Monday, 1 August 2016


LAIKA, the studio behind the hit films Coraline and ParaNorman, introduces audiences to a new breed of family: the Boxtrolls, a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs in the amazing cavernous home they've built beneath the streets of Cheesebridge. When the town's villain, Archibald Snatcher, comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls, Eggs decides to venture above ground where he meets and teams up with fabulously feisty Winnie to devise a daring plan to save Eggs' family. The Art of The Boxtrolls features the amazingly detailed artwork that went into this film's creation, including character sketches, puppets, textiles, set dressing, and 3-D printed facial models, alongside the story of the film's development.

Some of my all time favourite films are of the animated kind, and this year especially I've really gotten into the 'Art of' books. There are a whole host of films represented in these books from various production companies, and my collection of them is definitely growing.

I really enjoyed this particular book, taking us behind the scenes of 'The Boxtrolls'; an animated film adapted from a children's book and brought to life by the production company Laika (the same company that produced Coraline). I love how in depth this particular 'Art of' book was, and I felt like I came away with a wealth of knowledge regarding the production of the film. These books always tend to receive five stars from me.

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella dreams of the faraway lands her father once mapped. When her best friend disappears, she's determined to be part of the search party. Guided by an ancient map and her knowledge of the stars, Isabella navigates the island's dangerous Forgotten Territories. But beneath the dry rivers and dead forests, a fiery myth is stirring from its sleep...

I have shared a mini review with my thoughts on The Girl of Ink & Stars - you can find it here.

Olivia Donatelli's dream of a 'normal' life was shattered when her son, Anthony, was diagnosed with autism at age three. He didn't speak, hated to be touched, almost never made eye contact. Then, just as Olivia was learning that happiness and autism could coexist after all, Anthony was gone.

Now she's alone on Nantucket, desperate to find meaning in her son's short life, when a chance encounter with another woman, Beth, brings Anthony alive again in a most unexpected way. Together, two unforgettable women discover the small but exuberant voice that leads them both to answers they need.

I have shared a full review with my thoughts of Love Anthony - you can find it here.

Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. The Morrows keep to themselves, and it's served them well so far. When girls go missing off the side of the highway, the cop don't knock on their door. Which is a good thing, seeing as to what's buried in the Morrows' backyard.

But nineteen-year-old Michael Morrow isn't like the rest of his family. He doesn't take pleasure in the screams that echo through trees. Michael pines for normalcy, and he's sure that someday he'll see the world beyond West Virginia. When he meets Alice, a pretty girl working at a record shop in the small nearby town of Dahlia, he's immediately smitten. For a moment, he nearly forgets about the monster he's become. But his brother, Rebel, is all too eager to remind Michael of his place...

I have shared a mini review with my thoughts on Brother - you can find it here.

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive’s survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.

But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen’s fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society—and lead her to unthinkable deeds.

Going in to The Bees I had hopes, not necessarily high hopes, but having heard good feedback surrounding the book and with such a unique premise I thought I was in for a treat of a read. Whilst I did enjoy my reading experience of The Bees, it didn't quite deliver exactly as I was expecting. I had a hard time truly visualising the written words, envisioning the hive and all the goings on, and in turn I found I didn't connect with the writing enough to make me want to read the book.

I started The Bees in June, but did not actually finish reading it until near the end of July, and that was simply because I wasn't inspired to pick the book up. I enjoyed the general plot, and I was interested in how it would all end, but I didn't NEED to know how it ended, if you get what I mean.

The plot was cleverly written and well researched, and there is depth to the book, but The Bees and I just didn't meet at the right time for me to be blown away with the book. I am keeping the book though, and I do think a reread will be required in the future to see if I see the book differently, as I am surprised at my thoughts coming away from it.

What did you read in July?


  1. Brother.. now that was a memorable read!

  2. A really great reading week for you, I can't wait to see what is next Jade.

    1. July was a great reading month - I hope for much of the same in August. I hope the month is full of some wonderful titles for you, Marce!

  3. I tried to get The Girl of Ink & Stars but doesn't seem to be available in Canada. :(

    1. Oh no, really? That's such a shame! I know in the US it is titled as The Cartographer's Daughter, perhaps it has had a title change in Canada too... Hopefully it will be available at some point soon, it sucks when a book you want to read isn't released in your country!


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