Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

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“I’m starting to think you like prisons,” he says, idling knocking his knuckles against the wall. “And that you have the worst taste in men.”

I’ve been really excited about talking about this one!

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Back in June, I read the first installation to this series Red Queen, following my intense AS level exams which I proceeded to fail. Nevertheless, really enjoyed this book and said I would definitely be reading the second installment, also stating I was poor and couldn’t afford to buy books.

Well, I bought the book and still poor.

And Glass Sword… woah.

Prior to reading this I skimmed through some goodreads reviews and upon meeting numerous negative takes, was preparing for an O K A Y read.

Well, I loved it.

It was different and everything I wanted from the series (if not enough when it came to the finale WHAT THE HELL GUYS HOW COULD YOU DO THAT VICKY?), was fluffy and nerve wracking and overtime they went into a city my fingers were gripping the pages praying that nobody died.

Mare’s character has really come along way since when we met her at the beginning of Red Queen, a focus which grows through the book as we watch Mare, frankly get darker and darker until we don’t trust her.

I don’t trust her.

I was a tad disappointed with the simple lack of attention to poor Kilorn and I’m sure he feels the same.

The “romance” if you can even call it that, between Cal and Mare was frustrating. Mostly because its difficult to see a future for them where they are set on equal ground. I love Cal, probably my favorite character of the whole series and I just felt so so so sorry for him this entire book.

Damn, if Mare doesn’t want him; I’ll happily relieve that burden from her shoulders.

Hated Maven, but that’s standard.

CAN NOT BELIEVE SHE KILLED SHADE.

HOW DARE SHE.

MY JAW HIT THE BLOODY BASEMENT FLOOR. (not that I have a basement)

And Farley is defo preggo right guys?

Need the next book now.

No joke.

I am going to end up homeless on the street living in a book igloo.

“Every single thing I did, you stood behind me,” I say. “If I’m turning into a monster, then so are you.”
“Love blinds.”

 

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie: Going back to Neverland

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“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!”

I read this little gem a few weeks back on my way to Brighton for the day, if you’re Instagrammers you would have seen a few posts of the last sunny day in Britain to be fair.

Would like to say, this was my first time ever reading Peter Pan.

Now that I’m saying it, although I’m typing, out loud it really does sound like the title Bookworm doesn’t even belong to me.

I’ll try and justify myself then.

“She asked where he lived.

Second to the right,’ said Peter, ‘and then straight on till morning.”

When I was little I was a huge fan of the Disney movie of course, because what 5 year old wasn’t? Also, I grew up with Hook starring the late great Robin Williams on V I D E O, as well as having a crush on the new (?) adaptation of Peter Pan, Jeremy Sumpter back in 2003. Yeah. That was 13 years ago.

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I’ll let that sink in.

Also, as a kid I think my mum got me the V I D E O of Finding Neverland with Johnny Depp, which admittedly I didn’t enjoy as much at the age of six and, to be fair mum; what were you thinking? Most depressing film in the world. For a six year old. Who thought she was about to watch Peter Pan; with an actual Peter Pan in it.

I digress.

As you may have been able to tell, my experience of Peter Pan up until now had been largely visual, so the point I’m trying to get at is that it was quite interesting reliving the story through the pages of a book this time. I loved reading the words and seeing the scene so clearly laid out behind my eyes. Also, very impressed with the screenwriters for the 2003 adaptation; parts and extracts from the book were so accurate; making it all the more enjoyable experience.

It was nice to go back to Neverland again with older eyes, as I’ve grown up, Peter would have hated it.

“To live will be an awfully big adventure.”

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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I have no idea how I came to acquire this book. I don’t remember buying it. I don’t remember receiving it. Within the pages is a receipt from 2012 at a bookshop in Egypt (not completely weird; used to live there) but I have no recollection of this book or how it came to be in my possession. Weird ha?

I really didn’t know what to think about this one after reading the blurb; the story claiming to be about a baby who grows up in a graveyard after its family is brutally murdered and is raised by the ghosts and spirits who reside in the graveyard accompanied by his guardian. And from there we watch Bod (short for Nobody Owens) grow up in the graveyard meeting the various spirits that live there. It was interesting!

I wish I had read this a couple of years ago when its writing style and story would have made much more of an impact but if I’m being completely honest, the cover put me off not to mention the frankly morbid title. But I enjoyed it, and from me reading it I’ve realized actually how popular this fanbase is.

I was gripped as much as you could be from a book that says on the back Ages 10 and above.

Well, it is above…

Thank you Mr Gaiman, who I’ve realized and wrote many other cool books, for reminding me of the most important rule of conduct for a booknerd:

NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER.

I’ll leave this little note here.

“Face your life, it’s pain, it’s pleasure. Leave no path untaken.”

A brief spread on Shatter Me & Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

I have mixed feels for these books; the characters and style of writing. I believe it is creative, new and young. Different, we’ll say.

Hmm… Where to begin?

I’ll start with some of the shocking lines from Shatter Me, a book which to be fair, I pretty much hated and couldn’t wait to finish. My face throughout the whole experience was something close to what Ron Wealsey’s face looked like when they follow the spiders in Chamber of Secrets.

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Yeah; it was that bad.

I always wonder about raindrops.

I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.

I am a raindrop.

My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slab.

Yeah… that’s called raining.

I AM A RAINDROP.

Sorry.

I am nothing but novocaine. I am numb, a world of nothing, all feeling and emotion gone forever.
I am a whisper that never was.

Aha…

(*coughs*dramaticmuch?*coughs*)

He leans back against the couch. Runs a free hand over his face. Seasons change. Stars explode. Someone is walking on the moon.

Just… what? Who’s walking where? I thought he just sat down?

METAPHOR OVERLOAD.

Now I could have accepted the odd burst of fantastical creativity through literary license; the main character Juliette is in an asylum and slowly losing her mind, but the extent of the crossing out and the repetition, frankly drags. I kind of just want to bellow at Mafi “WE GET IT; YOU’RE CREATIVE.” 

But I won’t be too harsh on her; this author isn’t even 30 so I guess she’s still finding herself, right?

 

Shatter Me was just a bit of a disaster; a little bit of this and oh I’m in love with him, ooh raindrops oh no he’s dying cry cry cry oh I saved him and now I’m wearing a purple suit and all I want to do is make out with my weird ass boyfriend (who either has the personality capacity of a spoon or cardboard box; I haven’t decided yet) and mope around with my feelings ooh my feelings.

So yeah.

But I’ll give the girl some credit; Unravel Me is BETTER.

Yeah, at times I just want to kill Juliette (sorry), but it feels like we’re finally getting somewhere with Mafi’s writing! There is more of a story present and plot twists that actually came out of bloody nowhere and I LIKED IT. There were still some questionable choices though;

I want to study the secrets tucked between his elbows and the whispers caught between his knees.

Okay; I’m sorry but who whispers between people’s knees? Gynecologists? This is a dude who’s elbows have secrets…

Just… why?

Actually every time I read this line I burst out laughing.

But then Mafi’s creativeness really does pay off through Unravel Me at times.

“So much of it was like seeing myself on paper,” he whispers. “Like reading all the things I never knew how to say.”

I’ll give her that one. It was gooey and I liked it; don’t fault me, I am still young.

It’s the kind of face no one believes in anymore. 

Ahh…

Terror waves hello to me.

See! Now that last one gave me shivers and it was clever without trying too hard.

There is so much sexual tension in Unravel Me to the point I felt abused just reading it literally; WHOA I thought this was fluffy innocence and cheesy romance? I have to say I’ve got a problem with how Juliette sudden (SO GODDAMN SUDDENLY) falls in love with the man/boy who tortured her and her friends and kills for fun in the first book. Just what? I feel like Mafi had a change of heart on who she wanted as a villain and expected the reader to just go along with it. Don’t get me wrong; all the romantic stuff was good, but I felt it was so uncalled for.

Also damn her; I’ve now added a psychotic killing machine (who’s broken inside; go figure) to my list of ever growing fictional boyfriends.

I didn’t love this; I really didn’t. But it’s getting better and I always loved reading authors who grow with me (occasionally on me); so I’ll be finishing this book series out of curiosity as well as the books looking so pretty on my bookshelf; I mean cover artist: you da bomb.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

 

Ahoy, SPOILERS AHEAD.

So, I’ve read the much-read Red Queen and… it really was quite enjoyable for a wind down read after probably the most intense set of exams I’ve had. It was simple and gripping and easy YA reading.( How much red and read can I get into this?)

At first I was ready to accept a classic romance story much along the lines of Cinderella, I had written it off already, accepted it; but boy, was I pleasantly surprised.

IT WAS SO MUCH MORE.

This needs to be said:

This may contain romantic notions but by no means is this a romance novel.

And it was savage at times, to be fair. A lot of hardcore killing what with the last lines of the book being “I will kill him.” Very cheerful. Altogether not a bad read. I knew I would love Cal from the moment he said “Thief” with surprise. And I just knew we couldn’t trust Maven. I just knew it in my gut.

I found myself finding symbols which represent other dystopian novels, and honestly; this is like a really funky fanfiction of them all. Which is enjoyable if you’re not looking for a serious read.

So, yes I will be investing in book two; Glass Sword. Another author I shall now damn for raiding my poor student pockets of funds. (Help me buy books; I’m poor. 😦 ).

Oh, and I’ve just discovered a few novellas. Double damn you, Aveyard.

I was team Cal from the beginning and I hope that picks up again and at the end, her and Cal live happily ever after. Here’s hoping.

But I hope we get some more Kilorn action out here. And I am literally a representation of Mare’s (who’s name I want spelled Maree) geeky friend who’s got a mega crush on her big brother, Shade. I like Shade. Shade hasn’t done much except exist but I like Shade; Shade’s good. Looking forward to some more Shade action.

Seeing as this isn’t Game of Thrones and I can’t ship incest to ship Maree and Shade… although there was a book or two between the Mortal Instruments Series in which we did ship Clace when they were brother and sister…well.

Definitely Team Cal up in the house.

6/10

I’m Ed’s Grateful Ex: The Twilight Saga

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Seeing as there is a new Twilight book out, it only seems fair that I give the series a little credit. Twilight for me opened the doors to Young Adult and even when I look back on it now and cringe a little, I still can’t bring myself to hate it. My copies are mismatched, missing dust covers and the spines are broken fatally. I read this series continuously and I really should pick it up again one day….

In the very, very distant future.

HOWEVER.

The saga is everything I aspire NOT to be. The saga represents EVERYTHING a young teenage girl should not want from a relationship and the limits of her abilities.

Let me explain.

I got into Twilight through the film franchise- yes I know; very cliche; I’ve heard it all. But I did. I was 11 years old. I watched it once… and I then turned it back on and watched it again. I then read the book, followed by many companion reads which I donated happily to the charity shop as soon as I could.

When we meet Edward in the first book, all the mysterious oo-aaah, and bronze-orange-gold-amazing-caramel hair/eyes captivated me (I WAS 11!). For me at that age, all the mystery and romance was great.

I fell in love with the idea of Twilight and Edward Cullen especially, like any other 11 year old girl I knew. And throughout the years I read all of the books a few times over, and by the time the last film was released it had fallen out of fashion for me; I was over Edward Cullen and Twilight.

It’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve realised just how unhealthy the saga was. Edward leaves his obviously unstable girlfriend- like what the hell Bella, you are literally the Overly-Attached Girlfriend meme- to then go and attempt to commit suicide following her presumed death. Unstable much?

But my main issue with Twilight is not with the men of this saga, but with Bella; our protagonist who really is more our antagonist.

I have a few points.

  • Loses the will to live after being rejected and left by Edward, entering a stupor for a good 6 months, only to be awakened by having hallucinations of seeing him which she achieves by putting herself in dangerous situations. For example; getting on the back of a random rough biker’s motorcycle (yes that actually happened) and jumping off cliffs (yes that happened, as well). There was also a pretty crazy storm going on.
  • Chooses her boyfriend over family; on multiple occasions. (“Oh, but Edward…”)
  • Agrees to marry Edward on the condition that they have sex after they get married.
  • Abandons all plans (and doesn’t really want it, anyway) to go to university.
  • Instead has a baby, almost killing herself in the process to become a vampire; which is all she wanted in the first place (to never grow old; she’s got issues with her age- SHE TURNS 18).

Yes, this is Bella.

LIKE. 

UGH.

As much as these things do happen in ‘real life’, (except the vampires)  I don’t believe that they should be encouraged and represented as positive motifs of love through a Young Adult novel straight into the mind of a young girl, which is where Twilight was aimed at. The morals on which happiness lies with a beautiful boyfriend is not the strong willed voice of women that our society wants to solidify.  In heavy contrast against Hermione Granger; Bella is everything we shouldn’t be. Twilight was two steps back for feminism and equality.

I thought we lived for educated and career driven women? Why couldn’t Bella do both? And why, if Twilight couldn’t promote that message, was it one of the biggest fandoms with so much praise? Are we moving forward or backwards here?

I want nothing more than a strong career and a comforting family. Its possible. So why didn’t it happen?

So, yes. I’m over Edward; I’m over Twilight. And I’ll read it again in a few years, probably sometime after I graduate Medical School. It opened my mind back then, I’m glad it did; so I can aspire to be everything Bella wasn’t. I don’t hate Twilight, I don’t love it. It was a learning curve.