***The Tales Compendium blog is currently on hiatus. However you can still following along via the Instagram feed!***

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan

Title: How They Met, and Other Stories
Author: David Levithan

Release Date: 8th January 2008 (first published), Republished 29th January 2014 in Australia by Text

My Rating: 3/5

Here are 18 stories, all about love, all kinds of love. From the aching for the one you pine for, to standing up and speaking up for the one you love, to pure joy and happiness, these love stories run the gamut of that emotion that at some point has turned every one of us inside out and upside down.

What is love? With this original story collection, David Levithan proves that love is a many splendored thing, a varied, complicated, addictive, wonderful thing.

In A Nutshell:
This collection won't be for everyone. I admit I didn't like some of the stories at all, but there were others that I found I was able to relate to, go 'awww' at, or see the power and beauty of love at its best.

My Review:
How They Met and Other Stories is a collection of short stories by one of my favourite writers David Levithan. The stories are about just what the title suggests. They cover the joy, heartache, excitement, pain, butterflies, surprise, emptiness and thrills of loving and losing, first love, coming out, secret liaisons, hope and turmoil of unrequited feelings.

Featuring stories mostly set during the teenage years, they look at relationships between the gay and the straight that have begun through fate, coincidence, convenience, setups, trickery, common ground and/or instant attraction.

My favourites stories would be Starbucks Boy, The Number of People Who Meet on Airplanes (Levithan fans, this is where the infamous lime-green couch makes an appearance), Princes and What a Song Can Do.

This collection won't be for everyone. I admit I didn't like some of the stories at all, but there were others that I found I was able to relate to, go 'awww' at or see the power and beauty of love at its best.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Two Year Blogoversary Giveaway!

So apparently I missed my two year blogoversary back on January 23rd. Oops!
But, to celebrate, I'm doing a giveaway!

So, what do you win? I'm giving away 8 different books. There will be six Australian winners and two international winners. You must be a follower of The Tales Compendium to enter. The lucky people will be drawn on March 20th.

The books are:

To enter, fill out this form.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Every You, Every Me by David Levithan

Title: Every You, Every Me
Author: David Levithan
Photographer: Jonathan Farmer

Release Date: 13th September 2011

My Rating: 4/5

In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he's been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence.

And as crazy as it sounds, Evan's starting to believe it's Ariel that's behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself.

Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.

In A Nutshell:
This is the kind of book you will want to read in one sitting.

My Review:
Every You, Every Me is a psychological thriller for the young adult market. It is a relatively quick read that keeps you turning the pages until you reach the end; the kind of book you will want to read in one sitting until the mystery is solved.

You know one me.
Just like I know one you.
But you can’t know every me.
And I can’t know every you.

Poor Evan. He is drowning in misery, mentally torturing himself for the guilt he feels for his part in the reason Ariel is no longer with him. This reason, and what has happened to Ariel, is not revealed until the end of the story.

My voice is blind, my hearing is mute, my sight is deaf. Art is science, mathematics is conversation, and music is something that bleeds.

Just like Evan, we too are kept on edge as a mysterious person psychologically torments Evan with photographs of himself, where he has been, and of Ariel. Who is this cruel person? How could Evan and Ariel’s ex-boyfriend Jack not know about someone else in her life? As Evan discovers these photographs, he begins to unravel and is forced to participate in this macabre ‘treasure hunt’ in order to find out who this callous person trying to make him suffer is.

This is the thing they don’t tell you about being a third wheel – it’s not like you’re the wheel that is added on. You were one of the original two wheels, but suddenly you’re not so important anymore. The relationship drives fine without you.

Every You, Every Me is written from Evan’s perspective, as if he is talking or writing to Ariel. Ariel is always his audience and he is constantly editing himself, his thoughts, something the reader witnesses the entire way through the book. This was only sometimes annoying. For example:

It was your birthday. The first one after you left vanished were gone.
When I woke up, I dreamed thought about other birthdays. Ones where we’d been together.
Like two years ago. Freshman year. When I’d had you all to myself.

This is the 6th book I have read by David Levithan. Obviously, as a thriller, it’s very different to the other stories he has written, but I still enjoyed it and would recommend it to those who like this genre (as I do).

Little Well-known Facts
The title comes from the Placebo song, Every You Every Me.

This novel was a joint project between David Levithan and Jonathan Farmer. Farmer would give Levithan a photograph who would then write part of the novel incorporating the photo. When Levithan needed the next photo, Farmer would give him one. This is how the whole book was written. Levithan never knew what image he would be given next, and Farmer didn’t read anything until the first draft was complete.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Steal My Heart On Valentine's Day

In honour of Valentine's Day today, I thought I would share my top 5 book crushes with you. These boys are super swoon-worthy and are totally after my own heart.

Owen - Just Listen
Owen is a dark and mysterious outsider with a crazy obsession with music. He is so sweet and honest. He believes in honesty above anything else, except music. I love his "placeholder" way of thinking and I want him to make me mixed CDs so I can listen to them all day long.

"silence is so freaking loud"

Adam - If I Stay + Where She Went

Adam is just so wounded. Heartbroken. Lost. Sad. I just want to wrap my arms around him and never let go. And oh how I fall for musicians! I want to wander the streets of NYC, discovering quirky little places together and for him to write me songs.

"You don't share me. You own me"

Jake - Saving June
Jake is annoying, sweet, opinionated, considerate, music obsessed and totally swoon-worthy. He may present the bad-boy image but he’s not all that he seems and I totally wish he would make ME a mixed CD.

“Everything on the radio is crap...It's fast food for your ears. It doesn't make you think. It isn't even about anything - not anything real. Don't you think music should say something?”

Cricket - Lola and the Boy Next Door
Quiet, Nerdy. Quirky. Oh so sweet and in love with the girl next door. *sigh*

“And if I'm the stars, Cricket Bell is entire galaxies.”

Dave - A Little Wanting Song
Dave is caring and loyal and he gets so nervous when he likes someone. He's so sweet but scared of being rejected. Little does he need to worry; he will never get rejected. If there are boys like Dave in country Australia, it doesn't matter that I'm a city girl, sign me up!

“People keep calling it an accident. That snake bit me on purpose. I've named it Sneaky. Sneaky had it all planned. I saw its face.”

Who are your favourite YA book boys?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt

Title: Sean Griswold's Head
Author: Lindsey Leavitt

Release Date: 1st January 2012

My Rating: 3/5

According to her guidance counsellor, fifteen-year-old Payton Gritas needs a focus object-an item to concentrate her emotions on. It's supposed to be something inanimate, but Payton decides to use the thing she stares at during class: Sean Griswold's head. They've been linked since third grade (Griswold-Gritas-it's an alphabetical order thing), but she's never really known him.

The focus object is intended to help Payton deal with her father's newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis. And it's working. With the help of her boy-crazy best friend Jac, Payton starts stalking-er, focusing on-Sean Griswold . . . all of him! He's cute, he shares her Seinfeld obsession (nobody else gets it!) and he may have a secret or two of his own.

In A Nutshell:
Sean Griswold’s Head, is an angst-y teen story about a girl who is scared of the unknown that an illness can bring to a family. It is something that would appeal to the younger YA market.

My Review:
Sean Griswold’s Head is the story of Payton Gritas, an intelligent, yet awkward and randomly funny, teenage girl who finds out by accident that her dad is suffering from multiple sclerosis. Rather than be upset about her dad’s disease, she is angry and hurt when she discovers she was the only one in the family who hadn’t been told. Payton spends her time giving her family the silent treatment and when she does decide to talk to them, she is insolent and rude.

As a character she whines a lot and is viewed as selfish by those around her. But what the story really comes down to is that she is just a girl who is struggling to come to terms with the fact her strong, capable father will not always be that way and this is something she is too scared to face.

At her parent’s request, Payton starts seeing the school counsellor as the normally high achieving student becomes distracted and unfocussed. The guidance counsellor (who appears to need her own counsellor) gives Payton a focusing exercise that should have been fairly simple. Yet Payton turns it into something else, which is where Sean Griswold comes into the picture (he is so sweet and will have you going ‘awwww’ multiple times) and ends up being what Payton needed in the beginning (aside from a good kick up the bum for the way she treats her poor parents!).

Sean Griswold’s Head, is an angst-y teen story about a girl who is scared of the unknown that an illness can bring to a family. It is something that would appeal to the younger YA market and for fans of Little Sister, Have You Seen Ally Queen and/or Geek Girl.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Beautiful Creatures Casting News

As many of you may know, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is being made into a movie and the actors for the roles of Ethan, Lena and Amma have recently been announced.

Read my book review here.

For the characters of Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes, relatively unknown actors have been chosen.

English actor Jack O'Connell, 21, is best known for his role in Skins. Alice Englert, originally from New Zealand, is 17 and has a number of films in production.

For the role of Amma, 2012 Oscar Nominee Viola Davis has, in my opinion, been perfectly cast.

Filming in New Orleans begins in April.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Perth Writers Festival Program 2012

It's that time of year again, the Perth Writers Festival, part of the Perth International Arts Festival, is back in town. This year, there are a couple of YA authors, among many others, descending on The University of Western Australia.

The Writers Festival takes place across the last weekend of February, Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th.

Some of the events you may be interested in are:

Publishing Seminar: The Whole Shebang
Guest speakers include industry professionals; editors, publishers, publicists and legal representatives
Thursday 23rd Feb 2012

It's All Speculation
Guest speakers Carole Wilkinson, Lara Morgan and Lauren Beukes
Friday 24th Feb 2012

Blogging the Revolution
Guest speakers Marieke Hardy, John Birmingham and Paul French
Friday 24th Feb 2012
Tickets $22

Writing For Young People
Speaker AJ Betts
Saturday 25th Feb 2012

Tapping Into The Zeitgeist
Guest speakers Chetan Bhagat, David Levithan, James Roy and AJ Betts
Saturday 25th Feb 2012

Creating the Extraordinary from the Ordinary
Speaker Lara Morgan
Sunday 26th Feb 2012

Want to Write Like A Pro?
Guest Speaker James Roy
Sunday 26th Feb 2012

David Levithan, AJ Betts, Lara Morgan

There are many more events for all ages over the weekend. Follow this link to the Writers Festival webpage where you can browse the online program, download a PDF or request a hard-copy.

Tickets can be bought from the PWF website now or from the Octagon Theatre at UWA (24th/25th/26th Feb only). Slightly cheaper prices are available for students.

I've got my tickets, go get yours!

**I will also take this moment to voice my sheer frustration/annoyance that David Levithan is only scheduled to do one talk (a combined talk might I add) the whole time he is in Perth! A writer this awesome should be the highlight of festival! If anyone hears of any other events while he is in Perth, please let me know!
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