Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Every Day - David Levithan

Source: Goodreads
Title: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Series: Every Day
Publication Date: August, 28th 2012
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A is unidentifiable. Ever since he could remember, he has been waking up in a different body every day. He makes sure to not make attachments, interfere or draw attention from the people around him. Then he wakes up in Justin's body and things change. Rhiannon is Justin's girlfriend and she draws out emotions in A that make him go back on all his rules.

A strays along a dangerous line just to follow the one person he wants to spend together, every day.


Review


The concept of Every Day is every bit intriguing and thought-provoking, but whilst it produced some really good content, it also left me wanting more. This really frustrated me because I prefer to read and have answers delivered than waiting and waiting, without any knowledge in the end. Still, there were some positives that I picked up along the way. 

I found that the overall message of the story was what made the read worthwhile in the end. It is a love story but the emphasis was on how love can overcome obstacles and unite people in ways unimaginable. Clearly in Every Day the situation is basically impossible, but because the emotions between A and Rhiannon was so strong it broke down the barriers that contained them. I don't entirely believe A's intense feeling for Rhiannon, only because it happened very quickly but for the story to progress and deliver its message I just went along with it. I took it as relaying hope and think it portrayed that well.

However, A's body transitions were something I was interested in a lot more than the story between A and Rhiannon. I found it fascinating to hear about every person's live, how much A could know and the influence he held over their body. I don't agree to his recklessness with people's lives after meeting Rhiannon, it's not ethically right, but it made for an interesting read. It also reflects how deeply one person can influence someone, whether it be personal encounters or, in A's case, a literal take over. I think my interpretation to him - and yes I'm gendering A despite not carrying a gender in the novel - moving from body to body is almost like a calling. It could just be coincidental but he did manage to help some people when it really came down to it.

The ending was bittersweet and a little lacklustre for me. I had so many questions built up, questions that A tried to answer for Rhiannon but it didn't satisfy my curiosity. I guess it really conveys how puzzled A is about the whole situation as well, but I just wanted to know. This is just my personal feelings though and I don't fault Levithan for being vague. It actually makes the story realistic and the possibilities that came up for A at the end built on the hope that surrounded the plot.

I do think it was an enjoyable read, I finished it a short amount of time. It was sweet at times but I just don't think it was right for me. I know there's a companion novel coming out in Rhiannon's perspective, but I don't think I'll be reading it. I can just see myself getting bored reading the same story again. Check it out though, it might be the book for you.





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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I Want To Start

Top Ten Recent Series I Want To Start
(Past 2-3 years)

Everything on this list is basically the latest YA releases that I'm pretty sure everyone has read and loved, whilst  I'm still slow to get with the trends. Most of these are also pretty hyped up, but that hasn't put me off (just yet). 




1. Burn for Burn by Jenny Han (2012)
2. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (2011)
3. For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund (2012)
4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (2011)
5. Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger (2013)




6. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (2012)
7. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (2012)
8. The Archived by Victoria Schwab (2013)
9. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (2012) 
10. The Program by Suzanne Young (2013)

What Series Do You Want To Start?




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Saturday, 18 October 2014

You - Caroline Kepnes

Title: You
Author: Caroline Kepnes
Publication Date: September, 30th 2014
Disclaimer: I was sent this as a recommendation by Simon&Schuster.
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Joe is instantly drawn to Guinevere Beck after she steps into his bookstore. He can't stop thinking about her and wanting to see her, and it seems Beck is falling her his charms. Yet, she doesn't realise the extent to which Joe will go to have her and Beck isn't exactly what he thinks she's like. 

Their relationship becomes a dangerous game, and the consequences are deadly.

Review


I wasn't exactly sure what I was in for when I started You, but what I got I can't say I loved. In fact, even thinking about it now makes me feel disturbed and uncomfortable. 

You is a thriller at its best, but whether its the right thriller for me is the question. Of course being a story about a stalker means that it'll have elements of creepiness and socially unacceptable behaviours. However, whilst the story progressed I really had to think about whether this was a thriller with highly explicit content or eroticism hiding underneath the genre thriller. That's the part I did not like, and which put me off the entire novel. Maybe I'm just a prude, but I felt like the sexual aspect was so crude and drastic. 

Still, Kepnes' writing really conveyed Joe's obsessive nature in a really interesting way. Readers are placed in his situation, and that's why it seems so much more logical, even though we know what he's doing is wrong. It can be easy to sympathise with him for feeling anxious, happy and anger only because we know how it feels to like someone. However, at the end I still didn't excuse his actions only because his infatuation led to dangerous and disturbing things. I would've liked to know why he grew up to be like he was, because he didn't seem to be lacking in any area. He could attract a girl just by looking at her, was funny, smart and well-read, so it's not like he would find it difficult to get a girlfriend. I hated every other character, including Beck, only because they were all so flawed yet, acted like they owned the world. This is such a realistic interpretation of people though, and Joe's observations of Beck's personality really came across as issues that nearly everyone actually has to deal with - although not to that extreme extent. 

At some point I started to feel like the novel was just dragging out. I mean I got it - Joe's a stalker, and Beck's not perfect, and maybe they just deserve each other. I couldn't reach the ending fast enough, and whilst there were some surprising moments, I just really wanted the entire thing to end. I wouldn't say I never expected the ending, only because it is a thriller so hello. I felt like the ending was realistic enough so I'll take it as it is, but yeah. 

I've seen some really positive reviews for You, so maybe whilst I'm a fan of crime, thriller just isn't for me. Or maybe You is on a whole other level of thriller. Either way I just couldn't tell myself I really liked this. I do think it's definitely for mature readers, especially with the explicit content and language. Check it out and see what you think! 





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Friday, 17 October 2014

Talking Personal

Boy has this month been hectic, and we've only reached halfway. Now, if you know me well then you'd know my immune system is barely existent, which means I'm constantly sick. I swear I'm ill for three quarters of the year - trust me, it's not fun. So basically I was in bed for most of my mid term break, which was great.

Enough whinging though. I actually only have one week of uni left, and it really scares me because I remember writing my first "Talking Personal" post and I was telling you guys how I was only three weeks into the semester. Where has time gone?! The end of semester just means exam, and yep, I am going to be way over my head with exam prep. Hopefully I don't pull a disappearing act again and I'm actually well prepared for my exams this time. Chances of that are very slim, but I'm still going to try.

I had a great night out with the girls for one of their birthdays, and we ate at a pretty decent Korean BBQ restaurant. I love Korean food and I found that Yeonga to have great service, plenty of choices and just a nice environment. I definitely enjoyed that pork belly I had amongst the other foods we ordered. No photos this time since I was too busy digging in. However, we did manage to finally try Hardware Societe - a very well known brunch place tucked in a lane way in the CBD. We actually had breakfast, but I'm not complaining because it was so amazing. Whilst the girls all ordered their infamous baked egg dish, I went for the Banana Loaf with Poached Pears, Walnuts and Berries. Heaven. Take a look at the photos if you don't believe me.


The Hardware Societe
118-120 Hardware St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Yeonga
1 Cobden St, North Melbourne VIC 3051

I've also just opened up a new Instagram account just to post about books because I felt like I was flooding my personal account a little too much, and it just didn't look nice. Just search up "printedwordsand" if you want to take a look!

Other than that, there's been nothing interesting that's really happened. At least not until I hear back from some things I hope goes well next year, so until then guys! 

What Have You Been Up To?




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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Belzhar - Meg Wolitzer

Title: Belzhar
Author: Meg Wolitzer
Publication Date: October 1st, 2014
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Jam Gallahue is sent to a therapeutic boarding school after suffering from a traumatic event during high school. She's closed off and feeling empty, but slowly opens up when placed in the Special Topics in English class with another 5 students. 

They're assigned journals to write in every week, but what they discover from this mundane exercise pushes life right back into them. 

Review


On the surface, I don't think Belzhar was an amazing read. It didn't strike me as impactful or memorable compared to The Bell Jar, which was something I was worried about when I picked this up. I know it's not a modern adaptation or promising to be something like Sylvia Plath's amazing work, but by including elements of it in the novel, it's pretty hard not to compare. I'm not going to lie, I had really high expectations. I wasn't disappointed, but it wasn't spectacular. 

What I liked most about Belzhar was more the emotional aspect of it, and how it delivered it's point. At first I was confused because of how dry the narrative sounded, but as the story progressed I could see more of a point being formed. I like that it pushes the idea of how everyone has issues to deal with, and that they're all important in their own way. It explores the topic of addressing your problems and finding the best way to deal with it. I know a lot of people have issues in how the characters are transported to the "other" world as a way of facing their problems, but if you look at it in a different perspective, I think - for the protagonist, at least - the way to let go of the past, and all the grief and anger that was contained in it.

Speaking of the characters, I wasn't particularly fond with any one of them. Their stories were touching and sad, but I don't think they had much depth. This applies to Jam as well, who I pretended was older than her actual age, because I couldn't really believe her situation as being realistic. I could relate with their feelings of being stuck in a moment and not being able to move past it, but I don't really remember every one of their situations. I liked that as a group they gradually developed a positive bond, and found the help they needed, but the romantic relationships just sprung out of nowhere and was very predictable. I knew from the moment the two characters looked at each other it was going to happen, even if there was no progression to it. Sigh.

The ending was a little rushed, packing everything together and trying to wrap it up neatly. It was neat, but just a bit overwhelming. I overlooked that though because of the plot twist that did add a spark to the plot whilst reading and I did find myself surprised.

I think if you're looking for something that is a little less heavy than The Bell Jar, but with that similar concept of exploring the emotions of depression and loneliness than definitely read it. I took the overall message as something I really liked and so that's why I enjoyed that bit more. I'm just not sure I articulated that part very well.





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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Places I Want To Visit

Hosted By: The Broke and The Bookish
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish, where we list our top ten according to a topic of the week. Check out future topics here.

Top Ten Places Books Make Me Want To Visit

1. Hogwarts from The Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
No surprises here. I would expect nearly everyone's list to contain Hogwarts because it's the magical place that has become synonymous to everyone's childhood. Who doesn't want to go to a magic school and hang out with the coolest witches and wizards - oh, and play quidditch!

2. Narnia from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis
It's kind of hard not to resist a place that's magically hiding behind your closet, especially with it being such a beautiful, expansive world. Aslan wait for me! 


3. Fairyland from The Fairyland Series by Catherynne M. Valente
This is a new world but one I've fallen in love with this year. It's such a cute place filled with amazing creatures, of all whom I want to be friends with. 

4. England during the Tudor Times (from The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory) 
Ok, this is borderline dangerous cause I could fall seriously sick in a matter of minutes. I'm talking more about the palace and having a position where I'm not being trampled on. Maybe meet King Henry VIII but without risk of being beheaded. 


5. Neverland from Peter Pan by J.M Barrie 
There's a reason this is my favourite classic. I think Neverland has such an attractive quality because you don't seem to age whilst living on the island - actually perfect. 

6. Camp Half Blood from The Percy Jackon Series by Rick Riordan 
Yep, I'm ready to learn that I have secret powers and that one of my parents is actually an immortal. Seriously, the time has come.


7. Wonderland from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty weird myself so I see Wonderland as being a place where I could just be whacky and not be judged for it. I would also love to be friends with the Mad Hatter, but this is more to do with Johnny Depp playing him in the Tim Burton version.

8. Paris from various novels (of which I don't remember lol)
The city of love, and the setting for numerous novels. It just seems like a sweet and fairy-tale like place, perfect for summer vacation.


9. Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl 
It's chocolate. What else can I say?

10. Manhattan/Upper East Side from The Gossip Girl Series by Cecily von Ziegesar
Say hello to climbing up the social ranks and befriending Blaire Wardolf and Chuck Bass. Also because the US is one of the places I really do want to travel to. 

Which Places Do You Want To Go To?





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Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1) - Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

Title: The Iron Trial
Series: Magisterium #1
Author: Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: September 9th, 2014
Disclaimer: I won a copy of this from Dymocks
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Callum Hunt has grown up his whole life hearing his father tell him how destructive and dangerous magic really is. So when the test to enter the magic school "Magisterium" comes around, Callum tries his hardest to fail. Instead, he fails to fail and finds himself entering Magisterium.

Callum comes to realise that magic is much different to what he knew, and 


Review


It was hard not to associate The Iron Trial with the ever popular magic series Harry Potter, especially since my brother read it before me and complained "it's exactly like Harry Potter." Still, I gave this a shot and went into it without any biases - or as less as possible. 

I'm in two minds about this, and I feel like I'm the only one. It was a pretty slow read at the start, and I wasn't sure where it was heading. The prologue did intrigue me but I guess I was reading just to read it. I wasn't fully engaged until Callum entered the school and the world opened up. It was fascinating to read about how magic actually worked and the way the school functioned. Along with that were the characters, who didn't stick immediately but grew on me. I'm not sure I love Callum and his friends just yet, and I found Master Rufus (the main professor) made little impact. Still, it is the first in the series so I'm certain as the series progresses I'll start to like the characters more. 

Where I think it has its positives and makes it a solid series, is the plot. At first it progressed in a really typical manner, so I sort of floated through it. Then the plot twist hit me right in the face and it really changed my view on the series as a whole. If it's executed correctly, I think Magisterium will work at a whole new level and be a really great series to read. It really questions the rights and wrongs, morality and perceptions in life - adding depth to the plot as well. 

I do think if you are interested then definitely check it out, because you might enjoy it a lot more than me. I'll give the series a shot for sure, but it didn't carry wow factor for me. 




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