Tuesday 28 February 2017

Movie Review: The Rezort

The thing that initially drew me to it was the premise. Following a zombie apocalypse, the outbreak has been contained and the zombies are now all secure on an island. Where people can pay to go on safari and shoot them. But then something goes wrong, security goes down and the action begins. It basically sounded like Jurassic Park with zombies and I was so up for that. Much like Jurassic Park it comes with an added morality kick that you don't quite expect going in. I'm not used to morals in my horror and I expected to find it annoying here but ultimately quite liked it. A few of the quotes held a lot of resonance;

"We won the war but forgot why" and "if we can treat the dead like meat then who's to say the living won't be next" were two of my favourites.

Things I liked:
  • Melanie and Sadie - My two favourite characters. They were strong but also pacifists. But survivors. They didn't really belong on the island, each went for separate reasons but neither really wanted to kill zombies. This made them instantly more likable than the other tourists.
  • Jack - Initially in my notes as "that boy you definitely went to school with" he progressed from kind of obnoxious and loud to totally sympathetic. Some surprisingly good character development.
  • An emotional kick I didn't expect - As I mentioned, I went in expecting something awful so I was more prepared for laughs than tears. And whilst I didn't actually cry, I did scream "NOooo" at the screen more than once and found myself actually emotional about some character deaths.
  • Zombie perspective - I don't watch a lot of zombie movies, they don't tend to scare me (what with zombies being so slow) and they never have much dimension to them otherwise. So I was really glad to see the zombie perspective in this. You actually have some sympathy for them. One zombie in particular felt like a character in her own right and I was so rooting for her to get her revenge! 
  • Genuinely made me jump - I don't have much to add to this. There were jump scares. They actually got me. But I found it a fun experience and whilst my heart was definitely pounding towards the end I enjoyed it where usually horror movies just make me anxious and upset. So yay!
  • Favourite last words - This character death was sad in general but last words were "Seriously f*** this island" and I laughed. Side note; the characters in this were so freaking British and I loved it.
  • Girl bonding - Melanie and Sadie had conversations and developed a friendship and 100% passed the Bechdel test so hallelujah!!!
Things I didn't like:
  • Lewis - Seriously, screw this guy. I've never wanted a character death so much in my life. He is Melanie's boyfriend and started in my notes as "bland boyfriend" progressed to "annoying boyfriend" and then generally just devolved into swear words. (genuinely just swear words scribbled next to his name). I hated him. So. Much. 
  • The Rezort creator - I mean actually this is a like because yay for well done villain creation but also - just screw her too. She sucks. From the start she was down as "definitely a psychopath" and then the more that was revealed the more I just stand by that initial impression.
  • "30 minutes in and I want the humans to die" - This was obviously meant to mean "everyone except Melanie and Sadie" but yeah - I wanted to care more about the initial deaths. Some of the characters did grow on me and I was sad when they died - but certainly the first few were just kind of who-cares?
  • Relationship Drama - Who cares? Your boyfriend sucks Melanie, stop with the lovey-dovey at the beginning cause I hate it and then stop being so slow to recognise that LEWIS IS THE WORST.
  • Macho Drama - This, again comes back to Lewis because kudos to Archer he wasn't into starting anything, but Lewis decides an emergency situation is the time to go all "why am I not in charge I WANT TO BE THE ALPHA". Sit down Lewis. Shut up.
At around 20 minutes in I wrote "This business model doesn't even make sense? If they've contained the zombie outbreak won't they run out of zombies? This is a non-renewable resource people." So that was obviously going in the dislike section but in a surprise twist they actually addressed this (I was so excited!!) It's obviously a spoiler so it'll be between these brackets if you're curious (the Rezort took refugees and turned them INTO zombies which is super fucked up. They legit killed people, or wait - worse infected people so that their safari could continue on. Talk about the living will be next. Also - super relevant. Loved this whole twist.).

So yeah, my general takeaway was - I really enjoyed this. Way more than I even expected to! I was ready for mindless fun and instead got a surprisingly good zombie movie, with some good characters, some scares, villains I loved to hate (or hated to love to hate), my main gripe was actually answered and answered really well. And I loved the ending. So I would totally, 100% be down for a sequel. 

Also this was surprisingly fun to write so I may do more movie reviews in the future!

Rating: 8/10 (Note; the IMDB rating for this is 5.2 so possible further proof I am terrible at judging movies BUT I really recommend giving it a try)

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare), Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we are reading.

Monday 27 February 2017

Cover Characteristic: Cookie Jar

Cover Characteristic is a weekly feature hosted by Sugar & Snark. OK, so ever since I started looking for covers ALL I can do (and now all Ann can do too cause I am mean like that) is sing the Cookie Jar song. Just constantly. In my head. Out loud. We spent a good two minutes singing it from separate rooms earlier and probably drove everyone in the house crazy.

Who Put the Cookies in the Cookie Jar?Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?
Sweet Pete And the Magical Cookie JarThe Cookie Jar
Who Took The Cookie From The Cookie Jar?The Cookie Jar: Over 90 scrumptious recipes for home-baked treats from choc chip cookies and snickerdoodles to gingernuts and shortbread

And now you've probably got it in your head too. I'm so, so sorry. My favourite cover is probably The Cookie Jar by Liz Franklin if only because it kinda makes me hungry and also has NOTHING to do with school bus songs.

Also - this is our 600th post which is pretty cool! 

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading.

Sunday 26 February 2017

Sunday Post 26th February 2017

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, it's a chance to post a recap on the past week, show the books we have received and share what we plan for the coming week. Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and the aim is to show our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops or downloaded on to their e-reader. As always you can click on any of the pictures to be taken to the Goodreads page for that book if you're interested in finding out more about it.

This week I discovered that my secondary Hogwarts house (which is apparently a thing) would be Hufflepuff. Which, considering my real house is Slytherin seems like it would be hard to manage? I guess I can be cunning but also super nice? 

I also watched The Rezort this week which I ended up really enjoying and I even wrote my very first movie review which I will be posting next week!! It wound up being very different to my book reviews - but I really enjoyed writing it! Hope you'll enjoy my review because I had a lot of thoughts!

Last Week on the Blog:

Books We Got This Week:

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3)Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3)
A Darker Shade of Magic/A Gathering of Shadows/A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab: ALL I ever hear about these books is how incredible they are so the time has come for me to read them! 
Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas: An auto-buy author. I've been eagerly anticipating this ever since Marrying Winterborne last year so I know I will be reading this soon!
The Wish Granter (Ravenspire, #2)The Dragon's Price (Transference, #1)The Valiant (The Valiant, #1)
The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine: I loved The Shadow Queen, this sounds even better, I've never read a Rumpelstiltskin retelling (that I can remember) and just - I'm so excited!
The Dragon's Price by Bethany Wiggins: Dragons. I'm not sure I really need to say more but it sounds like this will have a strong female character and possibly a good romance? I'm hopeful.
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston: YES! Lesley Livingston is another auto-buy author for me but even if she wasn't - female gladiators would make this an insta-buy so...?
UndercoverThe Ways of the WorldThe Corners of the Globe (The Wide World - James Maxted, #2)The Ends of the Earth: (The Wide World - James Maxted 3)
Undercover by Danielle Steel: Total impulse buy because it was only £1. It just looks super fun and exciting and I know I'll fly through it when I get to it. Also - never read Danielle Steel before - how weird is that?
The Ways of the World/The Corners of the Globe/The Ends of the Earth by Robert Goddard: I've never read anything by Goddard before but I've been kind of in the mood for historical adventure books and this just really intrigued me so I was glad to grab these! 

Reading Update:

Caraval (Caraval, #1)Vendetta (Blood for Blood, #1)Inferno (Blood for Blood, #2)Mafiosa (Blood for Blood, #3)
Caravel by Stephanie Garber: 4 stars, I really enjoyed this book although I did have a few issues with the ending because I thought that it was all solved perfectly at the end.
Vendetta, Inferno and Mafiosa by Catherin Doyle: 5 stars, I loved all of these books and the main character was amazing! I did find it very easy to figure out what was going to happen.

Caraval (Caraval, #1)Freeks
Caraval by Stephanie Garber: 3.5 stars, I loved the world and the concept and even the characters but there were a few problematic things (especially towards the end) that dented my enjoyment a lot. 
Freeks by Amanda Hocking: 4 stars, I really, really enjoyed this. It was everything I could want in a "circus" book with supernatural elements and a frightening beast stalking them. I wish there had been less of the romance - whilst I liked it generally I wanted more focus on the action, especially towards the end. 

Next Week on the Blog:

  • Cover Characteristic: Cookie Jar
  • Movie Review: The Rezort
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Clare's February Wrap Up and March TBR
  • Friday Reads
  • Classics Wrap Up: February
  • Ann's February Wrap Up and March TBR

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading.

Saturday 25 February 2017

March Releases We're Excited For!!

March has surprisingly few releases (unless I missed loads) but the ones there are look incredible. Plus it's my birthday month! So I may have to treat myself and grab some of these? 

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)Done Dirt Cheap
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco: Diversity and necromancy and a beautiful cover?? My copy doesn't even have an estimated delivery date yet (for some reason having really bad luck with Amazon Prime lately) but I need it now please?
Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon: Girl power and apparently super good romance! I don't know a lot about this one but so many authors I love have been recommending it so - I want it! 

A Psalm for Lost GirlsThese Ruthless Deeds (These Vicious Masks, #2)Hunted
A Psalm for Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl: This one intrigues me but I am also a little hesitant about it. I think I will definitely be waiting and reading some reviews before reading it. If you've already read it - what did you think?
These Ruthless Deeds by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas: Sequel to These Vicious Masks which I really enjoyed last year! I didn't love it as much as I expected to but I am still really excited for this one!
Hunted by Meagan Spooner: Possibly my most anticipated for March?? Although that's hard to say - but a Beauty and the Beast retelling from Meagan Spooner who co-wrote the These Broken Stars trilogy just sounds incredible.

Shadow Run (Kaitan Chronicles, #1)
Shadow Run by Adrianne Strickland and Michael Miller: This is one of those that's been added to my wishlist with hardly any information. I know it's "Firefly meets Dune" and that's about it.

A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2)Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion, #1)Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)
A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi: Honestly liked, but didn't love, The Star Touched Queen. Roshani's writing was great but I didn't connect to the characters. But Gauri was a favourite of mine so I am excited for her to get her own book and this sounds more my kind of read?
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves: Been hearing really mixed reviews about this one. Some love it, some really don't - I am holding off for a while. The premise intrigued me but some of the reviews make me nervous so again - if you've already read it what are your thoughts?
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: I just, I've been waiting so long for this already. This is the main competition with Hunted for my most anticipated of March. I need it already. Also - do you prefer the UK or the US cover? I really love the US one but I keep coming back to the UK one so...? Can I just have both?

Let me know what books you are most excited for in March - especially if I missed any! 2017 is just turning out to be such an exciting book release year! 

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading 

Friday 24 February 2017

Friday Reads 24th February 2017

Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice and Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader. The idea is to share a sentence or so from the first page and the 56th page of the book you are currently reading!

The Forbidden Wish
Book Beginning:

"I sense the boy the moment he sets foot in the cave.For the first time in centuries, I stir."

Friday 56:

"With a cry she leaps into the air, plants a foot on the pole, and pushes off, vaulting through the air toward her opponent." 

I am kinda loving this so far. The writing is great, really evocative and beautiful and I want to savour it but at the same time - I want to find out what happens and rush to the ending. So I am torn. I am only a little past the 56 at the moment, which is a scene with a new character I am already kind of in love with and want to know more about but, you know, spoilers so I won't talk about it. 
I am loving the way Zahra feels like a girl but also you get the sense of all the centuries she has been alive. Romances between really old beings and humans sometimes feel weird to me because there is always such an obvious maturity gap - and whilst Zahra is clearly wiser and more mature than Aladdin she also has this hidden vulnerability that makes her feel very human. 
We also get little snippets from Zahra's past - with her last Master - and I am loving those as well. They are really interesting but tense because you already know how that story ended you just don't know how they reached that part. So yeah, feel like I'm raving a little - but I love this story.

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading 

Thursday 23 February 2017

Fairy Loot Unboxing: Emperors and Fugitives

What Was in the Box?
  • Full Size Kalusian Sunset Candle: This was made exclusively for the box by Happy Piranha and the candle was named by the author of the month. I love candles. I have a whole box of candles and I would just be so happy to receive a candle every month honestly. Plus this one smells amazing.
  • Rebel of the Sands Pouch: Made exclusively for the box by Alisse Courtier. The quote reads "The world makes things for each place" which I like but don't fully understand having never read Rebel of the Sands - although I want to!!
  • Baby Groot Guardians of the Galaxy Keychain: You can just about see him in the middle of the picture (he is so tiny and cute). I love Groot and I am super excited for Guardians of the Galaxy so this was kinda perfect!
  • Celestial Gunpowder Bath Bomb: Created exclusively for the box by Bathing Beauties. Not pictured because (me being an idiot) I put it inside the Rebel of the Sands pouch for safe keeping. But - it is cupcake scented and so lovely!
  • Illuminae Quote Coaster: Made exclusively for the box by Read At Midnight. I love Illuminae so, so much so I know this will be getting a lot of use. 
  • Space Girl Bookmark: Designed exclusively for the box by Till and Dill. Such a gorgeous, well made bookmark! As far as I know, this isn't specific to any book - just sci-fi in general and I love it.
  • Manon and Dorian Art Print: Double sided print from Throne of Glass made for the box by Taratjah. I love the art work on this one and Manon is one of my favourite characters. I haven't read the 5th book yet so I'm not sure if there is some Manon/Dorian connection I don't know about? But I kinda don't wanna know. Will be reading it when the final book comes out.
  • Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza: God I am so excited for this book. Plus it came with a signed bookplate and an author letter (which genuinely made me cry it was so lovely)! I guessed it would be this one as well (getting really good at guessing the book).

This is probably one of my favourite boxes so far. I love bath bombs, bookmarks and candles so those were always going to be a win for me and the book is one of my most anticipated of the entire year!! 

The theme for March is Myths and Monsters and I one hundred percent know what the book is (I am so excited)!! I am pretty sure they are currently sold out but more boxes may become available after subscriptions renew at the beginning of March so be sure to check it out! The cost per month is £26 plus shipping and I personally think it is so worth it! 

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading 

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Top 5 Books To Get You Out Of A Reading Slump

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly feature and you can find the goodreads group here. I often find that rereading books is one of the best ways for me to get out of a reading slump. I love to reread all of my favourite books because they make me feel better.

1) The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)
I only recently found out that this series helps me get out of reading slump and it is nice a quick to read so I can be more productive and read more!

2) City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
I love the City of Bones series and sometimes I will read a few chapters of it and it manages to bring me out of a reading slump which is always great.

3) Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
Girl Online (Girl Online, #1)

I love the girl online books and they are very quick and easy for me to read which is great because that means I have more time to read new books that I will also really enjoy.

4) Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

I think that everyone loves the Harry Potter series and that most people just enjoying reading them but for me they also help me get out of a reading slump and feel more like doing a lot of reading.

5) Magyk by Angie Sage
Magyk (Septimus Heap, #1)
This is one of my favourite book series and it also helps to bring me out of a reading slump as well which is always great.

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading.

Wednesday Catch-Up 22nd February 2017

Every Wednesday we are linking up with WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is hosted at Taking on a World of Words and asks 3 questions: What are you currently reading?, What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you'll read next?

Currently Reading:

The Forbidden Wish (The Forbidden Wish, #1)Displaced
I've just started The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury and I am so excited! I've heard some great things about it and I love retellings so I can't wait to get stuck in to this one. I am also continuing on with Displaced by Stephan Abarbanell. I really like it - it's just taking me a while to get through. But I'll get there! 

Recently Finished:

UnconventionalInferno (Blood for Blood, #2)Mafiosa (Blood for Blood, #3)Caraval (Caraval, #1)Freeks
The first book I finished this week was Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt - much as I enjoyed her first book, The Last Summer of Us, I have to say this was a huge improvement. The characters felt very real as did all their interactions and I loved the friendships and the romance. I want to read Piecekeepers - we get an extract from it at the end and I am kinda hoping Maggie Harcourt does the whole Rainbow Rowell thing and writes the book within her book. I then read Inferno and Mafiosa by Catherine Doyle. Inferno was just a quick re-read to refamiliarise myself with the story and then Mafiosa was an excellent ending. Tiny bit of a cliffhanger at the end and I would definitely love to see more of these characters! But I will be excited for whatever Catherine Doyle writes next! Caraval was well-written and I liked the world but I wanted more from the story and there were some problematic elements that threw me off. I am definitely still going to pick up the sequel. Freeks was such a pleasant surprise. I wasn't expecting to be as completely engrossed in the story as I was but it was exciting and dangerous and the characters were all so, so compelling. I need to read more by Amanda Hocking! 

Planning to Read Next:

Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1)Starfall (Starflight, #2)Empress of a Thousand Skies
Next up is Frost Blood by Elly Blake. I was a little nervous about this one because it sounds like a very typical YA and I haven't had much luck with those lately - but I've heard some great things and the romance at least sounds like something I will love. So I am keen to try it. Then I will be reading Starfall by Melissa Landers which is the sequel/companion to Starflight which I read and loved last year so I have high hopes for this. And then, finally perhaps my most anticipated of my upcoming reads; Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza. It just looks incredible and I cannot wait to read it!!

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading