Tuesday, 24 January 2017

2017 Blogging Resolutions || Goals

I know I'm late, but happy new year! I also know there has been nothing but radio silence from this blog, but that is coming to an end! The start of 2017 has already been manic and busy, in a good way! I've been working my butt off at my part time blog and I finally started to redecorate my room! 

However, this has meant that I haven't done a lot of reading, but I have some amazing reviews in the pipeline and they will be up with a more regular schedule that I'll post next week! 

However, again, a new year has started (24 days ago!) and that has meant the beginning of some new years resolutions: 

  • Support only cruelty free makeup and beauty brands in 2017; This has been a long time coming and how I'll be doing this is by taking part in #projectpan this year, which is really an instagram movement but I will be doing updates on product empties every so often on my blog! 
  • Take better care of myself and my diet; I'm awful at eating right, I tend to eat too much crisps and not drink enough water but this year I will change that, so far, with exam stress, that hasn't been going to well but it won't be an instant result!
  • REDUCE MY TBR!!!! 
  • BLOG MORE!!; This is an important one, I feel like I have a good thing going here and I'd hate to ruin it by my own procrastination, so therefore, I'm going to do at least two posts a week, starting next week. 
Again, sorry for the radio silence, but QOTD: What are your 2017 resolutions? 
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Monday, 24 October 2016

Scorched Souls: The Chosen Trilogy #3 by Jeff and Erynn Altabef || Review

I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for a honest review, with thanks to the authors, Jeff and Erynn Altabef!

Title: Scorched Souls
Series: The Chosen Trilogy #3
Author: Jeff and Erynn Altabef
Publication Date: 24th October 2016
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Pages: 300
My Rating: 5 stars 

Not everything is black and white. 
Sometimes, things will surprise you with how grey they are. 

Juliet has to make a choice. Who will she trust and who will follow her on her mission to stop the Alphians and the Deltites ripping the Earth apart in an ancient feud? But with unlikely allies along the way, and a lot riding on her shoulders, will Juliet be able to cope with the pressure? 

Along with Juliet. as she meets the Prime Elector for the first time, we follow the story from Connor's point of view as he struggles to better himself in the world around him, and Barrett, an Alphian who has been sent on a hell bent mission by his father. 

Can they stop the world as they know it from being destroyed? Or will their differences hinder them?

I read the first two books of this series sometime last year, and I really enjoyed it, as dystopian (at that stage) was my favourite YA Genre. That's changed now, however, I still found myself really loving and enjoying this world as we followed Juliet through her mission. I loved how much we got to see her grow throughout the three books, she went from trusting very few, to trusting openly and being a more likable and well rounded heroine. 

My first two reviews can be found here: 

Wind Catcher (Book One): https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1416679117?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Brink of Dawn (Book Two): https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1417738661?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

You can see even in my previous reviews how much my views on Juliet changed! I thought she was rash in the first book, yet better in the second. This book I thought that she was pretty brilliant. She was strong and brave but also amazingly human! I think that's what is lacking in Dystopian books sometimes, the human side of it. 

Connor made for an interesting character too, we watched as he fell in love with Juliet, and how he also failed miserably in love. We learn about his troubled background, orphaned, drinking, the lot. But we also see his fire to become a better person in this book. And I think that's why I felt so gravitated towards his character. He was hopeful. 

Barrett was the spanner in the works. 

I didn't know what to think of him at first, thinking he was just a teenager against his father's rules, but through him we learn that not everything is how it seems. It teaches us that there is good in both sides of the divide, and there is also bad. It forces Juliet to not only think, but for the reader to think that there is always two sides to a story. 

Overall, I think this was a brilliant wrap up to the trilogy, all this week WIND CATCHER WILL BE FREE AND BRINK OF DAWN WILL BE ON SALE to celebrate the release of this book! 

My Links: 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20748319-connie
Twitter: @conniedalt
Instagram: @conniedalt
Tumblr: suchamagicalconcept.tumblr.com
Bloglovin': https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/drowning-in-books-14512651
Email: conniedalton@hotmail.com
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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake || Review

*This book was sent to me by the Publisher, Macmillan Children's Books in exchange for an honest review, major shout out to the team over there, for not only an ARC but also a finished copy!*

Title: Three Dark Crowns
Series: Untitled Series
Author: Kendare Blake
Pages: 405
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: September 20th 2016
My Overall Rating: 4 stars 

Three sisters. 

One throne. 

A fight to the death. 

Fenbirn has a queen that rules every generation, it's been that way for centuries. Every past and present queen has been gifted with power from the goddess that allows them to govern along with the elite families that share those talents. 

It's tradition. It's political. It's deadly. 

Three daughters are born, but only one can assume the throne when she's 16. Separated at a young age, each princess must hone in on their individual power before being pitted against one another to the death. 

Arsinoe is a naturalist, she manipulates animals and plants...technically. Her powers haven't manifested yet and her fellow naturalists are beginning to panic. She wants to leave Fenbrin, but Fenbrin won't let her go. Desperate times are beginning to call for desperate measures...

Katharine is a poisoner, her powers are weak, her anxiety is high and the poisoner families are willing to do anything to keep a hold of their reign, but Katharine has to decide who she can trust, and who may have alternative agendas...

Mirabella is an elemental, she's the strongest of the triplets and she can manipulate the world around her. However, she's plagued with nightmares of the night she and her sisters were separated and feels affection towards them. 

There is no compromise. 

I've never read a Kendare Blake book before, I'll be honest. I've been very close to it, but other books have just taken precedence or been more convenient at the time, but when I read the blurb of this book I just knew...When you know, you know. I knew that this book and I were going to be a better OTP than Hazel and Augustus, Ron and Hermione and probably most of your favourite OTPs. 

The premise of this book was just so good. Like swear words good. So when I got an email from Pan Macmillan with the opportunity to read this book early, I nearly hit the roof. Yes girl, one million percent, yes. And to my shock, I actually got a copy. A beautiful proof copy with gold indent on the cover and a purple background. 

 However, when you get hit with a reading slump, one as momentous as mine has been this year, there is no telling what books you will be able to and won't be able to read, I think I've read half a book since August until I finally sat down and read this one. Yesterday. 

I've had this book on my shelf for months. Months. And I only read it yesterday.  

And I was blown out of the water. Over the hill. Far far away and all of that because this book is just so enchanting. There's something about a power play, especially between siblings, that I love and Kendare Blake writes it so well. It's enchanting. It's dark. It's kind of like Half Bad by Sally Green got punched in the face with A Song of Fire and Ice by George R R Martin (without all the other bits y'know what I mean.) 

However, my biggest surprise came as I snuggled up with this book, 6 cups of Lemsip and an episode of Doctor Who when my mum shouted up the stairs, "Are you expecting a book from that publishing company?" And my thoughts were immediately, "What?" THEY SENT ME A FINISHED ARSINOE THEMED BOOK PACK (see picture of book cover.) WHAT! They have themed covers for each sister and I got probably my favourite sister's cover. Although Katharine is anxious and Mirabella is hesitant to hurt her sisters, I liked Arsinoe the best. She was kind of against the system and I like the rebel behaviour. It speaks to the inner rebel in me! 

Overall, this is a brilliant book and I can't wait to see where Kendare Blake will take it. 

QOTD: If you had to pick between being a Naturalist, a Poisoner or an Elementalist, what would you choose and why? 

My Links: 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20748319-connie
Twitter: @conniedalt
Instagram: @conniedalt
Tumblr: suchamagicalconcept.tumblr.com
Bloglovin': https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/drowning-in-books-14512651
Email: conniedalton@hotmail.com

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Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Project TBR || Reading Challenge

I know what you're thinking, Connie, Project TBR is supposed to be started in January, why are you starting in August? 

Well, before this month, I hadn't separated my unread books and when I did, I filled a whole IKEA Benno tower with 69 books. I owned 69 unread books, compared to the 300 books I own in total, that number is relatively small. 

However, I want it to be even smaller. 

Therefore, every week, until I finish it, I will be updating you on what books I read off my physical TBR list along with challenges and reviews along the way! So here is the first update: 

Books Owned Unread: 69

Read 01/08/16-10/08/16

  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • Airhead by Meg Cabot
  • Hereafter by Tara Hudson
  • Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
  • Shadow Souls by LJ Smith
  • Under the Hawthorne Tree by Martina Conlan-McKenna
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling 
New Total of books unread: 61

I will be updating you all every Sunday, so keep an eye out for this Sunday's update!

QOTD: how many unread books do you own?

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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Eat Sweat Play || Review

Thank you to the publisher, Pan MacMillan, for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Title: Eat Sweat Play
Series: N/A, Stand-alone 
Author: Anna Kessel
Publisher: Pan MacMillan
Publication Date: 16th June 2016
Pages: 257
My Rating: 4.5 stars 

You're probably thinking, Connie, why are you reading a book about sport? The girl who defiantly stood against PE teachers for 7 years, the girl who played many games of hockey in their school uniform as a punishment for "forgetting their kit," the girl who hated having classes on the top floor sciences rooms because it meant walking up 4 flights of stairs from the sixth form centre? 

I know, crazy right. But what might shock you more is the fact I actually enjoy sports, I'm just not very good at them. I've probably played at least every sport at least once in an attempt to excel at it, few were successful, and this book called to me as a lot of the times playing sports, I was the only girl. When I did Judo, I was the only girl for many years until a few more joined just as I was leaving, when I played football on Wednesdays after primary school, I was the only girl. So when I got emailed about reading this book, I was immediately interested. 

Anna Kessel is a sports writer for the Guardian and the Observer and is the chair/so-founder of Women in Football, which is where I'd heard of her name before. In this book she talks freely about the taboos of women in sport including Periods and Pregnancy and how women shouldn't be treated any different than men due to our physicality and how we should take control of the opportunities that sport provides. 

I thought that this book was incredibly well written. Kessel uses humour to keep the reader interests as she discusses many different issues and positives about the sports world. One of my favourite chapters in the book was about how having a background in sport can make you more confident and successful in the workplace. She didn't put women down in anyway, she actually lifted them up in every instance she could, and that's something that I'm always behind. I loved how she spoke about children, and how they need to be encouraged to participate in whatever they please (at least sports related) and how their gender shouldn't be a hinderance. 

We need to teach them [kids] that their bodies are their own, not merely vessels for saucy snapchat pics, but useful, strong, powerful aids to being a successful woman in the modern world. 

Another part of this book that I truly loved from the onset was that this book wasn't written by somebody who had played sport their entire lives, in fact, Anna even opens the book stating, "I don't play sport, I bunked PE my whole school life, and if a ball comes anywhere near my face I blink." That instantly sets a warm and humorous tone and you don't feel excluded if you aren't particularly sporty, there is also no terminology that you can't understand and there's no focus on one specific sport, it doesn't exclude anyone or anything. 

Just another note on why I enjoyed this book so much: so much Serena William love! How somebody can't support that, I don't know. 

QOTD: Do you play any sports? If so, which ones?

My Links: 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20748319-connie
Twitter: @conniedalt
Instagram: @conniedalt
Tumblr: suchamagicalconcept.tumblr.com
Bloglovin': https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/drowning-in-books-14512651
Email: conniedalton@hotmail.com

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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Greek Adventures || Travel

*This isn't a book related post*

It's always been one of my biggest desires to travel, I'm so in awe of the world around me and as a Geographer, how could I not want to travel? This summer, I finally began my wish to start seeing some of the beautiful world around me and I went to the lovely island of Rhodes in Greece.

  • Rhodes is located close to Turkey 
  • The Greek God Poseidon was said to have been raised on the island to save him from being eaten by his titan father 

Here is some of the stuff I got to do on this lovely island!

1) Off road driving and safari: 

This part of the trip was so fun! We got to drive through olive fields, drive up mountains to see some amazing views *see beside* and I got to spend an amazing day with my friends exploring the hidden sections of this island. The highlight was going to a fountain of youth that was outside one of the oldest chapels on the island that was considered to be magic due to the nearby olive trees that were over 1000 years old! And of course, it ended with a water fight! The shapes on the horizon is Turkey! That's cool right? 

2) Go on a ferris wheel at sunset: 

I know this sounds like a simple one, but I've never been on a ferris wheel before and getting to see the sunset from above was pretty awesome! That's something off my never ending bucketlist! 

3) Go to one of the most visited and most pictured places in Greece, Lindos: 

Lindos is one of those picturesque villages in Greece, it has old white buildings, beautiful bays, an acropolis, old chapels, weddings, merchants, everything you could want from a trip to Greece. I wanted to spend my whole day in this beautiful place, unfortunately for me, we only got 3 hours! But it was a beautiful 3 hours!

4) Go to an acropolis: 

An acropolis is essentially a citadel of ancient Greece, and the one I got to go to was the Rhodes Town Acropolis. This place was awesome! There was the Temple of Apollo, the God of music and archery, an old sports stadium, and we were told that they were currently looking for an old amphitheatre that was lost! There was loads to look at, and with the sea view, I could've again spent ages looking around every little thing, there were even goats wandering around the grounds. 

I got to do some other awesome stuff, I saw the Old Rhodes Town where the Knights of Rhodes used to live, I went to some pretty awesome parties, saw where two types of water met and didn't mix and all that cool stuff! 

But yeah! 

QOTD: Where would you like to visit? 

My Links: 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20748319-connie
Twitter: @conniedalt
Instagram: @conniedalt
Tumblr: suchamagicalconcept.tumblr.com
Bloglovin': https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/drowning-in-books-14512651
Email: conniedalton@hotmail.com
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Friday, 24 June 2016

The Square Root of Summer || Review

I received a free physical copy of this book from the publisher, Macmillan's Children's Books, in exchange for an honest review! 

Title: The Square Root of Summer
Series: N/A, Stand alone 
Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fantasy 
Pages: 336 
Publisher: Macmillan's Children's Books 
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
My Rating: 5 stars 

Last year, Gottie's reality fell apart. She lost her beloved grandfather, Grey, and she lost her first love, Jason. But now, as she fells stronger, she begins to notice the threads at the edge of her sleepy seaside town life unravelling. 

Strange things begin happening. 

She keeps having "episodes" where she experiences the past as if it's the present. But she doesn't believe this is caused by a psychosomatic problem, and she uses her knowledge of maths and science to get the bottom of these "wormholes." These episodes get stronger when her childhood best friend Thomas returns from Canada, and Gottie realises that they may have something to do with their last meeting and the time capsule in the garden...

This book was something unique, that's for sure!

I've had a real kick for contemporary over the past while, and this book really epitomised two of my great literary loves. Fantasy. Contemporary. I loved it. I thought that the author really thought out this book. The plot was incredibly structured, the characters were well rounded and likable, Gottie especially. I immediately knew I'd love her, with such a unique name, how could I not? 

The love story in this book didn't even phase me, it was inputted to the plot so well that it felt organic and non-forced. The use of Thomas and his return was so pivotal and interesting that it made my heart really happy! 

This is just a personal little side note, but I love when books incorporate science, especially women and science. This is such a little thing but it really makes my heart happy!! 

This book is the perfect way to start summer off, why not make yourself some memories with a time capsule and some cinnamon buns! 

QOTD: If you were to make a time capsule, what would you put into it? 

My final rating is 5 stars!

My Links: 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20748319-connie
Twitter: @conniedalt
Instagram: @conniedalt
Tumblr: suchamagicalconcept.tumblr.com
Bloglovin': https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/drowning-in-books-14512651
Email: conniedalton@hotmail.com

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