Friday, 19 June 2015

Flowers on a Friday

Hi, my name is Emma and I have developed an obsession with taking photographs of flowers.  In a bid to keep sane, I'm trying to do more things that make me happy...and taking rubbish photographs is one of those things!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Top Ten Books On My TBR For Summer 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week's topic is "Top Ten Books on My TBR for Summer 2015".  It was so hard to choose just 10!

 1. City of Stairs - Robert Jackson Bennett
 2. Moxyland - Lauren Beukes
 3. Monsters of Men - Patrick Ness
 4. Koko Takes a Holiday - Kieran Shea
5. Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King
6. Shadow Show - Edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle
7. Prudence - Gail Carriger
8. The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
9. Zeros - Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti 
10. Lock In - John Scalzi

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Vampire Academy

I can't even remember why I picked this up.  I think I was just in one of those weird moods where anything goes...Oh, now I remember!  I read Gameboard of the Gods and thought it was pretty good, so wondered what other Richelle Mead books were like. I knew that my sister was obsessed with this series so thought, why not?

I'm going to be totally honest - Vampire Academy isn't the best book.  I couldn't recommend it; not because it is an awful book, but because it's so mediocre and I can see why other people would hate it.  Me?  If I'm in the right mood I will read books that I know I would normally hate.   It's my junk food.  I'm weird that way.

And just like when I eat junk food, I'm not sure if I actually paid that much attention to what I was reading for about 3/4 of the book.  One minute Rose did not like Dimitri and the next minute he's the love of her life!  I think I completely missed this due to the fact that there's a lot of info dump at the beginning (and really throughout) and I feel like Mead wanted to make sure that you knew that her Vampires were different...different I tell you!  So in true fashion, when the info got heavy, I went into autopilot and started thinking about other things - probably food.  As long as they aren't sparkly, you're vampires can be whatever you want them to be.  Sparkles are an instant no-no.

The bigger, lingering problem that I've thought a lot about after reading is that for a book that's supposed to have a friendship at its heart, Lissa and Rose aren't really that good of friends.  Or at least it seems pretty one-sided, but that may be because, for all the effort that goes into making Rose three-dimensional (or at least the attempt), Lissa is pretty much vacant.  I'm not sure if that's because we're seeing her through Rose's eyes - and as her best friend/guardian she would see Lisa as perfect - or if it's a larger problem with her characterization.

Vampire Academy wasn't all bad - I sort of like that Rose isn't the "I'm so ugly, but I'm really a special flower", she's hot and she knows it.  She does have a bit of 'snowflake' about her, but she's promiscuous - and this does get her into trouble - not to mention loud-mouthed and protective and also a bit vulnerable - kind of everything I'd expect a young girl to be.

To sum up, Vampire Academy is really cheesy in that 90's movie type way - I'm not obsessed, but I like junk food sometimes and I'm interested to see where the series goes.  I'm just not sure if I'll still be interested in the series by the time I reach book 4, but I'll just have to read and see.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Flowers on a Friday

Hi, my name is Emma and I have developed an obsession with taking photographs of flowers.  In a bid to keep sane, I'm trying to do more things that make me happy...and taking rubbish photographs is one of those things!  

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week's topic is "Top Ten Most Anticipated Rest of 2015".  I've got to admit - I struggled with this one!  Normally, I have a list of 10 easy, but this time I had to actively search for more books...not that it's a bad thing (for me anyway...our bookshelves, maybe) as I've found some books that I'm now super excited for!

1. Winter - Marissa Meyer (November)
I can't believe this is going to be the last book in the Lunar Chronicles!  I remember reading Cinder and not being overly impressed but still intrigued; then picking up Scarlett and being like, oh that was a bit better, and then loving Cress!  I can't wait, but at the same time, I don't want the Lunar Chronicles to be over...

 2.Manners & Mutiny - Gail Carriger (November)
Another conclusion of a series - seriously, where has the time gone?!  I swear the first book was only published last month...I haven't managed to read books 2 and 3 yet - I do own copies, but I'm thinking of going on a binge once book 4 has been published - so I hope the series has been continuing the steam-punk fun of the first book - and I hope there's plenty of Bumblesnoot!
 3. The Rest of Us Just Live Here - Patrick Ness (August)
I really like the sound of  the Xander-type character - especially as so many books are about the "CHOSEN" one!  Plus, I'm always up for more Patrick Ness goodness.
 4. Carry On - Rainbow Rowell (October)
I'm not too sure about this one...but I have really enjoyed Rainbow Rowell in the past, so I'm still going to seek out a copy.
 5. Armada - Ernest Cline (July)
I hadn't realised that this was coming out until I saw all the BEA posts where people had managed to snag a copy.  It hadn't come up on the book club list, and I've never seen RPO in the bookshop at work, so I thought I would have to order a copy in upon release - which is no big deal.  Cut to last Wednesday when I nearly screamed when I saw a copy in the proof section.  It's now sitting on my bedside table and I can't wait to start (I've got to work my way through some library books first...).
 6. Why Not Me? - Mindy Kaling (September)
I liked Kaling's last book, so this is a bit of a no-brainer!
 7. You're Never Weird on the Internet (almost) - Felicia Day (August)
I'm actually really excited for this one - and the release date is perfect timing for a late birthday present!
8. The Heart Goes Last - Margaret Atwood (September)
I'm cheating with this one, as I'm currently reading The Heart Goes Last - and man is it a doozy.  I hadn't realized that it was previously released in serial form, but it makes sense to me now because I keep picking it up and putting it down unable to read large chunks at a time feeling a need to process what I've just read.  
9. Saga Volume 5 - Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples (October)
Is it October yet?  Becuase I Cannot.  Wait. Much. Longer.  Trying my best not to go and buy the single issues, but must resist....

10. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams - Stephen King (November)
New short story collection from Stephen King - I really hope by short story they mean short and not short for Stephen King - as that would probably be the length of a normal novel!

What's on your TTT this week? Any books coming out this year that you would recommned?

Monday, 8 June 2015

The Glass Republic

Pen's life revolves around secrets; the secrets behind her three-month disappearance from school last winter, the secret cause of the scars that mar her face, and, most secret of all, her mirror-sister Parva: her doppelganger in London-Under-Glass, the city behind the mirrors. 

Pen's trying to forget Reach, Filius Viae and the Wire Mistress and get back to a normal life, but when Parva vanishes, she has no choice but to seek out London's stranger side.  And when Pen journeys through the mirror, she finds a world where scars make you beautiful and criminals will kill you for your face - a world in which Pen's sister was keeping secrets of her own.

I can't actually remember a lot about the first book in Tom Pollock's Skyscraper Throne Trilogy.  It probably is a good case for binge reading book series once all the installments have been published!  My lack of recall meant that I spent the first quarter of The Glass Republic feeling a bit lost and trying to re-boot my memories of what had happened to Beth and company...but looking back on the reading experience, I didn't really need any prior knowledge.  In fact, I actually enjoyed this second installment a lot more than the first.  

I remember that I had a hard time trying to visualise all these expansive, wonderful and imaginative ideas of Pollock's - the majority of his characters are made up of elements of the city and I could only imagine how much it would cost to adapt these books into a film/t,v, series - and this would mean that I was often reading passages without fully taking them in.  Yet, with TGR, I had no problem and felt fully immersed within Penn's story.

Penn is promoted from Beth's sidekick to fully fledged protagonist in The Glass Republic, and we follow her as she struggles to fit in after her dual ordeals in The City's Son.  With all that Pollock has put her through, Penn's character could have easily slid into 'check-list' territory.  Yet, there's so many layers to Penn, and to all of the characters that inhabit this strange world, that every action and reaction reads as genuine.

If you haven't had a chance to check this series out, I highly recommend it.  The concluding book in the trilogy, The Lady of Our Streets was published last year, so I'm hoping the library will get a copy in stock soon. What I love most about this series is that I honestly do not know where it's heading - and I can't wait to find out.