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November Round-Off

 Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Erm guys? There's only 25 days til CHRISTMAS!!! WTF? I totally just blanked the last half of November after thinking the first half was actually going quite slow what with Nanowrimo and all. Gah and I've not even done any christmas shopping yet!! :O In terms of blogging it's been my most prolific month yet although that is due to the daily posts I was doing when I was still writing for Nano. In terms of reading it's not been too bad considering that until the 9th I hadn't read a thing, but unless I read something in the next four hours I will end the month on a respectable (by my standards which are stupidly high) 14 books read.

Books Read this Month
177. J.R.R. Tolkien: a biography by Humphrey Carpenter (9/11/2010 AM)
178. As You Wish by Jackson Pearce (10/11/2010 AM)
179. The Ambassador's Mission by Trudi Canavan (11/11/2010 PM)
180. Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles (13/11/2010 AM)
181. No and Me by Delphine de Vigan (15/11/2010 AM)
182. Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead (18/11/2010 AM)
183. The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood (20/11/2010 AM)
184. Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble (21/11/2010 AM)
185. Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman (25/11/2010 PM)
186. Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin (26/11/2010 AM)
187. Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce (28/11/2010 PM)
188. Sticky Fingers by Nikki Burnham (29/11/2010 AM)
189. Terrier by Tamora Pierce (29/11/2010 PM)
190. Delirium by Lauren Oliver (29/11/2010 PM)

Favourite Books of the Month
It's kind of bad that two of the 5 Star books from this month came in the last few days and are re-reads several times over. Definitely fav fiction read of the month is Last Sacrifice which I will most likely re-read in the next week as I write my review to be posted on the 7th of December (I'm gonna do my best to keep it spoiler-free for the 6th book although it's likely that there will be spoilers for the earlier books). My favourite non-fiction read (only one at that) was the Tolkien biography I read at the start of the month. 

Books Reviewed this Month
As You Wish by Jackson Pearce
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood
Gotta do better next month with reviews, three is not on when I read 14 books!

Features this Month
Only two editions of Covers So Lovely We'd Lick them this month since Jess has been having computer problems and has been internet MIA for the past two weeks :( I didn't feel like doing them without her, but hopefully if her computer has been fixed then the feature will return in December. Check out the cover licking here and Here.

I also did my first ever discussion post which has actually become more pertinent now that someone has posted spoilers from Last Sacrifice on Goodreads *pox rot you selfish buggers*.
When is an Embargo not an Embargo? - sometimes they're there for a REASON!! 

Also post explaining the NanoFail after 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 days of writing. Numbers go to each days update post if you fancy looking :)

And as always the usual In My Mailbox and It's Monday posts.

December is already shaping up to be an interesting month since I will soon no longer be a student of my current university but will straight away be applying for another degree (In Publishing no less) at another university, here's hoping I don't lose interest in *that* partway through second year. December's mission will be to somehow find a job and not annoy my mum to the point she beats the shit out of me for being a lazy git.

I will be contemplating what Reading Challenges I will be participating in next year. Since I will be doing the 75 Book Challenge again on LibraryThing (the 75ers are the best group :P) that will be my main numbered challenge although I am planning on doing some themed months to try and knock down my massive TBR pile which is rather Classic and Historical Fiction-heavy. I probably won't be doing the Debut Author Challenge since I will be trying to keep down the number of books I buy next year to prevent the necessity of another set of bookshelves :P

But yeah November is over! And dang it if it's nearly the end of the year altogether! When I do my end of year post next month it's sure gonna be jam-packed of thoughts about all the ups-and-downs.
How's Your November Been?


It's Monday What are you Reading (22)

 Monday, 29 November 2010

Hey hi hello! Tis another Monday and gosh darn if it ain't the last Monday of November! December is looming and it's already snowy and freezing! This week's posting may be a leetle bit scattered cos I have *tons* of stuff to sort out because I'm moving back home and withdrawing from my University course (just wasn't interesting me anymore). So apologies for crazyness :)

It's Monday What are you Reading? Is a weekly bookish meme where we get together to share what books we've read in the past week, what books we're currently reading and what new books we're planning on reading in the coming week along with any reviews or interesting posts. It's hosted by Sheila @Book Journey

Books I read this past Week
Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman (Review coming soon)
Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin
Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce (A reread but DANG I LOVE THIS BOOK!)

Not Currently Reading Anything :(

Books I Plan on Reading This Week
Delirium by Lauren Oliver - Really will read it this week

Other than that I'm not sure since I'm likely to grab whatever tickles my fancy when I get the chance. Tomorrow I have three hours on a train so I'll likely take something chunky enough to read  during that journey since it's quite possible that I will suffer delays with the snow and everything.

Well I'd best be off to sleep got an early get-up tomorrow (Monday that is), I am planning on dishing out my thoughts on the new Harry Potter film that I saw earlier tonight with my sister so keep an eye out for that post during the week maybe.

So What are *You* reading this Blisteringly Cold Monday?


So Yeah, NanoFail

 Sunday, 28 November 2010

As you will have probably noticed for the second half of this month the blog has been rather devoid of Nanowrimo updates. This is because I failed. Just after the half-way point I was hit with the realisation that I was neglecting my university work somewhat and deadlines were starting to creep up on me so I was forced to shelve my novel until I could continue.

I will finish this month with less than 30K but on the whole I am still pretty happy with my effort. Before Nano I had never written anything on a story longer than 5K so to have the first third of a novel written (albeit a very shitty first third) is still quite an achievement for me. Maybe next year I will plan far enough ahead to make sure I don't run out of chapter outlines halfway through the month.

I did find it pretty exhilarating having to just write without going back and self-editing after every paragraph and I really liked my story although I'm sure that as I start to read back through the Nano work I will wince at how awful my writing truly is. Most likely I'll have rewrite the whole damn thing (something feels off about the POV) so maybe next summer once I've outlined and characterised properly I can rewrite what I already have and finish the whole novel.

What was also kind of daft was that almost a week after I'd halted writing on my Nano story a completely new story idea leapt into my head which I'm also quite enamored with so I may work on that for bit before I go back to the NanoFail at some point.

So as there's only 2 days of Nano left how is everyone doing? Have you finished? Nearly there? or like me has real life gotten in the way and your word count is *waaay* behind? Whatever your word count WELL DONE! Y'all are awesome for even signing up! There's always next year to try again!



In My Mailbox #30

Hey folks this week has been mega crazy for me and I've been making some seriously major decisions about the future and whatnot so I apologise for the lack of Dreaming Anastasia review and lack of anything really since Wednesday. In this coming week there may also be some disruption as a whole ruck of changes will be going on in my life so apologies in advance for lack of posting. Anyhow onto business!

In my Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Kristi @The Story Siren and inspired by Alea @Pop Culture Junkie

Ze Vlog

Books Acquired this Week
Cross Stitch (Outlander) by Diana Gabaldon - not shown in vlog
Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen - Thanks you Penguin for sending me a copy for review!

Fairly minimalist week in books, tomorrow's post will also be rather slim as well but over the Christmas holidays I should be charging through books in order to reach my 200 book target for 2010 so hopefully I shall get a load of reviews done as well. I also need to be thinking what reading challenges I'll be doing next year, suggestions people?

That's What was in My Mailbox this week, What's in Yours?


When is an Embargo not an Embargo?

 Wednesday, 24 November 2010

When it's the Last Sacrifice Embargo!

Ok so I want to make this clear that this post is not intended to be a criticism of Penguin UK in any way but this is a rather perplexing issue that I want to talk about. Do tell me if I'm over-thinking these things.

I saw a tweet on Sunday 21st from Cassandra Clare stating that "Embargoed means no advance review copies. No one reads the book before its release. Bookstores can't open the boxes of books before a strict date. Foreign publishers have to sign non disclosure agreements that they will release no information or excerpts from the book. The publisher's employees are basically not allowed to read it. That's an embargo." 

I thought this to be  a very interesting point since the press release I received from Penguin UK states that Last Sacrifice (The 6th book in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy Series) is under Embargo until its release date on December 7th, yet here I am with a *finished copy* of Last Sacrifice that I have already read. I'm not the only UK blogger with a copy of the book either! I can name at least six or seven other people who received it from Penguin in the last week and Penguin Australia (does that count as a foreign publisher since it's presumably Penguin US who hold the original publishing rights?) have been releasing teaser quotes for the last week or two! 

I know that there are restrictions on us UK bloggers in that we are not allowed to post quotes, excerpts, opinions or reviews of the book until its release date as we agreed when we signed the confidentiality agreements before the books were sent out, but when you compare this to what Cassie Clare defined as an embargo, is it really an embargo?

This is not the only book in the past year which has been under Embargo, back in August Mockingjay (the third and final book in the Hunger Games Trilogy) was supposed to be under lock and key until the 24th/25th yet some bloggers including Kristi of The Story Siren had copies nearly a week before that date and a US newspaper actually broke the embargo by posting a review - with spoilers -  the day before general US release. I'm sure that the majority of those lucky folk in the book blogging community didn't break the embargo but when it's such a highly anticipated book and a final book in a series isn't there always the risk that someone may break ranks and post a spoiler-filled review before anyone else has a chance to read it?

I am by no means pooh-poohing the fact that I was one of the incredibly lucky people who got a copy of Last Sacrifice. Heck No! I am *ecstatic* to have been given the opportunity to read the last book in a series I adore earlier than everyone else, but I'm feeling slightly antsy about the fact that thanks to me and a video I did showing my reaction to the arrival of my copy of Last Sacrifice, it has become common knowledge amongst VA fans on *FOUR* continents that I, and several other British Bloggers have copies of Book 6. I feel rather exposed even though I haven't actually said anything about the book itself. It's the fact that I've publicised the existence of it which may prompt other people to search out spoilers before it's officially released. 

But does that mean that publishers shouldn't send out copies of embargoed books before their release date to bloggers and other media people? No, as long as everyone respects the non-disclosure agreements and only post reviews *AFTER* its public release then I believe they should be allowed to read and enjoy those books, plus they get the added thrill of being one of a select few who got a sneak peek before everyone else (as does anyone who sees an advance showing of an awesome film).

However I don't think that the Last Sacrifice or even the Mockingjay embargo can be compared to the insane levels of secrecy surrounding the 2007 release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Regardless of what Anna Hathaway managed in the Devil Wears Prada you either had to be J.K. Rowling or some sort of Omniscient Deity to get a look at even the dedication page of DH before it was published let alone sitting pretty with a finished copy on the 19th of July 2007. Just look at the agreement that bookstores had to sign before they were even supplied with copies of DH - HP Embargo Contract <--- that is what I call an embargo and a half! Although sadly there were several breaches of even this incredibly stringent embargo, but I'm sure they regretted it when hit with the lawsuits that Bloomsbury and Scholastic threw their way.

I think that the definition of an Embargo that Cassie Clare stated is more reminiscent of the Deathly Hallows release than may be needed by other Highly Anticipated YA books even if the genre is now much more publicised than it was pre-HP. Until there's another book or series that reaches the world-wide, generation-spanning furour that Harry Potter did then I don't think that such extreme embargoes are necessary. Early Reviews and ARCs are part of what creates the hype and interest in a particular book in the months leading up to it's release date although if the blogosphere becomes flooded with reviews of one single book in a short space of time then it can have the opposite effect and by the time the book is generally available people are too tired of all the hype to bother picking it up straight away.

What Penguin has done with Last Sacrifice has worked very well I think, a select group of bloggers who get to read it early - BTW I'm really rather glad that it was UK bloggers since no offence to the US bloggers but you get so many awesome books before us it made a nice change :P- and with the embargo on reviews until December 7th there is enough excitement and anticipation especially with the addition of the teaser trailer quotes from Penguin Australia to ensure that release day should be a big success. 

I really can't wait for everyone to be able to read Last Sacrifice because I'm dying here not being able to share my thoughts with you all! Only 13 Days to Go!!

This has been my first proper discussion-style post so I would love to know your thoughts about whether book embargoes should be stricter or not, should bloggers post reviews of highly-anticipated or last-in-series books before or after the release date and with or without spoilers? Let me know if there's any other points about the issue of Embargoes that I haven't mentioned.

Have a great Wednesday Folks


Book Review - The Poison Diaries

 Tuesday, 23 November 2010

I'm beginning to scare myself with how many reviews I've done in the last few days I guess it's only appropriate after posting nothing but Nanowrimo updates for half the month (I'm doing a post on what happened to *that* soonish).

Title: The Poison Diaries
Author: Maryrose Wood
Date: 20/11/2010 AM
Source: Bought
Description: In the right dose, everything is a poison. Even love . . .
Jessamine Luxton has lived all her sixteen years in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle, with little company apart from the plants in her garden. Her father, Thomas, a feared and respected apothecary, has taught her much about the incredible powers of plants: that even the most innocent-looking weed can cure -- or kill.
When Jessamine begins to fall in love with a mysterious boy who claims to communicate with plants, she is drawn into the dangerous world of the poison garden in a way she never could have imagined . . . (Description taken from Goodreads)

My Review
I had seen this book floating around on the blogosphere at some point and thought it sounded rather interesting so when I found a copy I picked it up and gave it a try.

It's quite a short book so didn't take me very long to get through. At first it feels rather similar to the Alchemist's Daughter by Katherine McMahon in that the main character Jessamine is a young girl who's been raised by just her father, isolated from the outside world while he pursues a cure-all medicine made from poisonous plants in the 18th Century  (c.f. Emilie who is only slightly older, raised by her father who studies alchemy in the 18th Century and keeps her tucked away in their estate). But it's there that the similarities end.

Jessamine is a very sweet and caring character although I do sympathise with her feelings of exasperation towards her father who still treats her like a child although at 16 and a very sheltered 16 at that her father is sort of right. She's not completely ignorant since she helps her father tend to the gardens and can manage a house pretty darn well for her age, but she's still very naive about the world and not highly educated (unlike Emilie in A's D). She's given the task at the start of the book to tend to some belladonna berries (*very* poisonous little buggers) so that her father can plant them in his locked garden where he keeps rare and exotic and incredibly deadly plants. 

Not long into the story a rather strange boy is foisted onto Jessamine's father because he is reported to have somehow cured a bunch of mad people by putting something into their tea (the drinking sort btw). Being a botantist he's naturally very interested by this and agrees to look after the boy - Weed. At first he's very shy and stays hidden away in the coal box but Jessamine manages to coax him out and begins to feed him up. After a rather weed-like growth spurt it seems that he's actually close to her own age and not too bad-looking either :P

I found Jessamine and Weed's growth of friendship really quite nice and pleasant. Like any other young girl deprived of contact with children and especially boys of her own age, Jessamine gets rather flustered in her feelings towards Weed which isn't helped at all by his bizarre behaviour sometimes.

Without spoiling too much about the plot I shall just say that about half-way through things start to get a little weird like the story just melts into this vaguely trippy fantastical other dimension and another completely unexpected aspect appears. I'm still not entirely sure how I felt about the new developments but they definitely added a intriguing element to what was previously just a simple historical fiction novel.

Overall I did find the book very enjoyable and I believe that it is to be part of a series so I'd certainly be interested in seeing where things go after the somewhat abrupt ending. I really liked Jessamine and Weed's chemistry and the whole element of poison plants was lovely and spooky (the idea was actually thought of by the Duchess of Buckingham who owns the castle and poison garden mentioned in the book).

So if you want a quick, easy historical novel with a creepy dash of the fae then look no further!

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

There you go folks! I'm gonna try and get a review up for Dreaming Anastasia in the next couple of days, I will do a Nano-commiserations post :P and I'm also working on a discussion post about book embargoes which I'm hoping to get up before the end of the week (if it makes sense by then). 

Night Y'all


It's Monday What are you Reading (21)

 Monday, 22 November 2010

Morning Chaps! After a Highly unproductive weekend I bring you the usual Monday festivities. It's been a cracking week of reading I tell you! Although I did pretty much exhaust myself on Wednesday/Thursday by not going to sleep once I'd finished reading a certain vampire book... *facepalm* I'm such an idiot really.

It's Monday What are you Reading? Is a weekly bookish meme where we get together to share what books we've read in the past week, what books we're currently reading and what new books we're planning on reading in the coming week along with any reviews or interesting posts. It's hosted by Sheila @Book Journey

Books I read Last Week
No and Me by Delphine de Vigan
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead **REREAD** (not counting towards 75 Book challenge)
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead (December 7th for Review)
The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood (Review Here)
Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble (Review coming soon)

Books I'm Planning on Reading this Week
Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Thanks Jess for letting me borrow this!)

Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman (Ditto!)

Apart from these two I don't know what else I'll pick up this week since I can be the moodiest of moody readers sometimes. I've got an essay due on Thursday so if I have any sense (Oh wait...) I won't do much reading until it's done but y'all and I both know what'll happen :P

So that's What I'm reading, What are *you* reading this Monday?


In My Mailbox #29 The best one Evah?

 Sunday, 21 November 2010

Howdy y'all once again it's Sunday and I have really had an *Epic* week in books - no joke. Nothing is gonna top this week for a while at least.

In My Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Kristi @The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie

Vlog time!

Books Acquired this week
For Review
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead (Thanks *SO* much to Penguin UK for that)

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead (From Public Library)
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman (Thank you Jess for lending me these)

The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood
The Sisters who would be Queen by Leanda de Lisle
The Frost Fair by Edward Marston

Seriously what a great week I've had! I was a jittery mess on Wednesday when I heard from Jess that her copy of Last Sacrifice had arrived but I couldn't get mine until I came back from my lectures that day. I was stupid enough to re-read Spirit Bound in the evening and then stayed up ridiculously late reading Last Sacrifice unbelievably quickly. I honestly may have to re-read it before I review it on the 7th of December.

What's in Your Mailbox this week?


Book Review - Leaving Paradise

 Saturday, 20 November 2010

Egads! More reviews! I'm trying to make up for the general lack of decent posts this month by spamming y'all with reviews for this last week and a half :P

Title: Leaving Paradise
Author: Simone Elkeles
Date: 13/11/2010 AM
Source: Gift 
Description: Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares—has been canceled. After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers. (Description taken from GoodReads)

My Review
I got forced to pick this up sooner than I might have done, by my tyrannical sister who wanted me to send it home to her so she could read it. It was birthday book given to me *by* my sister and she was demanding it before I had a chance to read it! (I've created such a monster in her). So I said I'd read it straight away and mail it ASAP.

I loved Simone's other books and this was another brilliant story, Caleb and Maggie are the two people who by all rights should stay far apart from each other since Caleb went to jail for hitting Maggie with his car, leaving her to suffer through a year of torturous physical therapy. But when Caleb is released from jail they find themselves thrown together by unlikely circumstances and they become each other's rock - the only person they can trust to understand what the other is going through.

I officially adore Caleb, he's working the bad-boy-secretly-caring-underneath persona wonderfully and what we find out about his character during the book make him even more awesome in my eyes. Maggie has had a ton of shit to deal with in the last year and I think she's trooper for getting through it but sometimes I agree with Mrs Reynolds (the fab old lady they both end up helping out) - just cos Doctors tell you that you can't do something why should you listen? Maggie tells herself that she's lame and not going to ever get completely better because she thinks it's a fact but Mrs Reynolds makes her realise that only *you* can tell yourself whether you're gonna walk properly again or play tennis etc.

I really loved this book, Simone's writing is as always fantastic and I loved the characters although I reckon that Mrs Reynolds stole the show for me (I wanted to adopt her as my grannie she was that awesome). The ending made me desperate to get my hands on the second book ASAP so I'll get on that soonish methinks.
So if you've read Simone's Perfect Chemistry you are gonna *love* this and even if you haven't then read it anyway cos I still think you'll really enjoy it. Highly Recommended.

Oh and you know what? My sister couldn't wait for me to mail the book and bought the e-book instead and read both this *and* Return to Paradise in a few days. Yea I'm the proud sister of a fledgling book lover :D

My Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Whoa officially fastest review evah! (ok I'll confess I copy-pasted this from my LibraryThing thread :P)
The next book I review will be whatever I finish next (Possibly The Poison Diaries) since I'm not allowed to review Last Sacrifice until the 7th December :(



Book Review - As You Wish

 Friday, 19 November 2010

BOO! Bet you thought you weren't gonna see a single review this month eh? Nosiree! I decided to be a complete idiot and stay up reading and due to the severe adrenaline rush I got from devouring a 600 page chunkster in 3 and a half hours I am now simply staying up the rest of the night because I know that if I go to sleep now I will miss all my classes tomorrow - better to be there and half-asleep than not there at all.

But anyway you won't be getting the review of the aforementioned book for a couple of weeks yet so forget :P This is for a book I read last week.

Title: As You Wish
Author: Jackson Pearce
Date: 10/11/2010 AM
Source: Bought
Description: Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes.
Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. (Description taken from GoodReads)

My Review
I'd had this on my wishlist for quite a while now since I saw a vlog review about it last year on Youtube. I was waiting to get the paperback partly because I'm cheap and I also *really* love US paperbacks (They're just so floppy!!). When I saw it in a bookshop last week I just had to get it and when I was needing some relief from severe brainache caused by Nanowrimo it provided the perfect mixture of light, fun gooey romance, fab concepts and a message.

What really makes a book awesome for me is when I really connect with the characters and Jackson really hit the spot on that front. Viola was such a wonderfully caring person and I really admired her sweetness and her whole attitude to the wish-making business. Instead of just dashing off three petty wishes she really tried to think about them and make them meaningful, a mature approach that I thought was awesome. She's the kind of person who'd be a brilliantly generous and loyal friend although I'd be slightly terrified of shocking her with my terrible penchant for swearing :P

Jinn is well -*hot*- exotic-looking, curly dark hair and has a fab sense of humour, he is so dang cute sometimes worrying about the seconds passing and his life getting shorter (by tiny amounts). There's a hilarious scene where he gets so fretful about his hair being "longer than it has ever been" that Viola offers to cut it for him. It's barely a cm or 2 longer so she's a little bewildered where to start, in the end Jinn decides to try out the long hair :P The waiting is rather agonising for Jinn (that's not technically his name but Viola wanted to call him *something*) since everyday he stays on earth he gets older and everyday he gets to know Viola better it's getting harder to want to leave.

I also loved Viola's best friend-turned-boyfriend-turned gay, Lawrence. Despite knowing that he broke Viola's heart he still cares about her a lot and how they manage to work as "just friends" is so amazing and I think Viola is so strong for it. Scenes with Lawrence and Jinn were freaking hilarious as well.

Oh yea and boy did I laugh out loud when Jinn said who one of his previous masters was- I *dare* someone to tell Keanu Reeves that he's only famous because of Jinn and his wishes :P Please someone do it.

Overall it was such a lovely story, with a fab fantasy concept and the message of "not needing 3 wishes to belong" doesn't feel hammy at all thanks to Jackson's awesome writing. Plus I got a massive craving to watch/read The Princess Bride when it finally clicked that the whole freaking title is a nod to Wesley (Just his eyes when he says "As you wish" *melts*). I have no idea if it was intended that way but I'd rather like to think it was :P

I can't wait to read Sister's Red now and I'm wondering if we're gonna get to see some more of Viola and Jinn in the future? *winkwinkprettypleasewithsparklesontop?* :P

My Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Technically I started this review yesterday when I was tired out of my mind so apologies for general incoherency. Oh yea and I totally watched The Princess Bride again last night :P Sighed and giggled my through it- tis an awful shame that Cary Elwes just ain't that good-looking any more.

Will hopefully have more reviews swinging your way soon folks since I've pretty much given up on Nanowrimo now although I'm still saving a dash of hope for a last-minute charge of the rohirrim as-it-were to save my novel from complete disaster. Bah who knows?



Nanowrimo Day 16

 Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Ugh worst day so far! I literally had to squeeze blood out of a rock today to actually write something and I have no idea what I've done all day! All I managed was a pathetic 612 words and I've still not finished with Chapter 9. I just haven't been in the mood today at all, I'm too busy thinking about the uni work that is gonna bite me in the ass pretty soon although when you think about it how hard is it gonna be to write a 2,000 word essay on Balzac when I've already cranked out nearly 28K of a novel?

But I'm really hoping I get past this feeling of "ugh" cos I don't wanna fall behind and bugger up my chances of actually succeeding first time although I'm thinking that this weekend could be "Hang up Nano for a couple days so I can blitz my work weekend". Stressing about not writing is making me not do as much of my proper work as I really ought to :(

Gah but anyway it's late I have to be up tomorrow (*cough* today technically) morning for a 10am class - which I foresee being slept through because I fail like that.

Oh and tomorrow there is a *very* high chance that the MOST AWESOME BOOK OF THIS YEAR will arrive through my mailbox so forgive any squealing tweets, vlogs and blog posts that may appear.

That is all


Nanowrimo Day 15- Half Way Point!

 Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Well dang... we're now half-way through November! I dunno bout other folk but this month seems to be going much slower than October, maybe that's just cos I'm absorbed in my writing so time seems to be getting gloopier. Most likely the second November ends the whole world will start whirring at top speed and I'll end up splatting straight into Christmas.

I know that loads of people are feeling all christmassy already but dude I can't think that far ahead I'm more concerned about the precipice I'm creeping closer to everyday! That being that I've only outlined to the end of Chapter 11 and I'm half-way through Chapter 9 now! *gulps* So unless I take a day off from working on the story to outline at least briefly the next four or five chapters I'm gonna come to a grinding halt just after I hit 30K or thereabouts.

Today has not been terribly productive since my classes started up again after Reading Week (or Doss week as it should be known). But I have in the last hour or so managed to get at least 1K written. Earlier I finished the outline of Chapter 11 but didn't have the energy to carry on past there.

So at the half-way point of the month I am rather happy to have 27,234 words! If I can keep this up I may finish a day or two before the 30th! *crosses fingers*

Well it's once again rather late, I'm not gonna make the mistake tonight of picking up a book after finishing at 1am like I did yesterday. Yes the book I read was really intriguing and quirky, not to mention set in Paris (does it count as research?) but I don't think I should have read it all in one go :S

Bonne nuit mes amies


It's Monday What are you Reading (20)

 Monday, 15 November 2010

Sorry about the lack of post for last Monday but I hadn't read a single book in November until last Tuesday. With Nano munching all my time (not to mention my soul X_X) I have very little time for reading although I'm determined to not get to the end of this month with less than 10 books read (for me that would be horrifying cos I'm aiming for 200 books read this year).

Thankfully in the past week I've managed to get some stuff read :)

It's Monday What are you Reading? Is a weekly bookish meme where we get together to share what books we've read in the past week, what books we're currently reading and what new books we're planning on reading in the coming week along with any reviews or interesting posts. It's hosted by Sheila @Book Journey

Books read in the last Week
J.R.R. Tolkien: a biography by Humphrey Carpenter (Seriously awesome bio of a fascinating man. If you love LotR then this is well worth reading)
As You Wish by Jackson Pearce (Hopefully will review this soon - really enjoyed it!)
The Ambassador's Mission by Trudi Canavan 
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles (Will be reviewing soon - SO AMAZING!)

Not Currently Reading Anything :(

Books I'm Planning on Reading This Week
Well my Awesome Bestie Jess is lending me her copies of Delirium and Boys Don't Cry so they will be priorities... that is until the Super-Duper-Top-Secret-book-of-Fantasmagorically-Awesomeness arrives. When that book hits my doormat *Everything* is gonna be dropped, I will not eat, sleep, study or write until I've devoured it and then of course I'll break down crying and read it again. :P

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman

Mystery Book of AWESOME!

So that's what I read this week, What are *You* reading this fine Monday?


Nanowrimo Day 14

Hi Everybody!! As you can already tell by the over-excited use of exclamation marks I am *very* happy today!
As of 1am on Sunday Night/Monday Morning (whichever you prefer) my novel is past the 25K point. *happy dances*

Today has been massively productive in terms of Nano (in other areas not so much :S) I was really excited about writing this particular chapter because it was the one that was easiest to visualise in my head and it's one of the most dramatic scenes in the first third of the book. I wrote over 1K for it yesterday and today I've done nearly another 3K and in record time as well! I was up so insanely late last night that it's a relief to have finished writing so early today! (lol like 1am is *Early*).

So yea as of now my novel is 26,083 words long! Going into this month I never expected to get even as far as 10K let alone 26K so I have to say that I'm thrilled beyond belief to be at this half-way stage. Now I just have to hope that going into the 3rd week I can keep up with my writing and get my Uni work done. I would so hate to have to quit because everything gets too much to handle especially when I'm doing so well for my first year doing Nano.

 A big thanks to the folk who've supported me thus far, let's see if we can take this all the way!
Bring me that horizon!


In My Mailbox #28 The Partly Educational one

 Sunday, 14 November 2010

Hey you lovely people! (Excuse me I'm jiving to the dulcet tones of Puck from Glee *sighs* )
Ahem anyways I'll try to contain myself and get on with things. (Song's finished now :( )

In My Mailbox is a weekly Bookish Meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie

I gots a vlog for y'all this week!

Books Acquired this week
As you Wish by Jackson Pearce
Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
Ferragus/Fille aux yeux d'or by Balzac
Pretty French Verb book :P

So yea I actually bought two books that are for my course so I think they absolve me of the other two books *pings halo* No? dang didn't think you'd buy it...


I just popped out to the shops for some food cos y'know I had pretty much nothing. So I may have wandered into the Works and lo! For a cracking £1.99 I have my own copy of 13 Little Blue Envelopes by the fab Maureen Johnson! Bargain!

Not a terribly significant week but I'm almost dying with anticipation for next week for several AWESOME reasons although I'm not sure if I'm allowed to talk about one of them *strokes metaphorical beard of ponderment*. Either way next week's vlog will be so god damn bouncy you'll think I've been stuffing my face with sweets (that's *not* what I'm doing now honest :P)

That's What I got in My Mailbox this week, What's in Yours?


Nanowrimo Day 13

Well bugger me, yea so it's 4am and I just finished writing for "today" supposedly Saturday but since I keep doing most of my writing stupidly late at night it's usually the day after that I should be counting the words towards. But what the heck?

I'm staying up later and later writing and subsequently waking up later and later in the morning, my reading week is pretty much over, I've done little to no work and my sleep pattern is shot to hell - just great really. I am gonna have a bitch of time getting back into the work routine although I think it will improve my chances of getting my word count done before stupid o'clock cos I can write in between classes up on campus. At home I just faff about all day and end up at 9pm with nothing done. Ugh I'm such a lazy git.

So I've now finished Chapter 7 and I'm a good chunk of the way through Chapter 8 (which I've been looking forward to writing - introduction of bad guys and shiz :P). If I can haul my carcass out of bed before noon I may try and get past 25K words and/or finish this chapter so I can do the uni work I have for Monday *sad times*.

I pass out sitting pretty on my 23257 words. I'm satisfied to stay just slightly ahead of the recommended target as I don't want to try and overachieve in my first year. Maybe next year I'll go crazy and aim for more than 50,000 over the month but for now I'm happy if I actually finish and don't quit when my uni work gets too manic :S

Night y'all here's hoping I wake up and stay up


Nanowrimo Day 12

 Saturday, 13 November 2010

Evening! This is a significantly earlier post compared to the last few days. I actually got close to my word target before 1am! I could have written more but I felt like doing some reading before going to bed today.

I'm now nearly done with Chapter 7 after today's 1955 words added to yesterday's 1808. Tomorrow I'm hoping to be up reasonably early (for me so that's like 10am to normal folk :P) so I can finish the last bit before cracking on with Chapter 8 which I'm more excited to write cos I finally get to introduce my bad-guy in person and the most awesome HenchTwins ever! Plus my FMC is gonna get hit with some seriously big news about her mother. Tis gonna be so much fun!

Keeping it short and sweet - Overall word count at the end of Day 12 - 21400 words!

Oh if anyone wants me to post an excerpt or something then please leave a comment!

Night Chaps


Book Blogger Hop #11/Follow my Book Blog Friday #6

 Friday, 12 November 2010

So it's been way too long since I had a proper hop so here goes!

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event where loads of bloggers get  to discover awesome new blogs and it's hosted by Jennifer of Crazy For Books
Follow by Book Blog Friday is another weekly event that is hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's View

Every week Jennifer asks a question of the Hoppers - "If you find a book that looks interesting but is part of a series do you always start with the first title?
Yes, I can't stand not knowing if I've missed some important details that get referred to in later books, plus it just makes more sense to start with book 1. I've currently got on my TBR a LibraryThing early Reviewer book that is the third in a series so I kind of can't read it until I find copies of the first two books :S

So hello there my hopping friends! Come on in! I do apologise for the mess but it's Nanowrimo at the moment and I'm up to my eyeballs in words. I promise that normal service will resume in December but for now it's a little scatter-brained. If you fancy having a look round do take a peek at the new feature that I'm co-hosting with jess hearts books Called Covers So Lovely We'd Lick Them it's rather quirky but we love it!

Please leave a comment and I hope y'all are having a good Friday!


Nanowrimo Day 11

Ok When I say this will be quick I mean it this time. I'm not ranting again - the problem hasn't been dealt with yet and I'm thinking that the friendship is metaphorical toast unless he decides to swallow some pride and apologise. Bah I'm not keeping any high hopes.

Once again I procrastinated most of the day away and was left frantically trying to make my targets late in the evening. Tomorrow I'm gonna get my lazy arse up campus and do some proper work as well as write since my reading week has been pretty much a waste of time so far.

I had wanted to crack 20K today but it's getting on for 2am and I just don't have the energy to carry on tonight. I got 1,808 words done today and I'm maybe half way through Chapter 7.

Overall my word count is 19445 so I should be very able to get to 22K by tomorrow night. It would be awesome if I could be over 25K by Sunday night but we'll have to see how things go.

Anyways I'm for bed although I'm going to have an interesting time trying to fall asleep with the insane gale-force winds I have whistling round my house :S



Covers So Lovely We'd Lick Them #3

 Thursday, 11 November 2010

Hey folks tis Thursday and therefore you know what that means!

Covers So Lovely We'd Lick Them!
The new feature co-created and co-hosted by LadyViolet and Jess hearts books where we show off a book cover which we find so damn scrumptious that we'd actually be willing to lick it!
Every week we each pick a different cover so be sure to check both blogs!

Envy by Anna Godbersen

Yes I know that I've gone for the PDS books for three weeks straight but seriously HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THIS COVER?!? Gah Anna's publishers have the best cover design team *evah* The fabulous curly writing of the title and Oh.em.eff.gee - That Dress! *dies* The overall design is so simple and elegant and perfect for the historical genre
I would love to have my wedding dress look like that with the tight-fitted bodice and the massively pouffy skirt, it'd be like a yummy meringue of a  dress! Oooh I could just gobble it up!
I know that this is the third book in the series but out of all four gaw-juss covers I like this one the best. If you want to drool over the others then feel free. And tell me which is *your* fav out of the four?

*drools* So much pretty

Well that's what I'm Licking this Week - I promise next week it'll be a cover sans pretty dresses. Go Check out what Jess is Licking this week!



Nanowrimo Day 10

I'm gonna make this quick cos it's nearly 3 hours into Day 11 and I'm still awake. But it's weird that I count the words I got after midnight as part of my Day 10 work - I spose it's cos I consider the day not over until I go to sleep ergo everything I write pre-sleep is part of that specific day regardless of the time that I actually go to sleep.

So yea, today I faffed about for most of the day waking up late, doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom, managing to break our decrepit hoover etc. until after having my rather yummy dinner of spag bol and garlic bread I decided to actually sit down and write. But then I hit a snag.

One of my friends who I occasionally send bits of my writing to (Not Jess btw another friend) had sent me a reply to the email I sent him with the first chapter of my Nano novel. In that one email he managed to compare my story to a mundane chapter of Twilight (Which by the way he has never read), suggested that it is merely an account of a day *I* would like to have and not a piece of writing for an audience other than myself. He also said that by having my FMC go to work like she does every day that I was "writing myself into a hole" and that I should have trashed the shop instead. His exact words "In a good book, shit happens" - I grant you this is valid point but just because the shit doesn't happen in the first fugging chapter doesn't mean that it isn't gonna be a good book. Lots of books I've read have a taken a couple of chapters to get going properly, it's incredibly snobby to dismiss a book as being bad if it's merely setting up the norm at first to blow it up in your faces later rather than plunging straight in with the action.

He also said that by using the bits of French in the dialogue like I do, although it adds to realism (They are all French after all) I'm supposedly "limiting my theoretical audience to French Teenagers". I say bollocks to that - Firstly I am not using so much french within the story that it's incomprehensible, granted I realise that I may have to adding clarifying statements to sections where a sizeable chunk appears but the grand majority of the story will be in English, Secondly there are plenty more people outside of France that know enough French to understand the bits that I use (if you're up on your swear words then you'll be able to translate the rather choice phrases I use in the excerpt of Ch. 1 here) and even if you don't know a great deal of french it's still possible to decode what it means from the context and the similarity between the spellings.

(BTW I'm sorry that this is turning into a rant- I can't help it)

But what really irked me was how he bookended these statements with "don't take this to be negative criticism" and "Despite these few tiny problems" erm yes... right THANKS! Next time I want my novel to be kicked and ground into the dirt I'll send it to him. Otherwise I'm sending it to beta-readers who have actually *read* a book in the same genre as I'm writing (YA/Adult Urban Fantasy) and therefore know what is good or not for that genre. Plus you sound like a right arsehole when you compare the story to a book you've never read and misspell the author's name. Just sayin'

*Deep Breaths*

ON TOPIC - so yea today I wrote chapter 6 of my nothing-like-Twishite-totally-accessible-to-non-French-Speakers novel. I ended up writing a good deal of the 2,092 words after midnight cos I was too cold and pissed off to really focus before then. But after a quick Word War with Emilee of Penultimate Page via twitter and then a good dose of procrastination in the form of Jackson Pearce's livestream show discussing trends in YA fiction (Really interesting) I finally knuckled down and met my word count target.

Total word count one third of the way through November - 17637 words!

Right terribly sorry about the ranting detour but I needed to vent about it, any suggestions for dealing with rather unhelpful criticism like that would be greatly appreciated.
So I'm shattered it's almost half 3 in the morning and it's cold and rainy - oh yay! /sarcasm

Night y'all


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