Monday, November 22, 2010

another review: gosh, i'm on a roll

the body finder
kimberly derting

so our heroine, violet ambrose, has this creepy ability to sense the echoes of the dead. well, the murdered, if we are going to get specific.

she found her first dead (human) body when she was eight; this dead girls particular echo began as a vibration, and as violet got closer, it opened into a voice, calling out. (violet then began to dig in the earth, found the dead girl, and had nightmares for a while afterwards-violet, i hear ya)

when violet hears, smells or sees these echoes she is compelled to answer them, and these echoes can come from anything that died in a brutal or unnatural way. so the tiny woodland creatures that were victims of surprise attacks from bigger woodland creatures leave echoes. the bigger woodland creatures themselves carry offensive imprints (as does violet's cat, carl), and as do police officers (occupational hazard), some nurses, and of course, serial killers like the one terrorising violet's neighbourhood.

this was creepy! i finished it late at night (stupid, stupid dugong lady) and then sat up in bed wondering if there was a serial killer in the backyard.
i even messaged my long suffering boyfriend for some reassurance that the serial killer i had decided was in my backyard wasn't going to attack me. reassurance came in the form of a reminder; my dog was in the backyard (oh no! what if the serial killer killed my dog?!) my teddy would protect me, and, it was JUST A BOOK.
i thought that was fairly dodgy reassurance (particularly cos as far as i know teddy has had no form of combat training), but i went to sleep anyway (and then was rudely awoken by some very stupid plasterers, but that's another story*).

errr. so anyway. again, it was creepy! great concept. the writing was a bit stilted at times, and the way violet and jay's (the token hottie) love interest played out was pretty generic. having said this though, i read it in a day, and it got under my skin enough for me to imagine serial killers in the backyard. sort of an odd mix of a law and order episode and a young adult romance novel. i reckon it will appeal to the fans of supernatural YA, but also to people that like more realism with their escapism.
apparently it is going to be a series, and the second body finder novel desires of the dead will be published at some point.

blogger is refusing to upload a cover photo, so you will just have to imagine it (or ask monsieur googleeee).

*the rest of the story goes like this: the plasterers woke me up at 6.30am (bastards!!!). i glared at them, got ma and went and sulked in bed cos my sleep was ruined. ma reckons that the plaster wasn't ours (apparently it was enough for about five, very large, houses), that they had already woken up next door to ask if it was theirs, and they then proceded to doorknock their way down the street. plaster, anyone? grrrrr.

Friday, November 19, 2010

a review! hurrah!

fruitloops and dipsticks
ulf stark- gecko press

things start going wrong for 12 year old simone when her mother decides they are to sell their apartment, and move to the country with the 'hat-idiot' aka ingvar, mother's boyfriend with a receding hairline and a complex about such hairline.

things get worse when, after the farewell party (practical because it meant you could get rid of a whole lot of things you didn't want to take with you), they move to the new house and discover they forgot the dog.

things get even worse after that. on the hunt for kilroy (the dog), mother finds kilroy and viciously harangues the nasty man that stole him. a battle ensues, and it is on their hasty (but victorious) exit to the car that simone (now out of earshot of the nasty dog stealer) must point out to mother that it the dog isn't infact kilroy, and another hasty getaway is necessary.

apparently mother is not much good at recognizing dogs. or people either, for that matter.

then things begin to go totally and completely avocado shaped when the new teacher leaves the 'e' off simone, and simone becomes a boy, simon (of course, it would be far to embarrassing to clear up, straight away, the gender mishap).

simon then gets into a bunch of mad adventures involving ducks, late night lake swimming, scalped beehives and carefully arranged cotton wool.

i really, really loved this book. i particularly loved grandpa, who rocks up at the new house wearing long johns, purloined high heels, hospital nightshirt flapping stylishly, snorting happily through the strands of hair in his nostrils.

actually, all the characters are really great, mostly eccentric (fruitloops), but even the non eccentric ones (dipsticks) are beautifully created, with curious little details that bring them to life very vividly.

it'll make you laugh, make you cry. it'll change your life! *

it really did make me laugh. and i cried, but it was the good type of crying.

i loved it. hurrah!
*say it in a drunk, irish accent. or just go watch black books. bernard! bahahah.

Monday, November 15, 2010

lizzie mcguire, you disappoint me

i was really excited when this arrived today. yeah, i know that she is getting published because she is famous*, a (reasonably) good singer (ok, i admit i love her music and know nearly all the words to her songs (well, first two albums anyway)) and cos she has really pretty hair.

but i was more than willing to overlook that fact, and was looking foward to reading about Clea, the photojournalist with famous parents who hides behind her camera lens to escape the spotlight.

this excitement lasted until i opened the book and saw the title page. quite an aesthetically pleasing title page, it has the title (as you would expect), black and white versions of the cover flower, and then the author: hilary duff (this bit is fine) WITH elise allen (this bit is the bit that pisses me off).

ok hil, you want to write a book. fine. i don't have a problem with that. i also dont have a problem with the fact that you got published solely on your fame. i do have a problem with you putting your name on a pretty cover in big letters, doing all the signings, making all the money and generally getting people like me who have adored you since the beginning of time (or the beginning of lizzie mcguire) all excited, only to CRUSH OUR HOPES WITH YOUR SHITTY**, BASICALLY GHOST WRITTEN BOOK.

there is nothing left between us now. it's over***.

*hil, i say this because any chance at getting published on your own writing merit is gone when you need someone to help you write your book.

***although at least you credited elise allen for the work she did. i guess you aren't totally heartless (erhmm. cough cough. james frey you are a wanker.) ill probably always love you.

**it may in fact be fantastic, i haven't read it yet cos i am feeling so traumatised and let down. although, really, what did i expect? shame on me and my optimism.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

an outdoor chandelier

hello! i'm back.

here is a review:

oh fuck. i think i just have a reviewing block. so here is a picture of some renovation madness:

oh dear

so i know that when i got my (shiny) laptop, i made a big hullabaloo about how i was now going to be a blogging dynamo.
i'm sorry, i lied.

it's just that i have all these fab ideas (well, i think they are fab) and want to share them, but then when i'm sitting in front of the computer they never seem to come at me, they always come while i am on my way to the dentist, or in the middle of the park watching my chien chase birds and roll in dead things (bad, smelly dog!) or whenever i am anywhere but in front of my computer.

consequently i end up with scraps of paper everywhere which i then instantly loose, or pink moleskines filled with vague notes on books i always plan to review RIGHT AWAY but then forget about, or when i do finally sit down to do to them, i get discouraged. i suspect that i get discouraged because even though i tell myself to just spit it out, i then get wrapped up thinking about all the hours and years that the author took to write the book, and i begin to feel guilty for not spending as much time on my review. so then i generally just don't review at all because i think to myself, well, how could i do justice to all that time and work with a few (often hastily constructed) thoughts and sentences? and then i start thinking, well, is this even what i think at all? and i get all confused and stop.

a vicious cycle indeed.

so today i have decided
fuck it

i will just spit it all out and not think about it and if i regret it later, oh well at least i didn't sleep with the neighbours cat
(this is not something i, or anyone i know, has done, but i imagine whoever did it would certainly regret it. at least, i hope they would)
(not that anyone did sleep with the neighbours cat. they don't even have a cat, a lady in a yellow car ran over it) (actually that's not true, it didn't die and it didn't belong to the neighbour either. i think) (it is true a lady in a yellow car ran over it though. i witnessed it and it was extremely traumatic) (for me, not the cat as the cat jumped up and ran away) (possibly to die) (this is entirely ridiculous) (i will stop now)

and now, see, i have written such a long and stupid post i no longer have the energy to review a book. oh dear.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


today as i walked towards the school gates there were cries of

'hey, it's the library girl'
'hi library girl!'
'hey, i know you!'
'hey, i saw you! on the weekend, at the bookshop!'
'hey, look everybody! it's the girl from the library!'

and one of the grade six kids i won over last time (tough crowd, but any mention of Glee and you should be fine...) greeted me with a

'dugong lady*! how are you!? where were you on monday?! what are you doing now?! ok, i'll see you at lunchtime!'

i felt a bit chuffed, and happy to be surrounded by such exuberance. this is so definitely, no questions, absolutely, my career of choice. at least until i take up travelling around the world with my violin and border collie. but then i will come back and be the library girl again! lovely.

*insert real name here

Monday, November 1, 2010

monthly monday milf meeeem

MMM is a meeeem created by The Dugong Lady and kate.o.d in celebration of those who lurk handsomely in the background. We want you between our pages.

and the winner of round two is... ding ding ding!


aha! i can imagine you all now. vernon dursley, you say? really? i always knew this dugong lady was indeed some kind of a fruitloop...

but you are WRONG. i speak not of vernon dursley, that beef-necked twerp.
no, i speak of another vernon.
i speak of THE vernon.
the vernon that made the name, once synonymous with aforementioned beef-necked twerp, sexy again.
the vernon that comes not from harry potter by ye olde castle dwelling rowl-monster, but from i have a bed made of buttermilk pancakes by jaclyn moriarty.

the vernon that is buff from lifting boxes of bananas.
the vernon that is musical, with maple syrup eyes.
the vernon that takes his little sister and girlfriend on midnight swims with a spot of trespassing. (oh, i do love a rebel!)
the vernon that saves dessert for said girlfriend by hiding it under a chair, even though she is late and he is at her family dinner.

he is gorgeous, and lovely, and, according to marbie (the girlfriend) he is an incredible lover also. what more could you want in a man?!
flesh and blood, perhaps.
aside from that, though...