Thursday, March 31, 2011

March, lookin' back

I was looking through a few of my notes about books and.... *sad face* I didn't get too much reading done this month! Which is disappointing considering I had spring break (in which I had some sort of movie-watching overload) but however, I still think this month has been amazing *happy face*. I feel so lucky.


this is March in Review at holes In My brain.

Book Reviews (8)

Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams

Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard

Nothing by Janne Teller

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

The Lover's Dictionary
by David Levithan


Thoughts

Overall, it was definitely a nice reading month. A few incredible reads, a few disappointing ones, but hey, you can't have everything!

Book of the Month

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar (9.2/10)! Because it was just so full of emotion and surfing and amazing writing and Australian-ness. And it's so much deeper and haunting than I can really describe, just leaves you breathless. Can't thank Linds enough for letting me read it and review it.

Honourable Mentions
The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan - so freaking beautiful. David Levithan's use of words is indescribable, loved it (read in February, reviewed in March)
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard- with a setting of Washokey and a character like Mandarin, this one has been buzzing around my head since I finished it, it's definitely a unique, overlooked read.


Also this month, I... (oh, such a long, awesome list)
*
THIS JUST IN: I was interviewed over at Pass the Chiclets, Eden is a new (but super-sweet) blogger, go pay her a visit and stalk me some more xD
*
Uhm... won $500 thanks to YOU GUYS?! You guys voted for me in this contest and I came in second.. guys... I'm speechless. Thank you. Again.
*
Featured a guest post from author Karen Metcalf
*
Started a Petition Against CAPTCHA (sign it! seriously.)
*
Posted about the importance of first pages in books
*
Swoony boy quotes, Part 2!
*
Got a new header :) You guys were a bit split on whether you liked it or not, but I'll keep it around for a few months before changing it again (oh, I'm flaky like that)
*
Posted about the Hunger Games casting news!
*
My thoughts on the cover of The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
*
Movie thoughts for Unstoppable
*


Parting Thoughts

I think it's been a pretty fabulous month. The only real-life crisis I'm having is anxiety about graduating so soon, because boy, did March fly by (as will the rest of the school year). Blog-wise, I think I had a pretty good month, I just wish I read more books. I got a few books I'm psyched to read as well, so I'm sure there'll be more reviews soon. I'm stoked for April though, because...

Looking Ahead
Interview with Gayle Forman!! I wanted this to be a surprise but hey, lots of exciting news lately. Also, the release of Where She Went (in 5 days, zomg!) which is a book I LOVED so go preorder it!
Of course, how can I forget, there will be a very hectic "movies In My brain" movie week (April 10-16) here on my blog. Stay tuned for guest posts, movie reviews, and lots of lists. One week in which movies take over books... :O I hope you enjoy it, I think it'll be lots of fun this year =)



**
So how was your March? And I'd love it if you'd check out a few of the links... they're there for a reason ;) If you've got any month-in-review posts, feel free to leave a link and I'll drop by!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

reasons to be Happy #89

My lovely blog readers, I have exciting news! Like exciting and happiness-inducing and a ton of good news as well... And I don't really know how to convey a more excited face than a LOLcat.


So remember last week when I posted a few times asking you to vote for me in Sandra Brannan's teen writer contest? Well, the results are in!! I came in second, and won $500!!!!! *happy dances and dances and dances*

See the results here!! The super lovely Lauren of 365 Days of Reading came in first so a huge congrats for her :)

And of course, I knew I had to write a post thanking you guys (like seriously, I can't do it enough) but no way I would half-arse it in my deluded 3AM stressed mindset this morning. Nah, you guys deserve a full-arse effort, so apologies if this post is a tad late...

So.. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. To everyone who voted and emailed and tweeted and just being so supportive and nice, you guys are too awesome. Like too awesome that the awesome bin of YA blogging is overflowing because of you. I could have never done this without you. Please picture me sobbing out of gratitude, because that's honestly how I feel.

And like I had stated, all of the money will go towards paying for university. So thanks guys, you made my path a bit easier :)

Lastly, I can't end this without thanking my amazing friend Yahong, she helped me edit my entry and pointed out which parts worked and didn't work, girl, you should be a beta reader or something. Thank you again. And guys, check out her blog, and Pass the Chiclets as well! She's a new blogger (so pay her a visit, will ya? =D) and I think she's definitely gonna fit in well in the blogosphere.

Aaaah, I just want to hug you all. *sends out a virtual hug and high five*. I love you guys!







PS- #89 has no significance
PPS- I've also had good bookish luck this week... we we we so excited! xD Just had to share the excitement :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BR: Sea

by Heidi R. Kling

I’ve been dying to read this book since summer, and after ages of waiting, the library finally got it in and I was first in line!

Summary (goodreads)

Still haunted by nightmares of her mother's death, fifteen-year-old Sienna Jones reluctantly travels to Indonesia with her father's relief team to help tsunami orphans with their post traumatic stress disorder—something Sienna knows a lot about. Since her mother's plane went missing over the Indian Ocean three years before, Sienna doesn't do anything if it involves the ocean or planes, so this trip is a big step forward.

But the last thing she expects is to fall for Deni, a brooding Indonesian boy who lives at the orphanage, and just so happens to be HOT. When Deni hears a rumor that his father may be alive, Sienna doesn't think twice about running away with him to the epicenter of the disaster. Unfortunately, what they find there could break both their hearts.

**
My Expectations: extraordinarily high, I totally expected mind-blowing
Delivery: *sad face* I was disappointed
Put-down-ability: the story definitely picked up over the second half, 5/10
**

My Thoughts

I feel kind of terrible that I didn’t love this book. After all the praises surrounding it, I fully expected a story that will move me to tears but honestly, I was very underwhelmed by Sea.

The thing I absolutely adored was the setting. I feel Kling created this rush of power when she transported the novel to the disaster-torn Indonesia after the tsunami of 2004. The descriptions about the beaches, the orphanage, the customs, it was all done very well and definitely created a great atmosphere. I could feel the humidity and the sweat on my skin— definitely a good point.

At the heart of the novel is Sienna, a 15 year old girl still grieving her mother, but in this new environment has the potential for extreme personal growth. I feel that looking completely objectively, Kling did manage to convey this development but come on, I’m not an objective reader (who is?). I could never connect at an emotional level with Sienna and there a lot of times I wanted to throw something out of annoyance.
  • Eye-rolling commenced from the insta-connection with Deni. Oh, please.
  • Then, their various (somewhat cute) escapades... just wasn’t feeling it, dawg (ala Randy Jackson).
  • Continued with the how-can-I-live-without-you spiel. *sigh*

Eye-rolling finally ended with the last 30 pages or so pages, I actually really liked the ending. I prefer spoiler-free reviews so I won’t say exactly why I enjoyed it so much, I just think it was, yeah, perfectly done.

I feel shallow wanting to discuss the boys in this novel, but whatever. Spider: I think through the majority of the book I couldn’t really see the point in even including him, but alas, questions are answered. Deni: I never warmed to him, never swooned for him, and never felt the insta-connection he had with Sienna. It felt like more lust than love, partly because it felt like the only thing drawing the two characters together was Sienna’s blonde hair (mentioned far too many times).

I just wanted to mention I really liked reading about the various things that the relief team did at the orphanage (like the art therapy). I wish there could have been more exploration about the children’s development and the PTSD, I was very interested in that aspect.

Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: fans of YA contemporary
Acknowledgements: excellent, 5/5

7/10 – because it disappointed me. Despite some great potential and a fantastic setting, I felt the basic character relationships never rung true. Sienna was hard to sympathize with, and I also she focused less on hormones and Deni Deni Deni. I really loved reading about the kids and the work that Team Hope was doing there, and I think Sea is a great novel that brings awareness to important causes.







source: library
author twitter / livejournal / facebook
see: rating system


PS~ if you've gotten a spam email from me, see this post, sorry! :s
Also, I've turned on Anonymous commenting after a few requests for non-registered readers, but if it gets out of hand I'll have to turn it off b/c I'm too lazy for comment moderation

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Email was Hacked (sorry!!!)

Hey everyone,

Bad news-- my email was hacked and some random message with a subject line along the lines of "on shipping #" was sent to ALL of my contacts.

I'm SO SORRY if you received one of these emails from "me", I'm going to email all of you again with apologies. Please ignore the message and know that the spam email was NOT FROM ME. I hate to be crowding your inboxes with ridiculous, useless stuff. I'm so sorry for any inconvenience, I'm doing my best to fix everything (like meticulously changing ALL my passwords, haha) D:

I hope you understand, and I'm sorry again!

Thank you,

Audrey

Movie Thoughts: Unstoppable

Kay, this is like a sneak peak of "movies In My brain" I realized I have too many movie reviews saved up, I mean, I don't want to swamp you guys that week! Oh, and that week will be very Oscar-friendly, you'll see what I mean xD


I think since Star Trek, I've been a Chris Pine fan. Scratch that, I KNOW I am ;) so I wanted to see this movie for awhile. Anyways, while this movie has a slightly 'simple' storyline it still looked pretty good, despite my skepticism. Unstoppable is basically about an unmanned train with tons of toxic and chemical cargo going at over 70 miles per hour. After failed attempts to stop it, two people (Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, sorry, I apparently don't know character names) must stop it before something tragic happens and thousands of people are killed.

This one is easy, Unstoppable is awesome! It's surprisingly thrilling and kept my heart pounding throughout. What it lacks in complexity it makes up in intensity and acting, I thought the acting was superb and the urgency was definitely prominent. The aerial views, train blowing past, and view from the tracks camera shots do become slightly overdone but you can't really blame them, what else could they do? There is some sentimental moments amidst the high-stakes rollercoaster, but luckily it's not very sappy.

My mom watched this before me and she found the beginning boring and generally didn't like it as much as I did, so I guess it's not for everyone. However, if you are looking for an entertaining, action-without-bang-bang-guns then this is for sure the movie for you :)

Popcorn review: A thrilling, heartpounding flick with excellent acting and will keep you at the edge of your seat wondering if two likable regular guys can pull of the nearly-impossible.

8.5/10

Sunday, March 27, 2011

BR: Miles from Ordinary

by Carol Lynch Williams

I read The Chosen One a few summers ago (one of the first books I bought via book blog recommendation) and it had this distinctive tone to it. So when Miles of Ordinary came out, I had a feeling it would be equally awesome.
Summary (goodreads)

Thirteen-year-old Lacey wakes to a beautiful summer morning excited to begin her new job at the library, just as her mother is supposed to start work at the grocery store. Lacey hopes that her mother's ghosts have finally been laid to rest; after all, she seems so much better these days, and they really do need the money. But as the hours tick by and memories come flooding back, a day full of hope spins terrifyingly out of control....

**
My Expectations: mid-level, I had enjoyed The Chosen One but didn’t love it.
Delivery
: it was pretty good
Put-down-ability
: 5/10
**

My Thoughts


If there was an author who could write a voice and emotions of a young teen as well as Carol Lynch Williams, I will be surprised. Lacey, the fourteen year old protagonist, has such a sweet and unique tone that drew me into her story and into her dark world. The writing is extremely impressive, and set the mood and atmosphere well, along with moving along a plot that seems to have been stretched out.

Miles from Ordinary
takes place in a single day, and I think this adds originality to the novel. There could have been a lot of times when an idea of this goes south, when it drags and drags, but Lynch keeps a tight leash on most of the story. Through this small time frame, readers still get various flashbacks of Lacey to learn her history and better understand her relationships. I enjoyed this aspect of it and thought it done in a clean, relevant manner.

I loved Lacey as the narrator, mostly because she was such a sweet, caring kid towards her mother. The amount of responsibility she has versus the freedom she longs for (such as crushing on boys) was nicely contrasted. Also, her delight at the library and with books in general made me smile :) Her character growth in one day is phenomenal, and it’s the small bits and pieces that help her reach the final revelation.

Despite strong writing and characters, I never really fell in love with the plot. I felt that while kind of adorable, the events with Aaron were extremely unrealistic (mainly due to the one-day timeline) and during the end of the book, the book started to get a bit… wacky. I will say the mannequin part scared the heck out of me ;)

While I think the ending gets odd, I will say I really enjoyed the way the story started escalating half-way through and doesn’t really slow down. As things get tenser and random things occur, the novel gets better and kept me hooked.

Rating in HP Terms
: Acceptable
Recommended for:
I think most YA fans might like this, tbh :)

7.9/10
– because while I adored the writing and the well-portrayed narrator, I wished the plot could have been more engaging at the beginning. The way Williams created the complicated character of Lacey, through small quirks and reactions made her come alive—which I loved. Overall, I think this relatively short novel can be both heartbreaking and uplifting, and is made for a memorable read.








source: publisher
author website

March Mayhem Giveaway Hop

Hey! So DemonLover's Books asked me to sign up for her hop (her blog is on the Mature side, you've been warned) and I thought I'd help her out :) Plus, I thought it'd be fun to do something for you guys!



Prize: $10 to the Book Depository! :)

Rules
-Ends March 31
-Open Internationally!
-fill out the form below

My twitter: @pinkcreamsoda (I was obviously not thinking when I didn't include it on the form..)



Alright, that's it! I'll be hosting another contest in a few days, so stay tuned :) For now, have a great week everybody! You can visit the rest of the blogs participating:



Saturday, March 26, 2011

Another Cover (4) ; the pledge

Kate from Ghosts of the Still emailed me the other day asking me to do one of these 'Another Cover' posts, then I realized I haven't done one all of March. She was even kind enough to send me a few links to covers and I knew right away which one I would do.

This cover has been floating around for a few weeks (it's on TONS of Waiting on Wednesdays!) and was revealed on the author's blog early March.

Title: The Pledge
Author: Kimberly Derting
Genre: Dystopian!


Summary
Words are the most dangerous weapon of all.

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

**

My Thoughts

Initially: "Is that a paranormal novel?"

Stop and Stare: You bet! I think it might be the material-ish style of the girl's hood, but something about that pattern makes me do a double-take.

Image: 'Girl looking pretty' beats 'sad girl in a pretty dress', I think. Apart from (like I mentioned) the fishnet-style hood material, the image is a tad generic for me. Also, it doesn't feel dystopian enough, it immediately brings to mind paranormal tbh.

Font: Simple, I like it! I do wish the placement was a bit better (perhaps near the bottom, where it is more clear), and the title just a tad larger though. The detailing on the "P" is hard to see (for the font in white). For the "Pledge" kind of faded in the background, I really like the understated style of it!

Colours: I'm love the starkness of the black, and the contrast it makes with the girls pale skin. The way the larger, faded "pledge" in the background kind of blends in at the beginning, then pops when you notice it is a really nice effect.

HP Rating: Exceeds Expectations

Will I Read? Yep, based on the fact that I enjoyed Derting's other works, the summary sounds great, and the cover looks awesome too!

**

So what do you think? Would you read this based on the cover alone? :)







this book on Goodreads
author blog / twitter


The Pledge is released Nov. 15, 2011 from Simon & Schuster

Friday, March 25, 2011

last call: This girl needs HELP. (not in that way!)

Hey, it's the last day to vote for me in Sandra Brannan's contest. Voting ends tonight, 11:50 PM. You've got 12 hours! Details below, and here's my entry =)

Hello there! I’m Audrey. I’m a 17 year old teenage girl bottled up as a plethora of emotions, labelled simply as: “teen; includes: fears, dreams, hopes, and other fanciful things.” I swear I’m stable. No, seriously!

So I should probably mention, I’ll be gallivanting across the country to attend university in September. Scary how soon that is, eh? But in this typhoon of uncertainty, here’s what I’m sure about: I want to learn more, do more, see more, discover more, and expand my view on the world.

I’ll attempt an analogy: let’s say I am a young adult novel. I have plot, character, personality, prose, and emotion; I have chapter titles and page numbers and blank pages waiting to be filled. I have a cover page and acknowledgements… but I’m still a WIP. I still require editing from an educational institute known as “university” before I can go out and find an agent (commonly called “tackling the adult world”).

However, university is expensive and unfortunately, I’m not made of money (or trust me, my bookshelf would be much larger). There’s no way I will get through four-plus years with my cheque-book (or sanity) intact. Sandra’s donation means so much to me because like the cliché goes: “every journey begins with a single step.” Except in my journey, this money will act as an escalator, one decorated with ribbons, balloons, and YA literature— because it would be made of awesome.


Sandra Brannan couldn't fund a blogger to BBC, but she's donating money to the teen writers and I'm a finalist :) The placings are determined by votes; First place with the most votes gets $1000, second gets $500 and third place gets $230.

All the money I receive will go to my education, not to buying cheesecake.

***
To vote, email your vote (my name? yes?) to info@jkscommunications.com * and if you have a blog, please include a link because you get bonus points. Also, if you attended the Book Blogger Convention last year, please include a link to the roster, it also gets bonus points. Just something like this:

I'm voting for Audrey (holes in my brain book blog) in Sandra Brannan's contest!
-your blog link if you have one
-(optional) whether you attended Book Blogger Con + proof
***

Lastly, I'd like to take this time to thank everyone who has voted already and have left the nicest comments, it seriously gets me all glow-y. I knew you guys were the awesomest people ever. Ever.
Thank you. So, so much.







*JKS Communications is a literary publicity firm, not some spam email account :)

pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease *cough*I thought I was above begging, apparently not*cough*


~And lastly, I thought there can always be more Andrew Garfield swooning so I'll include the same analogy I did before :p
Imagine there is a celebrity (probably male, preferably handsome smoking hot). You get to meet him (for the sake of this analogy, this celeb is Andrew Garfield) and he takes a few pictures with you and gives you his autograph. It takes him 30 seconds. It means the world to you.
YOU are my Andrew Garfield.

Friday's Finest (37)

Friday's Finest is a meme hosted by Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts. It's Justine's 18th birthday today, go wish her a super big HAPPY BIRTHDAY! =D

Rules:
~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.
**

This week’s pick was actually quite simple. I knew which book I was going to use, in fact, I had taken to actually underlining (don’t worry, with a pencil!) phrases and quotes that I adored. More on “drawing in books” later :p But just know it was a personal copy. Anyways, this quote stuck out to me, because it felt that in the whirlwind of what was going on, this single part rang true.

Book: Like Mandarin
by Kirsten Hubbard

Quote

We could liberate a million trophies. We could fill every river to the brim. But it would never fully substitute for liberating ourselves.

**

I felt this quote stood out to me because in many ways, Grace is an extremely relatable narrator, based on how impressionable she is. But in this sense and during her explosive friendship with Mandarin, the more they rebelled and the more they fought against the small-town scene, the more this quote just felt right.

Also, I decided my Tumblr would be much more book-quote related, if you’re interested. Plus some pretty pictures ;)







this book on Goodreads
my review of Like Mandarin
author website / blog / twitter

Thursday, March 24, 2011

BR: Like Mandarin

by Kirsten Hubbard

Like Mandarin. Where do I start? How about from the time I saw the cover and read the summary ages (like I mean ages) ago and put it on my wishlist? I’m surprised this book hasn’t gotten more buzz, it sure as heck deserves it. Anyways, a huge thank you to Kari at A Good Addiction, where I won this book in a contest :)

Summary (goodreads):

It's hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it's not her mother's pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin. When they're united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town's animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their Badlands town. Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin's unique beauty hides a girl who's troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal.

**
My Expectations: This has been on my wishlist for a long time, but I felt this time, the somewhat mellow hype didn’t get me to skyrocket my expectations. Heard great things though.
Delivery: Oh, I got chills. Just amazing.
Put-down-ability: A bit hard for me to start it, 4/10
**

My Thoughts

This book is… full. It’s hard to describe, it just feels like it’s brimming over with essence and energy from the moment you’re whipped into the story by the winds in Washokey. It feels almost surreal to be so caught up in a complexly simple storyline; Like Mandarin is explosive and impulsive like a shout of laughter, yet reins it all in within a dustbowl of brilliance. This book is damn good.

With a rather simple and somewhat predictable plot, I had to wonder if Hubbard could pull it off. I already knew some of the main events, I could tell where the story was headed… but this is not a story about the ending. It is one about the journey and Hubbard created one that was worthy of Narnie Schroeder*.

Kirsten Hubbard’s writing is impeccable; she manages to create people and places with disturbing ease and elegance, her gritty setting of Washokey is pitch-perfect and intensely atmospheric. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and stand-out fictional locations in my recent memory. Let me say, it was not hard to find beauty in the badlands! The dialogue flowed smoothly and the adept descriptions of anything and everything enriched the novel greatly.

However at the crux of this novel, it’s the characters that count and this is where Hubbard truly shone. Mandarin Remey, who is somewhat a supporting character on Grace’s journey of self-discovery, stole the show for me. Magnetic and alluring, it isn’t a surprise how Grace, who longs to escape from her confined life, is drawn to Mandarin’s naturally enigmatic beauty. The two characters are both half-lost, half-searching, which brings them together. There are flaws in their friendship, but this is what makes it work. Grace’s almost obsessive desire to be like Mandarin— to encompass her actions, looks and even her speech patterns— was the driving force of the novel.

This has a ripple effect on Grace’s equally fascinating relationship with her family, whether it was the sisterly affection with Taffeta or the stand-offish one with her mother. I believe it was through the juxtaposition of her family and Mandarin that was Grace ultimately capable of finding true beauty and discover herself. Lessons are learned the hard way as Grace will realize that even the most coveted friendships aren’t always meant to be. Also, very, very refreshing to find a book void of romance. You don't even notice it...yay.

There's so many things I still want to touch on and compliment, but I need to wrap this up... how about you just read it and find out?

Rating in HP Terms: Hellz yeah, Outstanding!
Esp. Recommended for: YA contemporary fans, I think you guys will seriously appreciate this.
Acknowledgements: 3/5

9/10 – because this is a breathtaking contemporary debut with a ton of soul. While I wish there could've been a bit more to Grace, I think Mandarin Remey is one of the most memorable characters of 2011 for me, and I think at the end of the year, it won’t be the flashy dystopian novel that resonates with me the most; it would be a book like this. “A beautifully crafted, bittersweet story about an unlikely friendship that sets two very different people free.” –Melina Marchetta; I couldn’t have said it any better.









*please tell me someone got the Jellicoe Road reference :)

source: contest
author website / blog / twitter

PS~ 2 days left to vote, super gorgeous please with cheesecake topping? =)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

do You Like movies??

Hey everyone!

So some of you guys might remember last year in April, I had this event called "movies In My brain" where I posted a lot of movie-related stuff on my blog. Well, I'm doing it again this year, and hopefully it will be even better :) I'm a huge fan of movies and you've probably seen a few of my "Movie Thoughts", this will be a 7-day affair where movies will take over books!




Anyways, I know I'm not the only one who enjoys movies sometimes despite the fact that my life is filled with books. So for this year's "movies In My brain", I'd love YOUR help!


I'd love for my readers to participate, whether it is writing their own posts on their blogs and linking up, or writing a guest post for my blog. Or just reading, commenting, and being cool in general. I'm not the world's most organized planner, but I'll do my best to try and not have an overwhelming amount of posts (so spots are limited!)



If you'd like to contribute and write a guest post about Movies for my blog, feel free to leave a comment with your email, DM me, or email me directly: holesinmybrain@hotmail.com



The event "movies In My brain" has been set from April 10-16! So if you don't want to post on my blog but you'd still like to take the time to maybe write a piece, you can post it on your blog in that time frame and link up on an (to be made) event page, kind of like this.

So yes, that's it! This isn't the formal introduction post, it's just one looking to see if any of you will be interested in guest posting! Let me know! =D If you've got any ideas for this event, shoot me an email, I'd love to hear from you.







PS~ 3 Days left to vote!!! Pretty please? =)

Waiting on Wednesday

hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
**

PEOPLE! This is an exciting post!!! I'm featuring one of the to-be-sickest-and-most-awesomest books of 2011.... DUN DUN DUNNNNN...

A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness (!)
based on the finaly idea of the late Siobhan Dowd

Summary

The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming... The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

**
Patrick Ness is a writing GOD, I would read anything he writes. And if you haven't read his Chaos Walking trilogy, you are seriously missing out. I'm sure like his trilogy, A Monster Calls will mess with your mind, which is freaking awesome :)

Okay, I can honestly barely contain my excitement!! Aghh!!! Put this on your wishlist people!!

A Monster Calls is released May 2, 2011 by Candlewick (in the UK) and September in North America







this book on Goodreads!
author website

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

BR: Nothing

by Janne Teller
translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken

I will admit, the one and only reason I read this book was because it was a Printz honour, and I'm doing this little personal challenge where I read all 5 of them.

Summary (goodreads):

Nothing is the Lord of the Flies for the 21st century Pierre Anthon left school the day he found out that it was not worth doing anything as nothing mattered anyhow. The rest of us stayed behind. And even though the teachers carefully cleared up after Pierre Anthon in the class room as well as in our heads, a bit of Pierre Anthon remained within us. Perhaps this is why things later happened the way they did ...

Thus begins the story of Pierre Anthon, a thirteen year old boy, who leaves school to sit in a plum tree and train for becoming part of nothing. "Everything begins just in order to end. The moment you were born you began to die, and that goes for everything else as well." Pierre Anthon shouts and continues: "The whole thing is just one immense play which is about pretending and about being best at exactly that."

Scared at the prospects that Pierre Anthon throws at them together with the ripening plums, his seventh grade class mates set out on a desperate quest for the meaning of life. This involves a closed saw mill, green sandals, a yellow bicycle, a pair of boxing gloves, the Danish flag, the hamster Oscarlittle, a Jesus statue stolen from the church, little Ingrid’s crutches, six blue ponytails, a prayer rug, the coffin with Elise’s little brother, the head of the dog Cindarella, fame and a meaning found and lost and ..

**
My Expectations: Not too high, I wasn't really sure what to expect to be honest.
Delivery: I'm impressed, though I have this.. queasy feeling after finishing.
Put-down-ability: slow start, 6/10
**

Nothing matters.
I have known that for a long time.
So nothing is worth doing.
I just realized that.

My Thoughts

Nothing’s pemise is simple enough. Pierre Anthon mocks his classmates (13-14 year olds) about the meaningless of life, of how everything is nothing, and how nothing matters. Of course, the children set out to prove him wrong, to prove that they can build a pile of meaningful things. This is just the beginning…

This book is weird. It’s excellent in a twisted sort of manner because it mashes innate human emotions and philosophical ponderings to deliver a shocking and ultimately, enthralling read.

The beginning was slow for me, and didn’t really pick up until maybe a third of the way through when the stakes began to rise. From then on as my jaw dropped over and over again (not a metaphor) this novel escalates to the finish line (with my eyes glued to the page). I was definitely reminded of Lord of the Flies, but in contrast, it feels like these characters, children, descend into some form of savage masochistic society right in the middle of a civilized town with their parents present and everything. There were more than a few surprising (disturbing!) moments, but I’ll have to let you find out what they are.

The writing is translated from Danish, but I still liked it. Despite being somewhat disengaging at the beginning, I eventually bought into the style, and I was especially fond of single-sentences-on-a-page. Lastly, the characters shape the book, and each character is carefully developed as the plot progresses. I do wish I felt more for the narrator, but it was also part of the aura with the narrator, Agnes, being 'part of the mob' as opposed to an outsider. I was very, very impressed with these aspects of the book.

Nothing is a fascinating novel that not only questions the meaning of life, but includes all the WTF-ery that comes with it. Haha, that blurb really doesn’t really send the right message… it’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly why I liked this darkly morbid book, I just did. And I would definitely advise you not to miss out on this underappreciated gem :)

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: All readers of all 13+ ages
Acknowledgements: 2.5/5

8.5/10 – because I was surprised by how good it was. It started out mehh, but as the stakes got higher and these kids started doing some crazy shizz, I just became immersed in this provocative tale. It will surprise you, and it will stay with you long after you’re done.







source: library
other reviews: Steph Su

Monday, March 21, 2011

flap off... Literally

Title inspired by Missie at The Unread Reader, because she (and her blog) is awesome, and I really couldn't name the title anything else, eh?

So like the title probably inclined, this is about books + their cover flap (which I hope is the right word, I'm talking about that cover thing you can take off hardcovers).

[edit] it's kind of like *headdesk*. It's called the Jacket/Dust Jacket (not cover flap) which I did know but obviously didn't comprehend properly as I was writing this post :p Ah well, thanks to Cialina, Small, and Linds for pointing it out! =D




Here's one of my shelves after I removed all the flaps (I know, I have too much free time on my hands) Ooooh, pretty.




Q: When reading, do you keep the flap on?

One of my friend's collection doesn't even have covers, he says they annoy him. I think his books look naked. Hmm, difference of opinion, hey? When reading, I usually take off the flap, but for my shelves, definitely keep it on.


Q: Does the design of the 'inside binding' (dude, I so don't use correct terminology, my apologies) matter to you?

Some books keep it simple: solid colour, just the title/author printed on the spine. Some books go a bit bigger: 2 colours + words on spine. Some go all out: Colour + word + embossed symbols.

Easily, I love the 'all out' ones, it feels like more effort has been put in it and it's just simply more creative. For example (I Am Number Four), not the hugest fan of this book, but I do like the details (a lot):


Also Mockingjay:



Embossing / extra stuff = PRETTY

Q: Does colour matter?

YES! I LOVE the bright colours of Like Mandarin and Please Ignore Vera Dietz. Bright Orange? Purple + Yellow? LOOOVING it. Lastly, the dark purple of Nightshade is just gorgeous.



Oh, and the colour of the author/title on the spine also matters to me. For example, Hate List (blue on black) looks amazing, as does Vera Dietz (purple on yellow).

I like the simplicity of Black/silver-or-gold, but I also appreciate it when something like Blue or Red is used.

So yeah, that's it. Just a random post on my thoughts, I'd love to know what you think, and if you'd like, answer the questions =D







ps~ have you seen my post yesterday? Please take a look =D

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I need your HELP.


I received one of the best emails ever on Friday, I found out through luck of the draw, I'm a finalist for Sandra Brannan's contest. She was originally going to fund a teen to get to the Book Blogger Convention (I KNOW RIGHT), but because of new age restrictions, she's opted to donate money itself to the finalists.

However, I need YOUR help. And I don't want beg for votes (which did cross my mind) or host a contest with a mandatory entry (which just isn't very cool) but I'm here to ask you as best as I can. Will you please vote for me?


I'm 17, I love reading and blogging and the community online, but I also have another life. I have one where I will be heading off to a top-tier university in the fall, not to mention a university that's across the country and isn't exactly the most cost-friendly (tuition, res, meal plan, textbooks... the list goes on).

It's a long road for post-secondary education, nobody needs to tell you that. And (to my disappointment) I'm not made of money so any monetary amount I receive from this will make a difference ($1000 makes the most difference, but hey, you know that already, eh?), and it would mean the most to me for my lovely blog readers to help a girl out.

Summary: All the money will go towards my schooling.

The first place winner with the most votes will receive $1000. Second place gets $500 and third gets $250. Click HERE for more details and to see my entry.

All you need to do is email your vote (my name? yes?) to info@jkscommunications.com * and if you have a blog, please include a link because you get bonus points. Also, if you attended the Book Blogger Convention last year, please include a link to the roster, it also gets bonus points. (deadline is this Friday) [edit] I'll include a rough template to avoid confusion xD

I'm voting for Audrey (holes in my brain book blog) in Sandra Brannan's contest!
-your blog link if you have one-
-(optional) whether you attended Book Blogger Con + proof-


That's it! =D

So yes, that's it, it's all in your hands. It will only take 2 minutes and it'll make such a difference, please don't think it won't.** No matter where I place, I will always be grateful, and maybe I'll love you more than I love cheesecake. Scratch that, I most definitely will.

Thank you. xoxoxoxoxo







*JKS Communications is a literary publicity firm, not some spam email account :)

**Oooh, I've got a fun analogy. Imagine there is a celebrity (probably male, preferably handsome smoking hot). You get to meet him (for the sake of this analogy, I shall assume this celebrity is the ever-amazing Andrew Garfield) and he takes a few pictures with you and gives you his autograph. It takes him 30 seconds. It means the world to you.
YOU are my Andrew Garfield.

Friday, March 18, 2011

BR: Raw Blue

by Kirsty Eagar

Book of the Month for March :)

Despite being in possession of excellent procrastination skills, I knew there was no way I could put off writing this review because I desperately wanted to convey that resonating echo that’s still swirling around in my brain— the feeling that Raw Blue gave me.

Summary (goodreads):

Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly café. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing ... and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago. Then she meets Ryan and Carly has to decide ... Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?

**
My Expectations: I've seen it on numerous Aussi best-of lists, and with a subject matter that's so 'my style', I fully expected to love it.
Delivery: Oh gosh, LOVED IT! And I'm so happy about this.
Put-down-ability: 1/10, I was only gonna read a few chapters then go do schoolwork... I read the whole book.
**

My Thoughts

Raw Blue was amazing. I’m not even sure to start off this review, but how about just saying that it is So. Australian. Which is just cruel because it makes me want to go to Australia SO BAD and watch hot boys surf. The diction and slang is so lovely and different, but it doesn’t end there. The descriptions of the waves and the breaks were exquisite and might I also add: the surf culture in this novel is excitingly awesome.

This novel is an example of a perfectly executed character-driven story. Carly is a rape survivor, there really isn’t a euphemism for that. She’s broken and fragile, and spends her days surfing and cooking and little else, scared of the world and hating people. Her narration easily drew me into her lonely world, yet the way she juxtaposed the darkness with the beauty of the waves kept me from sinking into despair. Her innate strength isn’t obvious at the beginning, but what I loved most was her subtle growth and development throughout the novel. It wasn’t boom-realization-instant-change, it was small things and small actions that built up, without you even realizing it. Carly’s characterization is the biggest strength of Raw Blue, and I couldn’t help but fall completely in love with her.

Eagar manages to keep Carly’s voice raw and honest, which quite frankly is always preferable in my mind. The author doesn’t shelter us from Carly’s pain and emotional turmoil, but the feelings are also not overdone; everything is balanced. The writing in the novel is extremely strong as Eagar writes with a defined, confident, and haunting style.

And of course, how can I not talk about Ryan? This is a boy worthy of a thousand swoons, he has his moments yes, he’s kinda realistic. There isn’t an instant smouldering connection between him and Carly, but rather a simple curiosity that blossoms into something else. I adored the fact that Ryan wasn’t the most eloquent with words, yet when he says something like “how good is this” my heart just melts. *sigh* And he’s all mine* ;-)

As Carly’s voice carries a raw energy, Eagar’s secondary characters bring colour and sparkle. Seriously, they are gorgeously well-rounded; from the d-bag Shane and the old crows at the break, to the quirky, Dutch, salsa-dancing roommate… Marty, Emilio, the crew at the Café…. and of course, Danny, the precious boy with synaesthesia (he relates things to colours) who was my third favourite character… Danny, you rock. I wish I could just squeeze him. I adored Carly’s endearing friendship with the younger boy.

Raw Blue is on the mature side of the YA spectrum, but don’t let this fact stop you from giving it a go. It truly is a powerful and intensely beautiful story of a girl, set on the crystalline beaches of Australia.

Rating in HP Terms: Outstanding!
Recommended for: People who like good books, contemporary fans, fans of gritty novels.
Acknowledgements: 3/5

9.2/10 – because It. Was. Fantastic. The writing, characters, plot, setting, imagery… everything was pure gold and why this isn’t published in North America yet is beyond me. If you ever get a chance, don’t miss out on this one, it is gourmet.


Lastly, if this review (or these other ones from Bibliophile Brouhaha, Forever Young Adult, and Steph Su ) doesn’t convince you, let me try one more time. There are hot surfer boys. There. Sold, eh?








PS- Melina Marchetta mentioned at as a favourite of hers in 2009... need any more incentive?

*isn’t it obvious in a 4-way fight between Linds, Nic, Missie, and me… I’m the winner? Always? xD

source: blog tour from Linds at bibliophile brouhaha, thank you!!!


Raw Blue is released only in e-book format in North America, let's help change this by spreading the word.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

the Hunger Games movie news??

So yeah, I don't really follow casting and stuff as obsessively as some people, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested. And being that I'm in love with the Hunger Games series I've been keeping an ear out for news (as opposed to being bombarded with news for The Mortal Instruments, but that's a story for another day). Anyways, I didn't have any posts planned and I'm rushing around studying for school so why not, eh?

It's been confirmed that Hunter Parrish (Weeds) has been 'in talks' about playing Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games movie.

I read the article HERE. I'm sure you can google more about it.

Eye candy?



















My Thoughts:

I'm down.*



Your thoughts??

**

[edit] And many thank
s to bibliophile brouhaha for pointing out Jennifer Lawrence has been cast for Katniss! (source)






















My Thoughts:


Ehh, could work.**







*as in yesyesyesyesyesyesyes but I'm still open to other options
** as she better be able to pull of Katniss' bad-assery... or else.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guest Post: Karen Metcalf

Hey everyone! Today we have a visitor from the realms of author-world.. please welcome Karen Metcalf, who is here to give a few notes about herself and her latest book, In the Storm :)

**

I thought I would get away from the “How I wrote this” type of post, and instead provide some random trivia about me and IN THE STORM.


Karen Metcalf

1. My favorite food is pickles; so much so that my mom and step-dad gave me five gallon jars of them as Christmas presents for several years.

2. I love crafts. When I’m not writing, I dabble in watercolor painting, punch-needle and jewelry making.

3. When I get angry, my eyes get darker (pitch black when I was a kid, creepy, right?)

4. I was Salutatorian (2nd) of my graduating high school class.

5. I served in the Army National Guard. I was a truck driver. Glamorous, I know.

6. As a kid, my most prized possession was the trophy for winning the spelling bee in fourth grade. It was live on the radio. The winning word was foil.

7. My biggest regret was losing the next one for misspelling humane.


IN THE STORM

1. The original title was Somewhere, but I gave it up because it was too generic. I still like it better.

2. I specifically chose the name Richard for the step-father because Dick is a nickname for it.

3. A character in the book wears a hat with the words Ray’s Trucking. This is the actual name of my brother-in-law’s business.

**

In the Storm

Summary:

Abandoned by the world around her, Carly believes she is fated to a life of torment at the hands of her stepfather and is desperate for an escape. When she can bear the abuse no longer and gives in to a thunderous rage, she suddenly finds herself in an unfamiliar, yet beautiful, storm world. This limbo between dimensions appears to be her private sanctuary, but it may just be her purgatory.

No one escapes fate without sacrifice, but is the price more than Carly is willing to pay?

**

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog! :)
If you're interested, there are many more stops for this blog tour, just click here for more info!

You can buy IN THE STORM as an e-book from Amazon or Vagabondage Press Bookstore