Friday, 28 August 2015

My Favourite Disney Films

I've been thinking about doing this post for a while, because I'm a big Disney fan and I felt like doing something non-bookish. So today, I'm going to share my top five favourite Disney films with you - enjoy!

My Top Five Favourite Disney Films (in Order):

1) Mulan - I love this film so, so much. It is my absolute, all time favourite Disney film. I love everything about it - the animation, the songs (who in this world does NOT like "I'll Make a Man Out of You"? Or "Reflection"?), the characters (Mulan is my favourite, but you know who else is amazing? The grandmother - "sign me up for the next war!"), the message it gives, the amazing quotes ("no matter how the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow to it") - everything. And I think I identified a lot with it when I was younger, because I didn't always fit in, and it helped me understand that it's okay to be yourself. Mulan tries to be a lot of different people in the film - the perfect bride, the excellent soldier - but it's when she's being herself that she manages to save all of China. You don't meet a girl like that every dynasty!

2) Tangled - oh Flynn Rider, you glorious animated fictional character, you. One reason I love Tangled so much is because of Flynn Rider, and the "hot man meeting" that led to his creation. As well as that, Tangled is generally just a great film with more excellent songs and the MOST adorable romance (it's just so cute, I never get bored watching it). One of the most impressive things about Tangled, however, is Mother Gothel. She is one of my favourite villains, and "Mother Knows Best Reprise" is one of the best Disney villain songs ever. Also, let's not forget Rapunzel, and her excellent skills in using her hair for unconventional things  - she is strong as hell to carry 70 feet of hair with her everywhere she goes, let alone throw it around and use it as a rope pulley and swing vine and all sorts of other crazy things! Not to mention her handiness with a frying pan.

3) Aladdin - I love Aladdin so much, I quoted it in my Company Law exam. Sadly, that was the exam I did worst in - I don't think my professor appreciated me throwing in the quote "all this for a loaf of bread?" in an essay about derivative claims. I have no regrets though, because I adore this film. The genie...he's my favourite character. Robin Williams was perfect in the role, and I'll always be a little bit sad now when I watch this film and know that he's gone. The genie is awesome and hilarious and a true friend. And Princess Jasmine! She is such an amazing Disney Princess. She stands up to Jafar, she refuses to be treated as a prize to be won. She convinces her father to change the law about marriage! Of course, there's Aladdin too - how could you not love him? He's the epitome of the loveable underdog you can't help but root for. And his friendship with the genie - I'm getting emotional now. And once again - the songs. Aladdin has some of the best songs around. "A Whole New World", "Prince Ali"...and one of my favourite lyrics from the film: "gotta eat to live, gotta steal to eat, otherwise we'd get along" (and also "these guys don't appreciate I'm broke" :P).

4) The Lion King - if you tell me that as a child, you did not cry when Mufasa died, then I don't even know what to say to you. It's so sad, I still almost cry now and I am a grown adult who has seen this film countless times. I know exactly what is going to happen, and STILL I can't bear to watch the part where Simba finds his dad's body and...ah! It's too much. And Scar. Such a great villain. You really love to hate him. And once again, fabulous songs. I always sing along, especially to "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" because it is SO catchy, and reminds me of my childhood.

5) Hercules - this film is so funny. The jokes are amazing, my favourite is the one about Narcissus, it literally cracks me up every single time. Plus, Meg is awesome: "I'm a damsel, I'm in distress, I can handle this." And her song "I Won't Say (I'm in Love)" is brilliant! I still know all the words and it gets stuck in my head so often (embarrassingly often, and I want to sing it aloud so much, but it's not really the type of song you can just burst into in public, is it). To be honest, all the songs are brilliant (from zero to hero!) and I just love it so much. Okay, yes, the Greek mythology isn't entirely accurate (coughnotaccurateatallcough) but I can look past that and enjoy it for what it is; a hilarious and fun film!

Notable mentions: The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Emperor's New Groove (and does Toy Story count? Because that too).

There are of course many, many other Disney films that I love but these are my absolute favourites. Let me know your favourite Disney films and why you love them so much! I'd also be interested to hear people's least favourite ones (I don't really like Snow White or Peter Pan).

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Review: Firewalker by Josephine Angelini

Firewalker (The Worldwalker Trilogy #2) by Josephine Angelini
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Released: August 27th 2015
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Lily Proctor has made it back to her own universe, and it's finally time for her and Rowan to be happy and relax. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape, and they must hide her new magic for the safety of the world, but compared to fighting the monstrous Woven and leading armies in the alternate Salem, life is looking good.

'You think I'm a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified.'

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. Lily is the closest version of herself she's ever seen in all her worldwalking, and Lillian's running out of time. If she can't persuade Lily and Rowan to return to her world, she'll have to find a way to make them come back.

Firewalker - the follow-up to Trial By Fire - is another sexy, fast-paced thrill ride from internationally bestselling author of the Starcrossed series, Josephine Angelini!
(from Goodreads)

Erm, wow. What the frickity frack just happened? I can’t deal with this cliffhanger. I need the next book. I don’t want to wait. Why is life so unfair.

After the cliffhanger of the first book, I was dying to get my hands on Firewalker. Things picked up right where we left off in book one and we got to see the aftermath of Lily firewalking (or burning herself to a crisp - seriously, the scenes where Rowan was trying to heal her were quite graphic at times. I have to admit I was a bit grossed out). It took a while for her to recover, and while she was, she was still communicating with Lillian - something she was hiding from Rowan. It was interesting to see Lily back in her own world, because she had changed so much. Now she knew she was a witch, how would she live the rest of her life in a world where no-one else had magic? She had never really considered her future before and now she had a lot of decisions to make. It was great to read about how she interacted with her old friends and acquaintances as well - everyone noticed something was different about her. Most people were convinced she was kidnapped for three months, so Lily and her family had to spin some story to throw off the FBI and everyone else who was wondering what the hell happened to her. Obviously they were all still suspicious, and that was another thing Lily had to deal with, as well as help Rowan adjust to life in her world, which was so different to his.

Speaking of Rowan…just. Ugh. How could you, Rowan? After everything! Things were going so well, he was being so sweet, he was becoming fascinated with computers and being all adorable and he and Lily were so damn cute together - I was shipping it so hard. Then bam. Now, I don’t know what to think. I could understand Lily’s feelings. I know keeping secrets always ends badly, but when it came to Lillian, Rowan wasn’t rational about stuff. And honestly (as much it pains me to admit it), I felt sorry for Lillian. She had suffered. Of course, the horrible things she did were inexcusable, but I could see what had driven her to it. I have no idea what’s going to happen with the romance now. I really did not want a love triangle, but now I can’t even predict what’s going to happen next. I liked Tristan (from Lily’s world) as her friend, but I still couldn’t forgive him for cheating in book one. And now after that ending…oh my God. I need the next book.

Plot-wise, it took a while for things to really start happening, but once they did, I got really engrossed. The beginning was mostly Lily recovering and experiencing a few of Lillian’s memories, which were interesting, but it was a bit of a slow start. When Lily decided to [minor spoiler, highlight to read]tell Tristan, Una and Breakfast about her powers and claim them[end of spoiler] things began to pick up. I do think some things were a bit unrealistic. Certain people just seemed to accept that magic and parallel worlds existed a bit too easily, and it seemed a bit unbelievable that they would then go ahead and risk their lives and their homes for a girl they didn’t know very well as a result. But, while it was weird, for the most part, it didn’t actually bother me that much. I really enjoyed the interaction between Tristan, Una, Breakfast and Lily. They became closer and it was nice to see Lily have other friends, besides Tristan, from her own world. Rowan and Tristan also grew close, though I do wish we could have seen Rowan interact a bit more with Breakfast and Una. We were told they became very close (Rowan like a brother to Una) but I didn’t really feel it. Another thing I quite enjoyed was the way Lily seem to be piecing together information to build a theory about the Woven. The people from Rowan’s world had never really stopped to consider them, they were too busy trying to stay alive, and hated the Woven more than anything else. Lily was not from that world, and had a different perspective on things, and something was bothering her about it. It was a bit frustrating a times when people like Rowan kept dismissing her theories which obviously had some merit to them, but I could understand; Rowan had lost a lot of people to the Woven, and didn’t want to seem them as anything other than monsters. As for the ending…well. I honestly have no idea what will happen next, because I have no idea what actually happened. Nope. I am not believing anything until I have concrete proof. So, book three, I await you and your explanations.

Overall, I really enjoyed Firewalker. It didn’t suffer from second book syndrome and was a solid sequel. I’m definitely looking forward to book three, and recommend this series!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #72

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo
September 29th 2015
Find it on Goodreads

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price - and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy, Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone.

A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction - if they don't kill each other first. 
(from Goodreads)

I think everyone who enjoyed the Grisha Trilogy is waiting for this book. It's set in the same world, but with different characters, and it sounds awesome! Plus, I'll pretty much read anything Leigh Bardugo writes at this point. I really love books about heists and Kaz definitely sounds like an interesting character. My one worry is that I won't enjoy all the POV switches, because I usually get attached to a few characters only and don't care about the other POVs. I'm hoping Leigh Bardugo can pull it off (because I really loved the characters in the Grisha series) but I'll just have to wait and see! Not long to go now until release date.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #3: Top Ten Books That Would Be on My Syllabus if I Taught Sarcasm in YA 101

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is:

Top Ten Books That Would Be on My Syllabus if I Taught Sarcasm in YA 101 (in no particular order):

1. The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan - because Nick Ryves excels at sarcasm and is one of my favourite characters of all time. His sarcasm is often not taken well by the people he's speaking to - but as a reader, you can't help but laugh. He is gifted with sarcasm in a way us mere mortals could only ever long for. We could all learn a lot from him - like how to say sarcastic things at really inappropriate times. Also, how to look good when throwing a knife - but that's a lesson for another day.

2. Cracked by Eliza Crewe - Meda's brand of sarcasm is subtly different to Nick's - there's usually a bit more emotion hidden behind it, and she is excellent at directly responding to something with sarcasm on the spot. Clearly, she's got a natural talent for it, and knows how to use sarcasm as a weapon if necessary. We can't miss out on this hilarity.

3. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielson - you can't have a class on sarcasm without including Sage. This guy is a pro. Forced to be independent at a young age, he's perfected his technique over the years. We mostly hear his sarcasm through his narrative, seeing as he's constantly around people who would dearly like to beat him up during this book. Still, he's hilarious and for someone who was never originally sarcastic, he sure has taken to it like a duck to water.

4. The Turn of the Story by Sarah Rees Brennan - another SRB book (well actually, free online story which you can read by clicking the title), because she is oh so very talented. Elliot's sarcasm is a bit more obvious, a bit more in your face - but there's nothing wrong with that. People always know when Elliot is being sarcastic - and he wants them to, because that's just how he is. He's a bit more out there with his examples - he's definitely a creative soul - and he would probably really enjoy teaching a class on sarcasm, if he could.

5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - Celaena Sardothien comes under the category of dangerously sarcastic. I mean yeah, she's funny - but she also has weapons. And you know, is an assassin. For characters wishing to go down that line of work, her type of sarcasm is one to consider. She can be sarcastic in a fun every day kind of way, but then she can also make really cutting remarks that make you kind of fear for your life. Not a skill everyone can learn.

6. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan - oh Percy. All you have to do is read the chapter titles of this book to realise how hilarious this guy is. His sarcasm is a lot more light-hearted, the kind that everyone can appreciate (and if you don't find him funny, you just don't have a sense of humour. End of). And Percy gets more sarcastic as the series goes on - which each book, he becomes more of an expert. He's sarcastic to everyone; the people he loves, the people he likes, the people he hates - the gods of Olympus. EVERYONE. And you know what they say, practice makes perfect. You can't be as good as Percy if you're only sarcastic to a few people now and again.

7. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare - Will Herondale - a boy who has much to offer in the sarcasm department. Brooding heroes with painful pasts - take note. Will's sarcasm is a mixture of delighting in an exchange of witty banter, and covering up a broken heart. His sarcasm is both an indication of his humour, and a shield - because that guy doesn't not trust people. It's easy to love Will Herondale (really, ask anyone), and his sarcasm is a definite contributing factor.

8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling - you didn't think I'd have this list without Harry Potter, did you? This book is a double whammy, because both Harry and Ron are amazingly sarcastic. Ron is more so at the start of the series (so of course, we'll also study the later books to pick up on how Harry's sarcasm develops). He's is the classic sarcastic friend, the source of humour, the one who makes the jokes. In a family with five older brothers, and one younger sister, he's had to learn how to get his voice heard. Harry is a bit more sassy - he's not as sarcastic as often as Ron, but when he is, oh you can tell. Ahhh I miss these characters so much.

9. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan - yes, yes, another SRB book. What can I say? She knows what she's doing. Angela is another sarcastic friend - but her sarcasm is a bit more hard-hitting. She really enjoys being sarcastic, really takes pleasure in it - and of course, if you really enjoy what you do, you're going to end up being good at it.

10. The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell - here, we have Damien. A guy who's life is turned upside down when he finds out that he's half superhero. Understandably, Damien is upset. His plans of being a supervillain are thrown out the window. He's thrown out of his house. How does he react to it all? By being a sarcastic little shit, of course. I'm not saying he wasn't always one, but when he goes to live with his dad - oh is the sarcasm level amped up considerably. And it's doubly hilarious, because his superhero dad is a) completely not used to it, and b) has no idea how to react. It's a brilliant combination - and one that Damien uses to advantage. If you want cunning sarcasm, manipulative sarcasm, sarcasm with a kick - Damien is your guy.

There are probably more, but here are my ten!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Review: The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward

The Potion Diaries (Potion #1) by Amy Alward
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK
Released: July 2nd 2015
My Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

When the Princess of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion meant for her crush, she falls crown-over-heels in love with her own reflection. Oops. A nationwide hunt is called to find the cure, with competitors travelling the world for the rarest ingredients, deep in magical forests and frozen tundras, facing death at every turn.

Enter Samantha Kemi - an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. Sam's family were once the most respected alchemists in the kingdom, but they've fallen on hard times, and winning the hunt would save their reputation. But can Sam really compete with the dazzling powers of the ZoroAster megapharma company? Just how close is Sam willing to get to Zain Aster, her dashing former classmate and enemy, in the meantime?

And just to add to the pressure, this quest is ALL OVER social media. And the world news.

No big deal, then.
(from Goodreads)

I really wanted to like The Potion Diaries, it sounded like it would be such a cute and fun read, but unfortunately it wasn’t for me (I adore the cover, though).

First of all, the characters. I generally write reviews by talking a bit about each main character, and then moving on to talk about the plot. But I have nothing to stay about these characters. They were so underdeveloped. Samantha was probably the most developed, as the central character, but still, I can’t really tell you too much about her. She knew a lot about potions, I guess? But I never really understood what was motivating her - and some of the things she did [spoiler, highlight to read](like when Emilia had the gun - what did Sam hope to achieve in that scene?!)[end of spoiler] were just odd. The romance with Zain was sort of half-assed as well. There was no chemistry there, we knew next to nothing about Zain really, and I didn’t understand why they even started liking each other. It was cute at times, but eh. Plus I am really, really, REALLY not fond of when kisses are described as “the kiss went deeper” or “he deepened the kiss” or any variation of kissing and deepening. It’s in almost EVERY book, and I always sigh when I see it. I think I’m getting worse with old age.

I think I maybe could have liked this book more if the plot were stronger, but nope. First off, the world-building was poor and a lot of things didn’t make sense. It was a sort of modern day setting with technology that we have now but also with potions and fantasy creatures and other stuff - and I actually really liked this idea. But so much was unexplained, so many things seemed contradictory and it didn’t come together. Like synthetic potions vs natural potions - what was actually the difference? If you are replicating ingredients exactly, why does it matter if it’s not sourced naturally? Was it some magical thing? And I was confused by a whole bunch of other stuff too. It could have worked with a little more explanation, but the premise of the whole book was trying to find a way to save the princess and I felt like making the characters go on the Wilde Hunt (a quest, basically) was just there to add drama. The characters didn’t even know what the quest entailed. They were gambling away this girl’s life on chance, even though they had other resources they hadn’t fully taken advantage of (there was no explanation really as to why modern medicine couldn’t save the princess, or why they had to do this weird quest which no-one had done in ages when there was no guarantee it would help. And what was everyone else doing while the few people taking part in the quest went off? Just faffing around, waiting for them to come back? I didn’t get why this quest seemed like the ONLY way to save the princess, and as for finding out the ingredients in the potion - couldn’t they have just examined the princess’s blood?). Plus, did no-one care that giving someone a love potion would be taking away their free will meaning they couldn’t actually give true consent? Like, wouldn’t this be a violation of human rights? Or at least wrong enough that the princess would be in serious trouble? Love potions were illegal in this world, was she going to get away with it just because she was royal? That’s so 1400s.

And don’t even get me started on the princess herself, because I did not care for Evelyn at all. I didn’t care about her good intentions, I didn’t care about her home life, I just could not sympathise with this girl (even though it was clear that I was really supposed to). I also really did not enjoy her chapters - they were pointless and only made me dislike her more.

Things did get a bit better once things actually started happening. This book started off very, very slowly. Every chapter I was waiting for something to happen, I was practically screaming “make some progress already” in my head every time I turned a page on my Kindle. But once the Hunt began, the pace picked up and I did enjoy some parts. The humour at times wasn’t bad too, but sadly none of the good things could really make up for the other problems I was having with this book. The ending was disappointing as well - [spoiler, highlight to read]they beat Emilia way too easily[end of spoiler] and it ended rather abruptly after that.

Overall, I was not a fan of this book. It was too frustrating to be the cute and fun book that it was intended to be. I wouldn’t actively advise against reading this, but I can’t highly recommend it either.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Review: The Edge of Forever by Melissa E. Hurst

The Edge of Forever by Melissa E. Hurst
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Released: June 2nd 2015
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

In 2013: Sixteen-year-old Alora is having blackouts. Each time she wakes up in a different place with no idea of how she got there. The one thing she is certain of? Someone is following her.

In 2146: Seventeen-year-old Bridger is one of a small number of people born with the ability to travel to the past. While on a routine school time trip, he sees the last person he expected—his dead father. The strangest part is that, according to the Department of Temporal Affairs, his father was never assigned to be in that time. Bridger’s even more stunned when he learns that his by-the-book father was there to break the most important rule of time travel—to prevent someone’s murder.

And that someone is named Alora.

Determined to discover why his father wanted to help a “ghost,” Bridger illegally shifts to 2013 and, along with Alora, races to solve the mystery surrounding her past and her connection to his father before the DTA finds him. If he can stop Alora’s death without altering the timeline, maybe he can save his father too.
(from Goodreads)

I was a little bit wary about starting The Edge of Forever, as I had recently read a time travel book which turned out to be a cheesy sap-fest with no explanation for how the time travel was actually happening. Luckily, The Edge of Forever was not like that at all and I actually really enjoyed it.

The Edge of Forever was told from two POVs: Bridger’s and Alora’s. I actually liked both of them a lot, though I did find Bridger’s a bit more interesting at times because he was from the future so I liked seeing all the differences between his world and our present day one. They were both interesting characters and they both had their own problems to deal with. Alora was suffering from random blackouts: she would start off in one location and then suddenly wake up somewhere completely different with no memory of how she got there. She was unsurprisingly alarmed by this and was desperate to find out what was wrong with her. I do think though that in real life, a person suffering from these sorts of blackouts would probably tell someone about them. Alora didn’t want to tell her aunt because she was worried about money and how much it would all cost for her to be examined etc. but even if that were the case, it seemed unrealistic to just keep it a complete secret. What was happening was really serious, she had no idea what what was going on, or if these blackouts were dangerous enough to kill her. Personally, I wouldn’t like to risk my life in that way. That aside, Alora was also searching for information about her father. Her aunt refused to tell her anything about him and Alora knew that something wasn’t right - why had he left her on his aunt’s doorstep all those years ago? To be honest, the secret behind her father wasn’t too hard to guess, though there were some unexpected things which were cool, and I liked how determined Alora was. She was already dealing with a lot of crap (ugh Trevor) but she was not willing to give up on this. It was a testament to her character that she kept trying to find out what happened even when it seemed like she’d reached a dead end, and she was never going to get any answers. 

Bridger was from a future where time-travel was possible, but where strict rules had to be followed before it could be done. Bridger, however, decided to ignore these rules, because he too was looking for information about his father and was trying to find out how he died on his last time-travel mission. After ending up in 2013 and meeting Alora, Bridger knew that she was the key to everything. He knew why she seemed to be blacking out, but he had no idea why his dad was also concerned about Alora. It was his dad that led him to find her, but Bridger was now stuck in 2013 with no way of getting back to his own time without being arrested, and no way to help Alora without telling her everything about where he came from - which she would never believe. He was also still dealing with the death of his girlfriend Vika - who looked very much like Alora. Which to me, was probably the weirdest part of the book. I mean, I did actually like the romance between Bridger and Alora, I thought they were sweet together and it wasn’t all insta-lovey and dramatic. But the fact that Alora looked so much like Vika was really weird. You could never really know if that’s what drew Bridger to Alora in the first place, and it was just kind of odd.

Plot-wise, while the explanation for time-travel could have been more developed (it was due to genetics in this universe), I liked that there at least was an actual explanation, and that there were rules established that you had to follow in order to safely time-travel. It at least made sense and it was interesting to see how society in future had changed because of this. In terms of what happened in the story, as mentioned previously, some things were easy to guess, but this wasn’t really a negative, and there were some things that I did not expect which definitely made the ending a lot more exciting.

Overall, I enjoyed The Edge of Forever a lot and will be reading the sequel. Recommended if you like books about time-travel! 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #71

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Their Fractured Light (Starbound #3) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Released: December 1st 2015
Find it on Goodreads

A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.
(from Goodreads)

I have really enjoyed the Starbound series so far and I'm so excited for the third and final book! Look at that cover. LOOK at that cover. The covers in this series are all so beautiful. Ahem. Moving on. I'm really glad this book is about Sofia (I liked what we saw of her before, she seemed pretty interesting) and I'm looking forward to seeing all the other characters from previous books again (I really hope we get more of Tarver and Lilac this time, I miss them!). Can't wait to find out how everything will end - I have a feeling something really big is going to happen.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Review: Daughter of Dusk by Livia Blackburne

Daughter of Dusk (Midnight Thief #2) by Livia Blackburne
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Released: August 4th 2015
My Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

After learning the truth about her bloodlines, Kyra can’t help but feel like a monster.

Though she’s formed a tentative alliance with the Palace, Kyra must keep her identity a secret or risk being hunted like the rest of her Demon Rider kin. Tristam and the imprisoned assassin James are among the few who know about her heritage, but when Tristam reveals a heartbreaking secret of his own, Kyra’s not sure she can trust him. And with James’s fate in the hands of the palace, Kyra fears that he will give her away to save himself.

As tensions rise within Forge's Council, and vicious Demon Rider attacks continue in surrounding villages, Kyra knows she must do something to save her city. But she walks a dangerous line between opposing armies: will she be able to use her link to the Demon Riders for good, or will her Makvani blood prove to be deadly?

In this spellbinding sequel to
Midnight Thief, Kyra and Tristam face their biggest battle yet as they grapple with changing allegiances, shocking deceit, and vengeful opponents. (from Goodreads)

I didn’t like Daughter of the Dusk as much as I liked Midnight Thief, but it was worth reading and wrapped most things up nicely (not sure if there will be more books in this series but I feel like things could end here if not).

Kyra was struggling with her Makvani side in this book. She was frightened to change into her cat form because she didn’t know if she would lose control and hurt someone. At the same time however, she was drawn to the other Makvani and wanted to know more about them and her heritage. I could understand her feelings - she wasn’t really on any side. The people she worked for at the Palace didn’t really trust her and the Makvani considered her an outsider because she was half human. I liked that she spent more time with the Makvani in this book and got to know more about them, as well as meet new members of the clan like Adele. The kittens also grew really attached to Lettie which I thought was really cute - they played together without any concerns. I also liked seeing Kyra in her cat form. She was capable of violence that she would never had been in her human form and she needed to accept that she had that darker side to her.

Things with Tristam were very complicated in this book too. He was going through marriage negotiations and Kyra, even though she had broken things off before they had started, couldn’t help but feel upset. She was low born and could never be more than a mistress to Tristam and that isn’t what either of them wanted. I was never a huge fan of Tristam but I feel like he developed a bit in this book and began to accept things and become more open minded. He was still a bit boring though. I don’t know. And the relationship was… I mean, at least it wasn’t just pure insta-love. I just think more could have happened.

My main problem with this book was the way James’s character was just wasted. There was potential to do so much with him, learn more about his past, have him escape and do things, but we ended up with nothing like that. It was such a waste! I wanted James to do something, to be involved, to interact with Kyra more. He was the leader of the Guild, he had connections everywhere, there was so much he could have done and ugh. It bothered me that his character was basically reduced to saying a few symbolic words to Kyra and that was it.

Plot-wise, I liked discovering more about Kyra’s past and her parents. I also hated Willem and was glad they were planning to bring him down. I do feel like a lot of it was a non-event though. Not much actually happened. Willem, the main villain didn’t feel like a huge threat. I mean, he needed to be taken down but I didn’t feel the urgency and excitement that perhaps I was supposed to. I did like seeing Flick and Adele become closer though I would have liked to know more about them. I also would have liked to have found out more about Kyra’s mother (though again, I don’t know if there’s going to be another book). I’m also not too sure how believable the ending was, but it was cute and I was on board.

Overall, this book wasn’t as good as the first in the series, but served as a decent sequel.

Monday, 17 August 2015

My Little Box August 2015 Review

I thought I'd continue reviewing the My Little Box beauty subscription service, seeing as July's post seemed to go down pretty well, so here are my thoughts on August's box! (Though as always, I apologise for my terrible, terrible photographs.) This month we have the My Little Gypset Box and overall, I'm once again pretty impressed by it.

Not as huge a fan of this month's box design as I was for July, but it's still pretty cute and very summery. I love the fact that we get a quote card each month - my collection is slowly building and I'm running out of space for all of them! 

My thoughts on each individual product:

Korres Body Milk - I love this body milk. It smells so, so good - mine is in the fragrance Bergamot Pear and it is absolutely gorgeous. It also leaves your skin feeling really soft and smooth, and is non-sticky as described, which means your skin actually feels nice after its been applied, and you don't have to wait ages for it to dry to get rid of that sticky sensation. I also really like the packaging - that greeny blue colour really appeals to me.

My Little Beauty Bronzing Powder: Summer Caress - I don't really use bronzer much but I love the colour of this one. It has golden tones and really does give a nice, glowing look. I would probably use it as an eyeshadow more than a bronzer (I know people will be horrified by this), just because I'm kind of terrible at applying any kind of bronzer/blusher/foundation. I react to so many of them that I don't really use those kinds of products much. I will make sure to test this out properly to see whether I do react wearing to it as a bronzer, but for some reason, my eyelids are less sensitive than the cheek area of my face (though I do still have to be careful), so I think I'll be okay there. And the packaging is so cute, as all the My Little Beauty packaging is.

So Susan Colour Hybrid Velvety Lip/Cheek Mousse - I was worried I wouldn't suit this shade of red (which is quite bold), and while I'm still not a 100% sure I can pull it off, I do like this mousse as a lip product. The colour stays on your lips for a pretty long time, and it's not too drying, which for me is great as I have the driest lips ever (and no amount of lip balm seems to help me). I unfortunately would not be able to use this on my cheeks (not even going to bother testing it because I just know my skin will not like it) but for people with less sensitive skin, I think it would be a nice colour blush, and the dual purpose of a lip/cheek mousse is always useful.

My Little Box Hair Ties/Bracelets - here's another dual purpose product; hair ties you can also wear as bracelets when you're not using them in your hair! I actually really like this idea - I have fairly long hair (it used to be much longer but I just had about 8/9 inches cut off) so I always carry hair ties with me in my bag in case I ever need them - but it can take ages to look for them because they always end up sinking right to the bottom.  Wearing them as a bracelet means you wouldn't have this problem! The designs are fairly casual, so you couldn't use these really for a businessy work outfit, or for going out, but on those days when you're in your jeans and a comfy jumper and you can't be bothered with actual jewellery (which for me is pretty much every day), these hair tie bracelets would be absolutely perfect.

Antik Batik and My Little Box Bucket Bag - I love this bag! I love the design and the colours, and it's actually fairly bigger than I thought it would be, so it could fit quite a few things in it. I'm going on holiday soon, so this will be the perfect thing to take to the beach, though I'm sure it would look great paired with a lot of outfits. My only little quibble is that I got a bag where the rope is very frayed at the ends, which makes it look slightly scruffier than I'd like. But apart from that, I'm really happy with it.

That's my review of this month's box! What did you think? Did you prefer any other beauty boxes over this one for August?

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Week - Review of Rapunzel's Revenge

Rapunzel's Revenge (Rapunzel's Revenge #1) by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and Nathan Hale
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Released: August 5th 2008
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Once upon a time, in a land you only think you know, lived a little girl and her mother . . . or the woman she thought was her mother.

Every day, when the little girl played in her pretty garden, she grew more curious about what lay on the other side of the garden wall . . . a rather enormous garden wall.

And every year, as she grew older, things seemed weirder and weirder, until the day she finally climbed to the top of the wall and looked over into the mines and desert beyond.

Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale teams up with husband Dean Hale and brilliant artist Nathan Hale (no relation) to bring readers a swashbuckling and hilarious twist on the classic story as you've never seen it before. Watch as Rapunzel and her amazing hair team up with Jack (of beanstalk fame) to gallop around the wild and western landscape, changing lives, righting wrongs, and bringing joy to every soul they encounter.
(from Goodreads)

I bought this kind of on a whim, because I'm a massive fan of the Disney film Tangled, and I felt like reading another retelling of Rapunzel. I didn't have many expectations, but I ended up liking Rapunzel's Revenge a lot - it was really cute and pretty funny and definitely the light-hearted sort of thing I was looking for.

The art was not my favourite but it was still pretty decent, and actually more detailed than I was expecting, which I really liked. The way Rapunzel's hair was drawn was also really cool, and I loved the scenes where she was using it as a lasso! The little hooks on her belt for her to carry her hair like rope were a really nice touch and added to the whole rebel look she was pulling off.

I really liked Rapunzel - she was pretty damn fearless and the way she used her hair to fight people/get out of sticky situations was awesome. I could definitely understand her motivation for wanting to defeat Gothel after being lied to her whole life and then trapped in a tower for four years - plus Gothel was a tyrant to the rest of the world too, and they were all suffering because of her. I would maybe have liked to have seen a little more conflict though, since Gothel did raise her from when she was a very young child, but other than that, I enjoyed reading about Rapunzel and her plan to rescue her real mother, along with Jack (a thief she had met along the way). Jack was really funny and I loved his jokes and the humour he added to the story. He and Rapunzel got on so well even though they bickered, and I loved how he was always in awe of her skills and the way she used her hair. He was a great character who always managed to get into trouble, and was oddly attached to his goose (who he assured Rapunzel would eventually lay an egg that would sort out all their problems). I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Rapunzel and Jack again in the sequel, Calamity Jack (I have a feeling we'll find out about Jack's problem with giants in that one...)

Plot-wise, the story mostly consisted of Rapunzel trying to save her mother and defeat Gothel's growth magic so that she couldn't control everyone anymore. There was nothing really surprising, but it was fun to read and it was easy to support Rapunzel and hope that she would succeed (as well as ship Rapunzel and Jack, because they were just too cute). I liked how a few of the secondary characters all played their roles as well and I generally just enjoyed the whole story, despite it being fairly simple. Some of the scenes where Rapunzel and Jack ended up on little side adventures were really funny and definitely added to the fun feel of the book.

Overall, Rapunzel’s Revenge was a great read and I look forward to picking up the sequel, Calamity Jack.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Week - Review of Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise, Part 1

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise, Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang (Bryan Konietzko, Michael Dante DiMartino and Gurihiru)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Released: January 25th 2012
My Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

The war is over...but the adventure has just begun!

Picking up exactly where
Avatar: The Last Airbender left off. The Promise takes Aang to a Fire Nation colony in the heart of the Earth Nation, where tensions between neighbors threaten to shatter the world's newfound peace--putting the Avatar on a collision course with one of his closest friends, Fire Lord Zuko! (from Goodreads)

I’m a huge fan of the Avatar: The Last Airbender TV series (let us not speak of the travesty that was the film adaptation - I honestly couldn’t watch it) so I was excited to finally pick up The Promise, Part 1. I actually read this quite a while ago so I can’t remember entirely everything that happened, but I do remember parts and that I really enjoyed it overall. While it was shorter than I’d have liked, I am definitely looking forward to continuing the series, which I am hoping to do soon.

In regard to the art style, I can’t complain at all. It was the same as the TV show, and I always loved the TV show art, so no problems there. Still so impressed by how the facial expressions were so accurately portrayed on all the characters. Especially Zuko - that angst in the TV series was perfection.

It was great to see all my favourite characters again! Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Avatar: The Legend of Korra as well, but nothing can beat the original characters from A:TLA. Aang and Katara and the whole gang - I missed them so much! Sokka was always my favourite, his humour just cracked me up every time. I loved Toph too because she was just awesome and hilarious in a more sarcastic way, which I appreciated. And who can forget Zuko? His character development during the TV series was the best I’ve EVER seen in any TV show ever. I was so worried everything would get ruined during The Promise, Part 1, but while I still have some concerns, things didn’t turn out the way I thought they might. I really liked seeing more of Zuko and Aang as friends, and the conflict they had due to their differing opinions on what should happen now that Fire Lord Ozai had been defeated. I am really excited to pick up Part 2 (though I do sense some kind of falling out will occur, and I really hope that doesn’t last too long because I just want these guys to all be happy!).

Plot-wise, I am so intrigued to find out what happened to Zuko’s mother. Part 1 definitely kept me hooked, and the ending! Ahh! I want Part 2 right now. As this series and the subsequent sequel series have all been out for a while now, I have heard some spoilers, but I’m looking forward to finding out the exact details to put everything into context. And I think after everything Zuko has been through, he deserves some answers! The rest of the story was also great and I really enjoyed following the adventures of Team Avatar again. I loved the humour (though it wasn’t quite as funny as the TV series, which I understand would be difficult to do as the format is different) and really can’t wait to find out what happens next! I do sort of wish The Promise series could have been released originally as one bound version, because the individual parts are very short (Part 1 was only 74 pages), and it’s not the best value for money to buy them separately. I know all three parts are bound together now in a hardcover version, but that’s kind of expensive too, so it’s the same problem. But this is just a quibble about pricing because I bought this as a lowly student, and I am now a recent graduate who has yet to get a job (oh the woes of leaving education!) and not a criticism of the story itself (which I liked).

Overall, I really enjoyed The Promise, Part 1 and if you have somehow not heard of Avatar: The Last Airbender, what have you been doing with your life? Please watch the show, and then pick up this continuation series - you won’t regret it.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Week - Review of Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: June 18th 2015
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it "a deadpan epic."

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
(from Goodreads)

I loved Nimona. It was amazing. Noelle Stevenson is the artist who did the cover illustration of Fangirl (as well as all the bonus illustrations, depending on which copy you have) so that’s what first drew me to this graphic novel, but honestly, I enjoyed it so much more than I expected.

First of all, I really liked the art. Loved how bright all the colours were, loved the character designs and just the…I don’t know, the sort of unique style. And somehow, the characters were so suited to it, I honestly couldn’t imagine them drawn any other way. Definitely no complaints there, and I think I’ll be picking up whatever Noelle Stevenson does next (I already have Lumberjanes, which she has co-authored).

The characters were just brilliant. Absolutely fantastic. I grew to love them all so much. Nimona was definitely my favourite though; she was hilarious and I loved how her first solution to anything was always something like “let’s destroy it all”. It always seemed funny to me that she wanted to rush right in there without planning anything or considering consequences - not the kind of thing you think would be humorous, but it was. Plus Nimona was just so likeable, despite her strange tendencies and love for charging in. I couldn’t help but root for her, and Ballister clearly felt the same, otherwise he wouldn’t have kept her around as a sidekick for so long (though her awesome shapeshifting ability definitely was a bonus for him). You could tell he really did start to care about her after a while (I mean, it was impossible not to in my opinion) and that he didn’t want anything bad to happen to her as a result of being his sidekick. I loved learning about Nimona’s backstory too, and honestly, I just wish there were more. I want a sequel. Or a prequel. Or anything!

Ballister was another great character. I could definitely feel for him; he was betrayed by Ambrosius, the person he thought he was closest to, and as a result, lost his arm. That’s not the sort of thing you ever really get over. But even though he was a villain, he had morals, and didn’t like killing for no reason. He also knew a lot about science and could tell when things seemed shady or not like they should be. His status as the arch-nemesis of Ambrosius was complex. It was heavily hinted that they used to be in a relationship before the betrayal, and you could tell that whenever they met, neither of them really wanted to kill each other. Ambrosius actually did grow on me throughout the book, and I really enjoyed seeing the dynamic between the two. Ambrosius didn’t really like Nimona and thought she was dangerous, which was another source of conflict between him and Ballister, but deep down, it was obvious they cared about each other. I loved how this was explored throughout, and honestly, I could read another story just about these two. And then another one just about Nimona. And then another one where they all feature together - okay, you know what, I’m going off on a tangent.

Plot-wise - erm wow. I did not expect that ending. I was happy just with all the regular adventures of Nimona and Ballister, but the twist the plot took in the end was not something I expected. I loved unravelling the whole thing and finding out what was really happening - though once again, I will state that I wish we had more. I do think things ended at a really good place, but I just loved the characters so much!

Overall, Nimona was absolutely fantastic, please please pick it up.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Week - Waiting on Wednesday #70

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks (and Jordie Bellaire)
April 5th 2016
Find it on Goodreads

Every nation that invades the City gives it a new name. But before long, new invaders arrive and the City changes hands once again. The natives don't let themselves get caught up in the unending wars. To them, their home is the Nameless City, and those who try to name it are forever outsiders.

Kaidu is one such outsider. He's a Dao born and bred--a member of the latest occupying nation. Rat is a native of the Nameless City. At first, she hates Kai for everything he stands for, but his love of his new home may be the one thing that can bring these two unlikely friends together. Let's hope so, because the fate of the Nameless City rests in their hands.
(from NetGalley)

I have not yet read anything by Faith Erin Hicks (though I do want to!) but I really love the sound of The Nameless City. I'm always up for a story about two unlikely friends, especially when they have to team up to save something/someone. It sounds like an exciting adventure and I have a feeling it's going to be pretty funny too. I will definitely be looking forward to reading this, but in the mean time, I will probably pick up some of Faith Erin Hicks's previous work to get a feel for it. I always hear great things about Friends With Boys so I might start with that!

What are you waiting on this week? 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Week - Review of They're Not Like Us Vol.1: Black Holes for the Young

They're Not Like Us Vol.1: Black Holes for the Young by Eric Stephenson (Simon Gane and Jordie Bellaire)
Publisher: Image Comics
Released: July 8th 2015
My Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Eisner-nominated NOWHERE MEN writer ERIC STEPHENSON teams up with red-hot artist SIMON GANE for an all-new ongoing series! We all have advantages over one another, but what if you were capable of things most of us can only imagine? What would you do – and who would you be? A doctor? An athlete? A soldier? A hero? Everyone has to make a choice about how to use the abilities they're born with... but they're not like us.

Collects THEY'RE NOT LIKE US #1-6.
(from Goodreads)

While They’re Not Like Us was a little overdramatic for me (I’m getting even more cynical in my old age), it was an all right read. Nothing fantastic, but I didn’t hate it the way I hated The Wicked + the Divine (I won’t get started on that again, because oh how I could rant on about that trainwreck).

I wasn’t a huge fan of the art style to begin with, the lines and things were a bit messy and rough and I usually prefer everything to be neater and more defined. But it grew on me after a while, and I think it did suit the tone of the book. I liked the colouring too, and I think the facial expressions were done pretty well overall (though I was not a huge fan of the way crying was expressed, it looked a bit weird in my opinion, but then again, what do I know about art…)

The main character, Syd, was generally okay, and I liked how she wasn’t immediately accepting of all this new information that was thrown at her. She’d had a hard life but that didn’t mean she was willing to follow the rules of this new life being offered to her without questioning it. I did think it was a bit weird that so many other people in the group were so accepting when they originally joined (especially in regard to the “you have to kill your parents thing” - I mean, did they all have such terrible parents that they didn’t give much thought to it? It seemed a bit unrealistic to me). What did bother me about Syd, however, was the way she seemed to miraculously grasp being able to control her power which had previously affected her so much that it drove her to attempt suicide. Like there was this one page where she was suffering so much, and then magically in the next page she had managed to control the voices she heard and was fine. What happened? How did she manage it? It confused me a little. I did wonder whether I had skipped a page by accident.

Plot-wise, I liked the fact that Syd was helped by these people who were not heroes. They could be very cruel in taking what they wanted, and it was interesting to see these powers being used simply for selfish reasons, because the people wielding them just felt like they deserved to have whatever they wanted. The Voice was a fairly interesting character, especially after seeing his backstory - though nothing could really justify the sorts of things he did. However, I did feel like it was all a bit over the top at times. The whole “we can do anything we want mwahaha/fate has chosen us to be different” mentality got a bit too much at points, it felt a little childish. And not much else really happened. Syd just sort of stayed there being really indecisive because the whole thing was dragged out a little for the drama. I mean, really, it’s not that difficult to decide that whether or not you want to commit murder (I know she had a lot of other things to consider too, but that probably would have been the main thing on my mind).

Overall, They’re Not Like Us was okay. I didn’t love it, but it’s probably worth a read if you like stories about superpowers. I’d describe it as a more angsty and trying too hard to be deep version of X-Men.

(Also, in case you’re wondering why I’ve become one of those people who just complains about everything - reviews which are more positive are coming, I promise.)

Monday, 10 August 2015

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Week - Review of The Wicked + the Divine Vol. 1: The Faust Act

I've decided to do an impromptu graphic novel/comic book week since I have been reading quite a few lately and thought it would be a good idea to dedicate a week to the stuff I've finished so far. And that's all the explanation you need really, since I pretty much came up with the idea ten minutes ago.

The Wicked + the Divine Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen (Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson and Clayton Cowles)
Publisher: Image Comics
Released: November 12th 2014
My Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever. Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1-5 (from Goodreads)

I don’t want to be overdramatic here…but this was literally one of the worst things I’ve ever read. I only bought The Wicked + the Divine because I had heard so many good things from so many different people…I don’t even understand how anyone could possibly have enjoyed it. Am I just not “with it”? Why is this popular?! I DON’T GET IT. 

First off, I will say the artwork was beautiful. That is the only reason this is getting 1.5 stars instead of nothing. I can’t fault it. The people, the backgrounds, the colours - everything was amazing. That, however, is the only positive thing I have to say.

The actual plot made no sense. I’m sorry, but I had no idea what was going on. Nothing was really explained. Like, why did these gods only exist for two years? Why did they come back every 90 years? Who was controlling this cycle? Why were they so immature when they were supposedly immortal? Wtf? How could anyone crave fame so much? And what was going on within the group? What was Luci even trying to do? What were the “villains” trying to do? I WAS SO CONFUSED. I mean, maybe I’m just an idiot and I’m the only one who didn’t get it. It’s entirely possible. And I know that a lot may be explained in future volumes - but at this point, I don’t care, and I don’t want to know. The characters were so underdeveloped (except maybe Luci) that I don’t have any interest in them, and the plot was too all over the place for me to have any reason to continue the series.

The most confusing (and annoying) thing though, was the main character, Laura. What the hell was wrong with her? Why was she so obsessed with these people? Why did she get SO involved in their affairs? She was risking her life for creepy strangers! She had not an ounce of common sense! I don’t understand what possessed her to do the things she did, I just don’t. I get being a fan of stuff, but this was beyond all reason. And such an obsession just seemed unhealthy. I feel like I am missing something, because it is just unfathomable to me why people have raved about this. 

Overall, I can’t in good conscience recommend this to anyone. Maybe that makes me an uncool person who doesn’t get how deep this was supposed to be, but whatever. The whole thing made no sense, and was a complete waste of money. I’m going to read something actually good now to take my mind off this nonsense.