Carry On is a strange book. It’s an original novel with original characters by Rainbow Rowell, but it’s also a fanfic that the main character of the nCarry On is a strange book. It’s an original novel with original characters by Rainbow Rowell, but it’s also a fanfic that the main character of the novel Fangirl, Cath, writes in her spare time. So I’m definitely confused whether we can say Carry On is an official novel or a fanfic. It is official canon? Should we take it as a fanfic with different end to Simon Snow stories instead? (because Carry On ends up with Baz) (pssh, this isn’t even a spoiler. We know that’s the true pairing)
It’s hard to get into Carry On at first. It’s like you start a story in the middle of the series and you’re supposed to have already known the characters’ personality and quirks by heart. It’s a bit tough to get into the magical word, especially since I went to the book with only: SIMONXBAZ! SQUEEE! in my mind. (guilty) We all know that one famous magical boarding house series, and I can’t help comparing Carry On to that particular series. It dawns on me that Carry On is a YA series instead of Middle Grade when the characters swear. Like gasp! I can’t imagine good old Harry swears. But Simon swears, a lot. (Although he says f**k. I thought Englishmen says b*****ck instead?)
Things start getting interesting when I reached the part Baz comes back to school. Because it’s Baz! SimonxBaz! AND THE SEXUAL TENSION. I swear my inner Cath from Fangirl just came out and I literally squealed at the description of the way Baz and Simon look at each other. YES SIMON PLEASE DESCRIBE BAZ IN EVERY DETAIL POSSIBLE. I KNOW BAZ ISN’T SIMON’S LOCK OF HAIR BEAUTIFUL. SIMON DO YOU NEED EXTRA THESAURUS TO DESCRIBE BAZ’S GRAY EYES. You should have seen me when Baz admits his love for Simon in his mind. I made a high pitched noise, dropped my ebook reader like a hot potato, and repeated the process for about three times.
I find the ending, albeit bittersweet, is preferable to Gemma T. Leslie’s end. Because Ms. Leslie, the fictional author, ends the novel with Simon and Baz being frenemy and saying that Baz will not give up on Agatha. NO PLEASE NO MORE AGATHA. We don’t even have the previous seven books and I’m already reluctant to read love triangle around that girl. Agatha is such… a damsel in distress character. Not that it’s bad since after all, most classical stories revolve around that type of character. It’s just… tiring to meet another one. Thank God Ms. Rowell, the real author, ends Carry On with our true OTP.
I laughed way harder than I should when I read Baz’s mind in Carry On:
“Wellbelove [Agatha] catches me in the courtyard and tries to suck me into her maiden-fair drama, but I haven’t got time for the pain.” (p. 157) (YES Baz we don’t have time for that. Agatha this is SimonxBaz fic gosh read the tag carefully will you)
And please a moment of silence for SimonxBaz:
“I [Baz] roll over onto my side, facing Snow. He’s sleeping, so it doesn’t matter if I stare at him. Which I do. Even though I know it doesn’t do me any good.” (p. 137)
“I [Baz] feel 15 again, like I’m going to give in if he gets too close—kiss him or bite him.” (p. 156) (wow this seriously flashback me to that particular famous vampire-human series)
“You’re not a monster,” I say. His [Baz’s] face is cold as a corpse in my hand. “I was wrong. All those years. You’re a bully. And a snob. And a complete arsehole. But you’re not one of them.” (p. 259)
Lastly, how spells in this magical world can be very entertaining:
“She falls asleep in the middle of telling me about a song she’s heard, a song she thinks will be a spell someday, though I can’t think of any use for ‘Call me maybe’.” (p. 37)
“I use every revealing spell I know, and every finding spell. … Scooby-Dooby-Doo, where are you!” (p. 83)
“Have a break, have a Kit-Kat!” (p. 333) (my favorite)
It’s weird, but I have to say that Carry On feels like a very good fanfic. Because it’s almost unthinkable to read a story about a boy wizard destined to save the world, yet he spends his last year in his magic school making up with his enemy and ends up with this enemy guy as his soulmate. It’s like the story takes a whole different turn when it started very mainstream-like, but it’s a good read and I got a good squeal in it. I’d recommend Carry On to anyone who has read Fangirl and loved it. Especially to those who ship SimonxBaz. GUYS WE NEED SHIPPING NAME ASAP....more
There are some books that you pick up and know that you’re going to love them. You don’t even read the summary on the book jacket or care what the booThere are some books that you pick up and know that you’re going to love them. You don’t even read the summary on the book jacket or care what the book is about – you set your eyes on them and you know you need to read it. I was lucky enough to experience it with The Hunger Games, Just One Day, Poison Study, and now with Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto.
Kitchen consists of three stories: “Kitchen”, “Full Moon” (or “Kitchen”: part two), and “Moonlight Shadow”. The story of “Kitchen” deals with a girl’s loneliness after her grandmother’s death. Being left alone in the world, she finds solace in the form of kitchen and later, in the company of Tanabe family. I love the interactions between Mikage, the heroine, with the Tanabes. The Tanabes pick up Mikage as if she were a lost puppy, and they heal her heart like they water the plants in their apartment.
I loved the Tanabes’ sofa as much as I loved their kitchen. I came to crave sleeping on it. Listening to the quiet breathing of the plants, sensing the night view through the curtains, I slept like a baby. There wasn’t anything more I wanted. I was happy.
“Moonlight Shadow” is a story about a lover left alone after her boyfriend’s death. Her grief is so overwhelming she is almost drown in her sea of sadness. Satsuki, the main character, is coping by jogging in every dawn, while her boyfriend’s brother, Hiiragi, is coping of the loss of both her brother and her girlfriend by wearing his girlfriend’s uniform to school. The sadness is so profound in the story I almost felt I were the one experiencing it.
I love how Banana Yoshimoto-sensei seamlessly weaves tales of love, death, loss, and loneliness in her works but still manages to include threads of hope in the stories. I didn’t know it was possible to feel so attached to a character in 40 pages or so. I cared for them like they were my longtime friends, and I wished for their happiness in every page I flipped. Kitchen is so intimate, so beautiful. It was genuine sadness when the story was coming to end – why can’t it go longer? Like a real parting with friends, I don’t want to let them go yet. I even read the Afterword!
The gradual recovery of the characters is not rushed at all. It reminds me of plants, growing steadily with much love from sun and water. The writing might be deceptively simple, but it will touch your heart nonetheless. I guess there’s none of my words that can do justice in conveying the beauty of Kitchen. It’s the kind of book that you have to read yourself to find out. If you just immerse yourself in their world – you would understand why so many readers, including me, fall head over heels in love with Kitchen.
”With a cold”—she spoke evenly, lowering her eyes a little—“now is the hardest time. Maybe even harder than dying. But this is probably as bad as it can get. You might come to fear the next time you get a cold; it will be as bad as this, but if you just hold steady, it won’t be. For the rest of your life. That’s how it works. You could take the negative view and live in fear: Will it happen again? But it won’t hurt so much if you just accept it as a part of life.”...more
I love the main character development towards the ending. There aren't many books out there that can discuss3.75 stars I guess? Very close to 4 stars.
I love the main character development towards the ending. There aren't many books out there that can discuss identity issue as eloquently as this book. It was an interesting book that I'm sure many others can relate to.
Made for You is well-known author Melissa Marr’s debut into contemporary fiction (albeit with a touch of paranormal), and I must say that it’s a stunnMade for You is well-known author Melissa Marr’s debut into contemporary fiction (albeit with a touch of paranormal), and I must say that it’s a stunning one! Emotional gripping and fast-paced, Made for You might be my favorite out of Marr’s novels.
We meet Eva Elizabeth Tilling-Cooper, heiress to giant winery and granddaughter of a minister. Out of nowhere, the sweet Southern belle suffers a hit-and-run. She’s considered lucky to be alive despite of broken bone, brain injury, and serious scar on her face. Nobody has a clue on the driver in the accident. When more girls fall victim to this ‘accidental’ hit-and-runs, Eva starts to wonder whether it’s actually accident at all. And the hallucination she has whenever she touches other people’s bare skin? It might not be hallucination at all. She might actually has ability to foresee people’s death. The ability might be the key thing Eva can rely on in order to save herself and people she loves from her obsessive killer…
I might not be Marr’s number one fan of her fantasy books, but I’m eager to jump on her future contemporary works! Made for You is certainly an exhilarating read, and I become more and more invested with the story the more I flip the pages. Despite of her lucky upbringing, Eva is not a snotty brat at all. She’s considerate and rational most of the time. Grace, Eva’s best friend, is very supportive in helping Eva coping with her harsh condition. She’s exactly what you need and wish from a friend! Nate and Eva’s romance is cute. I’m kinda glad it doesn’t take the front seat of the story however since I am more attached in the mystery.
One reason I might like this book more than Marr’s other works might be because of the use of first-person POV, rather than her usual third-person POV. I like first-person perspective of Eva, the killer, and sometimes Grace. All of them gives a little glimpse towards the story. The thoughts of the killer is very sickening anyway – can we please tone it down a little? It left me with bad taste in my mouth every time I read the killer’s perspective. If Marr does want to create a horrible, terrifying psycho, then I guess it really works!
All in all, Made for You is a terrific ride and one I’d recommend to fans of contemporary mystery. It’s interesting to see how wealth and family background can matter so much in a small Southern town. Makes me wishing to read more Southern tale! With strong plots, great characters, and neat writing, Made for You is a recommendation for fans of YA fictions with mystery.
None of it makes sense to me. Micki did nothing to me, and although Amy slept with Robert, that’s not reason enough to wish this on her. Neither of those things explain why the killer attacked me. I sit on the sofa trying not to think that someone wants me dead—someone who has now killed two girls I know....more
The Jewel starts out with everything I love: gorgeous cover, detailed prose, and conflicted heroine. The main character, Violet, lives in a society whThe Jewel starts out with everything I love: gorgeous cover, detailed prose, and conflicted heroine. The main character, Violet, lives in a society where the royalty need girls with special ability to be surrogate mothers for their babies. Those surrogate mothers come from the poorest part of the country, and their somehow genetic mutation allows them to bring royalty’s babies without any flaws. Not only that, those surrogates have auguries: special ability that enable them to modify growth, color, and shape of anything, even living things. Violet has the most impressive ability in growth; a quality that is most prized by Duchess of Lake who bought her. Thrown into swirls of luxuries, dirty royal scandals, and everyone’s own scenarios, Violet must learn how to survive in this glittering community.
When I first picked up The Jewels, it started out wonderful. I love the intricate details of the gowns, the beautiful rooms, and the dazzling city of Jewel.
The room is enormous. Glowglobes cast a warm light on the walls, papered in pale green, and the furniture scattered about the room is upholstered in shades of green and gold. There are dressers, an armoire, a vanity, plush armchairs with footstools, a sofa, a small breakfast table, and a large fireplace. Dark green curtains cover the windows, gold tasseled ropes hanging at their sides—they block out the light completely, so I can’t tell whether it’s day or night outside.
That sounds absolutely gorgeous! Violet seems to share the same sentiment with me, and she can’t keep herself from gushing over her new room and her beautiful shiny violin. Of course, however, she later learns that there is monster hidden in seemingly picture-perfect things.
I devoured this book until I reached the romance part. Then, the story went downhill so fast. The instant attraction and what-they-call-true-love come very very soon after they meet. I’m sorry but I can’t see you putting your life in danger for someone whom you’ve barely talked to. No just no sorry.
The Jewel ends in an okay way, leaving some questions to be answered in the second book. I guess I’ll be waiting for reviews to come before picking up the second book. Fans of The Selection series by Kiera Cass would love the echo of royals life and beautiful details in The Jewel. The Jewel has great premise and flowy writing, and if you can get past the insta-love, I think you might enjoy this book.
I see the rose-shaped bars on the windows of the dormitories, set in the pale pink stone of the holding facility. I see the faces of the other surrogates, the girls who will go back inside once this train leaves and never think of us again. My gaze falls on a twelve-year-old girl with bulging brown eyes. She is so thin, and clearly malnourished; she must be new. Our eyes meet, and she crosses the fingers on her right hand and presses them against her heart.
I step into the carriage and the doors close behind me....more
I was in the mood for anthology, so Lore, An Anthology: Tales of Myth and Legend Retold was a great read for me. I like some stories more than the othI was in the mood for anthology, so Lore, An Anthology: Tales of Myth and Legend Retold was a great read for me. I like some stories more than the others, but overall it was a nice read and I came out knowing much more about myths and legends.
The first story, Shimmer, is a mermaid story with a twist in the end. It has romantic atmosphere, but the pacing is a bit too slow for my taste. I found the second story, Between, very interesting. It’s a classic high school elite clique story, but the appearance of djinn (genie) make this story memorable. I think the LGBT stuff can be taken more carefully, but I like the story in general. In my opinion, Sunset Moon has the strongest characterization in this anthology. It’s a bad girl meet good guy story, and their relationship is definitely swoon-worthy! I love Native American folklore, so it’s not hard for me to fall for this one. :)
The Maker… what can I say? It’s a take on golem mythology and the story reminds me a bit of Frankenstein. The guy makes a golem in order to take revenge on his girlfriend. The story lays heavily on description of action and it can bug you at times, but the plots are simply intriguing. I can definitely see the author’s potential in the story. A Beautiful Mourning has very beautiful, flowing written style. The story has poetic atmosphere in it which I’m sure many will appreciate. I love the ending in The Barricades. It ends with a hopeful note, and I think it suits well as the last story in this anthology.
All in all, Lore, An Anthology: Tales of Myth and Legend Retold is a fascinating read for me. If I have to play favorite, I think it would be A Beautiful Mourning. I’m a sucker for beautiful writing style and melancholic plots. ;) Sunset Moon is good as well. This anthology is a recommendation for anyone who wishes to visit many myths and legends in one go. From mermaid story to golem myth: just pick your favorite lore! :)
The heat from his skin dulled as his sharp eyes softened. “I will love as the mortals.” He leaned in and brushed his lips against mine. My eyes fluttered shut. “Fearlessly and without limitations.”
Cinderella is one of my favorite fairytales, so I was over the moon when I found out this book! I love Rosamund Hodge’s debut, Cruel Beauty, and I’m sCinderella is one of my favorite fairytales, so I was over the moon when I found out this book! I love Rosamund Hodge’s debut, Cruel Beauty, and I’m so excited to tell you guys that Gilded Ashes is just as amazing! It has all the things I love from Rosamund Hodge’s Cruel Beauty: strong heroine, slow-building romance, twisted humor, and intricate plots. ♥
My mother loved me more than life itself. That’s how everything went wrong.
In Gilded Ashes, we meet Maia, daughter of a noble family who spends her days acting as the maid of her family. Maia’s family consist of a stepmother who demands nothing less but perfection, an uptight and desperate to be loved stepsister named Koré, and a kind yet foolish stepsister named Thea. They have no money and live in a rundown mansion. When Stepmother learns about the upcoming ball in a Duke’s house, she knows that it’s their chance to restore the family’s wealth and honor by marrying her daughter to the Duke’s son.
Koré asks Maia to deliver her letters to the Duke’s son, Lord Anax. This leads to Maia’s encounters with the ignorant noble, their unlikely friendship, and later, their slow-budding romance. But this is not a usual Cinderella tale and Maia can’t risk loving or hating anyone – not if she wants those people to stay alive. The only person she can love in this world is her mother, or specifically, the ghost of her mother.
Gilded Ashes is set in the same world with Cruel Beauty, and I love the similar references. Shadow that can make you go mad and a demon lord who will grant wishes if you’re willing to pay. While the novella is only 105 pages, it’s rich with characterization. Every character is not one-hundred percent good or bad, and even Stepmother has her own reason of being cruel to everyone including herself. The stepsisters are not usual ornaments in the story, but they serve great roles.
I love Rosamund Hodge’s heroines: they are delicate balance of intelligence, snark, and kindness. They are not easily won over and I like that about them. I very appreciate the fact that those heroines are the ones who decide their own fates in the end. They create their own stories and do not serve as only vessels for other people.
In short, I really enjoyed Gilded Ashes and look forward to read future books from the author. It’s a satisfying book for a novella and one I would recommend to those searching for short work or great fairytale retelling. It’s not usual Cinderella retelling. If you enjoyed Cruel Beauty, feel free to dive in! You wouldn’t disappointed. :)
If Koré can convince Lord Anax to marry her, then she will leave this house. Probably she will take Thea with her. Maybe they’ll even convince Stepmother to live at the palace with them, and then I won’t have to protect anyone.
Nobody to protect. I can hardly imagine such freedom.
“I’ll do it,” I say, my heart beating a swift, dizzy song of maybe, maybe, maybe. “I’ll do it.” ...more