Helen Goes From School Life To.....BEING DEPRESSED

by - 11:40 AM

Review: Ruin and Rising

by - 9:39 PM

Review: Siege and Storm

by - 7:28 PM

Monday, January 18, 2016

Helen Goes From School Life To.....BEING DEPRESSED

So. It's no secret that I am not the most popular person at school. I go to a private school. It's quite interesting (not in a good way), compared to a public school. I feel I am likable, but really - I feel a sense of detachment from my classmates. I have one best friend that is funny and cool and is as much of an outsider as I am - Rainbow for now. It's an odd relationship. Everyone in my grade at school are like how John Green said, "All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm." Except not really. But you get the idea.

Honestly - what people talk about nowadays, if you just hear the conversation, it's so inane. It drives me crazy. How is it possible that people find ENJOYMENT in this? I have realized that I've been thinking of myself as above these kids for a while, but I'm trying to set that aside. I really don't get the point of life in times like these. Why does anyone live? WHAT IS THE POINT.
Really, if you get down to the heart of it, you can keep going on and on like, "We need life for joy!" Then, "If there was no life, there'd be no point in joy. Humanity doesn't even exist." "But humanity is nice and good!" "Well, if there was nothing - absolute nonexistence, it wouldn't matter because that concept would never have been known or existed." It's really a paradox. Gets you thinking about alternate dimensions/realities.

Anyway, if people are going to be silly and shallow and vapid and care about nothing but the fact that "HAN SOLO DIED IT'S SO SAD" (well actually that wasn't a very good example because it was sad, but...), the point of life is pretty much moot. We can believe in some higher power, like, "God created us to spread His word!" or believe in some odd mythology or some scientific theory ("We evolved from apes! Joy!"), but why?

*----This is a very depressed girl talking. Even Rainbow got depressed.----*

Also, a fact: I am Chinese.

What this means is that I have very strict parents who, unfortunately, don't approve of me reading books. They want me to "focus on my studying". Total bs. I'm a multitasker.

See, if it weren't for books, I'd probably go ahead and kill myself. Well. Isn't that depressing. I mean, I know, I'm an interesting person, and I could easily make friends and be popular and stuff, but I'm so SHELTERED where I am now. That's why I want to go to NYC for college. THE CITY OF LIGHTS. OR DREAMS. Or the tagline: "Being better than your current city since a long time ago."

I'm going to make a life for myself someday - whether it be through cool friends, or a cool penthouse, or a cool blog or whatever...

I am going to have something that people are going to want for themselves.

You can quote me on that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Review: Ruin and Rising

Ruin and Rising Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars ✰✰✰✰

Okay. This book explores a lot - the first part was pretty slow, but I think that's okay - lots of world-building.

This book, I think, could've been better, what with all the room for character exploring with the Darkling, and Mal could've been, you know, hotter. As a final book, I can't really criticize it. It wasn't spectacular, but it was definitely GOOD. The world building was fantastic, and NIKOLAI.

NIKOLAI. I literally bookmarked like 30 pages of just fabulous Nikolai quotes. Did I mention NIKOLAI??!!! Of course, in Siege and Storm, there were more moments, but, still....NIKOLAI.

After all the gushing, something I didn't really get was the whole Darkling thing. After the confrontation at the end of S&S, since Alina got a little of his power, she could see him? And speak with him amiably? In R&R, the Darkling and Alina pretty much talked as equals. The Darkling is evil. He's trying to confuse her and worm his way into her heart. Well, Leigh, it's working on the reader, too! Did he secretly have a good heart? Was the mad, power-hungry Darkling really a softie, as shown by the declarations of intimacy [Show] Well, we will never know, because Leigh never elaborated on his character that much. She showed us like 1% of his soft side, then didn't clear anything up? Like, that makes me mad?

Anyway, this whole build-up throughout the entire series has led to.....what? The Darkling dying? We get it. That was going to happen, unless she pulled a Divergent series, which even in that case, the villain dies. Like Jesse @ JesseTheReader said, there really wasn't a plot.

BUT - in the end, I still really liked this book. My heart is soft, and Leigh is a spectacular writer, and NIKOLAI.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Review: Siege and Storm

Siege and Storm Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars ✰✰✰✰✰
Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can't outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling's game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

WOW. For any book, I get a certain feel. The setting, the characters, the plot, how DARK it is..... I'm weird. I can't explain it. All I know for sure is that this book's "feel" is COMPLETELY different from Shadow and Bone. They are both definitely good! While S&B was kind of a lighter, trying-out-my-new-abilities-then-getting-betrayed thing in a "first-book" kind of way, S&S was darker, and Alina definitely got stronger as a person. BUUUUUT ....


Seriously. He might be one of my favorite characters EVER, along with Magnus Bane (that is a very high ranking for me). He totally lightened up the darkness, and was totally the perfect contrast! He was the beam of sunshine that I fell in love with!

“Of course not," said Sturmhond. "Anything worth doing always starts as a bad idea.”
“I took a breath. “Your highness—” “Nikolai,” he corrected. “But I’ve also been known to answer to ‘sweetheart’ or ‘handsome.”
“Sturmhond had a way of talking that made me want to shoot someone. Preferably him.”
“Watch yourself, Nikolai,” Mal said softly. “Princes bleed just like other men.” Nikolai plucked an invisible piece of dust from his sleeve. “Yes,” he said. “They just do it in better clothes.”

Speaking of Mal, he is.....I have nothing to say. He was hot when he took down all those Grisha in the brawls and stuff, but then the whole (show spoiler) pretty much canceled that out. However, I am a loyal fangirl, and I don't deviate from the intended boyfriend/romantic interest that the author intended unless in seriously special circumstances. After all, authors control us with their words in their stories. We are subject to their whims. Every single word is carefully orchestrated by them, so nothing you really feel about the story is going to be alone. If you ship a weird, out-there couple, chances are, others felt the chemistry too and ship it right along with you (unless you decided to ship a character with a banana she ate in like Ch. 17 or something. That's just weird ok?). Anyway, Mal is steady and loyal (for the most part, i mean, he tried to be faithful), but there was some SERIOUS chemistry with Nikolai that Leigh Bardugo put in there. It can't be unintentional. Either she just wants some serious buzzing on tumblr and stuff, or there is going to be issues that are resolved. I don't know. Maybe Nikolai dies or something. I had a feeling from the start, honestly, but HOPEFULLY Leigh's not that cruel. I seriously hope so. #TeamNikolai #IfAlinaDoesn'tWantHimWellIWantHim

Also, something Leigh had going in her favor (for me), was that she didn't dwell too much on her attachment to the Darkling. He did haunt her and make her hallucinate, but there wasn't this big emotional epiphany moment where she breaks free of the hold he has over her - the strong, horrible hold that is NOT really there because Leigh is fabulous.... If there had been this whole emotional Darkling-induced funk that Alina was stuck in, it would have slowed the book down. Authors do that a lot - they stick their main character in a FUNK.
All in all, I am rating this 4.5 stars because I am yet an amateur reviewer and I cannot, for the life of me, rate a book that I wholeheartedly enjoyed anything under 4 stars. And I'm generous, so.... :)

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