Weekly Reflection #66

Another busy couple of weeks at work, which means weekends have been dedicated to not doing much at all! I hope it all calms down soon so that I can start being interesting again :P

 
I have finally finished a book in 2015 (see my review of Red Queen to see what I thought!) but though the slump is broken, the hunger for pages isn't quite back. I'm taking my current read slowly and hoping I need to un-pressure myself for a bit. I feel a bit worried because I have ARCs that are due for release in February, but hopefully I'll get there in time!

I have a big work event this week, and a lot of time was spent trying on EVERYTHING in my wardrobe and texting pictures to people for opinions on what to wear. ARGH. So in rebellion I spent a lot of time in my onesie with kawaii panda gamer socks. I know fashion, guys. I rock it.

I gave my shiny gold Filofax some equally pretty new dividers. I used up some greetings card fronts and packaging boxes that were the perfect size for my Personal planner. I love this one the most.

As a little treat I bought myself this turquoise necklace from Accessorize. It's from the Z for Accessorize range and it's the only piece of jewellery containing my birthstone that I've ever liked! I don't know why, but turquoise as a stone is just cracked, dingy and unappealing very often? I love this necklace though. The stone looks great against the yellow gold and the triangle cut is a bit different :)

And finally, a work shot, because I have been working evenings and weekends and i's been a huge part of my week! THANK GOODNESS for tea in pretty mugs and lists. I would be a confused muddle without them.

Until next week, everyone! Have a good one :)

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - review

In the fairy tales, the poor girl smiles when she becomes a princess. Right now, I don't know if I'll ever smile again."  

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: Orion
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Available: 12 February 2015
Buy it: Here Here

Synopsis

Mare Barrow, a Red from the poverty stricken Stilts, finds herself in the world of Silvers; once-mythical gods that now live on earth in silk and splendor while Reds struggle to serve them and fight their wars. But the balance of power is shifting, and Mare is just what the rebellion has been waiting for.

Review

I’m torn about Red Queen.

On the one hand, it was an exciting and well paced dystopian YA, with interesting characters and an intriguing world. On the other, I just really didn’t feel it. It’s like I had read Red Queen already, in about 4 or 5 other books, each having characters in them I cared more about than the central characters here; Mare, Cal and Maven.

I know that sounds quite harsh, and nothing is going to be completely original anymore, but I really think Red Queen flags up a bit of a saturation point in a certain kind of dystopian YA. Everything felt so familiar. Even the twists felt like they were meant to be there.

That said, I truly loved the world created for Red Queen. I loved the mythical creatures of the ruling class and their powers, and the castles of glass and walls of diamond. It was all very lush and extravagant – the perfect foil to The Stilts which, although given only a brief introduction, felt every bit as horrible as it should.

I also enjoyed the characters of the revolution. I wish they could have played a bigger part as they felt fresher – I wanted more Farley, more Tristan and Kilorn. Their unpredictable actions gave the only sense of the unknown in the book.

Overall

I can’t say I didn’t like Red Queen, because I did. It was an easy and enjoyable read that I finished quickly and felt satisfied at the end of. I just wish there was a bit more of a spark for me.  I recommend it to fans of the genre looking for an underdog to root for in a great fictional world.

Score
 

★★

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Weekly Reflection #65

Two weeks in one because I have been working a lot this week and not much else :( Boo


So, like I mentioned abover, I have been putting in a lot of work this past couple of weeks. This has called for a lot of large cups of tea and - when it got really desperate - hot chocolate! I love this mug from Tiger. 

I recieved my January Kawaii box this week and I love the Hello Kitty glasses that were included. I wonder if I can put my prescription in them?! ;)

As most of the world is probably doing this month, I am on a bit of a health kick. I'm trying to eat less sugar as a starting point which means a large proportion of fruit, cereals and breakfast in general is out. I don't mind though, because its an excuse for "brunch" instead!

In any spare moments I have had this week, I have tried to relax away from my computer screen with my sketchbook. One of my goals this year is to get back into sketching people. I'm a bit out of practice as you can see, but hopefully I'll keep it up and be better soon!

I loved how someone on my street gave our post box a little makeover for January! Letter writing is fashion, people!


Lastly, I went to see Foxcatcher last night and it was BRILLIANT! I will seriously never see Steve Carrell in the same way again. I am severely creeped out. If you like a good arthouse character film, SEE THIS.

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#Stationerylovers Giveaway!

Today I have a great giveaway for you to tie up a wonderful #StationeryLoversXmas Swap!

Back in November, Claire from Claireabellemakes and I launched an international swap for stationery lovers. We had loads of people swapping lovely stationery packages throughout December and the Swap was a great success! To say thank you, Claire and I are hosting a giveaway of goodies, and we have some beautiful things from our wonderful swap sponsors; Caren Barry, Yellowstone Art Boutique and Sally Makes Art.

To enter, complete the Rafflecopter form below!

Here's what you could win:



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Slump and DNF round-up

Hi everyone. Today I want to talk about "the slump". I've covered it before, and I'm pretty sure it happens to everyone who loves books at some point: you just can't find a book that you like, and so your approach towards reading becomes defeatist, which gives books a harder chance to impress you - and on and on!


I've been experiencing a HUGE slump recently. Since before Christmas I haven't completed a book. I don't know what caused it. I hadn't just finished something amazing that nothing could live up to. I hadn't just read something emotional that left me with a book hangover. I had (and still have) plenty of wonderful titles on my TBR. I just haven't been motivated to read them, and the choices I was making just weren't working out. It sucks!

Happily, I have some amazing people on Twitter who respond brilliantly to any call for slump help! Having other book lovers send out their favourite book titles like prescriptions seemed to reignite my excitement about reading again. Luckily I have just read a book that seems to have broken the reading down-turn but there are a whole slew of books I didn't complete in my wake. I don't review DNFs as I don't think it's fair, but as there hasn't been a review on this blog for at least a month, I feel I should at least list the ones I would have reviewed ;)

So, here are my DNFs from Dec-Jan. I will probably revisit a few later in the year as I think I was the problem, not the book!

Broken Monsters - Lauren Beukes
Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
Attachments - Rainbow Rowell
Shiver The Whole Night Through - Darragh McManus
City Of Bones - Cassandra Clare
Serena  -Ron Rash

Were any of my DNFs definite "return later"s? I think I'll definitely give Serena a second chance, but I might be "one of those" people and watch the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall! ha!

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