Sunday, 15 December 2013

Home swour Home

So yesterday I landed in Glasgow, back in Scotland....... I was lucky we landed - Scotland greeted our plane with 70mph gusts that shook and tossed the plane, I did not envy our pilot!

I found my family and it was all hugs and kisses and tears from Mum, beams and gruff tough hugs from Dad, and a begrudging smile from Haden which is an improvement. And it was great. Yesterday was great  - I was happy to be home, ecstatic to see my dog and animals and so happy to see my family.

Today the cracks of living with the family began to show; Parents being grumpy and naggy, Haden lazing around being a general nuisance and lazy bum, and me feeling jittery. I don't really feel Home, it feels far too temporary - maybe it's because I know that soon I'll be at university and will be an adult, independant and not with my family. It's a lot to take in, and it's darn scary!!!! Exciting and thrilling but so far away but not far enough. A confusing conflicting feeling that will surely diminish as I get settled in again.

On other note parents bought me a memory foam mattress as an early Christmas present. Bliss! Far better than my old one that made me feel like the Princess and the Pea! I could feel every little thing digging into my mattress there was to feel!

Now I'm home though and free of work at the moment, I'll get writing some book posts! I have a luscious varied range of books to write up and you will LOVE and DROOL for them all!

Love
T
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Monday, 2 December 2013

Life & Culturally differences

Ever noticed that life has a way of slipping through your hands? It just keeps going and you don't notice as it trickles through your fingertips. Life is sand, time and memories. Granules that are impossible to keep a hold off but that sparkle as they catch the light but when wet become heavy and so difficult to lift and live.

Deep, profound and meaningful there's my excuse for not writing in a while. Really it's because I got sucked into the treacherous superficial world of the first series of 90210. Luckily for yours and mines sanity the second series appeared crap so I gave up watching it and I've been returned to my fully functioning blogging glory. Pretty awesome huh!

So less than 2 weeks left in France - I'll miss my job and my horses but I am so looking forward to getting home and back to the sarcastic life of Britain. Yesterday I was at  a shopping centre with Ali, my mother for three months and we were exploring the cultural differences of the British and the French and you know what our main one was?

British people generally CARE about people's feeling whereas the French are far more of a clamber over everyone and put yourself first ALWAYS. They also have a bit of a superiority complex; they all think they're better than everyone else. One of the woman I work with has an increasingly annoying habit of phoning people all the time. So she'll be on the phone while I wait, patiently and in boredom as my phone has broken so I don't even have that to distract myself with, and she will not even try to hurry up. They don't really think about other people, and it drives me a little crazy....

Another thing: They don't appreciate initiative. For instance if you do something quickly or early they don't express thanks they just hand you something else to do - they seem to like making more work and then handing it to someone else to do - mainly me. Yay! For example I finish my chores early because I worked hard and quickly they'll hand me something completely inane and bizarre to do - last time I finished mucking out the stables early they sent me to brush around the muckheap. The muckheap was just about to be picked up by a lorry and so after I finished brushing around it, said lorry arrived and made a whole lot more mess... so rule out initiative..

And the worst thing for a British person. They don't use sarcasm and don't acknowledge apologies. We are an apologetic nation - I say sorry if I'm early to work for god's sake! Or sorry if I have to ask the woman to bring a new bale of hay despite the fact it's her job. I know we use apologies when one isn't needed but in Britain one would just reply 'that's no problem I'll get to it'. But the French aren't an effusive people they use words minimally and do not offer sympathetic understanding words. Yes it's unnecessary but it's nice!!! And then sarcasm. They don't use sarcasm. Do they not realise there is a whole world of delightful witty comebacks, sayings and general fun to be had from sarcasm? They say what they mean. But being British, used to sarcasm and unable to accept compliments, I tend to find myself staring blindly at people when they say something like - 'Well Done' after I've mucked out a stable - I mean c'mon why? Did I not do it right? I do it everyday I know how to do it. It's condescending..... unless you're being sarcastic. C'mon you are aren't you - what did I do wrong? But I'm getting better, I know don't bare my teeth when someone says I like your hair..... improvement right?!

Bonne soiree

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Monday, 25 November 2013

Every Day

Every Day by David Levithan was sweet, sincere and touching. It could almost be considered heart breaking. Levithan has a light touch to his writing, he lent a tentative feeling to his words which was perfect for the narrative of A.

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.


As I've seen from other reviews readers had a similar problem to me. It's very difficult to sum up how you felt after reading Every Day. It was everything and nothing, confusing yet clear as crystal. Mad but brilliant. The variety of characters Levithan was able to  provide was mindboggling, especially as nearly every new character Levithan introduces is really A in a different body, and no matter the race, the gender, the age, it's still A. And I never found out who A was. A was and is everyone. It was incomprehensible to a certain extent. The rules that bind him to bodies for a day and how they dictate where and who he is. However that indicates we know what the rules are but we don't - they're invisible and apart from one or two things A clarifies for us, we have no idea. And that is the main thing I took from this novel is how if we don't know who we are, where we'll be when we wake up, who will be there for us then we are really lost. And A is lost. He's never known where he'll be when he wakes up, who he'll be and he's never had anyone he cares about or wants to be with. Until Rhiannon. And that simple connection provides a root for A - he starts to become an identity, an individual living in other people's body. A becomes someone.

This book was about identity and people. How everyone is similar but completely different. Levithan managed to tell a story without ever really telling a story. Yes Every Day had the makings of a plot with a villain and heart wrenching selfless decisions to be made but really Every Day didn't actually go anywhere.

I really enjoyed Every Day but it is so difficult to say why. Normally I dislike reading stories where I feel sorry for the main character, pity is a destructive emotion for readers as it means you lose respect and faith in the characters ability to lead you through the story. But in a talented twist of events it's this pity that Levithan exploits, all the way through the book Levithan is building up the pity the reader feels for A in order to really get the reader to empathasise with A's plight. I can feel this review descending into rambling and it's because Every Day is so complex and different. It is a new approach. A lot of people have complained about the fact there are a lot of questions unanswered but the minute you pick up a book you have to suspend some ounce of logic otherwise you will never enjoy it. It's called imagination, artistic license and fun. Revel in the craziness and implausibility of it that's what it's there for. An escape. And A and Rhiannon under the guiding hand of Levithan definitely offered an escape from life.

Its a 4.5 out of 5 for Every Day as I can't quite give it 5 but it's better than a 4. It's one of those rare gems of sane insanity in the literary world and worth stretching your mind to read. Published by Egmont who have recently announced their acquisition of Rhiannon, the companion novel to A, it was an experience to say the least!

Get Reading!
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My life at work

So today, instead of writing a review but who knows the reviewing bug might bite me later on in the day.... I thought I'd shed a little more insight into my backbreaking work here in France and also might let slip a few funny things that have happened to me whilst on the other side of the stream.

Firstly I work a pretty mucked up schedule - Tuesday to Saturday, Sunday and Monday off. I promise you there is nothing more unnatural then waking up to go to work on a SATURDAY when the rest of the house is asleep. Even the promise of the Monday off doesn't resurrect the turmoil of feelings inside me. Today is my Monday off and it's almost crappier than working on a Saturday..... In France Monday appears to be the day the shopkeepers take off (in addition to Sunday) because they too have worked on a Saturday not that I got to enjoy this as I was working also... (In the UK shops are open Mon-Sat! France'll get a move on soon - they just like their naps, bank holidays, protests, strikes.... really anything that means they get extra days off. Not that I'm criticising them - Kudos to them my fellows!) So Mondays are very quiet and there isn't much to do.

Secondly I work from half 8 to 5.... Longer than school! In the morning we clean 17 stables, mucking out, putting hay in and after that, after that, we do the dreaded sweep. I really despise sweeping now. I think it's mainly because the stables are cobbled and so it's really difficult to get straw etc out of cobbled gaps. Very frustrating! After lunch we usually ride which is great, though at the stables they are a bit mollycoddly about their horses...one of the women there only rides with the horse wearing a rug on its back - all the time. They also rug Shetlands. Yupp incredible. Absolutely incredible! But it's fun and I have my one chou chou - Remember - an ex-polo pony who I've helped calm down and begin to work nicely - before he would just bolt around the arena! He's really sweet but I hate watching the kids who come to the Pony Club on Wednesdays and Saturdays.. He's my chou chou! Oh well Guess I'm leaving him in 3 weeks. I'll definitely miss him! Anyways it is far better here than at that last place but I'll be glad to be home. 3 months away is finally getting to me!

Good Day!
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The bizarre, probably slightly crazy, history of the finger swears.

So a funny story before I go... well I don't know how funny it is but you can decide! I was going into a boulangerie to buy some retro d'or baguette - they are so good by the way! - and I decided to buy two cookies as well. I asked the woman for deux and she said OK but as I watched her I was sure she only put one in and the price was really cheap so I repeated deux and she said I know but I, being a typical stubborn Scottish lass, was convinced I hadn't said it right so I showed two fingers as if I was talking to someone who only understood simple hand gestures (when really I was being the simpleton!) and it just so happened I chose the worst two fingers to choose (go on guess!) Her eyes narrowed and handed me my cookies (which I still thought only had one in!) and baguette took my money and then glared me out the door. So that was Ok, I'd offended a French woman through the simple mistake of using the only two fingers which used together make a rude gesture. Yeah not bad going! But then. Then. Then I found out through the rambles of one of my overly patriotic French friends that there is a hidden, ancient meaning of the two fingers to the French. Allow me to explain.

This. The classic two finger gesture belongs to the British. The English. Their archers to be in fact; who apparently were very very apt at shooting and killing French soldiers whenever they tried to attack English holds during one of the many English-French wars (not too sure which one as there seems to have been a lot - in fact one day a man, on finding I was Scottish, actually did the awkward fist heart salute and said the 'old alliance' as apparently the only thing the angry Scottish people hated more than everything else was the English and would even work with the supposing aristocratic cultured French to try and defeat them. Undoubtedly they nearly always lost anyway - can't rely on a powdered wigged Froggie to save the back of a commando kilt wearing savage can you?) Anyway back to the story according to my, foaming at the mouth with years of generational indignance, French counterpart the archers would make the two fingered gesture at French people reminding them of the archer's ability to, basically,  beat and kill their soldiers. Some unpleasant memories would obviously arise from that innocent (well not innocent but you know what I mean) gesture. So the French created their own gesture -
 The Finger. This referred to the fact whenever the French army caught English archers they would cut off one of their fingers being they could no longer use a bow and thus lost their arching ability. Damn. So the French gesture should - if the English actually bothered to remember this supposed history of the finger - be insulted whenever this gesture was made to them. But it wasn't as the British don't hold on to things. Unlike the festering French who seem to, in some cases, jot down every insult ever made - they're still angry about Joan of Arc which was over 600 years ago. So go figure.


Anyway if this woman was invested in the emotional history of the finger I could have offended her in that respect. Really I just think it was because I treated her a little like an idiot, when I was the one being an idiot, gave a rude hand gesture to convey her stupidity (which was not my intention it just transpired like that) I don't feel there was any recognition of this bizarre claim of archers and retaliation but it made for a good story!

Have a good day!
X

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Crown of Midnight

Sarah J Maas has delivered again. I've been meaning to write this review since it arrived in the post in August, however a selfish part of me just hasn't allowed me too. Contrary to my first review of Throne of Glass (Book 1) http://justthisteenager.blogspot.fr/2013/08/throne-of-glass.html  after reading Crown of Midnight I didn't want Maas to have a huge fan following - not just because I found there are a lot more people out there who have discovered and already love Maas - but because I'm a selfish bugger. Crown of Midnight topped Throne of Glass. It was so gloriously good that I wanted to keep it to myself, I didn't want to do my bit in spreading the word, I wanted to be the only Celaena Sardothien fan and revel in the world of Erilea alone. But after reading it again (in 3 hours - I was pretty enthralled again) I decided I had to swallow my greed and do my bit in increasing the popularity of this amazing series especially if it means it secures Maas's contract for books after the 3rd one - don't want another L. J. Smith scenario. No ghost writers for our assassin please. They could NOT pull it off in the same way as Maas. Desperate scared rant over! Take note Bloomsbury!

Anyway Crown of Midnight exceeded my expectations again and the characters developed, the setting developed, everything developed. And all I can find to criticise  is the fact it's another whole year until the next books out. I can't wait!! Luckily though she's publishing a new novella in a grand compilation along with the existing 4 novellas called the Assasin's Blade in March. I still don't know if I can cope that long. Well that's my glowing commendation which really just consisted of stressing HOW MUCH YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK and how I am slowly perishing waiting for the next one..... haven't felt this desperate since Harry Potter was still going..... and that's something!!

Read, Weep and Enjoy,

Get reading,
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Monday, 18 November 2013

Acid

2113. In Jenna Strong's world, ACID - the most brutal, controlling police force in history - rule supreme. No throwaway comment or muttered dissent goes unnoticed - or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember.
The only female inmate in a violent high-security prison, Jenna has learned to survive by any means necessary. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID - and to uncover the truth about what really happened on that dark night two years ago.

Well once again, I find myself in possession of a futuristic dystopian novel based in a world that feeds on and breeds fear, decay and cruelty. However Emma Pass has managed to create a relatively new story in this overworked over popular genre. Her story follows Jenna Strong in what used to be Britain, but is now a police state. A ruthless strict country where the slightest infraction of the many rules can lead to being thrown into a maximum security prison with no chance of seeing the grey dreary lights of the polluted sky again. And Strong hasn't just committed a minor infraction she's been convicted of the bloodiest betrayal there is: murder of her parents.
Pass writes with an urgent passionate voice throwing numerous curve balls into the thrilling plot that unravels and unfolds with increasing speed, snowballing at several occasions to intense climaxes where the story recovers it's breath before continuing again at a breakneck speed blurring characters, plot twists, relationships into a churning mass of addictiveness. 
I was hooked from the second chapter. Strong is a strong character who develops as the book progresses. Pass possesses that treasured skill of the best writers, able to treat characters like onions - peeling a little of their layers away one after another, providing new depths and new memories forcing the reader to continue to change their opinion and perception on her characters. Providing new insight into the minds of her heroes and her villains Pass creates a story where the reader becomes emotionally invested and on the edge of their seat from first to last page.
My only criticism is it finished with a few loose threads. However I suppose it offers Pass a chance to return to this realistic horrific world and create the next step, to tell us whether things work out, or as always happens that one person who was granted a second chance has used it to commit heinous crimes against mankind. I hope Pass does revisit Jenna Strong and finishes where she left of, I enjoyed Acid immensely.
A 5 out of 5 for this original realistic novel from a well-worn genre. For fans of Hunger Games, Throne of Glass and the Alex Rider series a new kick ass heroine has arrived and awaits their approval. Get purchasing! Published by Random House Children's UK (another good book - cheers!) Acid is a credit to Pass as a debut novel.

Good Reading
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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Life in France

So Hello Guys!

I am still in France as you might have guessed from the title. But guess what?? Only 5 weeks left! I am missing Scotland enormously (I know right? What's in Scotland but rain, rain and more rain you say? And France has croissants, berets, the Eiffel Tower.... and more croissants!) but I just am, I'm obviously a total home bird. Oh well!

Anyway I am enjoying myself - after a disastrous start at my first placement I am now set up in a really nice stable with a family of my mums. Unfortunately they're English. (It's not a problem because of their nationality but it means I'm speaking English in the evenings so my French is coming along haltingly). Onto the first place. It was horrific. It started like this: Imagine a 5 hour journey by train and bus to get off at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere. You wait for 20 minutes for your 'boss' to come and pick you up (She's late) and all the while you're panicking as your signal is crap, you're trying to phone her house in case she's forgotten and it's a very busy road, and the bus stop is literally a sign at the side of the road.She arrives and parks on the opposite side of the road and so you have to cross said road with your massive suitcase (whose handle is breaking) and your rucksack on your back. When you reach her she doesn't greet you or say hello. She screams that it is a dangerous road (I'd already gathered that) and we must get off it quick. She throws suitcase in the back of the car and throws you into - it's all very like what I imagine being picked up by the police is like (she puts her hand on my head and pushes me down into the car into the back with a dog that is a slathering angry looking Alsatian. Great!) After that less then welcoming arrival we drive (extremely fast) to pick up her husband. During our journey she is speaking rapidly in French to me, getting increasingly more frustrated when I don't understand her - hey c'mon I was exhausted, I don't speak French well and I learned textbook French not country slang - so all in all you might have gathered she wasn't a very amiable person. We reach her husband who is a huge man (looks like one of those mad ax murderers not that I'm assuming anything) and he grunts at me and we return to her stables. By this point I'm ever so slightly freaked out, I'm 5 hours from any friends or family, with a slightly psychotic seeming couple, a spoilt crazy dog, and a huge language barrier. When we arrive I'm shown to my room, or my bedsit.

I'm not staying with the couple, instead all the volunteers, or slaves as they shall henceforth be known, are housed in single bedsits alongside the house. They're horrible plain and simple. I have no sheets, a pathetic hospital type duvet, no working lights, no towels (How on earth was I going to get a towel from Britain -luggage weight was already costing me a fortune), a shower which has broken chipped lethal looking tiles, a toilet with no seat, a sink with an open bottom... and that was just the room. We, there were some other volunteers there - a really nice English girl who I made friends with and I'm actually meeting up with tomorrow but that's another story-, had to go to lunch with the couple and it was dry pasta with 2 frankfurter type sausages which were so salty and we were forced to eat it all by the woman...... Again I'm still getting freaked out. Afterwards we went and did a couple of hours work with the horses and then came back in at dark. I set to work getting out my computer as the woman had promised we had Wifi and I was desperate to talk to my family for a bit of needed calming down! I had wifi for all of two minutes before it shut off at 8 mid-Skype call. Apparently it did this every night as the woman had some sort of timer on it though when I asked her she pretended she couldn't understand me before shouting that the volunteers were always getting first go over the Wifi and she sacrificed her internet when she could be working for us - so yeah I got a bit worried about asking her anything - not a fear you want when you're meant to be living under someones house for 2 months. Then we had dinner, the volunteers had to eat in this separate dark dining room in one of the bedsits as the woman didn't want to see us after dark as it was 'her' time. I'd thought I was getting housed and treated as part of the family for god's sake!

The dinner was tomato salad, as it was for the all of three days I managed to tough it out there. Unfortunately tomatoes are the one thing I hate. I despise raw tomatoes and when the volunteer who had been there the longest (2 weeks and she'd booked her train out of there for the next day - she had been going to stay for 5 months) told me tomato salad was on the menu for every evening I freaked. That on top of the fact I went into my room that evening and found cockroaches all over the floor just tipped the iceberg
. There was no way I could stay! Call me a princess or something but I'm not I can cope with tough conditions but not outright hostile ones!

I left under the emotionally straining pretense my grandmother was ill. Low I know but I was desperate. The other English girl left a week after me and informed me that several others came and gave up in the extra week she was there. I'll get the rest of the gossip tomorrow, can't wait!

Anyway I am now set up in a lovely stables where I have to work really hard but it's worth it, it's giving me a chance to improve my French and work with horses. Just what I wanted. It might not be the greatest most social time of my life but I think I'll be glad I've done it.

Tune in again for more sticky French situations that I've managed to find myself in (there's a few!)

Bonne soiree
Tabby
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Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Almost Girl

The slight figure is lithe and quick, a shadow of a shadow in the darkness. It runs along the edgy gloom of the halogen-lit streets, flying over electric fences and scaling walls with the practiced ease of a skilled athlete. One would never suspect that it was being chased by an entire army of soldiers, but it was, several hundred of them.

I actually defy anyone to read The Almost Girl and not be captivated by the sharp bold worlds Howard has created. Spanning two worlds - Earth and our much more advanced counterpart - Howard has created the ultimate setting for a series of books. Her detailed dry fluid writing style is a joy to ride and to be carried by, and she transports the reader to and from each world with admirable ease and skill - there is no awkward explanation each time we transit worlds, Howard lays everything flat and everything just makes sense.

Her characters are incredible. They are extremely realistic and admirable. They mature and develop throughout the novel and I did not want to stop reading about them especially about Riven and Caden.

Riven
Riven is from the domed city of Neospes, on the parallel world of Earth. She is really strong and willful, and determined to see things through to the end. The way she was brought up with her insane genius of a father has meant she sees loving as a weakness and isn't prepared to trust anyone apart from Cale and at the beginning Caden is just her target, her assignment from Cale. And she is ready to use all means necessary to complete her mission, even disabling her sister.

Caden
An average teenage boy who suddenly has way more to worry about then whether his physic homework is going to be done on time. The moment Riven steps into his life, bad things start to happen - his aunt is killed, Vectors are tracking him trying to kill him, and the girl he's falling for switches off every time she starts opening up. It's not going to be an easy year!

Howard weaves a fast paced thriller full of conspiracy, plots, family drama, romance, defiance, courage and many many fights! She sets herself up brilliantly for a sequel without detracting from the epicness of The Almost Girl and I can NOT wait to read the next one - there has to be one!

A well deserved 4 out of 5, I await with bated breath! Published by Strange Chemistry The Almost Girl  will be published on the 2nd January 2014. One for the wish list guys, pre-order now!(£7.49 at the moment from Amazon.co.uk for pre-ordering!) The Riven series is one to watch! Indulge, be blown away and then be very very grateful that you got to read it!

En Bon Lu,
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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Rolling Dice

But when people have this opinion of you, it's very hard to change it. They've judged you, and they like to label you, and they like you to stay with that label for ever. You've been allocated a place in their society  and that's where they want you to stay.

Again Random House have delivered another Young Adult literary gem. Rolling Dice might not deal with any obvious issues but Reekles expertly tackles and highlights the daily troubles and turmoils of ordinary teenagers, the issues we have to deal with all the time, not just the one-offs. For this reason I fell in love with Rolling Dice as it doesn't pretend to be anything it's not. It is a simple love story set in a normal high school (in America) with normal problems.


Okay, Reekles employs some artistic license but it wouldn't make for a good story if she didn't! I really related to Madison and Dwight and although I also knew Bryce would turn out to be a douche I liked the opportunity he gave for Reekles to allow Madison to affiliate with the populars. It was a predictable plot with the many expected twists, the leading popular girl becoming really bitchy, the various kisses behind people's backs, the convoluted political social situations of American high school cliques.


However the one thing that really stood out in this novel was Reekles amazing precise sum-ups of teenage life - for instance the quote at the top? Who hasn't felt like they were forced into a mould at school and just weren't allowed to change, any change was ignored and you stayed as the geeky fat kid who lived in the library? When really you had lost weight, started playing volleyball and did drama productions? You just weren't allowed to change. And throughout this novel there would be a paragraph where I would just stop and go 'yeah that's completely right'. And some books need to do that, they have to put what you've felt into words and make it real but also allow you to distance yourself from it and realise it isn't just you, nearly always someone feels or has felt the same way.

'I'll just do what I've been waiting to do all night'.
And then he kisses me.

It's a cheesy line, and I roll my eyes at it - but it almost makes me blush, and I wonder if it's true; if he actually has been waiting all night to kiss me. It's kind of a weird feeling, being kissed. But a good kind of weird. I don't know what I'm doing at all, but I just follow Bryce's lead and press my lips back against his.

I'm giving Rolling Dice a deserved 4 out of 5 and will definitely look out for more of Reekles work. Thank you Random House! Rolling Dice can be purchased on Amazon.co.uk for £5.24 (Paperback) and £4.74 (Kindle).

En Bon Lu
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Friday, 4 October 2013

Endless

*Publishing on the 8th October 2013*


Jenny knows she’s different. After all, she sees the past lives of people she touches. But when Nikolai, the mysterious boy she painted, shows up claiming to be a love from a past life, Jenny is forced to accept that he has traveled through time to find her. Now, Jenny and Nikolai must fight against the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time. The Order is determined to send Nikolai back. And fighting them could tear Jenny and Nikolai apart -- this time for eternity.

Endless is a timeless classic by debut author Amanda Gray. Gray's romantic writing rivals that of Alyson Noels, Lauren Kate and Richelle Mead. It follows Jenny as her life becomes more chaotic and disrupted by the appearance of two boys; both she seems to already know and both seem to carry hidden dangers as her soul recognizes and associates them with distressing and horrific memories.

Exploring the idea of reincarnation and time travel Gray instills a new breath of life into the over used idea of soul mates. Her writing is tinged with a bitter-sweetness that prevents the novel from becoming too light, instead creating a story about love and the darkness it has to attempt to conquer if it is ever to come to true fruition. 

Gray span a complicated love triangle between Jenny, Nikolai and Ben, always leaving the reader doubting whether Jenny would be completely dedicated to her soul mate, and wondering if it was possible for another to replace her soul mate. It wasn't a predictable story and it finished on such that I am anxious to read the second book.  The cover art captures the haunting theme of the love story and it is definitely a series to watch.


A 4 out of 5 for this debut novel which is published by Month9Books and can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk for £6.50 (paperback).


En Bon Lu
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Thursday, 3 October 2013

Wild Cards

Read the Perfect Chemistry trilogy? If that's a no, get out there and buy them. These books are pure romantic chocolate gold, they melt on your tongue, leave a warm feeling coursing through your body, they are the ultimate YA contemporary romance books.

Ashtyn wants to prove that she can lead her school’s American football team to the championships, but this might mean losing her boyfriend, the team’s star player. Things get complicated when her older sister walks back into her life after ten years – with a gorgeous stepson in tow. 

The last thing Ashtyn needs is to be distracted by Derek’s sexy drawl and perfect body. It looks like her life is going off track. Ashtyn has to get a game plan and fast. It means trusting Derek – someone born to break the rules. Will she put her heart on the line to try and win it all, or will Derek be just too hot to handle?



Elkeles is a master story teller, they may not be challenging reads, they may be predictable, but it doesn't matter: they are indulgent and sometimes we need a break. Wild Cards is guaranteed to deliver that break. We all love to read about someone struggling to prove herself, with all the odds against her, while that one arrogant drop-dead gorgeous player who in real life wouldn't fall for any girl, falls for her. Of course there are the various trials and tribulations, the tentative trust forming to be thrown back in the girls face, or the turmoil the boy faces of showing any feelings at all. 

I can't put it any simpler it was a thrill to read and was as good as the Perfect Chemistry books and I'll definitely re-read it on a rainy day where I need some warmth.

Wild Card gets a solid 4 out of 5 and can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk for £6.67 (paperback) - not until Jan 2 2014 - or £4.61 (Kindle) - out now - and so worth it. It's published by Bloomsbury Publishing.

En Bon Lu,
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Resist

Oh Wow!

Resist picked up from where Breathe left of and took you higher and higher. It exceeded my expectations and was twice as good as Breathe.

Crossan continued to weave a delicate story, tying up loose strands of deceit, twisting plots, love, and leaving a colourful tapestry of a story; with so many things to look at you are at a risk of missing something. Resist was an action packed story with a bittersweet ending. Paced well throughout the novel Crossan incorporated flashbacks, different viewpoints, new characters, each adding to the plot and none detracting from her climatic finish.

Her characters continued to develop and her main characters (Alina, Bea, Quinn and now Ronan) were as before given their own viewpoints which made for a gripping read with different perceptions contributing to the readers overall view of the worsening political situation, and challenged the reader to adjust previous opinions. Although Quinn remained quite bland the other characters had so much to add that I didn't really notice, though I suppose that could be considered a bad thing? Anyway he did mature slightly  but not quite enough for my liking.

Resist contained so many plot twists that for the majority of the time I was perched on the edge of my seat, a shriek soundlessly escaping my mouth every couple of pages. So much more than Breathe I was completely and utterly emotionally invested in Resist and so I can solemly mark this book SWMLT (sealed with my loving tears.) Amen Pod.

A solid 5 out of 5 for Resist which is published by Bloomsbury Publishing and can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk for £6.99 (paperback) or £5.75 (Kindle).

Good Reading
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Daughter Of Camelot

Daughter of Camelot by Glynis Cooney is the first book in the Empire of Shadows series. I was immediately tempted by The DoC when I saw it was based in the time of Arthur and Merlin, a time which allows magic, bravery, courage, honour, battles, love, and fantasy to roll into one: providing a breathtaking backdrop for any novel.

Cooney delivers; her world is well developed with various forts and courts all differing slightly or greatly, but still with the same underlying themes of deceit, intrigue and politics. Her characters vary from false greedy men seeking power, to pure noble true men (often whose appearances would lead someone to believe they were the former), from brave characters desperate to prove themselves to cowardly sinister characters stabbing the most honorable in the back, disregarding the true values of the Knights Of Camelot and of Arthur's Court.

Although on occasion the grammar was poor or parts badly phrased, this did not subtract from the novels overall brilliance and Cooney weaves a world of power, that is still imprinted on my brain, thrumming to the beat of time running out and armies marching. The plot itself follows Deirde, who thirsty for adventure, is determined to defy Fate and safe the King from those plotting against him. Cooney employs artistic license to change the legend of King Arthur to suit her story's needs but there was little indignation on my part, at least, when the story took a detour from the original legend as Cooney knits a story that stands both beside and aside the legend; in its own way it is a unique story but parts still ring true to the famous saga.

Any one brave enough to tackle such a well-known legend deserves applauded but Cooney deserves special acclaim for this novel that bolsters and adds to the already glorious fable. Also as it doesn't directly follow King Arthur but instead some-one in his various courts it doesn't feel too familiar.

The Daughters of Camelot receives 4 out of 5 and I eagerly await the next book in the Empire of Shadows. It is published by Mabon Publishing and can be purchased at Amazon.co.uk for £3.59 (Kindle).

En Bon Lu.
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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Popping The Cherry

 So basically this story revolves around the degrading of sex to a meaningless act - an act that if you haven't ever performed it - you're a virgin - it means you're uncool, abnormal, frigid.

Popping the Cherry exaggerated normal life in order to portray how the world is based on images and how people present themselves, and how people perceive something as the way to do it and feel if they don't do it that way they're a total failure.

You only get one first time… From driving tests to relationships, Valentina Bell thinks she’s a failure, with a big fat capital F. At this rate, she’s certain she’ll be a virgin forever. So Lena’s friends plan Operation: Popping the Cherry to help her find the perfect first time. Yet somehow disastrous dates with bad boy musicians and fabulous evenings with secretly in-the-closet guys aren’t quite working out how Lena planned. Soon Lena’s avoiding Operation: Popping the Cherry to spend time with comforting, aloof Jake, her best friend’s older brother ,who doesn’t make her feel self-conscious about still clinging to her V card. But could Jake show Lena that sometimes what you’re looking for most is right by your side? A Forever for the 21st Century.

Although there was occasionally grammatical issues and the odd weird story twist Rowl's novel came together pretty well and made for an easy stimulating read. It isn't like the storyline implies - all about sex - but instead about relationships, drama, expectations, a bit of sex, and well, highschool and the bitchiness it entails!

The characters were well developed - I loved Nathan, the gay best friend - and Jake the love interest was suitably saucy and sultry. Although there were a few awkward 'romance' scenes where it failed to deliver real chemistry Popping the Cherry portrayed high school bullying at its worst and also examined the results of peer pressure and how standing up to people can often make for the best result even if it's the most difficult option.

All in All it is an excellent debut novel from Rowl and I will look forward to her other books. It was an extremely decent length with multiple sub-plots and created a whole micro-life for the characters. It gets a well deserved 4 out of 5 and I'll undoubtedly read it again. It is published by Harlequin (UK) limited and can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk for £3.29 (Kindle) and will keep you occupied for a good wee while!

Good Reading!
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Je suis arrivee en France!

Yes, I'm here! I have arrived in France - at half 11 this morning after a 6 o'clock start to get to the airport etc. I am completely exhausted and sitting on my bed, but not before I toured the surrounding neighbourhood with my mother's lovely friend and started to settle in. Who knew flying sucked the energy out of you so much??

Well I had a largely uneventful journey; apart from when my bag was searched by security as they believed I had a bomb in it! Apparently soap and torches shouldn't go next to each other! Woopsie!


I am currently in the beautiful region of Chantilly and I was able to visit the amazing Chantilly Chateau - though we didn't go in as I think I will be doing that this Thursday on my own...... I'm determined to visit the Living Museum of the Horses again (I went when I was very little with my mum and dad!)

Feeling a little homesick but I have brought my cuddly donkey as some-one's blog about ways to cope with homesickness (Yupp, I looked it up, Go Figure!) suggested having something cute and cuddly always make things better when you're down!..... However as I wasn't sure Donkey, as he smells of dog saliva (the puppy won't leave him alone) would make everything better I also bought 3 huge bars of Cadbury Bubbly in Customs as it was on a deal that properly didn't save much but I couldn't resist!

Well must dash as I have a review to write otherwise this blog's other purpose of providing excellent smashing reviews might just fade away and that wouldn't be fair to the world! Also I need to go read up on Paris as I'm meant to be visiting there tomorrow!!! Jelly aren't you??? ;)

Love to y'all
A Bientot!
La petite ecossaise en France!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Time Between Us

Every so often a book comes along that makes you, or at least me, feel proud to be an avid reader of YA fiction. 
It makes me feel like I could show it to my mother, make her read it, and say:
'Yeah, they don't seem so crap now. Do they??' - I don't know about you, but my mum says the books I read are generally crap - she tells me to read The Time Traveller's Wife or Tale of Two Cities. Well, in Time Between Us I feel I have read The Time Traveller's Wife but in modern times, written by a contemporary author. Time Between Us makes for its own classic read, I fell in love.

It's one of those books that just resonates inside you, it seems real, the characters are relatable, touchable, within reach, and you don't want to stop reading. Tamara Ireland Stone created a story I didn't want to end, I would quite happily have read Anna and Bennett's life, their day to day life, as Stone made even the most boring things interesting! Her writing style is simple and the plot itself is simple but she ties it together with a elegance that lifts the story up and makes it shine.

It follows Bennett who can travel between time and places, and Anna who is stuck in Evanstown but dreams of travelling the world. (I know on reflection it's obvious she'd love him!) Anyway Bennett is in Evanstown because someone disappeared in his own time (2012) and he has had to go to 1995 in order to fix it. He warns Anna that he can't stay for long but they still fall in love.

What I loved about Time Between Us was that the novel wasn't fixated on Anna and Bennett, Tamara introduced other characters and gave them back stories and we got to know them, meaning the novel was about more than just A and B's tummy tingling relationship; there were other characters we grow to love. 

Also Time Between Us doesn't involve any villains or evil plots, it simply is the two lovers and how their situation works out for them.

I'm giving Time Between Us a 5 out of 5  and it is published by Doubleday, a division of Random House UK and can be bought from Amazon.co.uk for £5.29 (paperback) and £4.74 (Kindle). Also made my day when I found out there was a sequel Time after Time! Woohoo!

En Bon Lu!

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Monday, 16 September 2013

Teardrop

Teardrop by Lauren Kate made for an interesting read. Although her writing might not be the most spectacular, her characters might not be extremely well developed and likeable, the overall piece makes for an enjoyable, gripping novel. I wanted to read it to the end; I wanted to know what was going to happen; I wanted to see the romance develop (although on this aspect it was very predictable, and was left until the very last pages).

It is an average novel but with enough action, story, intrigue, fantasy to encourage the reader to keep reading and it is hard to seriously pinpoint any one thing that was wrong with the novel, it was just missing something. In other words it was an enjoyable story, a series that I will look out for the next book but not one I will wait for with bated breath. However if you loved the Fallen series, then Teardrop will surely be for you as well.

Teardrop weaves the legend of Atlantis, the drowned mythic city, in a contemporary setting following Eureka (I know, bit of a stupid name - there's also Brooks and Ander.... Sorry Kate but given characters interesting names doesn't make their personalities more interesting). Basically Eureka is from a magical line of Atlantean sorcerers although she isn't aware and if she properly weeps she will cause a flood that will cause the lost city of Atlantis to resurface. However the Seedbearers are committed to preventing Eureka's floods of tears from ever happening and feel the only way to do this is to kill her, kill one to prevent the murder of thousands.

The love triangle between Eureka and Ander and Brooke would have been good if *spoiler* we hadn't guessed that Brooks wasn't possessed by Atlas, the evil Atlantean king (who hardly features bar from the end) and so everything he says some of which is so true is disregarded as the 'evil' talking and Eureka can continue on her boring slightly brattish path as she is right *spoiler end*. That was the major issue I had, none of the characters develop bar maybe Ander but that was just because we actually got to hear him speak towards the ends, rather than him hanging around in corners.

Now I'm going to give Teardrop a 3 out of 5. I keep edging towards a 4 so it's a solid 3.5 but veering towards a 3 unfortunately.... it feels like this was quite a harsh review!  It is published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Childrens Books. It can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk for £6.49 (paperback) or £6.15 (Kindle).

apik maca (javanese)

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Sunday, 15 September 2013

Hurt, Tabitha Suzuma

I cried; plain, simple; this book is now sealed with my loving tears. SWMLT.

What I found bizarre about this book was that I hated the writing style for the majority of the novel, it was written in present tense as if someone is watching from the sidelines (so you feel very removed from the situation). Although it proved very effective in the emotional heart-wrenching  sections of the novel, it made the flow of the novel very stilted and it took me a while to get involved in the novel. But most bizarre was that Suzuma's handle of the language is amazing and so whilst hating the way she writes it I love what she writes! Needless to say I was experiencing pretty conflicting emotions as I read this book!

The plot itself was simple but extremely effective, poignant and captivating. Matheo is tipped to  represent Britain in the Olympics next year, he is a world class diver, extremely young and talented, he has an amazing girlfriend, a popular life in school with supportive, rich and smart friends. He has it all until something happens the night after he wins the Nationals and suddenly his perfect world seems full of cracks and Matheo is spiralling downwards into madness, depression and fear. Matheo is now hiding a secret so terrible it could destroy everything, but by keeping it hidden it, in turn, is destroying him.

Revealing his secret would ruin the essence of the novel, Suzuma builds the tension and hypersensitive emotional situation around the hidden secret, the fact the reader is always guessing, and when it is revealed it creates a emotional rollercoaster that left me in tears. And so it is an adventure, a ride, each reader must take for themselves as unaware of what will happen as Matheo himself, as otherwise it will end in an anticlimax; and Suzuma specialises in bringing the novel to a teetering pinpoint of emotions, as the world as we saw it, as events we hear of and don't dare dwell on, crumbles and we are forced into someone else's shoes and we realise that shame, guilt, fear is so wrongly present in the victims when they are really not to blame, yet they cannot believe they are not responsible for what has happened to them.

Suzuma expertly portrays a troubling issue with a sensitivity that stresses the cruel, destructive, violating nature of the secret poor Matheo is hiding because of fear and shame.  I will definitely revisit Hurt as it is a book I think that will get better on a second read though there's no denying it was a whirlwind of emotions even on this first read. Hurt gets a conflicted 5 out of 5, I couldn't decide whether the halting narrative would mean it deserves a 4 but I think on the whole it was a pretty stunning book of gigantic emotional dimensions!

It's published by Bodley Head, a division of Random House Childrens Book UK and can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk for £9.09 (hardback) and £8.54 (Kindle).

En Bon Lu! SWMLT.
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Saturday, 14 September 2013

Everyday Book Trailer

Hey y'all -
Have a wee look at this book trailer - I've read the book and it was incredible, a review will be forthcoming, - but for the meantime let this whet your appetite!


Harry Potter, or at least the wizarding world, resurfaces :D

In breaking news on Thursday , Warner Bros have announced that they are working with bestselling author J.K. Rowling to create a film based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This will be J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut and likely to be set in New York 70 years before Harry Potter attended Hogwarts. The full press release from Warner Brothers along with contact details is below.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (isbn 9781408803011, £4.99) was first published in 2001 in aid of Comic Relief. It is an extensive introduction to the magical beasts that exist in the magical, non-Muggle world. The book is on the reading list for all first year students at Hogwarts and includes an introduction from Albus Dumbledore. Bloomsbury re-issued the book in 2009 with its current cover (attached).



NEWS RELEASES
Warner Bros. Announces Expanded Creative Partnership with J.K. Rowling
Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced an expanded creative partnership with world-renowned, best-selling author J.K. Rowling. At the center of the partnership is a new film series from Rowling’s world of witches and wizards, inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and the adventures of the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander. The announcement was made by Kevin Tsujihara, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will be an original story and will mark Rowling’s screenwriting debut. It is planned as the first picture in a new film series. Set in the wizarding world, the story will feature magical creatures and characters, some of which will be familiar to devoted Harry Potter fans.
“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” said Rowling. “The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.” (Expanded Rowling quote at bottom of release.)
“We are incredibly honored that Jo has chosen to partner with Warner Bros. on this exciting new exploration of the world of wizardry which has been tremendously successful across all of our businesses,” said Tsujihara. “She is an extraordinary writer, who ignited a reading revolution around the world, which then became an unprecedented film phenomenon. We know that audiences will be as excited as we are to see what her brilliant and boundless imagination conjures up for us.”
In addition to the film series, “Fantastic Beasts” will also be developed across the Studio’s video game, consumer products and digital initiatives businesses, including enhanced links with Pottermore.com, Rowling’s digital online experience built around the Harry Potter stories.
Rowling’s expanded quote regarding “Fantastic Beasts” is below:
“It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.
As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros.
Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.

I particularly want to thank Kevin Tsujihara of Warner Bros. for his support in this project, which would not have happened without him. I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it.”

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Catch up!

So what y'all been up to? Me? Not much at all. Just been organising my gap year whilst all my friends bugger off to university this year.... right now - I admit it - I'm a wee bit jealous. They're off making friends, partying, joining clubs whilst I, well whilst, I clean dishes. But I'll get to do it next year - it's unlikely there will be a comet hit Edinburgh while I'm away - touch wood! But as of the 24th September I will be situee in France - woop!

I'm off to a horse stud farm in Burgundy - epic - for almost three months...... and I've forgotten most of my French.... oops! So if my posts become few and far between; know I love you all and will give you an in depth catch up when I come home in December! I have stocked my Kindle up with the full Harry Potter series in order to tide me over my estranged months!

Speaking of Kindle, I am now an advocate. I love my Kindle so much! It's so easy to read of it, yeah it hasn't the same aesthetic feeling of a real book or the smell but it does the job and is nice and modest about it. I LOVE IT! Also saved so much room in my suitcase!

Also I  have promised my brother's best friend I would attach a link to his website, Young Perspective, which seems to be a pretty cool set-up of young aspiring journalists blogging and writing as a group under a pretty snazzy paper,  so cruise on by, take a peek, you could always sign up to contribute - why the heck not!
http://www.youngperspective.net/
Do it, you know you want to! Cruise over for a sneak look.

Anyways I'm offski, the Kitten is having kittens and I feel a need to watch kittens be born in gooey gunk - not really but Mum's shouting for me (I don't think I've ever heard my Mums 'quiet' tones!)

Love ya

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Parallel

Parallel by Lauren Miller was a original read following Abby Barnes as she discovers the power of choice and the cosmic effects it can have on everything we know and do.

Your path will change. Your destiny doesn't.

Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She'd go to a great university, study journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice - deciding to take a drama class in her senior year of high school - changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she's in a room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. 

Overnight, it's as if her life has been rewritten.

With the help of  Caitlin, her science phenom BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality - an Ivy League address, a place on the crew team, a birthday blind date with a cute lacrosse player - is the result of  a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby's life changes every time her parallel self makes a new choice. As she struggles to navigate her ever-shifting existence, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn't choose, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that's finally within reach.

Parallel was just the book for me, as someone who likes to plan their whole life, who likes to know when and where something is happening, I could relate 100% to Abby. I sometimes think maybe people like me do need a cosmic shift in their life so we can realise what is important - what is right in front of us or what we want to be there. It addresses the important issue of the power of choice and explored that question teenagers kill themselves over - what if I'd done that differently, where would I be now? Would it be better? 
And Miller really puts across the point that we can make the best out of whatever path we take: wherever we chose it; stumbled across it; or got flung from the high flying speeding motorway onto it.

I enjoyed the way Miller made Parallel about Abby Barnes - there weren't any bad guys out to get her, nothing we were running from, it was just Abby, her choices and her life. Also the bonus of having two lives is we get two brilliant stories in one book! I would quite happily have followed either Abby on their lives as they both made for good YA fluffy reads.

There wasn't any one part of Parallel that was WOW! but it was overall a good read and I enjoyed the focus on Abby, her lives, her boyfriends (ooh there was some brilliant romance - very gripping, believable and utterly cheerworthy!)..... I will go back and read Parallel again, undoubtedly pick something up I'd missed and will enjoy it as much as before. It gets a decent 4 out of 5 and can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk for £5.75 (paperback) or £5.46 (kindle). It's published by Scholastic and is Miller's debut novel, and a remarkably well put together one for a first novel!


En Bon Lu!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Paladin Prophecy: Book 1

Will West is careful to live life under the radar. At his parents' insistence, he's made sure to get mediocre grades and to stay in the middle of the pack on his cross-country team. Then Will slips up, accidentally scoring off the charts on a nationwide exam.

Now Will is being courted by an exclusive prep school . . . and is being followed by men driving black sedans. When Will suddenly loses his parents, he must flee to the school. There he begins to explore all that he's capable of--physical and mental feats that should be impossible--and learns that his abilities are connected to a struggle between titanic forces that has lasted for millennia.

Co-creator of the groundbreaking television series Twin Peaks, Mark Frost brings his unique vision to this sophisticated adventure, which combines mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural.



I loved this book so much, it was such a relief to read a refreshing piece of fiction, a YA novel that wasn't focused on romance, aimed for girls etc. It was a brilliant unisex novel very similar to Artemis Fowl, the Gone series and to some extent The Gallagher Academy, as well as Rick Riordan's  the Percy Jackson series.

I was a bit apprehensive when I saw that Mark Frost had wrote Fantastic Four and co-wrote Twin Peaks,as I couldn't decide how a screenwriter would translate his skills into writing novels for teenagers. However I shouldn't have worried and should have trusted the fact he is already a New York Times Bestselling author. The first book of the Paladin Prophecy series was epic, plain and simple, once I got started I couldn't stop!

What I really enjoyed was Frost's original ideas, I loved the way Frost inserted some of Will (the main character and hero) West's father rules of life all the way through the book, it lent the story structure and also allowed the reader to feel familiar with Will and how his mind works. (My favourite was #17 START EACH DAY BY SAYING IT'S GOOD TO BE ALIVE. EVEN IF YOU DON'T FEEL IT, SAYING IT - OUT LOAD - MAKES IT MORE LIKELY THAT YOU WILL. #18 IF #17 DOESN'T WORK, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS.)

The characters were like-able and weren't placed on such a high plane of perfection that the reader couldn't relate - instead they all had flaws and distinct personalities - Frost was creating characters with enough depth to carry them through the next series. I don't believe any of the characters will become boring as the series progresses instead I believe they will continue to develop under Frost's nurturing careful watch.

*The Paladin Prophecy was also, thank god, a decent length  - over 500 pages of well written addictive story, what else is better?!?!*

The first book in the Paladin Prophecy is granted a saucy 5 out of 5 and is a book for the family, your brother, your dad, everyone. It's published by Corgi a division of Random House Childrens Books UK and can be bought from Amazon.co.uk for £5.99 (paperback) or £4.74 (kindle).

Good Reading! 

Friday, 6 September 2013

Starters



Starters by Lissa Price was a page-turner. Plain and simple. I wanted, needed even, to know what was happening over the next page.  It follows Callie Woodland as she surrenders her body to the Body Bank in return for enough money that would enable Callie to save her and her brother from the grasps of the Marshalls until they turn 18.

However for Callie, something goes wrong in one of her switches with her Renters, she finds herself back in her body halfway through her rental period. Even worse, her Renter is still able to communicate with her, she's still slightly connected to Callie's brain, and they're both fighting for control of Callie's body. A control Callie doesn't want to relinquish as she's discovered her Renter intends to use her body to murder.
This in itself makes for an intriguing rollercoaster ride of a plot, with plenty of twists and turns, but throw in the fact the Body Bank is not all it seems, the political system is completely corrupt, and everyone around Callie aren't who they seem, Starters has enough excitement, thrills and spills, action to fuel several more novels and Callie Woodland definitely deserves a series.

The concept of Starters is extremely well executed and  eerily voice some of those deep fears that horror films and the recent flood of dystopian post-apocalyptic novels have caused to form.  Ever wondered whether the person next to you, is who they claim, who you believe? If you loved Host by Stephanie Meyer than Starters  is the book for you; loved Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins get a hold of Starter; basically it's worth the read. Price expertly develops her characters and plots with an ease that allows each layer to unfold smoothly and allows the reader to really familiarize and like the characters. Well, apart, from the Old Man but we're meant to hate him!

I eagerly await Enders and look forward to reading more of Price's inventive intense stories. She delivers.
Starters can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk for (paperback) £5.24 or (Kindle) £4.74. It's published by Corgi an imprint of Random House Children's Books. 5 out of 5 for this seductive, intense original debut novel.

En Bon Lu!

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Alerts to Europe

ALERTS TO THREATS - EUROPE 2013: BY JOHN CLEESE
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Libya , Egypt and Syria and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed "to "Peeved."
Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out.
Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pi$$ed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.
The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.
Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."
The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniforms and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."
The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
A final thought -" Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC


Courtesy of my friend on Facebook! Made me laugh so much!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

Where to start with Arclight?

I fell immediately in love with the story, the characters, the plot, the setting. The only flaw was the love story, it was too predictable and obvious for my liking. Though to give credit where it's due the love story didn't impede on the pace of the story, my love of the characters themselves or the way the story read.

McQuein has a lyrical gripping way with words that sucks you into the story and make it very hard to leave the story even for a little break. Her whole plot is unique and original from the setting to the characters within the story; you won't find yourself comparing the leading girls or the 'villains'.

Arclight explored many themes but the one that stood out for me, maybe because it was the most prominent and obvious, was light vs dark, good vs bad. Arclight really explored what happens when people don't question what they have been told, when they assume that the bad is really 'bad', it told the typical story of the bad really being the good, or at least less corrupt, than the good had become. Confusing I know, but I can't think I can put it any better! It also explored the issue of identity, which centred around the main character Marina, who through a series of circumstances (which I can't disclose as it would spoil it for you) has to question who she is, and whether she should really be that person. For me Marina as a character came to the wrong decision and I think McQuein could have done a lot more with the situation she created, and it felt like she chose the easy way out, and the way that would make it easier for her to write the second novel, I.E. from a human point of view rather than a Fade.

'I take his face in both my hands, testing the temperature of his skin, the way it feels under my fingertips to see if there's any movement besides his pulse - anything to prove this is Tobin, and not some Fade-riddled imposter.'

Arclight is based in a post-apocalyptic world after a terrifying race of monsters called the Fade have taken over the world. The Arclight is the last refuge for the human survivors, but only as long as they remain in the light. The connotation of the pure human with the light and the 'evil' contaminated Fade with the Dark lended the novel a sense of thrill and danger, as I don't know about you but I'm always a little afraid of the Dark and the monsters hiding in the shadows. McQuein cleverly used the setting to instill the senses of right and wrong, good and bad, and also when the perception of the Fade began to change McQuein managed to make the oppressive Dark a thing of beauty, no mean feat!

The characters are all brilliant to follow, I felt like McQuein played on the fact they were only young and teenagers well throughout the novel as it always infuriates me when the leads are ridiculously self assured, brave and omniscient despite the fact they are in impossible situations. Basically McQuein made them easy to relate to and believe in. The main characters are the confused loner Marina, the only girl to appear alive from the Dark, Tobin, the angry messed up fiercely protective kid, Anne-Marie the only human willing to give the 'freak' Marina a chance and a hand of friendship, and Rue the misunderstood boy from the wrong side of the Light. Together these guys form a gang that we follow through the novel, though Rue is a slight exception, and I look forward to seeing them again in the next installment of Arclight.

Arclight is a good chance to indulge yourself in a more than decent dystopian post-apocalyptic novel of a ..... wait for it..... DECENT LENGTH!!! No stupidly quick ends from this one! And is well worth the trouble. Amazon.co.uk offer it for the bargain price of £5.57 or the amazingly cheap price of £3.84 on the Kindle. It's published by Egmont and please read the guest post by Josin L. McQuein on this blog as well as it gives you a little taster of what Arclight can offer: http://justthisteenager.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/blog-tour-josin-l-mcquein.html   It earns a 5 star and would have been more if not for the slightly unexciting, too predictable, love story. (Although it had its fair share of twists and turns I knew who Marina would choose halfway through the book - however do not let that detract you from Arclight!)


Good Reading,

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