One perfect book

A Thousand Perfect Notes ~ C.G. Drews

Hey guys!

First of all, for those of you who don’t know, I’m doing monthly competitions to celebrate my 5th blogiversary, and today I’m announcing the September competition only ever so slightly late! Keeping with the theme of, um… well numbers (the first challenge was to write the first sentence of a book, and by the way the winner will be announced in my next post!), the second competition is basically to do with the number two.

All you have to do is enter 2 photos, old or new (but no stealing, y’all), of your favourite things! Or favorite things if you’re American 😉 I want to see some creativity and originality! Your photos don’t have to be book-related, but of course they can be if books are one of your favourite things (“when the dogs bite, when the bees sting…”). Please note that you don’t have to be a professional photographer to take part! I don’t know the first thing about photography so… Yeah, just be creative.

Anyway, onto today’s review! If you weren’t already aware, Cait from paperfury.com wrote a lil book and today I shall review it, or at least try because anything I say probably won’t give the book justice. BUT I’m sure gonna give it a go because this book needs to be read and I am here to spread that message in the best way possible! READ IT OR I’LL RELEASE MY PET SALAMANDER ON YA. Hahaha don’t worry, she’s friendly.

His whole life Beck has been controlled by his mother, held down by the piano and the pieces he must play to perfection. But what he longs for most, what he won’t dare tell a soul, is to write the songs that are trapped inside of him. That have been since he began to play, since his abusive mother, the Maestro, decided that she wanted him to be just like she had been: a prodigy, praised and respected. When Beck’s mother suffered a stroke all those years ago, she lost her music and now she can only attempt to play it through her son. Then he meets August. Quirky and bright and free – a stark contrast to Beck’s darkness – August gradually pulls the music from within him. But with the Maestro looming over him constantly, can he really ever be set free?

So I’m gonna talk about the happy stuff first! As there really was some despite the possibly misleading summary I wrote up there…

First off, the school-ish parts (mostly at the very start, in the first couple of chapters) were pretty funny and actually relatable so I loved that. There was no delay in introducing August so we got as much of her as Cait could squeeze into 275 pages. Maybe it’s because we’re inside Beck’s brainforest the whole time, or just because August is a feisty yet lovable ray of sunshine, but I found myself missing her and her wit in the chapters that she wasn’t in. She was bursting with surprises and an odd but wonderful taste in cake. Her annoying persistently friendly nature honestly reminded me of myself and how I make friends ahaha… *clears throat awkwardly*

JOEY! Also known as Beck’s lil sis. Also known as my favourite character. Also known as a crazy, chaotic, adorable bundle of sass. So much sass for someone so young. But also she was so fiercely courageous, and it really broke my heart to see how she, and Beck, had to live. I just want to hold them both in my arms for eternity. Now we’re getting onto the sad stuff…

So, I love the piano. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to learn it. My sister tried to teach me when I was a lil blueberry, but all I can remember from that experience is that major is happy and minor is sad. Up until a few months ago when I started having proper lessons, I decided to leave the piano playing to my sister. When she did play, sometimes I would dance around the room. Sometimes I’d hum the tune ahead of her playing it and distract her. One time, when she played I Giorni by Einaudi, I cried. (That one’s my favourite.)

What I’m trying to say is, music makes people feel things. Or at least it should. The thing about Beck’s mother in this book is that she didn’t see that, she only saw the need for success and perfection and that’s what I found really sad. She didn’t understand.

Passion is more important than perfection.

Guys you have to understand that the writing in this book was just effortlessly beautiful. I LOVED THE WRITING. It was so alive. I couldn’t get enough of it. My heart was captured. And completely and utterly shattered broken slightly. Towards the end of the book I could feel myself about to cry. I read the last few pages over and over so I didn’t have to read the very last one and finish this book. Once I’d come to the final sentence, I just burst into tears. I think it was a combination of obviously the book being so moving but also I really didn’t want it to end. For a few days, the anticipation of reading this was what got me through school. So ’tis much appreciated, A Thousand Perfect Notes. But also WHY DID YOU END. Ya know what, I’ll just go reread this now so bye.

Also yes, there is cake.

Clover count: ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣ (10/10)

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Hello September… wait, what?!

Hey guys! Umm so can someone just explain to me how it’s already September? We’re nine months into the year. This is crazy. So crazy, in fact, that I thought I’d basically do a lil life update (sort of) for today’s post. It feels like I’ve been crazy busy lately, but I think it’s just that my brain is overflowing with Stuff, and so I’m going to spill some of that Stuff into this post! You’re welcome.

(I took this photo and I think I should call myself an artist now, despite the photo’s beauty being all down to the sun and not me)
  • As you might be aware (I only mention it, like, once a post…), I’m celebrating my 5th blogiversary by hosting monthly competitions here on Booked to Perfection! Buuuuut not a lot of people have shown much interest so far. If you might like to get involved, then please do! There’s still time to enter the August competition, for which you have to make up just the first sentence of a book. You can enter by simply commenting your sentence on my blog! Or, if you prefer, you can email it to me at simizat@yahoo.co.uk. The second competition will be revealed in my next post…
  • Like most younglings I just went back to school, and it’s my last year of secondary school and I’m not really freaking out but alsoooo my school is making such a big deal out of it so every little thing we do now seems really important and I might be freaking out a teeny tiny bit. I don’t want to leave school feeling disappointed because I didn’t actually try, so I’m doing my best to start the year well and all that.
  • This summer I actually read quite a lot! I love going away in the summer because, without all of the distractions of home life, I just read and read and read, which is exactly what I did on holiday this year. All I can say is expect many reviews very soon! (One of the books I read was To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, which I wanted to read before watching the Netflix film, and aww it was so cute and colourful.)
  • Just before I broke up from school I went to London for a week of work experience at a children’s magazine, and before I left they gave me loads of free books that they’d received from publishers, including Cait’s A Thousand Perfect Notes! Now I have two copies mwhahaha. Keep your eyes peeled for a review of it some time soon!
  • The other day I randomly decided to stop procrastinating, and to just sit down and write properly. Not aimlessly planning and thinking up middle names for all my characters. What I really want to do is write, but I think all this time I’ve been telling myself that I haven’t read enough books or I don’t have enough time or I haven’t planned the story enough… And then I stopped thinking that for almost a whole minute, and in that almost minute I started to write a book. Yes, I’ve only written one chapter so far but you know what? I’m only writing this for me so that I can get better as a writer and because I like to write (“I’m a writer, and I will write what I want to write” -J.K. Rowling) so I’ll write at my own pace. Until maybe NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November. Who knows where that one chapter will take me when I have a deadline?

Just a lil update on things. I’ve got loads of blog posts that are half-written and yet I started this whole new one right here. I guess I just wanted to share some blabberings 🙂

How are things with y’all? Do you want to enter my competition? Just comment down below a (made-up) first sentence of a book/story! In my next post I’ll announce this month’s competition, which will be to do with either poetry or photography. Look at me building suspense hehe.

Once upon a time… (my blogging story)

Hey guys!

So, as some of you might know, it was my blogiversary last week! My child turned 5! To celebrate, I’m hosting monthly competitions until December because competitions are always fun. *mumbles* well, sometimes they can be a bit disastrous and end in tears or fits of rage…

Moving on! I thought I’d extend the deadline of the August competition to Friday, September 14th, because I’m a bit late in posting this and I only gave y’all just over a week originally so now you’ve got some more time. Then on the same Friday I’ll announce the challenge for this month, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Anywayyy I’m still kind of buzzing about my blogiversary (if you couldn’t already tell) so I’ve decided to tell y’all my blogging story because, well… I found it ever so slightly interesting so I thought I’d share it with you today.

Once upon a time a lil blueberry was living her lil blueberry life, when her father approached her and suggested she start a blog about books.

“A blog?” The lil blueberry replied. “What’s that?” In her mind the blueberry was thinking I’m not that into books… or at least I don’t read as many as my blueberry sister.

Her father told her about a little Scottish girl called Martha who had started a blog about her school dinners, and thought it would be a fun hobby for the lil blueberry to have a go at.

He showed her how to make a blog and helped her design everything. She even got her very own email address! Her first post (appropriately titled ‘My first post!’) was a review of The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket. I hope this blog won’t be a bad beginning the lil blueberry thought to herself.

And well, the lil blueberry began to enjoy blogging, and she read more and more. She made friends across the globe who shared her interests, even found a pen pal (shout out to Maddy!).

One day, around 2 years into blogging, the lil blueberry found a blog about school dinners written by a little Scottish girl. As she read the girl’s posts, it dawned on her that this girl, Martha (VEG on her blog), was the very reason she started blogging. So the lil blueberry decided to contact Martha and thank her. She opened up her email and wrote:

Hi VEG,
I’m a blogger too and (surprisingly) I have only just found your blog. My dad told me about your blog a few years ago and I decided to create my own. I think that what you have done is amazing and has changed the world and how we think about school meals today. I was slightly disappointed to see that your last post was over a year ago because I think your blog is really good and you should keep going!
Thanks and please reply!
Simizat

(Yes, I really wrote this email! I can’t believe I managed to find it – I sent it in 2015)

The lil blueberry never received a reply to her email, and Martha didn’t post again on her blog.

But the blueberry continued to read and blog, knowing that some words rattled out of a keyboard can really make a difference, just like Martha did.

There’s my story guys! I don’t even like blueberries that much, but I wear blue all the time so maybe it’s fitting that, for the purposes of this story, I am a blueberry.

Go visit Martha’s blog here! Her story is truly remarkable and you can read it in her book.

What’s your blogging story? Tell me below, or even post it on your blog and leave a link!

And don’t forget to enter my competition for August while you still can! All you gotta do is make up the first sentence (or two, nothing over 60 words) of a book, any genre. Go crazy! Post it in the comments or email it to me at simizat@yahoo.co.uk.

My revolting rhyme

So hey y’all! I thought, because I’ve already posted this week about my blogiversary, today I’d just do a lil post.

A few years ago – I think when I was 11 or 12 – we were looking at Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes (this one is my favourite) in English and had to use them as inspiration to write our own. Tangled is, and has been since I was around 9, my favourite Disney film, and I believe was my favourite film ever at the time, so I twisted the traditional story of Rapunzel to make my revolting rhyme. A couple months ago I found my old English book and this odd little poem and thought it would be fun to put this on my blog someday… and now here we are! Hope you like the poem!

Also please note: I don’t think this has been edited or anything since I wrote it soooo yeah. And um my young self had a dark mind.

In a tower there lived a girl,

Who went by the name Rapunzel. (Yes, this is meant to rhyme with girl so just say Rapunz-irl in your head? Thanks 😆 )

So sad she was, high in the air

That her only friend was her hair.

To save her came a handsome prince

(While she gave her long hair a rinse).

She stuck her head out the window;

Her hair was out with one big throw.

Up and up the prince climbed until

A scream came from the windowsill!

The prince looked up to the tower top

And heard Rapunzel cry “stop! stop!”

And then there was a mighty RIP

Her hair was gone! Yes, all of it!

Her hair was ripped right off her head

And now the handsome prince is dead.


Hey, this is an ad! Not the usual hair product or anything like that. This ad is better. This ad is for my monthly competitions I’m holding to celebrate 5 years of blogging! From August to December there’ll be lil challenges for you to participate in, (and possibly win prizes for) from reviewing books to writing poetry to taking photos. I hope you’ll join in the fuuuuun. More info for this month’s challenge/competition here 🙂

5th Blogiversary (wow my blog is wrinkly) and competitions!

Ahhhh it’s my blogiversary! Excitement!! Take a cookie and pass it on! My child is ¼ way to 20! That’s kind of crazy. What’s Simi reading? / Booked to Perfection has come so far in the last 5 years and I couldn’t be prouder. It’s been nice to see this lil site grow and change, and have such lovely visitors. Y’all are the best of the best. Of all the websites you could be reading right now you’re reading mine and that’s pretty cool.

So of course it wouldn’t be my blogiversary if I didn’t thank the fabulous Alyssa who is, and has been for the last 4 years I believe, my top commenter with 151 comments! Who knows where Booked to Perfection would be without you, Alyssa.

83 followers, 144 posts… and the most popular viewing day for my blog is Friday! Which is the day I usually am meant to post so that all fits nicely.

If you’ve been around here for some time then you’ll know that each year I do a competition in honour of my blogiversary, usually over the month of August. Last year I was all over the place so said that I’d do a competition near Christmas but alas I never really got round to doing that. To make up for it, and because my blog is ¼ way to 20 woooo, I thought I’d run lil monthly competitions from August to December which would make 5 lil competitions in honour of my blog being 5 years old and honestly I’m loving this idea. At the start of each month I’ll announce the lil competition for that month and announce the winner at the end of the month! You can take part at any time – don’t feel pressured to participate every month – and at Christmas I might be sending out some prizes for the 5 winners of each month!

Guys, I’m excited for this. I hope a lot of you will be able to participate!

For the August competition, seeing as there’s only around 10 more days of the month, I’m going to do something small. I was thinking this month could kind of be to celebrate my first year of blogging, so for the competition you’ll have to write the first sentence (or few, but nothing over 60 words!) of a book. It can be about anything you like, any style/genre, but obviously please don’t pinch it from an actual book because that’s called plagiarism and it’s rude. The winner will be the person who has intrigued me the most and made me want to read on!

To enter, send your name and entry (either as part of the email or as an attachment, I don’t mind) to simizat@yahoo.co.uk by August 30th, and come back on Friday, August 31st to find out who the winner is. Good luck y’all!

The Big Book Debate

So hey people (presuming you are, in fact, a person and not some adventurous goldfish skilled in technology, although I’m cool with that too).

Today I thought, for my Lettuce Discuss post (the best type of post, let’s be real here), we could discuss the Big Book Debate! You may be wondering what this debate is, because there are a number of bookish debates running wild and free in the big, wide world. For example:

  • is it dangerous to read while driving?
  • was Dumbledore secretly a Death Eater in Harry Potter?
  • was Shakespeare a woman?

…and other debatable topics.

But today I wanted to discuss The Book Debate To End All Book Debates™ which is usually known as printed books vs ebooks, but I’m going big today and doing hardbacks vs paperbacks vs ebooks vs audiobooks. A mouthful, I know. Now lettuce get started before I have any regrets and run fearfully from the Big-ness of this post.

  • mostly all of them are PRETTY and yes, they say don’t judge a book by its cover but also… which books are going to look gorgeous on my bookshelf?
  • as a result of mostly all hardbacks being PRETTY, and generally better designed, it’s nice to collect them, especially if you’ve already read the book and it’s now one of your faves so you want a nicer copy to smother forever with bookish love cherish
  • you can’t bend and crinkle the cover and this just makes me so happy because the PRETTYness lasts longer

  • obviously a lot of PRETTY things come at a price, so sometimes it’s just impossible to get that £12.99 hardback when it’s also available at the library, ya know?
  • also a lot of PRETTY things can be health and safety hazards, as most of us are reminded of each day by the scars we hold from the times when the corner of a hardback – a corner as sharp as a chipped glass of bitter apple juice stirred with tiny knives – viciously impaled us
  • another thing is that a lot of hardbacks are quite big so take up loads of shelf space (if they even fit on one in the first place) and are really heavy to hold too, which just reinforces the health and safety issue… but on the plus side I guess you could get abs out of it?

  • first off, they’re a lot cheaper than hardbacks! you can find them in charity shops or online secondhand, and they’re more likely to be in somewhere like a library
  • they actually fit on a bookshelf and I thank the stars and moon and ET for this, because believe me when I tell you that the struggle is real when it comes to squeezing all your books onto one bookcase that already takes up 74% of your room
  • their more convenient size also makes them easier to hold, which is always nice! not everyone’s in for a workout every time they want to snuggle up with a book!

  • …but there is also still the health and safety risk of getting a papercut, a real risk that courageous bookworms have to face at every turn of a page *shudders*
  • unlike hardbacks, paperbacks can bend and crinkle and wrinkle in their old age 😦 I’d say the most terrible experience a bookworm can have is slowly feeling the spine of a paperback bend and crack and not being able to do anything about it, except maybe not read the book at all which is just sad
  • also if you spill lemonade on the cover IT MIGHT NOT SURVIVE like a hardback would

  • obviously they’re easily portable! I haven’t got a kindle, but I have the app on my phone (yes it’s probably the reason I have terrible eyesight but THE APP IS FREE, OK?) and both are lighter and small and cuter than print books
  • I usually find it easier to read ridiculously huge bricks books on a lil device, because then I don’t have to stress about the size of the book and how little I’ve read despite feeling like I’ve almost finished e.g. I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on kindle because I began reading the hardback, but it was so heavy and there were so many words squished on one page that I hardly got anywhere with the beast
  • being on a device, ebooks have techy advantages such as the ability to change the font style, size, page background colour and you can sneakily read in the night and none shall know…

  • I forget I have them oops. I don’t tend to look through my kindle library every day, but when the books are right in front of you on a bookshelf then you’re more likely to read those books first and sadly abandon your kindle books
  • I know there are bookworms, including me sometimes, that love the feeling of holding books and turning pages and smelling pages because it reminds them that the world hasn’t yet been engulfed by technology! never fear! there are books still!
  • obviously you need a kindle/device of some sort in the first place to read a book on which is expensive

  • like ebooks they’re easy to carry around (unless you listen to them on a CD as opposed to a phone)
  • also like ebooks there are some techy quirks, like the ability to adjust the reading speed and stuff like that
  • the best thing is probably that you can multitask! you can ‘read’ a book while working out, tidying your room or just walking, where it’s difficult to whip out a print book without running into a lamppost/road/human

  • they’re actually really expensive! most audiobooks are about £20? I know nowadays we have audible, but even that costs monthly
  • also big issue: what if you hate the narrator?
  • I shouldn’t really have included audiobooks in my argument because I’ve only ever read like 2? I’m one of those people who has to read the words or else I just won’t absorb the story, ya know? I’ll end up forgetting everything that’s happened in the book so far by the time I get to chapter 4, because the words will enter my brain but then fall out the other side and it’s just a struggle really

Which way of reading is the best one you ask? Well, obviously everyone is different and has their own opinions but personally I think that a good ol’ paperback will kinda always top the others? I love reading ebooks because it’s just easy, but so is reading paperbacks which, additionally, are nice to collect like hardbacks, which aren’t as easy to read. I would say audiobooks are almost as good as paperbacks because I feel like it’s a better experience to listen to a book and have it sort of acted out? Alas, as I mentioned above, audiobooks aren’t really for me.

Anywayyy what’s your favourite reading method, frand? Have I missed out any pros/cons? Do you agree with mine?

Fact File: Newt (from The Maze Runner) (no surname) (no surprise there)

Hey guys! Here’s another Maze Runner fact file for ya, and possibly the last one on the Maze Runner characters… although I might change my mind and do Teresa or Chuck. We shall see! After that I might do a few from A Series of Unfortunate Events because I’ll be watching the second season of it on Netflix!! EXCITEMENT.

Anyways, I have so many favourite characters from The Maze Runner trilogy because there are so many a-MAZE-ing ones (hahaha punny) to choose from, but we all know Newt is at the top. Well, somewhere at the top at least because Chuck is quite high up there too… As is Minho… ARGH why so many to choose from. Well let’s just say they’re my top three and I love them all equally because what kind of mother would I be if I were to pick a favourite child.

(But also Newt is totally my favourite oops)

(Also the art below isn’t mine; click it if you ache to explore other beautiful Maze Runner drawings)

Newt :
Gender : Male
Age : 16 or 17 (estimated)
Occupation : Runner (formerly), Second-in-Command
Famous for : leadership, selflessness, Britishness
Starring in : The Maze Runner - Books and Films 1-3,
(actor : Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and The Fever Code

Comment :
Newt is a firm but caring co-leader of the Gladers, having been part
of the group that first arrived when the Maze was created. He knows
everything that goes on and is welcoming and kind to the Greenies
(newcomers), unlike most of the others. As a result of his limp, he
takes charge instead of running through the Maze like he used to,
ensuring all the Gladers do their part and stick to the rules. Given
the title 'The Glue' in the second book, The Scorch Trials, Newt's
responsible for holding the group together as they face the dangers
of the real world, and I think he does a pretty good job of it. You
could say he's the mum of the Gladers. An all round legend really.

To learn more about Newt, click here.