Why Writers Are an Inspiration to Us All

Writers = people who write stuff for pleasure (in this post, specifically stories)

Authors = people who get their writing published

1. They create beautiful worlds and characters with a story that they put so much time and effort into creating

Now, let me tell you, this is no easy thing to do! As a writer constantly striving to become an author, the hardest thing I find is just to come up with a story – a plot good enough to satisfy my mind (expectations increasing over the years as I increasingly read more and more amazing books), and a plot good enough to satisfy other reader’s minds.

It sounds simple, but it really isn’t. Then there are sub-plots you have to consider. It’s also making your characters realistic. It’s so easy to make them all Marie Sue’s and just have it over with. But no, they need context, feelings, problems. And you need at least a couple of these (at least, in my stories I do). It is stressful work, especially when you can’t make them all orphans – they have to bother with parents too while they’re trying to save the world *deep sigh*

And then there’s the setting. Readers (*cough* me *cough*) can be so fussy when it comes to settings. No, I can’t just plant my society on a moon without a thorough explanation seeking into the workings of such an ambitious idea. Like, I’m not a scientist?! Why can’t I just say the moon is big enough for everyone to live underground? *wails*

2. They take the generous step in deciding to share their beloved book to the world

If you don’t think this, please think again – publishing a book is scary! Those characters are your babies, the world is as comfortable to you as your home, and your story is one you put together from the ideas stringed up from your very own brain!

What if everyone hates it? What if no one buys it? Worst of all, what if you’re actually terrible at writing, and everyone who has read your book has been lying to you about how great it is just with the intention of not hurting your feelings, and it’s actually completely and totally abominable?

The struggle is real! That is a lot of stress to have to cope under.

3. They persevere, when writing a book is such a difficult (and miraculous) feat that anyone should be proud of accomplishing

I’m sure we all know you can’t just pop out a 300 page masterpiece of a book without a lot of perseverance. The words, worlds, characters, dialogue, settings don’t just come to you as you type away at your sad-looking word document in the middle of the night.

I’ve been trying to write a book (a story) for four years, and I’m still not even close. In other words, writing takes a lot of work (if you haven’t realised already). Writers should be recognised as sources of inspiration simply because of the sheer amount of perseverance and dedication writing a book demands. 

4. They invest in something they love, whether people like it or not

I feel like there is always going to be someone who disapproves of a writer’s writing. The time they spend scribbling away in a notebook or plodding away at a word document. The planning and effort plunged into this beloved manuscript. Some people just don’t understand.

It’s important we recognise writing stories is not a useless activity. It’s a powerful one.

Book Reviews, Historical-Fic

Review – Orphan Train

Image result for orphan trainTitle: Orphan Train

Author: Christina Baker Kline

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: a captivating story of two very different women who build an unexpected friendship: a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to questions no one has ever thought to ask.

Nearly eighteen, Molly Ayer knows she has one last chance. Just months from “aging out” of the child welfare system, and close to being kicked out of her foster home, a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvie and worse.

Vivian Daly has lived a quiet life on the coast of Maine. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

The closer Molly grows to Vivian, the more she discovers parallels to her own life. A Penobscot Indian, she, too, is an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. As her emotional barriers begin to crumble, Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life – answers that will ultimately free them both.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

“You got to learn to take what people are willing to give.”

This book is the first historical-fiction I’ve read in what feels like I long time, and I kind of forgot how much I absolutely love historical-fiction. This book was no exception. The first half (or more) is a rather saddening tale to read about, and there is one rather disturbing scene that I am so glad I detected before so I could skip because it’s just my own personal preference to avoid things like that in my reading.

I finished this book in four days, and it was an enjoyable read. I love Molly and Vivian, and I love how they connected to each other, despite being decades apart. I also love Niamh and Dorothy. This book deals with a very deep issue, as well as including some other depressing ones, and I think it handled it really well.

The whole concept about sending orphans off on trains to find families is a sad one, mostly because the majority of the time they end up turning out badly for the child. And what can you expect? The patrons accompanying the children do not check up the people who want to adopt a child. Any old person could come and take them away, and that’s exactly what happened!

Even though it does deal with an unfortunate subject it does have a happy ending (in case you were beginning to think it didn’t and then becoming less inclined to read it), and I think it’s important that it does, though I do believe I read an edited version, so apparently there was a version before that that was a bit different concerning the ending.

I’m glad I picked up this book, and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical-fiction and is preferably mature for their age to be able to handle the deep issues this book deals with 🙂

Book Reviews, YA fantasy

Review – Crooked Kingdom


Image result for crooked kingdomTitle: Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (AN ALL-TIME FAVOURITE)

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis: When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

“Has anyone noticed this whole city is looking for us, mad at us, or wants to kill us?”
“So?” said Kaz.
“Well, usually it’s just half the city.”

Let’s cry together! This book is so perfect.

I honestly don’t even know where to start. How can you possibly review such a piece of magnificence? I don’t know how I haven’t read this before, but I’m glad I didn’t because it really has eased the burden of revision when I know in my breaks I can return to this immersing and intriguing world with black eyes, sharpened knives, ingenious twists, wit and humour.

“I would prefer to go to Ravka,” he repeated more firmly. Kaz’s flat black gaze fastened on Kuwei and held. Kuewei squirmed nervously. “Why is he looking at me this way?”
“Kaz is wondering if he should keep you alive,” said Jesper. “Terrible for the nerves. I recommend deep breathing. Maybe a tonic.”

Okay, let’s start with the actual whole INGENIOUSNESS of this whole book because this book is such a smart book, Leigh Bardugo is amazing. This book is amazing. This world is amazing. The characters are amazing!!!! (okay, I’ll stop… try to…)

Every time I think, “okay, it’s going to calm down now and there is going to be a miraculous happy ending soon” something insane happens and everything tumbles down again, only to be fashioned into an even more polished plan.

I just love all of the characters. They’re just so special to me in every way. Inej, Kaz, Nina, Matthias, Jesper, Wylan. They all provide such a necessary essence to this beloved duology and I honestly cannot imagine the books lacking a single one of these characters.

“Have any of you wondered what I did with all the cash Pekka Rollins gave us?”
“Guns?” asked Jesper.
“Ships?” queried Inej.
“Bombs?” suggested Wylan.
“Political bribes?” offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias. “This is where you tell us how awful we are,” she whispered.”

This book is the return of our favourite crew with an even more impossible-like mission. There is more of everything from the first book in the second book. More guns, more explosions, more badass characters, more shattering plot twists and more good humour.

There isn’t much more I can say without revealing heart-stopping spoilers – but this duology is definitely not something to be overlooked about, trust me. There may be a lot of hyped YA Fantasy books that disappointed you, but this book is different, in a very, very, good way.

Who is your favourite character? Do you prefer Six of Crows or Crooked Kingdom (I love both but prefer this one more!)?

Speak soon!

Book Reviews, YA fantasy

Review – Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Related image

Title: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis: Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

This book is a heart stopping, roaring adventure combined with a mystical and mysterious air all bathed with lots of glitter, flouncy dresses and laughter paired with a few screams. Just a few 😉

The hype for this book was unbelievable. It was like this single shriek of people gasping as if someone had thrown cold water over them, gushing over this book. It really is a spectacular read, and in the beginning I was very unsure I was going to like it, but I really ended up loving it.

The one thing I didn’t like was a personal preference – and that was the amount of romance spooned into the pages. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know I’m not a fan of romance, and I prefer to avoid it in books if I can. I probably wouldn’t have ended up reading this book if I had known there was that much romance in it, but thank goodness, it was easily skippable, so I didn’t let that knock a star down 🙂

One thing I absolutely loved in this book was the sisterly relationship between Scarlett and Donatella. Totally awesome. My favourite character has to be Scarlett, she’s just so determined to take care of her sister, even if it means sailing off to an island she’s never been on before and risking her rather promising looking future.

The twists in this book were just… stunning. As in stunned. I love so many things about Caraval, like how you have to trade secrets to buy things, that there’s apple cider to make things clearer and how everyone is provided with luxurious rooms. Do not be fooled while reading this book! Unfortunately, you have no choice. With this book, you will be fooled whether you like it or not! I picked up on some of the hints, but never really got to the ultimate conclusion before it got to me.

In conclusion, hype can disappoint, but it can also astound 🙂

Who is your favourite, Donatella or Scarlett? I’m so excited to read the next book, Legendary!

Speak to you all soon!

Book Reviews, YA fantasy

Review – The Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale

Image result for the palace of stoneTitle: The Palace of Stone (Princess Academy #2)

Author: Shannon Hale

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city is a thrill to Miri. She and her princess academy friends have been brought to Asland to help the future princess Britta prepare for her wedding.There, Miri also has a chance to attend school-at the Queen’s Castle. But as Miri befriends students who seem sophisticated and exciting she also learns that they have some frightening plans. Torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends’ ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city, Miri looks to find her own way in this new place.
Picking up where Princess Academy left off, and celebrating the joys of friendship, romance and the fate of fairy tale kingdoms, this new book delivers the completely delightful new story that fans have been waiting for.

I read Princess Academy when I was eleven. Now, when I found out there was a sequel to the book, I was obviously very eager to get my hands on it. I kind of only had a vague idea of what happened in the first book but the strong feeling I had loved it, so I read a summary of it and then started on the second book.

It’s so lovely for all these characters to be back! Usually, the second book is the one where things lag a bit, but this book was absolutely marvellous. I loved it! Such a sweet, exciting and intriguing story! There were so many unpredictable plot twists that left me gaping at the page.

What I really love about this whole trilogy is the stress on the importance of education. How violence is never the answer (although this is stressed more on the third book). Miri is polite, well-mannered and righteous, and yet she manages to sort so many seemingly unmanageable problems. It really is incredible.

Also, the poems before each of the chapters is such an enchanting touch and uniqueness to this series, and another thing I really love!

Have you read this series? What do you think about it? Who is your favourite character other than Miri? 

Speak soon! 🙂


How to Keep Track of HW, assignments, Exam dates, Revision + more!

Hey guys!

Now, if you know me well, you’d know that being “organised” in general, isn’t really a word you’d use to describe me. You know it, I know it. But with studies, it’s a different story!

I prioritise my studies (like I know many of us do!). I make sure that I’m organised with my work by keeping track of everything to make sure it all happens. Today, I’m going to be sharing with you guys some of my top tips on staying organised while studying (aka, how to have happy teachers – submitting homework on time! Yay!).

Now, these tips are directed more to organising things like your assignments so they get done on time, tests so you have enough revision time, etc. With things such as organising your workspace… I’m not really the greatest at, to be honest – but working on it 🙂

Purchase a yearly planner  These are great with keeping up with test and exam dates, as well as significant days in your courses and most importantly – holidays (so you can plan your revision for then – of course – *cough*). The issue with me now is that although my planner is on my desk I don’t usually remember to check it, but I’m developing a habit in going through it every morning.

Make a revision timetable (or calendar?) – Now, I know a lot of people are like, “I can’t stick with the timings” and I get you – I can’t either! But at least count all the topics you need to learn for your exam (check your exam specification) and then count all the days you have left to revise. Then divide all the topics amongst your remaining days to ensure all the material necessary is learnt. 

Have a to-do list – Last year, I got a chunky to-do list thing from Paperchase, and it is the most helpful thing in the world. When my mind is abuzz of assignments I need to complete and tasks I need to get done, I just jot it down onto that list which is always planted on the corner of my desk.

Set notifications on your devices for the deadlines of your assignments – This is the most helpful thing. Despite the to-do list (which can sometimes be cast underneath a pile of books), Google Calendars and also Reminders (on my Mac) are so, so helpful. Sometimes a homework on my to-do list can escape my eye in the long list of other things I need to get done. Google Calendars pops me an email every time something I need to get done is due, so whenever I open my laptop, those emails shoot into the top left corner of my screen, reminding me.

Sort out your desk every morning and evening – It’s become a habit for me now. Every morning before I start working I take out the textbooks and notebooks I will need for the day, and every evening I get rid of whatever notebooks and textbooks I won’t be needing until next week.

So these are my tips for keeping organised with homework and exams! I hope you all found this helpful, in one way or another!

Let me know which tips are most helpful to you, and whether you would like more study-orientated posts 🙂

Speak soon!

Book Reviews, YA fantasy

Review – The Rose Society by Marie Lu

Image result for the rose societyTitle: The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2)

Author: Marie Lu

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genres: YA Fantasy

Synopsis: Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she flees Kenettra with her sister to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good when her very existence depends on darkness?

Bestselling author Marie Lu delivers another heart-pounding adventure in this exhilarating sequel to The Young Elites.

This book really is a jam-packed sequel. However, it was the dark-evil aspect that kept me from enjoying it to its full. Because I have a bad feeling things aren’t going to end well for Adelina, and as much as I enjoy reading about action and some horror/dark(sort of?) concepts, there is one thing I always need, and that is a happy ending.

I don’t want Adelina to end up dying, but I’m afraid I have a feeling that very thing may happen. Plus I just read a really negative review on the third book from one of the bloggers I follow and it’s put me off of reading it… at least for the time being. I may end up finishing the trilogy off though, out of curiosity for the ending 🙂

This book wasn’t as good as The Young Elites. It was good, but I didn’t love it, although three stars means I still liked it! I feel like these type of books really just aren’t for me, like with Fairest, as well.

I really just don’t like where the story is heading… I’m not sure whether I’ll ever read the third book or not, because apparently this book pretty much ties up most of the loose ends anyway. It’s just so sad to see Enzo in this book.

That being said, the plot was a rapid unfolding, it was in no way slow or boring. I did really like the beginning, but as the book neared towards the end I began to dislike it more and more. However, I do understand that these are just my personal preferences, and other people like this sort of thing 🙂 the low rating is just me, and if you loved The Young Elites you definitely still should give this book a go.

Which book is your favourite in this trilogy? Do you agree with what I said and why? 🙂 

Speak soon!