Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green by Helen Phillips

Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green by Helen Phillips
Published: November 13th, 2012 (Delacorte)
Pages: 304
Source: for review
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2012
Series: none
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Mad's dad is the Bird Guy. He'll go anywhere to study birds. So when he's offered a bird-tracking job in Central America, his bags are packed and he's jungle bound.

But going bird tracking in the jungle and disappearing completely are very different things, and when the Very Strange and Incredibly Creepy Letter arrives, Mad can't shake the terrible feeling that her father is in trouble.

Roo, Mad's younger sister, is convinced that the letter is a coded message. And their mom is worried, because the letter doesn't sound like Dad at all. But Mad is sure it's a sign of something sinister.

The only way to get to the bottom of it is to go to Lava Bird Volcano and find their dad themselves. Though they never could have imagined what they're about to discover.

The synopsis intrigued me and I was very excited to be able to read it months before the release. Here Where The Sunbeams Are Green is a joyful, lively tale of adventure and discovery. Rich with imagination, it’s sure to enthrall young readers and draw them into the place where the sunbeams are green.

Sisters Mad and Roo get on a plane with their mom to go and visit their father, who is studying a species of nearly extinct birds in the middle of a rain forest. Mad and Roo have a feeling that something more is going on since their father is acting Very Strange, writing Very Strange and Incredibly Creepy Letters and not sounding like himself at all. When they arrive at the island, everything slowly unfolds. The two sisters take on the task of unraveling what is going on and try to bring their family back together. Along the way they make some unexpected friends, see some unexpected creatures and plants and feel a bit bedazzled by the beauty and power of the rain forest. They are quickly drawn into the middle of the plot their father is in and have to find a way out..

This is one of those brilliantly built up tales that didn’t really work for me. While the writing was lovely, the storyline very imaginative and the feeling around the story great, it just didn’t connect with me the way I wanted it to. There were some moments that I absolutely adored, but there were also moments that I would want to skip over to get to the next part. I can’t really put my finger on it what that is exactly, but for me, it wasn’t the amazing tale I was hoping it to be.

Having said that, the whole ambiance in this story is brilliant. I loved the magical feel of the story, the way the Lava Bird Volcano was worked into the story and how everything worked together to create the plot. It’s a story of discovery, both for the girls themselves as for the discovery of what is going on and what is in this strange forest, and I’m sure this story will appeal to both boys and girls.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

It's almost time for NaNo again! Last year was the first year I won NaNo, and hopefully I'll be able to do that again this year :)

In case you don't know what NaNoWriMo is, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and the goal is to write as much as you possibly can. You can 'win' NaNo by writing 50,000 words or more in the month of November - yes, that many words in one month! It sounds crazy, and it is, just a tiny bit.

This is what NaNo says about its rules:
The rules state that, to be an official NaNoWriMo winner, you must…
  • Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.
  • Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people’s works).
  • Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you’re writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!
  • Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.
  • Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.
  • Upload your novel for word-count validation to our site between November 25 and November 30.
For me personally, November means writing, writing, eating a ton of M&Ms (preferably crispies), write some more, spend hours on wikipedia, write, procrastinate by watching TV series with hot guys, try to get some sleep, write, celebrate my sister's birthday, try to compensate that lost time by writing until way after midnight and eating all of the chocolate I can find. This year though, I'm trying to juggle my full-time job in between and I'm also running some side projects that require my attention, so I think it's fair to say that November will be a fairly busy month. Just a bit.

I'm not entirely sure if I'll be working on a completely new novel or if I'm going to write the follow-up on last year's NaNo novel, but I still have almost two weeks to figure that out.

Are any of you participating in NaNo this year? If so, what's your goal? Already have a story in mind? TELL ME EVERYTHING.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's been a while..

So you may have noticed that my blog has been empty of new posts in the past couple of weeks. It appears there's been a problem with the posts I prepared to go up while I was in London and those posts have disappeared. And silly me, I didn't make a backup of those posts, so I'll have to re-write them :(

I only noticed this this week, so that's why there hasn't been any new content on the blog for several weeks. I'M SO SORRY. I hate to see my blog empty of new posts. It'll stay this way for at least a couple more days because I need time to write them, so please bear with me for a bit. I'm working on it, promise! It's just that I don't have so much free time anymore now that I've got a job and several side projects running.

But I'll be back! And so will the blog posts. I hope you have a little patience left :)

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