Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Cloud Road by Isobelle Carmody.

Title- The Cloud Road (Kingdom of the Lost #2)
Author- Isobelle Carmody.
Publish date- April 2013.
Publisher- Penguin-Viking.


*Spoilers are probably abundant for those who haven't read the first book.*


What I thought:
It had been a couple of years since I read the first book in the Kingdom of the Lost series, and opening The Cloud Road I was a little worried that I'd forgotten small, but important, details, only to be relieved when I realised that throughout the first few chapters were reminders and links back to things that had happened, and it helped me remember without having to start over. I was, as I say, relieved by this, but I'm also always a little annoyed when it happens, particularly when it is a series I've been reading all at once- it's okay if there is just something at the beginning, but if the old facts are gone over and over again, it gets tiring.

So, noting that, I was perplexed when I found that the thrilling conclusion to the first book didn't pass over- that the excitement was gone in the wake of the long trck to be taken and the characters, the plot, seemed flat. Sure, there was excitement- just when it felt like staleness was oncoming there was a surprise that bought the pacing back up, and yet the two things that frustrated me the most were that the pace wasn't consistant before or after these surprises, and the surprise itself was left completely unexplained.

I've read the Little Fur series by Carmody and know that when you're reading from the perspective of a character that's unaccustomed to the things we take as every day objects, or in this case when they're in a different world altogether, things are left ambiguous and unexplained- are left for the reader to guess/understand themselves. I just hope things will become clearer in the final novel, because I'm not acquainted with the world or the life in this series- I'm as perplexed as Bily and Zluty, but while they're interested in the things they don't understand, they are mainly unconcerned and I am the opposite.

Review: Poor.
I was left feeling disappointed; the overwhelming thought was that it felt very much like a filler novel, leaving the most exciting things to come up in the final book, and too much has been, over these two books, left unexplained for my liking.
It is, however, one of the most beautifully bound series' that I know of.

Thank you to Penguin for this review copy!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Second Camp NaNo + Inspiration.

*Oh my Romi is writing about herself again.*

So as a few of you may know, I write, and I am currently participating in my second Camp NaNo for 2013 (my first being back in April) and it has been a whirlwind. For any of you who don't know, this is what Camp NaNo is about-

You spend 30 days writing a novel- in camp NaNo (NaNo short for NaNoWrimo, or National Novel Writing Month, which takes place in November) you can set a word count goal and have the option of being assigned a cabin. There are two camps each year, in addition to younger writer workshops, Script Frenzy and NaNo itself. It's a blast.

This NaNo hasn't been quite so smooth as my first, but I think I'm enjoying it even more- I started the month writing a story I'd had in m head for a couple of weeks and I was very sure of where it was going, until, after maybe a week and a half, I had a new idea. This new idea would not leave me alone and I ended up putting my first piece on hold so I could get it out- I'm extremely passionate about both stories, and both are polar opposites, but the new one was something I could not ignore and so... I didn't.

Another great thing about this Camp are my cabin mates- the first time I chose to have myself randomly assigned to a cabin, and none of my roomies were all that interested in making conversation, which can make the whole thing so much more interesting, but this time I chose to have my roomies assigned by certain by certain things (similar word count, age, ect.) and have at least one other writer who is as passionate as I am, and she's really nice.

I thought I'd share a couple of things that inspire me with this piece, so I hope you enjoy and I'll get back to writing.

The Veronica and Logan style of passionate hate is something I really... like? about their relationship. My characters have a similar kind of dislike which is twisted and confusing, mostly to them. Minus the making out.

Women with guns who aren't supposed to look sexy (and you have no idea how hard it is to find anything on google that fits those terms)- also The Black Widow.

Something about the starry night sky really inspires me, right now.

Something I've noticed with this piece is that I write about things I don't really like- guns, blood, knives, detailed decapitation of eyes- which half surprises me and half doesn't. Also, one of those things is a lie. It's not the eye.

Maybe next week I'll share a few songs that are inspiring this piece- as always, have a lovely day!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blood of Wolves by Sulari Gentill.

Title- Blood of Wolves (Hero Trilogy #3)
Author- Sulari Gentill.
Publish date- March 2013.
Publisher- Pantera Press.


*Spoilers are probably abundant for those who haven't read the first two books.*
Review of book #2. (Somehow I have never reviewed the first book- check it out on Goodreads HERE.)


What I thought:
It was admittedly strange, opening this, the final book in a series I've followed since pre-publication of the first book, since before I started blogging, and it had a definite "this is the end" feel to it throughout; it was, at times, a trip down nostalgia lane- revisiting characters from the two previous books and seeing where and how they're getting along without constant surveillance by me, the reader.

The two things that I didn't like so much were how wrapped up the main, and some secondary characters stories were, for the most part- it felt too neat and, after so many disasters, a little improbable that they could be offered that branch of calm at long last, though it was well deserved. The other thing was Hero's, the character I feel the closest to, absolute infatuation with a character calle Aneas- he is untrustworthy and willing to go far for his benefit, willing to overlook the help he recieved in the past and to take all the credit- I felt she, with her clear head, would see right through him, as her brothers did, but wih every deed she only grew more dedicated in her love and utter admiration.

So while the adventure that this slightly larger group of Herders went on was just as exciting and unpredictable as ever, it had an almost constant feel of finality to it, though when it came to the end I didn't feel it. The end itseld was one of the few places that I didn't feel as if it was truly the end.

Rating: Ooh, very good.
I find that each time I've gone into one of the books after the first, I've been concerned that it won't have the same appeal to me as previously, and I am always proved wrong. The adventure, previously a single, reliable one, twisted itself around a lot more in this book, which made it a little more diccifult to find sturdy ground. At some times I felt the knowledge that it was the last book altered what otherwise would have happened, but the adventure and the characters were as I remembered them and I am so grateful to have read this series, which has in return given me so much. I will definitely be going back one day.

Thank you Pantera Press for this review copy!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mini Reviews (5)

Mini Reviews.

Boy Meets Boy - David Levithan.
It's strange to think back to how I fell into reading this- I had tried reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson, (co-written by Levithan and John Green) and found that I didn't like it, and I had also tried to read The Lovers Dictionary, which I have read wonderful reviews for, and nor did I like that; I was concerned that I wouldn't like any of Levithan's work and I really wanted to because I knew it was supposed to be amazing and I... and quotes. Lots of beautiful quotes. Then I picked up this from the library and it sat in my tbr pile for a week or two and then I started reading, to see if I liked it- I wasn't even supposed to properly be reading it and then I found myself twenty pages into the 220 page book and just continued.
It's such a unique story, full of hope and stupid mistakes and people not saying what they really want to say, and there is such beauty in the writing; I didn't really connect or like any of the characters themselves, but I didn't find that important; the plot never was one I was fully in love with and that didn't matter, either. This sounds ludicrous, but none of that mattered a bit. Because the writing, the sense of HOPE (it's the word I'm now going to use to describe the book from now on) and the idea of it all was so brilliant that I fell in love anyway. And bought my own copy. BOOM.
Rating: Excellent/Big expolsion MIND BLOWN.
The writing is beautiful and the ideas that are shared, the thoughts that go through the characters minds and come out of their mouths are simple and incredible and it's just really worth reading and relishing. Also hope. Hope for more things than I can list.

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares - David Levithan and Sarah Cohn.
It's a sweet story, this of Dash and Lily; full of amusement and awkwardness and moments that I want to experience myself and more moments that I don't want to come near with a ten foot stick. It's full of mistakes and humor and, something I think might be a theme in Levithan's writing (I haven't read anything else by Rachel Cohn) HOPE. I thought Lily was a pretty neat character and I can imagine being friends with her, but I think I might be able to imagine myself being friends with Dash more easily. Oh, the things the three of us could do.
I definitely didn't think it was incredible or life changing, a story that had to be told desperately, but I found it enjoyable and it started to bring my out of a reading slump that I'd been in for a while, and it's really fun.
Rating: Ooh, very good.
It's simple in the unexpected way that I saw basically nothing coming, it's surprising at all times and confusing, because the characters hardly ever take the straight and simple route to get where they need to be, and perhaps that it the best thing of all. They work very hard and have to figure things out, see if what they're heading towards is really what they're searching for.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Books for when you're... (9)

Each fortnight I will showcase 1-2 books that I think would be fantastic reading if you're going through a  certian emotion/stage in your life.

Books for when you feel like a little clothing inspiration.
There are so few books, I have found, that really give detail on the characters clothing- a standout title that I haven't chosen here is The Hunger Games, but it's not usually described in the most positive of senses because of the Capitol-ness of it- and I love really being able to see what the people I read about are wearing, so here are three of my favourites, detail wise.

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

Why I chose this book:
The little prince is both described and pictured (alright, the descriptions aren't all that amazing, but the pictures cancel it out) and I get a strong feeling that Howl from his Moving Castle would wear the same clothes as the prince. Inspiration wise this one is excellent.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan.

Why I chose this book:
Well you know there's this character and her name is, ah, Kami.
How many times has Kami been in this feature, in a row, now? Oh well, she'll no doubt appear later, too, because she's just THAT fantastic. The detail of both Kami's outfits and her friends is really vivid (Alexandra did this awesome post about them) and I really connect with Kami's style in particular. She is probably my fashion icon.
No, she is definitely my fashion icon.
I seem to recall literal kitten heels- literal kitten heels, I am coming for you.

Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil.

Why I chose this book:
Camila has a very vivid style and I love how it's represented on the cover. She is awesome in that she doesn't care what anyone else thinks of the things she wears- as long as she's comfortable and happy, wearing something she really likes, well then nothing else matters. She wears seventies dresses, old band t-shirts, cowboy books and is generally very well described.

Stay tuned for some more bookish suggestions for the good times, and the bad.
So far I've covered-

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (6) Top Ten Film Adaptations.

Top ten tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish where the people of the blogverse do some spotlighting in groups of ten, ocassionally (*ahem* often *ahem*) pushing the rules to the limits. In the best ways.

1. The Princess Bride.
Just preapre yourself for the film of your life.

2. Howls Moving Castle.
One of my all time favourite movies, I fell in love with all the characters upon watching and then all over again upon reading.

3. Pride and Prejudice.
My favourite adaptation of P&P- I love the actors, the costume... it's near perfect.

4. I capture the Castle.
I Capture the Castle gives me such a wonderful feeling of nostalgia- I need to rewatch.

5. Arrietty.
Arrietty, based on The Borrowers, is a really interesting adaptation- it doesn't follow the storyline all that closely, but I found it didn't matter. It is visually and musically stunning, and I just loved it.

6. Jane Eyre.
This is the only full adaptation of Jane Eyre I've ever seen- I'm currently reading the book and appreciate this all the more because I did not hate Rochester in the film, and he is an assy twit in the book.

7. The Hunger Games.
I was so impressed by this adaptation- it's a difficult book to bring to the screen but I felt it was done just about as well as it could have been, and think the actors fitted their roles very well.

8. Little Women.
I certainly like Laurie a lot more in the film. I think that's all I need to say- he makes me swoon every time.

9. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
I like this a lot more than the book, which I do really like- the film just hits me harder and was the first (currently in about five) films that made me cry. It was only a little.

10. The ABC murders.
Both this and the book had me on tenterhooks and I really liked how the suspense from the book crossed over to the movie length episode.