sugg_girlAnyone else noticed that some of our favourite YouTubers are coming out with books lately? Here’s just a few to get you started.

Grace Helbig of the YouTube channel It’s Grace is a ‘tell it like it is’ comedian and her book Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending will be out later this year. She also co-hosted the Streamy awards this year with our second entry.

Hannah Hart of MyHarto with her book My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going with Your Gut. My Drunk Kitchen is already available overseas. ***Under age or irresponsible drinking is not condoned by any of the Escape Club team.

Zoe Sugg of the channel Zoella has her book Girl Online coming soon.

Her OTL Alfie Deyes of Pointless Blog has a fun activity book, The Pointless Book, out now. I love that the by-line says ‘Started by Alfie Deyes finished by you’.  His signings have been just a little insane. He gets more hits on his videos than the BBC gets on some of its most highly-rated programs.

ItsWayPastMyBedTime  aka Carrie Fletcher (yep, the little sister of Tom Fletcher, the guy who did the best wedding speech ever). Not only does she spend her working life as Eponine from Les Miserables, but she’s also coming out with a real page turner next year called All I Know Now.

And for our picture book lovers, that Tom Fletcher guy mentioned above has a picture book series called The Dinosaur That Pooped . I dunno about you, but I think there’ll be a few little boys happy to be reading something like that.

If I’ve missed any that you know of, put them in the comments. Oh, and remember to link both their book and their channel.



‘Tis the season… To chill out.

SPARKS_ALL i WANTWe’re about to have a scorcher summer and a hotter than Hades holiday season.

I’m not really a jolly old soul when it comes to hitting the stores and dealing with so many people in a small space. I usually need to decompress and relax after hearing Jingle Bells for the millionth time. Here are five seasonal things I consider to be the big guns to surviving Christmas.

What things do you do to calm down after a hectic trip to the shops at this time of year?

Are there any Christmas things we should know about to help us chill out even more?

 



Belinda_kissesGoing on a job hunt part 4

Seriously, I was 18 the last time I had an official job interview, so I was shocked to get a call back, and was nervous like you wouldn’t believe on the day of the interview.

Here are a few ideas to consider for when you get the call to come in for an interview, and things I want to do better next time this happens to me.

#1 Read up on the company. Get to know as much as you can about whom you’ve applied to. Most places I’m applying for have websites that contain an about page. You don’t necessarily have to memorise everything, but know enough to get a feel for their culture and values.

#2 Bring a pen. Black ink is best, but make sure it works and is a quick drying type. That way if you have any paperwork to fill out you’ll be prepared and you won’t have to borrow one of theirs. *warning, check the pen for leaks and keep it in a safe and easily accessible place so as to avoid inksplosions or the hand bag treasure hunt.*

#3 Prepare at least 3 really good questions to ask your interviewer that have nothing to do with pay rates. I found this list on seek.com.au to be quite a good place to start.

#4 Bring a copy of your resume, cover letter, birth certificate, a recent photo, and any relevant letters of recommendation, character references or certificates. Depending on how the company works, HR/ head office may or may not have passed on everything you submitted in the application to your interviewer.

#5 Smile. Sounds easy and all that, but when you’re nervous as all get out, you’re probably more worried about getting the answers right and sounding appropriate. Smiling can be either strained or non-existent.  Smile when you shake their hand, and if you are too nervous to smile constantly, work on your body language… here’s a great Tedx lecture by Allan Pease.



plum_after the endBelinda_kisses_tnBel:

Cover

This looks for all with world like a post apocalyptic novel with a desolate desert scene, a cityscape in the distance and beside the sky in shades of sunset; there is only a lone figure in a red hoodie with two dogs. Quite dramatic and fits the story really well.

Characters

Almost everyone in this story is morally corrupt. Makes it easy to pick who I would want at my back.

Favourite

No brainer this one. Juneau, she’s discovering the world for the first time, literally, and making the best of the situation. She has to be one of the best heroines this year.

Least Favourite

Hmmm, this one is more difficult. Mr. Blackwell just makes my hackles rise.

Beginning

Juneau is going about the business of getting her clan fed. Then the helicopters came and took all but her and one other away to a far off place. It’s up to Juneau to find them and free them.

Storyline

When she travels beyond her clan’s borders, Juneau finds that her upbringing was based on lies. She’s determined to find her clan and free them, but the men who took her clan are now on the hunt for her.

Ending

Like last month’s book this continues on… so technically there was no ending.

Thoughts

I wasn’t holding my breath on liking this one. HOWEVER, I ended up having this book finished in about 12 hours. I loved it. I was glad some of the bad things I was expecting didn’t happen. I like that Juneau is battling on, and her focus is buoyed by the person we least expected. (Whoops, spoiler alert). I will definitely be looking to read on. Amy Plum has made a fan out of me.

Quote

“No, that’s what you do when your baby’s freaking out. So, Poe’s a raven-I inter-species extrapolated. And it worked. What would you have done?” ~Juneau giving Miles a piece of her mind.

plum_Until-the-Beginning-cover-lgKrista McKeeth_2_tnKrista:

Cover

I really love the cover design, the contrast between the deserted land into the city and the clouds is really intriguing. But I don’t think it really fitted the story at all.

Characters

The story is told from rotating chapters between Juneau and Miles. She is on a mission, straight forward, direct and means business. Miles is just wanting to get away from his father who is very upset he just flunked a test and staying on his good side. He’s more laid back and curious.

Favourite

I found Juneau to be completely engrossing. She was in business mode, following the instructions she was given and always keeping her goal in mind. You don’t get that very often in YA books; it caught me off guard and I loved it.

Least Favourite

I would have to say Miles’ dad: completely egotistical and focused on money, no matter what the consequences.

Beginning

After some travelling, Juneau finds herself among a busy city full of people and technology and life. She was raised believing after World War Three in 1984 there was nothing left. Her clan disappeared while she was hunting and she must find them.

Storyline

Travelling from Alaska to Seattle, Juneau finds a world she did not know existed. Following the guidance of her Yara and her instincts, she uses her learned powers to guide her to her missing clan. She must out run the drug company that is after her by travelling through many states, and a member of her own clan who may have deceived them all.

Ending

It ends with a lot of questions and on a cliff hanger. Right when everything is all coming together, we have to wait! There is some romance as Miles and Juneau get close through their travels, but it definitely does not play a huge role in the story. The ending really shows a lot of heart.

Thoughts

With the book cover and the summary of the book, I was hoping for more apocalyptic-dystopian of a story, but was also pleasantly surprised to come by a character like Juneau. Not your usual type for a main character but one of the most admirable girls I have come across yet. She knew what had to be done and did whatever was needed to keep going. She didn’t take any crap and told it like it was: the full truth and nothing but the truth. I also love travelling or “road trip” stories and with this one we get to travel a lot, including to my home town of Salt Lake City!

Quote
“I’m lying here in a tent, pretending to be asleep but actually fearing for my life as I watch a bunny murderer have a conversation with our campfire.”- Miles

 



Belinda_kisses_tnBelinda Hamilton compares the book and film version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

 

 

Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Book

I was a little surprised by how short this book is, but with a highly concentrated story. So much fits into such a small package. Confronting themes are abundant and–forget about staying comfortable–you’re forced to look at the beauty in the ugliness.

I love the diary/letter writing format. Though it allows you to easily put the book down and take a break, the story is strong enough to have you picking it straight back up the moment you’re able to.

The characters are easy to relate to and well fleshed out. I felt for each of them in their personal struggles and each and every one had their own arc and progression. It is no wonder this film has received critical acclaim.

 

The Film

Stephen Chbosky directed this one so it’s no surprise that it is a brilliant film adaption.

Emma Thompson, Ezra Miller and Logan Lerman are the perfect picks for their characters and, I must admit, Ezra as Patrick is my favourite of the three. *sigh*

The drug-use scenes are suitably disturbing and Charlie’s mental state is depicted with respect and brutal honesty. This is something I find to be extremely important when mental illness is still such a taboo.

I was gripped and entertained, but also kept off-centre and confronted. I did like it, but I’ll have to be in the right mood to rewatch this film.

 

The wrap up

There don’t seem to be any big scenes missing and the shock value is still as strong in the film. The book and the film were created by the same man, so the adaption is as close to the author’s vision as it could ever be.

Despite this, I’m still going to say the book is better in the long run.

The only difference for me is the internal voice as I was reading versus the narration in the film. In my mind Charlie is a gentler person, but that may be just down to my interpretation.



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