Thursday, August 20, 2015

Blog Tour: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

I am exceptionally proud to be part of the A Court of Thorns and Roses South African Blog Tour! (Thanks for organizing this, Tammy!)

My experience of Sarah J Mass is limited to the first book in her Throne of Glass series. Which it amazing, by the way! So good, in fact, that I am rereading it as I type. Ok, not literally!

ACOTAR,  as it is fondly known by fans, follows a Cinderella - like Feyre as she gets thrown into the secret world of the fae when she accidentally kills one of their kind with an arrow.

In a bargain made to keep her family provided for,  Feyre gets taken across the border as a prisoner of sorts of the enigmatic Tamlin. Here she discovers that there are secrets within secrets and this magical world and their people are not quite what the stories lead her to believe. 

Feyre is an awesome, strong lead character who is handy with a bow and quick to say what she feels. I love that there is this wave of Fantasy that features strong female leads who stand their ground.

While this novel clearly draws influences from a variety of fairy tales,  it is still very much its own unique story with memorable characters you will fall in love with. My personal favorite is Lucien. ;)

If you are looking for a great read this weekend, pick this one up. I also recommend if for those wanting to get into fantasy, as the plot progresses quickly and the world is introduced with subtlety. 

Check out the other local bloggers and their thoughts as we share the love for ACOTAR this week!

Big thanks to Jonathan Ball for providing us with the opportunity to host this event! 

About Sarah:

Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music.

She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV.

When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.

Tour schedule:

Monday – 17th Aug

Tammy @ The Book Fairy’s Haven: Q & A with Sarah

Nerine @ This is my world: Review

Tuesday – 18 August

Hannah  @ Fully booked reviews: Top 10 list

Wednesday: 19 August

Monique @ Paranormalsphere:  Review of ACOTAR 

Thursday: 20th August

Kyra  @ Blog of a Bookaholic  - Review

Tammy  @ The Book Fairy’s Haven – Review

Friday: 21 August

Hannah @ Fully Booked reviews – Review

Giveaway post:  Win 3 copies of SJM - TBA

Friday, August 14, 2015

On Bic and the Social Media Bandwagon of Rage

Is it just me, or are people morphing into these selfish, self-entitled monsters who will use any excuse to throw their toys and get their panties into knots so complex, it would take a MENSA candidate to untangle them from their asses?

Let's look as what went down locally on the Interwebs this week.

There was the impressive and yet somehow underwhelming saga of #Bicgate. I am a woman. In fact, I am a strong, opinionated woman who loves a good rant over my rights, but this just floored me. Bic's Social Media and Marketing people in their infinite wisdom put up a little quote that implied that in order to be successful, women had to "Think like a man". Yes, they fucked up and did so properly, but the ensuing snark, sarcasm and general hate that spread over the Internet as a result was downright uncalled for.

Even after issuing a formal apology for a mistake probably made by some young lackey at the bottom of the ladder, Bic was under fire by the general public. To me it seemed like Twitter exploded into a pissing contest to see who could be the "cleverest" at bashing Bic and getting the most rewteets. Because why else would someone to go such effort to Photoshop and post stuff like that?

Sure, maybe Bic needed to be called out on their actions. Sexism is not ok. But neither is turning a brand into a scapegoat for something that is actually a bigger issue.

One may argue and say we need to fight the small battles to win the bigger ones, but I felt like people lost sight of the purpose of their rants and simply ranted for the sake of ranting and getting their airtime. It was the trend of the day.

It gives me the impression that the relative anonymity of platforms like Twitter takes away any sense of responsibility or accountability for what people say.

All those tweets and hate are fielded by some poor PR or Social Media person who is subsequently probably really hating life right now. They do not go directly to the Bic Powers That Be. Some poor person starting out their career has to field all that shit. But I bet no one thinks of that. They are all focused on getting their message across in the "cleverest" way possible.

It basically amounted to a case of public bullying that is essentially seen as ok by everyone. Imagine if these things were being said to an individual. Suddenly, it's not so great, is it? Not so clever and smart, because suddenly it feels like we are back in high school playing the popularity game.

Social Media is a nasty beast and should be handled a little better than it has been. Companies should be more careful in how they present themselves and surely the general public should have the same courtesy.

Get off the bandwagon. Think about your actions. And consider if what you are doing is really the right approach for social change. Because for me it just makes society look really, really mean and self-entitled.

Don't worry Bic, I will still buy your pens because I am capable of judging you on the quality of your product. They are still the most reliable pens out there and even if Bic is run by a bunch of misogynists, I will still buy them. Because why would I want to suffer with inferior writing implements? That's just stupid.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Nandi Reviews - Riot by Sarah Mussi

Title: Riot
Author: Sarah Mussi
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

the enforced sterilisation of all teenagers without
secure university places or guaranteed jobs.
The Teen Haves will be safe.
The Teen Have Nots will suffer.
It’s time for teenagers to take to the streets.
It’s time for their voices to be heard.
It’s time for them to RIOT.

This is one of those rare books that deals with a situation that, although not real, is a very real possibility, and really makes you think while reading it. The story is set in England, and deals with issues of poverty, over population, lack of jobs, and the government’s attempt at fixing these problems. Their solution is forced sterilisation for all teenagers from families in the lower and middle classes. Tia is our main character, and she faces a moral dilemma; does she look after herself, or does she fight for the needs of the people at a huge risk to herself. She is a very likeable character, and I would like to think that if I were placed in a similar situation, I would make similar choices.

The story is primarily a political one, but seen through the eyes of a teenager. There were a couple of moments where I started getting frustrated with the political explanations, but the story is fast paced enough that this doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyability of the book. There are so many unexpected twists in the plot that will keep you on your toes and guessing throughout your read. Although the story is seen through the eyes of a 16 year old, this book isn’t for very young readers, as there are scenes of violence that could be quite disturbing because of the realistic nature of the story.

There is, of course, a love story, although this is a background story rather than something that we focus on. The story is set over a very short period of time (less than a week, until the epilogue), and Mussi deals with the romantic aspect very realistically, in that the characters don’t fall in love at first sight, and they learn a lot about each other before anything really develops.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story, and won’t hesitate in reading more Sarah Mussi books.