Saturday, 26 May 2018

May Book Haul 2018

I did pretty well this month. Lately, I haven't really bought many books but I got three this month which I'm super happy with.

A Court of Frost and Starlight (ACOTAR #3.5)- Sarah J. Maas
Unsurprisingly, I had this book pre-ordered the second it became available (if only to get the free Night Court pin that came along with it). This is maybe my favourite cover of the whole series because everything comes together beautifully: the image of Feyre, the Night Court tattoo and symbol, the quote, the background... it's a cover fit for a High Lady, that's for sure. The only downside to this book is... it's tiny! It's only around 200 pages which is definitely the smallest ever Sarah J. Maas book. Nevertheless, it's my most anticipated book of the year and I can't wait to read it.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Breakfast BOOK TAG

I saw this tag over on Clockwork Bibliotheca's blog and it looked super fun so I just had to do it!
I tried to pick lesser known books because I always seem to mention the same books over and over again (*cough* ACOMAF *cough*) so I'll try and include a bit more variation.
On with the tag!

1. Sunny Side Up- A book that just makes you happy every time you read it.
All Laced Up- Erin Fletcher
All Laced Up is a super quick and easy read that just makes you feel light and happy after reading it. From the very beginning, I knew I'd love it because it contains a nice collection of things I love: romance, ice hockey, Hamilton references!! It was like a one-way ticket to my heart. I go to simple and easy books like this when I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed or emotional because, books like these are the equivalent of a nice, warm hug.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Westworld 2x04 'The Riddle of the Sphinx' TV TALK

I loved this episode so much. We had a little hiatus from the girls' storylines but having a large focus on Young William, Bernard and the Man in Black was so much fun! There were so many big reveals in this episode that it felt more like a season finale than episode 4 of a series. Honestly, I think I'll be hyperventilating through the entirety of the season finale if the episodes keep getting better like this.



TV TALKS
Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |  2x02  |  2x03


SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
While I usually organise my thoughts through different timelines, I'm gonna stick with characters for this week's episode because we had a ridiculous amount of different timelines and jumping between them all would make this review way too jumbled and stuttered.

We didn't see anything from Dolores and Maeve's story lines but that was fine by me because, while Dolores is my favourite and I'd watch her for hours, it was nice to give the boys a spotlight for once when so often the girls steal the show.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Writing Diary #15- Finishing Another First Draft!!

Side note: All previous writing diaries are linked in my Personal Writing page which can be found on the bar at the top of this blog. 

It's always such an accomplishment to finally finish a first draft and I'm so happy for getting through it! In total, this is the third first draft I've ever completed (if you count my Nanowrimo Novel last year) and it's definitely the one I'm most proud of.
My first novel which I wrote back in 2016 was my first ever go at writing a novel... which explains why it was so terrible. That first project only took me around eight months to finish which was significantly quicker than the time it took me to write this one. However, this one is a lot better so I don't mind that it took me longer. My first novel came in at roughly 130,000 words so.... it was long even though it had no character development or interesting plot points whatsoever. Go figure.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Westworld 2x03 'Virtú e Fortuna' TV TALK

This episode is definitely my favourite episode so far (though, I know I'm going to say that every single episode).
We got to see new worlds, new characters and a whole lot of Dolores which made me very satisfied.
The title of the episode 'Virtú e Fortuna' references Machiavelli's philosophy of explaining human actions and human failure by exploring the relationship between virtú (talent, ability, drive), fortuna (fortune, luck) and free will. This alone just shows how intelligent the writers are and how every single detail is well thought out and so philosophical, I'm seconds away from melting into an existential crisis every time I watch the show.

TV TALKS
Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |  2x02

SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD

Aftermath of Delos Massacre (2 Weeks Prior)
I have to immediately talk about the new world we were introduced to because it was the most exciting thing of the whole episode. We don't know for sure what it's called but Raj-world is just what I'll refer to it for the time being.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Riverdale BOOK TAG

Since watching the first season of Riverdale, I found this tag and really wanted to do it! I found this tag on the blog, Abby's Reading Corner, so I'll tag that in case you want to check it out!
On with the tag!

1. Archie- a book with great side characters
A Court of Mist and Fury- Sarah J. Maas 
I tried so hard to not mention Sarah J. Maas, okay? But this question is perfectly ACOMAF! Sarah manages to make every single character in her books as complex as each other- even tiny characters have complex backstories and that's what makes her stories so compelling and intricate- you know everyone's drives and what motivates them. Particularly in ACOMAF, there are so many amazing characters (specifically the inner circle) and they're all fleshed out so well- my all-time favourite cast of characters.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Hamilton West End REVIEW

I went to see Hamilton last month and it was one of the best experiences of my life! I've loved this musical for years and I just had to review the London cast and spend a whole blog post praising how phenomenal they all were.
When I went to see Hamilton, me and my mum were sat in the third row from the front and while there are some cons, I actually ended up loving it. It was a great experience to see all the facial expressions and details up close. I know you don't get the full effect of the choreography but I've seen a video of the full show on Youtube and got to see the choreography there so it was nice to have a different perspective for the live show. And it was great seeing the acting up close- the raw emotion on each of the performer's face was surreal.
My favourite cast and characters were Laurens, Mulligan, King George and, of course, Eliza. The whole cast was amazing but these people stood out to me.

Here's my blog post on the day with all the photos: I went to see Hamilton!


CHARACTERS AND CAST
Out of the whole cast, I'll have to say that Laurens/Phillip was my favourite which is weird because he's far from my favourite character in the musical. But Cleve September is perfect for this role. His Laurens was funny and upbeat while his Phillip was adorable at nine years old and confident at nineteen. Best of the show.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

A Late Apology- Original Poetry

It's been a while since I posted a poem even though I've been writing a lot lately. I thought I'd share a poem I wrote back in November. Again, it's depressing because that's all I can seem to write but I hope you enjoy it!


A Late Apology

I'm sorry
that
for all those years
I saw you as a safety net
not on purpose
but a harness
allowing me to jump for newer
higher things
knowing that if I failed
you'd still be there

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Westworld 2x02 'Reunion' TV TALK

The best thing about Westworld is that each episode gets better and better so, while I preferred this episode to last week's, I know it's only going to improve.
We got to see old and loved (maybe hated) characters and this was the best thing!! This episode centred around all of my favourite characters and I was grinning helplessly through it all.


TV TALKS
Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10
Season 2:  2x01  |

SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD

35 years prior
We started the episode with Arnold and Dolores talking. I love how all the episodes begin with them having philosophical conversation- it warms my heart. But, this time, they weren't in the usual Westworld complex but in the real world! As soon as this was established, I knew this episode was going to be amazing.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Thomas Sanders- Youtuber Recommendations

This is a little different to what I'd usually post but I've become obsessed with the Youtuber Thomas Sanders and need to let out my pent up fangirling and excitement.
Thomas does mainly comedy and music on his channel and it's awesome! He's such a great advocate for expressing your identity and diversity- whether it be differences in ethnicity, sexuality and genders.

And he is also the first person to make many many people utter the words "I love anxiety." Yes, I'm not even kidding.


Sanders Sides
My favourite videos that Thomas produces is his Sanders Side videos. Sanders Sides is similar to the concept of Inside Out where parts of his personality are personified and he has discussions with them over a variety of problems that arise in his life. These videos are absolutely hilarious but are also really uplifting and helpful. The dialogue is brillantly funny and also packs in a bunch of different fandom references throughout. It's also hard to believe that Thomas acts each and every character because they're so well acted that I forget that it's the same person.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

May Releases and TBR 2018

RELEASES
Books
A Court of Frost and Starlight (ACOTAR #3.5)- Sarah J. Maas 
War Storm (Red Queen #4)- Victoria Aveyard 
Legendary (A Caraval Novel)- Stephanie Garber
Puddin'- Julie Murphy 
Listen to Your Heart- Kasie West 


Movies
Deadpool 2
Allure 
Solo: A Star Wars story
I Feel Pretty 
On Chesil Beach



TBR 
A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2)- Sarah J. Maas (Book of the Month)
Yes, I've already read this book (and made it abundantly clear that it's my favourite ever book on multiple occasions) but we've made it May's Book of the Month because Kaitlin (Liber Amoris) still hasn't read it (which is blasphemy) and also to honour the next book coming out. This is my favourite book ever because it has the best cast of characters, the most swoon-worthy romance as well as an intricate and unpredictable plot. I can't wait to re-read this one.
A Court of Mist and Fury Book Talk
A Court of Mist and Fury Re-read Book Talk

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Westworld 2x01 'Journey into Night' TV TALK

I'm so happy Westworld is back!! If you don't know, Westworld is maybe one of the best shows out there and you definitely need to start watching (and obsessing) over it. Westworld is a theme park full of androids that look and think they're human. Human guests can travel to Westworld and live out their wildest fantasies- banging and shooting hosts as they please. But the hosts begin to remember what keeps happening to them and they start to become self aware and sentient. And that causes a bunch of problems.
That's a really simple explanation because it gets much more complex and awesome than that but... spoilers.
I absolutely love show and thought this episode brilliantly hinted at all the amazing things we've got in store for this season.

TV TALKS
Season 1: 1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04  |  1x05  |  1x06  |  1x07  |  1x08  |  1x09  |  1x10

SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
I'm gonna go through this episode as systematically as I can because, as we all know, Westworld can get very confusing with all the different timelines. Each review will be my attempt at sifting through it all... wish me luck.

35 years prior
I love how the episode started with an interaction between Dolores and Arnold (or I assume it was Arnold... you can never be sure with this show). It had a reminiscent feel of season 1 which moved us lightly into this new season. The whole scene felt oddly foreboding as well so... I've spent a long time theorising over each and every line of dialogue.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

April Wrap Up 2018

This month was an overwhelming month just because so much happened! I got to see Hamilton at the West End, read a tonne of awesome books, saw the much anticipated Infinity War and Westworld Season 2 started!!! My heart is so inflated, I can even think straight- I'm fangirling way too much.

BOOKS
The Prophecy (Titan #4)- Jennifer L. Armentrout 
* * * * * 
This was an extremely hard book to start- not because I dislike the series but because I love it too much. From the first book in the Covenant series, to the end of this spin-off series, I've loved every minute with these characters. I've spent years and years with these beautiful characters and it was difficult to go into this book knowing it was the end. It wasn't just that I feared some major characters deaths but... I couldn't deal with this being the last content I'd ever get with these characters and this world that means so much to me.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

I saw Hamilton at the West End!!!


Last weekend I was the luckiest person in the world and finally got to see Hamilton at Victoria Palace at the West End!! We got the tickets in January 2017 so I've waited over a year but I was definitely willing to wait for it. It was so worth the wait and will always be my favourite ever show.
I decided to document the whole day but I will be posting a full musical review soon where I go into depth about my opinions of the casting, choreography and the songs.
The entire day was so much fun and, even thought I was shattered by the end of it, I loved every second.
If you ever have the chance to see Hamilton at the West End, I'd immediately say go for it! Do not throw away your shot! The West End cast were amazing and it was a surreal experience getting to see it live.

They day started with a long long train journey but I was so damn energised!! I went to see Hamilton with my mum and, as she'd never heard the musical all the way through and only knew snippets of what it was about, I gave her a "quick" summary on the journey over. This got me super excited to watch it and... I think you can tell how excited I got.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

April Book Haul 2018

My bookshelf may hate me because it's sagging under too much weight and my wallet may hate me because it's getting real lonely in there but... more books!!!!

The Never Dawn- R.E Palmer
I was contacted by Roy this month and he was so kind as to send me a physical copy of his book in exchange for an honest review. From the synopsis, The Never Dawn gives me super Red Rising (Pierce Brown) vibes and I've only heard good things so I'm excited to get into the story and review it soon.





Restore Me (Shatter Me #4)- Tahereh Mafi 
Restore Me came out last month and I finally got around to buying. I love the Shatter Me trilogy so much and as soon as I heard we'd be getting another three books, I was eagerly waiting to get my hands on them. This series has amazing characters, a gripping plot and a beautiful romance that will certainly keep you satisfied.
Shatter Me Book Talk
Unite Me Book Talk
Ignite Me Book Talk


Saturday, 21 April 2018

Ready Player One MOVIE TALK

69%
I read the book a couple of months ago simply because this movie was creeping around the corner and I wanted to read it before I watched it. I'll admit, I was a little apprehensive when going into to this movie because it's a difficult book to get right- the blend between reality and video game, all the small details and references building to make an intricate plot, and I was just worried they wouldn't do it justice.
I'd give the movie a 7/10 when considering it by itself by, when comparing it to the book and how faithful it was, I'd give it a 4/10. So, if you're really loyal to the book, maybe take the movie with a pinch of salt.
I will say I did it enjoy it a lot- it was funny and exciting- but it sometimes felt like the writers were so preoccupied with shoving in as many movie and gaming references as possible that they forgot to develop the plot completely. There were a lot of unexplained actions and they left a lot of loose ends which annoyed me a little.
Overall, a good movie but just not as good as the book (no surprises there, huh?).
Ready Player One Book Talk


SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
We'll start with the reasons why it wasn't very faithful to the book. For starters, I don't think they dealt with the keys and the gates well. I was lost half the time on whether they were looking for a key or a gate, which key or gate they'd got to and it was basically all over the place for me. I also didn't like the clues and hints that led them to each key. In the book, the clues are so well thought out and take a lot of work to figure out. In the movie, they were all a little too obvious and were solved so damn quickly. It almost felt like they read the clue once and, before I could even process what it said, they'd figured it out. It lessened the difficulty of the whole contest, I think.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Riverdale 1x05 'Chapter Five: Heart of Darkness' TV TALK

As always, so much happened in this episode and it was as powerful and addictive in its usual way. I love all the clues being dropped but still feel like they're trying to divert us from who the murderer really is and I think it'll be a massive surprise by the end. And that's what makes this series so damn addictive!!

TV TALKS
Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03  |  1x04



SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
We spent a lot of this episode with Cheryl which I didn't actually mind. She may be a grade-A bitch but she has some really nice moments.
She wakes up from a bad dream after sleeping in Jason's bed which was weird from the get-go because all the twincest implications are getting way too cringey now. We find out she was writing a eulogy for Jason's funeral but her mother, Penelope, is having none of that because... all the parents in this show are bitches.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Love, Simon MOVIE TALK

65%
Love, Simon is based off Becky Albertalli's book Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and while everyone went crazy for that book and loved it so much... I liked it but thought it was pretty 'meh'. And, so while everyone loves this movie and thinks it's great.... I liked it but thought it was 'meh'.
I understand that the story has great significance to our society and the representation is brilliant but I think it just lacks with the general storyline. The plot is basic and cliché (blackmail over online secret identities... yawn) and the characters aren't fleshed out enough- they're not complex and are very close to be cardboard cutout characters. (Please don't hate me).
I'd say it was pretty faithful to the book but there were one or two major difference that didn't sit well with me. But, generally, it was pretty spot on.
Nevertheless, it was an easy going and entertaining movie that I liked. Am I crazy over it? No, but it was still a nice movie to watch.
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda Book Talk


SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
I liked the casting for all the characters which is unusual. I was sceptical going in of Nick Robinson because he's become 'YA guy' in my head because of all the YA movies he's been in. However, I think Simon was his best role yet and he played him really well.
I'm really happy they stuck with the whole Martin-blackmailing-Simon-to-help-him-flirt-with-Abby thing. I think it worked really well and Martin was portrayed perfectly- he was exactly the annoying and stuck-up guy in the book.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

The Greatest Showman MOVIE TALK

85%
I'm so glad I watched this film in the cinema- it's the best way to get the full experience. And I was instantly blown away because all of the songs were beautiful and the cinematography was stunning all the way through. I became invested very early on and the aesthetic of the movie was truly mesmerising.
The choreography was so brilliantly done throughout and it was an effortless and seamless performance.
This movie celebrates difference and humanity in a beautiful and seamless way.






SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
I loved how the movie started with a flashback of young PT and Charity meeting, falling in love and starting their lives together. It gave us a nice starting point and the song, A Million Dreams, was super sweet and heart-warming to listen to.
We skip to the older Hugh Jackman, PT Barnum, with Charity and his kids. I have to say, their kids were super cute and I loved their small inputs into the story. Whether it was their own little story arcs of learning ballet and not to quit or just them showing up to the shows, they were super cute and it was heart-warming to watch PT do everything he could for them and their futures.
But the movie really picks up with PT invested in the circus and collecting the acts he wants. The song that accompanies this journey, Come Alive, is such a great tune and is full of energy that really drives the movie.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Riverdale 1x04 'Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show' TV TALK

A lot happened in this episode and all of it as compelling as always. We had major reveals (although, every episode has major reveals) and I'm so excited to see everything progress so quickly. Clues are being dropped left and right but it's still impossible to figure out who the murderer is! The whole mystery is addictive and I find myself falling into a deep obsession...

TV TALKS
Season 1:  1x01  |  1x02  |  1x03



SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
I like to think of this episode as the Downfall of Grundy which, let's face it, was a long time coming.
From the very beginning, Betty suspects something happening between Archie and Grundy which is a completely fair assumption.