I Have A Lot Of Feelings About When We Collided

(no, this isn’t a dramatic love poem. it’s a book review/ramble, sorry)

If you didn’t guess I just finished reading a book. Specifically When We Collided by Emery Lord. And I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about it. Overall, I liked it, but it’s not going to become a must-have-the-physical-copy-not-just-the-ebook omg-I-will-recommend-this-to-everyone-know favourite. Trying to stay as spoiler free as possible, I’ll just sum up the story quickly – boy meets girl, love, mental illness on both sides (either firsthand or dealing with someone else’s), ending. I really, really liked the mental illness storyline, primarily because it felt incredibly realistic and accurate (Lord suffers from the same illness as the female protagonist, Vivi) and not at all patronising or like it was trying to gloss over anything. I liked Jonah’s (the male protagonist) mental illness link too, and Lord managed to make a possibly difficult to believe family situation totally believable – I don’t think I once had to suspend my imagination. Another part of the appeal was that it felt like all of Jonah’s decisions relating to his mum’s mental illnesses were realistic, even when they ended up being mistakes – it was refreshing that it wasn’t just perfect decision after perfect decision after perfect decision, because that doesn’t happen to anyone (except me, obvs).

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via Pinterest somewhere

Howeverrr…

The love story annoyed me. Which isn’t the best thing to say, seeing as the book is billed as a love story. But Vivi as a character really annoyed me – in part due to her mental illness, she constantly seemed selfish. And that’s fine, that’s understandable and is part of what makes the book a convincing portrayal of mental illness. But what annoyed me was Jonah’s reaction (maybe it’s Jonah I’m annoyed with? Although other than that I love him) – even before he knew about her illness and just thought she was quirky, it felt to me like he let her trample all over him. Like yay for feminism and equally annoying characters for all genders and all that but it felt like he just let Vivi be flighty and keep changing plans and do everything to suit her. Maybe it’s just who I am that that annoys me or maybe that was intended to be seen as part of her mental illness but yeah, I wanted to shout at both of them at points. On another plus side though, the mental illness side and the love story right at the end (I’m a nice person so no spoilers) was so well written I nearly cried, and I never actually cry at books (except for All The Bright Places. That book broke me), I just think about how sad it all is.

So yeah, I wanted to get all that out of my system. How’s everyone doing in the blogging world since I disappeared a few months ago? Has anyone read When We Collided?

My Sister’s Keeper: Thoughts & Playlist

My Sister's Keeper

OK, as per usual I’m going to do the playlist first so you can check that out without risk of spoilers…but yes, MAJOR SPOILERS IN THE REVIEWY-FLAILY BIT!!! 

Right, now I’ve done that warning, the playlist is on Spotify here, and even if you haven’t read the book I suspect it would work pretty well as a general playlist for crying to, because we all need one of them. Anyhow, here are the songs on it…(oh, and I apologise in advance for the amount of Bastille and Ed Sheeran…)

In no particular order:

Haunt – Bastille 

Afire Love – Ed Sheeran

Eyes Shut – Years & Years

Tenerife Sea – Ed Sheeran

A Thousand Years – Christina Perri

Cool Kids – Echosmith {this one’s for Anna and Jesse, and how they’re always different from everyone else}

I’m A Mess – Ed Sheeran {this also applies to my emotions after finishing the book}

Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri {for Julia about Campbell, YOU EVIL SOMETHING I PROBABLY SHOULDN’T SAY ON HERE}

Catch & Release – Matt Simons (Deepend Remix) {this is for Kate – “It can be terrifying, to be slowly dying, also clarifying, we end where we begin” but I feel it could also apply to each of the Fitzgeralds, with their own coping methods for the events going on around them}

The Call – Regina Spektor {the reason kinda contains spoilers, so highlight the following to see it: this is for the bit when Kate is so nearly dying and they all say goodbye and then they give her arsenic and then she somehow survives}

Love Is Easy – McFly {for Kate and Taylor}

I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons

We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monae)  – fun. {this is for Jesse}

Fix You – Coldplay

Some Nights – fun. {this is just for all the Fitzgeralds, and it mentions stars so yeah it’s basically the perfect fit}

Yellow – Coldplay

Carry On – fun. {I think this is good for Brian and Sara. Plus, tenuous link I know, but it mentions fire…coincidence, I THINK NOT!}

Wonderwall – Oasis

I Just Called To Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder {because a) who can resist a bit of Stevie? and also b) this fits in perfectly with the time when Sara rings Anna at the firehouse}

The Draw – Bastille {this is kinda for the whole idea of Anna having to decide whether to be a kidney donor or not}

Things We Lost In The Fire – Bastille {again, FIRE! (I’m not a pyromaniac, promise)}

Stole The Show – Kygo feat. Parson James {for both Kate and Anna at the end}

Always – Ella Eyre 

Bottled Up Tight – Luke Sital-Singh

Icarus – Bastille {for Jesse}

Get Home – Bastille {for all of the Fitzgeralds, maybe especially Anna and Jesse}

Fragile – Kygo feat. Labrinth {I know this is more about a romantic relationship, but I think the core idea of fragility and whatnot fits pretty well with MSK}

Clean – Ryan Adams/Taylor Swift (this was really meant to be Taylor Swift, but she obviously isn’t on Spotify so this is the best I could do)

Laughter Lines – Bastille

Torn Apart – Bastille vs. GRADES {this works both for all the Fitzgeralds (especially Anna and Kate), but also on a level for Kate and Taylor}

Even If – Ella Eyre {pretty much the same story as Fragile}

bad_news – Bastille vs. MNEK

Remains – Bastille vs. Rag’N’Bone Man & Skunk Anansie

Weapon – Bastille vs. Angel Haze {for when Anna speaks, and everyone listens}

Faded – Alan Walker

Ship To Wreck – Florence + The Machine {for Kate}

Never Let You Go (feat. Foy Vance) – Rudimental

Take Me Home – Jess Glynne

Never Forget You – MNEK

A Sky Full Of Stars – Coldplay {this is horribly literal at one point – “I’m gonna give you my heart” – but I think it captures the love between Kate and Anna quite well}


 

Phew, about 41 songs later…onto my (very spoilery) thoughts!

OMG THIS BOOK. MUCH SADNESS VERY CRY.

This book, if you didn’t know already, is very sad. The whole way through the book things aren’t particularly cheerful, and there are definitely spots of ultrasadness, but the end is the killer, when everything is ALL GONNA BE OKAYISH (well, as much as it can be when you know someone’s death is imminent) but then OH NO WE DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO BE HAPPY LETS MAKE THEM SAD. JODI HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME. (Though to be fair, she did say in a bit at the end of the book that she nearly didn’t end it like that and rang an oncology nurse to see if there was another way to end it but nope.) But I guess the whole bit when Campbell’s like “I have power of attorney [as of about twenty minutes ago] and THERE’S A GIRL UPSTAIRS IN NEED OF THAT KIDNEY!” is kinda sweet (it feels very heroic and dramatic, when in reality I guess it’s just making the best of a bad situation).

I don’t think it’s the saddest book I’ve read though – that honour has to go to All The Bright Places, because I didn’t actually cry at My Sister’s Keeper. Yes, it’s official, I have a heart of stone. I don’t know if it’s because ATBP felt more relatable because of the characters or if it’s because I finished it at 2am (never a good idea when you’re left sobbing into your pillow questioning the meaning of life and happiness and desperately needing to find someone who’s already read it to flail about it together) or because I was fully expecting My Sister’s Keeper to be gut-wrenchingly sad, but it just made me feel numb. I finished the epilogue and was just sat on the floor with my back to the radiator like what do I do with my life now?! (the answer, it turns out, was make a really long Spotify playlist full of depressing songs)

All that said, it was pretty sad. What I did love, though, was all the different point of views – it was really interesting to get inside everybody’s minds and see their thought processes and reactions to Kate’s illness and their coping mechanisms. Plus there was the really dramatic bit when it’s raining before the closing day of the trial and everybody’s chapters start with the sentence “It was raining.” (is that a really English GCSE thing to notice? Oh dear…) OOH THE USE OF MOTIFS AND JUST ALL THE PRETTY METAPHORS AND SIMILES AND LANGUAGE (definitely done too much English revision). I also loved Julia and Campbell’s subplot (AND SEVERN THE BARMAN!) and the whole thing about Campbell keeping the reason for Judge secret and just all of it.

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*cries* {source}

Another aspect I REALLY LIKED was all the stuff about stars. That was just so perfect for me because not only do I just love the word ‘stars’ (IT’S JUST SO PRETTY) but I’m really interested in astrophysics and astronomy and stuff. Plus all the scientific, detached stuff in that one chapter when Brian’s confronting Jesse about the primary school and it’s interspersed with stuff about how to make stuff explode. Yeah. (still not a pyromaniac, promise)

So yeah. There are my thoughts on My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. What did you think of it? What songs would you add to my playlist?

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All The Bright Places: Review (mad fangirling) + Playlist

Aleister Crowley, This Is A Charmed Book

 

*featured image background photo source*

 

All The Bright Places: Review (mad fangirling) + Playlist

*SPOILER WARNING* (in the second half, anyway)

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{via} MEGA cover love, by the way! Kinda sad I only have it as an ebook…

The Playlist (to be read in the X Factor announcer voice, with maximum drama)

First, the playlist, because I don’t think I’m physically capable of reviewing this book without spoilers, and this way you can listen to the playlist even if you haven’t already read the book (which you should 100% do asap, by the way).

Some of the songs I’ve picked are to do with specific aspects of the plot, and some are just general reflections of the book. You can listen to it on Spotify here.

All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

  • Choices – To Kill A King
  • King – Lauren Aquilina
  • Unsteady – X Ambassadors
  • Weight Of Living Pt. II – Bastille
  • Adventure Of A Lifetime – Coldplay
  • Alone Too – Ella Eyre
  • I’m Yours – Alessia Cara
  • American Beauty/American Psycho – Fall Out Boy
  • Ain’t Nobody – Jasmine Thompson
  • Addicted To You – Avicii
  • Runaway (U&I) – Galantis
  • Oblivion – Bastille
  • Keeping Your Head Up – Birdy
  • Bloodsport – Raleigh Ritchie
  • Runaway – Ed Sheeran
  • Gravity – DJ Fresh ft. Ella Eyre
  • Eyes Shut – Years & Years
  • Hold Me Up – Conrad Sewell
  • Worry – Jack Garratt
  • Even If – Ella Eyre
  • Sorry – Justin Bieber
  • Afire Love – Ed Sheeran

 The Review (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT)

Oh my God. Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. If ever there were a book deserving of the abbreviation OMG, this is it. This is the kind of book that keeps you up until nearly 2am, makes you text multiple friend like I JUST READ A BOOK AND CRIED WHAT DO I DO NOW HELP, makes you want to immediately write about all your (many) feels (probs not a good idea at 2am) and kicks you in the feels REALLY HARD but in a good way as well as a HELP ME I’M CRYING way.

I don’t know if I was just being incredibly stupid (very possible, I accidentally ate a bit of coffee today because I thought it was Ben & Jerrys. Don’t try it. Eugh) but I didn’t really expect the ending, as in I didn’t think FINCH WAS GOING TO DIE (I am so not over that). Maybe I was being mega naive, but I kinda thought yay this is going to be a happy love story with sunshine and flowers and people overcoming the urge to commit suicide and new web magazines yay. So yeah, that’s the bit that made me cry. And just to be clear: I have a heart of stone when it comes to books. The Fault In Our Stars made me cry, and Wonder *nearly* did, but that’s about it.

Talking of web magazines, OMG VIOLA HAD A WEB MAG. THAT’S SO COOL. THAT’S KINDA LIKE BLOGGER GOALS FOR ME. That immediately made me think, yes I like this book. Also, the Post-it songs. I love them. And the cute quoting Virginia Woolf. I’m a sucker for quotes, so YES. And the name Ultraviolet Remarkey-able. And the quote, “It’s not a lie if it’s how you feel”. SO MUCH RELATABILITY. SO MUCH CUTENESS. SO MUCH GENERAL YESSSS.

And all the wanderings! I love it! The Blue Flash and Blue Too, the books in trailers, the Purina Tower, all of it, even the places that Viola goes to at the end – the shoe trees and the drive-in and the church. It all just felt so original yet 100% realistic and awesome and WHY CAN’T THERE BE PLACES LIKE THAT IN ENGLAND?! (except maybe there are but I don’t know about them). The Blue Hole I kinda liked but I was slightly less keen on, mainly because of all the temptation for suicide (though let’s be honest, Theodore finds temptation for suicide everywhere) and, *ahem*, the ending. Let’s not go there…

But talking of the ending, omg the song. So sweet. I mean, an explanation might be nice, but as a suicide note it was very poetic. I wonder if with all this memorisation of other people’s suicide notes, Finch was just trying to get inspiration for his. When he takes the sleeping pills, he wants to end on a high, in an almost honourable way, like whoever – was it the Cesare poet guy? – said. But that didn’t happen, so he wanted something different. Maybe he was trying to figure out how to leave a suicide note out of the ordinary, something to remember him by, like an epitaph.

Another thing: EVERYTHING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH STIGMAS. About how you get less flowers for a suicide, about Finch’s parents calling it an accident, everything. It’s a kinda scary reflection of modern society, and it opened my eyes to it more than ever.

OK I’m gonna stop now before I ramble on for *too* long. Have you read ATBP? What did you think of it? What songs do you associate with it? 

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Instagram Accounts You Should Follow Immediately

I was planning on getting a different post up today (and by planning I mean a vague idea came into my head mid afternoon after I had started writing this one) but I was enjoying putting this together, so that’ll wait until tomorrow or possibly never 🙂 For now, here are my top ten (or so) Insta accounts that you should follow right after you finish reading every post I’ve ever published. (except the early ones, they’re just embarrassing. Imagine your 2009 Facebook timeline, but about ten times the length. Yeah. Eugh.)

Continue reading

Aleister Crowley, This Is A Charmed Book

*contains very very mild spoilers about one romantic pairing within the book*

You may have guessed it already from the title, but GUESS WHAT BOOK I GOT FOR CHRISTMAS AND HAVE ALREADY READ IN APPROXIMATELY 48 HOURS? (that doesn’t have quite the ring to it I was hoping it would. Ah well.)

YEAH.

THAT’S IT.

THAT’S THE ONE.

ONLY CARRY ON BY RAINBOW ROWELL (absolute queen of YA in my eyes) (except maybe Cassandra Clare) (or Kiera Cass, I LOVED The Selection) (lets just settle with Rainbow Rowell for now, we all know how indecisive I am)

Here’s the cover, if you haven’t seen it (accompanied by the most fabulous nail art I’ve seen in a long time):

BUT YES. BACK TO THE POINT. I’M NOT SURE I CAN PHYSICALLY STOP WITH THESE CAPITALS, I’M QUITE ENJOYING SCREAM-FANGIRLING IN A TOTALLY SILENT WAY. okay i’ll stop now.

The point is: my aunt got me this for Christmas which made me SO VERY HAPPY and prompted lots of snapchats with heart-eyed emojis because a) I so wanted to read this book, b) it’s one of the first books that I’ve really been aware of having to wait to be released, c) i’m a cheapskate and poor when it comes to hardbacks and it was released in October so I decided to wait until Christmas to read it, d) IT’S RAINBOW ROWELL AND LINKS INTO FANGIRL, PEOPLE!

So yeah, I was happy to get it. Big thanks to my aunt for giving it to me and even bigger thanks to my mum for telling her I wanted it ;). I read it v. quickly and it’s the first book I finished in 2016 so yay for that 🙂

SO ONWARDS AND UPWARDS TO THE MAIN EVENT. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, a LOT of flailing. (I’ve started using that word a lot, mentally and on here. I blame Eve (except not in a bad way. In a, I-like-this-word-and-you-made-me-start-using-it-so-you’re-the-cause-way))

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NOW, LET THE FANGIRLING COMMENCE! {source}

Let’s start with the visual impact (whoa, that sounds posh) of the book. I like the fact that I have the hardback, because I don’t have many of them, and I really like the cover. The typography is really cool, and the drawings, and the quote on the back – “Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen”. AND THERE’S A DOUBLE COVER, GUYS! Yup, that’s right, underneath the hardback jacket, on the actual book, is ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL COVER! It’s (an awesome shade of) pink and red, and features Snowbaz ~maybe~ kissing and a picture of their two heads on the back. (I’m saying that’s not spoilers because it’s on the cover) (and Rainbow Rowell herself posted it on the magical place that is her Instagram page).

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That UK hardcover packs quite the reveal … #CarryOn

A post shared by Rainbow Rowell (@rainbowrowell) on

The inside of the book is very bookstagram-worthy too – both in the front and back there’s a beautifully illustrated map of Watford, the title page is swoonworthy and, this sounds weird, but I really like the font used to announce each new chapter. *shrugs* must be a bookworm thing. Plus I just like typography.

AND NOW ONTO THE STORY

love it. I didn’t believe everyone else, but just like everybody said, as soon as I finished it I just wanted to reread it. I didn’t, but I did send excited messages to my friends (especially the one who NEARLY BOUGHT IT BUT DIDN’T OMG TREASON instructing them to read it NOW), fangirled on Twitter (so much fangirling Twitter offered to translate from Estonian)…it was a difficult position, because none of my (non-bloggy) friends have read it and I don’t think many of them have read any of her books (HOW DARE THEY?!?) and so I couldn’t fangirl with them. *sad face*. This is why blogging is the best thing ever full stop, guys. (Best thing ever other than this book, obviously. And the rest of her books. And just books in general, I guess.)

I like how it has definite parallels to Harry Potter but is unique in the most awesome ways – how the spells are cast, how the World of Mages (I was going to write the Wizarding World then, oops haha) is run, the Insidious Humdrum etc.

Talking of the Humdrum…that solution! I don’t think that had crossed my mind once. Though to be honest I probably read to fast to spend time thinking up too many theories.

And I loved the way it was told from different perspectives. I knew to expect it from another review, but it worked so well – especiallly when each character only had a few lines before it switched. And Lucy as a character was pretty good, she added another dimension to it, though I kinda don’t think she was absolutely crucial to the plot? She made everything a little bit more supernatural and interesting though. I’d like to know how she died. Were we told that? Have I just forgotten?

I thought Agatha’s ~outcome~ was interesting too…it showed the different opinions, kinda kept it more realistic than just having a group of ridiculously good magickal teenagers. (Not that that would be a bad thing though)

Overall, I liked all the characters – Fiona wasn’t your typical upper-class magician, the whole idea of the numpties was brilliant (especially the name), seeing the Mage develop through the real-time storyline and Lucy’s narrative was awesome, Penelope just seemed utterly unafraid and completely badass, Baz was brilliantly sarcastic and funny in a really mean way (but so sweet nearer the end of the book) and Simon was inept in a trying-but-useless way, but then really pulled it out the bag when it was needed most. And what he did at the end…that’s pretty damn courageous.

However, although it would’ve made the book even longer than the 517 pages it already (not a bad thing tbh), I would’ve maybe liked to hear more from Lucy, more about the Mage’s past and his plans for the future, more about Simon’s previous years at Watford, though I know Rowell never intended to write the whole series as Gemma T. Leslie did in Fangirl. Maybe a bit more from Agatha too?

I thought the plot was good – it never felt predictable or ridiculous (except maybe some of the romantic bits at the end were a little predictable), all the monsters and whatnot felt believable and I basically want to go to Watford now. The only things that Hogwarts gets over it is Quidditch and the awesome Christmas celebrations they have.

Ultimately, what you can take from this book is that it’s wonderful, it gave me a new ship, it got me really excited and I can’t really form a coherent, critical sentence about it. It’s just one of those books I liked. Maybe even beaten Fangirl for my top spot!

Right, now I’m off to reread it…

Have you read it? What were your thoughts? Do you want to read it? Have you read any of Rowell’s other books, especially Fangirl?

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Top Ten Tuesday (#1) ~ Please Mr. Book Genie…

Hello!

Today I decided to give Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a go after seeing a number of posts pop up in my WP reader. As I’m also going to try and participate in this a bit more, I’m going to have a bit of a shuffle around and move Tracklisting Tuesdays to become Tracklisting Thursdays (yep, I managed to keep the alliteration!), so I’m not double posting on Tuesdays.

Ooh, official graphics!

Ooh, official graphics!

Anyway, here goes with Ten Wishes I’d Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me…

  1. Books automatically take themselves back to the library. Yes, this is me being lazy, but having recently managed to rack up over £1 in library fines (given it’s about 2p per day the book’s overdue, that’s pretty impressive, believe me), auto-returning library books would be an initiative I’m 100% in favour of. So long as they only went when you told them to, so you still had time to get lots of pretty bookstagram snaps, of course…
  2. Lots of money for books. I wouldn’t wish for books to be free (though OMG WOULDN’T THAT BE FANTASTIC) because authors do deserve to earn some money for all their hard work and slaving away, but never having money as a factor when buying/fangirling over books would be SO DAMN GOOD. (Creds to Victoria for giving me inspiration for this one, by the way)
  3. For every book to have pretty cover art, complete with removable poster/postcard to stick up on the wall. Because sometimes cover art is TOO PRETTY TO JUST TAKE BACK TO THE LIBRARY.
  4. Similarly to #1, auto-renewing library books…
  5. Free and instant shipping! Come on Amazon, just invent book teleportation already…
  6. More UK author events! (LOOKIN’ AT YOU, RAINBOW ROWELL) Similarly, more (cheap!) UK YA book events – signings, author meet and greets, conventions, whatever. Just PLEASE, I NEED TO MEET RAINBOW ROWELL.
  7. For fanfictions to be freely available in physical format. Something I’ve come across while reading Harry Potter & The Methods of Rationality, the first full fanfic I’ve read, is that I don’t really like reading on my phone. Yes, it’s highly portable, yay, but it’s just less satisfying and a bit annoying, y’know? Apparently HPMOR is available physically, so that would be good…
  8. More follow on stories. Not necessarily full novels, but just little updates to know how your favourite characters are getting on, y’know?
  9. The ability to click my fingers and have whatever bookshelf arrangement (and bookshelf) I like. At the moment I’m hankering after a white set, with pretty rainbow colour-coordination, or maybe alphabetized by author…
  10. For all books to be released worldwide at the same time, with accompanying preorder merch etc. For example, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell…it drove me MAD that there was all this awesome American preorder merch, but not for the UK! And when all the Americans are raving about new books, and the rest of the world is just sat there feeling sorry for themselves and incredibly jealous…well, get your act together, publishers! If the music industry can, so can you…

And that’s it! Not quite my first TTT post, but the first of what will hopefully be a semi-regular thing…what would be on your list? And do you agree with what I’ve put on mine?

Also, keep your eyes peeled for an exciting announcement regarding a new challenge/project I’ll be launching in the next few days!

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A Few of My Favourite Things

Hey! I thought that today I’d do something a bit new, and list ten of my favourite things/stuff that’s happened from the last week. This is partly inspired by numerous “favourites” lists, but two in particular are written by Sophie Cliff and Bella @ Ciao Bella! Anyway, I’ve now been back at school for over a week, so it’s time I thought about something a bit more cheerful than mitosis, Spanish careers vocab and solving trigonometry equations. Well, here goes!

  1. Finishing my music composition. Last Thursday, I was delighted (ecstatic, literally) to find out my first GCSE music composition is fairly well finished. YAY. This pop song has been the source of much stress, so it feels SO GOOD to know it’s nearly done. It’ll be even better in a few weeks when the Composers’ Concert, where we have to sing our own compositions. In front of our fellow pupils. EEK MUCH?!? Regardless, it’s good for it to be (pretty much) done.
  2. Namaste – Swim Deep. This song…makes me feel really happy. That’s about it. I first heard it on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show, and I hope you like it as much as me! 
  3. Feline – Ella Eyre. Ella’s debut album has been long-awaited by me, so I’m so happy it’s finally here and I’ve got it! I think my favourite song at th e moment has got to be ‘Two’ – I just love it. 
  4. Free music. For anyone who may be interested, Sia’s album 1000 Forms Of Fear is free on Google Play for a limited time only – get it here!
  5. The Mortal Instruments! I’ve heard so much good stuff about Cassandra Clare on the blogosphere and from my school friends, so I don’t know why it took me so long to read the Mortal Instruments, but they are INCREDIBLE. I’ve now finished the whole series and the Infernal Devices prequel trilogy, and I LOVED it. There was a helluva lot of form time fangirling going on with my friends, I can tell you! Now I just need to try and find the Bane Chronicles and I also eagerly await next year’s The Dark Artifices companion trilogy. AND THERE’S GONNA BE A TV SERIES. AND THERE ARE ALREADY A LOAD OF SPINOFF EBOOKS AND STUFF. Be still, my beating heart. For now, though, CASSANDRA CLARE IS OFFICIALLY BAE

SHADOWHUNTERS- (1)7. To Kill A Mockingbird. So just how do you follow the work of a goddess that is TMI? Well, I chose Harper Lee. So far, I’m liking TKAM – it feels really readable, and I just really like the style of writing, and reading about Scout and Jem’s life. Also, how beautiful is the 50th anniversary special edition cover?!? (Spoiler: VERY) I’ll try and keep you posted on my thoughts…

via Amazon

8. I’M GOING TO SEE LAUREN AQUILINA LIVE ON TOUR AT BRISTOL THEKLA WITH TWO OF MY BEST FRIENDS HELL YEAH. Just a little excited, as you can see…is anyone else going, or going to see Ella Eyre at Bristol in November or Snarky Puppy in October? (I’m going to a lot of concerts in the next two months…not that I’m complaining!) 

9. Galantis – Peanut Butter Jelly. Back to music, I am LOVING this song. It’s just so happy and mad and wonderful and the video is fab. Instant pick-up vibes! 

10. This T-shirt. 

11. The Fifa 16 soundtrack. GUYS GUYS GUYS IT’S OUT NEXT FRIDAY AND A NEW BASTILLE SINGLE HANGIN’ IS ON IT YES I KNOW EEEKKKKKK. (I’m done now.)

What’s been a favourite of yours this week?

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Because We Love You…Blog Olympics Extensions

bLOG olympics 2015    1 - 7 july

Hey!

As you may have guessed from the title, we’ve decided to extend a couple of the blog olympics competitions – specifically, all the ones that are quizzes, for another two weeks. Aren’t we lovely?!? Now, up for grabs we have a special edition of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl complete with Rainbow Rowell buttons, an e-book of Jerry Kaczmarowski’s brilliant book Sapient (see my review and enter to win a copy here), and the chance to win a copy of Cathy Cassidy’s new crafty book Chocolate Box Secrets, filled with fun chocolate-themed DIY ideas and crafts. How good do those prizes sound?!

Click on each of these links to find out how to enter…

Cathy Cassidy Giveaway

Jerry Kaczmarowski

Rainbow Rowell

Please do enter – these are some truly fantastic prizes! Any questions, just drop us a tweet/DM @blogolympics, email us at blogolympics15@gmail.com or leave a comment down below.

Good luck!

An Overthinking Teenager and Emily @ Always Opinionated Girl

The Return Of Einstein (In Rat Form): Sapient // Jerry Kaczmarowski (+ Giveaway!!!) (Don’t I Spoil You Lot?)

Hola! Welcome to my second ever book-review-I’ve-been-asked-to-do, this time for American debut author, Jerry Kaczmarowski.

***N.B. I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO REVIEW THIS BOOK IN RETURN FOR A COMPLIMENTARY COPY, BUT ALL OPINIONS ARE COMPLETELY HONEST AND MY OWN***

I really enjoyed this book. Like, if you’re just here for the end verdict, I would say read it.

Bye!

Nice eye...

Nice eye…

Haha, just kidding…I think I owe Jerry a bit more of a review than that! 🙂 No, I really enjoyed Sapient overall. Here’s a quick synopsis, before I get too detailed too quickly…

Abandoned by her husband after the birth of their child, Jane Dixon’s world is

defined by her autistic son and the research she does to find a cure for his condition.

She knows her work on animal intelligence may hold the key. She also knows that

the research will take decades to complete. None of it will ultimately benefit her son.

All that changes when a lab rat named Einstein demonstrates that he can read and

write. Just as her research yields results, the U.S. government discovers her

program. The army wants to harness her research for its military potential.  The

CDC wants to shut her down completely.  The implications of animal intelligence are

too dangerous, particularly when the previously inert virus proves to be highly

contagious.

She steals the virus to cure her son, but the government discovers the theft. She

must now escape to Canada before the authorities can replace her son’s mental

prison with a physical one.

Ooh, dramatic, huh? Now, although I really enjoyed this book by the end, I have to say, it did take a while to get going – the first few chapters didn’t particularly draw me in, although I understand they were important to maybe set the scene, I would’ve just preferred for it to be done in a more fast-paced – or just briefer – way. When it got started though, the book was a real page-turner. It didn’t feel that predictable – or at least, when it did, a twist appeared! I do perhaps think the twist setting up the last ‘episode’ or whatever of the book was maybe a bit far-fetched? I mean, it wasn’t completely unbelievable, especially given the context of the book, so I don’t completely mind it, just in hindsight it feels a little comic-book-spy-story-like. Also, although I liked the fact we never really knew how Robbie would survive from one day to the next, there were perhaps too many little episode bits, that could have been shortened perhaps. That said, Kaczmarowski did a really good job at keeping you interested and turning the pages.

-When it got started, the book was a

Another thing I want to mention is how there were very few points in the book when I noticeably felt the book was unrealistic. And considering we’re talking about an incredibly intelligent rat and a dog who’s pretty darn clever too, I think that’s a point worth noting. Yes, as with science fiction generally, you have to suspend your disbelief, but not too much – the way Kaczmarowski writes it, it feels as though the idea of intelligent animals isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility – particularly when you think about the effects of the virus – that makes it feel very realistic.

In a similar vein, I want to mention the ending. I liked it! It’s a semi-happy ending, but in a way that ties up loose ends without disregarding the entire plot so far. I know some people aren’t fans of happy endings as they devalue any hard-hitting ALL THE FEELS moments in some books, but I think Kaczmarowski really pulled it off in this case, keeping it realistic the whole time.

Overall, as I said at the beginning, I really enjoyed this book once I got into it, despite the start being a little slow-moving – I found that once I was into the book, I was really into it, if you get my drift! I would recommend this to pretty much all age groups, but especially people who are interested in sci-fi and animal intelligence, for obvious reasons. Overall, I’m going to give Sapient by Jerry Kaczmarowski 4/5 stars!

Mr Kaczmarowski himself

Mr Kaczmarowski himself.

Now, has my review got you interested? I hope so! If that’s the case, then you could be in with the chance to win a Kindle copy of Sapient…to enter, just comment on here, tweet/DM me (@booksteaonesie) or drop me an email (rainbowcakesandrockyroad@gmail.com) saying why you would like to win this book! The competition will be open until August 15th (yep, I just chose that date randomly) and is international. Please only enter if you’re happy with your email address being shared with a third party so you can receive your prize. Good luck all! 🙂

Thank you very much to Jerry Kaczmarowski and the lovely people at Book Publicity Services for sending me a copy of this book, and for offering an e-copy as a giveaway prize!

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BLOG OLYMPICS DAY 7 (Last Day :-() : Win A Bunch Of Uncorrected Proofs!

Hiya! Welcome, athletes, to the final (and arguably best) day of this year’s inaugural blog olympics. It’s been awesome! Now, to kick things off, we’re giving you the chance to win a bunch of uncorrected proofs and funky bookish postcards, kindly donated by Chicken House Books. You know the drill by now, be happy to share your address etc…so enter here!

Thank you all for participating, it’s been awesome…look out for more competitions and giveaways today!

An Overthinking Teenager & Emily @ Always Opinionated Girl