Friday, 30 October 2015

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

5 Stars
Verdict: For a book about dying cancer kids, it didn't half make me laugh. (I'm a terrible person...)

Two kids with cancer meet at a support group. We all know where this one is heading. If you don't then perhaps skim past this review for now. 

It was good the Green decided to inject humour into this one. If he hadn't, it wouldn't have worked. 

That's not to say it didn't get touch at times. However, the story never made me cry. The moment you pick up the book you know what terrible event is looming. It's inevitable. Although I might not have shed a tear when the time came, I still felt sorrow in the moment. 

The writing is intelligent and creative. Combined with quirky characters, you have a prose that's both funny and thoughtful. Every sentence was inspiring. If you're an aspiring author of young adult novels, read this book - no, study it. It felt effortless how much Green made me think and feel within such a short amount of pages.

"Our children are weird."

You got that right. They were weird, but weird and wonderful. You'll need to brace yourself for a little pretension as the kids have a taste for it, but the way they connect together, the way they bounce, it's heart-warming and sometimes hilarious. 

Once the story was over, the book lingered on in what I now know as true John Green's fashion. He tried to smuggle in an extra point at the end, but when it's over, it's over. Still a fantastic read.

Source: Bought it from Amazon.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Book Review: Stardust

STARDUST by Neil Gaiman
5 Stars 
Verdict: A gritty fairytale for adults.

A star falls. Tristran proclaims he will fetch that star to prove his love to a woman who frankly isn’t bothered. Witches, dead princes, magic and a little gore, STARDUST is a fantastic modern fairytale that still feels traditional.

This is a book for anyone who loves gritty fairytales.

I loved the film, and now I love the book. Those are two very separate things. Of course the story is similar, but the style, the creativity, and the resolutions are very different. Compared to the film, Tristran felt flat to me, but the playful yet dark voice of the book makes up for what the male lead lacks.

It’s a short book, but not a children’s book. I reckon I’d still have loved it as a teen. Bit of swearing, bit of gore, bit of sex.

Best part? The resolve. I love clever round ups, playing on words and slotting pieces of the story together. Worst part? The ending. After a clever resolve, it turns into a ramble that peters off into an irrelevant realm.

I'm excited to try another Neil Gaiman novel. I might be a fan in the making!

Scource: Kindle sale!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Self-Publishing Fest Returns!

Do you know what time it is?

My birthday!

Okay, but what else is it?

It’s the time where I start to plan my self-publishing fest. If you’re self-published then come on over and get involved.

Last year was amazing. We had a vast mixture of posts: author interviews, guest articles, book reviews, giveaways. If you're interesting in taking part in any of these things, let me know and we'll sort it out.

The sad part is I don’t have time to read your lovely books this year. I’m snowed under and don’t like making promises I can’t keep.

Instead I’d like to feature an extract of your novel for anyone to read and decide for themselves! This extract can be up to 1000 words long, so pick wisely.

Every post goes through me. I’ll offer editorial feedback, guidance, and generally 

In return for your wonderful contribution, you’ll have my thanks as well as your time in the spotlight. Most of all, you’ll have the support of other authors. Last year more than half of the authors took to social media to promote other authors than themselves. This event relies on promoting each other as well as ourselves.

Deadlines for sending content is Friday the 4th of December, but please contact me ASAP as spots fill fast. Remember, I need to check over these articles so the earlier the better, and there are only so many days in December!

If you’d like to get involved, please use the contact form on the right. Please start your message with SMC SELF-PUB FEST. If you’re a phone user, you might not be able to see it. That’s okay, just post below in the comments.

*Don’t’ forget to follow the blog!

*Of course, this is optional, but it helps a bunch.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Book Review: The Knife Of Never Letting Go

5 Stars 
Verdict: If you can adjust to the style, this is the book of never putting down. 

At first, I didn’t like this book at all. I struggled with the unconventional spelling, I found the voice a disconnected ramble, and nothing seemed to happen in the first four chapters.

Then, all of a sudden, I could barely put it down. The voice and spelling worked. The plot took off, with poor Todd running for his life almost continuously from start to finish.

The mystery of what happens when the boys become men is strung out for the whole book. Ness sets up ample opportunities for us to learn more, and then twists them around so that I ended up with a growing number of questions.

The lack of answers irritated me, yet I kept reading. It tore out my heart, yet just like Todd I kept going. This book can only be described as emotional self harm.

I’m not recommending this book to all readers. It’s a book that will get your emotions going, and will probably annoy you in places. You’ll probably cry at some point. It’s not all fun and games for poor Todd.

I also wasn’t keen on how many times the same thing kept happening. Even when the person was slightly different, the book was a little repetitive in places. That’s really my only quibble with it.

Prepare for heartache. Prepare for plot repetition. Prepare for a cliff hanger ending. You’ll probably need to prepare to adjust to the style too, but once you get going, prepare to read this book in every spare minute you can find.

Source: Bought it.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Book Review: The 100

THE 100 by Kass Morgan
4 Stars
Verdict: You can't go wrong with a concept like that.
#2 - Day 21
#3 - The Homecoming

100 juvenile delinquents sent to earth to see if it’s inhabitable. No adults. You know this will be angst ridden and full of peril. This is my kind of book!

The writing itself is fairly perfunctory, but sometimes it’s not even that. Chunks of detail were skipped, events were missed, and I found myself wondering how, just how, did this or that happen. How did a medical tent become a thing, and where did the supplies come from? How did Glass manage to... okay, spoilers aside.

The book is always tumbling forwards, the characters twisting around each other as we work out what they did to deserve such a fate.

After watching the TV series, which is now my current favourite, I have to say it’s not the same calibre. I’m glad the storylines are different as it means I can enjoy both, but if you only have time for one, I’d recommend the TV alternative. The characters are more interesting, the stakes feel higher, and the extra character are probably my favourites. Clarke really stands out as a hero and leader in the series, where in the books she’s mainly just angst.

The TV series is about survival: the how, why, and ‘if’. The book only has time for what started it, how they ended up on the ground, and a few gut wrenching but predictable events. I’m excited for book 2, but I couldn’t wait to watch the series.

Source: Bought it myself.