Friday, 21 September 2012

Day 4- Your Favorite Book From Childhood

Just to warn you, this post is very, very link-ridden.

It's not a book, it's a series. And it's The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis. Always awesome. I always wanted to be a queen of Narnia, to meet interesting folk and have adventures.

Of course Narnia is one of the best literary worlds. It's up there with Carroll's Wonderland, Tolkien's Middle-Earth, Barrie's Neverland, Baum's Oz and of course Pratchett's Discworld. I think those are some of the best creations in literary fictional history. Although I do have to mention Cornelia Funke's Inkworld and Christopher Paolini's Alaga√ęsia. Both rather awesome worlds.

I think I love all of these fictional places because there's so much there that you wouldn't find in reality, but it's always wonderful to think about what our world would be like if we had them. Who wouldn't want to fly in Neverland? I guess another thing that links all of these worlds is that there are film adaptations of every single one. in fact, most of them have quite a few adaptations. That means they must be good, right?

If I had to pick a particular book from the Chronicles, it would have to be The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Which actually made an even better film, amazingly. (I very rarely will say a film even compares to the book, but this one actually manages to make the plot better.) I do have to say it is the film that made me notice Skandar Keynes. At the time I had a minor celebrity crush on him.

So yes, probably my favourite set of books from my childhood. And aren't they just first class?

Image from Wikipedia

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Day 3- My favourite Author and Book by Them

Choosing a favourite author is difficult, but there are two that really stand out for me, and have quite a few books each.

Image from Google
One is Neil Gaiman. He's brilliant, and I have two favourite books by him. One of which is Good Omens, which is jointly written by Terry Pratchett, so it's very funny and pretty darn good. Good omens is basically about the Rapture, Doomsday, The end of the world. You know, that kind of thing. It even features the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Antichrist, an angel and a demon. Please read it, you won't be disappointed.

The second, just by Neil Gaiman is Neverwhere. Neverwhere is about a world underneath London (London Below), and features an unlikely hero and many names of places thet you know, but have never thought of in this way before.
I would also recommend this book to everyone, although other Neil Gaiman books can be difficult. However, Stardust is wonderful, short and was also made into a film for those of us who like stories, but are too lazy to read them.

The second author is Gregory Maguire. His books are quite adult, so I wouldn't recommend them to everyone. I'd say young adults and above. However, the theatre production of his novel Wicked is a must-see for everyone.
Beautiful cover - Image from Google
Gregory Maguire is probably most famous for Wicked, but he has also written adaptations of fairy tales. My favourite is Mirror, Mirror. Which is absolutely nothing like the 2012 film. Mirror, Mirror, protty obviously, is a reworking of Snow White. It's less magical and farcical than the Disney version, with more true to life and powerful themes, but it still includes some elements of magic. It also happens to feature the Borgias, which is just another plus really.

Of course, both also write childrens stories. Having not read any of Maguires stories I can't recommend them. Having read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, and seen Coraline, I'm not sure I can reccommend his either.

Monday, 17 September 2012

0.4 by Mike Lancaster

The book cover - image from google
0.4 is the story of Kyle Straker, a 15 year old voice recorder onto tapes and transformed into a book. Nobody knows if this is a hoax or if it is real. But this is his version of the events of the early 21st Century.

I love the cover of the book. It's pretty awesome and makes you think about what weirdness could possibly be in this book. So, just by looking at it you can tell that it's a sci-fi. Futuristic in some ways and completely normal to the point of mundane in others. It has everything to do with technology. It's so sci-fi, I wasn't quite sure how to react when I finished the book. I think my thoughts were: "Well, that's odd, and also pretty cool". one thing I can say for sure is that it has some great ideas and leaves you thinking about reality.

Reality itself is a huge theme here. And I thought the book was a bit short actually, because it didn't explore reality in the way I would have liked. Sure, it was action-packed, but I wanted more background and insight.

It's an easy read, and very interesting (I read it in a few hours). But I don't think it's for everyone. Basically if you're not a fan of dystopias, weird goings-on, mysteries or classic science fiction, don't read it. If you're in it for a story that is different, interesting, and plot-driven it's for you. A good thing is that it can be read by either gender, as long as they like the premise.

Unfortunately I didn't really feel much for the characters. I understood Kyle, but wasn't really overly empathetic towards him. I think perhaps the author could have described his feelings a bit more. It was probably more aimed at a teen audience though, so I'm not really the target audience.
However, I think teens would love this, I think especially boys who like sci-fi and gadgets.

For me, this book gets 2/5 stars. While it was a good idea, and I loved the premise, I don't think it was executed quite right for me. I didn't feel much fro the characters and it was on the young side.

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There is a sequel already out, called 1.4, which tells you about the aftermath of 0.4.
0.4 /Human4 on Goodreads.com.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Wither and Fever by Lauren Destefano

Destefano conjours a world where a disease has made it so that men die aged 25 an women die aged 20. So for 16-year-old Rhine Ellory, there isn't too much time left.
Rhine has been captured by gatherers and is sold on as a bride to House Governor Linden. All she wants to do now is escape back to the life she came from, escaping this life of luxury that others can only dream of. But she has reason to. She left someone behind.

Wither and Fever are both wonderful. Full of beautiful imagery and dangerous thoughts. Sometimes they moved at a slow pace, but this didn't mean they weren't riddled with suspense and danger.
The themes are all the usual - love, life, loss, friendship in unlikely places. But it includes other, more adult themes like hardship, trust, family life and relationships, polygamy and death. It leaved you thinking about it afterwards (always a sign of a good book).

But a major theme is time. It's at the very heart of the books. There's always a sense of urgency, even when things are slow-moving. In fact, it's even worse when the narrative is slow-moving. The imagery and descriptions are stunning. I can easily imagine the places described, whether it be luxury or disease-ridden. They flourished inside my head.

I guess this is a modern, younger version of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. (Which I have read). It has some similar themes, and some not quite so similar. I'll let you decide really.

I loved Rhine, but did think at times she was a bit silly. Some things weren't as obvious to her as I thought they should have been. But she never failed me with her bravery. The character is generally wonderful, and her voice shines through. I also very much liked Gabriel. His apparent meekness reminded me quite a lot of Peeta from 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins (which I will review eventually). You could tell he had inner strength and a rebellious side, just like Peeta. Now, Peeta is one of my two favourite characters from The Hunger Games. So this must be very good.
If you like The Hunger Games, you may well like this too.

Now, I've read other reviews with people hating this book. and this is because of the premise. The whole 'girls being sold as wives to procreate' thing. But I honestly don't see the problem. Sure, the world is a little flimsy, but the actual story is good.I think nit-picking will only make you think about what's wrong with the ideas and not what it's really about, which are the themes.

All I can say really is that they were bothy thrilling, suspenseful, romantic at times and made you really think about the concepts in the book - such as death and time, and what you would have done in their situation.
I think that this dystopian is a great book for teens, young adults and adults alike, and I'm giving it 4.5/5 stars.

The final book, Sever will be out in 2013. And I'm looking forward to it.
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Lauren Destefano's Page.
Wither on Goodreads.com- other reviews.

Day 2- A Quote From my Favourite Book.

The whole Inkheart trilogy is littered with beautiful writing, and choosing just one quote is difficult.
It's especially difficult because I haven't read them in a while.

However, I'll give it a go.

This is a beautiful quote from it. it's very descriptive. and that's exactly what I like.

"They had gone. Had left him alone with all the blue, that clashed with the red of the fire. Blue as the evening sky, blue as cranesbill flowers, blue as the lips of drowned men and the heart of a blaze burning with too hot a flame. Yes, sometimes it was hot in this world, too. Hot and cold, light and dark, terrible and beautiful, it was everything all at once. It wasn't true that you felt nothing in the land of Death. You felt and heard and smelled and saw, but your heart remained strangely calm, as if it were resting before hte dance began again.
Peace. Was that the word?"

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Day 1- My Favorite Book

Inkheart Film Poster (from IMDB)
Well, I have many books that I love.
But if I had to choose it would be Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke.

Inkdeath is the third book in the Inkworld Trilogy (Started by Inkheart, then Inkspell, and finally Inkdeath) by German writer Cornelia Funke (who also wrote The Thief Lord, which was also made into a film, and Reckless, the newest of her books and Reviewed HERE). They are really childrens or early teens books, but I love them.

And the reason Why is this:
Cornelia Funke writes in such a wonderful way. There are beautiful descrptions of magical worlds, people and creatures and basically, it's a situation I would love to find myself in.

As an avid book fan, Inkheart opened up an adventure that to me seemed infinitely possible. Characters coming out of a book seemed like on of the best things in the world. I think it did help that I read it when I was quite a lot younger, because there was still a magical wuality about this world, and the child's idea that anything can happen. I hope I haven't lost that really.

The whole series is wonderful, and I would encourage everyone to read it, no matter how old you are. I almost guarantee that you'll love it.
And, the books have some lovely covers.

You can read about the series on Cornelia Funke's website
or, by Visiting Wikipedia
or, if you don't trust my view on the subject, have a look at other reviews on Goodreads.

Inkdeath cover - from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A little Update - The 15 Day Book Challenge

Right now I have an absolutely unruly amount of books to read, all stacked up in a pile in my cupboard. Most have been reccommended to me by my sister or reviews from other bloggers. Or.. just because I wanted to read it.

As I'm currently working my way through the Hitchhikers Guide Trilogy of Five by Douglas Adams(and it might take a little bit, although I am on the last book), I'm going to do a book challenge I found on the internet. So over the next fifteen posts, I will be writing all about books.
Also, don't worry. More reviews WILL be coming soon. Well, as soon as I've finished a new book.

The 15 Day Book Challenge

Day 1- Your favorite book and why
Day 2- A quote from said book
Day 3- Your favorite author and favorite book by them
Day 4- Your favorite book from your childhood
Day 5- Guilty pleasure book
Day 6- If you were stranded on a desert island, what book would you want?
Day 7- Favorite movie adaptation of a book
Day 8- Favorite quote from any book
Day 9- What are you currently reading?
Day 10- Write a review of the last book you read
Day 11- Favorite book you had to read for school
Day 12- Favorite classic
Day 13- Favorite poet
Day 14- Post your favorite poem
Day 15- Recommend 5 books