My Christmas Reading Bucket List (2015)

As an author, it’s always important to read many good books. For me, that’s been hard as I always leave it after reading the first chapter or in the middle of the novel. But this year, I’ve decided to change my ways and trying to read as many as I can. Some, I might read again (ones that are highlighted in bold) and there’ll be new books to look at too. Here are my top books to read this Christmas:

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

Atonement by Ian McEwan

The Shakespeare Curse by J.L. Carrell

Jane – the Woman Who Loved Tarzan by Robin Maxwell

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

Geek Girl: Picture Perfect by Holly Smale

Girl Online: On Tour by Zoe Sugg

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My Summer Reading Bucket List (2015) (*Last and Final Update*)

Update: Finished reading my fourth novel; just written the review. To read, see below:

https://actingmylife.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/back-to-black-facing-mid-life-crisis-and-beginning-life-all-over-again-in-a-whole-new-light/

As an author, it’s always important to read many good books. For me, that’s been hard as I always leave it after reading the first chapter or in the middle of the novel. But this year, I’ve decided to change my ways and trying to read as many as I can. Some, I might read again (ones that are highlighted in bold) and there’ll be new books to look at too. Here are my top books to read this summer:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Girl Online by Zoe Snugg

Bridget Jones – Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Jane – the Woman Who Loved Tarzan by Robin Maxwell

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

Back to Black, Facing Mid-Life Crisis and Beginning Life All Over Again (In a Whole New Light)

Book Title: Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

 

Author: Helen Fielding

 

Date of Publication: 2013

 

Genre: Comedy Novel

Can you imagine being a widow, a fifty-something-year-old single mother, have an ex f**kwit boyfriend as your children’s godfather, and a back up babysitter (excuse my French); having sex with a toy boy who you’ve seen for a few weeks, a mother trying to hook you up with a horny pensioner and feeling humiliated by your children’s P.E teacher? Well, that’s the life of our favourite British character – Bridget Jones – sixteen years after the events of Edge of Reason.

So, what’s the story? Bridget Jones is facing a mid-life, tragic crisis. SPOILER ALERT (YOU’VE BEEN WARNED) It’s been four years since the unexpected death of Mark Darcy and Bridget is struggling to maintain her life, looking after her two children, William (or “Billy”, as he’s known), aged seven and Mabel, aged four. She’s given up on romance, planning to put her family first. When she hands the children over to the nanny, Chloe, Bridget sorrows over Mark. However, her life is about to change when Bridget’s friends, Tom, Jude and new friend, Talitha propose ideas for Bridget to get laid; by doing so, she will never no longer be a “Born Again Virgin”. From there, Bridget goes to a diet clinic, goes into mishaps, and bumping into P.E. Teacher Mr Wallaker; attempting to write a screenplay, joining Twitter, and through there, meeting and dating a boy – twenty to thirty years her junior. What mishaps will Bridget get into next and will she ever be happy again?

If you are a frequent follower, you will know that I’m a huge fan of the Bridget Jones films and compare her life to mine. But my biggest shame is that I have never, ever read any of the books (I wonder if Helen Fielding will tell off for this). So, I decided to go backwards and start reading Mad About the Boy. Properly naughty of me, but I’ve seen the two films – I may go back to the books and compare them between the films.

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Oh, how times have changed…

And, I adored reading Mad About the Boy. I place this in my Top 20 Best Books I’ve Ever Read (even though I’ve haven’t made a list of my own – yet). Helen Fielding’s latest novel is, in my opinion, a masterpiece in it’s own right. Never, for one second, I got bored and wanted to place it back on the shelf; it was just specular, like a jewel in a crown.

I really like the storyline; there were times when I laughed out loud, wolf-whistled and growled, as if I was reading a screenplay or I was playing a relative of Bridget’s, reading her diary while uncovering her positions in her attic. It was pretty clever, entertaining and charming. The humour was so easy to follow; I couldn’t stop laughing for a minute or two. I can honestly say that Helen Fielding is the Queen of British Literature. I applaud her, with all the strength that my hands can clap; a job well done.

I love Bridget in the novel; I admired her character, and enthusiasm to adapt her screenplay, her efforts to help her children and be a good girlfriend for Roxster. And her mistakes are more hilarious than ever – especially when Bridget has to deal problems with head lice, spreading around her children, friends and Roxster.

Also, I was really touched by Bridget’s struggles including her obsession with the loss of Mark and her battle through depression. I nearly cried, throughout these chapters: from her failure as a single mother to her fear of ever being loved again. These are the feelings we all go through – whether we are divorced, widowed, single, old or young.

There were also really touching moments about Bridget and her children, when they were talking about Mark. In one chapter, Billy, and Mabel made Father’s Day cards at school and wanted to address them to him. So when Bridget showed them pictures of Mark, she agreed to put them, on top of his grave. I was almost in tears, feeling the loss of these three – mother and her children – who still deeply miss their father/husband. I’m no mother, but I know what it’s like to lose someone close to your heart and Helen Fielding describes these situations very well. :’)

In conclusion, I highly, desperately recommend reading Mad About the Boy. It is a marvel; better than a magazine, or The Princess Diaries. It is a fascinating read (especially if you are a Bridget Jones fan) and you won’t be disappointed. Have you get the chance, buy it, or order it from the library and read it today! Or tomorrow, if it’s late in the day for you. It’ll be the best read of your half-lives. 🙂

Dream Big #1 – Becoming a Joint Author with Favourite Authors

I love reading books from each category and by my favourite authors. From them, I’ve been inspired to dream to write a duet novel. However despite my one of my main, big dreams, I have also wanted to be a joint author, share ideas and write a novel with my favourite author/s. I think it’ll be interesting and really, really fun. It will be an honour to work with these amazing people.

So, here they are my top five authors who I want to write a joint novel with.

  • Helen Fielding – I love all her Bridget Jones works (I’ll be publishing her latest Bridget Jones novel very soon); her writings have a lot of charm, character and creativity.
  • Zoe Sugg – Girl Online was a huge favourite of mine; I became over excited by Zoe’s wonderful story setting and characters.
  • Philippa Gregory – I love Philippa’s Historic stories, mostly her Medieval and Tudor series – they are truly remarkable.
  • Robin Maxwell – I adored Jane: the Woman who Loved Tarzan – it is wonderfully and thoughtfully written, which made me smile.
  • Holly Smale – Like Helen Fielding, Holly’s Geek Girl series have made me uplifted with laughter; it is also very powerful and beautiful.

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So that was my list for writing novels with joint authors. 🙂

What Do You Get When A Model Travels to Japan and Doesn’t Know Anything About Boys? Just Ask “Geek Girl”!

Book Title: Geek Girl: Model Misfit

 

Author: Holly Smale

 

Date of Publication: 2013

 

Genre: Children’s Fantasy

Did I want more after the first Geek Girl novel? Well, yes – 110 per cent!!!!!!!!! And this one, was slightly better than the first one.

So what happened after the events of the first novel? Harriet Manners, still fifteen and a half years old is still modelling and has just finished her GCSE finals. Nothing, in Harriet’s life has changed. Apart from her parents preparing for the birth of a new baby brother, or sister, the recent separation of her relationship with Lion Boy and the unexpected arrival of her step-grandmother. Now with her best friend travelling to France (after being grounded from shopping for make-up, instead of revising), Harriet feels all alone and wants to hide away from the world. However, one phone call from Wilbur, on a special trip to Tokyo, Japan will change everything. Harriet jumps at the chance and prepares for her totally, awesome dream holiday. What can possibly go wrong?

When I first read Model Misfit, I was super excited. What will Harriet get up to next? I said to myself. Will she or won’t she get into a serious relationship with Nick? Will she push her career further? What disasters will she run into now?

Then, at the possible moment, I started whizzing through the novel. I really loved the beginning, but I was a bit disappointed with some of the middle parts of the story. Some of the chapters, I thought kept dragging on and on – but not as much as Pride and Prejudice.

The “Harriet Disasters”, conversations between the characters and Wilbur were more hilarious than the first novel. I honestly enjoyed them and laughed all the way.

I loved the new characters – Rin and Poppy. I thought they were brilliant and exciting, like two people out from an Agatha Christie novel. They brought real life to the story and I loved the author’s contribution to these characters. Rin’s my personal favourite.

I also love Harriet and Nick’s relationship in this one – the author has included flashbacks, which is pretty cool. It’s more touching, funny and exciting than in Geek to Chic.

Overall, I think Geek Girl: Model Misfit is a good read and will recommend it to everyone, everywhere. I rate Model Misfit a 8 out of 10 because of it’s adventure, good characters and a inspiring, young love story.

I may get hatred for this one but, I rate Pride and Prejudice a 4 out of 10 because of its slow text and lack of comedy.

My Summer Reading Bucket List (2015) (*UPDATE*)

Update: Finished reading my third novel; just written the review. To read see below:

https://actingmylife.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/pride-and-prejudice-is-too-long-id-cheat-on-wikipedia/

As an author, it’s always important to read many good books. For me, that’s been hard as I always leave it after reading the first chapter or in the middle of the novel. But this year, I’ve decided to change my ways and trying to read as many as I can. Some, I might read again (ones that are highlighted in bold) and there’ll be new books to look at too. Here are my top books to read this summer:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Girl Online by Zoe Snugg

Bridget Jones – Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Jane – the Woman Who Loved Tarzan by Robin Maxwell

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

Pride and Prejudice is Too Long; I’d cheat on Wikipedia

Book Title: Pride and Prejudice

 

Author: Jane Austin

 

Date of Publication: 1813

 

Genre: Novel of Manners

Ever wondered what it was like to try, fail and cheat by reading the entire story plot on Wikipedia? I did on this novel.

So, what’s the story? Elizabeth Bennet, the second of five Bennet daughters is living in an age where parents are arranging marriages to wealthy owners. Like her eldest sister, Jane, Elizabeth is under constant pressure from her mother and father. While her sisters’ relationships are facing on and off relationships with their loved ones, Elizabeth begins to have an on and off relationship with handsome, upper-class grump, Mr Darcy. When this happens, things go out of hand, Elizabeth tries to uncover the real personality within Mr Darcy – was he fake or was he a gentleman?

The story was interesting to begin with. The conversations between Mr and Mrs Bennet were interesting. However when I go to the second chapter (on the first volume), it started getting boring. The text was too small, the storyline kept dragging and I’m sad to say, I didn’t get any laughs from the novel, apart from one quote from Mrs Bennet.

After reading ten chapters, I decided to search the full summary on Wikipedia and read it from there. It was easy to understand and what was happening. But, honestly, it’s like a Georgian version of EastEnders with so much melodrama in between. This dragged on too, until I got to the end.

However, I do have one positive thing about Pride and Prejudice. I love Elizabeth and Darcy’s characters; I enjoyed them so much, especially Elizabeth’s feelings towards Darcy due to the strong relationship she has for her eldest sister, Jane. Elizabeth is a strong, independent character – one that any modern woman can relate too.

Overall, I think I will give Pride and Prejudice a miss. However, if you would like slow reading books, then this one could be for you. If you are bored, you can always look at Wikipedia. XD

I may get hatred for this one but, I rate Pride and Prejudice a 4 out of 10 because of its slow text and lack of comedy.