Bye

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The title is pretty self explanatory to be honest.

I am taking a blogging break because I have lost my mojo for it.

And I have also been fairly motivated for The Thing recently which I want to focus on and not have to think about this blog.

I’m taking a break for the rest of the month because otherwise I might burn out and I have not got the time for that right now. Or ever really, but definitely not now.

Then when I come back it’s gonna be all things bookish for August, because I like books and well by that point I should have quite the backlog of books to review and so we’re just gonna theme the whole month around books somehow. Again.

For now though, I am going to recharge the blogging batteries and work on The Thing because I am finally feeling inspired for it again and that has not been the case for months now.

I’ll still be around on Twitter and Instagram and sharing some of the posts I’ve written this year that I am particularly fond of, but there will be no new content on here until the 1st August.

See you all then!

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2018 Reading Challenge, Book 27 – The Hate U Give

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I am in a YA bubble right now, which isn’t really all that hard to be honest because there are so many YA books on my list in general that it’s hard to move for them. And well a lot of them are kind of a quick-ish read, which is kind of what I need right now because I remain behind schedule and I am trying to not fall into a reading slump so I need to fuel the fire with some YA because it always treats me right.

This book was no exception.

This is another one of those books that was everywhere when I was in Waterstones because it was nominated and then won an award. That made me partly wary of it because the last book that won the same award last year I didn’t really get on with. This however I loved with all my heart.

It took a bit of getting into, mainly just in terms of settling into a new first person narrative. I had basically lived with Mare for 5 or 6 weeks or something and she was almost all I could remember, falling out of that took a level of adjustment that I just did not expect.

Also Starr is black.

The way the narrative was formed around that voice was different to almost anything that I have read before. I mean I don’t sit with many black first person narrative all that much (which is a whole different issue) and so it took a little getting used to.

Starr talked about how she felt like she was two different people, the one she was in school and the one she was at home, and getting into this narrative was like. I had to switch off the part of me (which is large) that adapts to being ‘white’ and switch on the ‘black’ part that mostly only exists when I am around other black people. That part of my brain is not usually on when I’m on a train, it got there though. While I was reading this book, it got there. I also learned that I am way better at flicking that switch on and off then I thought I was.

Back to the book itself though, it went in real hard, real fast. I mean I knew what it was about, but I kind of foolishly thought that there would be a small lead into it. But nope, on page 27 in it went and in came my disbelief and shock. I just sort of had to sit in that shock for a little bit before I could carry on.

It totally changed the way that I thought I would approach the book. The impact was insane. Which is 100% the point.

This book from that point onwards just became a book of total frustration and masterful writing and storytelling. It was just incredible. It felt so real and harsh and it just dealt in stone cold facts and that made everything so much harder to read. Because it’s not even a far off version of actual life.

It was perfectly balanced as a narrative. It dealt with so many various aspects of racism and police brutality and it dealt with them brilliantly. And at no point did it ever feel like  it was being ‘preachy’. The characters were so well written and you felt like you had a real sense of who they all were. You felt along with them all and for the latter part of the book I went a true rollercoaster of emotions that I am so happy I went on.

I cannot recommend this book enough.

It is so well written and hard hitting. Thomas has a brilliant writing style and I loved it so much. It’s also a hella important book. So important. And so well handled.

Yeah, read this book.

4/5 stars

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2018 Reading Challenge, Book 26 – the witch doesn’t burn in this one

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And I bring to you another panic read that I got done in a day (and has in the grand scheme of things done nothing to impact my standing with this reading challenge because I remain two books behind because no book I have on this list is actually small it feels. 300 pages plus…)

Anyway, I loved the princess saves herself in this one very much. It felt like it just wormed its way under my skin and took up residence in my bones. So many of the poems in there struck a nerve. And this one did that even more so.

This one felt like I connected with it a bit more. There were some that read like 3 or 4 times just to really let them sink in because I knew that once they did that they would stay with me on some level.

The talk about sisterhood and what it means to be a woman in this here world was just stunning to me. I loved how the whole collection felt both incredibly personal to lovelace but was also something that almost every woman could connect to on some level. The amount of anger that was the basic undercurrent of this collection felt stronger then it did in the last one. Maybe that is just to me because I connected with it more than the first one, but yeah that anger felt real.

And I loved that.

I just love how unapologetic lovelace is within her work. Women (especially) spend so much time apologising and this does not do that. It’s angry and it’s annoyed and it’s celebratory. It’s complicated and yet also pretty damn simple. The poems don’t up much space on the page, but goodness do they pack a punch.

Just like with lovelace’s first collection I cannot recommend this one enough. It is so good.

4/5 stars

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2018 Reading Challenge, Book 25 – Runaways

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This is just how these things always go. I do a little blog project and then end up with all these books that I have to review. This isn’t quite a book. It’s a comic book. Which was perfect because I was in a mini panic reading mode because War Storm took a lot out of me in terms of time spent reading (nearly 2 weeks) and so my schedule was slowly creeping away from me and I went from being ahead to behind.

I needed to make that deficit up. And so on the same day that I finished War Storm I found myself just kind of lying in my bed and then I grabbed this very comic because I knew it wouldn’t take me very long and get myself back to being a little closer to ‘on track’.

It took me less than an hour.

I have not read a single one of the Runaways comics thus far. In fact the only reason that it even came onto my radar is because of the TV show (which I am watching and am loving) and it is currently being written by Rainbow Rowell. We all know how much I love her.

However because of that this story came with a slight lack of context. It was nothing too awful and I could get the gist of everything, but yeah there was a slight barrier. A lot of talk about people dying and coming back to life and time travel. I have on idea what happened prior to this, I don’t quite know why Alex is dead or how he died (spoiler alert) but I could gather that it took place long ago enough that it’s not a very recent wound for the rest of them.

The illustrations in this are incredible. I loved them so much. They just added so much to the story. Which was in itself good. I love an arc I do (who doesn’t?) and this had a great one. It reminded me of just how much I enjoy Rowell’s storytelling and how much I had missed it in my life.

Volume 2 is due out later this year and I am excited to get to that one too.

I think it is a good introduction to the world of Runaways and while yes, it is a continuation of previous ones, it is not hard to pick up where that left off within the first few panels.

3/5 stars

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2018 Reading Challenge, Book 24 – War Storm

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And we back with these. These will be all my blog is for the next week and then I gotta start thinking of content again. I finished this book a while ago now and in theory I could have got it up in May, but I was all in my feelings and I couldn’t process things and so it didn’t happen.

2018 Reading Challenge, Book 24 - War Storm
2018 Reading Challenge, Book 24 – War Storm

I finished the damn series and the strangeness of that feeling when I turned the final page and knew that there wasn’t going to be another book to fall into because that had been my life for like 5 weeks. This world was all my literary life lived and breathed for 5 weeks. I was kinda sad when it was all done and dusted.

Especially because that whole love story that ran throughout the ENTIRE series did not get the ending that I wanted. Don’t get me wrong, it got the ending that it deserved and the one that made the most sense. But I wanted them to live happily ever after and get married and shit. Which would have been so out of place with the rest of the whole damn series.

So that’s my small cross to bear regarding the ending of this series. Beyond that though, this was the perfect ending to this series. It built itself up and it ebbed and flowed and it kept me on my toes.

It was a little slow in places and sometimes I really felt the fact that this book was nearly 700 pages and I did kind of find myself wondering why the hell I cared about some things, but then those pieces of the puzzle fell into place and it made sense as to why I had spent time reading about them, which I guess is the point. But still, it was maybe almost as slow as King’s Cage sometimes.

What I really loved was that the multiple perspectives thing continued. And colour me surprised when on more than one occasion I turned a page to see the words ‘Cal’ and ‘Maven’ at the top of the chapter. I liked those quick little snippets into their minds and how they are viewing this whole clusterfuck. I especially loved the continued time spent with Evangeline. I was hella surprised when I realised just how much I had grown to like her and how she was just a helpless pawn in a puzzle piece. I liked it when she got her version of something akin to a happy ending, it felt like she was finally coming into her own after being controlled by her parents for the sake of power. I also liked the development of her relationship with her brother, that whole section when they first moved in and discovered just how powerful Iris and her troops were some of my favourite parts of the book.

That and the Cal and Mare reunion. It felt very cinematic and I loved that. I love a cinema moment in a book. There were a lot of them in this book.

Like a lot of the stuff to do with Maven. He was so delightfully complicated and he never stopped being so. I love it when my villains are like that.

Mare has been on a real arc throughout this whole series, which is the point of the investment I spent with it I guess, and I am so very happy that she went on this arc. I won’t lie, I kind of hated her just because I did not understand how she could be so naive at points, but she became something so much better and stronger the more she went through and so whilst I was reading her trying to navigate through this whole thing and letting her past experiences both strengthen and yet also break her a little bit. I loved the contrast between the two. It just reminded me of how badass women can be.

I didn’t necessarily care that much about Iris. I thought she was an interesting perspective but I also felt like her arc was somehow anti-climatic. There was a lot of build up and then it just kind of stopped. Again, it made sense but it just felt a bit meh to me.

Overall, I liked this book. It was the epic conclusion that this series deserved. It wasn’t without its faults but overall it was good. It was enjoyable. It tied up a lot of loose ends.

Oh and one more thing before I wrap this up, there was moment when it briefly seemed like Shade was somehow…not dead…and my heart stopped briefly. Especially because I had to finish reading as it happened and I had to wait 9 hours to find out what the hell it meant. It was not that, but damn.

Anyway, I liked it. It was great.

4/5 stars.

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The Beauty and the Beast Tag

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Of course I come out of this A-Z Challenge with a tag post almost instantyl, it’s who I am. It’s what I do. And this one is to do with one of my fave films and so it was always a given that this was going to happen. So let’s get to it.(Oh and also, I saw this here)

Gaston

A Villain You Can’t Help but Love
I always seem to have a soft spot for villains. Not in a justified way but in a like, they always have better back stories to me and I just want to know more about how they got there. I saw Cursed Child last week and so I am currently all up in my Malfoy feelings, so let’s go with Draco.

A Book Everyone Loves But You Don’t

The Girl of Ink and Stars…

Belle and Adam

Your Favourite One True Pairing (OTP)

Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. No questions asked.

Belle

A Character Who is Destined for Greater Things

Mare Barrow. The place that she was left in was so open ended and she had the strength to do so much.

A Book You Bought for its Beautiful Cover That’s Just as Beautiful on the Inside Too

You know I was drawn all the way in by the Everless cover and well I’ve just finished it and damn was that book a piece of art that I am excited to read a sequel for.

Lefou

A Loyal Sidekick You Can’t Help but Love More Than Their Counterpart
Ron fucking Weasley. Honestly, I love him so much. Don’t get me wrong I love Harry and Hermione, but there is just something really special about Ron. I will defend him for forever. (I did not mean to mention them twice, but here we are)

Mrs. Pots, Chip, Lumiere, and Cogsworth

A Book That Helped You Through a Difficult Time or Really Taught You Something

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race really finally meant that I stopped giving a shit about worrying about being ‘too black’ or ‘too white’. It helped me come to terms with the minor clusterfuck that is being mixed race. I’m both. I’m not ashamed of it and other people’s issues with it is not my fucking problem anymore.

Be Our Guest

A Book That Made You Hungry
Eat, Pray, Love especially when she was in Italy.

A Fictional Character You’d Love to Have Over for Dinner

There are so many. Weirdly right now, it’s Offred. That level of pent up rage and living in that world. I wanna hear shit about it.

Beauty and the Beast

Opposites Attract

Like Mare and Cal…although actually they probably aren’t total opposites. They’re just opposite enough I guess.

Something There

A Character Who is More Than They Appear
It threw me how much I gave a shit about Evangeline in the end when it came to the Red Queen series.

A Book or Series That You Weren’t Into at First but Picked Up Towards the End
It’s no secret how I feel about Cassandra Clare’s work. I just about tolerated The Mortal Instruments and as such was hella annoyed at my lack of impulse control that meant that I had to read The Infernal Devices and I turned out to not hate it as much as I thought it would. I mean I still don’t think it was great. But it wasn’t as shit as The Mortal Instruments and I was surprised that it was written by the same person.

Kill the Beast

A Book You Picked Up Because of the Hype
Honestly, I picked up Fangirl because of the hype and did not regret it for a second.

Tale as Old as Time

A Popular Theme, Trope, or Setting You Will Never Get Tired of Reading
I will honestly never get bored of reading about people who ‘shouldn’t’ be together fall in love. You know like princes and ‘common folk’, or a football player and a nerd. That kind of shit.

A Book or Moment That Always Makes You Cry

I don’t really cry at books, and as such I cannot think of a single moment in a book that has made me do that recently.

And that’s it. Done. Turns out I’m thinking about the Red Queen series a lot right now still.

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Halfway There

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If someone wants to tell me how we’re bloody July already that would be greatly appreciated. Seriously.

Also June was a mess. I fully acknowledge that. Life got to me in a really big way and so I just kind of fell into some bad habits that I am trying to slowly break but might not be fully there yet. And speaking of which, we are at the halfway point for the year and so that means that we are do another one of these check ins. So let’s all find out together where I am at with this (because I will not lie, I have kind of forgotten what some of these even are anymore).

1) Learn how to fuck with eyeshadow

I am still pretty much hardly ever wearing make up. I live a very boring life and am hardly going out all that much. And now that we are in summer I imagine that I will be wearing make up even less because these past couple of weeks in London have just been straight sun and the sun loves to catch me and so I have now accidentally tanned out of all my base products and I don’t wear make up enough to justify buying new shades for the summer (and also they won’t even last because I will just keep tanning while the sun keeps shining)

2) Learn how to do a full pull up

I feel like on some level I have done some groundwork with this one that means that at some point if I really did actually try I could probably do one of these. But the problem is, again, I have really not even tried. Not even a bit. Who knows when I will actually attempt it..

3) Be able to a full push up

I’ve said this before and I will say it again. I have shit wrists. Also I am really quite tall and my legs are very heavy I have really learned these past couple of months (the heavy legs thing, not the height thing, I am very aware of my height). This makes some things feel like a mountain to climb. I have hardly even tried to do a full push up with decent range of motion since I last wrote one of these because I just know that I don’t have it in me. I barely have half ones in me right now.

4) Read 70 books

I’m at 33 now. Of 70. I am currently always at least a book behind schedule because War Storm took so damn long to read with its near 700 pages. I’m not too worried about it or anything because I know that there are some books in my list for the year that aren’t that long and so should take less than my standard week to read.

5) Lift heavier

Okay, so I broke this down a little in March and well we are now in the July that I mentioned in that very breakdown. So let’s assess it against that shall we. I am not at 20kg, 10/12kg and 15kg. Not yet anyway.

I am nearly at the 20kg. I’m at 17.5kg still. But I am getting deeper into my squats with it now and so currently that is what I am focusing on. I have only JUST gone up in chest/arms weight because it has continued to remain a blind spot for me and then one day I just realised that the only way that I was going to get the weight up is if I just have to put the weight up. And so I am suffering through the early stages of that right now. Everything else is still at 12.5kg because I am tired for those two final tracks and in this heat right now they have been particularly problematic for me because le sweat is real. Whoever decided that summer was a good time to strength train more and try and go up in weights was a real dumb person…

6) Eat more fruit and veg

I am coming off of a week where it was almost like I forgot what a vegetable was. And fruit. My fave fruits are in season right now and so in theory I should be eating them way more. But for some reason I keep forgetting they’re a thing. So this remains hit and miss and what is more annoying is that I know that I am being bad with it. So yeah, July goals are to try and actually live that summer fruit and veg life.

7) Cook More

The problem with this one is that my dad just does it automatically and I’m out of the house and get home later than everyone else and he always wants to make sure that I’m fed. It’s not a bad problem to have, but it just makes the motivation to do it myself almost non-existent.

8) Finish the damn book

I have not looked at this damn thing since I went back to work after my holiday. Towards the beginning of April. We are however in the early stages of Camp Nano and so I am hoping to get something to do with this accomplished this month. I’m not setting any kind of targets though because they stress me out and I then feel the pressure of them.

9) Write for half an hour a day

This is not happening. I mean I am writing for half an hour or more when I’m writing for this blog, but externally of that I am not that disciplined with that yet.

10) Get better organised

I so wanna say this has happened. But deep down we know that it hasn’t and that in itself is kind of embarrassing.

11) Get my Peak score to 800

This just hangs in the 830’s and I have missed more than I used to because once I lost my long ass streak I kind of lost a bit of my spark for it. I mean I still hit most days, but there are some when I just genuinely forget.

12) Meditate more

I meditated for the whole of May and then only once in June and so I am trying to get back to it again this month because I think it did a lot to the way that I handled my life overall and well I didn’t have any panic attacks in May and I had two in a week in June…

13) Save, save, save

Let me tell you a thing, I have money in my savings account that I actually forgot about. I was just walking into work one day and was like ‘wait, I don’t think I ever cancel that direct debit into my savings account’ and then when I checked, it turned out that I hadn’t and so there was money in there. That I am trying to leave in there. I am basically trying to forget it exists all over again.

14) Put more effort into blogging

Talking about this one seems really weird given that I kind of just stopped caring for most of June about this blog. It just became the last thing on my list of things to do (that isn’t a real list because, hello, I am not that organised) and so it kind of became something that I sort of stopped caring about for a bit. I haven’t reached peak apathy yet, and I don’t think I will, but yeah I defo need to get my mojo back for it.

15) The Masters

Right, this is defo not happening. I realised not that long ago that I have no desire to go back into education. It tore me to shreds by the time I left it and honestly, right now, I don’t think I’m strong enough to go back to it. And so for now, I am not.

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