Monday, January 19, 2015

Remembering Why I Do This

Recently, I've had a plague of what I like to call "those thoughts".  Just like a cold, no-one wants them, but everyone gets them.

Those thoughts refer to those that bloggers get. The ones that drag them down, telling them their blog is rubbish and pointless and is a time-waster. I have been disconnected to the community recently, which is probably why the plague decided to strike me.

I've had homework, revision and studying shoved continually at me, and finding time to blog has been more than difficult. Although if I blogged instead of watching youtube and scrolling tumblr I would probably be a blogging machine. 

So today, to hopefully pull me away from the thoughts, I want to explain why I started blogging.
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I started Life Through Rose-Tinted SunGlasses in 2012, after my SAT "exams" had finished. It was an outlet, after seeing Cat in a magazine (and then she became my friend. It's like a bookish, blogger version of Dan and Phil). As most of you know, my best friend died in late 2010 and I was also bullied. Blogging got me through the last few months of primary school.

I didn't tell my mum till our birthday that year. We were in town and she said, "you know, you should blog," and I ended up telling her then. I have a feeling, now, that she knew, and was getting it out of me.

I loved RTSG. It was something for me; something that I could go to when I was lonely.

I decided to let RTSG go in 2013; a few weeks after starting TAW. I decided I didn't want to take on a co-blogger on RTSG; and I simply couldn't do both.

And so, TAW began. Straight away, I was accepted into a "group" of bloggers; the lovely Amber, Jack, Hawwa and Sophie. I also made friends with a bunch of other people, but these guys are notable, because when I went on holiday that August; I sat in bed on my phone, speaking to them on Twitter till 11 and 12pm.

One day on the bus, I was moaning to Tori that I needed a co-blogger, but I wanted to know them in real life. And so, TAW had a team of two - Tori posted sporadically and ranting every fortnight.

But another thing I want to share is this. Before starting RTSG, I had counseling. And I kept a "journal", not in the traditional sense, with exercises in it that I took from a book. Some days just scribbles of red pen, sometimes musings of no sense.

But the last page used in that journal says this. "I have a secret. I have a blog. It's called RTSG. I talk about what I want and people from random places have been reading it..." and so forth. I found this a few days ago, and it hit me because this was the last page I ever used in this book.

Blogging became my journal, my outlet. Who knew I would be where I am today with it.

And I want to thank anyone reading this, for that. Thank you.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Charli Reviews: The Iron Trial

Most people would do anything to get into the Magisterium and pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt.

Call has been told his whole life that he should never trust a magician. And so he tries his best to do his worst – but fails at failing.

Now he must enter the Magisterium.
It's a place that's both sensational and sinister. And Call realizes it has dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning. Call’s biggest test is still to come...


Authors: Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
Series: Magisterium #1
Publisher: Random House Children's
Date of Publication: Sept 2014
Pages: 320
Source: For review via NetGalley
Goodreads | Amazon

I received a free copy of this book from RHCP via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you RHCP and NetGalley!

When I decided to read this, I wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't particularly like The Mortal Instruments by Clare, and I've never read anything by Black. I also wanted to jump into this blind, only reading one or two reviews of it, and barely skimming the synopsis.

I did enjoy this; it was a quick read and I loved the imagery that was occasionally given, as well as Call's family history. But, in general, this book lacked substance. It was quite flat and the action wasn't amazing; it didn't really have any effect on the story. The rivalry that Call had with another character also seemed very pointless and unnecessary (although it might mean something more later in the series).

The world-building... well, it didn't really exist. It just wasn't there; and for such an awesome sounding school, I really craved some beautiful, detailed world-building. Where there was imagery it was brilliant, and I loved it, but it just didn't happen for most of the book.

Now, everyone has compared this book with Harry Potter; and, not wanting to jump on the band-wagon, per say, there are quite a few similarities. It isn't a blatant copy, but I did see some things that made me stop and go, wait, I swear I read this years ago.

I was able to immerse myself into this book, but in that way that you're not really inside the world, or the characters; which isn't what I like when I read fantasy. I like to be there, be in that place, as if I'm gazing around for the first time.

In all honesty, the first few chapters were my favourite; the tests that got them into the school in the first place.

The last issue I'll discuss was the ending; it was bland and roughly cut off, again, lacking any sort of substance or meaning to the entirety of the story.

So, overall, my experience with this book wasn't horrible, but equally, it wasn't particularly good. I don't think I'll read the rest of the series, but I think some readers would really enjoy this.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Charli Reviews: Every Day

Each morning, A wakes up in a different body. There's never any warning about who it will be, but A is used to that. Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. And that's fine - until A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply.

Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Date of Publication: September 2012 (Original publication)
Pages: 372
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads | Amazon

**Spoilers blocked out. Highlight with your mouse to see.***
 

Tori lent me Every Day last July and I never got round to it. So, once she decided she really wanted it back, I had to decide whether to mess up my reading schedule and slot it in, or give it back. Naturally… I chose reading it. What can I say, I love David Levithan books! 

So, the concept of Every Day intrigued me. When I read the first paragraph of the summary, I thought “A” had a personality disorder, but that’s not what it is. “A” wakes up in a different body every single day, with a different partner, conditions and parents. 

I loved the fact that every body he woke up in was completely diverse. He’d been in the bodies of people across the LGBT+ spectrum, blind people, obese people, people of various ethnicities. I think if it hadn’t been this diverse the plot would have been really bland. 

The plot with Rhiannon was unrealistic for me, even though it was the main plot for the book. He was only in the body of her boyfriend for a day, and yet he “fell in love with her”; and then went to meet her every day in the other bodies. 

I also had an issue with how unrealistic it was. Where did “A” originally come from? Why was he always in the same few towns, an hour away from each other? It just didn’t quite seem fathomable for me in a few different ways. 

However, I did love the concept, and the sub-plot of Nathan trying to find out the truth about him. Levithan’s writing was gorgeous as usual and each time I read one of his books I fall more in love with it. 

Every Day was generally an intriguing read. I loved seeing the diversity of the characters and how “A” coped throughout; as well as several sub-plots. Although it seems awkward to me, I did also enjoy the romance! 

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Ahh, 2014. A very interesting year. What can I say? Well. 

 LOOKING BACK...

To start with, let's look back. Now, if you've been here a while, you might remember this terrible graphic... So I've put ticks and crosses on it where appropriate to illustrate what I have and haven't achieved!


1) Read 125 books. NO... I was like 6 books ahead for all of 2014, then December struck. So I'm just off the mark by about 5 books.

2) Make more graphics! YES... I loosely did this one all year, whether it was extra post graphics, banners or little pictures. So I would say yes, though I need to get back into it.

3) Read more classics. NO... I think I read maybe 1 or 2? Hmm. Maybe that one should go back on the list.

4) More UKYA! YES!!! This is the one I'm most impressed with myself about. A lot of the books I read this year were UKYA, and most of my top 10 was made up of it, too.

5) Have confidence and contact people! YES... I have come far in this one; very happy with that.

6) Be more organised. YES... I would say so, anyway.

So they were the resolutions. Other things that happened this year were:-
  • Meeting a lot of authors! I think I met about 15 in total. 
  • YALC. One of the best days of the year! 
  • Reaching quite a few followers... I didn't expect so many ever, to be honest!

 LOOKING FORWARD...

Now, let's look forward. To the future!! I haven't made a graphic this year I'm afraid...

RESOLUTIONS...

1) Read 75 books. Yes, this is a dramatic decrease from last year, but it's y9/start of y10, so lots of lovely revision, coursework and other lovely things going on. Oh, the joy. Probably still a steep goal, but I'm presuming I'll get a lot read over the summer.

2) Read more classics. It probably won't happen, again, but hey. Let's stick it on there, and hope for the best.

3) Blog about what you want, not what others want. 

Yes, I'm only setting 3 for 2015. There is so much going on that I just want to set those and do everything else quite freely. 

In 2015 a few things are happening that I've never done before, including going to a concert and going abroad (France) so it should be a good year!

Happy new year; Tori and I will see you soon!