Saturday, 24 December 2016
Saturday, 10 December 2016
In short it was an incredible show but - as always - there are some negatives to go with the positives. As a whole the entire cast was an amazing ensemble, but some did stand out above the rest.
Celinde Shoenmaker was a marvellous soprano and Christine, balancing the character's gentle nature with her deep fire. Her relationship with Daisy Hulbert's Meg was also enchanting; the latter portraying a wonderful part in her own right despite not being the leading actress.
Lara Martins had only just returned to the role of Carlotta, but it seemed as if she'd never been gone. Her stage presence and vocal range were phenomenal, brining a real life to the part.
Nadim Naaman was also phenomenal as Raoul. I'll be honest of never being a Raoul fan, even including Hadley Fraser's 25th Anniversary performance, but Naaman completely changed my view. His Raoul wasn't just confident and protective, but compassionate and powerful. He was a joy to watch.
Mulcahy's Giry was a fine portrayal but in my mind Madame Giry is meant to be a silent power, and this Giry didn't quite exude the control and fear over the ballet girls that I expected.
Forster's Phantom was sadly the most disappointing, though only in parts. I am a huge fan of Erik, and especially of his gentle, passionate ballads. Music of the Night is quite easily my favourite but it seemed Forster just didn't have the vocal range to pull off the ballad completely. Perhaps he was fighting a cold or other illness, I can't be sure, but his voice seemed to crack in places, and at times he was hard to hear. That said, his renditions of Point of No Return and Down Once More gave me chills.
It's quite obvious he's a wonderful singer and actor who can exude power like the flick of a switch, but I don't entirely feel like he has a master of the more gentle ballads that make the Phantom as sympathetic as he is. He has talent indeed - I myself was rooting for him during 'Superstar' - but the range of the Phantom seems just a little out of reach at this time. His portrayal meanwhile was interesting and unique, if not a little too twitchy for my liking.
The sets, costumes and special effects were of course wonderful, really bringing the audience into the story, especially during such ensemble pieces such as Masquerade, and such pivotal moments as the falling chandelier. The direction was exquisite, and it was surprising how many audience members elicited gasps over The Phantom's reveal behind the angel for his reprise of All I Ask of You. Every inch of the theatre was used to entice and entrance, and it was an absolute joy to witness. A solid 4 stars indeed.
Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed my review. Feel free to comment below or on Twitter!
Thursday, 1 December 2016
UPDATE: Well, I completely failed here haha, but never mind. As we come into September I will be reviving the Countdown to Christmas book challenge soon, which once again gives me chance to get these books read!
The list was;
As always, feel free to post a comment below, or @ me on Twitter, and thanks for reading!
Wednesday, 16 November 2016
A weekly feature created at Breaking the Spine, Waiting on Wednesday features upcoming releases that bloggers are excited about. You can find out more here.
Strange the Dreamer is the story of:
the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.
Welcome to Weep.
While I will admit that I've only read Daughter of Smoke and Bone at this point in time, I absolutely loved it. I will finish the trilogy one day, but for now I'm utterly excited to see what Strange the Dreamer has in store for us all.
Hodder sent out these wonderful blogger packs last week as the proofs were sent to print, and I thought I'd just highlight the lovely little teasers.
Postcard: Welcome to Weep, it states on the front. What does this mean and who is the girl the excerpt describes?
Blood Candy: Described as 'the elixir of life', what is its purpose in the story, and who uses it?
Spirit of Librarian: Whose spirit is trapped and for what purpose?
Moth Tattoo: Are the months symbolic, or do they have a larger role to play?
These are just some of the questions this blogger pack has conjoured regarding Strange the Dreamer, and I honestly can't wait to see what all the answers - and further questions! - are. Thanks Hodder!
Are you excited for Strange the Dreamer? Do you have your own Waiting on Wednesday post? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below or on Twitter!
Monday, 14 November 2016
Firstly, I took a wonderful trip to Foyles on Charring Cross Road for the first time ever, and it was utterly exquisite!
|Foyles' Atrium at Charring Cross Road mega-store|
They have a wonderful glass atrium spanning upwards in the centre of the the shop, surrounded by six floors of books (Including Lower Ground) and a cafe! The YA section itself is phenomenal, and I'm not ashamed to say that I came away with six books and two adorable knitted dinosaurs (One for Mel Salisbury who I was meeting later that day).
I treated myself to Hunter by Mercedes Lackey which sounded amazing, The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh which I'd heard loads about, and a signed copy of Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige because I'd loved it so much. I also got a copy of And a Happy New Year by Holly Bourne which was also signed, and two copies of Dash and Lily (12 Days of - also signed), one of which was for a friend. I'd been wanting both for quite a long while.
|I was also pleased to finally see the Cursed Child theatre!|
I then headed to Forbidden Planet on Shaftsbury Avenue where - among comics and geekery - they had even more signed books! I acquiesced to four more; two again for my friends in the forms of signed Revenger (Alastair Reynolds) and signed Goldenhand (Garth Nix). I also treated myself to Newt's Emerald (Garth Nix) and Angels of Music (Kim Newman); both also signed. I'd heard loads of good things about Newt's Emerald, and the lovely Alisha at realitysabore recommended 'Angels' to me, as I'm a huge Phantom fan.
|In London less than five hours...|
After that it was time for me to watch one of the West End's most iconic book adaptations in The Phantom of the Opera, starring Ben Forster and Celinde Schoenmaker. It was incredible and a full review will be posted soon, but best of all I got to meet up with the amazing Melinda Salisbury, who was - as always - incredibly sweet and lovely (Read: Devil spawn 😉)
Day 2 proved slightly less eventful due to illness, but I still - amongst other stores and another fabulous musical - made a trip to Trafalgar Square and the hidden away Waterstones there. Two more books were lovingly purchased; a copy of The Diabolic by S J Kincaid that I was surprised to find but had honestly been pining for, and a self-confidence journal that I felt was sorely needed for my current mental wellbeing.
|Waterstones - Trafalgar Square|
Day 3 provided one final bookshop; this time Waterstones Piccadilly, which was utterly beautiful. Along with The Victoria Letters for my mum who had been recently watching the show, I also picked up a copy of The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima, as I'd been meaning to start the series ever since I'd read the wonderful Flamecaster.
So those were my bookish adventures in London. I do hope you enjoyed reading.
Please feel free to leave a comment below, or @ me on Twitter!
Sunday, 30 October 2016
As promised, here's the final post in my little top ten series; top ten favourite fictional friendships (Try saying that three times fast, haha!) I hope you enjoy!
1) Spencer Reid and Derek Morgan from Criminal Minds.
These two are the ultimate example of friendship. So close they're almost brothers (Morgan even calls Reid such) they are willing to do anything for each other, whatever the action or price.
2) James Carstairs and William Herondale from The Infernal Devices.
The best literary friendship I've yet to come across, I can't get enough of these two. Parabati, brothers, warriors, they are with each other until death.
3) Kell and Rhy Maresh from A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab.
Actual brothers (More than the above anyway) Kell and Rhy are as thick as thieves. Schwab portrays some beautiful scenes between these two and I honestly can't wait for the third instalment of their tale.
4) Nick and Tim from House of Windows by Alexia Casale.
One of the things I loved most about this book was the characters, especially Nick and Tim. Their relationship, their very character, urged the story along, giving every scene a very real feel. I loved every moment between them and am honestly sad that it's only a stand-alone.
5) Carson Beckett and Rodney McKay from Stargate: Atlantis.
These two. These two are so sweet and adorable both together and apart. They couldn't not make the list.
6) Harriet and Wilbur from Geek Girl by Holly Smale.
I honestly cannot get enough of these two. Maybe not a traditional friendship, they are still so sweet and lovely and Wilbur is always the one person Harriet can rely on. I would happily read a book just about them.
7) Kelly Severide and Leslie Shay from Chicago Fire.
Best friends until the end, Kelly and Shay go through their fair share of ups and downs, but they always make it through.
8) Derek Morgan and Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds.
Like Morgan and Reid I love these two, but in a completely different way. Their fun flirting is delicious, but they would still do anything for each other, and every scene is heartening.
9) Bashir and O'Brien from Star Trek: DS9.
Another of my favourite sci-fi duos, I can't get enough of them.
10) Jane and Maura from Rizzoli and Isles.
Kick ass women who fight crime, put down bad guys, and are there for each other 100%? Completely perfect!
Do you have your own thoughts on my list? Do you have your own favourites? As always, let me know in the comments below or on Twitter!
Thursday, 27 October 2016
As promised, and just a little late, here are my ten favourite fictional pairings. Sunday I will post my favourite friendships. I hope you enjoy.
1) Rumbelle, aka Belle and Rumple, from Once Upon a Time.
Tale as old as time...
Despite all of their troubles and shortfalls, I love this pairing so much.
2) Twylla and Merek, from The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury.
I know many people love Lief but I honestly can't forgive his actions. To me Merek's love is true.
3) Malec, aka Magnus and Alec from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.
I don't think I really need to explain this one, do I?
4) Jessa, aka Jem and Tessa from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare.
Also no explanation needed, though I will note that I love Will, I just wholly prefer Jem.
5) Janto, aka Jack and Ianto from Torchwood.
I have loved this pairing ever since they appeared on my tv screen. Despite everything, I still believe Jack and Ianto deserve, and will get, their happy ending.
6) Erik and Christine, from The Phantom of the Opera.
I know that Erik is a murderous, tortured soul, but part of the reasoning behind that is that he has been denied any kindness in his life. I believe everyone deserves love, including Erik, and wholeheartedly adore Christine and her Angel.
7) Kell and Lila, from A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab.
As soon as I was introduced to these characters I knew they were meant to be. I'm sorely hoping book three will solidify their relationship.
8) Sophie and Luca, from Vendetta by Catherine Doyle.
These two are perfect. End of story.
9) Kaz and Inej, from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.
He nurtures her darker side, and she his lighter. They are yin and yang. Two halves of one whole.
10) Meira and Theron, from Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch.
I doubt my ship will sail, but nonetheless I would love this pairing to get the ending they deserve.
So those are my favourite pairings. Do you share some? What are your own? Do let me know in the comments below or on Twitter!
Sunday, 23 October 2016
As much as I love stories, it's always the characters who drive them that interest me the most. So I thought I would make three lists of my ten favourite characters, pairings and friendships. Today I start with my favourite fictional characters and the other two posts will go up Tuesday and Thursday. I do hope you like them.
1) Dr. Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds.
Cute, caring and provably a genius, who couldn't love Spencer? I've been emotionally invested in his character for years and despite the changes the show has gone through, I have and always will stick by him.
2) James 'Jem' Carstairs from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare.
I think one of the main reasons why I love The Infernal Devices series so much is because of Jem's character and his relationships with both Tessa and Will. Despite everything he has and does go through he is always the most selfless, thoughtful character throughout all three books.
3) Nick from House of Windows by Alexia Casale.
Though Nick does differ from Spencer in many ways they are also in some ways the same, and I think that's part of the reason why I love him. Adorable, socially inept and yet caring beyond all measure, Nick was a character I couldn't not love as I was reading the book. Every instance, every emotion, in his journey was so real and deep that his character quite literally sprung up from the pages.
4) Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold from Once Upon a Time.
I think Rumple is both a character I love and also love to hate. Some of his decisions are quite obviously selfish and self-serving and yet he so genuinely believes he's doing the right thing, so many times, for the people he loves, that it's so hard to truly hate him. There have been many instances where his scenes have broken my heart and I truly hope he gets the happy ending he deserves.
5) Prince Merek from The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love Merek? I think the main attraction in his character is that no matter how much he loves Twylla, he sticks by her through her decisions. He doesn't treat her as a possession or as any less than the strong independent woman she is. He is caring and thoughtful no matter the situation, a great leader, and it is my dearest wish that he gets his happy ending *Narrows eyes at Melinda*
6) Prince Theron from Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch.
Like Merek I adore Theron for so many reasons. He too is a caring, thoughtful man and a noble royal with good intentions. Though I haven't yet worked up the courage to start Frost Like Night, I really do hope Theron gets his happy ending too.
7) Erik from The Phantom of the Opera.
Anyone for a musical genius and anti-hero? Despite everything that happens in his story, whatever incarnation, and the darkness that resides within his tortured soul, I can't help but love Erik, like so many people I'm sure. I recently watched Love Never Dies and it really has just made me love him even more. I honestly can't wait to see Phantom live for the second time this November!
8) Dr. Carson Beckett from Stargate: Atlantis.
A completely selfless hero, I fell in love with Beckett in the first episode of Atlantis. Adorably cute, a gorgeous Scottish accent to match, and a wonderful friendship with Rodney, he's been a favourite of mine for a long while, and I was lucky enough to meet the actor - Paul McGillion - this past April.
9) Dr. Julian Bashir from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Maybe I have an automatic love for Sci-Fi doctors, I don't know, but Julian is another of my longtime favourite characters. A doctor, a genius (I'm sensing a recurring theme...) and undeniably sweet, I honestly think he had some of the best storylines and episodes in DS9 and I was hooked to every single one.
10) Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.
I know I'm not alone in professing my love for Kaz. His character is so well built and excecuted that it's hard not to love him despite his flaws. Unique and passionate (behind the chilling facade of course) he's a fabulous character to follow, just as the rest of his crew. I'm eager to finally start Crooked Kingdom sometime soon.
So those are my top ten fictional characters. Do you have any comments or would like to share your favourites? Do let me know in the comments below or on Twitter, and look out for my Ten Favourite Fictional Pairings on Tuesday!
Sunday, 16 October 2016
Tuesday, 4 October 2016
As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her, drawn to her rose-petal lips and her entrancing glow. There’s just something about her that he can’t put his finger on, something faraway and otherworldly that compels him to fall even deeper. Annie’s from the city, and yet she seems just as out of place as Wes feels. Lost in the chaos of the busy city streets, she’s been searching for something—a missing ring. And now Annie is running out of time and needs Wes’s help. As they search together, Annie and Wes uncover secrets lurking around every corner, secrets that will reveal the truth of Annie’s dark past.
'Annie Van' was an unusual book for me in the fact that I've honestly never read anything like it. It was a completely new experience, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The book tells the story of two characters from different periods of time.
Wes, a modern film-maker at NYU Summer School.
Annie, a businessman's daughter from circa 1825.
They unexpectedly meet, in the most peculiar of ways, and what follows is an adventure through time to right wrongs and put unfinished business to rest; a love story for the ages.
I guess I would classify it as a time travel ghost story, hence its unusual nature. Switching back and forth from two different time periods, it essentially tells two different stories, both of which were highly intriguing. The characters were all loveable, in their own way, and I especially loved Annie and Maddie, who very much mirrored each other, but who were also strong, independent women.
The only points that I would say slightly detracted from the story were;
1: Pace. Meandering in points, it did take me a while to finish.
2: Time travel aspects. Although the mix of it with the supernatural genre was interesting, the back and forth of the timelines was sometimes confusing and hard to follow. Moreover, the physics - the how - of the book was a little sketchy in places, such as why only certain people could see and interact with Annie, and yet why, at times, she was a corporeal, tangible being.
All in all however it was a highly enjoyable narrative and I give it a well deserved four stars.
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments below, or on Twitter!
Sunday, 2 October 2016
Okay, so I know I'm super late in posting this, and I heartily apologise, but I'm here now! Yay!
Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin's life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.
When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won't reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.
Saturday, 1 October 2016
Sunday, 21 August 2016
Okay so, I know The Dark Days Club was released in January, I know I received an ARC of it, and I know a review should be up by now. Except, I didn't finish it. I couldn't finish it, and I was too scared to say so.
Maybe there's a stigma to not finishing a book, especially one you've requested, I'm not sure, but I definitely felt bad for not finishing a book I requested. I felt so bad I had to keep putting it off, saying 'oh, I might try to carry on next week', until now when I've finally had the guts to say;
It didn't work for me.
I was really intrigued by this book, by both the blurb, the idea, and the fact that I loved the author's previous book, Eon. But the fact is, although these things drew me to requesting the book, these are the same things that would have made me buy it in the bookstore. If I'd have bought it in the bookstore however, and hadn't been able to finish it, I wouldn't have felt bad.
So why do I feel bad about review books?
Because, simply, they're for promotion, and I can't promote a book I didn't finish. But it's a known, obvious fact that we - as one person - cannot like every book we pick up. That's impossible. The fact that I didn't enjoy this book, that the pace annoyed me and I just didn't feel that pull to continue and find out what happened next, doesn't come from it being a review book, and I have to start remembering that.
Whether I will like a review book is speculative, just as with any book. I can't force myself to like it just because I've requested it, just as with any book. Requesting a book and enjoying it are two separate things. I will always hope that I will enjoy a review book, because I requested it because I was looking forward to it, because I wanted to read it, but if I don't then that's simply unfortunate. It's not something I should feel bad about.
So, although I was very excited to read The Dark Days Club in the beginning, I have to say - once and for all - that it wasn't the book for me. I do thank Walker for the beautiful ARC, and maybe I will give it a second chance down the line, but for now I have to say goodbye, and just as with anything in life, I can't feel bad for doing what's right for me.
Another day, another book.
I'm not great sometimes for being positive. Sometimes I let myself get so weighed down by stuff. But I'm trying to change that, and in order to start I'm thinking of the top five positive things in my life right now.
I'm calling it #ThePositivityTag
Please do feel free to post your own and share it around; sometimes the world needs more positivity.
1) My Family.
I have an amazing family, both by blood and choice, including two amazing best friends and my fabulous boyfriend, and I really am thankful for every one of them. I wouldn't be who I am today without them.
2) My Goals.
Although my goals are sometimes the source of my stress, the fact that I have them - that I'm reaching for something - is also a source of joy and positivity. I know where I want to go and I'm determined to get there.
3) Disneyland Paris.
Holiday booked for myself and my boyfriend and I couldn't be happier. Disney is a constant source of joy in my life and I'm more than happy to be going back.
4) Arwen - The Super Hamster.
Whenever I feel anything other than happy, my little ball of fluff is always there to give me a cuddle. I'm so glad to have her in my life, even if she keeps me awake sometimes with her bar gnawing.
Maybe a little generic, but books really are a good source of positivity. Being whisked away to another world, if only for an hour, really does wonders for the heart, mind and soul.
What are your own positives? Feel free to write your own post using the hashtag, post in the comments below, or let me know on Twitter.
Wednesday, 17 August 2016
Okay. So I know I've been pretty bad at posting my WoW's, but to be fair I've had work and been on holiday, so maybe I get a pass? Either way, I've decided this week to post about my top 5 anticipated reads, to make up for the last few weeks. Sound fair? Good.
1) Roseblood - A G Howard
If you know me, you know I love retellings, and Phantom is one of my favourite musicals. So yes, I am very excited for January to roll around.
2) Frost Like Night - Sara Raasch
One of my utmost favourite series' and I really need to know how it ends! Shipping Meira and Theron all the way!
3) 12 Days of Dash and Lily - Levithan/Cohn
My friend introduced me to Dash and Lily and I've never looked back since. I totally need to have this next instalment in my life. Many hearts for it already.
4) The Scarecrow Queen - Melinda Salisbury
You know of my love for this series. I've been pretty obvious about it. After the cover reveal at YALC and meeting Mel for the second time, I'm desperate to know how it ends. Please let Merek be happy...
5) The Battlemage - Taran Matharu
Again, another one of my favourite series' where I really do need to know what happens next! Taran's cliffhangers are simply just too awesome.
So those are my five most anticipated reads! What are yours? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter.
Thanks for reading!
Saturday, 6 August 2016
Have you ever read that book that you can't stop thinking about? Weeks pass, months even, but it's still stuck in your head? Those feelings are still bubbling just beneath the surface and you wish more than anything that you could go back and read it for the first time again?
Alexia Casale's House of Windows was that for me.
If you've read my review you'll know how much I related to the main character, Nick. His experiences in education were much like mine, and maybe that's part of the reason the story has stuck with me so much.
But it's not the whole reason.
I think the real reason is because it's so true, and I'm not talking about the fact that it lacked dragons and mythical beings (though Gosswin was something...). Though House of Windows is a contemporary tale, what makes it feel so true is Casale's writing. It's so raw and powerful that you can't not feel for Nick's plight. It's impossible not to be drawn into the world of Cambridge that Casale has painted, to feel so utterly drawn into the tale that it's almost like you're living it yourself. From beginning to end it is completely evocative of real life.
That is why House of Windows has stuck with me and, I'm sure, will continue to stick with me for a long time yet. If you haven't read it, I urge you to do so now.
Thanks for reading. Have any stories stuck with you for a long period? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter!
Monday, 1 August 2016
After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.
Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.
Elegantly crafted story.
Passionate characters and even more so the author.
Sunday, 31 July 2016
On Friday I had the chance to attend the UK's only Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) for the second year running. Though I was only there for just the day, I thought I'd use this Sunday to recap my adventures in books.
Though I only arrived late due to coming from up north and a long train journey, I headed straight to the Books with Bite stand to sign up to their newsletter and get some awesome swag and a tote. I managed to get myself a Crooked Kingdom sampler (Currently reading 6oC), 6oC signed bookplate, and Summoner Books badges. I also got some more fabulous swag from the freebies table, including a Roseblood poster!
I then headed to the Atom stand for a signed copy of On the Other Side for a friend, and then to Waterstones for another copy of The Inquisition (for another friend), plus Half Wild and Unboxed for myself. After that it was time for the signing session for Melinda Salisbury, Taran Matharu and Sally Green.
Heading to Taran's queue first to make sure I got my friend's copy signed, we had a wonderful chat about the Summoner series, and he even remembered me from last year. Very happy start! I chatted to Sally about living around the same area as her and she even mentioned that the train Nathan would have taken to the council would have been the same one I took that morning. Super awesome. Then I joined Melinda's still snaking (Slytherin joke!) queue but it was totally worth it because once again she was so amazingly lovely! She gave me and devilish look when I said Merek needs a happy ending (Sad face) and then hugged me when I gave her a Slytherin pin I'd bought for her. Queen Salisbury of Slytherin!
I pretty much meandered around for the rest of the afternoon, spotting Chelley Toy and Stevie Finegan but being too shy to say anything, and gathering swag and books from all the different and amazing publisher stalls. I even managed to get a proof of Stealing Snow from the wonderful Bloomsbury team!
I also met the lovely Holly Smale again, who also remembered me from last year. We had a lovely chat about Geek Girl, specifically Wilbur and Jasper who I just adore. GG is one of my all time favourite series' so it was wonderful to meet Holly again.
After some more meandering and book buying I noticed a gathering of people around the signing area about 20 minutes or so before Victoria Schwab's signing. Alarm bells ringing I decided it was probably a good idea to join the just formed queue and get ahead of the game so to speak. Victoria was clearly going to be an extremely busy signing, and I'm so glad I did, it was mad!
Meeting Victoria was like a dream come true, and she was super lovely. We talked about her books and I told her how much I love Kell and Rhy. She even showed me some awesome fan art someone gave her and called Kell her baby. She seemed a little bit in awe of how many people were waiting for her and so I even told her I pretty much came because she was there; I'd been unsure beforehand because going for one day is so exhausting. It's certainly a moment I'll not forget!
After Victoria's signing I was done for the day. There were other things I would have liked to stay for but I knew I should look after myself first. That's con rule no1. Despite a slight panic back at Euston (Too many people!) I got the train back home and had experienced such a wonderful day.
I'll definitely be going again next year, and fingers crossed it'll be for the whole 3 days! For anyone who hasn't yet been, I really do urge you to. It's amazing!
Thanks for reading!
Monday, 25 July 2016
YALC is this week! While I'm sure most of us, myself included, are still not wholly prepared, I thought I'd share my tips from attending last year for the first time (alone!) in the hopes it might help with some of the immense preparation for all.
1) Don't rush.
We all want to do everything. All the time. But sometimes you've got to take in the atmosphere too and make some memories. So don't rush. Take it all in. Enjoy. Remember. You'll thank yourself later.
One of my personal highlights that I remember vividly is Sarah Rees Brennan asking me my favourite TMI characters. Without thinking I said 'Jem' then, realising he wasn't really in TMI (technically not a MC), averted to 'and Magnus'. Somehow Sarah thought I meant as a couple, and the sidelong glance from Cassie had me in stitches once I was home. So yes, take it all in folks. YALC is one of a kind, as are the authors who attend.
The key to any convention. Do not underestimate queue length, both signings and the food itself. Be prepared.
3) Comfortable shoes
Another big one. Don't underestimate how important healthy, comfortable feet are. You'll be on them most of the day!
4) Give it a go!
Don't be afraid to let loose and try everything on offer! Being alone and anxious I was too scared to try much and I do regret it.
5) Polite, not pushover
I say this more from experience. Conventions are filled with people all with their own wants and fun packed agendas. Polite society and etiquette still applies of course (we are British) but don't be a pushover. I.E;
There was a competition for an ARC of House of Shattered Wings. Go to the Gollancz stand and shout 'wings' once they've tweeted to do so. I saw the tweet within seconds of posting and by the time I got there, the proof was still up for grabs. But people were in front of me looking at the books so I politely waited for a gap. As I did, someone sidled alongside me, shouted, and that was it.
So yeah, be polite, never rude, but don't be a pushover. Not when it comes to competitions anyway *wink face*
6) Bring a friend
What helps with both anxiety and not being a pushover is if you have a friend. If there's someone you can attend with, go with the phrase 'the more the merrier'. It helps.
7) Books, books, books
Bear in mind how much you take with you and how much you buy. You'll have to carry it all home in the end!
8) Take it easy
Just as with not rushing, take it easy. I ended up having a panic attack last year because I did too much, didn't eat right, bought too much, was alone, and was tired, hence the tips here. It's not something I intend to repeat or want anyone else to feel, so don't underestimate breaks and taking care of yourself.
9) Be careful where you roam
Part of what triggered my anxiety was heading down to the LFCC floor which was mad busy and packed to the rafters. So have fun, but be careful where you go and when.
10) 3 is better than 1
What's better than breaks and meticulous planning, trying to find the line between fun and keeping happy? More time of course. If you can attend all three days, it should improve pressure and anxiety because you simply have more time and less rushing.
11) Cash, not dash
The convention operates mainly on cash, so make sure you have plenty. You don't want to spend part of your day dashing to cash machines. It wastes time and could lead to potential purchases being taken by someone else.
12) Ears and eyes open
Announcements such as changes to signing times, panels and signing queues are usually by Twitter, so keep an eye out, or an ear for stewards. It certainly helps keep track and makes sure you don't miss anything.
So those are my tips for YALC! I really hope you've found at least a few of them useful.
Thanks for reading!
Sunday, 24 July 2016
Thursday, 16 June 2016
I am a fantasy lover through and through but wow did this book blow me away! Huge thanks to Alice at Harper/Harper360 for my ARC; this however in no way affects my opinion or rating.
Time bomb follows a period in the lives of Kaz, Yana and Dora; three teens from different time periods whose lives have inexplicably crossed. At first they are unsure why or how their worlds have collided, but as soon as they start to uncover the secrets behind their time travel, they realise the reasons may be far more complicated than they originally anticipated. This is definitely a book for fans of Dr Who - one where you have to think to follow the story, whilst not being so overly complicated as to detract from the enjoyment.