Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Waiting List: September

The Waiting List is a feature hosted by PrintedWordsAnd, where I list some upcoming releases for the month that I'm most excited about! 


Fantasy 

1. Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas
 I'm pretty sure this is one of my most anticipated releases for this year, and I won't be surprised if that's the same for several other people out there! 
2. Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum
 A retelling of Peter Pan before we knew him as the boy who lived? Yes please!! 
3. Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo
4. Menagerie by Rachel Vincet 
5. Zeroes (Zeroes #1) by Scott Westerfeld


Contemporary 


1. Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
2. The Next Together by Lauren James 
3. Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
A road trip contemporary is probably the best read for the upcoming Spring/Summer months. Hopefully it won't disappoint. 
4. What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler


Thriller/Horror


1. The Foxglove Killings by Tara Kelly 
2. Blood and Salt by Kim Leggett
3. Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
I've never really read a horror novel before, but a girl who's just moved into a blood covered house and is carrying a baby? That sure spells trouble. 

What Are You Waiting For?



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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Black Cairn Point - Claire McFall

Title: Black Cairn Point
Author: Claire McFall
Publication Date: 6th August, 2015
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository
Two survivors, one terrible truth.

Heather agrees to a group camping holiday with Dougie and his friends because she's desperate to get closer to him. But when the two of them disturb a pagan burial site above the beach, she becomes certain that they have woken a malevolent spirit. Something is alive out there in the pitch-black dark, and it is planning to wreak deadly revenge.

One year later Heather knows that she was very lucky to escape Black Cairn Point but she is still waiting for Dougie to wake from his coma. If he doesn't, how will she prove her insanity, and her innocence?


Review

Black Cairn Point is a baffling read that has taken me awhile to wrap my head around. I'm impressed that Claire McFall manages to combine aspects of supernatural and thriller into one, which is not something that is commonly seen in Young Adult. However, I'm not completely sold on the entire package.

The story switches between present and past to reveal the mystery, and it's the type of set up that I really like when reading thrillers. There's a sense of anticipation, which really enhances my reading experience. Yet, I found myself more invested in the present than Heather's retelling of the event. Her emotions came across more strongly in those parts, and I could really feel her despair and isolation, especially from being labelled delusional by her friends and family.

In the flashbacks, whilst Heather's voice is still prominent, I wasn't fully engaged. The mystery started off strongly and I was really interested to see where it would go. I suppose being a reader who doesn't invest time in paranormal reads, the supernatural elements in this did seem a little far fetched to me. It was possible to sense the fear and danger the characters faced but I did rush a little at the end to reach the end and discover the actual truth. Emma, Heather's friend, made the fear most believable. Her reaction to the unnatural events were spooky and grabbed my attention again.

What I liked about this, and kept me reading, was that the entire time I had to constantly question whether I believed Heather's story or if she really did murder her friends. So when the ending rolled around I was completely blown away by the revelation. It left me baffled and I did have to back and re-read some parts to grasp the entirety of the novel. Even now I'm still slightly shocked about the ending, and I definitely think it made up for the other parts that didn't hold my interest. Now that I think about it, this was the gem of the novel.

McFall has devised a plot that, even though didn't run smoothly, has left me questioning the characters even weeks after reading it. The creepiness lingers because I'm still stumped at which side of Heather to believe in. I love that she is such an unreliable narrator and it opens up to so many possibilities. I would've liked to maybe understand more about Heather and Dougie, and a better explanation behind the ending, but I guess that just adds to the mystery of things. I would say read it, just to for the ending itself.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Black Cairn Point upon request from The Five Mile Press for review. This does not influence my view on this book. 

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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: If I Taught Books to Film Adaptations 101

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 Books In My Syllabus For Books To Film Adaptations 101
If there was a subject which meant that I could read and watch some of my favourite books then I would hands down be in the class front row and centre. You get the best of both worlds really.


1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
One of the few movies that I can say is way better than the book. I loved the portrayal of Amy in this and excelled in her role.

2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
It's hard to find a list of "best move adaptations" that does not list To Kill A Mockingbird.

3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Everything about this, from the camera techniques, to music and costumes, is hands down amazing. Not to mention Leo.

4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The battle here is whether to choose the TV Show or the Film. Hmm.

5. Matilda by Roald Dahl



6. Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
I know the Tim Burton version isn't exactly like the original Alice In Wonderland story, but it is still a great movie to watch and really reflects the craziness that is Wonderland.

7. Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins
One of the best YA adaptations I've seen to date.

8. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia #1) by C.S Lewis

9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
I remember studying this myself and found it to be touching and the emotions flowed through in the movie as well.

10. How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Just for fun tbh.

Link Me Your Top Ten List This Week!



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Monday, 24 August 2015

Bout of Books 14.0

Bout of Books
Out of all the read-a-thons I've done I'm pretty sure this round of Bout of Books has been the worse for me. I started out wanting to finish around 3 to 4 books but alas, I only got through 1 and have about 20 pages left for my 2nd book. How appalling is that?!

Books: 1
Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall
Picnic At Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay

Page Count:  495



I really don't know what to say besides the fact that I clearly did terrible. Hopefully next Bout of Books I read a bit more!


How Did You Guys Go?

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Saturday, 22 August 2015

Talking Personal: South Korea Travel Diary


If you guys didn't already know, although I'm pretty sure considering I've talked about it way too often, I went off an exchange trip to Korea! It was absolutely insane and every bit worth it. I loved almost every single moment I was there and I learnt so much more about myself.

I filmed three videos addressing a few areas about the exchange I wanted to share with you guys. I talk about (1) Places (2) Food and (3) Exchange Experience. There are a couple of video clips of the place and plenty of photos.

Travel Diary



Spotlight


Restaurants
Myeongdong Kyoja
Homemade noodles and steamed dumplings
29 Myeongdong 10-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
Directions: Myeongdong Station (Line 1), Exit 4.

YooGaNae Ddak Galbi
Stir fry chicken and cabbage
Chain restaurant - various locations
Suggestion: Hongdae - Hongik Uni Station (Line 2). Exit 9.

Solbing 
Shaved ice dessert
Chain restaurant - various locations
Suggestion: Myeondong Statio (Line 1). Exit 4.

Suji's Deli
New York Deli
2nd Floor, 134 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Directions: Noksapyeong (Line 6). Exit 3.

Primo Baccio Bacci
Italian Restaurant
816-3, Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Directions: Gangnam Station (Line 2). Exit 7.

Shopping
Gangman // Express Bus Terminal Underground Shopping Centre
Gangnam Station - Line 2
Express Bus Terminal Station - Line 3, 7 or 9.

Ewha Woman's University // Hongdae Street Shops
Ewha Woman's University - Line 2. Exit 2 or 3. Walk straight 5 minutes.
Hongdae (Hongik Uni) - Line 2. Exit 9.

Bars/Clubs
Ellui Seoul
129 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
TIP: Keep an eye out for Free Entrance offered on Facebook

Club Syndrome 
578-1 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
TIP: Head upstairs for Hip Hop if Dance/EDM isn't your thing. (Also don't jump into the pool)

NB2 (Noise Basement)
361-10 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
TIP: Go on weekdays to avoid suffocating crowds - Wednesdays are great!

Persian Land
Hongik University (Line 2). Exit 9.
This is in an obscure place but it's highlighted by a round yellow sign before walking down stairs.
TIP: $2 tequila shots.

Where Do You Guys Want To Travel To?



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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors

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 Authors I Would Auto-Buy From

The first four are basically all of my favourite authors and no matter what I will manage to buy their latest books. 



1. Kate Morton
I'm pretty sure Morton is the first Adult novelist I decided to follow loyally and cannot fault her work. Ever since discovering her I've bought her new releases following that. I'm super excited for her latest work, coming out this year! 
Read: Every single book she's released. It's so hard for me to choose a favourite, although The Shifting Fog has left an impressive impact.

2. Giorgio Faletti
Sadly, Faletti passed away last year but I only found out this year. I was shocked and devastated that one of my favourite authors wouldn't be releasing any more novels. It's funny how he actually never wrote in English, but that his novels were translated. He is an amazing crime/thriller writer and I've loved his work. 
Read: I Am God

3. Philippa Gregory
Gregory is a controversial character in the historical fiction field, at least from what I've heard. However, I am in love with her portrayal of historical periods, especially the Tudor era and more recently the War of the Roses. I've nearly completed the latter series, and will slowly make my way through the Tudor series. 

4. Catherynne M. Valente 
Valente is a newer addition to my favourites list. She writes beautifully and her stories are magical. I auto-buy based on her continuing series including Fairyland and Leningrad Diptych, but I've started to delve into her other works as well. 
Read: Deathless


The next four are authors who've published novels I've really liked and wouldn't mind reading their newer pieces whenever the time comes. 



5. Abigail Haas
I've loved all that I've read from Haas and I'm keeping a close eye on her next release.
Read: Dangerous Girls

6. Michelle Hodkin
Pretty much the same as Abigail Haas, Hodkin is an author I hope comes out with something soon so I can buy it!
Read: The Mara Dyer Trilogy

7. Tim Winton
I support Winton mostly because he's an Australian author. However, I haven't read his latest work yet, despite owning it - oops. 

8. John Green
I buy Green on the basis that I've read almost all his works (that are worth reading), and because he is such a prominent figure in YA.
Read: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Who Do You Automatically Buy From?




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Monday, 17 August 2015

Bout of Books 14.0 TBR


Bout of Books is an annual, low pressure read-a-thon created by Amanda @ On A Book Bender.
Everyday there are different challenges and giveaways hosted on different book blogs to check out as well. 
Sign Up Post Here
Dates: August 17th - 23rd 

TBR List

I'm trying not to be over-ambitious, keeping my TBR list to just four books. Hopefully I can manage to finish them all, considering three aren't that very long and the fourth being something I can take over to the next week if I don't manage to finish it. 

Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Picnic At Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay 
The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory 

       Bout of Books

Keep an eye out for updates along the way as well as see if I manage to finish the read-a-thon!

Will You Be Taking Part?


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Saturday, 15 August 2015

Top 5 Shows Taking Over My Life


I'm the worst at keeping up with series, I'm not going to lie. I feel like my perseverance has been invested into reading so much that watching shows take the back seat. However, now that Netflix is at the tip of my fingers I've managed to fall back into binge watching TV Shows.

Currently Watching


I am amazed at how invested I became as soon as I started this series. I kept hearing how great it is, and was super excited to see that it was available on Netflix so I gave it a shot. I love the suspense, controversy and scandalous aspects of politics portrayed in House of Cards. The power struggle is so intense and engaging, and it surprises how much I support Frank, the anti-hero. My favourite part is how unique the storyline is told, with Frank talking directly to the audience as a method of inner dialogue.



2. The 100
The 100 is based on a book series and the amount of people who have told me the series is way better than the actual books is surprising. I love how dark and gritty this is. It doesn't spare on the gruesome and creepiness. One hundred teens being sent to a post-apocalyptic Earth to test its survival can and does get out of hand. I'm not up to date just yet, but it is very addictive so I'll get there.




3. Oz

If you haven't heard of this don't worry, it's actually a 90s show. Oz is set in a male prison focused on trying to rehabilitate the prisoners but with such a diverse range of characters things don't always go as planned. I'm watching this because of my recent interest in crime and policing etc., (hence my major I guess). It's definitely aimed at a more mature audience and I'm taking my time with this series because it's not something I can really binge watch what with the content.



4. Daria 

Daria was a childhood series that is full of satire and sarcasm, which funnily enough I appreciate more now than I did back when I was 7 or 8. The main character Daria embodies the most realistic teenager and addresses all these issues you get whilst going through High School - even if it is a little exaggerated. No seriously. Just watch it.




5. Suits

Season 6 has just started and I feel like everyone is hooked on this series. I'm at the end of season 5, so I'm super excited to be up to date. 




What Are You Currently Watching?




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Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Taming of the Queen - Philippa Gregory


Title: The Taming of The Queen
Author: Philippa Gregory
Publication Date: UK/AUS/NZ: 13th August, 2015 | USA/CAN: 25th August, 2015
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The BookDepository
Kateryn Parr comes to court promising to marry King Henry VIII despite knowing the dangers. She's sixth in line and the deaths of the previous Queens makes her uneasy. Except Henry showers her with love, trusting her with his children and his Kingdom.

She unites the family and joins in advising the King. Yet, as she pushes for religious reforms, Kateryn begins to gain enemies and soon her beliefs and actions grab Henry's suspicious attention. Those against her label her a heretic, but her concerns mount as it seems that Henry is beginning to plot a punishment against her.

Will she be able to survive against a man who ordered the death of his own wives?

Review


Out of Henry VIII's six wives, I have rarely heard anything about his last wife Kateryn Par. That, coupled with Philippa Gregory releasing a new novel based in the Tudor era, grabbed my interest very quickly.

I appreciate The Taming of the Queen for providing not only a story to the name Kateryn Par, but also an insight into the context of the time. A lot of the time it is quite obvious Gregory's novels are mostly fictionalised, but in this one most of the novel came across very believable and almost realistic. I was fascinated with the portrayal of Kateryn and her role as Queen and at one point Regent to the country. Gregory writes her as an intelligent and influential female, which is very empowering, especially during that period. I also loved that Gregory focused on the fact that Kateryn was able to translate and publish two prayer books, first as an anonymous and eventually under her own name. It is an inspiring act that really conveys how powerful women can be even in a patriarchal world.

There's also a large aspect of religion in this novel. At this point King Henry VIII has split from Rome and the Catholic Church, and the debate between reverting to the old religious ways or striving for reformation crops up a lot. Gregory places Kateryn at the centre of this conflict, which gives her a role and first hand experience for the readers. However, I'm not too sure how historically accurate it is. The dispute is actually quite interesting and I kept reading on, even though I had always thought religion in a book would bore me. I think coming from a religious educated background it's intriguing to see the practices in Mass originate from the Tudor period.

I did think there were some really dry and uninteresting moments, that I skimmed pretty easily. There was also a part I really did not like and absolutely did not believe would have happened in real life. I read it very uneasily and regretfully. It made sense when tied to Henry's personality, but at the same time I just couldn't stomach it.

The Taming of the Queen definitely did not become my favourite read from Gregory but it was very well written, engaging and fascinating. I was intrigued enough to start my own research of Kateryn and I really liked her character in the novel. It's a thick but fast read, and if you're a fan of Gregory or history definitely give it a shot!

"I believe that to be a free woman is to be both passionate and intelligent."




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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I've Read The Most Books From

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 Authors I've Read The Most Books From
This doesn't exactly indicate that these authors are my favourite authors, in fact only 2 of them I really consider authors I love will automatically buy from. The others only rack up numbers because they've written lengthy series.


10. John Green (4)


         


9. Sarah J. Maas (4)

            


8. J R. R Tolkein (4)

            

7. Catherynne M. Valente (5)

            

      
  6. Stephanie Meyer (5)

            


            
5. Richelle Mead (6)

          




4. Rick Riordan (6)

          




3. J.K Rowling (7) 

     



2. Philippa Gregory (8)

         

      



1. Cassandra Clare (10) 

          
          
             

Unsurprisingly majority of these are YA adult authors AND I'm going to assume will make up a lot of other Top Ten Tues lists.

Who's On Your List?




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