The Writing Newbie

Writing is an adventure. Enjoy the journey and write the way you love!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Books Before Movies!

Hey everyone!

2013 proves to be a promising year for some amazing movies! I'm already counting days till I can see Star Trek 2 and the second Hobbit movie! ( I have seen The Hobbit twice already in Imax and would have seen it ... probably 50 times if it didn't cost so darn much money! Tolkien FTW!) 

Here is my list of books you should read before the movies (the ones I definitely want to see at least) come out!  :) It's not so much what the books are about (see Google lol) but what I think about them!

1. Beautiful Creatures - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

This one will be in cinemas 14 Feb (in the Netherlands at least) and I haven't read it yet. In fact, due to a funny story I happen to own part 2 of the series but not the first one... A while back I wrote to a teen magazine in the UK who were looking for people to review books. I heard nothing back. Then suddenly! There it was! In the mail with a short handwritten note. A book before it was in the stores (yes I was very excited about this part) and.... it was a part two. I was broke and had no way to read the first part. I tried to read the first chapter but it just didn't feel right. SO as you might have guessed, my review sucked and I never heard from them again (there goes my short and not-so-glamorous magazine review career). 

Anyway the book still speaks to me and what I have read online seems very promising! I am certainly going to read it before the movie comes out (better hurry then).

2. OZ the great and Powerful 

I am really excited about this one! The trailer looked absolutely amazing. Obviously it is very loosely based on The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Although I own the novel, I don't think I have actually ever read it. it's one of those novels that I buy because it's a classic, and then come around to somewhere over the years (at least that's the plan). Something tells me that this is going to be one of those movies that will be great to watch in the cinema because the scenes are just so pretty! Not sure if I will read the book before going. But I might if i have time. 

3. The Host - Stephanie Meyer

It's been a while since I read this one, but I remember that I loved it a lot! I used to be a huge Twilight fan in my day and still have a special place for the first book, but the Host is completely different. I loved the idea of these glowing little aliens that could only live in an alien host. The book was witty, interesting and impossible to put down! And different from normal sci-fi alien books I've read. 

4. The Great Gatsby - F. Scot Fitzgerald 

Not completely sure if I'm going to see this movie in the theatres but am really curious to see what the director made of this. What I loved most about the novel was the way the language was used, the story itself, really, isn't all that spectacular compared to other stories out there, although it was still good. For me it was honestly the language that made the book great. 

5. City of Bones - Cassandra Clare 

I read this book a few years ago and can remember almost nothing, except that I liked it, that there were demons and some very interesting revelations. But because I can remember almost nothing (I read too many books I think) I just decided to read it again and then finish the whole series while I'm at it (she says like she actually has this thing called "free time"). 

6. Catching fire Suzanne Collins

Really looking forward to this one. I loved reading all the books as horrible (in a good way) as they were. And I am really looking forward to see who they cast as whom (I usually don't check in front. Want to see them for the first time on the screen). And curious to see how they will deal with the more gruesome stuff coming up in part 2 and 3!
Funnily enough the books had no appeal to me at all when I first saw them. But everyone kept talking about them so I bought part 3 for 50 pence at a book store that was closing its doors (I must have bought about 50 books there. Not exaggerating. I was one of their last costumers when they had only 5 books left and started asking only 50p for a hardcover and 25p for a paperback). Then I (illegally, sorry) downloaded part 1 to see if I would even liked it. Got hooked. Read it in one afternoon, rushed into town and immediately bought them both! 

7. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - (The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien)

Only one book unfortunately, not three. Loved the first movie. The trick is to NOT compare it as much to LOTR. But I loved all the little tributes they made for the fans anyway and have watched LOTR so many times (incl. the extra's, extended version, non extended, with commentary of EVERYONE) that I know it better than the back of my hand. But still managed to separate the Hobbit as much as possible and read the book for the second time before going to the movies. If you haven't read it yet, I strongly recommend it! It's hilarious!

And then you have Jack the Giant Slayer, Oblivion, Iron Man 3, Star Trek 2, The Man of Steel and the Lone Ranger to only name a few that I want to see  .... my wallet is going to hate me.

How about you guys? Do you need to read the book first or are movies better? Do you guys ever read books AFTER seeing the movie (I have with various ways how liking/hating it).

Keep Writing!
Xx Noortje 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Book Review: Between

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you’ll all have a happy and healthy 2013! J May this be a good year for writing!

But for now it is time for another book review!

Between, the debut novel of Kerry Schafer, is definitely one of the most interesting fantasy books I have read in a long while—in a very good way.
As someone who loves readying fantasy I know the genre pretty well and I have never come across something quite like this. The story was compelling, surprising, rather horrifying and positively gruesome at times and lots of fun to read.
Dragons, dreams, princes, evil Queens, magic, warriors—Between has it all. The story stars with our heroin, Vivian who is working a shift at the E.R. when a teenage boy is brought in with severe burn wounds that Vivian immediately recognizes as having come from a dragon.  Here is where the pretty disgusting bit starts (for the faint hearted, do not worry. Between isn’t a gory book. It just has it’s moments. They fit the story well and it’s just a book. You’ll probably be OK haha :p)--but disguisting because the boy's skin just melts away.

Normally I wouldn’t think twice about these kind of moments but they were written so vividly—as was the entire book—that I couldn’t help but see everything that happened to Vivian very clearly and realistically in my mind. I love it when a book just grabs you right out of your seat and drags you into a world of wonder, and this is definitely that kind of book.

There was one character in the book that I, when I first read about him, viewed as weird and negative (because it stood out and didn’t seem to fit) but he very soon melted my heart and I started to love the little guy: Poe, a penguin—yep you heard me. Penguin. The cutest, smartest, bravest little penguin I have ever read about (although to be fair I haven’t read that many books with penguins in them. Still.)
Another character, Zee, I couldn't resist: a painter and bookshop owner by day and a warrior in his dreams at night.
Did I also mention that this book is filled with dragons? Not the cute be-my-best-friend-and-we-will-ride-the-skies-together kind of dragon that you find in a lot of books these days, but old-fashioned really nasty I’ll-bite-your-head-off-and-toast-you-for-dinner kind of dragons.

Other than that I have to say that I really like the humour, eventually had to laugh real hard about the fact that Vivian seems to spend about 20% of the book completely naked and found the whole Wakeworld / Dreamworld / Between was very interesting and I loved reading all about it and how Vivian handles the fact that these worlds exists and that she can movie between them.

In short a book that I would definitely recommend, especially if you are interested in dreams, penguins or just want something different for a change.

Between will be in stores 29 January and I suggest you go check it out!
Go to for more information! :)
I will try to make these book reviews a weekly or at least a twice a month thing! I hope you like them!
And also this year:

Keep Writing!
Xx Noortje