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Tips For Starting Uni

It’s August, A level results day is looming, and in less than a month term will be starting at universities all across the UK. For those of you hoping to be going to one of those universities for the first time, you don’t need me to tell you that it’s a daunting time. For me, though, this will be my third year at a UK university, so here are my tips for starting uni! Continue reading “Tips For Starting Uni”

The Lies of Locke Lamora, The Gentleman Bastard Sequence 1: Book Review

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch is the first in the Gentleman Bastard sequence, a seven-book fantasy series following expert con-artist Locke Lamora (aka the Thorn of Camorr) as he and his gang, the Gentlemen Bastards, perform intricate tricks on the unsuspecting nobility of the ancient city of Camorr to get their money from them. But a war in Camorr’s lively underworld – and the fact that someone powerful is now close on the Thorn’s tail – threatens to pull all their plans apart in the most unexpected of ways. Continue reading “The Lies of Locke Lamora, The Gentleman Bastard Sequence 1: Book Review”

July Writing Update

Back in January, I set myself monthly writing goals to help speed up and keep track of the progress of my fantasy novel, The Secrets The Dead Keep. So far this year, I’ve completed a third draft, gotten feedback to help me further improve my manuscript, and planned my sequel!

This month’s goal was to write the first 50,000 words of Book Two during Camp NaNoWriMo and continue critique partner edits.

So, how did I do? Continue reading “July Writing Update”

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

This isn’t the sort of thing I’ve done before – which makes it quite exciting! This is a tag I saw on the Bookavid’s blog and thought, “hey, that looks fun, maybe I’ll give it a go!” It’s basically just a low-down what I’ve read so far in 2017.

For every book I’ve mentioned, I’ve linked either to my review of it or to the Goodreads page if I haven’t reviewed it.

So, let’s get on with it!

1. Best Book I Read This Year

The low-down on what I've been reading so far this year! My best book, most disappointing book, newest fictional crush, book I wish I'd read, and more!

We simply have to start with a hard one, don’t we? I think I’m going to have to say The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson, because of how all those masterfully those plot threads were woven together, and THAT ENDING.

2. Best sequel I Read This Year

Alas, I think this one has to be The Hero Of Ages, too. After all, the Mistborn trilogy includes the only sequels I’ve read this year, and it was better than The Well of Ascension.

3. New Release I Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor – it sounds interesting and I want to give it a go!

4. Most Anticipated New Release Of The Second Half Of The Year

This is a no-brainer for me. One of my favourite authors, Kristin Cashore, hasn’t released a new book for about five years now, so I’m super excited to read her upcoming book Jane, Unlimited when it’s released in September!

5. Biggest Disappointment

The low-down on what I've been reading so far this year! My best book, most disappointing book, newest fictional crush, book I wish I'd read, and more!

Another no-brainer. I picked up Talon by Julie Kagawa looking forward to a badass fantasy about dragons. Instead, I got modern-day teens (who happen to be dragons in disguise) spending summer at the beach, prose I didn’t like, and a love triangle – ugh. I was not impressed.

6. Biggest Surprise

That I still haven’t finished Twelve Kings by Bradley Beaulieu! It’s been like a year since I started it now. This is getting ridiculous.

7. Favourite New-To-Me Author

Unsurprisingly, Brandon Sanderson! I wish I’d heard of him sooner.

8. Newest Fictional Crush

The low-down on what I've been reading so far this year! My best book, most disappointing book, newest fictional crush, book I wish I'd read, and more!I don’t really have many fictional crushes – mostly just favourite characters and favourite romantic relationships – but I did love Jest from Heartless by Marissa Meyer.

9. Newest Favourite Character

Oh no, don’t ask me that! Don’t make me choose! I really liked Denna and Mare from Of Fire And Stars by Audrey Coulthurst, but I think my favourites have to be from one of Sanderson’s books. I absolutely loved Sarene from Elantris, as well as Vin, Kelsier, Sazed, and Elend from the Mistborn books.

10. Book That Made Me Cry

I may have cried at Heartless and The Final Empire, I can’t quite remember. But I definitely cried at The Hero Of Ages – I was on a plane at the time and wanted to absolutely sob my eyes out.

11. Book That Made Me Happy

The low-down on what I've been reading so far this year! My best book, most disappointing book, newest fictional crush, book I wish I'd read, and more!

I enjoyed the vast majority of the books I’ve read so far this year, though I’m not sure I’d say that they made me happy – they’re good books, fabulous books, but none of them are happy books, and some of them are downright tragic in the end. But Of Fire And Stars was an easy, enjoyable read that left me with a nice, fluffy feeling, so I think that’s close enough to “happy”.

12. Favourite Book To Film Adaptation

I can’t even remember what films I’ve watched this year! I know I watched The Book Thief at some point, either in the last few months or late last year, and that was a good adaptation.

13. Favourite Post I’ve Done This Year

I was pretty pleased with Why Romantic Subplots Annoy Me and 5 Things I’ve Learned About Novel Writing.

14. Most Beautiful Book I’ve Bought Or Received This Year

I think that would have to be Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

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15. Books I Need To Read By The End Of The Year

My current read is The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, and of course I need to finish Twelve Kings! And then there’s pretty much everything else on my to-read list, including The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb.

What’re the best books you’ve read this year? Let me know in the comments!

And let me know if you decide to do this tag too – I’d love to hear about what you’ve been reading so far this year!

And don’t forget, you can find all my book reviews here, and you can follow me on Facebook and Bloglovin’, as well as via WordPress and email (see the sidebar on the right) to keep updated on all my posts!

The Hero of Ages, Mistborn 3: Book Review

20170718_114458The Hero of Ages is the third and final installment in Brandon Sanderson’s epic fantasy, the Mistborn trilogy. This book follows Vin and the crew as they attempt to stave off the end of the world, and brings together loose ends regarding the prophecies of the Hero of Ages, the power Vin found at the Well of Ascension, and the mysteries of what the Lord Ruler did and why. It’s a stunning conclusion involving magic, magical creatures, and gods. The only thing that could possibly make this fantasy any more fantastical is dragons.

You can find my review of Book One, The Final Empire, here, and my review of Book Two, The Well of Ascension, here. In this post, I’ll discuss my thoughts not only on The Hero of Ages as a single book, but as the Mistborn trilogy as a whole.

Continue reading “The Hero of Ages, Mistborn 3: Book Review”

The Well of Ascension, Mistborn 2: Book Review

Well of Ascension Book ReviewThe Well of Ascension is the second book in Brandon Sanderson’s bestselling fantasy series, the Mistborn trilogy. The books are set in the Final Empire: populated by nobles, magic users called Allomancers (many of whom are Mistings – only able to use one Allomantic power – some of whom are Mistborn – able to use all the Allomantic powers – but all of whom have noble blood), and the low-class skaa; led by the immortal, godlike, and oppressive Lord Ruler. The first book, The Final Empire, followed powerful Mistborn Kelsier, the leader of a thieving crew, and newest recruit Vin, an untrained Mistborn, as the crew take on their most ambitious project yet: killing the Lord Ruler. Unsurprisingly, The Well Of Ascension chronicles the aftermath of the crew’s attempts: Vin, now even more powerful than Kelsier, and the remainder of the crew must deal not only with chaos, but also the return of forces a thousand years gone. Continue reading “The Well of Ascension, Mistborn 2: Book Review”

June Writing Update

Back in January, I decided that this was the year I was going to get serious about writing, so I set myself monthly writing goals to track and increase my progress on my fantasy novel The Secrets The Dead Keep. 

June’s goal was to outline Book Two while continuing edits with critique partners. Discuss Book Two outline with critique partners (CPs).

So. How did I do? Continue reading “June Writing Update”

Adventures in Paris

Versailles was without doubt our favourite attractionMy boyfriend Alex is currently away on an internship in Switzerland, and instead of one of us visiting the other, we decided to meet up halfway – and Paris seemed like the perfect place! We spent five nights there over the last week, arriving last Wednesday. There are so many attractions in Paris that we simply didn’t have time to do them all, but we did manage to spend Thursday at the Eiffel Tower, Friday at Versailles, Saturday at Notre Dame and Saint Chapelle, and Sunday at the Pantheon and the military history museum. Continue reading “Adventures in Paris”

Of Fire And Stars: Book Review

20170614_122809 (1)Of Fire And Stars is a standalone fantasy novel, and the debut of author Audrey Coulthurst. It tells the story of princess Denna, who moves to the kingdom of Mynaria to fulfill her lifelong betrothal to crown prince Thandi, and princess Mare, Thandi’s free-spirited sister who must teach Denna to ride. Denna hopes that her political marriage will eventually lead to love, but as she spends so much time with Mare (with both her riding lessons and the pair trying to solve the crime of a royal assassination together before it leads to war) the two princesses find themselves falling for each other instead…

And if that wasn’t difficult enough, Mynaria forbids magic, and Denna has a gift which, if discovered, could make her the prime suspect for the assassination.

Continue reading “Of Fire And Stars: Book Review”

Things To Do To Prepare You For Uni

Here in the UK, exam season is beginning to come to an end. Many current uni students are already starting their summers, while future uni students are still focused on working their hardest to get the grades they need. But in just a few weeks, they too will have a long summer to look forward to.

So how best to use that time to prepare oneself for uni?

Here are a few things I wish I’d done, plus a few other things that I’d recommend doing.  Continue reading “Things To Do To Prepare You For Uni”