Hmm, Let’s See… Burn, Rewrite or Re-Read?

Feb 26, 2015

tagged

Last month, I got tagged to do the Burn, Rewrite, or Re-Read Challenge by Lina @ Every Book A World! It’s a new challenge Lina adapted from jessethereader’s video on it — and guys, I just watched the video and JESSE IS HILARIOUS — so I’m excited to be one of the firsts (I think?) to do it. Thanks, Lina! <3

I think you're supposed to randomly choose books on your "read" list, so I used a random number generator to pick books on my GR shelf! LET US BEGIN.

Round 1!

BURN: The Blessed by Tonya Hurley

Since the other two books are clearly out of the question… I’m going to have to burn you, The Blessed. Not that I’ll feel too bad doing it, #sorrynotsorry. I read this book about three years ago, so I can’t really recall much about it other than that it was incredibly weird and mediocre at the same time. But it was also my first print ARC, so it kind of has a soft spot in my heart. Not worthy of a re-read, though. :P

RE-READ: This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

Holy shit, you guys. This book. THIS BOOK. One of my all-time favorites! Like The Blessed, I read this one ages ago (like, right when I first started blogging), but it’s still managed to stick with me all this time. It’s set during a zombie apocalypse, but unlike other books of the genre, it doesn’t focus on zombies, but rather on a girl’s and her friends’ mental states and their wills to survive. And it does so BEAUTIFULLY. The raw emotion behind the narration is so real and so easy to empathize with. Seriously. I need to get myself a copy of this book and re-read the hell out of it. (AND THERE’S A SPINOFF/SEQUEL, TOOOOO.)

REWRITE: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Please don’t get me wrong — I adore The Hobbit. It’s probably my favorite book out of the entire saga (but I haven’t finished the series yet, so I guess I can’t really judge), and if I had a choice, I would totally re-read it too. Except that, um, This Is Not A Test was already perfect. >< So I'll probably rewrite this only to remove some of the long-winded descriptions of scenery, though they aren't as bad as in The Two Towers, admittedly.

Round 2!

RE-READ: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Another one of my all-time favorites! I love, love, love the idea behind the entire His Dark Materials trilogy (even though I still haven’t managed to get past The Amber Spyglass — yikes), and I remember having the time of my life when I read this beauty when I was still a kid. I’ve read this book twice now, but I’m all ready for another re-read, and hopefully I’ll finish the series soon, too!

BURN: Dualed by Elsie Chapman

When I first heard about Dualed, months before its release, I was SO EXCITED. It sounded like nothing I’d ever read before — a fight to the death between two yous in a futuristic setting. Dystopia + sci-fi = the perfect blend. And dystopia was still a huge thing back in 2013 (now, though, contemporaries are quickly taking over the scene). Unfortunately, when I managed to get my hands on an ARC, I was disappointed. Floppy world-building, shallow characters, and a romance I couldn’t cheer on. Yeah. No. A definite burn.

REWRITE: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’ll probably rewrite this to make sure Gatsby gets a happy ending and Daisy drowns in the sea just outside her house. (Nah, just kidding. I just want Gatsby to be have a nice ending. Daisy can go do whatever she wants. :/)

Round 3!

REWRITE: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Another book I was insanely excited for… only be disappointed once I actually read it. I had a hard time between choosing which book to rewrite — Level 2 or When You Were Mine? I finally settled on this one because I felt that it has so much potential and I was expecting quite a bit from it. I haven’t read the sequel yet, though, so I might change my mind if I get to it. (Also, am I the only one who’s not too happy about the title change? It happened quite a while back, but I prefer “Level 2″ over “The Memory of After.” *shrug*)

RE-READ: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

With such a creative and original premise, Crewel was definitely a favorite of the year when I read it back in 2013. The characters were well fleshed-out, the story SO FREAKING AMAZING, and the romance pretty okay (even with the love triangle — which really didn’t bother me that much, surprisingly), so I would love to re-read it again, and then get to the sequel, which I still need to read. Definitely a huge recommendation if you’re looking for dystopia that’s different from anything else you’ve read, and that will for sure stick with you for a long time!

BURN: When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

Believe it or not, I was actually insanely excited for this book when I first heard about it. And as you know, I’m not usually excited for contemporary romances (maybe I was just in a really lovey-dovey mood then, who knows?). But when I read it, I was disappointed. The romance wasn’t swoon-worthy. The characters weren’t anything special. And the story, which could have been interesting, was just meh. I don’t want to burn this book, because I didn’t hate it, but out of the three here, this was the one I disliked most. Sorry! ><

So yup! That’s it for my Burn, Rewrite or Re-Read Challenge! Thanks again to Lina for tagging me — I had lots of fun!

Can’t let this awesomely cruel challenge die out now, can we? >:) So, I tag…

Over to you! Do you agree with the choices I made for these books? What books would YOU burn, rewrite or re-read?

Valentine’s Day Special: Who is Your Fictional Boyfriend?

Feb 14, 2015

valentinesss

Oh man, it took me forever to make the words stick on that gif, haha (so many frames T_T)! But hello, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Obviously, I’m spending this not-very incredibly special day alone at home, catching up on my shows. And if you’re reading this, it means you’re in the same situation as me, too. But you know what? We don’t NEED to be alone. We’re readers. We’re watchers. We’re wanderers between reality and fiction. And it’s time for us to have our very own special Valentine’s Day. Which is why I created this short quiz for all of us forever aloners out there — to find out who our fictional boyfriends are (because that’s the fun part, right?!).

I’ve included a bunch of characters from some of my favorite books/manga, so give it a go and see who you get! And hopefully they’ll match up with your kind of personality, haha. >_<

Have fun!

What did you think of the quiz? Who did you get? Do you think that they suited you or was this thing completely out of whack? Leave your thoughts below and have a HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

My Initial Thoughts Were Wrong: Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard

Feb 06, 2015

Title: Red Queen (Red Queen Trilogy #1)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Published: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Orion
Source: Edelweiss
BUY IT: The Book Depository | Amazon

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers. 
 
To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change. 
 
Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control. 
 
But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?
“The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain.” 
 
And some will believe.

Oh boy, reviewing this book is going to be hard, because it is FULL of brilliant twists and one wrong move could get you unexpectedly spoiled. So if you’re afraid, close the tab and go read Red Queen now (because yes, it is really quite good). You’ll just never know what my initial thoughts were, and why they changed, muahahaha. Otherwise, read on — at your own risk. >:) *ominous music*

In the beginning, I didn’t really like Red Queen:


I was so relieved when so many other people felt the same way, because the hype for this book was insane, and well, I just wanted to be a part of that hype and love the book for once, you know? (Especially after what happened with The 5th Wave.) But in the beginning… in the beginning, I found nearly much all of the characters extremely mediocre and unoriginal. Nothing about Mare was particularly original or unique; she could have been Katniss Everdeen in a different world with different abilities, for all we knew. And the sad thing was, she didn’t really develop much or grow into her own person either as the story progressed.

And then there was Evangeline, the mandatory jealous bitch who constantly picks on our heroine. Honestly, I didn’t see the use for her character at all. The author never explained what made Evangeline hate Mare so much, and I found her to be a plot device meant to generate the dreaded unnecessary drama and jealousy in the romance. Oh well. At least Evangeline’s powers were badass to the max.

Which brings me to the romance. I have to admit that at one point in the book, I thought I was going to read about my first ever love square. Yup. Love square. Mare is surrounded by guys. Guys her age. There’s Maven and Cal, the prince brothers, and then there’s Kilorn, her childhood friend. And it wasn’t because there was so much chemistry between all of them — to be honest, the only ship I supported even a little bit was the Maven + Mare one, but that’s probably because Maven was such a sweet boy — it’s just that their interactions with Mare screamed potential love interest alert, and all I wanted to do was to roll my eyes till kingdom come.

BUT GUYS. Everything changed when I hit the 70% mark (or somewhere around there; I can’t really remember). I realized what the romance I had initially thought horrible was all about, and it’s true purpose. It was so clever, so brilliant. And it totally blew my mind. Okay, I am being purposefully vague because this is tricky ground and I don’t want to spoil the book for you at all, otherwise Red Queen will just be another boring ol’ dystopian for you. But I loved the final direction the book took. Even though I still didn’t find Mare any more interesting, my initial negative thoughts were almost entirely debunked.

In terms of the plot, I was quite annoyed when there was, again, no explanations for why Silvers were born with these “god-like powers,” or how they came to have silver blood. If this book was purely fantasy it would make sense — Silvers could be otherworldly beings with human looks. But there were sci-fi elements as well, such as video cameras, machine guns, “diamondglass” (which was a pretty damn cool invention of transforming diamond into a sparkling and impenetrable wall), and mutated genes. Also, I couldn’t tell if Archeon was set on a future Earth, or if it was a whole new place altogether. So yeah, those things did bug me quite a bit.

But all in all, it was that 70% mark that did it for me and made the book memorable. I had started Red Queen with high expectations. Halfway through, those expectations and my enjoyment were crumbling. But then Victoria Aveyard came around and did something totally unexpected, and now my faith has — somewhat — been restored. I would say, though, that the weakest part of this book were the characters, but the villain made it easier to overlook that! Is this book worth reading? Definitely. Despite the rocky start, it got better in the end. Now I’m praying that the sequel will be even better.

Rating: ★★★★

(OMG, long review is long. PLEASE BEAR WITH ME!)

This Month: January 2015

Feb 01, 2015

this month

I was looking through my posts last year and realized that I only did two monthly recaps for 2014! Oh man, my life is just full of fails. But hey, that’s what new years and resolutions are for, right? So, some highlights of January:

  • Kezia @ Chapteriosity was the winner for my Christmas giveaway, so I helped re-design her new blog (she just went self-hosted, woot!). Go take a look and tell us what you think! :D
  • I made my first purchase on eBay — I bought Ishida Sui’s Tokyo Ghoul zakki straight from Japan, and it arrived just last Wednesday! CUE SQUEALING. Most of you probably know just how much I loved the Tokyo Ghoul manga and how much I love Ishida’s art, so buying the art book basically put me in artist heaven. AND THE PICTURES ARE SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL. I’m probably going to spend the rest of the month taking pictures of them. <3
  • This month, I also got back into bookstagramming! I took a long break because I didn’t like my old pictures and couldn’t find any inspiration, but now I’m back and ready to put more effort into my pictures. I lost quite a few followers during the time I was absent, but a huuuuge thank you to everyone who still stuck around. And I have to say, I’m a lot happier with my new pictures than I was before, haha.
  • instagram_collage

  • Another highlight of January 2015 is definitely the lineup of anime this season. I’m currently watching: Tokyo Ghoul √A (< I can't wait to see which direction this anime will go, especially now that Kaneki's joined the Aogiri Tree?!), Kuroko no Basket 3rd Season (< BASKETBALL MOVES ANIMATED — HELLS YEAH!), Aldnoah.Zero 2nd Season (< I wasn't a fan of the first season, and Season 2 isn't doing that much better either...), Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso — Your Lie in April (< Unimpressed at first, but then the feels started to hit, quickly and painfully), Kiseijuu — Parasyte (< Holy shitballs, gore galore, man! But I like that none of it was censored, haha).
  • And… probably my greatest achievement: I managed to get my sister hooked onto Kuroko no Basket! She doesn’t like anime much, but she’s into sports, so I was a little surprised when she agreed to let me show her the first episode of KnB. And wonder of wonders, she got addicted. xD It’s nice to finally have someone I can fangirl with, even though she gets a little annoying whenever she goes overboard with her fangirling. :P Still. I SUCCEEDED IN GETTING SOMEONE HOOKED ON SOMETHING I LIKE. *fist pump* I deserve all the chocolate in the world, seriously.

Nothing particularly special, but January had enough things going on in it to keep me busy!

Best Book of the Month

Kuroko no Basket 「黒子のバスケ」 by Tadatoshi Fujimaki

Not actually a book, but this is the manga that has had all my attention these past couple of months. I finished it only a couple of days ago and NOW I HAVE A GAPING HOLE IN MY HEART. At least there’s the spin-off/sequel, though, which looks like it’s off to a great start! The thing that surprised me most, apart from how much I loved it even though I am so not a sports person, is that I was able to fall in love with pretty much every single character in here. I don’t like bad boys, nor do I like arrogant pricks, but Kuroko no Basket is crawling with them, and… this basically happened to me:

I finally understand, Momoi!

So yep, I can’t recommend this manga enough! Brilliant characters, bromance, twists, heart-pounding moments, feels… this baby right here has it all. It’s right up there with Haikyuu!! 「ハイキュー!!」, which is another sports manga (this time about volleyball) that I am absolutely loving. <3 (SEASON 2, EEEEEP.)

Goals for February

  1. Finish reading at least 4 books. (Because I just went on a downloading-spree at EW a couple of days ago. I know. I have no idea what is wrong with me.)
  2. Be more sociable! Especially since we’ll be meeting up with my dad’s extended family for Chinese New Year — we rarely see each other so awkwardness is going to be in abundance. uvu
  3. Get some features going! I’ve been slacking on Blogger Panel for the past couple of months, so I’m hoping to get it started again soon. And also, I recently came up with a new idea for a blogger spotlight feature. I don’t want it to be too generic, so it’s been tough trying to brainstorm ideas, but hopefully, I’ll get it all sorted out by this month.

Heh, not many goals for February right now. :P

How was your January? What were some good books you read last month? Do share!

About Me — in GIFs! :1

Jan 22, 2015

I’ve started getting really obsessed with gifs lately. One of the side effects of joining tumblr, I guess. xD Anyway, I was tumblin’ around one day, when I stumbled across the GIF challenge! It looked seriously fun, so here I am doing it. Plus, it’s the new year, so it’d be nice to share some things about myself in a fun way. Okay, let’s start!

This is you:

Daria and I have too much in common. ><

This is your best friend:

She’s pretty much the polar opposite of me: sociable, crazy, and hilarious. I have no idea how we became friends.

This is what your parents are like:

I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. D:

What you do when you’re alone:

I talk to myself A LOT. Whenever I’m alone, wherever I am — boom. Miss Meg and Miss Megan. TELL ME I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE.

How strangers see you:

Because I’m always carrying a book around and my glasses are way thick.

How the same sex sees you:

How the opposite sex sees you:

In the end, I just give off ultra nerd vibes to whomever I’m with.

How your crush sees you:

The sad, sad truth. Is this an improvement from the previous ones, though?!

Your favorite fandom:

The HP fandom is too precious for words.

… AND SO IS THE TOKYO GHOUL FANDOM. (They make the most gorgeous gifs, too. <3)

Yes, I love my fair share of tragedies. The Pandora Hearts fandom is full of wonder and tears.

Pfft: you couldn’t have expected me to just choose ONE fandom, could you?!

Your taste in music:

LANA DEL REY FOREVERRRR.

If you had a superpower, it would be:

Meet Kuroko’s Vanishing Drive! This would be so useful whenever I want to crawl into a hole and die from embarrassment… which is only all the damn time.

You in the morning:

You want to wake me up in the morning, you have to be prepared to face the consequences.

Your thoughts on school:

I like learning, but… school is just no.

Your reaction to being asked out:

Just telling you the truth so you know what you’re getting into.

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