Archive for August, 2013
I am pretty horrible at making decisions.
I can’t make one quickly even if my life depended on it. My friend, who also shares the indecisiveness trait, and I take forever to decide on where to go. We always have to plan in advance or we will never go anywhere. When I’m in a restaurant (usually one I haven’t been to before), I’d spend ten minutes freaking out about all the choices the menu presents me and what-feels-like-an-hour-but-it’s-actually-been-another-fifteen-or-twenty-minutes to finalize my decision.
(This is an accurate depiction of what it looks like in my head.)
Bookstores are the worst for me. Don’t misunderstand me, I love bookstores. It’s the best place in the world, but there are SOOO many choices. How am I suppose to choose which book I want to get? I swear the gods, buddha, the devil, or all of them (???) are conspiring against me when it comes to books. I want to buy everything, but I can’t because I’m poor. :( (If only I had all the money in the world.)
Here is what always happen when I go to a bookstore:
- I go to the (used) bookstore because I’m feeling bored or I just want to see what’s on the shelf. (But let’s be honest, I go there because it’s the closet place to heaven.)
- I browse the literature and the YA section, carefully searching for books by my favorite authors or by authors I had always meant to read.
- I find a book (or four) that I really want. I look at how much it is. Cheap or expensive, I make a pros and cons list in my head – reasons why I want the book (“I need to read a book by this author,” “oooh, it has a pretty cover,” “it’s a(n) book/author I need to have in my own collection of books,” “I want it, plain and simple”) and reasons why I shouldn’t get it (“you don’t need it” and “YOU DON’T HAVE A LOT OF MONEY TO THROW AROUND”). Tough decisions.
- I continue to walk around the store, still holding onto the books I want, as I run through all the reasons again and again in my head. I don’t want to get buyer’s remorse. (I hate feeling that.)
- I set the books down and take out my phone. I type out, “HELP. [Insert description of the book.] IDK. SHOULD I GET THIS BOOK? AHHHH. TELL ME WHAT TO DOOO” and send it to a couple of my friends, hoping they will tell me what I should do (and I mean tell me not to get it). But my friends are usually assholes and take forever to text me back, and that makes me soooo antsy. WHY U NO TEXT ME BACK IN THIS BOOK CRISIS I AM IN? And when they do text me back, it’s always “GET IT,” enabling me, which is THE WORST. I DON’T NEED BOOK ENABLERS. I NEED BOOK DENIERS.
- I then ponder why I make friends with bookish people. They are no help in my time of need.
- After nearly three or more hours of pondering and wandering around the bookstore, I finally make a decision.
That’s right, it takes me over three hours to make a decision on whether to buy a book or not. So if we hang out and we end up in a bookstore, I hope you’re cool with spending half your day in there. It’s what I do.
The only thing I can come up with that can help me with my indecisiveness (or just avoid it) is to not go to bookstores. Simple as that, right? NO. It’s not possible. I love bookstores. I, nor you, can force myself from never going. It’s home to my heart.
How do you make decisions when it comes to buying books in a bookstore? Are you an indecisive person like me who takes hours to actually decide? Or are you the type of person that can buy things very quickly? How do you deal with your indecisiveness?
Waiting On is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .
But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Why I’m waiting?
Fangirl is basically my life story. At least, it is about my fandom life. Fandom is an important part of my life. Starting from when I was in middle school, I had to find outlets for my growing interest in pop culture. Forums, social networking sites, and fanfiction created a community where I could bond with others who shared my interests when my school friends did not. I cannot imagine having to leave behind all that I hold dear to me in fandom.
I feel an extremely strong connection to this book. “THIS IS YOU. READ ME,” the book would shout at me if it had a mouth and a voice. It’s extremely relatable. I’m sure many of us feel this way too. All of us have obsessed over TV shows/movies/books/whatever to the point that it consumed our every waking moments. (Hell, I managed (or still haven’t managed) to pull myself out of the Pacific Rim fandom.) I’m just really excited. The synopsis, that gorgeous cover art. I NEED TO GET MY HANDS ON THIS BOOK. GIMME.
What books are you waiting on?
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where you share books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. You can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Lots of books this week! You do not know how excited I was when the mailman left books on my doorstep. I feel like I had been waiting for them forever! Absolutely a book heaven-type week for me! AND my BFF came home for two weeks from Japan, giving me the best gifts EVER.
- Neko Darake by Yokoyama Kimuchi (THE BEST GIFT EVERRRRR from my BFF. CAT BUTTS.)
- When Did You See Her Last (All the Wrong Questions #2) by Lemony Snicket (from A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust)
- The Lonely Lake Monster (The Imaginary Veterinary Book #2) by Suzanne Selfors (from A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust)
- Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson (from Lost in Literature)
- Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (from Fantasy Book Addict)
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (from Books, Tea & Me)
- Pivot Point by Kasie West (from Synchronized Reading)
Really excited for these books. I’ve heard excellent things about all the books (minus the ARCS ’cause those aren’t out yet). As soon as I finish typing up a review for Just Like Fate and finish reading another book, I will get started on Throne of Glass ’cause I plan on seeing Sarah J. Maas at the end of the month.
If you have missed my previous posts, check them out:
- Monday | A review! I thought Unremembered by Jessica Brody was a good introduction to the world that was portrayed in the book.
- Wednesday | I “wait on” Untold (The Lynburn Legacy #2) by Sarah Rees Brennan because the Lynburn Legacy world exudes that gothic feel that I love in books.
- Friday | In my second “Judg(ing) A Book By Its Cover,” I talk about what I liked and disliked about the covers of If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I liked both. Read why!
How was your week? What books did you pick up? Have you read any of the books I got in the mail?
Let’s be honest, nobody follows the age-old cliché that tells us not to judge a book by its covers. If you say you do, I am side-eying you. Book covers are the first thing that attracts any of us readers to a book. Before you pick up a book, the cover can essentially make or break a book. If I don’t like a cover design, I won’t pick it up. Lucky for us, publishing companies publish different cover designs, especially when a paperback book comes out. Sometimes we like it, sometimes we don’t. Whatever the changes with cover designs, I will discuss it.
Today, we look at the cover of If I Stay by Gayle Forman.
I actually like both covers of If I Stay. I like that they portray aspects of things that are in the book. I don’t have anything that I absolutely dislike about them. They’re both different, yet attractive to my eyes.
I really love the colors in the hardcover cover, aka the “before” one. The sky blue makes me think of moments when you’re laying on the ground, looking up into the sky and pondering about life. That’s what happens in If I Stay, the main character, Mia, reflecting on her life or death choices by remembering the past as she lay in the ICU. I love the white branches and the pink flower. Over at the Reader Girlz blog, there’s a cover story about the cover. Apparently, Gayle Forman said, “thought about how the flower amid the barren branches represented Mia holding on, the living thing amid all the death. But also how those branches represented the roots of her extended family that could sustain her if she chose to stay.” I thought it was a perfect/accurate analysis of what I thought too.
What I like about the paperback cover, aka the “after” one, is how the girl is pictured. She’s looking up into the sky, which makes me think of my interpretation of the “before” cover. It makes me imagine Mia lying on her back, not moving an inch, her eyes staring up, and having her life flash before her eyes, after she’d been thrown out of the car after the accident. I like the effect of the smoke (or fog) in the background. I am reminded of car smoke and how she is living in a fog, not sure of what her decision will be.
I’m not a fan of quotations from authors on the front cover. It clutters up the space. I prefer my covers to be nice and clean. I would rather have the cover speak for itself. And for this particular cover, the quote irks me because it’s extremely misleading. How so? It suggests that If I Stay is similar to Twilight, like it’s also a vampire love story, which is totally wrong. For those who have read this book and know what this book is about, If I Stay is the opposite. It’s a contemporary YA novel about a girl who gets into an accident and has to decide whether to live on or let go as she examines both her past and present. It’s a book that deals with living, death, romance, music, choices. For someone to liken this to Twilight is absolutely shoddy advertisement.
Final thought: I like both covers. To me, they’re great representation of the If I Stay story.
(And if you want to read the cover story of the hardcover If I Stay, check it out here. It’s a great read.)
What did you think of the cover design and the changes? Do you like it? Is there anything you would change?
Waiting On is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
In this second book in the Lynburn Legacy, the sorcerous roots of Sorry-in-the-Vale have been exposed. No one in the town is safe, and a decision must be made: pay the sorcerers’ blood sacrifice, or fight. Will the townspeople (magical and not) become “owned” by the sorcerers who believe it is their right to rule? If Kami Glass has anything to say about it, evil will not win. Despite having given up her own piece of magic, she is determined to do everything she can to make a difference. And whether they want to or not, her circle of friends (and potential boyfriends) will not be able to help but go along with her unusual tactics.
(And here’s another synopsis that is a bit spoilery.)
Free from bonds, but not each other.
It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.
But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?
Why I’m waiting?
The Lynburn Legacy world exudes that gothic feel that I love in books. Gothic-type books are always a “yes please.” More so for this series because I adored the first book, Unspoken. I became so attached to the characters that I didn’t want anything bad to happen. I was heartbroken by the ending cliffhanger. I need to know what happens with Kami! I can’t wait to see what Untold brings us.
What books are you waiting on?
When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.
Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.
Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.
Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?
From popular young adult author Jessica Brody comes a compelling and suspenseful new sci-fi series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.
First sentence: “The water is cold and ruthless, lapping against my cheek.”
What a surprise this book was. I enjoyed this book…to a point. This book is broken down into three parts: 1. adjusting to life after the plane crash with foster family, 2. finding out real identity and remembering the past, and 3. trying to escape from enemies. It has a unique premise that went beyond my expectations – plane crash, a sci-fi feel, time travel, and a mystery of a teenager with amnesia who was not on the plane – makings of a good book, right? Unfortunately, I had a lot of things that I didn’t like about Unremembered that prevented me from fully enjoying this book (ie. the heroine and the romantic plot).
- The premise.
We have a teenager suffering from amnesia who mysteriously survived a plane crash. We learn that she is not like a normal teenage girl – she can speak different languages, she is exceptionally intelligent, she is extremely beautiful, she is really strong – and that people (with good intent and bad intent) are searching for her. I didn’t expecte this book to go into the direction that it did. I thought the book would be a regular contemporary story about a girl coping with amnesia and a plane crash. Something serious that dealt with coming to terms with all these tragedies. However, what we get is extremely different. By the halfway point of the book, it’s no longer a contemporary story; it’s a sci-fi one. A really interesting one.
- The twist.
When the mystery of how Seraphina got on the plane was solved, it was something I didn’t expect the book to veer into it. [SPOILER]Time travel, guys! My mouth dropped. Who would’ve thought that was what happened? It was the only part of the book that I truly enjoy; I didn’t want to put the book down. I was fascinated by the concept and how it worked. So much rich material. It made me think of the Terminator franchise and Looper.
When I do not like the heroine (or any of the characters) in a book, that’s a bad sign. Seraphina had no personality whatsoever. She was extremely robotic – both in her actions and her way of speaking – which is noted by the other characters. I know it’s on purpose, but it was hard for me to sympathize, like, or relate to her when she doesn’t really exist on the page. I didn’t find anything that made her stand out amongst other YA heroines I’ve read. A few months from now, if you ask me what was memorable about Seraphina, my answer wouldn’t be her fiery temper or her actions. I would, most likely, not remember her.
And if I do remember her (after being reminded), I would answer that I was extremely bothered by how powerless she is and how her entire life’s dominated by males. What do I mean? Well, for one, she is only programmed to run, not fight. (I wished she had the ability to fight, surprising everyone that she had defied her programming.) Two, she doesn’t really do anything by herself when she’s trying to find out who she is and where she comes from. She always need somebody, usually a male, to aid her. She asks Cody, her foster brother, to take her to LA. She needs Zen to get her to remember. That makes the feminist in me extremely angry and frustrated. I wanted her to be more aggressive. Take things into her own hands. Be more independent and in control. I had expectations that she didn’t fulfill.
- The romance/Zen.
As soon as the “soul mate” word was said, my brain totally tuned out. Ugh. I didn’t feel the chemistry between Seraphina and Zen. My problem is that Zen is the only boy she’s ever encountered. Yes, you can have one love of your life, but Seraphina hasn’t interacted with anyone on the outside world. How is she to truly know if Zen is the perfect guy for her? Seraphina doesn’t have a lot of control in her life, not over the choices she makes in her daily life and certainly not over who she loves. Zen is essentially taking advantage of an extremely naive girl. How am I suppose to root for that?
I hated that the plot relied too much on the romance to move the story forward. I was bothered by how Zen’s number one priority was to get Seraphina to remember their “love” instead of being concerned about her other memories and whether she remembers Diotech.
- Explanations of things/words Seraphina did not know/understand
You know in the text when Seraphina doesn’t know what, let’s say, a supermarket is and she goes, “Heather calls it a supermarket” or a restaurant – “we’re going to something called a restaurant”? It’s usually followed by a dictionary definition or a generic description of the place or word. Those parts sound condescending, as if an adult is trying to explain or “teach” a child what the word meant. I know it was not the intention of the author, but I couldn’t help but cringe during those parts. Maybe I’m being extra sensitive about it. The thing is, with those words of places or items Seraphina doesn’t know/understand, I wanted a more detailed description of what it looks like to Seraphina.
I thought this book was an interesting introduction to the Unremembered world. I didn’t really like any of the character because they didn’t feel realistic and I found some to be a bit spineless or annoying. I did enjoy the ideas in the book. I would’ve liked some more information about Diotech because it still doesn’t feel like it’s a threat to the entire world. I’m actually looking forward to the next book in this series. I’m hoping that Zen is revealed to actually be a bad guy in the second book. How awesome would that be? I was half-expecting it to happen in Unremembered. It would’ve certainly made things more interesting instead of being a boring romance. And it would’ve further emphasized how Seraphina should not trust others, especially Zen. We shall wait and see what the next book brings us.