Sunday, 30 June 2013

Book Haul | June

Here's my haul for June!

The Shakespeare Curse - J.L.Carrell
Fractured (Slated #2) - Teri Terry
Doctor Who books x3
Les Miserable - Victor Hugo

Saturday, 29 June 2013

No Books Allowed #3

Welcome to No Books Allowed. This is a monthly feature hosted by Raimy @ Readaraptor, which is used to discuss things things in life which aren't connected to books. This post can be used to talk about days out, music, TV, video games, films etc for all those book bloggers out there who do occasionally do stuff other than read and go to book events!

I passed my degree! For the past 4 years i've been killing myself trying to get a BA in English Literature and I can now say that I did it and it was all worth it...(well..some of it was). It's a nice feeling to know that as well as coming out of university with a better idea of the person I want to be and the best friends i'll keep forever - I am also a fully fledged Graduate. The actual graduation ceremony is next month but eek I did it!
Last month I talked about how I was quite ill. Well that progressed pretty severely and I spent 5 days in hospital whilst they tried to figure out what was wrong with me! It was a horrible, emotional few days with no real answer to why I was so poorly but i'm now home and being seen as an outpatient which is much better for my sanity ;)
Now that i'm no longer a student i've been trying to sort life out and getting nowhere fast. I'm currently unemployed which means there are a lot of hoops I've got to jump through in order to pay my bills but fingers crossed something works out. Soon.
Days Out
With everything going on it feels like it was SO long ago but I started off the month by going camping with my friends. It was a fantastic weekend with a lot of relaxing, laughing and talking. Hopefully it can become a regular thing. I walked around the lake and we went to the local pub for nachos and beer as well as the tradition BBQs and endless supplies of junk food.

I also went to Chester Zoo with some of my family. Unfortunately, it rained pretty much all day and we got drenched to the bone but it was still a lovely day! I love how excited the little ones get at everything. We walked around for hours seeing all of the animals there and my sister-in-law and I took the little ones on the monorail (it was nice to escape the rain!). Family days are my favourite kind of days :)

Brianna took holidays from work in order to go on the camping trip and with the days she had left, we pretty much just played video games! We set up both xbox's and tv's in the living room and gamed for almost a week straight. I replayed Fable III in order to get some missing achievements but I still haven't managed to make my way through the DLC. I just get so frustrated when I have to spend hours searching for things! I also played some PvZ which is always fun. 

TV this month has been slow as i've been crazy busy but Brianna and I have started watching Star Trek, the original series. We're both big sci-fi fans but somehow Star Trek always alluded us. Thanks to our Lovefilm subscription we can now see what all the fuss is about. True Blood has started up again for it's new season and i'm pleased to say it's crazier than ever! I just can't get enough of that show. I'm doing a re-watch of Gilmore Girls too just because it's easy watching, homely and quick to get through whilst i'm doing so much other stuff. 

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Review // Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter. S. Thompson

Published - 4th April 2005
Publisher - Harper
Format - Paperback
Synopsis - Hunter S. Thompson is driving to Las Vegas with his attorney, the Samoan, to find the dark side of the American Dream. Roaring down the desert highway from Los Angeles, they realize there’s only way to go about such a perilous task: getting very, very, twisted. Armed with a drug arsenal of stupendous proportions, the duo engage in a maniac surreal tour of the sleaze capital of the world. Their perilous, chemically-enhanced confrontations with casino operators, police officers and assorted Middle Americans have a hallucinatory humor and nightmare terror. Riotously funny, daringly original and dead serious at its core, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a classic statement on the collapsed dream of the American Sixties.

Firstly I should say that I read this book in 2 halves with a year gap in between! I don't think it hindered my reading of the book at all but there may have been things i've missed. Fear and Loathing is one of those books that i'd always heard about but had never had any real interest in reading. Then last year a friend read me his favourite passage and it was so incredibly written that I went hunting for it the next day. 

The writing style is unlike anything I have read before. Its bizarre, fast-paced, and drug fuelled plot and language draws you in immediately. At times it is difficult to really follow what is going on but it fits with the feel of the novel and the subject matter. The book is filled with fast and furious scrambling that is broken up by beautiful and lucid moments. I have no personal experience with drugs but the writing style sets out to disorientate and blur your perception so realistically, that it is easy to get in the right frame of mind.

Fear and Loathing is also really funny! Something that I didn't expect. I don't feel like there is much characterisation in the book as the focus is on the culture of drugs and the crumbling of the American Dream. Fear and Loathing is a rollercoaster of a read. If anyone could recommend another Thompson book, that would be great. Let me know if you've read the book and what you think.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Slated #3 has a name!

On 30th May, author of sensational dystopian YA books Slated & Fractured, revealed the name of the 3rd and final installment of the series. So what is it?



Personally, I love it! Shattered fits perfectly with the names of the previous 2 books but also reflects exactly what is going on in Kyla's mind. Her walls are coming down and there is so much left to learn! I am so excited for the release of Shattered and there's still a year to go. Let's just hope the cover reveal isn't too far into the future.

Visit Teri Terry's website for more information - What's in a name?

Meeting Rachel Caine + Morganville Web Series

Last year I had the pleasure of meeting the fantastic author of the Morganville Vampire series on her signing tour for Black Dawn. When I heard that she was returning to the UK on a tour for Fall of Night, I just HAD to travel the 2 hours it would take to meet the wonderful, lovely lady that is Rachel Caine once again. There was a ton of people and Rachel was so lovely that she chatted, signed multiple books from multiple series and posed for photos with every single person there!

I got about 6 books signed as I didn't want to overwhelm her with my entire collection, and had a quick chat. I was pretty nervous as the Morganville series means a lot to me. Caine's incredibly well written strong, kickass female characters inspire me to become the same person myself. Morganville taught me that no matter what troubles lie in your path, you CAN succeed and be happy as long as you surround yourself with people who love and care for you. As the reluctant owner of multiple incurable health problems that affect my day to day life, reading is the one thing that I can do, no matter what and having such wonderfully well written books about interesting and again, strong characters helps me to know that I can overcome anything too! Rachel Caine is so inspirational to me and I feel very lucky that I had the opportunity to meet her.

I left the signing with some awesome swag, a Morganville tote, ID card, resident bracelet and memories that will last a lifetime. She was even awesome enough to sign something and give me an extra bracelet for my nephew who is also a huge fan!

If you haven't read anything by Rachel Caine then I highly recommend any of her books! I recently started reading the Revivalist series so keep an eye out for the review in the future.

A huge thanks to Waterstones for hosting the event and to Rachel Caine for being an inspiration, a wonderful author and a genuinely nice lady!

As a side note - Rachel is holding a kickstarter in order to fund a web series for Morganville! I am SO excited for this to be a thing and the fantastic Amber Benson is signed on as Amelie! If you want to know more and/or wish to make a donation to the cause, you can find more on the kickstarter page here - Morganville Kickstarter

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Review // The Disillusioned - D.J.Williams

Published - 1st May 2013
Publisher - Westbow Press
Format - PDF.
Synopsis - A mother's suicide threatens to destroy a family legacy. Her sons, Sam and Daniel, are forced to leave their comfortable worlds behind and search for a woman they believe can unlock the secrets that have remained hidden. They are propelled into separate journeys from Los Angeles to the heart of the Zambezi, where they are forced to confront a man known as Die Duiwel, the Devil. On their adventures they will find themselves in a place where death is one breath away, where thousands of children are disappearing into the darkness, and where the woman they are searching for is on the hunt for revenge. When they stand face-to-face with the forgotten slaves of Africa, they will fight to redeem what has been lost.

The Disillusioned was sent to me by the author a while ago in exchange for an honest review. I happily found within this book, a truly emotional and heartfelt story full of mystery, intrigue and a genuine concern for both the characters and the reality behind their fiction.

As with every good mystery, you have to claw your way through all of the lies and deceit surrounding Sam and Daniel's family to get to the bottom of a wonderfully disturbing book. The Disillusioned features mental health problems, suicide, child labour, kidnapping, murder, religion and so much more.  It is fast-paced from the beginning though a little distant to begin with though after moving some way through the book and learning about the characters and who they are, I can't help but feel that the initial cold start was intentional and brilliantly done. In just one moment, the lives of two brothers drastically change and we follow them as they uncover a barrage of secrets and lies whilst discovering who they are, and the type of people they want to be.

As I've already said, the book has great characters and the writing is perfect for the book. D.J.Williams isn't afraid to tell it like it is and the plot was so well described (without constant reiteration) that I could picture it perfectly - not always a good thing considering the topic but still. I could definitely see it being a movie full of action and intrigue. The Disillusioned could very well be held at the centre of important and intelligent discussion as there is quite obviously more to the story than what is on the pages. A great novel from D.J.Williams and if it sounds like something you'd enjoy then I suggest you do so, soon!

Monday, 10 June 2013

No Books Allowed #2

Welcome to No Books Allowed. This is a monthly feature hosted by Raimy @ Readaraptor, which is used to discuss things things in life which aren't connected to books. This post can be used to talk about days out, music, TV, video games, films etc for all those book bloggers out there who do occasionally do stuff other than read and go to book events!

Well! May ended quicker than a tub of Ben & Jerry's didn't it? It's all a bit of a blur really.

Right at the beginning of May, I handed in my dreaded dissertation for university. 8000 words declaring my undying love for William Shakespeare sounded so much easier back in 2012 when I hastily picked the title... based on the aforementioned undying love for Will. It was a hard & emotional rollercoaster but I did it! However that quickly lead to more essays that needed to be written and more stress etc! I'm pleased to say that University is all over now, forever - eep. 

I have been incredibly ill! It seems to be an epidemic amongst final year uni students too. The minute my work was handed in, I became really sick. It's probably a mixture of exhaustion and malnourishment during a month of slaving over text books and word documents but again, i'm happy to say that i'm feeling much better now.

Days Out
I know i'm *technically* not supposed to talk about books here but this was a big thing so what can you do ;) I went to Rachel Caine's signing event at Liverpool One and it was WONDERFUL! More on this in an upcoming post though.
I've spent quite a bit of time post-uni at the beach and generally just walking around more instead of going in the car which has been nice! Summer is definitely on it's way & I couldn't be happier. 

We had a games night at my house towards the end of May which was so much fun! Pizza, rocky road, garlic dough balls and SO many games. The first half of the night was spent playing board games of different kinds and then we moved on to videogames, more specifically Guitar Hero/Rockband (which I LOVE!). It was a lot of fun & might just become a regular thing! Separately i've been playing Forza Horizon. I bought it well over a month ago, maybe even 2, as a treat for when I finish my dissertation so now I just have to find time away from all the other things I have going on ;)

As for TV, i've been pretty much religiously rotating Criminal Minds, Pretty Little Liars and One Tree Hill for the past month. They're all very different from each other but easy watching when i've had other things to be doing at the same time. But of course, Doctor Who finished this month and i'm very excited for the 50th in November to see how that plot wraps itself up! I'm still watching Game of Thrones but everything else I watch has finished their seasons which means it's almost time for True Blood! Very excited about that :)

Nothing new to declare under music. I haven't been listening to anything specifically, just whatever comes on shuffle or on my ipod as I go about my business. I'd recommend 'Every Avenue' though if you're looking for something new.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Wrap Up | May

1. Finale (Hush, Hush #4) - Becca Fitzpatrick
2. Fall of Night (Morganville #14) - Rachel Caine
3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
4. Twerp - Mark Goldblatt
5. If I Stay - Gayle Forman
6. Twitterature - Alexander Aciman & Emmett Rensin
7. Code of the Krillitanes - Justin Richards

What did you read in May?
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