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! ♥