Monday, 29 September 2014

The Bookshelf Tag


I really wanted to do the bookshelf tag, mainly so I could take pictures of my bookshelves. I keep reorganising the two in my bedroom because I never seem completely happy with them. I was planning to do this tag, even though I hadn't been tagged by anyone. But then Amanda from Book Badger tagged me and gave me an even bigger reason to do it. So, YAY!

My Shelves


This set up probably won't last too long. The only thing that will definitely stay the same are the top two shelves. I have fitted over 600 books on these two bookshelves, which is accomplished by having a row of pretties at the front. Then you have three columns of books hidden behind them. I am a master at shelf organising, it's the librarian in me!

Confession: I have another one in my spare room, but that's mainly got all of my adult fiction on it. You'd never know by looking at the books I've reviewed on the blog, but I own a lot of adult fiction.


1. Is there a book that you really want to read but haven't because you know it'll make you cry?

The Spectacular NowThis is a tough one because it kind of makes me want to say all of them. I never know when a book is going to turn me into a complete sobbing wreck. Sometimes the ones I expect to make me cry don't (TFIOS) and then ones that I never expected to make me cry do (My Life Next Door).

Looking at my shelves though, I am going to have to go with The Spectacular Now. I don't know much about that book or what it's about, even though I own two copies. But I'm nervous it's going to make me cry. I don't know why I think that, I just do. I blame the title. I mean, why is it only spectacular now? What's coming later!?!

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)2. Pick one book that helped introduce you to a new genre.

Easy. The Hunger Games probably wasn't my first ever taste of dystopian fiction but it's the first one that was good enough to make an impression. After that I was completely hooked. I hunted down as many dystopians as I could get my hands on and read them all.


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)3. Find a book that you want to reread.

I have so many. Harry Potter for definite, it's been far too long now. I have plans to do it but not for a little while now. I also want to get to some old favourites that I haven't read in years - His Dark Materials series, The Sight series, Noughts & Crosses series. I plan to make more time next year for rereads and requesting less ARCs.


Divergent (Divergent, #1)4. Is there a book series you read but wish you hadn't?

I assume this means I had to have read the entire series. That's really easy: Divergent. Mainly because it's really disheatening to read and love the first book in a series, only for the series to get worse with each subsequent book. And the final book be one of the worst things you have ever read. I was kind of glad at the ending of that book. By the end I kind of felt they deserved it for all the whining I had to read through. 

5. If your house were burning down and all your family and pets were safe, which book would you go back in and save?

Can I say all of them?!? No, okay.
Both my Harry Potter sets because they're gorgeous and my favourites.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)6. Is there one book on your shelf that brings back fond memories?

I don't want to keep saying Harry Potter but it would definitely be Harry Potter. Especially the final book. It brings back memories of walking down at midnight with my best friend Kevin and my friend Adam to get it. Me and Kevin were meeting Adam at the end of a street at about 11.30pm and it was pitch black. We hid behind the fence and jumped out of him and scared the crap out of him. I also remember getting the book and reading it till the sun came up, with tears streaming down my face. J.K. Rowling did break my heart about a million times but I still think of fond memories every time I look at that book.

7. Find a book that has inspired you the most.

I have no idea. All of them? I feel like every book I read seems to inspire me in some way. Even the ones I hate. They inspire me to never write anything that bad, haha. 


8. Do you have any autographed books?

Yes, 27 in fact.


I am most fond of my Noughts and Crosses signed books! I have met Malorie Blackman three times now. The first was at the BBC, my first invite to an event because of the blog and it was amazing.

9. Find the book that you've owned the longest?

A lot of my childhood books are in the loft at my parents house. So it would probably be my original copy of Harry Potter which I've had for about 15 years now. 

Slammed (Slammed, #1)
10. Is there a book by an author you never imagined you'd read and enjoy?

I'm going to go with Colleen Hoover. Id never heard of her but, way before I started blogging, I was looking for new reads online and kept seeing Slammed pop up. I didn't really know if it was for me, it wasn't what I usually read and I was a little nervous. I ended up loving it and have read 5 of her books now and really enjoyed them all. I now have her on my auto-buy list.



I'm supposed to tag people but I get really confused about who has done this and who hasn't. So I tag anyone and everyone reading this who feels like doing it. You really should, it's a lot of fun!


In my blogoversary post I posted my giveaway to celebrate 1 year of blogging. I am giving one winner the chance to win up to £40 worth of books of their choice from Book Depository. I am also giving one runner up a book of their choice, worth up to £10 from Book Depository.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



My Blogoversary Celebration and Giveaway
Day 21 by Kass Morgan (The 100 #2): 3.5/5 Review
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis: 4.5/5 Review
Five Friday Favourites: Favourite Book Scenes
My Weekly Book Haul: 27/09/2014
The Young Elites by Marie Lu: 3/5 Review



Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Young Elites by Marie Lu: Review

Title: The Young Elites #1
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam Books for Young Readers
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumoured to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they've never seen.Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.
I wish I'd been given this advise.
The Young Elites is pretty hard for me to review, I find it difficult to explain my feelings and why this book didn't work for me. I really enjoyed Marie Lu's Legend series, so I was really excited to get my hands on The Young Elites. The cover was gorgeous, the plot summary had me beyond intrigued and I felt this was going to be a phenomenal book. I read the book and can't help but feel quite disappointed, and also pretty certain I won't be continuing this series. Have no fear though, if you're excited for this book then I'd still recommend it. It's not poorly written and does have a brilliant premise, there are just reasons why it didn't work for me personally.

My main issue with The Young Elites is the same issue I had with Cruel Beauty, and one that makes it impossible for me to enjoy either book. There are almost no likeable characters. There was literally only one character in the whole of The Young Elites who I really loved. And I am afraid even that will be ruined for me if I continue this series. I just can't deal with characters who are impossible to like. If I don't like a character then I don't root for the character, I don't really care what happens to them. I spend most of my time just wanting to reach into my book and hurt them. This was the case with almost every character in this book.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

My Weekly Book Haul: 27/09/2014

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Friday Finds is something that was started over on ShouldBeReading and Stacking the Shelves over at TyngaReviews, I am in love with all of these as I love finding other blogs to follow and books to read through these! So check them all out and see what you find, Stacking the Shelves has a lot of participants as well which is great. This is basically a way for me to show what books I have received, borrowed or bought each week. All book covers and their summary come from back of book or Goodreads.


I've had a great week. I finally had time off from work, a whole six days, and I took a break from the blog during that time. Me and the boyfriend had the whole six days off together to do what we wanted. It was wonderful and relaxing. We had a staycation. We spent most of it indoors, relaxing and watching Boardwalk Empire. I kind of lost interest once they killed off my favourite character though. I got a ton of reading done and really enjoyed being able to just sit down, relax with a book and not worry about anything. 


Friday, 26 September 2014

Five Friday Favourites: Favourite Book Scenes


Five Friday Favourites is a weekly event hosted by Book Badger, where once a week, a five favourites subject is posted and everyone is welcome to join in. You can find out more about Five Friday Favourites and the future subjects here.


Favourite Book Scenes

Oh dear, another topic where I can do nothing but have Harry Potter scenes. I'm sorry, it has to be done. The best bookish scenes are all from Harry Potter and that's a fact. But to choose 5! I am going to just try and do the first ones that pop into my head - and also try to avoid as many spoilers as possible for any of you crazy people who haven't read the books yet. What are you doing with your life? Go read Harry Potter!


"NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!"
from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

There are hundreds of scenes in the Harry Potter book series that I absolutely love. But this is one of the moments that gives me the most joy! It's just beyond perfect and I could not help myself from laughing out loud. So much had happened and my heart was breaking over the deaths of so many of my favourite characters. And then J.K. Rowling gives me this absolutely perfect moment! GO MOLLY!!!


Hermione & Ron Kiss
from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I waited years for that moment! It was wonderful and just such a squee worthy moment! I LOVED IT! I preferred how they did it in the book, but I wanted a gif to illustrate. In the book there is so much back story that goes into that kiss, with the house elves and everything! So much has built up to it and I love what makes Hermione finally give into her feelings for Ron! They are my ultimate OTP!


Any Quidditch Game

If I had to pick one then it would probably be from Prisoner of Azkaban. But all of the Quidditch games were so much fun to read. Rowling brings it to life and always makes me feel like I am a part of it. Not to mention that Lee Jordan's commentaries are the most hilarious things ever!


The Riddle House
from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This was an amazing way to start the book. We see Frank, who's like the housekeeper/gardener, see lights on at the Riddle house, which should be empty. This is where we first get a glimpse of Voldemort in Goblet of Fire. It's such a creepy scene and a brilliant way to start the book off. I'd come to expect every Harry Potter book to open with Harry at the Dursley's, it was a pleasant, creepy, scary surprise to have it start off in such a dark place. It was a sign of things to come, a sign that the books were getting older and darker. I LOVED IT!


The Battle of Hogwarts
from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I am cheating, I am basically saying the last few hundred pages of the Deathly Hallows. But there are so many favourite moments within that. There's that Snape scene, you know the one! There's Harry telling Voldemort some home truths. Yeah... fuck you, Voldemort! There's all the fighting, the death and my never ending stream of tears. 


There are so many more amazing moments that I don't get to mention! I have about 100 favourite Harry Potter scenes. But I am finally learning to restrain myself and actually stick to 5!

This whole post has made me so desperate for a Harry Potter reread!



In my blogoversary post I posted my giveaway to celebrate 1 year of blogging. I am giving one winner the chance to win up to £40 worth of books of their choice from Book Depository. I am also giving one runner up a book of their choice, worth up to £10 from Book Depository.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



My Blogoversary Celebration and Giveaway
Day 21 by Kass Morgan (The 100 #2): 3.5/5 Review
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis: 4.5/5 Review


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis: Review

Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink, #1)

Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water. 
Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.
Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.
But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….
With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own. (Goodreads summary.)

I waited 9 months to read this! WHY?
You know when you own a book for months but then put off reading it, only to finally get to it and wish you'd read it months ago. Not a Drop to Drink is one of those books. I am kicking myself right now for taking so long to get to it. It's was an incredible story, so much more than I expected and I definitely didn't expect it to break my heart. But it did, it really did,

I know I have only read one of her books but, I'm pretty certain I will be reading anything Mindy McGinnis writes from now on. Her writing is superb, I can't even find the words to describe it to you. It feels like not one word is wasted in this novel. She had me captivated by page one and didn't let me go until I got to the end of the book. Then I kind of wanted to launch it across my room in a fit of anger, love, sadness and happiness just all rolled into one. My emotions clearly weren't ready for this book.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Day 21 by Kass Morgan: Review

Day 21 (The Hundred, #2)Title: Day 21 (The 100 #2)
Author: Kass Morgan
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now.
It's been 21 days since the hundred landed on Earth. They're the only humans to set foot on the planet in centuries...or so they thought. Facing an unknown enemy, Wells attempts to keep the group together. Clarke strikes out for Mount Weather, in search of other Colonists, while Bellamy is determined to rescue his sister, no matter the cost. And back on the ship, Glass faces an unthinkable choice between the love of her life and life itself.
In this pulse-pounding sequel to Kass Morgan's The 100, secrets are revealed, beliefs are challenged, and relationships are tested. And the hundred will struggle to survive the only way they can -- together. (Goodreads summary.)

I recently read and reviewed The 100 and was surprised by just how much I enjoyed it. It's such an easy read, it's action-packed and a book you can devour in one sitting. It made me desperate to see the TV show and the ending made me beyond desperate to get my hands on the sequel. Luckily, Hodder were lovely enough to send me a copy and I dove straight in the minute it arrived. I wasn't left disappointed by this book, it contained all the action I had come to expect and I am already counting down to book 3.

The book picks up where The 100 left off, the group of people sent down to Earth are now aware of the fact they are not alone. They have always believed that no one survived the Cataclysm, that Earth was not inhabitable because of radiation. They are now aware that there are people living on Earth, Earthborns who managed to survive in a large underground bunker and have now come to the surface. The Earthborns have killed on of the group, making it clear that they want them to leave and don't welcome their presence. Glass, the only one who escaped the dropship to Earth, is on their home ship that has a breach and will soon run out of Oxygen.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

My Blogoversary Celebration & Giveaway


YAY!

Oh wait, no it's not. My blogoversary was actually on the 30th August, something I had forgotten. I was relying on the good old Blogoversay countdown from blogoversary.com to remind me when it was. It says it's four days from today. But I was getting my blogoversary post scheduled and noticed my first ever post was on the 30th August 2013. So I checked the information I put into the countdown when I first added it, and it's set to the 30th August. So I don't know in what universe the 27th September 2014 is a year after the 30th August 2013. So, yeah, bit of blogoversary rage because now I'm celebrating it late. Not that it actually matters, I'm just a little OCD.

I DID IT! One whole year of blogging! I am so proud of myself right now, it's gone by so fast and I have loved every minute of it. It's been stressful, time consuming and more work than I could ever have imagined. It's also been unbelievably fun, rewarding, introduced me to the most amazing people and made me feel like I've accomplished so much.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

I'm Taking A Mini-Break


I have had a ridiculously hectic last few months. There has been bad news after bad news. I've worked almost every day for a two months solid. I am exhausted. This has meant I am behind on blogging, especially with replying to comments and visiting you wonderful people back. I love doing that. 
I have finally managed to get some time off work. SIX WHOLE DAYS! Can you tell how beyond excited I am? The boyfriend has ten days off, so we are going to spend the time relaxing and not worrying about anything. I can't wait. 
I've decided I won't be posting anything during these six days. That way I will have time to schedule some posts, reply to comments and visit you guys. I also plan to just have days where I can watch TV, play games, see films, see friends and read for hours on end. It's going to be amazing!

My blogoversary is in 10 days and I am still trying to figure out what to do to celebrate! There will definitely be a giveaway for you guys, but that's all I have decided on for now! 

GOODBYE!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The 100 by Kass Morgan: Review

The 100 (The Hundred, #1)Title: The 100
Author: Kass Morgan
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository

In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland... before it's too late.
Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again. (Goodreads summary.)

The 100 is a book I had been debating whether or not to read for quite some time. It was only when I saw adverts for the TV show that I finally decided to give it a go. I had been hearing how good the show was and wanted to watch it, but felt like I had to read the book first. I am so glad I did because it was such a fun read and has made me even more excited to watch the show.

The book is set 300 years after a nuclear war left the world inhabitable, the last remaining humans now live on spaceships that orbit above the Earth. One hundred juvenile delinquents find out that they are being sent to Earth to see if it's radiation levels have lowered and it can now be recolonized. The hundred don't know what to expect, whether they will die straight away because the air is not breathable, if they will die slowly from radiation poisoning or if there is actually a possibility that they can recolonize. I loved the premise, it was the main reason I was so excited to read this book.

I now need this show in my life!!!

The book is told from the perspectives of four different characters - Bellamy, Clarke, Glass and Wells. Each of their stories follows them at the present time but also provides flashbacks that show how they came to be on the mission to Earth. I really enjoyed the four different perspectives and finding out their stories slowly, over the course of the book. My favourite character is definitely Glass, the only delinquent who manages to sneak off of the ship and escape the mission. Bellamy came to Earth to protect his younger sister, who he would do anything for. The reason Clarke got arrested is revealed bit by bit as the story goes on. Wells is there because of Clarke, he has come to look after her and make sure she stays alive. The four perspectives really work well, we get to see what's happening on Earth and on the ship. I liked the slow reveal of what happened to each character, the flashbacks worked really well and I liked that Morgan decided to tell the story that way.

It's so easy to see why this book was made into a TV show, not a movie like most YA books nowadays. It's a book that's packed full of drama, action, twists, romance and shock revelations. It reads like a TV show. In fact, I get the sense that this will translate better on screen and be much more enjoyable as a show. It's a good read, it's the first book I have read in one sitting for quite some time now. It's just so easy to read and get lost in the story and I knew I wanted to follow this series and see where it goes.

The romance aspects in this are probably what bugged me the most. There are just so many of them, especially where Clarke is involved. I hate her going back and forth between two guys. That gets old pretty quickly. But the most annoying part of the whole book is definitely Wells. I quite liked his character at the very beginning, but the flashbacks reveal more about him and the idiot kind of person that he is. His character was so infuriating, I wanted to reach inside the book and strangle him.

With each new Wells flashback:


4/5 Butterflies

If you're looking for a fun, fast-paced read then I highly recommend The 100. It has a great premise and it's pulled off pretty well. It definitely has it's issues and, as far as dystopians go, it's no Hunger Games. But it's well worth a read, the type of book you will devour in one sitting. The ending leaves you desperate to pick up the sequel and see how it's going to end. I really enjoyed the book overall, despite my problems with it, and I will be continuing the series. 


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I've Only Read One Book From But Need To Read More

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke & The Bookish. Each week they host a different top ten topic.

This weeks topic is:

Authors I've Only Read One Book From But Need To Read More


I thought this one would be an easy topic, but it's actually quite difficult. It seems that I usually hunt down more books from authors I love. So most of the authors whose books I'd only read one of were authors I didn't want to read any more from. I did find these ten authors though, I loved their books and so it surprises me that I haven't read more from them. 

Monday, 15 September 2014

The GIF & TBR Tags


I was tagged by Emily at Follow the Yellow Book Road to do the GIF tag. Rachel at A Perfection Called Books tagged me in the TBR tag. I thought I would get both done in one post because I am just awesome like that.



The Gif Tag

The first one I am going to do is the GIF tag, which is perfect for me because I love a good GIF! This is simple, the person who tags you will give you a list of ten books. You then have to use just one sentence and one GIF to describe and show how you felt about the book. You then tag others, leaving a list of ten books for them. So... here we go.


1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone


And so my undying love for Harry Potter began.


2. Twilight


Alice and Jasper made that series.


3. Graceling


Will I or won't I ever get to this series?!?

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan: Review

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)Title: Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson #2)
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Puffin Books
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository


YOU CAN'T TELL BY LOOKING AT ME THAT MY DAD IS POSEIDON, GOD OF THE SEA.
It's not easy being a half-blood these days. Even a simple game of dodgeball becomes a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants - and that was only the beginning.
Now Camp Half-Blood is under attack and, unless I can get my hands of the Golden Fleece, the whole camp will be invaded by monsters. Big ones...(Goodreads summary.)

I recently reviewed The Lightning Thief and talked about my overall disappointment with it. I thought it wasn't a strong start to this series, and it made me want to give up on it. There's so much love for this series though, so I decided to keep going and see if it gets better. So far, I am not sold on this series.

I hated how repetitive The Lightning Thief was. All Grover, Percy and Annabeth did was go from place to place, run into someone who seemed human but would turn out not to be. A fight would inevitably ensue and Percy would ultimately, and quite easily, win. I knew if every book was like that then I would have to quit this series. I felt Sea of Monsters wasn't as repetitive, but it did have it's moments. My main issue with it is that it still feels too young. I never fear for Percy because he always easily gets out of any danger. That gets a bit dull to read.

I have to say that the Percy Jackson series is one that is definitely more character driven. The characters are funny and so easy to like. I just find it's the story itself that is lacking, it just doesn't completely work for me. The Lightning Thief seemed to drag for me, I felt it was unnecessarily long for what it actually was. Before I started Sea of Monsters, I was pleased to see it was a lot shorter than the first book. But it felt just as long, and not in a good way. A lot goes on in this book, there is a lot of action but, at the same time, it never really feels like anything important happens.

I feel like Sea of Monsters didn't leave any impression on me, I can barely sum up my feels for it. Mainly because I don't really have any feels. It just wasn't anything special and, again, I'm left questioning whether I want to continue and see if it gets better the longer the series goes on. I really hope so. Or am I just wasting my time?


3/5 Butterflies

Saturday, 13 September 2014

My Weekly Book Haul: 13/09/2014

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Friday Finds is something that was started over on ShouldBeReading and Stacking the Shelves over at TyngaReviews, I am in love with all of these as I love finding other blogs to follow and books to read through these! So check them all out and see what you find, Stacking the Shelves has a lot of participants as well which is great. This is basically a way for me to show what books I have received, borrowed or bought each week. All book covers and their summary come from back of book or Goodreads.


After last weeks, which was atrocious, I was hoping this week would be a bit easier. It really wasn't. They weren't lying when they said that when it rains it pours. Although, I must admit, it's been a brilliant week books wise. I got a physical ARC of one of my most anticipated reads of 2015, and opened it to see that it was signed by the author! Wish the personal side had been better but, with a funeral to go to, I knew it wasn't going to be any easy one. Fingers crossed for an easier week next week. I've finally stuck to my guns, refused extra time and will get at least four days off! CAN'T WAIT!