Nov 30, 2015

Bookworm Problems - Meleika @ Endless Pages

Hey guys! 

November has ended, can you believe it??? The year is almost over!!!

The end of November means, that it's the end of my hiatus as well. I'll be back during December, and today, we have the last guest post for the month, by Meleika @ Endless Pages, who lists her top 5 book worm problems!



Graphic credit goes to Meleika.

Hi everyone! *waves excitingly like a 3 year old* My names Meleika (cool fact, it's pronounced Mel - air - ee - car) and I'm providing you guys with some bookish goodness while our beloved Mishma is on a break throughout this month.

For my guest post, I will be sharing 5 of my bookworm problems *sighs*. But before we get onto my crazy good list, I'd like to properly introduce myself.

As previously mentioned, my names Meleika and I'm a 17 year old Aussie residing in the good old sunshine state Queensland. I'm actually a bookstagramer over at The Aus Library and a somewhat 'rookie' blogger at EndlessPages. I love talking about my love of books and fangirling in general. I also love SUSHI, people who can detect my sarcasm,  other bloggers, twitter chats, wolves, Supernatural, Tigers, Turtles, Patrick Ness, being  1 of 8 kids, KDrama and everything else under the sun. I'm also proud of being awarded a PhD in procrastination from the Queen of Procrastination, myself. But yeah, that's enough from my random ENFP self and lets get to the list we are all waiting for.

The first bookworm problem I have is, having a huge TBR pile (which is sadly more than my age times 10) but still having an urge to buy new books. Like, stop right there and hand over that money Miss.

The second and most troubling bookworm problem I must confess is that, sometimes, if I'm reading a good book I want to finish it but at the same time I don't. You get me? I honestly just don't want to finish incredible books because when I finish them, I get a feeling of withdrawal from the fictional world that felt so real.

The third problem is, not having enough shelf space for my books. If you've been following me on Instagram, you may find a photo of a book tower stacked right next to my shelf. This is proof that I don't have enough room to fit all my books and proof that I really need to save up for a new shelf. Preferably a white one from Ikea because they look better in pictures.

My utmost sadness problem is that I obsess with the majority of characters in books I read. Like, I literally sometimes accidentally just zone out and think about the 'what ifs' and all the possibilities about how the book could of played out if the characters did something else to what they really did in the book. This usually happens at the worst times and mostly during maths class.

The last bookworm problem I have to share is, not being able to put down a book. I seriously have a love/hate relationship with this problem. The reason why I love it is because I can finish a book and enjoy it without being distracted or interrupted. But, I hate it cause I get too carried away and the next thing you know, its 2354245829 years later, I still haven't eaten or washed the dishes and I know for a fact that I will regret not finishing my Homework because I was reading.

So, that is my condensed list of some of my various bookworm problems.

Comment below with your own devilish bookworm problems and fangirl on how many people can relate.

Nov 28, 2015

Why I Don't Do Blog Tours That Much


When I first came to this community, I was always joining in every blog tour that I could possibly find. Blog tours meant reading more and more books, and reading a lot of books made me really happy. The fact that blog tours paved me opportunities to discover more underrated novels convinced me enough to participate all the time. This made me happy. Really happy.

Until I discovered that, at one point, it didn't.

Blog tours were pressuring and exhausting.

The more you sign up for it (especially when you're in the most time-constrained situation right now), the more pressured you feel. I remember waking up one morning and receiving an e-mail from a tour host, informing me that I have to review this book at this set deadline. This happened last year, when I was just a freshman in high school. And who knew school could be too exhausting?!

I guess that when I signed up for the tour, I was expecting a lot of free time around. But I didn't expect high school to throw in so much work in my first year, and it made blog tours so much exhausting and pressuring to continue up. I wasn't happy.


You have too much requirements to do.

There's a lot of pressure that continuously builds up when you receive an e-mail from a tour host that requires you to do so many things before this set date -- things such as sending interview questions, or guest post topics. No, I have never really signed up for an author interview in a blog tour before, but the fact that you have to send so many things right before a date... Sometimes it's hard to follow up when you know you're eventually going to forget about it real soon.


You're bound to forget about it real soon.

There are so many rules when it comes to participating in blog tours, and forgetting to complete your tour stop is something that scares me tons. So many things in life happen, school gets in the way, and I often have my head too much in the clouds. So it's not too often will I ever remember my tour stop eventually because I'm bound to forget about it someday, which can be scary sometimes. 

Yes I still do blog tours, but I don't do them often anymore. After all, I am incredibly picky over the books I sign up for, and I always ensure that it's something I'm truly interested in reading. Otherwise, I'd skip any of those that don't pique my interest because I am NOT into the stress of deadlines that it could bring!

Do you do blog tours often?

Nov 26, 2015

I am thankful for.....

Hey guys!

It feels so good to talk to you all after almost a month! I missed everyone terribly!

Now, I am still technically on a hiatus. I won't be officially back until it's December. But I wanted to break my hiatus a bit for this post, as today's Thanksgiving, and I wanted to say a few thank you's.

We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in my country, but I've always been fascinated by the holiday - I think it's beautiful! And inspired by the holiday, and Cait's recent TTT post , I wanted to say thank you to some people and things that has made my life special.

Oh and by the way, HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!


I am thankful for my parents.

I am thankful that they gave me life, brought me up with a lot of freedom and support. They had - and always will have - my back, whenever I wanted to give up. They encourage me to no end, motivate me with all their heart and support my passions fiercely, even when it's hard for them to come to terms with some of the things I do and believe in.

I thank my dad for being proud of me. For encouraging me in every single thing I do, even though most of the time, he can't even understand what I am doing. For making sure that I get to experience everything that he didn't and couldn't experience , when he was young. For teaching me to be compassionate, kind, friendly and most of all, for teaching me to be open minded and not to judge anyone, as he, as a poor kid from the slums knew how horrible it feels to be judged.

I thank my mum for being my backbone. I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have her. She was there whenever I needed her - even when I said that I didn't. I thank her for not giving up on me, even when I put her through hell when I went through a horrible period of depression. I thank her for teaching me values, for encouraging all my passions, and cheering for my dreams.

I love you both and I can't justify my gratitude for you through words.

I am thankful for my new classmates

You guys are awesome! When I started Advanced Levels in May, I didn't know that I'll meet a bunch of crazy, fun and amazing girls in the form of classmates. While I've always felt like a misfit in school for these past 11 years, in a few months - who am I kidding, it only took about two weeks - I started to feel like I belong. They made me feel special, like I am an "unique, cool, fascinating and amazing person", which I have never heard my former classmates say to me. I can talk about my blog, my love for books, my crazy obsessions with fandoms, villains, old movies and ramble all day without them thinking I am crazy or weird. I feel like after 16 years, I've finally found a group of IRL people I actually belong with.

Love you guys and thank you sooooooo much!

I am thankful for books

Books have never just been a past time for me. They've educated me, enlightened me, entertained me. They've made me laugh, cry, think and reflect. They've opened my mind, taught me life lessons and given me aspirations. They've inspired me and more than anything, given me a reason to live. When I was a lonely, depressed, misfit who just want to cry and die, books were my lifesaver. They took me for adventures, showed me new worlds and introduced me to a lot of fictional friends. I'll be eternally grateful for books all my life, and from the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you to all the books I've read so far.

I am thankful for authors

They say that a pen is mightier than the sword, and it is 100% true. These amazing individuals weave stories and pen characters which change lives. You are all awesome, and thank you so much for your lovely stories and creations!

I am thankful for my bullies

Yes you read that right. I am actually thankful for my bullies. Those who made my life hell, made me want to give up, made me feel like I am worthless. Thank you so much, because you made me snap. You made me so miserable that I turned to books, and the rest is history. And most of all, thank you so much for labeling me as crazy and weird, because now I find those terms as compliments. You made sure that I realize that I am nothing like you, that I am not stereotypical or a cookie cutter character, rather that I am so much more, unique and that I had a lot of potential.

I am thankful for movies

For giving me the other passion of my life. For making me realize, that I am good at reading through the lines, which eventually made me decide that my path of education is going to be something to do with analysing and critiquing. ( Which led me to choose Literature ) Thank you Disney for giving me the fairytales I needed. Pixar - for making me cry so hard yet love all your movies fiercely. Movies like Breakfast Club - which gave me a new outlook of life. Thank you!

I am thankful for my country

I will be always happy and grateful that I was born in this beautiful, authentic and lovely country. A country which made me be proud of my ethnicity. And most of all, a place where you will, hands down, find the friendliest people of the world, where smiling to a stranger will always get you a smile back.

I am thankful for my blog

My blog gave me a platform, a chance to express myself and most of all, be myself. My blog and its audience has become a huge part of my day to day life. I don't know how long I'll be able to have the spark, but as long as I continue to blog, I'll love writing and talking here at CF to death, and will be always greatful for everything my blog has given me!

I am thankful for this wonderful community which I am a part of.

This community made me feel like I belong. I didn't need to restrict myself, and had the freedom to talk without restraint. I have made some amazing friends who are a vital part of my life despite living oceans away. A beautiful community which is full of love, kindness and loyalty, where you can discuss the most random things and share the most serious happenings of your life at the same time. Thank you my adorable pumpkins! Every single blogger or reader with whom I have conversed in twitter, through comments or via any social media! All my lovely readers here at Chasing Faerytales! I love you all dearly, and I wanted to say a huge thank you to you all from the bottom of my heart!




Nov 24, 2015

Do we actually LIKE having to wait for books to come out? - Ella @ Once Upon a Bookish Time

Today we welcome Ella from Once Upon a Bookish Time, who raises a pretty interesting question.

Do we actually like waiting for upcoming releases????



Hello Everybody! My name is Ella and today I want to to discuss about the wait for anticipated books to come out and how that can impact us on a reading level!

Let me tell you a story:

Back in March this year when I was stuck in my favourite habitat, Goodreads, I stumbled across a book called Assassin's Heart. It sounded absolutely amazing but when I looked at the release date I saw to my horror that it wasn't being released till February 2016! FEBRUARY. 2016. AGGGGGGGGHHHHH! Can you hear me screaming?!


From March through to August I was OBSESSED with Assassin's Heart! I was forever rereading the blurb, I was so excited when the cover came out and I told SO many people about how much I was looking forward to it's release. I spent many nights before bed thinking about it and wondering how much I'd enjoy it and if it would be as brilliant as it sounded.

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I actually, honestly looked like this when I was thinking about it
Then just before the end of August, Harper Collins put a massive bundle of 2016 eARCS on Edelweiss and while I was requesting them as fast as my greedy little bookworm hands could type, I saw it. ASSASSIN'S HEART. WAS.RIGHT. THERE. IN FRONT OF. MY EYEEEEEES.

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After requesting it at the speed of light, I waited for what seemed like FOREVER. Time dragged slowwwwwwlllllllllllllllllly, people. I swear I grew some grey hairs.
But then FINALLY, I got an email from the publisher and after I'd psyched myself up, I opened it AND IT SAID I'D BEEN APPROVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Quickly as I could, I downloaded it onto my kindle!!

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But then...something happened. The moment Assassin's Heart was downloaded onto my kindle, I...lost interest. All the anticipation from all those months of waiting had gone. I still wanted to read it a lot, but not right-now-this-very-moment-omg-cannot-wait-another-millisecond like I did back in March. I felt like now that I was in control of when I could read it and not have wait for someone to tell me when it was available to read had completely changed the situation.

And that brings me to my question: For all out fuss about hating to have to wait ages for books to come out...deep down, do we actually like it? Is the thing we hate not the waiting, but the lack of control of when we get to read an upcoming book? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!!

Nov 22, 2015

Fairytales Report #6


Hello, bookworms! How did your two weeks go recently? These past few weeks have been a mixture of so many things all at once, and it has been crazy. Here's a recap of what happened to both Mishma and I.

WHAT WE READ


Mishma

I couldn't get into any YA these past two weeks, hence why my three reads are historical romances. It was exam week, so I could only read as a form of distraction. I can't wait to dive in more YA!

Book Read

Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught
Behind the Palace Walls by Lynn Raye Harris
When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

Jillian

I'll admit, so far I had a great reading time! Though my first book within these two weeks was a little disappointing, I enjoyed the books I read recently. They were great, and I can't wait to read more overtime! I'm finally catching up with my Goodreads Reading Challenging.

Books Read
What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkings

Currently Reading
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

WHAT WE POSTED


Reviews

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi

Guest Posts



AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE


Aentee tells us who she's blogging for
Claire informs new bloggers on basic book blogging lingos
Inge advises us on how to be productive
Jeann asks us if you mark your books
Kaitlin recaps her time at the Illuminae signing event
Jesselle talks about the 3 books she DNFed
Vlora tells us why she reads YA
Nicole shares advice on how to overcome a reading slump

BOOKISH AND BLOGGING COMMUNITY NEWS


Mishma

1. Goodreads choice awards is at its final round! Although I am less than happy about some of the books that didn't make it to the finals after the semis, I am super happy that A Darker Shade of Magic has made it! Go vote for it in the Fantasy genre everyone!!! Go, do it!

2. WINTER CAME OUT!!! And it drowned all Lunar Chronicles fans in feels, as I've been hearing that it's the BEST CONCLUSION EVER!!! This makes me so excited to read it, and before that, I need to do a quick binge on the first three books.

Jillian

1. NaNoWriMo is almost coming to an end. Because after next week, it would be December by then, and that's why you guys have to hurry up finishing those 50K words so you don't fail! (*pushes you all to finish writing*) I hope you all finish what you started because the month is almost coming to a close :)

2. I'm hosting the Blogger Positivity Campaign! It's my first ever event in my own personal book blog, Jillian's Books, and I am beyond excited! I first kicked it off last Wednesday, and I'm literally more than surprised to see the positive feedback.


PERSONALLY, OUR WEEK...


Mishma

1. School drowned me in work. Exams were so overwhelming, since they're the first term exams I faced as a A/L student, and they were so damn hard!!! The main three subjects are done by now, and though I have two more papers, I can relax a bit now.

2. I was made junior prefect in school and it is nerve wracking. First of all, it was a heftload of responsibilities loaded on my already tired shoulders, and furthermore, it has restricted my online presence. Here in Sri Lanka, school systems are pretty strict, and in my school especially, there's a lot of limitations when it comes to social media. This is why you might have noticed me remove all pictures of mine from twitter and my blog. I also had to turn my instagram profile into private, so incase you were wondering what happened to me all of a sudden, this is the reason.

3. On a lighter note, Christmas is getting near and I am so excited!!! I am taking part in a couple of Secret Santa events, and I am planning Christmas packages for my blogger buddies!! I can't wait to do all the shopping!!

4. Oh and though it's been two months since my birthday, I got a super belated birthday gift!!! Since our mail system is horrible, it took ages to reach me, but I was so excited to see it!! My fabulous friend Cait made me bookish necklaces!!! Plus, she wrote me this super cute note as well! It was all so adorable! :D

















Jillian

1. I completed my quarterly exams. Which also means that I have finally completed the second quarter of my school year. I'm already halfway through my sophomore year, and though it has been quite stressful to the point of making me cry in pain and sleep-deprivation, so far I've learned so many new and interesting things. And I love it!

2. Mini vacation is now over! Last week, the Philippines hosted the APEC summit in Manila, so classes were suspended for one week while 21 world leaders were around. I got sick last Monday with a fever, but my entire week was spent blogging, reading books, and sleeping late. It was a good break from school, even if all I ever did was read books and blog. I finally get to catch up with blogging after being so gone for weird amounts of time! Sadly, my classes resume on Monday, and I have more schoolwork to do by then.

Nov 19, 2015

Do we do books a disservice in their reading order? - Claudia @ Pen Markings

Hey guys! 

Say hi to Claudia, from PenMarkings, who is stopping by to talk about the impact, the order we read books in might have on our opinion of them.


First of all, three cheers to Mishma for tolerating my horribly late guest post and allowing me to be a guest on the fabulous blog that is Chasing Faerytales. Second of all… well, there’s nothing really. Yeah.

Some days, you’re lucky and you fly through books like they were cake. It’s Christmas for the reader in you and you can see stars flying out of the pages.

Other days, you’re not so lucky, and you DNF five books in a row or books because they cause you more frustration than mis-matching covers and you want to scream, scream, scream.

But then a book comes along and shatters this cycle of tears feels and you go oh, yes.

Or oh, no, depending.

Now, I don’t know your reading pattern (or maybe I do, but I’m trying to keep the creeper side of me in the down low, so let’s just say I don’t) but I like to read books one after another. This, then this, then that, then this, on and on and on because we both know my TBR doesn’t have a “finish point.” Last book? What’s that?

But when I read books that way, I can’t help but feel guilty. I mean, after reading fantastic books that made me go OMGALLTHESTARSSSS and picking up a book that was…. not, I probably give it a lower rating than what it’d normally warrant if I read it some time separate from those books, and vice versa. After ripping my teeth out reading books that were grade-A shit, you bet your bookshelves that I’d praise the next book that didn’t make me wish I was blind.

Does this seem really fair? I’m having mixed opinions on this. You can’t always tell how well books compare to the recent ones you’ve read so it’s not your fault if book one was the bomb and book two was like your first-grade journal entry, but then again, do you think it’s a book’s job to hold its own against all the other books in the world? I’m pretty sure that if I read all the books I’ve given lower ratings after reading fantastic books previous to it, they’d probably score higher because the bar has settled down to more manageable heights.

I guess it boils down to how well you manage your expectations, really. I know some people surf the book high while it lasts and get pulled down fast because a book was a couple of stars short than what they were used to, and other people always set book expectations accordingly to what they’ve read/heard. I’m a bit of both. I sway between those two points.

But now I’m curious: what do you think of this? Do I make any sense in what I’m saying? And how do you manage your expectations when it comes to reading?

Nov 16, 2015

Top 5 World War 2 books || Valerie @ The Innocent Smiley

By the time you're reading this, it would be exam week for me!!! Wish me luck everyone!!!

Anyway, today, we have list of World War 2 recommendations for you all, thanks to Val @ The Innocent Smiley - who is hands down, an expert in the genre. She's also hosting an uncoming event on WW2 books, don't forget to check it out!!!

Over to you, Val!


Hi there! This is Val from The Innocent Smiley, currently taking over Chasing Faerytales permanently (just kidding). I kind of forced Mishma to let me write a guest post for the blog, because I can.


If you don't know me, I am obsessed with everything World War II. Well, book related. I consider it its own genre just because of the sheer amount of amazing books that incorporate the topic. Plus, if you look around the blogosphere, I'm not the only one that thrives off of the sadness and feels. Which is why, in preparation for an event I'm hosting with my blogger friend Ely @ Tea & Titles, I'll be introducing and recommending you five MUST READ WWII books.


REASON TO READ: Not only is it a heart-wrenching story about a blind girl losing her father during WWII (sobbing inside), but it also incorporates magical realism. Or does it? It's actually a really cool concept in that the reader decides whether or not to believe the story of the Sea of Flames, a mythical diamond that resembles a little flame within a whole lot of blue. Although it is beautiful, legend says that anyone in possession of the diamond will never die, but instead cause misfortune upon everyone around him.


Like all WWII novels, expect an ending that is an ending. With sadness.


REASON TO READ: YOU GET TO EAT YOUR FEELINGS, IN CAKE. I SOBBED WHILE READING THIS. And also developed an appreciation of small planes. I could probably fly one, in theory, because of all the Elizabeth Wein books I've read (they all focus on flying, if you didn't know).

But this also features the most wonderful friendship I have ever read about. Which is why I bawled at the end. STILL HURTING INSIDE AFTER ALL THESE YEARS*

*two years*


REASON TO READ: Because I said so. There is seriously no excuse. If you haven't read The Book Thief you are 1) behind in life 2) out of your mind and 3) haven't experienced true sadness.

PLUS it's about a BOOK LOVING CHILD. Who doesn't like book-loving children? And she steals books! She's living out our dreams guys! Except for the part where it's during WWII, and all the bombs, and oh let's not forget Rudy who just wants a kiss. (brb crying, again)



REASON TO READ: Looking for a WWII that isn't as sad? GASP this is the one for you. They are hard to come by so treasure this. Actually, this has a twist in that it is alternate reality. In other words, HITLER HAS WON. He gloats by hosting a nationwide motorcycle race, where the winner gets the chance to meet him personally.

Basically, this is one unique novel. It blends together historical fiction, dystopian, and also science fiction.


REASON TO READ: Wow tears are nearly spilling out of my eyes just because I LOOKED AT THE COVER. This is the companion novel to Code Name Verity, and it doesn't get any sadder (well I'm sure it can, but let's not think about that. Also haven't read The Boy In The Striped Pajamas yet sooo). However, Rose does go through some pretty tough situations, like a concentration camp, where she meets a bunch of strong-willed women WHO BECOME HER FRIENDS FOR LIFE.

Just the story itself is incredibly eye-opening when it comes to the events of the Holocaust.


OVERALL REASON TO READ WWII BOOKS: Let's be honest, sadness makes you feel MORE, especially when you become emotionally connected to these characters. And you can find plenty of that in the WWII genre compared to some other genres out there. And I don't know if you have noticed, but I THRIVE on these feelings. Sure, I still hate the authors for killing everyone, but would the novel be the same without it? No. Plus, I always have denial of these things. I WILL ALWAYS BE IN DENIAL ABOUT CHARACTER DEATHS.

How do you feel about character deaths? Do you think a book would have less of an impact without it? Did I convince you to read all the WWII books? Yes? Good.


Again, I want to thank Mishma for letting me take over for today. She's the best :)

Nov 14, 2015

Review: What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi


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Title: What You Left Behind
Author: Jessica Verdi
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: August 4, 2015

Synopsis:
It's all Ryden's fault. If he hadn't gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he's failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it's not like he's had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She's fun and energetic -- and doesn't know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg's journal only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden's convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can't let go of the past?


I don't like this book. Never had, and I'd probably never will.

What You Left Behind has such a gorgeous cover and a promising synopsis, so when I first saw this in Netgalley, I was bound to read immediately! Unfortunately, I was disappointed instead after reading through the whole thing. This story covers our protagonist named Ryden Brooks, who is a seventeen-year-old teenage father. He has a daughter named Hope, who is the only living remnant of his past girlfriend who had died from two things.

Meg (Ryden's girlfriend) suffered from melanoma, a form of skin cancer. She still has a chance of survival, all thanks to the chemotherapy to which her body is responding to quite well. But when Ryden suddenly gets her pregnant, Meg halts her treatment to give birth to her child. She dies midsurgery at age 17.

Her name is Hope. And Ryden is the father. With Meg gone, Ryden feels obligated to care for his daughter -- because he knew Meg would want that -- while he juggles school, soccer, and life. He searches for Meg's journal to find a secret message that she must've left behind, but then Ryden meets a new girl, Joni. She doesn't know about his child, but he's suddenly in love with her.


When I realized that this book was about teen pregnancy and parenthood, I was like: "LET ME READ IT." Of course, I don't support the idea of teen pregnancy, but how many YA books out there tackle this topic? Little to none! That's why I was so interested in this one!

But what I thought would be such a great book ended up disappointing me instead!

Firstly, the writing annoyed me to no end! It was like reading a diary of a 17-year-old teenage boy whose thoughts were endless and all over the place. I was basically irritated by the narration because it was neither descriptive nor beautiful; instead, it was purely rambley! It literally made me more annoyed to see that this book was written in first-person perspective because I had to endure his rambles until the end.

Furthermore, Ryden himself became a problem. Do you know what he just did? He fell in love with Meg, got her pregnant even if he KNEW she had cancer, and basically fell in love with another girl just after Meg died.

Is this even for real?!


How can you literally get a girl with cancer to be PREGNANT?! That was the most horrifying thing Ryden ever had to do! He knew that she was suffering from melanoma, and yet he made her get through this. And then, while caring for his daughter, he fell in love with another girl? I was so mad! Like, WHY?! 

What You Left Behind had so much potential! The idea of a boy taking in the role as a teenage dad and then seeking out his old girlfriend's journals to see what she left behind was so intriguing! But this book made me so mad and annoyed!

3 stars for this one. A promising novel, but I am just so disappointed. I'm not quite sure if I'd recommend this to anyone.

Nov 12, 2015

In defence of fan fiction - Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity


Today we have Chiara from Books for a Delicate Eternity, my lovely blogger friend, and a fierce supporter of LGBTQIA+ novels and ships, who discusses - or rather defends - fanfiction, especially non canon ones.

Over to you Chiara!


Image Credit goes to Chiara.

Not too long ago, the internet blew up (as it usually does). This time, it was about a post on a particularly popular and wide-reaching website that labelled fan fiction (which will now just be called fanfic in this post) as “inappropriate”, “dirty”, and among other things: incited people to ridicule particular fanfic writers and their Teen Wolf fanfic pieces, and fanfic in general.

The above picture taken by yours truly shows books I have written fanfic for (and books you should 100% read, by the way). Simon vs. theHomo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz, The RavenCycle by Maggie Stiefvater, and Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat.
Today, I’m going to talk about the importance of fanfic to me personally. And also to the wider fanfic community.

I’m an LGBTQIA+ writer. Without fanfic, I might never have realised that LGBTQIA+ fiction was what I was supposed to be writing. I’d been writing cishet (cisgender and heterosexual) novels for a pretty long time – and failing to actually finish any of them. I finished my first book last year, featuring a gay character. I also finished my second book, about a bisexual character.
Before fanfic, it had never crossed my mind that I could write stories about characters who weren’t cishet.

My OTP (one true pairing) is a true OTP in that if I could only ship one ship forever, it would be Merlin and Arthur from the TV series Merlin. After finishing the show, I was in withdrawal because it had meant so much to me, and I never really got to see Merlin and Arthur realise that they were in love with each other and needed to live happily ever after. So I created a Merlin Tumblr. And discovered fanfic. People had written these amazing stories about Merthur getting together and loving each other, and it was what I had always wanted from the show and never gotten. It was like stepping into the world I’d always wanted to exist.

Then, one night, it was 8.45pm, and I thought to myself: Chiara, you’re a writer and you ship Merthur with a fiery burning passion and you love reading fanfic. Why don’t you just try, in the next fifteen minutes, to write one?

And I did.

And I guess the rest is history.

I started off writing copious Merlin fanfic (some a few hundred words, others up to ten thousand). Since then, I’ve written fanfic for quite a few fandoms. The only cishet fanfics I have written have been at the request of followers, or gifts for friends.

I realised, in writing that very first fanfic in fifteen minutes, that that was what I was supposed to be writing. That I felt happy writing. I loved writing about these two boys in love. And I’ve since written hundreds of fanfics about boys falling in love. And two books about boys falling in love.

Through fanfic, I realised that:

a) I like writing about boys. All my attempts at novels were written from the female perspective. And,

b) Writing LGBTQIA+ novels is what I was meant to do. And what I enjoy doing.

Fanfic is a way to explore yourself, hone your writing, find friends, discover yourself, and find yourself. This doesn’t just apply to writing fanfic, but reading it. It doesn’t just apply to finding yourself as a writer, but other aspects of who you are that fanfic has opened up, or brought to your attention, or made you consider.

And to dismiss fanfic as just “inappropriate” and “dirty” is to take away the importance that it has to both me, people I know, and general fandom people.

I will defend fanfic because of what it has given me, and others. I will defend fanfic because it is fun and beautiful and yes, it can be extremely sexy but hey – give the people what they want. I will defend fanfic because it changed me as a writer. I will defend fanfic because it changed me – period.


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and again and again: fanfic is life.

Nov 10, 2015

Did I make you all up???? || Made You Up by Francesca Zappia




Title : Made You Up
Author : Francesca Zappia
Release Date : May 19th 2015
Publisher : Greenwillow Books
Synopsis:


Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.


Contrary to my fierce support for diverse books, I rarely go for books that are about mental illnesses, but something about Made You Up made me want to go for it, despite my reservations towards the genre, as I feel like they bring back memories I want to forget. Maybe it was that gorgeous cover - IT'S ONE OF MY FAVOURITE COVERS EVER!!! - or the fact that it was constantly recommended to me; whatever it was, I am glad that I took the decision, because otherwise, I would've missed this amazing, emotional and utterly beautiful book.

Made You Up is the story of Alexandra. She has schizophrenia - an illness, which is the cause of hallucinations, which makes her make up things, people and events which are not real. But she doesn't let it bring her down, and keeps her head high with the help of her amazing will power, a camera, a magic 8 ball - a.k.a, her counselor- her adorable little sister Charlie and her immense knowledge of history. Then she meets Miles - a guy she's always believed as a hallucination of her seven year old self, and now she can't seem to disengage between reality and delusions : and Made You Up is the beautiful story of her struggle, victories and emotions.

“I am real. This”–he put his other hand over the first-“is real. You see me interacting with other people all day long, don’t you? I talk to people; I affect things in the world. I cause things to happen. I am real.”

“But-but what if this whole place”-I had to suck in air again-“what if everything is inside my head? East Shoal and Scarlet and this bridge and you-what if you’re not real because nothing is real?”

“If nothing’s real, then what does it matter?” he said. “You live here. Doesn’t that make it real enough?” 

I loved this book!!! It has been some time since I read a contemporary novel which completely blew me away and Made You Up filled that gap. I loved everything in the book - the terrific characters, the gorgeous writing, the beautiful romance, the subtle but powerful diversity, and ALL THE FEELS IT GAVE ME!!!


I just adored Zappia's writing! It was beautiful, vivid and suited the book's concept to a T. Her descriptions, choice of words - everything was perfect! Even though I was a person who knew next to nothing about schizophrenia, Zappia's writing made me experience the delusions and the feels first hand and I loved it!

“Believing something existed and then finding out it didn't was like reaching the top of the stairs and thinking there was one more step.” 

The characters! ALEX AND MILES, MY PRECIOUS BABIES!!! Alex is certainly one of my favourite contemporary heroines - hands down. I loved her to death! Her spirit, her stubbornness, her determination to defeat her illness and all that spirit inside her which matched the red of her hair - she was a delight to read about. She was smart, funny and I loved there was more to her than her illness.

“I was a schizophrenic, not a damn invalid.” 

Miles. The incredibly annoying, really proud and utterly adorable love interest who broke my heart to pieces! His characterization was beautiful! He was super arrogant, but unlike most under developed "bad boy" YA heroes, he had so much depth. Pride was a driving factor to most of his deeds, and the fact that he was ready to sacrifice that pride for his mum - and later Alex, was too much for the romantic in me!


Then there are the secondary characters. While the main characters were undeniably my favourites, I also liked the batch of minor characters. Tucker, Alex's friend and fellow nerd. I really liked his awkward and dorky character and it was refreshing to see a guy girl friendship without no hint of a romance or a love triangle. ( THANK GOD FOR THAT!!!) Charlie - Alex's sister was just plain adorable! I loved her, and there's a twist about her in the story which would be a spoiler, but all I wanted to say is that though I predicted it, it didn't make it any easier for me to deal with the heartbreak.

Then there's the romance. The completely adorable, totally beautiful romance between these two fantastic characters. Needless to say, I shipped them so hard and they are undoubtedly one of my fav OTPs of the year! Miles are Alex start off with hatred, banters, fights - their little tricks on each other was so cute!!!- then it devolves into understanding, friendship, sharing and then into a perfect and gorgeous love. Miles was Alex's rock throughout her journey with her illness, self realization and her struggles, while Alex gave colour to Miles life. Their relationship made me swoon, laugh and sob so hard in a corner.

“I pushed myself back up. He kept staring at me. I realized I wanted to kiss him.

I didn't know why. Maybe it was the way he looked at me like I was the only thing he wanted to look at.” 


"I am in love with Alexandra Ridgemont, and I don't care what you think about it."

Another thing I loved and want to mention about the book is that it featured a subtle yet powerful dose of diversity. Alex had a mental illness, Miles was German, there was a side character who was French, another who was black ; while these aspects were constantly present in the book, they weren't forced. Schizophrenia wasn't the only concept of the novel, nor was it the only point of Alex's character. Likewise, Miles was not just that love interest who has a different accent. Diversity was a part of the character's lives, and it was dealt in a beautiful, matter-of-fact way which made it all the more powerful.

Made You Up is a must read! It's beautiful, from the cover to the last page - oh and speaking of the last page, that ending was so bittersweet and ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!!! - and it will certainly make a mark in you! ( To the point, after I read the book, I was talking in pardoxes. My friends got scared when I asked them, "What if all of this is no real? What if I made you all up? What if all of life is an hallucination, a dream - and death wakes you up?" - Poor kids :D) I'll recommend this to all contemporary fans, and all those who love to be drowned in feels by books.


“Was everything made up? Was this whole world inside my head? If I ever woke up from it, would I be inside a padded room somewhere, drooling all over myself?

Would I even be myself?” 


Nov 8, 2015

Faerytales Report #5


It's another week, bookworms! This is Jillian! How has your week been lately? For the past two weeks, a lot of new stuff happened to both Mishma and I. Here are some of the new and amazing things that happened so far!

WHAT WE READ


Mishma

I didn't have a great reading week this time. The first week, I read two books - which were amazing!!!-then I went to India during the latter one. That means no reading time for Mishma :(

Books Read

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Hass
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Jillian

So far, I'm reading really great books, and it makes me feel immensely happy that nothing I've read recently has gotten me disappointed. It has been a great reading week, despite school happening!

Books Read
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Currently Reading
What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi


WHAT WE POSTED


Reviews

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Guest Posts


Others



AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE


Amber shares a guest post at her blog about alcohol, suicide, and depression
Vlora explains why she doesn't review ARCs
Val invites you to write a guest post or review at her blog about WWII
Rachel connects food with books
Grace talks about her personal bad habits
Shay sorts her characters into their Hogwarts Houses
Jeann shares why she reads contemporaries
Emily asks what made you a bookworm
Sara gets her little brother to review some YA books
Alyssa asks us how many retellings are too much
Jillian explains why she stopped caring about ARCs
Cait shares how it feels to be a fast reader
Emily talks about her first book slumps

BOOKISH AND BLOGGING COMMUNITY NEWS


Mishma

1. The sequel of Six of Crows has a name! It's called Crooked Kingdom! It was revealed along this terrific video!
2. Okay I lied. I don't have a second fact :D

Jillian

1. Winter will be released in a matter of days! ARE YOU ALL EXCITED? Because I am! Marissa Meyer is finally going to release the final installment of The Lunar Chronicles in November 10, and I honestly can't wait.

Look how gorgeous the book is! It makes me want to grab it from the screen. *grabby hands*

2. It's the annual Goodreads Choice Awards! I'm kind of late because I only noticed it yesterday, but Goodreads is holding up votes for your favorite books in specific categories. You can now vote for your favorite stories and debuts! 

TWEETS OF THE WEEK



PERSONALLY, OUR WEEK...


Mishma

1. I went to India! Actually I am writing this from Chennai, India, and by the time you're reading this I would be back home. The trip was super fun! I really enjoyed spending with my cousin there, while my mum had the time of her life and went on a crazy shopping spree! It was such a happening week, I was constantly going somewhere, my nights were sleepless and I can't wait to be back here again!

Oh and the most exciting thing!!! I met up with Fahima and Pooja - two lovely Indian bloggers - and I had a fabulous time with both of them! We chatted over coffee about books, blogging and kinds of random stuff!

2. I have to face reality again. I have exams in exactly 10 days, and I practically haven't studied anything! And no, I am not exaggerating. I am so stressed, and nervous, and looks like I have to do some all night cramming.

Jillian

1. I had a short vacation last weekend. My family and I stayed in our favorite country club an hour away from home, and we stayed in a log cabin for 3 days. It was such a fun time staying there because it was really cold and windy at night, and it made me forget all the stress I had from school!

2. Quarterly exams are coming again! I'm almost finished with the second quarter of the school year, so exams are coming this Wednesday. And this means I'm already more than halfway through the school year. I honestly can't even believe it! But I'm more than happy I got this far and was able to maintain my grades despite all the stress and poor time management. 

I won't be disappearing at all; in fact, I might be popping up more often in the blogosphere, reading more books and novels since I have another short vacation coming up in two weeks! Great way to end exam week!

How was your week?

Nov 4, 2015

Sometimes Bookish Snobbery Gets Too Far - Ranu @ The Araliya Bookshelf


Today we have Ranu from The Araliya Bookshelf who's here to talk about bookish snobbery and when it gets too far.


Hello! First of all, loads of hugs and thanks to Mishma for having me on her awesome blog. November is a hard time for most people, and I hope exams are going well for you!

So, let's get to what I have in store for you guys!

Now, one of the best things I like about our bookish community in the blogosphere is the fact that so many different voices are heard. I really enjoy reading other people's opinions, whether it be on books, blogging or life, even though I might not always agree with them.

But sometimes, when it comes to reviews, some voices are stronger than others. I know every blogger goes through the slightly scary process of writing a negative review for a book that almost everyone else and their grandmother loved. It's hard, and can sometimes get really nasty because of people who just don't know how to respect the opinions on others.

I've seen LOTS of supportive posts telling bloggers to post their negative reviews and not give in to the pressure of the hype. But I think that topic has been discussed through and through. Today, I want to talk about how people who actually LIKE the book get bashed by people who didn't.

Now this might seem redundant at first glance. Isn't it the negative reviews that get a lot of hate?

Yes, but let me tell you something. Sometimes, when I go on Goodreads and read reviews of books I loved (just for fun), when I come across negative reviews, I sometimes actually feel guilty for liking that book! It wouldn't stop me from giving the book a glowing review, but I WILL feel silly for liking the book.

This may be just me. I've seen loads of people fabulously shrug off the hate on a book, but I can't quite manage that.

But that's okay. I realise now that every book affects different people in different ways. Books are extremely subjective.

Sometimes, though, people don't seem to realise that. Some people act like, just because they hated the book, everyone should hate it, too.
And if everyone doesn't hate it, then they're all idiots.

I'll illustrate this with an example that everyone can relate to: Twilight.

I ,personally, didn't love Twilight. It was a very "meh" book for me, but I didn't HATE it, as many seem to do.

I've seen many reviewers come down hard on Twilight. I'm fine with that. They didn't enjoy the book, and I understand that they perceived elements of the book differently from me. But when they stop criticising the book and start attacking the people who LIKED the book, that's where I get annoyed.

I've seen countless reviews that make really wide statements like "anyone who has the stupidity to actually like Twilight are uneducated simpletons". (I'm paraphrasing here, since I don't like to take lines of actual reviews and point fingers).

Now I have a really good friend who ADORES Twilight, and while I don't agree with her opinions, I am NOT okay with her being called an "uneducated simpleton" (or worse, in the case of some reviews).

And it's not just Twilight. It's countless other books. I only used Twilight here as an example so that everyone can understand.

Despite what some people would like to believe, there ARE others who loved a book they hated. And GUESS WHAT? That's okay.

It's very unfair (and, if I'm being very honest here, arrogant) to station yourself above other people just because their opinion differs from yours. It's called being a book snob.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm totally innocent of being a book snob. There ARE moments where I have thought "pfft, s/he likes THAT book?" But there is a line between having internal reservations about the tastes of other people and declaring their idiocy to the entire world.

Which is what some reviewers do, especially on Goodreads.

I am lucky enough not to personally know any such reviewers, but we all need to understand that calling people names or labelling them as "stupid" or implying they have less intelligence that you WILL NOT change there minds. It will only make them feel horrible about themselves and their tastes.

So ask yourselves, do you really want to be that person? The one who brings down everyone else just because of a different opinion? The one who thinks that they can force other people to share the same opinion?

Don't be that person.


So that's a wrap! What do YOU guys think? Do you agree that there is such a thing as being a book snob? Do you think having reservations about certain people's tastes are okay, but you shouldn't bash them? Where is the fine line in between? Do you agree with me? Do you even maybe disagree? Tell me all your views!