Who Am I Tag

So I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately- who am 1? What am I? Where am I…? Okay not that last one. I saw this a while ago on Fernanda’s blog and thought I might do it 😀

What is the meaning of my name?

My name, in the ancient apish tongue of Orange, means I am a monkey that loves books 😉


What is my Myer-Briggs personality type? (Link)

Okay so I got the Campaigner personality type


I do think a lot of it was accurate, but then I’ve had different answers in the past and thought they were accurate too- so I suspect these are vague enough that they can be true for most people, a bit like how a fortune teller works (or maybe I’m just saying all this cos I don’t like acknowledging I may have anything in common with Russell Brand- yeesh!- at least I get to be like Will Smith and Robin Williams too)

campaigner type


I’m a Libra… apparently that means I’m (un)balanced



I’m a Ravenclaw- blue is just really my colour 😉



Your scores were:

  • Visual 2
  • Aural 7
  • Read/Write 10
  • Kinesthetic 7

This is actually the first time I’ve done one of these tests and I was strangely nervous- but the results made a lot of sense. What’s funny is I’m actually a very visual person (in case it isn’t obvious, I love art and illustration), but I already knew that I don’t learn well through visuals for some reason. Most of the time, I learn through reading or writing things down, but I also like learning by doing things and listening to instructions- so yeah, I think this is a pretty good test!






I’m A Positive person (A+ get it 😉 )



This test is designed to make me happy!

You have a skill for language, your imagination is vast and you are artistic and creative. Your brain is just overflowing with ideas, and all you have to do is get a piece of paper and share it with the world. You were born to turn words into magical stories.



I’m divergent!


Middle child syndrome right here! 😉

I tag: Liis, Nel, Rivermoose Reads, Sophie, Never Not Reading, Steph, and Rebecca @MyLifeAsASportsFangirl (apologies if you’ve done it already!)

So notice any similarities? Differences? Let me know what you think in the comments!


Why I’m Happy to Suspend My Disbelief for Fantasy

Magic systems seem to be a big deal to a lot of fantasy fans and for many a well explained system can make or break a book. Now, this may shock some people, but it really isn’t a big deal for me. Naturally, I appreciate the beauty of an intricate magic system (who doesn’t have infinite admiration for Sanderson’s allomancy for instance) but if something is left in broad terms or defined simply as *magic* I genuinely won’t care and here’s why:

confessionsIt is the genre of the unexplainable– *crazy* idea BUT there is a reason why many supernatural forces are left unexplained in fantasy. It creates an atmosphere of mystique, eeriness and unfathomability. Here is where fantasy is haunted by the hallmarks of gothic literature. Feeding into the uncanny plays with the unwritten rules of the universe and allows the writer to explore hidden corners of the human psyche. And isn’t exploring *what we don’t know* what fantasy is often all about? Obscuring the logic of a world is valuable in its own way.

simarillionSometimes, however, there is a hidden explanation, even if we don’t know it– I know I’ve seen *loads* of people criticising Lord of the Rings for its “lack” of magical explanations. My answer to those people is that there are plenty of Tolkien’s notes you can look into if you’re unsatisfied with the reasoning behind his world building. Which goes to show, just because you don’t know the reason for something, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Plus, if you need an origin story, look no further than The Simarillion. But really, ultimately, it’s important to note where Tolkien got his ideas from…

grimmsBorrowing from literary predecessors deserves praise not censor. Personally, I value stories that are self-aware and acknowledge where they’ve come from- for a story to revive its forefather’s memory and offer us something new is a very special thing. When it comes to fantasy, I’ve already mentioned fantasy’s connection with gothic literature, yet the modern genre has more than one forefather. It is very much rooted, thanks to Tolkien, in the oral tradition and fairy tales. There is a lot of borrowing going on between these genres, including the educational element. Following in the steps of fairy tales, supernaturalism is often far from the main message of the story. In reality…

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_CoverMagic is often a tool to get us from a to b. A very beautiful, interesting tool- but a tool nonetheless. That’s why, there really is nothing wrong with the *because it’s magic* explanation. I know, I know, that’s an extremely unpopular opinion in the fantasy world and I will probably have my fantasy fangirl status revoked for saying it, but hear me out. The truth is, no matter how far you get under the skin of any given magic system, the answer at some point will always be *because it’s magic*. Most of the time, we see an elaborate system on the surface and do not question why it works. Yes, I know there are some people who are not satisfied with the Harry Potter world building, for all its wonder and intricacies, but really do those people seriously think that diverting the plot for a “scientific” explanation of witchcraft and wizardry would have made those books better? (I will stupefy! anyone whose answer is yes to that) We have the surface details and that’s all we need!

the martianAt the end of the day scientific discussions mean nothing to me. Yeahhh in case it isn’t obvious I am not a scientist and the mechanics of how things work rarely holds my attention. I did love the Martian, but that was in spite of the explanations (where, let’s be honest, my attention glazed over) not because of them. So if an author is going to go into a huge amount of detail about how their world works, it’s not going to light my fire, in fact…

The_Eye_of_the_World_UKI find overlong explanations or infodumps boring. There I said it. If a book goes on a long tangent explaining something *made up* to me that I really don’t need to know, I’m gonna get bored fast. Everyone that’s read my review of Eye of the World can’t be surprised by this- cos that’s the perfect example of exposition getting out of hand (no Robert Jordan, I don’t care if you came up with a really interesting backstory to some backwater village, if it’s not plot relevant now, I don’t need 5 pages of explanation).

question mark bookAnd finally… it would make me a hypocrite. Okay, so I don’t normally refer to my own writing, but I hope you don’t mind my self-indulgence here, cos it’s relevant. I try to write things I’d like to read- so a lot of the reasons I do not often include explanations is because of a combination of the above (ie it’s not always relevant in the moment, I hate infodumps and I like to borrow from other genres). But to give a more concrete example to how important hidden explanations are, I’m currently working on a trilogy where in book 1 magic is more of a blunt tool (because, bless their little hearts they don’t know any better), book 2 explores some of the costs, and book 3 (which I’ve started working on now) is all about the big reveals. It would fundamentally destroy the setup of the story if I’d just given everything away in book 1.

So those are my reasons for why I don’t get too bogged down with magic systems. I know this will divide readers- and that’s a-okay- different opinions are the spice of life! Let me know which you prefer!

Eragon is Code for Dragon

Eragon_book_coverSo I know I’m behind on my comments and such- just had a busy week and I’m hit by a freight train shattered (yes, yes, in my exhaustion I come up with bizarre metaphors) but so that I don’t totally neglect my blog, I’ve got a quick review today for a book I neglected to read for years.

Ever since I was a teen, I had so many people telling me to read/not bother reading this book, that they loved/hated the first one, and that it got so much better/worse. Because of these mixed messages I could never decide if it was worth reading. It seemed to be a book that divided opinion so much that there was no doubt I, as someone who tends to feel quite strongly about most things, would find myself firmly in one camp or the other. In the end, however, it was just… average.

Let’s talk about what I liked first: the dragons. I’ve said it many, *many* (MANY) times on this blog- I’m a sucker for dragons, though I’m very picky about how they’re done. As a massive Hobbit fangirl, I tend to use Smaug as the bar by which I judge all other dragons- I like them scaly, spiteful and smugly hoarding gold. Now, Saphira was no Smaug, that’s for sure, but she was unique and interesting and most importantly I bought that she was indeed a dragon (note: calling something a dragon does not make it a dragon, just like calling Edward Cullen a vampire does not make his sparkly ass a vampire). This was the kind of dragon I can get on board with and not feel like I’d been taken for a ride by the blurb 😉 Instead of the usual *this is a dragon but not really* as so many cool books seem to do these days, we literally got people riding those dragons, so *kudos* and *bonus points* galore.

smaug 4.gif

So yes, I did appreciate that aspect of the world-building. The other elements of the world did stand up under scrutiny, however- and now we’re getting onto the things I did not like- it was very cliché. I may be a sucker for dragons, but c’mon even if a book says “the next Tolkein” on the blurb, I do not actually expect the book to pinch 90% of the ideas from Tolkein. There’s being derivative and then there’s taking the piss. Dragons, elves, and dwarves- really?! Look, I get it, we all wrote this stuff at 14… but there’s a reason why it’s unpublished.

And on the subject of it being written by a 14 year old, all credit where credit’s due, buuut it reads like a 14 year old wrote it. The plot meanders too much, doesn’t have great focus and at the same time it’s awfully predictable. On top of that it’s very s l o w. A lot that is because of the ridiculously long descriptions- and I’m a description kinda gal, but I realllly don’t need superfluous accounts of someone’s helm– it’s just not necessary! And in spite of the fact you can practically see the numerous edits (I bet if someone tested the literary DNA of this manuscript they’d have a field day, cos they’d see what a Frankenstein does exist) it was *still* clunky and unpleasant to read. Again, this most likely comes down to the age and inexperience of the writer, but I frequently found the dialogue didn’t flow well or had the pretentious touch of someone trying to hard (I’d say the best eg is actually in the acknowledgements where he writes “I thank you”, but the truth is I just stupidly didn’t write down egs while reading, so that’s the best I’ve got). And if you don’t believe me about how weirdly pretentious it is, look no further than the opening sentence:

“Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world.”

Ermmm- ye wot?! That seems more like what the first line to Perfume should be. It sacrifices logic for a little sensory exposition that inevitably bears no consequence on the actual story. (Also *shudders* at the pathetic fallacy cliché- ouch!)

In the end, I did not regret my time with this book, it just wasn’t very memorable and I have zero desire to continue this series (*cue all the people saying “but it gets so much better”*- I don’t care, I really don’t). I can’t say I totally understand why so many people told me “I have to read this”- it’s not an “I have to read it” sort of book- it’s more a “take it or leave it” sort of novel. I certainly could have lived without it, considering I like books to bring me something *new*, some piece of information I don’t yet have, maybe even unlock something I haven’t clued into about me as a person. After reading this, I came away with two not particularly revelatory pieces of information about myself:

  • I like dragons. A lot. *A lot a lot*. But…
  • Dragons cannot carry a whole book for me, even if I like how they’re done.

I know, *shocker* right? 😉 Ultimately, for all the ranting and raving about this book out there, it’s very much something to shrug your shoulders over. I gave it:

Rating: 3/5 bananas


Protip: even though my rating is higher, the Goodreads 1 star reviews on this were *gold*, highly recommend checking them out if you’re up for a giggle.

So have you read this? Are you in the love it or hate it camp? Or are you drifting somewhere in the middle like me? Let me know in the comments!

A Lot Can Happen in 180 Seconds

180 seconds

That’s the premise of this book- in 180 seconds you can fall in love, you can boil an egg, and you can read this review 😉

OMG this book was crazy good… Well I should probably say crazy, but still good. Because while the premise (social experiments don’t usually spark romances) is a little on the barmy side, it certainly appealed to the romantic in me. And gosh did it make me feel *all the feels*!

Everything in the story is moving, in one way or another. It’s easy to see how this book is all heart: heart-warming, heart-wrenching, heart-breaking. If nothing else, there’s a scene at a dog shelter which is so adorable that I defy even the crustiest of people from eliciting a very loud AWWW. And yes, I will admit I terms of plot it’s got all the clichés of a normal contemporary- and yet all these clichés are turned into something special (no spoilers but there’s even a typical airport chase scene that actually quite atypical).

The one thing I didn’t really relate to is the social media stuff, cos I’ve never been able to properly keep up with all that stuff, so that took me out of the story from time to time. But I did like the idea of it being used to do some good. However, I did appreciate how well this worked with the whole time-conscious aspect of the book…

And speaking of which, we’re probably out of time, so without further ado, my rating:

4/5 bananas


Much appreciation to the queens of contemporary recommendations for bringing this to my attention: Marie @Drizzle and Hurricanes and Deanna @A Novel Glimpse! Check out their awesome reviews!

So did you manage to read that in 180 seconds? I’m curious to know now… And will you read this? Have you read it? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Why I’m Happy to be Negative Sometimes

Hello all!! I’m feeling awfully chipper today cos I’m gonna be talking about negativity! Lately, I’ve been dropping a fair few negative posts, and that, together with your comments and an *amazing* post by Uptown Oracle, got me thinking… Why am I happy to be negative on my blog? Especially when so many people aren’t…

Well brace yourself, because I’m gonna deep dive into my monkey brain and tell you all why I put on my grouchy pants from time to time and why I’m willing to sling the odd banana peel at things I don’t like.

  1. I had to suffer through the book dammit! Consider this my very cheap form of therapy. If I suffered through 300+ pages of bilge and was made utterly miserable by a book, then you can be jolly well sure I’m gonna need to vent!!

better out than in shrew

  1. Also, let’s be honest, it’s fun!! Nothing is more cathartic than a good rant- so of course I’m having fun writing these posts and I hope you’re enjoying reading them. Plus, you all get to laugh at my pain. And who doesn’t secretly take pleasure from that? 😉
  1. Honesty is key! I started my blog to share honest opinions about books and that (in my humble opinion) is the best way to have a positive experience and the key to any sort of success. I’m not gonna lie to you, it’s not always easily- some people will say the opposite, but anecdotally I can say my follower count takes a hit when I say something mean about some movie or book I don’t like- and as tempted as I am to follow after the person yelling “come back!” like Rose at the end of Titanic, I know that it’s for the best that I parted ways with someone who can’t take hearing a differing opinion. So I take it as a win anyway 😉 And while we’re on the subject of trust…

come back rose.gif

  1. I’m gonna be blunt– I don’t trust purely positive reviewers- I just don’t. If I go on someone’s page and find nothing but a sea of stars, I’m gonna get suspicious. And if I read a negative review and then the person gives the book upwards of 4 stars, there’s no end to my suspicion! The only way you can trust that I’m giving all my bananas out fairly is if some books don’t get too many. Plus- I love my bananas and only give them away for a good reason- so if I’m giving a book 4-5 bananas it has to be well earned.

terry pratchett banana quote

  1. Besides, rating systems are on a scale for a reason. Books make me feel all sorts of emotions, ranging between AHHH THIS IS AMAZING to UGHHH THIS IS TERRIBLE- so naturally I need a system that reflects that. Talking numerically, if I refuse to go below 3*, I’ve suddenly skewed everything upwards and made 4* books average and now I can’t give 5* sparingly and… arghhh- do you see how confusing this is!? That’s why I have a clear system:

banana rating

  1. Even worse- without clear rating systems, the reader might be misled over whether it’s worth investing time and money in a book. Book reviewing serves a purpose and as much as we may hate to admit it, we *need* to discriminate against books sometimes, because (unfortunately) we don’t have money trees and as much as we would like to personally finance every author/publishing house/book shop on the planet, that is simply not possible. As it is I’m shopping on AbeBooks, scanning every amazon bargain and hopping over to the library once a week (highly recommended practices 😉 ) Contrary to popular belief, our tbr’s don’t just want to be fed all the time- they want to be starved a little as well (okay they’ll never go hungry- but maybe we should put them on a diet). The fact is, we’re not just reading reviews to have our own opinions confirmed or to hear how every single book is just excellent and we need to read it- we need to know whether we should read something or not. If there’s a reason I really shouldn’t be wasted my hard earned cash on something- I want to know about it. And if that means my tbr will get shorter, so much the better!

monster book of monsters

  1. It’s a challenge! Call me crazy, but seeing a negative review for a book I love is like throwing down a gauntlet (and vice versa). It’s great to have perspectives challenged and see things from another point of view- and nothing makes you think more critically than seeing an opposing opinion. Naturally this doesn’t mean you have to agree with the reviewer- sometimes hearing someone’s arguments can actually help you bolster up your own views as you think of counter arguments and you can go away with your opinions intact- but this just shows it doesn’t hurt to hear another point of view, it can only help.

come at me bro.gif


So there you go- those are my reasons I’m happy to be a negative nancy from time to time. What do you think of sharing negative opinions? Let me know in the comments!

Game of Thrones Season 7 Wrap Up

got season 7 wrap up.png

Whew- can you believe we’re done with Game of Thrones for the year?? Crazy right!!

Well before I sign off on this subject, I’ve had a little time to mull over my thoughts for the season as a whole and to get in some predictions for season 8.

So first off: the White Walkers are gonna win. JK! I jest, I jest! That said, I know that things are going to get worse before they get better. I mean, we did just see a dead dragon blast through a wall of ice.

This year, I had mixed feelings about the show. While I enjoyed watching all the episodes (because who doesn’t like watching a dragon showing off its fiery wrath 😉 ), I did have problems with the continuity errors and time jumps. In terms of time jumps, I’m inclined to let them off the hook, simply because people complained so much about slow pacing in previous seasons- I feel like they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. The storyline has, frankly, been all over the place. A friend of mine said they’ve obviously got George R R Martin’s end goal in mind and been working backwards- and this most obvious in the ridiculous suicide mission up north, which is clearly just a way to give the Night King a dragon. It’s not merely fanficy (although you can spot the fanfic vibes in a lot of the dialogue a mile off) it’s more that the books are unfinished and there’s a reason why it’s taking Martin so long to come up with coherent reasons for the same things happening in the books- the writers here are showing what happens when you go “well we’ve got to get from a to b, so wham bam thank you mam, let’s ignore logic”. This is less of an indictment of the show and more of a testament to Martin’s plotting skills– and, more than last season, this illustrates how different the book is gonna be.

Take Tyrion’s role this season, for instance. Either the showrunners have completely lost sight of his character or (and this is my personal opinion) or a lot of these decisions will actually be taken by Selmy, who is still alive in the books, and is more likely to make these kinds of blunders, since he already did during Robert’s rebellion. Personally, I this is more evidence (if ever we needed it) that they killed Selmy off prematurely and it’s creating continuity errors.

In terms of other book changes, I was dubious about the Jon/Dany pairing being present in the books. Yet with all the hints of pregnancy (they’re doing foreshadowing with a sledgehammer now) it seems likely that this will fit into the books somehow- with her my updated interpretation of her curse being she will die once she has a baby and be with Drogo again (I could be totally wrong about this, but I’ve thought Dany will die at the end for years now). I do wish that they could have built up this romance more convincingly, instead of relying so heavily on the fact that a lot of the audience already shipped it. It felt a little like they were softening towards each other and just fell into bed together. Talk about crazy attraction (emphasis on the *crazy*) That’s not to mention the fact that *dudes this is incest*- because here I am saying they should have built up an incestuous romance?! Honestly- watching the show this year has been very much a *be careful what you wish for* moment for me- cos you guys know I used to ship it (gah- I know- but I never expected it to happen- damn the writers for giving me what I wanted!). I’ve been so confused about it all season. But fortunately I’m not alone in this dilemma- this tweet was going round a lot:

tweet incest got

Moving on from the icky to the more tricky, I personally felt that we could have had more villainy. After all, this is what the show is known for! In previous seasons we’ve had a lot more character based scenes and grim interactions. I feel like they were hamming up Cersei as the mad queen and Euron as the next big bad, without making them do too many vicious things. I feel like, for villains in Game of Thrones, they were too willing to negotiate and didn’t do enough to warrant the title “dastardly” (and I so want to give that title to somebody with Ramsay and Joffrey out of the picture). A lot of this could be expanded upon.

For all that, I did appreciate the wonderful blockbuster moments and the spectacular cinematography. Unfortunately I agree with a lot of the critics that there used to be more to it than that (although a lot of this may come down to their lack of production capabilities when they started out). I will admit to missing the times when the characters made perfect sense *and* surprised us. But- to be as fair as possible- some of the things that were super predictable were such a long time coming, so can you really blame them? (I mean c’mon, Littlefinger had it coming since season 1)

I should probably say at this point that I still love it– but given how many posts I’ve done on this you guys must know that 😉 And speaking of which, here’s the full list for your perusal:

Episode 1: Eek Game of Thrones is Back!

Episode 2: Stormborn was a BLAST!

Episode 3: The Queen’s (In)justice

Episode 4: Spoils of War: This Series is Gaining Heat

Episode 5: Watch Out Eastwatch!

Episode 6: Ooh Err… Let’s Go Beyond the Wall

Episode 7: The Dragon and the Wolf- FINALLY!

A special thank you goes out to everyone that followed along for this- it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without all your wonderful comments:

Kat@LifeandOtherDisasters, Nel@ReactionaryTales, Ali@IWuvBooks, Ami@Luvtoread, Vicky@BooksandStrips, Lashaan&Trang@Bookidote, Nicole@ThoughtsonFantasy, Sophie@BlameChocolate, Dragons and ZombiesLolsysLibrary, Kristina Steiner, Drew@TheTattooedBookGeek, Pooja, Sarah Angelton, Literary Weaponry, Reading in the Wings, Poulami, Litcritpop, ReadbyChris, SpunkyReads, Fictionspawn and Bedwetter’s Last Dream

Check each other out!!

(I do hope I’ve not missed anyone out)

And that really is A WRAP! Now I’m gonna go cry that it’s all over for two years… Let me know your thoughts and predictions in the comments!

The Emperor’s New Clothes Tag

the emperors new clothes tag.png

Hello all! So a couple of days ago I dropped the big bombshell that I didn’t like La La Land. Now see the thing is when I don’t get something I hate I always have this *cue music* moment, where this song pops into my head…

And this gave me a crazy idea to make a The Emperor’s New Clothes Tag! Let’s get to it shall we!

“Your Majesty, this is a magic suit” – An Overhyped Book That Promised to be *Something More*  


Everyone hates overhyped books, but why would you compare it to Night Circus?

“Somebody send for the Queen” – A Love Interest That Wasn’t Called For

queen of shadows

Sorry guys but it’s got to be Rowan from the Throne of Glass series- to be honest I was hoping she’d do a Buffy and just stay single.

“The doublet is a lovely shade of green” – A Book That Seduced You with Its Cover (that you ended up disliking)

(this is a post for griping guys)


I cover bought it *on my kindle* no less (this was before I knew that they could change the covers on there anyway). What makes it worse is I got the whole series cos it was a bargain… (yes, yes, lesson learnt- deals on kindle are a dime a dozen)

“Summon the court to convene” – A Book Where You Were Swayed by Public Opinion


So I have two answers for this. The first is Twilight- because I admittedly liked the first one (yes, yes, sparkly vampires and all *hangs head in shame*), but as they got progressively worse I saw the error of my ways 😉 .

pride and prejudice

And my second answer is Pride and Prejudice, which I initially disliked, but was persuaded to like by reading her other works (including Persuasion) I think I was too young to get the irony the first time round… And now I love it!

“Look at the the King! Look at the King, the King, the King!” – A Stark Raving Mad Book That Just Boggles the Mind


Why the hell was this ever a thing?!

“It’s altogether the very least the King has ever worn” – A Tropey Get Up You’ve Seen Before That Probably Needs Redressing (aka a trope you’re bored with seeing)

empire of storms

I really am not keen on the “chosen one” or Messianic trope at the moment. It’s just getting really old- so unless there’s some kind of twist on it, I get kind of peeved with it. That’s why (and I had a really long discussion with a friend about this recently) it really irritated me that Throne of Glass took the messianic route in book 5. Do something different darn it!!

“Summon the court physician! Call an intermission!” – A Book That Needs Medical Attention AKA A REWRITE


Any book that manages to make dragons suck needs a rewrite in my opinion- but I chose this one because I actually came up with How It Should Have Ended a while ago 😉

“It’s altogether the very least the King has ever worn” – There’s No Hiding For This One: A Book That Is Just Nakedly Bad

fifty shades of grey

Could there be any other answer?

Bonus: “His majesty is wide open to ridicule and scorn”- Something (anything) That Astounds You With Its Popularity


TV– Big Brother- I read 1984 before I ever heard of this and my reaction was “WHY THE HELL WOULD THAT BE A THING?!” After turning it on once and seeing a braindead conversation on what IQ was I turned it off and never watched it again #noregrets

Music– “fight fight fight fight…” no explanation needed

Movie– I didn’t like this movie- blah blah blah 😉

Art– Tracy Emin’s Bed- I’m not into the debate over whether something is or isn’t art- but I do think you can have a discussion of what is bad art- this demonstrates zero technical ability and is pure shock value.

And (don’t hate me)… Pokemon Go. I mean, I somewhat get why people liked the game- but I don’t get why people quit their jobs and wandered off cliffs to catch imaginary creatures…

Well that was fun to get all that off my chest (though I have no idea how it will be received!) time to tag some people:

James, Nel, Kat, Sophie, Rivermoose, Drew, Liis, Twin Bookmarks, Reading in the Wings, Anatomy of a Book Thief, My Midnight Musing, ZezeeStephanie and Dani

And that’s all for today! Agree with my choices? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!