Monday, 30 November 2009

I Won a Hoodie Via Twitter?!

That's right! You didn't read that wrong. I, somehow, won a hoodie via Twitter! After a few friends (@really_rachel being one of them - follow her, please!) RT a message, I repeated the message (That RT in short hand) and then followed the twitter feed and, shockingly, I won!

I told which hoodie - I'm going to be hanging round on street corner, being down with the youth (and never typing that again!) - I would like and I should get them in a week or so...

So, expect a picture on her, Blogger and on Twitpic/Twitter! So, here's the links to keep you happy at the moment till the hoodie comes - I hope it fits me right... FINGER CROSS!!!

http://twitter.com/twilightees

Monday, 23 November 2009

GoodRead - "Hush, Hush" Review

I’m not 100% sure how to start this review. Not because of the book – I need to talk to you guys about this book! – but because I’m seemed to be suffering from a small case of writer’s (or, in this case, reviewer’s) block. But, here goes my review of "Hush, Hush" by Becca Fitzpatrick...

Nora Grey has been forced to move seats in her Science class. She’s forced to sit next to Patch, someone who seems to know her better than her best friend, Vee. And, against every better judgement she has, she slowly begins to fall for him…

But she’s been followed. Not only does she seem to see Patch everywhere, but she’s being stalked. After several terrifying encounters and as creepy as hell events, Nora’s not sure who to trust. And when she begins to take control, she discovers the truth is more unsettling than anything than she expected…

Now, let me talk about this book.

Like several other books I’ve discovered this year (Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, etc), I discovered this book and rushed through this book! I found this book dark and gripping which will make you speed through the pages. If the slow building love doesn’t get you, the action/scary factor will (I dare you not to be scared while reading the end of chapter 3 at a few minutes to midnight – I got a bit freaked out!)…

So, should you read it? If you want something dark and a tiny bit scary? Yes. If you want to read a love story? Yes. If you want to read a mix of both? Then, this book will keep you happy!

(Plus, is it bad that I just LOVE the shiny cover? Is that wrong?)

Sidenote: if I can do it, I will try and add two videos – one is a trailer for the book and the other is the author, Becca Fitzpatrick (watch the video AFTER reading the book. SPOILERS!) but, also, will add a tiny playlist of songs I rediscovered on my iPod that appeared while I was reading the book near its final chapters*…





*I can't make a playlist (Oh well...) so will show the 3 tracks and link them to youTube videos. Enjoy!

Growing Pains” by La Roux - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg1dYfnpW3k
Tigerlily” by La Roux - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwg6tFr1ZSY
Your Guardian Angel” by the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GuX-F08fwI

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

GoodRead - "Marked" (A House of Night Novel) Review

What would happen if a vampire marked you and you had one of two choices: either go to a school of vampires and accept the Change or let your body reject the Change and die? Which would you choose?

This is what happened to Zoey in the first book of the popular House of Night series, “Marked”, written by mother daughter team, PC & Kristen Cast. She gets marked by a vampyre and faces this choice. But once she’s made her choice, life becomes more complicated as she starts to attend the House of Night, a boarding school for fledging vampyres. She has to make new friends, start new lessons (no Maths or Geography lessons here), try not to get on people’s bad sides, try to fit in and try to control her bloodlust (something that she shouldn’t be experiencing for another few years).

Imagine basically your teenage years at school but add fangs.

I, surprisingly, really liked this. I speed-read this within a week and enjoyed the whole different spin on vampire – sorry, vampyre – that the House of Night series added. There was no signs of fangs and there is almost a Celtic/Pagan feel to how they worship the Vampyre Goddess, Nyx (and there’s something you didn’t expect to read, I bet!).

But, if you guys are expecting a story which is tied up neatly within the covers of the book, you might not want to read this. This book basically lays down the groundwork for the future books within the series, leaving one or two loose ends dangling to be tied up in the next book or soon after that…

There is, also, the small fact of some bookshops put stickers on this book (well, the whole series, actually) saying “This Book Is Unsuitable for Younger Readers”. Now, usually, I am against this idea – a good book is a good book, no matter what age you are and what age group the book is targeting, right? – but this book does use language and there are some very sexual scenes that are unsuitable for younger readers.

But, I do like “Marked” and, when I have more time (and my “To Be Read” pile is much smaller [this pile does include some Sookie Stockhouse books I impulsive I bought. I only read the first book so far – must review that for you guys! But so many vampire-based books... hence why I surprised that I really like "Marked"]), then I will try and get my hands on the second book in the series, “Betrayed” (No idea why, but I sense that a betrayal will happen in that book…)

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Random Book Quotes 3

Again, another moment of me, on twitter, tweeting lines from good books (or hopefully good - am about to start reading one.)

So, here they are (only 3 today...)

Quote 1:- Then I saw him. The dead guy. ("Marked: A House of Night Novel" by PC & Kristen Cast, Published in the UK by Atom Books)

Quote 2:- But no one is there for her to thank. ("Wake" by Lisa McMann, Published in the UK by Simon And Schuster)

Quote 3:- "That must be hard." He sounded like he meant it. ("Hush, Hush" by Becca Fitzpatrick, Published in the UK by Simon and Schuster).

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

NaNoWriMo - Update

BAD TIDINGS!!!

My laptop has died on me and the backup of my NaNoWriMo won't allow me to open it! (unless I want total googlegook! You know what I mean - ikewunmeafjnmnsdfkhg,msdfa/>[email protected]~}&^&^^&%[email protected][email protected]:{}_+>?
So, might not be able to finish this. Someone's going to check my laptop on Friday so.... FINGERS CROSSED!!!

Monday, 9 November 2009

NaNoWriMo - A Random Start

In case you guys don't know, I've decide to have a go at NaNoWriMo this year. First time ever! And I am having a blast. Am stupidly behind the word count but I don't care! I'm enjoying myself and writing random fantasy. And because everyone is giving me good views on my opening few paragraphs, am going to show it to you. I hope you enjoy!

*

I never saw the car coming. I didn't even have time to react when Xavier screamed out my name. No time at all.
My legs smacked into the grill. My chest crashed into the bonnet. My head cracked the windscreen.
The car never stopped as my rag-doll like body was thrown over the roof. For one small second, it felt surreal. As if I was flying.
Then my body hit the road with such force, I lost my breath.
I was lying on my ground, hearing the voices scream. They sounded so far away. So very far away. And I was wet. Why was my chest wet?
I was staring at the sky. It was clear, with all the stars blinking beautifully. But they seemed to be going dull. As if someone was turning a dimmer switch. The stars were going out.
Then a face, blurry at the edges appear. His green eyes brilliant, yet his face looked wrong. It looked...
“Alex! Alex, look at me! Keep your eyes open!” His voice was wrong. It was high, almost a whine.
But he was going to dim too. He was fading like the stars.
I don't understand. This is wrong. I don't understand.
Xavier snapped his head away. “Don;t just stand there! DON'T JUST STAND THERE! CALL AN AMBULANCE!”

I was standing on the pavement. There was a large crowd of people standing in the middle of the road. Something had happened. Something bad.
I rushed over. “What is it? What happened?”
No one heard me. Everyone was in shock. I heard someone crying. Crying and shouting.
“Don't just stand there! Don't just stand there! Call an ambulance!”
What? But, that can't be -?
I ran through a clear gap and -
My stepbrother Xavier was holding a body in his arms. A body that was covered in blood. A body whose leg was at an unnatural angle. This leg was missing a Converse trainer. And his face...
No! Nonononono!
It was me. He was holding me.
My hands shot up to my mouth. This can't happening! This is a dream. No, a nightmare! Alex, wake up!
I spun away. Alex, wake up! Wake up, Alex! Wake the fucking up!!!
Someone's mobile started to beep as they dialled 999. Wake up, I screamed. Wake up!
“Alex...” I spun round, hearing Xavier's voice. It was wrong. It sounded all wrong.
“Xavier!” I called out, but it was me who said that. The me lying in his arms did nothing.
“Alex...” Xavier was looking down at my body and he gave it a little shock. “Alex... Alex... Alex!” Every time he repeated my name, his shakes were getting harder. His head snapped up. “Help me! He's stopped breathing! HELP ME!!!”
What? No, this isn't right...
I stared, unable to move as Xavier began to scream at me. Someone rushed forward, shouting, “I got him! I got him!”
I took a step back. I'm... I'm dying... This... This can't be real... This can't be...
I took another step back. But my foot never made contract with the ground. It never made contract with anything.
I fell. I fell into black.

GoodRead - "The Hollow" Review

Imagine you’re at your best friend’s funeral, but they’re going to bury an empty coffin.

That’s what happens to Abbey at the start of “The Hollow” by Jessica Verday. Abbey is at the funeral home for the town of Sleep Hollow (yes, THAT Sleepy Hollow), trying to understand why her best friend, Kristen, would suddenly disappear. It’s at Kristen wake that she meets the mysterious (and, of course, drop-dead gorgeous) Caspian.

This is the story of Abbey trying to come to make sense of Kristen’s disappearance and her slowly growing relationship with Caspian…

I quite like this book. Not only do I like the fact that every chapter starts with a short quote from the original “Sleepy Hollow” story, but it stands up by itself, not really needing the Sleepy Hollow legend to survive (though it does reference the story in several places…). As for the love story element in it, I feel that most readers of the Twilight Saga will like this book.

(But saying that though, the last few books I have read recently [that I have and haven’t reviewed] I think most Twilight fans would like…)

There’s, also, a slight edge of “Things are not what they seems” with this book and with one or two of the characters (won’t spoil it by saying who!) and that gives the book a mysterious edge.

And from that, am making the book seems like a dark read. It’s not. The romantic in the story lightens the tone and then there’s Ben… one of my fave characters… he definitely lightens the tone!

Now, there is something I need to say that might put people off so am stating it now: this is the first book in a Trilogy and, for some people; the ending might be seen as a very “open” ending. There is a sense of closure, but some people (myself included) could easily see that it’s open and I know some people might find that irritating.

I will be reading the next book in the trilogy (rumours are flying that the next book is going to be called “The Haunting”…) and I hope that there will be some answers (as the author promises us. She said that book 1 is about questions, book 2 is about answers and book 3 is about choices… remember that, folks…). And I hope she writes more of Ben! Please, Jessica, more Ben!

(Couldn’t find a place for this in review but, because there’s something about the book that lingers in the mind [very much like Shiver and other books of late]. So much so that I kept finding songs on my iPod that I found relatable to “The Hollow” [that is very surprising!] The first song that I thought of [and the only song I can remember off the top of my head at the moment] is “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” by Iron & Wine - and here's the link for you all to investigate. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1BgYTZ4Mxc)

Thursday, 5 November 2009

BeforeUGo - October's Choices

Why, hello there!!!

Did you guys have a good Halloween? Or you enjoying Guy Fawkes Night?

So, before we suggest new music for the month of November via Twitter (http://twitter.com/BeforeUGo), here is the recommendations of October 2009. Ready... Here it comes...

The Canes - http://www.myspace.com/thecanesmusic
Greg Laswell - http://www.myspace.com/greglaswell
Chew Lips - http://www.chewlips.co.uk/

& the Twitter Followers have recommended the following:

Last November - http://www.myspace.com/lastnovember
The Vernoicas

And that's it! Next time we talk, it will be the first week of December (so close to Christmas... PANIC!!!)

Keep rocking!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Never Judge A Book By Its Cover...?

I was thinking about this as I was at work and my friends were chatting about Twilight. One of them had just seen the film for the first time (and they, like most women who have seen the film, have had their hearts melted by Robert Patterson) and I decided to send them photos of what the covers of the books look like, so that they might go and discover the books. I mean, without the books, there would be no films, right?

So, as I sent the email, I began to wonder about cover art and how most in the UK is different from the USA, if not the whole world.

With the Twilight Saga, there isn’t any different. The font and the colour used on the “Breaking Dawn” cover is different, but that’s it. No different. The UK publishers, Atom, use the international covers. But, when they first published Twilight in Hardback, the cover was different.

Now, I would upload pic into this, but I have no time (NANoWriMo!) So will link you to LiveJournal Article that has a ton of pictures. Here's the link - http://pewterwolf.livejournal.com/9019.html

But it’s very rare that covers of books published in the UK are the same or similar to covers to books international or just State wise. On publication of the third book in the “Mortal Instruments” series by Cassandra Clare, UK Publisher Walker Books decided to change the UK covers so they matched the US covers.

But (yes, there is a but), this isn’t always the case. It does depend on the publisher in each country. Sometimes the publisher might want the same cover, some publishers might want the same cover but want to change something about the cover and some publishers want a completely different cover. This is due to how the market of each country.

Now, how do I feel about this? With every country having its own cover design for a book is fine. I can understand the idea of something working well to sell a book whereas in another country, the same idea not selling the book the way it should.

But how do I feel about publishers changing the cover design half way through a series? Well… am in two minds over it. On the one hand, I can see why publishers do it. It’s to make a profit and, sometimes, to refresh and reboot the series. For example, Random House UK decided to change the cover design of their Kathy Reichs books, starting with “Bare Bones”. Because of this, Random House saw an increase of people becoming aware of the book and, because of this, more people bought the book compared to the previous book which didn’t have the “facelift”.

But, as a reader, I can see how the book’s “facelift” can put your nose out of joint. There have been a few series in the past that I have been reading in the past, but when the publisher has redesigned the cover, it has annoyed me (“It no longer matches the rest of them!”) and, sadly, in one or two cases, has put me off the book series entirely.

And, if we think about it, the cover really is nothing compared to the story, is it? The cover’s there to grab your attention in the bookshop or in the library. After that, it really doesn’t do much. It doesn’t effect how we read the story inside the covers. I mean, with Twilight, there is never really a scene in the book where Bella holds a red apple like it does on the cover. It’s there to represent temptation, as the author of the Twilight Saga, Stephenie Meyer, explains.

But maybe, just maybe, we do judge. Maybe the saying “Never Judge A Book By Its Cover” has a point. Of course, the saying was meant to be used in real life with how we see people and how we see the world in general, but maybe we should use this saying literally…