Friday, 31 July 2015

Camp NaNoWriMo 2015

Hi, everyone!

As you may have noticed, things have been extremely quiet on here for the past month. That's because I've been taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo throughout July! I kept to the traditional NaNo goal of 50,000 words, and I've just completed it - yay!

I've been filming weekly videos diaries for my YouTube channel, discussing all things writing-related, and updates on how my story was coming along. You can view the video playlist here.

So now that my wild month of writing is over with, I can get back to my usual reading schedule. I've got a few exciting posts planned for this week, including an interview and two stops on a blog tour, so be sure to check them out!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

REVIEW: Revived by Sarah Noffke

Bookish Details:
Series: The Lucidites #3
Pages: 327 Kindle
Publisher: One-Twenty-Six Press
Release Date: November 20th 2014
Buy it From: Amazon - Amazon UK


The pieces of Roya’s life don’t fit together anymore. Nothing makes sense. Joseph could be to blame for the fall of the Lucidites’ society. Zhuang is back and more powerful than ever. Chase, a gorgeous psychopath, is demanding her love and commitment. And the Institute is swarming with lies, betrayals, and conflicts. Roya knows she needs to focus and reconnect with Joseph if she is to survive, but how can she find clarity when everything around her is unraveling? 
The final chapter in The Lucidites Series will take up residence in reader’s bones. All secrets will be revealed. All villains will be confronted. And the greatest obstacles will be that of the heart. Revived delivers, giving audiences what they want most from the last in a fast-paced, thrilling series. 

My Review:

This review contains spoilers for the two previous books in this series. Please don't read on if you haven't read either of those books.

So here it is, the final installment in The Lucidites series, AND I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS. Roya's journey has finally come to it's conclusion, and it was everything I wanted for her and more. 

This is one of those books that I struggle to review because I can't quite put into words how awesome it is. The entire series has gotten better and better as it went along, resulting in a fantastic final installment that was nail-biting from start to finish.

We continue Roya's story after the discovery that Zhuang has been brought back to full strength by an unsuspecting Joseph. The siblings are trying to come to terms with Trey being their father, and Roya is still struggling to deal with Chase's mind control over her, so the stress levels are high. Amongst everything else going on in her life, Roya also has to face the situation she's stuck in with George and Aiden.

Whilst news reporting for the Institute, Roya witnesses an event that will put the Lucidites in grave danger at some point in the future. They don't know when it'll come to pass, so they must sit and wait for the day to arrive.

Refusing to be forced to exit the institute when the danger arrives, Joseph and Roya come up with a plan to put an end to the terror, no matter the risks to their own lives. What follows is an epic battle between good and evil, and Roya learns more about her past and herself along the way.

The personal journey of each of the characters in this final book was wonderful. I just have to take a moment to talk about Joseph because he truly shone through this time around. He's been one of my favourites from the start and it's been great to see him develop over the course of the series. There have been many times when I've wanted to wrap him up in a blanket and protect him from the world. There was a little twist regarding his personal life in this book that I don't want to mention directly because I don't want spoilers here, but I absolutely loved it. His developing relationship was beautifully written and put a huge smile on my face by the end of the story.

As for Roya's love life, there was a perfect conclusion that I'd waited for all along. But I'll admit, even though I didn't really have much love for George in the first book, I've grown to adore him throughout this series. He's undeniably sweet and caring, and I felt sorry for him by the end of everything.

Roya was stronger than ever in Revived. I love everything about her character: her wit, her courage, her dream travels. I always adore strong female characters that can fight for themselves and those they love, and she's delivers all that and more. She's been so entertaining to read about over these past three books, and I'm going to miss her a lot!

What I also loved is that even though the story focuses on the relationship between her and Aiden, it didn't interfere with the main plot. A lot of the YA series' I have read recently put way too much focus on the romance, and the plot would depend heavily on the love interest. With this series, Roya's overall journey was something she fought through herself. Although she had Aiden's support, she didn't need saving by him. She was strong enough to fight her own battles! This is one of the reason's why their relationship worked so well for me. We were given just the right amount of it.

All of the lose ends were neatly tied up by the final chapter of Revived, leaving me more than happy with the ending. I'm not going to lie, there were parts that tore my heart apart, especially towards the end. The epilogue was as much of an emotional roller-coaster as the entire series – I was a mess by the end of it! 

It has been such a pleasure to be able to read this series and I'd like to thank Sarah herself for introducing it to me. I have enjoyed the company of these wonderful characters over the past couple of months, and I can't wait to see what awesome stories Sarah Noffke has in store in the future.

Royal Rating:

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

REVIEW: Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot

Bookish Details:
Series: Princess Diaries #11
Pages: 451 Kindle
Publisher: Macmillan (UK)
Release Date: July 2nd 2015
Source: NetGalley
Buy it From: Amazon UK - Waterstones

In ROYAL WEDDING (William Morrow), Princess Diaries XI, Princess Mia’s planned nuptials to longtime love Michael Moscovitz are in jeopardy when the paparazzi uncover a startling secret: Mia has a long lost younger sister.

Now a scheming politico is using the royal scandal to force Mia’s father from the throne, leaving Genovia without a monarch . . . unless Mia can prove to everyone—especially herself—that she’s finally fit to rule.

ROYAL WEDDING will be the first ever adult installment of the Princess Diaries, published by the adult division of HarperCollins, the company that brought you the YA books in the series.

My Review:
If you're here expecting an informing and insightful review, I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but you're not going to find one. It's quite impossible for me to come up with anything that isn't overly emotional fangirling.

The Princess Diaries is one of my favourite series of all time, so you can imagine how shocked/confused/ecstatic/emotional I was when I discovered that Meg would be writing a new adult book in the series. I fell in love with Mia's story as a teen, and now I get to rejoin her in adulthood. I couldn't ask for more.

Oh how I have missed the journals of Mia Thermopolis. Catching up with her again after all these years has been such a joy, it's like reuniting with an old friend. She's still as hilarious as ever, and her dramatic life as a royal is just as entertaining to read about as it always was. The story takes place several years after the ending of the tenth book. Mia is now 26, she's still hopelessly in love with Michael, and unbeknown to her at the start, they're about to be engaged. I still adore her and Michael's relationship. And as the book says, he really is the world's greatest lover.

I enjoyed getting to see how the characters were doing in adulthood. Lilly is still wild, Tina is as sweet as usual, and I was completely shocked to see that Boris had become the world's hottest superstar. It was also great to see that Grandmere was her usual self. Her character is fabulously intimidating and always super hilarious. Mia trying to have a touching moment with her near the end of the book was brilliant.

This story takes place around the same time as Meg's spinoff series, 'From The Notebooks of a Middle School Princess' in which twelve-year-old Olivia discovers that she is Mia's half sister and a Princess of Genovia. Because I've read this part of the story from Olivia's perspective, it was great to finally see Mia's reaction to it all. She handled it in true princess style, keeping calm about it on the outside, yet freaking out in her journal.

Now, of course, I don't want to spoil anything, so I won't. BUT THE ENDING. I didn't expect the final few chapters at all, even though there were hints to it throughout the story. I had to put the book down for a little while and have an 'OHMYGOD' moment. It was such a cute surprise.  

Obviously, the book is called Royal Wedding, so it's not exactly a spoiler to talk about the wedding between Michael and Mia. His proposal was so adorable, and so Michael. The scene where Mia is trying on the wedding dresses is awesome because it brings together her friends and finally gives us a chance to see them all interact again.

I had so many high hopes for this book, and it delivered all of them and more. I've loved getting to reconnect with this series throughout the course of this book, and it tied everything up perfectly. Thank you to Meg Cabot for once again creating a story that has left me smiling from ear-to-ear.  

Royal Rating:

Of course I had to give the future Queen of Genovia the highest amount of crowns. 

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