WWWoW – I Am Reading YA

Sup guys. After posting entirely nothing these past days, I’m back with a bunch of novels that needs to be reviewed, ranted, pondered and cried about.


What are you currently reading?


The premise of Traveler is anything I could ever hope for. Parallel words, metafiction, time loops and people dying—yup, sounds like my cup of tea—and yet the author manages to make these wonderful elements boring. It still is interesting and I hope it picks up its wits halfway.

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Traveler by L.E. Delano

Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles—Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it… This Jessa is going to live. (Goodreads)


What did you recently finished reading?


Hah. I’ve read quite a lot of books the past months thanks to my long commute to work and my handy phone. I finished most Rick Riordan’s novels whilst sitting inside a noisy jeepney with its noisy passengers. The Knife of Never Letting Go was read between trips to home and to whatever place I feel like going, mostly by bus where the aircon is either too cold or too warm.

And hey, I’m finally reading YA books. I’ve always been a bit snobby to the genre but inevitably end up reading them. This year was a quite a good year for me in YA because I discovered a few beauties I loved and a few terrible ones that I still enjoyed anyway (glances at Ten and Scythe).


Waiting on Wednesdays


Okay. I decided to put WWW and WOW together since I couldn’t follow-up with the books that I intend to read. Something always comes up that deems far more important to read, so, instead, I’ll post here the books I want to read.

Hah. I never thought I’d be so pumped up on a book that I disliked and liked so much. Look at that cover. Look at that cover.

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A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all. (Goodreads)


Walking Teenagers… Again

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“But right now I can’t help thinking this universe is a mystery that wants to be solved; a mystery trapped inside each and every one of us.”

I’ve been thinking for a long time what to say about this novel. I have finished Beneath Wandering Stars months ago and I have so much to tell you guys about it but whenever I face  computer screen or paper, I am at loss of words. This wasn’t any other YA novel I have ever read and at the same time, this was everything a YA novel should be. Sure, this novel doesn’t have handsome fairies, vengeful queens, witches or wizards. It’s no fairytale retelling or dystopian fiction. It is about a girl and a boy walking a pilgrim, as simple as that. And yet, it extends even further into something complex and deep and wonderful at the same time. I also read a similar book long ago which features walking teenagers as well. No one dies horribly in this book, though.

Beneath Wandering Stars approaches spirituality and philosophy that I don’t get to see enough in recent YA fiction, not unless we’re talking about the angst-driven coming-of-age novel which main philosophy is to hate the world and all those living in it. Beneath Wandering Stars isn’t written with hate and despair, it’s written with longing. Continue reading

Top Ten Reasons Why I Hate and Love ACOTAR and Sequel

I have kept my feelings welled up inside me– I have many times considered tearing the book apart were it not for my parent’s peaceful upbringing. So, I had to settle on tearing potato chips with my teeth as I scan the book and write my review.

Because I HATE A Court of Thorn and Roses yet, at the same time, I LOVE it.

Damn you Sarah J. Maas. Damn you.

I intended this as a different post but when I saw that TTT is having a freebie week, I decided to put the two together since I was having a hard time organizing my thoughts. The post shall contain rants and praises and god knows what else. Maybe profanity unless my zen upbringing proves stronger than I thought. At the moment, I’m listening to the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack, thinking of the time when fairytales were simpler but memorable; ACOTAR is anything but simple and its impact to me is as powerful as an ant crawling inside my ear. I think it is a brilliant book that subverts common fairytale cliches such as Instaromance and Happily Ever Afters into realistic affairs and turns innocent kisses to hot, steamy sex scenes. At the same time, it is a flawed book, which makes it more or less an interesting book to discuss. I’ll be talking about BOTH novels so there are spoilers of course.  Continue reading

Giveaway: Beneath Wandering Stars

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Beneath Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles

After her soldier brother is horribly wounded in Afghanistan, Gabriela must honor the vow she made: If anything ever happened to him, she would walk the Camino de Santiago through Spain, making a pilgrimage in his name. The worst part is that the promise stipulates that she must travel with her brother’s best friend–a boy she has despised all her life. Her brother is in a coma, and Gabi feels that she has no time to waste, but she is unsure. Will she hesitate too long, or risk her own happiness to keep a promise? An up-close look at the lives of the children of military families, “Beneath Wandering Stars” takes readers on a journey of love, danger, laughter, and friendship, against all odds. (Goodreads)

Ashlee Cowles is nice enough to giveaway ARCs of her book, Beneath Wandering Stars. And isn’t that cover gorgeous?

To enter, just click here and join!

 

Angst

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Synopsis

A disturbed high-school student with authority problems kills one of his teachers and takes the rest of his class hostage. Over the course of one long, tense and unbearable hot afternoon, Charlie Decker explains what led him to this drastic sequence of events, while at the same time deconstructing the personalities of his classmates, forcing each one to justify his or her existence. (Goodreads)


Rage was an unpredictable, gripping read full of emotional turns and reminiscent to Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, the book of teenage angst and alienation. Indeed, Rage lingers on similar themes that makes it quite a depressing read. It’s the sort of book that makes you question a lot of important things– was I really this shitty or is society’s fault? I’m not sure myself if I liked the book or not, much like my disorientation on reading Catcher in the Rye. But it was an engrossing book, though, this is King we’re talking about.

Lunacy is when you can’t see the seams where they stitched the world together anymore.

Continue reading

Status

WWW -Secret Libraries, Werewolves, A Weird Girl, An Encyclopedia and Trains

The Three Ws are:


What are you currently reading?

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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruis Zafón

A boy tries to solve the mystery of Julian Carax, author of his favorite book.

I just started reading this and wow, did it leave me breathless. I already have a dozen quotes highlighted and I haven’t even reached a third of it. After my emotional outbursts (or in-bursts, that is) while reading The Last Policeman, The Shadow of the Wind was a warm welcome because indeed, reading it feels as if the words are embracing you. I don’t want to be dramatic here, but it really does feel like that.

“Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.”


What did you recently finished reading?

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Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King

A man who slaughters humans during his period lunar cycles (that are not accurate Lunar Cycles).

It’s not about Stephen King written by Cycle of the Werewolf. as interesting as that would be, but Stephen King does write about a werewolf. An educational book for children who’s still learning their months and seasons, complete with cute illustrations by Bern Wrightson.


What will you read next?

Weird Girl and What’s His Name by Megan Brothers

Angst. Teenagers. Pain. Nerds.

Saw Giovannard’s review of it and was instantly piqued. Check out her review here.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Magicians who do not use magic. Footnotes. There’s a prophecy but there’s damn too many footnotes to worry about.

The Shadow of the Wind was never in my TBR-list until yesterday, but that’s because I couldn’t read Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell for five minutes without dozing off. It started off as really interesting– two gentlemen talking about magic or perhaps, the lack of it, and I could imagine this pompous magic society controlled by dusty old men who do nothing but discuss and debate and sneer at those who do practice magic. I really like the idea of magic contained under theory and its gradual disintegration because of humanity’s lack of imagination. That is, until the footnotes started coming in, which requires more than imagination to finish. I think I spent more time reading the footnotes than reading the actual book. I could skip them but they appeared important to the story’s actual text so yeah, I have to read them all. It’s like reading an encyclopedia in-between, something I’m not very fond of.

King Solomon’s Carpet by Barbara Vines

Trains. 

I also started on this one! And decided to close it for The Shadow of the Wind… 

It took me quite awhile to get used with Vine’s style. So far, the book introduces a bunch of characters who are loosely connected with one another. 


 

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Hosted by Taking on a World of Words

Rowell Writes A Fanfiction

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

You may know the fictional Simon Snow series that Cath fangirls about in Fangirl. Well, Rowell made a book about it titled Carry On. Unlike Rowell’s other novels, Carry On has magic, monsters and the most predictable mystery ever that sometimes you’d wonder how these characters could possibly not know what’s going on. But then, I expected a lighter read after The Dark Tower and this novel didn’t fail me. Carry On was easy to read, a feel-good book and it was light alright but it also didn’t have any meat in it.

The book is full of jumpy characters and jumpy scenarios. Nothing grows in this book, not the characters, the plot, or the world of Carry On. The mystery and fantasy aspects of the novel are squeezed in and didn’t have much time to grow into the story. The first-person narratives was an interesting touch at first but quickly becomes trivial and bothersome, especially when majority of them are ‘Simon-centric’ and it gets quite repetitive and obnoxious(ly Simon). The action scenes were dragging and confusing as Rowell does a lot of ‘telling’ than ‘showing.’

That said, the romantic tension between Simon and Baz were well-written and their exchanges were fun to read. This is Rowell doing her magic here, I thought. Lucy’s story was a tragic one compared to Simon and Baz’s love story and it served as a sad and hushed-up climax unrealized that only made her story more haunting and tragic.

Rowell also did it great job on writing her characters outside their stereotypical roles, especially Agatha, the ‘Ginny’ of the novel who is aware of her unimportant role in the story, her friends’s ridiculous activities and her necessary relationship with the hero Simon. In retrospect, the book satirizes common fantasy tropes that reminded me a lot of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Rowell adds her own twist of magical elements such as spells out of lyrics, nursery rhymes and other pop cultural references and fantasy creatures with their own quirks and culture that I wished she could have integrated interactively in her story instead of just telling us who and what these creatures are.

The Verdict: 3/5 Stars

A good, light read with lots of promise but falls flat and forgettable in the end. The blurb summarized it nicely.

I still don’t understand why it’s called Carry On.


About the Author

Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons. Goodreads | Website