Saturday, 14 February 2015

Where have I been?

I met Laini Taylor last year, finally finished reading this

Hello and happy 2015.

Well that was a bit delayed but I hope this year has been treating everyone well.
I've had a few people wondering just exactly what happened to me, so many days passed when I wanted to put a hiatus post up but it never felt right.

As some of you may have noticed my reading significantly decreased last year, and eventually I just stopped. I tried encouraging myself that it was simply my university work taking over but ultimately I could no longer find joy in reading when I was so down myself.
I spent many months dwelling in unhappiness and not ready to face the reality of it or try and solve it, I finally did though throughout December and since then I've been focusing on myself and my own happiness, focusing on a better and brighter me.

It has been working. Self-care and self-love should never be frowned upon. I learned this the hard way.

2015 has been a much brighter year so far. I've started reading again and playing with the idea of blogging again. Oh and I'm single. Still feels odd to say that.
However I don't know whether to stay here and hope I'm not too out of touch with the followers and friends I had/have here, or to focus on using tumblr as the platform to book blog instead.
This is me now

Hopefully I'll get some replies here to help figure that out. 

All the best,

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Bought, Borrowed & Bagged (67)

Bought, Borrowed and Bagged hosted by Talk Supe is a weekly meme where you can share your book haul, ongoing events and news about what is coming up on your blog for the week ahead.
Please Note: All images link back to their GR pages.
New Books
It has been a very long time since entering any giveaways on goodreads, so before I headed off to i52 I did just this, and was very surprised upon returning home to have a copy of Disappeared by Anthony Quinn on my bed! I also received a copy of Patch Up by Stephanie Witter to review, not my usual choice of books but I'm interested.
DisappearedPatch Up (Patch Up, #1)

Recently on Northern Plunder
Upcoming on Northern Plunder
Review: Memory's Wake by Selena Fenech
Review: Embracing the Wolf by Catherine Bybee
Attempting University
Lauren's Progress
Read in 2014: 22 / 50
Deviation by Christine Manzari
Patch Up by Stephanie Witter

Currently Reading:
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
News from Lauren
I've now been in my new flat for almost a week, its great how much easier living here is compared to the last flat. I'm with actual friends this time who are tidy too.
Also my best friend stayed with me and he gave me one of my birthday presents early, its a phone case with my favourite character on it from Smite. I'll be sure to show it when I do the wrap up post with my other presents!
Please note that I've implemented a new drop down menu at the top but some pages are still in progress so the links haven't been added yet!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Review: Deviation by Christine Manzari

Deviation by Christine Maznari

Published: 9th August 2013 by CreateSpace
Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction
Series: The Sophisticates #1
Page Count: 430
Format: eBook
Source: From author via Xpresso Book Tours

Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom. 

Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control. 

When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her — other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus.

Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He’s the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?

Purchase: Amazon* / TBD* / B&N

Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

*When purchasing through these links, I will receive a small amount, I will put any money earned towards hosting a giveaway.

4 / 5 Stars
I got my copy of Deviation through a review opportunity that Xpresso Book Tours brought to my attention and even though I've been in a little bit of a reading rut - yes still - I decided to try my luck with this book as the synopsis grabbed my attention and I'm super glad I was approved.

Deviation starts off introducing us to Cleo and her dystopian American world where kids likes her are made by the government as part of the Sophisticate programme to be well trained in various areas to take on the terrorists.

Cleo's area of knowledge is mostly in computers and hacking, which only gets her into trouble as she tries to track down who her parents.

This causes the strangest of reactions from her, her room becomes engulfed in fire.

Unsure as to why this happened and unwilling to admit she could've possibly done this she tries to ignore it but as her next day in class only leaves her to be transferred to school for mandates that are training as part of the military branch, she realises things are only going to get more complicated.

Especially for someone who faints when holding a gun and has already gotten more than enough attention from the prickly head bitch at the school - Quinby.

What I liked about this book is how real Cleo's struggle was with adapting to a new school but also with all the secrets she starts finding out. Her judgement and reactions are believable and I really liked her growth throughout the book.

"The future wasn't something I could control; I knew that. I just had to control how I handled it."

Another bit that hooked me was the roller derby she has to compete in, I've only read one other book with roller derby and it was so great to read about it more. I loved how it fit into the story and provided a ground for Cleo and Quinby to thrash it out on.

The one downside I had with this book is Ozzy. Ozzy is supposed to he be the hero, the book boyfriend we're gushing over with Cleo, but I just couldn't find it in me to like him. At first I couldn't really place it and I thought he would grow on me more, he was pretty mysterious and seemed to know a lot about Cleo which I had assumed was more his deviation that anything but as it comes to light he was a little too creepy.

Years of stalking, being an assassin and telling me you know everything about me whilst wanting to have kissed me for the last two years when I've only known you for two weeks is not going to make my panties drop. 

I decided to try and ignore how uncomfortable Ozzy made me feel as Cleo is clearly attracted too him and i you choose to believe everything he says, he is really only looking out for her and the others. I moved on and enjoyed the book.

That was until Ozzy decided to go all straight white boy texting on her and flaunt about in a fedora.

Yes he may be well built, good with weapons and good looking but a fedora is a fedora.

The following quote happens shortly after Cleo turns down him and the dress he's bought her to wear to the dance:

"Ozzy: I was hoping to have dreams about you wearing it.
Me: Well, you'll just have to dream about me without it.
Okay I realised my mistake too late.
Me: That's not what I meant and you know it.
Ozzy: Too late. Good night, Cleo. Sweet dreams I know mine will be."

The reason this really threw me off Ozzy is because Cleo has made it pretty clear up until now that she isn't 100% sure she wants anything to do with him and he's so pushy with her and kissing her to "help her make up her mind" and it just makes me feel very uncomfortable. 

Cleo doesn't really seem to think so eventually but it just didn't sit right with me and I hope in the second book he'll calm down a bit and I'll be able to like him more.

He's the only reason its not five stars really. Ooops.

Anyhow, aside from that I really enjoyed reading this book and was really hooked the other day when I finished it. I couldn't put it down because its such a gripping ending and what people will have to keep in mind is that this book is 430 pages so we aren't thrown straight into the action and all-knowing parts, it takes its time, builds up all the important characters and their abilities (yes Cleo isn't the only one) and I definitely think as everything is already laid out, plus a small twist, that the second book will not suffer from second book syndrome and will be a thrilling read too.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Insomnia Gaming Festival

Less books, more gaming. 
I had intended to do a very well planned out post about my time at Insomnia Gaming Festival, or i52 for short, with lovely pictures of the exhibition halls the Bring Your Own Computer halls and overall documenting the great time I had with my friends.

However I didn't take any photographs because I was simply enjoying myself too much and well running off not a lot of sleep.

i52 started for my group of friends on the Thursday which went very smoothly and we gamed until 2am I believe. Friday was the first  "proper" day though as the exhibition halls actually opened, inside there were stalls to try out early access to Evolve and Borderlands: The Pre-sequel and a Transformers themed MOBA, a few stalls selling geek themed items and of course PC stallls. Above is my group of friends with one of the guys we know working there.

I aimed to pull an all nighter that night too, most of my group abandoned ship before 4am I believe so it was just myself and my best friend, Jon. It went pretty smoothly and I didn'[t even feel tired until they so rudely turned the lights back on at 8:20am. That was killer. Have you ever gone from so long in the dark to sudden and un-warning bright light when tired. It is not fun!
soz @precipere it’s mine now where c:6:30am. It’s pretty cold inside the hall right now but I can totally handle this all nighter with @precipere
Of course some obligatory selca's of me during the night, the second one I was adamant I could last until that evening until I slept. 

The rest of the weekend pretty much carried on the same, apart from I was much more sensible with my sleeping - only getting myself delirious with lack of sleep on the Sunday night. The only downside to the long weekend was the local shops and restaurants weren't prepared for the extra 2,500+ people that they should've been feeding. It was very much a first come, first served, fight for the best food situation each day.

Last group photograph before we left to drive back home, minus the best friend as he already left seeing as though he had an extra 2 hour drive. The drive back was really smooth though! (Nothing to do with me sleeping, nope).