Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Writing Belle's Blogoversary

I would like to dedicate my first post back for the festive season to Summer Lane at Writing Belle. Summer is a fantastic writer and blogger who I have had the pleasure to blog and tweet with since I first started my blog more than a year ago (yes I missed my own one year celebration). She is celebrating her 1 year blogoversary!
It is an international giveaway for the most part, so those of you in the UK and US can apply.
The prizes include autographed books, new books and a Barnes and Noble gift card. There will be four winners! So whether you are looking to enter a giveaway or on the hunt for a new blog to follow, head on over to her page and say hello!

Good luck and Happy Holidays!

Friday, 31 August 2012

Get more out of your books...

Having finally had a break from work to stop by the blog, my colleague had introduced me to a new website... Small Demons.

To those not familiar with the website, it is a site that cross-references places, people, books, songs, movies, fashion brands, cars etc, all mentioned through books. It is for the curious minds of readers who notice the little things from time to time and want to know where else to find it... I have ready many articles about it online that state "it is the world inside of a book, revealed, it's also the world of books, connected." Once you register, you can pick your favourite books or look up places or songs mentioned in books. The great thing about it is that it links books together that share something....

For example, the iPod, which is known worldwide can be seen in dozens of books. I entered the name into the search tool and it came up with a list of books that reference it. From obvious books such as "Steve Jobs" to many many others including "Crossed" - J.F.Lewis, "Arcadia Falls" - Carol Goodman and "House Rules" - Jodi Picoult. You can find dozens of books that share the same products. It can honestly take you around an entire library of genres. Once you find things you like or books you love or would like to read, simply click the heart icon and it links to your storyboard.


To sum things up, the CEO himself, Valla Vakili said it best: "By tracing and connecting those details, we restore the cadence of culture. We lay down a path of discovery where your next song, your next movie, your next book — your next anything — comes from the stories you’ve lost yourself in, the writers you can’t get enough of, the characters you can’t forget".

So if you think this is something you would be interested to check out, visit the site here. If you are already using it or have any feedback, please share it in the comments below as I would love to hear what you have to say.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Review: Linger

Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls) Book #2
Release Date: 21st July 2010
Pages: 416
Publisher: Scholastic
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Source: Purchased (Waterstones)
Purchase Book: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Grace and Sam must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping dangerous secrets. For Sam, it means grappling with his werewolf past... and figuring out a way to survive the future.
But just when they manage to find happiness, Grace finds herself changing in ways she could have never expected...
At the end of Shiver, we were left with a bit of a cliff hanger. Did the cure work? Is Sam a wolf forever or will he become human? If you have yet to read the first book, I warn you there are spoilers for the previous book as this one jumps an entire space of time between books. So shield your eyes!

Obviously you know a love story can’t continue without the main protagonist going on with the love of his life. Enter the first line in the first chapter “This is a story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who is becoming one.” I was instantly reminded of Romeo and Juliet. The author presents us with a random statement at the beginning and will go on to explain what exactly it all means.

After the first book, we saw Sam and Grace build their relationship, although it was difficult to understand what they saw in each other. The focus being on Sam being a wolf and how would they work it all out. Shiver on the other hand is about Sam and Grace finally being able to be together, planning their future and generally being all merry.... enter the evil parents that are anti teenage freedom. With every teen love story, parents are bound to get in the way, along with annoying characters that are bent on killing wolves and newly formed wolves with issues. This story is choca-block with drama. We are introduced to a new wolf, Cole who comes with a tonne of baggage and we finally get to see how the effect of her brother’s death plays on Isabel. Throw in another minor romance and a death and you got yourself a pretty well rounded second book. The thing that makes this book a bit easier to read than the first is that there more substance to Grace and Sam’s relationship. We learn more about them both, their qualities and what they could possibly see in each other. They may seem like polar opposites but like they say opposites attract and their romance is quite sweet.... with the exception of the whole potential doomed future.

Interesting bits:
Continuing in the same format as the first book, It is written in alternate chapters. This time instead of just Grace and Sam’s point of view, we are getting perspectives from an array of characters... it is actually pretty creative and it gives you the chance to see how all the characters behave around set events. My only issue was keeping up with which character was narrating.

Following the same design as the first, a fantastic cover, again with different designs depending on the country you purchase the book. I love the graphic style of the black, white and red, this time with a bit more white negative space for snow. The US was alright, but doesn't grab my attention is much as the previous US cover (below). Which do you prefer?

Final Comments:
Sadly this book didn’t leave me speechless. While it was written well and has some interesting twists, I found it a bit predictable. That’s not to say I won’t be continuing on to the third book, as this book still managed to leave me wanting to know what happens next. I find I need to run to the bookstore, because even though Grace and Sam’s relationship was odd at times, they grew on me and I want to know how it will all turn out. If you have read the first, I would definitely recommend reading this book. If you are new to the series and love your wolves, fantasy, mythology or YA books, why not give it a go. I give this book 3 acorns as the author threw me into the book without an explanation as to what happened between the two books and there was something else missing for me. Happy reading!

I would love to know what you thought of the book. If you have also read the final book, please do share links to your reviews in the comments section as I will be sharing a collection of the final reviews for the last book.


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Weigh in Wednesday (2)

Weigh in Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Epilogue. The meme is simple, you are given a topic and you chip in with your opinion.

This weeks topic: Love triangles vs Insta-love

Brilliant topic! I had actually discussed this with a friend the other day. With the large amount of YA books being published with romantic plots entwined with wolves, angels and vampires, authors seem to be introducing us to the concept of insta-love, where teenagers fall desperately in love with another character. Then ofcourse, there is always a love triangle to bring some drama to the mix. Just look at Twilight... we got all of it packed into one.
In my personal opinion I am not a big fan of either. While I have heard of love at first sight, I prefer to read about the relationship between two characters as they develop. It is more interesting. When it comes to a love triangle, it can be enjoyable at times, being able to root for the character you want to win the girl or guy. Then again, some authors have been known to drag on love triangles and you just want it to end, as long as they end up with your choice. As long as the love triangle is exciting and the author does it well, I guess that will be my choice.

Are you all for love triangles or insta-love?
Have any examples of amazing stories with either?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should be Reading.

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Share the title and author

"I say, if love is rough with you, be rough with love!" Eleanor said in her bossy way. "Stamp out sadness with dancing slippers!"

Friday, 4 May 2012

Feature and Follow Friday (5)

Welcome to another Follow Friday! Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkeeand Alison Can Read where you can meet new bloggers and gain more followers! The fun part of it is the random questions! Here we go!

Q. What is one thing you wish you could tell your favorite author?

Well I have a few favourites, but since I am picking one that I would actually tell them something, it would be Stephenie Meyer. While it is the Twilight saga that sucked me into the vampire world and to be honest, several weeks before I even heard of the series, I was saying how strange my friend was for reading vampire books.... I was wrong! 
Anyways down to the question, I would actually ask her why she capitalized the word "dumpster" throughout the books. I remember the chapter where Bella was hanging around the dumpster, throwing out the leaflets and the entire time I thought is dumpster a new place in the US? To this day, I can not get it out of my head... was there a reason it was "Dumpster" and not "dumpster".... or was it an error on behalf of the proofreader?
I have been told it is now a US brand, hence the capital.... in Australia it is just a generic term though, not a brand. 

p. 98: "Do you mind throwing these flyers in the Dumpster?' " Mrs. Newton.

p. 98: "The Dumpster was around the side of Newton's..."

p. 291: "...fire fighters were called to the scene of a burning trash Dumpster..."

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Weigh in Wednesday

Introducing a new meme to the blog. I got an email about this the other day and thought it was a brilliant idea. Weigh in Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Epilogue. The meme is simple, you are given a topic and you chip in with your opinion.

This weeks topic: E-book vs Print book.

Both forms of reading have their benefits. While I don't have an e-book reader myself, I am aware of the fantastic amount of benefits and have considered buying one, however I am still very partial to holding a book in my hand as opposed to staring at a screen. If someone was to gift me a kindle though I am sure I would probably give into the temptation. There is such a variety of e-book readers, such as the famous Kindle, Sony Reader, Kobo, Barnes and Noble Nook, down to the iPad, desktop computers and smartphones. There is simply no escape from the potential of reading an e-book.

For those of us traditionalists, the experience of holding a book in our hands tends to be a main benefit. Being able to display our obscene collection of books on a classic book shelf; showing off our first editions and signed copies. It is always a great conversation starter when someone walks into your home and compliments you on your amazing collection of books, thumbing their way through the selection, learning more about who you are and what book they could potentially read next.

However, E-books are growing in popularity and more and more publishing houses are looking to take it on, releasing new and old books for e-readers. E-books are equally a brilliant idea; they allow readers to take all their digital books on the go, so that you can choose what you want to read on the move or at your destination of choice.

To put in simply, I am very pro printed book, but I have no aversion to e-books. My personal preference is that I would have an e-reader on the side for when I didn't have space for a book to carry with me, but I will continue to build my printed collection until I have a full blown old fashioned library that looks a bit like this....

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Finale cover reveal and BookExpo America

For those of you who regularly read my posts, you know I am a big fan of Becca Fitzpatrick and Patch. If you are a fan of the Hush, Hush saga and based in New York, you will be pleased to know that Becca will be revealing her FINALE cover at BookExpo America on Wednesday June 6th at 8:45am in the lobby of the Javits Center. I assume for those of us not in NY, we will be able to see the cover shortly after the reveal.

The cherry on the cake is Becca will also be signing at the Simon and Schuster booth from 9:30am until 10:30am.

On another note, if you are a blogger, the BookExpo is a fantastic opportunity to mingle with other bloggers, authors and publishers. Head over to the website to find out what is involved and how you can be a part of the action. Not only will you have a chance to network but there will be some great sessions on a range of topics, from general blogging, making money, building a community, reviews and tips on how publishers and bloggers work together. It is honestly a great chance to gain some invaluable advice if you are starting out or want a fresh perspective on your blog.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Light Between Oceans....

Recently I received a copy of an interesting new book, The Light Between Oceans. It is the debut novel by M.L Stedman. To be honest, what drew me to the book at first is the fact that the author was born in Australia and now lives in London... just like me. It's an odd reason to choose, nevertheless the story sounds just as fascinating.

The book is officially on shelves today in the UK, August 7th for those in the US! While I am still in the middle of the book, take a peak at the book trailer. My review will be up shortly.

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Goodreads snippet:
A captivating, beautiful, and stunningly accomplished debut novel - the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one devastating choice that forever changes two worlds.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Review: Shiver

Review: Shiver

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls) Book #1
Release Date: 5th October 2009
Pages: 448
Publisher: Scholastic
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Source: Purchased (Amazon UK)
Purchase Book: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will be left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance.

Shiver is the first book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls saga. I was recommended this book by several bloggers and the hundreds of great reviews. After reading too many vampire books, I wasn’t sure how I felt about a werewolf book, but I was mistaken. While it did take me three attempts to make it past the first few pages, it was well worth it once I got into it.

The book itself is an interesting approach to telling the story of Grace and a wolf called Sam. Grace grows up with a horrid past, where at the age of six she was attacked by wolves, only to be spared by a wolf with yellow eyes. Instead of being afraid her whole life, she becomes fascinated with the pack and the yellow eyed wolf, Sam. She spends the years after the traumatic event watching the woods behind her home, where the yellow eyed wolf is also keeping watch on her. It is only when another attack occurs on a teenage boy, several years later that the town of Mercy Falls begins to pay attention and launches a hunt against the wolves. Grace is against the attacks and does all she can to protect the wolves. Unfortunately there is a victim.... her wolf, Sam. Sam turns up shot and bleeding in his human form on Grace’s porch. Without giving you too many spoilers, the story sets off from there with Grace and Sam finally be able to communicate with each other.

There are some interesting bits:
When it comes to the format, It is written in alternate chapters, from Grace and Sam’s point of view, sharing their story. While it is confusing at first to have to switch between two characters, it is in fact more insightful as you get to read both sides of this teen romance.

We find out that the wolves in fact turn human during the warmer months, which gives Grace and Sam a chance to form their relationship. However, before you think it’s a simple love story, we find out there is a set number of years this happens and then they become stuck in their wolf form for the rest of their lives. With that whole hiccup right there, you know the whole story will be about fighting to save Sam.
A very unique and a great little detail - the chapters are headed by the temperature at the present time... giving the reader a better feel of how hard it is for Sam to stay in his human form, especially when it’s freezing cold. Depending on what country you buy it in, you can find this in Celsius of Fahrenheit.  This to me was a blessing because the last thing I want is to have to convert temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius every chapter.

By far one of my favourite covers for the past few years. There seems to be two different designs, depending on the country you buy it in, but both are equally brilliant. I love the graphic style of the black, white and red, detailing branches of the woods and giving off that cold, dry winter night feel. To give credit to the illustrator, it was created by Christopher Stengel. The US cover (below), while using a different colour palette gives a more day snowy winter feel. Which do you prefer?

Final Comments:
While I loved the authors writing and love of poetry, I will do my best not to compare it to other books.  While, in the beginning it did remind me of Twilight sans vampires... the Bella and Jacob story, had Bella had this pure obsession for Jacob, I got over it. There is this intense love between Grace and Sam and it definitely matches the passion teenagers cry over today. I only wish this book was around when I was a teen. To give this book an honest review without being bias, it was a great read. The wolf part isn’t too grotesque, so don’t be put off by a teen wolf romance... It may have taken me a while to warm up to the idea and finally give the book a chance, but I highly recommend it to YA fans.

I would love to know what you thought of the book. If you have also read the next book, please do share links to your reviews in the comments section as I would love to see if the next book lives up to the first.


Friday, 20 April 2012

Exclusive UK event with Nicholas Sparks

Have you read The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, The Last Song or The Lucky One? If you have, then you know these brilliant stories are written by Nicholas Sparks. Whether you have read the books or seen the films, the impact of his novels leave the same mark.

To promote the new film The Lucky One which is out now in the US and due in UK cinemas on the 2nd May, along with the film tie in edition, Nicholas Sparks will be at Foyles, Charing Cross Rd on the 28th April for an amazing and exclusive one off event. For the lucky attendees, you will have the chance to meet Sparks, hear him talk, chip in during the Q&A session, buy the book and have it signed.
So if you are a huge fan, this is something you do NOT want to miss as there are only 140 tickets. Head over to the Foyles site now to purchase your ticket.

Event info:
Where: The Gallery, Foyles Charing Cross Rd, London, WC2H 0EB
When: Saturday 28th April 2012
Doors Open: 3:30pm
Duration: approx. 1 hr
Tickets: £3 (redeemable against copies of the film tie-in edition of The Lucky One and a selection of other Nicholas Sparks novels)

For more information and to book your ticket, visit the Foyles event page or Little, Brown Books site.

The Lucky One
Goodreads: In his 14th book, bestselling author Nicholas Sparks tells the unforgettable story of a man whose brushes with death lead him to the love of his life.

After U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman buried in the dirt during his tour of duty in Iraq, he experiences a sudden streak of luck -- winning poker games and even surviving deadly combat. Only his best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph -- his lucky charm.

Back home in Colorado, Thibault can't seem to get the woman in the photograph out of his mind and he sets out on a journey across the country to find her. But Thibault is caught off guard by the strong attraction he feels for the woman he encounters in North Carolina - Elizabeth, a divorced mother -- and he keeps the story of the photo, and his luck, a secret. As he and Elizabeth embark upon a passionate love affair, his secret soon threatens to tear them apart -- destroying not only their love, but also their lives.

Filled with tender romance and terrific suspense, THE LUCKY ONE is an unforgettable story about the surprising paths our lives often take and the power of fate to guide us to true and everlasting love.

As I am currently ill and still in the moving house process, I cannot attend the event, however if you do, please share your comments.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Moving house... be back soon...

Every few years my family tends to move around the world for work or school, so we have become professional removalists. It's come to that time again to pack up my books and find them a new home, thankfully, in the same country this time. I think child me (see image above) predicted my future.... I obviously knew I would be living in a suitcase for my life.
Depending on how long it takes to get internet set up based on past experience, it could be up two weeks. If anyone needs to reach me, I am still available via twitter and email.

In the meantime have an absolutely wonderful Easter break!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Feature and Follow Friday (4)

Welcome to another Follow Friday! Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read where you can meet new bloggers and gain more followers! The fun part of it is the random questions! Here we go!

Q. Do you read one book at a time or do you switch back and forth between two or more?

I had actually been thinking about this the other day, contemplating if it's really fair on the books that we don't read it right through and stop to switch. I used to read one book at a time but I have found recently that I switch back and forth. I started reading Shiver but I felt stuck after a few chapters, so I switched to a few other books and eventually found my way back. Although by the time I came back to it, I forgot what happened, so I had to go back to the start. However, this time round I am enjoying it, so I guess it's a good thing I switched.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Review: The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic

The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (also known as Confessions of a Shopaholic)

Release Date: 14th September 2000 (Paperback)
Pages: 320
Publisher: Black Swan, Transworld
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Source: Purchased (Waterstones)
Purchase Book: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Meet Becky Bloomwood, an irresistible heroine with a big heart, big dreams --- and just one little weakness... 

Becky Bloomwood has what most twenty-five-year-olds only dream of: a flat in London's trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season's must-haves. The only trouble is, she can't actually afford it --- not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Saving magazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn't pay much at all. Still, how can she resist that perfect pair of shoes? Or the divine silk blouse in the window of that ultra-trendy boutique? But lately Becky's been chased by dismal letters from Visa and the Endwich Bank --- letters with large red sums she can't bear to read --- and they're getting ever harder to ignore. She tries cutting back; she even tries making more money. But none of her efforts succeeds. Her only consolation is to buy herself something ... just a little something ...

Finally, a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life --- and the lives of those around her --- forever.

I picked up a copy of this book after seeing the film Confessions of a Shopaholic. At first I thought it would be exactly like the film, however I was pleasantly surprised. For one, the book was completely different and far more enjoyable. I love that the book is based in England as opposed to the US, as I found myself at one with Becky. Living in London, I related to her on a whole other level, due to the fact that her fictional house is just down the road from me, I knew all the stores, streets and understood her need for fun and shopping. Our area is filled with stores with constant sales that entice you to shop even when you know you can't afford it. Sophie Kinsella definitely got this one right.

The book is absolutely wonderful and great for a light summer read. Becky as a protagonist, is full of energy and surprises. She obviously has a problem with shopping and it is up to her best friend Suze to attempt to restrain her. The great thing about this book is that there is always something going on, never a dull moment to make you put down the book. Whether it's trying to hide her spending habits from everyone or making up stories to get money from people to buy something, you honestly don't know what she will do next.

As the first book in the series, it is a great introduction to Becky's world. The entire novel is written from Becky's perspective which allows readers to get to know her really well, especially what is going through her mind when you get annoyed with her. We are introduced to her best friend, her fun loving parents and the ever so handsome Luke. Her relationship with Luke alone plays a large part of the story and gave me a great laugh. All in all the characters are down to earth and care a great deal about Becky, they are very easy to like.

While it does have a rather boring pink cover, the publisher has just released a new cover this year if it doesn't do anything for you. You can get the new cover here.

Final Comments:
As one of my first ever chick-lit books, it was extremely enjoyable and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an obsession with shopping or wants a fantastic light read. If you have read the series, you will be excited to know that the seventh book, Shopaholic Takes Hollywood is coming out next!


Friday, 23 March 2012

Fabled Friday's

Welcome to the first ever edition of Fabled Friday's! It a fun little meme of my creation where I will pick a new fairy tale each week to discuss. Inspired by the obscene amount of fairy tale tv shows, I thought I would give the books some credit.

As I was given a copy of Grimms' Fairy Tales, I will be drowning in the world of Grimm for the next few weeks. Anyone is free to join. You can either review the same tale, pick another or be completely original and make one up or share one passed down from a grandparent.

What is required:
1. Pick a fairy tale.
2. Write anything you want about it (opinion, review, other versions by different writers, moral, fantasy cast, films, alternate ending etc)
3. Share an interesting image that represents that story (scene, character, object etc)

If you are still uncertain of what to do, just use my post as a guideline. Here we go!

Hansel and Gretel is a popular fairy tale about siblings Hansel and Gretel. Their father and evil step mother abandon them in the woods as they can't afford to take care of them. They drop stones and bread crumbs to help find their way home, but eventually they can't find their way home because the bread crumbs get eaten. They run into a blind witch who lures them in with her tasty gingerbread house where she tries to eat them... As the tale goes, Hansel and Gretel are two smart children, they shove the witch in the oven, escape with her riches and return home to their father, where their evil step mother has passed away.

There are various versions of the tale, the famous one being written by the Brothers Grimm in 1812. What is great about the tale is that it has been translated around the world and interpreted to suit different cultures. Some countries even change the names of the characters. One example being in Croatia where the names were changed to Ivica and Marica, two popular names at the time. After all Hansel and Gretel are two popular German names...

If you are taking part, link your post below to share with everyone.

Feature and Follow Friday (3)

Welcome to another Follow Friday! For those of you not familiar with it, Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read where you can meet new bloggers and gain more followers! The fun part of it is the random questions! Here we go!

Q. What is the longest book you've read? What are your favourite 600+ page reads?

Longest book I have read without a doubt is Gone with the Wind! With 1024 pages, it was a killer, especially since I was 10 when I first read it. I was in an Australian Young Writers Club at the time and was reading everything I could find. It was the biggest book on my mums bookshelf so I figured I would give it a go. Following closely is Anna Karenina with 864 pages. Although if you count poetry, the winner is Romanticism: An Anthology with 1552 pages.

My favourites on the other hand are the typical Harry Potter and Twilight (Eclipse, Breaking Dawn).

What is the longest you have ever read?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Giveaway winners announced!

It is time to announce the winners of my first ever giveaway!! Firstly, I wanted to thank everyone for all the entries, blog posts and wonderful comments! I have had an amazing number of new followers and entries... I am rather shocked! I only wish I could send you all a prize. Both winners have been drawn at random using rafflecopter.


Winner: Kah at Not Just Nonsense
Runner Up: Mina at Gripped into Books

Congrats to both these lucky winners. I have sent you both an email, if you could respond in the next 7 days to claim your prize, that would be great!

If you missed out this time, don't worry there is still next time!


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Movie Monday: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

Another week of Movie Monday, a fun meme from Stephs Stacks where books are compared to their movie counter parts on the big screen. It is more like Movie Tuesday as I couldn't get to a computer yesterday. Nevertheless, my choice this week is....

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter is a thrilling new 3D movie based on the book, due to be out in cimemas around the world this summer. Critics are saying its a fantasy, horror, thriller, supernatural action film... if you ask me, they probably couldn't decide where it fit.
The story itself is about Abraham Lincolm, the 16th President of the United States who secretly is a vampire hunter. He discovers that his mother really died at the hands of a vampire and seeks vengeance. The book is written like a biography, following Abraham Lincoln's real life.... but with vampires. Written by the same author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith and produced by no other than Tim Burton. I myself am currently in the middle of the book, so don't worry I won't be providing any spoilers. I am however extremely excited about the film as it looks fantastic. A review of the book will follow when I am finished with it. 

girly myspace layouts

The Book

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

"henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..."

"In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares."

"There are but two types on men who desire war: those who haven't the slightest intention of fighting it themselves, and those who haven't the slightest idea what it is."

girly myspace layouts
The Movie
Release Date: 22 June (US) | 2 August 2012 (UK)
Producer: Tim Burton
Writers: Seth Grahame-Smith (screenplay), Simon Kinberg (screenplay)

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them.
Film Posters
There are three film posters to date and I am not sure why they chose to create so many. I do however love all of them, so I thought I would share the other two.

There are an obscene amount of trailers, so I have narrowed it down to two which will give you a good idea of the film.

Special Feature:
Behind the scenes action

I would love to hear your thoughts on the book or film.
Don't forget, my giveaway ends by the end of today, so if you haven't entered, head over now.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday

Shelf Candy Saturday is a weekend meme hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews. It's a chance to pick a book for the week, giving the cover designer a bit of credit and praise. This is my first time doing this meme as I adore brilliant cover art.

It was difficult to choose just one and seeing as though I was chatting with my old Brazilian schoolmate earlier today, I thought I would show off one of her favourites. Just to note, this is the Brazilian cover art for the book and sadly I haven't seen it available to buy anywhere out of Brazil except the publishers website.

My choice this week is Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne. Translated into Portugese as Viagem ao centro da Terra.

This absolutely amazing book cover was created by Carlo Giovani, specifically for the Brazilian edition of the book. I have seen a variety of interesting designs done for the book, but this is by far my favourite. For those not familiar with it, Journey to the Centre of the Earth is just one of those classic science fiction novels full of adventures. The cover is so perfect as it tells the story itself. With layers of paper used to represent different levels of the earth through the adventure, it explains the depth of the story without a confusing illustration or boring text with the title of the book. The colours are vibrant and the intricate details of the boats, buildings, volcano and core of the earth are outstanding.
After looking more into the designers work, I can see he is a master with paper art. I would love to see him create more book cover art.

Designer: Carlo Giovani | Website | Purchase this edition

(Left) A sample of the designers work with paper, constructed by hand. You can find more of his work at his website.


The intrepid Professor Lindenbrock embarks upon the strangest expedition of the nineteenth century: a journey down an extinct Icelandic volcano to the Earth’s very core. In his quest to penetrate the planet’s primordial secrets, the geologist—together with his quaking nephew Axel and their devoted guide, Hans—discovers an astonishing subterranean menagerie of prehistoric proportions. Verne’s imaginative tale is at once the ultimate science fiction adventure and a reflection on the perfectibility of human understanding and the psychology of the questor. As David Brin notes in his Introduction, though Verne never knew the term “science fiction,” Journey to the Centre of the Earth is “inarguably one of the wellsprings from which it all began.”

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Review: Stefan's Diaries v.5: The Asylum

Stefan's Diaries: The Asylum

Release Date: UK 5th April 2012 (Paperback) | US 17th Jan 2012
Pages: 221
Publisher: Harper Teen
Author: L.J. Smith
Source: Bought (from Amazon US)
Purchase book: Amazon UK | Amazon US
The hunters become the hunted. . . .

Driven from their hometown of Mystic Falls, both Stefan Salvatore and his brother, Damon, arrived in Europe looking for a fresh start. But Samuel, a wealthy and cunning vampire, has other plans for them. First he ruined Stefan’s peaceful existence and now he’s framing Damon for the most gruesome murders London has ever seen.

United against their common enemy, Stefan and Damon are stunned when they realize that the source of Samuel’s rage lies in their past—tied up with the woman who forever changed their lives. Haunted by the memory of Katherine, the brothers find that their uneasy alliance is tested. Can they overcome their rivalry to defeat Samuel before he exacts his final revenge?

Based on the popular CW TV show inspired by the bestselling novels, Stefan’s Diaries reveals the truth about what really happened between Stefan, Damon, and Katherine—and how the Vampire Diaries love triangle began.
The Asylum is the 5th installment in the Stefan's Diaries series. Continuing from The Ripper, Stefan and Damon have now come to an understanding, joining forces as brothers to defeat the enemy Samuel, who is tormenting them all over London, framing Damon as Jack the Ripper and killing off those close to Stefan.
With Violet's sister Cora in tow, the trio are heading back to London to find a way to get Violet back and rid the world of Samuel. Unfortunately for the brothers Samuel seems to be an indestructable vampire that just wont die, leaving Stefan and Damon to come up with a variety of ways to bring him down.

Now that Damon's reputation is on the line and the entire London police force is looking for him, they are left to go into hiding while planning their attack on Samuel. Thankfully, while Cora may be human, it is her emotional strength and spirit that keep the group together. She appears to be the first woman after Katherine that has the respect of both brothers with no need to fear for her own life.

While at first you may think its a simple seek and destroy vampire story, it's really seek and attempt to destroy, try again, someone dies, fail, try again, someone dies, fail, try again..... you get the idea. It goes on and on until you wish you could go and destroy Samuel yourself.
The great thing about this book is that readers get the chance to learn more about Damon and Stefan's relationship and another side of Katherine's secret life that not even the brothers expected.

Similar to the previous book, it maintains a cool look. I bought the US edition, but it is exactly the same as the UK edition, just with different fonts and chapter designs. I am not entirely sure if this is Katherine or Elena on the cover. It may not make a difference either way.

Final Comments:
Continuing from the 4th book, it doesn't progress very far. As I mentioned early, the seek and destroy vampire sequence goes on and on, spiraling out of control. If it was shortened and merged with the previous book, I may have enjoyed it more, but to be honest, it does drag on a bit. Nevertheless if you are a TVD fan, there are some things you would love to know in this book, which I won't spoil.
It doesn't come out in the UK until April, but if you are desperate to read it, the US edition is available online. Keep in mind if you are keen on keeping your collection the same, the cover is slightly different and the US don't have a glossy cover like the UK - It may not be a big deal, but I hated the feel of the US edition.


Monday, 12 March 2012

Movie Monday: Anna Karenina

Another week of Movie Monday, a fun meme from Stephs Stacks where books are compared to their movie counter parts on the big screen.

This week I decided to choose an upcoming film set to be released on 7th September this year, Anna Karenina. For those not familiar with the book, Anna Karenina is a novel written by Russian author, Leo Tolstoy. It is said to be one of the greatest novels ever written, while I do agree that it is a powerful story, it can get rather exhausting to read. There have been numerous adaptations, none of them really doing a great representation of the book, so I have my fingers crossed that a british version may just bring it some life.

The novel follows the story (more like tragedy) of Anna Karenina, a married socialite who has an affair with the affluent Count Vronsky, all while her family is in the middle of their own drama and infidelities. Vronsky is open to marrying Anna if only she leaves her husband. However, with pressure from Russian society and her personal insecurities, she can't get her act together. The entire novel follows the drama that is Anna's life, from attempting to follow her heart to being shunned from high society, put simply, it takes a toll on her life.
Amidst the novel is another story, throwing readers into the other side of Russian life. Set in the countryside on the estate of a landowner named Levin. It follows his life in managing his estate, personal life and marriage. Levin's story is slightly connected to Anna's through her brother Oblonsky.

While I am not in love with this book, I have a strong connection with it as my final High School English paper was written on it. For a year of my life, I was thrown deep into the characters lives and stories. The agricultural portion of the book that follows Levin is utterly exhausting, however I have family in Europe that have been through the same situations, so it was like reading their stories. It made it a little bit easier to handle. I haven't heard of any release dates for the US as this is a British film. If you do hear otherwise, do let me know.

The Book

Anna Karenina seems to have everything – beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky. Their subsequent affair scandalizes society and family alike and soon brings jealously and bitterness in its wake. Contrasting with this tale of love and self-destruction is the vividly observed story of Levin, a man striving to find contentment and a meaning to his life – and also a self-portrait of Tolstoy himself.

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"

"Hideous! As long as I live I shall never forget it. She said it was a disgrace to sit beside me."

"an extraordinary woman! It's not her cleverness, but she has such wonderful depth of feeling. I'm awfully sorry for her."

The Movie

Release Date: 7 September 2012
Director: Joe Wright
Writers: Tom Stoppard (screenplay), Leo Tolstoy (novel)

The film is directed by Joe Wright and is his third collaboration with Keira Knightley, one of which was for her Oscar-nominated role as Elizabeth Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice", where Matthew Macfadyen also starred as Mr Darcy.
This new adaptation includes Keira as Anna Karenina who has an affair with Vronsky, played by Aaron Johnson (the geeky guy from Kick-Ass - not the best choice in my opinion). Jude Law plays Anna's husband (look below for a hilarious aged photo of him). Matthew Macfayden (famous for his role as Mr Darcy) plays Anna's brother Oblonsky. I know its from a different movie, but just doesn't feel right to me.

No trailers as yet, so please enjoy the photos, taken from Focus Features.

Have you read the book? If so, are you looking forward to the film?
I am on the fence with the casting, some are great choices, others are not. What do you think?