18 August 2015

REVIEW: HARRY POTTER: MAGICAL PLACES FROM THE FILM

HARRY POTTER: MAGICAL PLACES FROM THE FILM
by Jody Revenson

Pages: 208
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: May 8th 2015
ISBN: 9781783296026
Received From:  Titan Books

Summary 

A comprehensive and delightful look at Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, The Burrow, Azkaban prison and all of the memorable places, both loved and feared, that brought the Harry Potter movies to life—a keepsake treasury bound in a debossed leatherette case and featuring a removable poster and interactive booklet.
Grand in its design and package, Harry Potter: Magical Places from the Films: Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and Beyond offers an unprecedented look at the creative process that transformed the magical locations of the wizarding world from the page to the big screen. Inside, readers will discover the many challenges the studio faced to build the fantastical sites depicted in Rowling’s books, from Hogwarts castle and its many classrooms and dormitories, to Diagon Alley and the Ministry of Magic.
This stunning full-color compendium also includes two exclusive bonus inserts: a map of Diagon Alley folded in an envelope in the back of the book, and “The Paintings of Hogwarts” catalog inserted in the text.

Review

Something a little different this time around lovelies and I couldn't be more excited to share it with you. Titan Books sent me this beautiful copy of Harry Potter: Magical Places from the Films and it's absolutely breathtaking.

Harry Potter: Magical Places from the Films is a must have for any Harry Potter fan! Its a collection of photographs, sketches and original artwork depicting the different sets used for the beloved franchise. This stunning hardback goes into elaborate details showing how the films came together and it's an exciting addition to any Harry Potter fans bookshelf.

Flicking through this book I was taken back to my childhood, Harry Potter was the books my mum read to me and my brother on out holidays, bedtimes and whenever we could get her to. These where the movies I queued hours to see and still watch at every possible moment. This book has the perfect collection of photographs and details about the movie sets and it made me want to go to Hogwarts!

I'm still a little upset I didn't get my letter 11 years ago but I now have this beautifully illustrated book that makes it almost bearable that the series is over. Well worth the money and the perfect gift for any fan.

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9 August 2015

SBPT: The Book Bratz


This time around we've got the host's of the whole tour Amber and Jess from The Book Bratz. I did the tour last year when there were a lot less of us and got to know a bit about these girls, it was also around this time when I started reading Dangerous Girls. Jess and I has varying opinions on this title and I thought this would be a good time for you lovely lot to see what she thought of the book. Enjoy.


Dangerous Girls
Book Club Discussion
**SPOILERS**


What were your first thoughts after finishing Dangerous Girls?

Jess: I was really, really impressed and shocked and thrown for a loop and I immediately wanted to start telling people to add the book to their TBR.


Both of us read Dangerous Boys before this, do you think that affected the way you saw this book?

Jess: I actually read Dangerous Boys after Dangerous Girls, and I do think that reading this first affected my view of the second book. This book was so great and twisting and had a whole different feel than Dangerous Boys and I went into it expecting another dramatic beach murder and was let down by it.

How did you feel towards the two main characters, Anna and Elsie, at the beginning of the book?

Jess: Haas earns major brownie points for conjuring a character like Elsie up and giving her a relationship with Anna. She reminds me a lot of Alaska Young from Looking for Alaska, which is my absolute favorite book of all time, so right away I latched onto Elise's character and loved hearing about her from Anna's perspective.

How did you feel towards the two main characters, Anna and Elsie, at the end of the book?

Jess: I was shocked and felt horrible for not only Elsie, but Anna, too. Oh boy. :O


What was your least favorite part of the book?

Jess: Clara Rose. The most annoying and evil news anchor to ever "grace" the planet. What the heck was her problem?!? She spent countless episodes of her show bashing Anna and accusing her, but then she's all sugary and sweet in person, especially in the end. What's your problem, lady?


Abigail has a unique writing style and this book was no different. Would you have liked a second point of view?

Jess: Honestly, I wouldn't. I understood everything from Anna's point of view and not knowing everything while it was all happening was a thrill too, because you got to play detective because you were only inside one mind.

Do you think Anna’s character turned out the way she did through circumstance or nature?

Jess: Circumstance. Her life and her friends and her twisted morals just made her more and more the way she was.

What was your favourite moment from Dangerous Girls?

Jess: I don't have a specific moment, but a specific message that was my favorite. Anna was being relentlessly tormented by lawyers and inmates and the media--everyone assumed she was guilty without even giving her a chance. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but Haas tied an important theme into this story--the way that everyone in this world seems so quick to jump onto the bandwagon and not give it a second thought without knowing all of the facts.

7 August 2015

#DarkSummerRead


Interview with Dawn Kurtagich
Author of The Dead House


What inspired you to write The Dead House?

A series of unfortunate events. Seriously! In 2011, I went into unexplained liver failure. One of the symptoms of this horrible condition is that you experience “inversion syndrome”, which means you’re awake all night and sleep during the day. So there I was, facing an endless series of night-times, never seeing sunlight or blue skies. This is where Kaitlyn, the “girl of nowhere” was born. Her sister, Carly, was born out of the question: If Kaitlyn is the dark half to this equation, who is the Light? From this I got the two sisters, in the same body, one getting the day, and the other enduring the night.

The Dissociative Identity Disorder side of the book came out of my own experiences with a family member who has this condition. When I was sick, the slips into their alternate personalities were becoming out of control. Because there seemed to be a pretty obvious theme of “Losing Control” in my life at that point, this also fed into the novel, with Kaitlyn being called “a symptom of trauma”, rather than anyone real.


When you started writing The Dead House did you know how it was going to end or did the characters development change the ending?

Usually I know the endings of my books. I know the beginning and the end. The Dead House was different. I had no real idea where the book was taking me until I finally did reach the end. It’s a broken, chaotic, mysterious book, and writing it was pretty much like reading it. I was discovering the story just as much as anyone was.


Kaitlyn or Carly? Who was your favourite personality?

Kaitlyn. Controversial to prefer one character over another, I know, but t’s true. Kaitlyn was the personification of how lost and lonely I felt when I was sick during those 13 months I spent waiting for the gift of life—a liver transplant. She was the fragile, protective, slightly morbid version of myself that emerged during a very tough time. I love Kaitlyn. She’s not as tough as she makes herself seem.

How much research went into the writing of the book?

A fair amount, particularly for the DID side. I was, however, able to take liberties on that side to play with the truth of Kaitlyn’s condition. Anyone who knows anything about D.I.D will know that Kaitlyn’s case is . . . odd, to say the least.

Where did your love of writing come from?

It came later in childhood. A love of storytelling came first. I hated words growing up. I had a mild form of dyslexia, which made reading very hard. Writing too. So I resisted that for a while. I would draw comic strips instead, full of groups of friends bitten by vampires and turning  “evil” to the dismay of their sisters and all of the horrible repercussions that followed (lots of dramatic weeping and murder). I was a flowery child, can you tell? ;)

My mother though, she forced me to read to her every night when she got home from work. I was sure this was a form of torture. And she bought me all these books that I DID. NOT. WANT. But then, one book came along, called Animorphs, and the rest is history. That summer she came from from Boston with a leather-bound notebook and I started my first novel inside it and learned how powerful and wonderful words can be. I was 12.

Who was your favourite and least favourite character to write and why?

Honestly, I loved writing them all! Even Dr. Lansing, our supposed villain. Villains are fun to write, mad protagonists are fun to write, and demonic serpents are even more fun to write! But I really enjoyed writing Naida. She was a lot of fun.

Are you working on anything at the moment?

Top secret scary, surreal stuff. But that’s all I can say. :)    



GIVEAWAY

The lovely people at Hachette Children's Group have set aside 3 copies of this awesome book for me to give away to you lot. It's UK only, but there are 3 up for grabs so that means more of you get to read my favourite book of the year (if not ever).



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: The Dead House


THE DEAD HOUSE
by Dawn Kurtagich


Pages: 440
Publisher: Indigo (Hachette Children's Group)
Publication Date: August 2015
Received From:  (Hachette Children's Group)


Summary 

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . . 
Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.
Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Review

When I originally picked this book up I didn't know what to expect, sure it sounded interesting but it wasn't my usual read. For example, it's not set around a love story which is every rare for YA so I was curious how it would unfold. However, this book has turned out to be one of my favourite books of all time! I could not put it down. It's effortless to read and it so brilliantly sculpted... Ah I don't even have words for The Dead House's epicness.

No words but I do have a gif... or two

The Dead House is about a girl named Carly, who 20 years ago, was involved in a fire that left 3 dead and 1 missing. Carly hasn't been seen since the fire that engulfed the boarding school she was staying at and this book is the case file of that case. It's written in diary entries, police interviews, transcripts and even the odd post-it note, with each piece of evidence telling a little bit more of Carly's story. But here's what makes it REALLY interesting, Carly has D.I.D (Dissociative Identity Disorder). Carly is just one personality and she gets the day, Kaitlyn is her second alter and she gets the night. Kaitlyn is the darker of the two and it's her actions that leave you wanting more. Two souls, one body. But is Carly ill or is there more going on? Well... you'll just have to read and find out!

Okay time to get my fangirl on!!!

I think the reason I fell in love with this book as much as I did was entirely down to our protagonist Kaitlyn. Even without the Carly alter she is so incredibly complex and well written. She felt real to me and in a way relatable. I love all of her broken pieces and the deterioration of her sanity throughout the book only makes me love her more. 

When reading you are left with more questions than answers but I really liked that fact that the author left a lot open to interpretation. There is no such thing as black and white with this book, it's all a sticky grey area and it draws you in. The paranormal twist on the story adds another dimension to an already intense book and I just loved it! I couldn't guess what was coming next and it made me keep turning the page until the early hours of the morning!

I don't want to go into too much detail as it will spoil it, but if there is only one book you read this year make sure it's this one. In a Q&A I had with Dawn she said, 'I had no real idea where the book was taking me until I finally did reach the end.' Which shows throughout the book. There is no contrite information or obvious clues left along the way. We learn what happened as Dawn did and I think that makes the story even more special. 



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5 August 2015

REVIEW: Sleeping Tom

SLEEPING TOM
by E.V. Fairfall


Pages: 343 (paperback)
Publisher: R Mind
Publication Date: February 14th 2015
ISBN: 9780991283224
Received From: I was given this book from the author before publication as a BETA reader. 


Summary 


Hitchhiking is a bad idea but Caden is desperate. When she accepts a ride from the first car to come by she meets Gabriel. He's her age, hot, and the closest thing she has to a savior. Problem is, he is a total jerk. With nowhere to go, Caden convinces Gabriel to let her stay with him for one night. He reluctantly lends a couch.
That night Caden wakes up to strange noises. Concerned, she rushes into Gabriel’s room, already anticipating his bad temper. Instead, he’s kind, sweet, and suspiciously harmless—nothing like the man who gave her a ride. He seems like a different person altogether, and claims he is. By night he is Tom, and by day he is Gabriel. Caden finds herself drawn to the mysteries hidden in his eyes. 
For Gabriel, Caden is an annoying mistake. One night turns into many, and despite all his anger towards her, she stays. She even seems to accept him and his flaws, but he still doesn’t trust her—is she staying for him, or has she already discovered more than he's willing to share?



Review

I had the PLEASURE of reading this book back in October as a BETA reader and I've been in love with it ever since. E.V. got in touch with me after I reviewed her book Transformed and asked if I wanted to maybe help with future releases. Sleeping Tom is actually my favourite book of hers as I felt so much for these characters it was unreal!

I think the main reason I loved Caden so much was that she wasn’t the typical YA protagonist. Yes, she did have the odd moment, like getting in a car and staying with a hot stranger, but you could read in her thought process that she knew it was mad to stay. That she didn't just accept that everything would be okay and that she realised she could very well end up a TV special. However, at the same time she weighted up her options and did what she felt she had to do. There was a rational side to the character that made her all the more relatable and the fact she wasn't perfect was endearing.


The only thing I really had an issue with was Gabriel, now I know he's a pretty big part of the book so having a problem with him might be seen as a big issue but that's not really the case. The boy frustrated me and in all honesty I had no idea why he did half the things he did but it was his actions throughout the book that lead Caden's story. The parallels between her and Gabriel made the book all the most interesting. So I think I'm just going to but that down to the fact I do not for the life of my understand men! 

Now, I'm not usually a fan of cliff-hangers as you all know HOWEVER I'd be lying if I said this one wasn't pretty damn epic. It gave you all the information you needed about the characters so that I was satisfied that it had concluded and yet left questions about what was going to happen. 

 

2 August 2015

SBPT: Kim @ Dreaming In Libraries


It's that time of the week again! Todays epic blogger is Kim from Dreaming in Libraries. She's a German blogger who I have to say I'm a little in love with, she's made this tour for me and a friend for life (she has no choice in this).
Being from Germany we thought up a cool post idea where she compares German and UK book covers. I've never understood why the publishers change the covers but it would seem that the German ones do appeal more to Kim and the UK ones more to me. So enjoy the post and let us know what you think of the covers.




Kim is a book-obsessed girl from Germany studying Physics of Earth. When not struggling with mathematic formulas, she’s busy fangirling over her latest favorite book. She loves to do everything concerning books: reading, blogging, writing, making bookish pendants,… Kim started her book blog “Dreaming in Libraries” in 2014 and thereby discovered a new hobby. You can find her blog at dreaminginlibraries.blogspot.com and she’s more than happy to talk to you on Twitter (@DreamingLibrary)!


English Covers vs. German covers
with Kim

Hey Everyone!

I’m Kim blogging over at Dreaming in Libraries!
So for this guest post Mily asked me to do something very fun: comparing English covers to German covers. If you’ve ever wondered whether English books translated into German would end up with the same covers, the answer would be: most unlikely! German publishing houses almost always don’t only change the title of the book; they create a complete new cover, too.

I’ve thought of ten covers from my book shelves to show you the differences between their original covers and the German ones.

Here we go alphabetically:

    

After by Anna Todd
I think I prefer the German version of “After”, especially if you have a look at the following books in that series. You probably won’t see it in the picture very well, but the black font is shiny and haptic as is the flowery thing. The rest of the book cover is matt.


    

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
These covers really don’t look similar AT ALL! If it weren’t for the name of the author on it, you couldn’t tell it was ONE book. I do like both covers very much. Since I own the German version, I’d probably tend to like that one more, but the English cover is pretty cool, too.


    

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
Both covers are very different and yet so similar… I can’t tell you why, but I’m not the hugest fan of either of those covers. I think it’s because of the drawing, though. Both covers contain a drawing of Harry Potter and I don’t like either of them.


   

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Again, I can’t really tell you which one I like better. Both covers are quite different. Yet I’d probably again prefer the German cover, because it fits the story a bit better. 


    

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
I love both covers of this book very much! Both of them are unique in their own ways and I think they are gorgeous. At last covers without people on it ;-)!


    

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
As for this series I definitely prefer the German covers! They are shiny and I just like the design in general.  I think the model looks a bit freaky on the English cover.


    

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
I love the German covers – as a whole, the trilogy looks gorgeous on my book shelf. I don’t really know why the English cover doesn’t speak to me, but I probably wouldn't have picked up the book, if I had only seen the English copy in my bookstore.


    

Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens
So, the content of those two covers is pretty similar and yet they are completely different. To be honest, I don’t like the English cover at all and I’m very happy that I have the beautiful German covers on my shelf :-)!


  

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
There are two different German covers for one of my favorite series ever. Unfortunately the hardcover version isn’t beautiful at all! Maybe the publishing house realized that too, because in fall they’re publishing all books of that series as a much prettier paperback version again and they won’t continue with the original hardcovers. Also, I’m glad they stuck to the English cover this time, because I like that one really much.

    

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
Another series by Josephine Angelini and again, I prefer the German cover! I think that one is just stunning and it fits the story so well! Nonetheless the English cover looks amazing, as well, so I’d totally buy that copy, too.


What do you think about those different covers?

In case you wondered: books translated from German into English have different covers, too. I chose two series for you to compare:




Tintenherz (or Inkheart) by Cornelia Funke

and



Rubinrot (or Ruby Red) by Kerstin Gier


I hope you enjoyed this post!

Yours, Kim