Month: October 2015

Fall Time Cozy Tag!

Another tag weee! I was tagged by the awesome Arec @ Rainy Thursdays, thank you so much, and this tag was created by Sam @ Novels and Nonsense. So excited to do this tag, because I love the fall season, it’s not too cold but it’s a nice weather to cuddle up and get cozy. Anyway, let’s get started!

cover1Crunching Leaves: The world is full of colour. Choose a book that has reds, oranges and yellows on the cover.

There are so many books with the fall colours, but a lot of them have been mentioned too often by myself in this blog so I’m choosing something I’ve never mentioned before, which is The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson. This is the second book in the famous Millenium trilogy and you can check out my review about it here (but beware of spoilers!)

Cosy Sweater: It’s finally cold enough to don warm cosy clothing. What book gives you the warm fuzzies?

This book is the third in the series, and most of you probably have heard of it and have read it. If you haven’t read it before, stop reading this post, go out, and buy it! I’m choosing Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater because when I read about the main five characters in this series, I just feel so warm and happy and I love all of their personalities and their relationship with each other so much! Especially a special friendship between a special pair of characters *cough* Pynch *cough*.

cover2Fall Storm: The wind is howling and the rain is pounding. Choose your favourite book OR genre that you like to read on a stormy day.

I’m gonna choose a quite recent read which is The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. This particular book seem like a perfect book to be read during a rainy day because it’s filled with so much action and the whole story is just quick and fast-paced that it’s so fun and intriguing to read it. Also, the characters are amazing and they just fill you up with warmth even though it might be cold because of the howling wind and the rain. But for me overall this novel is perfect to read anytime of the day, it’s such an amazing book/series.

Cool Crisp Air: What’s the coolest character you’d want to trade places with?

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I tried to dig up my mind to find someone and two characters come to mind, one of them being Clarice Sterling from The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. I thought Clarice was awesome. Firstly, because she’s smart and she gets to investigate super cool murders that I’m super interested in. Not to mention, she gets to meet Hannibal Lecter and talk to him?? How cool is that? I wouldn’t mind trading places with her for maybe a day or two.
Another character that comes to mind is Theodore Decker from Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch – not because he lost his mother at a young age or that he almost got exploded by a bomb, but because he actually got to keep and touch the famous Goldfinch painting by Fabritius, which I actually saw in person on the museum. But how awesome would it be to be able to own a priceless and absolutely beautiful painting like that?

cover6Hot Apple Cider: What under hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?

I was browsing through my read shelf in Goodreads and I realized that I rarely ever read books that are underhyped or disliked by people? But for this I choose Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, a young adult coming of age novel about a fourteen year old girl and her family, mainly her uncle. It was a beautiful book but I almost never see it being talked about among my friends or BookTube or WordPress, even though the YA genre is quite famous among book bloggers? I actually really liked the novel and I wish more people would know it and talk about it more.

cover7Coat, Scarves and Mittens: The weather has turned cold and it’s time to cover up. What’s the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden in public?

I don’t necessarily feel so ashamed about this book’s cover so much that I don’t want to bring it around in public, but Orson Scott Card’s Xenocide is quite an unappealing cover in my opinion! The edition I own is a paperback and part of a boxset because this novel is the third book in a series, and it just has a weird sci-fi-y artwork that doesn’t really fit the story and I don’t really like it. I don’t hate it, and I don’t mind going around in public and reading it in front of other people, but it could’ve had a better cover.

Pumpkin Spice: What’s your favourite fall time comfort food/foods?

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I like eating something soupy and steamy during fall that keeps me warm and full, and that is usually instant noodles. I love them so much, and I know they’re not the most healthy food you can eat but it just tastes soooooo gooood! For snacks while reading books, I used to love the good old chocolate bars but my new hobby is baking and I adore eating cookies fresh out of the oven, still warm and chewy and melts in the middle. The picture above is a batch of cookies I made last week. I don’t mean to brag, but it tastes amazing. Perfect with a huge mug of tea and a good book.

Well, that is all of the questions for this tag! For this I will tag some of my newest followers, thank you for following me and welcome! You don’t have to do the tag, but don’t forget to mention me when you do 😉

Supernatural Beings, Fathers, and Secluded Hotels: The Shining Book Review

I’m starting this post to say that I am not a fan of horror. I get easily freaked out and I rarely ever read horror books – I like thrillers and occasional suspenseful books, but never really horror books with ghosts and stuff.

But since it’s so close to Halloween, I though why not post a review of a book everyone knows is a perfect book for the month?

I don’t even remember why I picked The Shining by Stephen King in the first place. I guess I just wanted to challenge myself, and see if I was actually brave enough to read it.

Title: The Shining
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Doubleday
Date Published: June 24th 2008 (first published 1977)
Num of pages: 450
Date read: February 28th 2015
Goodreads link

The Shining is a very famous novel and movie, and it’s about a father, Jack, who gets a job to take care of a secluded hotel in the middle of nowhere for a few months during the winter with his wife, Wendy and young son, Danny. And the story takes off from there. Also, if you have never read this book you might not want to read this review, because it has some spoilers. It will also help if you’ve read the movie as well, since I might be comparing the book with the movie.

This was my first Stephen King book, and I was very impressed. The story itself is great – although the idea of being in an isolated hotel filled with supernatural creatures lurking and a child with supernatural abilities might seem a little cliche or boring at first, it didn’t become boring because of the characters. This is what really draws me into the story, how the three main characters of the book are so real and likeable that you just can’t wait to see what happens to them next.

quote2But see that you get on. That’s your job in this hard world, to keep your love alive and see that you get on, no matter what. Pull your act together and just go on.

I really like Danny even though I’m not a huge fan of children. But just thinking of Danny’s braveness and his obedience and great manners I am really in love with him. Also Wendy is a great character. She’s definitely a strong woman, a fighter, but she also portrays the good womanly and motherly person in the book, balancing out the manliness and harshness of Jack. Meanwhile, for Jack in the beginning I had some mixed feelings. But after the middle part I began to also really like him. I like how he tries to be a good father and husband but deep inside he knows he’s got this beast inside of him. But I just think that he’s a really genuinely good person with good intentions. I was very upset when he died, especially since we don’t really know the exact moment or line where Jack isn’t Jack anymore and is only the hotel in his body.

Thinking about how Jack didn’t get to have closure with his wife and son, how he didn’t have goodbyes or couldn’t finish his play or couldn’t really find inner peace is really sad and it’s probably the only thing I didn’t like about the book – Jack’s death. It might seem hard to think about a reasonable way to twist the plot so that Jack can become the old Jack again and not die and still be able to kill the monsters and such and burn down the hotel and killing him alongside the hotel might seem like the reasonable plotline but I still sort of hope that he didn’t die.

TScreen Shot 2015-10-04 at 5.01.56 PMahe horror-ish stuff itself, with the ghosts and people, the hedges and sounds and all that are also great. I realized how in reading a horror novel you really depend on your imagination while conjuring up the images of the scary things in the book. I guess my imagination isn’t that wild or strong because I don’t have the image of the woman or the hedges or any of that at night when I sleep in the dark unlike when I just watch a horror movie and at night I would still be able to see Ju-On’s face lurking from the ceiling. So I think that horror books aren’t really as scary as the movies because of those images.

But I do have to say the way King writes the scenes of the scary parts is excellent. He really gets you in the zone and makes your heart beat faster, eyes read faster along the words and it’s just a wonderful and unique experience. But compared to the scenes with Jack fighting Wendy or the last scenes with Jack being half monster on a killing rage and action but human-y stuff, I prefer the action and gore than the paranormal stuff, although those scenes were also chilling and exciting.

And comparing it to the movie, which is highly acclaimed and received a lot of fame especially with Stanley Kubrick directing it, I very much prefer the book. I know how a lot of fans didn’t like the movie adaptation because it was so different from the book, and I quite agree. In the movie, it was mostly focused on the horror, the supernatural beings and events leading to them.

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A scene in the movie which wasn’t even in the book!

Of course Jack Nicholson was incredible in the movie, and the whole cinematography and dialogues were amazing. Although I disliked the woman who played Wendy, I still really enjoyed the movie and it really did creep me out. But the movie was different from the book, because the movie was more of a horror movie with less character introduction and the plot wasn’t focused much on Jack or his relationship with Danny and many more, while in the book you can really relate with the characters.

So all in all, I didn’t expect to really like The Shining, but I really do. I think it was a good way to start reading Stephen King, and after reading this book I was intrigued to read more of his work. It left a deep impression to me, it was scary but it was so much more than that – it has excellent characters, amazing narration and the whole vibe of the setting is remarkable. Overall an excellent and very memorable book for me, and almost a perfect book.

4.5 stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Gothic/Thriller Books I Have (or Want to) Read

Oh gosh it’s been forever since I’ve had a Top Ten Tuesday. This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week’s meme is about the top 10 Halloween reads! Now I don’t read that much horror or scary books but gothic books are really interesting. According to Wikipedia, Gothic fiction, which is largely known by the subgenre of Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature that combines fiction, horror, death and Romanticism. And I haven’t read that many gothic novels either, but here are my top ten gothic and also thriller books I have read, or want to read soon.

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cover1#1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Surely everyone knows this book, and you all must know how much I love this book. Jane Eyre is probably my most favourite classic novel ever and if you look to its Goodreads page its main genres are classics and romance, but it is also a gothic book. This piece of literature is probably sorted into gothic because of the setting of the place and how scary it is at night, and the mystery shrouding the house where Jane Eyre lives. I love how this novel really describes some of the scenes creepily, but some scenes sweetly. I would also like to recommend the 2011 movie starring Mia Waskiowska, it’s quite creepy. Not exactly horror, but it does have some parts where you’re just covering your eyes with suspense and fear.

#2. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Another popular classics, and this book that can be classified as a gothic slash horror slash thriller! I don’t remember when was the last time I read this book, but I’m pretty sure it was a long time ago. And I’ve quite forgotten about the whole story. But I remember feeling quite scared about the story and the premise itself. A very thrilling read.

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cover2#3. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
This series is so popular among book reviewers lately and I’m a huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater. The series is actually more of a paranormal young adult and it’s not scary at all. Well, some parts of some books might be a little mysterious and some might give you goosebumps and all, but it’s mostly a harmless young adult series. But while you’re reading this book you’ll really feel the tone of mystery and anticipation. It’s not a horror book and it doesn’t involve scary monsters or anything, but it’s still a great read during this time of the month.

#4. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
I read the first book of the series sometime this year because of all the hype and fame surrounding it. Everyone kept saying how creepy it is and I do admit, the cover looks terrifying. And I was so intrigued by the cover, I didn’t even read the synopsis and just started reading it. And well, I disliked it. It wasn’t creepy or scary or gothic at all. It was far from that. It has terrible characters – none of whom I really liked or really stuck to me, the plot was awful and weird, and in the end I almost just skimmed through the last pages just to get it overwith.
I have no offence for anyone who likes the series and all, but it’s just not for me. It’s not like what I expected – it doesn’t have any parts that will give you goosebumps or scary things that will keep you up at night. This book feels like a good example of luring people to buy the book through their cover. And if you like the series, fine. I’m glad you found something you liked about it. But I’m sure I won’t be continuing with the series, and for me, although this was shelved as a gothic book, I disagree and I think this is not a scary or gothic book at all.

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cover4#5. Dracula by Bram Stoker
Another horror classic! Dracula is a super famous character that you can see practically everywhere. It’s amazing how a novel can really affect the next generation’s literature. From movies to books to tv shows, so many kinds of entertainment have incorporated this vampire figure into their ideas. This is a book that I have never read before but I am definitely planning on reading this soon, I even listed it in my October TBR. Sadly, I didn’t get to read it this month 😦

#6. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
I read the short version this book in middle school and I regret not reading it in the original version. I’m pretty sure I will try to read it soon. This is another super famous classics, and I’m sure you all know the story. It’s also another novel that has elements of romance in it but also some scary stuff inside as well. I would love to read this soon.

 

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#7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Another novel by the Bronte sisters! I’ve never read anything by Emily Bronte, but I’m planning to change that, and since this is her only novel, I’m so excited to read it! The novel is quite famous and there are many movie adaptations that have been made, but I have never really known the story of this novel.

cover3#8. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
This book is a mystery and thriller novel which I don’t really know about. All I know is that many people have been recommending it and it seems thrilling and will make you shiver with how scary it is, which I really like.

#9. The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
As I mentioned in one of my “book hauls”, I bought a copy of this book secondhand and at first I didn’t know anything about the story, but after further research I found out that this is a gothic/thriller fiction and it sounds so interesting, I just can’t help but buy it! The story is about a man whose identity was stolen by his doppelganger, and it’s a gothic mystery thriller.

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#10. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
This novel is a mystery/crime, adult literary fiction, which I don’t read that much but is a very interesting genre that I want to read about more. I’m not really sure what it’s about, but I’ve heard so many good things about it that I feel like I won’t be disappointed. I’m actually really interested to buy this book soon!

Well that is my list for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! What do you think of the books mentioned above? Have you read any of them? Did you like any of them or want to read some? Tell me what you think down below! See you later on the next TTT!