Book Review (Blog Tour) – The Bit in Between by Claire Varley


The bit in Between

*I received a copy of this book from Pan Macmillan Australia in exchange for an honest review.

The bit in between is the story of Oliver and Alison. Oliver is a writer who meets Alison at an airport via rather unfortunate but comical circumstances. It isn’t long before he falls in love with her and they travel together to the Solomon Islands in search for inspiration for his new novel. However some strange things take place as he writes his novel…

The really cool thing about the book is how the stories of not only the main characters but also side characters are told. Through out the book we briefly meet many characters and whilst in most novels we would never know anything more about them, in the bit in between we get a brief backstory of each. These range from sad to inspirational. I loved this concept and found each story to be very impacting and beautiful.  There is a quote in the book about this which I adore.  Oliver continued to look at life through the eyes of the minor characters and realised that essentially the world was just a complex web created by the backstories of several billion intersecting lives. 

The characters can be frustrating at times, but I didn’t mind this. It made them feel like real people. I liked that the author doesn’t side to one character being right all the time. Each character has flaws but these flaws create a deeper and more enjoyable story. I found myself growing very attached to the characters very fast. The emotions I felt throughout the entire novel were always linked to the characters. I felt like I almost knew them in person. There are so many different tones throughout the novel and many happy moments along with devastating ones. Allison was a great character who I thought made the most of her time in the Solomon Islands. She was able to achieve great things that actually impacted the world around her. Oliver was an interesting character, who I didn’t generally agree with however he was essential not only for the plot but for creating a variety of personalities. The minor characters are incredibly well written, again adding to the variety of personalities and opinions in the novel.

The actual plot of the novel is very intriguing and weird. Overall I loved the story and how the life in the Solomon Islands was. Yet my one problem with the book is around this very odd thing that starts happening. No spoilers but this “plot twist” seemed unnecessary and out of place. This “magical” element makes it seem somewhat unrealistic.  It frustrated me particularly when it started to affect the characters. However this was minor considering how much I enjoyed the other aspects of the novel.

This is a great book with humor, tragedy, romance, everything. Despite my disagreement of aspects of the plot I still really enjoyed the book and gave it 4/5.

Weekly Wrap Up #2 – Books, Games, Anime, Youtube


Weekly Wrap up #2

Well so funnily enough this has almost become a monthly wrap up considering how long it has taken me to make another wrap up. Still getting the hang of getting back into blogging obviously :P Oh well hopefully I will get back into the swing of things soon. Quick update about what to expect in the next week. I actually do have things planned! So on Sunday (or like 3 days from now depending on time zones) I will be posting a review for the blog tour of The Bit in Between by Claire Varley. Also hopefully I will get out a YouTube spotlight sometime soonish.. I’m planning on reviewing my lack of upload schedule because I found it generally made me a lot more organised when posting.

Moving on..


Recently I finished “The Leopard” By Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

the leopard

This book is so beautifully written. Its about the unification of Italy and how Don Fabrizio and his family adapt to the changing political state.  I don’t really know how to describe this book except that it is truly wonderful to read. It is very dense and each page has so much meaning that you could just reread it 100 times and find something new in it. I really loved this book and would recommend it for its writing and subtle humor. Additionally the insights into Don Fabrizio are both interesting and thought provoking.I gave it 5/5 stars

Northanger Abbey By Jane Austen

northanger abbey

I have read two of Jane Austen’s other novels and I found Northanger Abby the most humorous of all of them. Catherine Morland is trying to figure where she fits in society. With her head full of thoughts of books and stories she is quite naive and ignorance to the real world. I actually enjoyed this book. I found the degree of Catherine’s ignorance more comical then annoying. I found myself quite attached to her as a character. When she wouldn’t see what was clearly happening around her I would say “oh Catherine”. I think attachment to a character is really important in a good book. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.


I did start Brothers – A tale of two sons. Haven’t played much of it yet but what I have played I have enjoyed a lot. I like the whole concept and the art is really pretty in the game. Also I have been playing Elder Scrolls: Oblivion.  My first elder scrolls game and I’m loving it so much.


I’m hoping to have an anime catch up session this weekend because I’m way behind on all the new summer shows. Sadly I did have to cancel my crunchy roll membership because trying to cut costs. So I will be one week behind on most shows even when I do catch up.

I’m excited about catching up on Rokka – Braves of the six flowers.  I watched the first episode when it first came out and it was fairly interesting so I want to see where the series goes.

Additionally I might catch up on Classroom Crisis and Aoharu x Machinegun. Which I had begun last time I did a weekly wrap up. Which you can see here.

I also started watching an older anime for the first time called Kare Kano. It is so bizarre but good so far. It’s basically about a girl who acts as the model student at school but really just likes the attention. Then there is a guy who comes and beats her in the exam. She gets annoyed wants revenge. They end up being friends. This all happens in the first two episodes. I really like how each episode is jammed pack full of so much story. Watching this I was like “wow its happening so fast!” Can’t wait to see where the story goes.


Not much new on the youtube side of things. One of the smaller channels I really enjoy, has come back after a hiatus which is exciting. If you enjoy sims and other lets play videos go check out SierraGames28.

Weekly Wrap Up #1 – Books, Games, Anime, YouTube


Weekly Wrap Up #1

So this is a new idea I have been considering for a while. In these weekly wraps I am going to be talking about what I have reading/playing/watching and what I plan to read/play/watch in the coming week. So let’s see how this goes :)


This week I read two books. I am actually really happy about this because I have been in a massive reading slump all year. Actually I took a break from the internet, reading and pretty much everything at the beginning of this year. This wasn’t ideal but it has allowed me to come back and rediscover my love for reading which has been awesome.

The first book I read was 1984 by George Orwell


I thought this was an absolutely brilliant book! I gave it 5/5. It’s about an oppressive government that attempts to completely control their citizens. This really makes you think about how governments can control the way people think. Additionally it made me reflect on how much language enables free thought. In the novel the government is trying to introduce a new language called Newspeak and the whole purpose of it is to restrict vocabulary. This is a classic novel but I still found it incredibly interesting today.

The second book I read was The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne


This book presents a nine year old’s boy experience with the holocaust and a friendship he forms with a jewish boy. His father is a commandant and they move to live outside a concentration camp. The author presents this through Bruno (the nine year old boy) eyes and my main problem with this was how ignorant he seemed of the situation around him. I feel as if he was nine he would have a bit more of an understanding of what is happening around him. Besides this it is a very impacting and emotional story. I gave it 3/5 stars.

In this coming week I hope to be able to read The Maze Runner by James Dashner because I really want to be able to watch the movie. I have heard mixed things about it but I am still interested. Also I plan on reading Leaving before the Rain by Alexandra Fuller. I actually reviewed her first book Don’t Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight here.


Lately I have been playing alot of the Sims 2 and I recently got Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. I have forgotten how much I enjoy the sims 2. I recently had to reinstall it and I played it without any custom content for the first time in ages. I was surprised how much I still enjoyed the game despite the reduced content. I spent way too many hours just playing through my sims life. Then when i took a break I copied my custom content folder in… That was a mistake because soon I spent too many hours looking at all my custom content again.

Talking about custom content. I may have played half an hour of oblivion only to realize that after you get out of the first stage you can’t change your characters hair again. Then I may have spent 3 hours looking through custom content for oblvion. It was bad.. But now my character has pretty hair! I really hope to get more into the gameplay this coming week. I only just got out of the first stage in the end and I can’t wait to get more into the story and see the world. I have never played an elder scrolls game before and so this is pretty exciting for me!


The summer season of anime has just begun and I am so excited about it. I have tried two of the new series Classroom Crisis and Aoharu x Machinegun. Besides that I also watched the latest episode of Baby Steps which was so adorable just saying. However no spoilers.

Classroom crisis seems like it is going to be an interesting series. It’s set in space and there is a class of really smart students who build spaceships… I don’t know. It didn’t really interest me that much until the last like 5 minutes. Let’s just say there is a character who I think will be really funny. I will probably keep watching this for a few more episodes.

Aoharu x Machinegun was so funny. It feels like ouran high school host club crossed with an action anime. I really enjoyed the first episode of this anime and can’t wait to continue it next week.

In the coming week I hope to try some of the other new anime that has come out. I don’t really have any ideas about what in particular I want to watch but if you guys have any suggestions let me know :)


I am just going to say i have discovered the co optional podcast. It’s amazing.

YouTube Spotlight: Primo Trev and Ohitsmandi



Primo Trev

Screenshot (126)

Primo Trev is a gaming channel that started earlier this year in March. He generally plays casual games posting videos twice a week. His game series normally continue for roughly a month. One thing that I have noticed when watching his videos is that he generally gives himself some type of goal to accomplish within the game, for example getting to a leader board, beating a high score etc. I like this because it gives him a bit more structure to his videos which i find other gaming YouTubers sometimes lack. I really like the channel because it is very casual in nature and I feel like I can go and watch the videos either when they are released or a couple of days after. A problem I sometimes find is there are certain channels where you get left behind with all the content. These channels play games that require the backstory and post multiple videos a day making it almost impossible to keep up. Primo Trev however produces quality material in just the right amount of quantity. Combine this with fun games and a guy who genuinely seems to really enjoy making video, you have a great gaming channel.

Check him out here:


Screenshot (127)

Ohitsmandi is another booktube channel which I really like to watch the videos that are posted. Mandi makes tag videos mainly related to reading and books, in addition to reading wrap ups, Top 5 Wednesdays (originally created by GingerReadsLainey) and more recently “things I love” section. There are a few different reasons of why I really like this channel. . She reads a lot of YA books and I personally am a big fan of that genre so I am really interested in the books she talks about. Her “things I love” section where she talks about her favorite music, tv shows etc that she discovered in the month. I really like the way these videos are done and is overall my favorite videos she posts.

Check her out here:

Book Review: Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse by Jack Flacco



Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse starts where you would expect it to. In a zombie apocalypse. This entire novel follows Ranger Martin and his team of three teenagers and one younger boy as they try to survive in and help a world now over run with these “zombies”. Throughout the book there is fighting, action, mystery, a bit of romance and characters each with individual backstories and a surprising amount of depth.

The first thing I want to address is the writing. Jack Flacco has very descriptive writing which I really liked. The whole time when reading this book I could really visualize the scenes. It almost seems like a movie when you are reading this, a couple of moments in the book I couldn’t help but think this is such a movie moment. The fighting scenes contain a bit of gore (not too extreme but some descriptions did make me squirm) and had a good fast pace to it. This sections didn’t drag on too much and their was always interesting new plot developments scattered among the fighting. I think the whole book was paced pretty well, it takes a while to get into it however in the end the last quarter of the book goes by so fast you will not believe you finished it.  The only criticism i have concerning the writing and structure is that sometimes the transitions between characters viewpoints were very unclear and abrupt. I noticed this particularly in the final sections of the book where I would get lost with which character’s the book was talking about. However this was fairly minor and didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book very much.

The plot of this book originally seemed a bit unoriginal to me, however once I started reading there is a lot of unexpected turns. There is one really weird but interesting plot element that is introduced in this book however is yet to really be expanded upon. This book also goes into the backstories of the characters which I really enjoyed. Again there is room for more detail in future novels but the fact that these characters have a history makes them a lot more real to me. There is a lot of intriguing little mysteries scattered throughout the novel and not a lot of them are solved in this first novel. I understand this is to leave room for future novels but personally I would have preferred a bit more of a satisfying conclusion. We also see a bit of romance in this book, which is something I would have preferred not to be included. I find romance in dystopian like novels frustrating at times. Saying this I think the author did a good job of balancing these moments, they didn’t drag on and were overall rather sweet.

I really liked the “quieter” moments of the novel when they weren’t focusing on fighting. There were calmer moments but still were really enjoyable to read. Humor is scattered throughout the dialogue and these lighten up the more serious of scenes. However these scenes were well picked and I never thought the humor was out of place considering the intensity of the scene. I think this was an excellent way to keep the book a bit more light and enjoyable.

As mentioned previously the characters have a lot of depth to them. I particularly liked the character of Jon, who was the youngest of the group and we really see him mature throughout the novel. There is a definite shift when you compare him in the beginning to the end. This seems very realistic considering the circumstances he had to go through. Overall the characters were very well rounded, and there was good distinguishable traits to each of them.

Overall I really did like this book and gave it 4/5. The only real problem I had was with the unsatisfying conclusion and the abrupt nature of some of the transitions between scenes. I definitely think I will read the sequel sometime in the future.

Update: Back to blogging + plans for 2015


So basically I haven’t updated for weeks because I have been travelling.

I came back from my summer holiday and recently started school again.
I get really affected by travel in general, I hate flying and get extremely sick on flights. I takes me a while to recover fully and regain interest in doing anything. I also did not read anything around that time because I either have anxiety to the flight or am trying to get over it.

So as a quick update I decided I might talk about what I have been reading/watching/playing lately and what I plan to do with my blog during 2015.

So recently I have been reading Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse by Jack Flacco. I am just past the half way mark and am enjoying it a lot. I did have a bit of fear at the beginning that it may be a bit cliche, however once the story progresses there are a lot of moments where I was genuinely surprised. I am interested to see where it goes.

I have been watching quite a bit of YouTube lately. In particular gaming videos and am really enjoying a couple of newly discovered channels. I will hopefully get a youtube spotlight out soon where I can talk about them a bit more in depth.

As for games I bought Book of Unwritten tales: The critter chronicles. Which I am working my way through, so far it isn’t quite as good as the original but still very enjoyable. I have also been playing a lot of sims 4 (though when am i not playing alot of the sims?)

As for this coming year on my blog. I will probably only be posting once a week. My schedule is becoming much more busy and I don’t want to add extra stress. I will continue book reviews and youtube spotlights. I may do some movie reviews and possibly anime reviews and/or first impressions. I haven’t really decided whether to continue with game reviews. I may just do them once every month or two. or possibly just drop them all together.

Thanks for all the support you have given me since I started my blog last year.

Book Review: How to succeed in Hollywood without really acting by Peter Skagen



*I received a review copy of this from

Since I have been reviewing more and more books it has lead me to pick up books I normally wouldn’t. Truthfully when picking up this book the title sort of turned me off. I didn’t know what to expect, I wasn’t expecting quality. However this book surprised me. It is a resource all about what to expect in the film industry including how to get through auditions, how to look at the script and what to do on set. I personally am not interested in having a career in the film industry but I do a lot of theatre so I picked this up to learn about another forms of acting.

 This book describes in detail about all the processes involved when trying to get a role in a movie. It explains common mistakes newbies make and how to look like a pro. Some of the tips can also be used in theatre acting, in particular when it talks about the auditions. Everything stated makes perfect sense and if you plan to go into acting you will want a highlighter ready so you can note all of the great points. Even though acting is a leisure activity for me I found myself using the highlight system on my kindle more then I have ever before.

The chapter about the story really dives into how to analyze a script, which was really interesting to read about. Undoubtedly my favourite part of the book was the real life stories that the author told. He has been in the business as both an actor and director so you are able to see a unique view. He balances out how the actor and how the director feels in every scenario. His enthusiasm for film just jumps of the page, making it a enjoyable to read.

The only thing that I think could have been improved is that sometimes he repeats his points a bit too much. I understand he is trying to get it across but as I was highlighting I found it tiresome to be told something again and again when I could see it in my notes.  Also sometimes it is a bit long-winded to get to his point.

Overall a fun read and I would recommend for someone who is interested in the film industry. I gave it 3.75/5

Book Review: Starting to frame: A Memoir by Roger Gordon



*I received a review copy of this from in exchange for a honest review.

Starting to frame is the memoir of Roger Gordon a retired scientist. This memoir doesn’t focus very much on his academic career, more on what led up to his move to Canada from England. It focuses particularly on the time of his childhood through to finishing his university degree. The author depicts how his parents and ultimately is family are split apart. He discusses mental health issues that his parents both suffered and gives the reader a real look into what it is like to grow up upon it.

There are a range of memories that are recalled in this book, both good and bad. These memories are written done with specifics and clarity, I can imagine each scene. When reading memoirs I normally focus on the life story and what moments the author chose to add, not caring to much about the writing. I can’t just ignore the writing in this book because it is outstanding. From the Sheffield expression (which could have easily become way to confusing for a foreigner despite the glossary at the back) to the description of the house it all flows together without dragging on or being too abrupt.

This book balances out the distressing events with funny and happy ones. While I did cry a couple of times, the memoir didn’t become so depressing that I didn’t want to read the ending. Something that I thought was a great touch is that not only do you find out what was happening in the author’s life but he also talks about what was happening in England at the time. For me as someone who has little knowledge of any of England’s issues in the second half of the 1900’s this was really cool. Additionally getting a glimpse into life in England, the social ideals and even the technology was very enjoyable.

This memoir goes into mental health as something a lot of his family had trouble with. This book made me much more aware of these issues. During his time at home he had to deal with a sometimes unstable mother. His stories ring true for a lot of people in this world and it really makes you recognize the issue that it is. The author himself has to deal with some mental health issues himself. All the events surrounding these issues are told with a very real look upon it. The author also recalls how his family spread apart, taking sides with either his mother or father. It’s sad how people that were once so close, never talked to each other again. Despite all the hardships the author faced he was able to turn his life around and now has a stable family. He had to deal with all of his home issues while at high school and university. It was through persistence that he was able to achieve and change his life.

I think the way he turns his life around is one of the most incredible things about the book. I can talk about the writing and what he chose to include but ultimately he lived through all of this and pushed through. By the end of the book he doesn’t hate his family that put him through such hard circumstances, he forgives them. Roger Gordon is an inspiration and his story is one that you need to read. Not only does his memoir bring awareness to mental health issues but it is inspirational.

I gave it 5/5 and it is the best memoir I have ever read.

My Favourite Games I Played This Year (PC Games)


So originally I was going to do a list of the top 10 games I played for the first time this year. However when I was thinking about it, I did play a lot of games for the first time however I also enjoyed a lot of games that I got last year and played more this year. So basically I have a top 6 of games that I haven’t played at all before this year and a top 4 for games that I have gotten previously but really enjoyed this year. I am just going to write a sentence or two saying what i want to say. This list is based on the games I have played most and overall enjoyed the most (some may have their flaws but I really enjoyed it. So I may have given the game a 7/10 in review but since then have still enjoyed it despite its flaws)

Top 4 games that I played more this year then I had previously (in want of a better way to phrase this)

Game Dev Tycoon

game dev

Developer: Green heart games

My Review:

The satisfaction of making a best seller game on this game makes me love it. One of the best feelings is when you find that perfect combination of the different game elements.

Game Dev Tycoon is a business simulation video game that was released on December 10, 2012.[2] In the game, the player creates and publishes video games. [from]

Guild Wars 2

guild wars 2

Developer: ArenaNet

One of my first experiences with an mmo and have loved it so far. This game really brings out the completionist in me, I am always going around trying to get the vista’s and 100% complete areas. I like just enjoying the scenery and relaxing when playing it. It helps me unwind.

Guild Wars 2 is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by ArenaNet and published by NCsoft. Set in the fantasyworld of Tyria, the game follows the re-emergence of Destiny’s Edge, a disbanded guild dedicated to fighting the Elder Dragons, aLovecraftian species that has seized control of Tyria in the time since the original Guild Wars. The game takes place in a persistent world with a story that progresses in instanced environments. [from]

Super Meat Boy


Developer: Team Meat

My Review:

Really fun platformer with just the right amount of difficulty and frustration.

Super Meat Boy is an independent video game designed by Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes and developed by Team Meat. The gameplay is characterized by fine control and split-second timing as the player runs and jumps through over 300 hazardous levels while avoiding obstacles. Additional player-created levels are available for free download.[From]

Book of Unwritten Tales

book of unwritten tales

Developer: King Art

My Thoughts:

I replayed this game again this year (for probably the 3rd maybe 4th time) and it may end up being in my top 10 games for every year. I love the humor, references, dialogue and scenery in this game. I just can’t get tired with this game.

The Book of Unwritten Tales is a point-and-click adventure video game created by German developer King Art. The game challenges the player with a series of puzzles and brain teasers presented as a traditional point and click adventure game. [From]

Top 6 games that I played for the first time this year

Papers Please


Developer: Lucas Pope

My Review:

This game is really addictive. I got it at the start of the year and despite beating it a couple of times it doesn’t get boring. The extra depth with the storyline along with simple but fun gameplay makes this a good game.

Papers, Please is a puzzle video game developed by indie game developer Lucas Pope. It focuses on the emotional toll of working as an immigration officer, deciding whom to let in and whom to exclude from entering the fictional dystopian country of Arstotzka [,_Please]

Cook Serve Delicious


Developer: Vertigo Gaming

My Review:

A fast paced casual game. Another addicting game with simple but effective gameplay. I found myself madly typing trying to get perfect score days. There is nice variety with different foods, competitions and catering :)

One of the few hardcore restaurant sims in existence, Cook, Serve, Delicious! is a deceptively easy game to learn but incredibly challenging to master as you progress through your career from owning a terrible zero star cafe into a five star world famous restaurant [from]

Theme Hospital


Developer: Bullfrog Productions

A fun casual game where you build hospitals. I love the humor in this game, all the small details including the weird diseases and hospital announcements make this game really memorable.  Great game to play an afternoon away!

Theme Hospital is a business simulation game developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts in 1997, in which the player designs and operates a hospital.[ from]

Data Hacker: Initiation


Developer: New Reality Games

My review:

One of the most enjoyable games of the year for me. I loved the atmosphere and feeling of the game. For some reason this game is one I go to when I have had a bad day because it always cheers me up. Has a more retro feeling with the 2D graphics and ultimately just a really good game.

Set some years in the future, following a global economic and social crash, Data Hacker Initiation follows Jay; a retired hacker in search of vengeance. Jay is a prolific player of Online World: the escapist’s dream game in a backwards-future, until an ironic case of mistaken identity, whereupon he is banished from the refuge that he so loved.
Enraged, Jay seeks to re-enter the game with a new agenda: wreak havoc for the administrators and key-holders of Online World. Little does he know; he is about to enter upon something great, and terrible- a twist that nobody saw coming. [From]

The Sims 4


Developer: EA Maxis and The Sims Studio

This is the newest installment in the sims series. I love the new graphic cartoonish design with bright colors. I actually really like the more objective style of gameplay because sometimes I don’t have a story in mind so it continually gives you things to do. The sims team have been great with updates which are giving the game some great new content.

The Sims 4 is a 2014 life simulation video game developed by EA Maxis and The Sims Studio and published by Electronic Arts. [from]

1849 + Nevada Silver Expansion


Developer: Somasim

Review of Base Game:

Review of Expansion:

When I first played this game I honestly wouldn’t have expected to have it on my favourite games. If you get this game I recommend getting the expansion! I said this in my review of the expansion that the added content just makes 1849 a more full game. I wasn’t into the game when I first played it but when I got the expansion I found myself enjoying it more and more. Once you get into this game you can’t really get out of it. I really enjoy jumping on it at any time and just having some fun.

1849 is a city management game set during the California Gold Rush. Your task is to build towns, populate them with workers, and make sure that they are housed, fed, and entertained. You’ll have to manage and coordinate extensive production and trade networks to make sure your towns thrive [ from]