Wednesday, 29 February 2012

GoodRead - The Tiny Wife

I saw this, randomly, one day in my local Waterstones. I don't really know why it count my eye. But I picked it up, skimmed the back, saw the price (£10) and, out of impulse, checked how much it would cost to buy and read on my kindle. After seeing the price for this novella (99p), I bought it and read, on and off, for several days.

What would happen if a robber burst into a bank and, instead of robbing it, he took an item of sentimental value from each person in the bank and, after that, the victims of this robbery started noticing that strange things are happening to them? Like finding God under the sofa? Or having your lion tattoo jump off your skin and chase you through the town? Or you wake up and discover your husband has turned into a snowman? Or, in Stacey Hinterland case, start to shrink, a little every day...

This has been classed as a modern-day fable and I can see why. It is short (80 pages according to Amazon) and there are simple (yet lovely) illustrations. The story is whimsical. However, some of you guys might think it's a bit too whimsical and, this feels like a fairy tale, I couldn't really figure out what the morale was (according to the review of Amazon, it's about taking life for granted).

If you want a fairy tale-like story to get you in the mood for all the fairy tale TV shows and films that will be coming our way, this might be up your street. But I would suggest going for the eBook version as it's cheaper than the real book!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

GoodRead - Cat Calls & Haunted Love

One quick review, two free e-short stories from the pen of Cynthia Leitich Smith (someone I hadn't read nor do I know - and that must come as a shock to most of my friends seeing as I, to them, know so much about YA!), author of the Tantalize series.

Cat Calls follows the story of Tiffany helping out her grandmother, Granny Z's fortune telling booth. While Haunted Love, Cody has to look after an old movie theater that's haunted...

Both of these were fast reads, which is okay if you have 45 minutes to kill on each story. But both lack substance, in my opinion. This might be the style that Cynthia writes with, but I doubt that as, with Haunted Love, you got a sneaky peek of the fourth book in her Tantalize series, Diobolical, and I found this more intriguing than the stories themselves. It felt there there was more depth to them, whereas with Cat Calls and Haunted Love, it had some but not enough or the depth was lost at the end and I felt a bit "Oh. Is that it? Really?"

Out of the two, I preferred Haunted Love but I'm not entirely certain if this was my cup of tea or not. These short stories are very much for the fans of Cynthia Leitich Smith and her Tantalize series. As for me, while I enjoyed the fastness I read them, I think I might have to read one of her novels before I past judgement. But, guys, if you are a Cynthia Leitich Smith fan, you would want these in your life...

Thursday, 23 February 2012

JK ROWLING'S NEW BOOK NEWS!!!

*tries very hard not to scream or explode* Ok, let's talk JK Rowling.

Earlier today, her literary agent (The Blair Partnership) revealed that JK Rowling will be publishing an adult book! A NEW STORY FROM JK ROWLING!!!

Though no details have been revealed (these will be released later in the year), Little Brown has confirmed that they will be publishing the book in the UK and the US!

JK Rowling has written in a quote revealing the news that "Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world. The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher. I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life."

Of course, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr has exploded! And with information being vague on title, release date (guesses range from 6 months to 18 months) and details in general, we all wait for news... I, personal, CAN'T WAIT!

(now can I go hyper now?)

Books And Their Theme Songs (Volume 10)

THE FIRST BOOKS AND THEIR THEME SONGS BLOG OF THE YEAR! And I have three months worth to catch up on. So, let's get started, shall we?

SUPERNATURALLY by Kiersten White
"I Wanna Life" and "Head First" by Goldfrapp



CLOCKWORK PRINCE by Cassandra Clare
"No Light No Light" by Florence + The Machine


THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW by Robin Wasserman
"Wicked Game" by Jordan Winter


DARK PARTIES by Sara Grant
"Pearl" by Katy Perry


LET IT SNOW by Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle (Guest Review on Mountains of Instead)
"Forever Yours" by Alex Day


MISTRESS OF THE STORM by M.L. Welsh
"Salt Skin" by Ellie Goulding


FATED by Sarah Alderson
"Landscape" (Demo) by Florence and the Machine and "The War Is Over" by Kelly Clarkson



NIGHT SCHOOL by C.J. Daugherty
"Come Back Home" by Two Door Cinema Club


HOLLOW PIKE by James Dawson
"Eric's Grief/The Bleeds" by Nathan Barr (Taken from True Blood: Season Two)


DAYLIGHT SAVING by by Edward Hogan
"The Pyramid Song" by Radiohead (as recommended by the Author)


THE SNOW CHILD by Eowyn Ivey
"Perfect Darkness" by Fink


UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi
"Safe And Sound" by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars


And that's it! NO MORE (for now)! I hope you like some of these song choices (if you have one for any of the books mentioned, let me know! Am always on the hunt for music!). Anyway, the next Books And Their Theme Songs post will be in April. See you guys then!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

GoodRead - Under The Never Sky

Before I go into how I discovered this book, I just want to talk about the cover. AREN'T IT PRETTY?! I know I'm not a great lover of pink but this cover is just whoa! I'm not a great lover of the US cover (sorry US publisher) but as we should all know by now, never judge a book by its cover (no matter how pretty it is)!

Anyway, I think I heard about this book at the Atom Books Bloggers Event late last year and, while I think I heard of this before the event (Twitter, maybe?), it wasn't till the Blogger Event that I went "Oh, this sounds up my street!" as this has been described as a mix of The Hunger Games meets Matched, and as I really like both these series, this got high on my ALREADY-HUGE To Be Read pile of books.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of the Reverie and has never thought of the world outside. Until her mother disappears. And after an terrible incident, she is thrown out into the outside world - the Death Shop - where the dangerous electric Aether storms might kill her. If not the storms, then the Savages might...

Outside the Reverie, an outsider called Perry breaks into Reverie to get life-saving medicine. But after the incident, his nephew has been snatched and Perry, blaming himself, goes to save him...

Two characters, two stories, and yet (of course) they meet. They mistrust each other and yet, they need each other...

Before I go any further, I'm pretty sure you guys have read other reviews from my blogger pals and they, mostly, have said the first 100 pages is a bit hard to get into. But, if I'm honest wiith you, I didn't have that problem. I fell straight into the story and like the all the build-up and showing us how different Aria and Perry's worlds are: Aria with her world of technology and Perry with his outside world. I always liked it when, later in the book, they both had to switch worlds and have to copy with that.

This is a dystopia novel, but this didn't feel like your typical dystopia novel as this was mostly set in nature, and for some reason, this was interesting for me to read. I hope that in the next books in this trilogy (yes, ANOTHER dystopia trilogy!) will explain the Aether storms and how they got worse, forcing the world to split between living in Reveries or braving it.

However, this book isn't perfect. There were times I read this and I felt it was a tad flat or it didn't feel right. Like it lost a step (but for me, this was near the end of the book, not the beginning). Also, one twist was revealed and I felt that it was a bit flat. However, the events that followed and were linked to this revelation was played out quite well, but it felt like there was no clues, leading us up to that point so we can go "Oh! THAT's why!"

I do like this book, and I will be interested to see what happens in the sequel, Through the Ever Night, and how Warner Brothers turn this into a movie (they got the movie rights to the WHOLE trilogy). I do hope for more in the next book but we shall wait and see...

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Fictional Husbands... Kinda...

As you guys probably know, a group of us (Laura from SisterSpooky, Leanne from District YA & Krystal from Bookshelf Banter). And now, it's my turn.

So, I started writing a list, ranging from Jem, Magnus and Alec (oh, I am a huge Alec/Magnus shipper) from the Infernal Devices and the Mortal Instruments, Jay from the Body Finder series, Garrett from Breaking Dawn. And that's to name a few.

And, after looking at my list, I know I seem to go after hot people with brains! Or they had the qualities I value: strength, intelligence, kindness, courage, an ability to love...

And now I am writing this, I suddenly realise that, with books, we put a lot of what we want in a man, woman or pet (FLUFFY AND MOGGET ARE MINE, DAMNIT!) and they are perfect for you. And that's cool. And we're getting more books with fitties coming soon! Or we're going to discover fitties in the book that's we're going to read next. And I think I'm that person who loves the fittie WHILE I AM READING HIM.

Basically, I'm a book whore.


But now I think of it, I'm like this with TV shows (not so much with films) but I am. Out of Friends, I would marry Phoebe...


... er... thanks, Pheebs. (moves away from the F.Y. Friends GIFS for the above two!)

Thursday, 16 February 2012

GoodRead - Catching Suki

A few weeks again, I did a quick post on behalf of Sarah Alderson, telling you guys about her free (for a limited time only via GirlTank's Facebook) short story, Catching Suki: a prequel to Hunting Lila.

Demos wants one of his ragtag team to go undercover on The Unit. Enter mind-reader Suki. As she has to get more information (namely from Jack and Alex), will she make a mistake and risk everything?

Now, as you guys know, I LOVE Hunting Lila! And I am itching to get the sequel, Losing Lila so any information is a bonus! And this was very interesting, seeing the set up to when Lila meets Suki. And that was interesting.

I wish there was more about her mind-reading. But that's just me. Always wanting a bit more information. But this will tie me over till Losing Lila.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

GoodRead - The Snow Child

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!! And, because of this, I decide to put my review of The Snow Child today (as, as after several date changes, that today is the PERFECT day for this book review)

Am going to admit this: this is outside my comfort-zone. This is an adult novel. Not crime/thriller-type adult novel that I normally read, but an adult novel. A proper adult novel where you take your time to read it and get swept along with the story.

Jack and Mabel have moved to the raw Alaskan wilderness in 1920. The distant between them is slowly growing wider and wider due to a terrible event. Then, one night, it begins to snow. And the mood changes. Mabel surprises herself by throwing a snowball at Jack and, in a moment of tenderness, they build a snow child together. The next day, the snow child vanish and both Jack and Mabel see glimpses of a small child hiding in the forest close to their homestead...

Now, I'm not sure how to write this review on this book as it's a strange book for me to review. I was told from several of my blogger pals (true bloggers, not like me who's faking it!) that I would just "inhale it" and "just fall for her prose". And for people to say that about a debut novel is a big deal for me! HUGE! And I can totally see it! This book takes it's time to reveal the story (like how I imagine a story set in Alaska to be) but there's something more to this book. It's as if the book breathes sometimes. That's the only way I can describe it. The Snow Child breathes...

Like I said before, this book doesn't rush itself so you guys who want fast-pace reads, you might want to avoid this.

And yet, this is a interesting tale for me. I think, on Twitter, I told the author and the UK publisher (thanks Sam from Headline for sending me a copy! She's the lady that told me about this book so I owe her...!) that the Snow Child is quietly beautiful. And I stick with that! The Snow Child isn't a debut that screams, shouts and demands attention: it's more subtle. It creeps into your mind and into your bones and lingers in the mind long after you've finished it. It's quietly beautiful and I am on baited breath for Eowyn Ivey's next book...




PS - I have to show this picture that Caroline from Portrait of a Woman put on her tumblr. When I first saw this, I immediately thought of this book (hence why I'm showing you!)


EDIT 1: after I wrote this review, I discovered that The Snow Child is Waterstones' Book of the Month for February as part of Waterstones 11. This makes me excited! And, after tweeting an image of my local Waterstones, the author herself used my image on her blog! Wanna see it? Here you go!

EDIT 2: I saw this pic (again on Caroline's tumblr!) And I thought it was perfect, again, for The Snow Child! I hope you agree!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Hollow Pike: The Soundtrack

I am beyond THRILLED that I am taking part in the blog tour for Hollow Pike by James Dawson. I simply LOVE this book so when Nina from Indigo asked, there was no hesitation!

As part of the tour, James takes over the blog today and chats about the music he listened while he wrote this. All the music will be at the bottom of the post so you guys can listen to it. So, I hand it over to James...

Music is so important to the writing process. As a writer, I use music to evoke a character or create an atmosphere. While writing new teen thriller, Hollow Pike, I used a mix. For the nightmare scenes, I downloaded soundtracks to films like The Shining or Scream. If it was a scene with Lis London and her friends, I plundered Paramore albums or Suede (which I listened to when I was fifteen!).

Once the book was finished, I would hear songs and think ‘that is SO Hollow Pike’. I started to build up a playlist, which you can access here! Here’s a track by track breakdown of how each song is perfect for the story.

1. Bird Engine – ‘Phantom Limb’: If there was a Hollow Pike TV series, this would be the theme tune. ‘I don’t like the look of this at all…’
2. Oh Land – ‘Wolf and I’: This haunting ballad really evokes that state somewhere between sleep and waking, and I think captures Lis’s dreams perfectly.
3. Florrie – ‘She Always Gets What She Wants’: This is the Laura Rigg song. Read the book and you’ll see why!
4. Stuart Warwick – ‘Misplaced Hearts’: More dream territory, but this one also sums up how lonely Lis is when she first arrives in Hollow Pike.
5. Nicola Roberts – ‘Sticks + Stones’: Lis has a hard time at school, but tries to keep her head up. This song really captures the private anguish of bullying.
6. Dragonette – ‘Animale’: Chapter 5 sees a big party for the characters, and this is perfect ‘entrance’ music to strut to!
7. Sleigh Bells – ‘Kids’: Another perfect strutting song. You hear this and you need to slow-motion catwalk. Perfect for Kitty, Delilah and Jack and their ‘battle march’!
8. Cocknbullkid – ‘Adulthood’: ‘Is this it?’ the singer asks of growing up. Lis and her friends have some big problems to tackle. No one ever said it was going to be easy, Lis.
9. Metronomy – ‘She Wants’: This one is about Lis and Danny. There’s a lot of intimacy and desire in this song. I suppose this is Danny’s love song to Lis.
10. Zola Jesus – ‘Night’: And this is Lis’s love song to Danny!
11. Foster The People – ‘Houdini’: A perfect song for the ‘sleepover scene’ with Lis and her friends and a lot of ice-cream!
12. Us Baby Bear Bones – ‘Ghosts’: Lis is haunted by Hollow Pike, and this song really describes her feelings about the town.
13. Teeth of the Sea – ‘Cemetery Magus’: At the end, Lis is in great danger as she finally faces her real life nightmare. This song is the chase song.
14. Suede – ‘Beautiful Ones’. If I had one wish, it’s that Girls Aloud would cover this for the end credits. It’s never going to happen, but there I SAID IT.

A lot of the artists aren’t so well-known, but I hope you enjoy! Stick it on in the background and open Hollow Pike at page 1…













Cemetery MagusCemetery Magus by Teeth of the Sea

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

GoodRead - The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists

A random surprise from Bloomsbury, this was! And I like random surprises! And I decided to read this after getting an email from Ian, head of the Children's publicity. Why, I hear you ask? Well, in his email, he wrote "as you are clearly of a piratical nature" and this had me laughing my head off! How did he know my secret...?! ;P

So, The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists (the inspiration for the new Aardman movie and, yes, that is a LONG title) tells the story of the Pirate Captain and his pirate crew as they search the sea for adventure. After raiding a ship, they meet the young Charles Darwin who is in need of help. And the Captain Pirate agrees, leading the pirates back to London where they encounter a diabolical Bishop, grisly murders, vanishing ladies, a Man-panzee... and the joys of ham.

Now, I'm not sure how to review this book without going "This was awesome!" or "There's something about it that reminded me of the Worse Witch by Jill Murphy". So, I won't. It's one of those rare books where I found myself smiling as I read it as it was completely stupid and silly, utterly surreal and yet, wonderful!

Not much else to say. Expect I want to read more about the Pirate Captain. And his luxuriant beard...

Sunday, 5 February 2012

SNOW!!!!

IT'S SNOWING WHERE I LIVE!!! (and though am worried about going to work tomorrow, I'm not worried that much!)

Now, I was going to should the pictures of the snow in the real world. But I saw these and I HAVE to show you!





(The first two pictures come from Portrait Of A Woman's tumblr (Picture One & Picture Two) & the third (which is the picture I used for my review of LET IT SNOW [that's on Mountains of Instead] is taken from Jeremy West's tumblr.

NOW OFF TO ENJOY THE SNOW!!!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time - Movie Review

Earlier this week, I reviewed the Japanese classic The Girl Who Leapt Through Time by Yasutaka Tsutsui (haven't read it? Here you go!). And, after watching the trailer and one fan-made music video (using the movie against the song "Must Be Dreaming" by Frou Frou. Both of which are below), I treated myself the movie (so you guys knows, there are apparently several versions. This is the 2006 version, just so you know).

The film is, according to Wikipedia, is a loose sequel to the book as it tackles the same subject matter but there are different characters and the story is slightly different.

So, the movie. 17 year old Makoto gains this ability after an accident in her high school chemistry lab, (and then almost getting killed at a train crossing). After this discovery, she immediately sets about improving her grades and preventing personal mishaps with her and her friends, Chiaki and KĊsuke. Before long however, she realizes that even innocuous changes can have terrible consequences. And consequences she couldn't possible imagine...

This isn't the same as the book. Let's make this clever as I am a book loyalist when it comes to film-based-on-book. This takes the bases of the story and let the story breathes. And this is a good thing for me as I watched the film and go "I like where this film's going".

Also, the film did some things that I felt was missing in the book, like character development and feeling that the characters did have feelings for each other. And in this film, there was character development! There was moments where you went "He likes her!"

While I do think that, if you fancy reading the book then you should, but if you do, then you should watch this film as well. The film is such a good little gem and makes me want to rewatch my Studio Ghibli films (I only own three. Maybe FilmFour should do a season of them all...)


Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Sarah Adderson & Girltank (aka Catching Suki)

Earlier today, I received the following from Sarah Adderson, author of Hunting Lila and Fated. She asked if I could promote this and, yeah, am going to do it now.

*

I was asked by a charity called Girltank that supports young girl change makers across the globe if I might be able to support them in some way and, because kick ass girls are my favourite sort of girl, and because I'm passionate about social change and empowering young women I jumped at the chance.

We came up with the idea of using Catching Suki to help raise awareness of their goal - which is to find 10,000 young women social entrepreneurs, innovators and heroes in 100 days.

So to download your free copy of CATCHING SUKI (a short story from Suki's POV) for FREE (for a limited time only) all you need to do is go here https://www.facebook.com/girltankorg?sk=app_349727475052332

...and sign up to nominate either yourself or someone you know who is making change happen in the world...(could be a school project, could be something they're doing in their community to make life better for other people)...

The director of Girltank says...

'We want to show the world that young women from every region of the planet are making powerful contributions to society and leading social change. We want to tell your stories!

So send us the names of the best examples of young women innovators from Chicago to Hong Kong to Capetown to Buenos Aires. Then spread the word to your networks!