Tuesday, November 29, 2011

September 11, 2001- Attack on New York by Wilborn Hampton review...

Title-September 11, 2001- Attack on New York
Author- Wilborn Hampton.
Publish Date- October 2011.
Publisher- Walker Books.

Now for the review...

What I thought:
I would have been six and six months old when September 11 threatened to shatter the world; my sister would have turned ten only days earlier.
I never really knew the whole story, not all the details, all the main factors, yes, but not so much as I could have learnt as I got older.
This book threatened to wrench me apart, pull my shocked and unbelieving heart out and shove it into my face, because it hurt so much to read about all those innocent lives that were lost, all the families torn apart, all the will lost.
It was blunt, truthful and remarkable in the way it didn't go, even for a moment, from what mattered.
It worked very, very well.
The story of what happened really opened my eyes, I still, and always will, question how people could do that. How they could be possessed by so much hate, ignorance (there were letters found from some of the terroists saying how they'd be strong in prison.).Lust for Death.
And throughout the time it took me to read Attack on NYC, I kept hearing myself say- If I was there, if I had been old enough, I would have helped. I would have helped those people who lost so much. I would have helped them regain their lives.

Thank you to Walker Books for this review copy.


NOTE- Attack on NYC is an incredible book- it is so powerful, so effecting that you couldn't surpass it for another book of it's kind.
If you want to read this, to learn more from the survivors, do. Absolutely. But be ready for all it holds.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Crossed by Ally Condie review...

Title- Crossed.
Author- Ally Condie.
Publish date- November 2011.
Publisher- Penguin.
Other books you'll like- Matched.
Blurb- Fighting for truth. Escaping for Freedom. Rebelling for love?

Now for the review...

What I thought:
I was thrilled when I got this review copy fo Crossed! I read Matched in January and ever since have been very very very much wanting to see what happens next!
Ally Condie has a way with cliffhanger endings, and now I'm desperate for the final book, to see how it all ends!
I adored Crossed, it was just as good, but maybe a little more rough due to the fact that the surroundings were not those that the society wishes to promote, as Matched.
I love Ally's writing style and how poetic it is, as I mentioned in my review of Matched, and it is the style of writing that sends you, the reader, to the place the athor is writing about.
It's special writing, that of Ally Condie.

Thank you to Penguin for this review copy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie review...

Title- Matched.
Author- Ally Condie.
Publish Date- 2011.
Publisher- Penguin.

Now for the review...

What I thought-
Matched was my first YA dystopian novel and I was mesmirised by the cover, the blurb and the story that followed both.
The forign societu is enough to make one's skin crawl, dictating everything, not letting choices be made by anyone but themselves.
I hate them, for all those reasons and more, but mainly for what they do, that and the fact that I would go very mad if I was constantly being told what to do, living under someone elses rule; I hate dictation, the awful art of being told what to do, so Matched affected me, stuck with me.
Alison Condie's writing is a favourite with me now, so rythamic is it that you could think of the book as a poem, like the ones Cassia loves to read, the whole novel is beautiful and powerful; it's like the author knows exactly what she is doing, weaving a spell on the reader and precicesly what will happen and why it will.
That, I feel, is very good writing.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons review...

Title- Article 5.
Author- Kristen Simmons.
Publish Date- February 2012.
Publisher- Tor Teen.
Cover Blurb- Compliance is Mandatory...

Now for the review...

Thank you to Kirsten Simmons and Tor Teen for this review copy!

What I thought:
I love a well thought out, well written and well characterized dystopian novel and first time novelist  Kristen Simmons has done wonders with an idea that could have been abandoned at any one time.
I adored many of the characters and hated lots too- there were so many feelings that came from me about this book; it was one to leave you thinking (and wondering exactly when she will announce that a sequel will be happening- which it must!) and I was rooting Ember along all the way.
Dystopian novels make me think more than other books, because they're about worlds where awful changes have taken place, where people have to strive just to be themselves. (well, the ones I read are.)
And Article 5 was one of the best! That's all I can say.
That and another mention of sequel hopes...


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dragon Keeper by Carol Wilkinson review...

Thank you to Walker Books for this Review copy!

What I thought:
I recall vaguely listening to this on audio years ago, so I faintly remembered the story, but it was none the less thrilling and full of imagination! I adore this new cover, I'm quite in love with it, and it fits perfectly with the amazing story that lies inside it! There are now 3 other books in the Dragon Keeper Series which have all been re-published with new, awesome covers!
Dragon Keeper is an amazing and heart racing story of courage and life, it's plain and simple brilliant!


Daisy plays Hide and Seek by Ellie Sandall reiew...

Title- Daisy Plays hide and seek.
Author- Ellie Sandall.
Publish Date- 2011.
Publisher- Hardie Grant Egmont.


What I thought:
I thought this was a really nice book, perfect for reading to a child and sending them off to sleep or some similar situation; it wasn't wholly a me book, due to not fully being my favoured style of writing/illustration, but I still thought it was very sweet and funny.
It was just a really nice, grab out and read book, not a favourite, but one that will get plenty of use all the same!

Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont for this review copy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Q&A With.....???

Who else has felt the lack of Q&A's here? Me, for one; to to celebrate the happiness of everydays I'm posting a Q&A I did a little while ago with the most amazing... Dana Reinhardt! She's the author of a  lot of books, including the very amazing A Brief Chapter in my Impossible Life, which I reviewed a little while back.
So, here's the Q&A! Get inspired...

*When did you first start writing?
I first started writing at a very young age—9 years old or so. At that age
I thought every time I had an idea I was about to embark on an epic novel,
maybe even an entire series of books, but usually after 15 minutes or so
I’d totally give up. I’ve learned as an adult that writing is about
fighting the impulse to quit every 15 minutes.

*Did you always think you'd be an author, as your profession?
It’s certainly what I dreamed of, but I was terribly practical and since I
saw no precise path toward realizing that goal I opted for law school. It
wasn’t until many years later that I decided to try my hand at a book even
though there was nobody around to tell me how it’s done.

*What is your inspiration?
I suppose that changes book to book and even day to day, but generally I
write because when it goes well there’s nothing I love more, and the life
of a writer is wonderfully conducive to life as a mother, which is really
my main job.

*How did you feel when you first heard you were being published? (For your
very first novel?)
It felt just spectacularly unbelievable. Indescribably wonderful. I’ll
stop there, because it really was indescribable, so I don’t want to muck
it up with words that don’t fit.

*How long does the publishing process take, generally?
It takes about a year to a year and a half for a book to come out after
I’ve finished my part. And as for my work, that averages a year or so—some
books I’ve written more quickly, others have taken longer.

*What is the most life changing thing about being an author?
Getting to work from home and setting my own schedule. It provides me with
the time and freedom to be the kind of parent I want to be and I can’t ask
for much more than that.

*Do people treat you differently?
No. I think the population of people for whom what I do is exotic or
exciting is very small.

*What was your first job?
I was a caseworker with adolescents in the foster care system. I was young
and knew nothing, but I was willing to work for almost nothing, so they
hired me. I loved spending time with teenagers and I think those
experiences inspired me to write books for that age group.

*What's your favourite book?
To Kill a Mockingbird.

*Tips for aspiring authors?
Read. Read as much as you can. Read to find the kinds of books you want to
write. Read to find the kind of writer you want to emulate. But also read
to find the kinds of books and the style of writing you don’t like.
And write. Just write as much as you can. Try as many different voices
until you find what works for you.

*And lastly, if your book, a Brief Chapter in my Impossible life, was made
into a film, who would you pick to play Simone?
I’m afraid I’m not totally up to date on 16-year-old actresses. I only
know the ones on the television shows my daughters watch and they’re
already probably too old. Maybe I’d pick that girl from True Grit—she’s

Thank you so much for doing this Q&A Dana!

Lots of inspirational love! (And this lovely 200th post!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I know it is still... about two weeks to go until NaNo finishes, and even a week until I am scheduled to do my next NaNo update.
Oh yes, the but has come in.
So, BUT.
I won.
I have officially written two full however many pages notebooks, the most I have ever written before.
And I'm onto my third.
I don't know exactly how much more I have to do, but we'll see.
I've finished NaNo, a  fortnight early.

I am so so so pleased.

P.S. I'll have a review of a totally awesome dystopian YA book called Article 5 coming soon.
P.P.S. Check out the Dreamy Tree. I've got 29ish competitions running until the 10th of December- they're so cool! You can enter them all until the 10th, so get entering. (Note- there are only 7 open at the moment, I'm doing one a day.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Week two of NanoWrimo.

Today it is officially two weeks since NaNoWriMo started for 2011, and that means there are only two weeks left.

This time last week I had almost finished my first notebook, a feat in itself, as I had never written a whole notebook ( 27-28,000 is the most I've ever written) and this week I have got about 50 pages more to do. (this one is slightly bigger than the last one.)

The story has progressed majorly since last week, the characters have evolved and I have already been forced to write some very hard scenes.

It is one of the hardest things for me to do, in my writing, making my chcracters feel sad, breaking them down and seeing them feel so sad, so empty and lifeless because they've been hurt so much, but I know too that they need to go through these things to be who they will become later on.

I have openly said that I have never cried when watching a movie or reading a book.
Never have I bee moved to tears, once or twice almost. Almost. But they've never come forth from my eyes and poured down my face.
Writing and breaking my characters, who are ultimately a part of who I am and who I will be for the rest of my life.
That's hard.

I think I've been bought to tears at least four times, all on seperate occasions (and only when I am entirely alone)  when writing about the sorrow that my people are feeling, when I write down how pained and lost they feel, how worthless and broked down.
It's like I'm breaking a part of myself down, to see the people I have created and given life, being hurt,
Becaue I want to protect them, I love them for who they are,
They aren't just words I've conjured up on a piece of paper.
They are real to me.
As real as real can be.
And I feel for them.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Aoki by Annelore Parot review...

Title- Aoki.
Author- Annelore Parot.
Publish Date- October 2011.
Publisher- Hardie Grant- Egmont.

Review Time!

What I thought:
I really do adore this story, there is so much colour and detail to this book! It's amazing! I loved the whole of the story, the guessing parts throughout the story and the the flaps too! I'm a lover of flaps! It's a   truly cute and amazingly pretty book! You all ought to read it!


Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont for this review copy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update- The end of week one is Nigh...

Hilo Poppsicles,

Well, tomorrow is officially one week since Nanowrimo started and I'm so so very pleased with the turn out from just one week of full on writing.
It's only been a week, yet I have still managed to do lots of the things I love and not cut out too much; I've been going for almost daily one and a half hour straight writing times and am just about halfway to having 50,000 words! I've nearly done a full notebook in only a week! (I've got about 20something pages to go!)
It's been fantastic, because I'm daring myself to go further and furthur (which spelling will you choose?) into the relm of dares and writing, say 9-14 pages a day, then rewarding myself with things I want/need to do, but can't do until I've got to that point! And it's working so well! At this rate, maybe I'll write two 50,000 word novels in a month!
This is my official Nano page, so check it out and let me know what you think of the snippet about my story! dun dun dun!

Lots of love,

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Neversink by Barry Wolverton review.

Title- Neversink.
Author- Barry Wolverton.
Publish date- March 2012.
Publisher- Walden Press/Harper Collins.

Review Time!

Thank you to Barry Wolverton and Kellie Celia from Walden Press.

What I thought:
Neversink is so origonal and funny- it's mysterious, filled with fun, evil, scary and wonderfully wordy characters and a storyline that is unlike quite anything else I've read.
I loved everything about it, the not too long, not too short chapters, the cover, the writing style, the captions and brackets and the walrus called Egbert who is a very amusing character to read about!
It's thrilling, beautiful, cold, and a soaring story beyond belief!
The entire book is wonderful, and when it comes out officially in March, I highly suggest getting your hands on a copy!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Darius Bell and the Crystal Bees by Odo Hirsch review...

Title- Darius Bell and the Crystal Bees.
Author- Odo Hirsch.
Publish Date- October 2011.
Publisher- Allen and Unwin.
Series- Darius Bell- book One is Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool.

Review time!

What I thought:
I adored Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool when I first read it, a few years ago, and was beyond the limits of happiness when I heard that a second book would be coming out, that Darius now had his very own series!
Odo Hirsch is an amazing writer at all times, but with Darius Bell, I believe he outdoes himself- it's amazing, one in a million, so simple a story but filled with pace and adventure and crime... almost! It's a maravlous series and book 2 did not disappoint- though you will need to read book one if your interested in this series, otherwise you may be a litle confuised, though Mr. Hirsch does a fantastic job of easily going over the happenings of the last book.
It's unsurpassable and I am going to forever be looking out for book 3, if there is one to come!

Lots of Love,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Clara Button and the Magical Hat Day by Amy de la Haye review...

Title- Clara Button and the Magical Hat Day.
Author- Amy de la Haye.
Publish Date- November 2011.
Publisher- Bloomsbury.

Review Time!

What I thought:
This is a very sweet picture book, with an exciting story to entertain children aged between 6-9, I think.
The pictures were very unusual, not like pictures I've seen before, and very detailed, and the story, especially where Clara goes to the museum, was very thrilling!  I think children will adore this book! It's very groovy!


If Kisses were Colours by Janet Lawler review...

Title- If kisses were Colours.
Author- Janet Lawler.
Illustrator- Alison Jay.
Publish Date- board book edition published in 2011- first published in 2003.
Publisher- Hardie Grant Egmont.


Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont for this review copy!

What I thought:
It is such a love filled book- so much thought and care seemes to have gone into making it into a story for you to read to yourself or to someone you love; it's a book to read when you want to remind yourself that you are always loved and surounded by love.
It's beautiful.
I adored and adored the pictures, they were so unique and origonal that they can't be surpassed, they make the book what it is just as much as the writing, I felt.
It was truly an amazing book full of love and more love.