I've finally gotten round to joining in with Top Ten Tuesday again - finally! It's hosted by the wonderful The Broke And The Bookish - head over to their blog, join in with TTT and post a link to your post in the Linky widget... thing so everyone can see! Join in every week (like I plan on doing from now on!)! :D
Now, this week the topic is:
Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books
(anything that inspires you, challenges you, makes you think, encourages you,
Since there are way too many quotes to choose from, this list might involve some minor cheats... Oops!
These two (I know, cheating) remind me that
everyone is a little bit bonkers and I should embrace my uniqueness:
1.“We’re all mad here” from
Alice In Wonderland and Luna Lovegood’s
“Don’t worry. You’re just as sane as I am”.
These two (another cheat) are about changing things. The first inspires me to make a difference and
the second reminds me that books have more power than most people think:
2.“Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!” Katniss Everdeen, from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. And from The
Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, “One
must always be careful of books and what
is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
And this one reminds me nothing is truly
3.“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things
before breakfast,” from Through The Looking Glass
This one challenges me to think outside the
box – it’s also so, so true:
4.“Doors are for people with no imagination,” Skulduggery Pleasant, of course, by the wonderful Derek Landy
This quote inspires me to live every single
day like it’s my last:
5.“Some infinities are
bigger than other infinities,” Hazel
Grace from The Fault In Our Stars
This quote makes me smile and reminds me to
6.“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only
remembers to turn on the light,” as
said by the amazing Professor Dumbledore
These two (cheating again, I know) inspire
me to confident and sure of myself – and not to feel self-conscious about
Tweeting and telling people about my work:
7.“Time to be awesome,” as
said by Daemon Black from Lux by Jennifer
L Armentrout, and “I don’t show
off. I merely demonstrate my abilities
at opportune times”, as said by the wonderful Skulduggery Pleasant
This one reminds me that I have people who
love and support me – and that I have people I love and support in return:
8.“Take my hands… And
my strength too. Whatever of it you can
use to – to keep yourself going,” Alec
from The Mortal Instruments
The next one makes me realise I’m always
changing and so is everyone else. It
inspires me to always change and improve – but also to never let myself change completely
and vanish. It also reminds me that
books can be as utterly devastating as they are beautiful:
9.“Every seven years our bodies change, every cell. Every seven years we disappear,” as said by Tessa from Before
I Die by Jenny Downham, the first book that had me sobbing my eyes out
This quote reminds me everyone can be good
and bad at the same time. It encourages
me to embrace the light and always try to be as good as I can be:
10.“We’ve all got both dark
and light inside us. What matters is the
part we choose to act on. That’s who we
really are,” Sirius Black.
So, those are my quotes! Let me know what you think - and leave me a link to your TTT too! or just leave your choices in the comments! :D
Contains:Violence, Death, Swearing, Alcohol, Drug, Smoking and Sexual
Lumikki Andersson is familiar
with secrets and lies, but she also has a rule not to mind other people’s business.
When she discovers a lot of money
– hanging, blood stained, in her school darkroom – that rule is put sharply to
Lumikki is quickly drawn deep
into the heart of Finland’s criminal underworld, caught in a dangerous web of
corruption, deceit and murder.
She is no longer an observer, she
is a target. And she needs to out-smart
a ruthless killer.
The first volume in a stunning thriller sequence from acclaimed Finnish
crime-writer, Salla Simukka.
upon a time there was a girl who learned to fear.
tales do not begin this way. Other, darker stories do…”
Lumikki Andersson is a Finnish-Swedish
loner, though she doesn't mind being alone. You see, she has rules –
mottoes. One is not to meddle – not to get involved. Another is not
to jump to conclusions.
But when she stumbles across thousands of
euros of money, hanging up to dry in the darkroom, smelling of old blood, it's
hard not to get involved. Especially when she sees a classmate emerge
from the room with a bulging backpack.
Soon, Lumikki is breaking all of her rules,
as she's swept up in a dangerous plot involving the darkest areas of Finland's
criminal underworld. All the while trying to stay one step ahead of a
vicious, merciless murderer...
Red As Blood began with a bang and did not
let up for a single moment. I adore crime novels – all sorts in all
shapes and forms – and I was so excited to read As Red As Blood. Man, it did not let me down: it hooked me
from the word go. Sure, to begin with I was a little confused. But
soon everything was clear and I was addicted and then I was halfway through and
still reading on, on, on... Yeah, I love my crime books and this is the
first YA thriller that has really, truly captured that gritty, razor-sharp edge
I love so much in the adult versions.
Lumikki was a brilliantly different
character. She felt a little cold, a little distant for a while, but I
quickly warmed up to her as we got to know her. She was brave, smart,
resourceful and calculating. From what I could tell, she seemed like a
natural at reading people – and a natural actress. She was strong – so
strong that she never asked for help, even when her life was in danger.
She just absolutely intrigued me. And though she claimed not
to be Sherlock Holmes, she certainly thought a lot like him. And it is so
frustrating and amazing that we still don't
know her whole backstory. I'm going to be reading the rest of the series
ASAP, just so I can try to understand this fascinating, badass, genius, enigma
of a lead girl.
The other characters were a little more meh
– not nearly as interesting as Lumikki. Tuukka and Kasper were kind of
dick-like, actually. But Elisa was so sweet – enthusiastic, a little
naive and a little bit broken, but smarter and tougher than she originally
appeared. I also liked how she made Lumikki a little more human – a
little more in touch with her emotions.
As for the villains in this book... well, I
can't say much, can I? Can't give spoilers! All I can say is that
they were gangstas. They were intriguing. And I have a bad feeling
they will come back – the Polar Bear in particular...
I can't tell you what the original version
of this book was like – I don't read Finnish – but I really liked the
translation. Simukka really painted a picture before my eyes, including
these awesome seemingly random details that later turned out to mean something.
And I can't quite explain it, but something about Simukka's writing
really appealed to me. She had a way of getting beautiful descriptions
into short, sharp sentences – it was such an unusual combination, a formula
that shouldn't have worked, and yet it totally did.
The plot... like I said before, I was a
little confused to begin with – about how the threads of the story went
together. But soon it was all so brilliantly interlinked and utterly
clear. I liked that we followed different characters' stories, how we got
to see into the minds of the good, the bad and the middlings - it worked so
well once I'd gone past the first few chapters, once I knew what was going on.
And it was so addictive too! There was so much build-up, so much
suspense, so many teasers about Lumikki's past... The ending felt a
little abrupt, but it also sort of fitted with the story – short, sharp, hard,
glistening like frozen snow. And while this tale was wrapped up, I feel
like a new fairy tale built in that last chapter, a new story is about to
begin. And I can't wait to read it.
I'm not going to lie to you, I was kind of
expecting a fairy tale retelling, but actually there were just fairy tale
references – like how Lumikki means Snow White, the park looked like the Snow
Queen had gone through it and a fairy tale-themed party... I quite liked this
subtlety – it's so different from all the other fairy-tale retellings out there,
mainly thanks to the awesome crime-thriller plot and the fact that it's a key theme (to quote English
Lit). But also because, I think, Simukka took the darkest sides of fairy
tales – the warnings that they once contained. Bad things happen to
I've read and enjoyed loads of crime books –
including The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,
which As Red As Blood is a lot like.
But while I love The Dragon Tattoo,
but I think I may have enjoyed As Red As
Blood more. Maybe it’s because the characters are nearer to my age.
Maybe it's because Lumikki is fascinating and solitary, not hostile (unless
she needs to be). Maybe it's because there isn't as much horrific
violence all the time. Maybe it's the brilliant vividness the fairy tale
theme running through creates.
Or maybe it's because As Red As Blood is a brilliant, exciting and thrilling read that I
truly enjoyed – so much so that I really can't wait to read the sequel.
If you're into rather dark crime thrillers with the most interesting lead
character I've come across in contemp YA for ages, As Red As Blood is a definite must-read – not to be missed!
“There are three rules of survival in the Walled City:
RUN FAST. TRUST NO ONE. ALWAYS CARRY YOUR KNIFE.
Right now, my life depends completely on the first.
RUN, RUN, RUN.”
These streets are a maze. They twist into themselves – narrow, filled
with glowing signs and graffitied walls.
DAI traffics drugs for the most
ruthless man in the Walled City. To find
freedom, he needs help from someone who can be invisible…
JIN LING hides under the radar,
evading the street gangs as she searches for her lost sister…
MEI YEE survives trapped in a
brothel, dreaming of escape while watching the girls who try fail and die.
Damaged and betrayed, can these three find the faith to join forces and
escape the stifling city walls?
Nam Walled City. A recipe of humanity's darkest ingredients - thieves,
whores, murderers, addicts – all mashed into six and a half acres. Hell
on earth, he called it. A place so ruthless even the sunlight won't enter…”
In a city full of violence, correction,
death and abuse, run by a vicious and all-powerful gangster, three teenagers
try to find a way out...
Dai has been trapped in the Walled City, smuggling
drugs, whilst he attempts to clear his name of a crime he did not commit so he
can finally go home. And he is running out of time.
Jin Ling knows that girls cannot survive in
Hak Nam, and so she disguises herself as a boy, stealing to survive, doing her
best to seem invisible. She is searching for her sister, who was sold by
their father and is being used as a slave in a brothel. All Jin Ling
wants is to save her sister.
Mei Yee is Jin's lost sister, trapped in a
brothel. She knows that to attempt to escape will get her a fate worse
than death – but that doesn't mean she doesn't dream of freedom.
Alone, these three teenagers stand no
chance of escaping the Walled City. But can they make it out together...?
With just eighteen days left...?
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked
up The Walled City. Certainly
not just how brilliantly dark, dangerous and addictive it turned out to be.
From the moment I began The Walled
City, I was just hooked. I was thinking it would be a dystopian, a
fantasy, but it was just... real. Too real at times. And that was
just so gripping, so shocking. And so utterly original. I've never
read anything like The Walled City
before – and that's saying something. I've read a lot. It might not be for everyone, but it was absolutely
addictive and amazing and stunning and eye-opening for me.
Jin Ling was brilliant – clever, brave,
fast, caring. I loved seeing her with her cat, Chma, and with Dai, loved
when she thought of her sister, who she protected as best she could. She
was just such an amazing character, one I truly rooted for, from the very
beginning, because Jin was fierce, loyal and fearless.
Dai was an enigma – to begin with.
And then... I got him. And I loved him. He was brave and
solitary and clever and caring. He was haunted, like everyone in Hak Nam,
desperate to get out, but he knew how to save himself, was willing to sacrifice
himself for others. He was, in short, a hero – just as Jin was a heroine.
Mei Yee was perhaps the quietest and subtlest
of the heroes, the one who was doubly trapped. She wasn't badass like Jin
and Dai, but she was brave in her own way. She may have started out as
the typical damsel in distress, but she wasn't helpless. Mei Yee was
clever and brave and strong – stronger than she thought, than I thought.
There were few other characters in the book
with large parts – after all, the second rule is to trust no one – but the
minor characters all felt so real to me, even the ones that were just memories.
But none were as vibrant and alive as our three narrators.
Because the writing was just... wow. I love multiple perspectives –
like love them to death. And I adored getting to read from Jin, Dai and
Mei Yee's points of view – it made everything so much more vital and intriguing
and gave the book more depth. And Graudin had a way of writing: dark,
gritty, suspenseful, addictive. It utterly put me under a spell and kept
me hooked from the very first line to the very last.
The plot was just nonstop: always running,
always fighting, always hiding, always sneaking... It was relentless and
so addictive. And the way Graudin wove these three people together, wove
their lives and chances for escape together, was nothing short of genius.
And the action – the running and hiding and fighting... It was like a
blockbuster movie put into words. Like reading a gritty thriller movie,
watching it all play in my head... And yes, some might be... disappointed
by the ending. But I, personally, loved it. So... there.
This world... it was stifling, oppressive,
so very dark and bloody. I can't believe that this city really existed
once, where children are just... It’s horrible. And it's still
happening, isn't it? All over the world, so many children are at risk –
and this book is, as Ryan herself says, inspired by children who are invisible
to most. It's the dark, hidden world no one wants to admit exists.
Maybe The Walled City is a
dystopian, set in a dystopian world inspired by this city that once existed.
But, to me at least, it felt too damn real to be dystopian. So real
and so brutal. I can't say it's a world I loved reading about, but it was
amazingly crafted – and made the three teenagers feel all the stronger for
simply surviving in it.
I've read few books that feel utterly
original and utterly amazing. That leave me speechless, leave me reeling.
Leave me... different. But The
Walled City... it was one of those books. It took my breath away, had
me utterly hooked from the very first line. The Walled City... It's probably the most original thing I've
read for a long time and it was stunning.
I will say that The Walled City isn't for everyone. It is dark. It is
brutal. But it's the kind of book that makes you think – without forcing
a message down your throat. It shows a city based on one that once
existed. It shows a city ruled by corruption, gangs and violence.
It shows you how hard children have to fight to survive, what they are
forced to turn into when confronted by the hopelessness and death around them.
It shows you survivors, surviving in their own way, and it makes you feel
like you're besides them as they fight. It's an amazing book that is hard
to read at times, but all the better for that fact.
Walled City blew me away: it is deep,
dark, pretty damn near perfect – I was left speechless for days, unable to say
anything but 'My god, READ IT' to all
my friends. The Walled City was
simply stunning – I literally can't find the words to truly do it justice.
It put me under a spell, an enchantment, and has left me breathless,
needing, absolutely desperately
needing, Graudin's new book, Wolf
And so I conclude this review by pointing
out that dystopian worlds don't have to be the same – with revolutions and warriors. They can be set in a world that is dreadfully
real, following three amazing characters as they try to save themselves.
You can write storylines worthy of films or comic books as YA novel, show
the darkest sides of the world and create something that is utterly unique,
utterly amazing and so freaking brilliant.
I know I'm rambling. I'm sorry.
But can't you see? This book, The
Walled City, is worthy of my rambling. It is worthy of nonstop
recommendations. I just... Ugh, I still don't have the right words.
Just, if want to think whilst being thrilled, if you don't mind darkness
and violence, and if you want brave, real characters, read The Walled City. You will not regret it. Trust me.
Trust the rambling. Read The Walled City now.
I loved Black Horizon - it get's four stars from me! If you want to see my full review, check out The Big Book Project!
Addison, Ben; welcome to Gemini Force One..."
When Ben Carrington's father dies, his
mother decides to set up a mountain-rescue team, based in her homeland Austria.
But when disaster strikes again, she joins forces with a rich businessman
and together they create the secretive rescue team named the Gemini Force.
All Ben wants to do is be part of the team –
to save people. But being at college, it's a little hard to convince his
mother to let him take part…
He'll just have to prove himself – while
observing the heroic rescues carried out by the Gemini Force, of course.
But he has no idea what is waiting for him
aboard Gemini Force One...
I remember watching old reruns of The Thunderbirds with my Dad and younger
brothers. I remember loving the action and quirky humour, even if the
puppets and special effects were a bit odd for me. I was so excited when
I heard about Gemini Force One – a
modern day Thunderbirds team written
for teens? Yeah, I needed to get my hands on that book as soon as poss.
And I must say, even with all the set-up, this book was truly exciting.
I mean, when you open with someone falling from a plane, a second pilot
throwing herself from a second plane to catch him and a Countess and her son
climbing out on a ledge of one of the highest buildings in the country to
rescue the pilots, you know you're in for an adrenaline-pounding ride.
And I just know that
the rest of the series are going to be a million times more amazing, now that
the Gemini Force has been set up and
I'm part of a new Tumblr blogging group, made up of book bloggers and vloggers. If you're interested in a wide variety of genres and reviewing styles, as well as some (soon to come) different kinds of posts, check us out!