Sunday, 27 March 2011

Our World.

Please try to read all of this, I would appreciate it.

This might me, being human, but I'm worried.

In the last few months, there has been an earthquake nearly every two weeks. First, in Christchurch, New Zealand, then and more devastatingly, Japan and only a couple of days ago, in Thailand. I know being in England and therefore, in the middle of a plate, I don't need to worry about any volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes but still. If you've noticed, there has been a lot more natural disasters happening in the last couple of years compared to say, the 80's/90's.

There's the threat of global warming (although there are views that it is just the 'Earth warming up after the Ice Age). The terrible weather that at least England and other places in the world seem to get every single year.

Take the summer. August. You imagine the sunny days doing nothing, eating ice cream on Brighton beach, wearing shorts all day, every day. Getting away and hanging out with friends in those summer holidays. Erm...where did that illusion come from? 
I have never had a proper summer holidays ever. In all my 16 years. August is seen as this here in England but  when you come in that month, you find rain, wind, rain and more wind. I wore jeans and jackets for most of the summer last year - only putting shorts on about the total of 3 times over a month.
But yet, my mother, who was born in the 60's and has an August birthday, was born on the hottest day of that year. They used to go to Guernsey (an island just off France but part of England) and Norfolk without jackets or worrying about the rain in August. That was their summer holiday and they had great weather. So what changed? The best seasons now are Spring *looks outside at the lovely weather now* and Autumn *remembers going up to London shopping wearing a skirt, short sleeve top and blazer in September*.

So why is it so different from only 3/4 decades ago? I kind of believe it's global warming. With all the floods late last year, the natural disasters happening at the moment, the American hurricane months starting soon, when they predicted the end of the world or at least human life to be 2012 (NEXT YEAR), were they right?
I know that some people are now thinking 'oh god. this subject again' and yes, it is. And before I scoffed thinking they were mad but recently with the proximity of nearly 8 months away from 'that' year, I'm starting to believe it. Will I ever make it through college? Will the 2012 Olympics in London happen? Will I make it to 18?
Who knows.

I found out a fact yesterday. There's a lake in Canada and if that floods, it will flood into the Atlantic Ocean and will stop the North Atlantic Drift. If that happened, England, and maybe Europe, would have another Ice Age. I'm not kidding. If that stops, that stops all the hot air and weather coming our way so Hello Ice Age.  Scary, don't you think?

*Added to original post* Also, if you look in the news nowadays, we always try to ignore what's happening with a simple 'Oh that's sad but I can't do anything for them' or 'Why doesn't someone just .......'. I know because I do it too. There have been 7 countries since Tunisa that have tried to over throw their government/leaders: Tunisa, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Bharan, Yemen, Algeria. Who says that that couldn't happen in England? Or even the US. On Saturday, there was a mass demonstration in London on the cuts being put in place by the new government to deal with some of the debts that the UK owes. There's been so much uproar about it, protestors both peaceful and violent turning up. Much like the Student demonstrations in December which I was partly caught into without even attending the demonstration. Just being a teenager in London. 250,000 people turned up for the one on Saturday. And that's just those who could come - not all of the people who think that. Who knows? By watching the world going mad in other places on BBC, could England be like it is in Libya, Yemen, Egypt? Probably not but it's food for thought.

Now if you've made it this far and read everything above, then thank you.

We always try to think of a positive future, that dream job, your future children or husband/wife. Maybe we should start to think about if the 'What If's?' came true. What If this is our last year alive. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. Who knows?

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Blogging.

I want to say one thing that I have been experienced over the last couple of weeks on this blog.
Here we go:

I love blogging.

I have no idea why but I think I have caught the bug. I love the people who comment who are always so nice and say such nice things (if they're being nice, I don't care), I can talk about what I think, what I feel and what I want on here.
I can talk about my favourite thing to relax: read and no-one will look at my strangely and walk away wondering who this person is.
I just really love it and I wanted to say it. I don't care about how many followers I have, it doesn't bother me (okay a little but not loads). When I come online and see 40 followers glowing at me, I feel so happy that those 40 people care about what I have to say. 40 people I don't even know or have met (well I've met 2 of them) but still care and like that I say and find it interesting.

So Thanks to you guys and the people on the comments page.

It's just at school at the moment, it's hard. 24 days left of teaching. A matter of weeks until the final exams. If I fail, that's it. No going back. Then, my friends at the moment seem to not want to know me, if it's because they're stressed too, I'm annoying them or I've done something: I don't know. But that's not a sympathy vote. I'm saying it because when I go on here and blog and see all the wonderous comments I get, I feel so so SO happy and worth while. Thanks.

Also, as I said, matter of weeks until exams, I might not be posting as much as I do because of my restrictions that I am placing on myself for the computer and internet. Sorry. But I will be around. Just not much. Then, you'll have July/August of me all to yourselves. :)

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Chocolate Cake With Hitler - Emma Craigie

I found this book resting at the back of a shelf in my school library. Having learnt about the Nazi Germany period in History and getting tested on it in June, I thought it would be a good idea to have a read. It looked interesting too and is a true story. I kind of had to pick it up.

Synopsis: This tells the story of the final days of Helga Goebbels living in the underground bunker with her family and Hitler in April 1945. At twelve years old, she is stuck in the double level bunker with no news but the stories the adults around her tell her to know what is happening in the outside world. As the gun fires draw nearer and slowly the bunker starts to empty, Helga is the only Goebbels child to wonder what is actually happening. Her father, the minister of propaganda (something that helped with Hitler lead in power) and Hitler's best friend, is never there and distracted when he is. Her mother won't look her in the eye. People want her and her 4 sisters and brother out of here. But why?

The Truth: On the 30th April 1945, a gun shot was heard from the upper bunker. In his sitting room, Hitler shot himself and his new wife, Eva Braun took a cynide tablet, having tested it on Hitler's dog and her puppies a few days earlier. The next day, on the 1st May 1945, after lunch without Uncle 'Leader' and Auntie Eva, Helga and her siblings were taken to their rooms for an early night for a trip to see the puppies in the gardens of Berlin the next day. But first she needs her injection for not catching any illnesses in the intense, cramp bunker. This was in fact morphine which sent the children to sleep and then they were forced to take a cynide tablet, killing them. Josef Goebbels and his wife later on went outside and while Goebbels shot himself, his wife took a cynide tablet, killing them too. Their grandmother could never figure out where her daughter and grandchildren had disappeared to.


Review: After studying this in History including Hitler's death, I knew what happened to the children which is sort of why I picked this up, interesting to see how the author would do it. This is a truly heart breaking, sad story of a child that never had a proper life in her 'golden' childhood for the cameras and their propaganda.

The story is broken up with the ten days in the bunker and with the years before from 1935. This makes it more interesting and shows the relationship with other characters before the war and then now at the end of the war. I found out a lot of things about the different people through this, more than I knew. It really does give you that image and the feelings of what it would have been like to be living in that bunker, everyone slowly leaving.

The nice thing was at the end, there was a Postscript describing what happened from 29th April - 1st May 1945 and why they died etc. They killed themselves because they knew they would lose the war with the Russians practically in Berlin anyway. They knew they'd have been executed anyway for war crimes. They wanted to die when everything hadn't fallen apart completely yet. Added after this postscript was a glossary of all the people mentioned with what happened to them after the war. This was so interesting to read while reading also the story which meant you kind of knew their fate. Some are really heart-breaking like when Miss Kempf failed to persuade Mrs Goebbels to send the children on a barge and learnt of their deaths, she spend the rest of her life working for disabled children. That made me smile. So much research has been put into this.

This isn't the type of book you read when you are sad and depressed or if you had history. This is the type of book for those that love History and is so interesting and really makes you visualise and almost feel through the dialogue what being in that bunker was like and the strained relationships and temperaments of Hitler's mind. I would definitely recommend it to anyone doing GCSE History or if they like this period of time. I know I have basically said the outcome and plot but well, it explains it too on the blurb. The story just ends. Suddenly. And I liked how it did. It made me feel so sad. Why kill the children, that next generation that they wanted? I don't know but who knows why the Nazi's existed and got away with it to easily? Well, that was mostly out of terror.

Anyway, this book is a must-read at only 180 pages. Read it. I promise you'll enjoy every minute of this book and leave you reflecting over life itself and how easily it can be thrown away.

I give it 5 out of 5

Author's Website: http://www.emmacraigie.co.uk/EmmaCraigie/Welcome.html
Pages: 180
Publisher: Short Books
Challenges: British Book Challenge, Historical Fiction Challenge

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Tuesday Top Ten: Ten Bookish Pet Peeves #3

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish.



This week's theme is Ten Bookish Pet Peeves




1. When you are in bookshops and the cover is bent - I have a condition against this I think. I just get so annoyed and actually heart broken when I see it and to me, a book is ruined if you haven't bought it and it's like that already. Only really old books should be like that like my ancident Pride and Prejudice book (well it's not ancient but it went everywhere with me for about two months)

2. Those '3 for 2!' stickers that seem to be superglued to the front - although I've worked out the art of taking these things off without leaving a trail of sticker left behind, they still get annoying when you have to sit there for about 10 minutes peeling it off carefully and still leaving glue behind when the shops could just leave it off. More helpful, Waterstones.

3. Writing in books - when I am told in class to write in books, I start to get that feeling that I feel when I am doing something that I shouldn't be doing. To me, you just don't write in books, why do that to the precious book? What did it ever do to you?! Funnily enough though, I'm okay in writing on hardbacks but not paperbacks...it feels more like a book that you can write then I think. I've had this feeling and the looking around to see if anyone else looks nervous about writing in a book twice: Pride and Prejudice and Of Mice and Men.

4. Errors that could have been avoided - although I do find it fun and feel like I am Miss A* English compared to an author, it can get a tad annoying when they happen continuously. I mean, people are paid in the publishing business to find them and take them out, so why are they still in there after countless of read throughs and changes to find them?

5. When books have a total different ending to what the book should be and what you thought - Candor was very much like this. It ended how I didn't think it would and with a rather sad, depressing (although slightly clever) end and I didn't like it. I don't like not having happy endings. I mean, books are like films - to me they should have a happy ending (or some sort of) because they are make believe. We read/watch them to get out of our normal lives and feel happy when there is a happy end, so why make it sad?

(sorry lots of questions in this one!) :)

6. When people critise my reading choice - I'm sorry, but who is the person reading it and having to live through these words, good or bad? Me or you? I have been critised many a time for my choice of book, it being too 'out there' (e.g. about relationships and sex) or too young for my age and the fact I should be (and I quote one of my friends saying this to me) 'reading more mature books that people will actually make you look intelligent instead of stupid girly oh-my-god-my-life-is-ending-I-don't-have-a-boyfriend books.' Nice. I think we should all have the freedom, without people's thoughts and bans, to read what we want to read.

7. Books that EVERYONE seems to love yet you're still sitting there thinking why? - when I say that, I'm thinking Twilight series. Books I can understand after my friend read them before the films were made and said they were amazing. I've never been into the whole vampire thing in books (number 8) but still. Then, the movies come out and everyone and I mean EVERYONE loves them and wants Edward Cullen to be their husband forever. And then Jacob came in. Oh god.
Anyway, there are books like Meet Me At The Boathouse that I read and didn't like. And I bet that happens on here too. I know there's been books that I love but people on the comments section don't. But when everyone loves them and you don't - it's not nice.

8. Vampire books - Okay, so I was big on the book scene in 2008 which is when Twilight went big but didn't have a blog. I just knew what was good, bad, new, old etc. Twilight, I had seen many times on the shelves but the idea of vampires made me turn away. So since then, most authors you see on the shelves today have some kind of supernatural element. I mean, in Waterstones, there is a 'Dark Romance' section with Twilight in pride position. Why write about vampires when every other author (I use that vaguely) is too?

9. When books don't tell you what happened to a certain person in the end - This happened in The Legacy and although it was brillant, there was a slight loose end with Jude. He isn't mentioned in the Epilogue and although it's kind of obvious, how do we know that something different hasn't happened to him? There is always the question What If? in literature that authors have to fill and prevent.

10. When sentences just don't make sense, however much you read it - I have read many books where somehow a sentence makes sense but it doesn't? And I have to sit there for a few minutes re-reading this short sentence over and over before understanding and realising all it needs is a comma. Something that simple.

Whooo. 10 finally!
What are your pet peeves? *walks off in a grumbling mood*

Monday, 21 March 2011

Speak - The Movie

Starring: Kristen Stewart (Twilight), Michael Angarano (The Forbidden Kingdom), Hallee Hirsh (ER), Eric Lively (The Butterfly Effect)
Made in 2004 by Speak Film Inc (US)
Filmed in Ohio, USA
Directed by Jessica Sharzer
Based on a novel by Laurie Halse Anderson

After being told on Twitter and by Nessie on the comments section, that there was a movie of the book I recently reviewed by Laurie Halse Anderson  (click here if you have no idea what I'm talking about) called Speak.
So...I found it on YouTube and spend the next hour and a half watching it in the quiet of my lovely home instead of probably doing revision. But oh well. I enjoyed myself and I'm starting serious on that next week (little warning for you guys there)

Anyway, this movie is well done. Speak is I think one of the novels that you can only see as a book and I was surprised to hear that there was a movie version of it. Unfortunately, the actress playing Melina, the main character was Kristen Stewart. Yes, Twilight fans. Bella. I'll give her credit though as she was only 13 when she did the movie: Melina's age and this movie became the only film that she was critised about (until Twilight wandered along but you know). To be honest, I am a Twilight hater so I am probably being bias.
But, with the benefit of the doubt, she did do well even though she had few lines. We knew what she was thinking through her expressions, body language and the overhead voice as if inside her mind. It worked.

The actress playing Heather and Rachael were as I imagined them, especially Heather who gave the movie some humour to a very depressing scenerio. The filming was good and I liked how it hadn't been changed mostly and it stayed true to the book version. It made me have a clearer understanding of what happened in the book with it being on screen.

The only thing (apart from Kristen Stewart) that I'm disappointed in is the ending. It could have been better and with the dark lighting, I didn't see some of what was happening because of it. All in all, the movie was well done and worth that hour and a half is you enjoyed this book.

A reminder of the guest post I'm in over on Nessie's blog about British music. I will one day have a guest post...when I have a little bit more time than at the moment. Check it out. It's great and makes me feel like a true blogger now. :)

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson

I read this book a couple of years ago; I was probably about 12/13. I had bought this book when it was on sale and I liked the sound of it. At the time, I didn't like it - I didn't understand most of the words in it and what was happening and felt rather disappointed. That is why I was apprehensive about reading it again and not liking it - again.
I think as a 12/13 year old -  I just didn't understand what was happening and that things like this do happen.
This is my review of it but also a bit of context to those that aren't in secondary school/high school now.

Synopsis: Melina has started high school on an all time low. Her best friends don't want to know her. Everyone hates her for something she did because she was scared over the summer. She has no-one, even she can't talk to her parents without a fight happening as they are on the verge of separation. Why?
Over the summer, Melina called the police at an illegal party where there was alcohol because she got raped by a Senior. A Senior that won't let her forget and it making her mute. This novel follows Melina over her first year of high school which can make or break you and how she overcomes and tries desparately to beat her silence.


Review: If you read this, not knowing at all what high school/secondary school is like, you will probably think Laurie Halse Anderson is exaggerating her descriptions just to get a good story. Although, she maybe in some parts, me, the sixteen year old and in my last year at secondary school after some 5 years there, think it's pretty accurate.

She is successfully made Melina sound and behave like someone her age (14) would. She is such a beautifully written character with an interesting voice. There are some laugh-out-loud moments in this book at the hilarious descriptions of her teachers e.g. her Spanish teacher's wild hand actions after stating she will not speak English in class for the entire year (which fails in about a lesson). And then, Melina's sarcasm which I must admit, sounds a lot like the kind I use. However, there are parts which you will find sad and really feel for Melina.

I just want to write a bit about how it relates, I think it's important. Over my 5 years at my secondary school/high school, I have had 5 friendship groups (about one per year) and had arguments with the majority of them, I have been 'popular' (that's a term I use loosely) for about a year in my first year there before I had an argument with them for being 'different'. I have been called 'anorexic' countless of times because of my height, high metabolism and how thin I am (which I hate sometimes). I've been called 'langy', 'too perfect', 'a bitch', 'ugly' and a 'neek' (too clever basically). So I kinda understand the whole name calling thing in the book. Although, some of those are very 'rude' words to call someone, at school, you can't take offence to them, otherwise you'd probably be called something else. Sure, at home, I could cry and be affected by it to my heart's content but at school, in public, just talking across the playground or talking to a guy would make people notice you. It doesn't happen so much now because we all know each other but I see Facebook statuses from the younger years and girls crying in corridors all because they are known as a slut or slag. To be honest, take it in your stride.
Like the other day, I was walking along calmly, stopped to talk to my friend and then a girl in the year below elbowed through and then turned to me and said 'Oh my god, get out the way you fat idiot' and then walked off. I laughed. Nice of her, don't you think? I would go on but I don't want you to get bored.

Anyway, the novel really does show a pretty accurate image of high school/secondary school. The characters are well written and all completely different and are the sterotypical types of cliques you see in a school. This is so worth a read, even if in some places it is banned (for some unknown reason) in some places. I think it's because it's such a head on view of rape and bullying instead of kind of scooting around the main details to make it okay for teenagers to read. I'm sorry but if you read about rape and sex in a negative way, that means you're going to do it? Sure...
Have a look for more of her stuff...this book is definitely worth all the hype you see about it.

I give it a 4 out of 5

Author's Website: http://madwomanintheforest.com/
Pages: 230
Publisher: Hodder
Challenges: None

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Quick Update #5

I haven't wrote one of these in ages. Been focusing on the Top Ten Tuesday and reviews as I'm been soo busy and had no spare time for the last couple of weeks because of drama rehearsals, revision sessions and frantically trying to finish my media project of making a magazine (which is harder than it sounds).

And then get home, check Facebook, emails, blog and then fall in a heap on the table and sleep...or think about the prospect of revising but never do as it's suddenly dinner time! And I never do revision after 6pm because I know I won't concentrate.

Anyway. That's my excuse. Moving on away from the last TWO MONTHS of school (AHH!), I have been asked to guest post a unique feature for Nessie from Queen Nessie's Musings for the General Populace called 'Worth a Year In Music' which I think is great and really interesting to read.
It will be posted next Monday so check it out. Nessie is such a nice person and she has some interesting things to say on her blog. She is also a follower and frequent commenter of mine and always says some really interesting and great stuff. So check it out, I'll remind you guys on Monday :)

This weekend, I am going shopping with my best friend who I haven't seen for months as we go to different schools. And then Sunday I have another drama rehearsal...oh and I'm cooking this weekend and using my dad as a guinea pig for the food I am thinking of cooking for Mother's Day for my mum. Could be interesting...

Have a great weekend! :)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Tuesday Top Ten: Characters I want as Family Members #2

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's theme is Fictional Characters that I would adopt as my Family

1. Mr and Mrs Bennet from Pride and Prejudice - If there is one person who I think of straight away as a dad, it is Mr Bennet. I know he may not be the best parental choice for this in the world, but he is just so funny in the book and I think I would laughing at his sarcasm for this duo all the time. I wouldn't have one without the other honestly.

2. Milly from The Queen's Lady - I would love her as a sister, she is so jolly and happy. In this book, she just makes me happy and smile so I have a feeling she might do that in real life. She is also a dressmaker...SO...she can make some nice unique clothes for me! :)

3. Ellie from The Other Countess - Ellie is so sincere and honest and I feel like she would be the perfect sister/cousin to go to if you needed advice or support on your problems. Plus, she is married to the gorgeous sounding Will...hmm. Anyway. Yes I like her as a character

4. Diana from The Luxe Series - Diana has all the adventures, let's face it. And she is my favourite character in this series. She knows how to stand up for herself even if she is the younger. She can be added to my long list of sisters...this is what being an only child does to you.

5. Elizabeth from The Luxe Series - Yes I know her and Diana are sister's already but in my family - they're not. I can see Elizabeth being a great aunt. I don't know why....she seems an Aunt figure with Teddy as the Uncle. Perfect Couple.

6. Wendy from Peter Pan - I think she would be a good mum/older sister as she is in the book to John and Michael. She is also very like me and I would definitely follow in her footsteps if I was offered the chance to go to Neverland....with her and John and Michael. Tinkerbell can I have some pixie dust? No? Oh.

Okay, as I'm new to this. I am going to leave it there...I really don't know who else to put. These are harder than I imagined I must admit and I just can't think of anyone. Sorry...I'll add if I do tomorrow.

Enjoy!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

The Legacy - Gemma Malley

Okay so normally people post 'In My Mailbox' on a Sunday but well I finished this one this morning so too bad. Bad timing I guess but oh well.
This is the last one in the amazing dystopian trilogy of The Declaration series involving a future Earth without disease and death. Bit different, right?
Of course, I might have spoilers in here for those that haven't read the last two books so...if you haven't, go to my review on the first book, The Declaration or the second, The Resistance.

Synopsis: Longevity, the drug that helps you live forever, protect you from disease, is failing. As they lose their effectiveness, a deadly virus is sweeping the world and everyone is looking at Pincent Pharma for the solution to the Missing people that suddenly disappear off the streets of London. Richard Pincent, the head of the company and son-in-law to the creater of Longevity drugs, claims that the Underground have contaminated a batch of the drugs which causes uproar and chaos as angry mobs kill those that are known as sympathisers or Opt Outs of the Longevity drugs. Someone knows what is truly happening - but who? The cast from the other two books: Jude, Peter, Anna, Shelia, Pip, all join again for the last and final battle against the organisation of Pincent Pharma that preserves life but does so much to deny that right...


Review:
This is truly the final chapter of this trilogy that in short, got me interested in the dystopian genre overall. This is set in 2125 - so 114 years before our time at the moment. There is no suggestion that this could never happen. Someone could make drugs like this to have eternal life. Someone could be making them, right now. You read other books in this genre and yes, part of it could happen but it's now Earth. It's a futurisic completely different place based loosely on Earth. That is the most interesting aspect of this series. It could happen and the way Gemma Malley has written this amazing trilogy is as if it is normal life. When she describes Jude and Peter walking around London, it sounds like they are and it sounds exactly, from living on the outskirts of London myself, like it is now - without the virus and the drugs of course. Nothing much has changed - just the whole eternal life element.

This for me, is the best in the series. I suppose in some ways it has to be. There is the original cast of characters that have been in it the whole way through - Peter, Anna, Jude, Shelia, Pip, Richard Pincent, Hilary Wright. Now, I know the characters as if they were real especially Anna and Peter. However, there are also new characters - either returning from past books or completely new and original ones. Gemma Malley makes them all different - all have a different voice and opinion on what is happening. For example, Julia. The Legal that hid Anna and Peter in the first book - she's back and is in a good chunk of the novel. That's what I love as well about this book; it's told through the same characters but broken up and sometimes overlap.

There are the obligatory surprising twists and turns to Gemma Malley's novels and this is no exception. The ending is one of the best yet for me and although in some ways it seemed...rushed (?) I think it mostly because it all happened so fast. Those that have been firm followers of this series I think shall end this novel with a smile on their face and happy with the outcome. I don't want to give too much away...sorry.
If you've never read this series, don't just read this one. I've read reviews on this book on Goodreads slating it - it's only as good as I make out if you read the other two first. They do refer to events in the past two books.

Overall, this is another brillant dystopian novel of Malley's and a great way to end one of my now favourite series. I'm glad it took a while to get my paws on this one - it was worth it. My advice: give it a read....but find the Declaration first!

I give it 5 out of 5

Author's Website: http://www.gemmamalley.com/
Pages: 272
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Challenges: BBC (British Book Challenge)

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Berlin! :)

I know this is pretty late as I was there 3 weeks ago but anyway, over half term I went to....BERLIN!

It is so nice there, such nice modern buildings and I loved that the city had so much history to it, what with the Nazis and then the Berlin Wall. It was nice as I'm taking History for my GCSE and continuing with it at A level and it's about Nazi Germany - before and after. So here are a few pictures of the city that I thought you might like:


In Alexanderplatz. I liked the mixture of old and new put together. I took this while waiting for this tour bus thing that went around the whole city which was nice for as the weather was so nice outside...not.

This is the Brandenburg Gate - restored after the fall of the Berlin Wall. This is the best photo I got as there was a Gay Pride March happening on the other side which my parents didn't want to go towards....

This is the famous government building of Germany, the Reichstag. I wanted to go in it but we found you had to book ahead :S
Nice building though.

Checkpoint Charlie. This was a checkpoint for the US border during the times with the Berlin Wall and is now a memorial for those that died during that time from the 1961 to 1990.

This double bricked line runs throughout the city and is a reminder of where the Berlin Wall used to be. There is now only three places where you can see the Berlin Wall: Postsdamer Platz (the main plaza in Berlin), the History Museum and this special Berlin Wall musesum outside the city. It's been sold to billionaires and people like that since. Apparently you can get it on eBay...

It may look sunny....and it was...but freezing.

This is the Holocaust Memorial. I'm yet to understand what all the bricks mean to those that died because they vary in height and they slope up and down....but still it was an impressive site when you rounded the corner...


It was so nice there and I'm so glad I went. The only problem was the weather. Yes, it didn't rain and the sun was out but it was -11 all the time there. Yes, that's not 11 degrees, I MEAN -11 DEGREES every single day. I think this picture by a part of the Berlin Wall of me fully describes how the coldness felt there:

Yes...it was THAT cold.

Have a great weekend everyone! :)



Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The Sky Is Everywhere Paperback Cover

Through Twitter, I found out that The Sky Is Everywhere is being released soon on Paperback with this cover:

It's not as amazing as I thought the hardback cover (and the one that I own) is but I like it. It's different and if you read the book, you will know that the this picture on the front actually is included in the story. The words 'One boy helps her remember. The other lets her forget' is nice and really does summarise her relationships with the two guys in this book. I hope they include the illistrations/photos of the poem's Lennie writes as this did add to the book and was so interesting to read and look at. If they didn't, I think I would personally be disappointed.

This book is worth a read to anyone reading this who hasn't read it before.


I read this book in September...that seems ages ago...


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Tuesday Top Ten: Dynamic Duos #1

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish.

Okay, regular readers, this isn't random. I found this (and I am a follower of Kelly's from The Broke and the Bookish) when researching the Book Movie Adaptions and as I share her passion for lists, thought I've start doing this each week.

This week's theme is Dynamic Duos such as couples, friends or partners in crime.

1. Viola and Todd from The Chaos Walking Series by Patrick Ness - I've grown up through secondary school with these two and with the whole 'do they like each other? Do they not?', you kind of have to love them by the end of this series. They MAKE the book. With just one of them, it wouldn't be complete and wouldn't be the same. They go with each other for the events in this series to happen.

2. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - I know a lot of people who write this meme are going to add these two but really? When I personally think of the famous couple of English Literature, I think these two (not only because of the 7 page essay I had to write which I got A* in by the way!). You can't think of one without the other.

3. Anna and Peter from The Declaration series by Gemma Malley - I love this amazing series and like in The Chaos Walking series, they make the book. Although Anna is the main voice in the first book, Peter also has a voice and both run through the whole series and develop. With all the horrible things you find out in the books, it's nice to go back to the idyllic life of Peter and Anna.

4. Ellie and Will from The Other Countess by Eve Edwards - They are what I think all girls would love to have: a perfect loving relationship. They work so well with one another and even though it's an obvious end at the beginning, it's a happy ending that all readers love because of their love for one another.

5. Jess and Jessica from Shadow Web by N.M.Browne - even though they never meet each other and have a proper conversation or relationship, they have the likeness that they look and are exactly like each other which makes their relationship interesting as they find out the other's life out in this book. It's a weird relationship but by the end, they have a close one.

6. George and Lennie from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - After analysing every single word of this book, it's not a favourite but the strange relationship of George and Lennie is always one I think about when with my friends and they're helping me. Without realising it, in the book they are like brothers more that best friends.

7. Diana and Elizabeth from The Luxe Series by Anna Godberson - They are sisters for those who haven't read the book. At first, it seems that they don't have that much in common and tend to not talk to each other about things but as the series progresses, they become closer and start to help each other as more problems arise.

8. Macy and Wes from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen - I have to have a Sarah Dessen book here. Macy and Wes are one of favourite couples in Sarah Dessen's books. I don't know why but I already love both characters so I guess I like them because of that. They are just good together. I need to re-read that sometime...

I think to be honest, if the book is a series, then you learn the like a certain duo as you read the books and fall in love with them. I did 8 I know, but I couldn't think of anymore...
Enjoy and tell me what you think! :)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Candor - Pam Bachorz

Can I first just say that I love the name 'Pam Bachorz'? I have no idea why but I just do. It's such a good name. I think it was partly why I picked this book up.
Anyway. I saw this in my local library and having seen The Bookette's Review on it, it looked good and sounded right up my street in the terms of dystopian. But. I'm not sure about this one...

Synopsis: Oscar Banks lives in the rural town of Candor, build by his father. He is seen to everyone as popular, smart and the model citizen that his father wants in his town. However, under the surface, Oscar knows something. Everyone in Candor is controlled by subliminal messages played constantly, brainwashing everyone acts perfectly and does what his father tells them.
Oscar has found a way to block the messages into controlling him so on the outside, he is still the model citizen everyone thinks him as. There is just one problem: Nia Silva - the new kid on the block. Coming to Candor after running away repeatedly, Oscar's father and her parents are sure they can fix her. But after Oscar takes her under his wing, he has to decide whether to control her for himself to see the Nia he loves or let her turn into his father's Candor automaton...



Review: I'm really not sure what to say about this book. At first, it was all about Oscar's 'clients'. He helps people get out of the town and lead their own lives - for a price. For the first...10 chapters or so, it was all he talked about and to be honest, it wasn't that interesting. After that, when Nia is introduced, it gets more interesting but to me, it happens so fast. Like she's suddenly a new person and then, whoa. She's his best friend. Would you really build on that trust that quickly? Time does seem to go fast in this novel.

Overall, I liked Oscar as a voice for the novel. Pam Bachorz has used both short and long sentences to sound like a teenager and like he is talking directly to you. He also sounds so much like a boy of that age from my experiences at school and as the author is a female, she's done it well to reflect teenage boy's thoughts and feelings of today. Nia I also liked. She was the 'damsel in distress' kind of role but yet she still had attitude and personality and I could personally, understand where she was coming from.
    The novel explores what it would be like today if you lived in a town controlled by something like Big Brother in 1984. It is set in a town in Florida today. Now. Which is a different take on most authors that write in this genre who mostly go for the future. I liked it this way.

The setting, the way it was written and the characters were fine (well maybe not Sherman who got on my nerves straight away) but there was just something I didn't like about it. Something that made it...average. Nothing particularly special. If this was a series, I maybe would read the next book but only to see that happens to Oscar and Nia. That's what I meant by I'm not sure about it.

Overall, this book is well-written but it does have its faults and there is something about it that I didn't like. Pam Bachorz has done a good job at making it different from other books and setting it in modern day but yet, having a futurisic feel to it.
*WARNING* The ending will make you feel sad. That's all I'm saying...

I give it a 3 out of 5

Author's Website: http://www.pambachorz.com/
Pages: 287
Publisher: Egmont Press
Challenges: None

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Book Adaptations 2011

One thing I love (and sometimes hate) about reading books is that now, in the movie world, they can easily be turned into movies/TV series which give you an idea of them in real life, not just in your head.
Some of my favourite adaptations are:
- The Diary of Anne Frank (TV - shown on BBC, 2009)
- Ballet Shoes (TV, starring Emma Watson on ITV, 2009)
- Pride and Prejudice - Both the old 1995 Colin Firth one (mmm) and the Keira Knightly one. Both rock my socks. (god, I can't believe I just wrote that)
- LAST, but not least. The Devil Wears Prada. I watched, then read. And I have always loved this film. It just makes me laugh out loud so much and Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep are all amazing in it.

Anyway. There are many book adaptations that are in the pipeline this year so here is your guide to when your favourite books get turned into movies this year. Also, books that are turning into movies/TV but not being released in 2011 are at the bottom! :)
Remember these are the UK dates as I live in England and can only access these dates. These were all found on the Internet and through my own knowledge.

JANUARY
  - The King's Speech (Starring Colin Firth, Helena Bonham-Carter, Geoffrey Rush)
I've seen this - it is amazing and so deserves all the awards it's up for and won

FEBRUARY
 - Never Let Me Go (Starring Keira Knightly, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield)
This is on my must-see list.
- Brighton Rock (starring Helen Mirren, Sam Riley)
MUST-SEE LIST!
- I Am Number Four (starring Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant)
- True Grit (starring Hailee Steinfeld, Jeff Bridges)

MARCH
4th - The Tempest (starring Felicity Jones, Helen Mirren, Russell Brand, David Strathairn)
hang on....Russell Brand???
4th - The Adjustment Bureau (starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt)
25th - The Eagle (starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Douglas Henshall)

APRIL
15th - Red Riding Hood (starring Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez)
29th - Thor (starring Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard)

MAY
6th - Something Borrowed (starring Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin)

JULY
15th- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint)

SEPTEMBER
9th - Jane Eyre (starring Mia Wasikkowska, Jamie Bell, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench)

OCTOBER
14th - The Three Musketeers (starring Logan Lerman, Matthew MacFadyen, Orlando Bloom, Milla Jovovich)
26th - The Adventures of TinTin: The Secret of the Unicorn (starring Simon Pegg, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost)

NOVEMBER
18th - Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part I (starring Robert Pattinson, Dakota Fanning, Kristen Stewart)
Yes guys, those hating fans of Twilight (like me) will have to endure two more movies from the one novel. Great. (Grrrrr)

DECEMBER
26th - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (starring Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Stellan Skarsgard)
*NOTE* this is a re-make of the one out already but in English. The other one was in Swedish.
31st - The Hobbit (starring Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Martin Freeman)

Other Adaptations:
 - Mildred Pierce (starring Kate Winslet) - TV series
- Uglies by Scott Westerfield - no cast reported yet
- Winnie the Pooh re-make
- Hunger Games
- If I Stay