On Falling Out of Love With a Book

falling out of love wth a book

I try not to get too hyped up about books. I feel like constant speculating can all too often ruin it — because it’s difficult for a novel to live up to twelve months of wishing and waiting. (Pfft, ‘the waiting is the hardest part’? THE RUN UP TO CHRISTMAS IS MY FAVOURITE TIME OF THE YEAR. *huffs*)

So, I try not to concentrate too much on living for a release date. But this autumn, I felt so much like I was living for a specific date: what was getting me through the week was fantasies about angsty mages and assassins.

But Queen of Shadows wasn’t great, for me. I’ve been going back and forth between love and hate, but it was really just so…weird to not be in love with Throne of Glass anymore. The plotting was all over the place. I didn’t enjoy the romance. My favourite parts were Manon and Lysandra, to be honest. Right now, they and Dorian are who think I’d come back to the series for.

I have to keep attacking my friends with thermos flasks for proposing preposterous ships. But I used to have such faith that the author would make everything okay and I would read everything they wrote ever, and I don’t have that anymore. I think that I often fall out of love with a series because the characters aren’t themselves. I love Celaena and Dorian and Chaol and Nehemia, and Queen of Shadows wasn’t them.

What makes me qualified to say that? When should I ever be telling someone else that their characters aren’t right? I mean, I didn’t create them, right? Somewhere along the way, I’d forgotten that they weren’t something separate to their creator. There are plenty of characters who are perceived differently to how the writer probably intended them to. Ideas and accidental hints can add up to become something completely different. (And sometimes more awesome.)

I think this is a really big part of the reason I like fanfiction. I’m not always saying ‘this is what the author intended’. Sometimes the characters have become something completely different in the eyes of the fandom.  Of course, I’m not the author — I don’t know whether I’d feel uncomfortable about people writing my characters. But I think that if you put your book out into the world, you’re already offering your characters up to be read. And there are a lot of characters who I love and who I want to read more about.. (Wherever that is, whatever they are doing.)

I do appreciate books that have great technical plotting and writing style, it’s true. But when I read Carry On, I didn’t think it was a technical masterpiece… It wasn’t perfect. I still loved it. (Those issues weren’t even Victor Hugo digressions I’m looking at you, Waterloo essay). What I enjoyed the most about Carry On was that the characters close to my heart were there, and they were themselves. It made me so ridiculously happy and now I am Never Going To Shut Up About The Mages. 😉

I don’t mind loving a book that isn’t perfect. I loved Carry On because it was Rainbow Rowell, and I was interested in the themes, and it was Simon and Baz and Penny and Agatha. I come to a series for the plot, but I stay for the characters.

January Favourites!

January favourites

Time for another round of monthly favourites! I’m getting rather fond of that exclamation mark now. So fond, in fact, that I’ve added a new section at the end for you. It’s a round-up of stuff on my blog and other articles from around the internet that I’ve enjoyed reading, as well as some bookish news. Tell me if it should be yay or nay.

1. Tumblr It’s actually ridiculous how much I use this site. I mean, I don’t even have an account. I’ve just been drawn in from the occasional checking of authors whilst waiting for the train to actively checking fan pages to it being THE FIRST THING I CHECK WHEN I GO ON THE COMPUTER. And, if that’s not enough, it has also managed to half-drag me into Supernatural fandom despite the fact that I haven’t even watched the show. (Not for lack of trying. I thought I might manage to get away with a few episodes if it was on Netflix, but I’m not so sure about buying box set from Amazon.)

2. Theatre I have been to see more theatre in the last month than I had in, like, the entire six months before that. The plays I saw were: Usagi Yojimbo (admittedly in December), the annual pantomime in the form of Beauty and the Beast, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, and The Play That Goes Wrong (pictured). They were all excellent. I suppose that’s the year’s culture out the way, then. (Only kidding. I’m an extremely cultured person, remember? xD)

3. The Coldest Girl I Coldtown by Holly Black I tried to read this book maybe a year ago and couldn’t get into it – a lot of Holly Black’s books have been disappointments for me after reading the awesomely awesome Curse Workers.  However, second time round I rather enjoyed this: it’s is vampires as they should be. Tana wasn’t the strongest protagonist, and to be honest she was a bit irritating, but it wasn’t that bad. The concept was cool.

4. Merlin I found it on Netflix, cue binge watch. My friends and I loved this show when it was on, and I think I would be obsessed with it now if it was still running. But it’s just kind of weird to see that it has a fandom, now that I know what a fandom is…it’s like my childhood colliding with my teenagehood (teenagedom?). It’s just weird. But also cool.

5. Golden Son by Pierce Brown You might remember me flailing over Red Rising in my last favourites, but probably not. In a nutshell: it’s awesome. I went out and bought the hardback edition of Golden Son because I couldn’t bear the suspense. (And that’s not something I grant every book, because I’m a bit of a money hoarder and hardbacks are bloomin’ expensive.)

6. Ava’s Demon by Michelle Czajkowski This webcomic was recommended to me in the comments by Bridget,and just like with Nimona I read it all at once. Just like with Nimona, I’m now suffering from the drip-feed updates. But it’s awesome, and the art is just beautiful, so I completely recommend. You can go read it here.

Stuff from around the internet:

Bookish things that have happened:

  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven was released, and I seem to be the only person not raving…?
  • Pierce Brown announced the cover and title of Red Rising #3: Morning Star! Click here to see the cover.
  • Fairest by Marissa Meyer was released – it’s a prequel to The Lunar Chronicles starring Queen Levana.
  • Sarah J Maas announced the title and release date of Throne of Glass #4: Queen of Shadows! If you haven’t been able to tell from my multiple major fangirlings, I adore this series. There’s more info on SJM’s website, if you’re interested.

On that excellent note, I conclude my first monthly favourites of this year! *dramatic flourish* What do you think of my new wrap-up from around the web? Have you read or seen any of the things I mentioned – or have you got some monthly faves of your own? 🙂 Let me know!

7 Fictional Names You Might be Mispronouncing

7 fictional names mispronouncingYou might be noticing a bit of a sevens trend with my lists. (I certainly am.) It was actually completely random, but seven is a pretty number so I’m sticking with it from now on. What? Top ten, you say? Pfft, I’m a rebel. *coughs*

Anyway, this list is less of fictional names you might be mispronouncing and more of a collection of all the names that I ‘mispronounce’. Of course, there’s not really a proper way to say any of them, but there is a particular way the author would like them to be said, and I’ve chosen that one as the basis for correct pronunciation. There’s quite a bit of high fantasy on this list, as you might expect, but some other genres make an appearance too. I even stuck a movie in there, because as you remember from the previous paragraph I’m a total rebel! 😉

obernewtyn1. Gahltha from The Obernwtyn Chronicles 
The Obernewtyn Chronicles are a great high fantasy series (as yet unresolved, because she’s BEEN WRITING THE LAST BOOK FOR LIKE 5 YEARS AND NOW IT TURNS OUT THEY’RE NOT PUBLISHING IT IN THE UK) but not many people seem to have read it. It’s got its fair share of new words – it took me some time to even be able to pronounce the title – but the unruly horse Gahltha has always outwitted me. Despite numerous searches on the fansite that’s older than I am, I can’t seem to find any help. :-/

2. Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games
Before the movies came out, I put the emphasis on the first syllable of Peeta’s surname, not the second. I also say his name with more of a ‘t’, but I think that’s just my accent.

totoro cover3. Totoro from the movie My Neighbour Totoro 

In the English dubbed version of this film, the furry creature is called Tow-tuh-ro, to rhyme with total. However, having grown up around people who almost certainly watched it in Japanese, I pronounce it much more like they do. It’s more like toh-toh-roh for me, with an r that’s bordering on an l. If you’d like to listen, then you can click here for the theme song in Japanese.

4. Edil-Amarandh from the Pellinor series
Yet another sadly obscure high fantasy series. I’m not kidding, it’s very ‘realistic’ – it has all these appendices and footnotes which tell you that it’s a translation from Naraudh Lar-Chanë, a piece of ancient Annaren literature and I thought that it was real for about 2 years. It turns out that all these references are sadly fictitious (well, I think), but just proves the power of the worldbuilding!

pellinor coverAnyway. There’s some quite complex language in here, despite the pronunciation guide at the beginning, and the name of the world where the books are set rather baffled me. I ended up forgetting the ‘h’ at the end and pronouncing it phonetically.

5. Kaede from Huntress by Malinda Lo
(My only standalone book on the list. Hmm.) I’d naturally say the name Kaede with three separate syllables, but in this book it’s supposed to be Kay-dee. Luckily, the pronunciation guide was right at the beginning and I managed to keep calling Kaede as such.

6. Eyllwe from Throne of Glass eragon cover
I gave up on this country and just called it yule-wye because I was too lazy. It’s officially eel-way. I’ve also had conflict over the character’s names – Seh-lee-nah, Seh-lay-nuh, Keh-lee-nuh, Kay-all, Kay-oll, Charl (yes, really). It’s been the subject of many a discussion, and my friend and I still pronounce Chaol slightly differently.

7. Eragon from The Inheritance Cycle

There’s a ton of complicated words in this series, and I can’t even pronounce the titular character’s name. I always thought it was Eh-ra-guhn (to rhyme with good) but apparently not. The pronunciation guide and maybe-even-as-awful-as-Percy-Jackson movie inform me that it’s actually Ehr-uh-gahn.

How would you pronounce the names I’ve mentioned? Are there any ones that you would add to the list?

October Favourites!

October Favourites

We’re a little thinner on the ground this time, but no matter. It was still a good month. Happy Halloween!
Let the proceedings begin:

1. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson I got this as a birthday present from a friend, and wow. Seriously. The writing was beautiful. The characters were beautiful. Everything was beautiful. I COMMAND YOU TO READ IT

2. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas I’d already read the four novellas separately, but this one has a fifth. When I spotted it the library (along with two copies of Heir of Fire; I was very impressed) I just had to get it. And then, obviously, I had to read all the other stories too. *sobs* It’s so sad…

3. Monopoly Deal Have you heard of this game? Unlike the original Monopoly, you can actually play it to the end. I taught it to my friend whilst on holiday, and we played it loads. I went on a streak and got 9 and 8 sets in consecutive games. (You have to get 3 to win, to put that into perspective.)

4. Poetry As represented by my beautiful biro, because why not? You haven’t been seeing any evidence of this, but I’ve been writing a lot of poems recently. They’re mostly mental. They’re not beautiful, but I guess it’s a way of helping me understand things when I get *coughs* emotional.

5. Badger Balm I love lip balm. I’m a little bit obsessed, and Badger Balm is one of my favourites. It’s the time of year when you can use lip balm without people looking at you like you’re mad.

6. CHOCOLATE I was given a bag of dark chocolate for my birthday by my parents. (It’s the best kind, guys.) Omnomnom

Those are the things I’ve been liking this month! Did you have a good October? I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month, so I won’t be as active, but I have a few things scheduled and I’ll hopefully be updating on NaNo and such.

On a side note: are Chuck Taylors the same thing as Converse? Like TFiOS? Hazel Grace? Because I call them Converse.

On another side note: I joined this awesome site called Guardian Children’s Books where you get a book or more each month, sometimes pre-publication, as well as the chance to interview authors, get bookish news and review things. So far, I recommend. I’ve written a few reviews. But mostly I’m there for the FREE BOOKS.

 

Harry Potter Spells Book Tag

I was nominated for this tag by both Nirvana @ Nirvana’s Pocketful and Anna @ Cool Girls Read Too, and I’m pretty excited about it because I haven’t done a tag in absolutely AGES. So, on with it we go:

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A childhood book connected to good memories

Harry potter spells book tag warriors

The Warrior Cats (just Warriors?) series by Erin Hunter. I absolutely devoured these when I read them (which was not that long ago, to be honest). I have the box sets of the first three series, and several books from the fourth. The prophecies just sort of started to go on and on I to oblivion, though, so I’ve stopped reading them now. But I still love the older ones! 🙂

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A book that took you by surprise

Harry potter spells book tag burn mark

My my first thought of this book was: HALLELUJAH A YA BOOK WRITTEN IN THE THIRD PERSON. Admittedly, both Throne of Glass & Fangirl etc. are written in the third person, but I still feel like first-person-present-tense really dominates the genre. I am very, very tired of it by now, believe me.

Having picked this up thinking it to be a to be a post-HG trashy book, I was surprised to discover that it was extremely original, and from then on I enjoyed it immensely. Though it messed up my plan for this post, because I was going to put The Mortal Instruments here.

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The last book you read

Incarceron
As recommended to me by Nirvana. I was very surprised to find it in my school library (thought it had been untouched for quite a while) and immediately borrowed it. It isn’t like any book that I’ve read in a long time, and it reminded me of the good ol’ days when I read all that non-YA fantasy *gasp*. I’ll be on the hunt for Sapphique soon.

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A book that introduced you to a genre you wouldn’t have considered before

Harry potter spells book tag fangirl

I had a bit of a hard time with this one because I don’t really branch out into other genres that often. I just take what’s in the teen section of the library, or in the school library, which are very similar.

Anyway, Fangirl introduced me to contemporary romance (is that what it’s called?).  It and Eleanor & Park (not really contemporary, but I’m just going to count it) are the best of the genre that I have read. Which is a little sad, considering they were the first ones I read.

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A book that made you laugh

Artemi Fowl
Anyone remember this series? You know? With the suspiciously-like-Sherlock-teenage-criminal mastermind, the farting-at-inappropriate-moments-dwarf and the sarcastic-computer-dude-centaur?

Yep, that’s the one. This book produced lines such as “Look!” said Foaly, pointing with some urgency into the vast steel-gray gloom, “Someone who cares!”   and other things that made you chuckle quietly to yourself in the corner. It’s Skulduggery Pleasant, but with kick-ass fairies instead of magicians. If you haven’t already read it, then hurry to the library now. (And don’t be ashamed of going into the children’s section.)

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A book you think everyone should know about

BetweenShadesGrayCover

I would say Eleanor and Park, and I would say Throne of Glass, but E&P is pretty well known in everywhere but England (*growls*)and I’m mentioning ToG below, so I’ll go with this one.

Ruta Sepetys is a freaking awesome author, and both of her books (historical fiction, but even if you don’t read much of the genre give them a try) are also awesome. The writing is stunning and the brutal storyline is made even worse by the fact that it is based on events that are very real. I will warn you that it’s no fluffy book, but I recommend it anyway. Sometimes, it’s important to read books that aren’t fluff.

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A book you wish you never read

I can’t even remember what this book is called, or what its cover looked like. I’m sorry.

It was one of my first chapter books, when I was around 6, and it was about a monster in the cupboard. I was so scared that I never even finished it. I was scared of the monster in the cupboard for many years after that. It turns out that the book ends with the monster making friends with the children.

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A book you had to read for school

Skellig

I’m still at school, but I am currently of the firm belief that if books are read in the wrong way at school, the it ruins them. I read this a few years back and we had to dissect it completely and utterly. And it’s a very short book, I’m telling you. I think I would have enjoyed it had I read it of my own accord, but this ruined it for me.

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A book that was painful to read

Inheritance

Firstly: have you seen the size of this thing? It’s like 900 PAGES LONG, PEOPLE. You could knock someone out with a book that size.

I devoured the first three books, but by the time this came out I had largely forgotten the plot, and it was mostly war strategy anyway from what I could see. I should probably have re-read them first, but they’re also massive so I really couldn’t be bothered. I still managed to make it to the end, though. (I think.)

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A book that could kill

Crown of Midnight

You’ve probably seen me mention Throne of Glass countless times now, but seriously. THE FEELS. MY HEART. OH, THE TEARS. I don’t want to ruin it for you, but it results in broken friendships, relationships, and everything-else-ships. It is a ship-breaker.

I’m tagging:

That Bookish Girl
Book Nerd Mille

(I have gazillions of tags on the way so I’m trying to balance out my nominations…)

A Miracle Occurs; I Fangirl; I am Tortured

Heir of Fire

I know I don’t usually post twice in one day, but today is an exception.

Last night, I plugged in my phone to charge, and then when the screen flashed on I saw that I had a voicemail from a normally uncommunicative *cough cough* friend. I listened to this voicemail, a little puzzled, and then I found out that she had got Heir of Fire, Throne of Glass #3, from our local bookshop. On Saturday. Five days before it was due to come out in the UK. (By the way, I adore Throne of Glass. If you didn’t catch on.)

As you might imagine, I promptly went and ran around the house squealing at my parents. I then checked Amazon and Bloomsbury for the release date, which was still Thursday. I had a hard time getting to sleep.

When I got to school, I fangirled some more, then realised that a) I would have to wait a whole school day to get Heir of Fire, since the bookshop didn’t open until 9 and b) I’d then have to go home to get money.

So, school was torture. I didn’t realise concentrate at all, to be honest. How could. I concentrate when I could be WITH CELAENA AND CHAOL AND DORIAN?!?!

Now, I’m sitting at the table with Heir of Fire in front of me. I’m kind of scared to look inside, but as soon as this post is done I’ll do it anyway.

(I stole the title format from Gabrielle Zevin’s Birthright Trilogy. Sorry. Do you like it?)

Comfort Books

Comfort books

You know when you’re tired or ill or feeling a bit down, you end up wanting to eat comfort food? Well, I do of the same thing, but with books.

They’re usually books that I know inside and out, are easy to read and not too dark. A stellar example of this is Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas, because as you may or may not know I love Throne of Glass. To bits. I’ve read it more times than I can count and each time I re-read the books it’s like having a good old chat with a long-lost friend.

That’s why I just generally read the books I really connect with – not so much the more literary or well-written ones, but my trusty YA authors such as Rainbow Rowell, Marie Lu or Marissa Meyer. (But not The Hunger Games. As much as I love it, it’s not exactly light reading.)

Sometimes, I even go back to picture books, sitting cross-legged on the floor beside my bookshelf  and getting out The Whisperer or The Velveteen Rabbit.

How about you? Do you have comfort books, or comfort food? What are they?

What I’m Loving This May

What I'm Loving this may

Green Tea – I’m drinking it whilst revising.
The Body Shop Cherry Blossom Fragrance Mist – It smells of Spring. I love it.
Lindor Chocolate – I finally finished all the Lindor chocolate lying around my room. It was delicious.
Petroleum Jelly – I’m using this massive tub of not-Vaseline for my cuticles and nails.
Body Shop Peach Lip Gloss – this smells good enough to eat. And I do eat it.
Throne of Glass – As ever. How could I not?
Michel Mercier hairbrush – I got this new hairbrush, and it works a lot better than my old one. Plus, it looks awesome.
Assorted Harry Potter Merchandise – I went to the Harry Potter studio Tour on Monday and it was AWESOME! This is what I bought at the shop. I’ll love you forever, Dobby.
Carnegie Book Shadowing (not pictured) – I’m currently reading the books on the CILIP Carnegie shortlist. I haven’t finished yet, but my favourites so far are Blood Family, All The Truth That’s in Me and The Bunker Diary.

I’m hoping to make this thing a monthly feature at the end of each month, and it will include books, movies, beauty stuff, hair stuff, food – anything, really! It’s basically May Favourites but that sounded too boring, so I changed it.

Update: Bank Holiday Weekend, Throne of Glass, Exams

Howdy again.

I just wanted to give you guys a shout out that I probably won’t be able to write my usual weekend post as I’m going away for the bank holiday weekend (well, it might not be bank holiday for some of you!). However, despite this piece of not very happy news, I am attending Celaena’a Throne of Glass birthday party (as you may have seen on the blog button right at the side) on Saturday and I am SUPER SUPER SUPER EXCITED!! I am in love with Throne of Glass at the moment – not just the book but the characters. They are fantastic. They live inside my head.

Anyway, I also have exams coming up in the near-ish future (GAH) so that might decrease my internet presence a bit more as well. And that is all for now.

 

Rain and Bad Weather Through the Window
Rain and Bad Weather Through the Window

I got soaked on the way back home because I left my umbrella at school. Is it raining where you are? If it’s nice weather, then I’m very jealous. You should come to the UK for a while and experience our lovely weather patterns (not).

Bye for now!

Apple xx

Throne of Glass Awesomness + Celaena’s Birthday Party

So. Well. Look, it’s a blog button for Celaena’s Birthday Party! SQUEEE!

Birthday Party blog button

And it just so happens that Throne of Glass (if you didn’t know, it’s a book by Sarah J Maas) is my current obsession. It isn’t the best book I’ve read, but it’s my favourite. The characters are alive. They dance around in my head.

I have read Throne of Glass about seven times. Not including the novellas or its sequel, Crown of Midnight.

Yeah, so I am REALLY REALLY SUPER SUPER EXCITED! Unfortunately it’s in EST so it’s at 9pm over here, and I’m at my aunt’s fiftieth, but I might be able to get away with it. I have to.

I encourage you to read Throne of Glass if you have not. Having other people to fangirl with just makes me love it more.

Also, I’m thinking of doing some storyblog-esque posts. I’m feeling the writing vibes at the moment. But I’m too excited about seeing this amazing email confirming my invitation to Celaena’s party that I don’t think I can write anything else except Throne of Glass. I’ll hopefully be posting again soon!