Friday, 24 December 2010

My Top 10 Books this year (sorry it's a tad long!)

This is the first Christmas of the blog. Hopefully, there will be more. So. This is the top 10 books that I've read this year. There will be another one of the best moments of 2010 on New Year's Eve - hopefully. And I mean 'hopefully'.


So this is in no particular order, just the order I thought of them. This is also books, that I have only read once. The first time being this year.


1. Along For The Ride - Sarah Dessen
This was the first book reviews on the blog. Amazing isn't it?
I loved this book. It's one of the best of Sarah Dessen's in my opinion, as well as The Truth About Forever. Actually, I loved this book so much, I read it twice in about two months - of course with other books in between. It's also special for me because it was released on my birthday - February 6th. And my parents pre-ordered it for my birthday - god I love them more because of that. ha :)
Anyway. I just love the romance and the characters, they're all great. And Eli...hm. :) The girls are great and provided me with so many moments where I laughed out loud because they just came out with the most funniest things (and before you English people say something about 'the most funniest' - I do it all the time. I know. It makes sense to me.)

My Review
Goodreads

2. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
I just...I love this novel. It's modern. It's something different. And it all fits in with what happened at the beginning in the end. The first chapter has you sitting there like 'What the hell?' but by the end, you're like 'Oh. I get it now'.
I don't know about anyone else, but I like books that are like that. Just my taste, I guess. It was a long time ago I read this and I borrowed it from Joey so I can't remember all the characters names. But whoever they were, I liked them.
And they made me laugh. Which always raised the bar on a book for me.
And they made a movie of this in Japan...with Emma Roberts in. :S
I would like to see that as it is one of those books where you read it and could see it as a movie...
My Review
Goodreads
 3. Monsters of Men - Patrick Ness
Oh Patrick. Ness. This is the last book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. And I think the best.
Now, I'm not a fantasy gal normally but I love this. Because well, it's a mixture of everything. Romance, Comedy, Fantasy, Action, Adventure. And again I love those books that have more than one genre in them. I think it makes them more interesting.
I'm so glad what happened to Viola and Todd in the end, it was just right. And even left it on a little bit of a cliffhanger so some of it it left to you to decide what happens in the complete end. That's nice. It was the perfect ending book for this amazing series.


My Review
Goodreads
Losing It Event
My Mention :)


4. If I Stay - Gayle Forman
This is the only book ever to make me slightly cry. And I mean ever. Sure, I've felt sad or had tears in my eyes but this is the first book to physically have me with tears streaming down from my eyes.
This book is actually slightly breathtaking. It's full of flashbacks of a girl in a coma which is (well we don't know do we?) slightly unrealistic but it didn't go overboard. There were flashbacks from her memory of the past too.
It was also just so beautifully written by Gayle Forman.
And like Love, Aubrey - it stays with you. I still think about it sometimes.
There is a sequel next year but I'm not sure if that's going to ruin it...make it...we'll find out.


My Review
Goodreads


5. (Halfway) The Sky is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson
Oh my. I wanted to read this as soon as I saw it in the shops and the reviews popped up on the blogosphere. Although, it wasn't AS good as I thought it was going to be, it was still pretty darn good and as I made so much hype about it, it deserves to be in the Top 10.
The difference and thing I loved about this book, was the fact we found out a lot of the main character, Lennie's feelings through the poems on the pictures, which were supposedly 'found', at the start of each chapter. I think that's what made me and Joey love it. It's now one of Joey's favourite books, I think partly because of that. George also recently borrowed it and read it in two days. Yeah I know. She liked that part of the novel too. I think it also just in the English version. I don't know...I think it's one of the best parts.
My Review
Goodreads
My 'I WANT THIS BOOK' post.


6. The Secret Countess (also known as The Countess Below Stairs) - Eva Ibbotson
This was the book that got me into Eva Ibbotson who I kinda have a love for at the moment. She is a historical romance writer. My favourite genre in the whole of the book writing world.
 It was again just different and completely original. Even if there was an element of the 'forbidden romance' which I guess is in most novels that have some kind of hint of romance.
I don't know. It's just it showed what it was like to be Upstairs in a big house in English and the 20's and Downstairs. It was a bit like Downton Abbey but less drama and involving one person...

My Review
Goodreads

7. Auslander - Paul Dowswell
Okay. So not the normal type of book you'd see me read or even have a look at. The thing that drew me to this book was the fact it's set during Nazi Germany. The period I'm studing for History.
This again is a book that had a bit of everything. Romance, Action, Tension, Comedy, Adventure. And it's also the Survival Guide to passing GCSE History - Nazi Germany. It tells you everything in so much detail about anything to do with that time frame. Life, before the war, during the war, what children did, how everyone was on edge about being sent to concentration camps, Jews.
I loved it and I think I'll always remember it. It made me understand truly what life was like then. Not nice.

My Review
Goodreads

8. The Other Countess - Eve Edwards
I think this has got to be one of the best books I've read this year - by then this whole list is. It kinda blew me away a little. I just couldn't get enough of it.
I bought it on a 3 for 2 offer, I was slightly...nervous about starting it. The cover isn't exactly the most teenager-ist. I loved it. I absolutely 100% loved it. Eve Edwards made it so detailed in the historical side. You understood everything. The romance, even though it's throughout the whole book, it wasn't too much - just right. The next book, The Queen's Lady, is due out next year (I maaay have pre-ordered it...WHAT? Waterstones were doing half price off pre-orders and free delivery...)
I have a weakness for this author and series...

My Review
Goodreads

9. The Declaration series - Gemma Malley
I say The Declaration Series but I mean the two books in this trilogy that I discovered this year, The Declaration and The Resistance. Both, absolutely amazing and entertaining.
Now, I'm not normally the type of person (Like I said for Auslander) to go for sci-fi or basically a book like this but I was kind of 'drawn' to it and I'm so glad that I did. Because these are such great books. And I think it's also the idea behind it that's so different. And so controversal. Tablets that make you live forever. I mean, we ponder it but no-one ever does anything or try and this book shows you the consequences of the world if you DID try and make something like this. They're just such interesting novels. And the last one in the trilogy, The Legacy was out in September and I hope to read it in 2011.
The Declaration Review
The Resistance Review
Goodreads (Declaration)
Goodreads (Resistance)

10. The Betrayal - Mary Hooper
There had to be a Mary Hooper book on here. Had to.
This book is the last in the triology of At the House of the Magican series. And in my opinion, the best one. I think it is supposed to be aimed at teenagers slightly younger than me but I'm 15 and I really enjoyed it.
What I love about Mary Hooper is, she gives you such an idea in detail about what life was like in Elizabethan Times. I think this is what makes me love her writing so much. And it's historical. And has a hint of romance. My favourite. :)
The whole series was good but I think this one just topped it off and I really enjoyed this series. I would recommend them to anyone.

My Review
Goodreads



Other Mentions (ones that were equally as good and should reserve a mention):
- Shadow Web - N.M.Browne
- The Luxe Series - Anna Godberson
- Fallen Grace - Mary Hooper
- The Lady in the Tower - Marie-Louise Jensen
- Love, Lies and Lizzie - Rosie Rushton
- Star-crossed - Rachael Wing

All of these rated 5/4 stars on Goodreads. All 5 stars for the top 10 though.
Thank you if you've got down this far. And Thank you so much to all the followers, commenters and people who have visited this year since February. I appreciate it a LOT.

Have a lovely Christmas and a lovely New Year. I shall be eating and seeing family so I probably won't have time to come online so this will probably be the last post this side of Christmas (I love that pun when it gets nearer Christmas).
Have fun :)






Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Love, Aubrey - Suzanne LaFleur

I'm writing this while listening to the music on Spotify - to be exact Blood Brothers at the moment. So I might suddenly exclaim what I'm listening to. Anyway, I found this book in my school library when I wandered into there when there was a German exam on and practically no-one was in my Maths class. And those that were, were playing some death game on the computer. Yeah. Nice.

Eleven year-old Aubrey has lost everything. Her family, friends and now, it seems like her future. She lives in her house with her pet fish, Sammy and SpaghettiOs, watching TV and eating cheese and crackers everyday. That's until, her grandmother turns up and whisks her to the house where she grew up in Vermount.
Aubrey learns that she's not completely alone and with the help of her Grandmother, her best friend and letters to the people she would like to tell what she is feeling to, she starts to take the first steps to having a life again. But then, she has to make a terrible decision - one that she has to choose between. Stay or go?


I've seen this book so many times in bookshops but I don't know, I think I thought it seemed too young for me with the main character being only 11. But it's not. This book is for any age, any interest and it really gets into your head a little. I mean, I found myself thinking about Aubrey after reading it the other day.
I found it really addictive. Once you got into it, you really wanted to know what happened in the end to this girl. My only critism. Well two really.
1) It took me a while to get into it. I think it was about page 70 that I realised that I was starting to get into the book. I think the beginning is dragged out a bit but then, I guess you need to know the beginning part to understand the book.
2) (It's Chicago now) I read a lot of reviews that it made people cry and even the front cover says 'She will make you cry'. But although, it IS about a 11 year old girl who has practically no family and how she gets on, I didn't find it so sad, that I would cry. I guess, I find it hard to cry for a book. If I Stay - Gayle Forman is the only book ever to make me cry physically. I'd have tears in my eyes but not cry. But I don't know...I didn't even have that in this book. I'm not saying I'm completely heartless. I did find it sad and a little depressing but it wasn't amazingly sad as reviews gave the illision of. I guess everyone sees books differently.

Anyway. That's my two critisms. I loved the way there were flashbacks in italics dotted around the book, it was effective as it was in first person and like you were looking in Aubrey's mind. It was very...personal. Which might be why it links into the crying issue. I loved Bridget, Gram and Aubrey. They were just...great. I want a Bridget. She's lovely and I wanted to hug her as much as Aubrey.
The character I hated. The Mother. Seriously, (I'm going to try and not reveal anything big so if it doesn't make sense then, that's probably why) you're her mother, would you really do that, even if you were depressed and down? And then trying to force her into something? Urgh. She just annoyed me when she turned up. But I guess that may be what Suzanna LaFleur was trying to do.
   Overall, this book should be read by everyone. It is a really lovely novel and nice to read for something completely different - it's just such a great novel and it does stay with you a while.

I give it a 4 out of 5

Author's Website: http://www.suzannelafleur.com/index.html

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Weekly Update #1

Mushu. Got to love him.

So I am offically 100% ill. I woke up this morning, not being able to move and then sneezing several times and coughing like I was about to throw up. Nice.
However, I am still going out in the -2 lovely English weather. And...
IT SNOWED. Like PROPER snow. We think we had about 3-4 inches. It's definitely the heaviest I've ever seen it. Also it's been weird because there's been nearly no planes from Heathrow because it's either closed or hasn't got as many flights running. A guy I know at school on Facebook updated us that his flight to Berlin was taking off today...after supposedly booked for Saturday.

So. I have been also mused whilst watching Mulan. And Mulan II. oh yeah.
My Musing: It's Christmas in four days. I can't believe it.  2010 is almost over. There'll never be another 2010. It's so...weird. This year has gone at lightening speed. It's amazing.
And to be honest, I've loved this year. I started blogging. I met Patrick Ness and the women that got me into historical reading, Mary Hooper. I've read more and more this year with a book blog and I think I've gained confidence with it as well. I don't particularly care now, what people care about me or having a book blog. A lot of people I know, of course, don't know I do. But some do. People I don't particularly know that well and they told me it was cool that I did have a blog. Which made me smile.

This year, I've lost two close friends but gained more than that. I've got through Year 10 and am now on the final road to the end of Secondary School and able to go to college in my own clothes and at a later time. I cannot wait for 2011 and what it will hold...

Friday, 17 December 2010

On My Bookshelf (4) and an update...

This is my version of 'In My Mailbox' because honestly, I'm not known well enough to have publishers and authors to send me books - and I'm still working out how that can happen.
So here a few things that I have acquired this week:

Books:
- Love, Aubrey - Suzanne LaFleur (Library)
- A Song For Summer - Eva Ibbotson (Library) I am so excited to read this!

I also bought two necklaces online at This Charming Girl, one for my friend and one for myself as there was a 15% off at the time. :)

                                                                                                                     













First one:  This was for my friend. It's so original. Also she loves those kind of love French necklaces that Topshop and Accessorize normally do so she loved it...I hope.

2nd: This is the one I bought for myself. I love it, it's a bit longer than I thought it would be but it's still lovely.



    In other news, I am offically on Christmas Holidays so I can (kinda) relax for two weeks now. I'm writing some Xmas cards for my friends at the moment, I just felt like it. I need to get into the Christmas mood. I was standing at my bus stop today with my friend and it started snowing heavily. I felt like a snowman by the time the bus got there. It was great acting like a 5 year old :)

Also, I saw Wicked last night. IT WAS AMAZING. Although I can't get the songs out of my head - ever. Thank you and Happy Birthday George :)
Tonight, in a couple of hours, I'm going to my friend's Xmas Party in my new dress. I shall take a picture of it before I go.

Have a nice evening :)

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Pretty Things - Sarra Manning

Okay, I got some time to do this. WARNING: if it doesn't make sense at any point, just tell me because I am unbelievably tired right now and all Disney-ish because I just watched Pocahontas II.

Righto. I bought this book in a discount book store in Florida for $2.99 even though it's set in England and Sarra Manning is also an English author. So yeah, I brought it home.

Brie and Charlie are best friends. Brie is in love with Lancome Juict Tubes and Charlie...who is also gay. Charlie is in love with Walker, the serial heartbreaker. Who is in love with Daisy, the other new gay one who just hates everyone else to care about who she loves. Set in North London, these four teenagers enter the theatre world and become the protagonists (oh yeah, Media terminology) of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew to experience the off-stage and on-stage dramas of the theatre world.

I don't quite know what to think of this novel. It was good and I enjoyed it but it wasn't like 'Whoa. That was amazing' which I guess I was kind of expecting from it. Can I just say something about the front cover above? This is the cover on my copy - the American version and to be honest, it's erm...it looks like one of those terrible early teen romances where nothing really happens and everyone lives happily ever after. If you are judging 'a book by it's cover', STOP.
Okay, onto the book. A lot of people don't like Sarra Manning's writing and I can see why as it's all about teen problems, relationships and how horrible their lives are but it's one of those reads, which is different, relaxing and you don't have to think about what's happening next. It's different in the way that there are four teenagers, two of which are gay. Normally, you either have your gay couple (which let's face it, don't happen often) or your two conventional lovers that we like to read about and wish we were them.
I LOVE Charlie. He's like your best friend and you just want to hug him, a lot. Brie and Daisy. I'm going to say it.
They got on my nerves. Though when it's Brie chapter, I don't mind her so much but still. I just didn't like them. Walker...neutral feelings. I thought it was going to be a complete idiot but I guess he's not so bad.

My lovely friend, Tijana, has also read the book and kinda spurred me on to read it and I was also able to talk to her about what we thought of Charlie. So I got her to write what she thinks of it (it's better than any review I've ever done):

Me and Tijana.
 Pretty Things could be a described as a classic, teenage love-square novel, aimed at teenage girls who want to hear about love problems more exciting and problematic than their own – and it is.

     This doesn’t necessarily make the novel ‘bad’ or ‘cheesy’; Pretty Things grabs your attention and reel s you in through the use of stereotypical characters your forced to make a severe judgement on. Whether it’s the typical bad-boy Walker making you roll your eyes or the overly-feisty attitude of Daisy making you want to pull her back down to earth, you’re still interested in the characters – you want to know whether they all change their sexual orientations in the end to make the novel have a perfectly fitting, Jane Austen ending.
     Despite this, the slightly controversial themes and use of homosexuality of half of the characters allows the teenage readers to be more open minded about situations such as those that the characters find themselves in. Memorable, and bringing back plot lines from old plays, this book’s definitely worth reading one summer holiday. "

Thank you Tijana :)

I give this a 3.5/4 out of 5

Author's Website/Blog: http://sarramanning.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Mocks, Beds and Boy's Trousers, in a nutshell.

I am shattered. I was sitting in my Media lesson earlier, the last lesson of the day. I was sitting there watching a movie (which was crap) and I could feel my eyes falling gently asleep.
And on the way home, I felt like I was in a dream and I just wanted to get home and sleep. Though I can't do that, can I?
I have 2 more Mocks left. A Science ISA which I always do badly in and an all day Drama exam.

Oh the Drama Exam. We're going a part from Blood Brothers and I'm Mickey. So I have to be a boy for starters. A 8 year old boy. And, do a Liverpool accent while trying to remember my lines and where to go. All at the same time. Which I know is part of Drama but really, with two of the most critical boys ever who critise every single move I make, it's hard and tiring. Tomorrow is the dress run and I have to wear boy's trousers.
Yeah, you read right. Boy's trousers. Oh joy.

In other news, I have finished Pretty Things by Sarra Manning, I know. But at the moment I am too tired and have absolutely no time but next week I'm on christmas holidays so I shall do the review then.


BUT. To cheer me up, on Thursday I'm going to see WICKED! YEAH :)
Thanks and have a great week :)

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Couple Christmas Giveaway :)

I saw this on one of the blogs I follow, clicked the link, found the page about it all and found it incredibly sweet and such a different giveaway.

For this contest, once you enter, you are up for the chance to find three books from a list of the Top Ten couples (relationships and friendships) list in books, hosted by Not Enough Bookshelves whose blog is BEAUTIFUL. These books will be posted by the Book Depository.

Anyway. All you have to do is fill out the form. By 22nd December 2010. Easy Peasy.
If you would like the chance to enter, click here.
The only condition is if the Book Depository ship to your country, though they normally do to most countries.

Anyho. This got me a-pondering. Who are my favourite couple of all time?

Wes and Macy?
Mia and Owen?
Jess and Johnny?
Anna and Peter?
(If you click on the links, it takes you to the book they're from)

To be honest, I don't know. All of the above are on my favourite couple list and loads more but I didn't want to bore you with it all. I quite like Eleanor and Stanton in The Lady In The Tower and I do smile at Lucy and Tomas in the At The House of the Magican series. But there is no couple that I can, at the moment, put my finger on that they are my absolutely favourite.

I'll have a think this week while I'm waiting for my exam to finish...

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

2011 Historical Fiction Challenge

This is possible the most apt challenge for me and (hopefully) the last challenge for the new year. Hopefully, I add.
So all you have to do is read between 5-15 (whatever amount you set yourself) books what are of the historical YA fiction genre e.g. set in the past. If you would like to enter, click here

If you look over my blog, you can see the amount I read is ridiculous. Serious ridiculous.

So I plan to read 10 books. Here is my possible list:

1. I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend - Cora Harrison
2. The Queen's Lady - Eve Edwards
3. Bright Young Things - Anna Godberson
4. A Company of Swans - Eva Ibbotson
5. Masquerade - Nancy Moser
6. The Fool's Girl - Celia Rees


So. To see my review of that book, click on the title, they should all be linked up.
Here we go:
1. A Song For Summer - Eva Ibbotson
2. Bright Young Things - Anna Godberson
3. The Queen's Lady - Eve Edwards
4. Chocolate Cake With Hitler - Emma Craigie
5. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne
6. I was Jane Austen's Best Friend - Cora Harrison
7. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
8. The Morning Gift - Eva Ibbotson
9. Annexed - Sharon Dogar
10. Girl with a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier
11. The Roman Mysteries: The Man from Pomegranate Street - Caroline Lawrence
12. Cassandra's Sister - Veronica Bennett
13. Once - Morris Gleitzman
14. Then - Morris Gleitzman
15. When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead
16. The Rogue's Princess - Eve Edwards
17. Now - Morris Gleitzman

EXAMS!

Day 2 of the Mock Exams and I'm already exhausted. Like I want to go and live in a cave with a sleeping bag and pillow for a month tired. I know I'm a teenager and everything but seriously...I am so fed up with revision and Of Mice and Men and frequency tables, it's stupid.

Today I did English Language, RS and yesterday, Science.
English was...okay. Though I forgot a question...nearly. RS was only 30 mins long and had only 4 questions so it seemed to fly by (though the guys sitting next to me who didn't write anything didn't seem to agree) and Science which was...moderate.
Tomorrow I have a whole day of exams. Maths, French and English Literture. Oh yay. Fun.

Also. I've decided that christmas present buying is such a love/hate relationship. I mean, I like going out shopping in the winter with all the Christmas decorations. But I always have no idea what to buy my friends. I think it's time to go to Boots to get a bath set. You can't go wrong with a bath set :)

I am so happy at the moment with the blog. In the last few days, I've had 4 new followers and lots of comments on how they like my writing which also makes me smile. I remember how only a few months ago, I was writing to myself...literally. Now I know someone is actually reading this, it makes me feel happy inside :)

Anyway. Thank you. You will be rewarded someday. :)

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

Currently, I am writing an essay as part of my English GCSE coursework (though it's been put on hold for the moment as it's the MOCKS). Anyway, it's made me get in the Pride and Prejudice mood now and I bought the novel and the film with Keira Knightley in...all for under £5 on Amazon. Oh I love them.
So yeah, I thought I'd read it.

So. For those who have been living in a cave in Antartica for the last 3 centuries, this is what it's about.
   The story evolves around the Bennet family, particularly Elizabeth and Jane, the two older sisters out of five. The fabulous Mr Bingley has moved into Netherfield, the big house just a few miles away, bringing his pompous, moody, although handsome, Mr Darcy.
When him and Elizabeth meet, she immediately judges him and vows never to dance or talk to him again. However, when Jane and Bingley meet, sparks fly and soon, their mother, Mrs Bennet whose aim in life is to see all five daughters married, expects a marriage on the cards.
Though as events unfold and Elizabeth finds out secrets and lies about these two men and the mysterious Mr Wickham and of course, the ridiculous Mr Collins...

I left it open as I could describe the whole novel but it must ruin it for those who have been living in an igloo for the last few centries. This was first written in the 1700's and named originially the very apt title, First Impressions.
The characters are written really well so that we have an opinion of all of them without it being too many. Mr Darcy. I have to say this. Why does all girls like him (including me)? Even though he is so moody, conceited and in truth, a teenager (not literally. He's like 25 in the novel). I think it's because he doesn't show his emotion because he's afraid to and also, he does all this lovely, nice stuff because of his love for Elizabeth. Okay I gave it away but really? Is it not that obvious from the front cover?
One of my favourites is Mr Collins, who I have to write about for the essay. He is just so...funny, but a complete pompous idiot at the same time and I can say...I'm so glad I'm not Charlotte!

My only problem really was that for me, I had to make sure I wasn't tired, otherwise I wouldn't be able to digest Jane Austen's writing. Which is completely different to novels today.
This book is a great classic story which still entertains us, centries later as Austen really understands what it is like to be in a family; in love and meeting and judging the people around us.

I would give it a 4 out of 5.

For more info about Jane Austen: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Austen

British Books Challenge 2011!

Yep. I'm doing another one next year as well. But this one is definitely right up my street.
This is challenge to read at least 6-12 books written by British authors. Should be quite easy for me as I live there :)
It's hosted by Becky at The Bookette (I personally LOVE her blog). If you, yourself, would like to sign up, just click here.

Right. So what books are you expecting me to read for it?
Well, I'm not very big in the 'planning what I'm going to read'. I just kind of...pick it up and read it when I have the time.
But here are a few books that might make an appearance next year...

1. I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend - Cora Harrison
2. The Queen's Lady - Eve Edwards
3. The Legacy - Gemma Malley
4. A Company of Swans - Eva Ibbotson
5. Love Struck - Rachael Wing
6. An Education - Nick Hornby



Here we go...the links take you to the review of that book:
1. A Song For Summer - Eva Ibbotson
2. The Queen's Lady - Eve Edwards
3. Love Struck - Rachael Wing
4. The Legacy - Gemma Malley
5. Chocolate Cake With Hitler - Emma Craigie
6. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne
7. I was Jane Austen's Best Friend - Cora Harrison
8. The Morning Gift - Eva Ibbotson
9Annexed - Sharon Dogar
10. You Against Me - Jenny Downham
11. Cassandra's Sister - Veronica Bennett
12. The Returners - Gemma Malley
13. Once - Morris Gleitzman
14. An Education - Lynn Barber
15. Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery - Keren David
16. Then - Morris Gleitzman
17. The Rogue's Princess - Eve Edwards
18. Now - Morris Gleitzman
19. The New World - Patrick Ness
20. Othello - William Shakespeare

And so it comes to the end of this challenge for 2011. I have read so many amazing literature by British authors this year and I think 19 is great with the fact I was aiming for 9-12 books. 


It's hard to choose my absolute favourite, more harder than you imagine because these authors are great and I would recommend the majority of the ones on this list.
I have to say I really enjoyed I was Jane Austen's Best Friend and Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery. It was great finally reaching the end of The Declaration series by Gemma Malley with The Legacy, as well as finding a stand alone one of hers. In addition, I have gone further into Eva Ibbotson's books which I found later last year and A Song for Summer that I started 2011 with is one of my favourites of hers.


I am so glad I did this challenge and I would recommend anyone to do the 2012 one at The overflowing library.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

DECEMBER!

It's offical. Again. The first proper snow here for the winter season. The second this year...

So, I got to spend the day wandering around the school in my vintage snow boots! They did belong to my mum when she working in London, just before I was born, when it was really snowy and she didn't have suitable shoes that day. And she doesn't use them anymore...so they get pulled out the cupboard when it snows!

Right. Anyway. I am going to do something called -MONTH- as the first post every month so that it why the subject is DECEMBER as it is...December. This will be like a few things that are happening this month, books, fashion, events...you know, random things. I have noticed that I now tend to write a lot about things happening in my life and things I want to moan about. Sorry about that. I find blogging so relaxing and nice to kind of express my views. That's why there are 16 posts in November...whoops.

So. This month. This is what's happening in Rebecca's World.

- Starting next week, I have Mocks at school for two weeks so I might be freaking out and not posting much. Or loads. I don't know what I'll be like...
- 16th December - George is having (finally) her birthday party and we're going to see WICKED.
I AM SO EXCITED!
- 17th December - An Christmas Party with my new dress (photos of it to come...)
- 25th December - MERRY CHRISTMAS!
- 31st December - Happy New Year...and that week I shall probably be musing on how my life has completely changed from this time last year AND since I got a blog especially. I'm like that. You'll have that to look forward to...

Hope you have a wonderful, seasonal December :)
Tell me what you're doing at Xmas time :)

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Please Read This. Thank You.

I am 15 years old, right? I am 16 in 2 months and am going to college next year. Even though in England, it's not compulsory. I still am because I want to get a good job that I want to do and good grades and qualifications.
Anyway, before you wonder why I'm stating this, you'll understand now.

Today, in my French lesson, our teacher came in without a friendly 'Bonjour' or 'Les Devoirs?'. No, one of the first things she said was 'Do you know anyone in this class that was in that walk out at break because of the university fees?'

Okay, I just want to say that, I would like to go to university if I feel it necessary. My English teacher says 'Keep in education as long as you can; it will help with your future job.'
Which is one reason why I would like to go, apart from the typical answer, like I said above.
I have no idea what I'd study but I'll jump that hurdle when I get there. If I get there.
I also know that you have to pay to go to university and I agree £9,000 tuition fees is a bit heavy, especially with the fact we're in a crisis with money etc.

But seriously, go out of school to stand outside one of the Liberal Democrats offices and protest, rather loudly, about them. And you're in Year 10. That's the year below me, so they're about 14/15 and have at least 3/4 years until they have to even think seriously about university.

I would join them. I have to admit, if I wasn't in school, revising for exams that I need to pass to go to university, I would have gone too. But it's the wrong way to do it...and in Year 10, still in secondary school where the prospect of even applying for a certain university isn't even thought of yet? No, I personally don't think they should have gone themselves.

One reason for writing this: I saw an article posted on Facebook about from one of the people involved in it. You're proud that you did that? That you made the school look bad; young people look terrible, as per usual; and got your name and voice in the papers and want all your friends and peers to know so you can gloat? Is that really what this is all about?
And, I'll tell you what. It was all the 'popular' Year 10's. Yep, Popular people still 'rule' the year groups. They think they can do these things because they have the 'power'. I'm not one of these people. I think those kind of people who care only about their status in school, hair, make-up, getting a boyfriend...it's pathetic and sad. Wait till you get into the real world and the frantic world of GCSE's...

And the worst part? The other reason why I'm writing this. I was waiting at the bus stop today after a revision class. It was snowy and all the older people coming home from shopping were underneath the bus shelter and I didn't want to stand in the snow I'd just been walking in. So I stood right at the end of shelter where there is a little bit of glass over you, and you're right by where the bus stops. And when a bus came (not my one), this woman shoved by and said loudly 'Right now, the bus has come, you can wait in the queue like the rest of us. You young people these days! You think you can do whatever you want.'
And actually, that hurt me a little because I would have let her and the rest who had been waiting for the bus first go in front of me; I was just standing there for convience.

Why should all young people have a bad image because of this and other things because of a small miniority making people think it's general amongst all young people? Why? And then, gloating about making this 'point'?

I don't understand the society we live in sometimes. I really don't.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

New Years Eve?


This is some thoughts for dresses that I could get for New Year's Eve/my friend's Christmas Party...

The top Four are from H&M and the second black one is the one I'm seriously thinking about. The first bottom two are from Dorothy Perkins and the last two are from Topshop.

What do you think?

It's a month till Xmas?

I offically have a cold. My first of the winter season. Oh joy.

So while I'm sitting at my desk surrounded my revision books, my mother comes in and announces she would like my Christmas list. Now, I know it's a month until Christmas but still, I don't want to think about it yet, it's come around too soon. And for me, I want to survive my mocks before I even think about it. Though I am going on holiday for a few days before the new year :)

Also, I had a great day yesterday. Despite it being rather cold (-3 at about 8am) and sitting on a bus to school for nearly an hour (when it's normally only 20 minutes) and therefore, being late, I had a pretty good day.

I did my Stagecoach performance of Little Shop of Horrors which George came to with my other friends, Tijana and Ben. And of course, my parents. It went well, though there were a few mistakes and the skirt I was wearing was slowly strangling me. But anywho. :)
      Then, I went to my friend, Julie who I have known for about 13 years (how she puts up with me I don't know) for her 16th birthday party at her house with some friends from her school. It was great and loooovely to see her, even though she spent that hour on the bus with me in the morning.
And I saw Final Destination...finally. It was actually quite good...though I may have looked away for the gruesome bits. :D
And now, there's a rugby match down the road so I'm confined to the house, revising like crazy, eating about everything in the house and writing my Xmas list. Oh winter...

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Baby I like it...

I found out today that one of my best friends can't ride a bike either. I am so happy. Other happy things happened today too but I shall not go in to the details. It's rather boring...for anyone but me.

Anyway, I also want to say that I actually have a kind of undying love (friendship!) for George. You may have seen her posting comments as she has a blog herself and to me...it absolutely hilarious. I'm not kidding, I find her so funny. And when I'm not feeling well, she just cheers me up for much.

Anyway, that's all I wanted to get off my chest. xx

Sunday, 21 November 2010

2011 Debut Challenge

Next year, I am going to participate in the 2011 Debut Challenge, hosted by The Story Siren who has a beautiful blog. I love it.
I am currently doing it this year too, but I joined incredibly late and changed the rules slightly for myself so that it could be from any year.
However, for this the challenge is to read at least 12, or whatever total you want, debuted authors in 2011.
Sounds easy enough right? :S

If you would also like to enter, click here :)
I haven't come up with my list of books yet, but once I get a button and start the list, I'll update this post :)

oh how I wish it could be Christmas every day.'

While everyone else is out Christmas shopping and watching the new Harry Potter movie (which I got a ticket to but had to to give it away because I have a Stagecoach performance next week :S)
But the person, I gave it to is MUCH MUCH more of a Harry Potter fan than I am so I'm kinda glad she got it and I think she appreciated the movie much more than I would have.
Anyway, I digress. While everyone is enjoying themselves, I am cooped up indoors doing an incredible amount of homework/coursework and revision for my MOCKS which are only TWO WEEKS AWAY. AHHH.
I cannot relax properly or get into the festive mood before those dreaded things are done and over with. However, me and my friend are planning to go up to Beyond Retro next weekend on the hunt for a dress to wear to my friend's annual Christmas Party and New Year's Eve.

Beyond Retro...I want to live there. Forever. It's a vintage outlet at cheaper prices, one on Brick Lane, Whitechapel and the other's near Carnby Street which is behind Oxford Street, for those who didn't know.
I've only been there once but I bought a men's shirt which I later looked up and is from about the 80's/90's.
So as I wanted something a little bit different, this had got to be the place right? Though, there are some nice dresses in H&M so that's my back-up plan. :)


Joey gave me this when she came back from Hong Kong and it now hangs from my noticeboard. You can also see the Beyond Retro tag from that shirt I bought.

Have a nice week! :) x

Sunday, 14 November 2010

On My Bookshelf (3)

This is my version of 'In My Mailbox' because honestly, I'm not known well enough to have publishers and authors to send me books - and I'm still working out how that can happen.
So here a few things that I have required this month:


Bought:
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - This was for school, we're doing P&P for coursework in English at the moment.
Dreamland - Sarah Dessen - This book isn't being released in the UK so I brought it when I was in America :)
Pretty Things - Sarra Manning - Again, brought in America reduced. I prefer the UK cover though. 
So Yesterday - Scott Westerfeld - Again, last one brought in America...The author of the Uglies series. I've never seen it in the UK. 

So, I'm pretty good for books at the moment...well until Christmas. :)


Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher

I found this book in the Oxfam shop where I work for £1.99. It wasn't a Gift Aid, so I don't know who donated it but considering the fact it's a relative new released book to the UK. So anyway, I finished it this morning.


When Clay comes home from school, he finds a shoebox full of thirteen audiotapes on his front step. Thinking nothing of it, he gets them out and starts to listen, soon finding out that they are audiotapes made by his first love, Hannah Baker. The Hannah Baker who commited suicide two weeks earlier.
As Clay listens to the tapes throughout the night, he discovers the thirteen reasons why Hannah killed herself. The Thirteen people who influenced her descision to kill herself. The thirteen people which includes Clay.



I don't quite yet know what I think of this book. It was done in a way so we read Hannah's tapes and got Clay's reactions to them as well. It also was done this way so you as a reader have to keep reading to know where Clay comes into the story. And even after you hear his, you want to read on. I must admit, I was more into the book after I found out how Clay came into it.
I think the reason why I'm not sure is because, it was so damn depressing. I mean, you're reading the script of a dead girl's suicide tapes that include 13 people's names for doing something completely idiotic to this poor girl. And also, I didn't get the end. The end was good and I like how there was a 'The Next Day' so you have an idea how Clay coped with it afterwards.
Now, I'm not saying I thought the book was bad. No way. I'm just unsure about my feelings and enjoyment of it. It's an incredible powerful, hard hitting book about a topic a lot of teenagers may go through.

The reasons relate around reputation and as a teenager myself, I know what it's like to try and uphold a decent reputation around school. It's hard. Everything you do is judged. That time you slipped over in the corridor, laughed about for weeks. The time you told a 'friend' something and they just go around a tell everyone else: you feel insecure for weeks. And although, an adult reading this might think that then, schools are messed up and the school I go to is terrible, it's life. Let's face it, everyone has 'those' moments. You just try and not have too many.
This is a gripping book for older teenagers due to the content within it and the references made.

I give it a 3 out of 5

Author's Website: http://www.thirteenreasonswhy.com/book.php

Saturday, 13 November 2010

L is for the way you look at me...


top: topshop,
necklace: antique shop in brighton
 It's been a pretty stressful week and yesterday, topped it all off completely. It was one of the worst days I've had in a long time, for a number of reasons.
    However, I went to Stagecoach afterwards and I was cheered up by all my friends there. At the moment we're doing Little Shop of Horrors. For those of you who don't know, it's about a failing flower shop who find a magical plant and put it in the window to get more customers, however, the plant feeds on humans and by the end of the play, everyone is dead and the plant takes over the world.
So funsies. It's erm....going....interestingly.

The picture above is what I'm wearing now. I brought the t-shirt in Topshop last week for £12 in the sale. Had been about £22. :)
The necklace, you can just about make out, is something I brought in an antique shop in Brighton a couple of months ago when I went there for my friend's birthday.

One thing that did brighten up my week was receiving this:

Jack Petchey Award
Sorry it's a bit smudged. I got caught with it when there were gale force winds and it chucking it down with rain. So that was fun and nice for me. :)
x

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Ramblings #3

My 'Pride and Prejudice' re-write was described as 'Absolutely Fab' by my English teacher with the comment 'I laughed out loud' scribbed underneath. Probably with that glass of wine all the teachers seem to mention when it comes to coursework or homework.
Well, I don't blame them...


So. How are we all doing?
I am a little stressed. I am told to revise for my mocks in a couple of weeks and then they pile 6 pieces of homework on me FOR ONE WEEKEND. I mean, if you want us to revise, stop with the homework please. I don't physically have enough time to 'have a social life' which they encourage, revise, sleep, read, do homework and then, go Xmas Shopping!!

Which moves me on to Xmas. This afternoon, when I walked into my house, there was a....Christmas card on the floor mat. The first Xmas card of the year. I MEAN SERIOUSLY, IT'S THE 10TH NOVEMBER! It's not even a month until Christmas! And I have no idea what to get my friends, I need to buy for...about 7 of them. Yeaah, I know, a lot. Oh Life...

I also for some reason have a slight addiction to cheese at the moment. I need it every single minute. And when I open my fridge, I always see Brie sitting there, smiling up at me thinking EAT ME, EAT ME! How I want it but don't want to get fat by eating loads of it...

I'm done. You can have a look around now. Thank you :)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Ramblings #2

So. At the moment, I'm supposed to be doing homework. My English homework this week was to re-write Chapter One of Pride and Prejudice in a modern style twist.
That would easy IF IT HADN'T BEEN DONE BEFORE. phew...

So yeah I'm reading that at the moment. I think I've been biten by the P&P bug. I know...I want Mr Darcy in the room right now. This instant. But no. He's a fictional character. (groans)
So yeah one of the guys in my class was saying 'Oh why does everyone love Mr Darcy so much?'
And well...yeah. Why do we all swoon over Mr Darcy and re-read the bit where he's in the lake or replay it with Colin Firth who is gorgeous and so absolu- So why?
Well, personally, I think it's because he may be all proud and that but he comes out with the sweetest things and is actually a big emotional little girl waiting to get out and show his feelings. He also does so much for Elizabeth just because he loves her. (Future boyfriends, take note.)
And then, there's that he's drop dead gorgeous.

So that's what's been on my mind. And:
- I got tickets to see Katy Perry at Wembly with my best friend next Easter. Which I can't wait for!
- And I'm going to see Wicked in December for my (absolutely amazing) best friend, George's birthday. I HAVE THE SONGS IN MY HEAD 24/7! And I want to read the book too. :)
- And I'm going to see the new Harry Potter film the day it's out and found out that someone from my Stagecoach is in it :)
- Oh. And I have Mocks. Lots of them.

Also, I found this from about two years ago. Enjoy - shows how this blog was created really :)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Star-crossed - Rachael Wing

Before you judge a book from the cover, read this review and it might (I said might though) change your view. JUST wait there, right there.

I have read this book countless of times. I'm serious. And guess what. This was written by when she was 14, published when she was 16. She would now be...19 but still. A 14-year-old. That's pretty cool and we're talking some good stuff - despite the cover. This was first found a couple of years ago under some books. I thought it sounded good so I read it. And again...and again...and now AGAIN!

When Jen lands the main role of Juliet in her school production of Romeo and Juliet, she is thrilled. Especially as beating one of the most popular people and her best gay friend, Reuben playing Mercutio, another main part. Until you find out who Romeo is.
The boy you and your family hate with a passion because of feud going on since their fathers were 18. Jen will do anything to get embarrasse him and beat him, there's no way you're going to be like Juliet and fall for him....is there?

This book has such a simply storyline and well written that I just love it. It's also written very differently using 'You' or the Second Tense (I think) which makes it so interesting and just different.
It could be classed as a short story but I think although it is short, it is a book. The scenes and characters are great and so well written. I loved Reuben, her best friend. You just kind of have to love him, he is so funny and lovely.
Even though I have amazing friends and I love them to pieces, I would love a kind of 'gay' or 'boy' best friend. I mean, a guy that you can just kind of talk about anything with and don't have to keep checking if you look okay or are going red. I've told a couple of people my little 'wish' and those that I asked did agree.
This book, even though the cover isn't particularly amazing, is such a sweet, innocent (kind of), interesting story with a modern day Romeo and Juliet tale. And it shows that not every love story means sex and snogging their faces off straight away. I mean I don't mind it in books but still, some authors do get a little over the top on the descriptions of whats happening :S
This story is also so relatable to people my age, teens, because Jen faces so many teen issues.
I would suggest anyone that loves to write or loves Shakespeare and a bit of romance to read this one. It is truly a sweet story and with the 'You', I was able to imagine it happening to myself, probably why I love it so much.
I give it a 4.5 out of 5

Author's Website: http://www5.scholastic.co.uk/zone/authors_r-wing_biog.htm

Rachael Wing has also released a book called Love Struck which looks at A Midsummer's Night Dream. I am SO looking out for that one :)

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Betrayal - Mary Hooper

This was found in the corner of the library alone and frankly, no-one knew it. I saw it straight away and picked it up without even thinking about it. You know, one of those kind of automatic reactions like saying Sorry when you make a mistake in French - and much like my French teacher is telling us off for.
Anyway, yeah. This is the third and last in the At The House of The Magican trilogy. And to be honest, the best in my opinion.

(May Contain Spoilers)
Lucy is asked to continue her work for Queen Elizabeth I. But she has has no duties to do so spends her time setting up a house in London for the Dee family she works for. But when she meets the new lady-in-waiting, Juliette, she is suspicious straight away and decides to take matters into her own hands. But is she merely jealous of the attenation Tomas, the Queen's fool and the one Lucy loves, is giving her? Or could she really be a threat to the throne? 


I actually really enjoyed this book, mostly probably because I've read the two other in the series. I would say that reading them, would help as Lucy does mention events that happen in those but it isn't necessary. There is much more detail and more surprises filling this book and I especially LOVED the end. Which rounded it all off nicely and answered all our questions and is nice that they hint at what happens after the book is finished.
The cover (above) I think is lovely. I love that dress and I am, unfortunately, one of those that still wants to be able to wear dresses like that now. They are gorgeous even though there is so much that goes into looking like that. The detail that Mary Hooper has used is amazing and like normal, she has taken me into the Elizabethan world for Lucy. My favourite character was Tomas. He is so funny and had me laughing on the plane a couple of time (while people looked at me weirdly as I had been laughing out loud earlier at Shrek) and very gentlemanly. So I approve of him.
This book is for those historical romance lovers. Yet another great historical book by Mary Hooper.

4.5 out of 5

Author's Website: http://www.maryhooper.co.uk/

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Diving In - Kate Cann

There isn't really a story for this one. I just saw it, thought I'd give it a go. The End. Sorry.
Anyway...there are a series of them...somehow? Because well it ended like that's the end. Nothing more else could happen...but something else obviously does. I'm not sure if I'll read the sequel :S

First Sentence: A huge sort of tremor ran through me. After so long, so much fantasizing, I'd actually kissed him. I hope he didn't see that shiver, I thought. I don't want him to know how overwhelmed I am, not yet

Coll hates her life. Nothing happens, her parents are annoying and she hardly talk to them, the only person whose ever liked her is her best friend and she isn't exactly the most popular person in school. But the one exciting thing in her life is The Boy From the Pool. Both going every Thursday night, Coll goes to the swimming baths and sees this gorgeous boy every time, but hasn't had the courage to talk to him. Until one amazing day when they do start and propels them into a exciting, intense and out of hand relationship...

To be honest, I found it flat. And boring. I know some of Kate Cann's other stuff which is supposed to be so good but this...well it didn't live up to my expectations. I found a few spelling mistakes - a pet hate of mine.
And it did take a while to get going. Art, the boy, is a complete and utter idiot. I'm sorry but WHY would someone fall for him with a personality like that. Though, I guess the author wanted us to hate him.
One reason why I probably won't read the whole series is because I can guess it's going to be like 'Do I love him or not? He's an idiot but I want to go out with him? Oh no. My life is over' kind of thing. Which I think will get on my nerves.
I have seem some good reviews and maybe this book just isn't for me. But I would say it's worth a try at least. The characters (apart from Art) are great and I loved Val. She made me laugh a couple of times. I would say, if you were thinking about reading this, do read it just for the sarcasm and jokes and it does teach you something about the potentical 'bad boyfriend that just wants sex' that most girls face at some point. I, thankfully, haven't yet and hopefully won't.
I've give it a 3.5 out of 5

Author's Website: http://www.katecann.com/

'I Need a Holiday with my friends'

Quoted from the brilliant Scouting For Girls who I was listening to on the way home from Florida.
Yep. You heard it Florida. I went there over my half term where there were record temperatures (and then I come back to rainy 16 degrees England).

But anyway. So I'm back. Without a tan...like per normal. And I brought 3 books....yep, I know. It's a sickness methinks.
While my parents were looking at men's trousers in Wal-Mart (don't ask), I wandered over to the book section...which was disappointly small for such a huge store. It's so freaky how many 'vampire' books there were for young readers including Twilight
(pukes. Sorry I hate it. I've seen the movies though and seriously, does Jacob own a decent t-shirt? And then there's the fact I've met Robert Pattinson...believe me, it's not that amazing up close. He's quite good looking though...anyway...moving on back to the point.)
And different abnormal covers of Sarah Dessen books. The cover is completely weird and much more thinner and longer.
All I can say is US book buying are completely different to England book buying....

My Little Pile of Books that formed.
And there were a few firsts. I went to a Hard Rock Cafe at Universal which was amazing. Because I've never been to one and this one was HUGE. We're talking big.
And I went to the Kennedy Space Centre and saw the shuttle that's lauching tomorrow.

This is something to leave you with. Reviews for the books I read while I was there will be posted soon...between homeworks and catching up on TV. 

View from St Petersburg's beach, Florida.