Review: How I Found You By Gabriella Lepore

How I Found You By Gabriella Lepore

★★★★☆

Find the book here!

I really enjoyed this book. It was the first one that I read after an extensive reading slump. I found it easy to read but captivating enough to sit down and read in one go!

The plot of the novel starts off where our female protagonist Rose sets out to visit her family in Millwood, like she does every summer since her parents are always travelling. We’re introduced to her archetypal relatives who breathe an air of welcome and homeliness with their new baby and seemingly large estate. It’s not long before we’re then introduced to the other two main male protagonists Oscar and Caicus Valero. When I first read their characters they reminded very much of vampires in the way they charmed their way into the lives of Rose’s aunt and uncle but I was very aware that this was in fact not a vampire fiction.

The main part I love about this novel is Rose’s characterisation and her growth. She is of very sound mind and brings strong opinions forward from the beginning. Being the only one who’s not charmed by the Valero brothers initially, she appears stubborn and rightfully dubious of their intentions. When it becomes clear to her that she’s different to the rest of her family in that respect, she asserts her stance towards them immediately. She’s feisty and takes no bull, which I really respect in a character who’s only sixteen. One thing I couldn’t call her is a Mary Sue, she’s not a protagonist where things just happen to her, to an extent this is what occurs, but she combats this with her own agenda and doesn’t take anything sitting down.

In contrast to this Oscar is a more mild character, when he has dreams of Rose he aims to get closer to her. My favourite scene is their first scene alone in the woods (I shall say no more) because his resolve to hide from her quickly dissolves. Even knowing that she suspects him and doesn’t trust him, he still trusts her, which I found really interesting considering he knows exactly what his reason is for staying at her family’s house.

The plot had a fairly interesting twist but I enjoyed it as it reminded me of Fallen by Lauren Kate which is another brilliant novel in the field of paranormal fantasy. I would definitely suggest that you read this book if you’re looking for a new insight into the paranormal and fancy a bit of romance. What I’ve read of magic in contemporary literature has been very much a sisterly bond between witches and this definitely gave the theme a breath of fresh air!

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Bout of Books 8.0 – Days 4 and 5

Current Readathon Status:

– The Strange Power (Dark Visions #1) By L J Smith  (250 pages) – COMPLETED
– The Possessed (Dark Visions #2) By L J Smith (236 pages) – COMPLETED

– The Passion (Dark Visions #3) By L J Smith (244 pages) – COMPLETED

– City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) By Cassandra Clare (485 pages) – COMPLETED

OMG! I can’t believe it has taken me THIS LONG to actually sit down and read City of Bones! Now I totally understand what I’ve been missing! I decided to read this book during my readathon because I wanted to read it before I went to see the film. I’m so glad I did! If you’re thinking of seeing this then definitely read the book first! It’s filled with everything you could possibly want from a fantasy book!

I read it over two days because I’ve been so tired! I spent Thursday travelling to the south of England and then, from Portsmouth, I spent Friday travelling down to Cornwall. I spent a lot of both journeys sleeping because of the odd times we set off! So I’m now moving from Fantasy to Dystopian with Uglies By Scott Westerfeld!

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Bout of Books 8.0 – Day 3

Current Readathon Status:

– The Strange Power By L J Smith (250 pages) – COMPLETED
– The Possessed By L J Smith (236 pages) – COMPLETED
– The Passion By L J Smith (121 of  244)

So almost half way through and I’ve read 3 books. I’m doing a ton better than the booktube-a-thon and can’t wait to get started on “City of Bones” By Cassandra Clare tomorrow! I’m travelling down south tomorrow so 5 hours in the car should give me plenty of reading time!
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Bout of Books 8.0 – Day 2 + Challenges

Current Readathon Status:

– The Strange Power By L J Smith (250 pages) – COMPLETED
– The Possessed By L J Smith (236 pages) – COMPLETED
The Passion By L J Smith (121 of  211)

Re-title it Challenge

So I have chosen to rename The Strange Power since I just finished it.

Synopsis:

The book follows Kaitlyn Fairchild who is different from other girls her age. She has a power, that has caused her to become an outcast, shunned by her peers. Her power allows her to draw the future, but the things she sees scare people and never tend to be pleasant. That is until she is asked to join in an experiment, told that her power can by useful and with the promise of a college scholarship, she agrees. It is only when she comes to be settled with new friends and a possible romance brewing that things start to take a turn for the worse. She is there only a week before mayhem starts to occurs and she discovers that the Institute might not have told her everything about their plans for the five psychics.

So I decided to rename this book “A Witches Canvas” because in the book Kait often gets referred to as a witch. At first it is a term of insult from her peers at her previous school, but I slowly becomes positive and connotes her strength as a psychic, which partners well with the development of her power. I also chose this title because it relates directly to Kait’s power, which is her using her mind to create images on canvas that forsee the future. Not only this but it is a metaphor for her mind as later in the series she no longer needs physical materials but can use her mind to draw images.

So yes that’s my progess so far today! I will update this blog at the end of the day to let you guys know how I got on! Let me know what you’re reading today too!!

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Bout of Books 8.0 – Day 1

So this readathon is already going so much better than anticipated! I finished The Strange Power (Dark Visions #1) By L J Smith so here’s a quick review!

To come soon

Current Readthon Status:

The Strange Power By L J Smith (250 pages) – COMPLETED

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Books to Big Screen: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey

So I’ve seen both the 3D HFR (High Frame Rate) and 2D version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and I’m currently re-reading the book by J.R.R Tolkein, so I thought I would share my thoughts on both the film and the first third of the book corresponding to it.

So firstly, let’s discuss the book.

The film corresponds to the first six chapters of the book. My thoughts on the book are that the length of the content was just right. My favourite parts of the book was the part with Gollum. I love that scene in the film as well. The Hobbit has a much lighter feel that The Lord of the Rings and as a result is open to more humour and I found it more fun to read, where as LOTR was more intense and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. With The Hobbit, I felt like I was going along for the adventure.

Overall, I feel that the plot moves at a nice pace and no corner relating to the integral plot is lacking. I love the songs that are interpreted into the book and my hope is that the films with continue to do so. The characters where all likable and I felt that the dwarves interacted well with each other. No one was really left without any development which isn’t as present in the first film.

Now moving on to the film.

Firstly, I want to talk about the acting and the actors who played various roles. I want to congratulate Martin Freeman on a brilliant depiction of Bilbo Baggins. I was worried that because another actor had already played the role they may bring different feels of who the character is, but hats off to Freeman who really capture the feel of the character and also was able to convince me that he and the previous actor were the same character.

Of the dwarves my favourite were Balin, Bofur and Thorin. James Nesbit as Bofur plays a very light hearted and witty character. His accent also stands out from the rest of the dwarves so his character is particularly memorable. Thorin, played by Richard Armitage, was more stern in the film than the book I felt, though this may change in the two yet to come. Balin was exactly as I imagined he would be and this is one of the reasons I loved his character so much. He was cheerful and wise and looked like he would be the kind of dwarf who would look after you in any situation.

Moving on from the acting and to the changes from the book. There are a couple of key differences to the plot that don’t take away too much from the overall quest, but I feel give the film a bit less of a constant motion. The scene in Rivendell, where we see cameos from Cate Blanchett as Galadriel and Christopher Lee as Saruman was a particularly unexpected scene but I felt changed the pace of the film and prevented most of the clips to be of Thorin and Company running through the East Road and the Misty Mountains.

I had two favourite scenes throughout and they are the scenes with Gollum and Radagast. Simply because I love both of these characters. I think Andy Serkis does a brilliant job as Gollum, yet again, and this scene was just as tense and amusing as I anticipated. I really felt that Serkis and Freeman worked well together in creating this intense atmosphere.

Lastly, I wanted to comment about the 3D HFR vs 2D. Personally, I loved both versions. Normally, I hate going to see a film in 3D because the glasses are a pain (because they don’t fit very well over the ones I wear on a day to day basis) and most of the time the 3D isn’t necessary. However, the glasses in my cinema had changed so I didn’t have to sit pushing them back onto my nose the whole film and could enjoy the detail the went into the movements. The HFR was definitely noticable and made the picture gained an enhanced clarity and was visibly smoother. Not only that but the 3D wasn’t just bits of the film flying towards you, I could see actual depth to the scene and this really impressed me. Definitely my best experience with 3D so far.

Also seen on Brit Writers Blog

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Review: The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs

the dark heroine abigail gibbs



Find the book here!

Having come home to see my parents for the weekend I was delighted to find that I had a package waiting for me. I couldn’t remember having ordered anything so I was happily surprised to find that I had been chosen to review “The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire” by Abigail Gibbs. I can now say that I have a highly regarded respect for the author of this book because she is living the dream. Only being 18 years of age, she is already a published author with a following of several million both on and offline and is also studying at Oxford University. She shows that age is just a number and true talent can spark at any point in life.

With regards to the publication in question, I started reading it at 7:30pm last night and finished it at 4:30am in the morning. I was truly entranced by the lexical whimsy and sarcasm of Violet Lee and her strong feminine character. It has been a while since I have read a vampire novel that has portrayed women as strong and independent. Despite her compromising situation, she stays headstrong and for those who have checked out “Canse12” on Wattpad (Abigail’s pseudonym) then you will know that both Gibbs and Violet are vegetarian. I thought it was interesting to see the author’s personality come through in such a strong component of life and this was really reflected in the character. I would be interested to meet Abigail Gibbs and discuss if any other characters have quirks that are also personal ones.

I was intrigued by the short and snappy chapters; constantly reminding myself that this book was written with a multitude of exams and other school work that a 15 year old has to deal with and being only a half a year older than the author I can empathise with her busy lifestyle. I thought the short chapters complimented the book’s narrative and the second perspective we gain when Kaspar’s point of view is introduced really locks the readers fascination with the unknown about the protagonists.

The plots all weave together neatly towards the climax of the book and leave us open to a multitude of sequels that I am dying to read. With regards to her treatment of Vampire Lore, I think she has created an interesting twist by having some of the traditional expectations but also extending them with a creative touch.

I think this book feels very much like an introduction of what could be a fantastic series and I’m almost bereft at the thought that “Autumn Rose”, book 2 of the series, will not be published til at least next year. I hope to get the chance to review that book too.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Abigail again on doing what I hope to in the future and being able to study all at the same time!

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Novel Notions: Reviewing my 17-year-old self.

Novel Progress


Word Count: 54,133
Chapters: 9
Pages: 99
Pages Edited: 15
Aim by 20th July: 25 pages edited and Prologue released.

It’s a bizarre experience to look back at your own work from years previous. I’m sure many writers would agree with the statements I’m about to make. In this case, I started writing a novel in 2010, as part of National Novel Writing Month, and have recently found the time to continue it. I’ve tried several times to continue writing, but I found that I had to concentrate on exams, essays and other deadlines and just didn’t have the time to really commit to working on it. So I decided that while I’m working and I don’t have any University work to do, I would set aside some time to work on it.

I quickly realised that after having such a limited amount of contact with the novel that some of the finer details had escaped my memory so I decided I would re-read what I’d currently written. This was when I realised that the current 19-year-old me and and the then 17-year-old me, had totally different writing styles. So I would have to edit the whole thing before I could even begin to write any further.

This is currently the stage where I’m at with regards to progress, as you can see at the top of this blog. My aim in relation to how my blog will relate to my writing is to update either once or twice a week on my progress and give you guys a bit of information about characters and some snippets of prose too, when I’m feeling generous.

One of the first things that I found that will need some severe hacking and re-wording was my love of run-on sentences and I will endeavour to fix them all within the first draft. It’s mostly odd because, even though I know no-one will read it until I let them, while reading certain parts, I’m almost embarrassed by my writing. I would still say in no way are my grammar and spelling perfect or near that, but I can say with confidence that my progression in the two aspects have improved since I was 17. So its almost like I don’t recognise my own writing at some points.

Another thing I discovered when reading through is that some parts didn’t make complete sense. What I mean to say is that I made sense when I wrote it, though looking back it doesn’t. Meaning that I’m either missing something as my current-self or my then-self just forgot that conveying meaning through writing is an essential skill for a writer. Here’s an example; I started a paragraph with,

“Now I had no idea what would happen,” 

then two lines later, referring to the same thing,  had written this;

trust me, I know what happens.”

The whole thing just confused me. So I deleted it. It wasn’t intrinsic, so I felt a slight cleansing feeling as my finger fixed itself to the backspace button.

So, I will update again with Novel Notions on the 20th if not before, it will depend on my progress. Keep you eye out though because I will be adding some Character Bios and hopefully the Prologue so you can get a sneaky preview of the Novel. Since I realise that I’ve not actually told you anything about it then it should be quite the opening to the world of my writing.

Take care!

Kyra x

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