Friday, 30 September 2011

Books And Their Theme Songs (Volume 8)

Wow! The end of September already?! Where has all the time gone?!

So, am going to stick to my plan of doing "Books And Their Theme Songs" every 2 months or so, here is another edition! (If you want to catch up with the past blogposts of "Books And Their Theme Songs", click here to see/hear all the musicness!)

DRAGON'S OATH by PC & Kristen Cast
"Never Again" & "One Minute" by Kelly Clarkson

FOREVER by Maggie Stiefvater
"Called Out In The Dark" by Snow Patrol

WOLFSBANE by Andrea Cremer
"Animal" & "Human" by Ellie Goulding

FLASH AND BONE by Kathy Reichs
"Fear And Loathing" by Marina and the Diamonds

(There was two song choices with this book, but the second video was removed and I can't find my notes! SORRY!)

THE IRON KING by Julie Kagawa (Guest Review for Floor To Ceiling Books)
"Pocketful of Sunshine" by Natasha Bedingfield & "Full Moon" by The Black Ghosts

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins
"A Night Like This" & "That Man" by Caro Emerald

THE NAME OF THE STAR by Maureen Johnson
"All I Ask Of You" from Phathom Of The Opera & "Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri

"Freedom" by Sugababes & "This Is Not The End" by Clare Maguire

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Meet The Blogger - Writing From The Tub

Welcome to this, the Maybe-Penultimate Meet The Blogger. Yes, we're on the home straight! This week's blogger is Carly from Writing From The Tub. Check out her blog at


When did you start blogging?
Hello lovely! Thank you for having me. Well, technically I started my blog in 2009 but if you look back through my blog posts you’ll see that era of blogging was woefully short lived – as in, two posts! I started blogging regularly in January 2010 and have been pretty regular since then.

What made you start blogging?
Originally I started Writing from the Tub to focus on just that – my writing. However, as I mentioned before I was terrible at that so stopped after two posts. Around that time (June 2009) I started reviewing for The Bookbag, Chicklish and Curled Up with a Good Book. I’d been reviewing for six months or so when I discovered book blogs, a whole world was opened up to me! I know Chicklish was a blog but it was so huge and awesome I never imagined I could actually run my own. Anyway, I decided to give it a bash and here I am!

What was the first book you reviewed for your blog and what was your reaction to it?
Well technically it was The Declaration by Gemma Malley but that was a review I originally wrote for Chicklish so it doesn’t really count. The first review that I wrote for my blog was for Blue Light by Gary Paulsen. I LOVE that book, it’s one of my all time favourites.

The first book I ever got sent by a publisher that I reviewed on my blog was Friction by Joe Stretch. I liked it because there was BOOB on the front cover and a slutty character called Carly.

When was the first time you realised you were a Book Blogger?
I guess that would be when I attended my first blogger meet up in London, in April 2010 (was it April? Maybe May…) I was so nervous, I dragged my boyfriend with me in case I got lost or everybody stood me up. I ended up having an awesome day and I think that’s when I really felt like I was part of a community. One of my favourite parts about blogging is still getting to meet up with other bloggers as often as possible. They are all so lovely and diverse and we always have a ridiculous amount to talk about!

How much of your time a week do you spend blogging?
I’m a bit of a binge blogger really. I’ll take one weekend a month and blog non-stop for forty eight hours – I can normally get about 15 or so reviews written in that time and I schedule up any blog tour posts etc that I have coming up for the next month. Once my binge is out of the way I probably spend about an hour a day keeping things up to date and reading other blogs.

Has your taste in book genres changed since starting the blog?
Yes! I now hate vampires (for the most part). And mermaids. And werewolves. And pretty much anything paranormal, unless it’s written by Alyxandra Harvey. I have realised that I do definitely love contemporary the most. I fell in love with dystopia but have now fallen slightly out of love with it due to being sent far more dystopia books than I will ever be able to read.

What book are you reading at the moment?
At the moment I’m reading Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness and am utterly obsessed.

What book has got you very excited or made you cry?
Most books make me cry. I’m not even exaggerating. Anything by Patrick Ness generally takes control of my soul and turns me into a weeping wreck.

Have you read any book that you disliked so much you threw it across the room?
Unfortunately, yes. Scarred by Julia Hoban (Willow, in the US). That book actually makes me angry. I try not to talk about it.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to take part or what to set up a book blog?
Well I would say welcome to the world of blogging! First things first – don’t get stressed out about ARCs and review copies and events and followers. None of those things are the be all and end all of blogging and, honestly, if you think they are then blogging probably isn’t for you.

When you’re starting out it’s important to establish your blogging voice to set yourself apart from the pack. Read everything you can and use your library – it is your best friend.

Get a Twitter account but don’t become obsessed with it – if you want to be a blogger then spend time on your blog, not Twitter. Twitter is all well and good but I see so many people who sit on Twitter all day talking about how much they love blogging. Go and blog then, people!

Introduce yourself and don’t be shy – there are so many bloggers out there now that it’s impossible to keep up with them all. The lovely Amy and Turn the Page sent me an email when she first started blogging and now I’ll always go out of my way to visit her site because she was so lovely and friendly.

Now, to ask five fun quick-fire questions. What song are you listening to right now?
Young Blood by The Naked and Famous. It makes me want to jump in a lake and be all tanned and take hipster photos to put on Tumblr. I won’t though, because that would make me a massive douche.

MySpace, Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook for photos, stalking people I no longer talk to and keeping in touch with old friends. Twitter for stalking celebrities and getting pissed off with people for bitching about not getting enough review copies. Die.

Hardback, paperbacks or eBooks?
Good old paperbacks. American paperbacks, though, as they’re all floppy and the spine doesn’t crease. I love my Kindle for being on the go but it won’t ever replace books – anyone see Stephen Fry’s Tweet about Kindles vs. paperbacks? Actually, Andy (Andy: Did I? *goes and checks) I think it was you who retweeted it… Hardbacks look pretty on my shelf.

Letters, phone, texting or emailing?
Probably texting. Texts brighten up my day. Emails send me into a panic as my inbox is always too full. I do love a good phone chat but too many people call me for a ‘catch up’ when I’m just about to sit down for an uninterrupted afternoon of writing. Or watching Gossip Girl. Note: Don’t ever leave me a voice mail. I will never, ever listen to it.

Zombies or unicorns?
Unicorns FTW! Always!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

GoodRead - Daughter Of Smoke And Bone

This book has quite a bit of hyper round it. And the UK publisher, Hodder & Stoughton, have revealed five - that's right, FIVE! - teaser trailers for this book (all at the bottom of this review) in the run-up to the book's general release (tomorrow!). And, according to my sources, Hodder will also be releasing a special hardback limited edition of this book!

So, Hodder love this book and they want us to love it. But will Daughter of Smoke and Bone live up to the hyper?

Karou has lived two lives for seventeen years. In Prague, she is an art student with dyed blue hair. But she's, also, an errand-girl to Brimstone, a chimaera. A Wishmonger who collects teeth. Oh, and her hair actually grows out blue.

But something is happening around Karou. The mysteries that surround Karou and the chimaeras she class as her family are about the lay bare and it looks like it's beyond anything she could possibly imagine...

It is insane. That is the only thing I can say about this book. IT'S INSANE (but in a good way)! It feels like a fantasy book on drugs at the very start of the book so when I started reading the book, I always felt like I was backtrack to get my head round the names and over which chimaera was which. But because the story was so strange and imaginative, I got sweep along with the story.

But, there were one or two things that bothered me. The main thing was the back story. Most of the way through the story, there were hints and seeing as this is the first book in a trilogy, I thought things won't be explained till book 3. But the back story was explained at the end of the book and, because of that, I had the feeling it slowed the book down. I still read it, but I could have easily put the book down and left it for a while before return.

But when you start the book with the lines "Once upon a time, an angel and a demon fell in love. It didn't end well", your kinda hooked to know what happens! That was the thing that kept me going. And I know there's more to come as it's a trilogy...

I think this book falls victim to its own hype. Which is sad, as this is a very imaginative read. I can see why people are saying "It's like His Dark Materials meets Pan's Labyrinth meets Twilight". All I can say is if you like your fantasy books on drugs, this book will be perfect for you! And I will wait patiently for the sequel...


And now, for the five trailers of this book and my song choices! ENJOY! (Sorry for the amount of videos. But I do think you need to see them)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

GoodRead - The Name Of The Star

I love Maureen Johnson on Twitter. I feel I have to say that. I have no idea how I started following Maureen on Twitter but her tweets always make me smile and laugh. So, when I found out that HarperCollins UK was going to publish The Name of The Star, the first book in a trilogy called Shades of London (just discovered this is a trilogy!) and, after begging and basically kicking up a huge fuss that other bloggers got their hands on this and I hadn't (basically, I wanted to read a Maureen Johnson book [my First, FYI!] and I was not going to wait!), but the lovely Tiffany from HarperCollins saw my begging and offered to send me a copy.

The Name of the Star is about Rory, an American teen who moves from Louisiana to a London boarding school (this is because her parents - two professors - are going to get settled in a Bristol university), only for a Jack The Ripper copycat-killer to start killing. "Rippermania" takes over the city as the people of London know the dates, places and times of the murders. And the Police has no leads, no witnesses... expect Rory saw someone that no-one else can see.

If the ghost of Jack the Ripper doing these murders? And how will he be stopped?

Now, this is my first Maureen Johnson book but I really liked it. Am quite close to loving it, actually. It was dark and twisted thriller, which took me into the midnight hour and then, scaring me a little so when I stopped and went to bed, it was kinda creepy when I had to rush for the bathroom. So, don't read this late in the night.

The only thing that bothered me was the first few chapters. After a chilling prologue and we are first Rory, the first few chapters just seem a bit slow. But after chapter 8 or 9, things really go up a gear and get quite creepy! So, with the first few chapters, STICK WITH IT! It explains everything when you get to the end and it's one of those "Oooh!" moments!

Now, this is a trilogy and I am quite pleased that there's more! I hope the next Shades of London is just as dark and creepy as Name of the Star! MORE, PLEASE!

Now, here's the book trailer, Maureen to explain the book more and some random songs that I listened to while reading...

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Meet The Blogger - Mountains Of Instead

Hello again to this Thursday's instalment of Meet The Blogger. This week's blogger is Sya from The Mountains of Instead. Please check out her blog at


When did you start blogging?
I started in April of last year, which seems like a very long time ago now!

What made you start blogging?
At the time I’d started reading a bit of young adult and went online searching for recommendations as I didn’t know all that much about the genre. I discovered this whole online world of book bloggers and YA that I had had no idea even existed. I spent a long time lurking on various book blogs and the more I read reviews the more I wanted to share my views and review myself. Also, I live in a fairly small village with a small child, which doesn’t lend itself to much of a social life – blogging seemed like (and has proved to be) a link to an online community that I could relate to and become a part of.

What was the first book that you reviewed on your blog and what was your reaction to it?
It was Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I’d actually read it previously but it had a much greater effect on me second time round (something I often find with books). It was also a title that I knew I would be able to talk about and that I wanted to share my thoughts on. Although it looks a little rusty to me now that I have honed my reviewing style I’m still very proud of that review.

When was the first time you realised you were a book blogger?
I knew straight away. I styled my blog so that it focussed completely on books – I wouldn’t know how to blog any other way!

How much of your time a week do you spend blogging?
It depends on what’s happening. Recently I’ve spent lamentably little time either blogging or reviewing, mainly due to an inexplicable reading slump that I’m finally starting to come out of (woo hoo!) but in the past I’ve spent as long as an hour per night. It also depends on how busy/stressed I am in my day to day life – sometimes I just want to slob in front of the TV, or catch up on some sleep so the blog suffers on those days!

Has your taste in genres changed since you started blogging?
Yes, probably a little. When I started I was reading a lot of paranormal stuff but I now find that I really love contemporary YA – a genre that really didn’t interest me before. I’m also loving the current dystopian trend and amazingly find that I’ve been reading a bit of historical fiction, a genre I previously despised. What this really goes to show is that communicating with other bloggers and reading other book blogs can open your eyes to books that you would never previously have lifted of the shelf – it’s one of my favourite things about the whole process.

What book are you reading at the moment?
I’m currently reading three books, which is highly unusual. It’s an attempt to get out of my reading slump. They are Die For Me by Karen Rose (because crime fiction is my guilty pleasure), Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma (an extraordinary book that you must all invest in ASAP) and The Burial at Thebes by Seamus Heaney (for my university course).

What book has got you very excited or made you cry?
For anyone who reads my blog, this will not come as a huge surprise, but The Knife of Never Letting Go did both. In fact, the entire Chaos Walking trilogy did both several times. What can I say? Patrick Ness is a cruel genius and you should all pick up one of his books and revel in some extraordinary writing.

Have you read any book you disliked so much you threw it across the room?
Yep. Marked by PC and Kristen Cast. I thought it was bitchy, sanctimonious and has some really dubious messages. It's the only YA book that I've read (and I've read a LOT) that I wouldn't particularly want my daughter to pick up in her teens (not that I'd stop her, of course). Apart from all of the above I also just thought it was pretty poorly written with the teen dialogue being excrutiating. I reached a point where the protagonist muses on her make-the-world-a-better-place-by-not-procreating-with-losers ethos and did, literally, throw the book across the room.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to take part or set up a book blog?
If you want to take part then just do it! Comment on blogs you like, get yourself a Twitter account and chat to other book lovers and read like you've never read before! If you want to blog then do some research. Look at blogs you like and think about why you like them and put thought into what kind of style and tone you'd like for your own. How much time can you spend on it? Do you want to write only review posts or include some variety? How often do you want to post? These are all good things to think about before you start. I also approached a few seasoned bloggers for advice on how to get going – Carla from The Crooked Shelf was particularly helpful and gave me the confidence to just go for it, which is exactly what you should do too!

What song are you listening to right now?
The Bike Song by Mark Ronson and The Business International. It's making me smile.

MySpace, Facebook or Twitter?
Well, not My Space – so 2007, dahling... Probably Facebook, as that's where I stay in touch with my friends, although I do go through phases of Twitter-love.

Hardbacks, paperbacks or ebooks?
Paperbacks, every time. They just make life easier. Occasionally you get a really beautiful hardback (see A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness) but in general paperbacks are just friendlier books. I do have a Kindle and I find it incredibly useful and easy to use but it's a poor substitute for a much loved, often read paperback title.

Letters, phone, texting or emailing?
Texting – I love it! My significant others wouldn't agree, but pish posh – it's just so convenient. I used to be a huge letter writer before the advent of email and I do miss that but one must move with the times, mustn't one?...

Zombies or Unicorns?
Zombies! And anyone who says otherwise clearly has the soul of a three year old girl (and I know what I'm talking about there). Zombies forever!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

GoodRead - Anna And The French Kiss

While I was on holiday in Portugal, I took quite a few books (3 books and a Kindle). After I read The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, I asked the Person I'm With what I should read next: The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson, The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and a few that were on my Kindle and, when I said this, he and I agree that we should read this as this book was recommended via Twitter and because it would a random yet fun read.

And I read this in over a day. So, I have no idea if I read this or speed-skimmed it. *shrugs* Oh well…!

Anna has been forced (against her will - blame her dad) to spend a year in Paris and study at a American board school in Paris. But when she's there, she finds herself lusting after Etienne St. Clair. Which is fine. Expect he's dating someone and Anna might be seeing someone who's back in the USA. But will she find love in Paris?

Now, after chatting to a few twitter pals who describe this book like a mug of hot chocolate, I can totally see it. The read is a fast, sugary read. It's mind-candy. You read it, you turn into a junkie while reading it and then, once you've read it, you would go into sugar withdrawals.

There is one or two things that bothered me (one or two things I saw coming a mile off and Anna, for the first few characters, sounded really spoiled until I realised that she was angry with her dad [for sending her halfway round the world in the middle of a country where she can't speak the language!] and, because of that, I liked her as she was flawed!), but I like reading this highly sugary, highly addictive romantic story. Will wait and see what will happen in this author's next novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door. But because of the high sugar level (this book, like the Twilight Saga, should have a health warning!), I need to recover and read something dark now…

PS - Anna in the book has a bleached streak through her hair and yet, Anna on the cover doesn't. How odd.

PPS - I saw this picture and got very excited. This is the Star at Point Zero and it features in the book several times. It's kinda important, and I say nothing more than that...!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Cover Reveal - Insurgent

Yesterday, EW revealed the cover for for Insuregent, the sequel to Veronica Roth's Divergent! Now, I love the cover to Divergent so am very excited about this and here is the cover...

AREN'T IT BRILLIANT?! And, for those wondering the tree logo is, as Veronica Roth said on her blog, is the symbol for Amity. And it's just as awesome as of the firey symbol on Divergent.

But what do you guys think???

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Meet The Blogger - The Overflowing Library

Welcome again to another exciting episode of Meet The Blogger! This week, we are chatting to Kirsty from The Overflowing Library! Check out her blog at! Now, enjoy...!


When did you start blogging?
June 2010

What made you start blogging?
I discovered last year and started to use it to swap books that I no longer wanted. In one of the books I swapped I got a card inside with a link to a book blog which I went and looked at and then decided to start my own.

What was the first book you reviewed for your blog and what was your reaction to it?
I received a self published book as my first review book called Dear Dylan by Siobhan Curham. I was so excited about it as I never thought I'd get books for review (and didn't realise you even could get books as a book blogger).

When was the first time you realised you were a Book Blogger?
When I went down to London for a blogger event at Random House Children's Books with a whole bunch of other bloggers. It was about that time that I started to get a steady stream of books for review through which was really exciting.

How much of your time a week do you spend blogging?
I dread to think. I can read up to 7 books in a week (although that it on a good week). I use goodreads to keep on top of what I am reading and review a book as soon as I can after I finish it. I then schedule my reviews in advance. Getting my blog sorted isn't what takes up my time (maybe a few hours a week). Twittering with my lovely blogging friends is the thing that takes up the time! I love it though.

Has your taste in book genres changed since starting the blog?
Not as such. I have always loved reading YA books. The only change is that I don't really read adult books any more although I didn't read that many anyway. The only way I could say my reading habits has changed it that I read a lot more widely as I tend to read whatever is sent to me for review and they might not be books I would have necessarily picked up otherwise.

What book are you reading at the moment?
What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen, which is one I received for review last week.

What book has got you very excited or made you cry?
I have been so excited about loads of books I have received (especially when I get packages from Atom) that i would be here for ages listed them. The book that got to be the most was Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Have you read any book that you disliked so much you threw it across the room?
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Really didn't like that one.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to take part or what to set up a book blog?
Don't expect publishers to send you books instantly. It takes a long time to build up your blog and your contacts before you start getting review copies. Read and review the books you want to review and not what you think you ought to be reviewing.

Now, to ask five fun quick-fire questions. What song are you listening to right now?
Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" whilst I'm driving about...

MySpace, Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter (purely because all my gorgeous book blogger friends are on there)

Hardback, paperbacks or eBooks?
Hardbacks. I love a gorgeous hardback book.

Letters, phone, texting or emailing?
Emailing - my phone signal is shocking!

Zombies or unicorns?
unicorns I suppose. Both are a bit freaky!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Breaking Dawn: Part One Trailer

Last night, the trailer of Breaking Dawn Part One was revealed. And here it is!

Now, I've only just watched it now and my reaction is surprising. I don't know much about this director - Bill Condon - but it looks like he's going to try and make the first half of Breaking Dawn more action than romantic (and that's there by the buckle-load!). And it seems to me that all the Cullens have changed their hair (this is a running joke. Watch Jasper's hair through all four of the films and you'll see what I mean).

But, yeah, am surprised and quite pleased with this trailer. But what do you guys think?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

GoodRead - Freaks

As some of you guys know, I quite like Tess Gerritsen and am quite excited about the TV show inspired by the characters, Rizzoli And Isles (which will be shown in the UK on Alibi tonight!). The show is huge on its US channel, TNT, that a third season has been commissioned. And so, when Tess's US publisher wondered if she would write an short story on the TV show's US website, as an experiment. A way, really, to introduce the fans of the TV show to Tess's books and, in America, to give some extra titbits.

In the UK, you just the story, some information about the book series and a small advert for the TV series on Alibi (expect they got the date wrong. It's Tuesday 13th September, not Wednesday 13th September). And it's a FREE short story!

In Freaks, Boston homicide cop Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles investigate the death of Kimberly Rayner. Her body was discovered in an abandon church, next to a open coffin. She looks like she's been strangled, but what's weird is that the young man who ran away from the scene says that he and Kimberly were vampires. But did this guy kill Kimberly? And what about Kimberly's father who suddenly burst onto the scene...?

Now, I must stress something. This is a FREE SHORT STORY! I feel I have to stress this as Tess has written a blog about the reactions to this (here it is) and some of them were quite negative.

But I like it. It was fast and somehow mixed both the books with the TV show (for those wondering, this story takes place between The Killing Place [aka Ice Cold in the USA] and The Silent Girl), but this is a fast read. It would have fitted perfectly into the Quick Reads range, as I read this very quickly - less than half an hour. And the flow of the writing kept you reading.

I know Tess said she won't write another short story, but if she did, I would be very pleased!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Get Up, Smile & Dance!

It's FRIDAY! IT'S THE WEEKEND! ... and I fancy giving you something to smile about as we welcome the weekend in! ENJOY!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Meet The Blogger - Serendipity Reviews

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome back to another instalment of Meet The Blogger! This week, we are chatting to Vivienne from Serendipity Reviews. Please, check out her blog at! Now, onto the questions...!


When did you start blogging?
On January 1st 2009. Wow! That seems so long ago!

What made you start blogging?
I wanted to blog after reading The Sunday Salon posts every week. I loved reading what everyone had read that week and found myself desperate to join in. Then I discovered reading challenges which I found very appealing. So before I knew it I had made myself a blog. I used to have a craft blog too which was called The Adventures of Scrap Girl, however as I spent more time reading, Serendipity took over and Scrap Girl was thrown on the Scrap Heap!

What was the first book you reviewed for your blog and what was your reaction to it?
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. You can read it here. I really loved that book, but I still haven't read the rest of the series. When I look back and read my first ever posts, I find I cringe with embarrassment as they are not very good. I have learnt a lot over the last couple of years.

When was the first time you realised you were a Book Blogger?
When my blog seemed to be completely filled with book information and reviews rather than anything else. For about a year and a half I still added lots of personal posts and craft pictures. As I began to read more and more, I found that books completely took over my blog.

How much of your time a week do you spend blogging?
Too much! I like to write all my posts for the week up in one day, so I usually do that on a Monday. However, I must spend a couple of hours a day at least, reading the blogs on my Google Reader and updating and answering comments on my own blog. It is time consuming, but I cannot imagine life without it.

Has your taste in book genres changed since starting the blog?
I have quite an eclectic taste, so my reading normally follows my mood. I used to read more literary fiction when I began, but I have always had a soft spot for Young Adult fiction which has grown over the last couple of years. I love anything paranormal or supernatural. Though I cannot get on with zombies!

What book are you reading at the moment?
Forgotten by Cat Patrick and The Worry Tree by Marianne Musgrove

What book has got you very excited or made you cry?
Tiger's Curse!!! Don't get me started on that series. I can't wait to read the next book. I get excited quite easily about up and coming books and spend far too much time squealing about them on Twitter.

Have you read any book that you disliked so much you threw it across the room?
Sadly, yes! Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson - I hated that book with a vengence. I could not understand how anyone could love it as it seemed so degrading to men. I also didn't love Wuthering Heights which I read during a readalong. I couldn't wait to finish that one.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to take part or what to set up a book blog?
Get on Twitter. Get to know the other book bloggers who will always be happy to help. We are a lovely bunch of people and we are very supportive to each other.

Now, to ask five fun quick-fire questions. What song are you listening to right now?
Carousel by Vanessa Carlton

MySpace, Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter, sigh! The bane of my life but I couldn't live without it.

Hardback, paperbacks or eBooks?
Paperbacks - easier to hold.

Letters, phone, texting or emailing?
Emailing - does that make me old fashioned?

Zombies or unicorns?
As previously mentioned, I DON'T DO ZOMBIES! So I would have to say unicorns!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

GoodRead - Neverwhere

As you guys know, I have read some Neil Gaiman. Well, I say some. I read and audiobooked Coraline, audiobooked the Graveyard Book (am planning to relisten to that soon) and I watched the film he wrote, Mirrormask. I even watched and quite liked the movie, Stardust, based on his novel of the same name. But I have never read any of his "adult" books.

They sound cool and look lovely (I love the cover to Stardust and I think the cover to Anansi Boys is kinda neat [who says "neat" nowadays? Am showing my age, me thinks]). But just never got round to reading them for several reasons. One is time. The second is that they look SCARY! As in scarily thick with SUPER tiny writing, not scary as jumping off the bookshelf and tries to eat your face off!

So, when my brother-in-law's sister Carla (here's her blog, FYI) lent me her copy of Neverwhere, I thought I should read it. And quickly. She is a family member and is just as passionate about books as I am. And we have quite similar tastes in books.

Anyway, Neverwhere. Neverwhere follows Richard who learns that no good deed goes unpunished. He and his fiancée come across a girl that is bleeding. Richard goes to help and that's when things get weird. The next day, it's as if he's turned invisible. No, not invisible. As if he has been completely wiped out of history. His flat is being let out while he's still there. His fiancée can't remember who is he, nor do the people at his work. And it seems to be all the fault of the girl he saved, Door. As he tries to get his life back, he discovers that there's another London - London Below - right under the city he calls home. But with assassins after Door, Richard hopes he can survive long enough to figure out how to get his life back…

Before I go any further, when I told people on Twitter that I was reading this, I accidently set up an debate on whether the book or the series (made for the BBC in the mid-1990s) was better. I didn't even know it was a TV series, let alone figure out which is better! So, please don’t ask me! I might try and investigate, but don't hold out much hope on that front… (Just checked Amazon. There's a copy of the DVD for less than a £5. Might have to investigate this further…)

Now, I have no idea how to write this as my head is spinning! Neverwhere has the feel of London. On Acid. That's right. It was very warped. It was almost like a modern day (yet completely bizarre) version of Alice in Wonderland but the world of London Below knows the existance of London Above (aka our London). But while I say that, there's something quite fairy-tale-like about it.

I quite liked it. I didn't love it and I'm not 100% certain why. There was something off-centre about it. Maybe it was Richard, though I liked him. Actually, thinking about it, I quite liked all the characters, goodie and baddie. There was something wonderful yet perfectly normal about them. I know that makes no sense, so let me explain. All the characters (expect Richard) belong to the London Below or Neverwhere so they live in a world where the normal isn't normal. And yet, they seem perfect for this world.

Maybe it was the fact that there were loose ends. There was one or two loose ends, which aren't huge things, but still they could have been tied up. Maybe I'm wanting too much. Want everything all neat and tidy. And I think I can understand why Neil left these hanging. But that's a theory and I'm not going to say them in case it spoils the book for other people who haven't read it…

But I like Neverwhere and, when I feel brave enough, I might try and read/audiobook another of Neil Gaiman's "adult" books. Although, now, am never going to look at the London Undergound in the same way… Especially Blackfriars and Shepherd's Bush…

Thursday, 1 September 2011

See Ya At Hogwarts!

Meet The Blogger - Scattered Figments

Hello everyone! First Meet The Blogger of the month of September and we are chatting to Laura from Scattered Figments. Check out her blog as

When did you start blogging?
I only started back in March so I’m kind of a noOb at all of this! Loving it so far!

What made you start blogging?
I’d blogged before, but without focus. It was Emma at Book Angel’s Booktopia who told me I should give it another go. We work in the same school and I generally let her boss me around, so I did as she recommended. I’ve found that blogging is a great way to make sure I write every day, even if it’s just a short, random musing. It has also encouraged me to keep reading so that I can actually review something every Monday!

What was the first book you reviewed for your blog and what was your reaction to it?
My first review was of Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion. I thoroughly enjoyed the book! Big fan of both zombies and Romeo and Juliet…this is a nice mixture of both!

When was the first time you realised you were a Book Blogger?
I’m not sure! I think I set out to be a blogger about both reading and creative writing. I think my blog caters for both readers and writers…and generally mad people.

How much of your time a week do you spend blogging?
Too much. More than I should when there’s a huge pile of English books to be marked, reports to be written, essays to be graded. But then I’m AMAZING at procrastinating… give me a stack of work to do and I’ll find something devastatingly interesting to blog about!

Has your taste in book genres changed since starting the blog?
I’ve always had eclectic tastes in books, but I’ve found that I’m suddenly swamped in YA literature! I don’t mind at all as I find this to be an awesome and inspired genre.

What book are you reading at the moment?
The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney. I’m on page ten and have thoroughly enjoyed those ten pages!

What book has got you very excited or made you cry?
Oh God…there are FAR too many books on this list! I get excited every time I walk past a Buy One Get One Free book offer. Oh who am I kidding? I never walk past those offers. I stop. And stare. And dribble a little.

Have you read any book that you disliked so much you threw it across the room?
Ulysses, by James Joyce. It was a set text in my third year of Uni… most pretentious piece of… rubbish… I’ve ever had to read. It just was NOT my cup of tea.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to take part or wants to set up a book blog?
Social networking is your friend! Use your Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you don’t have these then get them. Then post, post post! If you don’t post then your page gets less and less appealing by the second.

Now, to ask five fun quick-fire questions. What song are you listening to right now?
Nothing Else Matters by Metallica.

MySpace, Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter! (And who the hell uses MySpace these days…?)

Hardback, paperbacks or eBooks?
Paperback. I’m a spine bender!

Letters, phone, texting or emailing?
Texting… but I miss snail mail…

Zombies or unicorns?
Zombies! Terrified of them but I love zombie movies :P