I'm..........going to come back and write my review because I need some time to happy-cry and maybe think about the little shit Eugenides and his ways...moreI'm..........going to come back and write my review because I need some time to happy-cry and maybe think about the little shit Eugenides and his ways of subduing palace politics.(less)
Please don’t be misled by the neutral rating, Just One Year was a terribly hard rating experience for me and I’ve had a night and a day to sleep on it...morePlease don’t be misled by the neutral rating, Just One Year was a terribly hard rating experience for me and I’ve had a night and a day to sleep on it because whatever I choose to rate it doesn’t seem right. The three stars do not accurately reflect what I felt while reading Willem’s story, nor does it reflect the overall sentiment of my review. In some ways, I feel like Just One Year was an arrival of sorts and infinitely more honest than if Forman had written a sequel that would have brought Willem and Allyson together.
I loved Just One Day for its vivacity and its jarring emotional fragility. But if reading Just One Day was like the world had lit up ten-fold, Just One Year was if the world had muted and lost its vitality. Just One Day was if I was catapulting with Allyson towards some greater truth and trying to shake the shackles of complacency. I identified with Allyson and I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to be able to relate to someone like Allyson because I don’t want to harbour the same fears of unfulfillment, being stuck in a rut and living life without purpose.
With Just One Year, there is a smouldering emotional connectedness between Willem and that one day he shared with 'Lulu’. Unlike Allyson who let others determine the trajectory of her life, Willem has totally left his to fate, for the winds to blow him in a direction, for ‘accidents’ to show him where to go. Just One Year was everything I needed in Willem’s story: a gentle subtlety at Willem’s hesitance to accept his life has been wandering and aimless, the permeation of the ache for family and belonging, but also an emotional vulnerability to him where Lulu is the catalyst.
There is a sexually-charged undercurrent to Willem’s story that carries us through Holland, Mexico and India. But, we – like Willem – are never allowed to forget that Lulu has lodged herself in his memories and refuses to let go. We see Willem grappling with the idea of being loved and cared for, of allowing himself to return to people in his past, and exploring whether his capacity to love and give himself up is a product of a tenuous relationship with his mother or his reluctance to pour his heart and soul into something in the fear that it will leave him. This isn’t a continuation of where Just One Day left off, however much we wanted to see Allyson and Willem’s relationship come full circle. From the accidents that brought them together, to losing each other, to them having to find themselves in order to be the right person, a better person for each other. Just One Day and Just One Year are symbolic of the double happiness both characters are striving to find: flip sides of the same coin, two separate entities which are forces on their own but become something remarkable when together. This isn’t Adam’s Where She Went to Mia’s If I Stay. Adam and Mia had five years of history including terrible moments of heartbreak and absolute loss, and no matter the impact and the resounding snowball effects of Willem and Allyson’s one day in Paris, it was still, just that – one day.
Reading Just One Year was equal parts satisfying and infuriating. We see just how close Willem was to finding Allyson, and how futile wishing that he would just take that one step further knowing Lulu was on the other side but, also knowing that Willem and Allyson would not cross paths. Forman strips back the enigma that is Willem de Ruiter with her usual finesse. Weaving both the past and present into a seamless continuation, using Shakespeare as an anchor, and drawing parallels between Allyson and Willem’s journeys, as well as contrasting their relationship to the love story of Willem's parents.
My favourite moments included quiet, unspoken interactions between Willem and Yael in the midst of India. Their reconnecting as mother and son and their attempts to bridge the gap caused by the interconnecting histories of families is uncompromisingly raw. There are flashes of humour but also of emotional nakedness that we see through the 'blink and you'll miss it' moments between Willem and the people he meets while travelling. My favourites of all the people he encounters are Kate, who shows him faith and direction, and Prateek, who shows him unabashed commitment and enthusiasm.
And that is another reason that I would’ve felt cheated if Allyson and Willem got their happy ending in Just One Year. Without Willem knowing what he wanted, with him not being able to heal in the aftermath of loss, and him shrugging off responsibility for his own actions, I don't think Allyson and Willem could have worked. For both Willem and Allyson, they couldn’t be ready for someone else if they hadn't figured out what they wanted out of life themselves.
And it’s surprising to me that there is so little to fault about Just One Year but I feel as if, after reading a book as arresting and emotionally-charged as Just One Day, everything afterwards savours of anti-climax.(less)
THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS I LIKE ABOUT THIS AND I DON'T KNOW HOW TO SAY THEM. But I'm just sitting here and looking at 'The Thief' with heart eyes and...moreTHERE ARE SO MANY THINGS I LIKE ABOUT THIS AND I DON'T KNOW HOW TO SAY THEM. But I'm just sitting here and looking at 'The Thief' with heart eyes and mind whirling with the fact that I have more fictional queens to fall in love with.
I knew nothing about The Queen's Thief series besides that it was YA High Fantasy. I only knew that everyone said the first half of the book was a slog and would most likely put me into a coma but the rest of the book and its successors were totally worth it.
Ugh, so not true. I mean, yes, nothing happens in the first 150 pages, that's true. Gen, the magus and their road trip/quest group are literally traipsing through the land and vast olive groves with Eugenides being snarky and narrating every mundane detail. I would be lying if I said that I didn't get to page 50 and wondered whether the book had a point and would go anywhere plot-wise because there had been nothing but road tripping. However, to be totally honest, Eugenides' narration made the whole world light up. I don't know why he's so funny - he just is. His droll and his wit about mundane things like eating dried beef and falling asleep in his bowl of oats on top of his commentary on the magus and his companions made me grin stupidly and roll over and smile more stupidly into my hands. I loved all the dynamics between Eugenides and just about everyone and I love Eugenides and his snark and his - everything, I guess. Oh my God, I don't know if you'll be able to meet a more likable protagonist.
There is something so satisfying about Megan Whalen Turner's writing. Part of it comes down to Eugenides' first-person narrative but also the world building of the Sounis/Eddis/Attolia kingdoms. The history and mythology of the lands were rich, and the stories of the Old Gods combined with the stories of how the countries had fared after an invasion made for such great story telling.
Also, can we talk about the Queen of Attolia? LET'S TALK ABOUT THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA. I was gone the moment she kicked Eugenides with her boot and he looked up and compared her to the Great Goddess of the old gods of the land. SOS.(less)
Socially stupid boys with a heart of gold \o/ Lol Gabriel's thought processes are basically: Omg what do I do...moreOOOOOOOOOOOOK LET'S TALK ABOUT THIS BOOK.
Socially stupid boys with a heart of gold \o/ Lol Gabriel's thought processes are basically: Omg what do I do with this crying girl? OMFG. WTF. Girl. Crying. Am I supposed to do something? Never mind, Nick will know. He's used to me being a failure. Let's kiss this girl because I don't want to do Maths. What the hell, I had to wait 15 seconds (15 seconds!!!!) for this girl to reply to my text. How come Michael is allowed to bring a girl home and I'm not? [seethes])
I'm okay with these books not really having a plot. I AM SO OKAY WITH IT. I'm also okay with more scenes that involve making out. Also, the Merrick brothers rescuing each other and the Merrick twins crushing your soul but damn, someone needs to get all four boys to sit down in the same room and just /talk it out/.
I think my favourite things about the Elemental series are the characterisations and brotherly dynamics of the Merricks, and the nuances of all the different relationships they have with each other. The next time someone wants to spout some crap about there not being enough boys in YA, I'm slapping this series in their face. There were some great things about this book and more great things about Gabriel Merrick. Gabriel Merrick who thinks he doesn't deserve a future because he isn't as good as his brother Nick, how he blames himself for the death of his parents, and his feeling like an intruder in his own family. This book almost made me cry because it hits home how hard the Merrick brothers are slumming it. Their older brother has to stop just being their older brother and become a parent. All four boys miss their mum, and I sort of internally cried in anguish when Gabriel was remembering how his mum made his first coffee and it's the same way he takes it today.
There were beautiful moments I loved including: A conversation between the twins in the bathroom; another conversation over a shared secret beer; the fact that Gabriel has to, for the first time, think about his life with the possibility of his twin not being close by because Nick wants to leave and go to college; the friendship between Gabriel and a younger boy who wants to play Junior Varsity basketball, and Gabriel wanting to learn sign language so he can coach this younger boy so that he's good enough for the team. Your heart of gold is buried under layers of defence mechanisms and your jerky/arsehole exterior, Gabe Merrick.
Things I wish there was more of: Carry over of the plot from Book 1 because everyone seemed to forget that there was a Guide in their hometown; What's a Chris?; and am I going to have to read about more situations of sexual violence because it's starting to turn into a plot device only to be used to add conflict and tension without having major impacts besides propelling our heroines into the arms of the relatively good guys so they can comfort her. Please prove me wrong though, Brigid Kemmerer.
Also, I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT TO THINK OF HUNTER GARRITY. LIKE, WHAT IS UP WITH YOU MATE? AM I SUPPOSED TO LIKE YOU OR HATE YOU? Hunter Garrity is that person in the series where every time he makes an appearance, his theme song - which would probably be the Gossip Girl intro - plays in the background: And who am I? That's one secret I'll never tell. XOXO Hunter Garrity.(less)
You should just read this book because it has four hot brothers and that's the only thing that matters. Can you imagine being in the Merrick household...moreYou should just read this book because it has four hot brothers and that's the only thing that matters. Can you imagine being in the Merrick household for even a second? The clothes would come off instantly and then we would be rolling around in polyamory. I DON'T EVEN KNOW (but let's be real, this would probably happen, don't lie to yourself). The only way I can describe this is Avatar: The Last Airbender but with cute brothers and lots of man-angst thrown in.
- The Merrick brothers teasing each other about girs!!! - Merrick brothers being sexy!!! - Merrick brothers looking out for each other!!! - Merrick brothers protecting each other's honour!!! - BORTHERHSH!!!!!!!!
I can feel my life spiralling slowly in a downward direction.(less)
The moleskine's coming out, I promise I'll be back to write my feelings and thoughts about this book, namely feelings about Percy and Annabeth, Nico (...moreThe moleskine's coming out, I promise I'll be back to write my feelings and thoughts about this book, namely feelings about Percy and Annabeth, Nico (!!!!), and Jason choosing between homes because that's what made me the most sad. [off to cry and think](less)
At first I didn’t know if I was reading post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction or historical fiction or science fiction and I...more3.5 stars. Sooooooooooo good.
At first I didn’t know if I was reading post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction or historical fiction or science fiction and I still don’t know how to put this in a genre but it seriously could be all three and it took me about 50 pages in to finally get it.
Me right now: .................
So Maggot Moon is set in this indeterminable time period where several world wars have occurred and ‘the Motherland’ is a monstrous military police state, but then...I first thought it was about Nazi Germany because there were all these historical parallels between this world and Germany under Hitler and also because Germany was referred to as the Motherland by the Nazis. But then!!! Wait for it, I also thought this book was about Germany post-World War II with the east and west blocs and the Berlin Wall because there is a dominating wall motif throughout the book, but then I remembered that the setting had all the hallmarks of a dystopian society and the main character lives in a country with factions and zones and the moon had a nuclear forcefield that prevented landings and all the other countries treated the Motherland the same way we sort of treat North Korea nowadays but – but – but there was also a fascist regime and ideological conflict and an Arms Race and then I was like, whatever, let’s just read this.
I think I’ve settled with an alternate universe historical science fiction set in a totalitarian state drawing reference from Nazi Germany but also Stalinist Russia………I guess. Which sort of epitomises that the two extreme left and right wings come full circle - I don't know!!! This book made me think and I'm still in that state after reading a book where I don't know what's going on...which is basically me all the time so nothing's new.
Maybe…MAYBE the entire point of this novel was to parallel a totalitarian state to a dystopian state and Sally Gardner was actually trying to show us that they’re not that different and are, in fact, scarily similar.
Anyway, Maggot Moon is also a book about ideas, I suppose, set in a bleak world that is redeemed only by the very human qualities of some very brave children.(less)
This book was far from perfect, but I love this series so much and I love Cammie Morgan, my princess and forever girl, and I love everything she stand...moreThis book was far from perfect, but I love this series so much and I love Cammie Morgan, my princess and forever girl, and I love everything she stands for and everything the Gallagher Academy is. Thank you so much for everything you've done for me. I guess I'm a little sorry that this will inevitably turn really cheesy and I'll try to sound profound but, really, I'm just crying. It feels like the end of an era.
I don't know how to write something that will appropriately send this series off in a manner that 'Gallagher Girls' deserves. I don't know what to write - I don't know the words that could possibly capture the significance of what this series has meant to me. I know I say that I grew up with Harry Potter but I only remember waiting eagerly for Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows to come out. But I have truly grown up with this series: like, Cammie, Bex, Liz and Macey were there for my most formative and questionable years! I was eleven when I first read 'I'd Tell You I'd Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You." I've waited every year for the next book to come out, sometimes in nervous spasms and absolute dread. I've met so many amazing people through our mutual love for this series, and it only seems fitting that as Cammie's story comes full circle, so will mine.
'United We Spy' reinforced that the core message, the core tenet of 'Gallagher Girls' was the force of the sisterhood; what it meant to be Gallagher Girl was to be someone's sister. I haven't read any other book where the emphasis is so heavily focused on positive female friendships: between friends, mothers and daughters. Maybe I haven't read enough books (I haven't) but 'United We Spy' hit home the importance that girls have to help each other. How teenage girls can be anything we want to be, that we are strong because we believe in who we are and our cause. 'Gallagher Girls' is about how being strong doesn't mean kicking ass or matching it with a boy, but it means having mental strength, being emotional, feeling lost but finding yourself even if 'yourself' is a stranger to you. In the words of Allison Argent from Teen Wolf, "Why can't I be strong and go to prom?" So many girls to love, so little time. It's been an honour to be able to experience Cammie's journey with her, and to be able to watch her grow from a naive little girl who just wanted her father to return home to someone who fought back to finish what her father started.
Ally Carter ties up a lot of loose ends but I feel as if I didn't receive any closure. While Ally closes one can of worms, she opens another, and those questions go unanswered. UWS was non-stop action, the stakes were high, but the consequences and the full impact of certain actions and events didn't mean much. My biggest problem with 'United We Spy' was the lack of consequences. When the stakes are so high, there must be fall out when there's failure. And there was failure. But failure didn't mean much in the context of the plot when it was rectified in the next couple of pages.
BY THE WAY...SOS OTP ACTION. ZACH AND CAMMIE ARE STILL BEING PERFECT TOGETHER, I'M SO IN LOVE WITH THESE TWO TEENAGERS BEING IN LOVE. ONE DAY, I WILL WRITE AN ESSAY ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND THE TWO OF YOU TOGETHER: THE GREATEST SUPERSPY DUO AND TAG TEAM THERE EVER WAS.
So, 'Gallagher Girls' has finished. It remains one of my favourite series, and I will forever be in love with Cammie and her mum. I cried a lot and it was so, so great and I don't really know how to feel anymore because I'm kind of in shock. Anyway, you should read these books!!!!!!!!!!!!!(less)
Do you know that feeling when you read a book and it just makes you feel alive and makes you want to live life with meaning instead of just going thro...moreDo you know that feeling when you read a book and it just makes you feel alive and makes you want to live life with meaning instead of just going through the motions? This is me right now, and I'm so happy and glad that, hopefully, this will be me one day. This book fills me with such a beckoning feeling of wanderlust and makes me feel good and I miss Paris and I want to have these experiences and just make a toast to life. 'Just One Day' has just made me feel.
It may have taken forever for the main character to grow, but it's what happens in real life and you have to deal with the world being pulled from under your feet. Understand that people grow and change because sometimes its inevitable; people grow apart or come together because of certain reasons or 'accidents' that can't be explained. A world of possibilities was opened up in Paris only for them to close on Allyson, and she had to find a way through the mess and the damage and it just felt raw and real and like me? All the people she met along the way to reach self-actualisation, all the people she has met, in some shape or form, have changed the trajectory of her life and given her meaning.
God, above all, it only makes me want to travel, get on a plane and get lost in a foreign country. 'Just One Day' just filled me with a deep yearning to live.(less)
I'm so glad I liked this because I was suuuuuuuper sceptical about Cinder. I didn't know how a cyborg Cinderalla in a dys...moreROMANOV VIBES ARE GOOD VIBES.
I'm so glad I liked this because I was suuuuuuuper sceptical about Cinder. I didn't know how a cyborg Cinderalla in a dystopian/sci-fi setting was supposed to work but it did?? There was a "plot twist" that I saw coming like, 200 pages away from the actual ~reveal~ but you can't have everything.(less)