Where totters can utter whatever the fuck they want to
I've read multiple novels of Campbell's by now and if one thing is consistent in them, it's the addictive writing. I remember last year, a day before my tests, when I got hooked onto her and read three books of hers in two consecutive days. Be there plot holes, lacking characters, poor world-building, her books incite you to keep going on and on and on. But Wishing Stars: Space Opera takes the cake.
Maybe it's the beautiful cover manipulating/altering my thinks, or the book's imager itself, but whenever I think of the prose in Wishing Stars: Space Opera, I'm reminded of diamonds, wet with dew. For some fuckingly inane reason. I feel so much like a manga character when presented with overwhelmingly decadent food, or when trying to be super cute to overshadow their mistakes. You know, they pucker their lips and wriggle their hips? (Just when you want a gif, you can't find one.)
Of course there are other things I must expound upon. Firstly, as of Feb 14 2014, the day I got this book from Amazon, the book needs a thorough editing. There were way too many errors and inconsistencies for readers- who might not be as stubborn as me- to enjoy.
For one, in the first story: Deep Blue Nightmare, the alien creature our protagonist meets is referred to as 'he' although she isn't sure of his sex, I don't particularly minds this as I used to nowadays; but later he is 'it and its', then 'he and his' again for the rest of the story, if I remember correctly. ( In between he tells her he is a male of his species.)
And then in the story, Quantum Diamond, the MC is charged with making a highly destructive and complex weapon with one revolution of the sun. He gets 24 hours. Pardon me but doesn't one revolution entail at least 365 days here on Earth? I get that this is a space opera fairytale, ergo set on some obscure planet far away in the universe, but this planet must have had one hell of a speed, or it had to have been helluva close to the sun.
There are also a few grammatical errors and spelling mistakes that I didn't highlight, but would like to see corrected.
In regards to the stories, there is a dollop of creativity amongst them. All the stories besides Deep Blue Nightmare were fantastically unique in their setting as well as telling. Deep Blue Nightmare, by contrast, was a straightforward story, a retelling in a new land, rather spaceship, but constituting nothing surprising.
The one story whose characters, whose plot I failed to grasp was Iceheart. IMO, the writing was most awe-inspiring in this particular story but the characters voices were boring. And it was also vague enough to confuse me at times.
Quantum Diamond's protagonist was one who had the most vivid character portrayed in the entire composition of stories, and it's especially intriguing because his character and history and expectations of future were built in a very short story. I absolutely loved the atmosphere and desperation, but at the end, I was disappointed because it led up to such a chase, but ended very anti-climatically.
Clockwork Roses and Iceheart were two stories that lived upto the phantom expectations I had hurriedly made in light of what little I had read in the previous stories. And these two were lovely. One was exciting, while the other terrified me. There was a point in Iceheart, an action I felt like criticizing because I couldn't wrap my head around any of it, nor what came after, but I just can't. It seemed to me that this was just being brushed off, but the ending established that nothing was being condoned or excused, it was just following the fucked up way of life, that people disappear and wrongs aren't always righted.
The poems were so. fucking. evocative and lyrical and scary. WHY WHY DID THEY HAVE TO END? There's a fucking ballad in here. It's short but it's a fucking, scary ballad(too short) and it shouldn't have ended, nor the other poems. RAGEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!
(So be careful what you wish for,
When you wish upon a star,
For the many hearts' desires
Tend to find you where you are)
Below the water there's no sound,
And those that struggle always drown.
But, oh, my love;
You look so pretty while you drown.
No more glimpses for you guys now; discover them gems on your own. Plus this book is too short(engaging my BANKAI because RAGE) to give too much away. MORE.
(I feel like I've written this review a thousand times. All of zem amalgamate into one.)
There was a turmoil watering down amongst us the day I realized there were too many bees in this world. I danced for the first time in a long while when I found this, experienced it first hand. Einstein lied, or whoever the fuck did saying there were too few. Not lied, per se, but subjectified it. Oh yes, they did. For there are people, and plants, amongst us for whom the bees stroll in orchards and gardens and whatever. For others like me, they pull the strings and make us dance like a marionette, stinging and inflating us with their acupressure of death. #trufax
There have been turmoils brewing in the readership for so long there have been books. For so long there have been books, some of the unrelenting cynicism- some of the jaded eyes that callously seek pattern, repetition, correlation- have been finding numerous others just like them. Historians and anthropologists debate over whether there is a causal link. This long standing debate begets much strife that compounds with each generation but one saying stands above all: if a story seems trite, should the reader continue suffering like a rat's fart? That remains for you, the reader, with varying and capricious demands, to decide. #sociallesson
Some call it infestation, others explain it in terms of demand and supply. I call it exploitation, but whatever floats *your* boat.
If I give off negatives vibes, will the Dark World ever get to shine?
If I am cryptic and no one understands, am I speaking hogwash or being cryptic?
If I keep asking rhetorical questions, not expecting answers, will you give a rat's fly? Will I give a rat's fly that you don't give a rat's fly?
YES, I will as well I should,
so without further ado,
scraping away the gobbledygook
here is my review for tu and vous
(but halt! behold a crappy rhyme
'cause you can't even with my psyche)
The Dark World, whence come monsters and predators, is not my choice of vacation but some creatures rage wars over it. Monsters v/s predators. It depends entirely on your perception who becomes the monster and what un-becomes these monsters. The ones on the other sides are the predators. For once, they don't want shit with human; nobody gives a shit about protecting humans; humans aren't fucking speshul snowflakes to be saved from the big, bad wolves. Partially, because good and evil are relatively used in this war.
Paige Kelly saves a kid's life and gets embroiled in this war: monsters hunt her and predators want to use her. No good deed goes unpunished, or so goes Faust. Actually, Faust says there are some waters humans shouldn't travel, but same thing, right? Good things are the domain of one deerLord. And let's not talk Pagan Gods, okay. They can be pretty scary and I'd rather not mess with them.
No offense, no one.
Demons after you, Paige Kelly runnnnnnn!
There are fights, creature in flames and blasts. Starndard stuff, you'd expect. *yawn*
Paige has a sarcastic, endearing(don't knock it till you've tried it) voice in the beginning but it's just one end of the spectrum. As she stars to grow and progress through the story(because character development, methinks), her narration becomes boring and soulful and messy. But mostly boring.
That's one word for the book: boring.
To ameliorate this, enters Logan Bradley. Logan Bradley is a teenage guy I could get behind. AT FIRST. But zen, character development, complexity and all the underlying crap. He's funny and faux-arrogant and sure, had he been limited to that, he wouldn't be a boring character. So of course, we have a tortured souls and haunted eyes and oh-so-sad past because war and death. This ruined him for me. RUINED!
Besides, my handwriting is awesome and everyone should be subjected to it at least once.
For sure he's not the wittiest cut of the veal, but these are funnies I could laugh at, because I am lame, but god no development. Not like that. Don't haunt your character unless you can convey it, unless your character has enough of a persona to handle it, make it look real. Don't use deaths to as a tool for your story or just for the sake of making characters more real. Two tortured souls as one, their passion and loyalty tested by one battle after another. Will their love triumph this war?
(If I make a face and no one sees it, are my emotions real?
Just in case:
The demons are vapid and the action scenes threadbare. You know you're in deep shit when magic swords that disappear(CARTER KANE) fail to rejuvenate you. You're in deeper, derpier shit when hai-yah! secret fighting lessons make you long for the inanity of Oggy and the Cockroaches. Which sucks, by the way.
Shultz did try to portray vivid side characters with layers, so kudos on that. There's a particular demon and a particular uncle who I could have classified as characters of interest, but sadly, the main voices were boring enough to make me reconsider. There are plots and going-ons and motives and parleys that mustn't be revealed which aren't ferried across to us because humans! and teenagers! Which, by the by, makes total sense but a being out of the loop does the book no favor, IMO. Shultz also goes for a non-instalove, making us wait for months that pass by in pages to see them fall in #truluv with each other. I appreciated this, but couldn't root for nor believe in it. Their chemistry didn't spark, principally because of the narrator's voice and her penchant for boring me.
All in all: run-of-the-mill premise, a couple atypical elements, good effort, almost-400 pages and a tedious narration make for a review that could be short but isn't because I tend to bullshit. A lot. AMAZING COVER, though.
Because I shouldn't be the only one creeped out.
Thank you, Harlequin Teen!
But sometimes you need to light a fire.
If only. Dorothy Must Die was one of the most anticipated debut novel of 2014 of mine, and so far, it's been the biggest disappointment for me and my three bags of wool. It was barely a flame, not even able to attract a moth like me, driving me to skip it at times for Archie comics and I don't even like them. Not to say it was a drag(it totally was but I'm being nice), but it's the same fairytale-the Wizard of Oz- extended, instead of retold with imagination and fuckery like I expected.
Dorothy is evil, the yellow road is crumbling, and crows have human eyes and ears.
-in times like these, the Wicked will rise!
What entails is a shoddy revolution, Wicked Witches, mutilated monkeys and the rest. And yet, it's pretty much the same story I saw(sadly, yes) back when I was in the second grade(woe used to be me). There's the evil ruler(in this case, Dorothy), there are the witches(in this case, Wicked) who recruit a girl from Kansas(in this case, not so sweet and named Amy), and words are flipped. However, this didn't affect, or contributed to my mild feelings for the characters were interesting, and had more depth than your average prom king and queen in a typical American flick(where, incidentally, they're the first ones to be slashed/chopped/mutilated). And that was the strongest factor in favor of Dorothy Must Die for me.
From Kansas girls to her rat to the witches and the Tin Woodman, not one character was brushed off with superficiality. Certainly there were character who didn't play much of a part, didn't have enough screentime for us to get acquainted, but in snide and side remarks, one can gather that they're much more than they appear as first, or act as. Case in point: Mombi, the Wicked witch of...somewhere.
Another pro to be noted was there were certain gruesome creatures, certain whimsical beings that were fun to imagine.
While we're on that, I must add that the book lacked a certain atmosphere, sans which the story didn't work for me. The enchantment was lost on me, and I was bored for a 4-fucking-32 pages while. In itself, the writing and telling of the land of Oz, its description, was juvenile, and had it not been for the dark subjects discussed(self-mutilation, forced child labor et cetra), I would've suspected it to be a light read. Yet I don't mean to imply that Amy's voice was lacking; simply that when one encounters an exotic, decrepit land like Oz, one expects a tone to be set for full engagement in the story. And Ms Paige failed to meet my standards on that count.
The story is straight-forward for most of the book, with no twists or turns or misdirections taking place. All work and no play(with the characters) made the book a bogus read.
Moreover, and I wholly realize I might be acting fastidious and impossible, there were a number of inconsistencies, trivial details lacking/erroneous/mismatched. Strap in, it's gonna be a long one.
1.First off all, the biggest twist to this rather plodding story, the one that provided a bit of umph! factor that is introduced at almost the end has already been given away in the blurb. Spoiler much?
2.Amy and the trailer she lives in are flown away by a tornado to the land of Oz. Yet weeks later, she spies on her mom searching and finding an old sweater of Amy's in a strange place. Where did that come from?
The princess felt that their conversation ruined the apple-eating experience and was therefore a violation of the Happiness Decree...
It[eating apples] was against the Happiness Decree. It's not worth the risk.
Is it deliberate or am I reading it wrong?
4.Nox is introduced as the strongest fighter in the Order, yet Melindra almost always defeats him because Melindra was by far the best of us all. I guess you could always say there's a difference being the best and the strongest, but I'll tell you that that registers on bullshit-radar.
5.According to some:
Amy is the one one to kill Dorothy because.
But the because is so stupid you don't want to know.
Because you[Amy] understand her(since they're both from Kansas).
There was no understanding required for their plan.
According to others:
Amy is the one to kill Dorothy just because.
Because there are certain tools and people and methods.
(They're both from Kansas.)
(I think I like this better, more mysterious.)
6.Multiple characters change their appearances, Polyjuice Potion style.
First character is Amy, pretending to be someone she isn't amongst people who have known the person she is pretending at for a long time. I think it's safe to assume Amy had been magically provided with the poor person's voicebox along with their entire appearance, because surely Amy wouldn't have been able to fake her voice for so long.
Second character is...let's take a variaable:X. And yet, here's how X is recognized:
Their[gender pluralized] voice was all X.
7. A sly, nervous grin.
What the actual fuck is a sly, nervous grin?
I can't grin slyly and nervously simultaneously, and believe you me, I did try. Hell, I went out to smile at the stray dogs lazing outside my gates. And I have a little-graver-than-slight phobia of canines.
8.I didn't know what was Good or Wicked anymore. All I knew was what was right.
And ignoring an innocent kidnapped and tortured is so right.
Whew! Glad we're done with that, now I can concentrate on expounding on the very few positives I have.
Dorothy was a fantastic protagonist:kick-ass not only because she can literally kick-ass, but because she has the personality and voice of a kick-asser. She is bitter, and doesn't have the noblest reasons for wanting things always, albeit she's a good person at heart.
...just to say I had someone
Here she admits that she would help someone, anyone just to say that she had someone to help whom she'd go to any lengths for. She is played or maybe she isn't, she never knows; this, as expected, confuses and frustrates her. Doubt and questions creep in; is her noble cause really hers?
Despite failing to set the tone, each chapter ended on these awesome punch lines; and there were wonderful quotes in between that helped in describing the characters, their passions and so much more.
Something about that much sweetness didn't feel right.
And then I thought: Bring it on. There’s no place like anywhere but here.
I didn't want to believe her, but I knew all too well that you can't always get what you want.
"Magic loves change," she said with a sigh. "Do enough of it and it will warp you in strange ways..."
A personal favorite:
We're off to see the wizard!
Thus my mixed bag of feelings can be shortened down to two indisputable particulars:
The land of Oz didn't enchant me.
Monkeys are awesome.
A better book, with similar outline, would be The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. It's middle-grade, but it will twist your emotions so much more, and the little hint of wayyy-into-future romance is more heart-warming than the one here.
Ultimate rating: 2.5
John Green was showing his privilege. Again. This time he's deciding what is and isn't sexist. I rant accordingly.
that is simply all you need to know about this book. but i like the sound of my own imagined voice much more than my real voice which, frankly, after more than fifteen years, has gotten rather tiresome. nowadays, i speak in the voice of… someone Irish. with a very pronounced Irish accent.
makes the review so much more interesting, don’t it?
if you ever felt alienated a bit by Hex Hall whilst still fawning over it, were ever slighted by Demonglass and all that endued; if you’re sick, just goddamn sick! do put Rebel Belle on your watch list.[unless, like you're really sick and you're avoiding hospitals because of them needles, don't do that. take care of yourselves, 'kay?]
all those pesky details that annoy me about YA characters and trends; all those stupid cliches that curtail my enjoyment, Rebel Belle alleviates, or avoids, depending on the situation.
on the surface, glancing at the overall plot, it’s formulaic and cozy. girl lives purr-fect life: boyfriend purr-fect and sweet and caring and sporty, popular and with reputasio, gaggle of friends, purr-fect image and body. purrrrrrrrrrrrrr-fect, sometimes sans furry playmates and companions.
girl obtains power, girl becomes guardian, crosses paths with mortal enemy and lo! there is lurve.
but there be problems.
boyfriend: goes ex, after a whole round of possessiveness, asshole-ry, cheating. in the end, he’s bad.
gaggle of friends: we shun thee! save the world and you’re off the it list. best friend turns out to be a real bitch.
popularity and reputasio: goes down the drain because only Hercules is allowed to go save the world, without repercussions from inferior mortals.
however nada, no, nyan, nyeh!
here’s how it goes:
boyfriend: there be troubles indeed, but he’s all very chivalrous about it. actually, he’s *mostly* a nice guy all round. nice boyfriend; they both just grow apart. (view spoiler)
gaggle of friends: there isn’t really a gaggle. there are friends, and they don’t much notice anything weird. her best friend is love. to expound, she’s a teenage girl and they have their shits and giggles, but she’s there for harper, and believes her. she’s even present for harper’s kick-boxing(et cetra) classes, sorta like a voyeur watching her get beaten up but still! friends are voyeurs!(but not all voyeurs are friends, gettit kids?) yet bad things are in store for her.
there are no mean girls; there’s an awkward, young woman who has some clashes with harper, which IMO was uncalled for seeing how many times harper’s helped her but harper was being kinda hard. but there aren’t any of the prevalent cat-fights because it’s all mostly civil and words can’t touch this!
popularity and reputasio: there are hitches and ditches to jump over. times are when she falls, but folks are nice, despite the fact they’re southern*, which i loved.
anywho, the story behind her powers be greek and all, oracles and witches. vair, vair interesting but not so more than the character dynamics. there are people and spells hunting david: he revels and dreams futures in solitude while she kills her history teacher with pick stilettos and gains mysterious powers.
(guess who i wanna be.)
turns out, david is the second male oracle in a history of all-powerful women oracles, who could either be made to gain enormous powers, which could mutate and cause him to destroy legions(as happened with the first) or left to grapple and straddle his half-assed powers that come with being a guy. harper can kick-ass, and must now protect him. she can kick HUGE, multiple asses.
it’s all fun and games until someone’s abducted, most of the town is mind-compelled, a psychotic teenage witch with a knife catches up with them. but fact is, it’s fun yet so! there are a few angst-y scenes when harper isn’t sure she wants to devote her entire life to david; neither does david expect/want her to. in fact, he’s vehemently against the notion.
the romance is hate-to-love and what can i say? i’m guilty of loving it much more than any other trope. especially when people are from opposite sides of the battleground. the battleground here is childhood and high school, not the real one. they’ve both hated the other since they were kids, and he’s given to writing snide articles in the paper about her. however, he’s got a reason; a very fucking valid reason i couldn’t, wouldn’t argue with. (view spoiler)
in this aspect, harper irked me in the beginning. she doesn’t rebuke him in the first few chapters because
(a)she needs to suck up to his aunt- his only family- who’s playing a major part in her life.
(b)she’s a southern belle, and you don’t do that.
but she pulls up her big girl panties! she puts him in his place, and even goes so far to falcon-punching her then-boyfriend when he’s being a dick(another time, another place). there’s the fact that she can’t tolerate the f-word, but she comes around. you go, girl!
they had hilarious moments, kiss-y moments, almost moments and the bad ones, too. i hope ms hawkins doesn’t give up on the bad moments in book #2; they’re totally worth it!
ordinary girls gain ninja-bility. they’re so happy, and that made me so happy, reading while they jumped and kicked and shadow-boxed and fought.
the book has its share of irritants and issues. the foremost of which is, why in the name of the oracle of delphi(which i am not in the possession thereof) would an oracle be able to gain such destructive powers? oracles are supposed to be conduits for visions, for words from the gods, for the paths that fate might take! if an oracle grows powerful, *i* suppose that their clairvoyant powers would grow more astute and clearer. *i* don’t think they’d gain powers to grant falcon-punching powers directly. *i* suppose their words might spur people on to falcon-punch other, but the ability comes from within the subject.
but nature’s a fickle character. far be it from me to restrain her in my own limited gamut of biology. plus, i don’t much know about mutation beyond x-men and zombie/vampire novels. oracles could mutate into mages, who am i to judge?
the climax and last scenes were exciting and there ensued so. much. enjoyment. for me, everything was done just right and that ending was fabulous! the power of three, baby!
*it’s been implied in countless books that southern people have nothing better than to drawl and gossip and clutch pearls.(i don’t have much experience with pearls but i persuaded four people at this wedding i attended the previous weekend to part with these fake-pearl necklaces. but they were complementary and i wasn’t really interested in them. the real shine for me was in the fact that only that boys and men were getting it. girls and women were given fake-gold bracelets(and for some reason, i didn’t get that either). but then i gave one back to my brother, who was the first giver, and another to my little cousin for he was suffering my own ailment[see gift-bereft-ment], and the other two my sister took, and i have seen neither hide nor tail of them since. oh and there was this true pearl ring that i lost within a month of obtaining it.)(what did we learn to day? i am generous.)
thanks to the publishers for providing a review copy.
To me, Stolen Songbird is a story caught between The Blue Sword and Cruel Beauty. It lacks the intricate prose of the former, its detailed background and the memorable characters along with the creative world and concept of the latter. Yet it has intriguing affairs of its own.
While on her way back to her farm, carrying eggs and dillydallying because it's her last day and soon enough she'll be on her way towards singing operas with her mother in cities far and beyond(excuse me for a moment. I can do it, I can remember her name, one goddamn name, memory! Ha!), Cécile is kidnapped by a longtime asshole of her acquaintance. She's then transported into tunnels, where she crawls and screams and fights and runs, all to end up bloodied and terrified at the feet of the troll king, who intends for her to bond with his son, Prince Tristan, and break the curse that has entrapped the troll kingdom ere long.
Shit happens fast enough as their union doesn't break the curse. Now, Princess Cécile becomes a resented prisoner but the king still has hope that the progeny of the new couple would surely break the curse. Entail the typical YA fantasy romance where they talk of not wanting to do it, she's terrified and he's disgusted, he's rude and a troll, she's human and feeble, feelers they do grow and although they can each read the other's emotions because of the union, misconceptions arise; they kiss, make up, fight, commit to detest-ability in moments of jealousy and the rest you can figure out.
BUT WAIIIITTTT! There are things unexplored beyond the curse. The troll kingdom and its hierarchy; there's story beyond their union. Revolutions, slavery, resentment, mad brother with a side dish of Troll politics. These things are different.
I don't know about you, but I don't think I've read a YA fantasy novel with revolutions, per se. There was Eona, and a few other but I don't think they fill the slot. However, it seems that the slot is still empty; Stolen Songbird didn't fill it.
Because first and foremost, it's a romance novel. A romance that takes time and grows because the characters need to grow and get acquainted with us. The love part takes up almost the entirety of the novel, and the revolution, we barely get a hint of. Thing is, Tristan is the one who leads the revolution, but chapters in his POV are very few, and when we do actually get to them, they revolve around Cécile, for the most part. What she's feeling, what she's done, what he's done to her, what she could mean for his plans, and wait a second, he's conversing with his father about something else! Hallelujah! Oh no, there's Cécile entering the scene. That accounts greatly for the lack of tense atmosphere, planning, words and deeds.
In this matter, Cécile's chapters have far more material. Don't get me wrong, she does all that he does, but since her chapters are greater in number, there's a lot of space to fill. The job is accomplished by escapades, side characters, discovering about the revolutions and witches and curses, meeting the slaves.
Stolen Songbird's characters have absconded some of the most irritating tropes of YA fantasy novels: Cécile and Tristan exist of their own, and are not dependent on the other; neither is a doormat, and there's no insta-love, or whining and complaining, or speshul-ness with snowflakes dancing around because there's fucking underground. That, in itself, wouldn't be a bad thing. Yet their personalities can have lists composed of everything we'd like to see; that's all they are are:lists. All the good things, and none of the bad. All the good things individually and nothing, no quirk or hint of true-ness, emanates from them. For me, they're forgettable. I was invested to a degree in their story but now, I couldn't give two shits about the ending nor their heartbreak nor what might ensue. Their voices hooked me for the time being, but there was no captivation involved; and now, almost two days later, I find them boring.
The troll world doesn't have a linear history, nor present. One could call it complex, with the disfigured nobility and the commons and the slaves bereft of magic. Power rules and power matters. Gender doesn't determine shit, blood does. Because blood carries troll power. Get this, gender doesn't fucking matter. She-trolls go to school and can inherit property; they can own their lives and rule their homes. POWER MATTERS. You'd think-I thought- that such a world would be almost free of misogyny. Yet at every turn, I encountered such sexist notions:
It was to his advantage – he had only two daughters, one of them now dead – and a new young wife gave him another chance at a son.
“But she’s his wife,” Tristan said indignantly. “She is duty-bound to go wherever he wants her to go.”
"...I can certainly tolerate drunkeness in myself, but not in a woman."[Says Tristan.]
FAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCK? There were more. Did you know, in all these centuries, Trollus was rules only by kings? Don't tell there was never a Montigny(the royal family) daughter powerful enough to defeat her predecessor. Just fuck.
And once more:
The second[rule] is that no human male may touch a troll woman, whether it is against her will or not.
Get this: troll males can hump and bump human females; it's frowned upon but there are no restrictions. She-trolls can be as powerful as He-trolls, depending on their blood. And that addition: whether it is against her will or not- that's fucking offensive, in a world like theirs. Implies that not only do they not trust the female trolls to be unable to protect themselves against humans, their judgement is skewed. I don't think it's chivalrous, it's stupid and fuck.
For once, I was so excited to read a YA fantasy where girls were on equal footing with boys; a world whose traditions weren't stooped in our age-old discrimination. This is a good post exemplifying my feelings.
Not only was the inclusion of misogyny inconsistent with the world building, it was also fucking excessive and unavailing.
Without those choice lines, the book would've been the same; they don't affect the story in any fucking way. A picture, a name of a female ruler in the library wouldn't alter the story. This is my question: Was the inclusion solely for the purpose of custom? Because that's how it is in YA book? Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
And I'm not even a fan of Nicki Minaj. But she's so right
Another thing I'd like to know is why does the kingdom of Trollus have a curfew.
The side characters are all well-developed, especially Marcus. I love that he tried to (view spoiler) when shit happened. There was the usual another girl thing, the subversive type where the author tries to show that the other girl isn't a bitch, and has feelings of her own. This trend started because authors tried to write more feminist novels, to show that girls don't need to fight because they love the same guy. But my sensors are so overwrought: this thing's been done so many times. I wish it weren't there at all. But it was, and far be it from me to tell what an author should or not do.
Yet I still wish. I wish that if the authors do include it, I wish for once the girl weren't so fucking beautiful and mesmerizing and curvaceous on the outside; for once, can't a guy share a platonic and intimate relationship with girl who loves him but isn't a super model, AND she does the job of making the MC jealous? And then can we have the props follow? The feelings and all? Can the MC not ever be jealous of a girl with plain features? Says my finicky side.
For the sake of being fair and shit, I must add that she was a loyal person and had her own grievances, who might have been nicer to Cécile in a world where there are two Tristan's. [I want to read a book where two girls pine over the same guy, and there's no friction between them; they're united in their pining. Actually, there was something similar in [book:Persuasion], and obviously, there are so many incidents in real life.]
Also, the book says that due to an old tradition of inter-breeding amongst them to preserve their blood, the nobles and royals are all disfigured. Even the 'other girl' has an internal, hereditary problem, yet Tristan is perfect. In. Every. Fucking. Outward. Way. He doesn't even have pointy teeth. Seems to me, he should be the most disfigured of the lot.
I was going to rate the book three stars, but writing this review has made my feelings more coherent, thus the lack of half a star.
Anywho, besides all that, the scenes with sluags in especial were credible, reminiscent of The Descent: Part 2, which is to say, it was very atmospheric and disgusting with the pool of shit and all. It was a gripping novel that had me hooked whenever I was available for hooking. The character introductions plus developing relationships. very, very little about revolutions and the politics beats the lack of revolution-izing by a very minor factor.
All romanticising and characterising, no revolutionizing. :/
I certainly would encourage you to give Stolen Songbird a try; it's not a bad book, actually. Some of the things just weren't to my taste.
Review copy provided by publishers.
[If you can't figure it out, this review was written in two parts. Yesterday, when I was feeling mild after an unexpected evening nap, and today, after getting access to my computer after almost a two-day hiatus. I was feeling ecstatic. Go figure.]
First things first, let's decide on the rating because I love giving golden, little stars to books.
In terms of writing, characters, plot, blah di dah all mushed together and judged together, I'd like to give Plus One three intact stars. On the other hand, when I consider my feels, or lack thereof, and enjoyment, or lack thereof again, I can come up with nothing better than 2.5.
SO I decided, if I'm going to break them, I might as well go in completely, AND compromised between my critical heart and generous mind: 2 and 3/4 stars. It's in sequence.
Plus One incited in me reactions from a very small range. There were times during which being in my vicinity would have transported you to a dimension where dragons breathe not fire, but fire-colored liquid(OJ), through not their mouth, but their nose.
I am a ferocious beast in pink!
It was a miracle we didn't get hit. It was like the videos I had seen of traffic in India...
DO you see what comes after what? I swear, had it not been for the book, I'd have fallen for Ms Fama right there and then.
I rested my lips on the rim of the bottle before I drank, trying to differentiate between the warm wetness of the water and the warm wetness of his mouth...
HAHA! But alas-ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!
...and brushed his great nose...
My HOUSE IS ON LIQUID-FIRE!
More of my reactions included:
boredom, because while lots of things happened, they really didn't.
confusion, when they say
"This is what I've wanted since the prairie."
"The same night that..." He couldn't finish the sentence. "The same night that Poppu died."
Heh? She was just talking with her Poppu, like she just returned from his room. The prairie was around two days ago.
disappointment, because nothing in the book satiated me
creeped out, the singular time:
I looked closer. His lashes were as pale as his eyebrow.
This is a poor kid she's just met, who's walking with them in uncomfortable silence, going "Um...." As someone who herself suffers through that, I find it creepy. But that's my pet peeve, don't you be bothered and all!
Plus One has a very interesting premise, a world that was unfolded in multiple chapters at a varying pace. Days and Nights are not, as one might guess, races; they're classes of people bifurcated based on their assignment in either day or night. At first, I was really impressed with the background and attitudes and traits of people-Rays and Smudges; Rays walked and talked openly while Smudges learned to sneak and skulk around early on. The difference in their perceptions is something I'd have liked to see more of, but sadly the book lacked in that department. I also thought that their lives would be more hurried seeing that each class had around twelve hours assigned to them, but they almost seemed languid. There were things that I questioned about the working of the world, the simplest things because I am goddamn genius(not), and I'm glad to admit that they really were no problems, and I was simply pretending at being precocious.
The theme playing at the book's core is love. Love for family starts the roller-coaster(not), and ends with true love. (True love ain't for me butI believe in tru wuv.) Sol Le Coeur decides to kidnap her new-born niece by deliberately mutilating her hand, so her grandfather, Poppu, gets to hold her before his last breath. Various misdeeds, mistaken identity, good people, chances et cetra ensue, and a story is written.
Sol is a badass MC who will be loved, admired, aspired, sung ballads in taverns about by one and many; she doesn't always kick ass, she has her moments of vulnerability and stupidity, and if I weren't me, I would say she's a marvellous and unique character with lots of juice to be squeezed out. However, by some probability and a few too many rounds of moonshine with dices in hand, ended up with me being me. And being me, I say that Sol didn't leave any kind of impression on me as a person, nor could I connect with her in any way. This lack of connection contributed the most towards my mild feelings about Plus One.
The romantic interest, D'Arcy, I think, could have been a great character. But he didn't give me any swoons and I couldn't even begin to try and look at him beyond his niceness. In the beginning, he had great potential to be a mulch-layered character, and he continued to be so, until a little ways forward from the mid of the story. That is when I felt it all going down the drain- the potential realized, and the unrealized. However, at the end of the second day, I refute my aforesaid statement because he really was a fleshed out character, and made more of an impact on me than Sol did. No swoons, though. No goddamn swoons.
Another character I'd like to discuss is Gigi. From what little we see of her, she comes off as a bitch, broken and used. I liked her and I felt for her. She is being treated like shit from both sides, yet she has her attitude and yet she helps them. At least there was one character whose story I'd like to read, and see where she goes.
This is a minor spoiler, so skip if you want.
Gigi is Sol's brother, Ciel's ex. He broke her heart. He's married and has a child. YET he forces her to negotiate with him, when other people were up for it, and she absolutely doesn't want to. He has his reasons, but I thought this was a downright assholish thing to do.
The story isn't really very political; it involves more skipping about, hiding and having fun, thinking unwanted thoughts etc. It isn't very revolutionary either. There are some revelations made, and there might a revolution growing in the background, involved with characters completely unrelated with Sol, but that has very little to do with the story, until the very end. Plus One doesn't set out to make any statement; differences, injustices don't consume many words because foremost, it's a story about love.(And escaping.) Poppu, D'Arcy(for him, Jean, Helen), Ciel and in light of a declaration, Gigi.
One plus(o_O) is that I rrrrrrreeeeeeally like the cover.[See truwuv.]
I suppose lots of people are going to love this book-even with the misjudged set of expectations- but I spent my time making sounds of chains clanging as zombies zombie-shuffle wearing them as ornaments while I'm actually gritting my teeth(my teeth are razor-sharp and the razor is made of steel).
For when bats steal your OJ.
Not my best review, but it's all I can manage. Drawing dragons wears me out, as does trying to imagine myself as dragons(I'm nothing if not authentic).
Thank you Macmillan Children's Publishing Group!
Abandoned at 30%
I'm trying and trying and trying to figure out how come I was so fucking fascinated with Cinder, and how did I even get through Scarlet?
These characters are so lackluster, the setting has no meaning, there is no atmosphere, and politics? Fuck politics, we'll have stupid decisions and idiotic emperors and angst instead. But I love Cyborgs and I loved Cinder, as a character and she wasn't so bad in this one as well. But hear me out:
Each bloody character falls into either of the two groups: Bad or Good. Misunderstood, misheard, failed system, manipulated! Even Thorne and Wolf are just. such. nice. guys. This is where the book Cinder beat the next two installments because the step-mother wasn't really bad from every perspective. And the bad characters. Evilllllllllllll. Can we have any other development besides their fucking evilosity? No no no!!!!!!!
The worst is I had so many expectations, and now I don't give a rat's ass.
There were so many inconsistencies and things I couldn't wrap my head around. Like, Thorne says to Cress that they better hurry or they'd be eaten alive by vultures. Excuse me, I'm thinking mutant vultures but why wouldn't you say so? Thorne and Cress make ropes of Cress's shorn off locks. Terribly inconvenient is what I think. Cinder lands in the middle of a no-name African town/village, and kids converse amongst themselves in English. Could be I'm narrow-minded or Cinder was automatically translating.
The first two books had more than their fair amount of faults and mistakes and, in all propriety, I should've rated them 3.5 and 2.5 respectively, but the fun they provided trumped everything. Not in Cress's case.
So yeah, no can do. I don't want to be the black sheep because I used to be in love with the series, the spin on fairytales and cyborg princesses, but at the moment, I have buttload of ARC's, exams tomorrow and other upcoming books. For now, I'm abandoning it. I'll probably pick it up and finish it, maybe even read Winter when it comes out, but for now, goodbye book.
[But I really do want to finish the story if the cyborg-princesses. Because a) it was so fun, fun, fun and b) I don't come across many cyborg princesses.]
Minority opinion, mine. Everybody and their bastard niece they're gonna kill loves this book, so take this review with a grain of salt.
3.5 to 4 stars
I love it when a single voice tells me so many stories.
As I lay thinking about at night, Me Since You made infinitely sad. Depression can be really scary. And worse is, seeing your parents break down; seeing your father cry and your mother hopeless. The past winter was really tough for me and my family- depression like this, for differing reasons, at varying levels with the the weather which couldn't be counted on since it was raining the whole goddamn time. That was why the first half of the book got me so, call me heartless but the second half- the grieving and wake of loss didn't get to me as much as depression did.
The blurb for the book says it's divided into two parts: Before Rowan skips school, After Rowan skips school. It is entirely incorrect. Me Since You is indeed a discided story, but in a different contest. The first half deals with depression, and the ensuing hopelessness, rue and impatience. When it seems like the rains of sorrow are on the horizon, might encroach any moment but all everyone else- including Rowan and her mom- want is for her father to fucking get up and get on. Because it's unbearable, watching your pillar waste away one huge chunk by another; because it seems contagious, if they don't remove it from the roots at once, it might catch with the whole of them; because people in naivete can be so goddamn piqued and resentful when nothing seems to work; nobody wants to feel useless. I thought this part was really poignant and unfeigned; it's the reason behind all the four stars I wanna give to Me Since You. Outside of the terrible atmosphere at home, Rowan is spurned and shunned by most everyone she knew; everyone she knew has an opinion of her father because he's a cop and because they're ignorant and judgmental and everyone thinks they can be the superhero. When they have no one, when they can't believe that it's simply a shitty world where a loving, young father jumps off a bridge with his infant son to save from the aforementioned shitty world, they have trouble accepting that they're the reason that drove the man into committing to eternal sleep; so they point the finger, look for a scapegoat, engage in words that cut and actions that lead to questioning the virtuosity of a man- the police officer at scene- who has devoted his life to serving and protecting with honor and valor, with no thoughts as to the impact on other people; so they propagate the shittiness that started it all, and they're completely fucking unable to see that. How can they fucking not see that they're only adding to the misery her father already breathes in.
Fuckers. I hate the 'they' people; always have, the people who judge, the people who peep, the people who gossip in damaging ways. The 'they' people my parents warn me about: what will they think? what is they hear?
Go fuck the they people. Douchewads.
But there's still hope, right? Rowan believes so. She plans and tries very hard to be happy; sometimes she manages and other times she improvises and has the best time of her life.
The second half is really about moving on yourself; being angry at others for moving on, being unable to accept. Watching for headlights in the fog, where it's a fucking ghost town. And people still have got things to say, after her father's very, very dead. My favorite aspect this time round was the relationship between Rowan and her mom; while she wasn't ignored in the first half, this is where we really get to know her. Know her as a widow, as someone whose dreams of forever are snatched away, as she goes through the motions perfunctorily, and later on, when she doesn't. Rowan's own grief was believable but the fact, this potion was about healing and moving on, and before all that, suffering. Even in Rowan's voice, been there, read that. Seems callous, but really, this step of the story has been done to... undeath? Which is another concept done to...undeath. Each unhappy family might be unhappy in its own way, but this pain- this loss has a feel that is universal.
Yet there were things that got to me- Rowans' anger, her mother's. Lack of goodbyes and all that. Grieving for this family was a slow process, and numbness was slow to peel away but abrupt too.
The writing was plaintive and very beautiful- except the one time it got sorta corny:
Home is the loneliest place in the world, with the exception of my heart.
And yet it's the only place I belong.
I really liked Rowan's voice- especially in the first half, which, I think, is the right time to get to know her. How she fumbles, blushes, panics at stupid things- her thought processes were familiar, not in the way that I've read it before, instead I think I mighta sorta think like that. I remember this one scene when Eli- another character, her age, romantic interest- comes into her place of work, and all the thoughts that ensue. It was quite funny.
Then there was the best friend: I said I hate judgmental people, I don't particularly hate bad friends or people who are mean, because everyone has a story. But fucking dammit! She takes the cake for worst friend ever, and I have no clue why Rowan would be with her- mayhap it's the childhood bonding, she can' let go, whatever. Friends are supposed to support you, not tell that they don't want to talk about it and then (probably, I can't remember) go gossip about it; or be so self-absorbed, so fucking oblivious she can't see when party she's dragged her to talks shit about Rowan or her father, or pretends not to and hates Rowan for not even trying. AND later on, tells Rowan to speed-grieve. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCKITY FUCKING FUCK?
I don't usually want to strangle characters- if they're so bad, they're SO fucking not worth me trying to wish 'em outta the book in order to strangle them. BUT this girl- this so-called, self righteous friend- can I have a license to kill, please?
Another thing that bothered me was he discovery of goodbye notes; too convenient and it seemed the lingering grief was dropped with the swish of hand, snapping of fingers. Me no believe nor like.
In conclusion, I'm conflicted about the rating, depending on my mood but I think you guys might like Me Since You, too. :)
On the side: I really don't like the cover. The model seems too composed.
Thank you Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books!
"Don't you wish you could take a single childhood memory and blow it up into a bubble and live inside it forever?"
Yes, yes, I do. And I wish the book had done the same, stuck in a childhood memory of a summer, right before everything went straight to hell; and fifteen years later, we are told those stories, their repercussions and many others and more, lost threads and friendships come full circle. But beyond, it's about finally, FINALLY finding you place and mending old fences with your own-self. It's the second part of a story that began for each person in this multi-POV story in different times of their lives. Old people, young people, ageless people.
YET I think I'd have LOVED this as a middle-grade book, and that's simply not for my personal preference. The story of the past was a more emotionally gripping story, more magical while this adult peep into their lives was about healing; and in a way, the book I want could never compare to the one I read, because any story would be incomplete without closure, and Lost Lake provides closure to us, the readers.
One of the things I really liked was that despite the multiple old people narrating their parts, their was nary a hint or inkling that life had slowed down for them, that they had it all figured out long ago. That it's never too late to find love, or happiness. Never too late to find real friends and settle down for a glass of wine, and that letting go of grief is as painful as the pain itself, maybe more so, and that's okay, that's perfectly fine so long as you fill up the vacancy in time enough. And sometimes, you don't need to let go of your grief, you couldn't and that's fine as long as it doesn't bloat and occupy every corner of space of your being.
Another thing I absolutely loved was that Ms Allen dared out to speak in astute terms all those things that make up for nostalgia and melancholy.
For a moment Kate felt indescribably sad, because she couldn't go with Devin[her daughter] back to her childhood. She could only stand here as an adult as the distance became greater and greater until, finally, there was an ocean hanging between them.
Most people never get what they want because they change what they want, change it to something more practical or reachable, change it to something more practical or reachable.
...she would have done anything to preserve that moment, to stick it in a jar like a fly and watch it forever.
Nevertheless, this wasn't a book about preservation; for some it was a new beginning in the place where their stories once tried to take off, and for others, it's about moving on. The characters are all unique and different; even the most stable and happy person has their moments of breakdown. You might think she has it all figured out, she might, everyone else might but it's obvious by how fragile a thread most things in her life are held.
It was a slow and peaceful type of novel, exactly as it was expected to be; there's no fault with it per se, and all I really want to say with my 3-star rating is that I liked it.
[But yay! My first Sarah Addison Allen!]
I want to meet the ghost ladies- Ursula, Magdalene and Betty.
Thanks to St Martin's Press for proving a review copy.
So I've been away from BL for a LOOOOOOOOONG while because it kinda annoyed me, but I think I'm coming back. I don't know why but I do, so there.
though most of the world probably read this book ages ago, for the littlest percent as the past-me, here’s a bit of background: david levithan is an exceptional writer. this particular story is about boy meeting boy, paul meeting noah, and the hurdles in the way in the form of breaking friendships, friends you want to help but can’t, an especially respectable and honest ex-boyfriend, and you know, the growing pains. it’s about your first slap of love, and different places, different times. the town of this story is apart from the rest of the world and spins on its own unicorn hydraulics.
what methinks boy meets boy is about is that even in the most perfect of tales, there is heartbreak. although boy meets boy is a true escapist story for LGBTQ+ teens, and although it is set in this fairytale land with rainbows and drag queen who leads the school’s football team and biker cheerleaders, told by this guy who must be the world’s most adjusted, self-aware kid, gay or otherwise, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t his share of blinders and tears.
it simply means you can smile along with him.
in this way, the story itself draws many parallels with paul. i know people call levithan’s writing, using this exact word, pretentious and in the past, i’ve myself admitted to this. but boy meets boy makes me wonder. for the writing in here is honest and clear and gorgeous. in sparse words, in simple prose, the dude manages to convey so much.
but at the end of the book, it’s a dream. it’s a disney story, a post-modern fairytale in the respect that while it tries to incorporate the real. live. troubles, it’s not about and it’s not striving to be. it’s a cute story of a wanted world but these days, when my only mode of speaking is typing out these few lines(i live in a country where none bother to listen.), stories such as these make me happy for their duration, and no more. but then in a little over a hundred pages, that’s all i expect.
while on this thread, lemme also put a word in edgewise. there’s this chapter in the latter half of the book titles tony, and if every book i ever read had one of those, rainbows would end in my mouth and leprechauns’d dance and hide pots of gold and some folks would dive right in to get to them. it was fucking beautiful.
and of course i am always up for this.
tony is one of paul’s best friend, also a gay teen. unfortunately, he lives in the next town over which remains very much a part of the real world, with a heavily religious and un-accepting family. this is where the ‘real stuff’ is dealt with and, again, it was fucking beautiful. one thing(of the several) that i love about dv’s books and characters is how he shows that unacceptability isn’t synonymous to malice. he comments on that, he criticizes it, he begs them but he also sees their sides. he sees their beliefs and he sees their struggles, too. and i also love this chapter so much because, for the majority and for once, it wasn’t all [paul.paul.paul.paul.noah.noah.paul.kyle.paul.noah]
TO HARPERCOLLINS FOR PROVIDING A REVIEW COPY
Ommm nomm-nomm! FYI, I prefer making lists, unless I plan to bullshit you.
I am a picky, spoiled eater. I bet there are more food items in the culinary world that I’d rather not eat as opposed to the one I deign to smell. Methinks my relationship with chow-support is like the consternating one with pretty clothes or men(you pick). Everything’s so effing appealing on the big screen or in books, but there are a special (emphasized in every way possible)(to my knowledge) few that retain their charm when I have to wear or engage with them.
(But then I’m a bitch and ignore strangers to very rude degrees, so I have few clues on the rules of engagement that could perhaps make it more fun.)(But then I guess that is a desirable quality that parents drum into their young creepsters.)(But I can really be a bitch too. A very quiet one.)
Digressions and tangents aside, there are precisely three reasons…(fill in the rest ’cause it’s boring typing that out)
I liked the polite but cutting humor of the narrative in general. It was reminiscent of my history teacher except his contains polite but cutting insults. I swear that man can just raise his eyebrows and make you feel like scum of the earth.(That’s called being superhuman.) Sometimes, it’s funny in the conventional way, plus witty and dark in the right places(not too close to the foods lest the attention be diverted). However, the writing gets a tad formal here and there, which almost breaks the flow the of the story. But overall, it’s a remarkable piece of writing.
The book starts with the aforementioned death of a Japanese businessman at a dinner of the the shadow faculty, which raises international concerns about the taste of fugu, brings in an Honorable gentleman, and goes on to tell a tale of reluctant cannibals with other assortments of wackiness, and some seriosity in the ways of grave-robbing, and some intellectual conversations as to our Lord Cheeses’s cents on cannibalism.
It’s a damn fun book overall with pesky footnotes that didn’t quite appeal to me, as they contributed little to the story. The characters were charming and the luscious descriptions of food, oh-ma! Even I, being as untrained and fastidious as I am, had my taste buds trying to jump, Jump, JUMP out of my mouth.
So yep, I pretty much thought the book was brilliant and would love for others to try it.
Psst…bored with Sherlock(travesty)? Yawning at the review(understandable)?
'Tis my firm belief that if you want tea, you shouldn't make it yourself. Or more like, it's something I've learned over time. Just the thing to show for a decade and a half of living and reading, isn't it? But I also know what you should do if you want tea: a little cough here, a little eye-rolling there and then make up some kind of totally factual affliction. Also, have your younger daughter make it. In case you don't have kids, visit people. Bother others and go to their houses unannounced. Wait long enough that, out of politeness, they have to ask you whether you want coffee or tea or something. Obviously, you must always show some resistance lest people catch up to your game. But NEVER make it yourself; that's just poor taste. But perhaps you are a fan of coffee? The obvious choice is a cafe or your little sister.
BUT THOSE ARE JUST MY FAMILY VALUES! BUT YOU MUST HEED THEM!
Countdown follows the story of a girl who wants to drink lots of coffee and tea, but you know, family values and all? So she goes to this room where she's locked up and there's a serial killer, too and she asks him for coffee and tea. But grrl, he's locked up too! But what must she do now? SHE WANTS TEA AND COFFEE!
I'd advise her to for chips but you know, Kira's(the grrl) take a turn for the worse, it seems. I mean, he's a grrl now, doesn't like killers(booh!) and isn't interested in chips. So I, being the most magnanimous of readers, tell her to visit a Starbucks(oh shush, I'm not that magnanimous!). So she goes and drinks and drinks and drinks away and overwhelms the reader with drinks in order to hide the numerous plot holes and general stupidity and the blatant encouragement of addiction in her story. And she drinks and drinks and drinks and starts wearing cardboard and trolling parks and becomes a MADAO and yeah, goes on drinking and drinking and drinking and GAME OVER.
But that's just the way of life, I guess. You never know what might curse you to madao-dom. You can also never guess what you might end up reading, despite your own preconceptions and perceptions. For instance, I know I couldn't have read a book with so poor world-building, lackluster characters and befuddling plot, instead of a book on drink-binge, but here it says I did. The universe expands in mysterious ways.
What a typical turnout. BUT GIVE ME ONE LAST LINE BECAUSE OHMI-FUCKING-GOSH, the book tried to dramatize the events and happenings with histrionic that ended up seeming redundant and eye-roll-inducing. (Yes, I've dropped the charade now.) Stuff like:
That's all it was. Just a small shadow of emotion smothered under a blanket of icy darkness.
Review copy provided by Harlequin Teen. Thank you!
*fucktard* says the book
not good. not good.
didn't have the scary effect of darkhouse and the first half was a definite slog.