It’s Christmas!

Hi everyone!

So I really, really apologise for not posting over the past couple of weeks. I’ve kinda lost my motivation, but in the New Year I’m going to try really, really hard, ask around and get some ideas from friends (also if you have any ideas, feel free to message me too!).

Anyway, it’s Christmas so I’m hoping you can all forgive me and be happy and merry…!

Happy holidays everyone. Stay safe, and stay fun.

14/12/15 – AWOL ness

Hey guys! So, uh, sorry for going totally AWOL for a week on both of my blogs, and most social media. Yeah. Was not cool.

I am going to try my utter hardest to get blog posts up this week. I’m going to put one on my other blog tomorrow about 25 Bookish Habits You Should Know About Me (ahah, heads up) and perhaps a Top Ten Tuesday if I like the prompt. ( 😉 )

Anyway, I don’t really have an excuse except for being super tired and busy. I’ve had coursework and Macbeth and Pulp Fiction are almost literally killing me. And a dissertation to do as well. Someone save me before I shoot Jason (yes, as in the Argonauts one…).

Have a lovely week folks, and I hope to see you back here on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (and Thursday if someone sends in a post!).

tumblr_maogdnldvi1qdyl8z

Book Review: What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

IMG_1666[1]

TITLE: What’s Left of Me
AUTHOR: Kat Zhang
GENRE: YA
PUBLISHER//YEAR OF PUBLICATION: HarperCollins // 2012
NUMBER OF PAGES: 343
ISBN: 9780007476817
GOODREADS
PERSONAL SOURCE: Borrowed from a friend (thanks, Jenny!)
RATING:


Addie and Eva are two souls, trapped in the same body. Addie controls the muscles, Eva can only stay instead their head and everyone around them thinks only Addie is left. Fear of the government – of what happens to people like them, hybrids – keeps Addie and Eva quiet, until they meet Hally and Devon – and their other souls, Lissa and Ryan – and Eva finds out that she might be able to control her body again, after so many years. But there is still a fear of being discovered, caught and taken away…

What’s Left of Me is a book I’ve heard about, thought about, but never actually read. Until, obviously, now. I was expecting it to be good, and, although it didn’t completely blow me away, I was still happy at the end and really enjoyed it.

I’m going to address the big issue in this book first: morals. There are so many of them. The morals of losing the recessive soul, and who it is, Addie and Eva getting lost in their own minds and their fight over who has control of the body, are the government right to take away children as young as 8 because they show no sign of losing their other soul? It also raises the question, which I found myself asking the whole way through, of what I’d do in the same situation. When a book makes you stop, think, and question yourself, you know it’s done something good.

Morals and questioning myself and having a brain melt aside, I really did enjoy this book. The plot was intriguing, and clearly set up for the second in the series (I think there’s three overall – it’s called The Hybrid Chronicles, and I want to read the second soon!). I could hardly put the dang book down!

There was some character development for sure throughout the novel, especially, I felt, for Addie. To start with, I rooted for her and was on her side, over Eva, as she was already the dominant soul. Maybe the idea of the whole two souls, one body thing just scared me… anyway. As the characters of Eva and Addie developed throughout the course of the book, I found myself, well, rooting for both of them. I understood both points of view. I agreed with both points of view. And Zhang answered some delicious questions in pretty much the last paragraph which gave me a little peace of mind before I can find and devour the second book. (I’m writing a lot in food metaphors. I think I’m hungry.) Other characters, obviously, featured a lot of character development like Dr Lyanne, and then there were others which didn’t – well, not positively, anyway, which I really liked. Not everyone is great.

One thing I really loved about this book is that Eva and Addie were nothing special. No, really, they weren’t! They didn’t have super powers, they weren’t cleverer or brighter (ok, they were slightly braver, but that was it, and come on, they were the protagonist. I have to give the author a bit of leeway). They simply were, and nothing really significant happened just because of them, unlike, say, Katniss. They helped to start a revolution but they weren’t a figure head. Obviously this might change in the later books, but for now it was something I enjoyed.

Overall, I really did like this book. It was adventurous, new, and the characters were all real-to-life. I’m looking forward to reading the others in the series to find out what happens in this dystopia society.

10 Reasons You Should Totally Try a Writing Challenge

writing challenge why 10Ah, writing challenges. They’re about a lot nowadays, and some people (like me!) even invent their own. You might have heard of them before, but not thought much about them.

Some writing challenges involve you writing a short story or poem everyday. Some, like NaNoWriMo, encourage you to write a novel. Some are just word prompts for every day and some are perhaps weekly or monthly.

Remember not to get writing challenges confused with goals: goals are personal things you set (like finishing your novel at the end of the month). A challenge often involves telling other people about it and sometimes joining in a group project. Anyway. Let’s get on with the list, shall we?

  1. It gets you writing! Obviously, this is a great reason.
  2. You can sometimes be a part of a great community, like the NaNoWriMo community! This generally means making great online friends. Whoop!
  3. It’s good if you’re just coming back into writing or have suffered a knock of confidence. It’ll get you going again and hopefully you can get some encouraging feedback.
  4. You can try out different genres! Perhaps set yourself a writing challenge of writing a short story with a different genre every week?
  5. You have something to show for it at the end of it. Whoop, whoop! Oh, and bragging rights. Obviously.
  6. You might improve on your writing skills by the end of the whole thing. Wouldn’t that be super? Look at your first and last piece of work once you’re done, and see how far you’ve come!
  7. It’s fairly easy to get your friends involved, especially if you guys can sit in a café together and talk about your writing woes. (However, if they don’t have the same mind-set as you to keep going through the challenge, don’t be put off and carry on! The likelihood is they’ll still listen to you, even if they don’t quite understand what you’re going through.)
  8. If you’re struggling with getting some writing done, you can set yourself a little challenge and get to it, hopefully getting you into a routine which means you can write every day after the challenge is over. So, writing challenges can often help you in the future.
  9. If you’re applying for a job or need a portfolio, you have loads of material, and if you do a short story writing challenge, you often have loads of different and diverse material to show off what you can do, which is exactly what they’re looking for!
  10. Finally? It’s fun. Just plain fun. If you choose a short story challenge too, it’s often not that much out of you’re day that you’re taking and hey, if one sucks, hopefully the next will be better!

Keep trying with writing guys! One word in front of the other.

PS If you want to have a go at a writing challenge, you can try my 23 Day Writing Challenge right here!

Book Discussion: Quick Reads!

bd; quick readsIf you follow me on Goodreads, you might know that I read an awful lot of Quick Reads. These are short, often no longer than 100 pages, novellas, from a company called Quick Reads who get famous authors to write little pieces of writing to encourage adults who don’t otherwise read to read. They cost £1, so are very good, but you can borrow pretty much all of them from the library.

I don’t actually own any Quick Read books myself, but I avidly enjoy reading them and often get at least one out from the library every time I go because they are so quick and easy to read – often they don’t take me longer than an hour, perhaps two. I read one in half an hour before, and that was at least 90 pages!

Why do I think they deserve a blog post? Because they’re a fabulous idea, and I really enjoy them. There are all sorts of genres: war, mystery, romance, historical, non-fiction/memoir and even Doctor Who books to name but a few.

If you can find a Quick Read, I’d highly recommend finding one which appeals to you and either buying it or borrowing it and giving it a go! Often I find their plots aren’t as complex – obviously, because they don’t have the room to be – and as a result these can feel a bit rushed, but often the characters are still well-written. I also think it gives you a good feel of the writer’s style, although I haven’t read any novels by any of the Quick Read authors so I can’t say for certain! (That’s next on my to-do list!)

So overall, yes, I do heartily recommend Quick Reads. What do you think of these, if you’ve read them? What about novellas, or novelettes? Or do you prefer novels?

PSST: If you’re just starting out, I recommend Blackout (Mystery) by Emily Barr, Rules for Dating a Romantic Hero (romance) by Harriet Evans and Today Everything Changes by Andy McNab (war, memoir).

02/12/15

It’s December!! Whoo! Winter! Christmas! Hot chocolate! Cuddles!

Aside from the cold and heavy snow making transport impossible (which doesn’t actually happen down here much), I do love this time of year.

I’m sorry I didn’t post on Monday, I forgot and then it was too late… what a surprise!

I hope everyone’s well! I’m still doing my 23 day writing challenge although I’m a bit behind – you can read what I’ve gotten up to so far on Wattpad, if you like.

There’ll hopefully be a Wednesday and Friday post this week! Yay!

(I’ve also just realised today is not Tuesday and is, in fact, Wednesday.)

Also guys remember I’m still taking guest blogs, so head on over and have a look and if you want, send in an article or at least an idea for one! If you haven’t had any experience before, don’t be afraid – send me an idea and I’ll help you to write it!

Have a nice week, all!