Sunday, 29 September 2013

Busy as a butterfly

I wanted to apologise for the lack of posts lately (especially book reviews), and let you guys know that I'm still around!

It's been a very weird and hectic few weeks for me, and it's only going to get busier. I started a new full-time job a few days ago and, on top of that, I have a university course kicking off in the next week. So, until I settle into my new schedule, I'm not going to be blogging or communicating as much as I would prefer.

So bear with me, everyone, and I promise there will be new stuff on the blog before too long.

See you soon!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Interview with Katie Dale – author of Little White Lies

It's a pleasure to welcome Katie Dale back to the blog, who's here this time to talk about her fabulous new young adult thriller, Little White Lies (out now). Check out its blurb at the bottom of the interview.


Q: Your new novel, Little White Lies, centres around Lou and a guy she meets named Christian, who turns out to be hiding some rather large secrets from her. What can you tell us about the settings for the story? Do the events occur in the present day or somewhere more distant?
A: The setting for the story is present day – actually in September, so right now! – as Lou starts at Sheffield University as a fresher studying English Literature. As it happens, I myself also studied English Lit at Sheffield University, so a lot of the environment is based on my own memories of being a student there – going to pubs and trekking up and down the killer hills! – though my own hall of residence has sadly been knocked down so I had to do some research into the glitzy new “student village”!

The protagonist in your previous release, Someone Else’s Life, also discovers a secret which fuels the plot of the novel. What do you think it is that makes secrets so interesting to read about?
I think secrets are so compelling because everyone wants to know a secret, to share a secret or to guess a secret before someone else. It’s what keeps us eagerly turning the pages in mystery books, detective stories, and thrillers, hungry to find out what really happened – that’s the kind of book I really like to read, and also the kind I love to write – with a good few twists in there as well, to keep readers guessing!

Which Little White Lies character did you enjoy writing the most, and why?
Funnily enough, I enjoyed writing two of the secondary characters most of all – Vix and Kenny. Vix is just so bubbly and full of life and ideas, whilst being incredibly loyal, whilst Kenny (who knows most of the secrets) is quite dry and witty and cunning, and it was really fun to write their dialogue.

What advice can you give to budding authors wishing to write for the Young Adult genre?
Read as much YA as you can – it’s by far my favourite genre, as it’s always reinventing itself, pushing the boundaries and experimenting – and there are some really stunning books and authors out there. Then just imagine yourself as a teen – thinking you pretty much have life sussed out, but having so many surprises and choices left in store. There are so many possibilities awaiting teenagers – their lives aren’t mapped out yet, and it’s such an exciting time, and the scope for fiction of all kinds is vast.

Finally, do you have any other projects in the works? Where can we stay updated?
Ah, I’m afraid I’m going to have to keep my next project my own secret for now! But do stay updated at and follow me on twitter @katiedaleuk – You’ll hear about it there first!

The first time Lou meets tall, dark, and handsome Christian, she knows he's hiding something. Why does he clam up every time she asks about his past? Why doesn't he have any family photos and why does he dye his blond hair black?

Then suddenly his terrible secret is unveiled to the world - and it seems everything he's ever told Lou is a lie. Can what the media are saying about him really be true? Should Lou trust him? Or is she in terrible danger? But Christian isn't the only one keeping secrets. For what if their chance meeting was no accident at all ...?

As lie follows lie, nothing is as it seems, and soon Lou finds herself ensnared in a web of deceit, her loyalties torn, her emotions in tatters as she faces a heart-wrenching dilemma: should she shatter the lives of those she holds dearest, or betray the guy who, against all odds, she's fallen in love with?

Full of family secrets, surprising twists and unexpected revelations, Katie Dale's second novel will have readers on the edge of their seats.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Review: The Transfer (a Divergent short story) by Veronica Roth

Warning: Don't read this short story (or this review) if you haven't read the first two books in the Divergent series beforehand!

More Four! Fans of the Divergent series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth will be thrilled by "The Transfer," the first of four new short stories told from Four’s perspective. Each brief story explores the world of the Divergent series through the eyes of the mysterious but charismatic Tobias Eaton, revealing previously unknown facets of his personality, backstory, and relationships. (via Goodreads)

Being a Divergent fan is great, isn't it? We get the last book in the trilogy next month, a high-profile film next year, and a whole set of short stories told from Four's point-of-view!

The Transfer is the first short story to be released (if you don't count Free Four, which was available for free on the internet a few months ago before it was subsequently pulled. It'll be re-released as an eBook in the UK on 26th September). It illustrates Tobias's life prior to becoming a Dauntless initiate; before he became the boy that Tris knows and loves. Indeed, he's certainly a very different person – here he is a scared, timid boy who is at the complete mercy of his tyrannical father, Marcus.

Altogether, The Transfer is a fantastic short story which will both shock and delight its readers. I can't wait for The Initiate!

Rating: 4 / 5

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey movie cast: Meet Anastasia and Christian

After more than a year of speculation, the actors cast in the lead roles for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie were finally announced yesterday. Were they the names people had expected?

Well, not really.

Social media has been going crazy with various campaigns for well-known actors to land the role of Christian Grey. There was Ryan Gosling, Ian Somerhalder, Alexander SkarsgÄrd, Henry Cavill and, my personal favourite, Matt Bomer. Remember this image I posted a few months ago?


Yeah, turns out that was a little fake! But not that we hadn't realised at the time.

There was less speculation about Anastasia Steele but, nevertheless, people still had their favourites. I would love to have seen Alexis Bledel in the role, or perhaps even Emmy Rossum. Again, I wasn't the only one:


So who are the strangers actually starring in the roles? Even though they're not immediately recognisable, they're not exactly newcomers either.

The first to be announced was Anastasia, who'll be played by Dakota Johnson. She's the daughter of actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, and has previously starred in films such as 21 Jump Street and The Social Network. Personally, I like her she's got an understated beauty that Anastasia is said to have, and her voice has a delicacy which will suit the role. 

Here's an interview she did for Nylon TV:

Then, shortly afterwards, it was revealed that Charlie Hunnam will be playing Christian. Charlie is a Brit who is best known for his roles in Pacific Rim and Sons of Anarchy. I must admit that I hadn't heard of him before the announcement, and I was a little dubious at first, but he is starting to grow on me. He looks a bit like a cross between Heath Ledger and Daniel Craig, don't you think?

And here's Charlie in a clip from Pacific Rim. Love those arms!

What are your thoughts on the casting? Are you disappointed by the choices, or are you excited to see how the characters will be interpreted? Who do you think will be cast next?

~ ~ ~

ETA 20/11/2013

Well, that didn't last long...

Charlie Hunnam is out, and Jamie Dornam is in as Christian Grey!

Here are Jamie and Dakota on the cover of Entertainment Weekly (yup, it's real this time.). Personally, I think he might be a better choice. But how good of an actor is he? I guess we'll find out sometime around Valentine's Day 2015...