Archive for May, 2013

 

May 28, 2013 • Cee • Events

armchairbea21

This post is a genre topic about Classic Literature, aka Classics, aka the-genre-that-I-read-a-lot-in-college-because-i-was-an-english-major, aka oh-man-here-we-go-again. 

Question: “Why, reader, do you love classics?”

Today, tell us all the reasons why you love classic literature.

One of the reasons why I majored in English was to read books that I would never really read in my day-t0-day life. Classic literature is the type of genre I would have to force myself to read if it wasn’t a required reading for school. I certainly wanted to read these books, but my attention span was (and sort of still is) very small. As I got used to the idea of reading classic literature, For me, I tend to breeze through books quickly, but I hate doing that to classic books like The Picture of Dorian Gray or The House of Mirth because I feel I won’t understand the deeper meaning and concepts the book portrays. I love classic literature because I love seeing how the author portrayed the world. Their writing speaks a lot about the time period and the social issues. As a history lover, I find it fascinating to loose yourself in a different time. 

What are your favorite classics?

Some of my favorites include:

  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Howards End by E.M. Forster

Note: I am, most likely, missing a few. And I’m confused as to which books fall under the “Classic literature” category. I deem any book after 20th century to not be in the classic literature category. (It falls under Modernism.)

If you could give a list of classics to someone who claims to hate them to make them change their mind, what would be on it?

I’m rather horrible at giving recommendations. I’ll just recommend my favorites because it’s much easier. :D

  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – it’s an interesting horror story that questions the power of knowledge and who the monsters are in the world.
  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James – This is a ghost story. Even if you do not like ghost stories (which I admit I do not), you will be on the edge of your seat! This book does an excellent job of keeping the suspense going throughout the novel. It really makes you question whether something is actual happening or not.

How would you convince them to give classics a try?

I have no idea! Usually when somebody tries to convince me to read a certain book or to watch a particular TV show, I refuse to pick up their suggestion. I don’t want the book to be shoved down my throat because I’ll end up disliking it. I think I’ll most likely say that reading classics is a must. You don’t have to like it, but you’d be surprise when you pick up a book and find out you actually enjoy it. 

And why do you keep coming back to those old favorites?

I always think back to the stories fondly. I like remembering where and when I got sucked into the story. The books surprised me so much (by both the writing style and the content) when I initially read it that it left quite an impression in my head. I love the bits of history that the book portrays. 

Check out my introduction in Armchair BEA.





May 28, 2013 • Cee • Events

armchairbea21
BookExpo America (BEA) is the big book convention held in New York where authors, bloggers, and publishers get together and cause every book lover to cry – either in joy (because they were able to attend and get to meet authors and get ARCs) or in sadness (because those who are unable to attend have  prior engagements). It starts today and it kills me that I’m not going. Because of that, I decided to take part in Armchair BEA, which is basically a virtual conference for people who cannot attend the actual convention. Let us hold hands and cry together. 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
My name is Cee (actually, it’s a nickname that has stuck to me since I initially began blogging). I’m 22 and I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English (and a minor in History). You can say that they are great loves of mine. I started blogging years ago. Probably in high school (which makes it seven or eight years ago)?  Blogging was a way to interact with people who shared the same interests as me, which at the time (and still is) was TV shows and just general pop culture things. None of my friends in high school watched anything I did and that made me feel a bit lonely. I needed somebody to scream my excitement and thoughts to. I started blogging about books this year, specially January 2013. Since I had recently graduated from college, I need something to fill my time and I thought ‘why not create a blog about one of my loves – books?’ And voila! 

Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures.
Bay Area, baby! For those who do not know what location I’m referring to, I’m talking about the San Francisco Bay Area. Something special about this location? Hmmm, we have a literary festival (that occurs in San Francisco) called Litquake in October where local authors come out to play? It’s not on the huge scale like BEA, but it’s still awesome. AND I live near NaNoWriMo’s (National Novel Writing Month) headquarters. Yeaaah. 

What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013?
These are four favorite books I’ve read so far in 2013.

Name your favorite blog(s) and explain why they are your favorite(s).
I have a lot of blogs that are my favorites. How am I suppose to narrow it down? 

These blogs are my favorite because each blogger structures their reviews extremely well. They always have interesting posts that gets me thinking. And their blog designs are just gorgeous. They inspire and motivate me to do some blogging of my own. (I am terrible at explaining the reasons why anything is my favorite.)

If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
Oh wow, that is such a hard question. If I had to pick an author, Daniel Handler? He’s always been a writing hero of mine. I love his wit, which makes me kind of apprehensive to pick him because I don’t think I can keep up with him. He is, no doubt, fabulous. If I had to pick a character, Adrian Ivashkov (from Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series). No doubt about that. He’s my favorite character in the whole Vampire Academy series. He’s very charming and he always makes me smile from the things he says. 





May 21, 2013 • Cee • Reviews

Down London Road (On Dublin Street #2) by Samantha Youngsy - downlondonroad
May 7, 2013
NAL

Website | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository

Johanna Walker is used to taking charge. But she’s about to meet someone who will make her lose control….

It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly.

But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try.

Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets …even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece…

myreview

First line: “I looked upon the piece of art and wondered what the heck I was looking at.”

I loved On Dublin Street, so I had a lot of expectations for this book. Unfortunately, this book was a complete letdown. It wasn’t quite memorable in comparison to On Dublin Street. I was disappointed by some of the character’s actions like Cam’s ugly comments to Jo and Jo’s inability to stand up for herself because her insecurities. The only thing I enjoyed in this book was the friendships among the characters. I felt the love they had for Jo. If this book was just about that, I would’ve enjoyed the book a lot more.whatiliked

  • Siblings! (Jo + Cole)

I don’t know what I can say about these siblings without squealing about how much I enjoyed their mutual protectiveness over each other. It’s really refreshing to see Cole not shying away too much away from his sister despite being a teenager. They love each other so much. Every moment reminded me of how much I love having a sibling who will always be there for me.

  • Friendships!

What made me like this book was the friendships. Everybody came together in times of need, no questions asked. I love the dynamic between all the characters, especially Jo and Joss. It came as a surprise to me that Jo considers Joss her best friend, but reading this book helped me understand why. Joss is…an amazing friend. I felt a bit like Joss when I got to know Jo. Her speech to Jo about Jo puts up with false assumptions and having no respect for herself was everything I wanted to say to Jo. Joss was blunt; she may have not gone the right way to address her concerns, but she was right. Friends will always have your back no matter what. I love it. whatididntlike

  • Cam + his comments

He might be hot, but the words that comes out of his mouth…I was disgusted by it. He says the worst things to her and I’m suppose to like him because he apologizes and has this “incredibly” chemistry with Jo that lets him into her life? Um, no. His excuse of why he made those judgmental comments does not justify the hurt that Jo must’ve felt when he made comments about her as a gold digger or a cheater. I understand that a lot of people will jump to conclusions about what they perceive a person is like by their appearance and their actions or say something they didn’t mean in the heat of the moment, but Cam’s comments about Jo rubbed me the wrong way. There are much better ways to distance yourself from someone you are attracted to but don’t want to be. I know people love the asshole, but I feel like I only enjoy that type when the female character can stand up for herself.

  • Jo + her inability to stand up for herself

I understand her insecurities and her belittling of herself stem from her issues brought on by her parents and her situation. However, when she lets Cam assume the worst about her, that made me so frustrated. I wanted to shake her and tell her, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” She can set the record straight without revealing too much about her home life. How hard is it to snap at him and say, “I’m actually texting my brother. For your information.” I feel like we spend 1/3 of the book in this state. And I was completely unsatisfied with how the dad issue resolved. I wanted Jo to go with Uncle Mick to confront her dad, but nope, she doesn’t. She lets the guys do it for her, which kind of makes me angry. Stand up for yourself, Jo.

  • The portrayal of Parents

I am uncomfortable with the portrayal of Jo’s parents. To me, nothing was solved. At least, not by Jo, who I wanted to grow a backbone. I wanted her to confront her parents for the shitty things they’ve done to her. Yes, she confronted her mother, but it should’ve happened earlier in the book. And she should’ve went with her Uncle Mick to confront her dad. What also bothered me about this book (and the previous book, On Dublin Street) was that the main female characters’ parents are practically nonexistent growing up. It’s only the main male characters who have a seemingly stable parental figure all their life. What is up with that?thesoso

  • The romance

Eh? I was not invested in their relationship and didn’t really care about the progression of it. You can blame Cam and his comments because that was seriously a deal breaker for me. And both characters were in a relationship with other people for half of the book. I kept thinking – can they just get together? (Because it was rather annoying seeing Cam being an ass.)

  • Too many characters!

This is just me being nit picky. What kind of bothered me was the number of people who came back into Jo’s/Cam’s life. We have Uncle Mick and Olivia (which I liked), and then Jo’s father, and Cam’s ex-girlfriend. I feel like the book has reached a point where there were too many names entering Jo’s lives that I had a hard time keeping track of who was who. And some characters seemed unnecessary to include since they didn’t feel like they added much to the progression of the plot.gradeC+

Despite this grade and issues I had with the portrayal of certain individuals, Samantha Young is a fabulous writer and created well-rounded characters that I would enjoy having as a family. You can see that I feel strongly about the characters from my reactions and dislikes, and that is a testimony that I did enjoy the book…with a few reservations, of course.





May 18, 2013 • Cee • Giveaway

Guess what glorious day today is! Hint: it’s in the title. Yup. It’s my birthday today!

I turn 23. (Man, I already feel old.)

I would like to give back to the book community because ya’ll have been super awesome despite my lack of updates. And to give back, BOOM! giveawayfestivo

That’s right! I’m hosting a birthday giveaway! You have the opportunity to win the book of your choice from The Book Depository. It can be YA, New Adult, romance, classic literature, poetry, whatever you want as long as it is $10 or under. TBD must have free shipping for your country.

Here are the rules:

  • This contest is open INTERNATIONALLY as long as The Book Depository delivers to you for free.
  • The giveaway will run from May 18th to May 28th, 2013.
  • You must be 13 years (with your parent’s permission) or older.
  • You will be disqualified if you pick up entries you haven’t done.
  • If the winner does not respond to my e-mail within 48 hours, I will have to choose another winner.
  • I am not responsible for any items lost in the mail.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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May 1, 2013 • Cee • Waiting on Wednesday

wowfestivo

Waiting On is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Down London Road (On Dublin Street #2) by Samantha Youngsy - downlondonroad
May 7, 2013
NAL
Website | Facebook | Goodreads
Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository

Johanna Walker is used to taking charge. But she’s about to meet someone who will make her lose control….

It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly.

But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try.

Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets …even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece..

Yeeeeesssssss. I loved On Dublin Street, so when I heard there was going to be another book, I screeched in joy. Here is an excerpt, and you guys, I cannot contain myself! The tension there!  Blistering! There is so much to Jo than meets the eye. 

What books are you waiting for on this Wednesday?