Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Book Review: Silent Saturday by Helen Grant

This is one of those summaries that spoils something that isn't reveal till near the end of the book.

HE CALLS HIMSELF THE HUNTER.

He attacks without mercy, relishing the small details: the coughs, the gurgles, the stillborn screams...

SHE'S ADDICTED TO THE EXCITEMENT.

Veerle is part of a secret society that breaks into people's houses to spy on their lives. But she isn't new to danger. Ten years ago, she saw the hunter strike - and lived to tell the tale.

HE WAS SUPPOSED TO DIE IN PRISON.

But when other members of Veerle's society start to disappear, she begins to suspect her old foe may be targeting them. Now she'll have to face her own worst nightmare.

BUT HOW DO YOU FIGHT A DEAD MAN?

With magic.

This book took me a ridiculous long time to read due to life. Also slight reading stump in that made me jump therefore I feel like my review can't be fully unbias as things affected my reading of it. For example, despite interesting things going one I took massive breaks between some chapters and found it hard to keep reading at times despite wanting to know what was going on.

This book has an interesting setting as it's YA book set in Belgium, mostly the Flemish speaking part to be precise. It was written in English by a British writer who has lived in Belgium. Flemish(Belgian Dutch)/French words were scattered through out the book. Basically, this book teaches you how to swear in another language/s.

The plot revolves around a lot of coincidences with everyone from Veerle's past showing back up at the same time. The plot okay, but it does feel heavy towards the end. However, that might just be the disjointed way I read it. The plot was pretty easy to follow despite me picking the novel up and then abandoning it several times. The ending is a bit abundant, even for the start of a trilogy. It's cliffhanger of emotion.

Veerle's relationship with her mother done well. The mother is overprotected, but she not the overbearing straight up bad mothers you find in a lot YA books. It is the worst trope. The mother over protecting is exampled and grows with the situation. The characterization is done well overall.

The book is written in third person and switches focus on the characters, type to crime and thriller books.  I liked it and murder.

Overall, I give this book three out of five stars for rock shoes. It's start of trilogy (Forbidden Spaces) and I am keen to read the next one which is good considering I only pick up the first book because the last one is called Urban Legends. I will eventually review all of them. Hopefully soon as they have to go back to the library...several months ago.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Boxing Day contains no boxes.

Happy Boxing Day, the British Holiday that confuses Americans the most, despite Guy Fawkes Night being a thing.

Christmas was fun....okay that's a lie. I came home on Christmas Eve after my sister and I once again missed each other. We should have came on Wednesday. We went shopping instead and I went for a nap and then never got up at eight. I got home at like nine, after a rather slow drive. My mother was not pleased. Saying we were driving to her the drink.

I went to sleep for a while. Then stayed up all night, watched Star Wars (the original trilogy) whilst waiting for the family to wake up. My big regret of Christmas was waking them up. Life would be more peaceful. My brother is autistic and it turns out getting him what he wants, is a way to upset him. He's always a brat, because he's spoilt and literally has too much stuff. Let's not get into it.

I am adult. I got a alarm clock and a fan that will connect to it. It one of those USB ones. I am certain that was not my mother's intention when buying both. I got 3 Waterstones cards so fun on the internet is to be had. No books have been brought, as there is nothing I want at the moment.

I have to leave now, because I should be reading. SO behind. The Cram-a-thon didn't work out and don't feel like the Booktubeathon. *reading*.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Book Review: Electricity by Ray Robinson

You could say this was an "electrifying read", but that just me pushing a pun.

 Lily's epilepsy means she's used to seeing the world in terms of angles -- you look at every surface, you weigh up every corner, and you think of your head slamming into it -- but what would she be like without her sharp edges? Prickly, spiky, up-front honest and down-to-earth practical, Lily is thirty, and life's not easy but she gets by. Needing no-one and asking for nothing, it's just her and her epilepsy: her constant companion. 

But then her mother -- who Lily's not seen for years -- dies, and Lily is drawn back into a world she thought she'd long since left behind. Forced to renegotiate the boundaries of her life, she realises she has a lot to learn -- about relationships, about the past, and about herself -- and some difficult decisions ahead of her. '

This book me a long time to read, because of reasons like it was sort of for uni, but I didn't need to actually read. The book follows Lily as she tries to find her brother who she hasn't seen since she was a child whilst with living epilepsy.

Lily is a sympathetic, unlikable character. She been through a lot, but she still innocent and strangely trusting. She realistic in that she is contrasting traits. The other characters were okay, but generally unlikable except for the middle class one, who at the moment I can't think of a bad thing about her. Hmm...
This book sort of falls into the trap of a lot stories featuring main characters with disabilities and illness do, but as it just teeters on the edge I'll leave it be and not spoiler the book by discussing it. While Lily's epilepsy plays a big part of the book, as it is a big obstacle in her life, the character is not define by her disability and I think it is a decent portrayal (though, I do know very little about epilepsy other it's brain disorder that causes seizers and varys on severity). The writer has took the time to actually think about the disorder and how it affects

The seizures were represent by static of letters on the page which made the book stand out from the start and I also liked pictures of pills being used to show passing of time almost. It was nice way of giving another insight into Lily.

Overall, I give this book 4 out of five stars for padded corners. It was okay book heavy on character and also feature forest homes, child abuse and a depressing beach town.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Dead Religions (e.g. Jedi)

I am currently back home, though destined to return to the dorm once more before christmas. Ar, Christmas the holiday I am totally not prepared for. I have brought no one gifts, nor do I have any clue as what to get them. Maybe I'll became a Jehovah Witness every December and then lapse soon as boxing day comes. Though, Jehovah Witness are on my list of dumbest christian off shots, only after Morons who origins are the stupidness of all Abrahamic religions. Oh, wait I forgot about Scientology. At least someone started as a bet.

Now that I've done insulting American religions (for the week), let talk my fun activity of completely deadlines. But barely, or not all. I've did the work now...there a other thing but I don't want to talk about other deadlines.

I saw the major film of this week. That's right Krampus. It was okay. The horror was alright, the comedy wasn't really there. They were some issues, like the German speaking thing. Also I didn't like the design of  the top half of Krampus. It was okay, I would watch again if it was on TV or something. My little brother wanted to see it, but he's three years too young to go to see in a cinema, so I am bound to see it again.

 I also saw the new Star Wars film for a few hours later at midnight. It was good. It is a good film, though there are some issues with it that I hoped will be resolved in the future films. Some can't. I can't say anything else besides fighting the urge to scream out the window major spoilers but that just a thing I like to do.

I'm hoping to read and edit videos this weekend. How likely of either is up to me? The fact I put a question mark at the end of that sentence, probably speaks volumes of this weekends predicted outcome. Gotta try.
I write to another Saturday where I will know the future and the past of that day. Or lies. We'll see.

May the Force be with you. (say that on my birthday and I will choke you with the force).

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Book Review: My True Love Gave to Me. Edited by Stephanie Perkins

I hate Romance, but love short stories.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.

This is an anthology of romance stories. I'm not big on the romance, but I like short stories. Most of the stories didn't fall in the tropes area, so this book certainly doesn't fall in the annoying area of YA Romances. There are illustrations at the start of each story that I liked and I also the font used in the corner is pretty looking. 

Midnight by Rainbow Rowell: This story tells the tale of several New Year almost Midnight; hence the title. This is a friend romance. It was nice I like the flash back to the couple's meeting and the grimace of their relationship every New Year after that till the start of the story. 4/5 stars for Chex Mix.

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link: This a magic story which raises questions and gives you no answers. This is instant love where the couple only say a few sentences to each other and then it's risk your life time. I liked their interactions, I just do not get the bit where the romance came in. There's more going on with the other love interest. It took me half way through the story to pin-point what time period we were in, so therefore timeless? Well, as long Skype and Tonys are a thing. I give this tale 3/5 stars for pine needles. I would have liked it better if the ending went a darker turn. 

Angels In The Snow by Matt de la Peña: Snowed in and staving at Christmas. This book features such fun as grief and college. Its told from a boy's point of view, which chaptery bits. I liked the style,  Takes place during the immediate days to Christmas and Christmas Day. 4/5 stars for muffins.

Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han:
This was an interesting idea, though basically the film
Santa Claus if you developed the idea and killed off Mrs Claus and the street hoodlum. Also add elves from the Lord of the Rings, because they be hot.  Okay, they really only share the concept of Santa adopting a kid and living at the North Pole with them. This was more the issue of growing up at the North Pole the only one of breed e.g. not an elf or Santa (I hate when people say magical beings ain't human when that's so not how genetics work. It's as dumb as racism because races ain't really a thing in biology, but one is obviously a more serious issue than the other). The ending was a little underwhelming, there was more there and this is one of the shorter stories (14 pages). 2/5 stars for Tall Elves.

It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: A girl hears a voice in a parking lot then follows that voice to forest of Christmas tree. This story does not involve magic, despite me clearly giving a misleading description. This was favourite story so far. It was sweet and very real. The characters have witty banter with each other. 5/5 stars for Scattered boxes.

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: Levithan can always be grantee to bring the gay. I mean
heteronormative makes everything so boring and this is the only one of these stories that isn't. A boy is convinced to pretended to be Santa for his boyfriend's 6 year old sister who flirts with teenagers for attention...why the word flirt? Charm has least disturbing connotations when referring to a child. 4/5 stars for disarranged stockings.

Krampuslauf by Holly Black: This was really a romance story, but I don't care. It has a nice friendships and magic. I also enjoyed the fake break-up. 3/5 for mysterious liquids.


What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman:
WHY IS MICK JAGER CONSIDER SEXY? He wasn't that hot when he was young.
This story takes place on the last night of Hanukkah, which by pure coincidence is when I read this story (though just as we were only 2 hours in and it was more the night of the 13th). I think this story also takes place on Christmas Eve (24th), due to clues in the book and that was when Hanukkah was last year. This is a story about two outsiders at university bonding over Ned Flanders. I like how the girl was swept up with all her mistakes. 4/5 stars for Glass candles.

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: Male protagonist blows up pigeons and burns down part of a church. Depressing issues that just overshadow by a romance I don't care about. Actually, just straight up depressing, with a sappy ending.  2/5 stars for prostitute angels.


Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White: This a sweet story about food and what is a home. It also feels like a balanced story. The main character, Maria has issues outside the romance that are dealt with, instead of just being characterisation. Also this story also involves non-romantic love which is surprisingly not explored enough.  5/5 stars for lawn chairs.
 

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: That was basically terrible and highly farfetch. The more interesting story is the girl who goes to New York. I want to know what the hell happen in Iceland. There's potential, but most of the story is wanting to know why Linda is hiding. The rest is just corny mush. 1/5 for corruption. 

The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor: This is slightly different but also not at all. Its the only fantasy story in book, but fits fine in my opinion with the other magical story that are in here. The main character Neve is a terrible situation and magic comes to the rescue or something like that. 4/5 stars dead flowers.


Overall, I give this book four out of five stars for . I enjoyed the majority of these stories, there's only one or two that really let the book down. A lot these stories have weird underling issues that just didn't fit in with the stories they were telling. There's some decentish diversity (as in more than one of the main characters are clearly a minority in America). Even as someone who not all about the romances in books, the characters are complex in their brief glances. Would definitely recommend for this seasonal.

I got this book for review off NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Books. I also own it and used having to do a review on it to trick me into reading it now, instead of the Summer of 2017.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Writing Terribly all the time.

Uni is over for the year. But it's also not. I still have two deallines to meet and panic over. I have tons to say and do. But also nothing to say. I want to give my terrible writing. It's all terrible, which is bad since I have my creative writing deadline tomorrow and I honesty don't know which piece is worst. I've gave up on fixing one of the stories I submitted for feedback, I just don't think I'll ever get to work unless I throw vampires into it. It still wouldn't work, but then it would at least have vampires to spice it up a bit.

I am almost attempt to summit Coincidence in War and Love as its the last short story I have any pride over (sad I know). Except it's too long, on the internet and not written during the course. There is the short Cut, but it sucks too and I shared it on the internet not thinking it would worth submitting (still do). I'll probably give the worser piece since I have no reason to keep it for anything else.

I know I'm not being over critical as all my opinions have been back up. I keep writing novels. I'm not sure if there any good. I just need to finish one. I need it to flow streight away at the start or I have nothing decent. Dragging stuff out of me is just painfully and messy.

I have list of ideas and none of them want to be on paper. I have to just write. A thousand words is just so resitive to me, because it plays on my mine. I need 2,000 when it comes to my work. My chapters tend to be that size as well. Some longer, very few shorter than by a great much.

I guess it doesn't help that I've started hate my own writing style, which is the same as hating my voice. Maybe this means I should try mixing up more. I've been inserting prose more in my stories to build the settings better. The thing my third person voice is my first person narrating badly. I also have completely forgotten to how to write action in first person. It's possible, this is because I deal more with plot and characters and was never good at it to start with.

I just wish writing hadn't became such a drag for me. Everything feels a little pressure which is of course most likely in my head.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Book Review: The Twice-Lived Summer of Bluebell Jones by Susie Day

Dye your hair. Dye Everything.

On her thirteenth birthday, Blue makes a desperate wish. To be transformed into a cool, confident teenager. Enter Red, appearing from nowhere like a wacky fairy godmother. She's only visible to Blue- in fact, she IS Blue, but a year older. With Red by her side to guide her, Blue can avoid all the gruesome embarrassments! But her future self causes a heap of crazy trouble - and there are dark secrets she's not telling...

The first full novel I have read by Susie Day. I reviewed one of her short stories which really sold me on her as a writer.

The whole of this novel is the main character to change herself and trying to make friends with "cool" people of where she is on holiday; making her a pretty realistic thirteen year old. The supporting characters are nice.

The twist was done well. It's hinted frequently through the book but not overly obvious. The ending felt a bit rushed and really let this book down. I didn't fully buy it and there is main thing that's kinda spoilerly. Here's a spoiler (highlight to see): the character just straight gives up, doesn't try to get out the situation at all. 

Overall, I give this book 4 out of five stars. I really enjoy reading this book, but the ending knocked a lot of points for me. It's on the younger side of YA. (Or older middle-grade? Teen would be so easier to use) Therefore short, which was nice read to have during the busyness of uni. Though with an important message for someone whose 13 or whatever age to hear.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Self-Destructive is fun.

I have started to procrastinating from eating, so I don't eat till I'm really tired. I am like a really advance sim. If I am a sim, then I'm clearly not the favourite one. More the one you to fill out the family then leave to it, till you get bored of your main one.

I'm procrastinating from everything else as always. Except filming and other group related stuff but also majorly procrastinating that stuff too. I have left myself with intense writing sensation that leave me depressed and lifeless.

I am at the stage where I sort of care, but don't care at all. I am past caring, because as a perfectionists I only have two working function. Numb and stressed or a odd mix of both where I do nothing.  Procrastnation, if it were a profession, then I would be one of the best.

I got both Netflixs and Amazon Prime in a matter of days. Amazon Prime is something, I would not buy except it was free and comes with fast shipping. As a video or music subscription it individually sucks. It also raises the big question, Why the hell is Pipper Pig on both? She her and SpongeBob belong together.

I have yet to actually pay for Netflixs, so far it been worth it as I have been watching large quantity of Community and am on the Epsideo 8 of 4th season so am in the majority way into it. It is not good for the whole production thing, but I enjoy it and it is relatable. The cast is good, regular or guest. Though, Alison Bree is just straight up playing the same character as My Alibi.

As for Amazon Prime there is some stuff on Prime Video. I have only used it for Mona the Vampire on mute while I'm trying to get to sleep. Nostalgia makes it so I don't need sound, but I did mange to use my phone for sound last night till I got bored of syncing it.

I'm currently catching on Doctor Who. I hadn't watched since the first part of The Zygon Inversion which was when I last decided to catch up it before. This is made difficult because my SmartTV hates BBC Iplayer. Perhaps it's bitter about BBC Three. I have now gave up and began awkwardly typing this post in the tiny window due the download version of Iplayer doesn't let you make it tiny.

I'm going to leave you now in favour of adventure and going to sleep a decentish time. If the gods allow; or my body; or whatever causes me to stay up all night.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Book Review: Need by Joelle Charbonneau

In my house, kidney donation is something to joke about.


“No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better.” Teenagers at Wisconsin's Nottawa High School are drawn deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need... regardless of the consequences. Soon the site turns sinister, with simple pranks escalating to malicious crimes. The body count rises. In this chilling YA thriller, the author of the best-selling Testing trilogy examines not only the dark side of social media, but the dark side of human nature. 
  
This book is about being manipulated into doing straight up illegal and immoral things by the website, on the basis that it's anonymous and free stuff.
The main character's brother PJ or some other genetic letters for a name, needs a kidney donation eventually. Now I know about kidney donations and I don't buy that it's that serious. If he has another relapse then he'll need one. Okay, so that makes sound his kidneys are still functioning without the need of dialysis, therefore he's not at the point of "NEEDING" one. This coming from someone whose sister kidney has been at the point of failure and then it recovered. You're be surprised at how low kidney function can before you go on the donor list. If it had been the Liver then I wouldn't know anything about how senvle the need actually was. The character acts as if her brother was brink of death right at that moment. She just too desperate. He's not on the organ donation list yet.
This is a typical YA novel in that the parents are terrible and should not be allowed to have children. Okay not quite. But you know not knowing what going on with their kids and just screwing them over with lies.That being said Kaylee is unlikable.  There all unlikable characters, except the odd one or two that get screwed over before we really get to know them. Kaylee is only sympathetic next to her brother and since I didn't buy that, then none of her idiotic behaviour in the past is justifiable.  She straight up broke the law. Maybe she was meant to show people are capable of extreme acts if they can justify it to themselves but we start the book after that and she just this isolated character who is too dumb to print scene a website.

The book switches between Kaylee and someone's POV every chapter but not strict with that format. We know more than the characters, which I think it was more frustrating than tension building.

Overall, I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars for nutty cookies. The concept is interesting, though evil internet is very 80s, the execution didn't do that much for me. There's are a lot of clichés and the characters are bland extras or jerks. Though, it was easily to jump in and out of. It also takes place the Winter break after Christmas & New Year are over so if you like reading book that take place at the exact time of year you reading them, then there's still plenty of time to acquire this book for that time of year.

I got this book for Review off NetGalley and HMH Books for Young Readers.