Thursday, 14 December 2017

A Guide To Buying Presents For Bookworms

Christmas is just 11 days away! When it comes to Christmas presents there are those who were finished in November (bless them, but seriously how?), those who are deep into their list and others like myself who have only just realised they now have 2 days left to online shop before shipping arrives after Christmas. 

I've put together a Gift Guide for your fellow bookworm in case you're out of ideas!

Host a Games Night

Take a night off from reading together and grab this board game (or any other literary related board game) for some laughs! It Was a Dark and Stormy Night challenges you to identify the novel and author just by listening to the first two lines of a book.

Book Recommendation Tote

Featured: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Version, Night Film, Illuminae and Fairytales for Wilde Girls

I personally tend to be one of those people who will buy you books that I’ve loved, so you have to read it as well. Pick reads you want to recommend to your fellow book lover and wrap them up in a tote - a book-related one would be perfect!

For The Tea/Coffee Lovers

Store: 'PaperFury' (Society 6)

Such a cliche, but still one of the best things to receive. Society6 is a great place to look at mugs with bookish designs or head to Etsy. They’re so adorable! You could even put together a hot chocolate pack with mini marshmallows for them to christen their mug!

'Perfect Night In' Hamper

Featured: Anne of Green Gables

Grab a basket or box and add in a novel and its movie adaptation that you think your friend/family member MUST read and see. Pop in some of their favourite snacks and you’re set for a night of entertainment.

Your Lifestyle Lovers

Guilty as charged! I’m a sucker for plastering my walls with posters and images. Fairly sure these posters are really well known, but I can’t get past how creative it is, and still has a personalised feel because you’re gifting them a part of their favourite read. Otherwise grab a throw pillow for their reading nook or bed!

Stocking Stuffers

Stores (Left to Right): Belle Regalia, Wonderflies, KitCronkStudio

We’re talking those super cute and creative items on Etsy. I absolutely love book-related pins, bookmarks and anything else that is a miniature reminder of the books I love! 

Recommend Me Other Gift Ideas!

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Why I Absolutely Loved "Nevermoor"

Title: Nevermoor
Series: Nevermoor #1
Author: Jessica Townsend
Publication Date: October 31st, 2017
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks--and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart--an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests--or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.


If you want to read any Middle Grade novel this year, (before the year comes to an end eeeppp), Nevermoor is the one to dive into. 

1. The world is spectacular 

Any fantasy novel that draws me in, is one with a vivid and expansive world, that encompasses various elements to make it believable. I felt like I was transported into Nevermoor with Morrigan and really, truly wanted to be there. There is a magic in Nevermoor that escapes from the pages purely just by reading about Nevermoor and its history and the city’s make up. Townsend has created a intricate and exciting world that, much like Narnia and Hogwarts/Hogsmeade, you can’t help but want these places to exist so that you can be there as well. 

2. It's perfect for all ages

Nevermoor carries the tone of a Middle Grade novel but has layers that have built a strong story line. It was straightforward enough to understand for any reader, but kept up the suspense and plot twists to keep me entertained and engaged. It was quite exciting really, between the trials and Morrigan’s integration into Nevermoor. I liked the pacing and am really glad that this is pretty much an all-age read.

3. Townsend was made to be a writer

Nevermoor is Jessica Townsend’s debut novel and already her first piece has been such a strong and admirable read. Townsend’s writing delivers a strong world and solid plot that has me anticipating not only the sequel to Nevermoor, but her future works. She’s made me remember why I absolutely love reading Middle Grade to this day. There’s a kind of emotion attached to it, like I’m reliving my childhood, going through the kiddish excitement from reading about a magical adventure and experiencing the feeling of really being there. 

Nevermoor is a win for all ages and I cannot wait to continue this adventure with Morrigan. 

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Thursday, 7 December 2017

Talking Personal: 'Tis The Season To Get Back Into Blogging

My last Talking Personal post was in May. That was a good 7 months ago. We have a lot of catching up to do! 

The last time I did one of these, I had just come back from traveling. Since then, I’ve started a new job in a new role. The place has an amazing team and the position I’m in has given me much more of a learning experience, which I’m grateful for! I also started my Masters in August, just completing my first semester and somehow, miraculously, passed all 3 subjects. I’m currently studying a Masters in Criminology, which I am loving and I’m really excited to see where it can take me! 

Besides working and studying, I actually got up to some really fun things, which has made the last half of 2017 really exciting! 

I went on a Snow Trip and learnt to ski for the first time! Truth be told, I hate the cold. But skiing was super fun, albeit really hard and exhausting. I want to try and make it an annual trip so I don’t forgot how to ski. 

I got the chance to see The Book of Mormon, which was hilarious! I didn’t expect to love it so much. The cast all had amazing singing skills. On top of seeing the musical were a number of different concerts. I’ve been to so many more concerts this year than I have in my life altogether. Kehlani was superb and so fun, being really intimate and just full of love. Ariana delivered a great show. Drake absolutely killed it, I would see him 1000 times alongside J.Cole, who is a fantastic artist and so grateful to his fans. He was engaging and humorous, and so passionate about his music.

My birthday came and went, and was actually less exciting than previous years. The older I get, I feel like the less I’m keen to celebrate my birthday. Still, it’s been fun seeing my friends and family, and eating to my heart’s content! I got to celebrate Halloween though, which was super fun. Everyone’s costumes were great. 

Whilst taking a break from blogging, I did manage to start up an Instagram page for my food adventures. I absolutely love food, reading comes second - I know, how can I say that. So if I couldn’t share my love for reading, I figured sharing my love for food was the next best thing. Take a look at it here to see which places I’ve loved both locally and internationally! 

I’m going to be seeing The Weeknd tomorrow, which I’m really excited about!! He’ll top off the crazy list of artists I’ve seen this year. The next time I’ll catch up with you guys will most likely be after New Years SO Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years guys! Hope the rest of the year is amazing for you all.

How Have You Guys Been? Let Me Know What You'll Be Doing For The Holiday Season

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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Laini Taylor Delivers A Beautifully Gripping Read With "Strange The Dreamer"

Series: Strange The Dreamer #1
Author: Laini Taylor
Publication Date: March 28th, 2017
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository 
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around - and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries - including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?


(Nts: I finished this book months ago and found a half written review, which I tried really hard to complete, true to what I remembered about reading it)

Strange The Dreamer completely obliterated my expectations for it. I’m well aware of how well Laini Taylor excels in writing, with her series Daughter of Smoke and Bone being one of my favourite reads. I went into STD expecting it to be a great read, but finished it in awe and am so excited for the series to come. 

Taylor has a way with her words, which reflects in strong characters, world building and plot development. She writes in prose, painting a stunningly realistic world alongside creating a whirlwind of emotions that had me invested in the entire story from start to finish. What I really love, which Taylor did amazingly well, was give each character a voice of their own, no matter how major or minor their role was. They each had their own characteristics, and I found that I was invested in some, if not most, of the characters own progression. It was great to see that most of them had their own background story, to create depth to the story and make the characters come to life. It was easy to relate to them and attach myself emotionally. 

The world building in STD is absolutely genius! Taylor has created a rather expansive world with so much detail around each city including the people, their history and the culture within them - I could really envision each city and map them out to be part of an actual world. She built such a rich history around the world and the cities in it that it almost felt like I was reading about places that truly existed many years ago. This also reflected in the plot development, with Taylor producing such a complex but completely mind-blowing story. The novel is based around magic and mythical tales. Taylor’s whimsical and lyrical writing is the perfect accompaniment to make everything seem believable. Alongside that is her ability to explore worldly aspects including war, love, hate and discrimination to deliver powerful messages alongside her story. 

I haven’t finished a book within a day in awhile, but STD was so engaging and compelling, I had to keep reading. The one thing I would be a little nit picky about is that the ending focused a little too much on romance, which made the mystery and character developments take a back seat for a tiny bit. As a whole though, Strange The Dreamer delivered an excellent read - well thought out, with immense detail to visualise every moment of the novel, paced perfectly and delivering an ending that had me shocked. I cannot wait for the sequel! 

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Thursday, 13 July 2017

Recapping The Movies I've Watched In 2017 So Far

I feel like 2017 has been the year of movies for me. Not in the sense that every movie I’ve watched has been outstanding but rather, I’ve watched an immense amount, for someone who only watched She’s The Man in 2012 and have not seen a single Lord of the Rings or Star Wars movie. Basically, I’m not a huge movie buff - I don’t rush to watch movies unless I feel like it’s necessary and I’m not fussed on whether I do get around to it or not. I guess the biggest difference this year is that the friends that I’ve been hanging out with all love watching movies, and it’s become a social thing for me. Almost like a movie club! 

So without further ado let’s get into the first half of the year recap. 

Movies that I’ve watched

Most, if not all of these, are pretty mainstream movies with heaps of hype around them. 

Best Movies

I’m going to admit it, I’ve barely seen any of the other Wolverine movies, but Logan was amazing in that I didn’t have to know much about the other two to watch this one. It was such an emotional journey, played out spectacularly by Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen. The plot was detailed enough, without dragging out moments, and I loved that it conveyed themes around equality, discrimination, love and family. 

I’m a Disney fan and this pretty much exceeded my expectations of it. I always go into adaptations quite apprehensive, but I throughly enjoyed this. Full review here. 

Worst Movie

Don’t even ask me why I watched it. From the plot to the script, it was all so cheesy and barely made any sense. Do not waste your time. 

Most Surprising

I watched this at the beginning of the year, after looking at what was on and not seeing anything else my friends and I would’ve liked to see. Surprise, surprise, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Maybe it’s because I didn’t expect too much, but I loved the design of the spaceship and the world building, the flawed characters and yes, even the sappy plot line. It was an enjoyable movie and would be great for a night in. 

Most Disappointing

Okay, let’s just get this straight. “Split” was one of those movies that I pictured what would happen in my mind and hope it would blow my mind. Instead, it left me confused and unsatisfied, veering from psychological thriller to having supernatural elements. I was hoping for darker elements that would leave me questioning the entire plot but really, all I'm questioning is why they decided to do what they did. 

Let’s be real, I expected this to be a disappointed. I don’t even know why I thought this would be better than it was. I mean I liked the transformation of the cars. I liked the humour. I liked the fighting. But everything else was way, waaaaay too cheesy. Optimus Prime had so many monologue moments, I thought I was watching a Shakespearean play. 

Thoughts on other movies

Gal Gadot was badass and beautiful. I’m not a huge DC fan nor do I know much about the history around Wonder Woman, so I felt like the context was strange. Nevertheless, it was an amazing movie celebrating a female superhero so I’m all about it. 

Can you tell I really like superhero movies? I really appreciated this re-make of Spider Man, because it explored Peter’s younger years and how he struggles to balance his teen years with his secret missions. It’s so realistic and relatable, from the peer pressure to thinking that he can tackle everything in the world because he has powers. It was definitely different to other superhero movies, but once I got past the lack of action - there is action, just not the same amount as per usual - I found I really enjoyed it for the message it portrayed. 

I'm in two minds about this. I liked it. It had a good back story to Kong, his demeanour and personality and how, as humans, we tend to take things for granted and assume that every land is ours for the taking. The island was incredible and so rich in creativity, and I loved that they filmed part of it in Ha Long Bay. On the other hand, it wasn't as engaging or captivating as I wanted it to be, so there were times I zoned out or felt like it was dragged on.

Bottom Line - go see Logan, Spiderman, Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman because they were all incredible and had so much to take away from. 

What Movies Have You Guys Seen This Year?

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