Friday, 21 July 2017

The Blog Squad: Part 19

We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions. 


Do you read other commenter's responses on discussion posts before making your own comment?  

I have to confess that I don’t always do this…. Sometimes it depends on how much time I have available to visit other blogs and often it depends on the type blog post I’m commenting on - if it’s a discussion post I’m much more likely to read the comments to see what the other commenters are saying/thinking. 

I’ve often read comments on book reviews on my favourite blogs and then followed these to discover new blogs and to connect with people that may have expressed a similar opinion to mine on a book OR that made me think about it from a different point of view.

I don’t do this always but sometimes if it’s a review for a book I’ve read and loved, I enjoy seeing what others thought of it. But I think most times I read the comments on a post after I have commented. I always read the comments everyone leaves on The Blog Squad posts on Amy and Di’s blogs. It’s wonderful to see what everyone thinks of our answers! 

Sometimes through comments on others’ blogs, I’ve discovered new blogs and made new friends! For example I discovered Lindsey and Cait through Di’s blog! I love their blogs so much and I’m so glad I found them! Reading the comments on others’ blogs is a great way of getting to know many a people’s thoughts on books I love and discussions I enjoy.

Have you ever responded to a comment on someone else's blog? 

I have done this, but only once or twice, and mostly when a comment was directed at me - like on a collab post or on a combined review for example. 

I definitely wish it’s something that I did more of, especially on other people’s discussion posts - I mean, isn’t that what a discussion post is all about? Bringing up a topic that we all want to talk about? I would love it if people read the other people’s comments on my blog and started a discussion between themselves! That would be awesome. I haven’t seen it happen on very many blogs at all though - and I’m not sure if it’s considered taboo, but I don’t see why it should be.

I have mostly done that with our Blog Squad posts where the comments are actually directed at me but otherwise I don’t think I have responded to others’ comments on someone else’s blog. I would like to though, especially on discussion posts that interest me but I’m kind of scared to do so! I do hope I’ll foray into that soon because as Di says, that’s what discussion posts are all about right?

Is it okay to have an opposed/conflicting opinion with another blogger and voice this on their blog in comments?

This is a tough one, because it seems that as book bloggers we are always supposed to be seen as agreeable and amiable and definitely NOT controversial. I’ll agree that this is the BEST blogging community out there for so many reasons, not the least of which being the incredible support you get from other book bloggers, but we have to remember that we are all entitled to our opinions and differing opinions can spark the best kind of discussions - so long as everyone keeps the interaction positive.

I haven’t had any hugely conflicting opinions with any other blogger I believe except maybe about books we don’t feel the same about? But almost every blogger I’ve met has been polite about saying they don’t like a book I like. But I do believe that since we’re all humans, we DEFINITELY have different opinions than others and that’s just natural! It’s all the different opinions that makes a person and discussing different opinions is so interesting and helps us see stuff from another’s point of view. So yeah, I think it’s definitely okay to disagree with other bloggers as long as you don’t fight over it. Everyone has the right to have their own opinion.

Come check out my answers over at their collab posts!: 

 We hope you’ve enjoyed Part 18 in our series of discussion posts! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? 
If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

KONG: SKULL ISLAND (film) is poorly written and underdeveloped

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
Cast: Tom Hiddleston / Samuel L. Jackson / Brie Larson / John Goodman
Content Rating: PG 13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action, and brief strong language.
Source: Rented.

A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.

This film left me extremely disappointed. I was so excited to watch it because I love Tom and Brie and lots of action, and my heart was shattered when it didn't live up to my expectations.
I still enjoyed it, but I'm not desperate for a re-watch.

It's a fun adventure flick, with some fantastic drama in a few scenes. The colours are vibrant, the cinematography is snappy and original (there are some awesome shots), and the musical score is solid.
But the dialogue is terrible. It relies solely on clichés for its dramatic statements, and it's badly written and boring with no real intelligence or wit to it at all. There are some nice humorous moments, but they never quite get there; it's too poorly written to have drawn more than the occasional, amused smile from me.
It's shallow, but it is fun and funky all the same.

The story's badly written and riddled with cliches that spew from every aspect. The beginning of the movie, especially, is a mess of jumbled characters and locations, and there's no proper development as to the expedition and the consequences/rewards.  It's weak and unconvincing. And the plot is extremely shallow.

The action is the best thing about the movie. It's epic, huge, and the CGI is spectacular. Every scene of the towering Kong is deliciously impressive, and the fight scenes are fast and ambitious.
I loved them.

The supporting cast is solid but not outstanding, and the leads are mediocre. Samuel L. Jackson is in a typical role for him, and I thought his acting was downright bad. The classic and brilliant John Goodman is wasted, and my darling Tom Hiddleston - despite looking exceptionally hot wielding a rifle and occasionally a sword - is wooden. Brie Larson (one of my favourite actresses ever) is probably the strongest of the cast, and she's definitely the most animated and enthusiastic. But even she isn't on top form.

The "romance" is perfectly subtle, and never distracts from the real threat at hand. But the relationship between Weaver and Conrad is never properly developed, despite Tom and Brie's easy chemistry. Their romance just sort of "happens", without a proper arc and buildup. It's another wasted opportunity, although I did love the moments between Weaver and Conrad - simply because I love Tom and Brie's dynamic so much.

There's no character development. Both Conrad and Weaver have massive potential, and I loved the idea that she's a war photographer and he's a cocky tracker with a background, but there's no depth to these surface labels!  They aren't fighting any internal battles, and their motivations are solely to survive. Believable, but boring. And in the end they're just two flat cardboard cut-outs whom even the actors can't save. It's so frustrating.
However, I did love that Weaver's character wasn't just a damsel. She gets in on the action and more than once saves the day. I loved that.

Kong: Skull Island is a feast for the eyes thanks to incredible CGI and the frequent spectacle of its towering hero. But the plot and characters are weak and underdeveloped, and the acting is wooden.
A fun adventure movie, but badly written.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #42: THE LAST MAGICIAN - by Lisa Maxwell

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Breaking the Spine and now taken over by Wishful Endings that highlights upcoming book releases we're excited to read. On my blog, I include movies as well.

Published: 18th July 2017. 

Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future. In modern day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives. Esta is a talented thief, and she's been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta's training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future. But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

Okay, so I know this was published yesterday, but this is only one day off and I really really really needed to include it as one of my most anticipated reads because it looks AMAZING. 
Old New York, magicians, a girl who's a thief, dark secrets.....this looks like Passenger meets Doctor Strange


I can't wait to read this eerie beauty.  IT LOOKS INCREDIBLE. 

(And PS: I'm taking part in the blog tour in August SO DOUBLE YAY!)

Anyone else excited for The Last Magician?

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

THE CRUELTY - by Scott Bergstrom

THE CRUELTY - Scott Bergstrom
Published: 2017 - by Walker Books.
Pages: 448.
Genres: Young adult / thriller / contemporary
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

When Gwendolyn Bloom realizes that her father has been kidnapped, she has to take matters into her own hands. She traces him from New York City across the dark underbelly of Europe, taking on a new identity to survive in a world of brutal criminal masterminds. As she slowly leaves behind her schoolgirl self, she realizes that she must learn the terrifying truth about herself. To overcome the cruelty she encounters, she must also embrace it.

I buddy-read The Cruelty with the lovely Melleny from ABookTropolis. We had such fun chatting about the book, even if we were disappointed by it.
Check out her review HERE!

I was so excited to read this book. I love thrillers, and an YA thriller with a badass teenage heroine on a mission to save her father seemed absolutely perfect.
Instead, I was left disappointed and conflicted.

But I did love the writing. It's dramatic, crisp, and flows smoothly. The descriptions are incredibly detailed and vivid, and the atmosphere and visual structure of every scene is strong.
The dialogue's also good. Not brilliant, but it's taut and crackling, fits the tone, and gives many of the secondary characters a distinct voice.
The book's not cheesy or clichéd, another thing I loved. There isn't any extreme melodrama or "purely for ego" statements. I think that's rare in YA thrillers.

The story is disappointing and random. There aren't any mind-blowing twists, and there are too many random incidents that don't serve a big enough purpose in the overarching plot. It's also very hard to suspend disbelief for what happens in the story; it's written so naturally, though, that it's bearable, but if you distance yourself from the writing then the story begs questions. It almost works, but looking at it now (having finished it about four days ago) I'm left feeling shallow and highly sceptical.

The plot also drags a lot. There's so much detail, but most of those details - and even most of the incidents in the story - don't lead to bigger things. I personally think that if you're writing a thriller, you can't afford to waste time on fluff and casual "fun stuff"; you're expected to deliver on the number of details you include in the story. You can get away with it in another genre, but not in a thriller/mystery.

“I run until the blind rage has washed me clean, rid me of hope. And for the first time, on this afternoon alive with neon signs and stars, I leave my heart open to the benign indifference of the world.”

Gwendoline is a boring heroine. She starts off with promise, but she's written so emotionally disconnected from the story that it's impossible to feel for her and her father. Considering what she undertakes and what she sees, I expected to feel something for her, and if not her then the poor people she encounters. But no, the writing didn't give me anything to work with and I couldn't sympathise with her. It's utterly vapid.
But it's not just the emotional aspect (lack of one...) that makes Gwen so bland. It's her lack of personality. She has no real hobbies, no interests, and her character isn't rounded.  The most interesting person in the book is actually Marina, a prostitute Gwen meets on her journey. At least Marina comes across vivid and three-dimensional.

Another irritating thing about the book is the author's apparent obsession with body image. A number of times when a new character is introduced, his or her looks are emphasised as their defining feature. I found that meaningless. There's more to a person than looks, and frankly I care more about a person's characteristics than whether he or she is attractive.
Then there's the subject matter of the story: sex trafficking. And I don't think the author executed that well at all. It didn't come across like it had been well researched, and it felt glamorised and too "Hollywood-ish". That one scene where Gwen sees the girls imprisoned and shoved around by the men comes across romanticised; not to mention the emotional aspect isn't strong, either, so that doesn't help.
It didn't sit well with me at all.

The Cruelty is a poorly plotted, disengaged thriller with scant characterization. The writing isn't bad and I actually liked it, but the story and characters need help. And the messages coming across are certainly questionable.

Monday, 17 July 2017

RUIN AND RISING (The Grisha #3) - by Leigh Bardugo

RUIN AND RISING - Leigh Bardugo
Published: 2014 - Henry Holt and Company.
Pages: 432.
Genres: Young adult / romance / epic fantasy / magic
Source: eBook from a friend.
The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives. Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

← Shadow and Bone (the Grisha #1)
← Siege and Storm (the Grisha #2) 

I buddy read this book with the wonderful Di @ Book Reviews By Di and the awesome Uma @ Books.Bags.Burgers. We all ended up loving the book and having similar sentiments, so that made this one of the best buddy-reads we've ever had. It was awesome to fangirl and scream and rejoice and have our hearts broken together ;)
Check out Di's review HERE and Uma's review HERE!!

Uptil now, I wasn't loving the Grisha trilogy. I was finding it unremarkable, rather boring, and completely mediocre.
But this book seemed to have come from another author entirely: the real Bardugo, the genius Bardugo, the Bardugo that blew my mind with the brilliance of Six of Crows. This final book absolutely won me over.

“Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what's inside you? That's steel. It's brave and unbreakable. And it doesn't need fixing.”

“He watches her the way Harshaw watches fire. Like he’ll never have enough of her. Like he’s trying to capture what he can before she’s gone.”

Everything flies to a whole new level in Ruin and Rising. The plot's extremely unpredictable, the dialogue's rich, profound, and witty, and there are so many amazing, strong, poetic scenes that if this had been a movie I would've called it "excellent directing." I especially love the scene where Alina and all her girl friends come together on the ship and start discussing the clothes Alina's been given to wear. It's such a beautiful scene because it gives us a powerful sense of humanness and friendship; between the girls, which we haven't seen much of.

The story's fast-paced and never boring. The plot's tighter, motivations clearer, and the frequent action comes thick and sharp. Every aspect is heightened to a new level of genius, and I was desperate to keep reading.

“You are all I’ve ever wanted,” he said. “You are the whole of my heart.”

“Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay.”

“They had an ordinary life, full of ordinary things-if love can ever be called that.”

The characters improve drastically. There's some incredible character development for particularly Alina, Mal, and Genya, and fantastic friendships and relationships are formed between the huge cast of characters. I loved Alina's squad/gang, and I adored the interactions between everyone. Personalities spring vividly to the surface, and everyone just becomes so much more defined.
Alina's a truly wonderful heroine, and it's in this book that I really found myself rooting for her. She's so incredibly human, and looking back over the previous books I can now fully appreciate her amazing growth. 
I also loved the way the romance went: unpredictable, realistic, and satisfying. Mal and Alina grow so much throughout the novel, and it's wonderful to see their relationship develop as well.

I finally, finally, finally, fell in love with Nikolai. I'd remained unconvinced of his brilliance and charm until a certain point early in the book where I just couldn't resist him anymore. So fangirls, I'm afraid there's more competition. But boy does Nikolai deserve it ;)

I almost want to say skip the first two books and just read Ruin and Rising, which isn't a good plan because then you'd be totally lost. But this book is so much better than the others, in every aspect, and it's almost worth sticking through the previous books to get to this sparkling and exhilarating gem.

The 13th Doctor!! SHE IS HERE!

So I wasn't planning to post today. But last night I watched the announcement for the 13th Doctor of Doctor Who and what I saw literally left me speechless and at the same time desperate to celebrate with someone.
So here it is. 

We have a female Doctor. She is the Doctor.

I literally couldn't contain myself when I watched the video and saw who it was. I was making supper at the time but I almost burnt it because my emotions were in such a state and I just wanted to scream and dance and sing and cry. I started retweeting, gasping, smiling madly, spamming my followers' feeds with #DoctorWho13 related tweets....I was ecstatic and I wanted to cry with joy.

Then it got better. As the realisation struck that it was a she who'd be heading up the Tardis, I recognised the actress. Jodie Whittaker is to be the first female Doctor, and THAT was almost impossible to handle. I was buzzing around the house on an hysterical high.

“It feels completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be. It feels incredible."
- Jodie Whittaker 

This post isn't great, it isn't even well written. I don't want to go into a diversity or feminist rant, I just want just to share my joy with you guys and hear your thoughts.  And I'm rambling and shaking and I still can't believe it:
It's happened. We have a female Doctor. This is huge.

I stopped watching Doctor Who halfway through Eleven's run because we didn't have Netflix and I couldn't get hold of the dvds. Ten was always my favourite (David Tennant <3)  but now I hope I'll get the chance to watch the series again and see Whittaker in the role. Not only is the fact that there's a female Doctor INCREDIBLY OVERWHELMING AND EMOTIONAL AND POWERFUL (at least for me) but she's an amazing actress. I loved her in Cranford, I loved her in Broadchurch, and I cannot wait to see her knock the heck out of this role and become an inspiration for women and girls everywhere. She's already inspiring me.

I am so, so proud of Doctor Who for taking this step. And from the bottom of my heart, I hope that there will be more of this kind of progression in the future: let everyone be allowed to see themselves in the Tardis, to see themselves as a Doctor, if they want to be. I hope Whittaker's casting is the start of something big and something better. 

Here are some of the most beautiful, empowering tweets I saw following the news:

What do you think of the news? Are you as excited as me?! Don't you think Whittaker is perfect?! 

I'm aware that this post is controversial and that there are many fans who are not happy with the news, but if you are happy, COME CHAT AND REJOICE WITH ME <3

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Weekly Round-Up: Reading and Watching

It's been an excellent reading and watching week! I've watched Miss. Sloane and Kong: Skull Island (review of Kong will be up on Thursday) and finished three books as well.  Towards the end of the week I've also been writing more - not plotting, just writing random scenes for practice. And I am loving it.   

My family's also been sick this week, so I've been doing most of the cooking. Last night we got this ready mix Malva pudding pack and I was about to make it until I realised I needed jam. Well, my hunger got the best of me and I ended up making it without jam. And it worked and tasted amazing!
Just some random cooking news ;)    

Posts of the week: 

Book Review: CINDER
Book Review: THE 100
Film Review: MISS. SLOANE

I loved the first book in this series, and so far I'm enjoying this one as well :)   

Finished these three books this week as well. 

I got an amazing haul this week, and these 4 thrillers arrived by surprise! I can't wait to dive into them in August!   

Angela reviews Sisters One, Two, Three

Aneta reviews Yesterday

Greg reviews Ivory and Bone

Faith reviews When Dimple Met Rishi

Genni talks about Series She's Not Finishing

Florid Sword talks about Waiting on the Lord

Amethyst Blue reviews When Dimple Met Rishi

FearStreetZombie reviews Thirteen Reasons Why

Audrey talks Dreams and Callings

I have exciting news! In August it's my 1 year blogiversary, and as part of my celebration, I'm going to be answering questions from you guys in an upcoming post. 

So comment below with any question or questions you're interested in having me answer, and I'll feature and answer them in the blogiversary post! 

(You're welcome to ask personal questions, just not too personal please. Lol ;) 

Did you have a good week? What are you reading at the moment? Watched any awesome movies?  

Saturday, 15 July 2017

MISS. SLOANE (film) is mesmerising and gripping

Director: John Madden.
Cast: Jessica Chastain / Mark Strong / Gugu Mbatha-Raw / John Lithgow
Content Rating: R for some language and sexuality.
Source: Rented.

In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. But when taking on the most powerful opponent of her career, she finds winning may come at too high a price.

I did not have high hopes for this film. Apart from seeing a less than enthusiast critic review, I'm not a big fan of political thrillers.
So why did I watch it? Because I'm a die-hard Chastain fan. I will watch anything and everything she's in (except Zero Dark Thirty because #goreandtorture).
I watched this film with little hope. But I ended up loving it.

"Lobbying is about foresight. About anticipating your opponent's moves and devising counter measures. The winner plots one step ahead of the opposition. And plays her trump card just after they play theirs. It's about making sure you surprise them. And they don't surprise you."

The sets are gorgeous. The cinematography is excellent, and the costumes are brilliant. I seriously wish I had Sloane's wardrobe; those outfits are to die for, and they looked incredible on her. Chastain's colouring is so stunning, and everything she wears in the film - including her makeup - accentuates that. 
The dialogue crackles with wit, and is as smooth and sleek as every other aspect in the film. Sometimes it's too produced - just too sharp and unrealistic; but it is irresistible to listen to. And in a political thriller like this, I think smooth, witty dialogue should be a given anyway. 

The whole movie is strong and passionate, but the start is extremely powerful. The action begins right away, the cinematography showcases the start of Sloane's day with a seductive anticipation, and Chastain's at the forefront of it all - sleek, sexy, and leading the cast and the plot. It's perfection. 

"You crossed the line when you stopped treating people with respect, {Elizabeth}. You're smart enough to know that. You just don't care."

The story is utterly gripping. Well structured, twists right until the end, and it determinedly balances heartbreak, suspense, tragedy, and female empowerment. It's thought provoking, and despite the premise is not so much about the gun-safety issue than it is about the danger of corruption and how far it can take and cost us. I'm not political, so I usually don't follow these sorts of plots in films or books, but this film had me glued to the screen. I really made an effort to focus on the political side and take as much in as I could. 
The only thing about the film I'm unsure about is the length. I think it's a bit too long. 

The cast is terrific. Mark Strong is a reliable strength behind Chastain, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw gives a beautifully tender yet empowering performance. But without a doubt, this film is Chastain's. 

She's sensational. Stunning, terrifying, and utterly alluring. She brings Sloane's brokenness right alongside the character's capability, and I was surprised to find myself rooting for the unlikeable heroine right until the end. Yes, Sloane's corrupted - eventually - and yes she's cold and ruthless, but you have to admire her determination, intelligence, and seething tenaciousness. For a women in what was - and perhaps still is - a largely male dominated field, Sloane's an inspiration and source of empowerment. I didn't always like her methods and I didn't like her character (although I frequently felt sorry for her) but I respected and admired her for her capability and foresight. She's a flawed, broken woman and she isn't the nicest person, but she's got gumption and she knows her stuff.
But Sloane's brilliance is in no way an excuse for her faults, and although it does come close, the movie doesn't condones her rudeness, cruelty, and downright arrogant persona. Sloane's called out on those faults by the other characters - particularly Esme - and she gradually realises her mistakes and comes to regret things she's done and said. I think that's important to notice.

Sloane aside, characters like Esme and Jane are equally feministic and inspiring. A contrast to Sloane, they have somewhat quieter strengths, and I loved how those weren't overshadowed by Sloane's prowess. 

Miss. Sloane is a stellar portrayal of a woman at the top of her game and refusing to fall. It's about the cost of corruption, and is an excellent film in every aspect. Visually it's sublime, and the writing is top-notch. 
It's gripping, empowering, heartbreaking and something I will certainly watch again.

Friday, 14 July 2017

THE 100 (The 100 #1) - by Kass Morgan

THE 100 - Kass Morgan
Published: 2014 - Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Pages: 326.
Genres: Young adult / science fiction / romance / adventure
Source: Library.
No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now. Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents -- considered expendable by society -- are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life...or it could be a suicide mission. CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor's son, came to Earth for the girl he loves -- but will she ever forgive him? Reckless BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth. Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind's last hope.

I think The 100 TV series is awesome, even though I've only watched snippets of it on YouTube.  (And Bellamy is hot and adorable and I love him).
So I got the book from the library and I expected to love it too.
But I was so disappointed. And I recommend you watch the TV series and just stop there, because the book really isn't worth it.

The idea is very strong and has amazing potential. It promises action, adventure, horror, and romance - but the book never delivers. The story's a mix of present-day (the teens on Earth) and flashbacks which reveal their back stories, etc. But the flashbacks are boring, and there's little action elsewhere; believable action at least.
It's a fun, cheap read, but badly written and extremely rushed.

There's zero world-building. It's poorly thought-out (basically not thought-out at all) and loopholes abound. The world has incredible potential, but the details are vague, muddled, and random, and I still have no idea of the history and back story regarding why the kids are sent to Earth in the first place and why a number of other apparently important incidents happen as well.

The plot is laughable. The incidents supposed to move the story forward are ridiculously contrived, and most of the characters lack plausible motivations. To give you an example of the terrible story structure: the romantically involved characters are constantly having little spats over petty things just so there's some "drama" and movement in the story. It's not believable, and I kept rolling my eyes at the absurdity of it. The author seems so desperate to hold the story together that she throws in silly, petty incidents to get her characters fighting and the story progressing. But that's the problem: when the story does move, I struggle to invest in it because I can't suspend disbelief for what has happened in the previous scenes.

“That was the thing about secrets-you had to carry them with you forever, no matter what the cost.”

The characters have wonderful potential, but are squandered by unbelievable development, goody-goody motivations, and weak relationships. They've all got firm back stories, but they're poorly executed. Every one of the main characters who's been sent to Earth for a crime has a tragic back story where they're actually the hero. No one committed a crime because they're actually bad; they were all doing it for someone else or because they were tricked, so say goodbye to anti-heroes and real redemption. In other words, those teens who're sent to Earth for a crime are actually just victims. And here I was hoping for real bad guys who'd learn from their mistakes and turn around. But nope, they're all good already - just victimized by their authorities.

But on the positive side, some of the main characters (Clarke, Bellamy, Glass, and Octavia) are interesting and vivid. Clarke and Bellamy are definitely the strongest, and their characters have the potential for great things.
On another note, the romance is lame. And it's infuriatingly hot and cold.

The 100 has amazing potential, but the plot is infuriatingly contrived, the characters victimized, and the writing cheesy and rushed.

The Blog Squad: A Blogger Collaboration - Part 18

We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions. 


How long have you been blogging? Have you celebrated any milestones yet? 

I’ve actually been blogging for just over a year and I totally forgot about my blogiversary. It hasn’t helped that this year (2017) has been super manic. I managed to take off for six weeks to spend time with my little one with my family (being my folks and aunts and uncles and cousins) and we celebrated a couple of big birthdays with my cousins (a 21st and a 30th). It was amazing to spend this time with such special people in my life but it didn’t help my blogging and reading. I’ve also been incredibly busy at work, both catching up from my time away and just because we’ve been crazy busy. I’m hoping that the second half of this year will end up being a little calmer in my life and I’ll be able to carve out some more time for my hobbies.

Well I celebrated my 3 month anniversary with an entire theme change on my blog and then I promptly forgot my 6 month anniversary! But September will be my 1 year anniversary and I’m SO excited for it! I can’t believe it’s almost one year now! Feels like yesterday I was messing around with blog templates and graphics. I’ve not yet decided on how I’ll be celebrating my 1 year anniversary but I hope to do something fun!

Do you have any confessions from your ‘newbie’ blogger days? 

Probably the worst thing I’ve ever done is tag an author in a negative review… WHAT WAS I THINKING??? In my defense (although it’s not a very good one) I was just trying to do the right thing and tag all the right people! I didn’t even once stop to think (until it was too late) that the author just may not appreciate my point of view!

Hmmm...I guess when I first started, I was too caught up on the numbers. I spent so much time trying to gain followers and get more comments. I was obsessed with the view count etc etc. I also kind of got into a blogging slump at the beginning because of that! I’m so glad I got over that and started to actually blog because i loved it. I still feel very silly when I think about it. I still feel happy whenever I gain a new follower but I’m no longer obsessed with the numbers and stats.

Do you get blog envy? And what do you do about it? 

Of course I do! There’s so many amazing blogs out there it’s so easy to become envious or jealous of the gorgeous graphics, the amount of books read, the ARCs received, the amount of followers etc. etc. etc. But envy is never pretty. 

I prefer to concentrate on WHY I blog in the first place, and HOW I might be able to better myself and my OWN blog. I’ve designed my own graphics, I’ve worked and worked on my layout (and by worked I mean “changed everything until nothing makes sense or works anymore and then fiddled and tweaked and I’m STILL not happy!”) and I request the books that I want to read and promote regardless of their popularity. 

Let other blogs motivate and inspire you, but don’t ever forget to focus on yourself and your own successes.

I definitely do! Like Di said, there are so many amazing bloggers out there who have wonderful blogs! I remember being really envious of most bloggers when I first started my blog and I’m happy to say I’ve been more in control of my envy lately. There are so many inspiring bloggers we can learn from but it’s also important to focus on our own uniqueness. Ever since i started focusing more on how to make my blog “ME” I stopped getting too envious of other bloggers. I still admire other blogs for the gorgeous design or the wonderful writing but I never put myself down for I believe I too have my own unique style that stands out.

Come check out my answers over at their collab posts!: 

 We hope you’ve enjoyed Part 18 in our series of discussion posts! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. 
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