Thursday, 31 May 2012

From The Review Pile: Starters


From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review (or any book that you own and really want to read/review) but haven't yet got around to reading, in order to give the book some extra publicity.
Starters (Starters, #1)
Okay first things first, the cover really creeps me out and also really others me. It just looks like a rather boring 3D model that's been left without any textures, and the hair looks too stiff. I also just can't deal with this blank face staring at me, so it's currently weighed down by a few other books.

The story itself sounds really interesting, though I've seen some less than stellar reviews of it, most of which seem to be saying that the idea is fantastic while the storytelling is lacking.

From Goodreads:
Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.
He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Fake It 'til You Make It, Then Keep Faking It?

There is no denying that we live in a society that sends out a very confusing message regarding body image. The media is constantly full of images of celebrity skinny minnies, there are always TV shows telling you how to make yourself look more attractive, there are magazines that name and shame celebrities for daring to have a hair out of place and we also have programmes dedicated to getting people to lose weight. Yet at the same time we also keep being told that we should accept our bodies and make the best of what we've got. 

There is nothing wrong with telling people to accept themselves as they are, but it's not that easy. Especially when most of the images we see each day are of slim, trim celebrities, and it's easy to forget that the people we see in the media will usually be on strict diets, have personal fitness trainers helping them to work out for hours every day, and even then they will still have their photos touched up in Photoshop. A lot of us know this, but we still strive to look different.

[An] 80-page report was drawn up by MPs and Central YMCA, the world's biggest young people's charity, after a three-month public inquiry during which hundreds of witnesses made submissions.
It concludes that a toxic combination of the media, advertising and celebrity culture account for almost three-quarters of the influence on body image in society, yet the "body ideal" typically presented was estimated to be not physically achievable by nearly 95% of the population. - The Guardian
Personally, I don't think that it's just the media, advertising and celebrity culture that makes us want to change how we look. I think that some people have always been insecure and that way back before we even had the media people would still have looked at each other and wished they were larger or smaller, or had red hair rather than brown. The Egyptians were the first to cultivate fashion, so it's nothing new to want to change your appearance.

Many people seem to be shocked that this isn't just a girl's issue either.

The issue is no longer determined by gender, with body image now a major concern for boys and men as well as girls and women, the report concludes. Half of girls and a third of boys aged 14 have been on a diet to change their body shape, the document said, with youngsters exhibiting their parents' own anxieties. - The Guardian
This doesn't surprise me at all. Just because we are different sexes doesn't mean that boys and men don't also feel insecure. Men are also presented with unobtainable images in the media that they are encouraged to aspire to.

Katy Perry before and after Rolling Stone cover
We are being told that we must tell children that the images they see aren't real. That they've been fixed in Photoshop, and I think that's great. But I also think we also need to push for Photoshop to be used less, or at the very least for altered images to have a small symbol or tag line indicating that it has been Photoshopped.

I also wish that as a society we would stop rewarding people for just being attractive. We are always featuring these 'beautiful people' in the media, we have TV Shows dedicated to showing you how to make yourself look beautiful. I know that it is unrealistic, but I do wish that we could instead celebrate people for what they really are. I especially wish that we would celebrate people for their talents and their intelligence, not how they look.

A while back AA Gill criticised classical historian Mary Beard for being 'too ugly for TV' and he has also criticised Clare Balding and even in his 'apology' he said:

Some time ago, I made a cheap and frankly unnecessary joke about Clare Balding looking like a big lesbian. And afterwards somebody tugged my sleeve to point out that she is a big lesbian, and I felt foolish and guilty. So I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise. Sorry.
Now back to the dyke on a bike, puffing up the nooks and crannies at the bottom end of the nation. - The F Word
Shocking, and sadly, AA Gill won't be the only one who thinks along these lines, there are a great many people who think that it is okay to comment on how another person looks and that it's okay to make fun of someone for their appearance or sexuality. It isn't.

What makes me particularly annoyed about these examples is that he was criticising two very intelligent and talented women about how they look, not their actual work. Why does their appearance even matter? How often do we hear the same sort of comments regarding men? I can't think of any examples.


As a society we need to stop valuing looks over substance. It shouldn't matter what the person on your TV screen looks like. What should matter is whether they are doing a good job. Mary Beard, for example, is an amazing historian and her TV programme is fantastic and incredibly informative. That is the most important thing. I'm not saying we must stop caring about our appearance all together, I'm pretty sure that's impossible. What I am saying is that we should try to find something more important to care about as well.

This isn't just a Western phenomenon either, people across the world seem to have negative body images. In China it's not uncommon for women to stick to very strict diets, and sadly they often dabble in eating disorders, to maintain their figures, because their culture also prizes women who are small and slim, and this isn't necessarily because they have been influenced by our culture.

If we want to change the way our society is going, then we need to stop and have a good hard look at ourselves. We need to adjust our priorities, and teach ourselves and the next generation that you don't have to look perfect. That actually, most people cannot look like they do in the media. Even the celebrities do not really look like their photos.

We need to reward people for being intelligent and talented, not for just having a pretty face.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Page Turners: Blue

I am still reading The Pledge and to be honest I've barely made a dent in it. It's taking me a while to get into the world and the characters so I'm hoping that it'll start to grab me soon. It's not a bad book by any means but it's just not really enticing me to keep reading at the moment.

So, today's alternative suggestion is:

Blue is an amazing comic that I found purely by chance one day. I think that another comic artist I follow tweeted about it, but I'm not entirely sure because it was ages back. I love Blue. I love the style and I love the story. It's a bit like Stand By Me meets District 9.

You can also read it online if you want to, for free. How generous is that?!

From Goodreads:
Blue is the debut graphic novel of Australian cartoonist Pat Grant. It's a fascinating blend of autobiography and fiction with a sci-fi twist: in a seaside Australian town struggling with alien tentacle-creature immigration, a trio of aimless teenagers skip school to go surfing, chase rumors of a dead body, and avoid dealing with their own fears.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Review: Dear Dylan

Read my full review of Dear Dylan at Mostly Reading YA

My rating: 4/5
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Dear Dylan, I was really curious about the story concept because I’ve never read a book that is told entirely through emails and I wasn’t very convinced that it would work. How can you tell a story just through letters? What about all the bits in-between? How can I really know a character when I’m not seeing everything? Will they be a reliable narrator? I was full of questions when I started reading, but those questions very quickly melted away as I was drawn into an amazing story...

Sunday Catch Up


I have spent most of this week working, reading and doodling. So it's been a great week!

It was vegetarian week this week and seeing as I'm already a vegetarian, I wrote about How To Be Vegetarian Without Alienating Everyone Or Having To Eat Rabbit Food instead and it is now my fourth most popular post!

I also read Habibi this week in a nice two hour sitting. I lay on our bed, eating cherries and reading while my fiancé made us veggie fajitas. It's absolutely amazing and incredibly beautiful, so definitely check it out.

I spent yesterday sketching out a mini comic which I'm hoping to scan, ink and maybe even upload today.

It was also my Dad's birthday yesterday so I got to have a nice chat with him on the phone. He had a nice day and he wanted to discuss bikes with me because he wants to buy me a bike for my birthday this year, he thinks he's found a nice pale blue ladies bike that will suit my needs. It has a basket!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Something For The Weekend

Something to read
Hush those negative voices at the back of your mind and just create because you can.

Are you addicted to stuff happening? Do you feel an incessant need to always be doing something, always moving on to a new project?

If your partner runs their own business then you may have felt a little resentful at times when you are put second because they have to make just one more call or have to answer just one for email or have to sort out one more thing. But, if you love them, let them grow.

Something to eat
I need to make these, I love peanut butter and chocolate.

Vegetable Pot Pies
I don't actually like pie all that much because I never eat the crusts, just the insides. I've done this since I was a kid and I'm not entirely sure why. It's not that I dislike pie crusts, they're just boring compared to the yummy insides.

Something to buy
Goldfish Bookmark
Goldfish Bookmark

Oxford Scheduler
Oxford Scheduler
I love pretty much everything on this website, it's all so adorable and pretty!

Friday, 25 May 2012

TGIF: Show Me Your Cover

Show Me Your Cover: What are some of the worst book covers, but hold some of the best stories inside? Don't be embarrassed, show us your cover! 

I honestly can't think of many books that I've read recently that I've hated the cover of. If I see a book with a cover I dislike I will tend to seek out an alternative cover version I prefer, because I'm fussy. But here are a few examples of covers I really don't like for books that have good stories:

This cover isn't awful, it's just the boy that irritates me. He's pretty, I guess? But his hair bugs me so much, and it's so painfully obvious that he isn't holding that sword! This is an adventure book and yeah the cover fits that really well so I know I'm just being picky. But even when I showed the cover to others, they all commented on the sword.

I really liked POD but the cover says nothing about the book. It shows a POD and poses a question but...that's it? It's the story of two kids trying to survive the end of the world! Surely they could have something something a little more...eye-catching? I would probably miss this on a shelf.

I loved Dear Dylan but this cover annoys me. The heart implies that it's a love story, which it isn't. It's about a teenage girl trying to cope with her life and her awful step-dad, it's about friendship and family really. There is a little bit of love in there, but it's not the main focus. It also bugs me when the writer's name is in a different or bigger font that the title.

This week at The Paralian Girl:

To come:
Something For The Weekend
Sunday Catch Up

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Review: The Witch of Turlingham Academy

Read my full review of The Witch of Turlingham Academy at Mostly Reading YA
My Rating: 5/5
Described as ‘The Worst Witch meets The Chocolate Box Girls’, The Witch of Turlingham Academy is definitely an exciting new children’s book and a wonderful read. It didn’t take long for me to read The Witch of Turlingham Academy because not only is it a compact story it’s also well written and full of adventure. I didn’t want to put it down...

From The Review Pile: The Flappers Vixen

From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.
The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review (or any book that you own and really want to read/review) but haven't yet got around to reading, in order to give the book some extra publicity.
The Flappers: Vixen by Jillian Larkin
I like the sound of The Flappers: Vixen, it's seems like your usual teenage novel with a twist. I also love the 20's and Prohibition Era settings so I hope it's as good as it sounds! My only issue? I'm a bit bored with bad-girl vs good-girl characters, it's a bit standard, but hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised.

From Goodreads:
Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.
Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?
Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . . 
Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . . 
From debut author Jillian Larkin, VIXEN is the first novel in the sexy, dangerous, and ridiculously romantic new series set in the Roaring Twenties . . . when anything goes.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

How To Be Vegetarian Without Alienating Everyone Or Having To Eat Rabbit Food

We're half way through National Vegetarian Week in the UK so here is a bonus update!

I'm guessing you're reading this because you're interested in vegetarianism, possibly considering it or already are a vegetarian, or you're just interested in seeing what I'm going to say. I hope this is helpful!

A little back ground information
I've been vegetarian for about four years. My fiancé has been vegetarian for about three years. I have friends who have been vegetarian for most of their lives, some who have been vegetarian since birth and some who are only recent converts. But I also have lots of friends who are not vegetarian and I am the only vegetarian in my family. I love animals and I don't want to harm something that I love. But I also understand that not everyone feels that way. We all draw the line in a different place.

Becoming A Vegetarian
I'm a big advocate of just doing things, especially when it comes to diet changes. No weaning. No 'one last bacon bap'. Just cut it out right now. I think that weaning yourself off something can just make things harder. I'm not saying don't use up what's in your cupboards, there is no point in throwing away perfectly good food, but personally I would just donate any leftover meaty food to a friend or family member who will eat them. But that's just me. Also, don't worry about not being able to eat anything, you'll be surprised by just how much of what you eat everyday is already vegetarian.

Do Your Research
Most of us know someone who says that they tried being vegetarian and it made them sick. It's much, much more likely that they just didn't do it properly. You can't just cut out a big part of your diet and not expect to feel the effects, and you can't just carry on eating the same things minus the meat. The Vegetarian Society and The Vegan Society are packed with information on how to ensure you're body is getting everything it needs and they also have tons of delicious recipes, so check them out.

It Doesn't Have To Be Hard
Being a vegetarian can feel pretty isolating at times. Like I said, I'm the only vegetarian in my family and I was also the only vegetarian at my old job, so I often had to put up with annoying and sometimes just really stupid questions. The most common being "but how can you live without bacon!?" or people telling me that it's pointless. So join forums. Get on Facebook and join groups. Get on Tumblr and follow people, this is also a great way to find yummy recipe blogs. Read vegan and vegetarian blogs. Read books.  

It can also be hard to be civil with people who have views that are in such contrast to your own, but I've always had the view that if you treat others with respect, then they will do the same to you nine times out of ten. But I'll talk more about this further down the page!

If you live in a small town then it can be difficult to find the foods you want, but don't forget that the internet is packed with online shops so you can always order the more obscure items. You also don't really need a lot of the fancy ingredients some people talk about, you can create simple, cheap and delicious dishes with just the basics!

Eating out can be hard as a vegetarian, and even harder if you're vegan. Asian restaurants and Italians tend to be pretty good though and don't be afraid to ask. When I was on holiday in Dublin we went to an Indonesian restaurant and they didn't have anything vegan, so I asked the waitress if there was any way they could alter some of the dishes and she asked the chef. The chef created me my own vegan dishes that weren't on the menu and said that he really loved the challenge! So it's always worth asking and if they're rude then just leave and go somewhere else.

Living With Parents
If you still live at home then it can be difficult to be vegetarian because your parents are still calling the shots. When I first decided to be vegetarian my parents were iffy about it. Eating out was a pain. But over time they've realised that this isn't just a silly phase, that it's important to me. Nowadays when I visit my parents the fridge is packed with veggies, fruit and vegetarian meals for myself and my fiancé, and they have realised that I'm really not fussed if we go somewhere and all I can eat is a salad. My Dad is also really lovely and will ask waitresses questions on my behalf and my Mum will check menus before we go into places. So, if your parents are giving you stick about it now, they'll get used to it. It also helps if you refrain from pushing your beliefs on them, just like you wouldn't want them pushing their beliefs on you.

By Pawel Kuczynski
Don't Alienate Everybody
When you first launch yourself into this new, exciting vegetarian world it's easy to get carried away. You've learnt so much and you want to enlighten other people. But, not everyone appreciates that.

I think that meat looks and smells disgusting. I avoid the meat and fish aisles in the supermarket because the smell actually makes me feel a bit sick. But, I'm not about to point to a friend's bacon sandwich and tell them that the sight and smell of it makes me want to wretch, that's just rude.

It can be hard to keep your mouth shut when people are acting like jerks and it's fine to point out if someone is hurting your feelings. But, when your friend says how it's so horrible that someone would abuse a dog, try to refrain from shrilling "but animals in the meat industry are abused everyday and you EAT them!" or when someone is eating a chicken salad, try to not point at them and say "it's really no different to eating your cat!", it's just not going to win you any friends and very few arguments. Even if what you're saying is completely true, a lot of people just don't want to hear it and it often ends up in arguments where no one wins and everyone gets their feelings hurt.

I'm not saying don't be honest and don't feel like you can't express yourself, of course you can, but try to be a grown up about it. I don't tell people that I'm vegetarian unless they ask or it's relevant, like if I'm going to a party and there will be food. If someone asks me why then I will simply tell them I don't want to eat animals. If they keep pressing me then I might explain further if I feel that we can have a proper conversation about it. 

People are often genuinely interested, and most people don't mean to hurt your feelings or offend you. So next time someone asks you why you choose to not eat anything with a face, explain it like the sane, rational person you are! 

But if someone is waving a steak in your face, then I fully support you smacking it out of their hand. I also fully support activism, whether you're striding about with a placard or just signing petitions, and sharing information with people through blogs, websites and social networking. But again, do it with a little style and please, please don't post horrid images of abused animals. I know that's the last thing I want to see when I log into Facebook and it doesn't really achieve anything, except for upsetting people and making them angry.

 I've always been a firm believer that it's far easier to win people over if you're calm and explain things, rather than lose your rag and accuse people of being awful for not thinking the way you do. Quite often you just come across as a nut-job, and no one is going to want to agree with the crazy person. Who are you to say that your particular choice is better than anyone else's? None of us are perfect and it's our differences, ability to change and ability to discuss arguments that makes us so interesting.

From Scott Pilgrim
A Few Pro Tips
Vegetarians don't eat fish. If you call yourself vegetarian and you eat fish, you're a pescetarian, not a vegetarian. This is one of those little things that bug the hell out of a lot of people.

It's never funny to tease people about their beliefs.

Not all vegetarians and vegans are crazy hippies, the majority are normal. But it's always the weird ones who shout loudest.

The point of all this?
 Being vegetarian isn't hard, but it does take some effort and it's fantastic that you've decided to be vegetarian, but don't be an ass about it. Simple really.

If you have any questions then feel free to hit up the comment box or my email!

Are you vegetarian? What are the best and worst aspects of being vegetarian? If you're not vegetarian, have you ever tried it?

Coveted Cover: Habibi

Habibi by Craig Thompson
The actual real-life version of this gorgeous book is sitting on my bed right now, and is a bit darker than it appears in the photo above, and I haven't started it yet because it's so pretty and I'm so scared that I will accidentally scuff the cover or dog-ear a page or something. I can't bear the idea of it being spoilt. It's so gorgeous both inside and out and just amazing. I could gush about it all day and I haven't even started reading it yet (I sneaked a peek at the first couple of pages before buying it) but I know that the story and art inside is equally stunning.

From Goodreads:
Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (not unlike our own) fueled by fear, lust, and greed; and as they discover the extraordinary depth—and frailty—of their connection.
At once contemporary and timeless, Habibi gives us a love story of astounding resonance: a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Page Turners: The Pledge

I am currently reading:
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
I'm starting this book tonight, it sounds really interesting so I'm looking forward to it.

From Goodreads:
Words are the most dangerous weapon of all.
In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It’s there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she’s never heard before... and her secret is almost exposed. 
Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.
 I just finished reading:
Dear Dylan by Siobhan Curham
I started Dear Dylan on Sunday and finished it on Monday, in two sittings. It was that good. So keep an eye out for the review!

From Goodreads:
A first crush. An unexpected friendship. A dream come true. Dear Dylan! Thanks so much for your email and I'm sorry about my last one when I said I love you. I hope you don't think I'm a weirdo mentalist?!!! It's just that I was watching Oprah yesterday and she said we should all say we love each other a whole lot more. Not to everyone of course. There's no way I'd tell my scummy step-dad that I love him because that would be lying. But the thing is, sometimes when I watch you on TV, I feel as if you're talking just to me and it makes me feel less alone. I know you probably get loads and loads of fan mail but I wanted to ask you - could we be e-mates? Yours hopefully, Georgie xxx.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Listen To This: Kleerup ft Lykke Li

Kleerup ft Lykke Li - Until We Bleed

This is one of my absolute favourite songs, if you've watch Misfits then you will probably know it.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sunday Catch Up

Myself, author and friend Maudie Smith and another friend and fellow writer
Well, this week was the Writes of Passage anthology launch, we I recapped on Friday. Since then I emailed two publishers, received and email from an agent I've been talking to for a while and I'm still waiting for some others to get back to me. The rest of the time I've been working and finding some new memes for the blog to keep things fresh!

Yesterday our little seaside town was showing Grease on the beach! We didn't go because my fiancé isn't fussed about Grease and I'm not really a fan. I can watch it, but I wouldn't actively seek it out. I did take a walk though to take some photos because there were so many people walking past our house and down to the beach! They also did a Grease inspired 50's dance on Friday and today they're doing a record break attempt to have as many people dancing as possible. They did a similar record attempt last year but with Abba.

That's about it really! Friday's post will fill you in on the excitement of the anthology launch but other than that I've not done much. Wednesday was mostly spent sleeping in and letting my feet recover from standing around for hours.

Hopefully tomorrow my fiancé and I are going to Canterbury so I might have a more interesting update next week!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Something For The Weekend

Something to buy

Washi Tape

I love adorable things! Anything that can take something boring and turn it into something really cute is a sure winner with me. Although I am a total fuss-budget when it comes down to what is considered cute. Essentially, if it's from Japan or Korea it's probably going to be amazing. We Westerners can't seem to do cute quite so well, everything has to have an 'attitude' which usually means it has to wink for some stupid reason. Anyway! Why use normal tape when you can use pretty tape?

Curly Bear Pen
Cute pens with bears on them!

Cute & Lovely & Funny Decoration Sticky Notes
Kitty post-it notes! I love the ginger one, he looks so smug.

Something to Eat

Healthy Bean Burritos
I really like burritos and these just look so yummy! Might have to make these later.

Something to Read

Veganism is not an eating disorder. Sadly some people use it as a way to cut calories, but before you say that veggies are all skinny remember that it's not true and a vegetarian or vegan diet is not about losing weight. So, is veganism a road to further restrictions or a road to recovery?

We're so accessible nowadays. I'm only in my early twenties and I can still remember not having the internet and not having mobile phones. Even when I had a mobile phone it didn't have a camera and certainly couldn't access the internet. I don't even go online with my current phone, and it's not a smart phone. But so many of us are near-constantly online in one way or another. We never seem to switch off. So is Facebook making you lonely? We might all be connected, but are we really connecting?

Starting your own busines? Suggestions for beginning to define your brand.

Review: Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

Read my full review of Dearly Departed at Mostly Reading YA. 
My rating: 4/5

After a catastrophic string of apocalyptic events, society has had to rebuild itself from scratch and the survivors decided to model their new society after Victorian England. Dearly Departed brings together zombies, dystopia, neo-Victorian and romance, creating a huge and incredibly interesting world.

Friday, 18 May 2012

TGIF: A Book Blogger Is Born

Another meme? Why not! 
I'm introducing a new(ish) feature for Fridays to re-cap the week's posts & to propose a question for my followers.
Feel free to get involved by linking up at the bottom. If not, I'd love to read your responses in the comments. Thanks!
I thought that this might be a fun alternative to Feature Friday (although I may keep doing them as well) and a great way to add a bit more of my personality to the blog! So, feel free to get involved too because I'd love to know your answers as well!

A Book Blogger is Born: What made you decide to 
start your very own book blog?

I love blogging in general and have been blogging and creating websites since I was about ten years old. I decided to set up a blog specifically about books because, well... I love books. I love reading and writing so I wanted a place to indulge in that and also share that passion with other people. I also wanted a project that ensures that I have to write something every day that isn't work related. I haven't been book blogging for long so I'm sure I still have much to learn!

This week at The Paralian Girl:
Feature Friday: Writes of Passage Anthology Launch and TGIF: A Book Blogger Is Born

To come:
Something For The Weekend
Sunday Catch Up

Feature Friday: Writes of Passage Anthology Launch

The penultimate version of our cover
This is possibly the last time I will be mentioning the Writes of Passage anthology because the launch happened on Tuesday evening! The whole event, which was held at Foyles, went extremely well from start to finish. Most people attended and the place was pretty packed, but with canapés making their way around the room and tables laid out with glasses of wine, orange juice and water for attendees, everyone seemed very happy.

Foyles, Charing Cross
All of the agents and editors I talked to were absolutely lovely. For once I wasn't anxious either. On the day I think I was more worried about having to buy an underground ticket from one of the machines than actually talking to people, and I didn't even have to buy a ticket in the end because a very kind stranger gave me his travelcard because he no longer needed it!

The Gallery, where the event was held
It was a very enjoyable evening. I don't like talking to people I don't know. I don't even talk to shop assistants unless I really have to. But everyone at the launch was there for the same reason, because they liked the writing in the anthology and because they love books. Being in a room full of around 100 people who all love books and a few of which particularly want to talk to you about how they really like your writing makes the whole situation a lot easier. Also, no one asked me to pitch my story to them because they had already read at least a bit of it. I had one person ask me to tell them the ending, that was it. The rest just wanted to say that they really liked it and would like some more. I did talk to a few people who weren't interested but did say that they really liked my writing, they just don't take on that genre/age group. Which is totally understandable.

This is where I studied for my masters degree
Even if nothing comes of it, it's a big step, and I know that people in the publishing industry do like my story and do like my writing, so that's definitely a positive and something to brag about on cover letters.

I helped to create an anthology. I put together the website and the twitter. I attended the launch and networked with other writers, editors and agents. Child-me would be astounded.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

From The Review Pile: Fallen In Love

I'm shaking up the blog a little. Rather than doing Thursday Thought I'm going to be trying out From The Review Pile instead and see how it goes! Every Thursday I will be featuring a book from my review pile, because it can take a while to get around to them.

From The Review Pile

From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.
The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review (or any book that you own and really want to read/review) but haven't yet got around to reading, in order to give the book some extra publicity.
So, on with this week's first entry!

Fallen In Love by Lauren Kate
I haven't read anything by Lauren Kate, but a friend of mine read the first book and really disliked it so I'm a little unsure. Most reviews are pretty positive, so we shall see! If any of you have read it then let me know what you thought!

From Goodreads:
Unexpected. Unrequited. Forbidden. Eternal. Everyone has their own love story.
And in a twist of fate, four extraordinary love stories combine over the course of a romantic Valentine's Day in Medieval England. Miles and Shelby find love where they
least expect it. Roland learns a painful lesson about finding-and losing love. Arianne pays the price for a love so fierce it burns. And for the first -and last- time, Daniel and Luce
will spend a night together like none other.
Lauren Kate's FALLEN IN LOVE is filled with love stories . . . the ones everyone has been waiting for.
True love never says goodbye. . .

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