Giveaways Are A Fucking Pain

Oct 20, 2014

let's talk

 

Giveaways used to give me joy. Well, okay, maybe they still do, but most of the time now? They annoy the hell out of me.

I really like hosting giveaways. Not because they gain me new followers, but because I know how great it feels to win a giveaway (even though I’ve only won once xD) and receive something in the mail. Making people happy makes me happy. But then bad things start to creep in and make me wonder: Are giveaways really worth it, after all?

Let me just give you an example of something that happened to me during a fairly recent giveaway. The giveaway had just ended, so after choosing the winner, I emailed them. I congratulated them on winning, thanked them for supporting my blog and the book’s author in the process, and asked for their shipping address so that I could send them the book.

The person replied. Only, they replied with their shipping address and that was it. No “Thank you!” or any other kind of message. I don’t know if I’m being a bitch about it, but the least you could do is say a fucking “thank you,” you know? I mean, I’m spending hard-earned pocket money here — and books ain’t cheap these days. And this is the kind of shit reply I get? Did you even learn manners, brah?

And that’s not all. Giveaways may earn you followers, but what about the people who swim around the internet looking only for giveaways? Once your giveaway ends, they’re going to unfollow you, just like that. I hate seeing my Twitter follower count increase until 599… only to decrease to like 540 when the giveaway is over. Like, what was the fucking point? I love giveaways, I really do, and I love anyone who hosts them, even though I don’t always enter, but it’s experiences like these that make me want to throw a tantrum like a little bitch.

Which is why I’ve come to the conclusion that giveaways really aren’t worth it. I know not everyone out there is rude, and I know not everyone is as insincere as those I’ll-follow-you-only-if-you-have-a-giveaway followers, but I don’t feel comfortable spending money on giveaways anymore. This probably makes me sound selfish, but this feeling is something I’ve had for a long, long time. I just never had the confidence to write a post about it. Besides, it’s another step in the direction of “stats don’t matter!,” right?

What about you? How do you feel about giveaways? And am I being overly sensitive here? ><

This Week: A New Chapter

Oct 19, 2014

this week

Hey guys!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?! Well, a lot has happened ever since my little update a couple of weeks ago. First of all, I sat for my SATs (which I have a horrible feeling about; results will be out in approximately a week’s time, oh boy) and finished my last high school year. Which means that I’m officially free of school! *quietly parties* I mean, I still have some art classes I’ll be taking, and a writing class, and college applications and college essays and CVs, but other than that, I am pretty much a sitting duck. :P

Secondly, Adrift on Vulcan got ANOTHER re-design! Are you getting annoyed with all my impulsive whims yet? No? Aw, you so totally deserve all the cookies in the world, then. xD I got tired of my old one because it looked a little messy, and — okay, I’m a fickle-minded brat. I can’t help it, I get tired of things way too quickly. But I think I’ll be sticking to this design for a while, because I kind of like how different and simple it looks. For all times’ sake, here’s a side-by-side comparison of my current and previous design:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Thirdly, Chri and I launched our new design website! We used to be known as These Paper Blogs, but decided to completely rename our site and go self-hosted. Our new name is… Charm & Co.! We’re hoping our designs will charm you off your feet. ;) You can visit our new website here… as well as see our faces. *hides*

So now that I don’t have any more tests to study for, I should be be able to get right back into blogging and commenting — whoo! I’ll be visiting all your blogs reaaaallyyyy soon, okay! :D

How has your week been so far?

Too Real For Comfort: The Girl With All the Gifts, M.R. Carey

Oct 18, 2014

Title: The Girl With All the Gifts
Author: M.R. Carey
Published: June 19, 2014
Publisher: Orbit
Source: NetGalley
BUY IT: The Book Depository | Amazon

NOT EVERY GIFT IS A BLESSING 
 
Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. 
 
When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh. 
 
Melanie is a very special girl. 
 
Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is the most powerful and affecting thriller you will read this year.

Just a friendly warning: The Girl With All the Gifts will freak you out.

It’s not that the book was full of graphic and gory details (though they were a lot of them, I guess). What really creeped me out how realistic, how possible, everything was. Usually, we read zombie novels with the comforting knowledge that an apocalypse like that would never happen. But with The Girl With All the Gifts? Ha, kiss goodbye to those comforting thoughts, because they’ll be blown to bits. And that was what I liked so much about this book, and what made it so thrilling.

The Girl With All the Gifts is, in many ways, a very cleverly crafted book. It was clear how much time and effort the author had put into research, like the scientists’ base and weapons, and how the zombie apocalypse was caused by a parasitical fungus. I mean — how original is that? Most of the time, people turn into zombies because of some infectious virus, or because of a necromancer, but in this book, a species of fungus attacks your body and takes over your brain. The reason for this? That’s the fungus’ way of reproducing. And it was scary how much sense this fungus theory made. For all we know, such a fungus exists out there, slowly mutating until it becomes ready to latch onto human bodies.

I think that’s enough gross theorizing for the moment.

Let’s talk about the characters! I have to admit that it surprised me how well I connected to Melanie, our ten-year-old protagonist. I could tell from the get-go that something was off about her and the other kids in the facility they were held in, but I wasn’t sure what. That was one of the reasons why I found Melanie so intriguing. What was she, exactly? And why was she like that? Despite how odd she was, though, never once did I feel estranged from her. And for a ten-year-old, I really admired her for her bravery and maturity. Honestly, she was more mature than some of the YA protagonists I’ve read about. RESPECT.

The other characters were just as well fleshed-out, too — so much so that I found it hard to hate the antagonists. Crazy, right? Most of the time we go into books fully expecting to have a hating spree on the bad guys, but not in this book. In fact, I’m using the term “antagonist” a little loosely here, because everything is just in shades of gray: the villains aren’t truly villains because they are trying to save the human race. Even Dr. Caldwell, who performed countless of brain surgeries on children, had many layers to her personality. Some might consider her a monster, someone who belonged in the mental hospital, but M.R. Carey wrote her in such a way that I could empathize with her and her actions fairly easily.

As for the story, there were some slow-moving parts, but it was overall full of action and unexpected twists. And, holy crap, I loved the ending. It was one of the things that made this story so memorable — and for a person who has severe book amnesia like me, memorability is everything. All in all, if you’re looking for an original and unique zombie book, look no further — The Girl With All the Gifts is your answer. Definitely one of the best reads of 2014 so far!

Rating: ★★★★

Prepare to be Indoctrinated

Sep 30, 2014

gilbert

I’ve recently become an advocate for a practice called Mochijunism. Ever heard of it? No? Well, let me explain it to you and hope that this post will help convert all nonbelievers into followers of this new belief. First, a short definition:

moh·chee·june·ism
- noun

the practice of creating mind-bending twists no one ten miles away would have been able to guess; the art of creating strange but totally lovable characters and subplots that can’t be called subplots anymore because they are so crucial to the story; the process of writing such developed and original storylines that every reader constantly marvels at it for the rest of their lives

synonyms: awesome; amazing; mind-blowing; this is the shiz; if all authors could write like this that’d be great

I believe you have a better understanding of the term Mochijunism now.  Are you curious? I hope so.

Okay, long story short, I’m basically going to be talking about an author who kind of changed my reading life, and probably how I’m going to enjoy books from now on. Everyone, meet Jun Mochizuki, author of the brilliant Pandora Hearts! (I, uh, don’t actually have a picture of her since she keeps a pretty low profile. But here’s a gorgeous PH volume cover for you to feast your eyes upon!)

 

JUST LOOK AT THAT DEFINITION OF BEAUTY.

See, about two months back, my good friend Lesley from Books and Beautiful World convinced me to give Pandora Hearts a try. PH is her favorite manga ever, but I was still hesitant to try it because reading from right to left was really, really hard at that time and I didn’t think I could get used to it at all. (I did, in case you were wondering, so much so that I even read ordinary picture panels from right to left before realizing. O_O) But I underestimated the power of Lesley’s persuasion, and she even bought the first few volumes for me, so how could I say no?!

And you know what? Pandora Hearts kind of ruined my enjoyment for YA books. Here are five reasons why.

Continue Reading

This Week: An Update

Sep 21, 2014

this week

This Week is where I recap all that happened on the blog, my life, and the blogosphere.

Before I get started, first I’d like to thank everyone who made my blogoversary such an amazing event. You guys are the reason the blogosphere is such a lovely and marvelous place, and I really feel lucky to have known and met all of you. Again, I’m sorry I missed out so many names in that post. I do appreciate everyone who drops by and comments, even if I’m not all that present these past few weeks. So — THANK YOU!!! Here’s hoping I’ll last till the next year, bahaha.

But this is supposed to be an update, and I think I owe you guys an explanation as to why I’ve been so absent lately! First of all, my exams (YES, MORE OF THEM, THOSE STUPID PIECES OF CRAP [okay, not really]) are in October, and with barely three weeks left to prepare, it’s time to take another semi-hiatus this time to focus on my studies. But after October, I’ll have graduated from high school and will be free! Well, free as in going through the stress of applying to colleges, I mean. It’s just a neverending cycle. So wish me luck, because everything depends on this test! ><

But I think my blog wouldn’t be as inactive as it is now if it weren’t for my book slump. It took me pretty much a month to finish The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, and it wasn’t because the book was boring. It was because I just couldn’t bring myself to get excited by it, despite how original and fascinating it was. I used to be able to finish a 350-page book in a week; now I’m taking a FULL month to finish a 400+ page book. Gaaah! And so, with the book slump came the blog slump — I hadn’t visited my blog’s dashboard for at least a week until now.

Me right now

But there’s good news, too!

My book slump is slowly getting better. I just finished Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, and I was more interested in actually completing it than I felt with The Girl With All the Gifts. That’s progress, right?!

And… I recently started up a Tumblr blog, but this one is solely dedicated to animanga. Apart from reblogging stuff, I’ll be posting infrequent posts of my thoughts/ramblings/raves/rants on the manga/anime I’m hooked on at the moment. So if anyone’s interested, you can visit my Tumblr here! And if you guys have Tumblr blogs as well, feel free to link me up below and I’ll check them out. :D

So yep, just a little update on  where I am right now.

I’m praying that October will go by fine and that I will get off my lazy ass soon and go do some commenting work already. Seriously.

What about you? How have the past few months been?