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Fangirling. This is a word that has seeped into our culture. The phrase is consistently being used more and more often, as YA books and book to film adaption’s are shoved into the limelight. There have always been words to describe these followings; fans, cults, groupies, fanatics. And yet, the idea of ‘fangirling’ is one that is looked at with revulsion, annoyance and horror.

So how exactly do we define fangirling? Here’s a definition from the urban dictionary:


1. the reaction a fangirl has to any mention or sighting of the object of her “affection”. These reactions include shortness of breath, fainting, highpitched noises, shaking, fierce head shaking as if in the midst of a seizure, wet panties, endless blog posts, etc.

2. a gathering of two or more fangirls in which they proceed to waste endless amounts of time ogling, discussing/arguing, stalking, etc. the object of their “affection”

Just reading that definition it is obvious that fangirling is something to be frowned upon.
‘waste endless amounts of time’  ‘stalking’  ‘highpitched noises’. It all sounds extremely irritating right?

Lets looks at some examples.
So, unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few months I’m sure you’ve all heard of The Hunger Games and it’s recent adaption to the big screen. All around the globe teenagers and adults alike have been going crazy, (including myself) buying T-Shirts and Mockingjay pins, dressing up as their favorite characters, and going to midnight premiers or advanced screenings. But it wasn’t long until the disapproving looks and irritation of those outside of the loop seeped in. People begun declaring the series useless without ever actually having read it, and anyone over the age of 20 turned their nose up in disgust at all the screaming, gushing tweenagers.
Harry Potter also had a huge fangirl following but managed to get away without too much criticism due to the fact that half the world was under it’s spell. SPELL! Get it? 😉
No?
I’m the only on that found that funny aren’t I? *sigh*
Anyways back on topic….

The best current example of fangirling is of course, the Twilight Saga.
Now point me in the direction of ONE person that’s hasn’t wanted to rip their own hair out when confronted with all that screaming, teary eyed, and red faced obsessed fans. Twilight really does embody the true horror of fangirling, and it’s probably where it got it’s bad name.

But of course these are not the only examples, and books to film adaption’s are not the only objects that receive this kind of attention. Oh no! We can’t forget all those Belibers and One Directioners screaming their little hearts out. *shudders*

As an outsider, it is easy to see fangirling with utter horror. I myself often make snarky comments about people’s extreme obsessions, and yes, I often find fangirling irritating. So should it be frowned upon? Maybe. But at the same time, why should we look down on someone for being really passionate about something? Why should we crush their enthusiasm? Surely it is better to get excited about something, than to not get excited by anything at all. What is the point of life if we don’t enjoy ourselves to the full? We would be robots. Sure it would be better if teenagers got excited by politics, but lets face it, that’s never going to happen! (unless of course, they ban Twilight. Oooh controversial! There would be full scale riots.)

So, I’ve shared my opinion, but what’s yours? I’m itching to find out, and please feel free to disagree with me! 🙂

Until next time!
– Guest Blogger Becky (Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic)

I first heard of The Day of First Sun when a blog tour was announced. Having never participated in a blog tour before, I signed up for it and received an eBook shortly after.  I’m not a big fan of eBooks; I hate reading soft copies of books, I like to turn the pages of a real book with real paper.

Confession: I haven’t finished reading the whole book yet, but I plan to once I get my hands on a real-life copy.

A list as a review, because I’m loving lists today.

  1. What’s going on? Annie Pearce and Cham Chamsky work for the Wizard Guard; the magical world’s police force. Annie and Cham are assigned to the investigation of a magical murder of a non-magical princess, in cooperation with the FBI. The murder investigation and the assignment of tracking a powerful vampire get tangled up in a messy situation, all while the two best friends try to make sense of their own emotions.
  2. Say What?! The Day of First Sun has an interesting plot that leaves you with the impression that Sheryl Steines must have a wild imagination. I started reading the first chapter at midnight, thinking that one chapter won’t take that long to read and I would go to sleep once I’m done, I ended up falling asleep at 3am, my iPod still in my hand.

    What I did in class the next morning…

  3. The Writing: Sheryl Steines weaves the events together smoothly; the story easily shifts from event to another. Her style of writing is easy to follow and super fun to read.
  4. The Characters: The Characters are one of the main reasons I loved this book. Annie is a strong female figure; smart, strong, independent and made out of pure awesome. Cham is laid-back and just so adorable.

 

DFTBA,

Please enjoy this interview with Sheryl Steines, author of the urban fantasy novel, The Day of First Sun. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

 

If you could travel in a time machine, would you go back to the past or into the future?

I would go to the past, meet famous people, see history as it happened. I’d be afraid to go to the future. I’m not sure I really want to know when I die.

If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

This might be to expected, but I would love to live at Hogwarts, stroll through Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, play with all the magical stuff, and visit the Weasleys at their house. I saw the Harry Potter exhibit at the museum a few years ago, and it just seemed so fun.

If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why?

Sandra Bullock. Since she became a movie star, people all over the place tell me I look like her. She’s also funny. I can only imagine how much more interesting and funny my life would be if she were the lead.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always knew I wanted to be a writer. There were times that I thought I wanted to be an interior decorator, but in the end, I was always much happier writing and creating.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?

I have two. The first would be Stephen King. I was always amazed by the detail and imagination he used in his books, especially the earliest books. I watched him on an interview many years ago and he was talking about the things he was afraid of, one of which was sleeping with his feet outside the covers at night. He would always cover his feet so that the monsters under the bed wouldn’t get him. I laughed so hard because I do the same thing. J.K. Rowling is also a favorite. Her life story and Harry Potter reminded me that I wanted to be a writer when I was seven. She reminded me of the genre that I loved. It got me thinking about what stories intrigued me. I watched her interview on Oprah and cried through the entire thing. It got me thinking of ways to take my personal experiences and hide them in the fantasy world.

What do you do in your free time?

I read, a lot. In the winter, I spend time at museums and go shopping. In the summer, I love to go to flea markets. You could never have too many fleas. I love to travel. I spend most of the summer driving my 1966 Mustang convertible.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I’m a huge fan of Ninja Warrior. Yeah, the Japanese obstacle course. On one side, it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. On the other side of it, the obstacles are so challenging, and the participants are so revered for making it through each stage that it is a huge honor to win.

Favorite places to travel?

I love Europe, London being my favorite city. I’ve been to Scotland, France, Italy, Germany and Austria. The Austrian/German Alps are some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen.

Favorite way to spend a rainy day?

In front of the television watching my favorite movies. Who doesn’t love Ferris Buehler’s Day Off and Sixteen Candles.

If you could have a superpower, what would you choose?

Telekinesis! Then I could clean my house without actually having to do anything.

 

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Day of First Sun eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of The Day of First Sun for just 99 cents
  2. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event

Help my blog win:

The tour blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card. When you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to VOTE FOR ME.

About the book: A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Please enjoy this excerpt from the urban fantasy novel, The Day of First Sun. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

 

Sturtagaard chose not to speak, though it was he who had called for the meeting. They both checked their watches and realized they had been sitting across from him for ten minutes, watching him sniff the air. If he wanted to play this, they would play along at least for a little while longer, though both were tired of the leering. As the vampire sniffed again, Cham finally figured out why.

“You know, you called us. We really don’t have anything to say to you, so if you’re just playing games, we’re happy to leave. I’ve got other, more important things to do than watch you sniff and leer,” Cham finally said, and stood up.

Sturtagaard smiled as he watched Cham open the door because he much preferred dealing with Annie, but when she stood up, too, he realized he’d overplayed his hand.

“If I talk, my employer will have me staked. I’d like some assurance that you won’t do the same,” he said rather quickly, before they left.

They turned and looked at him, both rolling their eyes.

“I’ll have you staked if you don’t talk,” replied Cham, as he stood by the door.

“You’re out of options if you ever hope to get out of here again,” Annie said calmly, focusing on his face.

Sturtagaard squirmed a little in his seat, as Annie’s expression was somewhat disquieting and unemotional. He looked at Cham, whose face was expressionless, and then back to Annie, who hadn’t moved a muscle. The vampire sighed.

“You heard right. I was hired to create a zombie army to overthrow the Wizard Council,” Sturtagaard said. His voice remained steady and calm with resignation.

“Who wants to overthrow the Council?” asked Cham, his hand still clutching the door.

“My employer. I’ve told you, I don’t know who he is. I always dealt with his associate. He’d show up, leave notes, or send others with messages. I’ve never contacted him.” He looked from one to the other, but they both remained stony and detached. “Come on, now. I can’t give you information I don’t have.” Sturtagaard was charming.

Annie rolled her eyes again. “You really don’t have any idea who the employer is?” she asked with sarcasm.

“Really, I don’t,” he said.

“So you’re building an army of the dead. How long did you have to get this done?” Annie took out her phone and pulled out her calendar.

“He wanted it ready for September first.”

Annie looked up with a grimace, and Cham looked surprised. She didn’t need to mark the date on her calendar or research its significance, though neither could figure out why a zombie army had to be created for that day, the Day of First Sun. It was a very powerful and ancient day for good magic.

“So, your employer wants an army of the dead on that day? Why?” Cham asked in a flat, emotionless voice.

“He’s a black wizard. What do you think he wants? He wants to overthrow the Council, take over the world, practice magic in the open. You know, the typical magical fantasy.” Sturtagaard grinned because he believed that would benefit the entire supernatural world.

“Wipe the smirk off your face, Sturtagaard. Having free reign won’t be as good as you think, with all the angry mobs, torches, and stakes through the heart.”

Annie smirked at Cham, who shook his head and laughed. He waited to compose himself before looking back at the vampire.

 

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Day of First Sun eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of The Day of First Sun for just 99 cents
  2. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event

Help my blog win:

The tour blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card. When you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to VOTE FOR ME.

About the book: A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Who are the real heroes of today? I found myself trying to answer this questions after noticing how often heroism is being mentioned in the media, either in books or movies. A couple of weeks ago, I went to see Chronicle, a movie about three friends who get super powers after they discover some kind of crystals underground. Instead of fighting evil and dedicating their powers for greater good, the teenagers use their powers to play pranks, have fun and gain popularity. I found the movie to be realistic because, although we might want to believe otherwise, most teenagers will not fight evil.

*Spoiler Alert*

Now, picture this: you’re verbally and physically abused by your father, a person you used to look up to, your mother is dying and you barely have money to get her the medication. That’s as bad as it gets, right? Well, think again! You’re also bullied and have no friends. The only person that you talk to is your cousin, who barely tolerates you. That’s the life of one of the characters, Andrew. Andrew gains two friends after they stumble upon the crystals, he finally gets a glimpse of how a teenager should really live. Andrew soon finds out that even if he thought it would last, the moment would pass; things soon take a turn to the worse and one of them end up dead. Andrew crawls back into his isolated life, getting increasingly angry at society and the world. The day Andrew has to steal money to get his mother her medication and have her die anyways marks his breaking point. Andrew sets off to take his revenge, sabotaging the city and possibly killing innocent by-passers.

Andrew’s revenge is what got me thinking; can we really see him as a villain? Things aren’t just black and white when it comes to this case. Does the abuse and ignorance justify Andrew’s actions? Does he deserve it all? I felt sympathetic towards him and thought that everything could have been prevented if people paid attention to the needs of a mentally conflicted teenager. Andrew was a victim of society and in my opinion, he can be considered a hero for staying strong, although he broke towards the end.

The movie’s tag-line also caught my attention: “Not all heroes are super”. This struck me as odd since the movie apparently shows that not all people with super powers are heroes, but it depends on your definition of hero. Most people would probably believe Andrew is as far from a hero as can be, so he is super but not necessarily a hero. So, it seems that the tag-line is reversed, it should probably be “Not all supers are heroes”, right?

Has any of you watched the movie? If so, what did you think of it? I personally loved it; I would give it a 4 out of five. Who do you think are the real heroes of today? John Green reveals an interesting idea in his new book, The Fault in our Stars; “The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention.”. You can always count on John Green to come up with thoughtful ideas that leave you with your mouth hanging open! Although his idea baffled me at first, I found myself agreeing with him; acts don’t really matter unless they benefit people and in order to do what’s good for the universe, you need to notice what the universe needs. So, tell me what you think.

DFTBA,

                    YouTube artist Alex Day released the music video of his new single ‘Lady Godiva’ today. Alex’s last single, ‘Forever Yours’, was a huge success in the viral world and was number 4 in the UK’s Christmas music charts. I have been looking forward to hearing Alex’s new song, and, to be honest, it’s just PURE AWESOME!

DFTBA,

Hello all 🙂 Guest blogger Becky here. I hope you’ve all been good. This month I am pleased to be presenting to you a review of the film Hanna, directed by Joe Wright, rated 12 (although I have to say, a chilling 12).

Plot
At the beginning of the film we are introduced to Hanna, (Saoirse Ronan) a young girl living in the wilderness with her father (Eric Bana). Since a young age she has been trained and conditioned to be an assassin; with one target it mind (Cate Blanchett). Because of this, she has no contact with the outside world, and therefore cannot comprehend simple everyday things that we take for granted such as music. Her only source of media is the book of Grimm Fairytales. Her father continues to test her until one day she insists she is ready. So the plan is set in motion, and Hanna is released into the outside world with nothing but her training and a few memorized back stories to guide her. While being pursued and trying to carry out her mission, Hanna begins to discover the wonders of the outside world, tagging along with a holidaying British family. It is not long before she begins to question all that she has been taught, and whether her mission is really worth it.

The Verdict
When the film first started I wasn’t too sure what to make of it. The whole premise seemed quite strange; a 16 year old assassin. Not something you come across everyday. The pace started off very slowly with Hanna being trained in the woods by her father, however, this is one of those stories that the longer you watch it the more the plot is unraveled, and it slowly gains in both pace and intensity. Before you know it you’ll be grabbing the edge of your seat, desperate to see what happens next.
The cinematography in this film is fantastic! It ranges from extremely long and complex tracking shots in which the character weaves in and out of other actions going on in the scene, to extreme close-ups that help create both an intimate and unsettling feel. It also makes use of one of my personal favorites, lens flare. There are some stunning scenes using this when Hanna and the British family are travelling in the caravan. Hanna also uses the perfect combination of awkward, and unusual angles to make the audience aware something is not quite right, but not to excess so that it becomes annoying.


The acting is also to a very high standard, but with a cast this great, I wouldn’t expect anything less. Saoirse Ronan (also known for her roles in Pride & Prejudice, The Lovely Bones, and the upcoming release The Host) gives a beautiful and realistic performance as always. In the film she was required to take on reasonably thick accent, and it looks effortless and totally natural. Her portrayal of Hanna’s innocence and confusion is also very believable. Her co-star Cate Blanchett (known for roles in The Lord of the Rings, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Elizabeth) is equally excellent, and pulls off the creepy and disconcerting role of Marissa really well.
The character development however, I feel is the strongest element in this film. On the one hand you have this vicious, lethal, girl trained to kill, but on the other hand you have this childish innocence and naivety that makes for a really intriguing and compelling character. I especially loved the element of ‘girl power’. It was so refreshing to see a female taking the upper hand, and in a way that was actually believable. The fact that the ‘villain’ of the film is also female, reinforces the fact that this is a very ‘girl power’ oriented film.

Overall I would say this is a very solid, and well rounded movie and I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys thrillers and conspiracy theories that is a mature 12 or upwards.

My Rating: 4/5

Please feel free to leave a comment below if you wish to discuss the film, want to know more about it, or even just want to stop by and say hi 🙂

You can watch the trailer for Hanna below:

So, see ya next month! 🙂

– Becky (Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic)