Monday 29 September 2014

SMILE - What the Heck Is This Selling???

I have no idea what this is selling, but we need more adverts like this in the UK...

My thanks goes to the insane place on the internet called Pinterest! If you want to follow all my boards on Pinterest, go to Or, if you only just want to follow my SMILE board, go to

And remember, SHARE THE WEIRDNESS!!!

Saturday 27 September 2014

Bookish Brit Alert!

I have news. Weird news but NEWS! I am now becoming a member of the Bookish Brits team!

Ok, the random story behind it. I was asked AGES ago if I wanted to join, but I got scared of videos, my voice, the horror that is editing videos so I said no, but offered to do guest videos. After watching one of the group's videos (I think it was Fiona's Books On My Kindle I Still Haven't Read Yet [here's the video in question] and Michelle's reply of My Unread Kindle Reads [Video is here for your pleasure]) I just laughed and went "THAT'S NOTHING! You haven't seen my kindle!". Like this gif, if you want an mental image...

So, asking their Twitter if I could record my unread kindle list, they said "Sure, go for it...". So, quickly recorded a video (it took a while as my Kindle list was longer than I thought!) and sent it to Michelle via email. A few days later, I decided to do two more videos, just because. One was a Book Tower Challenge and the other was a question about a Harry Potter character (let's keep some surprise, shall we?)

These were meant to be guest vlogs. That's all.

Expect... Michelle asked if I wanted to become a full-time member again. And this time, I thought "I had fun doing these videos. Not sure why, but why not!".

So, I am now the tenth member of Bookish Brits. Which basically means once a fortnight, I have to record and upload a video (I have three already, but I think Michelle or Caroline will upload for me. If not, I am screwed as I think I have deleted them from my computer...).

So, my "First" video will be end of October/beginning of November...

And I hope to make my videos cool enough to be worthy of the channel. So, my videos (I hope) will be a nice mix of bookish things (reviews, tags [within reason], discussions, reading music and my love of all things geeky and food & tea/coffee-related). Which means I have to read books that I will review here and maybe not review here. Books that might include reactions like these:

Sorry, a mix of emotions. But yes, I will be reading books that will either contain these emotions or I will react like this. Sorry in advance.

But I sense you guys who will be watching my videos will be shouting this at your computer screen:

And after that, I will be begging viewers to come back to the channel as my videos are driving everyone away!

But please stay and watch me joining the team! If you want to watch, go to and subscribe (that would be lovely of you). You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr as well.

Now, because I have wasted your time with this news, I shall leave you with one more gif and I think you'll love me because of it...

GoodRead - The Misunderstanding

I don't read adult often. But am feeling a need to read more grown-up books. So, a fortnight ago, I was out with my other half and went into a bookshop. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw this cover and it was pretty. I took a photo of it and had to leave the shop. A week later, I donated some books to my local library and, on impulse, went to look for this book and a Joanne Harris book. Joanne Harris wasn't there but this was. It was only after I took it out did I read what this book was about.

So much for never judging a book by its cover.

Set after the First World War, Yves is a troubled man. From old money but fallen on hard times, he goes on holiday to Hendaye. While there, he meets an old friend and his wife, Denise. There's a spark between them and their affair begins.

But summer turns to autumn and they both return to Paris. Denise becomes driven by desire and suspension and Yves doesn't know how to express his love to her and is begin to feel suffocated by her love, while struggling with money issues. He asks Denise to leave him be to figure it all out.

This is where the misunderstanding takes place, and the events that follow could destroy their love...

To find out that this was Irene Nemirovsky's debut novel and she wrote this when she was 21 is a huge shock as, while only 164 pages long, this book was well-established in my opinion.

I found this book fascinating as it showed how different the culture between France at the time this book was written and modern day has changed and how a affair can start and dissolve, like this book did.

My only fault is the main characters. While I do like both Yves and Denise, I found as the book goes on, I got frustrated with them. With Denise, I found her slowly becoming too much so I understood why Yves felt suffocated. However, I got annoyed with Yves because he wouldn't speak to her. I understood his logic - it's very much male pride - but there were times I wanted to shake him because of it.

But I enjoyed it the more because of this. Irene made it more interesting because it wasn't a "pretty" affair - it started nice and romantic but it turned, and I liked how Irene wrote and I liked how the translation never felt jarring, which is something I usually have when I read translation.

But I enjoyed myself reading this and I can't wait to read more of Irene Nemirovsky!

Friday 26 September 2014

SMILE - ThorEal

Because YOU'RE WORTH IT!!!

Pinterest again (thank you Pinterest!) Anyway, if you want to follow the SMILE board on Pinterest, go to or if you want to follow ALL MY BOARDS (and why wouldn't you? They are all awesome!), go to

Monday 22 September 2014

SMILE - What to Know My Secret?

I'm sorry! I AM SORRY! I know this is an old joke but this made me laugh! You have to love a bit of Snape's hair-flicking!

Thank you again Pinterest (you know the drill - I have a Smile board on Pinterest at so, if you're on Pinterest, please follow as that will be wonderful of you!)

Sunday 21 September 2014

GoodRead - Day 21

I was thinking of keeping this review back a few days as I only finished this book yesterday and I wanted to keep the review of The 100 and its sequel, Day 21 some distance apart. But am going to post this now just to mess with BookBridgr and Goodreads.

It's day 21 for the 100 sent down to Earth. This day is important, for its when signs of radiation begin to make themselves present. But that isn't the 100's only problems. They thought they were the first humans to set foot on Earth for the first time in centuries.

They were wrong.

With fear of a new, unknown enemy, the 100 has to band together. Wells struggles to keep the 100 together and not turn on themselves. Bellamy is determined to save his sister who was snatched from this enemy. And when trying to help him, Clarke finds evidence that leads to a truth that the 100 aren't the first to be sent to Earth from space. And back on the space station, Glass is forced to make a decision between love and life.

Like I said in my review to The 100 (review here), if you are expecting the TV series (aired on the CW in the USA and on e4 in the UK), you are going to be very disappointed as, while the TV show is dark (with a stupidly high death count - which I adore! NO ONE IS SAFE ON THAT SHOW!), the book is very much romantic driven.

I had problems with this book. I think it's because I read Day 21 very quickly after reading The 100, which isn't something I normally do. But I found Day 21 a real struggle. There was one or two things I really wanted ti stop reading this book - Life's too short to read awful books. In the end, I decided to skip a chapter and skim read because I decided to read this with a bunch of bloggers on Twitter and I didn't want to let them down.

I can list the problems I have - Glass being on the space station and yet, being more worried about her love life than finding out information that might be useful to the reader. Clarke and Bellamy doing stuff without telling anyone what they're planning to do - THERE ARE MYSTERIOUS BAD GUYS KILLING AND YET, GO RUN INTO THE FOREST WITHOUT TELLING ANYONE! And you survive without any real consequences - ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

I could go on. I could. But I won't as I don't want to rant and rave. This book series, I feel, could have been more sci-fi or more into human survive - as the TV show does. It could have huge twists that shock the reader. But it's more love-driven and the book felt predictable and that's a huge problem with me. This book has so much potential and yet... it falls flat. It's unbaked and, in the words of Mary Berry from The Great British Bake Off, has a bit of a soggy bottom.

I MIGHT continue reading the series, but I think I might have to leave it and continue watching the TV show. I am really getting into it. I think we need to start a drinking game with the amount of death! THIS IS WHY I NEED THE DVD WHEN IT COMES OUT!

GoodRead - The 100

If you don't follow my Twitter feed (, you should be aware that I am currently enjoying The 100, a sci-fi TV show airing in the UK on e4 (we're on season 1) and season 2 will start being aired in USA on The CW sometime in October.

So when I was sent this a while ago, I was excited to read it. But then I didn't read it. It got pushed down my huge TBR pile. So, when the sequel, Day 21, was on BookBridgr, I requested it with a plan to read the two back-to-back. And with several other bloggers, we agreed to read them together and tweet our thoughts, reactions and feelings over it.

In The 100, the Earth is no longer safe. After a nuclear war, humanity lives in space stations, safe from the raditation. No one was planned to be sent back. Until now. 100 juvenile delinquents are being sent down to Earth to find out if it's safe to return. It could be a start of something great - or a suicide mission.

Liars. Thieves. Rebels. Heroes?

Before I go my further, I need to stress something here and now: if you are expecting the TV show, you are going to be disappointed. While the TV show is quite dark, the book is much more romantic driven. It reminds me a bit of The Selection by Kiera Cass (my review for that is here). It is a fun, candy floss read.

But there are problems with this book. Well, for me, there were problems. Like I said, this is very romantic and it's hard to picture the idea of a sci-fi book, where the main characters are sent to Earth and are forced to survive with little to no idea on how to survive, that these characters beginning to fall for each other.

Another problem that I had - and I think most of bloggers that joint read this series had the same problem - is how the story was told. The book had four characters telling the story - Clarke, Bellamy, Wells and Glass - and they changed point of view every chapter. And within most of these chapters, we had flashbacks. It's hard to get attached to a character when you have to switch different points of view and then you have to switch from what's happening to them now to what happened to them several months earlier.

But my main problem is, while I enjoyed reading this (and I read this quite quickly) is that it felt half-baked. It had an good premise but it just felt flat at times. It reminded me of the new Doctor Who episode, Deep Breath, where you have several hugely interesting ideas but the ideas didn't blend together and make a good outcome. I'm sorry but you have a dinosaur running round Victorian London and yet...

I did like this, but it was a candy floss read for me. I have read Day 21, the sequel, and I have plans to watch the rest of the series but, I think I prefer the TV show than this book.

Thursday 18 September 2014

The Snow Child - New Cover and Extract!

As you should know, I am a huge fan of The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. I fell in love with this quietly beautiful book (I believe I actually used in my review in 2012 when this book was first published. If you want to read my review, check here!).

Anyway, I was on bookbridgr and I saw that they were doing a new cover and I had to get involved in showing it to you. So, here's the new cover!

Now, I love the original cover, but this is just as pretty! I love the eeriness of the footprints and the dash of red, but it still catches the magic of the story.

Also, bookbridgr has allowed me to show you guys an extract! I hope this wets your appetite (and I reread it and wailed "BOOK 2, EOWYN! I WANT YOUR NEXT BOOK NOW!!!)!

‘I am the little daughter of the Snow,’ she replied to everything, and she ran out into the yard into the snow.
      How she danced and ran about in the moonlight on the white frozen snow!
      The old people watched her and watched her. At last they went to bed; but more than once the old man got up in the night to make sure she was still there. And there she was, running about in the yard, chasing her shadow in the moonlight and throwing snowballs at the stars.
      In the morning she came in, laughing, to have breakfast with the old people. She showed them how to make porridge for her, and that was very simple. They had only to take a piece of ice and crush it up in a little wooden bowl. Then after breakfast she ran out in the road, to join the other children. And the old people watched her. Oh, proud they were,
         I can tell you, to see a little girl of their own out there playing in the road! They fairly longed for a sledge to come driving by, so that they could run out into the road and call to the little snow girl to be careful.
        And the little snow girl played in the snow with the other children. How she played! She could run faster than any of them.
       Her little red boots flashed as she ran about. Not one of the other children was a match for her at snowballing. And when the children began making a snow woman, a Baba Yaga, you would have thought the little daughter of the Snow would have died of laughing. She laughed and laughed, like ringing peals on little glass bells. But she helped in the making of the snow woman, only laughing all the time.
      When it was done, all the children threw snowballs at it, till it fell to pieces. And the little snow girl laughed and laughed, and was so quick she threw more snowballs than any of them.
      The old man and the old woman watched her, and were very proud.
      ‘She is all our own,’ said the old woman.

      ‘Our little white pigeon,’ said the old man.

Monday 15 September 2014

SMILE - A Wild... Wait, What?

Like last week's Smile, no idea where I found this. A random Google search. So... thanks to whoever made this! You know who you are...!

Monday 8 September 2014

GoodRead - The Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains

Surprise! Yes, I know I said my next review on here will be my write up on The 100 and the sequel, Day 21, both by Kass Morgan but as I have made very little headway with Day 21, I decide to finish a book I was reading on and off for the past few weeks which I requested from BookBridgr (thank you BookBridgr), which is The Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Eddie Campbell.

The story, set in the dark ages of Scotland, is of two men, strangers, who are travelling to a cave on the mysterious Misty Isle. Only one of the men knows the way as this cave is rumoured to have a cursed treasure within it. What unfolds on their journey involves greed, survival, revenge and tragedy. Though not in that order...

I am going to keep that brief as I want to leave it as vague as possible. No spoilers.

Now, my opinion on this book... it's very mixed. I'm not 100% certain where I stand with it.

It's not a novel or prose in the traditional sense, nor is it a graphic novel. It's a strange hybrid of the two, for the most part, works in the story's favor. The illustrations by Eddie Campbell are quite unique, ranging from comic strips, rushed illustrations and rushed "oil painting" style art to very detailed drawings (one of my fave drawings is a illustration of a deer. I shall pop it in the review somewhere so you can see it...).

The story, though... it didn't grab me the way I wanted it to. It felt, at times, quite flat. It didn't feel like a story written by Neil Gaiman. I admit I am not a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and I am slowly becoming aware of his writing (Doctor Who, Coraline, The Graveyard Book, MirrorMask [an awesome film, by the way - imagine Alice in Wonderland but on a serious drug trip!] and Neverwhere) but it didn't feel like him compared to what I have read.

I wonder if it's the hype that's around him at the moment and that is clouding my judgement?

Also, some of you guys will already be aware of this story as it was published in 2012 in a collection of stories called Stories: All New Tales and Neil himself read this at the Graphic festival at the Sydney Opera House several years back. At this event, Neil read the story out loud with Eddie revealing some illustartions behind the author (he drew the rest till quite recently) and the FourPlay String Quaret playing music to go alongside the story.

And I think that would have beena much more interesting reading experience. To not only read the story and stare at the illustation but to have the music to listen to (either a CD, a MP3 download or a website you could go and listen) to bring an extra dimension to the tale.

While this book might not have been my cup of tea, I am certain many fans of Neil Gaiman and Eddie Campbell will love reading this book.

SMILE - How I Feel At Work Most Days...

Not sure where I found this, but yes sums up my work life A LOT!!!

Friday 5 September 2014

The Future of SMILE

Happy Friday everyone! Not a normal SMILE post because I want some input from you guys...

I have been doing SMILE posts for the past few years (that long?!) and it was for fun. Fun for myself and the idea of a tiny pick-me-up to you guys as Mondays are a bit of a drag! Yes, even if you have the perfect job you love, Mondays are a bit of a pain sometimes...

But recently - ok, for a while - I have been thinking of about the future of SMILE. Whether it would continue on the blog every Monday, changing it to once a fortnight or once a month, moving it over to Pinterest completely (I do have a Pinterest board, solely for SMILE - or whether I should call it time on it.

I know, the HORROR of it!

But as I am going through a bit of a change in my life (moving in with my other half, pretending to be a grown up, learning to "compromise" with said other half, etc), I kinda want the blog to reflect that. Change, grow and evolve. Ok, I made my blog sound like a Pokemon.

But I like SMILE. And I do want to keep it in one form or other. So, am asking you guys - what do you want happen to SMILE? Do you want it to go fortnight? Would you mind if I moved SMILE over to Pinterest? Or do you think it's a stupid blog thread and want it gone? Leave a comment below and I shall see what you guys suggest. 

But until then, I shall continue blogging and hoping you guys like it...!

Thursday 4 September 2014

GoodRead - The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller

So much for my "NetGalley Ban".

In this short novella, written by Chocolat's Joanne Harris (as part of the Doctor Who: Time Trips series), the Doctor is dying. His body slowly being destroyed by radiation, all he wants is to return to UNIT and to arah Jane Smith before his body regenerates.

But he finds himself in the Village, the most perfect English village he has ever seen. Where everyone is happy - as long as you don't ask questions, make wishes or say the "D" word... whatever that is...

Now, I'm not much of a past Doctor Who fan but, from a quick Google, I know this story sets place just before the Third Doctor's regenerates (near the end of the Planet of the Spiders story arc, I believe) so it was interesting to read a "past" Doctor and see how different he was to the Doctors I know.

And as someone who only knows the basic of the Whonverise, I got a bit excited when I saw the famous words "reverse the polarity".

Ok, the story. I must stress this is a novella so the story isn't as "meaty" as I expect everyone, but it was fun and fast. I know someone who read it within an hour (I took longer as real life is a pain in the neck!) so it's fast. You'll gallop through it.

And the story was fun. It might not be as dark as some Steven Moffat scripts, but I sense that this story would fit perfectly with the Third Doctor and the way his stories were told. And with Joanne Harris writing it (a new author [well, to me] to research), I sense fans of her and Doctor Who will come and read this.

I think this would fit perfectly for those who are exploring the world of Doctor Who and his previous lives. I might have to get my hands on another Time Trip eNovellas or maybe some Joanne Harris novels *begins to eye up Chocolat, Jigs & Reels and/or A Cat, A Hat & A Piece of String).

I shall leave you with this wonderful quote that was in this story that I just love! "But stories are worlds. New worlds for us to visit. In stories, we live forever."

Tuesday 2 September 2014

GoodRead - The Snake Charm

I should have written my review/thoughts and feelings for The 100 by Kass Morgan that a bunch of bloggers and myself are reading together. But I decided quite earlier on that I wouldn't be writing my review (or recording. A warning, Bookish Brits. A scary warning indeed) till I have read the sequel, Day 21.

But after reading The 100, a few of us agreed to take a tiny break before diving into Day 21 (which I hope to start reading tonight/tomorrow!), I decided I wanted to read something small and fast. And, on pure impulse (and the fact I go this free! FREE!), I went straight to The Snake Charm, the first eNovella in the Vestigial Tale series by Laura Lam, the author of the amazing Pantomime (if you haven't read this book, go! Read it! Here is my review but, trust me, get your hands on this!). 

In a prequel (of sorts), we discover the events at R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic that happened before Micah Grey joined. The white clown, Drystan, acts like an idiot, but it watches. Behind the smile, is a man who knows and hides secrets. So when the leader of the clowns, Linden, steals something precious from the cruel ringmaster, Drystan finds himself caught in the middle and he must face a choice: betray Linden or have his own dark secret revealed... 

Now, I loved Pantomine so I got excited to read this and, while it has been a while since I read Pantomine and it took me a good few clicks of my Kindle before I remembered who and who, I found this addictive reading and fun. It's Laura's making her world bigger - which is a good thing seeing as Pantomine's publisher, Strange Chemistry, is no more and Laura had always planned to write a third book in the series...

But with this four novella series, I think I need to read these and Shadowplay very VERY soon. I mean, I have too! And so should you as this world that Laura Lam has created is one of the most unique I have read in quite some time. 

Monday 1 September 2014

Book Blogger UKYA Awards - Shortlist Votes Open!!!

Blog's going to be taken over again by the Book Blogger UKYA Awards team. Please stand by for incoming blog post...

 photo UKYAAward_zpsb1be5f88.gif

Hey Guys!

Today I am here with VERY exciting news! It is the shortlist of the Book Blogger UKYA Awards! This is the time for YOU to vote for your favourite from the list!

Voting is open until 21st September. Make sure you don’t miss out!

Voting will also be happening a little differently than the nominations. On this blog, you will be voting for:   Best Protagonist, Best Couple, Best Friendship & Best Villain ! (Yeah! I love a good villain!!!)

And then you will hop along to the next blog to vote for more awards!
There are five different awards to jump to (and five/six bloggers hosting each group, but you only need to visit five blogs!).
This doesn’t have to happen all at once, it gives you the chance to vote in your leisure – but make sure you do so before 21st September.

Jump To
(choose which blog for each category you want to visit!)

Best Contemporary, Best Historical, Best Crime/Mystery, and Best LGBT

Funniest Book, Most Heartbreaking Book, Best First Sentence, Best Ending

Best Horror, Best Sci-fi/Fantasy, Best Paranormal, Best Adventure

Best Self-Published, Most Social Author (Online), Most Social Author (Offline), Author Whose Mind You Wish Was Yours