the nostalgia post;

bookworm things

You know the books you read as a kid that, on looking back aren’t as good as you think, but you’ve still got a warm spot in your heart for them? Yeah, this post is for that feeling. This post is for those books, the ones that you turn to when you need the comfort of your memories, the ones you read when you need to be reminded of your childhood and how much simpler life could be then.

the nostalgia post

There are books that I remember fondly from my childhood. That I can read over and over to spark a feeling of warmth. These books take me back to simpler times. Or sometimes, to the escape I had needed from my studies and, well, society.

I was admittedly a very singular kid. My friends knew when to leave me alone. Too much company got to me.

Books? Books were my best friends.

And these books are those old friends I turn back to when I need comfort. I don’t know many people who have read these particular ones, but I would love to find some. Would love to talk to people who have similar fond memories of the first time they picked these books up.

Patricia C. Wrede’s Dragons series

The first time I read these books, I was 11. I think. My mother, younger sister and two of my cousins had gone on a holiday to visit my mother’s brother. His daughters had drawers full of books – and this series was in one of those drawers. They let me borrow them, and needless to say, I spent a lot of my holiday with my nose buried in them.

It took me years to actually get my hands on a copy of the full series, but when I did, I immediately had a re-read. And while there were obviously some things that, while fantastical and wonderful to a young child, felt a little juvenile to a teenager, it still invoked that same magical feeling in me. Definitely a series I would read again. And again.

Susan Coolidge’s What Katy Did series

Upon reflection, this series can be very preachy. But there’s something about it that I still adore. I think it’s the simplicity of it, the way the characters grow. The familial relationships, and then the friendships that develop in the second novel.

And then the love story – not a very large part of the novel, but a very understated and lovely bit that tugged at my heart strings. It is probably a part of why I keep going back to the books. Why, despite my copies being old and tattered, I can’t see myself letting them go.

Diana Wynne Jones’ A Tale Of Time City

I’ve mentioned this book to a number of people. I still recommend it, because it is a fascinating blend of science fiction and fantasy type elements. It still thrills me each time I read it, and I still find myself wondering what will happen next, even though I’ve read it at least three times already.

The first time I read it was when I borrowed it from a cousin (one of the ones previously mentioned in this post), who highly recommended the author to me. She also lent me her copy of Howl’s Moving Castle, which I adored just as much. But there was just something about this one that kept me hooked. That keeps me going back.

C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles Of Narnia

When I think nostalgia, I think Narnia, even though I was in my teens when I finally got down to reading the series. But the influence this series has had on my writing style probably has something to do with how much I adore it. I read it when I need a pick me up. I read it when I need to find a way to get back into writing.

It is just – whimsical and yet grounded. It teaches us something, and yet, I feel like we could have taught the characters something too. I still find that there is much to discuss about the books and the characters, and there is so much world yet to explore.

This series helped me as a writer. And for that, I will always adore it.

books box

Of course, there are more books that I adore from my childhood. That evoke the same feelings of wistfulness for the past. But these are the ones that struck me the most, I think. Does anyone else have those books that meant a lot to them as a kid? Books that you still turn to, even now, when you need some comfort?

2016-04-12 11:46

review; vessel

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Vessel
by Sarah Beth Durst

Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. She will dance and summon her tribe’s deity, who will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But when the dance ends, Liyana is still there. Her tribe is furious – and sure that it is Liyana’s fault. Abandoned by her tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. The desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice – she must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate – or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.

Review:
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SPOTLIGHT; new author alert

We interrupt our regular schedule to bring you this post.

A while back, I talked on Twitter about my niece finishing up and finding publishers for her novels.

Well, today she texted me to let me know that she has finally set up her website and is now on Twitter and Instagram! Please follow her at @authorpremk and support a young writer!

Her first novel should be coming out later this year – it is called Midnight Castle; A Souls Of Darkness Novel, and is a paranormal romance involving vampires.

The synopsis for the second one is not up on her website yet, but it is called Wheel Of Death and is a live adventure YA novel centered around a game involving the elements and prize money of 20 million. I don’t know all the details, but it seems intense!

She’s not on Goodreads (yet), but I know that’s the plan, so do check out her novels and consider adding them to your TBR?

Again, she can be found on –
Twitter: @authorpremk
Instagram: @authorpremk
Website: http://www.premkkaur.com/
Goodreads: coming soon

2016-04-12 11:46

 

 

review; briar rose

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Briar Rose
by Jana Oliver

For Briar Rose, life is anything but a fairy tale. She’s stuck in a small town in deepest Georgia with parents who won’t let her out of their sight, a bunch of small-minded, gossiping neighbours and an evil ex who’s spreading nasty rumours about what she may or may not have done in the back of his car. She’s tired of it all, so when, on her sixteenth birthday, her parents tell her that she is cursed and will go to sleep for a hundred years when the clock strikes midnight, she’s actually kind of glad to leave it all behind. She says her goodbyes, lies down, and closes her eyes…

And then she wakes up. Cold, alone and in the middle of the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever have dreamed of. Now Briar must fight her way out of the story that has been created for her, but she can’t do it alone. She never believed in handsome princes, but now she’s met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up.

Review:
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hashtag twitter book chats; part deux

bookworm things

Yes, I did write a blog post about Twitter chats last year. I was raving about them, and to be fair, most of my thoughts are still the same. I still adore participating in Twitter (book) chats. I still think they are a great way to interact with fellow readers, with finding more books to read, and to interact with writers.

However, circumstances have changed things for me in regards to actually participating in chats, and that, my dear friends, is what this particular post is about.

twitter chat title two

Pretty much since late last year, I have been missing the book chats I usually participate in due to a variety of reasons. First, we were packing up our apartment in Auckland for our move back to Asia. Then we were busy with setting up in Asia, and visiting family we had not seen in a while.

And now? Now I have come to one very important conclusion:

Time differences suck.

When we were still staying in New Zealand, it was much easier for me to participate in chats because 9pm EST meant the afternoon – usually lunchtime – in Auckland. These days, that same timing for a chat means breakfast time. It means that little bit of time I get with the husband and the father-in-law in the mornings before they head off to work.

It means I cannot make the chats I loved to participate in without compromising on time with my family.

And it’s led me to consider organising a Twitter chat that is more conducive and convenient for Asian – particularly South East Asian, if only because that’s where I am – bloggers. The trouble is, I am not entirely sure what it takes to organise and run a chat such as the ones I’ve been participating in. I’m looking into it, that is for sure, but I also know that I cannot do it alone.

I have to find someone to help me out. Someone in a similar time zone to me, with similar interests so that we can run this thing without too much butting of heads. Someone who is up to the challenge.

This does not mean I’m not going to participate in any of the other chats going on. I’m definitely going to try to catch a chat or two every few weeks, if possible. I miss interacting with the friends I’ve made.

I just also want to put together something that is convenient for me. That does not involve me sacrificing time with my family. I’m sure there are other bloggers who feel the same.

What do you think? Should I try and come up with a book chat with timings that Asians can make it for?

2016-04-12 11:46

review; team human

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Team Human
by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan

Mel is horrified when Francis Duvarney, arrogant, gorgeous, and undead, starts at her high school. Mel’s best friend, Cathy, immediately falls for the vampire. Cathy is determined to be with him forever, even if having him turn her could inadvertently make her a zombie.

And Mel is equally determined to prove to her BFF that Francis is no good, braving the city’s vampire district and kissing a cute boy raised by vampires as she searches evidence in this touching and comic novel.

Review:
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review; interworld

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Interworld
by Neil Gaiman & Michael Reaves

Joey Harker isn’t a hero.

In fact, he’s the kind of guy who gets lost in his own house.

But then one day, Joey gets really lost. He walks straight out of his world and into another dimension.

Joey’s walk between the worlds makes him prey to two terrible forces – armies of magic and science who will do anything to harness his power to travel between dimensions.

When he sees the evil those forces are capable of, Joey makes the only possible choice: to join an army of his own, an army of versions of himself from different dimensions who all share his amazing power and who are all determined to fight to save the worlds.

Review:
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the year of the diverse?;

bookworm things

It is 2017! And I promised myself that I would try to be better about posting discussion posts on the blog. Yes, that means my schedule is a lot slower than other bloggers, but hey, so long as I keep blogging, right?

But even so, it has been difficult for me to get into the right mindframe. I was having a tough time trying to figure out what I should write about for my first post of 2017. And then it hit me.

No, not literally.

I got an email notification that Cait @ Paper Fury had a new blog post up, so obviously I went to read it. Her 2017 YA Genre Predictions (Which Can’t Possibly Go Wrong) included guest bloggers’ thoughts on what would be on the rise this year in the book community. Which gave me the inspiration I needed.

No, not to do the same thing.

But some of their predictions did spark of a train of thought. With the louder and more stringent demands by readers, is 2017 going to be the year for diverse representation?

the year of the diverse

I’ve talked about diversity before. More along the lines of PoC representation, but that is something that has come up on this blog a couple of times. I am all about diversity in media. More characters that look like me, sound like my grandparents – more characters that struggle with mental or physical disorders without being shamed for it or miraculously ‘fixed’ at the end of their journey.

Basically, I want it all.

And it seems like this year, I’ll be getting it. Or at least, some of it. It is safe to say that #OwnVoices has caught traction with a number of book bloggers, and it just keeps building up. So I’m definitely ready to see some of these books talked about on the blogs I visit. I’m also definitely ready to try to get my hands on these books myself.

Books about generally marginalised groups of people, by members of those communities?

Yes, please!

It’s not that I don’t think an author cannot write about something they have not experienced. Of course they can! So long as they do with respect, and with a lot of research. There’s just something about reading a book by someone who understands what they are writing about because they have experienced it.

I know I’m looking forward to delving into their stories, their experiences. Between Empress Of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Bellza, Saints And Misfits by S.K. Ali and A Crown Of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi, it looks like I’m going to be spoiled for choice when it comes to writers with an Asian background. This – is a first for me.

And then there are the other books – the ones about the other types of diversity. And we know that these stories will not be diverse just for the sake of being ‘diverse’. I’m hoping for little to no harmful stereotypes or harmful tropes. I’m hoping for a rich and vibrant world, where everybody is different and everybody has a voice.

Hey, it could happen.

What do you think? Will this year be the year of diversity? Will this year meet our expectations, or will it fall sort?

And what are some of the diverse (not necessarily #OwnVoices) books you are looking forward to reading in 2017?

2016-04-12 11:46

 

review; the enchantress returns

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The Land Of Stories: The Enchantress Returns
by Chris Colfer

After decades of hiding, the evil Enchantress who cursed Sleeping Beauty is back with a vengeance.

Alex and Conner Bailey have not been back to the magical Land of Stories since their adventures in The Wishing Spell ended. But one night, they learn the famed Enchantress has kidnapped their mother! Against the will of their grandmother, the twins must find their own way into the Land of Stories to rescue their mother and save the fairy tale world from the greatest threat it’s ever faced.

Review:
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review; gemina

review

gemina

Gemina
by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

Review:
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