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komalmikaelson

Komal Mikaelson

Currently reading

This Song Will Save Your Life
Leila Sales
Progress: 15 %
The Immortal Rules
Julie Kagawa
Tell the Wolves I'm Home: A Novel
Carol Rifka Brunt

Booklikes Tutorials

Links to various Booklikes tutorials around the site. Thanks to all the hardworking BL members and team who contributed. This is a work in progress. More links will be added as I find them.

 

Official Booklikes stuff:

http://blog.booklikes.com/post/198757/booklikes-community-guidelines

http://blog.booklikes.com/post/9074/dashboard-a-place-where-all-bookish-things-happen

http://blog.booklikes.com/post/64881/add-books-manually-add-missing-book-covers 

http://blog.booklikes.com/post/344083/make-your-wish-on-booklikes

http://blog.booklikes.com/post/100003/booklikes-goodreads-synchronization

http://blog.booklikes.com/post/107813/new-booklikes-giveaways

http://blog.booklikes.com/post/78484/batch-edit-on-your-shelf

http://blog.booklikes.com/post/63815/feature-for-authors-and-twitter-timeline-widget

http://blog.booklikes.com/post/551754/post (exclusive status for your books)

 

The Booklikes blog (new features added every week):

http://blog.booklikes.com/

 

The Goodreads Booklikes group:

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/115105-everything-booklikes

 

Tutorials created by Booklike members:

 

Easy tips for customising your Booklikes blog:

http://litchick.booklikes.com/post/185420/post

 

How to customise your BL blog:

http://j4n3m3.booklikes.com/post/222397/post

 

Customising Booklikes Tutorials - parts 1 - 6:

http://silverthistle.booklikes.com/post/460791/customizing-booklikes-tutorial-part-1-back-to-basics-how-to-get-started-

http://silverthistle.booklikes.com/post/461046/customizing-booklikes-tutorial-part-2-back-to-basics-adding-a-new-header

http://silverthistle.booklikes.com/post/462371/customizing-booklikes-tutorial-part-3-back-to-basics-main-background-change

http://silverthistle.booklikes.com/post/469207/customizing-booklikes-tutorial-part-4-back-to-basics-moving-follower-buttons-

http://silverthistle.booklikes.com/post/544745/customizing-booklikes-tutorial-part-5-back-to-basics-changing-the-look-of-your-follower-buttons-

http://silverthistle.booklikes.com/post/559634/customizing-booklikes-tutorial-part-6-back-to-basics-changing-the-the-colour-of-your-sidebar-background-

 

Excellent blogpost about resources on the net for customizing your blog. Includes great links for wallpapers, fonts, colours, add-ons, special effects and other great info:

http://lyndi.booklikes.com/post/561392/blog-customization-resources

 

How to add a new line/paragraph in your comments box:

http://sockpoppet.booklikes.com/post/547835/how-to-add-a-new-line-in-a-comment

 

'Reactive' links (round links on a 'shelf' page)

http://anhec.booklikes.com/post/461024/-reactive-links-round-links-on-your-shelf-page-different-look-for-different-state-of-link-

 

Adding the Booklikes Reading Challenge to your blog:

http://silverthistle.booklikes.com/post/537457/booklikes-reading-challenge-ready-get-set-read-

 

How to change colour of text on your banner :

http://anhec.booklikes.com/post/423482/how-to-change-colour-of-text-on-your-banner

  

Added pages - I can't read it! My background is dark and font is black! And I want to have a comment section!

http://anhec.booklikes.com/post/367393/added-pages-i-can-t-read-it-my-background-is-dark-and-font-is-black-and-i-wan-t-to-have-a-comment-section-

 

How to make your comments icons a link:

http://j4n3m3.booklikes.com/post/542312/how-to-make-your-comments-icon-a-link

 

Customising shelf sort order:

http://smckinney.booklikes.com/post/537880/post

 

Changing appearance of followers/following counters and repositioning them:

http://anhec.booklikes.com/post/221446/omg-i-really-want-to-move-change-my-followers-following-counters-because-they-re-on-my-banner-and-that-s-not-pretty-

 

Where are my Draft blog entries after I hit Save As Draft?:

http://batgrl.booklikes.com/post/559669/booklikes-if-that-link-had-been-vermicious-knid-it-would-have-taken-off-my-nose

 

Can I just read everyone's book reviews and skip the rest?

http://batgrl.booklikes.com/post/559669/booklikes-if-that-link-had-been-vermicious-knid-it-would-have-taken-off-my-nose

 

Setting up Google Analytics:

http://karlynp.booklikes.com/post/547843/blog-tutorial-setting-up-google-analytics

 

Adding blockquotes to your posts:

http://silverthistle.booklikes.com/post/495396/customizing-booklikes-tutorial-adding-bells-and-whistles-blockquotes

 

Using 'shelve-it':

http://istyriabookblog.booklikes.com/post/182399/shelve-it-

 

Making reactive links in your blogposts:

http://anhec.booklikes.com/post/461024/-reactive-links-more-on-link-customization-round-links-on-your-shelf-page-

 

Making a see-through background for comments section:

http://anhec.booklikes.com/post/468329/a-see-through-background-for-comment-section-100-text-visibility-

 

Adding a scrolling quotes marquee to your blog:

http://themisathena.booklikes.com/post/504828/adding-a-scrolling-quotes-marquee-to-your-blog

 

How to block followers on Booklikes:

http://brandi.booklikes.com/post/540817/-reblog-how-to-block-followers-on-booklikes

 

Setting up google analytics on your BL blog:

http://karlynp.booklikes.com/post/547843/blog-tutorial-setting-up-google-analytics

 

Changing font colour (text, links, comment section):

http://anhec.booklikes.com/post/227311/ffffff-get-it-no-nvm-pun-intended-how-to-change-font-colour-text-links-comment-section-the-whole-shebang-

 

How to easily embed a font:

http://lyndi.booklikes.com/post/541633/post

 

A simple tip - everything is too big - zoom out: 

http://anhec.booklikes.com/post/538084/a-simple-tip-everything-is-too-big-zoom-out-

 

Background for a search bar (what to do when it's invisible on a dark background):

http://anhec.booklikes.com/post/227951/background-for-a-search-bar-what-to-do-when-your-background-is-dark-and-search-bar-in-your-menu-have-dissapeared-

 

Let's clean our designated comments pages regularly - no more notification floods:

http://anhec.booklikes.com/post/542208/a-tip-let-s-clean-our-designated-comments-pages-regurarly-no-more-notification-floods-

 

Reading Challenge - how to post it on your site and a few simple customization options:

http://anhec.booklikes.com/post/250271/-reading-challenge-widget-how-to-make-it-appeare-on-your-site-and-some-crude-customization-options-i-m-not-a-miracle-worker-don-t-judge-me-

 

Your book counter - make it fun and pretty:

http://anhec.booklikes.com/post/481197/your-book-counter-make-it-fun-and-pretty-

 

How to avoid losing the original source of a post:

http://aoife.booklikes.com/post/245008/post-how-to

 

Notifications:

http://anhec.booklikes.com/post/424188/not-a-tutorial-just-a-tip-about-notifications-

 

 

Source: http://mandym.booklikes.com/post/470414/booklikes-tutorials
Reblogged from I'll think of a damn title later
Please spread this everywhere. Reblog, reblog!
Please spread this everywhere. Reblog, reblog!

Holy shit. Respect++.

Reblogged from Liz* ~ Procrastinator Extraordinaire
Reblogged from The Book Geek

Best. Book. Dedication. Ever.

REBLOG: A Note to "Older" Members from a Goodreads Refugee

Reblogged from Debbie's Notes

 

 

I'm sure all these goodreads posts are of no use to existing booklikes members.  And I've seen a few postings from them wondering about all these new followers (please don't blames us -- signing up for a booklikes account makes us initially follow 25 members that booklikes assigns us.  We'll eventualy sort it out to only follow others with similar reading tastes or whose posts we enjoy).

 

Please don't think we all came over here to post offensive, threatening material.  Allegations of bullying, rape threats, etc. sure do make good headlines.  And good headlines go viral.

 

Some of us never wrote reviews on goodreads.  Or had any shelf names worse than "Western" "Memoir" etc.

 

We already love booklikes for daily update posts and quick response to comments and email.  It's incredibly soothing compared to our experiences with goodreads.

 

We are booklovers.  Avid booklovers.  We're the ones who worked tirelessly making goodreads  immense database and membership a takeover target for amazon.  Now that amazon has our data, they don't want us.  Just to market our data to customers buying new kindles and amazon fire.  They killed Shelfari who used to be the kindle integrated book site and now are replacing Shelfari with goodreads.

 

Some of us are here just to protect our book catalogs, as in we seriously have no idea what will or won't be deleted at goodreads.   Likely very quiet members at that.  

 

read more »
Reblogged from I'll think of a damn title later

Make Your Wish on BookLikes

How's your BookLikes experience so far? We hope you're enjoying your time here. We're doing our best to create perfect space for readers and authors with your help, of course. Here are several information that we felt you would like to know :)

read more »
Reblogged from Hershey's Book'd Out Zone

What Bullying Really Looks Like

I hate telling this story. Just the thought of doing so, of exposing my past to even a handful of other people, makes me feel sick to my stomach. But with Goodreads' change in policy occurring and the word "bullying" being slung around so casually, I think it's time. 

What I'm about to tell you might be hard to believe. Or maybe you'll believe it, and maybe it'll upset you. I won't lie; what I went through is likely to trigger some people. If you believe me. I'm always terrified people won't believe me. After all, I was gaslighted so hard, for years even I didn't know whether I believed me. 

The thing to understand about me is that I'm autistic. What that means, on a very basic level, is that I have a good deal of difficulty both understanding, and presenting, non-verbal language such as tone of voice, facial expression, and body language. When I entered middle school at the age of eleven, I didn't know about this. Even if I had known, I don't think I could have grasped what it would mean for me.

I'd already begun experiencing difficulties with bullying and ostracization in elementary school, but what began as a small struggle turned into full blown hell when I entered middle school.

It started out okay, the first few days. The prettiest, most popular girl in my year asked me to vote for her for homeroom class president, and I gladly did. I tried to be nice, even though it was a little difficult at times. I didn't connect with these kids. My father had committed suicide a couple years before, forcing me to grow up fast in a lot of ways, and I couldn't relate to the problems and joys of the average eleven-year-old. I found a lot of it shallow and perplexing. But I tried to hide my feelings, because that's no good way to go about getting along with people, and I genuinely wanted to. 

I suspect that perhaps my inability to control my non-verbal language is what gave me away. That perhaps what I really thought and felt showed without my knowing it. I don't know. Certainly it didn't help that I was overweight, that I wore cheap, worn clothes and the ugliest plastic glasses Medicare would pay for. It didn't help that I read constantly (and I know we get a bit tired of that trope in YA, but I was genuinely, literally the only person I knew who read). It didn't help that I was going through a period of poor hygiene common among autistics (and numbingly humiliating to talk about now). There were a lot of things that didn't help, but the sheer intensity of their hatred--that's why I expect the autism played a part in some way.

If only name-calling were the worst of it. They cornered me at all different times to harass me: At my desk in the morning when I was trying to read, at the bus stop, in the locker room while I was trying to change. I had rocks thrown at me when I was walking home from the bus stop. People I didn't know, who weren't even in my class, called me names in the hallways. The girls from my class had lockers surrounding mine, and would stand blocking mine until I was at risk of being late for class.

Very early on, I was under the naive assumption that someone would do something about this. No one did. Even when my mom butted in, the changes that occurred, the "arrangements" made to "protect" me--it took me ages to realize they were far more punishments than protections. 

One of the things I had to do was something called "dailies." These were slips of paper that had to be signed by all my teachers in a day, then by my mother, and turned in to my guidance counselor the next day. This conflicted with another "arrangement": I had permission to leave classes a few minutes early to avoid the crowds, but I often couldn't because my teachers wouldn't get around to signing the stupid dailies until class was over. And my mother--oh, so proud she was of her job "protecting" me, but in truth she was a neglectful drug addict and often wasn't around to sign my dailies, so I got in trouble for not having them signed.

It took me some years to understand just how absurd it was. Dailies were meant for students who skipped class or didn't turn in their homework; I was not one of those students. There was no reason for me to be doing them. It took me years to see that many of these "arrangements" weren't about protecting me at all. Allowing me to leave class early? Getting me out of the way. Eventually getting me a doctor's note so I wouldn't have to go to gym class? Getting me out of the way. Eventually removing me from school altogether and giving me a tutor? Getting me out of the way. Everything was about taking me out of the equation, rather than punishing the people who were hurting me.

I didn't understand it. I came home crying and hyperventilating almost every day, yet the people who put me in that state never got in trouble for it. The only things I understood were: 1) There was no point standing up for myself, because any time I did, I got in trouble and 2) there was no point in telling anyone what was going on.

I'd become the perfect victim. I didn't tell about any of the things that were said or done to me. When a girl came up behind me in the locker room and punched me in the back, I said nothing. When that same girl approached me in the locker room a second time and shoved me to the floor, I told no one. I went to the nurse because my leg hurt from the hard floor and I cried, but I told no one why my leg hurt. 

I remember very vividly an incident from seventh grade, yet another that I never reported to anyone. I was sitting in one of the basement classrooms, waiting for the teacher to arrive and doing what I usually did: Reading and ignoring my classmates. (Let this be a lesson to you: "Just ignore them, they'll stop" is the biggest pile of bullshit anyone will ever tell you.) I kept ignoring them. I ignored them when they surrounded me to tell me there was a dead fly in my hair (by this time my hygiene problems had changed, but their attacks had not). I ignored them right up until I couldn't anymore: When they sat around me, gleeful as hyenas with the corpse of a wildebeest, staring as the teacher tried to remove the dead fly they'd put in my hair. I remember my mortification as if it was yesterday. But I told no one.

Of course, this was seventh grade and by then, I knew why no one believed me: My bullies had managed to convince them that I was the bully.

I'd learned it in sixth grade, after yet another incident that landed me in more hot water than the person who instigated it. One of my bullies had broken a pencil into bits and kept throwing the bits at me. It was one of the rare occasions where I got fed up, so I grabbed one of the pieces and threw it back at him. He immediately turned and told the teacher that I'd been throwing things at him. The teacher separated us and turned to hiss at me, telling me nastily that she'd be keeping an eye on me. I was utterly bewildered, since I thought it was common knowledge that these kids bullied me, even though they were never punished for it. 

Later, both of us were sent to the guidance counselor. I listened, confounded, as he described all the names I supposedly called him and his friends, all the swears I threw at them (never mind that, though I swear like I sailor now, I never uttered so much as a "damn" back then; I was perhaps alarmingly naive and innocent for my age). At one point, shocked, I opened my mouth to protest; the guidance counselor turned and viciously shushed me. I never had a chance to defend myself. In truth, I've never once had that chance. This was the first time I'd heard about any of this, because not a single soul had bothered to ask me if any of this had really happened; they just assumed it was all true. 

Not that defending myself would have done any good. Even if I hadn't already absorbed the lesson of keeping my mouth shut, being autistic left me at a severe disadvantage. I struggle to look people in the eyes when I don't like or trust them, and you can bet I didn't trust a single one of the adults around me. I stood no chance.

Things should have started making sense then. That time the leaders of the bully pack came up to me to demand why I was spreading rumors about them being prostitutes, and I stared blankly back at them and said "What's a prostitute?"--times like those should have made sense. They'd been lying about me all along. But instead, I spiraled into a very dark time in my life.

I have a sharper memory than almost anyone you'll meet. It can be useful, but it's also a bit of a curse sometimes; trust me, there are things I'd love to forget. But back then, I'd already been punished so much for things I hadn't done. Instead of believing in my own innocence, I felt like my mind was breaking apart. I scrabbled desperately, for years, to retrieve the memories I'd clearly lost, to remember doing and saying the things I was accused of. I owned up to the small handful of times I started shit and the even smaller handful of times I stood up for myself, but I could not for the life of me remember being the bully. It didn't help that my sister and her friends bullied me at home, and that my incredible disappearing mom loved to tell me all the time that "that was just [my] perception of what happened, not what actually happened" about all of her neglect.

These days, I know logically that I didn't do what I was accused of, but sometimes my mind starts skidding down a slippery slope to what feels very much like madness. I find myself grasping once more for memories that simply don't exist because they're of events that never happened. 

That's why I hate telling this story. Sure, it hurts to bring up those days, to relive moments that traumatized me so badly, I can't walk into a school building without having a panic attack. But it's all those years when I couldn't even believe myself that scare me. I'm terrified that people will think I'm a liar, that of course I was the bully because it was all those kids' word against mine. That children can't possibly be that awful, that they wouldn't think to team up and tell the same lies about a person. Children damn well can be that awful, especially when they're never taught better, when they always get away with it. And there will always be a part of my mind that is so fragile because of it.

This nonsense with Goodreads has made me think about those days. I may not always agree with everything my fellow Goodreaders do, but I have never, never had an ounce of patience for Stop the Goodreads Bullies. Their tactics remind me of my tormentors: lying, twisting truths, roping in people for whom it's convenient or desirable to believe what they say. I've been on GR since before STGRB showed up, I was around when the instigating drama happened. I largely stay out of these conflicts, but I watch them all go down.

STGRB isn't a band of innocent vigilantes out to protect poor beleaguered authors from the depredations of trolls and bullies. They are the trolls. They are the bullies. I was there for the doxxing and the stalking. I've been there every time one of their asshole followers has waltzed onto someone's review to throw a shitfit. I was there every time one of them and their 12+ sockpuppets got deleted from GR. I've been around, watching, seeing every lie, every threat. Their nonsense about this not being about reviews? Feh. It's always been about reviews, ever since Melissa Douthit thought she could storm around, self-righteously telling everyone how to behave, and didn't get her way. That whole mess started because of a review that she walked into, and it wasn't even her book that was being reviewed. It didn't start with GR users, it started with her. Just like it generally does.

And you want to talk abuse? Look at the comments on your average post on STGRB and you'll see it in spades. Ageism, ableism, classicism and misogyny so vile, it will make your stomach turn. Please, someone explain to me how "bba" or "stgrb-supporter" is so much worse than "she's clearly mentally ill" or "she's pretty young for being such a little bitch" or "Tranny Manface Creature" or "rancid psycho-bitch" or "three-hundred pounds with greasy unwashed hair" or any of a number of other truly disgusting things you can see being said about Goodreaders on STRGB. 

Goodreads have become my teachers and guidance counselors, bowing to the bullies and letting them get away with whatever they want. Why? Maybe because they think it's easier. Maybe they're trying to sell something. Maybe they drank the STRGB koolaid. It doesn't matter why. What matters is that GR is censoring its most valuable users. What matters it that GR, once home of readers and reviewers, have decided it's more important to protect author egos than the people who made them what they are today. You're Goodreads, not Goodwrites, GR. You're reader space, not writer space. Why don't you care about that anymore?

As a writer, I believe very strongly in reader space. One day, even though I love talking to other readers, I'll likely do so much less, because I believe that published authors should have a care how much time they spend in reader space. It's valuable to them. If the people at STGRB had any sense, they'd realize reader space is valuable to writers, too. A reader's ability to talk freely about book is important to the industry as a whole.

As a victim of bullying, I think Goodreads is wrong and they need to undo this harmful change. As a victim of bullying, I doubt they'll bother to listen. 

Reblogged from Kaia
The Indigo Spell - Richelle Mead I wrote this while I was high on Sydrian. So it'll probably contain lots of incoherent gushing and fangirling. Just warning.

Initial Reaction after completing the book





ASDFGHJKLWERTYUIOPMNBVCXZASDFGHJKLOIUYTREWQMNBVCXZ

Okay. I needed to get that out of my system.
But I'm so happy. So freaking happy!
I don't even know what to say. I am zapped. Speechless. Yep, it was that amazing.

What I loved
Callistana. Hair gel. COLLEGE PARTY. Dreams. Distractions. Math tutors. Airplane rides. Hopper. Ivashkinator. Quick Study. CALLISTANA. Loving from afar. Adrian(of course). Sydney. The opening line. Ms. T. Jackie. Old World Bed-And-Breakfast. Adrian.

What I hated did not like
Ummm...
.

.

*thinking hard*

.

.

.
*sigh*
Ok, fine. So I can't find any, not one, thing that spoiled the book for me.
That's a first for me. So getting down to the book.
I just can't stop smiling. Can't. Stop. This book makes me so happy.

I'll tell you what the book was about in a nutshell.
Sydney doing some kickass magic, throwing fireballs (FIREBALLS!!!), Sydney thinking about Adrian, defying the Alchemists, Sydney thinking about Adrian, Sydney running millions and billions and gazillions of errands for her little group, Adrian being a sweetheart, Adrian being a badass, Adrian spouting some very, very, extremely cheesy lines, Sydney denying her feelings for Adrian, Adrian hitting on Sydney, Adrian-Sydney, Adrian-Sydney and more Adrian-Sydney.

This book is a heaven for Sydrian. More cheese, more drama, more confusion, more feelings, MORRREEE SYDRAIN MORE MORE MORE!!!





The Characters

Sydney
She finally, finally, finally grows a spine.
Hell with the Moroi-Human traditions, hell with the Alchemists, hell with Jill, hell with the world, I'll be with Adrian. Adrian Adrian Adrian.
Yes, that's the spirit. YES!!

Okay, I just can't do this anymore. I can't write about the characters, I have to need to speak about Sydrian.
I'll just list the scenes and my feeeeeelings, K?

The Airplane Ride
I’ll just love you whether you want me to or not

Yeah. Now, Sydney, you poor girl, resist that!



The Sorority Party
To my horror he began painting a pirate skeleton riding a motorcycle.



And what follows is the PDA on the floor of the sorority. FLOOR OF THE SORORITY But, of course they have to be interrupted. Huh.

The Next Day
“You might want to do something about your neck.”
I was totally lost. “My neck?”
A small, brownish purple bruise on the side of my neck.
“What on earth is that?” I exclaimed.
Ms. Terwilliger snorted. “Although it’s been a while for me, I believe the technical term is a hickey” She paused and arched an eyebrow. “You do know what that is, don’t you?”
“Of course I know!”



Ha! Knowing the Sydney in Bloodlines, I would never, ever, ever have imagined that Sydney, Adrian and hickey will be used in one sentence. HICKEY and Sydney in a sentence! Talk about split personalities.

The Velvet Suite
Here, Adrian goes all like if she doesn't feel anything for him, why does her aura change when Adrian comes near her. And, the smartass, Sydney makes some really, really lame excuse about him being a Moroi and she a human.
?!
Really, Sydney? Oh, c'mon, what would it take for you see you LUURRVVE him. Accept it already.
Sydney, honestly, for someone so smart and practical, you sure are exasperating.

The Dream
No comments. None at all. Not even a gif.
The chemistry way off the charts. Enough said.
But just that I'm a quick study was hilarious, coming from Sydney. I mean, who says that? Cute, but funny too.

Spoilers ahead. Don't read if you haven't finished the book
And finally, finally when Sydney accepts her feelings for Adrian and they are together, I'm like, high time. But, they are together and that's what matters, right?
Just one more thing. It's not really a flaw in the book but it has been eating me since the end, Sydney doesn't say 'I love you' back to Adrian.Not even once. I mean, Adrian has said that like, every opportunity he gets. Sydney does say it to Markus in an offhand way but that doesn't count. The guy says that to you a million times and you don't say it back even though you feel the same, that's just rude.

Is it me, or does everyone have a really, really bad feeling about the ending? The Zoe and all. I'm so afraid that it's all gonna blow up in their faces in The Fiery Heart. Maybe Sydney will get caught and be sent to Re-Education because of Zoe who's all for being a perfect little Alchemist? What, then?
If that happens, I'll seriously lose it.


No, no, no. Please don't let that happen in TFH. Please just let that be me and my morbid, pessimistic thoughts and not the fucking reality.
Oh, I almost forgot. When Adrian points out the risk of getting caught to Sydney, she's like, it'll be alright as she'll have Adrian for company in the dreams. Really? Not cool Sydney, not cool at all.

The Conclusion
Read it, read it, read it now! You won't regret it. The best book in the Bloodlines series yet. If you like me, are hesitant to read this because of the VA connection. Don't. It has no very little connection to it, so don't let that keep you from devouring this one. And if you didn't like the VA, doesn't necessarily mean you'll dislike this one too! Yes, I'm speaking from experience.

Oh, and just one more thing.
Rose-fucking-Hathaway. Adrian is happy with someone else. And he does not care or mope about you any more.He's over you. Take that, bitch.
*triumphant smile*

Scarlet, Basuhi, Liz, Jerry. I owe you guys. Big time.
The Piper's Son - Melina Marchetta Putting this one on hold for the time being.

I know. I know. I probably have all of you shooting daggers at me right now.

I mean, who in their right minds put The Piper's Son on hold?

*sigh*

I do.

I left this was book on page 100 for the last week and still haven't got around to reading it. So, it wouldn't be fair to read it halfheartedly and label it mediocre. So, I'm putting it on hold and will continue later when I can breathe through all the studies going on right now -_-
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak *Starts review. Write two lines. Erase the whole thing.*

*Starts again. No idea what to write*

*Wiping tears*

*Staring at the laptop screen, fingers resting on the keys.*

*Should I even write a review?*

*Where's the damn tissue?*

*I should totally write one. If I can write a snarky one, I can sure as hell write a gushing one*

*What would be the point, everyone has already read the book.*

*Does it matter? It's about me and the book masterpiece.*


So, that has been my thought process for the last 15 min. So, bear with my incoherent rambling.

All of you are aware about the scenario of the book. For those of you, who aren't: Holocaust. Heil Hitler. Germany. 1939-1945. Concentration camps. Air raids. Jews. Enough said.
So, I won't even go into the synopsis.

This book is oddly reminiscent of [b:The Fault in Our Stars|11870085|The Fault in Our Stars|John Green|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1360206420s/11870085.jpg|16827462]. And it's more than the veritable feels they evoke.
I wish it were just that. Because then, I could easily blame nature for condemning us to a life-threatening disease, and we would be free of all blame. Hoo-fucking-ray. Here, I can't absolve mankind for inflicting such egregious pain, cruelty and horror on its own specie. Because it's us who are fucking responsible for the whole mess
On a superficial level, we can say, the similarities would be: The feelings they evoke. It's the broken hearts trailing behind. It's the tears cascading down your face.
But it's not even that.

Let's be frank here. We all cried when Dumbledore died. We did. We wailed, we sniffled and cursed Snape to the deepest pits of hell.
As devastating as that was, as much as we felt for Harry, it still isn't the same.

Because when I completed The Fault in Our Stars and now, The Book Thief, I couldn't help but feel like a naive, little girl, inexperienced with the ways of world.
Incognizant of crushing grief.
Blissfully unaware of moments altering lives forever and leaving behind people, reeling from the change, gasping in their wake.
It's like rudely being awakened to the realities of the world, by being drenched in stone-cold water or thrown headlong down a cliff.
Abrupt. Unanticipated. Scary.

That was what it was like.
Brilliant. Magnificent. A Masterpiece.

Liesel Meminger

The titular book thief. The girl with dollops of courage and pertinacious spirit, who experienced more tribulations and torment than people do in their entire lives. The girl who didn't break and cursed life after going through what she did.
The girl who loved and hated words.
She's right up there with Katniss in my respected-protagonists list

I won't go into other characters. Because I don't have anything more to add that hasn't already been said.
Suffice to say: they were all, and I mean everyone, incredible.

Mr. Zusak definitely shows the ugly side of war. But, he shows the human-ness of it too.
Of how, people in the face of adversity, still hold on to their humanity tenaciously.
Of how people astound Death himself.
Of how people still hope, when the cruel world gives them more reasons to hate, to burn, to shatter.
Of how living is more than just existing.


It amazes me what humans can do, even when streams are flowing down their faces and they stagger on.


The book was a poignant, agonizing account of one of the saddest period on Earth, told by Death himself (I kept imagining him as Morgan Freeman. I don't know why) And you've gotta read it because when Death tells a story, you really have to listen!

The writing was phenomenal.
It's not terrifying like the build-up before 50 feet drop in a roller coaster. It's not astounding like the rug pulled from your feet. Because we all know, it's a WW2 story, deaths are bound to happen. But that doesn't lessen the blow. In fact, the casual slipping in of the death of your favorite characters, makes you appreciate things as they are right now.
Just when you'd heave a sigh of relief that no one is dying today, something happens, and you are left breathless.

Just one tiny little complain
I have already established, I have no patience at all. And this is one long book. Don't get me wrong, it is amazing, but really, really long.

The Part I Loved The Best
The epilogue. That part literally made me smile through my tears. The happiness, the joy coursing through me at that point was incredible. I was so proud of Liesel! Go, girl.

Other Great Parts
Accordion. Words. Lemon-like hair. Basements. Candies. Apples. Jesse Owens. A much anticipated kiss. Haunted by humans. Honesty. Fistfights. Swearing. Living. Writing. Goodbyes. Library. Dominos. Candles.

Conclusion, in words of Mr. Zusak himself:



I'm leaving you with a quote that shredded my heart
with it's raw honesty and palpable bitterness.

I don't want to hope for anything anymore. I don't want to pray that Max in alive and safe. Or Alex Steiner.
Because the world does not deserve them.


The Opportunist (Love Me With Lies, #1) - Tarryn Fisher A Walk to Remember kinda love:

Love is patient and kind.
Love is always patient and kind.
It is never jealous.
Love is never boastful or conceited.
It is never rude or selfish.
It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth.
You never forget your first love.


The Opportunist Kinda Love:

Love is obsession. The all-consuming, over-zealous, fanatically destructive obsession.
Love is getting what you want, when you want, however you can get it.
Love is deceitful.
Love is lying, cheating, manipulating and to-hell-with-world attitude.
Love makes you vengeful, jealous and all too ready to tear lives apart to get what you want.
You never, ever forget your first love.

The Opportunist encapsulates a different, obsessive story of first love and how it festers, nags and takes over your life, expunging everything else.

The story revolves around Olivia Kaspen who is scheming and plotting her way back into her ex’s life, taking advantage of his temporary amnesia and Leah Smith, her bête niore. Leah Smith, is Caleb’s present girl friend and is understandably vary of Olivia’s presence in his life. And at the focal of all the drama, ladies and gentlemen, lies Caleb Drake. The Casanova of the college(of course)

The story is basically about 3 lying, manipulative, sneaky people and their attempts to construe any semblance of love from the chaotic malaise their life has been reduced to, after doing their best to ruin and shatter it initially.
It is everyone’s second chance to love.

Olivia Kaspen
I liked tolerated Olivia, at times, that is. She is spunky, bold and never-ever takes shit from anyone. A kickass. She is a complex character with multi-faceted personality. Poor upbringing, scarred childhood has forced her to erect this formidable wall around her that intimidates and scares away most of the people in her life. A manipulative nature in nexus with a shrewd, brilliant mind and BOOM! Olivia Kaspen it is.
I felt the attempts to highlight the fact that she was desperately wicked were over the top. It was like the author was shoving down our throats that she is evil evil evil. And maybe she is. But not to the cyclopean extent devised by the author. I mean, the hand she’d been dealt with was pretty cruel and it was her prerogative to be wary and cautious of people. But then again, that doesn’t exonerate her from being that mean and cruel to Caleb at the very beginning of their relationship.
All in all, her character was overdone and exaggerated to an extent difficult to digest.

Caleb Drake
Funny. Caring. Swwwoooon worthy.
Sneaky. Manipulative. Egoistical.
Again,a douchebag hiding behind a facade a multi-layered character. At one end of the spectrum he is a caring, compassionate boyfriend, a fun-loving person and on the other end, a lying, deceitful, chauvinist. He wasn't less “evil” than Olivia in any way, but the author downplays it. Maybe the book was from Olivia’s POV and she was ‘blind in her love’ and didn't see Caleb as he really was, because he wasn't really the ‘victim’ in this vicious tug-of-war, as he was portrayed to be. I didn't get his actions or decisions.

And he just pushed Olivia too damn far. Olivia is ‘a relationship retard’ and is wary of letting people and instead of understanding her, he pushes and nags and pesters her to accept that HE owns her. Egoistical, much?
That one scene where he strips her, humiliates her just to prove his point was too fucking over the top. I mean, really? If someone refuses to say ‘I love you’ (conveniently forgetting the fact that he too hadn't said it), and I don’t care you've been committed for a whole year, YOU DO NOT go that extent. Fucking monster.


Leah Smith
Mean. Selfish. A total bitch.
Didn’t really care about her. She enters their life, ruins their relationship and walks out. For a tiny period of time and again comes back. Whatever.
Girl, go manage your own life. AND GROW THE FUCK UP. Stop meddling and controlling people’s lives.


Caleb and Olivia and Leah, all of them were… disturbing. They stalk each other and not Facebook-stalking, but the actual Private-Investigator stalking, even when they are not really in contact and have got NOTHING whatsoever to do with each other. I am guessing it is supposed to be endearing and oh-so-touching because they luurrrvveeed each other. GOD!

And now, the most significant part of the novel (seeing as how it is of NA genre), THE CLICHES.

LOVE ME WITH CLICHES
-Studious, hard working girl asked out by the college heart-throb, who is the only one who notices her ‘inner beauty’
- Girl turns him down, and the guy even more determined to go out with her.
- Boy leaves his man-whorish ways for her, of course. She is apparently The One for him.
- Girl emotionally closed off, courtesy a scarred childhood.
- But she finally sees the light and falls for him.
-Emotional baggage and a sordid past drive a wedge in the relationship. Consequence: oh-so-heartbreaking breakup.
- Paths cross again and their ‘attraction’/chemistry/lust overcomes them and VOILA! Back on track once again.
.
.
.
And on and on.

Now, coming to the plot/loopholes
A guy meets you in the music store, you hand him a CD. The very same day, he bumps into you again, thanks you for the CD and INVITES YOU OVER FOR A COFFEE? That was a dead give-away as to he hadn't really lost his memory
As well as the Duchess slip-up Are we supposed to be dumb?

The Ending
I CANNOT EVEN
How ridiculous can you get?
Can’t say much, as there would be massive spoilers.
Just- Awfully convenient.
Yet another ‘incidental’ meeting.
Unloading of the figurative guilt.

COME ON!



This is confusing. Will this show up as a status update?

ARGH! Why GR? WHY?

How do you add pics/gifs to your posts?

The Collector - Victoria Scott I can't find the energy to write another scathing, negative review this week. So, this is just a..gif review.

The Story





Dante









Charlie







The Love Story





Conclusion





This was a read along with Basuhi. You can read read her review here. She has done a much better job of hating on the book :D
The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins I had settled down to write a glowing, gushing review that would make the idiots people who haven't read this, drop everything and get their hands on this one and bask in the glow that is Katniss Everdeen.
Yep, you read that right. As good as the plot, the writing and everything else is, the protagonist Katniss, outshines them all effortlessly. She is brave, courageous and strong, oh so strong.

So, anyway, about the review: Nothing I can say/write can't even begin to summarize just how awesome, beautiful, heart-breaking it was is. Just imagine all the things that blow-you-away, that make you cry, that make you laugh, that make you love, that give a warm glow to your heart, that make you smile through your tears, that make your heart ache, that make you want to be a better person and combine all of them. The result: The Hunger Games Trilogy.





























































For Darkness Shows the Stars - Diana Peterfreund Initial Reaction After Completion



Why? Why, am I always deceived by pretty covers? I mean just look at the cover.
LOOK AT IT.
It is so pwweetttyy.
And the story it encapsulates: dreadful, painful.

You know I hate biology. And I absolutely loathe crop management. I never understood that topic because I never bothered learning it. It was plain ol' boring. Now imagine a book that pops 'genetics of wheat' every other page.
It is a big deal I completed it at all.

The book felt like a stinky, lacklustre mishmash of
[b:Legend|9275658|Legend (Legend, #1)|Marie Lu|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1333909141s/9275658.jpg|14157512], [b:Under the Never Sky|11594257|Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)|Veronica Rossi|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1356591725s/11594257.jpg|15093785] and [b:Gone with the Wind|18405|Gone with the Wind|Margaret Mitchell|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328025229s/18405.jpg|3358283]. All the major points constituting the plot are derived from the said books and presented in an unflattering manner, divesting it of all it's initial charm.

The Plot

The book presents a divided world. It's a story when, the humans, blinded by their greed and hubris, advanced so far in the medical and technological sciences they started to believe they were God. But there was a small group which was against all the genetic manipulation and abstained from supporting the fanatics. So, when the wrath of God fell, the fanatical scientists were "Reduced", marking the birth of a race which could not even speak properly. The abstainers became the Luddites, caretakers of the rest of humanity. The most superior of them all.

The first half of the book was all over the place. I couldn't make neither head or tale of whatever the hell was happening.
Too much new jargon presented in a chaotic fashion: utter confusion.

I understand every book has a new setting, a new realm which is unraveled slowly as the story progresses. But in here, instead of gaining insights into the plot, it was all piled up in a disorienting manner, which totally messed up the plot.

But, even then, at least the story was progressing, albeit slowly. And then comes the second half.
God!
There were many complications that had studiously come up in the first half that had the potential to make it an interesting read. It would have been fun to see how the protagonist deals with them all.

But no.
It felt, everything sorted itself out perfectly. Every fucking thing. I mean, every hurdle, every difficulty that could liven up the book, resolved perfectly, a little too perfectly, paving way for a lazy attempt at Happily Ever After.

The Characters

Elliot

She is just a doormat. She does have some moments of awesomeness, like when she stood up to her father, when she helps Ro, when she calls Kai on his bullshit. But that's it. They were surely admirable, but they didn't cut out her other faults. Most of the time she is being pushed all over the place by her father, by Tatiana or Kai.
Ah, Kai!
She is so utterly stupid, when it comes to that boy. Stop whining over him. Get over him. Move on.


There is a whole wide world outside of that one boy, girl. But no, every time he's rude to her, hurts her, she goes crawling back to him. Every single time. Ever heard of dignity or maybe self-respect?
I found it hard to believe she got over all the revulsion and disgust that had been drilled into her since her childhood. It all got washed away in the face of true LUURRVEE. Sorry, not buying it
And please girl, would you make up your mind, whether you want to stick to the protocols of your society or not? The whole indecisive, guilty monologues were getting old, pretty fast.

Baron North

It seemed as the author tried too hard to give him a villain-y feel. It just wasn't believable.
The man was intelligent and aware enough to see through Elliot's deception with wheat, but apparently imbecile enough to let his estate thrown out to dogs. As evil as he is, he can't be that callous to cut out a perfect asset, the orchard, for a better view of sea. Wait..what?
How can he be that stupid? His character was too underdeveloped. He was portrayed as stupid and sharp interchangeably as the script needed. He doesn't know shit about workings of a farm and spends money frivolously. He doesn't care about his workers/Reduced/Posts and treats them harshly. Now, why would a Baron do that? Does he intentionally want his estate to fail and him bankrupt?

The whole character was riddled with discrepancies. Things were just not adding up and kept contradicting each other.

And the love story.
Not really a love story. Every thing felt too obvious. The flashbacks, the uncaring attitude, the "angst-ridden" love.
Who in their right minds could actually buy Kai's love for Olivia? Is everyone fucking blind? It was an exasperating attempt to introduce drama into the plot. It was glaringly obvious he didn't give a shit.
Consequently, the magnificent climax that we were supposed to be anxiously waiting for, fell completely flat.

Way too obvious.

The ending was too rushed. Everything was molded into a happy ending. We don't get to know what actually made Elliot reconcile to the advantages of genetic modification or what happens to rest of the world. We are just supposed to be happy because Kai and Elliot get together at the end. Unsatisfying.

This was a read-along with Cecile. You can read her rant review here.
A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Okay, firstly, I COMPLETED A 864 PAGE LONG NOVEL!
That really was a monumental task, believe me.
So, a fair warning: The review is a bit long and winding and mainly consists of me jotting down my chaotic thoughts.

Now, I know every nitty-gritty, fallacy, quirks, pros/cons have been already discussed regarding the series. So, I'm not going into a huge synopsis, just a short one:

The novel is set around the land of Westoros, which is divided into numerous kingdoms, governed by a ruling family. All these families are under the central rule of whoever sits on the Iron Throne in King's Landing. He is the king of Westoros. So, that is what it all revolves around: the formidable Iron Throne.

I'll come directly to the points that rankled me in the book.

First and foremost, the icky sex scenes AND the plethora of casual rapes.
I mean, I know the book is set in medieval times, but it still got on my nerves. Especially the Targaryen House. The girl, Daenerys, is 12 when she gets married and 13 when she gets pregnant. I'll cover the age stuff later, but just read this:
He always took her from behind, Dothraki fashion, for which Dany was grateful; that way her lord husband could not see the tears that wet her face, and she could use her pillow to muffle her cries of pain.


What the fuck is that? Obviously the girl is in pain and needs her husband to stop. But does he? Nope. Instead he ignores her all day long and only acknowledges her existence when he needs to satisfy his sexual needs.
What kind of marriage is based on that sort of relationship? The even more horrifying aspect of it is that IT IS PORTRAYED AS LOVE AND NOT RAPE.

The whole sex ordeal for Daenerys gets easier for her with enough 'sessions' and familiarity.
She began to find pleasure even in her nights, and if she still cried out when Drogo took her, it was not always in pain.

How demeaning and disgusting is this? What is that supposed to mean? It is the growing 'romance' between husband and wife the fiend and his sex slave?
This is repugnant.
And it's not even like Dany's husband, Drogo, is going out his way to brutalize her. It is just the way the society is. It is commonplace and fucking normal there.
The Targeryen House has this saying/aphorism that says goes something like everything significant has to be done under the stars. So, public sex is the norm here. The commoners, the king himself, everyone indulges in it, anywhere, everywhere.

And now the rapes. My God.
This Targeryen House is fucking gaga over horrifyingly nauseating rapes. When they win battles and plunder the city, the spoils of the war are the women girls. It's their reward for fighting for their khal. The women are raped by numerous soldiers publicly. And God forbid if they cry out because if they do, they are threatened to have their tongues cut.
*shudders in horror*

Secondly, the misogyny.
This had to be the first book I've ever read that disparage women to such extents.
The women are gentle beings (read: brainless creatures) who are too stupid to understand war tactics.
The women are just present in the book for sex and babies. Period.
Women can't be leaders. They are too soft-hearted.
The very dialogues that the male characters sprout are horrendous.

"Oh, Cersei is lovely to look at, truly, but cold... the way she guards her cunt, you'd think she had all the gold of Casterly Rock between her legs. Here, give me that beer if you won't drink it."


What? Really? I don't know what to say to this except how fucking sexist that is.
#donteventalktome

Khal Drogo smiled. "See how fierce she grows!" he said. "It is my son inside her, the stallion who mounts the world, filling her with his fire."


God! I HATE THIS MAN. Now, he is crediting Dany's growth as a women to his 'son's fire'. WHAT THE FUCK? WOULD YOU STOP?


Thirdly, the violence/barbarism
I couldn't stomach half of the descriptions and rituals panning across this society.
Example #1- The Targeryn House (Argh! I hate the entire house. It is a riot of barbarism) has another utterly ghastly tradition. The Queen, our Dany, is supposed to eat the heart of a stallion ,RAW, the Khal kills. If she does that without choking the couple would be blessed with a boy. And if she can't manage that then "the child might be stillborn, or come forth weak, deformed, or female."
Did you notice the sexism here? Because I fucking did. A female child is clubbed together in the category of stillborn child. I CANNOT EVEN
Coming back to the point, that ritual is... stupid? Pointless? Barbaric? Animal Cruelty, if nothing else?

Example #2- Dany's pervy, abusive, brother, Viserys, who was the one who sold off Dany to the Khal death was a macabre.
The Khal poured scorching hot, molten gold on his head, because he was always prattling about owning a crown.
Careful what you wish for, huh?

And fourth, the writing
Martin's writing hugely comprises of sexist dialogues, long, drawn-out descriptions, and irrelevant details of 'manhoods'. It is not even necessary. Like he is describing a person and adds Between his legs his manhood swung long and heavy. REALLY? Why is that necessary?
Some lines were repeated countless number of times and grew banal and repetitive.
"I'm ninety and I remember very well. I remember what to do with a woman, too. That wife of mine will give me a son before this time next year, I'll wager. Or a daughter, that can't be helped."


Is that really necessary? The crudeness of the dialogue is disgusting.

Fifth: adultery

Sixth: incest

Seventh: The Age factor
Everyone, and I mean everyone is so young.
Dany, 12, sold off to Khal for marriage. Pregnant at 13.
Robb Stark, 14, leading an army at war.
Jon Snow, 14, pledging to protect the Westoros against the Others.
Joffrey Baratheon, 12/13, vested with so much power and doing such heinous crimes.
Sansa Stark,11, betrothed to Joffrey.

I don't whether that is child abuse or shows that children are capable, smart people, not less than any adult.

Now, I can imagine many of you cringing and vowing never to pick up the series. Just hold on a minute.
There is a reason why, after all this horror, I gave it 3 stars and not 1. That is because, as repulsive all the above stuff is, Martin creates strong, realist, feminist characters too.

Arya Stark
My favorite character. She is spunky, outspoken and a total badass at 11. And it contrasts sharply with her naive, cliched sister Sansa. When Sansa is obsessing over dresses and betrothals, Arya is busy with swords and defense.

Tyrion Lannister
That man is awesome. As blunt and crude he is, there is this certain respect I have for him. He is a dwarf, the black sheep, of the Lannisters and is looked down upon wherever he does. He is ridiculed, mocked, but takes all that in a stride. He is sarcastic, acerbic and doesn't hesitate to tell you exactly how he thinks you are.
"Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it."


Catelyn Stark

Now, the world building.
Many have complained about the vague nature of the world they live in. Well I didn't have any problem with that. The important stuff was explained and that was enough for me.

The heart-rending betrayals, the quiet loyalties, the unflinching decisions, the deaths. These are the things that form the essence of the book and it is mighty addicting.
Game of Thrones encapsulates a intriguing mystery, a medieval albeit dysfunctional society, and an all consuming bloodlust and powerful vengeance.


Conclusion: Game of Thrones was a good start to the series. The players have been cast, the stakes are high and the allegiances are still uncertain. It's a compulsive read that will surely get you hooked.
If you can stomach the gore and carnage, it's a riveting read.