(not so) Recently Watched.

Alien Covenant (2017)
'Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, members of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think to be an uncharted paradise. While there, they meet David, the synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. The mysterious world soon turns dark and dangerous when a hostile alien life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.'
I feel like this was a pointless addition to the Alien franchise- it just threw up a load more questions and kind of messed up the timeline. It looked great but there was no substance. 2/5

Ghost in the Shell (2017)
'In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: a human who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world's most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people's minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that her life was stolen instead of saved. Now, she will stop at nothing to recover her past while punishing those who did this to her.'
I have never read the manga so am totally ignorant to the source material but I really enjoyed this. To be honest I do like most ScarJo films and this was such a visually beautiful film. I also enjoy anything set in the future and anything featuring androids so this kind of ticked all the boxes for me. 4/5

The Girl on the Train (2016)
'Commuter Rachel Watson catches daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple, Scott and Megan, from the window of her train. One day, Watson witnesses something shocking unfold in the backyard of the strangers' home. Rachel tells the authorities what she thinks she saw after learning that Megan is now missing and feared dead. Unable to trust her own memory, the troubled woman begins her own investigation, while police suspect that Rachel may have crossed a dangerous line.'
I was underwhelmed by the book but was interested to see how it was adapted to film. It turns out I preferred the book! For some reason it was moved from London to New York and I felt like Emily Blunt was a strange choice considering how the character was described in the book (more fat actresses please). 1/5

Guardians of the Glaxy Vol.2 (2017)
'Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries from invaders. When it is discovered that Rocket has stolen the items they were sent to guard, the Sovereign dispatch their armada to search for vengeance. As the Guardians try to escape, the mystery of Peter's parentage is revealed.'
Although not at the height of the first one this was plenty of fun. I like that we got to see more of Nebula and Yondu but I think Drax is my favourite and loved his scenes with Mantis. 3/5

Wonder Woman (2017)
'Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot who tells her about the massive conflict that's raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.'
How long have we waited for this?! One of the greatest and most iconic superheroes of all time finally gets the film she deserves and it was brilliant. A perfect mix of story, effects, humour and action, I loved it! It was very special to finally see Diana get her origin story and it was also great to have it directed by a woman. I am already pumped for the sequel. 5/5

The Mummy (2017)
'Nick Morton is a soldier of fortune who plunders ancient sites for timeless artifacts and sells them to the highest bidder. When Nick and his partner come under attack in the Middle East, the ensuing battle accidentally unearths Ahmanet, a betrayed Egyptian princess who was entombed under the desert for thousands of years. With her powers constantly evolving, Morton must now stop the resurrected monster as she embarks on a furious rampage through the streets of London.'
I took my Dad to see this as a Fathers Day present and oh dear god it was terrible. The trailer made it look like it could be a decent entertaining film (despite having Tom Cruise in who I hate...) but seriously the trailer had the best part in it- the plane scene. Other than that it was a cheesy mess of Cruise running inter sliced with a few one liners and PG violence. As my Dad put it perfectly: "It was a Nicolas Cage film without Nicolas Cage". At least I have a winner for worst film of 2017! 0/5

Book review: Evening Primrose by Kopano Matlwa

'When Masechaba finally achieves her childhood dream of becoming a doctor, her ambition is tested as she faces the stark reality of South Africa's public healthcare system.

As she leaves her deeply religious mother and makes friends with the politically-minded Nyasha, Masechaba's eyes are opened to the rising xenophobic tension that carries echoes of apartheid.

Battling her inner demons, she must decide if she should take a stand to help her best friend, even it comes at a high personal cost.'

Written in the style of a journal this is a powerful read that follows Masechaba as she trains and qualifies as a doctor in South Africa.

We get insight into the health system as Masechaba struggles to do a good job with limited resources and also of the race and xenophobic tensions that she finds herself the centre of, after befriending a fellow doctor from Zimbabwe who opens her eyes to the politics and gives her motivation to try and do something about it- with devastating consequences.   

The book was a short quick read, but quite an intense one. I really felt for Masechaba and what she was going through and often it was hearth breaking to read. The book was beautifully written- I felt like the journal/ diary style added a certain intimacy to it- I was reading the innermost thoughts of this woman as she spoke frankly about her life. 

I highly recommend this book, it gave me an insight into a country I don't know a great deal about and also brought an important female voice to fiction- a marginalised woman facing her demons and rising above them.

Evening Primrose is out in hardback on the 27 July, you can buy a copy here

*Thanks to Veronique at Hoddar for providing me with a copy of this book for a honest review.

June reading round up.

Nina is not OK by Shappi Khorsandi
'Nina does not have a drinking problem. She likes a drink, sure. But what 17-year-old doesn’t?
Nina’s mum isn’t so sure. But she’s busy with her new husband and five year old Katie. And Nina’s almost an adult after all. And if Nina sometimes wakes up with little memory of what happened the night before, then her friends are all too happy to fill in the blanks. Nina’s drunken exploits are the stuff of college legend.
But then one dark Sunday morning, even her friends can’t help piece together Saturday night. All Nina feels is a deep sense of shame, that something very bad has happened to her…'
I don't know why but I feel like this book should have been set in the nineties! I kind of enjoyed it but at times found the over conversational writing style a little annoying. I feel like it covered the subjects of addiction, growing up and sexual assault well though and the characters were interesting and likeable. 3/5

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
'On a cool June morning, Isa Wilde, a resident of the seemingly idyllic coastal village of Salten, is walking her dog along a tidal estuary. Before she can stop him, Isa s dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick and to her horror, she discovers it s not a stick at all but a human bone. As her three best friends from childhood converge in Salten to comfort a seriously shaken-up Isa, terrifying discoveries are made, and their collective history slowly unravels. Tackling the slipperiness of your memories, the relativity of truth, and the danger of obsessive friendships, The Lying Game is a page-turning mystery with compelling characters and electric prose, resulting in an unputdownable thriller.'
I am a huge fan of Ruth Ware's first two books (they're amazing) and as soon as my pre order arrived dived straight into this book. Unfortunately I was really sad to find this a bit of a let down. The writing was great but the suspense and and twists of her first two books just weren't there and I felt like there was too much filler about the protagonists baby- when it was crying, when it was hungry, when she fed it blah blah blah. We get it she had a baby! The characters were no way near as interesting or fleshed out as they were in her other novels. I will still look forward to her next offering and hope this is a blip! 3/5

Who Runs the World? by Virginia Bergin
'Sixty years after a virus has wiped out almost all the men on the planet, things are pretty much just as you would imagine a world run by women might be: war has ended; greed is not tolerated; the ecological needs of the planet are always put first. In two generations, the female population has grieved, pulled together and moved on, and life really is pretty good - if you're a girl. It's not so great if you're a boy, but fourteen-year-old River wouldn't know that. Until she met Mason, she thought they were extinct.'
The blurb to this sounded amazing and I was expecting an exciting dystopian read with feminist overtones. Dear oh dear Bergin really failed with this. Apart from the writing which was filled with constant question marks? and exclamations, which drove me mad!!!! She really didn't do feminists any favours with this. The book made out without men the world was some kind of medieval utopia where everyone just hugged it out and there was no wars of violence or crime. Also for some reason they ate insects and rode around on horses. The book was filled with man hate and she could have tried to make so many interesting points with this book but just didn't. (and FYI I do consider myself a feminist). Also the main character was just plain annoying! 2/5

Hopefully I will have a better reading month in July! 
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Fable and Black haul.

I recently discovered an indie brand through Instagram who design and sell all sorts of bookish treats and couldn't resist putting an order in. To be honest it was near impossible to choose what to buy as I wanted pretty much everything but here is what I chose...

I can never resist lucky dips and this literary lucky dip box was jam packed with goodies. It was also only £9.95. Inside I got a beautiful Bookworm coaster, a Books patch (that I wanted to buy yay!) a sticker,  Alice in Wonderland bookmark pack (which are already being put to good use), some bookish badges, cards and a lovely notebook. 

I'm very very happy with what was inside and think it is amazing value too. The design of everything is just perfect.

This patch was probably my favourite item and I can't decide whether to attach it to my jacket or bag...

I also purchased this pastel print. It comes on thick card and will look brilliant framed :)

I will almost certainly be making another order from them soon (I already have my eye on the sticker pack, pins and prints) and highly recommend checking them out!

Fable and Black website

10 Good things...

The past few weeks I've been working my butt off and getting up stupidly early. I've been feeling exhausted and this hot weather is my idea of hell.

So that's the not so good stuff! Now here's 10 good things...

1. Fresh flowers and plants. I've bought some succulents and have been buying fresh bunches of St Williams to keep in my room. They are cheap and beautiful, and improve my mood a little.
2. My Dad fixed a broken fan that had been thrown out so I now have a huge fan which has enabled me to sleep at least a bit. Praise the people who invented fans (and my Dad!)
3. Tropical twist ice lollies. I've been bringing back boxes of ice lollies to consume after every shift at work!
4. Summer fruit. I am really not a fan of Summer, but one thing I do love is Summer fruit! Especially peaches, nectarines, grapes, melon, cherries and strawberries...YUM.
5. iZombie. The new series is being releases one episode a week on Netflix and I love it. If you haven't watched it yet and you are a Buffy fan check it out.
6. A new haircut. I decided to have half of the underside of my hair shaved and I'm so glad as I love it.
7. Book post! I've got a huge pile of books I've recently bought/been sent that I can't wait to get stuck into. 
8. Wonder Woman. I saw the film at the cinema and I LOVED it. I was worried I was going to be disappointed after the last few DC films but they really brought Diana to life and did the character justice. I hope there is a sequel.
9. My bed. I love my bed, if I could marry it I would. I've been doing tons of early shifts the past few weeks and coming home and having afternoon naps has been a real treat. Because of my meds I suffer with fatigue anyway so it's been good to take a nap when I need to without feeling guilty.
10. Audiobooks and music. This has been getting me through the early commutes and early nights. I'm currently listening to the audiobook for Accidents Happen by Louise Millar read by Clare Corbett (I love anything Clare reads!) and the songs I've been listening to tons include Fragments by Blondie, Choker by Honeyblood, ocean by Goldfrapp, Hey by Hey Charlie and Bad Thing by PINS. Maybe I'll do a Currently Listening post soon.

New books.

 Here are the books I've bought lately....

Who Runs the World? by Virginia Bergin 
"Sixty years after a virus has wiped out almost all the men on the planet, things are pretty much just as you would imagine a world run by women might be: war has ended; greed is not tolerated; the ecological needs of the planet are always put first. In two generations, the female population has grieved, pulled together and moved on, and life really is pretty good - if you're a girl. It's not so great if you're a boy, but fourteen-year-old River wouldn't know that. Until she met Mason, she thought they were extinct."

I LOVE dystopian books and thought the feminist slant sounded intriguing so pre-ordered this ages ago, also how beautiful is the cover? I've just started reading this although my expectations have been severely lowered since looking it up on Goodreads to see pretty much unanimous bad reviews... Let's wait and see.

The Power by Naomi Alderman
"What if the power to hurt were in women's hands?

Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - teenage girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman's extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed."

This has been on my wishlist for ages and as soon as it won the Bailey's Woman's prize for fiction I new I had to get it. I'm glad I held out as the paperback cover is way more beautiful in my opinion. Again this is a dystopian with a feminist slant and has been likened to The Handmaids Tale. Looking forward to this one! 

 My Best Friends Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
"Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act . . . different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?"

A horror story set in 1988? YES PLEASE.

Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson
"The perfect read for Hallowe'en, this new hardback volume of Jackson's finest stories reveals the queen of American gothic at her unsettling, mesmerising best

There's something nasty in suburbia. In these deliciously dark tales, the daily commute turns into a nightmarish game of hide and seek, the loving wife hides homicidal thoughts and the concerned citizen might just be an infamous serial killer. In the haunting world of Shirley Jackson, nothing is as it seems and nowhere is safe, from the city streets to the country manor, and from the small-town apartment to the dark, dark woods..."

I've been building up a collection of Shirley Jackson books for a while, despite not having read any I feel like she is going to be a writer I will love. What better way to try out a new to you writer than a short story collection? I also love the cat on the cover!

Evening Primrose by Kopano Matlwa
"Told in the form of a one-sided conversation with God, Evening Primrose is the story of Masechaba, a young woman who achieves her childhood dream of becoming a doctor, yet soon faces the stark reality of South Africa's healthcare system.

As she leaves her deeply religious mother and makes friends with the politically-minded Nyasha, Masechaba's eyes are opened to rising xenophobic tension in the shadow of the apartheid.

Battling her own personal demons, she must decide if she should make a stand to help her friend, even if it comes at a high personal cost. "

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book to review and it sounds amazing. The design is also stunning. I do really enjoy books written in the style of a journal and hope to get to this one soon. 

The new Ruth Ware thriller The Lying Game. She is an auto buy author for me and I read it as soon as it arrived- review coming in my monthly round up!

Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls, an YA mystery thriller about a girl who suspects her friend was murdered.

The second issue of literary zine 404 Ink. I will be posting about this soon.

Finally, a sci-fi thriller Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. This sounds very good, and is a about a man who wakes up in a world he doesn't recognise.

So that's all my recent book purchases. Have you ready any of them? What books have you bought lately?

[A couple of these books were bought from Charley's Book Shack on Facebook- a group I highly recommend!]

Blog Tour: The Salvation Project

Today's post is in celebration of the release of the third book in The Soterion trilogy by Stewart Ross: The Salvation Project. If you are a fan of YA and dystopian then read on!

Does the Soterion hold the key to saving civilization?

In a post-apocalyptic world where no-one lives beyond their teenage years, the mysterious Roxanne arrives in Cyrus’s village, fleeing the barbaric Zeds. She claims to be on a mission that can save them all, but can she be trusted? Cyrus joins her in her quest for the legendary Soterion, but the Zeds are determined to get there first.

The Salvation Project

Humanity’s hope of salvation lies within a single laptop…

A mutation in human DNA means no one lives beyond nineteen. Scientists working to reverse this pandemic died before their Salvation Project was complete, leaving behind the results of their research in a sealed vault – the Soterion.

122 years have passed. The civilisation of the ‘Long Dead’ is almost forgotten, the Soterion has been burned to ashes, and communities of Constants are tormented by brutal tribes of Zeds. Cyrus, Miouda and Sammy flee their burning city with a laptop rescued from the inferno. They believe it contains the key to the Salvation Project. But its batteries are dead, there is no electricity to power it, and murderous Zeds will stop at nothing to get it back…

Information about the Book

Title: The Salvation Project (The Soterion Mission #3)
Author: Stewart Ross
Release Date: 20th June 2017
Genre: Dystopian YA
Publisher: Blean Books
Format: Paperback

My thoughts...

This intriguing trilogy puts you into a scary future world where there are no adults and life is short. Youngsters have to adapt quickly and work with what they've got as they fight to stay alive. The first book starts by throwing you straight into the action and it stays at that fast pace throughout. One of my favourite characters was Roxanne, a resourceful and strong character, and although I would perhaps have liked a little more depth I enjoyed reading about her story. 

I also loved the idea of the Soterion- a place adults from the past had left all the books and knowledge for future generations in the hope the could overcome the virus and rebuild humanity. As with all dystopian books I've read I would really not want to live in this almost medieval like world- the idea of a death week in your final teenage years sounds terrifying but is also a very imaginative idea!  

To celebrate this book release there is currently a giveaway running on Goodreads where you could bag yourself a copy! Enter here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Salvation Project by Stewart Ross

The Salvation Project

by Stewart Ross

Giveaway ends June 30, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Finally, don't forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour, for interviews with the author, reviews and more! 

*Thanks to Faye for providing me with the books and the opportunity to take part in the tour :)