Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Book Review: Frostbite

Title: Frostbite 
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Series: Vampire Academy #2
Release Date: 10/03/2008
Pages: 327
Format: Paperback 
Buy: Book Depository
Author Twitter: @RichelleMead

‘Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…

It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy is crawling with Guardians – including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. Ad if hand-to-hand combat with her mother wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason has a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory. 

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…’

This is the second instalment in the Vampire Academy series and I can say that I certainly was not disappointed in it. 

After reading the first book and being hooked on it I couldn’t wait to get my hand on the second one and when I did, I finished it in about the same about of time I did the first one. Richelle Mead really started to bulk out the plot in this one. She gave us a few answers to questions that were niggling in my mind and has given us a lot more to wonder about. 

There were a few things that bothered me in the first book as to why some of the characters were acting as they did but it was all cleared up in Frostbite and it also made me understand the plot a lot more. I found in this book that Mead went to make us think that we understood everything that piece the whole puzzle together before she makes us realise there’s actually a lot more for us to figure us. Personally, I loved because it made me want to keep reading the book to see if I would find out any more or if there was going to be a lot more mysteries. There were a lot of things that were cleared up in the book with just a few things that were lingering in the back of my mind. There are a load of surprises in this book that I really wasn’t expecting and really shocked me.

Christian is still one of my favourite characters in this book and I love the way his character develops and his relationship with Rose. You can see that they’re trying not to argue because of Lissa but it’s stills trained and hilariously awkward. I wasn’t as fond of Mason in this book though, I just ahd a weird feeling about him all the way through the book but that didn’t hinder anything at all. 

Another Royal was added in this book in the form of Adrian Ivashkov and he quickly become one of those characters that I love to hate. Extremely cocky and arrogant, I hates the way he acts around Rose but you can’t help but want to get to know more about him and I hopes that he’ll make a few more appearances in the books. 

The only reason I couldn’t give this a five star was because I just felt that there was something lacking there that was in the first book. 

Rating: ★★★★1/2

Saturday, 26 April 2014

V is for: 'Viva La Vida'

So, this week we have Viva La Vida by Coldplay.

I think this was one first Coldplay songs that I listened to and then fell in love with. It’s just all the imagery I get in my head and the way it’s like a story about this man who had everything he could want and he ends up losing it. Once he loses everything no one wants to know him but he knows that there’s no point in anything.

Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments, on the song, below.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Book Review: Larby Lodge

Title: Larby Lodge
Author: Gail and Paul Gallacher
Series: The Eve Summer Sequence #1
Release Date: 31/12/13
Pages: 324
Service: Giveaway
Format: Ebook
Download: Kindle

‘2057 AD. It is 39 years since the change.  A time of great chaos and upheaval, when millions of children across the globe developed magical powers. Still, no one knows why it happened. For years a fragile place has existed. But now a divide is forming…And a 15 year old Eve Rivers is about to find herself caught up in the middle of the battle. A battle fought between those who embrace the change, and those who will do anything to stop it. A battle that will forever alter the lives of everyone Eve holds dear.’

I just want to start off with the fact that I cannot get over how much I love this book. It was amazing! I’m a huge fan of anything that includes magic and it was thrown in there with dystopia and I loved it!

Eve is a 15 year old girl who is struggling with the events that are going on in her life and you see the ways that she is trying to deal with them and how she’s just trying to find who she is whilst there are people who are basically threatening her life.

The plot to this book was amazing, though in some part it was slightly predictable. Still, I kept on reading to find out why certain things were happening and there were some things that I really didn’t have a clue about that ended up surprising me big time.

Eve’s character was someone that I really loved reading about. You could see how she was just struggling to cope with some things and how she was just trying to make the best of situations that you would hate to be in. She doesn’t always end up being able to cope though and sometimes does lash out which makes her seem that little bit more realistic because she was a character who didn’t seem like everything was okay after she’s had been shaken up quite badly. You could see these things just build up inside of her and then she ends up having to just release all of these feelings.

Larby Lodge was a place in my head that was slightly creepy but I had such a good picture of it and I loved the things that ended up happening there and the friends that Eve made there. I hated Pollyanna a.k.a. Bitch. Her character was so harsh and there were so many times she just ended up filling me with anger.

Towards the end though, things did get slightly confusing for me. I felt that there were too any things that happened a short amount of time and it was hard to keep track of it all. There were some events that really stood out and then some that seemed to confuse me and I didn’t really know what was linked to what. But that was my only real problem with the book.

On the whole Larby Lodge was a book that I loved and I cannot wait to read the second one in the series. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a dystopian book with a twist of magic in It!

Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Saturday, 19 April 2014

U is for: 'Unconditionally'

So, we’re approaching the end of the challenge and this week we have Unconditionally by Katy Perry.

I love all of Katy Perry’s slower songs, they always seem so beautifully writer and the same goes with this song. This is one song that I would really love to do with my school choir because I think the arrangement would just be beautiful.

Not a whole load to say on this song but I do love it.

Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments, on the song, below.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

WISE: Rosalind Franklin

Born on July 25th 1920, Rosalind Franklin grew up in pre-World War Two London in a well-known Jewish family; a family that was known for being quite clever and outspoken. Her parents had sent her to St. Paul’s Girls’ school, which was a private school that was known for its rigorous academics, including physics and chemistry. By the age of fifteen, Franklin knew that she wanted to be a scientist.

Franklin ended up passing her admission exams to get into the University of Cambridge in 1938; this ended up sparking a family crisis. Although her family had a tradition of public service and the want to help the welfare of the public, her father didn’t approve of her wanting to go onto further education as he didn’t agree with women going to university, and refused to pay her university fees.  In the end, it was her aunt who stepped in and said that Franklin should be allowed to go to University, and she would be the one paying for it. Franklin’s mother also took her side in this until her father at last gave in.

In 1939, the war broke out in Europe and Franklin stayed studying in university. In 1941, Rosalind graduated from university and then started to work on her doctorate in physical chemistry, which she then earned from Cambridge in 1945.

Franklin then moved to France where she learnt about X-ray diffraction techniques from Jacques Mering in the Laboratoire Central des Services Chimiques de l’Etat.  Franklin was then offered a 3-year research scholarship in King’s College, London, in 1951. She ended up not only setting up but also improving X-ray crystallography to try and solve the DNA problem at King’s University.

Whilst working in John Randall’s laboratory, Franklin crossed paths with Maurice Wilkins. They had led different research groups but both had been based on DNA. When Franklin had started research at King’s, Wilkins had not been there at the time, and when he had returned he had thought that she was a technical assistant. Their relationship had a bad start that ended up never getting any better. His mistake was surprising at the time though as university wasn’t a common thing for women. Only men were allowed to go into the university dining rooms and after-hours, Franklin’s colleagues would end up going to men-only pubs. 

This didn’t deter Franklin though and she pushed through her DNA project and J.D Bernal called her X-ray photographs “the most beautiful X-ray photographs of any substance ever taken.” Franklin came extremely close in solving the mystery to DNA in 1951-1953. She ended up being beaten to publication by Crick and Watson. At  one point, Wilkins had ended up showing Watson one of Franklin’s crystallographic portraits of DNA. When Watson saw the pictures he ended up figuring out the solution, and the results when into an article in Nature almost immediately about the structure of DNA. Wilkins and Franklin published their papers on their X-ray data in the same Nature issue.

Google celebrated Franklin's 93rd birthday
In 1953, Franklin ended up leaving Cambridge and went to the Birkbeck lab to work on the structure of tobacco mosaic virus. She ended up publishing a lot of papers on the subject and did a lot of the work whilst suffering from cancer which she ended up dying from in 1958. And in 1962, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to Wilkins, Crick and Watson for solving the structure of DNA.

A debate about the amount of credit that Franklin should get for her input still continues but what is clear is that she played an extremely meaningful role in learning the structure of DNA and that she was a scientist of the first rank.

Rosalind Franklin shows us that though you may not be the first to solve a problem, the work getting to the answer is just as important and that a lot of the time scientists aren’t given the credit they are due. Even though Franklin didn’t solve the structure of DNA, she carried on with research in different fields and carried on trying to help other parts of science. 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

T is for: 'Tiptoe'

This week’s song is Tiptoe by Imagine Dragons.

This has to be one of my favourite songs. It’s kind of eerie and just has this dark mood all the way through it. It took me a little time to actually figure out what they were saying in the chorus and I did need to go an find the lyrics online. But it’s such an amazing song and I was and still am obsessed with it. One of the ones I will always listen to while in IT.

Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments, on the song, below. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

National Poetry Writing Month

April brings along National Poetry writing month which is also known as NaPoWriMo. Now, I’ve done NaNoWriMo and I wanted to see if there was something for Poetry. I ended up finding out that WordxWord do something called 30x30. You have to write thirty poems in thirty days.

Normally when I write any kind of poetry it takes me some time and I tend to go back and edit a lot and I thought that this would be a bit of a challenge for me. So, I signed up and got my first prompt on March 31st. You can send them into the site but I ended up deciding against that in the end and just took the prompts and wrote the poems. I’m still in the midst of doing this and I’m looking forward to seeing if I can complete the challenge.

I’ve had a few prompts through and sometimes I’m taking the literal route with them, sometimes I’m just writing around the box! It just depends but I really am enjoying this and hopefully I might end up doing this next year as well.

Hopefully, after April and some editing of poems I might end up posting some of them on here. So, we shall see how that goes. I really hope that I can complete this challenge but only time will tell!

Is anyone else doing the 30/30 challenge and if so how is it going? 

Monday, 7 April 2014

S is for: 'Single Ladies'

So, this week we have Beyonce with Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).

I love Beyonce and this will always be my favourite song of hers though to am yet to master the dance. I don’t know whether it was the fact the Joe Jonas tried to re-enact the whole video or the fact that that I think that I can actually do this dance. The whole music video and choreography is just amazing.

It’s one of those songs that always pick me up and make me grin. So, all you single ladies put your hands up!

Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments, on the song, below. 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Movie Review: Divergent

Title: Divergent
Based on: Veronica Roth’s ‘Divergent’ 
Running Time: 139 minutes
Director: Neil Burger 
Writers: Evan Daugherty & Vanessa Taylor
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet 

‘In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it’s too late.’

I don’t tend to post on weekend unless there’s a post I really want to publish or it’s my music challenge but I just went to see Divergent with my sister and I needed to write a review on it for so many reasons! 

I was really looking forward to watching this film, I loved the books and after seeing book bloggers come back from the première and rave about it I couldn’t wait to see it. So, I went. And did I regret it? Not one bit! 

I get slightly worried about book to movie adaptations because I never know what they’re going to end up doing and what they’ll cut out. This was one thing that I was slightly worried about with Divergent but about a third into the movie I could see that they were trying to stick with the book as much as possible. All the big scenes that I was anticipating and hoping wouldn’t be left out were in the movie. They did real justice to the book which just made the movie ten times better. 

The acting was absolutely amazing! A huge well done to Kate Winslet who was pregnant with the whole time while filming was happening. She did an amazing job with Janine’s part and I hated her the whole time! I think Shailene Woodley and Theo James both did an amazing part with their roles. There’s a certain scene towards the end of the film that I don’t want to spoil for anyone who hasn’t read the books, where Woodley’s acting was just amazing and made me feel for Tris so much. If possible I fell in love with Fourtris even more after seeing them on screen together and it makes me want to just keep them together forever (or fourever…) 

The whole cinematography was amazing. The scenery looked gorgeous and I loved seeing the Dauntless faction. It was exactly how I was picturing it in my head. The stunts that were in the movie were amazing and just made me want to get up and do something like that! I loved the way each faction was portrayed and they was they were dressed seemed to match up with what I was thinking they would wear. The editing of the movie was stunning, I really could not fault it. 

I am a huge fan of movie soundtrack and I absolutely loved all the music that was in this movie. It’s a soundtrack that I am definitely going to end up picking up. I loved the music when they were showing the Dauntless and everything just seemed to fit together so well. The music was really well thought out and you could tell by watching. The picked the perfect parts of songs to go with the perfect parts of scenes. 

There are two scene in the movie that I loved watching. The first had to be when they’re all playing Capture the Flag. I was looking forward to this scene so much and it was just brilliant to watch and ended up being filmed so well. The second scene was when we got to see Four’s fears, yet another scene that I was looking forward to and where I just felt almost part of the scene. 

This is a movie I am more than sure I am going to watch again and buy when it comes out on DVD. It’s one of those movies that has left me completely content and I have anything negative to say about it really. I hope they make the next two movies because I don’t think I’ve had enough. Whether you’ve read the book or not, if you are a fan of dystopian get yourself to the nearest cinema because you really won’t regret watching this movie! 

Rating: ★★★

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Looking Back At: March 2014

So, this month meant me going back to school after half term which I was both happy about and slightly not looking forward to. I was looking forward to the fact that I would be more productive during the day but I wasn’t looking forward to controlled assessment deadlines coming in. As soon as I walking into my Resistant Materials class I was told that I had five weeks left until my assessment would be submitted for marking. I has gotten me to get my skates on through and I’m doing my best to make sure that I’m keeping on top of everything going on.

I’ve been throwing myself into a lot of revision and trying to make sure that I’m doing as much preparation as possible ready for May and June. That hasn’t been going to badly and I’ve been making sure I’m attending all after school revision classes which have been helping as well. So, school so far hasn’t been going too badly.

Earlier in the month my sister and I ended up signing up for the local 10K run which is slightly daunting but I’m really looking forward to. We decided that we’re going to try and run it in an hour and fifteen minutes so we’ve been going out on runs to train for that. I can say that it is helping my fitness a lot and I always feel pretty happy after going for a run.

I also finally got signed up for the eDofE. I’m doing the Duke of Edinburgh and have been training since November but we hadn’t enrolled online so that we can track all of our skill, physical, and volunteer work. So, we had a meeting where they gave us loads more paperwork and everyone has pretty much decided what they’re doing for each of the sections and the timescale for each one.

I posted up my first Women in Science and Engineering post this month and am looking forward to posting a more in the coming months. I was speaking to the head of technology in my school who said that he was more than happy to put up some of my posts on his display outside his room which made me extremely happy. The whole reason I’m doing this is to raise awareness of these amazing women and that it’s not unusual for women to go into this line of worse. So, t have him say that he wanted them up meant because hopefully people will start to realise that even though science and engineering is male dominated there are a lot of women in these two fields who have done a lot to contribute.

I’ve also done yet another training day for Duke of Edinburgh which was amazing. It was the first time that it was actually warm and wasn’t tipping down with rain which is always a nice surprise. It was a pretty short walk this time but I would have loved to walk for a little bit longer. We ended up having to draw our own maps and learning some first aid whilst we were out there. 

Book-wise, this month has been slightly slower than February but that books I’ve read or am in the midst of reading have been awesome!

I’ve finished:

  • The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
  • Soulmates by Holly Bourne
  • Larby Lodge by G & P Gallacher

And I’m currently reading:

  •  Undone by Cat Clarke

I’ve gotten 13 out of 50 books done for my 2014 reading challenge and am currently one book ahead of schedule! I’ve got a feeling that next month might be a little bit of a slow reading month since exams are going to be so close by but I shall have to wait and see!

So, what did you all get up to in March and what plans do you have for April?