I’ve started a new lifestyle/book/travel blog: Jordon’s Travels

Jordon's Travels

Hey guys,

So as you may or may not know, I have been on a hiatus from Miss Book Reviews for a little over a year now. The reason I stopped was because I felt like I was spending too much time on this blog and not enough time out living my life; clearly I was unhappy with my life.

Since then, a lot of things have happened to me:

  • I spontaneously decided to go travelling around Europe with my cousin and her friends; and with only four months of planning, I was off.
  • I had the time of my life.
  • I gained a heck of a lot of self-confidence.
  • I learnt a lot about other countries and cultures.
  • I learnt a lot about myself.
  • I realized I am perfectly capable of being my own woman and don’t need to rely on anyone to reassure me of that.
  • I figured out why I had been so unhappy in my life.
  • I realized I’m not the type of girl who only wants to find a husband, settle down in the country of my birth, buy a house, and start a family. I want so much more.

Me in Paris.Me standing in the middle of a frozen lake in Reykjavik, Iceland.On a boat in the middle of Loch Ness in Scotland. Silhouette of Urquhart Castle.Lagos, PortugalCroatiaAmsterdam

After I went travelling, I moved straight to London in the United Kingdom. Luckily for me, I was eligible for the 5 year ancestry visa as my granddad was born and raised in London.

Seriously, moving half way across the world was the best thing I have ever done. Living in little New Zealand, and more specifically in Auckland, you can get very closed-minded unless you’re surrounded by people who have more ambition in life.

Now that I’ve settled down in London, I’ve found some time to start blogging, because really? I just love writing.

Jordon's Travels

I started a travel blog when I was travelling in the European summer last year, mainly so my family could follow my trip, now I’m starting to update it more regularly and I would like to use it as a personal lifestyle blog. There aren’t many lifestyle, recipe or book related posts right now, but bear with me because I have them all scheduled to start posting from this week!

I will be posting regularly about books because I still do love reading and discussing books, however it will not just be a specialized book blog. It will be my travel, book, lifestyle and recipe blog. So I would love it if you all would follow me!

Over the past few days I have reconnected with a lot of the blogs I used to follow on Miss Book Reviews, now I would love to discover more.

If you would like to follow me and send some love, see the links below!


I would love to see you over there!

Jord
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[Review #116] Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth Cover - Review Title: Insurgent
Series: Divergent
Book two
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Dystopian
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Review

I remember loving the first book in this series; Divergent. So naturally I expected to love Insurgent too, maybe I left it too long to read this book? By the time I picked Insurgent up it had been well over a year since I had read Divergent and I couldn’t really remember the specifics of what had happened (Alarm bells ringing? Story and characters not memorable enough…), so I had to find a site that had summarized the book with all of its main points. Once I had refreshed my memory on the story line, the characters, and events that had taken place I delved into this book.

I was pretty disappointed to be honest. The first half of Insurgent was very slow, it took me two weeks to read it and that’s a long time considering it only took me days to read Divergent. I actually read a couple of books in between reading the first half of this book, that’s how bored I was. I’m actually amazed I didn’t put the book down for good because I have little patience when it comes to forcing myself to read books I’m not enjoying.

The second half of Insurgent however was a lot more exciting, I read the second half in a couple of days so in comparison that’s pretty good. I did like seeing Tris having to deal with consequences of what happened in the first book, it made everything more interesting because she was struggling with something personally besides the bigger picture. In saying that though I still didn’t quite love this book, it picked up and got a lot more interesting but the story didn’t move a lot. Everything happened in the last half and I got confused, I definitely do think that some of that has to do with the writing.

The writing confused me sometimes, I found myself having to go back and re-read a few sentences because they didn’t make sense to me the first time around, some sentences still didn’t make sense to me after re-reading them and I have no idea what Roth was trying to say. I felt like those sentences pulled me out of the story and hindered it for me. I found that the whole book wasn’t that memorable and nor were a lot of the characters. I had a hard time remembering who was who the whole time I was reading, for some reason I just wasn’t very engaged in the book and couldn’t place names to characters when I read them. That made me sad.

A lot seemed to happen at the end of Insurgent but I actually have no idea what the big reveal was at first, I didn’t understand what any of it meant. I’m not sure if this is because of the way it was described, written or perhaps I missed something when I was reading it but it was lost on me. After re-reading it I get it now but I’m still not too sure what was going on.

I’m definitely going to read Allegiant soon for fear that if I don’t I won’t remember anything that happened in either book!

In Summary:
– I loved Divergent but found I really didn’t like Insurgent anywhere near as much.
– The characters and the story weren’t very memorable, I had a hard time remembering who was who and what was going on. This could have been attributed to the writing though as I felt some of it was very clunky and unclear.
– I did enjoy getting to see Tris work through things that troubled her and see her overcome it.
– The beginning of the book was very slow and I found myself pretty bored, everything happened at the end of the book and it seemed to confuse me more than excite me.

Miss J

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Today is my Birthday!

Turning Twenty Four

I turn 24 today. Whoop whoop!

Another year done. I’m looking forward to the year ahead! Travelling, changes and new experiences await. I have no idea where I will end up but hopefully everything will work out in the end.

Bring on 24!

Jord
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It can’t be a coincidence that…

It can’t be a coincidence that…

Yesterday I had the urge to jump on this blog and post something. I didn’t post anything because I found everything I wanted to post felt pointless, but that’s not the point of this post. The point is, that I only just realized that yesterday marks three years since I started this blog.

Three years.

Wow. It’s a shame I haven’t kept up with it because I quite like writing, but it became overwhelming trying to keep up.

Happy three years to Miss Book Reviews!

Miss J
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A zombie apocalypse: In an eNovella series format?

I know, I’ve already stated that this blog is on a hiatus. Thing is, I may randomly post something now and then, I just won’t hold myself to anything. Plus this is something I suddenly wanted to share with the world.

I just stumbled across this. At first I found it weird but now I’m loving this idea and I’m on the look out for more eNovella series’!

First we had eNovellas which were told in different POV’s, I kind of liked these because we got to see more of a secondary character. They would either be prequels or in between novels of a series to keep everyone going. Usually they weren’t necessary and honestly I never really want to buy them unless I love the series a lot.

Some eNovella’s felt like they were necessary and those are the ones I disliked because I felt like it wasn’t fair. I mean what if you can’t get your hands on that eNovella? What if you don’t have an eReader? What if it won’t ever be released in your country *Cough*Radiant by Cynthia Hand*Cough*? What are you to do? Well you can’t do anything about it.

Now I’ve stumbled across an eNovella series. A series which is labelled as ‘episodes’ and each ‘episode’ is around 20,000 words. At first I thought this was weird, I mean why doesn’t the author write a novel instead? And then I started reading it and I realised the benefits of an eNovella series instead of a novel series. I will use the one I’ve stumbled across as an example.

Love and Decay by Rachel Higginson – Episode One on Amazon

Love and Decay is an eNovella series about a zombie apocalypse. And I love it. I mean I’ve been looking for zombie apocalypse books that I could relate to for quite a while (Okay who says ‘relate to’ and ‘zombie apocalypse’ in the same sentence?). I’ve found a few zombie books that I really enjoyed, but couldn’t relate to any of the characters, or perhaps it wasn’t exactly what I’ve wanted but it was still enjoyable:

Ashes – The main character has a brain tumor and carries a gun around just waiting for the moment to kill herself just before the apocalypse happens, more about asking the thought provoking question ‘Just who are the monsters in the world’? Way too political for my tastes,
Rot and Ruin You should not kill the zombies unnecessarily, they used to be someone’s loved one. I DNF’ed this before I could read more in to this so maybe the idea changes? I wouldn’t know, I lost interest,
Enclave – Not zombies but was just exactly what I wanted when looking for a zombie book. Except it’s a dystopian so it’s not set in recent times, and once again; not zombies,
Alice in Zombieland – Supernatural, paranormal, not exactly a zombie apocalypse but really fun to read anyway,
The Forest of Hands and Teeth – Creepy, more about the society and the main character rather than the zombies, she was kind of crazy to me and I couldn’t relate to her at all, I didn’t really like her to be honest but the book was good,
Warm Bodies – A dark humor romance,
Taking on the Dead – I couldn’t get past the first few chapters, the main character already feels slightly crazy and it annoyed me more than anything else,
Zombie Fallout – I could not relate to nor feel for any of the characters that are introduced, because of that I stopped reading a few chapters in. I definitely feel like males would enjoy this one a whole lot more than me,
The First Days – I personally could not relate to any of the characters and got bored quickly.

I found a few that I thought were entertaining but as you could see “I couldn’t personally relate to any of the characters” comes up in a lot of them, this is because most of the characters were military, or were kind of crazy and had been planning for the zombie apocalypse for years so they had guns stashed away and knew what to do, or they were; male, older woman, unlikable, young, immature, reckless and annoying, or afraid of killing to survive or the opposite and not scared of being killed when realistically you should be peeing your pants. Or something of that nature.

I mean if there ever were a zombie apocalypse being in the military and having had  that training or really any kind of training just feels like it’s the only thing that would keep you alive. And while that is easily understandable and makes a ton of sense I personally can’t relate to that. Not everyone needs the skills or is in a position to learn the skills to survive like that. I felt like a lot of the jargon and characters went right over my head.

It all tells me normal people couldn’t survive a zombie apocalypse. Which is probably very true.  I mean I don’t spend my weekends sharpening my knives and learning how to behead the walking dead in anticipation of the zombie apocalypse like some people may do.  Still, I would like to think that I would at least have a chance of surviving if the zombie apocalypse happened; and I’m a person who has no idea how to use a gun.

So all I wanted to find was a good zombie book with a character that I could relate to, where the zombies attacked you because they wanted to eat your brains. Not a zombie book where the the main character had feelings for the zombies, or they have a conscience about killing the zombies because they used to be someone’s loved one, or even a zombie book where the zombies regain their humanity. Those are all well and good but comeee oooon! I just want a good damn zombie book where a normal person -okay so maybe a normal girl/young woman- learns how to kick ass and doesn’t have a conscience about killing things to protect themselves! Throw in a sexy realistic guy while you’re at it.

Obviously I was looking for a very YA version of the zombie apocalypse with a non-cheesy, realistic love interest that isn’t insta-love.

I have finally gotten my YA zombie apocalypse fix.

Love and Decay is the perfect series that I have been pining for for ages. It’s a refreshing take, the main character is not military, in fact she’s a high school girl. Well she would have been a high school girl if she still had to go to high school. I’m not in high school and definitely older but I can still relate.

Love and Decay actually feels like a tv series, you know when you watch an episode of your favourite show and you’re just dying to see the next episode. In each episode there’s a storyline within the bigger picture storyline and we get to see more of the characters, the world and the story than what we would in a movie. This eNovella series is like that; we get to see more than we would if this were a novel series. I feel like because these eNovella’s are short it leaves room for more character building and there’s just more that can happen without the reader getting bored and wondering how much more they have to read, all because it’s too short to feel like that. I’ve fallen in love with this.

An eNovella series? Genius. A YA eNovella series about the zombie apocalypse with a normal teenage girl as the main character that has to do what she has to do to survive and has no qualms about killing the already dead? Perfect. What’s more Episode one is free so you can check it out to see if it’s your cup of tea!

Love and Decay: Episode One | Episode Two | Episode Three | Episode Four | Episode Five

I got so excited after stumbling upon this series that I just had to share!

Miss J
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Hiatus: Story of My Life

Miss Book Reviews is on a Hiatus

Soo I’ve been missing for a few months now. Missing from this blog that is, not literally missing. Thank god. That would have been awkward.

Why? Well, honestly? I completely ran out of energy for this.

I like reading. I still read. I still visit goodreads. I just stopped book blogging. I had fun book blogging. Right up until I realized it was consuming my life and that it had become my life.

At the time my life was all: How many books can I read in one week? Work. How many reviews can I write up in one go? What topics can I discuss? How many comments did I get on this post? Work. How many blogs have I visited today? Why do half of the comments on my posts feel computer generated/generalized? Am I even interesting? Does anyone actually read this? Work. What books do I need to catch up on? Should I DNF this book or push through it? Work. Why is no one commenting on my posts? Work. Crap I haven’t scheduled a post for tomorrow! Work. Why does this take so much energy? Work. Work. How does everyone else have the time to post so often AND visit other blogs? And then leave detailed and meaningful comments?! Work. Work. Work. How does everyone else book blog and live their lives?!

So I decided to, just… stop. Altogether. Stop.

I just couldn’t hack it. I had no more energy or drive to log on to my email for this blog let alone log on to Miss Book Reviews and write this post stating how I would rather live my life than read my life away.

And that is exactly what I felt like I was doing: Reading my life away. As much fun as I have reading about other characters’ adventures I realized I would have more fun living my own adventures, making my own story, creating my own work or something of that nature. So something had to give.

Miss Book Reviews started to feel like the one thing that made me interesting. And that was a bad thing. When people found out that I wrote a blog they suddenly became super interested and thought it was the greatest thing in the world. Okay, so not everyone thought that, just my mum. And other people. Sure, I’ve had fun. Sure, I’ve liked giving my opinion. Sure, I’ve met a some awesome book bloggers here and I have to say that I am impressed with their time management skills and ability to blog so often. Sure, I’ve really liked being interesting to other people. But I didn’t really want this blog to define me or take over like it had.

I’m still working on defining myself and discovering who I am, what I want to do, where I want to go, how I want to leave my mark on the world. And I’ve been having fun trying to figure out just that.

So goodbye for now book blogging. I have respect for all of the bloggers out there that commit to such a thing! In the meantime, check out my life via instagram pictures! (You may notice I change my hair a lot and that I love selfies haha)

You Only Live Once right?

Miss J
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I’m one already?!

I’m One Already?!

By random circumstance I came to wonder today how long ago it was that I started Miss Book Reviews. As random as this thought was it just so happens that, in fact, today one year ago is the day I started MBR’s. Wow. Time creeps up on you fast. Today nearly came and went without me even realising or acknowledging it.

So: I am going to acknowledge that Miss Book Reviews has just turned one!
Happy Birthday Miss Book Reviews One Year Old

Yay for being one year old!

This year has been a pretty big blogging journey. I’ve definitely learnt a lot and read a lot of books. I’ve quite enjoyed it. I know I’ve slowed down a lot with only posting one post a week but thank you to everyone who still follows Miss Book Reviews!

Miss J
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