Helen's Weekly Exploits #1!!

by - 10:17 PM

Review: I'll Give You The Sun

by - 11:18 PM

Review: A Court Of Mist And Fury

by - 10:28 AM

Monday, December 12, 2016

Helen's Weekly Exploits #1!!

Introduction

This weekly exploits post is a post about my week! Blogging has always seemed like a way of posting about what's going on in your life, and I feel like my blog hasn't been doing much of that lately. (Or rather - much of anything haha; I've been AWOL but I'm back!!) Posting only reviews is great and all, but I want to share some things about myself as well. Totally not just an excuse to blabber on about myself... Also, I have done posts like this before, but I went back and read through them; I am... taken aback. 10/10 would NOT recommend.

Anyway...

How Was My Week?

Slightly shitty.
I had school, as usual, and then I had Winter Sing on Friday! That's my school's winter performance thing where we sing songs as classes or chorale. We weren't bad, just all the good singers graduated? Anyway, that was,,, interesting.
Yesterday, Saturday, I had two choir concerts! It was exhausting but I'm glad it's over so I don't have to worry about it! Also, holiday cheer and all that!

I made a holiday moodboard to spread holiday cheer! Also if you like The Raven Boys, I wrote a "cute" holiday fanfiction story (for an English assignment).

This Blog

I've been busy remaking this blog and some of the code/CSS/HTML is really frustrating me and I want to TEAR MY HAIR OUT UGHH
Blogger really makes me want to move to easily formatted, regularly functioning Wordpress sometimes. However, I really like customizing my blog and Wordpress doesn't offer that unless you pay for it! Rip

Music

I really do think my music taste has progressed since last year (when I started this blog) (oh dear I missed my one-year anniversary). Last year, I was delving into indie music, and now I am a certified music snob! I really love indie folk because it's really calming; movie soundtracks are also amazing because they're meant to be played peacefully in the background, you know? I still like pop music, and indie pop especially. I'm that person who gets personally offended when an unknown indie pop gem gets released onto mainstream radio?? and?? it?? ruins?? it?? Also radios usually slightly speed up songs to keep on schedule and fit in ads - it is annoying to no end. At least I don't have perfect pitch - oh god that'd be terrible.
Anyway, I'm gonna link some of my playlists here:

(for the rainy days)

(for the classical magic days)

(for the vibe-filled days)

(for the peaceful days)

(for the chill days)


That's ... basically it for this post!! Thanks for reading!

How was your week?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: I'll Give You The Sun

I'll Give You the Sun

I'll Give You the Sun

by Jandy Nelson
A story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal told from different points in time, and in separate voices, by artists Jude and her twin brother Noah. Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways ... until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else--an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they'd have a chance to remake their world.

I FUCKING LOVED THIS BOOK

honestly?? it's been a while since i've read sUCH a good book like this is high on my favorites shelf like "my thoughts are stars i cannot fathom into constellations" (not to be john green quoting) and i cAN'T EXPRESS MY LOVE

(here is my expletive-filled reading progress)

i'm very thankful that i have lived in the time of this book - i'm blessed, moved, and grateful. i'm shook!! the prose and writing are to DIE FOR and my lovely narrators jude and noah are so good together and they have an amazing twin relationship and i love how this story was woven and i fell in love with all the characters like their mom and guillermo and oscar and brian and their dad and this was honestly such an Experience™ and i would like to relive it over and over again

"“his soul might be a sun. i've never met anyone who had the sun for a soul.”

if i could achieve one thing before i die - it's to write as well as jandy nelson does! her prose was artsily abstract and impeccable in my perspective - i couldn't get enough of the way she wrote these characters! i felt like a little bit of all of them sometimes, and this book is one of those books that reminds you how desperately you want to be a writer.

again - i LOVED "this story about artistic passion and pleasure, about the ecstatic impulse, about split-aparts" and about the amazing sand women and noah's paintings and brian's eyes and oscar's lean and guillermo's teachings and dianna's magic

is there really any true way to do justice to the magic that is this book? NO, but i just want you to know that it has left me shattered and reeling from this experience of falling in love with a book. will i ever find a real life split-apart, or soul mate? will i ever get to have the pleasure of meeting anyone as poetic and artistic as the sweetwines? as beautiful and soulful as jude? a grasping soul like noah? the effortless charisma, yet the hidden pain of oscar? guillermo's booming artistry and his drenched in passion love with dianna sweetwine? these are all beautiful people whose stories i fell in love with from the perspective of two very special twins. twins who divide up the world between them; who could never play rock/paper/scissors because they always landed on the same. these twins who were torn apart by their decisions in growing up and brought back together along with all the beautiful characters - through fate.

"Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story."

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review: A Court Of Mist And Fury

A Court Of Mist And Fury

by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: ✰✰✰✰✰
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

Okay. [minor spoilers ahead, in my opinion, they don't spoil major plot points or anything]

I'm trying to pour out all my feelings coherently. I don't think it's working. CUT ME SOME SLACK, BOOK HANGOVERS ARE HARD. (Spoilers don't really matter, because most of the spoilers I allude to in this review are kind of obvious from reading like 10 pages of the book...ANYWAY.)

I really really really hope you realized that I LOVED THIS BOOK. A Court Of Mist And Fury is a thing of beauty and darkness and ravaging and freedom and finding out who your true friends are. I think it is absolute magnificence.

First of all, the ROMANCE. BE STILL MY OTP HEART. I have to say, I was a Feysand shipper since Day 1, when Feyre met him at Calanmai and was like, "YO. HOTTEST DUDE EVER. STANDING RIGHT THERE. HE SAVED ME. OML." (I mean she was still loyal to Tamlin at that point, so...) BUT NEVERTHELESS. I was still like, "YO! SUPER HOT DUDE WHO HAS A DAMN GOOD HEART AND SAVED YOUR LIFE. HE'S A KEEPER." And then she stuck with Tamlin over ACOTAR.

What's great about Rhysand is that he really RESPECTED Feyre's space and independence. I saw this post on tumblr and it went something like: "Ianthe: try on this pretty dress! // Feyre: ok // Tamlin: stay at home ok? // Feyre: i guess. i lost something // Tamlin: what? // Feyre: my will to live // Ianthe: ok but still try on this dress." Very definitive of the first chapter. As you know, Feyre is not one to be coddled like that but she WAS. The Spring Court all treated her like she was so fragile, and couldn't handle the pain and traumatization! They kind of had it right on that last part, but keeping her indoors as if she was in a cage definitely wasn't helping! Anyway, she finally snaps, and Rhysand whisks her away.

Now I want to talk about something before I begin talking about the magic that is Rhysand (I know you want it but PATIENCE CHILD). During Feyre's time at the Spring Court, that whole first section of the book, I kept thinking that Sarah J. Maas was writing in a weird style. There was something about the writing. It was kind of clipped, in a feverish way. It was very subtle, but I think it represented the bewilderedness and anxiety of Feyre being cooped up with no one to properly help her recover from Amarantha and becoming High Fae without expressly stated consent. (AND NO I WASN'T FLAILING ON GOODREADS ABOUT HOW I WAS VERY CONFUZZLED BY THE WRITING STYLE AT FIRST NO NO I WASN'T I WAS COOL AND CALM ABOUT IT YESSIREE)

(evidently you can see that I was updating my progress on my phone as you can see from the bewildered typos)

About the difference between Tamlin and Rhysand: while I don't want to get too into detail, there is one key difference: one acknowledges his actions, and one doesn't! Also, Tamlin has some pretty shady history! His hands are NOT clean - quite the opposite in fact! I love that SJM took off the sugar coating from his character, showing us the harsh truth that contrary to what most YA novels might want to tell you, the first love interest is NOT always going to be the love of your life. This is a theme in SJM's other series Throne Of Glass, too! The protagonist doesn't stay with the first guy forever. Feyre fell in love with Tamlin because he was there at the right place in the right time for her love. He rescued her at a very low time for her and her family. Imagine starving, and not having enough money to buy any. BOOM. You hunt a wolf, and later a hot Fae comes over and is gruff at first, then reveals that he's good and caring for our family's every whim. Wouldn't you fall in love with him too? But there are always different sides to the story!

I really really really liked the overall story. There were so many careful details that were just naturally tossed in, like a childhood memory, or a nursemaid someone once had, that totally added and made a difference in how masterfully this writing was done. ACOMAF was so elegantly crafted, and while I am a fan of Sarah J. Maas, I was not expecting the level of goodness this book is! There are SO many new backstories and flashbacks and details that are revealed about all of the characters' pasts (and some hidden as a premonition!) that just tie the story together. [Show spoiler] ACOTAR was definitely the beginning of character development and plotline, while ACOMAF is the FLESH of the story. I definitely recommend this to anyone that doubted this trilogy by judging ACOTAR only! Will it get better in book 3? I sure hope so! While you wait, I totally love this fic of what someone wrote as their personal book 3! TRUE DEDICATION, Y'ALL. There's like forty chapters!

{hahahahahahahahahahaaha people who do WORK. and COMMITMENT. who has time for that? haha jk I AM NOT GOOD AT FOCUSING I'M SORRY}

ANYWAY. I really love that Feyre isn't a lovestruck maiden (like she kinda was with Tamlin at first because DUH - hot fae warrior dude with a huge dilemma of getting a human chick to fall for him to save the kingdom?? FORBIDDEN LOVE ANGST STORY ALERT) in ACOTAR, because she's survived horrible experiences (Amarantha ahem ahem) and has been through a couple toxic relationships already. At least she learns. She doesn't clamber instantly for the love of a dude (like those YA protagonists who jump from one dude to the next). SHE TAKES TIME TO KNOW HIM AS A FRIEND FIRST. Important stuff, ladies! Feyre is actually fine subsisting on her own and being independent - who needs men? Yes, Rhysand DID help her a bunch after her traumatic Tamlin situation, but all in all, she really just needed to get away from him. Everyone needs guiding/rescuing sometimes.

I really really enjoyed the friendship and Inner Circle dynamics of this book. Rhysand had LADIES in his inner, most trusted circle of warriors and friends! Amren and Mor totally SLAYED. They're total examples that you can keep going and living your life even if something very disturbing happens to you - even if you haven't been able to go back to your beloved home in a LONG time. I think they're great people to have around Feyre, and be her badass lady squad! Nesta and Elain, Feyre's sisters, are like the moon and sun. Nesta is stark, stoic, and strong to protect her loved ones. Elain is gentle and lovely, but will still fight as hard as she can to do what it takes for what she loves. Cassian (golden dude) and Azriel (brooding shadow dude) are both incredible as well! They have very distinct personalities and harbor loves for certain people. Rhysand is just very well developed - so damn sexy and flirty and HEART EYES GALORE. He is partly this cold High Lord who does what has to be done to keep of the pretense to protect his people and what he loves. He is also a very kind, loyal guy who openly loves and protects Velaris and the Illyrians. Ah, the Illyrians. You can tell that the flying Illyrian warriors treasure they wings above anything. Whenever someone tortures them, it will be hurting their wings that breaks their strong spirits. And who can blame them? Illyrian fae get majestic, powerful, beautiful wings that take them places, soaring where others cannot. The breathless thrill of the wind on their faces, flying free.... Wings are very valuable.

{side note: this is a more mature novel compared to normal YA! SEXY TIMES! some NSFW scenes!}

{other side note: i would make a moodboard for this story since it was so awesome with imagery, but i'm not talented enough with finding images. i would also write poetry to describe feysand's eternal love, but also not poetic enough!}

{side note 3: i don't wanna be mainstream and like this so much (EW WHY IS THERE SO MUCH HYPE I MEAN IT DESERVES IT BUT I WANNA KEEP IT ALL TO MYSELF I'M SELFISH I KNOW BUT I DON'T LIKE BEING MAINSTREAM OK I LIKE BEING SPECIAL), but Sarah truly made a gem of a novel. [clapping hands emoji here] 👏}

{side note 4: ew how long was this post? VERY. y'all should just implore me to write you guys monologues or something. they'll be dramatic and freaky and flailing and you'll love it.}