Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Age of Miracles Review

‘The Age of Miracles’ Review
By Karen Thompson Walker

This book I chose because the synopsis on the back really caught my attention. It intrigued and interested me as I had not read anything similar before. The concept of time slowing yet still living on was definitely new to me and very interesting. I was excited to see how the story would develop and see how the author went to town on the endless potential it held.

Writing from the perspective of 11-yr old Julia, gave the story a perspective unlike most novels I've read. I believe this enhanced the story in some ways. It allowed the writer to explore different avenues and reactions not typical in such circumstances. Children are not affected in ways which adults can often be and react only in accordance. Julia certainly did not break this trend. She still had her crush, she still loved and cared about her parents, even her piano teacher, despite the possible apocalypse on earth.

I do think though that this held the story back in places. The friendship between Julia and Seth was expected. Their tragedy, predictable. The characters I found most enjoyable were Julia’s grandfather Gene, and Sylvia. I loved Gene's loyalty love and hope for Julia. He was wearing his best as he placed the last of all her favorite things in the bunker before he slipped form the ladder. Sylvia also showed strength of character. She persisted to remain free-spirited was unperturbed by the other residents. This was dashed when she didn't realise her bird was dead though!

The book started off well, I liked how it got straight into it. I enjoyed the turn of events that followed as the slowing persisted. Some of the things KTW created were well thought of and well delivered. I especially liked the effects of the shift in the magnetic field, and the subsequent radiation.
I could imagine the scientists pouring over endless books, glasses on, bad hair, empty coffee cups strewn all over. Trying to figure out something that has never happened or been recorded in the history of man. I was however disappointed come the end of the book when there were still no answers. I believe this could have worked if there were abit more substance to the book.  The last chapter, years later, where the situation still was still as unclear as the stolen shopping trolley at the bottom of Pudsey Park pond. Despite such a story-line that allowed for endless writing freedom and creativity, the ending went back to long-lost relationships re-united on Jeremy Kyle, blah blah blah!

This book wasn't all disappointment though. There were several parts I enjoyed reading.

There were only a few quotes I feel I would like to share with you though:

“The only thing you have to do in this life is die...everything else is a choice.” I heard this for the first time form my ex. Full of phrases and sayings.

“We dipped our fingers in the wet cement, and we wrote the truest, simplest things we knew - our names, the date, and these words: We were here.”

Overall, I was not particularly satisfied with this book having finished it. I thought the events occurring were imaginative and interesting and it was a brilliant concept to explore. BUT… and there’s always a but, I do not think the story was as creative as it could be and the concepts weren't fully explored. I also felt the relationships within the book weren't explored to their full potential. I was left disappointed by several aspects of the book and I definitely felt unsatisfied by the end. This was a simple read with a story that could have been excellent, however it delivered distinct lack of imagination and eccentric creativity. 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

This is How it Ends. Claire Bear's First Book Review

This is how it ends” Review
Kathleen MacMahon

Addie, Bruno, Lola. Della, Simon and the kids. Hugh. The author of This is How it EndsKathleen MacMahon, has created a wonderful story with these characters which was truly tragic yet heart-warming and endearingI’ll not bore you with a synopsis for two reasons; A – you can go read this anywhere, whether it be the back of the book or online for a more thorough account of what happens and; B – because I hate it when people devour the entire book in a way which often destroys the magic of reading the story yourself. Anyway, I became engaged with these characters right from the offsetAs Addie’s story developed, I truly felt for her. MacMahons fantastic ability to detail a situation so clearly, yet keep the specifics from the reader captured and held my interest throughout the book.

Whilst reading, I was worried in which way MacMahon would take the story. I was not much interested in Bruno’s focus yet could see so much potential for Addie’s story. I was very pleased to discover the way in which the story was steered and in which Bruno ended up as part of the family; the thing he was actually looking for all along.

I very much enjoyed the way specific details were kept from the reader until the point in which they would make the biggest impactIt was easy for the reader to rely on their imagination to understand. The baby. The test. The devastation that he never loved her. All this came gradually, yet the impact was not lessened when the details were revealed.

Another instance of this writing style was when Addie was diagnosed. It took a further two chapters specifically state Addie’s condition. As a reader, I understood the weight and seriousness at the first mention. It was a life and death situation. I think the big ‘C’ came to all our minds hereThe way in which MacMahon constructed these chapters really gripped me and I was unable to put the book down. Without having conformation of what I thought was Addie’s diagnosis, I had to keep reading. I had to knowThis style captured my interest with many aspects throughout the story. The language and writing style reflected the story-line perfectlyEspecially how the language developed towards the end. Shorter sentences, simpler language. Not only did this mirror this progress of the story, but complemented it and really brought home what was happening.

As I said earlier, I did not like Bruno’s story and was worried that I might not enjoy the book if this turned out to be the main focus. I was therefore very glad to see his family tree hunt became less important as his relationship developed with Addie. By the end of the book I was in love with their relationshipI still thought it was wired they were second cousins though.

The character in which I really adored and admired was Della. I loved her presence. She has four little tear-away children and they run the house! It’s clear that Della puts her all into her family.
 It’s understandable that she sometimes envy’s Addie’s freedom and lifestyle. “I love to have people around me”, yet,It’s hell. But it’s an investment in the future, you have to believe it will be worth it in the years to come.” I love the attitude she has to her life, the way she makes it her own.” “It was Della who answered the door. She was wearing a black sequined dress that hardly covered her knickers. Black tights,black stiletto heels…her dress was so tight on her that she was having some difficulty getting down. She hitched the skirt up over her hips and hopped off the chair… Della shimmied the dress back down and climbed in to her shoes again.” I love a woman who can do things, even more-so a sexy woman who can do things! 

It’s clear that she’s over-worked, under-praised and under-appreciated, but she gives it her own and her attitude towards life is admirableAnother classic moment for me was when Della’s girls practiced a fire-drill out the window with bed-sheets tied together. I couldn't stop laughing at this!

The presence of Hugh brought in the other side of family-life. He really tied Addie and Della together as sisters. We've all talked about our parents in the way they discussed and dealt with Hugh. A true pain in the arse, but a pain in the arse you love. It was easy to begrudge Hugh for being such a stubborn old man! He failed to tell his daughters many things they needed and deserved.I felt for him when the slow realisation of all his emotions caught up with him, but still could not forgive him as he still would not let his pride go. “And yet, despite all his flaws…there was something heroic about Hugh.”

Addie and Bruno’s love story really was endearing, touching and blossomed well considering the circumstances. Yet I found myself just as, if not more attached to Della and her life within the story. Maybe I have seen someone in which I would like to see myself as in the future? I have to say however, I loved who Addie became on her remaining few healthy days. The wedding, the honeymoon, her carpe diem outlook. She made each and every moment as special as it possibly could beI truly admired her at this stage.

Addie’s ending had me in tears. I couldn't help it, lying on a sun-lounger on a beautiful Greek island with an iced coffee in hand, I was sobbing my eyes out. I’m just glad I had my big shades on! This was tragic, touching and beautiful at the same time. It ended with everyone together as a family. What really added to my distress was the blissfulness that although Lola was no longer there, Addie, in her haven, felt her there in her final moments and everything was perfect.

Having been to Ireland several times myself (not as a tourist either), I could really set the scenes in this book. The mannerisms and characteristics of the various characters had me smiling inside. The language used brought this smile out. I have many happy memories of Ireland and I will miss it dearly.  

This was a good and easy read and I would recommend it to allI really found this a unique and enjoyable reading experience which really touched me.

Here are a few quotes that I really liked:

“Often wrong, seldom in doubt” Simon said (about Della). 

“That kiss could have only have lasted a few seconds. But for Bruno it would be frozen in time. He would carry that kiss with him always.” 

“Oh, you always feel better with the lipstick on… It never fails.” The old ladies in the changing rooms.

“Della and Simon slow-dance in the kitchen late at night when the kids have gone to bed. She knows they have sex on the kitchen table after their dinner guests have gone home.”

“I always wait a while before I open a parcel. Once you open it, the magic is gone.” This is very true.

“It was as if they had met in the transit lounge of an airport. Each of them caught between two worlds, they were just sharing this moment in time.”

A little Hello from Claire Bear

Well Hello!

Zuzana has asked me to write a little piece about myself to introduce me to the blog.
I've never been particularly good at broadcasting myself in a spotlight. It’s quite odd really, I tend to freeze and go quite shy when people ask me about myself. I never really know what to say. This is probably why I suck at interviews. Yet out of the spotlight I tend to be quite confident and warm to situations very easily. I love to meet new people and do new things!

I think if people want to know about me, the people to ask are my friends. I believe a good friend can paint the best picture of a person. They acknowledge and appreciate all aspects of us. They recognize our strengths and weaknesses much better than ourselves. Mine would probably also tell a fair few amusing stories! My mum always said, ‘If you’re going to do something, do it properly!’

So this is me:

If I had to describe myself in a few sentences, these would be:

1 - Im a relaxed and open-minded person and love the simple things in life.

"This is not magic. This is the way the world is, only very few people take the time to stop and note it. Look around you,"

2 - I can tend to look at things too seriously sometimes and forget im 23.

3 - I love my family and my friends (and chocolate, and bread, and cocktails, and music, and…)

Anyway! I would like to take this opportunity to say how delighted I am to be invited as a Guest Author! to A Secret Reading Garden. Zuzana is one of the most fabulous people I know and to be able to write along side her is a pleasure and a privilege.
I met Zuze two years ago now when I moved in to our lovely little house.  She was so bright and lovely and with our love of food and cakes, we hit it off instantly (not in a pervy way for all you pervy guys out there!). We plan to travel the world together and already have Brighton, Paris and Corfu ticked off the list!


My posts for all you lovely readers will mostly be book reviews. I love to read and once I find a good book, I asylum myself to my room until its done!

I find writing about a finished book/series is like framing and hanging a picture. On that little piece of paper, you have all the memories of the entire experience, the good, the bad and everything else in between. It allows these moments to stay with you for a long long time. The bit I enjoy the most about a book, is going back and re-reading the parts which really touched me. Text where you have to physically take a break from the book to handle the impact those words have just had on you.

One of my favorite quotes from Erin Morgenstern’s Night circus reads:

“It is important…Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and ever ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. There are many kinds of magic, after all

I hope you enjoy reading what I write. I have the my first ever one nearly ready for you all. 

Claire :-)

Monday, 29 July 2013

Song of the week

This song of the week is an old one. Well not that old but I only discovered it 2 nights ago thanks to my sweet housemate Heidi. She was playing it while getting ready to go out and I immediately fell in love with the voice, melody and lyrics. Let's hope Dandy won't rip it to pieces as I really love this song. 


You can find this song on his album which was released back in March 2011 - EARLY IN THE MORNING. I have, obviously, purchased the deluxe version on iTunes for £4.99. Grab yourself a bargain and get it. 

You can check out his official website : or follow him on twitter    (@jamesvmcmorrow) or check out his facebook page ( ), it's up to you. I hope you enjoy his music as much as I do. 

Happy listening lovelies xXx

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Hello my lovely readers!

I have a great, actually fantastic news for you! We are expanding our little family of guest authors.. I have recently told you about Andy, very kind and talented friend of mine, who decided to start writing for us his rants on movies he has seen. I know I promised you this quite while ago, but nothing has happened just yet. Don't worry, the plan is still going ahead. Andy will be mostly our film critic as he knows so much about them and he loves watching them and even more criticising them.  But he is also a pedant. So it takes him a while to put his masterpiece together but at the end it will be worth it.. you are in for a treat with Andy's sarcastic reviews of movies. And I know for a fact that there is one coming up very shortly. So keep an eye for it. 

My amazing sarcastic friend Andy "Dandy" Lofthouse x

But my new surprise is that my gorgeous housemate Claire has finally given in and decided to join our little family here in Secret Reading Garden. She will become our second guest author. I am very excited about seeing this blog expanding. Claire is not only very beautiful, but she is very smart and funny too, so you can expect some great posts from her. I think her main subject will be books, but I am sure she will share with us some love for crafts, music and movies as well. 

"Every Brunette needs a Blond Best Friend!" Beautiful Claire A. x

So let's all give her a great welcome. She is currently already writing a post for you, I'll make sure to let her know to write a little post about herself too so you can get to know her a little. 

I am very proud with the way our Secret Reading Garden is developing. To think that I only started last year and we already accomplished so much... I posted over 100 posts now and we slowly heading to 10000 page views - AMAZING!! I wanna thank to each and everyone of you for finding time to read my posts. I know that they aren't perfect, but HEY! who or what is?

We have a lot more prepared for you in the future and I hope you will enjoy the things we got in store for  you. Again, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your time and loyalty!

Cheers to the future and new adventures!!


Zuz xXx

JULY Book Bonanza

July is month of holiday. I, myself, went on two this year. A music calling to a slovakian music festival back in my home town and lovely sunny holiday with my bestie  in Corfu. But of course, as you all know me I had to purchase some books (because I have an obsession or maybe it's a problem - I don't know...) So here are the titles I bought in this gorgeous sun-filled month.


GOING VINTAGE by Lindsey Leavitt

Mallory loves her boyfriend and she's sure he loves her back. Until she accidentally logs on to his Authentic Life profile, that is.

He's been cheating on her... online!

Mallory's relationship is ruined and the internet is to blame.

And then Mallory finds a list, written by her grandma as a teenager. Things were so much simpler in the 1960s - it was all about sewing dresses and planning dinner parties.

Maybe it's time for Mallory to go vintage....


Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friend, the world of sex, drugs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can't stay on th sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers and unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

I do own this book as an E-book, but you all know that this is my #1 book which changed my life and therefore it came to me only naturally to buy the paperback copy as well so I can share it with my friends. I love love this book and would recommend to anyone to read it. It taught me a new perspective to how to live my life.


In ten powerful stories, Victoria Hislop takes us through the streets of Athens and into the tree-lined squares of Greek villages. As she brings to life their distinct atmosphere, she creates a host of unforgettable characters, from a lonesome priest to battling brothers, and from an unwanted stranger to a groom troubled by music and memory.

These bittersweet tales of love and loyalty, of separation and reconciliation, captured in Victoria Hislop's unique voice, will stay with you long after you reach the end.

THIS IS HOW IT ENDS by Kathleen MacMahon

This is when it begins: Autumn, 2008.

This is where it begins: The coast of Dublin.

This is why it begins:

Bruno, an American, has come to Ireland to search for his roots. Addie, an out-of-work architect, is recovering from heartbreak while taking care of her infirm father. When their world collide, they experience a connection unlike any they've previously felt, but soon their newfound love will be tested in ways they need imagined possible.

This is how it ends....

INFERNO by Dan Brown

'Seek and ye shall find.' With these words echoing in his head, eminent Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon awakes in a hospital be with no recollection of where he is or how he got there. Nor can he explain the origin of the macabre object that is found hidden in his belongings.

A treat to his life will propel him and a young doctor, Sienna Brooks, into a breakneck chase across the city of Florence. Only Langdon's knowledge of the hidden passageways and ancient secrets that lie behind its historic facade can save them from the clutches of their unknown pursuers.

With only few lines from Dante's dark and epic masterpiece, Inferno, to guide them, they must decipher a sequence of codes buried deep within some of the most celebrated artefacts of the Renaissance - sculptures, paintings, buildings - to find the answers to a puzzle which may, or may not, help them save the world from terrifying threat...

Set against an extraordinary landscape inspired by one of history's most ominous literary classics, Inferno is Dan Brown's most compelling and thought-provoking novel yet, a breathless race-against-time thriller that will grab you from page one and not let you go until you close the book.

I have already read 2 out of 5 of these books and currently in 1/3 of This is how it Ends. I am saving Inferno for last. I hope that I won't be disappointed like with the last of Dan Brown's book LOST SYMBOL. Fingers crossed lovelies and Happy Reading!!

DESPICABLE ME 2 directed by Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud

So, you all know I am a geek and a kid deep inside my heart. Yes, I do have a soul of a geeky kid. A geeky kid who enjoys superhero movies, Star Trek movies, cartoons and animated films. Even my favourite books are mostly fantasy orientated.

So it can't come to you as a surprise that the level of my excitement hit a sky heights when I found out last year that there will be a second instalment of my favourite, like absolutely favourite, animated movie DESPICABLE ME.  I think I actually jumped up and down my room when saw the first sneak preview. You see this movie is special to heart and soul. I can have a really crappy day and this movie guarantees to put a massive grin on my face. Them little yellow creatures have this special power to make me smiley no matter what! And not to mention the super cute Agnes. My heart melts every single time I see her. SERIOUS CUTENESS OVERLOAD!!

And my gorgeous housemate Claire is the same. So when the lovely people at Vue Cinemas decided to have an early showing of the sequel we were there. And what a great treat it was!!

I haven't laugh so much since seeing the first movie the last time. I absolutely loved it. I was a bit worried that it might be disappointing. The First Movie was fantastic. Hilarious. Genius. One in the billion! Can that make the next one as good? OH YES, THEY CAN.

Basically it starts with Gru being this stay-in-home father to his three girls. And he loves them so much. He loves spending time with them. And he is such a great father! On Agnes's birthday, when the paid fairy doesn't show up, he dresses up as one, so she isn't disappointed on her birthday. Sweet or what!!He put his villain's days behind and is making jelly.. although the products taste awful. Minions are now factory workers in his jelly producing company and the life is sweet. That's until anti-villain agency agent turns up and offers him a job. Gru should help them to catch a villain.. and somehow from our villain Gru is an agent capturing villains. Awesome.

The storyline is easy to follow. It's packed with jokes. Minions are hilarious as usual. They crack me up every single time. And this time they even sing.. Oh MY GOD... their take on the sloppy hit from 90's I SWEAR was incredible. I was in stitches!! I literately laughed so much that my belly ached.

Agnes is super cute as usual. I swear if you won't find her cute or if your heart doesn't melt every time you see her, you don't have a heart!!! And now that she has a loving father, she dreams of having a mum as well. Oh she is so sweet when she tried her speech for mother's day...

Gru and his accent are funny. Girls wants him to fall in love and register him for online dating which works out to be horrific experience but it helps him to realise that he is in love already.

Margot has a crush on a boy which Gru isn't prepared for and Edith wants to become a ninja.

We also meet the bad minions. Basically it's a version of our super cute hilarious minions in purple with   darkness in heart. Only Gru's non eatable jelly can turn them back.

All in love I have not found one thing wrong with this great movie and would recommend it to everyone who likes animated movies or had a shitty day and needs picking up. You will not regret it. It will leave you in stitches and you will quote quotes from it for weeks.


If you haven't had the chance to see it yet and you are not sure if you want, just watch the trailer below. It should show you how great this movie is.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Bazant Pohoda Music Festival : Day 2

So here is the second day. Friday. I have had the friday feeling, but then the rain came and Voila!!! I Couldn't get to the festival until 8pm, what a surprise! I was hoping that for my first festival, there will be no rain, but I was unlucky. Never mind. We got there at the end and were lucky enough to catch some great performances.


Django Django is the band I was most excited about. Since the first time I've heard their debut single Default I have been a massive fan. I have listen to their album hundreds of times. Actually this band was the deal breaker when I was deciding which festival I wanted to go to. And they tweeted me so we had an obvious winner! And I must say they have not disappointed me live either. It was the first time The Djangos played in Slovakia alone and they made sure that it was a fantastic show. We all danced and danced and I sung my heart out to every song. I have been so close to the stage as well. What an incredible gig it was. Absolutely mind-blowing, packed with energy from start right up until the end. They interacted with the crowd, they talked to them, danced, purely enjoyed themselves and that is what made their performance so great. Everyone there was happy, nearly ecstatic with what they witnessed. I will make sure that as soon as I find out about any other live gigs, I will be there to witness them do it again.


Another big name to play at this festival. I have been very interested in seeing this band as I heard of them before, but never listened to their music. So I made sure that I would be there to see their performance live. It was a lovely summer evening, so we sit on the grass, sipped hot chocolate and enjoyed the show. I must say, as a novice to their music, I was surprised to find out how chill out they are. It was lovely soft experimental rock music. A gig of the day - some people said. They even came back to do some more songs after their supposed time of finish. I have been very impressed with the singing of Thom Yorke. His voice touched my melancholic side right in the heart. And they made sure that everyone there had a great time and that was important. I left with a promise that I will make sure to learn more of their music.


This performer wasn't on my list of people I wanted to see, but I didn't mind that one little bit. It was a great chill out / soft rock music to end the evening with. I have been surprised how much I liked it. I just sat there on the grass, my gorgeous sister next to me and let the music to help us relax and just enjoy the soft tones of the guitar. Increadible.

My plan was to see BLOC PARTY, O CHILDREN, BABYLON CIRCUS, but the weather didn't permitted it. And I was supposed to end the evening in the dance tent with JUSTICE DJ SET, but thanks to Erol Alkan not showing up that did not happen. Otherwise a great day at the festival. We found this great food stall which made home-made crisps. We drunk lots of coffee. We sung. We danced. And we had lots and lots of fun.

Bazant Pohoda Music Festival : Day 1

Every year the little town I come from hosts a music festival BAZANT POHODA TRENCIN. It's one of the bigger festivals (if not the biggest!!) in Slovakia and Czech Republic. In the past the stage hosted big names like MOBY, GARBAGE, KLAXONS, ALOE BLAC, PRODIGY, ELBOW, KASABIAN, PORTISHEAD, THE XX, TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB, SCISSOR SISTERS, GOSSIP and many more... And every year I say I will go, but ended up only listening to it from my bedroom or watching the live stream on their official website. But this year was different. I actually took the things into my own hands and purchased two tickets for this amazing music event.

So I packed my little suitcase with festival outfits and essentials, got on a plane and made my way home  to see my family and dance my feet away. This year's festival took place between 11th - 13th July. So once I arrived, unpacked, had enough sleep and was ready to party with my little sister.

Late Thursday afternoon I put my well thought outfit on (actually I have decided the last minute as usual) and made my way to the place. You see, this festival is unusual in its own way. It takes place at the small local airport which has been used as an airport for years.

And of course I have to share my experience with you, my camera travelled with me and here are promised posts. I have decided to write about each day individually.

If I you find yourself interested in finding out more about this festival, maybe even get the experience first handed,  please visit the website : .

So here is my summary of the first day. There were a lot of artists I wanted to see, but at the end I made it to these five:


Polemic is a slovakian band who plays Ska music. I have seen them couple of times and always had a blast while listening to them and dancing my feet off, but unfortunately I must say I have not enjoyed it as much this time round. I think it's because that their old stuff is so much better than the new songs and their gigs usually have the same set list. So therefore we left as we couldn't be bothered to listened to the same again and went to scout the food stalls.


This was the first time this Leeds band performed at this festival. And they made it unforgettable! From the start to finish their performance was full of energy and everyone was on their feet and dancing. I have been fairly close to the stage and there was a lot of people, but we all move our bodies to the tunes of Ruby, I Predict A Riot, Everyday I Love You Less And Less, Modern Way, Oh My God, Going Home... I had so much fun and both me and my sister fell in love with the band's lead singer Ricky Wilson. At one point he actually climbed the wall and was singing from there. What a great great show filled with energy! All the way through they kept up with the high standards they set from the start.  It was my first time I have seen Kaiser Chiefs live, but definitely not my last one. I will make sure that I will go and see them in the future. I Would recommend to see them to everyone I know. What an amazing start to the festival.


Ok, this band supposed to be the headliner of the first day. So of course, everybody was excited to see them and me and my sister weren't an exception. But we were up for a big disappointment! These american musicians just walked on the stage and started to play. No introduction. No smiles. Actually they looked like they really don't want to be there. No interaction with the audience. Awful. I am not saying that they aren't great musicians. The opposite is the case! They played really well. They do know their instruments. But the show was boring. It lacked the energy which Kaiser Chiefs brought with them. So we left after 5 songs. And unfortunately we weren't the only ones. At the end, half of the crowd wondered away to find something which they would enjoy more. I was very disappointed with this performance and according to the reviews the next day, there was more of us. To be honest, it made me not want to see them again.


After very disappointing performance from Smashing Pumpkins we have decided to give it try on the dance stage and it was a great decision! We came just when Dre Skull started to play and we stayed there for 3 hours. DRE SKULL and DIPLO are both great DJs and we couldn't stop dancing to their take on the some great tracks. The tent got fuller and fuller and every person there was enjoying the great music. I haven't danced like that in ages. The room was filled with this great energy which took over us. It was incredible and I was sad to go home when Diplo finished his set. I must say, if you ever get the opportunity to see either of this two DJs live, please to me a favour and go see them. You will not regret it.

Fantastic first day! We got to see everyone we wanted. We danced our feet off, I am sure to have some blisters. We laughed and we got to listened to some good music.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Book I of The Infernal Devices: CLOCKWORK ANGEL by Cassandra Clare

CLOCKWORK ANGEL is a first book in the Infernal Devices series written by Cassandra Clare. I have purchased this whole series straight after I finished the Mortal Instruments, but waited for a little while before I have poured my heart and soul into reading this book.

Clockwork Angel sets the introduction to this series. We are meeting Tessa Gray who arrives in SouthHampton from New York. She follows  her brother Nate after the death of her beloved aunt. Nate moved to London quite while ago to pursue his luck here and when their aunt died, he asked Tessa to come and live with him in London. Unfortunately, to Tessa's surprised Nate isn't waiting for her at docks, instead he sends The Dark Sisters. Under the impression, that this is what Nate wants, Tessa joins the sisters for the journey to London. 

In another part of England, London to be precise, we're meeting two young Shadowhunters, Parabatai, Will Herodale and Jem Carstairs. They both chase a demon and kill him, but failed to prevent a murder of a young girl. Headstrong Will then decides to follow the investigation through. 

Six weeks later, Tessa is in an awful situation. Not only  she has been kidnapped by The Dark Sisters, but they also hold her brother as hostage in order to persuade her use her new found power. You see, Tessa isn't an ordinary human girl, she has actually a power she wasn't aware of. She can change to other people. Somehow the sisters knew about this and try to train her to develop this power. Otherwise they will kill Nate. Tessa finds out that this all is happening because she supposed to be a bride to the very mysterious MAGISTER. Tessa tries to escape unsuccessfully when she finds out this little bit of this information. She doesn't understand, how can she have this power? What is wrong with her? Why does the Magister want to marry her?

One day Will stumbles across the house where the sisters keeping Tessa. The investigation leads him there. He saves Tessa and brings her into the INSTITUTE where she meets Charlotte, the head of London Enclave and head of London Institute, Henry her husband and invetor. Jasmeena, a girl who hates the fact that she is a shadow hunter and all she wishes for is a human life. Sophie the maid, who looks after everyone. Will introduces Tessa to the Shadow World and they suggest that she might be a warlock. He gives her the Codex to read and learn about the Shadow World, she is now a part of. The first night in the Institute, Tessa wakes up to lovely sound of music. Someone is playing a violin. A it comes straight from the room across hers. And there she meets Jem. 

And love triangle slowly starts to take shape. The trio decides to investigate the strange Magister and what he wants from Tessa. Tessa and Will share couple of moments thanks to which she starts to develop feelings for him. But Will is crashing them down. Jem is the one who picks up the pieces. We also find out a little bit more of why the Magister wants Tessa. Apparently he created her? What the Hell? Tessa is so confused. The Magister, Mortmain, former Nate's employer attacks the Institute and tries to kidnap Tessa. We also find out that Nate, who the Shadow hunters risked their life to save, is on the plan with him. They are nearly successful but at the last minute, everything turns well to for our Shadow hunters and Tessa. Unfortunately, Nate and the Magister escape without really finding out why he wants Tessa and what he wants to achieve with all this. 

The book ends with with Tessa telling Will about her feelings which get crushed by him. He breaks her heart and again Jem is the one who picks up the pieces of her broken heart. But at the last minute we see Will entering the house and asking the help of Magnus Bane.

Oh how glad I was to be back in the Shadow world. I missed it so much. I must say I was worried that the books might be boring compare to the Mortal Instruments series and I also worried that Cassandra will fail to make these books interesting. The Mortal Instruments were excellent. Can her writing skills achieve the same with the Infernal Devices series? 

And yes, she has done it again. The story drew me in instantly, from the first page. The fact that we have been introduced to Tessa and the power she even didn't know she had, was the key point. And of course there is the famous love triangle.

We're meeting Tessa Gray, New Yorker, who just lost her aunt and who's brother has been kidnapped. Not only that, but she has this Shape-shifting power, she wasn't aware of. She is alone in a strange city and completely depends on the good will of the Shadow-hunters of the London Institute. But even then she keeps her spirit. She is strong. She loves books and she feels with her whole heart and soul. I see a lot of me in Tessa's character. It might be the love for books, I don't know, but I really like her. She has a lot of to deal with and she does it with dignity. 

And then we have these two young shadow-hunters, parabatai. Will Herondale who reminds me a lot of Jace. He is arrogant. Witty. Fearless. Headstrong. Doesn't listen to anybody. He loves books. He reads a lot and also has the great habit of quoting them. That's why he and Tessa have a connection straight away. Well and the fact that he saved her life. The only person Will listen to is Jem.

Jem Carstairs is an orphan, who's parents were killed by a demon. We also find out that this demon torture Jem by injecting him with a demon drug and Jem is now addicted to it and cannot live without it. The drug he needs to take, is slowly draining the life out of him. His destiny is to slowly die and therefore he lives in every moment. He hates that all people see is the dying boy. But he is the nicest person. He cares about everyone and he is the first person, Tessa tells about her feelings and worries. He is always reasonable and responsible but can laugh at a joke. I must say Jem is my favourite character (apart from Magnus Bane) and in this love triangle I am definitely #TEAMJEM . 

The only con about this love triangle is the fact that Cassandra seems to incline, straight from the start, that Will is the true love for Tessa. I am a little bit disappointed that the book is not much written from Jem's point of view.

But I absolutely love the fact that these books are prequel to the Mortal Instruments series so we find out more from the history of The Shadow World. We are also meeting Magnus Bane, my favourite character through both series. We start to understand a little more to the references which were mentioned in the Mortal Instruments series. I love how Cassie Clare inter-connected these books together. 

The writing is funny. There is so many witty conversations between Jem & Will and I cannot forget to mention the flirty exchange between Will & Tessa. She has an excellent way to manage him and his ever-changing moods. The story is interesting and keeps you on your toes. It's easy to follow but also draws you in  in the same time. You want to keep reading on. You want to find out what the Magister wants to do with Tessa. You want to find out who she will pick - Will or Jem. And of course it makes you read the second book as soon as you finished the first one. There is a lot of twist and turns I was not expecting but it makes is so much more interesting. 

I have really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any fan of the Mortal Instruments. Be aware, you will not be able to put it down. You will laugh. And you will cry. A lot. I went through whole range of emotions while reading this book. Which is a sign a very well written book.  Actually I did recommended it to my sister and she is hooked as well now. I would say though to wait a little after you finished the Mortal Instruments series so you can truly enjoy this one.

Another well done do Cassandra Clare. 

And here are some of my favourite quotes:

“It's all right to love someone who doesn't love you back, as long as they're worth you loving them. As long as they deserve it.” 

“Whatever you are physically...male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy--all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.” 

“Sometimes, when I have to do something I don't want to do, I pretend I'm a character from a book. It's easier to know what they would do.” 

“One must always be careful of books," said Tessa, "and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”