Tuesday, 21 June 2011

My Harry Potter Experience

I remember when I first got the Harry Potter books, it was a completely accidental thing. One of my nana’s neighbours bought me the fourth one for Christmas (don’t know why, she’d never bought me anything before) so, because I didn’t have the first three, my mam and nana bought me the first three in a little box set thing. So I had the first four books, and no real intention of reading them. At this point, I wasn’t the huge reader that I am now.

But we were going on a holiday, and I thought I’d take a book to read when I was going to bed on those days. We were in Butlins, and I remember having taken the first book, I read the first chapter, and I hated it. I found it boring. To be fair, I was probably too young at this point to read, as I did start enjoying books at a late age.

It wasn’t until the first film came out that I even gave the books another glance, so this was at least two or three years later (though probably four or five). The film wasn’t out yet, but I saw the trailer and I thought that the film looked really good and interesting, I mean, at this point I was eleven and had a much better attention span, and I was beginning to enjoy books a lot more. So I saw the trailer, and decided, I wanted to read the first book before the film came out. I ended up reading all four before the film came out.

And that’s when I began to realise how great and fantastic the worlds were. Before all of this, I’d just thought it was a silly little story, something that people had over thought. When I read it, I was hooked.

I remember it was the first series that I wanted more than the first book for. I’d read more than one book before, but this one was the first series that I wanted the next one before it was out. I remember it was the only book I ever demanded I got on the release date, and each time I picked up the next book, I read it quickly.

Coming to the end of it, when the last book was out I stopped caring as much. It took me a lot longer to read the book than it had for the others, I don’t know why. I don’t think I wanted it to end, so I didn’t want it. It wasn’t until last year when I found AVPM that I fell back in love with the series and now I’m a bigger fan than ever before.

The final film and the closing of this amazing series that had brought together so much, and I feel sad. And it makes me realise that no one will ever feel the way we’ve felt. No one will know how it is to get the books and feel the pure joy and excitement to find out what happened. They will read it, but so many people already know what’s happened with them all, so how is that the same? There will never be an experience quite like it, and to be honest, that terrifies me.

I know that when the last film comes out, I will cry, and it won’t be at the deaths I know are coming, or the music, or the beauty of the ending or the writing. I will cry, because this whole experience will have ended. Even if there are more things to come like Pottermore (which I’m extremely excited for), there will be something that will be strange and crazy that something we’ve grown up with, that has been such a huge part of our lives, that’s brought people together, and it’s ending.

For the last film, I plan to read every book again starting on the 1st July all the way up to the film (which we are seeing on the day it comes out) just so that I can remember everything that happened.

So, I would like to raise an imaginary goblet, tip my hat (if it wasn’t afraid to tip a lot of spiders onto you), cry for my quidditch team, and nox my wand, because this experience has been amazing and wonderful, and it’s something that has probably influenced every single person’s life in some shape way or form. Thank you to J.K. Rowling for making this experience so brilliant and crazy, and thank you for giving us something that we will all treasure in our memories forever. I feel lucky to have grown up with Harry Potter the way I have.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Books I Love (1)

So, I want to start to write more on this blog, so this is an idea that is just a silly idea to write up a quick post of books I'm loving right now or have loved in the past.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

I love this book (though the new UK cover is horrible, I love the simplicity of this cover). It's one of those books that makes you think about things, but not only that, it has some extremely amazing laughs and some really powerful messages. It's really the first book that I began to read and realise that I actually liked books that didn't include magic or fantasy elements. Fantastic book.

   Feed by Mira Grant

I just read this book recently and I think that it's one of those books that you come to because you saw it and it looked interesting, but you didn't expect much. It is a zombie book, but to be honest, it's more about politics and new age media so you stay away from all of the zombies a lot. I think any blogger should read it, just to see what it's about and read something that is promoting blogging and new media as something fantastic and becoming a lot bigger.

     Stolen by Kelley Armstrong

I've put this one, because I find that a lot of bloggers talk about Kelley Armstrong's YA series, which is amazing, but she does have an adult series out that follows the same style as her YA series, and she has an assassin two parter. Stolen is very similar to The Darkest Powers series so I think that a lot of people should try to read it. Bitten and Stolen are the first two (and granted the only two I've read of the series though I have the next two which I need to read) and they are amazing, with fantastic characters.

So I'll do another one of these next month or something, but until then happy reading!

Thanks for reading guys x

Friday, 3 June 2011


Author: Mira Grant
Publishing Company: Orbit Books
‘Alive or dead, the truth won’t rest. My name is Georgia Mason, and I am begging you. Rise up while you can.’

The year is 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives- the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.

The Review:

This was a lot better than I expected. I’m not one for zombie books usually, zombie films I like, but I don’t think it works in book form. Until I read this. This isn’t the usual zombie book because, 1 it’s not on the outbreak of infection where it seems like the universe won’t survive and 2, we have survived and have survived to some extent of normalcy.

The book is mainly from Georgia (or George), with input from the other primary characters, Shaun, Buffy and Rick. You find out that there are different types of bloggers, the main ones that are in this book are the Newsies, the Irwins, and the Fictionals. George is a Newsie (basically they tell the facts as they are), Shaun is an Irwin (think daredevil and people who know how to spin a story so it’s about the moral but mostly about the heart pounding way they spin stories to be readable), and finally the Fictionals (do I really need to explain?).

Now for the characters (you know it’s my favourite thing to write about), which I have to say, all of the characters are extremely well developed. George was the bad ass of them. She always wears dark protective clothes, sunglasses (for medical reasons, but it still looks amazing) and she just has this attitude about her. But you can see that’s because of how she’s been raised, who her parents are, her job, things like that which really do shape her as a person. But you can also see all her weaknesses and things like that, which you can see she also tries to hide. Things like the way she looks after her brother, he’s the only one in her life that you can tell she honestly and fully trusts with her life.

Apart from that, we can also see the respect people have for her and what she does, and then also the respect she has for people who she thinks deserve that respect. She obviously has a balance of mean and good in her, because of what she does and how she handles situations. She will do anything for a story, but knows when she’s overstepping boundaries and she doesn’t do it for the people who she thinks deserve better than awful news reports.

Then we have Shaun, who we think won’t last long because he’s introduced to us by prodding a zombie with a hockey stick. At first I have to admit I really didn’t like him, he seemed careless, childish and pathetic, but he definitely grows on you. He’s one of those people who you think are going to grate on you and annoy the hell out of you, but to be honest, he’s someone who ended up making me laugh a lot. He seems to always be in a good mood in very carefree, but we can tell he does care about things like his sister, the site he runs, his friends, he just shows his care for things in his own way.

There were some times when I seriously felt bad for him. There was all these points where you just feel awful for what he goes through, because he does seem to react to more situation, but at the same time, he knows what he has to do to save himself and keep others safe. It is a shock, how much you end up relating to him, and liking him as a character.

And of course, of the main three bloggers, there’s also Buffy, who’s really called Georgette but she calls herself Buffy because she lives in a world filled with too many girls called Georgette (Georgia and Georgette were the two best girl names in that year, named after George Romero, really good idea), and she lives in a world filled with zombies and she’s blonde and perky (I loved the references in this book, points to Mira Grant for them all). I loved Buffy, she was geeky, she’s different, and she’s happy to be who she is.

The thing about Buffy is, later in the book, you have to wonder how much you like her, and her intentions, but at the same time you can’t dislike her. I think that with Buffy, you see the flaws to the full extent that you can in a character, but because she’s such a fantastic character, even with those flaws, you surprisingly feel some form of sympathy her when her flaws come out. She seems like the character who you could never hate fully, even if she stuck a cattle prod through your heart, of course you feel the hurt she causes from her actions, but you always have this feeling of pity and happiness when it comes to her.

There are a ten of characters I’d love to talk about, Senator Ryman, Emily, Governor Tate, Rick, loads of them. Unfortunately, that would make this review ridiculously long, so I’ll talk about the structure of the book.

Mainly, we have Georgia’s point of view, which is good because you can tell that she’s more of an observer than any of the other characters, but it’s not just told through simple narration, they also have blog entries from different characters, as they explain certain things that link with the chapters. We get their thoughts and feelings through this.

And while on the subject, the blogging is a fantastic addition to the story, it shows the developing world in a good light, and you have to realise that even without the zombies the truth behind the way the news is shown is definitely the way it’s heading now (even if I’m biased with my book blogger…)

Altogether, I think this book is ten times better than I expected and it’s different to what you expect. I think if you’re interested in social media and the changes in it as it begins to grow, you will love this book, if not, you may not.

My rating:

Setting: 4 out of 5
Characters: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Writing: 5 out of 5

Thanks for reading x

Black Wings

Author: Christina Henry
Publishing Company: Ace Fantasy (the Penguin Group)
As an agent of death, Madeline Black is responsible for escorting the souls of the dearly departed to the afterlife. It’s a 24/7 job with a lousy benefits package.

Maddy’s position may come with magical abilities and an impressive wingspan, but it doesn’t pay the bills. And then there are her infuriating boss, tenant woes, and a cranky, popcorn-loving gargoyle to contend with.

Things start looking up, though, when tall, dark, and handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in Maddy’s building. It’s probably just a coincidence that as soon as he moves in, demons appear on the front lawn. But when an unholy monster is unleashed upon the streets of Chicago, Maddy discovers powers she never knew she possessed. Powers linked to a family legacy of tarnished halos.

Powers that place her directly between the light of Heaven and the fires of Hell…

The review:

This review might be sparse, I read it quickly in a day, so it may not be very detailed. However, straight off I have to tell you the blurb is extremely misleading. You expect this mysterious guy to come in, a few odd things that happened while he was living there, that type of thing. But that wasn’t the case. To be honest, he came in and annoyed her almost straight away, then her friend was attacked and then things started to link up. He hadn’t moved in when the weirdness started.

Also, her friend who was attacked. I’d have loved to see more of him. He was barely in it and it made me sad because he should have been in it ten times more. He seemed like a very interesting character that just wasn’t explored at all. It made me sad.

Ok, so the basic plot in the book is summed up in the blurb. How she deals with demons and the real idea of Heaven and Hell, and her newly found father and a lot of things like that. She grows into what should be a very powerful character, but I just thought that she seemed too powerful and things went too fast. And throughout the book she did a lot of passing out. I think it counted to about six times? That got a bit annoying after a while.

I’m going to go onto characters. Madeline wasn’t too bad if I’m honest. She seemed lost, which annoys me from books like this because all female leads seem to act the same way. Lost and bewildered. It works in some novels. This one, it didn’t. I felt that because Madeline already had this insight to this world, or a small part of this world, so she should have been able to deal with it a bit better.

Then there’s Gabriel, who’s the guy that the reader should fall in love with. You know the type. I didn’t feel him though. I found him annoying and too strict and all of this. I feel like I’m not explaining this well. He’s just a type of person that you’re going to either like, or not. And I didn’t. Granted he wasn’t the worst character in the book, but he wasn’t the best in my eyes.

There was also Beezle, her protector. He’s the gargoyle. And he wasn’t as grumpy as I expected. I mean he was, but he seemed to be more concerned about her to be grumpy about anything. A lot of the time he was just relieved.

This is a rubbish review, but I found the book rather blah. I’m sorry I just did. I thought it would be a lot better.

My rating:

Setting: 4 out of 5
Characters: 3 out of 5
Plot: 3 out of 5
Writing: 4 out of 5

Thanks for reading x