December Movie Madness

Welcome to the final edition of Movie Madness for the year. I have to once again give thanks to The Blue Teacup for inspiring this feature as it's become one of my favourites for capturing the films I see throughout the month. If you're participating, feel free to leave your link in the comments :)
The Best               The Worst  
What I Saw At The Cinema
What I Watched On DVD
What I Caught On TV 
  1. The "Brilliantly Funny" Award
    Bush Christmas. Even though this film isn't meant to be a comedy, I couldn't help but laugh at almost every scene. It's just so ridiculous, you can hardly imagine Nicole Kidman as ever looking or acting like she does in this film. Totally worth checking out, if you're able to track it down.
  2. Most Anticipated
    Pretty In Pink. I've been wanting to check this film out for awhile now especially after spotting it on an episode  of Gilmore Girls. It didn't exactly live up to what I was expecting but it was pretty cool to see my first 80s teen flick.
  3. Fave Actor
    Robert Pattinson - Remember Me
    . I know it's a totally predictable choice but Robert Pattinson actually showed off his acting chops for me in this film, I'm now keen to see what else he'll be getting up to after Twilight wraps.
  4. Most Memorable CharacterDavid Marks - All Good Things. Ryan Gosling plays such an incredibly creepy character in this film that I found it almost impossible to enjoy the movie at all. It was probably worth more ratings than I've given it but unfortunately my gut was too freaked to rate it any higher.

  5. Most Surprising
    November Christmas. When I flicked by this christmas movie the other day, I was pretty much just expecting to find a cheesy kid movie but really by the end of it, we were all sitting on the edge of our seats wondering whether this little girl would live past her childhood years.

  6. Most Disappointing

    Charlie St Cloud. Oh, Zac Efron. What a terribly predictable choice for your breakaway from the comedic teen flicks you're so known for. Could you have picked anything more bland/unbelievable... Let's hope 2012's Liberal Arts with Elizabeth Olsen is a little more inspiring.

  7. Most Worthy of a Rerun
    New Years Eve. I know a lot of people have been kicking up a stink about this film but I actually really enjoyed the mini- story-lines plus it was fun to play spot the celebrity as there are about 554 in this flick.

  8. Worst Ending
    Pretty In Pink. Sorry but I'm still a little peeved that Molly Ringwald picked the wrong guy in my opinion. Otherwise a totally enjoyable film.
  9. Best Movie Poster
    New Years Eve. I'm pretty sure with so many actors to mention, this poster could've turned out pretty ugly. Luckily, it's done really well :)
    Overall Best & Worst
    Remember Me. Okay so the ending may have been a bit of a cop out but truthfully, I didn't see it coming at all. I did, however really enjoy this movie and got totally invested in the characters within about five minutes and it wasn't just Robert Pattinson's good looks. 
    Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh. Really, I should've  known better than to attempt a christmas film based on a TV Show that I've never even seen before. Although it was cool to see Miranda Cosgrove in a role other than iCarly.
Q: What Movies Have You Seen Lately?

Daily Dose - Christmas Day

I love that so many people have taken this meme under their wing and are enjoying the theme. It's brilliant to pop over to random blogs and catch some inspiring images. If you'd like to participate in Daily Dose, simply pull together some images you find magical and hope to inspire your readers with, then share the link below.
♥ holly
All images found on We Heart It!

Faves of Twenty-Eleven | The Covers

Once again, the lovely Nomes @ InkCrush is hosting the annual "best of" featurette in books, cover art, characters and even scenes. Be sure to check out the introductory post here if you'd like to participate!


After checking out a few lists for awesome covers, I'm noticing a recurring choice of Across the Universe. Rarely do covers require a second-glance to fully take in the entire image and it's hidden elements which makes it an easy choice for a favourite.

Some more fan favourites include Past Perfect, Lola and the Boy Next Door & Matched for winning us over with their irresistible interpretation of the novels at hand.

A not so obvious choice of The Sky Is Everywhere was made purely due to the amazing formatting that is set within this quaint imagery. I'd loved to see many more books printed in a diary style format. Yes, please!

There may have been a slight change of the rules when selecting Pink and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Those two both graced the web with their incredible covers but somehow I ended up with the ugly duckling versions that don't really do the books justice in either case. Needless to say, I felt inclined to include them anyway.

Last, but not least we have Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater which is ultimately the best cover of 2011 in my eyes. It's safe to say this was the prettiest cover that graced my nightstand this whole year and the cover art is one of the main reasons I held onto this book when my gut was telling me otherwise. Thank goodness, I prevailed and finally read this book as it's become one of my favourite series' :)

Q: What Was Your Favourite Book Cover of 2011?

2012 Reward Challenge - Stage 6

"The Reward Challenge is almost the complete opposite to a book buying ban as you'll end up buying lots of new books throughout the challenge but only after you've completed a certain amount of reading."
Stage 6     
Read Six Books = Reward
Read in November: 
Read in December: 

Review: The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: 18 October 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press

Review: Oh. The Scorpio Races! How you managed to tame me besides my best efforts. It's true, I was a little daunted by the sheer size of this novel and the extremely intensive writing style, I could even go on about the lack of romance but overall, I found it to be really quite a shining star.

After many attempts at publishing a novel on mythical horses, Maggie Stiefvater has finally found her groove with the capaill uisce pronounced CAP-ALL ISH-KA. A rare and often deathly creature literally dragged from the ocean each year for The Scorpio Races. Kate Connelly puts fear in the eyes of contenders when she is the first female to risk her life for the title with the help of Sean Kendrick, local horse whisperer and four-time winner of the race.

If I were given the chance to alter anything in this novel, I would start with the romance. Why, oh why would you hold back such an integral part of the story from us for so long, Maggie? Were you trying to create a much grander conclusion because ultimately I just got bored of the dull and sometimes tedious text. A little bit more adventure and action would not have gone astray, I almost felt like the novel could be cut down by half if it weren't for the detailing of the scenery ie. cliffs, ocean, island, etc.

Overall: For those of us who are purely interested in this novel due to The Wolves of Mercy Falls, tread very carefully. You may not exactly find an instant winner here but if you manage to get through this novel without drifting off, you'll find something really quite amazing buried beneath the text. An extremely unique novel not to be attempted lightly.

Cover: Sure, the cover art succeeds in the most important requirement of giving readers a small degree of insight into the plot and its character but what about the key demographic. If I'm not wrong, Maggie Stiefvater is a YA author and it seems like this cover would be much more successful in attracting a 40YO male than anything else. Bring back the fun, I say!

2012 New Years Resolutions (+ 2011 Wrap-Up)

First and foremost, I'd like to keep ahold of my blogging and reading addiction all throughout next. If this were the only bookish resolution I were to complete in 2012, I'd be pretty happy. Let's hope the blogging and/or YA world doesn't go into total decline before the year is out but for now read on for more of my weird and wonderful goals!

2012 Bookish Resolutions
  1. Read 75 Books in 2012 - I've been slowly upping this count each year and it seems to be working for me, I'll probably have to track down the slimmest books around to even come close to completing this challenge but maybe something miraculous will happen.

  2. Meet A Blogger IRL! - Last year my goal, was to get to know more bloggers which I succeeded in, now I'd like to actually meet one of them IRL. Any Takers, haha?!

  3. Reach 2000 Followers (and keep growing!) - Gaining followers is certainly not the be all and end all of blogging but the milestone seems crucial to getting even further with my blog. And hey, if no ones following it probably means no ones reading either!

  4. Write More Creative Posts - If last years goal was to step away from memes, I'd like the focus of this year to be on writing more creative posts to hopefully flex my writing ability a little bit more. 

  5. Continue Swapping Books - I love, love, love trading books with fellow Aussies. it's the perfect way to add to my collection while also clearing out some of the unloved titles on my shelves. If I could do the same amount of swaps as last year, my goal will be perfected.

Boring Life Goals of 2012
  1. Eat Healthier + Exercise - I'm pretty sure this resolution is one of the most popular but it's the very first time I've committed it to any list of my own. If I were to commit to an exercise regime once a week and quietly cut down on snacks, I'd be pretty happy.

  2. Attend More Music Events - Over the past couple years, I've been slowly seeing less and less live music especially since the all-encompassing Soundwave Festival seems to bring out all my faves for one day only. To complete this goal, I'll aim for a couple concerts throughout the year, Taylor Swift in March anyone?

  3. Keep Working - I've been lucky enough to pick up a few temp jobs lately which suits me perfectly although long periods in-between roles means more time for blogging, it's probably best if I aim for a more permanent role!

  4. Get My Drivers License - I've had my learners permit forever and believe it or not, I've never actually driven. Mostly due to the hassling I get from EVERY LIVING SOUL, I'm going to try and at least go for a lesson or something this year!

  5. Save Money and/or Budget - If I were to finally put a proper budget in place, it would be absolutely amazing but I'm doubting I'll ever actually get to that stage so purely kicking butt in the saving department will do for now :)  

Now let's see if I accomplished any of the goals set last year...

Goals Completed In 2011
  1. Attend A Literary Event - Yay, I finally attended my first book signing and while I didn't walk away with Maggie Stiefvater's signature, it was awesome to see her work her magic IRL.

  2. Get To Know More Bloggers - I think I'm confident in calling this one a pass, mostly thanks to the Aussie Book Swap, I've been getting to know lots of local YA bloggers and it's been awesome!

  3. Write 25 Book Reviews in 2011 - I'll have to check the exact number but I'm pretty sure I've reached this goal and I'm hoping my writing ability has improved along with it.

  4. Steer Clear of Memes - I wouldn't say I've kept clear from memes, more-so focusing on the memes that are actually really interesting to read and participate in so I'm calling this one a pass!

  5. Read The Books I Want - I guess this sounds like a pretty basic goal but with review and library books always turning up at random times, I often seem to put my most anticipated reads to the back of the pile. I think I'm safe in saying, I really kicked through this challenge by setting a new reading pile each month!

Goals Failed in 2011 :S
  1. Read 111 Books in 2011 - While I didn't complete this extreme challenge, I'm pretty happy with the quality and quantity of books I did manage to complete  this year.
  2. Post More Consistently - I've actually gone in the opposite direction of this post, now I tend to post less often but with more interesting ideas so I guess I'm happy with how that went.
  3. Seek Out Genres Other Than YA - I probably only read a few books outside of YA this year, after looking over my books read this year, I can see that I've only really attempted a couple chick-lit/romance :S
  4. Get A Domain Name - It looks like I completely forgot about this goal, I guess free hosting is just too convenient although it would be nice to see in the address bar.
  5. Complete A Reading Challenge - I guess this is another one to focus on in the future, I'm pretty terrible at consistently participating in a challenge but I guess inventing my own awesome reading challenge doesn't count, does it?

Q: What Is Your #1 Goal For 2012?

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