Monday, 28 February 2011

Music Mondays - Come Undone by Duran Duran



This week I would like to introduce you, if by some miracle you have not come across this song already, to the classic "Come Undone" by British Band Duran Duran. 


I was 11 years-old when "Come Undone" came out in the charts and it was such a big deal in Brazil - it certainly seemed to play non-stop on my favourite radio station - that I remember it to this day. And even though this song is old enough to have its own driving license, I think it is timeless and it could give any song currently on the charts a run for its money. What do you think? Enjoy!!



LYRICS...

Sunday, 27 February 2011

New Article over at Babi Dewet's {4}



Check my new article at Babi Dewet's Blog! It is my Portuguese review on her book "Sábado à Noite"  (Saturday Night). Just click on the link above to read the article in Portuguese or click here to read my review in English. They are slightly different, though. 

Enjoy!

Winner of Pittacus Lore's I'm Number Four & Melissa Marr's Desert Tales

I asked my daughter to pick the number of the winner. She picked 3!!!


And the copies of I'm Number for and Desert Tales go to....

*Loud drums*...

MARIA THERESA!!!!
.
Well done you!!!

Email me at: [email protected] with your address so I can send you the book! I hope you like it.



Maria, parabens!!! Me manda um email com o teu endereco para: [email protected] para que eu possa te mandar os livros.

Friday, 25 February 2011

The Mortal Instruments by Kara-Lija



As far as fanart goes, Kara-Lija is my ultimate favourite! It's not only the fact she portrays my favourite series, but it is how it is done. Kara seems to pick the most nail-biting moments of the book as inspiration for her drawings. I also love her mixture of sketching and Photopaint. And I am envious passed reason, as I cannot draw to save my life.


Here are my favourites, but if you want to see her drawings of Twilight, Bleach, Final Fantasy and many others just click here.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

What is your book Va Va Voom requirement?

I spent three days last month in a Creative Writing course in London and I am on my final deadline to deliver a short story for appraisal. While I try to write something my instructor will not want to set fire to, and baring in mind all the books I have reviewed, I have to wonder what gives a book the Va va Voom factor?


If I am honest, for me, there are quite a few boxes to tick; but there are four that are simply Va Va Voom basic requirements: 


1. The action has to kick in straight away. There is nothing worse than having to read till page 200 before it gets good.  


2. I have to feel I am on an emotional roller-coaster, because, you know... If I don't bite my nails, scream at the book, laugh and cry with it... It just isn't real.


3. Which brings me to three... At some level I have to think: "Yeah, this could happen". I am a big fan of fantasy books, especially YA, but I hate far-fetched fantasy. Something needs to make it believable. I have to think that in some bizarre way it could happen; there could be vampires lurking in the dark corners of my house or it could rain cats today. Of course! It is ALL perfectly plausible! 


4. Last, but not least... Romance... I am a girl after all! An old-fashioned one, come to think of it. There needs to be an interesting boy chasing an aloof and interesting girl. And there needs to be a moment they are about to kiss... And you hold your breath on the suspense... And then it doesn't happen. Because we all know the chase is the best part of the game. :-)


What about you? What are your Va Va Voom requirements? 

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Hollywood and the "English Language Remakes"

I love films almost as much as I love books. I love them even more when I get to see my favourite books portrayed well on the big screen, although, in my humble opinion, no movie has ever been better than the book it is based on; simply because there is a limit to what you can do in two hours. A book allows you to know the characters and the story into a lot more detail and depth than a movie ever could.

I'm no expert, but Hollywood finds inspiration for its films in all sort of things: real life stories, books, plays, one-off scripts and other movies. Yeah, you read it right. Hollywood has been remaking movies for years. Making new versions of original American movies and making "English Language remakes" from foreign ones. France is the big favourite with films such as Taxi, The Age of Reason, Unfaithful, LOL (still in post-production) and many others... All being remakes of French movies. And then you have the little hidden treasures like Sweden with films like Let Me In and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (currently being filmed) being copied.

Back home in Brazil, and I have to qualify because I also call England home, there is a big influx of American films. You can watch it with subtitles or voice-over and nobody really thinks much of the fact the film is an "import". It would work the same way for movies from any other country, although America is the primary source. The same happens in the UK. We showcase and screen a wide variety of American movies and, again, there is no alarm bells going off over the fact that, to us, they are foreign movies. It is, of course, largely to do with the fact America is the home of the current "Major Six" - the biggest movie studios and distributors - and was also the stage for the cinema Golden Age (1930s and 1940s). It is still where most films are currently produced, or should I say... banked, and it is, broadly speaking, from where motion pictures set off on its mission to world domination and became the cinemas we know today. 

But I am still curious... why is it that when another studio from another part of the world produces a gem instead of celebrating it, like we celebrate Hollywood movies, American studios feel the need to remake it? 

Well, there are many explanations for that. The most common is "the fact Americans are not keen on foreign movies and a good number of the them have never watched a movie with subtitles". That is why they are called "English Language remakes". Right... I am assuming that is precisely why they feel the need to also remake British movies like "Death at a Funeral". Some of the remakes, like Let Me In for example, copy the original's scenes on a shot per shot scale, so why don't they just voice-over it like they do with American movies in many other parts of the world? Well... That does not work over there either. "Foreign movies just do not attract the numbers and the amount of money involved in marketing and launching them makes the whole operation a high risk one". Film distributors are just not so keen in high risk projects when they have home-made jackpots in their reach. Who can blame them? The solution? To remake the movie completely. 

Surely it would cost more to produce, film and pay royalty to every: 1. actor, 2. director... 1000. camel, 1001. parrot that appears in a remake version, but apparently, it would generate more revenue than a foreign film. Right... Well... Then I can only assume that the remakes are better than the originals, right? Ah... No. Not right. I am yet to see a remake that is better than the original. Let's not get into THAT argument. 

And here is where I come around full circle. What is the point of remakes if they are not really cost effective, better or different from the Originals? Why can Hollywood just not resign to the fact that someone else somewhere else in the world also has talent and good ideas? 

If you want to read more about Hollywood remakes take a look at this articles:

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Win a copy of Pittacus Lore's I'm Number Four & Melissa Marr's Desert Tales

Over the weekend the blog reached its first milestone: It is a month old!

No, don't worry. I will NOT be celebrating every month. I am easily entertained, but I am not that sad!

Anyway... To say thank you for all the comments, feedback and follows, I have a little treat for you. Leave your feedback by clicking the comments link below this entry and at 12:00 Noon GMT on Saturday 26th February 11 I will be giving one lucky winner a copy of I'm Number Four by Pittacus Lore (check my review of this book by clicking here) and a copy of  Melissa Marr's graphic novel Wicked Lovely - Desert Tales.

I'm Number Four is releasing as a movie in UK cinemas on Wednesday 23rd February and Wicked Lovely is one of my favourite series, its latest book - Darkest Mercy - is being released in early March. So don't miss out!

Good luck!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Music Mondays - Cookie Jar by Jack Johnson



With hits such as Upside Down, Jack Johnson needs no introduction. I love his soothing voice and acoustic style and this is the latest song I discovered from him. I love the lyrics! Even though this song is not new and neither is its theme, it is very well written. This is also a big issue in today's society: we love to play the blame game, pointing the finger at something or someone else every time something bad happens. When we run out of places to point at, we blame God for allowing it to happen. The reality is that we are ALL to blame and we need to take responsibility for our actions. So here it's:


COOKIE JAR 
by Jack Johnson

I would turn on the TV but it's so embarrassing
To see all the other people I don't know what they mean
And it was magic at first when they spoke without sound
But now this world is gonna hurt you better turn that thing down
Turn it around


"It wasn't me", says the boy with the gun

"Sure I pulled the trigger but it needed to be done
Cause life's been killing me ever since it begun
You cant blame me cause I'm too young"



"You can't blame me sure the killer was my son

But I didn't teach him to pull the trigger of the gun
It's the killing on this TV screen
You cant blame me its those images he seen"



Well "You can't blame me", says the media man

Well "I wasn't the one who came up with the plan
I just point my camera at what the people want to see
Man it's a two way mirror and you cant blame me"



"You can't blame me", says the singer of the song

Or the maker of the movie which he based his life on
"It's only entertainment and as anyone can see
The smoke machines and makeup and you cant fool me"



It was you it was me it was every man

We've all got the blood on our hands
We only receive what we demand
And if we want hell then hell's what we'll have



And I would turn on the TV

But it's so embarrassing
To see all the other people
I don't even know what they mean
And it was magic at first
But let everyone down
And now this world is gonna hurt
You better turn it around
Turn it around

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Book Review - I'm Number Four by Pittacus Lore

With the movie coming out next week, I decided to read I'm Number Four by Pittacus Lore.


SYNOPSIS:
"Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real." (Goodreads)


REVIEW:
I loved the fact this book was action packed from the word go. There is nothing worse than having to read 200 pages before the story actually gets going and good; I can assure you this is not a problem here.With so much action, it is not really surprising this book has a strong male following and made it to the big screen. I also enjoyed how it makes you paranoid. I actually dreamed of aliens while reading it!!!


Is this an original idea? Hardly. But the characters are good and the plot is really interesting. It is also nice to read the story from a male point of view. However, I found myself drifting and wanting to jump pages. I thought, maybe, it was because I was so taken by the last book I read and still had the story on my mind, but then I came across Novel Novice's review in Goodreads and I could not agree more. Reading this book does feel more like reading a script than reading a prose and you do wonder if the book was based on the script rather than the other way around.


What was fundamentally off for me was the lack of emotions. I am one of those annoying people who likes to feel what happens in what I am reading as if it was happening to me. I like to laugh, cheer, cry, get angry and heart-broken with a story, and even though this book has moments where I should be able to do exactly that, it just did not happen. The way it is written is so straight forward and to the point that I didn't have time to feel upset or happy about anything.


If you are a fan a romance, you will also notice how quickly he gets his girl. We all know the best part of a relationship is the chase and in I'm Number Four he not only does not chase much, but Sarah, his love interest, is also the one that comes to him. And it also happens within the first quarter of the book.


In short, while it is a good plot and I am looking forward to seeing it on the big screen, I will not be reading it again. Having said that, I am curious to read the second book of this series: The Power of Six as there were a lot of questions left unanswered such as: why do the Mogadorians - the evil aliens - care if nine Lorics escaped? Why would they care if they went back to repopulate the planet as it sounds as though the Mogadorians themselves are no longer there and the planet is desolate? We will have to wait and see.


OUT OF CURIOSITY: Pittacus Lore is actually a pseudonym for co-authors Jobie Hughes and James Frey.



Book Rating: ***
To check the rating system click here.


For more information on the movie, visit its website by clicking here.

City of Fallen Angels' First Chapter

I know I promised I would piece together the first chapter from Cassie's City of Fallen Angel Chapter Hunt and you would be able to read it here. And I did, but I did not realise that I should not have posted it.

Sorry, guys! I should have checked properly. But don't worry! Cassandra Clare has posted the whole chapter on her website. To read it click here.

If you have not read the series yet, shame on you! City of Fallen Angels releases in April as the fourth book of The Mortal Instruments series. The first, City of Bones, is due to become a movie in 2012. I am about to burst with excitement as this is my favourite series and I can not wait for the release of this book. Meanwhile... I hope you enjoy this first chapter as much as I did.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Meet Twilight Saga Writer Stephenie Meyer

UK Publisher Atom has a great and fun give away to celebrate the launch of  "The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide". If you are a fan of the series, this is simply a MUST!

All you have to do is to make a video explaining why you should be one of the ten people chosen worldwide to meet and spend time with Twilight author Stephenie Meyer. But you must hurry! The deadline closes at 12:00 (Noon GMT) on February 22nd 2011.  You must also read carefully through the terms and conditions and follow the rules to the letter. For further details please click here.


                                       Good luck!!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Interview - iPad and the Changes to eBooks

I caught up with the C.E.O. of YUDU Media - Richard Stephenson to discuss the impending rule changes Apple is planning to implement to the way you buy your ebooks at the App Store.


So how would this affect iPad users? Hopefully not at all. You will still be able to buy books as Apps or in Apps, as long as payments go through the App store. The publishers, not the readers, are the ones feeling the pinch. For example, currently, when you click on your Kindle App to buy an ebook you are redirected to the Kindle store on Amazon. After Apple starts reinforcing this particular rule, all the ebooks for iPads have to be purchased through the App Store, which will make it easier for the reader, but means Apple gets a cut of all the sales. The other issues publishers face once the changes take place  are: 1. the subscriptions - Apple currently does not hold a subscription system, where you could, for example, sign to read a newspaper or magazine for a limited amount of time -  and 2. data capture - with all the sales going through the App Store all the data from those sales stays with Apple and not with the publisher.

So where does YUDU Media come in? They have created an App that will make publishers' lives easier and enhance the readers experience. To find out more about it watch my interview with Richard by clicking here and to find out more about YUDU Media Illustrated Book Solutions click here.
For more information click here to read an article over a Macworld.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Out & About - The Grand @ Clitheroe

Clitheroe is a little market town in the middle of the idyllic Ribble Valley in rural Lancashire. Like the rest of the Valley, it is full of gorgeous little shops and restaurants. However, you do need to know where you are going in order to find them. As with many rural neighbourhoods, some of its treasures are well hidden and, like a treasure, unless someone tells you where to go you will not find them easily. I will get around to more of these little gems in other posts so keep tuned.

Today, however, I want to introduce you to The Grand @ Clitheroe: the only purpose built media and arts center within the Valley. Offering a Cafe, Internet Access, Conference Facilities, a Recording Studio and a wealth of events including music, dance and drama performances as well as a rich repertoire of activities and classes for all ages, The Grand is, without doubt, the place to be.

I know I work there, but I am not bias. They do have everything! Are you into a particular type of music? No problem. Dance classes for children and adults including tea dances? You bet. Drama school for children and family friendly events? Check. Gorgeous food and a lovely corner to catch up with friends for a coffee? Absolutely. Are you part of a band and want to record a CD or need a space to rehearse? Check. Are you at school or college and looking for work experience or internship in the creative industry? Tick. In need of a space for a Business meetings or conference? Again, not a problem. Want to sing in a choir? It is covered. Want to worship at a Gospel event? They have those too. Baring in mind Clitheroe is only a small town, I honestly do not think it gets any better! This venue can give any similar sized venue in Manchester, the nearest City, a run for its money. Not to mention the Skate Park and the lovely team of staff, including me. ^_^

Now I AM being a little biased!

The Grand is a standalone charity who's aim is to create, inspire, educate and elevate the local community and surrounding areas. It is an amazing project which started with one family wanting to make a difference. For those of us who sometimes think "I'm just one person, I cannot change anything." I can honestly say: The Grand is proof that one person can make a lot of difference if her or his heart is seriously set in changing something. This is one of the main reasons why I joined this amazing team.
If you are in Clitheroe... You now know where to go for high quality entertainment and while you are at it don't forget to say hello!

For more information on The Grand's events and facilities please visit: http://www.thegrandvenue.co.uk/
For more information on Family Friendly events visit: http://www.thegrandvenue.co.uk/family


Ambient: *****
Prices: £££
Food: ****
Children: Yes
To check the rating system click here.


The Grand @ Clitheroe 
York Street, Clitheroe, Lancashire
Tel: 01200 421 599

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

New Article over at Babi Dewet's {3}

Check my new article for Babi Dewet talking about the continuation of my favourite sagas and trilogies and the new books they have coming out this year.  Just click on the link above to read the article in Portuguese.

I hope you enjoy!

Out & About - Cicchetti

Continuing on my Manchester tour... While you are out in Manchester I highly recommend you try the "newest joint" Sao Carlo's Cicchetti.

Cicchetti is a Italian Tapas restaurant located within House of Fraser just off Deansgate and across the road from its big brother Sao Carlo's. The idea here is to order a few little portions of different things to share.

I love this restaurant! It's modern, chic and tasteful. The food is amazing and so are the prices, which to my surprise were not too expensive. This is a fantastic place for drinks or eating and it serves food until 11pm. Being an Italian restaurant, they are also child friendly. The only think to bare in mind is that this is Tapas. So the food will not necessary come in the order you ordered it, but when it is ready, so in drips and drops.


Ambient: *****
Price: ££££
Food: *****
Children: Yes
To check the rating system click here.

Sao Carlos Cicchetti
King Street West, Manchester
Tel: 0161 834 6226

Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!! My Top Three Couples in Books

Since it's Valentine's Day I decided to get a little romantic and talk about my favourite "book couples" and all the moments that made me squeak in anticipation even though they were not actually happening to me. I felt as if they did, though. Yeah, you know these... When the hairs on your arms stand up, your eyes become wide open, your mouth opens, your breathing accelerates and you heart pounds... And the characters you have been following for the entire book finally, and I say it again, f.i.n.a.l.l.y. get it together. Thank God! The tension was killing you! Yep. Those. Here are my top three...


1. Jace & Clary - City of Ashes
*at this stage they are avoiding each other, but Clary is stuck in the Seelie Court and the Fairy Queen tells them that to set her free she must receive the kiss she desires the most*

   "That's right" It was Jace. Clary saw him, at the blurred edge of her vision, as he moved toward her and put a hand on her shoulder, turning her to face him. "It's just a kiss," he said, and though his tone was hash, his hands were inexplicably gentle. She let him turn her, looked up at him. His eyes were very dark, perhaps because it was so dim down here in the (Seelie) Court, perhaps because of something else. She could see her reflection in each of his dilated pupils, a tiny image of herself inside his eyes. He said, "You can close your eyes and think of England, if you like"
   "I've never been to England," she said, but she shut her eyelids. She could feel the dark heaviness of her clothes, cold and itchy against her skin, and the cloying sweet air of the cave, colder yet, and the weight of Jace's hands on her shoulders, the only thing that were warm. And then he kissed her.
   She felt the brush of his lips, light at first, and her own opened automatically beneath the pressure. Almost against her will she felt herself go fluid and pliant, stretching upward to twine her arms around his neck the way that sunflower twists toward light. His arms slid around her, his hands knotting in her hair, and the kiss stopped being gentle and became fierce, all in a single moment like tinder flaring into a blaze..."

2. Seth & Ash - Wicked Lovely

   "She turned away, quickly, squeezing the bottle and squirting honey on the counter. "I didn't mean anything. Too much flirting lately, and that call, and... I know you probably have a dozen girls you could call. I'm just tired and..."
   "Hey." His hand was on her shoulder, trying to turn her to face him. "There's no one to call or anything else. Just you. No one for the last seven months."
   He tugged gently on her shoulder again. "There's no one but you in my life."
   She turned, and they stood there. She stared at his shirt; there was a button missing. She clutched the bottle of honey until he pulled it out of her grasp and sat it down.
   Then he kissed her.
   She stretched up on her tiptoes, tilted her head, trying to get even closer. Seth slid a hand around her waist and kissed her like she was the air and he was suffocating. And she forgot about everything; there were no fairies, no Sight, nothing - just them.
   He lifted her on to the counter where she'd sat and talked to him countless times. But this time her hands were in his hair, wrapping her fingers in it, pulling him closer."

3. Sam & Grace - Shiver

   "... "Why are you so careful with me, Sam Roth?"
   I tried to tell her the truth. "I - it's - I'm not an animal."
   "I'm not afraid of you." she said
   She didn't look afraid of me. She looked beautiful, moonlit, tempting, smelling of peppermint and soap and skin. I'd spent eleven years watching the rest of the pack become animals, pushing down my instincts, controlling myself, fighting to stay human, fighting to do the right thing.
   As if reading my thoughts, she said, "Can you tell me it's only the wolf in you that wants to kiss me?"
   All of me wanted to kiss her hard enough to make me disappear. I braced my arms on either side of her head, the door giving out a creak as I leaned against it, and I pressed my mouth against hers. She kissed me back, lips hot, tongue flicking against my teeth, hands still behind her, body still pressed against the door. Everything in me buzzed, electric, wanting to close the few centimetres of space in between us.
   She kissed me harder, breath huffing into my mouth, and bit my lower lip. Oh, hell, that was amazing. I growled before I could stop myself, but before I could even think to feel embarrassed, Grace had pulled her hands out from behind her and looped them around my neck, pulling me to her.
   "That was so sexy" she said, voice uneven. "I didn't think you could get any sexier."
   I kissed her again before she could say anything else, backing into the room with her, a tangle of arms in the moonlight. Her fingers hooked into the back of my jeans, thumbs brushing my hip bones, pulling me even closer to her.
   "Oh, God, Grace," I gasped, "You - you greatly overestimate my self-control."
   "I'm not looking for self-control."

So there you have it... The three book moments that make me blush! What are your top three?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

City of Fallen Angels' First Chapter

Starting tomorrow, February 14th as a week long Valentine's Day gift, everyday this week Cassandra Clare will be posting a part of the first chapter of City of Fallen Angels on a different website. It's what they are calling the COFA Shadowhunt. By the end of the week we will have the entire chapter! Here is the list of websites where the pieces will be, but don't worry! I'll be piecing it together here too as I am a huge fan of this series and cannot wait for the book's release on April 5th. What a treat!

Monday - Mundie Moms
Tuesday - Wondrous Reads
Wednesday - Novel Novice
Thursday - Naughty Book Kitties
Friday - Story Siren

Saturday, 12 February 2011

In The Mail {3} - I'm Number Four by Pittacus Lore


Yesterday I received my copy of  I'm Number Four. *jumps up and down with contentment*  I have been crazy to read this book before the movie hits the cinemas on February 23rd. I am also looking forward to seeing Alex Pettyfer's performance as he is the fan's favourite to play the lead male character on the movie version of my favourite book: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.

Super Mamika


Photographer Sacha Goldberger's was worried his 91 years old Hungarian-born grandmother, Frederika, was getting bored and depressed so... He dressed her up in latex and photographed her as a superhero for his new project. Super Mamika was born and she became a massive Internet hit with over 2000 MySpace followers. Frederika was also a hero in her own life; during WWII, when Hungary was invaded and together with her husband, she helped 11 Jewish friends to shelter from the Nazis. For more information on Super Mamika read the Telegraph article here or visit Sacha Goldberger's website here.

I thought this was amazing and it just comes to show that there is no age limit on having fun! Before I go, just a little note: Mamika means Little Grandmother in Hungarian.

Go Super Mamika, Go!!!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Twilight by Anastasia Mantihora

Ukrainian artist Anastasia Mantihora has created parts of Twilight and most of Breaking Dawn in drawing. It might have to do with the fact I can not draw to save my life and completely envy people talented in that way, but I though it was nice work. If you're a Twilight fan, check it out by clicking here. As far as I go, it is just interesting to see it in picture when the movie is not out yet. What do you think?

I also like this little Lego image I found of it. Terribly cute!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Book Review - "Sabado a Noite" by Babi Dewet

This week I had the pleasure of reading "Sabado a Noite" (Saturday Nights) by Brazilian author Babi Dewet.

SYNOPSIS:
Written in Portuguese and set within an International and High Class Brazilian College in what I am guessing is Rio, as this is where Babi lives, this book follows the story of Amanda & Daniel, as well as their friends, through one of their last years of high school. Amanda has it all: rich, beautiful and surrounded by equally posh and beautiful friends, she's at the top of the food chain. But she falls in love with trouble-maker Daniel and to make matters worse one of her best friends likes him too. Not to mention the mysterious band of masked boys that plays at the school's Saturday Club Nights and seems to know too much about her.

REVIEW:
I have to admit I'm skeptical of any book that is set within a high school. But I read the first chapter over at Babi Dewet's website and thought it was interesting. She then sent me the book - autographed and dedicated (thanks!). For those of you who know I'm a guest writer at Babi's blog... Don't you worry. If I didn't like her book I would say it anyway. I'm famous for being brutally honest so I wouldn't want to ruin my reputation now, would I?

Let me put it this way... On the first two days I read 60 pages, but on the third day... I couldn't put the book down and ended up finishing it at 5am. I laughed, cried, got mad at the characters and then reminisced about my own high school years and all the little dramas and misunderstandings that seemed so life threatening. (I know. I was a real drama queen!)

The point of view changes in between the characters and the narrator. The plot is well developed and the only little inconsistency is the character's parents who just float on the background, but are not really there. Per example, Daniel's father suffers a serious accident, which I guess influences his final decision, but it's only mentioned twice and you're not sure if his parents live abroad or are just abroad on business or have to stay longer because of the accident. But these are very small details and by this time you are so engrossed on the story you don't really care to question. Apart from that, every time something happened and I questioned it, the answer came on next sentence.

The emotions are raw and you can't help but bite your nails. To top it off the characters are just charming. Well... apart from Amanda, which I wanted to slap and tell to "smell the blinking coffee", but she always seems to find a way to redeem herself. This book takes you on a trip and there are moments that are so funny... I had a lot of people stare at me like I was going crazy. Yes... Laughing your head off  and then almost crying, for no apparent reason, did not go well in public. I think they though I was psychotic! In the comfort of my own home and save from every one's eyes, however, I cried like a baby as the story reached its climax and fell towards an end.

I'm seriously hoping Babi is thinking about writing a sequel to this as I simply need to know what happens next. The end was too much of a cliff hanger and so I'm still biting my nails. Babi, you are just gonna have to take me out of my misery girl friend!

Highly recommend it to anyone that can read Portuguese or to any English publishing company wanting something funny and full of emotion to add to its portfolio.


Book Rating: *****
To check the rating system click here.

Out & About - Manchester

Manchester is one of my favourite cities. It has all the buzz of London without the hassle. The "Capital of the North" is also known for its music and football teams. And there is a little bit of everything for everyone.

You'll find High Street heaven inside The Triangle and The Arndale Center. Is not just that they are full of  your High Street favourites, but also some of the biggest stores of these shops. The choice factor is second to none and you will find a lot of items you will struggle to get in the smaller stores.

If you're a Designer Lover head to King Street, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Spinningfields amongst many others. Here you'll come across any well known label covering from clothing to accessories.

For Bargain Hunters, Manchester offers a huge variety of markets and vintage shops. Beer, French, Christmas, Jewelery, Food Market - you name it, they'll have it! And don't forget Afflecks Palace full of independent, unique and quirky labels as well as vintage stores.

For Night Owls... Manchester has one of the biggest clubbing scenes and is one of the largest Student Cities in Europe. For an easy pick head to The Printworks or search for more specific music genre. Sankeys and The Circle Nightclubs as well as footballers' hang out Panacea are the favourites.

If you're staying over you could pick from big and well known hotel brands to boutique and quaint little spots.

Read my reviews of individual places to visit here, including restaurants, bars and beauty centers.

It's all happening in Manchester. :-)

Friday, 4 February 2011

Upcoming Movie - Red Riding Hood


One movie I'm looking forward to watching this year is "Red Riding Hood" (2011) which releases in the UK in April. With the main role filled by Mamma Mia! star Amanda Seyfried, directed by Catherine Hardwicke and produced by Leonardo De Caprio this movie is sure to be an attention grabber. More than anything I just want to see the fairytale coming to life in an adult way, since most movie producers tend to tone down the dark side of them in order to present them to children. Who said only the little ones want to watch them?


Catherine Hardwicke made her name by directing the first instalment of the Twilight saga. It generated a lot of controversy with fans of the books but, for what was then a low budget movie, I think she did well. I really enjoy how she sets the mood with colours and Red Riding Hood seems to be following the same pattern. What I like the most about Twilight in particular is the soundtrack and its mixture of classical and rock music. Whatever you say about Hardwicke, that girl does know how to pick a good song and for Red Riding Hood she has brought in Fever Ray. I'm most definitely looking forward to hearing the song they have written as a soundtrack for this flick.

For a taste of Fever Ray's sound try this:

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

In the Mail {2} - Sabado a Noite by Babi Dewet





Today I received a copy of "Sabado A Noite" (Saturday Night) by the lovely Babi Dewet's. I'm sooo excited! Babi was kind enough to include book markers and autograph the book.




I love the cover and the promo material. Everything else I was reading is now on hold until I read this baby. This book is on Portuguese so if you can read it, get it!!!! You can buy it at: http://www.babidewet.com/san/comprar

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Winner of the Matched Treat

And the copy of Matched goes to....

*Loud drums*...


OLIVIA YACOUB!!!!
.
Well done you!!!

Email me at: [email protected] with your address so I can send you the book! I hope you like it.

Book Review - The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

For her first novel, I think Yovanoff has done a great job.

SYNOPSIS:
The cover is lovely, even though I prefer the American version - I'm not sure about the Justin Bieber hairdo on the British one. Moving on... The plot is very interesting: in the little town of Gentry human babies are being replaced by some other creature's offspring and Mackie, a 17 years-old boy, is one of the replacements. They usually die young, not quite adapting to the human world, but against the odds he survives through to his teens. Far from being a good thing, this only means he has to face up to what he is when all he wants to do is to just fit in. As a matter of fact, if he's to survive any longer he has to. To make matters worse, Tate's sister has being taken and he's the only one that can help her before it's too late.

REVIEW:
Writen from Mackie's point of view, not a girl's, this was a nice change from the latest books I've read and, for me, Yovanoff managed to pull off the workings of a male mind. There is nothing worse than a female writer pretending to be a bloke that acts like a girl, unless that it's intentional of course. The characters are well developed and the plot is enticing. The story is actually so engrossing that although Yovanoff doesn't really explain anything in detail (is he a fairy, is he a demon, is he an alien?) you don't really care. All you want to know is if he and Tate will get it together and if he'll manage to rescue her sister. Tate is also far from being the damsel in distress. Or... you could call her that if your idea of a damsel is a kick arse lady: "Instead, she smiled... The smile that said, I have fun when I break stuff... He didn't know that the surest way to piss her off was to draw blood."  If Mackie is part of the fey folk, Yovanoff introduces faeries from an angle I've never heard before. This book can also be quite gory at times, so walk away slowly if you don't like bloody scenes.


All in one The Replacement is an easy, mysterious, action packed good read. I really enjoyed it, would recommend it and read it again.


Book Rating: ****
To check the rating system click here.