Friday, 31 May 2013

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!
The sun is almost out (it's trying!) and it's starting to feel abit more summer like (dare I speak too soon) and one of the things I absolutely love about the summer season is all the festivals, but specifically literature festivals!
What could be better than a summer festival, in the sun all about books, reading and writing?

At the moment, so much of my twitter feed is full of publishers, authors and readers talking about Hay Festival and I'm gutted that I couldn't make it this year (although I am determined to go next year) so I thought I'd do a little post around the festivals.

Hay on Wye Festival is obviously the biggest fest of the year in the book community. Everyone gets together in the town of books to talk about all things literature. This year they've had some really great YA line ups (which makes me even more sad I couldn't make it!). Some of the biggest YA events included Malorie Blackman doing a YA Q&A with Melvin Burgess; Patrick Ness talks about the appeal of YA and a sneak peak at his new book and Sally Gardner and Nick Lake discussing whether YA needs happy endings.

I think the whole festival has such a great atmosphere and you know that you are surrounded by people just like you who love reading, writing and books in general! What I also love about Hay, is as well as the festival you have a town that is full of bookshops and fully embrace the festival spirit:

Here are some of my favourite tweets from across the week:
@CastleJohnF I love @hayfestival. You can ask a stranger what they’re reading and they don’t look at you like you’re an alien!
@discojunk  I once met Ian McEwan at the #hayfestival I was pregnant and he signed ‘child in time’ to unborn baby, love that book
@gazpachodragon I’m so very in love with #hayfestival. It’s like another world. A cleverer, quainter, more hopeful world.
You can read more on their blog here!

Bath Festival is another big hit for the reading folk, taking place each year run by The Independant and has a range of both literary discussion events and those to cater for the younger audiences.
I think one of the highlights for this year was definiely J K Rowling talking about her transition from Harry Potter to the Casual Vacancy.

If you missed it, watch the interview here! or read the Independant article about here.

Stokey Newington Festival is next week and they have a great eclectic range of events on their programme for this year - almost worth bunking off work for?
They've got a talk on the rising state of Independant publishing, everything you need to know about Doctor Who (okay, so that's not strictly YA but it's still worth mentioning!) and a 'Literary Death Match' where a selection of writers compete against eachother with their tales and fight to the death (metaphorically, I hope!) - now if that isn't something new and exciting, I don't know what is!

Are there any festival or book events that you've been to this year, or would like to go to?

I was thinking about what it would be like to have a YA specific festival, getting together loads of YA authors - big names as well as small ones to talk about all things Young Adult. I think it would make for some interesting events, don't you think? Especially with the rise of New Adult as well as the massive community of bloggers, there could be lots of opportunity for discussions and Q&As. What do you think? Who would you have at this kind of festival if you could?

Have a great weekend!

Emily x

Friday, 24 May 2013

We dare you to read Dare You To!

The wait for the amazing 'Dare You To' is nearly over!
It is going to be the hottest book of the summer, here are some things you need to know to get up to speed:

  • This is Katie's second book, following the story of Beth from the amazing 'Pushing the Limits'.
  • Beth and Ryan, both in the same senior year at school, are complete polar opposites of each other, in fact there's definite hate between them to start with. Will opposites attract?
  • There have been loads of 'good girl meets bad boy and falls in love' storylines in YA, but this is a case of 'bad girl meets good boy'.
  • Katie had the jock boyfriend in her life after swearing she'd never date a jock, just like Beth and Ryan.
  • Beth and Ryan have some dark, deep family secrets, maybe even darker than Echo and Noah's, but can they open up to each other and work them out?
  • Katie had initial struggles with Beth & Isaiah's relationship and making them fall in love when starting to write Dare You To. (Read why here)
  • A dare is a dare and Ryan is determined he never loses, not even when it comes to the complicated Beth Risk.
  • In Dare You To you find out the full story behind why Beth lives with her Aunt and Isaiah.
  • Noah and Echo make a cameo appearance in DareYou To.
  • Katie loves glitter gel pens - especially the pink and purple ones!
  • Katie's next book Crash Into You tells Isaiah's story (YES!) and it's out in December.
  • Mira Ink editor Anna stayed on the bus three extra stops to finish Dare You To!
  • Katie has also written an e-novella, Crossing the Line, featuring a taster of Lila, Echo's best friend, and her love story with Lincoln (which is free on Kindle right now!)

Want to know more? Read the book and find out -
We dare you to.

You can order it here!
Still want more?

Click here to enter Mira Ink's Dare You To facebook competition to win a Kindle Fire!!
What more could you want? (except your very own Ryan)

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Your very own book-film adaptation...

Today's the day! I don't know about you but I've been waiting for this day for a long time to come. It is the (UK) release of the new The Great Gatsby film!

Is anyone as excited about it as I am? Plans to go see it?
If it's anything like Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet I'm expecting it to be fantastic! I think it has that perfect combination of an absolute classic storyline, a great director and a fantastic A list cast! Although I have a slight soft spot for Leonardo Di Caprio's acting and Carey Mulligan looks like she will carry the role of Daisy amazingly - I think Isla Fisher stands out for me as the character of Myrtle in all the posters.
I really hope it lives up to my expectations and becomes the film of the year!

The problem is, and I'm sure some if not a lot of you may agree, when you have such a great, strong book, it can almost always fall short when it is made into a film. I enjoy the films mostly but I can't help but sit there and think 'the book wasn't like that' or 'the book did this better'and I'll always always favour reading the book over watching the film. I do admit though, as of late there have been some pretty good film adaptations, would you agree? The Hunger Games serves as a great example. Although it wasn't quite what I imagined the character of Peeta to be, I thought the film as a whole was really quite true to the book and Jennifer Lawrence was really good. I'm looking forward to the next one!

So it got me thinking - if you could have any book, especially any YA book, made into a film which would you pick? And who would you cast as your characters? Everyone always has their own interpretations of what the characters would be/look like so who would be perfect to play yours?

Friday, 10 May 2013

Team Human or Team Vampire?

The Eternity Cure has officially been out for a week now!
Have you read it yet? If not, why not?

Following on from my post last week, I'm still buzzing from reading it. I was following the North American blog tour this week and their theme was 'Humans vs. Vampires' and I thought why not extend that over here too.

Ultimately the question is -
Would you rather be a human with Zeke or a vampire with Allie and Kanin?

For those who have yet to read the book yet, here's a quick rundown...

Out here in the Fringes, there is only one rule: Blood calls to blood.
She has done the unthinkable: died so she might continue to live.
Now Allie, the reluctant teenage vampire who was cast out of Eden, and Zeke, the human boy who loves her, must attempt to save the world from a deadly new strain of plague. In order to do so, they must first hunt down the monster who holds the promise of the cure and Allie s beloved mentor in his sadistic grip....
Joined by Allie s blood brother, Jackal, this unlikely posse of companions will brave a landscape stalked by raiders, rabids, and rogue vampires. But even if they survive, they re bound for the Inner city, and a vicious showdown that will test their bonds in ways they never expected.
It may just be that becoming undead was the easy part. Confronting the horrors of Allie s awakening hunger, her growing feelings for Zeke, and the uncertainties of their future is going to be the ultimate challenge.

First off what would you do in Allie's situation? If you were on death's door would you give up and die or would you allow yourself to be turned into a vampire and live as an undead, blood-sucking monster?

It's a tough choice and I know when reading it, my first instinct was that I would become a vampire, easily, but actually Allie's journey shows you how it's not as easy as just being immortal.

The pros to being a vampire are that, not only are you immortal and practically indestructible, but in a vampire-dominated world you (potentially) have more power and a better life than humans. You don't have to worry too much about being attacked by rabids or other vampires (provided you're strong enough to fight them if you need to!).

But like in Allie's case, she can never quite develop the same relationships she had when she was human - humans now see her as a monster and it is only Zeke and his kind nature that sees she is different from that. She is expected to view every human as a food source not a friend. By becoming a vampire she has given up everything and everyone she knew and loved in the human world and has had to start again.

But then again, Humans still have that emotional connection and ability for personal relationships that vampires lack. You can't blame them for seeing vampires as blood-sucking monsters. If Allie wasn't a vampire she would be able to be with Zeke and live in Eden, no problem at all. She also wouldn't have to attack/kill humans to feed.

I think it is the fragility of the human life that is ultimately stopping me from picking team human - in Allie's world, humans are so vulnerable - they have to spend their lives on guard from rabids, vampires and other human attacks, travelling through the day time can be almost as dangerous as being out at night. It is a never ending battle to stay alive and I feel like I'd rather get it over and done with and become a vampire!
But then, I love Zeke and his world - I would be human in order to live his way of life and it pained me whenever him and Allie were separated!

It's a very tough choice - what would your choice be? Team human or team vampire? Zeke or Kanin?
I'm still not convinced ultimately either way but I'd be interested in your choices - it may even sway mine!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Happy Publication Day to 'The Eternity Cure'

The day has finally arrived - it is the publication day of 'The Eternity Cure'!
This is Julie Kagawa's second in the Blood of Eden series, out today, following on from 'The Immortal Rules' and continues the story of new vampire Allie in her journey to save the human and vampire race from the deadly, infectious virus which is turning everyone rabid and wiping them out.

This is most definitely NOT just another vampire story. Following on from our discussion last week about sci-f, this series creates an amazing distopian world, on the brink of collapse, mixed with the paranormal. I loved 'The Immortal Rules' (after initial slight resistence to another vampire book, boy was I wrong!) but I think 'The Eternity Cure' was even better! Is that even possible you may ask? Give it a read and see what you think yourself.

I think it pulls together Allie's relationship with those around her - Kanin, Jackal and Zeke but also she really finds her place in the vampire world and it couldn't be more action-packed, heart-wrenching and gripping if it tried! Don't believe me? Try it out and let me know what you thought.

As it is such a special day (essentially a birthday for Julie Kagawa and 'The Eternity Cure') Julie has kindly shared with us her top 5 quotes from the book:

1. Allison:  "I was a monster who killed and preyed on human life; I could never escape that, but at least I could choose what kind of lives I took."
Julie: I chose this quote because it is intrinsic to the series and shows Allie's eternal struggle with the monster within.
2. Zeke: "Only death will take me away from you, vampire girl.  And even then, I'll watch over you from wherever I end up."
Julie: This quote shows something essential that I love about Zeke—he never loses hope, and his unshakable faith in Allison is what drives her to be better, to not lose herself to the monster.
3. Jackal: "Now we're going to save a bunch of dirty meatsacks from a bunch of dirty cannibals? Why don't we rescue some orphaned kittens and put food out for stray puppies while we're at it?"
Julie: I do love creating complex characters! This quote shows that Jackal has embraced his inner demon, but you can't help but wonder if there is still some good in him, buried deep.
4. Kanin: "Maybe it has been long enough.  Maybe...I've atoned for my sins by now.  Surely by now I can be forgiven."
Julie: Kanin is a hard character to know, but this quote shows insight into his weary soul. Kanin's regret is a constant weight bearing him down, making him hopeful and resigned all at once.
5. Sarren: "Perhaps I will pluck out both your eyes, then remove all your teeth, and make a necklace from them.  Or perhaps a wind chime.  I do love wind chimes, don't you, little bird?"
Julie: Some characters take over and scare me. It’s always…interesting channeling Sarren and his particular brand of craziness.

Are any of these your favourite, too? Or do you have any more to add to the list?
Or maybe some of your favourite points from 'The Immortal Rules'?
Share the Blood of Eden love in the comments below!

Intrigued to read on? You can buy The Eternity Cure here, you won't regret it!

Happy reading!


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

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Hello there! Casey from Dark Readers
So today I am here to do a guest post to celebrate The Eternity Cure, the sequel to Julie Kagawa's epic novel The Immortal Rules. I do this "Looks On Books" post on my website a lot because I like to combine my two favourite things make-up and books. So I am going to do an awesome make-up look for you guys based on the Eternity Cure book cover and story in general.

The Eternity Cure Book Cover 
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Things you will need for the look:
1. A pair of cool eyelashes
2. Purple eye shadow
3. Thick black eyeliner (pencil and liquid)
4. Glitter eyeshadow
5. Silver lipstick or lipgloss
6. Eye shadow brush
7. Blending brush
8. Vampire fangs
9. Black eyeshadow
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1. Put some foundation on your face, Maybe use one thats a bit lighter than your skin tone so you can look a little bit pale and vampire like.
2. Get an eye shadow brush and your purple eyeshadow and start brushing it on your eyelids.
3. Get your black eyeshadow and from where your purple eyeshadow ends start to blend the black up over your brow bone and onto your forehead.
 4. Grab your eye liner and above your eyebrow draw a sort of wing effect like the one in the picture on the right and fill it in with your thick black eyeliner and eyeshadow.
5. Put some eyeliner under your eyes and then blend down your cheek with a blending brush. The effect is as if your have been crying.
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6. Once that is all done grab your liquid liner and start to draw a sort of lightning effect down your check from your water line.
7.Then get some silver lipstick or lip gloss, place that on your lips and then add purple eyeshadow to your lips. I found this had a better shiny and grundge effect than just using a normal purple lipstick but you can! 
8. Then get your eyelashes glue them onto your eyes. Get your vampire fangs and place them into your mouth and there you have it!

Here are some more pictures of the look and then some added other easier looks you could try.
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I Hope you guys liked the make-up look and thanks to Mira for letting me guest post on their blog!
Make sure you guys read "The Immortal Rules" by Julie Kagawa and then read the sequel "The Eternity Cure" which comes out May 3rd this year, because they are EPIC!


Casey @DarkReaders