Saturday, 30 September 2017

THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE - by Stephanie Perkins

THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE - Stephanie Perkins.
Published: September 2017 - Dutton Books for Young Readers.
Genres: Young adult / thriller / contemporary mystery / romance / horror
Pages: 289.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Infrequent bad language, non-explicit sex scenes and sexual innuendo, strong violence and gore.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.  


One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.


I have never read Perkins before. I know a lot of people are curious to read this book because it's so different from the fluffy contemporaries she usually writes, but I'm none the wiser. I basically just wanted to read this book because the cover is so absolutely gorgeous. AND IT REALLY IS, ISN'T IT?!


This is such a creepy book. There is a ton of crackling tension from start to finish and the foreshadowing is excellent. Right from the first chapter you can feel the dark anticipation, and the hints strewn along the way are perfectly subtle and suspenseful.
I also stupidly decided to read most of the book at night, which wasn't the brightest thing to do because it is terrifying; freaky, creepy, and very scary. But if you buy one book this Halloween season, make sure it's this one. It's the perfect seasonal read.

The dialogue is awesome. It's quick-witted, entertaining, and gorgeously razor-sharp. I love the vocal interactions between all the characters and their voices come through clearly.
The atmosphere is definitely the best thing about this novel. It's so creepy and atmospheric, and the dark, almost 'Little House on the Prairie' vibes are fantastic. The town's ramshackle, ghostlike, and the cornfields, dusky rural tones and empty roads all add to that chilling atmosphere. This book has the perfect setting for the story it's telling.

The horror is closer than you think.

The story is tense, dark, and gory. I also love that the action is relentless and twisty, but I do think it's very unrealistic in parts. For example, the killer ending (pun intended) is definitely hectic and riveting, but I struggled to suspend disbelief. It works because it's well written, but I doubt that in real life the kids could be so involved and the cops so pathetic and useless. And seriously, the cops in this town deserve to be fired. They don't do their job well at all.
I enjoyed the ending. But I still think the action goes on for a bit too long and the way everyone's involved is a bit unrealistic.

I'm happy to say I didn't guess the identity of the killer. The mystery's unusual and clever, and I really like the continual depth to the killer's motives. But there's still something about the murderer's identity that feels 'off'. I think I would've preferred the killer's character to have been central to the story before he/she is revealed to be the killer, and I think Perkins should've hinted at his/her identity more. She hides him/her too well for us to actually have a chance at guessing correctly.

Another story related issue is the 'big secret' Makani's hiding from everyone. Without giving spoilers, I don't think the 'big bad thing' she did was such a 'big bad thing'. Perkins should've chosen something a bit more shocking and darker than the incident she went with, and perhaps something that's harder to come back from. I wish Makani's secret was more 'unforgivable'. 

Makani stopped thrashing. She was trapped, imprisoned even, in this miserable town where she hated everything and everyone. Especially herself.


The characters are unlike any characters I've ever read about. The level of diversity is fantastic (there are characters of all different races and sexualities) and the variety of people is absolutely awesome. I love, love the uniqueness of every person and how compelling and fascinating everyone is. They're all so unique, unusual and vivid.
But Alex and Grandma Young are my favourite characters. Grandma Young is so fierce, loving, capable and opinionated, and Alex is equally individualistic and full of attitude. She's just one of those characters I instantly fall in love with, and both of them are so wonderfully written.

Unfortunately I don't like the romance. It's entirely personal preference, but as I don't like Ollie's character I can't like him with Makani. Their relationship is compelling, but Ollie is creepy.   



There's Someone Inside Your House is a creepy, atmospheric horror thriller with incredibly unique characters and tons of tension and wit. There are a few aspects I'm not sold on, but overall it's the perfect Halloween read and lots of dark fun.


Thursday, 28 September 2017

CANARY CLUB - by Sherry D. Ficklin

CANARY CLUB - Sherry D. Ficklin
Published: 2017 - Clean Teen Publishing.
Genres: Young adult / historical fiction / romance
Pages: N.A.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Mild violence, sexual innuendo, mentions and incidents of sexual assault.
Format: eBook.
Source:  Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
"Bad Luck" Benny is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he'll do anything to make that happen—even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head—and worse still—falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from. Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family's fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both. Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.

Guys this premise. It just screams atmosphere and sexy forbidden romance. I was so, so ready to fall in love with this book.
But instead I was extremely disappointed.


The writing isn't great. There's a lot of telling, and the dialogue is boring and uninspired. The story is also very rushed - a lot of scenes are skimmed when actually I needed more time to get involved in what was happening. As it is, the scenes don't allow for proper investment.
But the action scenes are well written and the descriptions are gorgeous. I love the slang and the historical facts that are thrown in, and the atmosphere is seductive and enchanting.

The story is, first and foremost, a romance. But I still wanted more depth to it. There are a lot of aspects I think the author could've dug into and examined more profoundly, but she doesn't and the story comes across very surface-level. This annoys me, because I can wholeheartedly see the potential for some of the subplots and even the potential symbolism for certain incidents, etc. I wish Ficklin had dove deeper.
The ending is weak. It's over before you know it, and with little real shock or excitement. I kept expecting something else to happen but nothing ever did. It's underwhelming.

I could not get immersed in this book. That's probably my biggest issue with it. I just could not get involved in the world, or feel for the characters. The story feels feels too shallow and too wishy-washy. I couldn't get immersed at all.

We always create the thing we fear most. 

Why do you think they came at me instead of JD or hell, even one of the trucks? Because that’s how these people operate. It’s how they send messages. You want to hurt a powerful man, an untouchable man, you do it through the women he cares about. See, they go after JD and it’s a declaration of war. They go after me, they hurt my father, they hurt the club, but no real harm done. I’m expendable to them.

It’s not like the police could do anything anyway; everyone saw them flirting, and it’d be his word against hers. And besides, a man like that probably has enough cops in his pocket to make any charge they might level vanish before breakfast. And even if JD did believe her, there’s only so much he can do without going to all-out war. He’d strike back at Lepke somehow, sure, but at the end of the day, she’s right. It wouldn’t matter. JD couldn’t take her back if this went public. She’d be damaged goods. Tainted. And all because that schmuck didn’t understand the meaning of the word no. Hell, dogs understand what no means.


The characters aren't strong. I struggled to get into their heads (the chapters alternate between Masie's first person perspective and Benny's) and everyone is too flat. No one is fleshed out properly.
On the positive side, I did like Benny's relationship with his family - particularly his siblings - but even that needed more punch.  Masie is also a cool heroine - and I love her stance on women's worth, etc - but she's wasted because she's never vivid or 'alive' enough. Her character doesn't make a strong enough impression.

The romance is basically insta-love. There's no real development for Masie and Benny's relationship and the scenes between them are dry, unoriginal, and lacking the fiery spark that forbidden romance deserves. Like the rest of the book, the romance needs more punch.



Canary Club is boring and uninspired, and the bland characters and shallow story waste its lush potential. I like the historically appropriate slang and facts that are beautifully laced into the book, but they aren't enough to redeem the entire tale.   


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #52: BLADE RUNNER 2049 (film)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Breaking the Spine and now taken over by Wishful Endings that highlights upcoming book releases we're excited to read. On my blog, I include movies as well.


BLADE RUNNER 2049

Release Date: 6th October 2017.

A young blade runner's discovery of a long buried secret leads him on a quest to track down former blade runner, Rick Deckard, who's been missing for thirty years.



Confession: I never watched the original. *cowers*...

BUT I love Ryan Gosling (and yeah, Harrison Ford is okay) and the trailer looks so awesome.
So I wanna see it.



Anyone else excited for Blade Runner 2049?

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

A STRANGER IN THE HOUSE - by Shari Lapena

A STRANGER IN THE HOUSE - Shari Lapena
Published: 2017 - Pamela Dorman Books.
Pages: 305.
Genres: Adult / thriller / contemporary / mystery
Triggers/Content Advisory: Sexual innuendo.
Format: Paperback.
Source:  Thank you so much to Penguin Random House SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind. There's a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town. The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes. Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good. Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won't stop asking questions. Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet.


Thrillers are my happy books. Some readers might have fluffy contemporaries as their go-to read when they want to relax, but thrillers are my personal preference. Racing through a story is therapeutic for me - so is being hit by all kinds of twists and shocks.
But while I didn't love this particular thriller, I did still enjoy it.



The pacing is perfect. The story flows well, and everything is revealed naturally and effortlessly. It's easy to read, fast, exciting, creepy, and fantastically tense. There is a terrific sense of urgency from beginning to end, and I think the author excels at making you feel as if time's running out. That's tied to the nature of the story, I guess, but still - everything is continually being yanked to the next chapter, the next page, and the next twist. And it keeps you reading.

Unfortunately, the dialogue is weak, unremarkable, and too on-the-nose. No one really has a distinct voice, and although it's nice and tight, it could definitely use more life. It also comes across very unrealistic at times, and there's no subtext (which is something I miss in a thriller).

The story's set in a small suburban neighborhood. I like that, and I like the setting, but it needs more fleshing out. It's very limited, and you don't get to see much of the world around the story. This can work, but in this book it feels superficial and unnaturally removed from the rest of the world.

She feels calm, detached, as if none of this is really happening. It's like a dream, or as if it's happening to someone else. She's lost her opportunity to flee. It's too late now.


There are a lot of common tropes that're used in the story, and ones I can't specifically mention for spoilers' sake. At first I was hesitant and disappointed with these clichés, but I soon grew to appreciate the unique angles the author took with them. They're cliche, but the focus is on a different side of them. So in the end they aren't a deal breaker for me.

The ending is so disappointing. The 'twist' is good, but the story cuts from the middle of the arrest conflicts and interrogations to a few months later - and by doing so we miss out on a ton of integral scenes. That annoys me, and I feel like the author did that because perhaps she didn't know how to wrap it up properly? For whatever reason, it's a cop-out because there's more I think the reader should've been allowed to witness.

This is their love story, come crashing down around their ears. Does he wish now that she'd never said yes, that she'd never agreed, finally, under his steady pressure, to get married? He doesn't now, and anyway, it's too late to change anything. And yet, these last two years have been the happiest of his life. Until all this happened.


The characters are okay. I really love Tom and Karen's relationship and I love its development and conflict. But their individual characters need more rounding out. Similarly, the secondary characters are flat and dull with vague personalities - if any - and the detectives in particular have no concrete personality or depth. The focus is on Tom, Karen, and Brigid, but I would have liked the secondary characters to get more attention - especially since the detectives actually do have quite a bit of page time.



A Stranger In The House is a fast, tame, clever thriller, but its generally flat characters and frustrating dialogue make for an underwhelming read.


Monday, 25 September 2017

WAYFARER (Passenger #2) - by Alexandra Bracken

WAYFARER - Alexandra Bracken
Published: 2017 - Disney Hyperion
Genres: Young adult / romance / science fiction / fantasy / historical fiction
Pages: 532.
Triggers/Content Rating: Violence.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta wakes up alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected - Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master's heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta's past could put them both at risk. Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travellers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min, who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives. As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable ... and might just run out on both of them.


You know that feeling when you read the first book in a series - or specifically a duology - and don't like it, and yet you have this niggling feeling to read the sequel anyway?
That's how I felt about this duology. Passenger fell flat for me in nearly every way and I didn't have high hopes for Wayfarer. But I was proven wrong, and this book blew away my doubts from literally the first chapter. It's a thousand times better than its predecessor.


Everything is up a notch. The dialogue, which didn't make an impression on me in the first book, is now rich, immersive, witty, and bursting with characterization. Every character's voice is incredibly potent, and you are sucked into each personality whenever they open their mouths.

The descriptions are gorgeous - reminiscent of Sarah J. Maas' writing voice. Every scene is incredibly vivid, emotive, and enticing with extraordinary detail. The setting - or rather, settings - are characters in themselves, and the different places the characters visit are well-imagined and consuming. Everything stands out.

I'm torn about the writing. On one hand, there are all the amazing points I've mentioned above, but it still has its shortfalls:
It is repetitive. It's also incredibly melodramatic, and Bracken draws out characters' thoughts for paragraphs on end - using as many adjectives as she can. Yes the story is action packed and fast-paced for the most part, but it has contrasting moments too that become unbearable. It just isn't concise at all.
Similarly, it's over-descriptive. Beautiful language, but occasionally overdone. And the language is also very, very close to becoming flowery. I don't like flowery language, so this was a pain. I just found myself longing for simplicity.

“Because one moment in life does not define a person," Li Min said. "Without mistakes and misjudgments we would stagnate. It is no shameful thing to be beaten when outnumbered, not when you were brave enough to try. Nor is a scar or injury something to despair over, for it is a mark that you were strong enough to survive.”

“I'm not... I'm not without a heart,' he heard Sophia say, her chin raised, eyes straight ahead. 'I'm not. I just don't have the luxury of being soft. I am trying to survive.”


I think the best thing about this book is that it isn't as slow as the first. Passenger dragged a lot, and I was worried Wayfarer would be the same. But Bracken gives us pulsing action from the very first chapter, and the story is a lot better for it.
The action is overwhelming and thrilling. There are a ton of terrific fight scenes, and the characters are always on the go. It is exceptionally entertaining - my heart was almost always racing - and at the end it gets even better: everything reaches a crescendo, everyone clashes, there's bloodthirsty violence and gut-wrenching tragedy and confrontation, and it's a knockout finale in every way.
But the plot has its issues. Maybe it's just really intelligent, or maybe I'm just dumb, but it feels extremely overcomplicated. At the end of the book I still don't know exactly how things worked out or what the specifics of Bracken's time travel system are. To me, it just feels complicated and confusing. Like her writing, I think it could be simplified.


“It is no shameful thing to be beaten when outnumbered, not when you were brave enough to try.”



The characters are wonderful, saved by a mind-blowing secondary cast who completely overshadow Nicholas and Etta. I was never won over by Nick and Etta, so this worked perfectly for me. But if you loved them in the first book, then you're probably going to disappointed with how little time they spend together in this sequel.
Sophia is definitely my favourite character, and Julian, Li Min, and even Rose are equal in second place. They are so passionate and have real, tangible personalities, and I adore, adore their interactions with the other characters. They light up every single page they're on. Even Nicholas and Etta, although overshadowed by them, are much more vivid in this sequel. Everyone becomes human, and everyone feels so much more real.

The character development is superb. Especially in relationships, everyone and everything is dynamic. People grow, people change, people see others for who they really are and grow in their understanding of each other. It's spectacular to watch, and I particularly love the depth and growth of Nicholas and Sophia's friendship and Etta and Julian's friendship; they're written masterfully.

There's a lot of diversity in this book, which is written so well. Nicholas is African American (and we get to see more of his struggle as society in that era refuses to accept who he is), Sophia is a lesbian, Li Min is Chinese, and there's also a subtle LBGT romance. All in all, I think Bracken does an amazing job of representing different people and cultures.



Wayfarer might have flowery language and an overcomplicated plot, but its secondary characters, dialogue, and heart-pounding entertainment and action make up for it.

← Passenger

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Weekly Round-Up: I'm in a blogging slump :(


I'm in a blogging slump, y'all. And I am so, so sorry I haven't visited your blogs as much as I want to - life's been busy, school's been demanding, and I'm so behind on blog hopping and comments. I'm feeling tired, unmotivated, and yesterday was a huge step when I actually forced myself to sit down at the computer and start typing posts.  I will get past this, but I'm not sure how long it'll take. 


Posts of the week: 

  

I'm still slogging through Canary Club and I'm really not enjoying it :( I just can't get invested in the story. 



Finished this week: 

Reviews to come soon :)





I don't typically read Middle Grade, but I got paperbacks of Goth Girl and Girls Can Vlog for review, and they do look very sweet and fun. 
I also got an eARC of Heart of the Fae from its lovely author :) 




Greg reviews Warcross

Maria celebrates her 7th blogiversary with a giveaway!


Angela reviews The Goddesses

Bryce reviews If There's No Tomorrow

Uma reviews Pigeon Blood Red





Talk about star-studded. The reboot looks incredible, bursting with A-listers and at the same time - at least from what I can see in the trailer - capturing the deliciously suspenseful atmosphere of the original story.   


Ahhhh I'm in love. Alicia Vikander looks awesome, and I can't wait to see her in the role.  


It's been 10 years since Gossip Girl ended, and you can follow the link to see how the stars have changed.  

Big Little Lies and The Handmaid's Tale dominated the awards, with their ladies taking home most of of the Emmys.   


How was your week? Are you also busy and stressed and in a blogging rut?!

What have you been reading? 

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Blog Tour - Guest Post: FIRE LINES - by Cara Thurlbourn


I am so excited to be sharing this post with you today! Fire Lines sounds amazing, unique, and beautiful, and what Cara has to share is awesome. It makes me want to read the book more than ever.  

Over to you, Cara :) 

Five favourite things about Émi’s world – The Four Cities

 It’s so hard to choose only five things! If I really have to, though, my top five would be: 


1. The elephants. They’re absolutely incredible creatures, particularly when you start looking at the emotional bonds they form and the dynamics of their family groups. I was lucky enough to visit a sanctuary in India where we helped to bathe elephants who had been rescued from the tourism trade and it was an absolutely incredible experience – they are so powerful and yet gentle at the same time, and their eyes are truly soulful. They’re going to feature lots more later in the series, in book three particularly, so I can’t wait to get writing those bits! 

2. Magick. I’m a sucker for magic – I always have been. I feel like Fire Lines only just begins to hint at the extent of Émi’s powers, and also at the magical creatures that inhabit the rest of The Four Cities. So, I’m going to have lots of fun developing those. 

3. The landscapes. Whenever I watch films or TV shows, I just love the big cinematic landscape shots that give you a real feel for a place, and I tried to create that feeling when describing the world Émi is thrown into. My favourites are probably the view from the clifftops in Abilene, looking down at the lake with the silver bamboo towering up behind, and the view from Kole’s veranda in Tarynne with the watering hole and the plains stretching out towards the horizon. 

4. The good guys aren’t always good. There are blurred lines between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ throughout The Four Cities. Mahg is most definitely on the ‘bad’ side but many of the other characters do bad things for good reasons, or vice versa. This does make life a bit tricky for Émi though – it would be much simpler if she knew 100% who to trust. But then, what fun would that be?! 

5. The Island of Bones. Mahg’s Islands have only had brief mentions in Fire Lines but I’m really excited to delve into them properly later on in the series. Particularly the main island, The Island of Bones. It’s going to be gritty and gnarly, and quite scary. Much worse than Nhatu.




When your blood line awakens, how do you choose between family and freedom? Émi’s father used to weave beautiful tales of life beyond the wall, but she never knew if they were true. Now, her father is gone and Émi has been banished to the Red Quarter, where she toils to support herself and her mother – obeying the rules, hiding secrets and suffering the cruelties of the council’s ruthless Cadets. But when Émi turns seventeen, sparks fly – literally. Her blood line surges into life and she realises she has a talent for magick… a talent that could get her killed. Émi makes her escape, beyond the wall and away from everything she’s ever known. In a world of watchers, elephant riders and sorcery, she must discover the truth about who she really is. But can the new Émi live up to her destiny?

Title: Fire Lines
Author: Cara Thurlbourn
Release Date: 26th September 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bewick Press

Goodreads    /     Amazon


Cara Thurlbourn writes children’s and young adult fiction. 'Fire Lines' is her first novel and it’s a story she’s been planning since she was fifteen years old. Cara has a degree in English from the University of Nottingham and an MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes University. She lives in a tiny village in Suffolk and has worked in academic and educational publishing for nearly ten years. Cara blogs about her author journey and in November 2016 she crowdfunded her first children’s book. 10% of its profits are donated to animal rehoming charities. Cara plans to write at least two more books in the Fire Lines series, as well as a young adult mystery series, and has lots more children’s stories waiting in the wings. You can sign up for Cara’s newsletter, for giveaways, updates and latest releases, here: www.firelines.co.uk


 Website     /     Twitter


Hope you liked this post! Doesn't Fire Lines sound amazing? 

The Blog Squad: Part 25


We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions. 

 A MAGICAL WORLD OF WORDS - AmyNikita 
 BOOKS.BAGS.BURGERS - Uma K 
 BOOK REVIEWS BY DI - Di Hewlett


What's the strangest thing you've done in the name of blogging? 



Blogging has seen me doing all sorts of things I didn’t think that I would need to do when I was a newbie blogger! For example:

  • Learning strange new languages (HTML, CSS, JAVA)
  • Opening social media accounts all over the Internet (Twitter, Facebook Page, Instagram, Pinterest!) Who even has time to maintain all these things!?
  • Buying and binge reading 5 previous books in a series
  • Spending HOURS actually blogging and then minimal hours actually READING
  • In order to GET more reading hours I stay up WAAAAY past my bedtime (who needs sleep)


None of these are really strange - it’s just what book bloggers do… We are pretty legendary when you come to think of it!

Like the other chicas, the strangest thing I’ve done is learn technology *gasp* If you know me, you probably know that me and technology don’t get along all that well. I break my phones a lot, I am very hesitant about online payments and I just don’t trust technology (hence technology doesn’t trust me either). So having to learn all HTML and CSS stuff for my blog was pretty weird. Like I never thought I’d be learning about this stuff?


What do you do about blogging slumps? 


I think the question to ask yourself here is - why are you in a slump in the first place?
  • Is the way that you are blogging sustainable?
  • Are you tired of your posts/meme participation/ schedule?
  • Are you in a reading slump that is carrying over to your blogging world?
  • Is something else happening in your life that is forcing a blogging slump?

Once you know the reason behind the slump, you’re well on your way to being able to get yourself out of it - if you can!

Right now I’m in a serious slump - it’s been brought on by LIFE in general, particularly work. Everything else is just taking up so much time in my life that I haven’t had time for myself, let alone time to invest in a hobby like blogging! I’ve just stepped back, reiterated to myself that it is my HOBBY and a source of enjoyment and the blogosphere will be there when I return. I’m spending what time I can on blogging and catching up because, despite this all being a digital experience, I love reading everyone’s updates and reviews and my blogging friends are a wonderful part of my life. I just have to readjust my expectations and schedule to fit into my life right now, and you can do it to!

If changing up the routine or spending less time posting and blogging doesn’t work for you, it may be time to take a break - rest, recharge and come back better than ever!

Like Amy, I think I’m in a slump currently! Though it’s not for the lack of inspiration or interest but rather due to the fact that college = working in hell. I literally have no time to post these days, let alone reply to comments and blog hop. Even my holidays are spent doing study work!

But if you feel you’re in a slump due to the fact you’re not much interested in writing your posts, maybe it’s time to analyse why and think about taking a break. If you can’t think of much to say, then it’s probably time to take a little break until you feel inspired again! Also have fun blogging! If we get all formal about it, I think the pressure might tire us out.


Have you ever struggled to write a review? 


Only ALL OF THE TIME!!! What’s funny is that I always find it so easy to write reviews about books that I didn’t like or had huge issues with - there’s plenty of rant material available there! With books that I liked/enjoyed/loved I have less to work with so I rely a lot on the notes that I take while I was reading to direct me in what I’m going to specifically address in my review.

I always try to remember the basics when I review (I also quite handily have put these into an infographic #ShamelessSelfPromo) - the genre, the writing style, the characters and their development, the plot themes. How did the book make you feel?

If all else fails you, don’t be afraid to try a different sort of post - not only reviews sell books! You could try a 5 Things About list, a Pinterest Mood board, Author Interview post, Makeup or Nail Art inspired by post - there’s so many opportunites!


OMG yes I have! MANY A TIMES! Sometimes it’s because I’m writing a negative review, sometimes because I’m not not in a writing mood, sometimes because I’m busy and sometimes because I’m forcing myself to write a review due to time constraint. If I ever struggle to write a book review, I don’t. Not right away anyway. I just start doing other works and try to forget about the review for a while. Later when I’m in a better mood or have the time to work through the review slowly, I get back to it. This mostly works for me!


Come check out my answers over at their collab posts!: 



 We hope you’ve enjoyed Part 25 in our series of discussion posts! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #51: KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (film)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Breaking the Spine and now taken over by Wishful Endings that highlights upcoming book releases we're excited to read. On my blog, I include movies as well.


Release Date: 22 September 2017. 

When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman's journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.




I didn't love the first movie and Eggsy is a FREAKIN' annoying hero, but the action was cool. And when I heard Channing Tatum would be starring in the sequel as a cowboy, what better incentive was there to anticipate it?  





Anyone else excited to see Channing Tatum in a cowboy hat Kingsman: The Golden Circle


Sunday, 17 September 2017

Weekly Round-Up: Busy, busy, busy


It's been such a busy and exciting week. My cousins are visiting Cape Town on holiday, so I've been spending every spare minute with them and we've been binge watching Hawaii Five-O together - for me, it's re-watching, and although I don't think it's a well written series at all, it's such a fun guilty pleasure ;)

Otherwise, I'm seriously behind on replying to blog comments, going blog-hopping, and writing my WIP. I had hoped to get the first draft of my book finished by this time, but I haven't had the time. And since I've been sleeping over and spending most mornings with my cousins, I've had to use the afternoons to catch up on school.
Sigh.

OH AND I HAVE EXCITING NEWS. I finally got a cellphone!! My amazing cousin is an absolute darling, and surprised me with it when she visited on Wednesday. I literally cried.

I've also started bookstagraming again. YAY.


Posts of the week:  
Book Review: Blog Tour: Review - COLD MALICE
Waiting on Wednesday #50
Book Review: Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway - THE EMPTY GRAVE
Book Review: EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING
Blog Tour: Guest Post - DEADLY BURIAL
Book Review: CRAZY HOUSE




I am loving Wayfarer, which makes me so happy because I didn't enjoy Passenger that much. Canary Club is giving me mixed vibes, and I'm not far enough into A Stranger in the House to have an opinion of it yet. 




Yeah.......I kinda love thrillers a lot. And I am SO EXCITED about these darlings which arrived late this week.  



Greg reviews One Dark Throne

Brooklyn reviews Cress


Amber Elise reviews Hunting Prince Dracula

Breana reviews Defy the Stars

 



This horror film based off of Stephen King's novel is smashing box office records internationally and has been incredibly well received so far. Personally, I'd rather shoot myself in the foot than go watch it (clowns are seriously the creepiest things in the universe) but it does seem like a very well made film. It's also the highest grossing King book-to-movie adaption so far. 

After the incredible success of Wonder Woman, it's fantastic that Jenkins will be returning to direct the sequel and continue Diana's story.  

Jennifer Lawrence's performance in the horror/thriller film Mother! has been highly acclaimed and looks set to open new doors for Lawrence in terms of future roles. 


What's your week been like? What are you reading at moment? Watched anything awesome recently?