Thursday, 30 August 2012

Review: Dark Flame, The Immortals - by Alyson Noel

Some secrets must NEVER be revealed...

When Roman tried to kill Haven, it took all that Ever had not to exchange her best friend's soul for the antidote her and Damen need if they want to be together. But she knows what is more important, and that is friendship.

However, she is left to deal with a very confused Haven, and whichever way she tries to put it she can not escape from the truth. It was her who decided to give Haven the immortal elixir, and now she must confess to what she has done.

This also means revealing what she really is.

Will Haven take the news as seriously as Ever first thought? Or with the elixir making her taller, more beautiful, and more confident, will she finally be able to stop begging everyone for attention?

It had to be done. Ever knew that she had to tell Haven about what she has become. But does she know the true extent of Haven's hunger for attention; even with the new improved immortal body?

As with the other three in 'The Immortals' series, I found this book fast-paced and full of action. I think of Haven like a character who I love to hate - I feel bad for the neglect by her family but that is no excuse for the things she is going to do in the following book. 

If you have not yet read it, I highly recommend it for the lovers of Harry Potter. The magic used is totally different to that in Hogwarts but it sure is MAGIC.

WORD OF ADVICE: Look out for the character of 'Miles' in the series. He is a lot more important than you think. And totally loveable! 


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

My oh my, what a wonderful day


It has happened again, folks. I thought things couldn't get better after the website mentioned me, but somehow it managed to. 

This totally makes up for the fact that I am going back to school next week.

The picture above can be found along with other 'professional' book bloggers on an actual promotion website. Any book blogger can get it done easily here, and they don't care how old you are. If you write about reading then you're in!

It may not seem like a big deal to you, but this is what's going to keep the author interviews rolling in for your enjoyment. A lot of authors are up there with me too so that makes me feel extra happy!

Just another little piece of news, to let you know that the blog is doing well. 

Hopefully, I will be blogging for a long time to come.

DFTBA!
The Book Critic x

P.S: I changed my whole layout today to make my blog look more professional and try to match it's sort of 'new status'. If you scroll down there are links to other great book blogs. Check them out, and tell them The Book Critic sent you. 

The Charleston Veggie!


A bit of lovely news today, meaning that my blog is growing to new heights!

Two days ago, I posted an interview I had with the very lovely Heidi Garrett about her new book. If getting a real author on the blog wasn't enough, a website called The Charleston Veggie picked it up and posted the link to it on their homepage! 

Me and Heidi are both very excited as it means a little bit of promotion for both of us, and I would like to thank the people of The Charleston for putting my post up there! 

If you would like to see the evidence for yourself, the link to The Charleston Veggie is here   so don't waste any time in having a look!

DFTBA,
The Book Critic x

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Nobody should be able to tell you what not to wear


This is the other post I thought was going to be important for you to read, and I have spent the last two days watching the topic of today's post.

The following video is when America's WHAT NOT TO WEAR presenters 'challenged themselves' to changing the 'kooky hippy ways' of Mayim Bialik, who is best known for her roles in Blossom, Beaches and The Big Bang Theory. 

Oh yeah, not forgetting her Phd too.

Since I live in the UK and the only fashion show I watch is Gok Wan, I will tell you how I found this. I was looking for interviews of TBBT cast and I found the 6 part 2011 interview at ComicCon. One of the questions a lady asked in it to Mayim was about 'what not to wear' and Mayim replied with something like 'well yeah, I wore a lot of things that people wouldn't agree with, but hey you're wearing a cape full of buttons'. I was interested as to 'what not to wear' was.

I didn't have to look that far, as the mysterious episode was in the featured bar next to the videos I was watching. I clicked on it, thinking it was a BBT episode I had missed or something, but it was far from it. 

The video appeared to be two people who had been spying on Mayim for the past three weeks, and  from what I could tell they were actually wanting to throw-up over her dress sense. Sure, it was not catwalk stylish, but she felt comfortable in it. To be fair to her, she was carrying her youngest child around a shopping centre the times they were spying on her.

Then, without warning Mayim, these two people rushed up to her in the middle of a street and told her how 'awful' her dress sense was. They sneaked her in to a building where they wanted to 'make Blossom bloom again'. Apparently, this show spends about $5000 on each celebrity, so Mayim offered to pay for her transformation herself as long as the money they were going to spend on her went to charity. This is one of the reasons why I love her.

Anyway, after showing her some outfits that they would like to see her in, they sent Mayim shopping. Miss Bialik commented that she didn't feel the outfits they showed her allowed her to express herself, so knowing the two 'fashion experts' wouldn't like it she bought a quirky green jacket that she said she felt beautiful in. They of course hated it and were laughing at her, but in true Mayim style she didn't care.

To cut a long story short, she ended up going against a lot of the rules the two people had set out for her and it totally worked. They couldn't exactly make her take back the jacket if she paid for it, right? SMART MAYIM.

Throughout the video, I felt let down by these two people trying to change her. Her Blossom style has stayed with her ever since and that is what makes her who she is. I guess it was just weird for me to see two people try to totally change someone, even when the person they are changing didn't sign up for it. We don't really have that type of show in England.

I highly recommend you watch it if you haven't already, because I learnt a lot from it. One of those things is to never push a person into doing something, because chances are they won't do it. 

The main thing: NEVER try to change a person, whether it being their sense of style or haircut. You may not realise it, but these little things make people who they are, and everyone is extremely special in their own way.

Monday, 27 August 2012

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - Heidi Garrett

Today, I am posting an interview with new author Heidi Garrett, about her new book NANDANA'S MARK and what she is reading right now! Here is the post  you have all been waiting for:

1. What is your new book about?
'Melia is an eighteen-year-old half-faerie. She really wants to fly, but she doesn’t have wings. She lives in Illialei, a country in the Realm of Faerie, where all the full-blooded faeries do have wings.
Being a half-faerie brings her other challenges as well. Her mortal father is a druid who wants to incarnate Umbra—the one entity everyone in Illialei and the rest of the Enchanted World fears.
Umbra is tricky because he is incorporeal, and making any connection with his consciousness opens a door to his dark influence.
Melia shares a telepathic relationship with her father, and his efforts to incarnate Umbra are effecting her in disturbing ways.
NANDANA’S MARK  is about Melia’s first encounters with Umbra, and what happens when she challenges her father.
She also gets her wings—in an unexpected way—and discovers the truth of who she is.'

2. What gave you the idea for this series?
'The seed of this story is in the 15th century French faerie tale of Melusine.
As a child, I loved the dreamy, other worldly feel of faerie tales. When I decided to write this series I wanted to create a sense of verisimilitude, so I researched faeries and existing faerie tales. I was taken with the tale of Melusine’s original "dysfunctional" family, i.e. three daughters who kill their mortal father and are cursed by their full-blooded faerie mother.

In the version of that tale, told in FAERIES AND ELVES, a volume in the TIME-LIFE BOOK ENCHANTED WORLD series, "The fates of the younger daughters, Melior and Plantina, are not important to the story."
I couldn't help but ask myself: What if a very different version of this faerie tale is being told—right now—in the Enchanted World? A version where the younger daughters are the story's central figures …
The Queen of the Realm of the Faerie series is my answer to that question.
I did take the liberty of changing Melior's name to Melia … and Plantina’s to Plantine.'

3. Why did you choose to write Fantasy?
'On a fundamental level, fantasy appeals to me. I have had experiences in my life that convince me there are multiple layers to reality. Working in the genre of fantasy gives me the opportunity to play with that concept and express my ideas about other worlds in a playful and entertaining way.'

4. Would you write in any other genre?
'I don’t think I would stray far. My other great passion is magical realism. I would love to write a brilliant book in that vein. The first time I read THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS by Isabel Allende, I adored it. I recently found THE SUGAR QUEEN by Sarah Addison Allen delightful.'

5. Why did you decide to open it up for E-reader owners only?
'This is an interesting question. I used to be raw, then I was vegan, and then I was vegetarian. Now, I consider myself a ‘conscious omnivore.’
The primary thing that drove my journey along that continuum was an awareness of the planet and the limits of its resources. I believe in maintaining a moderate carbon footprint, wherever possible. Committing to ebooks fits into that philosophy for me.
On a more mundane level, e-readers are practical. Like many readers, I have been attached to physical books. However, because I have been a voracious reader all my life—and have moved quite a few times—I have always been a book recycler, frequenting secondhand shops to trade, because I often didn’t have enough physical space to store my habit. However, even with that, when we moved out-of-state a few years ago, I had so many boxes of books I couldn’t believe it. So...I just decided to buck-up and get an e-reader.
I purchased a Nook, and even though there were some buggy things in that first generation, I fell in love with it.
With a physical book you have that thing in your hand, but with an e-reader you have ALL YOUR BOOKS in your hand...they also fit in your purse. If you want to go hang out at the coffee shop, or you have a flight, you don’t have to fret over which book to take. You can take them all. So, over a two-and-a-half year period, I have become a convert, and I love to tell folks about how much fun e-readers are.
Unbelievable to me, I now prefer to read a book on my e-reader. It always keeps my place; the cover graphics on the color e-readers are fantastic; and the highlighting, note, and bookmark functions are easy to use.'

6. Have you written any other stories?
'I have. Quite a few. However NANDANA’S MARK was the first work I was 100 percent committed to publishing.'

7. Do you enjoy writing?
'I do. It has come to be my refuge in this sometimes-crazy world we live in.'

8. Could you give some words of advice to any aspiring authors reading this?
'Read. Returning to the subject of e-readers. Ebooks offer a goldmine of fresh stories. You, the discerning reader, can cruise Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other sites to select book samples. If you like the first few pages, you can choose to keep reading. If the story doesn’t appeal to you, you can choose another one. Search until you find the ebook that makes you want to keep reading. What I am saying is: If you want to write, read. And having an e-reader makes that easier than ever.
   Read what you want to read. Don’t let other folks tell you what to read. Read what appeals to you. That’s really important. It will help you define yourself and know who you are. That, by the way, totally fits in with your message about learning to be confident with who you are. So, if you don’t like a book—unless it’s a school assignment—you don’t need to finish it. Get on to something you love.

Write. A lot. Experiment with different ways of writing. Get comfortable with getting what’s inside of you outside of you, and onto the page. I’ve written letters, journals, poetry, songs, etc. All forms of writing will help you understand how words work and how you can get words to work for you.
Don’t stop writing. If you share your work with someone and you don’t receive the response you want, consider whatever constructive feedback has been provided, and then keep writing. Don’t ever stop writing.
Enjoy the writing. If you are a writer who is not enjoying writing, you are probably not writing what you really want to write.'

           9. Are you currently reading a book right now?
'Yes.'
     If so then what?
'THE ENCHANTED ORCHARD. It is a sweet and tender story. It is hard to capture the magic of sweet and tender in a narrative; Kristin Maddock has achieved that.'

10. What would you say has been one of your favourite books to read?
'One of my favourite books to read in the past two or so years has been ELFLAND (Aetherial Tales #1) by Freda Warrington. She’s actually a British author who I cannot find on Twitter! The story is very intricate and I loved how she blended her faerie world with her real world. It’s a great book.'


Well, that's everything you need to know about the book AND MORE! Heidi's book NANDANA'S MARK can be found on Amazon and it is out now! You can also visit her new blog by clicking on this link http://www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com so it is well worth taking a look!

Hope you loved the interview as much as I did - sorry it took so long for me to post but you got what you were waiting for and more!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Two Months Today!

I just thought that I would let you know that the blog is two months old today. And I want to say thank you to all of you people who bother to show up to this page almost everyday and actually like the stuff I go on about. 

I made this blog because I wanted to make a difference and I think I have started to in more ways than one. I hope you think I have made you all feel a little bit more confident, as well as telling you to read books.

I have so many page views! Well, more than I ever thought I would get after two months. I want to say what an honour it has been writing to you all, and I plan to do a lot more of it.

Thanks for your continued support!
The Book Critic x 




EDITOR'S NOTE: My blog anniversary was the 24th, but my Twitter account and the idea for the blog was two months old. Damn schedule.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

More reading music


I introduce to you, Charlene Soraia. She has been one of my top five artists for a long time, and her guitarist skills are like nothing I have ever heard before. The texture of the guitar is so unique, and her voice compliments the lazy but addictive tone in the guitar.

You may also know her voice from the Twining's advert.

I have done a few posts where I let you into my personal space and show you what music is on my ipod. This lovely lady is another example of those posts. I saw her live at a concert for girl guides this year when I was looking after the brownies in my district, and after the show I decided to get onto Twitter and compliment her on her performance. 

She just so happened to reply to me!

I really wish I could show you the reply, but unfortunately it is on my personal account. Don't get excited - I am not linking 'The Book Critic' to my personal account at any point. There is no point in trying to find me on Twitter either, because I don't follow myself on each account.

That would make it too easy for you.

Anyway, this is her performing 'Daffodils' live in a studio. I thought she would be another perfect voice to have humming in the background while you read, if that is how you concentrate on the book. 

Have a good day wherever you are,
The Book Critic x


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Take a leaf from Amy's book

Ok. So I didn't really know what to talk about with you today.

But I have been watching The Big Bang Theory all afternoon, so let's talk about that.

My favourite character is Amy Farrah Fowler, who is the one I look up to the most on the show. Here are some reasons why:


  1. She isn't afraid to be different to everyone else. She will quite happily announce her attraction to Penny and it won't seem weird at all because they are like sisters. 
  2. She doesn't spend her days shopping and yet even with the hand-me-down clothes she wears she still manages to look fabulous. I'm not saying that she doesn't take pride in her appearance, but she certainly doesn't spend her days worrying about it.
  3. Despite her relationship with Sheldon being somewhat different to everyone else's, she doesn't mind. Even though it rings true that she would like the relationship to get more physical at times, Amy doesn't get upset or depressed when Sheldon refuses her a kiss.
  4. We all know that Sheldon can be high maintenance most of the time, but Amy knows how to handle him. While others will accept the argument Sheldon makes about... well, everything, Amy has the guts to challenge his ideas and lead him in the right direction if he is doing something clearly wrong.
For all of these reasons and more, I respect Amy Farrah Fowler. Even if you don't watch the show (and I highly advise you to if you don't) then you can learn something very important from her.

Her message: BE INDEPENDENT. Don't suffer in silence if a boy is doing something wrong, and you know but are too afraid to challenge him because you are scared of what he might think.

Mayim Bialik plays the role of Amy, and I fully respect her as an actor for the things she has done to raise awareness of issues that she cares about. I will leave you today with a picture from the 'No H8' campaign that Mayim posed for.


I can't get over how simply perfect this picture is.

(In case you didn't notice, I have a bit of a girl crush on this lady.)

The Book Critic x


Saturday, 11 August 2012

The madness is over... or is it?

I'm back from holiday!

Ah, I did like being by the seaside very much, where the only thing that worried me was the automatic posting on the blog. Looks like I had a reason to worry too, as the first couple of posts didn't appear after I scheduled them.

But the madness is over now... or is it?

I struggled to refrain myself from talking about books while at Dorset, and as luck would have it I didn't actually have to go a week without searching for the real things. They have a lovely little market at Lyme Regis, where a certain man who was doing a sweet deal on books had set up a stall. I ended up buying five Agatha Christie's Poirot and three Jane Austin books, which were brand new and fairly cheap. Result!

As we were walking around the market, my parents, my brother and I saw my auntie who lives in Dorset and one of my other aunties who was staying with her at the time for a holiday. We stopped to talk to them both, and as I looked to the side I noticed another stall with brand new books in - only this time they specialized in children's and young adults's books. They were a little more pricey though, so I ended up buying three more books: Fallen, Paranormalcy and A Gathering Light.

If that wasn't enough, a couple of days later my auntie who lives down in Lyme had two bags of books that she no longer wanted and wanted to give to charity. However, she kept them a day longer so that me and my mum could look through them. I ended up picking a Katie Ford, a Stephen King and a book called 'The Zodiac Guide to Living' because they were a bit different than what I usually pick.

So, by the end of my holiday I came back with fourteen more books than I went with.

Is the madness really over... or has it just begun?

Thursday, 9 August 2012

A little bit of light reading


This is one of my favourite singers, Ellie Goulding.

She has a sweet voice, and I thought that if you are a person who enjoys reading but can not do it in complete silence then a bit of background music might help. As long as you play it quietly, this should give you a good reading experience.

Ellie has the perfect voice for this, and this song is called 'Human' from her Bright Lights album.

Enjoy!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Shout Magazine - why it is the best teen mag

I bought this summer edition of Shout Magazine a few days ago and as the holidays are the only time I buy it I thought I would tell you all what it is exactly Shout does.

Being a magazine aimed at teenagers around the globe, Shout does have its fair share of fashion, beauty tips and 'embarrassing moments' provided by the readers. However, when it comes to what really matters, Shout is hot off the press.

There are real life stories about young adults who have had a tough time and got through it, problem pages and the best thing of all; confidence booster pages.

This is why I think that Shout is the best teen magazine. They not only cover the normal stuff that teens want to see, but throw a bit of the real life stuff in and make teens actually want to read it.

They have read my blog and said that it was really cool what I was doing. If you want to see the comment, scroll down my July posts and you will see the picture in there. I love that they strive to make teens see the real them, past all of the make-up and the boy trouble. It is a really respectable magazine, and you wouldn't see me buying a different one.

Oh here we go, back to the cheesy stuff again. But I'm telling you, if you are ever upset or stressed and need a magazine to take your mind off things, then Shout is the one to go for. If it is boys you are upset about, then they have a problem page to address that, and in some issues you may even find them telling you what a waste of time they can be!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Review: Shadowland, The Immortals, by Alyson Noel

Even if you are immortal, can true love really last forever?

Haha, sorry. This sentence was included in the blurb, and so I thought it would look really clever and deep at the same time to put it at the start of my post.

Anyway, I have been reading the series of this book lately, and this is where things between Ever and Damen become complicated. Yeah, that's right. Even more complicated than before.

If you have read the last book, you will know that Roman ended up being the bad guy. As a result, Ever and Damen are not allowed to touch each other, which sort of messed up their plans after their countless past relationships never got any more serious than a kiss. Now that Roman has entered their lives and is clearly there to stay, they need to find an antidote to the curse he has on them. 

With not being able to touch, it means that even a warm embrace is out of the question. Can the couple keep fighting it?

Well, they had better be careful, because one innocent hold of a hand could lead them into an endless journey inside of a dark hole which is known to be 'The Shadowland'. 

Buy this book like it is your destiny. Because believe me, poor Ever doesn't have the choice to change hers.