Frank(er) thoughts.

7 Worthwile Singles of the Week

7 singles of the week title

iTunes Single of the Week had been running since 2004 when it quietly finished at the end of last year. To be honest, I really don’t know why they did it, considering it provided both exposure to artists and free music to listeners, but hey. To celebrate/mourn its passing, here’s a list of my favourites from the ones I’ve downloaded. (Unfortunately, my toddler self was not up to checking iTunes every week. Sorry! :P ) sinners

Sinners Lauren Aquilina

I’d admittedly already bought the Sinners EP by the time this was made free, but whatever. The awesomeness of Lauren Aquilina transcends all boundaries. Plus, in a shameless advertisement for my ship, this is totally the Chaolena theme from early Crown of Midnight. roots

Roots Orla Gartland

Orla Gartland is a sort of more pop-y, guitar-tinged Lauren Aquilina. (Here! Let me take this opportunity to direct you to their wonderful collab cover of The Chain along with Dodie Smith.) Roots is a catchy song, and if you enjoy it then I recommend checking out her new Lonely People EP, which opens with the wonderful lyrics ‘We’re too young to know what love is/Our loss’. Orla also has the best music videos. fake you out

Fake You Out twenty one pilots

I didn’t really like this to begin with, but after some more listening it’s grown on me a lot. like the morning dew

Like the Morning Dew Laura Mvula

Laura Mvula’s voice is simply beautiful. Every time I listen to this song, it just reminds me of sunshine and summer and honey and everything warm. skinny love

Skinny Love Bon Iver

I cheated a little here, since I didn’t actually get the free version at the time, but I figured it would be stupid to leave it out because of that. THE LYRICS AND EVERYTHING just ugh buzzcut season

Buzzcut Season Lorde

The instrumental line feels a little wrong to me, but if I move past that I really like this song. I mean, I know Lorde doesn’t really need the exposure now, but that doesn’t change it. It feels like a song that would play whilst everything else is muted in a movie, you know? One of them. Another is Lauren Aquilina’s Forest Fires, by the way. bath is black

Bath is Black Marika Hackman

The catchy harp arpeggio thing combined with clever lyrics make for great listening. (I mean, LOOK AT THOSE GENIUS RHYMES.) Now, because it’s really hard to pick just seven, have a couple more. ramona laughter lines kodaline after the fall lies riptide tether home off to the races closer the throw

What are your thoughts on the now-no-more Single of the Week? Are there any I’ve missed?

Poetry: Lady of the Lake

Poetry lady of the lake

So, this is my first go at prose poetry…? (If that’s what it actually is. I fail at definitions of poetry form.) I took some inspiration from the Merlin/Nimue myth, but I think that this did evolve from that into its own story. I’m happy with some parts, I think. though not all. I feel like I’m getting a little better at this editing lark. A little. Maybe.

As ever, comments & critique are much appreciated! I also have some exciting bookish things happening at the moment, but I’m sadly not allowed to talk about them yet. (I promise, I’m not just giving annoying cliffhangers. *glares at Pierce Brown* Though that wouldn’t be too far a stretch of the imagination. But I’m not, I swear! ;-) )

Lady of the Lake
i. she is volatile, mercurial. she likes to bait the sleeping bear just for the fun of it, but you look away because she’s a wild thing, too.
ii. your skin is stained with her consonants and coffee breath rhythms. her eyeliner is as much a drug as her cigarettes and all of it is addictive.
iii. when you asked for a wizard and received a witch, you didn’t realise how different they were. her contradictions are your cure, but they tell you they’re a curse. you don’t listen. you tell her everything, anyway.
iv. you sign away your heart at the altar whilst she kisses another behind the church walls. she is a fickle being, but you love her, anyway.
v. you don’t know how to calculate theorems anymore, unless it’s from the geometry of her face. her mind is filled with star birth and supernovae against your own worn torchlight.
vi. she is a broken thing, but isn’t that the way geniuses always are? she falls apart from the fault lines on her skin and you can’t seem to unravel the strings between you.
vii. you know that she is your death and your drowning, but as you surrender yourself to her lips you start to think that maybe it no longer matters.

Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR List

I apologise for the lack of posts! In short, I have a lot of projects and exams at the moment and have basically been freaking out by writing 7k of Simon Snow fanfic instead of attending to my blog, (Yay for procrastination! -_- But, yeah, it’s the first longer project I’ve done in a long time so I’m quite pleased in a way?)

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday, but HEY! I am Divergent! I cannot be predicted! I will do link-ups as I please even though it’s not in an ordered way! Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and Bookish, and this week the prompt is Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR List.

1. Fairest by Marissa Meyer

I haven’t read it yet… *sighs* It seems to be rather hard to get hold of here, but that’s not really a great excuse. I’ll be trying to read it soon.

2. Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan

It’s a freaking Will Grayson spin-off. Very excited by this. Very. It comes out today.

3. Half Wild by Sally Green

Loved Half Bad, but some reviews complain of the copious amounts Annalise present in the sequel, which worries me slightly. Annalise is rubbish. Gabriel is way more awesome.

4. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

It looks like a cool book. Cool cover. ‘Nuff said.

5. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

(May is totally still spring.) HAVE I TOLD YOU HOW EXCITED BY THIS no okay well here’s a gif to describe how I feel

dies gif


6.  The Heir by Keira Cass

The Selection isn’t one of my absolute favourites, but it was a fun read and I’m interested to see if keria Cass can get an more out of the idea. (I’m not going to lie, I felt like The One had a pretty final ending, but ah well. Still excited.)

7.  A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I want to read this one so bad. London! History! Parallel worlds! Plus, both the UK and US covers are simply gorgeous.

8. We All Looked up by Tommy Wallach

I love this cover. It’s work of genius. I don’t really know what the books is about, but I’M TOTALLY ALLOWED TO PUT THIS ON MY LIST FOR THE COVER RIGHT

9. Smart by Kim Slater

If it doesn’t get through to the Carnegie shortlist then I’ll probably read it anyway, because it looks pretty cool. Yeah. Also, I know I’ve said a lot about covers but this one is also rather pretty.

Liars, Inc.

10. Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

I’m getting strong We Were Liars plus Dangerous Girls vibes from this. Plus more cool covers. I MEAN LOOK AT IT ISN’T THAT CREEPY

So, that was basically about 300 words of me flailing about book covers. If this is now a thing, then I like it. Hopefully you’ll get updates on my fic writing and such, but I might be a bit MIA until next Tuesday, when my last project is due. I’ll see you then! If I make it out alive

(And psst, I got twitter. I’m quite liking it so far?)

More Cool Maths

Hmm. There has been quite a lot of book-related excitement recently which I was going to discuss with you, but it’s come to my attention that this Saturday is a rather important event:

It’s Pi day!

Yes, that’s a thing. It’s much more special this year, though, because take a peek at the first 10 digits:


game of life It will be the 14th day of the 3rd month (shh, it’s that strange American way of writing dates) and it will also be 2015. You could also go down to 9:26:53 on that day, but that might be getting a little too specific. let’s just appreciate the awesomeness that is π, okay? Here, have a nice interactive graphic about circles. (Or alternatively, begin memorising it to 50 digits as I have. Maybe do that after.)

Well, there was supposed to be a widget here but my coding skills failed so you’ll have to click the link instead.

Now, sometime at the end of last term our maths teacher was basically just like ‘Scrap the syllabus let’s do something cool’ and we all spent the lesson doing Conway’s Game of Life. (No, not the one with the little cars and people and passports and jobs and stuff.) It’s basically a computer program with these four rules:

  • 1. Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies, as if caused by under-population.
  • 2. Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives on to the next generation.

gospel glider gun

  • 3. Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies, as if by overcrowding.
  • 4. Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.

It’s fun to play around on the versions that are available online, but if you just want to look at the pretty gifs then here is just one of several tumblrs devoted to GoL.

See, wasn’t that some pretty maths? *swoons*
And that’s pretty much it. There are some really awesome patterns, though – including one that goes on forever, for some reason called the Gospel Glider Gun, as seen above.

The Devil Orders Takeout Blog Party

The Devil Orders Takeout - Birthday Giveaway 2015

The awesome Alyssa over at The Devil Orders Takeout is hosting a blog party! Her blog has just got a snazzy new design, too, and it’s so preeettyy…


I encourage you all to join, not only because of the inherent coolness of a bog party, but also for the free virtual cake. Everyone likes cake, right? (Gosh, this is making me hungry. I really shouldn’t have brought cake up.)

1. If you win, what book would you like?

Hmmm…either The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, because it seems like literally everyone is flailing over it, or A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab because I missed out on getting an ARC and it has so many things I love in a book: parallel worlds! Fantasy-historical setting! Also, London! (I don’t know whether I should be happy or devastated that the Fangirl collector’s edition isn’t out yet. I don’t think I could restrain myself.)

2. What would your ideal bookmark look like? (If you own it, show us a picture!)

I’m more of a dog-ear person, to be honest (I’m sorry, poor books) but I’ve always liked those dictionary bookmarks. I imagine it would be much more practical than turning on the computer just to look up the meaning of a word.

dictionary bookmark

3. What’s a book you want to read/write but have been putting off forever?

What, that one I’m writing at the moment?

awkward laugh

4. One urban myth you’ve heard about China? (Because CHINA. I’ll drop by and clear it up :D)

I don’t think I know any…? Seriously? I’m not exactly in the gossip loop. (I actually once visited, when I still lived in Japan. Well, there are some photos of a 5-year-old me on the Great Wall, anyway).

5. List your blogging inspirations.

In true Blue Peter fashion, let me point you to that handy list I made earlier at the side of the blog – >
It needs updating, though. Several of the blog names are now outdated, and I also seem to be missing Paper Fury. You can probably go and look at my Bloglovin account, too – do they show the blogs I follow? *shrugs*

Now go! Go join up the blog party! You can find the post and giveaway here (plus the pretty blog design). I hope you had a great birthday, Alyssa!



February Favourites!

Some lovely alliteration in the title there. Maybe to make up for the short month.

february favourites

1. Fanfiction (And yes, in case you’re wondering: that is the AO3 symbol.) It’s ridiculous how much fanfiction I’ve read this month: counting only the longer fics, I’ve read around 650k of words. Hell, I could have read the entire LOTR trilogy in that time. I liked seeing how basically people changed the entire world and kept only certain personality traits, relationships and names (they were basically how books but with those recurring themes?) but I’m trying to cut down a little this month.

2. Big Hero Six I went to see this in the cinema with my friend (I know, I know, it only just came out in the UK) and I actually enjoyed it a lot. I thought it got a bit superheroes v villains like an action movie at the end, but Baymax was the best and I’m glad Disney have finally got some more diversity into their films. It was based off a superhero comic, though, so I guess I can’t be too picky. (That end though!)

3. Book events The Love Hurts book launch was amazing (read more about my adventures here) and I’ve already bought tickets for another two events. (Including Sarah J Maas! *screams*)

4. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor It had been a pretty long time since I’d read the first book, but I started to get into it around half way through. The writing was beautiful, as ever, though the pacing was maybe a little slow. I’m going to be looking out for more stuff from Laini Taylor.

5. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black I adore her Curse Workers, but couldn’t really get into the Modern Faerie Tales. This was awesome, though! The love triangle was just superb <3 <3 SEVERIN THOUGH <3

mine gif

6. Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini I’m not going to lie, I saw Rowan Whitehorn in my head the entire time I was reading this. But it was still GREAT. Parallel worlds are one of the favourite things. The writing style reminded me a little of Throne of Glass? (Or maybe it was just the font and the Rowan-ness. I’m not too sure.)

Stuff from around the internet:

Bookish things that have happened:

  • You’ve probably all heard it by now, but the publication of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee was announced. There’s some controversy about it, though – Topaz Winters @ Six Impossible things wrote a post about it if you’re interested.
  • Patrick Ness revealed the cover of his new book, The Rest of Us Live Here
  • Veronica Roth announced her new duology, untitled as of yet. The first book is due out 2017.
  • Sarah J Maas announced her UK ACOTAR tour dates and I BOUGHT TICKETS *screams* *flails* My friends and I will just be the ones quietly fangirling in the back, okay?
  • Rainbow Rowell talked about writing, fanfiction and Carry On in an interview. She also speculated a prom scene. (Do we even have prom in the UK? I actually don’t know, but I want a scene regardless.)

That’s it for this monthly favourites! I’m very excited for March – not only am I attending another book event, but Studio Ghibli’s new film The Tale of Princess Kaguya is released and today it’s World Book Day! (I do have some sad news re Nimona, though, if you read my My Hero Monday Post. Part of the webcomic has now been taken down in preparation for the book release, so you can’t actually read it from start to finish anymore :-(.)

My Hero Monday: Nimona

my hero monday This month, I’m starting with something a little different – I’ve decided to participate in Chloe @ The Book Hugger’s My Hero Monday linkup! My Hero Monday celebrates female heroes in our society. This month, we had a free topic, so I decided to go with Nimona from my the webcomic Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. nimona cover


When did I first hear about her? Nimona is the protagonist of the fantasy-scifi-monkpunk-I-don’t-even-know-what-genre webcomic Nimona, which I literally cannot recommend enough. (Especially since it’s finished now, so you don’t have to go through the agony of waiting for updates.) I was introduced to Nimona by a friend around a year ago, and have been completely hooked on it ever since. It’s written and drawn by Noelle Stevenson, who also writes The Lumberjanes, contributes to Wander Over Yonder and even drew the illustrations for Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. What makes her one of my heroes? Nimona is an an awesome character for a lot of reasons.

  • Nimona is a shapeshifter. She could look like anything she wants. In a world where the media tell us that we should be skinny if we can, Nimona doesn’t – and she’s still awesome. She is still beautiful, and I think that it’s great she has started to show a greater diversity in comics and books. (In fact, the characters in the comic who most fit society’s norms are probably the guys.) And she also has the best hair, which changes colour quite frequently
  • She’s also a really strong heroine; she’s way more villainous than the supposed villain, Ballister Blackheart, who is basically just a big softie. She’s impulsive, fierce, and she doesn’t ever wait around to get saved (she does most of the saving herself). However, when I say ‘strong’ heroine, I don’t just mean kick-ass, because that’s not just what I want: I want shy heroines too, and clever heroines, and heroines who sometimes make the wrong decisions. I want well-crafted and flawed characters. Nimona has flaws, too, and I really like that she isn’t just a two-dimensional character.
nimona goldenloin

Goldenloin, who runs like an idiot.

  • There’s absolutely no romance between her and the male lead, Ballister. They have a great friendship instead! There is some romance, between Ballister and Goldenloin (yep, I promise that’s his name) but I feel like a romance between Nimona and Ballister would have been really awkward. And wrong. So I’m just glad, for once, that there’s no romance for the protagonist.
  • She’s had a dark past, but she doesn’t let that get in the way of stuff (mostly). I really admire how she overcomes things.
  • She has the best way of playing Monopoly ever:

Nimona comic, copyright Noelle Stevenson So, those are the reasons my Nimona is my hero. If you haven’t already read the webcomic, then hopefully this has persuaded you to do so! Be sure to check out Chloe’s blog, and be on the look out for more MHM posts. I really enjoyed participating, so hopefully I’ll remember to do it next month! All of the images used are credit to Noelle Stevenson.


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