3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge (Day 3)

Finally over! Thank you again, Bea @ When Curiosity Killed The Cat for nominating me. It’s been so much fun to do this!

The rules are simple:

  1. Post 3 quotes for 3 consecutive days.
  2. Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  3. Nominate three new bloggers for the challenge.

This is a quote from one of my favorite books of all time, written by such a lovely, talented writer who I adore. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson:

“Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn't happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn't seem broken at all.

I nominate the following bloggers to do the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge:

  1. Meg and Maddi @ MegaMad4Books
  2. Lynn @ LynnsBooks
  3. The Lovely Folks over @ BookGossips

That’s all! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share my most beloved quotes with you all! Happy reading and see you in my next post! x

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3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge (Day 2)

Thanks once again to Bea @ Curiosity Killed The Cat for nominating me for this challenge!

The rules are simple:

  1. Post 3 quotes for 3 consecutive days.
  2. Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  3. Nominate three new bloggers for the challenge.

This is a quote from one of my favorite authors of all time, Warsan Shire:

“Perhaps, the problem is not the intensity of your love, but the quality of the people you are loving.”

I nominate the following bloggers to do the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge:

  1. Charlotte @ Firefly Reads
  2. Yasmine @ The Yasmine Public Library
  3. Chrissi @ Chrissi Reads

See you for my next quote! Happy reading. x

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

17675462Title: The Raven Boys
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Supernatural
How I got it: I bought an eBook.

SYNOPSIS:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love… or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

 

REVIEW:
How to even begin?

This book has been around for a long time before I decided to pick it up. Mostly, it’s because of Tumblr and all the quirky edits about the series that I’ve encountered while reblogging photos of cats. I mean, a book series getting that much traction in a website full of picky, easily offended people must be really something for a whole community to collectively love. So I decided, why not? I jumped right into that bandwagon and read the book.

… And I was not disappointed.

At least, not that much. I like the story as a whole, and the characters are colorful and lively. A houseful of psychic women, a gang of rich, good-looking boys, a quirky female character… what’s not to like, right?

The plot basically goes like this: Blue is a non-psychic in a house of psychics. She’s basically an anomaly, but she’s like a conductor, so to speak, in the sense that she can amplify psychic powers for some unknown reason. Growing up, she’s always been told that if she kisses her true love, he’ll die.

Gansey is a rich guy with a clueless kind of demeanor, especially towards the less fortunate. He’s very interested (obsessed) with ley lines, and quite obviously she’s Blue’s true love. He’s a nice guy overall, really determined, a great friend, but he’s doomed to die because he will be inevitably attracted to Blue which will bring on his tragic demise. It sounds a little shallow, put like that. But before the whole tragic demise thing, a lot of other stuff happens which add substance to the story.

As I’ve said previously, what I like best about this book is the characters. Mainly, the Raven Boys. In my opinion, they really make the story with their contrasting characters adding some serious weight and texture to the plot. I like that they’re easily distinguishable from each other not only due to physical attributes, but due to expert characterization. Stiefvater managed to breathe life into these four boys and make them unforgettable, almost tangible characters that you can’t help but love.

It’s really hard not to play favorites so I will. I have to admit now that I’m Noah Czerny trash. This poor boy with his big heart, who was the first one to love Blue when she became part of the gang just because he’s the sort of guy who would automatically be attached to a person who’s nice. He didn’t have any agenda for welcoming Blue with open arms, unlike Adam. He did it because he’s just genuinely warm. Noah Czerny is precious and important and in my mind, I’ve pictured him looking like Niall Horan. I’m so sorry, but it can’t be erased.

Ronan is another one. You know those people you know you’re supposed to stay away from but for some reason you can’t? Yeah. That’s him. You’ll rationalize with yourself that it’s wrong, wrong, wrong. But you will be inexplicably drawn to him like a moth to a flame, and you’d rather burn than be far apart. To explain better, here’s my favorite quote pertaining to Ronan Lynch:

“Gansey had once told Adam that he was afraid most people didn’t know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves.”

Do you know what I mean? Do you get it now? Ugh. I don’t know any better way to explain, but if Ronan Lynch was an actual person that I know, I’d be in big trouble.

Adam and Gansey are alright. They each have their moments. Sometimes Gansey manages to shine and set my heart a-flutter, but they’re both not as remarkable to me as the other two.

It’s Blue that I have a problem with, though.

I don’t know but she seems like a frail copy of Frankie Landau Banks. Actually, if you think about it, The Raven Boys is a bit like E. Lockhart’s book in a sense that it’s about a girl who dreamed to belong in a man’s world. Only that Blue succeeded where Frankie failed, which I can’t really credit to Blue since it’s more for the fact that The Raven Boys are a much nicer bunch than the Basset Hounds of Frankie’s boarding school.

Blue is like a faded photocopy of Frankie, a much less intelligent ghost. She lacks Frankie’s ingenuity and is sometimes rather annoying even when she’s trying to come across as the epitome of girl power. This is the reason why I can’t give this book a 5-coconut rating. It feels so much like a tapestry of stories that other authors succeeded in telling (The Gemma Doyle trilogy comes to mind. A group of girls in a boarding school playing at magic and managing to transport themselves in an otherworldly realm, just like The Raven Boys with the ley lines and Cabbeswater.) and Stiefvater is trying to piece together to form a literary masterpiece, only that it didn’t quite work all that well.

Don’t get me wrong, The Raven Boys is still all kinds of amazing, and fantasy-wise, it’s quite remarkable considering the plethora of others we currently have in YA. The Supernatural element is fantastically executed, but it feels familiar, and not in a good way. It feels like stories I’ve heard before, disguised as something else by wearing a new jacket.

Still, I’m giving this book 3 coconuts. 3 for Stiefvater’s undeniable talent in writing a beautiful prose, 3 for Noah and Ronan and Blue’s mom, Maura, for all the feelings they evoked in me, and 3 for the fact that I finished this book in one sitting. But I’m withholding the other two stars because of a somewhat questionable claim at originality.

Finally, I recommend this book to all lovers of YA Fantasy, doomed love stories, sharp-as-knife characters, and supernatural aficionados. I personally think that I get what the hype is all about, and maybe the comparisons I’ve drawn and the similarities are all coincidental. But if Gansey didn’t believe in coincidences, why should I?

3-cocnut

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge

I’ve been nominated for this challenge by lovely Bea over @ When Curiosity Killed The Cat about a month ago, and even though that much time has passed, I still feel like doing the challenge anyway so here goes:

The rules are simple:

  1. Post 3 quotes for 3 consecutive days.
  2. Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  3. Nominate three new bloggers for the challenge.

This is a quote from one of my favorite books of all time, The Book Thief:

““He does something to me, that boy. Every time. It’s his only detriment. He steps on my heart. He makes me cry.” ― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

I nominate the following bloggers to do the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge:

  1. Carrie @ Reading is my Superpower
  2. The lovely folks @ YA Bookers
  3. Tanya @ Read. Run. Study.

See you for my next quote! Happy reading. x

Life updates from The Crazy Bookworm

Hey, hey, hey!

Such a long time has passed since I last posted in this blog, and I feel like I’ve missed so much! I have been creeping on Goodreads for the most part though, rearranging my shelves and writing short reviews of books that I’ve read. But life has gotten so busy lately that I’ve neglected this blog…again.

So I kinda want to give a short update about how my life has been for the last two months! First of all, I’m doing really well at work. I’m not employee of the year or anything, but I also expected to mess up a lot, which fortunately didn’t happen. I guess that’s my anxiety speaking, and I can’t help but be reminded of that viral Tumblr post that went around few months back about crying but doing the thing anyway, because it felt exactly like that a lot of the time. Somehow, I manage to make it through everyday even though I have to give myself pep talks every time I have to call clients (you’re fine, you’re going to be okay, it’s just a phone call). As a proof of me doing okay at work and my employers noticing my astronomical effort not to fall apart, here’s this:

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See? Aren’t you proud of me? I’m definitely proud of myself.

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I also have really funny workmates!!!

But aside from that, I also did a THG reread to honor the end of the movie franchise. It was a wild ride from start to finish because it felt so good to reconnect with all the characters I’ve grown to love and/or despise, but also achingly painful due to all the deaths I had to relive and all the tragedy that trailed during and after the games. I cried sooo many times, it’s unbelievable. I think I cried more this time around than the first time I’ve read the books. There’s simply no getting used to saying goodbye to fictional characters you have come to love.

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I’m still betting on you, girl on fire.

Not only did I reread a much loved book series, I also bought new books! I discovered this really rad bookstore in a mall just a few blocks away from my apartment and I’ve basically been there every chance I get. It’s called Right Reads which is a book store/cafe. They have quite a selection of both brand new and secondhand books, all of which are reasonably priced. I bought a copy of And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini just last week and I must say that I’m so glad I’ve made the purchase. I’ve been a fan of Hosseini ever since reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, which was simply remarkable. If I could have it my way, his books would have to be require reading for grades 10 and up.

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I wouldn’t spoil if for you by saying anything about the plot, but in the beginning it reminded me strongly of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It deviates from that along the way though, and starts to grown on it’s own and adopt a unique style. Hosseini’s books have always resounded to me in that he paints the struggle of a culture that’s been hugely misconstrued in the media. I think we’ve all known in the back of our minds how much the war in those parts of the world weighed in the inhabitants of all the affected nations, but rarely do we get an up close and personal view of those struggles, and not all the attempt permeated the mainstream. Which is why Hosseini’s works are so important. I think humanity in general would do well to read his books or other similar works because a little mind-opening could go a long, long way.

Lastly, I want to share this selfie of me working right now (or pretending to, since what I’m actually doing is writing this post. But to be fair, there hasn’t been any emails to answer for over an hour now so…) I’m really happy to be posting for the first time in two months!

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There is a break in my glasses, I know. I accidentally stepped on it and well… I guess it happens even to the best of us. But yes, that’s everything that’s been going on with me of late! How about you? Please feel free to leave me comments and update me about what you’ve been doing or getting into lately!

Thanks for dropping by and happy reading!

Much love,
Eena

Book Review: The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes

Title: The Distance Between Lost And Found
Series: Standalone
Author: Kathryn Holmes
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
How I got it: I bought it

SYNOPSIS:

Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher’s son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her, she was silent. When her friends abandoned her … silent.

Now, six months later, on a youth group retreat in the Smoky Mountains, Hallie still can’t find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn’t aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn’t know who to trust.

On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie’s former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.

 

REVIEW:

I had this book for a while and even tried starting it a couple of times before, but it was only last Monday that I really began getting to it. I started at half past midnight, right after I got home from work, and before I even realized it, it was already 3 in the morning and I’m already a third into the book. When I woke up that morning, I made a point to read another few pages before getting ready for my shift.

Something about Hallelujah and her plight just hooked me right off the bat. If I had to guess, I’d say that it’s her determinedly stone-faced attitude towards the bullying she was going through, which is what we saw at the beginning of the book. It takes a lot of strength and a lot of pain for that kind of thick skin to develop, and somehow, this thought made me really curious about Hallie and her story, and even made me start to care for her as a character.

The book opens with Hallie in a Christian Youth Group retreat, being bullied by a guy named Luke who obviously has a really strong effect on her. The reason why is not disclosed until further into the book, but before that we meet Rachel, the new girl who tried to befriend Hallie when she noticed her being closed off and isolated, and Jonah who used to be Hallie’s good friend but abandoned her after the thing with Luke began. Circumstances draw them all together, and then they get lost in the woods. Each day bleeds into the next and they are still hopelessly lost with only themselves to rely on for survival.

I can honestly say that the story took an unexpected turn after just a few pages. I’m not really sure what I was expecting but Kathryn Holmes gave me so much more. I really loved all the characters that came into a play because all of them were expertly drawn and none of them fell flat. I connected so much with Hallie in terms of how she dealt with her pain, how she retreated in her shell as the bullying became more and more vicious. The budding friendship between the three main characters felt real, and it felt genuine and as a reader, I’d like to think that it’s the kind that will last because it certainly felt like the type of bond that would as I was reading about it.

I think that the title is really appropriate — The Distance Between Lost and Found  — because that’s exactly where Hallie was in the book, in that long stretch of road between losing herself and finding herself once again. I think a lot of us have been there as well, which is why this book is really relatable. It took a lot before Hallie regained control of her own life. It took them getting lost in the woods before everything that happened had some sort of closure, but it was a journey I was glad to be part of, despite the parts of it that were harrowing for the protagonist and her companions.

All in all, I think that for a debut novel, this is a really, really strong one. It was touching and engaging, and it was poignant without trying too hard. I’m so, so glad I picked this book up and decided finally to read it after months of procrastinating. Needless to say, Kathryn Holmes is an author I’ll be actively watching out for.

I recommend this book for anyone who’s looking for something fresh to read, something insightful, and deep, and engaging. As for my rating, I give this book 5 coconuts and I will be adding this to my recommended page as well. :)

5coconuts

Top Ten Tuesday (TTT #6)

tues

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and Bookish!

It’s been waaaay too long since I last participated, but I’m happy to be doing so this week. Since the topic for this week’s TTT is a freebie, I get to choose which top ten book related stuff I’m going to share with you all.

And I pick:
TOP TEN BOOKS THAT I HOPE WOULD BE ADAPTED INTO A TV SERIES OR MOVIE

It’s kinda long winded, but ugh. I’ve read so many books that I wish would get an adaptation, whether on the big or small screen, because I want to see the characters come to life beyond the confines of my mind.

So. Let’s get down to business, shall we?

    

1. On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta — If you haven’t read this book yet, you have to do it now. Seriously. Listen to me, drop everything you’re doing, and pick up this book. It will be worth it.

2. Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers — This book inspired me to write a short story. Parker Fadley is such an unforgettable character and her tale is such a painful one. Go read my review of this book here.

3. Angelfall by Susan Ee — Angels, a bad-ass heroine, and a swoon-worthy romance. What’s not to like? Read my full review here!

4. The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker — I love this book so much, and the book that followed it. It’s about secret societies and dead girls and high school politics, sprinkled with a generous helping of mystery and rolled into one. It’s amazing.

5. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen — I am a Sarah Dessen fan and I’ve read almost ALL her books, but Dreamland is the one that hit me the hardest. I need this to be a teen flick, because I think so many people could learn from this story.

    

6. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake — I have fallen in-love with a ghost. I didn’t think that was possible before Anna Korlov and this book. This needs to be a movie, asap.

7. Easy by Tammara Webber — Probably the only New Adult book that I ever loved. I can read this book over and over again and not get tired of it. I need a film version I can watch. I have a review, right here.

8. Pivot Point by Kasie West — I love the premise of this book SO much. Kasie West is such a talented writer and this story has so much potential. The sequel is also great. Please make a movie out of this.

9. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan — Witty heroine who don’t need no man, funny dialogue, unique plot, amazing world-building. This will be a great movie if it doesn’t get whitewashed.

10. I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I Have To Kill You by Ally Carter — Spies. Girl Spies. Bad-ass girls who are not afraid of their femininity. Good role model for young girls. This book, this whole series specifically, is just A+ so good, would definitely recommend.

Phew! Finally done. That’s my Top Ten for this week! What’s yours? Let me know in the comments section below!

Happy reading! ♥