Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Evolution of Mara Dyer

This book was a lot more 'Ohhh my wordd I love Noah!' Like, he's everything. But not in a silly way, he stands by Mara and it means the world. He is her rock, they trust each other. I like their relationship a lot, because it never seems too-soon or co-dependent, and it never seems teen-dramatic, even though it so easily could be. Michelle created them so perfectly, as individuals and for each other. And somehow she never loses that passion and chemistry between them. I might say it was even a little sexy..

This story, gahhh I loved it even more than the first book. It's.. Thrilling! And captivating. It's filled with twists and turns and chapters that end with me holding my breath (sometimes because I hope she gets to kiss Noah, and sometimes because MAJOR PLOT TWIST that I most definitely did not see coming.)

Michelle Hodkins takes you on this journey where, again you don't know whether Mara is actually getting more delusional or if her circumstance really is getting more twisted. It's exciting mostly because everything we read unfolds as Mara sees it and she is so lost and confused while she puts the pieces together. It's a beautiful story of trust and deception and passion and desperation. And mmm I do love the tragedy, the reality of psychiatric care and the supernatural aspects that Michelle so finely weaves into the book. I'd want to call it a psycho-thriller. Yeah. Is that a genre? That's what it is!

I'm being vague about the plot on purpose, because watching it unfold is most of the fun. It reminded me of The Lovely Bones every now and then, just because of how frightened I was sometimes. And again, felt like Gone Girl, with the second-guessing and not-knowing. She has flashbacks that were fields and carriages and rituals and old languages, that remind me of Reign. But also, and especially near the end, it felt a little like Dollhouse, or Catching Fire, where you begin to think someone is messing with her but you just can't figure out who or why or in which parts.. IT'S THE BEST!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

(Fun intro fact: This started off intriguing and then it just got way too.. accurately PTSD for me. It was too close to home and too realistic for me to continue, and so I stopped reading it for a while. When I came back to it, I was so happy I did! I found the accurate portrayal to be beautiful and true and, an important part of understanding what Mara is going through.)

This book is thrilling and fun, there's a gorgeous British bad-boy-with-more-going-on-than-everyone-else-sees (how can you not love) and there's a complicated situation that Mara is trying to figure out. It was kinda cool that I had just finished Gone Girl, and started reading Stephen King's 'Carrie' at the same time as this one, because it's got aspects of both.

-You have no idea what's real and what's not, and there's an important and urgent mystery to be solved while making sure that, to the prying eyes and public, you look like everything is fine. And then, there's this potential supernatural aspect that you're wondering about while Mara discovers more of the real story and wonders deeper into what's been happening since the accident.

There's a moment, about three-quarters into the book where it's like 'Um, really Michelle? Unneccesary. Aligators, really? Why you gotta do me like dis.' BUT THEN IT ALL MAKES SENSE AND IT'S AMAZING. Seriously, just keep reading. All the twists that may have felt annoying with other characters or in another book, just WORKS in this one. So well! Cassie Clare is right, it is haunting and dreamlike.

This book was fun to read, a true adventure of love and fear and "whattt is happening?!" In her acknowledgments, Michelle Hodkin thanks some of my favourite authors for their support (*fangirls a little.. keeps reading*) and then ends with 'I can't wait to share what happens next' and I WAS LIKE BUT I NEED TO KNOW NOW MICHELLE! I'm lucky it's already out, I rushed to get the second one immediately, it's that good.

Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie)

I found this book in my favourite second-hand bookstore. It was a soft and well-loved book, with that sweet smell of old book, mmm. Its pretty cover and romantic storyline meant I couldn't leave without taking it home with me. And I'm so happy I did, it's the sweetest! **I later found out it's also being made into a movie, so while I was reading it, two of the actors I've been obsessed with recently were filming the story! Which yes, gave me even more feels!

The story is long, but in a comforting way. It's filled with all kinds of love, over years and through different lives. It's filled with sweet moments and difficult choices and that always-hopeful belief that Rosie and Alex are meant for eachother. It's the kind of story that you get lost in, and never really want to leave. I giggled at the emails they send and the children as they grow up, and Iawhhhed and noooo-ed and, so many feelings. I marked so many pages that were just, perfect butterfly moments.

Mostly, it's the kind of story I know I'll read many times over the years, because I'll see different things every time. There's everything from childhood crushes and teenage could-we-last-forevers, to there's 'she's engaged, I missed my chance' and all the hardships of marriage. The story tells of the magic and hope that friendship can be, and of the beauty that a shared life can be.

Here's a picture from the movie set, I love it. 

Three quotes I loved: 
“I've learned that home isn't a place, it’s a feeling.”

“Our life is made up of time; our days are measured in hours, our pay measured by those hours, our knowledge is measured by years. We grab a few quick minutes in our busy day to have a coffee break. We rush back to our desks, we watch the clock, we live by appointments. And yet your time eventually runs out and you wonder in your heart of hearts if those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and decades were being spent the best way they possibly could. In other words, if you could change anything, would you?” 

“You deserve someone who loves you with every single beat of his heart, someone who thinks about you constantly, someone who spends every minute of every day just wondering what you’re doing, where you are, who you’re with, and if you’re OK. You need someone who can help you reach your dreams and protect you from your fears. You need someone who will treat you with respect, love every part of you, especially your flaws. You should be with someone who could make you happy, really happy, dancing on air happy.” 

And the movie poster: 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Eleanor & Park

In the book, Park says “Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” and my goodness does this book make you feel SO MANY THINGS!

Rainbow (I loved her a thousand times before even reading this, for her name) wrote this like an art piece. It's rough and moody, honest and captivating, sweet and filled with deep love, and its colours fill every little piece of your heart.

I love that it's set in the 80s. I love the song lyrics and band names, the cassette tapes and the landline phones. I love that Eleanor and Park are broken in their own delicate way, but that neither tries to change or redefine the other. Their love is a 'let me learn you, I want all of you' kind of thing. And it never feels like they're trying to fix each other, because they don't see any part of the other as broken.

I thought this was going to be another cute love story set in a difficult-to-be-together situation, but it was nothing like I could ever imagine. The way Rainbow writes Eleanor's home life and internal thoughts, is more intimately realistic than my heart could take.

And while this book is filled with the heartbreaking, harsh realities of life, it is also filled with thousands of tiny adorable moments of discovered love. Wildly vivid descriptions of moments shared, and observations about each other that sound like whispers. They're entranced by each other. I love that she smells like vanilla, and the way she is one of the kids and set apart from them at the same time but loves them completely. I love the role that Park's parents and their past plays into Park and Eleanor's relationship and future.

I really feel like I'm playing down the cuteness of the couple, but oh gosh you need to know they're adorable! Their story is filled with giggles and electric touches, and kisses that they never want to end. Their conversations are filled with life, strong opinions, song lyrics and love for other worlds. It's a sweet, sweet strong love that will make your heart sing, and you'll find yourself giggling into the book cover.

Eleanor and Park are in high school, and share a brief time together, but the love feels real, and mature and heavy in a way that can only make you feel light. Dealing with obstacles simply by being there for each other and in each other's hearts.

Wow, I think I have said 'each other' a million times here. Just, read the book. Like I will, a hundred more times this year and for many years to come. It's a book that leaves you with the feeling that you just read something incredibly important. It doesn't feel like just a story, it feels like you lived through something courageous and hopeful.

I love the way John Green ends his review of this book (I just found it while looking at fan art of the story) and so I will end mine with his words:

Early in the novel, Park’s English teacher asks him why “Romeo and Juliet” has survived 400 years. With Eleanor looking on, Park says: “Because people want to remember what it’s like to be young? And in love?” After a moment, he adds, “Is that right?”

It is. “Eleanor & Park” reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.

If I ever get to meet Rainbow, I'd want to give her a hug, and a very simple, sincere 'Thank you.' for sending a gift this beautiful, with so much heart, into the world.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gone Girl

I started reading this book after seeing Lea Michele was yet another celeb to be reading it, and ohhh myyy it's been a thrill! It's trippy in the loveliest way; it keeps you guessing! It's filled with the sweetness of first marriage and growing as a couple. It's also twisted and dark and captivating. 

The book starts with so many cute little moments about the start of their love story, and the way Nick and Amy began their marriage. The mood of the book is such (and this is what I kept telling people about the book) that you literally have no idea who to trust and what is actually happening. I loved that!

And then you start getting both perspectives, and just when you think you're figuring it all out, the chapter ends with another jaw-dropping moment that changes everything! I think it's best if you don't read up on the plot, it's such a fun adventure watching it fall out in front of you.

The second part of the book is all sociopath-paranoia-plotting, it's magnificent and terrifying! I spent most of this last part, panicked about what I would do if I was in Nick's situation, and hoping with everything in me that someone is on his side. I was of course, completed entranced by Amy's every thought and wondering what her every move would be. 

Up until the very end of the book, you have no idea how things are going to play out. It's complicated and beautiful and fascinating and overflowing with human realities: of society and prejudice and manipulation and personality weakness.

Reading this book was like watching a couple balancing on a tightrope, at a big show with a million distractions. It's only really about their dynamic, but they have somehow involved all these other people's opinions and desires and.. It's messy and they fight dirty, but it's all so controlled, so planned. You'll know what I mean when you read it! (Read it!) 

and just like I said at the end of Follow Me Down, if you've read it I would love to discuss the ending. 

Monday, October 28, 2013


This is a lovely book! A wonderful weekend read!

'Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.'

It's filled with beautiful imagery, so much emotion, fills your heart with the winds of change and challenges to really live. I especially loved the journal aspect, and the beautiful way it's written. Every chapter starts with a floral illustration, and a line from a poem or a poignant quote. I really liked that. 

The first line I highlighted in the book is this: "Today the wind and I burst through the double doors together, and it carries me like someone who's going places, because now it's official. I am." and the book kind of carries you on a journey with this feeling. It's a book about really living, and enjoying the experiences while you chase your goals. "A life made of beauty and love and chance." It asks the question, "What will you live for? Be passionate about? Define yourself by?" while you read Parker's story, as she reads Julianna's story and tries to live them both out as best she can. 

Julianna writes so beautifully of a boy who 'feels like someone I've always known, but also someone I need to know more' and it changes the way she sees her life and her relationship and, the course of her life in it's entirety. 

I believe that every moment matters and happens for a reason, that you see things in conversations or the corner of your eyes and that one day it all matches up to have a magnificent meaning. And I enjoyed that aspect, but I also enjoyed the way *not really a spoiler* it ends with possibility, no defined answer or 'happily ever after' - though to me, that's the real kind of happily ever after.

I think this would make a great movie adaption, or even tv series. And I'd kind of like a second book, maybe written the way Lola and the Boy Next Door is.. where you see them again but in a different story. Maybe from someone like Orion's perspective, or Hope's thoughts. 

There's a boy who has like Parker for years, Be a miracle. Be alive, and living a beautiful life somewhere new, however impossible it seems.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Spectacular Now

This book was a wonderful weekend read. It's as lush and sunlight-filled as the movie posters for the film adaption are. It's sweet and sincere; also real-life messy, honest, unpredictable and entertaining. A lovely coming-of-age story about a boy who sees the world as it is, and embraces the weird.

I loved Sutter from the very beginning, for his incredibly vast and genuinely kind insights into the hearts of those around him. He's so very aware, of his impact on their worlds, which can often be complicated but to him reality is a simple truth

It's a story that made me wonder if I am doing everything I can to be as alive as I can be in this moment. It made me realise that things can seem messy but, with the right person and the right perspective (and maybe a shot of Whiskey) the world is a bright adventure waiting to be had. 

Sutter changes Aimee's life, and she changes his. -For the simple reason that their hearts are open, to change and light and opportunity. We learn about different kinds of love and the effects of heartache. But also of sacrifice and the wonder in how transient relationships can be.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pandemonium (Delirium #2)

I'd been sure I'd give this book three stars, pretty much the whole time I was reading it. The first half I was, waiting for something to happen, and finding my way around these flashbacks while I figured out what Lena's 'now' was. And then I was like 'oh.' when things really did happen. I kind of wanna say it was boring. It wasn't so boring that I didn't want to finish it; it was good enough that I wanted to keep reading, but.. meh. There were cute moments though. I think, also maybe it didn't get deep enough into the new characters. Like maybe because of the past and present happening at the same times, I never really knew where we stand and whether to care about them.

The main feeling I had when reading this book was, disbelief about Alex, just wanting him to come back or not be dead and like. That was my main feeling I was hoping and waiting for him. So, meh.

But then the last scene happened AND I WANTED TO GIVE IT AT FIVE OR A SEVEN and needed to rush to the next book. Because I KNEW IT! And I ALSO LIKE JULIAN NOW BUT. Ugh I'd hate myself if I was her, but then also hate him, but then also hate myself if I was Alex. TOO MANY FEELINGS I CANT. So, there.

Also, I prefer this cover.
I just feel like it's more, related to the story.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Bling Ring

I've been so interested in this story. -The idea of fame-obsessed teenagers successfully robbing celebrities of millions of dollars! While the media has mostly been obsessed with 'why', I've been excited by the 'how!' 

The book is written Nancy Jo Sales who did the Vanity Fair story that inspired Sofia Coppolla to make this into a film. 

(I've been watching the Made-for-tv movie in between reading this book, before I watch Sofia's film, and it's just made me so much more interested in the Ring as individuals. Also, Austin Butler is the main character!! I will do a review when I've finished the movie*) 

My first thought, when I heard the story, was 'How had this not happened before? And how is it teenagers who did it first?!' 

Nancy answers this question beautifully, explaining the context of the situation. Hollywood was always a sparkling area of unattainable wealth, it was an us-and-them situation. She writes, 'It was fame itself that acted as a shield, an invisible force keeping the non-famous out. Until recently, the fame bubble has always seemed magical, impossible to pierce.. actors were respected and admired. 

'Stars-they're just like us.' US Weekly tells us. Well, now they are. Reality television leveled Mount Olympus like a nuclear bomb.' At the same time as it said 'celebrities are just people' it said, 'hey, you can be just as famous.' And suddenly the us-and-them idea, is no more. 

The most enlightening moment so far for me, is this quote: 'the Bling Ring kids felt they could just walk into the stars' home because stars no longer shined.'

With Twitter and Facebook and weekly tabloids, we knew these celebrities, intimately, but never intimately enough. When you think of it like that, with a sudden change like that, becoming so deeply a part of who we are as a society, how could something like the Bling Ring not happen? 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Anna and the French Kiss

It's a cute love story, set in Paris. It's a beautiful combination of quirky American girl, the magic of Paris, boarding school dynamics and the difficulty of moving away on your own. I loved the intricacy of each character, and the way I grew to love each of them in a different way. They're the kind of friends I'd like if I were away at school. Friends who get crepes together on Sunday mornings, and eat breakfast together in the week. A boy who is always drawing passionately, a girl who loves the Beatles and wears glitter rings, a girl who is forgiving even though she's lonely, and a charming boy from many different worlds who becomes home to Anna.

It made me want to explore Paris, and meet a cute British boy who speaks French; I want to see museums and paint for days, eat lunch on Cathedral steps and see Paris from way up high. It also made me long for all those beautiful cinemas. I love that about YA books especially, there's always some lovely kind of knowledge about the main character that sets her apart. Anna is passionate about and filled with, a love for film. She knows the history of it and all the best and worst parts.

I especially love the idea that home is a person and not a place, because that's how it's always been for me.

(Also, I learned the word 'meretricious' which is so very fun to say!)

Between the Lines

It's the most magical fairytale, it's a perfect wonderland. It's mermaids and palaces, mixed with modern reality and humor. You'll giggle and awww, and fall head over heels in love, over and over again. 

Think of the prince in your favourite lovestory, and then imagine he sees you everytime you open the book, and has been falling in love with you as much as you are with him. Prince Oliver has, with Delilah. They're the only ones who can hear and see eachother *Destinyyy* in two different worlds (one only existing inside a storybook) and he wants to get out of the routine that is reenacting the same story over and over when his heart isn't in it. 

The story is written from both Oliver and Delilah's point of view, and it includes glimpses of the fairytale story they're caught up in. All through the book are these beautiful illustrations, which will make you smile everytime, and make the story come to life! (Albeit, a little less than if Oliver could see me, too.)

It's super super cute!

I read the book while listening to the cutest three albums, so I picked a couple of the cutest and made a playlist here. I'd say if the book were to have 'a song', the one that made me smile the most when it came on is Happily Ever After by He Is We 

There's a really cute interview of Jodi and Sammy down here.

and a lovely book trailer (where you can see the gorgeous illustrations) here:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

City of Fallen Angels

A brief description of my journey through City of Fallen Angels, by percentage through the book:

1: Simon is a boss 
38: Fangirling SO hard over this Simon/Jace thing that's happening!
44: I love you Kyle!
46: Aw Kyle + Simon 4eva
65: I actually just feel sick
73: Where are they taking everyone?! What is HAPPENING? Can't they tell this is manipulation!
Don't trust anyone!
75: I'm really enjoying all these 'but you are so old' jokes 
76: ah nostalgia.. There's nothing like looking back on a relationship moments after it's ended.
76: Every time they say Lilith, I miss Supernatural.  
85: sndjcjcjidd really?! You're gonna make us wait?!!! AHDJCJC 
88: sooo much manipulation. So much suspense
93: This is such a nice ending
96: I'm so bleak for these kids, can they not just BE IN LOVE for like a minute without the whole world questioning if it's right and planting doubt in their teenage hearts! 
Song for this book: Taylor Swift's Untouchable. Also Lovedrunk.
98 Nooooooo! We should never leave this boy alone GOSH! 
100 wow. That's all I have to say. Wow, and, I can't wait for the movie. 

I loved it. I loved the way she talks about New York; I think it must be so magical for people who have lived in the city. I laughed out loud, and at times I was in knots of anxiety. So many unexpected plot twists! I love the way they've all become a stronger family. I love this quote for the way it's a perfect summary of the intentions of the book so well. It's in white text so you can highlight it if you have read the book because SPOILER ALERT ->  "Simon to die. Jace to live. Jonathan to return. And you, Valentine's daughter, to be the catalyst for it all." 

Life lesson from this book: 'Love is the most powerful force in the world.'

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

City of Glass

The story was captivating and exciting; I often caught myself skimming down for keywords of what happened next because I couldn't deal with the anticipation. As I said in the City of Ashes review, though, Clare writes in such a way that you want to read every word as she intended you to experience them. 

(I need to say: This book was longer than the ones before, and it felt like it.)

The storyline reminded me of Harry Potter, pretty often. With the lead male's unfortunately close but occasionally helpful relation to the Dark Lord, with his devoted spies, the reluctant involvement of the 'Ministry' in the battle for greater good. 

I'm really happy with the way it (eventually) ended; it was magical and answered questions without seeming rushed or like the author was answering things we would want to know. (It ended up that way, but it felt natural.) I loved way the characters develop, as they reflect on themselves and eachother. The book left me feeling all warm and fuzzy, not needing to rush into the next book, just glad.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

City of Ashes

I loved this book. As always with Cassandra Clare, the imagery is gorgeous, she describes things with a clarity I haven't experienced in a book before. -I found myself surprised at how familiar the associations she made were, capturing moments in between. Also, her vocabulary is extraordinary! and not in an intimidating way. I'm learning so many new words! And, learning so much about the history of mythology and legends behind the world she created. I also really enjoy the biblical references, it's such an interesting mix.

I really enjoy the unexpected plot changes, as well as the constant character development. I like that I don't always know if the characters are going to do what I hope, and I love that I don't want to flip ahead to see quickly because I want to experience every single word as it comes. 

This book deals with issues like parental abandonment, abuse, incest, morality in terms of the Law, homosexuality, family honor, and of course the ever-popular unrequited love. All delicately woven into battles and conversation and stolen glances. She manages to include profound thoughts in a way that isn't overpowering to the flow of the story. It's gorgeous and powerful. It will make you think, but also it will make you gasp and laugh and want to high five the characters. 

The ending, oh gosh, just make sure you have the next book before you finish this one.


'But if you can't tell the truth to the people you care about the most, eventually you stop being able to tell the truth to yourself.'

Life lessons from this book: 

If you love him, say you love him. Fight for that love.

We are each born and designed for something magical, to change the world with our talents; whether we know what it is yet or not. (Yeah I totally took it super deeply, whatever.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Follow Me Down

I read this book because Headline was tweeting about it as much as they were about Happy Looks Like, and when I started the sample, it got me really interested, so I bought it.

It's Looking for Alaska, as a story of rumors at boarding school, of a girl who goes missing and people around her who know neither of them know the real her. It's (500) days of Summer, in the way that it's written, flashing between 'before' when Adamma first arrives at the school, and after Scarlett goes missing, leaving us a little lost in between; never knowing who to trust and what is true. The curiosity is what pulled me through, though. Wanting to know what happens next, what really happened.

I quite like Adamma, I like that she is sassy, and I like that she isn't a typical selfless quiet girl. I like that she has bitter thoughts and that she cares about her make-up and shoes. I think I'd be annoyed if she was too typical and naive. She comes across as brave and very observant; she's introspective but still outspoken. I was most interested to see how she plays a part in all the happenings.

I literally have no idea what happened at the end, but i was gorgeous and poetic and a little prophetic in a way that left me speechless. It left my heart feeling empty and full at the same time, which made me remember the quote from The History of Love, “What about you? Are you happiest and saddest right now that you've ever been?" "Of course I am." "Why?" "Because nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder than you.” You, Follow Me Down, that's exactly how you made me feel.

This Is What Happy Looks Like

After reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I immediately followed Jen E. Smith on Twitter and stalked her a bit, only to find that her next book was being released a few days later! And the publisher was running a competition to win a copy, all you had to do was send in a picture of your idea of what happy looks like. So I entered a picture of my adorable best friend and I on her birthday, laughing with flowers in our hair.

Totally won a copy of the book. Totally smiled all day when I got the email. TOTALLY screamed with joy in the post office when it arrived.

And the book was sooo lovely. I read it in a few hours, in my sparkly bed at sunset. I was hooked from the very beginning. The beginning is an exciting and captivating meet-cute, the kind I'm sure must have happened in real life somewhere! He typed the incorrect email address, and his email sends to her. She replies politely, and they start talking, in short bursts of quirky-adorable. Right from then, I felt like I was inside a Hugh Grant film.

She loves poetry, he draws cities. She has striking red hair, his eyes are stunningly blue. They become each other's escape, a place where they can be themselves because they knew each other's truth before they had a chance to be anything else. Ellie puts it so perfectly, 'Theirs was a partnership of details rather than facts. And the details were the best part.' I love the idea of knowing someone by the things that make them smile.

'He liked to draw buildings --high rises and brownstones and skyscrapers with rows upon rows of windows--and when he was anxious, he's sketch out entire cities. He played the guitar, but not well. He wanted to live in Colorado someday. The only thing he could cool was grilled cheese sandwiches He hates e-mailing most people, but not her.'

It's cinematic in it's romance and all the little moments made me smile so big. There are a couple of pages I bookmarked, specifically because the way its written makes you feel like you're inside a film, it's all fast paced or slow-motion gravitational pull, or that magic kind of blur.

It's a cute love story of chance and fame and small-town life, which also deals with family troubles and the risks we take for love. It made me dreamy for a small-town American life, and it made me realize I miss hotels and first dates. It will make you think about what makes you happy, and it will make you smile. It may also make you want to send emails to random address in the hopes that it's a charming celebrity..

Lovely moments:
'Good morning, E. Was there any better way to greet the day?'

'The whole thing was oddly surreal, and for a moment, Ellie could almost see the magic in it; she could almost understand why someone might fall under his spell.'

'The thought occurred to her with surprising force: He's sad.'

'But her favourite part of the shop was her collection of picture frames lining the shelves in the far back corner. They came in all shapes and colours and sizes, some of the silver and some of them wood, while others were made of sea glass or had delicate designs along the edges. And in each and every frame, instead of a glossy photograph, there was a poem.'

'So far, I heart Maine too.'

Ellie's 'Happy Looks Like' list:
Sunrises over the harbour. Ice cream on a hot day. The sound of waves down the street. The way my dog curls up next to me on the couch. Evening strolls. Great movies. Thunderstorms. A good cheeseburger. Fridays. Saturdays. Wednesdays, even. Sticking your toes in the water. Pajama pants. Flip-flops. Swimming. Poetry. The absence of smiley faces in an e-mail.

I've just started Follow me Down, and am currently obsessed with Headline's YA books. They have a really cute Facebook page/Pinterest board which you can follow here:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

City of Bones

If you'd prefer not to read my emotional journey with City of Bones, and just want to know if you should read it or not, read what Holly Black said of Cassandra Clare and know that it is so true of this story:

'She is the rare writer who can writer fast-paced dramatic fantasy with gorgeous lnguage and memorable characters that you grow to love and worry about, as well as really funny bits that will make you honestly laugh.'

And if you do care, then hi, and welcome to an emotional rollercoaster.

I've really enjoyed reading this book, it's been so fun falling in love with Jace, and also imagining Clary as Lily Cole. (I only started reading this after the movie trailer came out) This book hooked me from the start, with the perfect combination of modern life and the history of a magic underworld, as well as that ever-fascinating battle for good over evil.

I'm alll about the love story, so what's pulling me through is this FALL IN LOVE WITH JACE thing. It's pretty much all my Goodreads updates have been saying. (Also, Simon LITERALLY IS the Link to Isabelle's Ridley.) *Beautiful Creatures Reference*

I'm a little sad for Simon, beause I'm not sure Clary appreciates him. It seems like she just wants him there because he always has been, and she doesn't know who she would be without him. I kind of picture Simon lying in bed listening to this song wishing Clary would walk in and say those words to him.

My favourite moment was the kiss, where I air punched and sat in bed with a silly smile wishing I was on a rooftop greenhouse date at midnight. And an even bigger smile for this:

*a moment of silence while we smile to ourselves and get butterflies and whisper 'I love you, Jace. I love you.'

There are two MAJOR plot twists, that I actually can't even emotionally deal with. If you've read the book you'll know what I mean just by the way I reacted:

asdbififngfg buttttwhyyyy but whyyyyyy erijdgnfjh Hands down my face I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY.

This is the first book (confession time) that I didn't kind of (eeep, do I say this) skim over the battle scenes to see who's winning. I guess, usually it's like swords and injuries and strategies and maybe I found it boring or maybe I didn't always understand what's happening haha, but this one, the way she writes.. It's so intertwined with the emotional connection between characters, and maybe because there's always a group of them  fighting, it's gripping. I wanted to know every detail, from the way the room looks to which dagger was used.

She writes so descriptively, it's beautiful. The relationships between characters, and the mysteries unfolding as they find out the truth of their past, is so complicated. But she makes it seem so simple, in the most wonderful way, like you're just swept along the journey with them.

And actually this song just came on shuffle, and maybe this is my Belieber heart thinking 'CANT JACE SAY THIS TO CLARY and make it all okay' *cries hopefully*

Can we also take a moment to acknowledge that movie-Simon is kind of cute and maybe we fall in love with him eventually, I don't know, but I'd maybe be okay with it.

Words I've learned:
exsanguinated (To be drained of blood)
desultory (Lacking a plan, purpose, or enthusiasm.)
fastidiously (Possessing or displaying careful, meticulous attention to detail. / Difficult to please; exacting.)
indignantly (Expressing strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting.)
and, my new favourite word:
reverie (A state of being pleasantly lost in one's thoughts; a daydream)

Pretty phrases:
something about his voice
go to him

pearly with sleeplessness
dark with concern

coffee and clove cigarettes
eerily calm: "I love you, Clary."

lavender soap
books bound in leather and velvet
glowing jewels and illuminated with gold script
a fallen star
soft as worn paper

a riot of color
locked up in your head, under those pretty curls
looking tousled and half-awake
with early morning hair and sleepy eyes

fingers as thin as parchment, inked all over with runes
made of a dark burned-looking silver with a pattern of stars around the band
brightly coloured cushions, endearingly mismatched crockery

it moved like light
she seemed to shimmer in the lamplight
air like ancient wedding veils

a strangely beautiful cascade of silver strands
the dusty air of Brooklyn
his arms holding her up and the stars hurtling down around her head like a rain of silver tinsel.

Quotable moments
It's your gift, to see the beauty and the horror in ordinary things. It doesn't make you crazy--just different.
His face was so familiar she could have traced its lines in her sleep
He caught her as of he were used to catching fainting girls, as if he did it every day.

The last light of sunset struck gold sparks from his eyes.
The moon hung like a locket over the city

"He always says exactly what comes into his head. No filters." "Filters are for cigarettes and coffee."

They tantalized her sight the way half-heard words in a foreign language sometimes tantalized her hearing.

'It smells like...' Springtime, she thought, before the heat comes and crushes the leaves to a pulp and withers the petals off the flowers. 'Home,' said Jace,'to me.'

'Then you will see the world as it is--infinite.'

The face of the angel was fierce and beautiful and sad
In your waking dream you saw it written

There was a kinetic, almost feverish energy to him that hadn't been there before. Something about Jace sharpened him, brought him into focus.
If she were going to draw them together, she thought, she would make Jace a little blurry, while Alec stood out, all sharp, clear panes and angles.

Afternoon light slanted in through the parted curtains, laying bars of gold across the floor.

he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make it happen
His eyes ran up and down her lazily, like the stroking paws of a cat.
'I don't care if I'm different,' she said. 'I just want to be who I really am.'

She heard her own voice as if from a distance: astonishment, gratitude, longing so sharp it was painful.

as if he could tell he had her pinned there like a butterfly to a board
The tip of the sword kissed Valentine's throat.

'It's not so much that he's kinder [with you], but that he lets you see the kindness in him.'

'But Jace,' she said. 'All the stories are true.'

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

I really reallyy loved this book. I picked it up in the bookstore because the cover was cute and the story seemed lovely, and I ended up reading the entire book right there, but then I had to buy it because there were so many parts I needed to draw hearts around and underline with stars. Also, how cute is it that the reviews on the cover simply say 'sparkly' and 'irresistible' :)

I'm particularly fond of this story because I experienced something so similar it's actually crazy. Any airport lovestory is going to make me swoon, this one made me smile so much. I'm completely in love with Oliver, ofcourse, and I loved that there was family drama and unsettling realities thrown in between. (Also, the Dickens quotes make me miss Beautiful Creatures)

And two bonus loves: The interview with MARGARET STOHL at the end! Two of my favourites in one place, whuuut. And! The list of things Jennifer loves about New York and London. Ugh, I love this book so much, I've read it every night this week, I'm going to read it again right now. Read it! It's quick and happy and pretty and eee! ♥