Joelene_tnJoelene and Belinda are representing The Escape Club at a Laini Taylor/Hachette event in Sydney.

With Bel doing her part to make our Sydney trip fantastically memorable, I’ve decided to pull my boots up and make sure that I have everything in order too. Not wanting Bel to show me up yet again, I considered making a video of my efforts, but I fear that watching me read is somewhat less fascinating than curling hair. And Bel’s hair-curling video really is fascinating. She’s achieved the classical vintage look with seemingly no effort – bonus for getting to watch her sing in the mirror!

So, my copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone arrived. I nearly squealed with happiness, which would have likely caused my customers some distress, but managed – just – to hold it in. Obviously, I started reading it in my break because I am dedicated to the YA bloggers’ night! All altruism here; no ulterior motive.

Joelne's dressAnd wow. If you haven’t read Daughter of Smoke and Bone yet, you should. My paltry ten minute break was more than enough time for me to fall into the pages and wish never to emerge. It was also enough to keep me glued to the pages for at least ten minutes too long and receive disapproving stares from my manager when I did emerge.

Maybe it’s just me, but something about a novel set in Prague featuring an art student with peacock-blue hair demands to be read. I put the book down just to come and write this, by the way. I am obviously so dedicated, and sort of hate my computer a little bit right now because it’s keeping me from my book. I was up to a really good part too. I tried to get to a part that wasn’t good, but it was an exercise in futility. They’re all good parts. Seriously, get this book!

Now, I’m sure that some very unkind Burn Bright readers will think that reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone is just another way of procrastinating, so I made alternative attempts to organise. And also, no. Reading great books is in no way a pleasure to me. It’s all for the cause!

I went dress shopping! I bought dresses, and skirts. Now I have too many options rather than too few so I’ll have to try everything on multiple times and demand second opinions.

I have also figured out cost-cutting measures for accessories. It’s a slightly dangerous venture but again, dedication, I have it. If I wait until late enough at night, I can raid my sister’s stash of necklaces, bangles and earrings. It will require bypassing her bad-tempered cat, but I think it can be done.

Now all that I have to do is hope that Days of Blood and Starlight arrives in store soon, so that I’m not stranded without the second book when I finish the first. Also figure out make-up. This may just require another shopping trip…



cox-dead girls walking“They say you should wear clean underwear in case you’re hit by a bus… they don’t warn you about what you wear over it though…”

Charlotte gets to spend eternity wearing her school uniform and a pair of her Mum’s shoes that she borrowed without permission. That’s pretty unfortunate. But what is truly unfortunate for Charlotte is that she was murdered. Now she is one of three members of the ‘Dead Girls Detective Agency’ (along with token male Edison) who solve the murders of their fellow teens. Dead Girls Walking is the second book in the Dead Girls Detective Agency series by Suzy Cox. This time the agency is working on solving the murder of budding actress Mercy Grant, who was killed just when she was in the middle of performing Hamlet.

It reprises its original characters well and the continuity is good. These teens were murdered, but rather than moving on to the next life they’ve stuck around to help other teens in the same predicament. The concept is fresh since the focus is on the ghost-side of things with a hint of the living. However, the author does try a little too hard to get the ‘teen speak’ down. If you haven’t read the first novel, it’s simple enough to pick up the plot and concept, which comes with pros and cons. In the positive, the characters are developed well enough, with good explanations of what has occurred in their past so that you can enjoy this novel without any prior knowledge. This is also a downside, as the novel isn’t as fresh as you would really like a sequel to be. The other battle going on is who is the star of the book. Charlotte who was our main character for book one, steals the limelight of our new victim Mercy, and their two stories collide somewhat haphazardly on the page.

Overall, the plot is fast moving, but there is a very large cliff-hanger that is sprung on the reader. While this makes the ending a little frustrating, it certainly intrigues you to want to check out the third novel. If you’re looking for a light read, Dead Girls Walking is a good choice. 



Go Jane say they’ve been around as an online fashion retailer for fourteen years. What do you think of this selection? Marianne really likes the rainbow shoes.

go jane overalls go jane_body con dress

go jane dye hard go jane_rainbow shoes



scott_waitingRight before reading Waiting on the Sidelines, I had to let out a big sigh and a couple of eye rolls. I was sick and tired of the same old ‘love’ story where the popular guy (with all the beautiful girls he could ever want swarming around him) falls for the not-so-popular average girl. Not only that, but he completely changes his ways for her, and becomes this ‘really good guy’.

BORING! I’m done with that!

Waiting on the Sidelines was that…but SO MUCH more!

The popular guy is this story is Reed Johnson. He’s a star footballer in his small town and has a lot of pressure and expectations weighing him down. Not only was his older brother a star quarter back, but so was his dad.

The not-so-popular girl in Waiting on the Sidelines is Nolan. She’s a complete tomboy. She loves wearing her brother’s hand-me-downs and has never worn any makeup. Nolan doesn’t fit in. Unlike most of the kids who attend her high school, she doesn’t live in a big mansion; instead, she lives in a trailer at the end of a dirt road, and she drives an old beat-up car that she absolutely loves.

Reed is used to girls trying to catch his attention by doing the dumbest things, but those girls don’t include Nolan. While she does admit he is very cute, Nolan isn’t stumbling around to be near Reed. He quickly notices this, and it’s what attracts him to Nolan.

High school seems to be running smooth for Reed, but for Nolan it’s been a struggle. She had no idea just how hard high school was going to be…but there might be one guy who can make it all worthwhile.

It’s true that I had my doubts at the beginning of this book, but those were quickly thrown out the door. While this book may have the general underlying script that I described above, it was so much more.

Reed acted like a normal teenage guy. Yes, he did start changing slowly throughout the book, but not all at once. He still made mistakes, he was still fooling around with girls, and he still acted the same way he did before he met Nolan. It took quite some time (the book takes place over four years) for him to finally open up to Nolan.

On the other hand, Nolan puts all her love and trust in Reed, just to have her heart broken repeatedly over the four years of high school. She knows she’s lucky to have a guy like Reed because of his gentle side, but Reed quickly learns that he is even luckier to have a girl like Nolan.

Reed and Nolan were amazing characters. They were real and acted like normal teenagers would. But I also really liked Reed’s dad and his housekeeping lady. While Reed’s dad was rich, he didn’t let the money get to his head. His relationship with Nolan, even when she was going through a rough patch with Reed, was really sweet! I loved him. Reed’s housekeeping lady was the mother he didn’t have. She was there when he was sick, when he was hungry, and even when his dad was working.

This was one of the sweetest and most heart-breaking stories I’ve read in a long time! All the emotions and feels I had for Waiting on the Sidelines were absolutely crazy! I was all over the place and constantly rooting for Reed and Nolan! Reed knows how to be sweet, and knows how to take care of Nolan, which I really liked.

While the entire story was a crazy rollercoaster of emotions (and tears), the ending was perfect! I’m excited to read more of Ginger Scott’s writing!



Joelene_tnJoelene Pynnonen love a good kids movie.

 

 

the-lego-movie-posterEmmet Brickowski is an ordinary construction worker, living life by the manual, when he finds a woman called Wyldstyle illegally searching his construction site. She’s mesmerising, and for once Emmet goes against the manual, following her rather than reporting her. Stumbling into a chasm, he finds the Piece of Resistance, the only object that might stop the evil Lord Business’s super-weapon, the Kragle.

Years earlier, it was prophesied that a person called “The Special” would be the one to locate the Piece of Resistance, which makes Emmet, Lord Business’s number one target. When he is captured by Lord Business’s lieutenant, Bad Cop, Wyldstyle steps in to save him. Now it’s up to him to find the powerful master-builders and convince them to launch an attack on Lord Business’s empire before he uses the Kragle to destroy them all.

I love kids’ movies, especially the ones that have been released in the last few years and are targeted at a wider audience. Even so, Lego Movie was not something that I was interested in when the trailer came out. Now, I’ve played several of the Lego games and am well aware of how fun they are. I just didn’t think that it would translate well to the big screen. Fortunately, my brother twisted my arm until I agreed to see it.

From the out-set Lego Movie is a fast-paced and laugh-out-loud funny film. There’s plenty of slapstick comedy for kids, but this is interwoven with subtler social-commentary humour and pop-culture jokes. The combination works so well that you’ll have to watch the movie more than once to appreciate all of the jokes.

This is one of those movies that combines its elements perfectly to create a fun and exciting film. The animation is wonderful, not quite losing the authentic feel of a stop motion film even though it is CGI. Voice acting is equally flawless. There are too many amazing performances to list, but Liam Neeson’s role as Good Cop/Bad Cop is superb.

While Lego Movie is a fantastic film, it is let down by the ending, which introduces a theme that has been done before – and better – by Pixar. The movie is entertaining enough to carry itself without needing a deeper meaning, and would have been stronger for it.

Lego Movie is another animated film that is transcending age. The plot is simple, but the execution is clever. 


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