topic: unbearable books

30 May 2012


Everyone has known what it feels like to open up a book, a book one has heard so much about, like how amazing it was and such, and opens it with great expectations. And then, the first page is dreadful. The next page is worse. And if possible, the next twenty pages are so dismal, that it's a struggle to go on.

I hate these books. And I'm prompted to write this because I'm attempting to read one called The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies. I have struggled so much, and I'm at around page sixty. Honestly, it sounded like a great book from the summary on the back cover, but now I don't know what to do.

The question is: Does one still read a book, if all interest is lost and the book is hard to trudge through?


My answer: No. It's not worth the time and effort. I'll start books, and try to read them, but if it's not good, there's not point. Too often, I'll say "Oh yeah, I've read the first few pages of that, but it was really awful" to someone with a book I know. There are downsides to this decision, including that the book was slow to start (like, ridiculously slow. I try to give all books a good chance) but turns out to be brilliant in the middle/end.

Some people condemn me for tossing off books like that. For instance, I tried reading Vampire Diaries at a Barnes and Noble and got through about 10 pages and thought, "Why am I doing this to myself?" and tossed it out. Later, I caught a friend reading the second one, I think, and asked her, "Is that a good book?" and she was incredibly eager in telling me it was.

BUT, despite my first-ten-pages rule (in this case, with The Welsh Girl, the first sixty!), there are some books that are just shite all the way through. Like, it never gets better. There's no redemption whatsoever. I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, but they exist out there, ladies and gentlemen. They do.

I'd like to ask you all, my readers: do you think someone should keep reading a book that appears to be, based on the first quarter (or half) of the book, absolutely terrible?

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And remember, don't forget to enter any of my giveaways (fracture and five hundred follower)

Have a great day, friends :)

arc giveaway: fracture

29 May 2012

To celebrate summer with a chilling story, I think, would not be something to do. I've decided against this, however, and am giving away an ARC of Fracture by Megan Miranda. It's been ages since I've had a giveaway, so here goes!

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?
Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

Rules:
Mailing address must be in the US or Canada (sorry, can't  do international now)
Must be a follower of pages (still striving for my goal)
Must comment with your name and e-mail address (so that I can contact you if you win)

+1 if you post this on a blog post, facebook, twitter, or goodreads (please provide a link)
Ends April 10th 2012

Thank you!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED!

topic: faeries

27 May 2012

I love good faerie stories. They're far more complex and interesting than the typical vampire or angel or werewolf thing (should I call this grouping of topics, VAW?) Honestly, there hasn't been a single faerie book that I've read that wasn't terrible. Some examples of my favourites.




The Lament books by Maggie Steivater are more cultural and emotional, and brilliant. The Wicked Lovely books are rich with just mad fun and wicked fantasy plots. The books following Tithe are equally amazing! Melissa Marr and Holly Black are goddesses of Faerie fiction. I love them both to death!

topic: faeries 

All my topic posts have been complaints, but this is not one of them. I think it's because faerie books are more difficult to write that there aren't so many generic ones out there. Wings, by Aprilynne Pike, is amazingly creative, with the concept that faeries are plants, or function like plants. She writes lots of details into it that weaves sense into fiction.

why do I like them so much?

 It takes loads of creativity and imagination to create faerie stories. You've got a whole new culture to define,   a race to create and give realistic qualities to, and a complicated political structure to build. Given that there are foundations, such as the Seelie and Unseelie Court and Fae like Oberon and Titania and that sort of thing. And also tales of faeries in many cultures, but there's always foundations when writing anything. 
 When there's a lot of time and effort and depth in a book, the book becomes more enjoyable, more realistic and true. For instance, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of The Rings series. He created entire languages, histories and "religions" that took many many years to build, and from that he wrote the world of Middle Earth. To write up an entire world from his mind! Fantasy writers definitely have it hard.

as a reader

From the other topic posts, I don't enjoy mindless reading. As an awesome blogger commented: 

"a significant percentage of YA lit is made for the indulgence of the teenage sense rather than the engagement of the teenage mind"  ---Julia

YES! Exactly! Most Faerie themed books fall into the small percentage of YA Lit that DOES engage the mind. It's thought provoking fantasy, which in my opinion is the best type of fantasy. As a reader, books that tug at my brain are books I'd love to read.

as a writer

 To those writers who dare to write Faerie themed books, I applaud you. It's definitely a challenge it even begin a novel of this sort, but to make it good is phenomenal. Keep writing, you Faerie novelists, because if you can accomplish this, you're a very talented writer. 

review: a separate peace

26 May 2012

book info:
ages: 14 and up
grades: 8 and up
on sale: now
copy from: Barnes and Noble
pages: 204

title: A Separate Peace
author: John Knowles
stars: 4

"Set at a boys’ boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world."

my thoughts:
When books are assigned for school readings, all my classmates automatically groan. Throughout the duration of reading it, they will constantly complain about how boring and useless it is, how crappy the book is. However, as I enjoy books, school reading is like a gift.

 I'm a writer, and I'm currently planning out a novel set in England. Naturally, discovering that this book is set in England (close to the time period I'm writing in as well!) piqued my interest. The story is about boys, at an all-boys school. This is rare, as most young adult novels are written about girls. 
 At first, it may seem like a boring book, with over five pages of description about the school. But the more further it goes, the more complex the story is. It's not immediately exciting, or strikingly provoking. It's that hidden kind of profoundness, that deep and sensual type of wisdom. If you've read it, Lord of the Flies seems similar to this one. The psychology of the friendship between these two unlikely protagonists, and how it affects the story, is very...unspoken. It's not a story that's told, it's a story that's understood.

My favourite quote (a theme)

"Nothing endures, not a tree, not love, not even a death by violence" (Knowles, 14)

 My classmates were shocked when I defended this book, when I told them it was great and I loved it. I recommend it to those who are willing to read through it. 

500 followers?

07 May 2012

Hello guys! This is where I need your input! I've been trying for ages to get enough followers to reach five hundred, but I've been sitting dormant at 486 (a total of four more since my contest: thank you!) And I really must know, how am I supposed to raise the number up? Here are my options:

  • Keep posting good stuff and eventually, more people will follow --> Tried it, nope.
  • Do giveaways and contests frequently --> I wan't readers, not followers. Plus, too much money for all that
  • Go to other blogs and ask them to follow you --> No, people should follow because they like a blog, not because I ask the mto.
So what now? I can add more books? I've got:




  1. swoon at your own risk by sydney salter
  2. after obsession by carrie jones and steven wedel
  3. ember by carol oates
  4. shades of atlantis by carol oates
  5. out for blood by alyxandra harvey
  6. flawless by lara chapman
  7. tempest rising by tracy deebs
And if you haven't entered, here's the link!

Thank you very much ^_^

review: in the sea there are crocodiles

05 May 2012

book info:
ages: 14 and up
grades: 9 and up    why? some violence may be present
on sale: now
copy from: school library
pages: 215 (small pages)


title: IN THE SEA THERE ARE CROCODILES
authors: Enaiatollah Akbar and Fabio Geda
stars: 3.5

{When ten-year-old Enaiatollah Akbari’s small village in Afghanistan falls prey to Taliban rule in early 2000, his mother shepherds the boy across the border into Pakistan but has to leave him there all alone to fend for himself. Thus begins Enaiat’s remarkable and often punish­ing five-year ordeal, which takes him through Iran, Turkey, and Greece before he seeks political asylum in Italy at the age of fifteen.

Along the way, Enaiat endures the crippling physical and emotional agony of dangerous border crossings, trekking across bitterly cold mountain pathways for days on end or being stuffed into the false bottom of a truck. But not every­one is as resourceful, resilient, or lucky as Enaiat, and there are many heart-wrenching casualties along the way.

Based on Enaiat’s close collaboration with Italian novelist Fabio Geda and expertly rendered in English by an award- winning translator, this novel reconstructs the young boy’s memories, perfectly preserving the childlike perspective and rhythms of an intimate oral history.}

My thoughts:

There's something strangely beautiful about war stories and about the endurance the most unlikely people have, the courage and the heart. Enaiat sounds cold in the book, unfeeling, but there's this underlying warmth. The biographical events were short and concise, only the events matter (as Enaiat is stubborn on preaching) What he says, what happens to him, in enlightening.
"Good. At least time is certain
No, Fabio. Nothing's certain.
Time is, Enaiat. It runs at the same speed in every part of the world
Do you think so? You know something, Fabio? I wouldn't be so sure"
(Geda, 75)
Things that are so...thought-provoking. Enaiat grew up thinking in a way not many people think like, and his point of view is something special. Each section of the story is in a different country, and the story is the boy telling it to the author, Fabio Geda, instead of true autobiographical form. The little conversational interjections written in between had this rhythmic flow to the whole story, bringing bits and pieces together, and though it seems a bit chunky, the details that are not written keep an air of mystery to everything. And writing with that enigmatic sort of mystery is an enjoyable thing.

I would really recommend this to people who are old enough to handle it.

don't forget to enter my 500 follower giveaway (click here)

bonjour!

04 May 2012

   Wow, I've been gone a long time! Everything's really different on blogger (a big upgrade!) and I like how this (what I'm typing now) is like a Word Document!

Me: It's time I update something
World: It's taken long enough! You've been gone ages, what the fudge monkeys is wrong with you?
Me: I...I haven't been into blogging lately, and I've felt terrible about it...
World: Excuses, excuses. Seriously, if you want to quit, leave.
Me: No! I love blogging! Just...I haven't been up to it. But I swear--
World: Don't swear. On anything.
Me: Okay, I promise--
World: You've made enough promises. Don't make promises you can't keep.
Me: I know I know. I've been lousy
World: The heck you have!
Me: But honestly, I'm back! But it's not going to be solely books, but I'll tie in things to books
World: Interesting...?
Me: Like if it's a post about bananas and health, I'll link it to a recent book I've read, or some books relating to it.
World: Books about bananas? 
Me: You get what I mean!
World: Fine fine. 

  Gosh, I've been blogging for four years now. If you count the previous year as "blogging" I feel quite old. Please DON'T check my early posts, they're so embarrassing! Haha, I'm off to write a new blog post! 

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