Currently Reading

Currently reading: Vulture by Bex Hogan.

Sunday 21 March 2010

In My Postbox #2

In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren, and all links take you to Amazon.

Got 2 brand new books this week. One that I have been absolutely dying for and one that I got courtsey of Darren over at The Book Zone! Thanks Darren! :D

For Review:

Inside My Head by Jim Carrington

"This cleverly constructed narrative consists of three points of view: of Gary, constantly victimised by the school bully in a nasty, name-calling and vindictive way; the bully's friend, David and a new girl to the school, Zoe. All viewpoints are revealing. Gary reveals the painful and often unsuccessful attempts by a young man to control his anger under great provocation - and his inability to communicate. David is someone who is uncomfortable with the bullying but doesn't dare to do anything about it - until the end. Zoe is a young woman who can see Gary through different eyes and is independent, freethinking and brave. Also featured in this title are rampaging tractors, shotguns and cheese puffs."


"Sidorio, fuelled by grief and revenge, is intent on becoming King of the Vampirates and building a new empire to bring terror to the oceans. He faces growing opposition from both the Pirate Federation, including Vampirate Assassin Cheng Li, and the Nocturnals - the more benign vampirate realm - led by Mosh Zu and Lorcan Furey. Both the pirates and the Nocturnals are forced to raise their game in response to the new and urgent threat from Sidorio and the renegade Vampirates. Twins Grace and Connor Tempest, still ricocheting from the recent discovery of their true parenthood and its explosive implications, are thrust deep into the heart of the conflict. Old foes and allies are thrown together in unexpected ways and, as the stakes rise higher than ever before, Grace and Connor find their alliances shifting in ways no-one could ever have possibly foreseen..."

Monday 15 March 2010

Shadow Bringer

Written by: David Calcutt.
Publisher: Oxford University Press.
Format: Paperback.
Released: 4th February 2010.
Rating: 4/5

Official synopsis: "Nathan knows something is watching him - something menacing and dangerous. Something without a shape, that he can't get out of his head. The Creature. Then there are the noises he starts hearing in the attic. Shuffling. Scratching. Even a voice. The Bogeyman. Nathan's sure that the Creature and the Bogeyman are the same thing. Whatever it is, it's after him. As soon as it's strong enough, it will show Nathan what it really wants. And it's growing stronger all the time . . ."

Shadow Bringer is a psychological thriller written to perfection. Right from the first words, I was captured and catapulted into this dark, mysterious world. It is completely and utterly absorbing and won't let you go until the last page! So warning, if you choose to read it, make sure you set yourself a few hours aside, because 15 minutes on the bus just won't cut it with this one!

The Creature is a horrifying being, lurking just out of the corner of Nathan's eye. Just waiting. Calcutt's characters are brilliant and match perfectly. He's blended reality, and magic together to form this stunning story. To me, the way that I see it, it's taking what we know to be real, and what we sometimes think to be real which can be a scary thing when melded together. The mind plays tricks.

It's a bit hard to explain really what I liked about this book, because it's pretty much everything. It's so perfectly weaved that I could spoil the story and this is one that everyone should enjoy as they read it, not hear tidbits and then read it. I really cannot recommend this book enough. An atmospheric piece of brilliance that will be enjoyed by adults and children alike!

(Thank you to Michelle Harrison at OUP for this!)

Thursday 4 March 2010

The Tales of Beedle The Bard [Review]

Written by: J.K. Rowling.
Publisher: Bloomsbury.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 4th December 2008.
Ratiting: 4.5/5

Any readers of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be aware of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. A book left to Hermione by Dumbledore after his death at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In it, is the story important enough to help Harry defeat Lord Voldemort. The Tale of the Three Brothers.

In late 2007, JKR produced seven hand-written copies of the book, featuring 5 tales. Fans feared that they would never be able to read the tales, but then in the Summer of 2008, JKR announced the publication of the book for charity! Yay! I for one was over the moon and could not wait.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard feature 'The Wizard and the Hopping Pot', 'The Fountain of Fair Fortune', 'The Warlock's Hairy Heart', 'Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump' and 'The Tale of the Three Brothers'.

All five of the tales are superbly written and features specific moral messages. My favourite of the five tales has to be The Fountain of Fair Fortune. It's just brilliant. So rich in Jo's brilliant story-telling. The best written of the five. The story is also my favourite because of the actual plot of the story. It just teaches you that what you sometimes think you need, you actually don't.

Out of the five tales, there's only really one duff one, and that's Babbitty Rabbity. It is a good tale, but at the same time, it just isn't as strong as the other four stories.

For JK fans the world over, this is a brilliant collection that should be added to any respecting fans collection!

(N.b. Reviewed this because in my quest of packing today, I stumbled across my copy and had to have a read. Only took an hour and a half to read the whole book.)

Tuesday 2 March 2010

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory [Review]

In my tidying and sorting, I found my copy of Roald Dahl's children classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! I remember reading this for the first time, aged 5 I think. I was spellbound. Absolutely loved it. And so, having found it, I decided to have a read, and before I knew it, I was caught up in the world of Charlie Bucket and the eccentric Willy Wonka.

The book is just as magical as I remember it being all those years ago. The way the books are written is simply genius. It's easy for young kids to understand, but not dumbed down too much that an 18-year old, confident reader can complain about being too young. Just simply brilliant.

The characters are fun. The rhymes are fun. The Chocolate Factory is fun. The book is overall fun. But as well as being fun, it has a real moral message. Well, a few. Don't be greedy in life. Yes, take what you can but don't abuse that. Always take advice from those who know best! Don't watch too much TV (haha!) and most importantly of all, what's money when you have health?

Yes, I know, an 18 year old reading a kids book, but it's a simple, easy and fun read that I just couldn't resist. It brought back lots of memories of being 5 and of times when things were simpler. It's one of the first books that I remember reading. Maybe that's why I'm so fond of it. We all love books that remind us of our childhood, right? And for me, Roald Dahl was a staple of my reading as a kid. This is a book that I know I'll still appreciate no matter how old I get, and it's one I shall pass down to my children one day.

Movie Adaptations

I might not be writing as many reviews as normal over the next few weeks due to moving house which as I'm sure folk know is a very stressful time. Packing, tidying and sorting to be done, so that's taking up a lot of time, taking away my precious reading time (insert crying face here!)! So I thought I'd do an opinion post.

A lot of the big budget films get a novelisation. An adaptation of the book written for young adults/younger kids to enjoy. When I was younger, I really used to enjoy them, but by the age of 13, when I became a complete book worm and decided that I wanted to be a writer, I changed my mind. Now I find them to be completely dire!

Take for example the novelisation of Spider Man 3, which my cousin brought me as a gift, and I found today amongst my things. I adored the film, watched it only the other day infact. But the novelisation didn't seem to feature half of the film. How can you condense a 2 hour film, to just 138 A5-ish pages with what must be at least size 20 font? It's diabolocal! I get leaving things out of a film when adapting a book for the big screen, but leaving stuff out of the film... It just doesn't seem right?

And the font size is another thing. Now, I like long books, but not overly long. 200-300 is brilliant. Then there are your Harry Potters coming in at nearly 700 pages every time. But the font is regular, standard size. It's easily readable but it also doesn't make you feel like a 5-year-old reading for the first time with words nearly as big as the page. Novelisations just seem to be so poorly designed and thought out.

So what do you think about novelisations of your favourite films? Yay, or Nay? Please leave a comment. Interested to see what other people think.