Friday, 22 August 2014

Help Me!

Dear all of you,

My entry on Tallenge, Earth's Largest Talent Platform is right underneath here.
"In Scarlet Water" -

Do take a look and vote for it if you think it deserves to win, when you have time, obviously (but preferably before September 12). You don't have to log in or sign up or anything, so it only takes around a few minutes! Please share it around, even if you're not interested! ^-^

Essentially, it's an entry for a short story competition. The winner will get opportunities for publishing online and it's a huge opportunity for me to take my writing further. :c

And here's the summary:

"There is a certain power in self-sacrifice."

My name is Lily Hooper, and I've never fit in anywhere. That is, to say, I've never fit in at home. I haven't even had a proper home. An asylum, a mansion... those aren't homes, are they? But finally, I've settled in; a new life, new friends, new parents... and I've left my life in London behind. The childhood I'd never had is the past, now, and I'm fine. I'm okay. Nobody will ever find me here.

Thanks a million, and it would mean the world to me,
Sarah <3

Sunday, 3 August 2014

A Book Ad (That sounds really snobby but...)

Hello, Internet, and people I know who are still reading this blog.

Hahaha! Finally. I'm getting my writing to shape up. I actually think this could be the beginning of something. Anyways, this post is just here to share my novel with you people. Oh yeah. And to tell you a little about Wattpad.
Wattpad is this amazing site for readers and writers of all ages and genres who are interested in reading things that people around this small earth write; and not only the famous people. It's an amazing site, really. I first developed my insane love for writing towards the end of seventh grade, and it has totally changed my life (don't worry, I'm not going to go all philosophical). So, last year, people were telling me about Wattpad and I did my research on it and found out it's a totally cc website that helps you to protect your writing online and where it's the perfect place to make your writing better and to see and hear what people think about what you write. If you love to write, like me, it's recommended.

It has been remarkable to hear what people think about my novel Cliffton, the first of a medieval fantasy trilogy and what I'm going to share with you people out there today. I have been considering actually getting it out there (meaning publishing), and will probably grasp the opportunity when it comes. :) Enough of my ranting. Tell me what you think!

❝Oɴᴄᴇ ᴜᴘᴏɴ ᴀ ᴛɪᴍᴇ, ᴀɴ ɪɴɴᴏᴄᴇɴᴛ ʟɪᴛᴛʟᴇ ɢɪʀʟ ᴡᴀᴛᴄʜᴇᴅ ʜᴇʀ ʙʀᴏᴛʜᴇʀ ᴅɪᴇ.❞


Winter dawns on the small kingdom of Guildenstar. The air is cold, the landscape is a sparkling white. Everything seems peaceful, everyone seems happy. But this is not to last. Meanwhile, in the castle, problems are rising. A certain Lord plots to uphold his power. Guildenstar's currency is failing. The royal family are at risk of losing everything they have and love. Unaware of all this, Elizabeth Dain lives a carefree life, disobeying the regulations the Lord of the castle lays down upon her shoulders. 
But as her 'turning' name-day grows ever closer, things around her begin to change. Her family is being unusual. Her father is nice to her. And although this is something she should enjoy, Elizabeth becomes more and more suspicious. What are they hiding from her? Why is it so important? What she doesn't have any idea about is that her knowing this information will turn the tables of her life over- for ever.


❝Aɴᴅ ᴊᴜsᴛ ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ, sʜᴇ ᴛᴀᴜɢʜᴛ ʜᴇʀsᴇʟғ ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴜʟᴇs ᴏғ ᴄʜᴇss.❞

Watch the book trailer above!

If you're interested in reading it, go here:

Thanks a lot for reading this post! :)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The Merchant of Venice

You may want to read this little intro:
[Right, before I put my review of this play forwards, I will make some things clear. One, I'm not a Jew. I was baptised Chrisitan, but am an aethist. (Feeling confused? ^-^) I did not give this play 5 stars because of the anti-semitism. I respect all religions and the people who follow them as long as they don't try to influence me. Lastly, this play is confusing. It's hard to decide whether Shakespeare was against or for the prejudice of the time.]

❝Hᴀᴛʜ ɴᴏᴛ ᴀ Jᴇᴡ ᴇʏᴇs? Hᴀᴛʜ ɴᴏᴛ ᴀ Jᴇᴡ ʜᴀɴᴅs, ᴏʀɢᴀɴs, ᴅɪᴍᴇɴsɪᴏɴs? Sᴇɴsᴇs, ᴀғғᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴs, ᴘᴀssɪᴏɴs? Iғ ʏᴏᴜ ᴘʀɪᴄᴋ ᴜs ᴅᴏ ᴡᴇ ɴᴏᴛ ʙʟᴇᴇᴅ? Iғ ʏᴏᴜ ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴ ᴜs, ᴅᴏ ᴡᴇ ɴᴏᴛ ᴅɪᴇ? Aɴᴅ ɪғ ʏᴏᴜ ᴡʀᴏɴɢ ᴜs, sʜᴀʟʟ ᴡᴇ ɴᴏᴛ ʀᴇᴠᴇɴɢᴇ? Iғ ᴀ Jᴇᴡ ᴡʀᴏɴɢ ᴀ Cʜʀɪsᴛɪᴀɴ, ᴡʜᴀᴛ ɪs ʜɪs ʜᴜᴍɪʟɪᴛʏ? Wʜʏ, ʀᴇᴠᴇɴɢᴇ!❞

A play by William Shakespeare
A review brought to you by ѕαяαн {24601}

[My Rating] 4.5 stars Really, really liked it/It was amazing
[Goodreads' Average Rating] 3.75 Stars Liked it/really liked it
[Would I read this again?] Yes
[Genre] Shakespearean Comedy

The Merchant of Venice is a play by English playwright William Shakespeare, set in the Italian port of Venice. Highly centred around the anti-Semitic attitudes of the time, the play illustrates the story of conflict between Antonio, a Christian merchant, and Shylock the Jew. 
Before I continue, I should start off with a bit of historic explaining.

The Merchant of Venice was believed to be written between the years of 1596 and 1598 in Renaissance England. At the time, there would not have been a Jew in England. The people and citizens of England would have been Christians or nothing else, for if they should be Atheist or non-Christian. it was something that could admittedly be punishable by death. One of the few places where Jews could live was in the rich Italian port of Venice, where they were given jobs and the right to live, hence the setting of the play. However, Jews were forced to live in Ghettos and the jobs they were given were to be the equivalent of the modern day bank. They would lend out money to people who needed it and could charge interest if they wished to. It was against a Christian's guidelines to ask for interest when they lent something, and so the Jews of Venice were amongst the few who could. 

It starts off with our merchant feeling sad. Antonio doesn't know why his mood is so downcast, and his friends (Gratiano, Solarino, Bassanio, Lorenzo) attempt to cheer him up. Bassanio, Antonio's best friend, is left alone with the merchant of Venice, and confesses to Antonio that he has spent all of the money that was lent to him, and asks for Antonio's help. For Bassanio needs to be dressed in rich garments should he wish to try his fortune out in Belmont, the fortress built on the outskirts of Venice. There lives the fair Portia, who is bound to her fate by a dead father's will. She lives in near-solitude, and confides everything to Nerissa, her servant and trusted friend.
Portia is in a difficult situation. Many men have come to court her and to try to find the answer to the riddle that will then gain the man her hand in marriage. Portia wishes to leave Belmont and find her own husband, but she is loyal to her dead father and his wishes, and feels bound to this. The rite through which every one of Portia's courters must go through is named "the choosing of the caskets." There are three caskets. One of Gold, which says, "Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire." The other is of silver, which tells "Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves." And the last is of lead, which reads, "Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath." 

So here comes the young Bassanio in need of money. Alas, Antonio has none to give, for all his merchandise is out at sea, on ships laden with silks and riches and bound of trading ports. But he knows just the man to go to. Shylock the Jew, the moneylender that the Christians all despise. Upon their meeting, Shylock mocks the demand from Antonio. Three thousand ducats is what Bassanio needs. Shylock responds: "Well then, it now appears you need my help:
Go to, then; you come to me, and you say
'Shylock, we would have moneys:' you say so;
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard
And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur
Over your threshold: moneys is your suit
What should I say to you? Should I not say
'Hath a dog money? is it possible
A cur can lend three thousand ducats?' Or
Shall I bend low and in a bondman's key,
With bated breath and whispering humbleness, Say this;
'Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last;
You spurn'd me such a day; another time
You call'd me dog; and for these courtesies
I'll lend you thus much moneys'?"
Eventually he accepts to lend the ducats to Antonio, but on one condition. Shylock doesn't want any profit. If the sum is not returned in 3 month's time, Shylock wishes to have a pound of flesh carved from Antonio's chest, nearest to the heart, knowing that the blood loss from such a wound would kill the Christian. 

Meanwhile, in Belmont, the Prince of Morocco chooses the gold casket, reflecting his wealth, arrogance and belief that status means everything, and in return is rewarded with a skull with a message through the eye socket. "All that glitters is not gold," is its message. With a broken heart, Morocco leaves Belmont. Next comes the Prince of Aragon, who chooses silver. His vanity deceives him- and he departs for a different destination with head bent low, feeling twice the fool he was than when he first arrived.
Finally, we see Bassanio enter Belmont. After spending a few hours talking with Portia, the two of them have fallen in love with one another, and Portia fears that he will choose wrong and leave her heartbroken. Of course, though, Bassanio chooses the lead casket, and picks up the portrait of his lover, and thus ensuring the marriage between the two. On the day of their wedding, Nerissa also marries Gratiano. 

Things are not going well back in Venice. Shylock has lost his daughter and his money; Jessica, who has run away with her lover Lorenzo, along with over three-thousand ducats to Belmont. Grievous, Shylock must only hope that Antonio's ships sink. Rumours spread that three of Antonio's ships have crashed against boulders, smashed to pieces and dragging down with them unfortunate sailors. 

The law calls forth and Antonio and Shylock are summed to court. Bound by law and the security of Venice's reputation, the Duke of Venice can only try to persuade Shylock to show mercy and take six thousand ducats- or more, home with him to compensate for the late return of the bargained three-thousand ducats and to save Antonio's life. Shylock, however, refuses to give in, and in stride the fair Portia and Nerissa, both disguised- one as a doctor; the other his apprentice. 
Portia tells Shylock what he would lose should he take Antonio's life, and after some talking and harassment, Shylock gives in. For Portia declares that upon this bond it states that Shylock must take a pound of flesh exactly- nothing more, nothing less and that not one drop of Christian blood may be spilt in the cutting. 

But they will not let Shylock go. Forced into a deep shame, he is stripped of his possessions and beliefs, and forced to convert to a Christian. Stripped of his faith. His faith.

This play was truly moving and superbly written. The plot was great, the characters were great. READ IT.

Friday, 16 May 2014

The art of Christopher Paolini

It began with Eragon...
                        ... It ends with Inheritance

There was a time, when Alagaësia was ruled with justice and peace coursed through the veins of the cities. All races, magic or not, lived in harmony. Elves, urgals, dwarves, humans. It was a time when the land flourished with greatness and there was little war. It was a time of Dragon Riders. The riders were known all over the land as the 13 forsworn. But peace does not last, especially with humans. Humans tend to want power. And war broke out in Alagaësia, for the first time in years. One of the Riders, who goes by the name of Galbatorix, betrayed his own kind. He turned against the riders, and, with a few other companions, defeated the riders, and claimed the throne. Since then, Alagaësia has been ruled in times of darkness and sorrow.


Eragon, not so long ago, was a poor farm boy working hard to earn a living in the rural area of Carvahall, a town bordered by the Spine, a line of treacherous woods and mountains. But his simple life turned around to what he believed was impossible.

A boy of 17, named Eragon, goes hunting in the spine, hoping to shoot at least one deer to feed his Uncle Garrow and cousin Roran, with whom he lives.
Meanwhile, an elf that goes by the name of Arya rides for her life, accompanied by two elven soldiers and clutching a blue stone, stolen from the king himself. Cornered by Durza, one of the king's most powerful weapon, Arya tries to save herself. But she is no match for Durza, who was once a human, but is now possessed by demonic spirits. He is a Shade, a powerful spellcaster. But before she is captured, the elf composes a spell to send the stone far, far away. After that Arya is subject to inhuman torture in Gil'ead.
Flash. Eragon tries to embed an arrow into the doe he has been stalking quietly in one last futile attempt before it bolts. A blinding flash of light illuminates the forest. Curious, Eragon discovers the source of the light, and in doing so, finds the stone. It is a glimmering sapphire blue color, with light vein patterns coursing on the outside. It is smooth and refined, polished, and it gleams in the moonlight. Excited, Eragon brings the stone to Sloan, the town butcher, in exchange for some meat, but Sloan refuses after he guesses it belongs to the king.
Ergaon goes home and, the next morning, the stone -or should I say- egg hatches to reveal a large, shiny blue lizard, with wings and spikes that run horizontally down its spine. Over the next days, Eragon learns that the creature's name is Saphira, and she is a dragon, and he her rider. The moment he touches her, Eragon recieves a mark on his palm, called a Gedwëy Ignasia. They are bonded for life. Thus begins a time of minor hope, war, and fear throughout the land of Alagaësia. 

One night, Carvahall is attacked and raided by an inhuman species, called the Ra'zac, that have been controlled by Durza to do his bidding. They are black and deadly, and the offspring from the Letharblaka, the adult version. They hatch from eggs. One cut from a Ra'zac's blade or claw, and you are certain to die. Durza and Galbatorix, the cruel ruler of Alagaësia, sense the hatching of the egg and set the Ra'zac out to find and kill Eragon or bring him to the king. 
So Saphira, in an attempt to save Eragon, flies out with him and keeps him close, hidden in the spine throughout the night. Eragon runs away from her and blames her for his Uncle's death, the only family he has apart from Roran, who left to go and marry Sloan's daughter, kind-hearted Katrina. They both survive the Ra'zac's attack. Eragon shouts at Saphira with both his mind and voice, telling her never to come back. Saphira communicates with him by mind, and flies off in rage. She is a very vain dragon, being the last female of her kind. 

Brom, the storyteller of Carvahall, who was, like Galbatorix, a rider in the old days, fled from Carvahall, taking Eragon with him. Eragon was not pleased, but soon he figured out it was for his own good. He called Saphira back with his mind, and asked her to forgive him, which she gratefully did. Together the trio set out for the Beor mountains, where the surviving outcast rebels that fought against Galbatorix's rise to power lived. These folk were known as the Varden, and lived under high security measures, in a region that Galbatorix himself could not precisely pinpoint, even though he was the most powerful magician in Alagaësia. 
Soon, though, Durza managed to retrieve from Arya the information he needed- where she had sent the egg, and to whom it hatched. The King ordered the Shade to prevent Eragon to ever get to the Varden, for he knew that if the Varden or their leader, King Ajihad, knew that a new rider had come to be, they would be hopeful and might wage war against the Empire. 

Eragon could hear Arya in his dreams. He learned her name and that she was being held captive in Gil'ead. And so, although Brom thought it foolish of him, he agreed that they go to Gil'ead, to free Arya. It is a long journey already to the Varden, and an even longer one now that Eragon has chosen to put them off course. Along the way, Brom teaches Eragon how to sparr properly, and also a few words of the Ancient Language, which ties in with magic. Eragon learns the importance of magic, and that it is dangerous, as spells, to function need energy that comes from the spellcaster, and that as a rider, he is entitled to use magic, the gift given to him the moment he touched Saphira. Also, signs that the hunt for Eragon has begun is evident. Urgals raiding villages and killing all who comes across their path. It was a sure sign that Galbatorix knew about recent events. 
Once in Gil'ead, Eragon goes into the fortress, underneath a hooded cape, to obscure his face, as Saphira watches from a large distance, hidden from view in the shadow of rocks and boulders, ready to fly to Eragon, should he need help.
Eragon looks for Arya and manages to set her free from her bonds. But she is not pleased to see him. As Brom had said, Arya was willing to give up her own life so Eragon could make his way safely to the Varden. Before getting out from underground, they encounter Durza briefly, and he tries to kill them. They manage to get out of Gil'ead and back onto their planned route in the forest, but not without being attacked by guards and soldiers as they attempted to flee. They were helped by Saphira, Brom and another man, who was an archer and has dark hair. His name is Murtagh.

Roran and his troops prepare to besiege the capital of Uru'baen. Meanwhile, Eragon, his dragon Saphira and Glaedr (in eldunari form)   the golden dragon, fly to Vroengard Island from the Varden’s camp to find a secret weapon in the ‘Vault of Souls’, as directed by Solembum, Angela’s werecat. This will be their only hope in defeating Galbatorix and his dragon, Shruikan, and the dozens of Eldunari of dead dragons.  Eragon returns in time to help his cousin Roran in taking down Ur’ubaen, coming back with the Knowledge of his and Saphira’s true names, and with 26 dragon eggs and about 100
Eldunarí. Although the eggs will not hatch in time to see galbatorix’s defeat, the eldunari wil do anything in their power. 

The final battle fought in  Alagaësia will be the golden story to be passed around the land for many centuries to come, but that is the future, and now is now. Now, a shining new era will begin in Alagaësia, an era of rebuilding, and shaping the war-ridden land. But it will also be a new beginning, a time of justice, hope, and freedom. But also a time of peace, when all races - whether they are magical or not, whether they are Urgals or Kull, Elves or Dwarves or Humans, will live in harmony throughout the land of Alagaësia. Hope, and do not fear, for...

... The time of the Dragon Riders has come again.

Sea Foam

I haven't posted here in ages... :/ Okay, here's a short story I wrote. Try and figure out the hidden meaning behind it... It's one of those I-get-an-idea-and-just-have-to-get-it-out-of-my-weird-brain ideas. Anyways, i hope you enjoy it! Leave comments below, too, if you're up for it!
P.S: Wattpad link is here:


He was there, a shimmering figure that moved and talked in a strange, seductive language, with penetrating azure eyes that were rimmed with heavy, dark lashes. And they all watched as if he were a deity, something to be praised and yet he was looked down upon, and from all angles they observed his movements.

There were scientists, politicians, doctors, lawyers, cleaners, waiters, serving-girls and mothers; fathers, sons, daughters and babies, and a good amount of furry plush toys belonging to the children. Those who had graduated from a good university and gotten a well-paid job looked on this specimen, analysing him- the curve of his torso, the formation of his queer legs, the slits at his throat, and with tubes they measured the amount of carbon dioxide, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen present in the bubbles which escaped from his mouth.
The limewater turned milky, yes, but the glowing splint burned out and they conducted further tests, stuck him with sensors to re-trace his movements, pioneered a minute camera down his throat for the tiny thing to be engulfed by the peristaltic waves of his muscles as he swallowed.

He was the embodiment of futuristic sciences that were well beyond their reach: or so they thought. He was something that so many had heard of but never believed in- for to all they were naught but pictures and words in a child's story. And all the knowledge these scientists, doctors and politicians held combined together- a hundred or so were attempting to solve this puzzle- could not help them give a rational explanation for the simple- being of this- this creature. This hybrid, this monster.

Contrary to their elders, the children marvelled at the sight of him. The teenage girls swooned at the sight of his muscular torso, but toon reclined as their eyes swept over his lower half. The younger ones, however, danced around him, thinking if such was possible, then all their dreams of unicorns and faeries and other magical beings were real. That this man was the open door to the ultimate faith in their fantasies. Some, for instance, boldly announced to their parents that they would have to quit school for Peter Pan was to soon take them to Neverland; and there they would stay and never need worry about anything related to growing up ever again. Others claimed that by the morn of the first of September they would be in one of London's black taxis on their way to King's Cross station with a Snowy owl perched on their left forearms, with a signed acceptance letter tucked up, folded neatly in a breast pocket.

But all their mothers in the white laboratory coats simply told them it was nonsense. And they all bent befuddled over the railing as they injected anaesthesia into his blood system and, with stopwatches, they measured the time it would take until his movements stilled, and until he hovered there, like a broken marionette- head hung low, strings snapped; a shimmering doll of incomprehensible manner and stuck full of tubes and wires. They calculated the exact time- it was around seven minutes and three-quarters of a minute until he stopped swimming- or for that matter- until her stopped thrashing about and hissing. He beheld a set of jagged teeth behind full, silken lips, which under normal circumstances appeared humanoid- white teeth; flat, normal. But he had crossed the line and pushed too far; through the sea foam that obscured most of his body from above, one could see his wide, electric-blue eyes rolling as he tried to escape from these strange people.

But he had no chance of standing up to these strangers- for they did not understand him; and he had already achieved the feat of scaring them. Fear- yes, fear. It seemed to be his only option- and yet it could not save him.

For they were too rash in decisions, too quick to think, too trusty in their devices that they did not even barely graze the surface of their attempts at comprehending what they had never seen before. The superior race, they called themselves; top of the food chain, dictators of the world, and they denied all which could destroy them as a population.

They would never comprehend, he thought, as he felt his consciousness slowly drifting away, as his eyelids began to close over the goggling, demented faces visible behind the meter-thick glass.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Poetry Workshop with Ray Mather

Hello again! I feel like it's been a long time since I've actually posted anything... :/

Anyways, I got chosen to do a poetry workshop with Ray Mather, a published author and retired Drama teacher. He's a REALLY nice man and I think the opportunity of the workshop was great. I think I learned more on poetry and weaving in literary features in a poem... Alliteration, Metaphors, Similes, Signs&Symbols, list of 3...

So anyways, here's my poem. (I don't generally write poetry, so... *coughs*)


The Superbug

The world is webbed with the strands of a black veil.
I don’t see. I don’t listen. 
No light filters through the dust to find me.
Forfeited hopes... 
Once in the clouds
I have 
from the highest precipice.

Spiderwebs entangle my mind,
Strangle my voice, 
seal my mouth with wax,
As one would do with a letter of importance.
Seal it so that it may look harmless.
So that it may not distribute 
its secrets 
from eyes of stupidity.

My lips will be sealed then,
Smiles as false as the beauty of Circe
Will pull the corners of my mouth.
‘Fie! fie!’ They say. ‘You are a Janus.’

I am Stromboli’s little Marionette.
And time shall bring what only time may bring...
Forfeited hopes.
Once he is gone, I shall be on my own,
To wander the streets by moonlight underneath the rain,
To trip upon the cobblestones
And lie there in the dark
With no hand to pull me back to my feet.
The auburn flames that once 
down the mountainsides
Of passion

Will become no more than dying embers
And yet the scars on the landscapes of my heart will remain.
The charred arteries, flesh burned to a
third degree

A superbug, they call it.
They say it can’t be cured,
Just as a Bishop on a board can’t be cured of its gloom,
Its upturned mouth. 

O, how I long to let that wax melt and bubble!
Under those auburn flames
So that my mouth may give way to speech

But all I can do now 
Is to sit here and cross my fingers
And simply hope
for his survival
That the bug will not 
his soul
Like a wind tears ash from 
devoured wood
To scatter it into the wide, 
Wide world.

For it to settle upon an endless prairie,
Lush and green, where 
little blue forget-me-nots
Poke through the soil in spring

To outline his body and let it 

Within their embrace, where he will lie
Cold as he once was warm in my arms,
Warmed and cooled 
by the same summer and winter
As I am, and as I always will be.

But for now,
Let the trees weep their red loss with me

But it will return for them,
And not for me- for if he departs,
I shall never see the 
light again,
For there is 

And I will wander the streets alone at night,
Under the rain, all on my own.

with a fading hope.
~ ©Sarahgaier2014

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Students Sold us Secrets (A book review)

The Students Sold us Secrets

It’s your average typical high school. Except with a sinister twist and without the musical.

SO, Curtains closed and lights off...

Sorry. Tickets are sold out for the musical. Come back some other day. “We apologize for any inconvenience caused.”

[Book Title] The Students Sold Us Secrets
[Author] Lee J Mavin
[Genre] Horror - Possibly include the adjectives demented, psycho, and just bone-chilling.

[My Rating] 4.5/5 
[Would I read it again?] Scha YES.
[Would recommend it?] Yes 
[To whom?] People who like reads by authors who can make you feel uncomfortable by twisting and making even the most everyday and so-called ‘normal’ settings feel creepy. Generally horror fans, excluding the sci-fi versions of horror.

I was given this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The whole setting starts off as a regular life in a high school. 
You’ve got:
↳The teachers (obviously)
↳The principal (or headmaster)
↳The janitor(s)
↳The students (or else there would be no business. Who would be taught? The air?) 
↳And, your bullies (everyone hates the gang of bullies. It would be great without them. Oh, and of course they bring in a sense of HUGE Ego to the school.)

Average high schools don’t work without these, do they? Or so we think.... 

In this book, a collection of a multitude of different stories based upon school, narrated in first person by the most psychopathic people the face of the earth has possibly ever seen. Pessimists as well, who manage to find every single thing wrong with their school. Like doctors, who find out whatever you’ve got wrong with your broken bone, no matter how much you want it to heal slowly so everyone can make a big deal about it, and you manage to get late to class. 
All the people listed above are essential to make a school environment work. Well, a stereotypical one, at the least. Apparently our narrators think otherwise. 

It seems that these psychos have read a bit too much exaggerated Horror, or watched it. It’s like it’s implanted in their brains, and boy, I would not fancy going to a school with these creepsters... A school where underneath a football field lie the unnoticed and rotting remains of a person being sawn to pieces- gosh, when you read it, it makes you go, “That is sick and wrong on so many levels I don’t even wanna talk about it.” 

Sometimes, when you read this collection of demented diaries, it makes you squirm in your chair, and you can just picture the school possibly twenty years later, the principal’s light blue office rug coloured in places, under his desk, with dark ochre coloured stains, which the janitors had not been able to remove from the fabric. They tried, of course, they did. Unfortunately it was not enough. 

After reading this, if it strikes a seemingly everlasting fear in your heart, school and football pitches and the art studio will never appear the same to you... For the visions of the psycho narrators are haunting your mind.... overcoming it with a substance as dark as the black plague...

Here is a basic summary of how I reacted to The Students Sold us Secrets:

At the beginning of the chapter:

Not bad. Uh huh. I see, oh yeah, nice. It’s in a school. Nice environment. NOt bad at all, actually.

By the end of the chapter:

Woah! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! Did I really read that?

Now what did I think about it? Well, as mentioned at the top of this review, I gave this book a 4.5/5 because I really loved it. Now normally, I’m not a huge fan of horror and demented gruesome things. I tend to steer more towards the fantasy/historical fiction road. But when Lee J Mavin asked me to review his book, I said yes straightaway, because it’s not everyday that something like this happened. 
So I read the book. And holy cow, I was impressed. Although it isn’t a very complicated read in terms of language, it can get deep at times, and I really like Lee’s writing style. Here is a passage I really liked in the book, although it had nothing to do with the horror aspect. This is in the second- last chapter, entitled ‘The Poet.

The artists were also silenced, and some even tragically forgot how to use their rare and precious talents. The paint grew hard in stored-away tins, and canvases stayed blank under shadows of sadness.

This truly was a great read and I would definitely recommend it, and perhaps if you think you’re reading too much of the same genre, try The Students Sold us Secrets. A good idea would be to not let you teacher read over your shoulder in english class- they may get the idea that you are planning a gruesome revolt against the school, perhaps voting for equal rights between the students and teachers, for example, that you can change your grade from an Average C to an A * by winning the talent show or something. But remember, maybe leave out the ‘musical’ from the high school.

There wasn’t much I didn’t like about the book. What I sometimes found is that it took me awhile to figure out who exactly the narrator was, but apart from that I found that I really enjoyed this book. 

Overall, an EXCITING read, and a pleasure. It was the kind of book that made you feel relaxed and then suddenly set off your *WARNING: Psychopath ALERT* and just hit your crazy “did that really just happen” and “oh yuk” button. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Chapter 1- Part I of Cliffton {Cliffton #1}



Elizabeth Isabel Marie Anne Dain pulled her black hood over her head as she walked through the freshly snowed over streets of Guildenstar, not wanting people to recognize her lest she got into trouble. Winter had come early this year- it was almost the end of October, and her birthday was coming up soon. But for now she had to focus on her orientation. Although she had lived and grown up here her whole life, Elizabeth was constantly confined to the indoors.
Racking her brains as she trudged through the snow, she took a left turn onto a wide street, which was so used that the cobblestones were already managing to peek through the layer of white. One left, two right, and another left, go straight, she thought, an image of the village’s map flashing in her mind as she followed her instincts.
       Glancing up, she smiled to herself, satisfied. A wide, dangling sign flashed above her as it reflected the sun’s last rays as the day began to fade, its hinges creaking faintly in the light, cool breeze. Her breath coming out in faint plumes, the teenage girl walked into the Golden Pony, shutting the cold out behind her.
       Still shivering from the after effects of the cold that still clung to her body, Elizabeth sat herself down at a table meant for two people in the far corner of the large, boisterous room. The clamor in the pub was deafening, but it was better than the deadly cold outside that took away many lives over the course of three months.

Peering out from the shadows of her hood, Elizabeth’s emerald eyes took in everything they could hold as the girl waited for the bartender to come. It had been exactly four and a half weeks since she’d had enough time to take the risk to sneak back out into the town and come to the Golden Pony. She couldn’t help but notice a man who had an abnormally large frame sitting at a bar next to another so thin they were impossible to compare in size.
       Tearing her gaze away, she smoothed out the folds of her simple, navy blue dress, and waited for the bartender, her ‘friend’ to come. He was more of an acquaintance, but the two had a lot of respect for each other.
“Yes, miss?” A female voice asked, leaning down to get a look underneath the hood. Elizabeth scowled in mild frustration, pulling the fabric of her cloak further over her face. She looked up to see a waitress clad in a simple farm girl dress with a bosom that was by far too large for the bodice. Elizabeth took a while to realize that the waitress was asking for her order. “Aren’t you a bit too young to be in a bar?” the waitress questioned, tapping her foot lightly against the ground to show she was waiting for Elizabeth to order.
“I do what I want, and when I want,” Elizabeth snapped, lying, but she wasn’t about to let the woman know that. “One hot cocoa, please,” she continued, changing the subject.
The waitress nodded and left to walk behind the counter, where wheat beer, a Guildenstar speciality, sloshed in great quantities to the floor. Careless servers, the thirteen year old thought, playing with the single flame that danced to and fro from a long white candle in front of her.

Then something caught her attention. A boy of about sixteen walked into the bar noisily enough, but he was ignored by all but the waitress and Elizabeth. His dripping wet and thin cloak clung to his dirty clothes, he had dark, auburn hair that fell in messy, unkempt bangs all over his forehead, though had a charming smile of what seemed to be relief as he closed the door behind him.
       He seemed to Elizabeth like a farmer, bits of straw stuck out of his hair, and even from where she sat the young girl could see that his hands were covered in many callouses. From where she sat, Elizabeth could see that dark rings shadowed his eyes, giving them a hooded appearance. They stood out clearly against the pale contrast of his skin. He had high cheekbones and bright eyes, silver with a ring of gold around the pupil, like a wolf.
However, underneath the portrait of the tired, worn out, stable boy, Elizabeth had to admit he was rather handsome. Apparently the waitress thought so too, or found him more interesting than placing out Elizabeth’s order.

He was instantly overpowered by the waitress, who grabbed his hands, pulling him towards her, stroking his chest and taking him by surprise. Elizabeth rolled her eyes. Women these days, her thoughts told her. The boy angrily pulled away from the waitress and squeezed his way over to the bar, where he placed three rusty bronze coins, which could easily be recognized as Joncs, the least valuable part of the currency in Guildenstar and its neighboring country.
       He shot the hooded figure in the corner an odd stare of mixed bewilderment, curiosity, and boredom. Elizabeth noticed and raised her hand to beckon him over to sit at her table, which was the only seat left in the pub, unless the boy was insane enough to squeeze himself between the two largely and thinly disproportionate men at one of the high chairs at the bar. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, he declined the offer, pushed his way to the counter, disappeared from view for a minute, and then came back out carrying a barrel of presumably beer. It could sustain a family for a winter, but could kill them too if they had too much. He was taking a huge risk.

Elizabeth watched him exit the Golden Pony, mildly angry with herself for losing her chance to make a friend and to speak with a commoner. She thanked the barman as he placed a steaming hot mug of cocoa in front of her. She pressed three silver Tarn into his hand. Only the wealthiest could afford cocoa, and she knew it.
As he sat down in front of her, she wrapped her hands around the mug and felt an involuntary shudder down her spine as the beverage warmed her up completely. Taking small but savoring sips, she looked at her acquaintance.
“Good evening,” he said, then teasing, because he knew she wouldn’t like it, “Your Highness.”
“Oh shut it,” Elizabeth snorted in her family’s faint English accent.
The barman himself had a faint Scottish one, and he smiled as he knocked his wooden mug of ale against her cocoa. “Cheers,” he said and drank from it.
“Cheers,” Elizabeth said sullenly.

Noticing there was something wrong with her, the man stood up. “Well, I’ll be seeing you around, yes, Lassie?” he said, and gave her a friendly clap on the back. She nodded from under the cloak, drinking some more cocoa, but only her physical form was still on earth as she looked out the window, where it was already night time. She finished the beverage quickly, and, refastening her cloak around her shoulders, swept out of the bar like a shadow. She didn’t even notice another man enter the bar, crossing her path as she left.
Elizabeth walked out on the street without even so much as a backwards glance, and slowly made her way back home. The first stars were already coming out, and a strong wind was brewing up. Elizabeth picked up her pace. She was not at all in the mood of continuing her way in the middle of a thunder- or snowstorm.

Her father and brothers were probably waiting for her. Relieved to see the oaken doors of the castle entrance hall in front of her, she forced her numb legs and feet to sustain her until she could collapse onto a couch.
Elizabeth walked over the portcullis and squeezed through the doors, which were always left slightly ajar for the guards to slip in and out of the castle. She closed them after her with a grunt, and immediately took off her cloak, wringing it over a bucket so as to not wet the floor. She had a certain respect for the servants, unlike her elder brother, Peter, who was the heir to the throne and a twenty three year old busy man, who had the potential to being a great brother, but who was too occupied with his tutors. He was determined in becoming a great ruler.
There was a good but faint relationship between the two, though Peter could sometimes be horrendous and unforgiving to his little sister. If he wanted to be.

Elizabeth removed her boots and socks and sat down next to the fire on a pillow, warming up her hands and feet. Thank goodness only the hem of her rich navy dress was wet. She thanked her servants for providing her with such great protection as she looked at the cloak which she had hung over the pail.

Elizabeth narrowed her eyes as she felt a sudden presence around her. Looking back, she called, “Hello?” Only the black, flickering shadows replied.
Shrugging, Elizabeth let her thoughts wander off again, getting lost between reality and dreams as her green eyes followed the dancing of the flames, that licked the marble hearth with a shimmering soft orange glow.
Elizabeth sighed and leaned against the leg of a couch, just as her cat, Shadow, pounced into the entrance hall, a strutting gait in his walk. He jumped onto her lap, his tiny claws digging into Elizabeth’s dress, and deposited a small brown thrush at her feet. The tiny creature was unstirring, its wings folded delicately at its sides. The girl picked the bird up in a silken handkerchief. Its tiny black eye opened up, not glassy but vibrantly scared, and it opened up its wings with a shrill birdcall, and fluttered away unsteadily. Elizabeth looked up as it landed on the windowsill, sang one last tune, and flew off into the darkness.

Elizabeth stroked Shadow’s grey fur absentmindedly, and he purred contentedly, his black-tipped tail wagging from side-to side. It was not long before his throaty vibrations against her skin lulled her to sleep.