August 2013Weaving Pages: August 2013

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Monthly Recap: August

Hello Everyone!

Unfortunately, we have drawn to the close of the most awesome month EVER: August. It makes me sad to see the sun go and to have to end my holiday to go back to the rain.. *glares at rain* However, we must all stay strong and keep on blogging. I will, however, allow you three minutes to panic.
A Bug's Life

Now, STOP. On with the recap:

Reviews:


Around the Blogosphere:
   
Amy interviewed me!

She has also just read the first 2 HP books (I'm so proud!!!) and is going to read The Mortal Instruments! WHICH I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT... *deep breath* Since this is part of a deal, I have to go and read Fire by Heather James now..!

Amber has being doing lots of vlogs!

Favourite Book:

The Elites by Natasha Ngan

Take Away the Books:


  • I had a great holiday and had so much fun! I did so many fun things!
  • I bought my cousin the City of Bones book for his birthday. Face it, I'm a book pusher at heart.
  • I saw The Mortal Insturments: City of Bones at the cinema. Twice.


This was a great month, and I hope it was for you too! Hopefully, September will be as good!

Bye! xx




Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Interview with Natasha Ngan

Hi Natasha!

Welcome to Weaving Pages! To start off, would you like to tell us a bit about yourself and your upcoming novel: The Elites?

I'm a half-Chinese, half-English girl who grew up living between Malaysia and England. I studied Geography at university before going to work in London in social media. I'm also a fashion blogger over at Girl in the Lens, a website I run with my boyfriend, and now of course a YA author too! The last is obviously my favourite ;) 

The Elites is my debut novel. It's set in a city in the future where no one ever enters, and no one leaves. The story follows the story of Silver, a fifteen-year old girl who works as an Elite to guard the city's leaders, and her best friend Butterfly, as they do the unthinkable and leave the city, discovering in turn just what is outside its walls. The Elites is an adventure story with dashings of romance, sci-fi, fantasy, and social commentary! 

How did you come up with the idea for The Elites? Did you have any inspiration? Any Behind the Story facts you'd like to share?

The whole idea actually started with the first line, which is still the same to this day - "There is a rumour that the Elites don't bleed." It just popped into my head one day, and I started wondering - who are these Elites? Why might there be this rumour about them? What kind of world is this? And the novel began to develop from there. The city of Neo-Babel came first, and then the characters started arriving in my mind. Plot for me tends to come last, though I have some sense of what the story is about. But it's the characters really who develop it for me as they take me on their journey.

The inspiration behind The Elites came from a mix of my own background, what I was studying at the time (I first had the idea for the book in my second year of university) and my political interests. I've always been fascinated in the nature versus nurture debate, and with current scientific advances in genetic profiling and screening etc, it seemed the right time to be writing a story about these sorts of issues. Race is also a bit part of the novel, and that is definitely inspired by my mixed race background and living in such a multicultural country.  

You talked to me about making time for writing, could you talk about that to the readers?

For me, writing is a compulsion. The words and stories and characters are there in my head, so I have to write to get them out - or I'd go crazy! But it's also very much a discipline. I have three jobs, one of which is writing, and juggling them can be very stressful, especially with my poor health (I've talked more about that here if you're interested). So many people tell me they don't have time to write, which I think is the wrong way to look at it. If you want something enough, you'll make the time for it - even if it means sacrificing social time, weekends or losing sleep (I wrote most of The Elites between 10pm-1am!). 

One tip for making the time to write is to figure out how long it takes you to write a certain number of words or a chapter. For me, it takes two hours to get a chapter of around 1,500 words done if I'm concentrating properly. One chapter a day, five days a week is my usual target. So as long as I can scrape together two hours in a day to sit my butt down and write, I can achieve my daily goal. But try not to be too hard on yourself. Even if you write for five minutes, or just think about your story for a while, it's way better than doing nothing at all :)  

Do you think that you are similar to any of your characters, in any way?

I don't think so. Some people think I'm like Silver, but that's probably only because we both have Chinese blood. I'm much less conflicted or insecure than she is - I have never experienced racism the way she has, or had to deal with someone like Ember! My views are probably more in line with Butterfly, who firmly believes in being the best person you can be, no matter all the crappy things life might throw at you. 

Was writer's block ever an issue whilst writing The Elites?

For me, writer's block hits when I'm not sure about the direction in which a scene or plot-line is going. I'm not an author that can do draft after draft after draft - I tend to edit as I go along. If I feel like something isn't right, I can get held up for days trying to figure out how to make it work. I can't ignore it and move forward. My instincts just keep screaming at me to stop and fix it! 

I also get writer's block to some extent every single day when I sit down to write. It's so scary, that moment just before beginning, when you're facing a blank page and the words are hovering on the tips of your fingers, ready to come out but afraid to at the same time. I always worry that what I'm going to write won't live up to how I've imagined it in my head, or just that what I write will be rubbish. But once I start, it gets a little easier, and usually by the end of a chapter I can look back and be happy with what I've written. 

Your characters have awesome names! How do you come up with them, and is there any inspiration behind them?

Yay! So glad you like them :) Names are super important to me, and I have a bit of a strange taste - I like weird, different names. Some of the names come naturally to me, like Silver and Butterfly, but there are always reasons behind them. In The Elites, since there are so many different cultures and ethnicity, coming up with names that matched a character's racial background was always really important. That's how I came up with Akhezo, Allum, Taiyo etc. I play around with the name in my head, visualising the character, to make sure it fits them. I can't write a character until I've found the right name for them.

All the characters in the book who are Elites also have meanings behind their names, since they're given them by the Council. Ember's name matches her fiery personality and fierce determination, as well as her flame-red hair, while Butterfly's name obviously comes from him having wings. Butterfly has been a really controversial name - some readers love it, while others think it's too wimpy for a guy! I think his character is strong enough to pull it off though. I can't imagine him with any other name!     

What was your favourite scene to write?

Great question! I'm a bit weird and mean in that I really enjoy writing the scenes where bad things are happening to my characters. I find those scenes take on a momentum of their own, and the words come more easily. In The Elites, it was that scene about half-way through the book - you know the one. The one where Bad Stuff Happens. That felt like the turning point of the whole book for me, as it completely changed how Silver saw the world, and the things that happened during that scene haunt her and Butterfly for the rest of the story. I wrote those few chapters so quickly, the words just fell out of my fingertips. I literally felt breathless writing them!

I also really loved writing the ending, especially the very last pages. I felt so proud of Silver and how far she'd come from the beginning of the book, and it was really special for me to share that moment with her.

Quick Fire:

Unicorns are real, Yes or No? (It's a blogger thing...)
Um ... no? 
Blogging or Writing?
Writing! 
Favourite Film:
At the moment, The Great Gatsby. 
Favourite Book:
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.
Ice Cream or Chocolate?
Mean question. Lots of both, please!
Dogs or Cats?
Dogs, though cats are growing on me. 
Favourite place to write:
Anywhere my MacBook Air is. 
Dream Holiday:
This little island called Pangkor Laut in Malaysia - I'd love to go back there for weeks rather than days, with nothing but my laptop, books and boyfriend for company. 

Thanks for joining me on the blog! I hope everyone liked this interview, and look out for Natasha's book, The Elites, which is coming out it September!
 Bye! xx



Monday, 26 August 2013

Interview with Amy @ Amy Bookworm

Hi Everyone!

As Amy said, in her interview with me, it's good to be crazy. It is completely understandable. As long as you have a least one person who can put up with you. That's Amy: She puts up with me.

Amy is the awesome person who plagues twitter when possible. She frequently joins me in various conversations ranging from me making her read various books (don't worry, soon she will have read The Mortal Instruments and Divergent) to participating in court cases over who gets custody of the REAL Peeta Mellark. Don't worry, Peeta's with me whilst Amy, Zoe and Hawwa have clones (Doesn't Rita Mellark sound awesome though?). In short, she is a very awesome, crazy, nice blogger! 

Today, you get to see some of that craziness, in interview form:
Describe yourself in five words.
(This is so hard!) Realist, eyebrow-raising reader, talented worrier!

How did we meet??
Have you forgotten? *shakes head* On Twitter at the '#bookishparty' event! :D

Just making sure you remembered! Would you kindly explain what our deals are? And this t-shirt? 
Our deals... Hmm, how did they start? Oh! I remember. It was a comment where you asked if I'd read City Of Bones if you read the book I reviewed. I supposed it was a good idea, and although that deal hasn't been completed yet *raises eyebrow at TBR* it will be completed like many other deals have been... I do something, and Rita does something basically :P

What do you do when you're not blogging?
Tweet. Play Uno or 4 Pics, 1 Word (just my favourite games at the moment), think about books and/or read them, do (home)work- which includes Art & soon... DofE! My volunteering for it has started & guess where I'll be heading the afternoon of writing this? The library! Although the induction day wasn't the best it was purely due to a rocky friendship and I look forward to swimming, learning First Aid & helping out in my community! (:

If you were stuck on a desert island and you couldn't bring your kindle, what book would you have with you??
A book that teaches me how to teleport so I could go & return to my books... Or a massive library.

Books vs. Ebooks?
I could argue that eBooks are books C: I know what you mean & its so hard! I'm just going to go with books but really, I'm happy with both! :D

Love triangle or not??
Love triangles are good, but it depends on the execution... 

Do you like books with male protagonists??
Of course I do! I wouldn't dislike a protag just based on gender and enjoy them about the same but it's nice & refreshing to hear from a guy's perspective as well as girls... One of my favourite things is dual narration, or when you follow a boy & a girl fairly evenly. It really pleases me (:

So this, everyone, was our awesome interview! I hope you enjoyed it and please go and check out Amy's Blog!!!

Bye! xx



Thursday, 22 August 2013

Guest Post: Classics


Hello there, friends of Weaving Pages! I am not Rita, as I’m sure you’ll note. I’m Nicole from Infusions of Wit from an Everyday Girl (aka booklovingfool). I offered to do a guest post on the delight of my soul while Rita is on hiatus. Ready? Here we go.

Somedays it’s hard for a completely devoted bibliophile like me to live in this world. This is a world that often values contemporary and YA fiction more than it values classics. And it breaks my heart. I so admire people like Hank Green and Bernie Su and the BBC network for reaching out and continuing to show the world that classics are classic for a reason. I have a particular fondness for 18th century literature, it brings me to life. Given my particular love and my strongest desire that everyone should love them as I do, I thought I’d give you my top 5 classic books to read and why.

  1. Persuasion by Jane Austen. When reaching for an Austen book, most people go immediately for Pride and Prejudice and that’s not wrong, or bad. However, Persuasion is my favorite because it’s about two older people in Jane Austen’s era (Anne Elliot is in her late 20s) and it is a novel that wrenches your heart out. Anne and Frederick Wentworth were engaged to be married when they were younger, but her family persuades her that it’s not a good idea and she breaks it off. It becomes the regret of her life and when he pops up eight years later she isn’t sure what to think or how to act...it’s dramatic and beautiful. The language can be a bit hard to understand, but once you get into it, it’s hard to pull out.
  2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. A LOT of people will recommend this book. I know it’s a bit cliche, but people love it for a reason. Jane Eyre is one of the most passionate, emotional heroines in literary history. She sticks to her convictions and but it torments her because she feels everything so deeply. Her story digs into your soul, so unless you’re soulless, you’ll enjoy it.
  3. The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas. This is a tale of friendship, of love, of ridiculousness and betrayal. It is a comedy, a tragedy, and inexplicable. Dumas blends a good amount of sarcastic wit into his novel and it is the seasoning that makes the perfect book. My favorite part of this book is the end; it is surprising and made me laugh out loud. Many moments made me laugh out loud. So sit down with a beer and start it. Or if you’re under 21, a large glass of grape juice. That works too.
  4. Vanity Fair by William Thackeray. This book is depressing, but vibrant and never boring. Becky Sharp is a heroine that you want to see succeed, so it grieves you when she never seems to make a right move. Thackeray was brilliant in contrasting his main selfish heroine with her down-to-earth, good (though sometimes foolish) best friend. There are no perfect people in this book; they all make grievous errors. However, that’s what makes it real. I couldn’t put this book down. It was like watching a train wreck. I know that doesn’t seem like a good recommendation, but it’s one of my favorites because it’s such a good story. 
  5. Last, but most certainly not least, The Odyssey by Homer. This is one giant poem (if you get the right version) and is a great adventure story. My copy is from the late 1800s and I value it more than just about all my other books combined. Odysseus is a fantastic hero and he’s so romantic! Refuses to stop trying to get home to his wife. I mean, seriously. Swoon. My favorite part is the end, when they are reunited. He basically slaughters a lot of people so that he can be with her. And by then they’re old. It’s a great epic.

So those are my five, but if none of those whets your appetite try to find a classic that appeals to you. If you love sci-fi, try Dune by Frank Herbert. If you prefer witty plays, try Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. If you’re a huge YA fan and don’t want to try to read the more traditional classics, try The Brothers Grimm fairytales, or Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (it’s trippy though, be warned). There are classic in every genre, so go back to the roots and try reading a few. You might be surprised by what you find.

Thank you Nicole, for writing this awesome post!


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Letter From a Reader: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Hello Everyone!

I decided to do a review that is different to all my other ones. You'll see.


 Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #1
Published: April 2nd 2009
No. of Pages: 201

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

 (-Goodreads)


4.5 stars: Page agrees this book was wonderful, almost
amazing.


Saturday, 17 August 2013

A to Z Book Survey

Hi Everyone!

Currently, everyone's been doing an A to Z book survey, hosted by Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner so I decided to give it a go!
AtoZsurvey

Author You've Read the Most Books From:

Robert Muchamore. The CHERUB series is 12 books long which means I've read LOTS of his books.

Best Sequel Ever:

Race the Wind by Lauren St. John

Currently Reading:

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Drink of Choice While Reading:

I don't really tend to drink anything when I read...so umm...probably Water? Haha! I really can't choose!

E-Reader or Physical Book?

Physical books are the champions of the Bookish World. Yes, that means I like them better than ebooks. As much as I love my kindle, I'll never stop buying physical books.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated In High School:

Peeta from The Hunger Games obviously!! Peeta is so sweet, and a lovely guy who is actually right here with me. *Hugs REAL Peeta*

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Icons by Margaret Stohl. 

Hidden Gem Book:

Hitler's Angel by William Osborne

Important Moment in Your Reading Life:

Whilst I could say becoming a Grammar Freak, I'm going to go for the really cliché answer and say starting my blog. Honestly, I would never have done so many things if it weren't from my blog. Then again, crying and refusing to let my mum read Pig in a Wig is also really important. (It's honestly so sad!! The little Pig cries because these sheep are making fun of himD:)

Just Finished:

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

Kind Of Books You Won't Read:

Vampire books. I completely refuse. I can't stand Vampires (except Simon Lewis) and even Werewolves get on my nerves, but not so much that I want to burn books that contain the said creature *cough* Twilight. Plus, Jacob isn't a werewolf. Refer to following image:


Longest Book You've Read:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (870 pages)

Major Book Hangover Because Of:

I would say HP and the Deathly Hallows, but I want to go for something different, so I'll go with Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson. I loved that book so much and in no way was I ready to part with those characters...

Number of Book Cases You Own:

I own two, but one is full of books from when I was little, and the other is seperated into these cube-y things which means it has much less space than a normal shelf. So, I'm running out of room....to IKEA we go!

One Book You Have Read Mulitple Times:

I'm very bad at re-reading. It's not something I particularly like doing. I do like doing through books, finding my favourite scene and then re-reading that. However, I have read The Hunger Games trilogy four times, over and over...!

Preferred Place to Read:

I don't really have a reading space but I would love to! I read on my bed mostly, as it's more comfortable than anywhere else!

Quote That Inspires You:

We live and breathe words. .... It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds, I felt--I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted--and then I realized that truly I just wanted you.”- Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince


Reading Regret:

Knowing that I'll never be able to read all the amazing books in the world. Also, not reading The Mortal Instruments sooner. (People told me to, but I was stubborn and refused..until last September!)

Series You Started and Need to Finish:

Thinking about it, there's loads but I really need to finish The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa! I have one book to go, and I LOVED the series, but I feel like I know what's going to happen. Plus, The Iron Queen left me heartbroken.. *weeps silently*

Three of Your All-Time Favourite Books:

Why Three!!?? Hmmm...I'll go for less known books, than the standard HP & HG thing..Okay, I choose I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter, The Elites by Natasha Ngan and Paw Tracks in the Moonlight by Dennis O'Connor

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Sarah Alderson. You should all know this by now. Plus, I got to do a Q&A with her which is AWESOME and very cool!!! *squeals and fangirls*

Very Excited for This Release More Than Others:

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. Pfff. Obviously.

Worst Bookish Habit:

Well....sometimes the cover of my books get folded at the corner because it's been in my bag...but don't worry! If I borrow a book from someone, it doesn't go ANYWHERE with me, just to make sure it's safe. :)

X Marks the Spot: Starts at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

I'm not currently in the same location as my bookshelf at the moment, but I'll do it from memory. I think it's Girl Missing by Sophie Mckenzie!

Your Latest Book Purchase:

I bought Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi, along with two more books, but this was the first one I picked up.

ZZZ-snatcher Book(The Last Book That Kept You Up Way Late):

I remember reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but since I was SO tired, I fell asleep reading it!

I hope you enjoyed reading this! I definitely had fun writing it!

Bye! xx



Friday, 16 August 2013

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Hello Everyone!

I was sent Mila 2.0 by Harper Collins UK in exchange for an honest and fair review, so a big thank you to them!


Title: Mila 2.0
Author: Debra Driza
Series: Mila 2.0 #1
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Release Date: March 12th 2013
No. of Pages: 470

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life. (-Goodreads)


4 stars: Page decides that this book was very enjoyable
however, it was not catapulted into amazing.


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Top Ten Books Set In a Different World.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and The Bookish

Top Ten Books Set in a Different World.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
1.Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I love the world in Throne of Glass. It was a great fantasy world. Plus, it has a map at the beginning that just makes everything better! Not sure I would want to live there though....

The Elites
2. The Elites by Natasha Ngan
Again, this probably wouldn't be the best world to live in, but it was a part of the story that I loved. I liked that it had a mixture of different cultures and that it was different to other worlds.

Divergent (Divergent, #1)
3. Divergent by Veronica Roth
I love the idea of factions, that's why I like the Divergent world. I think that I would probably be Divergent. I can't define myself into one category,as I like to think that I have traits that fit into lots of different factions!

The Host (The Host, #1)
4. The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Technically, this is just our world in the future but there are lots of different planets. I loved the different planets mentioned as well as the souls. For me, it was a great setting.

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)
5.The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Once again, I would hate to live in any of the districts. However, the setting is great and Suzanne Collins is a great writer for being able to come up with such a great idea.

The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)
6. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
What really strikes me about this world, is that we always picture fairies, and their world as being pretty, dainty and extremely nice. The world in the Iron King is of stark contrast to popular belief and I love that.

Icons (Icons, #1)
7. Icons by Margaret Stohl
This is also, technically, our world but again I love the idea of the aliens. I love how in this book, you never see the aliens- they are just there- so it stops it from being ridiculous and instead becomes a source of curiousity.

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)
8.The Maze Runner by James Dashner
I loved this book so much! The maze was such a great part of the story that I had to include this in my TTT. I think that the Glade was a great setting!

Everneath (Everneath, #1)
9. Everneath by Brodi Ashton
The Everneath is completely awesome. The book also has a map at the beginning which shows the whole of The Everneath. It was great reading about all the adventure in it.

Breathe (Breathe, #1)
10.Breathe by Sarah Crossan 
What I love so much about this setting, is that it's not one I've come across before. Yes, I've read various dystopian books, but never one where the air you breathe determines your status, etc.


That's my Top Ten for this week, hope you enjoyed it!

Bye! xx



Monday, 12 August 2013

The Reader's Bill of Rights

Hello Everyone!

You may remember that I annoted the quote/speech "Date a Girl Who Reads." Since quite a few people liked what I did, I found another quote I wanted to annotate! I'm also thinking of turning this into a meme, where every Sunday everyone annotates a quote of their choice. What do you all think? Would you join in? You can tell me here. For now, here is the quote:


“Reader's Bill of Rights

1. The right to not read
(Good luck trying to make me not read, but if you mean the right to not a read a book I don't want to, then Yes. I agree. I like to read what I want!)

2. The right to skip pages
(Some pages in books, even in brilliant ones, are made to be skipped. I only read boring pages because of the same reason I rarely DNF. I'm scared to miss something AWESOME.)

3. The right to not finish
(Just ask any blogger. We all have the right to DNF. Like I explained above, I rarely DNF but if I just can't take it anymore, then I will DNF.)

4. The right to reread
(Does this need an explanation? I've read all the books in The Hunger Games trilogy FOUR times. Four. Four. Hear that echo through your mind and remind you of Four from Divergent.)

5. The right to read anything
(I read EVERYTHING. Shampoo bottles. Soap bottles. Instructions. Textbooks. Newspapers. Books. eBooks. Films. Subtitles. Everything. I can't help it..)

6. The right to escapism
(Is it bad that I'm trying to work out what it means by this? *googles*Okay, so it basically means the right to escape into a book. I knew that.Phff...Obviously.)

7. The right to read anywhere
(I read EVERYWHERE. Everything, Everywhere. That sounds pretty cool... I always have a book with me, which means every chance I get, I read. Especially when I'm waiting for things...)

8. The right to browse
(Waterstones is like my 2nd home. Everytime I walk in there, I get this huge grin on my face. Though I don't buy something everytime I go there, I love having a look at all the books and wishing I lived there!)

9. The right to read out loud
(I'm actually not a fan of reading out loud. I don't really enjoy it, and I like reading silently better.)

10. The right to not defend your tastes”
(I could not agree with this more. There are things I just enjoy. There I things I just want to read. There are no reasons behind why I want to read book, or why I like a certain genre. I just do. Does that make my opinion wrong?)

― Daniel Pennac

I hope you liked my opinions, and please let me know what you think of the meme! Is it something you would want to join in with? 

Bye! xx



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