Friday, 22 March 2019

The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta || Review

"Sometimes lost is where you need to be for a while."

This book was kindly sent to me for review, via Netgalley, by Candlewick Press. Many thanks to both!

Name: The Lost Coast
Author: Amy Rose Capetta
Rating: 5 Stars 
Pages: 352
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Published: May 14th 2019

The Lost Coast follows the journey of six LGBTQIA+ witches navigating through Tempest, California, they are searching. Searching for themselves, for their friend, for the one they love. They Grays have lost one of their own, Imogen, although there physically has lost herself. Her personality, her spark, her magic, just gone, and The Grays need the help of Michigan newcomer, Danny, who while she was looking for something new, the Grays were looking for her. 

However, Danny doesn't know where to help because she believes her only power is kissing girls and making small town people uncomfortable. 

They must come together to figure out what happened to Imogen, piece together the bits of the story that don't make sense, they have to solve why they keep finding bodies, and how the story of a ghost from the previous century connects. This is a story of finding friendship in unexpected people, love in unexpected places and best of all, MAGIC. 

I didn't know what to expect from this book, and I know I say that a lot, but I genuinely didn't. I find some stories containing LGBTQIA+ characters can usually fall into being a cliche, where their identification label is their sole character trait, but this book wasn't that at all. This book explored sexuality and gender identities in such a nice way, where the characters were more than just who they decided they wanted to kiss or what they were attracted too. It was integrated as an important part of these characters and their journeys but I liked that the author didn't use it as the only thing about these characters, for example, Leila is fiesty, she has heartache and she's real, Rush is quiet and intelligent, musically literate and has sythesthia (another thing I'd never really seen a YA author tackle.) 

My favourite character was Danny. Danny was super interesting, and she was a lot more complex than I first thought. I felt like she was so kind, sure she was looking for a new life and she was looking for new friends, but what The Grays were asking her to do was a lot, and she did it. She knew that Rush and Imogen were a thing, and despite falling for Rush, she was still determined to help them out in finding Imogen. 

The writing style of this book drew me in straight away. I love trees. I love being in the forest, I love being surrounded by trees, so straight off the bat, the ethereal description of being surrounded by Redwood trees made me really happy. It really made for a magical setting and it set up how beautiful the region of the Lost Coast must be. I think Amy Rose Capetta has a really beautiful writing style, it flows really well and the layout of the book and the alternating points of view didn't affect the flow of the story in the slightest. I think the story had enough twists and turns to keep the reader fully immersed and I read this book in one sitting. 

Overall Rating: 5 Stars. I think this story fills a gap that is missing in YA Witch Lit, it covers a ground that I feel some authors are afraid to cover/haven't covered in a good way and if it sounds like a book you'd be interested in, I would recommend you pick it up! 

As always hit me up on my socials: 

Instagram: @conniedalt
Twitter: @connie_dalt

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Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Carrie by Stephen King || Review

“People don't get better, they just get smarter. When you get smarter you don't stop pulling the wings off flies, you just think of better reasons for doing it.” 

Name: Carrie
Author: Stephen King
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Pages: 248
Publisher: Hodder
Year Published: Originally 1974 
Movie Adaption?: Yes (1976, 1999, 2002, 2013)

Carrie White has a power, a power that terrifies her religiously devout christian mother. A power that scares her sometimes. This power is something that will change her life forever. If being abused at home by her mother isn't enough,  Carrie is known for being the weird one in school, ridiculed and bullied relentlessly by those more popular than herself in school, especially after experiencing her first period in the open in school. It's following this she is asked to the prom by one of the most popular boys in school, and a horrific prank is carried out that leads to Carrie getting revenge on the town that shafted her as the weird girl. 

This book wasn't what I expected. Stephen King is known for straight up horror, I read It last year and it chilled me right to my core. I found myself looking around corners when I was reading that one, but this book just made me sad. It's something that I found myself aching for Carrie at times because really, she didn't stand a chance. She was never going to come out of this positively, I knew bits of the plot before I read the book but I didn't know how extreme the situations were. 

Starting with her mother, her mother was literally the most hateful person in the whole book for me. She continuously took her own trauma out on Carrie and yes, Carrie's telekinesis power is terrifying and to those of a religious opinion, may seem demonic, that was still her child. Her child that had to stay in a closet and pray to God, a child who wasn't so much as allowed a pillow to sleep on, or wasn't told what her period was and was told it came from sin. Her mother had zero likeable qualities and I'm a little shocked by how Carrie put up with the abusive behaviour for such a long a time.

Secondly, her school life was awful too. The only likeable people from the school were Sue and Tommy and it's so sad that they ultimately got dragged into this whole thing, even though Sue did play a part in the initial bullying act, her intentions weren't malice towards the end of the book. It's sad that Carrie didn't get the ultimate support she needed. Something about Carrie and her life really stirred and empathy within me and it has something to be said about what some teenagers experience within a school environment. Now, I'm not saying that the average teenager will go and explode a town, but I am saying that it should be noted that you never know when somebody has had enough.

Stephen King's writing is great, and I'm glad that I'm finally getting to read the books of his that I own, but I would not peg this book as a horror book. I'd say it's more a psychological book, with paranormal-esque influences. 

As always hit me up on my socials, what did you think of this book?

Instagram: @conniedalt
Twitter: @connie_dalt
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Monday, 18 March 2019

Budapest || Travel

Budapest 2019
In February 2019, I was lucky to get to spend four amazing days in Budapest, Hungary with two of my closest friends, and it really was a great time. We did a lot in just four days, here are some of my personal highlights:

The Budapest Baths

The Budapest Baths (we went to Szechenyi) were the only thing I think I actually knew about Budapest before I went, thermal baths are something that I've always wanted to go to, especially after going to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland a few years ago, I wanted to see what a man made one was like and if it compared. I left feeling so rejuvenated and overall, it was a really great experience. For £15, you got access to a number of pools, thermal, medicinal, plunge pools, jet pools, lazy rivers, honestly loads of stuff. My personal favourites were the steam saunas, which immediately helped me see a marked improvement on my skin! 

In the Baths

Budapest Castle and Fisherman's Bastion

Budapest Castle and the Fisherman's Bastion was also a highlight of this trip as it provided some amazing cityscape views of the Pest side of the river, and the architecture of the buildings were truly amazing. We got a bus up, which was included as part of a three day travel pass we purchased from one of the bus stops for less than £10 and it helped us get across the city cheaply!

Fisherman's Bastion

The view from Buda Castle

More views from the castle

Ruin Bars

Something that I found really cool and quirky about Budapest is the presence of ruin bars. Ruin Bars are bars that have been set up in abandoned buildings and are filled with mish-mashs of unmatching furniture, graffiti from visiting patrons, nik-naks and bits and pieces that create a unique dynamic within them. We went to one called Szimpla and it seemed like the type of place you could explore for weeks and never truly see everything that it had to offer. 

Inside one of the rooms of Szimpla

Food and Drink

Food wise, Budapest is probably one of the best cities I've been too, it's filled with lovely, budget friendly restaurants selling Hungarian classics such as goulash, up to McDonalds. It has something for everyone. My personal favourite was a chain called Hummus Bar, which sells, you guessed it, Hummus. It was delicious! We also stumbled across a basement tea house, that had over 100 selections of teas and it cost less than £3 per tea pot. This place was lovely and I'm so sad that I don't recall the name, if I find it, I'll let you all know, but it was filled with cushions and comfy seats and people sitting and relaxing and talking. I got a chakra tea, and it really was such a lovely environment. 

We did so much in Budapest that I could really just talk for days about how lovely the city was, but if you've ever been to Budapest, let me know what you got up, and if you'd go back!

As always, hit me up via my socials!

Instagram: @conniedalt
Twitter: @connie_dalt

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Monday, 21 January 2019

Sometimes, We Need A Break...|| Life Update & Revival


I have to admit, it's a little weird being back here. It's been over a year...nearly two since I last signed on to this blog, and a lot has happened since 2017. The reason I stopped posting here was simply because...well, I wasn't reading. And reading is kind of vital for a book blog.

I hit a massive bout of low energy. I had no motivation, no interest in reading. It made me sad, of course it did, reading had been something that I had loved doing my whole life, and there I was at 19 giving up on my favourite passtime, just because I couldn't be bothered. This blog became a hidden relic of my shame, something I never mentioned to people in case they questioned me about it.

But enough is enough. 

2019 is going to be my year. I know everyone says that every year, but I mean it. This year will be my year. I've read two books this year already, which is more than I read in 2017 as a whole I'm pretty sure, and I'm going to start blogging again. 

So if you're still around, or if you're new, allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Connie, a former avid reader, a student and an all round busy person. I love travelling and have been lucky enough to see a lot of the world, (and I will be sharing my adventures on here as well) and this year I'm going to read. I will be posting reviews of books twice a week if my school work permits, and I'll update you guys when I have a regular schedule. I love talking and interacting with fellow readers and you can find me at the following URLs:

Twitter: @connie_dalt
Instagram: @conniedalt 

Peace n stuff, 

Connie x 
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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):

Brink of Dawn (Book Two):

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: 

Twitter: @conniedalt
Instagram: @conniedalt
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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: 

Twitter: @conniedalt
Instagram: @conniedalt

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