The Adventure Book Tag

Hello everyone! I wasn’t tagged to do this, but I felt like doing it anyway when I found it. 🙂 Without further ado, let’s just begin!


Which character would you love to go an adventure with?


Hermione pointing wand, scared and fierce

I think Hermione would be great to go on an adventure with.

  • She has magic powers to save you from certain death
  • she’s so smart that she could definitely help think our way out of some sticky situations.
  • She went on so many adventures  that she’s definitely an expert by now!

If you could be any character for a day, who would you be and why?


I don’t really know what to answer for this one, because the only reason I would ever want to be someone else for a day would be to learn about how other people experience life, but I also don’t think I could deal with having to go through some of the things people go through.

I suppose it would be nice to pick someone with a really good love life so that I can live vicariously through them for the day? But there are so many heroines with amazing love interests that it’s impossible to pick just one!


What book is on your TBR bucket list?


Pride and Prejudice book cover

I tried to read Pride and Prejudice once before when I was about nine years old and found myself extremely put off by the very first line.

Strangely, nine-year-old Keira didn’t understand concepts such as satire and social commentary.

I have watched a couple of adaptations, but I know that they’re not very reliable, so I really need to read the book and see what all of the hype is about and why it’s such a beloved classic.

I even own a copy of the book, so it really needs to happen.


Which book has a contemporary setting you would love to go to?


The country I would most love to go is Norway, but I don’t know any books set in Norway. I also really want to go to a lot of other countries, but found that I don’t really have many books which specifically state where they are set.

The only one I could really think of were mostly set in London or Paris, both of which I’ve been to… or were books that aren’t amazing, but happened to be set somewhere I wanted to visit.

In the end I came to the conclusion that I need to read more contemporary books where the setting is important and defined! If you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them!


Which book has a fantasy/fictional setting you would love to go to?


Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuireApart from the obvious answer of Hogwarts (because like most people, I was really hoping to get that letter on my eleventh birthday), I would love to go to the world of Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire.

All of the different characters in that book are originally from our world, but found themselves drawn into other worlds. I’d be really interested to see what kind of world would draw me in!

Also, if you haven’t read Every Heart A Doorway, you should do as soon as possible because it is amazing!


What book or book edition would you do anything to get your hands on?


I don’t think there’s any book that I would have that level of dedication to in order to acquire a copy, but I would really like to keep the second-hand copies of books that I have from my parents or grandparents safe for as long as possible. I would love to pass them down to any future children I have and I would feel very guilty if they got damaged.

I don’t think I would do anything to protect them (say if there was a fire, the things I would grab would still be my phone to call for help and the teddy bear that I’ve had since before I was born) but that’s the closest answer I have.


Name a character who is very adventurous and daring.


 

Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass is very daring, especially lateen in the series and she takes a lot of risks when dealing with pretty important and terrifyingly powerful forces. She’s really powerful, of course, which helps, but she’s also really loyal and I admire her strength, especially in later books in the series.


Name the craziest or weirdest place you’ve ever read a book.


Falling down the stairs.gif

Reading whilst walking down the stairs is definitely dangerous, so I think that is probably the craziest place I’ve ever read a book!

Somehow I don’t think it ever caused me to fall down, but there were probably quite a few close calls and I definitely don’t do it anymore!

I like my bones unbroken and the skin to stay on my back (once I fell down the stairs and scraped the skin off my back… ouch)!


And that’s it!

I tag:

Cristina @MyTinyObsessions , Kelly @anotherbookinthewall, Ari @TheRomanceCorner, and Kat @LifeandOtherDisasters. Obviously you don’t have to do the tag if I tagged you and likewise, if I haven’t tagged you feel free to do the tag and link back to one of my posts so that I can see it 🙂


What characters would you love to go on adventure with? Let me know!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Happy reading, Keira x.


If you have any requests for other reviews (be that books or music, old or new), leave me a comment below, pop me an email or go here for more information.

Have your own music or book to submit? Take a look at my review policy.

Also make sure to follow me on Twitter to see what the new theme is each week, follow this blog so you’re notified when I next post, and add me on Goodreads!

If you have a blog, pop a link down below along with a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look!

A.C.E’s Adventures in Wonderland Album Review

A.C.E Adventures in WonderlandA.C.E Adventures in Wonderland is a repackage album including all of the group’s prior releases as well as three new tracks. The album was released on the 8th of June 2018. 

CACTUS and Callin’ feature all five members of the group, but due to temporary promotions with the group UNB, the maknae Chan was not able to participate in any of the other tracks. Take Me Higher features all members except Chan, whilst DESSERT and Black and Blue were unit duets. 

A.C.E Adventures in Wonderland track list

The concept of this album wasn’t ever clearly explained and there were numerous theories flying around on Twitter. Obviously, the title is a nod to Alice in Wonderland and fairytale books can be found in some of the teaser images. 

Prior to the release of this album the members had mentioned wanting to explore a variety of music styles, which they clearly accomplished in this repackaged mini album.


TRACK 1- CACTUS


CACTUS was originally released in May 2017, it the group’s debut single and incorporates a variety of genres, including the EDM sub-genre hardstyle.

The instrumentation of this song is probably the most prominent feature of the song and is also very unique in the k-pop genre as hardstyle is a mostly unexplored genre in the industry.  

Highlights of the song include the piano intro (0:03-0:15) and the beautiful clear vocals from main vocals Donghun and Chan (e.g. at 0:33).

Chan dancing to CACTUS gif
Chan dancing to CACTUS

Jun also shows off his beautiful voice, and rappers Byeongkwan and Wow show their versatility, with both rap verses and singing parts.

The lyrics tell the story of the how A.C.E has come through their hardships to end up where they are now, with lines like:

it doesn’t matter who bothers me, I’ll be okay, I won’t be scared.

Overall, the meaning of the song is good and what we hear of their vocals and rapping is excellent.

However, I do wish they had more opportunities to show off their voices, as the instrumentation dominated the song. 

Additionally, whilst I enjoyed the instrumentation and flow of the song overall, I would have liked to see some more variation. Hence, I give the song a rating of 3/5.

3 microphones out of 5 (rating)

Did you like this song? If you did, check out this remix version with SPECTRUM BEAT as well as this English version in which they changed some of the lyrics and dedicated it to fans, whom they call Choice!

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


TRACK 2- Callin’


Callin’ was originally released on the 18th of October 2017 and was the group’s first comeback, just one week before the members joined both The Unit and MIXNINE (survival shows). 

Following their debut song, the group decided to keep a somewhat similar sound for their first comeback. Callin’ however, is a more complex and musically mature song than CACTUS.

Despite having a very similar beat drop, there is much more complexity and variety of the instrumentation in this song. I particularly love Donghun’s softer verse at 1:32.

Not only is the instrumentation more varied, but the members have more lines in this song, allowing them to display more of their talents. Main vocal Chan shows off his unique vocal tone at 2:15 and the ad-libs from 2:55 add a complexity to the song which I very much enjoy. 

A.C.E
A.C.E

The lyrics of Callin’ follow on from the story told by CACTUS, talking about how the members now feel ready to answer whenever the world calls on them, with lines like

now open your eyes don’t hide anymore

and

anytime anywhere callin’.

It seems a fitting continuation from CACTUSwhich talked about their feelings up to their debut and how they overcame hardship, to now declare their confidence and readiness before the world.

Overall, I like how this song was connected to their previous track: it can be annoying when two songs from an artist seem very similar to each other, but in this case it works as Callin’ clearly builds on and develops the story and emotions from CACTUS.

The greater complexity and variety in this song finds me enjoying the song much more than their debut, which I already liked, so I’m giving it a 3.5/5.

3.5 microphones (3.5/5)

Did you like this song? If you did, check out this live performance!

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


TRACK 3- BLACK AND BLUE


Now we’ve come to the first of the new tracks on the album! Black and Blue is a song by members Jun and Wow and is rumoured to have been inspired by Beauty and the Beast, which is one of my favourite fairy tales of all time.

Black and Blue has a grittier, hip-hop sound and shows how the group has begun to explore a wider variety of music genres. The song has a very unique and unusual flair as well. 

One aspect of this song which I have absolutely fallen in love with is how they use their two different voices to create a sense of dialogue, for example at 0:11 through the use of interjections and then at 0:25 where the song switches back between rap and singing.

Wow and Jun selfie
Wow and Jun

The narrator of the song talks about how their life has only “black and dark” and invites whoever they are talking to not to give up on them, saying:

“please come into my darkness, use your warmth to envelop me”.

Despite the generally strong and powerful beat and somewhat possessive lyrics, there is a somewhat unexpected emotional vulnerability, especially in the later part of the song around 2:25 where the beat mellows out and Wow says:

“I’m saying I love you please take a listen, please understand my pureness, the solace in my bleak melancholy”.

At first I must admit I wasn’t sure whether or not I liked Black and Blue. Over time I have come to enjoy how it is simple yet complicated at the same time and the mixture of melodies and chanting whispers seems to work really well

Overall, whilst the concept isn’t particularly original, the lyrics are well-crafted and the song is engaging to listen to, so I give it a rating of 4/5.

4 microphones

Did you like this song? If you did, check out this fan-cam of the two performing it at a fan signing!

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


TRACK 4- Take Me Higher


Take Me Higher is the title track of this repackaged album and the group’s third music video and promotional song. It features Donghun, Wow, Jun and Kim Byeongkwan.

Take Me Higher is completely different from the group’s previous title tracks and takes a chill-pop approach to summery music, marking the group’s first attempt at seasonal music and also their first non-EDM title track. 

The instrumentals and the vocals compliment each other and work on the same level in this song. This doesn’t necessarily make the song any better, but it is interesting and a nice change of pace.

The instrumentation of the song is quite stripped back and includes a snapping sound and occasionally chords, later mixing in some more light percussion as well. 

Casual picture of A.C.E (without Chan) after performing Take Me Higher
A.C.E after performing Take Me Higher

What the instrumental lacks in melody and tune, the vocals deliver in full. The vocals are smooth and melodic, contrasting and completing the instrumental perfectly and their high pitch helps to create a fun and sunny feeling. 

The song also features a rap verse (2:31) written by group member Wow, which has a much more chill, almost R&B sound and provides a nice break in the general upbeat poppy sound of the song. This also leads into this beautiful slower section at 2:48 where Donghun and Jun really get to show off their gorgeous vocals.

For the most part, the flow of the song works really well and the rap verse and break down perfectly balance out the rest of the song so that it never feels boring or overly repetitive.

The chorus might actually be my least favourite part of the song… whilst I mostly like it a lot, there is one line (for example at 1:19) where they sing “everyday, everywhere, everything about you” and I find that the repetition of “every” breaks the flow of the song slightly. Apart from that, this song is wonderful.

This song is really a love song to the groups fans and lines such as “my choice is my life” make this perfectly clear, as their fandom name is choice. The lyrics thank the group’s fans for their love and support with lines like

“my unending gratitude, you’re the reason for my existence”.

Take Me Higher also seems to be a continuation of the group’s previous title tracks (CACTUS and Callin’), continuing to tell the story of A.C.E’s journey.

Beyond this, it is also a simple love song.

Overall, I how Take Me Higher is a summer song without being predictable! They lyrics aren’t particularly unique, but are sweet, and the song itself is catchy and pleasing to the ears so I give it a 3.5/5.

3.5 microphones (3.5/5)

Did you like this song? If you did check out this live performance.

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


TRACK 5- DESSERT


DESSERT is the third and final new track on this album and features members Donghun and Kim Byeongkwan.

DESSERT  has a  more typical summer sound with a lot of tropical house influence. I’m a bit tired of this genre, which I didn’t love to begin with, so I’m less inclined to like this song than others on the album. 

The song starts off with quite a bare instrumental and slowly builds up, which helps to propel the song forwards quite successfully.

When the vocals start at 0:10 they’re quite high-pitched and have an airy quality, making them seem almost other-worldly in the best way possible.

Selfie of Donghun and Kim Byeongkwan
Byeongkwan and Donghun

The song features a clear beat drop, the only of the three new tracks to do so, which isn’t too repetitive and is broken up nicely by the occasional lyric.

However, the chorus is quite repetitive, which I do not enjoy, although it does sound nice. Unfortunately, the chorus and the beat drop make up most of the song.

The highlight of the song is definitely the section around 1:30 as it provides a nice contrast from the otherwise high-pitched and upbeat song.

Although DESSERT is definitely my least favourite of the new tracks, and although it is perhaps the most simple of all songs in terms of meaning (it’s a very sweet, summery confession song), I absolutely love the lyrics.

The lyrics of this song are not only sweet in terms of emotions, but literally sweet. My mouth is watering whilst reading lines like

“you look as if you were shaking around like cotton candy”

and

“even sand fluttering through the desert is sugar powder”

Overall, I really like how they expressed the meaning through the lyrics, and I very much like the verse in the middle of the song, but the genre and the repetitiveness of the chorus was not for me.

However, if you are a fan of tropical house music you would probably very much enjoy this song and it is all a matter or personal preference. Based on my own music tastes, this song gets a rating of 1.5/5, but someone who likes tropical house could have easily rated it at 4/5.

1.5 microphones

Did you like this song? If you did, check out this fan-cam of Donghun and Kim Byeongkwan performing it!

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


TRACK 6- 5TAR (Incompletion)


 5TAR (Incompletion) was previously released as a digital single by the group on the 15th of March 2018 and features all of the members except for Chan. An alternate version of the song including Chan exists, but was not included in this album due to his contract with UNB

5TAR (Incompletion) was the group’s first official exploration of other genres as a group and is the groups first ballad. In my opinion, it really showcases the amazing vocal talents in this group.

The vocals start soft and in a comfortable register, creating an intimate and comforting atmosphere. The vocals gently coax the song along, for example this beautiful part at 0:44. The group also experimented with harmonies, which worked really well for them as well. Later in the song, for example at 3:06, the vocals sound much more emotional, creating progression and variety.

Jun and Byeongkwan kissing Chan on the cheek whilst Wow and Donghun watch gif
A.C.E kissing Chan

The only part of the song which I do not like is the end part from about 3:47 to 4:11 where they simply repeat “woah”. It sounds beautiful, but it’s far too repetitive for my tastes and this is something which I don’t like in any song.

The rap section around 2:03 is probably second least favourite part of the song and whilst I don’t not like it, I feel like the intensity and flow doesn’t completely match with the overall atmosphere of the song. It has grown on me overtime, but it’s still not my favourite section of the song.

The instrumentation in this song is quite stripped back and it gives a very raw and sincere feeling to the song, for example at 0:12. The instrumental changes throughout the song to fit the singing or rapping, blending really nicely together.

By looking at the lyrics, it is clear to see that the message of this song is so important and beautiful.

The group dedicated the song to their fans and have said they hope it helps Choice through difficult times in their life. It’s about not being alone anymore, about being proud of yourself and how “happiness is slowly coming your way”.

The lyrics do not urge one to stop crying and feel better, but rather to let it all out. Lines like “please don’t stop your tears” tell the listener how it’s okay to be sad, how you should let it all out and they will be there for you.

These lyrics were written by group members Jun and Donghun, making it even more special.

Overall, I love the meaning behind this song and the majority of the song is excellent, but the repetitive “woah” at the end ruins it a little bit for me, so I will give it a rating of 2/5.

2 microphones out of 5

If you do want to listen to the complete version of the song, you can’t currently purchase it or stream it but there is an official version on YouTube which you can watch here. (Spoiler alert: the song gets a 3 or 4 in this version.)

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


Overall, I’m quite pleased with this album. Whilst there were no songs that I gave a 5, most of the songs were very good and there was a decent amount of variety of genre and sound. Although not all of the songs suited my personal preference, they were on the most part good for the genre they were.

The concept of the album wasn’t very clearly expressed, but the songs were good individually and there was some continuation through the title tracks, from CACTUS to Callin’ and finally to Take Me Higher. However, there were a few songs which I gave lower ratings and some things that I didn’t like as much. Hence, I give this album a 3/5.

3 microphones out of 5 (rating)

If you want to know what my ratings mean please refer to this. A 3 star album rating means I liked all of the songs to some extent (1 microphone or higher) and the cohesiveness, variety and music quality is decent. NOTE: I rate out of 5, however there are 7 levels (5,4,3,2,1,0, N/A).


Who are A.C.E?


add me on Spotify to see playlists!


A.C.E are a South Korean boy group who debuted in May 2017. There are five members: Jun, Donghun, Wow, Kim Byeongkwan (formerly known as Jason) and Chan. Chan is also a member of the boy group UNB.

Check out this introductory post or this introductory video.


So that was my review for A.C.E’s newest album! I love this group with all my heart and I hope you will too.

What did you think about this album? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you for reading this post today! I hope you enjoyed and found some new music to listen to! Happy listening, Keira x.


If you have any requests for other reviews (be that books or music, old or new), leave me a comment below, pop me an email or go here for more information.

Have your own music or book to submit? Take a look at my review policy.

Also make sure to follow me on Twitter to see what the new theme is each week, follow this blog so you’re notified when I next post, and add me on Spotify (I’ll add you back and we can see what sort of songs each other listen to)!

If you have a blog, pop a link down below along with a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look!


6 Must-Read Books About Going on Adventures

Hello everyone and welcome to my first post on this new blog! My name is Keira 🙂

I thought I would start off with a slightly more casual post where I just recommend some books to you! Posts on this blog will surround weekly themes which I announce on my Twitter on Sundays. This week’s theme is adventure in honour of author Enid Blyton’s birthday on the 11th of August.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some great adventure stories!


The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton

The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton Book Cover (children on a boat on the sea next to some cliffs)
Goodreads

Enid Blyton was the inspiration for this week’s theme, so naturally she needed to be at the top of this list! Although her work on the Famous Five and Secret Seven series are probably more famous, the Adventure series featuring characters such as Lucy-Ann and the Mannering siblings remains my absolute favourites.

I own old copies of the books that my grandma had as a child, so they have a lot of nostalgic value and besides that the stories are just wonderfully engaging. As a child I also loved the Famous Five, although I never read the Secret Seven, but the Adventure books remain on my bookshelf to this day (it helps that there’s only eight of them!)

The books follow a group of children who end up moving in to an ancient mansion on the coast when Jack, Lucy-Ann and Jack’s bird Kiki follow Phillip home after boarding school is over. The two meet Diana, Phillip’s sister, and the four get up to all sorts of adventures.

The adventures are done mostly by themselves without adults, but as all good children’s series should, there are a plethora of good and supportive adult role models throughout the books who are neither annoying nor boring!


Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
Goodreads

Another classic children’s book, Peter Pan is the perfect example of an adventure story. There are pirates, a world where nobody gets older and a boy who loses his shadow!

Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan, or the Disney version at least, and I actually didn’t read the book until recently, but I found it very much enjoyable.

If you happen not to know the story of Peter Pan then you are seriously missing out and you should go and read the book immediately… or at least watch the film!


The Little Queen by Meia Geddes

The Little Queen by Meia Geddes
Goodreads

Whilst there’s a reasonable to good chance you’ve heard of the previous to books on this list, you probably haven’t heard of this book.

The Little Queen is a slightly confusing, but rather brilliant story about a little Queen who is left to rule the country and goes on a journey travelling throughout the world she lives in where she meets a variety of people from people who walk all the way around the planet to people who make windows and she questions who and what she wants to be.

Not only does the character go on an actual journey, but she makes a personal and emotional journey throughout and Meia Geddes’ lyrical writing style makes the short book a very enjoyable read.


Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.jpg
Goodreads

This is an adult classic this time, and a rather unknown one at that.

Gilman’s most established work is her short story The Yellow Wall-Paper, which deals with rather dark topics to do with a woman being isolated from the world and her interests. Herland is a novella, rather than a short story, but still keeps the theme of very primitive feminism.

Three explorers find a forgotten land where only women live and have their eyes opened. Each of the men has a very different reaction and the way that the book is written gives an interesting insight into the psyche of the time as well as providing a rather interesting adventure story.


Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Goodreads

On a more light-hearted note, Furthermore is a middle-grade fantasy novel from the author of the Shatter Me series. In this new novel, Tahereh Mafi is able to express her story through beautifully lyrical, but not overly complicated and busy writing in a way that she developed throughout the Shatter Me series and it was truly delightful to see how it came to fruition in this book.

Furthermore is certainly a fantasy novel, much like Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus was definitely a fantasy novel, but similarly reads like a beautiful work of magical realism.

The main characters, Alice and Oliver grow a beautiful friendship form a rather tense beginning as they travel through the world of Furthermore, which is at once beautiful and dangerous, as they try to rescue Alice’s father. Nothing is as it seems and this adventure certainly has a lot of unexpected twists, making it both a beautiful and exciting read.


Rolling Blackouts by Sarah Glidden

Rolling Blackouts by Sarah Glidden
Goodreads

This is non-fiction and it’s also a graphic novel, but I wanted to include it anyway. It is perhaps not as exciting or exotic as many of the other adventures I’ve talked about today, but Sarah Glidden’s journey in Rolling Blackouts is contemporary and important.

Rolling Blackouts is a recollection of Glidden’s journey through the Turkey, Syria and Iraq and tells not only of her own experiences and realisations whilst working as a journalist there, but also the stories of the people she travelled with and the people they spoke to. It’s sad and hopeful and an eye-opener and definitely worth the read.


So that was it!

Have you read any of these books? Let me know what your favourite adventure stories are by leaving me a comment!


If you have any requests for other reviews (be that books or music, old or new), leave me a comment below, pop me an email or go here for more information.

Have your own music or book to submit? Take a look at my review policy.

Also make sure to follow me on Twitter to see what the new theme is each week, follow this blog so you’re notified when I next post, and add me on Goodreads!

If you have a blog, pop a link down below along with a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look!