Friday, 25 February 2011

Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky is Everywhere by Author

Series: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group:Young Adult
Publisher: Walker AUS
Release Date: June 2010

Format: Paperback, 368 pages
ISBN-13: 9781406326307
RRP: $24.95 AUD
Source: Thank you to the publisher, who provided this book for an honest review,all opinions expressed are my own.
Cover love? This blue is so pretty, calm and peaceful. It's such a unique, and simple cover, but stunning.


Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. 
Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.


This book is not like the others – literally. My UK copy is bound in a soft textured cover with a piece of elastic that keeps it close, much like a journal. The text is a blue colour, and scattered throughout the story are fully-coloured poems by Lennie herself, written on random surfaces. Absolutely gorgeous.

As for the story, I read it entirely in one sitting and spent the rest of the day in a happy, bubbly mood as the aftereffects of this extraordinary book washed over me. The writing is poetic and evocative and beautiful, and I drank all the words along with the emotion they brought. Jandy Nelson is a master of words – she can truly write and her choice of words is perfect.

The ultimate power of this book is the emotions that it evokes in readers – I felt upset, shocked, betrayed, overjoyed, heartbroken, confused, you name it. Lennie and her relationships with Joe and Toby are so raw and powerful and refreshing. I cried in so many places.

Easily one of the most enchanting, captivating novels I have ever read, The Sky Is Everywhere took my breath away with its honesty, sadness and beauty. I am determined not to spoil anything, lest I take away from the impact of reading the book, but this book is definitely an all-time favourite, and the reason why I love contemps.


The Sky is Everywhere Official Website | The Sky is Everywhere at Walker AUS | Jandy Nelson's Website | Goodreads

Monday, 14 February 2011

Review: Eclipse Movie Companion by Mark Cotta Vaz

You might think that this “Movie Companion” is for the most dedicated fans of the movie, but there is so much more to this movie companion than a photo album of movie stills. I’ve never really paid any thought to how a movie is made; I just pick a movie, pay for my ticket, head into the cinema, and enjoy the story that comes to life before my eyes. I've never imagined the many people behind the cameras who have dedicated their time and poured their soul into creating the intangible piece of art that is a motion picture.

The Twilight Saga is the cumulative effort of months of work by hundreds of people, from the talented Stephenie Meyer, who conceived the idea, to the costume designers, to the audiences who enjoy the movie. This movie companion gives us a detailed behind-the-scenes glimpse into how a $700 million box office blockbuster movie is made. The director, David Spade emphasised how he wished to stay faithful to Stephanie Meyer’s imagery, whilst bringing more intense visual imagery and darker undertones in comparison to the previous two films.

There is so much thought behind each individual, minute-long scene, and a valuable source of information in this book can be gained through the behind-the-scenes images. I was surprised to find out how the wolves had been brought to life, how the green screen was used rarely but effectively to bring the forest to life, and how the filmmakers had constructed a life-sized replica of the original Cullen house for the purposes of giving the scenes authenticity.

My favourite parts of the book were the ones detailing the costume creation and sets for the Quileute’s, Rosalie’s and Jasper’s flashbacks. They were my favourite parts of the movie, and added history and dimension to the film. Then there were the cast interviews. Most of the main cast had a page-long interview each, and it’s interesting to learn of the people behind the characters –the dedicated actors who wake up at 3am to do hair and makeup – and the people who help them become their characters.

Reading The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Official Illustrated Movie Companion gives one a greater appreciation of the making of each film: from the basic colours and settings that evoke mood, to the high-tech CGI imagery that brings wolves to life. An intriguing and visually luxurious read this Illustrated Movie Companion is something all movie fans should pick up.

Now if only it came with posters I could stick up on my wall… ;)

Mark Cotta Vaz, The Twilight Saga Eclipse: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion
Hachette Aus, July 2010. [details] [goodreads]
Thanks to Hachette for my review copy.

Q: If you could be a part of a movie,which would be your dream role? (e.g. director, crew, make-up artist, scriptwriter, actress/actor...)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Meg Cabot's newest YA series

First of all, I apologise for not posting for...almost a week. I've just started school again, and I'm in year 11 this year (Auusie version of a junior in high school), so a lot of things have been changing. I have a lot more homework - seriously, I'm doing 4-5 hours of homework per night - and things have fallen behind schedule here, compared to my posting frequency over the holidays.
Anyway, I'm extremely excited about this week's Waiting On Wednesday:

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and it is a weekly post that spotlights upcoming releases participants are excited about. This week, I'm waiting on:

Abandon by Meg Cabot
This is first in a new young adult series, coming April 2011. I love Meg Cabot's books. I started with the Princess Diaries, moved onto theMediator series, and then read the Vanished series (1800-Where-Are-You). After that, there were her standalone YA novels (Jinx, How to Be Popular, Tommy Sullivan is a Freak...etc). There's just something so addictive and comfortable about Meg's novels - the tone/voice is similar, but the plot and characters always pull me in.
She knows what it's like to die. Now Death wants her back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce knows what happens to us when we die.
That's how she met John Hayden, the mysterious stranger who's made returning to normal life—or at least life as Pierce knew it before the accident—next to impossible.
Though she thought she escaped him—starting a new school in a whole new place—it turns out she was wrong. He finds her.
What does John want from her? Pierce thinks she knows... just like she knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven. But she can't stay away from him, either, especially since he's always there when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she might find herself back in the place she fears the most.
And when Pierce discovers the shocking truth, that’s exactly where John sweeps her:

The Underworld.
What are you waiting on this week?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Review: The Legacy by Gemma Malley

The Legacy by Gemma Malley
Series: The Declaration (Book 3)
 Read these first--> 1: The Declaration, 2: The Resistance
Genre: Dystopia
Age Group: 13+
Publishers: Allen and Unwin AUS
Release Date: October 2010
Format: Hardback, 272 pages
ISBN-13: 9781408800898
Cover love? 
An amazing cover that perfectly conveys the theme of the story and continues the design brilliance of the previous two books. I like the solitary rose, although I can't think of it's significance. A new beginning? Hope? Hmm...
A third gripping, powerful dystopian novel following The Declaration and The Resistance.

When a Pincent Pharma lorry is ambushed by the Underground, its contents come as a huge surprise - not drugs, but corpses in a horrible state. It appears Longevity isn't working and the drugs promising eternal youth are failing to live up to their promises. A virus is sweeping the country, killing in its wake, and Longevity is powerless to fight it. When Richard Pincent of Pincent Pharma suggest that the Underground has released the virus, something has to be done to put the story straight and once and for all alert everyone to the truth.

The previous two installments in the series blew me away, and I looked forward to reading The Legacy a lot. Readers who loved Matched or Delirium will love this series, especially because it came prior to the aforementioned books.

The first book focused on Anna as a main character, and later, Peter and Anna's journey together. The Legacy, however, focuses mainly on Peter as the protagonist, much like The Resistance. Anna is relegated to the back seat, and regretfully, takes on a tradiationally feminine role, with less action, and in a more damsel-in-distress role. It's a shame, because Anna was a great character in the first book, but now she gives in too easily, no longer a headstrong female charater, though unnaturally mature beyond her years. But, Peter is a great character. He's loyal, brave and good...but also impulsive, stubborn and flawed.

This third installment reveals a slightly horrific and gripping backstory to the famous (or infamous, depending on your side) Richard Pincent's rise to fame. Thinking back, I should have expected it, but Gemma Malley's addition to the world of The Declaration gives it a new depth and brings a new understanding to readers. I also like the way that the story alternates between Peter's perspective and another sidestory, making the novel three-dimensional in it's omniescent view.

This series is very clever, and presents a vision of the world that is imaginative but highly probable, what with the advances in science and technology, and the growth of the world's population. I shudder to think of it, but the future that Malley paints is near, and possible. But according to The Legacy, nature will prevail in the end.

I love this series, as you can probably tell from my reviews of The Declaration and The Resistance. The Legacy is a truly compelling final book in a masterful dystopian series. Brillaint, heartfelt and epic, this series is a bestseller for a reason. 


The Legacy at Allen and Unwin | The Legacy Official Website | The Legacy at Allen & Unwin AU | Goodreads