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Hype, hype, it’s all about the hype!

Latest trends. What’s in. A mass of people all liking the same particular thing as exactly the same time. Creating a buzz about a product, a person, a thing and hyping it. Now, if you know me, you know I try to not go with the crowd. To be painfully honest, one could even go so far to say that I have many matching traits of a species of human known as, the ‘Hipster’. Ew.

However book hype is something even I participate in. The latest books that are getting mass love from reviewers and general avid readers most of the time honestly means the book is good. Taking out difference of opinion, there will always be people who think completely the opposite to the hype (but that’s brilliant). You also have to take into consideration the target audience this theoretical book was going for and whether because of the age and gender, the bigger the hype *cough* Twilight *cough*.

There is also  a deep and horrible downside to ‘the hyped book’. What if you’ve heard so many good things about a series, so much in fact you’ve created, in your mind, the expectations of a wonderful world lying, waiting in the pages, ready for your eager eyes to feast upon it’s story soul and dream away with the subtle but genius metaphors, drift off into an entanglement of descriptive sentences. You are so looking forward to reading this book that you physically brace yourself for flowing words that lift you off the page and into your own imagination of this beautiful world, the second you open the first page…BAM, nothing. Absolutely rubbish. The book utterly sucks.

Or does it?

Could it just be a good, enjoyable read but because of the build up, the expectations, the excitement of having this imaginary adventure, it’s been ruined before you’ve even brushed your fingertips over the cover.

You know exactly what I mean, don’t you. It’s happened to you, hasn’t it?

I call this, the deadly hype-inator illness. Just made that up…wasn’t very imaginative, sorry. 

*Update apparently it’s also known as THE HYPE MONSTER (which is a lot cooler than hype-inator)

The Mortal Instruments

An example of this and something I stumbled upon recently is the Cassandra Clare extravagansa. The Mortal Instruments series. I haven’t read it. I have however read The Infernal Devices trilogy (review coming shortly) and I personally really enjoyed it. I’m into the steampunk-esk and victorian clockwork stuff going on and thinking about it could be very likely I was lady of that era in a past life (I wish). However, I will not say ‘it is the best series ever, omg. You have to read it because it’s AMAZING.’ as honestly, it isn’t. It was a brilliant read, I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t blown away by the amazing writing. I just really liked the concept and got to know the characters and overall felt connected to the story. Which is what a good read should make you feel. Simple! Anyway, you should make your own mind up, go read them and see what you think…

(I did for a second have a bit of a panic, realising I’d read the series the wrong way round – The Infernal Devices first – but apparently it doesn’t matter so the flap is now over. Calm again. P.S I did get slightly emotional and cry…about what happened in the book, not that I’d read the series in a different order. I do have emotions. Just thought I’d throw that in.)

However, I don’t think I want to read The Mortal Instruments, even with the film on our doorstep. Going by my little sniff around on Twitter a few nights ago, it seems the whole series is a bit of a marmite, love it/hate it, situation (Despite the fact that Ms Clare is pretty much everywhere and all we see is craziness towards all things Shadowhunter). It really is a case of  hype-inator (wow, that is really bad) and I’d rather leave it, with my hopes up, than read it and get depressed and lose faith in humainty.

Prove me wrong guys, what are your views on all this?

Idea2

 

 

 

P.S Have a tortoise on a skateboard. c74572a4acc31133274cd25bee39cf82

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I’m back (kind of)!

Hello you lot!

It’s been a few years. Honestly didn’t realise how long it’s been and I’m very sorry for abandoning you all (the so many of you, ahem) but the usual school got in the way and recently (in the past two years) I’ve had a bit of a career change. By that I mean my life long dream has kind of emerged and become something I can actually do and achieve. Who wouldn’t go for their dream right?

So whilst that’s all kickstarting over on the other side of planet Zoë, books are still a massive part of my life. Upon realising this blog, as well as the book loving Zoë, had been placed on the back burner, there was a slight sadness and a definite ‘Oh I’ll get round to doing more of that later’. For the past few months I have been thinking it over, and having frequent conversations with the parentals about how much fun I did have whilst blogging here. It also came to my attention recently when I noticed there was still a small life of this book world simmering away. For example, I’m utterly surprised, despite my inactivity, you lovely lot are still commenting.  Which is one of the reasons I’m resurrecting this.

Yes. That’s right. After some deep thought. I’m coming back.

Well, I will be posting a little bit more than non at all… hopefully. It isn’t a definite but what I do know is that I’m always reading, am still capable and now have the time to allow for few reviews every now and again. In future, I’ll get back into the groove of things.

For now, it’s nice to be back. Hello!

Zoë

P.S You can now follow my blog with Bloglovin and everything

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Kindle Review

As a huge bookworm, I’ve wanted to buy myself a Kindle for years, but haven’t really gotten round to saving up enough (buying real books instead of saving, lol).

But thanks to Tesco I received the new Kindle 4, free, in the post a couple of weeks ago. First thoughts were how good the packaging was. It had no unnecessary plastic, just enough to protect the kindle, a little pouch for instructions and a built in compartment for the charger. I was also very happy that the packaging could be recycled, although I will be keeping it because it looks pretty good too.

There are few things that I really like about this kindle. The first thing you notice is how light it is.  The weight of a very thin paperback, you almost don’t notice holding it  and this allows you to become fully imersed in the book.  This Kindle is even lighter than my iPod Touch.  Although it’s virtually weightless, it’s still a quality bit of kit, nothing cheap about how it feels or performs.

Another thing I like is that the buttons are so easy to press. It would draw attention away from the book if you had to really press the buttons to turn the page. The buttons are placed at either sides so there isn’t any awkward swiping across the text or reaching on top.

The Kindle can also connect to the internet, which means that once you have finished a book you can Tweet or write a Facebook status with a quote from the book – pretty cool!  Additionally it also has a browser, but it is very fiddley to type using the keyboard because it’s all on screen (not touch screen) and you have to use the little arrows to go to one letter, then enter, find another letter, then enter and so it takes ages to type anything. I also found it difficult to find the browser in the first place, but after a while of searching I found it under Experimental > Launch Browser. Not very straight foward…

Buying books off Amazon is easy and really cheap. Connecting the kindle using the supplied USB cable (which also charges it) is simple and you’ll soon have tons of books all stored safely in the Kindle. It can apparently store an amazing 1 million books, newspapers and magazines so if you were going on holiday you could easily fit your entire home library in just a small corner of your suitcase.  The amazon site says it fits in your pocket, and yes it does, but I wouldn’t advise you to keep your kindle in there.

Lets talk a little about the screen. It is amazing! Almost like a real book (but smoother of course).  My dad says it’s like a very, very complex etch-a-scetch, which yes, it is. However, there is a down side to this otherwise fantastic screen, and it seems to be a problem for everyone who has a Kindle 4 – no backlight. Unlike the iPod Touch/iPad/iPhone, this version of the Kindle can’t be used in dimly lit or dark rooms, which I found very annoying because I like to read at night and my bedside light isn’t bright enough to see the words. Thankfully the new Kindle Fire has a backlight AND has a touch screen AND is in colour. But hey, people have been reading for years without light at night so what’s the problem!

But if it still is a problem and you don’t want to get the new kindle, you can purchase cases for the Kindle 4 with built-in lights, pretty awesome. On the upside, you can be reading in very bright light and still be able to see the words on the Kindle 4 – which is pretty difficult with an iPod Touch.

So all in all 8/10 for the Kindle. Fantastically cheap for a good quality e-reader and a lovely reading experience. Definitely recommended as a BRILLIANT Christmas present.

To see the full range of kindles available from Tesco’s, click here: http://direct.tesco.com/content/specials/kindle.aspx

 

 

 

 

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Just got a Kindle! Woo Hoo!

This is me with my new Kindle, seconds after taking it out of its box.

I’m busy figuring out how it works, but as soon as I do I’ll be posting up a review.

I am so very chuffed!

 

 

 

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Wigtown Book Festival Interviews – 24/9/11

Mum and me manage the Children’s Marquee at The Wigtown Book Festival and, while my Mum’s tidying up between events, I sneak off and interview the authors.

This is the first batch, which includes: Debi Gliori, Shoo Rayner, Maria Cairnie and Sarah McIntyre.

My first interview was with a Festival regular, the fabulous fiddler Debi Gliori:

The marvelous Shoo Rayner:

The amazingly energetic Maria Cairnie:


And Princess Pirate Sarah MacIntyre:

Enjoy!

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Wigtown Book Festival 2011

I am ever so lucky.

The town where I live, Wigtown, is quite small. It’s cute, but small. It’s got one main road with a general store (the Co-Op), a post office, a bank, a library, a couple of pubs and a few more little shops but, what starts to make this town special is the number of bookshops.

There are about twenty bookshops in and around Wigtown. Wow!

And, what makes it even more special is that Wigtown is known as Scotland’s Book Town and we hold a book festival every year. Every year dozens of authors come to give talks about their books. We’ve hosted some great people, you should check it out.

And it gets that little bit better…

There’s a marquee just for the children’s authors and I get to work there every year. This year I’ve been given the job of interviewing the authors after their event. I’m videoing them and I’m going to put them up here for you to see.

Post with the video’s will be up soon, so WATCH THIS SPACE!

Zoë x

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Marshmallow Skye is Launched

I’m extremely happy to say that Cathy Cassidy’s Marshmallow Skye has now been launched.

It’s the second in the Cathy’s Chocolate Box Girls series and if it’s anything like Cherry Crush then I can’t wait to read it.

I’ll be reading it very soon and putting a review up here, but if you’ve read it before me tell me what you think in the comments.

And if you’ve not got your copy yet then what are you waiting for? Get along to your local bookstore or go to Amazon now and get it!

Oh, and by the way, you can catch Cathy in person at The Wigtown Book Festival on Sunday 2nd October

 

 

 

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Check Out my Music Blog

As well as my love of books my other main passion is music. I love listening to music, such as Snow Patrol, Coldplay and well, loadsa different stuff, but I also like writing and singing my own songs too.

With a little help from my Dad I’ve got a new blog just for my own music and if you go visit it you can see some videos of me performing live.

I’d love to hear what you think so please check it out and maybe even subscribe to it too.

My Music Blog

Thanks.

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Marshmallow Skye; Sneak Preview!

BREAKING NEWS!

Cathy Cassidy’s new book cover for the next in ‘the Chocolate Box’ series is here:


The latest version (on the right)  is the final version of the cover.

Marshmallow Skye is out on the 1st of September, but you can be super organised and pre-order it now by clicking here!

So what do you guys think of this absolutely scrumptious cover? Tell me in comments 🙂

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Stuck for a Book?

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Ever finish a book and then can’t decided on what to read next? I certainly do, even when there is a huge pile of books sitting next to me, I don’t seem to be in the mood for any of them…

Well, I have your solution.

Whenever I need a fresh book to start on, I check out the other book blogs. This really helps me get some sort of idea of what I want to read next, even the exact book. So, to help you I have put together a post full of books my book blogging friends recommend to you.

Remember, if you ever need a new book to read, just check here and you might just find the book you are looking for!

Clover from Fluttering Butterflies recommends:

Wood Angel by Erin Bow.

Plain Kate lives in a time afraid of magic. She has a gift for carving ‘lucky’ wooden-charms. Known as Witch-Blade, her unusual gift attracts dangerous attention in a place where witches are burned. When her village falls on bad times, suspicion falls on Kate. Scared for her life, she seeks the help of a mysterious stranger. In exchange for her shadow, the stranger will assist her, but Kate becomes part of a terrifying plan, darker than she ever dreamed.

Read Clover’s review by clicking here.

Buy the Book by clicking here.

Kirsty from The Overflowing Library highly recommends:

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepety.

One night fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother and young brother are hauled from their home by Soviet guards, thrown into cattle cars and sent away. They are being deported to Siberia. An unimaginable and harrowing journey has begun. Lina doesn’t know if she’ll ever see her father or her friends again. But she refuses to give up hope. Lina hopes for her family. For her country. For her future. For love – first love, with the boy she barely knows but knows she does not want to lose . . .

Will hope keep Lina alive?

Set in 1941, Between Shades of Gray is an extraordinary and haunting story based on first-hand family accounts and memories from survivors.

Check out Kirsty’s blog by clicking here.

If you want to pre-order the book, click here.

Emma from ASAMUM BOOKTOPIA recommends:

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

(The eagerly-awaited sequel to Gayle Forman’s international best seller, ‘If I stay’)

If you had a second chance at first love . . . would you take it?

It’s been three years since Adam’s love saved Mia after the accident that annihilated life as she knew it . . . and three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future—and each other.

Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, powerful prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

Read Emma’s review on here blog by clicking here.

Sound interesting? Buy the book here.

Amber from The Mile Long Bookshelf recommends her fave book:

Sequins Stars and Spotlights by Sophia Bennett

Four girls have four dreams. Crow is on the way to becoming an international fashion designer. Jenny’s been discovered by a Broadway composer. Edie still wants to go to Harvard. Nonie … isn’t really sure, but knows it’s something fashion-related and wonderful. They’re growing up and on the brink of glittering careers. So why are their lives so complicated? Why does success demand sacrifices, and which ones are they willing to make? In this, the final book of the Threads trilogy, Nonie discovers that life is just beginning. The girls have choices to make. Who will wait for fame? Who will emerge an outright star? Who will fall in love? And who will turn her back on all her dreams? This time the answers are in New York. It’s a long way for Nonie to travel, especially with only one teeny-weeny wheelie bag. But for the sake of her friendships, Nonie will do whatever it takes.

Click here to read Amber’s blog.

If you’re interested buy the book here.

Kelsey from The Book Scout is loving:

Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott

Abby accepted that she can’t measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible.

Until the accident.

Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby’s life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it’s nothing compared to living without her.

She’s got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she’d never seen.

Abby is about to find out that truth isn’t always what you think it is, and that life holds more than she ever thought it could…

Check out Kelsey’s blog here.

To pre-order the book click here. (Out may)

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There you have it, Five brill books recommended by Five brill Book Bloggers. Thanks guys!

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