Belated Birthday Book Haul! (As Requested)

There comes a time in every bookworms life when they just have to say no to books. When your to-be-read pile is overflowing and you have run out of shelf space for the third time running, you know that you have a serious problem! Not to mention when you start to calculate how long it will take you to read all those books you own…..lets just say some of mine will still be unread in ten years time. :S So it was with much pain and internal suffering that I stated to my family ‘do not buy me any books for my Birthday this year, I have too many!’
When I headed home the weekend after my birthday and opened my presents I was really happy with everything I got, but couldn’t getting rid of a nagging little voice inside my head that said ‘but Becky, there are no books.’
So when my blogging buddies started asking me what books I got and telling me to let them know about my crazy haul I didn’t really have an answer, because I didn’t have anything to tell!

But, as the title suggests I did get some books in the end after all, they were just very delayed due to various friends being off at uni. This is the part where I have an excuse to take lots of pretty pictures of my books and fulfill my promise, one book haul post coming up! 😉 Continue reading

The Stolen by Alex Shearer Review 3/5

Overall Impression: A fun children’s book with some surprisingly intelligent commentary thrown in.

I almost threw this book away. Which is crazy as a bookworm right? I’d forgotten all about this long lost novel until I found it a couple of weeks ago in a The Stolen by Alex Shearerdrawer I had abandoned, along with a battered old bookmark barely 18 pages in. Thinking back now I vaguely remember starting it on a school bus journey, but it seems I didn’t get very far. I literally walked right up to the bin to throw The Stolen away but I just couldn’t do it. I told myself I didn’t need another book with my tbr pile, I hadn’t even remembered I’d owned it so I would hardly miss it, and it was from an unknown author so what was the point of reading it?
I was horrified by my own thought process that a book would not be worth reading because it was not well known, sure I can’t brag about it impressively to other people like I could Jane Austen, and it’s hardly going to draw people’s attention in the blogosphere but that’s not the reason I blog, and it’s certainly not the reason I read! So just to prove myself wrong I picked it up then and there and started reading straight away, because I knew if I didn’t, it would just go back on my shelf and sit forgotten for another ten years.
And you know what? I’m glad I read it. 🙂

Life’s a game – and someone’s cheating…
Meredith is a new girl at school. An orphan, living with her elderly granny. She must be lonely – or so Carly thinks, trying to be nice.
But sometimes nice doesn’t work. Sometimes people are worse than you could ever imagine. And Meredith has a secret – a story Carly can hardly begin to believe. About a girl with no future and someone else’s past. A vicious old lady who refuses to die. A young life stolen.
For Meredith is not Meredith at all…

Carly is your average young girl with no concerns other than her unruly ginger hair and ‘podgy bits’. But she has always harboured a secret dream,  Continue reading

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl Review 3/5

Overall Impression: A nice fluffy book with some interesting gothic imagery – while not defying my expectations it had beautiful creaturesthe ability to make time fly by.

When I first picked up on the hype rapidly gaining around this book, I must admit I wasn’t all that interested. It wasn’t a story that instantly struck a chord with me and didn’t sound all that different from most other YA books. Whilst this turned out to be mostly true, there were definitely some interesting elements that made it worth reading. When I discovered the book was going to be released as a movie my resolve finally crumbled (that, and the fact that someone bought it for me cheap and second hand, lol) and so here we are! Although turns out I’m just a bit too late to see it in the cinema anyway…dang it. *Sigh* I just can’t keep up with all these book to film adaptions, there are too many! Seems I am destined to wait for the DVD now.

In Ethan Wate’s hometown there lies the darkest of secrets…
There is a girl.
Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head…green eyes, black hair.
Lena Duchannes.
There is a curse.
On the sixteenth moon, of the sixteenth year, the book will take what it’s been promised.
And no one can stop it.
In the end, there is a grave.
Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love.
But Lena and Ethan is cursed and, on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided.
Ethan never even saw it coming.

Beautiful Creatures follows the protagonist Ethan Wate, a southern bound small town teen. There are two types of people where he comes from, “the stupid and the stuck”. He lives with his housekeeper Amma and his grief stricken father in Gatlin, a town known for its obsession with The Civil War. Ethan cannot wait to get out and travel the world, that is until a whirlwind by the name Lena Duchannes blows into town, a girl he has been dreaming about before he even knew of her existence. Dreams of lemon, rosemary, panic and falling.  Continue reading

The Gemstone Chronicles: The Carnelian by William L. Stuart Review 4/5

Overall Impression: Fun fantasy for all the family. 🙂 Magical Elves, terThe Gemstone Chronicles Book One by William L Stuartrible trolls and mysterious gemstones.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to sink my teeth into a fantasy book, and I’d forgotten how much I like them! I always state fantasy as my favourite genre, and yet lately I have been leaning towards a bundle of YA as the stories are easy to follow when you’re balancing deadlines. I’m glad that this book was able to remind me of my love for the genre. 🙂
The Carnelian is the first book in The Gemstone Chronicles series, and was offered to me in exchange for an author interview, book giveaway and an honest review. I really enjoyed the book and am looking forward to seeing what will happen in the next installment!

When Aidan and Maggie find a fairy cross while rock-hunting with their grandfather, it’s just an oddity. But when they discover there is an elf imprisoned in the stone and set him free, they and their grandparents, Nana and Beebop, are attacked by some Dark Elves and have to flee to the magical world of Celahir where they join the quest to recover the gemstones stolen from the Elven Bow.

Beebop, Nana, Aidan and Maggie are your stereotypical loving family, they don’t have to worry about anything except school and what they might be having for dinner. Yet when Beebop and the kids go rock hunting they come across a mysterious stone in the shape of a cross. Intrigued, they take it home with plans to study it further. But there is something unusual about it, and one evening before Maggie goes to sleep a spectral figure appears begging to be released. Alarmed, Nana insists they get rid of the stone, but the children cannot quell their curiosity. They smash it freeing an elf named Findecano, he tells them of a word of magical creatures, feuding clans and ancient gemstones. The family cannot believe their ears, but when their house is ransacked by an angry troll Continue reading

Christmas Book Haul: In which I foam at the mouth from all the literary goodness.

I really love doing these haul posts. I get all super happy looking at pictures of so many books, and the fact that they’re MY books, well, that just makes it even better!

The title may be a little misleading, because although all these books apparated into my home around the Christmas period, not all of them were actually Christmas presents. This is where I have to tell myself off for potentially breaking one of my New Years Resolutions already, or at least severely hindering it! As you can see, I’m doing excellently at reducing my tbr pile by buying more books. :L

Christmas booksSDC13892
These were a real surprise for me, I had no idea I was going to get them! I’ve heard that they’re really good from various people, but because I read Cornelia Funke’s Reckless and found it really boring I was a little unsure about putting these on my wishlist. But now I’ve got them anyway, and I’m really excited to read them! 🙂
The book series – or the first book anyway, is about a man who if he reads aloud brings the world within the book alive! Now doesn’t that sound awesome?! 😀 Continue reading

Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan Review 4/5

Overall Impression: A fantastic first book full of magic, mystery and discovery. It never disappoints!Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan

Due to my recent reading slump I decided to go back to an old favourite, Book of Shadows the first novel in the Sweep/Wicca series, a set of books very dear to my own heart, coming second only to Harry Potter. This is around the fifth time I’ve re-read Book of Shadows now if not more. Behind it’s garish front cover lies a beautiful coming of age tale. I first discovered this series aged 14, and in a weird way, I almost feel like the books chose me. They came to me in a point in my life where I really needed them, and they held for me some key advice and life lessons that helped me deal with several big changes going on at that time. These books are incredibly underrated and in my opinion deserve a much bigger spotlight.

Something it happening to me that I don’t understand. I see things, feel things in a new way. I can do things normal people can’t do. Powerful things. Magickal things.
It scares me.
I never chose to learn witchcraft. But now witchcraft is choosing me.

Morgan Rowlands is a young, conscientious girl of sixteen. She lives with her parents and sister Mary K in the town of Widow’s Vale. Her life couldn’t be more normal, going to school, visiting church and hanging out with her best friends Bree and Robbie. That is, until the mysterious and exotic Cal Blaire breezes into town. His charisma and lighthearted demeanor makes him instantly popular with every social group in the school, and Morgan can’t help but feel drawn to him in a way she has never experienced before. So when Cal invites a group of schoolmates to an unusual party out in the woods, she uncharacteristically accepts. Continue reading

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Film Review

SDC13786Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!! It’s here! It’s here! EVERYBODY CELEBRATE. The Hobbit is finally out in cinemas!!
Ahem. I’m calm, I’m calm.

I have been waiting impatiently for this film… well, pretty much since I first watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy and fell hopelessly in love with it, but I thought it would never happen. Then, when I heard the news that The Hobbit was going to be made I could barely contain my excitement. After, as if fate was somehow in my favour, my dream film suddenly turned into three films! Curse or blessing? I wasn’t sure, but since seeing the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey I am almost certain that Peter Jackson made the right decision.

I’m utterly horrified by the idea that some people out there might not know the plot, but just in case…

The Plot
‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit…’
Bilbo (Martin Freeman) is a Baggins, and Baggins’ are respectable Hobbits; they never do anything unexpected or go on any adventures. That is, until one fine day Gandalf the wizard (Ian McKellen) shows up with an unusual proposal. To Bilbo’s dismay a party of 13 dwarves ransack his home, getting mud on the carpet, eating everything in his parlour and drinking all his mead. They talk of dragons, stolen treasure and a kingdom lost; Lonely Mountain.
It just so happens that they need a burglar, one agile and small enough to sneak past the dragon Smaug to reclaim their home.
Three guesses who.
Bilbo, Gandalf and the thirteen dwarves must embark on the journey of a lifetime across Middle-earth, but will they ever return?

The Hobbit Bilbo
The Verdict Continue reading

Author Interview with William L. Stuart: Talking Elves & Magical Gemstones!

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I would like to introduce you all to William L. Stuart who is here to promote his new book, The Gemstone Chronicles – a fun fantasy tale of magic and adventure. 🙂 He is also offering up ONE FREE copy of his book, so don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win! 

Hi William, tell us a little bit about yourself? Have you always wanted to write?
I am sort of an accidental writer. The book idea actually came from a conversation between my grandson (Aidan) and I while we were out hunting gemstones in the north Georgia mountains. I had done a little research about the “magical” properties of gemstones and we were discussing them when he suggested I write a book about gemstones and elves and The Gemstone Chronicles were born! Continue reading

Stardust by Neil Gaiman Review 3/5

Overall Impression: Questionable world building with lacklustre characters; held together by imagination and flair.

I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one handstardust by neil gaiman it was innovative, quirky, and magical, not to mention a lot of lighthearted fun. But on the other hand…I just felt like it could have been so much more.

In the sleepy English countryside at the dawn of the Victorian era, life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall. Young Tristan Thorn has lost his heart to the beautiful Victoria Forester, but Victoria is cold and distant as the star she and Tristan see fall from the sky one evening. For the prize of Victoria’s hand, Tristan vows to retrieve the star for his beloved. It is an oath that sends the lovelorn swain over the town’s ancient wall and into a world that is dangerous and strange beyond imagining…

Tristan Thorn is an awkward teen living in Wall, a secluded village which acts as the border between our world, and faerie (and contrary to popular culture these faeries do not fly around with the help of wings, nor are they small.) One day every nine years, the Faerie Market appears and the residents of Wall are allowed to cross the boundaries and revel in the mysteries and oddities of Faerie. However by the next day the land behind the wall is once again off limits, and a rotation of guards keep it impregnable.  Continue reading

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini Review 5/5

Overall Impression: Wow, wow, wow! An emotional and fitting end to the wonderful Inheritance Cycle. I didn’t want it to end. Can we have another Cycle? Pretty please?

(To read my review of the previous book from the Inheritance Cycle, Brisingr click here.)
Inheritance by christopher-paolini
This book was read as part of the Eclectic Reader Challenge for the favourite genre category.
Ohhh how I have been dreading writing this review. It had actually gotten to the point where I was having full on staring contests with my computer. It’s a typical example of when you read a fantastic book, and afterwards have an inability to form any coherent thoughts and your vocabulary flies off the face of the Earth and is replaced with simplistic “EEEEEEP” “EEEEEK” “OOOH” “AHHHH” syllables. Sure, this series has flaws as most do, but this book series has spanned eight years of my life. I remember the first time I laid eyes on it in Waterstones, the excitement that Christmas when I received it, and the next when I received the second book. I guess you would say it has sentimental value. The characters have grown and evolved parallel to my own life. It’s sad to have to say goodbye to them… and yet, at the same time there is something rather satisfying about seeing their stories finally completed. It may have been a long journey, but good things come to those who wait!

Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the rest of the Inheritance Cycle this review may contain spoilers about previous plots and characters from past books in the series. However, for those of you who have read the previous books, this review will not contain any major spoilers about the book Inheritance.

It began with Eragon . . .
It ends with Inheritance. Continue reading

The Hobbit News: Film to be Split into Three not Two!!!

This is just a quick post, but an important one nonetheless. I have been keeping a close eye on all things Hobbit for some time. So I got extremely excited a couple of days ago when I received a Tweet through my phone.


I held my breath. No! Could it really be?! I followed the link (which you can read here if you wish) but to summarize it in short; Peter Jackson and several others got the chance to watch back a lot of the footage and realized that they potentially had enough material to extend it into three films instead of the expected two fans have been looking forward to. By doing this they might also be able to include extra’s from the Lord of the Rings appendixes padding out our favourite world into even more rich detail. However, they still needed the go ahead from actors, studio’s etc.

Well, today I got this through my phone:

And this statement was released on the film’s Facebook page:

Peter Jackson:
“It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made.

Continue reading

The Complete Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm Review 3/5

Overall Impression: An endless book of fabulous fantasy and childish imagination.9780099511441

Way back in February after completing a set of exams I decided to reward myself with a book spurge. The Complete Fairytales by The Brothers Grimm was one of those books. Since then, fairytales seem to have become some sort of trend, making appearances in both the TV and film industries. Which does make me wonder, why did I decide to pick up the Brothers Grimm this year? Was it really on a whim? Or did it get into my subconscious?
Another reason I chose this book is because two of the stories are on The Rory Gilmore Challenge (Rapunzel, and Snow White and Rose Red) and being the type of person who never likes to do things half way, I though hey, why not read ALL the Grimm fairytales?! 🙂

‘The stories have immense vitality…no punches are pulled…no emotion is unrepresented’
– Margaret Atwood

Wolves and grandmothers, the seven dwarfs, a goose made of gold…the folk tales collected by the Grimm brothers created an astonishingly influential imaginative world. However, this is also a world where a woman cooks her stepson and an evil queen dances to death in a pair of burning shoes. Violent, funny, disturbing and wise, these stories have intrigued both children and adults for generations.

I actually had to do some research before purchasing this book so I would like to warn anyone interested in reading the Grimm Fairytales to do the same. The reason for this is that there are a lot of books out there claiming to be the complete version, when in actual fact they are not. There are a lot of different volumes due to the fact that the Brothers Grimm didn’t publish them all in one go. The official number of tales is 210, so this is the number you should look for. My version however boasts on it’s back cover 279 stories, and claims to be the only complete edition available because it also includes The Omitted Tales, Selected Tales from the annotation of 1856, Jacob Grimm’s Tales, Published Tales and finally Selected Tales from the Posthumous Papers of the Brothers Grimm. These are extra bonus stories for those that are interested. So if your looking for the best book to go for, I would say this is definitely the one to pick! 🙂

Continue reading

Snow White and the Huntsman Film Review 5/5

One of my favourite aspects of going to the cinema is seeing the adverts. Many people find this strange; but I love the build up, the anticipation. As you sit Snow White and the Huntsman ticketthere shuffling in your seat, you begin to wonder with a twinge of nervousness if the film will be any good. I’m always the one saying ‘hurry up we’ll miss the start’ people reply ‘it’s alright, we’ll only miss the adverts’ to which I whine ‘but I LIKE the adverts!’
When I went to see The Hunger Games with my friends we got there early so we saw every advert. And amongst the mix of Orange Network, Haribo and War Horse was a theatrical trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman which immediately caught my attention. Well that advert stuck with me, and here we are three months later. See; cinema adverts RULE 😉

The Plot
Once upon a time, in the middle of winter there was a Queen walking in the castle gardens. While admiring a rose she pricked her finger and three drops of blood fell on the snow. The red looked so beautiful on the white that she thought to herself:
If only I had a child with skin as white as snow.
Lips red as blood.
And hair black as ebony.
– The Brothers Grimm
When Snow White’s (Kristen Stewart) mother passes away the kingdom mourns in sorrow. But when King Magnus saves a beautiful woman named Ravenna (Charlize Theron) from a dark army he falls in love once again, and decides to marry. The kingdom rejoices in celebration of his happiness. However all is not well, Continue reading

Every Bookworm’s Dilemma: When Shelf Space Runs Out.

Ok so here’s a random and vaguely related anecdote: There is currently a lot of DIY going on in my house, which means there are toolboxes and various pieces of equipment in my room. A couple of days ago my mum was helping me carry some stuff up there and I carefully reached over a mass of tools to turn on a plug, at which point I told her “You know we should move these because one day I’m going to actually step on that sword” She looked at me puzzled and said “sword?” At which point I replied “yes” She laughed “I think you mean SAW?”
I’ve been spending way too much time in the literary world lately, either that or art work’s fried my brain. Anhoooows thought you might find that vaguely amusing.
*Hears crickets*
Now on with the post!books 001

My book buying habit has reached an almighty high. I have never owned so many. You could say I’m a bit of book hoarder. Around a month ago I went up to my room with a fresh batch of brand new beautiful shiny books to place proudly on my shelves, only to realize that I had no space left. This isn’t the first time that this has happened either, except this time, it was on a somewhat larger scale. Luckily salvation was just around the corner in the form of a very thoughtful friend who donated to me one of her old bookshelves. So the problem is fixed – temporarily.

BUT I’ve already filled that bookshelf up, I’m now precariously squishing another layer onto it.

Continue reading

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini Review 3/5

(To read my review of the previous book from the Inheritance Cycle, Eldest click here)

Overall Impression: Elegantly written, but with a little too much Dwarf politics and  sword searching for my liking….
Brisingr is the third installment in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. It was originally intended to be the final book of the trilogy. However when Paolini was writing it he realized he couldn’t possibly fit the entirety of what he wanted to say into one book, and therefore expanded it into a four book cycle instead.
Rereading this book I was surprised to find that I enjoyed it much more than the first time. On my original reading I only remember coming away from the book very disappointed and strongly believing someone should sack the editor. However even though I enjoyed it more this time, I still feel it is the weakest book of the series so far.

Continue reading