QOTW: V for Vendetta

Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea… and ideas are bulletproof.

There are strikes and most recently, the occupation of Central in Hong Kong.
Why?
Because we want democracy. Because we should have the right to choose our leader. The Chinese government refused to grant us universal suffrage and proposed to set up a ‘nomination committee’ formed by Beijing loyalists. They also blocked off the Civic Square in attempt to silence us.

They are so scared. So afraid.

Pepper spray, tear bombs and violence were used against the non-violent demonstrators. Some people were arrested. I refuse to bow down to injustice, but as a secondary school student, I could only wear yellow ribbons, go on marches and rallies and sign petitions.

I’m so sorry.

I truly hope that those who are participating in civil disobedience and those who are arrested will be treated with justice. And the government- STOP using forces! A second Tiananmen massacre in Hong Kong is not welcomed. Listen to the citizens and stop repressions!

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

 

∞ ϟ 9¾ ♔ ⚯͛ △⃒⃘ ➵ ♆

Update:

I went to the rally and saw a girl with the Mockingjay necklace. <– the power of fictions (lol)

I’m currently reading Ruin and Rising – so far it’s the best book in the Grisha trilogy. I’m still in the middle of the story though. Hopefully it will live up to my expectations!

(7:08pm
Watching the news report, I lost all the will to revise for the test tomorrow. Honestly, I don’t want to talk too much about demonstrations here on my book blog but I’m so angry and frustrated. Thank you for putting up with me.
This is probably the reason why I love reading dystopian novels.)

One Lovely Blog Award

Gwen & Kate’s Library and The Writing Hufflepuff nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award! Thank you very much!

The requirements for the nomination:
1.) Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
2.) List the rules and display the award.
3.) Add 7 facts about yourself.
4.) Nominate 15 other bloggers (or as many as you can) and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
5.) Display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.

 

7 facts about me:

1.  I love thunderstorms. 
2.  I love the night. I wish I could go star gazing in Hong Kong. Light pollution ruins them all. *cries*
3.  I’m definitely not a morning person, but sometimes I’ll wake up at 4 instead of staying up late until 2 in the morning to do my work.
4.  My Mandarin sucks. I can read some simplified Chinese, but I can’t write them.
5.  Speaking of languages, I really don’t have a talent in learning them. I learned French for 3 years but I can barely speak it.
6.  I’m already running out of facts…
7.  I’m a Gemini! My birthday is in June which means I’ll be celebrating my birthday and my blogversary together (technically it’s not the same day but still…) The down side of having a birthday in June is that it’s finals week every year (almost). This year was the worst – I have Business Studies and History exams on the same day and even though I woke up at 2:30 am, I still could not finish revising them.
Good news! Next year I’ll finish my IGCSEs exams a few days before my birthday and I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.

 
 

Phew! Here are 7 facts of me 😀 Now I’m going to nominate some bloggers:

 

Book discussion: Seige and Storm

Book Title: Siege and Storm

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Tsarpunk

★★★★★ (4.5 stars)

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
– Goodreads

This is a sequel to Shadow and Bone. If you haven’t picked it up yet, I recommend you to do so. So far it’s not an action-packed series, but the characters and world building are amazing… So bye! Non-spoiler people!

Tsarpunk
The edition I have includes a Q&A session with the author. One of the questions is about the genre of The Grisha trilogy. It could be classified as High Fantasy or Epic Fantasy, but Leigh Bardugo prefers ‘Tsarpunk’.

So how do you define Tsarpunk?
I’ll say that Tsarpunk is fantasy that takes its inspiration from the aesthetics, culture, politics, and social structure of early 19th century Russia. – Leigh Bardugo

[ Read the full interview here: http://ageofsteam.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/genre-friction-what-is-tsarpunk-by-leigh-bardugo/ ]

‘Tsarpunk’ sounds cool 😂 I’m learning Russian history at school right now and I wrote ‘Tsarpunk’ all over my notes to keep myself from falling asleep. (Shouldn’t be doing that. Whatever.)
Later when people ask me what genre is this trilogy classified as, I’m definitely going to say ‘Tsarpunk’

 

Okay. Enough Tsarpunk. Now let’s move on to my thoughts on the book.

 

Characters
I love how Leigh Bardugo creates the character – even the hero/heroine have their dark side. It makes the characters more human. And this (in addition to the amazing world-building) are the reasons why I still love this trilogy though it’s not that action-packed.

Alina
I was so afraid that Alina would be power-hungry and eventually become the next Darkling (Lightling, maybe). And the fact that she doesn’t tell Mal about the appearances of the Darkling irritates me. I hate it when characters keep ‘secrets’ from each other. However, as I’ve said before, heroine has her dark side, so although I don’t really like her in S&S, her character is interesting.

Mal
I’m never fond of Mal. His relationship with Alina in this book bugs me a lot, but I’m going to wait till I finished the whole series before I comment on his character.

Sturmound
If he doesn’t turn evil, he’s probably my favourite character in this trilogy. He is just AWESOME, but I don’t trust him yet.

 

Faith
Sankta Alina
I like how Leigh Bardugo made the pilgrims worship Alina as a saint. There are something or some messages behind ‘faith’, but I’ll have to wait untill I finish the whole trilogy (again) before I talk about it.

 

The Ratings
The plot of Siege and Storm is pretty good – there are surprises, politics and actions.
The first 2/3 of the book is kind of slow. After coming back to Ravka, the characters have to deal with their personal matters, so that part is not gripping at all. I was ready to give it a 4/5 stars. But then there’s Nickolai’s birthday, and things start to get intense. The final battle is just EPIC. I loved it so much, I just can’t give it a rating lower than S&B.
It’s not a 5/5 stars because I really don’t like Alina keeping secrets, and Mal kind of bugs me. But I’m looking forward to their character development in R&R.

I’m probably going to do a discussion post on the trilogy as a whole.

Waiting on Wednesday: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

width=

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine

∞ ϟ 9¾ ♔ ⚯͛ △⃒⃘ ➵ ♆

My ‘waiting on’ pick this week is:

 

Book Title: Beware the Wild

Author: Natalie C. Parker

Publication Date: 21/10/2014

 

It’s an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp — the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn’t return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp’s done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance — and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.
– Goodreads

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read list


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

∞ ϟ 9¾ ♔ ⚯͛ △⃒⃘ ➵ ♆

Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read list

[I published this post using my phone and then when I checked it at home the covers were gone. What happened!?]

1. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

 

2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass

 

3. Find Me by Romily Bernard

 

4. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

 

5. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

 

6. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

 

7. The Giver by Lois Lowry

 

8. 1984 by George Owell

 

9. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

 

10. Gone by Michael Grant

∞ ϟ 9¾ ♔ ⚯͛ △⃒⃘ ➵ ♆

QOTW: Divergent

IMG_5864.PNG

 

Short comment:

Maybe fears never leave. They are overcome, not destroyed.

 

Update:

It was a busy week for me but I managed to get some reading done (Yay!) – I re-read Shadow and Bone and finished Siege and Storm. I’m currently reading Ruin and Rising (excited for the ending!).

Nothing really special happened this week. Just regular school and stuff. But I got a holiday on tuesday because of the typhoon! I guess it could be called ‘special’.

The past few days were very hot in Hong Kong but today there’s finally some autumn breeze. It’s my favourite season and I love drinking hot tea while studying (it keeps me awake). Sweater-weather is almost here! *applause*

October is coming which means Halloween is coming, so I went on a mini book-buying spree on amazon (though some of them are not thrillers/paranormal/horror novels):

   

I haven’t bought The Infinite Sea though…

I’m in a kind of writing slump and cannot form sentences (you may notice it from this update). I’m good at writing but lately it’s been difficult for me to write properly (arrgh)

I guess I’ll go now. I can’t stand my crappy writing (lol). I hope you had a nice week and I’ll see you in my next post!

 

Book discussion: Shadow and Bone

Book Title: Shadow and Bone

Author:  Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA Fantasy

★★★★★ (4.5 stars)

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.- Goodreads

I read this back in February. I decided to re-read it because now I own the whole trilogy. Marathon time!

The First Read
It took me quite a while to get used to the world. Back then I haven’t read many fantasy novels so I was quite unfamiliar with what to expect. The names and places were confusing and at some point I had no idea what was happening.
But still, the story was gripping and I loved it.
As I have a bad memory, I don’t really remember my thoughts towards the book. I just know that I was tricked by the Darkling (how naive).

The Second Read
I thought I would forget the whole plot, but I went in knowing what to expect and what’s going to happen in this book, so it wasn’t an exciting and thrilling read. (How I wish I could erase my memory and read it again for the first time) However, I did ‘discover’ some details that I’ve missed in the first read.

The Description
I overlooked the vivid descriptions. I knew the palace is beautiful, I knew the kefta is beautiful, but I didn’t pay attention to the words. I just labeled them in my mind as ‘beautiful’ – they were blurry images in my mind. It’s the process of re-reading it that made me realised how much beauty I’ve missed.

Belonging somewhere

I’m not like you, Mal. I never really fit in the way you did. I never really belonged anywhere.

Alina and Mal are both orphans, but Alina feels like she never really belonged anywhere. Grisha? She’s kind of an outcast and doesn’t really fit in those regular summoners. She belongs to Mal, but she also belongs to herself.

Sometimes we try really hard to fit in somewhere. We feel insecure being ourselves because people will think that we’re strange. ‘Eww weird’
Alina used all her energy and will to suppress her power when she was small. She didn’t want to face the truth because she didn’t want to leave Mal. Now I’m not criticising her decision, it just reminds me that a lot of the time we refuse to be ourselves just to fit in.

The problem with wanting is that is makes us weak. How right he was. I’d wanted so badly to belong somewhere, anywhere. I’d been so eager to please him, so proud to keep his secrets. But I’d never bothered to question what he might really want, what his true motives might be. I’d been too busy imagining myself by his side, the savior of Ravka, most treasured, most desired, like some kind of queen.

The Ratings

Shadow and bone is close to perfect, but I didn’t give it a 5 out of 5 stars because I just feel like there’s something missing. The world building and the characters like Genya and the Darkling are amazing, but it’s not action-packed enough for me. Also, I didn’t really enjoy the ‘running-away’ part because it’s kind of a common thing and sometimes it bugs me. This is a totally personal thing, objectively speaking there’s nothing wrong with this book, I just feel like it hasn’t reached the level of pure epicness.

 

∞ ϟ 9¾ ♔ ⚯͛ △⃒⃘ ➵ ♆

 

I’m definitely excited for the sequels! What do you think of Shadow and Bone? Do you like it? Are you attracted to the Darkling? Comment down below your thoughts!