Saturday, 26 May 2018

Quest to watch a mock murder trial

Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood
Have you ever wanted to attend a trial to see what happens at court? A two-day mock murder trial took place in my hometown this week, and members of the public could watch the proceedings from the public gallery.

What particularly piqued my interest was the fact the trial was based around the plot of an award-winning novel I'd read. The YA book is "Infinite Sky" by author C.J. Flood, who attended and tweeted live at the trial. How cool is that? I wonder if it's a world first to have a book brought to life in such a dramatic fashion!

I was briefly able to attend for part of the summation before the jury retired to consider their verdict. When the Crown Court Judge entered the mock courtroom after lunch, everyone had to rise and couldn’t sit down again until he was seated. The prosecution were up first, and the barrister’s emphatic, confident delivery could easily persuade you of the defendant’s guilt. In contrast, the defence was quieter and more measured, and I wondered whether the theatrics from the prosecution would prove just as instrumental in helping the jury reach a verdict as the evidence itself.

The 'murder' weapon – a brick – was passed around to the jury, and the prosecution suggested the injuries sustained by the victim were too excessive to be self-defence by the defendant. It wasn't looking too hopeful for him at that point.

Sadly, I had to leave before the verdict was reached, but the trial was filmed for teaching purposes, and I hope it’s made available so I can catch up with all that I missed!

I contacted C.J. Flood after the trial, and she said, “It was so much fun seeing my characters come to life...”

Kudos to all who took part.

The bar has now been raised for YA writers. Film deal? Pah, that’s nothing compared to having a mock court case for your book. :o)

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Quest to read a further 100 YA books (Part 5)

It's been a while since I've updated this, so here goes! 

(Part 1 is found here, Part 2 is found here, Part 3 is found here, and Part 4 is found here.)
81) Angelfall by Susan Ee
82) World After by Susan Ee
83) End of Days by Susan Ee
84) Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell
85) The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski
86) The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
87) The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
88) Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
89) The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
90) The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
91) Beyond the Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
92) The Future of Is by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
93) One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
94) The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
95) And Then We Ran by Katy Cannon
96) A Kiss In The Dark by Cat Clarke
97) See How They Lie by Sue Wallman
98) Blackfin sky by Kat Ellis
99) Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
100) THUG (The Hate U Give) by Angie Thomas

Quest: Complete!

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Quest to make a dent in my e-TBR pile

My 'To Be Read' pile is growing, and the ease with which I can purchase new e-books means it's only going to get bigger. This year, I'm determined to make a dent in my e-TBR pile before I splurge out on stockpiling more.

I'm pleased to report I've read 24 e-books so far already (& it's only the third month of the year!), and my e-TBR pile is looking a lot healthier. Only another 40+ e-books to go!

How about you? Do you have a large TBR pile (physical or e-book)?

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Quest to find lines from THE PRINCESS BRIDE in YA books

Come closer, and I'll let you in on a little-known secret in the YA writers' community.



Okay, close enough.

*Looks around furtively. Lowers voice.*

Whisper it quietly, but it appears there is a secret society among YA writers. A secret society that exists to sneak a line or a reference to the film THE PRINCESS BRIDE in their published books.

Have you noticed it, too?

To my delight, I'm not alone in my suspicions. Whilst reading My Lady Jane - the not entirely true story by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows (a delightful and funny historical fantasy I'd borrowed from the library), I found a note slipped in between pages 256-257 with a quote from one of my favourite films (fan credentials: I saw this film twice at the cinema before it became a cult classic). The mysterious note-writer had (sacrilege!) marked the book with asterisks at the relevant points. Inconceivable!


Later on in the book, there were more lines from the film:

As you wish

Drop your sword

...all that I have and more!

There was also a reference to storming the castle.

Do you think the mysterious note-writer has left notes in other books as well? For the record, I'm leaving the note exactly where I found it so the next reader of the book can have the pleasure of the discovery too - I hope they recognise the quote! The book was borrowed from Taunton library, and maybe I'll have to make it a quest to find out the mysterious note-writer's identity. If you are that person - or if you recognise the hand writing - then I'd love to hear from you.

Does this secret society reach right around the globe? If so, then how many members are there??

In the meantime, Quest Seekers, keep an eye out in the YA books you're reading and put the details in the comments below if you spot any THE PRINCESS BRIDE lines in them.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

How many books did I read in 2017?

Yes, it's time for my yearly round-up!

Last year, I concentrated on clearing my huge TBR pile and am pleased to report I read 76 books from my own bookshelves (26 of which were e-books). I also did four beta reads and read 26 books I'd borrowed from various libraries. For the mathematically challenged, that works out at 106 books for the year, or about two a week. Slightly down on the previous year's total, but still pretty respectable!

I was able to add one new library to my collection and visited six different libraries in total over the course of the year (alas, none of them were in far-flung corners of the world).

How many books did you read in 2017?  Did you visit your local library?

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Quest to read a further 100 YA books (Part 4)

Time to update my quest with some more YA books I've read. Part 1 is found here, Part 2 is found here, and Part 3 is found here.

61) The Potion Diaries by AmyAlward
62) The Potion Diaries: Royal Tour by AmyAlward
63) The Potion Diaries: Going Viral by AmyAlward
64) The Originals by Cat Patrick
65) Sweet Damage by Rebecca James
66) Stolen by Lucy Christopher
67) The Game by Krystyna Kuhn
68) The Crash by Krystyna Kuhn
69) Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas
70) The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant

71) The Young Elites by Marie Lu
72) The Rose Society by Marie Lu
73) The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
74) Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
75) Outside In by Maria V. Snyder
76) Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
77) The Swan Kingdom by Zoe Marriott
78) The Third Twin by CJ Omololu
79) Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
80) Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon