The Best Moments In Reading Are When You Come Across Something- A Thought, A Feeling, A Way At Looking At Things- Which You Had Thought Special And Particular To You. And Now, Here It Is, Set Down By Someone Else, A Person You Have Never Met, Someone Who Is Even Long Dead. And It Is As If A Hand Has Come Out, And Taken Yours.

Alan Bennett

The History Boys

Monday, February 20, 2017

Author Interview with Mitchell Charles

7 Questions With Mitchell Charles 

Hi guys! As you probably know I have recently reviewed a book called Kingdom of Oceana, which is set on one of the islands in Hawaii. Today I have the pleasure of interviewing the Kingdom of Oceana’s author; Mitchell Charles.


Your book Kingdom of Oceana, centers a lot around the setting of Hawaii, where did you get your inspiration to set it there? Have you ever lived or been to Hawaii, or is it just a country you’re fascinated with?

I’ve spent a lot of time in the Hawaiian islands over the past 10 years, including living on Maui part-time for about seven years. I feel deeply connected to the land, the people, and the magnificent creatures that inhabit the waters, especially the mano (shark), kohala (humpback whale) and the honu (sea turtle).

What draws you to the young adult genre?

I have a teenage son and daughter and I enjoy reading what they read.

How much research do you do for your books?

I do a lot of research, both primary research through my travels and my underwater SCUBA adventures, and secondary research through reading books.

When did you start feeling like a real author for the first time?

When I started receiving so many favorable reviews and feedback from my readers.

What’s your writing process like? Do you use a laptop or do you prefer writing by hand? Do you prefer writing a plot or outline first, or do you just let the idea take you away?

I write on my laptop, usually starting very early in the morning before sunrise. I create an outline and character profiles before I dive into the text. However, I try to hold the plot loosely during the writing process so that story can evolve and organically follow each character’s arc.

If you could be the original author of any book ever published, who would you be? 

The Alchemist, by Paolo Coelho. It’s my favorite book!

Do you see yourself in any of the characters (or any of your traits in any of the characters) or plot? 

I think there are parts of me in both Ailani and the Kahuna. I was more like Ailani as a teenager, and I’m more like the Kahuna now, except I can’t shapeshift or move inanimate objects with my mind!


I would like to thank Mitchell Charles for the interview, and thank you so much for reading guys, and don’t forget to have a great break! 
Nina

Teen Page Turner

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Kingdom Of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

The Kingdom of OceanaTitle: The Kingdom Of Oceana
Author: Mitchell Charles
Publisher: Butterhorse Media
Publication Date: November 27th, 2015
Genre: YA/Adventure/
Length: 222 pages
Source: Publisher

Five Centuries Ago, On the Island Now Called Hawaii, There was a Kingdom Filled with Adventure, Beauty, and Magic. When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki's spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? ONLY ONE CAN RULE. 

One of the hardest things about writing, is creating a setting with enough detail to seem vivid and vibrant, but not too much as not to bore the reader. This book was a perfect balance and every single time something was described or a feature of something was explored you felt like there was a reason behind it. I have never been to Hawaii, yet the setting intrigued me and made me feel like I was in a place I have never actually been to. An author that manages to successfully convey something like this, is therefore a master in creating a good setting. What I thought was very clever, was how he used words from the language that the characters in the book used since it helped us understand the culture they were from.

I thought the idea of having a “guardian animal” was super cute, and made the overall aesthetic feel a lot more “customizable” if that makes sense. As for the main characters, I feel like a had a problem with how static they were. Yes, they were well written, however most of them remained the same throughout the book. Take Ailani’s older brother that is destined to be king as an example. While making the future king slightly evil is an interesting writer’s choice, I feel like Nahoa didn’t really evolve at all. He remained the spoiled brat and it was clear he was not meant to be king. I don’t feel like that’s even a spoiler alert since it’s so obvious due to the fact that The Kingdom of Oceana is kind of like a Disney movie. Actually as a fact, it’s quite similar to Disney’s new movie Moana. Except of course, the main character is male. The island is also quite literally the definition of “exotic”, which makes the story a lot more fun.

3.5 Stars, the book didn’t get the full set of points because of not enough character development, as well as not static enough characters. Points for the setting and immersion into the story.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Vigilante Annie Scarlotte by Robert Kimbrell


Vigilante Annie Scarlotte: Book One
Title: Vigilante Annie Scarlotte: Anthology: The Complete First Series
Author: Robert Kimbrell
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: April 20, 2016
Genre: Adventure, Romance, Mystery
Length: 442 pages
Source: The Review Chain

Because Annie has no recollection of her birth parents, her life is full of unknowns. Still, she seems relatively content with her simple existence in Washington, DC. Marcus, her new Italian boyfriend, adds much desired spice to her life despite secrecy about his position at SecureVest. But when Annie becomes mysteriously ill, it is the catalyst for a life far from simple. Seemingly by luck, Annie discovers that she is maturing into a dhampir (a vampire/human hybrid), and to survive she must feed on fresh human blood. With Marcus fully aware of Annie's predicament, they concoct a scheme: find the evil living among us and act where justice does not. Vigilante Annie is born. In trying to adjust to her new life, Annie feels like a stranger in an unfamiliar land. Because Annie yearns to belong, she confides in father-figure Larry. When Annie finds out her friend Elisa works at SecureVest, where Marcus is employed, things unravel beyond control, and forgotten years from Annie's childhood make themselves known piece by piece. Will Annie be able to satisfy her body's cravings and stay alive? Who wants to use her for their own agenda? Can Annie trust Elisa's friends? Will she ever have the chance to meet her mother? In the end, will Annie be a slave to those who would use her, or will she have an opportunity for a freedom she has never known? 

Annie is a half-vampire that needs human blood to survive. No-one except her Italian boyfriend Marcus knows this, and to keep Annie Scarlotte safe Marcus builds a luxurious hideout in a no-longer-used storage shelter. Whilst not capable of restraining herself from fresh blood, she decides to only feed on evil humans that have caused pain and suffering for others, such as terrorists, murderers, and other criminals. Annie therefore finds these types of people and then uses their blood to feed, living in situation where she can’t trust anyone including closest friends.

I have never read a vampire book. Ever. I’m not sure whether I was just not up to the challenge of reading about a character that seems to outright split YA fans apart. Vampires have over time become very prevalent in many popular YA pieces, however each author seems to choose to portray these characters very differently. Some are evil, some are old, some are teens, some are mysterious, some are celebrities. Since vampires aren’t new characters necessarily as they have been used for centuries in more classical literature, the authors instead of making them up and their world as they go, instead choose to simply build up on it. This causes vampires as characters, be quite complex, with many rules of what they can and can’t do, and also gives the author a chance to decide whether he wants “his” vampire/s to be more traditional in a sense (allergic to garlic and sunshine for example) or if he wants to introduce new rules and say for example that the old ones aren’t real. This specific book’s author Robert Kimbrell decides to do the lather however his way of doing it is to make the vampire in his story as relatable as possible, the easiest way to do this is to introduce a half-vampire. Or dhampirs as they’re called in this book. The main character is one, and this allows us to understand her more as a character, we feel how scared and anxious she is about turning into one, but at the same time feels exhilarated since she’s a mythical creature with powers.

The plot as well as Annie’s universe had a lot of plot holes, relating to the way dhampirs and vampires lived. One of them for example was for example why the people bitten by Annie Scarlotte don’t turn into vampires themselves, defeating the entire purpose of Annie reason to kill them in the first place. The author maybe has decided that people killed by vampires don’t turn into vampires, yet he never clarified. He also never tells us the differences between vampires and dhampirs nor what things about them are myths. He briefly mentions dhampirs not being able to be killed by wooden stakes and the sun however we never are told whether this also applies to vampires?

I also didn’t like how the book decided to go political and out of nowhere started talking about how everything was interconnected making it sound like a conspiracy theory, and how the government was against us and the people in charge were all evil or not approved by the “Stonefish” or the organization Annie Scarlotte is part of. I came here for a short YA novel about vampires and dhampirs, not a 400 page-piece including how the government was against us all and a very vivid account of a terrorist beheading his daughter because she did something against Allah. I don’t know, that part just really bothered me, it did not at all seem suitable for a YA novel which was what is was marketed as? 

The actual story and ending, while infused with clich├Ęs, didn’t feel forced, the story just kind of went on, changing from character to character if a single one was talking for too long and kept changing the scenery and the point of view which was refreshing and insured I didn’t get bored. While being very complex, it usually was descriptive enough to not confuse the reader about what was happening which was great. Although I felt that there were too many new characters being introduced all the time which after time built up confusion.

One thing this book was really good at was creating atmosphere and scenery. The vivid descriptions of the clothing and the way a character looked were great and well thought out. I also liked how Annie Scarlotte decided to only take out the people that had done bad things instead of preying on the innocent, it just made a lot more sense than killing whoever was nearest including family members which is what happens in many vampire/dhampir novels. 

An okay-fast-paced read, if you want something quick that you can return to after longer periods of time.



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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Carrier by Anne Tibbets

Carrier (The Line, #1)Title: The Carrier 
Author: Anne Tibbets
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: 16th June, 2014
Genre: YA/Fiction/Dystopian
Length: 236 pages
Source: Provided by publisher

 Twenty-two -year-old Naya has spent nearly half her life as a sex slave in a government institution called The Line. When she’s kicked out after getting pregnant with twins, she’s got no way to earn a living and a horrifying choice to make: find someone to replace her, or have her babies taken in her stead. 

A doctor with a history of aiding ex-Line girls, Ric Bennett, wants to help. He runs a team of rebels that can delete Naya’s records and free her forever. But when The Line sniffs out his plan, things get bloody, fast. Naya means more to them than just a chance at fresh faces—her twins are part of the government’s larger plan. 

As they hide from government search parties, Ric comes to admire Naya’s quiet strength. And Naya realizes Ric might be a man she can trust. If they make it off the grid, they could build a new life. But first they’ll have to survive the long, vicious reach of The Line.
This book was a lot of fun to read. I wanted to read it due to the fact that it sounded very much like Only Ever Yours by Louise O’ Neal. Which if you have been following my blog, you know I absolutely loved. I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint and while I was worried about the fact that the romance might end up a little cheesy, it was actually okay despite being just the tiniest bit cheesy at the same time. I think it was a good read and I recommend it to anyone who just wants to read something really fast, in a day or two, in intervals or short sittings since you nearly immediately get sucked back into the story. 

What I like was how vivid the characters were, each had an actual personality which is hard to create mainly in books. Towards the end there was also a lot of tension, and another good thing is that you have absolutely no clue how the book is going to end since you don’t even know how it could end. Some parts were a little predictable however at the same time stayed true to the story, plot, and characters instead of having an unpredicted but very confusing plot twist. 

So to sum up the key points:

Negative:
  • In moments a bit predictable.
  • Sometimes the tiniest bit cheesy.

Positive:

  • Each individual character has a distinct personality.
  • Lot of tension towards the end of book.
  • Plot twists stay true to story and character’s inspiration.
  • Good read if you want to have something to read little snippets of during intervals.
  • You gave absolutely no idea how the book  is going to end.
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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Going Bovine

Going BovineTitle: Going Bovine
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell
Publication Date: October 1st, 2010
Genre: YA/Fiction/Comedy/Satire
Length: 480 pages

All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with a minimum of effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.

What do I have to say about this book? You know how sometimes you finish reading a very good book and this warm funny feeling spreads throughout your entire body? I love reading about worlds different than ours, mainly if the worlds captured by the author are funny, light, thought-through, and satirical, in a way that doesn’t come off as arrogant, yet captures an interesting aspect of a genre or idea. That is this book in a nutshell, I’m a devoted Libba Bray fan after reading only two of the books and I’m proud of it. So far, everything this author has to say provides an amazing and engaging commentary on our morals, our beliefs, and actions that instead of making me get a little upset or angry at, make me chuckle. Everything from her characters to the storyline, and all the little plot twists and turns make me loathe myself since I have such a hard time putting down her book.

I know a lot of people have said this book is incredibly average, yet I don’t see how. Libba Bray is incredible at making characters come to life, and writes her books in such a way that they manage to be thought provoking while still relatable, which I honestly think can be extremely difficult sometimes. I feel that it’s one of those books that you either love or hate. No in-betweens. Personally, I like reading strange and weird books that get their point across and if do as well, this book is perfect.

The things I did not like: The repetition of key points throughout the book. The book itself was a little bit too long and therefore some of the parts seemed stretched out in a sense. the beginning didn’t pull you in as good books tend to. It was obvious Bray was trying to make her characters sound funny and sarcastic, occasionally it got to the point where it was annoying. What I like about Cameron is that he’s a very average teen with a not so average problem which gets him into weird situations. Since he’s an average teen and not a super being, he comes off as relatable and thanks to his not so average fatal Cow-Disease his adventures are intriguing and anything but normal. It’s a funny contrast, and I think Bray pulls it off incredibly well.

So to sum up the key points:

Positives:

  • Characters come to life.
  • Great idea, as well as though provoking satire.
  • Off the chars weird while enjoyable.
  • The package includes: Disney Land, an Angel with punk combat boots and wings that change pattern, an average teenager that has an incredibly rare fatal disease, a ginormous road trip with the weirdest characters, and a kickass talking garden gnome and dwarf. I mean…
  • Captures interesting aspects of our morals and beliefs.
  • Is incredibly well written if we’re talking about the vivid description of places.
  • The jokes in the book are sometimes so random and just plain strange, that at one point it feels like you have these inside jokes with the characters.
  • The dialogues sounds real, and the characters’ personalities come off great in them.

Negatives:

  • Tends to get a little repetitive, and you will see the ending coming as soon as you pick up the novel.
  • A little bit too long.
  • Doesn’t exactly grip you from the beginning.
  • The tone that Libba Bray uses can sometimes come off as though she’s trying to hard to make her characters sound funny and sarcastic can get annoying at times.
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Monday, July 18, 2016

MUC and The Great Gatsby Giveaway!



I hate to say it but it’s the end of summer vacation approaching! (Must finish reading ALL the books). If you know me, or have been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I love reading YA and Classics alike. I thought that it would therefore be a good idea to giveaway one of my all-time favorite classics (drum roll): The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. How I got it is actually a funny story. It was my birthday in June so I decided for my birthday I’d buy myself some books from the money I got. I have already read the Great Gatsby however my copy got destroyed when I took it to the beach one day…Why are you so cruel and heartless sea water why?! I found a small unabridged book which I thought would be perfect for my trip to France, however (cues dramatic music) a friend of mine knew how upset I was about losing my copy so she got me the exact same book I bought! which I know is really sweet but I wasn’t sure what to do about the copy I bought. But then I realized, I could do my first giveaway! 



I’m also giving away a copy of one of my favorite book series’ first book Model Under Cover: A Crime of Fashion. The reason I’m giving it away is because I have two copies since I won a signed copy from Carina Axelsson back in October and I have to get rid of books I have more copies of. It is a really good book (my review) , and hopefully you’ll like it! I’ll actually visit Paris in a few days’ time and there’s a really awesome small guide to the Author’s favorite places which I’ll definitely try to see while I’m staying there.



To enter all you have to do is follow my blog and my Instagram. The rest is only for extra entries. The winner will be announced a day after the giveaway ends (August 1st).

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Good Luck Teen Page Turners!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Articles

Blog Articles
Summer 2016 Book Haul (read here)
My Thoughts on Guilty Pleasure Books (read here)
My Bucket List (read here)
Reading Pop Sugar Challenge (read here)
February Favorites (read here)
More Books in your Inbox (read here)
Japan Crate (read here)