Posted in Discussion, Posts/Features

The bookish dream team 


If you had super magical powers, a great kidnapping team or an awesome conference panel organiser, which authors would you bring together? (or which characters?! If I’m gonna have magical skills then I can break the rules)

So the very brilliant Eventbrite inspired this awesome project, and how could I say no?! (Be warned I went totally overboard and this is mostly just rambling fangirling. I’ve been away for a while and it’s had no outlet… anyway you have been warned)

So my dream bookish panel… đź’­

1. Robin Hobb – my current favourite so she must be there! I love her books so so much. I either want to fangirl so hard in her face that she becomes mildly terrified and refuses to attend a bookish panel ever again or somehow acquire the knowledge and articulate prowess to completely wow her with my awesomeness. Either way.

and can she please bring along;

Althea Vestrit (preferably along with Paragon, though that will cause some logistical nightmare for some poor soul), 

and

Kettricken (because damn do I love her, maybe she could come with young Fitz and Nighteyes posing as her page and his puppy?!)

I would love these two to meet (I haven’t read all her series yet so maybe they do! Who knows!) as I think they are two of the most kickass firecracker women Robin Hobbs has created and I want them to rant feminism and equality and just generally be awesome. Plus could the all wonderful Robin Hobb ask for a better honour guard?!

2. Brandon Sanderson (is there a fantasy theme going on here?!) – because oh man the world building skillz and the magic of this mans untamed mind!!!!! I just want to hear him talk, I want him to use my shopping list or my google search history or just a boring work email and to turn it into something magical with his beautiful beautiful mind. Have you read this guys books? Pure wizardry pure and simple. I cannot get enough. 

And can he please bring along; 

Kaladin – stormblessed… Anyone with a title like that surely deserves a place at my dream panel. Because oh what a beautiful man. He’s not perfect but every thing about his character I just love. He just cares and feels and yet is badass and awesome. It’s been far too long since I read the Stormlight Archives, definitely needs a reread, so I can profess my love to Kaladin fully when I meet him.

and

Shallan – another from the Stormlights archives (you’d think with so many books by Brandon that I love that I wouldn’t pick more than one from each) but oh this girl. She’s a kickass awesome scholar. She draws and she loves learning and I’m pretty sure she’s my soul sister.

and

Vin – because hell yeah! Vin you are my queen. Mistborn was the first series by Brandon that I read and so this girl will always hold a special place in my heart. 

I want them all to meet and I want to meet all of them and for them to become my best friends and we can go on weekend camping trips together and sigh. Also maybe Robin Hobb and Brandon Sanderson can swap notes and create some hybrid book between the two of them which would surely become the best book ever. (And since I brought them together in this imaginary panel, they will dedicate it to me.)

3. George RR Martin – I’m torn about inviting / kidnapping George, because one one hand, talk about the size of his mind and the imagination (who wouldn’t want to talk to him!) and all I’m sure I could learn from him, but on the other hand I’ve refused to watch series 6 of the TV adaption because I absolutely must read the next book first. And if he’s at my book panel listening to me rant then he’s not writing and if he’s not writing then I’m still waiting desperately! 

and George you absolutely must bring along with you (cause I’ve decided you are invited after all);

Tyrion Lannister- because obviously. Funny, clever, brave and kind (but also kind of badass and ruthless, he is a Lannister). He is a (half)man after my own heart, and one of my most quoted characters. He would get on with everyone else at the panel and would just bring us all together and we’d talk and learn and all come away wiser for it. My love for Tyrion knows no bounds. (Maybe bring Bron too Tyrion cause the banter is real.)

and 

Daenerys Targaryen – (obviously upon the back of her dragons) because girl you are my idol. Genuinely a good person but with fire and blood all mixed in. Damn girl. (If you haven’t read these books and / or watched the series then why the hell not?! Get on it immediately.)

and also

Arya- this girl. As you can tell I love a strong female character. Words like kickass, role model and strong come to mind for all my favourite characters. And Arya is all that and more. I still wear a necklace to this day that says “Not today“. 

I want them all to be the same room as me and I want George to meet these beautiful characters himself. And I seriously think if they sat and had a chat with Robin Hobb’s Kettricken then they could all learn a little about leadership and wouldn’t that be the most inspirational meeting ever?!

4. Darren Shan – because this man is my childhood. I know that he’s a great guy and his books were some of the very first to spark my love of reading. So obviously an automatic invite for you Darren. His saga of Darren Shan series and Demonata series are books that, even though I first read them as a child, I still love to reread to this day. 

and can you bring along; 

Grubbs Grady- because obviously. I reread these books so many times I feel like I grew up with him. 

and 

Darren Shan- the character that is. Though if you believe the tale then is he even fictional? Another book brother that I grew up with. 

I want to meet them all so much. It’ll be like reliving that childhood joy all over again. And like meeting my fictional siblings. I’m sure they’ll be as amazed to meet all the other attendees as I am.

Final thoughts đź’­ 

This is such an awesome idea Cara and I thank you for thinking of me to participate. 

There are so many more I’d love to meet aswell. And so many topics to discuss. 

Topics;

  • How did you come up with your ideas, your worlds and your characters? Were they born separately?
  • Do you characters take on a life of their own when you write? Do they take the story places you never planned? Or do you have godlike control? 
  • What do you do when the writing blues find you? How do you combat writers block? 
  • Do you enjoy fan art / fanfiction and all the rest? 
  • Do you write with an agenda in mind? Do your stories send a message? Do you consider using your books as a platform to tackle issues like race, gender and equality?

Other invitees; 

  • Jk Rowling along with Harry and Draco. 
  • Michelle Paver along with Torak, Renn and wolf.
  • Dean Koontz (I’m not sure which characters of his I’d invite but I’d love to meet him, I’ll leave it up to you Dean which character to bring along)
  • Patrick Ness along with Todd and Manchee. 

Im going to stop here because otherwise I’ll go on and on. 

đź’­Have I accidentally forgotten the worlds best author? Who would you invite? Do you agree / disagree with any of my choices? Would you like to request a specific fangirl rant about any of the books I have mentioned? Let me know! 

đź’­If you do want to host your own event you could always check the (actually quite spectacular) conference management tools offered by Eventbrite!

đź’­Also checkout some of the other bloggers Dream Bookish Panel posts below. 

writtenwordworld

readerinareverie

đź’­And if your missing me you can also find me at one of my other blogs (I’m usually posting somewhere) 

Emily Florence 

MythMarket

Posted in Discussion, Mental Health, Rambling with Em, Topical Issues.

Time to Talk Day 2017


This post originally appeared on my other blog waterfall thoughts.

Ways you can participate

  • Give someone you haven’t spoken to in a while a call / text. Sometimes people just need to know you’re there
  • Ask someone how their day was. Something as simple as this could make such a huge difference to someone’s day.
  • Perform a random act of kindness. Buy some chocolates to share with your friends / work colleagues, keep an eye out for ways you could lend a hand to the people around you
  • Share mental health stories on your social media, just liking and sharing posts and videos on your facebook / twitter can spread the word, you might share the very thing someone needed to see
  • If you suffer with a mental health issue, tell your truth. You never know who might be grateful to hear your words. (Websites like The Mighty allow you to become s contributor and share your stories with the community) Or start a blog, write a honest facebook post, or just text a trusted friend and tell them how you’re feeling. You never know who might have needed to hear what you have to say.
  • Bookish Special! -Use today to talk about your favourite books that feature mental health issues! Recommendations, reviews, tweet share post! 

What are you doing for Time To Talk day 2017?

Posted in Discussion, Mental Health, Posts/Features, Rambling with Em, Topical Issues., Uncategorized

The importance of Mental Health in YA fiction 


I haven’t posted in a while, that’s true. And my previous posts have been squealy fangirling book reviews.

I don’t want to stop my joyful rambling about books and I won’t. But there are other things I need and want to talk about.

1 in 10 children and young people aged 5 – 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder – that is around three children in every class (1).

Between 1 in every 12 and 1 in 15 children and young people deliberately self-harm (2).

There has been a big increase in the number of young people being admitted to hospital because of self harm. Over the last ten years this figure has increased by 68% (3).

More than half of all adults with mental health problems were diagnosed in childhood. Less than half were treated appropriately at the time (4).

A lot of us here in the blogosphere call for more diversity in YA fiction, tired of the unnaturally beautiful white girl who has everything together. And we have come so far. In my time I’m seen huge twitter conversations and hundreds of blog posts from bloggers and authors alike saying what they want to see and what changes they’re going to make. And we’re getting there, slowly but surely we as readers are starting to see our own selves, messy and imperfect, refelected back at us from the books we are reading.

But why is it important to talk about mental health?

Because mental health issues so often begin in childhood and when we are young adults. Because we need to remove the stigma and the fear surrounding mental health, so that those young people aren’t afraid to speak out about their problems.

We need to educate the ignorant. To teach people, young or old, that anyone can face a mental health crisis, at any age. To show people, through stories, that it’s not just ‘a phase’ or puberty, that depression, anxiety, eating disorders, psychosis and all the rest do not discriminate.

Young people in a survey conducted by time to change reported stigma coming from those around them: 70% had had negative reactions from friends, over half (57%) from parents and 45% from boyfriends and girlfriends.

The professionals that young people come into contact with were also reported as a source of stigma and discrimination: 40% said that they had experienced negative reactions from teachers and 47% from doctors and other medical professionals.

Our attitudes and beliefs are largely formed when we are young and are influenced by a ton of factors; what we are taught in school, by family members and books we read to name a few. That’s not to say we can’t change our beliefs as we grow, because we constantly do. However if the kids in your class make jokes about ‘crazy’ people or the news you see blames atrocities on a persons mental health and you never see positive portrayals of ordinary people with mental health issues then how are you supposed to understand what you or someone else is going through and to react in a healthy, positive way?

It’s important to represent real people in literature.

…and in all media. Showing that women can be powerful and strong; that men can show their emotions without being ‘weak’ and that people with mental health problems are just ordinary people who need our compassion not our ignorance. (I could go on…)

Seeing ourselves and honest representations in the media help people feel accepted and give them back that sense of I’m normal. This gives them back much needed confidence to open conversations and seek help.

I asked some friends why they think it’s important and this is what they said;

Characters can sometimesi be more relatable than real humans, I think its a starting point for the discussion for mental health –Hannah

“I just think it’s another good way to get people talking about mental health. To have realistic representations in creative works helps to de-stigmatise mental illnesses. Also, for me, it was a way of feeling like I wasn’t alone – Girl, Interrupted, although a memoir, was a very powerful read for me, it was upsetting for me as I’d been diagnosed with BPD, but it resonated with me deeply.” –Sophie

I think it’s important if done in a way that isn’t likely to add to the stigma. I’ve just read the gift and sisters both by louise jenson. In both books the characters suffer from anxiety, and it often describes their panic attacks. To me (as a severe sufferer) this is a good thing, as it might help people understand what happens to someone having an attack.

However I also think mental health in books can be bad, as it’s often used as a reason why a character is the way they are, in a bad way. In that case I think it adds to the stigma that anyone who suffers from mental illness are a crazed axe welding maniac. I understand it’s all to make a good story and it won’t necessarily be at the forefront of a readers mind, but I can’t help thinking that it might put that thought about mental illness into someone’s sub conscious. –Laura Caunce 

What books are already out there?

Buzzfeed did a post on the 29 Best YA Books About Mental Health

I’m going to make it my mission to pay abit more attention to wether books are portraying mental health issues and if they are, are they doing it well? 

Let me know your thoughts and please do throw any recommendations my way (good or bad examples!) xxx

Posted in meme, Posts/Features, Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves (8) -I’m back and ooh look dragons

  

“Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!”

All my love to Tygna’s Reviews for keeping this going. All the love and pizza to you 

  
Oh I do love this meme. It’s like a free pass to brag about all my books (all the book buying!) but to people who actually care (I hope) and I don’t feel so bad cause everyone’s doing the same thing!

I won’t stack up all the books I’ve received since I last did this post because it would be insanely long due to my super long hiatus (and my inability to exercise self control in waterstones) . I will just do some of the more recent / my favourites.

The first thing I need to mention is that I have been reading on my kindle! (Well the app on my phone). This is kind of a big deal as I’m very on the side of physical books in The Great Debate. But I can’t sneakily ready Robin Hobb at my desk at work with the physical copy (huuuuge beast of a book, not subtle) but with my phone buried amongst the paper on the deal (lots of paper) I can get away with reading lots. (Work, I’m sorry not sorry. Robin Hobb is fab).

So I bought and downloaded the liveship traders trilogy  

 
Which is amazing! Because pirates and sea serpents and dragons and magic and oooooh.

Then I may have accidentally finished those and bought the Rain Wild Chronicles series. Because ahhhh more dragons.

  
And the cover lust is intense.

While Robin Hobb has been my fantasy fix for the beginning of 2016, in the winter of 2015 it was all about Brandon Sanderson.

Starting with th Mistborn series…

  
(Which I cannot even put into words how much I loved. So so brilliant.)

And then onto the Stormlight Archives series (still not finished come on Brandon!)

   
 
Which is just so amazing, even with drawings throughout that are just so beautiful. 

  
And also Warbreaker and Elantris!

So as you’ve guessed I’m in love with Robin Hobb and Brandon Sanderson’s books. And I’m thoroughly into a fantasy phase right now.

Unfortunately I am pretty new to this genre, so any recommendations would be more than appreciated!

Have you read any of these? Who else do you think I’d enjoy? (There’s virtual cake for anyone who recommends me someone I end up loving as much as these). 

Comment and let me know and feel free to leave a link back to your blog if you have one, I’m feeling abit disconnected! x x

Posted in Uncategorized

Non apology hippy ideology infested I’m back post.

I’m not going to frantically type out another mad apology post hiatus post. But I’m back. For how long? Right now I don’t know but here we are.

Life if crazy and if it doesn’t stop throwing things at me I’m going to have to invest in a shield. Does anywhere sell shields? Huh. I’ll google that. (My google search history makes for a brilliant read)

Anyway…

I’m in one of those ‘follow your passion! Care for your mind, body and soul! All natural hippy self improvement’ phases. (I know right). So one of the things I love is books and blogging always made me happy so I’m back back back. I want to scream-type all the books at you. That means reviews with lots of CAPSLOCK and exclamations!!!! And book appreciation posts and mad ramblings that will put you off ever reading anything written by me ever again. 

So watch this space cause I’m back (bitch).

I really am, I even updated my about page.

  
(I don’t know what that is but it felt appropriate)

Posted in Blog Tour, Reviews

Blog Tour! Review: Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Shadow Study (Soulfinders, #1)Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Shadow Study (Soulfinders #1) (Chronicles of Ixia #7)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okokokok, so I am a HUGE fan of the Chronicles of Ixia novels. The first book, Poison Study is my absolute favourite of the series, a five star read that I 100% recommend!

The Chronicles of Ixia started with the Study trilogy (Poison Study, Magic Study and Fire Study) following Yelena, then Maria V. Snyder gifted us with the another insight into this world with the Glass trilogy (Sea Glass, Storm Glass and Spy Glass) which follow a character called Opal. Now Shadow Study is the first in the Soulfinders series but its technically like book 7 in the Chronicles of Ixia.

So this book has been long awaited by me, I thought we were done with this world and so when I heard about this book I absolutely had to get my hands on a copy. It’s set 6 years after the events of the last book and follows Yelena, Valek and Janco with chapters alternating from each of their POV. This worked quite well and I enjoyed being in Valek and Janco’s head, a new insight from the previous books. However, at times, it was quite frustrating being cut off at the end of each chapter and knowing I had to wait like two chapters to carry on with what was happening, it occasionally pulled me out of the story whilst I tried to remember what was happening.

I love the characters in this series, I mean Yelena is one of my all time favourite heroines. She’s tough and resourceful but she’s not perfect and she doesn’t pretend to be. She’s honest and loyal and overall a really really likeable character (although I will admit she annoyed me temporarily in Fire Study, but she really came through and hey, nobody’s perfect!)
And Valek, oh Valek! What can I say? SWOON SWOON SWOON. Top of my book-boyfriends list! He’s everything I want. He’s more than just a love interest, he’s a brilliant character (assassin I might add!) all by himself. He’s not petty or shallow in his relationship with Yelena, and there is no insta-love! Its a perfect slow-burn turned epic love! My favourite thing about him is he doesn’t treat Yelena like a fragile girl, he knows what she’s capable of and he lets her handle things. He doesn’t coddle her when she’s being stupid, instead he calls her out on it and lets her deal with it and then doesn’t hold it against her afterwards. YES VALEK! He’s perfect.
So yeah, clearly I really enjoyed Valek POV chapters, especially getting to experience the flashbacks of his past and how he became the badass assassin he is today.
And YES! We got more Ari and Janco! I LOVE THEM, they’re just fantastic.

Another of my favourite aspects about this series is the world-building, my oh my, it is fantastic. Its all historical fiction, fantasy, magic and assassins ugh I can’t get enough.

AND DEAR LORD THE ENDING! THE GORYDAMNED ENDING! I NEVER EVEN SAW IT COMING OMG!

So what the hell are you waiting for?! GO AND READ! (I definitely recommend reading poison study and the other books first if you haven’t already! You can still follow this book without them but they are so damn fab why would you want to?!)

I am so damn excited for the next book, it’s unreal. Please let me know your thoughts on this book, or any of the Chronicles of Ixia books, I wanna fangirl with you all!

View my 2015 reads so far!

Posted in Reviews

Review: The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

Adobe Photoshop PDF

The Book: The Fire Sermon
The Author: Francesca Haig
The Pages: 423
My Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Published on: 26th Feb, 2015

When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. We were perfect. They would have been disbelieving: nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega.
Nobody.

They were born together and they will die together.
One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death.
The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts.
The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they’re free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts.
Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose.
The potential to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they’re not careful both will die in the struggle for power.

Review.

I received a review copy of this in 2014 and I was beyond excited. The premise was so original and everyone was buzzing with anticipation. It did not disappoint. (and ooooh cover-lust)

Every birth now results in twins, one boy and one girl, one perfect Alpha and one mutated Omega. The omega twin is cast out as soon as they are identified as the weaker twin and the Alpha is free to live unburdened. Or not quite unburdened, as when one twin dies so does the other no matter where they are. I mean come on! How awesome does that sound?!

I thought the world building was good and Francesca’s writing created some brilliant imagery for me. I loved the world they lived in (though obviously it had his major faults) the different landscapes and terrain Cass and Kip travel through was beautifully imagined. I really enjoyed travelling with them.

The main character Cass, while I didn’t immediately connect with her, nonetheless felt very real. She was complex and a kickass heroine. She wasn’t unrealistically strong or tough, but she was brilliant and her main strength wasn’t her abilities but the way she viewed the world and her compassion.

Kip, although I loved him, never felt real to me, which was really sad because his character could have been the most interesting. He was always with Cass but didn’t just blindly agree with everything she said, if he thought something different he’d voice it. Plus I love reading about amnesia, even if it wasn’t hugely focused on.

YES! WOOP! YAAAA! Why am I exclaiming in joy?! -because there was romance in this book and it was NOT insta-love! See how easy that was authors? Never an excuse for insta love, bleugh.
No it wasn’t the sloooooooow-burn romance that I love so much, but it felt natural to me so yay, well done to Francesca!
thumbs-up

And oh I just loved reading about the relationship between Cass and Zach. Sibling relationships are so not focused on enough in a lot of the YA I’ve read recently. I love it because no matter what happens between siblings that connection cannot be broken, it can be damaged but never destroyed. I love it, I love it, I love it! Aaagh, it just adds a whole new dynamic to the conflict.
I especially loved reading about their childhood and because they were raised together longer than usual they had chance to really bond in a way that other twins hadn’t. I think that’s what makes Cass so special.

This is a really rambled (is that a word?) review because I just cant make up my mind about this book. It was good and I enjoyed it but it didn’t blow me away (so no to a five or four star rating). However the idea is interesting and original, the twist at the end was awesome and yay siblings!
So I’d probably rate it 3.5 and definitely recommend you give this a go!