Monday, 29 August 2016

Early release of Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas controversy: Why can't we all be adults here?

In light of all the horrible controversy over Sarah's latest book, Empire of Storms, which is set to release September 6th this year, we've got to remember the one person who gave us great characters to look up to and root for!

The beautiful and talented Sarah J Maas!

Most recently we heard about Lindsay Cummings, author of The Murder Complex duology and The Balance Keepers trilogy, managing to find a hardcover copy of EoS at the Chicago Airport two weeks before the actual release date. This sent fans into a frenzy of emotions and chaos. At first this made me so excited and I was happy to see that a fellow author friend of Sarah's had managed to swipe a copy for herself.
When I woke up Saturday morning (NZ time) to check Twitter, I noticed that everyone had gone crazy over a number of other people who had also managed to get their hands on a copy (possibly from the exact same bookstore at the airport in Chicago where Lindsay got hers) and had finished it, along with either expressing their enraged thoughts about what had seemed to happen in the books or venting their anger by leaving abusive comments on the novel's Goodreads page.


A Snapchat picture of where I vented my frustration about the childish reviewers (a major understatement).

There seemed to be major tension about how certain readers thought that the Throne of Glass series was racist, abusive and discriminating through multiple characters actions, dialogue or have said that people of colour have seemed to be killed off more than others. In my opinion, some people on Twitter have gone way too far. They may say that there is no evidence of death threats towards Sarah, but that does not change the fact that there is plentiful hate and biases about particular themes that may appear throughout the series. Some people just can't seem to be adults and review a book in a more respectable manner. Someone take these children back to their mommies and daddies.
One anonymous source seems to point out that Sarah is not a good author and just writes in steamy sex scenes to cover up her lack of talent for plot lines and character development whilst comparing her work to Fifty Shades of Grey. Well sorry to disappoint you but Sarah actually has talent for writing and she didn't become a best selling author from writing a trashy S&M novel. Must I point out how much character development Celaena Sardothien went through in the first four books to get to where she is now in her story? Got a problem? Fight me.

Despite the horrors of this situation, there are still many devoted fans who are trying to support Sarah through this rough patch. A couple of hashtags #SJMDefenseSquad and #ToGIsJustBeginningParty started in an attempt to push the haters away and put a positive light on the imminent release of EoS.





 Please remember that when you're voicing your own thoughts and opinions on the internet, people will be affected in one way or another. Sarah J Maas, who I have personally met in person at her book signing in Auckland City, New Zealand last year in September, is such a wonderful, talented and down-to-earth individual and she has feelings like every one of us. If you have trouble with the concept of cyberbullying, try put yourself in her shoes or imagine saying what you've said to her face.

You are book lovers, book reviewers, fandom fanatics, etc. Please remember why you love to read and the fact that just because a book doesn't go in the direction you'd hoped or it doesn't contain a certain theme or aspect that you wanted, it doesn't give you a free pass to go and obliterate the author with your harsh words. Be a kind human and spread love and if you feel the need to review a book in a not-so-nice way, do it professionally through a blog post and leave it at that or talk to your friends about it through private message or even in person. Don't forget to be civilised and humane.

This world already has way too much hate and sadness. Do your part to make it a better place to live in so that we can all come online with confidence and celebrate what we love most.

A photo of Sarah and I at her Auckland, New Zealand signing in September 2016.

by Ella Fleming-Christie

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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Unrivalled by Alyson Noel: Book Review


Everyone wants to be someone.

Layla Harrison wants to leave her beach-bum days for digs behind a reporter’s desk. Aster Amirpour wants to scream at the next casting director who tells her “we need ethnic but not your kind of ethnic.” Tommy Phillips dreams of buying a twelve-string guitar and using it to shred his way back into his famous absentee dad’s life.

But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her bitch a long time ago.

She’s Hollywood’s hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone’s lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel.

That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the glamorous and gritty world of Los Angeles’s nightlife and lured into a high-stakes competition where Madison Brooks is the target. Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing. . . . And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies.

SPOILER FREE REVIEW
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I went into this novel thinking it would be another type of Gossip Girl novel and that's the main reason I was aching to read it so bad. However, that did not prepare me for how gripping and entertaining the characters and plot line would be! This was completely it's own story and it didn't replicate GG in the slightest! New scene (Los Angeles), diverse characters, and a whole new way of seeing the rich and famous will have you pining to read more and more and MORE! I haven't read much of Alyson Noel but I can tell you now that I definitely plan on it!

The story starts off with pretty, little, innocent, Madison Brooks who is currently living it up in her dream life with a perfect acting job, a perfect-ish boyfriend and a perfect cover for her past. It isn't until three little nobodies by the names of Layla Harrison, Aster Amipour and Tommy Phillips who start to make things go terribly wrong for Madison, and it's all because of a competition where she's the golden trophy that everyone wants. Her boyfriend, Ryan Hawthorne obviously manages to get himself caught up in this mess which is where things get pretty interesting and steamy. The multiple point of views give you a 360 angle of everyone's lives so that you get to know each and every one of these fame suckers and their reasons for intertwining themselves in a dodgy LA nightclub promotional competition with the infamous Ira Redman. Unfortunately, no one trusts this guy but everyone is desperate for something and this gig seems to be the only way out for most of the contestants. Every character in this novel has a distinct reason for needing this competition which makes it so much more of a riveting read. Something about all the gossip, lies and greed seems to weave its way into your mind and tug at it so much that you just don't want to put it down! To be fully honest, I was a little confused at the end about how it had ended. Although this was the case, I thought about it a little more after I had finished and then I finally put all the pieces together as if I were a character myself trying to realise the culprit. This novel will definitely send you on a journey through the planning and scheming just so that one person can be on top - whether it be for money, fame or ego.

Things I LOVED about Unrivalled!:

* Being a blogger, I absolutely craved the idea of Layla Harrison being a gossip-junkie! She starts her own blog called, Beautiful Idols where she posts latest news about celebrity downfalls so that she can try use the revenue to live off in New York where she hopes to study. Having grown up admiring the anonymous bloggers in movies writing about gossip or just their basic everyday lives to give guidance to others, this part definitely hit me in the feels!

* In my mind, I pictured Madison as Blair Waldorf, Layla as Serena Van Der Woodsen, Aster as Vanessa Abrams and Tommy as Dan Humphrey. Disagree? Well it doesn't make it any less of a read. It just excites me because I'm currently marathoning GG on Netflix and I just can't seem to get it out of my head.

* Could the drama have gotten any more heated? I couldn't bear to put the book down at certain points! And the ending! God help me if I have to wait another whole year for the sequel! More GG on Netflix? I think so!

* The nightclub promoting competition was more than lit and I want to know if this happens in real life! If anything could get more catty than two girls and a guy trying to win a competition by using the hottest stars in LA to beat each other, it would be a high school or college with pretty similar personas in New York. Don't tell me you aren't itching to read another contemporary novel like this one.

* Like I haven't been able to stop mentioning (probably because I'm obsessed all over again), it's bringing the Gossip Girl world back with more heat and game so you better get out your glitter headbands and pick a spot on the Walk of Fame to sit because it's about to bring the hate-game to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL!


So if you just need that new type of gossip based drama novel or you just want a good read in general that you won't put down (unless you have to of course) then pick up Unrivalled and I promise you that you will not be disappointed! I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars!




Thank you HarperCollins New Zealand for the review copy! Go like their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Harpercollinsnz

Go add Unrivalled to your Goodreads list HERE


Go buy it on MightyApe with 1 day delivery in New Zealand HERE


Buy it on Book Depository with free shipping world wide HERE

Saturday, 6 August 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas Book Review


“Tell me what you see.”
“A world divided in two.”

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

SPOILER FREE REVIEW
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If the last book, A Court of Thorns and Roses was anything to go by, you'll know that this book will be a hell of a read. Love, heartbreak, comedic dialogue, steamy scenes, major action, magical moments and emotional flashbacks will have you rolling on the floor laughing and crying at the same time! If I could convince anyone to become a bookworm, I would immediately recommend this book. Even though it is a sequel and you wouldn't really understand much unless you read the first, this book would have to be the one I'd tell anyone to read first just because it's totally amazing and once you get in, you don't come back!

Let's come back to the fearless protagonist, Feyre. She is now blazing bright with all her high fae glory and argumentative comebacks, however this time around, the unforgettable memories of her rough time Under the Mountain has left an imminent mark on her mind and soul. As a former sufferer of depression I can understand her every struggle after having been ripped to shreds in every way possible by Amarantha. Thankfully, maybe not to Feyre's delight, Rhysand saves her just when she thinks she might make a big mistake and our world starts to open up with glorious opportunities when we finally get to see the Night Court in it's true habitat. In this instalment we also get to see the Summer Court and more of the human's side of the wall where Nesta, Elain and their father still reside. However, everyone is inevitably in way more danger than the first novel and for those hardcore fans who may be reading this, it may not be so hard to figure out who might be behind that evil cunning plan.

The plot couldn't have been structured anymore perfectly and if I were Sarah's best friend, I'd be asking her if I could sit quietly in a chair next to her while she writes so I can learn of the secret powers she has which helps her make her novels such masterpieces (as creepy as that sounds, I'm just a budding author who needs these secrets to make a living also). Everything that is written falls into place so well and with every turn, there is a twist, even if you don't realise it at the time. This is where I tell you that you'll be re-reading it a few thousand times after you finish your first round. The dialogue is witty, hilarious and well put together. The characters are all widely diverse which is another thing that I love and something that needs to be talked about, and practiced more, in YA literature. One main thing that was brought into this sequel was the idea of mates. Now this is a spoiler free review so I won't say who, but this absolutely hooked me because it's such a romantic and sexy thing––one of which I wish humans took more seriously––that honestly I couldn't bear to put the book down once I had read the scene where it was introduced. Love is such a massive theme in YA fiction these days, aside from the main plot it usually gives the characters more motivation to strive and work for what they want and who they want. As much as people may try to shoot good novels like this one down for tiny little things, they can't lie about the fact that this had to be one of the best books written since the Harry Potter series (braces for other-fandoms impact)! I honestly think that if it hadn't have been for Sarah's godly-literature skills and sexy chapter reads, I don't think I'd be doing any of this right now. I would probably just be moping around trying to find better inspiration for my book but failing epically because I wouldn't have such a talented person to look up to. Now I'm feeling like next time Sarah comes to New Zealand, I'll have to give her a massive hug for giving me the best guidance of my life (and for saving my life too)! 💜


✨  Things I LOVED about A Court of Mist and Fury

* Rhys has WAAAYY more of a storyline this time around and despite my first thoughts of him from ACOTAR, I've completely turned around since then. That being said, I am someone who always gives second chances! Go Rhysand! You have won my heart, High Lord.

* If you think there's any book that is written better than this, apart from the Throne of Glass series of course, then we're going to have a problem. Well not really, I don't like fighting over what series is better but I cannot accept that anyone would not like these books. Both of Sarah's book series are currently being adapted for the big screens! ACOTAR will be a movie trilogy and ToG will be a TV series! Nothing would be better to replace Game of Thrones and Divergent with than these two! Yup, I'm a happy chick!

* Feyre learns that she got a little extra mojo from all the High Lord's of Prythian than just her High Fae form! I mean (ACOTAR SPOILER COMING.....) being resurrected by each of the strongest High Fae's in the land doesn't come without a price. And if Feyre's going to have any bigger purpose in this novel, it's going to have to be this way and I'm not even disappointed in the slightest! But you could tell that already anyway so I'm just going to wait patiently for the movie of ACOTAR and TV show of ToG to come out!

* Could this novel have gotten any steamier? I mean I know Sarah mentioned that she had basically banned her family from reading it but that alone did not prepare me for what was to come! I don't usually like anything that resembles erotic fiction - however the content inside this book was actually bearable enough that I didn't put it down. Maybe it was just the love of the relationship and feels that came with it or maybe it was because I knew there was more to it than just the act. Either way it was the definition of #RelationshipGoals and that's what I loved most about it (This last part may or may not have made me want to cry because this relationship definitely wouldn't exist in real life because males don't seem to be as perfect as this one did unfortunately...).

I loved this book more than words can explain and for that I have to give it a 5 out of 5 stars! Not just because I seem to love ALL of Sarah's books and that is mostly so because of the fact that she is an amazing author and actually does slay the author game with every book she writes. (Plus I've been using her first name instead of her last name because I think once you've met the author, it's safe to say you've passed that stranger line "inserts cool emoji here"). Thanks for making my month yet again and I'm stoked that Empire of Storms is coming out in the next month because I'm going to need another massive dose of awesome feminist power from Aelin very, very soon!

Go add A Court of Mist and Fury to your Goodreads list HERE

Go buy it on MightyApe with 1 day delivery in New Zealand HERE
Buy it on Book Depository with free shipping world wide HERE

Are you suffering with a mental illness such as depression or anxiety? Here are some helpful links from BetterHelp that you can check out and find tips on how to live a happier life:

BetterHelp Advice - Anxiety
BetterHelp Advice - Depression
How To Deal with Depression: Tips, Techniques And Finding the Right Treatment

How Do I Find A Therapist Near Me?