Friday, 27 February 2015

The Madman's Daughter Trilogy by Megan Shepherd - Spoiler Free


   Overall, this series was amazingly creepy, thrillingly dark and wickedly adventurous. Juliet Moreau is the daughter of disgraced scientist Henry Moreau. With her mother dead and her father missing she is entirely on her own. At the first hint that her father may still be alive she will stop at nothing to find him even if it means going to the far corners of the earth. Soon though she realises that some things are better left undiscovered.
 I absolutely loved these books. The settings were eery and creepy in a way that made me afraid to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. But that's what I get for reading creepy books at night. 
 The concepts in this series could sometimes be a bit difficult to imagine as sometimes they could be  far past the realms of reality. This was interesting, though at times I wasn't sure if something would actually work. 

 As a second book in the series Her Dark Curiosity started a little too slowly. There were some definite character flaws in the lead Juliet such as indecision which would drive the most patient reader mad. But the lead into the final book was worth it.
 The final book A Cold Legacy was by far my favourite. I can't much describe the plot without spoiling the first two books so I will just tell you that it was the creepiest of the lot with so many plot twists that no one could have seen them all coming. 
 I love the original cover that can be seen on The Madman's Daughter, and while I still like the new covers I feel that the first one really captures the creepy spirit of the books.
  Essentially if you want mad scientists, if you want creepiness with some gore that will make you want to shut the pages for a few minutes, if you want secrets, mysteries, and plot twists, then this is the series for you.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Neil Gaiman at UCD

  Yesterday I walked pasted a poster that I hadn't noticed. It wasn't until someone else pointed it out to me that I saw that I actually cared what was on it.
  Neil Gaiman was coming to UCD to receive the James Joyce Award from the L&H society. I think I actually physically jumped up and down. Fangirling so hard that I didn't listen to a single thing in lectures from that point on.
 
There is nothing more amazing than hearing one of your favourite people speak. Not only because he had the career that I wanted or because he was so funny that I could have listened to him for another hour or so but because it truly was inspirational.
  I know that everyone says that everyone takes time to really start something, but to hear that it didn't just happen overnight even for someone so talented really gave me hope. More hope than I had felt for a long while- in regards to the writing life anyway.
  I really could have listened to him talk for hours, I'm glad they gave the man the prize. It was definitely worth facing the 5pm traffic on the way home. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Sparks

  I was just thinking how some little things can change the entire course of your future. There are two main examples for myself that I can think of.
  Firstly, one youtube video changed what it was that I wanted to become 'when I grew up.' I went from not knowing, to realising that I could have a career involving books, if I wanted. I do want. Still working on it.
  Secondly, the one that I haven't written much about here so I thought I would tell you.
  About three years ago I trained as a makeup artist. That was never a goal for me. I liked the idea of being able to do makeup but doing beauty looks was only fun for a while, I enjoyed it but my heart was set on doing extreme body painting. Which I loved. However there is not much of a market for it over here in Ireland.
  Once my training ended I was left in a void. I had the skills of a makeup artist, but no dream of becoming one. I decided to set my sights on becoming an artist. An animator, illustrator, fine art artist.
  To put it bluntly, it didn't work. I wish I could say I tried and failed but I didn't even try. I took a year to work and put together a portfolio to enter into art college. I never made it that far. I think I did a total of three maybe four sketches, total, that entire year.
  Two years before that I had only really drawn in school, that was my favourite class, exams were rough and I got a B (which was devastating as it was the only subject I was hoping to get an A in). Toppled on that the entire exam experience, in this subject at least, had left me shattered and wanting to take a break from it for a while. It was a mix of jealousy of other talented school mates and self doubt that made me scared to pick up a pencil again. I ended up putting it off for so long that I didn't want to pick it up again because I was terrified to see how out of practice I had become.
  One thing changed that. A friend of mine asked if I would face paint at her twenty first which would be Disney themed. Which sounded amazing to me. The only problem was that I hadn't practiced drawing for a long time. I decided that if I wanted to do a good job at the party that I had better practice. So I did. It was difficult at first because I had never really tried to draw someone else's character before. It had always just been life drawing or my own random doodles. The first few attempts were really pathetic.


 Even looking back through them now makes me cringe a little bit. But drawing is something that you can improve on. So I kept at it.



And kept at it.
To be honest I was a bit surprised at how fast I progressed. It was literally like there was no middle ground. One day I was drawing pencil outlines of characters that took hours, the next day I was drawing full colour versions. It was a bit strange to see them so dramatically different and so quickly.
The more effort that I put in the easier it became to make myself draw more. I was suddenly willing to because I had spent so long avoiding drawing that now that I was no longer scared stupid at the thought of marking a page I wanted to spend all my time doing it.                                         
                             



I was now in college studying English and Classics. I felt almost as though I had wasted an entire year being lazy and scared. Now that I wanted to draw on a daily basis I felt as though I had missed that opportunity.
  I know now that I probably needed that time to realise what type of drawing that I enjoy. Also, if I had gone to art college that year I never would have discovered BookTube and learned that I really ultimately wanted to work with books.
  Still the dream is there to write and draw, hopefully in the same book!


                       


If you want to see more of my drawings come and check me out on instagram!
http://instagram.com/art_inapaperbinding/


 Don't be scared to do what you love, no matter how long it has been or how bad you think you are at it. You can improve. You can try.
 Until next time, Emma.


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Valentines Day Reads!

 So I just put up a video that will recommend to you some of my favourite love stories, romance novels and general books that will make you swoon.
  If you find you are stuck for something to read, or even something to buy as a gift for a book lover look no further! Check out the video in the link below!
http://youtu.be/mZ4G6HgwI2g

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

  Don't worry, I won't spoil you.  
This book was one of my most anticipated for this year second only to Winter the final instalment of the Lunar Chronicles. The first thing that I noticed that wasn't the beautiful cover or the gorgeous art inside the cover was the fact that it is a very short book. It is only 220 pages long. This book makes the wait for Winter a little easier.  There is an excerpt from Winter in the back which I stopped myself from reading knowing that it would only make the wait harder.I still want Winter. Give it to me.
  This book is a prequel to the Lunar Chronicles series. It follows the main 'villain' Levana. I was expecting to find Levana to be a more relatable person but straight off we know that this is a different sort of character.
  I loved getting to see more of Levana in this book. I think that while I don't think her reasons justify any of her actions - not completely- at least we know that there were reasons.
  I don't think that this added much to the plot of the overall series. That is not to say that I didn't enjoy it, only that I would have enjoyed it equally as much had it been released after Winter. I did love to see more of Luna, and getting to see some more characters and the history of others. It definitely gave more gravity to some of the characters.
  Overall I would rate this book as 4.5 stars. Not a full moon but I am so glad that I had it.
  Now to begin the long wait until Winter.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Determination

 I realised, not so recently, that I actually don't write many reviews on the books that I read here. I am determined to change that. One of the main reasons that I started this blog was to write reviews on my books as I read them. I do that in a physical notebook but I thought, for books that I have strong opinions about or really just enjoyed,
I would write reviews here.
  As well as my usual yammering on.