Frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay! It’s time to grab a cup of tea and travel down the rabbit hole into the world of books…
I found this tag via Bloglovin’ and am ridiculously glad that I did! I love ‘Alice In Wonderland’. It was always one of my favourite books when I was a kid (even if I didn’t entirely understand what was going on at the time) and consequently one of my favourite Disney films (even if it was a little terrifying).
When I was 11, I appeared as the Five of Spades in a school play. I was painting the roses red – it did not end well. When I was 16 I appeared in a very surreal physical theatre version of the classic tale ‘Alice: A State of Mind’, performed in the Sherman Theatre. I played Alice and had to be ‘born’ out of a hole in the stage (a very scary trap door with a 6 foot drop, full of dry ice). Looking back on it now, it was probably one of the weirdest, but most satisfying pieces of theatre I had ever done (if anything because I got to do the ‘You are not a unique snow flake’ speech from Fight Club.
That leads us up to recently, where I actually played the Queen of Hearts in a touring pantomime of ‘Alice In Wonderful Panto-land’, travelling round the country screaming about people stealing my tarts. Not to mention American McGee’s Alice is probably one of my favourite video games of all time! Needless to say, this book holds a special place in my heart.
What book cover(s) has made you super curious?
I have a habit of judging books by their covers, mostly because (despite what we’re taught) after working in a publishers I quickly learned we are actually meant to! Covers are marketed to certain audiences and this one was definitely marketed towards me! It’s dark, sinister, intriguing and creepy. I even love the font. From the Tim Burton-esque chalk writing to the classic book plate style of the title, this definitely got me hooked from the get-go.
I loved the cover for this. If you haven’t seen it in person, the butterflies are embossed with gold and orange foil, which just makes it even more inviting. Ironically, this book is one of the reasons I actually ended up getting a Kindle (despite it being a beautiful hard copy book). I bought it and read it in one night because I enjoyed it so much (Amanda Hocking is now one of my big authorial heroes), even though I paid £7.99 for the pleasure, while the Kindle version was only 94p! It was a pretty easy decision to make. So now, even though I still buy hard copy books, I tend to read the cheaper versions first before deciding whether or not I will read it again/love it enough to buy it for my shelf.
List the craziest character(s) you’ve ever read.
Drake Merwin from Michael Grant’s Gone Series has to hold the title for craziest antagonist, let alone craziest character development. I won’t give it away for those looking to read the series, but the evolution of his character (and physicality) is nothing short of unique.
Red Queen, Off With Your Head!
What book have you felt like beheading?
It’s not so much that I hated this book enough to chop off it’s head, it’s just the most disappointing read I have had this year. The dystopian society wasn’t really embellished on enough for me to care about it before the heroine actually escapes from it. Yes – the concept behind why she is kept in the dark is horrifying, but I would have liked to have seen more from the world of the school before she leaves it behind. The allusions to ‘Peter Pan’ are also so glaringly in your face that they become hackneyed quite quickly.
What books or series have been insanely popular but you’ve been “late” to pick them up?
I’ve been late to the party on quite a few big names over the years, the biggest of which was probably Harry Potter. The first book came out when I was 11, seemingly the perfect age to get into the series, but I just did not enjoy the writing style. Sacrilege I know, but I was a complete book snob at the time. I changed my ways and later got into it when I was about 18. Hunger Games and Divergent also passed me by until I heard they were being made into movies and as a huge Dystopia fan I had to read them before they came out. The complete Hunger Games collection took me about a weekend to finish, Divergent was the same.
What’s the most confusing book you’ve read?
There was me thinking I had forgotten all about this one. I studied this alongside Robinson Crusoe for my English Degree and I have to say it was one of those books I just could not grasp. I understood the themes, the ideas and the general stuff they wanted me to ‘get’, but it was just a very difficult read as it was more like reading an extended piece of poetry than a novel – but I suppose that’s where the intricacies and beauty of the book lay. Definitely one for study rather than enjoyment.
What was the last book that sent you to sleep?
It took me a while to remember this one as I don’t tend to dwell on books that I don’t enjoy. The shame about this one was that I loved the first installment, but this section just bored me. Maybe it was the overly described teenage angst, or maybe it was just that my favourite character, Lena, was changing into an annoying moody cow because the story was told through Ethan’s eyes, and I just couldn’t get on with it. The problem with it being from Ethan’s perspective rather than Lena’s is that despite her going through an admittedly very hard time, you only ever hear about how it effects her ‘boyfriend’. I would have preferred to hear what she was going through instead of how it was causing him problems.
Book that made you laugh and smile?
I read Fangirl as part of the Tumblr Book Club and absolutely loved it. Being a massive geek myself and knowing so many people who read (and write) fanfiction, this book really managed to get inside the little world I used to live in when I was in High School. It’s charming, sweet, funny and there are some brilliant moments of romantic comedy as well as poignant moments.
Knave of Hearts
Most recent character who stole your heart?
Virginia Shreves may not have stolen my heart in the cliché romantic sense, but she was definitely the most heart wrenching heroine who spoke to my heart in the most profound way. I loved this book and her character really stuck with me long after I had finished reading. I don’t tend to get romantically attached to book characters, but I do find those who I would love to be friends with and she would definitely be my new best friend.
Best villain you’ve read this year?
Jeanine Matthews was probably my favourite villain of this year. She was just one of those characters I loved to hate. She was also a scheming, intelligent character who was so cold and calculating, you almost understood why she thought all the things she was doing was right.
Down the Rabbit Hole
What’s the latest book/series/author that’s completely swallowed your interest?
As I said before, I love dystopias and I am really enjoying the Unwind series by Neal Shusterman at the moment. I am currently on the final book and it’s one of those series I just don’t want to end! I love the concept behind the dystopian society, that dysfunctional teens are targeted by their own parents, it raises so many good questions about society, parenting, religion and other more political issues. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys dystopian YA as it is a great example of writing with some highly intelligent concepts and well defined characters.
Are you going to join in the tea party? Be sure to visit the Notebook Sisters Blog for more information and to pick up their graphic. Also, what are you reading at the moment? And, more importantly, what tea are you drinking right now?