Bookish Fun!

January Reading Wrap Up | 2019

The first month of the year of 2019 is coming to an end and I have decided to share a snippet- no, not a snippet. I have unequivocally chosen to bestow my January reading Wrap Up with you all! 

Before you comment on why I had vanished from the face of the planet, hear me out. Sorry that I had been gone for a while, I was (still am) looking for colleges and clearing out hedges for courses that I have divine interest on applying and it’s been keeping me away from my blog for some time. Well, I missed interacting with you all so I decided to come back with an article. Hope you guys wouldn’t mind the minimal amount of articles that I had composed this month.

Furthermore, when I had dissipated from the blogosphere, I reached 4,023 followers! That is amazing and heartwarming! Thank you, each and every one of you, for reading my articles and sticking by even when I am not present. Thank You!

Oh, what the heck? I misremembered to introduce myself. If you are new here: Hi, I am Max and we will be performing my January Wrap Up for the year of 2019. 

So, without further ado, let us get into the January Wrap Up list!

1. The Stars Never Rise By Rachel Vincent

20190106_1848525293123699030092989.jpg

The Stars Never Rise is the first book that I had read this year and I, originally, thought this was going to be a great reading year because I really enjoyed myself while I went through the whirlwind of this book. Everything from the characters to the plots to the sub-plots to the jurisdiction of the community, this book seemed to be ideal until it took a nosedive at the end. However, that does not take away from the enjoyment that I had from the first 3/4 of the book. It’s just the last 1/4 that did the novel fraudulent. 

If you want to know more about my thoughts and what this title is regarding, you may want to take a sneak peek at my in-depth review which I had posted on my blog a few weeks prior to this instance.

Here’s the link to that particular review: The Stars Never Rise By Rachel Vincent

All in all, I would urge you to read this book if you are into demons operating nefarious deeds and a dystopian set future.

2. Feed By M.T Anderson

20190131_1715575900952210825458406.jpg

As you can see, I had tabulated a plethora of stickers on the book with the intention of composing a book review. Unfortunately, that did not occur.

I am soooo amazing. – said the inner-me.

Not to worry, I will be constructing a review for this book soon because I have so much to discuss. More like, so much of distaste for this novel. Look, you can already see how my initial success with the first book being such a good read crumbling into pieces. There will definitely be more books which will bequeath me with a sense of calamity like this one and by then, I will be settled. 

I am going to give you a summary of what this book is about:

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon – a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-gravity at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires.

Here is the thing, the summary of the novel appeared to be stabler than its substantive content and here’s why: The crazy hacker’s aim was not explained in the novel so I would take that as a plot-hole, the book lacked a consecutive plot, the characters do not know how to discourse properly (most of the time, I do not know what they were conversing about) except for Violet (I liked Violet only), the writing style was a mess, etc.

I ended up giving the book 1.5 stars on Goodreads as the ending intoxicated me and made me sniffle a sob. So, I will not endorse this book to anyone if you despise the things that I had noted above.

3. Matched By Ally Condie

20190131_1720078235083358076605570.jpg

My reading experience this month just kept getting worse and worse because Matched is another one of those books that had received a bad rating from me: 1.5 stars. 

This book is just sheer tedium alright. From the beginning of the novel to the end of the novel, the protagonist of the novel just kept cheating on her boyfriend by hanging out and making out with some other guy. I know this book is basically a utopia: a community where the society decides who you get married to and whatever, they just control everything and it is about this one girl flouting everything and to regulate her own destiny. It is empowering but that could not exclude the fact that this book is monotonous. 

It took me a week or so to conclude this book and honestly, that week was the worst reading week I had ever experienced. I had to keep up with dull characters discharging acts that were the works of an imbecile, a tedious plotline that could easily be shortened by a hundred plus pages and the writing style was not anything special either. The only reason why I gave it an extra 0.5 star is because of that ending which took me by surprise. Otherwise, it would just be a one-star read.

*For your information, I bought the book in this condition since it was half-priced.*  

4. Under Rose-Tainted Skies By Louise Gornall

20190131_1715096487214679916444546.jpg

Again, you may already be observing the shades of pink entwined with purple tabs on the book as some kind of torture device and also, maybe asking: “Why in the world have I not done a review for this novel?”

Well, the first reason is the one that I had stated at the antecedent of this article and the other is: I procrastinate a lot. Well, it is not that I dislike this novel or anything, I actually really adored this novel! It had received a scintillating 4.5 stars from me and I really aspire to compose an article devoted to this craft right after I had concluded the novel but I was not in the right state of mind to write a review and I do not want to ruin anything about this novel for you all. However, now that I had snapped out from that zone, I will be publishing the review for it soon. So, stay tuned.

This book is the turning point of my reading experience this month. After two disappointing novels, I presumed all hope was lost but this book swooped in and inadvertently saved the day. Everything from the plot to the characters’ structures to the mental illness representation makes me happy. This book deserves more recognition as the novel is well-written and elegantly crafted.

Thus, I recommend this to anyone who admires the things that I had mentioned above.

5. Percy Jackson Series (First 3 books)

20190131_1721445148473895401331751.jpg

I am currently reading the fourth book in the series and I am telling y’all this: Each book gets better and better in this series. The characters who you thought you would hate, you will end up adoring them. These books are prodigious with its actions, characters, friendships, revenge, love, hatred, loyalty, etc. Just, too many and so good. Perhaps, overly immeasurable. 

I am planning on doing a mini ‘vlog’ style read-with-me article for the last book in the series and keep in mind that it will be spoiler filled! I have the urge to do it because the last time I devised it on my Harry Potter marathon, you guys seemed to love it. Thus, I shall return the article scheme from the dead.

That concludes the seven books that I had read this month! Just to let you know, Goodreads told me that I am a book behind schedule to my 100 books goal so, I have got to buckle up and consume more novels as I am determined to reach my goal this year.


This is the end of my ‘January Reading Wrap Up!’  I hope you all enjoyed it and let me know what your reading wrap up were down in the comment box below! Follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

 

Advertisements
Bookish Discussion

Book Genres Tendency | Bookish Discussion

Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be performing a self-evaluation on the book genres and their contents that I tend to gravitate towards today. I discern that this is not the usual content that I publish on my blog but I would like to manufacture a bridge between my old contents and my newer ones to allow you guys to perceive my transition process. Just for your information, this article will be placed under the category of bookish discussion. 

So, today we shall dwell on what genres I normally manoeuvre towards, study the pattern of its tracks and finally, how can I extricate myself from my comfort zone to read a diverse range of genres that I do not normally advance to. 

I hope this article will succour you to read other genres as much as it will assists me. Thus, without further ado, let us dive right into the discussion!

20190111_131314_00005168747762341346452.png

There was once a book genre named Dystopian which had embezzled the spotlight of multiple genres and advanced forward to a mesmerizing future until its throne was abdicated by other genres yet again. 

Yes, I am talking about the genre that produced a wondrous beauty like The Hunger Games. Yes, again, to the Maze Runner series and the Divergent series. 

To tell you the truth, I still read novels that exemplify the items in a classical Dystopia world such as corrupted government, compact and harsh lifestyles and deaths and my eyes often latch onto the books in a bookstore that meet those requirements. Guess what happens next? My hands are filled with those books while my legs are filing out of the store.

In all honesty, I figure that what makes a dystopian novel so popular is all convoluted with its addictive quality and its petrifying world. Sometimes, the plot of a dystopian novel can be absolutely balderdash in which you can take Divergent or rather- Allegiant as an example, however, with the help of those elements, it carries the readers through the unexpurgated novel without a sense of dismay and instead, a sense of ease in our hearts. Why?

It is because people enjoy reading about the characters’ pain and their journey to salvation. This may sound absolutely insane and I cannot speak for everyone but we need the action, the torturous pain in their expedition towards their goal and a good and not insta-love romance in these novels to make our heart fulfilled with joy and would instantly give a high rating to the novel.

I was once a die-hard dystopian fan and was not afraid to share my opinions about a dystopian novel among my friends even if our opinions differ. If you can postulate it right, I was that kind of fan that shunned other book genres and only read Dystopian until they had gotten tiresome.

Mind you, I still read Dystopian novels like I had said earlier but just not as much as I used to (just from time to time I will pick up a book from this specific genre to read). Dystopian novels had gotten such a bad reputation from others was merely because of the plot which was more or less the same, the characters which sometimes lacked personalities, the cliche plotline of this girl/boy who was meant to be the one to save this useless piece of shit society and finally, the uninspired romance which becomes tedious as more books in this genre get published.

That was when I realized I had to take a break from this genre and move on to the next. So, a tip:

#1: DO NOT wait until the last minute to convert yourself into another genre

It’s better to extricate yourself from one genre early if you notice that you are getting bored and tired of the same old boring plots which were brought about in books. If you remove yourself from one genre later than intended, you might not catch up with the other genres as there are so many books already released and it’s hard to catch up with the train-wagon. Honestly, only 35% of the people will survive that, others might just give up and jump back into their comfort zone- the dystopian genre. 

If you do not want to give up, read: for example, lite fantasy before pressing forward to the hardcore, everybody loves, high fantasy. High fantasy are for fans that have been moving about in that genre in a while so, in order to catch up, I advice you to read lite fantasy first to see if it is your cup of tea. Repeat the process with other genres too!

*

Moving on, we have the fantasy genre that has me captivated and obsessed until this contemporaneous time. Thanks to ‘I am Number Four’ By Pittacus Lore who introduced me to both Science Fiction and lite Fantasy, I was able to draw level with the incessant flow of Fantasy novels that were dominating the market. Additionally, I would also love to thank Laini Taylor’s prodigious series christened as Daughter Of Smoke And Bone. If it were not for that series, I would never have entered the High Fantasy zone. 

As for this genre, tip number one does not apply here because Fantasy has a broad range of sub-genres and elements. For example, a fantasy novel would sometimes include Urban Fantasy, Light Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Science Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, etc. See? It does not always limit itself to a certain space and it allows readers to imagine the unimaginable and to view the inevitable. As for the elements factor, a fantasy genre be it a Light Fantasy or an Urban Fantasy or whatever has, again, a insurmountable amount of items to be filled into. For instance, a well-developed magic system, a plethora of settings, a diverse range of complex characters, a status of power, characters’ inner conflicts, greed, etc. All of these elements and sub-genres make a difference in each fantasy novels and that’s why Fantasy novels are entertaining and will never lack the quality of reading addiction unlike Dystopia.

However, traditional fantasy novels would sometimes become a chore to read as they often portray similar settings, conflicts and finally, offer one-dimensional characters. Not all Fantasy novels are like that but most of the popular ones are. For example, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Gracia and Margeret Stohl which I hated or The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson which I adored. These types of novels habitually engender a cleave between readers and I love the split as I could acknowledge other people thoughts on certain aspects and understand why they despised/loved a particular novel. As for that, I would like to give 2 tips to all readers:

#2: Do Not Be Afraid To Share Your Opinion

This tip may not coincide with the article that I am conversing on and may also be a little out of topic but I thought I had to stress on this because people of all ages have been afraid to share their opinions on a novel that they loved/despised due to the fact that they might receive ‘hate’ if one is to dispense their introspection into the world. I was once afraid of apportioning my reviews on books to the world because of the reason above but I pushed pass the thought and anxiety and bravely share it. Now, I feel so much confident to share my thoughts on a novel. Thus, I would like those of you who are afraid to not be petrified by those things. 

#3: Take a look at the synopsis of a Fantasy Novel before purchasing it

If you have been reading a tremendous piles of traditional Fantasy novels lately, you might be sick and tired of how cliche and similar everything is. Now, I would like you to read the synopsis of the Fantasy Novel first before reading/purchasing the novel as you could tell if the book’s content is similar to the ones you read earlier. Look for Fantasy Novels that you seldom see the contents of and read that instead of boring old cliche novels.

However, if you no longer have the interest in reading Fantasy novels, do not force yourself to fly through its text. You will not appreciate the content of it, so please move on to another genre until you feel like reading a fantasy novel again.

*

How does one fall into a genre? You might already be asking me that question as my previous tips did not necessarily provide any information regrading this topic so, I shall now furnish you with another one of my self-evaluation before I impart with a tip.

The Horror/thriller genre is tricky because the novels that are specifically dedicated to the genre might not live up to its expectation. For example, if a horror novel is not petrifying and lack the ambience of suspense and scariness, the horror novel did not manage to unnerve its readers and that could cause a rift between the author books and his/her readers by engendering the readers not to find interest in the author’s other works. The same goes to thriller novels.

I was not a huge fan of reading thriller novels before I read Night Film because there were many elements that I did not particularly enjoy. For instance, the lack of character development, the one-dimensional characters and the easy-to-guess plotlines and plot twists. However, after reading Night Film, I figure my knowledge on thriller novels was limited and thus, I began to read more and more novels from this genre.

As for horror, I have watched movies from this genre all my life and I adore the cinematography of them and with that in mind, I had decided to dedicate my time to read horror novels in book form and I am not going to lie, it was a colossal success. I read IT for the first time and was not disappointed with the horror genre and I am intransigent to read more books from this genre since I love it so so much.

Well, on with the tip:

#4: Read/listen to other people’s review

This is important because a person’s review would persuade you to try out the book which in turn, coax you to read books from the genre. I found ‘Night Film’ through Goodreads, Blog Reviews and Youtube by reading the reviews that were posted on that websites for the book and watching videos staunched to reviewing the novel and thus, allow me to view both the genre and the book in panoramic form. The same goes to ‘IT’. 

The genres are recommended by others through the books that they read and that was how I found my solace for each of them. You should try this method out too!

*

Finally, the Romance and Classic genre. The romance genre is novels for all seasons. Literally. I cherish the idea of picking up a romance novel whenever I am anchored by a reading slump, feel stressed out or I just want a novel that would cheer me up. Honestly, I figure that the romance genre is the most widespread because it can be in any books such as Fantasy novels with a hint of romance, thriller with romance, dystopian is always filled with romance and many more. It’s everywhere and it also has its own genre which is super popular.

What makes romance a good read? A cute couple finding love while disastrous events occur, a quickly paced romance novel, great characterization and HEA (Happily Ever After). Especially the last one.  

Classic novels, however, are hard to perceive the ones that you would adore. This, in my case, I would like to have other people who are more experienced in this genre than me to recommend me books that they think I would enjoy. People like school teachers, parents and reviewers. 

Just to name a few books that were recommended by teachers and reviewers: 1984, To Kill A Mockingbird, Animal Farm and The Handmaid’s tale.

*

By the way, the children genre is a joy to read. It is, again, for all seasons and ages!

*

There are genres that I did not mention such as Erotica and self-help books. Honestly, I do not think I will ever read Erotica because I do not enjoy reading about the mammoth piles of detailed sex scenes in books and I rather hate reading about them. Sorry if I have offended fans of this genre.

However, I have decided to start reading some self-help novels as I would like to improve myself as a human being and the ameliorate the good qualities and eliminate the amateurish qualities of my behaviour. Thus, I will be reading and reviewing some self-help books on my blog soon!

A tip:

#5: Set goals for yourself

Look for books from genres that you are desiring to read from on the internet and set goals for yourself to buy and intentionally finish reading the books from that particular genre. If you think the genre is quickly becoming one of your favorite, buy more novels from the genre and repeat the cycle of the tips that I have bestowed upon your shoulders.  

If it is not your cup of tea, move on to the next genre and repeat the cycle.


This is the end of my ‘Book Genres Tendency’ bookish discussion article!  I hope you all enjoyed it and let me know what genre you tend to go for down in the comment box below! Follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

Book Review

The Stars Never Rise By Rachel Vincent || Book Review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and Happy New Year to each and every one of you! I hope this year will be ebullient for you and your reading experience will surpass and enhance its focus on the good books instead of the bad.

As for today, we shall review a book called ‘The Stars Never Rise’ By Rachel Vincent and I pretty much enjoyed the process of reading this novel. So, without further ado, let us dive right into the review! 

WAIT!

There is an announcement in which I would like to make. The reviews that I will be hosting from now onwards might differ from the ones that I did last year as I would like to manufacture a discrete style for my blog posts and reviews. Therefore, if you have grown accustomed to my older reviews and blog posts style, I would like to make an apology here for transmuting it.

In that case, here is what is to be expected for my later posts:

  • Book-related Discussions 
  • Different type of reviewing style
  • More ‘blogging’ my experience with a book
  • and more…

Thus, let us commence!

Disclaimers:

  • All thoughts and opinions are on my own and,
  • The review for this book is spoiler-proof. So, feel free to stay until the very end of this article!

20190106_1848525293123699030092989.jpg

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she’s too busy trying to actually survive. Her town’s population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she’ll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie’s sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can’t survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

My Introspection:

This novel was marketed as a Young Adult, Paranormal Romance and those elements were definitely ensconced in this novel but the genre that had a blind drawn to it was the dystopia ambience. Let us take a look at the society that the characters were existing in:

“Of course blasphemy is a sin. A lesser infraction than fornication and heresy, but grievous offense a strict matron like Sister Camilla would never let slide. Even in a five-year-old.

Especially a five-year-old who’d already demonstrated a precocious gift for profanity.

Sister Camilla dragged Matthew onto the stone dais in the center of the courtyard, then forced him to kneel. She was still scolding him while she flipped a curved piece of metal over each of his legs, just above his calves, then snapped the locks in place, confining the five-year-old to his knees in the freezing rain.”

In what world would you allow a child to freeze to his death in the rain? I can comprehend that it is not right to sacrilege but to punish a child this way is basically child-abuse. Moreover, this is a society controlled by the church itself because the world was overrun by demons and only the church could produce exorcists by training people to fight against them and send them back to Hell. Either way, it is still child-abuse to say the least.

In this book, we follow two sisters as they struggled to survive from the society and their mother who neglected them. Due to the lack of dime, they journeyed around their neighbourhood and the stores around that perimeter to steal items in which they found useful for the either school or living purposes. 

School, which was again, jurisdiction by the Church determined whether or not a boy or a girl gets to keep their sexual organs and they will inspect in detail on a boy’s sperm count or a girl’s ability to bear children or their genetic features, if they failed to receive the appropriate measurements, their sexual organs will ultimately, undergo the final process: sterilization.

Those declared fit would be given a second assessment before marriage, and a third when they applied for a parenting license.

Those declared unfit would be scheduled for sterilization. Immediately.

And, unfortunately, it was the year where Nina’s (protagonist) sister- Millie will be going through the test and that’s where the story starts because Nina’s sister was pregnant and Millie ran away from her designed position as fornication was a sin and thus, resulting in a thousand thoughts through Nina’s mind.

One day, the year I was nine, Clare had refused to  kneel for worship. They gave her three chances. Brother Philip said refusing to recognize the Church’s authority was the first sign of possession. He called in an exorcist, and two hours later, Clare was sentenced. The exorcist said that since her possession was recent, her souls could be returned to the well of souls- if it were purified by fire.

They forced her to her knees on the dais, closed the steel cuffs above her calves, then burned her alive in front of the entire school.

She was seventeen years old.

What if they thought Melanie was possessed?

Now, I would like to talk about the pacing of the novel. I read this novel in the course of two days due to the jam-packed action sequences, the suspense and ultimately, the atmosphere of the novel. Moreover, the information that was given throughout the novel did not fall into the prey of ‘dump-n-go’ instead, it came by smoothly and allowed us to understand what’s actually going on before leaving for its goal. So, if you are a fast reader, this book will most likely take a day for you to finish. If you are a slow reader, at most 4 days. 

The world-building and the writing style were what I liked most about this novel. The style of writing was lyrical and it ran as lustrous as a silk word after word and because of its sleek state, it had contributed a huge factor to the world building of this book due to the descriptions that were punctured around the protagonist’s line of vision and the explanation adjoined to the system of its world and what had made it the way it was since a century or more ago. From the useful information to the tectonic writing style, it is hard to dislike this novel.

The complex family dynamics in this story were portrayed realistically and it offered a glimpse at what it was like before and what it was like now, how drastically different can a relationship be from a young age to an older age:

Since she’d stopped eating, talking, and coming out of her room even to yell at us. Over the past year, her angry, resentful tirades had faded into listless neglect as my mother retreated into her own head, into her room, and into nights spent out and days spent sleeping. Or unconscious. Or both.

The function of a demon was being explained in length and unlike other novels which usually just brush off the abilities of a demon or what will happen if a demon overtakes your body, this novel explains it in detail:

Disembodied demons have to find someone who’s sick or hurt or under some sort of chemical influence. Or even just someone sleeping. If the demon finds a body before he’s sucked back into hell… ta da! You have a newly possessed citizen, which means the ‘exorcists’ have failed.

I know I had already said my ‘favorite’ part of the novel but I have one more to share with you guys before we move into the dislikes that I had with this book. And that is: The characters! All of them are so likable and I had such a great time reading about how they team up to kick some demon ass. Take Nina as an example: She is a strong female lead with much independence and had a headstrong personality that dared people to contradict her beliefs. 

I wanted to be as straightforward and bold as he was, because he deserved that, but I had no experience with being straight forward and bold. I had experienced lying, and clothing myself in the darkness if in nothing else, and stealing, and paying high price for the things Mellie and I couldn’t survive without.

The team consists of: Finn, Maddock, Reese, Grayson and Devi. All of them had vastly different personalities and I would note on Devi, most of all. She was the most stubborn girl in the group and she, kind of or may, enjoy contradicting Nina which most of the time exploded in up rage. 

Well, on to my dislikes:

The freaking insta-love. I cherished the characters and how they handled the situations that they were positioned in but with the two of them that had barely known each other, was together for less than 24 hours and the mutual attraction mostly comes from Finn’s eye colour and Nina’s looks, it was pretty quixotic. If only they had known each other before all of these were pushed forward… If only the romance comes a little later in the novel, the story would get 95% from me. 

Another one of my dislikes was the fact that towards the end of the novel, the plot points started running thin and it was easy to discern as the author started stretching out certain scenes and it resulted in a slope on the hill for me. In other words, it fell flat. If only the ending was a little more epic, the story will be extremely fantastic.

And those are my only complaints.

In conclusion, I shall award this novel a 70%. I enjoyed almost everything that was presented in this novel and it is confirmed that I will be reading the next book in this duology because I need to know how it ends. So, I highly encourage you to give this wondrous novel a try!


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for The Stars Never Rise By Rachel Vincent! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!