A woman of her own right. 55 Fiction.

There were so many things she could do.  She could punch him.  She could yell at him.  She could cry.  She could beg him.  But none of that was necessary.  It was too late.

Looking him in the eyes, a woman of her own right, she said, “good bye.”

Gathering her bags, she walked out.

[N.B.] Wow.  It has seriously been a long time since I’ve written a 55 fiction story.  But it looks like I might just be writing some more now!  I sure as hell missed writing them.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Ransom Riggs.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My face —> -_________________________-

In truth, I’m not sure what I was expecting when I picked up this novel for the Quarterly Book Club’s 3rd Quarter Read. All I knew was that this book has a tonne of reviews, supporters, lovers, and is currently on sale on Book Depository (love that site!) Other than that, I knew nothing. And thus had no expectations when I started reading it. I got through 85 pages relatively engaged, but not dying to continue reading it, and then I put it down for two weeks, and sought out something else to read.

-______________________________-

Nothing blew my mind away. And with two days before Miss Peregrine’s is due at the library, I came back. I came back and finished it today, while I was procrastinating. I didn’t finish it quickly because it was the most mind blowing book I’d ever read. I finished it because I had to finish it. If I owned it, I’d probably leave it for a long time. Since really, I wasn’t overly ecstatic.

Why?

Here is why:

[1] Jacob starts as a semi-strong character. I did love him in the beginning, I did love the way he talked about his grandpa. That was my favourite part of the whole book. But then, my interest in him as a character waned. When he meets all the other peculiar children, it dips completely. If I knew exactly why I lost interest in him, this would be so much easier to explain. But it could have been a number of things. The fact that he ends up kissing the same girl his grandpa liked. The fact that I no longer felt like I was getting to know what kind of person Jacob was. The fact that of all things, Jacob’s father doesn’t really seem to care about him! That he kind of gives up, and while yeah there were so many scenes in the book highlighting how much Jacob’s father cared about him, I just didn’t feel it. Each scene felt like they’d been thrown in casually and not really useful. So by the end, I felt Jacob lacked depth.

[2] The story on the whole is nothing overly special, the plot is pretty generic, however I have no gripes about it. I never was one to really care whether there’s some fascinating plot or not. It’s the emotions that get me in books (emotions that the second half of this book really lacked). I do like that while Jacob is special, he isn’t overly special, because you see it from the beginning where his peculiarity comes from. And as for the climax, it was both unpredictable and predictable. Maybe I’m in one of those moods, and things just hit me quicker or something, because I saw the twist coming, felt the foreshadowing long before it came. So when it hit, it was only a mild surprise, but not really overly surprising.

[3] This book suffers from too much sea. It coasts. Coasts a lot. There are action scenes, and intense moments of mystery, but I never really felt the spark. For this, I feel it’s the fault in the writing. Again, it might just be because I felt that the writing was too simplistic, hence why I didn’t jump when certain things happened, or when the action kicked in. In many ways, I think I would have loved this a lot if I was younger. It just didn’t have the same excitement I’m used to feeling with a really good book.

But then again, it might just be me, ya know? One of those moods where I don’t want to appreciate something that is loved by a lot of people. Or maybe I’m just coming along with an unpopular opinion.

[4] -_____________________________- This book has been misleadingly been advertised as a horror book on Book Depository. IT IS ANYTHING BUT HORROR. Supernatural, yes. Paranormal, yes. Thriller? For like a ten year old, yes! But for me, who has seen her fair share of horror movies, I do not think it’s scary at all. Anything but. Again, I blame the writing here. It’s too simplistic. It feels like it’s constantly holding back on really bringing out the utmost potential this book has. And yet….at the same time, in my indecisive mood, this book has reached its utmost potential.

[5] Other characters. Emma was pretty kickass, but like with any book written from a male perspective, sometimes I really hate female representations. Sure, Emma was not as bad as a few others, and she was actually pretty cool, but seriously. I CAN’T TELL HOW OLD SHE’S SUPPOSED TO BE. Seriously, is she like ten? And even if she’s fifteen like Jacob, then she’s got a very sharp personality, which makes her both kickass and annoying, depending on my mood, she can be both lol.

[6] The world/mythology/fantasy. It was interesting. I liked the development, and I liked where it went with the whole ‘peculiars’ and ‘hollows’. I wouldn’t say it’s original, but I will say it was a pretty original way of executing a familiar kind of parallel of good and evil. I think I liked it more for the story that came with how hollows came about. It’s not just an ”evil’ version of peculiars. Hollows came from somewhere, and how they came to be, was something I was really grateful to see in the story. I think I liked the execution of the story as well.

Overall it was still an interesting read. I wouldn’t call it YA, or Horror, but as a teen book, aimed at a younger audience, it’s definitely a Suggestive Read. Since others might like this more than I did.

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Random Music Moment #146

So just the other day I had issues with what kind of song I would blog about for the RMM.  Lately, I haven’t really been inspired by music lately, and it’s no wonder, since everything feels very similar lately, and also, my usual perkiness has been in the dips for one reason or another!  (One of which is the fact that I’ve started postgrad, and the stress of starting a new, different level of learning is getting to me, just like with various other things that are new.  I can’t help it, it’s just who I am.  Though strangely,  I have been worrying so much about a variety of things lately, that I’m losing myself of the rubble of worry that I’m beginning to despise.)  But yesterday, I was having a nice lazy evening in front of the couch, not in the mood much, and my eyes were drooping–I don’t know my limits, but with the recent change in my sleeping schedule, my body is being rebellious and uncooperative haha!–I decided to amuse myself with a variety of fun but sort of rather farfetched quizzes (now I’ve forgotten which site it was, but usually these Quizzes are like ‘which movie is based on your life?’ ‘We can guess your age in 5 questions’ and if those of you have followed my twitter feed, you’ll have seen me tweet about a couple of quiz results.

The first one was about the brain, whether it’s more male than female, etc (turns out my brain is 75% male and only 25% female if I were to really believe it.  Which I partly do, since I’ve noticed that I find typical ‘female’ (if I were to stereotype it) behaviour as really annoying and pointless.  In saying that, I also find myself doing the same things every now and then.  No surprise, I am female after all!  The Quiz about what kind of weather my anger is like, seemed pretty accurate.  I do feel like my anger is like lightning and thunder.  When I get angry, I do yell, I also spark and say things I don’t entirely want to say aloud, generally provocative, and I cry.  Sometimes.  A couple of people I know have anger that’s like a silent storm–quiet, yet raging internally, or like a volcano, simmering for a long time, before finally erupting!  Mind you, it’s no surprise I turned out the way I did with my anger, particularly when the people around me generally like to go silent–see why I end up saying provocative things?  I don’t like the silence, so I get angry, worked up, and try and provoke a certain number of people out of their silence to respond to me.  And while I generally feel better, and in control, sometimes I regret it (there’s only so much you can say before you push someone over the ledge).

But anyway, moving away from my angry habits, since I’m sure you all don’t really care and I’m blabbering on since I suddenly feel in the mood to stretching my fingers on my keyboard and avoid other work by procrastination, let me get to today’s RMM.

One of the random quizzes I took yesterday, purely out of curiosity was called ‘What song was written about you?”  And with these quizzes, the answers to the questions are pretty limited, and sometimes you wonder why you’re doing something so stupid.  Yet it’s really fascinating and fun seeing how these quizzes can sketch this image of you based on your answers to the questions they provide.  Some people only do each Quiz once and take that result, me, I’m not that superstitious, and nor do I really care.  I just do the quizzes for fun even though some are just so silly!  When I took the song Quiz though, I was surprised to find that I didn’t disagree with it.  Sure, some of the results on the other quizzes had me wondering….um?  For example, I did one quiz and it said I was introspective/introverted.  Did another (similar but different direction and objective) and it told me that I was a very social person.  Granted, I can be both–I’m Pisces after all, two fishes, drawn almost like Yin and Yang, a constant cycle of positive and negative, and one of the most sociable, easy going signs on the whole astrological chart.  Even if I don’t religiously follow the Star Signs, I’m aware of them (I’m not religious at all), and while I generally don’t believe in horoscopes and stuff, and feel like all the star signs are pretty general about their categorisations, even I have to say I’m definitely a Pisces girl through and through.  We hide our emotions, and relatively easy to talk to.  We worry obsessively, yet also accept the rational logic behind things.  We are generally happy people (I sure as hell want to be happy more than depressed in my life!) and we have our many weaknesses, usually tied with self, and usually related to indecisiveness, daydreaming, etc.  Again, very general, very stereotypical, but half the time I look at what one might write about a pisces personality, and it’s nice to see it so straightforwardly written out.

Oh boy, it seems I really am in a mood to stretch my writing today!  What I like about the result from my Song Quiz is the title of the song itself.  Plus, it’s also a song I know, and I love how powerful it is.  While I haven’t been in a relationship which makes me reminisce with the intricate details of the song’s contents, the title says it all.  Through thick and thin, though rough and happy times, through the hardest moments, choices, over the bridges I might have to cross, I will survive.  Nothing is the end of the world.  And even if it feels like it, there’s always something else.  Just don’t wallow about in a misery just because you’re afraid of making the next step.  You can see how you can be happy, and all you have to do is take that giant step out, and swing that arm.  Knock back the obstacle that’s holding you back.

That’s what I must remember.  And when I heard that song yesterday as the result of the quiz that took, I kind of laughed at the coincidence.  I guess I needed this reminder too!  Alongside my famous Quote post from yesterday this was just one more thing to push me.  Nag me.  And hopefully, yank me out of the circle of thoughts that have been going on in my head lately!

Finally, finally, after all my above ranting, today’s Random Music Moment is:  I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor.  A good old classic.

Quote #177

From Sun Tzu (Art of War)…

Sun Tzu

“You have to believe in yourself. ”

[N.B] It feels like I need to be reminded of this over and over.  I have so many bridges to cross right now, but each one feels just as big as the other.  SO.  This is today’s famous quote.  Also from Sun Tzu!

The Last Wish. Andrzej Sapkowski.

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The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.8 Stars–Not quite 4 (I was sooooo disappointed in the last short story, I thought they were going to kill each other, but they didn’t!!!!), but it was still a really good read over all.

This book series was recommended to me by a friend. I didn’t think I would start reading it so soon, but then I did. Though because it’s a series of short stories interwoven into a bigger story, I put it down and picked it up every so often. Not to mention I was reading the ebook version, and lord knows I generally find reading on a screen a pain in the butt. However, I finished it. And I did like it. I would definitely read the second, and the third, and more just to see where it goes.

The character, ‘the Witcher’ fascinates me, though in this book there is a lack of depth to his character. At the same time, you couldn’t say there was no depth either. It feels like in this book, Geralt is a figure, slightly blurred, somewhat a mystery. We have insights to his past through the short stories, but that isn’t the focus of the short stories. Not really. Yet also, really, since with each story, you learn a little more about the Witcher, about his choices and regrets. Particularly in the short story The Lesser Evil, where the Witcher had to choose, and ultimately hadn’t made the right choice, and in the story, A Question of Price in which more is revealed about Geralt’s character.

Geralt the Witcher is the main focus of the whole book. The last short story in the book, highlights the title of the book, and bloodyyyyy hell that was some story! (More in a minute on it!) Geralt’s job is to essentially exterminate monsters–demons, malicious supernatural beings, etc. And hence, with each short story, you see him performing a task. He is a Witcher by destiny, and not really by choice–something I want to know more about. As a fan of backstories, in depth character building, and plot twists that tie the character in with the story so deeply, I just drooolll, I really want to see the moment when I find out everything about Geralt’s past. Specially after hearing this about him from a secondary character in A Question of Price:

He knows the law better than anyone else, because it applied to him once…. He was taken from his home because he was what his father hadn’t expected to find on his return. Because he was destined for other things. And by the power of destiny, he became what he is. (At 49%)

Little things like that know how to snatch at my heart and catch my interest. And like always I kind of really hate it.

In the beginning, I had very little, close to no expectations of this book. I generally don’t, specially if they’re recommendations. Not to mention in beginning this book, it was kind of slow, and the switching between short story, and present telling, was kind of confusing. However, once I got into the flow of the story, and when my mind decided to wake and click to the fact that the short stories are related to the little in between pieces that are being told in the present, I became more invested in this book. Sometimes I have no idea what catches my attention, let alone, what the hell I’m reading even though I’m reading it. This was one of those times. But when things started clicking, and I read the Lesser Evil, I started to really like this book. It had my attention that’s for sure (though admittedly the use of short stories had me putting this down every so often since, after all, why should I read all these short stories at once? I felt like hoarding them for a bit!) and I was definitely engaged to read all the way through to the end!

However, and this is the problem with adopting this method of narration–a major plot, with short story intervals–is that the short stories end. And sometimes they end kind of awkwardly or whatnot. Not that Sapkowski’s did. I won’t lie, I AM STILL BUMMED BY THE WAY THE LAST WISH SHORT STORY ENDED, WHY DIDN’T THEY KILL EACH OTHER???? Am I cruel? There was just so many mentions of Yennefer prior to that short story, and
I thought it was a bad thing…..then again, in that short story, it ended well. I just really got the impression that something else happened….

Either way, it was still a good short story, and the ending of the whole book was still good, with promise of more adventure and witcher duties in the next one.

My biggest desire for this series, is to see what happens to Geralt and how he grows. Therefore, I will read the next book primarily for that reason. While it’s not the best fantasy I’ve ever read, it’s not the worse either. THIS main character does not want pity or forced sympathy from me unlike Kvoth from The Name of the Wind–I really didn’t like him, or that book much, even though it’s not a bad book. The Witcher, is just what he is, the Witcher. He’s not overdone, his weaknesses are real and believeable, he is confident, yet he is also not confident. He doesn’t brag or boast, but is modest about his skills. He actually uses his brain too, and falls prey to his own desires and missteps. He has a crutch that prevents him from doing some things, and you know what, he kind of reminds me of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell portrayal) from the TV Show Arrow–well that interpretation!

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Reality

There are some days

I just want to huddle

In a dark corner of my room

And think

‘how scary’

The world is.

There are some days

Where I just want to scream

In frustration

Of all the red tape

I’m seeing.

There are just some days

I feel the unease in my bones

A foreboding premonition

That might never come true

Just by reading a few words.

There are some days

I find myself staring

At nothing in particular

Wondering about tomorrow

Thinking about today

Reminiscing about simpler times

When yes and no

Right and wrong

Correct or incorrect

Needed no proof

Needed only trust

Had softer consequences.

There are some days

When all these fears

And realities

Come crashing down

A feeling of hopeful despair

Sends our convictions

Wavering in the wind

And leave us wondering if

We are achieving

Our means to our ends

That we are living

And not just

Existing in reality.

A Thousand Things to Say #4

A Thousand Things to Say #3 — Your hurt is my hurt, you are not alone in this world.

Life is big ball of unpredictable events.  Your heart is a squishy, constantly beating, prone to cholesterol and all kinds of abuse if taken for granted, organ in your body.  Your mind might control how you think but if something happens to your heart, then it’s potentially over–if for a second we ignore the existence of medical genius.   If for a second we believe we live in a world where we cannot rely on anything or anyone to look after our bodies.  I’d think probably life would be simpler.  No one would be telling you that your heart’s weak, no one would tell you you’re going to die.  Maybe you might feel it inside yourself that there’s something wrong, but ultimately, you probably wouldn’t know for sure and keep living life as it is.  Hopefully, happily.

But these days, life is so evolved, so constantly busy, generally quite fast paced.  There are expectations, possibly thousands more than in a world where there was no such thing as technology.  Being constantly connected, there’s that expectation that you have to be constantly available.  It’s no wonder I enjoy the times when I get to escape from all the busy, busy, busy, bustling constantly demanding demands of various aspects of my life.

But at least I get a reprieve.  Lately I’ve been thinking about people who don’t really get that chance.  Such as family, such as particular friends, who by nature, cannot just ‘let it go’.  Who cannot just ignore things.  For me, I like to think I’m a pretty laid back, easy going kind of person who doesn’t think badly about a person all the time.  Granted sometimes I will judge on sight, based on previous experiences however that doesn’t mean I won’t give that person a chance for me to like them.   But some people aren’t like that,and it pains me.

Some people take things too personally, and while yes, sometimes the situation calls for it because  it was totally warranted!  And therefore, we must defend ourselves to be able to be confident in ourselves, but then other times, it’s just not worth it.  And I watch on the sidelines, and it pains me to see someone picking/extending a fight beyond the necessary.  It pains me, knowing that it’s just a  misunderstanding.  It pains me to know I could do something but I don’t.  I don’t because I know if I step in, it’ll make it worse.  And when it gets worse, the casualties left behind…we take on a brunt of helplessness.  We see your pain but cannot heal it.  We want to help but know better than to say ‘it’ll be okay’ because your pain is a pain that only you can face and that only you can heal.

This time round, this is a little similar to what I wrote for A Thousand Things to Say #3 and no doubt that it is.  I find that to be able to live happily in this world it is important to remember that we cannot exist alone.   If you hold a grudge for a lifetime, if you are constantly hating one thing, and then another thing, and another, you slowly eliminate the possibilities of being happy.  You isolate yourself and hold yourself apart because eventually every single thing has done at least ‘something’ wrong to you, hence your grudge.  But what kind of world would you be living in if you did that?  And then there are the times when you might take something too personally, are too hotheaded to hold back–again, fair enough, we all have our taboos, we all have out sensitive red buttons–and all you want to do is fight back, but you’re scared, so your fear overtakes you and it becomes an obsession, slowly stealing your life bit by bit.  There are many things to be afraid of in this world.  But do you really want your fears to take over your life?  The object of fear can be removed, but would be happier?  Life is full of choices.  Lately, sometimes I’ve been feeling and contemplating particular choices.  One of which puts me in a position where I wonder ‘should I stay and wear it out?’ or ‘have I had enough?’

When I first started writing this post, someone very close to me was going through a difficult time.  She was stressing over a problem that often pops up every now and then.  However this is not a problem due to external reasons, rather it is a personal problem, from my perspective.  It works her up, stresses over it, and while for me, I don’t want to let this ‘thing’ go due to my own selfish reasons, I have considered doing so to appease her, because every time I watch her stress over it, hear her yelling for no particular reason except for something very trivial, it hurts me.  I feel it in my chest, this painful squeezing, and it draws dark thoughts about whether it’s worth it, to maintain the situation as it is.  Sometimes I wonder if she knows that her overreaction and stresses affect me.  And because, up until recently, we never really ‘talked’ about the more stressful topics such as this one (admittedly, I’m a bit of a crybaby sometimes, particularly when I hold something close to me, and when it comes to people close to me), I never entirely understood her feelings.

And when we did talk, I understood her a little better.  It became clearer to me that she stressed that much, not just for her own sake, but because she had also considered my own selfish reasons.  And because on occasion (once again, admittedly, I can be quite devilish when I’m angry) I say things without thinking (if it’s a mean/bad thing, once I come to my senses I will apologise, but usually what I say when I’m angry are true facts which, as you should know, aren’t things that always want to be heard, and can be very painful), I put her in a complicated situation.  While I can’t guarantee that I won’t be putting her in such situations again, and she to I, I know I will try harder to express it better.

Going back to A Thousand Things to Say #3  I’ve already said it before, it’s important to forgive.  Just as it is important to talk to each other.  You are not alone in this world.  It is hard, sometimes to talk about yourself.  Not all of us like to share the deepest, darkest hates that resides in our hearts.  But sometimes, you just need to let it out, before it eats you up.  Because when it’s eating you up, it’s bound to be hurting the people around you too, and sometimes, that’s worse than holding  it in.