S4S – Covers

Hello! It’s Sunday already, woah how?!

This week’s theme is:

Six types of book cover I love

I talked about covers I love on Thursday, so here are the 6 types of books that will make me pick them up!

  1. Books with gold on the cover (Hello AQKOT, BBT)
  2. Simple covers
  3. Rainbow covers (Think Becoming Betty, Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index)
  4. Dark, mysterious covers (Sin Eater’s Daughter, hello)
  5. Covers with beautiful spines/pages (Wing Jones, sprayed edges, come at me)
  6. Anything with a hint of magic on the cover! (Paper Magician, The Night Circus)

There you go, if any or many of these things are on your cover… you can guarantee I’ll pick it up. I love the books. OK?

What makes you want to pick up a book?
What attracts you, like a magpie, to a book?
Do you agree with my choices?

Let me know your #SixforSunday on twitter, or link me up on your blog! 

S x

 

Disney villains

Here we go with the 3rd and final post of the Disney week! Thanks so much to Andrew for having me along to discuss Disney villains as part of his Disney weekend! 

Now for me, I always struggle with this “Favourite Disney villains” thing: am I meant to talk about the ones I like the most? The ones I think are the most evil? WHO KNOWS. I have gone for the ones, in my eyes who are the MOST evil. The ones I wouldn’t like to mess with. The ones who scare me the most. 

Image result for jafar

Jafar (Aladdin): he terrifies me. I remember watching Aladdin when I was younger and thinking this man was the most horrible man ever. He’s evil, conniving and power hungry. He betrays the Sultan and holds Jasmine against her will. I’ve ALWAYS thought he’s one of the scariest

Image result for gaston

Gaston (Beauty and the Beast): you all know how I feel about Gaston. I think he’s mean. I think he’s repulsive. He’s narcissistic and self-obsessed. He’s Machiavellian. He’s just wicked. I don’t think he’s the Disney villain who has DONE the worst things, but he’s certainly one of the ones that repulses me the most. 

Image result for randall

Randall (Monsters Inc): probably a surprising one to have on the list, but he creeps me out. He’s horrible to Mike and Sully. He’s a cheat. He can turn invisible (which is always a bit weird) and he’s quite sneaky. Plus, he has ALL THOSE TEETH. I’m not a fan. He gives me the creeps.

Image result for scar lion king

Scar (The Lion King): I can’t mention Disney villains who I’m scared of the most without mentioning Scar. He kills his own brother (spoiler alert, ha) and then takes over his pride. That’s just another level of evil. Plus he’s mean to Simba. He just has that evil look about him. And ‘Be Prepared‘ is one of those Disney songs that just gives me the creeps.

Image result for sheriff of nottingham disney

Sheriff of Nottingham (Robin Hood): I hate him so much. He preys on vulnerable people and takes advantage of people. He’s the direct opposite of Robin Hood – and I love Robin Hood. The scenes of him collecting taxes break my heart, especially when they’re in the church. He’s just such an EVIL person. And look at him. He’s horrid.

Honourable mentions: (dishonourable?!)

  • Mother Gothel – Tangled
  • Hades – Hercules (his sassiness stops me hating him totally)
  • Maleficent
  • Ursula – The Little Mermaid 

So there we go! My favourite (or least favourite, IDK HOW TO WORK THIS) Disney villains. I can honestly say all of these I dislike, but I think Jafar and Gaston are up there for me. 

Who are your most hated villains?
What makes a good villain to you?

S x

Favourite covers

A while back I was wondering about what makes a “good” cover of a book. What makes people want to pick up a book? Why do we choose certain covers over others? (I know, I know, we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover but shush, we all do it. I am guilty of it to the highest extent. I will buy a book in its prettier cover… sue me). So I asked the lovely people on Twitter to help me out to see their responses and man did I get a good response. I posted this message:

Capture

And I got an AWFUL lot of responses. I thought I’d share some of them with you (I couldn’t share them all, you’d be here forever!)

Capture2

I need this book in my life. LOOK AT IT.

Capture5

Capture8

*heart eyes*

Capture6

Mikayla knows whats up. Good Queen Mel fan there, like me.

Some other favourites from the people. So much love. (click to make them bigger)

If you’d like to see the original tweet and all the responses then clickity, click, click. Thank you so much to everyone who did reply! 

From all of these, I think there is no answer to what makes a GOOD cover, as always it’s down to personal preference. Here are some of my faves…

pretty covers

I have read 7 of these, the other 3… I am DYING to read.

How about you? 
What makes a “good” cover to you?
What makes you want to pick up a book? 
Are you, like me, a fan of a beautiful cover on a book?

Let me know on twitter or in the comments, I’d love to see some more beautiful covers! I may do a MG version of this post too, because there are some GORGEOUS MG covers out there!

S x

Disney sidekicks!

Continuing my Disney week, today I’m going to share my

Favourite Disney sidekicks

Now, to me a sidekick can be the thing that makes or breaks the main character. There are SO MANY brilliant sidekicks in Disney films: from animals, to humans, to robots… all kinds of everything. I have a fondness for lots of different sidekicks in Disney films. 

In no particular order (although, I definitely have a favourite on this list!), here goes: 

Lumiere and Cogsworth – Beauty and the BeastImage result for lumiere and cogsworth
(and probably all of the furniture in the castle)

Like everything else in Beauty and the Beast, I love these two. They’re the perfect mix. The two of them make me laugh a lot. Lumiere and his incessant optimism and Cogsworth with his tendency to worry. These two, for me are excellent additions and make excellent sidekicks. The Beast and Belle are lucky to have them around. (Their portrayals in the live action movie were absolutely spot on too!)

Image result for aladdin genie
Genie – Aladdin.

C’mon. Who wouldn’t want a genie? Granting you wishes and being sassy. He’s hilarious, loyal and full of attitude. Plus he can sing. What more does a film need? I love Robin Williams and this portrayal of Genie is one of my favourite Disney characters.

Image result for pascal disney

 


Pascal – Tangled

This dude may only be a chameleon but he’s full of attitude and he looks after Rapunzel brilliantly! He’s funny and sassy – a perfect combination for a sidekick.

Image result for baymax disney


Baymax – Big Hero 6

Hello, my name is Steph and I love Baymax SO MUCH. He’s funny, unintentionally, reliable and caring. I love him so much. Big Hero 6 is one of those films I can watch over and over again and it’s because of Baymax – he just makes me laugh. 

Image result for zazu
Zazu – Lion King

Bossy and sarcastic. Zazu makes me laugh. He’s got a great manner – he doesn’t like to stand for Simba’s attitude. Plus, he’s voiced by Rowan Atkinson – a very funny man!

 

Honourable mentions:

  • Abu and Magic carpet – Aladdin
  • Little John – Robin Hood
  • Dory – Finding Nemo
  • Maximus – Tangled
  • Phillipe – Beauty and the Beast

So there you go! Again, don’t hold me to this list in like a day/a month/a year… it will have changed! 

Do you have a favourite sidekick?
Is your favourite on this list?
Is there anyone you think deserves a spot on my list?

Let me know in the comments or on twitter! 

S x

BOOKBLOG: David Owen

The Fallen Children: haunting, supernatural and compelling

IMG_4863

“Young people on the Midwich Estate don’t have much hope for their futures. Keisha has lived there her whole life, and has been working hard to escape it; others have just accepted their lot. But change is coming…
One night everyone inside Midwich Tower falls mysteriously unconscious in one inexplicable ‘Nightout’. No one can explain what happened during those lost hours, but soon afterwards Keisha and three other girls find they’re pregnant – and the babies are growing at an alarming rate.
As the news spreads around the tower its residents turn against them and the situation spirals toward violence. Keisha’s life unravels as she realises that the pregnancy may not have just ruined her hopes for the future: she might be mother to the end of the world.”

The Fallen Children tells the story of a group of young women who one night end up falling pregnant by some strange alien creatures. Their block of flats and all the inhabitants are somehow all put to sleep by these aliens. The story continues with the tale of how they are suddenly thrust together, knowing how the others feel and what they all think, with these babies growing (at an alarming rate) inside of them. How their bodies change and react, to their babies being born and the impact it has on their lives, the relationships and their mental health. It’s supernatural, a bit dark and tells the tale of complicated families – from all different angles. 

I really liked a lot of the characters in this book. It’s told from many different perspectives which is one of the things I liked most about it. Lots of books tell the story from differing perspectives and get it wrong, this one gets it totally right. There are so many lives affected by these weird pregnancies that it was great to see how each of the characters reacted and what impact it had on each of them. As a collective their dynamic changed drastically from the beginning of the book to the way they interacted by the end. There’s a lovely mix of female characters who are thrown into the mix in this story: teenagers and adults. Their mix of family dynamics is particularly important – you see some very strict households, to some distant dads and sets of loving parents. 

This is certainly a book that I don’t think I’ve come across before and it’s one which I don’t think I’ll come across again. The other special thing about it is that there are 360 different cover colours (the temptation to want all 360 is there… but moneys) and there are even some “golden eggs” – which are white covers with golden eggs, instead of black with coloured eggs. My cover is 108, yay for purple and even number!

Go all of you. Read this. It’s great. 

Have you read The Fallen Children?
What did you think of it?
What colour and number do you have?

Let me know in the comments, or on twitter (@eenalol). I would love to see other colours!

S x

Disney songs!

This week there’s going to be 3 Disney posts, because every now and again a girl needs to send some love Disney’s way. After the success of the recent Beauty and the Beast live action and it’s incredible EVERYTHING, I thought I’d do a post about my favourite Disney songs. (There won’t be any Beauty and the Beast songs, because I’ve done a blog post for those already: Beauty and the Beast, so it’s time to give the rest of the Disney universe some love! 

These are in no particular order, just my 10 favourite (not counting Beauty and the Beast) songs!

Image result for mulan

 

Mulan – I’ll Make A Man Out of You

Admittedly, I hadn’t seen Mulan til about a year ago. This has always been one of my favourite Disney songs – I just never particularly understood its meaning until I saw the film.

Image result for frozen

Frozen – Let It Go

I have to admit, I was kind of anti-Frozen for a while. Then I saw it and I was like, yep this is alrite. Now this song I can’t NOT sing along to. It’s SUCH a good song. I don’t think it’s the BEST Disney song ever, but it’s a good singalong song!

Image result for robin hood disney

 

Robin Hood – The Phoney King of England

In my opinion, Robin Hood is one of the mos underrated Disney films. I proper love it. I love this song. It’s so full of character and rebellion, but in a lovely way. 

Image result for toy story 2

 

Toy Story 2 – When Somebody Loved Me

Now, I’m not a MASSIVE Toy Story fan. Toy Story 3 destroyed me emotionally though. But this song just hits me hard. I can’t listen to it without getting emotional. It just hits me hard and makes me weep.

Image result for brave disney

 

Brave – Touch The Sky

Brave is one of my favourite Disney films and I love the folky sound of this song. It makes me smile. It’s such a song of I WILL BREAK FREE AND I WILL BE AN AWESOME PERSON. Brave needs more love.

Image result for lion king disney

 

I Just Can’t Wait To Be King – The Lion King

Lion King is such a good song film but this one for me stands out as one I ALWAYS sing along to. There’s nothing better than this coming on and BLASTING out in voice. We’ve all done it, admit it.

Image result for aladdin disney

 

Aladdin – Prince Ali

Anyone who knows me (my friend Gemma in particular) knows this is one of my favourite Disney songs. It just gets stuck in my head and it’s there for days. PRINCE ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII FABULOUS HE. How you can’t love it is beyond me. I love Robin Williams.

Image result for moana disney

 

How Far I’ll Go – Moana

When I saw this film I was blown away. It’s SUCH a great film, with an INCREDIBLE soundtrack but this song is one I often find myself looking up on Youtube for a good singalong. 

 

Image result for hercules disney

 

Hercules – I Won’t Say I’m In Love

This is another one where you can have a good singalong. We’ve all felt like this at one time so Meg’s song is perfect for that time when you just need to get it out. 

Image result for princess and the frog

 

Princess and the Frog – Almost There

I love the message with this one, plus it’s a proper singalong one. It’s one you can PROPERLY sing along to. Her voice is great and the vibe of the song is spot on. 

 

Honourable mentions:

  • Friend Like Me – Aladdin
  • Scales and Arpeggios – Aristocats
  • Go The Distance – Hercules
  • You’ll Be In My Heart – Tarzan
  • Mother Knows Best – Tangled
  • I See The Light – Tangled

So there you have it… I must say, this list will probably change in about a month so don’t hold me to it! It seems I love the songs you can have a proper belting sing along to the most!

What are your favourite Disney songs?
Are there any on this list you disagree with?
Is the song you love the most on this list?

Let me know in the comments or on twitter! I’d love to know if anyone’s done a post like this too! Send your links to me! 

S x

Six for Sunday!

Welcome to Sunday! I don’t normally post on a Sunday but things are going to change, welcome to my new feature:

Six for Sunday

I’ll post 6 things I love/hate every Sunday and topics will vary – mainly bookish ones with wildcards (topics not about books!) coming once a month! I would love to see people joining in and posting their #sixforsunday on Twitter! If you fancy it then go for it!

This week’s Six for Sunday theme is:

Six things I love in a book

  1. When opposites attract.
  2. A brilliant, badass main character (female or male)
  3. A hot, male companion (think Jin in Rebel of the Sands)
  4. Letters found which reveal secrets or give the character a massive revelation
  5. Stories that feature incredible friendship groups 
  6. A “bad boy” with a heart of gold.

What are your favourite plot lines in books?
Who are your favourite characters in books?
What are your #SixforSunday?

Let me know on Twitter, use the hashtag #sixforsunday! Or leave me a comment – do you agree with mine? Or are they your LEAST favourite things?

Six you next Sunday!

S x

 

BOOKBLOG: Queen Mel

Hello, I’m Steph. I love Melinda Salisbury. Not in a creepy way. I think she’s absolutely wonderful. 

So when I heard The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy was over, I was most saddened. My love affair with this world and these characters had to come to and end after all of the years I had been in love with them. I was sad. Then SURPRISE there was an announcement that there was going to be a NEW short story collection released.

I WAS ELATED.

I love Mel’s writing style. She writes in such an incredible way that you feel you’re there. Her description is exceptional. I could just read it forever. 

There was ONE slight problem. The Heart Collector (which I think is Mel tbh. She has stolen all of our hearts with her exceptional books) was out in May. The month I was not buying any books. But, lol, who was I kidding? I would break my ban for her any day. So I did. PLUS it was released the day I handed my dissertation in… EXCELLENT POST DISSERTATION BOOK.

“A selection of three companion stories to the Sin Eater’s Daughter series.
When rats invade golden Tallith, the king summons a rat catcher from across the seas. But the rat catcher brings with him more than just his trade; a beautiful daughter who will bow to no man. And when Prince Aurek decides he wants her, he triggers a chain of events that will reshape the world for centuries to come…
A boy wakes up in the ruins of a castle, the prone body of a white-haired man on a bier beside him… He is the Bringer, the Heart Collector, cursed to return every one hundred years to seek out the heart that will wake his father forever. And this time the girl he finds might just be the one…
Once upon a time, in a land of gold and glory, a baby boy was born to a beautiful woman, and a wealthy man. His parents called him Mulgreen Grey, and he was destined to live a fairy-tale life; adored, envied, and wanting for nothing. But not every fairytale has a happy ever after…”

The book comes with 3 short stories – The King of Rats, The Heart Collector and Mully No-Hands. 

I consumed this book REALLY quickly (once my kindle was charged… it decided to die on me the first time I tried to read it!). Whether you’re a Melinda Salisbury fan or not, this short story collection is a BRILLIANTLY quick, yet exceptional read. You’re in a world where there are some BAD people. A beautifully written world, with loveable and despise-able characters.

The Heart Collector is a brilliant story about a young man who is cursed in that he has to find young women for his father, to try and satisfy his hunger. The young man is a Bringer. You’re introduced to a naive young man who thinks he’s doing the right thing in the beginning and then through the story you see his ideas change. There is an incredibly strong and brave young woman in the story too – I really liked her. The description in this book was everything I needed. The world, the characters and the action is so beautifully woven that it’s hard not to devour, much like the father in the story. This book has a brutal ending. But brilliant. 

Mully No-Hands is a little different from the other two. It’s a story with a meaning. It’s a story with a main character I really didn’t like. He’s a terrible person. I don’t think he KNOWS he’s a bad person. He’s rich, confident and was brought up to think he was the greatest and when all of that is taken away from him, you see his struggle. You see that life isn’t all about receiving – there has to be some give and take. Mully No-Hands has some questionable morals and his actions definitely need some working out. I quite enjoyed this – I like a story with a moral!

I have reviewed The King of Rats here: BOOK BLOG: The King of Rats.

I really enjoyed The Heart Collector. Whether you’re a Melinda Salisbury faithful, or whether you’re a newbie, I suggest you read this. It’s wonderful.

If you’re interested in my other posts:

BOOKBLOG: Melinda Salisbury

BOOKBLOG: Melinda Salisbury 2

BLOG TOUR: The Scarecrow Queen

Bookblog: Melinda Salisbury

So tell me, are you a Queen Mel faithful or a newbie? 
Did you enjoy The Heart Collector? 
Which short story was your favourite?

Let me know in the comments, or talk to me on twitter (@eenalol)

S x

May books!

So here we are, May is done and dusted. We’re almost half way through the year! And what a year so far it has been for books. 

May was a pretty good book month for me… somehow I managed to read 10 books! I think half term helped – so far in half term I’ve read 5 books and I’m in the middle of reading number 6 and number 7! But what were those 10 books I hear you cry?

IMG_4879(These are the only 5 I still have physical copies of, the rest I’ve either sent on to pastures new or they were kindle books)

  • The Fallen Children – David Owen
    Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Supernatural. 
  • Noah Can’t Even – Simon James Green
    Some great, funny moments in it, properly ridiculous. But in a good way.
  • The Silver Boy – Kristina Ohlsson
    Loved it, great for KS2 kids. Mysterious and a bit creepy.
  • The Memory Book – Lara Avery 
    Bloody brilliant. It took me totally by surprise. I fell for this book totally.
  • Troublemakers – Catherine Barter
    Great book looking at politics and sibling relationships. I loved the characters in this so much.

may 2

  • The Heart Collector – Melinda Salisbury (ebook)
    What can I say? The Queen does it again. The Heart Collector filled the gap that TSED left behind.
  • How To Stop Time – Matt Haig (ebook)
    I loved this book from start to finish. It was unlike anything I’d read before.
  • I Have No Secrets – Penny Joelson
    I struggled with this initially and despised one of the characters, but there is a definite turning point in this book that then gripped me.
  • Tim Baker and the Ancient Curse – Stella Tarakson (ebook)
    This was a very quick read. Really funny and kids would love it!
  • All About Mia – Lisa Williamson
    Again this was one that I struggled with initially because the characters are not very likeable, but it’s so worth it in the end. 

If you’re interested in any of these books, here are some reviews:

I will update this list when the reviews are posted!

As you all know May was my month when I couldn’t buy any books (see: You MAY not buy any books) and you will all be proud to know that I only bought 1 book! Blame Melinda Salisbury. But it was so worth it. It was only about £1 so it doesn’t count, right? So yes, I succeeded in my no book buying ban. I’m going to try and keep it up until YALC, because well ALL OF THE BOOKS will be bought at YALC. 

Reading challenge update: 36/52 books read! 

Pretty good going! I’m hoping to get a good bit more reading done in this half term! 

What did you read in May?
Do you have a favourite May read?
Will you be at YALC?

Let me know in the comments, or on twitter – I can’t wait to hear what you’ve been reading!

S x

Favourite YA authors

Hello! It’s Wednesday! You know what that means, guest post Wednesday (I really need to think of a new name for this, that’s better! But hey ho, we’ll go with guest post wednesday for now!) 

Without further ado, I welcome my lovely friend Amy (links at the bottom of the post) who is here to talk about her favourite YA books! You can check out my post on Amy’s blog too in the next few days! I would love to see what you all think about our choices!

—————————————————————- 

Thanks for having me Steph to discuss my favourite YA books! When we decided to do this, I didn’t realise how difficult it would be. I eventually narrowed my list down and realised the books that have really stayed with me are set in vivid fantasy worlds, with characters that made me care about what happened to them.

amy

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman was the book that got me into fantasy. I’ve seen the play, travelled across the country to meet Philip Pullman and read it more times than I can count. There aren’t many books that I was able to read as a child and still get so much out of as an adult. I’m not sure it’s technically a YA book but I’m including it because it has something for everybody.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is my ultimate YA book. I can still remember the first time I read it, how I had no idea what was coming and really loved those characters. Karou and Akiva are my ultimate OTP and Laini Taylor’s writing is beautiful.

The Weight of Feathers by Anna Marie McLemore is one of those books that engages all of the senses. The descriptions are lyrical and gorgeous, and this is my favourite example of magical realism.

The Forbidden Game by LJ Smith was my favourite book as a teenager. I read it so many times that I almost knew it by heart and I think Julian was my first book crush. I reread it recently and it has definitely stood the test of time.

These are my other favourites: a mixture of high concept fantasy; believable, thought-provoking contemporary and even a little horror.

  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  • Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires) by Rachel Caine
  • Am I normal yet? by Holly Bourne
  • The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
  • Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
  • The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
  • Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
  • Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

If you want to read more of my YA recommendations or chat about books, you can find me on Twitter (@yaundermyskin) and on my blog (www.yaundermyskin.co.uk).

—————————————————————- 

As you can see a lot of my personal favourites are on Amy’s long list, but to see my list of favourite YA I would love you to go over to my post at YA Under My Skin to find out my choices!

Thanks Amy for your guest post, I loved it! 

S x