For you only

I haven’t posted in three days, because Christmas has been happening and it made me really happy. I don’t know for how long I’ll be able to write here – I am trying to make this feel like a telephone call, you know, I have no idea if it works, I really hope it does.

I want to say “Merry Christmas”. I don’t care who reads this, it’s therapy enough for me to write this. A blessing to all of you.

I hope you are well, I hope you are loved. I don’t know if you celebrate Christmas, maybe you don’t, so Merry Anything.

I hope the weather has a good enough color for you, I hope you have faith an stars. I hope you can hear music and read books and shower yourself in the miracle of what this world is.

I hope you found yourself in shapes and mirrors and clocks and the back of your rooms. I hope you look at the sky and it smiles back at you. I hope you smile at somebody and make their hearts tingle. I hope you are well.

I hope you’ve tried chocolate and I hope you can run. Not away, but run, free yourself. I hope you can travel. I hope you have traveled. I hope you want to see it all and understand it all. I hope you are curious.

 

I hope you find solace in books. I hope you find  it all in art. I hope you know what to do with your life and I hope you regret nothing.

I hope you let grief wash over you and welcome fear at your table, to teach it how to behave. I hope you welcome light in your heart, through your cracks and through holes too meaningful.

I hope you don’t find this overwhelmingly cheesy. I hope you get my good thoughts and hang them in your Christmas trees and in your ear holes. Wear my small presence like cheap earrings, once and then forgotten.

I hope you are all good and incredibly and ridiculously festive.

Love forever ,* cheesy cheesy cheesy , but it is Christmas , is it not?*

Ana

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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“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

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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

“APPRECIATE IT”.

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.

And so furious, DAMN I AM FURIOUS SO SO SO FURIOUS.

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 SAY, STUPID MIDDLE AGED WOMAN, THAT A 20 YEAR OLD STUCK IN THE FLAMES DESERVED HIS DEATH BECAUSE HE USED TO WEAR BLACK AND COMBAT BOOTS AND HIS HAIR A LITTLE BIT TOO LONG FOR YOUR CONSERVATIVE STANDARDS?

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.

ANYWAY.

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.

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I. “SHADOW OF THE WIND” BY CARLOS RUIZ ZAFON

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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II. “WHERE SHE WENT” BY GAYLE FORMAN

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Autumn burns

Today is Friday and I feel like continuously sighing, because Fridays are a quiet and happy thing.

Fridays are getting out of school at 2 pm and heading to the local library and finding nice books.

Friday means my hair curlier than usual, my earbuds dug deeper in my ears and my life messier.

Friday means sighing and listening to people singing about stupid things.

Friday means laughing and laughing and laughing simply because you are tired. Simply because Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday have washed over you in a wave of quiet and disturbing disappointment.

Friday is the day that comes after a Thursday when you couldn’t make a sense of who you were and just stood there quietly, watching people and covering yourself in shut eyes, sealed lips and silence.

And a self-conscious promise that you would, at some point, leave.

Friday is the day when you can forget lunch and just stick with chocolate. Or do both. Nobody cares.

Friday is the day when you’ve run out of avocado but you still have Saturdays for fixing that.

Friday has the afternoon you carefully plan only to end up stuck on the carpet, listening to music – sad music or nonsensical music or random music – or watching useless and not actually funny videos on YouTube or videos about books or videos in which people talk about how much they were able to achieve in such short lives. So much that it makes you dreamy and fundamentally uncomfortable with your lack of great things done.

Fridays for short hair, for printed glasses, for being alone and smelling bitter oak leaves in the air and in the streets.

For missing rain deeply and totally.

Fridays for a day that is deeply fried in the oily concoctions of autumn.

“Shatter me” Series by Tahereh Mafi – Book Review

Hello.

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.

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“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 🙂

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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.

Summer Manifesto

I am not really sure how summer holidays are set around the world , but I know that in my tiny, full of vampires and dragons south-eastern European country, the humongous summer break starts at the end of June and ends mid-September. Almost 3 months. Out of which almost 4 weeks  have passed. That means that I have another 10-11 weeks to fulfill my summer goals and cross all the things on my oh-so-fancy-and-yolo summer bucket list. Joke. I don’t have a bucket list going on because I can’t make myself write one or think of a number of things to do during this summer. Or any other summer,for that matter. Or this year. Or before I die. So, taking into account my inability to write a crazy and nice bucket list that isn’t totally cliche , the closest thing I have to such a thing is my Goodreads TBR shelf. Or the 2015 Reading challenge on which I am 5 books ahead after entering the summer holiday 17 books behind. I am proud of myself for that.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is not complaining about bucket lists or how everybody seems to love summer whereas all my enthusiasm has fled a couple off weeks ago when I started my very successful hobbit carrier and a very faithful relationship with my bed and my Kindle – I think I initially wanted to write about .. well I kind of can’t remember. So, instead of complaining, I think I’ll write a manifesto. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll make myself write that bucket list stuff. But it won’t be a list.

It will be my summer’s manifesto.

So.

Summer Manifesto

I’ll try as hard as I can to become healthy and slowly heal my huge lack of balance and sleep and normality and human interaction. I’ll cross paths with my anxieties as often as possible, so that ,maybe, they’ll be scared enough of themselves to run away, instead of making me turn my back to my possibilities. I’ll read as much as I can and I’ll try to try various things – not only my usual rather contemporary comfort zone. And after reading weird masterpieces,I’ll try to write about them here and I really hope it is going to turn out well. I am going to free myself of this deep struggle of keeping up with all the masks I’ve drawn for myself. ‘Cause the time has come for balance. I am not the person of cheesy things , but I aim change. And maybe I’ll become a better entity walking on this claustrophobic planet, learning how to stop killing my time.

Funny fact, tho – killing your time doesn’t make you eternal.