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 :)

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!