‘Warcross’ – Marie Lu Book Review

When I first heard about this book I don’t know what I was expecting. With all of the hype surrounding the blogging and bookstagram world when it first came out, I expected something that was not what I received.

Warcross to me was going to be a fast-paced book, with brilliant descriptions of amazing gaming competitions, little romance, and chases of dark figures lurking in the shadows and bringing down the games.

In the end, it was more than that. Emika Chen is barely living by the day as a bounty hunter – chasing down those who bet on Warcross matches illegally to try and earn money to pay the rent in the tiny flat she shares with her best friend, and eat a meal that isn’t a Pot Noodle.

So when she sees a chance to make a lot of money by stealing a valuble item from a televised live Warcross event, she jumps at the chance. But when the hack goes wrong and she is thrust into the game, noticed by everyone, there is no turning back.

Her world is flipped upside down by a mysterious call from Hideo Tanaka, the creator of Warcross and her long time aspiration, making her an offer she can’t refuse. Thrust into the world of fast cars, augmented reality, posh clothes, romantic meals and a family shes longed for all her life, trying to balance work and play suddenly is all the more difficult.

Picture sourced from @bettes.pages

Now what I loved about this book was the fact that Warcross was built to show an augmented reality, extremely similar to the Oasis in Ready Player One, however in Warcross the main feature is battles, which are described really well and feel extremely immersive. The style of the book is really good, I love the occasional flashbacks and the narrative story, along with Emika solving out who Zero is, and how we also get to see an insight into how the lives of teenage sensations are just like normal people, with family that they care about and wanting to just be normal; how things aren’t always perfect with Hideo and he longs for everything to be set right again.

Personally, I really liked the love story, and how Zero was worked into the novel, with so many different possibilites it kept us on the edge of our seat until the end of the book, however I feel like the twist at the end of the real darkness in the book was too cliche, and not what I thought this book was going to end like.

I cannot wait however, to get my teeth sunk into the second book of the duology by Marie Lu, Wildcard, which was released in October 2018.

Hope that my review was useful in debating whether or not to read this book, overall the storyline is really good if you don’t mind predictability and romance overtaking the plot of Zero. The dystopian/utopian  setting of Warcross is incredible, and the technological feats with links to current everyday situations we face, and brings attention to the things that those struggling turn to as an escape.

Ellie. Xx


Reasons To Continue Living

Dear whoever is reading this,
I know that it seems that everything has gone down the drain. That you can’t see a future for yourself and that after everything you’ve been through, you can’t see a reason to carry on. You believe that you can’t smile again, that there is nothing to live for, that no one cares about you, alive or dead.
I know it may seem that everything is just black and white, and things will be better when you have gone, that everyone will just get on with your life, that you are just a drop in the ocean and no one cares about you.
So I’m writing this, broken, crying, terrified of the future, thinking that I don’t have one and that I don’t have reasons to live, to prove to myself, and to others, that I am human. That I deserve my life, that I do have that future, and I do have something inside of me to live for.

  1. I want to get better – This anxiety, this depression, yes you have been through so much pain, but darling, it’s something that doesn’t make you you. You can fight your way through this.
  2. My family does care – Yes you may argue, yes you may get hurt, but on top of that, they do love you, deep down. Do you believe that they wouldn’t avoid your bedroom, that they would not grab your favourite cuddly toy and hold onto it, wishing that you would just tell them how you feel.
  3. My boyfriend loves me more than anything – I couldn’t ever bear to break his heart, he means the world to me, and he’s helped me through so much, shown me compassion and love even when I’m in the lowest of places, tried to teach me that I am worthy of his love.
  4. I haven’t gotten to travel the world – To see Starry Night at MOMA, to sit on a bench in Amsterdam with coffee, to be able to watch the New Years Fireworks from Times Square, to visit Disneyland, to swim with turtles, to explore new wonders.
  5. Knowledge – There’s so much more to learn, and so much I want to share with the world, to teach others.
  6. To have my own family – To be able to treat my own daughters/sons the way of life, to be able to spoil them and love them and hold them to my chest, to take them to their first day of school, to be proud of their achievements, to support them through lives and into their future.
  7. To be able to meet my inspirations, my internet friends – There’s so many people in this world that have changed my life, who I wish I could thank for being there for me, music artists, poets, friends, who mean so much.
  8. To be able to take photographs – To be able to photos of friends smiling, to be able to capture every sunset and sunrise, to be able to see the oceans and take photos of swings and the countryside and every single moment. To capture the laughter and the happiness and the perfection of love.
  9. To try all the food – There’s so many ice cream flavours to try, to numb my mind with brain freeze, to laugh and joke along. To try Red Bull flavoured ice cream, to have my first Ben & Jerry’s and to be able to walk along the beach with a cone in my hand.
  10. To stargaze on a clear night – To be able to look through a telescope and see the wonders of our galaxy, to be able to wish on my first shooting star, to point out constellations of our own creations.
  11. Changing my look so that I can find myself – To be able to have that haircut you’ve been terrified of getting, to be able to dye your hair every colour under the sun, to be able to wear clothes that make you feel proud in your own skin.
  12. Driving along the open road – To be able to pack up a tent and a bag of clothes, to be able to hit the road and travel anywhere, to book train tickets to a city and get lost in yourself, to find love and enjoyment in every single place.
  13. To visit every corner of the globe – To getting to explore new places, to be able to float on your back on the ocean and let the time fly, to be able to dress up and go for meals, to walk along the beach. To try new things, and to go wild camping, to weekend city breaks exploring the sites.
  14. The smell that comes with freshly baked food – To try the weird combinations of food, to have homemade bread and the feeling of accomplishment when the cooking turns out good.
  15. The way a smile lights up their face – Making people happy, with laughter, with love, with kindness. To make everyone smile so that their eyes glint, to let them know that I care.

And finally, to find my purpose – to prove everyone wrong and that I am worth something. That I am me, and I can make an impact, to know that I am loved and that I am fighting – that against all odds I am living. And I’m proud of myself, because I’ve still got a small part of me that will always live and strive to continue, for the future that terrifies me.


Shuffle Songs Tag



I recently stumbled across my old Shuffle Songs Tag on my Tumblr, and I thought I would do an updated version. The Shuffle Songs Tag is where you press shuffle on your music library and place down the 10 songs that come up. Because I have so many different ways of playing music, I am gonna do 10 from each! 🎧

🎵 Phone:

  1. All Of The Stars – Ed Sheeran
  2. So Much More Than This – Grace Vanderwaal (chemistry jokes!)
  3. Paris In The Rain – Lauv
  4. Oh My Goodness – Olly Murs
  5. 1-800-273-8255 – Logic
  6. Kiwi – Harry Styles
  7. Bibia Be Ye Ye – Ed Sheeran
  8. Wrapped Up – Olly Murs
  9. Wasted On Each Other – James Bay
  10. Budapest – George Ezra

🎵 Laptop:

  1. Written In The Scars – The Script
  2. Photograph – Ed Sheeran
  3. Something I Need – Ben Haenow
  4. All Time Low – The Wanted
  5. Hand On Heart – Olly Murs
  6. Maps – Maroon 5
  7. Good Times – Ella Eyre
  8. Heroes – Alesso & Tove Lo
  9. The Other – Lauv
  10. Rather Be – Clean Bandit

🎵 Spotify:

  1. Somebody To You – The Vamps
  2. Lightning Bolt – Jake Bugg
  3. Boys – Charlie XCX
  4. Hair Too Long – The Vamps
  5. Burn The House Down – AJR
  6. Perfect Strangers – Jonas Blue & JP Cooper
  7. In My Blood – Shawn Mendes
  8. Leave A Light On – Tom Walker
  9. Wild Love – James Bay
  10. Eyes Shut – Years & Years

This was actually so much fun to see the difference in all of them, however you can tell I’m a pop girl at heart! 🎵🎹🎧

Check out my Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/ellie-maesmith

I tag: Tori https://simplyteenagedreams.wordpress.com/ , The Ordinary Blogger http://www.theordinaryblogger.com/ , Simone https://teaandtats.wordpress.com/ , and Grace http://blogsbg.wixsite.com/savedbygrace

Of course you can do this tag anyway if you want to, but there’s todays post. Byesy bye!



‘The Band’ Musical @ The Birmingham Hippodrome Review


For my birthday way back on the 12th May, my mum surprised me with tickets to take me to see this wondrous celebration of over 25 years of Take That, and throws me back to my days of obsessing over boy bands and artists.

My Take That fever came from my Mum, she was always listening to them, in the car, at home over speakers, on TV shows. She’s gotten to see Take That twice, on The Circus Live Tour in 2009, and Progress Live in 2011.

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Lots of my favourite memories include Take That as a background to my life, with creating dance routines to their most recent songs like These Days, Cry, and New Day; and old hits such as Relight My Fire, Back For Good, Hello, It Only Takes A Minute and Rule The World. I’ve even dueted Shine with my best friend, and sung The Flood at a talent show!

Now lets get onto the show. The Band may include Take That songs, setting the tone for the show, which gets you filled with emotion, and singing along with the entire theatre, with each song having a meaning to your own heart, but it instead follows the journey of 5 girls spending their days watching Top of the Pops, recording the songs on your Walkman, having posters of them in your locker, and doodling I ♡ “Mark” (Mark Owen being my favourite in Take That, sorry Gaz!).

It follows them getting to go to their first ever gig, following and giving you an insight into their home lives, and issues that people face today such as divorce, domestic violence, before a tragic event sets up the second half of the show.

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This drastic turn is so unexpected, and leaves you speechless and crying with the emotion and perfectly timed music which everyone loves. Because despite Five to Five, and the boys Sario, Nick, Yazdan, Aj and Curtis providing the music, they aren’t the main stars.

25 years on, and a competition later, they are reunited for the Take That tour, and it follows them living out their teenage dream, where they end up reflecting upon their lives and what has happened to them in a rather surprising way (warning: it involves a broken d***).

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The Band Musical is a work of art, being put together by Take That, and the people who created the astonishing feats of mechanisms from their tours; it shows in how simple movements and amazing sculptures that can come to life (an amazing musical number btw).

The little nods to Take That music videos, and album covers is woven into the interval and set-pieces, with Ceefax being projected onto the curtain, and the Progress poses in the dance routines.

For such a small cast, 5 young girls, 5 older, the Band, and 2 reoccurring laughable characters, it creates an amazing atmosphere and experience, with a lot of laughter and you can connect with the cast.

I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to spend my birthday, until I got to meet most of the cast at stage door! AJ, Curtis, and Sario were so welcoming and thoughtful!

Anyway, here’s my review, I hope you enjoyed!


Hey Internet!

Hey, if anyone is reading this, my name is Ellie-Mae, and as this blog suggests, I adore the book Alice In Wonderland! I feel like I’m quite ordinary, but despite this I’ll give you the low-down:

So I’m 17, and I’ve lived in the UK all of my life, born and bred in Leicestershire, the dead centre of the Midlands as far from the coast as you can get. I love going abroad and visiting places other than my home town, as it is boring and lonely. I also love meeting people over Instagram (@m0re_issuesthan_v0gue) an am an ambassador for teen magazine @everlymag, and am also a supporter for @theoneinfiveproject, which is trying to raise awareness of mental health problems in teens!

I am currently in year 12 in the UK, or the first year of Sixth Form, and taking Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Geography as A-Levels. To cope with the stress that I have building up, and all of my anxiety, I write on Wattpad (@elliesunshine50), write a art journal style thing, and I am also learning to play guitar. I’m an aspiring photographer, with my images being shown on @el.lights on instagram.

On this blog I am just hoping to express myself more, to give my opinions on almost every topic I can think of, I just want this to be a release, to give people an insight into my life and to help people through their issues by giving advice and just being a nice person!

So thanks all, this is all I have to say,

Ellie-Mae. x

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