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 :)

Favourite books of 2017 so far...

Can you believe we are already half way through 2017?!! It has gone so quick. Seeing as we are at the half way point of the year I thought I would pick my favourite reads of the year so far...

1. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (poetry)
2. Saga Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (sci-fi comic series)
3. Patience by Daniel Clowes (sci-fi graphic novel)
4. Kill or be Killed by Ed Brubaker (thriller comic series)
5. Exits by Daryl Seitchik (graphic novel)
6. Catwoman Volume 1 Trial of Catwoman omnibus edition by Ed Brubaker (superhero noir comic series)
7. We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche (feminist non-fiction)
8. One by Sarah Crossan (YA)
9. Salad Anniversary by Machi Tawara (poetry)
10. Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon (mental health, biographical non-fiction)
11. The Last One by Alexandra Oliva (dystopian)
12. Summary Justice by John Fairfax (courtroom thriller)
13. The White Road by Sarah Lotz (horror thriller)
14. He Said She Said by Erin Kelly (crime thriller)
15. Do What You Want by Ruby Tandou (mental health non-fiction)
16. Girlhood by Cat Clarke (YA thriller)
17. Jonesy Volume 2 by Sam Humphreys (comic series)
18. See How They Lie by Sue Wallman (dystopian thriller YA)

New books...

The Gender Games by Juno Dawson
"Gender isn't just screwing over trans people, it's messing with everyone. From little girls who think they can't be doctors to teenagers who come to expect street harassment. From exclusionist feminists to 'alt-right' young men. From men who can't cry to the women who think they shouldn't. As her body gets in line with her mind, Juno tells not only her own story, but the story of everyone who is shaped by society's expectations of gender - and what we can do about it."

I was lucky enough to win a signed edition from Goodreads and started reading this as soon as it arrived. I tend to take my time with non fiction- dipping in and out of them but so far I am enjoying this.

 We Have No Idea  by Jorge Cham & Daniel Whiteson*
"Prepare to learn everything we still don't know about our strange, mostly mysterious universe.

PHD Comics creator Jorge Cham and particle physicist Daniel Whiteson have teamed up to spelunk through the enormous gaps in our cosmological knowledge, armed with their popular infographics, cartoons, and unusually entertaining and lucid explanations of science."

Bad Choices by Ali Almossawi*
"The wildly popular author of Bad Arguments returns with a funny, smart introduction to algorithms—those perennially misunderstood, increasingly important problem-solving rules that can save you time and lead to better choices, every day. 

Why is Facebook so good at predicting what you like? 
How do you discover new music?
What's the best way to sort your laundry? 

Bad Choices will open the world of algorithms to all readers making this a perennial go-to for fans of quirky, accessible science books."

The Sonterion Mission triliogy by Stewart Ross*
"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."

I couldn't say no to a dystopian! I will be posting in full about this series later in the month.

*Books kindly sent for review

New Stationery.

 It's barely been a few weeks since I've finished Uni for the Summer and I've already started stocking up on stationery for September! To be honest I barely need an excuse because I love buying stationery.

In Tesco they had some good deals on so I bought some pink post it notes- always useful, some Bic highlighters and BIC Crystal Grip pens. I know there are a lot fancier pens out there but I've always had a soft spot for these so use them all the time. This pack of eight was just 50p!! Bargain! 

As a purple obsessive I picked up this simple exercise book in Rymans for 80p- these are perfect for writing messy notes and essay plans. I also got a purple highlighter (why do packs never contain purple?!) a fancy purple erasable pen and something that's been on my wishlist for a while- a pack of pastel highlighters!

Highlighters are an essential for me and seeing as I've used up most of the ones I had thought it was a god time to buy some more. I couldn't resist the pastel ones as I'm really particular about colours. How pretty are they?!

May reading round up...

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
'milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.'

Girlhood by Cat Clarke

'Harper has tried to forget the past and fit in at expensive boarding school Duncraggan Academy. Her new group of friends are tight; the kind of girls who Harper knows have her back. But Harper can't escape the guilt of her twin sister's Jenna's death, and her own part in it - and she knows no one else will ever really understand.
But new girl Kirsty seems to get Harper in ways she never expected. She has lost a sister too. Harper finally feels secure. She finally feels...loved. As if she can grow beyond the person she was when Jenna died.
Then Kirsty's behaviour becomes more erratic. Why is her life a perfect mirror of Harper's? And why is she so obsessed with Harper's lost sister? Soon, Harper's closeness with Kirsty begins to threaten her other relationships, and her own sense of identity.
How can Harper get back to the person she wants to be, and to the girls who mean the most to her?'

Upon finishing this book I decided I want to go back and read Clarke's other books, and I'm pleased to learn there is quite a back catalogue to enjoy! This was a really well written book about female friendship, trust and grief. I love how all the characters were explored and I really enjoyed the setting of a Boarding school in Scotland, it gave a cosy insight into a life I know nothing about as well as a mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat.

See How They Lie by Sue Wallman
'Mae feels lucky to have grown up at Hummingbird Creek, an elite wellness retreat where rich teens with psychological problems can get the help they need from her father, a prominent psychiatrist. The Creek has world-class cuisine, a state-of-the-art sports centre and the latest spa treatments. Every aspect of daily life is monitored for optimal health, and there are strict rules for everyone. When Mae is caught breaking the rules, the response is severe. She starts to question everything about her highly controlled life. And at the Creek, asking questions can be dangerous'

In short I LOVED this book. It had a creepy dystopian feel to it and the premise was really interesting and different. The more you learnt about life at Hummingbird Creek the more it sounded like a weird futuristic prison. I was in suspense throughout the book and the writing was really tense and twisty. I am now eager to get into more YA thrillers as this was brilliant and I highly recommend!

Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman
'The story centres around a girl called Skye, who is sent to a camp for troubled teenagers after her sister dies in an accident. However, once she is at the camp she starts receiving text messages from someone pretending to be her dead sister.'

This is Wallman's debut book and although it was nowhere near as amazing as See How They Lie this was an enjoyable YA thriller centred around grief and guilt. I found this a quick and easy read, and I'm really excited to see what Wallman writes next. 

Do What You Want Zine edited by Ruby Tandoh & Leah Pritchard

Contributors include writers from the Guardian, the New York Times, NYMag, The Telegraph, The Observer, Rookie, Pitchfork and ELLE.

Our highlights are: Why Should I Go to Therapy? by Ask Polly’s Heather Havrilesky || An interview about OCD with writer and actress Mara Wilson || Food for Thought: Diana Henry, Tejal Rao, Meera Sodha, Ruby Tandoh and more share their recipes for life || The Many Faces of Eating Disorders: interviews with survivors || Eleanor Morgan writing about Plastic Minds || The Cost of Care: an interview with Sally Burke, from Channel 4’s acclaimed documentary series Kids on the Edge'

I highly recommend getting a copy of this zine if you can, it's packed full of brilliant content revolving around mental health and there were lots of relateable, honest and humorous pieces in here. It didn't quite get a five start for me simply because I would love to have seen more content on less talked about mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar etc... but otherwise I loved it. 4/5

Geek Girls Unite by Leslie Simon
'For every girl who marches to the beat of her own drum, Leslie Simon has your manifesto: a smart, expansive, and winningly entertaining celebration of comedy queens, film geeks, bookworms, craft mavens, indie chicks, and other all-star women. Following the breakaway hit book Everybody Hurts, Simon’s energizing look at today’s pop-culture and counterculture heroines—like Amy Sedaris, Tina Fey, Sofia Coppola, Regina Spektor, and Jenny Hart—is an empowering, eye-opening, and, above all, fun journey. Readers of The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking and The Modern Girl’s Guide to Life will love joining forces as Geek Girls Unite!'

This book was a real disappointment, although the premise was good it ended up being a snooty write up of the exact definition of being a geek in the writers eyes. Although Simon states being a geek is about being different blah blah blah she then goes on to tell you that to be a "real" geek you need to dress a certain way, like certain things and follow certain rules. This was written with such a bitchy tone that the book annoyed the hell out of me- it was the opposite of empowering. The only thing I can say I enjoyed was the design and layout of the book, but really, don't waste your time! 2/5

May Lately.

 Isn't he the most adorable, coolest lump of fur you've ever seen? Yes. Yes he is. He somehow managed to loose his collar the other week so I bought him a new one that has a built in bandanna and he really likes it. I think he knows how badass he looks!

 This was from the Bongo Comics FCBD17 issue and the 'male showboating' part amused me so I had to take a picture of it.

 The snacks that I bought it Chinatown. Most have these have been eaten now!

 Extra large cold coffee to get me through writing my end of year essay. It's all submitted now, woo! Now I'm off until Sept from uni.

These past few weeks have been anxiety heavy so I cracked open a colouring book from my collection. I went for the My Little Pony one and used my bumper set of Sharpies which for once has a good selection of purples.

Like my six year old sister and five year old niece I have an obsession with blind bags! Here are some recent purches... I'm really chuffed that I managed to feel Gamora as she was the one I wanted most from the Funko GOTG pint size heroes. Yay!

Make up blogsale...

I clearing out the tons of stuff I never use!
UK & paypal only please.
Let me know if you are interested in anything via the comments or twitter and I can give you details, more pictures and a price with postage :)

A lot of this stuff has only been swatched.

Urban Decay palettes £6 each or 3 for £15
Mac brushes £7 each or 2 for £10
Impassioned lipstick £5
Reflects glitter £4
Pencil £4
Illamasqua palette £8
cream pigment/ eyeshadow £4 each
Shiseido powder refill £3
Japonesque travel brush £3
Lancome pencil £2
Lauren Luke powder brush £3
Clinique cream liner £2
Estee Lauder cream eyeshadows £4 each

Sleek blush palette £4
lip palette £3
Pout Paints £1 each or all for £3
All £3 each except Etude House Any Cushion £1 and Holika Holika pencil £1

Everything a £1 each or 6 things for £5

Why I'm voting Labour in the general election.

The general election is fast approaching, and this is an important one. This is our chance to show the government that we aren't happy and that we want (and need) change.

If you are over 18 you have a vote, and who you vote for is of course your choice, but I am going to explain to you why you should consider voting for the Labour party...

If you care for the young, and old, the poor, the disabled, those with mental illness. If you want to make sure the NHS doesn't get sold off, that vulnerable people don't loose their much needed support, that schools get proper funding, that public transport doesn't all get sold off, then consider voting Labour.

If you watch May being asked important questions and are fed up of watching her bumbling, sidestepping answers and trotting out the same old bullshit and weak insults at Corbyn then consider voting Labour.

If you are sick of the right wing media (owned by rich tories who want to protect their billions) trying to brainwash you into hate Jeremy Corbyn by feeding you lies and holding endless smear campaigns then actually listen to what this man has to say. Read the Labour manifesto. Can you honestly disagree with the changes they want to make.

We really need to work together to get the 'nasty party' tories out. Under them we have seen disabled people literally dying because of cuts to their support. Schools are having to ask parents to donate crayons. Our PM literally held the hand of Donald Trump. The emergency services have been cut back so much they can't cope. Not too long ago the army had to support the NHS because it was under so much strain. Yet the Conservatives want you to vote them in again, to continue doing more of the same. We need a government that looks after everyone no one that bleeds us to the bone. I believe the Labour party led by Corbyn Can do that. 

This is the rare chance to vote for a politician that values respect, listening to what people have to say, and honesty. He rises above stone throwing and sticks to what he is passionate about- positive change. He has proven in his years as an MP that he speaks for everyone and has fought for womens, LGBQT, and, the vulnerable and  minority rights. May hasn't. We live in one of the richest countries in the world yet over a million people had to use emergency food banks in the UK in the last year. If you think this is wrong then please vote for change by voting Labour on June the 8th and let's get the tories out! 

New books part 2!

On payday I decided to treat myself to a few books. You can see the other half of this haul here!

I've had my eye on Ice Cream for Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams for a while, I love the sprinkles on the cover. This looks like a fun non fiction read. These style self help books seem hugely popular of late, and although I'm not typically a fan of self help books per-see I couldn't resist giving this a try! 

This is a book I was kindly sent for review from Headline, and Ararat is the story of mountain climbers who encounter an evil spirit in a cave. It sounds very intriguing and reminds me a little of The White Road which I read recently and loved. 

I've been waiting for this book to be released for ages and it's beautiful! I think The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen is a fairly self explanatory title and it's written in chronological order and features tons of characters- quite a few I've never heard of. I also really enjoy Hope Nicholson's writing. 

Finally this isn't technically a book and I got it a while back but I wanted to mention Do What You Want which is a zine about mental wellbeing. It is packed with essays, interviews, articles, poetry, recipes, and beautiful artwork all centred around mental health. I've read about half of it so far and really love it. I highly recommend picking up a copy [here] and another bonus is that all proceeds go to mental health charities. :)

Geeky bookish haul...

I was recently involved in a highly stressful incident at work and it caused my anxiety to rear it's head. In times of high anxiety I have a tendency to over spend and buy stuff... so here is the product of that stress! There are quite a few haul posts on this blog at the moment as after payday hit I kind of just went for it! Anyway here's some cool bookish stuff I bought!

I don't tend to go into Waterstones very often as I find them quite pricey but I got a bit carried away with their bookish gift section and bought this adorable mini book on The Brontes. It's a traditionally bound book and summarises all of the Bronte sisters novels as well as giving background info. It's also very cute and makes a lovely book shelf decoration! 

I also found a George Orwell essay I wasn't familiar with, which I look forward tor reading. My Dad got me a very cool DC Comics colouring book (packed with Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Batman and Batgirl) and an L.S.P. Adventure Time keyring to cheer me up. Oh, and that book nerd badge was by the tills at Waterstones and I couldn't resist...

Finally, I was highly amused to find this talking Batman bust. It came with a little book and when you press the button on his utility belt he says various phrases. This put a much needed smile on my face and my favourite of his phrases is "THE JOKES ON YOU JOKER!" Smooth, Batman, smooth.

My favourite fictional women...

This post was originally intended for International Women's Day but I didn't finish it in time, I thought I'd still post it though...
Enid Coleslaw (Ghost World)
Enid is a moody teenager not quite sure what she wants from life. She also has amazing style and a lot of snark. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes is my favourite graphic novel and the film adaption is also my favourite film. It's hard to believe her character was written by a man as Clowes captures the frustrations of being a teenage girl perfectly. Thora Birch also brought Enid to life perfectly and I can relate to Enid on so many levels. 

Selina Kyle aka Catwoman is the biggest baddass Queen ever. Fact. She is also my favourite comic book character. I love her because she has a dark side, and although she isn't always good she usually has good reason for what she does. She is hugely protective of the people of Gotham's East End and her stories often have a dark, noir edge to them. I also love the tense relationship she has with Bruce/ Batman and that she refuses to take any shit from him despite her feelings because lets face it he's a bit of a twat. In fact she doesn't take shit from anyone, and is always confident in herself and her abilities no matter what.
Wednesday Addams (The Addams Family)
I wish I was half as snarky as Wednesday Addams. She has a smart answer for everything and doesn't give a fuck what people think of her as she know exactly what she's about. I always wanted to be Wednesday watching the Addams family films growing up- she's the coolest kid I know, not that she'd want to be.
Furiousa (Mad Max: Fury Road)
To put it simply Furiousa is a straight up fearless badass. It is a joy to see a woman character in an action film being strong and tough, having emotions, making decisions, firing the shots whilst using Max as a gun rest (as he knows he couldn't do better). I love Charlize Theron, and am so glad she brought Furiousa to life in such spectacular style. 

Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
What I love most about Buffy is that she is not your typical hero, and she is far from perfect. Throughout the show she grows up from teen to adult going through lots of ups and downs whilst also fighting evil. She is not always likeable and doesn't always make the right decisions but that's what makes her so relateable. 

Rose Tyler (Doctor Who)
It's thanks to the character of Rose Tyler that I got into Doctor Who in the first place. I happened to turn on the TV and caught the episode Doomsday and with no prior knowledge of the reboot blubbed like a baby! I then went out and bought the box set and fell in love. I love Rose because she is down to earth, and real but also fearless. She is a perfect match to The Doctor who is able to start enjoying life again thanks to Rose's enthusiasm and humour and she's my favourite companion.

Alana (Saga)
Alana is a tough, no nonsense woman fighting for her family no matter what. She's smart, not afraid to speak her mind and Does. Not. Take. Any. Shit. She is a fiercely protective mother and always stands up for the vulnerable. She also has amazing hair. There are so many briliant characters in the comic book series Saga, but Alan stands out as not only someone you wouldn't want to mess with but also a loving Mum to not just her daughter but anyone that need looking after!
Dana Scully (The X Files)
Not only is Scully a brilliant FBI agent, she is also a highly skilled Doctor. Need an autopsy? Call Scully. Need a transplant? Call Scully. Need a murder case solving? Call Scully. Need someone to come and talk some common sense into Mulder? Call Scully. 
Possibly my favourite thing about Scully is her perfect no nonsense reactions and eye rolls to Mulders bullshit, This woman has no fucks to give.

Other characters I love... Lisa Simpson, Lucille Bluth (Arrested Development), Clarice Starling, Scout Finch (To Kill a Mocking Bird), the 2016 Ghostbusters, Storm, Beatrix Kiddo (Kill Bill), Alex Drake (Ashes to Ashes), Lisbeth Salander (The Millenium Trilogy), Black Canary, Jackie Brown, Jane Eyre, Annie Sawyer (Being Human), Wonder Woman, Ursula, Liv Moore (iZombie), Princess Bubblegum (Adventure Time), Gwenpool, Lily Munster (The Munsters), Carrie Mathison (Homeland), Scarlett Witch, Norma Bates (Bates Motel), Cosima (Orphan Black), Jessica Jones, Martha Costello (Silk), Squirrel Girl, Stella Gibson (The Fall)... Ok, I'm stopping there!

Who are your favourite fictional women?
Next I'll be do a post on my favourite fictional men!

New books.

Payday + high anxiety = book buying!

After really enjoying Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard I decided to pick up her latest book A Quiet Kind of Thunder. This ones looks like it's more of a romance which isn't really my kind of thing but I loved her writing so want to give it a try. Seeing as I'm a bit of a new convert to YA I also picked up both of Sue Wallman's books- Lying About Last Summer, and See How They Lie. Both are YA type thrillers by the sounds of it (EDIT: I've read See How They Lie and loved it!) It turns out YA books seem to be great distractions for anxiety as they are easier reads.

I also picked up two adult thrillers. The latest Louise Doughty book Black Water, which hopefully will be just as suspenseful as Apple Tree Yard, which I loved. I read it a couple of years ago and for some reason have never read any of her other books. Blood Wedding was a bit of an impulse buy, but it's thriller by french writer Pierre Lemaitre about a woman who creates a new identity after being involved in a crime.  Finally, in Waterstones I picked up this cute Little Book of Wonder Woman which is packed with art, covers and the history of the iconic character.

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is an illness that is often misunderstood. Often when I've told people I have it their response is either "what's that?" or them attempting to wrongly explain to me what it is. I thought I'd share a few bits of information if you are curious or would like to learn...

Firstly this is  TED-Ed video giving a brief but informative explanation:

When I was at the beginning of my own diagnosis a documentary Stephen Fry made called The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive meant a great deal to me. It was the first time I recognised that I had a name for the symptoms I was struggling to live with. Stephen Fry is perhaps one of the most famous people with bipolar and talks about it often and openly, and his words meant a lot to me when I was coming to terms with the diagnosis. 

Here he talks about his experience with bipolar and explains it a little:

I hope now you have a bit of a clearer understanding of bipolar disorder :)

Free Comic Book Day 2017.

As usual me and my sister make a day of Free Comic Book Day and I post about it (FCBD16, FCBD15) and this year is no different. Above are the free comics I got from the two comic book shops we visited.  

 The past two years I had a bit of a shopping spree but this year FCBD fell the week before payday so I didn't go so crazy! I did however buy a stack of back issues and a Funko DC pets mystery mini. I got a cute Wonder Woman! Now I just need the Catwoman figure.
We stopped off at Cafe Chino which I have previously posted about (here) and had a vanilla iced coffee again and a delicious slice of strawberry cake, which was pink! 

This year was even more fun because my niece came with us, and she loves anything to do with comics- she's especially a big fan of Guardians of the Galazy, Harley Quinn and Black Widow. She was pretty overwhelmed in the comics book shops and wanted everything haha 

We stopped for some *cheap* lunch at McDonalds and opened up our blind boxes. Both me Scarlett got exactly the ones we wanted thanks to my sister picking them (Well done K!) 

 We also made a stop at the Chinese supermarkets in Chinatown to stock up on snacks. I am seriously addicted to the choco puffs.
Here's me and my niece reading the FCBD Wonder Woman comic in Cafe Chino 💜