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.
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Brought to you and hosted by Sam @ A History of Books and Nina @Words that Flow Like Water
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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!
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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!)

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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.

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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! 

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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!

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4. 18284908

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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

On The Cliff Edge

I stood upon the cliff edge,
my hair lifting in the breeze.
The sun is setting on the horizon,
and the sea is vengefully cruel below
Smashing waves upon waves
against the cliff face,
angrily protesting
yet quietly warning
In the undercurrent
Of a storm approaching.
Where are the clouds?
They’re hanging over my head.
I look up,
Terrified—
A scream plastered on face
Etched by the hands that frame it
Like an infamous scream
That we all know.
I feel it crumble
breaking apart,
One eye at a time
One finger at a time
Piece by piece
My shattered self rests
Upon the green grass
As the sun sets on the horizon.
A glow of indelible warmth
Casts shadows over my shattered self,
Leaving me bereft
Alone
Incapable of redemption…
I cannot hate
Cannot love
Will not want this shattered state.
Where is my salvation?
I look for it in you—
And think of all the princes,
And knights,
And horses,
That fill those fairy tales.
I realise then,
Standing on that cliff
With the breeze in my hair
And the stars in my eyes
Above me,
Watching over me,
I am my own salvation
My hero
My savior.
The sun will rise tomorrow
Even if I fall down
And suffocate.
The sun will rise again
And the memory of me
Will be lost in time
As a pleasant memory.
Somehow, some way,
I piece together the pieces
That are floating in the wind—
I will catch each one,
No matter how hard,
And if I fall,
Embraced by the water,
Somehow, some way
I will swim back to shore,
To stand on that cliff again
And feel the breeze
Ruffling through my hair.

 

Quote #192

From Molière…

Molière

“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.”

[ Note: I hope this is true haha, because I consider my thesis a tree!  As opposed to a raging out of control beast (I hardly think it’s a beast, why something so animalistic for?  lol ]

Top 5 Favourite Book Series.

Totally random post (and I have no idea what day I’m scheduling this for!), but I felt like sharing 5 of my favourite book series.  Since I’m only going for 5, they’re probably all going to be YA.  But I do have some favourite adult books and of other genres!

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  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) by J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3) by J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4) by J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) by J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6) by J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) by J.K. Rowling

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Harry Potter! Of course, I LOVE this series. It takes an undebateable top spot on this list simply because this was the first series I ever read and loved to bits. Even though when I first came in contact with this series, I was around 7 or 8?  I had it read to me, because I was at a point where I couldn’t read it for myself yet. But by the time Prisoner of Azkaban came out, I was reading the books on my own, over and over again.  So of course, this series takes the number one spot on my top five favourite series.  How can it not?  😛

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2.  A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1) by Libba Bray Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle, #2) by Libba Bray The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3) by Libba Bray

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Next on the list would have to be the Gemma Doyle Trilogy. This is on here because it was the first YA series I read during highschool. I’d love to say I read books every single day since I first encountered HP but truthfully, I stopped for a while for a variety of reasons. And because I stopped, I wanted to get back into the swing of things. And doing that, I started with standalones like Just Listen (Sarah Dessen), The Truth about Forever (Sarah Dessen) and Thirteen Reasons Why (Jay Asher). But the Gemma Doyle Trilogy was my first series. And I LOVED it for the historical setting. LOVED it for its gothic story. LOVED the ending even though it was somewhat heartshattering.  But it was also the first time I had ever encountered a story that did not end in happy ever after (if you’ve read this series, then you’ll understand what I mean!)

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3. Poison Study (Study, #1) by Maria V. Snyder Magic Study (Study, #2) by Maria V. Snyder Fire Study (Study, #3) by Maria V. Snyder Shadow Study (Soulfinders, #1) by Maria V. Snyder Night Study (Study, #5) by Maria V. Snyder Dawn Study (Soulfinders, #3) by Maria V. Snyder

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Next would have to be the Study Series. This holds a special place in my heart for being so awesome.  I think what I loved about this series was that Yelena is the main character.  Despite her hard history, she is able to stand on her feet and keep trying.  Although she falls in love, their romance is not the sole focus of the whole story.  I love how it’s there, and yet, doesn’t take over the whole show!  Not to mention that this was perhaps one of the first series where I decided to read it again right after I had just finished it.  How did I come across it?  I think I was looking for stories that involved assassins – in particular female, since I really was in the mood.  This wasn’t it, but it came up in the search, and I figured I’d give it a try.  It was also one of the first few books in which I actually did not mind the larger age gap between the main protagonist and her love interest.

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4. Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2) by Marissa Meyer Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3) by Marissa Meyer Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5) by Marissa Meyer Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) by Marissa Meyer Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer

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Even though I’ve only read this series recently, it definitely deserves a place on my list of favourite series for simply being amazing.  I think it’s one of the most creative retellings I’ve ever come across in a long time.   l love the mesh of science fiction, fairy tales, and imperfect characters.  The romances are also very adorable.  But what holds this series together, is the well planned out plot.  Some of it was very predictable, but there was enough emotion to keep the roller coaster going.  I had to consume each book as quick as possible, and I think, asides from the other books on this list, this is something I haven’t done for a long time (or so it feels like!)

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5. Obernewtyn (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #1) by Isobelle Carmody The Farseekers (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #2) by Isobelle Carmody Ashling (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #3) by Isobelle Carmody The Keeping Place (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #4) by Isobelle Carmody The Stone Key (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #5) by Isobelle Carmody The Sending (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #6) by Isobelle Carmody The Red Queen (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #7) by Isobelle Carmody

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I include the Obernewtyn series here as well because I feel I need to add at least one Australian author on my list.  And there aren’t many Australian authors with series I wanted to list that I’ve finished.  But Obernewtyn, though I started it late, is definitely a long time favourite of mine.  I forgive the somewhat slow ending because I love, love love what Carmody does with her story here.  Not only is it a great story that features heavy themes about Being Kind to Animals and whatnot, Carmody does something really special with the language.  As a linguist, I don’t see this kind of creativity very often.  Most other authors who’ve written books set in the future and are considered YA don’t really give much attention to the language. But language, people! is tied with our existence, and it does not truly remain the same.  It evolves!  It would definitely look different in the near and distant future.  Carmody knows language.  It’s beautiful.  I think this was probably one of the reasons why I was really attracted to her story (that and all my favourite characters!)  She even gives the animals a really believable language system too!  And this is why I also love the Obernewtyn series (not just the story!), it’s because of her approach to the language.

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

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Oh and to wrap up – some honourable mentions!

Open Your Eyes My Love.

Open your eyes
My love
And see beyond
What separates us.
It is so lonely
Without your
Firm
And gentle gaze
Upon all
That I am.
Open your hands
My sweet
And accept the beauty
I give.
Let me feel
The endless warmth
Of your heart
In your
Ethereal touch.
Open your mouth
My darling
And taste the future
That still exists.
Do not yearn
For what was lost
And hide
Under covers
Hiding your beauty
From world that needs it.
Open your ears
My precious one
And hear the song
Of endless love.
Forever it shall sound
High among the stars
In a song of the universe
That exists in
A time
Beyond time–
In worlds
Beyond worlds.
Open your eyes
My love
And know that I
Will always be there for you
Even if you cannot see me.
Open your eyes
And see the world
That lives
Breathes
Exist
Around you–
Can you see me now?