I Think

I think
Therefore I am
But I think
About the am
That I have become
And wonder if
Perhaps
Maybe
Just a little
This am
That I am
Is not the am
I have always been looking for.
I think
Therefore I am
But this am
Does not really think
Not the way am
Should think
In this world
Of poisonous
Splashtastic
Aesthetic
Trends
That still the spotlight
And overshadow
The simplicity
Of beauty
Stripped back
And bare
Plain as can be
A canvas–appreciated
No need to be created.
I think
Must think
And break
Away from this
Suffocating existence
Of trend
After trend
Of fashion
Over
style
And yet…
I am one
Who cannot run away
From this decorating phase
Who itches to change
And beautify
What is…
Beauty
As is.
I think
Therefore I am
When I can bear
To strip away
From the mainstream flows
Of peacocks
And roosters
Vibrant and beautiful…
And appreciate
The simple
Gentle
Plain beauty
Of basic white.

(Sorry guys I disappeared! You know I’ve been reading over some of my old poetry and truly, I love them a lot more than the ones I write now. They say ‘writing is a way of knowing’ (quoted from Gloria Park an academic in language studies who quoted from a man called Ivanic I believe) and right now I think I’m desperately clinging on to the thoughts I had in this poem: Voices of Yesterday at the same time, I think I’m just evolving. What do you think? I’ve been through some roughish patches and life’s gotten busy and even though I want to express something, I think…I just need the time to think. I miss the dreams of my older poems oh wow there’s a title for another poem! But will it work? Haha thanks again for dropping by for a read! )

Winter is coming.

Winter is coming,

I can feel it in my bones—

That definite chill

That clings to the air

And the ominous disappearance

Of the blue, blue sky.

Mornings are cold,

So much chillier

Than before.

The frigid air that wraps

Around the blanket cocoon

That keeps me warm

In the safety

Of the dreamscape

Where summer still exists.

I dread the early mornings

The same one every day

That is no different

But for the time of the year

And the sun

Yet to rise.

I wake up every morning

And sigh that heavy sigh

Wishing the summer

That had left

With all its

Horrid,

Inescapable heat,

Would come back

And warm my bones again

In a way that hot cocoa

Only achieves

For the space of twenty minutes.

Sometimes I just pretend

That autumn is still here

That it isn’t just an imagined phase

Of seasons

That this year chose

To skip over

And throw me into

The depths of winter

And its chilly hell.

There is an unidentifiable itch

At the back of my throat

Coupled with the later

Morning

Wake ups

And the constant need to

Moisten

The dry fields

Of parched land

At the back of my throat.

I sigh and think

With a heavy reluctance

Reaching for that

Soothing

Miracle—

The cough drop—

That maybe,

Just maybe,

I should accept

The chill that clings to my bones,

The midnight mornings,

And hot cups of comforting cocoa,

And maybe, just maybe

Winter is here.

Shadow Study. Maria V. Snyder.

23849140
Shadow Study
by Maria V. Snyder

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

(This review was actually done last year and chronicles my reading experience!)

F I R S T  I M P R E S S I O N S

Omg so it’s true, there are three more books! Well, I can’t say that I’m not excited, because I am, and because I really love the original three, but will they live up to my expectations? Yelena and Valek are my favouritest couple ever! I guess I’m excited?? But expectations…are hard to live up to sometimes.

update–16th Nov 2015 at 00:15am
loveeedddd this! missed this world so much!! Yelena, Valek, ari, Janco, everyone and everything!

more detailed review later!

U P D A T E
– 11am 16th Nov 2015

So technically it’s 4.5 stars but in this case, the rating doesn’t really matter because as a long time fan of this series, I loved this installment a lot! And my expectations weren’t disappointed (mainly because I really was soooo in the mood to read this).

Welcome back Yelena and Valek, and all the crew of the Study series. This time though, rather than simply being told from Yelena’s perspective, the story is alternated between Yelena, Valek and Janco. This was a nice change, and while I usually have reservations about one character being told in first person, and the others in third, Snyder blended it in pretty nicely. In many ways, Shadow Study is more Valek’s story than Yelena’s, as we learn so much about him than we ever had in previous books.

It never ceases to amaze me how easily I can slip into the Study series’ world. Comprised two countries: Ixia and Sitia, one North, the other South, one organised like a military with a Commander as its head, the other more relaxed and functioning with a Council and full support for the existence of magicians. Snyder doesn’t bog down the writing with long and winded, detailed and sometime painfully irritating descriptions of the world. Yet, somehow, it’s so very easy to imagine her worlds. Her details are brief yet somehow, oddly vivid. In a way, it helps that the original trilogy was written in first person, because it does, I feel, help the reader become immersed into the world a lot easier. Plus, Snyder had a nice way of providing info without the usual infodumping (in the lessons Yelena had with Valek way back in Poison Study).

This book is set across both lands. Which is great, though still, predominantly in Sitia, I was happy to see more of Ixia, since I missed seeing it in Magic Study and Fire Study.

Yelena, Valek, Janco, Ari, the Commander, the Master Magicians are all back! Along with more familiar faces! Good guys and bad guys alike!

The only difference though, is that it’s been eight years since the events of Poison Study. And it was both odd and normal to see Yelena as a 27 year old woman. It was a little strange, mainly because she didn’t sound any different or act any different to the original trilogy, yet, she is definitely older. Though, still, sometimes as immature as before (specially when she’s around her brother Leif). I liked that she was familiar, it made it all the more easier to re-engage with this series.

Valek. Oh Valek! I learnt so much about you this time. It was really nice to see your life before Yelena, and I like also, seeing your development, after all, we never really got to get to know you before not like this. Still, I really wonder how you’ll deal with all the problems you’re facing, and are coming at you next! And not to mention the cliffie at the end of this book.

Janco–I totally didn’t expect to read from his perspective, but that was interesting! But unlike Valek’s part, Janco’s is written like Yelena’s in the sense that it was action orientated rather than character building. Though, told from third pov perspective. As one of my favourite characters always simply because he has such a big mouth and is unable to ever sit still, it was nice seeing how he thought, and his attitudes to people.

Ari, more of a support than main, poor guy he didn’t get his own personal pov, but that’s alright! The little snippets of him and Janco were, like always, absolutely hilarious. They really make a great pair, and are one of my favourite comedy relief characters, such a good broship.

Other supporting characters: Opal and Devlen return, they were great to see! Opal is so mature and nice, I’d forgotten that. Devlen is still growing on me. Leif was the best! I mean someone really needs to figure out how to plug his stomach up. The Master Magicians, helpful but had a really small role. And the Commander. Oh, the Commander, what are you planning?

This was actually quite straightforward, and a little predictable, but it has that classic Snyder flavour of twists and turns, and sudden surprises. All the study books have a focus on mystery, so I’m not surprised that the majority of this book was also focussed on a problem that’s affecting both Ixia and Sitia.

Valek’s job, while he has always cherished it, since meeting Yelena, has thought about retiring. And while he’s always been challenged, there hasn’t been a challenger quite like this one. So while he’s worried about Yelena, he must also figure out the challenger, the Commander, and figure out what’s going on behind the smuggling operation.

Yelena’s magic is suddenly blocked, why? She doesn’t know, but for the book, she’s vulnerable. This plot development early on actually gave me the chance to see a side of Yelena I hadn’t seen before. It’s funny because the last time she had no magic was back in Poison Study, and for her to revisit that feeling, it’s such a scary thing for her. Yet she remains strong, even though for the most of this book, she feels lost. So while she’s trying to figure out what secret is lurking behind the recent breakout of a notorious prisoner, and trying to figure out what happened to her powers, she’s vulnerable to anything.

Very easy to read. Colloquial and not dense at all. Descriptive without being overly so! And Snyder has a nice way of leaving each chapter ending with a hook to make you keep reading! It’s also high fantasy. Definitely YA even though the main characters are beyond YA ages, however the writing and storyline is very YA. Complex enough for the genre, but not as complex and in depth like an adult novel.


Really enjoyed this installment–my opinion ladies and gents is unfortunately very biased based on the fact that I’ve loved this series for ages! If I was’t so biased, I might have rated this lower, maybe 4 stars, maybe 3.8 because although there was a lot going on, and although Snyder does a brilliant job with switching povs, there felt like something missing. But it was only such a slight small thing (I don’t know what it is), that I guess it doesn’t matter to me!

It’s a great YA high fantasy splashed with mystery. It has one of my favourite OTPs too. And it’s got a nice mix of serious characters and humorous ones so it doesn’t feel so heavy.

View all my reviews

Quarterly Book Club Updates!

Quarterly Reads 3

Ladies and gentlemen, it is official! The primary Book Reads for the next Quarterly Read (April/May/June) are well, quite interesting!

All Our YesterdaysOmen (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi, #2)Firefight (Reckoners, #2)Ready Player One

The top favourite poll read is All Our Yesterdays while in second place, we have Owen (Star Wars Fate of the Jedi #2), Firefight(Reckoners #2 by Brandon Sanderson), and Ready Player One (by Ernest Cline). Since we have 3 books score second place on the poll list, it seems dear members, you get to have a choice!

If you’re on our Goodreads Group then remember: The top two will be the selected reads for the Quarter. In addition, you may select two other books from the poll to read to make the 4 books total required for the Quarter.

When you finish reading the books/your choice books during the Quarter, you can go discuss it here:

All Our Yesterdays
Second Read
Your Choice Books discussion thread

Thank you guys to those who have been participating in the Quarter Reads so far!

Lastly, in preparation for this Quarter, don’t forget to make a challenge! Which you can do here:

Quarter 2 Challenge.

Thank you also to those who voted on our opinion! It seems that of those who voted, you would like another Freebie Reads Quarter sometime!

[A Further Note] We have a new feature on the Quarterly Book Club! Starting from today Sam and I have agreed, on the suggestion of one of our beloved group members, to open a thread for member reviews! This’ll be in a way, a trial run for now, but essentially this thread will allow any group members to share their reviews of any books they really liked or disliked :)). Follow the link:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/…

And that’s it Booklovers!

Good luck for this Quarter! Sam and I look forward to discussing this Quarter’s books you all!

Have a lovely week book lovers!

P.s. If you’re not on our Goodreads Group but would like to join in on the Quarterly Read with us, then just join!  Let Sam or I know by commenting, and just keep us updated.  

The Quarterly Book Club is designed for the busy reader, with Quarterly reading challenges as well as Yearly challenges for flexibility. It’s also a place for personal reading challenges, book discussions, and essentially sharing your book tastes with others of similar tastes. Although we mainly focus on YA novels, that does not mean that we don’t read Adult or Middle Grade novels.
▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇
Brought to you and hosted by Sam @ A History of Books and Nina @Words that Flow Like Water
▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇
Hopefully we’ll see you there :) Sam and I will be posting the challenges that we do over on the group here on wordpress and post any book related posts in our group.  We Hope You Can Join Us!!!  We really would love to see you there!

Top 5 Favourite Book Covers

Another totally random post!  I love the Top 5 theme, but as for the topics, I suppose I’m still figuring out whether I want to stay Books Only, or branch out to other favourites – so we’ll see!

Today’s topic is favourite book covers – this is so hard!!  I don’t even know where to start, but I suppose this top 5 will be my favourite standout book covers ever (and I think I’ll avoid repeating any covers noted in the other top 5 post for now!)

▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇

1.17234658

 ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇

Undoubtedly one of my absolute favourite book covers is A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray.  I also love the other covers in the series – they’re just as gorgeous.  I actually bought this book based on the cover, and also based on Sam’s (over at A History of Books) recommendation.  I’m really looking forward to reading this when I get round to it, which will probably be around the time when the third and final book comes out.  What I love about this cover is the blend of colours.  I really love the colour scheme here.  I love the watercolour texture – particular the way it makes the images of the two cities (the bottom more than the top) look as if they’ve been painted.  And I really love the simplicity of the font.

▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇

2.16069030

 ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇

Omg, yes.  The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is beautiful.  It truly is a very beautiful cover.  And I love it a WHOLE lot more than the new covers -> HERE.  I am a bit biased though because I read the books with the original (above) covers.  And when I think of Kestrel, I see a girl like the one in the cover.  The new covers ARE truly pretty and I think they’re awesome BUT I don’t think it represents the story.  In fact, I feel like they misrepresents the Winner’s Trilogy.  Kestrel is kickass, but it’s with her mind.  She just isn’t like the girl on the new covers.  The new covers make her look like an assassin, but the old ones give a sense of gentle distress, of silent conflict, and of a world of power and politics – the dress seems to represent to me a world of fashion, polite society.  I absolutely cannot wait until I read The Winner’s Kiss! 

▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇

3.13574417

 ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇

Alienated by Melissa Landers is a cover that really attracted me.  I think what I like about it most is the composition.  Then the sky in the centre, and then lastly the position of the people.  I think the name of this book also captures my attention. And there’s a sense of alienation between both the people on the cover.  This was a cover that made me really want to buy it, and I have plenty of plans to do so soon!

▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇

4. 18284908

▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇

Undeniably one of my favourite covers for the dress.  Look at that dress!  I love they way it just billows about, green amongst the sea of stars.  It’s really pretty!  I really love the blue of the starry sky.  The cover too really matches the story even though most of the story is actually situated on a deserted planet.  What I loved most about this story was the way both Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner approached the possibility of life beyond Earth.  And not just your usual humanoid life, but something that well, gave me a bit of the creeps.  The cover though, doesn’t quite translate that part into it, but on the whole symbolises the need that both the main characters had and needed from each other.

▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇

5.23266378

 ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇

And lastly, for now, is this beautiful cover.  I bought this book in part because of the cover, and on the other part, because of the story.  I’ve heard only good things about this story!  And it’s like a scientific approach to reincarnation.  From the premise on Goodreads, I also get the sense  of All Our Yesterdays (time travel).  I can really see the whole time after time thing in the cover, and I’m really excited to read this.  I think whoever designed it was and is a genius.

▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇

And those are my top five favourites!  What about you?  What are some of your all time favourite book covers?

▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇

Oh and to wrap up – some honourable mentions!

  • Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1) by Lauren DeStefano Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2) by Lauren DeStefano Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3) by Lauren DeStefano – The Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano
  • The Selection (The Selection, #1) by Kiera Cass The Elite (The Selection, #2) by Kiera Cass The One (The Selection, #3) by Kiera Cass The Heir (The Selection, #4) by Kiera Cass The Selection Stories The Prince & The Guard (The Selection, #0.5, 2.5) by Kiera Cass The Crown (The Selection, #5) by Kiera Cass – The Selection Series by Kiera Cass (though I dislike the Crown cover, because the dress looks way too big! The colour is nice though)
  • Matched (Matched, #1) by Ally Condie Crossed (Matched, #2) by Ally Condie Reached (Matched, #3) by Ally Condie – Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie
  • Eon (Eon, #1) by Alison Goodman Eona The Last Dragoneye (Eon, #2) by Alison Goodman – Eon Duology by Allison Goodman
  • Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) by Sarah J. Maas Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2) by Sarah J. Maas Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3) by Sarah J. Maas Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4) by Sarah J. Maas – Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas
  • Incarnate (Newsoul, #1) by Jodi Meadows Asunder (Newsoul, #2) by Jodi Meadows Infinite (Newsoul, #3) by Jodi Meadows – Newsoul Trilogy by Jodi Meadows
  • The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen, #1) by Jodi Meadows The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen, #2) by Jodi Meadows – Orphan Queen duology by Jodi Meadows
  • And more!

Fairest. Marissa Meyer.

22489107


Fairest
by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

I am so conflicted by Fairest. I loved diving back into this world, even if it was just a small snippet. And I liked seeing Levana’s story. But truly, this was just a novella.

(Er….warning, some spoilers ahead! But only a little – I think I’m a bit vague, but if you don’t like spoilers, avoid this altogether!)

In truth, I would have loved to see this story in more depth with even more detail. But at the same time, I liked this story the way it is.

This was Levana before we see her in Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter.

My very first impression when I finished the 220 page novella was that….that’s it?! No more?!

I won’t say that my first impression was that I loved it. Because I didn’t. I didn’t like that several years had passed (around a decade or so) in the space of 220 pages. It was too much of a skim than something more. And I think, if what I read in Fairest was any indication, then Levana probably could have had a full novel to herself. In some ways, I felt like comparing her to Darth Vader lol, only more of a ….sociopath.

Of late, I really love my villain stories. And I really want well crafted villain. All through the Main Lunar Chronicles series, I had my doubts about Levana, because she seemed so…two-dimensional. And yet, she also had the hints of a deeper backstory, of the why she became the opposition.

Fairest is Levana’s backstory. It’s the lead up to what made her tick. Truthfully, I would have loved to see this story woven into the main series. But it’s nice she got her own book.

What I love about this novella and this villain story, is of course, the making. The making of villain, to me, is more important than anything. And in fact they should probably be even more emphatic than the protagonist. Everyone knows the protag is going to be the good guy, the morally straight compass, the one who wants to save everyone (or at least, inadvertently saves everyone), whereas the villain and the antihero are usually doomed to lose.

Which is why I was excited to read Fairest. (And now, am seriously considering rereading Winter soon – maybe even rereading the whole series again.)


SO THE T H O U G H T S

[1] Story: Meyer weaves the story of Levana’s history from when she was a child to early adult hood thereabouts. The only major climax is Levana’s realisation that her husband doesn’t love her, and that her own thoughts had become so twisted to believe that she deserved everything she had. What I did love about the story was seeing how Levana meander into the depths of well…evilness. I don’t like using the word evil. Twisted is better. Yes. This story tells the tale of how Levana became so twisted. And it isn’t pleasant. Levana begins as an innocent, naive, somewhat neglected little girl living in the shadow of her older sister. However, she slowly descends into a twisted reality after what her sister did to her – tricking her into burning herself. the scars that mar her, haunt Levana, eating away at her confidence in herself until by the end of the novella, it becomes abundantly clear that Levana is too far gone. She has already convinced herself that she deserves it all, and that she would do anything to get it. Most importantly, Fairest highlights the people in her life that influenced the person she became.

[2] Character: Levana – I would like to say that she is a pitiful creature, but I can’t really bring myself to believe it. I feel for her. But I think the biggest impression that was left with me when I finished this novella was the hopeless feeling that this was a woman too far gone. Her mental state, and of course, Meyer’s brilliant writing, left me feeling haunted. Perhaps even frightened of this woman that Levana became. And I think, this was something that didn’t really translate in the main Lunar Chronicles (there, she seemed less fleshed out, and more shallow). But here, I saw it vividly. How unhealthy her thoughts became after what her sister did to her. And then afterwards, just because she took a kind gesture too deeply, events unfolded into a twisted reality for Levana. Twisted to everyone but herself. To Levana who only wanted to be loved, found what she couldn’t have, and rather than leaving as it was, she took it. Made the man her husband. Even though this man…didn’t love her at all, and though he resisted, Levana made him. I think, for the majority of this story, I was frustrated with Evret for the way things unfolded. He made several errors – some which he could not be blamed for, but ultimately to which lead to the events after.

As I’m writing this, I can still remember the way Levana acted, and it’s kind of frightening. A girl with immense glamour abilities who can manipulate the way you think, who is scarred by her past, physically and psychologically, always lonely, undoubtedly might mistake his actions. It’s kind of scary. Especially when Evret was just being nice. He didn’t know how psychologically messed up Levana was. And Levana, to ease any guilt she felt about what she did and was doing told herself excuses that eventually she believed. The same way her sister had excused what had happened to her.

So I guess I need to hand it to Meyer for doing this with Levana.

[3] Romance: It’s not really romance, but to Levana it is! To everyone else, it’s clear that Evret doesn’t love her the way she thinks she loves him. It’s kind of sad really. I actually really did somewhat feel sorry for Levana, well after I got over the twisted nature of her thoughts, and worked my way through the feeling of I-need-to-get-out-of-this-poisonous-mind. But in many ways, I wish Evret had done something earlier. Except, how could he do that when Levana is the way she is? And this was the problem. I think I really liked Evret, but in the end, he was like the guy with all the bad luck in some horror film who managed to make it through the movie while dealing with the crazy one.

Other T H I N G S

This doesn’t have to be read before Winter, but you could and it might enlighten you a little.

I would DEFINITELY have loved to read a novel sized version of Levana’s story and did felt like the novella didn’t fully do enough justice to the story. Like with Star Wars: Lost Stars, the way this story was told and the feeling I got, just made me feel like it was just a ‘filler’ and not really a story in its own right. And in many way it is a filler, but still, this is Levana’s story.

Is it just me, or did it feel like there was something perhaps…missing? Maybe the thing I feel that’s missing might be related to the above paragraph, but still, there is something that just nags at me!

O V E R A L L

An interesting insight to the mind of Levana. Can’t wait to read Stars Above.

P.s. Apologies for any typos present!

View all my reviews