RST: Music I Listen to While I Read

It’s no secret that I love reading. I think it’s pretty obvious since I run a blog that’s dedicated to books and everything related to it. Most of us have our specific things we do to get comfortable while reading. Some eat snacks, others have a drink nearby and many have music playing in the background.

I don’t always listen to music while I’m reading, it depends on the book and my mood. Oftentimes I forget my iPod at home or my phone’s battery is dead (because I’m one of those people who forgets that a phone needs to be charged in order to stay on). I don’t usually read in public because I don’t like distractions especially if it’s a book I’m really enjoying so I tend to read at home more often than not.

I used to have a reading playlist but I don’t have a specific one anymore. I found a few on 8tracks and I relied on those but I don’t always have internet so that became an unreliable option for me. The one playlist from 8tracks that I do remember was ‘He’s My Cup of Tea’ but I don’t know who made it. I made a note of the songs and I still listen to them when I’m in the mood for a chilled out vibe.

That playlist features songs like:

  • Cold Coffee by Ed Sheeran
  • Amsterdam by Imagine Dragons
  • Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
  • Please Don’t Say You Love Me by Gabrielle Aplin

….just to name a few.

As I said, my choice of reading music changes depending on my mood, the book I’m reading and the phases of the sun. It’s very rare that I read without music or any kind of background noise. I can’t read in complete silence because I feel that it’s better when I’m tuning something out. I’m not even listening to the music as I read. At times I miss three songs before I notice that I’ve been lost in the book and I love that feeling. I love knowing that I’m being pulled in and even more so when I don’t realise that it’s happening.

For my current unofficial ‘playlist’ I have:

  • On Bended Knee by Boyz II Men
  • My All by Mariah Carey
  • I Swear by All 4 One
  • Long Distance by Brandy
  • What Makes A Man by Westlife
  • Back At One by Brian McKnight
  • Make You Feel My Love by Adele
  • Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross

…of what I can remember.

As you can see I mainly stick to those old school slow jams. I need something that doesn’t have a lot of bass and songs that are familiar so I don’t get pulled in by the song instead of the book.

Sometimes I listen to The Lord of the Rings soundtrack but then I end up focusing on the music and not the story which bugs me a bit. My main reason for needing the background noise (and not a movie because there’s talking) is because I have a short attention span and with music I lose track of time, allowing me to read for longer periods of time and before I know it, the sun is rising and the people in the house are getting up for the new day.

Well, there you have it. Just a quick post going through my connection with music while reading. Hope you guys enjoyed it.

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

Advertisements

Book Review: Afflicted by Susanne Valenti

AfflictedGoodreads Synopsis

Change carries on the wind, flows through the rivers and grows in the heart of the storm. Once it is set free, nothing can stop it from spreading like poison through the Earth and all its creatures. The planet is evolving and anything that wants to remain will have to adapt. The animals are learning to fight back while the plants grow beyond control. Kaitlyn and her friends must find a way to survive while everything around them becomes stronger and stranger. They can’t trust anything they thought they knew about the world. They can’t even trust each other. Rage and violence twists its way into the hearts of the contaminated: shaping them into something new. Something which cannot feel pity, mercy or love. Kaitlyn’s heart draws her towards the one person she knows can help them but can she find him in time? Safety lies just out of reach and they must find the strength to achieve it. 

Seventy years before Maya discovered the Cage of Lies, Kaitlyn’s world is about to change forever. Afflicted is the first book in the Tainted Earth Saga, an action packed dystopian romance filled with love, uncertainty and danger on every page.


I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Afflicted is the first book in a new series by Susanne Valenti which is a continuation of universe of the Cage of Lies saga but this is the prequel. This takes place seventy years before those events so we’re really diving into the deep end and seeing how everything started.

I was over the moon to once again get the opportunity to read Susanne’s writing as she never disappoints, and that remains true even after finishing this book. She has a way of drawing you in so that you’re curious about knowing where exactly the story will lead.

I must admit that this story started out slow but I understand that since this is the first book and almost the beginning of a new world so speak, some world building needs to take place.

In the Cage of Lies series, everyone was already behind The Wall and living their good lives, but in this book, they still had to get to that point. The contamination was just starting to breakout and no one knew anything. Evolution was rushed by a few years and people as well as the animals were acting totally strange.

I liked the characters well enough but I’m not going to judge them too much as yet because there is plenty room for development. I’ve experienced this author’s amazing character development plots and I can’t wait to go through it again. I liked Lincoln a lot and I know that there’s still a lot he can tell us of the six years he was gone. Katy is a bit…predictable, but as I said, room for development.

I could sense that this was Susanne’s writing because it had the same vibe but at the same time it felt totally different from her other books and I think that’s great. There was nothing repetitive here and I believe that’s what made for an even more enjoyable read.

I can’t wait for the next book but if I must, I shall. I loved every page and the obsession to this series is real!

Read: 8 January 2018
Rating: ★★★.5

Publication Date: 15 December 2017
Publisher: Amazon
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Susanne Valenti

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

Movie/TV Show vs. Book (#32): Before I Fall

The Book

Before I Fall

Before I Fall is a 2010 young adult novel written by Lauren Oliver.[1] It is written in first-person narrative of a teenager who is forced to relive the day of her death every day for a week. In an attempt to understand why this is happening to her, as well as trying to change her fate, she takes new actions each day, some of which are out of character and surprise her family and friends.

Source: Wikipedia
Image Source: Goodreads

I had this book for a while but I decided to read it because of the movie. I was really excited to read it because Lauren Oliver is easily one of my favourite authors. I enjoy her writing style quite a bit and it didn’t disappoint in this book. The idea of people reliving the last day of their lives is not new but the fact that Sam’s number was so exact- seven days- had me intrigued.  I did like the book, even though I had problems here and there with a few things. I admit I got confused by the way people were acting but that wasn’t too big of a thing for me.

The Movie

Image result for before i fall]

Before I Fall is a 2017 American teen drama film directed by Ry Russo-Young and written by Maria Maggenti, based on the 2010 novel of same name by Lauren Oliver.


Source: Wikipedia
Image Source: Google Images

I was most eager to see the differences in the years this took place. The book was written in 2010, back when acceptance wasn’t ‘the in thing’, so I wanted to see how the story played out when it was told in 2017.

There were minor changes made in the movie and that’s understandable because the movie would be grasped better if it was more ‘modern’. All those changes were easy to ignore though once the focus was on the bigger plot. While watching the movie, I forgot that it was based on the book. Seeing everything playing out before my eyes…I nearly cried. Just how Samantha knew that last day, that’s when my heart felt like it was being pulled out of my chest. This movie was- for lack of a better word- amazing.

The Decision

I love Lauren Oliver, she’s one of my favourite authors and I loved reading this book but I’m going with the movie for this one. I feel like I connected to the movie more.

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

**Note: There’s always help out there. Suicide doesn’t have to be the end for you. As the saying  goes: it’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem. There are people you could call and maybe there’s someone relying on you, whether you’re aware of it or not.

Whoever’s reading this has probably heard the song already but I suggest you listen to 1-800-273-8255 by Logic feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid. Watch the music video, because that’s just as powerful as the song. The number is the suicide prevention hotline in the US but I urge you to find out the number of the country you are in and talk to someone.

South Africa’s suicide prevention hotline is 0800 567 567

eARC Book Review: Free by Susanne Valenti

Free: Freedom comes at a price... (Cage of Lies Book 5)Goodreads Synopsis

Alone and surrounded by the enemy, Maya doesn’t know which way to turn. In a prison built of corruption and blind faith, does the truth even stand a chance? All paths lead to this and finding a way through will be the toughest test yet. The might of the city stands against her and she must remain defiant in the face of it. Presented with challenges she never thought possible and changes she couldn’t have imagined, she will need to be stronger than ever before. The fight of her life is coming to an end but will she survive to see her dreams become reality?


I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

When I first started this book I had forgotten so much from the previous books because the wait was definitely a long one but I didn’t need to worry because with each chapter I read, the memories started coming back.

The gang is now in The City and they’re working with their contacts within the wall to get the word out that the Outside isn’t as dangerous as they were led to believe. New characters are introduced and you’d think that that’d be weird and hard to get used to so late in the game but Valenti made them blend in so easily it was as if they’d always been around. One of the people introduced is Cutter. He’s a scary dude and you’d actually be smart to stay out of his way but I actually liked his character a lot. I like what he stood for. Family is everything to this guy and he protects his own.

Naturally there were a few…setbacks in the story that of course was supposed to help the plot but I don’t think that all of them made complete sense. I feel that the beginning of the book dragged mainly because it was mostly from Maya’s POV and I was starting to get a bit annoyed with her. I can’t place my finger on what exactly irked me about her but I didn’t mind her at all when she was surrounded by others.

I certainly hope that there’s another book coming because that ending left quite an opening. There’s basically a bridge between the Outside and The City so I hope the new ‘alliance’ between the two is looked at more closely. Certain things in this book did feel a bit rushed and I felt that too much time was spent on the planning and not enough on the action and that played a part in things going haywire.

There have been further developments in both the characters and the story which is always a good thing to see and I’m definitely glad that Susanne one again did not disappoint in that department. Out of all the books in this series, this doesn’t come close to how I feel about Broken and is not my favourite but I did like it a lot.. I can’t wait to see what new ideas Susanne can produce for us.

Read: 8 October 2017
Rating: ★★★.5

Publication Date: 16 July 2017
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Susanne Valenti

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

Comic Book Review: Revival Vol.3: A Faraway Place by Tim Seeley

Revival, Vol. 3: A Faraway PlaceGoodreads Synopsis

For one day in rural central Wisconsin, the dead came back to life. Now the living and the recently returned struggle to maintain a sense of normalcy amidst political and religious conflicts. Officer Dana Cypress is hot on the trail of a man she believes may have murdered her sister Em, but Em herself is on a quest through the snowy woods to find the strange glowing creature that haunts a child.

Collects REVIVAL #12-17.


The people of Wausau, Wisconsin have gotten used to having the revivers walking around. Not all of them like it but some have decided to use these events to their advantage. A few are happy that they get to have another chance with their loved ones. Others…not so much. I reviewed volumes 1 and 2 of Revival, you can check them out here and here.

The story’s been expanded a bit more since vol.2. Turns out those glowy thingies are almost like souls that’s left the bodies and in order for these revivers to pass on and die like they were supposed to. Basically, their souls need to be reunited with their bodies.

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 4.41.05 PM

Out of all the characters, Em is still the one I’m most intrigued about. With there being so many POV’s it’s kinda hard to figure out what each person brings to the table exactly but it’s easy to tell that they’re all connected somehow. Dana seems to be caught at a crossroads because while her family is involved in what’s going on, she’s straddling the lines of right and almost wrong. She will have to choose soon. She can’t be both good cop and bad cop.

With the story being expanded even more, we’re getting deeper in and that’s opening up new doors for the plot. At the current moment, everyone’s a suspect but everyone’s also a victim. This is a messed up game of cat and mouse except no one knows who the mouse is or what he/she looks like.

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 4.38.22 PM

As I finished reading this comic, the only words that kept running through my head were: ‘The plot thickens!’ That’s exactly what happens. With every volume I read, I fall more and more in love with this story and it’ll be a sad day when it comes to an end.

There are so many things I want to know. So many questions that I have. These new players in the game…who are they and how are they involved exactly?

The writing once again was exceptional and the artwork was amazing as always. Tim and Mike haven’t disappointed me yet and I have faith that they might never do so. After finishing this volume I am so excited to start the next one.

Read: 24 June 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Publication Date: 19 February 2014
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Tim Seeley
Illustrators: Mike Norton | Mark Englert

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

Source: screenshots from the digital comic

RST: Back from Hiatus

First things first, hi all! It’s good to be back. I take way too many breaks. I’ll work on that but who’s to say something won’t come up again.

I used this break to sort out some stuff and made a few changes in my life. I went ‘back to school’, moved back home, had my eyes opened to a few things and was of course separated from my books for months. This is where I wish that teleportation was a thing because I have almost 400 books and they couldn’t come with me. We’re in the same vicinity now but I still don’t have access to them. This is the kind of suffering I have to go through in order to go after my dreams.

While on break, I read, watched movies for my Movie/TV Show vs. Book segment and thought up a few posts for RST. I hope to be a lot more diligent with my schedule this year because as lax as I’ve been with my blog, I’m all about routine and things being done a certain way. I’m also a major procrastinator so that plays a part in this situation. Of course, I can’t help those unexpected circumstances that turn up which force me to step away. I’m trying to get things scheduled months in advance so that if I do need to take a break, my blog doesn’t suffer the consequences.

I’m not changing anything, the schedule remains the same. See my schedule here.

Thank you for not deserting me during this time and I appreciate all the well wishes. It meant a lot and it was great to know that you all would still be here when I came back. These past few months were not easy and I only got through it because God was on my side and I knew I had something to come back to. My blog is my happy place so obviously I made a huge sacrifice stepping away from it. It was what had to be done though.

I couldn’t resist writing because it’s part of who I am, so I wrote and saved it to my computer all set to be scheduled when the time came. There’s a lot I had to get used to and it took some time but now that that’s all done, I’m ready to get this ball rolling again. Here’s to an amazing blogging year ahead.

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

Expected Releases for January 2018

Goodreads synopsis included.

2 January

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Amazon | Goodreads


You'll Miss Me When I'm GoneYou’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon. 

But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.

When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive.

These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving?

From debut author Rachel Lynn Solomon comes a luminous, heartbreaking tale of life, death, and the fragile bond between sisters.

Amazon | Goodreads


Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons, #2)Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2) by Marie Lu

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

Amazon | Goodreads

***

9 January

Unearthed (Unearthed, #1)

Unearthed (Unearthed #1) by Amie Kaufmen

When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study… as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. Mia and Jules’ different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.

In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race’s secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race…

Amazon | Goodreads

***

16 January

Zenith (The Androma Saga, #1)

Zenith (The Andromeda Saga #1) by Lindsay Cummings & Sasha Alsberg

Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness, a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her glass starship, Marauder, however, she’s just Andi, their friend and fearless leader.

But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder’s all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situation and at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi’s past.

Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their shipor just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only certainty is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

Amazon | Goodreads


Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga, #4)Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga #4) by Pierce Brown

They call him father, liberator, warlord, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the pale blue planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-second of his life.

A decade ago, Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk everything he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?

And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever: 

A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.

An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.

And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

Red Rising was the story of the end of one universe, and Iron Goldis the story of the creation of a new one. Witness the beginning of a stunning new saga of tragedy and triumph from masterly New York Times bestselling author Pierce Brown.

Amazon | Goodreads

***

23 January

Reign of the FallenReign of the Fallen (Reign of the Fallen #1) by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

Amazon | Goodreads

***

30 January

Still Me (Me Before You #3)

Still Me (Me Before You #3) by Jojo Moyes

From the sensational #1 New York Times bestselling author Jojo Moyes, a new book featuring her iconic heroine of Me Before Youand After You, Louisa Clark

Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She is thrown into the world of the superrich Gopniks: Leonard and his much younger second wife, Agnes, and a never-ending array of household staff and hangers-on. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her job and New York life within this privileged world. 

Before she knows what’s happening, Lou is mixing in New York high society, where she meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. In Still Me, as Lou tries to keep the two sides of her world together, she finds herself carrying secrets–not all her own–that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?

Amazon | Goodreads


Wires and Nerve, Volume 2: Gone RogueWires and Nerve Vol.2: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer

Iko – an audacious android and best friend to the Lunar Queen Cinder – has been tasked with hunting down Alpha Lysander Steele, the leader of a rogue band of bioengineered wolf-soldiers who threaten to undo the tenuous peace agreement between Earth and Luna. Unless Cinder can reverse the mutations that were forced on them years before, Steele and his soldiers plan to satisfy their monstrous appetites with a massacre of the innocent people of Earth.

And to show he’s serious, Steele is taking hostages.

Cinder and Kai, Scarlet and Wolf, Cress and Thorne, and Winter and Jacin all feature in this epic new battle. But it is Iko who must face her deepest fears when she uncovers the truth about her own unusual programming.

Amazon | Goodreads


The Hazel WoodThe Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads Listopia for upcoming August releases:

 

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad