Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crewel by Gennifer Albin.

Title- Crewel.
Author- Gennifer Albin.
Publish date- 
Publisher- Allen and Unwin.

Thank you to Allen and Unwin for this review copy!

What I thought:
I hadn't been too keen to read many more dystopian books for a while when I received this copy in the post- it was an exception though, because I had heard about it and wanted to read it long before I choose to have a break from the genre, and I'm so glad that is the way things went.
Crewel isn't just another run of the mill dystopian novel like so many right now are- it is a work of art, beautiful, emotional and intense.

I found it interesting and really liked the fact that almost (?) all the names in Crewel are spelt differently from how they're spelt now, in example-
Benn instead of Ben,
Amie instead of Amy,
Lewys instead of Lewis,
And Crewel instead of Cruel (probably my least favourite of the bunch)-

all gave the feel of an alternate reality, and I really liked it.

At times I was surprised by the abrupt end of a scene, particularly emotional (and usually of the romantic type) scenes- everything would be going really smoothly, and then BAM! it's over and I was left wondering if I skipped a page or two by accident- that happened two or three times and was something I definitely didn't like.

I'm not fond of the Australian cover- I like the US one much more, though neither do I love... at times I think this one shows Adelice wonderfully, but the thing about both of them is that I think Crewel should have a cover without a person on it... I think I would like it better if it had a cover just with the colourful lines found on the US cover...

I really liked how the novel played out- it could certainly have been a single book, I'm not sure how I feel about there being two more books, and I can't really see how much more of a story there is to tell, especially over two books, but I look forward to reading book 2 and seeing!
Four stars!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (4)- Top ten books to get into the Halloween spirit.

This is a pretty dismal Top Ten from me, but I hope you enjoy my top ten for books to get into the spirit of Halloween- none of them are particularly halloweeny (which is a word, I'll have you know.) but they're a little spooky and I would definitely recommend them in this spookifyed (another word- honest.) time of year. Enjoy!

1. Coraline by Neil Gaiman.
I read Coraline earlier this year and, though it is quite a terrifying novel, it is equally fantastic, with enough spook to get it to the top of my list. Trust me, you'll want the one with illustrations.

2. Horseradish- Bitter truths you can't avoid by Lemony Snicket.
Isn't it a truth universally acknowledged that around Halloween people want to read a tonne of bitter truths? Thought so.

3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secets by J.K. Rowling.
It didn't find it's way into the movie, but those who've read the book know it's got a fantastic Halloween party, which was my favourite part of the second book; the first book also has a really great Halloween scene, that involves trolls.

4. Un Lun Dun by China Mieville.
This is such a dream-like and spooky novel that I couldn't miss it off this list. It's got creepy beings we wouldn't recognise if we saw them in front of us, a diving suit that can walk about without anyone inside it, and an umbrella army.

5. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.
Unfortunate events. Enough said.

6. Jane by April Linder.
A retelling of Jane Eyre, this is a really beautiful book with one or two scenes thar are fairly nerve wracking and generally creeeepppyyyy....

7. Reckless by Cornelia Funke.
This is such a beautiful novel with abeautiful as heck covers and an amazing storyline, but it's not without is scare factor- anyone met the Tailor before? He has needles and scissors on his hands instead of fingers and makes his clothes out of human.... skin

8. Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia.
Though I didn't make it to book 2 in the series, this book I did really enjoy.

9. The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie.
Murder. Murder. Murder. Murder. 

10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
C'mon, it's narrated by Death, surely that's enough?

Happy top ten!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blogspiration (4) Aspiration.

Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers & writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author’s choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING.

I'm currently on a listening spree of A series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket- it's the only series I know of that I prefer listening to, because Tim Curry is magnificent at reading it; it's like Stephen Fry with Harry Potter- it's just SO GOOD.
I find basically everything I read by Lemony Snicket to be incredibly inspiring- his use of words, his characters, his finesse with plots. It's makes me want to write notes, and I think reading/listening to the work of people you really look up to is incredibly important, because you can learn so much at the same time as enjoying their work.

Happy Sunday and have a grand week!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Top ten tuesday (3) Top ten favourite contempory YA authors.

Top Ten Favourite Contempory YA authors.

1. John Green-
So far I've only read TFiOS and Looking for Alaska, both of which I adored- now I'm waiting eagerly to read Paper Towns, Abundance, Will Grayson ect. they've all got such wonderful storylines and can fairly well be described by saying WOW.

2. James Dashner-
I am absolutely in love with his Maze Runner series, though I am yet to read the prequel or the final book (waiting, waiting) and I'm waiting to finish that before trying his 13th Reality series.

3. Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler-
I absolutely loved Why We Broke Up when I read it earlier in the year and am currently listening to the ASoUE series on audio (funnily, I love them so much more with Tim Curry's dramatisation.) His novels are so unique, so origonal and so addictive.

4. China Mieville-
His novel Un Lun Dun is absolutely timeless; it's a novel with a surprising heroine who is brilliant and wholly inspiring, a novel about hope and fighting for what is right, with all sorts of amazing twists and turns that kept me right on the edge of all sanity as I read. It is, and always will be, one of my top books.

5. Natsumi Ando and Miyuki Kobayashi-
The creators of my first manga love series! (I'm looking for more to read, trying to find a series to get into, if you've got suggestions) Kitchen Princess was both lighthearted and serious, it delt with heartbreak and death and believing in yourself and in life, and generally it is just a really wonderful series that I both wish didn't have to end and am thrilled at the note it did. 

6. Anna Sheehan-
I won a copy of her debut novel A Long Long Sleep earlier in the year and just found it unputdownable- it's so engaging and simple yet unique, based on a very old fairytale it's like a story about a story that is incredibly wonderful and beautiful.

7. John Boyne-
I've read two of his novels and have come to the conclusion that he isn't a class-able author- you know, some authors write specifically for children or for adults or for young adults, but some authors just write and their work can't really be put into one of those genre/age group boxes. He writes in a way that is beautiful and epic and desperately moving, he can transition from writing about happiness to being lost with yourself within a novel in such a beautiful way that make him timeless.

8. Leanne Hall-
She's a fantastic author who writes a wonderous series about two incredible spirits who are absolutely different in so many fundamental ways, but are also alike- they're both a little (?) lost and in order to let themselves be themselves, they have to find each other. I just love her dreamy, thought-provoking writing.

I'm using Nine and Ten as suggestion boxes for you- if you feel like it, please tell me your favourite author+book from that author. I would love to find some more favourites!

(I was wondering if Suzanne Collins, J.K. Rowling and Diana Wynne Jones count as contempoary YA authors, they're obviously in this list if they do, but I decided I would stick with some other names as those three ladies are basically the top of all my lists!)


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Top Ten "Older" Books I don't want to be forgotten.

Top ten tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

1. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell-
This is a book that really changed my life and became an immediate favourite as soon as I began reading it- by the end it was my all time favourite and, over a year later, it hasn't been swayed from that position; this is a biography of sorts, about the authors childhood growing up in Corfu, Greece, and it is an immensely funny and uplifting book.

2. The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins-
The Hunger Games contains many truly amazing lessons about the way we live out lives, and I hope people don't forget them because to forget what can come from Power in the wrong hands would be a terrible, terrible thing.

3. The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling-
I don't know what I can say about The Harry Potter books and why I don't want people to forget them other than this-
Harry Potter is a boy who grew up in awful circumstances and he rose above them and into an even more incredible young man; he and his friends are a symbol to a way of life. And no one should ever let themselves, or anyone else, forget Luna Lovegood.

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak-
Is definitely one of my favourit books- it's an astonishing novel that is both heartbreaking and amusing- it is a very powerful book and is the only one I've read in which death is really placed in a position of... kindness? The way he is painted is one which I like very much and vow now, before you all, to never forget.

5. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith-
From the amazing, captivating storyline to the heroine, Cassandra, this novel is superb; it puts desire and love in hopeless and passionate perspective, the perspective of someone who watches the person she desperately loves fall for another.

6. Howls Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones-
Just a few words- Sophie, Calcifer, a Moving Castle and Howl. Howl is a big part of why this book must never go out of print. Once you know him I'm certain you'll agree.

7. The Giver by Lois Lowry-
A beautiful novel about a twisted future where the most important things have become redundant, have been taken from the lives of everybody but The Giver. Heartwrenching and stunning in every word.

8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee-
Many things ought not be forgotten and the plight of Atticus Finch, possibly the best fictional father ever, is one of those things. And oh, is it high up on that list.

9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen-
Do you think it would ever be wise to forget the great, and very honest, love that comes about in this book. Also it would be a very great pain for any person to not know of Fitzwiliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, because they are extraordinary and oughtn't ever be forgotten.

10. Horseradish: Bitter Truths you Can't Avoid by Lemony Snicket-
Any truth for any situation can be found in this book, and most of them will brighten the readers day. The world would be a scary place without this book.

(Also- 11. Sunshine by Norma Klein-
One of the most beautiful and awfully sad stories I have ever read, made all the fiercer by the fact that it is a true story;

 and 12. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green-
An astonishing, beautiful, quote worthy sucker punch of a book about a very wonderful/crazily amazing girl and an extremely and almightily legend of a boy, besides other things.)