‘Heart-Shaped Bruise’

I’ve been desperate to get my hands on Tanya Byrne’s Heart-Shaped Bruise for a while now and I decided that my Easter holiday was the perfect opportunity to read it!

The cover (designed by Clare Shepherd at Headline) is striking and it doesn’t give too much away!

Our protagonist is Emily Koll, a gangster’s daughter who is currently residing in the psychiatric ward of Archway Young Offenders Unit. She makes it crystal clear that she isn’t sorry for whatever she has done, which instantly made me dislike her…it also made me intensely curious! I haven’t hated a character for a long time and if I’m honest, I really wasn’t sure about it…but it is always nice to read something different 🙂

So, Emily is awaiting trial for something but she won’t tell us what…though given where she is, we can assume that it is quite bad. She has regular therapy sessions with Dr Gilyard but none of them seem to be doing any good…they are very useful to the reader though because we find out snippets about her personality and reasons for doing whatever it is that she did, each time! We also have little flashbacks to times in Emily’s life, which are really useful for the reader. What is quite worrying is that whatever time period the chapter or section is set in, Emily is still completely filled with hatred!

We soon learn that the object of Emily’s hatred is a girl called Juliet and the reason for this hatred is that Juliet stabbed Emily’s father…though it isn’t quite as simple as that…as the plot slowly unfolds and we learn more and more, I found myself unable to believe the depths that Emily is prepared to sink to, to get revenge on Juliet! She is ruthless, though she is also living her life as a teenage girl, which is really interesting to read about as it is a completely 100% different from my experiences as a teenage girl…though a few themes were familiar…going a bit crazy over a boy for example!

I really liked the format and the winding narrative of this book, it kept me guessing until the end and Tanya Byrne’s writing is really easy to read in spite of the often quite emotional context. I don’t want to give too much away about this because I think the suspense built up by Emily’s tormented nature and refusal to admit responsibility for her actions (or even to admit what she actually did!) would be ruined if I gave too much away but I would definitely recommend this book so you too can unfold Emily’s secret and relish the moment that you find out what she has done! Though, don’t expect Emilt to change her ways or soften…Byrne’s character is too strong-willed and well-developed for that to happen!

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The Versatile Blogger Award

Hi all!

I’ve just been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Sarah who blogs at A Fiction Habit and it was such a lovely surprise! I haven’t known Sarah for long but we met through the blogs and twitter over a mutual love of reading. Although she hasn’t been blogging for long, I really enjoy her thought-provoking style and the way she discusses a variety of literary topics, focusing on different elements each time, book cover design, bookshops, classics etc.

Anyway I need to do the following things:

  1. Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post (please see above :-))
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass this award along.
  4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Now, sharing 7 things about myself without worrying people…here we go!

1) I have a semi- irrational fear of toilet roll holders (don’t ask, I will not elaborate…)

2) I can’t eat food on the bone

3) I am writing two books (slowly…)

4) I can stand on the tips of my toes for no reason whatsoever – think Kate Winslet in Titanic when she’s trying to impress the boys…a strange approach but it worked didn’t it?!

5) My parents sold our family home in 2009 to move to France and live on a Dutch barge for their retirement – their blog is here

6) I only like red/strawberry sweets – this does not mean that I don’t eat other sweets…I love sweets

7) I’m allergic to after-sun mixed with insect repellant but not the two separately.

Now I need to pass the award along to some bloggers that I think deserve some recognition so…

Claire at Paperback Reader is a bookaholic! She writes honestly and passionately about a wide range of books and she’s generally a lovely person!

Helen at lovelylovelybooks is another great friend of mine and a fellow book blogger. We have quite a similar taste in books, so I always pop over to Helen’s blog once she reviews something that I’ve read to see what she has said about the book and often to check that she likes my recommendations!

Amreeta’s blog Notes by Nectar is always worth a look whether it’s to check your weekly tarot card (though she does run in Dubai weeks nowadays having moved there in December), to see what it’s like being a proofreader in Dubai – some of the examples she takes photos of are brilliant! Or just to see what it’s like to live in Dubai! It’s always worth a read and Amreeta is lovely, though almost entirely obsessed with Hawaii 5-0 :p

I’ve only recently met (well through twitter and the blog) Jessica who blogs at Prose and Cons Book Club but I really enjoy her blog as there is always a great variety of posts! In addition to her book reviews/discussions on literary news, I really like her writing style, particularly her descriptions of London Life as I often find myself in similar situations! Just yesterday I was asked out by a slurring drunk man on my way home…for the second time in a month. Win.

So there you go! These are my blogger recommendations and I hope the nomination makes them smile!

Apologies for being a bad blogger in recent months…

Hi all!

Firstly, let me apologise for being such a bad blogger! I have a backlog of blogs to write and have had very little time recently…but do not fear! I aim to catch up over the holidays and will be back on form in 2012 (with a Kindle!)…which won’t stop me reading real books – before some of you judge me!

I will be back blogging away properly in 2012 and hope to share lots of wonderful books with you.

Secondly, hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year!

Laura xxxx

‘Dr Johnson’s Dictionary of Modern Life’

Now, I rarely sit down and read dictionaries through from front to back…but for Dr Johnson, I made an exception…much to the delight of the boyfriend, I was giggling to myself, attempting to dictate (in my best “olde English accent”) various definitions and for the most part, distracting him from the television…

But there was a good reason for it! I was having a great time reading the ‘Dictionary of Modern Life’. As well as the witty definitions and cheeky examples…the introductions to the chapters are fantastic! I also think that had my ABC Alphabet book been as up-to-date as this one (i.e. B is for Books, D is for Disney, F is for Facelift…), I would have been much better prepared for the world! What were they thinking, X is for xylophone!? When do you use that in conversation!? Anyway, back to Dr Johnson…

‘Dr Johnson’s Dictionary of Modern Life’ is a humorous look at this crazy mixed-up world that we live in! Hopefully there will be lots more ‘Dr Johnson’s Dictionary of…’s in the years to come because, anything that brightens up the seriousness of life is gold dust!

Here are a few relevant, humorous examples to tempt you!

“Blog n.

electronick Diary unto which earnest Fools do commit their innermost Thoughts, safe that no Man shall ever read them

Booker Prize n.

Cabal of Necromancers & Shamen meeting once yearly to endow but one Book with mythick Popularity

Ghost Writer n.

hidden Drudge, frequently compell’d to fashion the verbal Clay of Mistress Katie PRICE into Clods of near Sense”

Okay, one more…

Mister Men n.

Geometrickals whose Parents had the Prescience to name them after their defining Characteristick: CLEVER, BUMP, TICKLE, &c”

A BRILLIANT book for presents, stocking-fillers and general amusement! Check it out (or put it on your Christmas list)

Eat, Pray, Love: The Movie!

Released in the USA on the 13th August 2010 and here in the UK soon after, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ stars Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert. It is interesting, but not surprising that Julia Roberts has been selected for the role as according to the back cover of the book she says ‘It’s what I’m giving all my girl friends’.

I have to say, when reading (and loving) the book; I was picturing someone like Toni Collette in the role but am intrigued to see how Julia Roberts plays it.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing the film but am slightly apprehensive because I loved the book…fingers crossed!

Here is the trailer, looks quite good to me!