I trust you to find the good in me, but the bad I must be sure you don’t overlook.
– Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted
I trust you to find the good in me, but the bad I must be sure you don’t overlook.
– Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted
Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author : Sarah J. Maas
Publisher : Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release date : May 3rd, 2016
Rating : 5/5
Synopsis (from Goodreads) :
Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
When has a sequel ever been better than the first book? Seriously, WHEN?!
ACOMAF blew my mind away in a way I never would’ve guessed… Utterly, and completely. This book is GOLD.
The writing is so, so good. Among all the YA novels I’ve read, I can easily say Sarah J. Maas has one of the most impeccable writing styles. She pens down all the right intonations, has great timing in her prose, and successfully conveys everything she wants to, thanks to her way to manipulate the language. The author knows just what to say to convey the importance of something, whether it be a fact or an event. Therefore, the reader immediately understands what she wants them to understand: feelings, thoughts, mental conflicts.
The journeys to other Courts are magical! My biggest wish throughout my reading was to go visit those places, and see them with my own eyes because wow. Instead, I made another post where I show you how I see them. The imagery is really evocative and I think Maas really used her own fantasies to create such dream-like settings. We also encounter all kinds of creatures, and the story never stalls, as adventures or relevant scenes are abundant in this sequel.
For a YA fantasy book writer, Maas isn’t afraid to go deep into her characters, as it is shown in her very realistic portrayal of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you’ve been following my reviews, you would know that I always highlight mental disorders in my readings. It’s a subject to which I’m sensitive, because I’m interested in how the mind works. In my (very amateur-ish) opinion, I believe Maas did a great job at describing PTSD and depression (not in their full spectrum, but at least some symptoms of it), and thus how Feyre felt after her ordeal with Amarantha. I felt really bad for her, I sympathized a lot, and I understand her mistrust and repulsion at certain things. However, I was a bit disappointed: I thought Feyre would have been stronger, maybe? I would’ve thought a girl like her would have taken more to break, but oh well. Once I got far enough in my reading, I got over it and just chose to sympathize with her.
A new thing that completely amazed me, and that I seriously consider adding to my criteria for books, is that Maas literally fixes every issue I could find in the book. As soon as I found a problem, an inconsistency or a doubt, she would patch things up, offer something to fix that problem, explain the why’s and the how’s. Like… WOW. That was seriously awesome. Although it’s not an issue, exactly, I still found that the timeframe is a bit short. If I’m correct, Feyre has been in Prythian for around a year? So I think, with all the events and twists and turns, it does seem a bit nonsensical?… Also, some things were just too convenient. I really thought that Maas pushed it a bit too much on some occasions. But these are not big minuses, as I still adored the book, so… meh!
In ACOMAF, we meet again Feyre, Tamlin, Rhysand & Co. And here there will be a few (kinda) spoilers. Continue reading
Welcome again to my bookish edition of F*ck, Marry, Kill!
Please suggest me other books to play with!
I hope you enjoyed the last round, and will put your own choices in the comments 🙂 All these books are YA, so if you’re looking for a YA read, pick one (or all!) of them, and you won’t regret it, I’m telling ya 😉
What would YOU choose between
A Court of Mist and Fury. It was an amazing and super well-written book!! However, something didn’t sit well with me.
Six of Crows. One of my favorite series, so of course I’d buy it (and I did). Everything was perfect.
Crimson Bound. I’ll post a review on this book soon, but it was nowhere near as good as the 2 other books. For real, it seems so bland next to them, this choice is a certainty.
Thank you for reading this! Feel free to comment your own choices!
Have you ever read descriptions in a book and thought to yourself, “Man, this book would have been perfect on film”? I have.
I am one who loves to look up beautiful scenery and breath-taking landscapes on Google. They just look incredible and I know they exist in our mundane world, and I’m planning one day to go visit them all! However, another way to have a glimpse at those otherworldly locations is… to read them on paper.
When there’s a description in a book, it can go two ways: horribly wrong, or beautifully well. Whenever I stumble upon a perfect one, I am taken away! I wish to live there, I wish to visit this place, I wish I could see it with my own eyes.
This is how I picture book settings to look like.
I’m going to start with A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, since the 3rd one is coming soon!
Night Court (Court of Dreams)
It was quite hard to find pictures on Google that would represent how I imagine ACOTAR’s locations to look like.
For the Night Court, we mainly see Velaris. So I asked my friend how she views it, and one thing she said struck me: “Basically, I based Velaris on my fantasy dream city”. So I tried incorporating her standards to the court’s name, as well as my own opinion.
For Hybern, I know Maas intended it to look like Ireland, and I thought it was somewhat how I viewed it myself.
I hope you enjoyed this post! If you want me to do the book scenery of a particular book, feel free to ask and to comment! Have a nice day, guys xx
I want to start a fun game of F*ck, Marry, Kill with books!
Please suggest me other books to play with!
Welcome to my first edition of BORROW, BUY, BURN!
I hope it’ll bring you fun! If it goes well, I’ll start tagging other people to play as well. I asked one of my friend to suggest me the first three books, and here they are:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Simply because there’s no way in hell I’m burning a book from my childhood, and it didn’t leave as big an impression as LotR so I can’t marry it.
The Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring. Duhhhh. It’s part of my favorite series, so of course I’m marrying it.
City of Bones. Sure, Simon and Jace especially were my obsessions for a few months, but still can’t compare to the other two. I’d kill it.
Et voilà! I hope you’re enjoying it, but please help me find a name and maybe tell me what I should improve? Thank you!
♚ Wednesday’s Headline is a series/feature on my blog where I will share with you my current read and my thoughts and expectations for them! ♚
This Wednesday, I’m reading two books : Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor and Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. I’m particularly excited about this duo because they sound so amazing!!
Laini Taylor is the acclaimed author of Daughter of Smoke and Bone series! Stranger the Dreamer will be published on March 28th, 2017.
[Pictures+summaries from Goodreads]
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around— and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
OUhhhhhh I’m SO HYPED FOR THIS!!!! So mysterious and mythical and IT SMELLS OF MAGIC AND ENCHANTMENTS!!! And I’m a few pages in and the writing is totally awesome, so I think I found one of my favorite reads of 2017!
2. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.
My friend recommended this one to me, and I’m totally hooked by the summary! I love time travel stuff and I’m pretty sure I’ll love the ship in there 😉 A kind of Time Traveller’s Wife, people? A few pages in also, and I think it borders on too childish, but not yet, you know? We’ll have to see where she goes with that.
Thank you for reading my Wednesday’s Headline!
Title: The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas
Author : Ursula K. Le Guin
Publisher : Creative Education, Inc.
Release date : April, 1997
Rating : 6/5
With deliberately both vague and vivid descriptions, the narrator depicts a summer festival in the utopian city of Omelas, whose prosperity depends on the perpetual misery of a single child.
The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas (TOWWAFO) is a short story of about 10 pages. Initially, I didn’t plan on reviewing it. It was just a passion reading, encouraged by the music video of a K-Pop band that I love in which Omelas is mentioned (“Spring Day” by BTS). Go take a look; although you probably won’t understand a word of what they’re saying, the song’s melody is upbeat and melancholic at the same time, the rap/singing is on point, the cinematography is actually quite beautiful, and the video has tremendous depth and meaning. (Ok now I have the urge to publish a whole article on BTS). Back to the topic.
TOWWAFO is… a masterpiece. In less than 10 pages, it managed to pave a path to my mind, to my heart, to my soul. Its influence is still rattling in my head. I’m constantly thinking about it, its meaning, its consequences.
The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting.
How more wrong can we get?
As you can deduce from the title and the synopsis, once the citizens of Omelas are made aware of the misery of this particular child, some of them choose to accept this sacrifice and stay in their ideal life, for they cannot fix it without destroying everything else. Some of them choose to leave, as they cannot live with this on their mind. Those are the choices they have. For this city, in order for it to remain perfectly happy and prosperous, it needs only one imperfection, only one atrocity to balance everything else, and it’s the child.
Does the benefit of many outweigh the suffering of few? Should perfection be achieved at the expense of someone else? Is the happiness of thousands of people worth the suffering of a child?
That is exactly what Le Guin presents to us in her mesmerizing, yet chilling story. Happiness is, after all, not stupid, nor simple. With only a few words, this incredibly powerful and complex short story delivers some of the most fundamental questions in our society. Think about it. No, please, think about it.
I honestly understand both sides, and it’s part of the reason why TOWWAFO is so emotional. I understand those who stay, because I too dream of a happy, harmonious, perfect life. The idea of leaving my happily ever is horrifying to me. But I also understand those who leave, because I have empathy and conscience, and I don’t think I’d survive contributing to this child’s suffering.
But Le Guin’s story isn’t only about that, I realized. As the title goes, it’s also about the ones who walk away. The ones who leave everything they’ve known behind, to walk towards an unknown destination. Because that’s exactly their state of mind: they don’t know where they’re going, but surely anywhere’s better than here? They’re leaving because it’s not working for them anymore. And although they may start their walk on their own, they aren’t the only ones leaving or who left. They never walk alone.
The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible that it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.
Nowadays, those conflicts are still very relevant. We have, on the one hand, the many vs few dilemma. On the other hand, we have the familiar vs unknown dilemma.
From childhood to adulthood, we walk towards the unknown. We don’t have a map of the World of Adults, we don’t know how to navigate its waters, but we are headed there nonetheless. We leave the utopian world of our childhood.
In mourning, we must leave behind the world in which our close one is still present, in order to face the world without them.
The moment we open our minds, we only have but two choices : close our eyes, or keep them open.
But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.
Random Monday is a series/feature on my blog where I will talk about, you guessed it, random, bookish stuff!
Hey there!!! It’s been a while since my last Random Monday, but I’m back 😀
When I’m looking for a book to read, I often go on Goodreads to see if it’s generally viewed as a good book or not. Sometimes, I even quickly check the actual reviews. What I’ve noticed in those occasions is that I’m immediately drawn to the short reviews, because I’m lazy.
When people write short reviews (and by short, I mean 5 Goodreads-lines), they automatically put in less effort. I know because I tried. What could I actually say in those 5 lines? “It was great”, “I really liked the story”, “The characters are all likable”, “But I didn’t like the plot twist”, etc. Short and simple. It was much easier for me, yes! I had the perks of stating my opinion, but keeping it lowkey and time-saving.
But what am I looking for in a review? When I’m genuinely interested in the book, whether I read it or not, I want to know what people thought, what they liked, what they disliked. I want to read constructive arguments as to why that wasn’t good and this was. I don’t want an overview, I want the details. Of course, if I’m merely curious about a novel, a short review would be enough, but…
That’s why my reviews are long-ish. It’s important, for me, to tell you the why to my opinions, so that you can get a complete idea of what I’ve been going through. I know I sometimes get lazy to read them, because there are so many letters and words and paragraphs. But the thing that makes long reviews bearable is an organized structure.
You can go about it in many ways:
Really, you can structure your reviews in many ways; those are just the ones that I encountered.
(My way to write reviews is the Bolding key phrases)
Anyway, thanks for reading this!
Title : Beauty and the Beast
Director : Bill Condon
Starring : Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad
Release date : March 17th, 2017
Genre : Drama, Musical & Performing Arts, Romance, Fantasy
♧ Synopsis (from RottenTomatoes) :
Rating : 70%
“Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.
** By NO MEANS am I a professional critic, I have never taken cinema classes or anything, so there won’t be any technical language or over-the-top comment about this movie. I’ll just tell you why I liked/didn’t like it.
Be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test!
Beauty and the Beast (BatB) is my favorite animated Disney movie, and that makes me completely biased towards the live-action one <– warning.
Oh, how nostalgic and enchanted I felt when the Prologue song came on! I was hooked from the beginning, and not only because of the song, but also because of the decor and the setting! The castle was more impressive and grand than in the animated version, the village was just as cozy, and the landscape/forest gave me shivers. Disney really nailed the setting/CGI (?) for this one, because it was so beautiful, so magical. I just wanted to fall into that world!
The plot was mainly the same (read synopsis above), so there was no real surprise there. I won’t tell you about the plot changes they made, though, because I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but they’re darker than the animated counterpart. My opinion didn’t change much because of those tweaks.
I read some of the criticisms made about the Stockholm Syndrome. What IS Stockholm Syndrome? In short, “Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity.” But, in Emma Watson’s words :
[Belle] has none of the characteristics of someone with Stockholm Syndrome because she keeps her independence, she keeps that freedom of thought.
Belle doesn’t have the Stockholm Syndrome because she always tries (and succeeds) to escape, so she doesn’t need any survival strategy during captivity. She chooses to come back on her own, because she’s grateful to Beast. And that is it.
However, the only downside I had with the movie was that I wasn’t as awed as with Cinderella (2015). In Cinderella, we had the beautiful dress made of magic, the too-beautiful-for-his-own-good Prince, the vibrant colours. Everything was enchanting to the eyes and to the heart. So I was a little disappointed to see that BatB didn’t have this extra-ness.
But I loved and admired the changes they did for Belle. She’s now the inventor of the family, not Maurice. It completes and actually explains why Belle is such an oddity (because just being able to read was a little thin as an explanation, for me). And they had lines that actually made sense and were funny! The musical parts weren’t too cliché, they added new songs as well and one of those became my favorite! *sigh*
All in all, I was more than satisfied with BatB. It was out of this world, and I’d watch it again and again!! Totally recommended!
Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Author : John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling
Publisher : Arthur A. Levine Books
Release date : July 31st, 2016
Rating : 4/5
Synopsis (from Goodreads) :
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
I’m super duper biased right now, so of course I enjoyed it immensely and gave it a good rating. I mean, HARRY POTTER and the Cursed Child is a sequel and it’s CANON since Rowling co-wrote it. It was a joy to see familiar characters, to dive back in HP’s world, to be welcomed at Hogwarts once again.
Um… but I’ll try bringing more reasoned arguments on the table.
The writing is definitely not Rowling, despite her co-writing it. It lacks the quirkiness and the dry humor that I’m used to. Maybe it’s because it’s all dialogues, or maybe they had to adapt our characters to adulthood. Actually, it’s probably one of those two reasons, but I missed the giddy feeling I had while reading HP. But since it’s theater, I think they put all the quirkiness they could into the characters.
And I do love the characters. My favorite one, unsurprisingly, is Scorpius. Such a sweet and considerate guy, so different from his family’s heritage. He’s supportive and through their mistakes, he doesn’t waver and he’s genuinely caring and determined. When you think about it, he’s also the embodiment of Draco Malfoy’s job as a father. I’m proud, on behalf of Draco, of his son. His friendship with Albus was mesmerizing. And that’s all I can really say about Albus. I was pretty indifferent to him through it all; even when he acted up, I was only waiting for Scorpius to reappear.
The book was cheesy, I admit. But my biggest problem is that they didn’t stay true to the characters that we know and love. Some arcs were believable, and actually realistic. Harry is struggling with his role as a father, and I totally get it. He says things and does stuff that I wish he hadn’t and that I can’t reconcile with the HARRY we know. But he’s an adult now, and life happens, and in 19 years, I guess some things changed. Hermione lost her sass, but she’s still bossy and smart. Ron was… well, I had hoped he would become “cooler”, but he’s… a disappointment to me, unfortunately.
But the story was fun, funny and light, full of twists and magic! It gave me a great lasting impression. I felt as if it was more about the relationships and conflict between characters, than about the actual plotline. And I was totally okay with that, because Harry doesn’t need another story. Harry doesn’t need any addition. Harry doesn’t need a bow on top. But along the way, Harry got a companion. Harry got a friend. A cute and nostalgic one, and I fell in love.