Monday, August 29, 2011

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott review...

Thank you to Macmillan for this review copy!

What I thought:
To read a book in which one of the main characters, or feature of the story, is about a person being abducted, murdered or used, is something you have to be prepaired for and this being my first book about abduction, I don't know if I can say that I was fully prepaired.

The End of Everything is a excedingly well written book, the storyline is very well written and has no faults, it is a devistating, tragic, sad and overall powerful book and it will make you watch your every step, every move... it looks on memories to try and help a child in peril and I can't think of anything else to describe it, Powerful is the word.
The End of Everything is a very Deviststing and Powerful book.
One day that very quote will be on the back cover, I declaire it!
It's not a book to read before bed though, because it's a little bit creepyish...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Invention of Hugo Caberet by Brian Selznick review...

What I thought:
I'd read The Invention of Hugo Caberet when it first came out, and luckily I got my own copy, but being in a slump for books I picked it up and began to read.
It's a really one in a never any more book- partly told with amazing, hand crafted pictures, partly with the written word.
Everything is is perfect equalness and it couldn't be a more wonderful book.
The story isn't at all complicated and it's brilliant being able to design your own story with reading the pictures... it's a brilliant story, being made into a movie as well!
And I truly and undefyably (new word!) want you all to read it.
Please do, because it's worth it a hundred fold.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan review...

Thank you to Macmillan for this review copy! You are awesom!

What I thought:
I wasn't 100 percent sure of Glow, I liked the sound of it, but as with all books, it had the posibility of being a dissapointment.
But I wasn't disappointed. (wow, I found two ways of spelling that in one review!)
In fact, my dear friends, I was very un-disappointed!
It was a very well written, action filled book, with a marvalously written storyline and fantastic characters; there was such feeling to the writing, heart rendering pain transfered though to me and I was very pleased with it!
And the cover, I loved that from the start and only when half way through did I feel the different texture on the different parts- it was awesome!
It is a easy and hard read- easy to go along with and read, but a very sad storyline, especially with all the deaths and seperations of familys...

A fantastical read!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cargo by Jessica Au review...

Thank you to Macmillian for this review copy!

What I thought:
I thought this book was heartbreaking- both boldly told and truthfully told.
It was a beautifullr crafted piece of work, some of the themes were difficult to come to terms with, especially with the age of the characters, one of the youngest having a relationship with a persom much older than herself because it's what she feels will make him love her.
But it leaves unanswered questions at the same time, what happened to them? Did she get pregnant? Did she move away? What did he do with life? Did she swim across the oceans???
It's part of the story though, I think, because the reader must decide.

I loved the idea of this, though not all of it specifically suited my favourite sorts of books to read/themes.
But I did enjoy it, it was easy to sink into, but hard at the same time, due to the themes.
It's a lovely book- and the cover, oh wow! I adore that!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Perfume River- Writing from Vietnam by Multiple Authors review...(and questions)

Thank you to UWAP for this copy!

What I thought:
I loved the sound of this book, but sadly I found as an overall it to be disappointing.
Most of the short stories I read in it weren't for me, they wern't the sort of writing or themes that I enjoy and take a pleasure reading, but then there were a few totally amazing little jems, as you say.
I found maybe 7 to 10 poems and short stories that I truly found to be great and funnily, as I don't tend to read much poetry, or haven't yet, poems got to me more in this book then short stories.
There were 2 I think that really were beautiful, and though as an overall I didn't enjoy this book, maybe these little sparks made up for it.
They were truly inspiring, and who knows, I'm sure you out there will be sure to find many more in this book that will leave you thinking.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy review...

Thank you to Text Publishing for sending me this review copy!

What I thought:
At first, I didn't wholly like this- I couldn't really work out Janie and didn't like the first little bit where she was in America... but as soon as she started school, met the apothecary, met Benjamin and her life started changing, I was captured.
It took a little bit, but as soon as I was in, I couldn't ever go back out.
The storyline was grasping and thrilling, the characters, well I was in love with them, I felt for Janie and was shocked by something at the end... but then settled into happiness.
And I know from experiance that I kiss scene is quite hard to write, for any characters, but Maile did a fantastic job of making it natural and right.
I've not found that very much, and it was exuberently wonderful!
Read it, review it, and make sure you don't miss it.

It's hard to get a better book that combines all these super things- this one did it all so well and I can't wait to meet these wonderful people again, soon!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic review...

Thank you to the lovely author for sending me this proof of NE to review- and some extras! 

What I thought:
I loved the idea, the storyline and the thought of this novel, I enjoyed reading it and I linked with the characters, especially Kaylee, but there was a lot of swearing and themes that I don't usually read nor enjoy, and a lot more of each in this book then I'd ever read before.
But so even though I enjoyed the story and loved what it was about- I found that the swear words that were used overshadowed the story and the thought behind it- though if there were less, I'd have enjoyed it a lot more.
It was a very sad story theme, one of the hardest things to write and read about, coping with death, and the fact that it was about cancer, an unstoppable thing and powerfully sad... it was very well written and I can't imagine writing about those things myself.
It was a powerful thing.


Friday, August 12, 2011

A New Map of The Universe by Annabel Smith review...

Thank you to the publishers for supplying this review copy!

What I thought:
It didn't take me long to connect with this story, I lived beside the characters and was moved by their hopes and tragidy's.
It was a massively moving story, one of love, missing people, hope, tears, saddness and life.
It is such an incredibly moving and devistating story and had a profound effect on me.
I adored it, I adored it, I adored it.
Please read it- it's amazing and difficult to describe, I want you all to describe it for yourselves, like I am attempting to.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Awesome and wholly brilliant Q&A with...

Tessa Kiros, the amazing author of many books, including Apples for Jam, did a Q&A with me! YAY!
Here is is, enjoy!

*Why do you write?
Words are my expression of all that is in my mind - that I have seen, loved, collected.

*What inspires you?
Travel, small details and finishes (anything really), fabrics, colours, flowers, energetic people, passionate people, just people, cultures, children, movies....

*Do you have a favourite book?
Hmmm  So many.  recent is 'The god of small things'. I am reading 'Gullivers travels' again at the moment. I loved 'the story of an African farm' that we read at school. I love Laurie Colwin - Home cooking + more home cooking.

*Do you have a favourite recipe to cook?
Prawns with feta, lemon and piri piri. Gravadlax. Lately I love making pizza. And I adore making ice cream

*Are you writing any more books?
Yes.  I am working on one inspired by Italy, nature, my husbands mother. And I have other books inside me after that

*What is your favourite thing to do?
Travel. With my family.

*In a  movie of your life, who would the main be acted by?
My daughters

*Who do you most look up and aspire to?
I think older people, - who are not grumpy, who have gone towards what they wanted , and see the glass as half full, who love their life

*Where do you one day dream to live?
In a house by the sea but still with some wild garden around it and beautiful view of nature. I want to hear the sea from my bed. And a boat outside. And a village nearby.

Thank you so much Tessa! Your answers were inspirational!
Keep being inspired my friends,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A few Right Thinking Men by Sulari Gentill review...

Thank you to the author for this copy of AFRTM!

What I thought:
A few Right Thinking Men is a simply marvalous book! I loved the time setting and the way people spoke, acted, dressed and were complete nutters.
Rowland is a very loveable character, and I have found myself quite attached to the lot, he and his friends, which makes me look forward to the second book even more excitedly!
It was written all as if it had happened then and there, right while I was reading it and I really liked that... it is a very wonderful Australian set and written novel, a novel for young adults and adults alike and I really think you should all go out and get youselves a copy because it's not to be missed!
Now, onto the second!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Theo and Co- The search for the perfect Pizza by Theo Kalogeracos review...(first cookbook!)

Thank you to UWAP, the publishers, for supplying this review copy.

What I thought:
I really liked this cookbook, it was quite unlike any cookbook that I'd ever read/cooked from, because none that I've really used have had stories behind them like this one did, and I rather enjoyed finding out about Theo and his parents, family and friends, reading about the cooking competitions he did ect. and it was also super dooper interesting reading about how to get the best dough, because my family has been a fan of the homemade pizza for quite a while, and cook it regularly, so it was awesome so see how we could improve our dough, and it'll be tres interesting to see how it goes once in the kitchen!
I loved the sound of some of the desert pizza's too, they looked nice...!
I can't wait to start cooking from it, and the pages smelt really nice too, I love a book that has nice smelling pages... *sigh*
I shall be reviewing recipes here soon, hopefully.
Unless my cooking experiances don't go well, but I still will anyway, trust me!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Goodreading update and upcoming book reviews...


This is a weekendey post, I'm not feeling too well so I won't pre write the book reviews as I was going to, but I'll give you a taste of the book reviews that are coming... and let you in on my recentish news!

I've been writing a lot more lately, which is happy, and after taking a fair old break because I was lacking a bit of writing feeling, I'm going better than ever I feel! Taking it slowly and easily, I'm going at a great pace for me and I love how my story is progressing!

This coming week I'm going to be doing reviews for: a cookbook (never before seen here!), a wonderous novel from 2005 which I have justr read and either Little Lord Fauntleroy or The Invetion of Hugo Caberet.
I've written the last two up, I did ages ago actually, but am going to keep one for emergency lack of post time, so which one would you like me to post this coming week? Hugo of Fauntleroy?

In other news my Good Reading Magazine Article has been published! YAY!
I've got a full page, pictures and it looks very professional and lovely dovely! A few bits and pieces got changed and taken out, but I like it and feel truly honoured to have been able to do it, it was a great experience and I adored it! I'd love to do similar things! (Look out for a picture of me with the article in question later in the next week!)
Make sure you get a copy! The article title is Read 15! Woo! I'm exuberent and happy and excited!

Bye now my grand friends- (Oh and welcome to the ranks out new friend Kelley! Hi!)

Lovingly always,

Friday, August 5, 2011

Brilliant! Another fabbty fabness filled Q&A! But with Whom...?

Hi Poppies,
Remember Days like This? The amazing book I review in my last post? Well the author, Alison Stewart, has done this very brilliant Q&A with me! Thank you Alison! It was great!

Why do you write?

I love writing. It's like one long discussion with yourself! It's the ultimate indulgence. Also, it's a way of working things out that have been stewing away in your head. Sometimes you're not even aware that you are returning to the same issues. I left my home in South Africa in my twenties because I didn't like apartheid. And though I'm an Australian now and my children were born here, I still find myself writing about "belonging" and its opposite, "alienation". In Days Like This, when Lily's parents stop loving her - this, I think, is the ultimate alienation.

*What is your inspiration?

It probably sounds a bit weird but I think I'm constantly trying to make sense of things! "What if" inspires me. That's why I like dystopian fiction so much - it's the ultimate "what if". It's a way to address fairly confronting things like why people behave the way they do, what motivates them - greed, love, fear, money, passion, peace. It's a way to try and work out what we value about ourselves and our world.
*Who is your favourite  character in Days Like This?

They all have their different qualities. Lily begins cautious but fires up! Daniel is impetuous and cynical from the start. Sal is a total cow. Kieran is sweet and full of integrity but I do love Ingie! She's a minor character but she's super feisty, strong, optimistic and resourceful. Someone you'd want on your side.
*Why did you write, Days like This?

I know you probably shouldn't write fiction with a cause or 'themes' in mind but dystopia is different in that respect. If you look at our world, there's a lot to be worried about - how we're handling climate change, the rise and rise of the super-rich, not all of whom behave responsibly with their power and money, our obsession with staying young, exploitation of the powerless, the use of technology as a negative controlling force. Days Like This incorporates a fair few of these themes because they're issues that concern me. But having said that, the book is primarily a story about how the narrator Lily, her brother Daniel and sister Alice deal with living in an extreme world governed by rules, imprisoned by parents who no longer love them. They are in danger, they have to escape but what is out beyond the Wall that confines them, and will they survive?
*In a film version of it (DLT) who would you picture being Lily and some of the other main characters?

I haven't really thought about this, but if a film ever was made, it would be great if some young Australian actors could take the roles, rather than Hollywood stars. Australia has so much brilliant up-and-coming acting talent; it would be a shame not to use it.

*What tips can you give to upcoming authors?

Write about what you know and what inspires you, rather than trying to write about something unfamiliar to your world like, say, a rip-off of Pride and Prejudice (unless of course that point in time is your absolute passion!). Think about the things in your life that upset, uplift or infuriate you. Use your own environment for your setting. Think about how to maintain tension to drive your narrative - readers might engage with issues like betrayal, relationship upheavals, dangerous or threatening scenarios that need ingenuity to drive plot and develop character. And write as much as you can - don't worry about how it reads initially because editing is fun! Be prepared to edit!  Less is more, they tell me - it doesn't come naturally to me, but I can see the writing is always better when it's skilfully edited (I have have to quickly thank my Penguin editor Jeanmarie Morosin here, as well as Penguin children's publisher and writer herself, Jane Godwin - they're both brilliant and perceptive editors!). Finally, read a lot and take note of how your favourite writers weave their stories.
*Did you always want to be an author?

I wanted to be a journalist first. I used to pretend to be a "foreign correspondent" when I was about 10, writing gory accounts from the frontline of my own bedroom. I tried to leave school at 15 to get a job at the local paper but the editor sensibly sent me away! I eventually did a journalism degree and worked for years as a journalist. I still love journalism but I wanted to explore other kinds of writing. That's when I started writing fiction.

*Would you change anything about Days Like This if you were to re-write it?

Maybe the ending. I see someone on Goodreads wasn't too keen on my ending though they still gave the book 4.5 stars, which I'm grateful for. Endings are hard though and there's always the hope that if the book does well, you might do a sequel!!! So you keep that in mind. It's not a dark ending and maybe that can irritate people, who might have preferred something bleaker and less pat.
*What are your main hopes for DLT? What do you hope it will do for people?

I hope that lots of people will get to read it and maybe like it. I'd be really pleased if it challenged people to think about what's important to them. Despite the confronting disintegration of a familiar world, I hope Days Like This tells us there is room for a compassionate society that values decency and integrity. I really do have a deep-held belief in peoples' essential humanity. And I do hope the book will challenge readers to examine what they really value. Do they value a sense of historic or literal place, the natural environment and the dignity of the individual or would they prefer a world that satisfies them only materially? I think we're an adaptable species so we can cope with whatever is thrown at us. Ultimately, Days Like This is about hope and redemption.

Thank you again Alison!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Days Like This by Alison Stewart review...

Thank you to Puffin for this review copy!

What I thought:
I was immediately captured by Days Like This, the thoughtfulness of the writing and storyline were fantastic and I was shocked, disgusted and devistated all together by what happened in this future Sydney.
The possibilitys of the story made me think and I am still thinking about what the effects of things we do may just have... I'm thinking of the world even more.
It was a brilliant and eye opening story that I will never forget... and it was incredibly sad too.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Awesomated very very very exciting Q&A with...

I did a spiffy and super Q&A recently with Leanne Hall, author of amazing This is Shyness! I hope you enjoy reading all her answers to my questions!
Thank you Leanne!

*When did you first start writing?
I started writing on a family holiday in Europe when I was eight. My family hired a campervan and drove all round Europe. I spent a lot of time in the back of that van feeling bored. So I started writing stories in notebooks. I still have some of them; they’re very funny! The characters are all fruit and vegetables, or my soft toys. I haven’t stopped writing since. 
*Did you always want to be a writer, or did it come to you slowly?
I always felt like a writer, because I was always secretly scribbling in journals and notebooks. But I only ever quietly hoped I could be a published writer. I tried to follow so many sensible careers and jobs, but I couldn’t stop writing. It bubbled along in the background, until I had to admit I really wanted to have a novel published. I made a decision to work part-time for many years while I tried to improve my writing. 
*What is your favourite thing about This is Shyness?
It’s a toss up between my characters, and the world. Like choosing between two children! I would have to say Wolfboy and Wildgirl. They’re like friends to me. I feel like they whisper things in my ear, and get up to no good while I’m asleep, and sometimes they’re really annoying and don’t do what I tell them to. 
*What was it like, hearing that you'd won the Text publishing prize and that This is Shyness was being published?
It was very surreal and very exciting. I was just so pleased to even be on the shortlist. I don’t think I can even describe how I felt, it was all so overwhelming. It was a long held dream of mine to have a book published.
*What are you currently reading?
I’m reading Indigo’s Star, a quirky, funny little book by British author Hilary McKay. It’s the second book about the Casson family. I loved the first book, Saffy’s Angel, and so far Indigo’s Star is equally great.  
*In a film version of This is Shyness, who would you cast as Wildgirl and Wolfboy?
Argggh! Difficult question! I have no idea. Suggestions please! 
*Why do you write?
I write because I can’t NOT write. It must be the way I try to understand the world. And I write because I love to read. Reading a good book brings me such pleasure, and I would love to do that for other people through my own writing. 
*Do you have any tips for upcoming writers?
Read and write as much as possible. Read as widely as possible, and then write in every spare moment you can find.  

I do like this text...
More from me soon,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sizzles is an EXTREMELY clever dog- based on the series by Lauren Child review...

Thank you to Puffin for supplying this review copy!

What I thought:
I've been a good honest Charlie and Lola fan for a good long time now, and this book is simply awesome! I adore the fact that it has a finger puppet sizzles, and it still contains all the brilliant Lolaish that you can be sure to find in any Lauren Child book, and don't fear, Lola is yet again decked out in all her most magnificent clothes imaginable! YAY!
Though be warned, when I got this book in the post and my sister showed it to Edie, she did get quite frightened, but has now warmed to it nicely... though I believe I now have to share it with her, though I'm sure we shall have glorious times reading it together in times to come...!
It's an awesome book!

It's a really cool book this one!