review: friends with boys

14 March 2012

book info:
ages: 12 and up
grades: 6 and up
on sale: NOW
copy from: First Second
pages: 224

title: Friends with Boys
author: Faith Erin Hicks
stars: 3.5

{Maggie McKay hardly knows what to do with herself. After an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mother and rough-housing with her older brothers, it’s time for Maggie to face the outside world, all on her own. But that means facing high school first. And it also means solving the mystery of the melancholy ghost who has silently followed Maggie throughout her entire life. Maybe it even means making a new friend—one who isn’t one of her brothers.}

my thoughts:
  I finished this a LONG time ago, somewhere in February, and never posted the review. Apologies! 
   This is a simple story about a girl growing up and high school. I found the cartoons amazingly done. After reading so much manga, I honestly prefer this style better. Hicks has a lovely way of storytelling, her drawings conveying emotion and all the feelings that sometimes, words cannot tell. In the drawings and style, this book is great!
  When reading though, I felt that there should've been more to it. Like the comic is too short or something, and there was some bits I felt were missing. It may just be my weird personal opinion, but that's it. Honestly.

500 follower contest: still running!

13 March 2012

Hello everyone! I'd just like to remind you all about the 500 follower contest I still have running, and it ends once I reach 500. It just requires 14 more followers (so close!) and I can send out books to the winner.

Enter here if you haven't already and thank you very much!

Be a SIR and enter :)

gone reading international!

12 March 2012

You've probably never heard of this before? Well it just started in 2011, so naturally. Give it a chance :)
This awesome guy (Brad Wirz) from the organisation e-mailed me about it and I went over to check it out. Something I found  enlightening was their philanthropic mission about spreading reading to developing countries and even helping out librarians by donating 100% of after tax profits to libraries and reading-centred non-profit organisations. Isn't that lovely?

How it started: With a love of reading from founder Brad Wirtz (Ohmygosh, I e-mailed with the founder?! YES!!!!!)

Book lovers know what it’s like to have reading as part of their lives, to always have a book close at hand, to enjoy reading and its ability to broaden your mind,” says GoneReading founder Brad Wirz. ”I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live in a world without books,” 

I agree!

Goods and products:
Mr. Wirz has kindly offered a discount for you readers! 25% OFF! With this code: PAGES25  Incentive to support reading in less developed countries, literacy, and the sharing of knowledge?

I love the bookmarks, I must say, the "My Wizard Can Beat Up Your Vampire" bookmark is one of my favourites. The vampire has red sparkles: brilliant.

And bookplates. Ever let someone borrow a book, and never give it back? I really need bookplates, especially classy ones. Bookplates with class intimidate borrowers, I believe. 

I usually don't promote websites, or do straight out adverts like this (I advertise books), but I truly believe this is a great cause that will enlighten the book-reading world! If you'd like to learn more, I'd definitely visit the website (in case you want to make sure a purchase is well thought through)

Support Reading!

romeo and juliet

09 March 2012

I was never prompted to read the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, hearing of tragedy is always too hard for me to bear. Nonetheless, we have started to read it in class.

The problem with reading things in class: it ruins a good story. The teachers dissecting and explaining, the students reading aloud in dull, halting speech and the book going too fast to soak in. I am to get my copy of the book soon, to write in and read by the end of the weekend, so when we resume reading on Monday, I will not be tarnished.

See, because when I first read something, feelings and images of that first reading stay with me, so no matter how many versions or retellings of the book, I will always think of the first. I didn't want that to be spoiled, so I hastened to watch the 1968 Romeo and Juliet directed by Franco Zeffirelli.

I just finished it and it is....the most beautifully tragic film I have ever seen!

The actors are so passionate, Juliet and Romeo so perfectly cast and emotional...they're rendering so tearful, heart-wrenching and brilliant. Olivia Hussey (who played Juliet) was only fifteen, and Leonard Whiting at seventeen. There's a nude scene (soo beautiful all of the moviee!) so it went from G to PG, haha. 1960's for you.

If you have not read or seen Romeo and Juliet, YOU MUST SEE THIS VERSION! Leonardo DiCaprio is not the Romeo I see (it's the OTHER Leonardo)

Compare the two:

In the 1968 version, they stuck true to every aspect of the original play and cast the actors at the age Romeo and Juliet were in the original play as well, ages fifteen and seventeen. The Juliet in the 1996 version was around seventeen (old for Juliet, who was no more than fourteen or fifteen) and Romeo (DiCaprio) was twenty two. Tsk tsk tsk.

This version is far  better than the modern hip one. Honestly, it's simple and sweet and beautifully done! You must watch it!

ALSO lets compared Juliets.

Claire was too old to fit the young innocence that Olivia had. ANYWAY! It's a beautiful movie that I love so much. The brilliant Shakespeare is to thank, of course, for the amazing script and the emotional and passionate actors in the Zeffirelli version. Lovely. Absolutely great!

review: the flight of gemma hardy

07 March 2012

This is late review, sorry!

book info: ages 15 and up
grades: 9 and up
on sale: NOW
copy: HarperCollins (thank you)
pages: 446

title: The Flight of Gemma Hardy
author: Margot Livesey
stars: 4

{before anything, isn't that a beautiful cover? I love owning such a beautiful book}

"Acclaimed, award-winning author Margot Livesey delivers her breakout novel: a captivating tale, set in Scotland in the early 1960s, that is both an homage and a modern variation on the enduring classic, Jane Eyre

Fate has not been kind to Gemma Hardy. Orphaned by the age of ten, neglected by a bitter and cruel aunt, sent to a boarding school where she is both servant and student, young Gemma seems destined for a life of hardship and loneliness. Yet her bright spirit burns strong. Fiercely intelligent, singularly determined, Gemma overcomes each challenge and setback, growing stronger and more certain of her path. Now an independent young woman with dreams of the future, she accepts a position as an au pair on the remote and beautiful Orkney Islands.

But Gemma's biggest trial is about to begin . . . a journey of passion and betrayal, secrets and lies, redemption and discovery that will lead her to a life she's never dreamed."
my thoughts:
    This is the type of book that's written in that beautifully musical, almost forgotten style of writing that's emotionally detached yet unforgettable and...impacted me with a harsh, calm lapping of cold water all over. The cover reflects the book so well on so many different levels. This is what I call a great cover, not other covers (ugh)

    Gemma is the type of main character that a reader can admire, not by the obvious, but with the subtle things she does. The narrator states what Gemma does, and it's harsh and one would expect some complaining or anger, but Gemma takes it without mentioning a bit how unfair it may be. Yet she's not a hollow character.
 She's strong and honest and doesn't talk too much, but says a lot with her actions. She's the type of girl that most girls today are not. Granted, this does take place in the 1960's.

  Many people believe that side characters need to be appreciated more, with a lot more detail and dialouge to make them whole. But Livesey doesn't elaborate on them much, rather allows the reader to infer from the details that the narrator provides.
  Usually a romantic interest is a big deal, but her older male love interest shows up a select few times, sparsely, and though not very important to the reader, is quite important to Gemma. I did like the subtleness of this guy, but I do wish that he would've been more prevalent in the story, and I do wish to have learned of him more.

plot: There's not much action or thrill to this novel. It's very life-like and calm, once again I make a reference to water. There are some little adventures that life is made of, maybe more drastic in Gemma's case.

style: As mentioned before, the style is beautiful and reminds me of how some old books used to be, the ones that I enjoyed very much, like The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (if you read often, you'll know I greatly enjoy The Alchemist, one of my favourite books of all time)

overall: If you're looking for something different, I'd try this. I do recommend it, this mellow book.

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