“My True Love Gave To Me:Twelve Holiday Stories”” by Stephanie Perkins – Book Review, Part 1

Okie dokie fellows, I am back once again. As you might have already noticed, my very ambitious goal of daily posts was not, indeed, reached, the same way my holiday TBR is still mostly untouched, a fact I am deeply ashamed by, because I haven’t been reading much lately and that is a truly hurtful thing.

Now, you see, because of my very real shame that hit me like a tsunami last night, when I was peacefully trying to fall asleep after watching a very, very nice movie (“A Good Year”,2006 – check it out, it is funny and really relaxing, if you ask me. Moreover, it is about wine and France and London and it is really culturally attractive.), I decided that I should really do some reading. So I got onto a collection of stories that I have started reading back in October and then left aside because the time was , um , not appropriate. But ’tis the season, dear people.

The time had come for Stephanie Perkins’ story collection “My true love gave to me”. It has a nice cover and a truly wonderful festive atmosphere. Along with a dozen of romantic – at least slightly- stories.


I only read ( or skimmed through) half of them , out of which I really, really liked – smiling dubiously at the screen of my Kindle, my heart fluttering at the perfectness of the whole thing- half. I’m going to write a super duper short review for each of them and maybe rate them because, duh, I am the one and only judge this world has ever seen. SO, ONTO THE STORIES THEN.

By the way, I wanted to point out that the cover is not random at all, every pair drawn came from one of the 12 stories. Nice, right?
  1. “MIDNIGHTS” by Rainbow Rowell – This one I read back in October, but it was a delight. With all the discouraged romance, still delightful, still beautifully written, still absorbing, still Rainbow Rowell keeping it simple and making my life miserbale because, hello, the truth always lies somewhere else.

92.75%, let’s say. I am really bad with ratings, so excuse me.

2. “POLARIS IS WHERE YOU’LL FIND ME” by Jenny Han – I’ve read     almost all of Jenny Han’s books and the thing I most;y likes in them was the family element. So warm, so nice, so much humanity there.  That has usually kept me reading and reading, the prospect of nearness and tenderness and the idea of home. The familiarity. But, for Santa Claus’s sake, I was annoyed by this story, mainly because it felt so, so juvenile. I get that the narrator is 15 and the only human (???) in Polaris, where elves and Santa live in peace with the short days and the long nights. I kept reading, thinking that, at some point, I would start enjoying it, but I didn’t actually , so. Meh for me. Too… sweet, I suppose. Too…quirky.

73.236% here.

3.”IT’S A YULETIDE MIRACLE, CHARLIE BROWN” by Stephanie Perkins – If anybody ever asks me what the title means , I won’t know to say, funnily enough. I started wrongly, by giving you the idea that I had any type of problem with this story, but I. Did. Not. It was all sorts of wonderful and creative and made me smile a very big and true smile. It was great, like every other thing Stephanie Perkins wrote. Which is really surprising, tacking into account that I have the tendency to avoid romance for it strikes no chord in me. Her work does. This story did. Brilliant.

98.999%, just because.

4. “TEMPORARY SANTA” by David Levithan – Ok, this one had a weird premise, I think. A sorta illegal and stupid one, as far as I understand it. Didn’t like it at all, mainly because I couldn’t find it rational. Weird, weird, weird.

60.33%, I suppose.

5.”KRUMPUSLAUF” by Holly Black – Damn, I’ve just said that David Levithan’s story made no sense in my head? I take it back. Because, as much as I’ve tried, this story was a “no” for me. I get the creepiness, I get the whole idea she had with refusing to write some stereotype Christmas love story, but it was more violent than it needed to be and less logical than anything else. So, um, I didn’t actually get to finish it.

6.”WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE, SOPHIE ROTH?” – Gayle Forman – This might have been the less sad, depressing and dramatic work of Gayle Forman’s that I read and it was sooo nice. I really liked it, in a very twisted way, because it talked about peculiarity and not belonging. Alienation. I like those things. Really nice, touching slightly more profound subjects than the other ones. I liked it so very much, it is a 97% to me. And it will forever be.

This was it for today, people of winter. I will ( to be read as “I probably won’t, but hope I will, because that is exactly the level of my devotion”) post smallish reviews for the rest of them as well, when I finish reading them.

Have a nice time dreaming of snow, fellows, I’ll be back. Soon. * dramatic noises in the background*



The Very Festive “Christmas Song” Book Tag

You may or may not have noticed that I shamelessly broke my promise. Didn’t write a word yesterday, not even one. And I don’t feel guilty about it, because I painted and it’s fair enough for me.

It’s 7PM right now, but I had a strange day and it feels like 1AM . I want to sleep. And by sleep I don’t mean kindly leave myself into a self sufficiency sweet and powerful enough to get my brain into an”Obliviate” state, but rather sleep-die. Sleep-disconnect. Sleep-act like that guy from “Avatar” when he got out of the blue body. Sleep-shut everything off for a while. Sleep- zoom out and figure things out. Sleep-allow yourself the time to gently and carefully fold your ideas, the way you do with your clothes, arranging them by color and length.

For no particular reason.

I don’t have anything in mind today, anything I can write a decent amount of words about without stumbling and falling into a sleepless state, and I don’t feel sarcasm under my skin either, poking its way through my fingers. That’s what not having any idea how to zoom out make me feel. An almost nice person.

Taking this into account, I am going to write a different type of thing today, one that I am not really accustomed to – I’m going to do a taaaaag. A type of post that is quite informational and cheerful, if you think about it. So, as only three days are left between me and Christmas, I decided ( after really trying not to fit into the pattern and 15 minutes of searching a set of enjoyable questions spring-related) that I would do:


1) “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” – Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

*I am already dealing with the “Have I ever read any book…what is this question.. do I know any character at all?” syndrome, so it is going pretty well.*

I could obviously choose Snape or Sebastian a.k.a. Jonathan here, but I’m pretty sure every other person on the planet did it , so me and my unearthly independence of thought shall not allow such a thing as a stereotypical answer, so I am going to go with… Sauron. Neah, just kidding, he is way too purely evil for such a nice person like myself.

My truthful answer shall be the Darkling from the “Grisha” trilogy. I have to be honest here and to admit the fact that I liked every single thing he said, did or destroyed in those books. Because, as much as I would like to deny it, his power- summoning the darkness- , the way his and Alina’s powers fitted so nicely, his very, very, very tumultuous past and his slightly psychotic behavior never, ever bothered me, not even a little. Also, those last words he said to the ever naive Alina, the revelation of his real name and his vulnerability altogether were the only things that made me sob during reading that series, which I both liked and disliked, as always. And by sob, I am talking about shedding some tears at 4AM back in August and some way too shaky breaths muffled by my pillow.

2)”All I Want For Christmas Is You” – Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas tree this year?

Whereas I lack the ability to recall things about books I read, I own the very advanced skill to add books to my “Wishlist” on every online library ever. So I know the answer to this one. Really simple, I suppose, but the book I would really love to get this year – and I am perfectly aware that I won’t – is the illustrated copy of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” – written by the queen herself, J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay.  I saw it in flesh when I went to Bucharest last month and..and… let’s avoid inserting words here, because the beauty of that book is not translatable. You have to see it and touch it and hold it to know. Magic.

Not my picture, obviously, but I am going to leave it here for you to gaze at and admire.
3)”Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer” – Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.
Well, taking into account the fact that almost every single book I’ve ever read had this component of self growth and learning to believe in yourself, it is really difficult to choose. Celaena Sardothien (whose real name was not used so that innocent people wouldn’t be spoiled) from “Throne of Glass” series by Sarah J. Maas, Vin from “Mistborn”, Kelsea from “The Queen of the Tearling”, Julliete from “Shatter Me”, Cress from “The Lunar Chronicles”, Heather from “Panic”, Lena from “Delirium”, Inej and Kaz from “Six of Crows”, Alina from “Grisha”, Kat from “Fangirl”, Mare from “The Red Queen”, Violet from “All the Bright Places”, Fire, Bitterblue and Katsa from “Graceling Realm”.
It doesn’t really matter what YA book you open, you will, for sure, find somebody struggling with believing in himself. These are just some examples that came to my mind , characters that aren’t as popular and Katmiss, Tris, Percy and Harry, but overcome the same processes by embracing themselves.
4)”Santa Clause is Coming to Town” – a) Which character do you think is at the top of the naughty list an b) which character do you think is at the top of the nice list?
Okay, this is way too easy. a) – Sauron, obviously. Seriously now, did you really think Voldemort could take his place? Not really, from my point of view. b) – Well, I have no idea. Really, I don’t think all that much about the nice people in books. But I suppose Jem is there, on the top of the nice list. Because…well, because he is Jem.
5)”Frosty the Snowman” – Which book just melts your heart?
None. My soul is made of wind and ice and stone and no book can get to it. Not even the ones about suicide and mental illness or the over-fluffy YAs I had the mischance  to read, forced by no one, this year.
6)”Feliz Navidad” – Pick a book that takes place in a country other than your own.
Taking into account that absolutely no book, except for the Romanian ones, takes place in Romania, I could pick anything. Because almost everything takes place in America, the UK, all over Europe or in a parallel universe. So…
7)”It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Which Christmas book do you use to spread the Christmas joy.
Brace yourselves, here come my personal classics. Everything and anything Harry Potter, even if we are talking about J.K. Rowling’s groceries list –  not really, but Harry Potter tales never fail to bring such a wonderful joy in my stone cold heart. “Stardust” by Neil Gaiman, as well as “The Hobbit” and The “Lord Of The Rings” series. The last three mentions might be influenced by my great love for fantasy and the fact that I read all these books on Christmas break, cup of hot cocoa in my hand, so the atmosphere is still with me. I may also note the fact that I generally associate fantasy, magic and a badass plot to happiness and winter holidays, so these books might not work for everybody.
8)”Sleigh Ride” – Which character would you choose to spend the holidays with?
This is a very, very tough question. But I think that I would choose Kell from “A Darker Shade Of Magic” to share my Christmas with. Because I like him very much and I would really love to visit some other particularly interesting wolds that happen to intersect in London.
9)”Baby It’s Cold Outside” – which book, that you didn’t like, would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?
Look, let’s be clear, I do not and will not sacrifice books in such purposes, but taking into account the fact that I really want to finish these 10 seasonal question, I am going to go with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th books of “Fallen” by Lauren Kate. Will not explain.
10)”Do You Hear What I Hear?” – Which book do you think everyone should read?
I really don’t know what to choose here, because, whereas I have many suggestions  – especially YA ones – for everybody, all the time, I don’t know what to recommend to the whole planet. Oh, actually I do. “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry . If you click on the name, you will be teleported to his Goodreads page. There, you can mark “The Little Prince” as “To Be Read” or ” currently reading” and thank me later.
Seriously talking, it is one of the best books I’ve ever, ever read. Because it sums up some principles that have the potential to change you. And that is the most wonderful thing.
Yeepee. Finally done with this overly festive tag. Hope you enjoyed my very qualified answers, I will try to return tomorrow with something new to say.



Plans and citruses

Hello, wonderful individuals, I am back with all my spirit and ready for a full of writing Christmas break. Because, yes, I am officially free and unbound, ready to spend as much time as I want ( a decent amount, though) in front of my laptop, eating clementines ( a not so decent amount) and enjoying life and cold.

I feel like writing about my so called “Holiday Posting Plan” (name invented by me, so it is not really great), so I am going to start off easily by explaining my great plan. ( Nota Bene : Anytime I use the word “plan”, “Home Alone” Kevin pops into my mind with his colorful, yet ridiculously smart strategies. I, for sure, don’t possess that type of intelligence, but I am trying.)

So, given my current state – a.k.a. student on holiday – I’m going to ambitiously try to post daily , starting today and until the 10th of January 2016 – feels very very weird to write that year – aiming to do some boook reviews, some tags that I’ve seen around, even if nobody has ever tagged me because I don’t have many friends with blogs, because I am weird, and basically just annoying everybody unfortunate enough to stumble upon this monumental proof of my genius. Again, note my sarcasm.

The fact is, I really, really want to develop this small small place and I reallly don’t plan on wasting my three weeks of freedom and snow.

That would be all for today, I suppose, see you soon.

Not actually “see” you, obviously. Euphemisms.

Books I’m reading and time I’m wasting

I haven’t posted in over a month and I am quite sorry. But, you see, my life was pretty busy. Mainly school related stuff. Term papers and freaking out. Maths and crying. Chemistry and Mendeleev’s wonderfully colorful table. Such great things.
Christmas is coming, though, and that is cherishing.
They say writing is therapy. They say writing is salvation. I sorta agree with them. So I’m going to write today, because I need therapy and salvation. Don’t I?
First and foremost, I figired that my life is sort of pointless. If “.” ( this wonderfully simple sign) is considered something necessary in one’s life, then I sure as heck don’t have it.
But my lamentations are not and will never be anybody’s source of inspiration, so I ain’t going to continue.
So. I’m going to get onto the real purpose of this post. As you may have already noticed, this blog is all about books and frustrations ( Mine. All are mine.) WARNING. LOGICAL STATEMENT AHEAD.
I’m goinf to talk about my winter tales. About my winter bookish projects and the fact that autumn was too short. Passed too fast, lasted less then I’ve expected it too. Unfortunately.
I’m currently reading quite a number of books. Four, I think. The sad thing is, I am not activelt reading any. I am not forgotten somewhere inside any of them. And I profoundly despise that. Truly, deeply hate myself for it. But it happens.


That is a very artsy, nice and wonderful picture of one of them. Truly wonderful cover, if you ask me. That is the Romanian variant, which I own, very nicely photographed near a vanilla candle and a greenish ornamental thing that is, if you ask me, really pretty.
That paragraph was a true session of self preservation through boosting my self confidence as an evoluated monkey with an able camera.


Also currently reading “All the light we cannot see” by Anthony Doerr, which is a book that has all the things that I like. All of them. But I can’t seem to stick with it. In any way. Which is weird.


Also currently reading – and I am really far into this one, but I seem to have lost my interest somewhere along the way – “Winter” by Marissa Mayer – the fourth and final book in “The Lunar Chronicles”. Don’t get me wrong , it reaally is awesome. I just can’t seem to find the right mood to get into it in a hardcore way.
Also currently reading, but I don’t have the book with me in this wonderful place where I’m writing for, Dostoyevski’s “Crime and Punishment”. Which is great, for that matter, but, once again, I can’t find the right way to go into it. And that for sure disappoints me. Greatly.


Also on my on-going currently reading list , ” The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by the wonderful, majestic and inspirational J.K. Rowling. I love them. Greatly. Love, love, love them. But I’m really trying to read it slowly. Like a story every night. Because I don’t want it to end so soon. I am hopeless.


ALSO .(Told you I am crazy. Crazy. ) “The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey. I’ve been reading this for like two months. Not like one page a day or something. More like fifty pages today, another two in one month or so. Just me things. I enjoy its idea and I pretty much enjoy the way it’s written but the way the plot functions has the tendency to piss me off quite a lot. So I left it aside. For a long while.
This is the proof of my wonderfulness for today. Hope you enjoy reading it. I really hope. Also, I am thinking about doing some sort of rule to post daily during the Christmas holiday. Hope I will keep up with my own expectations.
Till then, have a nice life, you all!

“All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven – Book Review


“We are all alone, trapped in these bodies and our own minds, and whatever company we have in this life is only fleeting and superficial.”
Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places


I’ve just finished this book. And I feel like my coherence has slipped away at some point, in the process of taking in things , of analyzing them.

This is a spoiler-free review, a short and full of rambling one. This fact doesn’t stop me,tho, from talking about the final part. I saw it coming, I expected it, I would have been deeply disappointed if it hadn’t gone this way, but it shattered my very cold heart. I shed a tear and screamed internally and I currently have the very strong urge of saying everybody I know and I love that they count and have a place in this world and life is fine. Life can get fine. I feel like sending virtual hugs to the whole planet.
Is this book full of cliches? It is. I mean, for God’s sake, Theodore is this gorgeous, blue-eyed, tall, lean, muscular, full of culture, playing the guitar, writing songs, quoting Virginia Woolf extensively type of guy who also matters to be on the point of getting expelled and also happens to be obsessed with death ( I can make a whole PowerPoint presentation with interesting facts about death and suicide and the most accurate methods to end your life only using quotes from this book, who also has a troubled family history and parents that failed very hard at parenting.
Violet has just lost her bigger sister, aspires to become a writer, is an ex-cheerleader, friends with the most popular people in school, ex-girlfriend of the baseball prodigy, owner of an online magazine that mostly focuses on nail polish and the right shade of blush and , on top of it all, is one of the prettiest girls in school.
Cliche? Yes, I suppose.

“I am on the highest branch.
We are written in paint.
I believe in signs.
The glow of Ultraviolet.
A lake. A prayer. It’s so lovely to be lovely in Private.”

But nice ones, familiar ones, intelligently used ones. Beautifully written ones.
The whole book is written beautifully, swiftly, coherently. Sincerely.
It took me three tries and a huge amount of determination to get past the first 10%. Because it didn’t seem like something to use my time on. But I believe it was worth it, at least to me, as I am the type of person that greatly enjoys stories that involve mental illnesses. This book deals with suicide and being bipolar in a graceful and poetical way, not failing to give a distinct warning and to make one understand how precious and valuable life is, how small things matter.

I usually try to keep very calm while reading such things ( still having my internal fights about the quality of the literature I read and still struggling with trying to leave YA – especially  contemporary romance – behind and move to better and revelation filled books)  because I am this type of weird hipsteresque attitude regarding culture. This was hyped and romance. ” Not my thing”, I thought.
But I  figured I might be the person that needs some sort of an inspirational  romantic pseudo – deep story once in a couple of years. It was “The Fault In Our Stars” back in the winter of 2013 that, as basic as it sounds, made me rethink things. Didn’t blow me away, but made me appreciate stuff more.
“All the Bright Places” may or may not have the same effect. It is raw and sort of edgy, but if sticks a Post-It to you brain.
A Post-It on which it’s written


Not Properly Counted Books and Bookish Thigs about Death

Hello, how are you, I hope your week has been good and your life fine and your autumn pretty and I hope you love Novembers as much as I do.

I hope no tragedies happened around your house, your garden, your mind palace, your sweaty palms, your not empty, but kind hearts. I hope people didn’t burn, fireworks eating away their souls.

I’m full of tragedy saying this and maybe you will find me pathetic and unnecessarily hypocritical, but a tragedy happened in the past week around my house. Around my garden. Around my fields. Around my autumn. Around my last days of October.

I’m fine, thanks. Nothing happened to me, maybe because I’m well guarded. Maybe because I’m not significant enough. But other people aren’t anymore.

No, I didn’t forget the word “fine”. They simply aren’t. They are gone. Vanished. Sudden combustion. And I didn’t know any of them. And it happened in the capital, not in my small town where nothing ever happens. And I’m so sad.


They were all young, you know. A rock concert in a way too small club. Fireworks stupidly put inside and everything went crazy. They burnt. 150 or so are in hospitals as I’m writing this. 33 aren’t anymore.

And people dare say they deserved it. People dare say it was the way God did His justice. People say they were satanists and they were peculiar and they died in an inferno because they were not pure.

And I stay here wondering if I got transported back to the Middle Ages.

Because, damn it, I don’t know how you can transform a type of culture into a sin.


How dare you.

It is sad, really. Very sad and even more terrifying  is how some have the impulse to transform it into a joke. How my Facebook newsfeed is improbably full with messages full of hatred and grammar mistakes. How people on TV BLAME ANYTHING BUT the things that deserve to be blamed – the system, the fact that such a risky business was run in the middle of the biggest Romanian city.

I am not writing here to blame anybody.

You probably don’t care, either way.

I just needed to talk to somebody and get out the frustration. My little secret rebellion, painted here in black for all those people. I’m not going to say they were beautiful or the hope of the new generation, I’m not going to say ( as everyone seems to do around me, making me shiver) that they were flowers that were not meant to bloom. I refuse to say that it was God’s message, because God is, as far as I can tell, confused as I am and uncertain about life as I am, God is all about f o r g i v e n e s s. So I pray for them. For all those 150 stuck on a hospital bed now, fighting. For the ones that aren’t anymore, the ones that went with the wind it this world. I’m thinking of you, even if I don’t know you.

So. I thought, because I am in such a dark mood these days and because I feel comfortable with sadness and all , my third 7 Books and Bookish Things list – not posted on Sunday, but posted, and that is something – is to be about death. I read quite some books about death. So I shall list some – not because they are good, not because they made me cry or anything, not because the writer does and admirable job of making the sadness readable and touchable. None of those.

They simply focus on the complex and beautiful and endearing topic of death. Not going to write much about them, tho, because I don’t have the time and I am terribly sad.

1. “Love Letters To The Dead” by Ava Dellaira 

This one is sort of peculiar, mainly because it is so so so similar to “The Perks Of Being  A Wallflower”. But it is very sad, and sort of touching and sort of incredibly pathetic. Read it last summer and didn’t have the power to cry. I just stood there, Kindle in my hand, sun rising outside my window, after 5 hours of shivering and crawling in my bed, hollowed. Damn, it was not that good. It simply was so, so sad. And sort of puerile. And cliche on a very profound level. Still sad,tho, and still about death, so it fits in here.

“What I told you about saving people isn’t true. You might think it is, because you might want someone else to save you, or you might want to save someone so badly. But no one else can save you, not really. Not from yourself. […] You fall asleep in the foothills, and the wolf comes down from the mountains. And you hope someone will wake you up. Or chase it off. Or shoot it dead. But when you realize that the wolf is inside you, that’s when you know. You can’t run from it. And no one who loves you can kill the wolf, because it’s part of you. They see your face on it. And they won’t fire the shot.”

2.”I Was Here” by Gayle Forman 

I’m pretty sure you all heard of this one. Hyped, wasn’t it? It made some very valid points of death, you know, and some even more interesting on suicide, making me shiver. Because they made all the sense in this world, if you ask me. They were right in their very twisted way. What fundamentally bothered me, tho, and this is not the first time somebody says it, wad the love story, that was even more morally twisted than all those long pages about deciding for yourself ans suicide and all. I end up not liking this book, not really, despite the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the family part and the descriptions of ordinary American life and its hardships. Pretty good from this point of view, if I give it a second thought. But it had macabre parts and dark themes, so it shall have its spot.

“I was reminded just why God wants us to forgive. Not simply because it’s the key to a better world, but because of what it does for ourselves. Forgiveness is God’s gift to us. Christ forgave us. He forgave our sins. That was his gift. But by allowing us to forgive each other, he opened us up to that divine love. The article had it right. Forgiveness: It’s a miracle drug. It’s God’s miracle drug.”

3.“My Heart And Other Black Holes” by Jasmine Warga

This is a book about two kids that want to commit suicide so badly, they decide to find partners that shall take care of the thing actually happening. So they find each other. And, o f  c o u r s e, they sorta fall in love with life and each other. It was kind of cute, but, I might be a little bit macabre right now, but how I wish they actually died. It would have been nice tragedy. It is full of pretty things, but too full of hope for a thing called “My Heart And Other Black Holes”.

“Depression is like a heaviness that you can’t ever escape. It crushes down on you, making even the smallest things like tying your shoes or chewing on toast seem like a twenty-mile hike uphill. Depression is a part of you; it’s in your bones and your blood.”

4.” Me, Earl and The Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews

This one was so fun to read. It legitimately was funny. Made me snort. It also had bad jokes. Made me roll my eyes. Didn’t make me sad because of the death that occurred , but rather because of the failed lives and the sad social picture. As cliche as it sounds, it was about the death of not so physical things. Nice, but kinda bad.

“There was just something about her dying that I had understood but not really understood, if you know what I mean. I mean, you can know someone is dying on an intellectual level, but emotionally it hasn’t really hit you, and then when it does, that’s when you feel like shit.”

I think I have more to write about. I don’t feel like it. No. Also, I think I could call all of the above under-hyped – you might have noticed already, but no “The Fault In Our Stars”, “Looking for Alaska” or “If I stay” here. I read those as well and I certainly liked them then, but I feel like I have nothing new to say about them.

Honorable mentions, more notorious and high quality literature in which death passes by – “Dead Poets Society” by N. Kleinbaum, “Anna Karenina” by Lev Tolstoi, “Lord of the Flies” by William Holding, “Little Bijou” by Patrick Modiano and “Harry Potter” by JK Rowling, of course. Harry Potter is all about death.

One last bookish thing, tho, I don’t know it’s number, but I know it is there, near black transitions from form to form – candles and flowers.

Candles and flowers for all.

7 Books and Bookish Things For Fall

I shall start by apologizing for my tardiness and breaking my reasonable promise. When I said I had the very intention of writing weekly, choosing my favorite things in the world and throwing them in lists with differently nice topics, I meant it. The problem is, I kind of had a huge lack of time . School stuff, mostly. Also ( and this is freaking pathetic) my laptop went down in flames, not literally, so I had no object to write from. But things are back to normal now and I have all the time in the world today. To write and such.

I promised “7 Books and Bookish Things For Fall”. So here we are 🙂

First and foremost, I want to say that I love fall with all my heart. I love crisp air in the morning, I love leaving the house while it’s still dark outside, I love colours dancing and shifting around. I love tea and I love boots and I love scarves and sweater weather. I love rain. I love cloudy evenings. I love the earthy fragrance that flies around, I love the wind, I love love love love it all. I love spooky, I love the idea of Thanksgiving, although I am European and we don’t celebrate it around here. I love Halloween and I love costumes. I love hot chocolate and the weather at 4 pm, the way the sun shines with compromise.

I hate pumpkins, tho, which may or may not get me out of the fall loving crowd, but it is fine.


Needless to say, I love books with an autumnal feeling to it as well. So I can make a pretty fine list out of them. In no particular order, here is my stack of bookish things , ready to create my autumnal utopia.



This might be one the best books I’ve read this year. Whereas I read it sometime in April, I think, it still felt like a bubble of cozy fall to me. It is spooky and intelligently written and with a beautifully built plot , with rich descriptions of 1945 Barcelona and how a book can fundamentally change one’s life. The premise is rather simple, actually, but it turned out to be just the very beginning of an incredibly complex world of family history of betrayal. It is beautifully creepy. Perfect for November, with some sweetened tea and blankets. Basically a book about one’s love for books. Incredible.

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Another book I read in April that I deeply associate with fall. Temporal loop, I guess, or maybe just me and my weird internal clock. It is a lyrical book. Beautiful. Better than the first one, smoothly including a life of itself. Autumnal. tumblr_no2dosqlFt1tchrkco1_500

III. Edgar Allan Poe – Anything, I suppose.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, Edgar Allan Poe is good for every single day of this life. But especially nice with fall background , vanilla candles and all the shame for acting like a basic white girl – which you probably are not.

IV. Arsty book pictures including mugs and pretty leaves or flowers

this type of nice things are literally the best 🙂

I don’t think I actually need to explain my self, not on this one. You love books, you love book photography as well. I have some worthy examples, though.tumblr_nvmyuhLrlQ1udd37ro1_500 tumblr_nw4d6uxc5Y1rpuw07o1_500 tumblr_nw4asgkkQm1uoq5uxo1_500 tumblr_nwmvcoWx141tmvwc5o1_500

V.History & Art

Reading about Boadicea with a nice burgundy pillow under your head and the almost human heat of tea inside your palms or wondering on great blogs looking at watercolors and paintings and sketches of squirrels is literally the best thing I can do during October. Except for reading and my Math homework, of course.boadicea3s

VI. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Spooky books are great for one’s soul during autumn.

This is a freaking creepy book. And it’s autumn.

These are the books I suggested to my reading club for November. Might be a helpful list if you are looking for something atmospheric.

So read it.

VII. Please welcome this Outlander gif that makes no sense with what I’m writing whatsoever , but it feels beautiful to me. It’s All Saints’ Day Eve, after all.

That would be all for today, hope you have a great autumnal day.

Damn , autumnal might have become my favorite word.

P.S. If you ever feel weird , try learning new words. I challenge you. Something pretty like “magoa”. Go find out what that means.

7 things Sunday – Flying Books

When I originally started this blog, I thought of it as the place where I could basically form a bookclub with myself. I was and still am deeply fascinated with how a blog works, at least in perspective , and how various communication can be. How easily I could try to talk to people from places I’ve never heard of. Poetic stuff like that.

Well, it turns out I’m a lazy person. Not actually refusing to do stuff because of laziness, but rather because I live in my own doomed world of expectations ( too high and too pretty) and I get bored of my own excitement way too fast. Oh, and books and my natural predisposition to a hobbit existence.

Anyway, school started and my need to write and share and feel fine has grown strangely.

Also, when I first came with the idea of writing here, all I basically wanted to express opinions about were books. I got a little bit off trail and decided to go back to book-related stuff because creating reviews and talking about fiction and narrative skills of others and characters and new releases brings me a whole deal of satisfaction.

So I decided to create a little thing to help me keep whoever reads this posted. As in, something constant and periodical and structural.

                                                            7 THINGS SUNDAY

As for this nice September weekend, I’m going to list 7 books related – obviously or vaguely – to flight. 

I. “The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender” by Leslye Walton

Just to be clear, as far as I understood it, this is just subtly related to flight. Or rather, to wings and family histories and a magical realism so beautifully created that it makes me shudder now, weeks after reading it and enjoying it greatly. The writing is beautiful, the wings are something else, the characters have  a depth that is pretty uncommon and a mystery that struck me as otherworldly. Do you get explanations? No. Is there a strange kind of vagueness in the narration , in the way time, symbolism, personalities, beliefs and existential paths collapse into one another? Yes.

This book is a beautifully satisfying metaphor of flight.

Not to mention the stunning and elegant cover.

II. “Magonia” by Maria Dahvana Headley 

I’m currently reading this book – the debut of an author with quite interesting ideas about a world that is floating above our heads.Whereas I’m halfway through, I can say that it was unexpectedly difficult for me to get into this one, the main reason being, probably, that I’m rather judgemental and weirdly critical when it comes to characters and their development, and the way Aza Ray was portrayed, at least at first, struck me as cartoonish.

Once you get past the first 100 pages things evolve greatly, for which I am glad, and a new world develops, a little bit incoherently, but I believe in this dizziness of world building.

I think this is going to transform into a series, but I’m not sure – what I know for a fact is that it involves flying ship and singing that creates and transforms. Which makes me really interested into this.

Another beautiful cover, for me, at least, set somewhere in the same chromatic field, but with quite an exotic feel to it.

III. “The Mistborn Trilogy” by Brandon Sanderson 

You might have noticed it, by now, but I’m going to point it out nonetheless – I am a huge fantasy fan, coming from an YA dystopian period that included various and mostly basic exceptions.

My love for fantasy is infinite and “Mistborn” might quite be one of the best fantasy books I’ve read ( not that I’ve read too many, I’m just deeply interested).

My fundamental advice is to get into this knowing nothing, absolutely nothing – it will make everything a huge deal better –  more consistent and fresher and a breath of magical air in a quite worn world. Really, read this if you haven’t.

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The British variant of the covers, incredibly fair representations of the epicness and complexity

The way flight is configured in here is less metaphorical, but equally freeing for one of the protagonists – I put this series in here because I like how flight becomes something integrally new and different and empowering, how it has a huge role in character development. Absolutely epic.

IV. The “Throne of Glass” Series by Sarah J. Maas

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The American covers, screaming “bad-ass”

You’ve probably heard of this one, taking into account all the hype surrounding it – a hype that is , from my modest point of view, earned. Because I find these books fantastic – yes, there are issues in them, no, they are not perfect, but damn, they intrigued me so majorly and overwhelmingly that I read the first three in 48h last May and prayed and prayed September to come faster, so that I could finally read “Queen of Shadows”. All in all, I am a fan. And the flight element comes in with the third book , after an incredibly special to me characters comes in – I’m talking about both Rowan and Manon here , if you know what I mean. I’m talking about the same empowering flight, about binding through freedom, about shapeshifters and beauty all over. I really like Manon, by the way – I like the relationship between her and her wyvern, Abraxos, I like her humanization( especially in “Queen Of Shadows”), her dedication and her leader abilities. I love her character, I believe it is the main proof that this series is evolving and Sarah’s writing grows more and more mature and beautiful.

V. “ A Daughter of Smoke and Bone” by Laini Taylor download (8)

In a vivid world of angels and chimera , through gates that transform our world in a haven, doors with blackened handprints, in a world where magic comes in hope and wishes and blue-haired girls fall for angels, flying sort of is a must. A connection and a poetic way of finding common things in each other.

This book is beautiful – whereas I had my issues with it and I postponed reaching for the second and the third one for a rather ridiculous amount of time , I can recognize the poetry of language and the rather fuzziness this book gives me.

You should read it if you want a great, intense love story a whole lot less dumber than “Romeo and Juliet”.

VI. “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” -Richard Bach71728

This is a story about being different. Some sort of inspirational thing to keep you going, to give you a sense of who you are and the courage to do something crazy.

I read it 5 years ago, as the first assignment for my Romanian class in middle grade. I’m not sure I loved it, but I , for sure, got something out of it and it stuck with me.

You can always be Jonathan Livingston Seagull and fly away from your fellows.

It has a really nice metaphor for alienation, I really recommend it to people who feel misunderstood and alone.

VII. The “Harry Potter” Series by J.K.Rowling 

Ok, I know you might find this pathetic. Actually, you might find my whole list pathetic and rather weird, BUT I really think that flying is a huge thing at Hogwarts – I mean, just think about it – flying on a broom ( mostly for quidditch reasons), flying on the back of the dragon, flying on thestrals, the flying thing in which the Beauxbatons students came, led by winged horses, Buckbeak the hippogriff, Fawkes and his beautiful abilities.

All sorts of flight and flying things , all mostly related to magic and life/death situations , and all really inspirational for young me.

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Hope you enjoyed this winged idea of mine and you like the 7 stuff Sunday.

Gonna be back next week with a Top 7 Fall Books.

“An Ember In The Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir – Book Review

I have read quite a lot this past month, mostly trying to achieve my kind of not-that-realistic-47-fantasy-books-over-the-summer-break-TBR. And I feel like things have been going on really well because I am almost a third through and on the point of hiring myself a troop of mental cheerleaders. Joke. I am bad at jokes, you see.

The fact is , when you read so much fantasy ( or so much in general, I don’t know about you but such levels of awesomeness sometimes overwhelm me) you may get the symptoms of too much instant travelling, starting with dizziness and red eyes and maybe a headache. Only maybe. I haven’t figured out if that dreadful headache was caused by books or lack of sleep. I have no idea.

So, yesterday I was really in the mood for a book I’ve heard about online – it was really hyped and really well rated around booktube and such – and have read some pages of, a while ago. And I have to be honest, those few chapters really caught my eye back in May, but who had enough time to do some proper research and grab the book ?  Well, not me. But months later the attraction became truly unbearable and here I was, 10 am Sunday morning, tea in one hand and Kindle in the other ( don’t take me wrong I totally prefer the book and the pages and all, but here in my little European country full of vampires this book is far faar away from being translated and the shipping costs would be kind of overwhelming, so here I am, over using my precious * insert Gollum voice here* kindle).

And the fact is, I can say it now, almost 24 hours later, having finished it last afternoon, “An Ember In The Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir proved to be a breath of fresh air – it wasn’t lovely or nice or whatever way you name a book that is soon to get out-of-the-way of your freaky thoughts  – nope, it was great. It didn’t  hit perfection for me , but I had trouble putting it down to eat or sleep or do whatever normal people do. It was engaging and thrilling and successfully written, with fair amounts of all the things I have expected of it – world building,character development, great premise and conflict, well-developed history of the universe itself, some romance here and there but what was even more fascinating was that the book didn’t focus on romantic relationships, but rather gathered depth through approaching every type of human interaction – from strong friendship to the sense of belonging, to deep loyalty to your leader and a true sense of what family feels like.

If you want to get into the book knowing nothing about the premise –  I really recommend that, it will develop your reading experience in an unexpected way – you should leave now, so that you don’t read further and get spoiled and whatever. I should add, tho, that I recommend this to anybody who has at least a mild passion for fantasy and history, doesn’t mind an acceptable amount of necessary violence and doesn’t want to grab this book for the love story itself or something like that. Goodbye, brave read who doesn’t want to know anything, you have my blessing!

20560137Now, getting to the part where I actually refer to the book – it is written in a dual point of view, following two characters – Laia and Elias, each close to the age of maturity , each having their struggles and things to prove – the fact is, their situations couldn’t quite have been more different.

For the reader to understand their positions, he needs to understand the world in which this novel is set – rather close from the perspective of atmosphere and social structure to the ones of the Roman Empire – it pictures the life inside the Empire of the Martials – a people of fighters that had gained the power over the whole continent ( I think, I am not quite sure when it comes to the geography, but I believe it is a GoT sort of thing, with some kingdoms ruled by one great source of power in one place and the free lands on another slice of land. ) Anyway, one of the people they have destroyed 5 centuries ago is the one of Scholars – a nation that had developed beautifully over the ages , valuing knowledge over all and building a fascinating civilization with a very vast culture. The fact is , their knowledge didn’t protect them from the Martial steel so they have become slaves of the Empire, most of them working for the Martials , trying to live in spite of the huge threaten any slight from of independence or intellectual development creates.

Now that the social context is clear, I feel rather ready to talk freely about the people and the thins that go on in this book. So, if you don’t want to be spoiled, leave now 🙂 and if you wish to find more extended opinions on this book after you will have read it, come back so that we can discuss together! byee !


Ok, so, I read the first few chapters and we have this Scholar girl whose brother is not exactly following the rules and she is too scared to talk to him openly about that and this to-become-a-Mask guy who has the only girl in the school as a best friend and who wants to desert as soon as school ends because Blackcliff is no Hogwarts and he doesn’t like the violence going on there and of course I think they are going to meet at some point and of course I know that would be the main ship of the whole book. But then at page 23 the massacre at Laia’s house happens and for a couple of seconds I am in shock when her brother tells her to run because, in my head , he wasn’t much of a kind person (the fact is, we don’t meet his character much throughout the book but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t well-rounded in the end because, like it or not, he has gained complexity through rememoration ).

From that point on, things start to spin – lots of things happen and they are written in such a nice fast paced way that implies a fair amount of character growth.

Deciding that her brother is in danger of rotting in a Martial prison, Laia decides to search help at the only people she can think of – The Resistance, the group her parents had successfully led years before , trying to fight the Empire but being finally caught and killed. Seeking help and receiving it only after reveling her true identity , she accepts to go on a mission that would “pay” for the time and man lost in the rescue mission of her brother – she has to become a spy inside Blackcliff, the military academy where the Empire’s most feared soldiers, the Masks, are trained, by becoming the slave of the Commandant – a cruel and vicious woman, lacking any kind of humanity you can think of ( a rather fascinating villain,tho).


Meanwhile, Elias is convinced to give up on his freedom plans by some freaky type of red-eyed, pale, immortal and extremely powerful and mind reader monk , one of the 14 of his kind , the only type of holy entity in the entire novel. He is elected to be an Aspirant, one of the four trying to pass the four trials imagined by the freaky monks in order to become the next Emperor of the Empire, a competition which he doesn’t want to win, for he knows that becoming the leader of such a cruel and messed up  thing would destroy his morality and principles and humanity and really doesn’t want that. He is an idealist and I like him for that, but he sometimes becomes so very ignorant to the obvious.


In the same time, Laia proves to be a very very strong main character – she really sees herself as a coward and has this big issue with not being enough like her mom, the Lioness, the great hero or like her brave brother she struggles to free from prison – but she actually is dauntless herself and so full of inner strength , it is almost beautiful – the way she goes through the dreadful treatment of the commandant and the way she sacrifices her chance to freedom in order to free Izzi prove what a badass she is.


Elias and Laia meet at one point, of course, and I was very pleased with the fact that their relationship didn’t grow into some sort of unnatural instant love, but rather into a ” We save each other, that is what we do.” type of thing. I really like the way they seem to understand each other and the sensitivity of this book was pretty much built ( as I sensed it) in their conversations of sorts or in the way Elias grew so protective of her, despite the fact that, in the end, his instinct to shield her from the evil messed his life a little bit more that necessary. I really loved the way she grew to represent something to him – hope, freedom, another way of living or holding yourself in one piece –  I can’t tell which yet.


All in all, I really liked this book, it hit 4.5/5 stars for me so maybe it will go even better for others, I recommend it to everybody that needs a quick but deep read , a fantasy story intertwined with all facets of human relationships. You might be warned that this fortunately isn’t a standalone so the story will go on next year as well!

* btw I haven’t made any of this edits, they are all created by awesome tumblr people *

“Shatter me” Series by Tahereh Mafi – Book Review


I’ve decided to write  about the “Shatter Me” series by Tahereh Mafi.

If you are even slightly familiar with the new YA releases of the past years , you might have noticed these books as they were really hyped and very well sold and gained some sort of popularity among the young dystopia readers, even only for their extremely beautiful covers and rather intriguing titles. Containing a total of three novels – “Shatter Me”,”Unravel Me” and “Ignite Me”- and two novellas – “Destroy Me” and “Fracture Me”, sold separatedly but also together under a new title – “Unite Me” – the series follows a basic narrative line of the genre – young girl with super powers discovers her inner strength and understands that her really messed up world is not that messed up so she saves it and so we have a nice ending for everybody.

What actually makes the difference here and constantly overpowers  the plot itself when it comes to meaning and importance are the characters and the writing style that actually manages to save this whole story from two potential threats that the plot typology itself implies – 1. a non-human-lacking-a-heart-or-a-conscience type of heroine and 2.a fast-paced but very dull narration.

I can confess that, while the plot was mostly intriguing, kind of familiar at times, but not truly fascinating, and the world building was not underdone, but, once again, bore the main characteristics of the basic dystopian universe, what I really really enjoyed about this book, leaving alone the unique reading experience that the beautiful writing style was generating, was the wonderful character growth. Seeing the protagonist, Juliette, overcoming her huge fear of herself and crossing the path to confidence and dauntless self exploration was very enjoyable as, at first, we are placed in the head of  a very scared girl who is unable to hold herself up or to understand her true identity.

The romance included in this book was enjoyable because of the amazing way in which it is approached. I mean , the author has to deal with the perspective of an unable to decide 17-year-old hormonal girl and does it in a way that should be praised –  instead of weird cliche type of things, the relationships develop in an intense way, but we get our insight of it deliver in metaphors and wonderful quotes to write on a sticky note and place right in front of your desk. Yes, it might be cheesy for some, but it is undoubtedly beautiful and the feelings that this book deliver are various and palpable and the visuals the author creates are amazing.

On the other hand, as we evolve through the series, it is easily noticeable that the writing style slightly changes and, by book 3, new characters are introduced and a new type of humor and over all optimism replaces the initial despair that was radiating through the pages , so I found myself laughing out loud while reading these books and earned a couple of odious gazes from normal people.

This was it for the absolutely spoiler-free review, not even the synopsis is included above because I really recommend you read this book without knowing what to expect because it will make the whole thing a lot better. So if you don’t want to be spoiled, even slightly, I suggest you stopped reading right now, because I plan on further analyzing the books individually and I don’t want to be the one to destroy some innocent’s reading experience.


“SHATTER ME” – Book No.1

“I am nothing but novocaine. I am numb, a world of nothing, all feeling and emotion gone forever.
I am a whisper that never was.”

Remember when I said that the visuals are amazing? Well, here you have some sort of proof and a very very nice but utterly depressing quote. So.

This novel basically follows the story of Juliette, a young girl with a super power, that being that her touch is lethal. Obviously, not being ever touched by anybody else has led to a horrible childhood, ostracization and a whole deal of social and psychological problems that scarred her deeply and really attacked her fragile balance. The fact is , in the book present tense, Juliette is held in this creepy asylum for people with mental health issues and hasn’t talked to anybody for 264 days when a cellmate is brought in – a boy she knew from her school years, maybe the only friendly human being she had ever encountered.

What happens next, the ways people want to use her as a weapon in their sick war and how she earns the ability and the strength to fight back, is included in the fast paced full of full news and occasional humor of the last two thirds of the book.

The writing reflects the characters issues very well – it is incoherent at times, there are passages cut like this showing  her lack of stability and confidence that makes her reluctant to accepting her own feelings or thoughts.

“I always wonder about raindrops.

I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.

I am a raindrop.

My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slab.
Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me


When in comes to book no. 2, “Unravel Me”, the main feeling I can recall when thinking of reading the first part of the book is a mild form of frustration because we are somehow introduced to some sort of an “America Singer” situation (if you read “The Selection”, you know and understand the struggle of  a young woman who can’t bring herself to decide between the two corners of the love triangle) and also we have to face Juliette’s inability to embrace her power and shape it so that she can help her new people , but these two elements are inserted in a way that generated empathy and understanding and a whole new level of attention to the shape shifting process Juliette’s mind goes through.

Without going much into the plot itself, I really want to point out the highlights of the book for me, at least, starting with the new level of world building that proved itself satisfying when talking about credibility in this book – the fact that we learn some basic things about the way the Energy works and have a great insight on Omega Point’s way of existing is great. Also, Juliette’s translation to new, powerful individual is delightful in the same way discovering what lies under all the layers Warner has surrounded himself with struck me as a revelation. But, for me at least, the most enjoyable proof of Tahereh Mafi ‘s great talent was Kenji. He is, for sure, my favorite character in this series the way humor and strength and intuition and super powers are linked to shape such a personality is beyond my comprehension. He is the main reason for which the depressing element o this book is way more ameliorated than the first one’s, and that is great for character building, the way I see it. All in all, it was a really enjoyable read and defined the arc on which the story goes -it gave me the feeling that the final point of the books was to bring out and highlight Juliette’s strength and any human being’s potentiality , in fact, to put himself or herself up and build a broken self into a new powerful one.

“Loneliness is a strange sort of thing.
It creeps on you, quiet and still, sits by your side in the dark, strokes by your hair as you sleep. It wraps itself around your bones, squeezing so tight you almost can’t breathe. It leaves lies in your heart, lies next to you at night, leaches the light out of every corner. It’s a constant companion, clasping your hand only to yank you down when you’re struggling to stand up.
You wake up in the morning and wonder who you are. You fail to fall asleep at night and tremble in your skin. You doubt you doubt you doubt.
do I
don’t I
should I
why won’t I
And even when you’re ready to let go. When you’re ready to break free. When you’re ready to be brand-new. Loneliness is an old friend stand beside you in the mirror, looking you in the eye, challenging you to live your life without it. You can’t find the words to fight yourself, to fight the words screaming that you’re not enough never enough never ever enough.
Loneliness is a bitter, wretched companion.
Sometimes it just won’t let go.”
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))

there went another emotional yet really beautiful quote 🙂


The time has come to talk about the last book. Which I really enjoyed but which didn’t quite fulfill my expectations – I feel like I need more of an explanation or a “Mockingjay” sort of epilogue or anything,for that matter, that can make me understand.

Don’t take me wrong, it was a good book. It made me feel something and I think that for such book there is the point, in feeling something. But. But. It also left me waiting for more and maybe the story required an open finale so I’m going to go with it. Moving further to the actual content of the book, I can say it was even , balanced and fulfilled my predictions when it came to the great magnificent development of Juliette’s power and her relationship with Warner turned out really beautiful. All in all, it was a good final book – not a spectacle of feelings and emotions and rage and the huge war I was expecting, but a novel that did leave many doors opened and many questions to be further asked, but in the refreshing way of inciting your imagination to a great extent.

I still had some issues with the relationships around here, tho, because they turned more and more twisted and I couldn’t actually forget their initial abusive tendencies and it was kind of creepy in the end if you analyze it retrospectively – some people seem to love how the romance in these books turned out and I am not the person to argue but I didn’t come here for the romance in the first place anyway.

So, all in all, I’d sum all this huge block of text up by saying that I really enjoyed reading this series, it had one of the most unique premises I’ve met in a while, the writing style so so beautiful and some of the characters very well formed and rather nice people to spend my last couple of days with , but I didn’t blow me away. I recommend this to anybody who finds joy in YA dystopias – like “Divergent” , for an obvious example- and can stand a girl very poetically talking about her feelings.