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Sunday, 25 October 2015

Book Shelf Tour

This weekend I have been home to visit my family. I found time to make a quick (low quality) video showing you all the books that I have at my mums house. Well, the ones that have been kept out of the loft since we moved 3 years ago!

Click on the video and have a watch. Subscribe to my channel on youtube, if you like! I'd definitely appreciate it!

Sorry for a lack of Life and Death Liveblog updates - those will come soon. I am half way through Chapter Five!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

My first video! Aaaaah!

Head over to youtube to leave a comment.

I filmed it on my iPhone; which is why it isn't top quality and the volume isn't great.
I love feedback, but please be kind :P

Life and Death Liveblog: Chapter Four

Chapter 4 – Invitations

No one else followed her around the same way I did. It was pathetic, and kind of stalkerish.’ No no no BeauBella! It’s Edythe’s job to stalk you soon, don’t worry!

I’ve just noticed, apparently they have biology every day in this school. Is this a normal thing? Is it a science specialised high school?

Her dimples flashing’ – alert alert, LadyEd has dimples!

‘She must know how obsessed I was with her. It wasn’t like I was hiding it very well.’ Dude you haven’t spoken to the girl in 6 weeks, and then you had an angry two minute conversation. I’d say you are definitely hiding an obsession well.

‘Which made perfect sense, because obviously I wasn’t interesting.’ You got that right. It’s seeing this from a female perspective, looking at BeauBella’s life, that I realise how odd it is Edward went for Bella. Sure, she smelled great. But…that is not something to build a relationship on, especially with such a huge age difference. Both Bella and BeauBella are a little too bland.

‘Edythe was the opposite of boring.’ HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS. She has spoken to you maybe twice. Sure, she stopped a truck hitting you but even you aren’t sure if that happened. She’s mysteriously pissed off at you – weird, sure. But I don’t think the tiny amount of interactions you’ve had can classify her as the opposite of boring.

‘Her long, bronze-y hair.’ Bronze is a colour, so please stop saying bronze-y.

‘She stared up at me, seeming oblivious to the drizzling rain that was falling. She was apparently wearing no make-up at all – nothing smudged or ran. Of course, her face was that perfect naturally.’ I don’t know why this annoys me. Maybe because a 17 year old boy would not think this? Maybe because it doesn’t need to be said? Maybe because at 26 I still have a stereotypical teenage complexion (I THOUGHT I WAS MEANT TO GROW OUT OF ACNE) whilst also having the first signs of ageing?

‘I looked down at her rain washed face, clean and perfect.’ Ah yes, that is the first thing I think of when I see a face in the rain. How clean it is.

Another really short chapter. I don’t know if my live blogs are so short because I’m doing it wrong? I’m only really commenting on the things that are different to the original Twilight, which is not much at all, considering Bella now has a dick. Should I be commenting on everything, whether it was present in the original or not?

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Life and Death Live Blog: Chapter Three

I seem to be on a roll, but this isn't going to last. It is the weekend, and my week is going to be chocabloc again. Enjoy this while it lasts. And please, feel free to post comments! I love comments! 

Chapter 3 – Phenomenon

So here I am casually reading the third chapter and I realise this is the chapter with the almost truck accident! I loved this chapter in Twilight, and I am actually completely down with LadyEd saving BeauBella! Awesome lady vampire saves cute boy! I want to read this!

Let me refresh my cup of tea before I continue…

You know what, Charlie is an absolute gem. He bought both his children matching trucks (which can’t have been cheap) and then woke up one morning to silently put chains on their wheels so they avoid a traffic accident. My mum used to laugh at me out of the window as I set off for school (walking) in the snow and rain. Charlie is a legend.

Aaaaaaand the next paragraph is BeauBella feeling bad, because looking after Charlie should be his job – oh wait no it is just that his mother is incapable. BeauBella if your mum was that bad you probably should have called Charlie years ago. Your mum being so rubbish freaks me out, why weren't social services involved in this tiny baby having to look after his mum?

Now, I haven’t reread Twilight in years. So, even though I probably read them about 100 times, I can’t remember the exact wording of this scene when it is Edward rescuing Bella. But if my memory is correct, this scene plays out pretty much identically to the one in Twilight. And this is a good thing, because I used to love the scene. It is completely believable (well, as believable as it was in the original books) that LadyEd saved BeauBella. I was a bit worried that BeauBella would disbelieve it more because LadyEd was a girl, than because the car was heavy, but that didn't happen. Phew.

Oh! It took me a while to notice that Tyler (the driver of the van) was now Taylor – let us all imagine that Taylor Swift was attempting to do us all a favour and wipe out BeauBella in the third chapter of the book.
Thanks for trying, Taylor.

‘Then a Doctor walked round the corner and my mouth fell open. She was young, she was blond [I’m gonna poke my annoying head up here and say shouldn’t blonde have an e?]…and she was more beautiful than any movie star I’d ever seen. Like someone sliced up Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe, took the best parts, then glued them together to form one goddess.’ I can tell that I just (finnnaaaallly) got round to watching the finale of Hannibal, because in my head I pictured that literally, and it wasn’t as pretty as the final result should probably have been. I mean these ladies are stunning

So I morphed these…

And got

Not bad.

I can’t remember, did we know who Carlisle looked like? I want to know which 3 men to morph to get Carlisle!

‘She scowled at me, and I stared back, thoughts scattered by how beautiful she was’. Oh my goodness I remember reading this about Edward and being, just, so in love. Now I think I would just be terrified if my thoughts scattered just looking at someone. I mean, it still happens. Not because they are stunning but because I am awful at forced conversation in social situations.

That was the first night I dreamed about Edythe Cullen’.  Ooo errrr what kind of dream was it? Is LadyEd going to be creepily watching you sleep? Tune in next time for another episode of the same bloody story we read 10 years ago...

So, the end of chapter 3.

I’ve got to say, I know Stephenie Meyer isn’t a fantastic writer. I know this. But I still feel like this chapter didn’t go too badly? Maybe it’s my suppressed past love of Twilight, masking some of the subtler issues in the writing. I do love the idea of this gangly streak of a teenager (I really have just mentally transferred my brother into this role, sorry Joseph) being rescued by an inexplicably angry superhuman. Like, she’s so annoyed at having to save him. I can almost feel my inner fan girl planning a spin off fanfiction…REIGN IT BACK CLAIR. Anyway, I enjoy BeauBella being the damsel in distress. I really wanted to write damson in distress there, but I realise that isn’t a thing. Is it a thing?
I have googled it, it IS a thing. Three things. Things being a lipstick shade, an alcoholic shot and the image below. May I present…BeauBella

Life and Death Chapter Two

Chapter Two – Open Book

‘McKayla was beginning to seem weirdly, I don’t know, territorial about me’ – does Mike ever feel territorial of Bella or is this just because Mike is now a girl? Something else to check…

‘She was super, mega hot, but not…approachable’. Your way with words astounds me, BeauBella. Also know I feel like watching Darren Criss on A Very Potter Musical.

This is completely random, and not really at all related to the plot, but BeauBella is cooking steak and potatoes, and while the steak is cooking he has time to make a salad. That is not how long you cook steak for. What is wrong with you? Plus now I want a steak.

‘”It’s a good thing she’s happily married”’ This seems so much more ominous when it’s about a female Dr Cullen as opposed to a male one. Not Smeyers fault, blame this on society.

‘But her long eyes were careful’. How does a person have long eyes? I feel this must be an editing error, right? All I can see are the eyes cartoon characters get when they’re stretched in surprise.

Strangely, that’s all that was really worth mentioning in this chapter. Not a highly funny, weird or different one. I’m hoping this isn’t going to be the same for the rest of the book? Perhaps when BeauBella faints and Edythe has to carry him it’ll pick up again. That’s soon, right?

Friday, 9 October 2015

Life and Death Live Blog Chapter One

Here it goes. I have never liveblogged anything before so please don’t be too mean about my writing quality. 

Before we even get to the story, we have a prelude from SMeyer herself. Smeyer talks about how fun it was to write this with a male lead rather than a female, and basically all the other stuff that has been mentioned in all the online articles about this release. In a nutshell, 5% of the changes were because Beau is a boy, 5% because his personality developed differently to Bella’s, 70% of the change was editing (I’m starting to feel like this is definitely going to be fanfiction I could have written), 10% is things she wished she had included, 5% mythology issues, and 5% ‘miscellaneous’. This whole thing seems miscellaneous, but never mind.

Preface – (the flashforward part).

First change spotted: ‘I stared across the long room, into the dark eyes of the hunter, and she looked pleasantly back at me’.

Already this doesn’t seem to work, but maybe that’s just because I reread Twilight about 8 zillion times. Is this going to be like de ja vu, but where things are slightly different? Groundhog Day?

Chapter One – First Sight
Lol guys so the main guy (we haven’t been officially introduced yet so lets call him Mr Protagonist) is wearing a Monty Python tee shirt (‘the one with the swallows and the coconut on’). Why is a teenage boy in 2005 wearing a Monty Python tee shirt? And why do we need to know about the coconut? AND HANG ON…he is calling Renee (oh shit I remembered her name) mom? Didn’t Bella have this odd ‘equals’ relationship where she called Renee by her name? Or was that just Charlie?

My mom says we look so much alike that I could use her for a shaving mirror’Pfffffffffffffffffffffffffft. No mom would ever shame herself so bad as to say she looked like a male teenager going through puberty.

On me the pale blue is less youthful and more…unresolved’. Ok, I may be picking this up from the liveblog I read on tumblr earlier, but WHAT THE HELL does ‘unresolved’ mean? Like, are they pixelated, like when a computer image hasn’t loaded properly? And also…Mr Protagonist has blue eyes. I guess losing Bella’s gorgeous brown eyes doesn’t matter too much as there definitely can’t be an evil demon baby this time round (every cloud has a silver lining).

When Mr Protagonist talks about leaving his mom to ‘fend for herself’ seems a tad more sexist this time round. I don’t know if it’s worded differently to Twilight, but when Bella left her mom with Phil, it felt like she was just scatty. With her son implying he’s worried for her survival, but might be ok with her bloke, it doesn’t seem the same.
Mr Protagonist has arrived in Forks, and is met by his dad. His name is revealed…dun dun dun…Beau. We all knew this, obviously. But what is not obvious is why Smeyer chose a name that no one has been called since Edward died of Spanish Influenza.
Beau isn’t allowed to call his dad Charlie.

Somethingsomethingsomething…’It was about whether I was shirking my responsibility to look after her.’ 

‘This was the reason Charlie’d never fought mom about custody, he knew she needed me.’

Weird interaction with a man covered in tattoos and an angry lady…not sure on the point…except to show that Charlie is an intimidating cop? I’m going to have to make sure this isn’t foreshadowing something. Or perhaps Smeyer was trying to make Charlie seem more dominant that he was in Twilight?

But Twilight Charlie was the best…

HAHAHAHA BONNIE BLACK. I hope Jacob’s (Jacqueline’s? Jacie’s? Jacobannie’s?) mom is a pirate. Oh hang on wait…Billy Black used to go fishing with Bella and Charlie right? Well, apparently Bonnie AND her husband came along in Beaufort’s world. Guess a lady can’t fish with a cop without a chaperone…

In this version, it seems like Beau was actively bullied at school, until his growth spurt. He apparently also is not ‘like other guys’, in that he appears to have no interests whatsoever. Also, he spent his spare time snaking drains, and I have no idea what this is. Climbing in drains like a snake? Is it a euphemism? What for?!

But he is pale, and had no friends. So far so Bella.

The only person he was friends with was his mom…what a nice guy.

Ok I think maybe I missed something. Has literally every character in this book been gender bent? Except Charlie? I thought it was only going to be the main characters, but even the receptionist is a male now, and he was definitely a lady before.

Hahahaha Beaufort is such a crap name. Sorry if this is your name.

I SPY EDWARDINAS SILVER VOLVO. I very nearly typed Vulva there. Argh please no.
‘I pulled my hood down over my face’ – yes because that will keep you anonymous, and wont at all make you look like a 2005 era emo. I think Bella does this too? Oh well. Still made me giggle. I’m imaging my little brother (who is by the way a scarily tall, gangly and popular 17 year old shoot me - how did I ever think Edward Cullen was cool) doing this and it’s like when he’s sulking or being forced to take the rubbish out.

OMG Eric is now a skinny girl with skin problems. When Smeyer mentioned she’d cut two characters out entirely, I think I thought Eric would be one of them. Oh and she’s called Erica. Smooth.

‘They didn’t look anything alike. There were three girls…’ Oh lets guess them.
Number one: ‘super tall’, ‘legs that went on forever’, ‘dark curly hair’ – SHE EMMETT. SHEMMETT – did I steal this from the other liveblog? Whatever. It works.

Number two: ‘hair the colour of honey’, ‘something intense about her, edgy.’Random Segway about an actress in a film cutting people with a machete (Uma Thurman?). Jasper! Jas…her? Jasher!

Number three: Of course, we all know who this is going to be. She’s smaller (even though Edward was basically as tall as the other two, right?) because no one wants a girl who’s as tall as the guy. Her hair is ‘a bronze-y colour’ (so, bronze…).

Rosa-he has a man bun, which of course, I quote, doesn’t make him look feminine but ‘somehow makes him look more like a man’. MOVE TO LONDON AND TELL ME ALL THESE GUYS WHO HAVE DUMB MAN BUNS LOOK MANLY. Why couldn’t Rosa-he have an amazing beard or something.

‘He was clearly too cool for this school’ – lol jealous BeauBella?

WTF Malice’s only description is that he is wirey and has a buzz cut. Let down. Although the description of him having a ‘quick, graceful lope’ does make me laugh.

Edward we all know is Edythe. Emmett = Eleanor. Alice = Archie. Jasper = Jessamine. Rosalie = Royal.

The little paragraph here about their names being weird doesn’t really fit this version because YO BEAUFORT. Jessica has become Jeremy why has that happened? I swear Jeremy is pretty old fashioned too? Maybe not as old, but still not exactly the male equivalent of Jessica.

‘The doctor and her husband’ YES CARLISLE IS A SHE! Although for a second I imagined Esme as a doctor and I loved it.

The scene when they first meet in biology is exactly the same, exact for the obvious changes…plus…
‘I had been spelling her name wrongly in my head. It was Edythe, not Edith. It fit her better’. WTF why?

Mike is McKayla. I didn’t think it was spelt that way unless it was a surname, so I’ve learnt something today. Shall I stop updating on name changes?

URGH FINISHED. I need to reread Twilight…I don’t remember it being such a drag. I liked reading Twilight. Have I really grown up that much?

A disclaimer before I begin

This weekend I am going to liveblog my reading of Life and Death, the new gender bent (and apparently awful) retelling of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Before I started, I wanted to make sure people knew that...

I don't hate Twilight. I may mock it, be a little ashamed to be rereading it, and I may cringe many times at it over the next few weeks but once upon a time I was Twilight obsessed. I went to release parties for the final book, I went to fan conventions for the films (and met a lot of the lovely cast, who I now feel quite sorry for, in hindsight) and have signed copies of the first 3 books in the series. Only the first 3, because after Breaking Dawn was released I lost a large amount of my love for the series. It's not really worth talking about why, because if you've read it you probably understand.

So, yes, I loved Twilight. And things changed. I look back on that part of my life a little bit ashamed. I certainly don't often admit I went to fan events for it. But that isn't to say some good things didn't come out of Twilight for me.

  • I had been in a rather large reading slump, probably the second one of my life ever (I was 18). The first one was beaten through discovering Cate Tiernan and Holly Black. This one was broken by Twilight, and my renewed confidence in the YA section of my local Waterstones. 

  • It was my first introduction to online fan culture...and this probably explains why I became such a hardcore fan girl. I don't think I would have been nearly so obsessed if there wasn't so much conversation and extra material available online.

  • I have friends, who I had never seen read for pleasure, that  I introduced the book to (through pure peer pressure) who went on to become bookworms, with bookshelves to rival my own.

  • I met some amazing people. These girls all know who they are. A group of us started a conversation on a Twilight facebook group (remember how good facebook groups used to be for this type of thing?) and then created our own group chat. That was in (I'm guessing) March...2008? The chat lives on, and the majority of us are still friends. One of the girls now lives minutes down the road from me (in London terms), and I have friends who live in Canada, the US and France who I would not have had if not for this group...and therefore Twilight. It's because of these ladies that I am even contemplating this liveblogging...so I am going to dedicate it to them! I'm sure if no one else finds it entertaining, they at least will!

So for me, although it is a cringy awkward remnant of my teenage self, Twilight is not all bad. Life and Death, however, is promising to be a truely horrific ride.

I'll keep you all posted.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Life and Death

I have done something I am not too proud of.
I have bought Life and Death.
On my kindle, so that no one has to know what I am reading, but still.
There is a reason, and I am hoping it works out.

I plan on live blogging my reading of Life and Death, the new gender bent version of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, here on my blog (and on my tumblr page, Lyrasdaemons).

Wish me luck