Beth and Chrissi’s Points of View on Point Horror #1 The Perfume

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Happy Halloween everyone! Every so often Beth and I will be revisiting Point Horror, a series that we loved as young adults. On each of our blogs, we will post our Points of View on the story. We are starting with The Perfume on my blog and Thirteen Tales of Horror, a short story collection on Beth’s blog! We hope you enjoy our trip down memory lane…

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Synopsis:

Venom.

Dove doesn’t want to buy the perfume. She doesn’t like its scent. And its name frightens her.

But somehow she can’t help herself. It’s almost as if something–or someone–inside her is forcing her to try it.

Dove was always a nice person, a sweet and gentle girl on whom friends could rely.

Until now.

Because when Dove puts on the perfume, she unleashes a part of herself that has been locked away all her life.

It is a second self she never knew existed.

And it is Evil.

Our thoughts?

Chrissi:

  • This book is dark! I read it with a completely different understanding being older.
  • It’s addictive and almost reads like a psychological thriller.
  • It surprised me how short this book was, but how much impact the story had on me. I vividly remember it from childhood.
  • Although this book was published in 1991, I still think it is relevant to present day young adults. It’s also incredibly nostalgic for those that grew up with the series!

Beth:

  • This story will always be a bit special to me as it inspired me to write a short story of my own whilst at school.
  • It holds the first suggestion of schizophrenia that I’ve seen in a young adult read.
  • Wing is evil. Evil! She’s a brilliant villain to dislike.
  • Some people have criticised Dove as a character for being too weak but I think she grows stronger and comes into her own as the story continues.

For our points of view on 13 Tales of Horror, please check out Beth’s blog HERE

Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit: Anne of Green Gables

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Everyone’s favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.

Thoughts:

I vividly remember this being Beth’s favourite book when she was younger. Or one of them… she had many favourites! We’ve always been bookworms. I have to admit, I didn’t read it as a child, so I was excited to see what the fuss was all about. I’m happy to say that I thought Anne of Green Gables was a charming read. I can see why it’s a classic. I can’t believe that it’s over 100 years old. It didn’t feel as dated as some of the books that I read.

Anne of Green Gables centres around Anne Shirley who comes to live with Marilla and Matthew, two siblings that have decided to adopt a boy to help out on their farm. Imagine their shock, when they find red-headed, chatty Anne waiting for them at the station. Anne is certainly a character. She’s witty, fun and probably one of the most intelligent characters that I’ve read about. Matthew is instantly charmed by Anne, as many readers also are too. She barely stops for a breath when she talks. She’s inquisitive and eager to impress and learn. Her imagination is incredible.

With this book, it was the characters that really captured my attention. I instantly adored Anne and loved reading about her life on the farm. It is certainly a book that I could see myself revisiting (…if time wasn’t an issue!)

For Beth’s review please visit her blog HERE

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Reading next in the Kid-Lit Challenge (November):
White Fang- Jack London

WWW Wednesday #93

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday! To participate in WWW Wednesday, you need to answer three questions.

•What are you currently reading?
•What did you recently finish reading?
•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book cover to get to the Goodreads page for the book.

What are you currently reading?

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It says I’ve been reading this book for days on Goodreads, but I haven’t. I had to read two books for collaboration posts before I could start this book. I’m starting it today though. Very much looking forward to it!

What did you recently finish reading?

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I revisited Point Horror for a feature coming on Halloween with my sister Beth. We will be revisiting Point Horror and reviewing them together! We thought we’d kick the feature off on Halloween. I’m always looking for new things to do on my blog so it doesn’t get samey.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Next up for me is Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson. I have only read one book by Sarah Alderson and I’m intrigued to see what this series is like.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to leave a link to your WWW Wednesday post or leave your answers in the comments below! Happy Reading! :D

Top Ten Books To Read To Get In The Halloween Spirit

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they come up with a list for us to complete. This week it is Top Ten Books To Read To Get In The Halloween Spirit.

This list is going to be HARD for me to create as I shy away from scary reads. My imagination just always runs away with itself. So please excuse my rather ‘tame’ list!

As ever, click on the book image to take you to Goodreads!

Hollow Pike

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This book is particularly creepy! I found it very eerie, but so engrossing!

Cruel Summer

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Cruel Summer definitely has a I Know What You Did Last Summer vibe. I loved it!

Say Her Name

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James Dawson does it again with the very creepy Say Her Name. It is based on Bloody Mary. *shudders*

Into The Darkest Corner

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This book is more of a psychological thriller. It’s still pretty disturbing though…if you like a disturbing read!

Follow Me Down

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Tanya Byrne is an amazing writer. This book is mysterious and engaging!

The Drowning

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I don’t recommend this book if you’re experience flooding and horrendously wet weather. Like I was, when I read this… *shudders again*

Cuckoo

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Another warped psychological thriller. I really enjoyed this book!

Dead Silent

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I absolutely love this series! Dead Silent is particularly creepy.

The Girl Who Wasn't There

I read The Girl Who Wasn’t There as part of my feature I do with Luna from Luna’s Little Library.

A book I’m looking forward to reading with a Halloween vibe!

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Alex Bell is a good friend of mine. Her first YA Horror novel is coming out soon in paperback. It is available as an e-book at the moment. It looks and sounds so creepy. I’m pretty sure she thinks I won’t read it… but I will!

What books put you in the Halloween spirit? Feel free to leave a link to your posts and I’ll stop by!

Banned Books #4 Go Ask Alice

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Every month for the rest of 2014, ChrissiReads, Bibliobeth & Luna’s Little Librarywill be reading one Banned / Challenged Book a month. We’ll be looking at why the book was challenged, how/if things have changed since the book was originally published and what we actually think of the book.

This month’s choice is Go Ask Alice by ‘Anonymous’

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First published: 1971
Most recently in the Top Ten of Frequently Challenged Books in 2003 & 2001 (source)
Chosen by: ChrissiReads
Reasons: drugs (2003) & offensive language, sexually explicit (2001)
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Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: When I first began this read, I was quite surprised to learn that it was first published in 1971 as I found it read more contemporary than that – in other words, published about ten years ago or so. For the seventies, I think it was probably highly controversial when it came out even with the amount of “free love,” that was floating around at the time. I didn’t really find the language particularly offensive or find that it was sexually explicit but I am probably judging it by modern standards!

CHRISSI: I think it was probably very controversial at the time, so of course, it didn’t fit in. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that this book stood out, but I can understand why it was banned. The subject matter obviously struck a chord with many people.

LUNA: I honestly don’t know, 1971 is too long ago. My opinion of the 70s is mostly from That 70s Show that isn’t going to be an accurate reflection of the time is it? The book was published; it’s supposed to be warning regarding the dangers of drugs so it would have to be make an impact to work.

How about now?

BETH: This book deals with some very serious issues, namely teenage drug abuse. For this reason, I do understand why it is banned/challenged, especially in schools. I know that the book is meant to be quite gritty and portray a teenager coming out the other side of addiction but for me personally, I don’t think that message got across very well. At times I even felt like it glorified drug use in a way, or made it seem quite a lot of fun. Obviously that is not really a good message to send out to impressionable young people.

CHRISSI: I don’t really like that this book is marketed as non fiction. I actually thought it was a true story until I looked it further. It’s very frustrating that it’s marketed as non fiction when it’s not. Hmmmm. Non fiction or fiction aside, I don’t think it’s appropriate for use in schools. It raises very dark issues (as well as the drug use) which I don’t think are appropriate for some impressionable teenagers. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that every teenager is impressionable (they’re certainly not!), but some may take the messages this book sends in the wrong way.

LUNA: It’ll come as a surprise but I have a problem with this book. It’s nothing to do with the content (the banned reasons: drugs, offensive language and sexually explicit) and everything to do with the marketing. Go Ask Alice is a work of fiction. Yet it was originally promoted as nonfiction, it’s still sold as “by Anonymous” and the copy I have has “This is Alice’s True Story” on the cover plus the blurb on the back, the foreword and the Psychologist’s Comment at the back – everything is still packaged to make out this is nonfiction.It got my back up. It is fiction and it should be presented as such.

What did you think of the book?

BETH: I have to admit, I was really, really disappointed. It’s only a short read (162 pages in my copy) and is made up of journal entries but for me it felt like a slog to get through the whole time. The main character annoyed me to the point where I wanted to throw the book across the other side of the room! And worse of all, I just didn’t believe it. Then we come to the ending… and for a second I almost upgraded my thoughts to a “three star” review until I read a bit more about the book in general. And I’m absolutely disgusted. As the girls have said, this is marketed as a work of non-fiction and if you buy into that the ending may change the way you feel about the entire book. As I later found out, it is a work of FICTION and I don’t know what else to say except that I feel really cheated and quite cross.

CHRISSI: It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be if I’m honest. I wanted to feel connected to the main character and feel sorry for her. But I didn’t. I just found her annoying- which isn’t what I wanted to feel from a teenage drug addict.

LUNA: The narrator is not likeable; I didn’t have any connection with her and found her rather whiny. Given that the point of this book if to warn of ‘what can happen’ I would have expected more empathy with the character. (Btw it’s never established what her name is.) I know the book is over 40 years old but Go Ask Alice really feels it. A lot of the time I don’t notice age with books when I’m lost in a story but I don’t think the text has dated well. Maybe it’s partly to blame for the disconnect I felt to the character/story. I’ll admit that my opinion of Go Ask Alice was negatively influenced by the marketing before I started the book but I was hoping the content would win me round – it never really did.

Would you recommend it?

BETH: I think it’s important that teenagers get to read the real stories behind drug addiction (get it? REAL!) but I wouldn’t recommend this one. I’ll get off my soapbox now.

CHRISSI: Possibly, but I think there are more powerful books around the same subject out there.

LUNA: If it wasn’t still labelled as a “true story” maybe but I think there are better books out there.

Our next banned book is Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden. Look out for it on the last Monday of November!

A Week In The Life of A Primary PGCE Student: Preparation for school begins!

Every Sunday (hopefully) I shall be posting a personal post about my massive new venture. I am going to University to train to be a primary school teacher. I will be trained to work with 5-11 year olds. It’s known to be a very, very stressful time so I’m hoping I can channel my thoughts and feelings into a blog post. It gives you an insight into what’s going on in my life and hopefully it’ll be incredibly therapeutic for me. I will NOT be naming any children, schools or teaching staff. I won’t even mention what University I’m at. I hope that’s understandable. If personal posts aren’t your thing then feel free to skip these posts. I won’t mind!

I have spent this week at my school for the next few months! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time there. The school is SO welcoming.

Monday

I was nervous to go in, but luckily the staff have welcomed us all so warmly. They’ve been incredibly helpful and I left on Monday feeling incredibly welcome and not at all like a spare part. I’m working in Year 4, where they are 8-9 years old. I am paired with another student, so some of the time we will ‘team teach’ so plan and carry out lessons together. I think that’ll be a great learning experience.

Tuesday

Tuesday was a funny sort of day because we weren’t in the classroom much. We were going through the timetable, policies and procedures with the class teacher. We also had some time to think of lessons that we’ll be doing the week after next.

Wednesday

On Wednesday I spent some more time in the classroom. It was really important for me to get to know the children. I think this will stand me in good stead for when I begin to teach them. I have been given responsibilities this week, but I’m really looking forward to taking leadership and control. There’s a teacher within me itching to get out!

Thursday

Thursday was another day when I got a lot of uni based tasks completed. It’s been useful to have this preparation week because I feel like I know more about the school, the class and the way it runs rather than going into it blind the week after next. I’ve also spent some time supporting Maths and English. I’ve certainly had my times tables refreshed!

Friday

Friday brought a Phonics workshop for prospective parents for children starting school in September. We attended the workshop to learn more about the phonics system used in the school. It was very informative. Later in the day I experienced a violin lesson! It’s not as noisy as I had anticipated and the children seemed to love it!

Next week I’m back at uni! (*sobs*  schools have half term but not us!) After next week though it’s placement for 6 weeks. This course is already flying by!

Inspired by Cloud Busting

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It happened at University-
In the first week.
We were told to read Cloud Busting,
I couldn’t wait to take a peek!

I settled down to read it,
In my warm and comfy bed.
I read it out aloud and proud,
The verses swam round my head.

Now, I’m not a poet.
Certainly not true.
But Cloud Busting inspired me,
To try something new!

Cloud Busting was darker than I expected.
I’m still thinking of it now.
A truly memorable tale.
Malorie Blackman, take a bow!

I will use this book in the future.
A wonderful teaching tool.
It’s thought-provoking and engaging.
It really does rule!