Thursday, 30 July 2015

REVIEW : The Isle of the Lost - A Descendants Novel by Melissa De La Cruz

Review

Title : The Isle Of The Lost: A Descendants Novel

Author: Melissa De La Cruz

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Disney

Star Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Synopsis
Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made to live in virtual imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. The island is surrounded by a magical force field that keeps the villains and their descendants safely locked up and away from the mainland. Life on the island is dark and dreary. It is a dirty, decrepit place that's been left to rot and forgotten by the world.  But hidden in the mysterious Forbidden Fortress is a dragon's eye: the key to true darkness and the villains' only hope of escape. Only the cleverest, evilest, nastiest little villain can find it...who will it be?
    Maleficent, Mistress of the Dark: As the self-proclaimed ruler of the isle, Maleficent has no tolerance for anything less than pure evil. She has little time for her subjects, who have still not mastered life without magic. Her only concern is getting off the Isle of the Lost.
     Mal: At sixteen, Maleficent's daughter is the most talented student at Dragon Hall, best known for her evil schemes. And when she hears about the dragon's eye, Mal thinks this could be her chance to prove herself as the cruelest of them all.
    Evie: Having been castle-schooled for years, Evil Queen's daughter, Evie, doesn't know the ins and outs of Dragon Hall. But she's a quick study, especially after she falls for one too many of Mal's little tricks.
    Jay: As the son of Jafar, Jay is a boy of many talents: stealing and lying to name a few. Jay and Mal have been frenemies forever and he's not about to miss out on the hunt for the dragon's eye.
   Carlos: Cruella de Vil's son may not be bravest, but he's certainly clever. Carlos's inventions may be the missing piece in locating the dragon's eye and ending the banishment for good.
     Mal soon learns from her mother that the dragon's eye is cursed and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She'll just need a little help from her "friends." In their quest for the dragon's eye, these kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain't so bad.
 

Review
I only recently discovered that this book was an actual thing and as an avid Disney fan I couldn't resist picking it up! 

Following the children of four of the most infamous evil characters in Disney films including Maleficent, Jafar, Evil Queen and Cruella De Vil this is the tale of an unlikely friendship among children raised in the shadows of their powerful parents. Trying to prove to their respective parents that they can be as evil if not more evil than them this group of children head out on a mission to reclaim Maleficent's sceptre 'The Dragon's Eye'. Overcoming challenges that test their knowledge and fears they head into Maleficent's castle hoping they will come out on top!

I enjoyed this novel. After being in tremendous reading slump this was a lovely light read to get me back into the swing of things. Whilst it wasn't the most developed book I've ever read and even though the characters weren't as developed as I would have liked, it was a very readable book with an amazing plot. 

However, I did have a few issues with this book. Like I said before it wasn't really as developed as I would have liked but also, I found out after I read this book that it doesn't really finish. What I mean is, the story finishes however, the epilogue doesn't and it turns out that Disney channel are actually releasing a movie called 'The Descendants' which is the aftermath of what happens in the novel! I think!! You'll have to check that out. However, I thought this was a little bit of an inconvenience because people may want to read the book but, won't have the opportunity to watch the movie which I think is a bit annoying. 

I gave this book a our out of five stars. Whilst I enjoyed the concept and the simplicity of the book- to an extent I think it could have been  developed more and I think the whole book to movie thing is a little bit of an inconvenience. 

So that's it guys! It was nice to do a review because I haven't done one in so long! Let me know in the comments if you've read this book and what you thought of it! And give me some book recommendations!! 

Also, don't forget about my writing competition! It's open until Monday the 10th of August 2015 so you've still got over a week!

Okay! 

See You Soon!!

Monday, 27 July 2015

COMPETITION TIME!

I've decided to host a small competition on my blog which will be open for two weeks.

I'm hoping that any readers or aspiring writers out there will be interested in this competition and I'm really excited about it!

The Competition
* Send me your best idea for a short YA story and have the opportunity to write your piece and get it published here on my blog.

The Rules
* This competition is open to anyone of any age however, if you are under 16 years old I will need your parents permission because I will need your e-mail address in order to contact you if you have won.

*You must leave your name and age on your e-mail so I can announce your name if you have won.

* You must send me your idea and the first 100 words of your story via e-mail which I will leave for you at the bottom of this post.

* Your idea must be 'user - friendly' meaning that your concept must be appropriate for 'young adult' readers.

* Your idea must be able to fit into 500 words however, I will accept 490 words and 510 words no more or no less! Leave a word count at the bottom of your e-mail.

So, there is the competition and all it's rules. Like I said, anyone of any age may enter but your idea must be a concept for a YA story. I think this competition is going to be really fun and it can be an opportunity for you to grow your portfolio, practise your writing or just to have fun! If this competition is successful I will do many more of these because I'd love young writers in particular to have the opportunity to share their writing!

This competition is going to be open for two weeks so the closing date is Monday the 10th of August 2015 and there will be only one winner.

I hope you decide to take part and I'm excited to read all your ideas

Good Luck! And may the odds be ever in your favour!

See you soon!

SEND YOUR IDEAS HERE!!! - livelifeadventure@hotmail.com

Friday, 24 July 2015

CHIT CHAT #3

PUSHING MY LIMITS

A lot of changes are happening in my life this year and even though we are only half way through the year, I feel like so much has changed already. Truthfully, I'm not very good with change. I like a routine and I like being surrounded by people and things that I know well. All of this has led me to the question "Is a spontaneous life better than a planned life?' . Thus far my life has pretty much been planned down to the last detail. I will go to school and get my G.C.S.E'S , I'll go to college and get my A-Levels, I'll go to University and get a degree. I think that because I pretty much planned my life up until this point that I never really explored other options like travelling or getting an apprenticeship and I'm not unhappy with my life at all but, I feel like I should have tried to be a little more spontaneous. This year is the time for change and I'm going to explore what has challenged me so far.

I went on a college trip to New York and Washington  DC in February this year. I was thinking about not going because none of my close friends were going. Sure! I knew the majority of people that were going because they had been in the same Secondary school as me and to a degree I would consider them friends but not super close. That for me was scary! I was going on a trip to a country I had never been to before in these huge cities with people I just about knew well enough to hold a decent conversation with. It was one day in June last year that I decided I was just going to take the plunge and ask for a place on this trip. So, I went alone to the staff office and asked the teacher if there were any places left and she said yes! This is just one scenario where I decided to take the plunge and just be a little 'spontaneous' you could say. I honestly didn't plan on going on this trip just because my friends weren't going but, one day I realised that this is my life and I'm not going to base what I do and what actions I take based on my friends decisions. This was huge for me because I now knew that I was expected to interact and that I had to talk to people outside of my usual friendship circle which I find so intimidating. However, once I got on that bus to go to the airport, it was like a switch had been turned on in my head. I was talking to people I'd never spoken to before and once we were actually in America I had such an amazing time with these people and I laughed the whole time I was there and I really made some good friends from that trip. What I learned from this experience is that you shouldn't put yourself in a box with two or three other people and shut out the rest of the world because that will come back on you. You need to explore friendships you never thought about and do things that will make you happy, even if your friends aren't doing it because at the end of the day your the one that is going to loose out.

One other thing that has happened to me this year are my final A-Level exams. This was a different type of challenge to the previous one. I've always been generally good with exams and academic stuff. I get mostly B's with an even scattering of C's and A's thrown in there as well but, I'm a fairly average student. However, this year I feel like so much more pressure has been put on me because this is the year that I have applied to University. I don't know what it's like in other countries but, here in the UK, you apply to a maximum of five different Universities through a system called 'UCAS' and they give you offers and you have to pick a firm and an insurance choice from those five offers. The offers the Universities give you are based on your previous grades as well as your predicted grades and you have to meet the conditions of your offer in order to get in. Anyway, this means that I have had so much more pressure on me this year because now my results mean my future really is at stake. These results actually mean something now and my future is based on these how I do in these exams. I can deal with pressure quite well but, this year it was pushing that extra little bit. I feel like this has challenged me a little bit because I always feel pressure but this year means so much more and I think because I knew that I pushed myself as far as I possibly could and now I just have to hope that that pushing and pressure and hard work, yields  results. What I've learned from this experience is that you constantly need to challenge yourself. You can't plateau and reach a stop. You need to push your limits and break down those barriers in order to succeed.

I'm not sure if any of this made sense but, it's just whats been going on in my mind recently and I just wanted to share that.

Thats it for today! If you have any questions e-mail me or message me on my social media which can all be found in the contacts section.

Also, if you want me to write a post on University applications and what happens let me know in the comments below.

See you soon!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

PHOTOGRAPHY #1

I said in my Chit Chat post yesterday that I really want to start exploring photography and working on my own photographic abilities. These days it's so easy to take photos on our phones that everyone is becoming an amateur photographer and social media websites such as Instagram allow us to share our images with the world. I'm going to be using this blog to share some of the images that I take. Some may be edited, others may be the original photo in all it's glory. As well as this (unless otherwise stated) all photos are taken on my iphone 5C.

It was a beautiful day in Britain a few days ago which is very rare. My garden has been blossoming some roses for a while and in the sun they all fully opened up and were so beautiful that I couldn't resist taking some shots. So here they are.

*ALL PHOTOS BELONG TO ME. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO USE THEM FOR ANY REASON YOU MUST ASK MY PERMISSION BEFORE TAKING THEM*








So, they were the photos I took. I know they aren't the best but, like I said I'm practising. I hope you like them!
Let me know if you have Instagram accounts full of these photos and I will try to follow you and tell me in the comments whether you prefer the old style of taking photos where you take a photo and print or this new modern style where everything is digital! 
Don't forget to follow, like and all that jazz! 
That's it!
See you soon!

Friday, 17 July 2015

CHIT CHAT #2

EXPLORING WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY

For so long I have felt stuck. I've never really had that many interests and I'm not sure whether that is a result of my personality or whether it is a result of my surroundings and the area that I live in. I've always been quiet and when I was younger I was extremely timid and introverted. As I've got older I've opened up a little more but, I still like keeping to myself and sometimes I just prefer sitting in my room by myself munching on popcorn and watching Netflix or reading a good book rather than going out. As well as this, I live in a very small area, we have a shopping centre a cinema and some restaurants but nothing really out there like ice skating rinks or adventure sports areas and other fun stuff like that and to get to places such as these it's at least an hour and a half car drive. So I've never really had much of an opportunity to explore these things growing up. As a result of this my friends and I have really just had to find ways to entertain ourselves but, I think I've liked this way of growing up because I have learned to appreciate the little things in life but, also to fully immerse myself in big opportunities that don't come around everyday.

I decided for my New Year's resolution around two years ago that I need to start exploring more things that make me happy and find new interests. I started reading more. I've always loved reading and around the time I made the resolution I was barely reading at all. I discovered Booktube around this time also and the enthusiasm these people showed for these books inspired me so much that I got really into reading again and it makes me so happy just to dive into a book and explore these new worlds and through reading I discovered a love of writing and I often write short stories as a result of this.

I also decided that I wanted to explore my love of writing and I now hope to go into a career in Publishing or Journalism and that is why I started this blog. I wanted a space where I could explore the things I love with people around the world but, I also wanted a place to improve my general writing skills. This blog is still fairly new but I love writing here and it makes me happy when I can interact with people worldwide through something I've created.

Scrapbooking is quite an important part of my life. Since I made this resolution to start exploring things that make me happy and that interest me I have scrapbooked so much more than I ever did. I've always been in need of a creative outlet because I am quite a creative person but, I'm bad at drawing and painting and I've always found it difficult to express my creativity. When I discovered scrapbooking I was so happy because I had finally found a way that I could share my creativity without drawing really bad pictures.

My most recent interests that I am trying to explore more are cooking and photography. I've always loved baking and I take photos whereever I go and these are my new interests that I really want to invest in and explore them because it makes me happy.

So, I guess what I've been trying to say in a really round-a-bout way is that do more of what makes you happy! Life is too short to dwell on bad times and to be doing things that you aren't comfortable with or aren't happy doing. Everything that makes me happy are only small things but, I feel content when I do them. Everyone's version and definition of happiness is different and therefore what make me happy might not make you happy but, there is also a sense of sharing. When we meet new people there is an opportunity to expand and explore out interests because they can introduce us to new things.

I hope you enjoyed this little babble! Tell me in the comments what makes you happy and if you have any questions feel free to e-mail me or reach out on social media (You'll find this on the contacts page)

See you soon!

CHIT CHAT #1

HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT A-LEVELS FOR YOU
I'm at the end of my schooling career and I think it's fair to say there have been some ups and downs but, I have done relatively well throughout school and I'm hoping to share some of this wisdom with you guys!

Now, I'm not claiming to know everything about school but, I'm happy to share some of my experiences with you! I've just finished my final year of Sixth Form and I'm hoping to go to University in September so I feel like I'm in quite a good position to share my thoughts with you.

This is going to be the first in a series of posts as we lead up to those all important results days and the new school year. I'm going to be sharing some tips and tricks that I have learned over the years to help make school or college that little bit easier for you.

I'm going to start with how to pick the right A-Level subjects for you.

So, you've just finished your G.C.S.E's and you have to now start planning ahead. When I was picking my A-Levels I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do for a career in the future. My parents had always asked me growing up 'What do you want to do when your older?' but, I never really had an answer for them whereas most kids I knew could answer that question in a heartbeat and I felt a little left out and odd. If this is you, DO NOT WORRY! you have plenty of time to change you mind and decide what you want to do.

For many people picking their A-Levels is easy because the know that they want to become a doctor so they do Chemistry, Biology and Maths or they want to become a teacher so the pick English and Maths but, for people that don't know what they want to do this is a difficult decision.

So, here are my top 5 tips for picking the right A-Level subjects for you.

1. DO NOT DO WHAT YOUR FRIENDS ARE DOING!
   For me it was pretty easy to accept that I wasn't going to be doing the same subjects as my friends    because they liked Maths, Physics and Chemistry whereas I was the complete opposite, I loved English History and Religious Studies so I knew straight away that I wouldn't be in their classes. If you are in a position where you don't know what to do, never take the easy route and copy your friends because you will loose out in the end. If they want to take the same subjects as you, let them, but never compromise your own future because you don't want to be lonely in class.

2. PICK SUBJECTS YOUR GOOD AT. 
    This one is a little difficult to explain. Obviously if you tend to excel in Maths for example, it may be a good choice because you know that you find it fairly easy, you tend to get good grades and it just comes naturally and at the end of the day a good grade it what you want. However, sometimes if you are good at a subject, that doesn't necessarily mean that you enjoy the subject and in this case you kind of just have to weigh up in your own mind how much you don't like the subject against how good you are at it. A- Levels are different because if your good at a subject at G.C.S.E it doesn't necessarily mean your good at it at A-Level. You've probably heard this a million times but A-Levels really are a big jump and you have to work out yourself if your abilities are going to be able to make that jump.

3. DON'T LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS.
    Okay, so your parents can be kind of helpful when picking your subjects because they have gone to parent teacher meetings your entire life and they have seen your grades from everything so they kind of know a little bit about where your strengths lie. Constructive opinions are always good from your parents but, If they start telling you what subjects you must do, block them out straight away. You are not on this Earth to fulfil your parents dreams and desires and whilst they may have always hoped you'd become a lawyer, you might want to be a teacher and that is perfectly fine. You need to pick A- Levels based on the career you want to do not what your parents want you to do. I was lucky in that my parents supported my choices but, if your parents are forcing you to do subjects you don't want to do, don't do them.

4. PICK SUBJECTS YOU ENJOY AND THAT YOUR INTERESTED IN.
   At A-Level there are so many more subjects available for you to take compared to G.C.S.E. There is Law, Health and Social Care, Psychology, Sociology and so many more. A-Levels give you the opportunity to explore subjects you might have been interested in but, never got the chance to study. This is perfect for someone that doesn't know what career they want to go into because you can pick subjects that you might find yourself interested in that weren't available to you before.

5.IF YOUR NOT HAPPY,STOP!
   A-Levels are not compulsory. There are so many other ways that you can make your way into a career either by work, apprenticeships or Vocational courses. Don't feel pressured to take on A-Levels if you don't feel well suited to them. In addition to this if you find in the first couple of months that you are not happy with the courses you are taking just stop and step back and look at the bigger picture. If you don't think you need to do this don't do it, but, if you feel you'd like to carry on, pick up a subject guide for your college or school and discuss with your parents and teachers your concerns about the courses you are currently studying. By doing this you will find out what you like and what you don't like and you may find other subjects that you think you would be better suited to.

That's it guys! I know this might be late for this years crop of students but, if your in the year below and are already looking around at what courses you might want to take I hope this helped!

Let me know what subjects you've picked in the comments or what you are thinking of studying next year.

If you have any questions whether they are related to this post or not, leave them in the comments sections below or reach out to me on my social media and e-mail which you will find on the contacts page.

See you soon!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

ANNOUNCEMENT

As you can probably see already my blog and my social media has undergone a slight facelift and your probably wondering what the heck is going on, so I'm here to explain.

I said a few weeks ago that I had an announcement to make and it took a lot longer to get that announcement out than I would have liked but, I'm making that announcement right here, right now.

I've decided that I want to branch out with my blog. I love writing reviews and giving book recommendations but, I felt I was being restricted because I have so many other fun things I want to write about and share and I wanted a platform where I would be able to do just that.

I understand that a lot of my readership at the moment is here because of my book reviews and I greatly appreciate that support but, don't worry I will still be writing reviews but not as often as I was. Like I said, I really want to branch out and write about other things I enjoy such as baking, scrapbooking and photography. I also want to incorporate Q&A days where you can ask me questions on any of the posts and topics I write about in my blog but also advice and general questions. I'm happy to try and answer anything you throw at me! I also hope that eventually I will write posts that aren't really on anything in particular but, just my general thoughts for the day but that will come with time.

I really hope you will continue on with this blog with me and introduce friends and family that you think might be interested in what I write about. I'd greatly appreciate that!

You can start sending me any of the questions you may have to any of my social media platforms and if not there e-mail me! If you'd like to ask a question you'll find all the links and information to my social media pages as well as my e-mail address on the contacts page of my blog!

Anyway, I guess that's it for now!

Welcome to LIVE.LIFE.ADVENTURE!!