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Conversations: Forgetting Books Is No Big Deal

Sunday, August 21, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments


Hello everyone! 
So the topic for this week's Conversation is..
Do you forget books as easily as you read them?

The short answer? Yes

Let's define what forgetting books involves. For me, it involves forgetting minor things, like a minor character's backstory (e.g. who Ernie Macmillan is in Harry Potter) to more major things, like a major plot arc (e.g. Voldemort dies in Harry Potter) or a main character's name (e.g. Harry Potter in Harry Potter). 

There are some books that are more forgettable than others. For me, these are usually contemporary romance novels... >.< They're my favourite genre, but some of them are just so forgettable. Even the good ones are really forgettable to me. If I had to hazard a reason why they're more forgettable for me than most other books, I'd have to say it's because a lot of the same tropes are reused in contemporary romances, such as the 'I-didn't-see-him/her-like-that-until-now" one, the 'best friend' trope, the 'fake boyfriend' trope, etc. Plus, there's also the fact that it's so similar to my life sometimes, I sometimes mix up my life with the book o_O 

Examples of books like these include...
  • The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West - I only read this on Thursday, but I'm beginning to forget major details. I was trying to write a review for it on Goodreads, and I had to look up what the main character's name was. 
  • Anna and the French Kiss - I absolutely love this book...but I've forgotten everything about it. My sister was reading it the other day and fangirling, but I was like '...o_O Who's Bridgette??" 
  • Paper Towns - ??? All I remember is that there's some super cool girl called Margo and she runs away and the main character (IVE FORGOTTEN HIS NAME) tries to find her with clues I think?? Not 100% sure... Same goes with An Abundance of Katherines - all I remember is a guy who's obsessed with girls that are named Katherine, and he eventually ends up with a non-Katherine girl, I think?? NOT SURE xD 
There are some books that are pretty memorable...but I still forget them. This, I attribute to just my poor memory skills, and a lack of rereads. Or binge-reading. And just time in general, to be honest. 
Some books I'm just plain bad at remembering details about are:
  • Percy Jackson series and Heroes of Olympus series - OH MY GOSH, this is the worst offender. I think it's because I binge read these books. But yeah, I reread these books, and I always finish reading the series within two or three days...and five days after that, I go "...wait. What happened in Titan's Curse? Who's Frank again??"
  • Deltora Quest series - I think this is just because I haven't reread it in a while...but I recently reread the first series, so I'm on track now! Just gotta read the second and third ones... 
  • Skulduggery Pleasant series - HAHAHAHA, there are honestly so many books in this series, that I've forgotten everything past the first three books (which I reread incessantly) 
  • The Mortal Instruments - To be honest, after City of Ashes, I'm not 100% sure on what happened. Valentine was defeated, and Sebastian's the new baddy, that's all I know o_O 
  • Evernight series - okay, this one is pretty bad. I used to love this series, so I really should know more. Bianca and Lucas (I THINK THATS THEIR NAMES) are like forbidden lovers or something because Bianca is a vampire and Lucas is a vampire hunter, and...that's all I remember, folks! There's some ghosty/wraithy stuff going on too...IT'S BEEN TOO LONG. 
But to be honest, forgetting books isn't a huge struggle for me. People ask each other all the time, "If you could re-read a book and experience it for the first time (again), what book would it be?". For me, with my weird ability to forget books, I can just reread a book, and definitely experience it for the first time. 

Here's the link-up! 


If you can't link up, let me (or other people, through their posts in the link up above) know what you are like with remembering books? Are you like me, and you can't remember most books from a specific genre? Do you think it's a good thing to forget books? Any tips for remembering books? Start up a Conversation! 

On an unrelated note, I'm going on hiatus again...
I honestly do this too often! :/ I've been very busy with university (overloading and doing five subjects instead of the usual four), giving love to my new puppy (LIBBY! <3 ), and working at my job. 
AHHH :( 
I'll definitely stop by and comment on everyone's blogs when I can - but no guarantees with anything on my blog, with the sole exception of this feature, Conversations! 

Keep reading and loving books!
Geraldine


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The Aussie YA Blog Hop | In Which I Cheat and Have Too Many Answers

Thursday, August 11, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments



Although I've lived in Australia for about 10 years - I'm sad to say that I haven't read many Aus YA books until the last few years or so. The #LoveOzYA crew have been instrumental in increasing my awareness of lots of new Aus YA novels, and I've got to give credit to Google - without both of these groups/entities, I wouldn't have been able to answer these questions! 

What I Love About Aussie YA
...can I pick more than one thing? 
I think the great thing about Aus YA novels is how diverse they are. There are so many broad topics that these authors cover, and for a small continent, it's crazy how many great books on so many topics are churned out. 
I also really love reading Aus YA novels and being able to identify with many characters, look at the settings and just go "YES, I know this place!". It makes for a richer reading experience, because then I get to integrate my real-life experiences with what's happening in the novel, and I just have a deeper understanding of the book and what's going on. It forces me to pay more attention instead of skim-reading. 

My Favourite Aussie YA authors
Difficult question! 
Jackie French 
Garth Nix
John Flanagan 
Lynette Noni
Emily Rodda 
...all make my list! I still read some of their books - rereads and new books! 

An Aussie YA book I Grew Up With 
...do I have to choose just one??
Anything by Paul Jennings and Andy Griffiths - their books were ones that I reread constantly as a child. 
Paul Jennings's books were just...creepy and horrifying, and I LOVED IT. 
Andy Griffith's books epitomised LOL and ROFL for me - they were so humorous...and my parents disapproved of his type of humor...so naturally I loved reading his books! 

My Favourite 2016 Aussie YA book 
I really loved reading Akarnae by Lynette Noni, and I was super happy that Noni also published the sequel to Akarnae, Raelia, this year! 

An Aussie YA Debut I'm Looking Forward To 
I actually don't keep up with debuts too often, to be honest. So no answer here... 
If you've got any recommendations though...hit me up below! :) 

My Favourite Aussie YA series 
THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY
Honestly so surprised that not many people know about these series - they both got me reading fantasy, I think! 

An Unexpected Aussie YA Surprise 
I didn't expect that she is an Australian, actually! Thanks Google for letting me know! :P 
But honestly, I used to read Emily Rodda's novels constantly. Like they'd always be at the library, and I would borrow them out and just read. 
Here are a couple of the series that I used to read from her: 
Deltora Quest books - there are four series now, I believe! 
...she's honestly such a prolific writer - I admire her so much! 


An Aussie YA Book I will ALWAYS recommend to others
...once more, do I HAVE TO CHOOSE JUST ONE?? 
I'm not going to choose just one - anything by Jackie French
Jackie French is remarkable with historical fiction. Especially some of her Australian fiction works. Honestly, I never cared about Australian history in history classes at school - but reading her work helped me learn about Australia's history, and it was just so much more interesting when she wrote about it! 
Some of her titles set in Australia - I haven't read all of them, by the way: 

An Aussie YA book on my TBR

It sounds really interesting, and definitely relevant to Australia. We've had lots of debate around refugees and letting them into Australia in the past couple of years - so I'd love to see how Abdel-Fattah writes about it in When Michael Met Mina

My favourite Aus YA bloggers
I actually don't know toooooo many Aus YA bloggers. I used to think that there were virtually no Aus YA bloggers...but I now know one or two, which I'm so grateful for!
This is in any random order! 
1. Brett @ Brett Michael Orr - Brett is not only an Australian blogger, but also a writer, so woo! :D He and I both come from Brisbane, which is epic! 
2. Jean @ Happy Indulgence - Jean also comes from Brissy :D And I love tuning in to her #LoveOzYA segment on ABC Radio! :) 
3. Emily @ Loony Literate - Emily has some of the most gorgeous photos, and her posts are insightful and just a pleasure to read@ 
4. Cait @ PaperFury - no comment. Just check out her blog...and you'll know what I mean ;) 
5. Maddie @ PasoMaddie - honestly one of the friendliest bloggers I know! :) 

Keep reading and loving books!
Geraldine


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Conversations: I Love My Books!

Sunday, August 07, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments



So, this is a bit of a late post...sorry! 
The Conversations topic for this week is... 
How do you show your love for a book?

We all love our books. I mean, that's why you're here reading this post right? And that's definitely why I have my blog! But how do you guys show that you love a book? Here are a couple of ways that I do...

1. Write a lovely review - Whenever I absolutely love a book, I make sure to write a review on it, and try to force as many people to read it. After all...if no one knows the book, how else will I get to spill all the feels?? 

2. Buy different editions of the book - this applies more to classics and books that get more reprints in general, but I love looking at the different covers, looking at how they vary! 

3. Take lots of bookstagram photos with it - To be honest, I don't usually use bookstagram a lot...but I still take lots of photos of my favourite books! I just don't upload them >.< But what better way to showcase a wonderful book, than by highlighting it on bookstagram? 

4. Binding it with protective film - This only applies to paperback books, but I usually protect all my books from spills, large creases by covering them with stickyback or contact. This doesn't fully protect them from everything, of course, but it does add an extra layer of protection, which lets me sleep better at night, knowing my books are protected! 

5. Writing in it- OKAY, I know this is blasphemy, but I actually kind of like writing in my books. Usually, when I have a favourite book anyway, I have a second copy of that book. And in that second copy, I annotate. I highlight my favourite parts of the book, and I write notes (usually me going "AHHH", and just me spilling out all the feels). It makes for a very...interesting reread session down the track! 

This was a short, more list-y topic this week! I hope you enjoyed it - let me know if you prefer list-like topics or if you like the usual lengthy debate-esque topics we have! 
Also - let me know in the comments or in the link-up, how you show your love for all the books! <3 



Keep reading and loving books!
Geraldine


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Soundless by Richelle Mead | Sub-par At Best, Problematic At Worst

Monday, August 01, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments



The Breakdown


General Info:
     Title: Soundless 
     Author: Richelle Mead
     Genre: YA, Fantasy 
     Publisher: Razorbill
     Publishing Date: November 10th, 2015

Thoughts:
     Excellent:
          - The concept was original
          - Writing simple to read 

    Things that could have been better:
         - The characters were 2D 
         - Concept execution was poor 
         - Illogical events 
         - Appropriation of Chinese culture

Rating: 1.5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon


Initial Thoughts

I absolutely loved Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series. I read it in 2012, because my friends were reading it, and I pretty much binge-read it because it was just so good. When I heard that Mead was publishing a book that had Asian influences - I was super excited! After all, my heritage is Malaysian-Chinese, so I was really excited to dive into Soundless. 

In a village without sound…

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. 

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…

And unlocks a power that will save her people.

Characters

The characters were really two-dimensional. Fei was driven solely for her love for her sister. Whilst admirable - there was nothing much that really defined Fei as a character to me. 

The main couple in the books weren't shippable to me - they had absolutely no spark, no chemistry. It felt like they were just smooshed together, with no common ground between the two. Pretty much, it was like tokenism, but with romance, if that makes sense? Having a main couple in there, just to have romance. 

In general, the characters were forgettable - writing this review now, I've actually forgotten most of the character names, and their attributes. But maybe that's just me...

I also found the character depictions to be problematic. I was hoping for some representation in Soundless, but honestly, if you replaced the character names with Western names, the book would still flow as smoothly as if you had done nothing. All that makes this book 'diverse' is the character names. There is nothing else that really depicts a Chinese culture, and it was appropriation of Chinese culture.

Plot

The world didn't make sense to me, despite its originality. There are different classes of people in the world that Mead constructs in Soundless - the most important of which are artists and the least valued are miners. Artists get preferential treatment - miners are generally left hanging for scraps. However, miners work more and are critical towards maintaining the economy of the world. This contrast in value and necessity just didn't make sense to me. In our world, we have doctors who are paid more (generalisation, sorry!), and that's because they are essential towards maintaining the health of the population. Essentially, with Mead's world, doctors are less valued than painters. And to me, that didn't make sense.

Writing Style

Mead's writing is clear-cut as it was in Vampire Academy. Simple to read and easy to follow writing, that is Mead's talent. I would have thought it would be hard to depict communications between people who don't speak, and use hand gestures to communicate, but Mead manages it somehow. Despite this, this unique trait is diminished with the way that Mead presents it. It's difficult to explain, but Mead writes as if the characters are speaking to each other normally, which diminishes the uniqueness of having non-speaking characters. 

There's nothing that stands out with the writing - no wonderful quotes, no lyrical phrases, nothing. Just simple, easy to follow writing. 

Entertainment Value 

I had to force myself to read Soundless. It just didn't entertain me very much, because I found it problematic, filled with appropriation 

Final Thoughts

The only thing that was bearable about Soundless was perhaps Mead's writing style. As I've stated time and time before, the characters make or break a book for me, and in Soundless, the characters were subpar at best.The cover is gorgeous - but as we all know, we shouldn't judge books by their cover, and it is certainly the case with Soundless. 

Rating



Keep reading and loving books!
Geraldine



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