Friday, March 30, 2012

My Bloggiesta To Do List

Yay!! Finally the day is here! Unfortunately the post you see is scheduled because i'm going to, probably the only, Convention about comics in Greece. Of course i'm still in for the challenge, but now i have even less time than what i expected. Let's see if i can actually do this ^^

Here is what i hope to do in the weekend:
  • Update the index pages with January, February, March reviews
  • Update the social media icons
  • Clean my inbox and reply some emails
  • Write at least 10 reviews
  • Check the challenges of other people
  • Reply to any unanswered comment i have (i don't think there are any but you never know)
  • Decide what i will do with our memes (which have disappeared the last 3 months)
  • Put in order my ideas for a new meme i have in mind
Okay...i think i can do at least 5 of them for sure..i do hope to do everything though!

-Yiota *waves*
Check other blogs out which take part at Bloggiesta and maybe complete some of the mini challenges too! There will be tons of advices and tutorials on blogging stuff so take a look around.
Follow @bloggiesta and #bloggiesta to keep up with the conversations and you can still sign up!!
Twitter parties scheduled:  

Friday night at 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Eastern time (EDT)
Saturday afternoon at 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Eastern time (EDT)
Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern time (EDT)

Check our the Mini Challenge + Tutorial i have ready for you - How To Embed a Youtube Video..and size it for your blog.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: How to Embed a YouTube Video... and size it for your blog.

Hello everyone! Welcome to my Tutorial & Mini Challenge for Bloggiesta (learn more about Bloggiesta here ).

A problem which was noticed a lot in blogs (old and new) is that when they embed a Youtube video, it goes over their article size to the sidebars,etc. While it's something really easy and to do, many people it's understandable they don't know how to or where to search for the solution.

So today, i'm going to show you how to the whole "embed a youtube video right". There are many ways to do it because of the different platforms out there, so i'm going to divide into 2 sections:
1 - Embed a Youtube video, through Blogger editor
2 - Embed a Youtube via HTML

At the end of my post, it will be a Mini Challenge for everyone who want to try what i said over at the tutorial and me to check it out.

Click on the photos for HQ.

SECTION 1 - Embed a Youtube video, through Blogger Editor ( view result )

Blogger is divided in two parts: HTML and Compose. I'm going to show how to embed a Youtube video, via Compose in case you don't won't to bother with HTML.

Step 1: At the top of the editor (make sure the Compose tab is selected) there are icons which you probably already know such as Bold, Italic, Text Size, etc. You now, click the "movie" icon and wait for the window to pop up.

Step 2: At the left of the pop up window select "From Youtube". Search the video you want and click on it (if you want to preview it, click on play over the video) and then click "Select" at the bottom.

FINISH: Your are done. Blogger, fixes the size of the video so it doesn't go over your sidebars and put it at the center of your article.
Additional step: Let's say you are still not happy with the size of your video. How do you fix it? This time you click on the HTML tab and find the code of the video. There you are able to write your own numbers as width and height. You are done.

SECTION 2 - Embed a Youtube video via HTML (view result)

The HTML is the same for all the platforms wherever you are posting. I know many of you are a bit afraid to play with HTML but believe me when i say is extremely easy to embed a Youtube video and i will write it as simple as i can.

Step 1: Go at Youtube and find the video you want to embed. Click at "Share" under the video (next to the Add to Favorites). A small window will open under the tab with a link and two buttons "Embed" and "Email". Click Embed and more options will open exactly under it. Now you are able to see some options for your video.

To fix the size of your video you are either a)click on one of the fixed options (the little boxes that have numbers over them like 560x315)

or b) you fix your own size. At the box at the left write the width you want (most blogs have width smaller than 500 pixels) and youtube will auto fix the height.

Now select the little code above and copy it. (To make sure it's the right code you will see the numbers of the width and height somewhere in it)

Step 2: Now go back to your platform. Somewhere at your editor there is tab that says "HTML". Be sure to click on it before you continue. When you do that, find at which point of your article you want to put the video and when you do, right click and paste the code from before.

FINISH: You are done. If your video is still out of your post, it means you need to put a smaller width. Do the whole process from the start and try again.
Additional step: After this process you still want your video to be at the center of your post. How? Find the code of the video you pasted. Before it write <center> and after it write </center>. You are done.

-Wordpress editor (At least my version) doesn't have a quick movie icon like Blogger. So you will have to use the HTML version. Don't despair before trying it. It's easier than it looks.
-Always preview your posts before publishing.

Mini Challenge:
Create a post and embed a video from youtube and leave me the link to see it. Tell me which way you used.

+1 lvl of difficulty: Put 2 videos next to each other in a post instead. Leave the link for me to see it. (example at the end of this post)

Feel free to ask your questions at the comments, emails, twitter, facebook, tumblr...i check them constantly. And if you want help, in another matter than Youtube videos, you are more than welcome to ask :D

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Movie Review: J.Edgar

 As the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life. Under the direction of Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the title role of J. Edgar, a drama that explores the public and private life of one of the most powerful, controversial and enigmatic figures of the 20th century.

Released: 2011
Runtime: 130 mins
Rating: 2/5 stars
Buy: Amazon (UK) || Amazon (US)

Let's make it clear that i watched the movie for Leonardo Di Caprio. He is a great actor and i can't say i ever watched a movie with him, and dissapoint me. He usually pick good movies and this one had an interesting storyline from the trailer as well. (Sorry, but i had no idea who J.Edgar was before the movie)

I said at start the Di Caprio usually has good movies. Unfortunately, i really disliked this one. While the story and J.Edgat were indeed something interesting to know about i was entirely bored with it. The movie is less than two hours, and i did double the time to watch it because i was doing breaks all time. His ideas and story, are still in my mind. I got the feeling of the movie, but it was like one of those boring history lessons at school. I struggled throught it because it made me sleepy. It wasn't the fact that it was slow as a movie, but mostly that it was like watching chapters of someone's life. It was losing on the connection of each period for me.

And not only that, but the make up was bad. You see, you meet J.Edgar and everyone from their start of their carreers until they are old and die. The make up, to make them look old was fake. When they had scenes like that, i could only think how bad was it opposite other movies out there. It just seemed so fake. The point was to see them old, but i was only seeing them as people who were trying to look old. There was just something really wrong with it and i was spending more time on looking at their faces, than what they were really doing.

I don't know if it's possible to portray this person's life easier or better. King's Speech was a slow movie too, but i wasn't bored. Neither with Temple Grandin, which are two movies i have fresh in my mind. I just wish it was more alive. To feel more real.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

TV Series Review: House of Anubis (Season 2)

 House of Anubis is a British-American adaptation of the hit Belgian/Dutch teen mystery television series Het Huis Anubis, created by Studio 100 and Nickelodeon. The series follows a group of eight teenagers, who live together in Anubis House (named after the Egyptian god, Anubis), an early 1900s-era building that serves as a boarding house for an elite boarding school in the United Kingdom.

House of Anubis (Season 2)
Released: 2011-12
Runtime: 90 episodes/10 mins
Rating: 4/5 stars
Buy: Not Available Yet

I'm obsessed with House of Anubis. The summer of 2011 i came upon the series and i fall in love with them, so when Season 2 started i was watching daily without missing an episode.

In Season 2, the kids are coming back to House of Anubis, after their adventures with the elixir of Immortality. And this year, we have more magic, more riddles, more adventure, new student, new couples and more fun. Not only it had more episodes than previous season but it was way better too. Each episode, ended with a cliffhanger and you were getting as anxious as the characters on who will find the Anubis mask first. I fell in love with the whole solve riddles to get closer. It was like watching a live game - and some of there were quite clever too.

Except the storyline, they worked more on their special effects too. They are not super wow, but there is an improvement there. The actors as well, seemed to know their characters a little better and portrayed them better too. There is also a new kid in school (American like Nina), and suprisingly as many thought, he is not the one going between Nina and Fabian. He is completely out of their story. As for the old ones, it's funny how the people i disliked previous season were my favorites now and the opposite for those who liked. You get a better look at their characters and everything changes.

For series with not a big budget, and barely known to any other people than the ones watching Nickelodeon, they are damn good. I could watch it again and again.It has little of everything in a boarding school in England, and who says no to that? I know i don't!!

There is some news that will be a Season 3 too but nothing it's officially confirmed by the channel.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister's place to enter the games, and is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy when she's pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

The Hunger Games
Released: 2012
Runtime: 182 mins
Rating: 4/5 stars
Buy: Not Available Yet

Well if you don't know what Hunger Games is, you are probably living under a rock..i mean it's everywhere! So yeah...Anyway, i was waiting long for this movie to come out and even i read the books just so i know the real thing before the movie. If you haven't read my reviews, you should know that i was never really big fan of the books. I was sure it will be one of those times for me, where i like the movie more than the book.

On the movie now. It was fantastic. I can't see how the fans of the books won't like it. It was one of the best adaptions i have seen in my life. The director put all his care in this movie and you could see it - or maybe because Suzanne Collins (the author) was part of the production team. He understood the book before making a movie about it, and that's why the movie turned out good.And yay for not turning the movie, into a love story. From the scenes that were picked to be put in, to the music, the special effects, the actors. All were so well done for me. Only Peeta left a little out of place. I don't know if it's just me because only the previous week i saw Josh in Journey 2 and i had his role in there, fresh in my mind or it was for everyone like that.

I can only mention 2 negative things for the movie. One, was the fact that i was expecting to be more exciting. The games at the book were more alive. You were getting anxious like crazy, but the movie felt predictable and not because i knew what would happen. And the second thing, were small details that weren't explained about the districts, the games, the war...seriously.. i don't even know how many people asked me what the "3 finger farewell move" was and stuff like that.

So yeah it was good. The fans of the book will love it. The rest people, will like it but maybe not so much. The boys would probably want a little more violence or excitement (let's just say i had like 3-4 boys telling me to watch "Battle Royale" a japanese movie which is a lot like Hunger Games but way more violent). But in general, there is no doubt it's one of the good ones.

Next movie is scheduled for November 2013.

P.S: Did you guys know that "Peeta" in Greek is pronounced the word pie? :P
P.S.1: Rue's death was the most beautiful scene in the movie. Amazing really! Btw, here is "Rue's whistle song" for you to listen ^^

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone), Josh Hutcherson (Bridge To Terabithia), Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song), Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada), Elizabeth Banks (Spiderman), Wes Bentley (Ghost Rider), Isabelle Fuhrman (Orphan), Alexander Ludwig (The Seeker), Donald Sutherland (Pride & Prejudice), Leven Rambin (Wizards of Waverly Place, Sarah Connor Chronicles), Toby Jones (Harry Potter), Woody Harrelson (Zombieland)


The Hunger Games - Hunger Games
The Hunger Games - Catching Fire
The Hunger Games - Mockinjay

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Movie Review: One Day

Twenty years....Two people.
You can live your whole life not realizing that what you're looking for is right in front of you.

15th July 1988

Emma and Dexter meet on the night of their graduation. Tommorow they must go their separate ways.
So where will they be on this one day next year?
And the year after that?
And every year that follows?

One Day
Released: 2011
Runtime: 107 mins
Rating: 5/5 stars
Buy: Amazon (UK) Amazon (US)

I've been expected to see this movie for really long time. It came out on Greek cinemas in August and unfortunately, I wasn't in the city and I couldn't go to watch it. So, I had to spend my time waiting and waitng until the DVD came out. And I wasn't dissapointed.

First of all, the movie is based on a book that I haven't read yet.
Secondly, it's a love story that shows the characters in a specific day of the year. The day they meet is the 15th of July, so the movie keeps showing you how they were spending that same day every year. It was interesting to see how not only the characters' changes, but the changes of the technology and the fashion, their passions, their feelings and their lives, too. I found it a very intersting way of presenting a story. But seeing only what happens every 15th of July, means that you're missing some other improtant facts in the characters' lives, like marriages, birthdays, breaking ups etc. Actually, I guess that this might be the only flaw, but seriously, why having everything served in front of you?? It wasn't that bad imagining some things on your own for a change.

Thirdly, I have to mention the acting. Now, Jim Sturgess is my favorite actor, I really like him and I think he's really talented, and he didn't disappointed me in this movie. Also, Ann Hathaway is really pretty and a great actress and she was great here too. Some people had a problem, because she was faking British accent, since the movie is happening in UK, but not me.

And finally, I think that the end was one of the best. It was different than the one I was expecting and before I know it, my mouth was hanging open from the shock.

Bottom line, I loved it. It's one of my favorites and I totally recommend it to you. I also copied the DVD I rented so I can have it on my library, and believe me when I'm saying this, I don't do this much often.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he's next on the menu.
As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?

> 1 Winner (printed copy)
> US/Canada ONLY (sorry - publishers request)
>You do NOT have to be a follower, but there are extra entries for following 
> Deadline: April 1st, 2012

Book Review: The Day of First Sun

When Princess Amelie of Amborix is murdered by magical means, Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard are called in by the FBI. Their job is to help solve the crime while keeping the non-magical world from discovering the existence of the Wizard Council.

During their investigation, Annie and Cham discover that Princess Amelie’s death is connected to a series of other crimes in the Chicago area. A larger plot involving, a vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soul-less zombies is revealed, but can Annie and Cham discover who is responsible before The Day of First Sun?

The Day of First Sun
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 234 (ebook)
Part of Series: -
Purchased: For Review by the author
Rating: 3/5 stars
Buy: Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)

The Day of The First Sun = FBI Harry Potter. I don't know what else i can call it. Imagine something like the after years of Harry Potter (since it has magic outside of school) and that you follow the wizard FBI (murders, investigations, connecting clues,autopsies). Plus put in some vampires (bad ones!!) to make it more dark. And tadah! Here is a quite interesting and clever book. The story alone is captivating, and even though you know the answers for most of the things happening, it still has something that keeps you in. 

Then we have Annie and Chan with an amazing alchemy, not only as a couple but as friends and partners too. Team badass it is! Plus, both are two characters almost impossible to dislike. They are good and fair people, and scary when its need to be.

Only things i need to mention on the negative side it's the POV. While it's third person, you have scenes and thoughts from almost all the characters in the story. Which i really don't mind, since i like to see how everyone things. What really confused me, and i barely managed to get used it was that sometimes in one chapter or sub-chapter you were clearly changing characters from one paragraph to another. When this happened with Annie and Cham it was okay, because i knew the two characters well but when it happened between secondary characters like Jack or Jordan, i had to re-read some sentences.

Either way, the book is different and has an interesting take. I'm really into mysteries and some magic is good too, and so i enjoyed it.

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:
Purchase your copy of The Day of First Sun for just 99 cents
Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
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.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Review: The Mayfair Moon

After a nightmarish encounter with a werewolf, seventeen-year-old Adria Dawson loses her sister, but gains the love of a mysterious young man and his legendary family.

Strange and tragic things begin to happen in the small town of Hallowell, Maine: residents come down with an unexplainable ‘illness’ and some disappear. In the midst of everything, Isaac Mayfair is adamant about keeping Adria safe, even from her sister whom he has warned her to stay away from.

As unspeakable secrets unfold all around Adria, impossible choices become hers to bear. Ultimately, no matter what path she takes, her life and the lives of those she loves will be in peril. As she learns about the werewolf world she also learns why her place in it will change the destinies of many.

The Mayfair Moon
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 356 (ebook)
Part of Series: The Darkwoods Trilogy #1
Purchased: For Review by the author
Rating: 3/5 stars
Buy: Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)

Am i the only one who hasn't ready many books with werewolves? Because that was the main reason i got the book. I wanted to read something a little different than usual.

Sooo i have both positive and little negative feedback for this book. To start with the positive, the book takes you in easily. Okay, at the first 1-2 chapters i wanted to give up, but there was something in there telling me "no..go on!". And i did. And i was surprised. The mystery about the werewolves and the families are what kept me most. Even though, i knew deep inside me what was going on there were still some doubts that made me crazy and i couldn't give up reading. I was planning to read about 50 pages, the first day and i suddenly i was over 200? So this part was goood!

Then we have the characters. Not annoying heroine? Check! No triangle? Check! Awesome boy BFF? Check! Hot guy? Check! Decent family? Check! All the characters, and the relationships between them, feel more real than most YA books out there.  Who said, the boy who says hi and is around you at school can't be your best friend, isn't part of a romance triangle? I think that's the thing that i loved most about them.

Lastly, we have the story and the werewolves. Yes to werewolves who are not wolfs (but Underworld like), violent and scary. Do not worry, there is not graphic violence in but you get the point, they are not lap dogs but something dangerous. The story is also dark and it gives you a creepy feeling most of the time.

Now, on the negative side (which unfortunately made me go 2 stars down). One was the Mayfair family. Don't get me wrong, i love big families with hot guys and interesting story, but it reminded me a lot of the Drake Chronicles (which there is a big vampire family). So whenever, we had scenes at the Mayfairs' i couldn't stop comparing. And secondly, after our girl and boy are together, there is some "i'm too dangerous for you", "i have to be careful around you", "you are better without me" stuff (even some phrases) which reminded me of course of Twilight and anyway i'm not fan of that way of thinking. So there it goes another negative thing - for me always. Of course this happens, on the smallest part of the book but still...
And lastly, i didn't like that after some point Adria forgets entirely her new BFF (Harry) and keeps him out of the loop. They are together later again, but i felt a little weird about it.

So despite those things above, i can't say i didn't enjoy it. As i said, i was reading like crazy and that says something. In the end, i'm quite happy i got a chance to read it.

1 ebook of The Mayfair Moon
You do NOT have to be a follower

Leave a comment at my review + your email.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Google Reader & RSS Feeds

Hey ya all! Did you miss a non-related book post? Because i have one...

This one is regarding RSS Feeds and Google Reader. I know many of you, follow hundreds of blogs and many of you check it through Google Reader via RSS feeds. I know i do. And Google Reader was never one of my favorite things to use and that's why i always searched for another program to read my Google Reader feeds.

So here i present you READFINE ! It gives rss feeding and entirely different look. You can do everything as you do in your reader BUT it's more beautiful! It's  like reading a newspaper...personally i loved it so i decided to use it from now on...It's loading really fast too. And there is also another layout where you can see your feeds as headlines with summaries! Download it here.

Just wanted to share this with you since people have asked me before if i have an "app" for reading feeds at my computer. I previously used Desktop Google Reader but when it has over 50 posts, it loads way slow...and i'm not talking when you have like over 150 when it might crush.

-xoxo, Yiota

And something entirely different than the whole post...the Tour for "The Day of First Sun" has started. You will be getting a review probably tomorrow :) . BUT! It's a tour hosted by Novel Publicity which means there are over $450 for you to win!! So stay tuned and do every days simple task to win (like tweeting, or sharing at facebook,etc).

Also, if you could please vote for us at the "Traffic Braker Poll" case you don't who we are..."Splash of our Worlds" is the name. THANKS!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Movie Review: Journey 2

In this follow-up to the 2008 worldwide hit Journey to the Center of the Earth, the new 3D family adventure Journey 2: The Mysterious Island begins when 17-year-old Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist. It's a place of strange life forms, mountains of gold, deadly volcanoes, and more than one astonishing secret. Unable to stop him from going, Sean's new stepfather, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), joins the quest. Together with a helicopter pilot (Luis Guzman) and his beautiful, strong-willed daughter (Vanessa Hudgens), they set out to find the island, rescue its lone inhabitant and escape before seismic shockwaves force the island under the sea and bury its treasures forever.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Released: 2012
Runtime: 94 mins
Rating: 4/5 stars
Buy: Not Available Yet

This is one of the movies, i was most excited for this year. I love that kind of adventures and i watch almost all The Rock's movies. Of course, the first one had Brendan Fraser in, so this one can't top it with The Rock but i was sure it will be good for some reason.

First, i want to say i watched in 3D (i decided to give the money, since the 1st one was one of the good 3D movies i've seen). And it was good. Probably one of the best out there. It had some moments, that made you go back your chair and the quality was super wow. The special effects were simply amazing and gorgeous. The island is one of the most beautiful things i have ever seen and only for that the movie needs to be seen in 3D or at least Blu-Ray.

Now on the story, don't expect anything tremendous. It's a usual movie for kids, with some silly jokes (still laughing), The Rock in a non-violent role, Hutcherson for the girlies, and Hudgens for the boys. Funny, romance, family matters, adventure, action are all in. For me, was a really good movie. I did not expect anything less, or anything more. The idea with the mysterious island and how you can find it, Atlantis, Nemo, the volcano was clever and actually made sense.

All the kids would love it. Especially in 3D they will go wow. So if you are parent, i say go watch it. It is one of the decent movies for kids. Now, if you are an adult like me who has a thing for that kind of movies with exploring and adventuring, then you should watch it too. There aren't many movies like it, coming out lately and it's a shame, so take the chance and enjoy this one.

Expect a 3rd movie around 2014!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book Review: Scary School

You think your school's scary?
Get a load of these teachers:
"Ms. Fang," an 850-year-old vampire
"Dr. Dragonbreath," who just might eat you before recess
"Mr. Snakeskin"--science class is so much more fun when it's taught by someone who's half zombie
"Mrs. T"--break the rules and spend your detention with a hungry "Tyrannosaurus rex"
Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein's monster on the loose
The world's most frighteningly delicious school lunch
The narrator's an eleven-year-old ghost
Join Charles "New Kid" Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends--including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf--and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky

Scary School
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 256 (ebook)
Part of Series: Scary School #1
Purchased: For Review by the author
Rating: 5/5 stars
Buy: Book Depository || Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)

It's probably impossible to describe how awesome this book is? So what if it's for kids and has illustrations in? That makes it even better!! It totally made my day :)

Sample Illustrations by Scott Fischer
Scary School is a book written by Derek the Ghost. After he died, he decided to write a book about Scary School. The School which he died into and tell us what happens after his death. We get to learn about the interesting-scary teachers, the students (humans & scary monsters ), and the Ghoul Games!!

Sample Illustrations by Scott Fischer

I can only describe the book as something incredibly clever,original and funny. From the whole Scary School concept, to each person and situation described, everything is awesome! The school rules!! Every kid would wish to go there, and meet all those people and be friends with them. The writing is light and funny, and the illustrations accompanied each chapter make it even more entertaining. I believe, that every kid ( or adult like me ) get this book at its hand, they won't put it down at all.

A middle grade book, which you will not get bored, you will laugh like a maniac and totally make you wish, you could go back to school. As for the children, hey! I would have bought it for my kid immediately (i actually i'm gonna buy a printed copy for myself for sure). No seconds thoughts! (And no it's not really scary xD).

P.S: There is a dragon for teacher *yay*

Monday, March 12, 2012

Book Review: Cage the Darlings

Only a blackbird girl can set her free....
Envy is a lucky with a secret vice: she's one of the best thieves in the kingdom-something her current employer, the king himself, has no knowledge of. When one of her more audacious gambles gets her caught, Envy thinks her luck's run out. Infuriated, the king banishes her to Bran Tower, a haunted, forgotten prison of no escape.

But, by day, a mysterious blackbird brings Envy crumbs of food-and, by night, the beautiful ghost Merle befriends her.

Or so Envy thinks. When Merle, no ghost at all, reveals her terrible truth-cursed to spend daylight as a blaackbird, night as mortal woman she once was-Envy confesses too: that she's fallen for the blackbird girl.

But love has made them reckless in a forest of dangerous men. On the night of their planned escape, Merle is kidnapped by a band of brigands seeking the treasure of her father, the Blackbird King. Envy is brave but is now faced with an almost impossible task: to journey through the cursed forest in the hopes of saving her beloved Merle.

Cage The Darlings
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: ?? (ebook)
Part of Series: -
Purchased: For Review by the author
Rating: 4/5 stars
Buy: Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)

What attracted me in the book in the first place was the story. The description says it's a fairytale and I really wanted to read a fairytale at that period. It's been a long time and I just wanted to read something that will travel me in other worlds and magical places.

I liked the story. All the characters were different and with their own personalities. And I liked the way the kingdom worked, even though not punishing the thieves looks little weird. Also, the fact the Envy was so talented with doing magic looked little fake, to me.

The writing style was simple and easy to understand. It had lots of small scenes that were meaningful, not many descriptions that would bore you. But I found the language a little out of time, I think it was more modern. All scenes are with Envy or Envy and others, because it's been written by Envy's point of view, that way you have a chance to understand her better and sympathize her, because in the beginning I found her a little selfish and arrogant. That way, though, you don't have the chance to meet the other characters better, so Belinda and Merle are a mystery to us until the end, not that we don't learn their background stories from Envy.

The end was amazing. Although the whole story looks like a simple love story, the end was the best part of the book for me. It has action and I was anxious the whole time. Envy does most of the part, but the last scenes were really good.

In case you haven't noticed before, the main two characters and the love story is happening between two women. Now, let me jut tell you, that to me it looked like another love story, nothing more nothing less. There are some love scenes in the book, but not sex. But if you're going to read it, don't do it because of the wrong reasons. I guess that if you have a problem with gays or whatever similar don't waste your time reading something that might bother you or even hate at the end.

Bottom line, I really liked the book. I do recommend it to you. It's simple and sweet and a classic fairytale story.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In My Mailbox - February 2012.2

Hosted by The Story Siren

Nina's February Mailbox

Bought - Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia (in Greek)
Bought - Artemis Fowl: The Atlantix Complex by Eoin Colfer
Bought - To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (in Greek)
Bought - The Complete Illustrated Works of Hans Christian Andersen
Bought - The Complete Illustrated Works of The Brothers Grimm
Bought - The Complete Illustrated Short Stories Sherlock Holmes

What did you get this week?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Book Review: Supervillain - The Concise Guide

Are you tired of living a humdrum life? Is there little to look forward to except a dead-end job and more news headlines that remind you of your insignificance in the world? Do you think the future of humanity depends on your potent leadership skills? Well forget about the nonsense of running for political office and become a supervillain instead.

Fancy degrees and qualifications are not required. With this concise guide, you will learn all the basic tricks of the trade. Ease into your first seedy business, create a large organisation with interests in finance, media and politics, and build a powerful military force. Eventually you will launch your crusade to rule the entire planet.

Take your shot at world domination – and hit the bull’s-eye

Supervillain - The Concise Guide
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 64 (ebook)
Part of Series: -
Purchased: For Review by the author
Rating: 3/5 stars
Buy: Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)

Hehehehe!! This one was cool!! A simple guide to be a supervillain. Simple, understandable and funny. 

Starting by simple steps of gaining money, to how to win the hero opponents that might appear. Everything you need to know is here. Not too much information to get tired but enough to make it work (well not really but you get the point). Also the fact that the author puts some humor in, instead of writing something incredible serious (like most guides are) makes it special with my favorite parts was how to build your Window Cleaning Organization to make the first money and how to win the Superheros that might appear.

Of course there were some parts, somewhere in the middle where it had to be explained how to get political power which weren't that interesting for me and tired me a little but it was okay in general. Only thing which felt a little out of place was some interviews that existed at the end. 

In total it was a fast and fun read. The first part, even seems possible to be done, after that the things are a bit difficult. And i totally think Hollywood, must look at this guide and get some ideas for its supervillains or even a movie. It makes more sense instead of what they giving us so far.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Meredith's Zeitlin Next Book?

You do know Meredith Zeitlin right? The one who wrote the book at the photo? Which i reviewed just yesterday and it's really awesome!? Well now you know...she is a Debut Author of 2012 in case you are wondering.

Yesterday i sent her my review at twitter, and as i reply i got news for her next book? It's not much but i got excited! If you have read her book, you can guess why. She is an extremely talented and funny author :)
And how awesome is that?? Seriously, most authors don't even say a thanks or something XD

So here is some teasing...

you are reading from up to down

Yay yay yay!!!

In case you are wondering about the recommendations for books with male leads here is the link that Meredith was kind enough to send me:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Review: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny.

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course…

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 288 (ebook)
Part of Series: -
Purchased: For Review by the author
Rating: 4/5 stars
Buy: Book Depository || Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)

Here in Greece, our schools have nothings to do with the schools in America. No proms, no sports, no clubs. We are happy to have a small library to say the truth. And that's a reason i always loved reading those teens books. It was like getting into another world.

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters was amazing. I did not expect it to be that good, and in a way different. It was light and fun. And i liked how the writing (from words to style) matched the age of Kelsey. The book is written at first POV, and it was nice to have actually Kelsey speaking than the author. Everything was described, exactly how Kelsey was seeing it and it was exactly what the book needed.

As for the story, it's a usual story of teens in high school with romance, mean girls, break ups, friendships, etc. What makes the book different? 
1) It's long. It's not around a certain aspect of Kelsey's life but you see more of it. Family, friends, boys, lessons, clubs, parties, proms. It lasts long enough so you get a good idea of everything. Though i wouldn't mind if it would be even longer.
2)Kelsey and her friends are a little more mature than what i expected from the usual 14 year old i've met in books like it. I'm not talking about what they are doing but also on how to handle things (from friendship to gay friends). That means Kelsey did not annoy me :P
3)Kelsey is a great character. She does stupid things but she is clever. And i liked how she managed to keep up with her problems and instead of being in a corner and crying, searched for her friends, tried to make fun, even talked to her mother. I was close to her for some reason. In some aspects she really reminded of myself.

If i had read the book at my teens i would have put it 5 stars. It was exactly what i liked reading at the time. But i'm a little older now, and sometimes i found it a little childish. I laughed, and enjoy it. I went back to school and i was a teen once again for a while.

Movie Reviews: When In Rome & The Change-Up

Beth is a young, ambitious New Yorker who is completely unlucky in love. However, on a whirltrip to Rome, she impulsively steals some coins from a reputed fountain of love, and is then aggressively pursued by a band of suitors.

When In Rome
Released: 2010
Runtime: 91 mins
Rating: 4/5 stars
Buy: Amazon (UK) || Amazon (US)

The reason I saw this movie was the main actors. I liked Kristen Bell in Veronica Mars and I liked Josh Duhamel in Las Vegas.
The story is about Beth, a workaholic young lady who goes to her sister's wedding in Rome. There she meets a nice guy, Nick, but when she thinks he's not that nice, she gets drunk and stars to dance in a fountain outside the wedding reception. The fountain is magical. People who have lost hope into finding love, through a coin and wish to find love. So, Beth, who doesn't believe these things, decides to take with her four coins, four wishes. The story continues as the four men who through the coins in the fountain fall in love with Beth immediately as soon as she claims their coins.
The movie itself is really sweet and funny, I liked the whole myth with the fountain and what Beth has to do to replace the order of things and have all four of them off her back. I liked the way they are showing you Italy, if it was Italy and not a creation of the studios. And I liked the characters, all of them, they all where funny in their own way and they all had those weird moments.
Bottom line, I believe it's a nice movie for girls' night and for everyone who loves romantic 

Dave is a merried man with two kids and a loving wife, and Mitch is a single man who is at the prime of his sexual life. One fateful night, while Mitch and Dave are peeing in a fountain, when lighting strikes and they switch bodies.

The Change Up
Released: 2011
Runtime: 112 mins
Rating: 4/5 stars
Buy: Amazon (UK) || Amazon (US)

The reason I saw the movie, is the same as above. I've seen the actors in other roles and I just wanted to see them in this one too.
The story is about Mitch and Dave. They are best friends and they both live different lives. One night they go out and they get drunk. Returning home they decide to pee in a fountain and the same time they both wish to have each others life. And the next morning, their wish is coming true. They have changed bodies.
What I liked about the film is that for the first time something like this is happening to men and not women, as a result there is not much freaking out scenes. They control themselves after the first shock and they try to solve this problem rationally. Being in each others life has its difficulty, but they talk and they try to live in other terms, especially after realizing what the one thinks about the other. And through this experiece they try to be better men, to mature and to change themselves and not just their bodies to their real form.
The movie itself is funny, especially in the scenes where they realize what was hiding in the other's closet and how the other's life really is. Also, the cast is really good in their roles and I believe that the main actors did a great job, playing each other.
Bottom line, as the previous, I also recommend you this one. It's funny and nice and it can be watched by both, guys and gals.
In conclusion, people, never ever combine alcohol and fountains, because you cannot be sure for their real powers.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Movie Review: Spy Kids 4

Jessica Alba will play a retired spy who has been reactivated. Her character is the mother of a baby and two preteen stepchildren. The actors cast in the preteen roles will be the new Spy Kids. They will face the villain, known as the Time Keeper, whose goal it is to stop time.

Spy Kids 4
Released: 2011
Runtime: 89 mins
Rating: 3/5 stars
Buy: Amazon (UK) || Amazon (US)

Wow, i was just IMDB to find some of the info above, and the movie has such a low rating. I did not expect that. Hehe!

Well of course it's not as good as the old Spy Kids, but it's not that bad. It has some really fun moments and i have already watched it twice with no difficulty. The kids are new actors and the girl wasn't one of my best to see around but the boy was really cute and funny. He really matched his role. Now, for Jessica Alba is definitely NOT one of her good movies. She felt in general a little out of place. Good thing of the movie is we have the old kiddohs which are now older, but don't expect to see many scenes of them.

As for the story it's not something wow and at the end it's confusing but the main message of the movie can be seen from the earlier scenes. And it's clearly a kids movie. Do not expect something serious. It's full of colors, and brother-sister, family stuff. I don't say that older people can't watch it of course.

One thing that is always really good at the Spy Kids movies are the gadgets ideas and the special effects. Both are truly amazing and i strongly believe that the 3D version is really good. I think every kid will enjoy the movie, and if you don't have the highest expectations as an old fan of Spy Kids, you will too.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bloggiesta Ole!

Ole! Thanks to Book Briefs i found about a small "blog-athon". I don't really take part in those read-thons challenges because i don't have time but this one is like totally awesome! It has to with keeping up the work at your blog, and i think it's a good idea for me to have some work done. And i'm not just talking about writing reviews. Plus, i was a little out of the blog world the last months, and this is a good opportunity to socialize a little too. I really feel like a stranger lately.

If you decide to participate, here's what you can expect:

  • to spend time that weekend (as much or as little as your schedule allows) working on your blog
  • to create a to do list to share on your blog and link up with other participants
  • to hopefully participant in several mini challenges and learn something new
  • to connect with other participants through blog hopping or twitter
  • to make new blogging friends!
  • to come away at the end of the three days with a spiffed up blog!

Bloggiesta is hosted by It's All About Books (sign up here) and will last the weekend of March 30-April 1st.

P.S: The event avatar is like the cutest avatar ever ^^

-xoxo, Yiota

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