The Bone Season #2: The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

Friday, 30 January 2015

Publication Date: January 27th 2015 
Publisher: Bloomsbury 
Purchase: Book Depository / Amazon / Booktopia 
Goodreads Summary: Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

(Jess wants to hug this book to sleep) 

Are Purchasing Links In Reviews Just Fruitless?

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

You know what takes a long time? Formatting. You see, the reviewing—that’s easy. It’s your words, your opinion, your throne to reign. But the proofreading (lord knows I need that bit. My first drafts are pure, unfiltered masses of gibberish), the sectioning, the inclusion of any and all links—that’s where my time is dedicated. And you know what? Sometimes technology becomes an ass and a half and all these error signs flash and pictures no longer want to sit in their place, words don’t want to bold and paragraphs cut off mid way. It’s havoc. 
The point is, while I was having a particularly tough Jess VS. Post moment a few days ago, ensuing that two hours went down the drain in a hopeless endeavour, I started thinking (oh jeez, yes I do participate in some thinking every now and again.) These purchasing, preorder, whatever the heck links that I provide—are they ever used? 

The Mime Order Blog Tour: Juicy Excerpt and Special AUS Competition

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Today I have something rather exciting for you all! It's my stop over on the AUS leg of the blog tour for The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. My review will be popping up sometime in the next week but in the mean time, the lovely people over at Bloomsbury AUS have provided a little excerpt for you all today! And on top of that, we have a very exciting competition for Aussie fans. You know, something causal like a chat with the author. No biggie. But more on that later. First, let's take a look at the deets, shall we? 

Seeking Saturday's Read #22: Marrying Mime Order, Abandoning Books and Becoming a Scheduling Queen

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Alas, I’ve got a little bit of a different image gracing this week’s Seeking Saturday’s Read. Because shocker, this Saturday, and most probably Sunday, and Monday, will have me reading, well, nothing. I’m in between books. And as life would have it, I’m also mildly slumping. No biggie. By normal standards, I suppose I’m reading more than the average person, per week, but by my standards, hell ho. I am slugging my way through life. That being said, after a week of repelling all books, I stayed up all night to finish The Mime Order yesterday and I just have to take a moment to say (beg): can someone hold me. I should have a review coming up sometime this week. The series gets a bit of a thumbs down from many due to the info dumps (I ain’t going to lie to you, Bone Season was a dumping ground for information alright) but man, does it grow on you. The Mime Order was delicious, the world was beautiful and multifaceted, the characters corrupted and soiled by consumerism. I want to use my favourite hyperbole and say best book I’ve read in ages but that’d be a lie, considering all I’ve been doing lately is reading good books. 

Which also brings me to another point that I should probably address. I don’t shy away from negativity. In fact, I think I vaguely wrote something about writing better negatively. The reason my reviews have been so jolly and loving is because I’ve morphed over the holiday season. Into this person who feels above books that drag her down. That’s right: I abandon all books that bore me now. I can’t stick with them. I get die out, zone out. And while I used to push myself, the truth is, the time I use to read is the time that I’m meant to be sleeping. So I’m not exactly present in mind. Pair that with a snoozefest of a book and you’ve lost me. I don’t know what to do with this new me. But for now, I’m just going to go on with my merry life, ignorant of the whole shebang. I’ll deal with it later, which seems to be my damn motto for everything, nowadays. 
brunch catchups // mime ordering // spin class sustenance // korean bbq buffet 
What do I have planned for next week? Scheduling and a whole lot of it. I’ve spent much of January brainstorming, but now’s the time to put it all down, rely on technology and hope the little bugger doesn’t spit out my post early. I’m also hoping to get I Was Here read in the next day or so. I’m so sporadic with my reading though, so who knows. I was missing a discussion this week, but fear not, I’ve got some things to say in the upcoming weeks. I’ll keep churning them out. 

Other than that, me this week was: work, friends, spin, blogging into the early AMs, work so on, so forth. It’s the pattern that I’ve fallen into. A break is on the horizon though. Plus, I’m thinking of taking a crash course in organisation because we all know that I probably need it. Desperately. 

But tell me all about you. What happened this week, what are you plans for next? And what do you think of my new out with the boring mentality? Can you relate? 

Red Queen #1: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Publication Date: February 10th 2015
Publisher: Orion / Harper Teen 
Purchase: Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Booktopia / Bookworld 
Goodreads SummaryThe poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

(Jess may have potentially overhyped this one for everyone, but you know what? She cares not. Because it was just that good to her.) 

Embassy Row #1: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Monday, 19 January 2015

Publication Date: January 20th 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Purchase: Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Booktopia 
Goodreads Summary: Grace can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay - in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.

(Other than loving this for personal reasons, Carter smashes it by finding a topic unexplored by YA. Wow, someone wins.) 

Seeking Saturday's Read #21: Coming To Terms With Blogging Balance, Cancelled TV Shows and Tackling Mime Order

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Good week socially, soul, mind and all-things-involving-energy sucking week, work wise, and horrendously lazy, on the blogger front. That was me. Basically, this has been me for the past three months. I finally have a break coming up on the horizon, but for now, I’m still battling the new changes in my life. But I’m at the end of this week, and I’ve learnt something so, so important. I can’t be my blogging self all day, everyday. Forget the all day, I can barely manage to be that person for one hour of the day. You see, after double meeting friends before and after work, making some dough, trudging home, chatting and having some face time with the people in my household, showered Jess is pretty much exhausted and it’s midnight. What do I normally do? I push myself. Because I love what I do with this blog. I push myself to bring ideas to life. I cave, read and comment on a bunch of blogs (because y’all are just so interesting. How can I resist?) And then I’m dead and it’s 2am and my day starts again at 7am. Not healthy. Add in all the exercise and whatever the hell I do to waste my daytime and I'm pretty inattentive, all day long. 

So it’s a Saturday. I’m home. It’s midnight. I’m compiling this post. I have a run in the morning. My eyes are close to being glued shut. And you know what? I’m going to have to fight that compulsion to comment everywhere and leave that until the morning. And I know y’all will understand (?) (let’s prove optimistic!Jess right for once, she’s pretty rare ha!) Because what happens when we overexert ourselves? We run out of steam. I don’t want to be that person. Tonight, I’m going to have some me time (aka sleep). And for once, I’ve made peace with the fact that I can’t comment everywhere, every single night. That being said, once I’m well and rested in about 12 or so hours, you’ll find yourselves bombarded with my comments. You’ve been warned. 
lunch break and no brain for books tbh // look I actually read on my break // catching up w/ bff // more chatting over food
Sob story aside, I managed to catch The Hobbit this week! Fantastic finale, but let’s be honest here, I was a little (lot) confused. Is it because I’ve yet to watch Lord of the Rings? Well obviously, I’ll never know. I’ve got questions. But hey, from what I could piece together, it was amazing. Plus, I’ll admit, I cried a bit. I bet that bothered everyone else in the cinema. I’m not a demure crier. I like to go all out, sniffles and all. 

I also binged season one of Happyland yesterday night. Those of you who follow me on twitter will know of how devastated I was when I realised that the show had been canceled. DESTROYED. Because that cast was amazing. Hot guys left and right I tell you. I legitimately could not concentrate while staring at the screen. Way to set up unrealistic expectations. If I run off and work in an amusement park, there better be hot management, alright? 

As you may have seen, I also read The Conspiracy of Us this week and it pretty much was the book for me. The Holly Black book’s been alright, except with the whole work and life debacle, I haven’t had much time (aka I close my eyes at every chance.) I’ve also started The Mime Order which I had originally read (a part of) in uncorrected form. Being electronic though, the experience was a tad jarred and it took me a while to even get a third in. But now with a physical copy, I’m hoping to eat this one up some time this week (plus now I have real maps to stroke). 

That’s me. Rather chaotic and everywhere, to be honest. But let’s not bore you all. Tell me about you. What happened and what are your plans? Have you had a favourite TV show cancelled? Spill. 

The Reluctant Cleaner of the Goodreads' Currently Reading Shelf

Friday, 16 January 2015

I have too much faith in myself. That’s the only way that I can comprehend my reservations with DNFing. Unlike others, my problem with marking a DNF comes not out of a fear of the what if. “What if it gets better? What if I miss out?” Those aren’t the questions that I ask because honestly, chances are, it’s not going to get better. But that may just be the pessimism talking. You see, my issue with the DNF stems from the fact that I’m horrendously, and rather unattractively, competitive. I’ll be damned if I let myself be bested by a book. I’ve been known to make all these proclamations in reviews— “Power is the most potent drug”, and all things alike. And boy do I know from first hand experience. I like power. I like a lot of it. I’m not going to lie and be coy because man, do I get drunk on that stuff (no shame, know what you want and aim). Point is, in my mind, power is me sticking it out, holding on, remaining resilient. So I'd latch myself onto a book and be that damn leech that was unwilling to let go. 

Which brings me to the Goodread’s Currently Reading shelf. You know the one. As of late, I’ve been rather fantastic at marking DNF’s left and right. It’s how I’ve maintained a facade of happy and cheery Jess who’s had bam bam bam, a good streak of three stars and upwards. If it doesn’t hook me at chapter two, it’s had its turn and sadly, it’s time to go. I’m all about the fair go you see, and all my babies want a bit of attention (ha!) But the thing is, I don’t mark the book as being read to begin with. Which is just my sneaky way of seeming like someone who sticks it out. But ha, I’ve had you fooled. However, in my mind, this new me needed a blank slate, something clean that she could work off and so as 2014 had its dying days, I resolved with my new self: Jess, it’s time to Spring clean that currently reading shelf—clear it, start afresh, have a new year, new you. And so I let The Testing go. Dystopia, horridly boring and rather stagnant. It was a weight off my shoulders when that book was cleared and labelled a DNF. Who was I kidding? No Jess in her right mind was going to come crawling back to that book. It just wasn’t going to happen. The problem however was when the lovely Axie pointed out that perhaps it was time for Anna to go as well. I let my mouse linger over that I’m finished button and well, I couldn’t let it go. 

The Conspiracy of Us #1: The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Publication Date: January 13th 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers 
Purchase: Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Booktopia 
Goodreads Summary: To fight her destiny as the missing heir to a powerful and dangerous secret society, sixteen-year-old Avery West must solve an ancient puzzle in a deadly race across Europe. Forbidden love and code-breaking, masked balls and explosions, destiny and dark secrets collide in this romantic thriller, in the vein of a YA DaVinci Code.

Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada at the Champs-Elysees when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. 

They are part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle of Twelve, and Avery is their missing heir. If they discover who she is, some of them will want to use her as a pawn. Some will want her dead. 

To thwart their plans, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the landmarks of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul and through a web of ancient legends and lies. And unless she can stay one step ahead of beautiful, volatile Stellan, who knows she’s more than she seems, and can decide whether to trust mysterious, magnetic Jack, she may be doomed after all.
(Basically Jess becomes smitten because of dream parallels. Odd, yes. Don't judge her.) 

Seeking Saturday's Read #20: Birthdays, Books and the Gift That Is Chris Pine

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Look at how quickly the week has flown by. I did a bunch of things—exercised, ate (that triumphed over the former, to be honest), worked, didn’t sleep, got behind on comments and all. Good going, Jess. In my defence, my head was elsewhere this week. But hey, I think that’s the excuse I use all the time ha! 
sustenance before spin // pastries to celebrate a new age // museum hopping // over ordering 
After a week of birthday fun, it’s time to realise the sad truth: the holiday season is officially over. Which means I have no more excuses to avoid the gym. But back to the matter at hand, I was so incredibly thankful to be surrounded by family and close friends on my birthday. I also want to thank you all for your birthday wishes. You all warmed my heart. And at the risk of tangentially venturing into rather emotional domain, I just wanted to let you know of how grateful I am for having met, having been able to experience a multitude of beautiful personalities. Getting to know you all has been the best part of the blogging experience. It’s the one thing that I appreciate the most. So thank you. 

I also want to send squishy, heartfelt virtual hugs to the lovely Diamond and Rebecca. Diamond, who just gets me so much, spoiled me with a copy of her favourite gothic YA, The Beautiful and the Cursed, which I can’t wait to dig into. You’re a gem! And Becca. Becca, Becca, Becca. She’s like my other half and she completely spoiled me with a little package. Much love, mbtb. 

Before I turn this into an incredibly long Oscar’s speech, I’m going to get back onto my week. 
the mechanics of a gigantic clock // more birthday dinners // wild times ha! // next week's read 
I let my best friends take reign with birthday organisation this year and while they planned one or two inappropriate things (gems, the lot of them), we decided to end the night rather sober because things like work and responsibilities called the following morning. Things that required a rather levelheaded mind. Christmas was rather book absent for a reasoneveryone seemed to save that for my birthday. Along with a TBR consisting of 2015 publications and a heap load of books that I purchased before Christmas out of fear that I would have no holiday reads (I kid you not, I think summer’s going to end and I still won’t be able to make a dent), I’m rather overloaded with choice. Now it’s just a matter of having time. 

I also spent my birthday with a terrible desire to be pretentious (I get those days a lot, don't judge) and so a friend and I museum hopped and stood around spewing a bunch of words that appeared to be attempts at artistic understanding and criticism. I had no idea what I was doing. But hey, I was satisfied. 

I also managed to catch The Imitation Game and Into The Woods this week. I thoroughly enjoyed both, although perhaps the former got a tad more love from me. Into The Woods sold me for about the first 75% or so but then it went down a rather awkward path and it lost me. But hey, two princes, one of which was Chris Pine, and shirt ripping (not enough). I’d say it was time well spent. 

Between all that fun, there was work. Which pays for my fun so hell, I ain’t complaining (oh alright, so I do, but it’s mostly when I miss out on sleep and I’m grumpily walking into an early shift.) I also finally picked up The Unbound by Victoria Schwab after putting it off for an entire year. I definitely loved this one more than the first book. Truth be told, I was mostly motivated by the fact that a short story had been released and I was dying to read it.  The absence of news surrounding book three does leave me a tad deflated though. I'm hoping to squeeze in a quick read of The Darkest Part of the Forest this week. I've read two, I would say, of Black's works before and while I'm not a massive fan, I do enjoy her writing. Hopefully this one is a hit. It promises princes, kids, and you all should know by now that I'm rather superficial and nothing gets me more than a good bit of royalty. 

That's me, but what about you? How was your week? Have you caught any movies, read anything exciting? And what of your plans this upcoming week? Tell me all. 

Are We Reviewers Just Bad At Maths?

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Oh alright, I’m guilty of being overdramatic every now and again (I mean no insult. Y’all are probably ten times the mathematician I’ll ever dream of being). But be patient with me, today I’m bringing to the table a very legitimate question: 
Why has the neutral star been generously rounded to a 3 when half of the traditional five is a 2.5? 

The Book of Ivy #1: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Publication Date: November 11th 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen 
Purchase: Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Booktopia 
Goodreads SummaryAfter a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual. 

This year, it is my turn. 

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power. 

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

(Jess is tough on dystopias. Give her no care, to be honest.)

Seeking Saturday's Read #19: 2015 Welcomes More Pictures, Sad Attempts At Planning And Fun (For the Time Being)

Saturday, 3 January 2015

The first Seeking Saturday's Read of 2015. Surreal. 2014 was a blur of events that I honestly can't remember all too well now. After a rather exuberant welcome to the new year, I've just been recuperating before the work cycle starts all over again. While Christmas week was spent more with the family, this week was all about welcoming fresh changes with old friends. I'm taking the weekend off before they steal me away again next week for three days of birthday antics (woohooo!). 

I welcomed the new year with The Book of Ivy which was surprisingly a quick read. I will have a review coming up but the short, quick facts are that it was weak on the dystopian front, sweet on the romance. More on that to come. After oohing and aahing, I finally picked up Night Film and what a read it is. I'm halfway through and it took my all to leave the book in order to get this post up. So the Gone Girl comparisons are a tad off. If anything, it's a good mystery. Thriller? I wouldn't say so, but perhaps I haven't reached the point of no return. The truths are unravelling at a delectable pace and the writing is absolutely haunting. If you're apprehensive, I say give it a go! The interactive media component is highly entertaining, and a bit unnerving. 

I've been dying to welcome a bit of change to this feature and now that the new year has finally come around, it seems like the perfect time. I take a lot of photos during the week. Some make it to Instagram, some to Twitter but honestly, most never see the light of day. Which saddens me. So I thought, why not. I'll just plop them into this space, get things a little more personal than they already are. 
waiting on a friend // nye with my closest // a couple of rounds later ha // and hey, it's a new year 

The past couple of days have also seen me plotting out posts for January and February. Which is kind of a bad sign, to be honest. When I commit things to paper I pretty much do the opposite of my intentions. Yes, paper is the equivalent to signing away the lives of my ideas. They never make it. We'll see how 2015 treats them. 

That's my week for you. How'd the first week of 2015 treat you? And how are you feeling the addition of even more pictures? Overkill? Tell me everything. 

The Elemental Trilogy #1: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

Friday, 2 January 2015

Publication Date: September 17th 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray / HarperTeen
Purchase: Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Booktopia 
Goodreads Summary: Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.

Guided by his mother's visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.

Don’t read it for the fantasy, read it for the love. These characters will steal your heart and never give it back. Just go with it.