From the famed The Blue Fairy Book, I learned that:
1. If you are a girl, and you are "beautiful", so amazingly pretty that sometimes, there are just nFrom the famed The Blue Fairy Book, I learned that:
1. If you are a girl, and you are "beautiful", so amazingly pretty that sometimes, there are just no words to describe you, you might just survive whatever is coming at you next, because
2. The villains can never defeat the good, because someway or other, there will always, out of the blue, and completely deus ex machina-like, pop out these magical items that might just save the beautiful girl's ass(oops, I mean, her cute behind).
3. You just have to be really really beautiful. That's it.
4. If you asked a stranger to describe you, and he/she doesn't see fit to use the word "beautiful", you're screwed. For life.
5. Only the royalty are worth talking about.
Okay, to be honest, it's been a while since I read the ebook of this. I did like revisiting some tales I read as a child, but these were so different from what I had read that I found them tasteless, and abrupt. Many times I was offended by the very anti-feminist aspect of the stories, how the females always swooned, always submitted. I mean, I'm fine if they let the men do the dirty work (hehe), but the way it was portrayed was just really.. I don't know how to put it. But I didn't like it.
It's a book that I suppose, you may read to pass the time idly. But let's just say that 1. fairytales have come a long way to what we know and read as children. This journey in time is not in vain; maybe stick to the versions you are familiar with?, and 2. there are better books to read....more
Some were beautiful (I especially loved 'I Can Write The Saddest Verses Tonight'), some I couldn't even begin to understand (Which totally saddens me)Some were beautiful (I especially loved 'I Can Write The Saddest Verses Tonight'), some I couldn't even begin to understand (Which totally saddens me) but the poem that got me reading this book was 'I Do Not Love You.... Sonnet XVII' because of Anna and the French Kiss. I chanced upon a line in Anna and the French Kiss and that COMPLETELY made me certain I had to get my hands on a Neruda piece, no matter what. The line, if any of you are wondering, happens to be a very famous line (sorta, I think!): I love you as certain dark things are loved, in secret between the shadow and the soul. Too beautiful. Of course, I was sorely disappointed to see that in this book, the translation was different. Something like, I love you as certain obscure things are loved... I don't know, I always read it the way I first chanced upon the line. It seems that the translation in this book differs a little from.. I don't know.. mainstream Internet? Because when I searched 'I Can Write The Saddest Verses Tonight', mostly what came up was 'I Can Write The Saddest Lines Tonight'. Which, if you ask me, makes plenty of difference. Still, I did enjoy reading this book a lot. At first I tried to what the foreword advised: to, even though I knew nothing about Spanish, I should still read through the original Spanish verses because they were, apparently, just so beautiful I'd still be able to feel the beauty.
Let me just warn you in advance: NO. That's totally untrue. I know literally NOTHING about Spanish (as in, reading/speaking-wise) and really, reading the original lines did nothing much for me except make me very tired.
I took really long too, to finish this book, and even then, I'm pretty sure I only took away about 50% of the content. Some poems like Macchu Picchu, etc., were what I couldn't understand nor connect with. I did love most of his love poems though. They were exquisite, even the *cues snickers* "Carnal Apple, Woman Filled, Burning Moon".
Not a bad book for an introduction to Neruda, though there was definitely something lost in translation. ...more
Rachel Hawkins is more evil than all the demons (and non-demons) in Demonglass combined. I want Spell Bound NOW.
Oh darn!BEFORE READING:
Rachel Hawkins is more evil than all the demons (and non-demons) in Demonglass combined. I want Spell Bound NOW.
Oh darn! I just lost whatever I was typing! WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY did I click on "link" and redirect myself unnecessarily to the home page?! Now I'm just more angry with the book. :(
Okay to cut things short, I'll do this in practical point form:
Things I Dislike:
1) The detachment and lack of engagement They're different things. I felt like Spell Bound, for all its precious position as final installment in a well-loved series was written almost like a weary job to complete. Just the last book...Just write something... It felt like Hawkins had lost steam between Demonglass and Spell Bound. As a reader, I felt a distinct (made even more distinct because I know I was definitely excited for Hex Hall and Demonglass) lack of engagement with Spell Bound. As if I was just reading it to complete the series, like it had been written to do the same thing. I think that was the major thing I disliked because well, it just changed the entire way I interacted with the book. (See #2) Also, it's just a sad way for a series I really liked to end. :(
2) (view spoiler)[Cal's death (hide spoiler)] Because of #1, and a lack of meaningful relationship interactions, and also because I really couldn't remember what went on in Demonglass (more than a year since I read the book), this felt, borrowing Wendy Darling's term, very unnecessary . Felt very gimmicky to me, and the last part of the book felt rather rushed an ending. (view spoiler)[Oh, rebuild Hex Hall in Cal's memory; become Head of the Council that somehow regrouped and reformed from a massive destruction; have screaming nightmares that wake Sophie up crying... (hide spoiler)] Just feels so rushed and as such, it takes away so much of how I might have felt about such an ending. The emotions of a reader were very discounted because of #1, which makes #2 plain unnecessary.
3) Sophie and Archer's romance I can't even remember if I was rooting for Archer or Cal, but it doesn't really matter anymore. (view spoiler)[Although these two were portrayed to be the lovebirds, the ones who did end up together, maybe because of #1 again, I totally couldn't feel the love. (hide spoiler)] As a result, their 'romance' or rather, relationship, felt so superficial, so shallow. Unless you base it on memory from the previous books, there really wasn't any new development to the relationship to make it any more substantial or just less superficial. Archer suddenly became an atypical dashing hero type instead of a more well-developed character, which is very disappointing.
Things I Like: 1) Elodie I've liked her presence since she became a ghost, but she just shines in Spell Bound. Although this may be converted to a point #4 for things I dislike, because honestly? Elodie's presence and actions and ability to conduct magic, etc. etc.? Waaaaay too convenient! All the same, I enjoyed the girl's cheek, wit and presence.
2) The Brannicks I feel that they could have been a lot a lot more developed. This was afterall, some characters we've heard of since Book The First. But suddenly they're just thrown into the mix haphazardly, and oh! How shocking! (view spoiler)[/cue shocking family history (hide spoiler)] Lack of development was disappointing, and it made them while interesting, rather flat characters just in for ride. Redhead Amazonian warriors? Always a writer's loss if underdeveloped, I think.
3) The Ending ARGH. Why is it that each time I write a point under "things I like" I find that it should be converted to points under "things I DISlike"??! The ending was way too tidy and convenient ((view spoiler)[ Mrs Casanoff's role was just too major to be so suddenly thrown in so conveniently. (hide spoiler)]) for my taste, but it did make for a pleasing happy ending. So well, it's only the 'happy' part of the ending that I liked. The way it came about and took place... not so much.
All in all, a rather disappointing read, though I definitely won't stop reading Hawkins' books just like that. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Okay, I thought this was totally amazing and wonderful. I, like Diane Ferbrache, hardly pick up any poetry to read. I like poetry, and I like to thinkOkay, I thought this was totally amazing and wonderful. I, like Diane Ferbrache, hardly pick up any poetry to read. I like poetry, and I like to think of what I sometimes write as poetry, but I just don't read poetry (much). So it was a pleasant find for me when I found Think Again in the library. I was supposed to be studying, but whatever. It wasn't a long book, thick and difficult to get through. It was instead, astonishing, and so simple and .. effective. It touched me, and I found myself saying "wow" under my breath a lot. I don't know why is it some people think 'simple' means 'bad'. I stand to disagree. Simplicity, especially in writing, is no easy feat. It's one thing to be simple and ordinary, and another to be simple and extraordinary! Think Again was just the perfect combination.
On each page was a lovely illustration, and short verses. I kinda got that it was supposed to be a love story (cover, and the acknowledgments, and some parts), but that love story part didn't really stand out to be all that much. It just read as a beautiful flow of words that really spoke to me. It's like.. not so much that I'd been through the same things, or felt the same before, but it was just.. I don't know. It connected, I guess.
It was a lovely, lovely read, and I think it's the sort of book I wanna own just so I can look at it on my shelf and feel proud such a beautiful book full of amazing contents is on my shelf....more
This book sucked. There seems to be no better way to put it. I was so taken by the premise of the book at first, reading the blurb. Woahhh, a secondThis book sucked. There seems to be no better way to put it. I was so taken by the premise of the book at first, reading the blurb. Woahhh, a second chance at a first love... Everything seemed so amazing, it's like it spoke to me. I mean, how many people have wondered about their first love, their first crush, and wished they would do something differently had they the chance again?
The person who wrote the blurb should be applauded. The writer.. should not. I don't even know how to start describing how bad the book was. It lacked dimensions (Louise was just an old spindle pining for a lost love who died tragically in a car crash years ago. But she's still a somewhat attractive spindle, with an unclear relationship with her ex-husband, and an even more unclear relationship with her mum, and a bad one with her own brother (and I don't believe there was an actual reason given for that). And Missy, her dear old best friend who oh, also happens to be the girl who jumped on her first love right after he broke out with her, is a self-serving bitch who doesn't actually care about Louise but seems to have spent decades with her just girl-talking), it lacked some sort of plot, it lacked action, it lacked rationality (and I'm not saying that because of how crazy it is that Scott whateverhislastnameis came back. I'm talking about how.. just.. the whole book lacked rationality and reason.
Everything seemed so unclear, and so..mismatched! I really don't know how do I even start to say how bad it was.
Worst thing is I actually paid for the book. Thank God I bought it at a sale - it cost.. I don't know, $1? $2? Even if it were $1, it was $1 too expensive. I should never have bought it, never should have even read it. God knows how many years I've taken off my life just reading that. I started that in May, late May, and finished that in early June. I can't seem to think of any part I enjoyed.
The ending was abrupt, and F. Scott's ambiguous nature and motivations definitely didn't help. Are we supposed to think that he really likes this woman years older than him (who also happens to be the person in charge of his admissions into college or something), because she understands him like no one does? I'm not against relationships where the woman is years older than the man, nor am I against understanding. It's just, you can't just throw out some keywords here and there and expect it to be like, there-you have your answer. The whole meaning of life for my characters in my miserable 'book'.
I thought the relationship between Louise and her best friend, Missy (short for Melissa apparently) was kinda interesting, how they seemed to always try to one-up the other in a hostile manner, especially when it came to boys. What I didn't understand was why Louise beared with Missy for so long, especially when what she did was so unforgivable that Louise kept thinking about it, not sparing the readers at all.
What was the main point of the book - the boy's appearance in her life; it had such promise! But it was ruined. Reduced. Reduced to a wild night of sex, some homecooked food in the morning for dear Louise, the air conditioning switched on full blast so she could come home to a nicely cool place, and basically things that spoke NOTHING about how far their relationship went, and how far it would go.
This review may be harsh, but I think it is partly because of how it could have been so good, so well-done but it wasn't. *sigh* How did it even make it to the theaters though? But after thinking it though, I decided it was probably a book suited for the movies. I mean, second chance at love and all? Hell, even an ex with a sex disorder! It was the sort of book which would probably look nice on the silver screen... and had the promise to be good on the printed page.. but it wasn't.
I've not watched the movie though.
I really don't get how people found the book good.. There was only questions and no answers, and a whole lot of rubbish in between. Bleh.
Doubt I'd be watching the movie anytime soon....more
Thorn Queen was, as expected, a fully engaging read. It was so full of action, so engaging you never wanted to put it down. But I can't say it was fulThorn Queen was, as expected, a fully engaging read. It was so full of action, so engaging you never wanted to put it down. But I can't say it was fully enjoyable. People who've read the book would probably know what I'm referring to.
(view spoiler)[Since the start of Storm Born, we were well aware that Eugenie faced real danger when it comes to those denizens who want to get into her pants. But I never thought she'd actually be raped, not when she was so all-powerful, all kickass awesome. I thought that part, when Leith raped her, that was really difficult to get through. It was so.. horrible.. It's like, I would rather it not have happened, it complicated things too much for me, it makes things horrible. I guess I'm being horrible myself, isn't it? It's like those criticisms you hear often. People switching off when bad stuff happens. They don't want to know, they don't want to listen. And so bad stuff just keep on happening. I'm not sure if Richelle Mead intended it to be those sort of issues that as a writer, she'll 'tackle', as I've seen on some book interviews with authors (not on the same issue nor the same author). But for me, it was just... nasty, I didn't like to read through it. I didn't like that Eugenie was so helpless, I didn't even like thinking about reality. The aftereffects of the rape, well, apart from all that war-starting, I'm also terrified for Eugenie's mental health and physical health. She had been a hermit before-it's so easy to get herself closed off from all others and all affection. It's so worrying. It's so painful.
I hate that Kiyo didn't kill Leith for her, yet I also hate that Kiyo was right in saying killing him would only start a war-a war that would cause already-suffering people to suffer more. It was a lose-lose situation because, like Eugenie put it, what was it for? To defend "my honour", etc. And yet, how could she not have taken revenge? It was such a painful thing to happen to anyone. She should have the right to exact revenge.. And yet, the decision would have such a huge consequence. It's obvious there's no way out of it. And I'm thankful to Dorian (as I'm sure Eugenie is) for breaking apart choices, leaving no options by killing Leith. That was a pivotal moment for the love triangle, it was easy to tell. You talk about protecting, loving, understanding me? Then help me take revenge. If you can't, if you don't, no matter how rational and logical your explanation, it's a sign of how much you love me. That sort of reasoning... I'm sure everyone understood why Eugenie broke up with Kiyo, and went to Dorian. It was such an easy choice-and yet such a hard one. Of course, what I am more worried about is the state of Eugenie's mind. I'm sure Richelle Mead isn't the type of author to introduce such a thing and brush over it, being all like, oh after (insert some pivotal moment), she totally recovered, and became herself, kicking ass, being awesome.
Truth is, you don't ever really recover from rape, I believe, and I also believe Eugenie will kick MORE ass and be MORE awesome because she has all that fire in her now. All the reasoning wouldn't stop her now-not when she's the Storm Queen. And it's so terrifying the way her story seems to be leading. In a moment of an emotional storm, she blurts it out: I'm the Storm Queen. And intentionally, she uses her magic to choke someone. I never really understood why Kiyo was so against her using her magic, developing it. I mean, I get where Roland was coming from. He didn't even know who she was in the Otherworld. But Kiyo? Shouldn't he get that the magic would help her as a queen, even if it would... change her? And should he really be discouraging her from getting a crown? She IS the Thorn Queen whether she likes it or not, and a crown would solidify her status, and authority which would no doubt be helpful. That left me with a lot of questions, especially since in Storm Born, it was mentioned Kiyo also wanted Eugenie for his personal motivations. I think that was why Dorian held so much appeal-he encouraged the use of magic, knowing how Eugenie felt when she used her magic; and he encouraged a crown, knowing it would help with her status, and also he just understood her in a way Kiyo never did. I believe there was a part when they said something like Kiyo only wanted decisions that were peaceful and good, but not easy to do, or something like that. I think that was a perfect summary of the main difference between Kiyo and Dorian.
OKAY. Rant about Kiyo/Dorian and the rape issue is now over. Back to the other topics! (hide spoiler)]
In Thorn Queen, Eugenie is .. for lack of better phrasing and words.. the Thorn Queen. One part I really disliked though, is how she oh, hated every minute of it; putting on gentry clothing was such a chore; she couldn't even spend a night there when it was she who created that land, causing her subjects to suffer. I mean, yes, I get you're not power-hungry (unlike me :P) and you're not excited to be a queen-at all, but you ARE a queen now, so please just act like it, and stop pushing everything to your regent! It was disappointing how all she wanted to do with Kiyo was make love and all. I expected more from her as a queen.. But I guess at the ending of the book, things have changed, especially with Eugenie finally realising she is a QUEEN. (She kinda needed a crown for confirmation, I suppose). That helped mollify me a little, when she finally accepted that, and it was obvious she would do a great job in Iron Crowned. =)
Oh, and about the plot development. All I can say is Richelle Mead spares no one. In the Succubus Blues series, (view spoiler)[she creates a really terrifying and world-altering (I'm exaggerating, but it's close) love triangle with Seth, Georgina and Maddie. And Seth actually chooses Maddie. Like WTH. (hide spoiler)]. And here, well, she doesn't show mercy. And I don't mean just the part when (view spoiler)[Eugenie breaks up with Kiyo for Dorian (hide spoiler)], I mean the part about (view spoiler)[the rape (hide spoiler)] and (view spoiler)[the things Art and Abigail (hide spoiler)] were doing. That was so heartbreaking, but I guess it was necessary to move things forward.
All in all, (crap, I keep typing Iron Queen!!!) Thorn Queen was a FANTASTIC book and I'm sure glad I bought it. I am SO looking forward to getting my hands on Iron Crowned though I'm not sure if I should because
1) I'll stop doing any resemblance of work, and 2) IT'S LIKE, FREAKING, NEXT YEAR TILL THE LAST BOOK COMES OUT!!!
I hate to join the "OH NO, IT'S NEXT YEAR. COME OUT NOW" group. That's always painful; I sympathise. T_T ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more