Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

I finished reading The Daughter of Smoke and Bone last night and I absolutely adored it, I fell in love with world and its characters. I can't believe how long its taken for me to read it but at least I can quickly move onto the second book.

With that in mind I had a little free time today and I've been looking on deviantArt for pictures inspired by the book. I love when people bring characters from books alive with their drawing and I thought it was rather apt considering Karou loves to draws those around her so here are just a few of my favourites.

My review will be coming soon.

Girls in Young Adult Books

I was at a publishing event a couple of weeks ago and I got talking to one of the authors  about the role of female characters in fiction, especially young adult fiction. Sometimes I don't think authors are aware of the responsibility that they have in creating strong female leads that will inspire young girls to become more and to believe in themselves.

More and more books nowadays seem to have a female lead that is never quite as good as the male lead, she always seems to be in his shadow and I really wish this wasn't the way. Don't get me wrong I've read plenty of fantastic books with amazing leads, I'm only taking issue with those that have a soppy love sick female chasing a boy that is nothing but mean to her. It really irritates me.

Anyway back to the original conversation, I made the point of saying about how many negative reviews you see about games that inspire violence in young boys and yet no one ever makes the point about how books can create negative emotions and bad stereotypes in young girls. I think people don't give enough credit to the power of imagination that books can create. How many times have you read a book and imagined yourself in the females lead, being the object of affection of your favourite male character. I know I have but as they say with age comes wisdom, being in my twenties I think I can safely say I know that these characters are not real, as in no guy in real life would ever behave like that and girls shouldn't want a guy like that. Who wants a guy that leaves them for months and then you become emotionally unstable, I'm looking at  you Twilight.

Teenage girls have enough to worry about with insecurities with looks and boys and books shouldn't add to them. Books should have characters that have strong, realistic females, flaws and all.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

"Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on. Cuts your throat and takes your bones, sells 'em off for a coupla stones." 

The Diviners is the first book I've read by Libba Bray but I can assure you it wont be the last. Before we go any further I should probably tell you that the 1920's has to be one of my favourite era's,  the Flappers, prohibition it just makes the perfect setting in my mind so the second I heard about this book I new I would love it and now onto why I loved it so.

Evie O'Neil is rebel, she is sent from Ohio to New York as punishment for what her parents and the townsfolk deem the slander of their Angel boy. Evie is sent to live with her Uncle Will who is the curator of the museum of American Folklore aka the museum of the Creepy Crawlies. Evie can't wait to get to New York and escape the oppression of her parents and be free the lead the glamorous life she believes she was born to lead. Along the way Evie meets some interesting characters and as we gleam throughout the book they all have something special about them including Evie herself, she is able to see the history of an object and the person who owns it.

This book isn't just a paranormal book its also a murder mystery and what a book it is. Let me say I've never been scared before by a fictional murderer but this one really creeped me out. Sitting in bed at 2 o'clock in the morning and reading the ending to this story, every little sound in my house sounded like Naughty Johns whispers to me and it definitely had me spooked.

Libba Bray is an expert in character development, there are very few young adult books out there that manage to create such well rounded characters and develop their interactions as well as Bray does. Evie's interactions with her friends and love interest are believable, especially with her love interest (who I'm not going to name), their relationship is slow burning and even at the end you can tell they have a long way to go, its how real relationships work. Can I just say how much I loved Evie, she was fun, flirty and a hell of a rebellion, she came to New York to have fun and have amazing adventures and she is going to do everything she can to make sure that happens. She isn't afraid to be seen and heard and in fact goes out of her way most of the time to make sure people do notice her. I wouldn't mind having a little bit of Evie in me.

The book isn't entirely from Evie's point of view, we do manage to get small glimpses into the other characters minds and I thought that this was handled wonderfully, each character has their own distinct voice that it isn't hard to work out who is talking. I liked how not everyone's chapters was necessarily about Naughty John, their were a lot of clues setting up the next book and a lot of hints as to who the Diviners actually are and what they are capable of. Plenty of story lines left unfinished which can sometimes be infuriating (and to be honest was a little for me, I normally like a conclusion to novels) but I suppose it leaves many avenues to explore in the next book.

My only negative about this book would be its slow start, it does take the first 100 pages of so to really get into it, but once you past that its one of the easiest books to read and not because the writing was simple but because the writing flowed so beautifully and the story was fast paced,I was completely hooked, each chapter left my in suspense and most of the time I couldn't put it down, 600 pages seemed like a breeze.

Overall the Diviners manages to mix historical fiction with paranormal fantasy, it has such a magical quality to it you wont want to miss out. A book that will creep you out and immerse you into New York in the 1920's so much so you won't want to leave.

Monday, 15 April 2013

From Page to Screen

Each year we see less original screen plays an more movie adaptations. Books offer the film industry intriguing plots, with well loved and engaging characters. 

I am and will always be a firm believer that the book is always better, so no matter what I always try to read the book before the film comes out.

2013 is going to be dominated by supernatural young adult books, as well as science fiction, graphic novels and classics. 

Here you'll find just a taster of what we can expect to see in our movie theatres this year. 

Warm Bodies

1st Febuary (US) 8th Febuary (UK)

Based on Isaac Marion's novel warm bodies, its been called a 'zombie-romantic comedy' with strong links with Romeo and Juliet (the leading characters being called 'R' and 'Julie'). "The film focuses on the development of the relationship between Julie and R and how their romance sets in motion events that will change the world." 

Beautiful Creatures

13th February (UK) 14th February (US)

Based on the best selling, young adult book of the same name by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Beautiful creatures follows the story of Ethan who can't wait to leave his small town that is until the new girl Lena arrives and he discovers a dark and mysterious secret that his town has been hiding for years.

Oz - The Great and Powerful

8th March (UK & US)

The film is inspired by L. Frank Baums novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The events of the film take place before the novel and describes how the Wizard came to be in charge of Oz. "Circus magician Oscar Diggs thinks he's hit the jackpot as he's transported to the Land of Oz, but his encounters with three witches and problems facing Oz's inhabitants encourage him to become the great wizard they've been expecting."

The Host

22nd March (UK) 29th March (US)

Based on Stephanie Meyers book The Host (which I loved and I'm hoping she is going to bringing out a sequel soon like she promised). An alien soul is injected into the body of Melanie Stryder but instead of letting it take over she fights back and together they learn to work together to try and find Melanie's family.

Iron Man 3

26th April (UK) 3rd May (US)

"Marvel's "Iron Man 3" pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds (Mandarin)."

The latest movie in the Marvels comic book franchise (a particular favourite of my boyfriends) and the first since the Avengers movie, see's the wonderfully funny Tony Stark back and see him searching for the answer to the elusive question, "Does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?"

Great Gatsby

 10th May (US) 17th May (UK)

Adapted from the 1925 novel The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald, it story follows Nick Carraway, a young man that moves to Long Island and finds himself fascinated by his neighbour Jay Gatsby during the roaring twenties.He is drawn into Gatsby's circle, becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy.

Man of Steel

14th June (UK and US)

Based on the DC comic character Superman, man of steel portrays the characters origin story with Henry Cavil taking on the famous role.

World War Z

21st June (UK and US)

Based on the novel of the same name by Max Brooks, the film follows UN worker Gerry Lane as he searches for information on how to stop the outbreak of the  zombie epidermic that is destroying the world.

The Wolverine

26th July (UK and US)

Hugh Jackman once again stars as Wolverine from the X-men comics by marvel.The Wolverine is based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's 1982 limited series, which sees Logan travel to Japan, where he engages a mysterious figure from his past.

No trailer as of yet.

Percy Jackson - Sea of Monsters

14th August (UK) 16th August (US)

Sequel to the 2010 film Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief and the second book in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. It follows Percy and his friends as they search for golden fleece in order to protect the camp half bloods borders from magical enemies.

No trailer or movie poster as of yet.

Mortal Instruments - City of Bones

23rd August (UK and US)

This is one of the movies I can not wait to see, the first book in the mortal instrument series by Cassandra Clare, follows Clary a seemingly normal girl, that is until her mum is kidnapped and she is attacked by a demon and she discovers the truth about her past and her bloodline.

I, Frankenstein

13th September (US) 18th September (UK)

A new twist to the classic telling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, based of the comic book by Kevin Gervioux. Frankenstein's Monster Adam finds himself involved in an war between two immortal clans in an ancient city.

No trailer or movie poster as of yet.

Seventh Son

18th October (UK and US)

Based on the Spooks Apprentice by Joseph Delaney, it follows Tom Ward the seventh son of the seventh son and his adventures as a spools apprentice. 

No trailer or movie poster as of yet.

Romeo and Juliet

25th October (UK)

Another retelling of Shakespeare's tale of star crossed lovers. When two enemy families meet, forbidden love ensues.

No trailer released as of yet.


18th October (US) 29th November (UK)

A remake of the 1976 horror classic based on Stephen Kings novel of the same name, in which a high school girl unleashes her telekinetic powers on her abusive peers at the prom.

Ender's Game

25th October (UK) 1st November (US)

A science fiction film based on the novel by Orson Scott Card, 70 years after an Alien war , Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future alien invasion.

No trailer or movie poster released as of yet.

Thor - The Dark World

30th October (UK) 8th November (US)

Another marvel film, this time with the return of my favourite avenger Thor. Set a year after the Avengers film, Thor battles an ancient race of Dark Elves led by the vengeful Malekith who threatens to plunge the universe back into darkness. 
No trailer released as of yet.

Hunger Games - Catching Fire

22nd November (UK and US)

The second instalment in the hunger games trilogy from Suzanne Collins finds Katness and Peta forced back into the hunger games, can they survive a second time?

(If you've read the books then you'll already know the answer to that one)


27th November (US) 6th December (UK)

Loosely based from Hans Christen Anderson's the Snow Queen, it will be Disney's 53rd animated feature in their classics series. It follows the story of Anna who has been cursed by her sister the Snow Queen. Anna must battle through an icy and unforgiving landscape with the help of Kristoff (a thrill seeking outdoors man) to try and reverse the curse.

No trailer released as of yet.

13th December (UK and US)

The second instalment of the three films that make up The Hobbit, Bilbo has found the 'one ring' and now he and the dwarfs must continue on to get their gold back from smaug.

Not trailer or movie poster as of yet.