New Years Resolutions

Woweeee I have not blogged in a very long time and that makes me incredibly sad. I’ve been super busy applying for university and trying to keep on top of all of the work I have to do. It’s been a struggle to balance everything since school began. However, I now have a handle on how I am going to manage my school work next year. I really want to start blogging again and I think the best way to do so would be to make some resolutions that I absolutely can’t break and therefore I will have to stick to them.

  1. Write (and publish) at least 2 blog posts a month.
  2. Take my own pictures for some of my blog posts.
  3. Write more about my life, don’t feel pressured to write about books. I struggle to read stuff that isn’t for school.
  4. Make some new blogging friends and hopefully rekindle some old friendships!

I’m going to force myself to comply to these resolutions and hopefully I will have something to be proud of by the end of next year!

Erin xx

 

Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Prince

Author: Cassandra Clare

Source: Bought out of own money.

Rating: ★★★★

 

I love Cassandra Clare and I love the Victorian era. So naturally I adore these novels. I went through a phase a couple of years ago (like I’m sure a majority of you lot did) where I was obsessed with vampire books. Somehow, I never found these. Cassandra Clare remained a mystery to me.  I (thankfully) got out of that stage pretty quickly and moved on to better and more important novels. So imagine my surprise when I picked up a Mortal Instruments novel and fell in love. I’ve finished that series now, so thought I ought to move on to The Infernal Devices.

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray, has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street, and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends. With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life.

Clockwork Prince is the second book in The Infernal Devices series. It is set in Victorian London, in a world where magic is real. Tessa, the protagonist, is trying to find out the truth about her parentage and how she can stop her brother from being evil. She is also stuck in the middle of a love triangle, which although it’s a ridiculously typical trope of YA fiction, is quite endearing and enjoyable in this story line. Tessa is so unbelievably awesome, she refuses to take no for an answer and is set on doing everything as well as the boys. She’s worth reading the novel for. What I loved most about the novel was Tessa struggling to find the balance between achieving her dreams and training as a shadow hunter and also trying to fit in with society’s boundaries for being a woman. The conflict was brilliantly written and really made me think about the reaction that somebody from a very strict upbringing might have when suddenly thrust into a new society.

I love the fast paced plot of Clare’s work. I am never bored when reading her stories which means I will come back time and time again. Her descriptions are beautiful and almost make me want to go and live in Victorian London. The detailed descriptions of the clothing made me weak with pleasure and I re read passages just to be able to experience the authors interpretation of the era once again.

Whilst I am normally annoyed at love triangles and really hate having to put up with them just to find out the ending to a story, the love that Will, Tessa and Jem show for each other is rather realistic. I love that fact that Will honours his friendship with Will above all else, and how Tessa may love them both but once she has made her decision wants to stick with it.

Of course the best part of any Cassandra Clare novel is Magnus Bane, he’s a wonderful comedic element with a darker side. I fell in love with him when he was first introduced in City of Bones and my love for him has not died. Also, LGBT representation is important; even in Fantasy novels.

What did you think of Clockwork Prince? I am currently reading Clockwork Princess so will most likely post my overall review of the series in the next couple of weeks. I am preparing myself for some full on emotions.

Erin xx

Top Tips for Newbie Cosplayers

newbie cosplayer

As you might know (You probably do, I certainly say it enough!) this year I started to cosplay. I haven’t done anything fancy, just a really crappy Castiel cosplay, a Thor inspired outfit, and of course my beloved Merida. However, I have been going to conventions for quite a while so have picked up some tips along the way. I thought I’d share them with you and hopefully make your experience more enjoyable.

  1. Take food and drink. Trust me, feeling faint or overheating and having to stand in a queue to buy food sucks. Bring your own and pack extra as others might not be as savvy as you.
  2. Take cash. There’s nothing worse than getting to a stall that you have been waiting to go to all day, only to find out they don’t take card. Also, the cash machine will most likely run out or develop quite a queue. Be Prepared!
  3. Say no to photos. Whether you feel like the photographer is being too invasive or you just need a rest, it is okay to say no. I’ve heard some awful stories of people taking some really pervy photos, that doesn’t have to be you.
  4. Cosplay as whatever you want. It doesn’t matter what your race is, what gender you are or what size you are. Have a good time and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  5. Say hello to people. You will always find people interested in similar things to you at conventions, I’ve made some of my best friends at conventions. The community is lovely and really accepting.
  6. Be nice to each other. Maybe someone’s costume is not screen accurate, maybe they aren’t wearing a wig, or maybe they look like they haven’t put that much effort in. Whatever your reasoning is, there is never any excuse to be rude to another person. Specifically about cosplay. Make sure you treat each other exactly how you would want to be treated.

Have fun!

Erin xx

Least Favourite Blogging Things

This is another BookBlogWriMo prompt. Although I really enjoy book blogging, there are two things that annoy me.

The first one is mainly to do with twitter. Sometimes I get some weird tweets from authors asking if I’d review their book and when you look down their profile they’ve said the same thing to everyone. I find this annoying as they are unwanted notifications, but I also find it annoying that they obviously haven’t spent enough time picking the bloggers they want by going onto their actual blogs and finding their contact details. If it was a general ‘Hey, who wants to review my book’ kind of tweet, that is not actually directed at anyone, then I wouldn’t mind. It’s just how impersonal and lazy it is that gets me.

The second one is more my fault than anyone else’s. I really hate having to take photos for posts. Most of the time I don’t. However, when I actually get round to putting them into the post, I find it really hard to format. Maybe this is just me being stupid. I can never get the images to go into the places that I want them to go!

What are your least favourite things about blogging? I’ve had a really positive experience so far, but I would like to know your opinions.

Erin xx

Taylor Swift Book Tag

taytaytag

Here’s a really cool tag that combines two of my favourite things, the glorious Miss Taylor Swift and Books. If you want to do it then leave your posts in the comments! I’d love to see what y’all pick.

1. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: Pick a book (or book series) that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Although I hated the first book but loved the last one (?) so I’m not entirely sure that it counts.

2. Red: Pick a book with a RED cover.
The Enemy by Charlie Higson (I love zombies so much!)

3. The Best Day: Pick a book (0r a series) that makes you feel nostalgic.
Harry Potter duh

4. Love Story: Pick a book with forbidden love.
Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews. This book is so messed up, but I still kinda love it.

5. I Knew You Were Trouble: Pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love.
I guess Alex in Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, although just how bad she is is open to debate.

6. Innocent: (written b/c of Kanye West!) Pick a book that someone ruined the ending for.
Allegiant, ugh I was so excited to read this and then someone (WHO DOESN’T EVEN READ THE BOOKS) told me the ending.

7. Everything has Changed: Pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development.
Jane from Jane Eyre. Although her character development wasn’t for the better.

8. You Belong With Me: Pick your most anticipated book release.
I was so excited to read Blood of Olympus, so I guess that would be it. I don’t have any that I’m particularly waiting for now.

9. Forever and Always: Pick your favourite book couple.
Do they have to be canon? If not then Luna and Neville. If they do have to then Clary and Jace!

10. Come Back, Be Here: Pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much.
My hard back set of Harry Potter books. I won’t let anyone touch them. Ever.

Review: Endgame: The Calling by James Frey

Title: Endgame: The Calling

endgameAuthor: James Frey

Publication: October 7th 2014 by HarperTeen

Rating: ★★

Source: NetGalley in exchange for a fair review

I have to be honest, I didn’t like this book. I enjoyed the preview that I read and decided to download the rest of the story. However, it was not brilliant. I’ve never really liked the work of this author, It’s just never gripped me. And I have real problems with the way he treats his employee’s. I decided to give it a try none the less.

Play.
Survive.
Solve.
People of Earth.
Endgame has begun.

I couldn’t find a short blurb that summed up the book, so I will try my best. There are 12 ancient lines, these each have a ‘player’ whose job it is to figure out the puzzles of the aliens that created the earth when the time comes. This is Endgame. They are meant to kill each other and find 3 keys in order to be able to save their blood line when the end of the world comes. The company that created the book has teemed up with production studios and other companies to create a fully inclusive experience. There is an app coming out, as well as a possible movie.

I though this book was very similar in premise to the Hunger Games, which in turn is a rip off of Battle Royale. So nothing new. I don’t really have anything against teens killing each other, that is a main part of YA after all, but when it is almost exactly the same as two other things you start to wonder how original the idea was anyway.

I despise romance in novels if it is unnecessary. There was a lot of it in this book. To be fair some of them were insightful. We read from the perspective of various characters and some of their stories were very interesting. In particular, the young mother who was trying her best to protect her family. BUT, I really hated all of the other love stories. I think that a real life teenager would be able to keep their hormones in check when they are doing something that they have been trained to do for their whole lives.

The writing was mediocre. I wouldn’t say it grabbed me, but I still managed to finish the book. I liked the different perspectives of the characters, and the fact that they were incredibly diverse. My particular favourite was Chiyoko, a mute girl, who was so incredibly bad ass it was hard to find a fault in her.

Overall, I wouldn’t waste your money on this book. Maybe if it goes on sale or you fond it in a charity shop you should give it a go. But otherwise, don’t bother.

Erin xx