Saturday, April 19

Audio Review: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)
Marissa Meyer

Published By: Puffin (UK)
Publication Date: January 5, 2012
Date Read: April 15, 2014
Genre: YA - Fairytale Retelling
Source: Bought
Format: Audio
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From Goodreads:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

"He was so far out of realm, her world, that she should have stopped thinking about him the second the door had closed. Should stop thinking about him immediately. Should never think about him again, except maybe as a client - and her prince. And yet, the memory of his fingers against her skin refused to fade. "

I don't know what I expected from Cinder but it surpassed all of my expectations completely. I had heard so many amazing things about this book but didn't really read too much into the book as I like to be completely surprised when I read the book. Cinder was so different and unusual and unique from any other Cinderella retelling and that is what is awesome.

Cinder is a cyborg. A gifted mechanic she is recruited by Prince Kai to fix his old android. But is all as it seems? As Cinder is dragged more and more into the world of politics in New Beijing she discovers that all is not as she originally thought. She is thrown headfirst into a intergalactic struggle and she must discover the secrets of the other planet in order to save herself... and those she loves.

Cinder was so much better than I thought it would be. I never imagined when I started listening to this book that I would be stuck in a world of cyborgs and aliens. It was so much more awesome than I thought. I know the thoughts of a cyborg cinderella and a world of aliens may put some people off but honestly it was just the most awesome thing I could have asked for. I loved this book.

Marissa Meyer has definitely made me into a fan with this book. I loved her writing style and even though I was listening to the audiobook and not particularly reading I still couldn't put it down. I was constantly going round with my headphones in as I couldn't stop listening. I needed to know what was going to happen. Marissa's writing style, along with her amazing world-building and characterisation had me completely hooked.

Cinder was one of the most unique and original retellings I have ever come across. I am a huge fan of fairytale retellings but I do admit that after reading a few you can start to be a bit bored as they seem similar and you always know how it's going to end. Cinder does not fall into this. It's so unique and amazing and the ending had me going WHAT? It's over? I completely was not expecting so many of the twists and turns especially the ending.

The only thing that stops this being a 5* read for me was the ending. I'd heard that Cinder had a cliffhanger and I was completely prepared for it but I didn't feel like it was. I expected there to be more and when I heard the end of the audiobook I was more surprised. I was going oh really? It's over? The end just happened so fast and I feel like there should have been an extra chapter or two. I just felt like it was left hanging... not in a cliffhanger way but in a 'doesn't feel like an ending' way.

As this is an audiobook review I always like to add something about the narrator. The narrator if this audiobook was fantastic. She is the best narrator I have come across so far. She really gave life to all of the characters. You didn't feel like she was just somebody telling us the story, she really became those characters and had you dying for more.

If you love fairytale retellings then Cinder is one that you cannot miss out on. It's fantastic. The storyline, the world, the characters. Everything is amazing. I loved this book and even though I was a little disappointed with the ending I still loved the whole of the book. It's got everything that you could ever want. Romance, action, mystery, intrigue. Cinder is a fantastic start to the series and I'm really looking forward to starting Scarlet, the second book in the Lunar Chronicles.

"Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth."





Extra Quote that I love:
"Imagine there was a cure, but finding it would cost you everything. It would completely ruin your life. What would you do?"


- "You yourself said there will be horrible consequences if she doesn’t get what she wants. I am not worth starting a war over."
- "Actually you are."



Thursday, April 17

#ReadUKYA

Hey Guys,
I am taking part in the #ReadUKYA readathon which runs from today until Sunday.

Here are the books I am going to be tackling during the readathon.

Currently Reading:






To Tackle Next:




Are you taking part in the #ReadUKYA?
What books are you tackling?


Wednesday, April 16

Review: The Falconer

The Falconer (The Falconer #1)
Elizabeth May

Published By: Gollancz
Publication Date: September 26, 2013
Date Read: April 14, 2014
Genre: YA - Fantasy / Steampunk
Source: ARC from Gollanz
Format: Hardback
Pages: 312
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From Goodreads:
One girl's nightmare is this girl's faery tale.

She's a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title — and drop-dead beauty.

She's a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. She's leading a double life: She has the rare ability to sense the sìthichean — the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans — and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She's a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her abilities and her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons — from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols — ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She's a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with the gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother's murder — but she'll have to save the world first.

"This has nothing to do with my vow. I want to be there with you until the end."

Holy crap on a cracker. This book was utterly phenomenal. I seriously have no words.
I do admit that I started The Falconer late last year and put it to the side. Not because it wasn't good, it was amazing but The Falconer is the kind of book that is so intense that you need to have the time to sit down and enjoy it and be able to really think about it. At that time I didn't have the time to be able to do that so rather than take away the true experience of what I knew was going to be an amazing book I decided to put it aside for another time. Now is that other time and holy crap it's possibly one of the best book I have ever read in my life. Nothing compares to The Falconer people. You need to read this book now. Need more reasoning okay read on.

Aileana is a debutante by day and a murderess by night. Let's not get all high and mighty and judgy now. She doesn't just kill anybody... she kills the Fae. The evil fae that hurt people. Aileana wasn't always like this. She was completely oblivious to it all until she witnessed her mother brutally murdered by a Fae. Now she is determined to get revenge. To kill the one who killed her mother and she is going to kill every single one that she sees from now until then. Trained by the mysterious Kiaran, a fae who doesn't hurt humans but instead chooses to kill others of his kind, and befriended by a pixie named Derek, Aileana is determined to kill all Fae that she finds... But then she finds out she is special. She is The Falconer, the last in an ancient line of women born to fight the Fae and now the Fae know she is alive they are after her. Things just got more serious.

The Falconer seriously just blew me away. I could not have even guessed how amazing this book was going to be. Elizabeth May drew me in with her incredible steampunk-era Scotland, the crazy fae and the beautiful and kick-ass character of Aileana I was hooked. I could not put this book down and ended up finishing it in one day. It was incredibly.

Aileana is amazing. She is already a kick-ass fighter and stubborn-as-hell chick at the beginning of the book but she goes through such a journey that she just becomes more and more awesome the more you read. When she figures out that she may need to leave her whole life, family and friends, behind does she sit and moan and cry about it? Hell no she creates a new weapon that she can use in her battle against the Fae. She is amazing. She just gets better and better and I think she is possibly one of my favourite heroines in YA fiction of all time.

The Falconer genuinelly blew me away. I could not stop reading. Everything about it is just amazing, the setting, the characters, the storyline. Everything. The more I read the more I fell in love with this world of the Fae. I have to admit that I have a love-hate reationship with Fae books. I either love them or I hate them and this is one that I loved. It was amazing. It reminded me a little bit of Karen Marie Moning's Fever series. It has that dark grittiness to it that Fever has. I loved it so much and it's possibly the best YA Paranormal/Fantasy book I have ever read. I can't praise it enough.

The Falconer has everything. Action, intrigue, romance and a bit of gorey violence. I loved every single moment of it and I am left reeling dying for the second installment. You think you've seen cliffhangers before? You've seen nothing yet until you have read this book. You need to stop what you are doing and go and buy this book right now. It's beautiful, and funny, and heartwrenching all at the same time. This is THE debut of the year and it is not to be missed out on.

Utterly Phenomenal!

"Aoram dhuit. I will worship thee."

 

Waiting on Wednesday


The Queen of Zombie Hearts (White Rabbit Chronicles #3)
Gena Showalter

Published By: HarlequinTEEN
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
Genre: YA - Paranormal / Zombies
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From Goodreads:
I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice 'Ali' Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers; until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters; and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing and turning Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima even sacrificing her own life for those she loves

I freaking love this series. Alice in Zombieland was the first Gena Showalter book I ever read and it made me fall in love with her writing. I loved it and the second installment too. I admit that final books in trilogy have me really really nervous and scared for the ending lately but I have complete and utter faith in Gena that she will do us proud and give us a fan-freaking-tastical ending. I cannot wait to get my claws into this final installment of the White Rabbit Chronicles... though I am so not ready to say goodbye to my precious Cole.


Tuesday, April 15

Review: Relic (Relic #1)

Relic (Relic #1)
Renee Collins

Published By: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Date Read: April 11, 2014
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: ARC from Entangled Teen
Format: E-Book
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From Goodreads:
After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.

Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.

Relic is a thrilling adventure set in a wholly unique world, and a spell-binding story of love, trust, and the power of good.

I have to admit that when I accepted this book for review I honestly had no idea what it was about. I hadn't read the blurb I just saw the pretty cover and knew it was published by Entangled Teen. It wasn't long after starting this that I realised that this book was something special.

After Maggie loses the majority of her family in a eerily magical fire she is left to fend for herself and her little sister. Working in a local saloon she just wants to get by. It isn't long until she find out that the reason her boss employed her is she has a talent with relics. In Maggie's world magic is held by relics. The bones of the ancestral magical species and Maggie is talented. Forced into a glamorous life of magic and intrigue it's easy for Maggie to get lost in all the glitz. But soon there is another fire, exactly like the one that destroyed her home. She must find out who is causing these magical fires before hte whole land is destroyed.

With so many other YA fantasy books out there it really is hard to find that one special book that not only blows you away but also takes you by surprise as it's so unique and incredible. Relic is that book. Relic is a gem that is better than all the rest but is hidden behind the more sparkly ones. But the unknown ones are usually the best and Relic is. I fell head over heels in love with this book.

It's really hard to accept that this book is Renee Collins debut book. It's just so phenomenal and her writing style is so polished and perfect that you would think she had been in this business for years. Her words captured me completely and her world and character building is amazing. I was gripped right from the start and I couldn't put the book down.

Maggie is such a unique little character. I adore her. She isn't kick-ass like other YA heroines but she isn't a damsel in distress either. She is the perfect mixture of both. She takes whatever is thrown at her and deals with it. She is determined to do the right thing and she will do everything it takes to do it. Even if it means risking her life... but then she isn't afraid to admit when she needs help. I love that about her. It makes her a fresh and different character to read about.

Relic was incredible. I don't know what I was expecting when I started this book but I definitely was not expecting it to be as incredible as it was. I was genuinelly shocked, in a good way by how amazing this book was. If you're looking for books that have magic, romance, adventure and action then Relic is definitely the book for you. It hooked me in and took me on one amazing magical journey that left me breathless. The ending was pure perfection but I am holding on my hope that there will be a sequel. This storyline is too much of a hidden gem to not continue I loved it!


Seven Stories: Moving Stories Exhibition

Seven Stories Exhibition:
Moving Pictures

Seven Stories, National Center of Children's Books is the beautiful, fairytale-eske building in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the North East of England. It's the perfect place to visit for authors, bloggers, parents and children and generally just lovers of Children's and YA books. 




Moving Pictures.

Moving Pictures is Seven Stories beauiful exhibition that spreads across two of their seven floors.

It features a number of children's books that have been adapted into movies.

Are you ready to go on an adventure?
Get ready to journey through our favourite children's stories.






Once Upon A Time...

PART 1:
ON FLOOR 3 OF SEVEN STORIES



Snow White:

Snow White is one of the best known well loved fairytales. It originated in Germany and was wrote by The Brothers Grimm. It was first published in 1821 as tale 53 in the bindup of fairytales.


The Grimm brothers completed a revision of the story in 1844.


It was first adapted as a stage show named "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" in 1920.




It was then adapted into the most well know animated feature by Walt Disney using the same name as the stage show. It was Walt Disney's first full length feature animation and it was first releases in 1937.

< = A snow white inspired table with stools around. Each stool had a dwarfs name on it.

Some original illustrations from the Grimm = > Brothers tale "Snow White"


The "Snow White" story was used as inspiration for 2012's Mirror Mirror, a comedy starring Lily Collins and Julia Roberts.


It was also inspiration for a film, released the same year (2012) entitles Snow White and the Huntman. A more action-packed retelling starring Kristen Stewert, Charlise Theron and Chris Hemsworth.






Snow White was also influence for the main character and storyline of ABC fantasy drama Once Upon A Time.












Book Adaptations of Snow White

(from EpicReads.com)


Cinderella:

Cinderella, originally known as The Little Glass Slipper is a Eauropean folk tale originally published in 1697 by Charles Perrault and The Brothers Grimm.


Cinderella has been adapted for Opera, Ballet, Theatre and Film and Television.


It was first adapted for film in the 1830s and there were 9 adaptations before the well known Walt Disney adaptation in 1950.




More recently it was adapted as a musical. "Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" was a straight to TV adaptation that starred Brandy, Whitney Houston and Whoopy Goldberg.


The Cinderella story was inspiration for the newer adaptations Ever After starring Drew Barrymore in 1998, A Cinderella Story starring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray in 2004 and Another Cinderella Story starring Selena Gomez in 2008.


It was also inspiration for a secondary character and storyline in the first season of Once Upon A Time.



Book Adaptations of Cinderella:

(from EpicReads.com)
Shrek!

Shrek! was originally a picture book written and illustrated by William Steig in 1990.


The rights were acquired for the movie in 1991, just one year after the picture book was released. The move was released in 2007.




<= The book depicted a very different Shrek than was in the movies.









Hugo

Hugo was adpated from 2007 children book 'The Invention of Hugo Caberet which was written and illustrated by Brian Selznick.


With over 284 illustrations the book came to 533 pages.





Selznick described the book as...


"not exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things."



The rights for the movie were brought in 2007 and the movie was released in 3D as well as 2D in 2011.







Lost and Found:

Lost and Found is a children's picture book by Oliver Jeffers which was published in 2005.


A 24-minute film was adapted and was first broadcast at Christmas time in 2008. The movie was narrated by Jim Broadbent.


A stage version has also been adapted for Children aged 3+ which was performed for the first time in London in 2011.





Peter Pan:

Peter Pan was originally published as "The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" and "Peter and Wendy".


It was released in 1904 as a play and 1911 as a novel, both wrote by J.M Barrie.





The novel was later illustrated bu Mabel Lucie Attwel in 1921.


Peter Pan was adapted for stage in 1904 and the original movie in 1921 as a silent movie.

The classical Walt Disney adaptation was released in 1953.




In the last few decades Peter Pan has been used as the inspiration for many adaptations. Including:-

  • Hook (1991) starring Julia Roberts and Robin Williams
  • Disney's Peter Pan in Return to Never Land (2002)
  • Disney's Tinkerbell series (2008 onwards)

It also inspired  the 2004 movie Finding Neverland which followed the story of the author of Peter Pan, his relationships and what led to the creation of Peter Pan.



Book Adaptations of Peter Pan

(from EpicReads.com)
END OF PART ONE!





PART TWO
ON FLOOR 5 OF SEVEN STORIES



Alice in Wonderland:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a novel written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgen, under the psedonym Lewis Carroll.


In 1865 the manuscript was updates with 37 illustrations completed by Carroll himself which was printed in the new edition in 1887.

There were 42 wood engraved illustrations provided for the published version.




The first print run was destroyed at Carroll's request because he was dissatisfied with the quality. The book was reprinted and published again in 1866.


Alice in Wonderland has been adapted for film and television many times, starting with a silent movie in 1903. 


There were 8 adaptations before the classic Walt Disney adaptation in 1951.



Alice's Adventured in Wonderland was the inspiration for Walt Disney's 2010 Tim Burton adaptation "Alice in Wonderland" that starred Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway.


The Lewis Carroll story was also the inspiration for ABC show Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, the one season spin-off from other fairytale adaptation show from the same network entitled Once Upon A Time.







The Lost Thing


The Lost Thing was a picture book written and illustrated by Shaun Tan in 2000.


It was adapted into a 15-minute animated short film in 2010. It was narrated by Australian comedian Tim Minchin.



Howl's Moving Castle


Howl's moving castle is a fantasy novel by British author Diana Wynne Jones first published in 1986.


In 2004 it was adapted as a Japanese animated fantasy film. It broke box office records in Japan.


Fantastic Mr Fox


Fantastic Mr Fox is a children's novel wrote by award winning children's author Roald Dahl. It was published in 1970 with illustrations by Jill Bennett.


Later editions has illustrations by Quentin Blake (1996) who illustrates all of Dahl's other childrens books.


It had been adapted for stage in 2007 and movie in 2009.






The 2009 movie of Fantastic Mr Fox was made using stop-motion animation.

In this display case is one of the actual models used to film the mirror. That is the actual size of the fox used.







 The Gruffalo


The Gruffalo is a childrens book by Julia Donaldson and was illustrated by Axel Scheffler.


The book has sold over 10.5 million copies and has won numerous prizes for childrens literature.


It has been developed for plays in the West End and Broadway in 2011.



It was adapted into a 30-minute animated film in 2009.


It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Film in 2011 and for a BAFTA in 2010.






Coraline


Coraline is a horror/fantasy novella by Neil Gaiman, author of other YA book Stardust. It was awarded 3 awards in the years of 2002 and 2003.


It has been compared to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, another book that has been dubbed 'nonsense fiction'


Coraline has been adapted for film, graphic novel, musical and videogame.


The graphic novel, illustrated by P. Craig Russell released in 2008. A theatrical musical was adapted in 2009, the same year in which it was adapted and released in videogame formats.


Coraline was adapted for film, using stop-motion animation in 2009. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.


The Borrowers


The Borrowers is a childrens fantasy novel by English author Mary Norton, published in 1952.


It was first adapted for film in 1973.


It has been adapted 5 times with the most popular adaptation in 1997 which starred Tom Felton, John Goodman and Jim Broadbent.


In 2011, there was a BBC adaptation starring Stephen Fry and Christopher Eccleston.




This is the childrens book-to-movie wall at the very end of the exhibition. It included books like The Witches, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and Divergent.

That's all for the exhibition. Amazing isn't it?
I would most definitely suggest going to see it if you can. Walking around and experiencing it all it just amazing. It is actually like falling down the rabbit hole and appearing in a book-filled wonderland.

I hope you have enjoyed revisiting all of the children's books and seeing the pictures from the amazing Seven Stories. It really is a magical place and everyone should go and visit.

Let me know what you thought of this super long post. Leave me a comment.