Thursday, 30 September 2010

Never Let Me Go


Never judge a book by it's cover or a a film by it's poster, apparently. Of course I knew Never Let Me Go was adapted from a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, so that should have been a warning. It was poster that stayed in my mind though, so I had a vague idea we were going to see a period piece about forbidden love. 

Yes, not so much.

 I did enjoy the film, it is  beautifully shot and Carey Mulligan is an incredible actress, but it left me with the desire to eat a tub of Ben and Jerry's.

Has anyone seen it or read the book? What did you think?

On a side note The Pier Kathy, Tommy are running along in the poster, is my pier! The one with the romantic plaques that I blogged about here. It's so pretty and looks perfect in the film.




Wednesday, 29 September 2010

RTW: Best Book Of September

Road Trip Wednesday Topic: What's the best book you read in September?

 Anna and the French Kiss

I was so happy to snag a copy at ALA (thank you, thank you to the lovely woman who went routing around under tables to find me the last copy!). I saved it up for my holiday because I knew it was going to be good and I hate when you take a disappointing book on holiday.


Anna lived up to all my expectations. I LOVED it. I want to run away to Paris with it, visit the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, wander the streets eating macaroons, then catch a movie.

Anna is a great mani character. She's easy to relate to, funny and I can easily imagine being friends with her. While √Čtienne is the most swoonworthy love interest I've encountered this year. Yay for British boys or boys with British accents.

Anna and the French Kiss is definitely one to buy, read and love forever. It's out 3rd December but you can check out Stephanie Perkins blog now. It is nearly as adorable as her book!

A proper review to come nearer the time, but I just needed to share my love for this debut right now!

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question. Join the fun here.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Forever

Yesterday, Maggie Stiefvater posted the cover of Forever the final book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. I think it's beautiful and the perfect match for the other two. I love how Sam and Grace are looking towards each other in this one.



If like me you can not wait to get your hands on this book, you can pre-order a signed copy here http://www.fountainbookstore.com/autograph-maggie

You can also enter Maggie's excellent contest here.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Five Things

Five things making me happy this Friday.

1) The outpouring of support of Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK.  I hadn't read it last Sunday but I have now. I can only conclude either I read a different book or that man is a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

2) It's the NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL ON THE MALL tomorrow. Yay for celebrating books and not banning them.

3) Shannon Hale's baby blog. Oh my, I usually love Shannon Hale's blog, but at the moment she is blogging about being pregnant with twins and it's just brilliant - like Jon and Kate Plus 8 before it became car crash TV - I especially like her post of fat babies having had quite  a chunky monkey baby myself. She's also done some great posts on book banning (if fat babies are not your thing).

4)A new book from Diana Peterfreund! It's an adaptation of the movie Morning Glory, which looks great - both book and film.

5) Signing up for  a SCBWI conference.

Well okay that last one is making me happy and terrified. Happy is winning right now.


What's making you Happy this Friday!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Review: Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty

Life is pretty complicated for Elizabeth Clarry. Her best friend Celia keeps disappearing, her absent father suddenly reappears, and her communication with her mother consists entirely of wacky notes left on the fridge. On top of everything else, because her English teacher wants to rekindle the "Joy of the Envelope," a Complete and Utter Stranger knows more about Elizabeth than anyone else. But Elizabeth is on the verge of some major changes. She may lose her best friend, find a wonderful new friend, kiss the sexiest guy alive, and run in a marathon. So much can happen in the time it takes to write a letter....


Dear Jaclyn Moriarty,

How have you stayed off my radar so long?

You are my find of the year! I have fallen in love with every one of your books and Feeling Sorry for Celia is no exception, I ADORE it. 

 I love the fact it's all written in letters (the ones from The Association of Teenagers are particularly genius). I love the characters, the drama, the friendships, the cute boys, the sad bits, the happy bits and the funny bits. 

Sometimes I laughed so hard I nearly fell out of bed.

Your books are now on my list of happy making things. Along side such wonders as Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes and the beach. Plus, they reside on my bookcase between Melina Marchetta and Elizabeth Scott, oh yes the love is deep.

I am on a mission to make everyone I know read your books.

Love Alexa


P.s blog readers, due to said mission (of spreading the word of the awesomeness of Jaclyn Moriarty) there may be a giveaway here, sometime next week. Just saying.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Review: Plain Kate by Erin Bow

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade”: a dangerous nickname in a country where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the angry town, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed. 



This is one of my favorite books of the year and it doesn't even have any kissing!!!

Plain Kate is an utterly magical book  it feels like a book that's been passed down from my Grandma to my Mum to me.  It has that timeless, classic feel. I know it's a book that I'll be re-reading, probably in winter. It's very much a winter book.  It should be read when it's dark outside and rain is splattering the window. Then you can curl up in front of a fire with a mug of hot choclate crack the book open and let Etin Bow's simply beautiful prose transport you to Kate's world.

It reminded me of both Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman and certain fairy tales. There is darkness, horror and loss but also hope, love and laughter and the sense that your actions make your world. It also has one if the most lovely friendships I've ever read.

I know I'm always saying you must read this book but Plain Kate is delightful and charming and a must for any story lover.

Monday, 20 September 2010

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Mackie Doyle seems like everyone else in the perfect little town of Gentry, but he is living with a fatal secret - he is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now the creatures under the hill want him back, and Mackie must decide where he really belongs and what he really wants.

A month ago, Mackie might have told them to buzz off. But now, with a budding relationship with tough, wounded, beautiful Tate, Mackie has too much to lose. Will love finally make him worthy of the human world



In The Replacement Yovanoff had created a world that is dark, menacing and full of secrets. It is deliciously creepy and left me jumping at every bump and wanting to sleep with the light on.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It does drift a bit in the middle when a few character choices felt a little inexplicable, but ultimately  Mackie's voice and the fantastic supporting cast carried me through and kept my love strong. I particular liked Emma, Mackie's sister and The Morrigan, oh she's creepy but kind of charming too.


The Replacement is in bookstores tomorrow. If you love Tim Burton movies, fairies, and a strong unique narrative voice, this is the book for you.

ARC received from Publisher.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Five Things making Me Happy

1) My Kindle! My husband bought it for me as a surprise and it's just brilliant.

2) Lunch out with other writers, such fun to talk to people who get it.

3)  GeorgeTown Cupcake. Best cupcakes EVER!

4) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I read this on holiday and I am head over heels in LOVE with it. I want to move to Paris and learn French because of this book! It is swoonsomely romantic.

5) Writing. The WIP is going well (I'm probably jinxing myself here) I finally seem to know these characters and where they are going. Plus I changed the setting to England, so my lovely critique group will not have to weed out all my Briticisms ( who knew there were so many!) this time.

What's making you happy this Friday?

Monday, 13 September 2010

Home Again

I'm finally back home after an epic holiday and Autumn has arrived, well kind of. It's still too hot here in D.C, but Labor Day has been and gone, the students have returned to AU (looking insanely young), and most importantly Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back in Starbucks, yay!, so it's officially not summer anymore.

Autumn always feels to me like the real start of the year, so I always approach it with goals, and sticky notes! This year I have a goal for the blog. I'm planning to blog tree days a week.

Monday - Book Review (starting next week) or a quote of I haven't had much reading time.

Wednesday - RTW (if I like the topic) or a random post on something bookish.

Friday - Five Things I've loved this week

Other goals include

Query Emma Undone
Finish the first draft of the WIP by mid October, so I'm all ready for Disney and then NaNoWriMo
Train for and run a 5km. I've been inspired by my husband whose running the D.C Marathon again this year. He was very good about training on holiday, which inspired me to take more exercise.

Does Autumn feel like a new beginning to you and if it does what are your goals/hopes?

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Book Birthday - Plain Kate


Plain Kate by Erin Bow is in stores as of today! I wanted this book the
minute I saw the cover and I wanted it even more when I read the back cover copy.

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade”: a dangerous nickname in a country where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the angry town, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

I was lucky enough to get a signed copy at ALA and devoured it. It is as good as it sounds. I think it will appeal to fans of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Triology and lovers of fairy Tales.

Kate is one of my favorite heroines this year and her cat Taggle is definitely my favourite animal.

Go snag a copy and enjoy!