Closing Time

I’ve written posts about new beginnings, changes in direction, and fresh starts many times on this blog. This is the first time I’ve written about an ending.

I think it’s time to close the doors on Book Heaven.

I started this blog years ago, with the simple intention of  sharing my rather obsessive love of books and stories. I posted a mixture of reviews, creative writing, and literature-based arguments. I got a pleasant surprise when I realised how many people also loved books, and built up a loyal readership, and even made friends.

When I started it, it was all about children’s fiction, and then also started encompassing teenage fiction. I still think children’s fiction is one of the most important things in the world, but unfortunately I don’t have time with school and study to read both children’s fiction and adult novels, so for the moment I’ll have to let the kids’ stuff go. Also,  I think reviewing books for people not in your own age group is a little bit patronising, and unfortunately not many people see the importance and attraction of children’s fiction, so I think that area is better left to kids.

So thanks everyone for reading, I’ll be posting book reviews over on http://thefullbookcase.wordpress.com every now and then.

For the last time, I’ll see ya round,

Maeve

Les Miserables Film Reaction

I don’t tend to cry at films; I’m not the tearful sort. However, today, in the midst of a sea of fellow students, I bawled my eyes out when the cast of Les Miserables sang their hearts out in a final rendition of “Can You Hear The People Sing?”. This has always been my favourite song from the stage musical version, and the first time they began to sing it on screen I felt a little bit teary. But I was not prepared for every character to climb up on the magnificent barricades that only really existed in the proud and loyal minds of the students who wanted freedom for the people, and to sing it with more fervour and pride than I thought was actually possible.
 
Other than that song, Javert placing his pin on little Gavroche’s jacket also hit a spot. I think the fact that only a few weeks ago I saw Éponine (Samantha Barks) and Gavroche (Daniel Huttlestone) onstage in Dublin playing Nancy and the Artful Dodger in a brilliant production of Oliver! made it all the more real then when they lived and suffered on the cinema screen, larger than life but still very realistic. The fact they sang everything live made it grittier and more lifelike again.
 
I initially thought that the fact they sing everything would be a bit jarring, but after about the first five minutes you stop thinking it’s ridiculous and just get into it. The fact the songs are amazing makes it all the easier.
 
Anyway, I’m going again tomorrow night, and will probably have more to say about; things I missed this time around. Go to see it on the big screen, it will make the final powerful scene all the more overwhelming. 
 
Maeve xx
 
Have you seen the film or the musical, or read the book? How do you think they compare to each other?

The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins

    The Hunger Games is a series that has received mass attention over the last year, so the little book snob in me shied away from them for as long as possible. I must admit, even when I did eventually begin to read the first one, I was prepared for the worst… and happily proven wrong.

      Perhaps The Hunger Games don’t live up to their popular nickname ,”The Best Series Ever!” (followed by at least three exclamation marks usually), but what cycle of books could? So, maybe not the best-written books I’ve ever read, and with a very specific target audience, but none the less an interesting and thought-provoking series.

      The books follow Katniss Everdeen and her travels through a dangerous dystopian future (see what I mean about specific target audience?). She enters herself in the extreme reality show that give the book its title, The Hunger Games, to save her younger sister. Only the winner gets out of the games alive, so this is really a verdict of certain death to Katniss. 

     However, Katniss underestimates the lengths another competitor, Peeta, is willing to go for her. Unsure whether Peeta’s behaviour is a malicious strategy or the truth, Katniss get’s sucked into the dark games of the wealthy Capitol. To them, the death of numerous poverty-stricken children is just a few weeks of entertainment.

      I found the books lively and tense, but certainly not the best books I’ve read. I would definitely recommend them, but would give out a warning: the conclusion to the final book is a bitter-sweet ending, and not for the soft or faint of heart…

     One thing I really admire about these books is the author’s ability to make big things happen. She is not afraid of killing off characters, of estranging friends, of destroying whole cities; no magical coincidence fixes everything in the end, and some things are left scarred and changed forever. This adds a realism to the dystopian world that lies not so far off in the figurative future.