Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Clockwork Angel - Booktube Review

Hey guys!

I think I could get used to this, writing then filming my book reviews, I quite like it! Haha
I'm sure you know already, but I gots me a booktube channel on which I talk about all things bookish! Here's my newest video, a review of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare!

Hope you guys enjoy, and don't forget to subscribe!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Published: August 31, 2010
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Source: Easons

The year is 1878. 

Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to.

Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them...

Producing words for this review was unbelievably difficult. Or I guess I should say is, because I'm still writing it.. but anyway! Not because it was perfect in all aspects and mind-blowing or anything, and definitely not because I didn't enjoy it, but I feel like my review should really do the book justice. So here it goes!

Cassandra Clare is an awesome writer, and that permeates the whole way through 'Clockwork Angel'. It's the sort of book where, even though the setting is more or less alien to us, and the story is fantastically fictional, you can still really connect with it and get a lot out of it. The book consists of a wonderfully unique plot in a wonderfully unique world, with awesome characters to whom you grow quickly attached, and it's all topped off with Clare's intriguing and evidently thought-out writing.

Clockwork Angel  (mid-prologue) begins with our protagonist Tessa, who receives a Britain-bound boat ticket from her brother, Nathaniel, who she hasn't really seen or heard from in a while. With her aunt's recent passing, and nothing else really tying her to Southampton, she decides to venture off to London, where her life is quickly and utterly changed.

That, the beginning, was my main problem. Though the plot was very interesting and Tessa seemed a compelling character, I just couldn't get into the book. And I think that's the case with a lot of Cassandra Clare's work, for me anyway; it just doesn't immediately click, for some reason or another. Maybe because she already has this big, awesome concept and story in her head and doesn't really slow down to explain it to us in the beginning, but I really don't know. However, as the story progressed, and Tessa joins up with Will, and then later, all the others at the London Institute, I could feel myself being really drawn into the story.

I guess that now makes sense, seeing as the the plot wasn't really set in place for a little while into the book, at which point I was loving the book! Another reason was that it took a bit for our characters to develop, which I really appreciated afterwards.

Tessa, Will and Jem were definitely the three central characters, I mean, that was obvious before reading the first chapter, so naturally, they were developed to a greater extent than the other characters. They each had three, very distinct personalities, and at first you just sort of take them at face value, because it's entertaining to see how they interact and whatnot, but as the story flows, you're shown exactly why they are how they are.
There was this particular part, when Tessa was learning of the boys' pasts, and I actually just stopped to acknowledge the reality of these characters; they weren't just 2-dimensional anymore, and I loved that! Oh and I also really enjoyed the relationship between the three, or more specifically between Jem/Tessa and Will/Tessa. Obviously, going into this series, I was aware that there would be a love triangle, but I was surprised at how natural it felt. They were like the more mature versions of the characters in Clare's other series, The Mortal Instruments haha!

The last 100 or so pages, were what really made it for me. The well-written action scenes, the huge plot twist that I did not see coming, everything! It all linked up perfectly. A great first book for what I expect to be an awesome trilogy!

Have any of you guys read this yet? What did you think of the ending?

Thanks for reading guys!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Maze Runner Trailer

Alright guys.. it's come, it's finally come!

Last Summer I read the first book in a dystopian-esque series. It was called 'The Maze Runner'. And now, the trailer for the movie has come out!
I liked but didn't particularly love the book, but this trailer has completely changed what I think, it's that awesome!

I filmed a reaction video for my booktube channel, so if you want to hear more of what I thought about the trailer, stay tuned to my channel here!

Have you already read the Maze Runner book? What did you think of the trailer?

See you later guys!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Testing - Booktube Review

Hey guys!

In the case that you didn't know I was now making booktube videos, here's my latest! If anything, watch it for the awkward lighting change at the end! Haha

It's basically what I said in my written review, but I know I sometimes prefer to watch reviews, so here's my video review!

Don't forget to subscribe! ;)

Haha thanks guys!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Most Anticipated March Releases

The Legacy Code
by Autumn Kalquist

The last humans fled a dying Earth 300 years ago, but there was something they couldn’t leave behind: the Legacy Code.

Every colonist in the fleet carries mangled genes that damage the unborn, and half of all pregnancies must be terminated.

The day seventeen-year-old Era Corinth is supposed to find out if her baby has the Defect, her ship suffers a hull breach. And it may not have been an accident.

As the investigation unfolds, Era begins to question everything she’s been taught about the fleet, their search for a new Earth, and the Defect. But the answers she seeks were never meant to be found.

I can easily say that Science-Fiction is one of my favourite genres, and this books definitely falls in said category with its interesting 'After-Earth' storyline. The ratings for this book have been incredibly positive, so I'm pretty excited to read it!

by Marie Rutkoski

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
I've never really been too into Historical Fiction, but I've been planning on trying books outside of my usual 'bubble', and this sounds like the perfect book to start with!

by Lynne Matson

On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that she has to find a way to beat the clock, and quickly.

Apart from this one book I had to read for English last year, called 'The Cay', I've never read a book in which the characters are stranded on an island! This book just sounds awesome!

by Lauren Oliver

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

Panic has been floating around the Booktubes for a little bit now, and that's because a few booktubers are holding a read-along of the book. The Goodreads group is right here and even though I might not be able to get the book on time, I still really want to read it!

Half Bad
by Sally Green

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both.

Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Holy crap, how amazing does this book sound? I absolutely love witchcraft-related books, and love them even more when they're set in the modern world with an awesome plot! I definitely see that in Half Bad.

by Shannon Messenger

Vane Weston is haunted. By the searing pull of his bond to Audra. By the lies he’s told to cover for her disappearance. By the treacherous winds that slip into his mind, trying to trap him in his worst nightmares. And as his enemies grow stronger, Vane doesn’t know how much longer he can last on his own.

But Audra’s still running. From her past. From the Gales. Even from Vane, who she doesn’t believe she deserves. And the farther she flees, the more danger she finds. She possesses the secret power her enemy craves, and protecting it might be more than she can handle—especially when she discovers Raiden’s newest weapon.

With the Gale Force weakened by recent attacks, and the power of four collapsing, Vane and Audra are forced to make a choice: keep trusting the failing winds, or turn to the people who’ve betrayed them before. But even if they survive the storms sent to destroy them, will they have anything left to hold on to?

Okay, my situation with this one is a bit weird.. just a bit. This is the second book in what I think might be a trilogy, I'm not sure, and I actually haven't read the first one. Yet, it's my most anticipated March release haha! This series just sounds like my perfect series, I love the concept and the characters sound really cool!

Those are my most anticipated releases for this month (even though they've all be released already)!
Oh and a strange coincidence, every book bar the first one, was released on March 4th.. Am I missing something? Haha

Have you guys read any of these titles? What did you think of them? And what releases are you looking forward to in the near future?

Thanks for reading guys!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Work / Play Balance

I thought of this post idea after reading something Jack recently wrote over at The Book Stop. If you haven't already read it, he basically just talks about writing blog posts and how time-consuming a task it can  sometimes be. Very 'easy to relate to' stuff and cool insight into how other bloggers write their posts, you should really read it! Even if you already have, you should read it again! Haha

Anyway, what I wanted to tap into was difficulty balancing work and play, play being the blogging, reading and such, and work being the school, homework and all that boring stuff!

If you just take a scroll down the homepage of my blog, you'll notice that lately, my posts have been pretty well spaced, the simple reason being that I've been struggling with getting all my school work done and still having time to write blog posts. To re-iterate what Jack said, "it makes me mad".
Organising and applying structure to things has never been my strong suit, as much as I would love for it to be, but I've come up with a few different possible solutions, for myself and anyone who's reading and can relate.

Guilt is written all over me for this one. As much as multi-tasking can get short-term projects done quicker, it's unbelievably draining, and then you end up wasting time afterwards because you're tired. Or maybe I'm just describing myself? Haha.
In all honesty though, if you put your complete concentration to one thing alone, you'll get that thing done a hell of a lot quicker than you think!

I would very much like not to sound like some motivational speaker here, so I'll try keep it simple. 
Write down what it is you have to do. It doesn't matter if you have an eidetic memory like my friend Dr Sheldon Cooper, and you're able to remember anything and everything. Writing things down means you're realising what you have to get done, which is one step closer to actually getting it done!

I used to wonder why days in school were broken up into periods of 40 minute lessons. Then I started going to extra hour and a half classes and I swear I almost died. 
Powering through can be good sometimes, but everyone needs a break every once in a while, be it a ten minute study break, or a week-long break off school/work (which I'm seriously considering at this point haha!)

I'll agree that this one is easier said than done, but there's no point complaining, just do it! If you're not easily self-motivated, find something that motivates you, which for me is fear of disappointing! Compare all the work you have to do, with all the work you will have to do tomorrow if you don't get it done. It'll only get worse..
 Is it helping yet? I thought so! Haha

Does this tie in with taking breaks? Yes. Am I just including this to give myself more fun time? Maybe.. Does it really matter? Hell no!
Nobody likes workaholics, and I don't think anybody likes being a workaholic either. So every once in a while, remember to schedule some fun time for yourself.
As one of my favourite Youtuber says, "Treat YO'SELF!"

If anything, this post was just to help me get on top of things again, but it'd be awesome if it also helped someone else! 

Oh and Jack, if you're reading, it took me exactly 1 hour 53 minutes to write this post!

Thanks for reading guys!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Title: The Testing
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher: Templar
Published: August 1, 2013
Genre: Young Adult / Dystopia
Source: Easons



 Every year, the United Commonwealth invites top graduates from each colony to participate in The Testing. Successful candidates will go on to the University and help the government work to rebuild our war-stricken world. This process is not optional.

Disclaimer: The United Commonwealth is not responsible for candidates' psychological or physical heath during The Testing.

'The Testing' follows the story of a young teenage girl named Malencia Vale, or 'Cia' Vale as she prefers to be called, in the United Commonwealth, aka a run down version of what we know as the United States. Graduation day bears upon her, and she is forced to cope with nightmare-turned-realities of becoming an adult in a distressed world. After Graduation, Cia is then chosen to participate in the Testing, the process through which future leaders are decided, but not without a cost. It's a really exciting book with a very familiar but awesome-all-the-same story.

First of all, let's just get it out in the open, the awkward similarities between The Testing and a few other, very popular Young Adult Dystopians. The Hunger Games trilogy in particular. If you had The Hunger Games read before starting into this one, it probably won't be very hard to spot how alike they both are. The whole 'Testing' process resembled the Games in a handful of ways, especially the forth stage. The protagonist Cia, is a lot like Katniss, in her character traits and her abilities. Even interactions between Cia and her love interest, Tomas, seemed all too familiar. It all really bugged me because I expected it to be something new and really unique.

Surprisingly though, the similarities weren't what I disliked most about the book. It was the freaking characters! I say this with all due respect, but the character development, if any, was flat and forced and negligent and near non-existent. Even setting apart the whole similarities thing, I felt like most, if not all, of the characters were 2-dimensional, which made it really difficult to become invested.

Cia's heroism and perfect-ness are shoved down your throat and you're expected to just be okay with it, which I definitely wasn't. There was no development, no growth in character at all. Every obstacle in her way, throughout the book, was dealt with almost effortlessly and it just didn't seem like she was a credible character. Tomas is equally underdeveloped, and uninteresting for the most part. He's the perfect example of a 'love you always' kind of guy, who comes off as irritating and way too overprotective to everyone but the person he's fallen in love with. Their relationship just did not click for me.

The only characters I sort of enjoyed reading about, were Zandri and Cia's Father, but we don't see much of either. All the other characters were either too underdeveloped to be appreciated, or created too melodramatically to be appreciated *cough* Will *cough*.

While I did really dislike the characters, I loved the story. Again, regarding this book as an individual, without all the similarities to other books, it's actually really entertaining! The concept in general is very dystopian-esque, and really interesting, and though the world building kinda lacked in a few places, especially the history of the United Commonwealth, it was still an enthralling read. For the most part anyway. I loved reading about how the Testing worked, the Four stages, the effects on people's lives. And the survival of the Forth stage. I do wish the subplot with Cia and the old man could have been expanded on, because I have a feeling it'll play a big part in the later books, but oh well!

'The Testing' could have been so much more than it was and it was disappointing, but on the bright side, it was still a fun read!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week guys, I literally had no spare time at all! Hopefully I won't be as busy next week though! Haha

Thanks for reading