COLLECTIONS: FAVOURITE POSTS OF 2014

28 December 2014

When a year goes by and you are actually [at least slightly] proud of some of the posts you have written, then it calls for a post. I think this year has seen the most changes implemented on my blog. I got a new design thanks to Hazel and Nikki and I swayed in the direction of less book-review orientated posts, following a more creative front as a whole. Here are 20 of my favourite posts from this year; a random assortment of book reviews and other book-related subjects.


DOORSTEP DELIGHTS .7 | why did i choose this book haul out of all the others? because a. i got a truck-load of books for some magical reason that is currently unbeknownst to me due to it being months ago, and b. dash and lily's book of dares was fantastic. [as were pretty much all the other books].

secondary characters who need their own novels

13 December 2014


because I think they're fabulous, so hundreds of other people around the world should too.
therefore when I eventually have my own group of willing minions, their first task will be to pen the wonderful novels that will star secondary characters as main characters. don't say you wouldn't be pleased. so without further ado: (and if you know me you can guess who is first.)
1. zuzana.(daughter of smoke and bone trilogy) if you didn't know I was going to say this then where have you been and why weren't you here? I actually have good reasons to place her first as well, it just isn't an irrational love for her character - how could you even say that? She is an fearless, minute czech marionette who is best friends with a blue-haired girl and doesn't blink over anything: an apocalypse? let's start making the t-shirts already, teeth-thieves, angels? lemme at it. (and yes i know she has a novella already, but give the girl space! she may be small but that doesn't mean she has nothing to say.
2. roza. (rose under fire). this book would be brimming with sass and spilling over with sarcasm. and who doesn't what a book like that? she was one of the 'rabbits' in a nazi concentration camp and consequently, after having pain and torture inflicted on her, she is merciless, mean and magnificent. oh and she's also crippled, having had things gouged out of her legs and other things put in., and hey; she's only 16.
 3. roar. (under the never sky trilogy). i really really like roar. and in most of the book i was more interested in perry than roar and what his past. so yes, i want a novel with roar and liz in. (and yes again i know the novella has been written about this, but i haven't read it yes much to my pain). so i need a novel. it makes total sense..also i'm intrigued about his talent..i want to know more about how it affects him and how he deals with it. please tell me you've all read this series i hate skirting round spoilers..
4. cadet captain thorne. (the lunar chronicles). he loves himself, he's funny, he lies all the time, so i personally would love a book by him, you wouldn't know what to expect, and half of what he says would probably be untrue. maybe even all of it to be honest. and an important question needs to be answered that i must know: did he actually start a prison riot over the soap conditions? i mean i wouldn't put it past him but really? who knows.
5. rowan. (throne of glass series). this character really intrigued me and i felt like the back-story of his life and how he came to be where he was would be such an interesting story. maybe it'll be delved into later on in the series but eh, he could have his own novel?
so i present you with an important set of two questions: if you could pick one secondary character to have their own novel who would it be? and secondly, anyone gifted in the creative writing spectrum? anyone want to be my loyal minion? anyone want to write any of these above novels? oh. that was more than two questions..

[middle-grade] reviews: el deafo & rhyme schemer

25 November 2014

 Title: El Deafo
Author: Cece Bell
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Blurb: Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid. The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear—sometimes things she shouldn’t—but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for. -goodreads
Vibrant. Colourful. Passionate. Those are the three words I would use to describe El Deafo. Because while my ARC is in black and white, the comic strips every shade of grey and tone; I am not talking about the drawings. Yes, in colour there is a whole new area of impact to lend itself to vivifying your reading experience. But even with empty speech bubbles Cece's desire to fit in and cope with her journey alongside others is apparent, even with her hearing aid turned off, her story is loud, clear and as honest as it can be. Even stuck in her own circle of solitude does Cece's yearning to be free of her problems emanate outwards and around and towards us.And I admire her for it. And I cherish her little cartoon image of rabbit ears and triangle nose; for it has molded itself into the space around me: my companion El Deafo is now always on hand to support me. Surely if a tiny child can brave deafness, loneliness, helplessness, then I can challenge my difficulties with superhuman strength?
El Deafo is your little pocket of bravery and struggle for happiness and normalcy disguised in rich cartoons and heartwarming conclusions. Smile [Raina Telgemeier] used to be my one favourite visual novel to re-read over and over. Now I have two.
Title: Rhyme Schemer
Author: K.A Holt
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: October 14th 2014
Blurb: Kevin has a bad attitude. He's the one who laughs when you trip and fall. In fact, he may have been the one who tripped you in the first place. He has a real knack for rubbing people the wrong way--and he's even figured out a secret way to do it with poems. But what happens when the tables are turned and he is the one getting picked on? Rhyme Schemer is a touching and hilarious middle-grade novel in verse about one seventh grader's journey from bully-er to bully-ee, as he learns about friendship, family, and the influence that words can have on people's lives. - goodreads
On a sticky note stuck to the cover:
[re-read and mark all my favourite parts].
Sometimes
you read a book so
q u i c k l y
the words are blurs in your
peripheral vision,
flying by on paper wings
but
you still absorb them all
completely
utterly
fully.
Because that's the kind of book it is:
sticky page magnet chapters
pinning to your brain with
big balls of bright blue-tack.
Rhyme Schemer is that book.

One sitting,
that's how long it took to
finish.
But the poems are imprinted
in my mind, scrolling
over my eyes
churning through my thoughts.
And my hands itch
to rip paper from spine
with a sshh of
           satisfaction.
Who knew page poems could feel so
good?

Rhyme Schemer was only my third venture into novels written in verse but it definitely won't be my last. I absolutely loved the re-prints of some of Kevin's work, and I thought it added a really interesting layer to the story that makes it that bit more unique and arresting.Filled with simple yet emotive words Kevin endears himself to readers with his honest poetry and arresting *scheming*. All I wanted to do while reading was go and rip out a page of a book to create my own page poetry. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME. *handcuffs wrists*. [I probably will though, I just need to plan a trip to the charity shop.]

SINCE I'VE BEEN GONE / wrap-up

18 November 2014

This is a wrap-up type post, not that I have anything to wrap up in my life (I can't afford the wrapping paper) but because it feels like ages since I have been present on this blog in a while. Yes I've had scheduled posts, but I haven't really interacted with anyone in a while. So here's a thing.
I've been busy: college, tests, revision (I am meant to do but don't really), NCS - National Citizen Service (search it because I'm too lazy to explain) and life. 
BRIEFLY, I'VE BEEN:
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: AUTUMN IS PRESENT, BUT I AM ABSENT FROM ITS WONDERS (COLLEGE); THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER + TEA; MY DESK - ALWAYS MESSY; ARTWORK IS COMING OUT OF MY EARS.
I made an instagram, well, two; one personal, one bookish: and arty/crafty) so if you are into that kind of thing then fly on over - I want to see your photos never mind whether you want to see mine or not. 
WHAT ELSE HAS BEEN HAPPENING/NOT HAPPENING?
1) I still haven't read City of Heavenly Fire and the pain of denial is probably worse than the pain I will feel reading it. How do I know this? Because spoilers, I'm pretty sure nothing super bad happens although that could all be a web of lies; either way. I need that book. 2) I haven't been reading much at all, I think I've read two books that weren't re-reads in the last two months. BUT 3) I have been pinning away, usually of books/bookish graphics..sigh. 4) I found out I'm an oddball. Well, I found that out years ago but it seems as if everyone loved Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield - I have yet to pass the third chapter...
How has your life been panning out? Is it the shape of a frying pan, a sauce pan, or just a plain old tin pan? I want to know. Oh and who feels my dilemma; I need to write, I want to write, my WIPs have been neglected since I didn't think of a solid plot for them, everyone is doing NanoWrimo (or so it seems) yet here I am with a measly four thousand words under my belt after a good couple of months while SOME PEOPLE have written freaking 65,263 words in a week. I have no words. (Literally).

[real or not real?] review: the cure for dreaming

14 November 2014

Title: The Cure for Dreaming
Author: Cat Winters
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: October 14th 2014
Source / Format: For Review / ARC
Summary: Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout. -goodreads
When Cat Winter's writes, the world rewinds into the past like a tape recorder, churning out stories from days gone by. But this time, the recording holds sights, sounds and smells in its grasp, and out surroundings re-form into the scene we are reading so exactly, so perfectly, we can almost see the stage; we are almost hypnotised alongside everyone else. Because Cat Winter's pen spills mesmerising words from the nib and all we can do is read and drink in the tangle of secrets, suffragettes and spell-binding scenes that make up THE CURE FOR DREAMING. This book was my first novel written by this author, but it definitely won't be my last. Cat Winter's combines historical fiction and fantasy with such deftness that the edges blur seamlessly and truly, if her books are not on your wishlist already then I think you should be doing that now.
Photographs always bring a book to life, they provide kindling for the reader's imagination and we feed off them in the process of creating a novel's world in our head. So you can imagine my delight upon seeing photographs accompanied by quotes scattered amongst the pages: it just made me love the book even more.
'Dracula' is made reference to many a time throughout the course of this novel, and if anything was an honest ambassador for THE CURE FOR DREAMING it would be a vampire, dressed in bicycle bloomers, campaigning for women's rights under hypnosis. So if that sounds like your cup of tea, dive right in; you won't be disappointed.
I love that books allow us to experience other lives without us ever having to change where we live or who we are.

A SATIRICAL EPIPHANY ON NOVEL-WRITING

09 November 2014

OR - how not to write a novel - because as you all should know. I don't seem to be able to accomplish this particular goal. However, you all know I am the heart and soul of ideas that change people lives nod your heads so I figured I would share my [obviously satirical] epiphany on the art of novel-writing. Because who wouldn't want to hear it.

1. If you want to write a novel. You should write it.
Honestly, I don't understand those people who wish they could write a novel yet they don't ever put pen to paper. To write, you need to write. It's a basic fact that seems to go missing at the most convenient of times. Which brings me onto another thing: pens. Use a pen and paper, it stimulates the brain. Typing does not, never use a laptop - they will possess you. *Hides under a duvet typing this post*.

2. Drink lots of coffee. Caffeine is good.
It will make you hyper. Which will jab all those ideas swimming around your head in the backside with an electric prod and then, and then you will know what to write about. Who drinks water these days anyway? That's a blindingly obvious trend from last century. And again, another thing to add, keep up with the fashion why don't you - it'll help with your writing, as I clearly just showed.
3. Use big words, and lots of description.
Big words make you feel clever, and there's nothing worse than feeling like a total idiosyncratic ignoramus who cannot tell his ebullient characters from his gasconading-enthused villains. Secondly, description: it makes your word count seem like it could hit the moon. Dur. Who cares if nothing happens in your novel? As long as it's 50K+ no-one does. No-one reads these days anyway.

Have you guessed yet? I am attempting to continue some of my failed novel ideas previously outlined and moaned over. And, oh, you guessed already - it's not working. Mainly due to lack of time, I get about ten minutes a day to write which usually ends up with me staring at a blank word document and closing it with a gusty sigh after my ten minutes is up. Needless to say, I have yet to broaden my word count since I last checked it when I wrote my novel ideas post. But never fear, these three points will clearly aid in my arduous journey. After all, I did come up with them.

GRAPHIC(LY) SPEAKING: The Book Thief

04 November 2014


If you haven't read the book thief yet then don't mind me staring at you as if you are wearing a rainbow coloured tutu with cats ears and flashing blue doc martins with a vampire cape. You look fine. The book thief, is, as you should know, high up on the favourite books I've read since I can't remember when list I have going on up in my head. It's written in a lyrical, beautiful style that you just want to swim in, and of course, the characters. I'm not going to go into that particular subject because I won't be able to control myself - If you've read the book you'd know why. If you haven't read the book but have seen the movie you should know why (but I am judging you) - and if you've not read the book? Well the whole purpose of this post is to get those people to pick it up. So go on.
 IT IS 1939. NAZI GERMANY. THE COUNTRY IS HOLDING ITS BREATH. DEATH HAS NEVER BEEN BUSIER, AND WILL BECOME BUSIER STILL..

REVIEW: falling into place by amy zhang

31 October 2014


TITLE: Falling Into Place // AUTHOR: Amy Zhang // PUBLISHER: Harper 360       
 On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.
Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher. -goodreads
Liz Emerson is not the kind of MC reader's connect with, sympathize with, or feel compatible in any way towards, so it was with Surprise that I closed this book, sat back and though: I enjoyed that. I'm don't often read *stereotypical* contemporaries, and while this did contain bundles of cliches, I enjoyed Falling Into Place because of its lyrical and stripped back writing style. The side-characters could have been explored a lot more in my opinion, as we are left not really know much about them except for their problems. And everyone has problems in this book, which annoyed me at first but as I got swept into the writing I didn't mind anymore. Overall, the book was a very worthy debut indeed - and I am extremely jealous the author is a teenager and already has a published, bestselling book. Give it a try why don't you.

book palette: eleanor and park

26 October 2014

Eleanor and Park is undoubtedly one of my favourite of Rainbow Rowell's books, which is saying something as they are all favourites of mine.But this one speaks to you when you read it, both Eleanor and Park's voices nestle right up close to you, whispering messages in your ear. You can see Park with his headphones in the bus, you can feel what Eleanor is feeling. The book breathes and pulses with life and honestly, if you haven't read it yet then I am judging you with my fierce side-eye.
Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.
Eleanor
... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.
Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. -goodreads
“It was like their lives were overlapping lines, like they had their own gravity. Usually, that serendipity thing felt like the nicest thing the universe had ever done for her.”- Eleanor & Park

[je t'aime] review: Isla & The Happily Ever After

21 October 2014

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Publication Date: August 14th 2014
Source/Format: For Review/Finished Copy
Summary: Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. Set against the stunning backdrops of New York, Paris and Barcelona, this is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching and irresistible story of true love, and the perfect conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series. -goodreads
My third Stephanie Perkins novel. The third time I have fallen in love with her books: but this time, not - head over heels. I harbor a fondness for her books not because they are written with spectacular prose like most of my favourite novels: I'd be both lying and telling the truth if I said  the style it was written in blew me away. Because normally, I adore books with thickly layered words that fill me up and overflow inside my mind. Rich images, graphic descriptions. However none of Stephanie Perkin's books are written like this - they are simple, yet they affect you just as vivid imagery might do. The writing is realistic to the plot: it is a contemporary love story, it is written with less words than more and that is why I like it, the style lends itself to the plot perfectly; it allows you to submerge yourself in the simple lives of beings that fall for each other so un-simply. It creates the perfect juxtaposition between the writing and the power of their love.
However, Isla and the Happily Ever After was definitely my least favourite. I liked it, but it didn't stick with me. This was the plot that felt the most fluffy and full of air. Throughout the whole book I never really understood why Josh liked Isla, and I never felt connected to Isla as I had done to Anna and Lola - in all honesty: she felt a bit bland. But while this book was not my favourite of Stephanie Perkin's books, it is still one of my favourites - as all her novels are.
"How did my parents live before texting? Before the internet? I’m used to knowing things and all of this unknowing is driving me mad."

REVIEW: The Fifth Wave & The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

16 October 2014

THE FIFTH WAVE BY RICK YANCEY [#1]
"Be wary of internet hype," is the advice that is wrapped in paper and distributed to new bloggers and friends alike - "Too hyped," is what I heard about The Fifth Wave; and at the beginning, I wasn't even going to read it. I had a copy: I just didn't feel like reading it. It took me a year to finally decide I may as well try it out, and I'm glad I left it at first, because when I did attempt it, I wanted to read it, and I loved it. I know people who disliked it a lot. But I read it in a day, and then I wanted the next book; I wanted to know what happened next: and that's always the sign of a good book. 
Cassie is alone on the road to who-knows-where, attached to her M-16 and the frightening realization that she is alone; she is no longer the child being protected but the girl who has to protect. Sammy, with his teddy bear. Zombie, Evan Walker and a whole host of other side-characters. Each of them is introduced to you, many of them have parts of the story dedicated to their voice, yet there are never too many people to keep track of. The Fifth Wave is a hefty book, but I skimmed through it faster than I thought I would; and if this sounds like your cup of tea, Why haven't you give it a try yet?
“We’re here, and then we’re gone, and it’s not about the time we’re here, but what we do with the time.” - The Fifth Wave [Rick Yancey]
THE INFINITE SEA BY RICK YANCEY [#2
I really like the way that Rick Yancey writes: detailed, evocative but not too muddled even though there are ample POVs. I thought this was an extremely successful sequel that didn't let down at any point, except. Cassie irked me, a little/lot. She suddenly evolved into a teenage girl edging towards that stereotypical 'teenage girl character'. I say edging however, because in my eyes she thankfully, never quite got there. But but but I HAVE A NEW FAVOURITE CHARACTER. Ringer all the way. In the first book she was much more of a side-character that we were gradually getting to know, in this book she had a lot of the limelight and I am so glad she did because she is wonderful and strong and determined and clever and fierce. And my new favourite character. As I just said. Talking of favourites, I really liked Vosche's character in The Infinite Sea, and before you all throw things at me I AM NOT SAYING I LIKE HIM AS A PERSON, I am just saying I like how Rick Yancey created him, and developed him, and moulded him into the person that I now am excited to encounter - not because he makes good things happen [far from it of course] but because can't a person like a baddie? Honestly, he's not my best friend, but I like his character. Also three things: we meet another new character [saying no more] and we learn more about the side-characters we met in The Fifth Wave: Teacup and Dumbo and Poundcake. [Why italics? Oh you'll see.]. Finally, I must mention it, although it pains me to say because then my hands twitch for the next book and my brain cackles at the 2015 notice on the 'coming soon' page for the third book at the back of The Infinite Sea. And then my book shaped stomach moans and grumbles because it is hungry for the next installment and THERE WAS A MAJOR TWIST. I didn't guess it anyway. But hey, have fun waiting for it to spring at you.
“My anger is greater than the sum of all lost things.” - The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey. [Ringer]

[in memoriam] review: the memory keepers

05 October 2014

Title: The Memory Keepers
Author: Natasha Ngan
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: September 4th 2014
Source/Format: For Review/Finished Copy
Summary: "No one can take your memories from you... can they?"
Seven is a thief with a difference - he steals downloadable memories from banks and memoriums to sell onto London's black market, trading secrets and hidden pasts for a chance at a future of his own. He makes sure he keeps some special stuff back to 'surf' himself though - it's the only real form of entertainment he can afford. But one night, as Seven is breaking into a private memorium in a wealthy part of London, he is caught in the act by one of its residents; Alba, the teenage daughter of London's most famous criminal prosecutor. Instead of giving him away, Alba promises to keep Seven's secret - as long as he allows her to go memory-surfing herself. In doing so, they discover a hidden memory about Seven's past, revealing a shocking secret about Seven's childhood, the government and a mysterious experiment known as The Memory Keepers...
Now Seven and Alba will have to race against time to unlock the maze of The Memory Keepers - but can they keep themselves out of harm's way before the London Guard - and Alba's father - catches up with them? -goodreads
I feel like if I was given a piece of writing written by Natasha Ngan I would be able to recognize it unaided. This is only my second book of hers that I have read, her second book, but her style of writing  seems to be imprinted in my mind and if it is possible - I think I liked this novel more than her debut The Elites.
Natasha Ngan's characterization of Seven and Alba is much more pronounced than the creation of her debut characters. Where with her first book, I enjoyed it, this second book solidifies my love for her writing and shows me that if anything, her third book which she will write will be even stronger. I was able to connect with the characters in The Memory Keepers and I delighted in their company immensely. And having just read a book where the main character aggravated every nerve in my body, Alba was a relieving breath of fresh air.
Seven; I liked him even better than Butterfly, and maybe that's because I read The Elites so long ago, but Seven's personality was one of the main reasons why I was so attached to this story. He provided the chance of a smile amidst the grim plot-line. And - the plot line - another favourite. But I'm not going to go into it, I'm going to let you find out for yourself.
Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

BLACK AND BLUE (BOOK HAUL) .12

29 September 2014

Since starting college I've reigned in my bookish needs considerably, hence the lack of book haul posts. However, over the weeks, I've compiled a 'few' books - you can't expect me to completely stave of them?!
.1 Having wanted to read this book since I started hearing about it, you can imagine my delight when the publishers offered me a copy of FALLING INTO PLACE. First up, the cover is a pure delight to stare at although physics equations baffle me completely having never really studied it. Second, the premise. Third, the reception it has had amongst many people I know. And finally, the author is a teen.
.2 Browsing through my local charity bookshop I stumble across this copy of THE NIGHT CIRCUS, do a little (inner) jig, swipe it from the shelves; and of course, buy it. I finally own my own copy.
.3 A beautiful, beautiful hardback with pink edged pages: MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME. Brimming with wonder, delight and overflowing hearts. What's not to love? Oh, and did I mention it is a collection of stories written by authors such as Ally Carter, Gayle Forman, Laini Taylor and Rainbow Rowell?!!!!
.4 You know how much I loved THE ELITES, well guess what; when I read this? Well - oh you want to know what I thought? Too bad, you'll have to wait for my review. Hot Key Books and their covers though.
.5  The bookshop is silent. Almost. Sounds leak softly through the door which is opened just a crack. A ladder leans heavily against the wall, as if too weary to be standing without aide; MR PENUMBRA'S 24 HOUR BOOKSTORE is 'open', but where are the occupants? Where is the owner?
.6 ANATOMY OF A MISFIT: I'm not sure to be honest. Why don't you tell me.
.7  This final book was a surprise in the mail and as I had heard copious amounts of praise for this I am excited to start it - especially as everything in it is true: MALALA: THE GIRL WHO STOOD UP FOR EDUCATION AND CHANGED THE WORLD. (Has anyone else read this yet?)
Who knows when I will be able to read any of these though, who knows when I will start going to bed later than nine? I have a feeling I'm going to start going to bed earlier than that soon... But hey, that's the cool thing to do - who wants to stay up all night on the weekends then come into college like a zombie? (Although admittedly I look like that every day anyway - a good night's sleep: such a distant memory..)

[tips, tricks and inspiration] wreck this journal

24 September 2014

I barely ever get time to do my WRECK THIS JOURNAL. But when I do, I go all out. I do at least one prompt page. How is that 'all out' you ask? Well, you're probably only asking because you've either never completed a prompt page, or you're just a whirlwind of artistic talent that works at mind-blowing speed. Because these prompts take time. Especially if you're a perfectionist like me who tries to wreck 'nicely'.
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Page markers are your best friends. Once you've decided what you want to do for a certain page mark it, because if you don't have time right then, when you do, you will have a good few pages to automatically get working on without having to waste time brainstorming. I also mark the pages i have already done, just so I can look back on them and decide if I think they're really finished. And if nothing else, they remind me that this book is not impossible to complete: it just takes time.
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 Inspiration is vital. If you have no idea what to do, you won't do it. If you're stuck for ideas, you'll leave it. So search people's Wreck This Journal's; take inspiration, gain ideas; it's allowed. I think I've probably seen a good twenty versions of the same prompt on Google Images, each one was different, each one was unique, but each one gained inspiration from the one done before. There's even a WRECK THIS JOURNAL Flickr group solely made for people to share their prompt pages to give others ideas.
---------------------------------------------------- TIP THREE -----------------------------------------------------
Bring out all the supplies you think you will need before hand. Don't sit at your desk and see what happens, plan what you think you will do. Why? Because, if half way through, you realize you need paint but it's downstairs and then you need tissue paper and a paint brush and water in a jar - Well. You might just decide to pack away and carry on tomorrow. Tomorrow will never come. Or if it does, it will take a good long while. Instead, make sure everything is at hand so your inner laziness doesn't shine through at the wrong time. Always try and finish at least one prompt page fully once you're sat down. Key word: try.
------------------------------------------------- TIP FOUR-----------------------------------------------------
The pages are relatively thin, which means some markers and pens and paint will just soak through. Therefore if you do want to use these pens/paints, be careful. Your best bet is to use acrylic paint as when it dries it becomes stiff and gives you the perfect thickness of page for your other side, and it doesn't soak through. If you do want to use watercolour paints, I'd advise you to dry it with a blast of the hair dryer, as then it dries quicker and stiffer and does not dry so the page is soft and slightly 'damp'.
If you were expecting tips and tricks you had never heard before, and are disappointed, I'm sorry. But at the same time I'm not. Because usually, the most basic things help. And even if you've heard all this before, you may never have implemented it. Now I'm telling you - do it. Right now I have absolutely no motivation or inspiration to blog due to having just started college, so if you also think this post is lame, you're probably right. I haven't read a book in at least two weeks; because I'm still on the same one and I just do not want to pick it up. Send me rainbows and cake please. Please? Also free time, I need lots.
p.s i take no credit for the final image prompt idea, i saw someone else doing this same prompt and really loved how they have done it so i tried to re-create it. you can see the original here.

[by the wyrd] review: heir of fire

19 September 2014

Series: Throne of Glass #3
Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Publication Date: September 11th 2014
Source/Format: For Review/Finished Copy
Summary: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love? -goodreads
Again. Sarah J. Maas has done it again. The third book in the Throne of Glass series and my love burns strong. It's almost visceral now: read the book, love the book, wait impatiently for the next. But this time you can't just love the book because oh the pain. I know some people who weren't that intrigued with the first claiming it was too fluffyromancelovevomit. I wish it was like that now. This book devitalized my heart.
The title of this book: Heir of Fire, seems to be the hidden symbol for my adoration for all the characters in this series, for the plot, the plot-twists; everything: it burns like a fire and does not reduce to ashes, no matter how long the wait until the next book and my next installment of kindling - if anything, it powers higher and brighter.
Heir of Fire blew me away. It is as simple as that, and what I cherish about this series is that each book gets bigger and is filled with more information regarding the story-line to satisfy my cravings and more characters to love and hate. But it never gets too complicated. And I have another favourite character.
What can't Sarah J. Maas do? Because she has managed to find ample firewood for the love that blazes inside me, she has left enough plot twists to have me startle like a rabbit confronted by headlights on a dark night, she has reduced both Caleana and I to grains. of sand: once we were both castles, now - we have vanished into dust. We? Yes we, because when you read this series you will no longer be yourself, you will be within the story: caught up in iron teeth and nets and burning. And you won't want to escape. So I repeat myself, what can Sarah J Maas not do?
Platters of food go to the lovely Bloomsbury team for kindly sending me this book for review, and to reduce my life to desolation. How kind. *clutches chest*

A SEA OF PAGES [the novel idea(s)]

14 September 2014

Roundabout a year ago I decided I should crack down and write a novel. As if it was that easy. As if it would be a quick pen flick [swish, and flick. oh the memories.] and ta-da, one novel staring back at me. Well. It wasn't. Who's surprised? The problem I have is that I love thinking up book titles, and if I have a book title I am head-over heels for, and a main character name I wish I owned then I want a completed novel stat. The stumbling block: well, I have no plot. AT ALL. So after being blackmailed into joining NaNoWriMo five days late, I decided I may as well go all out, not procrastinate, and write a novel. 
Having not planned to join NaNo I had no plot, no title no character names, no nothing. So I grabbed a premise out of thin air and wrote. I managed 33K of a terrible horrible story. WHICH IS A MIRACLE. Because before that the most I had written in a year was 5K. Yes, I know. Aspiring author who is rubbish at writing, heard it all before. And then I realized something else. So here's a list of my weaknesses when trying to write a novel [obviously extremely paired down to keep from boring you all]:
A. I yearn to write a perfect novel. I have never re-written anything because I need things to be perfect the first time.
B. I have never plotted a novel. I am a pantser. And it's not going well.
C. Because I have no plots I never know what to write, so I chuck paragraphs and paragraphs of description in there.
D. I write short short stories, hence I can't keep a novel going more than 5K [if that].
MY CURRENT WIP[s]:
-are all very current. As in, started a couple of weeks ago current. Except for two, one being my NaNo novel which I haven't finished and probably never will even though I ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THE ENDING WILL BE because nothing happens in it, zilch, na-da etc etc.
1. THE FOX CHILD [YA - fantasy re-telling]
33K. 75% bucket loads of unnecessary description. 25% other boring things. Barely any action. A lot of blood, for some reason. An MC that can talk[?] to animals. I don't even know my own 'plot'. Re-telling of Snow White [which is ridiculous because I never really enjoyed this story that much.] Will I ever make myself re-read this and maybe finish it? I don't know. I really don't.
2. THE WAY WE OBSERVE [YA - contemporary]
3K. People who have read it thinks it is about me. May be. Who knows. Started because I liked the title and the name of the MC, surprised? I thought not. I put it on hold because - I'm not actually sure. Exams probably. And then I had other *better* ideas. I have random scenes from this written on various notebooks so I will probably carry this on one day when inspiration strikes as I actually have a basic plot. THE SHOCK.
3. TO THE END AND BACK [YA - genre unknown]
6k. This is my current WIP, along with 4. and had been put on hold as I have been busy all summer, but yesterday I read it through and I LIKE IT. So far. Let's see how long it lasts. Why, you are probably wondering, do I not know the genre of this story? Because it started with a very vague plot. Vague as in literally not there and so many holes it's basically nothing. I felt in the mood to write one day, so I did, and came up with this, then I decided it could be the grounds for a novel [as I mentioned, I'm desperate to write a full length novel] so started plotting for the first time. I came up with a basic outline, didn't like it, had no other inspiration so left it to fester. So when I came back to it yesterday and LIKED IT, I decided I will write this and tried to come up with a decent plot. BUT I WANT TO WRITE A FANTASY, and I want this to be the fantasy, but all the plots I come up with ARE SCI-FI. Why. In my notebook I literally wrote: "YUK. NO. EW!! I want this to be fantasy OK BRAIN." I know, I'm slightly strange, what can you do. So yes, still trying to work out a plot that does not have a really unbelievable plot, [I have resigned myself to the fact that this will not be fantasy] so now I just need something solid, that isn't as holey as the side of George Weasley's head. 
4. CELLOPHANE HEART [Middle Grade/YA crossover - contemporary]
4.5K. I started it a couple of days ago. Will feature road-trips, anger management problems, family loss, a ten year old smart-ass who can't slice cheese, graffiti, and is written in vignettes. [As inspired after reading Reasons She Goes to The Woods]. As you can see, I have a slight plot-if-you-can-even-call-it-a-plot, and I think that's what I'm going to have to accept: I am a pantser, anything more than slight plots aka five lines of main scenes and character names [I love coming up with character names] and I may drown. Or die. Well, my brain will.
5. THIS IS WHAT WE CALL IT [YA - contemporary]
Why do I have so many contemporary novel ideas? Oh I know, wish fulfillment [well not really], but I wish I had written The Sky is Everywhere, it is contemporary, see the logic? This one is a title love, has no plot, has character names [obviously] and will probably never ever be written because who writes a novel without a single scrap of plot because you like the title. Not me. Oh no, I have far better things to do. Like make sure I don't collapse with the strain of coming up with a plot for a plot-less novel idea. However, I may write a short - NO. it will be a novel. I need it to be. I'll write it when I'm old and wrinkled and retired from my job as a dustbin-woman. Ok. Maybe by that time I'll have an idea for a plot. Jandy Nelson, instead, can you just reprint The Sky is Everywhere under my name? It'd be so much easier.
UPDATE: Am getting excited about this one, have started plotting. So far? From what I have written this [maybe I HOPE] novel will feature a French best friend ironicly [you'll..probably never..see why] passionate about non-frenchness who talks in a British accent. A younger brother who is a genius pianist. A grandmother of sorts. A half chinese, half english main character who has a twin sister. Family drama. A main character trying to break through the bonds of her heritage, also ironical. [Again, you will probably never know why]. Sarcasm. Food fights. Jealousy and sibling rivalry. Baking mishaps. A home-schooled family. And..other stuff I still need to work out. Like WHERE DO THEY LIVE. Not Important Stuff like that...
WHAT AM I DOING TO MY BRAIN PEOPLE, it can't even cope with thinking up a plan for what to eat. Thinking about all this is making me hungry let alone create an entire novel in my head and write it down.
So when am I actually going to write all this? When my brain catches up with my need to write a novel and churns out plots and makes my fingers write.
"She is currently reading THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE again, and is flicking through DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS again to re-read favourite scenes [aka the entire book.] She is also wishing this will happen to her one day in the future: someone re-reading her book because they love it so much. Also, she is fuming over the fact that handwriting is so deceptive. Pages &pages of words, and not even 1K?! It's a conspiracy. And she's hungry, let's go & raid the kitchen."

THINGS I HEAR IN BOOKSHOPS + [giveaway]

09 September 2014

Following on from the theme of my last post [which you should obviously read if you haven't already.] I am going to be sharing some strange and awesome things I have heard over the years while perusing the shelves of my local bookshop. Some had me face-palming, sometimes I just shook my head in disappointment and whatever book I was holding at the time, and some had me stalking the person who had just spoken. All totally normal activities to practice.
TO FRIEND - "So should I buy Catching Fire or Mockingjay? Wait. Which one is the first again?"
TO NO-ONE IN PARTICULAR -  "They have a whole section related to Lord of The Rings?"
"Special editions too?" .. "PRETTY COVERS AS WELL?" .. "Am I dreaming?"
TO FRIEND - "Why is this place just filled with books?"
TO FRIEND - "I need to find THE BOOK THIEF...Can you see it anywhere?"
"Dude that book is for girls. The main character is a girl. Anyway, didn't you get enough of World Wars in Year Nine?"
TO MUM - "But why do people like reading? It's so mundane."
TO FRIEND - "So do you think ten books is too many to buy in one go?"
"No."
"I knew I liked you for some reason."
"-But what's your mum going to say?"
"What's a little sacrifice now and then? Who wouldn't put up with an invigorating argument if it meant future hours of exploring new worlds and befriending new people?"
"Me."
"I knew I disapproved of you for some reason."
TO FRIEND - "Why don't bookshops provide trolleys? My arms are aching."
TO FRIEND - "I think my purse is holding a grudge against me. It's empty."
"You can borrow some money off me if you want?"
*Tackle hugs ensue*
TO FRIEND - "Can you believe some people don't like reading?!"
"Yes. Muggles do everything wrong."
I know, I know. Some are pretty bad. But can you guess which conversations involved me? And, honestly, if you see me in a bookshop shooting laser eyes at people's backs / bookshelves, don't be too surprised. I probably just heard something infuriating. Have you heard anything odd/annoying in a bookshop? I know someone who has: Jen Campbell, author of STRANGE THINGS CUSTOMERS SAY IN BOOKSHOPS and MORE STRANGE THINGS CUSTOMERS SAY IN BOOKSHOPS, which - guess what? I have copies of to give away to one of you. [WARNING: They will make you question the world and it's inhabitants. A LOT.]. [UK & IRELAND only].
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THINGS I DO IN BOOKSHOPS + [giveaway]

05 September 2014

I can't remember the last time I went to a bookshop. And that saddens me. I've walked past it recently. But I asked if I could go in 'for a bit' and was given the inevitable "No" in response. Turns out I spend too long in there - who knew? However, this heart-bruising turn of events led me to think about why I spend so long in bookshops. Because part of the time I'm not actually looking at the books. 25% of the time, if you were stalking me [please don't]  I would be doing some strange things indeed [to non-book lovers anyway]. Apparently it's not cool to smell books. To be honest I don't think people who say that know what they're talking about. I mean, who doesn't smell books.


THINGS I DO IN BOOKSHOPS:
 Turn into a nostalgia monster while browsing the kid's section after seeing all my favourite childhood books.
✖ Stalk people [who are teens BECAUSE TEENAGERS IN A BOOKSHOP].
✖ Look through all the shelves twice over.
✖ Internally hyper dance if I see books on offer.
✖ Internally hyper dance as I smell all the new books, touch all the new books, and stare at all the pretty covers.
✖ Internally hyper dance if I have a gift voucher for the book shop. I hyper dance a lot.
✖ Struggle with the amount of books I am carrying.
✖ Feverishly count money in my purse while attempting to do mental maths to try and work out how many books I can buy.
✖ Sit on the floor and bemoan the fact that I have no money.[Yes, I actually did this once.]
✖ Get dragged out of the bookshop.
✖ End up leaving the book shop with no books [Unless I have a voucher.]
What do you do in bookshops? Are you the epitome of social consciousness, or do you forget about everything else once in the vicinity of books? And - exciting things. The lovely people over at Atlantic Books have kindly given me five copies of MR PENUMBRA'S 24 HOUR BOOKSHOP by Robin Sloan to give away. [UK & IRELAND only]
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