Review of ‘Illuminae’ by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


Title: Illuminae

Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers

Publication Date: 20th October, 2015

Pages: 602

Blurb via Goodreads:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

A book I initially picked out due to the rave reviews and it’s vibrant and intriguing colour, ‘Illuminae’, co-authored by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, has fought itself into my top reads of all time. Continue reading “Review of ‘Illuminae’ by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff”

Why I Left The Book Blogging Community (And Why I’m Coming Back) – Real Talk #3

It’s been almost two years since my last post on this blog. Two years that have proven themselves to be pivotal in my development as a human being and now, as an almost 19 year old, an adult.

I started this blog in 2015, after I met a woman named Heather at that year’s YALC event. Heather was from Scotland and while waiting in line for a book signing for someone, she told me of the wonders of book blogging. At the time I was reading avidly and I was aspiring to journalism as a career, so the prospect of my very own book blog was very appealing. Continue reading “Why I Left The Book Blogging Community (And Why I’m Coming Back) – Real Talk #3”

YALC 2016 

For the second year in a row, I had the pleasure of attending the Young Adult Literature Convention or YALC for short. This year is the third time the event has been held and it was started by Malorie Blackman, author of the ‘Naughts and Crosses’ series. Last year I attended and was inspired some of the bloggers I met there. So YALC is the reason that this blog exists and for that reason I am fond of it. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend on the Saturday this year, which was probably for the best considering I was sick when I went. Nonetheless, I had to go, no matter how ill I was (also the tickets are non-refundable…)The journey was a hassle to say the least and there were quite a few train changes throughout. I live in an outer borough of London so I’m quite lucky in that respect, but as I don’t travel that much it was still a struggle. But, so that I did not get lost, I just followed the masses in cosplay.
As soon as I got there I went straight over to the freebies table and crammed my tote bag full of them. I now have tons of posters, badges and little postcard things. There was even a temporary tattoo; how could I possibly resist?!To be quite honest, one of the best part of the free stuff at YALC has to be the tote bags. And this year I got a ‘Lady Midnight’ one, which I’m supremely pleased with. After the freebie table had been well and truly raided, I spent a while perusing the book stalls. Of course, the sheer amount of books overwhelmed me and within a matter of minutes my money was gone and my bag was about ten times heavier.A nice touch this year was the Waterstones pop-up store. Last year, it was just an elongated stall, but this year there were shelves and a cash register and everything.  Also the staff were all dressed up in there bookish cosplay.
It was here that I had the pleasure of running into V. E. Schwab , which was a complete surprise! She was kind enough to sign the copy of ‘A Darker Shade of Magic’, which I dashed to buy when I saw her there.I actually only went to see one talk at YALC this year and that was the Squad Goals talk featuring my favourite, Holly Bourne. 
I don’t know why I sat so far back, but I left a bit early anyway, because I wanted to get in line for Holly’s signing. It was so nice meeting her and she signed some books I brought on behalf of my friend.Something I was massively thankful for once agin this year was the chill out area. I was able to eat my lunch in comfort and flick through my freebies and purchases.Speaking of purchases, here are all the books I obtained at YALC this year:

  • ‘The Versions of Us’ by Laura Barnett
  • ‘Changers’ the T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper
  • ‘How Not To Disappear’by Clare Furniss
  • ‘Illuminae’ by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • ‘Accidental Superstar’ by Marianne Levy
  • ‘Darkmere’ by Helen Maslin
  • ‘Crow Moon’ by Anna McKerrow
  • ‘A Darker Shade of Magic’ by V. E. Schwab
  • ‘Contagion’ by Teri Terry
  • ‘The Warrior Heir’ by Cinda Williams Chima

I am very pleased with all my new books and the YALC event as a whole. It’s a great place to meet like minded people and make new friends. If you haven’t been yet I would definitely consider attending next year.💜DW

Creating Your Characters | Being A Young Writer #3

If you’re writing your story, you may be thinking that it doesn’t matter too much about your characters because your plot is the best thing since sliced bread. Well you would be very wrong.

Your characters, in my opinion, are the most important component to your book. It is your characters that connect to your readers and it is this connection on which the success of your writing relies.

But you may be a writer who struggles with characterisation in all aspects of the word. So today I’m going to tell you how I deal with writing my characters for them to seem realistic.

I think the most important thing to keep in mind is clichés. Although your characters may accidentally fit into some of them, you generally want avoid them. It makes your writing seem bored and does not mark it as individual.

Also, when giving information on your characters don’t go overboard . Yes it is important the reader gets to know the characters to create connections with them, but take it easy. Ease up on the accelerating pad and drop in facts here and there not all at once. Not only will this improve your writing style by making it less stodgy, but it will allow the connection between reader and character to be more gradual.

The next thing I’m going to say may sound completely ridiculous, but just go with it. Let the characters write themselves. Of course you will be the one churning out the words, but the character will make decisions within the plot based on traits you’ve given them. If you force them away from a decision, it won’t be realistic, because you will be going against their personality.

This is all just my opinion on the whole writing process and you may disagree and do things differently. I hope this helped.

[GUEST POST] How To Motivate Yourself To Write | Being A Young Writer #2

Hey guys, I’m Michelle and I blog at The Writing Hufflepuff Today I’m here to talk to you guys about motivation. Sometimes it’s hard to find motivation to write, even though we love to do it. So how do you find the motivation to finally start writing?

Just do it


Of course that’s easier said than done, because often even though we open our notebook or Word document, we’ll still stare at the empty page or even at our already written words and just close it again because ‘nope, not feeling it today’. I’d still advise you to try. I’ve found that sometimes it does really help to just do it. I wake up, thinking that I’m not going to write anything that day because I’m tired and without any inspiration. Then I open my document and all of a sudden I’ve written 2000 words. But like I said, it’s easier said than done.

Continue reading “[GUEST POST] How To Motivate Yourself To Write | Being A Young Writer #2”

Review of ‘The Girl of Ink and Stars’ by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

girlofinkandstarsTitle: The Girl of Ink and Stars

Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Publisher: Chicken House Ltd.

Publication Date: May 5, 2016

Pages: 228

Blurb via Amazon: Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella dreams of the faraway lands her cartographer father once mapped. When her friend disappears, she volunteers to guide the search. The world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland – and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.

‘The Girl of Ink and Stars’ is Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s debut novel and what a debut it is. Hargrave paints a beautiful picture of a made up land and as I always do in made up lands within books, I want to explore them. But like the main character, thirteen year old Isabella, I was forbidden to explore at the start of the book, so I genuinely empathised with her frustration and longing.

Continue reading “Review of ‘The Girl of Ink and Stars’ by Kiran Millwood Hargrave”

Review of ‘Lady Midnight’ by Cassandra Clare

Lady MidnightTitle: Lady Midnight

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Books

Publication Date: March 8, 2016

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 720

Blurb via Amazon: The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark-who was captured by the faeries five years ago-has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind-and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?
Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series. Continue reading “Review of ‘Lady Midnight’ by Cassandra Clare”

Finding Your Writing Style | Being A Young Writer #1

Hi guys! I’ve wanted to do something like this for a while and with Camp NaNoWriMo coming around very soon, I thought this was especially relevant. This is going ti be a series, but I don’t know how long it will be and there may even be some guest posts featured as part of it!

I myself am a young writer and have been wanting to write a novel for a long time now. I wanted it to be a YA novel, but I had never really set myself a preference on what genre I wanted to right in. I’ve tried sci-fi, contemporary, paranormal (multiple times) and most recently I am working on a high fantasy project.

Genre is a massive part of finding your writing style, because authors who write contemporary novels have very different styles to authors who write in the fantasy genres. Contemporary tends to focus so much more on emotion and bringing mundane things to life in a beautiful way. However, there are certainly similarities in that both writing styles can be rather poetic in how they flow and are read. Continue reading “Finding Your Writing Style | Being A Young Writer #1”

The Birthstone Book Tag

I haven’t done a book tag in ages and ages, so while I trawl my way through the last half of ‘Lady Midnight’, I thought I would feel the void on my blog with a nice book tag. I saw this one and thought it was unusual, but sounded fun.

GARNET (January) – Wards off negative energies: The darkest/ most evil book character:


It would have been impossible for me to not mention this book during this book tag, or any book tag for that matter! ‘Carry On’ by Rainbow Rowell is one of my favourite books of all time. It is seriously that good and it contains the Insidious Humdrum, a character that is just made up of darkness and evil. It would have been awful for me to not put it on the list. Continue reading “The Birthstone Book Tag”

The EU Referendum: What Now?

This is a blog for something that I am very passionate about; books. Normally they are all I talk about on here, but as a British national and citizen I feel very passionately about this too.After  all the build up to this historic referendum and seeing so much of the ‘Vote Remain’ on my social media, I was genuinely surprised to wake up and find this. Britain has decided to leave the EU and for that I am happy, for the most part, but like everyone, the uncertainty scares me. I am watching the news showing the graphs of the value of the pound dropping down and down. We are no longer at this time, the 5th largest economy in the world, having been taken over by France. And to top it all of, Donald Trump has backed our decision, which is hardly what I would like to see.Yes, you may be scared, I am too, but you have to remember that this will all stabilise. Right now, some of the television channels are definitely scaremongering, showing us the value drop for the pound, but completely ignoring the fact that it has already begun to stabilise. The banks have liquid funds people; they can give you loans still, you won’t lose your savings. It will all be okay in the end! Continue reading “The EU Referendum: What Now?”