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Showing posts from August, 2012

August Review

Lots of reading time this month due to the summer holidays!

Books read in August
Devilish by Maureen Johnson
The rise of nine by Pittacus Lore
What's left of me by Kat Zhang
How to save a life by Sarra Zarr
Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings
The assassin's curse by Cassandra Clarke
Arabseque by Colin Mulhern
Hidden Lies by Victor Watson
Neptune's Tears by Susan Waggoner
The Raven boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
The Fox inheritance by Mary E Pearson
Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager
Newes of the Dead by Mary Hooper
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Leviathan
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Forever by Judy Blume
The Diviners by Libba Bray

Book of the month

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager
Published by Catnip

Quite honestly I cannot say enough good things about this book. It is just brilliant and you all need to read it

Book events

I went to a few book things this month whilst staying with Sarah. These were

UKYA meet up organised by Keris Stainton involving lots o…

Review: Newes from the Dead by Mary Hooper

WRONGED. HANGED. ALIVE? (AND TRUE!) Anne can't move a muscle, can't open her eyes, can't scream. She lies immobile in the darkness, unsure if she'd dead, terrified she's buried alive, haunted by her final memory—of being hanged. A maidservant falsely accused of infanticide in 1650 England and sent to the scaffold, Anne Green is trapped with her racing thoughts, her burning need to revisit the events—and the man—that led her to the gallows. Meanwhile, a shy 18-year-old medical student attends his first dissection and notices something strange as the doctors prepare their tools . . . Did her eyelids just flutter? Could this corpse be alive? Beautifully written, impossible to put down, and meticulously researched, Newes from the Dead is based on the true story of the real Anne Green, a servant who survived a hanging to awaken on the dissection table. Newes from the Dead concludes with scans of the original 1651 document that recounts this chilling medical ph…

Review: Hidden Lies by Victor Watson

I really enjoyed Hidden Lies as it was every bit as awesome as I hoped it would be.

What I particularly enjoy about this series is the fact that it is both so accessible and enjoyable as a story within itself but also that gives you a real insight into the historical period without over burdening the reader. The whole series is a brilliant example of how I think historical fiction should be done for children and teenagers.

As a reader I really enjoyed getting back to characters I have enjoyed following since book one. I love the dynamic the ever growing cast of regulars have and I love the banter and loyalty between them. For me when I'm reading them I almost feel like the capture the same sort of magic I felt when I first read the famous five books as a child and I love that they are quite innocent. The story itself revolves around a mystery involving the death of new character Cassie's uncle. I loved being kept on my toes as I never found that I guessed he the …

Bookcase Showcase: Author Kim Curran

Unsurprisingly, as an author, I'm a total book whore. If I'm having a bad day, I buy a book. If I'm having a good day, I buy a book. In fact, it's rare a day goes by without me grabbing a new book from somewhere. I often pick books just because I love the covers and then never get around to reading them. I know. I need help.  As you'll see, my bookshelves are an utter mess. Once upon a time they were organised by colour – yes, I had a long weekend to myself and not much else to do – and you may just about be able to make out vestiges of that system: white books huddled next to white books and the odd spattering of red. While arranging books by colour may look nice, it does make finding books almost impossible. So when I move (which will hopefully be soon) I shall be a little more realistic and might organise them by name. 

In my front room, you can see I have a mixture of big hard back books, ornaments, photos and, tucked in next to that Chinese vase, my most treasur…

Book to Film adaptions I love

I'm a huge skeptic when it comes to film to book adaptions and often I hate the film versions with a passion but there are a few out there I love

The series of unfortunate events.


I am stunned that I loved this as I'm not a huge fan of the books and I usually hate Jim Carey but I loved this! It's so funny and captures the book brilliantly.

The Hunger Games



Yes there were bits that could have been done better namely the whole mockingjay pin bit but on the whole I love it and how it captured Katniss. I can't wait for the extended blu ray to come out.

The Hole



I love this film to bits. I love how it twists and turns but I really didn't get the book at all. A rare example for me of a film better than the book.

Stardust



I loved this film! I didn't read the book beforehand which is a rarity for me but went out and bought it afterwards because of how much I loved it.

what have I missed. Can anyone recommend any other good book to film adaptions

Review: Devilish by Maureen Johnson

Devilish by Maureen Johnson
Published by Harpercollins



Wickedly funny high school satire - what would you give to be popular? Ally and Jane may not be that popular but they're good friends...that is until they each get allocated a freshman, a 'little' to show the ropes to at school. Cracks begin to show as Ally changes into a whole different person, literally overnight. She's dressed better, making new friends, and ditching Jane more and more. But Ally's transformation has its price. And it's up to Jane to save her former BF from a ponytail-wearing, cupcake-nibbling devil in disguise!

***

On the positive side I thought devilish was a really funny read. You can really hear Maureen's voice throughout it and the whole thing really showcases her wit and sense of humour perfectly. When I read it I could also hear her narrating the book to me.

I also quite liked the main character in the book because she was funny and warm hearted and spent a lot of ti…

Review: Della says OMG by Keris Stainton

Della says OMG by Keris Stainton
Published by Orchard Books


Della’s over the moon when she kisses her long-standing crush at a party – but then she discovers her diary has disappeared...

When scans of embarrassing pages are sent to her mobile and appear on Facebook, Della’s distraught – how can she enjoy her first proper romance when someone, somewhere, knows all her deepest, darkest secrets?

***
I loved Della says OMG completely and devoured it in one sitting.

The thing for me that made this book so special was the way in which it portrayed Della and her friends. I loved how perfectly their teenage interactions were captured and how all those feelings of being a teen and going out there and finding that first love were so brilliantly shown.

Della is a brilliant character. She is has all those awkward teenage qualities of feeling like she doesn't fit in because of all those insecurities you carry round at the age of 17 but without realising that actually she is awesome. She…

review: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
Published by Catnip



Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly cafĂ©. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing … and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago at schoolies week.

And then Carly meets Ryan, a local at the break, fresh out of jail. When Ryan learns the truth, Carly has to decide. Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?

***
How do I put into words how much I loved Raw Blue? I'm not sure I can do it justice but what follows are all my random thinkings this brilliant book.

Raw Blue centres around the life of Carly a university drop out who lives to surf. She's not close with her family who don't approve of her choices and works the night shifts in a kitchen to earn enough money for rent and bills so she can spend the rest of her time surfing. I loved Carly to bits. Firstl…

Review: The Terrible thing that happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne

The Terrible thing that happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne


Barnaby Brocket is an ordinary 8-year-old boy in most ways, but he was born different in one important way: he floats. Unlike everyone else, Barnaby does not obey the law of gravity. His parents, who have a horror of being noticed, want desperately for Barnaby to be normal, but he can't help who he is. And when the unthinkable happens, Barnaby finds himself on a journey that takes him all over the world. From Brazil to New York, Canada to Ireland, and even to space, the floating boy meets all sorts of different people--and discovers who he really is along the way.
This whimsical novel will delight middle graders, and make readers of all ages question the meaning of normal.

***
I absolutely loved this book. It is far younger than what I would ever normally pick up and read but it is awesome in so many ways.

Firstly the message this book gives out is brilliant. It really plays with the idea about what it mean…

Review: The Hunting by Sam Hawksmoor

The Hunting by Sam Hawksmoor


Genie and Rian thought they'd beaten The Fortress and stopped the dreadful experiments. But now someone even more ruthless has taken over, and wants to investigate why the experiments didn't kill Genie Magee. She is Fortress property, he claims - along with the other survivors.

Now there's $10,000 reward on their heads, armed roadblocks on the highway, and the dreaded threat of 'Mosquito' that can shut down their brainwaves by using their genetic information against them. There's only one possible escape from the bounty hunters with shotguns, and that's down the wild unforgiving river to a bleak future forever on the run.


Or they must turn and face The Fortress, find out its secrets, and use them against it. Seize their lives back, and fight for their very right to exist!

***
The hunting kicked off exactly where the previous book in the series left off and kicked straight back into the action with one of my favourite YA …

Bookcase Showcase: Author KM Lockwood

Author K.M.Lockwood http://kmlockwood.com/
I’ll start this happy little tour in my study upstairs – where the work happens. These shelves hold books I refer to a lot. There are a fair few How-Tos and books from my MA in Creative Writing at West Dean College. I always have to have my old Etymological Dictionary and a Thesaurus to hand. I should think you can spot that my work-in-progress has something to do with the Jane Austen era, Chichester and Sussex.




At the other end of the shelf, there are ghost stories and Polish folktales related to The Wedding Ghost, (http://the-wedding-ghost.blogspot.co.uk/) and below them plenty of Selkie books for my MA novel. The shelf itself was made by my wonderful Other Half way back in the 1980s when we were first married. You’ll see its sister later.


The bizarre mixture of ornaments and trinkets on top houses hundreds of memories. I have a shrine with photos of my family and related souvenirs at the top of the stairs – my glow-in-the-dark Our Lady of Lou…

Dr Horrible's Sing along Blog

I only just watched this recently after managing to get a copy on blu ray and I'm now kicking myself about why I didn't watch it sooner.

Dr Horrible is a mini series that was made by Joss Whedon and other members of his family on a budget during the writers strike and released on the internet and quite honestly it is one of the best things I have seen on TV in ages

It is fab for a variety of reasons

Firstly as it's written by the Whedons it is funny and brilliant all the way through. The story in mostly told through songs musical style and they are, without exception, awesome. It features both Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillon who play the supervillan and superhero of the piece and spark off each other in their brilliantly cheesy way.

All in all it is pure genius from team Whedon and worth every penny

Review: Such as Rush by Jennifer Echols

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols






A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.

High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.    

But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business — until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle b…

Mistakes in the Background by Laura Dockrill

Feast your eyes on a treasury of words and illustrations from one of the most exciting young talents around, recently voted by The Times as one of the top ten literary talents of 2008. Enter the weird and wonderful world of Laura Dockrill ! I draw like a left-handed baby, I can hardly spell my own name and watching me use a glue-stick is a bit like watching a large bear trying to ram his own head into a pocket-sized cat-flap !no, really. But once the book is finished, when I can see the pages coming together, getting thicker and thicker, detailed and covered with stories and my imagination recorded on pages !everything at last makes sense (to me at least). I did this because I have got things to say. I've got pictures I want you to see and characters I want you to meet - the crying ice-skating boy, the Rolf Harris obsessive, the rude girl in McDonalds with the chocolate milkshake and the try-hard Mighty Boosh watching mum. I don't keep a diary. I think they&…

Review: The Forsaken by Lisa Stasse

The Forsaken by Lisa Stasse
Published by Orchard books



Alenna Shawcross is a sixteen-year-old orphan growing up in a police state formed from the ashes of Canada, the US and Mexico after a global economic meltdown.

But when she unexpectedly fails ‘the test’ - a government initiative which supposedly identifies teens destined to be criminals - she wakes up alone on a remote island reserved for the criminally insane.

Terrified and confused, she soon encounters a group of other teen survivors battling to stay alive, including Liam, a boy who will become her love... and her lifeline.

Soon Alenna makes the terrifying discovery that there’s more to the island (and her past) than she could ever have guessed... But who can she trust? And can she ever escape?

***
I have very mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand the are lots of things I thought was good about it but on the other hand I did feel there were things that needed work.

Whether its fair to do so or not this no s …

Review: Dark eyes by William Richter

Dark eyes by William Richter
Published by Razorbill


Get ready for the vigilante girl detective of the next generation.

Wally was adopted from a Russian orphanage as a child and grew up in a wealthy New York City family. At fifteen, her obsessive need to rebel led her to life on the streets.

Now the sixteen-year-old is beautiful and hardened, and shes just stumbled across the possibility of discovering who she really is. She’ll stop at nothing to find her birth mother before Klesko—her darkeyed father—finds her. Because Klesko will stop at nothing to reclaim the fortune Wally’s mother stole from him long ago. Even if that means murdering his own blood. But Wallys had her own killer training, and she's hungry for justice.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens, this debut thriller introduces our next big series heroine!

***
I really enjoyed dark eyes for a variety of reasons.

Firstly I loved Wally as a lead character. She is completely kick ass and a really awesome example o…

Bookcase Showcase: Adele from Unbound

The person who has the most books wins right? Rats, so I don't win. I've given away a lot over the years and attempted to keep their numbers under control. Somehow, even with the introduction of ebooks my physical shelves continue to creep all over the place. Starting in the kitchen.



These are cookbooks. All of them. For someone who has basically three recipes she lives on you might think this is excessive, but a kitchen needs more cook books than it can hold, otherwise you can't look at all the things you never cook. Staying Downstairs.


The signed books. Most of these are people I have met at least once, some I know reasonably well now, many of them are associated to such and such an event.



Non fiction, except for the stuff just dropped on it, these are mainly reference and coffee table books.


In the office, lots of stuff all just jumbled up. Of course I know longer have any idea what I do or don't have.


Gaiman and Barker. Nuff said I think. Upstairs then, in t…

Review: Debutants by Cora Harrison

Debutants by Cora Harrison
Published by Macmillan


It’s 1923 and London is a whirl of jazz, dancing and parties. Violet, Daisy, Poppy and Rose Derrington are desperate to be part of it, but stuck in an enormous crumbling house in the country, with no money and no fashionable dresses, the excitement seems a lifetime away.

Luckily the girls each have a plan for escaping their humdrum country life: Rose wants to be a novelist, Poppy a jazz musician and Daisy a famous film director. Violet, however, has only one ambition: to become the perfect Debutante, so that she can go to London and catch the eye of Prince George, the most eligible bachelor in the country.

But a house as big and old as Beech Grove Manor hides many secrets, and Daisy is about to uncover one so huge it could ruin all their plans—ruin everything—forever.

***
Debutantes is a really interesting read which I enjoyed.

The story revolves around 4 sisters who come from a formerly wealthy family who have fallen on hard ti…

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Published by Mira



"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she co…

Blog Tour: Michelle Paver Gods and Warriors

Today I have the 5th audio extract from Michelle Paver's newest book! very exciting indeed

Here is more about the book itself from Michelle

Review: My Life next door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life next door by Huntley Fitzpatrick


A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

*** I loved My Life next door for several reasons.

Firstly I loved loved loved Samantha th…

Review: The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Published by Indigo



Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

***
Masque of the Red Death is a uniquely interesting read with a real gothic and steampunkesque feel to it.

I enjoyed several things about this book

Firstly I loved the feel of the book. The author builds up a real sense of a gothic world…

Bookcase Showcase: Blogger Grete from Book Thing

My love for books started when I was a young girl and my appetite for reading outstripped my ability to buy them so I re-read a lot and became a regular haunter at my local or school library.  I would often get the comment of 'didn't you just borrow this the other week?' Yes, yes I did and would probably be doing it again in another few.  My family are only just now starting to understand that book tokens really are the best present I could have and not at all boring for me.  Not only was I in love with books but I was a precocious reader as well and started reading authors like Jilly Cooper when I was about 13.  I also read Lord of the Rings, David Eddings and Anne McCaffrey for the first time then, so hopefully that balances out ;)

My collection has always been on the large side, unruly and a bit of an unstoppable force.  When I started reviewing, it was mainly books from my collection; since then availability of books from charity shops, bookshops and some…