Welcome to my new feature on A Daydreamer’s Thoughts where I will be telling you fortnightly of two different TV series that I am currently watching (sorry for the super lame feature title!). One of the series will be a re-watch and the other a “new to me” series. I hope for two things to come of this feature. The first is that I hope to recommend you some great TV shows, the second is that you can recommend me some new shows to watch based on what I’m already watching and enjoying!
So without further ado, here are my first two recommendations!
New To Me
Wild at Heart
So there you have it, two very wonderful shows that I’m currently watching.
What are you currently watching?
Title: Sleeping Prince (The Sin-Eater’s Daughter #2)
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Published: 4th February 2016
Source:: Review Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository
Return to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater’s Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.
Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin’s life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.
When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won’t reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.
Honestly, I am so in love with Mel’s writing. There’s something just so wonderfully perfect about it. I could get lost in her words for days on end – and I did with The Sleeping Prince. She creates images so easily in my head and I just love the way she describes the fantasy world she’s written. Plus she writes wonderful characters that are all unique and wonderful. A very talented writer, in my opinion!
Errin and Silas
Two new characters are introduced in this book and I love them both. I thought Errin was such a strong character. She has a lot on her shoulders but she doesn’t let that get in the way of what she needs to do. She’s family orientated, loyal and protective. Then there’s Silas who is just such an intriguing character. He may not be my favourite character of the series but he’s definitely an interesting one to read about!
Melinda has this talent for ripping the hearts out of those who read her work. (Perhaps she likes to eat them like her villain, The Sleeping Prince?) There were many moments in this book that had me gasping from all the emotions running through me. When you love the characters in the story and those characters are put through the worst, it’s had not to feel emotionally destroyed.
The Sleeping Prince
What a villain! I really like how Melinda has written The Sleeping Prince. I love how callous and vindictive he is. How he treats humans like puppets in his own little play. It’s such a scary thing to think about actually happening but it also just works so well with the book. While I never exactly love villains, I think The Sleeping Prince is the perfect villain and that makes me very much like him – do you know what I mean? Like I don’t like him, but I do like him.
Just as with the ending of her first book, Melinda has left the ending of this book in a way that has you begging for more. It’s more than just a cliffhanger. It’s a whole new aspect of the plot coming to light, and I, for one, have to know how this story will end. I am also very curious as to who will be the narrator of the next book. But whoever it is, I am still very sure that I have to have the next book in my hands very soon!
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **
I had an OK reading week this week. Not as good as last week but good. Sadly however the book(s) I read this week weren’t for Finish It Feb, ooops. I did start finishing one book though. I’ve read about 100 pages, and have about another 200 to go so looking forward to finishing it this week!
I started to finish reading:
I’ve dived straight back into the story and I just love it so much. I am sad this book is the end of the trilogy but I am so excited to see how it will all end.
How are you getting on with #FinishItFeb?
Weekly Highlights is a feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts where I highlight some of the blog posts I’ve found throughout the week!
I stumbled across this mouthwatering post this week about celebrating the Chinese New Year at a restaurant called Ping Pong. Definitely going to be making a trip to this restaurant soon.
I also came acros this cringeworthy post about embarrassing moments!
Mel has written a really lovely post this week about five things that make her happy. You can read the post here.
Aymie has written a very similar post too about what makes her happy. You can see what she’s written about in this post.
Mike has written a great post this week about his experience volunteering for ParkRun! I keep meaning to go to one of these myself… maybe next week! You can read his post here.
This week Andreea has written this post on the foods that she never buys and how she keeps eating healthily because of it. It’s a great post!
Breanne has written this very informative and helpful post about hydration and its importance, not just for fitness but every day life. Well worth a read.
If there is one thing I am struggling with, it is getting my energy levels high enough to get my ass back to the gym. Thus I was very happy to find this post by Stephanie full of 5 tips to get your exercising mojo back!
Rhian has written a fantastic post this week about her top 7 london plays. You can read the post here.
I thought this post by Tillie was very good and very important. It’s all about personal safety tips when out and about so if you want to find out more, do give it a read.
Caitlin has written a fab Netflix guide this week, listing 13 shows you probably haven’t watched yet. I urge you to go and read it! You can find the post here.
Elle has written a great post this week about using social media for your blog. You can read it here.
If you’re looking for a great giveaway, check out this post by Zarina where she is holding a giveaway for Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Cate Woods.
This week Victoria has written a fab post listing five books that made her cry! You can see which books she chose in this post.
The lovely Angela has written this week about her one year mark of being an author and the incredible journey that she has taken. You can read the post here.
Tamason has written a great post this week about 10 reasons to vist the york reading festival PLUS the chance to win tickets to the event! You can read it and enter the giveaway by clicking here.
This week Amber wrote a post about the books you should read if you liked Girl Online. Check out the post here.
Charnell wrote this great post this week about things to know when dating a bookworm!
This week was the week that illumicrate arrived in people’s houses. So I want to highlight one of my favourite unboxings so far! This is from Maximum Pop. You can see it here (WARNING: SPOILERS).
Have you seen or written a post that you should be reading? Comment below!
Title: How to Fall In Love
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: 24th October 2013
Format: Paperback & Audiobook
Source:: Bought & Borrowed
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, TBD
Christine Rose is crossing the Ha’Penny Bridge in Dubline late one night wen she sees a stranger, Adam, poised to jump. Desperate to help, she talks him into a reckless deal: if he gives her two weeks – till his 35th Birthday – she’ll prove life is worth living.
But as the clock ticks and the two of them embark on late night escapades and romantic adventures, what Christine has really promised seems impossible…
Cecelia Ahern is, and probably always will be, one of my favourite authors. I have yet to read a book by her that I disliked. (SPOILER: I didn’t dislike this book either). Thus when I saw How To Fall In Love, I knew I had to read it. Before long it got pushed back down my TBR pile until I saw it was an e-audiobook in my library so instantly took it out. The narration was fantastic and I was instantly transported into the book. Essentially I loved this book, it made me laugh out loud, and hysterically, it made me cry and it made me fall in love.
Generic plots can be dangerous, especially in romance novels but Cecelia Ahern has a complete knack for turning them on their head; making them compelling and addictive. Which she definitely did in How To Fall In Love. Sure, you ultimately know how the story is going to end before you even open the book but Cecelia has made the beginning and middle so entertaining that by the end you feel nothing but warmth and fuzziness that it ended the way you expected it to. That is the sign of one amazingly talented and incredible writer.
It’s Nice Knowing
If there is one thing I love in books, it is strong, lovable charachters that I very much enjoy reading about. Characters full of personality and flair that I can imagine existing. These are the types of characters that Cecelia is brilliant at writing. Characters that draw you in and keep you hooked even after the last page. I absolutely adored Christine. SHe was so sweet, determined, kind, broken, sensitive and hilarious. She had so many different sides to her. And then there is Adam, who was also such a fantastic character. Strong but weak, protective and loyal, tempermental but caring. A truly wonderful character that you can not help but love, and rejoice when things start going right for him.
You’re Not Alone
Maybe when it comes to books by Cecelia Ahern, I’m a little biased but I absolutely loved this book and would highly recommend it too. Full of a wonderful, heart fulfilling and emotional story, it would be hard not to love it. Cecelia also deals with some dark sensitive topics but she does it incredibly well, in my opinion anyway. In true Cecelia fashion, this book will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. It’s the perfect book for anyone in need of a book that truly emmerses them in a new world with truly lovable characters that they can’t get enough of. This book, quite simply, is a book that should not be missed.
Walking And Audiobooks
As mentioned in my January Running & Fitness wrap-up, this month I am trying to walk to and from work. (Not completely because I live a 30min drive away from where I work but instead of taking the park & ride bus, I’m attempting to walk from the car park to work instead). But in turning to walking instead of getting the bus, I found that I was losing out on 30 minutes of reading time four days a week. And that just didn’t sit too well with me, especially now that I seem to have gotten my reading mojo back!
Thus I decided to turn to audiobooks. I have a long love-hate history with audiobooks, and last summer I thought I had decided to see the back of them and to never listen to another again. But, well… obviously that didn’t happen. I actually have Finish It Feb to thank for reminding me I was still in the middle of a great audiobook, and I am very glad that I decided to finish it because it was a truly fantastic book!
Why it Works
I’ve always been a fan of walking. I used to walk to school every day during secondary school, college and most of (especially third year) university. I like the activity of it but I’ve always struggled with sometimes just getting a little bored if the walk is too long. Yes, I do like long walks where I can tune out with my music and just chill but sometimes it can just feel a little monotonous. Especially as I haven’t updated the music on my iPod in about five years.
The reason I gave up listening to audiobooks last year is because I was struggling to concentrate on the words while I was driving. I’d be doing well and then I’d have to concentrate on the road so I’d miss some of the story. When I realised I was re-winding the audiobook five times before the words finally sunk in, I declared that audiobooks and driving just didn’t go hand in hand. I also tried listening to an audiobook while I just sat still but eventually my brain shut off, stopped listening and hankered to do something else – I’m a very antsy person and always need to be doing something.
Thus, I am relived to say that for some reason, listening to audiobooks while I walk seems to solve all of the above problems, almost. I no longer get bored if the walk is a long one because I’m emmersed in a story, I actually look forward to my walks and curse myself when I am running so late that I have to get the bus, and I very, very rarely have to rewind the audiobook because my concentration has disappeared. There are small moments where a part of my brain HAS TO CHECK my phone for notifications and this can pull me away from the story but this only happens once every couple of walks, which is a lot less than when I was just listening to music!
What I’ve Been Listening To
So, I’ve been listening to two audiobooks since I started walking this month. One I finished last week (yay), and the other I am very much enjoying, even though it is not the kind of book I would normally read!
How to Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern
This is the audiobook that I was part of the way through and I picked it up again really easily. The narrator had a soothing voice and did well with different voices to distinguish between different characters talking too. She was easy to listen to and I would happily listen to another audiobook with that narrator. (A full review of this book will be on the blog tomorrow!)
Sister Noon by Karen Joy Fowler
I’m about two hours into this audiobook and am finding it very enjoyable. It was a bit difficult at first to get used to the narration and there’s a lot of information to take in at the start of the book too. But now that we’re further into it and way from the prologue, it’s a lot easier to listen to and keep up with the story. However, I’m not hugely fond of the narrator as she’s not the easiest person to listen to due to her accent, unfortunately.
Which leads me nicely to the last part of this post, the importance of a good narrator. The narrator of the audiobook can make or break it, unfortunately. Fortunately, I wouldn’t judge a book based on its narrator! But if you find that you just cannot listen to the narrator then it can a) put you off that audiobook and b) put you off audiobooks altogether! Which, I have to admit, almost happened to me!
So what I want to say is that if you’re new to audiobooks, do have a listen to the samples before you buy or borrow and see if the narrator is a good fit for you. We all like different things and that is no different to liking different narrators too. But don’t let one bad experience put you off audiobooks for good. Also, just like I have, maybe you can’t get on with them because you need to try them elsewhere. I know that some people listen to them while they’re in the bath, some while they’re doing the housework, and some while they’re trying to fall asleep. And I, of course, like to listen while I’m walking. So just find what works for you and go from there.
How do you listen to audiobooks? Listened to anything good lately?
Cineworld Unlimited; January
Almost two years ago, I decided to take the plunge and subscribe to the Cineworld Unlimited membership and I can tell you now that it is the best thing that I have ever done. As an avid film watcher, I have now become an avid film go-er because I can afford to go to the cinema multiple times a month. While the prices of cinema tickets were on the rise, I could watch as many films as I wanted all for just £16.40 a month. All you have to do to make the membership worthwhile is watch two films a month. And as I often want to see two films a week, the unlimited membership felt like a no-brainer for me!
But, for the first year and a half of my membership, I had no way of actually knowing what films I had seen nor how many I had seen overall or per month. As someone who likes to know if I’m getting my money worth and likes to know what she’s watched (and read), this year I decided that I would keep all of my cinema tickets so that at the end of each month – and then again at the end of the year – I could see what I had seen and if I had made my money back with the unlimited membership.
And being that I’m a blogger at heart, I, of course, wanted to document this with you too and then do a little summary of my thoughts on each film as well.
January Filmic Wrap-Up
So above are the tickets for the films I saw in January. I went to see a total of six films in January – so I definitely got my money back! In fact, that means that even if I don’t watch films for the next three months, I’m not losing any money.
I loved this film. In fact, after the film had ended, I almost decided to go and see it again. It had a really interesting plotline, was full of brilliant actors and actresses and just made me very emotional throughout. Definitely glad I saw this and will probably be purchasing it on DVD at some point!
In The Heart of the Sea
I’m in two minds about this film. I both liked and disliked it. I thought it was a very strong film and had a fantastic cast who all acted incredibly throughout. But it was also a little bit too realistic and gruesome in places for me. But this realism is also what made this film so incredible in my eyes. I probably wouldn’t see it again but I’m glad I did go and see it!
I really wanted to like this film. I was certain that it would be a brilliant film (even if the casting makes me slightly angry) but sadly, it did not turn out that way. I’m definitely intrigued in reading the book and the actual history to see where it all fit in and that did keep my curiosity peaked throughout the film. But otherwise I thought the film to drag a little too much and it just didn’t speak as much as I thought it would.
The Hateful Eight (Odeon film)
I am a big Tarantino fan. I think he is a great director and just has a very unique style that I absolutely love. So even though I had to go to the Odeon to see this film as Cineworld didn’t acquire the rights, I’m glad I did. Once again, I really liked the film and thought Tarantino did another smashing job on it. It was a little gruesome in parts but it worked and I just enjoyed the whole film.
I will put my hands up first of all and say that I have not read the book, but I have to admit that I really want to now. I loved this film. I thought it was a very moving and interesting film – and according to my mum, it was also a great adaptation. I thought it was very well-acted and just worked really well. I would definitely be happy to buy this DVD when it comes out.
Incidentally, I missed the first few minutes of this film as I got stuck in traffic but fortunately, I don’t think I missed much. I ended up really enjoying this film. Peter Pan is one of my favourite childhood stories so whenever there is an adaptation, I do try and watch it. This one was full of fun, adventure, courage and bravery and I just thought it was a very enjoyable film to watch.
Capture the Flag
This is the only film this month that I wasn’t particularly keen on. It seemed like it was going to be a good film from the trailer but I actually found it to be pretty dismal film. There were good parts to it and I definitely cheered with the rest of them but there was just something about this film that made me struggle to keep my concentration. But I think it’s probably a good one for the kids, it just wasn’t a great one for me!
What did you see in January? Did we watch any of the same films?
Title: The Summer I Met You (The Second Love of my Life #0.5)
Author: Victoria Walters
Published: 11th February 2016
Source:: Review Copy from Publisher
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US
Escape to Cornwall and meet the characters of Talting in this wonderful digital short story and prequel to Victoria Walters’ captivating debut novel, THE SECOND LOVE OF MY LIFE.
This is a summer romance that will last a lifetime…
The Summer I Met You has been on my radar for a very long time now so when I finally got my hands on it, I had to dive in. This is the prequel novella to Victoria Walters‘ debut novel, The Second Love of my Life, and boy what a prequel it is! This book is a mighty tease, in the best possible way! It’s a fantastic introduction to Victoria’s writing, and into the characters that live in Talting. The novella is light, fun, and also incredibly cute. It definitely had me itching to read The Second Love of my Life – even if the novella is also slightly bittersweet.
With this being a novella, there is a worry that there isn’t enough time to have a strong plot but that fortunately isn’t a problem in The Summer I Met You. Split between now and then, this story tells the tale of not only how Emma and John met but also how they fell so quickly in love. It also shows the adorable reaction that John receives when he arrives at Talting. This novella was full of a cute, uplifting story that I really liked. It was one of those just heart-warming tales of love that are ever-so-wonderful to read, dream and imagine about!
For a book that was only 65 pages long, you wouldn’t expect great, or much, characterization or for the reader to fall in love with the characters, especially those that are only mentioned a few times, but there was and I did. There are still so many sides of these characters to see but you could definitely tell they’ve all been well-developed with distinct and unique personalities. I personally felt very connected to Emma in this story, which I didn’t think would happen as we’re quite different! I also thought John was a great, sweet and lovable guy too. And I loved getting a glimpse of Rose and Lucas as well, they seem like caring and fun characters. The only small issue I had with the characters and plot is that in parts it felt like we were being told about the characters rather than seeing it for ourselves but I can understand why that had to happen and I still fell in love with the book and characters so it wasn’t a major issue!
You’ve Been Rescued
It has been a long while since I have read both a novella and a romance but I’m so glad I broke it up with this book. The Summer I Met You is a very quick but heart fulfilling story about the first blossoms of love. It’s about finding that right person and finally opening ourselves up enough to let them in. It is cute, sweet, full of hope, and ultimately addictive too. It’s the type of story that I would turn to to cheer me up. A wonderful exploration of love and all of its magic. It’s the perfect prequel as I’m now dying to read The Second Love of My Life. So if you want a quick but charming, and emotional read then you should definitely get your hands on this novella!
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **
Today I am delighted to welcome Melissa Kiel on to the blog. She’s written a great guest post for you all as part of her UK blog tour! I’ve started this book and I’m really enjoying it thus far! Hope to finish it soon!
Top Five Bookish Inspirations
By Melissa Kiel
All writers probably begin their writing lives as avid book nerds – and I think all writers start, either consciously or unconsciously, by trying to emulate the people that they love. So here, in no particular order, are five of the books that have had the biggest impact on me:
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
This one always ends up on the top of any of my favourite lists, and has been revisited so many times that I can probably recite the first couple of chapters by heart. I first read it when I was nine or ten, and understood only about half of it – but even though so much of the humour went over my head, it was still the first thing I read with a really strong, funny, witty authorial voice (you can’t mistake Douglas Adams’ writing style for anyone else’s).
Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody
An English text in year seven or eight, and probably the first school book that didn’t feel like a chore to read. An amazing premise, a rich and well-drawn fantasy world, and fabulous lead female character. I remember talking it about it excitedly with friends, and rushing out to buy the second and third volumes – and then waiting years for the rest of the series (the final volume has just been published!)
The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
Oh, Enid Blyton. I devoured these books when I was little, closing the final page and then flipping right back to the start to begin reading again. Probably the first books I read where the world created was so wonderful I didn’t want to leave (i.e., my first experience of a proper book hangover…)
Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
I didn’t pick up this classic Australian YA novel till a few years after it was published, after I began working in publishing and started becoming really addicted to the YA world. It’s a classic for a reason – warm, heartbreaking, funny, and with a lead character who is flawed and complex. It was also one of the first YA books I read that had a culturally diverse lead character, a second generation immigrant – someone like me! – which was something of a revelation.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Okay, possibly a contentious choice, but – I first read this book as a teenager and, while going through a short-lived gothic phase, thought it was one of the most romantic things I had ever read. With the benefit of a few years and some serious hindsight, Cathy and Heathcliff’s relationship is, of course, far from romantic – beautiful and evocative, yes, and passionate, and obsessive, but destructive and ultimately doomed. As someone who loves to write warm romances, with characters who have a shot at a happy future together, it’s a pretty good
yardstick of what to avoid in a relationship!
From award-winning author Melissa Keil comes an addictive, off beat young adult contemporary novel. The story follows Alba, a modern sassy heroine that channels individuality, promotes body confidence and reflects the hopes and anxieties of readers about to take their next adventurous steps into the unknown.
For some people making decisions in life comes easy, for Alba things aren’t that straightforward. Alba loves her life just as it is. She loves living behind the bakery, and waking up in a cloud of sugar and cinnamon. She loves drawing comics and watching bad TV with her friends. The only problem is she’s overlooked a few teeny details: Like, the guy she thought long gone has unexpectedly reappeared. And her best friend since forever has suddenly gone off the rails. And even her latest comic-book creation is misbehaving. Oh and it’s apparently the end of the world – which is proving to be quite awkward.
As Doomsday enthusiasts flock to idyllic Eden Valley, Alba’s life is thrown into chaos.
Can she figure things out in time?
Award-winning author Melissa Keil is one of Australia’s most exciting new YA novelists and is celebrated as one of the most accessible voices in the YA genre. Melissa was born in Melbourne, Australia and worked as an editor, high school teacher and a Middle Eastern tour guide before becoming an author. Her debut YA novel, Life in Outer Space, was the winner of the 2013 Ampersand Project and won IBBY Australia’s Ena Noel award and was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers. Melissa lives in Melbourne with her cheeky spoodle, Hugo.
Will you be reading Cinnamon Girl?
Guys! Guess what! I had a GOOD reading week! I’m actually kinda super impressed with myself. I’m hoping it won’t all go downhill this coming week so cross your fingers for me?
So this week I finished two books! (I also read (and finished) a novella and a graphic novel but these don’t count towards this challenge, I’m just very happy with myself! haha)
I really loved both of these books. How To Fall In Love I definitely loved the most. I wept. I laughed. I wept some more. And then I rejoiced. It was just perfect – as all Cecelia Ahern‘s books are!
I also enjoyed Never Always Sometimes. There was a part of it where I felt irritated and nearly put it down and it just irked me so much but I persevered and I am SO GLAD that I did because it all ended how I wanted it to and made me smile very wide!
Would highly recommend both of these books!
Next up on the reading list is…
I’m still in a bit of a contemp mood but I’m hoping this will pull me straight into fantasy again! This also gets me two points, one for finishing the half-read book and one for completing the series! Wooo!