Saturday, 16 April 2016

Are 'New Releases' taking over the bookish community? // Discussion :D

Image designed by Freepik



Okay so, new releases.
Ever since I joined the book blogging community, I've been happily aware (sometimes too aware) of so many new releases because let's be honest, the blogosphere is FULL OF THEM. Cue weeping because my TBR pile could give mountains a run for their money. Cue more weeping because I have no money at all.



So. many. new. books.



But I started noticing a little while ago that the bookish community was talking about new releases a little more than anything else. And it occurred to me:



Are new releases taking over the bookish community?




The Necessity for A Party.
{ YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY }




Our community of bookworms consist of lovely hug dealers that celebrate the birthdays of new releases with much confetti, cake, and sprinkles because a book birthday deserves no less.

Really think about it guys.
A very, VERY creative human being has put hours and hours into crafting and perfecting a work of art for our community to enjoy.

Did I say art? Uh excuse me I meant A WONDEFUL NEW BOOK WITH FRESH INFORMATION ON PLACES AND CHARACTERS WITH TORTURED PASTS AND WORLD BUILDING AND WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF ROMANCE THAT I WILL GLADLY SHIP OR (even better) A HEIST. OMFG. 

And said very creative person HAS SUCCEEDED. 
Should we not envelope them into our arms and thank them for possibly ruining our lives with the deaths of yet more fictional characters? 




The Appeal of a New Release.
{ in my eyes, and perhaps not only mine }


I gotta be honest with you guys and say that I love new releases. But why?


 The Hype

I'm not immune to hype. I want to join with the tweets and the competitions and the beautiful instagram posts that plaster themselves all over my social media. I want to tweet the author and tell him/her that they're a god/goddess and I would quite frankly read their grocery lists. *high fives you if you understood that reference* 

Correct me if I'm wrong but maaaaaybe it's not just me that wants this?
Are there people out there that are immune to hype at all?



Being a book blogger


New releases mean a lot to book bloggers, because they play a huge part in content.

As a reader, usually, whenever a book is released and before I run of to read it in it's entirety, I want to hear what the bookish community thinks of it first. I want to read reviews and discussions to make sure it's gonna be a book that I enjoy, because why spend loads of time and effort on a book that isn't worth your while?

So book bloggers do kind of have to make new releases a bit of a big deal, because they have to be there to provide the reviews and discussions that we all love so very much.

(these people are awesome)
(It's still kind of weird to rope myself in with these amazing people, but we're gonna go with it)




Being on top of my game






Doing anything early (like reading a new release) gives me a sense of accomplishment. I suddenly feel like YEAH I HAVE MY LIFE TOGETHER even if it's only for a few seconds before I realize I have about 50 000 other things that need doing.





Is it okay that new releases are taking over?

Notice that I slashed the words 'taking over.'
Because well, they're a wrong choice of words.
Let's replace them with 'more celebrated' :D }




Yes. I do think that it's okay.
Why?
Well, I think new art must be celebrated in every way, as their creators have often been to hell and back for producing them. 
I think it's important that new authors (and new books) are given every ounce of recognition that they deserve, and that they should be given a moment in the limelight to celebrate their success. 
It's beautiful encouragement.







Do I think that older releases tend to be sidelined in the shadow of their shiny new brothers and sisters? 

No, not really.

Just because a book is older, doesn't mean it's forgotten. It just means that it's been loved for longer. (at least in my opinion anyway)

Books never cease to be acknowledged  just because newer options come along. Little celebrations happen for these books all the time. Like right now for example, someone out there is sobbing over the ending of The Book Thief at 2 in the morning even though it was released several years ago. (I know that because every few minutes or so people all over the world are doing the same thing, trust me on this)

The creative world is highly competitive as well, so I think it's super important to celebrate the releases that DO make it out into the world.




When is it not okay?


1. When people are pressured into reading new releases
2. When people are scorned for reading new releases (or being 'overly excited' about them)

This doesn't just apply to new and old releases. 
It applies to absolutely. everything. 

It's never cool to force people into reading a book. Ever. 

(Unless that book is Harry Potter, which in that case you may proceed)





(But really in all seriousness, never do that.)

It's supposed to go unspoken that anyone can read whatever they want, without the pressure. 
Reading + pressure?? Pfft. PFFT. 

You want to read that shiny new release that's getting all the hype and love right now?
Go ahead.

You want to get to that book that came out two years ago because it sounds AMAZING?
That's cool too. 

You want to reread Twilight and fantasize about being a werewolf because EXCUSE ME WEREWOLVES. 
So do I. 
No I'm kidding. 
*clears throat* 

Personally? I think it's amazing that people are actually reading because they're becoming better informed, more imaginative people in the process. 

Cue confetti hearts because I love all of you <3





WE MADE IT WOHOO! That was my first discussion post ever and I really enjoyed writing it *grins*
Tell me what you guys think of new releases. Do you love them? Why do you love them? Do you think they're discussed slightly more than other books on the blogosphere? Does that bother you?

LET ME KNOW <3



{ 26 alphabets }




                                                                                                           

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Creative Blogger Award // I WAS TAGGED!

Image designed by Freepik



All things aside, this is my first time being tagged in ANYTHING in the book blogging community so naturally, I hyperventilated for an hour over it then proceeded to work myself up into an excited frenzy THAT OMG I WAS TAGGED. I am very excited guys. Very excited.
ahem. 

Thank you so much to Joan @Fiddler Blue for tagging me in these awards. She's lovely, guys. If you haven't checked out her blog yet you should totally do so because she's honestly one of the nicest people I've met on the blogosphere to date. 

I was actually tagged for The Dragon's Loyalty Award as well, but I don't know enough people in the book blogging community (yet!) to tag so I'll just be doing The Creative Blogger Award :)






Rules for The Creative Blogger Award
  1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2. Share 5 facts about yourself.
  3. Nominate some bloggers in return and notify them about their nomination.
  4. Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do. 

FIVE INCREDIBLY INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ME
 (yes they will be interesting.. shush)


  • I am bilingual. Here in Malaysia, the national language is Malay. It's also a compulsory subject in school up to your secondary school education. So naturally, I can speak, read, and write both in Malay and English :D

  • I was punched in the face by a fellow classmate in my first year of school. (I was seven) I can't remember much about this incident, but I think I deserved it! All I remember is being taken to the principal's office along with my classmate, and our lovely principal sorted out all our seven-year old anger issues. My classmate and I became quite good friends after that.

  • When I was in school, my art teacher told us to divide a paper in half. I proceeded to measure the entire length of the paper, divide that number by two, and measure it again. I then realized I could've just folded the paper. Mind you, I wasn't that young when I did this. 

  • I was convinced at the age of 6 that I would become one of Santa's helpers, but I didn't know how to wrap presents. This concerned me a great deal. I don't know how my parents dealt with me as a child. 

  • I'm hopelessly short. I'm 5'2 and have remained that height since I was 13. Malaysians aren't very tall people, thank the heavens. But I'm still one of the shortest ones in my class. We can't have everything in life. 




I HEREBY TAG:
(only if you guys want to of course!)






Congratulations. Now you know everything about me. (not really, but close.) I promise I fold paper like a normal person now, so don't find me too weird. :D Do you have any interesting facts about yourself to share? (of course you do. you my friend, are an incredibly interesting person *winks*)
LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.



Monday, 8 February 2016

The Impostor Queen // A Review




Author: Sarah Fine
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published: January 5th 2016
Pages: 432 pages






Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

     
OH MY GOD THIS BOOK <3 
THIS BOOK GUYS ARGH. 

I devoured the entire, wonderful thing and had next to no problems with it. SO WHY THE FOUR STARS YOU ASK? I wanted more of certain things guys.. I just wanted more. 

Let's get to all the listing and the reasons *grins*


Things I loved:

  • Elli, the main character is WONDERFUL.
Okay yes, she's a sixteen year old copper-haired, blue-eyed beauty BUT she's a strong, determined, fiercely loyal sixteen year old copper-haired, blue-eyed beauty. I found her slightly vapid and naive at first but that quickly changed into admiration. And I mean, pure, unwavering admiration. 


  • The relationship between the Valtia and Saadella is just ARGH SO LOVELY.
Okay so the Valtia is the queen and the Saadella is the next-in-line to the throne. I don't know about you guys but in all the books I've read, the next-in-line to the throne is usually an impatient potato who kills the ruler to come into power faster. But in this book, the two of them have the best. relationship. ever. It was such a fresh perspective to read about the big sister, little sister relationship between the Valtia and the Saadella and those kind of relationships are the best guys, okay?


  • Stereotypical love is thrown far out the window and is drowned in a nearby river
In YA, authors tend to make sexuality a huge thing throughout the novel. Don't get me wrong, it definitely is. But it doesn't have to be written in a 'LOOK AT ME I'M A HUGE DEAL' kind of way to make an impact on readers. Sometimes, sexuality that is written in an almost passing way can make me go YES!, this is exactly how it should be treated in society. As something that everyone understands even if it's not yelled from the topmost tower. As something normal.

Elli isn't confused in the slightest about her sexuality and doesn't even question it which I find SO AMAZING. 

I feel like authors should pick up on this more and change the way they write about sexuality, especially in Teen Fiction and YA. 



  • Oskar.
*coughs*



  • The concept of ice and fire magic was ON POINT.
Maybe I'm a naive little potato but I always assumed that having fire magic basically meant you were able to set your school  stuff on fire and ice magic meant having the ability to freeze everything around you. But in this book your basic fire and ice magic is totally reimagined guys. I mean, you can move stuff (!) by focusing hot and cold air on the object at once. There's so many other concepts but I clearly found 'moving stuff' the coolest part. I can't imagine why. *clears throat*



Things I wanted more of:


  •  More kinds of magic?
Argh I'm kind of conflicted about this one. The magic in this book is only ice and fire, and while I found it cool that wielders of magic could do so much with those two powers alone, I wanted a larger variety. But this is a totally 'it's me and not you' thing.


  • More on the outcasts!
Sarah Fine merely writes that the people who are thrown out of the main town are 'outcasts' that eventually became thieves and bandits to survive. BUT WHY? How were they thrown out, how did they come together, how do thieve (!), how do their lives go? I feel like a lot of the book was concentrated on Oskar's family and Elli and I WANTED SO BADLY to know more about the general thief population. Tormented pasts and elaborate thieving schemes are my jam guys, I live on the stuff. GIVE ME MORE!









So have you read The Impostor Queen? What were your thoughts on it? If you haven't, do you plan to? LET ME KNOW! *grins*

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Chronicles at Hogwarts // Epilogue - Percy Lestrange


Image taken from Freepik


Hello hello! Welcome to the final post of the Story Mash-Up Project and Percy's epilogue for the Chronicles at Hogwarts! *bursts into tears*

This epilogue is specially dedicated to all the wonderful bloggers I worked with in the past few weeks, namely Joan (who hosted this! THREE CHEERS FOR HER GUYS!!) Michelle, Trisha, Eve, Vineeth, and Kaycee K

Let me just say that every single one of them are such amazing bloggers, writers, and people in general. They're practically rays of sunshine to say in the least and just like Percy is grateful for meeting her newfound friends, I'm grateful for meeting these bloggers *massively hugs every one of you*

Despite the obvious fact that I don't want any of this to end, here is Percy's epilogue. 

Disclaimer: Harry Potter is a trademark and a property of JK Rowling. The words and the non-canon characters were created and therefore owned by the bloggers involved in this project.

Enjoy! 

Chronicles at Hogwarts // Epilogue - Percy Lestrange


Persephone Rae Lestrange twirled her silver ring around her finger and listened to the crunch of her boots as she trudged through the gravelly streets of Hogsmeade. 

It was one of those blissful afternoons where the Sun was right over her head and yet was just pleasantly warm. “It’s amazing how the world goes on even after mine has been turned upside down.” Percy mused to herself. 

Just a few minutes ago Percy and Aislin were playfully jabbing at Min Hye over the results of this morning’s Quidditch match. Ravenclaw had prevailed and Percy couldn’t be happier, especially since this time around, she had Aislin to cheer for.

 Admittedly, she wasn’t much of a sports person but Quidditch was an exception all wizards and witches acknowledged.  You’re a witch or wizard? You love Quidditch. End of story.

Percy sighed at her still-hopelessly shy self. Sure, she had made great friends over the past few weeks with no trouble at all but she still felt the familiar bubble of panic and doom when Aislin and Min Hye’s friends bounded over to discuss the match with them.

Percy didn’t mind. She needed a little while to be alone after the chaos of last night.

She pulled out a little package from of her coat pocket and started unwrapping it. She had got quite the shelling from Professor Longbottom for sneaking out fat slices of cake from the breakfast table this morning. 

“Honestly, sir, if you wanted some for yourself you should have just said so!” she said as she thrust one of her ten slices of cake into her Professor’s hands before sprinting off to Potions.

“So worth it.” she mumbled as she shoved the entire piece into her mouth.  

“Ah, there it is.” she said as she skipped up the front steps of The Three Broomsticks. Min Hye and Aislin had wanted to grab a couple Butterbeers to celebrate the end of the Quidditch match, and Percy had promised to save seats for them.

The tinkle of bells greeted her as she pushed open the door to the wizards’ pub. The place was packed as usual with Hogwarts students. Percy forced her way through the crowd, silently praying the empty table at the back would not be occupied by the time she got there.

“Thank the stars.” Percy muttered as she plonked herself down and ordered a tankard of Butterbeer.

The past few weeks have probably been the most terrifying of all her time here at Hogwarts.

Percy didn’t expect to meet Aislin at The Whomping Willow that day. Nor could she have imagined sneaking off with her to overhear the Muggleborns interrogate poor Emily at the Astronomy Tower.

 The days preceding that were also somewhat a dream. She met Min Hye who was bubbly but fierce, Indira who was strong and held a secret so big yet trusted complete strangers to help her bear the weight of it, and of course, Dalton Chase, who simultaneously scared Percy to death and scared her further to death.

 Then there was Yokitori.

Percy was just as mortified as everyone else had been when Dalton had revealed him for everything he truly was. But despite that, Percy couldn’t help thinking that the kid wasn’t a genuinely bad person, and she hoped he would find his way back from whatever he got lost in.

The past few weeks terrified her and shook her insides until her mind rattled.

“But God, they were the best.” she sighed.

She looked down at the silver branches that entwined around her index finger. “I haven’t thought of her in days.” Percy muttered. 

Her mother’s screams used to haunt her every night. Her father’s form was practically etched on the back of her eyelids. But sometime during the past few days, somehow, they’d faded away.

“The pain will never go away. Never in a million years. Never in a million more,” Percy whispered. But in knowing them, in spending time with them, it has faded ever so slightly. So slightly it has hardly made a difference.

But, it has faded nonetheless, and with any luck, in their presence, it will fade a little more.

She smiled.

“Thank you.” she said to no one at all.

“I knew you were strange, but do you usually thank your Butterbeer?”  Indira Marshall laughed. Next to her was a slightly pale but smiling Emily.

Percy grinned.


“All the time.”






Now go read everyone elses! Shoo :D


Sunday, 17 January 2016

Twenty Sixteen // Blogging-Reading Resolutions


HELLO THERE!
Happy New Year to all of you lovely people (I know I'm 2 weeks late but shush better late than never)

To be very honest, I only compiled my list of blogging-reading resolutions after 2 weeks of the new year because I always like to plan my goals after having a little taste of what the new year will be like. I'm known to be overly ambitious about EVERYTHING URGH so I realized (like after 10 years) that it's loads more fullproof to do it this way.

Ever met an overly ambitious procrastinator? WE GET LITERALLY NOTHING DONE. IT'S BORDERLINE RIDICULOUS.

So here we go!


1, Read a book every 2 weeks for 6 months

OKAY BEFORE YOU JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS and accuse me for being unspeakably lame for believing that such a thing is actually a goal...
THIS IS MY SPM YEAR.
Basically here in Malaysia, the final year of your schooling life marks your SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) examination year which is essentially your final major exam before school is over. Your results for said exam will determine your college/university/entire life from here on out. 
So if I can manage this goal on top of 10 subjects, extra classes, and school activites, KUDOS TO ME. (I deserve all the cake in the world. You may give me your share too.)


2. Read more manga!

Surprised? I'm actually a mini otaku!
I have been for several years now and I really really enjoy reading manga and watching animes BUT!
I never make enough time for them!
This year however, that will change! (I hope) I plan to read mangas like Black Butler, Fruits Basket, (I'm currently reading both of them right now!) Dead Man Wonderland and Fullmetal Alchemist.


3. Post once a week

This is probably the scariest resolution of them all because of how busy I will be this year but once a week shouldn't be too daunting (that's what she said) SO I WILL DO MY BEST!
If you're interested, I plan to post every Sunday *grins*


4. Take better bookish pictures. 

I am convinced that a tadpole has better photography skills than I do. My photos are that bad. So this year I WILL take better photos of the books I read for an all round better blogging experience.



5. MEET MORE BLOGGING FRIENDS!

I started blogging in November of last year so granted, I haven't had a lot of time to meet a ton of people here on the blogosphere. But this year I have an entire year so I plan to talk to loads more people and fangirl with literally everyone because that's all we do right?




SO those are all my blogging-reading resolutions for 2016. Do you have any? Do you plan your resolutions waaaaay in advance or are you like me? Also, can we be friends? (I'm nice.. I promise.) 
LET ME KNOW! 


Plus the new chapter of The Chronicles at Hogwarts is out ahhhh you can should read it here.
Also, tell Vineeth how awesome she is because excuse me that chapter was AMAZING.