Friday, 31 December 2010
I was intending to borrow one of the rather brilliant meme’s I’ve seen around the internet, but inspired by a recent Friends marathon, I thought I’d bring you my 2010 reads, Friends style.
So here we go. . .
Saturday, 25 December 2010
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on…but are some questions better left unanswered? (from Goodreads)
Love and adore
Every character in this novel feels real and unique. Their relationships with each other complex and fraught. Sometimes it was hard to remember I was reading a novel and not a memoir. I spent a lot of time being absolutely furious at people on Eddie’s behalf.
Fall for Anything is out today. It’s not exactly a holiday read but it is a must read.
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Monday, 20 December 2010
My Favourite Couple
I’ll tell you who I like from tv. I like those two from Extras, Andy and Maggie (Ricky Gervais and Ashley Jensen). I like how they make fun of each other, sometimes gently, sometimes cruelly, but call each other late at night and talk about nothing like best friends. They’re so relaxed around each other, and they want to make one another laugh.
I also like Gavin and Stacey from Gavin and Stacey, but even more than them, their sharp-edged best friends, especially the chain-smoking woman dressed in black. Those two make a great couple, circling each other, him agitated and not making eye contact, her gazing steadily into the middle distance. (And the actors who play them were funny on the DVD special features.)
In movies, I always found the couple in Room with a View extremely sexy, and the opening sequence of Up made me cry. I wish Up had been more about that couple rather than about all those dogs. All those dogs bothered me, like a nightmare or madness.
In books, I like CC and Shrimp from Rachel Cohn’s Gingerbread and its sequels. I also like this very old couple in an Alice Munro story that I once read, only I can’t remember its name. There was a moment of such tenderness right at the end of the story. I like many couples from the short stories and novels of Carol Shields – older couples again, with chipped and damaged relationships, who are now intertwined and enormously grateful for each other. But my favourite Carol Shields book is about a younger couple, The Republic of Love, the two characters drawing closer and closer together, along a stream of lively, lyrical, funny, warm prose.
Finally, at the moment, I am very keen on Jackson Brodie from the Kate Atkinson novels. Not him in a couple, but single, as I wouldn’t mind ending up with him myself.
Thanks so much Jaclyn. I must just add my own two cents and second Jackson Brodie as a truly wonderful character, and Kate Atkinson as a spell binding writer.
Tomorrow I’ll be doing a round up and then on the 22nd I’ll be picking the winner, or random.org will be. So there is still time to enter!
Sunday, 19 December 2010
In most of the YA books I’ve read, friendships are breaking up, or new friendships are being formed or one person is dominant, usually too dominant. It’s rare to find a friendship like this. Where the girls have been friends since they were little, and completely love and support each other. Where the fact of their friendship is never in any doubt. I have no trouble believing that Lyd, Cass and Em will live in a flat over looking Sydney harbour, that they’ll be bridesmaids at each others wedding (Lydia’s will be to Seb, naturally), godparents to each others children, and that when they are old and grey haired, they’ll be causing as much mayhem as they do at Ashbury.
In these books Jaclyn Moriarty has created some of the most authentic teen voices I’ve read. Both books are told in epistolary form, and all three girls as well as the other characters have such distinct voices. I barely needed the signatures at the bottom to tell me who was writing.
As well as being authentic, Jaclyn Moriarty is funny. The kind of, oh my god I’m going to fall off the bed in a minute because I’m laughing so hard, funny, that I love. She’s truthful, the way she captures that moment when your longing to be an adult, but longing to stay a child, is amazing. She took me right back there. She’s also slightly crazy, especially in The Ghosts of Ashbury High, which is crazy and genius. The plot is twisted and baffling, and yet it makes utter sense and is completely spellbinding too. It’s pretty much one of my most favourite books, ever.
Anyway, we were talking of the girls, and if you want a book with great female friendships and sassy, funny, confused, real girls, look no further than Jaclyn Moriarty’s books. I also must give a shout out to Feeling Sorry for Celia and The Spell Book of Listen Taylor, which are equally wonderful.
Stop by tomorrow to hear about Jaclyn’s favourite couple.
Friday, 17 December 2010
I couldn’t wait to read her guest post and of course it is wonderful and funny. I hope you all enjoy it. Thanks Sarah!
Thursday, 16 December 2010
Ah Nick and Alan, those demon fighting brothers, from Sarah Rees Brennan’s marvelous The Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy. This was the pair that started the whole alternative couples thing that I mentioned. Oh, I do love those Ryves brothers.
For those who haven’t read the books Alan and Nick kind of fall into the roles of good brother/bad brother. So of course Alan is my favourite. For those who have read the books, yes I’m completely willing to overlook both brothers, ahem, flaws, large as they may be.
Although I do get swoony over both of them, it is their relationship with each other that really gets me. I haven’t loved a sibling relationship this much, since the Mitchell Brothers in Eastenders (UK soap opera). The end of The Demon’s Lexicon made me adore them and just about killed me, but it was seeing the Ryves brothers through Mae’s eyes, in The Demon’s Covenant, that sealed my love for them. Their relationship is so wonderful and complex and heartbreaking. I cried twice during The Demon’s Covenant.
So Nick and Alan definitely deserve their place on the list. Although I have everything crossed that next year Alan will be making an appearance here with someone else!
Side Note: Mae is one of my all time favourite characters. How can you not love a girl who has pink hair, adores her brother, is independent and tough and wears t-shirts that proclaim Heathcliff had it coming. If you’re looking for a strong female lead, look no further than Mae. Plus she isn’t a slayer, witch, vampire, fairy, she can’t see dead people or read minds, no one gave her mystical powers. She’s just amazing, all on her own.
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Tom and Tara from The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta.
Well I can’t have a list of favourites and not include Melina Marchetta. She’s absolutely my favourite YA author; her books are magic. Whether she’s writing about family dynamics in Australia or a fictional war torn realm I just fall into her books and lose myself there.
Anyway, we’re talking of Tom and Tara. We last saw them, at the end of Saving Francesca, on their way to a maybe relationship (well I did anyway). Five years down the road, Tom has managed to royally screw up both their almost relationship and their friendship, and Tara is now living overseas and dating someone else. While Tom is messing around causing his friends and family a lot of heartache.
They communicate solely by text and emails all through the book. Yet their chemistry and love for each other is as clear as if they were together on every page, you just need to read between the lines to find it! I wanted so badly for them to get back together or to at least be real friends again. Honestly, there were moments when I was set to climb into the book and slap Tom (well maybe shake him a little, because I do adore that Mackee boy).
I won’t spoil by saying how The Piper’s Son leaves them as I know a lot of people haven’t read it yet seeing as it’s not out here until February! But if you loved Saving Francesca, you’ll love revisiting old friends in and seeing what happens to Tom in life and in love.
Also bonus points in the countdown because the friendships are just so brilliant. Tom’s group of friends is one I want to hang out with.
Plus it contains my favourite romantic line of the year, spoken by my favourite YA boy Will Trombal
Honestly, whether you’re preference is for couples or friendship, this book has it all. Get it pre-ordered!
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Well, I think you may all be sick of hearing me rave on and on about this book. Plus, Nomes wrote a rather fantastic guest post on why Anna and Etienne are so great together.
But all this swooning is with good reason.
This book is just perfect, PERFECT!
It’s definitely a re-reader and for me, it is a Christmas book, because – a) It makes me happy, which is always good at Christmas b) there are the most swoony scenes during the Christmas holidays.
Even though Anna and Etienne don’t spend Christmas together, I felt it was their emails and phone calls that really cemented there friendship.
And that’s reason 101 that I adore this book, because they are friends first.
So you may be wondering, if I have this level of LOVE going for Anna and Etienne, who can the other three couples possibly be? Stay tuned to find out, and if you haven’t, do go and enter the giveaway.
Monday, 13 December 2010
Tara can be found blogging at her personal blog and also at the fabulous new YA blog YA Outside the Lines. Her new book C-Side Tales is out 2011, I can’t wait.
The title of this book, not to mention the cover, completely captured me. Then I read the first few pages and was hooked by Drea’s voice. I absolutely LOVE this book and I love Drea. I love how she sees the world and how passionate she is about music. Even though she’s convinced she’s different she’s so easy to relate.
And Justin definitely falls into the swoon-worthy category. A reformed bad-boy musician – there isn’t a surer way to my heart, except perhaps a reformed bad-boy welder – Justin is such a great character; strong, independent, trying hard to do the right thing and completely willing to accept Drea for who she is. I get swoony just thinking about him (I’m even willing to overlook the piercings).
Drea and Justin together are magic, they have conversations, they have fights, they learn to deal with each other and what makes the other tick. . .oh and of course they share some rather fabulous kisses.
So if I haven’t been clear enough I really do love this book. I’m so sad I haven’t seen it everywhere, so go buy it for Christmas or an end of year gift if Christmas is not your holiday.
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Plain Kate by Erin Bow was one of my favourite books of the year and the relationship between Kate and her cat Taggle is one of the reasons why. They’re not a couple in the traditional sense of the word, but their friendship is real and true and heartwarming.
Kate is a fantastic heroine and Taggle is probably my favourite animal in a story ever! I don’t want to say too much about why, because I don’t want to spoil anything. If you haven’t read it though, get it on your Christmas List, it is amazing and beautiful. A book you will want to linger over.
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Andrea can be found blogging at A Blurred History. Her novel Wolfsbane, the second book in the Nightshade Trilogy, is out July 26th 2011!
My favorite couples are those who are pairings of equals – complementary, but not too similar, who have at least a little tension between them, and who end up saving each other. In 2010 a new couple showed up that I adored: Rapunzel and Flynn (aka Eugene) from Tangled. I’ve never been a fan of Disney’s princesses – they spend too much time pining, while I like to see my heroines wielding swords. But Rapunzel won me over and Flynn – well, I have a soft spot for rogueish guys, ‘nuf said. Finally – a princess who’s funny, imaginative, and full of infectious idealism and a hero who isn’t prince charming! I adored the constant banter between Rapunzel and Flynn. I loved that he was an anti-hero, quasi-scoundrel who was living an invented life. I loved that they were both willing to give up everything for each other. This pair definitely ranks as my favorite Disney couple (though book-loving Belle is still my favorite princess) because they worked so well as a team. They both had flaws, but by exposing those faults to one another they were each able to become their true selves and fall in love with who the other person actually was, not some idealized version of them. Rapunzel and Flynn were both heroes. They had equal parts to play in the story and in each other’s lives. I like my romance spicy and spunky and filled with moments that make me laugh as well as swoon – Tangled pulled that off beautifully.
Sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to see Tangled, I just have to find someone to go with. Thanks for sharing Andrea.
Now I must admit that I am a huge fan of the friendship first romance. You know, lots of talking over coffee, long walks, wistful gazes, finger tips brushing and the does he/doesn’t he like me angst. I adore tension. I love sitting there, gripping the book, screaming, oh my god just kiss already, because I can’t stand it! I just finished such a book and it will almost certainly be featured here next year!
However, sometimes a book comes along that I love because there is so much kissing, so much chemistry. Where the characters desire for each other seems to seep from the book into your skin and every interaction is just so Hot, you are racing ahead for the next one.
This doesn’t mean they don’t have talky, soul connecting moments, but it’s the kissing you remember. Last year that book was Prefect Chemistry. This year it is Nightshade by Andrea Cremer.
If you haven’t read it, let me just tell you that Calla and Shay and Calla and Ren, burn up the pages. Yes, it involves a love triangle, and yes she kisses both boys (more than once) but she has her reasons and I liked Calla, so I’m letting her off.
Nightshade is such a wonderful story and such a brilliant world. There is loads going on besides the kissing, but this is the couples countdown, and the kissing is very hot. So that’s why Calla and Shay make the list. Yes I am firmly Team Shay, well until Ren strolls into view 🙂
Have you read it, which Team are you?
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
I couldn’t wait to see who her favourite couple was. Of course she picked a wonderful one and then explained, so perfectly, why they are wonderful!
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Monday, 6 December 2010
What’s your favorite romantic or hinting-at-romantic scene in the seventh Harry Potter book or in part one of the seventh movie?
Sunday, 5 December 2010
I absolutely adore this novel, although my favorite aspect is the notes Lennie writes and leaves everywhere (they break my heart), Joe Fountaine is a close second. Imagine the boy that name should belong to and you have a good idea of Joe. Sweet, sensitive, funny, a stunning musician and owner of the worlds longest eye lashes; he’s one of the swoon-worthist boys I’ve encountered this year.
Here’s a taste.
Friday, 3 December 2010
I’m delighted to welcome Caroline to the blog today. I discovered Caroline’s blog Adventures in Space recently and it quickly became a favourite. She is an interesting, funny and thoughtful blogger. She mainly talks about writing and books, but occasionally film and fashion and her hatred of pancakes (yes you read it right!). I couldn’t wait to see who her favourite couple would be – she didn’t disappoint!
Molly and Spill are from one of my favourite dystopian reads Restoring Harmony. Their romance is not the main focus of the plot, but it will steal your heart. Molly is the kind of girl I’d like my daughter(if I have one) to grow into – kind and resourceful and smart. While Spill is, at first glance, a bad boy he’s really a good guy with an edge.
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Let’s celebrate with a photo of Chuck, which is so good at the moment.
Congrats to all the other NaNoers! Before you begin editing you might want to check out my friend Joelle Anthony’s fantastic post
Edit: Well you know what I forgot to do in all the excitement of finishing? Umm verify and win on the NaNo site – doh! – but I know I’ma winner which is what counts 🙂