Sunday, 31 July 2011

Pink - my book review

PinkPink by Lili Wilkinson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I don't really know what to exactly say about Pink! It's a good read, yes. I enjoyed it, yes. But otherwise, everything else (which is not much), might as well be unsaid.

Pink is about a girl called Ava (as in Ava Gardner) Simpson. She likes girls. She likes pink. She likes to fit in. She likes to study. So she leaves her chaotic, feral, your-average-Joe high school and earns a scholarship to Billy Hughes. Posh, prim, perfect Billy Hughes. Black-clad Ava is sure that it is the place for her. But is it really?

I see Ava's world as a map. So think of a triangle with a spot in the middle. Now, instead of the outer vertices being connected to each other, they are connected to that speck in the centre. This speck is Ava. So she has three options: Chloe (her coolheaded, emo girlfriend), the Pastels (think of The Plastics from 'Mean Girls') and finally, the Screws (the stage-crew). And then, suddenly Ava is unsure whether she's gay or not. There's a guy called Ethan at Billy Hughes. And he's hot. So Ava and the Pastels think, anyway.

I think Pink is a well-written, humorous book that lightly skims over feminism, sexuality, friendship, family, school life, fitting in, goths, sci-fi, Bang! Bang! and screw-ups within one pretty pink cover. I recommend it for anyone, and everyone. Even for those who hate pink.



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Saturday, 30 July 2011

Follow Friday #3

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Q. Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you?
A. Haha, this is tricky! I've never really thought about it... maybe: 'Out of this World, literally.'
This is how it may look (I know close to nil on fashion design, so sorry that it looks so lame)! Oh, and there was no option for a female model.


Custom t-shirt printing at CustomInk.com


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Friday, 29 July 2011

WWW Wednesdays #2



What are you currently reading?                             I'm currently reading Pink by Lili Wilkinson. I'm slowly but steadily making my way through it...



What did you recently finish reading?                        I recently finished reading Divergent by Veronica Roth. It's one of the best dystopian novels I have ever read, no jokes. To see my review on it, click here.



What do you think you'll read next?                        I think I'm going to read Accidents of Nature, by Harriet MyBryde Johnson, next. It's been gathering dust on my shelf! Besides, I think I need to take a break from mainstream young-adult fiction...

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Top Ten Tuesday #2

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Sorry that I'm running late! But nevertheless, here is my list for the Top Ten Books That Tackle Tough Issues:


  1. Thirteen Reasons Why -- suicide, depression, bullying
  2. Speak -- bullying, exclusion, (spoiler removed)
  3. Wintergirls -- self harm, anorexia, death
  4. If I Stay -- choices, life
  5. Goodnight Mister Tom -- war, abuse, trust
  6. Chinese Cinderella -- family, unfairness
  7. My Sister's Keeper -- family, illness
  8. The Diary of a Young Girl -- war, growing up
  9. Parvana -- war, poverty
  10. Pink -- sexuality, friendship



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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Something New

If you're feeling a bit bored of this usual format of 'A Novella's Tale', here's something to freshen up the site:
http://anovellastale.blogspot.com/view/sidebar


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Monday, 25 July 2011

Divergent - my book review

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


True rating: 4.5

To start things off, this book reminds me slightly of The Hunger Games series. The beginning and ending of it, anyway. For the likers of this book, you're probably thinking: "Oh, gimme a break!", but the reason why I say that is here. Once you think about it, The Hunger Games starts with the protagonist preparing for something big with her mum. She's dressed up, doing her hair. If you ignore Katniss' hunting scene, that similarity is definitely there. And the war. The big war between rivalling factions, or in The Hunger Games' case, districts. Since Divergent is in a series though, I don't really know about the outcome. I can't wait to see!

Now, to my more light-hearted ramblings. I loved Tris and Four's (Tobias) bittersweet relationship. It wasn't one of those non-realistic ones where the couple run to each other's arms after one week of knowing each other. There was one part, which struck me. I have no idea why, but I admired the fact that they weren't all smoochy-smoochy, touchy-touchy. See it for yourself:

He gives me a conflicted look and touches his lips to my forehead, right between my forehead. I close my eyes. I don't understand this, whatever it is. But I don't want to ruin it, so I say nothing. He doesn't move; he just stays there with his mouth pressed to my skin, and I stand there with my hands on his waist, for a long time.

Okay, well maybe it's not that anti-romantic, but still... this is after around a month of knowing each other (I think). In young adult fiction world, that's not too bad.

I really adored the idea of having factions based on values. Candor: honesty; Amity: kindness; Erudite: knowledge; Dauntless: bravery and last but not least, Abnegation: selflessness. And I've only just realised it, but all of the names of these factions are real words (except for Candor)! Since I sort of favour Amity, throughout the whole book I was waiting for a special mention of it to come up. But none came until Chapter Thirty-Six.

One more thing I must add. I never thought of Divergent as a novel that would make me cry. But it did. If you have read it, you will understand why I was grieving. But geez, I think there's too much loss near the end. It's too much for me to bear.

All in all, Veronica Roth has created a beautiful masterpiece. I am looking forward towards Insurgent.


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Sunday, 24 July 2011

In My Mailbox #2

This week, in my mailbox I have 'Accidents of Nature', or rather, in my shopping bag.

Its not a very well-known book, but if its good, I'll definitely be raving on about some time soon!

I'm in the middle of a full-blown spaz-attack, and I don't care. I don't care at all. At home I always try to act normal, and spaz-attacks definitely aren't normal. Here, people understand. They know a spaz-attack signals that I'm excited. They're excited too, so they squeal with me; some even spaz on purpose, if you can call that spazzing . . .



An unforgettable coming-of-age novel about what it's like to live with a physical disability
It's the summer of 1970. Seventeen-year-old Jean has cerebral palsy, but she's always believed she's just the same as everyone else. She's never really known another disabled person before she arrives at Camp Courage. As Jean joins a community unlike any she has ever imagined, she comes to question her old beliefs and look at the world in a new light. The camp session is only ten days long, but that may be all it takes to change a life forever.

Cover Crazy #2


3 Things I like about this cover:

• There is something with me and simple book covers! They're so beautiful in their simplistic way. I suppose that it's not very appealing to see a book blaring a billion fluoro colours at your face and a person here and a person there and...

• There is nothing more striking than colours. And awe-inspiring colours they are. The colour scheme is especially important, and in this case, the lilac and the orange have merged to create a palette of summer sunset shades. (It also helps that my favourite colour is purple.)

• The feet. Who ever finds feet attractive? Well, certainly not me. And it's not like these are Cinderella feet either. Just your normal, average trotters. But, looking at the pair of feet gives me a sense of dreaminess. It appears that the owner of these feet is pondering by herself, without a care in the world. Wouldn't that be nice?


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Saturday, 23 July 2011

Where She Went - my book review

Where She WentWhere She Went by Gayle Forman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Where She Went is in the same vein as its predecessor, If I Stay, but yet...there are some obvious differences between the two.



Let me begin from the beginning. Firstly, I didn't really like the first book in the series all that much. Many, many people have enthusiastically raved on and on about it, but I was just like: "Are we talking about the same book here?" Main reasons why I didn't enjoy it was: 1) It was so slow-paced, and involved next to nil amount of action, 2) Too many flash-backs!! 3) The concept of the story isn't all that amazing.



Now let's move back to the present. Where She Went is more adventurous. I like Adam's perspective more than Mia's. He is more skeptical, less guileless and oh-so straightforward. This novel actually does accompany nicely with If I Stay though... I didn't mention it before, but Gayle Forman is absolutely talented at character build-up. I know the main characters about as much as I know about my classmates (which is quite well...pretty good for a book,anyway).



Anyway, here it is 3 years later, but knowing the characters personalities helps us understand the novel more in-depth. There are also much less characters, which gives us more meat to focus on, and I like that. Mia is the same, and yes, Adam is pretty much a different person, but knowing his background information truly lets you know that his appearance and attitude on the outside is much harder than the his bittersweet core on the inside. Like a 'Starburst GummiBurst' (that's a lolly by the way, for those who don't know)!



Onto Adam Wilde and Mia Hall's rocky relationship... well, I can really only describe it in one way. 'To forgive and to forget'. I wasn't very pleased with the outcome of their love life. I mean, after all Mia did to Adam. He deserves better, doesn't he?? I guess in the end though, it's a happily-ever-after. And I was pleased with that. The ending was sweet and girly, but so was the 'tour' around New York. It was nice and it made me feel happy. In fact,

Where She Went could easily fit into a 'pick-me-up-when-I'm-sad' book.



It is utterly amazing how Gayle Forman can write about one whole day in a young adult novel. How? How? I'd like to know that secret. I don't know whether that 'amazing' is good or bad, but it is spectacular. For those who like Where She Went, the author did a good job on keeping their brains satisfied. Unfortunately, that formula did not work for me.



Finally, let me ask you... What really happened in this book? Can you tell me anything exciting that happened in it? Can you really identify something dramatic; something thrilling that happened in this book? Well, these are all rhetorical questions, as I can safely answer them myself. 'No.' I totally understand that this book is strictly romance and drama, and I've just gotta admit that they're not my type.


View all my reviews


Friday, 22 July 2011

WWW Wednesdays #1


What are you currently reading?

I'm halfway through 'Divergent', by Veronica Roth. It is unmistakably awesome.

What did you recently finish reading?
For my review of it, click here.

What do you think you'll read next?
'Pink' by Lili Wilkinson is next up on my to-read list. Can't wait!






Thursday, 21 July 2011

Follow Friday #2 (FEATURED!)

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Now, guess what? 'A Novella's Tale' is the featured blog for this week! I'd love to thank Rachel (Parajunkee's View) and Alison (Alison Can Read) for giving me this terrific opportunity to be featured. So, thank you! Also, if you've visited this blog, please leave a comment and a link to your blog URL below. I will follow you once you do :)


Let's get to the main point now...

Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?

The first author I would choose would be J.K. Rowling. Haha, I'm sure everyone expected that. But the reason why I'd love to talk to her would be because she's created a phenomenon book series. She's a fantastic example of rags to riches. What is her secret to being so successful? I'd like to know.












The second author would have to be Hans Christian Anderson. I absolutely LOVE his fairytales (and yes, I do believe that you're never too old for them!) and it's incredible that his stories have been passed from generation to generation, almost without getting a scratch or dent. By that, I mean that the stories we are told are pretty much the same as the ones our grandparents heard of when they were young.






Finally, I would love to have a chat with Anne Frank. I understand that she's not really an author, but I find her very inspirational. Barely any of us can relate to her, but yet, she is someone we could easily have a conversation with on the street. Thinking of her shifts my mood from depressed to hopeful. If she believed that she could survive the Holocaust, I can definitely get over my bad hair day.


Which three authors would YOU pick? I'm interested to know!!! 



Movie Adaptions



Have you noticed that there are quite a lot of young adult books going to be turned into movies? I think most of them will be released in 2012. Below is a list I've compiled of popular young adult novels being turned into movies. If I miss out on any, let me know!

1. Thirteen Reasons Why (by Jay Asher)
2. Uglies (by Scott Westerfeld)
3. The Hunger Games (by Suzanne Collins)
4. Before I Fall (by Lauren Oliver)
5. Delirium (by Lauren Oliver)
6. Wings (by Aprilynne Pike)
7. Heist Society (by Ally Carter)
8. The Host (by Stephanie Meyer)
9. If I Stay (by Gayle Forman)
10. The Caster Chronicles (by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl)
11. Wake (by Lisa McMann)
12. The Alchemyst (by Michael Scott)
13. City of Bones (by Cassandra Clare)
14. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (by Seth Grahame-Smith)
15. A Wrinkle in Time (by Madeline L'engle)
16. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (by Stephanie Meyer)

... and obviously there's more. But geez, that's A LOT of movie adaptions, don't you think?



Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Renamed!



Hey Guys,

The name of this blog has been changed to "A Novella's Tale". So if you were gonna type up the old URL, stop for a bit and try to remember that the name has been changed. Just in case you have forgotten, I will keep up the old website (which is pretty much blank now) to redirect you.

I'm really sorry if this causes any problems!!!



Forgotten - my book review

ForgottenForgotten by Cat Patrick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Forgotten is a different young adult novel. I wouldn't say it's unique, but it's certainly different.

London Lane is not a normal teenage girl. Or a normal person, for that matter. She can only 'remember' what will happen in the future. And this means that she cannot remember the past. By 4:33 AM, London's memory of the day before is completely wiped. The only way she can get through the next day is with her notes, her mother and her best friend. Then London meets Luke... the perfect guy that anybody she wants. But something is wrong. Why can't she see him in the future?

Earlier on, I had posted a status update on Forgotten declaring that I found the introduction of Luke too cheesy. For those that are thinking the same thing, don't make up your mind too quickly, as I can confirm that there is a reason for this!

The thing I loved about the book was it's plot. It's not usual you come across a girl who can remember her future, but not her past! And I loved Jamie, too. She is worth a special mention. Perhaps it was her boldness, or her compassion that lured me to become a fan of hers.

The downside of Forgotten is the ending. It wasn't very satisfying for me. The final chapters were sweet and all, but I wish we got to know more about Jonas, or even the romantic but bleak future of London and Luke. I suppose I'm one for endings that tie up all the loose ends. It's fine that this book doesn't have that; it's just that I'd prefer to know more!

Overall, Forgotten was an enjoyable read and I'll definitely keep an eye out for the rest of Cat Patrick's upcoming novels!



View all my reviews



Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Mockingjay - my book review

Mockingjay (Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Breathless. Hyperventilating. That's how I am after reading the book. Wow. I love Peeta. Oh my god.

I cannot express how amazing the ending was...The way Suzanne Collins used the words to describe Katniss's ever after is flawless. I am Infinity% sure that the ending was the best. Utterly breathtaking.

Summary
Katniss Everdeen was taken from the secret District 13 in the Quarter Quell, and was forced to stay under the district's president's rules. District 13 belongs to the 'rebels', who are revolting against the Capitol for leadership of Panem. But before they can do this, they must unite all 13 districts to defeat the Capitol, and more importantly, President Snow. Katniss chooses to fight, but she herself is confused whether she is really doing this for loyalty, or revenge.

Of course though, there are flaws with Mockingjay. If I do say so, I still prefer The Hunger Games out of the trilogy. However, Mockingjay still greatly impressed me.

Flaws:
1. I felt that Suzanne did not pay enough respect to those who died. Especially the main characters, who were not talked about much after their death. In this way, Katniss becomes awfully passive. She seems to have become a cold-hearted person. It is understandable though. Katniss has grown so much from that girl who was oblivious to the world (The Hunger Games) to a heroine who has fought on the warfront, following her own direction, doing what she thinks is right. I admire the way Suzanne has developed and defined all her characters in such a way that we could write at least a half-page profile on them.
2. Gale. Even though I am mostly definitely Team Peeta, shouldn't Gale reappear within the last two chapters? Really, he does play a pretty major part in the series, and yet he is not important enough to be mentioned in the grand finale. Surely he deserves a better resolution?
3. The book was rather slow moving at first. It was only when Peeta had appeared that the plot picked up. This is when the book starting giving me chills and thrills. I felt so heartbroken for Katniss (and Peeta as well) when he was rescued. The scene in the hospital (and Katniss's meeting/s with him later on) almost drove me to tears. However, I am ecstatic that everything turned out well in the end though.
4. According to myself, the ending was way too rushed, like Catching Fire. The climax happened in the last 1/6 of the book. Why? Well, I suppose by the end of this book, Katniss had been through enough already. Wars pass, time passes. It's all the same to Katniss, even though she has only left partly emotionally unscarred. It's good to know that her future husband is there with her always.

I am very impressed with how seamlessly Suzanne wrote in this novel, though. Katniss is hauled through so much psychological trauma in this book that it is almost impossible for her to work physically. But persistent Katniss gets through. Just.


Oh, and WOW for the last two lines. Wow. They moved me so much that I actually squealed (in a very girlish way). I swear that my pulse doubled.

You love me. Real, or not real?
Real.




View all my reviews



Before I Fall - my book review

Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Never before have I read such a thought-provoking and innovative story, with such an unusual plot. Before I go into details of this novel, Before I Fall, I’d like to point out that this is a story that truly gets you thinking after you turn over the final page.
This novel is about a senior student named Samantha Kingston, who is one of the most popular girls at her school. Her best friends are Lindsay, Ally and Elody. They are bitchy and vicious to other students who are lower class in the social ladder, like Juliet Sykes. They’re favourite things to do are mainly partying and getting drunk.
On February the 12th, Cupid’s Day, Sam attended a party... her last party. On that tragic night, she suffers a car crash that takes her life.
The next morning, she wakes up in her bed, unharmed and sober. To make matters more puzzling, she realises that it is once again Cupid’s Day. When she arrives at school, everything is the same as the day before.
Sam is desperately confused, so she tries to find her way out of the time loop. However, she finds no escape.
This book is written with such sincerity and meaning that it entranced me to keep on reading. At first Sam is a person that you could never pity, but by the end of the book, you see how caring she can be inside. It shows that the possibilities of everyday are endless.




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Follow Friday #1

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To this week's question:

Q: What do I do when I'm not reading?


A: LOL, a lot of stuff, actually! I watch TV, eat, sleep, finish off homework, hop onto the computer (that includes GoodReads and blogging) and generally muck around. Oh yes, and I go to school.



Top Ten Tuesday #1

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My Top Ten Books that every teen must read:

1. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
2. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
3. Divergent by Veronica Roth
4. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
5. Forgotten by Cat Patrick
6. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares
7. Uglies series by Scott Westerfield
8. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
9. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
10. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher



Monday, 18 July 2011

Cover Crazy #1

I've only just started Cover Crazy, so here is my first one...

3 things I like about this cover:

• The white background. It helps focus the observer's eyes to the main object of the cover. In this case, it is the title.

• That splash of colour, literally. Since there is such a plain backdrop, you have to rely on the colourful factors to make a good first impression.

• The cover suits the plot very well, as it's about a young boy who has only lived in one room for his whole life. Thus, the empty looking cover page.



Sunday, 17 July 2011

W.I.P



Aloha,

I am in a good mood, so I will be spending some time 'rejuvenating' Unrequited Desire. Cool, awesome, amazing, jaw-dropping, inspiring, fantastic features will be added throughout this week (enough said!). So sorry if things are a bit messy for the week, as it is a... Work In Progress!

So make sure you stay tuned!!!



In My Mailbox #1

Can you believe it that I've only known about meme's since... now? Uh-huh, and now I'm sorta in a meme frenzy ;)

So here's another one I'm taking part in:


Just a week ago, I ordered three young adult fiction books from The Book Depository (nomnom)! And I am ready to sink my teeth into them :B

I purchased:
&

&



OH MY GOD! I WANT TO READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ and so on and so on... I am reading Forgotten right now, but cannot wait until I get to the next two.

Best moment of my life? Close to it.

P.S.
Are those books good? Let me know :)

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - my book review

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I have to say, I did not expect The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time to be about Christopher's misadventure to find out his true past... but rather, who killed the dog, as suggested by the title.



Christopher Boone is autistic. Specifically, suffering from Asperger's Syndrome. He has odd obsessions with maths equations, signs, patterns and red. Needless to say though, this is not his fault.



I really enjoyed the way this novel was narrated. It's unique and makes you feel really connected with Christopher even though he has no emotions . I was surprised with the rather blunt revelation of Wellington's murderer, but as I mentioned before, that is certainly not the crux of the storyline. More comes, and it just keeps on getting better.



Other than that, I can't reveal very much about this book, other everything else about it will tumble out like a snowball. But I really love this book (as you can see with my 5 star rating), so have a go. You will be surprised!



P.S.

It probably only took me one hour to read this whole book altogether, so I promise that it won't take much time to read... even if you hate it.



View all my reviews

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Lovely Bones - my book review

The Lovely BonesThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The Lovely Bones is like the Bible. Not much feeling, but continuous descriptions chucked at your face. Once you think about it, you don't really know Susie feels towards being murdered. Any normal person would be bawling their eyes out, but here is Susie Salmon (like the fish), calm as a pond of ice.



The transition from gruesome to pleasant scenes can be shocking to the mind at times. You jump from Susie's explicative homicide to her illustrating the niceness of her heaven. Huh?



I was impressed with the descriptions of the characters, particularly of Abigail, also known as Ocean Eyes... The several strolls down the memory lane were enjoyable. They brought Susie's tale to life: her games with Lindsey, saving Buckley's life.



It's no wonder The Lovely Bones got transformed into a movie. It is utterly beautiful. But not quite my style. Still gratifying though.







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