Weekly Recap – 23/05/16-30/05/16

What I’ve Been Reading:18335634

I finished reading Clockwork Princess (Cassandra Clare) and I think it’s safe to say that I AM A MESS. I finished it last night and had to go out for a walk afterwards just to clear my mind a bit. Honestly, that epilogue. It took me completely by surprise and I loved every word of it. It was perfect(ly heartbreaking). I barely got any sleep last night because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’m not even being coherent now writing this! I just need some time to dwell on it and really reflect about my feelings as a whole before I feel confident enough to write a well thought-out review. Right now, I just feel like this:

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But I definitely loved it and it was the perfect end to what has become one of my all time favourite trilogies.20331482

I also started reading City of Heavenly Fire (Cassandra Clare) last night. Clearly I’m in the Shadowhunter mood right now! I’ve been reading TMI for the past few years and I just need to know what happens. It’s been a long time coming and after finishing Clockwork Princess I just can’t help myself! I’m only a couple of chapters in right now but I’m really excited about the new perspective. Already this book feels quite dangerous – like literally anything could happen. So I’m going to be in a constant state of nervousness whilst reading this. I hate that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach that something bad is going to happen. But I feel ready. Ish. Bring it on!

My reading goals for this week: Obviously to finish reading City of Heavenly Fire. It’s quite huge so I’m not sure if I’ll have time to read anything else this week. We shall see!

What I’ve Been Watching:

So last week I joked about re-watching Criminal Minds right from the beginning and, you guessed it, that is exactly what I did! I don’t think I could ever get bored of this show. I’ve probably watched every episode at least 3 times each.

It’s quite weird how much I love watching crime/detective shows but I’ve never really read any crime fiction. I’ll read fantasy with these elements within them but never on its own. It’s kind of similar to how I love history and I’ll read loads of non-fiction about a certain period of time but I will very rarely read a straightforward historical fiction novel. I think I need to start branching out a bit and trying new genres to read from. Clearly I enjoy consuming crime and historical in some format so I’m sure I’ll enjoy reading fictional novels of these genres. Maybe I’ll put it as one of my reading resolutions for next year. Right now, I’m loving fantasy far too much to stop!

My watching goals for this week: Carry on watching the awesome show that is Criminal Minds. And I still haven’t seen X-Men yet! So I do need to make it a priority to go and watch that, too.

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Weekly Recap – 16/05/16-23/05/16

What I’ve Been Reading:23766623

I finished A Court of Mist and Fury (Sarah J. Maas)!! God, this book took me FOREVER to finish. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it – it was a solid four-star read for me. It’s just that it was long. And I mean looooong. Whilst I appreciated the focus on character development and world-building, I did feel as though Feyre’s inner monologue got a tad repetitive at times. I’ll talk about this in more detail when my full-length review goes up on Wednesday, so look out for that!18335634

I also started reading Clockwork Princess (Cassandra Clare) this week and I’m feeling nervous. It’s my first time reading it and I have no idea what’s going to happen but I know it’s going to be emotional because everyone talks about it in their top 5 tearjerkers 😭 So I’m taking my time reading this because I really don’t want it to end but I reckon I won’t be able to stop myself from reading it all in one go! I need to show restraint here! 😂

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I also bought a couple of books, too. Uprooted (Naomi Novik) and The Girl of Ink and Stars (Kiran Millwood Hargrave), both of which look incredibly stunning and seem like the type of stories I would just devour so I’m very happy to add these two to my TBR.

My reading goals for this week: Finish Clockwork Princess and maybe start either Scarlet (Marissa Myer) or Uprooted (Naomi Novik). We’ll see what I’m in the mood for! Might read one or two of the fairy tales from Time Lord Fairy Tales aswell – they look hilarious 😂

What I’ve Been Watching:

I’ve been keeping up-to-date with all of the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals so far this week and they’ve been awesome! I love watching BGT – it’s always something I can look forward to at this time of year. Although I don’t know if I can handle watching that sword guy again! It’s just too much for my stress levels 😂

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I also watched the Criminal Minds season 11 finale in the last week and HOLY CRAP, what an episode! The way things were left right at the last minute or so of the episode left me with my mouth hanging open. CM has never really done anything like this before and I feel like the next series will be a bit of a game changer. But it doesn’t return until September 😭 so I’ll just have to re-watch old episodes until then!

My watching goals for this week: I really want to go to see the new X-Men film! But I’m currently waiting to watch it with friends so we’re trying to work out when we’re all free. But I might have to watch it anyway on my own because I NEED TO SEE IT ASAP 😂Stark Reviews Logo

Weekly Recap – 09/05/16-16/05/16

What I’ve Been Reading:

Another week done and I still haven’t been able to read as much as I would have liked to. I’m out of my reading slump now but it was life that got in the way of my reading this time. If it’s not one, it’s always the other!

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I’m so close to finishing A Court of Mist and Fury (Sarah J. Maas) – about 100 pages left to go – and it is so so good! And I was right about Feyre becoming a strong character  over the course of the book. I feel like she’s a character I can really get behind now and cheer on. Also, the world-building in this instalment is fantastic. The histories and the lore are really nicely imagined and we get strong, vivid impressions of the Fae Courts and more detailed information of the Fae themselves. Speaking of, I’m finding this instalment to be highly character-driven (which I LOVE). I won’t go into any detail here but all of the newly-introduced characters have added so much more to the overarching story and I’m finding myself quite attached to them, too!

I’ll have a full-length review up of all my more detailed thoughts once I’ve finished reading it, but I think I can safely say that this series in no way suffers from second-book-syndrome. If you weren’t keen on the first instalment because you weren’t a fan of Feyre, I highly suggest you pick this one up anyway. I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised!

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And I’ve finally finished reading The Wolf in the Attic (Paul Kearney), a review book I requested a while back. In fact, I believe it took me well over a month to finish. I ended up giving it 2.5 stars which I’m quite disappointed by. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book with its beautiful writing and highly compelling MC, the second half was a bit of a let down. The world was very under-developed with many questions being left unanswered and the plot was pretty non-existent. So I definitely had mixed feelings about this one! You can find the rest of my thoughts here.

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I also decided to read a few fairy tales this week after my obsession with OUAT. I read a couple of Neil Gaiman ones (Hansel & Gretel and The Sleeper and the Spindle) which I both enjoyed. Particularly The Sleeper and the Spindle – I found it to be a very interesting take on two different fairy tales combined. And the illustrations for both books were simply stunning. Again, particularly The Sleeper and the Spindle.

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I also read a few fairy tale retellings from Carol Ann Duffy’s Faery Tales. I say I only read a few because I wasn’t all that impressed with the stories that I did read. I’m not sure what I expected when I picked this collection up from the library but it definitely didn’t do anything for me. It felt like I was reading a bunch of classic fairy tales but just with modernised language and I guess I wanted something a little bit more unique.

My reading goals for this week: Finish A Court of Mist and Fury and start (and possibly finish) Clockwork Princess. I think I’ll want to take my time with CP but I also think I won’t be able to resist reading all of it as quickly as possible which I shouldn’t do because I know it’s going to leave me a blubbering mess afterwards! 😭

What I’ve Been Watching:

I’ve just finished watching the Once Upon a Time season 5 finale and I’m not sure how I’m meant to survive until September without it. If you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t spoil you but there is a very interesting new character/storyline that I love watching retellings of and I’m very excited to see which direction the next series will take. The last series wasn’t my favourite – it was a pretty depressing series, really. I do miss the light-heartedness of the previous series. And the humour, too. Think everyone needs to just chill out a bit and take a holiday or something 😂

I also managed to watch The Jungle Book which was just wonderful. It’s not my favourite classic Disney animated film so I’d sort of forgotten what happens. But watching it made me very nostalgic for my childhood, especially when Mowgli and Baloo started singing The Bare Necessities! The CG was incredible, too. It was just a really lovely family film that I’d recommend to pretty much anyone.

My watching goals for this week: I’m not sure I should start any new TV series yet since I have a habit of getting a little obsessive when I find something I like 😁 So I’ll just try to catch up on a few of the series I’m currently watching.

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Weekly Recap -02/05/16-09/05/16

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I’m not too keen on doing monthly wrap-up’s anymore so I’ve decided to start posting weekly recap’s instead. This way I can incorporate other elements I’m passionate about to my wrap-up’s, too, such as the films or TV shows I’ve been enjoying that week. I’m hoping this will be a way for me to be more creative with my content and enable me to share more of my interests with you guys. So here’s my very first weekly recap!heart divider

What I’ve Been Reading:

I haven’t been able to really get my reading claws into a good book so far this month. I started reading The Winner’s Crime (Marie Rutkoski) and managed to get two chapters in before I decided I wasn’t really in the mood for it. Then I picked up Scarlet (Marissa Myer), read a few chapters and decided, again, that I really wasn’t in the mood for that one either.

And it’s so annoying! I hate when I get into a reading slump because it affects so much for me. When I’m slumping I tend not to feel up to blogging or Instagramming either and then I feel like I’ve let myself down.

But then A Court of Mist and Fury (Sarah J. Maas) came out and, although it took a few days, I’ve become completely sucked in by it! And I’m so happy that I’m back in the reading mood.

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I actually tried to buy this on its release day but when I made the journey to my local Waterstones I was, and I’m definitely not over-exaggerating here, DEVASTATED to find that there were no copies available to purchase. But I went back a couple of days after and, thankfully, they had many copies available. And not just any copies, but SIGNED COPIES WOOOP. It’s my first signed book so I’ll have to forgive Waterstones for initially disappointing me.

I’m only 100 pages in but already I can tell it’s going to be much stronger than its predecessor and much better suited to my personal tastes. Feyre is pretty broken after the events of the last book and, as a result, has become a very weak character. She’s allowing herself to be walked all over and have decisions made for her. And as annoying as she’s being right now, I can just *tell* that she is going to go through a lot of character development in this instalment. Maas isn’t one for weak female characters so I’m eagerly anticipating reading about Feyre becoming a strong, badass, independent woman.

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I’ve also been (struggling) to read The Wolf in the Attic (Paul Kearney), a review book I requested a while back. I sailed through the first half but have since then lost all interest. The plot just isn’t interesting enough and, whilst the writing is beautiful, it certainly isn’t enough to keep me glued to the pages. But it’s being released tomorrow so I need to just get on with it and READ. I’ve only got about 50 pages left so I need to finish it tonight and get the review up in time for tomorrow. Wish me luck!

My reading goals for this week: Finish The Wolf in the Attic and A Court of Mist and Fury and start reading some fairy tales or fairy tale retelling’s in order to cure my OUAT hangover.

What I’ve Been Watching:

On the plus side, however, I have been watching a lot of great stuff. Namely, Once Upon A Time. I am Chris Traeger *literally* obsessed with it. I started it the Thursday before last and am currently on episode 18 of series 5. Whoops. It’s just so compelling! And I ship everyone and it’s so painful to watch sometimes. Yes, I am talking about the agony that is the Rumbelle ship *cries of frustration* I am far too invested in their relationship. And this show. Please send help. Definitely going to have the worst hangover once I’m all up-to-date. Even thinking about it now, I’m stressing about what I will do afterwards. Probably re-watch it from the beginning. Yep, that sounds like the healthiest thing to do 😂 77209236b29e21bb6e90264a16c62f85

I also watched Captain America: Civil War this week and it was glorious. I prefer Marvel films so much more when they don’t focus on mass destruction and life-or-death situations. The emphasis on characterisation and character dynamics made for a deeply compelling watch. Obviously, we still had all the usual quick-witted humour and clever dialogue but the themes and issues the film covered brought up some interesting points of discussion and made it very relatable and intensely realistic. Definitely one of my favourites thus far. Also, how amazing was Spider Man in this?! I wasn’t too excited for a new Spider Man film but, after that performance, I honestly can’t wait to see where Marvel will take Spider Man from here.

My watching goals for this week: Obviously to catch up with OUAT (and cry when it’s over) and also to finish watching the last series of Luther and maybe go to see The Jungle Book if it’s still in cinemas.Stark Reviews Logo