Stacking the Shelves #1: aka I Bought One Book And Then Emptied Out My Local Library

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Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. It’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

 

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Books I Bought

This is a book I knew I had to have and not just borrow from the library. It’s inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and I have heard nothing but fantastic things about it since it came out.

From Library

I’ve been a bit nostalgic lately so I decided to start rereading the PJO books in e-format. But, for some reason, it didn’t feel quite as right as reading the physical books so I borrowed them from the library since my copies are a few countries away at the moment.

Genuine Fraud is a book I’ve been dying to read since it came out! I’ve been a huge fan of E. Lockhart and her writing from reading We Were Liars back in 2014! Her writing style is very unique and lyrical and she has a certain magnificent way of ripping your heart out while also making you appreciate the process.

Lastly, The Wicked Deep and Rebel of the Sands are books that I’ve been gravitating towards lately but I’m not sure if I’m going to love. So, I took the safe way and decided to read them from the library first!

What Books Did You Get This Week?

 

Review: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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  • Title: The Name of the Wind
  • Author: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Page: 662 pages
  • Publication: Gollancz
  • Date Published: March 27th 2007

‘I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. 

My name is Kvothe.
You may have heard of me’

 

My thoughts

 

I admit I am a bit late to the party when it comes to The Name of the Wind; well, late is an understatement as it was first published in 2007…but, to my defense, I was only 8 then. It also took me a while to finally pick it up because of its intimidating size and my unfamiliarity with the Epic Fantasy genre. Admittedly, it did prove to be a long read but it was its longevity that allowed me to really fall in love with the story and Kvothe. The Name of the Wind was an absolutely brilliant book and I was in awe of both the writing, the unveiling of the plot and Kvothe’s character throughout the book.

The writing was simply phenomenal. One of the best books I’ve ever read in my time as a reader, it managed to convey Kvothe’s mentality and the severity of the situation he was in such a way that I was completely in sync with the story. I was not simply an observer but it felt like I experienced (for lack of a better word) it too. I had the same emotions that coursed through Kvothe, the same anxiety or fear that run through him when dealing with a dangerous situation. The handling of the plot was also incredible. It unveiled slowly but with a purpose. No scene felt unnecessary and every experience felt like it shaped Kvothe more as a character. When he was living in Tarbean, Rothfuss didn’t shy away when describing the cruelty and suffering of an orphan living in the streets or the ugliness of the poverty that prospered in the city. Those were some of the most gruesome and impactful scenes in the book.

I also loved how intricate and complicated the magic system was, if you can even consider it a magic system. In Rothfuss’ universe, people aren’t born with ‘magic’ but have to work and study hard, as well as have a strong and endurable mind, in order to achieve what is considered to be ‘magic’. An Arcanist is as close to a warlock as one can get and the practice and skills needed for the job were fascinating to read about. One of the practices was trying to mentally split their mind into two or three pieces in order to connect an object with something else… how is that not awesome? Everything had a logic behind it, and it was what made more believable and real. The University was a place were people came to learn basically almost everything concerning science; from math to crafting and healing, herbs and names. But it all came down to hard work and dedication (and money), not chosen ones.

Lately, it seems I’m also really into anti-heroes and Kvothe is what started my obsession. He is not a villain, has committed no villainous deed but he is also no hero, at least not for now. He is merely a kid with a smart mouth and a sharp mind trying to survive. For most of the book, we see him struggling to stay on his feet; from the streets of Tarbean to his time in the University. He is also brilliant. I’m not sure whether it was his cleverness or his sharp wit that first drew me to this character but, nonetheless, they made an intriguing combination. Kvothe is a boy both educated and street smart, has the ability to learn things faster than anyone else and can think fast on his feet; it was fascinating seeing him get out of dangerous situations with a certain grace and cunningness that I’d seen in no other character (except Kaz Brekker). But, what I loved most, were his faults. He was rush, reckless, arrogant, and he didn’t always get away with his antics. He took risks but that didn’t mean he didn’t also meet the fitting punishment when it was due. That made him more approachable and real as a character to me.

At the same time, Kvothe is the narrator of the story; a very intriguing way to tell a story, to let the character recount it for you. I’ve heard people call him an unreliable narrator and, in a way, it’s true because the entire story is told from his eyes and some things could be exaggerated or minimized. Some of the teachers were especially cruel but it’s not sure if that’s an objective opinion or just Kvothe’s view of them; the girls that showed interest in him were also described as especially beautiful.

Denna falls into that category too. From their first meeting, Kvothe becomes enamored with her, continuously pointing out her beauty and grace while others are quick to mention that she, in fact, is not the most beautiful. Yet to Kvothe she is everything. This is a point where Kvothe’s exaggeration of a character’s appearance or personality is visible as we are introduced to them solely from his view; the view of a boy with a crush.

But, mostly, I was completely taken by the worldbuilding. A world with its own myths, songs, gods, and demons. Rothfuss created a captivating, yet strangely familiar world that is begging to be explored. There are demons such as the Chandrian and the Encanis that I’m really hoping we’ll get to learn more about in the Wise Man’s Fear. Throughout the book, a lot of characters took the time to recall myths about monsters and gods that were fascinating to hear about. I loved piecing together the story of this intricate world and didn’t once mind the halt in the storyline. Actually, I would very much read a companion book full of them; Patrick, make it happen, pal. Pretty please.

It is slow paced, yes. But this is not a book to be rushed. There is so much to learn in order to really understand, not only Kvothe’s drive and his character but also the world he lives in. I enjoyed every page, not just because Kvothe’s life is an alluring tale to read but also because Rothfuss’ writing was just as compelling, pulling me in for hours at a time without me even noticing.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

TTT #3: Books That Take Place in Another Country

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010 and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This feature is dedicated to making bookish lists of our- weekly themed- top ten (or more/ less) books! 

 

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  1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (France)
  2. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (France)
  3. Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer (Italy)
  4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Prague, Czech Republic)

 

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  1. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (Russia)
  2. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Barcelona, Spain)
  3. Inferno by Dan Brown (Italy)
  4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Russia)

 

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  1. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (Japan)
  2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Scotland)

My Pride & Prejudice Reading Experience

Magic is everywhere.

(Warning: This post is literally me rumbling and might make absolutely no sense)

Heyyyy it’s been a while! *hides behind the City of Bones 10th-anniversary edition* So this is a bit of a filler post you could say, but a few days ago I came to the realization that I can’t remember anything from Pride and Prejudice. Literally nothing. And I only read it about a year ago.

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The odd thing is, I remember loving it! I couldn’t give it 5 stars because it was not my favorite romance book out there but I did thoroughly enjoy both the plot and the characters….if only I could remember any of it. The only thing I can remember is how long it took me to read it, the warm feeling at the end and the satisfaction of finishing it. Which still isn’t saying a lot, to be honest.

What I’m debating over is, if I felt like I loved it then, but can’t remember anything about it a year later, did I really love it? Because I’m trying to recall a scene from the book and every time what comes to mind is the movie. The movie, which I admit I loved, was a beautiful romance story that swept me off my feet and instantly became an all-time favorite. Also, Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy is good enough to eat. Ahem…

Something that might have been a factor in my experience with the book is that Pride and Prejudice was the first classic I read in English. The language, being more descriptive and differing a bit from modern English, was admittedly difficult to follow and even overwhelming at times. However, I haven’t read any other classics since then to compare this experience with. Thus, I’m not sure if it was just not a memorable book to me, or if it was the difficulties that I encountered along the way that made it elusive for me.

It is a bit disappointing when you realize a book was not as memorable or amazing as you thought it was, but it is also an eye opener. I’ve never given much thought to if I still remember or feel the same about books I loved when I first read them. As we know, first impressions fade and opinions change with time; some books continue to be loved by me even though I’ve become aware of their faults with time (e.g. Anna and the French Kiss).  So maybe I should do a revaluation of the books that sit on my favorites shelf. Because most of them have been there for almost 10 years and I’ve grown as a reader and a person since I’ve last read them. There is always a chance some may not leave the same impression they first did.

Hope this post made at least some sense! Do you have a book you realised you didn’t love as much as you initially thought you did?

Can’t-Wait Wednesday #3

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Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally, they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

 

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  • Author: Tiffany Schmidt
  • Title: Bookish Boyfriends
  • Page: 272 pages
  • Publishing: Amulet Paperbacks
  • Expected Publication Date: May 1st 2018

In this contemporary YA, a teenager’s favorite literary heroes woo her in real life

The first of two books in an intended paperback original series about a girl whose classic literary crushes manifest in real life. Merrilee Campbell, 16, thinks boys are better in books, chivalry is dead, and there’d be nothing more romantic than having just one guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories. She’s about to get the chance to test these daydreams when she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer into Reginald R. Hero High, where all their fantasies come true—often with surprising consequences. 

 

I can’t wait for this book because… 

I mean if the title hasn’t convinced you yet I don’t know what will! Your bookish boyfriends coming to life! I literally cannot wait for this book, I need it right now! I think this is every fangirl’s fantasy becoming reality (I know it’s mine!) and I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds! Have you noticed how many exclamation marks I’ve used?! They’re a lot… I’m excited!

What book are you excited for?

Review: When Dimple met Rishi by Sandhya Manon

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  • Title: When Dimple met Rishi
  • Author: Sandhya Manon
  • Pages: 380
  • Publishing: Simon Pulse
  • Date Published: May 30th 2017

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

My Thoughts

One of my goals this year was to read books with diverse characters. When Dimple met Rishi follows two Indian characters set up in an arranged marriage that end up attending the same programming summer camp before going off to college. The concept of the story was endearing and while it ended up being a cute, funny and heart-warming read, it also gave me an insight into Indian culture, their family dynamic and how much of an effect it has on an Indian person’s actions and choices about the future.

Dimple and Rishi were both unapologetic geeks and I loved it. Somehow the most popular trend in YA continues to be ‘bad boy falls for the quiet but smart girl’– not that I am one to speak since it is a guilty pleasure of mine- so this was a breath of fresh air. Rishi was certainly no bad-boy but he was a charmer nonetheless! He was supportive and funny, with a polite and gentle nature but also confident with a backbone. I mean when a guy is willing to learn a Bollywood dance routine (while having two left feet) just so you can win a competition he is not even interested in, you know he is a keeper!

Both characters were also so dedicated and passionate about their craft. Dimple was set on becoming a programmer despite her family, and their tradition wanting her to settle down and marry ‘a good Indian boy’. Her love and dedication to programming and her future were both inspiring and lovely to read about. With Rishi, we were introduced to the widely asked question of whether you should pursue your hobby as a career. It is something that often gnaws on people our age, whichever culture they are from, so it was very relatable and significant to me to read about another person feeling the same pressure of either pursuing something safe and sure to success or the craft they have a connection with.

Lastly, despite the theme of arranged marriage, the romance unveiled like any day-to-day relationship between teenagers would. We got to see them go from reluctant friends to crushes to being in a relationship, and each stage was more fulfilling and pleasant to view than the previous one! I loved the time they spent as friends, their personalities instantly clicking while they both continued to support and root for each other throughout the book. I also loved how quirky they were with one another, completely themselves without any reservations.

Overall, if you are looking for a cute, refreshing love story with cute and funny moments look no farther than When Dimple met Rishi! I promise you will not be disappointed.

Rating: 5/5

TTT #2: Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested in Reading

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010 and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This feature is dedicated to making bookish lists of our- weekly themed- top ten (or more/ less) books! 

Well, this is a very difficult post. No one wants to admit they have given up on something and the same goes for a reader and their books. But, I have to admit, these are some books that, despite telling myself I’m going to read them, I have soon come to realize that… I just don’t want to.

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The Vampire Academy Books by Richelle Mead

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I stopped at book three. I tried. I really did. Started the book 3 times. Stopped at page 50 each one. Couldn’t read more.

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

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This is just one of those books that don’t inspire me to pick it up anymore. I’ve just lost interest…as bad as that sounds.

Angel Fire by L. A. Weatherly

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Loved the first book but never got around the second one. It’s also been so long that I think the reader I am now wouldn’t enjoy it. So I’m just going to retain the happy memories I have from the first book.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

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I went through a werewolf phase back in 2012 but it’s long gone now. And, honestly, I prefer vampires. *snickers*

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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Nope. Not going to. I’ve given up years ago. I know what happens and the pain is just too much to deal with.

Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle #2) by Rachel Hawkins

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Rebel Belle was a very average and forgettable book for me so I never had the urge to pick the second book up. Pretty cover though.

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Mass

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I loved, loved, loved Throne of Glass but, again, I never had the urge to continue with the series. I know everyone, and I do mean everyone, loves it but I’ve just never been in the mood for it.

If I stay by Gayle Forman

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The story is just not something interesting to me… I did watch the movie though. To be honest, not really impressed from that either.

The Heir by Keira Cass

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I admit, the Selection was an addiction while reading it. But that doesn’t mean it was good. I really don’t want to jump into that rabbit hole again. It’s like reality Tv, you know it’s bad, but you can’t stop watching once you start. So I’ll just keep the Tv closed.

Stargazer  (Evernight #2) by Claudia Grey

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Evernight was one of the first books I read in English so it holds a special place in my heart. But after years of contemplating whether to read the next book, I think I’ve finally admitted to myself that I’m not going to.

Give me your opinion on those books! Should I give one of them a chance?