review; a great and terrible beauty

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A Great And Terrible Beauty
by Libba Bray

A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy–jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions “for a bit of fun” and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the “others” and rebuild the Order.

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the art of poetry;

the art of poetry

I was never much of a poetry girl growing up. I mean, I liked them well enough, I suppose, but they never evoked that sense of wonder or roused my emotions the way getting lost in novels did.

Until recently, that is.

Tumblr has made being exposed to different styles of poetry much easier. The first few ‘proper’ poems I had read were Shakespearean and the more classic types taught in my English Literature classes. Tumblr has taught me that poetry can be pretty much anything. From a story, to rhyming words, to a protest (of sorts), or to – whatever this is.

I have not had the chance to read Milk And Honey by Rupi Kaur, but I have read some of her poems and there are a few that have struck me. Poetry, in its essence, is about feelings.

And I have a lot of those.

It has resulted in my writing poetry. Since the beginning of the year, I have been writing quite a bit of poetry. My muses are my family. My daughter, my mother, my sisters – I’ve written poems for and about them. I’ve written poems about my faith, about my feelings on subjective topics.

Maybe someday they will resonate with someone the way they resonate with me.

Maybe someday they will inspire someone, make them fall in love with poetry, the way I have slowly begun to my own descent.

Maybe.

Poetry has gone from something I did not quite understand, though I appreciated the aesthetics of it, to something I love.

2016-04-12 11:46

review; entwined

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Entwined
by Heather Dixon

‘Come and mend your broken hearts here.

Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her – beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing – it’s taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

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SPOTLIGHT; food for thought & the Young Adult genre

We interrupt our regular schedule to bring you this post.

A friend recently linked me to this article, and I’ve had it open on my phone for a while. Just to go back to and read because the first time I read it, I realised something – I agree with most of these points.

food for thought

I mean, I love YA books. I pretty much only read YA books. Almost all the reviews on this blog are of YA books.

But when I look at the audience reading these books, we are (almost) all in our twenties or older. Or in our late teens. We read these books for escapism, for the want of the adventure or the nostalgia.

I can’t say I wouldn’t have read these books as a teenager. There are certain YA books I did read as a teenager, but as the author the article points out, the portrayal of these protagonists is, well, unrealistic.

And it made me realise something –

I mentally age up the characters of these novels.

Book has a sixteen year old protagonist who is super skilled? By mid-way through the book, I’m imagining someone who is twenty or slightly older.

The teenage protagonist is super self-sufficient and their parents seem to be non-existent? COLLEGE STUDENT AWAY FROM HOME (possibly for the first time to explain some of the things they wind up doing and/or saying).

Probably not what the author intended, but it makes it easier for me to swallow the stories when the protagonist is not unrealistically young for their actions and their character arc.

Has anybody else read that article? What were your thoughts? Am I the only one who had an epiphany upon reading that post, or am I not alone? Please tell me I’m not alone, I need to not be alone in this, heh.

2016-04-12 11:46

review; fangirl

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Fangirl
by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

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