#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S -Netflix

Being a primarily bookish related blog I find I don’t often talk about what I’m watching like I do what I’m reading. I’ve been branching out a little more with my video game posts and some Dungeons and Dragons content a little here and the wrap up for March featured some films I enjoyed so for this weeks #Six for Sunday prompt (normal prompts resume in May) is Netflix! I want to share with you six films and/or shows I have loved in Netflix and six films and/or shows I want to watch that are on Netflix. Obviously, there are plenty of other streaming services out there, Amazon Prime and NowTV being some of the biggest in the UK but for me, Netflix is the one I use the most and the most compatible with my tastes so far. Just as a note there are a TON of great films and shows on Netflix and I wanted to clarify that although A Knights Tale is one of my favourite films of all times I had seen it before Netflix, the films and shows in the list below I hadn’t seen or heard of before Netflix.

My Favourite Films and/or Shows:

What happened to Monday –  In a world where families are allowed only one child due to overpopulation, resourceful identical septuplets must avoid governmental execution and dangerous infighting while investigating the disappearance of one of their own.

The action element of this film looked great in the trailer and really drew me in but I also loved the intrigue and deeper parts of the story as well, not to mention some of the great twists along the way.

To all the boys I’ve loved before – A teenage girl’s love letters are exposed and wreak havoc on her life. 

A sweet, super aesthetically pleasing film that’s a little predictable but no less great for it. Some great funny and romantic moments with a great protagonist I really enjoyed in Lara-Jean.

Valerian and the city of a thousand planets – In the 28th century, special operatives Valerian and Laureline work together to maintain order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the minister of defence, the duo embarks on a mission to Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis where diverse species gather to share knowledge and culture. When a dark force threatens the peaceful city, Valerian and Laureline must race against time to identify the menace that also jeopardizes the future of the universe.

For me, this film has super Fifth Element vibes with a few different dynamics thrown in. Its action packed, entertaining and an absolute treat for the eyes. I could watch this film over and over.

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power – She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is the story of an orphan named Adora, who leaves behind her former life in the evil Horde when she discovers a magic sword that transforms her into the mythical warrior princess She-Ra.

I loved the original She-Ra cartoon as a child but the updated version made by Netflix absolutely blew me out of the water. Everyone has new looks and there’s just such a great wholesome feeling to it all while still being fun and meaningful. The friendship between the main three characters are one of my favourite things and I adore the love/hate relationship between Adora and Catra, especially as the series develops. We’re so close to season two now as well I can’t wait!

Footloose (2011) – As a transplant from Boston, teenager Ren MacCormack gets a big dose of culture shock when he moves to a small Southern town called Bomont. A few years prior, a fatal accident involving five youths led local councilmen and a beloved clergyman to enact ordinances against loud music and dancing. Ren — never one to toe the line — challenges the ban, simultaneously revitalizing Bomont and falling in love with the clergyman’s troubled daughter.

A few years back my mum was shocked to discover that although I loved the song “Footloose” I hadn’t actually ever seen the film so we checked out Netflix and found the newest version was on there and decided to try it out. I loved it to pieces and watch it semi-regularly.  It’s a really fun film with some serious moments and although it’s not perfect I do really enjoy the camaraderie of it and of course the music.

Star Trek Discovery – Star Trek: Discovery follows the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new lifeforms, and one Starfleet officer who must learn that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself.

I’m not a huge die-hard Star Trek fan, I’m usually more geared towards Star Wars but I did really enjoy the Voyager series and after being intrigued by some of the new class and having easy access to this Netflix exclusive (in the UK) persuaded me to try it out and I’ve not looked back since. I don’t even know where to begin with this show, the second season just finished and I have been blown away time and time again. The show is funny, heartfelt, thought-provoking and beautifully diverse and clever and somehow seems to not only embody the message of the original Trek but fantastically brings it into a new era and makes it more accessible

(Special shoutout to Jupiter Ascending because it was so bad and I loved it for that and to Killjoys which I didn’t include as we only watched season one on Netflix and the other three on Prime but we did find it for the first time on Netflix!)

Films and/or Shows on my list that I need to see ASAP:

Isn’t it romantic – Natalie is a New York architect who works hard to get noticed at her job but is more likely to deliver coffee and bagels than design the city’s next skyscraper. Things go from bad to weird when she gets knocked unconscious during a subway mugging and magically wakes up to find herself in an alternate universe. Always cynical about love, Natalie’s worst nightmare soon comes true when she suddenly discovers that she’s playing the leading lady in a real-life romantic comedy.

I haven’t watched this yet because I know its one that will be perfect to watch with my husband, he loves romance films and I’m not often that into them so I think this would be a nice mix for us both. Plus I’m really excited to see Rebel Wilson as the lead instead of a stereotypical, plus-size comic relief backup character.

The Perfect Date – A high school student creates an app to offer his services as a fake date to make money for college. When he develops feelings for someone, his plan gets complicated.

Okay so SOMETIMES I like romance films, this one looks really fun and hopefully at least a little different from the norm? This is another film the husband wants to see and as we don’t always get time together in the evenings once little man is in bed we still haven’t seen it yet.

The Dragon PrinceThe Breach, the border between the two halves of the continent, was guarded by Thunder, the king of dragons. Now, after humans killed the dragon king and his egg, war is imminent. The elves attempt to assassinate the human king Harrow and his heir, the young prince Ezran, in retaliation for the egg’s destruction.

I’ve heard a lot of great things about The Dragon Prince animated show, I love the art style and the story intrigues me. I have managed to watch the first episode or two but there are loads more to watch.

Sword of Destiny – A martial arts master assembles a band of fighters to protect a legendary sword from a warlord and his clan.

When I was younger I was hugely obsessed with the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Michelle Yeoh’s character in particular. A few years back Netflix made a sequel and I’ve been meaning to watch it since then. With Yeoh’s recent appearance in Star Trek Discovery, it’s reminded me that I really need to make the time to watch this as soon as possible.  

Bright – In an alternate present day, humans, orcs, elves and fairies have been coexisting since the beginning of time. Two police officers, one a human, the other an orc, embark on a routine night patrol that will alter the future of their world as they know it. Battling both their own personal differences as well as an onslaught of enemies, they must work together to protect a young female elf and a thought-to-be-forgotten relic, which, in the wrong hands, could destroy everything.

As a fairly big fantasy fan, I have been so excited by this because I think it’s a brilliant twist on the old standard fantasy races. I have tried watching it once but was super tired and fell asleep (if I’m tired and get too comfy I’m doomed and fall asleep asap) but I really want to give it another go.

Nightflyers – With humankind’s future at stake, a group of scientists and a powerful telepath venture into the void aboard a spaceship full of secrets. 

Honestly, this just kind of sounds like it was written for me don’t you think? Looks to my particular brand of sci-fi; people with powers, intrigue, the fate of the world etc. I can’t wait to get around to this soon!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this slightly different Six for Sunday post today, just one more to go and then talking TBR piles for the month of May. If you enjoyed the slightly different content instead of just the bookish stuff let me know and I’ll make sure to include it more regularly.

Is there anything on here you particularly love or want to watch? Maybe you’ve watched some of the things on my want to watch list if so let me know what you thought!

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Game of Thones Book Tag

So Game of Thrones returned this week and to celebrate I thought it would be a great time to do the Game Of Thrones tag by Susan and Surbhi (links below) who tagged me!

Rules? This is Game of Thrones. Any rules will invariably be broken. Because some know Game of Thrones from TV, some from Books, and some from both, you can answer from your knowledge from any, or from a combination of the two. All we really ask is that link back your answers to us, Susan @ Novel lives & Surbhi @ Bemused Bibliophile so, that we can read your answers and gush together.

You can also tag as many people as you may want because as they say, “The more the merrier”.


Direwolves- (Best Animal sidekick)

Abraxos from Throne of Glass – Manon’s wyvern is the most precious thing. I love that he kicks butt even though he was (and still does get) underestimated for his size and that he’s also totally soppy and fiercely loyal as well as loving flowers.


Jamie Lannister- (A character whose redemption you are/were rooting for)

Tamlin from the A Court of Thorns and Roses books – Don’t get me wrong Tamlin ends up being an absolute dick and does some really crappy things but I kept hoping he would sort himself out and possibly earn a little redemption but honestly I think he just got worse, acting more and more bitter and entitled which for a while I felt was a shame. I think maybe it’s because it’s so easy to, (like Feyre) fall for him in that first book and having that change felt uncomfortable. I definitely don’t want him to be having any romantic relationship or feelings for Feyre etc but I would have just liked for him to have sorted himself out, really get how much wrong he did and aim to fix that.


Clegane Brothers- (The best & worst sibling’s dynamic that, you have ever read)

Best Sibling Dynamic – Alec and Izzy Lightwood from Shadowhunters – I love how Alec and Izzy are always there to support each other despite their differences and disagreements. They encourage each other and are genuinely happy for each other’s successes and triumphs which to me, feels like the perfect sibling relationship.

Worst sibling dynamic – Jude and Taryn Duarte from The Folk of the Air Books – I don’t think the bad dynamic between Jude and Taryn is completely of their own making but neither make any meaningful attempt to fix the rift that forms between them and although I do believe they do still care for each other in some strange way, how they treat each other is pretty toxic and cruel at times which honestly makes sense for the trials they face in the land of Elfhame.


Ned Stark- (A characters death you did not see coming/ most shocking death in a book, movie or TV series)

So big spoilers (obviously) for Once and Future, Season three of Killjoys and Firefly/Serenity.

Kay from Once and Future – I’m not sure if this is definitely the most shocking but is the one that is the most prominent for me at the moment. I don’t know why but I honestly didn’t think we would lose anyone from the crew and then BAM he’s dead and just IT HURTS. When I was reading it I had to stop and cry for a good while after.

Alvis from Killjoys – So I wanted to include a TV one as well as I’m shocked a lot more by deaths in TV shows a lot of the time and this one absolutely and completely destroyed me beyond belief. It happened towards the end of the penultimate episode and I spent the rest of the episode and missed half of the finale because I was under the duvet sobbing like a hungry, angry baby. Killjoys does this kind of thing to be a fair bit but Alivs was my favourite character and just… *sobs*

Specially mention to Walsh from Firefly who is suddenly impaled in the concluding movie Serenity, it was so sudden and I think the first time I watched it I screamed.


Ramsay Bolton- (A character you will gladly see die! Ahem! Joffrey Ahem! Baelish)

Link from The Island – I don’t think I’ve hated a character quite like Link in a long time. Just thinking about him makes my blood boil and honestly, I wish the others had just killed and eaten him, ideally one of the girls, or both.


Rhaegar Targaryen- (A character who you think is gravely misunderstood)

Illidan Stormrage from World of Warcraft  – Although his character is technically from a game, a lot of enlightening information about his feelings and motives are revealed in the novel Tie in Illidan by William King. Illidan is one of my absolute favourite characters in the WoW lore and his character arc is amazing. He is outcast, known as the betrayer, exiled and imprisoned by his own people for making the hard choices and doing what needed to be done to ultimately defeat the evil those people and the entire world (if not more) were facing.


Jorah Mormont- (A character you think is an epitome of loyalty)

Will, Jem and Tessa from the Infernal Devices books – I refuse to pick just one for this because they’re all amazing and honestly there was no other possible answer for this.


Jon Snow- (A Character who has leadership thrust upon themselves)

Ari from Once and Future – Although Ari initially struggles a little with finding herself needing to be a leader she takes to it exceptionally well without losing what makes her Ari even when she struggles and has to put her personal feelings aside for the good of others.


Bran Stark- (A character or book with a very good disability representation.)

Harper from The Devouring Gray – I loved that Harper retrained herself to fight without being at a disadvantage from losing most of her arm. Although some of the general populace treats her horribly this is more because of the failures that led to her accident than anything else and her friends don’t treat her at all different and know that she’s more than capable. I also liked the fact that her ‘disability’ wasn’t a big deal or used as a sad plot device, it was what it was and that was all it was to it.


Khal Drogo- (A character you think is hard from the outside but a big softie from the inside)

Nik Malikov from Gemina and the Illuminae Files – Oh my gosh Nik is the biggest softie. He starts off trying to be a bit of an aloof, charming tough guy with this dark dangerous past and his prison tattoos etc but he is honestly SUCH a precious cinnamon roll and despite originally not being sold on him at the beginning of Gemina I absolutely love him to pieces now.

If you’d like to take part in this consider yourself tagged by myself and don’t forget to let me know when your post goes live or link back to me as well so I can check out your answers!

Did you watch Game of Thrones when it returned this week? Do you not watch Game of Thrones or perhaps you just haven’t managed to get around to watching it yet, let me know but please keep your comments spoiler free.

book reviews

Sky in the Deep

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Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Rating: XXX

Published: March 26th 2019 by Titan Books (First published April 24th 2018)

“We find things, just as we lose things. If you’ve lost your honor, you’ll find it again.”

Seventeen-year-old Eelyn’s world is war. Raised to fight alongside her Aska clansmen in a generations-old blood feud against the Riki, her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki if she wants to make it back to the fjord after the thaw. But when she begins to see herself in the people she’s been taught to hate, the world Eelyn once knew begins to crumble. And after the village is raided by a ruthless clan many believe to be a myth, Eelyn is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend who has tried more than once to kill her. Together, they must end the blood feud between their clans or watch their people be slaughtered.

A lush, Viking-age inspired fantasy about loyalty, forgiveness, and the definition of family.

I was gifted this early finished copy in exchange for an honest review by Titan Books. I had decided to take a bit of a break from fantasy books lately it seemed to be more of a fantasy-style book with historical fiction elements, not to mention that I was lured in by the axe-wielding heroine, the promise of an action-packed start and a possibility for mystery.

I really enjoyed pretty much all of the fight scenes throughout this book, particularly as an opening scene. The battles are interesting and I love the description of different fighting tactics, especially when Eelyn fights alongside her best friend. The middle of the book felt a little dry to me in comparison and unfortunately fairly predictable. I think the predictability, however,  might be more to do with the large number of fantasy books I’ve read in the past year that all follow quite similar storylines more than there being anything hugely wrong with the book itself.

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Despite the writing feeling a little clunky I think some of the relationships were fairly well written, especially the conflicted way Eeyln feel about her brother which I felt was a particularly strong point as well as some of the other more complicated relationships that become established over time. That being said I found the couldn’t stand the romance element. I’m not sure if this stems from how predictable it felt for me in that as soon as these two characters met I knew they would be the “love interests” or if the slow burn that I usually love, especially when compared to a lot of the “insta-love” in YA was just too slow and lacked the emotional depth or intensity that I usually attribute to a enemies to lovers situation (which is usually my favourite trope). Whatever the case, it just didn’t click for me on an emotional level and the love interest was probably one of my least favourite characters.

This has been a tough book to try and review because although it’s something I personally didn’t enjoy hugely I know there are a lot of people out there who, maybe coming into this a little fresher and possibly with different expectations who would really enjoy this book and looking at all of the great reviews its had since it’s original non-UK release it is a book well loved by many, I just feel this one wasn’t for me but am still grateful to have read it none the less.

Have you read Sky in the Deep? If so how did you find it? If you’ve been reading my blog for some time you’ll know that I love a good bookish discussion!

Author, Adrienne Young has another book coming out September 3rd called, “The Girl the Sea gave back” that I will certainly be trying out after my big ole sci-fi binge coming up.

 

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Favourite Childhood Video Games

Pokemon-Red-Blue-Yellow

When I did my favourite video game post it got me thinking about how much my taste in games changed over time and the games I used to play when I was younger and then maybe grew out of so this weeks Six for Sunday post is all about some of my favourite video games I played while I was growing up.

1. Pokemon
I think my generation was the first to really grow up with Pokemon and I’ve lost count of how many games and Pokemon there actually are now. When I think of Pokemon I remember being able to name all 150 and watching the very first episode of the animated show and being confused that Ash was a boy and that I had been pronouncing Pikachu’s name wrong. I can’t even imagine the amount of hours I spent playing these games as a kid or playing the trading card game etc, it was a great time and it was one of  the first gaming experiences I’d had that involved friend and gave me something I found I had in common with others my age.

2. Warcraft 3
Warcraft 3 was the very first video game I played on the PC. My dad had downloaded it after discovering Age of Empires, which I liked watching him play (and would later lose countless hours in making up stories about Joan of Arc…) and he asked if I wanted to play it, I wasn’t sure but said yes becasue there were elves in it apparently. I started playing through the story campaign and was just totally and completley enthralled, I’d never played anything like it and I loved that it was stratgeic, you had specific goals, all the characters were voice acted and it just completley sucked me in to this new world. This was about the time my parents decided to give me time restrictions after falling asleep at the computer after trying to stay up and play later (nothing has changed, I still do this now). Warcraft 3 is a game I still love to play today and Blizzard is relaucnhing it with Warcraft 3 “Reforged” this year and I’m beyong excited.

3. Guitar Hero etc
I wasn’t too sure about putting this one but actually it fits into the favourite game when I was a kid category in much the same way as the others it’s just a fairly different kind of game. For those who may have never heard of or played guitar hero it came with a plastic guitar with coloured buttons on the frets and you had to play them in time to the song you were playing in the correct order displayed on screen, think dance mat but with your fingers on a plastic guitar. Its seriously additctive. I’m not even sure where our copy of guitar hero 3 came from but my and my little brother started playing it in the evening of one Christmas day years and  years ago, we played the “story mode” and realised we didn’t have a memory card so just decided to keep playing until we were done. If memory serves we finshed around 4 the next morning and when we finally looked away from the screen everything kept moving. I love karoke and for some weird reason at school I loved performing in any way shape or form and for me this was another version of that and I think the primary reason I learned to play bass guitar.

 4. Xena: Warrior Princess 
This was the first video game I ever completed. I am not a completionist by any means, heck I’ve never finished a Final Fantasy game and in the two years since Andromeda came out I STILL haven’t finished it so this feels like it was a pretty big thing for me. It’s one of the earliest video games I remember playing that I really got into and I loved that I could be Xena, who, along with Sailor Moon I was obsessed with. The graphics although somehow bearable then are painful to look at now and it was a little repetative but I loved every moment of it and really enjoyed the different tactics you had to use to defeat certain bosses and that it usually took a little skill instead of just button mashing to do so. I think this game might have really had a massive impact on the games I went on to play as an adult.

5. Hercules
This is another silly one that I played the life out of. I think we got a demo disc with a few levels on that me and my brother played to death before our parents brought us the full game (probably becsue they were sick of us playing the same level over and over). I ADORED the disney Hercules film (at one point I knew every single damn line) and this mostly side scroller type of game was the same story and you had to play through it. It had the same voice actors (mainly becasue all the lines were taken from the film), all the songs, clips from the film and all the level music was taken from and inspired by what was already in the film. It was such a fun game and I’ll always remember it.

6. Diablo 2
Ah another Blizzard game, I’m sure this shocks no-one. I think this was another one my Dad may have downloaded (the days of napster and limewire were hell for our poor old computer because my dad would just download ALL of the games. I did later purchase W3 and Diablo 2 legitamatley though and do not encourage pirating games in any way!) and I remember not being keen on it at first becasue it seemed too dark and gritty for me but for some reason I ended up playing it anyway and it turns out I find dungeon crawlers REALLY addictive. I liked the idea of collecting loot and then constantly updating and improving your items as you went along with the honest to gods goodness of just mashing that mouse button to death and when you really got some traction going it feels like you’re unstoppable. This game also featured a lot of things I enjoyed from other games as well as a phenomenal soundtrack, an interesting story, a degree of character customisastion (you could choose your class), fun and challenging boss mechanics AND it was insanely replayable. I was over the moon when Diablo 3 was announced and although I play that when I have a Diablo itch to scratch now I’ll always love Diablo 2.

Do you have any favourite games you can remember from when you were younger? Do you have any favourites? Do you still play any now?

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Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

I loved reading Sarah’s unpopular opinions book tag last week and decided I would try it out myself, you can check hers out here.

1. A popular book or series that you didn’t like?

The Witchlands series. I tried both Truthwitch and Windwitch but I just really couldn’t get on with them. I even tried Sightwitch and an excerpt of Bloodwitch but just had to conclude they’re just not for me.

2. A popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love?

This question seems to be a bit contradictory, if everyone seems to hate it why is it popular? The closest book I coud think of was Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian. A lot of people (understandably) complain that it’s too samey, the story as all been done before etc but then eat up more of the same. For me, yes this story was a familar one but I personally really enjoyed the way Laura writes as well as main character, Theo who really made this book different for me, I loved her attitude, her resolve and her resilience, she really made this book for me and I can’t wait for the UK release of Lady Smoke!

3. A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with OR a OTP that you don’t like?

I really am not a fan of a lot of the pairings in throne of glass. Aelin and Rowan being the big one for me. Honestly I would have preferred Aelin and Manon, or maybe Aelin, Manon AND Dorian. Maybe just no one? I get that people like this “epic romance” but all I can think of was the time he hurt and scared her so much she wet herself or when he bit her into submission when she was very VERY much not up for it. Just ew.

4. A popular book genre that you hardly reach for?

Contemporary. I know I sound like a broken record whenever I say this and I do love some contemporary books but I’m very VERY picky when choosing them and it’s very rarely that I do so.

5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like?

Chaol Westfall. I feel like Chaol may be the marmite of the fantasy world, a lot of people, like myself liked him to begin with but then severely disliked him after the way he treats Aelin when he discovers her identity (understandably). A lot of readers seemed to like him again after Tower of Dawn but it didn’t really do much for me apart from make me like him less to the point where I really could not care less for his character right now (I do still need to read Kingdom of Ash though!)

6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into?

Laura Dockrill. I’ve tried a few different books of hers such as Loreali and Big Bones but I just couldn’t get on with them and DNF’ed both.

7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing?

Kick-ass girl/woman who is suddenly helpless for almost no reason or who’s personality totally changes because of a love interest.

8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading?

The outlander books. They seemed to have had a revival in popularity with the show coming out and I understand that people enjoy them but they’ve never really held any interest for me.

9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book? 

Stardust!! The book is good don’t get me wrong but the film is absoluteley brillant and one of my favourites.

Thank you so much for checking out this tag! It’s made me really think about some the books I read and why I’ms still so determined to actually read Kingdom of Ash at some point when I dislike so many of the characters in it (I’m pretty much just in this for Dorian and Manon at this point). I won’t tag anyone in particular for this but if it seems something you would enjoy by all means go for it and let me know so I can check out your post.

Blog Tours, book reviews, spoiler free

Summer Bird Blue – Blog Tour

35716237.jpgSummer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Rating: XXXX

Published: April 4th by Ink Road

“Becasue it turns out music isn’t just keeping me alive – It’s keeping Lea alive too.”

Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying. What to eat, where to go, who to love. But one thing she is sure of she wants to spend her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea. Then Lea dies in a car accident, and Rumi is sent to live with her aunt in Hawaii. Now, miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, feeling abandoned by her mother, and the aching absence of music. With the help of the “boys next door” teenage surfer Kai, who doesn’t take anything too seriously, and old George Watanabe, who succumbed to grief years ago Rumi seeks her way back to music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish. With unflinching honesty, Summer Bird Blue explores big truths about insurmountable grief, unconditional love, and how to forgive even when it feels impossible.

After reading and falling in love with Starfish and Akemi’s writing last year I have been SO excited to read her newest book Summer Bird Blue, the story of Rumi Seto grieving for her sister and trying to navigate her feelings and learning how to live her life again. I know I always mention this, but I don’t read a lot of contemporary books and was more than happy to break out of my norm to read this. I was lucky enough to be gifted an early finished copy from the lovely people at Ink Road Books and invited to take part in the blog tour 💙

I decided as this is a blog tour post I would spice it up a little so before we get to my review I want to play a little game. In Summer Bird Blue Rumi and Lea love to write songs together so I’m going to show you how to create your own using a book!

1. Pick your favourite book OR count along your bookcase or e-reader library etc until you get to your age and pick the book you finish on. I’m going to use Summer Bird Blue.

2. Take that book and look at the blurb and note down the word of the first three sentences or close your eyes and pick three words at random. This is the title of your song. (If there is no blurb then you can use the first three chapter names or three words to describe the cover perhaps?)

3. Next use your date of birth to choose which pages you’ll use to hunt for song lyrics. You can pick any two lines from each page or the first and last. I.e for me, my birthday is 25/12/1988 so I would use pages, 25, 12, 19 and 88. (Edit: page 12 is blank so going to pick the closest one with words)

4. Write them down in any order you like, it can make as much or as little sense as you like.

5. Your song is now complete! What kind of song do you think it is? A rock ballad? A punk-pop hit? Maybe it has a country feel to it? Let me know in the comments of you try it out! You can check mine about below:

Help Grief Sister

“Happy Birthday,” I say
The only thing dark in Hawaii is me
I feel like I hate everyone
A wish is a wish after all
I’ll never be able to reach her, not really
I’m not sure I understand what any of it means
I almost forgot what this felt like – to be lost in the music
“Is she going to stop?” I ask.

Summer Bird Blue is a powerfully evocative, intensely beautiful and heartbreaking story. At its core it feels a little like a coming of age over the summer kind of story but is so much more and although I am fortunate enough to be unable to imagine anything close to the all-consuming guilt Rumi feels and therefore cannot comment much on the accuracy of those emotions I feel like there are messages throughout this book for everyone, whether they have lost someone or not. It teaches a lot about grief but also mental health, confidence in yourself and others, identity (sexuality or otherwise) and feeling comfortable in your own skin as well as being able to let yourself rely on others and being there for them in return not to mention family, the good and the bad.

Akemi has absolutely hit the nail on the head with her second novel, it’s a brilliant mix of heartbreak and hope. I cried at this book a lot and in under ten pages – this book does not pull its punches. But although I can remember each and every moment that made me cry and hurt for Rumi and her family I can remember so much happiness too. There are some fantastic, organic moments throughout the book that just make it feel so real and make you really remember the good moments in spite of the painful ones and I think it’s an amazing parallel to a great approach to life, things can be bad and painful but we can’t let ourselves forget the good too.

Every single character in this book is memorable and I love them all. Kai is the most perfect male character I think I have ever read. I’m not saying he’s perfect because he’s gorgeous and can do no wrong, he feels perfect because he is flawed and he has problems like we all do and he doesn’t always deal with them in the best ways but that is life and I love him so much. I also love Mr Watanabe, who again I love more because of his flaws, he is quite possibly my favourite character in this book and maybe in any contemporary book I’ve ever read, he is an absolute gem. I also learnt about Hawaiin pidgin which a lot of the Hawaiin characters speak, first of all, I thought it was a written as it sounds accent kind of thing but then looked into further and realised it was its own language of sorts. I stumbled over reading it to begin with but it quickly became second nature and I really loved it.

Considering a fair amount of this book, especially the first half, is rather internal it moves really well. The internal parts are often scattered with memories of Rumi and her sister which helps to break it up some and everything else just moves in such a way that it feels really balanced. I found it really hard to put this book down and read it in about two days which is pretty fast for me and the poor book suffered from spine wrinkles which from me is a sign of an enjoyed book. I feel like I’ve been on holiday to Hawaii for the past five weeks and learned some important life lessons, I think this is definitely a book I’ll revisit in the summer.

Thank you so much to Ink Road books for my gifted early copy in exchange for an honest review and for having me on today’s stop for the blog tour! I hope you’ve enjoyed this review and if you’d like to check out more stops on the tour you can find them all in the graphic below!

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#SixforSunday, Uncategorized

S4S – Favourite Video Games

Happy Sunday! I know I usually follow the Six for Sunday prompts from A Little but a Lot and after this month I will continue to do this but the prompts for this month are all based around kid lit of which I don’t think I know anywhere near enough about to write four posts on. I look forward to reading everyone else’s posts and learning more about it but for me personally this month I will be writing about Games: Video games, board games, tabletop RPG’s etc. I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and obviously I’m still a book blogger but I thought a little change would be nice for the month (at least it’s not another full week of Star Wars posts right?) So for this week and the first Sunday of the month I will be telling you about nine of my favourite video games of all time.

1. Mass Effect 2 and/or 3
I refuse to pick between these two as they are both my number one game (none of the others are in order but I couldn’t not list these first). I came to Mass Effect a little later than some, playing the second game first and then replaying all three in order once three was released. I completely fell in love with the style of storytelling and the mix of that with combat. I have never loved any other fictional characters as much as I love my crew in these games. I’m not good at a lot of things but luck would have it if you play over 400 hours of any given game you tend to not suck too bad at it…

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2. World of Warcraft
Probably no surprise but even though the current version of the game is not it’s greatest self right now I’ve had a lot of good times playing WoW, with friends in-game and out. I love the rich lore and the little details hidden all over the world. I love so many of the stories the games tell and there have been some pretty iconic moments and characters that will stay with me forever as well as the memories like doing my first run of the Icecrown Citadel and defeating the Lich King sitting at the top of the stairs in my parents house as that was the only place with a decent enough WiFi connection to keep me logged in, the time that my mum decided to play too and thought she was being attacked but actually drowned or didn’t realise that as a mage she could use spells until she was level thirty…the world seemed so big when me and my friend started playing over ten years ago and now I know every corner of it and this game will always hold a special place in my heart.

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3. Skyrim
I don’t know many gamers who have played Skyrim and not loved it. Although its a game not many people play much more now it’s mainly because we have done every single side quest possible and have actually run out of things to do in game. It’s a brilliant, open world game the likes I hadn’t really seen before. I loved spending my nights as a newly turned vampire just running around picking flowers and working through my caseload as an assassin of a shady organisation. Another game filled with fantastic memories and a lot of hours sunk into it that I would happily go back and play again and again.

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4. Animal Crossing Wild World
I love pretty much all of the Animal Crossing games but unlike with the others where I’ve liked multiple iterations of the games in the series I know that Wild World is my favourite Animal Crossing game. It features the great parts that make it an Animal Crossing game and the same key ideas but there’s just so many great little extras that I love, my favourite of which is the observatory on the second floor of the museum ran by Celeste (blathers sister) where you could create your own constellations which you would then be able to see at certain times and dates in your world. It’s also featured in let’s go to the city too but I still prefer Wild World.

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5. Diablo 2/3
This was a hard one to pick because I couldn’t decide between Diablo 2 or Warcraft 3 which are both some of the first PC games I played when I was younger and love them both dearly but I decided to go with Diablo and also include 3 as I’ve played so much of it the past five or six years (at least) that it’s been out, heck I went into labour while doing a speed run of Diablo 3 so I figured it had earned its spot on this list. I love the dungeon crawling, loot finding, demon killing, scenery smashing, button mashing goodness that are the Diablo games. I know the third isn’t popular with some and I understand why but I loved it and played it to death almost as much as Diablo 2, if not more so now. Can we have Diablo 4 already, please? (Immortal doesn’t count…)

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6. Fable 2
Although the main story in these games didn’t blow my mind as much as the Mass Effect the utter freedom in these did. I loved that depending on how you acted and how you treated others would change how they treated you, you could form relationships, have families, buy a home etc all while going about your adventures etc. The Fable games are games I could honestly just play forever because they’re so much fun and I really love the quirky art style, huge array of brilliant voice acting across the board and the soundtrack that to this day I still love and remember most of.

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I’d also like to give shout outs to Warcraft 3, Dragon Age 2, Torchlight, Portal, Bioshock and Stardew Valley that didn’t quite make the cut but came close.

Let me know what your top six favourtite games are!!