Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Random Magic Tour

This year I was invited to be a part of the Random Magic Tour. Celebrating and spreading the word about this very magical and very random book.

I did 2 videos about the book. The first was a Book Review and the second was a Mystery Feature. Both of these videos are on my youtube channel bookswithdylan, and are shown below.

I was sent these books by the author Sasha Soren, and was thankful to receive them. However my review and my opinion on the book is completely honest and my own.

It was so awesome to be involved in this, and I hope you enjoy my videos! 

Book Review: Random Magic by Sasha Soren

Mystery Feature: Christmas Cupcakes and Random Magic Reading

For more information about the tour, and to see the other booktubers on the December tour, watch the video below!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Book Review & Talk: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Written by Veronica Roth
Pages: 525
Published: May 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance

Second book in the Divergent Series.

Goodreads Synopsis...
One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.


My Review...
Where to begin with this book. Well I guess we can start by talking about how amazing this book was. It was so much fun to read, and just as fast-paced as divergent. The writing style was again very good, and easy to follow. And things just kept on happening, all the time.

Something that surprised me was the darkness that seeped into these covers. Because of certain events that occurred in the first book, Tris the main character was a very different person. She was still strong, but she allowed herself to be affected by the things that happened. I really enjoyed this, it helped to not only grow her as a character. But to also make her less of a robot and more of a real and likeable human.

There were also moments that made me laugh out loud. Maybe they weren't exactly funny. But there was definitely some awkward and very good sarcasm.

However this book was not ALL good. The answers I was looking for in the first book, were not given here. None at all! Nothing new was revealed, and I have to say that two books is too long to string me along. Also although I liked the enclosed environment that was present in the first book, as it helped to focus on the story. I would have liked to see a greater exploration of the setting, which didn't really happen. 

The ending was also a little bit annoying because although it offers that cliff-hanger, that makes me want the next book SO bad. It was not a surprising ending, and was a tad anti-climactic.  

I really enjoyed this dark, action-packed book and definitely recommend you read it. I cant wait for the next book in the series, which had better provide some answers.

I give this book a 5 out of 5! 
 
If you have read this book and want to discuss it with me, then watch the video below and head to my YouTube page: bookswithdylan


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

November Wrap Up & December T.B.R


I love December, and the Christmas holidays. So I decided to make this wrap up and t.b.r special. By having my christmas tree in the background!

Check out more videos at bookswithdylan

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Book Review: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Written by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Pages: 528
Published: September 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Goodreads Synopsis...
Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.


My Review...
Beautiful darkness is that much better than the first book in the Castor Chronicles series. It is more original, and much more complex. However it still has many annoying qualities, that books today seem to be plagued by. Firstly, all of the problems that happen between Lena and Ethan. The main romance of the book, could be solved if the just COMMUNICATE! I mean come on! Use your mouth, and stop sulking in the fact that you are in a difficult situation.

This leads on to the second problem, the romance. The love between Lena and Ethan, that built up in the second book is left in tatters in this one. The bond that they shared is an empty shadow of what it supposedly used to be.

The third, and final thing I will write about, that was a grievance with this book, was the lack of information. All of these amazing and fantastical things were happening. But there were so many holes in this material, it would have left lady gaga a little self conscious.  If your gonna tell me something, I need you to explain it to me, and prove it. I don't just accept whatever you dish out.

Ok well theres my little rant about this book, and if your thinking I must really not like it. You would be wrong. I really like this series, and this book was an improvement on the first. But I just expect more, from a world I am starting to love. I mean there are two authors. Two! Isnt the saying that two heads are better than one. My challenge to Garcia and Stohl would be to prove it.

Fix these things that take away from what was a well paced, exciting and fun book to read.

Make my 4 out of 5, a 5 out of 5.



Check out my video review and discussion of this book above, and on my Youtube channel: bookswithdylan 

Watch my review of the first book in the castor chronicles series, Beautiful Creatures Below.

 

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Book Review & Talk: Every Day by David Levithan

Written by David Levithan
Pages: 336
Published: August 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Goodreads Synopsis...
In his New York Times bestselling novel, David Levithan introduces readers to what Entertainment Weekly calls a "wise, wildly unique" love story about A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life.

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.




My Review...
I bet after reading that synopsis, your thinking that you have to read this book. That it sounds so interesting and unique and different! And thats the same reaction I had when I heard about it. Now I really like this book, but I want to cut through the hype, and not get you too overexcited about 'Ever Day'. Trust me its for your own good. 

The things I liked most about this book was the plot. I mean come on! Its so cool, and something Ive never read before. The way the story is laid out, also allows some very interesting and VERY different messages to be shown. Messages I have again never encountered before. The book over all was captivating, and because each chapter was 'A' in a different body and life, it was hard to get bored.

With all the good, came some bad as well. This is primarily a romance book. For some reason I started reading it, thinking it would be more sci-fi, and more action. There is little to none in that department. What this is, is a very, VERY complicated love story. I think it could have been so much more if it had gone in a different direction. But eh, what are ya gonna do? The romance was also annoying sometimes, and it led to a strange ending. I felt like there should be another book, and there isn't. Which begs the question, why there are so many loose ends to this book?

In any case, this book was well written, thought provoking and different.

I enjoyed it very much, and I give it 4 out of 5.

If you have read this book and want to discuss it with me, then watch the video below and head to my YouTube page: bookswithdylan

Thursday, 22 November 2012

I Love Twilight

The last Twilight movie is done, and while many will be celebrating its finish. I would like to say why I love it so much.

Twilight is my first love. It was built on a time of innocence and youth. A time of naivety and of inexperience. It was the book that got me to read, that introduced me to the world of books. That led me to all the many amazing stories and worlds I have experienced since. It was like my first love, and it showed me that love existed. That love was not just something people claimed to have, but that I couldn't be sure of until I felt it.

Then with every other love Ive had, more complex, and more intense. It whispered its words to me, and I was grateful for what it had given me. I traced the lines of my life to the first love that changed me. When I have read some of the greatest, and some of my most favorite books since, I thoughtlessly thank the book that began it all.

It may be silly to imagine, that without my first love I would never have loved at all. I could say that I would have eventually found love. But I cannot, because it will always be there. I will grow up, and think back. Think back about the silly little loves I may have had. But my first loves will be the loves of my youth. My memories will be reflected in them. They can not be separated from the joy of easy adolescence. They strengthen these memories, and they are these memories.

Twilight is my first love when it comes to books. It got me to read, and I am thankful to it for all the books I have read since. It is a part of my past life. I remember drinking ginger beer on my bed, with the summer sun setting through my windows. While I read Breaking Dawn, and finished the love that changed my life.

This is why I love Twilight, and all the movies to a lesser extent. I will miss this part of my life, that has now finished. But I will never forget it. And I will never let anyone tell me I should.

Monday, 19 November 2012

This or That Book Tag + Quick Update!

Have you seen my latest Tag Video? I also talk about cool upcoming things for my YouTube channel, bookswithdylan

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Book Review & Talk: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Written by Veronica Roth
Pages: 487
Published: May 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian, Romance

Goodreads Synopsis...
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series--dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.




My Review...
Divergent is one of the most action packed, and fast paced books, Ive read in a long time. Things happen so quickly, you wont even have time to get to the edge of your seat.

The characters are described very well, and let you easily imagine what they would look like. The setting is very dystopian, and very dangerous. It adds to the pace, and makes strolls in the book, a little bit nerve racking. There are some world building holes, but theres 2 more books in the trilogy to fix that.

Some other problems I had with the book, was that it was really hard to like the main character sometimes. The writer made her into a very distinct and unusual person. And so it took some time to get to like her. However, this distinctness was sometimes lost, and the main character took on the usual, dystopian tough girl persona.

There were also some characters who were only skimmed over, and who we didnt get to see in depth, but have no fear, more books are near!

This was just such a fun and engaging book, it was so easy to read. And it was SO fast paced! I definitely recommend it to you.

5 out of 5!

If you have read this book and want to discuss it with me, then watch the video below and head to my YouTube page: bookswithdylan




Thursday, 8 November 2012

R.E.A.D is Beginning!

R.E.A.D stands for Recommended Excellence and Awesomeness for Dylan.

The first video will be posted today on my YouTube channel, bookswithdylan.

I have been so excited to share these videos with you, and the time is finally here!

R.E.A.D. is special because I'm reading, reviewing and talking about books that YOU have recommended. The books in this series will be peoples favorite books of the year, and hopefully they will become mine as well.

I hope you enjoy this new part of my channel!

My first R.E.A.D Divergent Book Review


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Go Book Yourself

Starting today is the beginning of GO BOOK YOURSELF! An exciting new booktube collaboration, that I am a part of.

The YouTube channel will have
-Tags
-Book reviews
-Book discussions
-A monthly Google hangout with us
-And so much more!

The other collaborators are
Emma
Christine
Liz
Susheela

The first video will be going up later on today, so check it out here: Go Book Yourself

Hope you enjoy this awesome new project.

And remember, Go Book Yourself!

October Wrap Up & November T.B.R.

What I read in October and What I plan to read in November.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Book Haul + R.E.A.D.

A book haul, where Im a bit cray cray. Also an introduction to a new series on my channel called R.E.A.D.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Pages: 563
Published: December 2009
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy

Goodreads Synopsis...
There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything


My Review...
Lets be simple about this. This book is so entertaining, its fun to read, and I finished it really quickly. However thats just because I love paranormal romance. I would suggest that if you dont love that genre, that you could skip this book if it pleases you. There is going to be a movie adaptation though, so that might sway you to read it.

First off, the things I didnt like: Ethan, the main male character, and narrator of the book. Was not really a male narrator. There was nothing about him, and his thoughts that distinguished him from other female narrators. He was too nice, too politically correct, too perfect. Plus he sometimes thought like a lil old granny.

Another thing I didnt like was that the story line was not really original. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy and girl face challenge that could brake them up, but we all know it never will. I was expecting something different,  or at least something with a new twist on the same story, and I didnt get it.

Those were the things I didnt like, the romance was a bit over the top at times, but I expected it because it is paranormal romance people.

The things I liked was the way the book just sucked me in, it was entertaining and captivating. I just really love me some paranormal romance!

So for that reason, Im giving this book a 4 out of 5. If you dont love the genre I would say take a point off my rating, and see it as 3 out of 5.

This book was fun, and interesting, but it lacked something new and different. I enjoyed reading it, but I doubt Ill pick it up again. However, I will be reading the next books in the series, maybe once this whole familiar plotline is done in teh first book, the authors will do something different in the next ones. I will be sure to let you know!

Watch my video review of this book!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Written by Stephenie Meyer
Pages: 619
Published: May 2008
Genres: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Romance, Paranormal

Goodreads Synopsis…
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.


My Review...

If you don’t know what the Host is, then you will soon. The Host is written by the same author as the Twilight series, Stephenie Meyer. And it is being turned into a blockbuster movie, set to come out worldwide in march next year.

Now before you Twilight haters close this page angrily, asking why someone would dare mention the word Twilight. The Host is so very different to Twilight. It is first of all a Sci-fi, and not just any sci-fi. It has been labelled Sci-fi for people who don’t really like Sci-fi.

The other difference to Twilight is that the writing is SO much better. The messages discussed are deep, and important for the world today. Many people, who said they hated Twilight, also say that they love The Host. This might also be because the target audience for the novel has changed, it is an adult novel.

Although the novel is big with 600 pages, the content is unique and interesting. It was so easy for me to read, and I couldn’t stop! But it wasn’t simply a light read, it made me think, with themes sown effortlessly into the story. The Love triangle was also very unique, and made it impossible for there to be instant love, or a simple romance.

Get ready to be surprised and delighted, if you decide to read this amazing book.

5 out of 5!  

If you have read this book and want to discuss it with me, then watch the video below and head to my YouTube page: bookswithdylan

                                                                Book Talk: The Host

In the Discussion video, I also talk about possible sequels to this book, and more about the movie!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Nature Is Terrifying!

Just a little vlog, with an update about S. K. Y. I'm having a busy school and life week, so Im having trouble getting time to do the first Sky video. But I promise, when I get a free second, I will edit and upload. If you dont know what Sky is, then check the video below. Have a great day!
 

Confessions of a Booktuber Tag

Where I confess to you all the things Ive been keeping so deperately bottled up inside.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Book Review: Ransom by David Malouf

Ransom by David Malouf
Paperback 224 pages
First published in 2010
Australian Literature

From the walls of Troy, King Priam watches the body of his son, Hector, being dragged behind Achilles' chariot in the Greek camp. Maddened by grief at the death of his friend, Patroclus, Achilles refuses to give up Hector's body, but King Priam is convinced there must be a way of reclaiming the body - of pitting compromise against heroics, new ways against old, and of forcing the hand of fate. Dressed simply and in a cart pulled by a mule, he sets off to speak to Achilles man to man and as a father

My Review…

This book was not off to a good start with me. It had two things against it before I even read the first word. Firstly, it has a donkey on the cover. A donkey! What riveting story can possibly come from a donkey?! Well now that I think about it, many many stories. The second thing against it was that this book was a required read for school. Now you all know what it’s like to be forced to read something, there’s always that hint of: ‘I am being forced to read this, so therefore I will hate every second!’ What only me?

And then I started reading, and I realised it was a retelling of the last few books of Homers ‘The Iliad’. How dare someone try to improve on Homer! Who do you think you are! I mean, I love the Iliad, and the Odyssey. I love Homer, and all things Greek Mythology. So I was a tiny bit upset, at having to read what seemed like an unnecessary book.

But I was wrong.

This book was so easy to read, I finished it in less than 24 hours. The story flowed well, and it kept me interested, even if it was something I’d heard before. The focus of this book was on Achilles after his half-brother Patroclus dies. And on Priam, after his son Hector dies. They have both gone through a traumatic event, and that trauma and the emotion it brings, is explored in the book. The characters are much more modern, then they are in the Iliad, and their choices and thoughts are more deeply explained.

However on that same note, there is not much that happens. The gods are pushed out of the story, to where we only see glimpses and pieces of them. This I was kind of upset about, because let’s be honest. The gods and their dysfunctional ways are one of the best parts of myth. But I understood the reason they were not very much present. It was so the focus could be on the characters, and so that a god couldn’t swoop down and fix things. The characters in this version of the story had to make their own decisions.

The story was beautifully written, and was much tamer, compared to Homer. It was also focused more on the emotional decisions, and moments. Rather than battles, and fantastical scenes.

This book succeeded in getting past my first impression of it. It was easy to read. But as far as it did go. It was still always going to live in the shadows, of the Great Master, Homer.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

GIVEAWAY!!!!

Im having a giveaway on my booktubing channel, you could win a book from the book depository!Go Check it out!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Versatile Blogger Nomination



I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by The A P Bookclub!!! Thank you so much!


Here are the rules for the award...

- Thank the blogger who nominated you.
- Add the Versatile Blogger award picture to your post.
- Share 7 random facts about yourself.
- Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging.
- Let the nominees know that they’ve been nominated.And so...

7 facts about me...
1. Studying full time at the University of Sydney.
2. Got my first real job this year, and Im 19.
3. Have a younger sister named Aurora
4. Was born in Cape Town, South Africa
5. Started playing piano at age 5, and kept going on and off, more off than on, sadly.
6. Went to highschool in Auckland, New Zealand
7. Is procrastinating always, even at this very moment.

15 bloggers I nominate:
1.
YA Novelties
2. The Reviews News
3. Conversations of a Reading Addict
4. Makeshift Bookmark
5. Electrifying Reviews
6. The Reading Geek
7. Book Nerd Swag
8. Loving Books
9. Midnight reading owl
10. Young Adult Book Haven
11. Movies in My Head
12. Pages from My Thoughts
13. Almost Grown-Up
14. Beauty and the Bookshelf
15. Paper Cuts

Thank you so much for the nomination, so exciting to get to see new bloggers!

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer


cin-DER!!! cin-DER!!!  I sing it in the streets!

And although some will look at me strangely, for using my ‘awe-inspiring’ voice to proclaim a pyroclastic material, which is igneous rock. I will sing louder my praises, “cin-DER!!!”

Now that I’m done singing about rocks, I would like to venture on to the topic of books. Cinder by Marissa Meyer, is a book I have recently read. I read it because of a book club on YouTube I sadly could not attend. But thank goodness I read it, because then I wouldn’t be able to have swallowed up the awesome-sauce that this book was.
 
Cinder is the debut novel for Marissa Meyer, and is also the first in her series entitled, ‘The Lunar Chronicles’. Which contains 3 more books, the next one scheduled to come out in 2013.

The book is very loosely based on the fairytale of Cinderella. It keeps some of the main plot points of the original, but diverges in curious and fantastical ways. One of these being that the main character, whose name is Cinder, is in fact a cyborg. This is the fact that attracted me to this book. I’ve never read a book involving robots, before. And I was intrigued by the added bonus of this being a fairytale adaptation.

As you could imagine, with the presence of cyborgs, this novel is placed in a dystopian world; in the future. It is very modern, and yet still retains a lot of the world today. There is romance, money troubles, pollution, and mean step-mothers.

My favorite things about this book, is that I couldn’t put it down. I was forced to read it, the story drawing me in more than any other book has in a long time. The characters are unique, interesting and fun. The story is fresh, and so easy to enjoy.

However, looking back I can see there are some flaws. The New Beijing, in which the story took place. Doesn’t really have any Beijing-ness to it. There was a  lack of definition given to the landscape, and so the setting could have been anywhere. Also the themes and issues in this book, were only lightly touched. In this way the novel is superficial, but let’s be honest those are sometimes the best to read.

And that is why I’m giving this book 5 out of 5. Because it was so enjoyable and easy to read, that any of its flaws didn’t matter, because I couldn’t see them while I was in this book. I really like this book and will be reading the next in the series, Scarlet. I absolutely cannot wait!

 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Book Review: Five Bells By Gail Jones

The title five bells sounds poetic. Or at least thats the only word I can think of to describe it. Which leads me to question my writing abilities. Haha dont be silly Dylan, you dont have any writing abilities. You can barely spell.

Ok but seriously, even if the title isnt exactely poetic, the story is. Five bells is an Australian novel, about 4 peoples lives. Each of these people go to see the Opera house in Sydney, on a Saturday morning. The story is contained within this day, but the memories that each individual has, extends the ideas and events to many years. In this way, the events that actually happen are not important in comparision to the memories that the characters conjure up. Its in these memories that we see what I believe is the main intention of the writer. To explore and to show trauma, and the different types and reactions of it. Each character has had someone close to them die, and although this death may have happened a long period ago. It still lingers in their thoughts, and even in their actions.

The novel was inspired by Kenneth Slessors poem, of the same name. The poem is depressing and mournful, and this is reflective of the novel. However, it isnt just a sad story, in which people feel sad because they have lost someone. Life is more than just trauma; and this is what the author Gail Jones also tries to show.

One of the things that is also present in the text, are the intertextual references. The novel mentions 'On Raglan Road' by Patrick Kavanagh, and also 'Doctor Zhivago' by Boris Pasternak. It also describes the life of Rene Magritte, as well as his painting, 'The Lovers'. These references to stories and works of art, help the reader to further frame the story, and to understand the characters more. Although if you havent read 'Doctor Zhivago' or seen 'The Lovers', you wont be left in the dust.


                                                       The Lovers By Rene Magritte

My favourtie thing about the novel was how lyrical it was, and how elegantly many of the memories
were told.

My least favourite thing was that because there was a focus on trauma, and so many main characters, there was a lack of connection the people in the stories. I felt strangely more connected to the trauma, than with the characters facing this trauma.

However I felt as though this was indeed the writers intention, and so because she managed to make this happen, and created this enjoyable piece of australian literature. Im going to give 4 out of 5 for 'Five Bells' by Gail Jones.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Book Review: Tinkers By Paul Harding

What sweet nectare, I pour down my throat. What great quality juices, and pulp, and glass that contains it.

If you will look past my strange metaphor, I would like to tell you about an amazing book. One that is rivaling A Game Of Thrones for my favourite of the year.

Tinkers by Paul Harding is this book. The first thing we should address is the  main reason I picked it up. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2010. Lets be honest, one of the main reasons we buy the books we do, is because of the awards that they have won. It tells us that we wont be wasting our time reading a book. It gives us more reason to buy another book, we probably wont read for a while. Because our 'to be read' pile is so huge it scares us.

You will definitely not be wasting your time with this book. Its beautifully written, in an interesting way. And its intellectual enough that you can proudly read it in the bus or on the train.

The book is about George, who is a clock-repairer by trade. He is on his death bed, and he is hallucinating about his life. More specifically about his father Howard. Through the novel you get to see these two characters. Their relationship with one another and their individual lives.

The one thing I really like about this novel, that I haven't found in many others is its similarity to short stories. Like short stories, it takes everyday occurances, and turns them into these amazing stories. Where the characters emotions and suffering is layed out, in a way you never would have seen them before.

The way this author sees life is truly inspiring. But the way he shows it to you, is like poetry. Sweet, quick, but full to the brim with meaning and emotion.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Meridian

So this is my writing in like 10 minutes, I was, actually still am feeling drowsy, and the sun is in my eyes. Also I'm not sure I know what a Meridian is, but oh well. Here's what I wrote...


The meridian is just over the tops of the trees. The sun is reflecting off of it, and into my eyes. I don’t look away, but look straight at it, straining my eyes against the mighty force of the light. After a few seconds, I have to look away, and I can’t remember the point of it all. I sigh because this isn’t the first time my thoughts have been lost in other thoughts. I sigh again to make it more dramatic, than it is. Finally I sigh one more time, louder this time, and I move my shoulders higher when I do so. When I’m done sighing I wonder why I was sighing, and realise that it’s happen again. This self imposed memory loss which I do whenever I need to remember something that matters. 

It’s like when you ask yourself a serious question. Something about the meaning of life, and then your thoughts wonder. And if you’re lucky, you look back and see how much you’ve grown, and you make some ground braking statement about yourself, or about the world. It feels amazing, like something that was always there in the back of your head, a problem unsolved. And you’ve just solved it, there’s one less important thing to understand.

Then the next time you delve deep into yourself, you find out that what you thought was ground breaking knowledge, was just nonsense you thought when you were younger. Eventually you realise that whenever you try to answer the meaning of life. That you just ask it again, only in a more multifaceted way.
So my question is why ask in the first place? And how could we as people, obsessed with the meaning of everything, stop asking questions? Are questions and knowledge really important? Because as soon as you’ve thought something, a second later it can be proved wrong, and you’re past thoughts are just that, past thoughts.

I suppose it’s like global warming, for those who believe in that sort of thing. There may be no hope at all for this planet, but we still have hope. We must keep that hope, and therefore we must act on it.
Speaking of global warming, it’s really hot today. And the sun is shining in my eyes. The meridian is just over the tops of the trees. The sun is reflecting off of it, and into my eyes. I don’t look away, but look straight at it, straining my eyes against the mighty force of the light.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


COOKING WITH DYLAN


A couple of days ago I made Red-velvet centered cheesecake!

Yeah that’s right, I made a fancy sounding desert, and to be honest half the reason I made it was so that I could tell people I made said desert. And watch their mouths drop as they learnt once again, that I am awesome! (Wow! How much did I just sound like a douche?)

Ok so that’s half the reason I made it. The other is that I love making things, especially food. I love the feeling you get when you mix some ingredients together, and get something delicious. Cooking is like a mixture of a little hard work, and slightly-delayed gratification.

Oh and being a YouTuber, I just happened to have filmed myself making the cheesecake. It’s probably going to become a series on my channel.


If you’re going thinking about making this recipe though, you should probably be aware, that it takes 8 hours, most of which you spend waiting for things to set in the fridge. In the end its worth it, I can tick this off my ‘to cook’ list and move on to the next delectable desert. (Did I mention I make deserts almost exclusively?)
Ok well that’s my little update for today. Time to go cook!