Monday, 2 March 2015

Pictures or it didn't happen - Sophie Hannah

Pictures Or It Didn't Happen (Quick Reads 2015)Pictures Or It Didn't Happen by Sophie Hannah
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Would you trust a complete stranger?

After Chloe and her daughter Freya are rescued from disaster by a man who seems too good to be true, Chloe decides she must find him again to thank him. But instead of meeting her knight in shining armour, she comes across a woman called Nadine Caspian who warns her to stay well away from him. The man is dangerous, Nadine claims, and a compulsive liar. Alarmed, Chloe asks her what she means, but Nadine will say no more.

Chloe knows that the sensible choice would be to walk away - after all, she doesn't know anything about this man. But she is too curious. What could Nadine have meant? And can Chloe find out the truth without putting herself and her daughter in danger?

I love quick reads, they allow you to experience authors you may never of read before and you could discover a really great one.

Sophie Hannah is an author I have heard a lot about but have never read one of her books. This was the perfect opportunity for me to experience her writing style in a Quick Read.

This book had all the aspects that could have made it great, unfortunately I was let down by it. I found it to be a little silly and disappointed with the plot.

Chloe and Lorna's relationship was great,I also liked Tom, I did think his behavior was a little strange - this seemed to be further into the book I got. I loved the first few chapters and I found the book to be an incredible easy read; the chapters were short, this was perfect for short time I had as I was able to continue with the story.

Unfortunately as time went on I began to get a little fed up with the read as I thought it was a little unbelievable.

This was my first experience of Hannah and to be honest I am still undecided as to whether I would read another by her.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Travel Tag

This morning when I woke up and saw that had published a travel tag, I knew I would have to join in with this one as I love travelling so much. I would like to thank Wanderness as she made the tag up! I hope you enjoy reading my answers.
1. What was the last country you visited?
The last country I visited was Norway, I went on a cruise last summer. I am however going away in 27 days to Las Vegas so I can't wait for that! 
2. How many countries have you visited?
Now I have been very lucky when it comes to travelling and have visited a lot of places, I think I have currently been to 56 countries and 2 US States.
3. What is your favourite place on the planet that you have been to?
This is a really tricky question to answer when you have been to a lot of Amazon  places. I think if I could only choose 1 I would pick Singapore. It is such an amazing place and has so much to offer. I do not like to return to places as there are so many other places in the world to explore. But if I had to go back somewhere this is where I would choose. 
4. Favourite place in your home country?
As a child I spent most of my summer's at my grandparents, they lived in Cornwall so we ended up exploring this in depth. This still remains my favourite part of the UK. 
5. If you could board a plane right now, where would you go?
Well as I am going  Vegas in a few weeks I guess that's it! 
6. What’s your cup of tea – tropical island getaway, snowy ski break or city exploring trips?
I like exploring cities, however I also like to make sure I have some time to unwind and relax. There  is not a better place to do that except for a tropical island. I am very keen on the Caribbean for their laid back attitude and drinking cocktails on the beach! 
7. What are your top 3 hand-luggage must haves?
1, my kindle. 
2, a good book. 
3, my bikini! 
8. Any travel tips to share?
I would say don't be afraid to go somewhere different. There are many beautiful places out there to be discovered. 
9. Most embarrassing moment abroad.
I was on holiday in Malta and I went swimming with dolphins, which is something I had always wanted to do, when the dolphin pulled me along I lost my bikini bottoms! So top tip, if you go swimming with dolphins make sure you wear a swimming costume oppose to a bikini! 
10. Biggest disappointment.
We never let ourselves get too disappointed with a holiday, mainly for the reason we explore unusual places, which are not always tourist destinations. We take each place as it comes. 
11. Nicest surprise.
We were on our honeymoon on a cruise over Christmas one year. On Christmas day we were invited to eat with the captain at his table, we then enjoyed a completely free night with VIP treatment, private booths to watch the show and other things. 
12. Three places at the tip of the travel bucket list.
I am not finding any of these questions easy! 
1, India
2, Japan
3, French Polynesia
13. Favourite food discovery.
I used to be a very fussy eater but the older I have got the better my taste buds are! I found an amazing beef dish while I was in China, I have never been able to get it again since I returned home as we were unsure what it was. It was hot and spicy and just amazing! 
14. Why do you travel?
I travel as it gives me a sense of freedom, I have a large passion for travelling and there is nothing else I would rather be doing in the whole world. 
15. What 3 things would you take on holiday/travelling if you could?
There is only one thing I wish I could take and that is my cat, I miss her dreadfully where I go away, especially if it's for a long time. Other than that I think I have everything I need. 
16. Have you picked up any phrases from travelling?
No, I am a bit useless when it comes to languages! 
17. What two places would you not go back to and why?
We have decided that we would not go back anywhere as there are so many places in the world to explore, so I will flip the question round. If I had to go back to two places they would be, Canada and Singapore. 
18. Your dream travel companion?
I am really lucky I get to travel with mine every time I go away, that's my husband. To be honest I would not want to explore the world without him. 
19. Most surreal travel moment?
Hmm, I guess the Ffords are pretty amazing in Norway. Or seeing Niagra Falls partially frozen, or walking behind Angel Falls in Venezuela. 
20. Three people you would like to see do this tag
Anyone can join in 

Weekly Wrap Up - 1/3/15

I cannot believe that today is the 1st of March!!! Seriously this year is going quick, however I seem to always be saying that these days, I think it is something that happens as you get older. Anyway I am really excited as this month I am going to Las Vegas!!! Arghhhh I am seriously excited! I can't wait!!! Anyway back to the books....

This week I have been sent:

This week I have bought: 
Paper Towns  - John Green

Books I have read this week:

The books I have read all have reviews and they will be on the blog soon so look out for that!

Thanks for stopping by at The Book Corner, I loved  hearing what you have got this week so please leave a comment to let me know.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

7 Days - Eve Ainsworth

Seven DaysSeven Days by Eve Ainsworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Life is hard for Jess. School should be a safe place but at the moment it's everything Jess dreads, and it's made even more difficult by the threatening presence of Kez. Kez lives in a nicer part of town but her life isn't any sweeter. The only place she finds comfort is knowing she is better off than Jess - or so she thinks.

My mum read this one for me, here is her review:

Not your usual easy read in terms of entertainment value; this is a thought provoking novel taking an inside view of a bully and a victim. Written in dual narrative the novel is set over 7 days and gives the reader a glimpse of life during this period of two teenagers the bully (Kez) and the victim (Jess). I was asked to review this book by the author and saved this for half term (I work in a Secondary school) as I wanted to read it in one go. I had no trouble motoring through this and finished in a day; once I had started I found it difficult to put down.

Essentially the book follows the lives of the two main characters through a seven day period of being bullied (Jess) and being the bully (Kez). I found that I could easily relate to both characters through personal experience and as an observer in the job I do at a Secondary school. I found I was thinking about students in the school and matching them to the characters in the book, a sure sign that Eve Ainsworth has managed to get the characterisation just right.

Right from the start you know that something will happen to one of the main characters - the first page is a letter indicating that the writer is going to end it all. From that point on I needed to know whether it was the bully or the victim which kept me hooked and it was not apparent which way this would go until almost the end of the book.

Although the characters are not that well developed you do get a sense of what their lives are like and why they react in the way that they do, what is important to them at their age and how they discover what is really important in the great scheme of things. Parts of novel will resonate with many people, circumstances and situations that happen in families affect those family members in a variety of different ways which shapes the people they become. In this case you could understand both points of view and how both victim and bully justified their actions and became they people they were. Kez has issues and deals with them by bullying those she believes are weaker than her to make herself feel better. Jess lacks the support she needs at home and falls into the victim bracket easily so is a prime target for Kes. The link between them both is Kez boyfriend Lyn who also happens to be an old friend of Jess who sticks up for her.

I liked the way Eve Ainsworth used the popular texting style in her book which again will appeal to youngsters as they are continually on their mobiles texting each other at any given opportunity. Eve shows how social media has added to bullying in such a public way and the damage it can do. The importance of being part of a group and a sense of belonging are very strong in this book which is so true of teenagers and how those who are a bit different or individual are looked on as being geeks or strange and ostracized. Her writing shows her understanding of teenagers and the often painful journey they make growing up, their need to belong and be accepted by their peers, and in this book how they learn that things are not always what they appear to be.

I hope teenagers are tempted to read this book as I know they will relate to it but equally it is an enjoyable if not often hard to read novel for adults as well.

Well done Eve a good debut novel.

I would like to thank Eve for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Writing and Selling Drama Screenplays by Lucy V Hay

Writing & Selling Drama ScreenplaysWriting & Selling Drama Screenplays by Lucy V. Hay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It may be drama features that win the most awards and kudos from critics, but in the current marketplace you're unlikely to sell a drama screenplay in the way you would a genre script. Breaking down the nuts and bolts of what differentiates drama from genre, Writing and Selling Drama Screenplays will consider questions such as: What is 'emotional truth'? What separates stereotypical and authentic characters? What are the different types of drama feature screenplay? How do we make these films, when there's 'no money'? What are the distribution opportunities for dramas? Exploring the ways in which drama and authenticity work, it will empower screenwriters to make their own story and character choices, so they can write and also help to package, finance and even make their own drama features. Writing and Selling Drama Screenplays will include detailed case studies of produced dramas made on both shoestring and bigger budgets, and industry insights from their writers, directors and producers. It looks in-depth at Scottish BAFTA-winning Night People, the iconic coming out movie Beautiful Thing, the touching New Orleans drama Hours, starring the late Paul Walker, and the ambitious true story of Saving Mr Banks, based on the battle of wills between Mary Poppins author PL Travers and Walt Disney himself. It will also discuss films such as Brokeback Mountain, American Beauty, The King's Speech, Juno, Erin Brockovich, Changeling and Girl, Interrupted.

Writing and Selling Drama Screenplays is a very informative read and essential for anyone thinking about writing for the silver screen, whether it be Drama or any other genre.

The book is filled with great tips and tricks of the trade, it also gets the reader used to seeing filmic terms and language.

It is nicely formatted and laid out in 12 chapters (including preface) and has a handy resources section at the end of the book full of information on where you can go to further you screenwriting talents, it also lists competitions, industry contacts etc, that you can send your screenplays to.

This is not just a 'how to' book as it says 'there is no right way to tell a story' it is a book that offers guidance and encourages you to reach for your potential.

Having read screenwriting books before this one written by Lucy V. Hay actually sounds like it has come from someone who knows what they are talking about.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Weekly Wrap Up - 22.2.15

This week has been half term and it was a long time coming! I started the week in style! I went out with some friends and went out to eat quite a few times. I also had a catch up with my husband, we rarely see each other when I am working. So I have not read as much as I had hoped but I tried to make up for it towards the end of the week! I got a huge Valentine's surprise in the post too from Orion, so thanks very much! 

I hope you all had a great week and managed to read lots!

This week I have been sent:
Girl Runner by Carrie Sydney (won)
The Chateau on the Lake by Charlotte Betts
That part was true by Deborah McKinlay
Shares of Jamie Dornan by Jo Berry
Wild Oats by Veronica Henry
Ridley Road by Jo Bloom
The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Loyd
The pearl that broke the shell by Nadia Hashimi (won)
Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher
No Place to Die by Clare Donoghue
The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
Walk on By by Stacey Solomon

This week I have bought: 

Books I have read this week:

Pictures or it didn't happen - Sophie Hannah
Naughty Girl's Guide to Las Vegas - Sienna Sinclaire
Second Chance Island - Jenny Schwartz
Red for Revenge - Fanny Blake 

The books I have read all have reviews and they will be on the blog soon so look out for that!

Thanks for stopping by at The Book Corner, I loved  hearing what you have got this week so please leave a comment to let me know.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Dead Man Talking - Roddy Doyle

Dead Man Talking (Quick Reads)Dead Man Talking by Roddy Doyle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pat had been best friends with Joe Murphy since they were kids. But years ago they had a fight. A big one, and they haven’t spoken since --- till the day before Joe’s funeral.

What? On the day before his funeral Joe would be dead, wouldn’t he?

Yes, he would…

Roddy Doyle’s first book for the Quick Reads programme to support adult literacy is fast, funny and just a tiny bit spooky.

This has been published as part of Quick Reads programme. These are a series of short books from a range of different authors to encourage literacy love among adults. Personally I love the time of year they pop up, I have found many authors I would never have considered before through the programme and they are perfect if you don't have a lot of 'me' time. Personally I read the book in one sitting.

I have never read a book by Doyle so had no idea what to expect. From reading the blurb it really made me intrigued and I couldn't wait to start it. This short story was very easy to read, it had incredibly short chapters, perfect for when you need to pop the kettle on or break off another square of Galaxy.

It is written in the first person and completely through narrative, the pace is very good and there is little opportunity for a new reader to become fed up or lost in the text.

The story is about Pat, he has discovered his best friend Joe has died and he has been invited to the funeral, this seems a little odd to Pat as he had a big falling out a few years ago and have not spoken since. Pat decides to go to the funeral and the wake with his wife. This brings up a lot of emotions for Pat and brings back unhappier times. Pat is not sure how to cope with everything he is discovering that day.

Although the story is very short, so much happens in it. As the reader I felt unsure at times what was going on and it was only when I was very near the end did I begin to suss out what was happening. It was a good short read, however one that took me out of my comfort zone. I have never read a book like this and actually had mixed feeling about it. I was very unsure when reading it and since I have finished I am still not quite sure what I feel about this book.

This is only on a personal note and I have heard that this short story has the Doyle trademarks and that it is another great story by him, so I am sure if you like Doyle's previous works this will also be one that you enjoy.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.