/02
Author: Kody Keplinger 

This has been on my TBR list since forever, and now that the movie is about to come out I think it works as great motivation for me to hunt it down and read it. I don't think I love the cast, in fact some of them are unfamiliar to me, but the premise is interesting enough. Fingers crossed it works out!



Date: AUS - 19/03; USA - 20/03
Author: Veronica Roth

Despite the other popular YA series Vampire Academy flopping out this year, the Divergent series has garnered enough popularity to go ahead with the rest of the adaptations. I haven't read the series or watched the first movie (yet), but I know many fans out there are super excited for this. 





Date: AUS - 26/03; USA - 13/03 
Author: Brothers Grimm (?) 

The amount of adaptations that have been made for Cinderella is incredible. Except none of them had Helena Bonham Carter as the grandmother (can I get a hell yeah), Cate Blanchett as the Stepmother and Kenneth Branagh as the director. I've seen a couple of movies Kenneth Branagh's directed, both with Helena Bonham Carter as the female protagonist, and I found them to be quite eccentric. Actually it was more weird and kind of disturbing so it'll be interesting to see how he'll go about re-creating this classic fairytale.


Date: USA - 19/06
Author: John Green

I always wondered why John Green's novels never made it to the big screens, but here we are now with Paper Towns in production and The Fault In Our Stars being a massive box hit. Didn't I also see news on Looking for Alaska being considered as an adaptation as well? Anyways, whilst Paper Towns isn't my favourite of his novels I do want to see how it'll come to real life. It's also nice to know John Green has some say over the movies, showing how much care he has for his work.


8. Pan
Date: USA - 17/07
Author: J.M Barrie

Technically this isn't a straight up adaptation of the classic Peter Pan but it is a modern day retelling of the origins of Peter Pan himself, and I for one and ecstatic about this. I love Peter Pan, it's my favourite classic and it'll be fascinating to see the interpretation of his birth story and how he ended up in Neverland. The cast is also made up of A-listers - Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried etc - so I know I can expect a lot out of this. 



Date: USA - 02/10
Author: Mary Shelley 

Something I have read and watched adaptations for is Frankenstein. I am super excited for this even though it is being pitched as a horror film and I cannot stomach films in that genre. It stands out from other adaptations through changing the perspective of the story teller. Usually the story is told by Victor Frankenstein, but instead Victor Frankenstein brings in Igor the assistance as the main narrator. It also helps that Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy are both starring in this, really increasing the quality of the film.


Date: TBA
Author: Lauren Kate

The cast has been announced and apparently it's in post-production now, but there's been no release date for this YA adaptation. I'm sorry to say but I fell off this series after the third novel because it just wasn't that good. I'm surprised it was even taken on to be produced as a movie but this could salvage the series for me, being a better movie than the book. 




Which Movies Are You Excited For?



(Photo Sources: Mockingjay - NY Daily News; The Hobbit - The Lions Roar; Cinderella - Disney Wiki; Fifty Shades of Grey - US Magazine
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