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Review: Eren by Simon P Clark

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Eren
Author: Simon P Clark
Publisher: Constable and Robinson
Publication Date: 18 Sept 2014
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

People are keeping secrets from Oli – about where his father is, and why he hasn’t come to join them at his uncle’s house in the country.

But Oli has secrets too.

He knows what lives in the attic. Eren – part monster, part dream, part myth. Eren who always seems so interested, who always wants to hear more about Oli’s life. Eren, who needs to hear stories to live, and will take them from Oli, no matter the cost.

REVIEW BY BETH

When I read the summary of Eren, I immediately thought of David Almond’s Skellig. I think anybody who has read that novel will do the same but the novels are in fact distinctly different and Eren is a unique and fantastical read in its own right. It’s hard to decipher where it’s going initially, with excerpts of dialogue between Oli and Eren interspersed with the main plot.

Each chapter seems to have two distinct parts, the first made up of one of Eren’s stories or a conversation with the him, whilst the second is the more mundane (or not in some instances) unfolding as Oli tries to get to grips with the reality of his life and the state its currently in.

Throughout Eren there’s an air of creepiness which is almost impossible to shake. Even the moments where Oli is getting on with regular day to day things there’s the feeling that something is awry and this is a true testament to the quality of Clark’s prose.

What is Eren? I can’t say, Oli is attempting to get to grips with some pretty big discoveries and huge changes in his life and it seems Eren is integral to this, he encourages Oli to share his stories and empty his mind of the thoughts that are clogging in.

Overall, Clark’s prose is what makes this novel, he creates scenes that are completely captivating and relationships and friendships which feel genuine and real, especially as Oli gets to know Em and Takeru, alongside his dealings with Eren.

There’s a touch of the fairy-tale about this novel and once you pick it up, you won’t want to put it down again. I’m personally not crazy about novels as fantastical as this at times and I felt frustrated wanting to know more about Eren, especially with the first half of each chapter seemingly clouded in mystery but I still couldn’t put it down.

Spotlight plus Give-Away: His Reverie by Monica Murphy

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Received from InkSlingerPR

Received from InkSlingerPR

ABOUT HIS REVERIE

I knew from the moment I first saw her she was the one. The only girl I could ever want.

The only girl I could ever love.

She is light.

I am darkness.

She is innocent.

I’ve done too much.

She is good.

I am bad.

She is my every dream.

I should be her every nightmare.

We come from different worlds. She’s…perfect. And I’m…

Not.

Somehow she wants me anyway. So we’ll grasp at what we can. We’re going to make this summer count. She’s my secret. And I’m hers.

The problem with secrets is they never last for long. And when others discover we’re together, they’ll do whatever it takes to keep us apart. All I know is: I won’t let them.

Because Reverie Hale? She’s mine.

Buy Links: Amazon/Barnes and Noble/iBooks/Kobo

Received from InkSlingerPR

Received from InkSlingerPR

About Monica Murphy

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite. A wife and mother of three, she writes New Adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She is the author of One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend.

Links: Website/ Blog/Facebook/ Twitter/Monica Murphy Goodreads

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Spotlight: Q & A with Sheila Agnew

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Book Angel Booktopia welcomes Shelia Agnew today as part of the Evie Brooks: Marooned in Manhattan Blog Tour with a quick Q and A :)

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Image from Author Website

Image from Author Website

1. How would you promote reading to a group of teenagers?

Read for yourself. What are you passionate about? If, for example, you want to be a musician, start working your way through the shelves with books relating to music. Read biographies. Learn from your idols’ mistakes and get inspired by what they did right.

Read so that you can get a break from yourself. Maybe you’ve had a bad day at school. Maybe you had a day during which you realized that your crush of seven months is actually an idiot. Or maybe you’ve got more serious problems, like a parent or a sibling with a serious illness. Books can be wonderfully distracting and help smash that annoying loop of thoughts in your head. Escape to another world through a book. You might have fun. Even if you don’t, just by reading, you can often find your way to a calmer state of mind. You might even end up with that wonderful all’s well with the world feeling.

Read for other people. I mean, read so that you are a more interesting person. It’s very boring to talk to people whose reading habits are limited to trivia on social media websites because they rarely have anything original to say. Reading can also help connect you to other people. Perhaps you find that you’re really into steampunk. Well, there’s a whole world of steampunk fans out there who will welcome you into the tribe.

2. You’ve travelled extensively, has this had an impact on your writing? If so, in what way?

Travelling has definitely had a huge impact on my writing. To give just one example: my young adult book, Before, We Were Aliens, is narrated by Alejandro (Alex) Sanchez, a thirteen-year-old Latino living in hiding in Manhattan ten years in the future. I’m not Latino. So how did I get into the mind of the main character? In 2011/2012, I lived with a family in South America and learned Spanish. Now, sure, it would take a lifetime to truly understand and know a culture so different from my own. But I don’t agree with the old cardinal rule of writing – Write What You Know. I believe in writing about anything that you feel you can do with confidence. My time in South America gave me the confidence to write Alex’s voice. That was all I needed.

3. What creative writing tips would you give a school writing club?

Write to your strengths. Know your writing weaknesses and try to overcome them by reading as much as possible. Em, don’t forget about plot. It’s kind of important. Oh, and be kind but honest when you are critiquing the work of club members. If a reader can’t come up with one positive and honest point about someone else’s story, that reflects more poorly on the reader’s abilities than on the writer’s.

4. Marooned in Manhattan features a Vet. Did you do much research on vets?

I used to make regular trips to my local vet in Manhattan with my own dog. I found the clinic fascinating and I always observed a lot of what was going on. I particularly liked eavesdropping on the conversations of the other pet owners in the waiting room. But my research mainly related to animal diseases and treatment. The book opens with the death of Evie’s mother so I didn’t want to have a lot more death in the book. I tried, for most part, to find illnesses that were curable! I would do things like google “common diseases in monkeys,” and take it from there. There are about thirty animals in the book so coming up with a different problem each time was challenging.

5. Do you have any funny stories about your research?

No. But I do have a funny story about my book promotion. Last week I visited a ton of local schools and I dropped into a local café for a take-away coffee. The three waitresses all huddled together and started whispering and shooting furtive glances in my direction. Don’t be paranoid; I reminded myself, they are not talking about you. One of them approached me and said, “We were just talking about you.”

She thrust a napkin into my hand. “Will you give us your autograph?” My mouth dropped open. Sure, I’d had some local press coverage but it wasn’t the kind of stuff that you would equate with celebrity status. Then I slapped myself mentally. Of course, they must be parents of kids that I had met. I signed the napkin with a flourish and handed it back to her. She squinted. “Who is Sheila Agnew?” she asked in a tone bordering on disgust. “Em, that’s me, I have a book out for children. Don’t you want the autograph for your child?” “No,” she said, “we thought you were that famous American actress,” and she handed the napkin back to me. I didn’t quite know what to do with it. As the other customers watched silently with great interest, I stuffed it into my handbag, grabbed my coffee and tried to leave the café quickly without breaking into a gallop. I managed a kind of half-trot. I think that I will keep that napkin as a reminder for the rest of my life!

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Spotlight: Deceiving Lies by Molly McAdams

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SYNOPSIS
The irresistible, blazing-hot sequel to New York Times bestselling author Molly McAdams’s Forgiving Lies.

Rachel is supposed to be planning her wedding to Kash, the love of her life. After the crazy year they’ve had, she’s ready to settle down and live a completely normal life. Well, as normal as it can be. But there’s something else waiting—something threatening to tear them apart.

Kash is ready for it all with Rach. Especially if all includes having a football team of babies with his future wife. With his line of work, he knows how short life can be, and doesn’t want to waste another minute of theirs. But now his past as an undercover narcotics agent has come back to haunt him … and it’s the girl he loves who’s caught in the middle.

Trent Cruz’s orders are clear: take the girl. But there’s something about this girl that has him changing the rules and playing a dangerous game to keep her safe. When his time as Rachel’s protector runs out, he will turn his back on the only life he’s known, and risk everything, if it means getting her out alive.

Classics Carnival: Spotlight: Frankenstein Narrated by Dan Stevens

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Image from Audible Website

Image from Audible Website

Frankenstein

Written by: Mary Shelley
Narrated by: Dan Stevens
Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
Format: Unabridged
Release Date:29/10/2013
Publisher: Audible, Inc.
Program Type: Audiobooks

Narrator Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) presents an uncanny performance of Mary Shelley’s timeless gothic novel, an epic battle between man and monster at its greatest literary pitch. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship, scientific hubris, and horror.

From Press Release:

Best known as Matthew Crawley in the hit ITV drama Downton Abbey, Dan Stevens’ other television work includes lead roles in Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty and Andrew Davies’s adaptation of Sense & Sensibility.

Dan Stevens is also a prolific narrator of audiobooks: his reading of Louisa Young’s My Dear I Wanted to Tell You won the 2011 Audiobook of the Year at the Galaxy National Book Awards. He also recorded Stef Penney’s The Invisible Ones.

The Frankenstein audiobook by Mary Shelley is available only from Audible.co.uk, the UK’s leading provider of downloadable audiobooks.