^ i spelled it like that because frankly if i wrote goooooooooooooood it would look like go for a...more**STARRED REVIEW**
^ i spelled it like that because frankly if i wrote goooooooooooooood it would look like go for a really long time and that's mentally confusing. not sure if gawd is better.
anyways! wow. amanda effing sun is trying to murder me. i have no effing idea how i survived the wait for RAIN (hint: i didn't. i had to get an ARC or else i would've died. thank you first reads thank youuuuuuu!!!) but RAIN makes the wait for the third book f****** IMPOSSIBLE. GOD(S). THIS BOOK. THIS BOOK. I CANNOT ACCURATELY DESCRIBE MY FEELINGS.
I love this book so much i wanna eat it and let it settle in my stomach and then do some weird book dance or something idk i just gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
^that was really weird. but anyways. onto what i liked about the book: (SPOILERS FOR INK BELOW, BUT NOT FOR RAIN)
-I had thought the ending of INK was a bit anticlimactic, but oooohhhh boy am i glad she stayed. -TOMO TOMO TOMO TOMO TOMOHIRO COME HERE YOU -^ i swear i'm not that shallow. Tomo undergoes a lot of growth in this novel and we get to see him depending on Katie and realizing that he isn't alone. And that is just a phenomenal shift. -Katie has to figure out her priorities and must struggle through lies and facades to protect herself and those she love, and that means she gets in some pretty deep trouble with some people you reeeallly don't wanna mess with. -What Tomo says to Shiori about the thing. When you get there. Ahhhh yes. I was just like OH TOMO YOU GO TOMO YOU TELL HER. YES TOMO -We find out some INSANE history and hypotheses in this book and it is FABULOUS. I cannot overstate how happy I am about Japanese (and accurately described.... *cough* "City of a thousand dolls" and my billion hatred seeds for it) culture and mythology being so thoroughly described in a YA book where the market is saturated by white gurlz. Nothing wrong with Caucasians, just.... DIVERSITY MAN. Now we just need someone to do that for the Chinese... like I know there are some out there but most of them take place in the US... hmm... I should get on that.
Annnnd I could go on and on. But the thing is, I loved how I could smell the cherry blossoms and hear the furin and see the ink flow and feel the earth rumble and live with the characters as they despair and evolve and realize that they aren't alone.
I love it. I love it all. And now someone PLEASE for gods' sakes give me the third book as soon as Amanda Sun is done writing it and stuff.(less)
Note: Read the original here. Due to copy-and paste, some formatting and links have been lost.
I adore Rainbow Rowell. I adore Cath....more**STARRED REVIEW**
Note: Read the original here. Due to copy-and paste, some formatting and links have been lost.
I adore Rainbow Rowell. I adore Cath. I adore Reagan, Levi, Wren... I so very much adore this book.
It is a beautiful thing, to be in love with someone. Maybe that's why we are all fangirls/fanboys to a certain extent, because whether that someone is fictional or real, they give us something we don't give ourselves: a purpose. I'm not saying that you need someone else to be fabulous, but I think all the book nerds out there know what I mean when I say that reading a good book feels as fulfilling to us as an embrace might feel to a lover's heart. So with all that said, it's pretty clear that Fangirl was written for fangirls. And Cath's love for Simon Snow, for a life that is not her own, is a sense of desperation and dependency that we've probably all experienced at one time or another.
That's what makes this book such a successful coming-of-age story, I think. Because it explores common themes of growing up and letting go and finding yourself that everyone can relate to. Rainbow's spear-like wit and melodramatic but certainly real characters make this adventure.
Fangirl is a wake-up call, a bubble bath, a barrel of Butterbeer, a view through the Hubble Space Telescope half-blocked by someone else's arse.
It's that sweet stingy freezing real sun-speckled composite of being yourself, but also being more than yourself. Because that's what growing up is, isn't it? To become more than yourself. To be a superhero, really. I mean, why else would you be asked to calculate the wave function of the Schrodinger equation????? (Seriously though, fml.)
In the end, Fangirl is worthy of its title. With an incredible cast of characters who each vary in personality but all hold the same, so very human depth of hurting, and writing that is both refreshing and complementary--the setting flares to life and the dialogue drips of sarcasm and weary, hopeful naivety--I couldn't be prouder to call myself a Fangirl fangirl. (less)
"Eleanor..." "Stop. Don't say my name like that. It only makes it worse." "Makes what worse?" "Everything," she said. He was quiet. She sat up and wiped he...more"Eleanor..." "Stop. Don't say my name like that. It only makes it worse." "Makes what worse?" "Everything," she said. He was quiet. She sat up and wiped her nose on her sleeve. "Do you have a nickname?" he asked. That was one of his tricks, whenever she was put off or irritated--changing the subject in the sweetest way possible.
I think I live for this book. (Read the book. You'll get it. What I just did. But also, why I did what I just did.)
You know, there are plenty of faults with Eleanor & Park. In the beginning there was a lot of switching back-and-forth between current events and reflections of past circumstances, but it was all written in a way that I couldn't tell where one began and where the other ended. It was a bit confusing, and once I got the POVs (Point of View) switched up because Eleanor and Park, in spite and perhaps because the book was written in third-person, sounded so similar. Not their personalities, of course. Just the narration.
But that only happened once, and honestly, I don't freaking care.
You know, it's weird. I used to think that the St. Martin's editors and I had really drastically different tastes, because all of the past books I've read with St. Martin didn't exactly top my favorites list. But you know what, that was stupid of me to judge an entire imprint by twenty or so books. And what better way to prove myself so so stupidly wrong than with Eleanor & Park?
I had insanely high expectations for this book. As in I couldn't touch a book for three weeks while waiting for E&R to arrive on my doorstep because I wanted it in my heart so badly, I'd already carved out a little nook for the characters, and I didn't want other protagonists stamping their ways into my heart, into that little home for Eleanor and Park, before they could. I'd heard raving reviews from friend after friend, so I knew this had to be at least as good as Anna and the French Kiss, because otherwise those weeks of coveting these two characters I hadn't even met would've been another shameless stupidity of mine.
But god is this book beautiful. Like I love it so much I want to soak it up and eat it and drink it and roll myself in it. I know, I sound like a pig. But there's this... magnetism about Eleanor & Park, a story so real and alive that there is no way I could possibly refuse their love or their sincerity.
This novel isn't just a flourishing, exotic punk love story, though. The book would've been that much duller without Eleanor's rad stubborness, or her family's fight and collapse, or Park's defiance, or his family's acceptance, or the comics, or the music, the music. There's something kicking and punching in the heart of every character, and if you listen close enough, you'd hear the heartbeats of Park's dad, or of Ben, of Maisie, even Tina and Steve, the bullies. There is so much to be discovered between the pages of Rainbow Rowell's masterpiece that it would take years for a cartographer to chronicle Eleanor and Park's love and their beautiful, terrible--absolutely irresistible explosion.
You have to let yourself go with this book. You have to let it get to you in places you don't even dare peek within yourself. That's the only way to feel the softness of Eleanor's hands, the wild green eyes of Park, the chemistry that lights something on fire even if they simply looked at the other. The strings that thrum beneath the book's skull and the sappy love songs that pound at nodes of perfection, here and there.
I am so, so glad and privileged to have read this book. So, so glad.(less)
So good. SO GOOD. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...moreQuick reaction:
So good. SO GOOD. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD.
also oh my god my name was in the acknowledgments holy crap thank you so much SJ i<3you
Original will be posted onto my blog on January 3rd, 2013, here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, the following review does not contain...more
Original will be posted onto my blog on January 3rd, 2013, here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, the following review does not contain the formatting and links the original review on my blog does.)
Everyone loved this book so much that I was both frightened and buoyed to pick this up. It seems that a lot of reviewers knew Rachel Hartman before they read the book, but I've never had any acquaintances made with Rachel (though seriously? I'd love to). So if you didn't buy anyone's review because you thought they were all biased--well, I'm telling you now that I had no qualms against liking this book.
Of course, I didn't need to worry about bias and whatnot--Seraphina was absolutely tinkling.
It's very elegant, I think. That's the word to describe it: elegant. But also very true, and very subtly honest, at that. So no, the word to describe Seraphina is eureka. It's an epiphany smashed into beautiful words plastered into inky lines trilling on the flimsy disguises of a thin page (not to mind you, though, that it is indeed a very long story, but definitely too short of a time to spend with the flamboyant characters).
Actually, I take that back. The characters aren't flamboyant (though hmm, some are, I suppose). What I'm trying to say is that they are incredibly multi-dimensional, and that I absolutely want to be Phina's best friend, but that I also love Kiggs so very much and I want him to manifest into real life and marry me or something. Wait, no, I can't have both, can I? Darn. But see? The thing with these characters is that they are so utterly impressionable that you can fester up their responses even if they aren't there--their personalities and actions are so completely unforgettable that I don't need an exact wording in an existing scene to tell me what they want or need.
The best part about this whole masterpiece, though, is the absolute fascination with beauty that seeps through the spine of this book. Not beauty as in one's own vain reflection, but beauty of music, of emotions, art, acceptance, friendship, etc. etc. etc. This book explores some of the closest subjects to my heart (such as philosophy) without making it inconsistent, unbelievable, bland, or mad. Rachel writes like a pro and her words and ideas flow so easily over the pages and the reader that it's almost impossible to realize that you're adapting to this amazing, aesthetic view of life until suddenly you cannot imagine existing without it.
Seraphina may be "just another epic fantasy about dragons", but I assure you, it's original and gorgeous in its own right, and contains a brilliance too bright to conjure without reading it, and too vast to rest in until I hold the sequel in my eager hands.(less)
Original posted here on my blog. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links are not available.)
What is it with madness?
Why is it that everyone is so burdened and broken that the only perfection that exists is a product of our own imagination? Splintered is pure madness, insane and twisted and sinister and completely seductive. You see those vines caging Alyssa's hair? Those same vines trap you, too.
Splintered is so heartbreaking it makes you want to weep an ocean of your own. Everyone is flawed and impossibly real and emotionally tumultuous. And that's the way it is: tumultuous. But Splintered is just what it is: the rock that splinters your exterior. It's not the type of book that crawls into your heart, per say, but more like the type of story that robs your breath and frightens you when you realize that its craziness is paralleled inside you.
A. G. Howard brings out the darkness in you and sprinkles it with doses of light--just enough to keep you afloat, but not enough to obscure the fear of drowning under.
The magic of Splintered, is, cliché or not, everywhere. The writing is beautiful and haunting. The words create such a flamboyant atmosphere, and the world-building is so thoroughly fleshed out that even the most illogical sequences somehow make sense. It's as if Ms. Howard smashed the world into pieces and rearranged it upside-down and backwards and all wrong all over the place, like a puzzle that fits in a darker, creepier way.
Splintered, at its heart, is a turmoil unsettled. Madness or tranquility? Self or community? Eccentric or accepted? But it's all those questions amplified to a degree that is unimaginable but by the mind of Ms. Howard and her ambient words.
There are retellings, and then there are retellings that twist everything around. Splintered is the epitome of the latter: what you thought was Alice in Wonderland is the original puzzle, and Splintered completely rips it apart. But that doesn't mean it doesn't pay homage to the classic--in fact, it is not so much that Splintered isn't Alice as that Alice cannot be Splintered. They are like twin souls wedged into one body. There are similarities, but there are differences that cannot be ignored.
Wonderland, it seems, is nothing that it seems. This journey is harrowing and completely phenomenal.
Hold on tight--the rabbit hole is as twisted and deadly as ever; even a potion can't keep you immune from Splintered's alluring charms. (less)
Quick Reaction: Thank you to Mrs. Lyn for letting us read this book. It's fantastic. Truly. If you're looking for a clever, witty, h...more**STARRED REVIEW**
Quick Reaction: Thank you to Mrs. Lyn for letting us read this book. It's fantastic. Truly. If you're looking for a clever, witty, hilarious, insightful, resourceful, and engaging adventure on the high (and low) seas, Chuck Dugan is AWOL, with its detailed and beautifully-crafted maps is one journey ye don't wanna miss, matey.
Actual, full review: Original is here on my blog. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
There is a sky, bloody and pungent with fever. It is so red it drips so black it smothers. It rips savagely but softly, like the teeth of an animal biting a strip of meat. Imagine this. Then imagine a girl armored in leather-like fierceness and a griffin shrilling and clawing with the fervor of anger and loss, punched in deeper than a blow and scars longer than a lifetime.
In Stormdancer there is desperation edging anger and loss, and there is something very, very fierce, the face of defiance and cracking facades. That is this epic and this epic is phenomenal in every color and word.
I think what so cleanly separates movies from books is that movies generate more action and therefore often more epic than books do. Books can be epic, like Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman, but they are not images clamoring your vision. But see, I was wrong. Stormdancer is not so much of a book or a movie rather that it is a keen and enthralling combination of both, an epic that digs into your bones and words that shiver through your skin. It's very, very beautiful, in a savage, feral sort of way. The imagery is vivid and the world is so real you can feel the branches snapping at you and the thunder smacking your ears. I knew this was going to be epic, because Jay Kristoff has a knack for it, but what I did not expect was a tale woven of blood and family that is so, so, so good it is beyond capable human processing.
There is a caveat I need to say: in the beginning 80 pages or so of this book, I couldn't quite bear it. It was, honestly, slow-paced. The language was smooth like the silk of royalty, but I thought, maybe there is too much description in this. Please speed up soon. I am telling you this because hold on--hold on tight because you might want to shut the book or take a rest but do not--wait until you get to the thundertiger, the arashitora, and then close it because by then you will only be capable of doing so after you have read the entire book in a breath. It is a captivating story, but also an investment: the beginning constructs the world, not hurriedly and quickly, but brick by brick, so that it is more languid than usual but the most poignant profit of all.
In reality there seems to be a bridge between our imagination and the unknown beyond it, and we cannot cross that bridge. But Jay Kristoff scours for the water and succeeds, and he builds his own boat, a glorious, magnificent thing and on it he journeys past the horizon of our imagination and brings back with him the treasures of an adventure swelling with impossibility and luminosity.(less)
Actual, full review: Review will be posted on my blog at 12 AM PST February 7th, 2013, here. Note: due to copy-and-paste, f...more**STARRED REVIEW**
Actual, full review: Review will be posted on my blog at 12 AM PST February 7th, 2013, here. Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.
I've heard people say that the best books are the ones that make you homesick for somewhere you've never been.
I don't think I've ever felt so much yearning to be in Japan than I have while reading Ink.
Amanda Sun is my new hero. So often--too often--you read books in foreign settings that are under-researched, not fleshed out, extremely stereotypical, or just plain misleading. But it's clear from the details in the streets to the careful dialect all the way to the food, the culture, the education, the clothing, the style, that Amanda knows what she's talking about. It's amazing. I was listening to the furin wind chimes the other day, and it, among with a few other things I searched up on Google while reading the book, was exactly as Amanda described. Honestly, I don't think I've ever read a book set in modern Asia so well researched.
Not only that, but Amanda's prose is effortless to read. It's not overwhelmingly purple, and it's not disastrously bland. It has the same impact as Rick Riordan's: often humorous, often serious, and too commonly heart-stopping, with the masterful ease of a storytelling guru. I loved the plot and characters so much. Katie is an amazing heroine. In the beginning, there were a few problems with the book that I had, mainly surrounding Katie's almost unrealistic irrational responses to Tomohiro's actions, and the ending was a bit too anticlimatic for my taste. But I got to really see Katie as a real person, and this book reads like an epic soap opera that is just stunning and savory.
Of course, we can't forget Tomohiro. Ahhhh Tomo. TOMO. AHHHH!!!!! I'm sorry, excuse the flailing for a moment. But- OH MY GOSH. I love Tomo so much I can't stand it. He's a jerk, a giant jerk, and that's not cool, but he has extremely good reasons for it and he makes up for the jerkiness with bravery, selflessness, and a desire to change. The number one thing that makes unlikable love interests is their inability to recognize their flaws, and also their unwillingness to change for the better. But Tomo is the complete opposite. And it's just- HE IS SO ADORABLE. AHHHHH. I wish I have a quote to show you, but since I mailed the ARC off already I can't. :( But there's this one part where Katie and Tomo are together and Tomo was injured, and he was talking about how Katie wasn't helping his blood flow recover. A few pages later he's falling asleep, and he just looks at Katie and smiles and says, "the blood flow." It's so cute I think I'm going to die from the adorableness. ^.^
Basically, I loved Ink so much I could probably just blissfully tumble off a cliff just for the sequel now. Hopefully it won't resolve to that...
There are books that you like, books that you love, and then books that make you so happy you just want to drown in chocolate. Ink is that last one, plus a few cherry blossoms just for hints of poison and beauty. It's truly a remarkable book. You absolutely must should check it out. Preferably now.(less)
**Quick Reaction** Today was the last day of the fantastic Mrs.Nelson's Bookstore's Warehouse Sale, and I bought 11 books with simpl...more **STARRED REVIEW**
**Quick Reaction** Today was the last day of the fantastic Mrs.Nelson's Bookstore's Warehouse Sale, and I bought 11 books with simply $50, a great deal if there ever was one. This was one of those books, recommended to me by the wonderful Andrea (general manager at Mrs. Nelson's, who is made of awesome), and it is absolutely fabulous.
What a fantastic, chilling, evocative piece of literature. It's a story that's unique and familiar, like a tray of biscuits inside the chamber of a train--oddly charming and comforting, though certainly strange.
I literally, literally read this in one sitting, and I have a feeling that this is a tale I would not forget for years to come, if ever.
In other words: oh how you must read it.
**Actual, full review to POSSIBLY come** (Meanwhile, check out my blog for other reviews of similar style, if you'd like!)(less)
Excuse the cursing, but... I. FUCKING. LOVE. THIS. BOOK. I LOVE IT SO MUCH IT LITERALLY PAINS ME TO LET IT SLIP FROM MY FINGERS.
IT'S SO GOOD. SO SO GOOD. I CAN'T EVEN.
Definitely one of my top 3 all-time favorites, right up there with TIGER LILY.
I love this book more than words can say.
-nonono i don't want this to be over please no-
-the writing is so beautiful I want to wrap myself in it and let it sing me to sleep-
-small bone to pick: the cover is awesome except for the White Hands. I get the relevance, but :( it's so badly photoshopped in that it looks just strange. Ah well.-
Actual, full review: (Full, original review here. Note: Due to copy-and-paste, some formatting and links may have been lost.)
Sorrow's Knot is a woeful, poetic tale with a dew-dazzling quality to it, hypnotic in rhythm and unrelenting in emotions. Erin Bow's writing is beautifully quiet, with words stringed together like charms on a bracelet without ever stealing the story away from its original purpose: to give us some sense of hope, of peace and serenity, even when we know that not all is well.
I think what Sorrow's Knot does exceptionally well is its delicate balance of romanticizing sacrifice and spearing freedom. It raises such profound questions, and in a way that never makes you feel as if its suffocating you with its morality. How free is freedom, and how far are we allowed to go to protect freedom before we've gone too far? Is sacrifice a smudge of weakness or is it heroic and insurmountable?
Besides the phenomenally crafted themes and writing of the book, the worldbuilding is superb as well. The world is reminiscent of Native American culture, and some parts of it reminds me of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart (Evil Forest, etc.). But that's not to say the world is a parody; if it is based on any sort of Native American or African culture at all, it is safe to say that Sorrow's Knot is more of a corollary, a refining of such traditions rather than an imitation. And the world is rich and believable and immersive, and it's almost impossible to not forget yourself when you're wallowing in lakes with Otter or hiking through mazes of crooked branches.
The characters, finally, are commendable for their depth and realism. Though they live in a world so completely different from ours, there never was a doubt in my mind that they weren't fleshed out. Every character had its own identity and even the most seething, hateful ones had qualities that allowed us to glimpse their humanity. It is truly remarkable, how incredible each character is developed.
Read this book. There's nothing else I can say but ask you to read it. It is, quite simply, breathtaking.(less)
Quick reaction: I have literally one minute to type this, so: this book was so good I can't even-
I used to think that Cricket Bell w...more**STARRED REVIEW**
Quick reaction: I have literally one minute to type this, so: this book was so good I can't even-
I used to think that Cricket Bell was exactly the type of boy and love I want in my life. Not anymore. Sean beats him. Gosh he and Eva are so amazing: Eva's passionately a dreamer and rebelliously strong, sort of like me, while Sean is quietly ferocious and intellectually witty. They are freaking perfect together.
You see reviews all over the place and they usually start with some tagline among the lines of "The Lost Girl was a disturbingly beautiful, unconditionally sorrowful, and fascinating story weaved (pun intended) with threads of the strongest characters and most tragic flaws."
Then the review continues, discussing voice, character, plot, pacing, what worked and what didn't work for the reviewer, etc. I do this all the time. We bloggers do this because it's the way a review is written, right? You review by letting the readers know what to expect and when to hang on; who they can anticipate they'll love and just how many tissues they need to prepare beforehand.
For the first time in my over-a-year blogging experience, I am at a loss for words.
I'm staring at this seemingly pointless page of review and I just don't even know anymore. I can't describe it. There's no way to transcribe the immensely emotional and staggeringly heart-breaking idea and soul behind The Lost Girl. I can't talk about the boy, the girl, the story--I can't even think about it without succumbing to the verge of crying.
This book... Well, let me put it this way:
You know how there are all these different types of instruments, how they're all so different and powerful and how, when they all clash together, the noises and sounds merge into this tinkling, spine-chilling sound? Imagine those instruments as essential parts of a book. The piano is the plot, the characters the violin. The flute is the emotional depth and the drums the pacing. These all sound beautiful on their own, but often the drums and the flutes clamor or the piano and violin are out of sync and the end product, though delightful, feels often... insubstantial. As if there's something missing and it's incomplete even though all the needed plot elements are there.
The Lost Girl is the song that meshes everything together and emerges with a masterpiece--one deserving waterfalls of tears and thousands of standing ovations. It's the arrow that snags you right in the heart. It's the poison you swallow with love. It's the air you breathe when you're desperate and a raging mess.
It's just... so hard to review this wide, haunting vision. I feel like I'll just rant on and on and I won't ever say anything remotely meaningful because The Lost Girl is indescribable. It's the feeling of a million contradictions flying at you and, in the end, it somehow makes sense. It makes sense out of the nonsense and it makes music out of the imperfect.
By no means is anything perfect, but The Lost Girl wins a medal for being one of the closest books to ever achieve it.
Maybe you'll hate it, maybe you'll love it. But no matter what, there's one thing I can guarantee:
You will feel. This book will yank out all of your emotions and smear them side by side so that when you finally finish it, you will feel.
And that's an entire masterpiece in itself. (less)
**Actual, full review** Original will be posted here on my blog on January 22nd, 2013. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and...more**STARRED REVIEW**
**Actual, full review** Original will be posted here on my blog on January 22nd, 2013. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
Darn it, Marie. If I actually cussed, I would be throwing out a firecracker of expletives right now.
I read this book a while ago, so I don't remember every nook and cranny of it. But here is what I do remember: every time I think about it, I just want to weep and simultaneously punch a wall. I still freeze every time someone mentions it because I just. freaking. can't.
Gosh, Marie, why do you keep doing this to me?!?!? The writing was so concise yet impactful that it was actually more than beautiful: it was unforgettable. The plot was SO action-packed it was like watching a James Bond movie while experiencing Inception. It was so insanely fast-paced and heart-robbing that I couldn't even move until I finished the book. It's the ultimate definition of unputdownable. And also, I'd like to think, unforgivable, because it gave me such immense amounts of pain that I just- no no no no no I'm going to cry again no no no
ARGH. MARIE. Y U KEEP HAUNTING ME LIKE THIS.
You think I'm not being serious, but I really am. I just can't make any sort of "serious" sense right now because I'm so emotionally distraught. I feel very compromised. Like if I say one more word I'll topple back into the hole of GIVEMEBOOK3NOWNOWNOWNOWNOW-
Oh wait. I'm already so deep in this hole, I've forgotten about the world above.
Prodigy, though, in a word, is lost. So many sacrifices, so many fears, so many character developments, so many plot twists, so much genius that even a hundred Hershey's bars wouldn't stack up in comparison. This book was not a rollercoaster: it was a freaking cannonball. You don't even get the time to prepare with the proper goggles before Marie pushes you into the waters from a height beyond Shangri-la. Then the words wrap around you like air currents and slam you down into the water with a splash that hurt more than a hundred million bombs setting on fire.
Okay fine, so I'm exaggerating, but you know what? This book had me sobbing more than I did for my ma back as a wee lad, so if I'm gonna make some exaggerations, at least they're made out of honest sadness.
Rest assured: I plan very much on surviving this new year, lest I miss the conclusion to this tear-jerking, me-making-it-sound-extremely-melodramatic-when-it's-really-just-ugly-heart-breaking saga of unparalleled epicness. (less)
Sorry 'bout that. You see, I have quite the fetish for Maria V. Snyder's books now. In fact, I'm dyin...moreQuick reaction: YEAH, KICK SOME BUTT BABAY!
Sorry 'bout that. You see, I have quite the fetish for Maria V. Snyder's books now. In fact, I'm dying to read the rest of this brilliant series. Problem: my darn homework. Ah, well, Jaime, kudos to you. This book was amazing.
DID I MENTION HOW AWESOMELY KICK-BUTTING AND ROMANTIC AND EPIC IT WAS?!?
Quick reaction: Kirsten Hubbard's books are so good they kill me.
Actual, full review: This review is scheduled to post on my blog on 2/29/12. It is h...moreQuick reaction: Kirsten Hubbard's books are so good they kill me.
Actual, full review: This review is scheduled to post on my blog on 2/29/12. It is here on Goodreads exclusively first. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
There are two types of flutters in your chest. The first type is when you read something sensual, something evocative and you know you should stop reading it, but you can't help it, so something quick bursts out among the fragments of seconds as you devour every single letter of every single word, savoring the strange inappropriateness of the scene. The second type is full on cardiac arrest. Where every part of you is shaking, fluttering so badly you don't even realize you're doing it until all of a second, you stop, and your heart just drops like a pebble; when you are a butterfly slowly flying away, wings straining against the pounding wind, and you can no longer ignore the fact that this--this feeling of complete fulfillment, complete satisfaction--has almost never happened before, and you are so desperate to feel it again you can't help but try and capture the wordless depiction into actual words.
Wanderlove is both, but especially the latter. I gave it everything, and it hurt me too much, made me ache, and at the end, I cried tears of relentless joy. I was so happy--I can't remember the last time a book made me this happy. I need something strong to grip on to, so that I can take a deep breath and tell myself to calm the heck down, because this review is so, so hard to write, and I'm so, so tired of running away and not looking back.
I was worried about this book at first. The whole synopsis of traveling and backpacking? Eh. Not really what I'm looking for. But... it's Kirsten Hubbard, a small part of me had whispered, and so, even as I dug through the first few chapters where we didn't know Bria very well, when she was still a stranger, I gave it a try.
I should have known that it would enchant me to the end of the world and shatter me all at once.
This book is about so much more than just traveling. It's about love, about trust, about running away and not running away. About staying still and not staying still. About watching the world spin around like a merry-go-round ride while you're standing in the middle, and as it sweeps you away into a land of endless confusion, you learn to eventually grab on to a horse and climb on, fighting your way through the hurdles of life. But, at it's heart, it's also a beautiful love story. There is no such concept as insta-love here. It is a fascinating and eternal and aching journey of learning that, yes, it's alright to fall back into someone else's arms, even after everything you've lost. It's okay to be afraid. It's okay to be angry. But you have to learn to discover the when, so that when the time comes, you won't miss it.
Sometimes, Wanderlove is magical. Sometimes, Wanderlove is heartbreaking. Kirsten Hubbard's books are so good they kill me.
But always, always, Wanderlove will find the piece of your heart that wandered away, and return it to you, so that finally, you are whole and new.(less)
Quick reaction: I said this on Twitter, so if you've already heard it, please bear with me.
This book was the most personal book I've ever read. It rem...moreQuick reaction: I said this on Twitter, so if you've already heard it, please bear with me.
This book was the most personal book I've ever read. It reminded me of these feelings: irrevocably broken. Tragically beautiful. Unexpectedly fascinating.
I am in love with this book so, so much. Definitely one of my favorites of all time. <3
Actual, full review: Original is here. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, most formatting and links have been lost. To see the complete, formatted review, please click on the original link.)
As I read this book, there was a particular stanza in Taylor Swift's If This Was A Movie that came to my mind...
Come back, come back, come back to me like
you would, before you said it's not that easy.
Before the fight, before I left you out.
This was the most personal book I have ever read. It was irrevocably broken. Tragically beautiful. Unexpectedly fascinating. Pleadingly hopeful. Heartbreakingly desperate.
I am shattered into fractures as I attempt to think about this book and write an extremely difficult review. It is nearly impossible to encapsulate my feelings. So perhaps I should start this out with a question.
If you had one day left to live, what would you do?
I know what I would do. I would go to Alaska, go on a cruise ship, and sail straight into the wind of the unknown. I would stand out on the deck, hands gripping the rails, watching the plethora of wildlife, of uninterrupted nature erupt with beauty in front of my eyes. I would stand there and feel myself soak in the life of everything. To feel.
But if I had to equate that journey, that aching experience into one concrete thing, I would call it Fracture.
Delaney is a miracle. A fluke, a mistake, a lie. She constantly shifts back and forth between doing what she needs to do and what she wants to do. She is this unstable bomb that shoved her way straight into my heart. She was broken, she was gone, she was still there, she was this massive question of the unknown and hopeful and terrifying. She was how I felt, but her situation was worse, and it was, then, from the first page that I met her and discovered her dilemma that I knew I would love this book, and I did. Oh, I did so much.
Originally, I did not want to read this book. I saw a myriad of similar premises during the time I discovered this, so I wasn't particularly that interested. But when I read Slide by Jill Hathaway, and Jill recommended this book... I just had to read it. And I am so, so incredibly glad, so incredibly thankful I did.
After reading this book, I wanted to scream. To shout. To laugh until I doubled over and started crying. To throw myself and drown in a lake of Megan Miranda's words. I was in love. This book was everything I needed right then, right now. I needed love. Hope. Strength. Resilience. The heroine who comes out scarred, but still alive, still standing, still strong. I needed that, and that was exactly what I got.
This review is getting long, and I'm sorry. Applause if you're still reading. But this book deserves so much, and yet so little in my own, vain, thoughts. Because I want to share it with everyone, but I also don't, because I want to keep it to myself and keep it as my own, just look at it and associate it with me and everything else would just fall away into oblivion.
One thing that impressed me tremendously was Megan's shockingly phenomenal ability to walk the tightrope between the supernatural and the scientific. She gives you a realistic explanation, but also hints at something more omnipotent. She talks of purposes and trades and lies and death and empty voids in truthful, bold ways that twisted my heart. I cried during this book, because I was so struck by the relativity of Delaney and me. It was like someone took a knife of my own making and stabbed me with it again and again and again until I was just this mess of bleeding emotion.
This book was, in one such inadequate word, amazing. I urge you to read it. I urge you to experience what I felt. I urge you to join me, for our hearts may be made of fractures pieced together, some of our decisions may be the absence of thought, but this book, it is empty in the void of imperfection.
Have you ever seen red, orange leaves spiral and collapse in the fall? See them land to their death in a graceful and resilient way?
Because beauty is not always looks, and beauty is not always brains. Beauty is the recognition in the difference of both, and the unique distinction of that such an inadequate concept does not truly exist in objectivity.
And this book is it. Beauty.
If you had one day left to live, what would you do?
Quick reaction: This book is so funny it will make you laugh until you start to cry. Then you'll actually cry--because this story is so raw, so comple...moreQuick reaction: This book is so funny it will make you laugh until you start to cry. Then you'll actually cry--because this story is so raw, so complete, so fantastically satisfying that you'll marvel at how, yes, such brilliance finally, finally got published!
I. am. in. love. with. this. book. Head-over-heels sort of love.
If you love Divergent by Veronica Roth (which should be everyone of you out there reading this), you will be completely blown away by this book. Pre-order it! Now!
Actual, full review: Original will be posted on my blog on 6/14/2012. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
Insignia is insane. It is beautifully simplistic and complicatedly evocative. Crushingly despairing and hilariously witty. Intelligently phrased and bluntly honest.
I am completely, head-over-heels in love with it.
This book was not what I expected at all--in fact, I didn't expect anything. And the power this books holds is incredible: it is so subtle that you will not feel the choking grip the story and its characters have you until some thing called reality shocks you out of your numbing shell. The story isn't even just completely frightening in its very realistic interpretation of our future, but that it's also so funny. I laughed out loud so many times that it wasn't even embarrassing anymore since everyone was used to it (though I did get a few weird looks still...).
Kincaid has delivered a tale that rocked books off of my favorites shelf like a hurricane. In other words? This book is dominating my love right now. And I can't even pinpoint what it is I loved about the book so much. Everything. It's just so not fair to pick one amazing aspect and laud it, you know? That would be like staring at the rainbow and calling one particle the best of them all. Inefficiently vague and insufficiently degrading.
I can't say much about this book: too much and I will spill out a heap of feelings no one cares for, and too little so I would be incapable of expressing my love fully. I never say this, but if you loved Divergent, you will love Insignia so hard it'll hurt like plunging into the most dazzling lake from a hundred-feet cliff.
Take my advice and snatch this book. It's the most amazing blend of humor and anguish, authenticity and dystopia, evasiveness and blunting that I have ever read. And you know I wouldn't ever lie to you about something like that.(less)
Actual, full review: Original is here. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and SOME links have been lost.)
There are NO WORDS that can describe how I feel about this book. It's freaking badass and mind-boggling and brilliant and fast-paced and beautiful and devastating and so infinitely intelligent I can't even-
Forget it. I cannot write this review in a calm and neutralized way. I'm fan-girling way too hard. Is it possible that I have a girl crush on Janelle and absolutely love Ben Michaels? Oh yes. Is it possible that this might be the best sci-fi book I've ever read? Possibly. I'm teetering towards a yes, even though A Million Suns is glaring and threatening to cryogenically freeze me.
If the world rained brilliance, then Unraveling is a hurricane. It's unstoppable in its formidable exterior and gorgeously raging interior. It brings pleads and tears and SO MUCH BADASSERY I was freaking out with ohmigod this can't be happening it can't be THIS good, can it?! AHHH!!! the entire time.
I can't do this anymore. I can't. I don't even know how to express my thoughts without collapsing into the chasm of full-on exploding happiness. So here:
Oh, this is good so far. Nothing like, MIND-blowing or something, but I freakin' love Janelle's personality. And the writing's so smooth it's like gliding on silk.
FAEIORJIIOJARAKKKFAK I CAN'T EVEN I CAN'T EVEN I CAN'T EVEN- I cannot believe it. I knew this was coming, but the very idea is SO mind-blowing I am shocked to a thousand universes away. Elizabeth Norris, Queen of Doing Her Homework and Absolute Aweseomeness, I kneel to you. Please bestow upon me the honor of being your knight. I will ride out past the edges of the world to proclaim my loyalty to you. I have just one small favor to ask... convince Ben to marry me, please? Pleeeease?
That's it. This book was so good, reading it was like tumbling down a hill of rainbows: you'll crash and burn, and it's all so beautiful, who freakin' cares about the scars? I'm so spoiled by Janelle and Ben that I don't even want to touch another book in fear that suddenly Unraveling is going to pop and disappear. I feel like I should hang this book in a frame or something, so that I don't do something stupid, like drink hot chocolate and just stare at the words until the chocolate spills and I ruin a page and then I'm so outraged at myself I quit eating chocolate all together. Oh, man, would you look at that. This book has me so twisted in ecstacy, I cannot seem to fathom any sort of quasi-coherent thought.
It doesn't matter if you hate sci-fi or chocolate or books; Unraveling flares against boundaries of fears and smashes them apart. And if the world should truly crash soon, then there is one thing I must insist that you do: READ. THIS. BOOK.
P.S. Is my rambling not convincing enough? Then listen to this song: it conveys the book's ambiance perfectly. (Also, I totally want to see the movie. Not for Kristen Stewart, but for the special effects and Chris Hemsworth. ;) )
**ACTUAL, FULL REVIEW** Original is here on my blog. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
You know what I think?
I think...more**ACTUAL, FULL REVIEW** Original is here on my blog. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
You know what I think?
I think Audrey was right. She shouldn't have waited.
I can't even start this review right if I don't talk about the amazingness that is James. Holy rock stars, did you know that food > music? Okay, fine, food = music. But still. Man. That boy is something. Now I realize that I just sounded like your grandma with her "back in the dayz" talk, but hey, I'm just being honest here, k? Now where can we find a James in real life is the question...
Anyways! Audrey. Gosh, I love Audrey. She's quirky and so hilarious that you'll find yourself crying "THAT'S A KNEE-SLAPPER!" more than once. She's going to rock your socks off (so many puns...) if you haven't read this yet. I want her to be my best friend. (JK. I love my best friend. But come on, Audrey is just too awesome to not have as an IRL friend.) She reacts like an actual female teenage human being to situations that does not bestow upon the average actual female teenage human being. Quite a phenomenon, this one.
Now, moving on. The plot of this book was amazing. Contemporaries and I usually clash because they are too loose all over the edges, but this one was focused, straightforward, and had a beginning, middle, and end that I could see the arc of, but could not have predicted everything about. Not saying, of course, that contemporaries aren't cool--if you haven't noticed, my last star review was for a contemporary. I just wanted to point out that contemp skeptics can rest their hearts easy with this one, because Robin Benway knows what she's doing.
Also, the music: my gosh the music. It's everywhere, and it's frexing beautiful. I want to hug this book and drink it and somehow just, oh, I don't know, I just love this book so much. I'm sorry, that sounded really creepy, but I can't help it. These reviews are me spilling my feelings, so tada, there's a pot of TMI for you to waddle your way through.
Overall, there is nothing overall to say because Audrey, Wait! is utterly too mind-blowing to actually allow the mind the manifestation of an accurate description. The only advice I can give you is: go read it, then report back to me after you've indulged in this pure gleeful, Anna and the French Kiss-fun novel that ultimately answers sophisticated answers with simple eccentricities.(less)
Actual, full review: Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
Here's a confession: I hav...more**STARRED REVIEW**
Actual, full review: Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
Here's a confession: I have nightmares.
Not nightmares like "ghosts are following me down the stairs" nightmares. Not nightmares like "my crush humiliates me in front of everyone and then becomes the Biggest Jerk EVER."
Nightmares like, murder. Like, tearing flesh murder. Sights that make you want to gag and just shrivel up and hide forever. When people say there are no worse things than seeing your own death, they're wrong. Here's something worse: Seeing someone you love dying, torn apart, and you are just sitting there, helpless.
And here's why I'm bringing that particularly pleasant imagery to mind: This book is like my worst nightmare and best daydream combined. I have lost people, sure, but certainly not as horribly as many others have. I have tried to neglect the truth, too. But I'm not strong enough to fight against it completely and wholly. This book was like a weapon handed to me by Achilles, just for the power to finally spring back and eradicate every last doubt--every last sliver of crippling thought. But no one ever does anything for no reason at all.
This book's a weapon, alright. And it claims no loyalties.
I feel kind of dramatic. Upon finishing this book, I just lied there on my bed, staring at the ceiling. The book fell with a heavy thud onto my lap, and I just let it sit there. It was almost amusing, how much this book affected me. But actually, not really. It's like keeping something for so long, buried so deep inside of you that it takes millenniums to finally dig everything out again, and suddenly someone just charged into your brain and shook you upside-down until they finally dislodged that piece of memory. As they shake you, trying to free you, your thoughts start dissipating, turning vapid. You start thinking, hmm, and then it's just like yourself staring at yourself, but you know that you aren't quite who you were anymore. It's weird. It's strange.
It's spectacularly wrecking.
Here's a note about the illustrations: Whatever you do, get the print copy of this book. I have included links below the synopsis, so you can't use the excuse that you don't know where to find one. The illustrations are just hauntingly lovely. Its synergy with the breathtaking writing is like killing two birds with one stone. You know, I think it's just so interesting how I can be sniggering at myself the same time I'm trying to remain honest. If you're sniggering at my "melodrama," that's okay, I get it. But if you know me, you know I don't write reviews. I write my emotional response to a book, no matter how deeply cutting it is. So here it is:
I hope you read this while keeping in mind that even the greatest warriors fall. (less)
**Thank you, THANK YOU, HarperTeen, for giving me this ARC. <3**
Actual, full review: Original is here on my blog.(Note: due to copy-and-paste, form...more**Thank you, THANK YOU, HarperTeen, for giving me this ARC. <3**
Actual, full review: Original is here on my blog.(Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost. Except for one of them that I manually linked.)
I devoured this book the way a starved man engulfs food.
Tiger Lily has this addictive quality to it, kind of like a drug. It's beautiful and sad and terrible and heartbreaking; it's merciless and benign and desperate and raw. It's feral: words that spill out in this incredibly gripping formation, hidden surprises waiting to spring and shock. I highly doubt I have the right words to describe just how amazing this book was, but I will try. That's all I can guarantee.
I'm a restless person. I always have to be doing something, and I often don't do the same thing twice. I'm kind of like Peter Pan. It's why I never read a book again right after I finish it, but immediately upon completing Tiger Lily, I had this irresistible urge to drown myself in Jodi's words again and again: I can't get enough of it. I was crippled by this book; I read in class, in the car, everywhere, and it is so predatory it almost made me cry in class. I don't even know how. Quite honestly, I have a strong suspicion that this is now my favorite book--of ever and ever and ever and ever.
The characters--mostly Peter--sliced through me with a canyon's depth.
This is the Peter Pan I swoon over so badly it's not even funny. This Peter is broken, but he's trying to mend himself and he doesn't want to be broken, so of course he'll lie--to himself, to others, but... mostly himself. That's what made me just stop: at one point, I just had to set the book down and bury my head somewhere. Probably in a heap of tissues. I fell in love with Peter the way Tiger Lily did, and the moment you get to see him past everything--his exterior, his defenseless self--it's like having someone very, very carefully cut your heart out. It hurts, obviously, but it's also defeating. I think that's what made me love this book so much; I guess I'm just a masochist for being such a sucker of bittersweet love stories. Peter Pan is a bewitching boy; I think this song describes my feelings about Peter much better than I can. Of course, now that I've spent so much time on Peter Pan, I've totally neglected Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell, our unexpected narrator who actually turned out to be vital to the plot. I'm sure you're all asleep now, so I'll sum up these two and everyone else in the book in a sentence: the characters in this book are all independent--they are wild, but so in very many different ways--yet at one point or another, the decision was dependence, or nothing at all. It's astounding the choices we all make, to see them reflected in these characters so real they were like people burning through the pages.
Keep living through Happily Ever Afters; we can just watch them eventually fade. But Tiger Lily does something else: we don't live through the Happily Ever After. We live through the true stories crackling against its wishful disguise.(less)
I love high-fantasy, I love strong heroines, and I love a story that makes me swoon.
But what I really love is a story that makes me think.
Graceling is original and thought-provoking, and truly, can anyone deny that Kristin Cashore has the grace for writing?
Thank you to my friend Soph for forcing telling me to read Graceling. Katsa is this incredibly tough heroine with a heart, and her character grows so much throughout the story, I ached for her. She lived her whole life believing herself to be a killing machine. She thrived despite everyone's fearful, judgmental opinions about her. But in her heart she's just a girl who wants to be appreciated and recognized, and that vulnerability in her broke my heart a little.
I loved Po. I can't help, though, but compare Po to Peeta. Peeta complements Katniss like Po complements Katsa, but this book hypocritically can't really be compared to The Hunger Games, because even though they both involve cruel, inhumane tyrants, heart-breaking decisions, and aching romance, the message these books approach are met from different angles. Graceling is a tale of love and fighting and making the right choices, and Katsa can break. That's what I loved so much about this book. The protagonist can break, but even as she does she stands strong and fights because she cares so much about everyone else that slowly warmed their way into her heart (even if it isn't many people). And in her resilience we find hope, and in hope we find triumph.
This is an action-packed book laced with romance and tortuous dilemmas. This is a book that will stay with you long after you've finished it. This is the book about a girl who turns from the puppet to the puppeteer. (less)
Quick reaction: I loved this book. It made me cry at my numbest time--in the early morning hours, when I should be asleep, but stayed awake to read th...moreQuick reaction: I loved this book. It made me cry at my numbest time--in the early morning hours, when I should be asleep, but stayed awake to read this. But I had one question. (this is a REALLY big spoiler, so don't click on the tag unless you want everything spoiled it for you! (And dont' worry, this part will be deleted when my final review goes up.) (view spoiler)[Did Jack overhear Meredith tell Nikki that anyone can forfeit themselves to the Tunnels, that it doesn't have to be the Forfeit? Because I don't think he did, as Nikki told him it was nothing later when he asked her, so then how did he know to sacrifice himself in the end? (hide spoiler)]
Actual, full review: Original is here. (Note: due to copy-and paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
What do you call a book that made you cry at your numbest times? Everneath is a beautiful story about hope--and the absence of it; death--and the absence of it; love--and the absence of that as well.
This is a book about what was there and isn't anymore. About a past we can't help but regret and can't help but try to yank back, even though we know that won't happen, ever. There is something deeply emotional running rampant underneath the words of Everneath: not something you can see, nor hear, nor feel, but something you sense. It's so subtle--but the emotion is there: desperation, and what happens because of it.
The Everneath is a strikingly heartbreaking place. Brodi has a fantastic way of describing darkness as it sucks at everything around it, choking life and strangling emotions and crushing dreams. It is desperate, too. That's a theme threading through this book: desperation, desperation, endless desperation. But it is not a mindless, aggravating sort of desperation: it is a calm, accepted, forced sort of desperation that I dare you to ignore and wave away.
I could go on and on about how Nikki broke my heart. She has been so dry and cracked and burned that she could barely go on, but she's willing to try and fight, if only to set things right for once. I could talk about how Jack was achingly sweet and trying to find the old Nikki, only to search again and again to find someone new to fall in love with again. I could also talk about Cole and his irresistible compassion, about Brodi's expert weaving of mythology throughout the book. But I must clarify something deeply concerning--this book is not a love triangle. Nikki knows who she loves--she has made that choice so long again, it is a concrete thing that is an irrefutable truth, a stable constant as everything else in the world shakes and shudders and twists. Though she certainly must make a choice, the choice is not of love--it is of endings.
Either way, a part of her will end, and it's up to her to decide which part, or if she will just extinguish all at once.
Everneath is like a waterfall. It is pounding and deadly, and it is beautiful. It is destructive and ruthless, and endlessly breathtaking. It is brilliant.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
**ACTUAL, FULL REVIEW** Original is here on my blog (or it will be, come January 24th of dear ole new 2013). Note: due to copy-and-p...more**STARRED REVIEW**
**ACTUAL, FULL REVIEW** Original is here on my blog (or it will be, come January 24th of dear ole new 2013). Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links will be lost. Oh well.
"Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy,
but here's my number, so call me maybe?"
I thought so. Now, before you go all Avatar State on me, let me just say that I brought that Call Me Maybe back for a legitimately good reason. It's this book's freaking theme song.
So I read Will Grayson X 2 (as will I later refer to is as, due to my absurd laziness. Actually, I'm going to call it WGx2. Ooo it looks so pretty as a mathematical equation). Anyways: the point is, I didn't just meet this book, but this is still crazy, because I really want to give the Wills my number, so they can call me maybe-
OKAY FINE I'll stop now with the song.
But you guys, this book. I'm sorry, I was joking all this time because I just don't know what to say. It's so... unflinchingly loud. Not loud like a scream, but loud like war pipes. Bagpipes that are warm and familiar that screech something thunderous inside your heart and burst into little staccatos of halted heartbeats. That's what this book is. Completely unaware of personal bubbles and slashing them apart with knives made of jokes.
This book is... a lot like me. Man, how dare I, compare myself to this masterpiece. But you know, it's very hilariously stoic in its exterior and so colorfully confused on the inside. I like that. And I'd like to think that it resonates with me, and with everyone else, too, because no one with a thread of a fine mind can pass up the recognition that despite the fact that one of the Wills was gay, despite the fact that this situation seems unlikely (I didn't think so. I had the exact same name as someone in my school. And our personalities are so similar it's eerie), there is something in it so real and fierce it's like a blizzard whipping against your face. You want to ignore it, but you can't, and the more you try to back away, the quicker it streams. WGx2 made me want to tumble into an abyss and just curl up into myself for a while, because it was so brilliant and so bright and the world was so shabby and savage and inside the book there was something more than words, there was an entire universe dappling the sky like invisible threads of personalities waiting to plummet upon us in pillars of stars.
The book is majestic in its own grotesquely grandiose way, and I think that's what I loved the most about it.(less)
Quick Reaction: So fantastic, so unexpected, and soooo many questions. To those who think this sounds way too much like Beautiful Creat...more starred review!
Quick Reaction: So fantastic, so unexpected, and soooo many questions. To those who think this sounds way too much like Beautiful Creatures: Perhaps so, but the humor in this book is unmatched and way too hilarious. Also, I have many, many questions for Sarah when I see her this Saturday.
Actual, full review: Original is here on my blog. I've met Sarah Rees Brennan a total two times, both times at the RT Teen Day event. The first time I met her was back in 2011 at the Los Angeles RT Convention. At the time, I didn't read a lot--I loved reading, I just wasn't obsessed with it--but I fell in love with Ally Carter's books and saw on her website that she was going to be at RT, so I went, with the sole intent of wowing Ally with my Supreme Coolness and Complete Un-awkwardness (hahahahaha I must've been way more ignorant than I thought I was), but of course, I ended up being both Supremely Uncool and Completely Awkward.
Which would have been really sad. EXCEPT SARAH REES BRENNAN WAS THERE.
And she made my day.
You know those people in your life who are just so full of this untamable energy that they seem to explode whenever they're by you? The type of people who make jokes that are so funny that you can't even breathe, and they're just smiling all crookedly at you 'cause they're just glad to have entertained but isn't really sure just how they so completely blew you away?
Well, Sarah is one of those people. In fact, if that type of person had a name, the name would be Sarah.
So you can imagine that I was absolutely freaking out when I got accepted for an e-galley (e-ARC, basically) of Unspoken. And there is one thing I will tell you:
SARAH REES BRENNAN IS LIKE TECHNOLOGY. She gets better and better and addictive-r and addictive-r.
Going into this book, I had the suspicion that most people did: this sounds awfully like Beautiful Creatures. I mean, even the main character's name is Kami! But oh, I couldn't have been more wrong.
Yes, Unspoken is gothic, it's got a mystery, it's got a Kami, it's got creepiness. But it's got the key component: originality. While its synopsis resounds crazily with Beautiful Creatures, it is its own novel, its own Sarah-esque humor, its own amazing characters, and its own story that is in no way a retelling of anything but the awesomeness of Sarah Rees Brennan.
The characters are just completely flail-worthy. Kami is so funny, I kind of exploded from laughter. (It's so nice that heaven has computers, isn't it?) I was reading this on the plane to Chicago for RT and I'm pretty sure my entire back got melted by the glares of trying-to-sleep businesspeople. But wow--if you've ever seen Sarah in person, you know she's extremely funny. Unspoken is like a sitcom where everything is humor magnified until you're bursting in this bubble of Ultimate Happiness.
But it's not just the characters. The romance, the creepiness, the mystery--they were all so thoroughly juxtaposed with the humor that, even though they are a sudden shift away from the wittiness that thrives in this book, they also lure the reader in even more with their full ambiance and complete chillingness.
Unspoken is the type of book that you crave for no matter how many bad/good/genre-specific books you've read. It's always a relief, it's always a suspense, and it's always, always, the type of awesome that is so completely awesome, if it was not unspoken, the universe may have had another Big Bang.
Quick reaction: Freaking awesome, was this. Anyone who knows me knows I practically never get into Historicals. But as The Fray (and...more**STARRED REVIEW**
Quick reaction: Freaking awesome, was this. Anyone who knows me knows I practically never get into Historicals. But as The Fray (and some Bieber kid) says, Never say Never! SSaD was absolutely amazing. Eleanor is who I'd be if I were white and lived in 1876 Philadelphia. She's freaking kick-butt and so brave and strong. She's smart and she realizes that society's darn freaking expectations can go to the underworld. And that made me realize something, too:
I actually like Historicals. I just don't like the oh-dear-society-will-think-so-badly-of-this type of Historicals. Which is almost every Historical I've read. (Think The Luxe. Yeah... I'm still cringing over that societal puppet show.) I mean, those stories aren't bad. They're usually realistic. But I like my heroines with some grit and--god-forbid--emotions other than lust/love/fake concern/wealth. (So what if wealth isn't an emotion? It might as well be, seeing as people are quite obsessed with it, and oftentimes justifiably so.)
Yeah, this is just me rambling a bunch of nonsense again, isn't it? I apologize--it's midnight over here and I just wrote a pretty scary chapter in my WIP so I'm not exactly in the best state of mind.
But anyway, my point is this: whether or not you like historicals, whether or not you like zombies, as long as you can handle a little bit of gore, THIS AWESOMENESS IS FOR YOU.
**Actual, full review to come** (Meanwhile, why not check out my blog?)(less)
I love Maggie Stiefvater so much, it's kind of scary. I've always been pretty intrigued by SHIVER, but because I'm extremely selective (and that's an...moreI love Maggie Stiefvater so much, it's kind of scary. I've always been pretty intrigued by SHIVER, but because I'm extremely selective (and that's an understatement) with paranormal reads, I just didn't feel compelled enough to pick it up.
But I read THE SCORPIO RACES, and it became my FAVORITE. BOOK. OF. ALL. TIME. (See my review of it here.) GAHHHHHHHH I love that book so much. Ah. Anyway, now I really don't care that this is about werewolves and what not. That's my policy: If you, as an author, can make me fall in love with your writing, not just a single book, I will read each and every book you write no matter what it is about.
Now I shall go read SHIVER.
QUICK reaction: GODGODGODGODGODGOD I... I can't even... I... So please, help me now, because this book was so amazing I feel like I'm floating, but really, I'm just crying. I... Oh, Maggie, how do you keep doing this to me?! My heart broke... (view spoiler)[but the last three pages... I bawled even more then, because I was so, so impossibly happy it was heartbreaking (hide spoiler)]. This review is going to be so hard to write. But I just have to say this: I read somewhere that the best romances are when you can't imagine the boy with anyone other than the girl.
It doesn't matter how sick of paranormal or books you are. Just... read this book. Now, excuse me while I go cry, marvel, cry, scream, cry, laugh, cry, and cry all over again.
Full, actual review: Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, most formatting and links have been lost.)
“'How long?' His smile was amazingly sweet. 'The longest.' 'Forever?' Sam's lips smiled, but above his grin, his yellow eyes turned sad, as if he knew it was a lie. 'Longer.'"
Once upon a time, there was a little girl, not as innocent as most other girls, but innocent still. Then the girl grew up, and one day, she fell in love with a book called The Scorpio Races. She vowed to read Shiver, because that was by the same author, and the girl knew it will whisk her away on journeys an universe away. She read Shiver, and it ripped her heart right out of her chest.
I read somewhere that the best romances are when you can't imagine the boy with anyone other than the girl. This is it. Sam and Grace... God, they made me bawl. Maggie's brilliant, beautiful prose poured heart and emotion straight out of the characters into me, deep into my heart, and all I felt while reading this book was just... this amazing sense of absoluteness, rightness, because I dare say that Sam and Grace are the best couple ever created in the literature world--I can't remember another couple that made me feel like this (except for Forbidden, but that's another story for another time). And it's this bittersweet fairytale that tore me in half.
I bawled, I laughed, I smiled, I shivered. I bawled again. I think this book is my favorite book ever now, though The Scorpio Races is still a close second.
My point is this: Read this book. It doesn't matter if you hate paranormal and whatnot, because GODDAMNDARNIT I am in love with everything about this book.
You know your heart? You know how fragile it is, a single drop of glass frozen, about to splash and shatter? Shiver is blood, pumping through you, into you, clogging your thoughts, just leaving your heart vulnerable. It's blood rushing into you and killing you and making you love at the same time. It's blood that keeps you alive and raw, desperate and flawed.
It will change you. Because this blood? It will fortify your being, your heart, your soul, and you'll know that no matter what, you have a definite goal, and that is to search for love like Sam and Grace's. Maybe just by reading about them, or finding a couple like them, or maybe being part of a relationship similar yourself. But the most important truth this book will teach you? It's that true love never dies. Love fades, love grows, love transforms into lust, love breaks, but true love never dies.
Yes! Finally! I've been waiting to read this book because I wanted to use it for an English project, and tomorrow I can finally start it! WOOT! I LOVE...moreYes! Finally! I've been waiting to read this book because I wanted to use it for an English project, and tomorrow I can finally start it! WOOT! I LOVE John Green. DFTBA!
Quick reaction: I have a confession to make: this book will probably ring truer to my ears (err eyes?) than anyone else's, because while I don't consider myself a prodigy or whatnot, I happen to be known as quite intelligent (I'm not saying I am or trying to brag. Just giving you insight). And the dorkily beautiful nerdiness of this book just made me grin so much. I LOVED this book. John Green is freakin' phenomenal. <3 Nerdfighter 4eva!!
Long reaction (AKA actual review): Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
I have a confession to make: this book slayed me. I am Colin, you guys. It killed my heart to read about a character who I can relate to so, so much.
No, I'm not a prodigy.
I'm just... well, known as really, really smart. I don't think I am--just that other people say so.
Why am I telling you this? Because this book will mean so much more to me than it will mean to someone else. It was tongue-in-cheek funny, dorkily beautiful, thrillingly emphatic.
It was me.
I'm not going to go on and on about how I am Colin or that I think I'm a friction* prodigy (which I'm not) and whatnot. I just want you all to know that I may be a bit biased. But a good kind of biased. In fact, I plunged into this book terrified, because I didn't know if it could possibly live up to the achingly heart-breaking Looking for Alaska. But I loved it even more than Alaska, if you can believe it. The nerdiness of this book made me so, so happy. The characters were fantastically developed; so real, I think I talk to them in my head now. And the plot, while not unpredictable, was intricately complex and heartwarming.
This is a book about math for those who hate math. A book about prodigies for those who envy prodigies. A book about life for those who despise life.
A book for you, my dear reader, to read, especially if you resent reading. (less)