Meyer_twilightThanks to Divergent’s later Aussie release date I’ve had to scramble and slip in another movie for March. *pouty face* Boo to the pewpy release date. Boo!

The Book

There are so many fan-created book trailers out there, but I had trouble finding an official one.  I also ‘read’ the audio book this time around, though I did read the entire series by Stephenie Meyer in paperback before the books were made into movies.

This version has the original artwork on the cover, is in MP3 format, and is on one disc. Yes, an entire unabridged book on one disc. It was lovely to just flick it over to my MP3 player and listen to Ilyana Kadushin do her thing. Considering the running time is 13 hours (yup, thirteen hours) you’re certainly going to be getting your money’s worth.

From what I can remember from reading the books, Bella in my head wasn’t anything like she was in the films, and apparently Ilyana felt the same when she was narrating the story for Bolinda Audio. She brings dimension, emotion, and drive to the story that you may not have had in your head, or found in the film.

For anyone who wouldn’t necessarily touch the series with a ten foot barge pole (VAMPIRES DON’T SPARKLE DAMN IT) give the Bolinda audio book a try. Who knows! Maybe you can like the books and just not tell anyone. *wink*




The Film

I saw this film twice in the cinemas in 2008 and I bought it on DVD for the sake of this series.

I’ll quickly mention the things I love about this film. The locations are breathtaking, most of which are around Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. Silver Falls State Park in Oregon is magical.

The song Decode by the band Paramore never fails to give me goose bumps. 

The giggle factor was the other thing I adored. Now I know this is supposed to be a totally serious film, but I cannot help but see the funny side of bad hair, one-dimensional acting and vampires that sparkle.

I have taken into account the lack of funding and that the director wasn’t as high profile as the person who took over the rest of the saga, so in that respect they did amazingly well to get it up to that standard.

So the verdict: If you haven’t seen, read or heard Twilight yet, go with the audio book first. Ilyana does this story justice and makes it extremely consumable. If and only IF you can view it as a totally separate entity should you watch the film; don’t take it seriously and walk in ready for all the characters to take themselves way too seriously. I dare you not to laugh.

Natalie PanekI really wanted to do a complete profile for this inspiring young woman, however, as is with most women who are really worth talking about, there is very little information to be found.

Natalie Panek is an up-and-comer in the scientific world and, with a couple of successful Tedx talks under her belt, people are beginning to sit up and take notice… slowly.

In her last Tedx talk she spoke of the gender inequality we create for ourselves as women. We create it for ourselves because we don’t seek out the women who really make a difference, who are working to keep their heads above water in a highly masculine industry and who themselves may not value what they’re achieving enough  to realise that we need them to speak up and become the role models for future generations.

So, as there is a severe lack of biographical information, I’ll link you to her Tedx talks and let her speak for herself. You’ll be hard pressed to not walk a little taller and enjoy the day a little more after hearing what Natalie has to say.

We will certainly be watching to see how she can reshape the feminist movement.

Revolutionising Female Empowerment

Why we explore

Natalie also has her own YouTube channel, where she posts videos of her adventures. A rolling stone gathers no moss, and this young woman is certainly going places.

Fried-Green-Tomatoes-Extended-Anniversary-EditionBelinda_kisses_tnI’ve been going back through some movies set in the early-to-mid-1900s, and noticed how women have really been trail blazing for their sisters since long before Germaine Greer popped her head onto the scene.

Here are five movies that leave me feeling empowered and make me proud to be a woman. These movies span the most formative 50 years of women’s liberation and all before we burned our bras and the word Feminist became a dirty word.


Fried Green Tomatoes – The earlier plot line is set in the 1920s. A mixture of self-discovery and storytelling, this one makes me bubble with pride. TO WANDA!!!



The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

If you think you have nothing in common with your parents, think again. Set in the late 1930s, we follow the Ya-Ya’s on their journey into womanhood, while flipping into modern times and having a blast as relationships mend and grow. YA-YA!!!



A League of Their Own

While the men were fighting the war in the 1940s, women were called upon to keep up morale on home soil by creating a baseball league. Go PEACHES!!!



Mona Lisa Smile

The story of a teacher in the 1950s who changes her student’s lives by asking them to expect more from themselves than just being a housewife. Be yourselves.




The Help – This film is not only about women’s rights, but also shines a light on 1960s apartheid in living colour. This movie is fabulously entertaining and shows things from another point of view. (There’s a quote in here about poop…but you’ll have to watch the film or read the book to get it.)



If you know of any other good films that give you goosebumps, leave a comment below. I’m always on the search for the next brilliant feminist movie.


exercise-a-z-comp #5 Grab a little exercise – Personally, I find it really difficult to stay angry when I’m walking. Try bike riding (on a safe track if you’re really angry), running, walking, or even punching a punching bag if you have one.

 #4 Gardening – Slow down and create something on a crummy day. It will be beautiful on a better day, get you back to nature, and give you something to look forward to. Try growing food-producing plants such as vegetables and herbs to be able to ‘eat your rage’ in a more literal sense.

 #3 Talk to someone – If you don’t have a trusted adult, teacher, or school councillor, call Lifeline (13 11 14) or Kids Help Line (1800 55 1800) to vent and externalise the internal maelstrom of emotion. Someone may be able to help you find your way through the tangle.

 #2 Wash away the bad day – Have a shower and visualise the horrible feelings going down the drain with the water. When you step out squeaky clean, you can picture the rest of the day to be the same.

 #1 Have a good cry – Sometimes a crummy day just can’t be helped and you need to have a good cry about it.

 “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” 

― L.M. Montgomery


hug-it-outFive ways to deal with your teen’s crummy days (for adults or friends)

#5 Listen actively to what is being said – Ask questions about the crummy day to let them know you’re up to speed with them.

#4 Leave them alone – Sometimes they’ll ask you to just leave them to calm down before anything can be resolved or talked about. This one always worries me personally, but as long as it isn’t a constant silence and they do eventually seek someone out to talk, it should be fine.

 #3 Offer them help – You can offer help, but remember not to try and solve the issue for the person. Working through adversity builds character and fosters resilience. If it’s a matter of helping them study, or preparing for an exam, then sure: Saddle up for the race to the finish line!

 #2 Show them you care about them – A thinking of you card, a hand written letter, or a small, thoughtful gift can lift someone’s spirits.

 #1 Give them a hug – It’s free, it feels good, and most people I know (adults and teens alike) really need one after they’ve had a crummy day. 

Shirvington_Embrace_audioEmbrace in MP3 Audio Book Format

Book written by Jessica Shirvington Read by Rebecca Macauley

The copy of the audio book I received from Bolinda Audio to review has a cover reminiscent of the US hard cover. Purple background with a pretty girl facing away from us with black feathers and beautiful wings in a sort of smoky impression, foretelling that the story is about Angels. The design by Andrea C. Uva is effective and pleasing to the eye.

The impression I got from reading Embrace in paperback, was that the story wasn’t necessarily set in Australia, though with this unabridged, 9 hour 57 minute, narration by Rebecca Macauley, it is firmly set somewhere on Aussie soil. It seems right that Violet has an Aussie accent.

I find some female narrators struggle with projecting their male voice in a convincing way, and after a while of hearing Rebecca my mind wasn’t sending warnings about all the voices being a girl. That takes serious vocal skill.

Rebecca beautifully picks up on the tensions between characters and I caught myself gnashing my teeth constantly in the awkward scenes. She possesses the clout and the innocence needed to convincingly read this series.

Lisa, Krista and I reviewed Embrace in the September 2012, Burn Bright Book Club.

 For information on the audio book from Bolinda, please follow the links.




Published by Bolinda Audio in April 2012

ISBN/ ISBN-13 and APN     9871743106648

BAB 120424

1 MP3 music 

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