30 Jun 2015

June Wrap Up: Shortest Wrap-Up Ever?

This is probably the shortest wrap up you'll ever see from me. I decided to cut the TV/Film and Videos section because I have nothing to share with you. I've also permanently removed my 'writing' segment as I'll be doing fortnightly updates from now on, you can see the first of which here.

I only read 16 books this month which not as many as usual, but considering the month I've had, I'll let it go. Look at how different the books are though! I've got three different things of poetry on there, some adult fiction...look at my growth, guys! I'm also in the middle of like four books, so hopefully July will be better.

Guess who sucks at challenges?

This was my most active month on the blog this year. This post will make it 26 posts within June, isn't that crazy? July is already shaping up to be crazy so don't be surprised if you see a post from me every day. I've been finding it really easy to write lately which means more post ideas!

Anyway, let's talk about the posts that were on the blog this month. I kicked off June with my YALC TBR, which in case you were wondering, is failing miserably. I continued my writing resources with: things you shouldn't say to a Diabetic and a brief explanation of insulin. I've got more of this on the way in July!

Last month I read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and this month I talked about the Brontë sisters and popularity, as well as books with layered perspectives.

So if you've been paying attention at all then you know that I'm currently in the UK. It's been great so far, a little stressful at times but mostly good. I'm not going to share a heap of what I've been doing because it's mostly been family stuff this month, but I've got heaps of exciting stuff in July, including getting to meet the amazing Dani

One another thing I wanted to share before I go is this absolutely lovely part of a post that my friend (and one of my favourite bloggers) Lori wrote about me. I actually cried while reading it. I don't always feel super confident about what I post here, so it really meant a lot to me that Lori would write something like that. Thank you so much, Lori <3 And, if you don't already follow Lori then obviously you're missing out.

29 Jun 2015

Meet my Main Characters

I've been meaning to write this post for ages. A post just focusing on my protagonists, on all of my main characters. I've written it three or four times by now, but just never posted it so I thought with Camp NaNoWriMo just around the corner, this would be the perfect time. So without further ado...my babies.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts about my writing then you probably know of Coralie. She’s my number one love, my little baby, my fave etc etc. For those of you who don’t know, Coralie is 19 when the story begins but she’s about 21-22 by the end of her story. She one of the nicer protagonist I’ve got at the moment. We’re quite similar in some ones—she’s a reader, she’s close with her family, those sorts of things but she’s much more confident than I am and much more social. She’s sort of the person I wish I could be.

Nellie is another part of me—she’s the quiet aspect of my personality. She’s 18 when her story starts but by the end she’s about 22 as well. She’s not quite as nice as Coralie, she’s a little more paranoid, untrusting but that has a lot to do with the world she lives in. She’s a lot of fun to write because she’s a lot darker than Coralie ever gets to be, and she suffers a lot more.

Arden is extra special, because as you can see he’s my only male protagonist. He’s also a bit older than the others at 23-24, he’s also half-Korean. He works in the 6th precinct in New York City, and he’s relatively new at his job. He worked his ass off to get to where he is, and so he’s very determined to prove himself. He hasn’t really worked out that gap between work and home—he’s a complete workaholic. I haven’t really worked out the kinks in the novel yet, so Arden is sort of half-formed at the moment.

Megan is sort of an idea rather than a person at the moment. I’ve only written about 2,000 words of her story but she’s so incredibly unlike me. She’s manipulative, and bitter, and cold and very ambitious (which is a little more like me). She’s kind of difficult to write in that aspect. Also, I haven’t entirely worked out her motivation yet but I’m not in a big rush to write her story at the moment.

Vivian is my newest protagonist, so new in fact that she hasn’t actually appeared on here yet. Like Arden, she’s still sort of half-formed. She’s about 21 and she was in her third and final year in her undergraduate nursing course but she had to take the year off to return home to look after her sick grandmother. Like I said, she’s still coming together.

So those are the protagonists I currently have. In this post, I did talk about a few other WIP ideas I have but those are just that at the moment, ideas. There isn’t really any plot or character to them yet, but I’ll update you on them as they grow.

I was thinking about doing a post on the love interests I’ve created—would anyone be interested in that?

28 Jun 2015

Day and Night Book Tag

The other day, the very lovely Dani of Dani Reviews Things tagged me to do the Day and Night Book Tag so that's what we're doing today. The tag was originally created by Readigans and it's just a bunch of questions about books!

D: Do you read more in the morning or at night?
I usually read the most at night, around 6pm until 10/11pm. I try to always read something before I go to bed at night.

A: Are there any books that changed the way you thought about things?
Yes, lots. The one that stands out the most, which I know I talk about a lot, is The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. This book honestly changed my life and just completely ripped out my soul. I respect Anne Frank so much, and she’s definitely someone I look up to—both as a writer and as a human being.

Y: YA or not?
YA, definitely. I love reading other genres and books too, especially classics, but YA is definitely my number one love at the moment.

A: Are there any characters you honestly believe to be real?
Sirius Black is my boyfriend. True story.

N: Nobody borrows my books or I don’t mind lending them out?
I’m very fussy with who I lend my books out to. At the moment, the only person I trust is Michelle because I know she’ll look after them.

D: Do you ever smell your books?
More often that I probably should.

N: Not everyone likes books, is this a positive or a negative?
I think it’s a negative thing. Books are such a central point of my life that I actually find it difficult to talk to people who don’t like to read. What bothers me the most are the people who don’t even try to read. My dad is not a big reader, but he will try and make it through at least one sports biography a year. It’s not the best, but he tries!

I: I keep my books in the best condition or maybe not? Which are you?
Best condition. Oh my god, best condition, you have no idea. I actually cover all of my books with contact because I can’t read anything that isn’t. Okay, I can read other people’s uncovered books but I like my own to be covered and in perfect condition (unless it’s second-hand).

G: Gosh I have too many books! True or False?
Is there such thing as too many books.

H: Have you ever spilled or stained your books before with something, and if so how?
No. Nope. Nopity. They need to be perfect.

T: Toned or untoned while reading? . . or in other words. . .Do you read and workout at the same time?

Haha NO. I don’t workout. I read, I eat and sometimes, I walk. Exercise and I aren’t friends.

There you go, those are my answers! Thank you so much to Dani for tagging me, and I'm going to tag... Rachel of The Very Hungry Bookworm, Lori of Books o' the Wisp, Michelle of LovelyGirlReads and Olivia of Olivia's Catastrophe. Sorry if any of you have already done this, but otherwise I'm looking forward to your answers!

27 Jun 2015

REVIEW: Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Title: Rivers of London (Peter Grant #1)
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Crime.
Publication Date: August 2011
Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Paperback
Pages: 390
Challenge: YALC
Rating: 4/5

 "I used to be probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service, and to everyone else as the Filth…"

Meet DC Peter Grant. He will show you his city. But it's not the capital that you see as you make your way from tube to bus, from Elephant to Castle. It's a city that under its dark surface is packed full of crime. And of magic. A city that you never suspected…

Gran't story starts when he tries to take a witness statement from a man who was already dead. And take him down a twisting, turning centuries' old mystery that reckons to set London on fire...

Rivers of London is another one of those books that has been on my radar for a while, but I was never really desperate to read. I honestly knew nothing about it, apart from the fact it was set in London. I probably never would have read it, but then I found it for $5 brand new in a bookstore and thought I might as well pick it up. I was a little more interested in reading it after that, but then I found out Ben Aaronovitch was going to be at YALC and now I had to read it.

I’m really glad that I did pick it up eventually because this is a great book. It has three of my favourite elements in a book—magic, detectives and London. Is there anything better in this world? I’ve never actually read anything that had all three things together—it’s usually magic in London or detectives in London, so having all three was kind of all sorts of amazing. I really liked how each thing was dealt with. The magic system was really interesting and unique. The detectives read like actual detectives—I think Ben Aaronovitch must have had some experience with the police because it was just written so believably. London was just brilliant. There were so many little facts and the way in which everything was described just made me feel like I was running around with Peter.

Speaking of Peter, he was a great character. In fact, he didn’t even feel like a character but rather like a real person instead. He was funny and realistic and I just really enjoyed reading about him. I really liked the other characters too—Nightingale is amazing and I absolutely adored Beverly. I’m really, really excited to see how they’ll all grow in the rest of the series.

Finally, the plot. Oh my god, I loved the plot. There’s a couple of different plotlines going on at the same time which don’t really seem connected until towards the end where everything just clicks. They were really well thought out and I absolutely loved how it all came together. I’m very, very interested to see where the rest of the series is going to go from here.

* This is also published under the title 'Midnight Riot'. 

26 Jun 2015

Announcing 'The Make Me Read It Read-a-thon'

I tweeted the other day about how I wanted to host a read-a-thon and now...well, welcome to my announcement for a new read-a-thon of mine. So without further ado, let me reveal the dates/rules for THE MAKE ME READ IT READ-A-THON!

Firstly, I'm lucky enough to be hosting this read-a-thon with my absolutely amazing/lovely friend Val of The Innocent Smiley. There's the possibility of another read-a-thon (focusing on WWII) later in the year, but we don't know if anyone would be interested? (Please tell us you'd be interested)

It's a week long read-a-thon to make sure you can all get through as many books as possible! The week it's running from Monday the 20th of July at 8:00am to Monday the 27th of July at 11:59pm. Like most read-a-thons, this revolves around your timezone. We'll be using the hashtag, #MakeMeRead on all social media. Remember to follow both Val and I on Twitter for updates!

What's this read-a-thon about? Welllll, if you're a blogger, booktuber, booklr, bookstagram-er or whatever else, I'm sure you've been told that you HAVE to read 'that' book. That's the premise of this read-a-thon...

Need more details? Here you go.

Look at the books you own, either physical, e-book or ones you’ve borrowed from the library and pick out a few you really want to read, or feel like you should read. It’s up to you how many you pick, personally I’d pick a few more than you expect to be able to read in a week. Example: if you think you’ll only read two, pick out five books or if you think you can read seven, pick out ten. 

Make a list of these books on your blog, or make a video, or a Goodreads shelf or post a picture on Instagram—whatever is easiest for you. Then get friends, other bloggers/booktubers etc. to vote on which books you HAVE to read out of that list.

When the read-a-thon comes along, you read the books in the order of most votes. For example, if one book gets 10 votes—you read that first, then the one that got 7 and so on. The goal is to read as many as possible.

I hope some of you are able to join in. I think it'll be a lot of fun, and Val and I will organise some exciting things for everyone to do during the week. I'll be posting my selections/TBR in about week. Don't forget to sign up in the linky below! And remember to check out Val's post too!