Book Review: Gates of Thread and Stone

26 April 2015

Release Date: August 5, 2014
Book:Gates of Thread and Stone
Author: Lori M. Lee
Number of Pages: 335
Series: Yes
The Basics:In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe. In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her. Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.

My Musings:

I hadn't read a good YA fantasy book in a while. I hadn't read a pure fantasy book in a really long time in general. When I got the chance to read this I really wanted to give it a shot. I first heard about this before it came out and I though it sounded interesting so I thought to myself, why not? To be brutally honest, I wasn't expecting much from the book. I thought it would get cheesy fast. I was pleasantly mistaken.

The first sentence of the book draws you in right away. From there on it slowly sinks teeth in you until you've pretty much fallen under it's spell. The writing style is pretty good. Ms. Lee has great descriptions and I loved being inside Kai's head. I was never bored with Kai, angry; maybe, frustrated;probably, rooting for; definitely. The author creates a coarse world, filled with danger and does it well.

OMG THIS PLOT. I could not put this book down. It's insane. There are so many twists and turns right up till the end. I love how action packed this was. This is the first book in a while that made me just fall in love with the story, the plot, the characters, I was enveloped by the horrible things they endured. The heartache forced upon them. I was filled by a need to find out what was going to happen next. Not all of it was twisty and turny. Some of it was just a lot. A lot to take in. I think the plot was really well developed and you'd be surprised at how much little details make a difference in this book. Not only by creating a full storyline, but by actually giving you hints and stuff for the ending. Like every little bit matters. I love that! It's never really slow, but it does pick up a lot towards the middle. Like if you thought the beginning was cray, just wait, this book is going to make you suffer. AND THEN THE ENDING! like what? how is that ending okay? I need to read the next book. I NEED to know how the heck things end up with Avan, Kai, Reev.

Character wise there was some development. Kai definitely grows up, hardens up. Avan stays consistently the same. He doesn't really change much throughout the story. He's a great character, don't get me wrong but the only real changes he goes through are his acceptance of his feelings for Kai, which is GREAT, and a plot twist which i'm not going to spoil here. Reev is a ghost, but a lovable one. He's a good guy it seems like. He cares about Kai. He loves her. They're each other's family and it's endearing seeing them together. It was a more plot driven novel but the character's, their storylines, the things they said, the things they did for themselves and others just makes you want to be friends with them, It was heartwarming to read about people who would be willing to lay down everything they have, lives included, for one another. Especially in a world so dark and cruel as the one they live in. I think it's great that their humanity is ultimately the best part of them.

Romance. Well let me say this it's obvious that Kai and Avan are completely and totally in love with one another. There are cute moments where you ship them with all your heat and soul. There is another guy who enters the picture. It's a cute romance they have, Avan and Kai. I think they're so good for each other. But they're also not the type to just admit they're feelings. Which seems to be the case in every book i've ever read. Anyways. It's cute, not the focal point, but yeah. I don't want to say too much and give away the ending, but I'll say one last thing. They show they're feelings not with words or sounds or syllables, but with actions, touches, and decisions.

Overall GREAT book. So amazing. I was hanging on every dreking word. lol you have to read this book.

My Rating:


11 April 2015

There are still some cold days. There are warmer days. There a busy days and just busy days pretty much. I think this outfit is perfect for transitioning between winter and spring. The key to any look like this is layers. If it's colder where you're at you can throw on a warmer coat or a scarf.

It's crazy to think that there are only two months left of school. I always thought that the entirety of junior year was hard but in reality the worse time is the last two months of school. Finals are looming, (next week) and AP tests are rushing towards us with an intensity that's scary. In many ways I feel like I've transitioned into a busy crazy time that will probably make me loose what little sanity I have. But hey life's more interesting when you're a little crazy right?

Denim Shirt Similar: H&M
Black Skater Skirt Similar: H&M
Black Knee High Socks Similar: Forever 21
Black Sheer Tights Similar: Forever 21
Gold Leaf Headband Similar: Saks
Oxford Flats Exact: Payless

Book Talk: Paper Towns by John Green

05 April 2015

Release Date:September 22, 2009
Book: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Number of Pages: 305

The Basics:Who is the real Margo? Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew... 

My Musings:

I love John Green. I love the way he writes, I love the way he creates characters, I love everything about his books. This is the third book by him I've read. The first was TFIOS, and that books was amazing. I even wrote a letters to Augustus and Hazel   and made a playlist for Looking for Alaska. So I was expecting to love this book and be totally in love with every aspect of the novel. Maybe my standards were way too high, maybe it's the fact that I had to read this in tiny increments, but I was a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong the books is AMAZING but I don't feel as strongly about it as I did TFIOS and Looking for Alaska.

The book hooks you in right away. The writing style is amazing. I love how John Green describes things, the thoughts Q has, and how profound he can be as well as funny. There's something nice about reading a book that can make you actually LOL/ I love the sarcasm, the humor, and not surprisingly quotable lines.

The plot was super well developed I think. It starts off pretty fast pace, things happening in every chapter. For the first quarter I guess Margo and Q are pulling pranks and stuff. But then Margo disappears and the whole books slows down. Which I get. I totally get why it slows down. It adds to the fact that Margo was this ball of fire propelling her life and those around her. Similarly her character propelled the book, albeit a lot slower when she disappeared. But I wish it was just a tiny bit faster. There were so many moments when Q was trying to figure out where Margo was, that broke my heart. Like Prom Night. Or when him and his friends go on a car ride near the end of the book. I love how this was both very character driven and very plot driven. We see Q have a new appreciation for people and life, and we see the journey that leads him to his goal: Margo and understanding her. Which he kind of does at the end of the book.  I loved all the intricate little details in the book, like the black Santas and the bloody Ben story. I loved how every little thing in the book, all the hints, and non-hints all tied together at the end.

If there's one thing I think I love most about John Green novels, is that his characters are so heartbreakingly relatable, realistic, and just damn amazing. Q is this nerdy guy who sticks to routine and is pretty much just there in high school. Margo is the beautiful, charismatic, queen bee. Q is also this guy desperately in love with a girl he thinks he doesn't deserve or have a chance with and wants more out of his life. Margo is a broken person, looking for a way to feel happy again. Ben is this sex crazed pretend macho guy that you simultaneously want to laugh with and slap. But then again, most guys are like that. Radar is pretty nerdy and I love him for it. I like Lacy and her girlyness but I will admit she gets a little annoying. All the storylines intertwine really well together and mesh to create a kind of haunting story about a girl wanting to be found when in reality she just needs to find herself. In reality, while I loved all the characters, I only really connected or could relate to, Margo and Q. Which I didn't really mind because it was centered around them, but I was disappointed that I couldn't like the other characters more.

This is the kind of romance that you ship from the get go. Q and Margo. They just work. You desperately hope for Margo to be alive at the end of the book for them to have their moment. This is the romance that makes you giggle with glee as they laugh and do stupid things. I think it's really cute. I love how Q realizes that Margo isn't the girl he pictured but learns to love her anyway. He learns to love her darker gory bits, not just this glorified image that every one seemed to have of her.

Overall it was a great read. I was a little disappointed with how it lost momentum and how I couldn't really relate to the minor characters. But like I said the plot is golden, the character and character development is on point, and the ending was perfect for this book. Not gonna lie I teared up a bit.

Coffee For This Book: A Vienna. It has the perfect amount of espresso to keep you up reading this book, and whip cream on top to help you eat you feeling when this book gets emotionally hard to read. Which it does

My Rating

Language and Literature: Lost in Translation

03 April 2015

Language, books, writing, this is how humans communicate, spread messages, tell stories. Our words and syntax and figurative language all help create worlds and people and situations that we can get lost in. I was asked this week what the importance of literature was. How can this be shared? Smartling,  translation software, understands the power of the written word. This company allows businesses to communicate with audiences everywhere helping eliminate the language barrier. When she asked me what the importance of language and literature was I got thinking. I mean we all know it's important but it's difficult to articulate perfectly just how essential both of these things are. But I'll try.

Literature is a reflection of culture. Books are little journeys that can help you with yours. Books and literature, and all that jazz is important because it provides an outlet for people to get lost in, relate to, fall in love with. 

Reading is falling in love with every page, it's being reassured that you're never alone, its a way to deal with life, it's that friend you can always rely on, it's a light at the end of the tunnel. As cliche as some of these things are, it's true. Books carry so much meaning and knowledge. They allow for people to get into different peoples shoes, become more open minded. Books are important and to share them they have to be translated into different languages and made available to people. They have to be affordable. Companies have to make it a priority to spread their books around, give them to schools, donate them, translate them WELL.

However, when books are translated things can get lost in translation. There are many things essential in keeping a books quality when in translation. So I made a list. Here it is!

  1. Omphness of words. Some words just don't have the same impact. They just don't have enough power as they did one language as the other. I speak Spanish and English and I find that sometimes one word in Spanish is just stronger than an English word and it just doesn't translate into English the same way, or vice versa. This problem probably happens in literature so much. Sometimes its the way things are describes, sometimes it's the words that are said. They just don't hold the same power, or strength. 
  2. Slang. Probably one of the hardest things to change. Translating this isn't just about finding the words that have the same meaning but having the similar words used in the same context. This can be pretty hard if you don't know the culture. 
  3. Jokes. This just varies from culture to culture. Certain things can be deemed acceptable and funny while others are not. A joke in one language can be closer to an insult or just plain grotesque in another. I wish that no matter in what language I read, that the jokes, the humor stays intact. Humor in general is hard to keep when translating books into another language. This problem also exists in pretty much every translation.
  4. Figurative language. Metaphors, similes, hyperbole. These all are hard to translate. When learning a language this can be hard to learn. So when trying to convey the same meaning you might have to change the metaphor or whatever to get the same effect. 
  5. Sarcasm. It's hard enough to convey sarcasm with written language but it's also terribly hard to translate. While sarcasm can be universal, it's hard to convey sarcasm when it's trying to be funny. It might just not get the same effect from one audience as it did with the original audience.
Translation can help books thrive everywhere, especially when done right. It can also help people's knowledge increase, it helps people become aware of new things and different opinions. Books are important and it's essential that they be spread. 

Waiting on Wednesday #5

01 April 2015

Release Date: August 25, 2015
Book: Reawakened
Author: Colleen Houck
Number of Pages: 400
The Basics:When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification. And she really can't imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind. But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world. From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.

Add it on Goodreads

Why do I want to read it?

Wow. To think that by the time this comes out i'm going to be in my senior year of high school, is really crazy. Anyway, I've been reading a lot of contemporary and I miss fantasy YA. I miss reading about fantastical crazy things that con't happen in this world. Plus I love this author, I love the Tiger's Curse series, it's amazing. This sounds vaguely like a remake of the Tiger's curse because of the whole finding someone who needs help and going across the globe on a mission. But I hope Houck can pull it off and make this book stand out from her other books.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

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