10 Books for Fans of Strong Girl Protagonists ๐Ÿšบ

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click here for the list of prompts.

I don't really have a preference for what gender characters I like to read, but I do love seeing female characters being written well. That's something that is increasingly more common these days and it makes me so happy to see because there's so much more to female characters than just pretty girls who are there to benefit male protagonists. I'm in favour of female characters of all types: girls who kick ass, girls who don't, girls who are heroes, girls who are villains, trans girls, cis girls, just girl characters are awesome. So, to show my love of well-written girls, here are some books that feature well-written girl characters!
(GIF source)

This is Why I'm Broke | July Book Haul ๐Ÿ“š

I don't know how to buy books like a normal person. I'll go for months without buying any because nothing catches my eye, and then I'll somehow end up spending over £40 on books in one day, like I did multiple times last month. Oops. My bank account has been crying for me to stop spending so much money and for now I will do because I'm now broke. And I won't get any more student loan money ever again so I'm screwed!

But anyway, we're not here to discuss my money woes, we're here to see what books I bought last month.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon - I read this book last week and ahhh it was so cute I loved it ๐Ÿ˜ I will admit that both Dimple and Rishi were frustrating at times, but they were so well written and kind that all is forgiven.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - This book is my current read and I've been putting off getting my hands on it for ages for reasons that I'm still not sure of. I'm seriously kicking myself for waiting so long to read this since it is one that I've been looking forward to.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater - I'm kind of making it my goal to finish The Raven Cycle this year, which may be difficult because I can't really afford to buy any more hardbacks, but it's something I aim to do. I didn't love The Raven Boys as much as everyone else did, but I did still like it, so I hope I'll like the rest of the series even more.

Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian - It's been a pretty long time since I read Burn for Burn but the lack of completed series on my shelves was bugging me, so I got the sequel, which is ready for me on my TBR pile even though I've mostly forgotten what happened in Burn for Burn ๐Ÿ˜… And no, I won't reread it because the TBR is queen and she says no rereads this month.

Double Down by Gwenda Bond - More teenage Lois eeeeep! (๏พ‰◕ใƒฎ◕)๏พ‰*:・๏พŸ✧ I love the snarky voice that Lois has in these books and I can't wait to read this second installment, but for now I must obey the TBR.

Superman Vol 2: Trials of the Super Son by Peter J. Tomasi, et al. - It's probably going to be a long while before I get to read this because I'm a dumb butt and I haven't read any Superman books from the last continuity and I can't really afford to buy them right now. And that makes me sad because Jon and Damian in the same panels is giving me so many feels. Because Superdad and Batdad are the best.

Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Lies by Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp, and Laura Martin - Same goes for this book too, I haven't read any Wonder Woman from the New 52, so this one shall wait. Wah.

Batman: The Golden Age Volume 2 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson - This one, on the other hand, won't have to wait too long because I'm currently reading volume 1 and it's so fast to get through because vintage comics are such a breeze. No complicated continuity, no dream sequences, no mind screws, just extremely simplistic storytelling and characterisation. Aw yeah.

What books have you bought recently?

5 Recent Favourites ❤️

My tastes in things and favourites change all the time and they especially have while I haven't been blogging. I've seen a few people do these kinds of posts or include monthly favourites in their wrap-up posts, so I thought it would be a good idea to do one of these myself. I'm including one favourite from each 'category' so one book, one movie, and so on. Because I like to have some things in my life to be organised. Not everything, but some things.

Somebody should make a tally chart of how many times I've mentioned Lois Lane on this blog because I have a feeling I talk about her a lot. But she's my mother and I can't not talk about her because Lois Lane is everything to me and I wish I could be her but I'm too shy and anxious to be as bold as she is. Anyways, I first heard of this series a couple of years ago but I didn't really give it much thought. I'm slapping myself across the wrist for that now because I read the first book, Fallout, and ahhh holy crap it was so good. Part of the reason why I love Lois Lane so much is that she has such a fiery and snarky personality and in this book it really shows through. A lot of people compare it to Veronica Mars but I don't know what that is, so to me it's like teenage Lois & Clark just without Clark because he's in Kansas and they don't really know each other yet.

I had been waiting for this movie for years and I supported it since it was announced that Gal Gadot was going to be playing Wonder Woman in BvS (which i think people gave too much of a hard time, but that's a post for another time in the year). I supported it when people were attacking her for being too thin and not having  large enough breasts, I supported it when Tumblr, a website that has been crying for a WW movie for years, started to attack it before it was even released, and I supported it when people were complaining about both the supposed lack of marketing and the actual real marketing because some people just can't be pleased. So obviously when the movie was finally released I was itching to see it. Originally my dad and I were planning to see it on opening night when we were in the USA but the screening was sold out. When I did finally go see it, ohmygod I loved it. I loved everything about it, I loved Gal, I loved Chris, I loved the cinematography, the story, I just loved it all. Do I think it's better than all the other DCEU movies? Probably, but I love them all equally because I apparently have bad taste.

I don't consider myself to be a nostalgic person, but whenever a game that I played as a child gets a remake or a remaster, I am all over it. Since getting a PS4 for Christmas I've constantly been on the look for games that I want to play because at the minute I don't have a lot of PS4 games. The problem that I have is that a lot of games available are either what I term 'bro games' (Call of Duty, FIFA, things like that) or games that just don't spark my interest. I play a lot of platforming games and also licenced games so games like Crash Bandicoot always land within my favourites. I dragged my dad to the shops so I could buy this on the day it came out and I've been playing it ever since. A lot of people have been saying that it's a lot harder than the original PS1 games, but I don't really see it that way because I couldn't get past the second warp room in Crash 2 when I was little and I managed to get 100% on the whole game in this version so... But anyways, probably the best part of this remaster is that you can play as Coco in nearly every level which is the best thing ever because Coco is adorable.

I am not really a fan of hip hop. Like, at all. But, for some reason, Death Grips really caught me ear and I've been listening to their music for pretty much the whole of July. All day every day. Apart from when Lana Del Rey's new album came out, then I went straight back to Death Grips. I have four of their albums right now (two were free downloads from their website, score) but my favourite is Exmilitary which is their debut mixtape. I think what I like about Death Grips is that to me, a white girl who is completely ignorant when it comes to rap and hip hop, they have an incredibly unique style. I love experimental styles of music and compared to other rap artists I've listened to, Death Grips definitely do have an experimental sound. It can be a little overwhelming to listen too if you're not used to noisy music (and i don't mean loud, i mean just noise)) but that's why I like it so much. If you do want to check them out, just be aware that one of their album covers is incredibly NSFW. Like, as NSFW as anything can get.

At the end of May this year I went to the USA! Before this trip, I'd never been outside of Western and Southern Europe so this was a huge deal to me. We started off in New York City, which wasn't as overwhelming as I'd assumed it would be, and ended in Washington D.C. which was so freaking hot. The only thing that really got me worked in America was money because paying for things with cash makes me horrendously anxious and also tax isn't included in the price. America, what gives? Put the tax into the price, it's less confusing. But other than that, I liked the US more than I thought I would, mainly because they have Cheetos, and we don't. I miss Cheetos so much. And being complimented on my horrible accent. I hope I can go back again someday because there's more I want to see in both New York and in Washington, but it'll be a lot of saving up because travelling to the US is not cheap. At all.

What have some of your recent favourite things been?

10 Books on My Birthday Wishlist ๐ŸŽ

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Click here for the list of prompts.

It's finally August, which means that it's finally my birthday month! *blows hooter thingy*

In all honestly, I don't really like celebrating my birthday (for a lot of deeply personal reasons that i would rather not discuss here), I just like cake and presents. But don't most people like cake and presents? The only bad thing about my birthday is that it's right at the butt end of August. Literally, my birthday is the second-last day of August (put it in your calendar, winkwinknudgenudge). So, to make the pain of waiting so long for presents a little better, I've decided to make a wishlist of books that I want for my birthday.

Triple Threat by Gwenda Bond - I'm sure I don't need to repeat my love of Lois Lane for the millionth time but after reading the first book in this series, I am totally hooked on teenage Lois' story. I already have the second book and I have asked my brother for the third book because I need to see more cuteness go on with Lois and Clark SmallvilleGuy (and that's probably not a spoiler. if you know even the tiniest of ino on superman, you'll know who smallvilleguy is)

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater - I haven't gotten around to reading The Dream Thieves yet (it's on the top of my TBR), but I do still want a complete collection of The Raven Cycle so of course I want Blue Lily, Lily Blue.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo - I'm kind of cheating by putting this book on the list because I've already preordered it and it comes out the day before my birthday so it'll sort of be a gift to myself.

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia - Vampires. In Mexico City. Um, yes.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - I still haven't read Six of Crows, which is just terrible because my copy is signed, but that doesn't mean that I can't have a copy of Crooked Kingdom for when I do read it.

Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite - More vampires. But this time in New Orleans. Um, double yes.

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer - I finished the Lunar Chronicles (minus Fairest) at the beginning of the year but I still do want to read Stars Above even though I'm not exactly fond of novellas or short story collections.

Batman: A Death in the Family by Jim Starlin, Jim Aparo, and Mike DeCarlo - It's probably terrible that I consider myself a huge Batman fan and yet I still haven't read this storyline. But, I do have an excuse: it's pretty damn expensive. I get that it's a hugely iconic storyline and all that but come on, DC, please lower the price for me. And also, with what's happened in Batman comics recently, I'd rather go through back issues than to keep up with them weekly. And also drown myself in self-insert fics.

Superman vol.1: What Price Tomorrow? by George Perez and Jesus Merino - Recently, I decided that I wanted to start keeping up with Superman comics because, as I said above, I'm not too thrilled about the current decisions with Batman (*shakes fist at DC*). However, I completely forgot that I haven't read any New 52 Superman books and the current continuity is a continuation of the previous one so if I just dive right into Rebirth Superman, I probably won't have a clue of what's going on.

Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Blood by Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, and Tony Akins - Ditto goes for Wonder Woman, but I've never read a single Wonder Woman story before, and the movie (which was aweeesomeee btw) has made me want to start reading them, so back to the New 52 I go. Yay?

What books are on your birthday wishlist?

I'm Baaack! (again...)

Yes, I'm coming back to blogging for the millionth time after taking a break for a millionth time. Blogging is something that I do truly enjoy and it keeps me doing something instead of just slobbing around the house doing nothing.

Recently, I had a huge essay kick my butt and because my brain doesn't like me, I can only focus on one task at a time so I had to drop every single thing that I was doing to get it done. there's actually another one i have to do but after asking for help five times and not getting a response, it's going to have to wait. grr. Now that I have some free time on my hands, I've decided to put a bit more focus into blogging again because I really do miss everyone.

From now until the end of the year, I aim to actually keep to a schedule as best as I can because I still do want to build up my following because I've always been a teeny tiny blog and I want to change that.

I will see you all tomorrow with a new post ✌

Books I Lost Interest In ๐Ÿ’”

Sometimes you get really hyped up for a book, and then as time goes by the hype just fizzles out. I'm sure it happens to all of us from time to time, but it happens to me a lot. My interests change all the time even though I have things I will always love, and things that excited me at one point in time won't do anything for me at another point. Or sometimes I'll learn things about an author that will really turn me off them. And sometimes, it was a case of me just growing up and my reading tastes just maturing with me. For me, losing interest in certain books I wanted to read before is kind of a natural thing and I'm more welcome to let it happen because who knows, I might end up reading them after all.

I've been in the blogosphere long enough to remember when this series was the biggest of deals and everybody loved it, so I went out to buy a copy of the first book and then just... forgot about it. Part of it is because high fantasy isn't really my thing unless it's by Leigh Bardugo, and the other part is that recently there's been a bit of criticism of Sarah J. Maas' work for representation issues. Because of that, I haven't just backed away from those books because I never set foot into them anyway. But from what I've seen, it's unlikely that I'll be reading them any time soon.

Do you know how many books are in this series? Fifteen. Fifteen. I love me some vampires, so much that I'm writing my Masters dissertation about them, but fifteen books in one series? A girl needs a break from so many vampire stories sometimes. I don't usually see a problem with long series, considering I read western comics which are constantly going, but fifteen novels in one series is a bit of a stretch for me. It's only a matter of time before I get bored and want to move onto something else.

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I have a little bit of a grudge against Frank Miller. In short, his version of Batman is not my favourite. In long, he's not my favourite because he turned a pretty liberal character into a fascist whose only solution to everything is to beat people up. Yeah, no thanks. He also gets way too much credit for bringing Batman back to his darker roots, which should go to Denny O'Neill in the 70's, but I'll try to keep my Miller hatred to a minimum here. I originally read The Dark Knight Returns when I was about twelve and thirteen and I liked it at the time, then I read The Dark Knight Strikes Again which is a hot mess. Now, I'm sick to death of DKR. It doesn't work in a modern context anymore and I get bored of seeing this thuggish brute who is somewhat abuse and fell in love with a child (yes, really) being drawn in an ugly artstyle and being given terrible dialogue. I will never forgive Miller for having Batman starve Robin, force him to eat rats, and call him the R slur. #NotMyBatman. When I found out not just about this third miniseries, but about Miller's politics in general, I completely lost interest in his work. I can appreciate what he did for the character, but that's about as much praise I'll give him. I just can't take any more of Miller's racism, fascism, or misogyny. Or his ugly art and fondness of the word 'goddamn'. Want a physical reason why I think his art is ugly? Here's a photo of a shirt I saw in New York:

Yeah. Poor Clark looks like he has a horrible skin condition. Good thing he left the art in All-Star Batman and Robin too Jim Lee, but there's still the terrible dialogue and characterisation.

Remember when paranormal romance was all the rage? I certainly do, and back in 2012 (i think) I participated in a readalong (anybody else remember those too? i'm so old now...) for Sweet Evil and I was actually excited for the sequel, and then... Poof, completely forgotten about. Most of the time this happens because I am the absolute worst at knowing when books are being released unless I'm giddily excited for them and I have a habit on relying on other bloggers to know when things about being released. Terrible for a booklover, I know, but I have the worst memory in the world. Once I got round to actually getting a copy of Sweet Peril I'd forgotten everything that happened in the first book and I wasn't in the mood to reread it, so it just stayed on the shelf.

Oh, look, another paranormal romance. Like I said, paranormal romance was all the rage back in the day (along with dystopians, but i'll get to that in a bit) and I was a youngin who wanted to fit in with the big bloggers who all got ARCs of these books and I read them too. I feel a little bad this I abandoned this series because I absolutely loved them. I mean, it's about aliens, how could I not? Again, this is all down to release dates. I never know when books are being released and they're always released to far apart from one another that I end up forgetting things. Then add the fact that I'm not fond of rereading on top of that and you end up with an abandoned series. Maybe one day I'll get around to reading Opposition because I do still have a soft spot for these books, but it'll mean that I'll have to reread all four of the previous books. It'll probably be weird to have to swoon over these teenage characters considering that I'm a real adult now. Yikes.

I have all three of these books, and I still have only read the first one. It actually took me two attempts to get through Divergent and I ended up not loving it but thinking it was a solid enough book. I probably put Insurgent onto my physical TBR pile once and then took it off because I had very little desire to read it, and then ended up forgetting about the series altogether. Dystopians used to be incredibly popular back in the day thanks to The Hunger Games and I used to read as many of them as I could, but now I barely see dystopian books get any hype and I haven't read one in years, which is strange for a genre that used to be my favourite.

I started reading Breaking Dawn at the very end of my Twihard phase and lost interest in it just over a quarter of the way through. By this point my reading tastes had changed and I was becoming more critical of the Twilight saga as a whole and I remember reading it and just thinking "I can't be bothered with this anymore", so I never finished it. This is probably the only book I've mentioned here that is a definite DNF because every other book was finished and then I didn't want to read the sequels, but this was the end of the line and once I started, I'd just had enough. I even ended up reading the Wikipedia summary for Breaking Dawn and found it either ridiculous or cringeworthy so maybe it was a decision for the best to not read it. I didn't even see the movies, I was completely done with Twilight forever.

What books or series have you lost interest in?

10 Books on My Summer TBR ☀

Top 10 Tuesday is actually on a break until August 15th, so until then I'll be making up my own prompts or picking out from the list of past prompts because I like my schedule the way it is and I don't like change. Anyways, it's summertime here in the Northern Hemisphere! I will admit that summer is my least favourite season because I don't handle hot weather very well, I hate showing off my limbs, and I very rarely go outside, whomp whomp. But, that doesn't mean that I can't match what I read to the weather because my reading tastes definitely depend on the time of year.

Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond - There are two things that I treasure dearly in this world. One of those is YA fiction, which is sort of a given. The other is Lois Lane (she is my online avatar, of course). I love Lois Lane so much that I am very quick to defend her when people write her off as an "uninteresting, pointless damsel in distress" because she was never intended to be one and hasn't been one since the 1960's. Lois is a strong independent woman who fights for what she believes in without the need of powers, and just so happens to be married to the strongest man in the world. Well, not in this book she isn't. But anyway, obviously I had to read this series, duh.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon - Recently I've seen this book making the rounds and it sounds pretty cute so I had to give it a go (also, it's currently 99p on Kindle). I haven't read any contemporaries in a while and it's a genre that I always come back to, but it's usually very white and reading more diverse books is something I planned to do this year, so why not put it on my TBR.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - I've been wanting to read this book since it was released, but money got in my way of getting a copy of it. That's problem's been solved now because I got in on Kindle and can finally read it, since I've heard so many good things.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater - I recently finished The Raven Boys and while I didn't love it, I did like it enough to want to continue on with the rest of the series (i may have a soft spot for Gansey now). Just before I started this post I ordered a copy of this book so now I just have to play the waiting game.

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - This book hasn't really been talked about for a while but it's been sitting on my shelves for ages and it looks sort of summery (maybe?) so now feels like the right time to read it since summer is usually contemporary time for me.

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky - So far I've only read one book that has a trans protagonist and it wasn't handled as well as it could have been, so when I saw this book in the library I was a little wary, but it's all good because the blurb doesn't do any misgendering. I haven't borrowed it yet but I will do when I make my way down this list.

Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian - It's been the hottest of minutes since I read Burn for Burn and I'm wanting to get as many series that I own finished as I can, and I realised that I didn't own a copy of Fire with Fire, which is on its way to me. Happy days.

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas - I originally had this book on my spring TBR but because I'm not good at keeping to a schedule sometimes I ended up putting it back on my shelves, but this time I'm determined to read it because it's been too long.

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson - Another library book! I still haven't read any of Jandy Nelson's books even though I own The Sky is Everywhere, but I have heard plenty of good things about I'll Give You the Sun that I will definitely get it from the library.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo - I have been extremely hyped for not just this book, but this entire series (with one exception) since it was first announced so of course I had to place a pre-order for the first book because 1) it's Wonder Woman and 2) it's Wonder Woman written by Leigh Bardugo. Um, yes please. (As for the exception, there's going to be a Catwoman book by Sarah J. Maas that I'll more than likely skip because I really don't like Catwoman, and the more criticism I read about SJM, the less interested in her books I am.)

What's on your summer TBR (or winter, if you're in the Southern Hemisphere)?

Let's Talk About Video Games ๐ŸŽฎ

Out of all of the things I've talked about on this here blog, if my terrible memory is right, I don't think I've ever had a full post about video games. I've probably talked about them here and there, but I think it's about time that I dedicated a full post about them.

So, anyway. Video games. Vidya gaems. I love 'em. Don't ask me what the first game I ever played was, because I seriously can't remember what it was (i said my memory is terrible, didn't i?) considering I was so small when I first picked up a controller. Or probably a GameBoy. It was either a PS1 controller or a GameBoy, I'm not old enough to have experienced SNES games or even the N64, but whatever. I've loved video games for a really long time is what I'm getting at. I'm not very good at them, but not only is that to be expected from a childhood of being Player 2, it also doesn't matter because I don't play them to be competitive or to be good, I play them to have fun.

Not only am I not very good at games, I'm also horrendous at keeping up with what new releases there are, just the same as with books. I'm always late to the party and in fact, I didn't get a PlayStation 4 until last Christmas, and most of the games I have for it aren't new releases. i also can't afford to buy new games all the time, but that's a different issue altogether... So, instead of talking about what new releases I'm looking forward to, I'm going to share with you all the games that I've been regularly playing recently, and also some that I constantly return to.

Out of all the games I'm going to list, I've probably put the most hours into this one. I can't help it if Animal Crossing is addicting, okay? The strange thing is, though, is that when I was a lot younger, I could never really get into the series and I constantly reset my town because I didn't know what I wanted to do with it. This time around, though, I've had the same town since I first started the game and I have no intentions of resetting it. There's still way too much for me to do in the game for me to just restart all over again. Here's a few snaps of my town that I took during the middle of the night when it was dark in the game because I'm a nocturnal dolt:

Pokรฉmon is one of the first video games I ever played even though I didn't have my own copy until Gen 3 when I got a GameBoy Advance with the game (it's a special pokรฉmon gba and i still have it, btw) that let you play as a girl. Before that, though, I used to borrow my brother's copy and then not save over his file, but I've always been a Pokรฉmon fan, considering me and my brother used to watch the anime series constantly when we were little. So far the only main series games I haven't played are the Gen 5 games (i'll get to them eventually) but I've mainly managed to keep up. I haven't played too much of Moon but from what I've played it's very different. But, different isn't always a bad things because Pokรฉmon has had a very formulaic way of doing things for a very long time, so it was about time that things got shook up a bit. The only thing that's really, really bugging me though is that the game clocks are set 12 hours apart for each edition, so when I'm playing Moon in the middle of the night, it's daytime in the game itself. What. Was. The. Point.

I love the Lego series of games even though the only ones I've played are the Star Wars games and the Batman ones, and because I'm not well-versed in Star Wars I prefer the Batman games. I've played the first Lego Batman game a million times and I still haven't finished the second one because the change in format freaked me out when I first picked it up. I preferred the format of having a game hub where you can go into different chapters from there rather than the linear story that the newer games have, but oh well. At the moment I'm playing the third game which so far I'm liking. I wasn't initially fond of there being voice acting in these games, but Troy Baker does such a good job playing Batman that I'm able to look past it. I'm not able to look past the voice that Superman was given though. He sounds like a parody of himself and it's painful to listen to. Also, they paired him up romantically with Wonder Woman. No. But her idle animation is her twirling in circles like Lynda Carter so I can deal.

This may come as a wee bit of a surprise considering the other games I've mentioned here, but I do have a taste for more violent and mature games, and Mortal Kombat is definitely the most violent and mature out of every game I'm talking about. Obviously in real life I'm mostly a nonviolent person, but I will admit that there's something about beating up fictional people when you're in a bad mood. I'm not really fond of fighting games that aren't Mortal Kombat because I feel like they're missing something, and that something is Fatalities. If you're not familiar with the series, Fatalities are basically really really gruesome finishing moves that you perform when you win a fight. I'm not going to provide a link because they're so gory (especially in the more recent games), so you should view those at your own risk.

I know I said that I love the Lego games, but this series here, my friendos, is the best Batman game series that has ever been made. It is so good. These games were written by Paul Dini, who is a veteran Batman writer at this point, and follow the comics mythos pretty damn closely while being an original story at the same time. Each game gets bigger and bigger in terms of how much area you're able to explore, going from just Arkham Island to eventually the entirety of Gotham City and new threats and villains are brought in from the comics each time. I'm not the best at these games and I still haven't gotten past Deathstroke in Arkham Origins because I am no good at countering, and that frustrates me a little because I want to know more and more of the story and find more things to unlock. Although, I have been spoiled for Arkham Knight and that really annoyed me, but I'll get to it. Once I eventually get past Deathstroke in Arkham Origins. Who is the third boss of that game.

I'm not sure how many people know this, but I am a total sucker for anything about the mafia. I love The Godfather and I watched The Sopranos religiously so when my best friend's brother mentioned the game Mafia II to me, I was all over it like flies on a plate of dirty food. I even tracked down a preowned copy of the first game which I can't beat without cheat codes because A) the controls are stiff af and its hard to aim B) I'm just terrible at the game. I'd been waiting for the third game ever since people were just speculating about it and then once it was officially announced the real wait was on. Now that I have it, I haven't had time to play it. Obviously it's a lot different so it's taking some getting used to but so far I'm digging it. It was a good decision to have a black protagonist instead of white Italian dudes like the first game, but you've got to deal with hearing the N slur thrown around a lot, given that the game's set in the late 60's. Also, apparently you can kill the KKK in this game. I haven't gotten to that point yet, but apparently it's a thing that can happen.

Fun fact: I can kick your ass at Mario Kart. Probably. I'm trying my best to not brag, but Mario Kart is one of the very few games that I'm actually really good at, and it's all down to binge playing it until my hands cramp up. I'm not good to the point of winning any tournaments (because I don't do competitive playing), but I still think that I'm pretty damn good at it. Nothing can stop me and Luigi from smoking up that track and getting first place.

Because I'm kind of a snob, I haven't kept up with the Sims series since the second game. I've tried to get into The Sims 3 plenty of times but I just can't because the graphics really put me off. I prefer my Sims to either look like video game characters or people, not like Play-Doh creatures. Plus the extra features added to it just confused me and made the game feel harder than it should be. I might play The Sims 4 someday, but for now I'm sticking to The Sims 2 because I understand how it works and I still remember all of the cheat codes for it. The only problem is, I kind of rely on custom content and nobody makes CC for this game anymore. Whomp whomp.

Fun fact: this was the first PlayStation 2 game I ever got and I didn't actually have a PS2 to play it on at the time so I had to share it with my brother. Whomp whomp. But, once I did get my own PS2 I was able to play it on my own and that was when I found out that I really suck at video games. Even now, I can't beat the timed missions in this game without using cheats, but let's be real here: who's playing this game to play through the missions? Yeah, the story's great and all because it was written by the Simpsons staff and all of the voice cast is in it, but the real reason to play this game is to drive into people and run up to strangers in the street and kick them into holes. That's why you play this game. But it doesn't stop me from getting 100% completion every time I play it because that's just how I am.

Because I am a grown child, I constantly find myself returning to these old, old, old games (well, they're from the early 90's, but whatever, they're old games). I don't really have much of a reason for returning to them all the time other than for nostalgia's sake. I haven't actually watched Rugrats in a long time because it doesn't really air on TV anymore and Netflix won't get their crap together and have only had season three (out of nine) for years, so instead I've got these games for whenever I want my Rugrats fix. How many times have I played these games, you ask? I lost count of how many times I've played them. I've played these games so often that I can beat them in under two hours. Obviously these games are for children, but when you're as bad at games as I am, that's an achievement. However, it does take a bit longer for me to beat Totally Angelica because that game is a chore, and I still have yet to beat Rugrats in Paris because the final boss of that game (or should I say the only boss) is ridiculously unfair. But I'll get there someday.

Do you play video games? What are some of your favourites?

10 Books with Beautiful Covers ๐Ÿ’™

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I am 100% unashamed to admit that I pick up books based on their covers. I both buy and don't buy into the whole "don't judge a book by its cover" thing because I have an A Level in media studies and in order to get people to pick up your book, it needs to look aesthetically pleasing. Anyways, I like pretty covers. Not to the point that I'll refuse to pick a good book up because it has an ugly cover, but I like good books to have good covers. So here are ten of my favourite book covers, whether I have actually read them or not.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner - All of the books in this trilogy have gorgeously amazing covers, but this one sticks out in my mind more because it's blue, which is my favourite colour. Also, the pretty dress on the cover is totally relevant to the story itself so it gets more bonus points.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer - Same as with the Starbound series, I love all of the covers for the Lunar Chronicles, but Cinder's cover is my favourite. The metal leg under the skin shows straight away that Cinder is a cyborg and also that this is a retelling of Cinderella, which the other covers don't exactly do, instead they just show which tale the book retells. Also, this book is the best one to edit into black and white for Instagram.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld - I may be a little (or a lot) biased because Scott Westerfeld is one of my favourite authors, and also because this is my favourite series ever, but I adore the cover of Leviathan even though it's not actually the first edition, which I do also love. Because this is a steampunk book, the cover has all sorts of mechanical elements to it, which looks so cool.

Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis - Apart from this cover being gorgeous, the copy I have has parts on it that are embossed, which is one of my absolute favourite things that book covers can have. I'm constantly stimming and when I read I constantly flick large chunks of pages so embossed covers that I can run my fingers over are always delightful for me.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell - I get that from a glance this edition isn't that spectacular to look at because without the black bars it's just a reprint of the old penguin cover designs, but the cool thing about those bars is that they're added over the top of the book and rub off on your fingers as you read it. See that? Symbolism. And symbolism is cool.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - This cover isn't too flashy but that's okay because it works so well for its genre. Contemporary books rarely have covers that are covered in a million details or big flowy dresses, because those aren't the kinds of stories they tell. I love the covers for this series because they're so simple and understated, and also the model on the cover is East Asian, just like the main character so win.

Splintered by A.G. Howard - Look, a green cover! I don't see green covers floating around too often so I'm always delighted whenever covers come in any shade of green and are done well. The covers for all of the books in this series are pretty, but this one's my favourite because it's the only one that I own for now ๐Ÿ˜…

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - I love pre-Soviet Russian aesthetics (i went through a phase where i was hugely obsessed with russia) so obviously the Grisha covers draw me in. I especially love the dark colours used on the cover of Shadow and Bone because it gives a sort of wintry feel, and obviously Russia gets pretty freaking cold so it's fitting.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson - Leatherbound books are gorgeous. This leatherbound edition of Jekyll and Hyde is especially gorgeous. All of the little images on the cover are gold and shiny and oh so cool to look at. In fact, I've spent so much time looking at the cover that I still haven't read the book. Oops.

Dracula by Bram Stoker - All of the Barnes & Noble leatherbound classics are pretty, but because Dracula is one of my favourite books, it has my favourite cover next to the cover for their edition of Frankenstein. Wit a book like Dracula, you don't need the cover to tell you what it's about, so this one doesn't really do that apart from the occasional drips. Instead, it shows the genre through the colours (red = blood, black = death) and the font and the end result is just so pretty.

What are some of your favourite book covers?