Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Internet problems

We have a fault with our internet at the moment and have only got a 10 minute patch in which to log on and check messages.

Therefore todays posts will not go up until tomorrow (when i go back to work) and any comments/emails I get will not be replied to straight away.

I have a review of 'Starcrossed' by Josephine Angelini to go up. I finished reading it today and really enjoyed it.
I will try and do Teaser Tuesday tomorrow, a bit late i know.

I will also catch up on all your blogs when I can.

So, have a great evening all, I'm off to read my next book as I've got no internet. Speak to you all soon.

Monday, 30 May 2011

10 Good Things on a Monday (15)


Ten Good Things on a Monday is a fancy meme hosted by Nice Nina @ Brush Up on Your Reading!

Here's how it works:

  1. Think of a particular group of good things you want to make a list on, does not necessarily have to be about books, e.g. your current book wish list, or your favorite book foods (you know, foods you love to eat while reading, if you're like me), or your favorite girly names, whatever you can think of, as long as it makes you feel good.
  2. If you have no ideas for a list, you can always visit my blog post to check out my theme for that week and you can take a cue from my list.
  3. Post your list on your blog, grab that cute ARGH button above and put it on your post too, so we'd know you're doing this meme.
  4. Leave the link for your post on my own 10 Good Things post for the week, if you see others doing it, comment too and let's share our good things with everybody.
  5. Everybody goes through the whole week happy!
This week I will do my top 10 films based on books (in no particular order)

1) Harry Potter - the entire series really but Prisoner of Azkaban has always been my favourite. They brought the world to life so  well with as few changes as possible and cast the characters so well. Can't wait for the final installment.

2)  A Series of Unfortunate Events - based on the first 3 books i the series. Jim Carey is fabulous as Count Olaf and they got the whole gothic feel down perfectly.

3) A Little Princess - This was always one of my favourite films and one of the few that I prefer the film for. I found the book slightly disappointing. 

4) Charlottes Web - I always loved the book and the film adaptation was really good. I'm a fan of Dakota Fanning anyway but think she portrayed Fern really well.

5) Stardust - Such a fantastic film, one I have watched over and over. I also like the changes they made  from the book. Think I prefer the movie to the book. 

6) Narnia - They brought the world to life fantastically and I adore Aslan. Reepicheep is fantastic too when we see him in the later films. 

7) Alice In Wonderland - both Disney versions, old and new. Original animated Disney is my favourite though, and I used to watch this all the time, it was my favourite. I knew all the songs and everything. The Mad Hatter was always my favourite.

8) The Secret Life of Bees - was a very good book and they hardly changed anything. Really brought the story to life and had me laughing and crying all over again.

9) Ella Enchanted - Such a good movie, action packed and fun. One of my favourite films. Wasn't overly keen on the book though strangely.

10) The Devil Wears Prada - I have to confess I've never read the book of this, but I loved the film, Anne Hathaway is fantastic alongside Meryl Streep.

There are so many more I could list here, but kept it to the first ones that popped into my head. 99% of the time I think the book is always going to be better, but as you can see there are a couple above that I preferred the film version.


I am desperate to see 'I Am Number Four', the book was incredible and I can't wait to see the film, the DVD is out soon so I'll have to buy it!


Have a great week everyone. :D

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Book Review - Divergent

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks
Release Date: 3 May 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0007420414

Synopsis
One choice can transform you. Pass initiation. Do not fail…
In sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior’s world, society is divided into five factions – Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent) – each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, in the attempt to form a “perfect society.” At the age of sixteen, teens must choose the faction to which they will devote their lives.
On her Choosing Day, Beatrice renames herself Tris, rejects her family’s group, and chooses another faction. After surviving a brutal initiation, Tris finds romance with a super-hot boy, but also discovers unrest and growing conflict in their seemingly “perfect society.” To survive and save those they love, they must use their strengths to uncover the truths about their identities, their families, and the order of their society itself.

My Review
I have read so many good reviews about this book, so when I saw it in my local bookshop yesterday I decided I had to have it to read. I'm really getting into the whole Dystopian Novel genre and was looking forward to this one.
Tris has just turned 16 and so must choose which Faction she will spend the rest of her life with. Should she stay with her family or choose another path. That one decision will change the rest of her life and her perspective. Tris must face bullies, romance, deadly tests, laughter, tears and everything else you could ever want.
Short response to this book is just WOW!, Let's just say that it is a 480 page novel and I finished it in less than one day. 
I loved the book and immediately felt like the place was really real, I could picture everything and see it happening. I was fascinated by the idea of a faction for different qualities, so separated by lifestyle and belief but still interacting with each other in every day life. 
Tris was a great character, we really see her grow throughout the book and discover more of who and what she is. She has her moments of weakness but overall is a strong female character, which I find refreshing to see. She has to make a lot of tough decisions and I could feel her pain and felt like I was with her throughout.
I can't say too much about other characters as it will give away the story, but I will say that 'Four' is amazing and I would love to meet someone like him in real life. *melts*
The writing flows very well and considering it is a debut novel, there is no first book nerves or flaws. Veronica Roth is an amazing story-teller and I can't wait to see more from her.
This book is set for a sequel and I can't wait to read more from this world.
I would say that there are a few moments of violence and some other issues that may scare/disturb younger readers so I would recommend this one as 14 up maybe.

My Rating
I would give this book 10/10, a truly breath-taking novel from a brand new author. Step back everyone, Roth is here!  

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Quote Love (10)

Quote Love is a new meme hosted by 'Midnight Twilight'. It's kind of like Teaser Tuesday from Should Be Reading, but with this one you can choose any quote from any book, not just the one you're currently reading. The quote can be thought provoking, or funny, or just really powerful, it's all up to you which kind of quote you choose.


Here is what you have to do to participate:
1) Choose one of your favorite quotes.
2) Post the quote, and write what you like about it.
3) Make sure to put the title and author so if someone else likes the quote they can check out the book.
4) Post your link on Midnight Twilight's Post.

So here is my quote for the week:

"Sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing feels better right now."
Veronica Roth (Divergent

I'm about halfway through this book and loving it. I took to this quote, quite often people will say to me 'how can you be so happy', and I always reply 'well, what's the point in being miserable?' and this quote made me think of that. Sometimes, you've just got to laugh.

So, have a fun, laughter filled weekend everyone.

I'm hopefully going to 'Collectormania' tomorrow - a big event filled with sci-fi and fantasy tv/film stars signing autographs and loads of stalls selling collectables. Will be some Harry Potter cast there and then things like Stargate and Star-Trek etc. Something for everyone. Check out the website here

Book Review - Released

Title: Released
Author: Megan Duncan
Publisher: Createspace
Release Date: 22 Mar 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1461017721

Synopsis
After a demon apocalypse kills their parents and everyone they know, 17-year old Abby Phillips, her brother, Carter, and friend, Max flee their home to travel through what has become the wastelands of America.  When radio transmissions of a resistance offering shelter and safety cease, Abby is tempted to give up.  Struggling to overcome life-threatening obstacles in their dangerous journey, Abby and her companions quickly discover there are much worse things lurking in the dark than they could have ever imagined.


My Review
I was sent this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Demon Apocalypse's aren't usually my sort of thing, but this book sounded really good and something about it drew me in. The cover is amazing and looks really good.
Abby, her brother Carter and their friend Max have so far survived the demon attacks, when they hear a transmission offering help and safety, they decide to risk the journey to New Mexico. The world has been turned upside down, shops have been ransacked, multitudes have been killed, and demons prowl lose. The group must fight hard to survive and do all they can to help each other.
I really liked Abby and felt almost like I knew her straight away, a bit of a tomboy and not afraid to stick up for herself she is a strong character, but also shows she is human like the rest of us in her moments of doubt. Carter was great, a really geek always jotting things down and having to think everything through. He really helped move the story on and keep the group balanced. Max is the teenage heart-throb, in line for a great future before the apocalypse hit, but he's also kind and caring and really looks after the group. I felt like I was almost a part of their little group and I felt myself cheering them on throughout the book.
The idea for the plot was well done and the pacing of the story was great, the words really flowed off the page and I had finished the book in one sitting. For one I couldn't put it down and the other was that I just seemed to be pulled in and time passed without me realising. 
There were a few gruesome moments in the book as the group come across dead bodies and other things that I won't mention here, but it all added to the atmosphere and wasn't at all unnecessary. I am really squeamish but I could handle it, so you should be ok.
I liked the characters relationships with each other and the way they grew as the story progressed.
There wasn't anything I didn't like about this book other than it doesn't come to a full conclusion, it is clearly set for a sequel, and the only problem I have with that is that I don't have the next book and I really want it. :D


I got really lucky when Megan sent me a copy of this book. It is great and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish her every success with her writing.


My Rating
I would give this book 9.5/10. An excellent read, captivating and exciting this book will keep you on the edge of your seat and glued to the pages. Watch out, the Demons are coming! 

Friday, 27 May 2011

Armchair BEA - Blogging about Blogging


Today is the day of the Book Blogger Convention, so  in conjunction with that event Armchair BEA will also put the focus on the “blog” portion of “book blog.”

Right, I'm not technical and know very little about HTML and all that Jazz, I don't have a wealth of advice to give so I'm just going to say about how I blog and what I like about blogging.

I set up my blog last August with no real idea of how it all worked, I just had a passion for books and wanted an outlet for my book talk. I immediately fell in love with the world of blogging. Everyone is so accepting and helpful. I wish I knew more about the behind the scenes stuff, but there is always someone out there who knows how to help.

Design/ Look: My blog was designed by Jae Bird Design and she was so helpful, kind and patient. There are loads of design blogs out there that will give you a great look for a reasonable price, and I would recommend Jae Bird. but whoever you go with, you'll get something unique and eye catching.
Obviously looks are not the most important thing in blogging, but if you have a stylish or original look people are more likely to come for a closer look.

Book Reviews: The most important part of the book blog. I have seen many varying opinions on how and when to do reviews - everyday, once a week, as soon as you've read the book, a few days after you've read the book. Long, short, technical, fun. My advice- do it how you want it. Ultimately it is your blog and you have got to feel comfortable with what you are doing.
For my reviews I always get an image of the cover and then list the title, author, series, publisher, release date and ISBN number, all simple details that can identify the book and help others find it.
I then always copy a synopsis/blurb from Goodreads or Amazon. I then go on to my review. I introduce how I came to the book then offer my own short summary - gives more of a feel for the book I think. I then go on to write about what I like or don't like.
I mention the pace, storyline, character development, and what I felt I got out of it. I try to get across my passion and excitement for a book. I want my enthusiasm to come through my review to the reader.

In the case of negative reviews, I can't stand it when people say something is 'rubbish', why is it rubbish? I always try to explain why I didn't like a book but being constructive at the same time. This helps the authors publishers improve in the future and other bloggers/readers see what you didn't like and take it into consideration - remember what you don't like about a book may be the best part for someone else. I also always try to put at least one positive into it, give them something you did like.

I tend to do my reviews as close to me finishing it as it's fresh in my mind, I find it easier that way.

Meme's: I love taking part in meme's it's a good way to network with other bloggers and let the blogging world know more about you. I take part in quite a few:
- 10 Good Things On A Monday hosted by Nina at 'Brush Up On Your Reading'
- Teaser Tuesday hosted by 'Should Be Reading'
- Book Blogger Hop hosted by 'Crazy-for-Books'
- Follow Friday hosted by 'Parajunkee'
- TGIF hosted by 'GReads'
- Quote Love hosted by 'Midnight Twilight'

These aren't essential but are a fun and a good way to get your blog out there.

That's all I have to say really, just enjoy your blog, have fun and be passionate about what you are talking about.

Book Blogger Hop: May 27th-30th & FF (19) & TGIF (2)

Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books and is an awesome way to for book bloggers to interact and find each other. Such a wonderful idea! There's a new question every week that all the participating blogs have to answer.

This week's question comes from Britta who blogs at I Like These Books:

"What book-to-movie adaption have you most liked?  Which have you disliked?"

 My answer: My all time favourite Movie Adaptation is 'The Little Princess' by Frances Hodgson Burnett, this was always one of my favourite films, and I think the details tehy changed for the film made more sense and was more moving than the original in the book.
My least favourite adaptation is probably 'Eragon' I adore the book, it's one of my favourites but the film was really disappointing they changed so much it lost it's magic.  

Follow Friday







Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee.

This week's question comes from Louise from Book Bliss

How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?

My Answer: I can read on average a book every other day so it comes to 3 or 4 books a week. I read hard-copy's, I like to have the book in my hands. But if I have an ARC from NetGalley I will slip in the digital book as well.

 

TGIF!

This is a new meme hosted by GReads!

This Friday's Question:
 
Author Love: In 2011 which new/old authors have you discovered & loved?
 
Wow so many good authors this year:
1) Steve Feasey author of 'Changeling' series. read them for the first time and loved them.
 
2) Tara Hudson author of 'Hereafter'. Debut novel but soo good. Can't wait for more
 
3) Charlotte Blackwell author of 'Immortal Embrace'. This book is coming out later this year, Charlotte is a fellow blogger and I was honored to read her book. You'll love it.

4) Alyson Noel author of 'Immortals' series. fell in love with these books

5) Sarah Ockler author of 'Twenty Boy Summer'. Such a good book, I would read anything by this author now.

I'm sure there are many more, but these are the ones that sprung to mind.

 Happy Hopping, have a great weekend everyone!!!

Book Review - Invincible

Title: Invincible
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Chronicles of Nick (book 2)
Publisher: ATOM
Release Date: 29 Mar 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1907410239

Synopsis
When teenager Nick Gautier was saved from almost-certain death by a mysterious warrior, he had a feeling his life was set to change. Fighting the undead has taken the place of fighting with his teachers (well ...almost) and Nick is learning to rely on his powers to protect the world from evil he could never before have imagined. Then, just when he thought things couldn't get any worse, he wakes up to find himself enslaved in a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul. He's being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn't learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them ... 


My Review
I read book one last year and wasn't instantly hooked, the story was ok but not gripping, but it did leave me with enough curiosity to read book 2.
I couldn't remember everything that happened in book 1, but this one does reference back to events so I felt that I was easily back into the world.
Nick survived the zombie attack with nothing more than a few bruises, scratches and a tough telling off from his mum, but he knows nothing will be the same again, not with an employer who is a vampire and a demon bodyguard, not to mention all other varieties of creatures and demons turning up. But he was hoping for at least one days peace, so not going ot happen, when the school employs a new coach Nick is thrown into a terrible plot. The coach is not all he seems and Nick has to figure out what he wants and try to stop him.
I felt this book was better than the first and I was more into it, but there were still times where I would get bored or fed up and put it down to do something else, but then I would come back to it (I hate giving up on books) and I would get into it. 
I felt Nick was a bit whiny in this book, a lot of 'why me', 'what next' etc but he did step up. Kody is stronger and more prominent in this book and it was great to see another side of her. Simi makes flitting appearances and always brings a laugh.
The book was overall well written and the idea was good but I still didn't feel hooked. Maybe it's just me, fans of the Dark Hunter series may love it as they know more about the story. I didn't feel as lost with this one as the first, felt it revealed more about the background, and the characters. 
It was enticing enough that I would read the next book in the series, but I'm not desperate for it. Left me with mild curiosity. Although the revelation at the end of this book, I figured out when the character appeared in book one, so it wasn't that much of a shock to me.
I am so on the fence with this book, part of me really liked it, the other part of me was disappointed with it. 


My Rating
I would give this book 7.5/10. A good idea for a storyline, but I felt like the spark was missing. Fans will probably love it, I'm just not there yet.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Not at BEA but What an Interesting week

This week isn't over yet but it's already been quite a week. Filled with all sorts of activities, fun and challenges. This is a quick run down of my week.

Monday - Work 9-6, spent day tidying shelves, serving customers, cutting out fish shapes ready for event next week and had Teen Book Group - they had a 2 part quiz, the winner was rewarded with a 'Hunger Games' t-shirt. Some questions were from the internet, but I wrote some of the others and I made the picture round. The had 12 faces - they had to say who the actor/actress was, the character they played, the book the film was based on and who wrote the original book. Was shocked only one teen knew who wrote Alice in Wonderland!
Evening of blogging and writing.

Tuesday - Work 9-6, went in first thing, did some stockwork, cut my thumb quite deeply on a cardboard box (could you get more stupid) then we had 'Bookstart Bear's Teddy Bears Picnic'
This was a special event for parents and babies/toddlers/pre-schoolers. They had two stories based on bears and sang rhymes, then they had a special appearance from:
and yes, that was me in that suit. I waved, blew kisses, danced, wiggled my tail and hugged the children. (I even had one child fall asleep on my feet, was so cute) I got so hot in that suit but the kids loved it.

After work I had trampolining club for 2 hours. Then came home and blogged :D

Wednesday - Work 9-6 out on the Mobile Library, round the countryside, doing book deliveries and serving customers, going round road closures etc. Nice day out.
After work JuJitsu club for 2 hours. Learnt some new wrist-locks. Came home and blogged

Thursday - Day off! Today was a special day, it's my Granma's birthday on Saturday and she has always wanted to go on the London Eye, so today my friend and I took her into London and onto the eye. It was a lot of walking, quite tiring, but so worth it. We all had a great time and she clearly enjoyed it.

Then had trampolining for 3 and a half hours. Now home and updating my blog, ready for a good nights sleep.

So, as you can see I've had quite a packed week, whilst all those other bloggers are off enjoying BEA. I'd have loved to have been there in NY, but wouldn't have missed the Bear or London, both were great experiences.
So what have you done with your week?

Armchair BEA - Nurturing Relationships

Today's suggested posting topic is all about Relationships!

Yesterday we talked about networking, reaching out to those people in the book blogging community. Networking is a great way to meet people but what about maintaining those connections? As we build our blogs, people comment on our posts, drop us emails, contact us on Twitter, etc. Sometimes those brief connections grow into relationships.

Well, I don't have much experience with this so I'm not really sure about what to post here. I have a couple of authors that I have met and then found on facebook/goodreads etc, then posted book reviews and got talking to them and I ended up doing an author interview with one.

But I think it's similar with bloggers, even if you haven't met. You just have to follow some guidelines:
- be friendly and genuine
- mean what you say and think about your comments. Don't just write generic comments to everyone, make it personal to the blogger - make them feel like you care about what they are saying.
- don't be a stranger, stop by and leave a comment or link a post, let them know you are interested in what they are doing.
- just be yourself, everything will fall into place eventually.

That's just my advice, I am in no way an expert, as I mentioned I am still pretty new to this and haven't had much experience, but  I am getting to know some of my fellow bloggers better and think some friendships are being formed. So thank you bloggers. :D

Enjoy your Friday's tomorrow.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Armchair BEA - Network: Blogs I Love

 

So, today we were supposed to be posting the interviews we did with a fellow blogger, but as I found out about Armchair BEA too late, I didn't do one, so instead I will share with you some of my favourite bloggers. I know I will forget some, but these are the ones that spring into mind.

1) Nina from Brush Up On Your Reading I love her blog, the design is cute and I love her partner in Blogging - ARGH. He's such a sweetie! Nina is a lovely blogger, she does honest reviews, great quizzes, and a wicked meme '10 Good Things on A Monday'. She featured me on a new meme 'Shelf Saturday' and was very kind and patient with emails, I feel like I got to know her better and she is a fellow Gleek - good to have someone to spout random Glee things with. :D


2) Alice from The Reader Room She had very similar taste in books to me and is a real sweetheart. I've talked to her a few times over e-mails and she has a great sense of humour and is very kind. Her blog is simple but creative and I know I can go to her for an honest, well written review.


3) Alison from Alison Can Read Her blog is stunningly beautiful - I love the design, header and layout. So effective. She does a great Manga meme that I enjoy reading and has a lot of good books on her site. I always come away with a book I hadn't previously heard from but now want to read. 

4) Rachel from Parajunkee's View I love her blog design, so cool. She does great meme's including Follow Friday and Book Blogging 101 where she offers hints, tips and advice on blogging, including the technical bits in a way we can all understand. I have learnt so many things from her. 


5) Amber from Down The Rabbit Hole Her blog is so cool. It was one of the first blogs I ever followed and I always enjoy checking out what Amber has posted. She has great discussion posts and the design on her blog is awesome. I always check out her reviews and know I can trust her opinion and I love the life and passion that goes into her blog.


Some other blogs worth a quick mention are:
- Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress (Author of Skulduggery Pleasant series)
- Apparently! (Author Aprilynne Pike - Wings series
- Kitties & Cookies ( for tasty treats and cute cats, my best friend too)
- Crazy-for-Books (for awesome posts and 'Book Blogger Hop)

AS I say, I know I have missed some, but thank you to all the wonderful bloggers out there, I hope I can get to know more of you. Thanks for the inspiration and support.
Happy Blogging.



Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Armchair BEA - Best of 2011

 
 
The Best of 2011...

Today's Armchair BEA post is all about our favorite books of 2011. So far this year I have read 74 books and a lot of them have been fantastic. So I will do my top 5 of the year... so far! (in no particular order)
note not all books were published in 2011, I just read them this year. :D

1) Hereafter by Tara Hudson. Read as an ARC and loved it - you have got to look out for this book! Beautiful cover too. Read my review here
 

2) Changeling by Steve Feasey - I love the whole series really. The Last book in the series was released this month, but I recommend starting from the beginning, my review of book 1 is here.

3) Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler - such a beautiful story, made me laugh and cry. Fabulous, my review is here

4) Furnace: Execution by Alexander Gordon Smith. Such a thrilling end to a magnificent series. To be honest, I would put the whole series on my best books list. They were ones that I would never have dreamed of reading, then when i did I fell in love with them. Scary and in places truly gruesome but so, so good! You can read my review here.

5) Bite Club by Rachel Caine, again a new installment in an epic series. These books are pure indulgent reads. So funny, so breathtaking, so brilliantly written. They make me happy! I highly recommend this series, but start at the beginning with 'Glass House'. My review for Bite Club can be found here.

So these are my favourites of the year so far. Have you read any of them? what do you think? Share with me your favourites too. Lets have fun on our Armchair BEA.