Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Book Review: The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner

216 pages

Release date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill Canada (Penguin)

You wake in the middle of the night, your arms and feet pinned by strong hands. As you thrash your way to consciousness, a calm voice says, “Steady. We’re here to help.” Your mind registers a paramedic, a policeman, an ambulance. You are lying on the lookout at Keeper’s Point, the lookout Amanda Creen supposedly threw herself off. And you have absolutely no idea how you got there.

Aaron Rowe walks in his sleep. He has dreams he can’t explain and memories he can’t recover. Death doesn’t scare him—his new job with a funeral director may even be his salvation. But if he doesn’t discover the truth about his hidden past soon, he may fall asleep one night and never wake up. A potent, intense psychodrama that will keep you gripped to the very last page.

It's so tough to write a review when you're not sure exactly HOW you felt about the book you're reviewing!

The Dead I Know is a simply written book, about a very difficult subject. When researching this book I discovered it was written for teens ages 14-18.
No way would I recommend, or even allow my OWN children to read this book at 14! I think 16, even 17 is the youngest.
There are many very graphic scenes and the content just isn't acceptable for younger teens.

Now, that THAT'S out of the way, lets get to it, shall we?

Aaron is an interesting character, and one that was--for me at least--difficult to relate to.
But I DID care about him, and that's what kept me turning the pages.

Aaron goes through hell during this book, and that's really tough to watch when you're as empathetic and sensitive as I am.

The behind the scenes at the funeral home is fascinating, if slightly gory and macabre, and Aaron's boss and his family are wonderfully written.

I'm going to recommend this book to teen--boys especially--ages 16 and up...But ONLY if a parent reads it first.
I truly believe that this is a book that needs to be discussed after it's read.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Book Review: Thief Of Hope by Cindy Young-Turner

Release date: May 16, 2011

Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Series: Kingdom of Thanumor #1
Author: Cindy Young-Turner

A HUGE thank you to the author for providing this book for review!

Sydney, a street urchin and pickpocket in the town of Last Hope, has managed to evade the oppressive Guild for years, but there is no escaping fate when she's sentenced to death for associating with the resistance. 
After she's rescued by a wizard, Sydney is forced to accept that magic--long outlawed throughout the Kingdom of Thanumor--still exists, and the Tuatha, a powerful faery folk, are much more than ancient myth and legend. When the wizard offers a chance to fight the Guild and bring Willem, bastard prince and champion of the Tuatha, to the throne, Sydney embraces the cause as a way to find her own redemption. But Sydney's fear of the Guild, distrust of authority, and surprising connection to the Tuatha threaten Willem's success. 
Can she untangle the strange threads that entwine her life not only to the fate of the kingdom, but also to Willem himself?

You know, I get so excited when I get to write a good review for a debut author! And this one right here? This is going to be a GOOD review! ;)

Thief of Hope is the first book in a series about our main character, Sydney, our champion, Prince Willem, and the Fae folk, the Tuatha.

This is the part where I geek out a bit and tell you that I LOVE anything to do with the Tuatha. You see, in two MMO's I've played (one I currently play!), my main character has been Irish and has had Fae blood.
The Tuatha de Danann are a big part of Irish folklore, so I was very excited to see Ms. Young-Turner using them in her book!

In many ways, this book reminded me of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series--although it's pretty much COMPLETELY different.
It was mostly Sydney--a tough street urchin with a mysterious past-- who reminded me of Vin!
Sydney is a wonderful character. I loved her so much! She's just so REAL, y'know? It's refreshing to read a fantasy novel where the main female character isn't a Mary Sue!

Willem is very swoon-worthy, with his blonde locks and understanding ways. Oh, it was hard to read some scenes where Sydney realizes that she.....Ack! Spoilers! ;)

But one of my favourite characters was easily Oryn. He's SO Gandalf-like, with his disappearances and cryptic speech!

Thief of Hope is NOT written like a typical debut novel. The world is written perfectly, the scenery is beautiful, the characters are vivid and fresh, and the battle scenes had me holding my breath with anticipation and worry!

I can't WAIT to read the second book in the series, and I truly hope we learn more about the Shadow Folk,  and the Tuatha as the series progresses!

I highly recommend Thief of Hope to all adult fantasy-lovers! It's SO GOOD!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Let me go on record as saying this trilogy will be remembered as one of the BEST ever made. It's right up there with LOTR, in my opinion!

The Dark Knight Rises takes place 8 years after the events in The Dark Knight. With the help of a few handy flashbacks, you'll catch up quickly if you don't recall the last movie.

It's a bit more quiet than the second movie, but no less powerful. Sadly, Heath Ledger IS missed, but Tom Hardy does an unbelievably amazing job as Bane...Although in many scenes you have to listen VERY closely or you might miss what he says. His voice is very odd and slightly muffled. I found myself straining to hear every time he spoke.

Michael Caine is BRILLIANT. Alfred has a bigger role in this film, and Caine just shines. If he doesn't get an Oscar nod, I'll riot! Or....something!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also just fabulous in his role. I loved his character. That kid is going places. He's amazing.

Anne Hathaway was good. Yes, just 'good'. She didn't wow me, and she was really pretty generic. They could have brought anyone in to be Catwoman as well as Hathaway played her.
Don't get me wrong--I LOVE this Catwoman. She's written very well and in a completely different way than both Berry and Pfeiffer were...I just don't think Hathaway brought her A-game to the role.

In a full theater during an action movie, you'd expect to hear people whispering, the sound of crunching, the rustle of candy bags...
Nope. Not this time. About halfway through, right after a particularly difficult scene to watch, I looked around to find a silent theater. Every eye was riveted to the screen. Hands were still. No one said a word.
That was when I realized that Christopher Nolan had done it again...and this was even better than the last.

The Dark Knight Rises is a DARK film, full of amazing twists and turns that will leave you utterly flabbergasted.
Two tips--Look for some really great guest stars and cameos and HAVE TISSUES.

And the end. Oh, the end. Okay, look, no spoilers, right? But it's PERFECT. Perfect and touching and emotional and PERFECT.

The Dark Knight Rises ties the trilogy together, and it's a strong, wonderful finale to Nolan's Batman films.

I'm positive it'll get a best picture nod, and it'll be a long, LONG time before we see another Batman movie as good as these were.

Well done, Mr. Nolan. And thank you.

Friday, 20 July 2012

My First Race, I Run For YOU.

As you may know, this is my first race. I'm excited and anxious to finally be following through with one of my dreams.

I chose this race because it takes place in the city where my mother lives.
I know that wherever I run, my mother would be there, but this is easier. :)
It's also close enough so that the rest of my family can come cheer me on.

This journey has been one of the hardest things I've ever done. And I'm still doing it.
I'm proud of what I've accomplished and I truly hope that this is the first of many, many races.
And to think this all started with one innocent tweet to Sean Astin... ;)

A few months ago, Sean inspired me with his own marathon running. You see, he was taking #run3rd dedications, and that really touched my heart.
I sent him my dedications, and he tweeted me back accepting them and promising to run for ME.
Please read Sean's #run3rd statement here.

It was Sean who also encouraged me to quit smoking 2 months ago. Even from afar, he still motivates me every single day. When I have a craving, I think of how disappointed he would be with me. That keeps me from picking up that next cigarette.

And so, because of Sean and the other #run3rd captains, some of whom I've become close to on Twitter, I too would like to #run3rd for you, if you'll let me.

I won't promise to run this race in a certain amount of time. And I won't promise to RUN the whole race.
But I WILL promise to finish this 5K. Whether I'm running, walking or crawling, I WILL cross that finish line.

From what I understand, some of these pledges go to the Ontario Early Years Center.
The OEYC is a place that's close to my heart. They were there for Belle and I when she was first diagnosed with her delays.

If you want to pledge, feel free. But it's okay if you don't.
All I ask is that, on this day, you cheer me on, from near or far.
I'll hear you.

Thanks. :)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Book Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Release Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Series: Seraphina #1
Author: Rachel Hartmen

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

Fantasy will always be my first love. Sometimes, when I stray for too long, I forget just how much it really does mean to me.
So thank you, Seraphina, for reminding me and for bringing me home again. :)

This is a REALLY good book. It's got dragons and battles and romance and mystery. Teens who already love fantasy will love Seraphina.
However, this is NOT a good introduction-to-fantasy book.
It does lag a bit in the middle and I found my eyes glazing over for a chapter or two before it picked back up.

Seraphina is a wonderful character. The 'garden in her head' is an amazingly brilliant idea. Wow.
She's very likable and by the end of the book, I didn't want to leave Goredd. I wanted to follow her new adventures right away!

The dragons are written in a new and unique way. Genius, really. Dragons that can take human form and walk among us!

My favourite characters are minor, but oh, so important. Fruit Bat and Loud Lad. I know you'll fall for them just as hard as I did. ;)

There are a few parts that will make you emotional and one or two that will make you laugh out loud.

I'm really, really looking forward to book 2.

I definitely recommend Seraphina to fantasy lovers of all ages!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Small Medium at Large Book Launch and Giveaway!

Today I went to my second ever author event! I met Joanne Levy, author of the MG book, Small Medium at Large!

This was an extra special event for me because it was so wonderfully close to home! Right in my own city!
And because of that, I was able to bring my little girl with me, who seemed to really LOVE the cupcakes!

Joanne read a short bit from the book and took some questions after signing for everyone.
The venue was packed to standing room only, which was really great to see!

I saw a few other bloggers there and I'm kicking myself now for not going to say hello.
One day I will! I promise! It's just a bit awkward for me. I think it's because I'm so much older than they all are! Haha!

We didn't stay long after the Q&A. Belle had finished her cupcakes and was getting restless. I was so proud of her for sitting quietly as long as she did!

It was a really nice time with my girl. I can't wait to do more things like this with her now that she's getting older!

I was able to get my books signed, of course! Yes, I said bookS. Plural. You didn't think I'd forget about you guys, did you? ;)

And the swag bag! OMG, I've never SEEN such swag! As a blogger, I realize that I sometimes get some perks, and I'm so unbelievably grateful and thankful for EVERYTHING that authors do for us, but this? This was like I've never seen before!

Joanne put together a bag with two ARCs, a cupcake and a TON of bookmarks, stickers, buttons and other sundry, some of it signed by her fellow authors!


Who wants to win signed stuff?! Yay!

There will be TWO prizes!

ONE winner will receive a signed copy of Small Medium at Large and a wristband, and ONE winner will receive a signed Small Medium at Large bookmark and a wristband!

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!
Winners will have 48 hours to reply after being contacted. If I don't hear from you another name will be chosen.
Contest is open until 11:59pm ET on Saturday, July 21, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 9 July 2012

Book Review-- Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas

Release date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Egmont USA
Series: Quarantine #1
Author: Lex Thomas
Thank you to Net Galley and Egmont for providing this galley for review.

It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High—until a massive explosion devastated the school. When loner David Thorpe tried to help his English teacher to safety, the teacher convulsed and died right in front of him. And that was just the beginning.

A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them deadly to adults. The school is under military quarantine. The teachers are gone. Violent gangs have formed based on high school social cliques. Without a gang, you’re as good as dead. And David has no gang. It’s just him and his little brother, Will, against the whole school. 

In this frighteningly dark and captivating novel, Lex Thomas locks readers inside a school where kids don’t fight to be popular, they fight to stay alive.

This book sucked me right in and I was shocked that it did it so quickly!
Right from the beginning, the action starts and it doesn't stop until the very last page. It was intense!

The characters are likable, but I didn't get attached to any one. Will, however, is annoying and I wanted to punch him. Many times. ;)

The gangs are very cool. As I read I found myself wondering where I would have fit in high school.
The story is seriously amazing. It's like nothing I've ever read before.
It's kind of a mix of The Breakfast Club meets Lord of the Flies. And it's dark. I mean DARK. Violent and bloody and terrifying.
Again I found myself wondering...how possible is it that events would unfold the way they do in the book if something like this were to happen in real life?
Sadly, I think the book comes pretty close to nailing it.

This is NOT a book for younger teens. I'd really only recommend this book for more mature 16+...especially boys. MATURE boys who can handle gore and bloody fights without wanting to reenact them with their friends. ;)
This would definitely make for some great conversation with your boys (and girls! I'm not forgetting them!) if you were to read it together.

How would teens today adapt if they were left on their own, trapped in a large group in a relativity small area? How would they survive?
I'd love to hear what your teens say if they read it!
Comments are always welcome!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Shark Bait-- Interview and Giveaway!

I mentioned in my review of Shark Bait that I was going to do a giveaway for the eBook....and here it is!

The author, the amazingly, wonderfully, talented Jenn Cooksey has agreed to answer a few questions for us about herself and her debut novel!


Tell us a little about yourself?
So I'm sitting here trying to think of what I can tell you about myself that isn't already public knowledge and wondering if anything in this interview would be considered admissible. So let's see, what does that leave me with...? Well, I'm an only child, at 13 I lost my grandparents on my dad's side when they died in a plane crash and thus I have no desire to ever visit Wyoming, which is where the wreckage was found after more than a week of not knowing where they went down. I spent most of my teen life living with my mom and my remaining set of grandparents and I currently have 5 tattoos. I got my first ink when I was 18, the next at 19 and although my grandma knew and thought they were cool, I kept them both hidden from my mom until I was digging in her closet for a pair of shoes and she saw my ankle. She didn't realize it was a tattoo and asked what it was. My immediate response was to say "Dirt" and then I ran down the hall to my room at top speed and proceeded to hide under my blankets while my boyfriend who was living with us laughed at me and my sheer panic. I'm seriously codependent and can't make a decision to save my life (ask anyone who's ever been a participant in one of my text polls). I'm fiercely protective of my family and friends and I was classically trained in ballet. I love board games except my oldest BFFLE and I aren't allowed to play Monopoly together because the last time we did in 5th grade, we got into a fist fight with each other over making change (one of us was bogarting the ones, and no, I can't remember who it was anymore because it was like 30 years ago), and no one will play Clue with me anymore because I ALWAYS win. Everyone says I cheat, but I swear, I don't—I'm just awesome like that.

What's the first book you remember LOVING as a teen?
As much as I adore reading now, I hated reading as a teen. Until I was handed a copy of Dean Koontz's Watchers the summer before my junior year of high school. From there on out, I read everything I could find of his, I mixed in some Stephen King, Michael Crichton, and I read the entire Bourne series including The Road to Gandolfo by Robert Ludlum in like 4 days, but the brilliance of Matt Damon aside, don't even get me started on what they did with the Bourne movie franchise...

Why did you become a writer? What is it that draws you to it?
This is a tough one...I don't know if most authors always knew that they wanted to write, but it was never even a faint thought of mine. Even as a child I was told that I have a gift for writing, but I mean I hated reading, so why would I want to write?! However, a few years ago one of my BFFs and I had stayed up entirely too late reading, and we were on the phone discussing the the book we'd just finished and we were being punchy. We got off topic (shocker, right?) and were laughing about an outlandish idea we had for a book—I mean it was a total sham...like a parody of every vampire story you've ever read combined with a movie that I won't name because we might still go back and do it. Anyway, she and I decided we wanted to write a book together. She works full-time though, and I have no life so I started working on it the morning (er...afternoon) after that late-night phone call. And I didn't stop. She loved what I was coming up with and told me to just run with it, so, I did. I discovered I actually enjoy writing more than reading—if you can believe it—and that, in a nutshell, is how I started my writing career. 

As far as what draws me to it, well...I'm honestly not sure. I know it's really freaking awesome, though, that I can end my stories the way I want them to end—that way when I finish reading the book, I don't want to throw it across the room because it didn't end the way I was hoping it would.

Why did you decide to write your first book about teens?   
Actually, I didn't. The first book I wrote was paranormal and all the characters were old enough to legally vote and buy booze in any state and/or country. It was the first in a trilogy and despite having a partial of the manuscript requested by the first literary agent I queried, not only did I not publish it, I never finished writing the series because the first three sentences of chapter one in Shark Bait blindsided me while I was driving my kids to our homeschool park day one Friday. From there, the story practically wrote itself, so I kind of don't think I had any choice in the matter.

There are a LOT of '80s/'90s TV, movie and music references in this book. Why? What about those decades do you love so much?
Sigh. Yeah, I know... Basically, Camie and I are of like minds when it comes to music. I whole heartedly believe that music is important in our lives and I don't think I know anyone who can honestly say that they don't have a mental soundtrack for some of the big events they've either already experienced or hope to some day in the future—seriously, Bob Carlisle's Butterfly Kisses wasn't such a huge hit just because it's a catchy tune. It was played at every wedding and danced to by every father and daughter in the free world for almost an entire decade, so now when someone hears it, it's more than likely they're going to picture a wedding reception. But that's what music is supposed to do... You hear a song or piece of music and if it does its job, it inevitably transports you to a different time or place, evoking memories and inspiring dreams. Plus, I think music helps us to remember because unlike our memories which can fade over time without something to anchor them in our minds, music is eternal and provides an excellent weight, enabling us to hold onto what is precious.

The TV and movie references are simply because I want to show that these characters are normal, everyday people. They watch TV and go to movies just like everyone else does, and realistically, these are the things kids will initially bond with each other over. Not many teens are going to be interested in debating politics with their friends (I certainly don't blame them there) and typically, one of the first things kids are going to talk about when they meet is one or all three of those things—music, movies, and TV shows. With Camie and Tristan however, they're very similar in their tastes and their preferences to less contemporary media is what sets them apart from their peers, giving them something more in common with each other than with others of their generation. Plus, I personally have a habit of speaking in pop-culture references in my own life. And in my opinion, a lot of the things I reference have value in and of themselves. Like it's my heartfelt belief that everyone should watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer at least once in their lives, because if they don't, they're not taking advantage of the phenomenal opportunity to see what true, on-screen genius looks like.

And as far as what I love about the '80s...well...what is there to not love? We had it all...great music, rockin' hair styles, mostly decent fashion, Ronald Reagan, and the best social networking was done hovering around a keg in some kid's backyard while his trusting parents weren't home. So maybe aside from the over abundance of blinding neon and the unfortunate success of parachute pants, and the fact that Aqua Net hairspray probably has a lot to answer for with the planet's diminished ozone layer, the '80s can probably proclaim itself the best decade in the history of the world. And I turned 21 in the '90s, so, it was a kickass time for me.

WHERE did you get your crazy sense of humor?!
I think my sense of humor is a survival skill that's developed over many years of life throwing me and/or my loved ones some wicked curve balls. You can't possibly hit them all out of the ballpark, so when you swing hard and miss, ending flat on your ass, it helps to be able to laugh about it. Plus, crying give me migraines. Not only that, but I'm married to a guy who has instilled the deep belief in our daughters from the time that they were in diapers that farts are funny, and being that babies (and guys) are pretty damned gassy, I've just accepted that resistance is futile.

Do you have a favorite character in Shark Bait?
Ugh. This is one I don't think I can answer. It's like Sophie's Choice—asking me to pick a favorite between my children as all of my characters live and breathe for me. I will say this though; I really heart the guys in my books.

Can you tell us about your next project?
Well I'm sort of OCD with my writing process, and right now I'm wholly focused on the Grab Your Pole series. I've already written books 2 and 3, and I'm part way into book 4. I might go back to that paranormal trilogy I was working on before Shark Bait took over my creative life, and I have some very preliminary ideas for roughly 7 stand alone YA stories (and when I say preliminary, I mean I have some ideas for titles), but I won't be touching those ideas until books 4, 5, and 6 in the GYP series are completed. I'm also toying with the idea of doing a collection-type thing with the Wall of Infamy conversations that don't make it into any of the books—just for fun. And if one of my BFFs who is a screen writer decides to write a pilot for GYP like she's thinking of doing, then I'm sure I'll stick my nose in that too. I mean I know I have no business writing anything for TV or the silver screen, but I at least would like a little say so in casting, or maybe I could finagle myself onto the set during filming. I mean come on...who wouldn't sell their soul for one of those uber-awesome chairs with a star and their name on the back of it?!

What do you hope readers will get from Shark Bait? 
First and foremost, I want people to enjoy their reading experience. I'm not in it for fame or money (Shhh...don't tell my husband I said that), I just honestly love doing what I do and I want my characters to have a life outside of my hard drive. I'd also like readers to understand that regardless of how someone might appear to be perfect on the outside, no one is. We all make mistakes and ill-advised decisions, and we all behave poorly sometimes and that's okay. The goal is to learn from ALL of our experiences and without knowing what the bad stuff looks and feels like, the incredibly great things in life wouldn't be nearly as amazing. And the fact of the matter is, life is messy and shit happens. We can't go around with our heads stuck in the sand like an ostrich, ignoring the scary or ugly stuff, but we can learn how to overcome the setbacks and deal with the mess, as well as what it truly means to extend grace.

Where do you see Tristan and Camie in ten years?
I hate to be such a tease, but you'll have to wait and read book 6 to find out the answer to this. ;-)


Hahaha! Thank you so much, Jenn! You rock! 

And now here's YOUR chance to win an eBook of Shark Bait for either Kindle or Nook!

All you have to do is comment below and tell me what YOUR favourite 80's movie is!

The giveaway is open internationally and closes at midnight ET on July 14.  Random.org will choose ONE winner, so PLEASE BE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT so I can contact you if you win!
The winner will have 48 hours to reply before another winner is chosen.

Ready, set, GO! 

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Movie Review-- The Amazing Spider-Man

It's really tough to review a reboot. Especially when the original movie is only a few years old.
So, I've decided that I'm not going to compare the Raimi to the Webb.
I honestly can't say which I liked better, and the only thing I'll say about the two is that they're very, VERY different movies.
Now, lets get the original out of our minds and think of The Amazing Spider-Man as a completely fresh, new movie--because that's how I viewed it.

Andrew Garfield is adorable. And charming. And sweet. And endearing. And...Oh, I'm gushing, aren't I? Sorry about that.
I'll admit that I was worried. I mean, he's a BRITISH actor. With an accent and everything! How could HE pull of Peter Parker??
But, oh he did. And he did it beautifully.
I can honestly say that before this movie, I thought Spider-Man was cool and fun and all....but after this movie? I get why he's a favourite and you can now count me as one of those that absolutely LOVES Spider-Man.
I get it now.
He's funny and vulnerable and smart and witty and innocent and sweet and brave and...whoops. Gushing. Er, right. Lets move on, shall we? ;)

If you've read my Avengers review, you'll remember that I'm not a comic book reader, so I pretty much know nothing about Peter Parker's parents (say that three times fast!). ;)
Hearing the story of their disappearance and how he came to live with Aunt Mae and Uncle Ben definitely added to my sympathy and helped me connect with the character.
Speaking of Uncle Ben, Martin Sheen was absolutely wonderful in the role.

As you'd expect, The Amazing Spider-Man was full of humour and funny bits. There were many laugh-out-loud moments, and without spoilers, I'll say that the Stan Lee cameo is one of the best I've seen of him yet. ;)

The romance between Gwen and Peter isn't too much, if you know what I mean. I'm not a huge shipper and I prefer my romance on the light side when it comes to superhero movies. The Amazing Spider-Man keeps it light, but sweet, if that makes sense.
Although--and I'm probably going to lose followers for this!--I'm not a fan of Emma Stone. At all.
Sorry, sorry!
She just WASN'T believable as a 17 year old and I don't like her in romance roles! (She was great in The Help, though!)

The directing and cinematography were superb--and I don't say that lightly.
I loved the web-slinging scenes where we're gliding through the air with Spidey.
The New York night scenes were amazing, and the CGI in some of the battle scenes was out of this world.

Of course, I can't write a review without writing about my favourite bits, right?
Yeah. I cried. As usual. ;)
But there's something very special about this cry! Seriously!

You see, almost 30 years ago, a movie made me cry for the very first time. To be specific, a character in a movie made me cry for the very first time.
The movie was The Outsiders, and that character was Ponyboy Curtis, played by C. Thomas Howell.
Since that day, Tommy Howell has always held a special place in my heart.
So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I saw him in the trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man!

Little did I know that the part he plays in this movie would, 29 years after that first time, make me cry AGAIN.
Damn you, Tommy, for making me cry TWICE in my lifetime! (But you were seriously amazing once again, my friend!)

"Who ARE you?"
"I'm Spider-Man."
LOVED!! (There's more to it, but....SPOILERS!) ;)

At 2 hours and 17 minutes long, this movie seriously flies by. I didn't look at the time once, I didn't get bored, and there were pretty much NO slow parts.

I highly recommend The Amazing Spider-Man to all Spidey fans, to all comic fans and to all geeks. ;)
Just try to go into it without comparing it like I did and you'll be okay.

Let me know if you DO see it! I'd love to talk comparisons with you!
And also, Andrew Garfield! ;)

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Book Review-- Shark Bait by Jenn Cooksey

Release date: June 15, 2012

Series: Grab Your Pole #1
Author: Jenn Cooksey

Camie’s worldly wisdom might be severely lacking (i.e., the closest she’s come to being kissed was sitting too close to the TV whilst Jake Ryan leaned in to give Samantha that fateful 16th birthday kiss), but she does understand her only hope for survival is if she’s thrown some kind of “social” life preserver before she sinks like a freaking rock. However, what will her fate be when she endeavors to flag down the only lifeguard on duty, the enormously popular and ridiculously beautiful Tristan Daniels? The most sought after and virtually most unattainable guy in school who not only makes Camie’s heart flatline on a recurring basis, he’s also the one guy who seemingly doesn’t know she exists.
Feeling like an inept piece of chum that could ultimately be swallowed by Jaws, can Camie get Tristan to rescue her from floundering in the treacherous deep, or is she destined to be Shark Bait?

I've been sitting here for an hour now, trying to come up with a word to describe this book.
It FINALLY came to me; adorable!

Shark Bait is an adorable, fun, HILARIOUS book. I mean laugh-out-loud, hold-your-sides hilarious.

Our main character, Camie (short for Cameron), is wonderful. She's snarky and funny and flawed and sweet. I seriously loved her.

And her sister, Jillian? Oh, I MUST read more about Jillian! She quickly became my favourite character! You'll see why when you read the book. Spoilers! ;)

Tristan, however, I often wanted to punch. :P
He's moody and jealous and yes, charming and gorgeous and funny and super-smexy!

The friendships written are really fabulous. I wish I'd had friends like Kate when I was in high school!

Shark Bait would make a great beach read. It's light and...did I mention hilarious? And it has BUFFY references, people! BUFFY!

Jenn Cooskey hit it out of the park with her first novel. Her writing style is unique and random and amazing.
And she's a really awesome person, too!

I wouldn't call Shark Bait a YA novel. It's a little bit more mature than I'd recommend for a teen. I'm going to use the 'new' term, New Adult. That seems to fit better, although it does have younger main characters than usually fit into the NA column.
Because of some subject matter and swearing, I recommend this book to teens 17+ and to adults. Especially those of us who grew up in the 80's/early 90's. You'll love Shark Bait!

I'm SO looking forward to the second book in the series, The Other Fish in the Sea, which I hope has more Jillian and in which I hope Jillian ends up with Pete, although not for a few years because Jillian is too young for him just yet! :P

Look for an interview with the author AND a giveaway of Shark Bait coming soon!