Friday, 23 June 2017

Game of Thrones 1x02 'The Kingsroad' TV TALK

I've forged on and, even if I'm still blanking on many names and faces at times, I'm slowly beginning to learn the ins and outs of the Houses, bloodlines and plot. It's a complex plot and storyline already but that's exciting because all the best stories are (just look at any one of Sarah J. Maas' books).

TV TALKS: 1x01


SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD 
Bran isn't actually dead! It probably isn't wise to instantly assume things- especially in shows like this- so I'll keep that in mind next time. He spends the episode in a coma of sorts but we got to see him wake up in the end and I can't wait for him to cause hell with the Lannisters!
Jon Snow decided to go the Night Watch, claiming that he wants to swear his life to them or something but, honestly, I can't see him going through with it. He's already having little doubts and I can't see him actually swearing his life to protecting the wall. Especially with Tyrion there to push those doubts- good on you, Tyrion.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Two Hundred Very Short Stories- Helen Keeling-Marston BOOK TALK

****
I received a physical copy of this book from the author (a personally signed copy!) in exchange for an honest review. 

This book is one in a million... though, that means there are 7400 more of these out there... *wink*
I was surprised with this book. It definitely hit me harder than I thought it would and I appreciated it more than I ever anticipated.
Two Hundred Very Short Stories is basically what it says on the tin; a collection of two hundred short stories... It has been exactly what I needed over the past week or so as I've been storming through my exams and haven't had all the time in the world to immerse myself in a full length novel.
This collection of stories beautifully portrays life, I think. It passes over a wide range of ages, classes, ethnicities... it's just a huge celebration of life, almost, and I really appreciated the feeling and essence of life weaved throughout.
When reading these stories, I annotated the book as I read. I liked being about to track down my thought-process and reactions to the stories- it's a nice way to read along a book like this.
I wasn't expecting these stories to be as funny as they were. They were short, witty and clever. I laughed my head off at some of them because they just contained the kind of humour that I find hilarious.
But they're also super clever and deep. I'd start reading one and instantly I'd have my perspective about what the story was about. And yet, reading the last line changes everything. I loved how a certain line or word changed the whole context of the story and altered my interpretation completely. It made me re-read many of the stories just to be able to look at them at a different angle.
some of these stories had so much depth to them that I just had to put the book down and think about them for a while. It's hard for writers who write full length novels to create a genuine audience reaction, let alone a writer who's only writing a single paragraph of prose! And yet, Helen still
manages to create an impactful audience reaction in every word.
I think I liked the shorter stories the best but, in a collection like this, you're always going to prefer some more than others.
These stories reminded me a bit of the Tales of the Unexpected just because of how surprising a lot of them were! Each story had an unexpected ending or a nice little punchline to tie things up.


SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD 
One of my favourite characters- even though there were many of them, was Chai. I loved the kid! He was blunt, nerdy and when he kept popping up in multiple stories, I got a massive grin on my face!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Game of Thrones 1x01 'Winter Is Coming' TV TALK

Yes, I'm watching it.
Before, I was in the tiny percentage of the population that hadn't watched GOT but now, I'm a changed person. My brother is a total fanboy over the series and has tirelessly tried to get me to watch it.... so here we are.
The first episode impressed me a lot- if not overwhelming me a bit with all the names and places and very disturbing relationships. The show reminds me an lot of the Throne of Glass book series- different kingdoms, heirs, bloodlines trying to get their throne- so, if you like the Throne of Glass series, I'd recommend giving this a try (but let's face it, the majority of you are already watching this).


SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD 
I loved the starting sequence North of the wall with the Night Watch. The set was beautiful- the forest covered in snow- and the pacing was well done. I loved the white walkers- they reminded me so much of the Walkers in The Walking Dead that I couldn't stop the smile gracing my face. The white walkers are pretty cool.
We meet the majority the Stark family first and I like them. They seem pretty decent- especially when you compare them to some of the other bloodlines.
I also do quite like Jon Snow... which scares me a little because I have the impression that he's evil? I don't know- I may have totally misheard people when they talk about him but... I must say, he's quite nicely easy on the eyes.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Dear Evan Hansen Musical: Act 2 SOUNDTRACK REVIEW

Part 2!!!! (You can read my review of Act 1 here in case you missed it).



ACT 2
Sincerely, Me Reprise (Cut from the soundtrack) 
I hate that this was cut from the soundtrack because it is stunning! Just look it up on Youtube and, if you love Jared, you'll love this beauty of a reprise.

To Break In A Glove 
This used to be my least favourite song- I don't know why, but I just didn't care much for it. But as I've listened to it more, I love it!! I'm still not a massive fan on all of the talking (I think there's too much in this song) but it's gotten so catchy and I now can't help but smile when I hear it! It's very underrated within the musical and I think it deserves more praise.
I love how it portrays the gradual process of forming a bond- a little slow and awkward at the start but, by the end, they sing and harmonise together- a true team. Larry is the dad that Evan always wanted and Evan is the son that Larry always wanted. Their both so desperate for a father son relationship and its so evident in this!!! It's so beautiful and pure! Especially when Evan says, 'Connor was so lucky to have a dad..... a dad that cared so much.... about taking care of stuff.' Their growing love for each other is so obvious in everything they don't say.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The Liebster Award 2017

What Is It?
'The Liebster Award 2017 is an award that exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.' -The Liebster Award Blog

I was so kindly nominated by Sofia over at Book Inklings- I'll link her amazing post here for you guys to check out! Thank you so much for nominating me!

Rules 
I've taken these from the Liebster Award Blog and have summarised the rules a bit but you can go here for more information on it.

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
2. Display the award on your blog- include it in your posts and/or displaying it using a widget or gadget (you can find the logos on the Liebster Award Blog linked above).
3. Write a 150-300 word post about your favourite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog and provide links (mine is below).

Monday, 12 June 2017

Blood for Blood- Ryan Graudin BOOK TALK

***** (5 stars)
The surprising thing is.... normally, books like this would completely deter me. I'm not a massive fan of historical fiction, sequels following a revolution/resistance or slow burning romances. But, for some reason, I absolutely adore them in this sequel and it creates what I can safely say is my favourite ever duology (I know duologies are pretty rare but still...).
This series is set in alternate history world- one where Hitler won the war and has been ruling for ten years. In the first book, Yael played an important part of the resistance and began her mission to get close to Hitler in order to assassinate him. Yael is a kick-ass protagonist and following her though these books and seeing her character development is so rewarding- but devastating at times. Don't even get me started on the end of this book... the tears are still falling (I cried for a solid hour when reading this sequel).
This alternate history series has a cool twist of magical realism threaded throughout which makes it so much more gripping and intense and I recommend everyone to read it.
Wolf by Wolf- Ryan Graudin BOOK TALK


SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD 
I really loved the sporadic flashbacks following our three main characters, Yael, Luka and Felix (who was very much a bigger character than I ever thought he'd be).
The first flashback consisted of previous Christmas Eves.
The initial impression I got from the real Adele was that she was a selfish a spoilt bitch. She's so self-centred, just taking Felix's gift without any hesitation or thanks! Felix was a sweetheart (my opinion skewed as the book went on, though) and I couldn't believe how much he would sacrifice for such a selfish sister,
And my poor baby Luka! He was thrown out by his dad on Christmas Eve! I loved the insight into their previous lives and how that moulded them into the people they were.
I was all ready for Yael's past Christmas Eve to be the worst and... she was shot at. That's a pretty lousy Christmas.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Dear Evan Hansen Musical: Act 1 SOUNDTRACK REVIEW

I don't know what it is with American musicals, but they seem to split me open and swipe straight for the heart. I recently started listening to the Dear Evan Hansen musical soundtrack, simply fell in love with it and have been listening ever since.
I first heard the song Waving Through a Window from a Youtube cover by Thomas Sanders, Dodie Clark and Ben J. Pierce. It's such an amazing cover and got me looking into the whole soundtrack. (Link here to their video cover).
I consider this musical to be a love letter to anxiety- if that works. The story is very social media based and deals with subjects like anxiety and suicide. It's such a poignant and inspiring story, I'd definitely recommend it.

I was originally going to do the whole soundtrack in one post, but it was way too long so I've split it into Act 1 and Act 2.

(Plus, I also love that the colour scheme matches my blog so all the pictures blend in beautifully).


ACT 1

Anybody Have A Map?
I love this song- it's a great beginning to the musical. The family aspect is so prominent through this story and this mother's perspective is so nice to hear. It also makes everything so much more heart-wrenching when you compare this song to So Big/So Small or Good for You- there's such a contrast and it's incredible!

Favourite Lyric:
'I'm flying blind and I'm making this up as I go.' 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

The Vampire Diaries 8x14 'It's Been a Hell of a Ride' TV TALK

This was a seemingly very long episode. The action started very early on so the episode felt like it went on forever- which is totally a good thing, especially as the beautiful Kai Parker is in the episode.
We resolved many things in this (episode mashed up almost too quickly? Series being mashed up too quickly??) but it opens up another plot that's super exciting!!!

Elena Mentions: 11
Elena References: 4


TVD TALKS:
Season 8: 8x01 | 8x02 | 8x03 | 8x04 | 8x05 | 8x06 | 8x07 | 8x08 | 8x09 | 8x10 | 8x11 | 8x12 | 8x13

SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
Kai was the star of this episode for me- as he is just by being present. He's so funny- I find him endlessly hilarious. Despite him being a murderous sociopath, I will forever love him anyway. I especially appreciated him calling Stefan completely different names- it just adds to his humour.
But aside from this general and natural charisma and charm, we got a snippet of a backstory from him! We know he's a syphon Gemini twin but he made me feel super sorry for him! He was isolated when he couldn't help what he was, okay? That deserves a little pity... His whole family congratulated and fawned over Josie while they isolated and trapped him.... no wonder he got screwed up.
"Well, I chose to become a sociopath with a taste for murder and mayhem but I take it you might want to steer them in a different direction?"

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Rest of Us Just Live Here- Patrick Ness BOOK TALK

***
I genuinely liked this book but I can totally understand why people wouldn't. It's hard to describe but... there wasn't really a plot but at the same time there was. I know the whole point of the concept of the book is to follow the others within a cliche novel that aren't the chosen ones but there wasn't much of a story arc within this book- we just followed a bunch of characters with issues.
So I can understand why it doesn't resonate with some people but I quite liked it. It was different and, while it will never be my favourite book, I found it interesting and refreshing.
I loved how it subtly mocked the cliche story-lines and tropes within literature- it was done in a respectful and humorous way that really worked.

I've also added some quotes that I liked throughout this post that I've personally edited- they'll get better as I get more into photography and can put nice backgrounds to the quotes, though, trust me. 


SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
One thing I loved about this book was the blatant mockery of cliches in literature and fiction. The headers that started each chapter were quick, funny and glorious!!! I wanted to read that actual story and it just made humour of all 'the chosen one' tropes within fiction. I loved it- they made me laugh so much.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

June Releases and TBR 2017

Warning: Very attractive upcoming releases feature in this post. Have patience; you'll get your hands on them soon enough. 

Releases:
Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2)- Victoria Schwab
Now I Rise (The Conqueror's Saga #2)- Kierstin White
Once and for All- Sarah Dessin 
Midnight Jewel (The Glitter Court #2)- Richelle Mead 
Dividing Eden- Joelle Charbonneau 

I think the world is a bit overwhelmed with all the stunning releases from May so, they've let us off a bit this month- time to catch up on a lot of reading.


TBR: 
History is All You Left- Adam Silvera (Book of the Month) 
For June, Kaitlin and I have decided to read History is All You Left Me. It seemed short which is must when going into this busy month. I've actually never read an Adam Silvera book though I desperately want to read More Happy Than Not which has always looked mighty appealing to me.

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2)- Cassandra Clare
This has to be one of the most anticipated YA releases of the year, Cassie Clare is always shooting out books and I am always happy to receive and read them. Lady Midnight was my favourite of hers yet so I'm super excited to get to this one,... though it may take me a while. I'lll go into this month with the best of intentions.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Vampire Diaries 8x13 'The Lies Will Catch Up With You' TV TALK

Another Damon Salvatore quote from Season One to title this episode- Damon's a wise one, isn't he?

I loved this episode- the good old quality TVD humour back and one of the sassiest characters also makes a reappearance which is, namely, the person that spikes up the humour scale. This episode was entertaining, funny and a pleasure to watch (as well as heartbreaking as always).

Elena Mentions 4

TVD TALKS:
Season 8: 8x01 | 8x02 | 8x03 | 8x04 | 8x05 | 8x06 | 8x07 | 8x08 | 8x09 | 8x10 | 8x11 | 8x12


SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
With every scene that Kai was in, I was grinning like an idiot. TVD has the sassiest villains ever and Kai is living (or dead) proof of that.
Watching him come back from hell was hilarious. Why wouldn't you come back to eat the Mystic Grill out of their food stock, kill some people and take a selfie to top it all off? That's Kai for you... #CobraKai1972