Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Random bits and bobs

Just thought I'd share an AMAZING photo. I thought it was beautiful, which may sound odd, but that little spark of love and compassion just made me fall completely in love with this pic!

Isn't that amazing?!?!!?

I found out the story behind this pic, which was also kinda cute. Here is the story off Yahoo! news :-)

Video footage has emerged showing what really happened to the infamous 'kissing couple' during last week's Vancouver riots.

The couple, identified as Australian Scott Jones, 29, and Canadian-born Alexandra Thomas, became an instant Web hit after Getty photographer Rich Lam snapped a photo of them caught up in a moment of passion as tensions flared between hockey fans.
Yahoo! News published the same mystery photo in our ‘This Week in Photos’ gallery last Friday. The kissing photo sparked huge interest as it was viewed by millions of people.

However, the affectionate pair, who have been dating for six months, dismissed claims that the kissing in the photograph was staged as they broke their silence on the night’s dramatic events.

The couple had been drinking at a bar downtown when the atmosphere in the streets of Vancouver turned nasty.
Moments before the iconic snap was taken, Mr Jones was simply trying to calm down his injured girlfriend after they were hit by police as they tried to escape the violent clashes.

In the video clip, riot police can be seen hitting the couple with their shields. After the incident, Miss Thomas appears distressed and lies on the ground as she is comforted by her concerned boyfriend.

Speaking with NBC’s ‘Today’ show, bartender Mr Jones said: “I was just trying to calm her down. It was pretty scary for her, and it seemed like the best thing to do.”
“I would call myself a tourist. It was Game 7, Stanley Cup finals, so something was going to happen whether we won or lost — something big. I just wanted to bear witness to what was going on. I never felt in danger while we were down there until the riot police came along.”
Environmental engineering graduate Alex added: “It happened so fast. I never expected it to turn into that
situation so quickly.”.

To see the article, which contains the video, please click here

Just thought I'd share this amazing pic with you guys :'-)
JB xxx

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Gina Blaxill Interview

I got to interview the lovely Gina Blaxill (the author of Pretty Twisted) and here are the first ten questions I asked her!
See the whole interview here!

1. Did you ever talk to someone over the internet, and agree to meet them as a teenager?

As a teenager I mainly talked to my friends from school online - I met my first "Internet person" when I was at university. We're still good friends now - we chat online, exchange birthday and Christmas presents and meet up face to face.

2. Was there somebody like Freya in your life?

There are always Freyas wherever you go! I see her as the kind of girl you always notice whether you're in school or working - the one that seems to have everything and you maybe secretly want to be. Usually I've found that these girls aren't as perfect as they seem, funnily enough - which I guess is the case with Freya in the book.

3. Is Jono based on anybody you know?

Like all my characters, he is a little bit like me - I was feeling lonely and out of place when I wrote the book, so that definitely came into it. He's also inspired by the teenagers who used to be on the bus I used every day when I was working in Norwich. There was only one bus you could get so I saw them pretty much every day - it was a bit like a social club! I got to evasdrop on a lot of their conversations and got a bit of an idea of what it was like to be a college kid living in the countryside.

4. Do you see yourself in Ros?

Ros is the character who is most like me. Like her, I draw and bake cakes, and at her age I also got quite angry about being the "reliable one" in my group of friends, who was always expected to be sensible and supportive. I also love dogs!

5. Have you ever lied about your age to a guy over the internet?

Nope! I'm usually pretty cagey with details like that.

6. Do you have a favourite Young Adult book and if you do what is it?

A book which really got to me was Lucas by Kevin Brooks - it's the only book I finished then immediately read. It's rather heartbreaking and very atmospheric and profound.

7. What was your favourite book as a teenager?

I was really into fantasy books, especially by Tamora Pierce because they were mainly about girls. Her first book "Alanna: the First Adventure" is about a girl who disguises herself as a boy to become a knight. It's the first book in a quartet and I loved it so much I read all the others in one day (I was at a friend's house too - she must have thought me very anti-social, coming over to see her and then just reading...).

8. Who is the author you most admire?

Agatha Christie - she's not a YA author, but she wrote so many crime novels. I'd love to have the ability to constantly invent so many clever plots and mysteries. There's a reason why after the Bible and Shakespeare she's the best selling writer in the UK.

9. Which author would you really like to read your book?

This is an interesting one - I'd love any of the YA authors who are popular today to pick up Pretty Twisted (and hopefully like it), especially ones I read when I was a teenager.

10. Now you've written the book, is there anything, looking back that you wish you could change?

This is a tough question - but I'd say I could probably make the book a little longer. My dad is adamant that there should have been a fight at the end which I'm not so sure on, but I probably could have extended the investigation part.

So thanks a lot to MKB for the opportunity to interview Gina and hope ya'll like the interview!
Sorry I haven't been around much, exams made my life a bit sucky recently. I haven't been able to read much either...can you believe I haven't even finished Jane Eyre yet and I've had it for about three weeks!!!
Anyways, love ya'll long time!
JB xx

Thursday, 2 June 2011

In My Mailbox #5

Ok my lovelies, I haven't had much this week, just two books borrowed from my lovely library! They are:

The Princess Bride - William Goldman
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D Salinger

As you all probably know, I am wanting to do an A-level in English Literature, so this summer is going to be full of me reading the classics to broaden my reading palete...so that I can truly appreciate whatever we have to read in the class. Hopefully it's something I enjoy, then again I enjoy all books to be honest so I'm sure I will like it!

The Princess Bride is an amazing film, if you ever get chance to watch it, make sure you do. It's one of those classics that you will show your kids, who will show your grandkids, who will show your great grandkids, and so on.

Let me know what you've had in your mailboxes this week guys!
JB xx

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

My Book Boyfriend #5

My Book Boyfriend is a weekly Meme, hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader I will be taking part in this Meme (hopefully) every Wednesday where I will lust over my literary crush, who I would love to be part of my life. If possible, I will include the lucky boy's stats and some quotes. I will definately be including a picture of how I imagine he looks like and reasons why I love him.

Today's literary crush is Lucas Delos, because he isn't a demigod, he's a sexy demigod :-D
Lucas is the MC from the recent fabulous book STARCROSSED that I suggest you all go out and buy like NOW. Read my review here!

  • He was tall, over six feet at least, and powerfully built, although his muslces were long and lean instead of bulky
  • He had short black hair and a dark end of summer tan that brought out his white smile and his swimming-pool blue eyes
Favourite Quotes :-D

"Lucas was holding her by the wrists to keep her hands away from his neck. she realized. They were locked in a stalemate, and if she could get her fingers half an inch closer, she could reach his throat."

"She lowered her shoulder and closed the distance between them, barrelling into his chest and tumbling on to the ground with him under her. She reared up to drive her fist into his face, but he grabbed her arms. She was on top and should have had the upper hand, but she had never hit anything and she could tell from the way he never wasted a movement that he had been fighting his entire life. Helen felt him do something with his hips and then he was on top. Her arms were pinned above her head and her heels were left to scrape uselessly at the ground."

"She tried to bite his face, but he jerked his head away.
'Lie still or I will kill you,' Lucas warned through gritted teeth. He was panting, not because he was winded, but because he was trying to control himself"

"There was a delivery boy at the door with bags and bags of groceries.
'He says these are for you,' Jerry said, holding out a note with Helen's name on it.
'I didn't order these,' Helen said to the delivery boy. *blah blah blah*
Helen read the note.

'Miss Hamilton
I am so sorry for my son's appalling behaviour towards you at the market today, and I ask that you accept these few things I've sent, even if you are unable to accept an apology, I understand what it is to try to put dinner on the table with no groceries, although apparently my Lucas does not.
Noel Delos'

"Are you two dating?' he asked in a terrified voice. Helen burst out laughing. 'No we're not dating. What we're doing is trying to not kill each other. And it isn't working out too well'"

"I guess Lucas and Hector got into an actual fistfight after school yesterday at football practice. That's why they weren't in school today. They got suspended.'
'What happened?' Helen asked, stunned quiet
'Lucas saw Hector following you out of the girl's locker room and he lost it. He started yelling at Hector to stay away from you. I guess Lucas sort of said...that you were his,' Claire said timidly. Helen shook her head. Lucas had meant that Helen was his to kill, but she couldn't exactly explain that to Claire.

I can't be bothered to write this quote but I absolutely loved it (it's too long!) so check out page 180 to 181. From line 16 on page 180 to line 14 on page 181

"She tried to stand back up, but as soon as she did, she was thrown down again as something fell from the sky and landed violently on top of Hector. Lucas had rammed into Hector from above, driving his cousing two feet into the ground before he reared back on his knees to hit him *blah blah blah* Lucas blinked and looked up at Helen
'He was trying to kill you,' Lucas lowered his raised fist."

"You can still do that? Stop blades?,' Claire asked, unsuprised. 'What about the lightening thing? Can you still do that too?'
'How do you know all this about me?' Helen sputtered.
Claire sighed.
'After I pushed you off the roof...' she began.
'After you what?' Lucas yelled
'It was when we were seven! And she wasn't hurt!' Claire yelled back."

And I am so hungry and exhausted I'm going to leave the quotes there haha!
Here are some pics of what I imagine Lucas to look like!

This is the model Nic, I found him kicking about somewhere, and decided he was my Lucas ;-)

Definately let me know who your Book Boyfriends are this week! Or girlfriends, if you're that way inclined!
JB xxx

Destiny brought them together, but the Gods will keep them apart...

Starcrossed - Josephine Angelini

When shy, awkward Helen Hamilton meets Lucas Delos for the first time, she thinks two things:
the first, that he is the most ridiculously beautiful boy she has seen in her life; the second, that she wants to kill him with her bare hands.
An ancient curse means Lucas and Helen are destined to loathe one another. But sometimes love is stronger then hate, and not even the gods themselves can prevent what will happen next....

Synopsis -
How do you defy destiny? Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history. As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

I was eagerly awaiting this book, after Amazon suggested it to me (I think they all know me by name at the headquarters, I buy so many books hehe!) and it was on my 'To buy later list' then the lovely ladies at My Kinda Book sent them to us, in our VIP packs! YEY FOR US! :D I got to read it before it came out!

I started reading it the day I got it, and apart from putting it down to go to the loo, make my dinner and move from my bed to the sofa and back again, I did not stop reading it. I read and read and read. I couldn't stop myself turning over the pages, even at midnight when my head was dropping forward onto my chest everytime I stopped looking at the pages. I physically couldn't put it down. It has been a long time since I stayed up to the early hours to read through the final pages of an amazing book, but STARCROSSED certainly was worth the fatigue the next day!

It is 514 pages of pure yumminess! I loved the Romeo and Juliet starcrossed lovers feat, mixed with Greek mythology it certainly was a great combination. It really did work quite well together, they way Angelini got Helen and Paris of Troy's story (who are considered one of the most popular starcrossed lovers in mythology) into the modern world, with massive twists and turns of other Greek legends thrown in with it!

Helen (our Main Character) was a drag at first, in my opinion. She was beautiful (tourists stared at her face for gods sake!), sporty and seemed perfect but within the first few chapters I grew to like her. She wasn't perfect, she had trouble finding who she was, just like every teenager.

Lucas then blazes into her life, and he is the 'most ridiculously beautiful boy she's ever seen'. When that was said, I just groaned aloud, thinking oh no, another book where the guy is perfect, has super powers and the girl is some helpless weakling who can't think with her own brain. So. Wrong.

Not only does their first meeting not go as planned, but it leads to a LOT of sexual tension and pent up passion between the two. And we all know things go bang when that happens! They aren't supposed to be together, or are they? is the question repeatidly going through my head as I read on and on.

I really enjoyed seeing Helen develop as a character throughout the book, she becomes aware of herself and her powers and stops feeling as socially awkward as she did before Lucas, and his family threw themselves into her life. It was great to go on this journey with her, and see her turn into a kickass heroine, able to protect herself. I loved how her friendships and relationships with those around her grew, to match her growing confidence as she accepted herself for what and who she was.

Claire, the best friend with a lot of spunk, was one of my favourite background characters. Her comments actually had me laughing out loud because she really didn't care what people thought of her, and she had total belief in Helen and her abilities.

Simirlarly the other background characters seem just as important as the MC's which is really nice to see. Hector is a sweetie who just wants to protect his family and he really made me swoon. Jason was unbelievably sexy to me, he was the mediator between Hector and Lucas, but whenever Claire was around his laid back attitude was replaced by his super hot temper. I loved them two, Claire and Jason, but I just wished their chemistry wasn't as rushed and hastily put together. They have two more books to explore what they feel for each other, and Angelini panicked a bit I think and rushed what could have been something brilliant in the background.

There were a lot of twists and turns, which was hard to wrap my head around. I advise you don't read it as fast as I did, and have breaks to assess what you've learnt, and to allow it to sink in and to think about what it did to the story and the characters. Otherwise you just become a bit overwhelmed trying to figure it out in your head, like I did, and I still haven't mananged to start another book because I'm still working through what I learnt in STARCROSSED. I'm trying to sort out what I do know, what my theorys are and what I want to happen in the next two books before I start reading another book.

There are three other things I have to complain about. The first is the size of the book. I believe that it was dragged out, considerately dragged out. There were parts that were described to the nth degree, whereas other parts, like the action and fight scenes were rushed through and that left me with a feeling of things being unfinished. Especially as the fight was the thing that Helen had been training for all the way through the book!

The second thing is the irritating way it is written. I can easily lose myself in a good book, specially with easy POV but with STARCROSSED I found it confusing. The POV was third person, which is fine if it's going to be consistent, but Angelini kept switching from concentrating on Helen and Lucas, to Hector's POV but still in a third person way, or to Lucas's POV or to Noel's POV. It was annoyingly jumpy but I can understand why. I think she thought she had to explain every thought and feeling every character had, instead of letting the reader get that from the writing.

The third and final complaint is the ending. I hate cliffhangers, because despite the complaints I really did love the story and what Angelini did with these characters and their legends. I want to know what happens next!!
There are lots of questions left unanswered, which leads us into the second book of the trilogy DREAMLESS, which I can't wait to get my hands on next year. Hopefully, in the third and final book, all the questions will be answered and outcomes will be reached for every problem these characters have faced!

Her debut was good, and I will be keeping all eyes on her for the time being!
And she should be proud, this is the longest review I've ever done on a single book!

JB xx