A review: Frost Like Night – Sara Raasch

I am finally catching up with all the reviews I did not write whilst I took myself away from the blogosphere. My drafts are the biggest they’ve ever been as I finally have the writing bug again.
Next up on my long-list of books to review is the concluding third of the Snow Like Ashes trilogy; Frost Like Night.

I began reading this trilogy a few years ago now, picking up the first not long after its release on a whim; as it checks off a lot of check boxes of things I like in a fantasy novel;

  • leading lady
  • multiple lands centre around a specific ~something
  • mAgicAl PoWers!!!
  • weather-centric magic to boot
  • there’s so much more but this list is not the review so I’ma stop

So here we are, the last in the trilogy. I was very tentative going into it as I’ve been burned my trilogies in the past; they’ve always started so strongly, the second book is literally either astounding or appalling and the third never ever concludes it fully.

FLNMeira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic—so when the leader of a mysterious Order from Paisly offers to teach her, she jumps at the chance. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control—and make the biggest sacrifice of all.

Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels. But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the war—and protecting Meira—slips farther and farther out of reach.

Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner. But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.

As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together…or lose everything.

So let’s find out just how Frost Like Night held up!
This review, as ever, is spoiler free.

Continue reading “A review: Frost Like Night – Sara Raasch”

A review: This Savage Song – V. E Schwab

I have a confession to make, before This Savage Song, I’d never read a V. E. Schwab book. Which is all sorts of insane for a self-confessed fantasy lover. Thankfully, I can now say I’ve read at least one! (almost two, currently on Out Dark Duet).

Goodreads Synopsis

TSSThere’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

As always, this review is spoiler-free!

Continue reading “A review: This Savage Song – V. E Schwab”

YALC 2017

The end of July means only one thing, one of the most anticipated events in the UK book blogging calendar! YALC; Young Adult Literature Convention. Held alongside LFCC; London Film and Comic Con.

This was the first time I’d ever gotten to attend YALC and it was all incredibly last minute, only buying our tickets two days before the day we were due to go!
Due to work commitments, my friend and I went on the Friday; the first day of the convention so it wasn’t overly busy, which was nice. We spent so much time just perusing every stall and loading ourselves full of samplers and little goodies. Everyone running the stalls were all so approachable and lovely and seemed genuinely excited about the books. It was really easy flowing conversation.


YALC Tip #1
As a first-timer, I didn’t realise that it probably would’ve been better to plan our day out, a bit of preparation never hurt anyone. There was so much to do and see, not just within YALC but with LFCC as well. You can get a tad lost in the shuffle.
Look up beforehand which authors you’d like to meet – as some are only signing on certain days. Have a peek at what panels interest you and which workshops excite you and plan your day around these.

YALC Tip #2 
Do some shoulder workouts beforehand. Ok, I’m joking but definitely be prepared for an aching shoulder at the end of the day. I saw people hauling around mini suitcases which if you’re planning on purchasing a lot, might be something to think about.

YALC Tip #3
Be Twitter aware. Sign in to the free Wi-fi, carry a charging pack and turn on notifications from publishing houses. Those exclusive, limited ARC’s are usually announced via Twitter and it’s a first come first serve basis.

YALC Tip #4
Don’t get disappointed when you don’t get those limited ARC’s and indulge yourself looking around the stalls; almost all are handing out badges/stickers/posters/samples/sweets and these are all free! At the end of the day, YALC is about all of our love for books, and sure I would’ve enjoyed getting my hands on a couple more ARC’s but just the atmosphere itself meant my tickets price was instantly worth it.

Things to know
As much as I thoroughly enjoyed my time at YALC, and will definitely try my best to attend next year. Everything can always be improved upon, and some of the formats for ARC giveaways didn’t entirely sit right with me.
The whole run here and get your ARC, or the first to arrive and do/say something gets an ARC, makes me incredibly uncomfortable. Although I might be a person who is able I do find these somewhat exclusive as not everyone is able to do these things, for whatever personal reasons they may have. And 15-year-old Katy would definitely not run around and yell/perform as that would send chills through her at the very thought.

Otherwise, I had a genuinely wonderful, if not totally exhausting day and by the sounds of it, the entire weekend was full of excited, happy book lovers with multiple appearances of a certain Benedict Cumberbatch.

 

Did you go to YALC this year? What were your thoughts? Do you plan to go next year?

 

 

 

The July wrap-up.

July. The month I took away to re-evaluate and restart. It was very much needed and I was completely burnt-out. I couldn’t read, I couldn’t write. I was in a proper slump. It was not a fun time.
So I turned my attention to other hobbies/past-times; video games, tv shows, gym, etc. It really helped refocus my mind, and whilst I still couldn’t sit down and write, I did manage to push through my reading slump. And I really really got back into reading. Without the pressure of reviewing everything I was reading (well, mostly), I powered through a lot of books on my ever-growing TBR.
In the end, I ended up reading 7 books! My very own mini victory.

Books Read;

The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller | Hot Mess – Lucy Vine | One Of Us Is Lying – Karen McManus | The Dry – Jane Harper | This Savage Song – V. E. Schwab |
Our Dark Duet – V. E. Schwab | Wilde Like Me – Louise Pentland

My favourite of the month would definitely be Our Dark Duet; it was emotional, it was thrilling, it was heartbreaking, it was e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. I loved loved loved this duology and thought they were both written so perfectly.
My least favourite would probably be Hot Mess, although I enjoyed it, it just had some real competition! It was a fun story that I found surprisingly relatable, the lead character really resonated with me in some ways. I also love reading contemporaries set in England because I love recognising names/slang/places/brands.

Overall, it was a great month for reading as I enjoyed every single book I read. It was also quite a varied month of reading too; I enjoy mixing up the genres I read as it keeps them all quite fresh and I never get bored of a particular one.

Books To Read;

I’m not one for setting strict TBR’s. I am very much a mood reader, and I don’t often read two books of the same genre in a row, I always like to mix it up as I mentioned above.

But I do have a couple of books that I want to get to this month at least so I guess I’ll tell you about those.

Alex, Approximately – Jenn Bennett | The Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater 
Salt To The Sea – Ruta Sepetys

I have awaited Jenn Bennett’s new book for ages, as I loved loved loved Night Owls (The Anatomical Shape Of A Heart for U.S readers!). So, when this at last came into the bookshop on my last shift I knew it would be one of my last discounted purchases.

I, also, finally purchased The Dream Thieves at long last, as much as The Raven Boys wasn’t my most favourite, I did love the characters, just not the lacklustre plot, so I do really want to see how they progress, it just wasn’t at the top of purchase list.

Last month I got my hands on Between Shades of Gray, a very very lucky charity shop find, and it broke my heart. The way the author wrote just broke me and left me wanting more at the same time. Perhaps I’m just a glutton for punishment.

 

So there’s my potential TBR, but definitely not guaranteed. I make no promises, although I do plan on starting Alex, Approximately today, so that’s a start.

Back to blogging – a life anecdote.

And I’m back in the blogosphere once again! After a longer hiatus than I anticipated, to recuperate and re-evaluate, Ardent Attachments is back online.
As much as I didn’t really want to take time away, I definitely think it was what I needed; no pressures, no worrying. It was a welcome break that helped me get my brain into the right headspace.

I just want to thank you all so much for the lovely, lovely messages you left on my hiatus post. Though I haven’t responded individually (I will!!), I read them all and they really revitalised my love for both blogging and the community.
Honestly, y’all are great, I appreciate all of you.

So, it’s time to get back into the blogging game, with new features, bigger and better content, and an all around rejuvenated Ardent Attachments!

Thank you, and let’s get back to blogging, shall we?

Katy, x

 

Mars Girls – Mary Turzillo Blog Tour; guest post & giveaway!

Hello world! Today I have something new and exciting for you on my blog. My first ever feature on a blog tour, featuring a giveaway for an eArc of the book!
Today you will get to read a guest post by the author herself, Mary Turzillo.

Goodreads Synopsis

MarsGirlsCover_776xNanoannie is bored. She wants to go to clubs, wear the latest Earth fashions, and dance with nuke guys. But her life is not exciting. She lives on her family’s Pharm with her parents, little sister, and a holo-cat named Fuzzbutt. The closest she gets to clubs are on the Marsnet. And her parents are pressuring her to sign her contract over to Utopia Limited Corp before she’s even had a chance to live a litte. When Kapera—a friend from online school—shows up at her Pharm asking for help, Nanoannie is quick to jump in the roer and take off. Finally an adventure!

What Nanoannie and Kapera find at the Smythe’s Pharm is more than the girls bargained for. The hab has been trashed and there are dead bodies buried in the backyard! If that wasn’t bad enough, the girls crash the rover and Kapera gets kidnapped by Facers who claim her parents are murderers! Between Renegade Nuns, Facers, and corp geeks, Nanoannie and Kapera don’t know who to trust or where to go. Kapera only wants to find her parents so they can get to Earth Orbitals and she can be treated for her leukemia. Nanoannie wants to help her friend and experience a little bit of Mars before selling her contract to the first corp that offers to buy it.

Life isn’t easy when you’re just a couple of Mars Girls.

Continue reading “Mars Girls – Mary Turzillo Blog Tour; guest post & giveaway!”

A discussion; blogging burnout – what to do when it all gets to be too much.

Please excuse the audaciously long title, but my creative juices are running dry. Although, perhaps the title gave that away.
So, another discussion type/life post coming your way ladies and gentlemen, something that I’m going through this very moment; blogging burnout – when it all gets to be too much.
I’m sure, like me, blogging is not your number 1 priority in life. You adore it, don’t get me wrong, but you’ve probably got school/college/university work, or a job (or 2!) that’s either part-time or full-time. Then there’s all the reading you need to catch up on, your TV shows, your films, your music. You may have other hobbies and interests, besides your blog, so you have to fit that in too.
And sometimes, there’s just not enough hours in the day, and it all becomes a tad overwhelming.

That’s where I am right now, that’s my headspace. Overwhelmed, overworked, and just exceptionally tired. I love blogging, I love that this outlet is available and for the most part, free. I love that I am able to combine my passion for writing, with my passion for reading. And I definitely still can’t get over the fact that people legitimately read this blog. It blows my mind everyday. I couldn’t be more grateful that people, even somewhat, value my thoughts and find my posts on the spectrum of decent.
Yet recently, it’s felt more like a chore to blog. Perhaps I’ve simply put too much pressure on myself, which wouldn’t be surprising. But the need to put content on my blog has taken away some of my enjoyment of the act of blogging. I still get into grooves where I can get lost in the post I’m writing, but other times I’m sat staring at blank screen willing the words to appear.
I scroll through all your posts, but in reality all I want to do in curl up with my dog and binge-watch Netflix whilst eating terrible food. Although even that will lead me to worry I’m putting too much weight on and should probably join a gym and there I am, heading down a dark spiral. That dark spiral will lead me to question why I even run a blog and that I might as well delete it now and save myself the hassle. Honestly, I exhaust myself.

I always wish there was a reason for all of this but your mind can be your biggest enemy. I’m sure I’m not the only one to experience this internal struggle, the monologue that incessantly digs at you and never knows when to shut the fuck up.
So how do I get out of the whole I dig myself?

First of all, I cuddle my dog. He’s soft and warm and incredibly gentle in nature, and my favourite to snuggle with.  I’ll step away from my laptop for awhile, I’ll walk said doggo (he’s name is Barney and he’s a Spaniel mix in case you wanted to know) and tune out the world. Maybe I’ll sit downstairs with my Mum or cuddle up with my boyfriend and forget that I even run a blog for awhile. I’ll ensure I’m in a positive mental state before I even glance at my laptop. Then when I do inevitably glance that way, I’ll pick up a book. The subject that caused this all to begin. Once I remember just how much I love reading, how much passion and drive I have for writing, how much inspiration and creativity I surround myself with everyday, suddenly, that weighted feeling that comes with looking at WordPress, doesn’t feel so heavy anymore.

Inevitably, this will not be the last time this happens, but I know, I’m in such an open community, the book blogging world is courageous and understanding and I’m happy to be a part of it. I also want everyone to know that you are not alone, blogging is first and foremost, a community, one with people always willing to listen. Sometimes venting to an unbiased stranger is incredibly relieving.

And if blogging really does get too much and you need to step away. Then step away. Honestly, your blog will still be there when you get back. Even if it’s not blogging that is the cause of your negative head-space, your stress, whatever, letting go of some of your everyday pressures can do wonders.

Blogging burnout happens to all of us, it’s just writers block plus the networking and the planning and all the other activities that come as part of the package. It’s important to remember that it does happen to all of us, and it’s not that big a deal as your mind may make it out to be! Because I sure know mine makes it’s feel like such a big thing.

What are the ways you deal with blogging burnout? What are your go-to tactics to help you on your way to back to blogging? Please share away!