Oct 31, 2015

I am taking a break in November!

Hey guys!

You might have seen this coming if you follow me in twitter. But if you don't here's the plan.

November is always a busy month for me, with exams and the end of the school year looming near. This year, especially, I have a feeling that I am going to be really busy. First of all, I am going on a holiday during the first week of the month. I am going to India, and stay with my cousin there for some days and come back by the 8th. And then my term exams will start on the 17th and will last until the 24th ( or so I think). Since this is my first ever term exam since Advanced Levels started, I am so nervous and incredibly stressed and even getting nightmares that I am going to flunk my exams.


So I thought it will be better if I take a bit of a break from blogging. Don't worry, I won't disappear from the face of earth totally, I'll be around twitter and I'll still be posting here and there. But otherwise, I won't be around much and you guys better miss me! :P

So what's going to happen to Chasing Faerytales? I am not going to abandon my baby, of course not. Jillian will be doing her part - Yay for my lovely co blogger!!! - Some of my lovely blogger buddies are taking over and guest posting here at the blog! I am so excited about these posts, and I am so sure that you all will enjoy them! 


That being said, I have two more things to ask you all. First of all, my blogging survey. ICYMI, I asked you guys to give me your opinion of Chasing Faerytales a few days ago. I am trying to figure some things about the blog and my audience, so your feedback will mean a lot. Now the question in hand is whether you want me to share the results or not. I've been getting a few requests in the survey asking me share the results, so what do you say?

Next is about my blogoversary. It's two months away - December 21st - but I have already started brainstorming ideas. I want to make it special since it's my first blogoversary - *squeals* - and I want to know what you guys want to see? Tell me your suggestions in the comments, plus also tell me what kind of giveaways you prefer, so I can do something accordingly!

Having said that, bye everyone! I'll miss you all soooo much! 



Oct 29, 2015

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


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Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer 
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Release Date: March 27, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Synopsis:

Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.




Oh wow... THIS BOOK. So much suspense and mystery behind it all; it gave me the chills!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a very creative and original novel that I fairly enjoyed so much! Here, we have Mara Dyer, our protagonist, who wakes up in the hospital one day without a single memory of the accident that transpired, which led to her confinement. Her friends -- Rachel, Claire, and boyfriend, Jude -- have died in the same accident.

The question is: How did she survive an accident while her friends couldn't? Why can't she remember a single thing that occurred then?

Mara Dyer is about to find out.

"Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real."



I fairly enjoyed this book so much!

What I liked most about this book was its paranormal aspect. Due to the accident Mara was involved in, she was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), causing her to have a series of hallucinations and nightmares of her friends who had died in the accident that previously occurred. The fact that we get to see a little of how this disorder affects her makes the book altogether very interesting!

Because, unlike those typical YA books people usually read, we don't have a protagonist who lives a normal life; we have one who truly struggles to get her life back together -- to move on -- after having hers destructed by a traumatic experience.

I liked and hated Mara Dyer. I loved how she was able to get through her hallucinations despite how they were affecting her to the point of consulting a psychiatrist. Hodkin truly conveyed a strong character in her part, which made her very admirable.


But one thing that I happen to not like about her was her sarcasm. She was incredibly SARCASTIC at so many parts of the book, and although I found some of them to be very hilarious, it made me think of her as rude and annoying. 

The romance in this book was alright, though. It was very cute, and it made me smile; however, it wasn't my favorite kind of romance at all. In fact, I sort of have very mixed feelings with regards to it.

To conclude, I fairly enjoyed The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, but there are some parts of the book that didn't appeal well to me. I would still recommend this to anyone who is a fan of paranormal romance, or anyone who is looking for a good plot twist in the end! I'm sure you'll enjoy this book quite well.


Oct 28, 2015

Hi my lovely readers, I need some help from you!


Hey guys!

Like I said in the title, I need a favour from you all! Don't worry, its nothing big!:) I want you all to take this survey on what you think of Chasing Faerytales. I felt like I am going through a bit of a burn out period when it comes to blogging and commenting, so I thought of asking your opinion on certain things and decide on what I should change and where I should improve as a blogger.

Taking this survey will be a huge help for me, and I am looking forward to see your feedback on the blog! 

P.S : Please be honest! No need to sugarcoat anything as well, my soul won't be crushed if you say anything negative! :D




Oct 27, 2015

Top Ten non scary books for halloween


It's that time of the year!!!! Halloween is just a handful of days away, and I am so excited! Though it's not exactly a "thing" here in my country, this is one of my favourite festivity of the year, and I am ready with the perfect horror movies for a marathon and some delicious candies on the brew!:)

Today's top ten list was a halloween freebie! Since I am not exactly a huge fan of horror books - Stephen King's books gave me nightmares! And I screamed in the night after watching The Silence of the Lambs! *shudders* So I thought it's better to make my list less scary, and here's my ideal top ten non scary books which will be perfect for halloween!

1. Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Beautifully written with vivid imagery and illusions, Night Circus is a read which will give your halloween a whimsical quality! It also revolves around a circus, magic, and FOOD! It's my picture perfect halloween read, hands down.

2. The Diviners by Libba Bray

I have my problems with this book, but I have to admit that it will be perfect for halloween. Not only it is a historical fiction which revolves around spirits, it's also written beautifully, capturing the sinister quality of the concept perfectly! 

3. A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Set in an asylum, this historical fiction will give you the chills. I loved how the book dealt with the concept of madness.

4. Dreamland by Robert L.Anderson

Dealing with the concept of dreams and nightmares, this book is creepy, messy and intriguing. 

5. The Archived by Victoria Schwab

How can a list be complete without a Schwab book?:) The Archived features a beautiful concept where the dead are kept in shelves like books, their memories stored and preserved. The image of a dark, quiet library with long corridors and a sense of danger everywhere is brought alive by Victoria's writing, and this will be perfect for the season!

6. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Kendare Blake excels in producing dark reads without shying away from the gory and brutal details. Antigodess is her dark take on greek mythology, and will you make you view the gods and goddesses in a totally new way!

7. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor's gorgeous writing suits her intricately built world and her creativity is terrific in this book about fallen angels and chimaera. Not only it's perfect for Halloween, it will definitely make you want to catch the next plane and spend a vacation in Prague.

8. Half Bad by Sally Green

If you are a fan of dark fantasy reads, this is the book for you!Half Bad has morally ambiguous characters, it doesn't shy away from violence and brutality, and it's all about witches! What more do you need from a Halloween book?

9. Splintered by A.G.Howard

It's time for a fairytale retelling! I haven't read this book yet, but trustworthy sources say that it's a dark and delicious retelling of Alice in Wonderland, so much so that, I have it in my own Halloween season TBR.

10. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This book has the perfect atmosphere for the season. Tarot cards, graveyards, welsh kings, mythology - it's a perfect blend of all things supernatural and Maggie's gorgeous writing helps to set the mood as well.

Which non scary books do you think are perfect for the season? Any recs? Have you read any of these? What books do you have in your seasonal TBR?




Oct 25, 2015

Faerytales Report #4


Hey guys! It's time for another edition of Faerytales Report! I am still in disbelief over the fact that Halloween is in a few days and Christmas is exactly two months away!!!! Time is certainly flying isn't it?

So, let's take a look at what both Jillian and I were up to these past two weeks!


WHAT WE READ


Mishma

I am getting better at my reading, I guess. These past two weeks I didn't read much, but yesterday, for some reason, I had enough energy to finish three books in one day! I hope I'll keep this up though!

Books Read

Half Bad by Sally Green
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
The Spanish Groom by Lynne Graham
To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt
To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt
Once and Always by Judith McNaught
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Currently Reading

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Jillian

*pretends not to be intimidated by Mishma's amazing pile of read books* Because I had to take my mid-quarters and transfer tasks at school, I barely read books once again. But I did manage to finish just one, which I'll be reviewing here at the blog this coming week. (It was a great book!)

Books Read
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Currently Reading
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen


WHAT WE POSTED


The Reviews

Half Bad by Sally Green

The Discussions

Others

I did the #WritersLife Tag

AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

BOOKISH AND BLOGGING COMMUNITY NEWS


Mishma

1. My post on the "Great Blogging Depression" broke the internet! Well, not exactly, but let a girl brag a bit okay?:) I honestly didn't think that the post might get this much of positive response, and it amuses me to think that I actually hesitated to publish it for some reason. It was incredible to see how many people agreed with my points and related to it, and I had so many thought provoking conversations in twitter regarding the concept. It even led to an impromptu twitter chat, thanks to Emily and April's idea, and the #bookbloggerchat ended up as a huge success and you can check out its recap here

2. J.K.Rowling is writing a play which is apparently Deathly Hallows' sequel and revolves around Albus Potter. I honestly don't know what to think about this. I mean, I love Harry Potter, and even after all these years, I have a fierce love for the series and for the fandom. But a sequel after so many years???? I mean, can't authors leave perfect endings alone? Is this a new trend or something?

3. Victoria Schwab's This Savage Song's cover was revealed! AND IT'S THE MOST GORGEOUS THING EVER!!!!


I love everything about the cover! That minimal yet elegant font! That dark alley! The background which reminds me of The Dark Knight for some reason. THAT VIOLIN!!! THE TAGLINEEEE!!!! AND OF COURSE ALL THAT RED!!! I love how most of Victoria's books have red covers. They make my "Schwab shrine" look so co ordinated and pretty!


Jillian

1. #BBCreativityProject has finally launched! While I'm honestly not part of the project (although I wanted to, but had only found out about it once sign-ups were done), I am so excited to finally see what people have been planning about this project. Nori from ReadWriteLove, who is so amazing, is the host of this event! I literally can't wait for what posts the teams have for this one!

2. "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children" is becoming a movie! I know this is really old news, but I've heard they finally started filming the movie! I have, of course, read this book and found it averagely alright, but knowing that this is going to be adapted into a film makes me really curious about how good the movie would be.

The movie would be released next year, 2016. Any of you who wish to watch it upon release?

TWEETS OF THE WORK




— aSHAYlum (@TheStoryGoes_) October 24, 2015







PERSONALLY, OUR WEEK...


Mishma

1. I am drowning in work these days. I am so busy nowadays and it's not even a joke. I come home after 6 from school most days and all I want to do is go to sleep. But at least, everything I do is fun. I am loving the internship, and the people I work with are super awesome as well! Plus, there was a play in school for which I had to help out and it was a great experience as well. So the whole thing is a fifty fifty, I guess.

2. I might take a hiatus in November. Next month will be really busy and if I don't take a bit of a break from blogging, I'll probably won't be able to even breathe. I will be around for sure, but I thought a break will do me good at this time.

Jillian

1. I survived hell week. Last week was one of the most stressful weeks I ever had to face! I lost huge amounts of sleep and began to stress-eat almost the entire day, which I feel immensely guilty about. Last night, I was so tired that I slept at 9 PM, but then I set my alarm to wake me up at 1 AM just so I could finish my homework before school. You have no idea how beyond grateful I am to have managed to finish everything!

2. I bought (and borrowed) new books! I visited the library at school and managed to borrow Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen! I am so excited about it, and so far it's a really great book! Moreover, I went to the local bookstore earlier and bought 5 new books, which is a great way for me to celebrate after hell week was over.

3. Sembreak is coming! This means I have a mini vacation starting this Wednesday! Which also means: NO SCHOOL. Can't wait to be around the blogosphere more often now and get to read more books at home!

How did your week go?

Oct 21, 2015

Are we going through the great blogging depression???


It's not that hard to notice that there seems to be a collective blogging slump throughout the blogosphere. I've been seeing a lot of bloggers calling it quits, most taking hiatuses, and frequently encountering tweets by bloggers who seem to have "lost the spark" and "struggling to find inspiration"

While this is certainly not something totally new, we've been seeing these things happening to bloggers for some time now, nowadays, the amount of bloggers who's in a slump is super uncanny.Ever since September started, people have started to become super busy and while this collective slump can be solely blamed on that fact, is that the only reason why everyone is suddenly feeling unenthusiastic about blogging?

When I thought about it, I came up with a few facts which I personally feel like are the reasons for the "great blogging depression" which is going on right now. ( Sorry for the extreme explanation, my mind is full of Economics these days ) Since I work better with lists, let's make one, shall we?

1. Most bloggers struggle to find the time to blog these days.

Take me for example. I am doing Advanced Levels - juggling school, homework, exams, analysis, all sorts of stupid extra curricular activities, an internship, a WIP, a blog and reading. I just can't find time to write a post, comment around and catch up with all blog happenings. The same goes to most of the bloggers. School started in September, and students and mothers alike are busy these days. And when we do have free time, it's practically impossible to think about working on a post. All I want to do is lie facedown on my bed.


2. I feel like the direction of blogging has started to shift slowly.

I am probably going to get a heft load of criticism for saying this, but let me be blunt here. I strongly feel like blogging has started to become a publishing and media tool. If you ask me, it has started to become all about ARC reviews, book promotions, author spotlights and basically a voluntary and unpaid part time job rather than a hobby. I actually don't feel like we're discussing books anymore. We're discussing a product we're supposed to promote. At least that's what I feel like. 


So what if, the direction has changed? Well, the problem is that with the change of direction, I feel like the genuine enthusiasm to blog has started to decrease little by little. I started to feel this when I shifted into reviewing ARCs and taking part in book promotions. While they were all fun, they weren't what I originally wanted to do when I started a blog.

But that doesn't mean, all blogs have shifted their direction, though. There are blogs which come up with really unique and creative content. Their originality and ideas are really striking!

3. Other forms of social media has started to gain significant popularity

Holly wrote a super thought provoking post about this with regards to twitter. Like she pointed out, twitter has started to become such a significant part of blogger connections, so much so that, people don't need to go comment on a blog to form friendships anymore. I have a lot of twitter friends whose blogs I rarely visit. I feel super guilty about this, but I feel like we have sufficient convo in twitter, so why bother comment on a post when I can easily discuss it in twitter itself?

Besides twitter, another social media which is rising in popularity is instagram. I have a feeling that in a short time, it will become an important medium to blogging, especially since book photography is becoming famous these days and I've been seeing a lot of "bookstagrammers" posting reviews under their photos itself.

Then there's the growing popularity of booktube. While I myself - personally - am not an audience or a fan of that community, I do know that booktube has slowly started to evolve into an equal platform as blogging, again making it clear that blogging isn't the only way to talk about books.

4. People have started to question the point of blogging.

Trust me, I did a bit of experimenting on this particular point by looking through some blog posts where bloggers announced that they're quitting blogging. Most of them said that they don't know why they're blogging anymore. It was super sad to read those! And I  have asked this question to myself a lot of times. Why do I blog? If I just want to talk about books, why am I putting so much effort into my posts and the set up of them all? Don't get me wrong - I love blogging, I really do. And I adore the community to death. But it's also true that sometimes, in my darkest hours, when I am so tired and out of inspiration - which happens often nowadays - I can't help but ask this question to myself.

What do you guys say? Do you feel like there's a collective slump in the community these days? If so, what do you think is the reason?

Oct 19, 2015

How Reading Changed Me


Last week felt like I had the most inspirational lessons from my Literature teacher, who (by now) has grown to become one of my favorite teachers in school. Throughout the years, I have had essays and poetry that had little influence on me because of their lack of meaning, so I barely appreciated literature back then.

Now, I love literature more than anything -- even to the point of wanting to major in Literature for college in 2 years. This was mostly because of my Literature teacher who inspires me so much with his selections. The essays and written works he made us study were deep and remarkable. They change my beliefs today, and I have never realized how reading could have influenced me in various ways.

Because of reading:

I appreciate the humanities a little bit more now.


I often feel so inspired when I read a really great book that delves so much into reality; it makes me appreciate everything in this life and what humans are capable or are incapable of. I love how I get to read insightful aspects of human life, such as people's potential to overcome struggles and the like. It's inspiring to read about brave characters, such as Harry Potter, who can be so willing to continue fighting until the end.


I am more aware of social issues and injustice.


In my Literature class, we discussed this essay called, The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain by Langston Hughes. One quote that struck me the most was: "I want to be a poet. Not a Negro poet." Just by this saying, it could already be implied that the persona is ashamed of his race and wants to be part of the lucky ones.

Which brings me to this point of how books widen my eyes on current social issues and injustice.  I love how books can do that! Hughes' essay speaks about racial discrimination, which really opened my way of seeing various races. Because I read it, now I think people shouldn't feel sorry for being born in a particular skin color. I think people should feel proud of who they are and not feel any more inferior than the others, regardless of race or color.


I am more open to different cultures.


I'll be honest: I grew up reading books set in the US, apart from my own culture. It was mostly because I was largely influenced by my school for promoting the English language more. Then half of my friends and relatives resided in the US, and having spent my summer there most of the time... it made me view things in only one side.

For the past 2 years, I have taken up Afro-Asian and Anglo-American Literature. This year, I am delving into World Literature. I love it so much how I get to see Chinese culture in the novels I've read, or stories based on the Free State of Saxony because I get to see the diversity of everything! 

There have also been a handful of bloggers who helped me appreciate other lovely cultures out there and introduced to me new stuff. (Also, shoutout to Mishma for sharing her writing in this post about her culture! Loved reading it!) :-)


I see the effects of everything.


I'm talking about books that touch on topics such as bullying and discrimination

When I was young, I didn't know how harmful bullying could be. Sure, I watched in movies the concept of bullying; there were girls crying in bathroom stalls or locking themselves in their rooms. But I thought that was it. I thought that was the highest extent of what bullying could do to others. Ever since I began to read more and more YA, I was more aware of its effects.

There was self-harm, loss of dignity, depression, anxiety, and even suicide. If you have read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, you would've realized a lot more of what it could do to people. Thanks to books, I saw everything in a different light. 


Lastly, I have been changed into a new person.

HOW THE HECK COULD BOOKS EVEN CHANGE YOU?!


Education.

Books are educative. According to Horace, literature has two functions -- "dulce et utile" -- which means to please and to instruct. To seduce and to educate. Not only do books bring entertainment to its readers, but also do they teach people about the realities happening around us.

And in that way, reading transformed me. It changed me into someone I would never have been today if it weren't for the written words that -- having no idea -- could change the way I view the world today.

Oct 17, 2015

As dark as YA can get || Half Bad by Sally Green




Title : Half Bad
Author: Sally Green
Release Date : March 27th 2014
Publisher : Penguin
Synopsis:
Wanted by no one.
Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan's only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it's too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.



I took up Half Bad since I wanted something dark for the month of October. I expected the book to be about witches, our hero trying to kill his villain father and lots of action and magic. But boy, this book was a lot more than that. Half Bad was probably one of the darkest YA fantasy books I've ever read and there's no talk of morality or goodness in this book, rather lots and lots of wickedness, conflict, brutality and ends up as an unforgettable read which will definitely leave a mark on you.

Nathan is the son of a white witch and a black witch - the latter being the Voldemort of his world of witches. Being a half black and half white witch, makes Nathan a feared, hated, despised and shunned boy, who suffers a lot despite being so young. After experiencing a lot of abuse in the hands of white witches and the council, he escapes and is in a run where he is off to find his father, his identity and his destiny. Half Bad is his story, which dabbles in the fine line between good and bad, what's right and what's wrong, and the questioning of the labeling of a "hero" and "villain"


It isn't a secret that I love morally ambiguous characters to death. To me, such characters, if well written, are the most complex, beautiful and deepest creation an author can ever produce. Nathan falls in such a category, and I adored his character! He has so much darkness in him by default, and throughout the story, there's a battle between the light and dark inside him and what's so beautiful in this book is that he himself doesn't know which side to choose. While I've read about a lot of characters who go through this battle, they clearly know where their loyalty "should" lie. But Nathan doesn't know that, and that conflict is beautifully portrayed in Half Bad.

"I've never met my father. Never seen my father. But I know that my eyes are his eyes."

The world building of Half Bad is so clean and perfect. The folklore, the backstory, the timing of the revelations, the foreshadowing were all treated so well. Then there's the writing. I love unique formats in books, and Sally Green's take of it was interesting. There were a few chapters which were written in second person POV - which I adored - the writing was unique and prose like at times, and I loved the symbolism of the unique formats. For example, I adored Sally Green's usage of bullets when she wrote lists. The bullet was in a form of a cross when she talked about late white witches while the bullet was a blood spatter when it was a list of dead black witches. 

“The trick is not to mind.
Not to mind about it hurting.
Not to mind about anything.”

The characters. Like I said above, Nathan's character was so well crafted and awesome! Also, he went through so much abuse in this book that I just wanted to kill everyone around him and cuddle him tightly. Just how many horrors can such a young boy endure? I just wanted to kill everyone who gave him a hard time - which is a looooong list and almost all of the characters in the book except a handful. My heart broke for the small boy who experienced so much hate and the young adult whose future was so unclear and uncertain.


The rest of the characters brought out a lot of mixed feelings from me. I loved that all the characters were complex and different. (Except Annalise - she's a bland pudding and I want her to jump off a cliff.) My favourite are probably Gabriel and Celia. Celia was the tough and supposedly "cruel" guardian the council appoints for Nathan for two years, who started off as brutal - for God's sake, she kept him in a cage, shackled and bound, and beated him often - but at the same time, it was evident that a part of her loved and cared for Nathan deeply. I didn't know whether I liked her as a person, but I certainly adored her as a character who had contrasting emotions and actions.

Gabriel. My darling. He appears in the book only during the latter 25% of the book, but still, he managed to make me fall for him! He is such a sweet and wonderful character who was everything Nathan needed - and didn't have - until now. I SHIP THESE TWO SO HARD!!!!! It better happen, or I am going to be really really mad!

"I'm going to find my friend. Gabriel."

The rest were quite interesting as well! I want to know more about Marcus as he intrigued me so much. Mecrury was an enigma - who again I want to know more of. Arran and Deborah - Nathan's half siblings who were quite sweet though not that remarkable. Jessica - his other half sibling who was a brat I wanted to throttle. Annalise's whole family - whom I wanted to kill in very different ways! Especially her brother Kieran! He was the worst! AND THE WHOLE COUNCIL!!!! I WANT TO BURN THE WHOLE GROUP!!!


Half Bad wasn't without flaws. First of all, there was a pacing problem in some parts. I felt like there's a loss of direction during the middle of the book, where it was as if, the story is in a temporary struggle in deciding where to move. There were also a few disconnections here and there, some questions left unanswered, but it all fades in comparison to the intensity of this book, if you ask me.

Overall, Half Bad was amazing! It was dark, thrilling, and it brought me to tears often with the intensity of feels and emotions and made my heart weep for Nathan. This book also ends with an opening for a lot of possibilities and endless questions, which I am super eager to know the answers of in the sequel.


Oct 13, 2015

That time I pretended to be a writer || #WritersLife Tag






















I either think that I am going to produce one of the best YA books of all time, or I wallow in self pity fearing how horrible my book could turn out to be. There's no in between. In case you didn't know, I am working on a WIP - and have been for months now - and sometimes pretend to be a writer. When Cait tagged me for the #WritersLife Tag, I was in a writer mood, I guess, so I decided to give the tag a shot!

Write Fuel : What do you drink/eat while writing?

I consume a lot of coffee when I write. I know it's not ideal, since I start to get headaches and a bit cranky. But I can't resist it I guess. Then I eat a lot! Chocolate is my salvation. I eat everything I find, though Kit Kats are my fav! 

Write Sounds : What do you listen to while reading?

I am not exactly that good with English songs, but I've created a passable playlist for all my characters which I keep on listening to while I write. My favourite list is probably my villain playlist which contains one of my favourite disney songs ever!


Write Vice : What's your most debilitating distraction?

Everything?:) School is of course a huge distraction, especially since Advanced Levels is super tough and competitive. Then there's the fact that I am part of every possible clubs and societies in school. (  What was I thinking???) Then I have to take care of my baby - a.k.a my blog. I get distracted by all of this, that my WIP often gets forgotten and abandoned by me! 

Write Horror : What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you while writing?

I once lost one of my notebooks. What's the big deal, you ask? Here's the thing. I manually hand write my WIP. Which means my work is written in a dozen notebooks which I often find hard to keep up with. Then one horrible day I lost one of them. It held a considerable chunk of the middle part and I was petrified! And me being the genius I am, never thought of saving everything in my laptop because I was too lazy to type everything I wrote. I spent a week trying to find the notebook.

And finally I did.


Write Joy : What's the best thing that's ever happened while writing or how do you celebrate small victories?

My small victories are when I finally figure out and amend plot holes. Plot holes are my worst nightmare, and I try to make every nook and corner of an explanation or revelation perfect. So when I discover that some part of the novel or a concept has one, I tear my hair out until I find a solution. So when I do find them, I can't help but break into a dance of joy!


Write Crew : Who do you communicate with or not communicate with while writing?

I communicate : With my twitter friends! I've often ranted about the struggles my WIP gives me in twitter, and worry about my plot holes in there as well. ( Once I discovered that there's a love triangle brewing in my WIP. I. WAS. HORRIFIED!!! Thankfully, my twitter followers helped me a out a bit there )

I don't communicate : With everyone in real life. No one knows that I am writing a book. Not even my mum. Or my best friend. *sighs* My mother do know that I am doing some kind of "research" but I never explained what it was for. I sometimes wish that I had someone IRL with whom I can talk about my WIP, but I've also realized that there might be no point anyway. No one will understand what I am saying.


Write Secret : What's your writing secret to success or hidden flaw


I think my writing secret is the amount of research I do. My WIP is an urban fantasy inspired by the Indus Valley Civilization and Hindu mythology. Even though I practically grew up hearing these folktales and myths and am a history geek, I do A LOT OF research. I bring home every single book on that topic I can find, raid most of the local libraries, and watch a lot of historic movies and read a lot of YA for inspiration. It is time consuming, yes, but a good thing is I am always sure of what I am writing. When I state a historic fact or talk about a folktale, I have no doubt in whether I am saying the accurate thing or it is a mistake.

My biggest flaw is that I plot and plan more than I write. I don't want to take up the pen until I have atleast a vague idea of what exactly I am going to write. This is really stressful, since most of the time, I end up wasting time and not get much writing done. I have to remedy this soon though. 

Write - Spiration : What always makes you productive?

When I think of the fact that every day I write a new sentence I am one step closer to my dream. Well, not exactly, to be honest, since there's so much to be done for that dream to become a reality, but still, it's a good motivation I guess.

Write Peeve : What's one thing writers do ( or you do) that's annoying?

Hmm, well, as a blogger and a reviewer, writers often annoy me with a lot of things but let's no go there now:) 


But basically I get really annoyed when people can't deal with criticism properly!

Write Words : Share one sentence from a project, past or present.

This is really easy since I have only one project under my belt and have only released one official snippet so far :)

So... how was it? *bites nails*

Are you a writer? If so, consider yourself tagged! If not, tell me whether you've ever seen yourself as a writer in the future? What will you write about if you become one? And writers - tell me about your projects!:)


Oct 11, 2015

Fairytales Report #3


It's a beautiful weekend, bookworms! I can't be anymore grateful that the long, exhausting week has been finished at last. I'm just so happy to be here at home where I should be, and I'm really hoping all of you had spent your weekend well.

For the past few days, here is what happened to us:

WHAT WE READ


Mishma

I think I did a bit okay with this week considering the fact that I practically didn't have any time to read. I finished two books, and am reading two - and surprisingly I am struggling with Illuminae. I don't want to DNF it, because everyone says it awesome and gets better after some time but I don't know whether I can make it. *sighs* We'll see.

Books Read

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Faking Normal by Courtney C.Stevens

Currently Reading

A Madness So Discreet
Illuminae

Jillian

This week has been so exhausting! I badly wanted to read my books at home after school, but I could never concentrate because I had so many homework on the side. It bothered me how I was neglecting them unfinished. But weekend is here! I'm bound to finish something at least.

Books Read
This Ordinary Life by Jennifer Walkup

Currently Reading
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


WHAT WE POSTED


Reviews

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern

Discussions


Around the Blogosphere


Emily discusses what makes a 5-star book
Grace talks about book covers going Hollywood
Val discusses about the fine line in Twitter chats

Bookish and Blogging Community News


Mishma

1. VICIOUS IS GETTING A SEQUEL!!!! Victoria Schwab practically gave me a heart attack with this news. You guys know how much I love Vicious, so of course I am excited for a sequel! Though, initially, I didn't want a sequel, because to me, the ending was perfect. And there's more! Victoria has signed 4 more book deals with Tor! And when they come out, I am going to read them all and urge you all my readers to go buy yourselves a copy because VICTORIA IS THE BEST AUTHOR WITHOUT A DOUBT!!!


2. NYCC is happening this weekend! And authors and pubs are killing me with all the swag and signed goodies! *go sobs in a corner*


Jillian

1. Bookish Serendipity has a new Etsy shop! Jessica from Bookish Serendipity recently launched her Etsy shop a few weeks ago. And it amazes me how she's only 14 and can actually manage an Etsy shop on her own (??!) Check out her lovely bookish products and consider purchasing some of them!

2. Alicia also launched her new online craft shop! If you haven't known, Alicia from Awesome Book Assessment has been one of my first blog buddies ever. (We are really close blog buddies. I mean, we have access to each others' blogs but we don't post in them, haha.) She was my pen pal last year, and we used to e-mail each other to talk about bookish stuff. For years, she has been doing crafts using polymer clay and she also manages an editing service at her book blog.

Now, recently, Ali has opened her new craft shop called Alicia Craft, and I honestly can't be any more proud of her for this! Her products are so adorable and amazing! Go ahead and check out her shop! (And great job, Ali! SO PROUD.)

Alicia Craft
Alicia Craft

Tweets of the Week










Personally, our week...


Mishma

1. School is consuming my life. And to top it off, there'll be prefect selections for next year by the end of this month, and I am in doubts whether to apply or not. I don't know whether I can handle any more responsibility and workload than the amount I already have on my plate!

2. I am compiling a post on blogging advice targeted to INTL bloggers. Since I've received a lot of DMs and a couple of emails about this, I am planning to write a post. I am mostly focusing on ARCs and I am doing a lot of experimenting for this. I am sending out trial emails, trying out every single way possible, and making a list of pubs who send ARCs to INTL bloggers. If you any pubs who do, please let me know in the comments, it will be a huge help!

Jillian

1. I celebrated my 15th birthday. It happened last Friday! It wasn't an ideal kind of birthday like I had always wanted, but I got to spend so much time with my family and friends, and to me it made my day! :-) My friends gave me lovely gifts, and my family and I ate out in a hotel buffet for dinner. It was really good! Massive thanks to those who greeted me in Twitter and at the blog!

2. I hung out with friends last night. It was my friend's birthday this time, and we all ate out at TGI Friday's, Starbucks, and Baskin Robbins. I had a great time because it's been a while since I've seen him and his friends, so seeing them after so long was really great!

3. Mid-quarters are on the way. My mid-quarters have officially started last Friday -- awful luck for me because it began on my birthday. Much studying to do over the weekend and I still have tons of projects to complete for the week. I can do this, though!!! :-)


How did your week go?

Oct 9, 2015

The representation of sexual harassment in YA


Phone Wallpaper credit goes to Hazel @ Stay Bookish

Sexual harassment, abuse and rape have always been sensitive concepts when it comes to their portrayal in literature - especially in YA. Sometimes, authors deal with it brilliantly and some make a huge blunder with how they portray it. Recently, I read Faking Normal - which fell under the first category, and wanted to discuss my thoughts on the representation of the concept in question in YA.

Before I start the post, let me confess one thing. This is going to be from a victim's point of view. In case you don't know already, I've been sexually abused for some time when I was 13. My pre teen years were super dark and depressing, and I've talked all about it before in this post 

So as a reader who has first hand experience with the concept, let me tell you why I think the portrayal of it in YA is important, how to do it right and the books which have done it right.


WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?



Let me tell you a small true story here. When I was 13, and was going through all that horrible shit, I didn't confess it to my parents. I let it happen.

Because, not every victim's mentality will be the same. And there should be forces that should make one come to terms with what has happened to them, to speak up, to confess and to take a step forward. To me, that force was books. When I read Just Listen by Sarah Dessen at 13, I knew that I had to talk about what's going on with somebody. And I did. To this date, I am thankful to Sarah Dessen and her books in a huge way because of this.

The correct representation of sexual harassment, rape culture and experiences of a victim is really important. Especially in YA books which will create a huge awareness since it has a vast audience,

More than that, it is needed because YA has a huge reach, worldwide. Did you know that I am part of a community which actually encourages rapists to marry their victims? Or that no one understands the concept of date rape or a husband raping his wife because they believe it's a man's right? If a girl is raped because she went out in the night or was wearing revealing clothes the society actually blames her for her part in it?

I know this sounds horrifying, but it is the reality. And what's even more scary is the fact that most of the girls and boys of my own age actually accept this and doesn't find anything wrong with the practice.


THE CHECKLIST


But at the same time, handling it in a wrong way is really offensive and insensitive in my opinion. Sexual harassment is clearly a sensitive subject, and it needs to be dealt in a careful way. Here are a few things that makes me boil in anger.

  1. An attempt of sexual harassment to show the heroine's allure. WTH??? I get really mad when an attempt of rape is used a plot device to tell the readers that the MC is beautiful and attractive. Let me tell you this, rape never makes you feel attractive. It makes you feel like you're ugly and disgusting. It makes you want to don all full sleeves and cover your face because you're disgusted with yourself. 
  2. To show the love interest's heroism. How many times have we seen the guy rushing to the scenario when the heroine is about to get harassed, like a knight in shining armor trying to save the damsel in distress showing his valiant heart and bravery! This makes me want to vomit! I mean, can't they use any other way to show this? For a moment think about what would have happened to the girl if the guy wasn't there at the right time? *shudders*
  3. She was asking for it. Let me tell you one thing. If a girl was already sleeping around, wearing indecent clothes, or let half of it happen and then said no, or she was the rapist's girlfriend, a no is a no and no one asks to be raped. Period.
  4. Slut shaming. This gets on my nerves! First of all, I hate people who judge. Second, even if a girl had sex with her own consent or was forced into it, what is your problem? What's the whole point in calling her names, ridiculing her or bitching about her?
  5. A character I am supposed to like partaking in sexual assault. This is a clear NO from my side. To me, sexual assault is the worst mistake someone can ever do, and I personally can't forgive such a character, no matter how much they try to redeem themselves.

So what should be included? Let me make a list for that too.

  1. It takes some time and a lot of inner debates for a victim to come to terms with what has happened. For some it's days, for some weeks and months, and for some, it even takes years to speak up. And even if they've finally decided to do it, there's a huge conflict on who to tell and how to start. There will be a lot of inner debates, and it will be painful.
  2. They start to hate their physical appearance. Like I said above, you start to hate everything about you. Especially appearance wise. The need to crash the mirror whenever you look at it is fierce.
  3. Self concept. They start to think about their own part in the rape. They start to doubt whether they are "unclean" and "impure". Trust me, this is the worst feeling ever in life, and I went through this phase for a whole year!
  4. Their viewpoints of men change. And no, they don't start to hate all men or something, but they start to trust them less. Especially the assault was done by someone who's close to them or a person they used to trust.

Books which did it right.



Here are some of my favourite books which handled the concept perfectly.

  1. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. I'll be grateful for this book all my life. This book talks about the importance of listening to the inner voice inside you. To speak up, even though most of the world will alienate you.
  2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. A similar concept to Just listen, Speak talks about the aftermath of a rape. And most of all, the consequences of speaking up.
  3. Easy by Tammara Webber. A beautiful book about how hard it is to confess if the offender is someone close to you, a friend of a friend and a generally liked person. Most of all, what touched me in a large way in this book, is that it told that just because a girl isn't actually raped, doesn't mean that she isn't harassed or assaulted. Any kind of sexual and non consentual act against someone IS sexual assault, and this needs to be often told in YA.
  4. Faking Normal by Courtney C.Stevens. This book is all about self concept. The inner conflict inside a rape victim is beautifully portrayed in this book. If a girl "let it happen" does that excuse the rapist's crime? This conflict was something I went through of my own, so this book touched me in a great way that I was left sobbing for a whole night.

And since I have awesome twitter friends, here's some recommendations, given by my lovely followers.

  • All the Rage
  • What We Saw
  • Going Under
  • Canary
  • Uses for Boys
  • Identical
  • Pointe
  • Little Peach
  • Every Last Promise
  • If You Find Me
  • Where the Stars Still Shine
  • Finding Paris
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • The Way I Used To Be ( Upcoming)
  • The Fix
  • Some Boys
  • Fault Line

What do you think about the portrayal of sexual assault in YA? Do you think it's necessary? Have you read any book that talk about it?