Thursday, 30 June 2011

This crazy week.

So, my main news of the week is....

I AM FREE!

I never have to attend a lesson at secondary school again.
I never have to take a GCSE exam again.
I never have to go into school again  (apart from Results Day)
I never have to go to a Maths or Science or French lesson again
I am free and fab!

So, I have spent these days of freedom actually enjoying myself a little bit. My last exam was on Monday with Statistics which was okay but Index Numbers - the thing I rule at - didn't come up. Anyway, that day was my friend's 16th birthday so she had a lovely Year 7 themed party which was such a nice way to end the exam period and kind of dance the stress and the revision away. I really enjoyed myself kind of letting go and dancing with my friends and talking to them without mentioning the E word or the R word (exams and revision).

Then, by Tuesday...I had no idea what to do with myself. I was just walking around my house wondering what to do and thinking I should be upstairs revising instead of watching TV. It's such a weird feeling.
And today, I saw my best friend who goes to a different school which is nice.

And then tomorrow....it is PROM! I don't feel excited about it yet though. I just feel excited to see everyone in their dresses and suits, see the hair and the make-up and just have some fun without worrying about things that have happened over the past couple of week in both stress, exams and relationships with one another. This time is really the time you find your friends and enemies and when people change and either sparkle or you kind of find out they're real personality. This year has been the most stressful but Year 11 has also been the best with everyone together and supporting each other, knowing that it will all end some time. It hasn't all sunk in yet really.

I will post some pictures of me in my finery. I am having my nails done and getting my hair curled! Have a lovely day :)

A-Z Authors - Y, Z

I found out about this through Phanee from funny wool and is hosted by Heather at Proud Book NerdI thought it looked quite fun so this month, I shall be doing a post every day (except Sundays) where I shall tell you about amazing authors that have surnames beginning with that letter. I hope you enjoy and tell me if you know any more with that letter and I'll add it to the post! Thanks.
NOTE: As I am doing my exams at the moment, I may miss days so shall combine letter together, I'll say if I do in the title - Thanks.
Here we go....

Y

Erm...Well....I don't know many authors with this letter, so sorry! The last ones in the 
alphabet are being annoying and hard...


Z

Gabrielle Zevin

I love this woman and her books. They are very YA with the whole falling in love thing happening but they are really interesting and have a deeper meaning behind them. Her books explore things we have no idea about like after death, amnesia to name a few. They help deal with these things but make it very enjoyable at the same time. Her writing is very good too and flows well as well as her variety of original characters, situations and settings. She helps make you think you are related to them as they're normally about 16,17 years-old. I just really like her books and I'm always looking out for her. Because she's at the bottom of the alphabet, I think sometimes people forget about her a little bit when you're in a library or book store.
Her Books: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, Elsewhere, The Hole We're In, Margarettown


And that's the end of A-Z Authors! I hope you have all enjoyed it and have found some authors to look out for now. Thank you to Heather at Proud Book Nerd for organising it and thinking it up. I have enjoyed it a lot :)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

A-Z Authors - V, W, X

I found out about this through Phanee from funny wool and is hosted by Heather at Proud Book NerdI thought it looked quite fun so this month, I shall be doing a post every day (except Sundays) where I shall tell you about amazing authors that have surnames beginning with that letter. I hope you enjoy and tell me if you know any more with that letter and I'll add it to the post! Thanks.
NOTE: As I am doing my exams at the moment, I may miss days so shall combine letter together, I'll say if I do in the title - Thanks.
Here we go....


V

Jenny Valentine


I don't remember much of her novels because I read them a few years ago but I remember that I liked them a lot and really enjoyed that way they were written and the humour and mystery she added to her books. They were also those kind of books where you read the blurb and are like 'Whoa, who's that...what happens in that?' and you read it only to find out. It's hard to explain but it's good. Read them!
Her Books: Broken Soup, Finding Violet Park, The Ant Colony, Me the Missing and the Dead



W

Rachael Wing


She is definitely one that not many people have heard about and I think her books have only been released in England and Germany. Rachael Wing was 14 when she wrote her first novel, Star-crossed which is based on Romeo and Juliet but much more funnier. She was 16 when it won a competition to be published. Since then, she wrote another book, Love Struck which is based on A Midsummer's Night Dream and I think she's only in her early 20's now. Although, the books are more for pre-teens, I still enjoy them a lot and I loved how she wrote the first book in the 2nd person which is something quite unusual really and makes it like you are Jen in the story. Have a look for her - she's great. 
Her Books: Star-crossed, Love Struck

X


I really don't know for this one...sorry!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Some Stats.

As a blogger, I love to have the occasional look at my Stats just to see how I'm doing. I haven't looked in a while but I was surprised from what I saw. So surprised and it makes blogging so surreal.  Also, I have my last exam tomorrow, Statistics and I thought, this linked with it.

I have 50 followers.
I have had 13 pageviews today
I had 23 yesterday
I had 1,283 last month

I have had 10,408 pageviews of all time in my entire history. (Erm, WOW!?)

The most looked at post is my review of Splendor by Anna Godbersen, 2nd,  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and 3rd, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

The most looked at page is Reviews A-Z, 2nd, About Me, 3rd, Challenges/Contests

My main traffic sources are
Twitter
Google
Stephanie's blog - Books are a Girl's Best Friend
The Broke and the Bookish
YA Addict
Large Hearted Boy  - not that I know who this is but I love him all the same ?

My blog is looked at from 10 different countries - UK, US, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Netherlands, Brazil, India, Philippines, Greece

The most used Browser is Internet Explorer and Firefox (interesting)
The most used operating system is Microsoft and Macintosh. Surprise, Surprise.


I'm not showing you all that my blog is going well and gloating, I was just amazed at these Stats and thought I would share it. I cannot believe it at all. That many people want to read about me and my rambles on books? Looks like it...

Friday, 24 June 2011

My Museum Day, Food and Carnegie.

First,  I would like to say that....PATRICK NESS WON THE CARNEGIE AWARD. I was hoping he would win, not only because I love his books and don't like any of the other shortlisters but I think he deserves it as he's so nice to teenagers and children which I like and he reads all of his comments on his website - which I think is the best thing. His books are also amazing and a lot of people, both in England and all over the world love them. I am so happy he won and also that he said something about libraries in his acceptance speech. Let's face it - someone had to do it I think, sooner or later.


Anyway, Monday. My last ever GCSE (hopefully) and it's...Statistics. So not the most enlightening thing in the world but I'm alright with it..I think...let's just say - I prefer it much much much MUCH MUCH more to Mathematics. SO MUCH MORE.

Anyway, yesterday, I went to London with two of my friends. Instead of doing the typical teenage thing of going shopping on Oxford Street, we went to...South Kensington. Yes, this still sounds normal.

At South Kensington, among going to the most amazing ever bakery in the world and having the loveliest pannini's also in the world (Got to love London for their food), we went to the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum (the V&A). And although, many 'cool' people would be like 'Oh what saddos' it was actually mega fun. I had a great day being a kid again in a kid-free area (it's still school term for most kids so there were only school trips around - YES TO STUDY LEAVE)

So. First we went to the Science Museum where there had been a power cut so we had a mooch around the Space section and then, headed for the Natural History Museum which I am so sad to say...I have never been there before. I was more of a nice, pretty, spacey gal in my younger years and the dinosaurs at the Natural History scared me to bits...even though they are bones - but there is a simulator one! It's so interesting there and there was this great Earthquake room where you experience, I think, a magutude of 6 on the Richter Scale. Which is something I definitely don't want to experience in reality...
So, afterwards we headed for lunch at this cafe I've been to before opposite the station where they have the loveliest pannini's known to man - I'm serious. I had a...chicken, bacon, brie pannini for only about £5 (which is pretty good for London) and it was pretty much heaven for me foodwise.

Anyway, we headed after lunch back for the Science Museum where we could go a little bit further in now and we went to the Launchpad. It is amazing there with all these scientific tests and experiements - it's great in there. We were fasinated by this piece of clear glass that is freezing cold and when you spray water on it, you can look through these lens and see it crystallising - it's so beautiful.



I love that place. It's so great and so original and just...fun. 
Afterwards, we went to the V&A for a bit and then headed for the Hummingbird Bakery. Hmmm....I love it. It's a little bit pricey but for the size and niceness of the cupcakes, you don't mind. It's a nice quirky, unique bakery which some yummy cakes on offer...I had to resist some of the cakes personally. And the best bit? The take-away containers (below) - I absolutely love them, they are so cute and a nice way to carry them around with you. It's like a Chinese take-away container but it has a little metal handle to hold around, like a mini bag.

My Cake (below) was a Vanilla cake with Vanilla icing and hundreds and thousands. My friennds both had Red Velvet cakes which also looked delicious. And the Lemon Cheesecake - I wanted it all. EVERY SINGLE CRUMB.


So that was my day. Hoepfully that was marginally interesting for you. And 50 FOLLOWERS. I am a happy gal right now. 

A-Z Authors - S,T,U

I found out about this through Phanee from funny wool and is hosted by Heather at Proud Book NerdI thought it looked quite fun so this month, I shall be doing a post every day (except Sundays) where I shall tell you about amazing authors that have surnames beginning with that letter. I hope you enjoy and tell me if you know any more with that letter and I'll add it to the post! Thanks.
NOTE: As I am doing my exams at the moment, I may miss days so shall combine letter together, I'll say if I do in the title - Thanks.
Here we go....

I actually cannot think of anyone for any of these. The only person I have read from any of these is S and John Steinbeck but he isn't a favourite and I would only recommend this guy if you loved classics - which some people hate with a passion. Sorry!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Tuesday Top Ten: Favourite things of being a Blogger (#13)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish


I have been blogging a while now, and in this post, is the reason I started blogging in the first place, I have mentioned it before but not in great detail. If you are a old follower and have wondered or would like to know, look at Number One. 


This week's theme is my favourite things about being a Blogger as it is The Broke and The Bookish's one year blogoversary!

*WARNING* There are long paragraphs because I talk a lot and I love this week's topic!

1. Being able to share my love of books without being judged harshly - At my school and especially in society now for teenagers, I was classed as the 'Weird Kid', the one that always had their head in a book - the 'geek'. All of these I don't mind being and I can say truthfully, I know I am what people class as a 'geek' or 'neek' as some brainboxer came up with. It's always been like that. However, since getting a blog, I haven't been as ashamed about reading and being obsessed with books as much.
I remember at the beginning of Year 10 last year, our English teacher made us write a little bit about ourselves as an introduction, what we thought about ourselves. In mine, I wrote 'People call me a 'geek' or whatever word you want to call someone who loves books, actually listens and gets good grades and probably sucks up to the teachers a little bit and gets upset when they're in trouble. To be honest, I totally agree with them. I love books. I hate being told off and doing wrong. And I would rather be indoors reading than out with my friends.' Her reaction was a big red '!'. That was written in September 2009 - a rather long time ago. 
In February 2010, I changed. I have mentioned this before but never in detail but here you go. I got a new boyfriend who I had known for a while and had actually gone out with my best friend a couple of years beforehand. He was lovely, kind, fun and thought what seemed the world of me. But then, about the time I made this blog, he told me he would be moving to Australia in the March. So, Europe - I wouldn't worry - not that far. Australia? Across the fricking world? A 24 hour flight? A little bit like 'Oh. Okay then.' It wasn't a surprise. He had said he would maybe be moving to Australia when he went out with my friend but hadn't so I kind of didn't take it seriously and carried on as we were, thinking it would be there, but never happen.  
It wasn't until he actually broke up with me that it kicked me in the face. There were those awkward weeks where you kind of don't know how to act as you were close but then it's like 'Hey, you broke up with me, grr'. So in the middle of March, he went to Australia. And to be honest, I was sad and annoyed at myself because I didn't appreciate him while he was here until he had gone. Basically, it took me a while to get over him and I completely forgot about the blog. It wasn't until Year 10 ended and I still was sad and felt alone with my close friends all having guys they went out with or liked and I had no-one, that I took blogging seriously. And then I felt better, I made friends with people in the community on here and loved to talk about something that helps me get away from the world: reading. And I have carried that one from then on and I realised that reading isn't a bad thing to do, if anything it's one of the best things in the world for you to do.
*Sorry for that long thing*

2. Finding out about some books that interest me before the release so I can save up - Because I follow mostly bloggers that live in America where a lot of books come out earlier than in the UK, I like the fact I can see their reaction to it. Countless of times, I have seen some books in the library or the bookshop and went up to them after recognising the cover and thinking 'BAD REVIEWS' and moved away and got an even better book than that one. It's nice to have that link with people who don't live in your country or culture and find out about their way of life and how their life works. 

3. Reading genres and books I would never have entered before - If you'd said to me when I made this blog that some of the things I read now like the Dystopian genre, I would love, I would laugh you off and run away frantically. It's only because I saw good reviews for 'The Declaration' series that I finally picked it up after naming it THAT book that I wanted to read but was unsure. Thanks!

4. The Blogging community - I've kind of mentioned this but this is the thing I value most of all. The community that comes along with Blogging. I love it. I have made so many friends through blogging and seen opinions for things, I wouldn't even think of. This includes Authors, Book Bloggers, Publicists and bloggers that don't specialise in books but love them all the same! 
I know that I am part of a special, modern group of people who can talk for hours about books and will support and help each other. We're like a family really.

5. Comments - The one thing I have loved from the beginning is comments. I think any blogger can say this but I love to know what people think about what I'm writing and I makes me sure that people read what I'm writing and like it so I'm not just writing this for myself like I used to before I became serious on blogging. I just feel so happy and I think every blogger appreciates them more than they can say just to know someone else's thoughts.

6. The excuse to go in old secondhand musty bookshops - These are my favourite places, as well as libraries. My parents know I love reading, I always have and they bought me so many books as a child, but they don't know about the blogging. But I do sometimes use it as an excuse in my mind to go in them and look for a nice book as a treat for myself. I usually am spoilt for choice.

7. Being aware of that industry - When I first started the blog, I wanted to be a journalist or an actress - totally different things right? Now, I would love to go into book publishing or historical research for books or movies. Both things have bookish references and I think these jobs are the result of being a book blogger and learning things about the industry, and the process of making books, giving books away etc. 

8. Blogging makes me proud, happy, excited and everything in between - I love it so much, I cannot describe it. I know when I come home, I have this to do, that people listen to me, like my writing and enjoy my blog in general. I love reading other people's thoughts, seeing pictures and ratings. 
Recently, I've been having friends troubles and not been going out much and I know I have this thing and this community that do care, even if other people don't and that makes me so happy and much more cheerful. Otherwise I think I would be a wreak half the time! Hence last year when I got serious about blogging. 


There are probably things I haven't thought of but these are the things that come to mind. I hope you enjoy!

A-Z Authors - Q, R

I found out about this through Phanee from funny wool and is hosted by Heather at Proud Book NerdI thought it looked quite fun so this month, I shall be doing a post every day (except Sundays) where I shall tell you about amazing authors that have surnames beginning with that letter. I hope you enjoy and tell me if you know any more with that letter and I'll add it to the post! Thanks.
NOTE: As I am doing my exams at the moment, I may miss days so shall combine letter together, I'll say if I do in the title - Thanks.
Here we go....

Okay Q is the hardest letter of the entire alphabet for both authors and just weird other reasons like you can't use it in Scrabble or Word Mole (obsessed with that game) without the U or it's grammatically wrong...and there are no words without its buddy, U. So I went to the library yesterday on a quest to find an author that I knew and found zilch. So, yeah. No-one. Again.

R

Rosie Rushton

Her books make me laugh so much. I have actually only read one of them, Love, Lies and Lizzie which is like a modernised spin-off of Pride and Prejudice and really put what happened in perspective for me and I understood (finally) what Jane Austen was talking about which was nice. Although, some things don't happen in the real thing, it is mostly similar to the original novel. 
It's writing in a nice style with not too complicated words but then not like a small child reading it with some hilarious and inviting characters within it. Like Mrs Bennet and Lydia...they made me laugh the most, much like they do for other people in Pride and Prejudice. I would recommend this one for anyone that loves Jane Austen's books or doesn't understand the story completely - this will help a lot.
Her Books: Secrets of Love (Sense and Sensibility), Love, Lies and Lizzie (Pride and Prejudice), Summer of Secrets (Northanger Abbey), Secret Schemes and Daring Dreams (Emma), Echoes of Love (Persuasion) 

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Girl With a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier

This book was lent to me by my friend, Tijana who when I went out with her for the Malorie Blackman signing, gave me this list of books to read in return for some recommendations of my own and looking at Patrick Ness' website constantly to see if he comes to London or anywhere near us.
Next day, she turns up with a paper bag full of books. This one wasn't included but when I went to her birthday celebration, she shoved this in my hand and demanded I read it. So, I kind of had to.
 I have wanted to know the story, after hearing about the film with Colin Firth in, although I haven't seen it. But I have never had the chance to actually read it, hence by lack of protests when this was shown in my direction. And in truth. SO GLAD I DID!


Synopsis: The book focuses on the household and family of the painter, Johannes Vermeer, who painted 35 paintings in the 1600's. It follows the year in which Griet, a very young maid with a poor family, worked at the house for (around 2 years) and her relationships with the members of the family and her sudden attraction to the paintings her master paints. Slowly, she becomes involved in the small world of beautiful clothes and jewellery and the whimsical worlds of the paintings.


Review: 
A lot of us know at least the painting of 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' if not at least the painter, Vermeer. As far as I know, this is probably up there on the 'Most famous paintings' list with the Mona Lisa.
This is such a compelling story. It is so intriguing and entertaining even to find out and discover the world that Vermeer painted in and ultimately the story behind the painting.
It's unclear if this is the real or theory of the story behind it or literally from Tracy Chevalier's imagination and her story of the kind of tale behind the portrait. In a way that is good, it leaves it up to the reader to believe the story or not but in a way, I kind of really want to know the person in the painting.

I loved this book a lot. The writing was so lovely and easy to read and even though it is said to be an Adult books, it could easily be Young Adult too and something I could see on the selves of the Teenage section in Waterstones. I really liked Griet as a voice and she began really interesting to see her life and the way poorer people were treated at that time. Also, it was nice to have the poorer servant as the voice instead Vermeer himself, it was better and added much more mystery to Vermeer's character - you don't actually find out a lot about him really as he only appears ever so often and becomes a kind of mysterious, anticipating figure, much like how Griet sees him. The reader does become a little like Griet as it is told in the first person.

I feel so much for Griet from the beginning and winced at the insults thrown at her, got angry at the behaviour of the other members of the household and happy whenever Vermeer took her side. The other characters were so interesting and complete different from each other. There is quite a fair amount of characters involved but they are all different and unalike with their own stories and relationships. I liked that.
Girl with a Pearl Earring -
Johannes Vermeer (1665)
The one character that did get on my nerves: Cornelia, Vermeer's 7 year-old daughter who makes Griet's like hell. I don't know if it was different in those days but she seems too old, too mature, too much of everything to be that age to me. It maybe done on purpose but it made her more annoying for me and I didn't get why she was doing it to Griet and not the other maid, Tanneke. I just didn't understand her motives.

What I did like was the fact that there is a story behind about 9 of Vermeer's paintings and does give an insight into his world that we know so little about. It was interesting to have the historical setting in The Netherlands instead of the usual place of England or America.
 The book is also obviously researched thoroughly as after looking up Vermeer on Google, a lot of the facts that came up featured in the book such as where they lived, Catholicism and the names of the family and some of the events that happened. You can also tell this from actually reading the book too, with some odd, old fashioned names mentioned, as well as Dutch names, although it is made obvious what it actually is. Tracy Chevalier shows clearly she has a deep passion for Vermeer's work and paintings like the main one.

I also LOVED the ending. It kind of ends suddenly, then you turn the page and find yourself 10 years later. It's nice to know Griet's life after and how it turns out as well as the families and especially the painting. It was a lovely end to this novel that again makes you think a little.

This is one I think a lot of people would enjoy, especially if they are into historical fiction or have seen this film. Personally I haven't but after reading, would like to see it to make the difference. It's sad in a way that we know so little about the lives in that era of this famous painter but this book does transport you to a world where the tiniest thing counts for your future life or job.
A great little read which really opens your eyes a little bit and appreciate the art around us like Vermeer who had struggled with his finances at the time, although now would sell for millions.
Girl with a Pearl Earring is on show at the Mauritshuis, The Hague

I give it 4.5 out of 5

Author's Website: http://www.tchevalier.com/
Pages: 248
Publisher: Harper Collins
Challenges: Historical Fiction

A-Z Authors - O, P

I found out about this through Phanee from funny wool and is hosted by Heather at Proud Book NerdI thought it looked quite fun so this month, I shall be doing a post every day (except Sundays) where I shall tell you about amazing authors that have surnames beginning with that letter. I hope you enjoy and tell me if you know any more with that letter and I'll add it to the post! Thanks.
NOTE: As I am doing my exams at the moment, I may miss days so shall combine letter together, I'll say if I do in the title - Thanks.
Here we go....

To be honest, I have no authors for either of these letters. I know authors for P but I wouldn't say they are my favourite or I would recommend straight away. Sorry. Here is the list anyway:

P

Alexandra Potter
Sasha Paley
Dave Pelzer

Friday, 17 June 2011

Audrey's Awesome Awktopus Summer of YA Lit Challenge

Audrey from Holes in my Brain is amazing. Her blog makes me laugh so much, it's ridiculous yet her reviews are so interesting and I think she deserves her 1000 followers (Wow is all I can say).

Anyway, she is doing a personal challenge to do over the summer as she, like me, has left school recently and has a whole 2 months of summer (well I have 2 months anyway). I think this is such a great idea and going to make me read throughout the summer and have a goal for it.
So these are the things to complete this summer:

*Crossed out means it is completed.

1. Read 4 Books you have never heard of before = Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery - Keren David, Theodore Boone - John Grisham, Annexed - Sharon Dogar, 


2. Start and finish a series or trilogy = 


3. Read that book = An Education - Lynn Barber & The Roman Mysteries (last book) - Caroline Lawrence & Once - Morris Gleitzman


4. Read ONE classic = 


5. Read 2 books for one of those other challenges = An Education - Lynn Barber, Once - Morris Gleitzman


6. Read the book you’ve been avoiding because of hype = You Against Me - Jenny Downham 


7. Read a book published before year 2000 = 


8. Read stand-alone books by the same author = 


9. Read a summer-related book = 


10. Buy a book = Girl with a Pearled Earring - Tracy Chevalier

Thursday, 16 June 2011

A-Z Authors - N

I found out about this through Phanee from funny wool and is hosted by Heather at Proud Book NerdI thought it looked quite fun so this month, I shall be doing a post every day (except Sundays) where I shall tell you about amazing authors that have surnames beginning with that letter. I hope you enjoy and tell me if you know any more with that letter and I'll add it to the post! Thanks.
NOTE: As I am doing my exams at the moment, I may miss days so shall combine letter together, I'll say if I do in the title - Thanks.
Here we go....

N

Patrick Ness

I actually love and cherish this guy. He is also one of the nicest authors I have met. I met him last year at a book launch for 'Losing It' in which he had contributed a mini-story to. I was introduced to his books by two of my best friends who being reading junkies like me, told me about them and REALLY recommended them - like 'Read now or we will hate you' recommendation. So I did. I had seen the books but I had never approached them - they looked too boyish and action packed for my girly liking. Anyway I'm glad I did. I fell in love with the characters, the setting, the story - everything. They are the type of books people I know kind of see and walk away from, not sure what they're like. But READ THEM if you see them. He makes you love Todd and Viola. Hate the Mayor and the other baddies. He makes you sad, happy, angry in one book and he writes really well and like Todd or Viola is talking directly to you. My friends and I all agreed that he makes you feel like their characters are your personal friends and you're going through the plot with them. And that's what I love about reading books.
His Books: The Chaos Walking series - The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, Monsters of Men, The New World. A Monster Calls

Other Honourable Mentions: 
- Jandy Nelson

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

QUESTIONAIRE - Please tell me your thoughts.

*This takes some time to load*

I hope this works first of all.

I have seen a few of these throughout the blogosphere recently and done some myself and it got me thinking about what do my followers think about my blog? I would really like to know what you truly think and how Rebecca-Books can be improved. Please be truthful and honest because I would like to know.

I really appreciate your thoughts and feelings and I'll publish the results when I get enough.

THANKS!

Here goes...


You will have me back soon - And some help PLEASE

I know it's been a while but

HEY GUYS!


Sorry, I am a bad blogger. You have been given Tuesday Top Ten's, A-Z Authors and the occasional review. I am very sorry but you were warned.

I have done 14 exams of my 15 GCSE's and the last one, Statistics, is in under two weeks with a trip every day next week to see my wonderful Maths teacher for revision. Oh joy.
Although, after that, my summer begins!
One of my close friends has her birthday the day of the Statistics exam so is having a party that evening. Then, I have a Leavers Lunch where I get the yearbook and see lots of people a couple of days later and then at the end of the week, I have Prom.

Yes Prom. Not so big-limo-fake-tan-big-dresses-with-poofy-skirts-and-sleeves American style prom but a nice dinner and dance afterwards with my fellow students and teachers. Which I thought was nice and I'm looking forward to it. I shall post a picture of me and my prom dress which I can truthfully say have been DYING to tell the world about but I've been keeping it in apart from a picture on my phone to the selected few.

Anyway, not many things in the way of bookish things really. Although I am planning something special. I am also going to have a poll/questionaire once I figure out how to put Google Documents on Blogger after 2 tries already. PLEASE TELL ME HOW TO DO THIS AND I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER.

I am so excited for this summer, it's unbelievable and I will of course keep you all updated, if you care or not.

One last thing of this ramble, ANYONE RECOMMEND A GOOD FOUNDATION preferably in powder form that's on the High Streets and at a reasonable price.
I need some for Prom and I don't normally wear it so I'm a bit clueless. And also ANYONE RECOMMEND ANY EYELINER THAT STAYS ON FOR HOURS AND DOESN'T SMUDGE - again I shall love you for life.

Oh, and read this - I cannot believe this either. That is so horrible and shouldn't have been allowed:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2000281/Headteacher-bans-17-children-taking-vital-GCSE-exam-turn-wrong-SHOES.html

A-Z Authors - M

I found out about this through Phanee from funny wool and is hosted by Heather at Proud Book NerdI thought it looked quite fun so this month, I shall be doing a post every day (except Sundays) where I shall tell you about amazing authors that have surnames beginning with that letter. I hope you enjoy and tell me if you know any more with that letter and I'll add it to the post! Thanks.
NOTE: As I am doing my exams at the moment, I may miss days so shall combine letter together, I'll say if I do in the title - Thanks.
Here we go....

M

Gemma Malley

Dystopia fiction never used to appeal to me really. I thought the ideas were great and original but they never used to make me think 'Wow. I want to read that!' at all. Until Gemma Malley. 
I had seen her book dozens of times in the shops but it was only when I had seen a review for the second book in The Declaration series that I actually started to pay any notice to them. Then, about a week later, I was at my friend's house and noticed the first copy of the book, asked what she thought and after her sister saying it was really good, I borrowed it from her. And the rest, they say, is history. 
I love her writing because it makes it modern and understandable even with all the foreign words and scientifical words laced in. It's easy to read and I love the characters of Peter and Anna in that series. She also plays with tension and timing well making you find things out at the last hour or make you think something else is going to happen. She is always keeping you guessing which I liked and I think really is the essence to books like this to make it interesting and I think that's where Numbers failed the other week ago.
I need to read more books of hers but if there is one series that I would recommend certainly, it would be this one. They are really good and really put another take on what the future might actually be like.
Her Books: The Returners, The Declaration series - The Declaration, The Resistance, The Legacy,


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Tuesday Top Ten: 'Awww' Moments (#12)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish




This week's theme is those moments where you have shout 'AWWW!' to no-one in particular

*NOTE* All my moments I could think of would have given the plot away so I'm going for a list of books that contain 'AWW!' moments with the characters in it. If you would like the little details on what happened in those 'AWW' moments, comment below with an email and I shall tell you!

1. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen - Eli and Auden
2. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen - Macy and Wes
3. Last Chance by Sarah Dessen - Colie and Norman
4. The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness - Todd and Viola
5. The Betrayal by Mary Hooper - Lucy and Tomas
6. The Other Countess by Eve Edwards - Ellie and Will
7. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin - Naomi and Will
8. I was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison - Jenny and Captain Williams
9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Elizabeth and Darcy
10. Lady Grace Mysteries: Haunted - Grace and (I can't remember his name - the Earl of something I think...)

A-Z Authors - L

I found out about this through Phanee from funny wool and is hosted by Heather at Proud Book NerdI thought it looked quite fun so this month, I shall be doing a post every day (except Sundays) where I shall tell you about amazing authors that have surnames beginning with that letter. I hope you enjoy and tell me if you know any more with that letter and I'll add it to the post! Thanks.
NOTE: As I am doing my exams at the moment, I may miss days so shall combine letter together, I'll say if I do in the title - Thanks.
Here we go....

L

Suzanne LaFleur

She was kind of the only author I could think of that was beginning with L and I had read and that no-one might have heard of. I didn't think Love, Aubrey was going to be good but I was so surprised. You are simply only following a young girl's life and I thought it might seem too young, too simple as it's classed as Young Adult. However, it isn't. She successfully makes it interesting and deep yet keep that child like innocence throughout and it made me enjoy it incredibly. It made me think about my own childhood and about what if my life was like that myself, thankfully nothing like that has happened to me or in the near future shall not, hopefully. It really does make you think about yourself and the world around you and the things people have to suffer with these days as children. I liked that moral. 
Her books: Love, Aubrey, Eight Keys

Monday, 13 June 2011

A-Z Authors - K

I found out about this through Phanee from funny wool and is hosted by Heather at Proud Book NerdI thought it looked quite fun so this month, I shall be doing a post every day (except Sundays) where I shall tell you about amazing authors that have surnames beginning with that letter. I hope you enjoy and tell me if you know any more with that letter and I'll add it to the post! Thanks.
NOTE: As I am doing my exams at the moment, I may miss days so shall combine letter together, I'll say if I do in the title - Thanks.
Here we go....

*You know, K is so hard...

K

Judith Kerr

I read 'When Hitler Stole my Pink Rabbit' quite a few years ago so I don't really remember what it was like, what it was about etc. All I remember is I enjoyed it a lot especially as it was about a hard hitting subject that not many young children understand or know already. I think I sensed that Nazi Germany was wrong but didn't quite understand how and why until I learned all about it for History two years ago. I think it's amazing that she can do this and make children understand that it is wrong but not be gruesome or pretentious. I liked that. And I think I am going to try and find this again at my library and read it again to remember it. 
Her Books: When Hitler Stole my Pink Rabbit, The Tiger who came to Tea, One Night in the Zoo

Friday, 10 June 2011

A-Z Authors - I, J

I found out about this through Phanee from funny wool and is hosted by Heather at Proud Book NerdI thought it looked quite fun so this month, I shall be doing a post every day (except Sundays) where I shall tell you about amazing authors that have surnames beginning with that letter. I hope you enjoy and tell me if you know any more with that letter and I'll add it to the post! Thanks.
NOTE: As I am doing my exams at the moment, I may miss days so shall combine letter together, I'll say if I do in the title - Thanks.
Here we go....

*DOING J NOW because it's my Dad's birthday tomorrow so I won't be online so here weee 
goooo.*


I

Eva Ibbotson

She is another one of my favourite authors of all time. I discovered her a year ago and even though I had heard of her before, I never knew how good her Young Adult books were. They aren't everyone's tastes but like Sarah Dessen, she has some really good ones and some not amazing but still good books. I really do enjoy her books a lot and her books always leave you with a favourite. She has some lovely settings abroad in both England and Austria, some amazing characters and some interesting story lines with twists and turns throughout the whole way. She is a real Historical writer and writes her romance not over the top but not too understated either. She is a real well rounded author, although sadly she died late last year. I hope she will be remembered for her great books.
Her books: The Secret Countess, A Song For Summer, A Morning Gift, Company of Swans, Magic Flutes


J

Marie-Louise Jensen

Amazing Historical Romance books. The one I read last year was so enjoyable and interesting that I'm looking out for more books by her. The cover has a beautiful girl with curly brown hair and I knew straight away when I saw it that I would like it and I would love it A LOT. I love her writing, her characters, her humour, the romance, the content, the story line. I really do love the books of The Lady in the Tower. This is another understated author that historical fiction fans SHOULD read. This one was also based on a real story which really brought it to life.
Her Books: The Lady in the Tower, Between Two Seas, Daughter of Fire and Ice, Sigrun's Secret



Numbers - Rachel Ward

I don't know quite what to write about this but it is going to be short and sweet. I'll explain below.

Synopsis: Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die. 

Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride on the London Eye in Central London on the day before Jem will be sent back to a care home, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem's world is going to change 

(From Goodreads.com)


Review: A couple of years ago at Christmas, I saw this in the bookshops and thought it looked so interesting with a synopsis with that. So when I saw it in my local library, I jumped at the chance to read it, picking it up along with the other books without a second thought.
Hmph. 

This is one of those books that gets so much hype and then makes you deeply disappointed when you read it yourself. It's another Annexed. The story is so unique, well thought out and just sounds so interesting to read about and thinking people could be like that....but the execution brings it down.
I admit I didn't finish the book. I got to page 180 and gave up. It was just SO boring and tedious. 
From the blurb, it looks like it's all about Jem and living with the Numbers thing but it's more about Spider and her relationship with him. There are also times where it's like 'They did this, then they did this, then this happened' which got incredibly tedious. 

I have read other reviews on this book as I always do and a lot of people seem to love this book, thinking it's so action filled and tense. This may be just my opinion but, erm, really? It was a really slow pace for me which was fine to start off with and made it boring. Jem has a voice that makes you interested but, although they sounds snobbish, it's very casual and colloquial and made me start not to like her at all. I really didn't like at all. It also took me this time of those 180 pages to work out that Spider was black and a few pages to find out that Jem was a girl. That may be on purpose and even so, it wasn't obvious.  
Also, there was this mixture of what the message of the book was. First, it was the numbers thing, then what it's like to be in poverty and when I ended the book, it suddenly started mentioning on most pages about discrimination still against black people in the UK still. I don't mind any of these things but it was just so miss matched and confusing.  Also, the constant references to Spider's body odour (which I am quite aware how guys might forget a shower at least every day) made me feel quite nauseous  not great when I'm feeling sick from a History exam already. Not nice.
There is also the problem that both of these people are fifteen years-old and in Year 11 so about my age and going around smoking, drinking, taking drugs, doing dodgy jobs, sex, stealing cars, knives. All at the same time.
I would like to say now that there is such a small percentage of people that actually do these things. I know a handful of people who have had sex, and even then with their boyfriends - not any old person, and smoked. Although, there are people out there that do that. All the other stuff no-one does, around my area anyway. I'm not naive, I know it happens but so much less than ANYONE makes out. 
In this book, it's constant. That may be because of the poverty thing but I can tell that older people will read this book and make assumptions. Just saying, it's not true and it annoys me when people do say that like they know what they are talking about. They probably don't.

On a positive side, I got into this book straight away for the first few chapters and then by Chapter 6, I'm off. There are some good characters in there that are great such as Spider's Nan and the Nutter. They made me think of people I know now. The book becomes an account of how they fight for survival and get away from something where they are completely innocent. It really nicely shows the development of Spider and Jem's relationship with one another and goes hint at the end if you don't make it until then like me. It shows how you can be thrown together and made to cooperate with each other and get along. It was interesting from that part, if nothing else. 

This book could be amazing with this kind of weird, supernatural plot and some original characters but although, there are some good bits, there are also some not that great bits in it too. And the overall effect makes it very boring and tedious and monotonous and made me just give up to hopefully read a more interesting book. This really isn't one I would recommend unless you're alright with reading things like this. Your decision.
Good idea, bad execution - sorry. 

I give it 3 out of 5

*This will not be added to my challenges as I didn't read the whole thing.*

Pages: 304
Publisher: Chicken House

Thursday, 9 June 2011

A-Z Authors - D, E, F, G, H

I found out about this through Phanee from funny wool and is hosted by Heather at Proud Book NerdI thought it looked quite fun so this month, I shall be doing a post every day (except Sundays) where I shall tell you about amazing authors that have surnames beginning with that letter. I hope you enjoy and tell me if you know any more with that letter and I'll add it to the post! Thanks.
NOTE: As I am doing my exams at the moment, I may miss days so shall combine letter together, I'll say if I do in the title - Thanks.
Here we go....

SORRY FOR MY LACK OF DOING THIS IN THE PAST WEEK. I have been so busy with revision, exams, being out, getting food etc but here it is now!

D

Sarah Dessen

She is amazing. I am not kidding. She is the best or at least one of the best writers I have ever read and has remained a favourite for about 3/4 years. I am yet to see/meet someone who doesn't like her novels. There are ones less good than others but they are all better than some other novels that are out there. She is always consistent and although critised for having the same plot every time, they all seem different. You know what to expect from Sarah Dessen in the plot but they are always so original in characters, settings, other events. The characters are such unique people that you kinda wish were real and that you learn to love a lot.
Her Books: The Truth About Forever, Just Listen, Along for the Ride, What Happened to Goodbye, This Summer, Someone Like You, Last Chance (or Keeping the Moon), Dreamland, Lock and Key, This Lullaby.

Paul Dowswell

I have only read one book by this guy but Auslander was amazing. It has a boy as the voice and normally, I find they aren't as good with a guy voice but this was fantastic and really helped me with my History GCSE - it put it all into perspective for me and helped me understand it all while doing my favourite thing of reading. He is such a good author that not many people give credit or know about at all. 
Other Books: True Stories of WWII, Adventures of a Young Sailor, The First World War, Escape.


E

Eve Edwards

Wow. I love this woman. Sometimes books are just Historical or just Romance and sometimes having both of those together is hard to pull off without being too much of the other. However, The Other Countess series have been amazing. So interesting with this perfect fascinating mixture of genres with the most funny, enjoyable characters. I just love her books and make me love History so much more. She is a writer a lot of people should pick up. 
Her Books: The Other Countess series - The Other Countess, The Queen's Lady, The Rouge Princess


F

Gayle Forman

I have only so far read her first book in the If I Stay duo. I have the other but not yet read it. I thought the book was going to be boring. But I found it wasn't. It wasn't perfect for me but I really liked it and the way it was written and how different it was to other novels out there that are similar to this one. I really liked her overall and I REALLY NEED TO READ THE NEXT ONE.
Her Books: If I Stay, Where She Went, Sisters in Sanity


G

Anna Godbersen

She is again in my category of best Historical Romance authors. I love the fun, happy side to her books and then also, the serious side to them that changes suddenly and makes you think. They are a real type of YA book but not too heavy, yet not too silly and ridiculous. These are good books and I love the different characters that after The Luxe series with 4 books, you start to think as of family a little and really get to know them inside and out. All of hers are set in New York at different periods of time which is so interesting to compare from the historical side. She successfully has fun/serious books with a nice balance. 
Her Books: The Luxe Series - The Luxe, Rumours, Envy, Splendour, Bright Young Things


H

Mary Hooper

Not many people have heard of Mary Hooper and that may be because she's an English writer and more known over here but I love her writing. She also writes historical and you can tell from reading that there is so much detail put into it. She covers many periods of history with some characters that reflect what people were like then and now. There are bits of romance but I like them with and without. I don't know what it is about this one but I just love her writing - but I can't say why. She is also the one that got me into Historical fiction and when I met her at a book signing last year, she was so friendly and it was like I known her years!
Her books: The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose, Fallen Grace, Newes from the Dead, At the Sign of the Sugar Plum, At the House of the Magician, Megan, Amy, Holly

Cora Harrison

I fell in love with her writing when I read the first chapter. It wasn't the typical Regency language but I liked that. Made it easier and more enjoyable to read. I loved all her characters, the cover, the romance, the playful look on life and the way she can make a unique character seem like someone you know or a simple situation, one you can relate to. I love how she made Jane Austen a real and lively person, someone my age that I could learn more about and make her feel like a friend. 
I really do love her books. I think it's her first bit for YA looking on Goodreads but she should keep it up!
Her Books: I was Jane Austen's Best Friend, Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend, My Lady Judge, The Montgomery Murder