Thursday, 27 February 2014

Giveaway: Vampire Academy

So, Vampire Academy has just been out in America and it won’t be long until it will be released in the UK and I cannot wait for that date to see what the movie is like! I’ve already read the first two books and cannot wait to read the rest of them.

My sister ended up giving me the boxset of the entire Vampire Academy series for her birthday (one of the weird traditions that we have) and now I am left with a spare Vampire Academy book. So, I thought why not just give it away to someone who wants it.

The book has only been read twice, the spine isn’t broken and it’s pretty much in brand new condition. The giveaway is with rafflecopter so all entrants must be at least thirteen year old to enter. Also, this is an international giveaway! I’m going to run the giveaway for two weeks and the winner will be contacted!

Good luck guys! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Book Review: Vampire Academy

Title: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Release Date: 16/08/2007
Pages: 332
Format: Paperback
Author Twitter: @RichelleMead

‘St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school – it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy – the very place they’re most in danger.

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable night time rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi – the world’s fiercest and dangerous vampires – make Lissa one of them forever.’

It’s been an extremely long time since I’ve been so hooked to a book that I’ve read it within a few hours over the space of two days. But that’s exactly what has happened here. Vampire Academy has been a book that I’ve wanted to read for a while and even more so when I knew that there was a movie coming out.
The book had me hooked from beginning to end. There wasn’t a moment where a page wasn’t filled with action, adventure or extremely interesting histories. The plot didn’t feel like it dragged at all and there was always something there that kept me reading.

Throughout the book I didn’t really know what was going to happen next which made me want to read on. There was only something that threw you off track every time you took a guess about something and it kept you on your toes. The twists in the plot weren’t pointless either and weren’t there just as a filler. All the twists seem to interlock with each other and added up to the big picture.

Rose has to be one of my favourite characters. I love the fact that she’s so defensive and Lissa and won’t back down from a fight when she knows that she’s in the right. I loved the way that her character slowly started to change for the better when she started to realise her responsibility but you could still see the fiery side in her that still came out during the book.

I got slightly worried before I had read the book that it was all going to be based around the forbidden romance that it mentioned in the blurb but I was quite happily surprised that that was far from the case. You could see there elements of romance in the book but Richelle Mead did a really good job making sure that It was a small sub plot that didn’t take away from the main point of the book. You could see Ana’s feelings develop midway through the book but there weren’t chapters of the book dedicated to it which was a really nice change. It made the book a lot more enjoyable for me since I really wasn’t looking for a supernatural romance book.

I found the history that was put into the book extremely interesting. I loved reading the background of the Academy and about the Moroi. Even the characters’ histories were really intriguing. It gave you an insight into all the characters and what brought them to place that they are in.

I cannot wait to read the rest of the books in this series and Richelle Mead has done an amazing job of captivating her readers into this world.

Rating: ★★★1/2                                                                                

Saturday, 22 February 2014

L is for: 'Little Talks'

So, here we have Little Talks, by of Monsters & Men from their album ‘My Head Is An Animal’.

Can I start with the fact that there’s this really creepy, eerie feeling at the beginning of the song with all the creaking that I actually really love because it just sets the atmosphere for the rest of the song. This song definitely gives me chills!

So, I read somewhere online that this song sounds like it’s based around a couple where one person has passed away and thinking about it seems like a really good point. The way she sings about missing having a person around and then it being responded to by the guy who is really hoping that she will listen to him so that she won’t feel so alone. It’s just given me a whole new take on the song but I am still in love with it and still want to do a duet with someone on this song.

Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments, on the song, below. 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Movie Review: Letters To Juliet

Title: Letters To Juliet
Running Time: 105 minutes
Director: Gary Winick
Writers: Jose Rivera, Tim Sullivan 
Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal, Vanessa Redgrave 

'An American girl discovers a love letter than changes her life in this romantic comedy, starring Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave. The setting is Verona, Italy – this city where Rome and Juliet first met. In Verona, there’s a wall where they lovelorn leave notes, hoping that Juliet will answer their inquiries about love. Sophie (played by Amanda Seyfried) is a part of a team of volunteers who respond to the letters. When Sophie answers a letter from 1957, the woman who wrote it (played by Vanessa Redgrave) decides to seek out the one who got away, and romance starts to blossom all around.'

I had this movie for Christmas a few years back and it has never stopped being one of my favourite feel-good movies to watch. It’s the type of movie that makes you want to just sit and forget about everything else that is going on as you get engrossed in the beautiful streets of Italy. 

You watch all the characters develop within themselves and relationships and one of the nicest things about this movie is that you can see that it isn’t solely based on the romance but it’s also about the way you see both Sophie and Charlie grow as people separately and you can watch as they start to realise the things that they really want in life and why things have happened the way that they have. 

The whole scenery throughout the movie was absolutely amazing and put such a nice ethos to the movie. The soundtrack that was played throughout the background of the movie made me fall in love with it a little bit more. It fitted perfectly with the whole movie and had a romantic feel to it. 

Sometimes I find in movies there are always a few loose threads that they seem to forget to tie up, no matter how big or small, but this movie seemed to have made sure that it tied everything up and it was all consistent. 

The whole movie just showed you about how to let things go and move on from them. How to know when things just need to come to an end and have some closure. It shows you how to put yourself first as well and that it’s not a bad thing to do that. 

There were some parts of the movie though that I thought could have ran a bit smoother as it seemed a little choppy in some parts. Especially when they were switching between scenes. There were times as well that I felt as though the speech could have a ran a little better as well because there seemed to be some parts where the conversation didn’t seem to flow as well as it could have. 

Overall, I do absolutely love this movie. It’s one that I always go to if I’m not having a good day and can watch time and time again. 


Saturday, 15 February 2014

K is for: 'Know Your Quarry'

This week I’ve gone for Know Your Quarry, from the album ‘Only Revolutions’ by Biffy Clyro.

This is one band I wish more people knew about because their music is fantastic and this has to be one of my favourite of theirs. For quite a few reasons. I love the tempo of this song, and just the way it’s slightly bouncy during the verses with the singing. As well as that the lyrics have been up together so well and I love the way that they explain the whole story.

This is one of those songs that even though it shouldn’t relax me it does. It find it a great song to write to though I have no idea why.

Leave your thoughts and comments, on the song, below.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Women In Science & Engineering

So, I’m starting a new feature on my blog, where every month I will be discussing a female figure in science or engineering. The way that they have made a difference in the field that they are or have been working in and why they should be recognised for the work that they have done (AKA: WISE)

I have my sights set on becoming a Medical Engineer when I’m older and there are a few reasons behind my decision for that: I want to be able to help people. I want to be able to know that I’m doing something that is making even the smallest difference and I don’t do to well with blood (unless it’s in a documentary) so being a doctor was ruled out straight away. As well as that, I love doing things that involve practical work, the office type of job is not something that I think would suit me too well. I also love science and technology. They are both things that have been with us a while and, especially in science, we are continuously discovering new things which really fascinates me and I would love to be a part of that.

It all kick started off because I realised that teaching was no longer something that I wanted to go into. Though I have a huge respect for teachers and what they do, I didn’t think it would be something that I would do very well or enjoy very much. So, I ended up speaking to my sister and my mam about it who both asked about the two things I liked doing in school and they pointed me in the direction of engineering, which after I looked into a lot I decided that the field that I wanted to go into was Medical Engineering. My parents and my sister were more than happy to support me in my choice and helped me find out more about it as well.

What I found a lot of though, was that every single time I told someone that I wanted to go into engineering they all seemed to turn to me and go, “Well, you don’t see many girls in engineering!” or “It’s nice to see a girl going into engineering, it’s an extremely male dominated field!” and the most popular one which was, “It’ll be easy for you to get a job in engineering since you’re a girl, they’re looking for more females to go into it!” Now it wasn’t the people who were saying these things that were annoying me so much but more for the fact that there is such a stigma about it.

I understand that there are some fields of work and study that are often heavily dominated by a certain gender because that’s just the way things are sometimes but there’s such a surprise when you hear a female wanting to go into science or engineering or a male wanting to go into a humanities subject. It should have to be such a huge surprise to someone that people want to show an interest in a field that “isn’t dominated by their gender”.

I really don’t like the fact either that because I am a female that wants to go into engineering I’ll be more likely to have get a job against males. I want to know that if I do get interviewed for a job after University that I’ll get it off my own merit, that they won’t just look at my gender and automatically have me in mind before even looking through the rest of my CV. I don’t want to be there just to fill up a quota for people.

So, starting next month I shall be exploring different women in science and engineering.

*Image of girls taken from Google, banner made by myself 

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Saturday, 8 February 2014

J is for: 'Just The Way I'm Not' by All Time Low

This week’s song is Just The Way I’m Not by All Time Low from their album ‘Dirty Work’.

I’ve been a huge fan of All Time Low since I was in year seven and I this is one of the songs that I loved from this album.

The whole song is basically about the a relationship where they guy loves the girls for everything that she is but the girl loves him for everything that he isn’t/ It’s one of those songs I can just really scream to at the top of my lungs while it’s playing and just helps me vent sometimes if I’ve had a bad day.

Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments, on the song, below.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Book Review: A Living Nightmare (Cirque Du Freak #1)

‘The chilling Saga of Darren Shan, the ordinary school boy plunged into the vampire world. Darren goes to a banned freak show with his best mate, Steve. It’s the wonderfully gothic Cirque Du Freak where weird, frightening half human/half animals appear to interact terrifyingly with the audience. Darren – a spider freak – “falls in love” with Madam Octa – an enormous tarantula owned by Mr Crepsley. Darren determines to steal the spiders so that he can train it to preform amazing deeds. But his daring theft goes incredibly wrong and Darren finds himself having to make a bargain with a creature of the night.’

I ended up getting this book on Kobo before I went to Italy in case I couldn’t sleep in the night and wanted to read, turns out I got through about five chapters while I was out there and then didn’t even remember that I had a tablet in the first place. 

I picked up the book again the other day and wondered why I had managed forget about it in the first place. It has been quite a while since I have read a book where the protagonist is a male and it was a really nice change. 

Shan uses a simplistic type of story writing which works extremely well in this book. The book leaves you questioning more and more as each chapter goes on and as you get to the end of the book, some of your questions are answers, whilst others are left hanging in the air and wanting you to get the other books. It was a fast paced book which meant that it was quite easy to get through but it still had detail where it was needed. 

I found that most of the characters were realistic, each one of them had their own little problems and difficulties which made you fall in love with even the background characters. My favourite character would have to be Mr Crepsley as I love the way he is portrayed throughout the book. His light-hearted approach to quite serious subject and his rather scary approach to things when he doesn’t get what he wants was enough for me to want to get to know more about his history.

However, I really didn’t like the way that Steve was portrayed. Personally, I didn’t really find his character to be realistic and it just becomes more and more unrealistic as the book went on. Parts of the story when you knew he was supposed to come across more serious seemed to be more childish. 

There were parts of the book where I did think it was slightly rushed and could have used a little bit more detail but other than that I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for something a little out of the ordinary. 

Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Monday, 3 February 2014

Looking Back At: January 2014

January is already gone and I really can’t believe it. I tend to find that January is a month that drags by after the huge hype of Christmas and New Year’s. This year though, it seems like it’s gone by pretty fast and if that means seeing the last of this appalling weather then I will be more than happy to say goodbye to it. 

It’s not been an extremely exciting month for me. To be honest, I’ve just been trying to get back into the swing of things with school. It’s been pretty busy and I’m just trying to make sure that I’m keeping on top of all of my work. School has been school and there’s not much else to say on that topic. 

Llanelli Bay Training Day 
I’ve been spending this month becoming a secret agent, with my sister’s 21st birthday approaching very quickly, I’ve been planning out her birthday party and trying to make sure that she doesn’t find anything out. Sometimes I really would love going into party planning, then I see how unorganised I am when it comes to it and think again. 

January saw me doing my second Duke of Edinburgh training day which is only making me look forward to my actual expedition. It’s made me talk to the people in my group a lot more and we have a laugh even outside of training now. I’m looking forward to my next training day now, which is in March, so it’s a little bit of a wait. 

I also signed up for the Ninja Book Swap for Valentine’s Day that I cannot wait to do. I’ve never done a book swap before and the girls who are running it seem like such lovely people. It’s going to be amazing! 

My reading goal for this year was to get through 50 books. I didn’t feel like I read as much as I could last year and I really wanted to be able to read more again. So, here are the books I had gotten through in January. 

The Shadowhunter’s Codex by Cassandra Clare and Joshua Lewis 
A Living Nightmare (Cirque Du Freak #1) by Darren Shan 
The Glimpse by Claire Merle 
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead 
What Really Happened In Peru (The Bane Chronicles #1) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan 
The Boy In Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne 

I really didn’t think I would be able to get through all of those books but I have loved them all and cannot wait to get onto reading some more this month. Though, I have no clue what I want to read next! 

Saturday, 1 February 2014

I is for 'I See Fire' by Ed Sheeran

This week’s song is by Ed Sheeran from the soundtrack of ‘The Desolation of Smaug

I just want to be able to keyboard smash because that is how perfect I think this song is! I’m a huge fan of The Hobbit and was really excited for the Desolation of Smaug to come out anyway. Then my sister told me that Ed Sheeran wrote a song and she played it for me and I just died a little bit inside... of happiness though!

I always find Ed’s voice one of the most peaceful things ever and he always makes me just want to sleep because it’s just so laid back and relaxing and nice to listen to. That’s exactly what this song did to me. It was simple but extremely effective at the same time.

The lyrics all just fitted so perfectly and made me want to cry because it made me remember what was going to end up happening in the move and I wasn’t emotionally ready for that. Even after seeing the movie, the song still makes me upset but I still love it!

Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments, on the song, below.