Thursday, 31 May 2012

Guest Post: Susan Wells

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A review of Philip Pullman’s A Shadow in the North: A Sally Lockhart Mystery
Let me just start this (positive) review by saying that I’m not usually a big fan of historical mysteries set in the past. I really enjoy young adult fiction of all stripes, but if I had to pick my top five YA genres, the typical mystery story would not be in it. I’m more of a fan of paranormal and high fantasy fare, but I really took a liking to the subject and style of this novel by Philip Pullman.
A Shadow in the North is the second entry in his Sally Lockhart trilogy, set in Victorian England and set around the adventures of Sally Lockhart, a strong willed and clever woman ahead of her time. I just finished this novel and I have to say that it’s my favorite in the series so far (though I hear great things about the third book). As you’ll soon see, A Shadow in the North has much more invention and intrigue than the average stock mystery read.
The plot in brief
 A Shadow in the North begins six years after the events of the first book in the trilogy, A Ruby in the Smoke. You can read the first book if you want, but the storylines in A Shadow in the North are mostly self-contained and don’t require knowing previous events that transpired years earlier. The same main characters are still around: Sally Lockhart (of course) works as a kind of money manager/financial consultant; her beau Fred works as a photographer and runs a discreet detective service with his friend Jim. It transpires that the trio must investigate some bizarre case of insurance fraud and serious financial wrongdoings as one of Sally’s friends, a lady named Miss Walsh, loses a fortune that she invested in a ship after it goes missing. Another seemingly unrelated subplot involves a quirky magician named Alastair MacKinnon who gets Jim in unexpected trouble with his startling visions of a serious crime.
Random events begin to take shape as Sally, Fred, and Jim investigate a number of strange occurrences throughout a well-described Victorian backdrop. The characters in the story are nuanced and complex; there aren’t many black-and-white good or bad players in this book as there was in the previous one. Moral dilemmas that crop up are more muddy and complex, and the suspense is much more addicting in this installment as well. I don’t want to give anything away, so you just have to check out the book yourself to see what happens.
A talented author
Part of the reason why A Shadow in the North works so well is because its written by Philip Pullman, who proved that YA fiction could be just as complicated and compelling as adult fiction with the series His Dark Materials. You’ll find similarly great prose and character development in this book as you did in his other novels like The Golden Compass. I’m glad to have come across this other series written by the English author, as they have proven to be well worth my limited reading time. Definitely check this book out if you get a chance!
Author Bio:
This is a guest post by Susan Wells.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Book Review - That Summer

Title: That Summer
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Puffin
Release Date: 2 July 2009
ISBN-13: 978-0141325828

 Synopsis
For fifteen-year-old Haven this is the summer where everything changes.

Dad is remarrying. Her sister Ashley is planning a wedding of her own. They're both moving on, but Haven is lost in memories of a time when life was happy and her family was whole.

And then Ashley's ex, the charming and funny Sumner Lee, arrives in town. He reminds Haven of carefree days gone by, and she can't help but wonder - has fate brought this person from her past back to change her future?

My Review
I am working through Sarah Dessen's book and this one happened to be my next choice (mainly as it was short and I wanted a quick read, and at only 212 pages, this was perfect!)
 Haven's life has been turned upside down, her parents got divorced, her dad is now getting married again, her sister is also getting married, and her best friend went away to Summer camp as a shy, sensible girl and came back boy obsessed. Haven can't help but think back to what she remembers as the perfect summer, her family all together and one of her sisters ex-boyfriends (Sumner) who seemed to bring everyone a new lease of life.
Now Sumner has re-appeared and it's bringing back a whole load of other memories and feelings. 


I'm not really sure what I made of this book, I started it at lunchtime today, read a little bit more after work and then finished it when I got home from trampolining, so in total about 2 hours reading total. Haven does come across as very human - she's not perfect, she has moments of laughter, anger, hurt, sadness, sarcasm and indecision. She overall seems quite a strong character and seems to be a bit like the brace that holds the other characters together, but she does start to crack and I could almost feel the pressure building on her until it burst.
Her mum seemed to be a bit weedy - hiding her feelings and just finding things to obsess over so she doesn't have to talk, but then tells her daughters off for trying to do the same thing - hypocrite. 
Ashley (her sister) is quite self obsessed and totally consumed by her wedding, but you do get moments where the sisters connect and it gives you a better insight into their relationship.
Sumner is a bit of a mystery, you don't find out until right near the end why he and Ashley broke up. Until that moment I think you are supposed to believe that he is a really sweet, sensitive guy who was the one that was hurt by the break up, but I got a sense throughout that he wasn't all he seemed. Maybe I'm just cynical!
Being so short, the story does move at a good pace and there is enough happening to keep you interested, but for me this didn't feel as good as other books by Dessen. Maybe it's unfair to judge it in comparison to her other books, but I really love her stuff and this just felt a little off mark. It was still a good little read and if you haven't read a Dessen before then you would probably really enjoy it.
So not what I was expecting, but still enjoyable.


My Rating

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Book Review - World Of The Hunger Games

Title: The World of the Hunger Games
Author: Kate Egan
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: 23rd March 2012
ISBN13: 9780545425124

 Synopsis
Welcome to Panem, the world of The Hunger Games. This is the definitive, richly illustrated, full-colour guide to all the districts of Panem, all the participants in The Hunger Games, and the life and home of Katniss Everdeen. A must-have for fans of both the Hunger Games novels and the new Hunger Games film.  




My Review
Anyone who knows me, knows I am a massive Hunger Games fan - we're talking obsession here! So anything to do with HG is going to be devoured by me.
Being broke - I couldn't afford to buy this, plus I didn't know much about it, so I requested it from the library. There was a delay with the order as it only just came in this week and I had totally forgotten about it.
When it arrived I was excited and had a quick flick - and noticed a lot of pictures, but it looked cool so I put it in my bag to take home.
I had 30 minutes spare and had just finished my last book so I picked this up to start, however I managed to get through the whole thing in that time.
This book was a little disappointing, it is basically a summary of the book/film, with pictures from the film throughout and pages of quotes, I mean, it was quite cool to look through but not really anything we hadn't seen before. 
This would be a good refresher if you wanted to read book 2 & 3 but couldn't remember what happened in the first one, but for hard-core fans it's a bit basic. I definitely wouldn't pay the full £10 they are asking for it.  
Also in the synopsis it says "full-colour guide to all the districts of Panem" but apart from District 12 which it talks about a little bit, it mostly glazes over the others, it mentions that there are 12 districts surrounding the capitol and that they all have their own purpose but that's about it, there isn't any more detail than that, it's not really a guide to them at all.
Overall this is a nicely turned out little book with some good pictures and quotes but not really anything special. Proper fans would expect more.
If you are only just getting into the world of the Hunger Games then this would be very good, but otherwise too basic.

My Rating

Book Review - Mortal Engines

Title: Mortal Engines
Author: Philip Reeve
Series: Mortal Engines (book 1)
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: 4th May 2009 (this edition)
ISBN13: 9781407110912

Synopsis
London is hunting
The great Traction City lumbers after a small town, eager to strip its prey of all assets and move on. Resources on the Great Hunting Ground that once was Europe are so limited that mobile cities must consume one another to survive, a practice known as Municipal Darwinism.

Tom, an apprentice in the Guild of Historians, saves his hero, Head Historian Thaddeus Valentine, from a murder attempt by the mysterious Hester Shaw -- only to find himself thrown from the city and stranded with Hester in the Out Country. As they struggle to follow the tracks of the city, the sinister plans of London's leaders begin to unfold ...

 
My Review
This is one of those books that I had looked at multiple times but never got round to reading, I think I took it out of the library at least 3 times but always had to return it before I had time to read it. But last week I knew I was going to meet the author at the 'Worlds of Tomorrow' event in London so I knew it was time to finally read it. 
I looked for it on the Monday and it was out, I was so annoyed, thinking that now I had made time to read it, I wouldn't be able to, but that afternoon someone returned it so I snatched it up quick and started it in my tea break that afternoon. 
My initial reaction was 'What?!?' This is weird', but then, I like weird so I was prepared to give it a try. Basically towns and cities don't just stay in one place any more, they are mobile and travel the world, dodging waste sites and barren lands. Big cities like London catch smaller towns and 'eat' them - strip them down for materials and fuels. It's a rough existence but seems to work in it's own way. This is a very strange, but somewhat brilliant idea, I really found myself getting into it within a few pages. 
This story mainly follows Tom - he works as an apprentice in the museum, but he wants more, then one day he is invited out with Valentine - an important member of society, but when a murder attempt is carried out by Hester Shaw he is thrown in a whole new world. Tom and Hester end up stranded and desperate to get back to London, but throughout the journey they meet a host of colourful characters, get to know each other better and get to know themselves too.
I liked Hester a lot - she's feisty, she's fierce and won't take any rubbish from anyone, she is a tough cookie with a strong sense of justice. She also has a great wit and sarcasm. She starts off as a bit of a mystery and quite closed off, but as the book develops so does she and I really did like her.
Tom starts off as the under-dog and you just know he will be the hero, he can be a bit sulky and very impulsive, he's eager to prove himself and make others proud of him, but in the same way as Hester, as the book progresses he finds a new side to himself and starts to hold his own.
This book is a real mix of, dare I say it - Sci-Fi, Mystery, Love story and Adventure. It really carries you away. 
I really wasn't sure I would enjoy it before I started but I honestly did - I even laughed out loud at a couple of moments. I will definitely be trying to read the rest of the series.


 My Rating

Monday, 28 May 2012

Book Review - When Dreams Come True

Title: When Dreams Come True
Author: Rebecca Emin
Release Date: 28th May 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1471092046

Synopsis
Charlie is happiest when biking with Max and Toby, or watching films with Allie. But when Charlie reaches year nine, everything begins to change. As her friends develop new interests, Charlie's dreams become more frequent and vivid, and a family crisis tears her away from her friends. How will Charlie react when old family secrets are revealed? Will her life change completely as some of her dreams start to come true? 





My Review
After reviewing 'New Beginnings' by this author, she got in touch with me again and asked if I would do her second book as well, so I agreed. I recieved a paperback copy in exchange for an honest review.

Charlie is a bit of a Tomboy, happiest when hanging out with her two best friends who happen to be boys, she would rather go bike riding and climbing than shopping. In this respect Charlie reminded me a lot of me. I never had boys for best friends or anything but I always preferred to do something sporty than girly, it was quite refreshing to see this in a book too as most girls you meet are either princesses, fairies or really prissy, unless it's an action book where they are fierce, but this was different, refreshing.
Now Charlie has moved to Upper School though she is discovering a whole new way of looking at the world. Her one friend who is a girl - Allie, has gone totally boy obsessed and seems to change her mind quite often on who she likes, talking constantly about crushes starts to get on Charlie's nerves, then one of her friends - Toby, starts to talk about girls and dates a lot too and it starts to do his head in. Then when Allie decides she likes Toby, and charlie believes her other friend Max likes Allie, she fears being stuck in the middle of a love triangle. Friendships can be put to the test.
Her aunt then gets taken ill and she ends up spending a lot of time at her house with her parents to look after her, giving her the chance to get away, explore and discover secrets.
This book was very sweet and simple, I read it in about 50 minutes. I will say that I didn't really believe the Aunt's illness, it starts as a sprained wrist, then a broken wrist, then some sort of infection that's made her really ill - but it's never explained as to what it is and how it develops. And when she gets out of hospital there is no mention of her broken wrist. Apart from that though, the story was quite good. I liked the mystery of the hidden corridors etc in the old house and the edveloping friendships and relationships between the main characters. 
A nice easy read, good to pass lazy sunny days. Sweet story and good character development. Worth a read.


My Rating

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Fairy Blogger

At the library today we had a 'Fairies Event'.

This included Stories and Crafts. Anyone was welcome to turn up.
We had 16 children turn up and all but about 3 of them were dressed as fairies, a lot of them even had wands.

My colleague Jess and I started by reading a story each. I read 'Poppy's Magic' (Little Fairies) by Sam Walshaw and Jude Irwin, then Jess read 'The Naughtiest Ever Fairies New Friend' by Sam Ward.


We then let the children do some crafts.
They made:
- 'Wands' out of straws and stars cut out of card.
- Fairy Door Mobiles out of a strip of ribbon and then 4 pictures stuck down it. (A Fairy, a Flower, a Palace and a Butterfly) (see photo below for example - in my hand)
- Book marks - designs I had drawn out. One said 'Magic Reads' and had a fairy holding a book on it, one said 'Enchanting Worlds' and had a fairy palace in the clouds on it, and one said 'Fantasy Treasures' and had a rainbow on it.


They also did a Find the Fairies hunt in the library - they had to find 6 pictures and write down what colour each of them were.


The event went really well and there was a lot of noise and laughter and awesome crafts done.


And I did the whole session in costume too - 




I managed to get the rest of the staff wearing wings too but they weren't in full costume and wouldn't have their picture taken.


This post is as promised for you Steve Cole - hope your reading it, and that you like my costume. Sorry you can't see the detail on the wings, but they are covered with cogs and gears and even has a wind-up key on the back.
:D

Book Review- Black Dawn

Title: Black Dawn
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Morganville Vampires (book 12)
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Release Date: 1 May 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0749040550

Synopsis
In Last Breath, the rain brought a new and dire threat to Morganville and its vampires... their ancient enemies, the draug. Now, the vampires are fighting a losing war, and it will fall to the residents of the Glass House: Michael, Eve, Shane and Claire, to take the fight to an enemy who threatens to destroy the town, forever.

Lovers of Morganville, rejoice: Black Dawn takes the intrigue, romance and nail-biting suspense of the series to its highest level yet!


My Review
OMG, the new book is out, the new book is out!!!!!!!! Arrrrgggghhhhh. YAY!
Rachel Caine is a total legend and I highly anticipate every new release. Desperate to get my hands on it. As I said in my 'Stacking the Shelves' video, I had to wait to receive this as I per-ordered it from the publisher with a deal that meant Rachel would sign it for me - so totally worth the wait, I have a personalized copy! :D
Anyway, I started to read this and have to admit, I had no idea what was going on. I was 99.9% certain that I had read book 11 but for some reason it hadn't stuck. I was drawing a blank so I took a quick break and grabbed the previous book and had a flip through. I read the odd paragraph every 40 pages or so and within minutes it had all come rushing back and made perfect sense. I knew it was in my brain somewhere, just got buried beneath other stuff. Now happy I knew what was going on, I carried on and boy was I back.
Every time I pick up these books it's like being greeted by old friends, no judgement for your absence just a big welcome back and come along for the ride.
I always find Rachel's books very easy to read, they just flow so well and are so awesome that I get swept up into the whole Epicness. 
I did stop about a third of the way in so I could start reading a book for my London visit last week, and then I didn't feel like reading when I was ill in the week so I had quite a break in the middle and I was itching to get back into it. It was like talking to a friend then having the phone cut off, I was desperate to get back into it. Finally today I had my chance and I powered through the rest. It was sooo good. I was crying, laughing, gasping, gripping the chair in anticipation. Pages packed full of excitement, action, sarcasm, relationships and crazyness. Just brilliant.
Myrnin is back in this book more and plays a bigger role to which all i can say is YES! I love Myrnin - he is the best. Just so Epic. 
Claire and Shane plays quite a vital part in the story of this one too and I love them together and they have some purely breath-taking, mouth dropping moments in this one.
Miss Caine you have done it again. But can I please have the next one now! :D

My Rating
 

Book Adventures in London

So on Tuesday night (22nd) I had reserved places at the "Worlds of Tomorrow Event" at Foyles bookshop on Charring Cross Road.

**If you want to get straight to the actual event, skip down to the orange picture**


With my new work timetable I wasn't allowed to leave until 5.15 and the event started at 7. I spent a lot of my breaks at work that day checking train times and praying that traffic wouldn't be too heavy, as from 5 to about 7 is rush hour traffic, and I had to get right into the center of town to get to the train station. The train to London then takes 50 minutes (if it's a fast train) or 1 hour fifteen ish if not.  Then I would have to get the underground, walk to the store. It was going to be tight. Plus I got an email from the Foyles event team saying that if you weren't there by 6.45 they would start to give tickets away to other people who showed up. - Mild panic mode!


My colleague Joyce came to collect me from work and luckily we seemed to be just ahead of the rush, we sailed to the edge of town, got caught briefly down one of the busier roads, but soon zoomed again. We found a parking space almost straight off and there was no queue at teh ticket booth. Luck was on our side - hooray!.

We then realized that we had 2 minutes spare to catch the fast train so we ran for the overpass and got onto the right platform and thank the Lord, we made the train. I could not believe it. We literally left the library and got on our train within about 6 minutes. Unheard of for my parts. :D

We have recently done a promotion at work based on a TV show by the BBC called 'My Life in Books', where they have celebrities on and they pick 4 adult books and 1 children's book, and they discuss how this book has affected their life, or why it means something to them. So at the library we have hard cards out for people to fill in with their choices and then we request their books and display them, giving other people the chance to take them out.

It's quite hard though, just picking 4 books, especially since I read so many. So Joyce and I spent the train ride discussing which books we would choose and why. I added most of Joyce's picks to my 'To Be Read' pile. She has great taste.


My picks were:
- A Place Called Here by Cecelia Ahern
- The Complete Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- Study Series by Maria V Snyder



- Mrs Frisby & The Rats of Nimh by Robert C O'Brien was my choice for the children's book.


Comment below with what your picks would be.


Anyway, we arrived smoothly and headed straight to the Underground, one arrived within minutes and we were speeding off towards Leicester Square. (My goodness was it crowded on that tube train, Literally people piling in and squashing against you, so hot in there too) Luckily we were only in there for 4 stops.


We got off and climbed up the stairs, got our bearings and headed off for Foyles. to my intense surprise ( I expected to be late and sprinting towards the event) we had 15 minutes spare with which to find somewhere to eat. Cafe Rouge would take too long, McDonald's was in the opposite Direction, Subway had no seating, we started to get annoyed, everywhere was either busy, too far or not my taste. At last a couple of doors away from Foyles we found a little cafe that looked clean and friendly and we ordered.
After the quick sandwich and with about 1 minute spare we paid and left and made our way into Foyles.


Now for the excitement.


I love walking into Foyles, it's so big and it smells of knowledge and paper and adventure and, well, books!
Picture taken from Foyles website, drawn by Sarah McIntyre (I think). 
Click on picture to go to Foyles website. Image belongs to them.

We found a lift and went up to the 3rd Floor to the gallery, it was already buzzing with people and very hot. Joyce and I edged into the room, not sure where we had to 'sign in' but there were spaces free so they just waved us in without taking our names.


As I walked in I spotted Sarah McIntyre, (as you may know I met her at an event at my library back in February, I wrote a post about it here) but she was talking to someone, I then turned and spotted Steve Cole (again met him in Feb) he was also talking to someone so I slid in the room, however within seconds Steve had spotted me and called me over. *Fan Girl moment* he remembered me!!! How cool is that, I hoped he would, but I know he meets a lot of people so I was like "wicked", and it was so good to see him again. He gave me a big hug and I introduced him to Joyce and we got chatting. He was wearing a very cool T-Shirt too!


I then found a seat and got settled in. Minutes later Sarah spotted me and came over to say hi, again it was good to see her and we had a little chat. I was really looking forward to the event and could feel the buzz in the room.


Everyone soon got seated and the panel began.
Here is the description of teh evening from the website:

"In conjunction with the Society of Authors and the Kitschies Awards, this evening's panel celebrates progressive, intelligent and entertaining science fiction for readers of all ages. Travel with us into the world of tomorrow with authors Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre as your hosts, discussing the phenomenal rise of science fiction in Children's and Young Adult fiction, with special guests including Costa Children's Book Award-winning-author Moira Young, Steve Cole and Kim Lakin-Smith."

 I wasn't really sure what to expect but I knew it would be good. The authors were introduced, of course I knew Steve but Kim and Moira were knew to me, until I realized I had just requested Moira's book as this months read for my Teen Book Group - how cool is that!




I got a seat to the side, this was Philip Reeve introducing everyone. Sarah is the one nearest in the white boots, the Steve, then Kim, then Moira, then Philip.


The discussion was really interesting. All about he rise and fall of Sci-Fi, different trends and different ways Science Fiction has been branded to fit it. For example quite a bit of Dystopian has sci-fi tendencies, Steam-punk can be quite sci-fi orientated. They also looked at why Sci-Fi films were so popular but the books seemed to be a no go.
there were many aspects to the discussion and some great answers from the panel.
The discussion lasted about 45 minutes and then the floor was open for questions.

During this time I found out some of the other people in the audience - Patrick Ness was there (though I didn't get to say hello), and then Candy Gourlay (author of Tall Story) and Teri Terry author of Slated) were also there (they are members of SCBWI and I have spoken to them on Facebook.) They were both really nice, plus Joyce is a huge fan of Tall Story so she was in heaven there. It is nice to meet so many down to earth, helpful and friendly authors. so thanks ladies for making us feel welcome.

After the session, the authors left the room to go and get set up in another room to do book signings.



We then went out to look at the books so we could get some signed. I had promised myself I would just get one book, no more, but somehow I ended up with one for each author.
I got 'Blood Red Road' by Moira Young, 'Cyber Circus' by Kim Lakin-Smith, 'Queen Rat' by Kim Lakin-Smith (see I was caught up in the excitement I ended up with two by her, but never mind :P), 'Here Lies Arthur' by Philip Reeve, and a Astrosaurs book by Steve Cole as a present for my friend's children (slight nightmare that I wasn't sure how to spell their names, but yay I got it right in the end)

Philip and Moira together were a laugh and so easy to chat to, I had just started reading "Mortal Engines' by Reeve and told him how much I loved it, he seemed genuinely surprised - he's so modest. So everyone, let him know how awesome his books are!
Steve of course was fab, always have a laugh with him and Kim was a sweetheart too. Sarah did an awesome drawing of a pirate in Joyce's book and took some pictures of us. (hope she uploads them soon)



I got all my books signed and handed out some business cards with my blog details on, so hopefully you might see some of them featured on this blog in the future.


It was a great night and I managed to get some pictures taken.




Philip Reeve & Moira Young. :D they take a great pic!






This was me with Steve, Kim & Sarah. Steve said something to make me laugh just as the picture was taken hence my weird expression, but it was great. (see - I told you he had a cool t-shirt on!)



We then left the authors to finish their signing, we heard they had a restaurant booked for when they were done, so i didn't want to hold them up too long, possible the pub was calling too, I know that's where some of the other guests were going.

Joyce and I then had a quick mooch around the bookshop then headed for home. We didn't have to wait too long for a train (about 15 minutes) but it was a fast one so I was home by about 10:30.


It was a fab night. The discussion was awesome and I got a lot from it, I came away inspired and intrigued. To be honest i never considered myself as a 'Sci-Fi' fan, as they said during the night 'gadgets and gizmo's' are a common feature, but it can be so much more.

Thanks to Philip and Sarah for hosting such a great night, and to them and all the guests for taking so much time to talk to all their fans.  


If you made it through all that, well done. Think I may have woffled a bit there but never mind.
And if you just skimmed and looked at the pictures, I won't tell or be offended - promise! :D


 The only downside to all this was that I woke up on Wednesday and was really sick for most of the day, I don't know if it was food poisoning form the cafe we went to, or just a bug that seems to be going around. I don't suppose I will ever know. I hope if it was a bug that I didn't spread it to anyone else. 
That's why this write up is so late. But better late than never right.
Look out for my next 'Stacking the Shelves' video as I will show all the books and the autographs in them ;D


Friday, 25 May 2012

FF (71) & TGIF (54)

Firstly, sorry for my absence this week, I was out Tuesday night at an event in London (write up to come later) and was going to post about it on Wednesday, but I woke up early on weds feeling really sick and ended up spending the day in bed and being sick (I won't give you details, eugh!)
I didn't have anything to eat all day Wednesday so Thursday was spent trying to get my health back and stopping the room from spinning, and once more introducing myself back to food! So once again I didn't have my computer on.
Today, I have fully recovered, have been back at work today and Diving club and feel fab. Not sure if it was food poisoning or a bug that seems to be going round but luckily was over quite quick. 
I will try to do the write up about Tuesday tonight, but I have a lot to catch up on, 3 days off the computer left me with a lot of messages etc. If not tonight, it will definitely go up tomorrow.
Thanks for sticking round everyone, I know in my Stacking the Shelves video last week I said I would be having a shelf clearance giveaway this weekend, but as I was ill, I didn't get the tidying up done and I haven't finished sorting out my books, but I should have it up next week, maybe I'll do a Bank Holiday Bonanza!!! :D
 
Anyway, onto the meme's:
 


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 feature is from
Underworld Love Addiction

Q: Activity! Dream cast your current read.

My Answer: I find these so hard to do, as I have a certain image in my head but can never find a real person to match that idea. Luckily my current read is 'Black Dawn' by Rachel Caine (book 12 in the series) and it's just come out, and over the last week on the Facebook Fan Page, people have been discussing this, so I will draw inspiration from there.


Johnny Depp or David Tennant as Myrnin

Kat Dennings as Eve Rosser

Emma Watson as Claire Danvers (maybe)


That's it, I can't do anymore, it's too hard. Thanks Facebook people for inspiration. 



TGIF!



This meme is hosted by GReads!

This Friday's Question:



Show Me Your Cover: What are some of the worst book covers, but hold some of the best stories inside? Don't be embarrassed, show us your cover!

My Answer:

 OK, these aren't the 'Worst' covers in the world, or anything like that, but they are the ones that disappointed me the most.



 A Million Suns by Beth Revis. Her books are amazing and I totally adored this book, but as I said in my review, I hate this cover, it doesn't match the first book and looks way too sci-fi, tv series, game concept like. I love the American version that has the front bubble of the ship looking out at a sea of stars, it's gorgeous. But this cover, just eugh. The way the guy is staring creeps me out too, I don't even know who he is meant to be. Elder would be my guess but that is nothing like how I pictured him to be! Do NOT like this cover at all!




 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Everyone by now knows how much I dislike these covers, after I did a post asking people to buy me the American cover and send it over. (Thanks to everyone who responded by the way, you are all so lovely and a great group of people, so willing to help.)

Anyway, to me this just does now fit the story, I don't know quite how, but it just doesn't work. It's too purple, and swirly, and girly and just wrong! I love the other covers with the background scene and the Faction symbol - it works, it's right!. 



OK, rant over now. That's all I've got. :P

 

 Hope you've all had a good week. Look out for more updates. *Tomorrow is 'Fairies Event' day at work, so we are all getting dressed up in costumes and wings, going to be great fun! Look out for pictures. :D

 

 

 

 

Happy Hopping, have a great weekend everyone!!!

 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Stacking The Shelves (2)


Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event over at 'Tynga's Reviews' which showcases the books we've purchased, borrowed and received in the mail this week.

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


Keep Reading. :D

Friday, 18 May 2012

FF (70) & TGIF (53)



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 feature is from
Addicted2Heroines

Q: Summer Break is upon us! What would be the perfect vacation spot for you to catch up on your reading & relax?

My Answer: I honestly don't know how to answer this, there are so many places I would love to go, but most of them would involve a lot of sightseeing and adventuring etc so I would have even less time to read. But reading wise, If I could, I would get a nice little cottage somewhere with wide open fields to walk in and lay in the flowers, then curl up on a big cushy sofa in the evenings. It would be lovely!

 


TGIF!



This meme is hosted by GReads!

This Friday's Question:

 

A Book Blogger is Born: What made you decide to 
start your very own book blog?



My Answer: It was quite a quick decision really. I'd been looking for a good way to record all the books I had read and I also really wanted to find some like-minded people to discuss books with and I stumbled across some other book blogs. I had never heard of such a thing before but I was fascinated and immediately thought 'I can do that!' I did a bit of research on different blog hosting sites and then set this up, think I jumped in a bit at the deep end, but I've learnt as I've gone and had some great help and I couldn't be happier with my rash decision. :D



 

 

Happy Hopping, have a great weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Guest Post: Samantha Gray

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Young Adult Novels for Kids and Parents

Oftentimes, as parents we don't really consider reading the same books that our youngsters are reading. These books are immature and will be uninteresting to us, we assume. Though today many young adult series have hit the mainstream, there remains a prejudice from some against young adult literature. I think there is a lot of merit in reading the same thing that your kid is reading. We have so much to gain from this experience that it might surprise you. By reading and becoming involved in some of the same aspects of life our youngsters are into we can gain a stronger understanding of our youth. As any educator can tell you, literature enables you to see things in life from different perspectives. By reading young adult novels, maybe we as adults can see things more clearly from our children's perspectives. As parents, educators, and role models, understanding that youth perspective can only make us better at what we need to do. These three young adult series and novels are necessities for both parents and youngsters.

This 13 book series is a wonderful addition to any bookshelf. Following the lives of three unique and ever-intriguing siblings, this series finds a way to hook any reader with its inventive narrative and bizarre happenings. The 13 books begin with the main characters at ages 14, 12, and one as a baby. Because the central characters are children many younger readers are immediately drawn to the storyline. Young readers are enamored by the strange and ever-disastrous (as the series' title would suggest) plot. While there is basic humor in the witty dialogue of the young characters and their unending misfortune, there are many aspects that can only be truly appreciated for their humor with a more adult understanding. The youngest sibling, Sunny Baudelaire, who is a baby at the start of the series, often speaks in one word sentences. With utterances like "Matahari", "edasurc", "cigam", and "Busheney", kids would likely pass this off as silly sounds whereas adults can begin to decode some of the authors underlying messages with these words. "Cigam" is "magic" backwards and "Busheney" is a play on the names Bush and Cheney. It is small, intelligent puzzles like this and a genuinely interesting and exciting plot that make these books perfect for both parent and youngster.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
For the more traditional literary parent, this book may be a bit of a stretch, but it shouldn't be overlooked. Recently made into a major motion picture directed by Martin Scorsese, others see the adult appeal this story has. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is 500 plus page graphic novel about the compelling life of a young boy and his inspirations in turn-of-the-century Paris.  The book is surrounded around the true story of French filmmaker Georges Melies and his collection of mechanical toys called automata. Though it takes some time for any reader new to graphic novels to adjust, the story and pictures of this novel are gripping and beautiful. The story is universally appealing and has a rich historical context. Following the tribulations of a 12 year old orphan, younger readers are compelled by the young boy's life and passion, while older readers may be more intrigued by the historical and cultural references throughout the novel. I suggest this book to any individual young or old—it's a wonderful read and a truly touching story.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Of course, The Hunger Games series is something we have all heard about by now. With a major (major) motion picture and tons of buzz surrounding the series to begin with, it's likely you've either already read or are completely sick of hearing about these books. However, (ha) this series is an extremely compelling and beautiful story for readers of almost any age. Because of the graphic and violent nature of the story, it is not suggested for young readers. Young adults and adults alike can gain a lot from this novel series. Not only is the story itself completely grabbing, but the overarching social and cultural commentary is very relevant and very adult. Despite all the hype that might be keeping people away from this collection, I highly recommend checking it out. The writing itself is strong, with a strong sense for dialogue and emotion and the characters are extraordinarily compelling. 

About the Author:
This guest contribution was submitted by Samantha Gray