Opinion

Thoughts on the Kindle Voyage

For a few years I had the Kindle Paperwhite but I missed the press of buttons (or kind of buttons) that I experienced with my first Kindle (the Kindle 4), and I wanted a screen with a higher PPI, so I upgraded to the Kindle Voyage (kindly donated by my dad who didn’t use it as he prefers the fire tablets).

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In all honesty, the Voyage isn’t much different from the Paperwhite, but even when setting up the Kindle and transferring my books over, I noticed a significant difference in the screen. I’m not sure of the PPI in the Paperwhite as I have an earlier version of it (I think), but I know the PPI of the Voyage is 300. Whether they are the same or different, to me the writing on the Voyage looked more crisp and clear, therefore making it a much more enjoyable reading experience.

I love the little ‘buttons’ to turn the pages. It’s much more reminiscent of what I remember from the Kindle 4, where you could turn the pages forward or backwards one handed and you didn’t need to touch the screen. With the Voyage, it is a one-handed experience because of that and because it is so light. The Kindles have never really weighed much and have always been comfortable for me to hold one-handed (even with my dodgy wrists). This is much better than the Paperwhite, which although is very light, requires two hands, as you press on the left of the screen to go back a page, and right of the screen to go forward a page. I know this is a very lazy thing for me to make a comment on, but for a lot of people, it makes multitasking easier. People can eat their food or drink something or stand up on the bus/train and still read. If you travel and are on a train and have to stand up, you’ve got one hand supporting you while having the other hand able to turn the pages no matter which way you need to go.

wpid-kindle-voyage-00f-us-thin-780x840Another thing I really love about the design of the Kindle Voyage is the bezel being flush against the screen. It makes the Voyage thinner and if anything I think it makes the words sort of pop out at you more, so even if the Paperwhite has the same resolution, because the screen is flat with the bezel and not further into the Kindle (like with the Paperwhite), it makes the screen look nicer and crisper.

Although both the Voyage and Paperwhite have a light, there has definitely been a significant improvement since the Paperwhite with the addition of auto-brightness. Although during the day this may not be particularly useful, at night it’ll mean it slowly adjusts to the brightness around you, meaning your eyes will slowly adjust to the darkness and the light of the screen will be suitable for your eyes, meaning it’s not too bright or too dark for you, making it a comfortable experience. The light of the Kindle is, of course, my favourite feature because back when I had the Kindle 4, I struggled to see the screen properly in dimmer lights, and I caused my eyes to strain in darker lighting (like when travelling).

Overall, I do recommend this Kindle, yet I still recommend the Paperwhite too, although the Voyage feels like more of a premium experience. The price for the Paperwhite as of writing this is £109.99 vs £169.99 for the Voyage, and although the functions do not differ much, I do prefer the Voyage. The pagepress sensors, auto-brightness and overall sleek look and feel are worth the extra money, but if you want an e-reader with a light, I see no problem with anyone purchasing the Paperwhite, and it is up to the budget of the potential purchaser as to whether they think the features and slightly more premium build are worth the extra £60.

-Laura

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Book Review – Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

34443972Book: Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Format: Paperback

Rating: 5/5

Review: This book is to do with Diana, who is an Amazon born from dirt on the island of Themyscira to the queen, so she is a princess. In this book, she is a teenager and so are the mortals/humans she meets. It’s from a third person perspective and gets focalised around not only Diana, but from the main mortal in this book, Alia. It revolves around Alia being a descendant of Helen of Troy and being a ‘warbringer’, which means she is dangerous. They meet because of a tragedy and Diana must make the moral decision of letting a mortal human live or die, unaware of what Alia is. Both Alia and Diana are characters that can relate to each other as they both feel as if they are outsiders (Diana because she didn’t earn her right to be on the island like her warrior ‘sisters’, and Alia because of what she has discovered of her own past as well as her Race, as she is black) and a huge part of Diana in this book is that she wants to prove herself to her ‘sisters’ and to her new friends, she wants to be a hero and save the day. And because of the relation to Helen of Troy, a lot of this book revolved around Greek Mythology and Greek Gods, but it also mixes with science. The book is also based around modern day, which is different to the film starring Gal Galdot, as that was set around WW1. The characters in this book have such variety, with the main people being people of colour and one even being LGBT, it’s very interesting to have that variety and they’re all very well written. The plot twists in this book were incredible and I couldn’t believe some of it, and the character development of Alia and Diana was amazing to see, I found myself really rooting for them! In all, this book is action-packed, well written, interesting, fun and has a beautifully sweet ending. I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of Wonder Woman or just DC in general.

-Laura

Book Review – Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran

7954376Book: Cleopatra’s Daughter

Author: Michelle Moran

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4/5

Review: This book is from the perspective of Kleopatra Selene, one of the three children of Queen Kleopatra/Cleopatra and Marc Antony. The beginning revolves around the defeat of Egypt by Octavian, and her and her twin brother Alexander and their little brother are taken to Rome. There’s a strong theme of family and it does contain the historically accurate suicides of her parents and although she tries not to mention them much because of the pain it causes her, her parents are clearly never forgotten. This book is easy to understand, even if you have little knowledge of that period like me, although this means I am not completely sure of the historical accuracy, although, at the end of the book, Michelle Moran has included a historical note which contains some information on how she developed the personalities of the characters, and how she mixed fact with fiction. The novel contains some mature themes of death and ‘romance’ so that is something to look out for, but as well we see these children develop into adults and even when they are young (12) they are still very mature for their age, which is a demonstration of their education. There are themes of jealousy in some places but also a huge mention of love in both a family and romantic sense and the story contains so much hope you really feel for these characters. Selene (as she is known in the book) has this huge love of architecture and this means that because it’s all from her perspective, you get beautiful descriptions of the buildings in Egypt and Rome. There is tension and emotion and it’s so beautiful and I really did enjoy this book and it ended in a perfect place. Michelle Moran also includes a small section on what happened after the book with the characters which I would assume is historically accurate from what we can gather from that time. Overall, if you are a lover of Egypt, Rome or general history, I really recommend this book, although something about it just wasn’t 5 stars for me but I can’t think what.

-Laura

Book Review – Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

30516970Book: Victoria

Author: Daisy Goodwin

Format: Paperback

Rating: 5/5

Review: This book is a dramatisation of the early reign of Queen Victoria. It was written alongside the ITV Show starring Jenna Coleman (and Tom Hughes as Prince Albert), so it is a mix of fact and fiction, although I am unsure as to how accurate it is, as I don’t know much about Victoria. It’s written in third-person, so we not only gather some of the thoughts of the Queen herself but other characters, such as Lord Melbourne, Sir John Conroy, Prince Albert and Leopold. We get to know how the Queen is easily influenced by Melbourne in the beginning and we see the hints of a relationship which cannot be and both of them understand this. We also see the change in the relationship between Victoria and her mother, the Duchess of Kent once Victoria becomes more comfortable and confident as queen. Although this book is written alongside the series, it does not end where the end of series one does, although it is fairly close. The book ends in a good place but I wish Daisy Goodwin continued it up until the point where the series ends, or I at least wish she would continue writing the books to go alongside the TV series. The last quarter-or-so of the book really focuses on Victoria’s family wanting her to get married and introducing her/reintroducing her to potential suitors such as Prince Albert (her cousin). She does initially explain to multiple people that she wants to be like her predecessor, Queen Elizabeth I and remain unmarried (as Elizabeth I was known as ‘The Virgin Queen’) but of course, as we know from real history, she develops a strong love for Albert and that is where the book ends. Overall I think that the book was so brilliantly and beautifully written and I really wish Daisy Goodwin wrote more for Victoria and I am a big fan of the series as well and the book and show match up pretty well! I highly recommend this book and the TV Series, as Jenna Coleman portrays Victoria beautifully and you can really tell that she is with Tom Hughes in real life as there is such an amazing chemistry on screen like there was between the real Victoria & Albert.

-Laura

Book Review – The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

17465450Book: The Husband’s Secret

Author: Liane Moriarty

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4/5

Review: This book revolves around a secret that Cecilia Fitzpatrick discovers about her husband John-Paul from years ago. It affects multiple people within the book so she’s going through this moral debate of does she tell or does she not? It could wreck her life but the lives of her family members and others. It’s from a third person perspective with slight focalisation from the characters. We get focalised writing by 3 characters, Cecilia, Rachel and Tess. All separate yet somehow linked through this story. At first, I had no idea how the characters linked and I didn’t fully understand the point of these 3 different characters, but as the book went on I began to understand why, and it was very cleverly done. It’s a full adult genre book and contains a theme of sex and contains some swearing, and I haven’t really fully delved into adult books, I’ve always kind of stayed with young-adult fiction so this was very different yet exciting for me to read. I did find it a bit slow at first so it took me a very long time to read but after about the halfway point, I started to pick up the pace a little. I did find some bits a little boring but I liked the addition of an obsession with history, particularly with Cecilia’s family & the Berlin wall. Overall it was a fairly interesting book and I liked the 3-way perspectives and the links between characters, it was very emotional in a way as all the characters really do seem driven by emotion, and I liked the writing style but for me it just wasn’t a 5-star book because I found the first quarter to half a little dull but it did definitely get more interesting as I progressed through the novel.

-Laura

Book Review – World War Z by Max Brooks

17993060Book: World War Z

Author: Max Brooks

Format: Paperback

Rating: 2/5

Review: This book is an account of the Zombie War and is written as if it was a non-fiction book. It contains the different perspectives of a variety of people all over the world, so there is a variety of views of what happened during this war. It was apparently written to maintain the human factor of war (emotions) and seemed a bit like a Q&A sorta thing. It’s quite political in some places and can also be a bit gory with some bad language so I will warn you of that. I personally did not like this book and didn’t even finish it, but I read enough to gather an opinion on it. I think it put me in a slight reading slump which is really not good and to me, it was just so jumpy. Because it is an account of after the war, we already know that the war ended and people survived but the book is a discovery of how, but because of it being an account of it from after the war has ended, there is no tension which I think it needed. No characters seem even slightly important so there is no-one to gain a connection with, there isn’t exactly much exciting action either because it all happened in their past. This definitely was not the sort of thing I enjoy and if you don’t like this sort of fiction written in the way of non-fiction and as an account then you won’t really like this I don’t think. I gave it a good go but I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it and I can’t even remember how far through I got. I would love to know other people’s opinions though so please feel free to tell me what you thought of this book.

-Laura

Book Review – All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher

22232035Book: All I Know Now

Author: Carrie Hope Fletcher

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4/5

Review: For those of you who don’t know, Carrie Hope Fletcher is an actress, singer, author and YouTuber as well as being the sister of Tom from McFly. This book is a non-fiction book which basically consists of advice with her own anecdotes and is something that offers genuinely helpful advice and is most likely best suited for teenagers (probably better for girls than boys as well). It’s a book that is quite chatty with the reader and filled with references to things such as Harry Potter & Shrek and reflects Carrie wonderfully by having the book separated into Acts and also includes cute illustrations. The book, despite its chatty nature, does include topics such as love, sex, dreams (realistic vs unrealistic), the internet and self-harm and depression but it is done in such a nice and careful way yet she is also honest about her experiences and advice. She gives lovely reminders, such as to do things that make you happy and don’t necessarily do these things just to please our parents, as our own happiness is also so important and we need to look after ourselves. Not only does the book consist of anecdotes about her own life, but it also briefly delves into the life of Tom and sections of what his life was like as a teen (being in McFly, his musical talent, how she looked up to him and his diagnosis of bipolar). It also does include minor bad language, and although it is not overused, I did just want to put that out there as a warning. The back of the book also contains useful links for people who need help if they are suffering from depression, bullying or just need someone to talk to which I think is very sweet. Overall, I did enjoy this book. I saw things that I believe would be useful for me, and things that would be useful for other people and the inclusion of links to help readers is something very sweet and well thought out. I have loved Carrie as a YouTuber and I respect her so much as a person so for that reason I do recommend this book and hope that people can find use in the advice she gives.

-Laura