Books + Coffee = Happiness

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Fanfic Guilt

Listening to: Till the End - David Tan
Feeling: Guilty
It's been two weeks since I last updated my fanfic, Never Alone, and I'm starting to feel the guilt piling up after everyone sent me so many really awesome reviews. Initially, I had planned on sitting down and writing out chapter 16 sometime last week, but while that moment did come, I wasn't able to get as much done as I had originally planned. And it sucked rather dearly that not only did I have two midterms this week, but I was also sick. The last part was unplanned. But I'm definitely planning to spend sometime this weekend to finish my unfinished chapter. I'm about halfway through, but the interesting part is in the second half of the chapter.

I have to admit that writing the boring bits of a chapter are really draining. They really aren't that interesting and don't really contribute to the story, but they're more like fillers. However, as uninteresting they may seem, they usually are pretty necessary for the development of the plot and character. That doesn't mean that I can write them as fast as I'd like. But there's always the good parts that I'm dying to just get typed out. And speaking of good parts, I can't wait to get this chapter over and done with because the really exciting stuff is coming up fast and I'm really excited to get them out on screen. I guess you can kind of think of it as trudging up a hill. It's really hard to get up there, and oftentimes, you feel like quitting, but you know that for the sake of yourself and many others, you need to keep going. Once you've reached the top, it's all downhill from there.  

Monday, 27 February 2012

I'm sick :(

Listening to: Dearest - Ayumi Hamasaki
Mood: Sick
 Well, as my title suggests, I'm sick. What happened? I have no idea. I was fine until this morning, which I woke up with a stuffy nose, but I blamed my lack of sleep for that result, thinking that it would pass by the end of the day. I thought wrong. This sucks. It's hard to get stuff done when you feel crappy. Sniffling every 5-10 seconds doesn't help. Luckily, the chem material isn't too bad and it's mainly review of last year's chemistry. It's also nice that I don't have school tomorrow, so I don't have to look very presentable in public, haha. Sadly, due to a previous experience, I am forced to stay away from my pair of hamsters since their immune systems are weak and they catch diseases (which more often than not) that are fatal to them. So, I just have to admire them from afar. -unhappy face- I'll let my dad do the feeding in the meantime.

2 hours until kin midterm...

Listening to: Lydia - F.I.R
Mood: Sleepy
Ugh so sleepy. My eyelids hurt and feel like they're burning my eyes. Eye drops would probably help. 2 hours before my kinesiology nutrition midterm. So nervous. Went to sleep at 2am and woke up 5 hours later. You'd think that I know by now that I should get more sleep especially during the day of an exam, right? Well, apparently my mind and nerves must hate me because I find it impossible to calm down enough to actually sleep well the day of.  I'm really hoping that it'll go well. How much information actually went in my head? Well, I guess I'll find out in two hours. As for now, I'm waiting for my friends for a last-minute (or I should say "hour") cram session to figure out things that we are missing or don't know. 

EDIT: 2:40pm. Finished my kin midterm this morning and I can say that it definitely went pretty great. Well, that's what I felt anyway. Not sure if my answers will reflect my feelings. It was probably my best midterm yet, so I'm really hoping that I won't be disappointed with my mark. The exam was somewhat easy for me, which was pretty weird, considering how I was freaking out about it, but I'm glad that it's over. Now, I can study for my chem midterm which is in two days. Fun stuff.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

So many good books to look forward to in 2012!

Listening to: It's Okay to Be Lonely - Hebe Tian  (寂寞寂寞就好 - 田馥甄)
Mood:  Happy

Like the title says, there's so many books that I'm looking forward to. And for the most part, they all seem so far away since we're still early on in the year. Some of the ones to look out for include:

-The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead*
-Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent*
-The Calling by Kelley Armstrong (got the ARC of this!)
-Insurgent by Veronica Roth*
-Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
-Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
-Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
-Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter*
-The Last Echo - Kimberly Derting*
....and a lot more....

*Ones that I'm dying to read

As I was blog surfing, I came upon this international giveaway where the winner would receive a 2012 book (or pre-order if it wasn't out just yet), so I decided to share it on here (just click on the picture below to get there):

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Book Review: White Fang - Jack London

Published September 1, 2003 by Townsend Press (Townsend Library Edition)

Back cover description:
"From the day of his birth, the wolf pup White Fang has had to fight for his life.

His enemies were hunger, cold and the teeth and claws of predators. Now, snatched from his forest home, he encounters a powerful new challenge to his survival. Will he be able to adapt or will Man be the enemy that finally destroys White Fang?"

I had this on my shelf for a few years now, though I never picked it up after I first bought it off a book sale at the library. I had read Jack London's Call of the Wild before buying White Fang, but back then, Call of the Wild didn't really appeal to me as much as I had originally thought when I borrowed it, so I was hesitant on reading this one. However, seeing how I usually read a novel of some sort on the bus ride to school, I realized that I ran out of library books and decided to turn to my bookshelf. There were some of my old favorites, some books that I wanted for my shelf and others that I have yet to read. White Fang fitted into the last category. So out of boredom, I picked it up again after a handful of years and found that it was a lot intriguing than I had originally labelled it.

As you could see from the cover photo, White Fang is the name of a wolf-dog who was born in the wild. However, he remained nameless for the first portion of the book. Jack London did a marvelous job describing nature's harsh conditions such as how White Fang had to fend himself when he had gone against his mother's warnings of leaving the cave and learning for the first time what was really in the world. There, White Fang learned quickly the difference between things that were alive and those that weren't. As well as the difference between himself and those that were alive. Some of them, he could eat, but some others could end up eating him. It was his first glance into the world.

As the book progresses, White Fang learns to survive and his understanding of the world grows. He learns to submit to his human masters and the cruelty that lays in waiting if he doesn't follow his orders. As a wolf born with a mixture of dog-blood, he was labeled as an outsider among the other dogs that he meets and through those events, White Fang's fighting skills and instincts sharpened throughout the book. As he grew, White Fang was passed from man to man, each having their own distinct personalities that had an impact on White Fang. He became whatever they shaped him to be. A sled dog, a fighter and finally, a friend.

I really enjoyed this book and oftentimes, I was disgusted with the cruelty that White Fang had to face. The era was most likely written during the time of the gold rush, because one of White Fang's owners had been there for that event. Oftentimes, I had wondered what Jack London was trying to convey from his story, but there are so many different possibilities that there didn't seem to be a wrong answer. Now that I've come to appreciate classic literature a little more, I might go back and re-read Call of the Wild to compare the two books.

Source: Owned
My rating:  5 Coffee cups (Loved it and couldn't put it down)

Friday, 24 February 2012

Book Review: My Soul to Save - Rachel Vincent

Published December 29, 2009 by Harlequin Teen

Goodreads description:
"When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.
So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can't cry for someone who has no soul.
The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad's ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend's loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can't possibly understand.
Kaylee can't let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk….  "

Like the last book, My Soul to Save started out slowly enough, but of course, that didn't last for long. Although this was a re-read for me, I thoroughly enjoyed it and pleasantly discovered things that I barely noticed the first time going through or just skimmed over and forgot about them.

In the beginning, Kaylee, Nash and Tod attend a concert, which starred Tod's ex-girlfriend, Addison Page as well as another singer named Eden. Sounds normal enough, right? Well, that's where it started to get weird. In the middle of her act, Eden just collapses without warning and what was strange was that Kaylee didn't even get a premonition of her death. Turns out that this singer, who has it all, has sold her soul to a demon, or hellion to be exact. And from there, the show biz industry suddenly got shadier as Kaylee and the others realize with growing horror that many others have done the same.

I really enjoyed seeing the characters develop in this sequel. Kaylee, who was insecure about her insanity in the previous book has grown so much stronger here. Her intelligence and the ability to think through a crisis really reeled me in. Also, I could say that her selflessness was also a big win in my books. Despite the danger that was laid out in front of her, Kaylee still jumped in with both feet to help someone that was of no relation to her. Her boyfriend, Nash, showed some more qualities to him, which included: anger, protectiveness, loyalty and lust. He knew of the danger of taking the mission and was widely opposed to Kaylee taking it up, but as a protective boyfriend, he followed her through. As for Tod, the ever-present reaper, I was very happy to get a chance to know him better in this sequel. It was really good too see that he still had a lot of humanity still left in him especially when he decided to risk everything for the girl that he loved, despite being dead. There were some cases where I was a little annoyed with Tod since he held onto some vital information that could have risked Kaylee's life, but in the overall, I grew to love him more.

Plot-wise, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, though I couldn't help but wince at the idea of teenagers selling their soul for fame and power. Surely they've seen enough movies or heard enough stories that selling your soul never comes to a good result, right? But I guess when you want it all, you have to be willing to do anything possible. What I really liked about this book was that we learned a lot more about the Netherworld and it's locals, which I found that concept to be really interesting. It just gave us a bigger peak into the alternate world of demons and other what-not. The ending was bittersweet and it broke my heart a little, but I guess not everything can always turn out to be a bunch of rainbows and unicorns.

Source: Borrowed
My rating: 4 Coffee Cups (Enjoyed it immensely)

Grrr... Really?

Listening to: Hands Up - Hedley 
Feeling: Pissed Off

Most of the day went pretty okay. Yeah, I spent like 3 hours combined trying to do five math questions, which ended up in a major headache, but it wasn't that big of a deal. Learned a little more about drawing from clubs, which was interesting for a first class. What totally ruined my day is that while I was moving my mom's car down a floor in the parkade and finally found a spot to park, someone came from behind and stole my driver magnet. Really? Was that necessary?! What was the purpose of THAT? Other than completely pissing me off? Luckily, I wasn't driving home and was merely moving it down for my mom before going to take a bus home. Agh, stupid teenage boys who have nothing better to do. I hope karma comes and kick you in the butt!

[LOL. I've always loved this photo and it always makes me laugh. Taken from Dengeki Daisy Ch 15]

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Calculus makes my brain hurt

Listening to: One Life - Hedley   
Feeling: Dizzy

Sigh, I wish I didn't have to take math classes at uni. Thank god that I only needed two of them. One's already done and the second is nearly half-done. I know for sure that I won't miss the assignments or the freakishly-difficult exams that my prof gives us. You know it's not going that great when you are only able to do like four questions within an hour. Yup, it's bad. Can't wait for the end of semester, if I'm able to pass.

Disclaimer: I don't own this image

Book Review: My Soul to Take - Rachel Vincent

Published August 1, 2009 by Harlequin Teen
"She doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next."

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent is the first book in the series, but there is a prequel, My Soul to Lose, that takes place before it. But readers don't need to have read the prequel to understand what's going on, but can if they're either fans of the series/author of if they wanted a bigger understanding of the characters.

I'm re-reading this series for the Soul Screamers Challenge that Fiktshun has set up, but I really do love this series, which is why I jumped at the chance to re-read them (which I normally wanted to do, but didn't due to the lack of time).

Kaylee Cavanaugh seems like an average teenage girl who wants to be noticed by boys, have fun with friends and live a normal life, but it turns out that she's anything but normal. After entering a bar with the help of connections, she is pleasantly surprised to get a chance to talk to the most popular boy in school, Nash Hudson, who seems strangely interested in her, despite her lack of social status. However, just as she was enjoying this strange turn of events, Kaylee suddenly gets a premonition of a girl who she thought was going to die. From there, everything goes past the definition of "normal".

I have to say that the characters in this first novel are some of the best of the whole series. Kaylee, who is stronger than she appears, is a good-hearted character who would risk her own life to save the lives of others. I also loved how cautious she was of Nash in the beginning, because she thought that he was merely trying to get something out of her besides friendship and it took a while before she could trust him. Nash, is an incredibly sweet and charming character who is kind of like rock to anchor Kaylee, especially when she thought that she was slowly losing her mind. He was also the one who told her the truth when no one else had, knowing that being kept from it was more damaging than the reality. One character that annoys me to no end is Kaylee's selfish cousin, Sophie, who believes that Kaylee is an attention-hogger and is out to ruin her social life, but I find her character welcoming since there's always a foil for each character and she is Kaylee's. Lastly, Tod... oh my god. Tod is an unbelievably amazing character who is very very likely to tug at your heart. I really enjoyed reading his charm and wits, which is very different from Nash's seriousness. Initially, he was merely a curious character, but his involvement grows as the story goes on. Despite being dead and being a grim reaper, his almost boyish attitude and vulnerability caught me and I learned to love him a lot.

It started out slowly enough, but that didn't last for long. I really enjoyed the twists and turns that Rachel puts us through. And the dramatic irony, since we all knew that Kaylee wasn't normal, but it was a pleasant surprise to see how Rachel revealed the truth of Kaylee being a bean sidhe through the words of Nash, which allowed Kaylee to put her trust in him. Lastly, I loved how they resolved their problems in the end, but Rachel left just enough to leave you hanging on for more.

Source: Owned
My rating: 4 Coffee Cups (Enjoyed it immensely)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

First post!

Listening to: She Is - Clazziquai 
Feeling: Happy

It's been a while since I last started a blog, but I wanted to start one again after such a long time.

Basically, this blog will be a place to sort out my thoughts, show off whatever I made/wrote/read. As well, I'll also add in some thoughts regarding my school life and how things are going. It'll be a slow process, but I hope that I'll be able to keep this going. :)